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Ep. 203 “What Did Bob Learn?” Part 2 of 3

In response to a listener request, Bob continues a 3-part series explaining areas where his views have changed. In this episode, he covers government debt and future generations, accuracy in polemical writing, the Fed being a private corporation, whether nice guys finish last, and mainstream utility theory.

Mentioned in the Episode and Other Links of Interest:

The audio production for this episode was provided by Podsworth Media.

About the author, Robert

Christian and economist, Chief Economist at infineo, and Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute.


  1. honkyblood on 05/31/2021 at 11:35 PM

    Come for the podcast… stay for that Teaser Pic.

  2. Dave H on 06/04/2021 at 4:52 PM

    Hi Bob,

    Not sure I agree with your take on the “Nice Guys” thing. Sure, the situation is not as dire as some make out, but hypergamy in women is clearly a thing. So while the situation for any individual “nice guy” might not be hopeless, it is mathematically impossible for it to not be hopeless for some of them.

    • Robert Murphy on 06/07/2021 at 1:21 AM

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for the comment; I actually thought more people would chime in on that topic. Is there an actual statement I made that you think is false?

      • Not bob on 06/09/2021 at 7:40 PM

        Came here because of severe BMS withdrawal syndrome! You can’t hook us on 3x weekly episodes and then go cold turkey?!

        On the women thing; I’m of two minds. On the one hand, clearly women are somehow wired to look for the best possible mate, “hypergamy.” Just like every guy will fantasize about the hottest woman he knows, and maybe try to get with her even if he already has a girlfriend.

        But this is kind of like the argument “employers will try to pay you as little as possible, therefore capitalism must fail.” No, there’s a balance. Both women and men also want stability for their lives and their kids, there’s risk associated with changing partners, and so on.

        So there’s some equilibrium at play, even though you might not like where it falls in any particular case.

        And at this point in my life, I am kind of on Bob’s side: the kind of girls you pick up at 2am on a Friday night by using opinion openers are maybe not looking for long-term relationships. Just like you probably weren’t if that’s what you were doing.

        When you ask people who are in happy long-term relationships, it seems they rarely met in a bar or club. It seems to be mostly at work, through friends, or at church. That might be changing a little bit with online dating, but I think it tells you something.

        A woman who goes home with you after you pick her up in a club is looking for excitement and adventure. And so of course she will do “hypergamy” 2 weeks later, because you’re no longer exciting. She might change her mind 10 years later and feel like settling down, and then everybody will be mad at her because “she had all the fun and now she wants to settle down with a chum.” Well, people change. Didn’t you want to have exciting adventures when you were younger, and as you got older, you started valuing stability more? Certainly happened to me.

        I think a huge part of this is the absence of dads in our society. This is a typical man skill, and like most man skills, it has atrophied as several generations (I’d say at least boomers and Xers) haven’t passed those skills on to their kids. It feels like there’s a little bit of a comeback now with millennial dads, but maybe I’m imagining that or living in an internet bubble.

  3. Dave H on 06/09/2021 at 5:05 AM

    You offered up the idea that a lonely guy experiencing self-pity might be lonely because he pines over “bad girls” the same way he criticizes women for liking “bad boys.”

    While I’m sure that’s true for a lot of guys in this situation, maybe even the majority, I would say there is a significant number who are lonely because there simply aren’t enough “good girls” to go around, and when you happen across one, 99:1 she’s already in a committed relationship.

    Since your economic examples are always so excellently illustrative, I’ll try to explain what I’m saying with one. Imagine there are 100 men and 100 women in a dating population. 20% of each population are jerks. But while 20% of the men are attracted to female jerks, 80% of the women are attracted to male jerks.

    This means you’re going to have 80 “nice guys” competing over 20 “nice girls,” while the other 80 women chase after the jerky men.

    Data released by dating websites, as well as some ethically questionable social experiments, confirm that exactly something like this is going on.

    • Kristian on 06/12/2021 at 5:39 PM

      I would say jerky is low on the priority list, 80% of girls on dating websites cannot initially tell a guys personality…but what they can tell is his height (this is the most important factor) and they can see his general level of attractiveness, they also like masculine features (so get to the gym especially if you want a fit lady in your life). Height though isn’t even as inhibiting as you would think I’m only 5’8” I have never had trouble with getting dates ect… (only with those who are taller than me) and I’m happily married now. The key for most girls isn’t so much that you are certain height as you are taller than them individually (Gad Saad talks about this). I would say online is tougher the less ideal of a guy you are physically but you can signal, things like riding a motorcycle will up your dating factor (getting photos online that prove this too). In person though the confidence factor is so important…this is where guys get it so wrong! They think man if I just approach them that’s confident and they still reject me! Women are much more in tune with non verbal social cues than guys, body positioning, posture and tone are hugely important in this endeavor I recommend this guys channel (the closest thing I can think of is dog training, dogs pick up on fear cues from people in non verbal ways so do ladies): really what all this adds up to is most girls want a man they perceive as strong for their offspring. Height is a physical attribute as is your physical condition, but you can signal strength through confidence both directly to them (with all variables in play remembering just verbal is not going to cut it) and indirectly (pick up a dangerous hobby like motorcycles, hang gliding) If the hobby scares you that’s good too, do it and get out of your comfort zone, you need to step out of your head in general if you want the ladies to notice you and a more dangerous hobby will pull you out of your head.

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