Tuesday, August 2, 2011

On Private Property

Is it appropriate to steal from one person to provide for another?
Are you justified in stealing if you perceive that someone else must go without.  That they hit on hard times.  That circumstances beyond their control have shifted against them.  That they've made a bad decision, but should be spared the consequences.

What of the person you steal from?  Can he do without?  Should his labor and sacrifice provide for someone else against his will?  If he can do without what was stolen, does he has a moral obligation to provide for others?  Does he have the right to seek justice?  Should he accept the act as part of living together in a civilized society?

Does the man who has; the man who produces; the man who sacrifices; the man who risks; have a right to his own personal property without suffering the extortion of those who cry : 'But people are in need', 'For the betterment of society', 'You have enough', 'Fair is fair'?

Monday, July 18, 2011

On a Free Market Economy

Plan to implement a Free Market Economy.
Step 1 : Leave it alone.
Profit !

I don't agree with the term 'Free Market' Economy.  Applying that label implies that there is a plan of implementation.  I'd prefer the term The Economy.  It is the default.  When you take everything away, the 'Free Market' is what your left with.  Of course, the term The Economy is used to define the current economy within the context of the target audience ( e.g. The Economy in a US-related article is the US Economy ).  This is  subtle trick to imply that what we have right now it the default and that whatever we do it modifying the base version.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

This is not to say that I am against all government.  I believe that the government has a role in defending the liberties of its citizens, but rarely ( if ever ) is the government happy with just performing this simple function.  We regulate our own lives away.  Here, the one true power of government becomes apparent : Governments only have power over those that break the rules.  If you're a law-abiding citizen, what can the government legally do to you?

To keep this short, I'll finish with a little disclaimer : I do not believe there is some 'elite' or 'man behind the curtain' pulling strings to manipulate the population.  Sure, I think there are powerful people with large spheres of influence.  But I don't believe in a 'master plan' for control.  I believe that what we see is analogous to how a free market economy develops; not with a plan, but as an evolution of human behavior manifest within the framework of a specific context.  The Economy uses the context of money ( for the sake of making my point ) and the Government using the context of laws ( also, for the sake of making my point ).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

You might be a Keynesian if ...

You might be a Keynesian if:

1) Instead of giving your kids allowances, you give them weekly stimulus checks.

2) Instead of running out of black ink all the time, you are constantly having to buy more green ink.

3) Instead of encouraging your kids to get after school jobs to help out, you tell them instead to go around town, breaking windows and vandalizing businesses. That will really stimulate the local economy.

4) You bitterly try to stave off winter every year. Outdoor air conditioning, heat lamps in the garden. Whatever is takes. You must keep the tulip bulbs growing, dammit!

5) You have a kid who suffers from a severe immune deficiency. He lives in a bubble. You call him Economy Boy.

6) You don't believe in hangovers. Instead, you just keep on drinking and avoid them altogether.

7) Grandpa one day says "a penny saved is a penny earned" and you tell your wife that dad must be going senile.

8) Christmas is not the big shopping holiday in your family. It's the 4th of July because you believe shopping is everyone's patriotic duty.

9) Natural disasters to be welcomed. Nothing stimulates the economy better than rebuilding in the aftermath.

10) Your wife asked you if you would balance the checkbook, and you just stare at her confused and completely dumbfounded, thinking she must be speaking a foreign language.

11) You think the gold standard is a special, elite level credit card.

12) You spend your days filling out credit card applications instead of job applications.

13) You invested your money in helium instead of gold because that's something the economy always needs.

14) Your wife says that you are getting a bit of a gut. You tell her it's just healthy inflation.

15) You cannot decide whether GWB or Obama is the greatest President of all-time.

16) When people complain about illegal immigrants, you nod in agreement, and say, "Yup, all those damn Austrians need to go."

17) You think that the gold standard can never work because there is 'not enough gold' for all of the printed up fiat currency out there.

18) You believe that the federal reserve saved the economy and is not the primary cause of our financial problems

19) You think that the federal reserve is the federal government

20) The government must go into greater debt because spending money stimulates the economy even though you owe what you have in debt plus interests to the federal reserve

21) The great depression was caused by free market economics

22) Higher prices means that government induced inflation makes a item more valuable at stores

23) Your money at the bank will never loose its value

24) Government hiring people shows that the economy is getting better

25) You get a foreclosure notice in the mail, shrug, and just forward it to the government - not giving it a second thought.

26) You don't understand why anyone would hesitate to accept the dollar bills that you ran off on the copier.

27) You decide that it must be due to a lack of consumer confidence and that the solution is to run off even more dollar bills on the copier.

28) You believe that government spending is one of the largest in the economy and that this creates jobs, maintains the country and helps individuals.

29) You serve on a jury where the accused is standing trial for counterfeiting. The judge asks if you've reached a verdict after the trial, and you scratch you head, confused, then stand and say, "Your Honor, could you please explain to me again what crime that man is charged with committing? I just don't get it."

30) Whenever anyone points out the negative long-term effects of something you do, you respond, "In the long run, we're all dead." Never mind our children.

31) You consider the New Deal to be a success even though the unemployment rate remained in the double digits until 1941.

32) Despite what happened in Argentina, you still believe we can spend our way to prosperity.

33) You equate money with wealth: the more money in the economy, the more wealthy we are. Period.

34) A thief picks your pocket and makes off with $200 and you think this is okay because the thief will undoubtedly buy clothes, booze, and entertainment, thus stimulating the economy.

35) You consider 9/11, Katrina and the Gulf Oil Spill as major reconstruction opportunities, and that doing nothing is the right thing.

36) Whenever applying for credit, you take your kids with you, and ask, "Well, kids, what do ya think? Can ole' dad afford the new car?" Then you tell the kids where to sign.

