In a true free market, a skilled worker should have no trouble finding employment if he's willing to accept the fair free market rate.
In the present, the "official" unemployment rate is around 10%. The true unemployment rate is probably higher, because underemployment is not counted. For example, suppose a software engineer is forced to accept a job at Wal-Mart. He counts as employed, but he's really underemployed.
The State imposes many artificial restrictions on people who want to start new businesses. This causes the unemployment rate to be artificially high. If you lose your wage slave job, you can't easily start a new business. For example, someone working in an auto factory is forced to seek another job in a factory, rather than starting his own car manufacturing business. The reason there are no small car manufacturing businesses is not that it's technically hard. The problem is that the auto industry is heavily regulated.
Another problem is laws such as age/sex discrimination and unemployment insurance. These laws add extra costs for any employer who wants to fire workers. Unemployment insurance is paid via a tax on employers. Employers who have laid off workers pay a higher tax. Anti-discrimination laws make employers reluctant to hire people that fall into a protected category. By adding extra costs when firing someone, the State artificially increases the unemployment rate.
The Federal Reserve, via its interest rate policy, indirectly affects the unemployment rate. Recall that Federal Reserve Notes are really slave work permission receipts. According to IRS bureaucrats, all economic activity is subject to the income tax. Whenever someone works, they must get permission from the IRS and financial industry and Federal Reserve, as they pay income taxes. Income taxes can only be paid in the form of Federal Reserve Notes. The Federal Reserve can lower or raise the unemployment rate by increasing or decreasing the money supply.
During an economic boom, financial industry insiders print and spend a lot of new money. They use this money to hire workers. These workers are employed in whichever sector of the economy is currently in a bubble. Superficially, there's economic growth. Due to the bubble, most of this work is actually malinvestment. For example, during the housing bubble, this sent a false economic signal that building houses was desirable. As a result, too many houses were built. Productive workers lose their savings to inflation. Someone who wanted to buy a TV or car could not do so, because his savings were stolen via inflation. You see a lot of houses being built. You don't see the people who couldn't afford to buy other things.
During an economic bust, there's a temporary shortage of money. Workers lose their jobs, because there's a shortage of work permission slips. The bubble bursts, and prices may become artificially low. During the recession/depression, financial industry insiders then print new money and buy up assets at a cheap price. For example, a lot of hedge funds bought oil recently when the price was low. This purchase was funded via borrowed money.
A pro-State troll says "Inflation is caused by greedy workers demanding higher wages. The Federal Reserve must keep the unemployment rate high, so that workers cannot bargain for higher wages, causing inflation." This argument is ridiculous. Workers don't have the power to print new money. Unless you work in a bank, you don't create money when you work. Actually, productive work is deflationary, as there are more goods and services but the same amount of money.
This is a very important common misconception. When you do productive work, you do not create new money. If I accept a job writing software for you, I am creating wealth, but neither of us is creating money. If you pay me with Federal Reserve Notes, that is only possible because you or someone else borrowed money from a bank.
Inflation is almost always caused by an increase in the money supply. During times of hyperinflation, an increase in the velocity of money can also lead to an increase in inflation. That effect only becomes noticeable just before the collapse of a fiat monetary system. The comedians on the Communism Channel always place the blame for inflation on sources other than money supply inflation.
Inflation is correlated with low unemployment, but there isn't a cause-and-effect relationship. During times of inflation, the people who print new money hire workers. This causes the unemployment rate to temporarily drop. There ultimately must be a correction, because the inflationary boom caused malinvestment. As inflation occurs, workers naturally start to get higher wages. That isn't because the workers have more bargaining power; it's merely compensation for inflation. Increasing wages and low unemployment are a symptom of inflation, but not the cause.
Most workers' salaries do not keep pace with true inflation. Members of the parasite class value power and control. They want to keep unemployment high, so that the slaves have no bargaining power. Parasites promote false economic theories, so that their looting and pillaging is justified.
The economic stimulus plan has made the problem even worse. The deficit spending and bailouts caused inflation. This is further theft from the productive sector of the economy, with the profits going to the parasite sector. Every time government hires a worker, one or more private sector jobs are necessarily destroyed. Most people don't notice this, due to the usual "seen vs. unseen" fallacy.
Superficially, the government is hiring idle workers. Via inflation and taxes, government insiders steal from productive workers. By printing new money to hire politically connected workers, people who actually do productive work have their labor stolen via inflation.
In the USA, it is much more profitable to lobby the State for favors, than to actually do something useful. The worse the economy gets, the more power politicians claim. Increasing the size of government only exacerbates the problem. The parasites demand an ever-increasing slice of a shrinking pie. This is the virtuous positive feedback cycle of complete economic collapse.
Members of the parasite class say "Government has a responsibility to control the unemployment rate!" In reality, they are making up excuses to justify their looting and pillaging. In a true free market, the unemployment rate would necessarily be very low. Any skilled worker would rapidly find work, if he was willing to accept the fair free market price. In the present, the State imposes a lot of extra costs in the labor market. The Federal Reserve's interest rate manipulations further increase the unemployment rate.
Friday, July 31, 2009
In a true free market, a skilled worker should have no trouble finding employment if he's willing to accept the fair free market rate.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
After much searching, I finally found another wage slave software engineer job.
Hopefully, that's the end of my personal recession. My unemployment rate dropped from 100% to 0%. In the past few weeks, I've been getting more interviews, so the overall recession may be ending.
If I can keep the wage slave job for 6-12 months and I don't get sick again, then hopefully I'll be able to get my own apartment again and start working towards practical agorism.
This also means that most of my energy will now be devoted to my new job. I still have some time for blogging. I might have to cut back my posting frequency. I still have 2 weeks of queued drafts.
The job contains the usual clause "Everything you do belongs to us, even if not done at work." There was a condition that it has to be work related, but they could redefine "work-related" at any time. For example, if I write an RSS reader, they could decide to enter the RSS reader business. Then, they can claim that the RSS reader I wrote actually belongs to them.
I didn't bother hassling them to make the clause less restrictive. It's a good job otherwise. It's not enforceable. They'd only bother suing me if I did something that wound up spectacularly successful.
Of course, there's a workaround. I could just wait until the next time I'm unemployed to publish anything software-related. Besides, I don't have the free time to work on personal projects. Even while unemployed, I didn't get much progress made towards writing and releasing my own software.
My direct coworkers seem to have the "productive" personality type, so it should be decent for awhile. Of course, if they're successful, their VCs might demand they bring in an external "expert" to manage the software group.
It's not a super-awesome job, but it's good enough for now. My first goal is to recover my physical freedom and get my own apartment again. Then, I can start working on other things.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I liked this article on MSN. This story was also mentioned on the Communism Channel. Goldman Sachs recently announced huge quarterly profits.
I also liked this article on MSN. Executives at Goldman Sachs sold $700 million in stock between September and April, at the same time the Federal government was bailing out the financial industry.
On the Communism Channel, a comedian said "If you're jealous of Goldman Sachs' success, then there's an easy way to join them. Buy their stock!" This is false. The financial industry makes huge profits, paid by the rest of society as inflation. However, the vast majority of this profit goes to insiders. Executives use this stolen property to pay themselves huge salaries and bonuses, either directly in cash or indirectly via option/equity grants. If you buy a bank stock, you should get the same returns as the overall stock market, which is less than true inflation. You can't prevent the bank executives from lining their pockets at the expense of small shareholders.
Even though Citigroup and Bank of America received humongous bailouts, individual shareholders still lost out. The vast majority of the stolen property winds up in the pockets of insiders. In a year or two, they will be claiming huge profits and the executives will be paying themselves huge salaries. In the meantime, individual shareholders will have had returns that underperformed true inflation.
Goldman Sachs and other financial industry insiders receive massive direct and indirect State bailouts. There was the explicit TARP bailout program. The bailouts of AIG, Bear Stearns, GM, Chrysler, and FRE/FNM were really bailouts for their creditors. For example, executives at Goldman Sachs purchased billions of dollars of credit default swap insurance from AIG; this made the AIG bailout essentially a Goldman Sachs bailout. AIG used its bailout money to pay off Goldman Sachs and other creditors. Whenever the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates, that's a bailout for the banksters. When interest rates fall, outstanding bonds paying a higher interest rate become worth more.
Currently, the Fed Funds Rate is 0%-0.25%, while loans are issued at 6% or more. The banksters profit by borrowing at the Fed Funds Rate and loaning at 6%+. They profit the spread of 6%+ times their leverage ratio of 100x or more. This leads to lucrative profits.
Negative real interest rates, plus the principle of "too big to fail", encourage insiders to load up on as much debt as they can.
The financial industry profits from their perk of printing and spending new money. This enables the financial industry to have record profits, while the rest of the economy is still stuck in a recession/depression. During the second half of the Great Depression, insiders made huge profits while everyone else was still suffering.
The profits of the financial industry aren't free. They're paid by the rest of society as inflation. Pretty soon, you'll be spending $10+/gallon for gasoline. When you wonder where the purchasing power of your money went, that's the answer. Your wealth disappeared into the pockets of the banksters.
Over time, the rate of looting and pillaging is increasing. The net effect is the destruction of the economy, as lobbying the State for favors is more profitable than doing something useful. Insiders demand an ever-increasing slice of a shrinking pie.
