Archives for category: Liberty

 

But what if they were millionaires?

 

Today my professor was teaching my class about Keynesian economics. I watched in awe as he drew graph after graph explaining how governments can eliminate recessions. Apparently when the Fed increases the money supply by 10% it means we completely avoid a recession and prices increase by 10%. But that price increase doesn’t hurt because everyone has 10% more money – money going exactly where it needs to is another perfectly reasonable assumption. Many Libertarians and other advocates of free markets will spend a huge amount of time explaining why Keynes’ theories don’t actually lead to economic success. I have spent a lot of my time pointing to terrible economic consequences of Keynesians running the show; however, I think that this focus misses the point. Even if a manipulative government outproduced a hands-off government would we want it? Read the rest of this entry »

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I find myself pointing to more production and higher standards of living as arguments for free markets.  While these are important and valid points, they are secondary to moral issues.  A free market is needed for a free mind.

If you believe in self ownership – that you own yourself, not another person, not a group of persons – then you realize that a free market must be the only moral option.  The biggest problem people have with this is that they want to ‘be their own person’ without the responsibility.  Self-ownership means responsibility for that self.

This shouldn’t be difficult to defend. If you don’t own yourself, who does? If you’re not responsible for yourself, who is?

How did class warfare become about the Rich and the Poor? Tension between classes really has little to do with wealth; when one group has to follow laws and another doesn’t is when things get ugly. Politicians create these rifts through laws that deviate from laissez faire capitalism. When they vote themselves and their powerful contributors immunity or special privileged is when shit heads for the nearest fan… or the shit should be heading for the nearest fan anyway.

(video via Sam Selikoff)

I don’t agree with all of his ideas, but I honestly don’t know how you can watch this and still support the drug wars.  Unless you think your morality should be forced on all people…

Federal Reserve Note 2015

Everything we use that doesn’t grow out of the ground by itself was created by someone. Every apple consumed was grown purposefully for us. Every toilet flush, shower, and sink required a whole lot of people to install pipes and pumps. Every light or computer you turn on is being powered because someone is running an electric plant right now. Mail gets to doors because a person physically delivers it there. We are able to watch as much YouTube as we want for free because Google is paying for servers somewhere. Basically, practically any useful thing in any useful form was made for consumption by another person.

We use money as the universal exchange for all these things. We need to make enough value (money) of our own to pay for value others give us. Money is (supposed to be) a measure of value that we’ve created.

That means that every dollar we use must fall into one of three categories:

  1. Earned by creating value for someone else.
  2. Gifted by someone who earned the dollar.
  3. Stolen from someone else.

Those are the only possible ways to accumulate or use money. If you have a dollar that you didn’t earn and wasn’t a gift from someone who earned a dollar, you’ve stolen a dollar. Every dollar that that the Fed prints takes a little bit of value out of your earned dollar. When our government gives out money as “bailouts” or “handouts” remember that those terms don’t really describe what they’re doing. A “handout” sounds like a giveaway. The money they are giving to individuals, banks, and any other group is almost all stolen money.

  • you think we should actually stop fighting preemptive wars.
  • you think $1 trillion to station troops in 160+ countries is a bit much.
  • you think you should be able to do what you want to your body.
  • you think that the prohibition of marijuana is more ridiculous than the prohibition of alcohol.
  • you think your money should retain it’s value.
  • you think you go to work to earn money for you and your family, not the government.
  • you think taxes are just a little outrageous.
  • you realize you don’t have to pick “the lesser of two evils” when voting.
  • you believe in the charity of your fellow man to help one another without coercion.
  • you believe in self ownership.
  • you don’t like the idea of aristocracy (ie politicians having their own class)
  • you enjoy things that make sense.
  • you think that winning should be rewarded, not punished.
  • you understand that economies grow based on production of value.
  • you see that most of “the rich” have done more good than they’re given credit for.
  • you like politicians who will take any question head on.
  • the Constitution means anything to you.

