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Monday, July 13, 2009

Reader Mail #103

I noticed this post on Overcoming Bias. The author got invited on an MSNBC show to discuss the healthcare crisis. Regrettably, he was pro-State trolling.

The reason healthcare is expensive is that government licensing requirements for doctors artificially reduce the supply of doctors, raising the price. It's silly to talk about the health care problem without talking about the damaging effect of the AMA licensing cartel.

How did the author even get invited on a mainstream media program? I'm considering trying that to promote my blog and my ideas.

This post on gilliganscorner had an amusing bit. If you want to "buy American" and not support parasites, one of the few places to spend your money is in a strip club.

No Gods Required has left a new comment on your post "The Abortion Fnord":

I typed a longer comment but the network timed out. Suffice to say what is moral has nothing to do with opinion.

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).

There is an absolute universal standard of morality. There is an absolute universal standard of good and evil. There is an absolute universal standard of truth.

Figuring the truth out exactly is tricky, due to the complications of the Matrix and the State. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try.

Abortion is an issue where the truth is distorted particularly much. People get excited about abortion, at the expense of issues that actually matter, such as "Taxation is theft!" If only the mainstream media devoted as much time to "Is taxation theft?" as they do to "Should abortion be legal?" The former question is far more important.

Regarding abortion, the truth is "Without government, there's no way to prevent someone from getting an abortion if they want one." Therefore, there's nothing wrong with abortion. Even if you believe "Abortion is murder!", you don't have the right to prevent a complete stranger from murdering their unborn children.

"Truth is relative!" is promoted by members of the parasite class. By promoting "There's no universal truth!", then all sorts of evil deeds can be explained away. "Truth is relative!" helps keep intelligent people continually unsure of themselves.

People who believe "Truth is relative!" should never get offended by anything I write. If you genuinely believe "Truth is relative!", then my assertion "You are a fool!" is one of many possible interpretations of reality.

I watched the first episode of "Warehouse 13" on the Science Channel. It was pretty bad.

I've decided that a new rule of thumb is "The more a series is hyped, the more likely it is to suck." "Warehouse 13" was heavily promoted ahead of the premiere.

The pacing of the story was really slow. Also, there was only a main plot with no subplot. If you look at good science shows, such as "Star Trek: The Next Generation", there's usually a good subplot or even a third subplot. This is important, because in many stories the main plot is boring but the subplot is interesting.

That's another rule of thumb. "If there's no subplot, then the show is likely boring." For example, most episodes of South Park have a good subplot.

There was one amusing bit. There was a reference to Zero Point Energy as a suppressed technology. There was also a mention of "Certain technology was invented long before it's released to the general public." For example, the agents get a video cellphone that was allegedly invented in the 1920s.

Another interesting bit was "Technology we take for granted now would have seemed incredible and scary 100-200 years ago. If you gave Thomas Jefferson a radio or cellphone, he probably would have been scared by it."

I liked this post on Rands in Repose on "toxic coworkers", or "very skilled parasites" as I would call them.

You still need to be somewhat careful. A lot parasites probably classified me as a "toxic person", when I was really trying to set things in the right direction. Parasites do a convincing forgery of what a sane person would do. For example, when I point out an abusive parasite, the parasite will use the same behavior and body language when saying "FSK is not a team player."

You can't reason with or convince a parasite. If I were a manager or owner, and I had an employee with the parasitic personality type, the only recourse is to fire them. I doubt I'll ever be a middle manager in a corporation. I might start my own business and be successful.

This AIG stock chart on Yahoo Finance made me think "ROFL!" In order to get its share price into a "respectable" range, AIG had a 1:20 reverse stock split. The stock price still tanked another 50% after the reverse split. Adjusting for splits, AIG has dropped from around 1400 to below 10!