The leaders of the financial industry are not brilliant businessmen. They are parasites. They have no skills that would be useful in a true free market. They excel at crony capitalism and lobbying the State for favors. They excel at navigating a State communist bureaucracy. They provide no useful goods and services. They don't manage risk, because they get a bailout even when they're wrong. Financial industry insiders essentially get a veto over what businesses succeed and fail. They can print new money and use the profits to finance any business they choose. They can print new money and buyout anyone who refuses to cater to their wishes.
Via bankster financing with money printed out of thin air, control of the mainstream media is concentrated in a handful of people. These insiders were picked by the banksters. The mainstream media cannot accurately report on the abuses of the financial industry.
If you want to avoid subsidizing financial industry excess, your only option is to boycott the Federal Reserve and income tax. If you do on-the-books productive work, you are subsidizing the excesses of the banksters and State agents. Agorism is the best option for someone who desires freedom.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I mentioned before that, according to natural law, Michael Vick didn't actually commit a crime. Dogs are a lower life form than humans. Their legal status is the same as other physical property. Saying "It's illegal for me to abuse my dog!" is the same as saying "It's illegal for me to buy a shirt and then tear it up!"
Is it immoral to breed purebred dogs? That is damaging, because it leads to genetically transmitted diseases. Is it immoral to have your dog spayed or neutered? That's probably a very damaging experience for the dog. If you believe "Dogfighting is abuse!", then many of the other things that happen to most dogs is also abuse. If you believe "Dogfighting is abuse!", then you should also believe that it's immoral to eat meat. However, it's natural to eat meat as food. That's the advantage of being on top of the food chain!
It's silly to be concerned about the rights of dogs when almost all the humans are brainwashed slaves. Most people subconsciously know "I am a slave!" They will support a law saying "Don't abuse dogs!", because they really mean "Don't abuse me!" If you have the "abused productive" personality type and get a dog, then your dog will take the "parasite" role and your dog will be the pack leader!
Is there any way to prevent someone from operating a dogfighting ring without a government? No, there isn't. If they operate it in secret and don't tell anyone, then there isn't anything you can do about it. Dogs have the legal status of property. A dog can't sue his owner for abusing him.
The Federal government probably spent millions of dollars investigating Michael Vick, prosecuting him, and then jailing him. What right do State police have to steal from me via taxes, and then use the proceeds to enforce stupid laws?
It's in the best interests of a State enforcer to invent as many crimes as they can. By having many behaviors classified as crimes, that leads to justifying an increase in the size and power of the government.
If you do find dogfighting offensive, then you do have the right to say "I won't watch football games when Michael Vick plays!" or "I won't allow Michael Vick into my home or business!" It's problematic, because how are you going to find out in the first place what he was doing?
Another important point is that the dogfighting ring was unlicensed gambling. The State has a monopoly over licensing gambling. "Gambling without permission from the State" is another "victimless crime".
The NFL commissioner is making a big deal out of "Michael Vick has to show that he's sincerely sorry, before I allow him to return to the NFL." Even assuming that "Dogfighting is really a crime!", then this attitude is stupid. Michael Vick already served his jail term for his "crime". After that, there's no reason to continue punishing him.
The NFL has a State-backed monopoly. Due to State restriction of the market, it's very hard to form a new football league. The rules of a corrupt economic system protect incumbent businesses from challengers.
The NFL's State football monopoly makes the NFL commissioner a State employee. Fulfilling his role as a State bureaucrat, the NFL commissioner must further punish players who commit a crime. By saying "Michael Vick must get permission from me before returning to the NFL!", the NFL commissioner is acting like a State bureaucrat or judge.
Michael Vick can't go around saying "I got a raw deal! Dogfighting isn't really a crime! This law is illegitimate!" If he did that, then the State would have a problem. Instead, Michael Vick has to get on his knees and say "The State's authority is legitimate!", if he wants to play in the NFL again.
Michael Vick can't say "**** you NFL!" If he wants to play as a professional football player, his only choice is to play in the NFL. (He could play in the CFL, but salaries there are much lower than in the NFL.)
When Michael Phelps was caught smoking marijuana, he had to say "Sorry, I did something wrong!" instead of "The State's man of marijuana is illegitimate!" If he told the truth, then he'd lose all his endorsement deals. Celebrities play an important role in maintaining the Matrix. Whenever they are caught breaking the State's arbitrary rules, they must beg for forgiveness and acknowledge the legitimacy of the State.
The State is God. The God of Christianity demands that his worshipers obey his arbitrary rules, and apologize whenever they make a mistake. Similarly, the State makes arbitrary rules and demands apologies from offenders. Those are the actions of an insane god and not a real god.
Suppose I were arrested for tax evasion. If I told the judge "Your authority is illegitimate!", he will deal with me much more harshly than if I said "Sorry! I made a mistake! I'll do better next time!" If I tell a judge "Your authority is illegitimate!", then he can have me jailed indefinitely for "contempt of court". The judge would hold me as his prisoner until I apologized. Even if I were convicted of a crime for practicing tax evasion, that wouldn't make me acknowledge the legitimacy of the State.
Demanding an apology is stupid. You should do what you think is right. If you make a mistake, then you should suffer the consequences and move on. Obsessing with apologies is a symptom of pro-State brainwashing. If you commit a serious crime, then an apology does not justify it. An apology is the way that a slave acknowledges the legitimacy of his master's authority. Delayed punishment tactics are a type of brainwashing techniques, and demanding an apology is a form of delayed punishment.
I always thought that aspect of Christianity was stupid. "All humans are intrinsically evil. It's inevitable that you will do bad things. If you do bad things, then it's all right. All you have to do is believe in God/State and ask for forgiveness, and your sins are forgiven." That viewpoint means that it's perfectly acceptable to do bad things. I once asked "If a serial killer repents just before being executed, does he get into heaven?" The answer was "Yes!"
I expect that Michael Vick will play in the NFL again. He still owes the Falcons money, because he had to repay his signing bonus after he was jailed. Also, it would seem too obviously unfair if he were barred from playing in the NFL. The important thing is that nobody questions whether the State's laws are good or evil. Michael Vick will kowtow to the State and get another chance to play in the NFL.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Hearing this quote by Obama made me think "WTF?" Here's a source.
"If there's a blue pill and a red pill, and the blue pill is half the price of the red pill and works just as well, why not pay half for the thing that's going to make you well?"
It was interesting to see both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report making fun of this quote. Only Stephen Colbert got "The Matrix" reference. That just goes to show that, if you want serious coverage of the news, you only need to watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report (and read my blog).
I don't know who's writing speeches for Obama. Are they intentionally making him look stupid?
I saw the clip of the "Henry Louis Gates" question from his health care press conference. It was obviously staged. One specific reporter was asking about Henry Louis Gates. Obama knew about the question, and he saved that question for the end. Even Jon Stewart was saying "OBAMA, YOU IDIOT!! YOU SHOULD HAVE SAID 'I'LL WAIT UNTIL I HAVE ALL THE FACTS'!!" That was on Thursday, before the mainstream media propaganda engine started supporting the policeman's version of the story.
With the Henry Louis Gates embarrassment, the healthcare "reform" boondoggle, and the "carbon tax" disaster, it seems that Obama is being set up to look like an idiot.
For anyone who's watched "The Matrix", the blue pill is the one you take if you want to stay stupid and ignorant. The red pill is the one you take if you want to know the truth.
Obama is saying that the blue pill is only half the price of the red pill. That's an illusion. Staying ignorant superficially seems attractive. In the long run, you're better off knowing the truth, even though it hurts initially.
I can't believe that Obama's speechwriters used the "red pill/blue pill" analogy, and used it in a way that makes Obama seem stupid. Are Obama's speechwriters intentionally telling Obama to offer people the blue pill?
Another interesting point is that anti-psychotic drugs are literal blue pills. The color of the pill is blue!
The whole "health care reform" debate is one big evil fnord. The key issue is never discussed.
The answer to "Why is healthcare expensive?" is "There is a conspiracy between the AMA and the government to artificially restrict the supply of doctors' licenses. By restricting the supply of doctors' licenses, this guarantees that doctors will always get high salaries and that there will be a shortage of doctors. Further, the FDA regulates what treatments are permissible and the health insurance industry is heavily regulated. This further drives up costs."
If you discuss the healthcare problem without saying "Restrictive licensing requirements for doctors is evil!", then you are pro-State trolling. I'm offended that no mainstream discussion of the healthcare problem addresses this issue. Any mainstream discussion of the healthcare problem has as a hidden assumption "State licensing requirements for doctors are good!"
Whenever I suggest to a friend, relative, or coworker "Restrictive licensing requirements for doctors are evil!", they react with extreme hostility. That's a symptom of massive pro-State brainwashing. They don't think about my point logically. Their brain shuts down and they get hostile.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Whenever there's a mainstream media story about misconduct by police, the message always is "The individual officer needs to be punished!" or "The government needs better policies!" Nobody on the mainstream media ever says "The State police monopoly is immoral!" or "If you believe that the police are being unreasonable, then you should stop paying taxes!" Individuals are blamed, or individual policies are blamed. A fundamentally corrupt system is never blamed.
The latest incident involves Henry Louis Gates, who is a professor of African American Studies at Harvard.
