Richard Epstein Behind Enemy Lines

 

Our own Richard Epstein schools a hapless PBS News Hour correspondent on basic economics. Not to be missed. P.S. For more from Richard (and John Yoo) listen to Law Talk. 

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Members have made 40 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Mark Wilson Member

    Household income, eh?&nbsp; How many people are in those shrinking households?

    • #1
    • October 27, 2011 at 1:02 am
  2. Profile photo of Stu In Tokyo Member

    Rock Star!

    • #2
    • October 27, 2011 at 2:05 am
  3. Profile photo of Percival Thatcher
    ParisParamus: Would love to set this video up on a large tv screen at Zuccoti Park and see what happens 馃槈 路 Oct 26 at 9:16pm

    I know what it would sound like.&nbsp; All those heads exploding – it would sound just like popcorn popping.

    The look on the interviewer’s face was priceless.&nbsp; It was a non-verbal&nbsp; “but…but…but….”

    • #3
    • October 27, 2011 at 3:08 am
  4. Profile photo of Chris Campion Thatcher

    I think Epstein was just getting warmed up.

    The re-distribution patriarchy has literally funneled trillions since the 1960’s, and we’re still seeing (according to them) a growing separation between the “wealthy” and the other, lower, potato-grubbing classes.&nbsp; So, to fix this, we must stomp on the re-distribution accelerator, to do even more with those who have less, by taking it from those who, in the name of fairness and justice, pay a whoppingly disproportionate share of the overall tax bite.

    Yep, that makes sense.&nbsp; Create legions of Americans who are eternally beholden to federal outlays, will vote for more of the same, and demonize those who actually produce the wealth that empowers the patriarchy to distribute it, and the Circle of Imploding Lunacy is complete.&nbsp; Re-distribution does not increase liberty, re-distribution diminishes liberty.&nbsp; It diminishes expectations in the individual, the expectations he or she should have for him/herself, because they know that someone else will catch them when they fall.&nbsp; If this happens enough times, this “catching” becomes a right – and then you’ve got spoiled clowns protesting on Wall St.

    Our infantalization continues apace.

    • #4
    • October 27, 2011 at 4:16 am
  5. Profile photo of Todd Member

    I just noticed at the end of the segment,the host said “That was libertarian law professor, Richard Epstein.&nbsp; Why couldn’t they just say “law professor”?

    When they use that word, it’s almost as if they are saying: “Yes, what he says sounds good, but remember, he is one of those wacky libertarian types, so you really should just ignore it.”

    Oh well, I give them credit for doing the segment.&nbsp;

    • #5
    • October 27, 2011 at 4:45 am
  6. Profile photo of Pseudodionysius Inactive

    Libertarian is East Coast shorthand for “birther with a law degree”.

    • #6
    • October 27, 2011 at 5:21 am
  7. Profile photo of SteveS Inactive
    Troy Senik: As someone who has the pleasure of interviewing Richard on a regular basis — and the advantage of doing so as a friend, admirer, and intellectual sympathist — my utter reverence for this performance is matched only by my lack of surprise.

    I do wish our friend from PBS had called me up prior to his appointment with Professor Epstein. I would have been happy to have told him that interviewing Richard — particularly with such a facile line of questioning — is like drinking from a fire hose.

    Bravo, professor. Bravo. 路 Oct 26 at 8:51pm

    Edited on Oct 26 at 08:51 pm

    Troy, as a faithful listener to “Law Talk” you have described Richard perfectly.

    I’m enthralled at times by his ability to talk intelligently, at such length, about almost any subject without any wasted words.&nbsp;

    Richard is a lot of meat with a lot of potatoes!

    He is a treasure, of that there is no doubt.

    • #7
    • October 27, 2011 at 6:01 am
  8. Profile photo of SteveS Inactive
    dittoheadadt: Eight minutes fifty-eight seconds of meat ‘n potatoes.&nbsp; Felt like he didn’t waste a single word or breath.&nbsp; The video was over before I knew it. 路 Oct 26 at 10:44pm

    Yes, Richard is truly a Steak and a Bake, for sure!