“The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.” – John Maynard Keynes

Inflation is accepted.  “Back in my day, I could buy a candy bar for a penny” doesn’t even make us flinch.  Even when people understand this kind of value destruction they don’t seem to really care.  The Fed, a for profit bank that cannot be audited, has complete control of the flow of our money.  They print money and dole it out however they want and don’t have to tell us how it was used.

Let’s pretend I collect all my friend’s booze and in return I give them an IOU with “I drink, therefore I  am” printed on the back.  I then go to my booze vault and begin printing IOUs for my best friends and 9’s.  I’ll be the most popular guy in town.  Shit, I can hook you up with free booze.  Then I wake up one hungover morning, go to my vault and find one lone bottle of Svedka left.  Depressed, I drink it and go cry.

That is no different than what the Fed does.  Every dollar they print is future-fucking your dollar.  Because the whole value-pie of the US/world is massive and dispersed so widely they can get away with it for awhile.  Unfortunately, printing a dollar and creating a dollar’s worth of value are two very different things.  The fact that your dollar can’t store value means that there is no secure way to store your wealth.  Sure, you can buy gold, land, or diamonds, but those markets fluctuate like any other.

A dollar is supposed to be a store of value.  When you have one you expect that someone will do something in exchange for it.  Every dollar the Fed prints makes your dollars worth less value.  So when they print a few hundred billion dollars and hand it over to whatever bank is best connected in Washington, you just payed some asshole’s $100 million bonus.  That’s why all the talk about “Wall St. versus Main St.” is such bull.  It’s the elected crooks in Washington who allow for this corruption.  Really, though, it’s the fools who elect crooks into office.

END THE FED

Keep printing, let's get this thing to zero!

Well, make a couple. Divide and conquer! Wahooo!

(I’m using the terms “liberal” and “conservative” very loosely in this post.  Liberals traditionally had great ideas, it’s progressives that I’m talking about.  Why not use “progressives”?  They all think they’re liberal.  Also, this isn’t a Republican/Neocon vs Democrat comparison.  It’s more of a Libertarian/Ron Paul Conservative vs The World.  So most Republicans will probably fit into the  “Liberal” title.)

There is the popular idea that liberals are the heartfelt givers and conservatives are the heartless takers.  Liberals want a world where everyone loves one another and everybody shares everything and everyone is healthy and happy.  Conservatives want to hoard what is theirs and enslave lesser people to poverty.    Liberals believe altruism, sacrifice, is the ultimate good.  Conservatives believe that they must be completely selfish (not the rational kind) to get ahead.  Liberals love life.  Conservatives love money (and eating kittens).

The ironic thing is that when these ideas take physical form, liberals are shown to be hypocrites over and over again.

Givers Takers

Liberals tend to like the idea of redistribution of wealth.  The evil fat cats who have all that money don’t deserve it.  I deserve it.  Why?  They have too much and I don’t have enough.  So their idea of giving is taking money from people who they feel don’t need or deserve it and give it to the people who in their estimation need it.  That is a philosophy of theft.  Beyond that, it also means liberals have less faith in humanity than conservatives do.  Those who believe the government needs to steal money from one group of people to give to another are offending both parties.  They don’t believe the rich will provide for the poor and they don’t believe that the poor can survive by their own means.

If the philosophy of theft is morally fucked, just think of the incentives in such a system.  The rich are punished for creating wealth, stupid.  Maybe even more stupid, though, is what it teaches the poor.  “It’s okay to steal from other people, you deserve what they’ve created.”  “You don’t need to worry about living, we’ll take care of that for you.”  “And don’t do anything to provide too well for your family, because then we’ll start taking from you instead.”  This incentive structure has to lead to less of everything.  Not only does it destroy the great production pie but it also creates social divides where there really shouldn’t be any.  Now the rich despise the poor because they are sucking on their bank accounts and the poor despise the rich because they have to rely on them.