My analysis is that both Henry Louis Gates and James Crowley behaved unreasonably. (James Crowley is the policeman who arrested Henry Louis Gates.) Both of them are totally brainwashed pro-State trolls. It serves the interests of the State propaganda engine to say "The policeman is a racist!" instead of "Both the policeman and the person arrested were behaving like idiots."
A good fictional story must have a hero and a villain. In this story, Henry Louis Gates is the hero and James Crowley is the villain. The story wouldn't be effective propaganda if both parties were presented as villains.
Here is a copy of the police report, which is probably biased but has some correct facts.
Another interesting bit, according to this article and this article, is that a newspaper published the police report on their website, and then immediately removed it. The newspaper removed the police report, because Henry Louis Gates is being set up to be the hero, and the police report makes him look like a jerk.
Here's my interpretation of what happened. The lock on the front door to Henry Louis Gates' house was broken. He got in through the back door, and then attempted to force the front door open. Another person was helping him.
A pedestrian saw two men trying to force a door open, and she called the police reporting a robbery in progress.
A policeman responded to the call. Up until this point, nothing inappropriate happened.
Henry Louis Gates got very hostile when questioned by the policeman. The policeman figured out pretty quickly that Henry Louis Gates really lived there. If it really was an attempted robbery, then the people forcing the door open probably would have run away or acted differently.
At this point, the policeman should have just left, even though Henry Louis Gates was angry at the policeman for questioning him.
A policeman is a State bureaucrat. A university professor at Harvard is a high-ranking State bureaucrat. This led to a confrontation. The policeman probably thought "Some jerk is questioning my authority!" Henry Louis Gates probably also thought "Some jerk is questioning my authority!"
The argument escalated, and the policeman arrested Henry Louis Gates for disorderly conduct.
Racism is one of the few times the mainstream media doesn't portray State police as saints. "Racism is a problem!" is a much more important evil fnord than "State police are perfect!" Besides, the individual officer is blamed and not the corrupt system. I conclude that the racism fnord is more important than the "State police are perfect!" fnord, because the mainstream media could have told the story as follows. "A policeman was doing a routine investigation of a robbery report. The person was not a criminal, but was merely trying to fix a broken door. After the policeman approached him, Henry Louis Gates freaked out and started swearing at the policeman. The policeman tried to calm him down, but failed. The policeman left the house, but Henry Louis Gates followed him outside and kept swearing at him. According to standard police procedures, after failing to calm him down, the policeman arrested Henry Louis Gates for disorderly conduct. It was wrong for Henry Louis Gates to automatically assume that a policeman conducting an investigation is a racist."
"Disorderly conduct" is one of those catchall crimes. It allows the policeman to arrest someone merely for disagreeing with him. Arguing with a policeman is not really a crime. "Disorderly conduct" allows a policeman broad discretion when deciding to arrest someone.
In this case, the policeman was trespassing. There was no crime occurring, and he had no reason to be there. Once he determined that Henry Louis Gates really lived there, the policeman should have left, even though Henry Louis Gates was behaving like an ***hole. The policeman should have just gotten in his car and driven away.
As a professor of African American Studies, getting arrested by a white police officer for something stupid is a brilliant career move. He probably got $1M+ of free publicity from this incident. It was in Henry Louis Gates' best interest to goad the policeman into arresting him.
Now, Henry Louis Gates can go around saying "Waah! I was abused by a State policeman! Therefore, the State should have more power!", and then everyone will congratulate him for being such an excellent pro-State troll.
I liked the picture on this page. The expression on Henry Louis Gates' face says "Hooray! I just got a white policeman to arrest me for something stupid! This is going to be great for my career!" Via passive aggressive mind control techniques, Henry Louis Gates psychologically manipulated the policeman into arresting him.
I thought that James Crowley would be fired for this incident. However, Boston's police department said that he didn't do anything wrong. Under normal circumstances, a policeman gets away with misconduct. Occasionally, an individual must be sacrificed for the good of the State. He had a confrontation with a State bureaucrat that outranks him. Even though Henry Louis Gates was being a jerk, the policeman still should have just left. The policeman is responsible for letting the situation escalate.
James Crowley is also a celebrity now. He can say "I was the victim of someone with political connections who was being a jerk, when I was trying to investigate a potential crime." Even if he got fired, he would find another job.
Another important point is that, even though James Crowley mishandled this incident, he should not be fired if his job performance was otherwise good. It's wrong to judge someone based on the worst thing they ever did. In this incident, nobody was injured.
Henry Louis Gates will probably sue the city of Boston. As I mentioned before, suing the government is pointless. If he wins a lawsuit or settles, the cost is merely passed on to everyone else as higher taxes. It's in Henry Louis Gates' best interests to have a long drawn-out trial, because that's free publicity for him. If fired, James Crowley might sue for being inappropriately fired. It's possible that both of them could sue Boston's government and win!
Departments like "African American Studies" or "Latino Studies" or "Women's Studies" are stupid. Those subjects are worth studying, but segregating them as their own specialty leads to professors who profit from spreading racism and sexism. The job of an "African American Studies" professor is not to reduce racism, but to increase racism.
The job of a policeman or State bureaucrat is to define as many possible things as crimes, because that increases their own power. If you're a professor of "African American Studies", then your job is to see racism everywhere, because that increases your own power. (I wonder if a pro-State troll will say "FSK is being racist for saying that 'African America Studies' is stupid." The point I'm making is that an "African American Studies" professor has an interest in promoting racism.)
Of course, most subjects in the humanities have very little content or negative content. It's pointless to argue the merits of one waste of time compared to another waste of time. An "African American Studies" professor is a parasite as much as an economics professor or a politics professor.
Most university professors get their funding directly or indirectly from the government. I object to people stealing from me via taxes, and then using the profits to pay the salary of university professors that promote bad things.
Those subjects are also damaging to minority students. A black student might decide to study "African American Studies" instead of studying Math or Science or Computers, where he would actually learn something useful. I knew someone who originally was planning to study science, but decided that "Latino Studies" was more desirable. After all, saying "White men are racist and sexist!" is a much easier way to earn a living than by actually doing something useful. Someone studying "African American Studies" is provided with the illusion that he is learning something, when he is really receiving pro-State brainwashing. Of course, the same statement applies to almost all of the humanities and soft sciences.
In this incident, the State propaganda engine is promoting the story in a manner that increases racism. A stupid black person will believe "Henry Louis Gates was the victim of a racist policeman!" A stupid white person will believe "Henry Louis Gates was being an abusive jerk. The policeman was correct to arrest him." The truth is that both Henry Louis Gates and the policeman are parasites with absolutely no useful skills. An accurate presentation of the story, "Both people are jerks!", doesn't serve the State propaganda engine's goal of promoting racism.
By promoting racial tension, the State propaganda engine distracts people from issues of genuine importance. Instead of arguing "Is taxation theft!", the slaves argue "People from ethnic group X are out to get me! Therefore, the State needs more power to protect me from group X."
It's in the best interests of the bad guys to promote racism, because it allows them to divide and conquer the cattle. The coverage of this incident actually increases racism, rather than decreases racism. I don't know of any mainstream media story covering this incident that said the correct answer, which is "Both parties in the dispute were behaving like idiots."
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I liked this video on MSN. The title is the interesting bit. "Tom Brokaw says that Walter Cronkite was the 'gold standard' of journalism."
I see that surprisingly often. "X was the gold standard of Y" means "X was really good at Y".
Usually, the mainstream media propaganda engine is good at removing references to past evils. It seems that "The gold standard was good!" is a memory that still lingers.
This usage of "gold standard" is a good fnord. Of course, no mainstream media comedian ever explicitly says "The USA has a corrupt monetary system!" It's still interesting to see cracks of the truth show occasionally.
Friday, July 24, 2009
I was watching the Communism Channel, and saw an interesting bit. The host asked "Was the stimulus package a success? The unemployment rate is still rising!" The guest said "The market is very complicated. We can't calculate how many jobs were created via the stimulus package. Without the stimulus package, the recession would have been worse."
This reasoning means that State bureaucrats are completely immune from accountability. There is no way to perform a proper scientific experiment, because there's only one physical reality. There's no way to go back in time and try the alternative and see what would have happened.
If you're critical of the stimulus law, then there's no way for you to prove that the stimulus package was merely a wealth grab by insiders.
It makes logical sense that the stimulus package overall destroyed wealth. The government printed and spent and lot of new money, to "stimulate the economy". In the meantime, productive workers lose their savings and the value of their paycheck. A State bureaucrat is building a new road, but in the private sector someone can't afford a vacation or a new computer.
All government actions are ultimately destructive in nature. The only thing the stimulus package accomplished was pork projects for insiders. The Federal Reserve cannot decrease nominal interest rates below zero. By having additional deficit spending, the Federal government raises the inflation rate, further lowering real interest rates.
For example, the Fed Funds Rate is currently 0%. If the inflation rate is raised from 20% to 30%, then real interest rates drop from -20% to -30% (technically, 1-1/1.2 to 1-1/1.3, 16.7% to 23%). This is a further subsidy to financial industry insiders. The Federal government must provide the further inflationary spending boost, because only the Federal government may have unlimited dollar-denominated debts without being forced into bankruptcy.
There's an interesting fnord in the above bit on the Communism Channel. The host is merely reading questions from a script/teleprompter. When the guest spews nonsense, the host doesn't say "Bull****! I call shenanigans!" The host says "Thanks for appearing on my show. I appreciate your insight." By refusing to call out lies as lies, the host adds legitimacy to those lies.
