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Messages - Level 20 Anklebiter

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General / Re: Bryan Caplan Smacks Rothbard
« on: May 15, 2011, 09:07:54 PM »
I call typical Chicago school bullshit.

I doubt Rothbard ever said fractional reserve banking should be "illegal."  He's saying it amounts to fraud, and I agree.  Talk to any statists about it, and their responses will range from denial to justification.  Legal tender laws and the corporate/state establishment make it nearly impossible to avoid the current corrupt banking system.

A "safe deposit box" is no substitute for an honest banker, who you and I know would never stand a chance to do business in this economy, and would be treated as harshly, if not more, than people like the Liberty Dollar folks.

WTFTK, Bryan Caplan is not in the Chicago School.  He teaches at economics at George Mason, of all places.  Of course, he's not an Austrian either...but he's not a monetarist.

Are you saying Rothbard would say fraud should be "legal" (yeah, I know...hard to frame it as such in terms of legality when you advocate for anarchy, but whatever)?  I think banks are generally pretty honest, and when it comes to safe deposit boxes, I've never heard of banks stealing from them or letting other people or the government gain entrance (without a warrant).  Unless you have evidence to the contrary, I'm going to assume that's baseless speculation.

People confuse positive economics w/ normative economics, dude. There's no point talking to WTFTK on this even though the Reserve publishes all its data and how it make its decisions. I'm no fan of fractional reserve banking, but I'm not sure why people call it fraudulent when everything is public.

The Democrats and Republicans will smear anyone who gets nominated in any other party, major or minor. It's how business is done.

But, Ron Paul will not get elected, since to get elected he'd actually have to get nominated, which isn't going to happen.

I agree, the neocons still have a firm grasp on the national committee of the Republican party. It would take a walk out of some of the national committee to make it feasible for Ron Paul to even get on the ballot of a third party. The NLP is a joke, even as a vehicle for education.

Sounds like Lew Rockwell is a creep.

He and Hoppe are the social conservatives of the Austrian School. There are others who are not social conservatives (Rothbard was a social liberal from what I remember), but they don't have much of a voice at the Mises Institute, sadly.

General / Re: Bryan Caplan Smacks Rothbard
« on: May 12, 2011, 11:05:35 PM »
WTFK, what most supporters of fractional reserve banking think is that it has two key functions: to regulate inflation (since private banks can and historically had inflated the currency in terms of their issuance of bank notes) and to maintain price levels (to avoid monetary deflation). Both are valid in terms of desirability, but to assume the method works seems invalid to me. Morality or no morality, the system is fundamentally broken much like some memory allocation schemes are for computer programs.

General / Re: S&P lowers US outlook
« on: May 02, 2011, 04:04:07 PM »
The Washington Post recently reported that the White House and the Treasury Department put tremendous pressure on S&P not to do this.

No suprise there...

Look.  To properly appreciate the Credit Outlook Downgrade from S+P, it needs to be understood on the surface.  And then what it actually means, below the waterline.  

So, first, understand that the Executive Branch is at war with Big Business, which is commonly regarded to be the "Fourth Branch" of the USG.  This is the level at which individuals of huge wealth moves between governmental positions and the private sector.  

Like, why do big executives move between positions that pay fifty million a year, to a position that pays a hundred grand?  This is exactly why.  Power and influence, and to protect the monied interests of their counterparts.  They take a hit for the team, and go inside the machine for a few years.  From there, they influence "stuff", like tax laws and subsidies, and legislation.  And then they leave, go back to private, and reap the rewards.

Outside the sphere of government, these same interests are represented by lobbyist organs.  Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, Big Oil, Big Finance, Big Telecom.  

Another of these lobby organs is the Business Roundtable. The word "roundtable" suggests that there is not one sector, but a number of individual businesses, being represented.  

The Chairman of the Roundtable is Harold McGraw.  Harold McGraw is the President and CEO of McGraw-Hill.  You probably know McGraw-Hill as a schoolbook publisher.  But they do a lot more than that.

McGraw-Hill also owns Standard and Poor.  

Did the lightbulb go on yet?

Six months (appx) ago, the White House conducted what was reported as "roundtable meetings" with big business CEO's.  Pepsi was there.  Verizon.  Proctor & Gamble.  Big Banks.  

But they weren't actually roundtable meetings.  They were Roundtable Meetings.  See the distinction?  

The Roundtable Meetings were conducted between the Third and Fourth branch.  The questions were "What can we do to get Big Business rolling again, and hiring, and borrowing?"  

The answer was "Stop imposing draconian business laws, high corporate taxes, and high taxes on persons of large wealth."  There was talk of imposing sanctions and compensation limitations of CEO's and other big-title positions of publicly traded companies.  The CEO's are vehemently opposed to these sanctions on compensation.  They do not want to run these monolithic corporations for a mere bag of shells, and then be taxed 40% of it.  

The meetings were regarded as a flop.  The 3rd and 4th Branch left the meetings equally grim-faced.  The public portrayal from both sides was "The negotiations are on-going, and we've made some progress on several points."  Which means, there wasn't a whole lot of back-patting going on.  There were no cameras present, inside, during the talks.  

And, to my knowledge, they never reached any conclusions.  They never had further meetings.  This, my friends, is an ominous sign.  


So...  six months later, here we are.  

The Fourth Branch is sending a direct message to Obama, in clear-channel.  We all heard it.  But what does it actually mean?

It (the S+P outlook downgrade) says, if the economy continues in this exact manner, S+P will downgrade the credit rating from AAA to a lesser grade.  

Obama says, "The economy is in the process of changing, we're ending QE2 in June, and..."

S+P says, "No, you fucking moron.  OUR economy.  The Business Roundtable, remember?"

Obama says, "My advisory board tells me, if the credit is ACTUALLY downgraded, we could experience another recesson.  The bond vigilantes will go nuts, crush the markets, and it could have devastating consequences.  Our debt will implode, and it will have a global impact of unimaginable proportions."

S+P says, "Exactly."

Obama says, "That would be bad for all of us."

S+P says, "Not really.  Mostly, just you.  And "main street".

Obama says, "Oh."

S+P says, "Also, you know, WE ARE the bond vigilantes."

Obama says "Yes, but...  This is the 'nuclear option', and you're saying you'll use it?  This is financial Armageddon."

S+P says, "Call it what you like.  Certain unnamed members of the Roundtable, "friends of ours" if you will, have decided enough is enough.  Your requests to quash the downgrade statement are declined.  The economic collapse, if one is orchestrated, will be blamed on the conditions of the downgrade, and that means YOU, this time, not US.  This discussion is over".


Of course, that actual convo never happened.  But that is the message.  These things have covert meaning beyond their public meaning.  There is a great deal of symbolism in the way the markets work.  Powerful men from generational fortune families.  Educated, ruthless, and shrewd.  They send messages like smoke signals through the market behavior.  Approval and disapproval can be clearly witnessed on a variety of political issues.  The sell-off's and rallies are like the judges gavel falling, and the fish follow the whales.  

And, it needs to be said, the Roundtable doesn't represent the wishes of ALL American business.  In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if 90% of those companies CEO's are non-participants, because there are always cabals inside of enclaves.  

The ball is now back in Obama's court.  He can play hardball or softball.  He can stick to his guns about meddling in business, or move to the center for a softer approach.  If he bends, they'll bend.  If he won't, they'll drop the hammer, smash the economy to pieces, and damage his chances for a second term.  

So, to crystallize this statement, and confirm the unsaid...  what you may be about to witness is basically, John Galt.  A few big movers, a few big moves.  Except, in the real world, Galt is a massive, monumental Hydra.  And I'm not quite certain Obama has managed to wrap his brain around the entirety of the concept.  

