no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics

Comments on Comments #19

July 1st, 2008

Joe McHugh left a comment on McCainomics:

All good points, but your article ironically assumes that the gov’t will somehow be efficient with that $300m if it’s not spent on his little contest. We both know, that’s simply not the case.

I made no implications to that effect. I assume, as per usual, that if the people weren’t robbed of their $300M, everyone would be better off. The point is that politicians shouldn’t have the power to use money they took from you, against your will, and use it to bribe people to build things that they want to see built. When, (not “if”) there is a $300M profitable investment to be made in alternative energy, people will make that investment. In fact, people will start making those investments even though some of them will fail.

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Someone submitted one of my old posts about a man who was evicted from his homestead to reddit. I have no idea how sites like that work, and I don’t spend any time trying to get play there. Maybe I should: This post was the source of a considerable, one-time traffic spike. Like a 400% traffic spike. If you like my blog, submit posts to reddit, my blog is only as effective as the number of people who read it.

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Will celebrates the five year anniversary of his blog and notes that Bob Murphy’s Chaos Theory was instrumental in his intellectual development. I read Chaos Theory in early 2006, and it was the breaking point, beginning a phase shift that would take me away from the Randian, capitalist brand of libertarianism, to something much better.

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In Reader Mail #57 FSK notes that I missed several big points in my chain about Credit Card Scams, the most recent installment of which is Part IV: The Penalty Rate Scam.

David Z missed a big point. A credit card debt contract is a no interest contract. When you borrow via a credit card, the bank literally prints new money and loans it to you…

David Z missed another big point. Bankruptcy law was recently changed. It is much harder to discharge credit card debt in bankruptcy court…

Regarding the bankruptcy code, early this month, I wrote A Few Thoughts on the Credit Situation, mostly as a note to myself so that I would not forget for future purposes to reference it.

It is convenient that immediately preceding the current credit-crunch, a few notable things happened. The bankruptcy code was changed, and the laws surrounding the payment structure for unsecured debt were changed, which resulted in minimum payments that are about twice what they previously were. Shortly thereafter, the Federal Reserve began targeting higher short term rates (the discount rate) which results in contraction of the monetary base, and a diminution of the supply of loanable funds. If you were a politically connected banking insider, you probably knew all about these turns of events before they happened, and were able to profit immensely.

Despite my best intentions, it seems I forgot, anyways. My post on credit card scams omits this detail. I could backtrack and say that it wasn’t topical, since the bankruptcy code isn’t one of the scams (like trying to force people into negative-amortization debts) that they use, but it is relevant and I should’ve mentioned it.

I didn’t miss the first point, either, I just haven’t gotten there yet. I’m covering credit card scams one at a time. The ideas of ex nihilo currency has been mentioned in several of my gold-bugging posts in the past, the relationship between our current financial institutions, debt and no-interest contracts are forthcoming in the series’ conclusion.

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Hans Hoppe has practically made a career out of deconstructing the Hobbesian myth, the alleged “war of all against all” that most people envision as life without a government. His latest:

There is no way out of this predicament [the Hobbesian War] by means of agreements; for who would enforce these agreements? Whenever the situation appeared advantageous, one or both parties would break the agreement. Hence, people recognize that there is but one solution…the establishment, per agreement, of a state, i.e., a third, independent party as ultimate judge and enforcer.

Yet if this thesis is correct and agreements require an outside enforcer to make them binding, then a state-by-agreement can never come into existence.

Thanks to Stef at Democracy Sucks

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Regarding Heller (my opinion, here) and the presidential candidates’ statements in response thereto, Chris at The Liberty Papers concludes:

So either play the game by the rules, don’t play the game, or change the rules.

I have a couple questions, Chris:

  1. What does that even mean?
  2. What?

Don’t you see the problem inherent in this empty rhetoric?  You’ve presented three options from which to choose, when in-fact, only one of them is actually possible.  There’s no choice.  Not playing the game is simply not an option.  I don’t want to play the game, but I have to. I can’t change the rules so I play by them. Just because you chide me not to “play the game” doesn’t mean that it’s actually an option.  That’s the damn problem, Chris!

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics