Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Technology and a Digital Renascence for 2013?

Google, Adobe, Microsoft, Intuit, and other tech companies may be responsible for the next generation renascence.  With the advent of constantly improving technology and software, the world is looking brighter for those interested in media, entertainment, and communications.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Property Rights to Suit Republicans, Anarchists, Libertarians, Socialists, Voluntarists?

The liberty movement is perhaps the most controversial and intellectually stimulating in the arena of ideas for organizing society. One common theme runs through most of them. The Non-Aggression Principle also known as NAP. The idea that no individual can justly claim to aggress against another individual. The only just claim to use violence is in self-defense. Already being such a small fraction of the population, those whom wholeheartedly apply the NAP, it would be a shame for so many sub factions to emerge if it stalled the effort to bring this one principle into the acceptance of general society. One of the most contentious among the topics of discussion which can lasts for hours in the chat rooms, or for years in the forums of the liberty interwebs, is the idea of property rights. There is a general consensus among the liberty not-leaders, Adam Kokesh, Stefan Molyneux, Kevin Carson, Larken Rose, Jeffrey Tucker, Lew Rockwell, Hans Herman Hoppe, and Ron Paul is that self-ownership is inviolable. These folks typically prefer to go without labels, but if pressed would self-describe their positions as Anarchist, Voluntarist, Free-Market Socialist, Libertarian, Republican, Anarcho-Capitalist. However, where does self-ownership end and where do property rights begin? This is the problem I hope to solve. I do not claim this argument to be conclusive, but I do offer it humbly before you.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Is Walmart Evil for Paying Low Wages and Trading with China? Maybe so...

Is Walmart evil for paying low wages or because they offer chinese products.

1. Low Wages:

Who earns low wages?  Usually it’s low skilled less productive people.  Typically they're young with few skills and little experience or older people who have become less productive due to the limits placed on them by their age.  People who earn higher wages are typically more productive with more experience.  This is why plumbers, electricians, engineers and doctors never have to worry about earning a minimum wage.  Their goods and services are valued higher in the monetary sense because the demand for their goods and services relative to the supply of their goods and services is higher.  This is determined by consumers.  Employers don’t determine the value consumers place on a good or service.  If employers were the only ones that determined the value of an employee then employers could just value their workers at a million dollars and pay them a hundred thousand dollars per hour.   

It might be better explained by talking about what the consequences of raising the wages of wal mart workers.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Isaac Asimov - Foundation Series - Revelation of the Method of Statism

I just finished the 3rd book in Asimov's Foundation Series.  What a thrill!  Here is an author who has written literally hundreds of books and articles spanning fiction and non-fiction.  In the first three books of this series there seems to be no lack of imagination in the fusing of a truly immersive world of interplanetary politics, spaceship battles, plot twists, futuristic technology and romance.  Overall these stories are delightfully entertaining.  It does fall upon my critical nature however to point out the fallacious premises by which Asimov has constructed this technocratic future world.  Being the free marketeer that I am it seems only fitting I blurt out the most obvious fallacy immediately.

Government brought order to a universe of chaos.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Call to Virtue - A Call to Freedom

All this talk about politics is dizzying.  The bombardment of propaganda from every angle about subjects of irrelevance is enraging.  Democracy is the most corrupt system of government possible as a means of organizing human society.  You cannot vote on morality.  You cannot vote on what's right and what's wrong.  There is no middle road for virtue and there is no compromise with tyranny.  One cannot order freedom in sizes small, medium, and large.  There is liberty or not.

For those would say, "Freedom will never work.  The world is too corrupt.  That is idealism."  That is precisely why we need freedom.  Liberty and the decentralization of power is the only mechanism which accounts for the fallibility of human nature.  What we have right now doesn't work.  The systems of control we have right now are corrupt.  Freedom is idealism, but unlike the hierarchical structures of power and central planning proposed in the Utopian authoritative forms of government by all the great thinkers and philosophers of the past, it is the only viable and sustainable path for humanity.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Gold and Economic Freedom by Alan Greenspan

Published in Ayn Rand's "Objectivist" newsletter in 1966, and reprinted in her book, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, in 1967.

