George Carlin was the only westerner who understood China

I keep seeing people talking about how China is building way too many houses.  Maybe they are, but I’m having trouble following the logic.  Free Exchange links to a Barry Eichengreen column on the Chinese economic slowdown.  He supports the housing glut argument with a link to a Daily Mail column from 2011:

He added: ‘People there were joking that no one in Denaya could afford to live there. If these apartments sell at all, it is to speculators.’

Of the 35 major cities surveyed last year, property prices in eleven including Beijing and Shanghai were between 30 and 50 per cent above their market value, the China Daily said, citing the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Prices in Fuzhou, capital of the southeastern province of Fujian, had the worst property bubble with average house prices more than 70 per cent higher than their market value, according to the survey conducted in September.

The average price in the 35 cities surveyed was nearly 30 per cent above the market value, the report said.

Or as Yogi Berra used to say; “no one goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.”

So let’s consider what China should be producing, if it is currently producing too many houses.  How about more exports?  I doubt the world would accept a tripling of Chinese exports, and I doubt they could find willing buyers.  How about infrastructure?  They are building roads, airports and railroads like crazy, and indeed Eichengreen suggests they are doing too much infrastructure as well.  That leaves domestic consumption, which almost 100% of economists point to as the area when China needs to increase production.

I think that’s probably true, but I am not convinced that housing construction is all that excessive.  First of all, 99% of my commenters insist I was wrong when I called the US housing bubble a surge in investment; they insist it was “consumption,” not investment.  They are wrong, but in that case why doesn’t almost everyone consider the Chinese housing boom to be a surge in consumption?  Which is it?  Or does it depend on the country?

And what sort of consumption does China need more of?  Obviously the urban middle class are doing OK.  The big problem in China is the vast rural population, as well as the 100s of millions of migrant workers in the cities. Their living standards are quite low (albeit rising fast.)  Most Chinese have enough to eat, and clothing is dirt cheap in China.  So what comes next?  If you are living in a ramshackle rural dwelling, then you dream of a sleek modern urban apartment.  Yes, you might also want lots of other things, such as home appliances.  And in the very long run you might want services like dog psychologists and spa treatments.  But most Chinese are far from that level of consumption.  So for now it’s a nice place to live and lots of stuff to put into your new house.

This is where George Carlin comes in.  He pointed out that the only real purpose of a house is to have a place to “put all your stuff.”  So if the Chinese need to consume far more goods (and they do) then they need a place to put all their stuff.  That means more houses, lots more.

Of course there is a grain of truth in the skeptics’ critique.  China has a state-dominated economy, and is building some houses in the wrong places. But that is certainly not the big story.  Most houses are going up in big urban areas, where the Chinese are moving by the 100s of millions. Another criticism is that the Chinese can’t afford to live in these places.  So print more money.  The response is that this would create inflation.  But weren’t you just telling me that Chinese housing prices were going to collapse?  Is it a supply-side problem or a demand-side problem?  Or a misallocation problem?  I’ve tried to show that with many hundreds of millions of poor Chinese people still in need of housing, it’s not a major misallocation issue, as the vast majority of housing is being built in the cities where people are flocking in huge numbers.

BTW, Chinese industries like home appliances and cars and cell phones are also booming at a phenomenal rate.

So here’s my question for all of you China skeptics that insist they are building way too much housing, infrastructure, heavy industry, etc.  What precisely do you want them to build more of?  And what are the 100s of millions of Chinese living in tiny ramshackle homes to do?  Sit tight for a few more decades while resources pour into nice urban services for the pampered elite?

PS.  Suppose you were a homeless person living under a bridge.  You had just enough money from selling aluminum cans to feed yourself adequately. Now you find a job making iPads, which pays a thousand dollars a month. Is your priority to spend most of that extra cash on even more food, or more clothing, or a place to live?

PPS.  Yesterday I got my hair cut in Beijing for $4.  It was much better than the $20 cuts (incl. tip) I get at Supercuts in America.  I went roughly 10 or 15 miles in a taxi for about 30 minutes–it cost $6.50.  In Boston it would be $40.  An ice cream cone at McDonalds is 50 cents.  The subway costs 32 cents, and is far better than the NYC subway.  The China Daily newspaper costs 24 cents.  If you priced Chinese consumption at America prices, then China might already have the largest consumption sector in the world.  And if they build lots of houses it will get even bigger–much bigger.

You see consumption everywhere, far more often than you see investment.  The TV channels are full of ads for shampoo and similar products.  Beijing is very much a consumer society, although that’s less true of the poorer parts of China.


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122 Responses to “George Carlin was the only westerner who understood China”

  1. Gravatar of Bryan Willman Bryan Willman
    13. August 2012 at 20:05

    Investment of course exists to support consumption – consumption is the end goal. Consumption is excessive if it starves out necessary investment. Investment could only be excessive if it’s misdirected. Given the widely reported living standards in vast swaths of China, it’s hard to see how they could have too much investment *in aggregate* in things like roads, dwellings, water supplies, and so on. Too much in some places? Investment midirected w.r.t. what market it is aimed at (too costly?) sure. But too much in aggregate seems impossible.

    So it’s not so much “what” should China build as “where” and “for whom” with “what accounting/financing”.

  2. Gravatar of Robert Robert
    13. August 2012 at 20:15

    It’s just a cognitive bias, right? There was a “bubble” in recent memory, now everywhere people look they see bubbles.

  3. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    13. August 2012 at 21:05

    Wow, how often does Scott visit China?

    Oh yeah, and it’s posts like these that really bring home the fact that Scott is simply smarter than most economists.

  4. Gravatar of Jim Glass Jim Glass
    13. August 2012 at 21:51

    A couple interesting articles seen on China lately:

    One on it by a westerner who’s lived there for some while.

    Another that got a good bit of note a couple months back (including from Krugman) by an investor in the region, provocatively on “The Macroeconomics of Chinese Kleptocracy

    FWIW, I’m not the person to judge the merits of either.

  5. Gravatar of Jim Glass Jim Glass
    13. August 2012 at 22:23

    So here’s my question for all of you China skeptics that insist they are building way too much housing, infrastructure, heavy industry, etc. What precisely do you want them to build more of?

    The Economist did a special report on China a few weeks ago. From the section on “Investment”:

    http://www.economist.com/node/21555761

    Misinvestment is a bigger problem than overinvestment

    … it is tempting to agree with Mr Chanos that China has overinvested from its northern steppe to its southern shores. But what exactly does it mean for a country to “overinvest”?

    One clear sign would be investment that was running well ahead of saving, requiring heavy foreign borrowing and buying. The result could be a currency crisis, like the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98. Some veterans of that episode worry about China’s reckless investment in tasteless property.

    But although China invests more of its GDP than those crisis-struck economies ever did, it also saves far more. It is a net exporter of capital, as its controversial current-account surplus attests.

    Indeed, for every critic bashing China for reckless investment spending there is another accusing it of depressing world demand through excessive thrift. China is in the odd position of being cast as both miser and wanton…

    Even an extravagance like Kangbashi is best understood as an attempt to soak up saving….

    China as a whole saved an extraordinary 51% of its GDP last year. Until China’s investment rate exceeds that share, there is no cause for concern, says Qu Hongbin of HSBC. Anything China fails to invest at home must be invested overseas. “The most wasteful investment China now has is US Treasuries,” he adds…

    If China’s capital stock were already too big for its needs, further thrift would indeed be pointless. In fact, though, the country’s overall capital stock is still small relative to its population and medium-sized relative to its economy. In 2010, its capital stock per person was only 7% of America’s…

    China needs to “produce lots more of almost everything”, argues Scott Sumner of Bentley University…

    Hey! OK, but OTOH…

    It is surprisingly hard to show that China has overinvested, but easier to show that it has invested unwisely. Of China’s misguided canoe-builders, two are worth singling out: its local governments (see article) and its state-owned enterprises (SOEs)…

    Loren Brandt and Zhu Xiaodong of the University of Toronto argue that China’s worst imbalance is not between investment and consumption but between SOE investment and private investment.

    According to their calculations, if state capitalists had not enjoyed privileged access to capital, China could have achieved the same growth between 1978 and 2007 with an investment rate of only 21% of GDP, about half its actual rate.

    A similar conclusion was reached by David Dollar, now at America’s Treasury, and Shang-Jin Wei of Columbia Business School…

    What are the implications of China’s malinvestment for its economic progress? … It suppresses consumption and forces saving, then misinvests the proceeds in speculative assets or excess capacity.

    … a number of consequences become clear. First, consumption is lower than it could be, because of the extra saving. GDP, properly measured, is also lower than it appears, because so much of it is investment, and some of that investment is ultimately valueless. It follows that the capital stock, properly measured, is also smaller than it seems, because a lot of it is rotten….

    Fortunately there is another side to China’s story. It has not only accumulated physical capital but also acquired more know-how, better technology and cleverer techniques….

    And the report becomes very up-beat again.

    It even has an upside to spending 40% of GDP on investment that should have cost 20% (wasting 20% of GDP):

    even if some of China’s past investment has been futile, adding nothing worthwhile to the capital stock, there is a consolation: it will leave more scope to invest later, suggesting that the country’s potential for growth is even larger than the optimists think.

    They can invest it all over again! To boost the economy further. If the economy stalls, as stimulus!

  6. Gravatar of Lorenzo from Downunder Lorenzo from Downunder
    13. August 2012 at 22:56

    There is, of course, a certain economy that has a world record no economic recession for 21 years which is very, very interested in what is going on in China.

    Lots of useful graphs here. But about said economy, because it has real stats. China, not so much.

  7. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    13. August 2012 at 23:24

    So is this where EMH leads us? To deny that there have been too many apartments built in China? There are over 64 MILLION empty apartments in China right now, and those are the Chinese government’s statistics, which are notoriously biased in favor of a rosy economic picture. There are also whole ghost cities!

    So let’s consider what China should be producing, if it is currently producing too many houses. How about more exports? I doubt the world would accept a tripling of Chinese exports, and I doubt they could find willing buyers.

    You’re wrong. The desire for additional wealth is practically infinite. There is no such thing as a cap on desire for wealth. If a tripling of China exports is founded on prices falling to a third, then there is no reason whatsoever to doubt that the additional wealth will find able and willing buyers.

    Humans are currently consuming probably around 50 times what they consumed 200 years ago. How many people in 1812 would have said that they would not be willing to consume 3 times as much wealth at a third of the prices?

    There is a desire for more wealth than what even a hundred China economies could produce today. As long as the prices are low enough. Are you seriously entertaining the notion that you would NOT buy an additional car or house even if the price and the associated costs fell sufficiently? That if your income suddenly tripled in purchasing power, that you would not purchase any more consumer goods and services than you currently purchase? Don’t be ridiculous. China could produce a thousands times as much wealth at one one-thousandths of the price, and they would still have a desire for more. Just imagine all the millions of poor people across China and Africa who can only afford a few bucks a day. If production was so high that prices of goods fell to those levels, then the quantity of consumer goods and services demanded would skyrocket all the more.

    How about infrastructure? They are building roads, airports and railroads like crazy, and indeed Eichengreen suggests they are doing too much infrastructure as well. That leaves domestic consumption, which almost 100% of economists point to as the area when China needs to increase production.

    I think that’s probably true, but I am not convinced that housing construction is all that excessive.

    Many of those in the real estate business in China vehemently disagree.

    First of all, 99% of my commenters insist I was wrong when I called the US housing bubble a surge in investment; they insist it was “consumption,” not investment. They are wrong

    Again with this error. Why do you keep making this error? I’ve already corrected you many times on this. Why don’t you learn?

