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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stimulus Accounting

State comedians say "The stimulus was a success! Without the stimulus, there would have been more unemployment and a smaller economy!" They cite fake statistics that justify their conclusions.

There is no "experimental economics". There's no way to go back in time, not perform a bailout/stimulus, and see what would have happened.

The stimulus/bailout was a huge scam. It was financed via deficit spending and inflation. Via inflation, productive workers were robbed. The profits went to State insiders.

State comedians have an amusing economic model. They joke "Every $1 of stimulus spending leads to $3 of increased economic activity." Under those assumptions, the stimulus was a smashing success. That 3:1 ratio is completely fabricated.

If $3T of stimulus is beneficial, then why not have $3000T of stimulus spending? Wouldn't that be 1000x better? A State economist would say "Now you're being silly." The real con is "Deficit spending stimulates the economy." Via biased inflation measures like the CPI, inflation is confused with real economic growth.

Mainstream economics is fake science. It's a bunch of lies and propaganda. State parasites promote fake economics, because it justifies their theft and intervention in the market.

State-licensed economists work for the State, directly or indirectly. In the USA, the #1 employer of economists is the Federal Reserve. In a university, most of the funding comes from the State. Most "economic think thanks" are funded by insiders.

Via "peer review", it's very hard for an economist to dissent and tell the truth. That would be a bad career move. "Peer review" is an excellent censorship mechanism, while pretending to be a serious way to evaluate scientists.

A lot of money was stolen via stimulus spending and bailouts. The stimulus/bailout was financed mostly via inflation. If you want to protect your savings from theft via inflation, you should invest in gold and silver.

State economists loudly proclaim that the stimulus was a success. They claim that without the stimulus, things would have been even worse. The mainstream media parrots that lie without questioning it. What do you expect State parasites to say? "HAHAHA!!! We stole trillions of dollars while pretending to help people!" They're going to insist they did the right thing.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Is The Declaration Of Independence A Law?

I was browsing the United States Code (USC) and found this link. It was very interesting. It's called "The Organic Laws of The United States of America".






Is the Declaration of Independence actually a law? That page was interesting. The Declaration of Independence has an official citation number, in case you want to formally cite it.

As a practical matter, it's irrelevant. The Supreme Court would never say "This law is invalid, because people would revolt if we tried it."

The Articles of Confederation are also listed on that page. I thought they had no official legal standing anymore? The Articles of Confederation were replaced by the Constitution.

The Declaration of Independence says that people have the right to get rid of a form of government when it stops working. In practice, it's very hard to actually exercise that right. It's very hard to make progress when the vast majority have been brainwashed to be slaves.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lawyer Or Thug?

I noticed an interesting behavior. People say "I'm friends with a lawyer!" in the same tone of voice as "I'm friends with a mafia hitman!" The presumption is that the lawyer will "take care of things" if there's a problem.

One lawyer blogger wrote "The actual merits of your argument are irrelevant. It's the political connections of the lawyer that really matter." State judges have a policy of "Verdict first, trial afterwards." They decide about the outcome they want, and then come up with a legal excuse to justify it.

If you try to represent yourself in court, the judge will automatically be biased against you. You're usurping the lawyers' authority, when you represent yourself. There's no reason the legal system has to be so complicated that you need a lawyer to get a fair outcome. The legal system was set up that way on purpose, by lawyers.

Some people learn martial arts, so they can defend themselves. At one time, I considered getting a State law license, so I could defend myself. Once I realized that the State legal system is a sham, I realized that was pointless. Even with a law degree, I wouldn't get fair outcomes as a non-insider.

If a lawyer represents non-insiders in a dispute with insiders, that may be a bad career move. Insiders can commit perjury and get away with it. Insiders can pursue false perjury or professional misconduct charges against any non-insider.

I hung out with a lawyer once. He was a jerk. I had a valid dispute with someone, and he was completely useless. I settled for less than what was stolen from me.

The actual issue was interesting. I did a 401(k) rollover, and my ex-employer stole money from my account! They only admitted it after I questioned them, claiming it was a mistaken contribution. I had even asked them about it while working there, and they said it was correct.

I wound up settling for part of what they stole. My lawyer "friend" was no help at all.

Lawyers are a way of settling disputes without overt violence. There still is violence, if you disobey the judge's ruling. The lawyers and legal system merely provide an illusion of legitimacy to State corruption.

If you and your lawyer are well-connected, then judges will bend over backwards to rule in your favor. If you are a non-insider, then you will probably not get a fair verdict in a corrupt State court. It's irrelevant if the arguments you make are correct.

Lawyers are treated like a type of mafia hitman. Lawyers advocate for the use non-use of State violence. Lawyers help provide the illusion of legitimacy to the scam of the State.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Secret Ballot Or Public Ballot

One important State lie is "Voting legitimizes government and taxes." That is false. If voting legitimizes taxes, then that means that the majority may steal from the minority. Once tax crime is allowed, all sorts of other crimes are legitimized via "color of law".

All modern voting systems feature secret ballots. A secret ballot is supposed to protect individuals. A secret ballot also makes it impossible to prove if someone tampered with the results.

Suppose there were a public ballot. There's a public record of who voted for whom. The problem with that system is that you might be subject to retaliation, based on who you vote for. Your employer might fire you, if you vote for someone they don't like.

Public campaign contributions are also a problem. One blogger wrote "I work for a bank. If I donated money to Ron Paul, my employer would find out and fire me." A large bank can also have an informal policy of "top executives are required to donate to preferred candidates". Donation records are public. That makes it very easy to verify.

Secret campaign donations are problematic, because you don't know who donates to whom. Public campaign contributions are problematic, because there might be pressure to support or not support a specific candidate.

The common feature is "government is evil". With secret or public campaign contributions, politicians will abuse their power, spending tax money on pork and favors. Even publicly-funded campaigns are evil, because politicians decide who gets funded. A candidate with "no chance of winning" won't qualify for State funding, and therefore has no chance of winning.

With secret ballots, it's impossible to verify the result. You have no idea if the votes are counted honestly, or if the "official" results are plausible-sounding lies.

Some people claim that Diebold machines are really "automated voter fraud machines". They are easily hackable. They have backdoors that allows an administrator to manipulate totals.

The voting system is stacked against individual freedom. A candidate like Ron Paul gets no mainstream media coverage. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy, "We're not covering Ron Paul because he has no chance of winning." State parasites collectively have no need to rig elections, because the system is so biased. However, an individual politician has an incentive to rig an election.

"Electronic voting machines facilitate fraud" rings true, because elections themselves are fraudulent. Whether you have a secret ballot or public ballot, State insiders will manipulate things for their own benefit.

This is a common feature of government. There's no way to patch a fundamentally corrupt system. Whether you have secret ballots or public ballots, evil occurs. Whether you have public campaign contributions or private campaign contributions, evil occurs. As long as government has a violence/taxation/justice monopoly, evil will occur.

The correct answer to all politician questions is "All taxation is theft. No amount of voting legitimizes theft, whether it's 51% or 75% or 99.9% voting for it."

Some pro-State trolls criticize "Taxation is theft!" as an ultra-right viewpoint. "Taxation is not theft!" is the ultra-wrong answer.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

C4SS - You're Doing It Wrong

This was interesting. The "Center For A Stateless Society" (C4SS) is soliciting money via donations. They're falling short of their goal.

If your only source of revenue is "begging for donations", that's pretty pathetic.

C4SS is advocating for market anarchism and agorism. How about starting some actual agorist businesses? The profits from that can be spent on promoting freedom.

When C4SS begs for money, they seem like pathetic losers. I'd be much more impressed if they started actual agorist businesses.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Salmonella Egg Recall

There was a recall of eggs, due to some salmonella contamination.

When you hear such a story, your first reaction should be "Who benefits?" When the mainstream media hypes something, that usually leads to laws that restrict freedom and benefit insiders.

This story has the answer. New York is considering a law requiring a salmonella vaccine for chickens. That answers "Who benefits?" The new law is corporate welfare for the vaccine manufacturer.

A pro-State troll says "The salmonella outbreak is an example of an evil free market. Therefore, government should have more power." That's exactly wrong. The State explicitly encourages negligent behavior.

Notice the bias. The mainstream media says "OMFG! Salmonella outbreak!" The mainstream media does not say "X is responsible." The State food distribution is set up in a way that makes it impossible to determine the responsible party. Eggs from several corporate farms are mixed together. That makes it impossible to determine the true source of the contamination.

In a really free market, there would be many small farms. If there were contamination, it would be easy to identify the responsible party. If there were contamination, it would only affect that farm's eggs and not *ALL* eggs.

A small business owner has a strong incentive to protect his reputation. A huge corporation has a State-backed monopoly/oligopoly. There's no incentive for executives to protect the businesses reputation. Instead, executives manipulate the State. They create a food distribution system where it's impossible to determine accountability, if there's a problem.

The State encourages negligent behavior. The workers are employees. Even if one was careless, he wouldn't be personally liable. The corporation's executives are protected by sovereign immunity. If necessary, the corporation's executives can declare bankruptcy and cheat the victims.

