## This Blog Has Moved!

My blog has moved. Check out my new blog at realfreemarket.org.

## Monday, July 14, 2008

I liked this post on Rad Geek, referring to this post on Social Memory Complex.

domestic U.S. territory is increasingly treated as part of the conquered territory, rather than as the source of state legitimacy

The Washingtonian Empire is the largest, richest, most powerful, most hierarchically distributed, and most subtly maintained in history.

I liked this post on Rad Geek about the evils of the psychiatry industry. It links to this post about someone's first-hand experience with the psychiatry industry. That person's experience correlates with my experience.

When a patient complains about side effects of the medication, the psychiatrist interprets this as symptoms of further illness. More and more drugs are prescribed, instead of realizing that the problem was caused by drugs in the first place.

The "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is complete nonsense. The only people with a chemical imbalance are those that are the victim of antipsychotic or antidepressant drugs. The chemical inbalance is *CAUSED* by the drugs that allegedly treat it. The withdrawal from those drugs is *REALLY SEVERE*. It takes 3-6 months to fully complete withdrawal. The withdrawal symptoms are mistaken for a new outbreak of mental illness.

Anti-psychotic drugs are usually violently imposed. There's outright violence, where a patient is given drugs against their will. When I was hospitalized, I was told I would never be released if I didn't agree to take the drugs. There's also indirect violence. Psychiatrists lie to patients about the side-effects of the drugs. In the case of children being drugged, the psychiatrist lies to the parents. The psychiatrist is protected by "sovereign immunity" from the effects of his misconduct. The psychiatrist is merely practicing "standard psychiatric procedure", and therefore did not commit a crime. The psychiatrist is practically immune from being sued for his misconduct.

Another common tactic is the psychiatrist says "You must take these drugs for the rest of your life." This prevents the patient from recognizing that the drugs themselves were the cause of the problem. A psychiatrist will tell his patient/victim that quitting the drugs cold turkey is the worst thing you can do; the reality is this is the best thing you can do.

I liked this post on RadGeek. He is starting an "Alliance of the Libertarian Left" group in Las Vegas. Does that means he's also starting an agorist trading group? I'm interested in success stories. I'd like to hear about people who successfully start free market businesses.

running candidates and voting can only effect a change once you have managed to convert 50%+1 of the electorate over to your position; there’s very little room for accomplishing small changes on the margin. It also imposes a very rigid and quite slow schedule on making social changes: you only have a shot at changing anything for one day every two to four years.

As an agorist, you're making progress every day. You don't have to wait 2-4 years, and you don't have to convince 50% of the population of the merits of what you're doing. Even if you managed to convince 50% of the population of the merits of free markets, then you still would have the fundamental problem of elections.

Now, of course, there’s a downside to direct action, and especially to counter-economics: it can be dangerous.

