Conservative Economist Condescends To A 19-Year-Old College Kid And Gets Schooled In Economics

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Zack Kopplin, Steve Moore, Bill Maher, Sen Bernie Sanders, Abby Huntsman

 


Facts have a really inconvenient knack for debunking inane talking points. Stephen Moore, conservative economist and Wall Street Journal columnist learned that the hard way. At 1:16, 19-year-old Zack Kopplin, science advocate and history student, offers up the only response one should give whenever a pundit starts talking about science cuts. EPIC. And at 2:25, a senator and Bill Maher both fact-check Mr. Moore's spin again.

Written By: Adam Mordecai
continue to source article at upworthy.com

34 COMMENTS

  1. funding for snail mating habits

    I kid you not, Moore probably disapproved fruit fly research, too.

    Zack certainly holds his own well in a public forum; this will facilitate future endeavors.

    Go get ‘em, tiger!

    • In reply to #2 by bluebird:

      funding for snail mating habitsI kid you not, Moore probably disapproved fruit fly research, too.Zack certainly holds his own well in a public forum; this will facilitate future endeavors.Go get ‘em, tiger!

      There’s an account, albeit anecdotal, of a politician asking a scientist if certain research will help to defend the nation, and he receives the reply “No, but it’ll make it worth defending.”

      Men like Mr Moore know the price of everything but the value of nothing.

      S G

  2. Mr Moore would have snivelled about Flemings work on moldy cheese. It was a pleasured watching the over-educated under-developed intellect of Mr Moore get owned by a 19-year-old. And to watch him get caught in his own bullshit, priceless.

  3. Great job young man. I have to laugh thinking about where this conservative economist was when we cut taxes and went to war with two countries and began running up a deficit under George W. Bush. These born-again deficit hawks only seem to appear during Democratic administrations, and their only solution is to cut funding for the poor, the elderly, science and environmental regulation.

    • In reply to #5 by Nodhimmi:

      “and began running up a deficit under George W. Bush”Wrong- Reagan:-http://zfacts.com/p/318.html

      That’s right. The seeds of what we’re going through now were sown during the administrations of Reagan and Thatcher.

      Joseph Stiglitz is your man on this particular subject.

      And instead of putting things right, successive Governments since have carried on with the same short term measures.

      Thar’s votes in them thar’ hills.

      S G

  4. I watched this episode. At one point Moore went on how there is no scientific consensus on climate change, how there is a significant number of scientists denying it, how CO2 emissions created by humans are insignificant, and that there are many inaccuracies in the research. In moments like those I wish Maher would have a better understanding of science and/or logical fallacies so that he could answer that kind of ridiculous claims. Now it just resulted in a yes-no shouting match between Maher and Moore.

    That’s the problem with Maher. He style works in certain situations, and he might be entertaining in his own way, but when discussions become heated, he is somewhat poor at spotting faulty logic in the opponent’s arguments. That was evident also in his documentary Religulous. For example, in it he interviewed a man who claimed he had healed himself from homosexuality and become straight. This man said that homosexuality does not occur in nature, which again ended in a yes-no shouting match between him and Maher. Instead of that, Maher could have pointed out that whether homosexuality occurs in nature is irrelevant to whether it should be acceptable among humans. Or as a comedian he could have easily just made a joke about the man’s comment.

  5. The economist should have argued the PROCESS by which such scientific innovations are funded is not one that should be encouraged, but in fact, abhorred. The government merely takes wealth away from businesses and individuals, via taxation and deficit spending, and redistributes it as it sees fit. “Federal funding” is immoral by nature, usually inefficient in accomplishing its purpose, and against constitutional principles of limited government and individual (economic) freedom as it monopolizes power over innovation and to those who win the contracts. In this case, the results of the national Human Genome project would have been realized regardless of government intervention (I believe similar private projects have already been completed). Those who rely on government funding for research should reasonably expect such funding to stop based on economic conditions, AT THE VERY LEAST. Dependency on government is harmful on many levels. Just because the resulting revenue of the project exceeds the cost does not mean such funding should be continued, for reasons stated above. Should government bail out companies assuming a positive ROI is probable (e.g. TARP)? Dangerous precedents are set, and failed investments are ignored by society, which pays the price.

