Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

Maduro caled for peace in Venezuela? Really? Maduro?

April 6, 2014

This is an open letter to Jacob Hornberger of the Future of Freedom Foundation, in reaction to his article of April 5, 2014, at http://www.lewrockwell.com. I am copying it to my blog at http://www.trutherator.wordpress.com.

His article is found here:
http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/04/jacob-hornberger/us-out-of-venezuela/

Mr. Hornberger,

I’m an anarcho-capitalist that found out with Ron Paul’s campaign in 2008 that my 40-year-old views had lined up with what are called “libertarian”, and as a former missionary that lived since early 1970s in Latin America or in Hispanic-dominated Miami-Dade Count. My ex-wife is from the Dominican Republic and my wife is from Honduras. I plan on retiring in Honduras. I hope it will not be overwhelmed by a socialist regime such as Maduro’s. What they have today would be better, but I hope to add to the libertarian conversation in Honduras.

I have a personal interest against USG and UN interventions around the world. Foreign aid and drug wars are killing men in great numbers in my wife’s country -and killing their economy. Maybe the new special economic regions, designed artfully with the help of some libertarian economists from the US and from the Mises-associated institute in Guatemala will help them. I hope.

No doubt the CIA is around somewhere doing whatever they do, and let us be honest here: Neither of us knows what they are really doing, except in general terms. I used to think we could presume they consistently support American capitalist interests. After Honduras, Libya, Syria, with the evidence from these episodes of the USG helping socialist dictators and its purported Number One enemy to gain power in these places, I’m not so sure. Honduras I know best; and they did not hide their efforts to support the socialist dictator there.

I am surprised and a bit irritated at the reaction to regimes like Maduros’. Especially since I read it on http://www.lewrockwell.com.

Before I get to why, I totally agree with your concluding paragraph:

Leave Venezuela to the Venezuelans. If private Americans wish to involve themselves in the controversy, that’s fine. But the U.S. government should butt out entirely. What happens in Venezuela is none of the U.S. government’s business. Unfortunately, given the secret nature of the U.S. national-security state, the American people will never know the extent of U.S. involvement in the Venezuelan crisis until the CIA’s files on the matter are opened several decades from now.

Maybe they’ll open the files, maybe not, but I doubt that any files that will be available either now or later will reveal anything on the subject worthwhile, and more likely misleading.

But it is an amazing spectacle to see all the well-deserved condemnation of probable USG involvement, and absolutely nothing about what the Venezuelans might actually want in reality independently of both the American government and their own dictatorship.

I don’t remember any such outrage over Obama’s demands and Hillary Clinton’s interventions in Honduras to try to force them to put the socialist dictator Manuel Zelaya.

The American ambassador to Honduras at the time, Hugo Llorens, made an appearance in a commercial aired by the Zelaya regime, propaganda to get public support for his very unpopular effort for his so-called “referendum” (later relabeled “survey”).

Hillary Clinton made a personal call to Roberto Micheletti to resign, which would of course make it easier to force Honduras to take Zelaya back as the dictator he already was.

This “referendum” horrified Hondurans, because they knew three things for sure. (1) One, the thing would be fraudulent. They know their politicians. (2) Two, Zelaya had already advocated presidential re-election (already defined as “treason” by the Honduras constitution because of earlier attempts at lifetime presidencies. (3) Three, and worst of all, it would open up for more fraudulent “elections” to create an irrevocable socialist dictatorship, Chavez style, in Honduras.

There was one piece that circulated on the Internet at the time, how Zelaya “brought the country together”. Every group of any significance at all in those days demanded first his resignation and then supported his removal and the constitutional successor government of Micheletti. Half the population filled the plazas of the biggest and the smallest cities and villages to say so. The Chambers of Commerce, BOTH major political parties, ALL the Congress (elected by the same people that voted for president), the Catholic Church (Zelaya’s mob had to import a priest), all the Protestant churches, all the unions (except the hopeless teachers’ union, that had them on strike more than in the classroom literally by count of days– for the previous three years), and EVERY ex-pat in a forum where I was member.

What’s the CIA going to do there? What can they do? Why would they waste a dime getting the country to get rid of somebody they did not want?

Oh, yeah, because Soros wants power. But no doubt HIS dirty hands were in the pot FOR Zelaya. Keynote speaker at the regional summit the November previous.

Hondurans got panicked at the prospect of fixed elections creating another Cuba or Venezuela in their country. They vote with their feet by getting to the States at the first opportunity.

Why is it so hard to understand that so many Hondurans, or even Venezuelans, hate the serfdom of socialism, along with the miserable poverty it brings?

Maduro bragged in his op-ed in the New York Times about universal health care? Oh get out! The poor have to bring their own sheets into hospitals and sleep on the floor there! We’re already getting our own taste of that bitter poisonous “medicine” in the States!

