Peter Schiff comments on third party ballot access

Peter Schiff has become an Internet and Youtube sensation recently because of recent economic conditions supposedly (according to his fans) vindicating his opinions on the state of the economy. This video, called Peter Schiff was Right, has racked up 1.2 million views. There is currently an effort under way by libertarians from California to draft Peter Schiff into running for US Senate in Connecticut against Chris Dodd. Schiff has, in recent days, been a guest on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s internet TV show, hosted on Foxnews’ website. Today, Judge Andrew Napolitano and Peter Schiff spoke with Rand Paul, Ron Paul’s eldest son, about the possibility of him running for US Senate in Kentucky. Rand Paul was very specific concerning the conditions under which he would run, and that he would run as a Republican. However, Schiff had this to say:

The problem is, you know, trying to go the route of the third party, where he [Rand Paul] maybe would find more philosophical alignment with a Libertarian, is that the Democrats and Republicans have it so stacked against a third party candidate, and the media plays right into it unfortunately, is the only chance you really have is to get into one of these two parties. You’ve got to find the one that’s least objectionable and run in it.

It has been rumored that if either Peter Schiff or Rand Paul run for US Senate in their respective states, they will each recieve cross-endorsements from multiple third-parties, perhaps because of their positions on ballot access issues.

111 thoughts on “Peter Schiff comments on third party ballot access

  1. Eric Dondero

    It must be really painful for you third-party partisans, to see the two most hopeful libertarians in the Nation for 2010, planning to run as Republicans.

    Look, Libertarian Republican blog just penned an editorial urging all Republicans in St. Louis to back the Libertarian Party candidate for Mayor.

    Why is this always a one-way street? It’s okay for us Libertarian Republicans to urge our GOP friends to back the LP, but you NEVER!!! see partisan LPers backing Republicans. All we get these days is Dan Ferguson at LPHQ bending over backwards to find some reason to bash Republicans in his press releases.

    Hey boys and girls, politics is a two-way street. You want our help, than help us on occasion.

  2. Idaho

    Perhaps the “one-way street” has to do with which party insists on the integrity of following the US Constitution.
    I would happily vote for a democrat or republican who I believed would simply keep the oath they swear upon taking office.

  3. George Phillies

    Eric Dondero writes

    “but you NEVER!!! see partisan LPers backing Republicans. ”

    With all respect, Eric, I distinctly remember the Libertarian National Committee voting to divert party resources to support a Republican Dixiecrat, Ron Paul. That was a gross breach of fiduciary responsibility on their part. But they did try to support him, more effectively than they supported in the same time period any of their own candidates.

  4. Jim Davidson

    George, I find the label “Republican Dixiecrat” for Ron Paul to be confusing. Dixiecrats were racist Democrats, to the best of my recollection.

    A very sound case can be made for “Dixiecrat” as a label for, say, Bob Barr. Barr was clearly a conservative Republican at the time he received the LP’s nomination.

    Perhaps you could explain your use of this term as applied to Ron.

    I do agree with your comment’s main point, though. A great many libertarians, including many LP partisans and some BTP partisans, worked very hard to see if we could help Ron Paul win the GOP nomination. On the whole, I think he would have been a more liberty-oriented candidate than John McCain.

  5. Trent Hill Post author

    “People who find Schiff’s economic claims to be of interest would be well advised to read the analysis of them by Mish Shedlock”

    Mish’s comments have nothing to do with Schiff’s macro predictions of the market, but with his ability to earn money for his investors. Mish’s comments are all fine and dandy, but Schiff’s strategy is to protect clients from the collapse of the dollar–so his strategy hasnt run it’s full course yet, and therefore cannot be fairly judged. It’d be like if the Bulls played the Hornets, and I said the Hornets could win–and then they played and George Phillies said halfway through the game, “See, the Hornets are losing by 5 points. You are wrong.”
    No, im not. The game isnt over, nor has the timetable for Schiff’s predictions reached it’s conclusions.

    http://www.takimag.com/site/article/has_the_schiff_hit_the_fan/

    While Mish is in the business of making short term profits for his clients, Schiff is in the business of protecting clients from financial collapse. These are teo VERY different investment strategies. Let us hope the major Austrian finance guys will stop sniping at each other.

  6. Steven R Linnabary

    It’s okay for us Libertarian Republicans to urge our GOP friends to back the LP, but you NEVER!!! see partisan LPers backing Republicans.

    Eric, you DO see Libertarians supporting some democrats and republicans. Certainly not many, as there are so few dems and repubs that understand economics.

    Here in Ohio, one libertarian has decided to run for US Congress again, but this time as a dem.

    http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2009/03/01/mbrf01_ART_03-01-09_B5_UDD2TRQ.html

    (you have to scroll down to the 4th or 5th story)

    But you are talking apples and oranges. You NEVER see the official repubs endorsing a Libertarian, even when they have no candidate on the ballot. Recall the election last year when DeLay was forced out in disgrace. Only a Libertarian was on the ballot to oppose a big spending democrat. Where were the repubs then? Silent, sat it out.

    Of course the LNC does not endorse candidates of other parties. But individual Libertarians DO support many repubs and dems. Ron Paul comes to mind. And David Krikorian will get significant support from Libertarians in his dem primary run. But he will NOT get the official LPO endorsement.

    PEACE

  7. robert capozzi

    trent, money managers are held to a pretty straight forward metric…annual and multi-year returns. just because he got macro calls right doesn’t mean he’s a good manager. not only does gold have limited value as a financial instrument, but to the extent it IS a good instrument, good managers know when to buy and sell. even with his call on the market, perhaps S&P puts, or pork bellies, or something else would have been the superior play.

  8. Trent Hill Post author

    Robert,

    I agree that insofar as value is placed on annual or multi-year returns, Peter Schiff has not done very well recently. However, he himself has said that he is hedging against a long-term collapse of the dollar, not trying to make a few bucks in the coming year. Besides, Mish’s article is entitled “Peter Schiff was Wrong”, the exact opposite of the “Peter Schiff was Right!” video on youytube, which concerns his macro statements.

  9. robert capozzi

    trent, yes, the critique may be unfair. still, any time a money manager says I won’t be measured annually, my BS meter goes off. it’s a rather common dodge. he could call peaks and valleys that would BETTER preserve K. still, we’ll see how his 2 and 3 year returns are…

  10. G.E.

    Why annually? Why not monthly? Why not daily? How about minute-by-minute?

    Robert Capozzi thinks HIS time horizon is “the right” one. Well, no one died and made you Financial Czar.

  11. robert capozzi

    ge, well,no, actually. I repeat widely accepted convention for a financial metric. maybe schiff’s clients are getting superior returns, maybe not.

    I admit to being skeptical, as goldbugs were saying similar things in the 70s as schiff does, and that didn’t work out too well.

    but all the best to him and them, and you! he’s certainly a phenomenon.

  12. George Phillies

    Jim,

    I call your attention to the Ron Paul Survival Report and its contents, which were vilely racist, and which Ron Paul was advancing the absurd claim that he did not know its contents, even though he had previously said the contrary.

    Paul also, with respect to defending abortion rights, starts advancing the notion that the issue should be handed over to the states. However, the 14th amendment makes clear that all Federal rights are binding on the states, unless of course you are a Dixiecrat states rights advocate.

    Paul furthermore has made clear that he believes that when the Constitution ahd his holy book conflict, the Constitution is invalid, which is an inadmissable person in a Federal officer, someone sworn to defe4nd and protect the constitution.

    His position on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was also unambiguous, and not at all libertarian, but lined up just fine with dixiecrat bigotry.

    He’s a Dixiecrat–they call themselves “Republicans” these days, but other than that, he’s a Dixiecrat.

    And, the repeat one of the occasional right statements from Tom Knapp, Dixiecrats are not Libertarians.

  13. G.E.

    I admit to being skeptical, as goldbugs were saying similar things in the 70s as schiff does, and that didn’t work out too well.

    Do you really need me to enumerate the differences between the late 70s and today?

