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Showing posts from February, 2009

The Evils of Fiat Money II

An anonymous poster made a comment to this post that I'd like to address. My responses are in bold brackets:

Skyler,

You have a way with words that can really get people into what you are saying, [Thank you!] but that [thank] goodness there are not more libertarians out there. Quite frankly, with the amount of stuff you want to privatize, this country would fail fail fail.

[And just what evidence do you have of that? And more importantly, what does it mean for the country to fail? Fail economically? Fail politically as in the government losing its power? Fail security wise, with everyone ending up dead at the hands of terrorists? Just what does it mean for our country to fail?]

I just can't agree with you, cause quite frankly, we don't own ourselves. Never have. Never will. We are debtors. All of us. Debtors.

[Debtors? To who? Those who came before us? I would agree that we owe all that we have to those who took risks in the past, but they're dead and gone and can't be…

The Evils of Fiat Money

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Writing for Mises.org, George F. Smith makes a great case here for natural money. Several of his points against fiat money (via central banks) are here listed. The article is more of a review/summary of the points made by Jörg Guido Hülsmann in his book The Ethics of Money Production.In my opinion, it is very difficult to ignore the evils brought about by fiat money in particular, and inflation in general:
Inflation's standard definition is too narrow to provide an appreciation of the extent of its harm; it is far more than a deterioration of the currency's purchasing power. It's also much more than a "hidden tax." Government's perennial fiat inflation is a subtle WMD. Consider the following:
In funding wars, it allows government to ignore the fiscal resistance of its citizens.It benefits the central government at the expense of secondary and tertiary governments.It turns moral hazard and irresponsibility into an institution, and guarantees recurring economic c…

Here's Some Pork To Wash Down That Stimulus

So it seems all the talk of scrubbing the "stimulus" package of pork was really just talk. Depending on your definition of "pork", the stimulus package, though it was claimed otherwise, contained plenty of it. To wash it down, meet the $410-billon pork-laden transportation bill:
President Obama on Monday vowed to reel in wasteful Washington spending and blasted deceptive "accounting tricks" used by the Bush administration to fund the Iraq war even as House Democrats released a $410 billion stopgap spending bill studded with thousands of pork-barrel projects. (Washington Times)

Is Taxation Voluntary?

According to Senator Harry Reid, it is. But he also says that if you don't pay your taxes, there will be penalties imposed on you. But he insists it's voluntary. But it isn't. But it is. See for yourself in this interview with Jan Helfeld via YouTube:

Understanding the Philosophy of Liberty

I just found (via Facebook) and watched this excellent video on the philosophy of liberty. I here give it my stamp of approval and endorsement. Understanding the basis for liberty, self-ownership, is extremely important. I have embedded it via YouTube below. It is available in several languages and several formats here. If you like it, please forward it along.

Get Your Pork-filled Stimulus! IV

Anonymous made a short response to my last post:
Skyler,

I enjoy these exchanges as well. My only problem is, no matter what I or anyone else who disagrees with you says, we are always going to be wrong. I just have this feeling that if the economic stimulus plan was being presented by a conservative (though you will argue that would never happen), you would be praising the plan to high heaven.You can be rest assurred that your feeling is counterfeit. As a libertarian, (which you may not have read enough of my blog to have picked up) I first and foremost ally myself with liberty. Whether from the left or the right is irrelevant. I am not a liberal (in the modern sense) and I am not a conservative when it comes to public policy. I am a libertarian. I am also a subscriber to the Austrian school of economics. This is my reason for opposing the simulus, as I opposed Bush's stimulus last year (though I wasn't full-time blogging then).

I view the rights to all freedoms, personal, econo…

Get Your Pork-filled Stimulus! III

I have received a response by Anonymous to my response to his/her comment. I will post it below will my response in bold brackets spliced in:

[I really appreciate you taking the time to post a comment. I enjoy the exchange.]

Skyler, 

The fact is that we are now in an economy where credit is frozen, banks refuse to lend money, and there is no incentive for anyone to spend.

[Have you educated yourself on why the economy has gotten to this point? It's very important to understand the cause and effect of it all. The economy is in the mess it is in, not because of greedy capitalists, but because the foundation of our economy is fiat paper money care of our central bank, the Federal Reserve. Our money is not free-market, and our money is not guaranteed. This makes it completely unstable and prone to government manipulation. That is precisely the reason for our bust, and the preceding boom period. The Federal Reserve manipulated interest rates which sent a false signal to producers, thereby …

Don't Bail Out the Big Three II

Here's a great video by Reason.tv on the continuing auto industry bail-out:

Get You Pork-filled Stimulus! II

This post has a received a comment by an Anonymous poster and I want to it address here. The comment:
Skyler my friend, you obviously have no concept of the purpose of the bill. EVERY SINGLE one of these so-called "pork spending programs" will create jobs jobs jobs and improve infrastructure. Yes, in a way it is sad our country has come to this. But, apparently there are people in the country who believe capitalism is only for the big-shots. The american people are not allowed to use their imaginations anymore because a select few have monopolized the entire economic structure of or country in the name of "capitalism." Come on. You're better than that.
First and foremost, the poster has subscribed to an economic fallacy called the Broken-window-fallacy. That fallacy demonstrates the essence of looking only at what is seen and ignoring what is not seen. For example, as per the broken window example, when a barber's window is broken by a young hooligan's ro…

Get Your Pork-Filled Stimulus!