That was the attitude of most of the Hondurans. Fortunately for them, apparently many or most of the richest and most powerful interests were inclined their way. BUT not all; one zillionaire and perennial presidential candidate was fingered in newspapers and “on the street” as the one who smuggled Zelaya back in to the Brazilian embassy (Surprise, Brazilia!)

And it is relevant that Maduro is the heir of the Chavista regime that has meddled in its neighbor’s internal political affairs and tried its best to save the imposition by external Force of a dictatorship that had no regard for anything but seizing power.

The phony pro-Zelaya demonstrations had some genuine bodies, but it was mostly marching-for-hire. They poured so much money into the country that the lempira went up a full 10 percent against the dollar for those several months!

Zelaya admitted in a Univision interview that he had won the election by fraud by saying that all elections have fraud.

After 2009, I have followed events in Venezuela.

Please note an unsung development in Latin America. It’s hard to see its long-term effect, but it has been noticed by some statesmen “down south”.

Honduras changed history in Latin America with its reassertion of some constitutional order inside its borders, such as it is. Don’t get a smug face about it; they did better in 2009 than the US has done in recent years. Will Obama in 2016 declare a federal election nationwide to vote for a new constitution? That momentum is building, from both the phony “right wing” and the phony “left wing”.

After the 2009 elections in Honduras, the president of El Salvador of the former “leftist” guerrilla party, declared dead the move to join Venezuela’s petro association. The mayor of Caracas demanded the importation of “cojones” from Honduras. Freedom-minded Latins were inspired all over. Honduran ex-pat communities felt relief unspeakable. Brazilian Congressmen went back to Brazil with the news that the entire Brazilian community living in Honduras were engraged at Zelaya’s refuge in their embassy.

No doubt Paraguay had Honduras in the back of their minds when they impeached and dethroned their own dictator aspirant for his dictatorial acts. Venezuela’s caudillo government whined about another CIA-backed coup.

It’s a political safe bet down south (and apparently among some libertarian circles in the US today too) to blame the CIA and the US for all their troubles.

Maybe the CIA is trying for a coup in Caracas, given the atmosphere in Latin America today. Soros has his fingers everywhere. He would love to have a dictatorship to deal with, to give him good deals, good power, after all…

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

P.S. There are videos of the police shooting at protestors there. There is video on youtube of Chavistas shooting into the million-person march (literally) in cold blood that resulted in twelve people dead. A false flag coup distracted the world’s attention from this slaughter of civilians and a de-facto socialist coup ensued thereupon by outing anti-Chavez military to purge them. These “CIA lackeys” and “coup plotters” got no punishment at all, they were cleared by the *Chavista* Supreme Court of all charges, with military pensions and all honors retained. And it was a “CIA” coup?

Can people be more gullible?

 

Intellectual Property Monopolies Clarified

March 22, 2014

Tibor Machan always has something interesting to say in his columns at the Daily Bell web site. For example, his article “Intellectual Property, Anyone?”.

One comment pointed out that one reason that many intellectuals, even some libertarians, defend “intellectual property” monopolies, is “the envy that the intellectual suffer for the successful, troglodyte businessman”…

That may be true for many, but not for all.. But there is at least an idea that other parties who use someone’s new idea are somehow “freeloading”. I do believe in “credit where credit is due”, but this is impossible to do “justly” in the long run when you create incentives for “rent-seeking”. That’s what a copyright and patent regime does , especially in a land of corporations, or, the present land of corporations.

It inevitably becomes a battle of wits and trickery. Two people who have the same idea, but one of them lives closer to the patent office. Is that “fair”? I’m a software engineer, but some of my code is generic functions that I’ve written before. Whose code is that?

The US Constitution included the mention of copyright and patent, with a parenthetical clause that says the purpose was utilitarian. It a land of individual artisans, maybe, maybe not.

The most convincing argument, though, against “intellectual property”, in my opinion, is the total, absolute, unequivocal requirement by definition of an agency (government, mob, dictator, etc.) with powers to violate the non-aggression principle, PLUS the total, absolute, unequivocal arbitrary and capricious nature of where the boundaries are on “intellectual property”. That is, how far does it reach? How many years?

One science fiction writer, Robert Sawyer I think, wrote once that he thought copyrights should be limitless, without expiration, and inheritable to all generations!

This is all because we have come to think of copyright in this way. I have read that before the introduction of the printing press, there was no such thing as copyright, and copyright itself was “invented” by kings and authorities for the purposes of censorship. Think the “stamp act”. Think permits for the First Amendment akin to permits for the Second.

Although Thomas Cahill in his book “How the Irish Saved Civilization” pointed out that the reverence for books that the Irish learned from St. Patrick led to a noble’s exile for sneaking into his neighbor’s palace in the dark of night to copy the neighbor’s books in the dark!

