The Fed is beginning to figure out where it went wrong in 2008

Market monetarists have often pointed to the Fed’s pathetically weak response to the financial crisis of 2008.  For instance, the Fed met two days after Lehman failed in mid-September, and refused to cut their fed funds target (which was 2% at the time), citing an equal risk of recession and inflation.  In fact, the day of the meeting the 5 year TIPS spread was only 1.23%, which is roughly the actual inflation rate since that time.

Why did the Fed adopt such a tight money policy in 2008?  Because they were operating a backward-looking policy regime and inflation had been relatively high over the previous 12 months.  It’s like trying to drive a car by looking in the review mirror, and making adjustments when you are edging off the road.  In contrast, market monetarists want the Fed to look down the road, and steer to a point on the horizon.  We want the Fed to use market forecasts.  Now we have Narayana Kocherlakota making a similar argument:

Basic economics says that a policymaker should set a policy instrument so that, on the margin, there is no net benefit to altering it. But while the policymaker’s decision is necessarily made today, the resultant costs and benefits are realized only in the future. Therefore, the policymaker’s optimal choice is to set the policy instrument so that the outlook for the future marginal net benefit is zero. In this talk, I address the following question: How can the policymaker formulate the needed outlook for marginal net benefits? Policymakers often attempt to do so by using statistical models to forecast future marginal net benefits. I argue that policymakers can achieve better outcomes by basing their outlooks on risk-neutral probabilities derived from the prices of financial derivatives.

.   .   .

After presenting my general argument, I illustrate it using the example of a central bank that has a single mandate of targeting an inflation rate of pi_bar. Monetary policy operates with lags, and inflation is affected by shocks other than the central bank’s decision. Hence, the best that the central bank can do is to ensure that its medium-term outlook for inflation always equals pi_bar. My general argument implies that the appropriate outlook for the central bank is not a statistical forecast of inflation, but rather the risk-neutral expectation of inflation, calculated using risk-neutral probabilities. This risk-neutral expectation can be measured using inflation break-evens on assets like zero coupon inflation swaps or TIPS bonds. Hence, it is optimal for an inflation-targeting central bank to follow policies that ensure that inflation break-evens remain close to pi_bar.

I don’t have much to add, except to note that the Fed has a dual mandate, and thus would need a market forecast of the macro variable that would best correlate with their dual mandate.  If you have any suggestions for such a variable, please write Kocherlakota and tell him the Fed needs to create a futures market for that dual mandate indicator ASAP.

HT:  123

Update: Here’s an excellent Michael Darda interview on Bloomberg.tv.  He uses one of David Beckworth’s most effective graphs to show how the European debt crisis is fundamentally a monetary crisis.


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74 Responses to “The Fed is beginning to figure out where it went wrong in 2008”

  1. Gravatar of John John
    12. June 2012 at 08:52

    In light of the market’s muted reaction to the Spanish banking bailout, would you see this reaction as an indication that the policy will fail? Is a short-term rally a sign that the policy was a good idea, or was the short duration a sign that it was too little too late? Based on your view of the EMH, what kind of market reaction would provide a definitive sign that people expected a given policy to produce success?

    What kind of rally should investors look for if a policy is going to succeed?

  2. Gravatar of dwb dwb
    12. June 2012 at 09:05

    excellent interview on Bloomberg tv.

  3. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    12. June 2012 at 09:14

    Why did the Fed adopt such a tight money policy in 2008? Because they were operating a backward-looking policy regime and inflation had been relatively high over the previous 12 months. It’s like trying to drive a car by looking in the review mirror, and making adjustments when you are edging off the road. In contrast, market monetarists want the Fed to look down the road, and steer to a point on the horizon. We want the Fed to use market forecasts.

    The same way Fed economists are slowly coming around to “market” oriented NGDP targeting, is the same way monetarists are slowly coming around to a free market in money production.

    Market monetarists are dragging the Monetarists and Keynesians kicking and screaming, and the Austrians are dragging everyone kicking and screaming.

    Slowly but surely the cancer will be expunged from the system. The problem is that market monetarists have to bring on a worldwide depression through increasing instability generated by country level – or “optimal currency area” level – money and spending rigidity, despite of market forces that would lead to fluctuating money and spending between countries/OCAs.

    After continuous plodding, I still have not seen an adequate explanation as to why market monetarists believe money and spending can fluctuate city to city, and state to state, but not country to country and/or OCA to OCA. Is “market monetarism” really nothing more than a fascist nationalist program? A select group of a country’s business firms, and the country’s government, “team up” to extract and redistribute wealth from other business firms within the country, and internationally, by way of a violence backed counterfeiting monopoly?

  4. Gravatar of J.V. Dubois J.V. Dubois
    12. June 2012 at 09:48

    Excellent interview, very simple and straightforward. Also it is not that often that you see these hots to say something like Michael said at 2:21

  5. Gravatar of J.V. Dubois J.V. Dubois
    12. June 2012 at 09:49

    I meant to say “hosts” of course :D

  6. Gravatar of johnleemk johnleemk
    12. June 2012 at 10:08

    J.V. Dubois, indeed, “the ECB has utterly, utterly failed”! What a fantastic interview. Every single statement of Darda’s hit the nail on the head over, and over.

    The last bit was the icing on the cake. The host tried to go easy on the Fed, but Darda seized it and ran with it — the Fed has been less error-prone than the ECB, but it continues to eff up by pursuing closed-ended policies like QE, and not properly managing expectations. Great, great stuff.

  7. Gravatar of Don Geddis Don Geddis
    12. June 2012 at 10:12

    MF: “I still have not seen an adequate explanation as to why…”

    And yet you keep mentioning the magic phrase “optimal currency area”. Did you even read the basics of what that term means?

    A huge key is labor mobility. If the economy is doing well in one section, but poorly in another, are people able to move to the growth area (and do they in fact do so)?

  8. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    12. June 2012 at 10:23

    John, If a policy was going to succeed I’d expect to see a major stock market rally. But all forecasts are provisional, and subject to revision. At any given point in time markets may view a policy as likely to succeed, but then as new information comes in it may be expected to fail.

    JV, I agree.

  9. Gravatar of Alex Godofsky Alex Godofsky
    12. June 2012 at 10:41

    Scott, I’m surprised you didn’t call out his claim that monetary policy operates with a lag.

  10. Gravatar of John John
    12. June 2012 at 10:50

    Scott,

    I get the general point, but what separates a major from a minor stock market rally? How do you tell the difference between a rally following a policy that the market doesn’t expect to succeed versus one that it does? Would a 25 point rally in the S&P be considered a failure while a 100 point rally would be a success? I know you probably don’t have an exact number in mind, but what do you use as a mental benchmark? I’m very intrigued by your idea that you know right away by the markets if a policy is going to succeed or fail.

  11. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    12. June 2012 at 11:00

    Don Geddis:

    “I still have not seen an adequate explanation as to why market monetarists believe money and spending can fluctuate city to city, and state to state, but not country to country and/or OCA to OCA.”

    And yet you keep mentioning the magic phrase “optimal currency area”. Did you even read the basics of what that term means?

    Did you not even see that you too did not answer my question?

    A huge key is labor mobility. If the economy is doing well in one section, but poorly in another, are people able to move to the growth area (and do they in fact do so)?

    Labor mobility is itself a function of capital accumulation, which is maximized with unhampered economic calculation brought about by a freedom of money and spending to fluctuate firm to firm, industry to industry, and region to region.

    Labor doesn’t have to move to the areas with increasing money and spending! They can stay where they are with the lesser money supply and spending, and compete with lower costs, accumulate capital, and THEN move to the higher real growth areas if they want. They don’t have to go to where there is the most money and spending.

    It’s similar to why millions of Chinese people don’t need to move to the US in order to compete with the US. They can compete on price. The same thing holds true for laborers who are working in a country that experienced a reduction in money and spending. They can produce the same goods and services, but at lower costs and prices, and compete in the world market.

    If the answer you’re proposing is that it is “hard” for labor to “move” very far, even though labor mobility is itself a function of capital accumulation founded upon coordinated capital accumulation, then congrats, you just proved you have no answer for why money and spending can fluctuate city to city, but not country to country and/or OCA to OCA. Your plea to laborers is an empty one.

  12. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    12. June 2012 at 11:03

    Alex Godofsky:

    Scott, I’m surprised you didn’t call out his claim that monetary policy operates with a lag.

    But it does operate with a lag. When the fed inflates, it takes time for that money to spread throughout the economy, affecting demand, prices and profits.

    The Fed doesn’t send you and I checks for our assets. We have to wait for privileged people to spend the additional money on themselves first, as real wealth and claims to wealth are sent one way, and toilet paper is sent the other way.

  13. Gravatar of John Thacker John Thacker
    12. June 2012 at 12:04

    Spanish banking bailout– market falls.

    Evans talks about the need for more monetary stimulus– market jumps up today after his remarks.

  14. Gravatar of John Thacker John Thacker
    12. June 2012 at 12:31

    Labor doesn’t have to move to the areas with increasing money and spending! They can stay where they are with the lesser money supply and spending, and compete with lower costs, accumulate capital, and THEN move to the higher real growth areas if they want. They don’t have to go to where there is the most money and spending.

    Nonsense. You seem to be claiming that the only reason for working is to be able to export. A typical fallacy.

    Tradeable goods will have similar prices in all countries. While Chinese (or other country) labor can compete on lower prices, so long as they require tradeable inputs their lower prices will mean that they are making less money and are worse off. Their lower prices reflect lower average productivity in those industries. They certainly cannot acquire capital compared to higher real growth areas. Higher real growth is always preferable.

    It’s certainly true that if they can raise their productivity to the levels of the highest productivity areas then they don’t need to move, but once they do that they will no longer be competing on price. In the short run, however, moving to another country is a faster way to increase productivity, as countless studies and experiences have shown.

  15. Gravatar of Cedric Cedric
    12. June 2012 at 12:42

    Is it just me, or is Krugman acknowledging that the Fed can do a lot more?

    (“For the time being we need more, not less, government spending, supported by aggressively expansionary policies from the Federal Reserve and its counterparts abroad.”)
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/19/opinion/economic-bleeding-cure.html

    Of course, in usual Krugman fashion, it’s buried beneath his usual fiscal rant.

    I wonder if he ever gets bored writing the same column over and over. I bet this one took him 15 minutes to draft.

    ————-

    As a side note, I think Krugman is drastically overestimating manufacturing capacity problems. He writes:

    “[I]ndustry has been reducing, not increasing, its productive capacity . . . What this means is that if and when a real recovery finally gets going, the economy will run into capacity constraints and production bottlenecks much sooner than it should. That is, the weak economy, which is partly the result of budget-cutting, is hurting the future as well as the present.”

    I can’t prove it, but I highly doubt capacity constraints are going to kill a recovery. Krugman assumes (but doesn’t demonstrate) that increasing capacity to meet production demands is extremely difficult, accompanied by a big time lag. But that isn’t what the data shows — this chart is from the very Fed report Krugman highlights.

    http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g17/Current/ipg1.gif

    It looks to me like:

    (1) Capacity is pretty good at staying ahead of production. We haven’t been anywhere close to maxing out capacity in decades.
    (2) Capacity can rise very quickly, if needed. Note the steep increase of capacity in the 1990s.
    (3) Our capacity usage rate is extremely low right now. For a “bottleneck” to occur, production demands would have to shoot up INCREDIBLY quickly, and producers would have to be caught unaware.
    (4) Our production is growing faster than our capacity at this point, but again, that’s because of our low capacity utilization rate. There is no reason to think these trends will continue until demand runs into a capacity ceiling. Capacity will increase again when the demand justifies it (if trends continue, that will probably be pretty soon).

    The reason capacity is lower is because demand is lower. Use monetary policy to increase AD, and the capacity issues, if they exist, will work themselves out.

  16. Gravatar of 123 123
    12. June 2012 at 12:44

    Kocherlakota is a rare bird – a market monetarist hawk.

  17. Gravatar of DPG DPG
    12. June 2012 at 12:49

    Quick bleg: what is the best book to read on monetary economics/policy? I’m looking to pick something up on my kindle to read this summer, preferably <$50. I'm sure this blog has recommended books before, but I'd rather crowdsource than dig through the archives.

    Density is not a problem. I read academic papers on occasion and I know a bit of math. I've also never read Friedman/Schwartz Monetary History, though I know the gist of it. Is that a prereq?

  18. Gravatar of Negation of Ideology Negation of Ideology
    12. June 2012 at 13:06

    DPG –

    “Money Mischief: Episodes in Monetary History” – Milton Friedman
    “Money in a Free Society: Keynes, Friedman, and the New Crisis in Capitalism” – Tim Congdon

    I also recommend Friedman’s “Program for Monetary Stabilty” from 1983 – but I notice there’s no kindle edition.

    Also, Scott’s National Affairs article and Irving Fisher’s “Debt Deflation Theory of Depressions” are both free online.

  19. Gravatar of Cedric Cedric
    12. June 2012 at 13:08

    GOD. I didn’t realize that Krugman column was 100 years old. Everything I said still stands, but it isn’t interesting anymore; assuming it ever was.

    As an act of contrition, I’m going to eat riblets at the Bee’s tonight. It’s a rare weak item on an otherwise tour de force of culinary imagination.
    http://www.applebees.com/menu/2-for-20/applebee-s-riblet-basket

  20. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    12. June 2012 at 13:10

    “Labor doesn’t have to move to the areas with increasing money and spending! They can stay where they are with the lesser money supply and spending, and compete with lower costs, accumulate capital, and THEN move to the higher real growth areas if they want. They don’t have to go to where there is the most money and spending.”

    Nonsense. You seem to be claiming that the only reason for working is to be able to export. A typical fallacy.

    No, I did not claim that. I set the context as a world market, in which case competition sees countries exporting goods and services to those outside their countries, the same way I could have set the context as an industry, in which case competition sees firms exporting goods and services to those outside their firms.

    Of course countries don’t NEED to export goods, as labor can be used to produce goods and services consumed locally. But then this is superfluous to the point, because a country’s producers can produce and sell goods for their own benefit with $10 trillion total money, or $20 trillion total money with double the costs and prices.

    My point is how a country can integrate into the world division of labor, the same way a single industry or state or city can integrate into the division of labor. Just like money and spending fluctuate at the firm or industry level, so too can it fluctuate at the country/OCA level.