    Let me just give you one: Ben Bernanke is NOT going to do what Paul Volcker did. He’s going to do the opposite. If Alan Greenspan were named Fed Chairman instead of Volcker, we would not be here today.

  14. G.E.

    Conventional? Who cares. Schiff’s clients aren’t conventional investors looking for conventional services. Everyone’s time horizon is different. In the long-run, the dollar is going to $0 and gold, as measured in dollars, is thus going to infinite.

  15. G.E.

    The 14th amendment wasn’t ratified, George. No one with any knowledge disputes this. Of course, to a national-socialist like you, that doesn’t matter. The Union uber alles!

    I’d like to see this quote where Paul says he puts the Bible over the Constitution.

    The newsletters? Old news. And I didn’t read anything that was “vilely racist.” Just not very sensitive. Go cry on Big Brother’s shoulder.

  16. G.E.

    But, George, evidently, with the ascension of Bob Barr to the nomination, some Libertarians are Dixiecrats.

    And some “Libertarians” — including ones endorsed by the Boston Tea Party — are hardcore statists.

  17. Leymann Feldenstein

    The LP has become the Dixiecrat Party, and the Dixiecrats in the Republican Party want the Dixiecrats in the LP to become Republicans.

    LP radicals/anarchists would be better served if they aligned with antiwar/pro-civil liberties Democrats or, even better, forge an alliance with Greens. Cynthia McKinney has more in common with radicals/anarchists than Barr, Root & Paul. The statist Dixiecrats like Barr, Root & Paul can go back to where they came from; the Republican Party.

    The LP should go out of business.

  18. Darryl W. Perry

    “LP radicals/anarchists would be better served if they aligned with antiwar/pro-civil liberties Democrats ”

    WHAT?!? The Dems and Greens are the complete opposite of libertarian/anarchist on economic policy. The USA NEEDS 4 or more “major parties”

  19. Steven R Linnabary

    LP radicals/anarchists would be better served if they aligned with antiwar/pro-civil liberties Democrats

    OK, I’ll bite. Where is this “antiwar/pro-civil liberties democrat”?

    Libertarians would NOT be better served by aligning with democrats. Only democrats would be served.

    PEACE

  20. Robert Capozzi

    GE, hey, that’s cool. If Schiff’s clients don’t care about annual returns, that’s their business. If Schiff doesn’t call short turn moves in gold, that’s an approach.

    You may be right about Bernake not shifting from a Burns to a Volcker approach. I’m not sure what he’ll do when easing starts to lead to price inflation. My impression — though I’m not a Fed watcher — is that much of the Board is monetarist, so when things begin to shift and recovery happens, they’ll start restricting money supply.

    But, as a Hayekian, I’m humble enough to say I don’t know where we’re heading…could be Zimbabwe, could be Weimar, could be more like the early 80s. At the moment, I’m short the market, but watching for a turn.

  21. Susan Hogarth

    Where is this “antiwar/pro-civil liberties democrat”?

    They’re about as easy to find as antiwar, pro-civil liberties Republicans 🙂

    Libertarians would NOT be better served by aligning with democrats.

    My goal is to identify and inspire *libertarians*. Right now, there are many libertarians registered as D and R (and unaffiliated, and a few Green, etc.), and I sure want to bring them on board with the LP.

    But as for political alliances, I do think we should join (or create if there are none) single-issue alliances regardless of who ‘sponsors’ them. The problem is that most groups who create alliances have trouble focusing, and want an ‘antiwar’ alliance, for instance, to include ‘economic justice’ issues. Libertarians – and the LP – could do a lot of good by proposing/fostering TRUE single-issue alliances.

    Examples:
    anti-fed
    end the [sales, income, sin, etc.] tax
    end prohibition
    increase school choice
    end the wars/invasions/occupations/empire
    initiative and referendum (maybe)
    TABOR (maybe)

  22. robert capozzi

    susan, these “libertarians” who are not registered L…is it your sense that they are L in your book, or fellow travelers like you consider me to be 😉

  23. Gene Trosper

    @29

    I am doing exactly that, Susan.

    Here in sunny California, a tax revolt is brewing and I’m helping to stoke the fire. I created http://www.californiarevolution.com and am helping organize our participation in a massive tax revolt protest tomorrow in Fullerton. The Seebecks are in on this as well. Honestly, if it weren’t for them, this plan would have been more difficult to get off the ground.

    I am taking today off work so I can update the website and prepare for the rally.

    I absolutely believe in being focused. I have preached that for YEARS, but it mostly falls on deaf ears. I’ll tell you what though: staying focused WORKS.

  24. G.E.

    You may be right about Bernake not shifting from a Burns to a Volcker approach. I’m not sure what he’ll do when easing starts to lead to price inflation. My impression — though I’m not a Fed watcher — is that much of the Board is monetarist, so when things begin to shift and recovery happens, they’ll start restricting money supply.

    I “might be right”? Yeah, I guess I “might” be wrong — but there’s no evidence to suggest I could be and mountains and mountains saying I’m right. And it’s precisely because Bernanke and the Fed believe the evil Milton Friedman’s idiotic theory of the Great Depression — that the Fed did not inflate enough. They’re not going to hike rates, ever, no matter what, until there’s no more pain. And that isn’t going to happen until they hike rates. Catch-22.

    And “restricting the money supply” is not an option at all. M-zero has already been expanded to such proportions, nothing’s gonna call it in now. As soon as it makes its way through the economy, the dollar is sunk.

    Schiff’s clients haven’t lost money unless they’ve sold. You should know that. But I also don’t need an investment advisor to tell me the obvious truths that Peter Schiff is selling.

    As for being short the market: be careful. When the inflationary tsunami hits, it’s going to be hard to make money on the short side, even.

  25. Trent Hill

    “the evil Milton Friedman’s ”

    There you go again. At the end of the last debate, you conceded Friedman himself wasn’t evil, only that his ideas were. At least stick to what you’ve admitted you’re wrong about.

  26. G.E.

    At least stick to what you’ve admitted you’re wrong about.

    What fun would that be?

  27. robert capozzi

    ge, yours is a novel theory. portfolios are as a matter of course marked to market. you can challenge that, but I’d be very surprised if schiff himself didn’t mark his portfolios to market. if he doesn’t, I suspect he’d be opening himself up to fraud charges. some of his clients may well sometimes sell, after all.

    please don’t take this personally, but your views on this subject seem uninformed. do you have a finance background?

  28. robert capozzi

    ge, also, i’m under the impression that friedman’s thesis is different. along with protectionism and spending, friedman said the 20s monetary regime was too loose, and that in the 30s it contracted too much and too fast.

    understannding is the way to truth. laboring under false assumptions…not so much.

  29. Trent Hill

    “The ideas in question are the “evil” part anyway.”

    not the way you formed your sentence they arent. “The evil Milton Friedman’s idiotic ideas”

    In that sentence evil does not refer to the ideas, but to Milton Friedman. You’re a writer, and you know I am too–dont try to get around that.

  30. G.E.

    Having a time-horizon that differs from Robert Capozzi is not a “novel” idea. Saying unrealized losses are not real losses is not a “novel” idea. Are Peter Schiff’s clients going to be able to write down those losses against other gains on their income taxes? No. BECA– USE THEY’RE NOT REAL LOSSES.

    My views are uninformed? No, you’re just an idiot. Do I have a background in finance? I’m an associate analyst and assistant-portfolio manager for a highly profitable online investment newsletter. I have a degree in finance, Series 7, etc. I’ve been a full-time professional finance writer and stock analyst for three years now. So yeah, I do.

  31. G.E.

    Trent – Whatever. I was carried away in the emotion of the post. I take it back. Diagram the sentence and put the evil where it should be.

  32. robert capozzi

    ge, wow! so if a schiff client sells, what does he do? losses and gains are marked to market, yes?

  33. robert capozzi

    ge, people can have whatever time horizon they want, of course.

    with your background, you surely have encountered money managers who claim that poor performance in the past period will turn around for X, Y or Z reasons, yes?

    maybe schiff’s approach will work for his clients…I hope them the very best LT returns.

  34. robert capozzi

    ge, perhaps in your emotional outburst you missed the fact that I’ve not indicated WHAT my personal time horizon is. I was merely sharing standard metrics that most use for most excellent and sound, practical reasons.

    I respect that you appear to be a schiff fan. I’m no schiff detractor, and am impressed by his macro call. but I don’t like gold as an investment vehicle for a host of reasons.

  35. G.E.

    If a Schiff client sells, yeah, they lose. And of course, the “I’ll turn it around” excuse is bogus in most cases. But Schiff’s clients’ time horizon isn’t one-year. They’re protecting against catastrophic losses and betting on a long-term bear market in the dollar.

    I’m a fan of Schiff in the sense that I like to see him smack down inflationist morons on the regime’s mouthpiece of corporate fascism, but I’m not at all impressed with his macro call: lots of people made the same call. It was pretty obvious.

    Gold has problems. I’m only pointing out that if you live to be 10,000 years old, you’re better off holding gold than dollars. This extreme example is only to show that time horizon matters.

    Central banks still own a lot of gold. And gold is susceptible to bubbles just like any other asset. My investment of choice is long-term consumable goods. Trade depreciating fiat dollars today for goods you’ll need in the future. Buy gold only once you’ve run out of space. And if you play the market, which I do, get in and out. Take fiat-dollar profits and convert them to something real.

  36. robert capozzi

    ge, i’m pleased we are beginning to understand each other. i’d note that schiff’s selling clients might be up, too, depending on their entry and exit points.

    I have some skepticism about the dollar-collapse thesis. my reason is that most nations are inflating their currencies, which of late has been manifesting in the dollar strengthening vs. many other currencies. Odds do seem high that we’re in for a passel of price inflation, perhaps next year.

    still, as a hayekian, the only thing I can be sure of is that there are too many variables to consistently forecast well.

    and then there’s the technology change wildcard.

    all we can do is use our best judgment to maneuver through the rapids, i’d suggest.

  37. George Phillies

    Ron Paul on the Constitution being inferior to teh Bible:

    The radio interview was on TheAmericanView.com. It may still be up. It’s very interesting. The host does an excellent job of getting the guest to make clear his positions. I have a transcript, and a cleaned-up (ummh errh aah deleted) transcript, which I may have time to post this weekend.

    With respect to Schiff, predicting the collapse of the dollar seems misplaced. Predicting inflation as U3 employment passes 8% and U6 employment is much larger, not to mention commodity demands are collapsing, seems unlikely. Predicting that China will decouple from the US economy appears to be a position not shared by the people with full access to the secret Chinese economic statistics, namely the Chinese dictators. And the line ‘he’s such a genius and so far-sighted that not one of his predictions has come true. Yet.’ I believe is already owned by the followers of Leon Trotsky, who by the way have more practice delivering it with true revolutionary fervor.

  38. G.E.

    Let it be known right here: George Phillies is saying inflation is “unlikely.”

    Of course, the inflation has already happened, but as a statist-Keynesian, Phillies uses the state’s definition of “inflation” which is rising prices.

    Okay, when even the government’s fudged CPI numbers hit record levels in the next 12-24 months, will you please exit from public life, George?

  39. Robert Capozzi

    I suspect Dr. Phillies meant “price inflation.”

    But, you are correct, GE, choosing definitions can be nettlesome and even confusing.Personally, I think Friedman was onto to something with wanting to measure velocity of money…turnover seems a better, more intuitive proxy for the monetary base. Few seem to stuff the stuff in mattresses.

    And yet, somehow or other, life goes on.

  40. Jim Davidson

    @17 The gold bugs were, in fact, quite wrong in 1979-1980. Something happened on the way to hyperinflation.

    Bob Landis explains what happened in his essay “Saving the System” which you should read if you actually give a shit about what happened and why it won’t happen again. I amuse myself sometimes in supposing that anyone reading these comments actually cares what is written here. lol

    http://www.goldensextant.com/SavingtheSystem.html

    Since most of you won’t bother to read what Bob wrote, let me summarise a bit. The dollar is like any other product or service. Its price or value is based on supply and demand. Demand for dollars went up very dramatically and for several reasons.

    One of the primary reasons that demand for dollars went way up, in spite of the simultaneous dramatic expansions of the supply, is because many other countries had much worse currencies at the time. The dollar was exported all over the world to become an alternative to badly inflating currencies in places like Russia, Argentina, etc.

    Of course, this situation doesn’t work again. You can only make the dollar available in so many more countries. Zimbabwe, which clearly has much worse inflation right now, isn’t that big a market.

    The other thing that this situation has set up is that control of the destiny of the dollar is no longer domestic. Trillions of USA dollars are held overseas. Efforts by outfits like Dubai to buy port facilities in the USA, or by China to buy oil companies, and so forth, have frequently been turned down. Even guys who might arguably be regarded as subjects of a long-time ally, such as Sir Richard Branson, have trouble making investments in, e.g., Virgin America airline, or Virgin Galactic’s purchase of rockets from Burt Rutan’s company.

    Nevertheless, there are ways for people in other countries to move dollars here. They can stop buying USA treasury securities. They can sell, or dump, the securities they own.

    What happens when trillions of dollars from other countries come here looking for things to buy?

    Price inflation is already occurring, and it is very likely to accelerate. Irresponsible fiscal and monetary policies cause real problems.

  41. Robert Capozzi

    Jim, you may be right, but then again, perhaps not. It does appear that many of the major nations are, in fact, inflating their currencies, thereby canceling out other inflationary practices.

    I’d say the outcome will be uncertain. If you have a bead on certainty…well, good for you! Hold high that banner, and some day, all will salute! Or maybe not.

    But I can’t say I’ve seen price inflation happening too much. My house certainly hasn’t. Gas is generally down. Lots of sale prices of goods seem to be happening.

    But, as always, you have figured it ALL out. Or perhaps not?

    Hayek commented on the Fatal Conceit, but apparently THAT message hasn’t gotten through.

  42. Jim Davidson

    I’m not sure how inflation in other countries cancels out inflation here. As my good friend Clyde Harrison said in 2002, “Fiat currencies don’t float. They just sink at different rates.”

    I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do know human nature. It is the nature of politicians to lie, cheat, and steal. When they are given an excuse to spend money they haven’t even bothered to steal, they’ll be eager to do so. If you believe that the consequences of spending into existence trillions of dollars won’t ever be perceived in prices, then you believe what has never been, and what can never be.

    Gasoline came down quite a bit, but has come back up. Maybe you should watch more closely. Many consumer items are showing inflation rates of 20% to 30% per annum, based on my calculations and actual shopping experiences – same store, known consumption rate, same product.

    Your house was presumably over-priced during the real estate bubble and is reverting to the trend for values in your area. Very often a reversion to trend means that prices are under-valued for a time.

    You can believe in deflation if you wish. Upon what would you base such a belief?

    Did I say that I have it all figured out? I did not. If you push straw into my mouth and set it on fire, that might amuse you, but it doesn’t function as a discussion. You can lie about what I’ve written all you want, and it doesn’t say a thing about me. It does speak volumes about you, though.

    Hayek wrote a great deal about policy makers. You’ll perhaps have noticed that I’m not a policy maker. I don’t make monetary policy. I don’t make fiscal policy. Blaming me for the problems caused by the filth you’ve allowed to govern you seems like a fatuous exercise in hate. But, if it’s what you’ve got, bring it.

  43. Jim Randleman (CPNC)

    In regard to Rand Paul running on the GOP ticket….what good did it do his dad Dr. Ron Paul….the GOP shut him up and shut him out! His only chance is to run a hard hitting, truth telling campaign to the people on the issues and MSM and Big Box Parties be damned! Principle over politics!

  44. Trent Hill

    Jim,

    Ron Paul got into Congress, unlike any of the thousands of candidates for the Libertarian, Constitution, or Green Parties. I’d say it did Ron Paul ALOT of good. Also, he ran as a third partier in 88 and recieved only 500,000 votes. He ran as a Republican in 2008 and got onto National Television probably 1000+ times, was in all the debates, raised $35 million, and got 1.3 million votes.