The idea of monopoly rights for inventions for utilitarian purposes is also part and parcel with the idea that a monopoly of force over a bounded geographical area –or unbounded, as some world dictatorship advocates would have it– is necessary for scientific, artistic, and technological advancement.

One example demonstrates the lie of the collective utilitarian argument used in the USA Constitution. Tim Berners-Lee, and hypertext (and related ideas), and his colleagues, public-domaining the Web, and we all can see the results.

A more expansive article of evidence is the “open source” movement (as in the Open Source Foundation, which grew out of the idea of “free software”, with “free as in free speech, not free beer”, Richard Stallman’s preaching point. Tens and maybe hundreds of thousands of programmers are contributing to projects that by now ALL of us use.

Linux servers dominate the nodes used to carry the Internet. Firefox and Chrome and other freely shared browsers are pushing Internet Explorer out of the way. More and more of us are using Open Office or Libre Office or the Google applications to do their documents. This has inspired a parallel movement to do the same thing with hardware inventions, but not just computer hardware, but physical inventions. Open Source programs for 3-D printing for example.

And note that the barriers for entry into the class of patent-holders also holds back new inventions. With the new law Obama recently signed, it’s also a matter of who gets to the patent office first, and no matter if you had prior art, no matter if it was already in the public market. Get the patent and start trolling.

Another argument against patents as incentives for invention is the obvious fact of incentives to suppress them. A new energy patent holder (see infinite-energy.com, and use the hyphen!) might be tempted to sell it to an oil company for a billion bucks, and the oil company might consider it a bargain! And don’t forget the rumor of the light bulb that never burns out. Amazing how long those lights last in your car’s dashboard. And remember Tesla’s suppressed inventions. He might have been able to continue some of that today, with crowd-sourcing.

But the clincher, in my opinion, is the fact that no matter how you might enforce copyright or patent monopoly in the real world, there is no “natural” way at all, no “self-evident” way at all, to do it without arbitrary and capricious decree by somebody against any and all others.

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It’s wrong to force someone to do a service involuntarily

March 1, 2014

That’s why it’s called “involuntary servitude”. The term was used for chattel slavery of recent centuries (still persisting in some places) but it also applies to any service that a victim is forced to perform under threat of confiscations or prison or anything else, by a neighbor, a neighborhood crime syndicate, a political movement or a government.

This is my reaction to somebody’s condemnation of “state’s rights”:

http://rcooley123.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/when-states-rights-are-wrong/

I say it is an outrageous wrong to require the Jewish owner of a bakery to create a cake with Nazi symbols for a Nazi celebration under threat of government-enforced extortion penalties. .

It is an outrageous wrong to require the Muslim owner of the bakery to create one that shows a pig on his imam’s grave.

It is an outrageous wrong to require a rape victim to do a birthday cake celebrating her rapist.

It is an outrageous wrong to require an Armenian print-shop owner to publish a book praising the Turkish treatment of Armenians in the early 20th century, or to require the Turkish counterpart to publish the Armenian version.

Extortion is a crime, whether an individual does it, a crime syndicate, or a government.

Compelling a person to perform a service under threat of monetary confiscation or imprisonment is a criminal violation of the victim’s rights, no matter how noble you think your cause is.

Theft is theft, it is not equality

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Coulter, Cubans, Immigration, Wages, Improving the Economy

March 1, 2014

Ann Coulter has a solution for raising wages to $14.00 an hour:
http://www.rightwingnews.com/column-2/raise-the-minimum-wage-to-14-an-hour-using-this-one-weird-trick/

Ann Coulter is often right, very right, especially when she talks about the effect of what she calls “liberal” policies, what I call “left-fascist” dictates. (When government enacts a law, that is a “dictate”, because you obey “or else!”). Her writing is entertaining too.

But she is also wrong sometimes. Conservatives are following the socialist plutocrat misdirection tricks when they beat the drums of immigration too loud.

It may be that “all other things being equal”, more immigration for a time may bring down wages, especially if the immigration is unskilled and doesn’t bring investment wealth along with it.

But if they bring wealth-creating aptitude, it doesn’t matter if they come into the country completely broke. The Cubans infused Miami, Florida in 1959 and then 1960s with more than just a major population boost. That first wave of Cubans had owned ranches, businesses, sugar cane plantations, they had been the organizers and investors in Cuba. They knew how to build things up.

They are a very big net gain for the economy, in proportion to their numbers. At first these penniless immigrants may have displaced an unskilled worker here and there, but their net effect was to increase production.

But take the unskilled workers. If you really and truly stop immigration and so restrict the labor supply by mandate to keep up the demand and pay for yourself, there some negative effects.

