I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
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17-11-2013, 11:45 AM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(17-11-2013 10:01 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  The more you know, brought to you by Muffin mix, why make it yourself when you can buy it ready made in a tube?

Yabut. Where da fuq did my Gwynnies go? Angry

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17-11-2013, 12:29 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(17-11-2013 12:55 AM)frankksj Wrote:  
(16-11-2013 10:38 PM)BryanS Wrote:  I think it would also be helpful to explain more about what you mean by scalable then. When I think of something being called scalable, I think of it functioning similarly when you have more quantity. Using the environment example again, one company (if you call the company the autonomous unit) may not do any damage by polluting, but many companies independently making the same decision may.

I really mean it in the simple, obvious sense. Whenever I talk about how much the Hong Kong government provided it's people for only 12% of gdp, liberals counter "but Hong Kong is so small, it can't work in a place like the USA because is so much bigger, and so there's so many more layers of bureaucracy added." And I say "yes, you're right, and that's my point. If we followed the Constitution and left all the bureaucracy to the state level, each US state has roughly the population of Hong Kong, so they'd be able to run on a comparable level of efficiency. But once you move all the power to Washington to make decisions for all 50 states, it becomes unwieldy".

I'm actually more on your side than not. I think the federal level of government should stick with the enumerated powers in the Constitution and leave the rest to the states. However the bone I have to pick is with the generic claim that the sufficiency of a smaller autonomous unit can scale up in all cases. There is a reason the federal government has certain tasks by the Constitution--simply it would be the case that each autonomous unit (the individual states in the US Constitution) would not be able to efficiently carry out those tasks, or would do so in a way that would cause conflict among the states. There is a reason that the writers of the US Constitution listed powers out that are reserved for the federal level of government.

Quote:You keep bringing up environmental issues. But I don't see how this justifies the inefficiency of a monolithic central government. Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, etc., they're all small governments. Does that mean they don't need to worry about polluting their neighbors? Does that mean Switzerland can dump toxic chemicals in the rivers that flow into Germany, just because Switzerland and Germany have separate governments? Of course not. Whether, let's say, US social security was administered at the State level, or at the national level, has no effect whatsoever on whether California can pollute Nevada's water. So arguing because of water pollution between states we need to have Social Security administered at the national level is just plain silly. The US still has to deal with pollution between Canada and Mexico. Are you saying the only possible way to do it is to combine all 3 countries into 1 giant country? And if so, this CanAmerMex conglomerate could still pollute other countries, so, you're really arguing that because of pollution, we need 1 giant world government, and need every aspect of government, from driver's licenses to building code, administered by one inefficient, monolithic world body. I'm just saying "No, deal with environment issues separately, and have lean, small, efficient local governments that the people can manage more closely."

Your European example doesn't quite work here. Switzerland and Germany are sovereign countries, and they may by treaty agree on environmental controls. Within the US, these kinds of agreements cannot be made between individual states. You bring up examples such as water pollution in a river or stream where the source is more easily identified. Air pollution is a bit more difficult to pin down on particular sources. And the issue with environmental pollution is that the effects are cumulative. So while the impact of pollution by a region upwind or upstream may not rise to a level that is harmful, the cumulative effects from many parties may be.

The typical libertarian response to this is to resort to liability lawsuits, however this is completely impractical when the contributors are many and dispersed. I bring up the environment because I think this is one of those areas that requires federal oversight much like printing money, interstate commerce, foreign affairs, and military are federal responsibilities.


Quote:
(16-11-2013 10:38 PM)BryanS Wrote:  And this is not limited to the environment? Many parties individually decided to lend in the subprime mortgage market and created systemic risk to the whole economy.

Yes, and WHY is that? It's because everything was centralized with one giant national institution, Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, that set nationwide rules for lending. _IF_ there was no centralized control, all 50 states would have had their own systems, and worst case, a state would have brought itself down, but you couldn't have had the whole country fall. To me this is just one example proving why concentrating and centralizing power is so dangerous.