Eggs from different farms are mixed together. That makes it impossible to determine the true source of the problem. The system was set up by insiders so that there would be no accountability. Any contamination means that all eggs must be discarded.

The egg salmonella problem is hyped as a "failure of the free market". It's actually a failure of the State. State regulations favor large corporations over small businesses. State regulations remove accountability.

The crisis is overhyped. It's an excuse for more State power. Laws are passed further restricting freedom. The new laws favor large corporations over small businesses. The "Problem! Reaction! Solution!" cycle is frequently repeated.

Friday, September 24, 2010

College Football Counter-Economics

Reggie Bush lost his Heisman Trophy. He accepted under-the-table payments while playing at USC. More importantly, he got caught. According to NCAA rules, that makes him retroactively ineligible.

Universities make a ton of money off college/professional football. It's hypocritical for them to profit, while demanding players be unpaid.

According to NCAA rules, a college athlete may receive no benefits, other than his scholarship and room and board.

Why does the NCAA have a rule forbidding player cash compensation? To keep their costs down, the universities collude. Under the guise of "They're amateurs!" and "The NCAA has rules!", college athletes may not be paid.

When I was in graduate school, I taught calculus and received payment. Nobody said that such an arrangement was evil. Why it immoral for college athletes to get paid?

The NFL has a rule that players must have completed at least 3 years of college, before being eligible. That's a subsidy to college football. There's a Federal law that prohibits the NFL from playing games on Saturdays during college football season. That's another State subsidy of college football.

There's a new professional football league, the UFL. The UFL is attempting to compete with the NFL. They're preparing to compete during the anticipated NFL player lockout next year.

The UFL could arbitrage underpaid college athletes. They could offer a 3 year guaranteed contract for $1M-$5M, for players who aren't NFL-eligible yet. That would be tempting, even for a star player, because an injury may end his professional career.

It is ridiculous that a college football player's fair salary is $0, when he gets a $10M+ contract a year later after joining the NFL. The star players are clearly underpaid. The players with no realistic NFL prospects or potential NFL benchwarmers are probably fairly compensated in college.

A university athletic department is technically "non-profit". "Non-profit" is a code word for "Ridiculously profitable, but we cook our books to make it look like we're breaking even."

Consider the college athlete's tuition. That is charged to the athletic department's budget, and credited to the university's general fund. The actual cost of education is far less that the official price.

For example, I was a TA teaching calculus. I figured that the students (or State) were paying about $3k per student per class. (That was in 1999; tuition is higher now.) The class size was 32. That's approximately $100k in revenue per class, and I was getting paid much less than that. My class was ridiculously profitable for the university.

The rules say that college athletes must be unpaid. There's a lot of money at stake for colleges who win. This creates an incentive for under-the-table payments.

The mainstream media denounces players and coaches who arrange under-the-table payments. Instead, they should be praised for practicing counter-economics. These "dishonest" coaches are in fact making sure that their players are fairly paid for their services.

The real problem is that the NCAA rules are defective. Due to the State, prospective professional athletes are forced to work for free, while colleges make a ton of money off them. Instead of blaming the stupid rules, the State media cartel blames people who dodge the stupid rules.

Mainstream media coverage is, as usual, biased. They don't cover the story properly. The people who break the stupid rules are unfairly blamed. The stupid system is never blamed. The NCAA has an incentive to forbid player payment. They're a monopolistic cartel keeping down their costs.

I'd like to see Reggie Bush say "Hey! USC made a lot of money off me! Why are you idiots giving me a hard time, because they tried to pay me fairly for my labor?!" Unfortunately, Reggie Bush would be loudly denounced if he said that. He would be portrayed as greedy. He'd probably lose his endorsement deals.

A coach who breaks the NCAA rules is practicing counter-economics. He's making sure that his players are fairly paid for their services. Even when payment is forbidden, people find a way to pay the fair market value. A rule-breaking coach isn't a scumbag. He's a businessman arbitraging the unfair State rules.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Concerned Citizens And Parents Against Voluntaryism

There was an amusing post on (The link is broken.) There's a group called "Concerned Citizens And Parents Against Voluntaryism". They have a FaceBook page. There's an online petition to "ban all public discussion of voluntaryism".

It seems to be serious, rather than someone's idea of a silly joke. However, I'm not sure. I'm noticing a lot more "chatter" denigrating "market anarchism".

I consider this promising. The truth is spreading so quickly that statists feel threatened.

They are saying

"Voluntaryism" is a dangerous cult. They believe that government authority is not legitimate. Some of them are armed, and will resist if police attempt to arrest them.
A more accurate statement is:
Government is a cult. They are armed and dangerous. They will kidnap and torture anyone who disobeys their rules. They will murder anyone who refuses to pay "taxes"/tribute to them. They have successfully brainwashed billions of people.
Is the truth determined by a majority vote? If the majority have false beliefs, then that makes it true?

If you've brainwashed the vast majority of people, you're "not a cult". If you're spreading the real truth, you're falsely portrayed as liars starting a dangerous cult.

Voluntaryism, agorism, and market anarchism are spreading rapidly. That isn't because it's a dangerous lie. That's because it's true. Statists would rather believe that the voluntaryists are a dangerous cult, than understand the truth.

Here is another example. The "Southern Poverty Law Center" is criticizing the "Sovereign Citizens Movement". "Sovereign Citizens" is another version of voluntaryism, although "sovereign citizens" tend to look more for legal loopholes.

A "sovereign citizen" likes to talk about various adhesion contracts, such as:
  • By getting a birth certificate or Social Security card for your child, you're selling him into slavery.
  • If you have a State bank account, you're consenting to the income tax and IRS. Somewhere in the fine print, you're implicitly consenting.
  • If you accept mail with a zip code on it, you're consenting to Federal authority.
  • If you use Federal Reserve Notes as money, you're consenting to Federal authority.
Such arguments are nonsense. When you open a bank account, the teller doesn't tell you "By opening this account, you consent to IRS jurisdiction." The IRS wants to know your bank location, solely so they can seize your savings.

Nobody ever told me "By doing X, you consent to Federal authority. If you refuse to do X, you don't have to obey their rules." Even if it is buried in the fine print somewhere, it isn't a valid contract.

Some "sovereign citizens" decide to drive their car without a State permit. Technically, the law that says you need a permit to drive your own car is immoral. However, it's a poor risk/reward decision, to drive around without license plates or a registration or a driver's license. The first State thug that sees you will kidnap you and steal your car.

It's amusing the the "Southern Poverty Law Center" is promoting State obedience. The "Southern Poverty Law Center" is really "a group of lawyers dedicated to spreading poverty". Most State organizations make more sense if you invert the "official" name.

I'm noticing a lot more statists criticizing freedom activists. That's a symptom of progress. The truth is spreading rapidly. Even though the status quo has a lot of power, it's vulnerable because it's one big lie.

The Internet is facilitating the spread of the truth. State thugs would really love to cripple and censor the Internet. I don't see that happening. At this point, that can't be done without angering nearly everyone.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dog Poop Controversy

This story was widely cited. A homeowners' association had a problem with dog poop. Some dog owners weren't cleaning up after their dog.

The homeowners' association changed the rules. Now, they are requiring dog owners to get a DNA test for their dog. The uncleaned dog poop will be tested and matched to a dog.

Some dog owners objected to the new rule. However, the homeowners' association contract allows the rules to be changed by a majority vote.

Some pro-State trolls say "HAHAHA!! This proves that libertarianism doesn't work! The homeowners' association contract was freely signed. Those dog owners deserve what they got!"

Actually, this proves that democracy doesn't work. A non-dog-owning majority was able to impose restrictions/taxes on a dog-owning minority.

If your homeowners' association contract specifies "Rules are determined by a majority vote.", then you really don't own your home. What prevents the majority from imposing rules that restrict your freedom?

Consider an extreme example. The real estate developer sells 49% of the units, and keeps the remaining 51%. Now, the real estate developer can impose whatever rules he wants. The real estate developer can hire his idiot relatives at high salaries, and pass the cost on to the other homeowners via a "majority vote".

Actually, you don't even need 51% of the votes to control the homeowners' association. You might be able to get control with 20%-30%, because most residents don't care or won't vote intelligently.

That's almost exactly how the elections work in the USA. There's a mainstream media monopoly. There are laws restricting what names are listed on the ballot. In effect, a handful of insiders control the government. The USA election system is the functional equivalent of the homeowners' association where one person owns 51% of the votes.

How can the problem be fixed? One possibility is to give people the "right of secession", where they can withdraw from the homeowners' association.

Another possibility is "The rules may only be changed via a unanimous vote." That would prevent the majority from stealing from the minority. In that case, the rules would have to be carefully written ahead of time.

For example, one rule could be "The monthly maintenance fee is capped at one ounce of gold per month." If the fee were capped at $1200/month, that would be a problem when inflation erodes the value of the fee. With a gold-denominated maintenance fee, then the homeowner is protected against the possibility of the maintenance fee getting jacked up, but the inflation adjustment should provide for future expenses.

My conclusion is "You'd have to be stupid to sign a homeowners' association contract where the rules can be changed via a majority vote. There would be no way to prevent the majority from stealing from the minority."

