Downsize DC: Wisdom From the Past

I’m just going to quote the Downsize dispatch:

“Mr. Speaker, today the Chief Executive sent to this House of Representatives a . . . bill for immediate enactment. The author of this bill seems to be unknown. No one has told us who drafted the bill. There appears to be a printed copy at the speakers desk, but no printed copies are available for the House Members. The bill has been driven through the House with cyclonic speed after 40 minutes debate, 20 minutes for the minority and 20 minutes for the majority. I have demanded a roll call, but have been unable to get the attention of the Chair. Others have done the same . . .

“I want to put myself on record against procedure of this kind and against the use of such methods in passing legislation affecting millions of lives and billions of dollars. It is safe to say that in normal times. after careful study of a printed copy and after careful debate and consideration, this bill would never have passed this House or any other House. Its passage could be accomplished only by rapid procedure, hurried and hectic debate, and a general rush for voting without roll call.

“I am suspicious of this railroading of bills through our House of Representatives, and I refuse to vote for a measure unseen and unknown. … I want the RECORD to show that I was, and am, against this bill and this method of procedure; and I believe no good will come out of it for America. We must not abdicate our power to exercise judgment. We must not allow ourselves to be swept off our feet by hysteria, and we must not let the power of the Executive paralyze our legislative action. If we do, it would be better for us to resign and go home-and save the people the salary they are paying us.

“I look forward to that day when we shall read the bill we are considering, and see the author of the bill stand before the House and explain it, and then, after calm deliberation and sober judgment- after full and free debate-I hope to see sane and sensible legislation passed which will lift America out of this panic and disaster into which we were plunged.”

Powerful. We couldn’t say it better ourselves. But who said it, and when? Was it Ron Paul on the Patriot Act? Dennis Kucinich on the Iraq Resolution?

Actually, these words were spoken by Rep. Ernest Lundeen from Minnesota in March, 1933 upon passage of the Emergency Banking Relief Act.

This was the act which, among other things, authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to steal gold from the American people. The people received the “equivalent” of their gold in paper money, which was later devalued. 75 years later, America is still drowning in inflation, and it’s getting worse. We must restore the freedom of the people to to use gold, or any other commodity they mutually agree to, as money once again. Please tell Congress to pass the Honest Money Act.

But the power of Rep. Lundeen’s words resonate even today. The worst bills Congress passes are the ones they rush through unread with little or no time for debate. And in 2007, that was how virtually every bill was passed. In 2007, Congress was in session for 39 weeks. The figures are imprecise, but on an “average” day the House passed three bills amounting to about 100 pages of legislation.

The Senate’s pace was slower. Sometimes they spent a whole week debating one bill, and then passed dozens of bills the following week. But on an average day in session, the Senate managed to push through 1.4 bills and 70 pages of legislation.

Of course, there are no “average” days and no “average” bills, but it is clear that neither chamber takes the time to read and seriously deliberate the bills they pass. Many sail through the House with “suspend the rules and pass” procedures, while in the Senate many bills pass with “unanimous consent,” without the Senators even knowing what they consented to.

We can’t under-estimate the harm that unread bills have inflicted on the Republic. The Patriot Act was passed in a rush with scant opposition, and Patriot Act II was passed before its supporters discovered shocking provisions in it. The Real ID Act was attached to a bill funding the troops and sailed through the Senate unanimously, giving the people no chance to react or respond. And as we now know, the disastrous 1933 Emergency Banking Act was passed in a similar fashion.

read more | digg story

We can put an end to this. We can tell Congress what Rep. Lundeen said 75 years ago, and demand that they introduce and pass the Read the Bills Act. You can do so here.

Discover Your Inner Economist & Mind of the Market

A couple of CATO events that struck a cord with me lately.

Tyler Cowen discussed his new Book Discover your Inner Economist in a recent CATO event. I haven’t read the book, but I found the event discussion quite engaging. The objections that I’ve had to beancounters for all of my life were touched on numerous times. They miss the portions of human interaction that can’t be quantified with numbers in a ledger, and consequently make wrong decisions when it comes to directing business expenses.