An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which unites statists of all persuasions. They seem to sense — perhaps more clearly and subtly than many consistent defenders of laissez-faire — that gold and economic freedom are inseparable, that the gold standard is an instrument of laissez-faire and that each implies and requires the other.

In order to understand the source of their antagonism, it is necessary first to understand the specific role of gold in a free society.

Money is the common denominator of all economic transactions. It is that commodity which serves as a medium of exchange, is universally acceptable to all participants in an exchange economy as payment for their goods or services, and can, therefore, be used as a standard of market value and as a store of value, i.e., as a means of saving.

The existence of such a commodity is a precondition of a division of labor economy. If men did not have some commodity of objective value which was generally acceptable as money, they would have to resort to primitive barter or be forced to live on self-sufficient farms and forgo the inestimable advantages of specialization. If men had no means to store value, i.e., to save, neither long-range planning nor exchange would be possible.

Friday, August 3, 2012

How to Communicate the Ideas of Inflation to the Mainstream

We've probably all seen a free market economist on a mainstream financial news show at some point addressing the issue of inflation.  If you haven't, then you may wish to check out some videos of Peter Schiff or Ron Paul.  Many times it seems like arguments arise whenever inflation is mentioned.  The typical argument may run something like this:

Free Market Guy:  "There is massive inflation in the market thanks to the Central Bank."
Mainstreamer:  "There doesn't appear to be any inflation as the CPI has remained steady at 3%."

I propose that at this point the argument is really over definitions and semantics rather than anything of substance.  I'll go further to propose a clean and easy way to settle the dispute in a fruitful and educational manner which will allow the opportunity for the real ideas about inflation to be communicated clearly.

When somebody takes the argument that inflation doesn't exist, we should qualify the word.  So instead of saying there was massive inflation, we can say there was massive monetary inflation.  Monetary inflation inevitably leads to higher prices.  It should be easy to get agreement that when the Central Bank increases the money supply, it can be defined as monetary inflation.  We can go still further to explain that even if prices remain stable the effects of monetary inflation are detrimental.  In a market where prices would normally decline, if prices remain stable we lose the benefits of falling prices which help the poor and the economy.

The CPI is a narrowly defined set of prices which do not indicate the real effects of monetary inflation.  The numbers that comprise the CPI also change over time which makes its use as an indicator less effective.  Monetary inflation does in fact affect food prices.  Food prices are essential to many people.  A rise in food prices is a burden upon the most down trodden in society and especially those on a fixed income.

It is also important to note that the price inflation may be separated from monetary inflation by a factor of several months or several years.  This also causes a lot of confusion, because many people may look at prices directly following a monetary base increase and thus conclude, "Aha!  Monetary inflation doesn't cause prices to rise."  The housing bubble is a good example of the time difference.  It was the monetary inflation of the early 2000's that ultimately manifested as higher prices several years later.  We cannot predict the exact timing or the magnitude of the price increase, but there is no question as to effects which must be caused by monetary inflation.

I believe this definitional work is essential not only in explaining the idea to the newscaster, but also to the viewers who are often not versed in free market economics.  You can check out a brief video I made on the subject:    If you would like to become an expert in free market economics from your hom you can also check out Tom Wood's Liberty Classroom.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Declaration of Independence Illegal - A Nation of Hypocrites

Remember that story in school about how our founding fathers overthrew a tyrannical government?  Do you recall celebrating these acts of heroism and American excellence?  Well, apparently some Brits say it was an illegal act and Abe Lincoln would agree.  

Secession from government, which no longer serves the people, is the duty of every American according to the Declaration of Independence.
"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."  

