OK, I'm a sad person. I admit it. But I do occasionally like to have a laugh. And the following two videos are perhaps the funniest I have seen in a long time.
In the first one, dated August 2006, Peter Schiff correctly predicts the current recession and what will cause it. Arthur Laffer, an appropriately named man, laughs out loud at Schiff's thoughts and then challenges Schiff to a bet, after stating that the American economy is in the best shape it has ever been, that there will not be a recession in 2007 or 2008, and that he wants Schiff to grovel at his feet in supplication when Schiff is proved wrong. Schiff, of course, accepts the bet, saying he would like it to be a lot more than one penny:
In the second video, dated October 2008, an incredibly nasty and stupid little man gracelessly tries to pretend he is not the same Arthur Laffer as in the video above. Bill Maher gently quizzes him on the bet with Peter Schiff. An ugly toad-like impression settles upon Laffer's screwed up face, as this evil little grunt of a man, who was so quick to pour loud public scorn upon Peter Schiff, quickly tries to shut down the conversation by talking about a nine month statute of limitations on economic predictions (which doesn't appear to have stopped Schiff making multi-year predictions, of course, or being right). As well as being the funniest economic thing I have seen in years, this second video is also toe-wincingly embarrassing after watching the first one, so be careful before you click play:
AngloAustrian conclusion: Nobody should ever listen to another word Arthur Laffer ever says about anything ever again, except perhaps "I was wrong, I admit it, I am an arrogant fool. Peter Schiff was right. Everybody should stop hiring me and start hiring him instead." They should also take all of his Laffer curves, designed to maximise government income, and shred the lot of them, returning the proceeds to the taxpayers of this world. The title of Laffer's new book, "The End of Prosperity", is also rather appropriate. Let's hope it comes true for him in his personal fortunes, when offering economic advice to anyone. Presumably the book took at least a couple of months to think about, then a couple of months to write. It probably also took a couple of months to publish, and then a couple of months to set up the publicity tour. Therefore, given Laffer's nine month statute of limitations, it only has a shelf life of 1 month before it's completely out of date. So don't buy it while you can.
No doubt, however, it will also be Laffer to whom governments are right now turning, to quiz him on what to do next, rather than Schiff, despite Laffer having proven himself to be an incompetent mistaken idiot and despite Schiff having proven himself, in the face of incredible scorn, to be an incredible bang-on hero.
It reminds me of the S.E.P. concept in the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It is generally impossible for normal human beings to see Someone Else's Problem. It would also appear that due to an A.E. concept, it is impossible for government people to see Austrian Economists, despite their having predicted everything correctly, despite their possession of the only full working model of the business cycle, despite their having solutions ready to run out of the box, and despite their having supporters, such as myself, much better looking than other people. (OK, I lied about that last bit.)
Do you think this inability to see Austrian Economists has anything to do with the hard Rothbardian stipulations that governments should drastically cut back spending, taxes, and central bank powers, if we are to get through this recession in any kind of shape? Hmmm.... I wonder.
Also, can I make a request to any AngloAustrian readers? If the dreadful rat man Arthur Laffer ever does pay Schiff his penny, which I rather doubt after watching the second incredibly graceless video, can you please send me the link to the YouTube video? Immediately! :-)
Though it might be fun if Laffer doesn't pay Schiff, because like a bad MacBethian character Laffer will have to spend the rest of his life trying to avoid his nemesis.
(Praise must be due to Stephen Carson, at LewRockwell.Com, for unearthing these videos)