I'm not sure what the true risk of counter-economics is. There's no good data. I believe that, if I were arrested for practicing agorism, I could successfully pursue a sui juris "jury nullification" defense. I wouldn't bother hiring a lawyer, because I'd be spending $100k+ on legal bills and a lawyer is sworn to "uphold the law". A lawyer is *BARRED* from arguing "the law is illegitimate", because that's violating the oath he took when he received his law license. I like this post on the Liberty Papers. The US government is spending a lot of money funding opposition groups in Iran. They are being given weapons, training, and money. In other words, the US government is sponsoring terrorism. From the point of view of Iran's government, activity by these groups is terrorism. I liked this post by Mark Cuban. The Olympics is adopting the policy that no video may be shown online, except on the official Olympics website. Presumably, this means strict DMCA takedown notices to anyone who posts Olympic videos elsewhere. This is a stupid policy. For many sports, the TV coverage is negligible or nonexistent. Second, videos circulating online is probably the best way to promote the Olympics. I don't take the Olympics seriously anymore. It's interesting to see sports that aren't normally covered, but NBC spends more time on the background stories of the participants than actual action. I saw an interesting excerpt of an article on the Huffington Post. It was about teaching and "privatization" of public schools. If you read the fine print, privatization of public schools is thinly veiled corporate welfare. The only way to truly privatize it is to get the State 100% out of the education business, including no taxation. There's no way that will happen. It mentions the history of standardized testing of students. Originally, the standardized test was calibrated by giving the test to a bunch of students and measuring the results. A "5th grade reading level" was thus defined as the median score that a 5th grader would attain. This is a scientifically valid way to normalize the test. However, this also means that 50% of the students are below median. Also, the test should be renormalized every few years. (The trend appears to be renormalization for *LOWER* performance, not higher performance.) By calibrating the benchmark, the percentage of "failing" students can be arbitrarily chosen. I liked this post on RadGeek. Someone started a business renting out dogs and cats as part-time pets. Legislators declared this practice illegal. It actually sounds like a great business. If you're considering getting a full-time pet dog or cat, then it makes sense to get one temporarily first. Plus, if you rent a well-trained pet, that's easier than training your own. I liked this excerpt Ran Prieur's blog (June 27 entry). conquering empires are equally paralyzed because the only thing that really works, large-scale massacre of civilians, is now forbidden. The problem with large-scale civilian massacres is that the soldiers start to get the sense that what they're doing is wrong. It's better to kill 20-100 people every day, than wipe out the enemy entirely. The purpose of war isn't actual military conquest. The purpose is to funnel payments to politically connected military contractors. The purpose of war is to squander wealth and wreck the economy. If the war is over instantly, then how can you do that? On the Mental Militia, someone said: I'm only 18 and the US government is going to collapse soon! That's not fair! During a time of economic collapse, young people have the most to gain. Most of your productive working years are ahead of you. During a time of economic collapse, all the restrictions on your productivity will be removed. The people who lose out during a time of economic collapse are people with substantial savings or pensions, such as the elderly. The people who lose out are people who have no useful skills and currently live by leeching off others, such as CEOs, bankers, lawyers, politicians, etc. During a time of economic collapse, their gravy train will disappear. Without any useful skills, any property they tried to accumulate beforehand will be rapidly squandered. A lot of people point out that most major cities only have a few roads that can be used for entrance and exit. If you block these roads, then everyone is trapped inside the city. At any time, the police could throw a city into chaos, killing most of the inhabitants, just by blocking all entrances and exits. The fallacy is that there are police both inside and outside the city. If such a blockade were maliciously instituted, there would definitely be resistance from the people inside. It would be hard to order police to institute a blockade that would definitely kill a lot of people. Such an action is a theoretical possibility, but not a practical possibility. I liked this post on lowercase liberty. Due to Sarbanes-Oxley, fewer startups are being formed or going public. The compliance costs for a small public corporation are too high. Superficially, this is bad, because startups are one of the few engines for economic growth. Actually, it's great, because it hastens the economic collapse. My advice for a would-be entrepreneur is agorism. If your business is off-the-books and you grow via reinvested earnings, you have a chance of competing with established monopolies. By avoiding taxes and regulation, your productivity is increased. A "capitalist" is really a rent-seeker. A capitalist is looking for something he can milk for profit without expending any effort or talent. A free market business won't lead to an effortless income stream, but it will earn a decent return on effort for the participants. I liked this post on no third solution. It was only in the late 20th century that an Orwellian view of the Second Amendment gained currency. Within this distorted language prism “the people” would come to mean the states or state-conscripted militia; “right” would mean governmental power; “keep” would no longer entail custody for security or preservation; “bear” would not mean carry; “arms” would not include ordinary handguns and rifles, and “infringe” would not include prohibition. I wrote a paper to this effect (second amendment) in my Sophomore year of college. The English Professor gave me a D on the paper, because I “didn’t present both sides of the argument.” It was a research paper. Apparently she did not know the difference between a college-level research paper and a junior-high-school-level “compare and contrast” paper. In other words, writing an *HONEST* analysis of the 2nd amendment got him a failing grade. This illustrates the problem with State-sponsored eduction. A university professor is essentially a State employee. Naturally, a university professor is going to take the pro-State troll interpretation of the 2nd amendment. It really is impressive how the plain language of the US Constitution is distorted and perverted 200 years later. The Supreme Court said "What the founding fathers wrote 200 years ago should not be interpreted as restricting what we may do today." In other words "If the founding fathers thought they could get away with banning gun ownership, they would have tried it. Now that the population is more docile, we should roll back freedom." I liked this post on Western Rifle Shooters Assocation, about DC vs. Heller. The more I think about this, the more I’m convinced that there is nothing good in it. What I see here is the Supreme Court acting as a focus-group for legislators and administrators: the Court is telling them how to tweak the program. That's very interesting. The Supreme Court can measure the amount of outrage and public discussion over each big decision. Thye make the decision that increases State power, but not so much that people revolt. In 10-20 years, the issue can be revisited, and next time the high water mark for eroding rights is further. I saw someone complain about the US Constitution being a "living document". When people say that, they mean "We interpret the US Constitution in the manner that's most convenient for us, rather than what it actually literally says." For example, the language of the 2nd amendment is pretty clear, but it has been interpreted to permit severe restrictions on gun ownership. I liked this article. A disproportionately large number of senior Al Qaeda members are engineers. radicalized engineers are vastly overrepresented in terrorist ranks thanks to thwarted professional ambitions and, most controversially, a unique mindset ripe for extremism I liked this NY Times article, referred by the Mental Militia. Someone was pretending to be a Federal DEA agent and was searching people's homes and handcuffing them. He said that, because he was a DEA agent, he didn't need a warrant to search people's houses. People just believed him. I liked this post, referred by the Mental Militia. Suppose you lost all your documentation that you are a US citizen. You need ID to get an official copy of your birth certificate. You need an official copy of your birth certificate to get other ID. It's a catch-22. Once you lose all your official paperwork verifying your identity, you're SOL. I liked this post on the Mental Militia. In Texas, you now need a private investigator's license to work as a computer repair technician. Yes, you read that right. WTF? Here's an article on PC Magazine. You have to work as an agorist in order to repair people's computers! That's great. At work, I installed a new graphics card on my PC. If I were in Texas, this would be a crime! As expected, large computer repair shops already have many employees compliant with the new regulation. The small businesses are, as usual, squeezed out of the market. This story makes me want to go to Texas and perform some civil disobedience against this stupid law. Recently, a prosecutor in Texas announced he would prosecute anyone who publicly discussed jury nullification. This thread on the Mental Militia referred to this list of quotes by Heinlein. It was worth reading. Mathematicians, peasants, and animals, that's all there is-- so democracy, a theory based on the assumption that mathematicians and peasants are equal, can never work. Wisdom is not additive; its maximum is that of the wisest man in a given group.$100 placed at 7 percent interest compounded quarterly for 200 years will increase to more than $100,000,000 -- by which time it will be worth nothing. Expertise in one field does not carry over into other fields. But experts often think so. The narrower their field of knowledge the more likely they are to think so. In a mature society, "civil servant" is semantically equal to "civil master." Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. Most "scientists" are bottle washers and button sorters. Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed. The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history. The truth of a proposition has nothing to do with its credibility. And vice versa. There is no conclusive evidence of life after death. But there is no evidence of any sort against it. Soon enough you will know. So why fret about it? There is no such thing as "social gambling." Either you are there to cut the other bloke's heart out and eat it-- or you're a sucker. If you don't like this choice-- don't gamble. Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded-- here and there, now and then-- are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck." I liked this article on mises.org, referred by Bill Rempel. In a democracy/republic, the elected leaders are only in power for a short period of time. Therefore, they should milk the State/slaves for as much as they can while they're in office. There's no incentive in long-term property management. The same principle applies to corporate management. The CEO should not look past the next quarterly SEC filing. If you're a "hot CEO", you can switch jobs every 2-3 years. If you milk the business for short-term profit at the expense of long-term value, you're doing your job. while a private owner, secure in his property and owning its capital value, plans the use of his resource over a long period of time, the government official must milk the property as quickly as he can, since he has no security of ownership. … [G]overnment officials own the use of resources but not their capital value (except in the case of the "private property" of a hereditary monarch). When only the current use can be owned, but not the resource itself, there will quickly ensue uneconomic exhaustion of the resources, since it will be to no one's benefit to conserve it over a period of time and to every owner's advantage to use it up as quickly as possible. … The private individual, secure in his property and in his capital resource, can take the long view, for he wants to maintain the capital value of his resource. It is the government official who must take and run, who must plunder the property while he is still in command. If you have true allodial title to your property or business, the incentive is to maximize the long-term value. Paradoxically, a king exercises more restraint than a republic or democracy. Someone made a comment to that effect previously. A king expects to keep his job for generations. Therefore, the incentive is for him to maximize the value of his property/citizens. In a republic, the change of leadership every few years leads to increased plunder. If a king abuses his power, he expects a revolt. If leaders in a republic abuse their power, there's a sense of legitimacy because they were "elected". In a monarchy, there's a specific person to blame for problems. In a democracy or republic, the responsibility is distributed. Superficially, a change in President and Congress might lead to reform. In practice, the new leaders have the same corrupt incentives as the old leaders. What can possibly be done about this state of affairs? First, the American Constitution must be recognized for what it is — an error. Indeed, no one in his right mind would agree to a contract that allowed one's alleged protector to determine unilaterally, without one's consent, and irrevocably, without the possibility of exit, how much to charge for protection; and no one in his right mind would agree to an irrevocable contract which granted one's alleged protector the right to ultimate decision making regarding one's own person and property, i.e., of unilateral lawmaking. "It is absurd to believe that an agency that may tax without consent can be a property protector. Likewise, it is absurd to believe that an agency with legislative powers can preserve law and order." rather than by means of a top-down reform, under the current conditions, one's strategy must be one of a bottom-up revolution "All revolutions, whether good or bad, are started by minorities; and the secessionist route toward social revolution takes explicit cognizance of this important fact." it is first necessary to remember that neither the original American Revolution nor the American Constitution was the result of the will of the majority of the population. A third of the American colonists were actually Tories, and another third were occupied with daily routines and did not care either way. No more than a third of the colonists were actually committed to and supportive of the revolution, yet they carried the day. And as far as the Constitution is concerned, the overwhelming majority of the American public was opposed to its adoption, and its ratification represented more of a coup d'état by a tiny minority than the general will. All revolutions, whether good or bad, are started by minorities; and the secessionist route toward social revolution, which necessarily involves the breaking-away of a smaller number of people from a larger one, takes explicit cognizance of this important fact. The recommended solution is agorism, although the article doesn't explicitly refer to agorism. I liked this post on boingboing, referred by RadGeek. A sabotage manual from 1944 advised using tactics similar to what a typical manager in 2008 does. I liked this article categorizing the different types of trolls. I liked this article, referred by the Agitator. A family bought a house that was in the foreclosure process. JP Morgan Chase didn't realize that the house was purchased. They hired a private police force (thugs/terrorists) to break into their house, steal all their property, and sell it. This was done without a court order or warrant. The normal procedure for a legitimate foreclosure was not followed. I noticed this article on trial by jury because someone was google searching trial by jury. (I like to see where I rank in searched that people are using.) I was disappointed that jury nullification wasn't emphasized more. I liked this bit. There is no respect for your time. While the judge may state that he/she recognizes the value of your time, the lawyers do not. The prosecution is under a lot of pressure to make its case. The defense attorneys are paid by the hour. There is no reason for either side to be efficient. From that same Google search, this article had an interesting bit. Filling the bench from no other fund than the bar, is it not exactly such a mode as if boarding-school-mistresses and governesses, were never to be chosen but from brothels? In other words, having lawyers act as judges is an inherent conflict of interest. Judges are State employees, which is a another conflict of interest. If you're the victim in a criminal trial, and the judge is biased against you, you're SOL. In a criminal trial, the State is both prosecution and judge. Defense attorneys are not allowed to remind juries of their jury nullification right. Juries are instructed to follow the judge's explanation of the law. What prevents the judge from making up whatever laws he chooses? Unfortunately, even if jury nullification becomes as widespread as it was in the nineteenth century, it would avail most criminal defendants absolutely nothing. Most criminal defendants these days are terrorized into "plea bargains" by the threat of the imposition of harsh penalties if they dare to participate in a jury trial system they are already aware is "rigged" by the judge and the prosecutor anyway. Only the bravest, the craziest, and the richest (like O. J. Simpson) even consider jury trial. There's a lot of discussion saying "OMFG! The US is going to invade Iran!" First, the US military is already near the breaking point in Iraq and Afghanistan. Second, I don't think that there would be support in Congress for such an attack. People are thinking "We prevented the President from invading Iran! This is a victory for freedom!" I don't get it. I liked this article on TechCrunch. A judge ordered Google/YouTube to turn over to Viacom the IP address of every user and every video they had watched or uploaded. This makes no sense at all. Viacom should only ask for the IP address of users who watched or uploaded a video *WHERE VIACOM CLAIMS COPYRIGHT*. I don't recognize intellectual property as a legitimate form of property. This whole dispute is silly. This is an important point for agorists. *DON'T KEEP RECORDS!* If you keep records, that's only tempting the bad guys to seize them. It's actually easy to manage a business without written records. All you need to know is your per-unit profit and approximate number of units sold (without writing it down). I liked this article on the toilet paper algorithm (humorous). I liked this post on mises.org about the American underground cash economy. As the burden of taxes and regulations grow, then the cash economy also grows. Politicians respond to this by increasing taxes and regulations! It's a virtuous cycle that leads to the collapse of the State. The comments section degenerated into the usual flamewar. "But we need the State to build roads/schools/etc." I commented on this article on the Black-Scholes formula. Surprisingly, my comment there drove a lot of traffic to my blog. I wrote a series of posts on the Black-Scholes formula. The problem is not the formula derivation. The problem is that the underlying assumptions are wrong. If your axioms are wrong, no amount of calculation will get you a conclusion that isn’t nonsense. The original author of the article wrote: I believe that Axiom 1 in your post (that the expected return $\mu$ of a stock equals the risk-free rate r) is not actually used in the Black-Scholes derivation (for instance, it is not used in my post above; at no point do I postulate that $\mu$ is equal to r). The more accurate statement, which you also note in Part 3 of your post, is that the expected rate of return is in fact irrelevant for the derivation of the Black-Scholes formula. The fallacy of the Black-Scholes formula occurs when you consider a retail customer buying an option. As a bank or hedge fund, you may borrow at the risk free interest rate (or close to it). In that case, it makes almost no difference if you buy a call option or replicate it via a delta hedging strategy. If you're a retail customer, who can't borrow at the risk-free interest rate, then buying a call option is a great deal. You may borrow at the risk-free interest rate via the option, which you couldn't do otherwise. Assuming a log-normal distribution of prices, the distribution is determined by two factors: mean and variance. The put-call parity formula guarantees that mean equals the risk-free interest rate. Otherwise, there would be an arbitrage opportunity for professional options traders, who may easily borrow/lend for close to the risk-free interest rate. However, *EVERYONE* knows that the expected return of stocks is greater than the risk-free rate. Otherwise, why bother with stocks at all? Just lend your money at the risk-free interest rate. This is the inherent contradiction. As a conclusion (not axiom), you price options as if mean equals risk-free rate. However, it's obvious from actual market data that mean is greater than the risk free rate. The problem is the inherent injustice in the US monetary system. There's a division by zero error in every economic calculation. The long-term value of fiat money is zero, due to money supply inflation. When a bank or hedge fund borrows at the risk-free rate, they aren't borrowing from someone else. They're borrowing brand new money into existence. This is the essence of what I call "The Compound Interest Paradox". The injustice of the US monetary system is that banks and hedge funds may borrow at the risk-free rate. Individuals and small business owners may only borrow at higher rates, or not at all. Essentially, this is a massive government subsidy of the financial industry, paid by everyone else as inflation. Most criticisms of the Black-Scholes formula focus on "The shape of the distribution is not log-normal." That's missing the huge error. "The mean of the distribution is wrong." is the proper criticism of the Black-Scholes formula. This post on the Picket Line is showing some signs of improved thinking. Approximately 50% of the Federal government's budget is used directly for war. Some war tax resisters calculate their tax bill, but then pay only 50% of the owed amount. As the Picket Line correctly points out, this is stupid. This presumes that, receiving only 50% of the tax receipts, the government will cut the military budget but not the civil budget. Once your money/wealth is in the government's hands, you can't control how it's spent. However, the Picket Line still falls short of the correct conclusion. First, reporting your full income to the IRS and then underpaying the tax is stupid. The IRS will merely take money out of your bank account or seize your property or paycheck. Tax resistance should be focused on generating non-taxable wealth. In other words, you should find ways to do work where your pay isn't automatically reported to the State (agorism). Once the IRS knows about your income, it's too easy for them to collect. Second, all forms of taxation are theft. If a thief demands$10k and you give him $5k, will that satisfy the thief? That doesn't work when the thief is the State. Third, all forms of State activity are essentially murder. How can you disapprove of the Iraq war, yet not object to the war on drugs? Arresting someone for possession of marijuana is as much a crime as murdering Iraqis. Corporate welfare is a form of murder, because it restricts my ability to start my own business. By restricting my free trade, you're stealing part of my life, because I have to work for less than the fair free market wage. The State restricts my employment opportunities, limits my wages, and limits my productivity. Does it matter if I spend 6 months each year in jail or if I spend 6 months working directly for the State via taxes? Aren't those almost equivalent? "War tax resistance" places the debate in the wrong frame. All taxation is theft. All State activities are murder/theft/plunder/kidnapping. People keep making Bastiat's "fallacy of the unseen". You see the State building roads, so you conclude that the State is good. This assumes that, without the State, people would be too stupid to figure out to build roads. A free market takes care of everything. There are no historic examples of non-State built roads, because there has never been a true free market in modern recorded history. This post on no third solution was amusing. Many states offer scratch-off lottery systems. The number of tickets printed is determined in advance, with usually one grand prize per printing. After the grand prize has been awarded, isn't it immoral to continue selling tickets? At this point, the State is offering a lottery where there is zero chance of winning. As far as evils of the State goes, this ranks low on my scale. I consider the lottery to be a tax on stupid people. You get better odds in a casino on a slot machine, or by wagering on craps or a roulette wheel. State violence does not compel me to purchase lottery tickets, so I don't personally object to this fraud. I'm not a party to this dispute, so why should I care? State violence prevents me from operating my own lottery. However, I'm not interested in running a negative-sum business. I prefer to focus on agorist activity that produces tangible useful goods and services. Again, I'm not a party to this dispute. I morally object to all forms of State violence and restrictions of the market. I'm not personally injured by this one. As long as I'm not feeding the State by paying taxes, I'm not contributing to this crime. (Regrettably, I still pay taxes on all my income.) If you're stupid enough to buy a lottery ticket, you're probably also stupid enough to not check if the grand prize has already been awarded. There's actually a simple fix. The State could mix multiple printings of the same game together. Then, people wouldn't know how many grand prizes there are. Alternatively, the number of grand prizes could be partially randomized. The lottery is so lucrative that the State could afford to do this. Would you play the lottery if you knew that your odds of winning were 0? Of course, you would not. All else being equal, knowledge of the winning ticket having already been sold, the odds are (no pun intended) that nobody would buy the remaining tickets, the game would be constantly under-funded and go bankrupt as a result. Once the winning ticket is sold, the proprietor has an obligation that can only be met by selling more tickets, but there should be no willing buyers. Whenever someone says "**** you FSK! I'm not reading your blog anymore!" my Google Analytics statistics start sharply increasing. A lot of people have been saying that WALL*E is a decent movie for individualists. I haven't seen it. I'm skeptical of anything that comes out of a mainstream media source. I found this post via Technorati, on the "interpersonal freedom vs. economic freedom" debate. I advocate for *BOTH* interpersonal freedom and economic freedom. I advocate both saying "The State is evil!" and actually doing something about it via agorism. Currently, I only perform advocacy via my blog. At some point, I will try to make the transition to "practical agorism". Regrettably, I currently have practically no interpersonal freedom and practically no economic freedom. I don't have any non-statist friends (except for those via my blog). I work as a software engineer in a W-2 slave job. I don't follow freedomain's extreme position of refusing to hang out with statists. I agree that I should spend less time with statists and more time with freedom oriented people (if I could meet some). There are benefits to advocating for freedom, even if you don't pursue practical freedom. For example, if freedom activists are a significant percentage of the population, then a "jury nullification" defense becomes feasible in a tax resistance trial. Presumably, other freedom seekers would attempt to get placed on the jury in such a trial. I assume that the people who say "agorism is pointless" would still vote to acquit me if they were on my jury in a tax evasion trial! In that post, he refers to "The Family", which appears to collectively refer to all the pro-freedom individuals. I haven't heard that term before. It'd be neat to have a list of pro-freedom individuals grouped by city. On the other hand, it could intepreted as a "harrass/arrest/assassinate" list. (I wonder if the bad guys are clever enough to monitor everyone who reads my blog, and other blogs like it? My guess is "no", because any such automated filtering system would have too many false positives to be useful.) I went to a software developers' group meeting recently. At the end, they had a raffle. The organizer put a stack of tickets on the table and said "Fill out a ticket with your name on it to enter the raffle." I asked "What prevents me from filling out 10 tickets?" The organizer said "I'm assuming you have basic human decency." I retorted "What if I don't have basic human decency?" The organizer said "Then I guess you get to take advantage of me." People assume by default that the taxation system and monetary system are fair. If you assume that other people are behaving honestly, without checking, you're letting other people enslave you. If the economic and political leaders had basic human decency, then the USA would have a fair monetary system and taxation system. However, they don't. They rely on the fact that most people are excessively trustworthy to maintain their control. I decided that my approach to the professional trolls on mises.org now is to outright ignore them. Interacting with them isn't contributing to my enlightenment. Their arguments are logically nonsense, so it isn't possible to directly criticize them. Mostly, they're critical whenever I mention the Compound Interest Paradox. It's hard to tell if they're professional trolls or merely clueless. I suspect professional trolling, because professional trolls tend to be persistent past the point where the average person would give up. Does that make me also a professional troll? Not if what I'm writing about is actually true. (I'm not getting paid for my writing, although I can't prove that to you. I'm looking for ways to convert my blog into a for-profit business. My blog's traffic is slowly increasing.) This thread on mises.org was interesting. No sir I don't buy that line of crap that inflation is good. Now if these bankers were worth their salt they would be incouraging people to save and showing them that intrest can be a good thing when it is used through the principal of compounding to build wealth not to sap it like a pup sucks a tit. "Inflation is good" is pure propaganda. Actually, it is bad advice to suggest saving in a checking account or money market account. Inflation is 20%-30%, but a savings account will only credit you with 2%. If you save in a bank, you're guaranteed to get ripped off by inflation. A proper investment is gold or silver, which are inflation-hedged. Stocks and real estate are also a reasonable inflation hedge. As a side note if any of you who read this own your business you might consider paying people in something other than dollars. Or at least offering them the choice. As a business