He’s in a CATO weekly video here discussing incentives within a family setting:


read more | digg story

Then there’s Micheal Shermer’s CATO event where he is discussing his new book The Mind of the Market: Compassionate Apes, Competitive Humans, and Other Tales from Evolutionary Economics. I didn’t find his presentation as compelling, but he presented several observations that I found thought provoking.

[My major beef with Shermer is a common problem that I’ve observed over time. He mistakenly uses the word ‘Altruism’ when he means ‘charity’ (“reciprocal altruism” should be “reciprocal charity”; as in a transaction where there is no profit outside the charitable benefit. Altruism is not charity]

Here’s the CATO video With Shermer:

read more | digg story

They’re both on CATO daily podcasts as well.

This discussion is related to the discussion of health care and private markets, believe it or not. The average American is letting his desire for security override his common sense on this (and other) issues. Just figured I’d point out some resources for those who can’t wrap their heads around the idea of free markets.

Disability Freeloader

I haven’t written about my disability for quite awhile now (although I started the blog with that subject) It’s been almost two years. I’d just as soon not discuss something that has negatively impacted pretty much every (waking or sleeping) moment of my life since it manifested itself. if I spent as much time discussing it as it’s presence in my life would seem to warrant, I wouldn’t talk about much else.

Added to the daily dizziness and tinnitus from Meniere’s, there is the Piriformis syndrome that makes any form of sitting an exercise in slow torture. Then there’s the constant mold allergies (thanks, Austin) which also acts as a trigger for the Meniere’s. I could go on, but I won’t.

I have been attempting to get an acknowledgment of this disability from the U.S. government for about two and a half years now. I haven’t mentioned that at all, because I didn’t want to have to explain myself to people who inevitably would strike an attitude; like this one displayed by a relative in response to my thrashing single payer health care systems in general, and Hillary Care in particular:

I guess what disturbs me most is that you say you are libertarian, but you are also trying to get the government to give you a free ride. This doesn’t make sense to me. Which way do you want it? No government involvement in personal business, or do you want the government to pay you for being ill? Can’t have it both ways.

Cats out of the bag now, I think it’s time to have this conversation.

…Starting with the accusation of wanting a free ride. What an interesting way of describing an agreement between two parties, where one party pays into a ‘fund’ for all of his working life, and the other party promises to compensate the first in the event of disability and old age. In case there is any confusion here, I’m the party of the first part, and the U.S. government is the party of the second part.

I have diligently paid all my taxes over the years, including the 17% social security tax (half paid by my employers) which supposedly funds an account with my name on it, to be paid out in the event of disability and/or old age. That account has been funded to an excess of $40,000, money paid in good faith, based on the promise to provide a safety net for me if I ever become disabled or reach retirement age.

I have been released from two jobs now because of ill health. Employers do not want my services any longer. I spend every day combating the symptoms of the various ills that plague me, and it doesn’t leave me with much in the way of productive time; and my lack of employment denies me access to health care insurance, the only way that most of the treatments (surgery) can be afforded (whether they actually work or not) I don’t know how else to define ‘disabled’.

So here I am. I am disabled and the government has taken more than $40,000 from me over the course of my working life, with the promise to compensate me. I’m asking them to fulfill a contract. I’m asking them to provide the vaunted safety net that all the Democrats talk about.

After more than two years of fighting over this issue, I’m still just as without a safety net as I was at the beginning, even though all the doctors I’ve been to see confirm that I am disabled. (or at least that I do indeed suffer from the ills described) Two applications, three appeals, extra medical costs, etc. What do I have to show for it so far? Ridicule from an administrative law judge (I’m convinced that he refused to feel compassion for another white guy who clearly just needs to get back to work. White guys can’t be disabled, you know) and from former friends and family; and not much else.

Who’s getting the free ride? Sounds like the government from this end. Their actions clearly show that they’d prefer I dropped dead on the job before age 70 (which is when they are required by law to start paying me. Not the oft referenced 65 that the current retirees qualify for. How much longer will those younger than me have to work? 75? 80? Perhaps until they drop dead as well) rather than pay me anything at all; much less concede to something that trained medical professionals have stated is fact.