It's also amusing to see AIG's name change from "AIG" to "AIU". That's such a lame joke. They should have just changed their name to "IOU". They'll probably spend a couple of million dollars on a marketing consultant to change their name. Corporations with huge negative publicity just change their name. "Philip Morris" changed to "Altria". "Union Carbide" also changed its name.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Updated List of Rabbit Holes":

here is a similar type FAQ

This one also includes the 'if you do not like it here, why dont you just leave' pro state retort.

That was a decent beginner-level introduction. It didn't mention anything I didn't know already.

The website usually cited as the "Anarchist FAQ" is the pro-State version of anarchy. It doesn't describe market anarchism or agorism well.

This bit had an important omission.

If men are good, then they need no rulers. If men are bad, then governments of men, composed of men, will also be bad - and probably worse, due to the State's amplification of coercive power.

That didn't emphasize the most important point. The *MOST* evil people are the ones who seize control of the State. Then, their crimes are given the illusion of legitimacy.

The defense function is the one reserved most jealously by the State.

That's very important. The violence monopoly goes hand in hand with the taxation/economic monopoly. Without a violence monopoly, the slave would just refuse to pay taxes/tribute.

For this reason, attempts to form private police forces are met with hostility. Citizen vigilante groups are roundly decried, because they represent a threat to the State's violence monopoly.

Are anarcho-capitalists anti-war?

That page missed "War is the health of the State!" I also didn't see "Taxation is theft!" explicitly stated on that page.

This Stateholm syndrome is a virulent form of Stockholm syndrome.

That's a good phrase, "Stateholm syndrome". The slaves tend to identify with the State, even though it's their primary enemy.

Beware the ambiguous collective. It may takes practice to be instantly able to translate "Support our troops" to "support the ruler's hired goons."
That's another good one. I'm able to see the fnords pretty well now, and am no longer fooled by pro-State propaganda.

I also liked the bit where "common good" is frequently cited by pro-State trolls.

The Labor Theory of Value is one of the most commonly misunderstood points, by pro-State troll economists. I already wrote on the Labor Theory of Value a couple of times. In a true free market, labor costs will usually be the greatest component of price. In the present, the State artificially restricts the market, causing current capital holders to collect economic rent. Both labor and capital are entitled to their fair share of returns. The problem is that the State distorts the market in favor of insiders.

Regarding "If you don't like it, then leave!", it was referring to "If you don't like the USA, then go to another country." The problem is that other countries are as bad as the USA or worse. Via corrupt international treaties, insiders in all countries agree to treat their cattle poorly.

When North America was first colonized (and the Native Americans were murdered), the people had a large degree of freedom. However, the Europeans had already been pro-State brainwashed to believe "Having a government is necessary!" At first, they succeeded in keeping the government small. Over time, the evil power of the State only grows. This led to the current mess.

In the present, there's no unoccupied space to move to and form a free society. The best alternative is to stand your ground and get freedom where you are. The way to do this is via agorism. You boycott all the stupid State laws and taxes that restrict your productivity. Even if the State doesn't collapse during your lifetime, you increase your personal wealth via agorism. If enough people start practicing agorism, the collapse of the State accelerates exponentially.

When I say "If you don't like it, then stop reading my blog!", that's perfectly fine. Nobody is forcing you to read my blog. If I waste time debating idiots, I actually lower myself to their level. Debating idiots is much effort expended for little benefit.

The problem with the "nobody is allowed to own land" version of anarchy is "How do you enforce 'nobody owns land'?" If property taxes are collected on all land, then by definition a government exists. A more accurate statement is "Nobody should own more land than they can profitably manage." In a true free market, it would make sense to sell extra land. Acquiring a land monopoly is only profitable in the context of State subsidies. In the present, the State actually owns all land, due to property taxes. People who "own" land merely have a perpetual transferable lease.

I liked this bit:

The first known anarcho-capitalist is Gustave de Molinari, who wrote the seminal piece, The Production of Security, in 1849.

