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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Brainstorm debate: Free Trade

As I mentioned, tonight at 7 PM Eastern I'll be debating Dr. James Miller, Associate Professor of Economics at Smith College, on the topic of free trade. Dr. Miller has a PhD from the University of Chicago and is the author of Game Theory at Work and Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World.

There are 440 seats left, so if you're interested and you plan to attend, you can register for the free event here

This promises to be interesting. PhD from THE monetarist school vs BS from a econ department of Keynesians and socialists. Game Theorist vs Game Designer. Academic vs gamer.

The folks on Twitter don't appear to like my chances of success. The worst odds that have been given against me are 68-1. On the other hand, Nate refuses to throw in the towel: Speaking as someone who's actually debated you. I'm going to say the poor bastard has no idea what he's in for.

So, whose chances do you like better? Looking at it objectively, I'd have to say that if I can somehow manage to win this one in a convincing fashion, I'm probably smarter than I think I am. There is only one way to find out.

Labels: , ,

94 Comments:

Blogger Shimshon April 13, 2016 5:49 AM  

Vox, if I were to bet, my money would be on you.

OpenID bc64a9f8-765e-11e3-8683-000bcdcb2996 April 13, 2016 5:54 AM  

If I were a betting man, I'd go online and find the "Vegas line" on the outcome.
Twitter/Facebook is useless to me.
CaptDMO

Blogger freddy April 13, 2016 5:55 AM  

But you currently despise Keynesian economic theory so the above description isn't quite accurate.

Blogger JACIII April 13, 2016 5:56 AM  

Here's hoping the fella does his homework and makes it interesting, though experience with products of Chicago academia colours me less than impressed. So far.

Have you two discussed the scope of your exchange at all? And is there anything esoteric the neophytes among us need to bone up on to in order to better keep up?
Here's to you both for stepping into the ring to test one another's convictions. May the truth be well served this evening.

Blogger VD April 13, 2016 5:57 AM  

But you currently despise Keynesian economic theory so the above description isn't quite accurate.

Read it again. The above description is entirely accurate.

Blogger VD April 13, 2016 6:03 AM  

experience with products of Chicago academia colours me less than impressed. So far.

There is a pretty massive difference between a Chicago BA in Philosophy of Science and a Chicago PhD in Economics. Chicago's econ department is rated the best in the country and has been for decades.

Have you two discussed the scope of your exchange at all? And is there anything esoteric the neophytes among us need to bone up on to in order to better keep up?

Just a bit. He's read SJWAL and this blog. He was kind enough to direct me to a pair of his lectures, to give me some idea of where he was coming from. He promised no math. Neither one of us really prepared for this, as he only contacted me two days ago. I think it will be all the more interesting for that.

Blogger peter blandings April 13, 2016 6:27 AM  

at 68-1 i'll take a thousand on mr. day. to make it a tad more sporting, vox, you should probably get drunk beforehand. PhD = piled higher and deeper. all he has is theory and historical should-have-beens if only they'd thrown more money at it. ist and ic vs. a double er. the latter takes it without breaking a sweat.

Blogger AdognamedOp April 13, 2016 6:28 AM  

Eutaxia!

Blogger Gordon April 13, 2016 6:41 AM  

Will it be available for replay later? I have to work tonight to improve my personal economics.

Blogger John Cunningham April 13, 2016 6:43 AM  

VFM #424 here--sadly, I will be on-shift working from 6 to 11 pmEST tonight. Any chance there might be a transcript posted afterwards?

Blogger Shimshon April 13, 2016 6:49 AM  

I too hope for a transcript or audio to listen to later. 2AM in Israel is just a bit too late for me.

Blogger Lazarus April 13, 2016 7:05 AM  

JACIII wrote:And is there anything esoteric the neophytes among us need to bone up on to in order to better keep up?

Yes. Bone up on James Miller on Rate your Professor. Sounds like an entertaining guy.

Be that as it may, one must always remember the Henry Hazlitt quote:

The art of economics consists in looking
not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of
any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of
that 'policy not merely for one group but for all groups.

Anonymous MK April 13, 2016 7:07 AM  

He says he is in favor of free trade but against open borders/massive immigration.
I think to win the debate you will have to establish that free trade necessarily implies massive immigration.
Good luck.

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 13, 2016 7:10 AM  

If he hasn't read RGD, he is in trouble. I was recently at a UChicago econ lecture on the EU, and even I found a few brutal shots, not because the PhD didn't know his stuff, but because he didn't - and couldn't - know mine.

The thing he has going for him is a genuine curiosity, but it doesn't matter if he is smarter than you. It only matters if he is righter than you...and in this case, he's not.

You win unless you are miraculously struck with the Glenn Beckian weeps midargument.

In which case, everybody wins.

Blogger VD April 13, 2016 7:14 AM  

VFM #424 here--sadly, I will be on-shift working from 6 to 11 pmEST tonight. Any chance there might be a transcript posted afterwards?

I believe he'll be posting an audio podcast. A transcript will be provided to the Brainstorm members and be made available in the Castalia store.

Blogger Joe Doakes April 13, 2016 7:20 AM  

The professor's initial message seems to leave open the door for him to argue: "I support free trade, not as it has been done in the past (wrongly) but as it should be done in my theoretical world (rightly); therefore, your historical anecdotes do not destroy the case against free trade, they support my case for free trade done right."

Anonymous dh April 13, 2016 7:25 AM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Anonymous DJF April 13, 2016 7:34 AM  

Has any definition of ‘Free Trade” been given out?

I find that the Free Traders usually reduce it down to a negative, if no tariffs or quota are imposed then its Free Trade.

Personally my definition is that Free Trade is trade between free people.

Under the first definition then North Korea selling body parts of executed political prisoners to the Cuban state medical system is Free Trade as long as they don’t impose tariffs or quotas

Under the second definition it is not Free Trade since it involves stolen body parts and state owned industries

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 13, 2016 7:44 AM  

No, DJF. Free Trade has nothing to do with a "free people" requirement. It is the first definition you gave. It can include slaves or drugs or stolen goods - that sort of stuff is irrelevant.

The question is this: does free trade necessarily involve the free movement of labor or not? The type of good is irrelevant.

Blogger 1337kestrel April 13, 2016 7:55 AM  

I'm probably smarter than I think I am.

Not only is this tautologically impossible, it's a pretty tall order.

I wouldn't linger in free trade = free movement per se. Even if technically true, it is nonetheless possible to have free movement of goods but not people. You have to focus on the economic results of that imbalance.

Also, y'all will have to address whether free trade includes across-the-board tariffs, or free trade in narcotics. Since drugs inherently make people irrational, that can tie in to an attack on the rational actors premise behind Ricardian free trade.

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 13, 2016 7:55 AM  

dh wrote: I'd have to say that if I can somehow manage to win this one in a convincing fashion, I'm probably smarter than I think I am.

Nate's not as smart as he thinks.


Smart's less important for getting the right answer than people think it is.

Blogger Gaiseric April 13, 2016 8:01 AM  

So, whose chances do you like better? Looking at it objectively, I'd have to say that if I can somehow manage to win this one in a convincing fashion, I'm probably smarter than I think I am. There is only one way to find out.

Oh, I dunno. Except at the slower pace of a drawn out written debate published in the letters pages of an academic journal, debates are not about dialectic and marshaling of relevant facts.

Given the fact that neither one of you will have much time to prepare (unless he did so before inviting you to participate) it will come down to presentation, maintaining frame, ability to recall details on the fly under pressure, and rhetoric.

Anonymous Roundtine April 13, 2016 8:45 AM  

If he can't address arguments made by Keen, and can't directly address some of the nationalist arguments, he will lose. If I hear him say something like "should we have free trade between U.S. states then?" I'd count it as a point for Vox, only because he didn't bring his A-game.

Anonymous #8601 Jean Valjean April 13, 2016 8:53 AM  

Free trade is bogus, and so is monetarism.

Two strikes for Dr. Miller.

Blogger Melampus the Seer April 13, 2016 9:06 AM  

Vox, will you post a video? I want to attend, but I'm in Great Lent. I have church services every night.

Blogger John S April 13, 2016 9:09 AM  

Search for "Future Strategist" in your podcast player of choice (I use pocketcast on my android phone), and you'll see Dr. Miller's new show.

Check out the discussion in the latest episode, titled "The Harvest", about the morality of getting poor 3rd worlders to sell their organs to the highest bidders. I foresee an easy debate victory for our host...

Dr. Miller: free trade is awesome and stuff!

VD: doesn't it tend to lower wages in developed countries?

Miller: well, initially yes, but...

VD: And you argue for poor people selling their organs?

Miller: .....

VD: *drops mic*

Blogger Steampunk Koala April 13, 2016 9:14 AM  

The trouble with having a clear winner on this topic is going to be that it falls much closer to social science than physical science. The success or failure of any trade structure comes down to how responsibly the people involved are with it. Gravity has no such social component.