    I will repeat myself: Homes are not necessarily a capital good (investment). Homes are not necessarily a consumer good either. Houses can be EITHER a consumer good OR a capital good. If the purpose of the purchase is not for making subsequent sales, for example residential living, then the house is a consumer good. If the purpose of the purchase is for making subsequent sales, for example “house flipping”, then the house is a capital good.

    It goes back to the human element. The human purpose.

    You are making the mistake of assuming that a good is a capital good or consumer good based on its physical characteristics and appearance. That is not what makes a good a consumer good or capital good. If I proposed a pick up truck, or a hammer, or a washing machine, then according to your flawed understanding, we’d have to decide whether they’re each a consumer good or capital good based on their physical appearance and make-up.

    But each of these goods is either a consumer good or a capital good based on the purpose of the person who purchased them. A person who purchases a pick up truck for their everyday, domestic use, then it is a consumer good. If a person purchases a pick up truck for making subsequent sales, for example they purchase the truck for, say, their construction business, where the pick up truck is capitalized and depreciated, then the truck is a capital good.

    The same thing is the case for the hammer and washing machine.

    You purchase a hammer for your garage, consumer good. A plumber or carpenter purchases a hammer for the purposes of making subsequent sales, then a capital good.

    You purchase a washing machine for your home, then it’s a consumer good. A restaurant owner purchases a washing machine for the purpose of making subsequent sales, then it’s a capital good.

    Move on already!

    but in that case why doesn’t almost everyone consider the Chinese housing boom to be a surge in consumption?

    As Austrians have noted, because houses are durable goods, they have capital goods like characteristics, such as relative sensitivity to interest rates, relatively capital intensive, and they CAN be a capital goods investment if the purchasers plan to make subsequent sales, like “flipping”, which becomes more pronounced during housing bubbles/booms. At the height of the US housing bubble, there was a whole industry of house flipping. People simply bought homes hoping to make a profit simply by waiting for their price to appreciate. That turned many houses into capital goods.

    Which is it? Or does it depend on the country?

    The reason why you don’t see many people calling it a consumer boom is precisely because so many people have the same incorrect mentality as you do, which is that homes are investments, period, regardless of the purpose for which they are purchased. It is precisely this error that exacerbates housing bubbles.

    With a high enough rate of money inflation, then even used cars would appreciate in price over time, and you’d probably see car flippers arise, and you’d probably see people starting to treat cars as investments, period, as well. Right now, cars are either consumer goods or investment goods, depending on the purpose for their purchase. But with enough inflation, that distinction will be biased towards cars being investment goods.

    And what sort of consumption does China need more of? Obviously the urban middle class are doing OK.

    They could always do better. That is built into human action.

    The big problem in China is the vast rural population, as well as the 100s of millions of migrant workers in the cities. Their living standards are quite low (albeit rising fast.) Most Chinese have enough to eat, and clothing is dirt cheap in China. So what comes next? If you are living in a ramshackle rural dwelling, then you dream of a sleek modern urban apartment. Yes, you might also want lots of other things, such as home appliances. And in the very long run you might want services like dog psychologists and spa treatments. But most Chinese are far from that level of consumption.

    Let’s be careful here. It’s not that China is not at a particular level of consumption, it’s that they’re not at a particular level of capital accumulation that allows for low cost production and thus higher consumption. With more capital, and a higher productivity of labor, the poor Chinese can afford dog psychologists and spa treatments.

    Note to ignorant monetarists: It’s not because there is a lack of enough Chinese Yuan that the poor are not consuming more spa treatments and more dog psychologists. It’s the lack of sufficient real capital that is responsible.

    So for now it’s a nice place to live and lots of stuff to put into your new house.

    That is rather silly. China is still dirt poor. You can’t look at Shanghai and conclude China is prosperous. Not that the following statistic is very accurate, but China is ranked 92nd in the world for real GDP per capita (PPP). They’re below Ecuador and Iran in this respect. Mexico almost doubles China in this statistic. Imagine Mexico almost half poorer.

    Nice place to live? Lots of stuff? They produce a lot for sure, but per person it’s extremely modest.

    This is where George Carlin comes in. He pointed out that the only real purpose of a house is to have a place to “put all your stuff.” So if the Chinese need to consume far more goods (and they do) then they need a place to put all their stuff. That means more houses, lots more.

    This is ridiculous. The Chinese want more stuff yes, but in no way does this additional stuff have to be for the home. And even to the extent that it is for the home, additional wealth can come in the form of higher quality, and smaller appliances and whatnot. They need more capital to justify the artificial expansion in housing.

    Of course there is a grain of truth in the skeptics’ critique. China has a state-dominated economy, and is building some houses in the wrong places. But that is certainly not the big story. Most houses are going up in big urban areas, where the Chinese are moving by the 100s of millions. Another criticism is that the Chinese can’t afford to live in these places. So print more money.

    See that folks? I said that inflation leads to malinvestment, which requires accelerating money printing in order to prolong the correction. Now Sumner is admitting it. Notice how Sumner did not even attempt to address China’s NGDP growth, which is in double digits. Even with double digit NGDP growth, Sumner can only recommend MORE money printing. He doesn’t understand how economic coordination takes place and as such how wealth is produced in a division of labor.

    It is comments like this that make me conclude just how ignorant inflation fetishists really are. It is precisely non-market money printing that lead to the artificial overexpansion of housing in the first place! The reason why people can’t afford the houses is not because of insufficient money printing. It’s because the relative value of additional housing as compared to other goods did not justify scarce resources being devoted to more housing.

    Where is the economic calculation in your arguments? Where are the relative value and relative price arguments?

    Printing more money will just lead to another relative over-expansion in one or more industries, after which you’ll be left with calling for accelerating money printing once again when there is a lack of sufficient capital and thus too high of a relative price.

    The response is that this would create inflation. But weren’t you just telling me that Chinese housing prices were going to collapse? Is it a supply-side problem or a demand-side problem? Or a misallocation problem? I’ve tried to show that with many hundreds of millions of poor Chinese people still in need of housing, it’s not a major misallocation issue, as the vast majority of housing is being built in the cities where people are flocking in huge numbers.

    Yet there are many millions more NOT flocking to the cities and remaining in the rural areas! It is a misallocation problem. You’d have to purposefully evade it to not see it.

    BTW, Chinese industries like home appliances and cars and cell phones are also booming at a phenomenal rate.

    Notice the savings rate in China. It’s the highest in the world. Where does the US rank? You don’t want to know.

    So here’s my question for all of you China skeptics that insist they are building way too much housing, infrastructure, heavy industry, etc. What precisely do you want them to build more of?

    LET THE MARKET PROCESS ANSWER THIS QUESTION OH MR. CENTRAL ECONOMIC PLANNER!!!

    Why in the world do the China skeptics have to answer you as if they’re central planners too?

    Are you a free market economist or are you just pretending? I read in another comment that somebody thinks you’re a libertarian in conservative clothing. I think you’re a statist wolf in libertarian’s clothing. You don’t respect the free market. You don’t understand the free market. You constantly, CONSTANTLY have central planning on your mind. How you can plan their lives. How you can design what they should do, and if anyone questions you, then they have to propose a central plan of their own.

    Would you give it up already and let people live their own lives? Or is that something that does not even register in your head? That everyone is stupid and helpless and without direction unless Sumner the grand wizard makes state level plans and recommendations?

    Egads man.

    And what are the 100s of millions of Chinese living in tiny ramshackle homes to do? Sit tight for a few more decades while resources pour into nice urban services for the pampered elite?

    I’m continually amazed at how deep the ignorance goes. What are the 100s of millions of Chinese to do? GET THE COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT OUT OF THEIR WAY AND THOU SHALT FIND OUT WHAT THEY WILL DO!

    I mean really, this isn’t rocket science. Protection of individual property rights, economic freedom, and individuals will take care of their own lives.

    What people do in economic freedom will necessarily consist of their most highly ranked goals, constrained by the most highly ranked goals of other market participants.

    PS. Suppose you were a homeless person living under a bridge. You had just enough money from selling aluminum cans to feed yourself adequately. Now you find a job making iPads, which pays a thousand dollars a month. Is your priority to spend most of that extra cash on even more food, or more clothing, or a place to live?

    Suppose you’re not homeless. Suppose you have a home. Suppose you labor productivity doesn’t justify a market price that enables you to buy a mansion.

    Solution?

    Monetarists: Print money.

    Economists: Raise the productivity of labor through continued or higher savings and investment, and prices will fall.

    PPS. Yesterday I got my hair cut in Beijing for $4. It was much better than the $20 cuts (incl. tip) I get at Supercuts in America. I went roughly 10 or 15 miles in a taxi for about 30 minutes–it cost $6.50. In Boston it would be $40. An ice cream cone at McDonalds is 50 cents. The subway costs 32 cents, and is far better than the NYC subway. The China Daily newspaper costs 24 cents. If you priced Chinese consumption at America prices, then China might already have the largest consumption sector in the world. And if they build lots of houses it will get even bigger–much bigger.

    Yay more than 64 million empty apartments! Let’s go for an even 100 million empty apartments! Call up the communists in charge and recommend more houses. Of course building more houses means less of other things, but that is just silly economic thinking. More money printing can solve everything!

    You see consumption everywhere, far more often than you see investment.

    Hahahaha. Every single consumer good requires investment. And since investments are currently being made that won’t have consumer goods ready until the future, it means that there is more investment than there is consumption.

    The TV channels are full of ads for shampoo and similar products.

    Oh my God, you mean to say that the market for those who watch television in hotels are primarily consumers, not investors? GET OUT.

    Jeepers. You don’t see investment ads as much as consumer ads because advertisers know that investors tend not to watch TV for investment opportunities!

    Beijing is very much a consumer society, although that’s less true of the poorer parts of China.

    They are a consumer society precisely because they are an investment society.

    You can’t see factories and such sitting in your hotel room watching TV. You need to get out more to the suburbs, away from the city centers where consumers don’t travel very far to get their consumer goods.

    ————————

    I’m sorry, but this blog post was simply deplorable.

  8. Gravatar of Brito Brito
    14. August 2012 at 01:05

    ” China could produce a thousands times as much wealth at one one-thousandths of the price”#

    So insanely unlikely, like all supply siders unless provide a specific mechanism as to how China can multiply its productivity by thousands you’re preaching religion.

    “Are you a free market economist or are you just pretending? I read in another comment that somebody thinks you’re a libertarian in conservative clothing. I think you’re a statist wolf in libertarian’s clothing. You don’t respect the free market. You don’t understand the free market. You constantly, CONSTANTLY have central planning on your mind. How you can plan their lives. How you can design what they should do, and if anyone questions you, then they have to propose a central plan of their own.”

    Things like this make you look like the most obnoxious religious zealot, I don’t understand how you can ever expect anyone to take you seriously. You could maybe make your comments only 90 thousand times more pretentious and arrogant than everyone else’s instead of 100 thousand if you cut down on the pop psychology.

  9. Gravatar of Ritwik Ritwik
    14. August 2012 at 02:26

    You’re right – more houses in China is an unambiguously positive development, like you say. IF, Chinese (median) wages keep up.

    Indeed, it is almost illogical to suggest that a poor country of 1.5 billion people is actually ‘over-built’, whether in houses or in roads. The only world where that makes sense is if wages stagnate, so that purchasing power/ consumption growth is very lop-sided and people don’t need/ can’t afford the greater space that greater consumption necessitates. After all, a Louis Vuitton bag needs just as much space as a bag bought in a local Chinese market, though it may be 10,000 times as much of ‘consumption’.