The earliest citations of proper free market thinking are around the 1850s. That's the time of Lysander Spooner, Bastiat (a little later), and Karl Marx. I'm offended that none of those authors were discussed in State brainwashing centers (schools). In school, you learn "Karl Marx is evil! Communism is stupid!" The text of the Communist Manifesto itself is never read in a State brainwashing center. If it were, then people would realize that the USA is a nearly perfect implementation of Communism!

Those people were obscure authors. The difference in the present is that the Internet allows people to share information. The Internet bypasses the State mainstream media information monopoly. There is a valid reason to believe that the future will be different from the past.

I also liked the bit on the "public goods fallacy". A pro-State troll says that certain goods can only be provided by a monopolistic State. The concept of "public goods" is pro-State propaganda justifying State power. The reality is that public goods are provided at huge prices for a low-quality product.

According to Google Analytics, someone was circulating "Updated List of Rabbit Holes" on Twitter. Because of the way Twitter works, you don't normally see when someone cites your blog on Twitter. It usually shows up as direct traffic, but this time Google Analytics showed it as traffic from Twitter.

I couldn't find the specific citation.

By E-Mail, someone cited this YouTube video. It's a mainstream media show, where the two guests are someone selling videos on "How to hide your stash!" (illegal drugs) and a DEA agent.

For every 1 time they talk about whether marijuana should be legalized or not (glenn beck did one once, but of course it was nonsensical), there are 100 of these videos, where the host won't let the facts and real science/logic be applied so they can stick "on topic" (in this case, whether these videos are OK to distribute.

Very interesting.

There was one interesting bit "If you get busted for possession of marijuana, then you can't get student loans and can't get into college." I hadn't heard that before. If you're arrested for possession of marijuana, then you can't get into college or get kicked out of college? That's pretty harsh, because a college degree is a prerequisite for most good wage slave jobs.

Ironically, the Rails Advocate was kicked out of college for possession of marijuana. I didn't find that out until I googled his name after I didn't work there anymore.

Even though the law banning possession of marijuana is a bad law, I don't advocate breaking that law. Marijuana really is bad for you, for the same reason that anti-psychotic and anti-depressant drugs are bad for you.

That was an interesting tactic. The DEA agent was allowed by the host to interrupt the guy advocating "marijuana should be legal", but the other guy wasn't allowed to interrupt the DEA agent.

There was another error by the DEA agent. She said "Marijuana has higher levels of the active drug compared to years ago." That's a direct result of the laws criminalizing it. People developed marijuana with a higher drug concentration as a way of working around the laws criminalizing possession.

Obviously, the guy's videos should be legal. By the same logic, an IRS agent could argue "FSK should be jailed for advocating agorism!" The corrupt legal principle being invoked by the DEA agent is "Criminal liability for the misconduct of another." If I say that a law is bad and people should boycott it, then I can be held personally liable for their actions. Suppose I say "Anti-psychotic drugs are harmful!", and someone follows my advice and then does something stupid while suffering withdrawal. Then, I can be held responsible by a corrupt State court. "Criminal liability for the misconduct of another" is a censorship tactic.

It was also interesting to see the host's attitude saying "A DEA agent is automatically an expert on why criminalizing drugs is a bad idea." The DEA is really a terrorist organization, with military assault squads.

The "anti money laundering laws" that are designed to catch drug dealers also catch people practicing income tax evasion. If you deposit $10,000 cash into your State checking account, that is automatically flagged and reported to the police.

There are a lot of mainstream media manipulation tactics that I've noticed.

If an interview is taped beforehand, clever editing can make the interviewee seem like the bad guy. The choice of background music and voiceovers also can make the interviewee seem evil. I saw that used once on "60 Minutes", when an "evil" drug dealer was being interviewed.

When the host shows respect for one guest but not the other, that indicates bias in favor of one viewpoint. They usually invite multiple guests to provide an illusion of openness. It's usually subtle, rather than explicit. On the Communism Channel, they sometimes have a guest saying "Return to the gold standard!" Then, the camera shows the hosts frowning while the guest is speaking. Of course, they usually pick a guest who doesn't explain the issue as well as me, making the net result an argument against the gold standard.