The American governance system worked much better when the average IQ was +2SD from today, for good reason.

That said, at this point in time, I would be surprised if a good argument for open borders trade can be made that can't immediately be countered by pointing to Europe.

Anonymous Toastrider April 13, 2016 9:23 AM  

You're listening to people giving odds on Twitter?

Stop that, it's going to kill your brain cells.

Anonymous DJF April 13, 2016 9:28 AM  

VFM #6306 writes “””No, DJF. Free Trade has nothing to do with a "free people" requirement. It is the first definition you gave. It can include slaves or drugs or stolen goods - that sort of stuff is irrelevant.””

So communists practice ‘Free Trade’, that is all I need to know about so-called Free trade. Count me out.

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 13, 2016 9:50 AM  

Aeoli Pera wrote:dh wrote: I'd have to say that if I can somehow manage to win this one in a convincing fashion, I'm probably smarter than I think I am.

Nate's not as smart as he thinks.


Smart's less important for getting the right answer than people think it is.


To be clear, I have a pretty high opinion of Nate's intelligence.

Blogger praetorian April 13, 2016 9:50 AM  

I'm still not entirely sold on my own conclusions, although events do seem to be supporting the Ice case.

Quoted for great example, ilk. Even senpai isn't completely sure of himself.

The world is complicated.

Blogger Markku April 13, 2016 9:52 AM  

Taylor, your anonymizer proxy is fooling no-one.

Blogger John S April 13, 2016 9:54 AM  

So communists practice ‘Free Trade’, that is all I need to know about so-called Free trade. Count me out. - djf

I googled "Karl Marx+free trade" and whattya know:

Karl Marx advocated Free Trade, i.e. Capitalism, because (a) whereas Protection builds up the nation-state, Free Trade breaks it down, as a prelude to the creation of a world-state by the Capitalists (b) Free Trade breaks down traditional culture, as a prelude to the creation of a world culture (c) Free Trade exacerbates class warfare, and through this the Capitalists will lose control of the world-state - they will be defeated by the impoverished classes, with the help of their backers in the higher classes.

Site: Some dude's commie musings with speeches from Marx

Anonymous Baseball Savant April 13, 2016 9:57 AM  

I think Dr. Miller is completely fucked.

Blogger Josh April 13, 2016 10:01 AM  

Taylor, your anonymizer proxy is fooling no-one.

She just...can't...quit...you

Blogger Markku April 13, 2016 10:11 AM  

You're not even officially banned, you COULD just plain come back. But you're not doing that, because you said you wouldn't. However, this behavior is even more embarrassing than simply changing your mind.

Blogger James April 13, 2016 10:14 AM  

There's a difference between having the correct view and actually winning a debate. That said, Vox Day arguing for the correct view has to be the winner every time.

Blogger Young Heaving Bosoms of Liberty April 13, 2016 10:16 AM  

Markku wrote:You're not even officially banned, you COULD just plain come back.

Pretty sure she got her own Banning Post.

Blogger Markku April 13, 2016 10:16 AM  

Ah, ok. I must have missed it.

Blogger Young Heaving Bosoms of Liberty April 13, 2016 10:17 AM  

http://voxday.blogspot.com/2013/11/troll-ban-anonagain.html

Blogger J April 13, 2016 10:21 AM  

Will this debate be recorded and posted (or transcript made available)? I may not be able to stay for the entire three hours but am very interesting in following the entire event.

Blogger Nate April 13, 2016 10:25 AM  

pssht.

Vox... your obvious attempts at sandbagging are duly noted.

Blogger Young Heaving Bosoms of Liberty April 13, 2016 10:28 AM  

VD wrote:I believe he'll be posting an audio podcast. A transcript will be provided to the Brainstorm members and be made available in the Castalia store.

Blogger Deep Thought April 13, 2016 10:34 AM  

You will win easily. Free trade is not some theory that has never been practiced. It has been the lay of the land for decades and the evidence against free trade is vast.

Blogger Nate April 13, 2016 10:44 AM  

and yet everyone thought AlGore kicked Perot's ass in the debate. And Perot was obviously right.

Blogger Nick S April 13, 2016 10:46 AM  

Many of Jim's students say he can't resist veering on to political tangents. This could quickly become about Trump. It will be interesting to see where it ends up.

Blogger Nate April 13, 2016 10:58 AM  

oh god... this is going to be a glorious trainwreck.

Blogger Were-Puppy April 13, 2016 11:04 AM  

@17 dh
Nate's not as smart as he thinks.
--

My favorite thing about Nate is he loves to jump in the ring and battle it out with anybody :P

Blogger Were-Puppy April 13, 2016 11:06 AM  

@21 Aeoli Pera
Smart's less important for getting the right answer than people think it is.
---

I have a friend of whom it has been said many times - That's the dumbest smart guy I ever met :P

Blogger Were-Puppy April 13, 2016 11:16 AM  

@45 Nick S

This could quickly become about Trump.
---

Noooooooooooooo......*splat*

I hope not. It's like the sjwlist and how all these cruzbots want to turn it into something about Trump. Far as I know, Trump isn't even mentioned on that site anywhere.

Blogger lordabacus April 13, 2016 11:18 AM  

If Vox is smarter than he thinks he is, then I, for one, welcome our new anti-free trade overlord.

Blogger Nate April 13, 2016 11:19 AM  

@17 dh
Nate's not as smart as he thinks.
--


Intelligence is like height.. and porn... you know it when you see it. A guy that's 6'5 is tall. He's not as tall as a guy that's 6'9.

There are a few 7 footers wandering around this comment section.

I do not claim to be one of them.

Blogger Gaiseric April 13, 2016 11:22 AM  

Nate wrote:and yet everyone thought AlGore kicked Perot's ass in the debate. And Perot was obviously right.
Exactly my point; winning the debate, especially with this format, and being right are not the same thing. A more staid, pause between rebuttals, written and researched dialectic debate, on the other hand, maybe it is. For this kind of thing? It doesn't prove anything except who's better at debating extemporaneously.

It should still be interesting.

Blogger Student in Blue April 13, 2016 11:22 AM  

Intelligence is like height.. and porn... you know it when you see it.

Except when Dunning-Kruger rear their head.

Blogger Nate April 13, 2016 11:32 AM  

"Dunning-Kruger"

its a concept that the rural folks used to recognize and even had a sayin' for it.

You don't know enough to even know what you don't know.

Anonymous BGKB April 13, 2016 11:40 AM  

My favorite thing about Nate is he loves to jump in the ring and battle it out with anybody :P

Especially if there are sugar coated tits in the ring.

Blogger bob k. mando April 13, 2016 11:43 AM  

VD
Looking at it objectively, I'd have to say that if I can somehow manage to win this one in a convincing fashion, I'm probably smarter than I think I am.



you're so bad.

i expect to wake up tomorrow morning to the announcement that the first four digit IQ has been found in the wild?

Anonymous DavidKathome April 13, 2016 11:45 AM  

I was becoming more convinced of your arguments but once you showed us that Murray Rothbard was in agreement with you, that was it. Disagree with Rothbard AND Vox? I won't go there, not even with an army of facts to back me up.

Blogger Earl April 13, 2016 11:51 AM  

Woah. Morgan is back? I rank her up with Heartiste and GBFM as internet characters I wish I could know more about, or at least get a picture of. Anyone have the goods?

Blogger Earl April 13, 2016 11:53 AM  

When can we meet up in Austin again? I missed it last time.

Blogger Nick S April 13, 2016 12:04 PM  

Economic models, like global weather models, are seldom both precise and accurate.

Anonymous You Have Two Wishes Left, Use Them Wisely April 13, 2016 12:07 PM  

Woah. Morgan is back? ...or at least get a picture of. Anyone have the goods?
Taylor

Blogger Josh April 13, 2016 12:11 PM  

Morgan != Taylor

Anonymous #8601 Jean Valjean April 13, 2016 12:11 PM  

Nate has a knack for making you laugh, even when he's criticizing you.

Blogger Earl April 13, 2016 12:14 PM  

Oh, that's right, Morgan was the dense spergy atheist chick. Taylor is who I was thinking of.

Blogger Josh April 13, 2016 12:21 PM  

Morgan of the Lake != Ann Morgan

Anonymous You Have One Wish Left, Use It Wisely April 13, 2016 12:25 PM  

Morgan's pick is in Nate's SFW Harem post too.

Blogger Earl April 13, 2016 12:27 PM  

OK, annmorgan is another more differenter, Morgan. So confused.

I don't know who Morgan of the lake is.

Blogger J April 13, 2016 12:30 PM  

Thanks. I missed that.

Anonymous You Have No Wishes Left *The Genie Vanishes* April 13, 2016 12:31 PM  

Back in the day, Morgan of the Lake would tell Bane he should write book, Bane would call her a cow. It would go on till Bane was just mooing at her. Morgan was the "Token Hippie" here.

