Limited liability incorporation is not a natural free market occurrence. Limited liability incorporation encourages dishonest behavior by management of a nearly insolvent corporation, such as Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, GM, Ford, AIG, FRE, and FNM. The incentive is for management to cover up problems and go into a bigger and bigger debt hole.
Limited liability incorporation always gives management and shareholders a free put option to declare bankruptcy and cheat creditors. The equity of a nearly insolvent corporation trades more like a call option, with strike equal to outstanding debt, rather than like equity.
Combined with a central bank credit monopoly and negative real interest rates, limited liability incorporation encourages the management of a corporation to load up on debt. If there is an inflationary boom, then there are massive profits, paid by everyone else as inflation. If there is a recession/depression, then there is a bankruptcy filing. Either creditors are cheated or there is a State bailout, depending on the political connections of the creditors.
Further, "tort reform" means that, if there is a successful lawsuit against a corporation, then the compensatory and punitive damages are limited. Typically, the corporation is sued and not the individuals who committed the misconduct. Even if you sue the executives of the corporation, then the corporation typically reimburses the executives for their legal expenses and any loss.
The authors of the US Constitution were correctly very hostile to corporations. It took decades of bribing and lobbying to get the Supreme Court to legalize limited liability incorporation, which was a huge error. The 14th amendment was interpreted as justifying the rights of corporations. Limited liability incorporation is one of many ways that insiders loot and pillage.
Pro-State trolls say "Limited liability incorporation is a necessary perk to reward entrepreneurs and risk-takers!" For large corporations, limited liability incorporation is abusive for the reasons indicated above. For a small business owner or sole proprietorship, limited liability incorporation provides practically no protections. A small business owner typically has nearly all his wealth invested in his business. In the event of a lawsuit, if you're operating a sole proprietorship, then it's very easy to "pierce the corporate veil" and sue the owner directly. Limited liability incorporation provides protection and subsidies to management and owners of large corporations, but no protection to small business owners.
By reducing the risk of business owners, limited liability incorporation encourages dishonest behavior. By artificially reducing the risk of owning/managing a large business, the State subsidizes large businesses at the expense of small businesses.
Limited liability incorporation is not a natural free market occurrence. Limited liability incorporation is an artificial creation of a coercive government. In a true free market, management and owners are always personally liable for their debts. In the event of a negligence or misconduct lawsuit and victory, then management cannot declare bankruptcy to discharge the liability.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Limited liability incorporation is not a natural free market occurrence. Limited liability incorporation encourages dishonest behavior by management of a nearly insolvent corporation, such as Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, GM, Ford, AIG, FRE, and FNM. The incentive is for management to cover up problems and go into a bigger and bigger debt hole.
Friday, January 30, 2009
I was watching the Communism Channel (CNBC) and saw another hilarious joke. They were talking about a proposed law where Congress would give judges discretion to change the terms of mortgages instead of foreclosing.
The analyst/comedian said "If Congress interferes with private debt contracts, that sets a very damaging precedent. The contract between borrower and lender is sacred, and the State must not interfere!"
My reaction was "ROFL". Can you guess what I was thinking of?
In 1933, President Roosevelt defaulted on the gold-redeemability of the US dollar and confiscated all the gold from US citizens. He then devalued the dollar/gold from $20/ounce to $35/ounce. (Even though US citizens were barred from owning gold, foreign central banks could still redeem their paper dollars for gold.)
Anticipating a default on the US dollar, many private debt contracts contained a "gold clause". A gold clause said "If Congress devalues the dollar relative to gold, then the amount of interest/principal due repaying the loan increases proportionally." President Roosevelt, Congress, and the Supreme Court ruled all these gold clauses invalid. In other words, the State breached *EVERY SINGLE* private debt contract that existed in 1933.
In the present, you don't hear of anyone using gold clauses. I don't know if they're outright illegal/unenforceable, or that individuals don't have the negotiating leverage to ask for one when dealing with a large corporation. (I tried looking up the law, but it was unclear.)
Whenever the Federal Reserve or Federal government inflates the money supply, they are interfering with *EVERY* private debt contract. As an individual, it does not make sense for me to make another individual an FRN-denominated loan. If I lend you money at 6%, I'm going to get ripped off by inflation. If I put a gold clause in my loan, I'm charging you an extortionate implied interest rate. Banks can lend at 6%, because they merely borrow from the Federal Reserve at the Fed Funds Rate (currently 0%-0.25%), pocketing the spread times their leverage ratio.
When the State manipulates the money supply, it interferes with the ability for everyone except financial industry insiders to raise capital to start a business. A corrupt monetary system means that the average person is always the slave of the bankers. Individuals don't have the magic money-printing power that banks have.
Suppose you take out a mortgage at 6%, anticipating 10%-20% inflation and a corresponding boost in housing prices. You are making a rational economic decision. The State, via the Compound Interest Paradox, causes a bust. Instead of 10% inflation, there is temporary 20% deflation. Instead of borrowing at an interest rate of -4%, you actually were borrowing at 26%. During a recession, individuals may lose their jobs, making them unable to pay their mortgages.
During a recession, individuals who load up on leverage lose everything. Insiders always qualify for a bailout. As an individual, you lose your downpayment and your house. All the labor you spent earning your house downpayment was stolen by the bankers.
The mainstream media says "Rule of law is important! If someone defaults on their mortgage, then the police should violently kick them out of their house! No exceptions!" When you realize that the financial system is one big fraud, you realize that police enforcing mortgage foreclosures are terrorists. It is a statistical consequence of the rules of the monetary system that a certain percentage of borrowers will lose their homes during each economic bust. You could argue "Those were the least efficient workers!", but a corrupt system that guarantees a certain percentage of people will lose everything.
Even if I have no mortgage, I am still subsidizing the financial industry via inflation. Suppose I maximize the leverage on my mortgage, refinancing every time housing prices rise. Then, I will lose everything during the next recession/depression.
A debt contract with a bank is not a sacred contract. It's an invalid no-interest contract. In order for a contract to be valid, both sides must contribute something of tangible economic value. When you borrow from a bank, the bank merely prints new money and loans it to you. A bank does no real work when it lends money. As an individual, you have to perform work to get money to repay the principal and interest. That money must have ultimately come from the bank. Due to the Compound Interest Paradox, there will be an occasional crunch when individuals are scrambling to raise money to pay off their debts.
There was another interesting footnote in the proposed law. The law said that the bankers may foreclose on a mortgage, *EVEN IF THERE WERE TECHNICAL IMPROPRIETIES WITH THE LOAN*. Some judges were refusing to foreclose, citing technicalities in the mortgage paperwork. In some parts of the country, some judges were reluctant to kick a large number of people out of their homes. The law was removing this discretion from judges. In other words, the law actually subsidizes the bankers.
For example, some of the mortgages had been bought and sold and repackaged several times via CDOs. It was no longer clearly documented who legally owned the mortgage. In some of those cases, judges were refuse to allow foreclosure. The bank that claimed to own the mortgage didn't have legal standing to foreclose, or perhaps they didn't have appropriate papwerwork. This law would remove judges' discretion to refuse to foreclose, if the mortgage paperwork was defective.
Whenever a policeman uses violence to evict someone from their home for not paying their mortgage, he is committing a crime. I don't advise people to borrow money and not repay it. I'm just pointing out the immorality of the US monetary system. The correct solution is to completely boycott the dollar and use real money (gold or silver) instead.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Some comments deserve their own separate post. I'm trying to get better at answering "Please write a post on this, FSK!" comments.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Common FSK Topics":
I'd like to see you write about why you think the state exists. What fundamentally causes a state, and why does 99% of the population praise it's function (ya, they argue over what it should do, but almost everyone believes that it is necessary).
This is the result of a massive brainwashing campaign. Originally, governments were established by conquest rather than unanimous consent of the governed. Over time, the ruling class cemented their authority by brainwashing people to believe "We need a government!" There was a government for all of recorded history, so there's no evidence of what life was like before the invention of government. By the time recorded history starts, the conquerors had already cemented their control and brainwashing.
Public schooling plays a role. Brainwashing by your parents also plays a role. Your parents think they're teaching you "Be a good citizen!" but they're really teaching you "Be a good slave!" It wouldn't be possible to pro-State brainwash children without the consent of the parents. In the present, homeschooling is economically difficult for most parents. Pro-State brainwashing isn't just "Taxation is not theft!", but a whole collection of subconscious attitudes.
(Some of my thoughts...)
We will never have an anarchist society unless people start believing that we do not need to coerce people into behaving. I believe agorism is the best way to bring about the downfall of the existing state, but if people don't believe that coercion is immoral, then I don't think agorism can get enough steam to actually topple the state.
It's a positive feedback thing. Once you have successful practical agorists, then it's easier to convince other people and get them to go along. Agorism needs to move from a theoretical exercise to actual working agorists. A scientific theory is useless if it provides no practical benefits.
If you say "Work as an agorist, and this is the tangible benefit!", then it's very easy to convince someone to go along.
Right now, I'm spending 100% of my free market efforts on "raise awareness". At some later time, I'll start on "actual practical agorism". I won't cease my "raise awareness" efforts, especially if my "raise awareness" efforts are profitable (such as AdSense; I'm going to try others). I also need to work on "raise awareness" as a means for "attract customers", when I do have an agorist business. At some point, I'll have enough agorist or self-employed on-the-books income that I won't need a wage slave job. If necessary, I can declare some of my agorist income and pay tax on it.
For example, I need to pay property taxes via check. If I paid by cash, that would be suspicious and raise a red flag in the State spying engine. If I owe $5k in property taxes, I should make sure I have about $15k-$20k of wage slave income, so I can pay the property tax.
When you start talking about coercion as being immoral, you add tons of other problems that people have to deal with. The idea of coercion as being a good thing runs through every foundation of society: the family, the state, and religion. Getting someone to say "ya, taxes are immoral, I'm an anarchist" is one thing, but getting them to believe that forcing someone to do anything is immoral is quite another. I think there are two fronts to the war, the philosophical(coercion is immoral) and the utilitarian (how anarchism would work/agorism). I see you focused more on the utilitarian side, and would like to at least hear some stuff on philosophy side, and how you think we can win on that end.I do both philosophy and utilitarian. Right now, I'm performing 100% philosophy, because I don't have an actual agorist business! I've progressed beyond "The State sucks!" I'm much more interested in "So what are you going to do about it?" I don't discuss "The State sucks!" much anymore, because I consider that proven. The pro-State troll arguments seem ridiculously frivolous and barely worth mentioning.
People think of coercion as "How do I stop someone who breaks into my house and steals stuff?" or "What if someone murders/assaults me?" This type of coercion is valid. Even if a free market, obvious crimes will be investigated. In the present, the State *ENCOURAGES* obvious crime. If the monopolistic State police cannot or will not investigate a crime, the victim is SOL. In the present, monopolistic State police try to catch the criminal. There is no obligation for monopolistic State police to pay restitution to the victim, for failing to protect them.
In a free market, competing police forces would be very interested in having a high "criminals get caught" rate. If necessary, they would convince their customers to install security cameras in their residence. Would I install a security camera in my residence if it meant I get a discount on police protection? Yes. In a free market, the police would take precautions like "camera footage is only used in the event of a crime"; any police agency that violated the trust of a customer would lose its business. In the present, no rational person would allow the police to install a security camera in their home, because you can be practically certain that the information would be used against you. State police have an unaccountable monopoly, so people are distrustful when giving them information.
In the present, sometimes State employees commit crimes, such as a policeman who murders someone while conducting a no-knock raid; such a policeman rarely gets worse negative consequences than a slap on the wrist. When a State employee commits a crime, they are typically protected by sovereign immunity. This encourages crime by State employees.
Some people think of coercion as "How can I stop my neighbor from getting an abortion?" or "How can I stop my neighbor from smoking marijuana?" If your neighbor's activity does not injure you, then you don't have a right to stop him. Most people agree with this in principle, but they never hear it explicitly stated like that.
The main evil of the State is the subtle crimes it encourages. What right do the President and Congress have to steal trillions of dollars and spend it on war? I have a valid claim, because some of that money was stolen from me. What right do the President and Congress and the Federal Reserve have to steal from me by inflation and give the proceeds to a handful of insiders? What right does the State have to impose regulations that make it hard for me to start a business?
The vast majority of Americans disapproved of the massive financial industry bailout. Both Democrats and Republicans supported the bailout, leaving the average American SOL. Financial industry insiders print new money, and spend some of that money on lobbyists! It's a profitable arrangement for the bankers, the lobbyists, and the Congressmen! The vast majority of Americans disapproved of the Iraq war. In 2006, Democrats got a majority in Congress running on a platform of "The Iraq War is bad!", but once in control they did nothing to stop it. If members of both major parties support a bad law, then the average American has no recourse. For most such laws, the average American has been brainwashed to believe that these bad laws are beneficial.
People see the positive things that the State does, such as roads and schools (brainwashing centers) and police. However, all those things could be provided cheaper and better in a free market. People say "Without government, who would build the roads!" The reality is that only a very tiny percentage of the taxes I pay are used for actually building roads. Only a very tiny percentage of the taxes I pay are used for *LEGITIMATE* police services. (The "War on Drugs" is not a valid use of policemen.) If people didn't have to spend thousands of dollars on taxes for schools, there would be free market alternatives. With high taxes for public schools, private schools are only available for the wealthy.
Perhaps you should talk about coercion being immoral, if you assert that. And I'm not talking about just a gun pointed at someone, but all the interactions we have with people on a non voluntary basis.
There's indirect coercion. You might say "I have a voluntary relationship with my employer!", but State restriction of the market severely limits available employment prospects. Your relationship is superficially voluntary. It's really involuntary, due to huge State distortion of the market. The rules of the economic system are biased against workers and in favor of employers.
I would include such things as being passive aggressive to my wife to get her to do something, or yelling at my kids to get them to clean their room as coercion, and immoral/abusive.
Passive aggressive behavior is a symptom of pro-State brainwashing. If people weren't pro-State brainwashed, passive aggressive behavior is unnecessary.