Important issues are censored by not being mentioned at all. "The law banning possession of marijuana is a stupid law!" is hardly ever discussed. During Ron Paul's presidential campaign, he was not decried as an idiot; he was merely not mentioned at all. Similarly, "Taxation is theft!" and "War is the health of the State!" are never mentioned in the mainstream media at all.

These manipulation tactics make me concerned about being attempting "promote agorism via standup comedy" and getting invited on a mainstream media show. As long as they let me mention my website and say a few things, it might be worth it. If the show is obviously too biased, I won't bother going on as a guest again. Political panel discussion shows are obviously stupid.

The war on drugs is one of the few issues where there's mainstream media discussion of "Is the law bad?" Reform will not occur. There are too many people profiting from the criminalization of marijuana. They can always profitably lobby to block reform.

This post, via "Repudiate the Debt" was interesting. Is Zimbabwe's national debt legitimate?

The answer is "of course not". The WTO and IMF and the banksters make loans to politicians in 3rd world countries. These politicians then pocket the money, spending it on pork projects or outright stealing it. The politicians eagerly agree to such loans, because it's free money. Then, the people are faced with the burden of repaying the loan.

The loans are then an excuse for extracting as much wealth as possible from the third world country. The people suffer crushing poverty, but they don't understand the true cause.

The correct way to boycott the national debt is to refuse to pay taxes and to refuse to use slave points as money. Facing a crushing debt burden, these third world countries inflate their own fiat money, leading to hyperinflation.

Countries whose leaders say "**** this! We're defaulting on our debt!" wind up the victim of an embargo, or they're outright invaded. This means that the leaders can no longer accept bribes from the international banksters. If you're a politician controlling a third world country, you aren't going to risk your gravy train by attempting to do your job honestly.

The only way the 3rd world countries can raise money to pay off their debts is via exports. This is the Compound Interest Paradox. Suppose a loan for $1B at 10% interest is given. Suppose the $1B is spent in the local economy. Then, $1.1B must be raised a year later to repay the interest. The difference of $0.1B can only be acquired via exports.

It appears that everyone from Bureaucrash left for "". There's an agora group with some interested bits. There was one thread where someone was talking about writing AgoristBay as a Drupal extension. There also was a link to "A Lodging of Wayfaring Men". It's a novel about agorism that's more current than Alongside Night.

mike has left a new comment on your post "The Gold Lease Rate is Negative!":

to Richard Noble: this is from what I understand...

It's unfortunate that Blogger has buggy trackbacks. My response to that comment wasn't accessible there.

You are partially right, however buying gold futures is a derivative of gold just like cash once was, it has very little to do with the gold itself unless someone takes delivery, which rarely happens, just as when cash used to be backed by gold, very few people redeemed cash for gold.
Supposedly there's more gold futures than they think exists in the ground, just as while still on the gold standard if there was a run on the banks to exchange dollars for gold, there would not be enough gold in the vaults. Similarly, if there was a run on the futures there would not be enough gold available for everyone to execute, perhaps even if the mines around the world extracted every bit of gold that they could. Even if their was, the sellers of futures, wouldn't be able to pay for them, and the demand would shoot up so much that the sellers of futures would go bankrupt. People exchange gold futures just as people exchanged dollars, they had little use for the gold itself so the sky is the limit on how many futures can be created...

Allegedly, large financial institutions all have huge naked short positions in gold futures. Some people claim this is a conspiracy to manipulate the price downward. Whenever the price of gold sharply rises, a central bank will sell a large chunk of gold, keeping the price down.

In a SHTF scenario where the financial system collapses, there will probably be a default on the gold futures market. If the gold market enters backwardation, that's a symptom that people are betting on a collapse of the financial system. Otherwise, it would make sense to sell your gold on the spot market and buy a future, if prices entered backwardation.