  10. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    14. August 2012 at 03:56

    Brito:

    So insanely unlikely, like all supply siders unless provide a specific mechanism as to how China can multiply its productivity by thousands you’re preaching religion.

    It wasn’t a statement intended to be accurate, nor was it an advocacy. It was to illustrate a point by setting up an extreme scenario. Apparently nuance is not one of your strong suits.

    Things like this make you look like the most obnoxious religious zealot, I don’t understand how you can ever expect anyone to take you seriously. You could maybe make your comments only 90 thousand times more pretentious and arrogant than everyone else’s instead of 100 thousand if you cut down on the pop psychology.

    I know I am on the right track when you react so princessy and you do not engage any argument I made.

  11. Gravatar of Master of None Master of None
    14. August 2012 at 04:06

    The “big story” right now is that real housing prices need to come down.

    We don’t hear much about “real” prices on this blog. =)

  12. Gravatar of Yichuan Yichuan
    14. August 2012 at 04:51

    Two fundamental issues, implications for finance and inequality, would have a massive impact on this debate. Chinese houses are extremely expensive for the average worker, and the fact that there is a need for housing doesn’t mean that there’s enough quantity demanded at this price. Also, much of the housing investment is driven by extremely wealthy individuals looking for an investment that actually has a positive real rate of return. China could be building lots of things that aren’t housing to improve economic growth, and my recent post goes more in depth on this issue.

    http://synthenomics.blogspot.com/2012/08/what-china-could-be-building.html

    Yichuan Wang

  13. Gravatar of Jim Crow Jim Crow
    14. August 2012 at 05:35

    My guess is that this talk of housing is just a gross oversimplification. And never reason from a cheap haircut. Even if it’s a good one. There are all kinds of problems in China. Now maybe the current Chinese system (33% free market, 33% state planning, 33% outright corruption) will limp along or maybe a shock will happen (why hello Europe, how are you today?) and trigger some kind of DRAMATIC CRISIS that knocks the Banking system down and the housing sector and everything in-between. Since I’m an admirer of this blog, my gut feeling is that it all boils down to whether or not the PBOC screws up and decides to let NGDP crater instead of keeping it steady and stable. That’s the difference between the normal political problems of a nation (which is how to divide the spoils) and a complete free-for-all.

  14. Gravatar of Edeast Edeast
    14. August 2012 at 05:56

    I’m in Jakarta, indonesia. It seems to be doing alright as well. Big depreciation vs the us, that the cb is worried about.

  15. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. August 2012 at 06:52

    Paul Ryan against the full employment

    http://www.businessinsider.com/paul-ryan-price-stability-act-of-2008-2012-8

  16. Gravatar of Cthorm Cthorm
    14. August 2012 at 07:51

    Always good to hear your views on China. I’ve said it before elsewhere, and I’ll say it again: the distinction between consumption and investment is semantics. If central banks didn’t make the distinction for tracking CPI, it wouldn’t matter at all. Buying a home is an example of the nebulous distinction. I would argue that buying a home is a compound purchase: you are receiving ‘rental service’ for your living space, and a put tied to the price of homes in your area.

    Now back to China. I have never been, so I’d love to hear if your experience differs from my opinion. As the Chinese get wealthier rapidly, they’re increasingly concerned about quality of life issues like pollution/environmentalism. The vast majority of China’s power supply currently comes from Coal plants. In 2010 they were adding 1GW of coal capacity a week; the US added 6GW of coal capacity in all of 2010, and about half of those use more efficient/expensive combined cycle generators. China already plans to add lots of nuclear power capacity over the next 20 years, but I think those plans are too conservative. I expect a grass roots push to decrease use of coal, and the only economical alternative is nuclear. The Chinese Academy of Sciences is working on reviving work on reactors that use Thorium as feedstock and can realistically produce power for $0.03 cents/kWh ($2.00/kWh in capital costs at 8%, about the same as a coal plant). China is going to be a very nice place to live in 20 years or so (not that it isn’t already). Now could be your chance to nab a nice vacation or retirement home in the Middle Kingdom.

  17. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    14. August 2012 at 07:53

    ‘…if state capitalists had not enjoyed privileged access to capital, China could have achieved the same growth between 1978 and 2007 with an investment rate of only 21% of GDP, about half its actual rate.’

    The evil that men do lives after them. I’m thinking of Harry Dexter White, Sol Adler, V. Frank Coe, Lauchlin Currie, John Stewart Service….

    Without whom Mao would have been either dead, or living in Stalin’s Russia in 1946. I say that just in case anybody watched George Will mangle history a couple of weeks ago on ‘This Week’.

  18. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    14. August 2012 at 07:54

    ‘Paul Ryan against the full employment’

    Good for him. Maybe if the Fed had only one job it might actually accomplish it.

  19. Gravatar of Bob Roddis Bob Roddis
    14. August 2012 at 07:58

    Major Freedom:

    Your patience knows no bounds.

  20. Gravatar of Adam Adam
    14. August 2012 at 08:05

    I get that it’s Scott’s point, but how can market prices be above market value?

    As to the broader point though, China’s not just building a ton of housing. It’s tearing down housing stock that isn’t that old (I’d guess 70s-80s) and replacing it with new and more housing stock, at least in areas like central Shenzhen. Maybe that makes sense, or maybe it doesn’t. On the one hand, there is still a lot of very low quality housing in and around the city. I visited one apartment block in which the smell and the large pile of refuse suggested there was no functioning plumping. It’s residents would presumably prefer the chance to get something better, if they could afford it.

    But one other thing. At the risk of reasoning from a price change in contravention of one of Sumner’s laws, if prices are supposed to be so inflated, shouldn’t building more bring them down to where more people can afford them?

  21. Gravatar of Bob Roddis Bob Roddis
    14. August 2012 at 08:30

    In 1977, Congress amended The Federal Reserve Act, stating the monetary policy objectives of the Federal Reserve as:

    “The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Open Market Committee shall maintain long run growth of the monetary and credit aggregates commensurate with the economy’s long run potential to increase production, so as to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates.”

    http://www.chicagofed.org/webpages/publications/speeches/our_dual_mandate.cfm

    Since the Fed is a) the sole cause of inflation (non-stable prices), b) the cause of the boom/bust cycle which causes unemployment and c) distorts the essential price signal aspect of interest rates among other things, the Fed would need to go out of business in order to accomplish its mandates.

  22. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    14. August 2012 at 08:34

    Chinese housing depreciates surprisingly quickly because building codes are still Third World in most of the country.

    That’s why, as Adam points out, stuff built in the 1970s and 1980s is being torn down — it’s already falling apart.

    OTOH, this is a country where tens of millions still in honest-to-God caves. So there’s certainly some demand for housing. I just question whether billion or so Chinese still producing less than ten dollars a day of GDP can afford the housing they’re building.

    What China really needs is to develop sociocultural capital, a high-trust society. Cheap labor only takes you so far.

  23. Gravatar of D.Gibson D.Gibson
    14. August 2012 at 08:41

    Perhaps in Lake Wobegon all the houses sell at above market value, but everywhere else market value is what people are willing to pay.

    If China needs a place to dump money, they could look to basic research. Maybe they can invent something that other countries can rip-off or maybe something that will make world better. A similar item would be high education. They could easily sink a trillion on that. Anybody can have their own Stanford, if they have enough money.

  24. Gravatar of Brito Brito
    14. August 2012 at 08:44

    “It wasn’t a statement intended to be accurate, nor was it an advocacy. It was to illustrate a point by setting up an extreme scenario. Apparently nuance is not one of your strong suits.”

    Except the point you illustrated was trivial and pointing out the obvious, of course hypothetically much higher productivity would lead to more wealth produced, nobody denies this. It’s a non sequitur that you’re somehow straw-manning Sumner into disagreeing with. “Of course I can live forever, I just need to become infinitely more healthy”

    “I know I am on the right track when you react so princessy and you do not engage any argument I made.”

    Why would I engage any of your arguments, you’re not arguing against me and I have no strong position with respect to China and it’s possible housing bubble. I’m just pointing out how annoying your posting style is, call it constructive criticism; I’m sure less people would ignore you if you stopped with the quasi-religious and patronising verbiage.

  25. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    14. August 2012 at 09:35

    Scott, go get a foot massage, that’s my favorite thing about China.

    Note: American prices could / should be lower if:

    1. we stopped printing money

    2. we did my Guaranteed Income plan to auction the unemployed

  26. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    14. August 2012 at 09:40

    Brito:

    Except the point you illustrated was trivial and pointing out the obvious, of course hypothetically much higher productivity would lead to more wealth produced, nobody denies this.

    That’s not the point I made, sport. The point I made was that much higher productivity will lead, all else equal, to lower prices, and that is how those with more modest incomes can purchase more wealth. I raised this point in order to show why Sumner’s claim that should China triple their productivity, that this additional wealth will somehow not find willing buyers, as if people around the world are somehow already satiated with their current wealth consumption.

    It’s a non sequitur that you’re somehow straw-manning Sumner into disagreeing with.

    Ad hominem, straw man, non sequitur, fallacy of composition, appeal to authority, derp herp!

    “Of course I can live forever, I just need to become infinitely more healthy”

    Who’s saying that?

    Why would I engage any of your arguments

    That’s for you to answer, not me. I don’t care if you choose to refrain from vomiting or not refraining from vomiting. It’s your choice.

    you’re not arguing against me and I have no strong position with respect to China

    Of course I am not arguing against you. The post I made that you responded to was addressed to Sumner, sport.

    I’m just pointing out how annoying your posting style is, call it constructive criticism; I’m sure less people would ignore you if you stopped with the quasi-religious and patronising verbiage.

    Haha, if I wanted your opinion, I’d just as soon get a lobotomy. Your opinion is about as valuable as nails on a chalkboard.

  27. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    14. August 2012 at 09:46

    D Gibson,

    They could easily sink a trillion on that. Anybody can have their own Stanford, if they have enough money.

    Yes and no — the investment would be good if it were used effectively, but China has a huge trust problem here as there is a distressingly large amount of cheating and plagiarism going on in Chinese academia.

    Unfortunately, building sociocultural capital is extremely challenging even for First World countries — I remember reading about how a Chicago public school received a large grant to put in computers in the 1990s, and within a year every single one had been stolen.

  28. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    14. August 2012 at 09:50

    The Ryanphobes are off to a bad start when even Wolf Blitzer isn’t having any of it;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59ysDXshj1Q

    That’s what I call a Barbie slapping.

  29. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    14. August 2012 at 09:51

    Bob Roddis:

    Major Freedom:

    Your patience knows no bounds.

    I learned relatively recently in life that one truly has to enjoy engaging and debating those who have a lot to learn, no matter how exasperating or futile it can get.

    I have also learned that even if people here outright reject what I write, the fact that they are reading it is sufficient for their minds to start moving forward, instead of being stuck in a self-perpetuating, circular logic worldview. Even if the more zealous and dogmatic among them continue to say I am wrong over and over, I know that this is not really about me, but about their own minds trying to cope with having their ingrained convictions shaken and disturbed, to learn what they can only learn by going out and finding it. One of the ugly truths of intellectual life is that when you sit back and expect others to feed you with knowledge, the knowledge you acquire will necessarily be enslaving type knowledge, for that is the type of knowledge that gets transmitted to passive and weak minded individuals. True knowledge must be founded upon an active mind. It’s really the difference between the tabula rasa philosophy of Locke and Hume, and the rationalist a priori philosophy of Leibniz and Kant. If you engage the world with a passive mind, you will acquire knowledge on how to be obedient even in the face of falsehood. If you engage the world with an active mind, you will acquire knowledge on how to be independent even in the face of oppressive falsehoods spread by the obedient passive-minded.