Capitalists end up being the true Givers.  Entrepreneurs make money because they make value in excess.  They have to make something that you want and give it to you at a price equal to or less than you are willing to pay for it.  So in order to be a successful businessman you have to give more than you take, you have to be a net Giver.  (Any and all instances of businesses fucking the public are either short lived or made possible by the government, the vast majority of the time it’s the latter.)  Let’s look at the incentives in a community that believes in the philosophy of creation.  The wealthy entrepreneurs are encouraged to keep creating wealth, jobs, and value.  The poor can see that in order to be a consumer they must first be a producer.  When incentives aim at a bigger pie everyone wins.  History shows us that the only reliable way to create a better standard of living is to create a bigger pie.  If you want a bigger middle class then stop taxing away entrepreneurship.

‎”Do not confuse altruism with kindness, good will or respect for the rights of others. These are not primaries, but consequences, which, in fact, altruism makes impossible.  The irreducible primary of altruism, the basic absolute, is self-sacrifice—which means; self-immolation, self-abnegation, self-denial, self-destruction—which means: the self as a standard of evil, the selfless as a standard of the good.” – Ayn Rand

"I'm so hot for your hospital bed"

I’m in a class called Government Regulation of Business and today I found that my idea of a monopoly is way off base.  According to Encarta:

  1. control of market supply: a situation in which one company controls an industry or is the only provider of a product or service
  2. personal and exclusive possession: an exclusive right to have or do something
  3. corporation with exclusive control: a company with a commercial monopoly

My professor consults as an economic expert in anti-trust cases and loves it.  He really got giddy when telling the following story.

Once upon a time there were no aids convalescents outside of hospitals.  So Medicare paid for hospital bills.  Then someone realized that most of these people could recoup at home just as well, and for much lower cost, if they had the proper hospital beds, walkers, bedside tables, etc.  BOOM!  An industry was created around renting out hospital beds and all the rest.

So now we have lots of companies competing to have their beds in patients’ houses.  Medicare is happy because renting is cheaper than hospitals and patients are happy because they’re home.  Hospitals aren’t happy though because they just got cut out of a chunk-o-change.

Some sharp business guy figures out how he is going to increase sales:  work out an exclusivity deal with hospitals to allow him to go in and pitch for his rentals.  “I can have your bed and walker and everything else ready for you at your home when you get there.  You don’t need to worry about price because Medicare will cover it.  Also, I have a list of other companies that could supply the bed for you.”  Obviously the patient isn’t going to shop around, Uncle Sam is covering it.

This strategy worked really well and the company that got in hospitals ended up with around 85% of all sales in the industry.  This is cutting into the profits of other companies.  My professor’s client sues.  Why?  Because they’re getting in the way of competition.  The winning firm is said to be acting like a monopolist.

A firm makes what is essentially a strategic partnership that works well and because of that success is punished.  The other firm could have made similar deals with other hospitals or found another way of reaching customers.  “Innovate or die” becomes “innovate and die” in the face of government.

The best part is that the innovating firm actually offered patients alternate companies to go with, but because Medicare covered the fee the patients didn’t care.  It’s like the government sets up systems and then slaps you when you figure out how to win with them.  Who killed the competition here?

This video shows way Government “job creation” is such a joke.

Breaking things to be replaced creates jobs.  Replacing things that don’t need replacing creates jobs.  Building things that don’t need building creates jobs.  In order for the government to create these so-called jobs it needs to spend money.  To raise spending it needs to raise taxes or print money.  If it raises taxes that makes it harder for you to spend money and if it prints money it devalues your money… making it harder to spend money again.

Governments don’t run profitable businesses. They run the US Postal service and Amtrak.  Entrepreneurs run profitable businesses.  Or … the government doesn’t know how to create a company that provides more value than it requires and entrepreneurs have to.  If a private entrepreneur goes out of business it’s because he didn’t provide enough value for people to pay him.  The government can operate businesses at a loss almost indefinitely because they throw the loss on us.

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