In a really free market, more reasonable homeowner contracts would be normal. If I were the judge in a free market court, it would be a tough problem, how to handle existing stupid homeowners' association contracts.

This example does not prove "Libertarianism and really free markets don't work!" It's actually an example of "Democracy doesn't work!" The "social contract" is flawed the same way most homeowners' association contracts are flawed. By voting, the majority may steal from the minority.

I have some limited choice about where I live. I can avoid stupid homeowners' associations. However, all governments impose property taxes and other laws restricting what you can do on your property.

I don't have the freedom to object to the "social contract". It's like the world is controlled by a handful of abusive homeowners' associations. Via international treaties, they all agreed to offer lousy conditions to residents, because that maximizes the profits of insiders.

The fact that there's *LOTS* of real estate, prevents any homeowners' association from being too abusive. There are many more real estate choices than there are government choices, which prevents landlords from being too abusive. However, you need to read the fine print before buying! I wouldn't buy from a homeowners' association, condo, or co-op. There's the risk that the monthly maintenance fee could be jacked up. There's the risk of stupid new rules being passed at any time.

All taxation is theft. A majority vote doesn't legitimize taxation/theft/government. Whether it's on a small scale or large scale, all monopolistic majority-vote governments lead to evil. If voting legitimizes laws, then there always will be situations where the majority steals from the minority.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Is Income Inequality Evil?

Some pro-State trolls say "Income inequality is evidence that the US economic system is unfair." An unequal distribution of wealth is not de facto evidence of corruption.

The problem is the source of income inequality. There are two possibilities:

  1. Income inequality due to unequal political connections.
  2. Income inequality due to unequal ability and skills.
(1) is evil. (2) is not evil. You can't pass laws that prevent political inequality. In fact, more laws exacerbate political inequality. If you make ability inequality illegal, that's the path of economic collapse.

One example of unequal political ability is taxi medallion ownership. The taxi medallion owners collect economic rent, due to the value of the medallion and the State extortion racket. It's illegal for me to start my own taxi business, unless I purchase a medallion. Other examples of political inequality are Con Ed, Cablevision, Time Warner Cable, FRE, and FNM. Those executives have an explicit State-backed monopoly. Their income is economic rent, rather than due to their awesome business skills.

100% income equality is attainable only via absolute Communism. Everyone works for the State, and the State parcels out food and property. Even under such a system, better-connected people get more stuff. In the Soviet Union and China, Communist Party members had perks and wealth that the slaves didn't get. Such a system is a proven failure.

The USA is a system of partial communism. The US government exerts as much control over the economy as in a Communist dicatorship. In fact, the US government may have more power than the government in China or the Soviet Union. By giving the slaves an illusion of freedom, that creates more wealth for State thugs to extort/extract. This enables a bigger and more powerful government.

Suppose the top 1% of workers are 100x more productive than everyone else, and everyone else has equal ability. (The distribution of software engineer ability approximates that, and I notice talent differences in other businesses also.) In a really free market, with such an ability distrubution, the top 1% will control 99% of the wealth legitimately.

However, in the corrupt US economy, "difference in political connections" matters more than "difference in ability".

Consider Warren Buffet. His father was a Congressman! He was born in the top 1%+ already. An equally skilled investor, lacking his connections, would not be as successful.

Consider Bill Gates. His parents were well-connected lawyers. His mother was friends with someone on IBM's board of directors! Bill Gates started out in the top 1%+.

An extremely skilled worker, lacking the connections of Gates/Buffet, would not have been as successful. Gates and Buffet are not exactly coming-from-poverty success stories. Gates and Buffet are hyped as American economic successes, but they came from very privileged backgrounds. Barack Obama's parents also had impressive political connections.

Inequality of wealth is not de facto evidence of corruption. Laws that "reduce wealth inequality" punish productive workers and benefit political insiders. That's the real reason Warren Buffet advocates for high taxes. High taxes make it hard for non-insiders to accumulate wealth and influence.

"Those greedy State parasites!" is corrupted by State propaganda into "Those greedy productive workers!" Laws that attempt to reduce wealth inequality make it easier for insiders to profit at the expense of productive workers!

Income inequality is not de facto evidence of a corrupt system. Is economic inequality due to unequal connections, or unequal ability? There's nothing immoral about unequal ability. Most income inequality in the USA is due to unequal political connections, rather than due to unequal ability.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Repeal the 14th Amendment?

Some Republican comedians want to partially repeal the 14th Amendment. Under the 14th Amendment, if you're in the country illegally but give birth, your children automatically become US citizens.

This leads to the "anchor babies" problem. Illegal immigrants have a child who is a US citizen. Legally, State thugs can't deport the child. If you deport the parents, you're separating parents from their children.

In Europe, children don't get automatic citizenship, even if the parents are legal immigrants. This leads to problems. The children aren't EU citizens, but not of their parents' country either. "People born in the USA automatically get citizenship!" solves stupid situations like that.

"Illegal immigration" is an evil fnord designed to help divide and conquer the masses. Stupid slaves think "The economy is bad because of illegal immigration!" The correct answer is "The economy is bad because of a corrupt economic system, a corrupt banking system, and corrupt politicians."

The correct answer is "There should be no immigration restrictions." "Illegal immigration" laws are a type of modern fugitive slave law. If the property of the Mexican government escapes to the USA, then USA politicians return to Mexican politicians their property.

By restricting immigration, various governments don't have to compete with each other. Otherwise, the most skilled workers would move to the country that offered the best working conditions. International treaties really are criminal gangs parceling out their turf.

The worst part of the 14th Amendment is the application to corporations. That isn't mentioned in this debate. The 14th Amendment has been interpreted as justifying "rights" of limited liability corporations. The key evil is "limited liability".

One source said "The Supreme Court has cited the 14th Amendment 10 times as often to justify the rights of corporations, compared to justifying the rights of individuals." The real evil of the 14th Amendment is the way it was interpreted as allowing "rights" of limited liability corporations.

There are lots of issues designed to "divide and conquer" the masses. Some examples are:

  • illegal immigration
  • abortion
  • gay marriage
  • "ground zero" mosque
A good "fake issue" will have approximately 50% of the population supporting each side.

These issues have practically no real economic value. They are a substitute for genuine debate. A person "knowledgeable" about these fake issues thinks they know a lot about politics. Politicians complain about these things, while robbing the slaves.

"Illegal immigration" is a fake issue, designed to divide and conquer the masses. "Illegal immigrants" are blamed for problems, instead of real corruption elsewhere. In a really free market, there are no immigration restrictions. Laws restricting "illegal immigration" are a type of modern fugitive slave law. Immigration restrictions are a symptom of "People are the property of government bureaucrats."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Florida Bar Association Works For the IRS?

This story made me think "WTF?" A State-licensed lawyer in Florida claimed that the income tax was an invalid law, and he is now refusing to pay income taxes. As punishment, the Florida Bar Association revoked his law license.

Even assuming that tax evasion is a real crime, shouldn't that be the IRS' problem and none of the Florida Bar Association's business? Shouldn't a lawyer be free to question the legitimacy of a law? This is flagrant State censorship and corruption.

This is an important point. "If you have a State law license, and you question the legitimacy of the State, then State thugs will revoke your law license and end your career." A State-licensed lawyer is a State employee. He represents the State first, and his clients second.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Democratic-Republican Party

The two main political parties have more similarities than differences. I was amused when I noticed that the original name for the "Democratic Party" was the "Democratic-Republican Party', with Thomas Jefferson as one of the main leaders.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Economic Police State

In a Police State, the police ask every person "Papers please!", and kidnap people who don't have the right papers. Most people know that's evil, because everyone is inconvenienced.

In the USA, any small business owner risks a "Papers please!" demand by State thugs. If the papers are not in order, then the economic secret police will kidnap you. The laws are so complicated that any business owner is practically guaranteed to have violations.

In Nazi Germany, you were encouraged to rat out your neighbors if they were protecting Jews. In the Soviet Union, you were encouraged to rat out your neighbors if they are hiding food or goods. In the USA, you are encouraged to rat out your neighbor is he is operating a business without a permit. You are encouraged to rat out your neighbor if he is engaging in forbidden economic activity or has forbidden plants/guns.

On the NYC subway, I saw a sign "$1000 reward if you report someone with an unlicensed gun!" My reaction to that sign is "Would anyone really sell out their gun-owning friend/relative for only $1000?" $1000 was insultingly low. Do the State police have credibility, regarding paying the reward? Can someone abuse the process by filing a false tip?

Suppose you file an Anonymous complaint "FSK is growing marijuana in his basement." (I'm not.) State thugs conduct a no-knock raid of my home. I ask the State thugs "WTF? Why did you raid my home?" They will reply "We got an Anonymous tip?" I ask "Who?" They will say "Sorry, FSK. Anonymous tips are confidential." This encourages fraud. Someone could file a false complaint. Some undercover cop could file the false complaint, just so they could raid my home. Many things are illegal that aren't real crimes, further encouraging abuse.