This is the reality of any government program; and it is precisely what it will be like to have government provided health care, which is nothing more than a government sponsored welfare program in which everyone is required to participate. Single payer health care under the U.S. Government will function in a manner indistinguishable from the Social Security system. The thought of this should scare anyone.

Now, if you go back and read some of my posts on the subject of Social Security, I’m sure that it will become crystal clear just how much of my money is waiting for me to need it; that number is somewhere in the range of zero. But we aren’t talking about the reality of U.S. government fiscal policy here, we’re talking about government programs that exist (whether I want them to or not) funded with tax dollars extracted at gunpoint from my paycheck. Programs which the government and it’s supporters insist are fully funded, and aren’t in crisis. I’m asking them to put their money where their mouth is. Provide that ballyhooed safety net, show me the money.

I don’t want it both ways; I want it to be one way. Either government programs work, and I get paid for being disabled (which I am) or government programs don’t work, and we run like hell from proposals to expand the size and scope of government to incorporate more of the health care system. Either there’s something wrong with taking money from the government for any reason (old age, disability, HEALTH CARE, corporate welfare, etc) or there isn’t any reason to not take what’s offered to you; and since most of my detractors will gladly accept their retirement money if they live that long (much less agitate for Hillary Care) I don’t think they are the ones who get to cast the first stone.

I see myself as beholden to pursue the disability claim given as I am disabled, and the government insists that it’s programs are there to help me; even if I only prove the opposing point, that government programs don’t work. So far, they aren’t looking very helpful.


I did get approved for disability a few months after this was written. It took an additional year of fighting to get the back benefits that I was owed,  an arcane process that should not be anywhere near as time consuming and heartless as it is. I’m still not certain, even ten years later, that they didn’t stiff my attorney. That is the nature of government guarantees. What is guaranteed is that you will have to fight for your benefits.

Having said that, and now getting the benefits I was owed, I have to admit that aside from the fact that the fight was stupid long and completely pointless, government programs do actually work. Having been forced to acknowledge the error in my ideology, it is time to revise the ideology. Consequently I’ve stopped calling myself a libertarian. I would also like to state that Hillary Care would have been a better system than the one that was put in place by the Democrats under President Obama.

Health is not a commodity. We need to stop treating it like it is one. 

Economists Say Movie Violence Might Temper the Real Thing

Heard about this one from Jeff Ward on Our Little Show. I love the irony present in a theory like this:

Instead of fueling up at bars and then roaming around looking for trouble, potential criminals pass the prime hours for mayhem eating popcorn and watching celluloid villains slay in their stead.

Crime is not merely delayed until after the credits run, they say. On the Monday and Tuesday after packed weekend showings of violent films, no spike in violent crime emerges to compensate for the peaceful hours at the movies. Even a few weeks later, there is no evidence of a compensating resurgence, they say.

read more | digg story

Look for those mother hens (ran across them before) who are just convinced that violence in film creates real violence to poo-poo this study and claim that economists can’t really study individual behavior.

Oh, wait. I think the comments at digg already reflect this.

How about NO income tax?

So, I’m catching up on the podcasts, walking the dogs, and I spend an hour listening to CATO pundits and others go on about The Simplified Tax: A Bold Plan to End the AMT and Overhaul the Income Tax and I’m thinking to myself the whole time “How about NO income tax?”

We funded all the necessary functions of goverment for 150 years without one, why do we need on now? Beyond that even; what business is it, of anybodies, how much you make? Your employer needs to know so he can cut the checks, and you need to know so that you know how much you have to spend, save, invest, etc.

They tell you, in most corporations “don’t discuss wages with other employees, it’s a sensitive subject” but if I can’t talk about it with Bob over a beer, why would I want to discuss it with the tax man? Let alone be compelled to avow to it in writing on penalty of additional taxes being levied?

No thanks on that one. I think I’m pleading the fifth the next time the subject comes up.

The income tax needs to end (as well as 90% if the other taxes currently in existence) and not be replaced with anything. If they need additional funds to run the government, they can just sell more lottery tickets.

Paul: Fox News is ‘scared of me’

Yet another attempt to exclude minority opinions, even when those opinions carry the name of a major party:

PLAISTOW, N.H. — Ron Paul said the decision to exclude him from a debate on Fox News Sunday the weekend before the New Hampshire Primary is proof that the network “is scared” of him.