Passive aggressive behavior has its origins in chattel slavery. The master has the slave literally in chains. However, the slave is still human. Via passive aggressive behavior, the slave controls the master. The slave will do just enough work to avoid being beaten. Similarly, in many wage slave corporate jobs, the wage slave does just enough work to avoid getting fired or reprimanded. In many wage slave jobs, a really productive worker is seen as a threat, because he makes the others look bad!
When you're in a situation where you're forced to do something, either via State violence or via your own pro-State brainwashing, you respond with passive aggressive behavior. For example, once I realized that the Rails Advocate's job was hopeless, I passive-aggressively stopped trying, instead of explicitly quitting.
All evil aspects of the State have their origins in chattel slavery. In modern society, the chains are more subtle, but they are still there. The most evil chains are the income tax, Federal Reserve, and government regulations. You only see the direct State violence if you violate one of these chains. For this reason, State police are evil. They blindly obey the orders that enforce the chains of the State.
Only 1%-2% of the population works as policemen. For this reason, even enlightening 50% of the population is insufficient, if they don't take direct agorist action. You would still need to enlighten the policemen, who are intentionally chosen to be stupid. Prospective policemen are given an intelligence test. If they score too highly, they are denied the job! The role of a policeman is to blindly enforce the will of the State. If productive workers stop supporting the police via taxes, then free market alternatives will emerge.
State police only harass a small fraction of the population at a time. This makes it practical for the State to spend vast resources pursuing the minority who evade the rules. Besides, who knows what's the true risk of an intelligent agorist? There's no data. If I started a "tax resister insurance" business, then I'd have better data.
State violence prevents you from saying "**** you!" to your wife and leaving her. State-licensed marriage is a *PERMANENT* contract and not a term contract, with artificially high overheads for changing your mind. If you made a bad decision and your wife is a *****, you can't say "**** you!" to your wife and find another partner. State violence, and your own pro-State brainwashing, makes you bound too much to your wife. Then, you resolve disagreements with passive aggressive behavior.
Similarly, your children resent that you are subconsciously pro-State brainwashing them. You get verbally or physically abusive to brainwash them, and they respond with passive aggressive behavior. It is valid to physically or emotionally train your kids to behave correctly, provided you do it in a true "Dog Whisperer pack leader" style.
Most people (especially those who assert the state is moral), will also assert that coercion, unless actually physically violent, is moral. Spanking my child is deemed moral, or giving my wife the cold shoulder is moral, or yelling at my employees at work is moral.
It is correct to discipline your children, until they're old enough to be on their own. If you're a true pack leader, you should be able to do this easily. For example, if your child tries to run into the street without looking, you *SHOULD* physically restrain them.
With your wife, you should be free to say "You're being unreasonable. I'm finding another partner." If you would never say this, no matter what, then what incentive is there for your wife to behave reasonably?
Working in a wage slave job is another issue. It's the Agent-Principal problem. If you're a typical wage slave middle manager, you're responsible but not the owner. If you were 100% owner in a free market, you're free to say "You're fired!" if an employee is being unreasonable. Your own personal interests are not aligned with those of your employees, or those of your boss or the shareholders or the customers. This is the inherent problem of all corporations. If you're such a brilliant manager, you can't say "**** this!" and start your own business, due to State restriction of the market. You can't say "**** this, I quit!" if your boss is being unreasonable, because finding another job as a middle manager is hard.
If we believe these tactics are moral, there is a zero chance of any anarchist/agorist strategy working.
These tactics are only used in the context of a corrupt system. In a real free market, you would not see as much passive aggressive or abusive behavior.
State violence makes it hard for you to divorce your wife. This leads to abusive behavior.
You have already been pro-State brainwashed. You are subconsciously pro-State brainwashing your children. They sense this and resist, leading to conflict. You can teach/correct your children without being abusive. For training children (or adults), the best behavior is the "Dog Whisperer" approach. If someone does something wrong, you *IMMEDIATELY* correct them, but then never mention it again unless they repeat the behavior. Delayed negative feedback is a mind control technique.
For example, if you're arrested for tax evasion, it's delayed negative feedback. You aren't immediately arrested when you perform work without paying taxes on the value of the work. Delayed negative feedback causes people to continually fear negative feedback. For example, I don't know if the "murder squad" is going to pay me another visit or not. This causes me to be more apprehensive than I would be otherwise.
Conflict at work is entirely due to the State-induced artificial nature of the manager/employee relationship. Neither you nor your employees are owners of the business. You and your employees can't easily say "**** this!" and start your own competing business.
People fall into abuser/abused relationship so naturally, and think that's a good thing, so the idea of chucking the state makes no sense.
This is only true for people who have been pro-State brainwashed. The parasitic personality type takes the abuser role. The productive worker takes the abused role. Due to pro-State brainwashing, most relationships you see have an abuser and an abusee. Once you crack your pro-State brainwashing, it's easier to relate to others as equals.
However, most parasite types are looking for someone to abuse, so forming a relationship with a parasite is pointless/impossible. Most productive types are already bound to another parasite. When I approach them, their attached parasite will say "*DANGER*!!! FSK IS EVIL!!" For example, most single women travel in pairs, a parasite and a productive type. I can't flirt with the productive member, because the parasite will be threatened.
You might as well tell them god doesn't exist (if they are religious), or that yelling at their kid is wrong.
The God of Absolute Unopposable Evil may be real. People would be more offended if you told them "The God of Christianity is actually a special case of the God of Absolute Unopposable Evil!" (I should do a post on alien religion.)
So I have some of my own thoughts, I'd like to hear some of your commentary on that subject. :)There are some common false arguments cited against free markets over and over again. For example, "People are intrinsically evil/Statist/collectivist. Therefore, a government is needed."
My first retort to that is "If people are intrinsically stupid, then I guess I'll have to start my own species and let the inferior life forms die!" Most currently living humans should be convertible to free market thinking. The smartest humans should discover the truth first, and then figure out a way to start an agorist free market economy and start helping others.
It's hard to determine what "natural human behavior" is, because pro-State brainwashing is so pervasive. You can't predict how someone who hasn't been subjected to pro-State brainwashing would think.
Paradoxically, thousands of years of pro-State brainwashing may have accelerated the evolution of human intelligence. The details of pro-State brainwashing are *VERY COMPLICATED*. It takes a certain level of intelligence to remember various contradictory beliefs and keep your lies consistent with those around you. The members of the productive worker class are under continuous pressure to improve efficiency, so that the parasite class may leech more. However, whether a person adopts a productive or parasitic personality may be a result of conditioning, rather than an intrinsic property of the individual. In a true free market, there would be no value in the parasitic personality and it would disappear.
The reason you have the split among productive workers and parasites is that the parasites try to keep the productive workers emotionally weak. By keeping productive workers emotionally weak, that makes it easier for the parasites to maintain control. If a productive worker has a disagreement with a parasite, the parasite will *ALWAYS* say "It's the productive worker's fault!", and emotionally manipulate the productive worker into believing it. The productive workers have been told all their life by the parasites, who are in charge, that they are weak, so the productive workers believe that they are weak.
In the USA, the parasitic type is held as the ideal, and not the productive worker type.
When an anarchist says "The State is evil!", that is itself a fnord. The State is not just government itself. It's a State of mind that allows government to exist in the first place. This is literally The Matrix. If you mention to the average person "Taxation is theft! A really free market with no monopolistic government would be superior.", they'll respond "You're a fruitcake!"
You only see The Matrix when you poke it and question the rules! People are encouraged to "Report suspicious activity to the police!" If you go around saying "Taxation is theft!", that's suspicious activity that should be reported to the police!
The State is not just government. It's a collection of brainwashing techniques. A productive worker is expected to react in a certain way when a parasitic worker confronts him. In most/all corporations, the parasites are pulling the strings. If you give indications that you're a productive worker who can't be abused by parasites, then the parasites will cooperate to eliminate you! There's nothing that inspires cooperation among parasites more than a productive worker who can see through their scam!
If you look at most human relationships, one person has the parasitic personality type and the other has the productive worker personality type. It isn't about raw technical skill, although more intelligent people tend to have the productive worker personality. If you have the parasitic personality type, or the totally brainwashed wage slave type, that limits how intelligent you can be, because you're constrained by your false beliefs. You can be a professor of Mathematics at a university and still have the parasitic personality type.
If I attempt to start an agorist business, but have no trading partners, I can't accomplish anything. If I help raise the awareness of others, but never start an actual agorist business, then I'm accomplishing anything either. Both strategies must be pursued simultaneously.
For this reason, I'm leaning towards "FSK should attempt blatant-in-public agorism, to raise awareness and also attract customers." If I'm practicing blatant-in-public agorism, I'd be a tempting target for State enforcers. However, if I argue my position clearly, then State enforcers would also know that I'd be a tough victim who wouldn't play along with the scam. State enforcers might choose to ignore me over less difficult targets. If the State wastes $1M+ pursuing me in a high-profile tax evasion trial, and then I'm acquitted, that could make the bad guys look really foolish.
Does this answer your question? Let me know if you want further clarification.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
have you paid attention to the situation in iceland with the collapse of their economy?
I was vaguely aware of it, but haven't been following the details.
I found this blog about Iceland's problems, but I wasn't very impressed by the content. The best summary I could find via Google was Wikipedia's version. (I feel dirty linking to Wikipedia.)
Here's the short summary of the problem.
In the US, banks had dollar-denominated assets and dollar-denominated liabilities. During a recession/depression, the value of bank assets decreases due to the Compound Interest Paradox. The Federal government and Federal Reserve are the issuer for dollars. They merely printed enough new dollars to bail out the banks.
In Iceland, the banks had Euro-denominated assets and Euro-denominated liabilities. As in the rest of the world, asset prices crashed. However, Iceland's government does not have the power to issue Euros. The "print new money to bail out banks" trick couldn't be pulled off.
Subprime mortgage bonds weren't just bought in the USA. They were bought by other countries, eager to invest their dollar surplus. When the market for these bonds imploded, it affected other countries in addition to the USA. In this manner, economic problems in the USA were exported to other countries.
Other countries are eager to keep a stable exchange rate with the US dollar, because they like exporting to the USA. When the US dollar starts inflating, other countries must inflate in lockstep to keep a stable exchange rate. In this manner, the USA exports its inflation to other countries. Other countries are inflating their own fiat money, with the profits going to US financial industry insiders.
The USA (and to some extent the EU now) have a special perk that no other country gets. They get to issue loans in their own money. This means that, technically, they can never be bankrupted as they merely print new money to pay off their debts. Other countries have a problem where their international debts are Euro-denominated or dollar-denominated. During a global recession/depression, they can't pull off the "print new money to bail out banks" trick like the US Federal government and Federal Reserve.
There were other problems cited in the article.
Like in the USA, banks in Iceland lobbied for looser regulations and loaded up on leverage. Unlike the USA, banks in Iceland could not lobby Iceland to print new money to bail them out, because their debts were Euro-denominated.
During boom times, Iceland's banks kept refinancing their Euro-denominated loans for bigger and bigger amounts. Inflation was working in their favor. They were making huge profits. Now, we are in the recession/depression phase of the business cycle. Iceland's banks are no longer able to refinance their debt. They have gone from "technically insolvent" to "actually insolvent".
Most large banks are technically insolvent at any given time. "Level 3 accounting" encourages large banks to load up on assets that they don't have to "mark-to-market". Banks use huge leverage ratios, profiting from inflation over time. During a recession/depression, banks and businesses that aren't "too big to fail" go bankrupt, and the rest qualify for a State bailout.
Iceland may be eligible to join the EU. Politicians in Iceland said "If we join the EU, we're ceding our sovereignty."
Iceland tried to peg its fiat currency at 131 krona per Euro. When a government tries to keep a currency peg in contravention of market forces, professional currency traders say "Woohoo!! Free money!!" The wealth Iceland's government squandered on the currency peg mostly wound up in the pockets of currency speculators.
Iceland's government also froze foreign currency exchanges and foreign accounts. This exacerbates the problem. Why would someone import/export from Iceland, if you aren't going to be able to convert your profits to local money?
Without such restrictions, if the krona is devalued relative to the Euro, then the incentive is for foreign investors to buy assets in Iceland, limiting the disparity. By placing currency trading restrictions, Iceland exacerbated the problem.
Iceland is inflating its own money to bail out bankers and insiders. The average person in Iceland is losing his savings to inflation.
Also, most of the liabilities of Iceland's banks are owned by insiders. Iceland's government didn't say "Let the banks go bankrupt! We'll print new money to redeem small individual depositors, but institutional and large investors are SOL. We'll capitalize new banks instead of bailing out the failing ones." That criticism applies to the USA as well.
Of course, the correct solution "Use gold as money!" is never mentioned by policymakers. State violence and State regulation demands people use the local fiat money. Substitutes are outlawed.
It's the usual "Problem! Reaction! Solution!" paradigm. The State causes a problem. People say "OMFG!! This is awful!" The solution is always more power for the State. The State regulations that caused the problem in the first place are never named.
The blame for all financial crises boils down to:
- Limited liability incorporation is evil. Limited liability incorporation gives bank management a free put option to declare bankruptcy and cheat creditors and depositors. Limited liability incorporation encourages aggressive/dishonest accounting by a nearly insolvent bank.
- Negative real interest rates are evil. Negative real interest rates provide subsidies to insiders at the expense of productive workers. Only insiders may borrow at the cheapest interest rate. They get first dibs on newly printed money.
- Regulation of banking and money is evil. People are not allowed to boycott the State-issued fiat money and use real money instead. (Gold and silver and other metal coins are real money.) Further, regulation encourages consolidation of the banking industry.