One, if you’re a computer programmer for example, this makes offshoring more attractive than it was before.

Two, on a more macro scale, restricting the labor supply (skilled or unskilled both) raises the production cost for the business. The cost going up increases pressure to raise the prices on the production of goods and services. That cost is borne by the consumer, eventually.

Consider that the consumer is everybody everywhere all the time.

So, that may seem it gives you an advantage. But let’s say a big number of people think the same way. Every other profession in industry does the same thing. But wait, with information technology, that’s all industries. Everything you buy costs more, because you’re financing the other guys who get the same benefits from restricting the supply of your skill.

But the middleman gets his cut, and he does not ask politely. The middleman is the tax man who takes his cut like it or not, to finance enforcement. You don’t usually make the connection between the higher cost of things and cutting down immigration numbers, or the extortion effect of enforcement, but those connections are there.

It’s the same principle with the minimum wage demands by unions.

It’s true that some “Democrat Party” strategist devil came up with this diabolical plot to do this big push for a minimum wage. They desperately want to change the subject away from Obamacare. Their polls and their focus groups tell them that this favors them.

But the Republican politicians are somewhere between stupid and opportunistic on this and other issues. The minimum wage is a fantastic opportunity to educate the public. But they use the stupidest arguments to oppose it.

The stupid argument is that it’s bad for the economy, it creates unemployment. This is true, and it should be part of it, but saying companies have to fire people is maybe not the best approach for convincing new numbers. They should emphasize at every turn that poor young whites and blacks should have a way to make at least a “training” wage. The marginally productive, like special needs youth, they should have an opportunity to feel productive.

Rand Paul is doing some of this. He is definitely not his father, I disagree sharply with some of his approaches, but that’s what he’s doing. He went to Detroit to set up shop in an urban area with the blight caused by decades of non-stop socialistic policies.

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Woman wants to force Muslim business to give her a haircut

February 28, 2014

Muslim refuses to give a woman a haircut for reasons of faith, woman sues to force the business to serve both men and women:
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2012/11/15/woman_denied_haircut_goes_to_human_rights_tribunal_of_ontario.html

(She is a lesbian who wanted a man’s type of haircut)

This has an easy solution: the non-aggression principle.

If you believe in the non-aggression principle especially, it’s a matter of the freedom from being forced, compelled, to do something under threat.

You don’t have the right to stick a gun in my face and get me to do a day’s work without pay. Slavery for a day.

No matter what some tyrannical law says, no matter whether some illegitimate “government” or police state sycophants say….

Nobody has a right to force a Jewish bakery to sell them a cake with Nazi symbols on it.

Nobody has a right to force a woman to sell them a cake that quote Dan Brown’s favorite fraudulent “feminist gospel” with “Women cannot go to heaven”.

Nobody has a right to force a black artist to paint the slogan “Whites are superior’.

Nobody has a right to force a barber to give a service he does not want to give.

Compelling you to perform a service that you would not do voluntarily, is called involuntary by definition, as in involuntary servitude.

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Left-fascists riot in Honduras Congress, democracy, and individual freedom

February 1, 2014

Herein read my reaction to comments in La Gringa’s “blogicito”, found at the following link:

http://tinyurl.com/m7wyh7m

This episode of changing rules in Honduras just shows the general peril of ANY government. Democracy is NOT any “better” than any other form of government. Power corrupts. Taxation is extortion by definition, no matter how many of the majority vote for it. Follow the law or go to jail. By the way, though, I read various articles on the proceedings, and they are not the end of the democracy as depicted, so much as a lot of noise and riot by a party founded by people who in power did much worse, of course.

The United States’ long history is the best attempt maybe along those lines, and look where it is now. The “strong media” of the 19th century is now a sycophantic mouthpiece for more control over every piece of your life by government. The best example of this is their treatment of the champion of individual freedom in the United States in his presidential campaign, Ron Paul.

But college kids loved him. He was different, and showed character by shutting down lobbyists, like Larry Abrammoff said in a Q&A on CSpan once, he was one that you could not get anything from him with offers of money. Otherwise, he said they’re more or less all for sale.

Centralization of power in the United States began with the Constitution, had a false start with Alexander Hamilton’s central bank baby, which Andrew Jackson killed off, got a second wind with Abraham Lincoln, and then accelerated after the Federal Reserve Bank was created and populated with the bankers they were supposedly going to regulate for the people’s interest, and it was created after a campaign that pretended it was to stop their abuses. The Income Tax was another abuse enacted the same year. It’s an abuse because I don’t have the right to tell you how much you get to keep of the fruits of your labor and how much you have to pay me for “protection”. Even if you vote for me. Theft is theft. Or call it extortion if you must, because it depends also on how “stable” such thieves are in office.

At least by a vote they have to got through pretense.