Backwardation is when the closer future has a greater price than longer-date futures. This can rationally happen in the oil market, because people need to use oil immediately to heat their homes. A June future does no good when you need to heat your home in February. This should never happen in the gold market, unless people expect the financial system to collapse. Suppose the August gold futures were $1100/ounce, and the September gold futures were $1000/ounce. If you own gold, it's rational to sell gold immediately and buy a September future. Then, you get to keep $100 plus interest. The only way this trade loses is if the financial system collapses before September.

The way you guard against gold futures market manipulation is you buy and take physical delivery. You can explicitly buy a gold future and take delivery, but the deliverable unit is 100 ounces of gold. That's out of reach for most individuals, but gold dealers do it. Alternatively, you can buy gold from an online dealer and take delivery.

What this means is that the physical gold is taken out of a vault and sold, and replaced with theoretical gold that may or may not exist.
In addition, one gold is moving, the other is invisible and non existence. If you had a supply of X gold, but 2/3rds of that was stored in vaults, the real market would not be X, but instead 1/3rd of X. If all of a sudden the 2/3rds of X gold comes into play, there's more supply being actively traded, so the supply absorbs the demand. It doesn't matter if it's replaced with gold futures or not, gold futures are a piece of paper giving you rights and obligations about the gold. I dont understand futures as much as options because I haven't really studied them 100%, but I think that if more and more futures are created to offset previous futures instead of people actually buying and selling the physical, they are replacing them with additional futures, and as more futures are created and less people take physical delivery, the less relevant transactions in futures are to the actual price of gold. I've heard that people have the option on what type of future they buy, one actually is based on physical delivery, and the other is not. Even if everyone had to take physical delivery, it's still not the same, because it supresses prices until the demand is actually created. However, there is not enough physical gold in existence for every single future to allow people to all take delivery but if there was, people would not be willing to sell it at a price that the sellers of futures can afford.

If I have something wrong about the futures let me know
You're sort of missing the point. Suppose that someone borrows 1000 ounces of gold from a central bank, sells it on the spot market, and then buys a future. This has the effect of pushing down the spot price of gold, because there's 1000 more ounces of gold on the market. This also pushes down the futures price because the future price is based on the spot price. Buying the future would only push up the futures price *IF THE FUTURES SELLER HEDGES BY BUYING GOLD*. If the person selling the gold future is naked short selling, then the net effect is that the gold market was manipulated downward.

The naked gold future short seller isn't taking any risk. The central bank will roll over the lease or lend more gold, continuing the manipulation. The scam ends when the central bank runs out of physical gold. That's the reason gold has been rising rapidly lately, in addition to accelerating fiat money inflation. Central banks have nearly run out of gold, limiting their ability to manipulate the price of gold.

This is dishonest, because the central bank has lent out 1000 ounces of gold, yet keeps it on its books at face amount. The central bank has no obligation to report the lease. This makes it hard for professional gold traders to determine what's the proper price of gold. If they knew that a central bank had leased 1000 ounce of gold, they might compensate and buy more gold. The gold trader doesn't know if the price decline is due to a central bank sale, or due to temporary deflation.

As a practical matter, there's an easy defense if you believe that the gold market is manipulated downward. Just buy gold and take physical delivery! Appreciate the discount that the State is giving you on your gold purchase!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #102":

I site I think is a good resource about banking and money creation is National Economy

I don't know if I think it's possible to have a government without taxes. How would it be funded then?

This comment falls under the "genuinely confused" part rather than pro-State trolling.

That page had an interesting comment:

“I thought that, as a scientific man, I ought to know something about economics. So I studied the money system for two years and could make nothing of it. Then, one day, the truth dawned on me. What I was studying was not a system, but a confidence trick.”

Yes, that's accurate.

One way that evil people cover up misdeeds is that they make things incredibly complicated. The US monetary system is incredibly complicated. This makes it hard for the cattle to understand what's going on. People see physical Federal Reserve Notes printed by the Treasury Department and automatically assume that the government is an honest steward of money.