- "Too big to fail" is an evil concept. Instead of bailing out failing banks, new banks could be funded instead. If the State wants to protect small individual depositors, then new money should be printed to reimburse them for their loss. (In a true free market, accounting associations would guarantee bank deposits. The members of the accounting association would be assuming personal liability for any loss.) Large investors and institutional investors *SHOULD* lose when their bank goes bankrupt. That's the reason you have credit ratings. "Too big to fail" merely bails out insiders at the expense of the average person. "Too big to fail" encourages dishonest behavior, and it makes "small enough to fail" businesses not viable. Why should I run a small business if my competitor is "too big to fail"?
Also, the gold standard is banned internationally via treaties. As condition for WTO and IMF membership, countries are banned from using a gold standard. Politically connected insiders love joining the WTO and IMF, because some of the money from the loans is spent on kickbacks for the politicians' backers. During the inevitable recession/depression, the international debt is cited as an excuse for reducing the living standard of the average person. Income taxes and the inflation tax are raised to pay the illegitimate foreign debt.
Another problem with financial crises in smaller countries is "Individuals are responsible for the debts of politically connected insiders!" Individuals always pay the cost of State bailouts in the form of money supply inflation and taxes. People lose their saving to inflation, either gradually or all at once.
Let me know if there's anything else you want me to write about. "Small country gets ruined by financial crisis and foreign debt!" is not news to me. The international monetary system is set up that way on purpose! I haven't written about Iceland's economic crisis, because my reaction is "I've heard that story before. It's not interesting." Plus, none of the news sources and blogs I follow mention Iceland much.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I was watching the Communism Channel (Bloomberg) and I saw something that made me think "ROFLMAO!!!" Of course, the commentator/comedian did not intend his comments as funny, but rather as a serious market analysis.
The quote was "In response to the subprime mortgage problem, the Federal Reserve and Federal government have tightened lending requirements. It is much harder to get a mortgage now. This new regulation will solve the housing crisis. Housing prices are still falling. The government needs to address this problem."
Do you get the joke? I'll give you a chance to figure it out on your own. Here's a good chance to test your understanding of real economics.
When buying a house, most people buy the most expensive house they can afford. Since real interest rates are negative, this is normally a rational economic decision provided you can make your mortgage payments. When the entire housing market crashed 50% or more, many people wound up stuck with houses that were worth less than their mortgage. They made the rational economic decision to default on their mortgage.
When mortgage requirements are tightened, people cannot borrow as much. This causes housing prices to drop even further.
The analyst was praising a regulation that had the effect of pushing down housing prices. At the same time, he was lamenting the decline in housing prices. It was hilarious!
Let's pick a concrete example. Suppose you want to buy a house worth $500k, and mortgage interest rates are 6%. Suppose you make a 20% downpayment of $100k. Your monthly mortgage payment on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage will be $2400.
Suppose you make a 2% downpayment of $10k. In that case, your monthly mortgage payment on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage will be $2940.
Notice that changing from a 20% downpayment to a 2% downpayment has a small effect on your monthly payment. You were able to use 50:1 leverage instead of 5:1 leverage, but your monthly payment is only 20% more. (For a real mortgage, you'll be charged PMI and a slightly higher rate on the bigger mortgage. You're still better off maximizing your leverage.)
Suppose State regulations allow 2% downpayments. In that case, someone with only $10k in savings can afford a $500k house.
Suppose the State changes the regulation from "2% downpayments allowed" to "20% downpayments required". Now, the person with $10k in savings can only afford a $50k house instead of a $500k house. Housing prices will drop by approximately 90%, assuming most potential house buyers are buying the largest house they can afford.
By changing the amount of leverage individuals may use, the State exacerbates the boom/bust cycle. Ten or twenty years from now, the subprime mortgage crisis will be mostly forgotten. Eager to issue loans, banks will lobby to have the "20% downpayment required" regulation changed back to "2% downpayment allowed". In this manner, a new bubble will occur.
There were some other practices that allowed individuals to increase their leverage ratios. "interest only loans" and "Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) with teaser introductory rates" allowed individuals to load up on leverage. As long as the housing market boomed, people taking out such loans benefited from inflation.
The Federal Reserve credit monopoly distorts the market. By changing interest rates and changing the leverage ratio people are allowed to use, the State causes boom/bust cycles. Insiders always qualify for a bailout, but individuals lose their homes and their savings.
In a true free market, there would be no economic advantage to purchasing a home via debt or purchasing a home via accumulated savings. Negative real interest rates encourage would-be asset buyers to maximize their leverage. During the inevitable bust, individuals who maximize their leverage lose everything, while insiders qualify for a bailout.
Monday, January 26, 2009
This article on the Liberty Papers was an excellent piece of pro-State trolling. He's discussing this article which claims to be a definitive debunking of why State-paid healthcare sucks.
Any accurate discussion of the healthcare problem must include the damaging effect of State licensing requirements for doctors. State licensing requirements for doctors artificially drive up the cost of health care. The AMA is a licensing union and cartel that, in collusion with the State, restricts the supply of medical care. If you mention the health care crisis and don't mention this point, you are pro-State trolling.
FDA regulation also restricts the type of medical treatment available. Most new disease "treatments" are merely drugs that suppress the symptoms without addressing the underlying problem. Most new drugs are an old drug with the chemistry slightly changed. The slight change makes the new drug patentable. The most notable example is anti-psychotic and anti-depressant drugs. I've also noticed the same problem with anti-arthritis drugs in my grandmother; she doesn't feel joint pain, but she can't walk or move either. The anti-arthritis drugs mask the symptom of arthritis pain, but don't correct the problem that her joints are wearing out.
Allegedly, many promising treatments that threaten the pharmaceutical industry's business model have been blocked by the FDA.
Another damaging factor is State regulation of the medical insurance market. Insurance companies are barred from charging sick or high-risk people more. The result is higher premiums for everyone. A healthy person might make the rational decision to forego health care, rather than pay a stiff premium. Then, only sick people purchase insurance. The tax break for employer-paid health insurance means that most employees get health insurance via their employer. The true cost of health insurance is then hidden from most workers, in the same way that the employer-paid portion of Social Security and Medicare tax is hidden from most workers.
Another damaging factor is that doctors are paid based on work performed, rather than the actual health of your patient. Instead of agreeing to pay your doctor $50/month directly, your doctor gets paid by the insurance company based on "procedures" done. (or the State via Medicare/Medicaid) For example, if your doctor recommends a test you don't really need, he gets paid more. If your doctor performs unnecessary surgery, he gets paid for doing it anyway (and you can't normally prove afterwards it was unnecessary). This leads to the bizarre practice of the psychiatry/death industry keeping patients drugged up and prisoner, while milking them for Medicaid payments via the State.
All the problems of healtchare in the USA can be explained by "lack of free market" rather than "We need more government!" You cannot reasonably say "The free market health care system in the USA is a failure!" while you have restrictive State licensing requirements for doctors. All the mainstream media discussions of healthcare that I've seen ignore the damaging effect of State licensing requirements and State regulations.
(This bit deserves its own separate post.)
This article on no third solution was amusing. He bought tickets to a concert via Ticketmaster and got ripped off.
He bought an "electronic ticket", which was merely a pdf that he printed out and took to the concert. He had to change his plans, and wanted to sell the tickets. However, no reasonable buyer would accept the ticket printout. David Z could print out several different copies and sell them to multiple people.
He wound up selling his tickets through Ticketmaster's official website. Ticketmaster charged a 30% transaction fee.
Ticketmaster has a monopoly, so there's no incentive for them to be reasonable.
David Z lamented:
That's an important goal of agorism. In a free market, trust and reputation are important. When the seller has a State-licensed monopoly, there's no reason for them to behave reasonably. The buyer has no choice but to trust the State-licensed business.
It’s unfortunate that an alternative method of reputation marketing and/or insurance doesn’t exist.
In an agorist transaction, both the buyer and seller must trust each other. For example, suppose I sell health care without a State license. The buyer needs assurance that I am a good doctor. I need assurance that my patient is not an undercover cop. A mature agorist economy will include a credit rating service. I would be an excellent credit rating service seller, because I'm getting *VERY GOOD* at identifying pro-State trolls.
I wonder if an undercover cop could fool me? You don't get hired as a State spy unless you have the right sort of brainwashing, so I doubt it.
There are plenty of ways to set up an electronic ticket sales system to allow for tickets to be bought and sold, in a way that the buyer and seller's integrity is guaranteed. Ticketmaster has no incentive to implement such a system, due to their monopoly.
If my "promote agorism via standup comedy" idea is a success, and I start selling tickets for my own show directly, I'll "roll-my-own" open source TicketMaster engine.
This article on no third solution talks about the evils of State subsidies for automakers. Duh!
He makes a "prisoner's dilemma" analogy. The analogy works like this. Suppose you have State A and State B. If neither State subsidizes the widget industry, then you have free competition (the "mutual cooperation" scenario). If State A gives subsidies but B does not, then the manufacturers in State B are bankrupted by those in State A (the "A defects, B cooperates" scenario). If both States give subsidies, a lot of resources are squandered via these subsidies (the "both defect" scenario).
State-licensed economists and political scientists love to talk about the "prisoner's dilemma" as an analogy for economics and politics. I've thought about it, and it's all nonsense. In a free market, trust is important. If you make a trust-based economic transaction with someone and they cheat you, then you *REFUSE TO DEAL WITH THEM*. You warn your trading partners, and soon the cheater will be unable to do anything. In a free market, the "prisoner's dilemma" is irrelevant, because people cannot be barred from sharing information.
Only a State can cause the "prisoner's dilemma" to be a valid model, by preventing people from sharing information and by forcing them to obey the decisions of their "leaders". For example, the average person in Israel or Gaza can't say "I don't want to participate in this war anymore." They are forced, via State violence, to obey the decisions of others.
In a true free market, protectionism doesn't work. Suppose region A has a free market, and there is neighboring State B with corporate monopoly X. Corporation X lobbies State B to wreck the widget industry in region A. State B subsidizes widget exports to region A. People in region A say "Cheap widgets!" They buy the subsidized imports, and widget factories in region A close. Corporation X says "HAHAHAHA!!! We have a monopoly now!" Corporation X now charges monopolistic prices in region A. Here is the key step. THE WIDGET FACTORIES IN REGION A NOW REOPEN! Corporation X and State B accomplished nothing. Region A has a free market, and there are no artificial barriers preventing people from starting a widget factory.
Only in a non-free market does it pay to use State subsidies to bankrupt your competitors. Once your competition is bankrupt, State restriction of the market prevents new competitors from forming. "Abusive" business practices only make sense in the context of a non-free market. In a free market, anyone trying abusive behavior is merely squandering their wealth.
This actually happened, back when the USA had a freer market. There was a European bromide cartel. They tried to export cheap bromide to the USA, to bankrupt the USA bromide manufacturing industry. The bromide factory in the USA stopped operations. They bought the cheap bromide, repacked it and re-labeled it, and then sold bromide in Europe, undercutting the European cartel on price! The US bromide factory made a fortune, and the European monopoly lost a fortune! Of course, State regulations ban such behavior now.
(This bit deserves its own separate post.)
This article on no third solution was about him selling "no third solution" themed T-Shirts via cafepress, a State-licensed on-the-books store.
I looked into making my own T-Shirts. You can buy blank T-Shirts in Chinatown for a few dollars each and then buy a T-Shirt burning machine for $1500. That store is charging a hefty markup at $15 each. If you're planning on selling more than 100-200 shirts, you're better off doing it my way instead of using cafepress. That's one of my agorist business ideas.
It seems like it's only $1/shirt for ink+paper+electricity, plus $3-$5 for a blank T-Shirt. IMHO, I can do better than cafepress. It'd even be worth it to pay for shipping, provided you pay me somehow in cash off-the-books.
"Make and sell free market themed T-Shirts" is one of my agorist business ideas.
You might say "Buying blank T-Shirts from a store in Chinatown supports the State!" If I buy T-Shirts from a store in Chinatown and pay cash, how do you know that the store in Chinatown is reporting the transaction as taxable?! If I have a successful T-Shirt business, I can always later look for agorist vendors to sell me blank T-Shirts.
Also, if you use an on-the-books online T-Shirt vendor, profits from sales support the State. Even if I'm 10% less efficient than CafePress, I can still come out ahead if I avoid taxes on my business. I actually think I'd be more efficient, at least on a small scale. (And if I were spectacularly successful, I could always hire other people to help!)
This post on the Picket Line had an interesting bit.
How many Americans today do you suppose would have the self respect to walk up to the president of the U.S. government and address him straightforwardly by his name rather than searching for some sort of kowtowing honorific or European affected third-person title (“your eminence” or some such)?
The custom of referring to a judge in a trial as "Your honor" has as an implied evil fnord "I accept that your authority is legitimate." By giving people in various professions titles, it makes them seem like their authority is legitimate, when they're really a pro-State troll.
For example, I'd be committing a crime if I called myself "Dr. FSK" (other than sarcastically). I don't have permission from the State to call myself "Doctor".
I liked this post on the Liberty Papers. School officials caught a girl with Advil, a legal non-prescription drug. They then strip-searched her, looking for more serious drugs.
The parents tried suing the school. The judges ruled that the school officials were protected by "sovereign immunity", and could not be sued.
That is one big problem with the State. State employees are normally practically immune from liability when they do something wrong. Freed from accountability, State employees may normally do as they please. State employees are allowed to say "I was just following orders!" or "I was just doing my job!", and that's a valid defense unless the misconduct is truly egregious.
This article on Existentialist Cowboy about the JFK assassination was amusing.
President JFK attempted to do his job as President honestly. He realized that there was corruption all around, and started trying to eliminate it. Insiders who profit via the State then assassinated him.
I never really got much into the "JFK conspiracy theories". "The State sucks!" is much more important. If JFK had succeeded with his reforms, he might have postponed the inevitable collapse of the State.
This post was also amusing, about how the Pentagon was hit by missiles and not an airplane. I'm much more interested in the hidden-in-plain-sight conspiracies.
I liked this post on no third solution. In Quebec, you can purchase State-subsidized child daycare. Naturally, there are long waiting lines for this service. Not emphasized by David Z, the prime beneficiaries of this law are the people selling child care via a State subsidy. If the State is subsidizing your customers, you can sell all you want!