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During his first press conference, President Obama told reports that the stimulus bill had been completely scrubbed of all pork and special interest spending. My only question then, is what do you call this stuff, other then non-stimulative pork?$24 million for United States Department of Agriculture buildings and rent
$176 million for renovating Agricultural Research Service buildings
$290 million for flood prevention
$50 million for watershed rehabilitation
$1.4 billion for wastewater disposal programs
$295 million for administrative expenses associated with food stamp programs
$1 billion for the 2010 Census$200 million for public computer centers at community colleges and libraries
$650 million for the digital TV converter box coupon program
$2 billion for Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program
$10 million to combat Mexican gunrunners
$125 million for rural communities to combat drug crimes
$1 billion for the Community Oriented Policing Services program
$1 billion for NASA
$300 million to purch…

Understanding Booms & Busts

"The Austrian approach to understanding what has happened to the economy holds far greater explanatory power than does any competing school of thought." So says Thomas Woods in his latest book, Meltdown. I received my copy two days ago and just completed it. In my opinion, everyone needs to read this book, and more importantly, understand Austrian business cycle theory. It's not difficult to understand and it explains exactly the reason why the economy has boom periods, followed by a bust period. Contrary to popular opinion, these periods are not inherent in a free-market economy. They are the direct result of intervention into the economy by the government, specifically a country's central bank. The Federal Reserve is the central bank of the United States.

Numerous articles on Austrian business cycle theory can be found here and here on the Ludwig von Mises Institute website. For an introduction to the Austrian school of economics, and why it matters, read this essay

Obama's First Press Conference III

A friend of mine has made a lengthy response to my Obama press conference post that I'd like to address here. My responses will be in bold brackets:

I can tell that there are going to be times where we are in agreement. There are also going to be times were we are not going to be in agreement. I think that on this issue, you and I are going to vehemently, but respectfully disagree. I'll layout my observations my responding to yours.

[Thank you for writing this lengthy response. This is the type of thing I hope my blog accomplishes, real dialogue on important issues. Everyone grows that way. I understand you're on the liberal left of the political spectrum. As a libertarian, there are many issues that we can agree one, especially when it comes to personal freedoms. Those that we disagree on, most likely on certain principles of economic freedoms, libertarians find themselves allied with the conservative right. Libertarianism, I believe is the only logically consistent positi…

Obama's First Press Conference II

I've received a comment made on the first post about Obama's press conference. It was made by Anonymous and reads:
Skyler, wow my friend, wow. That's all I have to say. A desire to see him fail. Just what we need from the citizens of our great nation. A desire to see the leader of the free world fail.I'm not sure who left it but it doesn't matter, I'm happy to respond. What the person did was either misread or miscontrued what I said here:
But truly, although his plan is fundamentally flawed and won't work, I'll be happy to see it fail so that the world will see once again how futile socialistic attempts such as these really are, and we can return to creating real wealth via the free market.Obviously, nowhere did I say that I wanted Obama to fail. What I said, as you can see, is that "I'll be happy to see it (refering to the plan) fail..." Clearly, what I meant is what I wrote, that I'll be happy to see Obama's stimulus package fail.…

Obama's First Press Conference

Since I caught most of his opening remarks to his first press conference while driving around town last night, I thought I would post it here and splice in my reaction to what he said (in bold brackets):

OPENING REMARKS OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA -- AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY
First Presidential Press Conference
East Room, The White House
Monday, February 9th, 2009

Good evening. Before I take your questions tonight, I’d like to speak briefly about the state of our economy and why I believe we need to put this recovery plan in motion as soon as possible. [Didn't Bush do the same thing with that lovely piece of legistlation, the Patriot Act?]

I took a trip to Elkhart, Indiana today. Elkhart is a place that has lost jobs faster than anywhere else in America. In one year, the unemployment rate went from 4.7% to 15.3%. Companies that have sustained this community for years are shedding jobs at an alarming speed, and the people who’ve lost them have no idea what to do or who to turn to. They can’…

The President vs. Economists II

At the end of January, I linked to the then released full-page ad by the Cato Institute denouncing Obama's stimulus plan as something that would help the economy. Here is a video highlighting the coverage that it received. It is worth the watch:

Opposing "Stimulus" - Hundreds of Economists Sign on to Cato's Ad

An Interview with John Stossel

John Stossel, co-host of ABC's 20/20, usually finds himself as the interviewer. In this case, he's the interviewee. Ted Balaker interviews Stossel for Reason.tv. They talk about such topics as bail-outs, Obama, and Stossel's journey to libertarianism:

John Stossel: The Reason.tv Interview

Obama's Stimulus Plan Here

The embedded widget below will show you everything in Obama's "stimulus" plan. In reality, only about $71 billion is for any type of job creation. The rest is good 'ole fashion pork.

Click here to go to the original page.