Fannie and Freddi were certainly a big part of the problem. I'll refer you to my post on the economic crisis here where I lay out the varied multiple parties responsible, including private banks. A large portion of the sub-prime loans were financed through investment bank issuance of CDOs, though Fannie and Freddi certainly played a similar role.
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid415716

A patchwork of lending and home finance standards would not necessarily be better. There were large differences in foreclosure rates among the various states and even within states. The last foreclosure crisis happened during the Great Depression, and in that time, the foreclosures took out large numbers of savings & loans community banks and caused large numbers to lose all their savings from their bank accounts. There was no central regulatory framework during the Great Depression, and the damage done was orders of magnitude bigger as a result. The FDIC and regulations of the banking system during this crisis worked--spectacularly well, actually. People did not lose their bank accounts, there were no bank runs, no deflationary panics seizing the country. While many people were hurt during the economic crisis by layoffs and lost income (as would happen during any slowdown), those most directly affected were borrowers who took on too much debt and investors in banks who issued too much risky debt.
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17-11-2013, 01:51 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(17-11-2013 11:45 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(17-11-2013 10:01 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  The more you know, brought to you by Muffin mix, why make it yourself when you can buy it ready made in a tube?

Yabut. Where da fuq did my Gwynnies go? Angry

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As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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17-11-2013, 01:52 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(17-11-2013 12:29 PM)BryanS Wrote:  I'm actually more on your side than not.

I also think we're in agreement and really just debating semantics because perhaps my sweeping claim was too broad. I was not disputing that some issues require a combined response, such as environment, and providing for a common defense. I was just trying to make the obvious point that when liberals say “of course Hong Kong can effectively take care of it's people effectively and efficiently with light taxation because they only have 7 million people to look after—the US has 300 million”, the obvious response is, as you said, that if the US would just follow the constitution like it's supposed to, we wouldn't have one monolithic entity trying to provide welfare 300m people, we'd have 50 states, each managing on average fewer people than in Hong Kong, thus each would, if properly implemented, be able to operate a welfare system as efficient and effective as Hong Kong.

My frustration is with liberals who say “The US cannot be nearly as efficient as these other countries because we have concentrated, centralized power” and I say “YES, EXACTLY!!!”, and the liberals say “So the solution is MORE concentrated, centralized power”, oblivious to how silly this sounds.

(17-11-2013 12:29 PM)BryanS Wrote:  The typical libertarian response to [these environmental concerns] is to resort to liability lawsuits, however this is completely impractical when the contributors are many and dispersed. I bring up the environment because I think this is one of those areas that requires federal oversight much like printing money, interstate commerce, foreign affairs, and military are federal responsibilities.

I do concede that the typical libertarian response on the environment, is ineffective, and that there needs to be some national, or better yet, global, agreement as to what is acceptable levels of pollution. Where I push back is when liberals point to this one case, and say THEREFORE, it applies in every case and we need centralized EVERYTHING.

The only I'll disagree with you on is printing money. Remember 'printing money' is nothing more than taking wealth from the people who currently are paid in or save in the currency being issued. It's a silent, undetectable way to confiscate wealth in secret, rather than transparently through taxation, and thus provides incredible power. Not even the President has that kind of power, to just issue $7 trillion out of thin air and confiscate it from the people without them knowing it. Also, remember the central banks are privately owned. And, from Forbes: when systems theorists compiled a database of 37 million companies and investors worldwide, and analyzed the ownership of all 43,060 transnational corporations, going past all the shells, up to the parent entities, they found that only 147 interlocking corporations own nearly half of all transnational corporations, and most of those 147 are.... the same companies that own the world's various central banks. And, they also own virtually all the mass media, allowing them to control the spread of information. Obviously, if YOU were given a printing press to make as many dollars as you wanted, and you were allowed to operate it in total secret, without any external audits, and without revealing how much you were printing or what you were spending it on, you would have incredible power, and fight vigorously to defend that power.