owner, paying your employees in gold or silver isn't practical. Taxes and regulations make such behavior infeasible. Or, you could do what this guy did..... http://www.liberty-watch.com/volume03/issue08/coverstory.php (a story about the guy who paid his employees with Treasury-issued gold and silver coins, valuing the transaction at face amount instead of market value) That guy didn't win anything. He wasted a lot of time and money defending himself. He didn't recover that expense after acquittal. That jury verdict is not precedent. The IRS may pursue someone else for doing the exact same thing. The IRS may still pursue a civil trial to collect the taxes they claim he owes. He only got acquitted in a criminal trial; he may still face a civil trial. In this thread on mises.org, they were discussing copyright and the music industry. It is possible for a musician to make a living without copyright law. It would involve sales to live performances or direct sales/donations by fans. An amateur artist doesn't benefit much from copyright law. An amateur artists *WANT* people to copy his stuff, because his biggest risk is obscurity and not people copying his stuff. The marketing engine of the media industry creates an artificial demand for works by certain artists. Intellectual property is not a valid form of property. Without copyrights, musicians can still earn a living. They can sell tickets to live performances. They can still sell DVDs and downloads. If it was cheap and convenient to buy from a band's website, why would you buy from someone else? Even if 90%+ of the people are rude and download for free or elsewhere, you only need a certain percentage of people to buy from you in order to profit. If I make 10,000 sales and there are 990,000 people downloading for free, then those 10,000 sales are enough to earn a decent living. If you're an amateur or obscure artist, offering free content helps you gain an audience. If you're not well known, you *WANT* people copying your stuff! Musicians can sell memorabilia, such as signed T-Shirts. The business model for a mega-star is based on the fact that their work is being promoted by the mainstream media propaganda engine. An amateur artist doesn't have that advantage. It it possible to enforce copyrights without a government? No. Therefore, copyright is not a valid form of property. Suppose musician A sells a copy of a song to B. B then gives a copy to C. Suppose A makes B sign a contract that says "I agree to not let others copy." How can A prove that C copied from B? How is A even going to know that C has a copy, without spying on B and C all the time? Even if C has a copy, how can A prove it was copied from B? A can use digital watermarking, but people will find cleverer and cleverer ways to frustrate digital watermarking. There's no way to enforce intellectual property rights without a government. Therefore, intellectual property is not a valid form of property. "Copying a song" is not the same as "stealing a car". If you steal my car, I can say "Where's my car?" If you copy a song, that doesn't damage the original. On this thread on mises.org, someone was discussion the "Deflation is bad!" argument that Keynesian (troll) economists make. The government can't "grow the economy" by inflating the money supply. All you accomplish by printing new money is that you move wealth from one group of people (those holding cash) and transfer it to another group of people (those who print and spend the new money). The present inflation is a massive transfer of wealth from the productive sector of the economy to the financial sector. New money is printed by banks and hedge funds. Large corporations, due to their size, get to borrow at attractive interest rates, so they also are the beneficiary of inflation. As an individual, I can only borrow at high interest rates or not at all; most individuals don't benefit from inflation. Wage increases typically lag inflation, so inflation steals the purchasing power of workers. Government cannot create wealth. All government does is transfer wealth from one group of people to another, destroying wealth in the process. Don't confuse "wealth" and "money". The concept "deflation is bad, inflation is good" is pure lies and propaganda. Inflation benefits financial industry insiders, because they get to print and spend the new money. Deflation would benefit the average person, who is holding mostly cash. Most economists are paid directly or indirectly by the government (financial industry), so most economists teach pro-government propaganda instead of true economics. Also remember that the CPI is a biased measure of inflation. True inflation is much higher. I use M2, M3, or the price of gold as my index of inflation, instead of the biased CPI. I then got a disagreement with krazy kaju over what is, essentially, definitions. I said that the Federal Reserve and financial industry are stealing when the inflate the money supply. Krazy kaju said the immoral agent is State violence which prevents me from boycotting the Federal Reserve and using sound money instead. The Federal Reserve is in the "business" of stealing via inflation. It's only immoral because State violence prevents me from boycotting the Federal Reserve. Such a distinction is overly picky. In the present, setting up an alternate monetary system is very hard, so the Federal Reserve is in fact stealing. If I tried setting up an alternate monetary system, I would be the victim of State violence. Without State violence, the Federal Reserve would be irrelevant. People would switch to alternate forms of money. In the same thread, but another topic, someone wrote: I understand what you are saying but there is a potential way out just by implementing EO# 11110 switching us from a fiat currency to a silver backed currency thereby bypassing the Fed. Then you could either use the Note or exchange it for what ever the market determines. Actually, the law that authorized the President to directly issue United States Notes was repealed/amended. Technically, the President no longer has the authority to directly issue money. Since when has that stopped the executive branch from doing whatever it wanted? If you really want to boycott the Federal Reserve, you should use sound money and work completely off-the-books, avoiding income taxes. This is the whole point of agorism. Can you give a citation for the law that repealed E.O. #11110 (or prevents a future president from issuing another such order)? RTFG. A brief seach uncovered it. http://www.extremeskins.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-234026.html However, by this time the remaining legislative authority behind E.O.11,110 had been repealed by Congress with PL 97-258 in 1982. In this thread on mises.org, someone asked "Is the State a monopoly?" Government is definitely a monopoly. Government is not subject to market forces like other businesses. I have no choice but to "purchase" government via taxes. I can't fire the government and hire someone else to protect my property and enforce my contracts. Governments were never imposed via the unanimous consent of the governed. Typically, a bunch of people with guns enslaved everyone else. Even in the USA after the Revolutionary War, the people who controlled the colony governments decided to cement their control by establishing a Federal government. Once people understand "Taxation is theft!" and "Governments are immoral!", they won't accept a new government. Starting with a *TRUE* free market, it'd be practically impossible to establish a government again. If someone got close to forming a new government, then everyone else would unite in opposition. Someone said: Statism is an inherent part of human nature. I disagree with the claim that "Statism is a part of human nature". At one time, everyone believed the earth was flat. At one time, everyone believed the earth was the center of the universe. It's possible for massive shifts in attitudes to occur. The only way the issue will be settled is the way all important political debates are settled, violence or economics. I consider agorism to be a strategy of nonviolent economic resistance. On one side will be the Statists. On the other side will be people who believe in truly free markets. Let's face off and see who does better. But why isn't this happening now? Why aren't PDAs being established to compete with states? Is it because the states have economies of scale in their favor? This is a relatively new idea. I believe that 10-20 years from now, there will be PDAs that are competitve with government. In the late 18th century, agorism would not have been profitable. At that time, the most common tax was property taxes or a capitation (equal tax per person). Under such conditions, agorism isn't feasible. Once the State grows to a huge size and is dependent on income taxes, then a collapse is possible. In an agricultural economy, the productivity of each worker is nearly the same. That limits the benefit of agorism. Under such conditions, property taxes or a capitation are sufficient to enslave people. In a modern economy, workers can have great variability in productivity. Under such circumstances, income taxes are necessary to keep the slaves in line. You need high taxes, to limit the resources available to the slaves. If taxes are too high, then the incentive for dodging them becomes too great. There was another interesting point. The State is not an example of "economy of scale". If you can steal 50% of the wealth via taxes, then you have the illusion of efficiency rather than true efficiency. "Megacorporations are the most efficient means of manufacturing" is a consequence of State manipulation of the market, and not a natural occurrence. This thread on mises.org was about privatization of schools and charter schools. The problem with charter schools is that they're still funded via taxes. What's wrong with the following system? The State imposes no taxes for schools, and parents purchase whatever school they want. Even if I send my child to a private school, I still pay for the public schools via taxes. Even with school vouchers, the amount of taxes collected by the State is still greater than the amount paid by voucher. Only a school that meets the government's standards qualifies for the voucher. Charter schools are negligible progress, but not true progress. Once you start with "The government takes money from me and gives it to other people", you're down the path of slavery. The government will only give vouchers to schools that meet their standards. Her solution to the problem of the district soon having a minority enrollment as the charter schools were a very popular option to a whole lot of parents; throw a fresh coat of paint on the schools and hire an outside management firm to run the worst performing schools that didn't get closed down. Never mind the charter schools were a lot less expensive per child than the public schools. That's an interesting point about charter schools. Certain corporations are given monopoly/oligopoly rights to run the charter/voucher school. If I want to try and start a charter school, I can't because I don't have the right connections. Viewed in this context, the charter/voucher system is a form of corporate welfare. In this thread on mises.org, someone was looking to create an anarchy Educational DVD. If you were going to make a documentary to freely distribute to people that was aimed at educating them about market anarchy and why the state was unnecessary what topics would you discuss? I'd give them a copy of my blog. Look at the "Best of FSK" post list to see which are my most popular posts. I'd specifically focus on "Taxation is theft!", especially the income tax. I'd focus on "The Federal Reserve is immoral." I'd also mention "Regulations that restrict economic activity are bad." In this thread on mises.org, someone was asking about the libertarian or free market solution to racism. In a free market, racist behavior is bad business practice. If you get a reputation for mistreating people, you will lose employees and customers. In a free market, you will find yourself with competition and put out of business. In the present, discrimination is an issue because corporations have a State-granted monopoly/oligopoly. A group that is the victim of discrimination cannot easily form their own businesses. The free market answer to racism is that unjust racism does not occur in a truly free market. If you unfairly discriminate against a group of people, you're losing customers, and those people will become your competition. If a group of people want to buy a block of land and exclude all people who meet certain characteristics, that's their right, as long as their ownership claim to that land is valid. Someone gave some counter-examples where "discrimination" means "decision making". I meant "discriminate" in the sense of "immoral discrimination", such as based on race. If you mean "discriminate" in the sense of "valid decision making", that's fine. I agree that it's perfectly acceptable for a software company to discriminate against stupid people by not hiring them. Let's play "taboo your words". If "discriminate" means "make decision on factors other than merit", then that sort of discrimination won't occur in a free market. If "discriminate" means "decide based on available information", then that sort of decision making will occur in a free market. The problem is that "discriminate" has multiple meanings. (They gave some more silly counter-examples.) Of course you can marry whoever you choose, because that doesn't injure anyone else. Of course, an ethnically-themed restaurant may have people of that ethnicity working there. That sort of racial discrimination isn't immoral. Similarly, hiring a black actor to portray Obama instead of a white actor isn't immoral discrimination. In those instances, "merit" and "race" are correlated. If people want to pay extra for a house to live in an all-white or mostly-white neighborhood, that's their prerogative. In that case, there's a specific economic cost for their bias that they're willing to pay. I really meant "racial discrimination in cases where race doesn't matter". For example, suppose all the car manufacturers refused to hire Mexicans. At that point, some smart Mexicans would start their own car factory and market the fact they they were Mexicans selling to other Mexicans. In the present, they can't due this, due to State regulations of manufacturing. Someone pointed out that, in a true free market, you don't have to start your own business to be the beneficiary. Someone else could start a business and hire you. In this thread on mises.org, someone was rereading their college economics textbook and confused about how the monetary system works. That sounds like complete nonsense to me. The amount of money available for loans is completely uncorrelated with customer bank deposits. The Federal Reserve will create as much money as necessary, via monetizing the debt. If there's a "shortage" of cash (i.e., the Fed Funds Rate is rising), then the Federal Reserve will purchase debt and create more cash. The Federal Reserve may print as much money as it pleases via purchasing debt; the Federal Reserve has (literally) an infinite budget. If you put money in a checking account, you're earning a negative inflation adjusted return. Inflation really is 7%-30% (depending on what measure you use), but you only get credited 1%-2% on your checking account. People saving money "stimulates the economy", because savers are letting the financial industry steal their wealth. If you put your wages in a checking account, that means you worked in exchange for (literally) nothing. Over time, your savings will be eroded by inflation. I wish mises.org had a "killfile" feature. Overall, I'm attracting a reasonable amount of traffic to my blog by posting there, in spite of (or because of?) the pro-State trolls. When the trolls keep saying "FSK is full of ****!", perhaps that makes other people think "I should check out FSK's blog!" This thread on mises.org degenerated into a total trollfest/flamewar. The subject was "Why is fractional reserve banking evil?" You know, I've been hoping for a substantive argument against FRB, but for some reason none has been forthcoming. There are two cases to consider. First, consider Fractional Reserve Banking under a gold standard. Suppose a bank has 1000 ounces of demand deposits and 900 ounces of outstanding loans and 100 ounces on reserve. Suppose all depositors come to the bank simultaneously and demand withdrawal. The bank can't pay. It has an immediate obligation of 1000 ounces of gold but only 100 ounces gold on hand. There is no guarantee that the bank will be able to sell its loan portfolio for the 900 ounces of gold owed depositors. For this reason, a fractional reserve bank offering demand deposits is committing fraud. If all depositors simultaneously demand withdrawal, then the bank is insolvent. The fraud is that the fractional reserve bank is borrowing at the overnight demand rate, but lending at the long-term rate. If there's any reason for depositors to mistrust the bank, that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. As liberty student pointed out, a fractional reserve banknote is like a lottery ticket. More accurately, it's like playing a game of musical chairs. If you're the *FIRST* to redeem your banknote when there's a run, you're OK. Otherwise, you're SOL. In practice, government intervenes to bail out the bankers. The State will declare a "banking holiday". Alternatively, the legal system will intervene, not acknowledging depositors' claim. After the late 19th century, limited liability incorporation encouraged fraud by fractional reserve bank management and owners. They could declare bankruptcy, shafting their depositors. Before limited liability incorporation was legalized by the US Supreme Court, a bank's owners and management would be responsible for any shortfall. Second, there's fractional reserve banking in the context of fiat debt-based money. That's totally fraudulent/immoral. Someone already mentioned my article on the Compound Interest Paradox. In a truly free market, where government violence won't intervene to protect fractional reserve bankers, fractional reserve banking is not a sustainable business. You'd have to be a fool to deposit your gold in a fractional reserve bank. You would prefer an Austrian-style warehouse receipt bank or time deposit bank. In a truly free market, banking is not evil. (There was a lot of noise.) There's one key point that people are missing. I can't legally boycott the Federal Reserve. If I want to set up my own private monetary system based on gold or silver, that's practically illegal. It's theoretically legal, but the taxes and regulations I would need to follow make alternate monetary systems effectively illegal. The cost of complying with all the taxes and regulations would make such a business unprofitable. Plus, the income tax effectively bans alternate monetary systems. If I use an alternate monetary system, income taxes must still be paid in Federal Reserve Notes. I can't boycott the Federal Reserve unless I also boycott the income tax. If you follow the full trail, the immoral agent is the government violence that bans alternate monetary systems. For example, the Liberty Dollar had their assets seized by the FBI. People who attempt to set up alternate monetary systems find themselves the victim of government violence. (The Liberty Dollar is a bad example, because that has its own issues, but e-Gold vendors have come under similar regulation/seizures.) If there were no government violence backing the Federal Reserve, people would just boycott it and use sound money instead. Similarly, back in the days of the gold standard, government violence protected banks from the consequence of their misconduct. Government violence and regulation of banking prevented sounder banking models from competing with fractional reserve banking. There's really two separate fractional reserve banking systems that are being cricitized. There's the present system of fiat debt-based money, which is totally fraudulent. There's the pre-1913 system of fractional reserve banking based on a gold standard. In the present, I'm legally barred from boycotting the Federal Reserve. Government violence prevents sound banking systems from existing. The people who say "Fractional Reserve Banking isn't immoral" are ignoring the fact that violence prevents me from using alternate forms of money. And in 1929, when people called the banks on the fact that there were twice as many bank notes in circulation as there was gold on deposit, the government's response was to outlaw gold: The gold confiscation and default on the dollar occurred in 1933, not 1929. In 1929, the Federal Reserve jacked up interest rates, causing a money supply crash. The default on the dollar began in 1929. It was merely made official in 1933. It wouldn't have happened at all were it not for the Federal Reserve's artificial expansion of the money supply, only made possible by its monopoly on bank note issue. And the official story is that the Great Depression happened because the Federal Reserve didn't expand the money supply fast enough. The truth is that the Fed desperately tried to expand credit but couldn't. If you're going to be really technical, the default on the dollar occurred in 1913, when the Federal Reserve was created. Before 1913, the paper dollar was a warehouse receipt for gold in the US Treasury. Every 20 paper dollars correlated with an ounce of gold in the Treasury. After 1913, the Federal Reserve was allowed to print more Federal Reserve Notes than actual gold was in the Treasury. Legal tender laws meant that Federal Reserve Notes traded at parity with gold. Allowed to print more paper dollars than it had physical gold, the Federal Reserve caused an inflationary boom in the 1920s. The Federal Reserve was 100% responsible for the Great Depression. The Great Depression was a massive loot and pillage operation by politically connected insiders. It wasn't an accident or incompetence. They knew exactly what they were doing. Would you rather lend it out signing a contract that read"you will get back your money this time next year, and you will make one years worth of interst." A legitimate contract. This system actually existed. It was called a "Bill of Exchange". It's also referred to as the "Real Bills Doctrine", which says that new money created in this manner isn't inflationary, if the loans are backed by tangible goods. If you have a piece of paper that says "I promise to pay 1000 ounces of gold in 1 year", then you can trade that piece of paper as if it were actual money, provided the issuer is trusted. If interest rates are 4%, then "I promise to pay 1000 ounces of gold in 1 year" is worth 961 ounces of gold right now. The interest rate of 4% was known as the "Discount Rate". (which is different than how the Federal Reserve uses it now) In a free market, interest rates are usually pretty stable. The Bills of Exchange system worked great until 1913, when the Federal Reserve was created and destroyed the system. The Bill of Exchange system was a great way for small businesses to raise/invest surplus capital. The central bank credit monopoly destroyed this free market financing mechanism. A central bank offers negative real interest rates, which means that it's always cheaper to borrow from a bank than from another individual. Perhaps you can explain how bailment law doesn't apply to banks and how the managers are morally able to do whatever they want with their customer's property irregardless of their individual wishes. After the late 19th century, banks were allowed to use limited liability incorporation. This means that if a bank was insolvent, the depositors got shafted in bankruptcy court, if the bank's assets were insufficient to pay depositors. Fractional reserve banking is inherently unsound, so a newspaper printing a rumor of a bank's insolvency is sufficient to cause insolvency. In 1933, President Roosevelt confiscated the gold from US citizens. If you deposited a gold coin in a bank in 1932, you were unable to withdraw it after President Roosevelt seized the gold. In both cases, State violence protected bank management from the consequences of their fraud. The first example was limited liability laws. The second example was an outright seizure of property by government. According to common law or natural law, bank owners and management would be personally liable for any shortfall. In a free market, given the choice of depositing gold in a fractional reserve bank or a sound time-deposit bank, most customers would choose a sound bank. State regulation of banking required all banks to operate under fractional reserve principles. Alternate models were forbidden or regulated. This thread on mises.org was about "free trade zones". Most "free trade agreements" are corporate subsidies, if you read the fine print. For example, a geographic area is exempted from sales taxes. People who already own land or businesses in that area are the beneficiary of a government subsidy. The only way to implement "free trade" is to have no regulations or taxes at all. I'm forced to "purchase" services from the government whether I want to or now. It's silly to talk about free trade when people are forced to purchase government against their will. So what can we do about it? Well, we can vote for loweer taxes and lower tariffs. You're missing the point of "market anarchism". Voting doesn't work; the election system is defective. All forms of taxation are theft, and cannot be justified by any amount of voting. Agorism is the only resistance strategy that isn't a waste of time. The bad guys aren't going to voluntarily give up their power to leech off the productivity of everyone else. Just like the communist fantasies could not work, neithercan the anarcho-capitalist ones. Communism doesn't work, but not for the reasons you gave. The USA is actually a communist country! If you carefully read the Communist Manifesto and compare it to the present USA, you'll see that the USA is, essentially, communist! In this thread on mises.org, someone asked "What would happen if everyone withdrew all their money from the bank?" The Treasury department and Federal Reserve will always be able to print enough Federal Reserve Notes to redeem all deposits. You'll be able to get your pieces of paper out of the bank. There won't be any guarantee that they'll actually be able to buy anything. The final run on the dollar will occur when people rush to convert their unbacked paper to silver or gold or other tangible goods. The price of gold will go to infinity, as people holding gold will be unwilling to trade it for paper at any price. During hyperinflation, the quantity of money doesn't just increase. The velocity of money also increases. People with rapidly inflating paper rush to spend it as soon as possible. In this thread on mises.org, someone was arguing against deregulation of corporations. My question is this: if corporations were deregulated, what would keep them from assuming more control than they already do? How do we liberate the government from corporations' influence if we give them unchecked power? Most regulations of corporations actually favor large corporations over small businesses. For example, the ban on raw milk is a tax on small farmers, who can't afford their own pasteurization plant. Large corporate farms own their own pasteurization plant, and overcharge small farmers who want to pasteurize milk in their plant. The Federal Reserve credit monopoly means that large corporations can raise capital more cheaply than small businesses or individuals. Sarbanes-Oxley is essentially a tax on small corporations. FDA regulation of the drug industry means that only a large pharmaceutical company can bring a new drug to the market, because of the huge cost of getting a drug approved. Corporations are themselves a legal fiction. Corporations separate ownership, power, and responsibility. It is government itself that protects management from misconduct. Tort reform limits punitive damages (see recent Supreme Court Exxon Valdex ruling). Limited liability incorporation protects management and shareholders in the event of bankruptcy. It's usually impossible to directly sue management for misconduct committed on the job; they're usually covered by corporate insurance policies anyway. In a free market, a group of people can get together and pretend they're a corporation. They wouldn't get any special legal perks. I wrote more details in How the State Destroys Small Businesses. This is a common misconception. "Government is needed to prevent monopolies." Usually, government is the *CAUSE* of monopolies. In this thread on mises.org, someone was complaining about limitations of natural rights or free market justice. 1) Given that there is no removal of life, liberty, or property; what about the morality of incest? 2) Morality of bestiality? 3) Given that we can act in self-defence, wouldn't this justify me, say, blowing up the HQ of the IRS? Since the IRS is conducting theft against myself? 1. The reason there is a ban on incest is that it leads to a higher rate of birth defects. If you have a recessive gene for a genetic disease, and you breed with relatives, then the disease is more likely to manifest. For example, many purebred dogs have genetic diseases. If two people want to consent and commit incest, that's none of your business. Incest is genetically a bad idea. In a free market, there's no welfare state to force you to take care of their sick children. 2. Animals don't have the same rights as people. If someone wants to have sex with an animal and they do it in private, that's none of your business. If you find out that someone has committed beastiality, you have the right to refuse to admit them onto your property or hang out with them. 3. Technically, the theft occurs when police break into your residence to kidnap you or seize your property. It is at that point where it is most morally correct to defend yourself with violence. However, defending yourself in such a circumstance is not practical. The police have superior resources. If there were no police enforcing their decrees, then IRS bureaucrats would be a bunch of people shuffling irrelevant paper all day. Most State employees are not aware that they are participants in a massive crime. Since they are mindless zombies, how can they be responsible for their actions? If you object to cruelty to animals, then you should also object to cruelty to State bureaucrats. Aggressive violence against random State employees is a violation of the non-aggression principle. It's only morally correct to defend yourself against a specific State employee that has aggressed against you. In practice, violence against State employees is a waste of time and unproductive. It's more practical to pursue agorism, building wealth and concealing it from the State. I've actually been the victim of State violence. (when I was hospitalized and forced to take anti-psychotic drugs against my will) I wrote the experience off as a loss and moved on. Am I justified hunting down and killing those who aggressed against me, or hiring someone else to collect compensation for me? That's not practical. If there were a mature free market court, I would pursue my claim there. On this thread on mises.org, someone was complaining about an artice that said "People who retire early are being unpatriotic! They have an obligation to work and pay taxes as much as they can!" Don't worry. Middle-class retiree savings are eroded by inflation. They probably aren't going to be able to retire, even if they want to. I liked this bit: It seems to me that anything a tax slave - oops! make that citizen - does that does NOT go immediately into the coffers of the U$ Treasury is bound to be deemed 'unpatriotic' sooner or later . . . Its almost like that joke 1040 'short form' that passes around the net - line 1 - Income, Line 2 - 10% penalty, Line 3 - Add line 1 + 2 and send in check for total.

