Dumbest (uncorrected) Choices in American History: Shortlist

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My list of REALLY STUPID CHOICES made in American history; just a short-list I am afraid:

Diet Food” that is more chemicals than food

Having the Soviet Union an “ally” in WWII – better to have let them go it alone; email for full argument

The Electoral College in the Age of Communication; direct election of all offices should be the norm; Political Parties are OBSOLETE and COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE

Public Sector Unions

Adding “under God” to the Pledge making it a point of division instead of unity

Lotus and Apple’s Patent-the-Universe Syndrome making the courts accept patents on things never meant for patent

Failing to live up to Dr. King’s vision and refusing to stop being prejudiced regarding race

Private campaign donations of any kind other than labor

Campaign donations by businesses

Supreme Court deciding that money= a right to a louder voice for YOUR ‘free speech

Dropping the no-partisanship requirements for radio talk-shows and ‘interview’ programs

Letting Lawyers advertise

Supreme Court declaring that nothing of value is earned by the recipient of a military award or decoration

Women’s, Chicano, Black “Studies” propping up people selected, distorted and lionized with blatant prejudice; taking away self-respect while pretending to help by ‘giving the poor things a hand’, and White Studies designed to rip on Western Culture for the same purpose – removing its self-respect – it seems non-whites are too dumb or clueless to run their own lives or stand up to whites and that whites are just intrinsically demonic – welcome to the enlightened world of PC education

Failing to settle on the point in a pregnancy where a woman’s choice is MADE and she must be held responsible for an infant rather than a piece of owned tissue. (6 month preemies regularly survive today and the Radical Right’s agenda on abortion would make women all but chattel)

Worrying more about which consenting adults, what age, color or how many may legally get ‘married’; ignoring the concept of duty, honor and responsibility anyone brings to their marriages

Bilingual Education as a policy

Helmets, knee and elbow-pads for tricycle riders

Peer promotion in school

Affirmative Action after 1990 – where was the transition to color-blind government?

Worrying more about what actual people have DONE with their guns than trying to get law-abiding folk to not have any at all

Electing Andrew Jackson, Jimmy Carter, George W., and Obama

Forgetting that ALL countries do best with immigrants if they pick from the TOP of the pile instead of the bottom

Paying a private group to print/coin money like a product to be bought forgetting that money has no ‘intrinsic’ value’; dollars are just counters for the economic game; increasing or decreasing the supply by fiat to ACCURATELY reflect the production/wealth of a nation is the ONLY reason when deciding when or if to print more money, or let the cash pool contract

Deciding that political consensus and no working model or scientific theory that has been tested is sufficient when making decisions in haste that could wreck the world’s entire economy/infrastructure; in the 70’s it was the next Ice Age that was imminent… no models then either

Making an “eco-friendly” light-bulb containing hazardous amounts of mercury

Adults stealing Halloween from the children and making it another grown-ups party holiday

The Writer’s Strike

ANY serious university or college that “emphasized” sports to make money and enabled ‘tails’ that can wag Great Danes with ease

Economics 001 a Remedial Course for Modern Monetary Morons

Economics is more than just money

Today there seem to be few people, let alone economists, who actually seem to grasp the basic  ideas of monetary theory upon which they build their roads to whatever fantasy land their prejudices predispose them to believe in. Economists pronounce, politicians spout and pundits pund but, how many of them really grasp, and apply, a basic understanding of what money is; how many have a clue how far everyone has strayed from reality?

Come Virginia, let us begin at the beginning; what is the difference between coinage historically (which is not like coinage in the modern world) and paper “monies“, and just what money really is.

I will be analyzing monetary theory without being bound by any politically oriented school of “economics“, instead I will attempt to put money in the same light that Newton put moving objects; money follows laws that do not respect any political need or opinion and I hope to merely describe what it is and what it is not irrespective of what anyone wants it to be.

Let’s start with coinage, a concept that still holds its place at the head of the parade despite vanishing as a concept by the 1970’s.