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Resist Tyranny Before it Takes Root

I read a great quote from Churchill today.  It describes the precarious nature of fighting something before it's too late.  This is a very difficult subject and many people I talk to about liberty carry the attitude that, "as long as it doesn't affect me, I don't care."  Here is what I would say in response to those who will not lift a finger to resist tyranny.
"Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no chance of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."   - Churchhill

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Stealing Your Money for Obamacare is Constitutional - Cause I Said so - Rand Paul Replies

I just read an article posted by the ever insightful Washington Post about Rand Paul's response to the supreme court's decision to declare Obamacare 100% American as apple pie.
“One of the tea party’s folks — who’s, by the way, a member of the United States Senate — said, just because a small number of people said that’s constitutional doesn’t mean it is,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.). “Now, can you believe that? But that’s what he said.”
Can you believe someone didn't instantly go prostrate and worship people in official state issued black robes?  Paul must be some kind of weird reality monster.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tax the Lucky and Reward the Politicians - A Great Tax Plan for Finishing Off the American Empire

Brad Delong of the NY Times wrote an article in the economics section titled, "Tax luck, not thrift."  He goes on to talk about the fairness of progressive taxation while recognizing current drawbacks about offshore tax shelters and toting the benefits of a substantial social insurance.  You might think that in light of the long list of government failures more skepticism is warranted.  However, Brad enjoys speaking in sophomoric generalities and assumes that services rendered by the state are both positive and desirable.  He also ignores the implications of what he deems as lucky moves in the market.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Calling All GOP Racists: Commence Guilt Now (Fast and Furious is just a Movie)

Unfortunately I was listening to the Sean Hannity show today and my head almost exploded.  The big hoop la over the fast and furious scandal brought out all the race pimps shamelessly to make their voices heard.  One particular caller could not even comprehend the possibility that the GOP was not racist because they raised some noise about an attorney general's involvement in arming criminal gangs.  I am not a Republican, but how ridiculously has the political discourse fallen when many common folks start arguments with conclusions fed to them through their brain tubes?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Private Arbitration instead of Public Courts

I just finished watching Tom Woods guest hosting the Peter Shchiff radio show talk to the founder of a private arbitration company, Peter-Jan Celis.  Celis explains the benefits of using this service as an alternative to the expensive and time consuming process of public courts.  The site also claims that its philosophy of "ex aequo et bono" ensures there is no legal mumbo jumbo.  This is explained in the following way:  "which means our arbitrators act 'from equity and conscience'. Without legal loopholes to exploit, there is no need to hire an expensive lawyer."  

The current system of justice has so many inherent bad incentives it is no wonder the average person feels like they can't get justice in a court room.  Judges, cops, and lawyers are all on the paying end of a monopolized protection racket.  Judges justify the tickets the cops give out.  Lawyers collect a hefty fee for the incredible skill of "navigating" the millions of laws on your behalf.  No one can represent you except a lawyer approved by the government after several years of re education anyway.  Cops provide fresh leads for the lawyers.  It's just a big cesspit of corruption.

The solutions sounds like a great way to reduce the time and resources needed to resolve the average small claims disputes.  This is a private company who doesn't have a monopoly.  So if they lose their stellar reputation for being quick, efficient, and just then they lose their clients.  This is the perfect free market check on justice that our society needs.

Could anyone even imagine how to go about getting a judge fired for being corrupt?  I guess we could ask our lawyer to help get rid of the system which ensures his steady flow of clients.  I guess we could ask the police to help get rid of the system which ensures they have a constant flow of tax money ticket money.  Good luck to you on that endeavor.  Let me know how it goes?

It just fills me with joy to see someone striving to provide free market alternatives to closed market monopolies.  I'm sure everyone can see the benefits of having control over how their contracts are enforced.  And probably the best aspect of all about a private solution such as this is that there is no gun involved in the transaction!  Imagine trading with people with no guns to your head.  Well perhaps it is difficult for us to imagine at present, but I have faith in the new generation of liberty lovers to bring us into the new age of freedom.

If you find this topic intriguing please don't stop reading about the subject.  Many economists and philosophers explain in great detail the fundamental principles of private law and its advantages over the public system.  To learn more about the academic intricacies of this type of court system, I would recommend watching Hans Hermann Hoppe on youtube, State or Private Law Society.  You can also always just Google, "Private Law."