    • #8
    • October 27, 2011 at 6:05 am
  9. Profile photo of Severely Ltd. Member

    The most glaring inequality on display in that interview is that of brain cells between Richard Epstein and the interviewer.

    Redistribute brainpower!

    • #9
    • October 27, 2011 at 6:12 am
  10. Profile photo of SteveS Inactive

    Professor Epstein reveals the chasm that separates a learned man who rises methodically to sustained eminence based on his efforts from one who rises quickly, effortlessly through flattery and praise with an eventual descent to obscurity.&nbsp;

    • #10
    • October 27, 2011 at 6:18 am
  11. Profile photo of Sisyphus Member

    Richard is master of the art of talking without drawing a breath. To paraphrase W on Iran, where are Europe’s Epsteins? India’s Epsteins? Japan’s Epsteins?

    • #11
    • October 27, 2011 at 7:14 am
  12. Profile photo of SpinozaCarWash Inactive

    Simply magnificent.&nbsp; Professor Epstein is an amazing support to conservatives and libertarians at NYU Law School!

    • #12
    • October 27, 2011 at 8:13 am
  13. Profile photo of Todd Member

    Stunning.&nbsp; Brilliant.&nbsp; Magnificent.&nbsp;

    • #13
    • October 27, 2011 at 8:29 am
  14. Profile photo of Sam Dominguez Inactive

    &nbsp;As has been mentioned Thomas Sowell would see that first slide and say “Households don’t have incomes! Only Individuals!” Can’t you just see that poor slob scooting as far back into his chair as he can, as the “Fire Hose of Fact” gives him a wash down. I love it!

    • #14
    • October 27, 2011 at 8:35 am
  15. Profile photo of Pseudodionysius Inactive

    John Yoo levelled Jon Stewart and now Richard Epstein goes “Austin 3:16 minus the hell yeah” on the poor farm team batboy from PBS. How long before the FCC issues a restraining order?

    • #15
    • October 27, 2011 at 8:36 am
  16. Profile photo of EJHill Member

    Kudos to the producer that put this on the air. And condolences on your unexpected dismissal from PBS…

    • #16
    • October 27, 2011 at 8:40 am
  17. Profile photo of Steven Drexler Inactive
    Cas Balicki: What we saw here was a class ‘A” beat down. Thank you Prof. Epstein. I enjoyed it so much I’m going to watch it again and again. And to think people want to defund PBS.&nbsp; 路 Oct 26 at 9:08pm

    No, no, no.&nbsp;-&nbsp;That’s wrong, and unfair, Cas. PBS needs to get at least a little credit for fair editing, and actually allowing Prof. Epstein to speak. You know Martin Bashir would have been interrupting every seven seconds with his inane counter-arguments and dime store wisdom. PBS played it straight here, and they deserve kudos for that.

    Professor Epstein was fantastic, but I expected nothing less.

    • #17
    • October 27, 2011 at 8:41 am
  18. Profile photo of James Gawron Coolidge

    “You do not make the Poor rich by making the Rich poor.”&nbsp; I think I’ll remember Richard Epstein quoting Abe Lincoln.&nbsp; Thanks for this.&nbsp;

    • #18
    • October 27, 2011 at 8:41 am
  19. Profile photo of Starve the Beast Inactive

    Just awesome.

    That’s what I aspire to. Being able to state succinctly and clearly what my positions are, and to do it on demand that way.

    • #19
    • October 27, 2011 at 8:47 am
  20. Profile photo of R0bert Scott Inactive

    Imagine having a candidate for the presidency with half of Professor Epstein’s brains and conviction.&nbsp; (Sigh)

    • #20
    • October 27, 2011 at 8:49 am
  21. Profile photo of Troy Senik Editor

    As someone who has the pleasure of interviewing Richard on a regular basis — and the advantage of doing so as a friend, admirer, and intellectual sympathist — my utter reverence for this performance is matched only by my lack of surprise.

    I do wish our friend from PBS had called me up prior to his appointment with Professor Epstein. I would have been happy to have told him that interviewing Richard — particularly with such a facile line of questioning — is like drinking from a fire hose.

    Bravo, professor. Bravo.