Historically, coins were what people now mostly think “money” should be, a portable piece of actual wealth, something “worth” just what its face declares. Don’t forget though that all value is relative, if no-one wants gold, it is “worth” little, if they crave it, it is worth a lot.
Cash monies on the gold standard promised payment in hard coin with value of its own.

At first glance this seems a good system, though it does carry hidden “costs.” If the gold or silver or copper in a coin is “worth” exactly its face value the person or group who minted that coin will lose the amount of “value” (manpower and resources) represented by the minting of the coin from bullion.  No matter how cheaply a chunk of bullion quality metal is turned into coinage that amount of value will be lost to the minter if they receive the “face” value in goods or services in return for their shiny, new coins.

This does not change with banknotes; printing costs plus the cost of the raw materials simply replaces the minting costs; remember, the raw material of a coin is the value of the coin.

For a long time banknotes represented actual bullion in a vault, or somewhere in the control of the issuer of the note, while coins represented actual wealth themselves. But, the ability of coiners to debase the metals they used producing coins “worth” less than their face value, and the fact that not all promissory notes represented an honest promise of actual coinage made the system far from perfect.

Enter “fiat” money. Bitterly fought, this is what “money” is supposed to be, though the transition is far from over globally and nationally.

A “currency” based on the exchange of gold and silver etc. is not in fact a real monetary system, it is barely one step up from barter. In barter or specie based economies not only must a person, or society, have the wealth and productivity to fill their own basic needs, they need to accumulate extra goods (coinage) simply to be able to participate in the system that provides those basic needs and services. Then they must accumulate even more if they wish to enjoy a level of “comfort” far below what is consonant with their current efforts to add productivity and wealth to their communities.

Barter ecomonies belong to an uncivilized past. Coinage was a simple, brute force answer to the problem of trusting someone when you have no way of enforcing that trust. Cash on the barrelhead as they said. Hopefully we have grown a bit beyond that, at least in the Western (civilized, modern) world.

Here is the bombshell Virginia, it is so simple that the “intelligentsia” just can’t get it: In a civilized society the function of money is to serve as counters in the games of economics, nothing more, nothing less. Money is not a commodity as it has no value of its own. Money is supposed to represent the wealth and productivity of the issuer only, not to be “worth” anything at all on its own!

Ideally, if a government wanted a bridge built and had the spare raw materials and manpower to build it, all the gov needs to do is print the right amount of money, and pay for a new road.

They do not make anything appear by doing so, they do not cause “inflation”, they just tossed counters in the game that were needed to let the players turn raw materials and idle bodies into a bridge thus creating wealth, not diminishing it! Or not creating as such, but acknowledging, since keeping the money level in balance with the national productivity is the whole goal.

Ideally, within a nation, it should be practical to pay each citizen with new, non-inflated money in tune with any growth in GDP, just like dividends to stockholders in a corporation. Infrastructure improvements (bridges, roads, universities and research facilities, etc.) would only be “unaffordable” if they used so many resources or manpower that they caused a significant rise in prices and wages in the private sector; wouldn’t that be so terrible, we couldn’t build a road one year because there was no unemployment and people were selling what they made as fast as they could make it!

Practically, especially with the current rats nest of insanity that we call economics worldwide, that kind of system would be almost impossible to implement; more the shame on us for letting things get so messed up.

Simply put, we should not be borrowing the money the government has the sole right to print/mint and regulate!!! The amount of dollars in circulation is supposed to be enough, theoretically, to buy all the goods and services produced this year, instead we treat money as though it is coinage and create a pre-broken system that invites inflation, deflation and puts everyone at the mercy of molehill booms and mountains busts.

Ads for gold investment surge

I guess this is to be expected from a profit driven company; it has now become crystal clear even to gold investors that the new gold is about to be silver.

1st datum: silver, without discovery and development of major new deposits, is a “mined out” resource; for the most part all the minable silver is either out of the ground or fully developed mines.