    I do it primarily for me. I don’t post on boards that match my philosophy and convictions. I don’t want an echo chamber. I would rather go into the trenches, where there are more enemies than allies. I am used to being ridiculed and attacked. If I am not ridiculed or attacked, then I don’t feel like I quite belong, as weird as that sounds.

  30. Gravatar of Doug M Doug M
    14. August 2012 at 10:21

    Sumner,

    A bubble is not a bubble because prices rise a fall. A bubble is a bubble when high prices and optimistic assumptions lead to a misallocation of resources.

    Builders allocate hundreds of man hours into the production of a single unit of housing. This is in hopes that one new unit will allow a peasant family to move from the country to the city, where they will find more productive work than is available in the country.

    But, if this increase in productivity for this peasant family is not greater than the cost of building them their apartment, then resources are wasted, and wealth is destroyed. The Chinese would have been better off giving the builders the factory jobs that the peasants were going to take and leaving the peasants living in the countryside.

    MF
    “Humans are currently consuming probably around 50 times what they consumed 200 years ago.”

    Greenspan commented on this one. Per capita GDP by weight is little changed over the ages. What has changed are the weightless inputs, information, software, technology, etc. and the growth of services relative to products.

    “So here’s my question for all of you China skeptics that insist they are building way too much housing, infrastructure, heavy industry, etc. What precisely do you want them to build more of?

    LET THE MARKET PROCESS ANSWER THIS QUESTION OH MR. CENTRAL ECONOMIC PLANNER!!!”

    On target!

    Warstler,

    “American prices could / should be lower if we did my Guaranteed Income plan to auction the unemployed.”

    Auction the unemployed?! Is this like Swift’s “Modest Proposal”?

  31. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    14. August 2012 at 10:38

    Doug M:

    A bubble is not a bubble because prices rise a fall. A bubble is a bubble when high prices and optimistic assumptions lead to a misallocation of resources.

    Misallocation of resources is a tiny, microscopic, inconsequential, tangential problem of inflation for the pro-EMH crowd. It’s given lip service in order to provide immunization against those who study and research misallocation phenomena, but it’s not taken seriously. So that definition of a bubble you provided is not even on their radar.

  32. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    14. August 2012 at 10:40

    The usual suspects are out to paint Paul Ryan as some kind of nut,

    http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2012/08/paul-ryans-nutty-views-on-monetary-policy.html

    but when he speaks for himself, he clearly is thinking (if not always astutely);

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123595257066605147.html

    —————–quote——————
    For the last decade, the Federal Reserve’s easy-money policy has helped fuel the housing bubble that precipitated our current crisis. We need to return to a sound money policy. That would end uncertainty, help keep interest rates down, and increase the confidence entrepreneurs and investors need to take the risks required for future growth.

    I believe the best way to guarantee sound money is to use an explicit, market-based price guide, such as a basket of commodities, in setting monetary policy. A more politically realistic path to price stability would be for the Fed to explicitly embrace inflation targeting.

    Transcripts from recent meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee meetings suggest that the Fed may already be moving in this direction. This would be an improvement over the status quo: It could help combat near-term deflation concerns while also calming the market’s longer-term inflation fears.
    —————-endquote—————-

    Which is hardly out of the mainstream. And, his belief that the Fed should end its dual mandate is straight out of Milton Friedman;

    http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/top20/58.1.1-17.pdf

    ‘The first requiremrent is that the monetary authority should guide itself by magnitudes that it can control, not by ones that it cannot control. If, as the authority has often done, it takes interest rates or the current unemployment percentage as the immediate criterion of policy, it will be like a space vehicle that has taken a fix on the wrong star. No matter how sensitive and sophisticated its guiding apparatus, the space
    vehicle will go astray. And so will the monetary authority. Of the various alternative magnitudes that it can control, the most appealing guides for policy are exchange rates, the price level as defined by some index, and the quantity of a monetary total-currency plus adjusted demand deposits, or this total plus commercial bank time deposits, or a still broader total.’

  33. Gravatar of marris marris
    14. August 2012 at 10:42

    I think this “what should they be doing instead?” is always really hard to answer.

    Maybe the construction guys should be doomsday other sorts of entrepreneurship? For example, maybe they *should* be figuring out how to get the urban middle class access to stuff like dog psychologists.

    I think a printing money solution can’t work when the problem is a relative price issue, right? Suppose I’m a middle class person who wants to invest his money in foreign companies. I can’t because of capital controls. So I try to convert my savings into real estate assets. One year from now, if I get the same return on both, then I’m OK. If however, the apartment price goes down relative to the foreign company share price, then I’ve been screwed.

  34. Gravatar of Bababooey Bababooey
    14. August 2012 at 10:43

    To echo Tall Dave’s comment, housing without maintenance deteriorates rapidly. Wind, freezing and heating, and pests create fissures, rain and snow pour in and rot out drywall and framing, animals eat through wiring. If housing is built but not maintained, it’s the proverbial paying a person to dig a hole and another to fill it up.

    I was more struck by all the unoccupied office buildings and retail space in Beijing. They were, I was told, built without any market analysis, without any potential tenants contacted or marketing proposed. They just sit there, waiting for someone to show up and ask for 25 floors of office space.

    (Property sales, I’ve read, provide most of regional and municipal public revenues. This could be a problem: the property is sold off but the public finance obligations remain.)

    PS- Definitely go for the foot massage.

  35. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    14. August 2012 at 10:45

    Doug M:

    “Humans are currently consuming probably around 50 times what they consumed 200 years ago.”

    Greenspan commented on this one. Per capita GDP by weight is little changed over the ages. What has changed are the weightless inputs, information, software, technology, etc. and the growth of services relative to products.

    It’s amazing, actually.

    A laptop that weighs 5 pounds today is more powerful than the building sized computers of the 1940s and 1950s that weighed in the tons. The smaller, more lightweight computers of today provide more and higher quality services than their heavier ancestors.

    Same thing for cars, electronics, airplanes, and other material goods.

    Just to be clear, I want to point out that GDP per capita by weight doesn’t have increase before we can say there is additional wealth consumption. It’s about value and what consumption activities can be achieved.

  36. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. August 2012 at 10:46

    “Good for him. Maybe if the Fed had only one job it might actually accomplish it.”

    He’s already accomplishing low inflation. So he’s not struggling to do it, it’s already done. Ryan mught just codify the status quo as it is. Which is not pretty.

  37. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    14. August 2012 at 11:06

    ‘He’s already accomplishing low inflation.’

    ‘He’ is undershooting ‘his’ target right now.

  38. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    14. August 2012 at 11:12

    ‘You know, when I was — when I was young, just got out of college, I had to buy auto insurance. I had a beat-up old car. And I won’t name the name of the insurance company, but there was a company, let’s call it Acme Insurance in — in Illinois. And I was paying my premiums every month. After about six months I got rear-ended, and I called up Acme and said, “You know, I’d like to see if I can get my car repaired.” And they laughed at me over the phone.

    ‘Because really, this was set up not to actually provide insurance, what it was set up was to meet the legal requirements. But it really wasn’t serious insurance.

    ‘Now, it’s one thing if you got an old beat-up car that you can’t get fixed. It’s another thing if your kid is sick or you’ve got breast cancer.’

    Mike, can you find anything said, or written, by Paul Ryan, that compares, even remotely, with the stupidity of the above from The One?

  39. Gravatar of Mike C Mike C
    14. August 2012 at 11:29

    Major_Freedom, that wasn’t Brito’s point. His point is the following:

    How is saying, “Haha, if I wanted your opinion, I’d just as soon get a lobotomy. Your opinion is about as valuable as nails on a chalkboard” constructive, or necessary to your argument, at all? Do you have a good answer about why you needed to tell someone to get a lobotomy? Does it on the margin increase the chances of someone listening/reading all of your posts, which by the length, is obviously what you want (people to read your massive blocks of text)? You could’ve respectfully said “You haven’t given me enough good arguments for me to respect your opinion” and have been done, and you could go on your merry way. There’s no need for language like that.

  40. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    14. August 2012 at 11:41

    Doug M,

    http://pegobry.tumblr.com/post/21427545322/morgan-warstler-via-steve-randy-waldman

    As fun as Swift, but serious and right! Not often you get that.

  41. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    14. August 2012 at 11:41

    Mike C:

    Major_Freedom, that wasn’t Brito’s point. His point is the following:

    How is saying, “Haha, if I wanted your opinion, I’d just as soon get a lobotomy. Your opinion is about as valuable as nails on a chalkboard” constructive, or necessary to your argument, at all?

    How in the world could that have been Brito’s point, when that was a statement I made AFTER Brito made his point?

    I did address Brito’s point, and his point was neither constructive nor necessary.

    You could’ve respectfully said “You haven’t given me enough good arguments for me to respect your opinion” and have been done, and you could go on your merry way.

    I don’t respect those who disrespect others. It’s really that simple. Brito is an advocate of state violence. I cannot respect people like that.

    There’s no need for language like that.

    I disagree.

    Mike C, I’d much rather discuss non-personal topics, like, oh I don’t know, economics.

  42. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    14. August 2012 at 11:47

    Btw, can ANYONE point me to anything Obama or Biden have ever said, or written about monetary policy?

  43. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    14. August 2012 at 11:58

    Patrick R. Sullivan:

    Btw, can ANYONE point me to anything Obama or Biden have ever said, or written about monetary policy?

    Well, Obama was financially banked by Wall Street, so chances are he’s an inflationist.

    Let’s look at his most recent comments…

    In Brazil, Obama said:

    “Brazil has seen the real [Brazilian currency] appreciate in ways that have been hurtful. I would argue a lot of that has to do with the failure of some other countries to engage in rebalancing”

    About QE2, Obama said:

    “This decision was not one to have an impact on the currency, on the dollar…It was designed to grow the economy…”

    About the US economy, Obama said the U.S. faces a “huge danger” from deflation.

    ————

    Obama is another dime a dozen inflationist.

  44. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. August 2012 at 12:04

    “Since the Fed is a) the sole cause of inflation (non-stable prices), b) the cause of the boom/bust cycle which causes unemployment and c) distorts the essential price signal aspect of interest rates among other things, the Fed would need to go out of business in order to accomplish its mandates.”

    After all, unemployment was invented in 1913. Prior to that no one was ever employed in U.S. history.

  45. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. August 2012 at 12:10

    “Mike, can you find anything said, or written, by Paul Ryan, that compares, even remotely, with the stupidity of the above from The One?”

    Patrick he’s said plenty of stupid things like for starters that women should be sent to prison if they have an abortion.

    What was so stupid about what Obama said? Probaly becuae he spoke while being “coloured” which is how hayseeds like yourself think.

    Plenty of peolpe have had bad car insurance policies. How does mentioning that make them stupid?

    Ryan is also very stupid in math. His “seriosu” budget does nothing to cut the deficit. He simply guts Mediacre and discretionary spending in return for huge tax cuts for the rich.

  46. Gravatar of D.Gibson D.Gibson
    14. August 2012 at 12:11

    “Obama is another dime a dozen inflationist.”

    If that means that Obama doesn’t care about monetary policy, I agree. It seems to me the world is dominated by deflationists and people that don’t care. There are just a few that advocate for optimal monetary policy.

  47. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. August 2012 at 12:12

    “He’ is undershooting ‘his’ target right now.”

    Of course he is genius. That’s my point. He has no trouble keeping lnflation down. You’re saying that by giving up the Unemployment Mandate this will somehow make inflation move higher back up to 2%?

    What it could mean is that he should focus on unemployment and what he does might raise the inflation rate to 2.

  48. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. August 2012 at 12:16

    “How in the world could that have been Brito’s point, when that was a statement I made AFTER Brito made his point?”