Allende was voted a plurality in Chile, and when he began ruling as an economic and political tyrant, the Congress had no constitutional remedy, so they passed a resolution DEMANDING that the military stop him. Allende did not yield to diplomatic pressure, either, and a lot of that saw the (again) sycophantic controlled “strong” media cheering Allende for cutting down Anaconda copper.

The media (outside Honduras) did not report the abused Allende perpetrated any more than they did Zelaya’s. But in 2009 we already had the Internet. So the only mainstream reporting during both abusive regimes was condemnatory of the moves against leftist-fascism.

Think not; more centralized control is their game plan. At least that’s what they do. Some as zombies, true, but nonetheless.

That’s why hope for Honduras, in my opinion, has two grounds for optimism.

ONE, the fact that one of the poorest country in Latin America, and that was already saturated by violent gangs and the same demagaguery as Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, and even Argentina and Brazil, nonetheless pushed back against the tyranny.

TWO, they worked quickly to find a way to bring Honduras out of the vicious poverty swamp. They scoured the world and brought people from Chile to share how they became the first Latin American developed country. They investigated the examples of South Korea (contrast with North Korea) and Hong Kong and China’s special economic zones (that copy the HK model), Singapore, that became prosperous while their neighbors sank in the mire.

The politics is noisy in Honduras right now, and the dirty laundry is now public, but it was always thus. It’s just that after 2009, they have to stay clean, at least until the sons of the Chavez-Zelaya-Castro marriage grab a majority or plurality.

It was always much WORSE in fact. I have certain knowledge that many of the Congress years past were into the kinds of business that would make Al Capone blush. And that includes some of those now demanding “democracy” from the controlling coalition.

Fighting over the spoils of conquest is what this is, and people must push back against any government having any power at all to loot anybody.

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the  blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised…

Matthew 17:24 And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?

25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?

26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.

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Minimum wage

January 26, 2014

Henry Ford used a manufacturing technique that was relatively advanced for the manufacture of horseless carriages. This technology, like most such advances, allowed and even required a division of labor that dramatically increased the productivity of manufacture, and this in turn allowed for a dramatically lower price for the automobiles he made.

The combination of productivity enhancement (assembly line technology) and sales volume in a free market context (cheaper horseless carriages) combined to allow him to pay enough to hire the workers with the best work ethics.

Of course, being a pretty smart salesman and public relations brain, he made it sound like he paid his workers more to make himself richer. Yeah, right. He also sold you a Brooklyn Bridge. 1908 was also the time of the presidency of the most famous “progressive” president, and so the doublespeak was strong at the time.

Henry Ford only used the lying doublespeak of the left-fascists of the day to promote his car and make it sound more “affordable” than even the technology allowed.

It is no anomaly that South Korea has the 12th largest economy in the world, about FORTY times bigger than North Korea’s. North Korea allows ZERO “unfettered capitalism”. South Korea allows a lot more than the USSA. They started out at the same economic levels at the end of World War Two
http://www.indexmundi.com/factbook/compare/south-korea.north-korea/economy
..Those are numbers that the Keynesians hate and that’s why you never see them talking about it in the left-fascist news cartel sources.

Singapore has one of the lowest tax rates in the world and has the highest per-capita GDP in the world.

Hong Kong with its capitalist success and freedom for doing business (for both poor and rich), that Beijing decided to keep their economic regime (and a lot of the political freedom they had), and even opened more zones to replicate it.

Chile freed the market from a lot of its fetters and chains that had been imposed by the Marxist Allende, and has become the first and so far only Latin American country to join the club of developed nations.it is certainly the richest.

In fact as part of their legislative project to find a way to get free from so much poverty, Honduran legislators and officials invited business executives and government officials from Chile to Honduras to share what they’ve learned. They sent delegations to Hong Kong, Singapore, Chile, South Korea, to learn from their successes, and the special economic zone established by Abu Dhabi.

OF course they learned that you cannot decrease poverty by subsidizing it. You help the poor by letting them enjoy the fruits of their labor and you let them do business as they see fit on a level playing field, and eliminating the confusing maze of rules and regulations that keep them down.