A "journalist" is really a professional comedian. They are professional actors, reading from a script prepared by others.
Following the reasoning on the Communism Channel, no State policy can every be declared a failure! It's impossible to prove that things would have been worse without government intervention of the market!
I intend to conduct an experiment with practical agorism in the next few years. The theory of agorism will prove its value in the real world. Just because I haven't started yet, doesn't mean I never will! Right now, "raise awareness" and "recover my personal freedom" are prerequisites to attempting practical agorism.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
It's always interesting to notice fnord phrases get created and circulated. I already mentioned that the "global warming" scare is probably one huge scam. It's an excuse to increase the size and power of the State, while providing corporate welfare.
Surprisingly, I didn't receive any hate mail for my "The Global Warming Scam" post. I expected somebody to comment "FSK, you're a scumbag for suggesting that carbon dioxide does not cause global warming!"
The phrase "greenhouse gases" is itself a fnord phrase. That phrase has as a hidden assumption "Carbon dioxide causes global warming.", a statement I consider to be not proven.
The latest "carbon dioxide control" proposal is called "cap and trade". Superficially, it sounds like a noble proposal. There will be a cap on carbon dioxide emissions. You can buy or sell the right to produce carbon dioxide. It sounds like a free market solution!
The fallacy is the way that the carbon credits are allocated. Old businesses are grandfathered. If you own an old coal-burning power plant, then you receive a carbon credit equal to your emissions at some time in the past. If you want to build a new coal-burning power plant, then your only option is to buy a credit from someone else. The only fair way to allocate carbon credits is "Every person gets an equal credit." None of the proposals include a uniform allocation per person. Insiders always get preferential treatment.
Viewed this way, the carbon credit proposal is welfare for existing businesses, while a barrier to entry for someone who wants to create a new business. If you read the fine print of the proposal, it's thinly veiled corporate welfare.
The carbon credit proposal is further corporate welfare for the financial industry. They will create the new market where the carbon credits are bought and sold. That is silly, because the financial industry is already leeching a pretty large percentage of all economic activity.
Another defect in the carbon dioxide control laws is that "developing 3rd world countries" are exempt. The carbon cap in the USA provides an economic incentive to move jobs from the USA to other countries.
The carbon tax is essentially a tax on all economic activity. There already is a huge tax on all economic activity: the income tax. Even though I work as a software engineer, I still use electricity. Some carbon was burned to provide me with that electricity. When I take the subway or buy goods in the store, energy was consumed. This new tax is pretty much unavoidable.
The only way that agorists could avoid the carbon tax is to find ways to generate energy outside the control of the State. One example would be an agorist ethanol manufacturer. If Zero Point Energy technology is real, then that would make the global warming debate silly.
These carbon tax laws will further strangle the economy. For this reason, my reaction is "Great! Let's wreck the economy even more!" If there's anything that Congress and the President can do to accelerate the collapse of the economic and political system, I'm in favor of it!
Another interesting aspect of the law is that it's phased in gradually over many years, rather than all at once. This means that the damage caused by the law will occur at some point in the future, and the problems may not be directly attributable to the law. Once in place, the Federal Reserve was politically untouchable. Similarly, the carbon tax law probably won't be repealed once it's passed.
State-licensed scientists provide lots of research proving "Carbon dioxide causes global warming." My favorite fnord is a computer simulation proving that temperatures will rise in the future, due to carbon dioxide emissions. Such a simulation has, as an assumption, that carbon dioxide causes global warming. It's built into the assumptions of the simulation, making the conclusion meaningless!
State-licensed scientists receive most/all of their funding from directly or indirectly from the State. Suppose politicians provide lots of funding for scientists who say "Global warming is a real problem!" and they deny funding for scientists who say "Global warming is a scam!" This naturally leads to the result that a majority of State-licensed scientists back global warming. If a politician says "95% of scientists agree that global warming is a problem!", that's nonsense for the same reason democracy is nonsense. The truth is not determined by a majority vote. This is especially true when people are brainwashed to be stupid, or have a financial incentive to be stupid.
Peer review exacerbates the problem. Suppose that a majority of scientists are brainwashed to believe the global warming propaganda. If a scientist comes along and says it's wrong, then he's essentially telling his colleagues "You're all frauds!" Via peer review, it's difficult/impossible for a scientist who challenges conventional wisdom to find a job. The peer review system is actually a great system for slowing the rate of scientific process.
It's amusing to watch the cluelessness. Most politicians now accept "Carbon dioxide clauses global warming!" as an unstated assumption. "The way to solve society's problems is via more government violence!" is another unstated assumption of all politicians. If you see politicians debating the carbon tax law, they aren't debating "Does carbon dioxide cause global warming?" They're debating "Is this a good law, or should we try something else?"
If you read the fine print of all the "Combat global warming!" proposals, they're thinly veiled corporate welfare. As usual, a heavily-hyped issue is an excuse for looting and pillaging.
The pattern is very recognizable. It's pathetically obvious now that I can see the fnords. The mainstream media propaganda surrounding the bailout/TARP proposal is almost the same as the hype surrounding the carbon credit proposal. Just from that correlation alone, I can conclude that there is some funny business surrounding the global warming scare.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
By E-Mail, someone wrote:
A good post to do would be covering all the tactics being used to pass single-payer. Obviously, like you said, state restriction of the market is the general cause of expensiveness in the US, but michael moore and government agencies are using another layer of propoganda trying to show how other countries governments run it better.
I've been bothered by the lack of coverage of health-care on the internet lately. For once, no one seems to be addressing the msm claims that other countries do it better or cheaper (besides the occasional horror story of limited treatment or waiting lines, but these are matched at least as equally by horror stories from the US system, so I don't give them much weight for comparisons). I know a lot of their analysis (like the WHO ranking) are bogues or lies, but not as much as usual.
It may require a lot of research, but I haven't been able to find the answers, and maybe others readers are just as curious as me.
Right now, the mainstream media propaganda engine is focused on "Confirm a new Supreme Court judge!" or "Pass the new carbon tax law!" The focus isn't currently on health care "reform", but it should go there again soon.
The usual "Problem! Reaction! Solution!" paradigm is the one being used to pass healthcare reform. A problem is caused by previous State restriction of the market. For healthcare, this is restrictive State licensing requirements for doctors, which restrict the supply and drive up prices. Then, the mainstream media overreacts. The solution is to give the State more power, exacerbating the problem. The operations of this fnord cycle are very obvious to me now.
Obama's healthcare proposal is not "single-payer" or "universal". Under "universal healthcare", all medical costs are paid by the State. All doctors are direct State employees. It is illegal to purchase health care directly from a doctor. The costs of universal health care are paid via taxes/theft.
Universal healthcare is obviously stupid. It's pretty pure communism. There are lines you have to wait in, before getting health care. Insiders still find a way to jump the line.
Universal healthcare isn't free. People still pay the cost via taxes. As usual, when taxes are raised to pay for X, then a lot of the wealth stolen winds up in the pockets of middlemen.
I don't know how well universal healthcare works in other countries or not. It's practically impossible to get reliable data. If another country has a less restrictive doctor licensing cartel than the USA, then their medical care costs would almost definitely be lower. For example, if the USA allows 0.1% of the population to work as doctors but another country allows 0.5% of the population to work as doctors, then the other country could legitimately have lower costs and higher quality, even though the other country has universal healthcare.
In the USA, a medical degree costs $500k+ and 10+ years. Doctors have to protect the investment they have made in their careers, by lobbying the State for favors. If a medical degree could be bought and sold like taxi medallion licenses, they probably would trade for $100M+ each.
Also, if you get a doctor's license in another country, you can't come to the USA and start working. The license isn't transferable from one country to another. Otherwise, doctors would leave other countries and move to the USA!
In the USA, universal healthcare would almost definitely lead to people hiring doctors to treat them off-the-books. That's the last thing the AMA licensing cartel wants. Universal healthcare will almost definitely not occur in the USA.
It's hard to keep track of the healthcare reform proposals. I see different ones circulated all the time. Inevitably, the actual law will be 1000+ pages long and written in incomprehensible legal jargon.
Obama's healhcare proposal is a "State option". Private insurance companies will still exist. There will also be a government plan, funded via taxes. It will be illegal to not own health insurance. If you don't have health insurance from a private source, then you're automatically enrolled in the State plan.
"Not owning health insurance is illegal!" is essentially corporate welfare for insurance companies. Right now, a poor and healthy person will make the rational decision to forego health insurance, saving that expense. If Obama's plan is approved, they will have no choice to pay via taxes.
The "State option" plan will work like Medicare and Medicaid. When you purchase Medicare, you don't purchase it directly from the government. You purchase Medicare through a private insurance corporation. Each of them offers a slightly different plan, making the options very confusing! The corporations who administer Medicare and Medicaid make huge profits at the expense of taxpayers, from their role as middlemen. Similarly, they will make a huge windfall via the State healthcare plan.
In one of Obama's proposals, the healthcare reform will be paid by taking money out of the Medicare/Medicaid fund. As I mentioned before, there's no such thing as the Social Security and Medicare trust fund. If the Federal government has a taxation surplus, the net effect is deflationary. There will be later inflation as that pool of money is spent. The assets in the Social Security and Medicare fund have no tangible economic value. They are merely State bonds, but the Federal government is the issuer for those bonds. Those bonds must be repaid by future taxes, or future inflation.