In this thread on mises.org, someone asked if corporations are responsible for obesity.

The primary problem is State farming subsidies. Unhealthy foods are subsidized and healthy foods are not subsidized.

I assume by 'healthy foods' you mean organically grown?

Don't worry none, they're actively trying to get their piece of the farming subsidy..

Actually, the big industrial farms have managed to get the "organic" label be FDA regulated, to the extent that real organic farmers no longer are allowed to advertise their product as "organic".

Can we really regard the Americas as having been "homesteaded"?

Claims older than a certain period of time aren't enforceable.

If the descendants of native americans can prove that their ancestors lived in a certain area, then he has a theoretical (but not practical) claim against whoever's living there now. In practice, people who feel that they owe a debt to native americans should make voluntary contributions. For example, does each such descendant have a separately valid claim? If there's only one living descendant, then does he now have a claim to all that land?

As another example, President Roosevelt seized gold from US citizens in 1933. Suppose I buy a gold coin, and it is one of the coins that Roosevelt seized in 1933. Do the descendants of people who lost their gold in 1933 have a valid claim against me? No.

Here's another example. Many farmers lost their farms during the Great Depression, which was intentionally caused by the Federal Reserve. Do those farmers have a valid claim against whoever owns the farm now?

If you allow old claims to be enforced, it's impossible to untangle who owns what.

In this thread on mises.org, I called out some other posters for trolling. It's always difficult to tell the difference between someone who's intentionally spreading misinformation, and someone who's just clueless. The thread was about inflation.

Fiat debt-based money has a fundamental structural flaw that guarantees periodic crises. This is the Compound Interest Paradox. That isn't technically part of Austrian economics, but closely related.

There is no paradox, because the banker has to pay his expenses.

The argument "The banker has to pay his expenses" only applies to a gold standard in a free market. Fiat debt-based money is different.

In the present, the Compound Interest Paradox operates with the full force of law. Here are some examples of the Compound Interest Paradox in action.

I seem to recall refuting the Compound Interest Paradox a while back using the basic theories of Austrian economics.

Too lazy to do it again though.

Then perhaps you can be so kind as to supply a link to said refutation?

Yeah, too lazy to do that also.

I don't see any refutation there. I see the incoherent babbling of someone who doesn't understand how the US monetary system works.

I'm always amused when people say "I refuted your argument, but I refuse to provide any details." Alternatively, they make a list of irrelevant points, ignoring the main part of the argument.

When the Federal Reserve "monetizes the debt", it only creates the principal and not the interest payments. Sometimes, they use the Strawman Fallacy to criticize minor details while missing the main point.

Did you address the points I raised in my page of examples?

That's one advantage of having your own blog. I write articles on the most common subjects, and can provide a link instead of repeating myself in full detail.

Calling me a troll is an ad hominem attack.

It isn't ad hominem to accuse someone of trolling if they actually are trolling! Why is it unacceptable to tell someone "You're full of ****!", when it's actually true?!

I have attained the ability to see the world more clearly than most, so I'm now "emotionally attached" to the truth. If you believe "truth is relative", then the actual truth is just one of many possible viewpoints.

The Compound Interest Paradox is one of my favorite ideas, but it's also true.

Yes, the Federal Reserve may buy any assets they choose. Whenever the Federal Reserve purchases assets, it's via "repurchase agreements", or agreements to pay $X immediately and receive$Y later (where Y>X). Such payments are the essence of the Compound Interest Paradox, because $(Y-X) was never created, ever. No matter how many times you aggregate such transactions, you cannot escape. You can't add minuses to get a plus. The Federal Reserve can "take back" money by raising interest rates. Then, fewer new loans are issued and cash drains out of the economy as more loans are repaid than made. This is the essential point of the Compound Interest Paradox. By manipulating interest rates, the Federal Reserve scientifically creates recessions. The system can survive indefinitely, but it needs continuous inflation in order to survive. Historically, every fiat monetary system ends in hyperinflation, and the US dollar is nearing its end. At some point, people will start getting disgusted by excessive inflation and start using sound money instead. On another website (Joel on Software), someone famously said "Some people just don't get pointer arithmetic, no matter how hard they try." Similarly, some people just don't get the Compound Interest Paradox, no matter how hard they try. Some people just can't understand "Taxation is theft!" and realize that it's possible to have a stable civilization without a monopolistic government. When I say "Anonymous Coward is stupid/stubborn/trolling", it's not ad hominem. It's true. However, truth is relative, so when I say "Anonymous Coward is wrong", he may claim the moral high ground, because most people believe truth is relative and there's no such thing as absolute truth. All opinions should be respected, including stupid ones. I don't claim authority because I have my own blog. I claim authority because my line of reasoning is correct. I know I'm not going to convince "Anonymous Coward", because he's a professional troll or paid disinformation agent. I've seen enough of them to recognize the pattern. If spreading disinformation is your full-time job, it's very easy to create multiple online personalities and make sure sensible discussions degenerate into flamewars. However, I do hope to convince other people who read this thread. Anyway, I'm not going to convince "Anonymous Coward" that the Compound Interest Paradox is true and he isn't going to convince me it's false. I'm confident in my research and analysis. All his arguments seem like nonsense to me. Then, liberty student got mad at me for calling out "Anonymous Coward" for trolling. He said "**** you FSK! I'm not reading your blog anymore! Calling out trolls is rude!" He took down the links to my blog and the Compound Interest Paradox from his own page. That's seems pretty childish. If you disagree with my characterization of "Anonymous Coward", "jimmy", "Maxliberty", and "DriftWood" from mises.org as professional trolls, that doesn't invalidate my arguments regarding the Compound Interest Paradox. (Someone was asking in a previous comment about professional trolls in online forums.) It's important to point out trolls, because otherwise they get away with spreading disinformation. Just because someone has a long posting history on a forum, doesn't mean they aren't a professional troll! Any forum that attracts a decent audience has professional trolls. That's one of the laws of spreading disinformation. *EVERY* discussion forum must be infiltrated! The bad guys have the resources to do this, and they're aggressive enough to actually do it. Anyway, mises.org still is driving reasonable new traffic to my blog, according to Google Analytics, and the discussions are sometimes interesting. At some point, I'll lose interest in mises.org, but not yet. I should ignore the people I consider to be trolls unless they say something intelligent. (I wonder if the arguments with trolls is helping me generate traffic? According to Google Analytics, I suspect the answer is "yes".) Also, there appear to be a couple other agorists on mises.org, some of which have made the transition to practical agorism. Some of them agree with my conclusion that "agorism is the only resistance strategy that isn't a waste of time." Via agorism, you fight the bad guys and show a profit at the same time! jones has left a new comment on your post "Do Aliens Exist?": Could be true... aliens could be controlling us... you see George bush frozen in a seat in a kindergarten with a book upside down when the twin towers came down. Maybe they are trying to keep a low profile as to no disturb us? There was a Amazonian tribe that was recently found. if you think about us bringing in trucks with our gadgets like phones and laptops, how do you think the tribe would react? One of my theories is that the aliens have technology that allows them to read people's thoughts and project thoughts into their minds. It only works to a limited degree. For example, the aliens could have decided that a war in Iraq would help accelerate the collapse of government. In that case, President Bush has a dream where God tells him to invade Iraq. It's something he'd consider doing anyway, so only a little encouragement is needed. The aliens tell Ben Bernanke to hyperinflate the dollar, wrecking the US economy. Ben Bernanke is merely greedily thinking about profits for his backers, and not the larger goal of collapsing the dollar and the US government. Arthur C. Clarke said that sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Current technology that we take for granted would seem miraculous to someone living 100-200 years ago. If aliens do exist, they would be 1,000,000 years or more advanced. Their technology would be, literally, magic. However, the aliens are limited in the degree they may directly interfere. That would violate the "Prime Directive", just like in Star Trek (fnord!). Sometimes, a good fiction or science fiction movie is actually a documentary, such as "The Matrix". Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Compound Interest Paradox - a Simpler Explanat...": Another flawed analysis, all the money to pay the interest is included in the original loan. The interest is paid up front. Your very first payment is 98% interest and 2% loan capital. The 2% returns to the blue sky money heaven from which the banks created it out of nothing more than your ability to repay the loan. The OTHER 98% is the BANKSTERS profit that he spends back into the pool of money that is our monetary economy. Through your labor over the next month you will earn enough from that pool of money to make your next payment and the bankster will then spend his cut of 97.8% back into that same pool of money. This makes absolutely no sense and is pure trolling. A better system than the banksters debt-based money is the system our constitution mandates. A wealth based system of gold and silver coins. The current system of paper FRN's are a lie by no good thieves when they call them dollars. I agree that the current monetary system is totally evil. However, by misunderstanding the Compound Interest Paradox, you're underestimating how evil the current monetary system actually is! Money, as currently implemented, is totally fraudulent. A Dollar is a unit of weight of pure silver. The “DOLLAR” (from daalder, dahler, thaler, an abbreviation of Joachimsthaler) was a piece of money first coined, about the year 1518, in the valley of St. Joachim, in Bohemia, Germany. In the US, its definition used to be: (a) A silver coin of the United States containing 371.25 grains of silver and 41.25 grains of alloy having a total weight of 412.5 grains. (b) A gold coin of the United States containing 23.22 grains of gold and 2.58 grains of alloy having a total weight of 25.8 grains, nine-tenths fine (one ounce is 480 grains, so this is about$20 per ounce).

These two coins had different names, dollars and eagles and were to be coined by the people at any US Mint from bullion. This money supply was controlled by the people and not by the government. If there were too many coins of a given metal and their price in terms of what bullion was fetching the people had the right to melt those coins and sell them as bullion and conversely if bullion was cheap, they could have the US mint make coins for a small mintage fee.

I thought the dollar was a Spanish silver coin that was in common circulation in the late eighteenth century?

The dollar was originally a unit of measurement. The people who set up the original monetary standard melted down a silver dollar coin and measured how much silver it contained. They then calculated the equivalent valued weight of gold. The original US dollar was defined as a certain amount of gold. Silver coins were also minted, at a pre-determined exchange rate that undervalued silver.

All of the monetary units were originally a unit of measurement. "Pound", "dollar", "mark", and "franc" all referred to a specific quantity of metal.

Technically, it's inappropriate to call Federal Reserve Notes "dollars". However, Congress gets to make up the rules and they do as they please.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Compound Interest Paradox - a Simpler Explanat...":

I should be more careful when I post. In the early 1900's the banksters sought to remove silver from the Dollar and define a Dollar in terms of gold. Then they could corner the market on gold and controll the monetary system, something they couldn't do with silver, because there is just too much lilver available.

I wrote about the monetization/demonetization of silver before. Before 1913, the US adopted and dropped a bimetallic gold/silver standard more than once. The legal gold/silver ratio always overvalued gold and undervalued silver. Each time, politically connected insiders bought/sold their silver ahead of time, profiting immensely.

Even before 1913, there was a lot of fiddling with the US monetary system and banking regulations. The rule changes always benefited insiders at the expense of everyone else.

One of the key points of the Compound Interest Paradox is "Recessions don't happen in a free market!" Boom/bust cycles are 100% caused by manipulation of the monetary system.

In a free market under a gold standard, if you try to paper-inflate the monetary system, then people will rush to redeem your paper for gold. If you try to crash the monetary system by calling in loans, then your competitors will issue more loans. If you hoard all the gold and monopolize gold, then people will switch to another monetary unit.

Excerpt from Franklin Sanders:
http://the-moneychanger.com/articles.phtml

On this day in 1792 the US congress
passed the Coinage Act, which (under
the Constitution's authority) forever
& immutably set the standard "dollar"
at 371.25 grains of fine silver. The Act
provide for no gold coins denominated
in "dollars", but only Eagles, Half Eagles,
and Quarter Eagles valued at $10,$5, &
$2.50, establishing a "symmetallic" & not a bimetallic or monometallic standard. The system was most astutely designed to allow a permanent silver dollar coin as the basis of the currency, with periodic adjustments of the gold coinage to allow for the change in the gold/silver ratio value at market. This was actually done in the 1830s without cheating a single member of the public. The last sentence is nonsense. "The gold/silver ratio was adjusted periodically without cheating the public." Do you really believe that? Anybody who knew about the adjustment in advance could profit. If they were really interested in not cheating the public, they would have allowed the gold/silver ratio to float. Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Compound Interest Paradox Revisited - Examples...": I have a question about this step: The bank collects the$1.1 million from each of the 9 solvent debtors. The bank seizes $0.8 million from the 1 bankrupt citizen and seizes his$1 million property.

The balance sheet is:
Federal Reserve: -$1 million (money it created)$1.08 million (owed by bank)
Bank: $1 million in cash ******** ------------ In the last line, shouldn't that be Bank:$9.9 million in cash?

Nope, you're wrong.

Let's go back to the previous step:

The balance sheet is:
Federal Reserve: -$1 million (money it created)$1.08 million (owed by bank)
Bank: $10.7 million in deposits (owing 7% interest)$1.08 million owed to Federal Reserve (owing 8% interest)
$11 million in loans (earning 10% interest)$1 million in cash
10 Citizens: $1.07 million in their bank account$1.1 million in debt
$1 million property Let's figure in "all loans are repaid", and "assets seized from one insolvent debtor". I'll add an intermediate step, where the loans are repaid but the money hasn't been destroyed yet. The balance sheet is: Federal Reserve: -$1 million (money it created)
$1.08 million (owed by bank) Bank:$1.08 million owed to Federal Reserve
$1 million in cash * +$10.7 million in loan payments (formerly deposits)
* -$10.7 million in loans that were repaid (formerly loans) **$0.3 million in uncollectable debt

The two lines marked * cancel. The line marked ** is written off by the bank as a loss. If you add all the numbers, they match the previous balance statement.

