About

“If you can’t sell freedom, you suck.”

-Andrew Breitbart

This blog is all about selling freedom which, in spite of the above quote, can be surprisingly difficult.  It seems everyone likes freedom when you are talking about them but most people don’t want others to be too free.  Even though individual liberty has led to the greatest economic and social progress ever seen on Earth and central planning has led to the greatest catastrophes, when we are faced with particular problems, the freedom solution always seems to be the last option we consider.  We’ve gone down this road for so long that if you say something like “maybe we shouldn’t let a small group of bankers centrally control our financial and monetary system and by extension manipulate the entire economy” you will be considered quite radical.

I am a PhD candidate in economics at the University of Washington and I think freedom is good.  Of course, everyone thinks freedom is good, that doesn’t make me radical.  What makes me radical is that I would prefer freedom, along with all the costs that come with it, to control with all the costs that go along with it.  This blog will try to honestly discuss the costs of both.  There is no utopia.   I think this approach will lead most people to come down on the side of freedom.

I will deal with all sorts of freedom-related topics here but since economics is what I know it will focus mainly on that.  Specifically, I think central banking is a very bad idea (we haven’t seen the worst of it…. this makes it difficult to convince people, unfortunately).  I think we should replace our system of central banking with nothing.  The free market is perfectly capable of providing banking, currency, and financial intermediation without the government messing with it.  This position is so radical it is difficult for people to imagine so I am here to try to help people envision such a thing.

Tweet me @RealFreeRadical

Email: mikefreimuth1@gmail.com

  1. April 14, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Read quite a bit of your blog and am impressed ! I am, however, curious about what a “log walk” is? “He enjoys rock and roll music and log walks”. Hmm……
    Ed

    • February 6, 2013 at 11:07 am

      This really is gitetng a bit a lot more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has far more flair, and some cool features like Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of abneighborsbb will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune abSocialbb is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

      • March 5, 2013 at 3:42 pm

        Hope you had a wonderful biadhrty. I enjoy reading your family’s blog. You are very blessed to have such a precious family. I had the pleasure of meeting you all last spring at the economics conference and you all were as sweet in person as you are on your blog!Victoria

  2. Free Radical
    April 15, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    haha yeah that’s a typo. I thought about pretending that I’m one of those guys who try to see how long they can stand on a log floating in a river without falling off for fun but I decided it would be easier to just add an n. Thanks for helping clean up this thing I call a blog. And thanks for reading.

  3. April 14, 2011 at 2:17 am

    Hey man,

    It’s Mikell from OUW/YAL. Just letting you know that I got around to looking at this.

    • Free Radical
      April 14, 2011 at 7:47 am

      Cool man, welcome to the blog.

    • February 6, 2013 at 8:55 am

      If you re-add the discouraged wrokers that the Clinton and Bush 1 administrations removed from the U-6 unemployment rate (like ), “real” unemployment and underemployment is nearly 18%. I think this reflects the reality of the economy much more than the artificial 7% of the official U-3.”Once a decade” items and luxuries (toasters, iPods, etc.) cost less than ever before (post-inflation), but essentials (food, gas, etc.) are curving away from their “forever” bottoms and increasing 25% to 50% (or more, in some cases) from their prices of 1-2 years ago. This squeezes the monthly budgets of people who have placed themselves on the edge with overbought houses, cars, and other big-ticket items.

  4. Patrick
    November 28, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    I was wondering what your opinion on this piece that was found on NPR would be?

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2011/11/28/142854432/economics-and-the-evolution-of-economic-webs

    It deals with the explosion of multiple goods and that economists fail to address various problems that don’t align with the “competitive general equilibrium.” Can you shed some light on this topic?

    • Free Radical
      November 29, 2011 at 3:34 am

      There are some links I will have to click to figure out exactly (or approximately) what he is talking about there. I will look into it. For now I will offer some initial thoughts. No model is perfect. There are some people who think the goal of economics is to create a perfect model of the economy that will predict everything. I don’t think this is the right way to approach it.

      So you get a general equilibrium market that depends on some assumptions. Then you have the question “what does it mean?” Well it depends on the asumptions…. But what it certainly doesn’t mean is “this is exactly how the world works we’ve solved economics.” So anyone can come along and say the assumptions don’t hold, that’s fairly obvious, nobody thinks those assumptions hold. The point is that we may be able to learn something about how markets work by studying a world where they do hold because it is cleaner and may illustrate some important forces that are at work, although in a messier way, in the real economy. If you take this approach the argument that the assumptions of the model don’t hold in reality doesn’t add anything or take anything away from your understanding.

      Also, competitive equilibrium is not built on laws of motion it is simply built on equilibrium conditions. I think that may be partly what they are getting at, but I’m not exactly sure. I will post more when my understanding is greater.

    • Free Radical
      November 30, 2011 at 3:35 am

      I have looked at this a little more and can’t make much out of it. I wonder what you think about it. Also I wonder if you are Friedmanite?

