Fraudulent Controversial Books

From Critiques Of Libertarianism
Jump to: navigation, search

Part of the propaganda program of libertarianism has been a steady flow of books based on fraudulent claims that take months or years to debunk. Some are directly produced or financed by libertarians, others by academics or conservatives are heavily endorsed by libertarians.

All of these tend to go directly to print without peer review. They all tend to appeal to conservative (including libertarian) gut feelings.

Here's a partial list: see how many you have heard of.

2009 "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly" by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff.
Endorsed heavily by Cato and Mercatus, this has been the major academic work backing the claims that austerity is the way out of the great recession. It took 4 years to debunk decisively, when the spreadsheet was finally examined. The important false claim was that when debt exceeded 90% of GNP, growth was sharply reduced.
1998 "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws" by John Lott.
The polite way to say it was that their statistical conclusions were "not robust": more data or slightly different coding collapse their results.
1994 "The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life" by Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein.
The argument was based on numerous faulty assumptions, statistical monkey business and appeal to racist inclinations. Not peer reviewed before publication. No support for the genetic claims made in this book has ever been found.
1991 "The Myth of the Robber Barons: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America" by Burton Folsom.
Epic historical revisionism, in service of the ultra-wealthy. Looks only at the benefits, and ignores the harms of the Robber Barons.
1978 "The Way the World Works by Jude Wanniski.
Laid out the central thesis of supply-side economics and promoted the Laffer Curve. This fraud was promoted as Reaganomics, which failed to produce the promised results.
1977 "Anarchy, State, and Utopia" by Robert Nozick.
A major libertarian text. Two major frauds, brilliantly concealed: (1) it denies, yet resorts to consequentialism and (2) it completely fails to justify initial acquisition, needed for property rights.
1944 "The Road to Serfdom" by Friedrich von Hayek.
Another fundamental libertarian text. A comically failed prediction of the coming totalitarian socialist state in western nations. Important in the Thatcher and Reagan administrations.

Please suggest more!