Where do you get the extra $8.9M? That's the whole point of the Compound Interest Paradox. The bank created new money when it issued a fractional reserve loan. That money is destroyed when the loan is repaid. However, the interest payments are never created. There's a deficit of$0.3M unpayable loan, and the bank has a debt of $0.8M to the Federal Reserve. The books of each individual balance. However, the books of "society as a whole" do not balance. That's the whole point of the Paradox. In order to see the Paradox, you need to construct an example where you include "books of society as a whole". Do you understand, or are you still interested in trolling? Liberty Student has left a new comment on your post "Repeated Lies Drown Out the Truth": Not unlike how politics and religion are meant to be taboo discussion topics. When in fact, the broad sweeping effects of both should make them infinitely more important than football, American Idol, cars or shopping. Politics and religion aren't taboo. They just aren't discussed properly. There's a lot of fake political debate. Obama vs. McCain is fake political debate. Sincere political debate would address questions like "Is taxation theft?" or "Does the USA have a fair monetary system?" Those questions are *NEVER* asked. There's a lot of fake religious discussion. You'll here debates of "Catholic or Protestant". You'll almost never hear a mainstream media personality ask "How do we know Christianity isn't just a bunch of lies?" Christianity is a tough issue. Christian brainwashing is useful, because it teachings things like "OBEY AUTHORITY!" and "RESPECT THE STATE (GOD)!" Christian brainwashing is genuinely useful, because it teaches things like "Murder is wrong!" and "Stealing is wrong!" However, it's acceptable for God/State to murder and it's acceptable for God/State to steal. This contradiction means that people can't be *TOO* Christian. Joey has left a new comment on your post "Repeated Lies Drown Out the Truth": Remember this sage advice: if you can get them asking the wrong questions, who cares about the answers? The same applies with the State and other corrupt peoples. That's the value of asking the right questions. (You might disagree with some of my answers. Does anybody disagree with my questions?) The key questions are: 1. Is taxation the same thing as stealing? (yes) 2. Does the USA have a fair monetary system? (no) 3. What are you going to do about the injustices? (agorism) Luke has left a new comment on your post "The CPI is Biased": Do you have a reference about the chicken-beef trick? I'm not too familiar with the CPI, but I was under the impression that the CPI can't be cheated this way. Further I was under the impression the CPI reflected actual buying habits. Everyone knows the CPI is flawed. There are many ways to measure inflation and they are all flawed. Most investors trade oil or gold rather than the CPI, for example. At the least, it misses important items such as commodities. At the extreme, one cannot even define inflation, because there exists no asset of constant value. However, it does serve a practical purpose of measuring a partial "cost of living". Other factors, such as real estate, energy, and commodities, need to be included for the whole picture. It's not like the CPI is the only number the Fed looks at. As much as I hate citing Wikipedia, their article was the best explanation I could find. There was one trick I hadn't noticed before. When they calculate the "chicken" price, they don't take the *ARITHMETIC* average over the country. They take the *GEOMETRIC* mean over the country. The geometric mean is *ALWAYS* less than the arithmetic mean! For example, {1, 4} has an arithmetic mean of 2.5, but a geometric mean of 2. Using the geometric mean instead of the arithmetic mean causes inflation to be further underestimated. Money supply inflation does not lead to uniform price inflation. If you look at the equation for "Laspeyres index", the reweighting formula is explictly stated there, but not the exact rule. From the government website: #### 6. How is the CPI market basket determined? The CPI market basket is developed from detailed expenditure information provided by families and individuals on what they actually bought. For the current CPI, this information was collected from the Consumer Expenditure Survey over the two years 2001 and 2002. In each of those years, about 10,000 families from around the country provided information on their spending habits in a series of quarterly interviews. To collect information on frequently purchased items such as food and personal care products, another 7,500 families in each of the 2 years kept diaries listing everything they bought during a 2-week period. Altogether, more than 30,000 individuals and families provided expenditure information for use in determining the importance, or weight, of the more than 200 categories in the CPI index structure. Regrettably, the *EXACT LIST OF WEIGHTS*, and how they have changed over time, is not published. Here's a good rule of thumb. If you want to know "How is **** calculated?", and you can't find the details, you know some manipulation is occurring. I saw a quote where Ben Bernanke said "I only care about the CPI. I don't care about other measures of inflation." For example, oil and energy are explicitly excluded. I don't know how Ben Bernanke sets monetary policy. Most likely, he does what his bosses (financial industry insiders) order him to do. If you can find a source that says *EXACTLY* how CPI is calculated, let me know. I was looking for *THE EXACT FORMULA*. I could not find it. Monkt has left a new comment on your post "The Voting Scam Revisited": One problem I've see with the internet so far is that most people just get their news from the mainstream media's websites. What does that have to do with the Voting Scam? As a blog, I'm not looking to be the first to mention "breaking news". I'm providing analysis that isn't available elsewhere. "News" isn't just "the facts of what happened". The spin/propaganda/fnords are much more important. For example, the news is that Jesse Jackson made a critical statement about Obama. The fnord is "It matters what Jesse Jackson and Obama do." Joey has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #58": Heads up! I got some commentary on your reader mail once again. You can find it posted here: http://thefreedomsymposium.blogspot.com/2008/07/fsk-i-converse-on-taxes-other-stuff.html As always, thanks for the conversation. My readers are loving these debates/conversations so I intend on giving them more. I answered this as a separate post. How do you know your readers are enjoying the conversation? From my point of view, it's only about 5-10 visits, which is decent, but nothing amazing. Am I sending you more traffic than you're sending me? My favorite comment was on one of your posts. It said "WAAH!! FSK called me a pro-State troll! Sympathize with me Joey!" You provided the desired sympathy. I'm not looking for that type of reader/commenter. I'm still convinced that resistance strategies besides agorism are a waste of time. Of course, you're free to do as you please. Raising awareness is also important. Am I over-emphasizing economic freedom? *BOTH* economic freedom and interpersonal freedom are necessary. You can't have one without the other. Even with interpersonal freedom, the State places huge restrictions on your economic activity and steals a lot of your wealth/life. Currently, I have neither economic freedom nor interpersonal freedom. I work in my corporate wage slave job. I don't have any friends that are suitable agorist trading partners. barry b has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #58": Since I've been following your blog a lot more here recently I've realized that the topics you blog about are the same damn ideas that float through my head all day. Also, they happen to be the subjects of conversation among a couple of my friends with whom I can actually discuss these issues with. I can't devote nearly the time to blogging, reading, and research that I would like. Most people have a vague sense that something really bad is occurring with the economic and political system. Hopefully, I've stated the details, and a proposed solution (agorism), pretty clearly. It isn't enough to write "The State is evil!" or "The US monetary system is unfair!" You also have to answer "What are you going to do about it?" I'm working 48 hours per week right now and it's hard to give the time to the blog. However, my question for you is... how do find the time to read as much as you do and post as often as you do. I've been following you closely lately and am impressed with how much of this subject matter you find time to read and comment on. Hell your blog is starting to become a one stop source for news related to taxes, gold, liberty etc. I work 40 hours per week. I'm a very productive worker, and have spare time for blogging while at work. (I'm a wage slave, so I don't feel guilty blogging at work. In the worst case scenario, where my employer seizes my blog, claiming it's their property, I'll just start a new one. I doubt that'll happen. I keep backups on my HD at home.) I prepare drafts ahead of time. I have finished drafts queued up for 3 months at a time, at a rate of 3 per week. This way, if I have a creative dry spell, I can keep posting. I use Blogger's "scheduled posting" feature to have posts queued up for a week ahead of time. Reader comments are the best source of feedback. In a traditional academic journal, there's a lag of several years inbetween publication and feedback. Plus, most professors don't read each other's papers anyway; they just pretend to. In a newspaper, "letters to the editor" aren't directed to the reporter who wrote the article. The reporter doesn't have the time/ability/resources/freedom to respond to each letter, even if he wanted to. Via blogging, you get immediate publication and immediate feedback. It's important to not let the pro-State trolls get you down. Some "Reader Mail" bits lead to articles of their own, which get placed in the queue. I sometimes browse other forums for ideas. I'm active on mises.org, right now. I'll probably get bored/frustrated there soon. When posting in a forum, it's important to not let the pro-State trolls get you down, nor get into a shouting contest with the trolls. I should ignore the trolls as much as possible. I have a nice setup with RSS and Google Reader. That lets me browse other interesting blogs for ideas. (Actually, "Debt Prison" is on my hitlist, but buried somewhere. Your blog has 3x the "Technorati Authority" as me. My reaction was "If you're writing about 'Debt Prison', without understanding the Compound Interest Paradox, then I'm not interested." I don't consider "Technorati Rank" to be that meaningful, because I'm targeting a niche audience.) My RSS setup in Google Reader is that I rename the feed whenever I choose to "share" an item, giving it +1. The highest rated entries make it into my favorites. I'm contemplating some demotions/promotions. It's just a matter of using your time efficiently. I stop visiting sites that are boring, and keep adding new sites to my rotation. barry b has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #58": also wanted to tell you I read Peter Schiff's "Crash Proof". I'm not sure that you'll much you don't already know. However, I like his analogy on U.S. vs China. Everyone says that China's economy is completely dependent on U.S... as they are actively producing everything we consume these days and the U.S. is actively producing printing presses. In the book he compares America to a neighbor who used to produce a lot of crops. But over time we began to produce less and less, and consume more. Finally this neighbor (who now sits around and plays golf all day) has the entire world working for them. And all of this is based on the false assumption that the U.S. dollar is as good as gold. Once they realize the U.S. economy is a false one based entirely on monopoly money - the u.s. will sink and the chinese will work a little less but still proser just the same. Overall it was a good read and learned a few things I didn't know. I've heard of "Crash Proof", but haven't read it. I'm looking for more advanced material on agorism. That book would probably be mostly reciting what I already know. Inflation is the USA's biggest export. I already described the process by which the USA exports its inflation to China, but it's worth repeating. A factory in China sells lead-painted toys in the USA. The factory owner receives US dollars. He gives his dollars to China's government in exchange for newly printed yuan (China's currency). China merely sits on those dollars, instead of buying tangible goods with them. In this way, the USA exports its inflation to China. China is subsidizing the Iraq war by holding dollar-denominated assets that earn a negative real interest rate. China is, literally, exporting to the USA in exchange for a piece of paper. I don't understand how "China's people are benefiting from this arrangement." China's government could purchase the lead-painted toys themselves and burn them. That would be equivalent to exporting them to the USA for a worthless piece of paper. The only benefit is that China is receiving US manufacturing technology, as factories are built in China. The large dollar reserve gives China a bargaining chip when negotiating with the USA. barry b has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #58": FSK, I thought this was an interesting article http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,563499,00.html When they say "inflation was 4% in the first quarter", they meant "annualized inflation", not "4% in 3 months" (i.e. 20% actual inflation) Notice that such articles never say "We should return to sound money!" The blame is always deflected elsewhere. The problem is that other countries are trying to keep a stable exchange rate with the US dollar, and the Federal Reserve is rapidly inflating to bail out banks. Further, banks in other countries have problems similar to the one in the USA. Inflation never causes economic growth. Inflation merely steals from one group of people and gives to another. It's distributed costs and concentrated benefits! (another post that should be updated) That article was mostly propaganda. tecbelico has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #58": I guess you've mistaken my blog as a Spanish one, at least it's the most probable explanation by looking at your Technorati page. Later I'll write a post there (tecbelico.wordpress.com) about agorism in English. Is that Portugese? I can't read either language. You didn't make an English post recently. Michael Perelman has left a new comment on your post "The Hunt Brothers' Silver Corner": some students of mine were the younger siblings of some high-ranking Kuwaitis. I warned them about speculating with the Hunts. I had no real information about the particulars but explained the risks. They later expressed great gratitude for my input. That was one dishonest thing the Hunt brothers did. After they had already pushed up the price of silver, they went around advising other people to buy silver. When Jim Cramer does that, it's acceptable. When the Hunt brothers do it, it's a crime (although they didn't get busted for that). (Jim Cramer's "Mad Money" show is taped ahead of time, about an hour or two earlier. Jim Cramer can push up a mid-cap or small-cap stock up 5%-10%, just by mentioning it. If I were friends with Jim Cramer and knew about his show in advance, I could make a fortune. That's technically illegal, but you can be sure it happens.) If you advised them to not go along with the Hunt brothers, you gave good advice. If the Hunt brothers had made an unleveraged long position in silver, then they would have made a tidy profit, and the financial industry wouldn't have been able to screw them over. When their huge leveraged position threatened a clearing default, then the financial industry insiders had no choice but to cheat them. propertarian has left a new comment on your post "Real GDP Growth Has Been Negligible Since 1990": I posted a criticism of your GDP here: http://anarcho-freemarketeerism.blogspot.com/2008/07/gdp-and-broken-window-fallacy.html That was mostly irrelevant criticism. You need to work on your trolling. There was one reasonable point. GDP is not a true measure of economic activity. For example, lawyers are purely parasitic, but their work counts towards GDP. Off-the-books work does *NOT* count towards GDP. However, there's no other statistic available for use. Can you suggest a better statistic? GDP isn't perfect, but it's a reasonable approximation of true on-the-books economic activity. Also, you criticize my use of median household income instead of median individual income. There was no source for median individual income, so I used that. You also point out that the # of households increased by 15% while population increased by only 13.1%. This leads to an error of 2% in my calculation. That is not a material error. I have an updated version of this post, with 2007 GDP data, coming soon. BROKEN LADDER has left a new comment on your post "The Voting Scam Revisited": Instant Runoff Voting and Range Voting are "winner-take-all" systems. For multi-winner elections, you can use STV or Reweighted Range Voting, or even Asset Voting. http://rangevoting.org/PropRep.html You're missing the point. Even if your ultimate fantasy were realized and the USA switched to a fair voting system, it would be irrelevant. Voting does not establish the legitimacy of a government. The majority does not have the right to steal from the minority. For example, the majority could rationally vote for a$1000 per post tax on bloggers, rationalizing it by saying "I don't have a blog." That doesn't make it morally correct.

Even with a fair voting system, and a non-corrupt media, the majority could rationally in their self-interest pass stupid laws.

Besides, an agorist revolution is more likely than a voting system reform.

Once you realize "Taxation is theft!", you realize that *NO* government is legitimate. No voting system legitimizes taxes.