David Z also laments that policymakers demonstrate a lack of knowledge of economics. He pointed out that there are two possibilities.
First, the State policymakers are completely ignorant of economics. I consider this to be most likely. This is an argument against the State. Central planning can never allocate resources better than a free market. The State policymakers are stupid, but not intentionally evil.
Second, the State policymakers understand economics but are lining their pockets via stupid laws anyway. In this case, the State policymakers are guilty of fraud.
As a practical matter, it makes no difference if State policymakers are genuinely that stupid, or deliberately committing fraud. Either way, they are injuring people with their stupid laws and subsidies. For this reason, I say "Stupid equals evil." If you have good intentions, but are stupid, the outcome is the same as if you intentionally injured someone.
If someone injures me, it makes no difference if they did it intentionally, or if they had good intentions but are stupid.
(I noticed that I'm quoting "no third solution" disproportionally more often than other blogs.)
I liked this post on Check Your Premises, in reference to this YouTube video by Stefan Molyneux on "The Matrix". Normally, Stefan Molyneux is too long-winded, but this video was good.
He has some bits on how various philosophies of Statism are various "human farming" techniques. In a modern western society, you have "free-range humans", that have an illusion of freedom. By giving the cattle an illusion of freedom, they are more productive workers.
Government originated when agriculture was invented. With agriculture, a human can produce more food than they personally eat. This makes it profitable to keep other humans as slaves. As long as the cost of keeping the slave is less then food they produce, then it's profitable. By tricking the slaves into falsely believing they are free, the cost of the chains is reduced.
As agriculture became more efficient, some cattle were freed from working on farms to providing other goods for their masters.
I also liked the analogy "State license as restraining collar." If you have a State license to perform a career, then the State has the power to cut off your livelihood by revoking your license. If a psychiatrist went around saying that the "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is nonsense, then the other psychiatrists would revoke his State license. Similarly, a journalist/comedian/actor who starts saying inappropriate things can be fired and unable to find a new job, ruining his career. State licensing requirements restrict higher-paid workers, because most higher-paying careers benefit directly or indirectly from State violence.
I also liked the bit "giving some slaves freedom helps the others be more productive". For example, many wannabe actors have barely subsistence living, because they dream they can strike it rich like others. The fact that some actors are spectacularly successful keeps amateur and semi-pro actors slaving away at hopeless dead-end jobs.
There's still one point I'm not sure about. Are the insiders aware of the nature of the scam, or do they genuinely believe their own lies? I'm inclined to the latter, because otherwise they would assassinate people who start telling the truth too accurately.
This article on Freedomain Radio was about his unfavorable media coverage. A politician's son called in Freedomain Radio. He suggested the person leave his parents. The student, a few months later, did so. His mother was outraged, and used her political influence to force newspapers to publish negative articles on Stefan Molyneux.
Politicians have the power to force newspapers to generate unfavorable media coverage of someone. It was interesting to see the tricks used to make Stefan Molyneux look bad.
- He has 35k+ regular listeners. The newspaper interviewed a few disgruntled people, and presented them as being a typical sample.
- He was quoted out of context. The mainstream media schedules a long interview, but then only publishes fragments. By quoting fragments of a conversation, you can manipulate someone so that they look bad. He made the reporter agree to publish a link to the full interview, but the reporter reneged on his promise.
There still were some errors. Stefan Molyneux said "A State-licensed therapist provides better advice than me." I disagree. In my experience, State-licensed therapists are pro-State trolls. The training a therapist receives for their State license is damaging. My evil ex-therapist called the "mental health crisis response team" after I had a disagreement with her and fired her. Given this information, seeing a State-licensed therapist can be *DANGEROUS*.
Overall, I don't see why Stefan Molyneux is annoyed by the unfavorable media coverage. I'd rather have negative coverage than no coverage at all. So many people are suspicious of the mainstream media that negative coverage is really an endorsement! As long as Stefan Molyneux is not the victim of State violence based on the incident (lawsuit or criminal charges), he should not be concerned. The incident probably helped promote his website.
For example, Ron Paul's Presidential campaign was censored by the mainstream media not mentioning him at all. If the mainstream media kept saying every day "Ron Paul is a ****!", then that would have been an endorsement. The way the mainstream media works, it's "# of times your named is mentioned" that counts. It's irrelevant if the coverage is favorable or unfavorable.
He also had this post refuting "Freedomain is a cult". That wasn't very interesting. It's like a transcript of a debate with a pro-State troll over "Taxation is theft!" I'd be interested in "pro-State trolls are cultists!" From the point of view of a pro-State troll, my beliefs probably seem like those of a crazy cultist, but I have the same viewpoint of the pro-State trolls.
I looked at this post on "top blogs for software developers". I didn't have time to make a detailed analysis of those blogs. It appears to be a "every 3 months" feature on that blog.
Lately, I find "How to be a good software engineer!" writing to sound more like "How to be a good wage slave!" Similarly, "How to be a good manager!" sounds more like "How to manage your cattle!"
This article on the Liberty Papers was annoying. The new Surgeon General is a pro-State troll when it comes to de-criminalizing marijuana, especially medical marijuana. Duh!
I saw a book called "The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict" by Stiglitz, Joseph E.
$3T is a really big number. There are 300M Americans. $3T divided by 300M is $10k. Instead of the Iraq War, the government could have bought a new car for every 2 Americans (assuming a car costs $20k).
How would you feel if policeman came and stole a new car from you? How about if the police came and stole a new car from everyone? When the theft occurs slowly over time, via inflation and the income tax, people don't notice as much.
If you add up all the direct taxes I pay on my wage slave labor, it's like the police steal a brand new car from me every other year.
It's the usual "seen vs. unseen" fallacy. You see all the money spent on the war and all the people working building weapons, etc. You don't see the productive things those people would be doing instead.
I liked this article on Check Your Premises about San Tan Flat, although this Washington Post link describes the issue better than that YouTube video.
San Tan Flat is a bar in Arizona and restaurant with an outdoor stage. They play music on the stage, and some customers dance.
State enforcers in Arizona have declared that outdoor dancing at a bar is illegal. They have been issuing lots of frivolous citations for minor issues.
This is an interesting example of abuse of State power. They are being harassed by the local government, and not the Federal government. A small local government can be just as abusive (or more so) than the Federal government.
My guess is that one of San Tan Flat's competitors is owned by a politically connected insider, who is using State violence to shutter a competitor.
This post on Check Your Premises was amusing. Weird Al Yankovic mentioned popular Internet filesharing websites in a song. MTV censored these parts of the song on their website.
Most mainstream media sources are (obviously) toeing the Statist party line on "Intellectual property is a valid form of property. Copying a song or movie without a State license is a crime!"
I doubt that even if I attempted "promote agorism via standup comedy" I could get a mainstream media source to carry my content. I have too many "must be censored" ideas:
- Taxation is theft!
- The USA has an unfair monetary system.
- The "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is nonsense.
- Soldiers and police are not heroes. They are terrorists.
- Intellectual property is not property.
- All forms of monopolistic government are immoral.
I liked this post on no third solution. A pro-State troll was saying "Government is like a corporation. The citizens are equal shareholders. They each get one vote."
This is obviously false. David Z wastes too much time debating pro-State trolls.
There was one counter-argument that David Z didn't mention. Suppose that government is like a corporation. Then, I should have the right to sell my shares to someone else! When Mike Gogulski renounced his US citizenship, he should have had the right to sell it to someone else instead!
Corporations resemble evil governments more than government resembles corporations. Corporations are not a natural free market occurrence. Large corporations receive massive State subsidies. All corporations benefit from limited liability incorporation. Large corporations benefit from State subsidies, since their executives may explicitly lobby the State for favors.
With a corporation, I have the right to sell my shares. For less-regulated industries, I have the right to boycott that corporation and buy from a competitor or start my own competing business.
Further, limited liability protection does not help a small business owner sole proprietorship much. A small business owner typically has most/all of his wealth tied up in his business. With a sole proprietorship, even if incorporated, it's easy to "pierce the corporate veil" and sue the owner personally.
This post on no third solution points out that Social Security is one big Ponzi scam, which I already wrote about. There's one point I forgot to emphasize in my previous post.
Social Security is a massive profit center for the Federal government. In every year of its existence, Social Security taxes collected have exceeded benefits paid. With fiat money, when the State runs a taxation surplus, this is deflationary. The deflationary effect of this tax is offset by deficit spending elsewhere, or inflation by the financial industry.
There are no tangible assets in the Social Security Trust Fund. There merely is a stack of IOUs. When the paper in this pile is spent, that will cause further inflation.
The real crisis for Social Security comes not when the Trust Fund is exhausted, but rather when Social Security taxes collected are less than benefits paid. This date is only a few years away, and is much closer than the projected date for Social Security insolvency. When this date is reached, this spending will be inflationary. As the Social Security Trust Fund is spent, there will be massive inflation.
A default on Social Security is an economic certainty. There will be a tax hike, an inflation hike, an outright default, or some combination of the above.
The US Federal government is very bankrupt. Promises have been made to future retirees that cannot possibly be kept. Politicians cannot default on these promises, because then current workers would no longer be willing to pay the tax. If the State defaults on Social Security for current retirees, then what kind of idiot am I for paying Social Security taxes? The US Federal government isn't going to exist 20 years from now, so why am I paying tax for a benefit I will never receive?
Instead of Social Security, the average American would get a better return investing an equal amount in physical gold or silver. Current retirees are only earning a return of 2%-3% on their "investment" in Social Security, which is far less than true investment or any reasonable investment would have earned.
Social Security and all aspects of government are one big scam.
(This bit deserves its own separate post.)
In this post on nostate.com, Mike Gogulski announces another anarchist aggregator site "Anarchoblogs". I submitted my blog and it wasn't listed yet. I wonder if the operator of that site is someone I've derided as a pro-State troll? I submitted my blog to a couple of anarchist/agorist/left-libertarian aggregator sites, and never got included.
I don't get the point of aggregator sites when I everyone can keep a list of links in their own blog, or a "Google Reader Shared Items". If there another good blog out there, I probably would see it cited on one of the sites I already regularly visit.
In this post on nostate.com, Mike Gogulski points out a difficulty involved with renouncing your State slave papers. He was trying to exchange one currency for another at a bank, where he already had an account. The clerk demanded State-issued ID. Mike Gogulski had no valid ID, and therefore the clerk could not process the transaction.
In defense of the clerk, the State banking regulations are pretty strict. The State sends undercover cops, posing as customers, to verify that they're enforcing the rules. Given the context of a corrupt system, the paranoia of the bank staff is understandable.
This illustrates the foolishness of renouncing your State slave papers. The important point is to stop acting like a slave. Keeping my State slave identification papers only costs a few dollars a year, and going without them is a huge hassle. Therefore, I keep my State slave papers. The important point is to stop acting like a slave. I don't need to renounce my State slave papers in order to do that.
Living without State slave papers is not viable right now. One of my agorist business ideas is a free market gold and silver warehouse receipt banking system. If Mike Gogulski had income he didn't want to report to the State, and he wanted a safe place to keep it, he should be a customer of my warehouse receipt banking service (when I start it). It would have to be very decentralized, lest I be violently shut down via a State raid. Plus, Mike Gogulski would need assurance that I would not merely take his money and disappear. In a true free market, trust is important.
That's why I like agorism as a resistance strategy. You gradually exit the slave economy and work in the free market. Making a 100% immediate break with the State is infeasible.
I liked this post, via Mike Gogulski's shared items. A radio talk show host was imprisoned for writing/talking about the immorality of the War on Drugs. He also attended a protest.
I liked this quote about an unrelated incident:
Ian did not sit fast enough for Judge Burke and was given 90 days for contempt of court, plus thee days in jail for the couch “offense.”
Why can a judge arbitrarily jail someone for "contempt of court"? What if you really believe "The authority of the judge is not legitimate!"? What if the judge asks you if you have contempt for him, and your honest answer is "Yes, I don't respect you. Anybody who would send me to jail for disagreeing with him does not deserve respect."?
After the three days in jail, Judge Burke suspended the 90 days and released Ian. One of the conditions of release was Ian demonstrating “good behavior.” Now, for writing about, and talking about Andrew Carroll's marijuana civil disobedience, in addition to attending the protest, Ian is being charged with “Criminal Liability for the Conduct of Another” and could have the 90 day sentence reinstated even if he is never convicted for the Criminal Liability.
I don't get that. What is "Criminal Liability for the Conduct of Another"? It seems like a devious way of restricting "freedom of speech".
For example, I write that the "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is nonsense. If you are taking anti-psychotic or anti-depressant drugs, you should quit taking them cold turkey and manage the *NASTY* withdrawal as best you can. You should not consult with your psychiatrist first, because your psychiatrist is a fraud.
If someone reads my blog, follows my advice, and then does something stupid while suffering withdrawal, can I be personally blamed? When I write "Psychiatry is murder!", I am technically guilty of the crime of "Practicing psychiatry without a State license."
I liked this article on Infowars, via Mike Gogulski's shared items. "The Prisoner" was a popular 1960s TV show. Its popularity can be explained by its fnords. I prefer more recent works, which have a greater fnord density. I don't have time to watch older shows.
McGoohan enraged many viewers with the controversial conclusion of the series, which revealed that Number 1 was Number 6 himself, a metaphor for the fact that ultimately we are wardens of our own prison. The finale also depicted the prisoner’s escape, only to reveal his return to another form of prison - society itself.
The State isn't just government itself. Most people are trapped in the prison of their pro-State brainwashing.
This post on reason.com, via Mike Gogulski's shared items, shows a growing problem. Children under age 18 are sending naked pictures of themselves to each other via cellphone. They are being convicted of child pornography and placed on "sex offender" lists.
If you are a convicted sex offender, in most cities/states, you must publicly register your living location with the State. For example, a convicted sex offender is not usually allowed to live near a school. Required to publicly disclose themselves, sex offenders are then harassed by their neighbors.