    • In reply to #7 by cheesypoofs:

      The economist should have argued the PROCESS by which such scientific innovations are funded is not one that should be encouraged, but in fact, abhorred. The government merely takes wealth away from businesses and individuals, via taxation and deficit spending, and redistributes it as it sees fit. “Federal funding” is immoral by nature, usually inefficient in accomplishing its purpose, and against constitutional principles of limited government and individual (economic) freedom as it monopolizes power over innovation and to those who win the contracts. In this case, the results of the national Human Genome project would have been realized regardless of government intervention (I believe similar private projects have already been completed). Those who rely on government funding for research should reasonably expect such funding to stop based on economic conditions, AT THE VERY LEAST. Dependency on government is harmful on many levels. Just because the resulting revenue of the project exceeds the cost does not mean such funding should be continued, for reasons stated above. Should government bail out companies assuming a positive ROI is probable (e.g. TARP)? Dangerous precedents are set, and failed investments are ignored by society, which pays the price.

      There are some things which are produced more efficiently in the free market, and some things which are produced more efficiently by the government. Roads, for instance, would be a pain if they came from the free market because they would all be toll roads. So the question is not whether the government should ever pay for things at all, but which kinds of things should the government pay for. Basic science research is one of the things the government should pay for because it is not, in general, funded well enough by the free market due to the fact that the return on investment is very long-term and unpredictable.

      • In reply to #8 by travisrm89:

        In reply to #7 by cheesypoofs:

        The economist should have argued the PROCESS by which such scientific innovations are funded is not one that should be encouraged, but in fact, abhorred. The government merely takes wealth away from businesses and individuals, via taxation and deficit spending, and redistributes it as it sees fit. “Federal funding” is immoral by nature, usually inefficient in accomplishing its purpose, and against constitutional principles of limited government and individual (economic) freedom as it monopolizes power over innovation and to those who win the contracts. In this case, the results of the national Human Genome project would have been realized regardless of government intervention (I believe similar private projects have already been completed). Those who rely on government funding for research should reasonably expect such funding to stop based on economic conditions, AT THE VERY LEAST. Dependency on government is harmful on many levels. Just because the resulting revenue of the project exceeds the cost does not mean such funding should be continued, for reasons stated above. Should government bail out companies assuming a positive ROI is probable (e.g. TARP)? Dangerous precedents are set, and failed investments are ignored by society, which pays the price.

        There are some things which are produced more efficiently in the free market, and some things which are produced more efficiently by the government. Roads, for instance, would be a pain if they came from the free market because they would all be toll roads. So the question is not whether the government should ever pay for things at all, but which kinds of things should the government pay for. Basic science research is one of the things the government should pay for because it is not, in general, funded well enough by the free market due to the fact that the return on investment is very long-term and unpredictable.

              You ignored the PROCESS just like the student in the video! Regarding the roads example...keep in mind eminent domain, the confiscation of private property for public use ("just"compensation guaranteed by 5th/14th Amendment). Why engage in this project? How is government able to pay for the takings, demolition, and construction, and who is doing the work? What are the alternatives? For operations, consider the "tolls" already imposed by governments in the form of tollbooths and various taxes (income, property, gasoline, etc).  Do not presume that ALL private roads will have physical tolls on it since free markets drive creativity through incentives. What would happen though is that people would pay for what they use and be more in control of quality; common advantages of private operation over government operations. This is just a quick overview of the issue you brought up. 
             As for funding basic research... government should not drain wealth from society to fund a research project simply because it believes the return manifests in the "very long term" and such return is "very unpredictable". "Risky" investments are constantly being undertaken in the market with safety nets present like syndication and insurance. If the investment fails, then only the stakeholders suffer, as opposed to society. Just because a project is very risky does not mean only government, through taxation, can ever fund it.  Government pumping into a project also undermines competition and de-incentives market actors from engaging in the same project as the government claims a monopoly on the resources involved and the return. Pumping CAN produce valuable good/services/information QUICKER than the market would otherwise but such pumping has greater costs in the short and long term (centralized risk, dependency, dangerous precedents, and loss of economic freedom).  I still have trouble grasping long term costs as they are less apparent. Keep in mind the problem the student described was caused by government funding in the first place... cutting $50b is an issue because the institutions rely on such consistent levels of funding which are not earned in the market (think of the college tuition rates controversy where rates vastly exceed inflation). 
        