“They are scared of me and don’t want my message to get out, but it will,” Paul said in an interview at a diner here. “They are propagandists for this war and I challenge them on the notion that they are conservative.”

Paul’s staff said they are beginning to plan a rally that will take place at the same time the 90-minute debate will air on television. It will be taped at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown.

“They will not win this skirmish,” he promised.

The Fox debate occurs less than 24 hours after two back to back Republican and Democratic debates on the same campus sponsored by ABC News, WMUR-TV and the social networking website Facebook.

Paul, the Republican Texas Congressman, was wrapping up his final day of campaigning in New Hampshire until the Iowa Caucuses on Thursday.

He spent much of the day campaigning at diners in Manchester and Plaistow and downtown walks in Derry and Exeter.

read more | digg story

Those who prefer to exclude opinions they disagree with will cite poll numbers as the reason that Dr. Paul does not rate inclusion in the debate; but polls are representative of what respondents thought of the questions asked; nothing more and nothing less. When the polls are unbiased and inclusive, Dr. Paul ranks much higher than the 3 to 4 percent that is often cited. Fox has no business excluding him for any reason other than fear of what he represents, a groundswell of revolt against the current system.

As a corporate representative of that system (as all publicly held corporations are) they have every right to be afraid; but their fear shows their bias, and it also shows just how much “fair and balanced” is worth at Fox Noise.

Not very much.

It is the opinions that are being excluded here (anti-war Republican, Austrian economics, limited government candidate) not the person of Dr. Paul. If these are your values as well as Dr. Paul’s, then you need to get behind him and show your support.

Change is coming in this country, make no mistake about that. Make sure it’s the right kind of change.


I’m beginning to think that the inhabitants over at digg are just a bunch of children. There’s a flag on the first message I stumbled across questioning the accuracy of the information.

…And yet, even Ron Paul’s website acknowledges the truth as far as they know it:

Press Releases: Has Fox News Excluded Ron Paul?

December 28, 2007 10:39 pm EST

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – According to the New Hampshire State Republican Party and an Associated Press report, Republican presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul will be excluded from an upcoming forum of Republican candidates to be broadcast by Fox News on January 6, 2008.

“Given Ron Paul’s support in New Hampshire and his recent historic fundraising success, it is outrageous that Dr. Paul would be excluded,” said Ron Paul 2008 campaign chairman Kent Snyder. “Dr. Paul has consistently polled higher in New Hampshire than some of the other candidates who have been invited.”

Snyder continued, “Paul supporters should know that we are continuing to make inquiries with Fox News as to why they have apparently excluded Dr. Paul from this event.”

read more | digg story

So, what’s up digg? Are you vying to be as biased as Fox Noise?


The second press release on the subject:

December 30, 2007

Has Fox News Excluded Ron Paul? pt. 2

On December 27, the Associated Press reported: “The New Hampshire Republican Party is sponsoring a forum for Republican presidential candidates on Jan. 6, two days before the state’s first-in-the-nation primary.” Later in the article, the AP stated: “Participating in the forum will be Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson.”

On the evening of December 28, Jared Chicoine and Jordan Brown of our New Hampshire campaign staff met in person with Fergus Cullen the New Hampshire GOP chairman to discuss whether or not Dr. Paul would be invited to participate in the forum. Mr. Cullen confirmed there will be an event on January 6, but he could not confirm whether or not Dr. Paul would be invited. We also learned the event would not be a debate with an audience, but instead would be a forum in a closed studio with the candidates questioned only by Chris Wallace of Fox News.

A few hours after that meeting, we contacted Fox News seeking clarification. Later that night, we issued a press release while waiting to hear from Fox News.

On December 29, the Baltimore Sun featured a report by Jason George. Mr. George reported, “Calls and emails to Fox News spokespersons by the Tribune were not returned Saturday evening.

“An official at the New Hampshire GOP, which is co-sponsoring the event with Fox, said that Paul might still be included, but the planning for the debate was still coming together and it was ultimately Fox’s call.”