Due to complicated sleight of hand, people are provided with the illusion that they are a net beneficiary of government. If you steal $10,000 from someone when they aren't looking and give back$1000, then the person will say "Thanks for the $1000!" This is how tax refunds work, but it also applies in many other circumstances. barry b. has left a new comment on your post "Market Anarchist Blog Carnival Promoted!": I submit articles sometimes to blog carnival and found that it only brings me hits if the blog that hosts that edition happens to be a very popular blog - other wise it gets no hits but does drive up the technorati ranking. Usually it brings no hits. According to Google Reader, you have 4 RSS subscribers and I have 29 RSS subscribers. This only counts people who subscribe via a Google-sponsored RSS reader. However, you're 3x ahead of me in Technorati "authority". I guess that shows the irrelevance of Technorati rank. According to Google Analytics, I'm scoring around 100-150 Absolute Unique Visitors per day. I don't know how many of my readers block Google Analytics via NoScript, but I doubt it's more than 10%. (I block Google Analytics to avoid polluting my own analytics stats!) Sometimes, I wonder if I should self-host, just so I'd have full server logs. It isn't worth the hassle (yet). With full server logs, I'd be able to count people who block Google Analytics. I agree with Zhwazi, who says "Feed aggregators make Blog Carnivals obsolete." The next generation of social networking software should allow topics that target niche interests to spread. The previous time I hosted (December 2007), it generated a lot more traffic for my site. I'd host it again, if asked. barry b. has left a new comment on your post "Woman Mudered in Kings County Hospital": about 18 year ago my parents divorced and one of my older brothers was severly mentally retarded. My father wanted custody so he could keep him at home and see to his well being. My mother and grandmother had other plans. They conversed with the judge to have him placed in Ellisville State School in Mississippi. My father was very upset about these arrangements but could do nothing. After about 3 weeks we went to check on him. The workers seemed very surprised that a parent had showed up. We were greeted at the door by a screaming large man who went screaming down through the halls as we walked. My brother was in a back room with the lights turned laying down. We woke him up and he smiled to see us. He was still covered in hair from a haircut he'd received earlier in the day. About a month later the state school called to say my brother had a 'bump' on his head. My father left immediately and found my brother in very bad shape. His entire forehead and half his face was severly swollen with oozing cuts on his forehead. His left eye was swole shut. Turns out he'd gotten shingles. They told my father their state hospital had checked on him and said it was just a 'bump'. My father picked my brother up and carried him out. Though the state workers said he couldn't do that, he quickly explained about the law suit they were about to have at their front door. My brother spent a week at the hospital recovering. I don't know what other torments he experienced because he can't talk. My dad's doctor told my father he'd gladly write a letter to the judge explaining that another round at the state hospital would quickly kill my brother. That was 18 years ago. Yesterday I had lunch with my father and brother - they live next door.... If you research on the Internet, there's a lot of stories of abuse by the psychiatric/mental health/murder industry. My blog isn't a random sample of the population, but I've heard several stories of abuse. (Some people comment that they're "psychiatric survivors" by E-Mail or on their own blog.) When I was first hospitalized, I was living in a city by myself. When I called 911 for help, I never imagined that the medical care I received would be so horrible. While I was waiting to be forcibly injected, I kept wondering "When am I going to get to talk to someone who has a clue?" It was obvious to me that the doctors and nurses who spoke to me had no clue about anything. I didn't even know they were doctors! Based on a 2 minute examination, I was involuntarily hospitalized and forced to take harmful drugs against my will. According to the medical records, I had a "history of non-compliance with medication and needed to be forcibly given drugs". This was the first time I was hospitalized! I was totally doped up and oblivious. Somehow, I figured out that calling my parents collect for help was a good idea. They came to get me bailed out of the hospital. According to my parents, the hospital staff was *MAD AND DISAPPOINTED* that my parents came to rescue me. The hospital staff thought that I was now their property. They would have me institutionalized for the rest of my life, milking me for Medicare payments. The withdrawal for those drugs is awful. Even 3-6 months afterwards, the withdrawal effects still linger. The withdrawal symptoms look like the outbreak of a mental illness! Whoever designed those drugs was really clever and evil! It's been 6 months since my last hospitalization. I hope I'll be able to stay out this time. If I can stay "clean" for another year, I'll have more confidence that I'm recovered. Anecdotal evidence isn't "proof", but when the official custodians of power are corrupted, situations like this occur. You can't rely on psychiatrists and the pharmaceutical industry to tell the truth, so anecdotal evidence is all there is. Based on my personal experience, the "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is complete bull****. Anybody who prescribes anti-psychotic or anti-depressant drugs is a murderer. Anybody who forces people to take those drugs, via lying or outright violence, is a murderer. Most people don't have the intellectual capacity to realize "Is my psychiatrist full of ****?" Some people in the government and pharmaceutical industry are probably aware of the harmful effects of anti-psychotic drugs. They are suppressing this information. I can't prove it, but there's a ton of circumstantial evidence. A psychiatrist is worse than a policemen who enforces illegitimate laws. A policeman shows you his badge, gun, and uniform, which creates a certain level of fairness. A psychiatrist will murder you while he's pretending to help you. The fact that the psychiatrist believes his own lies, doesn't make it morally acceptable. I only was forced to take anti-psychotic drugs for a few months, so hopefully I wasn't permanently damaged. I wonder what the effect is on people who take them for years? Most FDA approval studies only cover 6-12 weeks. A psychiatrist will put his patient/victim on anti-psychotic medication for years. Every psychiatrist I've ever had told me "You will be required to take these drugs for the rest of your life. Your complaints about side effects are proof that you are in fact sick." If a doctor or psychiatrist ever asks you if you can hear voices, ANSWER NO! Even if you can hear voices that are actually there, don't tell your psychiatrist or he will murder you! It's unclear if "hearing voices" is a natural reaction to extreme stress, a symptom of reaching a higher level of consciousness, or if they're actually real (aliens?). If what you consciously want doesn't match what you subconsciously want, then you start hearing voices. Did your brother recover? Is he still taking anti-psychotic medication? Did he stop? Could he handle the withdrawal? This bit deserves its own separate post. Joey has left a new comment on your post "Woman Mudered in Kings County Hospital": My gosh, Barry, that is some truly horrible stuff. How do you feel about your mother and your father when it comes to this and what is like talking to your mother and father after such horrible things were done to your brother? I'm very angry at the people who forced me to take harmful drugs against my will. barry b. has left a new comment on your post "Woman Mudered in Kings County Hospital": I admire my father for his devotion to family. He's a man that has sacraficed his independence and livlihood so that another could have a little taste of life. I don't blame my mother, she suffered heavily from mental illness herself and today is much better. However, my grandmother knew better. What bothers me the most about the matter is that my grand parents at the time (and still to this day) run a personal care home where they take care of other families elderly mentally ill. I still visit them on holidays. I love them but don't have to like them... I'm unsure if I could do what freedomain does, which is to totally stop talking to abusive relatives. That seems a bit extreme to me. kevin quinn has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #58": FSK: a Prisoner's Dilemma cannot be resolved with communication. It reappears as the choice between keeping to the agreement to keep quiet or reneging. Reneging is dominant. As for (infinite)repetition, it's true that the cooperative outcome is a possible outcome; but so is always defect. The repeated PD becomes a coordination game, with multiple equilibria. You missed my main point. Prisoner's Dilemma and other game theory simulations are not a reasonable model for economics, because their assumptions don't match reality in a true free market. Such distortions are only possible via State manipulation of the market. A market is more like repeated Prisoner's Dilemma. In the best simulations I read about, there was an evolutionary process. The worst strategies were weeded out, and the best ones reproduced (and possibly slightly mutated). In all the simulations I read about, "tit for tat" usually wins. When communications are tampered with, then "tit for tat with forgiveness" dominates. (If you don't forgive, "tit for tat" degenerates into both defect, when communications are imperfect.) The market is a zero-sum or negative-sum game only when the State distorts the market. For example, in an agorist community, you won't be allowed to trade with someone unless you make restitution when you "defect". Refusing to play with a defector is usually not an option in those simulations. David Gross has left a new comment on your post "Both Theory and Implementation are Important": You seem to be waiting for some threshhold moment where enough like-minded people have gotten together and come up with a well-organized conspiracy to create an agorist underground that will enable you to live more or less the same life you're living now but without the state getting in the way. I work as a financial systems programmer, so my salary is relatively high. If I were a worker earning minimum wage, then the underground economy would be very attractive. Based on my current salary, I need a more mature underground economy before I can profitably join. That is exactly the whole point of agorism. I'm not sacrificing my personal lifestyle to fight the State. If agorism is implemented properly, it won't be necessary. For now, spreading awareness is probably more important than actually trading agorist-style. That will change in a few years. I think that, properly understood, the agorist countereconomy doesn't require any such critical-mass threshhold, but does require making lifestyle changes. You do need about 5 people to get started, according to my estimates. I don't know anyone suitable where I currently live. The key is noticing that there are often multiple paths to the goals you're seeking -- some of these (often the most well-lit, well-paved, greased chutes) travel through government checkpoints at which you're taxed and regulated; but other paths don't. They may require going a little out of your way or learning skills the state schools don't teach, but did you think fighting the state was going to be a cakewalk? One skill that I think I should get is building and repairing appliances. That seems useful, and regrettably I didn't learn that in school. I'm not sure how useful software engineering would be in an underground economy. There is a vast "solidarity economy" that doesn't involve taxed, regulated transactions (including, but not limited to the "underground economy"). The key to agorism is to take advantage of this economy, contribute to its health and thriving, and to expand its sphere of influence. If it's that advanced, then where do I join? For instance, if I drive to Safeway and pick up a six-pack, or if I walk down to the brew supply place and buy supplies to brew my own beer, the end result is the same: I've got beer to drink. But the variety of checkpoints I've gone through on the path to that result is different, as are their consequences in terms of the shape of the society they encourage. There's a third possibility. You can buy beer from someone else who brewed it himself. Since alcohol is heavily taxed, he can sell it to you for less than a store would charge, and still make a nice profit for himself. If you're forced to do everything yourself, you're not taking advantage of specialization of labor. Specialization of labor is a good idea. propertarian has left a new comment on your post "Both Theory and Implementation are Important": "Suppose agorists are 10x as productive as non-agorists. If 1% of the people are participating in agorism, then they now control 10% of the wealth! " Acutally, it's 10/(99+10) = 9.17%. "If 10% of the people are practicing agorists, then they now control 50% of the wealth!" Actually, it's (10 * 10)/(50+(10 * 10)) = 66.67% I was rounding. Small arithmetic errors aren't important. "There aren't yet any examples of a functioning agorist free market." The black market and illegal immigration are functioning agorist markets. The black market benefits from the State, because the State restricts competition. Illegal immigration benefits the State, because it helps drive down wages for everyone else. When there's a fixed pool of jobs, importing workers drives down wages to subsistence level. Those aren't good examples. "You seem to be waiting for some threshhold moment where enough like-minded people have gotten together" There are already many agorists. The Internet would make enough people band together. Methods called "crypto-anarchism" and "electronic money" can be used to hide transactions. I never understood these online digital currencies. What's wrong with physical gold and silver? So specifically, what's the threshhold? So all agorists would wait hundreds of years in hope that other people would start it. I don't think that getting even 1% of the population to become agorists is possible unless there is some example. I never said I'm going to wait hundreds of years. I'm planning to wait a few more years. Should there be a high-profile mainstream advocate for agorism? How would that be accomplished, when a mainstream media source would refuse to broadcast the truth? Suppose I tried to be a high-profile advocate for agorism? I would probably be the victim of State violence. However, with popular support, I probably could effectively pursue a jury nullification defense, if arrested. Any mainstream advocate for agorism would be restricted in their ability to practice agorism themselves. Joey has left a new comment on your post "Both Theory and Implementation are Important": I've posted my response to this, which may be my final word on the topic for a while. Thanks as always for the lively discussion! http://thefreedomsymposium.blogspot.com/2008/07/to-kent-fsk-david-my-final-thoughts-on.html Well, we just disagree. I'm firm in my attitude that you need *BOTH* interpersonal freedom and economic freedom. If you have interpersonal freedom, but not economic freedom, you're still a slave. The State leeches 50%+ of my life via direct and hidden taxes. Public discussion of agorism is very recent, but from what I've read on the topic the roots of practical agorism are not new. Tax resistance, for example, has been around for a long time and I'm sure it's growing. Agorism is more than just tax resistance. With tax resistance, you're usually running a business, accepting payment in cash, and then not reporting the income. With agorism, you're building a network of off-the-books businesses that support each other. For example, if you're working as an unlicensed agorist doctor, then you can't advertise on craigslist. If there were a mature underground trading network, then a free market doctor could sell his services there. Tax resistance is usually an individual acting alone. Agorism is a community. For example, if you practice tax resistance, but still use slave points as money, you aren't accomplishing as much. "Theft via inflation" is almost as bad as "theft via income tax". The income tax steals your labor as you work. Inflation steals your savings out of your pocket. Of course, anyone practicing tax resistance is still benefiting someone who works as an agorist! I would suggest your lack of interpersonal freedom is of more importance in the long run than this agorist goal you are trying for. Yet I've noticed that you bypass that subject. Fair enough. I didn't ignore that subject. What tactic do you suggest for getting more interpersonal freedom? I'm looking around for signs of intelligent life, but I'm not finding anything promising. I have 1 reader from google reader, but my traffic has been getting a boost since our conversations on relationships and this newest conversation has spiked readership a little (at least for me). Last I checked I had 10 to 11 subscribers. I noticed that "subscribers in Google Reader" is (approximately) 10% of total RSS subscribers. I did the comparison when the Dilbert RSS feed changed and they announced how many RSS subscribers there were. I should start using FeedBurner. RSS statistics aren't completely accurate, because sometimes people subscribe and then forget about it, or they're using multiple readers. I wonder if I should take the attitude of President Bush. "Either you're with me or against me!" Either you believe agorism is worth pursuing and investigating, or you're wasting my time. It's interesting to compare mises.org to the Ron Paul forum a year ago. A year ago, nobody on the Ron Paul forum took agorism seriously, and I was ignored when I mentioned it. On mises.org, there are some flamewar threads developing around agorism, with people other than me advocating for agorism. Is this a sign of progress? My conclusion is "agorism is the only strategy worth pursuing". I haven't seen any evidence that has convinced me otherwise. Am I being stubborn, or have I made a logically correct conclusion? It's like saying "FSK has a stubborn insistence that 2+2=4." eagledove9 has left a new comment on your post "The Strawman Fallacy": How dare you claim that Burger King is better than McDonald's! People who believe such things should not be allowed to roam the streets. Is that supposed to be funny? I don't get it. Actually, I usually prefer hamburgers made by small local vendors, instead of fast food chains. It's usually the same price or$1-$2 more, but much higher quality. The fast food chains can't bankrupt the small local stores. I'm willing to pay 10%-20% more for a higher quality meal. Ironically, after a certain point, restaurant quality and price are inversely related. I went to some$30+ restaurants, and was deeply disappointed.

Jimmy Jolt has left a new comment on your post "Real GDP Growth Has Been Negligible Since 1990":

Interestingly, I was reading a report by The Economist recently (published in 2007) saying that since 1970 productivity has gone up by 85% but real wages have only gone up by 2%... which is kind of related to what darrell commented - growth can be great (as an aggregate) but you'll still get haves and have nots. The average joe has made lots more money - just not for himself!

The problem is that State restrictions of the market have substantially increased since 1970.

This is a confusing issue. In a *REALLY* free market, economic inequality is natural, because different workers have different levels of productivity. In a fake free market, like the USA, economic inequality exists because some workers excel at lobbying the State for favors.

The true evil is State restrictions of the market. In the present, increasing inequality is due to increased restriction of the market, and not greater productivity.

It's somewhat paradoxical. The bad guys want a certain degree of economic freedom, because that creates more wealth they can leech. The bad guys don't want economic freedom, because they like being parasites! In the present, the bad guys are getting way too greedy. I like this, because it hastens the collapse!

Darrell has left a new comment on your post "Agorist Philosophy Overview":

I am not completely in agreement with the agorist philosophy, to some extent, there must be decisions made by the greater whole, and I do not think I would be comforted by the idea of private police force funded directly by our contributions.. nor having some people covered by it and not others... though I am aware that in fact, it is the case now anyway...some are protected by the police, others, hunted.

When you start talking about "greater whole" or "greater good", you're pro-State trolling.

Can you name a specific law that can be more efficiently implemented by the "greater whole" than by free market police?

You're also assuming the private police would be prohibitively expensive. With a "criminal pays" justice system, police service would be *VERY* cheap. I doubt it would be more than a 10-20 ounces of silver per year.

I believe though, that I have the first step in addressing these issues, and publicizing these issues in a way that would have people reaching the same sorts of conclusions on their own.

I'm thinking about ways to reach a wider audience. My blog only reaches 100-200 people at a time, and other similar blogs have similar readership levels.

It tough when you don't have a mainstream media source blasting your message.

It will require programmers, lots, and lots of programmers, to create a system that emphasizes a community mind set and encourages a true free market by allowing people to more easily reach out to those with what they need, and even more so, begin to understand themselves and what they truly need. Most of the technology already exists.... it will be a massive integration project.. I'd love to talk to you about it.

Are you sure software is what is needed most right now? There's already a lot of work already being done with social networking software.

The "open source software" tactics need to move into the realm of producing tangible goods. It's possible to profitably manufacture on a small scale. I don't know of "open source" air conditioner manufacturing/repair technology.

Let me know if you have any specific ideas.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Compound Interest Paradox":

i don't think this analysis is true. this is akin to saying there must be the same amount of money in circulation as there is total wealth. the chances of someone attempting to buy the sum of the world's wealth with the sum of the world's money is nil. similarly, attempting to pay back all debt simultaneously isn't going to happen.

This makes no sense at all. Attempting to pay back all debt simultaneously occurs partially when the Federal Reserve raises interest rates. More loans are repaid than new loans issued, and money drains out of the economy.

if you take the last loan, and the bank starts removing money from circulation as you pay it off, it is still possible to pay it off. you can work for the bank!

No. You're missing the point.

if there is more debt than money, you produce, trade products for money, pay down debt, and repeat the process over and over and over again.

That doesn't make sense. It doesn't matter how much wealth create. I need actual money. When I repay my debt, I have to give money. I can't give goods.

The bank ultimately doesn't want all the money it simply made up - it wants your real goods. Maybe it pays you for your goods with the money you used to pay back its debt. maybe it pays someone else who pays you. the point is that money circulates along with real goods. the only way you can't pay back debt is if interest rates are higher than your production rate, in real terms.

Actually, even if interest rates are lower than my production rate, I may be unable to repay my loan.