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Perversity of Modern White-Collar Criminal Remedies (The Daily Bell)

January 12, 2014

The Daily Bell – Perversity of Modern White-Collar Criminal Remedies:
http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/34906/Perversity-of-Modern-White-Collar-Criminal-Remedies/

This is a fatal disconnect. Washington’s Blog and others seem to assume that if regulation is followed up by aggressive enforcement and incarceration, then honesty will increase and people will be better behaved. But so far as we can tell, it has never been proven to be the case that regulation and authoritarian enforcement cures wrongdoing. It is the history of empires to create a climate conducive to corruption. The corruption is then engaged by the very elements of empire that have nourished the corruption to begin with. Certainly there is wrongdoing aplenty. Here are just some of the recent improprieties by big banks, according to the article:

  • Laundering money for terrorists (the HSBC employee who blew the whistle on the banks’ money laundering for terrorists and drug cartels says that the giant bank is still laundering money, saying: “The public needs to know that money is still being funneled through HSBC to directly buy guns and bullets to kill our soldiers …. Banks financing … terrorists affects every single American.” He also said: “It is disgusting that our banks are STILL financing terror on 9/11 2013″.
  • Financing illegal arms deals, and funding the manufacture of cluster bombs and other arms which are banned in most of the world
  • Handling money for rogue military operations
  • Laundering money for drug cartels. Indeed, drug dealers kept the banking system afloat during the depths of the 2008 financial crisis). A whistleblower said: “America is losing the drug war because our banks are [still] financing the cartels”, and “Banks financing drug cartels … affects every single American”.
  • Engaging in mafia-style big-rigging fraud against local governments
  • Shaving money off of virtually every pension transaction they handled over the course of decades, stealing collectively billions of dollars from pensions worldwide.
  • Manipulating aluminum and copper prices.
  • Manipulating gold prices … on a daily basis.
  • Charging “storage fees” to store gold bullion … without even buying or storing any gold. And raiding allocated gold accounts.
  • Committing massive and pervasive fraud both when they initiated mortgage loans and when they foreclosed on them.
  • Pledging the same mortgage multiple times to different buyers. This would be like selling your car, and collecting money from 10 different buyers for the same car.
  • Cheating homeowners by gaming laws meant to protect people from unfair foreclosure.
  • Committing massive fraud in an $800 trillion dollar market which effects everything from mortgages, student loans, small business loans and city financing .
  • Manipulating the hundred trillion dollar derivatives market.
  • Engaging in insider trading of the most important financial information.
  • Pushing investments which they knew were terrible, and then betting against the same investments to make money for themselves.
  • Engaging in unlawful “frontrunning” to manipulate markets.
  • Engaging in unlawful “Wash Trades” to manipulate asset prices.
  • Manipulating corporate bonds through derivatives schemes.
  • Otherwise manipulating markets.
  • Charging veterans unlawful mortgage fees.
  • Helping the richest to illegally hide assets.
  • Cooking their books.
  • Bribing and bullying ratings agencies to inflate ratings on their risky investments.
  • Violently cracking down on peaceful protesters.

And yet … at least some of what is mentioned above is questionable from a criminal standpoint. Things like market manipulation, wash trades, frontrunning and other “crimes” are a function of a marketplace that has gotten too large and in which too many titanic firms trade. They simply can get away with more, and it is impossible to police much of what is taking place.

The solution is to reintroduce competition and let customers themselves sort out the “bad guys.” Unfortunately, regulations and judicial fiat make this almost impossible. The competitive market cannot perform its curative function. In its place we have regulatory democracy and occasional prosecutions.

The real problem is not “criminality” but bigness and most importantly state-enforced bigness. Let us ask: Where does this bigness come from? In fact, it comes from the state enforced immunity of corporate personhood. Wall Street firms, like large corporations everywhere, provide virtual immunity from consequences for those who manage them.

When one works for the state these days, one can use the threat of terrorism to repel accusations of almost any criminal or violent act while in Leviathan’s employment.

Similarly, corporate personhood inoculates those at the top of corporations from the consequences of their actions. They are usually not sued. They are certainly not jailed. The corporation itself – with its overflowing coffers – is subject to the “punishment.” And everyone moves on. -

 

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Left-fascism is marriage of Big Crony Capitalism with “Socialism”

January 12, 2014

Left-fascist groupies are so clueless sometimes.
I don’t know why Dick wants to flaunt it so much.

The idiocy of so-called “left-right” politics, party political groupthink fads, is shown when you analyze down to the legislations and “quo bono” (who benefits?), and you see who contributes to whom.

The Chamber is so full of people that absolutely love big government and regulations that they help write, that he hates the people who are fighting for the rights of the “little guy” to do business free of business-killing extortionist tax theft:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/01/08/donohue-chamber-will-oppose-some-tea-party-candidates/

This is a demonstration of what I mean when I say left-fascist: it’s the marriage of people the Media likes to call “rightist” and the special interests they would call “leftist” if they were consistent. The parties play along. Dems pretend to rant and rave against Big Business and demand agencies to control them, and then invite Big Business to write the legislation (as long as they make some contributions to their PACs), and as long as Big Business agrees to let them buy the poor man’s vote with freebies.

The party-boss Repubs pretend to demand business-friendly policies and legislation, but then they invite Big Business (like the big contributors to the USCC budget) to help write the business-friendly legislation with both the regulations and rules that stunt smaller competitors, plus, write all kinds of payouts to the contributors.

