The Older Brother lets his inner econ nerd run wild (intermission)…


One of the most gratifying parts of getting to sit in the Big Chair while Tom’s out spreading the word is the quality of the folks reading and commenting here. It’s also the most exhausting part, and I’m bushed!

For today, I meant to wrap up my meandering discussion of some fundamental economic concepts from the seldom heard, free-market side of economic thought, integrate them into a model that explains how we end up with things like frankenfoods, a medical research establishment that has been turned into a lobbying arm of Big Pharma, bad health, and finally, what you can do about it.

Unfortunately, there’s way too many really smart Fat Heads out there, some of whom disagree or want to trade ideas. If you’ve been reading the comments, there’s been threads way longer than my already long posts, and we’ve gone way out in “the weeds” from just the economics of food and nutrition and human behavior, into health care (inevitable, I guess), government’s role generally, the monetary system, etc. Which I just love.

When someone takes time to write out a well-reasoned response along with facts and arguments that question my thinking and conclusions, I feel obligated to expand on the topic. Flattered, too. Especially when it’s someone who disagrees with me. Robust debate between people of good will and differing opinions is how we move forward in the philosophical pursuits, within which the Austrian School includes Economics. (Keynesians think they’re scientists. This was a point of contention in a comment “Pierce” and I chewed on in Part II)

At any rate, these last two posts, contra to my initial fear of being met with snores or cries of boredom (well, there was one, probably more just didn’t let me know), kicked off some of the strongest debates I’ve initiated, which has kept me challenged and busy. Good challenged and busy.

I also had a client meeting last night, a couple for tomorrow, did my last guest speaker engagement for the semester this morning for the Economics class at Lutheran High, spent the rest the day at an out-of-town meeting, and am off momentarily for a Power Squadron meeting (if you have a boat, find your local squadron and join!). So regretfully, I’m not going to be able to complete the finale until the weekend.

If you’re interested in wide-ranging economics ideas generally and haven’t read the comments on Parts I and II, I’d invite you to read through them. For those of you who’ve commented, thanks for keeping me on my toes.


The Older Brother


11 thoughts on “The Older Brother lets his inner econ nerd run wild (intermission)…

  1. Eric

    Paul says:
    May 10, 2012 at 8:56 am
    you should seriously get together with Younger Brother and put together a sequel to fat Head based on this stuff… great post!

    This is a great idea! You could use to raise the money as to not put the family at risk.

  2. Hilary Kyro

    I appreciate everything about the Older Brother econ dialogues except for the goofy post titles which start the reader with the feeling that soundly reasoned and noble Libertarian philosophy is a silly rant.
    Your economic writing is a pleasure to read, profoundly important and deserving of a global audience as Mises and Rothbard.
    A failure in selling Libertarianism is that schooled people want an answer to “What’s in it for me?”
    The Neo-Fascist Liberals hold the fantasy that their every $1 in taxes becomes $250, 000, 000 through the magic multiplying formula of the IRS. Every dollar is an opera house, hospital, college, jail or a new earth-friendly task force.
    No, every tax dollar pays to collect more tax dollars. Every shovel-ready project adds unprojected maintenance costs and broken roads.
    Feed your family, starve the porky rent-seekers! Liberty, what’s in it for you is a nice day, a decent meal, peace, privacy, personal power and a feeling of satisfaction that can never be achieved as a recipient of government largess.
    Freedom from want? Freedom from fear? How may that be provided? I’ll give you a hint: it involves tightening belts and wetting a sponge.
    OT, I’ve been watching the Beverly Hillbillys. Granny is a chip off Walter Block, a Paleo Guru before her time! All the rich folks and their poodles are on possom-free diets and dozens of hard-core pills…sufferin’ from the sick benefits. -Pitiful folks who might see good food in their kitchens and scream and call an exterminator…pitiful just pitiful.

  3. Janelle

    Though as a lifelong liberal I have no desire to live in a Libertarian paradise (which I envision much like the island from Lord of the Flies), I appreciate all the effort you’ve put into these posts. Talent clearly runs in your family!

  4. SmarmySnodsnick

    Good Idea Eric. I am thinking of finally getting my 1 minute video together (I think that’s the hardest part) to get my idea out there as well. Its always hard to ask for money, but I think you’ve got the gift of gab down pat, so go for it!