So, if I had the power to change one, and only one, thing in government, it would be to eliminate the special powers the central bank is given, and allow anybody (any bank) to issue currency (or use gold coins, etc.) and have competing currency systems with market exchange rates, and let the people choose to hold the currency that best preserves their wealth. Right now, anytime anybody tries to introduce an alternative medium of exchange, even gold coins, that are peacefully and voluntarily used to trade goods, those people are arrested (see for example the Liberty Dollar), because the Federal government vigorously defends the central bank's total monopoly, and the central bank in turn uses it's printing pay the government's bills (by buying up debt), so politicians can spend whatever having to tax and deal with pesky voter backlash.

(17-11-2013 12:29 PM)BryanS Wrote:  The FDIC and regulations of the banking system during this crisis worked--spectacularly well, actually. People did not lose their bank accounts, there were no bank runs, no deflationary panics seizing the country.

Here I strongly disagree. Yes, when the Fed printed $7 trillion and gave it to the banks it held off bank panics. But this didn't solve the problem. It merely postponed it, and, eventually it WILL come crashing down and the longer they postpone the inevitable, the worse the collapse will be. Lest this sound like 'sky is falling' lunacy, remember, the world has been cycling between fiat and representative currencies for 1,000 years. Fiat currencies have been tried 3,000 times. They never last more than 50 years, and the average life is 29 years. In every fiat cycle people insisted “This time it won't collapse, we'll be able to keep up the money printing indefinitely.” But, there's a 3000:0 track record. It ALWAYS fails. The US has already gone through the cycle 6 times since founding, and we're now 43 years into a 'fiat' cycle, and if you look at history you'll see nothing is different. It's being done the same way, for the same reason, and it's following the same course. So, to me, it's just naïve wishful thinking to believe that this unbroken cycle will miraculously stop repeating and we're never going to have a currency collapse.
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17-11-2013, 02:27 PM (This post was last modified: 17-11-2013 02:50 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(16-11-2013 04:59 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(16-11-2013 02:24 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  In the USA we do have States that are far more socialist...

I hate the way socialism, which is a morally justified position, gets perverted like this. Socialism/communism is a ban on private property, putting property under common ownership, in order to reduce coercion. Fine, it's moral because it's reciprocal; EVERYBODY is denied private property rights.

What you fail to appreciate Frank, is that Girly don't want shit. Dispossession is the end-state goal.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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17-11-2013, 02:31 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(17-11-2013 01:52 PM)frankksj Wrote:  The only I'll disagree with you on is printing money. Remember 'printing money' is nothing more than taking wealth from the people who currently are paid in or save in the currency being issued. It's a silent, undetectable way to confiscate wealth in secret, rather than transparently through taxation, and thus provides incredible power. Not even the President has that kind of power, to just issue $7 trillion out of thin air and confiscate it from the people without them knowing it. Also, remember the central banks are privately owned. And, from Forbes: when systems theorists compiled a database of 37 million companies and investors worldwide, and analyzed the ownership of all 43,060 transnational corporations, going past all the shells, up to the parent entities, they found that only 147 interlocking corporations own nearly half of all transnational corporations, and most of those 147 are.... the same companies that own the world's various central banks. And, they also own virtually all the mass media, allowing them to control the spread of information. Obviously, if YOU were given a printing press to make as many dollars as you wanted, and you were allowed to operate it in total secret, without any external audits, and without revealing how much you were printing or what you were spending it on, you would have incredible power, and fight vigorously to defend that power.

My point that the federal government needs to 'print money' was meant to be the more narrow point that the federal government needs to control the official coining and printing of notes. I was not intending to make a point about monetary policy--in the post I linked to, I made the point that 'too big to fail' has still not been addressed by any new regulations since the market crash. I think the concentration of influence large banks have over government monetary policy is the main reason this has not changed and the biggest systemic threat to the economy. My point was more that there can't be competing currencies within a nation, and therefore it is the federal government's responsibility to maintain that currency.

Quote:So, if I had the power to change one, and only one, thing in government, it would be to eliminate the special powers the central bank is given, and allow anybody (any bank) to issue currency (or use gold coins, etc.) and have competing currency systems with market exchange rates, and let the people choose to hold the currency that best preserves their wealth. Right now, anytime anybody tries to introduce an alternative medium of exchange, even gold coins, that are peacefully and voluntarily used to trade goods, those people are arrested (see for example the Liberty Dollar), because the Federal government vigorously defends the central bank's total monopoly, and the central bank in turn uses it's printing pay the government's bills (by buying up debt), so politicians can spend whatever having to tax and deal with pesky voter backlash.

