Bryan Caplan

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Yet another creative, ideological, bomb throwing recipient of right-wing welfare at the Koch-funded George Mason University Economics Department and Mercatus Center. A master of the Gish Gallop, assembling fire-hose sprays of weak academic studies, cherry-picked information, bad argument and other propaganda.

Links

College Isn't a Waste of Time [More...]
Noah Smith shreds Bryan Caplan's claims that college is mostly a waste of time and primarily used for signaling. "But his arguments against college are deeply flawed, and the country would be well-advised to take them with a shot of skepticism."
Friday Open Thread (Don't Take Advice from Right Wingers Edition) [More...]
"Glibertarian economist Bryan Caplan -- who may in fact be the world's stupidest serious academic -- is on npr this morning to promote his book arguing that we should all have more children. Magically omitted from his discussion though is the cost of children. And he's a fucking economist."
How a Singaporean Sees Professor Bryan Caplan [More...]
"Furthermore, the splendid irony inherent in suggesting that the only way to improve the country would be to live somewhere else didn’t seem to dampen the muddleheaded Professor’s enthusiasm for Singapore."
I Try to Be Good. I Try So Hard. But It Is So Very Difficult... [More...]
Brad DeLong identifies a Bryan Caplan epic fail about principles of economic growth.
Initial Property Continues to Vex Libertarians [More...]
"Perhaps the most interesting thing about libertarian thought is that it has no way of coherently justifying the initial acquisition of property. How does something that was once unowned become owned without non-consensually destroying others’ liberty? It is impossible. This means that libertarian systems of thought literally cannot get off the ground. They are stuck at time zero of hypothetical history with no way forward."
Intellectual Autobiography of Bryan Caplan [More...]
"It began with Ayn Rand, as it proverbially does...." And goes downhill from there.
Let's play a game: libertarian professor of economics, or crazy man on street corner? [More...]
"Like it or not, much-maligned U.S. Gilded Age poverty policies -- minimal government assistance combined with near-open borders -- were close to ideal."
Libertarians’ scary new star: Meet Bryan Caplan, the right’s next “great” philosopher [More...]
"You might be tempted to dismiss Bryan Caplan as just another Koch-funded libertarian hack. But I think he may well be the next great libertarian philosopher. Caplanism may represent the future of that near-oxymoron, libertarian thought." (sarcasm)
RationalWiki: Bryan Caplan against the childfree movement [More...]
A RationalWiki article which includes good ridicule of Bryan Caplan.
Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think (book) (1 link)
This book demonstrates two principles. First, extend libertarian and economic ideology to cover everything you can, no matter how ridiculous. Second, no matter how stupid, all repetition of propaganda points promotes ideology.
The libertarian solution to inequality [More...]
"So, the libertarian solution to the problem of inequality is to socially persecute anyone who talks about inequality?" A strange notion of liberty.
Why Do Government Enterprises Work So Well? [More...]
Bryan Caplan points out that Murray Rothbard's (and other economists) criticisms of government prove too much: they predict total government failure and cannot explain why government works as well as it does.

Quotations

What became increasingly evident to me was that the Austrian equation of preference and action is crude behaviorism. I know by introspection that I have preferences that I fail to act upon. And while I do not have telepathy, it is overwhelmingly probable that the same holds for my fellow human beings. Once you grant this principle, the most distinctive Austrian doctrines crumble.
Bryan Caplan, "Intellectual Autobiography of Bryan Caplan"