As of late afternoon today (December 30), we have nothing more to report.

Kent Snyder
Chairman, Ron Paul 2008

read more | digg story


The third press release:

December 31, 2007

Has Fox News Excluded Ron Paul? pt. 3

Fergus Cullen, chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party, issued a press release this afternoon about Fox News’ presidential candidates forum scheduled for January 6. His release is below.

We thank Mr. Cullen for his statement today and for his efforts with Fox News.

*****
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: December 31, 2007

Contact: Fergus Cullen, Chairman, New Hampshire Republican Party

NH REPUBLICANS: DON’T LIMIT DEBATE PARTICIPANTS

CONCORD – New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Fergus Cullen releases the following statement regarding primary weekend debates:

“Limiting the number of candidates who are invited to participate in debates is not consistent with the tradition of the first in the nation primary. The level playing field requires that all candidates be given an equal opportunity to participate – not just a select few determined by the media prior to any votes being cast.”

“Therefore, the New Hampshire Republican Party calls upon all media organizations planning pre-primary debates or forums for both parties to include all recognized major candidates in their events.”

“The New Hampshire Republican Party has notified FOX News of our position, and we are in ongoing discussions with FOX News about having as many candidates as possible participate in the forum scheduled for January 6.”

read more | digg story

Dark Moment for Liberty Dollar

OK, this is a bad turn of events. The silver that backs our eLD and certificates is already being set up for auction by the thieves at the FBI.

If you have certificates or had eLD at libertydollar.org, then you need to file to demand the return of your property, the silver that backed your electronic and paper Liberty Dollars. Don’t let the theft of your property by the FBI go unpunished. Hold their feet to the fire and demand it’s return. Go here and join us now.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Dear Liberty Dollar Supporters:

Dark Moment for Liberty Dollar

I am shocked to inform you that we have learned that the FBI is moving aggressively to forfeit “their” seizure for auction immediately!

If that does not shock and alarm you, you are truly asleep! If there has ever been a time to support the Liberty Dollar with an Arrest Dollar and a donation… it is now!

Due to higher than anticipated demand for the Arrest Dollar, a printable order from as been created to simplify the process. It is available HERE.

This is so shocking that it makes one wonder what is going on. Unfortunately, the draconian raid/seizure/forfeiture by this government is SOP – Standard Operating Procedures! In fact, the more you learn, the worse it is. Once raided, the victim need not be arrested or even charged with a crime before his/her property can be forfeited and auctioned. This is so common that the police often refer to the seized property as “their” property. After all, like any common thief, they stole it… its “theirs”! Or so they would have you think!

Wait! It is not quite that simple with the Liberty Dollar. You see, I considered this dirty, stinking government trick when I designed and developed the Warehouse Receipt (WR) program. And although I didn’t think they would really be this bad or simply ignorant… there is no doubt now. For that reason I am not the signatory on the Warehouse Receipt. Nor could I sign the WR because I am not the Warehouse Official. I don’t even work for the warehouse. Remember the warehouse is totally independent and the official issuer of the warehouse receipt. NORFED, Liberty Services, myself, everybody who uses them are simply distributors of the receipts.

But the worst news is “economic persecution”. Now we have to fight for your property… with nothing because they took everything in the raid. If we hadn’t received some donations to get a new computer, we wouldn’t even be able to send out this cry for help. This is very serious!

The Search/Seizure Warrants were for property at specific addresses. The property they seized at Sunshine backed the legal, signed Warehouse Receipts. That property was, and still is, owned by the bearers of the warehouse receipts and the digital Liberty Dollar holders. That is your property that they are trying to steal!

So in all fairness, I don’t think Agent Andy and the FBI who raided the warehouse at Sunshine Mint know what they are doing. Yes, they can certainly be more damaging than a village idiot, but they may not know much more. It is obvious that they don’t understand how a warehouse receipt program works. Except for my personal account at Sunshine, none of the confiscated material at Sunshine Mint was my property. It was YOURS!

Now! Are you going to let the US government steal your property?!
Click HERE to sign up for the Class Action Lawsuit.