    You’re completely missing my point by making it seem like I am saying the only reason people work to produce, is to export to other countries. No, the reason why people work to produce, is to SELL to other people. That is an “exporting” from the perspective of whoever is doing the producing, since hardly anyone in the division of labor produces goods for their own use. Most produce for others in exchange for money. So in this sense, the inkling you had that I was committing some sort of “export fallacy”, is actually sort of understandable, but you have to also understand that when the context is the world market, and countries are considered, then the competition between countries in in fact in the area of exporting goods and services. It is the exact same in principle as a firm “exporting” goods and services outside of itself, competing with other firms who also export goods outside themselves.

    Tradeable goods will have similar prices in all countries.

    Yes, and when money and spending fall in one country, leading to a general decline in costs and prices in that country, then the prices of whatever that country sells to the world market, will ALSO decrease in price, because other countries are going to have to compete with the country that is producing at lower costs and prices, the same way this happens with an industry of competing firms. If one firm produces at lower prices, other firms in the industry are going to have to match it, lest they lose profits.

    While Chinese (or other country) labor can compete on lower prices, so long as they require tradeable inputs their lower prices will mean that they are making less money and are worse off.

    So long as the loss of money and spending in China is due to economic competition abroad, which is what would happen in a 100% reserve gold standard, then China is not worse off at all, because the increased productivity abroad will reduce world prices for both inputs and outputs, and the reduced quantity of money and spending in China can buy MORE goods and services in the world market, than their originally higher money and spending could buy.

    Adam Smith, hundreds of years, exploded the myth that a country has to prevent money going abroad and thus preventing domestic spending from falling.

    It’s based on the exact same logic as within a country, where one wage earner is outcompeted by another more productive wage earner. The first wage earner’s wages fall, and the latter wage earner’s wages rise, but the first wage earner is still better off, because even though he is making less nominal income, the existence of the more productive wage earner increases production of wealth that leads to an increase in the real purchasing power of his money.

    You have to stop thinking inside a bubble. You have to look beyond the immediate losses and look at the gains made in the whole picture.

    Their lower prices reflect lower average productivity in those industries.

    It reflects lower relative productivity. They could be increasing their productivity over time, just not as fast as the competition.

    Isn’t it good that prices are able to signal what is actually taking place, without central bank management?

    They certainly cannot acquire capital compared to higher real growth areas.

    They can attract capital, just not as much. And that’s good, because it means in order to attract relatively more capital, they’ll have to do everything that leads to investors being attracted. This is a GOOD thing for not only the people in the country, but abroad as well to the extent that another country has made reforms that make investment an attractive alternative. This is the benevolent nature of economic competition. You seem to grasp this at the city to city level, but you don’t seem to be able to extend it to the country level. It’s almost as if some ad hoc barrier comes out of nowhere that says “No! Money and spending shall not be attracted away by better producers abroad!”

    Higher real growth is always preferable.

    Higher real growth requires economic coordination. Stable spending managed by central banks hampers real growth because it hampers economic calculation.

    Imagine if every single individual in the world printed enough money for themselves that they always spent 5% more (annualized) every day. No matter what the individuals did, no matter what they invested in, produced, offered to market, there is always 5% growing demand for their products, the money of which they can then use to buy the products of others.

    Can you at least grasp that this would lead to absolute economic chaos?

    Well, the same reason why chaos would result from this, is the same reason why there would be (somewhat less) chaos if the money printing and spending targeted firms, is the same reason why there would be (somewhat less still) chaos if the money printing and spending targeted cities, is the same reason why there would be (somewhat less still) chaos if the money printing and spending targeted states, is the same reason why there would be (somewhat less still) chaos if the money printing and spending targeted countries!

    It’s certainly true that if they can raise their productivity to the levels of the highest productivity areas then they don’t need to move, but once they do that they will no longer be competing on price.

    So what? They’ll be wealthier.

    In the short run, however, moving to another country is a faster way to increase productivity, as countless studies and experiences have shown.

    Everything has a cost. Moving to other countries is only a good idea when the gains exceed the costs. It is not always true that moving leads to gains. You need recourse the unhampered price system to make such judgments. The unnamed studies you referred to are probably saying labor mobility leads to increased productivity, and has nothing to do with inflation and NGDP targeting.

  21. Gravatar of 123 123
    12. June 2012 at 13:26

    Darda – he has got no clue how narrow EONIA – FFR gap is, why is he talking about the rate cut?
    Calling LTROs “ad-hoc” is absurd.
    Good thing he is popularising the concept of NGDP though.

  22. Gravatar of Adam Adam
    12. June 2012 at 14:40

    When you write something like the last paragraph, do you ever fear that a new reader might not recognize it as tongue in cheek and click away thinking you actually have no idea?

    Perhaps a link or two to an old post might help.

    Also, can you share Kocherlakota’s email address? ;)

  23. Gravatar of Nick Nick
    12. June 2012 at 16:02

    I haven’t totally thought through your NGDP futures market concept (although I am positively predisposed to it), but I always kind of assumed that it was built on the financial engineering concept of building a replicating portfolio so that a liberal non-arbitrage constraint forces the price. But I never actually thought through it – I just assumed that that is what you were thinking since risk neutral pricing is the swiss army knife of practitioners.

    But the Kocherlakota speech doesn’t seem to get this fundamental point. In his example of bank dividends he talks about using -log(S) as the desired measure. I don’t even think that logs of tradeables are tradeables (but I could be mistaken). The whole concept of risk neutral price measures was developed for replicability arguments applied to the fundamental theory of asset pricing depends on the assets (or functions thereof) being tradeables. If he is relying on the risk neutral (martingale) measure he’s picking a strange one – why not just deal with a bank’s CDS spread? So it seems like he is not using market prices to take advantage of the powerful derivative pricing theorems of the last 40 years, but rather, he seems to be using the risk neutral measure as just another statistical measure, just one that everyone can agree on.

    When you advocate a futures NGDP market, is there a no arbitrage replicability argument supporting it, or is it just because it would give you a handy statistical risk measure?

  24. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    12. June 2012 at 16:53

    Alex, That’s because it operates with both leads and lags.

    John, The reason I’m having trouble giving you an answer is that “success” is relative. QE2 was a small success, but very small. I’d expect the S&P500 to go up at least 100 points in one day if the Fed did the sort of bold move I’d like to see. The Dow might jump 1000 points. That won’t happen, but of course the Fed won’t do what I want. That’s why we have to look at much smaller moves, and speculate as to what a bigger move would do.

    John Thacker, I’m so busy I didn’t see the Evans statement.

    Cedric, I agree that Krugman overstates the capacity issue, but in fairness he has called for monetary stimulus on a number of occasions in the past.

    123, In one way he’s a MM, but not in others.

    DPG, The Monetary History is a long book, but everyone ought to at least read the chapters on the interwar period. I think Robert Hetzel’s new book is excellent.

    If you are new to market monetarism you could google my National Affairs article.

    123 ‘Ad hoc’ is not actually an insult, although everyone seems to assume it is. It means for that purpose, doesn’t it?

    Adam, That’s good advice, I’ll do a link next time. And I don’t know his address. I get 4600 hits a day, what if he got 4600 recommendations for NGDP futures markets in one day!

    Nick, I’m no expert on finance, I just want a rough estimate of the market’s forecast for 12 month forward NGDP. Doesn’t have to be exact. As you may know there is currently no NGDP futures market, which indicates very little demand for hedging NGDP risk. This suggests to me that the NGDP futures prices would be a reasonably good proxy for NGDP expectations. What do you think?

  25. Gravatar of Derrill Watson Derrill Watson
    12. June 2012 at 17:07

    Scott,
    I noticed in this week’s Buttonwood comes down in favor of more QE and serves as an easy segway to your favorite topics:

    The intro:
    “SO nothing from the ECB, no change in Bank of England policy, and Ben Bernanke’s testimony only reconfirmed the Fed’s willingness to act if needed. But we did have a quarter point rate cut from the People’s Bank of China, which illustrates that the emerging world has more scope to ease, if only in the sense that their nominal rates are a lot higher.”

    Given that inflation rates can go to infinity and digital money doesn’t require trees to create, how do you run out of room to ease?

    The closer:
    “Anyway, whether it’s a euro-zone deal or more QE, market sentiment seems to have switched from the view that a)the authorities won’t act so things will be awful to b)things are so awful that the authorities must act.”

  26. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    12. June 2012 at 18:11

    I think I’ve come to an epiphany.

    The Fed should say

    “DELIVER GOVT. PRODUCTIVITY GAINS – start cutting public employee salaries, and firing the bottom 10% of them, and we we will not only NOT allow there to be deflationary effects, we’ll target inflation at 3% for 1 year in the process.”

    “AND if the government also does revenue neutral TAX REFORM by June 2013, we’ll target it at 3.5%”

    Meaning the Fed views 2% inflation as sacrosanct, they want EVERYONE to know how important it is to keep inflation low.

    So they ought to go out on a limb, and say clearly that they ALSO think unemployment right now is structural BECAUSE OF BAD GOVT. POLICY.

    Meaning the Fed does believe right now unemployment can’t get much lower, but that is a French compliment – it means they think it CAN BE lower, but not under the current Fiscal regime.

    —–

    This is something we all know, ad once again, you all want the Fed to accept the politics is shitty for what it is, and do QE anyway.

    Right now the thing HOLDING THE FED back with making clear horse trades on QE the way the ECB does, is that people like YOU ALL will act all indignant.

    So get over yourselves.

    Change your line to make it OK for the Fed to twist arms, to get the kind of Fiscal movement that Ben wants to see,

    EMPOWER the Fed to bust heads, stop insisting they are all powerful and get out there and GIVE THEM REAL POWER.

    Write blog posts arguing the Fed should demand hard choices and they will feel free to do so.

  27. Gravatar of dwb dwb
    12. June 2012 at 18:37

    we dont need any blog posts: Fisher is already out in front on that argument (he recently made a similar argument on Bloomberg tv), and Kochlerakota, Bullard have made similar arguments. we also have Barro in the WSJ. Not even a lot of R take these arguments seriously.

    as much as i agree with the goal thats not their job, that why we elect congresspeople. an unelected cabal of bankers should not be dictating policy. who knows what theyll ask for next.

  28. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    12. June 2012 at 18:51

    Continuing…

    The premise of MM is that the Fed has tons of ammo. Ben used to say CB had tons of ammo. The Fed is POWERFUL! It moves last, it can neuter Fiscal, and does neuter it routinely. Not acting, is still an action!

    We all know the drill.

    And we spend many hours, days even, doing this scene from Swingers:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhmcJ7Zg5ko

    We talk to Ben, we give almost exactly that speech. WORD. FOR. WORD.

    But, then he goes to Congress and SAYS I’d like you to do some Fiscal…

    And what does his gang do??? What does the MM crowd say?

    Do we turn and scream the Congress in front of all our other economist readership and

    SCREAM!

    Scream, “Cut employer taxes like the Chairmen says bitches!”

    And then when DeKrugman gets up off his chair, does the MM gang run over and hold DeKrugman down and say

    “STFU loser, the Charimen has spoken, and he is ALL POWERFUL, and has DECREED his desires, and now that we KNOW the Fed’s desires, the ball is in our court.”

    The Fed WANTS employer withholding tax cut.

    The Fed moves last.

    Once Ben speaks, the only reason he isn’t all powerful is because we don’t run over and crush DeKrugman with the brutal reality of our argument…

    If we believe the Fed is all powerful, and we want something from him, and he says the thing he REALLY wants to have…

    Why aren’t we advocating for it with abandon?

  29. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    12. June 2012 at 19:00

    Morgan to paraphrase Reagan, “There you go again:”

    The Fed should say

    “DELIVER GOVT. PRODUCTIVITY GAINS – start cutting public employee salaries, and firing the bottom 10% of them, and we we will not only NOT allow there to be deflationary effects, we’ll target inflation at 3% for 1 year in the process.”

    “AND if the government also does revenue neutral TAX REFORM by June 2013, we’ll target it at 3.5%”

    Meaning the Fed views 2% inflation as sacrosanct, they want EVERYONE to know how important it is to keep inflation low.

    So they ought to go out on a limb, and say clearly that they ALSO think unemployment right now is structural BECAUSE OF BAD GOVT. POLICY.

    Actually the Fed has gone leftist-not even kidding

    Check out this white paper they sent Congress

    They want to bailout homeowners

    http://www.federalreserve.gov/publications/other-reports/files/housing-white-paper-20120104.pdf

  30. Gravatar of Nick Nick
    12. June 2012 at 19:55

    Again, I haven’t thought about all the details, but what would an NGDP futures market look like? The most straightforward unpacking of the definitions would mean that you would trade securities that obligate you to buy or sell units of NGDP in the future. But units of NGDP aren’t assets – you can’t buy or sell them (so far as I know).

    At least inflation can be traded via TIPS…is that the model? You have a bond (probably issued by the gov’t, backed by a gov’t guarantee, or else with tons of credit protection) that accrues value or pays a coupon whose value is based on, say, the second revision of quarterly NGDP. Then you would trade futures on those NGDP bonds?

    I know you are a big fan of EMH and I agree with it too. But remember that EMH just tells you about whether past and current information is embedded in the price – it doesn’t necessarily imply that future expectations are in there at all, let alone whether future expectations are accurate or not. I think that to make any real headway with market implied measures you need to somehow tie back to the replicating portfolio and price convergence from arbitrageurs.

    The idea is not so much that you get anything resembling a market expectation of future NGDP, but rather, that you give people the opportunity to hedge against errors made by the central bank. So let’s say that in 2007, the market expectation for 2010 NGDP is +5%/yr, if you were worried that the Fed was not going to handle the subprime thing well, you could enter into the appropriate side of a contract and clean up when NGDP actually comes in much lower than the price that you entered into it. And the people who are so worried about hyperinflation could make the opposite bet.

    But in the end it’s still just giving you another useful statistical measure. I need to think about it more, but what you really want to do is drill down into why steady NGDP growth is good (e.g., dealing with sticky wages), and make your derivatives directly off from those things that are already traded securities that are associated with those advantages. Because then the central bank would have to follow the market, since if they didn’t, e.g., inflate in such as way as to recognize the reduced productivity of your workforce, an employer would realize a gain on their “employment cost” contract, allowing them to avoid layoffs (I know, silly example, if I could come up with a good one I’d be selling it already), ad protect against the root problems with central bank mistakes.