Well, looky here to see the employers for the biggest contributors to Barack Obama:
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cid=N00009638

Among the top donor companies are Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, JP Morgan Chase, Google, Citigroup, US government employees (surprise!), Time Warner, Sidley Austin LLP (who dey?), National Amusements Inc, and IBM Corp.

And ONLY the gullible continue to think that Obama favors the poor over his ruling class buddies?! People, the biggest supporters of the Bolsheviks were capitalist tycoons “robber barons”!

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Economics, efficient war machines are bad things, and the non-aggression principle

January 12, 2014

A thank-you to “uldissprogis”, who provides some cogent and articulate points to ponder. He seems to be almost as wordy as me when he’s emotionally engaged with a topic, as I am. He has given us a lot to answer.

http://trutherator.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/efficiency-and-government/#comments

I understand this passion to help change the world, make it better, help the poor. Even though my father’s weekly sermons, full of all the compassion for the helpless and the needy that Jesus Christ showed in his life, ministry, death and resurrection, must have had something to do with this drive (in my case) to help others, I learned to apply this to Communist thinking. Spreading the wealth.
The following post is context for the article below:
http://trutherator.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/efficiency-and-government/

Eventually though I learned that not everything we are told is believable, whether it be at schools, colleges, from media, and from the pulpits of the land, or from the political class.

I’ll just answer a few concerns.

He was basically in favor of uncontrolled capitalism in private and business lives. I disagree with him [Ludwig von Mises] and believe that the national government has a role to play in private charity.


Point one for this: There is a common misunderstanding about the two approaches to two different spheres of action that we know of as “Austrian economics” and “libertarians”.

Austrian economics is the study of economics. Some who don’t understand it call it “not rational”, whereas its foremost figures study it very rationally, intellectually, and most of all, logically. “Austrian economics” is the study of how economics actually works in the real world. von Mises is one of the best known of these scholars.

“Libertarianism” is the political philosophy most associated with Austrian economics. But its basis and philosophy is different, although I’ve noticed there is tremendous overlap among the followers of each.

The summary definition of libertarian thinking is the “non-aggression principle”. That’s an ethical principle, or moral principle, not a scholarly principle. It’s a guiding principle for human action, whereas Austrian economics is the study of it.

On the other issue, if the “national government” has a role in any “charity”, then by definition it is not a “private charity”, and that means the “hybrid” charities too, for example, the Bush-era government money for “faith-based programs”, which are now the Obama-era “faith-based programs”.

Payoffs from government to do “charity” work tend to subtly influence the “charity” to play nice with government, making them de facto advocates of those who continue and expand them, and against those who would stop them.

It’s interesting that after reading as much of von Mises you did, that you would still hold the idea that somehow government can solve the problems of the poor. I admit, depending on which of his writing you read, it is scholarly and it is a slow-walk.

The principles are clear enough, though, if one takes the time to think.

In my years as a missionary, in which we distributed food directly to the poor in the poorest barrios south of the border, visited with people, distributed clothing, ministered to people in hospitals, prisons, orphanages, I can guarantee you that each of our young 1970s era missionaries did much more good for many more people than the average federally funded social service worker.

Some of them had been heroin junkies themselves, healed going “cold turkey” after accepting Christ right on the beach and joining the work then and there. Another had been a diamond smuggler, another was a drug dealer who had cops on the payroll to keep his corner spot safe for his trade.

All government can do is to steal the resources from somebody’s fruits of his labor or investment to give it to someone else, but of course making sure the tax man (the one that tells you how much to pay, takes his cut. Got to have the enforcers on the take, too, after all.

The best results for the poor abound when the force of a gun (of the law) is removed from the equation. When each person can enjoy the fruits of his labor and invest it as he wishes, then everyone gets a win-win. That way each person gets more value for what he gets than what he gives, because otherwise he wouldn’t deal.

You mention the Internet. Up to now, the USG (government) has let it (kind of) roam free. So far anyway. That’s why we get the convenience of it.

Most monopolies are government-enforced. The AT&T phone monopoly lasted several decades, by federal mandate (dictate). The price was subsidies for local calling.

Phones dialed over land lines. Finally rivals were allowed to sell competing phones.

Then came cellular phones. The market was much more free in the US for cell phones, and we got an explosion of companies, distributors and innovation competing in the marketplace for your dollar, and the result is.. drumroll, please…

Now, you have a proliferation of cell phones in the poorest countries, driven there by the state-dictated phone monopolies over land lines.

And you mention the minimum wage. The dictator Manuel Zelaya ordered a doubling of the minimum wage in Honduras in his 2005-2009 reign, and 150,000 –that’s one hundred fifty thousand of the poorest in that country– lost their jobs overnight. Because the Mom and Pop stores could not afford to pay it as they were barely afloat themselves.