During the boom phase, suppose I borrow at 6% for a business where I expect a profit rate of 10%. For example, my debt is $1M, my interest payment is$60k, and my profit is $100k. Now, the Federal Reserve jacks up interest rates and the money supply crashes by 50%. Now, my$100k profit turns into only $50k profit. I can't repay my loan. Boom/bust cycles mess up the ability to make rational economic calculations. yes, the federal reserve system is a piece of garbage. all central banking is. artificial credit is. monetizing debt is. government debt (paid by future taxes) is. Taxes are. and the media is garbage for pretending like this is as good as it gets. the whole thing can crash and burn, hyperinflation-style, or it can cause endless business cycles and economic inefficiency. And it robs people's savings, forcing them to invest (as a form of charity...expecting no returns) in those who are awarded artificial credit. so...sorry, but i think this is a boogey man argument. yes, the ordained banking system is privileged against normal people. but its mere existence doesn't make us debt slaves. I characterize your comment as trolling. If you don't like it, go troll elsewhere. You didn't present any coherent counter-arguments to the essential problem of the Compound Interest Paradox and fiat debt-based money. Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Hunt Brothers' Silver Corner": the screwed up thing is there's only like 2-3 articles ON THE INTERNET on the real details of what happened. This is nearly concrete proof the insiders in government, industry, and finance also control the media...ahem, CFR? Really? (Does my article count as one of them? I thought I researched it reasonably well.) I read about the Hunt Brothers on several websites. Maybe I'm good at finding useful information among the mass of information on the Internet. That's something I'm wondering about. Can I take my blog's content and have it "go mainstream"? On most days, my "Hunt Brothers" article is #1 or #2 in my Google Analytics statistics. I wonder if it's going to surpass the Compound Interest Paradox for #1 on my "Best of FSK" list. I haven't had any hugely popular posts recently, but my blog's traffic is slowly increasing. Joey has left a new comment on your post "There's Nothing Wrong With Private Property": A great post there. I posted some quick thoughts addendum to your post here: http://www.blogger.com/publish-confirmation.g?blogID=4364052253544182019&postID=3083400128343239062&timestamp=1215728944974&javascriptEnabled=true That link is broken. I assume you mean this post? My post on "There's Nothing Wrong With Private Property" attracted a surprising amount of trolling and hate mail, although it hasn't been that popular in Google Analytics. I don't understand what you mean by "self-detonating argument". I consider "Taxation is not theft!" and "There should be a government." to be self-detonating arguments. If you think logically about it, they rapidly lead to contradictions. The opposite of "you own yourself" is "you are property of the State". That is silly, because the State is an abstract fictional entity. Really, you are the property of the Supreme Leader of Humanity. "You don't own your own body" is used to justify many evil things. It justifies income taxes. It justifies property taxes. It justifies banning people from owning guns. It justifies banning marijuana and other drugs. If you take drugs, you're damaging State property! It justifies requiring people to wear seatbelts. It justifies banning prostitution. If you don't own yourself, then who owns you, and how can you win your freedom? And now, time to respond to some trolling. propertarian has left a new comment on your post "There's Nothing Wrong With Private Property": This illustrates a common troll debating tactic. He superficially addresses each of the points I make, while ignoring my main point. My main point is "Private property is overall a good invention." I don't have to describe how private property works in every circumstance, to justify "private property is good". In the present, many ownership claims are hopelessly entangled. For example, in a rent-controlled apartment, who is the legitimate owner? It isn't the landlord, because the State subsidized his purchase. It isn't the tenant, because the State is subsidizing his rent. Propertarian superficially retorts each individual sentence in my article, while completely ignoring my main point. After writing this, I realized that I shouldn't have wasted time responding to this troll comment. Anyway, I already wrote it so here it is. "In the present, almost all property is stolen property." That is not the same as saying that private property is an inherently evil invention. "Suppose I build a house. My neighbor says that house isn't mine and demands I give it to him. Does that make any sense?" If you are actually using your neighbor's materials to build you house, then you are illegitimate. Suppose if you are actually on your neighbor's lawn when you are building your house, and you did not actually know you are. What? When did I say that I need to trespass on my neighbor to build a house? I don't have unlimited rights to do whatever I want. In a residential neighborhood filled with 2 story houses, I can't build a 10 story apartment building. I'd be denying my neighbor sunlight. If I wanted to do that, I'd have to get permission from my neighbors or buy their property. If I built without their permission, then they would have a valid tort claim against me. "Suppose I work for several months and use the proceeds to buy a car. You can't demand I give you my car." This is wrong if your neighbor offers to trade your car for money. What? I'm allowed to sell my car. The fact that I may sell my car if I choose, doesn't invalidate my ownership claim to my car. "There's no such thing as intellectual property." Trade secrets are a legitimate form of intellectual property. Trade secrets are different. Trade secrets are sometimes enforceable via contract. For example, suppose I discover a cure for cancer. I hire you to help me administer the cure, on condition that you tell nobody else. That is a valid contract. However, suppose I have hired 100 people to help me administer the cure. One of them leaks the secret. I can't prove who did it. In this case, I don't have an enforceable claim. I can't prove whether one of my employees leaked the secret, or if one of my competitors discovered the cure independently. Further, I don't have a claim against my competitor, who has no contractual relationship with me. As another example, suppose I hire you to write closed-source software from me. As condition of employment, you agree that the source code belongs to me and you aren't allowed to keep a copy. I monitor your E-Mail and any disks/laptops brought in/out of my workplace. That is an enforceable trade secret. Trade secrets are enforceable via contract, sometimes. "Similarly, copyrights on movies and songs aren't enforceable without a monopolistic State." Copyrights on songs can be protected by trade secrets that are enforced by contracts that are enforced by reputable courts. There's no way to enforce copyright via contract. You can't ever prove who leaked the copy. Suppose you digitally watermark each copy of a song. Eventually, someone will find out a way to erase/tamper with the digital watermark. Suppose I leave my iPod on a bus. Someone takes it and uploads the content to the Internet with my digital watermark. Does that mean that I'm now the victim of a huge tort claim? "Physical property is legitimate property." Not all. You cannot own the Sun and planets. If you could homestead the moon, you could claim property on the moon. Are you saying that if you build a base on the moon, then I have the right to demand you give it to me? "Only one person or small group of people can use physical property at any one time." Not always. Undersea optic fiber Internet cables are owned by many people, perhaps millions of people, at the same time. Joint ownership is possible. For example, if I own a house with a shared driveway, the both me and my neighbor have joint ownership of the driveway. I don't know of any undersea fiber cable that is jointly owned by millions of people. There is usually a corporation that claims ownership of the cable. A corporation is effectively owned by the CEO; the shareholders have no reasonable oversight. I'd recognize the workers who perform maintenance on the cable to be the legitimate owners. "Physical property does not violate natural law." Voluntary feudal property can violate natural law. That link made no sense at all. "Dogs and other animals 'mark their territory'." Not always. Some animals mutually share property. Joint ownership by a small group is possible. If you have joint ownership with a large group of people, then there starts being disputes over how the property is used and who the true owner is. In the present, husbands and wives jointly own property. That leads to problems if the disagree regarding how their property should be used. "Physical property is the same concept in human terms." Even humans mark their territory, some humans share their territory such as workers' co-ops and voluntary associations. Large communes tend to fail if they become overly communistic/socialistic. Individual work and individual property must be respected. You're free to form such a community if you want. "However, a dog will not try to claim more territory than it needs." If the dog actually has a weapon that could claim more property that he needs, then he would probably will. Do you speak fluent dog? How do you know what a dog would do, if he had the means? Some native Americans thought that the idea of ownership of land was stupid. In a hunter/gather society, ownership of land makes no sense. In an agricultural society, ownership of land makes sense. "Similarly, a human should not claim more property than they need to live in or run their business." You cannot judge if a human actually has more property than he needs. You are saying that you are allowed to steal someone's big house because it 'claims more property than he need to live in or run their business', therefore you can steal it. No. I said that if you claim more property than you personally need, it would be in your rational self-interest to sell it. A person can't manage a business larger than a certain size. Large mega-corporations are only feasible in the context of State manipulation of the market. "In a free market, acquiring more property than you need is impractical." You cannot estimate whether if a person actually acquired more property than he is allowed to do. I didn't say that I would forcibly take away legitimately owned property. I'm saying that, if you try to claim too much property, you would discover it's in your rational self-interest to sell it. "Suppose one person can profitably manage and oversee a 1000 acre farm with modern farming equipment. It does not make sense to buy a 100,000 acre farm." If the farmer invents technology that can manage the 100,000 acre farm, then he has the right. Yes. That doesn't contract my original point. If you owned a 1000 acre farm and you discovered a better farming technique, it's acceptable for you to borrow and buy more land, or buy more land with reinvested profits. "People working as employees will always be less productive than owners." Some employers mismanage his money and pay more to his employees. This happens in monetary expansion. I'm referring to a free market. In a *REALLY* free market, there's nothing wrong with private property. In the present, there are too many distortions of the market for people to make rational economic calculations. "You could profit more by selling your surplus farmland than by continuing to farm it yourself." This is not always benefit. A capitalist can buy a majority of land than let others rent it at a higher price. More info How can a capitalist corner land in a free market? If you try to monopolize land, then prices will skyrocket. All you would accomplish is that you'd be wasting your money. In the present, the State owns all land. It is feasible for a megacorporation to monopolize land, by borrowing at the Fed Funds Rate and buying land. "Suppose I invest in real estate and buy 100 apartment buildings. I am receiving a Federal Reserve subsidy in the form of negative real interest rates." Interest rate does not need to be negative for malinvestment. If the interest rate is below the natural rate, then it would also happen. The capitalist would mismange and calculate that the return of intevestment from charging rent is greater than the interest rate. See here In a non-free market, malinvestment occurs. In a truly free market, it's possible to make rational economic decisions. That link made no sense at all. "My real estate empire was subsidized by government violence. Therefore, my ownership claim to those 100 apartment buildings is not legitimate." All private property is illegitimate. Your arguments are incoherent gibberish. "Suppose I buy a single family home and live in it myself. I am still receiving a Federal Reserve interest rate subsidy. However, there is no other person that has a stronger property claim than me. That ownership claim is valid." Home speculators buy homes by borrowing from a bank at negative interest rates than sell them. Some families are speculators. So some steal money. The Federal Reserve distorts the credit market. That does not mean that private property is inherently evil. "Currently, the State has full allodial title to all property. Property taxes mean that nobody truly owns their land. Zoning laws, environmental regulations, and eminent domain mean that the State is the true owner of all property." The state does not own the whole planet! Actually, the State does own the whole planet. Where can I get full allodial title to land? "Current property owners merely have a perpetual transferable lease." Not all. Some crony capitalists profit from land. If you have a State-granted monopoly to run a business, you may profit. However, even those crony capitalists don't have full allodial title. They still pay property taxes. At any time, State regulations could change, wrecking their business model. "When the State collapses, the current occupiers of land will have the strongest ownership claim." Some capitalists that illegitimately occupy land cannot occupy unless they sell. That sentence makes no sense at all. "What about the descendants of native Americans, who had their land stolen from them?" Native Americans are not the original owners. Earlier Homo sapiens have their property stolen by Native Americans. "Technically, they have a valid tort claim against everyone else." Not always. Would earlier Homo sapiens, or H. neanderthalensis have a valid calim? Maybe, if there were living descendants. Since they're extinct (or have interbred with regular modern humans), they don't have a claim. My point is that claims older than a certain period of time aren't enforceable. Do I have a valid tort claim against the psychiatrists who hospitalized me against my will a few years ago? At what point does that claim expire? (I'm talking about free market justice, and not the statute of limitations supported by corrupt State law.) "However, forcibly evicting the current occupants from their land is impractical. Besides, modern farming techniques are more productive than a hunter/gatherer society." Do you imply that Native Americans live in a hunter-gatherer style? They do not. Native Americans actually farm their land. They do not just hunt and gather wild plants! I thought they practiced at most limited farming. They weren't as advanced as Europeans, agriculturally. "For example, suppose I buy a gold coin that President Roosevelt confiscated in 1933. Does someone who owned Federal Reserve Notes in 1933 have a valid claim to my gold? No." You actually bought the gold so someone demanding you to give it is theft. Roosevelt should be charged. In case you haven't noticed, President Roosevelt has been dead for awhile. There isn't anybody to file your claim against, if you're the descendant of someone who had gold stolen from them in 1933. "People need to be able to work and store the fruits of their labor. Land ownership and other property are ways to store labor." Some land ownership, like the capitalists, are illegitimate. In the present, some land ownership is illegitimate. That does not mean that private property is inherently evil. "Income taxes mean that people need permission from the State in order to work." Not all work. Actually, that is the position of the IRS. All work is subject to taxation, even barter transactions. I noticed that on propertarian's blog, he describes himself as an "anti left-libertarian". If you're anti-agorist, then why are you wasting time trolling here? When anti-agorists spout incoherent gibberish like you, that's further confirmation that I'm on the right track. A year ago, when I first started my blog, there was *PRACTICALLY ZERO* criticism of agorism anywhere. It was not mentioned anywhere, except on a few websites. Now, there's a lot of people criticizing agorism on mises.org, and propertarian has a blog dedicated to criticizing agorism. (I read a bit, and it was almost uniformly garbage.) I interpret this as progress! The pro-State trolls are spending effort criticizing agorism now! On the one hand, I feel that I should be open and post all reasonable comments. On the other hand, I shouldn't waste time responding to trolls. Unless propertarian has something intelligent to say, I should start ignoring his comments. I don't feel that responding to propertarian has contributed to my enlightenment or anyone else's. His comment was mostly a collection of irrelevant points. Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "There's Nothing Wrong With Private Property": private property is theft because it consumes finite resources. it "steals" from others the opportunity to consume them. If private property is theft, then why would anyone ever plant a crop, if other people could just come and steal it? you labored for money. you exchanged your money for a car. you own your car. but the guy who used iron ore to build the car did not labor to create the iron ore. yes he labored to dig it out but not to create it. the iron ore was stolen from everyone else by its consumption. hence the car he created was not his to sell because its composed of the iron ore that he did not labor to create. No. Someone spent effort prospecting for iron ore. When there was unexplored area, then the value of the iron ore equals the cost of prospecting. Then, someone spent effort extracting the ore and refining it. If you believe that mining ore is theft, then why are you using a computer? Your computer is stolen property. TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER! You aren't intelligent enough to be using it anyway. If you believe mining ore is theft, then it's impossible to have any civilization at all. take it a step further and you'll notice that all land is owned through theft. americans stole it from the natives, natives stole it from the animals, etc. if there are 2 human beings and one earth, how do they split the earth up? 50/50 right? what happens when the 3rd human being arrives? the only way he can now get land is through inheritance, or use of force. the very fact that the first 2 humans divided up the land among them is a de-facto theft from the 3rd human who wasn't given any. so the 3rd must automatically become a slave to the 1st or 2nd if he wants to purchase land. Actually, the 3rd human can legitimately acquire land. He can labor for the other two and save up enough to purchase land. At some point, the first 2 humans will have children, and probably divide the land among them. Some of them may voluntarily choose to sell their land. Even in the degenerate case, where one person owns all the land, then once he passes his land onto his children, then multiple people own land and there is competition. If the person who owns all the land follows the custom of primogenture (giving all land to the eldest son), then he's demanding his younger sons assassinate his older son. it is the same as intellectual property, you can not claim ownership over something that was created with resources that you did not create. you do not create the raw materials, so you can not sell the car you create. Intellectual property is different than physical property, because the duplication cost is zero. you did not create the ideas you profited off of when you create your intellectual property, so you can not sell it. private property is theft and encourages it as well for the only way to equality is to theft of it. never will you be equal to the guy you buy it from who had an unfair advantage from his inheritance of theft. Your comment makes no sense at all. I shouldn't waste time responding to trolls. I'm annoyed by the recent increase in trolling. On the other hand, maybe I'm becoming more popular! Should I be offended or flattered by the trolls? Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "There's Nothing Wrong With Private Property": "That is not the same as saying that private property is an inherently evil invention." Thats a morality arguement. I'm not arguing morality. I'm saying its theft. Whether you see it as evil or good is a value judgement. Some argue that bailing out homeowners is good. Some feel its evil. You can't argue morality. "If you are actually using your neighbor's materials to build you house, then you are illegitimate." You're not understanding the greater point that private ownership of materials is illegitimate as well because all materials are created from finite resources so your neighbor can not own materials to begin with. "Trade secrets are a legitimate form of intellectual property." "Copyrights on songs can be protected by trade secrets that are enforced by contracts that are enforced by reputable courts." I've decided to end it right here and not rebut the rest because you're clearly not understanding my point. Yes according to our code of laws, trade secrets are legitimate form of intellectual property. Yes according to our code of laws, reputable courts can enforce these laws. But according to our code of laws, ownership of private property is legitimate and not theft to begin with, which invalidates this entire conversion. You presented the quote "Property is Theft" as invalid and are backing it up with our code of laws, which you can't do because property is NOT theft according to our code of laws. In this conversation, our code of laws are illegitimate to begin with in this discussion, so to bring them up as a way of legitimizing your claim as to what property IS and IS NOT, won't get you anywhere. French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon didn't believe in our code of laws. The person who posted this comment said (in a comment I didn't publish, because he requested so) he confused my comment with propertarian. I am *NOT* propertarian. Propertarian is a troll. My conclusions are straightforward. Private ownership of physical objects is legitimate. Believing that you can't own physical objects is, as Joey indicated, a self-detonating argument. If you can't own physical property, then why would anybody perform any work at all. Intellectual property is not a legitimate form of property. Copyrights can't be enforced without a State. If a movie or song is copied, then how can you prove who leaked the copy? If A makes B sign an agreement "I won't make copies", then what happens if C has a copy and C has no contract with A? Then, there's nothing A can do about it. Similarly, patents can't be enforced without a State. Suppose A and B have an idea independently. A files a patent before B. What right does A have to tell B that he isn't allowed to use that idea? Patents can't be enforced without a State. Trade secrets are sometimes enforceable via contract. In the example I gave, you hire someone to write closed-source software, and conduct surveillance while working, ensuring they don't leak a copy. In this case, the trade secret is enforceable. However, in a free market, I predict the trend would be towards open-source software. In a free market, skilled employees won't accept overly restrictive work environments. There was an interesting comment regarding Proudhon. Michaek has left a new comment on your post "There's Nothing Wrong With Private Property": Many people quote Proudhon on "Property is theft" and so assume he is some moron commie. But, he also said "property is impossible" and "property is liberty". It's not as simple as it seems... I didn't know that Proudhon said "Property is theft!" I hear a lot of people quoting Proudhon, but I haven't personally read his work. It appears that Proudhon made a mistake, and a lot of phony anarchists are copying his mistake, even though a lot of his other writing is good. I agree with "In the present, almost all property is stolen property. Most present ownership claims are not legitimate." That is not the same as saying "All private property is theft." This illustrates the problem with the "argument from authority fallacy". If you quote a specific source, without thinking for yourself, you wind up copying their mistakes. On mises.org, some trolls write "Mises, Rothbard, and Hayek never wrote about the Compound Interest Paradox. Therefore, the Compound Interest Paradox does not exist." Mises, Rothbard, Hayek, and Proudhon are dead, so we can't go and ask them to clarify their errors and omissions. If you restrict yourself to "argument from authority", then you aren't really thinking. I remember ideas, but not the original source. I avoid "argument from authority". This way, I'm thinking for myself, and not just parroting someone else. meambobbo has left a new comment on your post "Beware of Libertarian Red Market Agents": fsk, I have met Walter, being in New Orleans and working on grassroots Ron Paul support. He is often accused of being a spy or an agent, but this is mostly be over-paranoid cranks who claim we are being fed poison to brain-wash us and other mumbo jumbo that is based on conjecture and not research. They went after his tenure at Loyola, claiming he was possibly an Israeli agent. I definitely don't agree with all of his conclusions. He is a radical libertarian, meaning he has expressed favor for a powerful federal government if it polices state governments to adapt more libertarian philosophies. Basically, if it will guarantee more short-term liberty, go for it. Anyhoo, I am 100% convinced he is not a spy. He does not hide his personal feelings that may differ from mainstream takes of libertarianism. He offered our grassroots group free access to a study group of Mises's Human Action and has made numerous efforts to promote libertarian philosophy to those who might be interested. It's important to talk to people before labeling them as spies and refusing to talk to them. There is a vast difference between misunderstanding and disinformation. And you'd be surprised the number of persistent sincere fools there are. ...not trying to discredit your post - just trying to clear up the misinformation ;-) When you say "libertarian who favors increased power for the Federal government", that makes absolutely no sense at all. That's like saying "he's a celibate pornstar" or one of those "pro-State anarchists" (like Noam Chomsky). Where I come from "radical libertarian" means "agorist" or "there should be no government at all, a true free market". I guess "radical libertarian" means "powerful government" also, if by "radical" you mean "stupid". It's been awhile since I wrote that post. I evaluated Walter Block based solely on his lousy criticism of Kevin Carson. He's one of those "pro-government anarcho-capitalists". Let's review the difference between anarcho-capitalist and agorist. An anarcho-capitalist says "The State should gradually shrink and then disappear." According to the erotic fantasies of anarcho-capitalists, this process will occur via voting. Government will intentionally reduce its power and size gradually, and then disappear. An anarcho-capitalist says "The State has legitimacy, and will voluntarily reduce itself gradually." An agorist says "The State has no legitimacy at all, STARTING NOW." Let's move as much resources as possible into the underground economy. Let's build a functioning economy that's independent of the State. Let the State grow in size and power, until it collapses under its own inefficiency. Then, the counter-economy will replace the State. An anarcho-capitalist says "The State has legitimacy right now." Unlike agorists, an anarcho-capitalist provides no clear process by which the State may be eliminated. Walter Block is a professor of economics. His funding comes primarily from the State. This makes him a pro-State troll. He can't be too critical of the State, because he's dependent on it from funding. If Walter Block is such a great libertarian, then why is he stealing from me to pay his own salary? (via government research grants) To recap, there are three types of pro-State trolls. First, there's the people who are just plain stupid. Second, there are people whose careers depend on them ignoring the truth, such as journalists, professors, and politicians. Finally, there's the deliberate spies. Walter Block probably is the second kind of pro-State troll. As a university economist, he can't be too critical of the State. If he truly were an independent thinker, there's no way he'd get tenured as a professor of economics. His colleagues would lynch him for telling the truth and exposing them as frauds. It's very important for the State to fund phony anarchists like Walter Block and Noam Chomsky. If all the people who publicly declare themselves as "anarchists" are stupid, then anarchy in general is a discredited philosophy. When you say "Walter Block promotes libertarian philosophy", you mean the pro-State version of libertarianism. That makes him worse than useless. He's distracting people interested in free markets away from the truth. He's the functional equivalent of a deliberately planted spy, even if he isn't doing it on purpose. I'm not interested in reading anything else by Walter Block. Why should I waste my time? I believe your claim that Walter Block is a sincere fool, rather than a deliberate spy. A sincere fool is usually a better disinformation agent than a deliberate spy! What difference does that make? If he's full of garbage, he's full of garbage. It's irrelevant whether it's an honest mistake, or deliberate sabotage. The bad guys are careful to pick sincere fools as their public agents! A sincere fool with the right viewpoint can be very effective! As a practical matter, I'm a follower of freedomain's philosophy. I shouldn't waste my time reading works written by fools. If my interactions with someone provide no enlightenment, I should cease dealing with them. In an online community, it's very easy to stop visiting websites promoted by pro-State trolls. There's enough interesting blogs in my RSS reader that I shouldn't waste time on garbage like that promoted by Walter Block. It's harder with in-person interactions. If you want me to evaluate any of Walter Block's writing besides his lousy criticism of Kevin Carson, let me know. Based on that one lousy article, I'm not interested in reading anything else by him. It's important to understand that when I say "Walter Block is a pro-State troll", that covers several possibilities. There's plain stupidity, professional stupidity, and deliberate sabotage. My guess is that Walter Block falls under the "professional stupidity" category, but I haven't analyzed his writing more (and probably won't). This bit deserves its own separate post. meambobbo has left a new comment on your post "Ron Paul, The Federal Reserve, and the Gold Standa...": A little clarification - Ron Paul has NOT advocated getting rid of the FED immediately. He admitted on Cavuto, I believe, that this would cause extreme financial chaos and terrible living conditions. His plan was to simply legalize competition and let the market choose between FED money and other legalized competition. He believes the long-term effect of this policy would be the near complete abandonment of the FED and their money. I agree. I recall seeing a debate clip where Ron Paul said he wanted to eliminate the Federal Reserve and IRS, because they are unconstitutional. Did he recant in a later interview? That's disappointing if he did. I approved of his stance. Ron Paul's backtracking illustrates an important point. Even if Ron Paul were elected President, he probably wouldn't be able to accomplish his goal of reforming the Federal government. He'd make the compromises that every other politician makes. Legalizing competition is very simple. All you have to do is repeal all the taxes on gold and silver transactions, and eliminate the regulations that make it illegal/impractical to operate a gold or silver warehouse receipt bank. Allowing competition with the Federal Reserve is the functional equivalent of eliminating it. If it was convenient to use gold or silver as money, then the average person would be able to protect their savings from confiscation via inflation. The bad guys will *NEVER* allow that to happen. There are too many people that benefit from the current corrupt system. They will not allow reform to occur. Politicians like the current system, because it allows them deficit spending. Financial industry insiders *LOVE* the current system, because it lets them loot and pillage the rest of the country. With these illegitimate profits, they bought up all the newspapers, TV stations, and politicians. The money monopoly is *INCREDIBLY* profitable for the banksters. They will not allow reform to occur. Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Stock Market Update - FRE and FNM": Certainly, you're right in saying that whatever happens, it is always engineered in order to create a profit opportunity for connected at everyone else's expense. Also, check out the gold lease rates. I bet that you or I can not lease any gold from a treasury at these rates (0%). But someone certainly does. Otherwise there would be no point in publishing the rate. Where did you see that the gold lease rate is 0%? According to this chart by Kitco, the 1 month gold lease rate is negative! Of course, leasing gold from central banks is only available to politically connected insiders. The sharp decline in gold lease rates indicates that central banks are dumping gold on the market, in order to push down the price. They are dumping so much gold that the lease rate is negative! They're leasing more gold than their politically connected buddies are willing to borrow! I'll recap how you profit from gold leasing, and how gold leasing manipulates the gold price. In a bona fide short sale, the short seller must deposit collateral equal to the value of the thing sold short. Suppose I short sell 100 shares of XYZ for$100/share. The proceeds of this short sale are $10,000. I can't just take this$10,000 and spend it. My broker puts this \$10,000 in a special account. If the price of XYZ rises, I must put up more collateral. If the price of XYZ declines, then I can spend the profits.