Blogger J April 13, 2016 12:32 PM  

Thanks. I missed that.

Anonymous redsash April 13, 2016 12:36 PM  

VD: You have observable truth on your side. Number of working age Americans not working, manufacturing jobs lost and replaced by useless trousers at restaurants and hotels.

Anonymous redsash April 13, 2016 12:37 PM  

Useless tossers!!!!

Blogger Nate April 13, 2016 1:13 PM  

"When can we meet up in Austin again? I missed it last time."

there are random minor ilk moots in Austin... mostly they are last minute and are for the Texas-centric ilk. Last year's was the first large scale international ilk moot.

This years is actually happening in Southern Alabama.

FOR NO PARTICULAR REASON

Blogger Young Heaving Bosoms of Liberty April 13, 2016 1:17 PM  

dh wrote:Nate's not as smart as he thinks.

We have a long-time commenter here who uses the name "dh" and is usually far more cogent. If you're not the "liberal" from the Balkans, don't use the name "dh", because it's taken.

Anonymous Lulabelle April 13, 2016 1:20 PM  

"This years is actually happening in Southern Alabama."

We'll be camping out in Nate's r.v. I've got the shag carpet swag already custom cut.

Anonymous Lulabelle April 13, 2016 1:21 PM  

"We have a long-time commenter here who uses the name "dh" and is usually far more cogent. If you're not the "liberal" from the Balkans, don't use the name "dh", because it's taken."

Will the Real Slim Shady please stand up?

Blogger Nate April 13, 2016 1:22 PM  

"We'll be camping out in Nate's r.v. I've got the shag carpet swag already custom cut."

no one will be using Nate's RV. We are open to setting up Camp Dread Ilk somewhere on the property though... and we will have an excellent bathroom available for campers complete with 2 separate showers. Not that you savages will bother.

Anonymous Lulabelle April 13, 2016 1:27 PM  

Exactly. Camping and showers do not mix. That's crazy talk.

Blogger Josh April 13, 2016 1:30 PM  

This years is actually happening in Southern Alabama.

Roll damn tide

Blogger Clint April 13, 2016 2:37 PM  

Josh wrote:This years is actually happening in Southern Alabama.



Roll damn tide


Nate has promised that Burgoo will be served.

Blogger Young Heaving Bosoms of Liberty April 13, 2016 3:22 PM  

Earl wrote:When can we meet up in Austin again? I missed it last time.

Email me. I'm automatthew and I use gmail.

Blogger John Williams April 13, 2016 3:45 PM  

Not that you savages will bother.
You implying a certain Native American will be there?

Blogger Markku April 13, 2016 3:53 PM  

Hey!

Noble savage.

Blogger Nate April 13, 2016 4:52 PM  

No. Vox will likely never step foot on American soil again. And I dont blame him.

Blogger Doug April 13, 2016 5:09 PM  

Prediction: if he sticks to Free Trade, Vox wins; but if he gets baited into a debate about Trump, Miller wins.

Blogger Patrikbc April 13, 2016 6:24 PM  

Is there a doubletree in the area?

Blogger Nate April 13, 2016 6:38 PM  

No. Vox will likely never step foot on American soil again. And I dont blame him.

Blogger Were-Puppy April 13, 2016 8:32 PM  

@73 redsash
Useless tossers!!!!
--

I liked the Useless Trousers better :P

Blogger Were-Puppy April 13, 2016 8:33 PM  

@74 Nate

This years is actually happening in Southern Alabama.
---

Really? Where in LA is this going to be ?

Blogger John Williams April 13, 2016 9:02 PM  

No. Vox will likely never step foot on American soil again. And I dont blame him.
More excuse for you Southrons to secede.

Blogger Desiderius April 14, 2016 1:29 AM  

Nate,

"Intelligence is like height.. and porn... you know it when you see it. A guy that's 6'5 is tall. He's not as tall as a guy that's 6'9.

There are a few 7 footers wandering around this comment section.

I do not claim to be one of them."

Yeah, well, you're long on wisdom, and that's more lacking these days.

Blogger Rusty Fife April 14, 2016 1:36 PM  

Were-Puppy wrote:@74 Nate

This years is actually happening in Southern Alabama.

---

Really? Where in LA is this going to be ?


UCLA of course.

Blogger Samuel Nock April 14, 2016 9:26 PM  

@72 "VD: You have observable truth on your side."

Dr. Miller: "Observation? What's that?"

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