Labor unions push the minimum wage as a recruiting tool and to keep the labor market small. Actually, it’s not so much the unions as the union bosses lining their coffers.

Technological advances are good, and will help all people as long as the government keeps out. (Or gets out at least first).

Before there was government, there was trade.

Then came chiefs controlling their people, then came raids on other tribes and either looting or demands for tribute (another form of looting). Then came empires, built on the force of their own hegemony enforced at the point of a sword. Bread and circuses for the Romans, crumbs and gladiator service and other tribute for the conquered.

As for moral teaching, if you supposedly “realize” (with some reason) that the “new world will be controlled by international banks, international businesses etc. down to the control exercised by the individual who will have little chance of challenging the big corrupt inefficient boys”, then understand that the forced teaching in state-run schools of any moral code at all, whether it’s my Bible-based one or your “secular” one, in reality is going to work against you.

It’s something I realized while I was still a Communist, and it turned me at that time into a “syndicalist-anarchist”. Dictators that rule in a dictatorship, no matter who they are, are not going to give up power “just like that” like a finger snap. I realized at that time: If you can’t trust people to govern themselves, how can you ever trust them to govern somebody else? Forget it. Criminals that do their work by force don’t “live by the rules”, and neither will governments that rule by force “live by the rules”.

When the Israelites finally demanded a government of Samuel the prophet, he warned them. God told Samuel they had rejected God, not Samuel, because now they wanted to be ruled by a man, a king, instead of being governed by the rules laid down for them by God. God had Samuel warn them: A king will put unbearable burdens of taxation on you, he will take your sons to war, and generally ride roughshod over your lives.

That’s exactly what they got. Solomon’s tax burdens were the grievance that split the kingdom and led the northern tribes to idolatry and ruin and captivity, and almost all the kings were abusive.

You probably are already familiar with it, but here’s a thinking man’s source on climate science and a place to find what real climate scientists are saying about it:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/

Note that biodiversity also provides an example of what I’m saying on government and laws and good intentions.

Never mind all the evidence that it’s a sham cause invented to divert attention from the real poverty-making problems like crony capitalism and the marriage of the biggest corporations (i.e., of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce with left-fascism, in their multimillionaire tirade against “tea party” candidates. They will back “pro-business” candidates they say, by which they mean supporters of crony capitalism.

Why are the foundations established by the very richest tycoons always supporting socialist causes, at the same time they support political forces that produce propaganda in favor of more “social justice” and command-and-control government?

In the first half of the 20th century, wood ducks were in danger of extinction in the United States. Long before environmentally oriented laws.

Farmers across the country heard about it and started setting up crooks in the rivers and lakes on their land and leaving them be to attract the ducks and make them welcome. The population exploded and now they are prolific, and have been for decades.

Today, however, a farmer that has no such ducks on his land would be stupid to do such a thing, because if an “endangered” species makes a home on his land then it becomes de facto property under the control of the same government that does everything it can to strengthen Big Agriculture in its struggle against more efficient single family farms, who are struggling against Big Brother dictates like this one.

Farmers in California had to watch their houses burn in wildfires, because they were prohibited from preparing their property to protect the houses, because it would make like more difficult for one particular wild breed of a kind of rat. How loco can this get? You can’t make this stuff up!

And the guy in Louisiana who created a watering pond for his animals, then filled it in when he didn’t need it anymore and was fined thousands of dollars for destroying a watershed. Crazier and crazier.

One more thing. Too many people have had the new rulers’ indoctrination in state-run centers, on history. They left out a lot.

For example. St. Patrick’s effective crusade against slavery than began the cultural shift that made it taboo until later, and something the slavers in more recent centuries had to keep out of sight of Europe.

Patrick’s legacy of literacy in Ireland spawned a voracious literary appetite in Ireland that found its cultural way back the British side of the water and saved the classic literature of Greece and Rome away from the book-hating hordes ransacking the continent.

The practice of Christians during the earliest days led to the saving of many infants from the practice of infanticide of those days. Some of them even waited under bridges where babies were thrown and they would catch them or rescue them, and mothers began leaving them on the doorsteps of a couple they knew were Christians.

Christian monks shamed the Roman public into slinking away from gladiator battles, in at least one documented instance one gave his life, Telemachus.

Again, an inefficient process with libertarian freedom is way much better than an efficient war machine. Technology can be used for evil or for good, although some technologies lend themselves more to one than the other. Cars are generally dangerous, computers and electronic communications are generally benign and beneficial in their applications.

What’s wrong with respecting the non-aggression principle as the working rule for everyone? Nobody is compelled to do anything by force or the threat of force or by fraud (which is a force-by-stealth). Let them do business as they will within that principle.

This is not even as strong an ethic as the Golden Rule.

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