  45. Robert Capozzi

    Jim, “hate” and “anger” do seem to be recurring themes of yours, if I read your posts correctly. But you seem to project your apparent state of mind on me, and I assure you, that’s not the case. Not even close. Nor have I “blamed” you for anything, actually, which the record shows.

    All I have done is to challenge your assertions, which sound grandiose to me. But I would like to see what items have increased in price 20-30% per year. That surely would be a phenomenal growth rate. Even if, say, groceries have done so, a typical basket of goods have not, near as I can tell. They could, of course, as just about anything is possible. Off the top of my head, housing’s way down, gas is generally flat, clothing down, groceries up, cars flat.

    One theory of why that’s so is that with globalization, prices don’t jump if the importing nation devalues its goods at a faster rate than the consuming nation’s devaluation rate. How that all aggregates gets quite complex and (I’d say) impossible to parse. China, India, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia have been unleashing productive capacities in the last decade or so that heretofore have been largely idle, which has dampened price inflation generally. There are many, many cross currents at play in price inflation, not just currency inflation.

    Based on the CPI trends, we’ve not crossed into deflationary territory. It’s remained relatively low, however, in recent years.

    I am curious how I’ve “allowed” “filth” to govern me.

    Have you considered employing anger management techniques? Apparently some can be quite effective.

  46. G.E.

    Capozzi – Are you this dense, really? Who cares if all other countries are inflating? This will only affect the value of the dollar related to other currencies — it will do NOTHING to the dollar as related to actual goods and services. You don’t have a background in finance, or in living, do you?

  47. Robert Capozzi

    GE, I love you, too 😉

    I believe you’ve mentioned that you’ve been working in finance for 3 years. Is that so? This would suggest that you’re on the young side, yes?

    Import/export prices are affected by currency fluctuations. This is most basic. I would be VERY surprised if ANY professional economist would say otherwise…Austrian, Chicago, or Keynesian. If you know one, I’d love to see his or her work.

  48. TeachingTheWorld

    Jim Davidson // Mar 7, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    ” As my good friend Clyde Harrison said in 2002, ‘Fiat currencies don’t float. They just sink at different rates.’ ”

    This is a good place to begin.

    All the currencies in the world are falling, but at different rates. The printing or issuing of new money is inflation. The CPI is a tool used to approximate the actual rate of inflation. It is a terrible tool and usually wrong, but people rely on it.

    The US dollar is not quite a form of fiat money. It IS close, but the US still holds some large amount of gold. This gold could be divided into the total amount of dollars issued to immediately put the US back on a gold standard. This reality means there is a kind of sliding, shrinking unofficial gold backing for the dollar.

    Now, this ain’t much, but it’s the only thing that has prevented the dollar from falling to zero.

    Likewise, the most of the world’s currencies are partially backed by the dollars they hold.

    This is where Peter Shiff made his mistake regarding money.

    He forgot about these forms of partial backing and the effects they have on the market.

    So, when the dollar starts to fall, the Fed is printing and monetizing rapidly, of course people want to get away from dollars. But, the outlook of the smaller currencies dependent on the dollar for their backing is even worse.

    Thus, as the dollar goes screaming into the ground, and the fixed quantity of US gold reserves pale in comparison to the massively growing quantity of greenbacks, people run from those even weaker currencies, clinging for some hope to the apparently stronger dollar.

    So, while the dollar may eventually come screaming down to zero, most of the other currencies of the world will go sceaming past the dollar and hit ground first.

  49. TeachingTheWorld

    Now, let’s look at trade and inflationary effects.

    Many other countries are inflating their currencies faster than the dollar. This will also cause them to fall faster than the dollar.

    Finally, with the US in a depression, the US has cut back on imports. Export dependent economies have seen their business dry up, sales fall and dollar demand for their currencies crash. Meanwhile, in many cases, they have been unable to curtail their appetite for for foreign goods and services. This, too, is driving down foreign currencies relative to the dollar.

    One example: South Korea:

    Three factors sinking the won relative to the dollar:
    1)South Korea holds over $200 billion in backing for the Korean won. The dollar is falling, so the won falls more.
    2)South Korea seems to be inflating its money supply at a rapid pace. Hard to tell if its faster than the US. Probably not, but all those dollars falling in number (1) are enough anyway.
    3)South Korea’s exports have crashed. GDP fell 20% in the 4th qtr of 2008. Koreans must still pay for their own imports of energy and consumption of foreign education and other imports. They continue to buy dollars, but the demand for the won is way down.

    Result:

    Spring 2008: $1 = 950 won

    Now, March 2009: $1 = 1560 won

  50. Robert Capozzi

    teaching,

    looks like similar performance of the yen and Japan….

    thank you for the detail.

  51. mattc

    is it at all likely that other countries will convert their reserves into something other than the dollar?

  52. Jim Davidson

    Robert, you have lied about what I wrote, and neglected to apologise. This limits my interest in being helpful to you.

    I suggested that you look more closely at fuel prices, and you’ve responded with generalities. This makes me think you are unwilling to consider specifics.

    But, let’s take a stab at it. Prices came down around here to $1.45 per gallon. They are now back up to $1.84 per gallon. Using November 1 as the low and March 1 as the higher figure, I get a change of 39 cents or 27% in the period. The period is 4 months long. There are three such periods a year. So fuel is up by 81% per annum. Maybe you have other figures you like better, which you are welcome to cite.

    I take a vitamin called “food carotene.” The bottle informs me it has 100 pills. I take one a day. The bottle I just replaced has a sticker on the bottom that says $15.99 and the new bottle has a sticker $16.99. Same store, same product, $1 over $15.99 = 6.25%. There are evidently 3.65 such periods in a year. This means that a 6.25% price rise over 100 days generates a 22.8% rise in a year.

    I bought dog food at $11.99 for a bag 60 days ago. The same bag at the same store was priced at $13.99 last week. I get 100% per annum increase on that product. Let me know what you get. Or is math something you enjoy working with?

    You are welcome to believe any foolish thing you want to believe. Prices are fluctuating. You think fuel prices are about the same. You don’t offer any information about your thought in this respect.

    Perhaps you should check news.google. I find 15,000 stories and the top one is “US gasoline prices up.” It comes from Reuters, which is a source I’m sure you prefer to, say, the government’s figures on the subject.

    Reuters says, “The average price has risen about 30 cents from a recent bottom on Dec. 19….” and says the current average is $1.96. This means that the national average price was $1.66 on 19 December, which was 79 days ago, right? So, a rise of .3 on a base of 1.66 is 18% for the period and there are 4.62 periods of 79 days in a year. 4.62*18 = 83%.

    Oh, gosh, that’s worse than I thought.

    But, really, thanks a whole bunch for your kind thoughts on anger management. I’ll take them under advisement. I’m sure you are about as right on the efficacy of such methods as you are on the general feeling you have about fuel prices. So, I’ll give your suggestion all the deference and respect it is due.

  53. Jim Davidson

    Teaching @58. One of the interesting calculations that James Turk of the Freemarket gold and money report (fgmr.com, I think) used to do was calculate what he called a “fear index” using the M3 money supply divided by the amount of gold the government claims to have on hand.

    Sadly, M3 is no longer a published figure. Also, GATA.org has compiled some rather compelling evidence that the government is lying about how much gold it has in its possession. There was clearly a substantial amount of gold “leasing” going on that was functioning as a “gold carry trade” like the “yen carry trade.”

    I don’t think that any of these points you mention are disputed by, e.g., Bob Landis in his essay on why the gold bugs were wrong in 1979. But maybe I misunderstood what you were trying to convey.

  54. G.E.

    Robert – Let’s say that all central banks print double their monetary bases every minute for the next year. You think there won’t be price inflation?

    The relativity between fiat currencies means next to nothing. How you can fail to see this obviousness blows my mind.