Suppose I operate a restaurant out of my home. Someone with a State restaurant license has an economic incentive to file a complaint against me. I don't even get to find out who filed the complaint! The State police are a private army, protecting State-licensed businesses from competition.

There are undercover cops who troll the Internet, looking for people operating a business without a State permit. These undercover cops are really economic secret police. For that reason, agorists should not use Craigslist or eBay. "Write agoristbay" is on my todo list.

The NYPD has a division of troops that focuses solely on kidnapping people who "operate a taxi without a permit". Due to "asset forfeiture" laws, the NYPD can steal your car without even a trial, if they accuse you of illegally operating a taxi. This special NYPD unit is literally a private army, working for the State taxi medallion cartel. The medallion owners have a very lucrative monopoly. They can afford to spend money lobbying the State to crack down on competition. Via taxes, everyone in NYC pays the cost of NYPD medallion cartel enforcement. If the medallion owners had to maintain their own private army, then the extortion racket wouldn't be profitable. Also, if they had their own private army, the slaves wouldn't recognize the violence as legitimate.

Even though the NYPD is working to stifle taxi competition, there still are people who conclude that the risk/reward ratio is worth it. I read that the unlicensed commuter vans have a relatively sophisticated agorist setup. If a licensed commuter van files a complaint with the State, then he finds his van vandalized. (Technically, that's not a violation of the Non-Aggression principle.) If police set up a roadblock, the unlicensed vans find out about it, and they avoid capture. The cost of a State permit is *EXPENSIVE*, so the unlicensed vans have a huge economic incentive to ignore the law. Amusingly, the transit workers' union is also lobbying for a crackdown on "illegal" transportation.

If I attempt practical agorism, I'm competing with State-licensed businesses. Those businesses have an economic incentive to rat me out to the State, to shut down competition. The State thug thinks "I'm enforcing 'Rule of law!'", but he's an economic terrorist.

Most laws are designed to protect insiders from competition, rather than true best practices.

There's another "advantage" of State licensing requirements. Now, State bureaucrats know who's operating a business. They know who to shake down for taxation/extortion money. Most people are complacent wage slaves. This gives State thugs the resources to crack down on people who desire economic freedom.

The most evil example of an economic police State is the IRS and the income tax. IRS thugs extort small business owners. IRS bureaucrats spy on people, to see if anyone is working without their permission.

Another example of an economic police State is the treatment of gold and silver. Due to taxes and regulations, it's impractical/illegal to use gold and silver as money.

Another example of an economic police State is the ironically-named "Bank Secrecy Act". The Bank Secrecy Act requires all State-licensed banks to report "suspicious transactions". That's used to catch drug dealers and prostitutes, things that should not be illegal. It's also used to catch tax evaders. It's used to catch people who want economic privacy. The Bank Secrecy Act makes every State-licensed bank a branch of the IRS and FBI.

Another example of an economic police State is the 1099/W-2 requirement. All economic activity must be reported to the IRS/State. Employers have an obligation to withhold taxes from employees' paychecks. Every small business owner must work for the State as an unpaid tax collector and economic spy.

What criminal organization besides government could demand "Tell me everything you do. Tell me everything you own. Then, I'll figure out how much of your stuff I should steal."? What criminal besides government gets his victims to mail him a check?!

The USA is an economic police State. State thugs don't say "Papers please!" to everyone. State thugs only harass/assault small business owners. This helps preserve the illusion that the USA is a free country. Economic terrorism is more subtly evil than "Kill all the Jews!"

Economic terrorism is more subtly evil than "Round up all the small business owners and send them to death camps!" Via taxes and regulations, executives at large corporations stifle small business competition. It isn't explicitly illegal to operate a small business, but taxes and regulations are a huge handicap. For many industries, competition with the State-backed monopoly/oligopoly/cartel is explicitly illegal. Some examples of explicit State-backed monopolies/cartels are doctors, lawyers, accountants, electricity, landline telephone, cell phones, cable TV, broadcast TV/radio, and taxis.

"Economic Police State" is a good way to describe the corruption of the US economic and political system. Agorism is the best strategy for fighting the economic police State. It's not risk free, but it's the best method I've seen. Working for freedom is risky. It's also risky to be a complacent slave as the system collapses. There's no easy solution.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Are State Parasites Getting Scared?

This blog post was interesting. The author said "Anarcho-capitalism is gaining a surprising amount of popularity. A lot of people are saying 'Taxation is theft!' As statists, we should be concerned. We need to work on coming up with better propaganda!"

There's no "magic propaganda that refutes anarcho-capitalism", because "market anarchism" is the One True Theory of politics and economics. Now that I understand agorism and market anarchism, pro-State arguments are obvious nonsense.

You can't come up with a "magic argument" that refutes something that's actually true.

I'm noticing a lot more statist comments like this. It is an encouraging sign. It's an indication that the truth is spreading. Some statists are getting exasperated by frequent mentions of "Taxation is theft!" and a discussion of alternatives to the State violence monopoly.

The danger of the State isn't just State police, who might kidnap and torture you for telling the truth. The danger comes from your friends and coworkers and relatives. They will react with hostility when you say "All taxation is theft!"

The difference between now and the past is the Internet. 30 years ago, there would have been no way for me to learn the real truth. If I were forced to rely on newspapers and TV and school, my information is severely limited. The Internet enables people to bypass the State information monopoly.

Right now, statists have far superior numbers and resources. That is changing. It might only be necessary to convince the 3%-5% most skilled workers, in order for the State to collapse. That is the advantage of agorism. Agorism allows the most productive workers to thrive outside the State extortion racket.

If I explain something on my blog, and my readers enlighten other people, there's an exponential spread of the truth. At this point, the collapse of the State seems like a historic inevitability, even though State parasites have superior resources.

I'm noticing that some statists are getting frustrated, due to frequent mentions of "Taxation is theft! Who needs a government violence monopoly?" That's a good sign. The truth is sufficiently powerful. I can't imagine someone convincing me "Taxation is not theft!", now that I fully understand the truth. A State terrorist might decide to kidnap and torture me based on my understanding of the truth, but I don't see State parasites successfully convincing me that I'm wrong.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Oracle Sues Google Over Java/Android

This story is interesting. Oracle bought out Sun, which owned some patents relating to Java. Google used Java in their Android mobile phone. Oracle is now suing Google over patent infringement.

I thought that Java was supposed to be an "open language". I guess it isn't. That shows the fallacy of relying on a language controlled by a large corporation. Sun may have been more openminded, but that policy ends after an acquisition by Oracle.

Oracle is a "patent troll" now? When a corporation is losing its market share, the executives start relying on lawsuits and corporate welfare, rather than making a good product.

Oracle is suing Google. Oracle is threatening to sue manufacturers who make Android phones. This lawsuit is a boon for Apple.

Google used Java in their Android phone. Oracle is selling a "smartphone-enhanced" version of Java. Instead of buying smartphone-enhanced Java from Oracle, Google's software engineers wrote their own implementation of Java. Oracle claims this implementation of Java infringes on Oracle's patents.

When Oracle bought Sun, they also acquired control of mySQL. Some people say that this is a risk, for businesses that use mySQL. Oracle has cut back support for mySQL, because mySQL directly competes with Oracle's database product. However, someone could "fork" the public version of mySQL. The only thing Oracle owns is the "mySQL" name, and the right to sell non-GPL versions of mySQL.

Some people say "Smartphone technology is patented and owned by several large corporations. It's illegal for someone to start a new smartphone business. It's practically guaranteed they'd be violating someone's patent."

State insiders use patents to quash competition. Under the guise of "Rule of law! Protect the little inventor!", insiders use patents to extort and prevent competition.

Lawsuits regarding patents/trademarks/copyrights are completely "legal extortion". The plaintiff in an "intellectual property" lawsuit is using the corrupt State "justice" system to extort.

"Intellectual property" is not property. "Intellectual property" is an evil fnord that sets the debate in the wrong frame. It should be called "intellectual unproperty".

Suppose I was a prospective juror in the Oracle vs. Google software patent lawsuit. As a software engineer, I'm automatically disqualified. I know too much about software. Therefore, I'm ineligible to be a juror!

Really, the judge and jury in a software patent lawsuit should all be software engineers. The corrupt State legal system has it backwards.

The judge knows nothing about software. The jury knows nothing about software. Given those conditions, why not roll the dice and sue? Oracle gains $1B+ if they win. The only cost is their legal fees if they lose.

The judge is trying to determine "What is legal?", when he knows nothing about software. How can the trial outcome possibly be fair?

Patents are not a valid form of property. "Protect the little guy inventor!" is the official excuse for patents. As actually implemented, insiders use patent lawsuits and the threat of a patent lawsuit to extort. Copying an idea is not like stealing a car.

There's a massive State brainwashing campaign to convince people "Patents are property." There's a massive State brainwashing campaign to convince people that "intellectual property" should be treated like real property.

Oracle is suing Google for patent infringement. This is entirely legal extortion. The judge and jury know nothing about software. The "justice" system is completely corrupt. Why shouldn't Oracle's CEO take a gamble and sue Google? If they're wrong, they only lose their legal expenses. If they're right, they win $1B+.