  31. Gravatar of dwb dwb
    12. June 2012 at 20:15

    ” Check out this white paper they sent Congress
    They want to bailout homeowners”

    the FHFA has started trial programs of principal reduction in NV and CA. the streamline refi has also started (for FHA loans as well). ironically, the Obama administration has been infighting about this for 3 years, they are their own worst enemy.

    yes, the Fed likes these programs.

  32. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    12. June 2012 at 20:27

    dwb,

    whatever the policy effort is, it never comes close to even 50% effectiveness

    It is a big giant cost per achieved end.

    And on principe reduction – if the end goal really is helping those that have something to lose…

    There really aren’t a bunch of owners where principal reduction =positive equity

    right?

    So if they don’t have equity to lose and the likely hood of them staying current is not extraordinary , whats the reason for going through the motions?

    What do they lose?

  33. Gravatar of dwb dwb
    12. June 2012 at 21:04

    most homeowners actually want to stay current for a lot of economic and non economic reasons.

    the newer (v 2.0) refi programs attempt to get people into a mortgage where they have positive equity within 5-6 years but lower current % rate (normally, principal amortizes down anyway). hard to say how effective they will be- we wont know how effective they are for a while (hopefully this exemplifies learning).

    i am not sure there is much cost to these programs: aside from closing and appraisal fees, if someone is going to walk away, its net beneficial to try to keep them paying . plus, the appraisal and credit / asset check provides info that one would not know.

    how successful principal reductions are depends on how many people strategically miss payments to take advantage… which is a big unknown.

  34. Gravatar of Bonnie Bonnie
    12. June 2012 at 21:04

    Video of Kocherlakota Speech:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyKK35l_k7I&feature=player_embedded

    I couldn’t find a whole transcript, sorry.

  35. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    12. June 2012 at 23:17

    Excellent blogging. I have relocated to Thailand, and so have only been reading Sumner’s blog in snatches. My loss.
    Keep up the fight for Market Monetarism.

  36. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    13. June 2012 at 00:26

    What are the odds Michael Darda reads this blog? If you do, please leave a comment!

  37. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    13. June 2012 at 01:27

    Thailand?! Wow, what’s that like? Is it job related-I’m guessing it is.

  38. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    13. June 2012 at 01:30

    I was just thinking ‘I wonder what happened to Bejamin Cole?”

  39. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    13. June 2012 at 06:48

    And yet, Kocherlakota remains an inflation hawk – even now.

  40. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    13. June 2012 at 06:50

    Derrill, That last quote is the “circularity problem” in a nutshell.

    Morgan, You said;

    “I think I’ve come to an epiphany.

    The Fed should say

    “DELIVER GOVT. PRODUCTIVITY GAINS”

    You have been harping on that for years. THE FED DOESN’T CARE ABOUT THE PRODUCTIVITY OF GOVERNMENT WORKERS. Only you care. NOBODY ELSE CARES.

    Nick, You said;

    “The idea is not so much that you get anything resembling a market expectation of future NGDP, but rather, that you give people the opportunity to hedge against errors made by the central bank”

    I’d argue just the opposite, we don’t have an NGDP futures market because people don’t want to hedge against changes in NGDP. BTW, we do have a CPI futures market.

    This sort of market would allow me, Scott Sumner, to get rich if the Fed didn’t do it’s job properly. What’s not to like about that? But I wouldn’t be getting rich by hedging, I’d be getting rich by gambling. To get serious for a moment, obviously it wouldn’t be easy for me to get rich, and that’s because the NGDP future smarket would work pretty well. If you want more information google “spot the flaw in nominal GDP futures targeting. plus my name”

    Bonnie, Thanks for the link.

    Ben, Thanks for commenting–good to hear from you again. I praised your stimulus plan about a week back in a post (put your name in the search box and you can find it.)

    Saturos, The odds are 100%.

    Mike Sax, More likely “lack of job in America related.”

  41. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    13. June 2012 at 06:50

    Statsguy, Yes, with 2 year TIPS spreads at 1%.

  42. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    13. June 2012 at 06:52

    Yeah dwb and Morgan.

    My point though Morgan is you say screw the people who are underwater in their house let em-do what? You don’t care.

    And you say the Fed feels like you do. Maybe on lots of things they do. But not on this.

    Here’s a Morgan Warstler oldie but goodie!

    “The PIIGS and Obamacrats LOSE. They will be made to bend. In WWII terms, they are the Axis powers and they will surrender.”

    “Money exists for those people who OWN stuff, not people underwater on their house.”

    http://www.themoneyillusion.com/?p=10721

    Why do you think Bernanke cares about the “losers?” I mean he’s a Right wing Republican isn’t he?

  43. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    13. June 2012 at 06:58

    Ok well I can relate. Maybe I should try Thailand myself-of course I can’t afford the plane ticket!

  44. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    13. June 2012 at 07:15

    Scott, THE FED CARES.

    What do you call shutting down the Postal Service?

    a productivity gain.

    What do you call Video Classrooms and Distance Education?

    a productivity gain.

    When the Fed says it wants Short Term Stimulus (tax cuts) and Long Term Fiscal Reform (spending cuts), you have ONLY two choices:

    1. Reduce the compensation of public employees without reducing quality of service (productivity gains)

    2. Cutting entitlements

    So which of those two does the Fed want??

    Exactly.

    Sax,

    If a person has no equity or negative equity in a home, they don’t lose anything when they leave the home. There is no loss.

    Why would we care about someone who doesn’t lose anything?

    —–

    Your side Sax as currently constructed HAS TO LOSE.

    Once you run the government with the same efficiency as the private sector, your side will win all the time.

  45. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    13. June 2012 at 07:23

    Mike Sax:

    My point though Morgan is you say screw the people who are underwater in their house let em-do what? You don’t care.

    You piously criticize Morgan for “not caring”, and you actually believe YOU “care” by calling for guns to be pointed at innocent people, so that those who are underwater in their mortgage can gain at their expense?

    What is with you hypocritical liberals anyway? You aren’t righteous and moral for “helping” people by hiding behind the government’s skirt and demanding that they use their power to use force. That’s cowardly.

    Are you personally going out and helping those who are underwater in their mortgages? Are you giving them your earned money? Are you championing a charity that helps the “victims” who accepted loans they can’t pay back?

    No? Then quit trying to sound all moral by calling for government guns. You aren’t helping people. You’re hurting some people to help other people. Yeah, give it good and hard to those evil producers who are responsible for the food you eat and the house you own. Those greedy bastards. How dare they earn money in exchange for the things you need to live and enjoy life?

  46. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    13. June 2012 at 07:25

    ssumner:

    You have been harping on that for years. THE FED DOESN’T CARE ABOUT THE PRODUCTIVITY OF GOVERNMENT WORKERS. Only you care. NOBODY ELSE CARES.

    You have been harping on NGDP for years. THE FED AND BUSINESSMEN DON’T CARE ABOUT NGDP. Only market monetarists care. NOBODY ELSE CARES.

  47. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    13. June 2012 at 07:28

    Mike Sax:

    You remind me of this quote by Penn Jillette:

    “It’s amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness.

    “People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we’re compassionate we’ll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.”

  48. Gravatar of dwb dwb
    13. June 2012 at 07:52

    Bernanke and the FOMC members are themselves govt employees. just saying – conflict of interest here.


    “If a person has no equity or negative equity in a home, they don’t lose anything when they leave the home. There is no loss.

    Why would we care about someone who doesn’t lose anything?”

    actually there is an excellent reason to care: as a taxpayer we are all collectively now the largest mortgage bank in the history of the world (via FHA, GSE’s, Farm credit…).

    Take an example of Joe and Jane who owe $200k but their house is now worth $120k, and the delinquent mortgage is Fannie/Freddie owned. They stand to gain a lot by walking away and making lower rental payments. The taxpayers lose 80k, plus if the house is foreclosed and sold for $100k, they lose another $20k, plus fees.

    Now if Joe and Jane want to stay, and are indifferent to staying at (say) $150k, then you have saved the taxpayers a lot of money by incenting them to stay in the house if you can keep them at $150k. If you offer them a refi with a lower rate that reduces the negative equity position faster (over 5-6 years rather than over 15), then sure, they might still walk away, but in the meantime they are paying down the mortgage. If home prices stabilize or return to 2% nominal increases, then that also reduces their incentive to walk away.

    This is not morality, just credit math. Nobody really cares who pays as long as someone pays. “keeping people in their homes” is often aligned with “minimizing the losses on the taxpayer owned mortgage” so its a win-win for all.

  49. Gravatar of dwb dwb
    13. June 2012 at 08:03

    THE FED AND BUSINESSMEN DON’T CARE ABOUT NGDP. Only market monetarists care. NOBODY ELSE CARES.

    er, some of those market monetarists are people at the Fed and business people.

    Which one does Jan Hatzius fall into… maybe sorta both as the chief economist of Goldman Sachs?

    And when this guy talks about a nominal GDP crisis in europe…

    http://macromarketmusings.blogspot.com/2012/06/michael-darda-on-bloomberg.html

    which raises the question: just how out of touch with the business world are are the internet austrians? oh wait i think we’ve established that.

  50. Gravatar of John John
    13. June 2012 at 08:13

    Thanks for the answer Scott.

  51. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    13. June 2012 at 09:02

    Morgan, or 3. Cut services.

    MF, that’s a great quote.

  52. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    13. June 2012 at 09:10

    Saturos:

    MF, that’s a great quote.

    Let’s hope it helps Mike remove his blinders.

  53. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    13. June 2012 at 09:13

    MF, also Penn is an excellent magician. Just putting it out there.

  54. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    13. June 2012 at 10:44

    Saturos:

    MF, also Penn is an excellent magician. Just putting it out there.

    Penn is also a libertarian. Just putting that out there.

  55. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    13. June 2012 at 14:59

    Morgan, the Fed shutdown the postal service? If the Fed only cares about the “winners” as in your world only people with money are winners why does Berannke want to help those with underwater mortgages?

    I gave you the link so don’t try to pretend he doesn’t

    Major you are a very low quality of person. Your a moral absulutist alright but your morality is a miser’s morality nothing else. The idea that this is what society should be based on-to cater to the miser’s miserliness is morally grotesque.

    If you think that this:

    “People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we’re compassionate we’ll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.”

    Wins me over to your “screw you I got mine” morality you’re an even bigger out of touch dreamer than I realized.

    “You piously criticize Morgan for “not caring”, and you actually believe YOU “care” by calling for guns to be pointed at innocent people, so that those who are underwater in their mortgage can gain at their expense?”

    Is this your new thing-following Morgan around and jumping in all his posts? He’s a big boy he can handle himself.

    But let’s face it Major, there’s nothing innocent about you or anyone else who will let people including children starve or get sick and die rather than part with a extra tax dollars.

    People like you have an almost neurotic fear about helping anyone-the idea that you might have even by accident gives you hives or something.

    And how can you speak against coercion? You literally believe we shouldn’t have the right to vote that it should all be decided by some neo-feudal lord or something. Feudalism was maximum coercion.

    In what you might call the garden of humanity, you are one ungainly weed.

  56. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    13. June 2012 at 21:08

    Mike Sax:

    Major you are a very low quality of person. Your a moral absulutist alright but your morality is a miser’s morality nothing else. The idea that this is what society should be based on-to cater to the miser’s miserliness is morally grotesque.

    Ah yes. The man who demands that the guns you want to point at people be put down, is the “miser” and “grotesque.” YOU’RE grotesque. The grotesque is he who CALLS for guns to be pointed at people who did nothing wrong except produce for others, and earn more money than you in return.

    You are a depraved, disgusting excuse for a human being, who has absolutely no business at all criticizing me or my convictions.

    It is people like you that are intellectually responsible for the tens of millions of people on food stamps, hundreds of thousands more dead overseas, as well as being shot and killed by psycho cops who get slaps on their wrists and paid leave, and who worships criminals solely because they steal from the people you are jealous of.

    You suck at life.

    If you think that this:

    “People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we’re compassionate we’ll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.”

    Wins me over to your “screw you I got mine” morality you’re an even bigger out of touch dreamer than I realized.

    YOU are the one championing the “screw you, I want mine”. You are calling for those with guns, to say “screw you, give me yours”, to those who have. The people who benefit from this moral abomination, are then invariably in the position of “screw you, I got yours, which is now mine.”

    “You piously criticize Morgan for “not caring”, and you actually believe YOU “care” by calling for guns to be pointed at innocent people, so that those who are underwater in their mortgage can gain at their expense?”

    Is this your new thing-following Morgan around and jumping in all his posts? He’s a big boy he can handle himself.

    Awww, what’s the matter, you can’t respond to that argument? Does it make you feel like dirt? Good. You are proposing dirt.

    But let’s face it Major, there’s nothing innocent about you or anyone else who will let people including children starve or get sick and die rather than part with a extra tax dollars.

    Let’s face it, Mike. I am in fact innocent in this respect, because I did not create the physical laws of the universe that would cause children to starve to death when they aren’t fed.

    There is something innocent about me, and I do not accept your depraved original sin garbage that your depravity is somehow in me too. I do not accept your insinuation that the problems of the world are somehow my fault, that somehow I am responsible for it, that I am somehow guilty for not sacrificing myself more and more and more until I have nothing left, and I am reduced to an unproductive parasite like you.

    You are guilty Mike, for pretending that you are somehow moral for calling for guns to be pointed at people BEFORE you even give them the chance to give, as if your depraved view of your own selfish self somehow reflects on everyone else.

    If you want to help starving children, fine, help them. I can recommend to you some foster child organizations that I am involved with. I have two foster children, and they are alive because of me, and I have enough to give because thankfully I live in a country where enough parasites like you are beaten back long enough to allow me to more or less produce new wealth in peace so that I can then give to those who need it. The US, the country of greedy sons of bitches, is by far the number one charity giving nation in the world. Did you know that Wal-Mart gives over $30 million a year in charity? What have you done besides be a lazy bullying creep who thinks he’s all high and mighty for calling on the government’s guns to steal?

    Of course, the population of you parasites is increasing all the time. Europe is plagued with people like you, and because of that, the costs of these parasites is being transferred onto people who had the gall to produce more than the parasites.

    People like you have an almost neurotic fear about helping anyone-the idea that you might have even by accident gives you hives or something.

    Look in the mirror. It is precisely people like you that have a neurotic fear about helping people, so you hide behind the government’s skirt and like a hypocrite you demand that they help the people you’re too greedy to help.

    And how can you speak against coercion?

    The same reason you aren’t speak against it.

    You literally believe we shouldn’t have the right to vote that it should all be decided by some neo-feudal lord or something. Feudalism was maximum coercion.

    Yeah false dichotomies! No, the alternative to democracy is certainly not feudalism. Use your..actually scratch that. I was going to say use your imagination, but clearly you lack it.

    You do not have a right to vote to steal from others, just because you are in a group that outnumbers the minority. The right to vote to hurt others is no right. If 10 people vote to gangrape a tenth person, would you say they had a right to do it? If not, then quit yammering about right to vote, right to vote.

    If you want to “vote”, be my guest and vote with others who think like you, and leave the rest of the population who DON’T want to participate, ALONE. Let them live their lives. Yes, that will probably make you rage, letting people live their own lives, but that’s what grown ups are supposed to learn to do.

    You don’t see me voting with my friends to dump garbage onto your government financed welfare home.

    In what you might call the garden of humanity, you are one ungainly weed.

    Hahaha, that’s funny, coming from someone who is calling for what weeds do to grass, which is take the nutrients for themselves. That’s exactly what you’re calling for. You’re the weed, not me. Yes, I know you are but what am I, blah blah blah. You’re just accusing me of what you yourself suffer from, so that you can claim “I know you are but what am I” when I set the record straight.

  57. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. June 2012 at 02:58

    “The US, the country of greedy sons of bitches, is by far the number one charity giving nation in the world. Did you know that Wal-Mart gives over $30 million a year in charity? What have you done besides be a lazy bullying creep who thinks he’s all high and mighty for calling on the government’s guns to steal?”

    Your troulbe is Major is you’re trying to suggest that private charity alone will fix the problem of thins like child poverty, poverty in general, lack of adeuqate education, health care. It cant. Look at Social Security-I’m sure you consider that “goverment theft”

    However prior to SS the incidence of poverty for the elderly was much higher than today. Indeed for the many old people who were broke-in your mind they’re parasites not producers though in reality they had worked their whole life with nothing to show for it-they had the choice of lviing with their kids or the poor house.

    Today we don’t havw the old fashioned poor house but no dbout you’re advocaciing pure voluntarism in dealing with poverty would bring it back.

    See Major this is why I love getting into it with you-it’s so easy for you to go off the deep end. You are somehow a “producer” but all that means is rich. In your perverse moral universe only wealthy people are “producers” which is why you ought to just say rich people as that’s what you mean.

    Somebody who works and still struggles in your mind is another “parasite”

    We don’t have poor houses today as we’ve whipped that problem. For you the age of the poor house was some utopian moment a la Herman Hoppe where the government couldn’t “steal”

    Actually these days Europe looks a lot more greedy than Americans. yourself excepted.

    “You are a depraved, disgusting excuse for a human being, who has absolutely no business at all criticizing me or my convictions”

    Oh Major, flattery will get you everywhere. But I have plenty of right to criticize your perverse convictions-it’s still a democracy as much as that disgusts you. We all have the right to free speech even if we’re not some wealthy fat cat who says “I got mine, screw you”

    This is why I love winding you up. Getting you to go off the deepend is so easy. Here you are claiming that I’m a “parasite” which you don’t know for one moment. I don’t get any government welfare not that there’s any shame in it if I did.

    You claim I lack imgaination in the range of undemocratic societies I can imagine but luckily your buddy Herman Hoppe has a great imagination.

    In his society it’s all about teh money. If you lack it you’re SOL-shit out of luck.

    Even the police and military only exist for private people so if you cant afford to pay for protection guess there’s nothing you can do if you’re the victim of violence.

    Of course in such a society as Hoppe makes clear there’s nothing to stop people like you from discriminating against others-if you want to.

    Hoppe makes it pretty clear that he envisions a society that will discriminate in various ways. You eluded to what he thinks of gays before. Blacks probably wouldn’t do too well either or so he sugests. As it’s his “imagination” I’ll take his word on it.

    I’m all for private charity but it won’t solve society’s problems by itself. It never has, never will.

    Anyway, Major, help me make news again. You’re a proper follower of Herman Hoppe-as I suspected. Do you also think Licnoln was a terrible guy?

    And give it to me Major: Obama’s not really an American citizen is he? No it’s all a conspiracy to cover the fact that he was born in Keynya. After all, Donald Trump, a very great “producer” says so. I got a feeling you’re on this train as well. I was right about you being a Hoppe man. How about it-is Major Freedom also a birther?

  58. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. June 2012 at 02:58

    “The US, the country of greedy sons of bitches, is by far the number one charity giving nation in the world. Did you know that Wal-Mart gives over $30 million a year in charity? What have you done besides be a lazy bullying creep who thinks he’s all high and mighty for calling on the government’s guns to steal?”

    Your troulbe is Major is you’re trying to suggest that private charity alone will fix the problem of thins like child poverty, poverty in general, lack of adeuqate education, health care. It cant. Look at Social Security-I’m sure you consider that “goverment theft”

    However prior to SS the incidence of poverty for the elderly was much higher than today. Indeed for the many old people who were broke-in your mind they’re parasites not producers though in reality they had worked their whole life with nothing to show for it-they had the choice of lviing with their kids or the poor house.

    Today we don’t havw the old fashioned poor house but no dbout you’re advocaciing pure voluntarism in dealing with poverty would bring it back.

    See Major this is why I love getting into it with you-it’s so easy for you to go off the deep end. You are somehow a “producer” but all that means is rich. In your perverse moral universe only wealthy people are “producers” which is why you ought to just say rich people as that’s what you mean.

    Somebody who works and still struggles in your mind is another “parasite”

    We don’t have poor houses today as we’ve whipped that problem. For you the age of the poor house was some utopian moment a la Herman Hoppe where the government couldn’t “steal”

    Actually these days Europe looks a lot more greedy than Americans. yourself excepted.

    “You are a depraved, disgusting excuse for a human being, who has absolutely no business at all criticizing me or my convictions”

    Oh Major, flattery will get you everywhere. But I have plenty of right to criticize your perverse convictions-it’s still a democracy as much as that disgusts you. We all have the right to free speech even if we’re not some wealthy fat cat who says “I got mine, screw you”

    This is why I love winding you up. Getting you to go off the deepend is so easy. Here you are claiming that I’m a “parasite” which you don’t know for one moment. I don’t get any government welfare not that there’s any shame in it if I did.

    You claim I lack imgaination in the range of undemocratic societies I can imagine but luckily your buddy Herman Hoppe has a great imagination.

    In his society it’s all about teh money. If you lack it you’re SOL-shit out of luck.

    Even the police and military only exist for private people so if you cant afford to pay for protection guess there’s nothing you can do if you’re the victim of violence.

    Of course in such a society as Hoppe makes clear there’s nothing to stop people like you from discriminating against others-if you want to.

    Hoppe makes it pretty clear that he envisions a society that will discriminate in various ways. You eluded to what he thinks of gays before. Blacks probably wouldn’t do too well either or so he sugests. As it’s his “imagination” I’ll take his word on it.

    I’m all for private charity but it won’t solve society’s problems by itself. It never has, never will.

    Anyway, Major, help me make news again. You’re a proper follower of Herman Hoppe-as I suspected. Do you also think Licnoln was a terrible guy?

    And give it to me Major: Obama’s not really an American citizen is he? No it’s all a conspiracy to cover the fact that he was born in Keynya. After all, Donald Trump, a very great “producer” says so. I got a feeling you’re on this train as well. I was right about you being a Hoppe man. How about it-is Major Freedom also a birther?

  59. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. June 2012 at 06:16

    “You are guilty Mike, for pretending that you are somehow moral for calling for guns to be pointed at people BEFORE you even give them the chance to give, as if your depraved view of your own selfish self somehow reflects on everyone else.”

    As usual a total non sequitor. I argue that you’re selfish for opposing any level of wealth distribution so you fire back with ‘no your selifsh for wanting to have wealth redistribution’

    All you can ever do is play this childish game of “I know you are but what am I”

    Can’t even come up with words other than aping what others already said to you. I’m selfish-and a “parasite” something else you’ve divined without knowing a thing about it-becaue I think there should be some level of wealth redstribution and social spending to help other Americans who are struggling. That makes me selfish. Ok.

    This silly talk of gang rape again shows your talent for overwrought rhetoric that is nevertheless idiotic bunk. Actually it’s your GOP that wants to weaken laws against rape they’ve already passed a bunch of crazy laws in the House that would redefine rape down. You’re much more worried about rape as a symbol then real rape.

    “You do not have a right to vote to steal from others, just because you are in a group that outnumbers the minority. The right to vote to hurt others is no right. If 10 people vote to gangrape a tenth person, would you say they had a right to do it? If not, then quit yammering about right to vote, right to vote.”

    The right to vote is in the constitution. If you don’t like it leave the country. Elections have consequences. What are you going to do, start another Peope’s Republic of Texas or some such Right wing commune? I don’t have to yammer about it it’s the law of the land. Move to Saudo Arabia where only those with money have any rights. The only ones yammering are you and Herman Hoppe and similar survivalist nuts.

    “If you want to help starving children, fine, help them. I can recommend to you some foster child organizations that I am involved with. I have two foster children, and they are alive because of me, and I have enough to give because thankfully I live in a country where enough parasites like you are beaten back long enough to allow me to more or less produce new wealth in peace so that I can then give to those who need it. The US, the country of greedy sons of bitches, is by far the number one charity giving nation in the world. Did you know that Wal-Mart gives over $30 million a year in charity? What have you done besides be a lazy bullying creep who thinks he’s all high and mighty for calling on the government’s guns to steal?”

    Again, there’s no dichotomy where you can either give to private charity or pay your taxes. Great “producers”-all you mean by “producers” is rich people, which is why you call me a “parasite” even though I work like anyone else-like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates put the lie that we have to do one or ther other.

    If you give to charity or raise foster kids great. Evidently so does Michelle Bachman-though you wonder about the environment these kids have been raised in, 21 kids in one house is a bit steep and her husband’s some crazy Right wing pastor.

    I’m not opposed to private charity and not that it makes any difference have contributed-when I’ve even been able to myself. Buffett gives billions to charity and he also says the rich should pay more in taxes.

    Gates says the same thing. So Major nobody has to choose between charity and taxes. We can walk and chew gum at the same time. People can pay their taxes and give to charity. But private charity is not enough for the needs of those who are poor and down on their luck.

  60. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. June 2012 at 06:17

    “You are guilty Mike, for pretending that you are somehow moral for calling for guns to be pointed at people BEFORE you even give them the chance to give, as if your depraved view of your own selfish self somehow reflects on everyone else.”

    As usual a total non sequitor. I argue that you’re selfish for opposing any level of wealth distribution so you fire back with ‘no your selifsh for wanting to have wealth redistribution’

    All you can ever do is play this childish game of “I know you are but what am I”

    Can’t even come up with words other than aping what others already said to you. I’m selfish-and a “parasite” something else you’ve divined without knowing a thing about it-becaue I think there should be some level of wealth redstribution and social spending to help other Americans who are struggling. That makes me selfish. Ok.

    This silly talk of gang rape again shows your talent for overwrought rhetoric that is nevertheless idiotic bunk. Actually it’s your GOP that wants to weaken laws against rape they’ve already passed a bunch of crazy laws in the House that would redefine rape down. You’re much more worried about rape as a symbol then real rape.

    “You do not have a right to vote to steal from others, just because you are in a group that outnumbers the minority. The right to vote to hurt others is no right. If 10 people vote to gangrape a tenth person, would you say they had a right to do it? If not, then quit yammering about right to vote, right to vote.”

    The right to vote is in the constitution. If you don’t like it leave the country. Elections have consequences. What are you going to do, start another Peope’s Republic of Texas or some such Right wing commune? I don’t have to yammer about it it’s the law of the land. Move to Saudo Arabia where only those with money have any rights. The only ones yammering are you and Herman Hoppe and similar survivalist nuts.

    “If you want to help starving children, fine, help them. I can recommend to you some foster child organizations that I am involved with. I have two foster children, and they are alive because of me, and I have enough to give because thankfully I live in a country where enough parasites like you are beaten back long enough to allow me to more or less produce new wealth in peace so that I can then give to those who need it. The US, the country of greedy sons of bitches, is by far the number one charity giving nation in the world. Did you know that Wal-Mart gives over $30 million a year in charity? What have you done besides be a lazy bullying creep who thinks he’s all high and mighty for calling on the government’s guns to steal?”

    Again, there’s no dichotomy where you can either give to private charity or pay your taxes. Great “producers”-all you mean by “producers” is rich people, which is why you call me a “parasite” even though I work like anyone else-like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates put the lie that we have to do one or ther other.

    If you give to charity or raise foster kids great. Evidently so does Michelle Bachman-though you wonder about the environment these kids have been raised in, 21 kids in one house is a bit steep and her husband’s some crazy Right wing pastor.

    I’m not opposed to private charity and not that it makes any difference have contributed-when I’ve even been able to myself. Buffett gives billions to charity and he also says the rich should pay more in taxes.

    Gates says the same thing. So Major nobody has to choose between charity and taxes. We can walk and chew gum at the same time. People can pay their taxes and give to charity. But private charity is not enough for the needs of those who are poor and down on their luck.

  61. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    14. June 2012 at 11:37

    Mike Sax:

    Mike, first off, a little advice: Click on Submit ONCE, then let it go. Let it take a while. You’re like those impatient non-scientifically inclined people who repeatedly press an already lit up elevator button.

    “The US, the country of greedy sons of bitches, is by far the number one charity giving nation in the world. Did you know that Wal-Mart gives over $30 million a year in charity? What have you done besides be a lazy bullying creep who thinks he’s all high and mighty for calling on the government’s guns to steal?”

    Your troulbe is Major is you’re trying to suggest that private charity alone will fix the problem of thins like child poverty, poverty in general, lack of adeuqate education, health care. It cant. Look at Social Security-I’m sure you consider that “goverment theft”

    Oh dear, so I do have to educate a caveman. This might be difficult.

    What you’re saying is that respect for property rights, production, exchange, and charity are insufficient to feeding, educating, and medicating everyone.

    Well, I tell you this: FORCE is also insufficient for feeding, educating, and medicating everyone as well. After all, we have force based redistribution in virtually every country, and virtually every country has poverty, lack of education, and lack of medicating everyone.

    So now what? You can’t say it’s because there’s not enough force, because force reduces productivity. It’s the difference between you enslaving someone and forcing them to build you a shed, and me hiring them to do what consumers ask to be produced.

    When you say “education”, you just mean any old education. As long as the child is sitting in a government classroom, they’re somehow better off, even if they could actually be better off helping their parents in their small business, say, or being educated in a private school according to the parent’s desires for educational content, say.

    The same thing is true for food and medicine.

    Furthermore, the fact that charity, production and exchange alone cannot, in 2012, feed, clothe, and shelter everyone, it doesn’t imply any justification for pointing guns at the people who are producing and earning. Not only is there no ethical justification, which is sufficient for civilized people, but there is also no pragmatic justification, which is sufficient for people like you who don’t care if you’re hurting innocent people.

    Introducing violence into civilized, productive society reduces the total quantity of goods that can be produced and thus distributed to the poor. If you want to help the poor, then you don’t attack the people who hire them, feed them, clothe them, and educate them. You PROTECT them. You protect them from violence (and you protect others from their violence), so that they can produce enough capital to make labor productivity rise to a degree that more poor people can be given food, shelter, and medicine.

    In a world without the state taking primary responsibility for financing these things, it is almost guaranteed that families, friends, and colleagues will help each other, precisely because it is now their primary responsibility to help each other. No more can callous, lazy people like you consider themselves “moral” and “righteous” by simply sitting on your fat behind while you yammer for the state to take care of the poor. No, you and your family and friends will finally start to help each other because then the responsibility will be on you and your family and friends, rather than “others”, who you depend on at gunpoint.

    However prior to SS the incidence of poverty for the elderly was much higher than today.

    That wasn’t BECAUSE the lack of SS. That was because at the time, technological progress and capital accumulation were a lot smaller. Labor productivity was a lot smaller. That is why more people were impoverished relative to us today. It’s not because there was a lack of violence. It was a lack of goods and services.

    Look at THIS chart.

    Poverty was gradually declining for many years, until the state began its massive war on poverty. The result? Poverty stopped declining.

    Why did this happen? It’s exactly what Milton Friedman knew: When you finance something, you get more of it. When the monetary demand for poverty goes up, so too will the supply of poverty tend to go up. It’s basic economics.

    If you want to eradicate poverty, you cease demanding it. This may sound “cruel”, but life isn’t sunshine and lollipops. You need to grow up, be a man, and stop thinking like a small child who needs to be taken care of.

    Indeed for the many old people who were broke-in your mind they’re parasites not producers though in reality they had worked their whole life with nothing to show for it-they had the choice of lviing with their kids or the poor house.

    On the contrary. Their being parasites was forced on them. They were turned into parasites by being forced to pay into SS, which of course has since been looted by your wonderful benevolent progressive/conservative statesmen who bribed voters with free goodies and wasted trillions of dollars in wealth (“Oh no! The state can work, we just need to plead more, and yammer more! Utopia to the rescue!”).

    I am not an age discriminator. If someone is a parasite, it doesn’t matter their age.

    Today we don’t havw the old fashioned poor house but no dbout you’re advocaciing pure voluntarism in dealing with poverty would bring it back.

    We still have them. They have multiplied. They have not declined relative to population size. It’s precisely because of state violence to “help”, that it remains a problem.

    The state’s force against innocent people isn’t responsible for the wealth that has been produced to bring people out of impoverishment. No, it’s the production itself that has done it. We need more production, and partisan, anti-capitalist progressives like you are preventing it because you don’t know how economies grow. You only know how to be a caveman and take from others.

    See Major this is why I love getting into it with you-it’s so easy for you to go off the deep end.

    I’m not the one calling for guns to be pointed at innocent people you crazy loon. YOU went off the deep end a long time ago.

    You are somehow a “producer” but all that means is rich.

    I cannot become rich in the market unless I produce. Yes, I could win the lottery, yes I could steal, but I have gotten rich by producing wealth for my fellow man.

    You’re wrong to claim that being a producer is only being rich. You have a silly Marxist conception of reality.

    In your perverse moral universe only wealthy people are “producers” which is why you ought to just say rich people as that’s what you mean.

    I don’t mean rich people. I mean productive people. Productive people can range from modest to insanely wealthy, depending on their productivity.

    In your actually perverse moral worldview, all rich people are unproductive, all rich people have ill-gotten gains, all rich people are to be robbed because they don’t “deserve” what they earned.

    You are not the judge of who ought to earn what. The individual customers are. If two people are “silly” enough to trade such that one gives the other his goods, and the other gives the one his money, such that the former acquires more dollars, and the latter acquires more real wealth, then that IS just and fair and well-gotten gains.

    Greedy evil cigar chomping capitalists produce for their customer’s sake, and the better job they do, the more money they earn.

    If that means you have to accept that your lack of riches implies you are not productive, then friggin accept it like a man, and stop being a princess about it. Try harder. Do more. Be more productive. Anything’s better than wasting your life blogging like a yahoo while at the same time railing at “the system” for why he isn’t being given millions of dollars for his dilettantish, whimsical dabbling in partisan hack pseudo-news blogging.

    You’re a sorry excuse for a human being, is all I have to say about that.

    Somebody who works and still struggles in your mind is another “parasite”

    No, they are not a parasite if they work but struggles. They become a parasite when they gain at the expense of others through violence.

    We don’t have poor houses today as we’ve whipped that problem.

    You can thank productivity. But because there’s still a lot of violence, we still have 40 million people on food stamps.

    For you the age of the poor house was some utopian moment a la Herman Hoppe where the government couldn’t “steal”

    The government did steal at that time. Wealth overall was lower because productivity was lower.

    You have the oh so typical mythical radical left-wing conception of history that people were poor because of a lack of government violence. You are so wrong. People were poor because there was less wealth at the time. Technology was more primitive. Even if the state would have used MORE violence than they did, and steal even more from the productive, then that STILL would have resulted in relative impoverishment. The wealthy weren’t so wealthy that their wealth could sustain the poor. If 100% of the top 10% was stolen, and given to the poor, then there might have been a one time boost of around 10% per person, and that’s it. After that, capital decumulation would have set in as the productive no longer had any means to continue producing, and soon after, millions upon millions would have died horrible deaths.

    But because the parasites were beaten back long enough, and wide enough, capital accumulation was possible, and the productivity of labor was able to rise. Total productivity increased and THAT is what finally, after thousands of years of kings and emperors and pharaohs looting and enslaving the masses, finally that got the great bulk of people out of poverty in wherever capitalist arose. In places that are your ideal: collectives based on violence, poverty persisted.

    It was the release of the “bourgeoisie”, the individual innovators, the businessmen who come out of nowhere, out of bondage, out of being controlled, this is what allows prosperity to grow.

    You have a very old, ancient worldview of “violence works.” If we did what YOU wanted, we’d destroy everything that was created because the world moved closer to MY ideal, and AWAY from yours.

    Actually these days Europe looks a lot more greedy than Americans. yourself excepted.

    They are doing more of what you find ideal. They are engaging in more violent wealth transfer, more taxation, more controls, more oppression, more trapping of the productive. And look at what’s happening. Europe is in turmoil.

    “You are a depraved, disgusting excuse for a human being, who has absolutely no business at all criticizing me or my convictions”

    Oh Major, flattery will get you everywhere. But I have plenty of right to criticize your perverse convictions-it’s still a democracy as much as that disgusts you.

    You have absolutely no right to criticize me. Anyone who supports guns being pointed at people to take their wealth, has no business lecturing ANYONE on morals or ethics.

    We all have the right to free speech even if we’re not some wealthy fat cat who says “I got mine, screw you”

    As opposed to being you, an “I want yours, screw you” fat dog?

    And it does not surprise me that you also have no understanding of free speech. Free speech is not boundless. It is constrained to private property. You can tell when someone invited you into their home, and you start shouting “F you! I want yours, screw you! What you produced is now MINE! I NEED it more than you do! A$$holes!” and they throw you out, they have every right to stop you from speaking like that in their home. Your free speech does not overrule their individual rights.

    Same thing here on this blog. Sumner reserves the right to ban and allow posts. HE is the property owner. If we all acted like you find ideal, then it would be OK if we all ganged up on Sumner, found out where he lived, and stole his wealth. Then we keep some for ourselves, and give the rest to the poor houses that you never help but depend on the state to do it for you. According to you, we would be acting “pragmatically”, and we wouldn’t be “so morally absolutist.” We’d be doing what you find ideal!

    This is why I love winding you up. Getting you to go off the deepend is so easy. Here you are claiming that I’m a “parasite” which you don’t know for one moment.

    I can tell you are one by the extent of your “offense” at the term. I use the term all the time, and productive people are never this “offended” at the phrase. That’s why you spend all day on this blog and your own partisan hack blog you’ve been pathetically peddling on this site.

    The fact that you admit you would LIKE to get an emotional rise out of me, is proof that you are a troll. That’s exactly what a troll is. So now I can consider you a parasite troll.

    I don’t get any government welfare not that there’s any shame in it if I did.

    There is shame in it, and I don’t believe you. In any case, I don’t really care. It’s more about what you advocate than you. I really don’t care about you. It’s your ideas and advocacies I find repulsive and disgusting.

    You claim I lack imgaination in the range of undemocratic societies I can imagine but luckily your buddy Herman Hoppe has a great imagination.

    Hahaha, do you honestly think I care what you think of Hoppe? He’s a homophobic stubborn git. But he does make arguments I agree with, because I’m not a partisan hack who feels compelled to going out of my way to try to find excused to not believe what someone in the “enemy party” says.

    You are not in any way making me feel guilty by agreeing with Hoppe about some of the things he says.

    In his society it’s all about teh money. If you lack it you’re SOL-shit out of luck.

    No, it’s all about the individual property rights.

    In your society, it’s all about the state’s guns. If you lack them, you’re SOL.

    Even the police and military only exist for private people so if you cant afford to pay for protection guess there’s nothing you can do if you’re the victim of violence.

    The state exists to perpetuate itself. It does not exist for private people, but I’m glad that you are getting closer and closer to exposing your radical Marxism. I tend to consider myself very talented in bringing out the truth of what people actually believe in their core principles.

    Of course in such a society as Hoppe makes clear there’s nothing to stop people like you from discriminating against others-if you want to.

    You discriminate against people all the time. For example, when you’re considering a potential partner, you discriminate. When you choose friends, you discriminate. Discrimination is not an evil. It is only an evil to those who don’t look at others as individuals, but simply as replaceable, identical, dime a dozen “human.” We’re not supposed to discriminate against men if we want to marry females. We’re not supposed to discriminate against people who have different ethics than we do if we want to choose friends. No, we….HAHAHA I bet you right now you’re thinking “Not this kind of discrimination! This kind is OK! I meant discriminating among people when it comes to private property rights! That is when discrimination is evil!”

    Then I will just say your silly Marxism is showing again, where it’s not discrimination per se that is the problem, it’s private property, and not just private property, but private BUSINESS property, and you’re only USING discrimination as an excuse to attack it. You’ll allow discrimination when private business property is not implicated, but when it is, then we shall unite for consistency and non-hypocrisy! But when it comes to your bodily property, or your house property, then you’ll defend your right to discriminate and not have anyone force you to accept anyone you don’t want into your life or your home.

    Hoppe makes it pretty clear that he envisions a society that will discriminate in various ways.

    You obviously have not read Hoppe. No, “society” doesn’t “do” anything. Society doesn’t act. Society doesn’t discriminate. Individuals discriminate, including you. You would almost certainly discriminate against me, and for someone else, if you’re considering a dinner guest, in your shack.

    What Hoppe is talking about is not forcing OTHERS to integrate with people they don’t want to integrate with, constrained to their private property rights. He says if you want to integrate with others, according to your property rights, go right ahead. Just don’t force others by violence into doing it, for example using coercion to force employers to hire at least a percentage of workers of a particular race, or forcing children into attending schools that have people they otherwise don’t want to be with. There is nothing wrong with this. This is people living their own lives and wanting to have their own choice be decisive in who they marry, become friends with, work with, go to school with, and so on.

    Using force, in my opinion, to compel integration leads to MORE violence. Look at how well we get along with the Chinese. Why? A big part of it is that neither population of people are forcing the other to accept them into their property. We integrate at the private property level, where each individual who chooses to interact, does so without forcing others to do it. One by one, more and more voluntary integration occurs, peacefully, and not only that, but those who don’t discriminate over race, and only merit, end up making more profits, and so they expand at the expense of the bigots, so that’s an added bonus that comes along with private property that you Marxists abhor with a passion.

    You eluded to what he thinks of gays before.

    The word is ALLUDED.

    Eluded is a word that means evade, dodge, escape.

    See Mike, this is one of your huge problems. You can’t spell worth a damn. Your grammar is garbage. Your vocabulary is something to be desired. How can you possibly expect to be taken seriously when you write like an 8 year old?

    Blacks probably wouldn’t do too well either or so he sugests.

    I don’t want only certain races to do well. I want individuals to do well. Why are you promiting a racist ideology?

    As it’s his “imagination” I’ll take his word on it.

    You don’t need to take his word for it, because he gives plenty of arguments.

    I’m all for private charity but it won’t solve society’s problems by itself. It never has, never will.

    Charity might one day do it, with enough capital accumulation and labor productivity. You can’t claim it NEVER will.

    Violence, not THAT is what I can say for sure never has solved ANY of society’s problems. Never has, never will. Violence IS the cause of all society’s problems. Eradicate, or minimize violence, and the world has the potential for so much wealth and so much productivity that poverty, should it exist, will only exist for those who refuse to work and refuse charity.

    Anyway, Major, help me make news again. You’re a proper follower of Herman Hoppe-as I suspected. Do you also think Licnoln was a terrible guy?

    I already told you I am not a follower of Hoppe. I just agree with some of the things he says.

    If you agreed with the GOP that 2+2=4, would that make you a follower of the GOP?

    I already posted my thoughts on Lincoln.

    And give it to me Major: Obama’s not really an American citizen is he? No it’s all a conspiracy to cover the fact that he was born in Keynya. After all, Donald Trump, a very great “producer” says so. I got a feeling you’re on this train as well. I was right about you being a Hoppe man. How about it-is Major Freedom also a birther?

    I don’t have enough information to make an informed judgment. I am not an expert in birth certificates. And I don’t trust partisans in politics, so I don’t trust the birthers and I don’t trust the state of Hawaii either.

    “You are guilty Mike, for pretending that you are somehow moral for calling for guns to be pointed at people BEFORE you even give them the chance to give, as if your depraved view of your own selfish self somehow reflects on everyone else.”

    As usual a total non sequitor.

    It is not a non sequitur. It follows.

    I argue that you’re selfish for opposing any level of wealth distribution so you fire back with ‘no your selifsh for wanting to have wealth redistribution’

    Do you deny that calling for force to TAKE people’s wealth, against their will if need be, is a selfish act?

    All you can ever do is play this childish game of “I know you are but what am I”

    That’s because I am talking to a hypocrite. Hypocrites like you impose a morality on others that they themselves refuse to abide by. Hypocrites like you accuse others of doing or being the very thing you are doing and being. I suspect that it’s because it’s your defense mechanism. By accusing others of what you at some level know yourself to be, you can pretend that you coming back with a rhetorical “You keep saying I know you are but what am I?” is somehow sufficient to justify your accusation against me, and is somehow sufficient to justify you hypocritical advocacy. By belittling my correct identifications of you, by painting them as “nothing but” childish “I know you are but what am I?” responses, you hope that you can convince yourself and your readers that you have the mature high ground. It’s textbook control freak psychology, and I can see right through it.

    I don’t care what you say first, if you tell me at any time, before, or after something I say, that you are in favor of pointing guns at innocent people, to take their wealth by force, then I will tell you that this is a depraved, immoral, and yes, also a selfish act. I don’t care if you called me the exact same thing right prior, I will say that if you say that, because that is what I actually think about it.

    So no, it’s not “I know you are but what am I”, as much as you hilariously, desperately, NEED it to be in order to “win.” You need to win the same way you learned how to win in your almost certainly dysfunctional family or governmental school growing up. I bet either your parents, your sibling, or your government school mates “won” against you by making you feel like a baby, insignificant. I bet you heard on many occasions “I know you are but what am I” from one of your siblings, or from schoolyard bullies.

    So that’s why you’re saying that crap to me. It’s all you know.

    Can’t even come up with words other than aping what others already said to you.

    Don’t flatter yourself. You could have said that 10 years from now and I still would have said that to you. I go by what you argue, not your arguments against me.

    I’m selfish-and a “parasite” something else you’ve divined without knowing a thing about it-becaue I think there should be some level of wealth redstribution and social spending to help other Americans who are struggling. That makes me selfish. Ok.

    Yes, it does. Anyone who calls for violence and/or coercion against innocent people, are selfish pricks. They don’t think they’re being selfish, because they are just calling for sacrificing the victim for the sake of some altruistic purpose, but the act itself is incredibly selfish, for it still requires the thief to take possession of the wealth. It doesn’t matter what HE does with thereafter. He was selfish for taking it in the first place. He put his own preferences for that wealth, above the preferences of the owner, by force. He put his own morality above the morality of the owner, by force. He imposed his own morality on the victim, by force. That is selfish. That is parasitical. He did not give before he took. He just took.

    This silly talk of gang rape again shows your talent for overwrought rhetoric that is nevertheless idiotic bunk.

    You haven’t shown how it is “silly”, and you haven’t shown how my arguments are “bunk.” You have only ELUDED it. <- see what I did there? That's how you use that word.

    Actually it’s your GOP that wants to weaken laws against rape they’ve already passed a bunch of crazy laws in the House that would redefine rape down.

    See that folks? Partisan hacks lack such imagination that they can only see their intellectual and ideological interlocutors in debate, whom they disagree with, as belonging to “the other” party.

    No Mike, I consider the GOP a bunch of immoral pompous depraved hypocrites, just like the Democratic party. I am not a follow of the GOP. I am not partisan like you. I am a political atheist.

    You’re much more worried about rape as a symbol then real rape.

    Straw man.

    “You do not have a right to vote to steal from others, just because you are in a group that outnumbers the minority. The right to vote to hurt others is no right. If 10 people vote to gangrape a tenth person, would you say they had a right to do it? If not, then quit yammering about right to vote, right to vote.”

    The right to vote is in the constitution.

    There is no right for the constitution to be imposed on me.

    If you don’t like it leave the country.

    Ah yes, and we’ve quickly moved on to the last resort of bullies and country private property “Get off my lawn!” troglodytes.

    I do not recognize “country”, Mike. I only recognize individual land property rights, founded upon original appropriation, or exchange. If there is a disagreement, then non-owners of a given property, such as yourself, have no bearing, no input, no right, no standing, in telling the private property owner to leave his own property. If anyone has to leave, it is you. Or, you could stop pretending that you own the country, stop pretending that the goons in Washington own the country, and start to respect private property rights of people. I know that’s hard for lazy, self-righteous bullies like you, but it’s the best way you can act from my perspective.

    Elections have consequences.

    Yes, 10 men voting in an election to rape a woman does have consequences. The woman should accept it, or leave her home and let the thugs take possession of it. Democracy for the win!

    What are you going to do, start another Peope’s Republic of Texas or some such Right wing commune?

    What is that? What are you trying to gain by asking me this? What difference does it make to you what I do?

    I don’t have to yammer about it it’s the law of the land.

    And yet you are.

    Move to Saudo Arabia where only those with money have any rights.

    Saudi Arabia is closer to your ideal. I don’t want to move there.

    The only ones yammering are you and Herman Hoppe and similar survivalist nuts.

    YOU’RE YAMMERING. You’re yammering at people who want nothing that to have the guns lowered. You’re yammering at me. You’re yammering at Hoppe, through me, as if I am supposed to answer for him. You’re yammering and you have the gall to call me yammering?

    There you go again with the hypocrisy, “inB4″ I know you are but what am I.

    “If you want to help starving children, fine, help them. I can recommend to you some foster child organizations that I am involved with. I have two foster children, and they are alive because of me, and I have enough to give because thankfully I live in a country where enough parasites like you are beaten back long enough to allow me to more or less produce new wealth in peace so that I can then give to those who need it. The US, the country of greedy sons of bitches, is by far the number one charity giving nation in the world. Did you know that Wal-Mart gives over $30 million a year in charity? What have you done besides be a lazy bullying creep who thinks he’s all high and mighty for calling on the government’s guns to steal?”

    Again, there’s no dichotomy where you can either give to private charity or pay your taxes.

    Yes, there is. The former is based on peace, the latter is based on violence. The former on consent, the latter on coercion. They are in fact dichotomies. Violence is a dichotomy to peace. You should have learned that in school, but you probably went to a government one, so you only learned how to be a hypocritical state worshiper, exactly like you were designed to be.

    Great “producers”-all you mean by “producers” is rich people, which is why you call me a “parasite” even though I work like anyone else-like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates put the lie that we have to do one or ther other.

    You don’t work. You leech. Stop deceiving yourself.

    If you give to charity or raise foster kids great.

    But that isn’t enough for you sociopaths is it? I also have to have threats of guns to make me give more.

    Evidently so does Michelle Bachman-though you wonder about the environment these kids have been raised in, 21 kids in one house is a bit steep and her husband’s some crazy Right wing pastor.

    I don’t care about Bachmann. You only care because she has a letter R after her name, and she belongs to “them.”

    I’m not opposed to private charity and not that it makes any difference have contributed-when I’ve even been able to myself. Buffett gives billions to charity and he also says the rich should pay more in taxes.

    Buffet will make more money off the kind of additional taxes he is calling for. He wants day traders to be taxed more, so that his investments become more attractive.

    And in any event, who cares what Warren Buffet says about taxes? Since when did rich people’s political beliefs matter for me? Never.

    Gates says the same thing. So Major nobody has to choose between charity and taxes.

    Hahahaha, you tell me because Buffet and Gates are calling for more taxes, that this settles it? Two people? Really? I don’t care if you showed me 100 million people. My individual rights cannot be voted away by majority. They can only ever be violated.

    And I didn’t say that we have to choose between charity and taxes. YOU did. YOU were the one who said to me (paraphrased): “No taxes? Really? But private charity is not enough!”

    You’re not presenting me a choice between charity or taxes. You’re presenting me with taxes and charity, or taxes and no charity.

    You’re right, nobody does choose between charity and taxes. Taxes are not a choice. Charity is. That’s why only charity can make you act morally. Calling for taxes does not.

    We can walk and chew gum at the same time. People can pay their taxes and give to charity. But private charity is not enough for the needs of those who are poor and down on their luck.

    It can be, if you parasites are beaten back once again, for long enough, and permanently this time.

  62. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. June 2012 at 15:45

    Major (UN)Freedom

    First up I have to credit you for writing what may be the longest, most rambling post in blogger history which is no mean feat.

    But doing all that compulsive neurotic writing-as the classic neurotic-obssessive you are-I figure you deserve some sort of tribute. Very well. From now on your new full name is Major Freedom(is Slavery), or Major (Un)Freedom for short.

    As in your Orwellian world you mix things up, and get them exactly ass backwards.

    I mean with all the long rambling posts you’ve written you could put together a nice long rambling book. People might buy it just out of the fascination of such a perfect case of compulsive dimestore drivel. I mean if the saying “all storm and stress signifying nothing” applied to anyone it’s you Major.

    Still, though you go on and on and on… if you were to take out all the pointless attempts at invective and ad hominem attacks it would be a very short post. On any point of substance it would be no more than a few sentences.

    Still it was long enough to be a dissertation-for admittance the mental hospital which is perhaps where you write all these bizzaro posts from.

    I call you Major (Freedom is) Slavery because of your unconscious irony.

    Like when you say this

    “You’re much more worried about rape as a symbol then real rape.”

    “Straw man.”

    It’s quite ironic as all you do is attack straw men that have nothing to do wtih me or what I’ve said. Talk about calling for “violence” and “rape” and assorted fantastic slurs of “parasite” and the rest, Let alone talk of “juvenille Marxism.”

    I’m not a Marxist, juvenille or other.

    Indeed all your talk of rape is of a straw man as I am opposed to real rape all you’re opposed to is “rape” as in raising your taxes by a couple dollars. You claim to not care about the GOP but I notice most righties claim to hold the Dems and Repugs in equal disain but it emerges they’re really GOPers. Anyway if you’re opposed to rape why don’t you speak out against the GOP which has passed a bunch of bills that define down definition of rape. But you don’t care about that-either you’re unaware of it are you approve all you care about is seeing your top marginal tax rate go up from 35% to 39.6%

    That’s the only “rape” that you worry over.

    You also enter into the usual sad attempts at psychologism of claiming that you can ascertain my personal biography based on my imaginary love of “state violence.”

    All because I say tax isn’t thefit it’s within the rights and powers of the US government to impose all you’re shreking about “10 gang rapes” or “force” notwithstanding

    Crazy analogies “Yes, 10 men voting in an election to rape a woman does have consequences. The woman should accept it, or leave her home and let the thugs take possession of it. Democracy for the win!”

    Talk about straw men-what election was that? One that happened only in your feverish overworked nervous imagination. I imagine you must stay all day in one room feversihlly typing away probably a hermit as who could stand your insufferable boorishness-and also you are very boring-for more than about 30 seconds? That room is probably in your assumlum. You nailed that dissertation.

    I love your proof that I’m a “parasite” as well. Becaue I deny that I am one. If you’re innocent don’t deny when somone makes up crazy lies about you.

    As opposed to being you, an “I want yours, screw you” fat dog?

    Yes, you’re going to “educate” anyone to not be a “caveman” Very droll, you’re the biggest Neanderthal in the room.

    Is this the way you “educate” those foster kids of yours too? Meaningless, childish, strawmen insults?

    Maybe you educat them with wild attacks like this:

    “You don’t work. You leech. Stop deceiving yourself.”

    If you think I don’t work then you’re deceving yourself, not that it matters or is relevant either way. Trying to divine me is something you keep failing at. Not all liberals are poor anyway.

    “Buffet will make more money off the kind of additional taxes he is calling for. He wants day traders to be taxed more, so that his investments become more attractive.”

    Major (Un)Freedom who cares what his motivation is he’s right on the policy. And he’s proof that you can have charity and taxes. They aren’t mutually exclusive. He does his charity and pays his taxes, good enough. Motivation doesn’t matter.

    “we’ve quickly moved on to the last resort of bullies and country private property “Get off my lawn!” troglodytes.”

    Major, talk about hypocrisy, all you ever talk about is how only property gives any rights, that no one has them if they dont have property and now you say that enforcing my property rights to my lawn is the last resorts of “bullies.”

    Looks like this is an example of something you’re always babbling about-”hypocrisy.”

    “Saudi Arabia is closer to your ideal. I don’t want to move there.”

    Yes, but this is a democracy. Everyone else wants you to go. And there’s no democracy there. No one who isn’t a property owner-or a royal heir- has any rights.

    “You haven’t shown how it is “silly”, and you haven’t shown how my arguments are “bunk.”

    I can’t prove a negative, as I haven’t called for gang rapes nor do I support them it is demonstrably bunk. You’re the one making wild accustaions. So you prove what your saying is not the ravings of an overwrought delusional old man.

    “If you agreed with the GOP that 2+2=4, would that make you a follower of the GOP?”

    Stupid analogy. If I “agree” with Hitler that 2+2=4 I’m not a Nazi but if I think all Jews should be gassed I am.

    What you agree with Hoppe is not 2+2=4, but that people have no right to vote, that only private property owners have any rights-though you don’t think property rights extend to my lawn for some reason-and that it’s fine to discriminate against racial groups or whoever else you might feel like discriminating against.

    You talk about cavemen when your own arguments are very old fashioned and tired. This talk about how “everyone discriminates” in who they assoicate with and therefore Denny’s can refuse to serve black people if that’s their holy “choice.”

    “By accusing others of what you at some level know yourself to be, you can pretend that you coming back with a rhetorical “You keep saying I know you are but what am I?” is somehow sufficient to justify your accusation against me, and is somehow sufficient to justify you hypocritical advocacy. By belittling my correct identifications of you, by painting them as “nothing but” childish “I know you are but what am I?” responses, you hope that you can convince yourself and your readers that you have the mature high ground. It’s textbook control freak psychology, and I can see right through it.”

    No Major you can’t see anything through your fog of confusion and straw men attacks. The last person you know anything about me. Nice try but you’re not much of a head shrinker either. I just think your a neurotic overexcitable fruitcake. You should probably try valium.

    “I don’t have enough information to make an informed judgment. I am not an expert in birth certificates. And I don’t trust partisans in politics, so I don’t trust the birthers and I don’t trust the state of Hawaii either”

    I take that as you think he was born in Kenya.

    “Do you deny that calling for force to TAKE people’s wealth, against their will if need be, is a selfish act?”

    I deny that raising some fat cat’s taxes is a selfish act, yes.

    “I tend to consider myself very talented in bringing out the truth of what people actually believe in their core principles.”

    Your tendency is mistaken, you’re relaly very poor at it. But it’s still a hoot watching your sterile psychologiziing.

    Like you think you have proved I’m a parasite-why? Because:

    “I can tell you are one by the extent of your “offense” at the term. I use the term all the time, and productive people are never this “offended” at the phrase. That’s why you spend all day on this blog and your own partisan hack blog you’ve been pathetically peddling on this site.”

    You call everyone parasites and those who don’t deny it aren’t parasites-an airtight system. Kind of like the old Salem Witch Trials-if a woman drowned she wasn’t a witch.

    Major, please don’t get it wrong. There’s nothing you could ever say to me that would “offend” me as I don’t value your opinion even a little bit. Considering the source you can’t insult me. And you calling someone-anyone-pathetic is rich.

    I’m not offeneded for you calling me a parasite as you don’t know what you’re talking about and you are just talking as usual from the wrong end.

    What’s more pathetic than you the way you write these ferverish longwinded posts all day to win people over to Austrianism. If you really want to help it you ought to stop as you’re so bad at it.

    I don’t know why you have such a condescending attitude to blogs as much time as you spend here.

    “The fact that you admit you would LIKE to get an emotional rise out of me, is proof that you are a troll. That’s exactly what a troll is. So now I can consider you a parasite troll.”

    Major I only do it with you as that’s your only use-tremendous comic relief.

    Clown shoes. You should buy some and a clown’s nose.

    If you don’t know why I think this reread your own bleating post.

    “Sumner reserves the right to ban and allow posts. HE is the property owner. If we all acted like you find ideal, then it would be OK if we all ganged up on Sumner, found out where he lived, and stole his wealth. Then we keep some for ourselves, and give the rest to the poor houses that you never help but depend on the state to do it for you. According to you, we would be acting “pragmatically”, and we wouldn’t be “so morally absolutist.” We’d be doing what you find ideal!”

    Nope, Major, it’s a silly arugment, which is the result of your own moral absolutism. As I’m not an absolutist I don’t have to always get stuck in such reductio absurdem arguments. I can say the government has the right to tax its citizens and still not think I have to assault Sumner. I have no such “ideal.”

    He does have the right to ban and allow posts on this blog as I do on mine. However, he’s not one for censorship for the most part. I really wouldn’t even remind him that he can Major as if he were to decide to ban someone you’d probably be the first one gone.

  63. Gravatar of RJ RJ
    15. June 2012 at 05:27

    Mike –

    MF is basically spouting Rand. He’s like Rand’s heroes in that he lacks the proper context for his thoughts about action and individual responsibility, though he lacks the spirit and will of a Rearden or Roarke, since otherwise he’d be out changing the world, using his creative faculties to “produce,” instead of vomiting his odd mixture of philosophy, economics and babble all over Scott’s comment boards.

    MF –

    If you really believe what you’re saying, leave the country and write a book. Because the time you spend here is certainly not “productive.”

  64. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    15. June 2012 at 06:18

    RJ you make a good point. I can’t figure out what makes him so producitve either. He thinks he knows so much but he doesn’t understand how to make his throught concise and to the point.

  65. Gravatar of dwb dwb
    15. June 2012 at 06:32

    I can’t figure out what makes him so producitve either.

    every once in a while through a curveball, see if he is really a RandBot. actually, i think he’s off his game: its taking me less than the usual amount of time to get to the contradictions and lies half-truths and ommissions.

  66. Gravatar of dwb dwb
    15. June 2012 at 06:34

    BTW i think i’ve decided that he does not really believe half the stuff he spouts. the fact that he has to have the last word with long posts suggests to me he is paid to disrupt the conversation, which is the main goal. I hate to be cynical about it, but if the shoe fits.

  67. Gravatar of n.a.e. n.a.e.
    15. June 2012 at 07:30

    Major Freedom,

    I am not taking sides in this debate, but I have a question for you (just out of curiosity about your school of thought, not to be argumentative). From what source do property rights derive “legitimacy”?

  68. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    15. June 2012 at 07:56

    About all we know for sure from what he tells us is that he’s brilliantly productive has foster kids who wouldn’t be alive but for him and that he got all As and Bs in college which he thinks is real impressive but he wont reveal where.

    And he doesn’t believe in democracy because that’s theft. All the counts are property rights, but as nae suggests what source does he give them such absolute legitimacy?

    I don’t know if he’s paid but he does have that need.

  69. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    15. June 2012 at 13:19

    RJ:

    MF is basically spouting Rand. He’s like Rand’s heroes in that he lacks the proper context for his thoughts about action and individual responsibility, though he lacks the spirit and will of a Rearden or Roarke, since otherwise he’d be out changing the world, using his creative faculties to “produce,” instead of vomiting his odd mixture of philosophy, economics and babble all over Scott’s comment boards.

    I am not a follower of Rand, and even I know you’re not getting it right. There is a “proper context” for action and individual responsibility in her philosophy. No, the “proper context” is not self-sacrifice and altruism, if that is what you were thinking. It’s individual property rights.

    If you really believe what you’re saying, leave the country and write a book. Because the time you spend here is certainly not “productive.”

    See this is why I laugh to no end at people like you. You tell me to leave the country like you own the country.

    The time I am spending here is HIGHLY productive, in case you were wondering. The more you insult me about posting here, the more you’re just insulting yourself.

    Just look at how you, dwb and Mike are like drama queens who can’t stop talking about me.

    Mike Sax:

    RJ you make a good point. I can’t figure out what makes him so producitve either. He thinks he knows so much but he doesn’t understand how to make his throught concise and to the point.

    I do understand how to make my thoughts concise, it’s just that they will go over your head. It would be like telling a 4 year old a one sentence explanation on how to dress himself in the morning. A little bit more is needed.

    dwb:

    I can’t figure out what makes him so producitve either.

    Passion.

    every once in a while through a curveball, see if he is really a RandBot.

    I am not a Randbot, Randroid, Randian, Objectivist, or anything. If I told here what I thought, she’d summarily dismiss me.

    actually, i think he’s off his game: its taking me less than the usual amount of time to get to the contradictions and lies half-truths and ommissions.

    You haven’t shown any contradictions or lies. Omissions? You omit economics.

    BTW i think i’ve decided that he does not really believe half the stuff he spouts.

    I believe every word of it.

    the fact that he has to have the last word with long posts suggests to me he is paid to disrupt the conversation, which is the main goal.

    Ah yes, dark conspiracy theories are the recourse of the scared.

    I hate to be cynical about it, but if the shoe fits.

    It doesn’t.

    n.a.e.:

    I am not taking sides in this debate, but I have a question for you (just out of curiosity about your school of thought, not to be argumentative). From what source do property rights derive “legitimacy”?

    There are two grand branches I think philosophers have unearthed so far in human thought. Physically, and cognitively. If you are a physicalist, such as a materialist, nihilist, egoist, etc, then it’s might makes right. If you are a cognitivist, such as rationalist, ethicist, spiritualist, etc, then rights derive from the structure of our minds, of thoughts, logic, and arguments.

    For me personally, I am in the process of discovering, and writing, a way to reconcile the two grand branches and create my own single grand theory of the question of rights.

    Mike Sax:

    About all we know for sure from what he tells us is that he’s brilliantly productive has foster kids who wouldn’t be alive but for him and that he got all As and Bs in college which he thinks is real impressive but he wont reveal where.

    I didn’t say As and Bs are “real impressive.” I don’t think Bs are impressive at all.

    And he doesn’t believe in democracy because that’s theft. All the counts are property rights, but as nae suggests what source does he give them such absolute legitimacy?

    You see? You are interested in this. You’re kicking and screaming, but there is something there like a splinter. This is what I do. I know some people consider me an a$$hole. Others enjoy what I say. My method may not seem good to you, but it’s devastatingly effective.

    I don’t know if he’s paid but he does have that need.

    I am not being paid to say the things I am saying here. Seriously, who would find it in their financial interests to pay someone to talk about what I talk about? I am anti-state, so that pretty much eliminates every conservative. I am anti-democracy, so that eliminates pretty much every liberal. I am anti-violence, so that eliminates pretty much everyone else. Whoever would pay me to say these things would be a moron. There’s no cash flow I am returning to them by doing this. The way you can tell if someone is paying me, would be to see me promoting politicians, or regulations that would favor certain business people, or something like that. What I am doing is a labor of love. You might not understand that, because you can only think of “screw you, I got mine” in human life.

    As for this post you made above, the one that was very long and contained a statement that my posts are too long (there really is no end to your hypocrisy), I will only respond to the positive arguments you made, and I will ignore the drama queen fluff:

    I use rape as an analogy for initiating violence against innocent people. Initiations of violence takes many forms, but they are all based on a single foundation, which is doing something to someone or their legitimate acquired property (I’ll explain what “legitimately” means if you want), against their consent.

    I hold my individual property rights as absolute. If that upsets you, if that means you know that I will consider you to be a parasite, a thief, an immoral bully for taking, or in your cowardly case, calling for, “just a few dollars” from me (actually it’s about 45% of my income in total, hardly “a few” dollars), the problem is not me. It’s you. If you don’t respect my property rights, then there is no reason at all why I should respect yours. Of course since that would lead to conflict, I am assuming that you would understand if I thought we ought to avoid conflicts, and be productive instead. Given that assumption, the only possibility is you respecting my property rights and I respect yours. We can trade, we can debate, we can treat other civilly, or we can go our separate ways. You are someone who is representing an introduction of violence into human life, because you don’t even know me, and yet you’re completely fine with my wealth being forcefully taken from me.

    I am fine with that if you really do want to turn human life into might makes right. If you did want to live in that world, then I’ll protect myself from you, and everyone else who tries to hurt me or my property.

    Regarding property rights: It is not hypocritical for me to tell you to leave my own property, while at the same time telling you that you have no right to tell me to leave the country. You don’t own the country. I own a part of what is called the US. You can pretend to yourself that the state owns all land, but that is just feudalism. The irony is that you claimed my proposal will lead to feudalism, and yet you want explicit feudalism.

    Finally, you claim not to be an absolutist, but that’s a lie. You’re absolutely against me having private property rights. You’re absolutely in favor of democracy. You’re absolutely in favor of taxation. You’re absolutely refusing to budge from these beliefs.

    I am not a hypocrite when I admit to being an absolutist, because I recognize all thoughts are absolute. You are a hypocrite for denying you are an absolutist. You hold the state as absolute. It MUST exist. You are an absolutist in your conception that what I am saying will lead to feudalism, even though private property is the exact opposite of feudalism.

  70. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    15. June 2012 at 13:53

    “I am not being paid to say the things I am saying here. Seriously, who would find it in their financial interests to pay someone to talk about what I talk about”

    I certainly agree there and as you saw above I was skeptical that you’re paid for all this. I can’t imagine who in his right mind would draw up such a business model.

    “Regarding property rights: It is not hypocritical for me to tell you to leave my own property, while at the same time telling you that you have no right to tell me to leave the country. You don’t own the country. I own a part of what is called the US”

    I had said you were a hypocrite based on this statment:

    ““we’ve quickly moved on to the last resort of bullies and country private property “Get off my lawn!” troglodytes.”

    Get off my lawn can only apply to private property. Of course the US government could deport you if there were reason but if I say “get off my lawn” that’s just standard Major Freedom procedure

    “Finally, you claim not to be an absolutist, but that’s a lie. You’re absolutely against me having private property rights. You’re absolutely in favor of democracy. You’re absolutely in favor of taxation. You’re absolutely refusing to budge from these beliefs.”

    Ok. So I’m a Giants fan that makes me an “absolutist” where I wont consider rooting for the Jets. That’s such a trivial definition of absolutist as to drain if of any meaning. Basically an preference or opinion someone has it an absolute position in those terms. It’s like when racists say as we all in some sense can be said to “discriminate” then Denny’s can refuse to serve black people or relegate them to Coulered bathrooms.

    “You are a hypocrite for denying you are an absolutist. You hold the state as absolute. It MUST exist”

    Nope. Not must exist, simply does exist. I don’t say the day Tuesday must exist just it does. Private property exists as well. Not “must” for my benefit.

    “I hold my individual property rights as absolute. If that upsets you, if that means you know that I will consider you to be a parasite, a thief, an immoral bully for taking, or in your cowardly case, calling for, “just a few dollars” from me (actually it’s about 45% of my income in total, hardly “a few” dollars), the problem is not me. It’s you. If you don’t respect my property rights, then there is no reason at all why I should respect yours. Of course since that would lead to conflict, I am assuming that you would understand if I thought we ought to avoid conflicts, and be productive instead. Given that assumption, the only possibility is you respecting my property rights and I respect yours. We can trade, we can debate, we can treat other civilly, or we can go our separate ways. You are someone who is representing an introduction of violence into human life, because you don’t even know me, and yet you’re completely fine with my wealth being forcefully taken from me.”

    Again Major you can’t “upset” me. I think you’re wrong but it doesn’t upset me. It’s your error not mine. True there are property rights. But if you are taxed on your property there’s nothing earth shattering about that, nor have you been “robbed” “rapped” or “gang buggered.” If you check human history private property existed from pretty early man as did taxes. That may seem positivist to you but that suggets to me they’re are both natural human insttitutions you find in any huuman society, just like certaiin attributes always show up in an ant or duck society.

    They are both part of life. You may rage at the heavans that you can be taxed but still you will be. If you don’t pay them then you could go to jail no doubt. No one will say you’re rights have been violated as they haven’t be.

    Philosophically to make private property rights absolute in your sense is problematic. I think Hoppe is a great example because he shows where it ends up if pursued to it’s logical conclusion.

    If it’s my property then I can do anything I want in it is that right? If I want to abuse my kids can the police intervent?

    You indicate that you even have a problem with Hoppe’s homophobia. Yet if property rights are absolute what can be done about it? It’s his preference to discriminate against gays if we don’t like it we should get are on property somewhere else.

    Maybe me and some like minded people start a community together where we want to own slaves is there anythign that those who think that morally perverse can do about it?

    Or can I just say ‘tough toe nails if you don’t like it get your own property without slaves’ which was basically the South’s argument?

    That’s why I called you Major (un)Freedom because I don’t see hou your absolute property rights can prevent people from having slavery-the opposite of the Freedom you claim to be about.

  71. Gravatar of "Why did the Fed adopt such a tight money policy in 2008? Because they were operating a backward-looking policy regime…It’s like trying to drive a car by looking in the review mirror, and making adjustments when you are edging off the ro "Why did the Fed adopt such a tight money policy in 2008? Because they were operating a backward-looking policy regime…It’s like trying to drive a car by looking in the review mirror, and making adjustments when you are edging off the ro
    15. June 2012 at 15:00

    [...] Source [...]

  72. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    15. June 2012 at 15:45

    Mike Sax:

    I certainly agree there and as you saw above I was skeptical that you’re paid for all this. I can’t imagine who in his right mind would draw up such a business model.

    But you imagined it anyway, which means you’re not exactly in your right mind.

    I had said you were a hypocrite based on this statment:

    ““we’ve quickly moved on to the last resort of bullies and country private property “Get off my lawn!” troglodytes.”

    Get off my lawn can only apply to private property.

    That is not a hypocritical statement. You’re again inferring I’m making some sort of argument that says you would be wrong to in principle say “get off my lawn.” I am not saying you’re wrong for saying it in principle.

    I was pointing out your hypocrisy of on the one hand denying my property rights, but on the other, you’re saying “get off my country lawn if you don’t agree with my state rules!”

    You yourself are advocating for exclusionary rights to land property, namely, the state retains ultimate authority to “the US.” But then you hypocritically tell me that I am proposing a feudalist terrible world for calling for individuals to be the ultimate authority over their own property WITHIN the territory called the US.

    You need to cease imagining arguments you believe I am making, and you need to start understanding the arguments I am in fact making.

    Of course the US government could deport you if there were reason but if I say “get off my lawn” that’s just standard Major Freedom procedure

    No, that’s YOUR “standard procedure.” I am against such feudalism. You are the one saying I should leave the country. You’re the one saying “get off my country lawn.” For me to challenge that isn’t to challenge the principle of property rights, it is to challenge WHO has those property rights. I reject your claim that it is the statesmen, who neither originally appropriated the land, nor homesteaded it, nor traded for it with their own earnings.

    Ok. So I’m a Giants fan that makes me an “absolutist” where I wont consider rooting for the Jets.

    No, you’re an absolutist for not considering private property anarchy. For not considering anything other than democracy. For not considering anything other than taxation. For not considering anything other than a society where we are dominated and controlled by a monopoly of security and protection, with mandatory state-citizen interaction, where citizen obeys the state.

    That’s such a trivial definition of absolutist as to drain if of any meaning.

    No, you’re only trying to sneak out of your contradictory worldview by denying that your own absolutism is absolutism. How your absolutism is “permitted”, but mine is not, even though you are proposing an absolutist worldview.

    Basically an preference or opinion someone has it an absolute position in those terms.

    But you’re not just telling me your opinion. You’re going a step further and going into the realm of physical coercion, of calling for myself and everyone else to be forced into a system where the majority rules the minority. You’re not just giving me your opinion, and then affording me the courtesy in allowing me to choose for myself regarding my own person and property. No, your opinion carries with it an inclusion of me in your idealistic conception of society, without even having the courtesy of asking me. You just assumed it, and if I disagree with you, then you won’t just cease and desist and go your separate way. No, I am supposed to pack up, leave my life, and move outside of the territory called the US, as if the government owns all the land and you’re its spokesmen.

    It’s like when racists say as we all in some sense can be said to “discriminate” then Denny’s can refuse to serve black people or relegate them to Coulered bathrooms.

    You’re discriminating against me when you’re calling for my banishment from my own home, solely because I do not want to be imposed upon by a majority, against my will.

    So here I am as an individual who is to be excluded from his own property, on the basis of non-owners of my property discriminating against philosophical anarchists, and you’re telling me it’s wrong for Denny’s to discriminate against black customers and excluding them off their own property.

    In other words, your worldview is even more sinister. At least with Denny’s, the black customers who are refused service, are not imposed upon by Denny’s to move away from their own homes and to go live somewhere else. No, your worldview goes totalitarian. Your worldview would be like Denny’s using coercion to force all blacks out of their own homes, if they don’t want to do business with Denny’s according to Denny’s terms.

    Nope. Not must exist, simply does exist. I don’t say the day Tuesday must exist just it does. Private property exists as well. Not “must” for my benefit.

    If your only position that it does exist, then you have no argument against my argument that it ought not impose itself over me.

    Someone is being systematically robbed by hoodlums, who argues that it ought to stop, cannot be refuted by someone telling them that the thugs exist and their theft exists. That’s obvious. Playing show and tell about what is happening has no bearing on the person’s argument on what should otherwise be happening. You can’t tell a victim of theft that the theft is justified merely because it exists.

    I think you’re wrong but it doesn’t upset me.

    Why not show me a detailed argument as to WHY I am wrong, instead of just this mindless antagonism that signals what I am saying just doesn’t feel right to you?

    It’s your error not mine.

    What error?

    True there are property rights. But if you are taxed on your property there’s nothing earth shattering about that, nor have you been “robbed” “rapped” or “gang buggered.”

    That’s false. That is robbery because it is against my will. It doesn’t matter if the thief is wearing a badge. Theft does not cease to be theft simply because the thief has majority support, or is wearing a badge, or is called government. We are all people, and from an individual property owner’s perspective, ANYONE who seeks to acquire his property against his will, is a thief.

    You’re right, it’s not “Earth shattering.” But what is shattering is when you start to realize you and I are being robbed. You just go along with it because you were born into it and you don’t think about it. I do.

    If you check human history private property existed from pretty early man as did taxes.

    Yes, private property has existed, but history has shown varying degrees of respect and violation of property rights, depending on the ideas of the people. Right now, as compared to most of human history, private property rights are to a positive degree systematically respected by civilians. But we still have looters in the state who don’t respect them, and because of that, we’re poorer than we otherwise would have been.

    If murder and rape have always existed, does that mean murder and rape should be monopolized too, and we should have government bureaus along with the IRS, consisting of “official” rapists of murderers?

    That may seem positivist to you but that suggets to me they’re are both natural human insttitutions you find in any huuman society, just like certaiin attributes always show up in an ant or duck society.

    Humans are neither ants nor ducks. We have something that they don’t have, and because of that, no human society type is inevitable. That’s historical materialist claptrap.

    They are both part of life.

    They are not inevitable.

    You may rage at the heavans that you can be taxed but still you will be.

    That’s not inevitable either.

    If you don’t pay them then you could go to jail no doubt. No one will say you’re rights have been violated as they haven’t be.

    They were, because that would be an initiation of force. Many people will say rights have been violated, including me.

    Philosophically to make private property rights absolute in your sense is problematic. I think Hoppe is a great example because he shows where it ends up if pursued to it’s logical conclusion.

    But you’re making property rights absolute. You’re saying we absolutely will have a state, and systematic theft. You’re saying the state has absolute property rights over all property, and whatever they don’t take, we’re supposed to believe we’ve been “granted” some delimited property rights.

    You are an absolutist, advocating for an absolutist historical materialism that allegedly makes states inevitable. You’re just deluding yourself by pretending that it is inevitable. It is to couch your absolutist conception and opinion of property rights in an alleged law of nature.

    According to that logic, if we were living in 1800 AD, and we look at human history, and we see slavery from the beginning of the human race to the time we study it in 1800 AD, you would be compelled to believing slavery is a law of nature, and that we can never abolish it, because “there’s no empirical evidence it has been abolished.”

    Imagine if the world of thinkers really did think like you. We would never have abolished black slavery in the US! We would have been lazy and thought slavery is a law of human society, so we might as well just accept it.

    No, we don’t have to accept it.

    States can be abolished no less than slavery can be abolished. It works the same way. Human ideas, and changed human action. Humans can choose.

    And what logical conclusion are you talking about?

    If it’s my property then I can do anything I want in it is that right? If I want to abuse my kids can the police intervent?

    Which police? The state’s police? That would be like asking me if A hurts B, does third party C have a right to stop A. Well, it depends.

    If a policeman abuses a parent’s child, can I intervene on the child’s behalf and stop the police by force? If a policeman just steals someone’s money, can I intervene on the victim’s behalf and stop the thief?

    If your answer to any of these questions is no, I cannot, that I have to go through some general convincing of others route, before I can act, then will you say the same thing for the parent who abuses their child? That a third party cannot just go in and stop it?

    What if the law says the police can kidnap people, and steal from them? Who will stop this from taking place, and how?

    You indicate that you even have a problem with Hoppe’s homophobia. Yet if property rights are absolute what can be done about it?

    Absolute property rights will protect people in being able to marry and/or sleep with anyone they want, on their own property.

    Absolute property rights cannot FORCE people to think differently, and they cannot force people to accept certain people into their homes and places of business. The property owners retain final authority over such matters.

    Property rights will, however, economically “punish” homophobes. For example, if an employer refuses to hire homosexuals, or refuses to sell to homosexuals, then they will lose out on money and profits than can be made by hiring and selling to homosexuals based on productivity (merit) alone.

    The freedom of association, if it is going to be freedom of association, necessarily must contain the freedom NOT to associate with people. For example, if I don’t want to allow KKK people into my home, or place of business, then I should be free to be the final authority over that and kick them out. The same thing MUST be true for people I don’t like for any other reason. I should be able to kick out whites, blacks, heterosexuals, homosexuals, red heads, blondes, any individual I want, for any reason. That is what it means to live in a free society. A free society means individuals are free to not deal with other individuals if they don’t want to deal with them. Any intrusion in this, any force that is used against people for not dealing with others for “bad” reasons, is a movement away from a free society.

    You might not see how this is a free society, because you almost certainly have the image of a black person not being free in being kicked out of Denny’s. But he doesn’t own that Denny’s. It is no different, in principle, as me as owner of my house, kicking someone out of my house that I don’t want to deal with. The reason might be abhorrent to you, but you are a non-owner of that home or business and so you have no say in the matter.

    If you say you have a right to use force against Denny’s for excluding a black person, then I have a right to use force against you for excluding a KKK person from your home. You can’t say they’re different, because they’re both questions of property rights.

    It’s his preference to discriminate against gays if we don’t like it we should get are on property somewhere else.

    It’s your preference to discriminate against gays from your bedroom if you don’t like to marry or have sex with other men.

    Maybe me and some like minded people start a community together where we want to own slaves is there anythign that those who think that morally perverse can do about it?

    Slavery is a violation of absolute self-ownership. So no, nobody has the freedom to enslave others, even non-land owners.

    Or can I just say ‘tough toe nails if you don’t like it get your own property without slaves’ which was basically the South’s argument?

    You can say what I just said.

    That’s why I called you Major (un)Freedom because I don’t see hou your absolute property rights can prevent people from having slavery-the opposite of the Freedom you claim to be about.

    I hope you can see it now.

  73. Gravatar of n.a.e. n.a.e.
    15. June 2012 at 17:34

    Major Freedom,

    Thanks for the measured reply (to my question, at least). Does the lack of certainty in human thought regarding the intrinsic or inherent legitimacy in property rights disturb or unsettle you at all? I am not impugning you or your beliefs, but I gather from this discussion that you place an insurmountably high burden of proof on policymakers who would enact any policy with a redistributive effect, and you’d call it theft. Maybe so, but the word theft carries an unfair appeal to emotion and implies illegitimacy, which is precisely the concept we are trying to define (or at least the flip side of it).

  74. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    19. June 2012 at 09:16

    n.a.e:

    Sorry for the late reply.

    Thanks for the measured reply (to my question, at least). Does the lack of certainty in human thought regarding the intrinsic or inherent legitimacy in property rights disturb or unsettle you at all?

    I do not hold there to be uncertainty in such human thought. I hold there to be uncertainty in many things, but not this one.

    I am not impugning you or your beliefs, but I gather from this discussion that you place an insurmountably high burden of proof on policymakers who would enact any policy with a redistributive effect, and you’d call it theft. Maybe so, but the word theft carries an unfair appeal to emotion and implies illegitimacy, which is precisely the concept we are trying to define (or at least the flip side of it).

    Well I already defined it, so the begging of the question appearance is due to the lack of me explaining it specifically to you. I am sure you will at least assume that I have done some thinking to myself, and debated others on this, so it’s not like I just say “theft” and then walk away as a matter of my actual beliefs.

    I am fully willing to explain why I think forced redistribution is theft.

    I do not use the word theft for rhetorical effect, even though I fully accept that it almost certainly has that effect. I actually, truly am convinced that forced redistribution is theft. That’s why I use the term. It’s purely descriptive in my mind. It might seem like rhetorical flourishes to you, but that’s because at this point you don’t fully agree, or you’re not fully convinced, that property rights are absolute. So you see the word “theft”, and your immediate reaction is to think “woah, isn’t that a little extreme?”. Yes, it is extreme, but I think forced redistribution is extreme. So where does that get us? One extremist (from the other person’s perspective), talking to another extremist (from the other person’s perspective).

    Have you seriously considered the justification upon which forced redistribution rests? It’s completely, excuse my language, asinine. It’s one of the things that shocked me actually. How billions of people can go about their lives, holding beliefs that ultimately rest on a house of cards. It’s quite amazing really.

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