  55. Robert Capozzi

    GE, my young friend, yes, if central banks did that, there would be price inflation, ceteris paribus. My point is that price inflation and currency inflation are not 1:1 correlated, and certainly not instantaneously.

    Price is discovered and shifts over time. It’s highly influenced by currency changes, but it’s also influenced by competitive conditions, labor markets, relative costs of capital, shifting demand, productivity improvements, technological innovation, etc.

    I’d suggest learning some Hayekian humility. Simplistic nostrums won’t do.

  56. G.E.

    Ah, the Age Card. Not surprised. You can be an Old Idiot, as you’re masterfully demonstrating.

    Hayek is not of our age. Economic forecasting was pretty much impossible, at least with any degree of certainty, while he lived. But we’re on a speeding train headed for a cliff. We can see it. We’re 10 feet away. Forecasting what’s going to happen is NOT hard.

    What are you going to say in two years when I’m right? You’re going to just ignore it like all the neocon-Keynesians have with Peter Schiff. My forecast is not based on anti-Hayekian statistical models, but on obvious causality. If you swing your fist at my face, when it’s an inch from my nose, should I be “Hayekian” about whether or not it’s going to hit me?

  57. Robert Capozzi

    Angry Jim,

    yes, I’m aware that gas prices have ticked up after falling from $4.

    you can cherry pick dog food prices and make rookie errors about annualizing monthly data all day long. You can avoid the $4 to $2 fall and focus on the $1.50 to $2 rise all you want to. Perhaps you could write a paper and they’ll make you a professor in some MBA program nearby, but methinks you should not expect that, because your statement is — sorry — laughable.

    Interestingly, you’ve accused me of “lying” but you don’t say what I’ve lied about. It’s my practice to apologize quickly when I’m in error, yet it’s not apparent that I am in this case.

    This sounds like textbook paranoia to me. Consider watching the film CONSPIRACY THEORY. If the Mel Gibson character hits too close to home, consider more extreme measures to heal yourself. Anger management may not be sufficient.

    Trust me, I only want the best for you. You do seem to have a facile mind, but these jags of grandiosity seem pronouncedly loopy.

  58. Robert Capozzi

    GE, you misunderstand. I agree that the train’s speeding toward an abyss, kinda, sorta. We’re definitely on the wrong track. I just find Hayek’s insight — well — timeless. “Too much information, not able to process,” seems about right now, then, and in perpetuity.

    If you’ve cracked the forecasting code, well, good for you! Please publish your results so we can assess them.

    I’d hope that you’re not threatening me. I may be older than you, but I’m a pretty big fellow and I don’t like to be punched! ‘;-)

  59. G.E.

    I haven’t cracked a code. Making a projection in 1969 was impossible. Making one in 1999 was too. 2009? Not so much.

    And threaten? What? I was making an example and in the example, it was YOU hitting me. How you can take that as a threat is beyond me.

  60. Robert Capozzi

    sorry, GE, I misread your post. I’m all about peace, so initiating physical force is among the last things one would ever see me do.

  61. Jim Davidson

    Capozzi, you said that I “have it all figured out.” Perhaps you don’t regard that as a lie, but it was clearly meant both as an insult and a lie.

    If you think there’s something wrong with the way I’ve done the math, prove it, or fuck yourself. Or both.

  62. robert capozzi

    jim, sorry, perhaps I did overstate.

    your math is highly anecdotal and is not a long term data set. I would not base a statement at generalized price inflation on your math, which appears correct but highly incomplete. Nor would any economists that I’m aware of use your dataset.

    one love.

  63. Jim Davidson

    Here’s another good idea. Let’s ignore the stock prices since December 2008, since things went along fine until October 2007. We can ignore the rise in gasoline prices since December, and ignore the drop in stock prices, and I’m sure everything will be fine, Robert.

    I’m not saying that I have a long term data set. I don’t care what happened a long time ago, I’m saying that things are getting worse, presently. If you’d like to invest in the stock market today based on a long term data set that says a buy and hold strategy is infallible, please don’t look for me to invest with your strategy.

    I have not asked you to make any more generalised statements on prices, because you have made plenty of them already. I have identified where your views on fuel are mistaken, given a recent news article on fuel prices. Perhaps you could give a specific instance of fuel prices not rising at a dramatic rate in recent months?

    I’m not asking any of your economist buddies to use my data set. You are welcome to provide your own data set. In fact, you can crawl over to the government and beg them to tell you what prices are doing. I think they’ll lie to you.

    They have set up their income tax system so that the exemption and standard deduction and tax tables are tied to the rate of price inflation that they decree is in the economy. So if they report high inflation, they get less money from income taxes. They have tied their benefits system to cost of living “adjustments” so when they report high inflation they send out more money to “beneficiaries.” If you believe that is any way to motivate accurate reporting, please feel free to explain.

    I’m experiencing rising prices. I have not offered to go through all my groceries and give you a detailed set. I’ve given anecdotal data. You’ve given none. You’ve offered a general feeling, which I’ve established is absurd.

    You’ve said that I must not pay attention to the price rise in fuel since December without noting the price decline from September to December. Okay. But what has the price of gasoline done for me lately?

    Lately it has been screwing with me. I’m sure it isn’t a problem because you don’t want to look at it. Just like the stock price declines aren’t a problem because things went so swimmingly well a few years ago.

    No, I don’t have all the answers. But, I’m at least willing to talk about specific prices.

    Your economist buddies can use whatever data they want, but what data is that? Do you have any data? Or are we just supposed to feel good about your glittering generalities?

  64. robert capozzi

    jim, interesting perspective, particularly since I acknowledge that gas prices are on the uptrend in recent months..

    prices fluctuate, some are going up, some down currently. CPI’s been tame, which attempts to measure a broad basket of goods. You are correct of course that if you personally spend most on products that are experiencing higher than currently average price increases…the Davidson CPI might be quite a bit higher than others are experiencing. Bummer.

  65. Jim Davidson

    If by “CPI’s been tame” you mean that the government “attempts to measure a broad basket of goods” using the same methodology from month to month, year to year, going all the way back to 1980, then you are sadly mistaken.

    The CPI as measured by the government, currently, and published (Bureau of Labor Statistics, I think, but you can look it up) by them serves their purposes. They do change the basket of goods, often. They do make “hedonic” adjustments, last I checked. In short, they lie about it.

    Perhaps not nearly so much as NASA did in its recent gaffe measuring “global warming” and concluding the October 2008 was the warmest month on record by, ahem, copying the September 2008 data for every reporting station in Russia and pasting it in for October. See
    http://inspacetoday.blogspot.com/2009/02/nasa-goddard-lies.html
    for some of the story, links there to other cites. My buddy Vin Suprynowicz writes, “In fact, although Russia cools rapidly throughout the fall (as both Napoleon and Hitler learned the hard way) McIntyre discovered upon closer inspection that the institute’s October readings were PRECISELY THE SAME for each Russian reporting station as their September readings, a statistically impossible coincidence.”

    Like I said, Robert, you can believe whatever you choose to believe. You can utter generalities about how everything is fine, and ask people not to look at recent events because things were going so well only a few years ago. I’ve offered some specifics, and you’ve made it clear that you have none.

    You can believe that the government’s CPI figure tells you all you need to know about prices. You can believe that the government has told you all you need to know about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. You can choose to believe in the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, or the Gulf of Tonkin incident. When the government tells you that they’ve nuked a city somewhere, for some reason, perhaps you’ll believe it all for the best.

    What was it you were asking about the filth who are governing you?

  66. Robert Capozzi

    Jim, oh, this is a very different conversation. Could well be that government-published CPI data is off. You are correct that government data is often way off, like that global warming stat.

    I suppose I could log everything I buy and produce a Capozzi CPI, but I’ve better things to do with my time. But I would be aware of the fact that even if the small subset of things I buy regularly were experiencing substantial deltas different than the CPI that would not necessarily mean that the CPI was flawed.

    If there were a comprehensive study of prices over time produced privately, I might be persuaded that government CPI is wildly off. There are a lot of economists who gather a lot of data independent of government, so I’d think someone had flagged the methodological error you seem to be pointing to. Dog food and gas prices in recent months hardly seems a good case to me, but good luck with that tack.