        • In reply to #10 by cheesypoofs:

           As for funding basic research... government should not drain wealth from society to fund a research project simply because it believes the return manifests in the "very long term" and such return is "very unpredictable". "Risky" investments are constantly being undertaken in the market with safety nets present like syndication and insurance. If the investment fails, then only the stakeholders suffer, as opposed to society. Just because a project is very risky does not mean only government, through taxation, can ever fund it.  Government pumping into a project also undermines competition and de-incentives market actors from engaging in the same project as the government claims a monopoly on the resources involved and the return. Pumping CAN produce valuable good/services/information QUICKER than the market would otherwise but such pumping has greater costs in the short and long term (centralized risk, dependency, dangerous precedents, and loss of economic freedom).  I still have trouble grasping long term costs as they are less apparent. Keep in mind the problem the student described was caused by government funding in the first place... cutting $50b is an issue because the institutions rely on such consistent levels of funding which are not earned in the market (think of the college tuition rates controversy where rates vastly exceed inflation). 
          

          What private industry would fund the WMAP or Planck satellites?

          • In reply to #18 by Northampton:

            In reply to #10 by cheesypoofs:

            As for funding basic research… government should not drain wealth from society to fund a research project simply because it believes the return manifests in the “very long term” and such return is “very unpredictable”. “Risky” investments are constantly being undertaken in the market with safety nets present like syndication and insurance. If the investment fails, then only the stakeholders suffer, as opposed to society. Just because a project is very risky does not mean only government, through taxation, can ever fund it. Government pumping into a project also undermines competition and de-incentives market actors from engaging in the same project as the government claims a monopoly on the resources involved and the return. Pumping CAN produce valuable good/services/information QUICKER than the market would otherwise but such pumping has greater costs in the short and long term (centralized risk, dependency, dangerous precedents, and loss of economic freedom). I still have trouble grasping long term costs as they are less apparent. Keep in mind the problem the student described was caused by government funding in the first place… cutting $50b is an issue because the institutions rely on such consistent levels of funding which are not earned in the market (think of the college tuition rates controversy where rates vastly exceed inflation).

            What private industry would fund the WMAP or Planck satellites?

            Here is what I think your question means: What is the incentive for private groups to engage in a grand task (like studying space) in which a financial return is not expected?
            If there’s a will, there’s a way. Federal grants do not generate the desire to learn. History has shown individuals try to understand the universe regardless of government approval or aid. A private group can still obtain external funding for purely research purposes from donations. The donations would come from those who care and can afford to donate. These donors are more likely to monitor the progress of the group and adjust their donations accordingly.

            Beyond that, a return is still possible on the tangible and intangible assets resulting from the endeavor. The group can sell its tools and discoveries, in the form of books, lectures, etc., to the public or contract out its rights over these to others. The research group could also merge with a multi-functional organization (like a university) and such costs could be passed down to the consumers (like students), or it could simply absorb the costs.

            These are just a few examples of how external cash can be raised for research in the market. Keep in mind my previous points on why government should not intervene in such matters (think of process over mere results).

          • In reply to #10 by cheesypoofs:

            Here is what I think your question means: What is the incentive for private groups to engage in a grand task (like studying space) in which a financial return is not expected?
            If there’s a will, there’s a way. Federal grants do not generate the desire to learn. History has shown individuals try to understand the universe regardless of government approval or aid. A private group can still obtain external funding for purely research purposes from donations. The donations would come from those who care and can afford to donate. These donors are more likely to monitor the progress of the group and adjust their donations accordingly.