37) You consider the "Fear the Boom and Bust" video on YouTube blasphemy, and have petitioned repeatedly to have the video marked as vulgar.

38) You lose your job and your wife says, "We'll just have to tighten our belts and get by." Stunned by her words, you file for divorce the next day, citing "irreconcilable differences."

39) Your kid asks for a piggy bank, and you decide, right then and there, it's time for a life lesson so you punish the kid severely for wanting to save.

40) You can't comprehend why Zimbabwe is poor even though they have all of this printed money in circulation since more printed money = greater wealth.

41) You believe that Germans during the Weimer Republic carrying wheel barrels of money to buy a loaf of bread is a conspiracy theory.

42) After losing your job and your wife, you decide the rest of the family needs a little distraction so you send your kids out in the neighborhood to beat up on the weaker kids. The distraction works nicely, as expected, and it stimulates the economy too!

43) You are strangely satisfied with the thought of Lindsay Lohan in jail. That's something Austrians and Keynesian can both find mutual agreement in.

44) Not a single one of your economic theories has ever even come close to working in practice.

45) Deflation is a dirty word in your household. So much so that you threaten to rinse your kids' mouths out with soap if they ever say it.

46) You played a game of Monopoly five years ago where you doubled as the banker. That game is still ongoing today. Your opponent controls most of the properties, but you have simply expanded the money supply countless times over to pay off your debts like any good central banker does.

47) When grandpa says things like "back in my day candy bars used to cost a nickel. A nickel!" you just smile and shrug, failing to grasp the real implications of that fact.

48) If anyone points out the ineffectiveness of a stimulus package, you respond that the government just didn't spend enough.

49) You always think that we're in a liquidity trap.

50) You live in the United States or most any other country because, let's face it, whether we like it or not, "We are all Keynesians now."

51) You don't understand why mal-investments are considered such a negative for the economy. Except for the obvious fact most people cannot spell, mall investments are great. We always need more malls.

52) (If divorced) You promise many free things to your kids compared to stingy mom telling them things like "there are no free lunches in life." All in an attempt to win over your kids' affectations and be elected favorite parent.

53) Your economic theory is based in criticism of Say's Law debunked in the early 19th century, just rehashed in an era where there was war so the government had an excuse to spend and expand.

54) Your investment plan is solely based upon an aggregate understanding of day-trading trends, never mind long term trend in the economy based in logic, just rebuild your model every week or so.

55) Your think "aggregate demand" or "the price level" is a real world concept, as if the same agent shopped for everything in the whole world or the average anything being an accurate measurement of anything.

56) Your argument against the capital structure is that it's not based in made up mythical statistics - like happiness level

57) You think the GDP is the same thing as long term stable production output, even though Keynesians themselves spend time criticizing GDP.

58) You have no concept of capital theory. None. What. So. Ever.

59) You don't understand that the government is not a deity, you don't understand that it has inherit flaws and incentive structures. (And even when you win a noble prize for pointing this out in the private sector, later on go into the public sector to work and see these problems to a larger extent, you think the solution is to fix the bigger problem, not to eliminate the bigger problem and focus on the smaller one)

60) You believe in animal spirits. Literary. That humans are possessed by them.

61) Your grade school kid has to do an oral presentation about how an economy works, and asks for help. You give him a pack of chewing gum and tell him to blow bubbles to demonstrate best. That they eventually pop, no matter. Just keep blowing bubbles to get a solid A.

62) When preparing the family budget for the upcoming year, you don't use salary as a starting point, but rather salary and available credit.

63) When you finally succumb to your debt and file for bankruptcy, you tell the judge that if you can just get another credit card, all your problems would be solved.

64) When paying for something, and asked "Will that be debit or credit?" You reply there is no i in debt. Huh? The cashier stares back, confused. You try to explain your not so clever word play, before finally sheepishly saying, "credit, of course."

65) A neighbor of yours gives you an old wheelbarrow as a gift and alludes to the fact that you will be in dire need of it one day. You shrug and thank them. They always were a little odd. The family emigrated from Germany back in the day and you knew they were rather poor since they never spent any money. Perhaps a wheelbarrow was all they could afford?

66) Well, well, well, here we stand at #66 out of a promised 101, and I am plum out of ideas. Let's call the gap an unfunded mandate. What to do? What to do? Well, that's an easy problem for the Keynesians. Just turn on the printing presses and warm up the helicopters, if necessary. Let the magic of inflation do its job.

*4 hours later*

101) <-- See, see. 101 promised, 101 delivered. The magic of inflation. All is well. Never mind the fact that the 101 doesn't seem quite up to snuff somehow. All that matters is the mandate was fulfilled. If it doesn't buy as much as you expected back in the day, well, your expectations were just too high. That is all. (And oh btw...that wheelbarrow sure does come in handy.)

Not mine, but more then willing to share it.  :)
Credit to : http://mises.org/Community/forums/t/18114.aspx

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On Life

I support the notion of the Individual. I believe that the Individual is the mover of the world.

I believe that effort put in an honest endeavor can only lead to success as long as failure or hardship in trying to accomplish a specific task doesn't discourage you from persevering or trying again to meet your end goals.

I believe most people understand their own situation and position in life better then any outside entity can. You know your abilities. Hopefully, you know what makes you happy, and, even if you not sure, you know what makes you miserable and can determine a course for yourself to move away from those things.

I believe nothing that has real value is achieved in life without risk and effort. Success and happiness are achievements, not rights. The ability to pursue those things is your right as a human being; being granted by God or Man as the supreme being or wherever you draw your faith and hope and strength from.

If anything here smacks of Ayn Rand, Adam Smith, Peter Schiff, Henry Hazlitt or others of the like, understand that I am a fan and a great deal of how I perceive the world comes from people like this.