    I’m as critical as anyone of government policy. Labeling people “filth,” however, seems deeply unhealthy to me. I prefer “misguided,” or perhaps “deeply misguided.” In my experience, anger is an emotion that only leads toward more dysfunction. “Love your enemies” strikes me as the more positive response, but do call them when they are perpetuating aggression.

    Finally, you might want to examine your logic, however. Gulf of Tonkin + global warming index errors do not necessarily equal purposeful CPI fudging.

    It would be like me saying “Lew Rockwell was wrong that Rodney King deserved his beating, therefore Lew Rockwell is ALWAYS wrong.” Lew is often correct, so this statement illustrates that extrapolating from a few data points often leads to woefully incorrect conclusions.

  67. Jim Davidson

    You could provide data if you were interested in doing so. For example, shadowstats.com does run the 1980 version of CPI using current data. You might like to check it out. But, given your lack of interest in specificity, I suspect you won’t.

    I prefer to label them filth. As in, not entirely human, not to be dignified with the honor and respect that an actual human would be able to earn. In sharing this view, I found the character Rorschach in the recent film “Watchmen” to be very sympathetic. Those who would fake reality to excuse slaughtering millions are rabid dogs to be put down, filth to be swept away.

    It is in the character of the individuals who seek to govern others that I find them filthy. Perhaps you have not exposed yourself to their minds, nor looked very deeply at their philosophy. Such a sheltered existence is necessarily fragile.

    Anger is an emotion, yes. And your pop psychology appears, to me, to be as pointless as your gut feeling that fuel prices are about flat when they seem to be rising at double, and nearly triple, rates.

    In my view, anger is a very healthy, appropriate, emotional response. It is time for Americans to be very angry. You, however, only imagine that I’m very angry. You’ve never seen me very angry. You’ve never seen my writings from when I’m very angry.

    If by making angry comments I am able to inspire anger and action from others, I’m quite pleased to do so. I think the complacency of the Americans I see and read about is disgusting. It makes me reflect on the argument that Americans get the government they deserve.

    I did not say that global warming lies and Gulf of Tonkin lies and Iraq war lies necessarily proved anything about CPI. You should try harder not to stuff straw in my mouth. I know that you like to battle the straw man with your cigarette lighter.

    What I said was, the government has a long established pattern of abuses, usurpations, and lies. I offered examples from recently and from some time ago, from Democrats and from Republicans, to try to illustrate how widespread the phenomenon is.

    I also pointed out how the government’s own system motivates the government to under-report price rises. And, I said, you are free to believe foolish and idiotic things if you wish. I feel confident that you may be relied upon to utter glittering generalities and believe things that are unproven and ought more properly to be treated with suspicion.

    I have not read where Lew Rockwell said this thing. Let me see.

    Hmm. Nope, he does not seem to have said those words. What he did say was that the police used to beat the crap out of criminals and suspects and, as a result, street crime was less. He also says, “Did they hit him too many times? Sure…”.

    Perhaps you can look at this essay:
    http://www.theagitator.com/2008/02/02/lew-rockwell-on-rodney-king-in-the-la-times/
    Scroll down for Lew’s words. He does not say that Rodney King deserved the beating he got. Rather, he said that having cops beat people up immediately on capturing them has a deterrent effect. I would argue that he’s mistaken, and that having cops at all is not a libertarian view.

    I seem to recall that Rodney King wasn’t entirely an angelic figure of propriety. I also agree that he should not have been beaten the way he was, or at all, in being taken into custody. Having myself been beaten by cops (January 2004, eleven of my bones broken), I am completely opposed to police as a method of law enforcement, and police brutality.

    In this essay:
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/rockwell/cincinnati-beating.html
    Lew is more exact, and offers to differentiate between a victim of police brutality who was supine and had committed only a very limited property crime (passing out on someone’s property) compared to the high speed pursuit through a residential neighborhood which characterised the Rodney King arrest. You might want to read it before you decide to say what you’ve said about Lew.

    Lew is often very intelligent and thoughtful. I think he does have a rose-tinted view of the past. I think his law and order approach, combined with some of his statements on race, make him seem unjust. A careful reading makes it clear that he tries very hard to pursue justice in an unjust system.

    Extrapolating from data points is extrapolating. I have said that fuel prices are rising. I have said that some vitamins I take are rising in price. I have said that dog food I buy is rising in price. You have extrapolated from these statements, which I’ve bothered to detail, into a claim that I’ve made a general statement about price levels.

    Your assertion that I’ve said all prices are rising is false. Check the log, above.

    Stop pushing straw into my mouth to set it on fire. Doing so does not make me a straw man. It does vex me.

    And for a guy who doesn’t want me angry, you might pause before deciding to vex me further. You probably won’t, though.

  68. Robert Capozzi

    Jim, will check out shadowstats.com, thanks for the link.

    I’ve seen your posts for some years, and, yes, they seem angry to me. If your intent is to inspire angry action in others, how’s that working out for you? Are there Davidson Brigades springing up across the nation? Might work. I kinda doubt it, and I ain’t saluting because I think the way of peace is the road toward liberty.

    Your language skills seem very strong to me, so I’m disappointed that you read my Rockwell example as you appear to. It wasn’t reportage – which should be obvious and probably IS obvious to most readers. Pleased we agree that his take that Rodney’s beating was somehow valuable or virtuous is off the mark, way off the mark IMO.

    And pleased we agree about the dangers of extrapolation.

  69. G.E.

    I suppose I could log everything I buy and produce a Capozzi CPI

    The Milnes CPI basket of goods: duct tape, rope, scarfs for auto-erotic asphyxiation, D batteries, wheat germ, anti-depressants, wax paper, saltines, blank VHS tapes, meat tenderizer, Beggin’ Strips, Cupie dolls, play money, syringes, library printing fees.

    Inflation is at an all-time highlow!

  70. G.E.

    Of course, these numbers have been manipulated. Milnes’s infamous teddy bear skewed the index when he removed tick repellant and Just For Men beard-dye from the basket, and replaced disposable diapers with saltines.

  71. G.E.

    This is all ridiculous of course: Whether consumer prices have gone up or come down matters nothing, when the fact is that the monetary base has been hugely expanded, and prices ARE going to go through the roof in short order. Then you “Hayekian” [sic] morons will be standing around with your thumbs up your asses saying that people like me made “lucky guesses”, etc.

  72. G.E.

    It would be like me saying “Lew Rockwell was wrong that Rodney King deserved his beating, therefore Lew Rockwell is ALWAYS wrong.” Lew is often correct, so this statement illustrates that extrapolating from a few data points often leads to woefully incorrect conclusions.

    As a Rockwell fan, this is very disappointing, of course… and so entirely inconsistent with how I expect he’d respond now. Then again, there’s a contrarian-for-the-sake-of-being-contrarian nature of the LRC crowd that can sometimes lead them astray…

  73. Michael Seebeck

    Gene @32, you’re way too kind. We’re just helping out, part of the team. We’re glad as all get out to see you back, active, excited, and kicking ass!

    The rally itself drew about 12K people (splitting the difference between estimates of 8-15K) and the LP had people there from Riverside, L.A., San Diego, San Berdoo, Ventura, and possibly Orange Counties in attendance to fly the colors (or we would have had I not forgotten the LP flag!) and wave the signs.

    All in all a great turnout for the LPCA Southern Region, and a golden opportunity for the LP to cash in on. The Facebook page for the Revolution is growing daily as well.

    Quoth The Keaton: “Don’t mess with Riverside. Ever.” 😀

  74. Gene Trosper

    Thanks, Mike.

    I’m still a bit rusty, but I feel the spirit flooding back. hey, I mananged to snag two interviews that day at the rally, passed out about 50 fliers regarding the top two primary scheme and did some networking. Now, I am planning on a Riverside blow out. The head of the recall Schwarzenegger facebook group has pledged to get involved as well and bring as many people as possible. This is promising to be kick ass.