    Because you made many similarly ignorant and poinless coments before you said this Major Unfreedom.

    “Haha, if I wanted your opinion, I’d just as soon get a lobotomy. Your opinion is about as valuable as nails on a chalkboard.”

    Well whatever the reason you could use a lobotomy. It’s the only thing that might fix your neurological imabalance.

    What have the specialists you’ve seen for your problem suggested in the past? Maybe it’s time for a new therapy. Shcok therapy seems to me to be tailor made for the MF disorder.

  49. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    14. August 2012 at 12:24

    Mike No Sax:

    Because you made many similarly ignorant and poinless coments before you said this Major Unfreedom.

    What ignorant and poinless coments?

    Well whatever the reason you could use a lobotomy. It’s the only thing that might fix your neurological imabalance.

    Internet diagnosis FTW

    What have the specialists you’ve seen for your problem suggested in the past?

    Do you still beat your wife?

    Maybe it’s time for a new therapy. Shcok therapy seems to me to be tailor made for the MF disorder.

    I’ll try “schock” therapy when you learn how to spell and use grammar properly.

    Mike, you’re as dumb as a bag of hammers.

  50. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. August 2012 at 12:30

    By the way Patrick, the whole Republican party is frustrated over the Ryan pick.

    While it bought Romney time from all the focus on his tax shelters, his refusal to release his tax returns. and his fun times with Son of the Boss, his outsourcing, and his total lack of any policy positions himsself-this is the void Ryan fills and then some-it also means that every GOPer in the country now is stuck on defense about the Ryan plan.

    “In more than three dozen interviews with Republican strategists and campaign operatives — old hands and rising next-generation conservatives alike — the most common reactions to Ryan ranged from gnawing apprehension to hair-on-fire anger that Romney has practically ceded the election.”

    But the election they are speaking of is not necessarily Romney’s they are most concerned about:

    “And the more pessimistic strategists don’t even feign good cheer: They think the Ryan pick is a disaster for the GOP. Many of these people don’t care that much about Romney — they always felt he faced an improbable path to victory — but are worried that Ryan’s vocal views about overhauling Medicare will be a millstone for other GOP candidates in critical House and Senate races.”

    If you’re a Repug trying to run for the Senate or House now you right away get pulled into a discussion about the Ryan budget.

    http://diaryofarepublicanhater.blogspot.com/2012/08/gop-operatives-ryan-selection-day-music.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DiaryOfARepublicanHater+%28Diary+of+a+Republican+Hater%29

    http://diaryofarepublicanhater.blogspot.com/2012/08/paul-mr-serious-ryan-has-put.html

    Patrick instead of engaing in the usual silly games of Tea party fanatics and taking someting teh President said out of context-’you didn’t build that’-you ought to consider just how royally screwed you really are with Ryan on the ticket.

    Forget abotu Romeny-he was a loser anyway as the Repug in the quote sugested.

    It now means that Repoublcians everwhere have to debate about Paul Ryan.

    The beauty of it is that Ryan has only passed two pieces of legislation in his whole life.

    One was to rename a post office. The oter was to change the laws governing bow and arrow sales. He probbaly wanted to go Indian hunting.

    So this guy who can’t pass a bill to save his life is now the standard bearer who every Republican in the country is now forced to defend.

    But go back to sleep talking about “You didn’t build that” and other manufactured issues.

  51. Gravatar of Collin Collin
    14. August 2012 at 12:35

    Scott,

    How much of Carlin’s A Place For My Stuff explained the US housing bubble? So that great late 20th century philopher Carlin understands China as well.

    I would three points about your thoughts:
    1) The US housing bubble was around size and prices not as much too many houses (maybe by 2006 that was true). If we kept current prices for the 2000s there would have been a controlled bubble bursting. China problem is building too much upper scale housing that is not being lived in. (In Carlin’s terms they don’t have enough stuff.)
    2) The discussion seems either they will be growing at fine 7%+ per year or they are going to be a massively bust. Why not a mid-grade controlled crisis like the US 1907 panic or the late 1980′s S&L bust. I forsee a 1980′s bust here as the more regional Chinese cities will have problems (S&L was mostly in Texas) and they built too much. Evidently, Texas grew into the over building. China really does have the power and institutions to control the damage.
    3) I still think China is fast-forwarding straight into Japan lost decade(s). However, we are in 1969ish not 1989.

    CR

  52. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. August 2012 at 12:50

    Patrick here’s an example of what I’m tlaking about.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79706.html?hp=l11

    John Sununu had a total meltdown on CNN today. You like him right-he’s a real American.

    He couldn’t explain teh difference between Ryan’s budget and Romney’s budget-can you?

    As far as I know Romney has no budget.

  53. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    14. August 2012 at 13:19

    ‘Plenty of peolpe have had bad car insurance policies. How does mentioning that make them stupid?’

    So, you think it makes sense to buy collision insurance on a $1,300 beater? Even worse, you think there’s nothing wrong with being ignorant of the fact that the insurance company did you the favor of not taking your money, to no benefit to you?

    Now I see why you hate Republicans who are economically rational.

  54. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. August 2012 at 13:20

    “I’ll try “schock” therapy when you learn how to spell and use grammar properly.”

    Major you aren’t doing your neurlogical disorder any favor waiting for people to stop writing typos. I or anyone else can go through life with a typo or two-it’s not as if anyone ever has any trouble understanding me. It’s about communication.

    On that score I’m clealry the beetter communicator. One reason is that I can make my point in a few words where you have to write a couple of disserations and even then you havne’t gotten to the heart of it.

    That’s because you’re a neurotic obssessive complusive mess that can’t express yourself easily.

    You on the other hand drive everyone crazy. That’s why you hate democracy so much becaue you’re the most unpopular guy around.

    “I know I am on the right track when you react so princessy and you do not engage any argument I made.”

    As usual Major you’re projecting. No one’s a bigger princes than you are. You constantly stoop to pointless insults and snark that don’t make any difference anyway.

    Notice how you’re calling me No Sax is not the equivalent of me calling you Major Unfreedom?

    Mine refers to your politcal philosophy and outlook on life. You seek the maximum level of unfreeedom and lack of liberty for the most people possible for the benefit of the wealthy few.

    So even you’re childish game of tit for tat failed.

    “. I am used to being ridiculed”

    About the only thing you’ve ever said that I believe

  55. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    14. August 2012 at 13:21

    ‘John Sununu had a total meltdown on CNN today. You like him right-he’s a real American.’

    Oh yeah, Soledad O’brien reallllly snookered Sununu. How did you like Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s admission that Ryan’s plan didn’t do what she claimed?

  56. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. August 2012 at 13:28

    I like that you can’t answer the question. What is the difference between Ryan’s budget and Romney’s budget? What is Romney’s budget?

    I bet you in Rush Limbaugh fashion don’t even attempt to answer it.

    All Susninu could whine was “these aren’t good questions they’re Democratic questions.”

    This is going to be a great election. Not only is Romney screwed but you’re going to have Republicans melting down every day like Sununu.

    You can’t claim he won that exchange. He’s the politican she’s the reporter. When politicains lose their cool, they’ve lost no matter what.

    LIke Romney’s guy screaming “kiss my ass.”

  57. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    14. August 2012 at 13:29

    ‘By the way Patrick, the whole Republican party is frustrated over the Ryan pick.’

    Then why all the enthusiastic crowds greeting them?

    The only people I see going bananas over the Ryan pick are your friends, like; http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/

    ‘PAUL RYAN IN HIS OWN WORDS: ONLY 10% OF AMERICA IS AS FAR RIGHT AS I AM’

    ‘PAUL RYAN’S FOUNDATIONS OF MONETARY POLICY: WHY THE FEDERAL RESERVE MUST SHRINK THE MONEY STOCK RIGHT NOW AND PUT MORE PEOPLE OUT OF WORK’

    ‘YES, PAUL RYAN’S FLACKS SNOOKERED BENJY SARLIN: REPUBLICANS LIE, ALL THE TIME, ABOUT EVERYTHING BLOGGING’

    ‘REFLECTIONS ON PAUL RYAN’S TRANSACTIONS IN INDIVIDUAL BANK STOCKS IN 2008′

    Sweet reason!

  58. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. August 2012 at 13:30

    “So, you think it makes sense to buy collision insurance on a $1,300 beater? Even worse, you think there’s nothing wrong with being ignorant of the fact that the insurance company did you the favor of not taking your money, to no benefit to you?”

    Patrick guys like you are obssessed. You spend the whole day trying to take the Presdient out of context. And at the end of the day who cares? You think thsi silly anecdote you’re so impressed with is going to make people vote to end their own Medicare?

    If you believe so youre the one who’;s not rational regarding politics.

  59. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. August 2012 at 13:34

    “Then why all the enthusiastic crowds greeting them?”

    The party not the Republican voters. If you checked the link or even read the quote there’s all these GOP oepratives and campaign guys who say it’s really cramping their style in the Congressional reaces.

    Why don’t you actually read it before you waste time arguing apples-Republcidan crowds-to oragnes-the GOP operatives who actually have to run on the Ryan plan now?

    It’s not me you have to convince. You keep following me around like somehow I’m going to let you have your Romney-Ryan Presidency. It’s not abotu aruging with me, it’s tyring to convicne the country. I shold say Ryan-Romney though as Ryan is the guy with all the ideas.

    If you think Americans are ready to privatize Medicare and throw women in prison who have abortions they you’re in good shape.

  60. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    14. August 2012 at 13:36

    ‘What is Romney’s budget?’

    What is Obama’s? The one no Democrat in congress will get behind?

    The one Robert Reich supports; http://robertreich.org/post/29384825788

    ————-endquote———–
    Stumping in Florida today, Mitt Romney charged President Obama’s Affordable Care Act will “cut more than $700 billion” out of Medicare.

    What Romney didn’t say was that his running-mate’s budget — approved by House Republicans and by Romney himself — would cut Medicare by the same amount.

    The big difference, though, is the Affordable Care Act achieves these savings by reducing Medicare payments to drug companies, hospitals, and other providers rather than cutting payments to Medicare beneficiaries.
    ————endquote———–

    Yeah! Obama’s not hurting Medicare beneficiaries, he’s only hurting the people who are refusing to treat them because Obama won’t pay them enough to do so.

    Smart, those Democrats. Very smart.

  61. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    14. August 2012 at 13:42

    ‘If you checked the link or even read the quote there’s all these GOP oepratives and campaign guys who say it’s really cramping their style in the Congressional reaces.’

    Let’s hear from the Evil Genius himself;

    ‘[Karl] Rove continued, “By his choice today, [Romney] signaled that this [tax reform] is going to be the focus of his fall campaign, a reformed conservatism aimed at getting the country’s fiscal house in order. Paul Ryan will be an excellent partner for Romney in this effort … [Romney] chose bold and he chose governing, and I think that will serve him well in the remaining months of the campaign.”’

    But, what does he know. He’s just a guy who actually got someone elected.

  62. Gravatar of Doug M Doug M
    14. August 2012 at 13:50

    I am not sure wich is funnier…

    “On that score I’m clealry the beetter communicator.”

    Or,

    “Patrick guys like you are obssessed.”

    Mike, slow down, take a breath. Lay off the politics, this is an economics blog.

  63. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. August 2012 at 13:52

    The Strange economics of Major Freedom

    http://diaryofarepublicanhater.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-strange-world-of-major-freedoms.html

  64. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. August 2012 at 13:54

    Doug Patrick is the one who keeps trying to debate politics with me.