  5. Robert


    I just got done watching the documentary “Food Matters” which, seems to say the answer to holistic bodily health is in an 80% vegetarian diet. This diet should be composed of primarily raw, organic foods (what they refer to as “super foods”), and mass quantities of vitamins. They also went on to suggest meat and fat aren’t healthy choices. What are your thoughts?


    I’m guessing you’re new here?

    In a nutshell:

    * Raw organic is fine, although cooking does, for human beings, help increase availability of some nutrients. Keep in mind that “organic” is now a government-defined credential, that may or may not mean what you think it does. Think “local” or “real” instead.

    * Meats, especially organ meats and the fattier cuts, are one of the best sources of essential nutrients we need for good health. You brain, cell walls, just about everything you’re made of is in a sense “built” from fat.

    * The whole “fat baaaaad/grains goooood” mantra is a massive and extremely profitable lie.

    * Finally, the cognitive dissonance of advocating a diet that’s supposedly the pinnacle of nutrition for human beings, but then depends on “mass quantities of vitamins,” should make one’s head hurt, no?

    I suppose other than that, they’re spot on!

    Have you watched Fat Head? If not, please do. You can view it free on Hulu — or Netflix if you have the streaming subscription. Of course, Tom will cheerfully accept your order here if you’d like to own a copy that includes extra features. If you’ll browse around this site, you’ll find plenty of posts on each area you’re interested in. If you’d like deeper treatments, check out some of the books on the Recommended Reading section.

    Thanks for stopping by. Hope you come back regularly.

    — The Older Brother

  6. nonegiven

    Meanwhile, it looks like the government now considers advocating a paleo diet to be a terrorist act.

    Oh my God.

    I’m assuming Tom will have a full report on this one when he gets back. I just hope there wasn’t a desk around, or he’s probably got a major concussion right now.

    The story says the supposedly terrorist tweet attached to Dr. Kruse, who was one of the LC Cruise speakers, originated from an account dedicated to attacking his low carb advocacy.

    Hopefully, they’ll be able to track down the vegetrollians responsible and parboil them.

    –The Older Brother

  7. DWhite

    This has been a pretty good low carb blog, but the intrusion of these overly simplistic libertarian “economics” lessons has been unnecessary.

  8. Chrisnpiggies

    RE: DWhite:
    I appreciate over simplistic. I’m not stupid, but I am ridiculously busy and don’t have a lot of “fancy book learnin'” so I like my economic and low carb lessons in an easy-to-understand package. And I sure trust Tom and The Older Brother and everyone associated with these blogs via recommended reading and links, and all the research that they have either done or dissected. Keep up the good work, guys!

  9. bigmyc

    Nonegiven, yeahhhhhhh….the government might be anit-Paleo, what with all that grain based Food Pyramid stuff that they hang their hats and our asses on, but something tells me that the words in the suspected tweet like, “bio hack, dynamite, vial and Legionnaire’s” have something to do with Homeland Security getting involved….just a thought.

    This is why libertarian thought MUST be tempered with a healthy dose of real world (contemporary times) common sense. Sprinkling in a little compassion for one’s fellow man also seasons the pot nicely.

  10. panny

    I really like these posts… I would LOVE if you could create some nice visuals / flow chart to explain this. This would make an awesome presentation showing how the system rewards poor choices and results in poor health and is overall financially crippling. Healthcare is now up to 2.5 Trillion dollars!! My tax dollars as a LCHF support grains, high fructose corn syrup, corn oil, etc. etc.

    Ps. I shouldn’t bring politics into this… and you’re right to avoid it… but Ron Paul is awesome 🙂

    Thanks. This series already went around 7,000 words (not counting comments!), which was about 6,000 more than I planned. If I had to figure out the visual stuff this time around, I’d really be in trouble.

    Dr. Paul just announced today that he’s suspending campaigning. I appreciate his honesty, but didn’t think there was ever any chance that we’d have to find out how a libertarian would operate as president. Yet.


  11. Lisa

    Thanks for pointing out the comments sections, I’ll be sure to read through for more information that came up during the discussions!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.