This is a very bad legal precedent. It used to be that once you served your prison term, you were technically free. Being convicted of a sex offense is now a permanent black mark.
Laws banning child pornography are really excuses for "We must censor/regulate/restrict the Internet more!" "Child pornography is a serious problem!" is a fake issue that is super-hyped as an excuse for more State power.
How is child pornography handled in a true free market? Parents are responsible for what their children do. Child pornography laws have an implicit hidden assumption that parents are unqualified to keep track of what their children are doing. Also, if you're old enough to get pregnant or make someone pregnant, then you aren't a child. By my definition, a 16 year old sending naked pictures to a boyfriend/girlfriend is not involved with child pornography.
This article on whizbangblog cited my article on the Hunt Brothers' Silver Corner. According to Google Analytics, that drove quite a bit of traffic to my blog. It had some interesting bits on the corruption of the financial industry. My favorite bit was:
"Yes," Gilligan said. "I tease people sometimes that, you know, people say, 'Well, who's the largest oil company in America?' And they'll always say, 'Well, Exxon Mobil or Chevron, or BP.' But I'll say, 'No. Morgan Stanley.'"
He's referring to the fact that large banks own huge long positions in oil futures contracts. Due to unregulated commodity markets, these banks have no obligation to publicly disclose their positions. Banks profit from owning oil, because they borrow at the Fed Funds Rate (currently 0%-0.25%) and invest the profits in oil, which should rise at a rate of 20%-30% per year.
Notice that banks profit from oil/energy speculation without doing any real work.
"(Partially) deregulated energy markets" is a direct consequence of lobbying by bank executives and energy corporation executives.
He also had an interesting point, not emphasized enough, that energy "deregulation" laws were written by Enron executives and other insiders. This "deregulation" could be more accurately described as "different regulation". There never was a true free market in energy introduced anywhere. The laws had loopholes that could be exploited. Most notably, California's deregulation law had exploitable loopholes.
Pro-State trolls say "See! Deregulation doesn't work! The State must manage the economy!" If you have partial incomplete deregulation (or different regulation), then insiders may exploit the new rules for their own benefit.
This post on Check Your Premises was amusing. Fed up with aggressive no-knock raids by the police, someone set up a scenario to trap the police. They set up a hydroponic farm in their house, except they were growing Christmas trees instead of marijuana. The police conducted a no-knock raid, and they caught the police lying to get a no-knock warrant.
Such resistance seems silly to me. I already know "The State is evil!"
TJC has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #73":
While i like your commentary, having a singe entry as large as this one makes your blog hard to read. Personally, i look through headlines and the first paragraph of a post when determining which ones to read. A single post with such a variety of topics placed in a seemingly random fashion is difficult to sort though.
Regardless of how you proceed, keep blogging!
Some people have said they liked the "Reader Mail" format. If you're interested in reading certain comments on certain posts only, scroll down or search the post.
The "Reader Mail" post is supposed to be:
- interesting bits from other blogs/sites I read, that don't deserve their own post
- responses to reader comments
It's hard to predict what people are interested in. It's just a collection of things I find interesting, but not deserving of their own post. Some reader comments deserve their own separate post, which I put in my queue and elaborate on later.
Due to FeedBurner post size limitations, I decided that I'm going to have to make the posts smaller. I'm going to have to make more Reader Mail posts less often, so I don't bump into FeedBurner's post size limit. Do people want me to break up the "Reader Mail" posts into 1 post per item? I think that'd be too many small items.
I'm starting to get annoyed at FeedBurner. AdSense via RSS is less than 4% of my total revenue. FeedBurner has bugs and limitations. I could roll-my-own FeedBurner-like analytics engine on the server side. I'm seriously considering dropping FeedBurner when I move to my own domain.
I was thinking that, from an AdSense perspective, making one big post isn't as desirable. I'll try to make 1 per week, rather than waiting so long inbetween. I fell way behind on reader comments.
One thing I've learned is "One reader should not make FSK change what he does." IMHO, making a separate post for each Reader Mail item would be overkill. I've decided that, to compensate for FeedBurner flakiness and post size limitations, I'll make more frequent and shorter Reader Mail posts.
Would you like to see item headings?
Sample Reader Mail Item Heading
Would you like me to put those in the Reader Mail posts? I could start doing that.
If you read the first sentence of every item, that's usually a good summary.
If you're complaining "I'm only interested in 30% of the Reader Mail post content", the problem is that the 30% you like won't match the 30% that someone else might like. All you know is "FSK is interested in 100% of the things mentioned in a 'Reader Mail' post."
I also realized that your concerns would be easier to address if I had my own self-hosted WordPress. WordPress supports separate feeds for each post tag, and I can make different post tags.
I'm leaning towards "I should drop FeedBurner when I move to my own domain." FeedBurner's maximum post size feature is *ANNOYING*. AdSense via RSS is only a couple % of my revenue. I can write my own FeedBurner-like script when serving my own RSS feed.
Greg has left a new comment on your post "AdSense One Week Anniversary":
I am seeing mostly "Make Money Online" scammy ads. I would think if Google gets your blog to show more Gold and higher end investment type stuff your revenue will increase. I have blogs that make 10 cents a click and some that make well over $1. But mine usually work out to around $10 per 1000.
Presumably, if nobody clicks on a scammy ad, Google's engine will learn to stop displaying them? For this reason, I ask people to not click on an ad unless they're interested in it.
I noticed that the ad content presented varies a lot by page, as it should. The ads on gold and silver pages and the Black-Scholes formula seem to have a lower scamminess factor. Also, those seem to have a higher value-per-clickthrough. I don't have a large enough sample size to make a definitive conclusion.
You mean you make $10 per 1000 PageViews? Your eCPM is $10? (eCPM is "revenue per 1000 pageviews). My eCPM is $6.7 as of mid-January, but it varies. There's too much random noise for me to say "eCPM is increasing or decreasing over time". I consider "revenue per site Visitor" to be more meaningful than "revenue per PageView". On the other hand "Pages per visit" is consistently 1.5 for me, so they're logically equivalent. (I don't consider "Pages per visit" to be a meaningful statistic. That's lower than other sites, but I have more content per page than most sites.)
AdSense has the ability for me to block certain advertisers, but I'm not bothering with that. Scammers tend to keep moving from one domain to another, so it'd be an uphill climb to keep blocking them. I'd rather be writing new content than filtering scammers from my AdSense list. Also, I only see AdSense advertisers who geographically target where I live. I won't see AdSense ads that target other countries.
There's so much random noise in my AdSense data that I won't have a good idea for a few months. It seems that "$2/day" and "$0.01 per site Visitor" are decent estimates so far. "$2/day" is enough to justify purchasing my own domain, considering that hosting only costs "$10/month".
AdSense via FeedBurner/RSS is only a couple % of my total AdSense revenue. Considering that FeedBurner is buggy and has limitations, I'm considering dropping it. When I move to my own domain, I'm seriously considering "Don't use FeedBurner". With access to full Apache server logs, I could write my own FeedBurner-like analytics engine. If I drop FeedBurner and AdSense via RSS, that'll give the "**** Google!" crowd a Google-free way to access my blog.
AdSense is a sub-optimal solution for profiting from my blog, but it's the best option available for now. When/if my audience grows larger, I'll have more options. The best option is to sell individual ads on-the-books or to other agorist businessmen. AdSense's advertising terms are non-exclusive, so I may experiment with other things.
Anyway, if you don't like the ads, install the FireFox AdSense blocker extension (or block googlesyndication.com).
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Is My Ex-Therapist Stalking Me?":
Just don't freak out on them so they won't have an excuse to subject you to involuntary commitment and the like.
A psychiatrist on the "crisis response team" has as a pre-assumption "FSK needs to be forcibly drugged!" or "FSK needs to be involuntarily hospitalized!" He isn't going to be interviewing me from an unbiased perspective.
A State-licensed psychiatrist disagrees with "FSK has the right to refuse drugs he considers to be harmful."
I don't know your circumstances, but getting in touch with the psychiatrist crowd in the first place was probably a mistake.
I know that now. It isn't like someone warned me ahead of time "The mental health industry is one big fraud." Scared and confused and living alone in Chicago, I called 911 for help. I didn't realize I would receive such horrible treatment.
Once I was forcibly drugged, it takes 1+ years for the side effects to wear off. I kept getting involuntarily re-hospitalized as I suffered withdrawal stress. I think I'm finally through the withdrawal phase, and I've finally broken through to a higher level of awareness. I feel that I've finally fully recovered my pre-hospitalization level of mental ability.
Cracking your pro-State brainwashing isn't just about realizing "Taxation is theft!" It's also about breaking your subconscious brainwashing, which normally occurs via a panic/manic attack. You realize "Everyone around me is insane!" subconsciously before you realize it consciously.
Mike Gogulski has left a new comment on your post "Is My Ex-Therapist Stalking Me?":
Consider flight. You're on a list, and they will be back.
I'm leaning towards "They won't be back.", but you never know. If they were going to call the police and have me involuntarily hospitalized, they would have done so by now.
If their argument is "FSK needs to be urgently hospitalized!", they probably would have come back with police by now.
I'm more inclined to believe the simpler explanation, which is "My ex-therapist lied while in CYA mode."
The fallacy of "run away" is:
- There's no place for me to go.
- My parents would resist my involuntary hospitalization when I'm otherwise not manic. My parents would resist losing me to murderers.
A psychiatrist interviewing someone will always conclude "The victim needs to be involuntarily hospitalized." or "The victim needs to be forcibly drugged." The key is to stay out of the mental ward admission unit in the first place. You can't convince a psychiatrist "I should not be forcibly drugged!" any more than you can convince a policeman arresting you for tax evasion "I should not be kidnapped! The law you're enforcing is immoral!"
I've already decided "I'm not talking to them unless forced to violently."
I could tell by talking to the murderer on the phone for a minute or two that she was an idiot.
barry b. has left a new comment on your post "Is My Ex-Therapist Stalking Me?":
Your level of intelligence causes some of this problem I think. Therapists find it impossible to convince you by talking - since you can outwit them using reason and logic. I believe your best bet is to discuss this matter as rationally and calmly as you can with your parents. If your parents think that you are better off without these people in your lives then they may assist you.
A more accurate statement is "My therapists/psychiatrists are used to using NLP and other pro-State brainwashing tactics. I am resistant."
Most people say "My therapist/psychiatrist is an expert. I bow to your State-licensed authority!" I say "Your advice contradicts my direct personal experience. Therefore, you are an idiot." For my last few psychiatrists, it was very obvious after talking to them for a few minutes that they have the parasitic/abusive personality type.
I've convinced my parents "In the special case of FSK, drugs might not be appropriate." They see that I'm doing fine now. They don't get "The psychiatry industry is one big fraud."
Actually, I noticed another really weird thing. Do you know how you stretch reflexively after you wake up? I did that this morning, and I just realized **I HAVEN'T DONE THAT FOR 3+ YEARS!!** That's a symptom of withdrawal (drugs wearing off) that's only visible now, a year since the last time I was involuntarily hospitalized.
Mentally, I feel nearly fully recovered, and stronger than when I was first hospitalized. The only way to be sure is to wait and see what happens. It sucks that I'm unemployed and stuck living with my parents. I'm working on looking for another wage slave job, while working on turning my blog into a part-time source of income. I have other business ideas that I'm going to try, but there's no need to rush. I can afford to wait another 6-12 months. (Actually, the main reason I don't try other stuff is that my parents would say "OMFG!! FSK, YOU SHOULDN'T DO THAT!!" My mother says "FSK should not express his anti-State sentiment.")
citizen stefish has left a new comment on your post "Is My Ex-Therapist Stalking Me?":
any chance that they're on to your blog? i know that seems crazy, but is there any chance? having experienced some of this same stuff, please be careful when you interact with them. remember, there's a dungeon and guns at their disposal whenever they feel like it.
I mentioned my blog to my two ex-therapists (both the good one and the evil one). Neither of them ever expressed any interest in reading it. I think I never gave them the URL.
Now that you mention it, it does seem odd that my ex-therapists were totally uninterested in my blog. I would have expected them to want to read it at least occasionally.
The common explanation is the most likely one. My ex-therapist probably lied to her boss about what happened. She probably told her boss that I mysteriously stopped coming to meetings, rather than that I fired her.
She explicitly told me "If FSK refuses to take drugs, he's not allowed at this clinic anymore." She may have been bluffing/lying, but why should I continue seeing a dishonest therapist?
I am aware that the psychiatrists' authority is backed by violence. For this reason, I've decided "I refuse to speak with a State-licensed psychiatrist, especially if he's interviewing me to evaluate if I should be involuntarily hospitalized."
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Is My Ex-Therapist Stalking Me?":
Are you a minor or what? Being a minor exposed to psychiatry sucks a lot :/
Actually, I'm 34 years old. After being involuntarily hospitalized the first time, I moved back in with my parents and they still treat me like a child. I'm working on regaining my independence.
My experience is that a therapist/psychiatrist/
whatever has at best the same information about your life as you do and thus can't come up with a better life-changing scenario than you alone could.
I agree that my psychiatrists/therapists don't know anything useful. I did have one good therapist. I feel good about my decision to fire my therapist and not hire a new one (yet).
I only saw my therapist once per week, and 30 minutes a week is insufficient to really help someone.
My most recent psychiatrist only spoke with me for 5 minutes a month. She was merely reading questions from a checklist without thinking. I don't see how a psychiatrist can make a mental illness evaluation in such a brief meeting.
"You should rely on the advice of experts over your own judgement!" is pro-State trolling. The advice of my ex-therapist and ex-psychiatrist ("FSK need drugs!") contradicted my direct personal experience. They were becoming overly insistent, so I had to fire them. In my last 2-3 meetings with my ex-therapist, all she wanted to talk about was "FSK needs drugs!"
I wonder if my ex-therapist started subconsciously realizing "Maybe FSK is right about not needing drugs!" Rather than admitting this, she became over-eager for "FSK needs drugs!" My ex-therapist may have been starting to think subconsciously "Maybe my profession is one big fraud!" and took out her frustrations on me.