You did nothing illegal! You heard about the new “inflation proof” currency and decided to check it out on line at www.LibertyDollar.org. You did your own “due diligence”. You read quotes by the government that the Liberty Dollar was legal and that it was not counterfeit. Many of you even called the Fulfillment Office to check out the new currency. Then you made an informed decision to exchange some of your depreciating US dollars for some appreciating gold and silver based Liberty Dollars in specie, paper warehouse receipts and digital form.

Owning gold and silver in any form is not illegal! Over 500,000 individual legal binding warehouse receipts have been issued over the past ten years. Over 25,000+ individuals have visited our site and gotten Liberty Dollars. Neither you nor I are guilty.

Nor did you violate Title 18, Section 486 either. Even US Mint Director Edmond C. Moy acknowledged in a letter to a US Senator that the paper warehouse receipts were not illegal. Section 486 only concerns “use” in metal form. You were not even using the gold and silver. Your property, your metal was stored in the warehouse. You are not guilty. You are a victim!

The gold and silver seized from the issuing warehouse was not the property of the Liberty Services, Liberty Dollar, myself, or even the warehouse… it remains the property of the bearer warehouse receipt holders. It is YOUR property. To date 3,086 people have signed up to be a party to the Lawsuit and GET THEIR PROPERTY BACK.

I ask again: Are you going to let the US government steal your property?!

As bad as all that is, the precious metals industry should be very concerned because if the government can confiscate our gold and silver, they can confiscate theirs. Any raid and liquidation of a private, independent gold and silver warehouse sets an extremely dangerous precedent by this damn government. Where is ICTA – Industry Council for Tangible Assets when we need them?

Now hear this! The government is moving aggressively right now to steal your property!! Please join the Lawsuit to recover the wrongful seizure of your property. If you have not signed up for the Wrongful Seizure Lawsuit (Class Action Lawsuit) do it NOW. It is the only way to get your property back. Please take action immediately! Click HERE to sign up!

Clarification on the Class Action Lawsuit. We have referred to the lawsuit to recover the wrongfully seized property of the Warehouse Receipts and the digital Liberty Dollar holders, as a Class Action Lawsuit. But as we already have 3111 names of the injured parties, this is not a class action lawsuit. We plan to list everybody by name on the lawsuit. We want the judge to see how many people the US government has injured. It is important for the judge to know that thousands of good people from all over the United States, who committed no crime, have been injured and need immediate restitution. We have now renamed the lawsuit to Wrongful Seizure Lawsuit.

Please read the affidavit to establish “Probable Cause” for the Search and Seizure Warrants and ask yourself, “Where is the crime? When did it happen? Where? Who is the injured party?” http://www.libertydollar.org/legal/pdf/libertyaffidavit.pdf

In Alert #4 I mentioned The Soviet-Style Attack on NORFED by Jacob Hornberger. This excellent commentary is available at: http://www.fff.org/comment/com0711j.asp

Another excellent commentary, Gestapo raid on coin-producing enterprise by Dr. Richard H. Timberlake, noted monetary economist and expert on the Fed, has been posted at: http://www.libertydollar.org/commentary/pdfs/1196838996.pdf.

Dozens of great commentaries are available on the Comment Page at: http://www.libertydollar.org/ld/legal/raid_commentary.htm

Thank you for the compliments on getting the digital eLibertyDollar up and running. Please send your digital donations to: Donation@LibertyDollar.org .

While we accept digital Liberty Dollar for donation, it is those damn non-Federal non-Reserve IOU Notes that are needed for the legal defense. Physical Liberty Dollars in paper and digital form that we can auction on eBay for more depreciating FRNs would be greatly appreciated too.

We continue to have a problem getting a bank account open. For now, please send all checks and money orders simply made out to BERNARD.

BIG Thanks for your donations. I apologize that I simply do not have time to respond to all the letters and good wishes. But please keep including the letters. It is good to know you are aware that we are fighting for you and your property. You did nothing wrong!

Orders for Arrest Dollars are very appreciated too. A newly created order from is available HERE. Remember they will only be available until I am arrested. So if you want a specially hallmarked Arrest Dollar… please send order now. I have no idea when I will be arrested.

Now as we face the greatest monetary challenge since the Revolutionary War, lets work together to create a free and independent currency that provides us with “just weights and measures”. We should not be ripped off by the government money!