    • #21
    • October 27, 2011 at 8:51 am
  22. Profile photo of King Banaian Contributor

    That was gorgeous. Someone emailed to me today about the attack on Paul Ryan from the folks at the Economic Mobility Project. &nbsp;They sent this link to Dan Foster’s rebuttal of the attack on Ryan. &nbsp;It contains great information.

    However, I have heard that the Lincoln quote is in dispute as to its source; is there something more definitive than Snopes?

    • #22
    • October 27, 2011 at 8:52 am
  23. Profile photo of Joseph Eagar Member

    I’m not sure if this is a good thing, the host managed to maneuver Professor Epstein into a number of traps.&nbsp; No conservative is good at articulating the issues here, though Epstein came unusually close.

    Higher taxes affect inequality by discouraging work; it’s not redistributive since politicians always add in tax shelters.&nbsp; This is why the standard conservative argument works; since discouraging work is the whole point of higher taxes, it drives liberals crazy when we point this out.&nbsp;

    Unfortunately, this works better as a wedge issue for the elite than explanatory material for the average voter.&nbsp; The key issue is that the real tax rate is not the marginal one.&nbsp; The difference between effective and marginal tax rates is vital to understanding how tax policy works, and we really should spend more time explaining it.&nbsp;

    • #23
    • October 27, 2011 at 8:53 am
  24. Profile photo of King Banaian Contributor
    Joseph Eagar:&nbsp;The key issue is that the real tax rate is not the marginal one.&nbsp;&nbsp;

    For what? &nbsp;For work, for savings and investment, the marginal rate is what counts. &nbsp;As I stand prepared to start a new project, what matters is the share of the next dollar of earnings I will bring home. &nbsp;The effective rate is a measure of past dollars; it tells you plenty about the total burden of government to an individual, but nothing about the incentives the entrepreneur faces.

    • #24
    • October 27, 2011 at 8:59 am
  25. Profile photo of Joseph Eagar Member
    King Banaian
    Joseph Eagar:&nbsp;The key issue is that the real tax rate is not the marginal one.&nbsp;&nbsp;
    For what? &nbsp;For work, for savings and investment, the marginal rate is what counts. &nbsp;As I stand prepared to start a new project, what matters is the share of the next dollar of earnings I will bring home. &nbsp;The effective rate is a measure of past dollars; it tells you plenty about the total burden of government to an individual, but nothing about the incentives the entrepreneur faces. 路 Oct 26 at 8:59pm

    For redistribution.&nbsp; The big selling point for higher taxes is redistribution; “the rich are too rich” has never worked in America, but “the rich don’t pay enough” has.&nbsp; Pointing out that higher taxes need not lead to higher redistribution kills this argument.

    • #25
    • October 27, 2011 at 9:03 am
  26. Profile photo of Cas Balicki Inactive

    What we saw here was a class ‘A” beat down. Thank you Prof. Epstein. I enjoyed it so much I’m going to watch it again and again. And to think people want to defund PBS.&nbsp;

    • #26
    • October 27, 2011 at 9:08 am
  27. Profile photo of ParisParamus Member

    Great stuff.&nbsp; And great stuff to plan in certain annoying people’s FB and Twitter accounts…

    • #27
    • October 27, 2011 at 9:15 am
  28. Profile photo of ParisParamus Member

    Would love to set this video up on a large tv screen at Zuccoti Park and see what happens 馃槈

    • #28
    • October 27, 2011 at 9:16 am
  29. Profile photo of ParisParamus Member

    And then there’s the little tidbit mentioned by Thomas Sowell that much of the reason household income has dropped is that what were previously households with larger numbers of people have steadily broken up:&nbsp; several people living together v. people living alone…

    • #29
    • October 27, 2011 at 9:29 am
  30. Profile photo of Charley Davis Inactive

    What would be truly impressive is if the Newshour contributors had open ears and took Prof. Epstein’s sage wisdom to heart, alas I believe their hearts are hard.

    Also, the Abraham Lincoln quote is properly credited to William Boetcker in his poem “Lincoln on Limitations.”

    You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence. You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.
    • #30
    • October 27, 2011 at 9:33 am
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