The psychiatry establishment keeps inventing new "diseases", e.g. asperger's, ADHD. It's a load of bull, existing solely to fill the pockets of pharmaceutical companies.
I consider it a proven fact that the "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is one big fraud.
State licensing requirements for doctors/psychiatrists totally distort the markets. Doctors and psychiatrists have been demoted to prescription refillers, rather than genuine providers of medical care. Doctors only have 3-5 minutes per patient, due to State licensing requirements restricting the supply of doctors. By reducing doctors to prescription-refillers, this creates an artificial demand for doctors' prescription-writing service. Giving a prescription refill plus a superficial examination only takes the doctor a few minutes.
FWIW, antidepressants have a nasty withdrawal, but it passes after a few weeks or so. What have you been taking, anyway?
Physical withdrawal is only a few weeks, but it takes 1+ years for your body to recover to its pre-drugging level of ability.
I was forced to take Risperdal+Cogentin+lithium. My psychiatrist switched me to Geodon, which had similarly but slightly different negative side effects. The other times I was hospitalized, I was forced to take Abilify. When admitted to the hospital, I was given a strong injection, presumably Haldol. Having tried 3 different anti-psychotic drugs, I can now say they all had very nearly similar nasty side-effects.
fritz has left a new comment on your post "Is My Ex-Therapist Stalking Me?":
Just keep your cool FSK,,That's the most important. As long as your folks can tell you are ok they will be ok.
My parents agree "FSK does not need to be involuntarily hospitalized or forcibly drugged right now." If police attempted to forcibly hospitalize me, they would resist and testify that I'm doing fine.
However, whenever I disagree with my parents about something, they interpret this as "FSK is having a relapse of his mental illness!" I never used to disagree with them, so they interpret "FSK doesn't blindly obey our orders." as "These are symptoms of FSK's illness."
I'm getting better at using "Dog Whisperer" tactics to retrain my parents.
I want you to check out this site, you might know it already www.Barefootsworld.net its about sui juris and more...
I've already looked at Barefoot's World. It's already cited at the "other interesting links" section at the bottom of the page. Blogger doesn't support static pages and FAQ/link pages that well. I'm going to fix that when I move to my own domain in a few months.
Barefoot's world had some good bits on sui juris representation. I liked his bit "If you use an attorney, from the court's point of view you are an incompetent unable to speak for yourself." and "State licensed attorneys take an oath to uphold the law. This oath takes priority over representing their client. A State licensed attorney may not make a jury nullifciation argument in court, arguing 'The law is immoral!', because this violates the lawyer's oath to uphold the law."
If you're planning to present a "jury nullification" defense, then you have to do it sui juris. A State-licensed lawyer can't present a jury nullification defense, because he'd be breaking his oath to "uphold the law". A State-licensed lawyer who does that would be forfeiting his law license and the time and money invested in his career.
Barefoot's world has some good bits on "How the US Constitution degenerated into the current mess." However, he falls short of the correct conclusion, which is "Who needs a government anyway?" Many of these sites say "Return to the original US Constitution!" rather than "Any government with a violence monopoly is evil or rapidly degenerates to evil!"
I don't think they can take you against your will...Just play it cool and don't get your self worked up or your parents..
They can take me against my will. They have in the past. (The last 4 times I was involuntarily hospitalized, I believe it was my parents that called 911, but they refuse to admit it. They now know "If FSK has a panic attack, it'll wear off in a few days.")
As long as my parents agree with resisting my incarceration, it should be hard for them to do anything. If necessary, I should be able to explain to the police "I'm fine. I don't need to be hospitalized. My ex-therapist is lying." (In my previous hospitalizations, my parents thought "FSK will get better if he is hospitalized". They probably are the ones who called 911, although they refuse to admit it. My parents have since realized "If FSK has a panic attack, it wears off after a few days." along with "The hospital is merely forcibly drugging FSK and leaving him alone for a week.")
Zargon has left a new comment on your post "Is My Ex-Therapist Stalking Me?":
I didn't think it could get any worse once I found out that the psychiatry industry is in the business of tricking vulnerable people into medicating themselves and their children out of their cognitive thinking abilities.
There are several closely related problems.
- Psychiatrists fraudulently present harmful drugs as genuine medical treatment.
- Psychiatrists use State violence to force patients to use their product. Once addicted, the withdrawal is *NASTY*. When I was hospitalized the first time and I realized I was receiving inappropriate care, I asked to leave and was denied. I was their prisoner.
- Via sovereign immunity, psychiatrists are nearly absolutely immune from liability for their misconduct.
- Psychiatrists genuinely believe their treatment is beneficial. In a strict technical sense, they aren't lying. As a practical matter, it's irrelevant if someone injures me intentionally or via gross incompetence.
- State regulation of the market prevents alternative mental health treatments from being marketed. An on-the-books mental health clinic operating that explicitly says "The 'chemical imbalance' theory of mental illness is wrong!" would be unable to get a State license. They would be shut down via State violence and a police raid.
When involuntarily hospitalized, all the staff do is dope you up. You only get to see a psychiatrist for 1-2 minutes a day. The psychiatrist has 50+ patients. He doesn't have the time or desire to carefully treat them. I expected that someone hospitalized for a panic attack would be receiving much better care than that.
One of my agorist business ideas is "Offer a drug-free mental health treatment." If I do it off-the-books without a State license, I can afford to do it part time with only a few patients. That's what I like about running an agorist business. Free from State licensing requirements, it's easier to experiment. You can have several businesses, each of which is a 5-10 hour/week commitment. Based on the needs of customers, you can experiment with what is most profitable. Once I found a few like-minded people, I could have them help me run a 24x7 help facility. For someone in a manic state, talking to someone with a clue would be very helpful. When involuntarily hospitalized the first time, I was thinking "These people are idiots. When am I going to get to talk to someone who has a clue?"
Now it seems that even talking to a therapist is a dangerous proposition, because they suddenly get power over your life and death.
Yes. I had never considered that as a possibility. My therapist could complain to the State that I need to be involuntarily drugged or hospitalized.
As mentioned above, a State-licensed lawyer works for the State first and the client second. Similarly, a State-licensed therapist works for the State first and the patient second.
Even if the number of genuinely helpful therapists outnumbers the number of unhelpful ones, the (hopefully) tiny chance of running into a megalomaniac who's willing to violently impose drugs on you seems like a significant risk.
I'm getting better at identifying "parasitic personality type" vs. "productive worker personality type". A therapist with the productive worker personality could be genuinely useful, but I suspect they're the vast majority. By chance (or an assist via the alien overseers), I had a good therapist for a few months. She was genuinely helpful.
An evil therapist is worse than useless. The patient can be tricked into substituting the therapist's judgement for their own.
If you're able to tell the difference between a good therapist and an evil therapist, then you probably don't need a therapist.
As barry b mentioned above, my therapist got *VERY ANNOYED* when she could not trick/bully me into taking drugs. That was too much a threat to her brainwashing, and she freaked out. She starting behaving very aggressively. Concerned for my own safety, I had to stop seeing her.
I could not get transferred to another therapist while still going to the mental health clinic. That would include an assumption that my therapist was unqualified.
Luckily, my parents haven't been pressuring me to get a new therapist. I'm not in a rush to get a new one. Hopefully, that will be unnecessary.
There was one really annoying bit about all therapists, even the good one. I could not get any of my therapists to discuss topics such as "Taxation is theft!" I could discuss specific problems with abusive coworkers, but not "The whole economic system is defective!" I was very frustrated that I could not discuss "Taxation is theft!" with any of my therapists.
As an aside, it's good to see that your father had at least a partially positive reaction to the situation.
My father has been convinced "Drugs may not be appropriate in the special case of FSK." and "In the special case of FSK, psychiatrists may not be helpful." and "In the special case of FSK, the psychiatrist may not have made a proper diagnosis." My father can't get "The mental health industry is one big fraud." That's *TOO BIG* a concept for him.
My father also knows "A bunch of people/'doctors' who want to give someone a competency test have nefarious intentions." My grandmother had a disagreement with someone in her building and they filed a complaint with "human services", saying my grandmother was not mentally competent. Someone visited her apartment. If he believed she was not mentally competent, he would have forcibly removed my grandmother from her apartment. The "human services" ***hole was asking inappropriate questions like "What is your Social Security Number?" and "At what banks do you keep your savings?" My grandmother was smart enough to refuse to answer.
The "crisis response team" was from Coney Island Hospital. This past summer, a woman died while in the mental health admissions ward at Coney Island Hospital. If you're a "difficult" (i.e. alert) patient in the mental ward, they give you a very strong injection. I received such an injection once, and I have *NO MEMORY* of what happened for a day. I went from manic/superalert to forgetting everything that happened. Allegedly, they gave me a "competency test" while I was doped into total cluelessness. If you give someone a very strong injection, and then give them a "competency test", that's obviously cheating.
My father also knows "Coney Island Hospital is where people go to die." My grandfather (father's father) received *HORRIBLE* medical care there. Allegedly, he was beaten up and badly injured by hospital staff, never to walk again. My grandfather fell in a bank. My grandmother called 911. They took him to Coney Island Hospital when they wanted to go to a better hospital. Once in the ambulance, you're they're prisoner. The ambulance driver lied to my grandparents about what hospital he was delivering them to.
In Coney Island Hospital, my grandfather was misdiagnosed as having a heart attack. He knew that was wrong, and tried to take the heart monitoring equipment off. The hospital staff then physically restrained him and allegedly beat him up. Once admitted to the hospital, it was practically impossible to get him transferred to a decent hospital. My grandfather had a good health insurance plan, and Coney Island Hospital wanted to milk him for payments. By the time my grandfather was transferred, it was too late. He had been permanently badly injured by abusive medical care.
While in the hospital, the staff got angry at my grandmother's aggressive efforts to make sure my grandfather was not abused. They gave my grandmother a "competency test". Knowing my other relatives would object, they were unable to involuntarily hospitalize my grandmother as well.
My father knows "Coney Island Hospital is run by ***holes!", so he's not going to cooperate with them.
"My therapist will complain to the State if I have a disagreement with her and fire her!" sets a very dangerous precedent. I have now concluded that it is *NOT SAFE* to talk with a State-licensed therapist. "My therapist will respect my privacy!" is false. Since my ex-therapist complained *TO THE STATE*, she technically hasn't broken any laws or rules.
My ex-therapist lied about what happened. She told me that I was not allowed to see her anymore if I refused drugs, and I said "Fine! Goodbye! I'll find another doctor." Unwilling to admit to her boss what had happened, my ex-therapist lied and said I stopped showing up to meetings. Therefore, my case was escalated to the "mental health crisis response unit".
eagledove9 has left a new comment on your post "Is My Ex-Therapist Stalking Me?":
I have something to say about this incident: I... AM... FURIOUS!!! That was NOT appropriate for them to come knocking on your door, ESPECIALLY when they know that you live with your parents and are therefore being supported and watched by someone all of the time, so that YOUR PARENTS could make a phone call themselves if THEY thought there was a problem. No need for anybody to approach your house and knock on the door. Again, TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE. I am so angry that I wish YOU could call the police ON THE THERAPIST, but I have a feeling that would go badly.
I agree that my ex-therapist is guilty of neglecting her professional responsibility. What I say to her in private is supposed to be private. My ex-therapist should *NOT* be calling the police saying "FSK should be involuntarily hospitalized!" or "FSK should be forcibly drugged!"
My ex-therapist probably lied to her boss about what happened. She probably told her boss that I just mysteriously stopped coming to meetings. My ex-therapist said "Either FSK takes the drugs, or FSK is not allowed to see me anymore." My response was "Fine! Goodbye!"
I agree that this whole incident proves "It's not safe to hire a State-licensed therapist." If you have a disagreement with your therapist, your therapist may turn you in to the State.
My ex-therapist is protected by sovereign immunity. It is not practical for me to sue her for malpractice or otherwise file a complaint against her. Even if I did sue her over what happened, it would be my word against hers. She would say "I'm a good therapist! FSK just stopped coming to meetings one day." Who would a judge believe, the State-licensed therapist or me? It isn't worth my time, money, and effort pursuing a claim against her. Via sovereign immunity, she is protected.
I told one of the murderers on the "crisis response team" that "My ex-therapist didn't want to see me anymore." She reacted as if I had said "The 'chemical imbalance' theory of mental illness is wrong." She didn't even consider the possibility that my ex-therapist might have done something inappropriate.
Yes, my ex-therapist knew that I was living with my parents. It was very evil of her to assume that my parents would be unable to call for help, if needed. I told my ex-therapist I was going to find another doctor. That should be sufficient. It was rude for her to escalate my case.
It would have been a mistake to let the psychiatrist see me. He had already concluded, before coming to see me, that I needed to be forcibly drugged. Once I let him interview me, I fall under his jurisdiction. If I consented to an examination and the murderer concluded "FSK must be involuntarily hospitalized!", then I'm SOL.
Also, this "crisis response team" was from Coney Island Hospital, where a woman recently died in the mental admissions ward. My parents know from several other sources "Coney Island Hospital is evil!" (They also murdered my grandfather, my father's father. I gave the details above.)
Anybody in New York willing to let FSK move in with them?
I don't think it's necessary for me to move out right now. My father said "The only way they get to interview FSK is if they come with police and a search warrant." The police probably will side with my parents if they say "FSK is fine right now."
If the murderers were going to assault me, they probably would have come back by now. On the other hand, State bureaucracy moves slowly. If they're starting legal proceedings against me without my consent, that could take awhile. On the other hand, my ex-therapist would be guilty of perjury if she did that.
On the other hand, the previous 4 times I was involuntarily hospitalized, I suspect it was my parents that called 911. They won't admit to it, though.
It would be neat to have some local non-brainwashed friends. It'd also be nice to have a backup location in the event of an emergency. My current situation is good enough for survival for now.
Ray Sandford was contemplating running away to avoid his abuse, but he realized he had noplace to go.