2nd datum: several completely new technologies have created new demands for the metal that are unlikely to do anything but grow.

Now add the data together:

D1 + D2 = silver or silver futures bought now are almost certain, barring the collapse of worldwide civilization, to go up, up, up.
Just about the only “trick” will be deciding how far past a peak price you want to ride before you admit it has peaked.

People who get in the game now, before it starts to surge, can give it to their grandkids as a bulletproof legacy; the *value* of silver will never again be this low!

This has to be one of the most no-brainer investment decisions in over a decade, if you get in the game NOW!

Heretical Thoughts Of The Day

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What is money? To most people money is wealth, it is what they think of as the end result of time, labor and ingenuity.  In the view of conventional wisdom money is to the economy as steel ingots are to a steel mill; the result and end purpose of the institution.

Conventional wisdom, the public and virtually every "economist" making their livings by distorting reality to conform to political visions are wrong. Money is none of that. Wealth consists of the things we produce that last and can be traded amongst ourselves or that enhance the ease of trading or the quality of life for all (ie. roads, bridges, parks, hospitals, schools, etc.).

While services are a vital component of a truly modern economy (see CIA World Factbook for percentages of GDP invested in services in 1st, 2nd and third world countries.), it is only those parts of the economy that *create* lasting goods or universal public services (ie. not ones used only by certain segments of the population and no others.) that truly add to the wealth of a nation.

Yes Virginia, money is not wealth, wealth is only some of what money can buy.  But then what is money?  Money is the set of tokens we use to keep track of who owes what to who. It is also can be seen as a token set for power, but that is secondary and dependent in the long term on how much real wealth is behind a particular collection of tokens.  Money is not wealth, wealth is wealth and forgetting the difference is the only real reason the economists cannot ever seem to agree on what works and what does not.

How does a country raise its wealth without major inflation? Not by simply running the printing presses; wealth must be created to back those new tokens or the "value" of the all of the tokens diminishes.  What needs to be done is to simply decide what things we want to raise our national wealth with, then do it.

I hear gasps of outrage from all sides already, but I stand behind my statement.  If you build it, they will come. 

The bottom line is that if you want to help the economy you need to spend money on things that are still there next year, and the year after that, and the decade after that.  The more spent on paper shuffling zeros and administrative overhead, or services that vanish as soon as they are provided the less wealth and the more inflation we will have.

It is that simple people, go get on your pols about it!

Marx was an overeducated fool


(HH: This wonderful analysis of the prime flaw of socialism and communism is anonymous from the internet.)
An economics professor at Texas Tech said he had never failed a single student before but had, once, failed an entire class.

This particular class had insisted that socialism really worked: no one would be poor and no one would be rich, everything would be equal and ‘fair’. The professor then said “Okay, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism. Instead of money, we’ll use your grades.”

All grades were to be averaged and thus would be “fair”. This meant that everyone would receive the same grade, which meant that no one would fail. It also meant, of course, that no one would receive an A…
– – – – – – – – –
After the first test the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who had studied hard were upset, but the students who had goofed off were quite happy with the outcome.

As the second test rolled around, the slackers studied even less now – they knew they’d get a good grade anyhow. Those who’d studied hard in the beginning now decided they wanted a free ride too. Thus, going against their own inclinations, they copied the slackers’ habits. As a result, the second test average was a D.

No one was happy.

By the time the third test had been graded, the average was an F.

The scores never increased but bickering, blame, and name calling began to be the environment in which this class operated. It had been their own quest for “fairness” which had led to this unintended result of hard feelings and grievances. In the end, no one was willing to study just for the benefit of everyone else. Therefore, all the students failed…to their great surprise.

The professor explained that their experiment with socialism failed because it was based on the least effort by all. Laziness and resentment were the outcome. There would always be failure in the situation they’d agreed to in the beginning.

“When the reward is great”, he said, “the effort to succeed is great, at least for some. But when government takes all the reward away by taking from some without their consent and giving to others without their effort, then failure is inevitable”.