Currently, the insurance industry is regulated on a per-state basis. If a corporation is licensed to sell health insurance in Illinois, it must pass another regulatory burden to sell health insurance in Indiana. This system leads to lots of small insurance companies, along with 50 separate state insurance regulatory bureaucracies. One proposal is that health insurance will now be regulated at the Federal level instead of the state level. This is corporate welfare for large insurance corporations. On the other hand, separate bureaucracies at the state level is also inefficient.
I'm amused by Obama's retoric regarding the "State option plan". He says "The State option will force market discipline on insurance companies, forcing them to lower their prices." The State directly entering a market is the *DIRECT OPPOSITE* of free market competition. The net effect of State intervention in the market is *ALWAYS* perks for those who lobby the State for favors.
The Federal healthcare plan will compete with private healthcare in the same way that public schools compete with private schools. People have no choice but to pay for public schools via taxes. This makes private schools accessible only to the wealthy. Similarly, private insurance plans probably will be driven out of the market by the State plan. The vast majority of people send their children to public school. After paying taxes, they have very little wealth leftover to pay for a private school. Further, the vast majority of people don't know that public schools are really State slave brainwashing centers.
People would already be paying for the "State option" via taxes, and they won't have wealth leftover for a private insurance plan.
As you mentioned in your comment, and as I've mentioned repeatedly, the real reason healthcare is expensive is the State licensing cartel. There is a conspiracy between the AMA and the government to artificially restrict the supply of doctors. This guarantees that doctors are highly paid, because there's a shortage of doctors. That's the reason why your insurance company pays $200+ when you see a doctor, but you only get to see him for a couple of minutes.
For awhile, HMOs were squeezing doctors to force them to lower their rates. The AMA retaliated by cutting the number of slots in medical schools, further restricting the supply of doctors.
"Eliminate State licensing requirements for doctors!" is a reform that cannot occur. The current license holders have a very lucrative monopoly/oligopoly. They can always profitably lobby to block reform.
"State licensing requirements of doctors protects customers!" is an evil fnord. The reality is that State licensing requirements hurt customers, via higher prices and lower quality. There's a shortage of doctors, so even a bad doctor with a State license can always find customers.
Once a doctor gets a State license, he needs to *REALLY* mess up in order to get his license revoked. Usually, a medical license is revoked only for a doctor who challenges the State. For example, Jack Kevorkian lost his State doctor license for declaring "Elderly people should have the right to commit suicide instead of suffering!" and then acting on his belief.
In the US medical system, most of the expense is paid in the last 3-6 months of a person's life. When I was involuntarily hospitalized, my insurance company paid the hospital $750+ per day. All the hospital did was give me a bed, food, forcibly drugged me, and I got to see the psychiatrist for less than 1-2 minutes per day. It was very profitable for the hospital. The psychiatrist spent most of the day filling out paperwork.
Once you're in a hospital, you're the property of the doctors who work there. You can't leave without the consent of the doctor.
When you call 911, you are routed to a specific hospital based on where you live. There is no market competition among hospitals.
A hospital makes a *LOT* of money per day per patient. Therefore, if a patient is almost dead, there's an economic incentive to prolonging their life for a few weeks, especially if the patient can afford it! (either via private health insurance or Medicare/Medicaid)
There's another flaw with the current system. If you're poor and uninsured and go into a hospital emergency room, then the hospital has a legal obligation to treat you, even if you can't afford it. The cost of this "free treatment" is paid by everyone else as higher prices. The reform plan merely shifts the burden and increases it, via taxes and mandatory insurance coverage.
The current incentives of the healthcare system are almost completely unrelated to patient health. If a doctor performs a test or procedure, he gets paid for it, whether the patient needed it or not. The patient is only indirectly paying the cost (via health insurance), so the incentive is for the patient to not object to unnecessary expenses. If the patient is damaged by something the doctor does, it's very difficult to sue for malpractice and win.
Suppose a hospital treats someone for a "mental illness". Whether the patient recovers fully or lives the rest of his life incapacitated, the hospital gets paid the same. The only reason I'm recovering is that I ignored the advice of my State psychiatrist.
Another reason health care is expensive is due to the damaging effect of the FDA, pharmaceutical corporations, and patent law. Treating someone via a drug is very lucrative, because the patient/victim must then take the drug for the rest of their life. The problem is that drugs suppress the symptoms of an underlying illness, without actually curing it. For example, anti-psychotic and anti-depressant drugs mask the symptoms of anxiety in someone who has seen parts of the Matrix, without curing the problem. As another example, anti-arthritis drugs make the patient not feel pain, but don't make them able to walk again.
If you're taking a prescription drug, you suffer withdrawal if you stop taking it. This provides the superficial illusion that the drug is beneficial. Once you're taking a drug, it's very hard to stop, because your body becomes addicted.
Over-use of prescription drugs has turned doctors into drug dealers. The patient must see the doctor regularly, to get a prescription refill. The doctor can see many patients in a short period of time, since all he's doing is renewing a prescription. Patients are pro-State brainwashed to believe "I'm taking a prescription drug. Therefore, I'm receiving appropriate medical care." It's a profitable arrangement for both drug corporation executives and doctors.
Even if the drug is later proven to be harmful, the doctor can always claim "I was tricked by the drug company!" Even if there's a class action lawsuit, via tort reform damages are limited. Typically, damages from a bestselling drug that's later proven harmful are less than 1 year of profits, even if there's proof that the drug company executives covered up evidence of problems.
A drug company must submit 2 positive drug studies to the FDA to get a drug approved. However, nothing prevents the drug company researchers from conducting 50 studies, and then sending the 2 most favorable ones to the FDA. If it were 50 studies for the same drug for the same illness, it would obviously be fraudulent. However, drug company researchers conduct many different studies for many different drug-illness pairs. By statistical randomness, some of them will seem favorable. Then, marketing hype creates an artificial demand for the drug, even though it's useless or harmful.
Even if a drug has negative side effects, that is easily covered up. Suppose a drug has a 1% chance of causing a heart attack when taken for 2 years. In a 6-12 week drug approval study, this effect won't be noticed. If necessary, unfavorable research results are not published.
The FDA restricts permissible treatments. Fake treatments like drugs are promoted, while some genuinely promising treatments like stem cells were banned. (The stem cell Federal research ban was overturned by Obama.) You cannot conduct medical research without getting permission from the FDA. This makes medical research expensive and inaccessible to all but drug corporation executives. This slows the rate of progress of medical science.
A patent for a drug expires after 34 years. Drug company executives workaround this via a clever loophole. They find a new chemical, similar to the original but slightly different. Then, they have marketing hype and phony research saying that the newer drug is better. Laws regulating medical insurance force insurance corporations to cover newer drugs in addition to older ones. The health insurance corporations don't mind this regulation because they pass the cost on to customers as higher prices.
Prescription drug costs are a large component of health care costs. Patent law combined with FDA regulation encourages the use of drugs to treat illness. Both doctors and pharmaceutical corporations make a lot of money off excessive use of prescription drugs. Any "health care reform" proposal must account for this.
The tricky part of "health care reform" is that a lot of people are making a profit off the current corrupt system. Any group that receives a massive State subsidy can always profitably lobby to block reform. In the present, doctors, insurance corporations, and pharmaceutical corporations receive massive State subsides. They aren't going to consent to a reform that wrecks their gravy train.
Any "health care reform" proposal must guarantee continued huge profits for those already receiving massive State subsidies. It's even better if "health care reform" increases the rate of looting and pillaging. Most people are aware of that the health care system in the USA isn't working. Due to pro-State brainwashing, they fail to place the blame where it belongs. The blame for the healtcare problem lies with the AMA licensing cartel and the FDA which restricts permissible treatments.
The "State option" "reform" plan has a chance of succeeding, because it ultimately accomplishes nothing. People will pay higher taxes. The middlemen and doctors still get their cut. The AMA licensing cartel, the insurance industry monopoly/oligopoly, and the pharmaceutical/death industry get to keep their cushy profits. With a State plan, there's an even greater opportunity for middlemen to line their pockets.
Here's a good rule of thumb. The primary beneficiaries of "State bureaucracy X" are the bureaucrats who administer the bureaucracy. They get to receive a nice paycheck, without doing anything useful. Insiders receive perks from lobbyists in exchange for favors.
If you mention the healthcare problem without discussing damaging State regulations and State licensing requirements, then you are pro-State trolling. I haven't seen any mainstream media outlet say "Are State licensing requirements for doctors harmful?" These unstated hidden assumptions are important.
In order to truly reform the health care system, agorist doctors are needed. People need to learn to work as doctors without a State license. People have been pro-State brainwashed to believe "Doctors must have a State license!", making them reluctant to see agorist doctors. I'd be reluctant to visit an agorist doctor unless he were proven trustworthy. As long as I have an on-the-books wage slave job, I'm paying for health insurance already via my corporate employer! Agorist health care probably won't be viable until the counter-economy is much more sophisticated. A "health care reform" boondoggle could actually be great, if it forces people to start working as agorist doctors.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I heard a lot of professional comedians saying "OMFG! Obama nominated a racist to the Supreme Court!" Racism is one of those made-up evil fnords, designed to divide the cattle.