The incident with my ex-therapist has convinced me "It is not safe to speak to a State licensed therapist." If you say something inappropriate, your State-licensed therapist has an obligation to rat you out to the State.
That is amusing, because Freedomain sometimes advises people to see State-licensed therapists if they have a personal problem. My advice is "DO NOT SEE A STATE LICENSED THERAPIST OR PSYCHIATRIST!" I should start my own agorist mental health business.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Ray Sandford's Murder":
The banality of evil. In a sense, yes, they are all little Eichmanns.
Nazi scientists produced many papers that scientifically proved "Jews are inferior and should be exterminated." I read through one or two psychiatry drug research papers, and saw obvious flaws. Mainstream psychiatry industry research has comparable quality with Nazi "Jews must die!" research. (I never really understood the point of Goodwin's Law. The holocaust is a valuable good fnord, because it teaches "I was just following orders!" is never a valid defense. The holocaust illustrates how many people "just following orders" can commit massive crimes.)
This illustrates the problem with State funding of scientists. A psychiatry industry researcher who started investigating "Is the 'chemical imbalance' theory of mental illness valid?" would be unable to pass peer review. He would be saying to his colleagues "You're all frauds!" In this manner, peer review combined with monopolisitic State funding of research prevents scientific progress.
If a State-licensed scientist published a paper on "The 'chemical imbalance' theory of mental illness is wrong.", then the first thing that would happen is a drug company CEO would be on the phone with his lobbyist/Congressman saying "What jerk approved funding this research?" A State-licensed scientist who challenges the majority opinion is forfeiting his career.
I agree with you on all the points except perhaps the free-market part, being a hardline leftist myself.
That's like saying "I agree with you on everything except your basic core beliefs." or "I agree with you on everything, except the part where you say 2+2=4."
Reading this made me remember some things i don't exactly want to remember. Be seeing you.
Were you abused by the psychiatry industry? Some people get offended by my writing, when I challenge their pro-State brainwashing.
I assume this is the same commenter as the previous one, but with Anonymous comments, who can tell?
Oh, and note that situation's the same in other "civilized" parts of the world as well. Psychiatric practices look the same here in Central Europe.
That's the result of lobbying by pharmaceutical company executives. Did you know that drug company executives hire lobbyists *BOTH* in the USA and in Europe? What a clever idea!
Sometimes, international corporations can be more powerful than governments. It is more accurate to say "The US Federal government is a branch of the financial industry." than "The US government just nationalized the banks." Since the creation of the Federal Reserve and income tax, the US financial industry essentially privatized the Federal government.
I read that in "third world" countries, where anti-psychotic and anti-depressant drugs are unavailable, the "recovery rates" for depression and mania are a lot higher. Drug company CEOs are lobbying to change this!
Most corrupt practices are a combination of international treaties and lobbying by insiders. Most "modern" countries have standardized along certain corrupt practices. The most common ones are fiat debt-based money via a central bank credit monopoly, an income tax or equivalent (the VAT is logically equivalent to an income tax), and extensive regulation of most industries.
"Standardization" of corrupt mental health industry practice is a natural consequence of the above.
It's ridiculous. No one entered a contract with the state forcing them to live by virtue of being born. Right to death seems even more fundamental than the right to live.
I have no idea what you're saying. I never entered into a contract with the State, and therefore I should ignore their rules when they restrict me.
If you disagree with "FSK has the right to defend himself against aggression!", then watch out!
If you disagree with "FSK has the right to sell his labor at the fair free market wage!", then what alternative are you proposing? I don't have a right to demand that other people provide me with food and housing. I do have the right to sell my labor and purchase those for myself.
I'd recommend getting a job, your own flat or a house and thus gaining a level of independence. Easy for me to say, though. Don't give them any excuses, e.g. avoid visible signs of self harm, don't freak out in public, don't get arrested. If you ever decide to kill yourself, make sure you're successful on the first attempt.
The only time I ever felt genuinely suicidal was when I was forced to take anti-psychotic drugs. That was only the first time, when I was concerned I had been permanently damaged. Later, I knew "If I stop taking the drugs, I will recover.", so it was merely a matter of convincing my parents to let me stop taking the harmful drugs. I sincerely tried the drugs (2 months on Risperdal+lithium and then Geodon+lithium, and then 2 weeks trying Abilify).
"Get a wage slave job, move out from my parents" is on my agenda. Such things take time. I need to have a wags slave job for 6+ months before my parents will approve of me moving out. I need to last another 6-12 months without having a panic attack to also get their approval.
Paradoxically, being stuck with my parents may have been helpful, because I can see how they pro-State brainwashed me without being consciously aware of it themselves. I'm working on retraining them to be less abusive, but it's *VERY HARD*. They are too old to learn. It'd be better if I could start with some people who were already fairly openminded.
I have the savings to say "**** you! I'm leaving." However, there's no need to rush. I'm willing to wait another 6-12 months to regain my full freedom. Besides, my parents would call 911 if I told them "**** you! I'm moving out!"
Wish you all the best luck in the world.I prefer to rely on skill instead of luck, but I'll accept luck when offered. A lot of luck is about looking for opportunities, creating opportunities, and then capitalizing off opportunities.
One of my main goals right now is "Find some non-pro-State trolls to hang out with regularly". Most of my "blogging friends" don't live in NYC. It seems that I have to find some open-minded people and enlighten them myself. In this manner, blogging is useful, because it helps me sharpen my thinking.
I saw an interesting comedy special on the Communism Channel about marijuana. In California, in some areas, nearly everyone is growing marijuana. This makes a crackdown by the State very difficult.
There was the usual pro-State troll slant. At no point did the comedians say "Does the State have the authority to ban marijuana? Is this a really stupid law illustrating the evil of the State? Does the ban on marijuana just benefit the policeman who earn a living enforcing the law, along with profits for corrupt policemen who accept bribes to look the other way?"
I should make a documentary along the same lines, but illustrating the evil of the State instead of evil marijuana growers. You could replace "evil marijuana farmer" with "evil State" and get a very accurate documentary.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Obama's Stimulus/Looting Plan":
steamroller says -
There will NEVER be an economic recovery until some State Troll will have a epiphany and realize that unless we produce wealth, no new wealth is created.
I don't get what you're saying. Are you saying that people should wait for politicians to get their heads out of their ***es? Why should they? They're making nice profits from the current corrupt system.
If you want freedom, you have to grab it yourself.
Politicians think that 'stimulus money' creates new wealth. Wrong again pretzel breath,
Are you saying "Wrong again, FSK!", or "Wrong again, stupid politicians!" You seem to be agreeing with me on this point. The "economic stimulus" plan is more looting and pillaging by insiders.
That is socialist redistribution and with the multiplier effect guarantees that unless we produce wealth in goods the people will only share the MISERY, and the poverty not the prosperity. Somebody has to be productive and make something so the "Something" can be shared.
Why should I bother producing something, if I have to share 50%-95%+ of it with others? In many ways, the current corrupt system does *NOT* recognize individual property rights.
This is the way that decline of an empire works. The pie starts shrinking. Insiders demand an ever-increasing slice. Their actions cause the pie to shrink even more.
This is an important point. In a corrupt economic system, money and wealth have become nearly completely decoupled. The people who print money (financial industry) are parasites stealing from the productive workers. Individuals don't have the magic money-printing power of banks, and therefore will always be slaves of the bankers.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Is My Ex-Therapist Stalking Me?":
Don't talk to these people anymore. Once they have shown that they do not have your best interests in mind, you cannot trust them. Any communication with you exposes you to the possibility of them being able to get away with using force.
I already figured that one out. It was the right decision for me to not consent to an examination by them. If they had ruled "FSK needs to be forcibly drugged or hospitalized!", I would have been SOL. (Actually, my parents made the decision for me. They didn't even answer the door. Their super-paranoid "Don't talk to strangers!" policy worked in this instance.)
Also, the "crisis response team" did *NOT* call ahead of time to warn my parents or ask if their help was needed. They merely showed up. That is another example of "These people are abusive and stupid." The average person would assume "The authority of these ***holes is legitimate!" and let them in.
Once my evil ex-therapist started strongly insisting "FSK must take drugs!", I had no choice but to fire her. I started becoming concerned for my personal safety. My ex-therapist refused to recognize my desire to treat my problem without drugs.
Anyone from that clinic or that team should only talk to your parents or a lawyer.
I did speak to them once via phone (probably a mistake?). I told them that I was fine, and they should never call me or visit me again. I'll see if they disrespect my wishes.
Hiring a lawyer is an unnecessary expense. If necessary, I'd do it.
They will only get to examine me if they come with police and a search warrant. They haven't done so by now, so hopefully that will be the last I hear from them. If their argument is "FSK needs to be urgently involuntarily treated!", then their argument seems weak when they wait.
At this point, the only way this could escalate further is if my ex-therapist commits perjury. She's probably in CYA mode. She probably lied about what happened to her boss, saying that I mysteriously stopped coming to meetings instead of saying "Goodbye! I'm going to find a better doctor!" She probably won't escalate it further.
On the other hand, State bureaucracy moves slowly, and you never know what will happens. At this point, the only way to be sure is to wait and see.
This is a case where you want to have a proxy. (And don't think of it as being irresponsible, this is being responsible.)
They can't say your parents are unbalanced and try to get them committed... and your parents won't give them ammo.....
My parents are starting to get older and somewhat senile, but they're not that bad (yet). That is an interesting interpretation. State enforcers could say that my parents should be involuntarily hospitalized, and use that as a way to get to me. One interesting thing of this whole experience is that I've decided "I'm not sending my parents to an old age home or other institution!" If necessary, and if I have a working agorist business, I'll hire someone to take care of them.
Anyway, they haven't called me back or visited again, so we'll see. My parents believe "People from Coney Island Hospital are ***holes. They won't get to see FSK."
Jack c has left a new comment on your post "Ray Sandford's Murder":
I guess I am a little confused ( and I think you are as well)..
Are you an adult? I figured you were based on some of your writings.
I am an adult. However, after I was involuntarily hospitalized, I moved back in with my parents. My parents have said "FSK must get and keep a wage slave job for 6+ months and stay out of the hospital for 12+ months before we allow him to move out." They still treat me like a child, and it's hard to get their attitude to change.
However, whenever you write about mental health issues you appear to be a minor child or at least someone who WANTS to be.
No. I fired my evil ex-therapist and told my psychiatrist "I'm ignoring your advice and refusing to take these drugs." That is a very adult behavior. Very few people have the ability to ignore the advice of a State-licensed expert.
Why would your therapist discuss anything with your parents? Why would you ( as you have stated before)go to therapy just to please your parents?
All it takes is a 911 call from my parents to have me involuntarily hospitalized. Therefore, I must coddle their wishes more than I would otherwise. My parents explicitly threaten to call 911 whenever I disagree with them, so I must be careful. I'm working on retraining them, but that will take time. I'm working on regaining my freedom and my own apartment, but that will take time. I can't say "**** you! I'm leaving!", because then they would definitely call 911.
My parent's attitude was "FSK needs to see a State-licensed expert!" As long as I was not forcibly drugged, I figured there was no harm in seeing a therapist. I agreed to follow my parents' wishes, because I figured it was more important to disagree with them on other things. I can only disagree with my parents once in awhile, because otherwise it freaks them out. Therefore, I limit the frequency that I disagree with my parents. For example, it took effort to convince them "FSK may use the profits of AdSense to buy his own domain and hosting!"
I previously thought "What could go wrong from seeing a therapist? It might be beneficial, or it might be irrelevant. My therapist is a shill for the State, but knowing she's a shill for the State makes it interesting to observe her behavior. As long as my therapist isn't forcing me to take drugs, she can't hurt me." I took the attitude "My therapist is actually my patient!", and tried working on enlightening her. Regrettably, she was too pro-State brainwashed and that was a waste of time. My efforts at enlightening her made have started panicking her. She might have started subconsciously realizing that I was right, and instead took out her frustrations as "FSK must be forcibly drugged!". Further, I did have a good therapist for awhile, but she moved away for a better job.
There's one flaw of seeing a therapist that I hadn't noticed. I wound up substituting my therapist's judgement for my own, at least in certain areas. There's a danger of thinking "Will my therapist approve?" instead of "What does FSK want to do?"
For example, I was in a supermarket with my parents. I started nonverbally flirting with the checkout girl, and she reacted slightly favorably. My reaction was "OMFG! I have to stop or my mother will complain!" I realized now that I used to have that reaction *ALL THE TIME*, even when nobody else was around.
When I was fraudulently accused of sexual harassment at work, I saw my therapist while in a semi-manic state. My good ex-therapist had successfully calmed me down once. I was angry over how the Rails Advocate's job ended. My good ex-therapist agreed with my analysis, which was "Those people at work were being unreasonable. It was a no-win situation for FSK. There was no way FSK could have made it work out. Accept it and move on." That was helpful.
When I told my evil ex-therapist about fraudulently being accused of sexual harassment, she said "FSK, you had this problem because you are a loser!" This made me go from semi-manic to full-manic. My good ex-therapist was helpful, and I didn't fully realize yet that the replacement therapist was evil. Then, my ex-therapist started insisting that I needed to take anti-psychotic drugs, even though my manic state had worn off. She started getting too aggressively insistent for "FSK must take drugs!" For my last 2-3 meetings with her, she said nothing except "FSK must take drugs!" I had no choice but to fire her.
Once my evil ex-therapist started insisting "FSK must take drugs!", the equation changed. Previously, I thought "What's the worst that can happen from seeing a therapist?" Now, the answer is "My therapist could complain to the State that I need to be forcibly drugged!" I think my ex-therapist was seriously considering calling the clinic security staff to have me involuntarily hospitalized. I had never considered that as a possibility. I thought my sessions with a therapist were supposed to be privileged and private. I was wrong. I never considered "FSK could be involuntarily hospitalized, based on what he says to his therapist."