            Beyond that, a return is still possible on the tangible and intangible assets resulting from the endeavor. The group can sell its tools and discoveries, in the form of books, lectures, etc., to the public or contract out its rights over these to others. The research group could also merge with a multi-functional organization (like a university) and such costs could be passed down to the consumers (like students), or it could simply absorb the costs.

            These are just a few examples of how external cash can be raised for research in the market. Keep in mind my previous points on why government should not intervene in such matters (think of process over mere results).

            Yes. And here comes the next question: Where are the private WMAP, Planck, Hubble, Herschel, Spitzer and Webb space telescopes?

          • In reply to #22 by Northampton:

            In reply to #10 by cheesypoofs:

            Here is what I think your question means: What is the incentive for private groups to engage in a grand task (like studying space) in which a financial return is not expected?
            If there’s a will, there’s a way. Federal grants do not generate the desire to learn. History has shown individuals try to understand the universe regardless of government approval or aid. A private group can still obtain external funding for purely research purposes from donations. The donations would come from those who care and can afford to donate. These donors are more likely to monitor the progress of the group and adjust their donations accordingly.

            Beyond that, a return is still possible on the tangible and intangible assets resulting from the endeavor. The group can sell its tools and discoveries, in the form of books, lectures, etc., to the public or contract out its rights over these to others. The research group could also merge with a multi-functional organization (like a university) and such costs could be passed down to the consumers (like students), or it could simply absorb the costs.

            These are just a few examples of how external cash can be raised for research in the market. Keep in mind my previous points on why government should not intervene in such matters (think of process over mere results).

            Yes. And here comes the next question: Where are the private WMAP, Planck, Hubble, Herschel, Spitzer and Webb space telescopes?

                Think outside the box. Focus on the means that led to the research. Understand the risks involved and think of alternatives. Is the process self-destructive?
               1950s Soviet citizen: "The Soviet Union must fund space research because only it could get the job done, like launching a satellite (Sputnik) into space." 
                We all know how that story ends...
            
          • In reply to #27 by cheesypoofs:

            Think outside the box. Focus on the means that led to the research. Understand the risks involved and think of alternatives. Is the process self-destructive?
            

            1950s Soviet citizen: “The Soviet Union must fund space research because only it could get the job done, like launching a satellite (Sputnik) into space.”
            We all know how that story ends…

            Note: “Think outside the box” is vacuous filler.

            What do you mean by risks? Are you saying that Hubble et al will lead to communism or the collapse of the government?

          • In reply to #29 by Northampton:

            In reply to #27 by cheesypoofs:

            Think outside the box. Focus on the means that led to the research. Understand the risks involved and think of alternatives. Is the process self-destructive?

            1950s Soviet citizen: “The Soviet Union must fund space research because only it could get the job done, like launching a satellite (Sputnik) into space.”

            We all know how that story ends…

            Note: “Think outside the box” is vacuous filler.

            What do you mean by risks? Are you saying that Hubble et al will lead to communism or the collapse of the government?

            I briefly answered the first question in my previous post. For the 2nd question, if the process that enables such creations is one which strips power from the many and shifts it into the hands of a select few, then it can be argued developing such creations incrementally leads to a less free society.
            Other people here have discussed current activities pushed by certain governments, like the US pushing for the Iraq war. You should also consider which government is involved (US, England, Russia, China, a state, province, etc) since the funding for research comes from the same pool of money that is used to further its other agendas.

          • In reply to #31 by cheesypoofs:

            I briefly answered the first question in my previous post. For the 2nd question, if the process that enables such creations is one which strips power from the many and shifts it into the hands of a select few, then it can be argued developing such creations incrementally leads to a less free society.
            Other people here have discussed current activities pushed by certain governments, like the US pushing for the Iraq war. You should also consider which government is involved (US, England, Russia, China, a state, province, etc) since the funding for research comes from the same pool of money that is used to further its other agendas.