Please support the Liberty Dollar with an Arrest Dollar and a donation. Sign up for the Wrongful Seizure Lawsuit today! Please don’t let the government steal your money and drive the Liberty Dollar out of business.

BIG thanks for all the prayers, letters and donations we have received!!!

Every donation counts! Thank you!!

Bernard von NotHaus
Monetary Architect/Editor

When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews, I did not speak out; I was not a Jew.
When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.
Friedrich Gustav Martin Niemölle

read more | digg story

The Origin of Government Corruption

Dan Carlin’s Common Sense – Show 112 – The Big Corruption Show (only 4 shows this time. He must be more on his game) The whole basis for the show’s name is a sort of miscue.

The US government is corrupt. Duh. The nature of the corruption is campaign contributions. No, it’s not.

The nature of the corruption is influence peddling; the ability of representatives to grant benefits to contributors is why the contributions occur in the first place. In the 1800’s this was predominately seen in land deals for corporate sponsors. In the 1900’s it morphed into corporate welfare schemes, and other types of wealth transfers; a function of the Monopoly money that was created in 1913.

The way to fix it is to divest the government of all property outside of those parcels of land necessary to conduct government business; and to remove the basically unconstitutional Federal Reserve. Don’t hold your breath on either of those things coming to pass.

More access for candidates at public expense (Dan’s solution) just widens the trough that the useless talking heads we already get too much of, feed at. It won’t fix anything.

Prices are magic (?)

Another good point from DownsizeDC:

Competitive free market prices have the power to solve a host of problems. Rising prices encourage innovation. Higher energy prices are already sparking innovations that will save energy, protect the environment, and even bring gasoline prices back down as increasing efficiency moderates demand.

The same thing can happen with health care. Government controls more than half of all health care spending. This gives government the power to set prices. The insurance companies then follow the prices set by Medicare and Medicaid. The result is the same as it was for oil, airlines, shipping, and every other government attempt to set prices.

You have a choice. You can either trust politicians to correctly calculate the correct supply and price of health care, and suffer the inevitable negative consequences, or you can harness the magical power of competitive free market prices to increase supply and lower prices.

I wouldn’t say Prices are Magic myself. To most people they probably appear as magic, which is why they think gov’t control is the answer. But gov’t control is the problem (as the rest of the blog entry points out) free markets are the solution.

…and we desperately need a freer market in Health Care. NOT a single payer Hellarycare system.

Declining Dollar is only the First Symptom

While this story is a year old already, Why the global financial system is about to collapse remains scarily accurate in its analysis of the problems faced by fiat money systems around the world.

The global financial system is about to collapse because the US dollar is about to collapse. The US dollar is about to collapse because of a simple economic fact that no one has the power to change or conceal. The fact is that the spontaneous remonetization of the precious metals is a Nash equilibrium.

Why the global financial system is about to collapse

I don’t know who John Law is, but he made some interesting points. Good luck finding him if you have questions for him. I questioned the insistence that gold (or any commodity) could serve as a stand-in for money, questioned it at the time, but I temporarily gave a home to the text he generated because I thought it worth discussing. 2019. That time has passed. I removed the text he generated from this blog entry aside from the snippet. Follow the link if you want to read the rest of the article.

I’m no longer convinced that John Law understood economics better than I did at the time, and I’ve learned a lot more about economics in the decade since stumbling across that article. People like the idea of gold as money, but they aren’t willing to carry the stuff around in order to trade with it, and they don’t seem inclined to pay the full costs of maintaining all the systems and the costs of maintaining reserves simply to protect against the debasement of their currency.

Humankind needs to come to some new understandings about what money is and why we need it, but I don’t see a return to gold anywhere in the cards. It just isn’t practical to have huge troves of precious metals sitting around gathering dust in treasuries around the world. This is especially true when electronic systems could be created that could do the same job without taking up the real estate doing it.

No, I’m not talking about cryptocurrencies, at least not any of them that currently exist. We’ll just have to see what happens next. In the meantime I may drag out a few more snippets as examples to rebut in a future piece that I will be writing about the subject of money.