"Inflation is theft!" is sufficient argument against the Federal Reserve. That must be coupled with "Taxation is theft!", because the income tax prevents people from boycotting the Federal Resereve and using alternate forms of money. Inflation is a type of tax. A tax on savings is a particularly evil tax, because it steals the reward for working and planning for the future. The Compound Interest Paradox is a more subtle evil of fiat debt-based money.

That page didn't have any new information for me. I like my explanations better. It took me awhile to understand the evils of the monetary system. For awhile, I was really confused by things like the Discounted Cashflow Paradox and the Black-Scholes Forumla. "The USA has a corrupt monetary system!" and "Real interest rates are negative!" explain those paradoxes.

Once you realize "Taxation is theft!", that naturally leads to "How do you fund government without taxes?" The answer is that you don't need a government at all. All services currently provided by government could be more efficiently sold by multiple competing vendors in a true free market.

You've been pro-State brainwashed to believe "Having a government is necessary!" If you persist in saying "But you've got to have a government!", then you're pro-State trolling.

In order to collect taxes, government must have a violence monopoly. Without a State violence monopoly, people would merely ignore taxes. With a violence monopoly and an economic monopoly, the evil power of the State can only grow over time. No matter how much good intentions politicians have, the violence monopoly can only lead to evil. The most evil people are those who control the State. The biggest criminals shroud their theft under an illusion of government legitimacy.

cyberTrebuchet has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #102":

Great little commentary on another $1.8 trillion out of thin air.

I don't track day-to-day evils of the Federal Reserve anymore. I just look at the price of gold as my inflation benchmark. That keeps things simple.

It's amusing how the online gold dealers are the ones who have the best information on the evils of fiat money.

I recently ordered my first shipment of real money! Bought 8 oz. silver from APMEX. Sweet.

Only 8 ounces? That's not much. I'm planning to do shipments of at least 100 ounces silver or 1 ounce of gold, when I start.

It's good to have confirmation that APMEX is reliable. You can evaluate a gold dealer just by looking at their website.

Guess what, though - has even lower premiums than Kitco and APMEX. I'm gonna finish scrutinizing their site, but I expect my next conversion will be through them.

I plan to make a bunch of small purchases, minimizing my risk if there's a default.

GoldMoney also sold platinum, as does APMEX and Kitco. It's good to buy some platinum as well. Gold and silver are legally recognized as money, but platinum is not. A State enforcer might seize your gold and silver, but not your platinum. There are restrictions on taking large amounts of gold and silver on airplanes. You might not be harassed if you carry platinum. I don't know if the agents are trained to recognize platinum as suspicious. If you made small platinum figurines, they'd probably pass easily. Here's a really good trick for an agorist! Make a chess set, but make the pieces out of platinum! A State enforcer would almost definitely not notice it as suspicious.

"Acquire some metallurgy skills" would be nice. Alternatively, it'd be nice to know someone else with a forge. In NYC, it's probably illegal/impractical to build a metalworks in your home.

Another advantage of platinum is that it has a higher value per ounce and per unit of volume, compared to gold and silver. Platinum is denser than gold, making it harder/impossible to forge platinum that will fool a specific gravity test.

There's one problem with buying from an on-the-books dealer. Your transaction is automatically reported to the IRS and the State. For this reason, I'd like to create an agorist gold/silver/FRN barter network.

Anonymous, my man, you gotta read more of FSK's stuff before posting something like that. Of course it isn't possible to have a monopoly government that isn't funded by extortion. That's the point.

Yes. I should have a FAQ section along with "Read carefully before commenting." That isn't possible on Blogger, but it's on my list of things to do when I get my own domain.

Once you realize "Taxation is theft!", that leads naturally to "Who needs a government anyway?" All services currenly provided by government could be done more efficiently by multiple competing vendors in a true free market.

I updated the "Best of FSK" list on the left sidebar. It's been awhile. I do it by hand. When I move to my own domain, I'll write a script to do it for me.

1 comment:

fritz said...

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

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