            So space telescopes are nefarious but only in secret as a part of an agenda by the government to strip power away from its citizenry?

          • In reply to #27 by cheesypoofs:

            1950s Soviet citizen: “The Soviet Union must fund space research because only it could get the job done, like launching a satellite (Sputnik) into space.”

            We all know how that story ends…

            Yep! It ends with The USA paying the Russians to use Soyuz ferries, with the standard format core launch stage and strap-on boosters, to carry American Astronauts to the International space station!

          • In reply to #30 by Alan4discussion:

            In reply to #27 by cheesypoofs:

            1950s Soviet citizen: “The Soviet Union must fund space research because only it could get the job done, like launching a satellite (Sputnik) into space.”

            We all know how that story ends…

            Yep! It ends with The USA paying the Russians to use Soyuz ferries, with the standard format core launch stage and strap-on boosters, to carry American Astronauts to the International space station!

            Nothing wrong with paying another for transportation if he is more efficient or effective at it. But the circumstances of this agreement! Still funny though…

          • In reply to #32 by cheesypoofs:

            In reply to #30 by Alan4discussion:

            In reply to #27 by cheesypoofs:

            1950s Soviet citizen: “The Soviet Union must fund space research because only it could get the job done, like launching a satellite (Sputnik) into space.”

            We all know how that story ends…

            Yep! It ends with The USA paying the Russians to use Soyuz ferries, with the standard format core launch stage and strap-on boosters, to carry American Astronauts to the International space station!

            Nothing wrong with paying another for transportation if he is more efficient or effective at it. But the circumstances of this agreement! Still funny though…

            My point was that the USA is buying into this ferry service, because since the retirement of the shuttles, USA does not have a transport system to take astronauts to the ISS, (having destroyed its Saturn 5 technology), while the Russians, using up-dated versions of the technology from their original investment in Sputnik and Soyuz, are hiring them out as ferries for astronauts from other countries.

  6. love Zacks work. How he resisted the temptation to mention who had run up the debt…

    So I guess it works like this. I use tax money to subsidise my life. I also don’t like taxes, so I keep them low on some spurious argument it promotes growth.

    And then I leave that legacy to the people I expect to look after me in my dotage. And ask them to be grateful.

    Outstanding.

    • In reply to #20 by Graham1:

      Research on snails? This Stephen Moore person is an ignoramus of the first order and clearly scientifically wholly illiterate.

      He probably thinks snails exist only in a nursery rhyme ~

      ♪ Escargot, bigorneau, montre-moi tes cornes!

  7. As usual the tired old old argument we all put up with under capitalism: “Who is going to pay“? Never the better question : “What will be beneficial to humanity?

    Moore asks “What are we going to cut?” How about cutting out private property so that all the world’s resources are shared equally between all, and sensible decisions can then be made about is or isn’t worthwhile to research. No profit motive involved.

  8. What this 19 year old hasn’t yet learned is that whatever the government funds, it also de-funds other, likely better spent science research – since government merely redistributes money from the productive to its friends. After all, the politicians have to reward those who got them elected and that probably diverts more of the science funds to questionable tasks than to any real science.

    I would much rather have a Craig Venter keep his money for doing real research than have it taken from him to give to some government weenie who likely can’t do any real science anyway.

    And to post this stupid comedy show as an example of brilliant economics is worse than ludicrous.

  9. There are massive debts – after spending huge sums on military adventures which have destabilised huge areas, useless wars, and bonuses for bankers who were mismanaging finances! Who would have guessed it??

    Iraq invaded TWICE! They could not even do that right first time – (assuming there was any point in looking for fictitious “weapons of mass destruction” in the first place!)

    So what do these “brilliant” politicians come up with? Cut the investment in future benefits, by limiting scientific research!

  10. The fact still remains though, that the US debt is out of control and the spending needs to be cut dramatically.

    And please, don’t label a Republican a Conservative, a Republican is hardly Conservative. This just insults Conservatives.

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