  65. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    14. August 2012 at 13:56

    The debate has already been joined;

    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=paul+ryan+tim+geithner&view=detail&mid=7666E01F5816649B107A7666E01F5816649B107A&first=0

    Yeah, Paul Ryan is really a liability.

  66. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. August 2012 at 14:00

    “What is Obama’s?”

    Ie, Patrick you have no answer. You just keep tyring to change the subject. I predicted that you can’t tell me Romney’s budget and you can’t.

    You still aren’t answering the Politico post where the GOP is worried. You keep trying to pretend they aren’t. If only Patrick Sullivan beleiving something made it true.

    Quoting Rove’s on the record comment is different than listening to what Republicans are saying off the record which is what that link was about.

    Take a look at it before you insist there’s no concern. You think the path to victory is trying to attack Oamacare? Heh, heh, heh.

    You are like any Republican spinmeister. You can’t answer any questions. You think if you don’t asnwer then everyone will just forget it.

    Just like they forgot abotu Romney’s tax returns-oh wait.

    You can’t tell me anything about Romney’s budget. Nothing. You can’t explain to me how romney will get elected under a platform of putting women in prison who have abortions. So you just ignore the questino thinking that will change something.

  67. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. August 2012 at 14:02

    “Yeah, Paul Ryan is really a liability.”

    Exactly that’s what all the Republicans are saying off the record. Probably even Karl Rove is.

    You think that most americans agree with Ryan that women should go to jail if they have abortions?

    You think most Americans want Medicare divested to the state?

    All you can do is ignore the questions. You would have failed every bit as badly as Sununu did today.

  68. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    14. August 2012 at 14:06

    ‘Doug Patrick is the one who keeps trying to debate politics with me.’

    I hadn’t said a word before this appeared;

    ————–quote—————
    Mike Sax
    14. August 2012 at 06:52
    Paul Ryan against the full employment

    http://www.businessinsider.com/paul-ryan-price-stability-act-of-2008-2012-8
    —————endquote————

  69. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. August 2012 at 14:11

    Right Patrick. It was one sentence with a link not addressed to anyone in partiuclar.

    You got so agistated by it that you’ve been stalking me with comments every since.

    Of course you talk a lot but have no answers for me. You can’t ell me what’s in Romney’s budget anymore than Suninu could. You can’t tell me how Romney will get any indepedents when his Veep favors putting women in prison who have abortions.

    All you have si some silly quote from Obama from years ago that proves nothing and no one cares aoubt.

    Maybe if you guys start talking about the time he wrote that book where he admits he pushed a girl in juniour high Americans will vote for the Ryan budget and women being sent to jail.

    If you want to talk politics then asnwer some actual questions.

  70. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    14. August 2012 at 14:18

    Scott Sumner has such interesting takes on so many things…
    Love this blog.

  71. Gravatar of Razer Razer
    14. August 2012 at 14:18

    Let’s get one thing straight: Scott is NOT a Libertarian. He’s a typical central economic planning wannabe/inflationist. To be a Libertarian you need to agree with the NAP, and that conflicts with central planning. If he’s a Libertarian , then I guess I can be a Christian atheist.

    Oh, and Scott. What’s your take on Cantillon Effects? I am curious about whether Monetarists believe in them, and if so, how they square the immorality of the issue. Seems central planners rarely talk about the immorality of the inflation they advocate.

  72. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    14. August 2012 at 14:21

    ‘Right Patrick. It was one sentence with a link not addressed to anyone in partiuclar’

    Posted in a thread about China.

    ‘All you have si some silly quote from Obama from years ago that proves nothing and no one cares aoubt.’

    It was at his health care summit while he was President of the US.

  73. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. August 2012 at 14:27

    Right sometimes we go off topic in the comments section. That’s why you’re stalking me?

    I thought it was releveant to Sumner’s whole NGDP targeting regime.

    Here is someone in Ryan who is no Market Monetarist. I thought it relevant as it is about monetary policy. That somehow got you off tilt.

    Tough. Deal with it. I said nothing that isn’t true.

  74. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    14. August 2012 at 14:46

    The simple truth is that Ryan’s numbers require impossible things to take place…

    Like eliminating ALL of the Federal government but…Social Security, health care, and defense .

    Of everything in the Budget… defense is the obvious place to cut, and majorities of Americans support defense cuts. Yet Romney is running on Big INCREASES in defense spending while Obama is running on small increases.

    Ron Paul is a foolish utopian…but he has the right Idea on defense.

    Most of what we spend on defense is not to defend America, it is to protect the interests of oligarchical elites.

    Most of “defense” is Socialism for the 1%.

  75. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    14. August 2012 at 14:59

    Razor,

    Let’s get one thing straight: Scott is NOT a Libertarian. He’s a typical central economic planning wannabe/inflationist. To be a Libertarian you need to agree with the NAP, and that conflicts with central planning. If he’s a Libertarian , then I guess I can be a Christian atheist.

    So being a libertarian requires the devotion and faith of a religion ? LOL
    I don’t think you are trying to say that…Just kidding,

    But the funny thing is that I do believe that. I think that Libertarianism’s foundation is faith based.

    But in Scott’s defense, I think it is reasonable to believe that a certain philosophy is ideal, but that that ideal is not obtainable in the real world.

    So I see Scott as a libertarian in his heart… who seeks use the levers of a non libertarian world to make the world as libertarian as possible.

  76. Gravatar of Doug M Doug M
    14. August 2012 at 15:01

    ‘Doug Patrick is the one who keeps trying to debate politics with me.’

    This is not a debate. There is no middle ground. This is “my dad could beat-up your dad.” I don’t really care.

  77. Gravatar of TheMoneyIllusion » China should build housing for the rich, not the average Chinese person TheMoneyIllusion » China should build housing for the rich, not the average Chinese person
    14. August 2012 at 15:05

    [...] post is a sort of reply to a comment by Yichaun Wang.  Unfortunately I can’t open his blog in China, but I believe he has a post on the topic, [...]

  78. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    14. August 2012 at 15:11

    Doug M,

    No one will mind if you return the conversation to the topic.

    Scott does not seem to mind that folks regularly go of topic. It is the same people who do it over and over. He could stop it if he liked. So I don’t get up set about it.

    On the other hand I do get vexed over some of the rude, crude and uncalled for meanness I see, and do push back on that sometimes…so who am I to criticize you for trying to police things?

    It is Scott’s blog. Maybe it offends his libertarian sensibilities to police it much.

  79. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. August 2012 at 15:27

    “This is not a debate. There is no middle ground. This is “my dad could beat-up your dad.” I don’t really care.”

    Dan I never wanted it. patrick was stalking me out. I will point out that maney people have different discussions here some of which I don’t find interesting.

    You can’t really control what other people are talking about. If you don’t care though I don’t get why you only are addressing me and not Patrick.

  80. Gravatar of Benny Lava Benny Lava
    14. August 2012 at 15:46

    Scott,

    I would say misallocation is China’s issue. And it was America’s issue in 2004 as well. The demand for McMansions in exurban communities was not as robust as thought. And I do question the growth in China’s housing; given that America’s housing misallocation was driven by market forces how sure are we that the central planners will do a better job with allocation?

    As I mentioned before China might do a better job cleaning up the mess and bulldozing vacant properties. After all China looks to be the first nation to grow old before they grow rich.

  81. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    14. August 2012 at 16:11

    Sax,

    Romney’s got a full plan you can read:

    http://www.mittromney.com/sites/default/files/shared/BelieveInAmerica-PlanForJobsAndEconomicGrowth-Full.pdf

    And Sununu’s point, which comes across pretty clearly is that Soledad et al ought to be going through it and using it as a baseline.

    The Medicare and BUdget stuff is pretty well known.

    The old people voters 55-114 get left alone and the younger folks get a voucher.

    And we EXPECTS that rules and regulations will be relaxed becuase people wont have as much money to spend – so prices come down.

    SEE THE ARGUMENT SCOTT JUST MADE ON HOUSING IN CHINA!

    It isn’t like all these poepl with vouchers aren’t gong to have lower cost options sold to them.

    They just wont be as good as the options sould to the people who are paying with their own money.

    Almost as good yes.

    80%+ as good – yes!!!!

    And thats good enough, Saxie.

    That’s good enough.

  82. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    14. August 2012 at 16:28

    Ok Morgan. But that sounds the same as the Ryan plan.

    “It isn’t like all these poepl with vouchers aren’t gong to have lower cost options sold to them.”

    So says the theory. It doesn’t always work out that way though. I mean utility deregualtion sounded real good too. Then we started getting the bills.

  83. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    14. August 2012 at 16:40

    Patrick R. Sullivan.

    “What is Obama’s? The one no Democrat in congress will get behind?”

    Obama’s budget is far more detailed than Ryan’s. Obama’s budget was never submitted to the Senate because it would have been an exercise in futility as it would never have gotten past the repub’s filibuster. What was submitted was a plan the repubs called the Obama budget.

    “This is the president’s budget,” said the top Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee, Sen. Kent Conrad of South Dakota, indicating the voluminous budget proposal President Obama offered. “This is what Sen. Sessions has presented as being the president’s budget,” he said, indicating the much slimmer document.
    “I think it’s readily apparent there is a big difference between the president’s budget, which I hold in my hands, and what Sen. Sessions has presented as being the president’s budget. This is not the president’s budget. So, of course, we’re not going to support it. It’s not what the president proposed.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/05/house-and-senate-unanimously-reject-obama-budgets-or-do-they/

  84. Gravatar of John David Galt John David Galt
    14. August 2012 at 18:27

    It sounds like, if I lived in China, the perfect growth business I’d want to be in is smuggling rural Chinese into the cities, and getting them (either fake or real-by-bribe) IDs granting permission to live there, so they could move up into the middle class.

    Because everything I’ve heard says that rural residents who don’t manage to make this move are going to die in droves. All the infrastructure (such as water projects) the country is building are for the city dwellers at the expense of the rural dwellers.

  85. Gravatar of Rahul Deodhar Rahul Deodhar
    14. August 2012 at 22:17

    Dear Prof. Sumner,

    I hold you in high esteem. But this post is not up to your regular standards. I seriously suspect someone else is posting on your behalf.

    Think more, just don’t club housing in one basket. Differentiate between high-end housing, low-end housing etc.

    How will misallocation happen? If an industry is growing at 25% y-o-y for 20 years what happens?

    How will housing affect bank balance-sheet (loans to developers vs. loans to house buyers)? How will change in prices affect these assets-liabilities?

    What is impact on supplier industry? Cement, steel, etc.

    What is the effect of pre-poning of supply? What happens when such pre-poning happens on very large scale?

    What will be impact of change in tastes and preferences? How will those impact housing prices?

    How will house prices impact balance-sheet of households? How will it alter their spending?

    I don’t say the conclusion MUST be different but I would love to have complete analysis. At the moment I side with Chanos.

    Rahul.

  86. Gravatar of Ari Tai Ari Tai
    15. August 2012 at 04:28

    My sense when I was spending most of my time in China (last decade) was they are preparing for people to come off the farms – as they move food production up by 10x using agribusiness practices. What I see looks (surprisingly) similar to Korea – they are into their 3rd major infrastructure rebuild – w/ lots of residential towers (and a surprising number with helo pads on top) – for (what appears to me to be) the last third of the aging farm population still on the land. China still has 9/10ths or more in rural settings. And rather than forceful resettlement they are willing to wait for a generation to pass on.

    Seems to match up with them turning on a gigawatt (coal-fired) power plant every 3-4 weeks. Probably continue at that pace for the next 25+ years until they catch up with 1st world quality of life – the more energy costs, the more we sweat, the less energy costs, the more people can be our customers, the more we can be others (aka the essential definition of wealth) – which is now more important to China than any other emerging country (since India hasn’t been able to get out of its own way).