In the corrupt USA legal system, if you have a successful business, other people will file lawsuits to extort from you. The most desirable legal extortion victim is one with tangible assets that can be stolen. If you have a successful business, State parasites have a free option to sue you and extort part of your business.

Even if you ultimately prevail in trial, the "legal extortion" victim doesn't recover his legal expenses.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Homeland Security Works For Disney?

This article on Techdirt made me say "WTF?" The Department of Homeland Security raided a bunch of sites for illegally distributing movies. They made this announcement from Disney's corporate office.

Why is "Homeland Security" enforcing copyrights and trademarks now? What happened to "protecting us from terrorists"?

Why is "Homeland Security" making a press release from Disney's office? They're obviously Disney employees.

This illustrates the evil of a growing Police State. Insiders use the State's police power for corporate welfare, rather than to protect people. Assuming the validity of "intellectual property", copyright and trademark infringement should be civil and not criminal.

"Intellectual property" is not property. Intellectual property laws explicitly encourage abuse of the State police/justice monopoly.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Congress Killed Superman

This story was hilarious. In the 1976 copyright law, Congress added a clause saying "After 56 years, original authors, or their heirs, may reclaim their copyright, even if they sold it."

A "work for hire" doesn't count. For example, the software I write in my wage slave job is a "work for hire". Even though I'm the sole author, I can't ask to reclaim my copyright after 56 years. (not that I would want to)

Superman was developed by two artists, before it was sold to DC Comics. It was not a "work for hire". Their contact with DC Comics said "We sell you the rights to Superman forever." However, the 1976 copyright law overrides that clause of the contract.

The heirs of Jerome Siegel and Joseph Shuster, the original authors, sued Time-Warner, who now owns DC Comics, to get their copyright back. The two parties could not reach a settlement. This led to a bizarre Solomon-like ruling.

Some parts of the Superman story were written by the original authors. Other parts were added later. Siegel's heirs could only reclaim copyright to the parts they wrote. "Supeman is vulnerable to kryptonite!", "Superman can fly!", and "Lex Luthor" are still owned by DC Comics.

The two parties could not reach an agreement. The rights to Superman were split among two parties. The net effect is that *NOBODY* can legally write a Superman story.

Another issue is "Who owns the rights to the Superman cartoons/movies that were already made?" How does the revenue from that get split? The recent Superman movie was started after the "reclaim copyright" lawsuit was filed.

Intellectual property law leads to stupid lawsuits like this one. Even if you believe in "intellectual property", copyright was supposed to be "for a limited time". The correct answer is that "intellectual property" is not property.

Sherlock Holmes, Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Alice in Wonderland, and Charles Dickens are all public domain. Anybody can make a story based on them. Everything from the 20th century is locked up by copyright and owned/controlled by a corporation. That is silly.

If I tried to make and sell my own Superman story, I would be sued. That is wrong. Superman should be in the public domain.

"Intellectual property" is not property. "Intellectual property" is the artificial creation of an abusive State. There's a massive State brainwashing campaign to convince people that "intellectual property" should be treated like real property. The phrase "intellectual property" sets the debate in the wrong frame. It should be "intellectual unproperty".

A pro-State troll says "Copyright protects the little guy artist. Patents protect the small inventor." The actual implementation is the opposite. Copyrights and patents are abused by insiders at large corporations. All lawsuits regarding copyrights and patents are really a type of "legal extortion". If you're a small artist, it's hard to do anything without infringing on someone's copyright. If you're a small business owner, it's hard to avoid infringing someone else's patent.

"Intellectual property" law will always lead to stupid lawsuits like the one that killed Superman.

Had To Reinstall Vista - USB Ports Stopped Working

The USB ports on my PC mysteriously stopped working. My printer was working erratically. My LG envTouch's connection to my PC was working erratically.

It got worse and worse and finally stopped.

At first, I thought it was a hardware problem. After doing a full Vista reinstall, I can definitely say it was 100% a Windows problem. After fiddling with the reinstall and Windows Update and installing drivers, everything's working fine again.

It seems that the "USB driver plug and play" area of Vista got corrupted.

I tried some online help suggestions, which only made things worse.

I tried "repair Vista install", but that didn't work. I had to do a full reinstall.

In prior versions of Windows, the reinstall was done in place over the old version. That's not what Vista did. It completely blew away the Windows directory, and my "program files" directory. I now have to reinstall everything.

I've noticed that, when using Windows, you have to do a "full OS reinstall" every 2-3 years. I guess I was due.

I'm seriously thinking of making my next PC be Linux.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

How to Derail a Grassroots Movement

This story was very interesting. There's a group of people dedicated to infiltrating and subverting the "Tea Party" movement, and I'm not referring to Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. (Since then, no longer exists. Once they were publicly outed, they probably took their website private. I got a 404 error when I tried loading the site.)

Their goal is to go to "Tea Party" rallies and recite racist slogans and act disruptive.

Are these people undercover cops? Are they funded by other statists? Are they just plain scumbags? That's irrelevant.

Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are trying to infiltrate and subvert the Tea Party movement, albeit less flagrantly dishonestly. They're probably thinking "Here's a large group of angry people! I'll go and declare that I'm their leader! Some of them will be dumb enough to believe me!"

Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck sincerely believe their own lies. It's hard to be sure if they're acting maliciously, or if they're so stupid that they don't know any better. That's irrelevant. The mainstream media discusses minarchism and not proper market anarchism. Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are minarchists and not market anarchists; otherwise, they wouldn't be advertised on the mainstream media at all.

The main qualification for being a "Tea Party Leader" seems to be "A mainstream media program interviews you." That gives Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck a forum that more unplugged people don't have access to. Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck sincerely believe their own pro-State brainwashing. They're advocating for minarchism and "Make the government smaller!" rather than "All taxation is theft!"

Everyone knows who is the leader of the Republican Party or Democratic Party. For a decentralized grassroots movement, there's no official leader.

There's no state licensing requirement for calling yourself a "Tea Party Leader". People should be required to get a permit from the State, before calling themselves an anarchist.

There's a lot of people looking to infiltrate or subvert the Tea Party movement. Some of them are professional disinformation agents. Some of them are scumbags. Some of them are brainwashed statists looking for an audience. If membership is open to all, you're going to attract some undesirables.

Allegedly, some Tea Party members are aware of the "Infiltrate and subvert!" tactics. They're quick to point out undercover cops, troublemakers, or scumbags.

The main difference in the Tea Party movement is the Internet. The slaves may directly share information and bypass the State media information monopoly. State parasites would love to cripple or censor the Internet. That cat is out of the bag. State thugs can't censor or cripple the Internet, without offending everyone.

The State propaganda engine excels at creating fake grassroots movements. A genuine grassroots movement is denounced as fake. The phrase "Tea Party" may become negative. The most intelligent slaves are learning the real truth. At this point, State thugs can't cripple the Internet without crippling the economy. State thugs can't kidnap/torture/arrest everyone who understands "Taxation is theft! Government is one huge extortion racket!"

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Righthaven vs. Charles Johnson (RadGeek)

At the urging of one Anonymous UK commenter, I've been investigating "legal extortion". My post on BMI/ASCAP/SESAC has been pretty popular, according to Google Analytics. I noticed another legal extortion scam by Righthaven, Stevens Media, and the Las Vegas Review Journal.

I'm working on a more detailed Righthaven post. While researching this post, I stumbled across this article. Charles Johnson (RadGeek) is being sued by Righthaven for copyright infringement! Charles Johnson hasn't mentioned this on his blog yet, so I assume he doesn't know. That reporter (Steve Green) claims to have attempted to contact Charles Johnson.

I guess I'm "breaking" this story, at least in the "left libertarian" blogging circle.

RadGeek is being sued over this post. Most of the text seems to be copied from {I'm not linking to those scum.}. RadGeek didn't cite the source, which qualifies as "slightly immoral but not illegal". He seemed to be illustrating the mainstream media pro-State troll bias.

He's being sued over posting the article on the aggregator site, and not on his original blog.

This should be interesting. A group of well-connected lawyers are abusing the State legal system to extort from a well-informed anarchist.

I briefly considered copying one of their articles, just to get the free publicity associated with a frivolous lawsuit and a successful pro se defense. However, I have better things to do. I'll see how Charles Johnson handles it. Fighting stupid civil lawsuits falls under "Fighting bad guys bad guys on their turf." Besides, Charles Johnson lives in Las Vegas, making a pro se defense feasible.

Immediately after suing, Righthaven is offering settlements of around $5k-$7k. They are banking on the fact that the cost of hiring a lawyer is greater than the cost of settling. It's an excellent example of legal extortion.

Due to lobbying by the media cartel, copyright law is ridiculously unfairly biased in favor of copyright owners.

What are RadGeek's options?

In order of increasing desirability, RadGeek's options are:

  1. Hire a State-licensed lawyer.
  2. Bend over and settle.
  3. Ignore the lawsuit, let them get a default judgement, and then let them try and collect it.
  4. Defend yourself pro se.
Hiring a lawyer seems like the worst option. As the Anonymous UK commenter likes to point out, the lawyer will take your money and you'll probably lose anyway.