I'd rather they didn't, but we'll see.

You and Jeff Riggenbach ought to get together to work on a financial history of a set of market panics in contrast to their modern counterparts. I'm serious about that, btw.

General / Re: Bin Ladin is dead
« on: May 02, 2011, 01:13:44 PM »

General / Re: Is Austrian Economics BS?
« on: April 18, 2011, 12:24:49 AM »
No, we don't confirm hypothesises(sp?). We focus on a proof, following the steps to make that proof to show it's correct. There's no empirical step. Even mathematical induction is only inductive within the predicate of the given equation, but not inductive (proper) in the wider world. Computer Science is a science because it follows an organizing principle that makes it exact. A natural science is a science for the same reason, but it needs to follow additional methods (what is known as the scientific method) to make it work. This is why your Positivist position is wrong. Only a handful in philosophy follow it (Dennett and company are decidedly the last remnant of the Positivist/Analytic position).  

Edit: also, Computer Engineering isn't Computer Science. I have a degree in the latter, and I am working on my Masters in it at present.

General / Re: Is Austrian Economics BS?
« on: April 17, 2011, 09:34:19 PM »
Then by your logic, Computer science isn't a science. I suggest you actually read about philosophy of science outside of Popper (I love the dude, but he got quite a few things wrong there).

General / Re: OHSNAP. Atlas Shrugged Trailer -
« on: April 17, 2011, 09:33:26 PM »

It looks like Jack Hunter (a writer for the American Conservative) has chimed in on the film and the liberal reaction to it.

General / Re: Is Austrian Economics BS?
« on: April 17, 2011, 12:14:28 PM »

You'll notice that in the website Mathematics, Computer Science, and Logic aren't in there (correctly so as these don't apply the scientific method).

All science applies the scientific method.  You can argue that someone's not practicing science if you want, but "science simply means an exact ordering of knowledge per some conditions" is inaccurate, at best.  Science and the scientific method are inseparable.


General / Re: Is Austrian Economics BS?
« on: April 16, 2011, 10:54:15 AM »

You'll notice that in the website Mathematics, Computer Science, and Logic aren't in there (correctly so as these don't apply the scientific method).

General / Re: Poker sites being stolen by feds.
« on: April 15, 2011, 06:42:39 PM »
Ahhhhh... gotta love how TSA is 'protecting' the little people from Internet Poker terrorism. :3

General / Re: Sweatshop labor, compatible with liberty?
« on: April 15, 2011, 06:35:34 PM »
In China, many sweatshops are Chinese created by small firms. In fact, many of the workers are family members, so these are sorta homegrown enterprises. The larger corporate operations in the Special Economic Zones pay more, have better benefits, and adhere to EU labor standards if they happen to be HQ'd in the EU (per EU law). It's quite interesting to see the contrast between large versus small firms in terms of menial labor and labor conditions in China as a test case.

General / Re: Sweatshop labor, compatible with liberty?
« on: April 15, 2011, 02:36:05 AM »
If we're talking about modern sweatshops which are enforced by state law and treaty (where local govts basically don't allow laborers to unionize or collectively bargain), then yes it's bad for liberty. Like or not, if the market forces on the price of labor go one way only (where the employer gets to set a price, but the employee has no right to set his/her), then it's not a free market.

There are a lot more pro-union laws in the US than anti union laws. Besides, saying, "fuck you, I'm out." is negotiating your price. Now, you may not be in a good position to quit, but consequences are part of any choice or freedom.

When considering the loss of workers, in fact, many companies prefer to retain workers than lose them for the fact that it takes time to train new workers even for simple tasks (otherwise, they could use machines to do the same thing).

General / Re: Dllama in the Free State
« on: April 15, 2011, 12:44:31 AM »
Can't we all just agree that wanting to fuck 8 year olds is bad....

Discussion over.

Who is this wIAN, hmmm? :D

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