  87. Gravatar of Update on Scott Sumner Debate Update on Scott Sumner Debate
    15. August 2012 at 08:26

    [...] it occurs to me that I could win the debate just by saying, “Scott Sumner published this on his blog. And fans of the free market are looking to him as a guru?” And what sort of [...]

  88. Gravatar of The Sumner Illusion | Economic Thought The Sumner Illusion | Economic Thought
    15. August 2012 at 11:32

    [...] Murphy already beat me to it, but Scott Sumner’s recent post on China is uncharacteristically bad (although, not entirely wrong). To get the gist of my disagreements [...]

  89. Gravatar of Greg Ransom Greg Ransom
    15. August 2012 at 11:56

    Wow.

    Jonathan Finegold dismantles some of the mistakes & confusions spun out by Scott here:

    http://www.economicthought.net/blog/?p=2471

  90. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    15. August 2012 at 12:22

    Sax, I just price shopped non-elective surgery to save nearly $2K.

    It is coming.

    The issue is that the bottom half will not be buying the Honda Accord of care, they will be buying the used Volvo.

    And the used volvo is PRETTY GOOD.

    The discussion with your side is virutally impossible because deep down you want to DECIDE who gets what care, based on their allegiance to the state or some other commie thing.

    Once you start off wanting to let the top half keep getting the good stuff, figuring out healthcare doesn’t need to be contentious.

    Your side isn’t honest.

    Imagine that.

  91. Gravatar of Cthorm Cthorm
    15. August 2012 at 12:38

    Rahul,

    How will misallocation happen? If an industry is growing at 25% y-o-y for 20 years what happens?

    Quantity produced/supplied goes up. What happens to prices depends on demand for housing, which in turn depends on demographics and income in the area. Even if supply exceeds demand today, the demographic and incomes trends are so positive in China that a sustained decrease in prices is unlikely.

    What is impact on supplier industry? Cement, steel, etc.
    Basic materials production would slow if demand for construction significantly decreased.

    What is the effect of pre-poning of supply? What happens when such pre-poning happens on very large scale?

    It amplifies cyclical forces. This happened on a huge scale in the US heavy truck manufacturing industry from 2005-2006, as trucking companies wanted to buy more trucks than currently needed because costly regulations would go into effect in 2007. The expectation was for growth to continue, but NGDP collapsed in 2008, which drastically reduced the need for trucking services, and thus demand for heavy trucks remained severely depressed.

    What will be impact of change in tastes and preferences? How will those impact housing prices?

    It depends on the tastes and preferences. Currently Chinese people are moving out of rural areas and into urban areas, where they can earn much higher wages. If their preferences change in a pattern similar to the US in the 1950s, they will seek a balance between rural and urban life. That could mean a boom in construction as China creates its own suburban sprawl (if the gov’t allows it).

    How will house prices impact balance-sheet of households? How will it alter their spending?

    That depends on the legal structure of home ownership in China. In the US, you usually own your home and the parcel of land it is on. Because the US financial system allowed home owners to use their equity as collateral, home owners could increase their spending by tapping into the ‘capital gains’ baked into their home equity.

    In summary, these are all sector-focused issues. Ultimately these issues are noise for the broader economy.

  92. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    15. August 2012 at 12:46

    Mike Sax:

    Major you aren’t doing your neurlogical disorder any favor waiting for people to stop writing typos.

    I don’t expect people to cease making typos. I am referring to the quantity that you yourself make. There is a difference between making the occasional typo, and making a plethora of typos in almost every single post you make. You’re at a whole other level when it comes to this. If I were you, I’d spend time learning how to spell words. Don’t you have automatic spell check on your web browser?

    I or anyone else can go through life with a typo or two-it’s not as if anyone ever has any trouble understanding me. It’s about communication.

    On that score I’m clealry the beetter communicator.

    If you mean appealing to the lowest common denominator, then yes, you’re better at that than me.

    One reason is that I can make my point in a few words where you have to write a couple of disserations and even then you havne’t gotten to the heart of it.

    That’s false. My posts are longer than the average blog post, but for those who can read and understand quickly, they’re reasonable.

    Besides, I know I’d rather read long, informative posts, than short, incorrect posts of the type you write.

    That’s because you’re a neurotic obssessive complusive mess

    Yay more internet diagnoses.

    that can’t express yourself easily.

    I am expressing myself easily. I type relatively fast (~80 words a minute).

    I don’t believe your internet diagnoses, so these comments you’re making are more to convince yourself. I think I’ll trust a doctor before I trust some partisan hack blogger who can’t spell and is economically illiterate.

    You on the other hand drive everyone crazy.

    If I only posted on echo chamber blogs, I’d drive nobody crazy. It only seems like I drive everyone crazy because I tend to go into the hornet’s nest where I am drastically outnumbered in terms of convictions.

    That’s why you hate democracy so much becaue you’re the most unpopular guy around.

    So that’s why you like democracy? Because it is consistent with your drive to be popular?

    I don’t strive to be popular. I strive to be happy and correct. In an insane asylum, the sane individual visitor appears as the crazy one to the tenants.

    “I know I am on the right track when you react so princessy and you do not engage any argument I made.”

    As usual Major you’re projecting.

    Except I engage the arguments my intellectual opponents make. You on the other hand are just a drama queen.

    No one’s a bigger princes than you are.

    You’re still playing this “I know you are but what am I” childish game?

    You constantly stoop to pointless insults and snark that don’t make any difference anyway.

    They are clearly having a HUGE impact on you! Haha

    Notice how you’re calling me No Sax is not the equivalent of me calling you Major Unfreedom?

    I don’t think so, because your name calling isn’t accurate.

    Mine refers to your politcal philosophy and outlook on life.

    No, it refers to yours. You call me unfreedom because I am exposing you as calling for reductions of freedom, and you have no other answer to give but to engage in psychological reaction formation.

    You seek the maximum level of unfreeedom and lack of liberty for the most people possible for the benefit of the wealthy few.

    No, I seek for the maximum level of freedom and liberty for the most people.

    You seek unfreedom by wanting the majority of a given population to impose themselves on the minority, using a few with coercive state power.

    Free market capitalism doesn’t benefit only a wealthy few. It benefits everyone who takes part in it, constrained by the freedoms of choice and economic activity of every other individual.

    Your ignorance is unbounded. Your ignorance is why you can only see the false dichotomy of democracy or totalitarianism.

    So even you’re childish game of tit for tat failed.

    No, yours failed. Your name calling of me is a projection, and does not even correctly characterize my ideas.

    My name of you is almost certainly true, because you made that clear when you presented yourself as worried about satisfying women. You’re worried because you probably don’t get any.

    “. I am used to being ridiculed”

    About the only thing you’ve ever said that I believe

    You only believe that which reinforces your prejudices. I am used to being ridiculed on blogs because I go to blogs whose administrators and writers have views directly counter to my own. I purposefully do that. I find the Mises.org blog rather boring to tell you the truth. I think it’s more fun to go into the trenches than finding security and warm blankets in echo chambers.

  93. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    15. August 2012 at 13:00

    Morgan this poise of yours calling liberals “dishonest” is very typical for your side. You think name calling will win it for you.

    We’ll see if America will really vote out the New Deal.

    If you’re so right about the free market then why was the pre New Deal age such a mess? If things are as great with just leeting the markets do everything then why was there this political groundswell for some kind of safety net and welfare state in the first place?

    You’d think that just by killing Medicare we’d have health care utopia. Well look at the pre 60s in health care-no utopia.

    It’s just like all your invective against Obamacare-while ingroning that it’s Romney’s plan of course.

    It’s laughable when you guys start claimng the recession was caused by Obamacare. That hasn’t even gone into effect yet. Was the pre Obamacare age some kind of Golden Age? Yeah, if you’re rich and can afford it.

    That’s your whole philosoplhy-that if you don’t have money you’re just shit out of luck.

    But even if I could follow you into such a miserable economic view point I’d never in a million years vote GOP even then.

    We have a guy in Paul Ryan who doesn’t beleieve in abortion even in the case of the life of the mother. He wants women who have abortions locked up-aka the Personhood bill.

    So I am honest. I have no idea how anyone comes by such a worldview and I abhor it. That’s why I call myself a Republican hater. Anyone who says let a woman die rahter than have an abortion I hate. Not disagree with, not think they are swell people who i have to show respect to like that idiot David Brooks.

    Flat out hate them. My whole reason for getting up in the morning is nothing but to beat them into the ground.

  94. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    15. August 2012 at 13:10

    The continuing follies of Major Unfreedom:

    “That’s false. My posts are longer than the average blog post, but for those who can read and understand quickly, they’re reasonable.”

    Unfree no one thinks they’re reasonable. Even Bob Murphy says they aren’t. Are you saying he can’t read an understand quickly?

    “Besides, I know I’d rather read long, informative posts, than short, incorrect posts of the type you write.”

    False economy. You think that the longer something is the more correct it is. Truly sharp thinkers don’t need unwieldly verbiage to get yoru point.

    “No, it refers to yours. You call me unfreedom because I am exposing you as calling for reductions of freedom, and you have no other answer to give but to engage in psychological reaction formation.”

    Nope, I’m calling you that because you are against freedom and for slavery. You use the false name Major Freedom in true Orwellian fashion to cover up who you truly are.

    Yes you’re Major Freedom bs long as we remember with you Freedom is Slavery.

    After all you are opposed to the right to vote. Case closed. You are a proponent of distatorhsip based on how rich one is. You expose nothing but your own perversity.

    “Your ignorance is unbounded. Your ignorance is why you can only see the false dichotomy of democracy or totalitarianism.”

    Your dreaming as usual Major Slavery. That is the choice. Hitler tried the Third Way already. You and Hoppe aren’t even original.

    “No, I seek for the maximum level of freedom and liberty for the most people.”

    No you don’t. That’s the definnition of democracy. You seek only something for those with deep pockets and those who want to discriminate against others.

  95. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    15. August 2012 at 13:35

    Mike No Sax:

    The continuing follies of Major Unfreedom:

    You haven’t shown a series of “follies”, so how can you refer to a continuance of them?

    “That’s false. My posts are longer than the average blog post, but for those who can read and understand quickly, they’re reasonable.”

    Unfree no one thinks they’re reasonable.

    No Sax, you don’t know what everyone thinks.

    Even Bob Murphy says they aren’t. Are you saying he can’t read an understand quickly?

    “Even Bob Murphy” is not everyone.

    “Besides, I know I’d rather read long, informative posts, than short, incorrect posts of the type you write.”

    False economy.

    It’s false dichotomy. Not false economy.

    You think that the longer something is the more correct it is.

    Not necessarily. I was just making a judgment of value. I’d rather read long, informative posts than the short, incorrect posts you write.

    Truly sharp thinkers don’t need unwieldly verbiage to get yoru point.

    I disagree. I think the most intelligent people who ever lived, in the sphere of economics and philosophy, wrote relatively lengthy essays and articles.

    “No, it refers to yours. You call me unfreedom because I am exposing you as calling for reductions of freedom, and you have no other answer to give but to engage in psychological reaction formation.”

    Nope, I’m calling you that because you are against freedom and for slavery.

    No, I am not against freedom nor am I for slavery.

    You are against freedom and you are for slavery, because you favor rule by majority. That reduces the freedom of the minority, and democracy has the legitimate authority of the majority to enslave the minority.

    You use the false name Major Freedom in true Orwellian fashion to cover up who you truly are.

    I truly am in favor of individual liberty. You are falsely characterizing me because you see me exposing you to be against freedom.

    Yes you’re Major Freedom bs long as we remember with you Freedom is Slavery.