RadGeek could bend over and settle. That also seems cowardly.

If you're a hardcore anarchist, "Ignore it and make them try and collect." seems attractive. Even via default judgement, the judge may not award much. I could not do this, because I have State paper investments that could be seized. I don't know if RadGeek has any assets in the State system that could be seized.

For this reason, a secure agorist alternate banking system is needed. Then, if State thugs attempt to extort from you, you're safe because your savings are safely hidden.

Another option, if you're almost broke, is "Ignore it, default, and then declare bankruptcy."

RadGeek lives in Las Vegas. That makes a pro se defense feasible. Most of Righthaven's victims are not in Nevada. Nevada's judges have erred, ruling that Nevada is the proper venue for these lawsuits.

Righthaven is banking on the fact that the lawsuit is a prohibitive cost for out-of-state defendants. Personally, I'd take a Las Vegas vacation and pursue a pro se defense. I don't have anything that could be considered infringing. I never copy more than a tiny excerpt.

I guess I now must have a policy of "*NEVER* cite a mainstream media source". You never know when one will adopt Righthaven thuggish tactics. This is risky for any website owner. You're also liable for reader comments, unless you register with the Copyright Office for DMCA safe harbor.

Assuming that RadGeek decides to pursue a pro se defense, what arguments should he make? In decreasing order of importance, the arguments he should make are:
  • jury nullification (You can make a "jury nullification" argument in civil trials as well as criminal. It's the discretion of the judge, whether to allow it or not.)
  • fair use
  • barratry, according to common law and not an explicit Federal law (A judge may not allow this argument.)
  • a newspaper article does not meet the legal definition of "literary work"
  • the plaintiffs are violating the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, specifically rule 11b
  • violations of rule 11b, for filing multiple lawsuits without making a reasonable settlement offer first
  • violations of rule 11b, for demanding the victim's domain name, even though copyright law and precedent don't support that
  • violations of rule 11b, for demanding maximum statutory damages; there's no way a reasonable judge or jury would award that much
  • even if copyright infringement occurred, plaintiffs should only get the statutory minimum
  • even if copyright infringement occurred, plaintiffs should not be reimbursed for legal expenses
Anyway, this should be interesting. I'm surprised that nobody else noticed yet that RadGeek is being sued for copyright infringement.

Warren Buffet Likes Estate Taxes

Warren Buffet is an outspoken advocate for estate taxes. A pro-State troll says "Isn't that nice! He's advocating that insiders give up their wealth."

Insiders use charities and trusts to dodge taxes. Warren Buffet's charity helps him avoid estate taxes. His children will pay themselves a salary, when they administer the trust. By donating their wealth to charity, billionaires avoid taxes while simultaneously controlling their wealth. Many "charities" actually spend their money promoting pro-State propaganda.

Who is hurt most by estate taxes? Small business owners are hurt the most. Typically, a small family-owned business valued at $10M-$200M is forced to sell, to pay the estate tax bill.

Who specializes in buying small family-owned businesses? Warren Buffet and Berkshire Hathaway buy these businesses! It's in Warren Buffet's rational self-interest to advocate for estate taxes. It's an opportunity for him to buy businesses in an estate tax foreclosure sale.

Estate taxes force the sale of businesses from non-insiders to insiders. The banksters use their money-printing power to buy the business. The banksters print the money that pays the estate tax bill.

When the banksters finance an estate tax sale, they literally print new money to fund the purchase. The banksters then take possession of real assets. Via State restriction of the market, it's hard to start new small businesses.

What about insiders? Don't they pay estate taxes?

Consider Brian L. Roberts, the chairman and CEO of Comcast. He inherited control of Comcast from his father. He owns special supervoting shares of Comcast. These special shares give him control, even though Comcast is a public corporation.

These shares only represent a tiny equity stake in Comcast. For estate tax purposes, these shares are only valued based on the equity stake they represent, even though these shares give Brian L. Roberts control of Comcast. It's like Brian L. Roberts is the full owner of Comcast, but he only paid estate tax based on the tiny slice of equity those shares represent.

Via option grants and equity grants, Brian L. Roberts pays himself and his friends a nice salary. In this manner, Brian L. Roberts inherited his business from his father tax-free. In the present, State insiders pass their State-backed power on to their children, more reliably than kings could 500 years ago.

Most mainstream media corporations have special supervoting shares. This gives insiders control, even though it's a public company. Mainstream media corporations are a key component of the State propaganda engine.

A small business owner works all his life to build his business. He pays the income tax and inflation tax as his business grows. When he dies, the estate tax forces him to sell. The estate tax enables the banksters to take possession of real assets.

Warren Buffet is a bankster, although he less corrupt than most. Like all big financial institutions, Berkshire Hathaway receives huge direct and indirect State subsidies.

Warren Buffet advocates for the estate tax. That isn't because he's such a swell guy. The estate tax gives him the opportunity to purchase family-owned business worth $100M-$200M. Insiders use trusts and other tricks to protect their assets.

Warren Buffet received huge direct and indirect State subsidies. Even if Warren Buffet paid full estate tax on his wealth, he still was an overall negative lifetime taxpayer. The value of State-granted perks is worth more than the taxes Warren Buffet paid.

State-backed power can be reliably passed from one generation to another. For example, Bush was President primarily because his father was President. His entire family has been looting via the State for a long time.

Taxes don't hurt State insiders. The State perks they receive are worth more than the taxes they pay. State insiders pay a negative effective taxation rate. Taxes hurt productive workers. This is the opposite of what most slaves are brainwashed to believe.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Auto IRA

There's a a rumor circulating of a new "reform". It's called the "Auto IRA".

In a regular IRA, the worker/slave gets to decide if he wants to make a contribution or not. The Auto IRA is mandatory. It's funded via a payroll tax.

Some employers have a default enrollment 401(k) plan. That isn't immoral, because the worker can always opt out. However, it is somewhat tricky. A clueless worker might be unaware that he's making a 401(k) contribution.

A pro-State troll says "Good! The State is forcing people to save for retirement!" The fallacy is that it's mandatory.

Suppose I'm starting a business and want to save my salary for seed capital. The Auto IRA, like all other taxes, makes it hard for non-insiders to accumulate capital. Instead of saving money to invest in my business, I'm forced to invest in the Auto IRA.

If you own a business, reinvesting in your business almost definitely is better than investing in the stock market. The stock market is one big scam. In your own business, you have 100% control. For a corporate stock investment, you're paying for the waste/fraud/theft of a corporate bureaucracy.

The Auto IRA forces people to invest in the stock market or bond market. The Auto IRA would be a huge State subsidy for the financial industry. Stocks and bonds are one huge scam.

(It is possible to have physical gold and silver in an IRA, via certain custodians. However, they charge fees. It's inferior to taking actual physical possession.)

If you buy/sell gold/silver for cash, avoiding immoral/unconstitutional capital gains taxes, that's a better deal than an IRA. Gold and silver have a higher expected return than stocks and bonds. With gold and silver you can trade off-the-books, avoiding taxes.

The stock market is one big scam. The State financial system will probably collapse in the next 20 years. Given that, an IRA investment is worthless. I'm seriously considering cashing out my IRAs, paying the withdrawal penalty, and buying physical gold and silver. I haven't done that yet. I'll switch all my non-IRA investments first. I might be wrong about "The State will collapse soon.", in which case holding my IRAs is a hedge against the possibility that I'm wrong.

The Auto IRA is one big scam. It would force people to invest in the fraudulent stock market or bond market. It's a State subsidy for the banksters. The Auto IRA would make it hard for a small business owner to raise capital via reinvested earnings/salary.

When the State collapses, an IRA investment will be worthless.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Lost 9th And 10th Amendment

The US Constitution is not a valid contract. There still are some interesting bits.

The 9th Amendment says

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
and the 10th Amendment says
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Summarizing, they say "The Federal government is only allowed to do the things specifically enumerated here. Otherwise, it's up to individual state governments or the people."

Did State thugs ever declare "The 9th and 10th Amendment are hereby repealed!" No. That would be too obvious. Instead, State parasites take a liberal interpretation of the "commerce clause", "general welfare clause", and taxation power.

Do the 9th and 10th Amendments have any meaning? Here's an easy way to check. Has the Supreme Court ever cited the 9th or 10th Amendment as a justification for limiting Federal government power? The answer is "almost never". Therefore, the 9th and 10th Amendments are meaningless.

Consider "freedom of the press". Statists say "The Constitution grants people a free press." Actually, "freedom of the press" is a restriction on what government can do. The perspective has changed from "enumerated government powers" to "enumerated individual rights". If you take a literal interpretation of the Constitution, Congress is not allowed to restrict freedom of the press because that isn't an enumerated power. To avoid confusion later, some people insisted on a "Bill of Rights", in exchange for ratifying the Constitution. In 1787, some politicians weren't total tools like they are now. Of course, "freedom of the press" went out the window under President Adams with the Sedition Act.

This is the statist attitude. "People get their rights from the government and Constitution." The correct answer is "People have natural rights." By having "freedom of the press", that avoids silly disputes when State thugs try to kidnap/arrest/torture people based on what they write.