For these gold leases, the central banks are requiring zero or negligible collateral. If there's a rapid increase in the price of gold, the gold borrower may default, and the central bank may be stuck.

Suppose I was buddies with a central bank. Here's how I profit. I borrow 1000 ounces of gold and sell it on the spot market. I buy gold futures. However, for the gold future, I only have to post collateral equal to approximately 5%-10% of the purchase price. I take the difference and invest it elsewhere, in bonds or in other assets. I am hedged, and make a practically guaranteed riskless profit.

Due to the lease, gold is sold on the spot market, pushing down the price.

The central bank carries the gold on its books at the face amount. The central bank has no obligation to disclose the amount of gold leased. This makes it hard for professional traders to determine how much gold has been leased and sold. If professional traders knew, they could profitably buy and correct for the market manipulation.

When the loans come due, the central banks don't demand repayment. They roll over the lease, extending the term. Alternatively, they sell the gold outright and don't demand repayment. If the central bank demanded repayment of the gold, this would drive up the gold price, which defeats the purpose of their manipulation in the first place! These leases can never be repaid! Even though the gold borrower can hedge via buying futures, they are under no legal obligation to do so. There have been instances where a central bank got shafted when a gold borrower defaulted.

A negative gold lease rate is a strong indication that banks are manipulating gold's price downward right now. They are flooding the market with gold.

I don't understand why gold investors whine about gold market manipulation. If you believe this to be true, buy gold! This may be an excellent buying opportunity.

Due to these complicated leasing arrangements, physical gold in your possession is the best investment. ETFs like GLD may be shafted if there's a default on the gold leasing market. GLD leases its gold for short selling. According to the GLD ETF's rules, the GLD shareholders take the loss in the event of a default.

Regrettably, I don't own any physical gold. I should buy some. However, manipulation of the gold market should continue for a few more years, until central banks exhaust their gold supplies.

This bit deserves its own separate post.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Stock Market Update - FRE and FNM":

Everything was going great for me. I was up 8% in intra-day on SKF.

And then Bernanke opened his mouth ...

According to Yahoo Finance, SKF is an ETF that tries to have a return of beta -2 correlated with the Dow Jones Financial index. Is that correct? In other words, if the index goes down 1%, then SKF goes up 2%?

Are you referring to Ben Bernanke saying that FRE and FNM may be allowed to borrow at the discount window, like the banks? In other words, they are eligible for a Federal Reserve bailout, financed via everyone else via inflation?

Well, you should have known better. If you're a serious trader and you aren't aware that the market is fixed, you deserve to give your money away.

meambobbo has left a new comment on your post "The Stubborn Clueless Fool Fallacy":

I'm not sure I agree with this. Could you please rephrase it all?

;-)

Very good points - I think the best way to respond is to offer them a private email address (that's ready to be spammed to hell - i suggest a free one like yahoo...) to discuss this at length before they take up public space and foil public attention. If they accept, they are a fool and you can deal with them verbosely without distracting the public. If they decline, publicly expose them as a disinformation agent.

I get lots of spam at my gmail address for this blog. Surprisingly, gmail's anti-spam filter is *EXCELLENT*. There are almost no false positives and almost no false negatives.

If you're on your own blog, ignoring or calling out trolls is usually sufficient. For example, "propertarian" (see above) describes himself as "anti left-libertarian". If that's your philosophy, then why are you trolling here? If you believe that agorists are full of ****, then why are you wasting time reading this?

On my own blog, calling out pro-State trolls is usually sufficient to make them skulk away. I probably was wasting my time responding to propertarian regarding "Private property is not theft!"

On a "neutral" forum like mises.org, a different approach is required regarding trolling. Calling out the trolls usually escalates a flamewar. Perhaps, ignoring trolls is best.

I've learned that you shouldn't feel guilty about calling out trolls (although liberty student disagrees). If you never call out trolls, then they get away with doing whatever they want.

It isn't ad hominem to say "X is trolling" if X actually is trolling!

People are taught "truth is relative and all viewpoints should be respected". No. Some viewpoints are stupid and don't deserve respect. If you don't call people out for being stupid, then stupidity wins.

This goes back to the "Asche conformity test". If you're the first dissenter, you're providing a valuable service to everyone else. In the context of a State, being the first dissenter may be hazardous to your health! In the present, an agorist who fully lives his ideals is at risk for being the victim of State violence. I'm convinced agorism is worth pursuing (although I haven't tried it yet).

Liberty Student has left a new comment on your post "The Compound Interest Paradox":

Throwing you a bone FSK.

I thought you didn't want to have anything to do with me anymore.

I got that video via BitTorrent, "Big Brother, the Big Picture". (BitTorrent is more convenient than Google Video.)

I thought you meant 2m15s, not 2h15m (actually, 2h17m-2h23m). He doesn't explain the Compound Interest Paradox as well as I do.

The Compound Interest Paradox is not my invention. (The name is my invention, but not the idea.) For example, around the time of the Great Depression, Louis Even wrote about it in "The Money Myth Exploded". There's also "The Debt Virus", which I haven't read. (All the "critics of the Federal Reserve" tend to wind up in jail for tax evasion. Once you understand how evil the US monetary system is, you'll realize how immoral it is to pay taxes.)

David Icke is somewhat interesting, but I haven't studied him much. He talks about Zero Point Energy as a suppressed technology. He talks about flying saucers as a suppressed technology.

He refers to "reptilian humanoids". I consider that to be merely a metaphor. The "parasite class" (politicians, lawyers, lobbyists, bankers, economists, journalists) can almost be considered to be a separate sub-species of humans. For example, lawyers tend to breed with other lawyers, rather than with productive workers.

I liked this David Icke quote:

The reason most people don't express their individuality and actually deny it, is not fear of what prime ministers think of us or the head of the federal reserve, It's what their families and their friends down at the bar are going to think of them.

David Icke was originally a mainstream journalist. He tried expressing his personal views, and was ostracized.

He gives example of "corrupt international law". The ban on incandescent light bulbs is an example of "international law via treaty".

I should write a more detailed article on David Icke.

eagledove9 has left a new comment on your post "Common/Natural Law vs. Corrupt State Law":

The archives are there if you want to read them. The "Best of FSK" is usually a pretty good measure of what old posts are worth reading.

I am just as furious about the light bulbs as you are. I personally have experienced certain eye problems from fluorescent bulbs. I tried using one of those bright lights for seasonal depression, and it made my vision blurry for a long time afterwards. I usually had been setting the light to the right of me, and so the right eye got hit worse than the left eye. My right eye is permanently a little bit blurrier now. (I'm lucky, it's not too bad, because I was smart enough to stop using the light.)

Anyway that's when I started researching what fluorescent bulbs can do to your eyes.

I've read that other people have problems with those compact fluorescent bulbs. If you have any brain disorders that involve movement and balance, the imperceptible flickering of the light will screw up your ability to walk and stand up. And they DO make it difficult to concentrate on reading.

There are several issues with the ban of incandescent light bulbs.

1. Does Congress actually have the authority to ban incandescent light bulbs? This was never mentioned. Of course, they control the most guns, and may do as they please.
2. The compact fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury. Most cities don't have a disposal/recycling mechanism for them. You shouldn't throw them in the regular trash, but you can be sure that many will wind up in the trash.
3. The light is of a lower quality than regular incandescent light bulbs. (Some people say this is "not proven". I'm unsure.)
4. The patents for compact fluorescent light bulbs are owned by a few corporations. They now have a monopoly/oligopoly for manufacturing light bulbs. The technology for manufacturing regular light bulbs is no longer patented.
5. If these light bulbs truly are better, then the free market will choose them. Forcing people to use them is criminal.
6. The actual amount of energy saved is negligible. Some sources say that HD TVs use a lot more electricity than regular TVs. This will more than offset savings due to the light bulb ban.
The incandescent light bulb is one of many illegitimate laws. It's almost like a joke, how stupid this law is.

I thought about stocking up on incandescents just like you did! I wondered about 'making light bulbs in the basement' and that kind of thing too.

I may stock up on incandescent light bulbs. Manufacturing light bulbs seems like a decent agorist business opportunity. In that sense, this law is great! Anything that encourages civil disobedience is fine with me! Anything that makes people lose respect for the government is great!

Some people on the net have joked about going back to using candles. If I have to, I might do that for real. After a few hundred houses burn down, the government might figure out that banning incandescents, and forcing people to go back to candles, is a bad idea.

Using a candle isn't much risk of burning down your house, if you have a clue. I'd look into grey market light bulb manufacturing, before I'd try candles.

Mike has left a new comment on your post "An Honest Newscast":

In religious news, large groups surrendered their will to a privileged class, and continued devoting themselves to shunning "infidels", "heretics" and "outsiders".

That reminds me of this bit.

These Americans believed that one great male god ruled the world. Sometimes they divided him into three parts, which they called father, son and holy ghost. They ate crackers and wine or grape juice, believing that they were eating the son’s body and drinking his blood. If they believed strongly enough, they would live forever after they died.

barry b has left a new comment on your post "An Honest Newscast":

LMAO...It's nice to see you haven't lost your sense of humor. I think the ability to see what is going on in the world (more objectively than most) places you in a position to laugh a little harder. Anyway that was pretty good, maybe you should do these more often - how about a FSK weekly reality satire of "what really happened" laterzz

I've been considering making a standup comedy routine based on my blog. I'd portray the Supreme Leader of Humanity.

I notice quite a few fnords when I watch TV and read newspapers.

For example, did you notice the Sprint-Nextel advertisement where firemen are acting as politicians? The tagline is "What if firemen ruled the world?" The fnord is "The people who actually rule the world are a bunch of incompetent ****heads."

Maybe I should start keeping track of all the fnords I see. Would you be interested in that?

It's just like in the 1988 documentary "They Live". The fnords are actually there! I can see them. There's actually two types of fnords. There's the evil human-generated fnords, which are part of the enslavement matrix. For example, the headline story in the local news is about a murder. The fnord is "People are intrinsically evil. Therefore, the State is needed." As another example, documentaries/movies such as "They Live" and "The Matrix" are good alien-generated fnords that are clues to help people figure out what's going on.

When someone is attempting to be creative, the alien overseers can project thoughts into their mind. In this way, they may slowly leak bits of the truth. Plus, fiction writers have greater discretion than "journalists", and it's easier to slip bits of the truth in.

This was a long post! If the trolls decide to get frustrated and leave, the I don't mind! If you believe "FSK is full of ****", then how pathetic does that make you for reading this? Why are you wasting your time trolling here?

Joey said...

I posted a reply to some random bits on my blog.

Hopefully I got the right link this time. lol

eagledove9 said...

My comment about Burger King versus McDonald's was kind of a joke - it was a demonstration of the strawman fallacy. The idea was, in one variant of the Strawman Fallacy, somebody accuses you of saying or believing something totally irrelevant that you didn't even say. (You never said anything at all about Burger King versus McDonald's. I made that up out of thin air.) Then they attack the imaginary thing you didn't say. Sorry to be confusing.

But on that subject I'll agree with you that the local restaurants are the unique places where you can actually enjoy the foods. I don't argue about which fast food chain is better than some other fast food chain because in general I think they're all pretty bad.

sunni said...

Thanks for including a post of mine in this roundup. For the record, I'm female, and I didn't start the freedom "family" meme—a friend of mine did.

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