  75. Gregg Jocoy

    Daryl W. Perry wrote:

    WHAT?!? The Dems and Greens are the complete opposite of libertarian/anarchist on economic policy.

    Mr. Perry,

    You may want to consider reevaluate putting Greens and Democrats in the same bag vis-a-vis economic policy. To be very frank, I believe Democrats and Republicans are closer to one another, at least in policy, than Greens or Libertarians are to either.

    I believe this might help illustrate why I see a difference where you may not.

    My perception, and I could be very wrong, is that if we lived in a world where “libertarian/anarchist” ideas were reality, any person or group of people who wanted to do so would be allowed to build a shopping center wherever they thought their doing so would work out best for them.

    My perception is that Republican control means less environmental and tax regulation to deal with, but plenty of public money to get going or to expand.

    My perception is that Democratic control means more attention to convenient environmental demands and a bit of extra cash for arts or education, and plenty of public cash to help get you going or to expand.

    If we lived in a world where Green ideas were the way we dealt with difficult issues you might see a requirement that an individual or group of individuals who wanted to develop a shopping center draw up plans, fully educate adjacent residents to a certain distance, fund any opposition which might arise, and ultimately submit the idea to the will of those most directly impacted by the decision.

    A LOT less efficient, and I am not asserting that you should see it as better than Libertarian approaches, but to assert that it is similar to Democratic Party approaches is not any more accurate than to assert that Libertarian and Republican economics are similar.

  76. Gregg Jocoy

    Jim Davidson wrote:

    If you believe that the consequences of spending into existence trillions of dollars won’t ever be perceived in prices, then you believe what has never been, and what can never be.

    I believe that every Green I know would agree with this statement.

    I also know that relatively few elected Democrats or Republicans would publicly assert this, because to do so would be to declare the King to be naked indeed.

  77. Gregg Jocoy

    G.E.

    Wikipedia has a run down on the controversy as to the ratification of the 14th amendment. , which I believe is based in large part on the occupation of states which were not approving the amendment by military forces which compelled state action approving the amendment.

    The Wikipedia piece explains that the 14th amendment includes a number of clauses, including the Citizenship clause, the Due Protection clause, Equal Protection clause, and Incorporation clause. The full text is here.

    G.E., I am not “demanding” anything. I think it would be really interesting to know which parts of the 14th amendment you would change, and if you would prefer no 14th amendment to the amendment as currently written.

  78. paulie cannoli

    You may want to consider reevaluate putting Greens and Democrats in the same bag vis-a-vis economic policy. To be very frank, I believe Democrats and Republicans are closer to one another, at least in policy, than Greens or Libertarians are to either.

    I don’t know if it is so easy to generalize, given that there are a variety of viewpoints within each of these four parties in question. But I agree to a large extent: Ds and Rs are both proponents of corporate welfare; Ls and Gs are not. Gs and (IMO) true Ls also want full liability, with no corporate personhood or government-imposed shield from non-contractual liability, while Ds and Rs do not.


    I believe this might help illustrate why I see a difference where you may not.

    My perception, and I could be very wrong, is that if we lived in a world where “libertarian/anarchist” ideas were reality, any person or group of people who wanted to do so would be allowed to build a shopping center wherever they thought their doing so would work out best for them.

    Well, they’d have to own the land – no eminent domain, for example. They would have to have the resources to build the shopping center – no corporate welfare. They would have to assume the full liability for any pollution, damages, mistreatment of workers or customers, etc.


    My perception is that Republican control means less environmental and tax regulation to deal with, but plenty of public money to get going or to expand.

    My perception is that Democratic control means more attention to convenient environmental demands and a bit of extra cash for arts or education, and plenty of public cash to help get you going or to expand.

    I agree.


    If we lived in a world where Green ideas were the way we dealt with difficult issues you might see a requirement that an individual or group of individuals who wanted to develop a shopping center draw up plans, fully educate adjacent residents to a certain distance, fund any opposition which might arise, and ultimately submit the idea to the will of those most directly impacted by the decision.

    While I would not make those formal rules, in practice I think something like this would happen in a free market world without corporate personhood/limited liability; people would generally, I expect, try to avoid potential hotspots for conflict with the surrounding community.


    A LOT less efficient, and I am not asserting that you should see it as better than Libertarian approaches, but to assert that it is similar to Democratic Party approaches is not any more accurate than to assert that Libertarian and Republican economics are similar.

    Good point. See

    http://pauliecannoli.wordpress.com/2008/12/15/green-libertarian-exchange/

    I’d be interested in your thoughts, and those of others.

  79. paulie cannoli

    The Wikipedia piece explains that the 14th amendment includes a number of clauses, including the Citizenship clause, the Due Protection clause, Equal Protection clause, and Incorporation clause.

    Incorporation is an interpretive doctrine which the courts applied to the 14th amendment several decades after its passage, not a clause of the amendment itself.

  80. Steven R Linnabary

    Gregg-

    I would change the phrase “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;” to “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the rights or immunities of citizens of the United States;”

    I know it is merely a subtle change. But it DOES change the meaning of the 14th amendment.

    Apparently many states were adamantly opposed to granting rights to freed slaves, but were ok with granting privileges. I’ve read that several states demanded the phraseology before considering, but I am not sure if that is historically accurate.

    PEACE

  81. Robert Capozzi

    jim, I glanced at shadowstats.com, and the home page’s CPI indicates that no matter HOW you slice it, CPI is down, way down. It’s entirely possible that the government under-reports, but your own source doesn’t seem to bear out your assertion. If it does, tell us HOW it does.

    There is, of course, the problem of substitution…shifting demand to lower quality goods. Making it real, when dog food prices go up, people tend to shift from, say, Purina One to Kennel-Ration…a phenomenon that’s difficult to capture methodogically, yes? Diesel or Levis?

  82. Robert Capozzi

    GE, surely you know that “money supply” is a conundrum, difficult to define.

  83. Robert Capozzi

    GE: …Hayekian” [sic] morons will be standing around with your thumbs up your asses ….

    RC: Are all Hayekians “morons” in GE world? Is everyone who has a different take than GE a “moron”? Was Hayek himself a “moron”? Was Albert Einstein a “moron”?

    Inquiring minds want to know…

  84. Gregg Jocoy

    Paulie,

    I am not sure how we get from where we are to a system where individuals and groups of individuals compete in a free market for resources in short order.

    I also don’t know how we get to a system that looks more like what I described as one “green” vision of one “problem” in short order.

    But if we can agree on some things I think we might be able to make some progress. For examples, since government involvement is clearly part of the process now, could we work to remove government from those parts of the system we do agree are bad? For example, all the government subsidies and protections offered the nuclear power and weapons industries? All the unneeded military contracting, weapons or not. All the “leave your community up there because we will offer you tax breaks we won’t offer those already here.” schemes. Can we not find some places to actually agree and move together ahead?

  85. Trent Hill

    Gregg,

    Have you ever read Walter Block’s “Economics and the Environment: A Reconciliation”? I think you would benefit from it very much.

    Interestingly, Im reading a leftist author now–Stephen Kinzer.

  86. paulie cannoli

    RC: Are all Hayekians “morons” in GE world? Is everyone who has a different take than GE a “moron”? Was Hayek himself a “moron”? Was Albert Einstein a “moron”?

    Don’t take it personally. I’ve known GE online since 2006, I believe (although we only met in person in Denver back in May). He’s gone through at least two fairly large ideological shifts in that time, relatively speaking, but one thing that has not changed has been that whoever does not agree with him is a “moron”.

    I suppose that means that he himself was a “moron” until what? 2007?

    Of course, he isn’t the only one who has changed his ideology before; I was a fairly conventional leftist until 1992, transitioned slowly to minarchist libertarian until 1994, and to anarchist libertarian in 2000-2001.

    I don’t think I was a moron for holding the views I held then (some of my actions – that’s a different story), nor do I think people who hold those views today are morons because of their views being different from mine.

    However, I also don’t think GE really is all that hateful at all. That is just how he naturally expresses disagreement.

  87. paulie cannoli

    I am not sure how we get from where we are to a system where individuals and groups of individuals compete in a free market for resources in short order.

    I also don’t know how we get to a system that looks more like what I described as one “green” vision of one “problem” in short order.

    Neither do I, although unlike many people, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a short order solution.

    Incidentally, I don’t think we’ll get to one without getting to the other.

    But if we can agree on some things I think we might be able to make some progress. For examples, since government involvement is clearly part of the process now, could we work to remove government from those parts of the system we do agree are bad? For example, all the government subsidies and protections offered the nuclear power and weapons industries? All the unneeded military contracting, weapons or not. All the “leave your community up there because we will offer you tax breaks we won’t offer those already here.” schemes. Can we not find some places to actually agree and move together ahead?

    Absolutely.

    I can, and do, agree on all those.

  88. paulie cannoli

    Privatize Business
    by Michael Cloud

    “Business interference in government is the main cause of today’s economic meltdown and recession,” argue liberals.

    “Government intervention in business is the primary reason for the mess,” say conservatives.

    They’re each half right.

    There are 2 root causes of the meltdown and recession: business meddling in government AND government meddling in business.

    Why did America establish the Separation of Church and State? To prevent religion from corrupting and dominating government – AND to keep government from corrupting and dominating religion.

    For the same reasons, champions of small government advocate the Separation of Business and State. To prevent business from corrupting and dominating government – AND to keep government from corrupting and dominating business.

    We can take one simple step in this direction: Privatize Business.
    Get businesses’ hands off government. Get government’s hands off business.

    All governments: federal, state, and local. And their agencies.

    END and LEGALLY FORBID all government subsidies to business.

    OUTLAW all government loans to business.

    FORBID all government loan guarantees to business.

    OUTLAW all government insurance guarantees to business.

    FORBID all government liabilities for business.

    OUTLAW all special tax benefits to favored or privileged businesses. ALL special exemptions, deductions, deferrals or other tax advantages must given to all businesses. No business is more equal than other businesses.

    LEGALLY FORBID all special government benefits to relocate or attract foreign or out-of-state business.

    AND give back 100% of these tax dollars to taxpayers. Every year.

    Privatize business.

    Private enterprise.

    Private risks and private choices.

    Private assets and private liabilities.

    Private profits and private losses.

    Private insurance and private risk.

    Private businesses are responsive to and accountable to their customers.

    In a private enterprise system, businesses reap what they sow.

    Good private businesses attract more customers and investors. They make profits.

    Bad private businesses repel customers and investors. They incur losses.

    In a private enterprise system, good business practices pay off. And reckless and irresponsible business practices cost their users dearly.

    When we privatize business, innocent taxpayers will never be forced to pay for the risky and unwise business decisions of others.

    When we privatize business, unsuccessful companies will suffer the consequences of their actions – but they will NOT be able to impose their costs and consequences on successful companies.

    Private enterprise is a system that encourages and rewards business virtue.

    Privatize business.

  89. Jim Davidson

    Robert, you are again looking at the past and calling it the present. You write, “your own source,” but it is not my source, it is not my data, it is not my calculation. Shadowstats is an alternative to the government’s statistics, but it is wrong of you to say it is my source. It is just another outfit with a claim on running numbers. If they derive their inputs from government values, and only run an old government algorithm on them, then I’m not sure how much better they really are. I simply offered the thought that if you had any actual interest in facts, figures, or specificity, you would go look for such info, and you might run across that site.

    Since you have defamed Lew Rockwell, saying that he said something about Rodney King which he not only did not say, but which is substantially at odds with what he actually did say, I’m having difficulty reading your stuff, Robert. I first met Lew in 2002 at one of Ron Paul’s birthday parties, and I regard him as a friend. He and I correspond from time to time. It seems to me that your general impression of what Lew said is mistaken, and the character you gave of what he said is false.

    Your argument that people substitute goods is an interesting one, and much like the argument the government filth use when they talk about how prices have gone up, but then they substituted a bunch of goods, and prices went up further, and then they made “hedonic adjustments,” and prices went up and they made “seasonal adjustments.”

    Like I’ve said, you can believe anything you wish to believe. You can even believe it is a free country.

    You know that the government is not open, and that it is not transparent in its operations. It has secret courts, star chamber proceedings, secret prisons, secret dungeons where dissidents are tortured, secret weapons projects, secret spy satellites, secret programs to wiretap all conversations, secret databases where they keep all sorts of secret data, secret relationships with big companies to spy on foreign companies and steal company secrets, secret wars, black operations budgets, secret commandos that go on secret missions to slaughter people, sometimes in other countries.

    I think your enthusiasm for the way your government does things is a source of difficulty.

  90. robert capozzi

    jd, a distinction without a discernible difference, but, ok, “the source you cited.”

    please reread my initial Rockwell point–it was in the subjunctive case. still, yes, I did and do find his King essay to be offensive.

    I’d be shocked, however, if Rockwell didn’t embrace the concept of substitution goods, since all Austrians I know do so.

    I can’t imagine how you conclude that I have “enthusiasm” for government methodologies, or government itself. I hope it’s not your anger clouding your ability to discern and distinguish fact, opinions and emotions.

  91. Robert Capozzi

    pc: However, I also don’t think GE really is all that hateful at all. That is just how he naturally expresses disagreement.

    me: Yes, and hope springs eternal that he will learn to be far more civil in his communication.

    I was once angry like GE and Jim, but now, as a Randian/Rothbardian in recovery, I’m finding peace to be the far preferable way. And, ultimately, more effective, methinks.

  92. Jake Witmer

    Those who are serious about ballot access can contribute to getting it out of the way in a logical manner at:
    http://www.freedomballotaccess.org

    In addition to actually getting on the ballot early and successfully, we will reach every signer with the libertarian message, and information about their rights as jurors.

    That way, even if the LP screws the pooch again in 2012, and is infiltrated by Barr again, at least some of the 200,000 people we talk to will have the information they need to prevent tyranny in the courtroom.

    If even one person is spared a drug conviction, that should make our effort look better than the competition’s efforts (to actual libertarians, that is).

    Dondero = agent provacateur = ignore him, maybe he’ll go away

    How anyone can take seriously someone who urged libertarians to back Giuliani, in late 2007, at the height of Ron Paul’s stardom, is anyone’s guess. When Dondero was questioned about Giuliani’s stances opposing gun rights and free speech, as well as his agressive forfeiture policies (without trial) for those accused of victimless crimes, Dondero stated:
    “Gun rights aren’t important, it’s the military’s job to protect the USA”

    This shithead needs to be laughed out of any serious discussion of liberty.

    If his pragmatist worship of authoritarians like Ghouliani wasn’t bad enough, be actually bragged about giving Shane Cory bad advice during the WV petition drive in 2008, because he knew Shane would try to blame me for it when he failed. (Since Shane has no clue how to manage a petition drive, nor how to talk to subordinates.)

    Google: Eric Dondero …the real life “master shake”!

    …Word.

  93. Andrew Panken

    The success or failure of Schiff’s investment advice isn’t really relevant to a potential run. As long as he wasn’t involved in any fraudulent activity.

  94. paulie

    I was once angry like GE and Jim, but now, as a Randian/Rothbardian in recovery, I’m finding peace to be the far preferable way. And, ultimately, more effective, methinks.

    True. I think Jim’s anger is far more deep-seated, though. He’s said on here that a lot of it stems from getting a gang-beating by cops which resulted in injuries.

  95. Donald R. Lake

    Hey, police brutality and riots happen, even to hobbled short haired white guys. If you do not have the time or energy to make a federal case of it, at least make a middle finger complaint. Leave some kind of paper trail. Don’t let the unpatriotic nazi thugs get 100% away with it!

    The beating was ‘incited’? Oh like those hoodlums in the Park in Chicago 41 years ago today? I do not know Jim from whom ever, but do not be too quick to ‘blame the victim’!

    Conservative, a Liberal whom has been robbed! A Liberal, a Conservative whom has been falsely arrested!

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