Money can only have the value that all users of the currency agree that it has. The main reason for inclusion of this provision in the US Constitution was that the free for all policy you suggested was a miserable failure among the former colonies and new states. Not only did various states print notes, but more typically currency was established per bank--currency often came in the form of bank notes. Commerce was complicated since exchange rates between different bank notes required specialized skill and knowledge to manage ones finances, and picking the wrong bank could mean financial ruin if the bank failed. Your proposal could lead to 147 bank notes replacing government currencies. If what we have now is bad, what you propose could be much worse.

Quote:
(17-11-2013 12:29 PM)BryanS Wrote:  The FDIC and regulations of the banking system during this crisis worked--spectacularly well, actually. People did not lose their bank accounts, there were no bank runs, no deflationary panics seizing the country.

Here I strongly disagree. Yes, when the Fed printed $7 trillion and gave it to the banks it held off bank panics. But this didn't solve the problem. It merely postponed it, and, eventually it WILL come crashing down and the longer they postpone the inevitable, the worse the collapse will be. Lest this sound like 'sky is falling' lunacy, remember, the world has been cycling between fiat and representative currencies for 1,000 years. Fiat currencies have been tried 3,000 times. They never last more than 50 years, and the average life is 29 years. In every fiat cycle people insisted “This time it won't collapse, we'll be able to keep up the money printing indefinitely.” But, there's a 3000:0 track record. It ALWAYS fails. The US has already gone through the cycle 6 times since founding, and we're now 43 years into a 'fiat' cycle, and if you look at history you'll see nothing is different. It's being done the same way, for the same reason, and it's following the same course. So, to me, it's just naïve wishful thinking to believe that this unbroken cycle will miraculously stop repeating and we're never going to have a currency collapse.

Here I agree with you that the monetary policy is problematic. A solid case can be made that Greenspan's printing presses meant to ameliorate the dot com bust led directly to the real estate boom and bust, and that the perpetual printing now is only leading to another boom that we've yet to recognize how it will bust. But my point about regulations put in place from the Great Depression (FDIC in particular) still stands. Individuals did not lose their bank deposits like they did in the Great Depression. There was no panic runs on banks. That piece did work rather well.
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17-11-2013, 03:08 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(17-11-2013 02:31 PM)BryanS Wrote:  My point was more that there can't be competing currencies within a nation, and therefore it is the federal government's responsibility to maintain that currency.…

I understand 100 years ago it was a real problem having multiple currencies. But technology has largely solved this problem, imo. If you go to international finance centers, like Hong Kong and Switzerland, they do not have the same ban on competing currencies like the US does. You can open multi-currency bank accounts in any currency you want, your credit cards can be denominated in any currency, and many retailers let you pay in whatever currency you want, and the current exchange rate is automated.

Therefore, if the US adopted the same monetary policy as Switzerland, I don't see why it would lead to chaos in the US, while being hugely successful in Switzerland. Competing currencies forced the Swiss to maintain the value of the franc, because people had to agree to use it by choice.

Quote:Individuals did not lose their bank deposits like they did in the Great Depression. There was no panic runs on banks. That piece did work rather well.

We will see. It's true that under a fiat system like this you won't have nationwide bank runs, because the private banks own the central bank, and the central bank can print however much money the member banks needs. The banks CHOSE to let Lehman Brothers collapse, but they could have stopped it if they wanted to by hitting 'print'. However, let's check back in 10 years. My guess is the system will have collapsed by then, and people WILL lose their bank deposits, not because the currency isn't there (since the banks can print as much currency as they need) but rather due to high inflation. The current monetary policy the Fed is “experimenting” with has been tried many, many times. It always ends up with high inflation and a currency collapse. And thus people DO, in practical terms, lose their bank deposits. Whether you lose them because the bank has no currency, or because the currency is worthless, it's still a loss either way. I agree something needed to be done to stop bank runs, since all major depressions were caused by them. But I think full-reserve banking would have been a much better solution, than keeping the current ultra-high risk fractional-reserve system, and just giving the banks power to print as much money as they need when a run starts to occur.

If within the next 10 years it doesn't happen, and the current fiat currencies for the first time in history make it past 50 years, I'll be very, very happy to eat my words.
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17-11-2013, 03:19 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(17-11-2013 03:08 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(17-11-2013 02:31 PM)BryanS Wrote:  My point was more that there can't be competing currencies within a nation, and therefore it is the federal government's responsibility to maintain that currency.…

I understand 100 years ago it was a real problem having multiple currencies. But technology has largely solved this problem, imo. If you go to international finance centers, like Hong Kong and Switzerland, they do not have the same ban on competing currencies like the US does. You can open multi-currency bank accounts in any currency you want, your credit cards can be denominated in any currency, and many retailers let you pay in whatever currency you want, and the current exchange rate is automated.

Therefore, if the US adopted the same monetary policy as Switzerland, I don't see why it would lead to chaos in the US, while being hugely successful in Switzerland. Competing currencies forced the Swiss to maintain the value of the franc, because people had to agree to use it by choice.

Quote:Individuals did not lose their bank deposits like they did in the Great Depression. There was no panic runs on banks. That piece did work rather well.

We will see. It's true that under a fiat system like this you won't have nationwide bank runs, because the private banks own the central bank, and the central bank can print however much money the member banks needs. The banks CHOSE to let Lehman Brothers collapse, but they could have stopped it if they wanted to by hitting 'print'. However, let's check back in 10 years. My guess is the system will have collapsed by then, and people WILL lose their bank deposits, not because the currency isn't there (since the banks can print as much currency as they need) but rather due to high inflation. The current monetary policy the Fed is “experimenting” with has been tried many, many times. It always ends up with high inflation and a currency collapse. And thus people DO, in practical terms, lose their bank deposits. Whether you lose them because the bank has no currency, or because the currency is worthless, it's still a loss either way. I agree something needed to be done to stop bank runs, since all major depressions were caused by them. But I think full-reserve banking would have been a much better solution, than keeping the current ultra-high risk fractional-reserve system, and just giving the banks power to print as much money as they need when a run starts to occur.

If within the next 10 years it doesn't happen, and the current fiat currencies for the first time in history make it past 50 years, I'll be very, very happy to eat my words.

It was the FDIC(federal deposit insurance corp), not monetary policy, that prevented bank runs.
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17-11-2013, 09:01 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
This thread got me reading.

Dammit!

FYI, here is something that accurately reflects what I see and hear when I visit HK:

http://www.welfareasia.org/5thconference...0Model.pdf

Summary: HK system is far from perfect but it's not bad.

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17-11-2013, 10:00 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(17-11-2013 09:01 PM)DLJ Wrote:  http://www.welfareasia.org/5thconference...0Model.pdf

That's a great link. Another on the Swiss welfare system: "In one critical respect [Switzerland] has achieved what the United States and European nations traditionally defined as welfare states have not: It has all but eliminated 'welfare dependency,' or intergenerational poverty, and it has done this in a strikingly different manner than other developed societies.... it shapes policies to encourage self-sufficiency and to prevent the development of dependent people in its population."

IF the US left welfare to the states, as mandated by the constitution, then some states could try the Hong Kong model, others the Swiss model, the more liberal states could have welfare similar to Sweden or Denmark, and so on. There'd be 50 competing welfare systems, each one trying new angles and approaches to stay ahead of the neighbors. Instead, we have one single monolithic centralized system in Washington that never changes and never adapts. Liberals will _SAY_ that Libertarians don't care about the poor and providing welfare. But it's the opposite. We care about finding a way to do it right. Right now the US government spends almost 40% of gdp, vs 49% in Sweden, which, even by European standards is considered extremely high. Something is very wrong when the US spends nearly as much as Sweden, and yet Sweden has a cradle-to-grave safety net and the US has none, and Switzerland does an even better job than Sweden with even less money than the US spends. Alas, with one giant system and no competition, as is true with all monopolies, things will never change.
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