## Sunday, September 26, 2010

### Best of Klaus at Johns Hopkins University

Ten entertaining minutes selected from Czech President Václav Klaus' discussions at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), a division of Johns Hopkins University in D.C.:

If you ever invite Klaus, be sure that there is a blackboard or a whiteboard somewhere - maybe several of them. I remember how badly he needed it when he gave a talk at Harvard, too. It's important even if the Kuznets curve is the only idea that ultimately appears on the whiteboard. ;-)

The first question is asked by a Czech student named Lubomír - which is sometimes reduced to Luboš although the names' holidays are celebrated on different days. I am amazed by the English spoken by such young people; I couldn't possibly distinguish him from a native U.S. English speaker.

By the way, if you investigated the true opinion of Klaus about the externalities, he would essentially tell you that they're a bogus cherry on a pie that is meant to occasionally revert the correct answer. The correct answer is almost always determined by the "internalities" - although they're rarely being discussed - namely by the interests and profits of the two main parties that participate in a transaction.

Neglecting "internalities" by overemphasizing "externalities" is just a logical fallacy. That's my interpretation but I think that Prof Klaus would subscribe to it.

It's also fun to see how he rationally analyzed what it physically means to share a currency: it is an extreme form of the fixed exchange rates. Read Milton Friedman's "The Case for Flexible Exchange Ratets" (written 1950, published 1953 - not 1956). Someone asked him how the assassins of protector of Czechia Reinhard Heydrich and the anti-communist dissident Jan Patočka may be used to derive something about the future of the economy.

His English sounded relatively OK - but if you think about the question, it was really nuts. So Klaus politely answered that his IQ is not high enough to be able to find the relationship between the assassins of Heydrich and the optimal currency areas. :-)

In the discussion, Klaus also announced his yesterday's speech in the United Nations about the misconception that the international organization should get stronger. In particular, the ideal of a world government is a total leftist cosmopolitan nonsense, Klaus told the United Nations and the Johns Hopkins students.

He hopes that this nonsense is not being taught at Johns Hopkins; if it is, they should stop the course immediately. ;-) Well, I am afraid that even much bigger pieces of bullshit are being taught at similar universities.