Group A thinks that group B is going to hurt them. Group B thinks that group A is going to hurt them. Both group A and group B say "The State needs more power, to protect us from the other group!" The bad guys love such fake debates.
A much more serious problem is that Obama nominated a statist to the Supreme Court. "This judge is a statist!" is a much more important criticism than "This judge is a racist!"
If you ask any State-employed judge "Should there be a government?", the answer will invariably be "Duh! Yes!" All politicians and lawyers are statists. This question is never seriously debated in the mainstream media.
In general, the Supreme Court tends to make decisions that increase the power of the State.
I found this quote from the hearing (via Yahoo) to be pretty offensive.
He pointedly asked Sotomayor, "What binds you when it comes to a fundamental right?" Graham asked.
"The rule of law," Sotomayor answered.
He tried to pin her down, asking whether the right to bear arms is such a right and would her personal view guide her judicial thinking?
Sotomayor said "the court will look at its older precedent," and consider the question as a matter of law.
"Respect precedent" (or stare decisis) superficially sounds reasonable. Good decisions made in the past should be a guideline for future good decisions. In practice, this means "The Supreme Court has made decisions in the past that eroded individual freedom. Those decisions are not subject to review."
"Review past decisions for errors!" is something that a Supreme Court judge is *EXTREMELY* reluctant to do. In practice, this means that once a bad decision is made, it becomes permanent and irrevocable. This is the same type of Statist thinking that prevented the Catholic church from admitting "The Earth is not the center of the universe!"
The State equals God. The State is infallible. If people are allowed to believe "In the past, State high priests (the Supreme Court) made a mistake!", then that opens the door for all sorts of things to be questioned. That last thing the bad guys want is for people to start thinking for themselves. The illusion of State infallibility must be maintained at all costs.
As the above quote indicates, the Supreme Court has ruled in the past that State restrictions on gun ownership are allowed. Therefore, that decision is no longer subject to review, even though the language of the Constitution is pretty clear regarding the right to own a gun. Once the Supreme Court ruled "Restrictions on gun ownership are allowed!", then that restriction becomes permanent and irrevocable.
As another example, the Supreme Court has ruled that the IRS and Federal Reserve are perfectly legal. They won't seriously consider reviewing this decision. That would be an admission that the Federal government has been operating illegitimately for nearly a century.
The "rule of law" vs. "natural law" debate is really an excuse for pro-State trolling. A Supreme Court judge is concerned with "What is legal?" instead of "What is morally acceptable?" In a corrupt insane political system, "What is legal?" has become nearly completely divorced from "What is morally acceptable?"
The job of a Supreme Court judge is to make up fancy-sounding excuses that justify an expansion of State power. The Supreme Court is an evil fnord providing the illusion that someone is protecting individual freedom.
All three branches of government are controlled by lawyers. That fact alone should eliminate the illusion that they're separate and independent. A State bureaucrat will always make the decision that increases his own power.
That's one big disadvantage of a monopolistic State over a free market system. In a real free market, if someone is unreasonable, then you'll buy from a competitor. Via taxes, people have no choice but to pay for the State. If State enforcers behave unreasonably, you are SOL.
The entire Supreme Court nomination process is one big evil fnord, designed to provide an illusion of legitimacy for actions of the State. At no point will you hear any statist ask "Is taxation theft? Are these laws bad, even though they're recognized as legal?"
The biggest criticism of *ANY* politician is "He/she is a statist!" This is never publicly discussed. If you're the type of person who understands "Government is a massive criminal conspiracy!", then you certainly aren't going to waste time getting a degree as a lawyer or working as a politician. You can study natural law without wasting time on studying insane State law.
Monday, July 20, 2009
This article, via Hacker News, was an interesting bit of pro-State trolling. It's a chart on "How Americans spend their money." The flaw is that taxes are not listed.
I liked this article on "50 things you can do now to achieve greater freedom".
I liked this article in Rolling Stone, via the Dignity of Struggle. It's about how executives at Goldman Sachs manipulate the financial/regulatory system for their own personal benefit.
It's nice to see some cracks forming in the Matrix. I'm seeing more mainstream articles critical of the State and financial industry.
That article still was pro-State trolling. It was proposing more government regulation of the financial industry, rather than "Who needs a government anyway?"
Via "captured regulators", more government regulation of the market provides *MORE* incentive for people to profit from lobbying the State for favors.
That article falls short of the correct conclusions, which are:
- The USA has a corrupt monetary system!
- Via the Compound Interest Paradox, fiat debt-based money causes boom/bust cycles. Negative real interest rates provide an incentive for inflating speculative bubbles.
- It's silly to talk about "failure of the free market banking system" when there's a central bank credit monopoly. The Federal Reserve is a humongous price-fixing cartel.
- Inflation is theft! Taxation is theft! Inflation is a tax on savings.
- The State itself is corrupt. Even if executives at Goldman Sachs were not manipulating the government for their personal benefit, someone else would be doing it.
- Who needs a government anyway?
- If you're offended by financial industry excess, your only recourse is to boycott the Federal Reserve and financial industry.
After the oil bubble collapsed last fall, there was no new bubble to keep things humming — this time, the money seems to be really gone, like worldwide-depression gone. So the financial safari has moved elsewhere, and the big game in the hunt has become the only remaining pool of dumb, unguarded capital left to feed upon: taxpayer money. Here, in the biggest bailout in history, is where Goldman Sachs really started to flex its muscle.
That is the virtuous positive feedback cycle of complete economic collapse. It is more profitable to lobby the State for favors, than to produce something useful.
Based on the rules of the monetary system and the Compound Interest Paradox, another bubble is guaranteed to occur. You won't know exactly until it's substantially inflated. Financial industry insiders get first dibs on printing and spending new money, buying assets before the bubble inflates.
I liked this bit:
By the end of March, the Fed will have lent or guaranteed at least $8.7 trillion under a series of new bailout programs — and thanks to an obscure law allowing the Fed to block most congressional audits, both the amounts and the recipients of the monies remain almost entirely secret.
The Federal Reserve, via its "monetizing the debt" trick, can buy any assets it chooses. This allows Federal Reserve insiders to play favorites, giving some banks more favorable loans than others.
Goldman Sachs received an undisclosed amount of loans directly from the Federal Reserve. This is no obligation for public disclosure of this subsidy. Because real interest rates are negative, "loaning someone money at the Discount Rate" is the functional equivalent to "giving them money outright". When the Federal Reserve lends money to a bank, it's lending brand new money printed out of thin air (usually electronic credits). The cost is paid by everyone else as inflation.
It is more accurate to say that the Federal government is a division of Goldman Sachs, rather than that the bank is a government-regulated organization.
It also was interesting that the author of that article was the subject of a lot of criticism. Even so, he still was pro-State trolling. He fell short of the correct conclusion, which is "The USA has a corrupt monetary system!" and "Who needs a government anyway?"
The financial industry and Federal Reserve are politically untouchable subjects. I'm surprised the author hasn't been fired for partially telling the truth. Such articles help raise awareness, while simultaneously pro-State trolling.
No Gods Required has left a new comment on your post "State Licensing Requirements Externalize Monopoly ...":
Due to this comment:"I considered writing a longer response, but your connection to reality has timed out. It suffices to say that you are pro-State trolling (based also on your previous comment on the same post)."
After which you proceeded to agree with me that morality is not based on opinion, I can only conclude that the insulted I quoted was only aimed at hurting another person. Consider my readership removed. You don't have to worry about me "trolling" any longer.
Goodbye! Don't let the door hit you on the way out!
The specific bit of pro-State trolling was "I have an obligation to prevent women from murdering their unborn children!", a previous comment on the same post by you. You were correct that there's an absolute universal standard of truth. However, your reasoning after that was wrong.
The people who say "**** you, FSK! I'm leaving!" are the ones who had the least interesting bits to say in the first place. I'm only making $0.16/day via AdBrite, so losing you costs me approximately $0.0003/day. Ironically, when people start getting angry at me, at the same time, my overall readership increases. I may have offended you, but other people may have found that bit interesting.
That is an important mainstream media censorship tactic. Afraid to lose viewers, they resist saying anything controversial. That's an important component of the Matrix.
It's possible that I write something that offends you, but 100 other people find interesting. I shouldn't let the most vocal people distort my content. "Coddle your viewers with the most extreme views!" lets a minority affect the policies of the State. The people with the biggest interest in censorship, are the ones who take such an extreme attitude.
For example, at a local government board meeting, there may be a few people with extreme views lobbying at the meeting. The vast majority of people probably don't care. Seeing the handful of people with extreme views, the State bureaucrats assume that everyone feels that way.
A reasonable person would judge all of my ideas independently. Even if you dislike one thing I write, you should still keep reading if you find my blog overall worth your time.
I've also said several times "If you have a detailed comment, you should put it on your own blog and send me a link."
I liked this article on Techdirt (and many other sources). Someone wrote a sequel to "Catcher in the Rye". The problem is that the author is not the original author, and does not own the copyright. J. D. Salinger sued for copyright violation, and got an injunction banning the publication of the book.
The problem is that intellectual property is not property. There's no valid reason why it should be illegal to use characters that are "owned" by someone else. For works written more than 100 years ago, they have passed into the public domain. Anybody can write a new novel about Sherlock Holmes, Tom Sawyer, or Scrooge. For works written in the past 100 years, they have not passed into the public domain.