If you pick a therapist at random, my guess is that you're more likely to get an evil one than a good one. I only have 3 data points (1 evil, 1 good, 1 indifferent or semi-evil). All the psychiatrists that treated me were evil. That's 10 data points, all evil.
If you're able to tell the difference between a good therapist and an evil therapist, then you probably don't need a therapist. If you can't tell, random chance dictates you could be SOL if you get an evil therapist.
I have not started seeing a new therapist yet, and my parents have not been pressuring me to find a new one. "That's it for the mental health/death industry and FSK!" appears to be true.
I learned the hard way "You can't trust a State-licensed therapist."
How old are you? It seems to me that there is a weird disconnect between your agorist beliefs and your role as a child of psychiatry.
I am 34 years old. It is more accurate to describe me as a "victim of psychiatry" rather than a "child of psychiatry". I was forcibly drugged, and the withdrawal takes 1+ years. One reason that I'm not rushing to move out from my parents is that I'm not sure that I'm 100% through the withdrawal/correction phase. I think I am, but I'll be sure if I don't relapse in the next 6-24 months.
This is the "mental freedom" vs. "practical freedom" debate. I have attained a very high degree of mental freedom, partially thanks to the Internet. I have almost zero practical freedom. I have various strategies in mind for attaining greater practical freedom, but most of them start with "Get a wage slave job and move out from my parents." I cannot attempt practical agorism while living with my parents, because they would be the first ones to turn me in to the State.
If you live in NYC and are interested in started a free market trading group, I'm available! Until then, I'll do the best I can in the slave economy.
thomasblair has left a new comment on your post "FeedBurner Dropped Reader Mail #74!":
FYI, FeedBurner has been dropping your reader mail posts for some time now. The last one I remember reading in Google Reader was #67.
I wonder if it's a Google Reader bug or a FeedBurner bug? I haven't been checking carefully. I stared using FeedBurner around Reader Mail #72-#73.
According to FeedBurner, some people have been clicking through the "Reader Mail" posts, so maybe it's a Google Reader bug?
I'm going to follow the suggestion given (above and below) and start making more more frequent and smaller "Reader Mail" posts. It'll take 1-2 more, because I have to "use up" the ones I've already started. (I'm not going to bother chopping them up. I don't trust Blogger's UI.)
When I first started blogging, I think I made one "Reader Mail" post per week. I fell behind answering comments, and started making them longer and less frequent. My "blogging energy" is increasing lately.
DixieFlatline has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #74":
I plan to blog some comments to your comments, but one deserves to be placed here.
If you're writing a post on your own blog regarding something here, post a link. Otherwise, I may or may not read it. I'm starting to have more "blogging energy" and am catching up on the things queued in my Google Reader.
I think your Reader Mail are your best posts. By far. Sure, you have some gems that are on specific topics, but the Reader Mail posts are a fantastic read.
Some people say they like them the best. It's hard to predict what will be popular ahead of time.
That said, they are waaaaaaay too long. Sometimes I print them out (Blogger's print formatting blows) but sometimes I just have to skip large portions due to time constraints.
Really? I prefer paperless, almost always. If you have a Blackberry or iPhone or something like that, can't you download for later reading?
I've decided that I'm going to make more frequent, and smaller, Reader Mail posts.
Other blogs should highlight reader comments more. One reason I ridicule stupid comments is that I try to take every comment seriously.
Just a suggestion, but shorten these up. Please. Not subtract content, but publish them more often in smaller portions.
I've decided to do that. Plus, Blogger has a bug where it eats posts that are too big.
Maybe pick a certain size that you post at, perhaps 4,000 words. By my count, this post was approx, 36,000 words.
The way I was doing it was that I have a "blank template" with around 30-40 horizontal blank lines. When the template fills up, it's time to post. I deleted some lines from my template, and I'm going to start making these shorter. I'll try to do at least 1 per week.
Wait awhile before you see the "shorter Reader Mail" format. I have to use up the drafts I already started first.
David Gross has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #74":
I second DixieFlatline's suggestion.
It looks like that's what I'm going to do "More often, and shorter Reader Mail posts". I'll go to 1/week, and if necessary, 2/week.
One reason they got longer is that the volume of Reader comments has increased lately (as my blog becomes more popular) and I fell behind.
Let me know if you have any problems accessing my blog or RSS feed.
sunni has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #74":
FSK wrote: "I also noticed Sunni saying "FSK sucks!" Sunni is confusing agorism with tax evasion/resistance."
I wrote no such thing, nor do I think that. It's clear we have differing views of what agorism is, but that's all. And unlike you, I don't think that necessarily means I am confused, nor that only one of us can be 100% right.
I say that there's a universal absolute standard of truth, but measuring it is difficult. I'm much more interested in debating "How to implement a really free market?" rather than "Is a really free market a good idea?"
For example, if I said "I want to sell my labor off-the-books, any takers?", there is no "AgoristBay" where I can advertise my services. Any on-the-books service is patrolled by State agents. If all you're doing is baking cookies, the State probably won't care. If you're doing higher volume counter-economic activity, your risk and profit are greater.
FSK also wrote, regarding a comment on my site: "My reaction was "ROFL!!", if that author thinks she understands agorism (and Sunni agrees with her)."
I did not comment in response to it, so how can you claim that I agree with her?
You didn't disagree either.
And last:"Sunni also had an interesting comment: 'If only human society could evolve along the lines of Moore's Law. Ah yes. Y'all have a great day.'
My web site hosts a group blog with several contributors. That post was written by someone other than me. A strong visual clue of that (aside from the author's name) is the differing icon graphic that accompanies each entry [a legend is in the right sidebar].
So you're saying "Someone other than me wrote a post on my blog. Therefore, I am not responsible for any errors?"
I never understood "multiple author blogs". Via RSS, it's very easy to just have a separate blog for each and then combine them. The problem with "multiple author blogs" is that usually there's one author I like and several I don't. (and I'm not fiddling with Yahoo Pipes either)
I've decided that my blog will always be single-author (me). If you have something interesting to write about, get your own blog and I'll cite it when appropriate.
Also, I'm saying "Evolution/progress of all human activity exponentially via Moore's Law is possible, if only there were no State restriction of the market. The reason you have exponential progress is computer hardware and software is the fact that it's nearly completely unregulated." I wasn't ridiculing the Moore's Law quote. I was saying "Without the State, all areas of the economy would progress exponentially."
FSK, I am very interested in many of the freedom-related ideas you explore here. However, I don't appreciate the gross mischaracterization of what I write, and an overall lack of accuracy in your responses to content on my site. It has called into question your representation of others' ideas for me—and that is never a good thing for a writer. It can be disastrous for a writer who wants to be taken seriously for things other than satire or pure sensationalism. As your plan as published suggests that you do want to be taken seriously, please consider this as constructive commentary rather than a personal attack.
The original post seemed hostile to me. As usual, this is the Strawman Fallacy. If you don't like one thing I write about, it doesn't discredit the other points. I'm not going to self-censor because I'm afraid of offending people. If you say something I consider wrong or stupid, then I'm going to say so.
If you're saying "FSK should be careful about offending people sometimes, lest he lose readers.", then you're saying that you only want to read things written by people who agree with you completely? I am critical of pro-State trolls, but I don't otherwise censor them.
If I was really thinking "**** Sunni! He's an idiot and hopeless!", I wouldn't bother mentioning your post/blog at all.
Are you saying that, on multiple-author blogs, I have an obligation to notice who wrote what post? That seems silly. I didn't even know your blog was a multiple-author blog. I normally don't bother with multiple-author blogs. If there's one author I like, they're usually accompanied by several others I don't find as interesting.
Are you saying that you're *NOT* responsible for what other people on your blog write?
I'm very interested in "optimal techniques for counter-economics or agorism". I have practically zero information on this issue. I'm going to conduct an experiment myself, but haven't tried yet.
Whoever wrote the original post was confusing "isolated pockets of tax resistance" with "a full agorist economy". A lot of off-the-books labor is doing low-skill work like waiter or dishwasher. I'm interested in developing an off-the-books economy for high-value labor. For example, if you want to make $1M+ per year in the counter-economy, you have to be involved with drugs, gambling, or prostitution. I'm looking for a counter-economy where someone could make $1M+ per year on other types of labor.
By E-Mail, someone wrote:
Research David Hudson
Invented superconductor a few years ago. His patent was allowed
everywhere but in U.S., where it was seized due to "potential for
Here are two links:
and www.whitepowdergold.com in general
The mainstream custodians of science have been nearly completely corrupted. I liked the bit:
I then recalled that, according to the Soviet Academy of Sciences, the proper analytical tool is to burn the sample in the emission spectroscopic analysis for 300 seconds, not just 15.
In many areas of mainstream science, the "proper accepted procedure" is fraudulent. I don't have the time or resources or ability to independently verify David Hudson's claims. All I can say is "Not proven either way".
Most of these "breakthrough" discoveries are made by someone who isn't a State-licensed scientist. In order to get a State science license, you have to pass several tests proving you've been thoroughly brainwashed as a pro-State troll. You have to spend 4 years as an undergraduate, 5+ years getting a PhD, and 5+ years as a postdoc or in a tenure-track job. In order to pass the "peer review" process, you must prove you're thoroughly brainwashed as a pro-State troll.
These "guy makes breakthrough" stories all have several common elements:
- It's an individual working alone without a State license.
- He makes some discovery that contradicts mainstream science.
- He tries to patent his invention or attract mainstream media attention. **MISTAKE!!**
- The mainstream media and State-licensed scientists say "That guy's a crank".
- If the individual is too persistent promoting his discovery, he mysteriously dies. If necessary, his students and those people around him die. (That happened with Tesla.)
I don't have the time or resources or skills to verify the claims about David Hudson. All I can say is "Not proven either way." I don't trust the research performed by State-licensed scientists.
Some such individuals are genuine. Some are deliberately planted fakes, placed by the State as a distraction. I can't be sure without interviewing David Hudson personally and independently verifying the research.
When an agorist economy gets more sophisticated, there will be spare resources available to verify such research. I question *EVERY SINGLE STATEMENT* made by a State-licensed scientist. Of course, someone conducting such research would have to keep his discoveries in the counter-economy. If an agorist builds a working Zero Point Energy generator, the *LAST* thing you should do is patent it or call a mainstream media outlet. The correct solution is to build as many as you can, and give the plans away to other people so your research isn't lost if you mysteriously die.
"Fund research without a State license" is one of my agorist business ideas. One area would be investigating the claims of people like David Hudson.
I also liked the bit where he says "Scientists don't understand how neurons in the brain really work. They may use an electrical process similar to high-temperature superconductivity." The psychiatry industry is *REALLY EVIL*. How can you give a person drugs that block their neurons, when scientists don't know how a neuron actually works?
BTW, the "Library of Halexandria" site has some good bits and is worth reading, although it falls short of agorism as the correct solution. It's one of those sites that covers:
- The "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is nonsense.
- The Federal Reserve is immoral (and associated conspiracies).
- The income tax is immoral.
- Zero Point Energy technology is a suppressed technology
(This bit deserves its own separate post.)
Hobnobus has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #73":
I concur with TJC. You should find out what Feedburner's size restriction is and, at minimum, restrict your Reader Mail posts to under that size.
I'm wondering now if it's a Google Reader restriction and not a FeedBurner restriction. FeedBurner says the limit is 512k, and I've been under that limit.
Anyway, I agree that I'm going to start having shorter Reader Mail posts less often. Wait a few more, because I have to use up the ones I already started. (I'm not going to go back and cut up the drafts I already made.)
I used to do "1 Reader Mail per week", but I started falling behind.
I would also prefer to see a little more organization in your Reader Mail posts. For example, put together all comments and responses related to a particular post, instead of answering them in the order you receive them in your comment queue. You may be doing this already, but it is hard to tell as there is no obvious organization at work.
I do it mostly, but not perfectly. If the thread of thoughts is different, I'll do it separately.
Besides, "time ordering of comments" and "post ordering of comments" are nearly equivalent. Most comments on a post come in the first day or two after publishing, except for those that are frequently cited elsewhere.
The reason I put comments and responses in their own post is that most people won't go back to the original post to read comments. If there's an interesting discussion in the comments, then most people will miss it.
Some people say "Reader Mail posts are FSK's best bit!" If you believe "Reader Mail posts suck!", then you're free to skip over them. I decided to do bigger "Reader Mail" posts instead of breaking them up into really small chunks, because otherwise I'm making too many small posts.
I can't please everyone. The only change I'm consciously making right now is "Shorter and more frequent Reader Mail posts." I got sloppy/lazy/sick and started falling behind on answering comments. I'm nearly completely caught up now.
Just for amusement, I used AdSense's "Export data to CSV" feature, and did a standard deviation calculation. My average so far is $1.78/day, but the standard deviation is $2.54!
In other words, I have no idea what my long-term average will be. I only need $0.33-$0.50/day to justify purchasing my own domain, and I should be safely in that range.
Due to the central limit theorem, as my traffic grows, "standard deviation" as a percentage of "total" should decrease, assuming "reader clicks on ad" is a random event. Also, if I look at "monthly total" or "weekly total" instead of "daily total", the standard deviation percentage will again decrease, due to the central limit theorem.
Don't click on ads unless you're interested in them! I want to see if Google's ad algorithm learns over time. My conclusions so far are "maybe", but I don't have sufficient sample size.
Let's see if this passes the post size restriction in FeedBurner, or is it Google Reader?
Anyway, let me know if there's any other changes you want. "Shorter and more frequent Reader Mail posts" is an easy enough change to make. I'm also considering "Item headings in Reader Mail posts" (as indicated above).
Sample Reader Mail Item Heading - Do you Want This Addition?
As usual, democracy isn't a valid way to make decisions! I make intelligence-weighted decisions rather than following a simple majority.
I'm getting ready to say "**** FeedBurner!" AdSense via RSS is less than 4% of my total revenue. I thought it would be a *LOT* more. I'll continue with FeedBurner until I move to my own site, but I'm leaning towards "FSK won't be using FeedBurner when he buys his own domain."