      • Patrick
        December 1, 2011 at 3:58 am

        Looking back on the article now (and realize that I’m no scholar) it almost sounded like the author was trying to argue that economics has a disjunct between “supracritical ” and “subcritical” economies and that there isn’t a model that unifies the two. They both have their own scope of sorts, but one cannot seamlessly model a flow from one to the other with the theory of competitive general equilibrium.

        I liken it to how quantum mechanics and relativity don’t have a unifying theory through physics or mathematical models that encompass them both, but they nonetheless are correct in their own realms.

        Also, later in the second article, the author says:
        “…competitive general equilibrium is a wonderful framework, but almost a non-starter. We cannot pre-state all possible dated contingent goods.”

        I take the “non-starter” comment as showing that the author is annoyed or not satisfied with how the theorem breaks down at the early stages of an economic burst. This may be a reason that as he says that economists shy away from the “economic web” because the models to show how they work simply aren’t there.

        It all seems to be a critique of how economists don’t have PERFECT models, like you said. There isn’t a way to show how economies spring up or how they interact from a fine tuned scope to a larger global scope.

        I really am not well versed in any of this, I just ran across this article and thought my old TA could shed some light on the subject. Thanks for responding, and I like the blog as a whole. As for whether or not I’m a Friedmanite, I don’t quite know, that’s something that I’ll have to look into. Not about to categorize myself without knowing more. Maybe if I get into the department this winter I’ll learn.

        Take it easy.

      • Free Radical
        December 1, 2011 at 7:16 pm

        Yeah ok, sorry there was a guy with the handle “friedmanite” who was blowing up the comments on a post on mises.org that I was commenting on right at the same thime you left me this and he was talking about Darwin (for reasons nobody could figure out) and when I followed some of those links from your article it started talking about Darwin and I thought you might be that guy.

        So yeah, my initial comments I think sum up my feelings about it. Although it’s true we cannot pre-state all possible dated contingent goods, it is not clear I don’t think that relaxing this assumption somewhat causes everything to break down, and indeed i don’t think that is what we observe. It is very dificult to construct a theory with unknown contingencies (I do have some experience in that realm). I don’t think it’s true though to say that competitive general equilibrium doesn’t model a flow from one to the other. If you recall a model with two guys on an island catching fish and picking coconuts or something like that you have the beginnings of a model explaining the flows of goods between two countries.

        He seems to be grasping at a theory of why certain countries develope new goods and others don’t. I have an alternative answer that won’t surprise you if you read this blog much. Countries with individual liberty and property rights encourage entrepreneurship and this results in new goods. If you are a progressive (which I am kind of assuming this guy is) then you don’t believe these things are related to innovation you think it’s just a random thing that happens for some reason that can be modeled mathematically. However, I can’t quite get ahold of everything he’s talking about because he seems to create a lot of terminology and be largely outside the framework of standard economics.

        OH and I couldn’t figure out which category Alberta fits into, at one point he says it’s sub….whatever (can’t remember the terminology) but he also seems to treat it as part of the first world. I couldn’t figure out how this example fits into his theory.

        Glad you’re still doing economics, it’s always nice to hear from former students.

  5. February 6, 2013 at 8:04 am

    These statistics are mnnaiegless comparisons without facts. Who WAS employed in the 1930’s? What impact did the strikes and lockouts have on the unemployment statistics? If there was no formal welfare system in place to provide relief to the unemployed, how can we be assured that the reported rate of unemployment percentages are accurate and not skewed – particularly when we acknowledge that American citizens were bristling at immigrants who were “taking their jobs”. Do the unemployment statistics being offered as “official numbers” include or exclude immigrants who may have been here illegally? Do the unemployment statistics include strikers who willfully left their jobs?Is it possible that the union-coordinated worker strikes and lockouts on the manufacturing sector themselves caused the domino effect impacting the primary industries (agriculture, mining, logging, etc) that FED the manufacturing sector ?It is dangerous to make these cross-decade comparisons in a vacuum.

  6. June 13, 2013 at 4:12 am

    Nice camera I would love to have one.

  7. June 13, 2013 at 4:13 am

    I dont know i just like your style of writing, could you write more pls? (it not copied from somewhere? )

  8. July 6, 2013 at 4:01 am

    Hands down Mint.com is best because once it\’s set up (enter your accounts) it\’s effortless to keep up. Quicken was a 2nd job. Mint just is. I use it constantly and it tells me everything I need to know for free. Once you rack up some time with it (4 years for me) you can run trend reports to see changes over time. Want to know your monthly expense average for groceries or restaurants? Simple. Need to know your home improvement costs by year? Piece of cake. Wonderful aggregator that helps you detect fraud as well. Free. Web version is the best, mobile versions getting better all the time.

  9. August 20, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Your content material is valid and informative in my private opinion. You’ve truly done a great deal of research on this topic. Thanks for sharing it.

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