In the USA, you won't go to jail for "criticizing the government" Instead, you're prosecuted for something else. So many things are crimes that State prosecutors have the discretion to arrest/prosecute/imprison anyone.

The US Constitution is not a valid contract. Some fools try to appeal to the 9th or 10th Amendment, as justification for restricting State power. However, any such dispute would be decided in a biased State court.

That is the evil of the government violence/justice monopoly. When State insiders abuse their power, the dispute is settled in a State court. Only a really free market solves the "Who watches the watchers?" problem.

The correct answer on issues of the US Constitution is "The Constitution is not a valid contract. I never personally signed it. I don't have the right to withdraw my consent." It's still interesting to study law and the Constitution, because State thugs don't obey their own rules.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Treasury Debt Default?

I hear this ridiculous story circulated over and over again. It's "The US government may default on Treasury debt." They are referring to "nominal default" rather than "default via inflation". Default via inflation is guaranteed. A nominal default cannot occur, because new money/bonds can be printed to continually refinance the national debt.

"The Federal government will outright default on the national debt!" is ridiculous. The Federal government can always print more money/bonds to refinance its debt. As long as the slaves use Federal Reserve Notes as money, government can't default on its debt.

Physical Federal Reserve Notes are printed by the Treasury Department. They are sold to the Federal Reserve for the printing cost, and not for the face amount. New Federal Reserve Notes are introduced into circulation when the Federal Reserve sells them to the financial industry for the face amount via "monetizing the debt". This inflation fuels financial industry profits, or purchases the national debt.

When the Federal government has deficit spending, the Treasury issues more Treasury debt. This debt is sold to the financial industry. The financial industry sells about 10% of this debt to the Federal Reserve. Via fractional reserve banking, the financial industry creates the remaining 90% of the money required to purchase the remaining Treasury debt.

The Federal government cannot default on its debt. They can always print new bonds and Federal Reserve Notes to refinance the debt. Most new money is created electronically. New physical Federal Reserve Notes are also introduced for sufficient circulating physical money.

True inflation is 20%-30%, but yield on Treasury debt is only a couple percent. Why do banks buy Treasury debt? The answer is "leverage". Banks borrow at the Fed Funds Rate, currently 0%-0.25%, and buy Treasury debt, yielding 0.5%-4%. When banks speculate in Treasury debt, they use leverage ratios of 100x or more. Suppose the Fed Funds Rate is 0.25% and long term Treasury debt yields 3.25%. That's a profit of 3% * 100x leverage, for a profit of 300%! That's how the banksters make a profit almost every day.

Further, Treasury yields have been crashing as the Federal Reserve keeps the Fed Funds Rate at 0%-0.25%. When the yield of a bond decreases, the price increases. For a 10 year bond, if interest rates fall 1% then the price of the bond goes up approximately 10%. Suppose Treasury prices go up 10%, and the bank has 100x leverage. That's a profit of 1000%!

Via this "illicit interest arbitrage" trade, the banksters make huge profits while the rest of the country is stuck in a severe recession/depression. These profits aren't free. Productive workers pay the cost via inflation. You savings are eroded via inflation.

Via this "illicit interest arbitage" trade, the banksters don't care what real inflation is. They profit from borrowing at the Federal Reserve and lending at higher interest rates. They lend to the government, to corporations, to mortgages, or to individuals. Lending to the government is best, because that's riskless arbitrage.

The Treasury debt default does not happen all at once. It happens gradually via inflation. Suppose that Treasury yield is 3% while true inflation is 30%. Then, Treasury debt default occurs at a rate of approximately 2% per month. It's a gradual default and not an outright default.

The banksters buy Treasury debt due to their ability to use leverage. As an individual, you'd be an idiot to buy Treasury debt. You'll be ripped off by inflation. Foreign central banks, like China, are getting similarly scammed. Their Treasury debt investment is unleveraged.

Suppose the President went on TV and said "I'm cutting everyone's Social Security check by 20%!" There probably would be riots. Via inflation, the net effect is the same.

As long as the slaves are forced/conned into using Federal Reserve Notes as money, there will be no default on the national debt. The Federal government can always print new Treasury bonds to refinance the debt.

The banksters profit via huge leverage, borrowing at the Fed Funds Rate and buying Treasury debt. These profits are pure illicit interest arbitrage, at the expense of productive workers via inflation. That's how the banksters make huge profits while the rest of the economy is stuck in a recession/depression.

The Treasury debt default does not occur all at once. It occurs gradually via inflation. If inflation gets too high and there's hyperinflation, then the State extortion racket falls apart. To avoid subsidizing the State, you should keep your long-term savings in physical gold and silver.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Personal Seat Licenses

In their new stadium, the Jets and Giants are offering "personal seat licenses" (PSLs). A "personal seat license" is one of the biggest scams in sports.

Here's how I thought "personal seat licenses" worked, when I first heard of them. You pay $X for the seat license, and then you get tickets for $0 for a certain number of years. I thought it was a lump-sum payment, buying your tickets in advance.

Actually, the PSL merely gives you the right to buy tickets. You pay for the PSL *AND* you pay for the season tickets every year. If you don't buy the season tickets, you forfeit your PSL.

If you buy a PSL, it's like saying "I'm a sucker. Please rob me." What prevents the team from jacking up prices 15%+ per year, several years after you buy the PSL? What prevents the team from cutting back and losing, after you buy the PSL?

For a traditional "season tickets" arrangement, you get to keep your seats every year. You may move to better seats, when people don't renew their tickets. The "right to renew" has some value. That gives people an incentive to buy tickets, even when the team sucks.

As I mentioned before, a dutch auction is the best way to sell tickets. That should maximize profits for the seller. Right now, tickets are sold for a fixed price. If the price is too high, there are empty seats. If the price is too low, then there's an arbitrage opportunity for scalpers.

Unfortunately, there's no incentive for ticket sellers to change. Middlemen like Ticketmaster take a huge cut of every sale. It's probably cheaper to hire a few people to answer the phone, than to pay Ticketmaster's extortionate fees. It would be straightforward to write "dutch auction" ticket selling software. (I hope someone hasn't patented it!)

"Personal seat licenses" are a ripoff. Team owners are squeezing extra money out of gullible fans. You have to buy the PSL, *AND* buy each season's tickets, with no guarantee that the ticket price won't be jacked up.

"Best of FSK" - August 2010

I wrote a PHP script that parses my Google Analytics statistics. Now, I can make a list of my most popular posts per month.

In August 2010, my most popular posts by Absolute Unique Pageviews were:

  1. Did the USA Declare Bankruptcy? (353)
  2. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (337)
  3. Real GDP is Decreasing, 1990-2008 (279)
  4. The Pat Tillman Conspiracy Theory (218)
  5. Ruby on Rails Sucks! (200)
  6. Who's the Richest Man in the World? (178)
  7. The Hunt Brothers' Silver Corner (177)
  8. The Monetizing the Debt Scam (136)
  9. The Compound Interest Paradox (125)
  10. Premium Text Messaging Fraud - 91097 and 654654 (120)
  11. Got a Virus - Antivir Solution Pro (110)
  12. Verizon LG enV Touch, Bitpim, and Open Source (97)
  13. BMI/ASCAP/SESAC Legal Extortion Scam (91)
  14. Real GDP is Decreasing, 1990-2007 (87)
  15. Satanic Death Hospitals (85)
  16. The Gold Lease Rate is Negative! (82)
  17. Real GDP Is Crashing, 2000-2009 (80)
  18. The Five Levels of the Economy (77)
  19. The Federal Reserve Caused the Great Depression (76)
  20. Agorist Grilled Cheese Seller In NYC (66)
  21. The Black-Scholes Formula is Wrong! - Part 1/12 - Overview and Background (56)
  22. StackOverflow Sucks! (56)
  23. 1099 Reporting and Healthcare Reform (55)
Just counting posts published in August, the best were:
  1. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (337)
  2. Got a Virus - Antivir Solution Pro (110)
  3. BMI/ASCAP/SESAC Legal Extortion Scam (91)
  4. Agorist Grilled Cheese Seller In NYC (66)
  5. The Fallacy of Nullification (50)
  6. Free Keene Foolishness (48)
"The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement" got a boost from a reddit thread. I left some comments in the thread, but I rapidly remembered "Debating idiots on someone else's forum is a waste of time." With Reddit, you get a lot of traffic in a short period of time, but not much after that. If you miss the first few hours after the item is posted, you've missed most of the traffic.

I also notice that some social networking sites are discussing my blog. However, due to the way they work, I don't get to see the specific referring source. The link is usually something like, but the part after '?' isn't recorded by Google Analytics.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Parking Ticket Death Penalty

In the USA, the penalty for an unpaid parking ticket is death. A pro-State troll says "That's silly." Consider what happens if you don't pay a parking ticket.

Suppose you ignore the parking ticket. The judge will make a default judgement against you, and order the police to steal your car. Alternatively, suppose you go to court, contest the ticket, lose, and refuse to pay the fine.