Certain characters, such as Batman and Mickey Mouse, are part of the general culture. It's wrong to consider them "owned" by a specific corporation.
I noticed that the upcoming season of "Penn and Teller: Bull****!" has an episode on taxes. I doubt they'll say "Taxation is theft!" They'll probably be ridiculing the people who make arguments such as "The income tax is illegal/unconstitutional." That'll make all people who object to taxes seem like fools.
Penn and Teller don't have full artistic freedom for their show. Executives at the network have veto power, which they sometimes exercise. There's only a small handful of mainstream media corporations, controlled by a handful of insiders. It's very hard to tell the truth on a mainstream media program. The forces of the State and the Matrix cause tremendous backlash against someone who tells the truth.
This article on MSN was interesting. If you operate a meth lab in your house and get caught by State enforcers, they will seize your house. They will then sell it at auction.
The problem is that the meth lab contaminates the house. The future residents will get sick unless they pay for an expensive cleanup.
State enforcers have no obligation to disclose to future buyers that the house formerly contained a meth lab. They are protected by sovereign immunity. The victims can't sue the State for fraud.
The laws banning possession and sale of certain drugs are immoral. That's separate from the issue of this story. When you buy a house, you have a right to know its history, and sue the former owners if there's a serious undisclosed problem.
In this case, the State enforcers are as much to blame as the people who operated the meth lab.
Even though the laws banning certain drugs are immoral, I don't advocate people boycott those laws. Those drugs really are bad for you, for the same reason that anti-psychotic and anti-depressant drugs are harmful.
I saw a group of people selling furniture out of their truck. I was thinking "Woo-hoo! Agorist furniture salesmen!" Unfortunately, I couldn't buy, because my parents would have objected.
Something like AgoristBay would be desirable. It'd be much better to buy and sell securely, rather than soliciting strangers out of a truck. All it would have taken is one disgruntled person calling the police to complain, and they could have been in trouble. If I owned an on-the-books furniture store, it would be in my best interests to complain about them.
I saw bits of the Supreme Court Nomination Comedy Show. It was amusing.
When speaking, politicians try to say as little as possible. It's even more amusing that the questioner doesn't give them a hard time. Listening to the nominee speak was like listening to "NULL! NULL! NULL!"
There were some amusing bits:
Q: How do you feel about local governments using eminent domain to seize property and then sell it to private developers?
A: It's wrong, except when it's right.
Q: How do you feel about respecting precedent?
A: It's a good idea.
Stare decisis is a corrupt legal principle. Once the Supreme Court makes a bad decision that increases State power, then that increase is permanent. "Don't question previous Supreme Court decisions!" is a principle up there with "Don't contradict the Pope!" and "Don't say the Earth revolves around the Sun when everyone else insists that the Earth is the center of the universe!"
I liked this cartoon on xkcd about the TV Tropes Wiki. The TV Tropes Wiki has a lot of good bits.
I was watching "The Ascent of Money" on the Cartoon Channel (PBS). It was the episode on the Rothschilds. It was an interesting mix of truth an pro-State trolling. They were talking about how the banksters made huge profits.
The cartoon character said "The bankers don't like war, because they might lose their investments." That is exactly wrong. The banksters intentionally fomented wars, because they were great profit opportunities. In times of war, politicians are panicking and will sell bonds even at outrageous prices. By providing more funding to one side of the war than the other, the banksters get to choose who wins. By having branches in multiple countries, the banksters are more powerful than any individual government.
In the US Civil War, President Lincoln frustrated the efforts of the banksters. Instead of borrowing from the banksters at outrageous rates, President Lincoln printed greenbacks to finance the war. Some people say that the Greenbacks were the real reason that President Lincoln was murdered.
On The Daily Show, Barney Frank was a guest. He said something interesting. (paraphrasing) "The policymakers/advisors/campaign managers do focus group testing. They tell us what phrases to use when we talk about things. They said that we should call it 'the economic recovery plan' instead of 'the stimulus plan'. Most Americans now view 'stimulus plan' negatively but 'recovery plan' favorably."
That is interesting. A group of bureaucrats do focus testing on new fnord phrases. Then, they order all Congressmen, politicians/bureaucrats, and mainstream media corporations to use the new fnord phrase. That probably explains how new fnord phrases appear all of a sudden, and then are used everywhere.
It's important to continuously invent new fnord phrases. Eventually, an old phrase becomes too closely identified with evil. Then, a new phrase is invented for the same old evil policies. This allows the same failed policy to be presented to the cattle as something new and clever.
As the collapse of the State draws near, people gain greater resistance to the invention of new evil fnord phrases.
On the same day, Paul Krugman was on The Colbert Report. He jokingly said "I'm wrecking the US economy on purpose!" Even if he meant it as a joke, it's interesting to see the truth occasionally slip through. If you watch carefully, The Colbert Report occasionally has moments where the real truth is spoken, if only as an ad-libbed joke.
Are insiders intentionally orchestrating the collapse of the economic and political system? If they are, they're doing a great job!
I saw a neat quote (paraphrasing). "In hard sciences, like Math and Computers, learning the techniques and jargon makes you a better thinker and more efficient. In soft sciences, like economics, politics, and psychiatry, learning the techniques and jargon makes you a worse thinker. In those fields, in order to learn to think clearly, you need to ignore all the nonsense spewed by 'experts'."
I noticed another weird fnord in the Supreme Court nomination hearings. People who were a party to one of the nominee's prior decisions are testifying in the hearing. (examples: David Cone, the firefighter from the anti-discrimination case) What does that have to do with whether she made a good ruling or not? Be default, the person ruled against in the trial is going to be unhappy. That doesn't automatically mean the decision was wrong.
I saw another interesting comment regarding the Supreme Court nominee. When she was nominated to the appeals court by Bill Clinton, Republicans tried to block it, knowing she would someday be appointed to the Supreme Court. That leads to an interesting conclusion. Politicians don't come out of nowhere to prominence. They're carefully screened for years ahead of time. You have to spend years proving you're thoroughly brainwashed as a pro-State troll, before you can get to a position of fake authority. Obama may have been selected as the next President in 2006 or earlier. He probably was screened and groomed by insiders for years before that.
Sotomayor looks like she has the parasitic personality type, but it's hard to judge from TV. Most politicians have the parsistic personality type, but some have the productive personality type. It's acceptable to have some politicians who are honest with good intentions, as long as they've been thoroughly brainwashed. Government needs some employees with the productive personality type, to keep things working.
I liked this comic on FreakAngels. The whole series is worth reading. That specific strip is about a group of people who have the ability to control other people's minds, and one of them is accused of abusing his power.
People really do have that power! In a productive/parasitic relationship, the parasite literally controls the mind and emotions of the productive worker. The State propaganda engine literally has creating millions/billions of mindless zombies. They are the slave-puppets of the insiders who are pulling the strings.
Sometimes, "fiction" portrays the underlying truth the most accurately.
I liked this post, via Hacker News. If you put a "CAPTCHA" test on your website to block out spammers, you also block out legitimate users.
I liked this article, via Hacker News. It's on how combination locks work.
One Angry American has left a new comment on your post "The Myth of Fiat Currency Diversification":
This is completely true. I will add however that a gold-based currency is not the answer either. It needs to be a fiat system, but the money should be created by Congress with no "interest" And the the money supply must be, and this needs to be a constitutional amendment, set as an amount per capita and may only increase or decrease proportionately with changes in population. The currency value should be based on the value of gold, but not gold backed. Why? Because the central banks control two thirds of the worlds gold already.
Nice try, but you are pro-State trolling.
I never said "People should be forced at gunpoint to use gold as money!" I said "People should be free to use whatever they choose as money!" In practice, this would mean a return to a gold/silver standard.
In a true free market, people would probably use gold for large transactions and silver or copper for small transactions. A State bimetallic system fails because the State fixes the exchange rate between gold and silver, rather than letting the exchange rate float. In a free market system, you can have multiple forms of money becuase the exchange rates float. If the price of gold/silver is 75, then I would accept 75 ounces of silver if you owed me an ounce of gold.
With a State-mandated gold standard, this causes gold to be overvalued relative to silver or other forms of money. This problem would not occur in a true free market. In 1933, the world's central banks acquired a gold monopoly as it was declared illegal to own gold. The gold ownership ban was enacted in the USA and most other "industrialized" countries.
In a true free market, there would be no incentive for someone to monopolize the gold supply. With a State-mandated gold standard combined with regulated fractional reserve banking, there is an incentive to monopolize gold. In a true free market, if someone attempts to monopolize gold, then people will switch to other forms of money.
In the present, it's unclear how much gold is actually still owned by the central banks. They have been selling/leasing their gold reserves to keep the price of gold down. I suspect that they have nearly exhausted their gold reserves.
"Insiders are monopolizing gold!" is not a valid reason to remove government regulation of money. In a true free market, people will use whatever they want as money. In a free market, it isn't profitable to attempt to form a monopoly.
The size of the world economy is much greater than the value of all physical gold. Two people can trade without trading physical gold, if they trade goods with equal gold-denominated value. Gold is merely a benchmark for setting prices. Via time-deposit banking or rapid circulation of gold, you can have an economy whose value is greater than that of the physical gold.