You refuse to pay the parking ticket, and the State thugs have a judgement against you. The State police have a piece of paper that says they may steal your car. The police see you driving, order you to stop, and attempt to steal you car. Suppose you say "WTF? That's my car!" You have a gun and try to defend your property. The police will shoot and kill you.

If you have an unpaid parking ticket and offer maximum resistance, then the police will murder you. The penalty for an unpaid parking ticket is death, *UNLESS* you compromise and accept a lesser penalty. Most people will pay the ticket. That's better than losing your car or your life.

The penalty for disobeying the State is *ALWAYS* death, unless you compromise and accept a lesser penalty. Every day you make compromises, allowing the State to steal your labor and your savings. You aren't explicitly murdered/kidnapped, but a huge chunk of your life is stolen. The threat of kidnapping keeps most of the slaves in line.

If I told my wage slave employer, "I don't want you withholding taxes from my paycheck. I don't want you reporting this transaction to the IRS.", then he would laugh at me. He's not risking going to jail. Most businesses comply with State economic terrorism. This enables State parasites to spend a lot of resources tracking down and kidnapping people who resist.

The phony State legal system plays an important role. This provides an illusion of legitimacy. The State thugs say "I'm just following orders. I'm just doing my job. If this was wrong, then the judge wouldn't have ordered me to do it."

As another example, "resisting arrest" or "running away from a policeman" is a capital crime. If you do such a thing, the policeman can execute you on the spot, and the State legal system will refuse to prosecute the State policeman for murder. Victor Steen suffered the death penalty for runing away from a policeman, and the policeman was not convicted of a crime. Oscar Grant was murdered for "resisting arrest", and the policeman was only convicted of manslaughter. In the USA, "resisting arrest" or "running away from a policeman" is a capital crime, if the policeman decides to impose it.

Every law and tax is backed by violence. You only notice the gun when you resist. If you offer maximum resistance, even for a minor offense, then State thugs will murder you.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Medicare Favors Dishonest Doctors

Someone pointed out a flaw in Medicare. For an honest doctor, Medicare is a lousy deal. The fees per Medicare patient are too low. However, a dishonest doctor can make a lot of money off Medicare!

Suppose Medicare specifies a payment of $X per patient. The profit-maximizing strategy is for the doctor to see as many patients as possible in a short period of time. The goal is not to maximize quality of medical care, but to minimize time spent per patient.

The overuse of prescription drugs facilitates this. The doctor is a drug dealer. The patient must see the doctor to get a prescription refill. Issuing a refill only takes the doctor a minute.

Medicare encourages abuse of tests. If a test for X is covered by Medicare, then the doctor gives a test for X.

Via the healthcare "reform" law, all private plans will operate similarly to Medicare. People are forced to enroll in a State-sanctioned plan. This makes it hard for a doctor to say "F*** insurance! I'm going back to straight cash for service!" If doctors do start dropping out of State plans, there will be a law making participation mandatory.

Medicare rewards dishonest doctors and penalizes honest doctors. A dishonest doctor milks the State for payments. An honest doctor earns a lousy return on his investment in his medical career.

The real problem with the healthcare system is the State/AMA licensing cartel for doctors. Hopefully, the reform will be such a disaster that people are forced to get healthcare in the counter-economy. I don't know any agorist doctors, but that may change as the State economy collapses. "Start a drug-free mental health treatment business!" is one of my agorist business ideas.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

An Example Of State Waste

This story was interesting. In mid-August, President Obama made a fundraising trip to Los Angeles. He raised approximately $2M for Democratic Congressional candidates.

However, the trip occurred during rush hour. Many commuters were inconvenienced. Roads were blocked to enable the President to travel quickly.

When the President travels, a large security team always accompanies. Local police earn overtime. Policemen in Los Angeles worked overtime, due to the visit.

The President earned a couple million dollars in campaign contributions. The cost of his security was *MUCH* more than that. Many commuters were inconvenienced.

The President always has a huge security team. This creates the illusion that the President is important. The reality is that the President is an interchangeable cog in the machinery of the State. He's just a figurehead, with no real power. If the President deviated from his brainwashing, he'd be Kennedy-ed.

It would have been cheaper to directly pay $2M to those candidates, rather than pay for the cost of the President's security and for the cost of inconveniencing people. However, that would be obviously too corrupt. Having the taxpayers pay for the security and inconvenience obfuscates the real cost.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Roger Clemens Indicted For Lying To Terrorists

Here's a fantasy news story:

In two unanimous votes, President Obama was impeached and removed from office for the crime of "lying to the American people". House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said "He promised that he would close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp within a year. There must be accountability when the President breaks his promises."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said "He originally promised to have all US troops out of Iraq by mid-2009. The current 'withdrawal' is a sham. There still are 50k US troops in Iraq, plus military contractors. Who does the President think he's fooling? It's 'obstruction of justice' when the President makes pathetically transparent lies. We had no choice but to remove him from office."

In other news, a Federal judge tossed Roger Clemens' perjury indictment, saying "It's none of the government's business whether Roger Clemens used steroids or not. Doesn't Congress have better things to do than question baseball players about steroids?"
That seems like a headline from bizarro universe.

There are two "justice" systems. There's one for State insiders and one for everyone else. It's OK for police to lie to you, but it's a serious crime to lie to the police.

It's OK for police to commit perjury. They usually get away with it or get a slap on the wrist. It's OK for politicians to lie and break campaign promises. The lying politician says "It's complicated. Circumstances change. We're smarter than you slaves." That reasoning leads to trillions of dollars in bailouts, even though most people object.

It isn't immoral to lie to someone, if they may kidnap and torture you based on your response. Unfortunately, State thugs think their authority is legitimate.

State police have no obligation to record their interrogation. The police take notes, and then testify/testily based on their notes. If you're interrogated for 3 hours and say one thing wrong, then the police will quote you out of context. That isn't applicable to Roger Clemens, but it's a common abuse of State power.

In State courtrooms, there's a written transcript but no video footage. Most judges resist cameras in the courtroom. Suppose every courtroom was videotaped and the footage were placed on the Internet. The slaves would be outraged, when they see how the "justice" system works. State parasites are hostile to publicly videotaped trials, because it would show how it's all a sham.

Roger Clemens' indictment is particularly stupid. Roger Clemens said "I didn't use steroids." Other people say "He did use steroids." That's all the evidence against him. That isn't proof.

By shaming Roger Clemens, State thugs say "Look at how awesome we are! Roger Clemens was a famous baseball player and now he's a criminal! See what happens when a slave disrespects us! Roger Clemens was a high-status slave, but he's still a slave just like everyone else!"

Professional sports leagues can and should ban steroids. "Roger Clemens took steroids!" should be a civil offense and not criminal. At the time, taking steroids wasn't against the baseball players' CBA.

I'm not a professional athlete. I should be able to take steroids if I want to. It would be a stupid thing to do because of negative side-effects. "Certain substances are banned!" is part of corrupt State law. Taking steroids isn't a crime, because you're only hurting yourself.

Professional athletes should not take steroids, when the league's rules forbid it. Breaking that contract is a civil offense and not criminal. The penalty for a steroid-taking athlete is whatever the league's rules say.

Professional sports leagues should ban steroids. Otherwise, steroid use is mandatory, due to the short-term benefit.

If you did a "drug approval study" for steroids looking at only 6-12 weeks, you might falsely conclude that steroids are beneficial. Steroids give a short-term boost, but have long-term negative side-effects. Most State pharmaceutical research only covers 6-12 weeks. This leads to the false conclusion that long-term harmful drugs are beneficial.

Why would anyone testify before Congress? Why would anyone talk to the FBI or police? If you say "X", and someone else says "not X", now you can be prosecuted for perjury?

"Swearing in as a witness" isn't a valid contract. If State thugs can show you lied, then they can prosecute you for perjury. What is the witness getting in exchange for testifying? For a contract to be valid, both parties need to contribute something.

"Roger Clemens used steroids!" is one of those issues that distract the slaves. People talk about Roger Clemens, instead of more important things.

I'm offended by Roger Clemens' perjury prosecution. Why should I pay the cost, via higher taxes?

There's a double standard for justice in the USA. State insiders may lie to you. It's a serious crime to lie to State insiders.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Steven Slater

Steven Slater was a flight attendant. He got into a fight with a rude passenger. He ran out of the airplane's emergency exit, while the airplane was in the gate.

There's one bit that has me puzzled. The mainstream media is portraying Steven Slater as a hero. I guess that's to contrast with Omar Thorton, a disgruntled person who murdered 8 coworkers after getting fired. Steven Slater didn't hurt anyone. It was a minor offense.

Steven Slater's only real offense is "He might have caused some flights to be delayed, by inappropriately using the emergency exit." That should be a civil offense and not criminal.

The mainstream media is portraying Steven Slater as a good guy. Look at this article. Notice the photo. Steven Slater is smiling. When the mainstream media wants to make someone look bad, they show a picture of the victim frowning. When the mainstream media wants to make someone look good, they show an airbrushed picture of him smiling. All the mainstream media pictures of Steven Slater show him smiling.

Many slaves are disgruntled. Steven Slater is portrayed as a hero. He was abused, but vented his frustrations in a harmless manner.

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