Even if the world's central banks had a near monopoly on gold, their economic power would be limited to the value of the gold they currently own. If they merely let the gold stay in their vault, it doesn't affect prices at all. If they spend their gold, then their economic power gets used up. Gold is only evil in the context of a State-mandated gold standard with regulated fractional reserve banking. Under such a system, large banks wield tremendous economic power. However, it is less power than they have under a fiat debt-based monetary system. With a gold standard, people can protect themselves from the manipulations of the banksters by hoarding physical gold. With fiat money, the banksters steal from everyone via inflation.
Fiat money is *ALWAYS* violence backed money. Given the free choice to use paper or gold, a rational person would always choose gold. You can only force people to use paper over gold when there are laws outlawing alternatives.
Removing a central bank doesn't solve the problem of fiat money. Under any fiat monetary system, the people who control the printing presses wield tremendous economic power. This inevitably leads to people lobbying the State for favors.
People go through all sorts of intellectual hoops looking for ways to patch a fundamentally corrupt system. I used to think that way, but I grew out of it quickly. It's a huge brainwashing hurdle to overcome. The correct answer on all questions of politics or economics is "Who needs a government anyway?"
Without a centralized government, money must have intrinsic value. Gold and silver evolved as money because they were the least-common-denominator for barter.
fritz has left a new comment on your post "Common False Economic Axioms":
Nice post FSK..!!!
I think you covered a lot of ground with this one. If I had read this list 5 years ago I would have thought you were full of crap. But now its all coming clear to me.
I've noticed that the volume and quality of true free market writing on the Internet is increasing.
It's also cumulative. If you hear "Taxation is theft!" in one place, then you're more receptive if you hear the idea again in another place. People may not notice the first time they hear an idea that contradicts their pro-State brainwashing. If they hear it several times from different sources, then it may stick.
I think this list would do great good to the public at large. If it were circulated and read by the many instead of the few.
I would be interested in compiling ideas like this into a more condensed and laymen friendly list. And than put it into the hands of everyone I know with 10 copies. And have them pass it along to everyone they know and so on.
If you think you can make a better version of that post, then go ahead and do it!
Good work FSK,,,keep it rocken!!!
The people will one day realize what is actually happening all around them. Because of the work you are doing and others like you.
I expect it will be gradual. People will recognize the truth one at a time, starting with the most intelligent. With the Internet, "The truth is out there!" If you know where to look, you'll find it.
arbynadeau has left a new comment on your post "Common False Economic Axioms":
Fantastic list, FSK. Number 17 & 18 are great. Thanks and keep it up.
I'll make more detailed posts for those two items.
Bas has left a new comment on your post "Reality Show Fnords":
I think Gordon Ramsay is great. In quite a few of the revisits he does you find that the parasite has been replaced. The dynamics in the restaurants definitely change after his visits, so I guess you could say that Gordon changed the abused productive worker(s) to be more parasitic. Does that mean people can change from being "abused productive" to "parasitic" and vice versa?
Sometimes, someone with the productive personality type learns parasitic behaviors. Your underlying personality normally doesn't change, but it can happen. You'd have to completely crack your pro-State brainwashing as I did to become "sane". A healthy person would have the better aspects of both the productive and parasitic personality type. You should have both a high logical intelligence and a high emotional intelligence.
I respect people with the "abused productive" personality type and not people with the "parasitic" personality type, because productive people are more willing to learn. A parasitic person is accustomed to always being in control. A parasitic person won't accept a situation where they're treated fairly, because they'd see that as a demotion.
Another nice bit of Gordon Ramsay is that he likes to say "There's a universal standard of truth!" Either your kitchen is clean or it isn't. Either your ingredients are fresh or they aren't.
My favorite bit is "There's an objective standard for determining 'Is this restaurant a success!' If you're making a good profit, then it's successful. If you insist that your restaurant is successful when it's losing money, then you are an idiot."
Watching "Kitchen Nightmares" makes me want to buy a restaurant and mess it up on purpose, just so I could be on the show.
I'm surprised how many people start a restaurant business when they know nothing about it. Of course, the people presented on the show aren't a randomly-chosen sample of restaurant owners.
On "Big Brother", the current Head of Household Ronnie is an idiot, even though he's on the "brains" team. Winning HoH early in the game is stupid. You just place a bullseye on yourself. Very frequently, someone wins HoH one week and gets evicted the next week.
It should be obvious to anyone who watches Big Brother that winning HoH early in the game is a penalty more than a bonus. You just wind up making enemies.
The producers of the show probably picked a stupid intelligent person on purpose. "Intelligent people are actually stupid" is a common evil fnord. When you consider that "abused productive" people let parasites manipulate them, they really are stupid.
I noticed another weird thing about "Big Brother". Most of the contestants are amateur actors. They all have the "productive" personality type. The contestants don't seem to have the "parasitic" personality type, bu that's hard to tell on TV.
Most actors have the productive personality type. You won't notice productive/parasitic relationships by watching TV. That's an important component of preserving the Matrix. Its operations are mostly invisible when you watch TV, unless you can really see the fnords.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Why Can't I Pick Winning Lottery Numbers?":
This is "payment for order flow". It's a well-known practice. It's obviously unethical, but I thought it's totally legal. The customer doesn't have a valid complaint, because they're always getting at least the quoted market price. The disadvantaged people are other market makers who are at a competitive disadvantage. In turn, this leads to worse prices for customers.At a large brokerage, like Goldman Sachs, their internal trading desk gets to see an order before it is sent to the market.Do you have actual evidence of this, because it's a scandal that's building on Wall Street right now?
If it's just conjecture, I certainly agree, but say that it's conjecture. GS has colocation at the NYSE and with shitty network security, I wouldn't be surprise if GS could sniff the line and disrupt trading flow.
The NYSE does have lousy software. I doubt that someone would be specifically exploiting it. There'd be too much at risk if you got caught. Goldman Sachs would much rather rake in their massive State subsidies instead of making an extra pittance hacking computers. The NYSE does log everything, so there's be an audit trail if there were problems.
On the other hand, it'd probably be profitable to take a job at one of these financial companies and intentionally plant trojan horses in their software. Then, people at other firms could exploit the flaws and give you a cut. The only fallacy is that an intelligent dishonest person can easily steal a fortune through easier means. The Federal Reserve itself is a massive trojan horse that allows massive theft.
By E-Mail, someone said:
This discussion of Rorsach images on Wikipedia is interesting.
That's a good example of Wikipedia silliness.
I don't take Wikipedia seriously anymore. After my experience with censorship on drug pages, I'm convinced that censorship on Wikipedia is a serious problem.
Wikipedia should not be considered a reliable source for controversial topics. Of course, you cannot tell that a subject is controversial just by looking at Wikipedia!
I still look up basic facts on Wikipedia. I have an editing boycott now. If I see a mistake, I don't bother correcting it. For controversial topics, I know to look elsewhere.
"Write my own wiki engine that fixes the obvious flaws with Wikipedia" is on my list of things to do.
fritz has left a new comment on your post "The Mandatory Arbitration Clause Scam":
Its my understanding that if a person under a contract like this receives a benefit of the contracted agreement. any single benefit no matter how small. The contract thus becomes binding.
According to insane state law, such contracts are valid. According to natural law, they are not valid.
In order to reserve your common law rights under these types of contracts. One must write " With out prejudice U.C.C. 1-207" above or below your signature.
The only fallacy is that, if you did this, then the person reviewing the contract would not accept it.
This remedy will reserve your right under common law to have mutually fulfilled obligations of contracted parties.
This is uniform commercial code article 1, section 207, reserving common law rights for persons entering into contracts.
Yes, but you are in an unequal bargaining position. If the person refuses the document with your extra words added, you are SOL.
In practice, it's better to avoid doing business with people who will **** you over.
fritz has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #103":
Fsk, I would just like to thank you for your complete and lengthy response to my question about how we got away from the gold standard and on to federal reserve slave notes.
I think you could just cut and paste that article and title it " the history of American currency " and get lots of hits from people searching the subject. Thank you again....Fritz
I did that on "What Caused the Gold Standard to Fail?"
Frequently, reader comments lead to more post ideas.
bobsala has left a new comment on your post "An Example Free Market Justice Calculation":
While I do see the point you are trying to make about calculating free market justice, I don't think your example of a baseball fan running on the field quite holds up. These days, fans running on to the field are dealt with swiftly. I would estimate no more than 2 or 3 minutes of game time is lost in most cases. Baseball players and stadium workers are not paid hourly, so any time spent by security pursuing fans on the field wouldn't add to a team's operating costs.
Having said that, keep up the good work on your blog. I especially like the fnords.
You're disagreeing with the details of the calculation, and not the overall idea.
Due to the necessity for punitive damages, such calculations should be rounded in favor of the victims. Futher, teams employ extra secutiry staff due to the risk of a fan running onto the field. That cost should be factored into the calculation.
It is wrong to say "X is working on salary and not hourly. Therefore, it's free to make them work overtime." If I'm working in a job where I'm demanded to work unpaid overtime, I expect to get paid more to compensate. You're a fool if you don't calculate your salary on an hourly basis in addition to a monthly basis.
My employer might think it's free to demand "FSK, work 5 more hours a week!" That is false, because there still is a cost associated. If they're being unreasonable, I might comply with the demand while seeking a new job.
Of course, a lot of the workers in a baseball stadium get their jobs due to connections. I doubt that such job openings are advertised on Craigslist.