    That’s your definition of slavery, not mine. You said on many occasions that if someone is no longer able to vote away the individual rights of another, then this is somehow a reduction of that person’s “freedom.” In other words, your conception of freedom contains the “freedom” to take away the freedoms of others, and you falsely believe that removing that “freedom” is a removal of your liberty, as if you somehow have a right to vote away the individual rights of others.

    After all you are opposed to the right to vote. Case closed.

    The right to vote is a claim to the right to initiate force against innocent people who are outnumbered. I am against initiations of violence, hence I am against your claim that you have a right to initiate violence through mob rule. Case closed.

    You are a proponent of distatorhsip based on how rich one is.

    The word is “dictatorship”, and no, I don’t favor dictatorship. Rich people and poor people would have equal individual rights. Poor people would not be permitted to initiate force against right people, and rich people would not be permitted to initiate force against poor people.

    Individuals would not be permitted to initiate violence against any other individual.

    You expose nothing but your own perversity.

    You just exposed more of your ignorance.

    “Your ignorance is unbounded. Your ignorance is why you can only see the false dichotomy of democracy or totalitarianism.”

    Your dreaming as usual Major Slavery. That is the choice.

    No, it isn’t the choice. There is private property anarchy. It is stateless, so it can’t be fascist or communist.

    Hitler tried the Third Way already. You and Hoppe aren’t even original.

    There are more than three alternatives as well.

    Hitler’s system was statist, which is the same solution you propose, with the only difference that instead of a single dictator with absolute power, there is 50% plus 1 with absolute power over 50% minus 1.

    “No, I seek for the maximum level of freedom and liberty for the most people.”

    No you don’t.

    Yes, I do.

    That’s the definnition of democracy.

    No, the definition of democracy is freedom of 50% plus 1 and “unfreedom” (your word) for the 50% minus 1.

    What you want is not freedom for every individual. You call freedom for every individual “slavery” and “dictatorship”.

    You are presenting a false dichotomy.

    You seek only something for those with deep pockets

    False. There is freedom of opportunity for all individuals, not just those with deep pockets. Those with deep pockets would be those who produced the most for the deepest part of the population. Money isn’t doled out like your parents giving you an allowance. Money is earned. One becomes wealthy in a libertarian society by being productive for others.

    If you don’t produce as much, then you don’t earn as much. You’re also free to give to charity to others.

    No state means the wealthy cannot use the state for their benefit. You believe the state is needed or else the rich will enslave the poor? It’s the exact opposite. Without the state, you cannot get rich unless you produce, which raises the poor out of poverty.

    You seek only something for those in the majority. Those in the 50% minus 1 group do not have the same rights.

    and those who want to discriminate against others.

    There is nothing wrong with peaceful discrimination. You are peacefully discriminating against me, for example. You are discerning me to be different than others, and you are judging whether to do business with me accordingly. If I had your depraved philosophy, then I would have the right to point a gun at you and force you to deal with me as if I am just another ant in the anthill, which is your ideal conception of humanity: the horrors of Harrison Bergeron.

  96. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    15. August 2012 at 13:53

    “You haven’t shown a series of “follies”, so how can you refer to a continuance of them?”

    You haven’t been paying attention. However, no one else has any trouble remembering the series. It was for their benefit Unfree.

    “No Sax, you don’t know what everyone thinks.”

    Freedom is Slavery, I never said I did. I know certain feelings in humanity are fairly universal however. You are not the choice of many.

    Which is why you hate democracy so much.

    “No, the definition of democracy is freedom of 50% plus 1 and “unfreedom” (your word) for the 50% minus 1. ”

    Even there you’re wrong. The minority does have rights. Taht’s what the Bill of Rights and Civil Liberties are about.

    Ironically it’s those who promote “states rights” who actually advocate a crude majoritarianism. Note that in the 60s if civil rights for blacks had been put on state ballots we still wouldn’t have it now.

    Of course you would be much happier in that case as you, Hoppe and Rand Paul preferred the Jim Crow South. It came closer to your definition of “the maximum level of freedom and liberty for the most people.”

    “False. There is freedom of opportunity for all individuals, not just those with deep pockets. Those with deep pockets would be those who produced the most for the deepest part of the population. Money isn’t doled out like your parents giving you an allowance. Money is earned. One becomes wealthy in a libertarian society by being productive for others.”

    You dont believe in freedom of opportunity either. You believe there’s a right to discriminate against blacks or whoever you “choose” not to like.

    So in your society there’s no check on what the rich of the right race can do to those who are neither.

    “Hitler’s system was statist, which is the same solution you propose, with the only difference that instead of a single dictator with absolute power, there is 50% plus 1 with absolute power over 50% minus 1.”

    Even if that were wholly true it’s a major improvenemnt over Hitler. But even those in the minority benefit. this is why we have rights for Muslims or gays though they are the minority.

    This is hugely differnt from one dictator. Of course your buddy Hoppe thinks that one man distatorship is perferrable to democracy.

    The thing is that in a democracy not ever thing breaks out 51-49 and even when it does it’s not alwasy the same districuttion of citizens in the 51 and 49 numbers.

    As a citizen in a democracy some issues will go against you. Does this mean you’re the victim of force? Of course not.

    The same system of law that today went against your interest or desire tomorrow safeguards you.

    Tomorrow you may be in the majority. But democracy at least liberal democracy is not crude majoritarianism. It doesn’t mean that if you are in the minority you have no rights. YOu have the smae civil rights that anyone else has.

    Even though most Americans are Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus or atheists have the same rights.

    I believe that you use the word “violence” and “force” much too broadly.

  97. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    15. August 2012 at 14:04

    Major Unfreedom

    “You said on many occasions that if someone is no longer able to vote away the individual rights of another, then this is somehow a reduction of that person’s “freedom.”

    No I haven’t. You are playing your usual game of putting words in my mouth. I believe in increasing rights. YOu support taking them away. That’s why you and Rand Paul hate the Civil Rights Act.

    Can you give me even one tangible example of an individual right that I want to vote away?

  98. Gravatar of Doug M Doug M
    15. August 2012 at 14:41

    Sax,

    “Can you give me even one tangible example of an individual right that I want to vote away?”

    You are for Obama care correct?
    You are against a persons right to refuse treatment — you are against thier right to controll thier own body.
    You are against the right of an employer and an employee to freely negotiate the terms of employment.
    Then you are against an absolute right to private poperty. You believe that goverment may seize my property through taxation.

    Every law is a reduction of someone’s freedom.

  99. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    15. August 2012 at 14:58

    “Social mobility is higher in “Socialist” Western Europe than in the USA.”

    There are people in need of treatment and they are refusing it? Maybe in your universe.

    Yeah I have cancer but I refuse treatment.

    YOu’re for Romney-Ryan because they wnat to put women in jail for having abortions.

    I bet you are concerned about that kind of law reducing anyone’s freedom just if your taxes go up by a couple of dollars.

    “You are against the right of an employer and an employee to freely negotiate the terms of employment.”

    What has Obama done to deny any such right? I know he spoke against those employers who print ads that say things like “the unemployed need not apply”

    I’m sure you find that a terrible violation of rights.

    I don’t believe property rights are absolute that’s right. I notice that those who think it is always conclude crazy things like the government cannot stop a father from abusing his wife and children or can’t prevent Denny’s from refusing to serve black people.

    So yes I’m not for absoulte propety rights. The whole concept gives us perverse results like this. The belief in absoulte property rights means that only those with lots of property have any meaningful rights.

  100. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    15. August 2012 at 15:00

    “I bet you are concerned ”

    I mean “I bet you aren’t concerned”

  101. Gravatar of Razer Razer
    15. August 2012 at 16:20

    Mike,

    If I could get a majority to agree with me to come over to your house, rape and murder your wife and children then kill you, would you be okay with this? What about a unambitious vote?

    Or do you now suddenly favor ‘natural rights’? I doubt you will even answer the question coherently and spout nonsense about Republicans or other bullshit, but if you want to debate Libertarians, you can start by answering my simple question. Then you can move on to explaining how individuals can somehow grant powers to the state that they do not even have. But let’s start slow, shall we?

  102. Gravatar of Razer Razer
    15. August 2012 at 16:23

    I meant unanimous…. sorry

  103. Gravatar of Doug M Doug M
    15. August 2012 at 16:50

    Mike,

    So, you agree that you want to restrict my rights. Now that we have that settled….Democracy is not freedom. However, it may be better than the other forms of government.

    I am not particularly for Romney. I am not for Obama either. I really don’t think it makes a lick of difference who gets elected. It is coke vs. pepsi.

  104. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    15. August 2012 at 18:05

    Mike Sax:

    “You haven’t shown a series of “follies”, so how can you refer to a continuance of them?”

    You haven’t been paying attention.

    I have been paying attention. You haven’t shown any.

    However, no one else has any trouble remembering the series.

    Such as who? Where did they show it?

    It was for their benefit Unfree.

    Then you’re not helping them No Sax, because you didn’t show any examples.

    “No Sax, you don’t know what everyone thinks.”

    Freedom is Slavery, I never said I did.

    No Sax, yes you did. You claimed “no one thinks they’re reasonable.” That implies you know what everyone is thinking.

    I know certain feelings in humanity are fairly universal however.

    OK Hari Seldon.

    You are not the choice of many.

    You don’t know what even “many” think in this respect.

    Which is why you hate democracy so much.

    What do your false convictions have to do with the reason I am against the violence inherent in democratic rule?

    “No, the definition of democracy is freedom of 50% plus 1 and “unfreedom” (your word) for the 50% minus 1. ”

    Even there you’re wrong. The minority does have rights. Taht’s what the Bill of Rights and Civil Liberties are about.

    In democracy these can be voted away. To say that democracy cannot vote these rights away is a movement away from democratic rule, and towards the individual liberty philosophy I am advocating.

    Ironically it’s those who promote “states rights” who actually advocate a crude majoritarianism.

    That isn’t irony, because state’s rights can be viewed as reducing the violations of freedoms that federal laws impose, such as marijuana for cancer patients. California votes to legalize it, but the feds overrule the state. If states were not forced to comply with federal law, then there would be more freedom in this respect. There are many other examples, such as states voting away Obamacare (26 states sent the feds to court for the illegality of Obamacare).

    Note that in the 60s if civil rights for blacks had been put on state ballots we still wouldn’t have it now.

    Sure we would. There would be probably 45 states that would. The few states in the south would not constitute a country-wide prejudice against blacks.

    With 50 independent states, there is much greater chance of freedom, because it would be much harder for a given state to impose oppressive laws what with the relative ease of the population moving to a nearby state at relatively low cost. With a federal state, oppression increases because it’s harder to move.

    Of course you would be much happier in that case as you, Hoppe and Rand Paul preferred the Jim Crow South.

    Jim Crow laws were state laws. Hoppe, Rand, Paul and myself are all against state intervention into the economy.

    You’re claiming up is down and black is white. You cannot argue anarchists like myself are in favor of state laws.

    It came closer to your definition of “the maximum level of freedom and liberty for the most people.”

    No, state laws are contradictions to individual private property law society.

    “False. There is freedom of opportunity for all individuals, not just those with deep pockets. Those with deep pockets would be those who produced the most for the deepest part of the population. Money isn’t doled out like your parents giving you an allowance. Money is earned. One becomes wealthy in a libertarian society by being productive for others.”

    You dont believe in freedom of opportunity either.

    Yes, I do. And what do you mean “either”?

    You don’t believe in freedom of opportunity. You believe in equality of goodies.

    You believe there’s a right to discriminate against blacks or whoever you “choose” not to like.

    You believe there is a right to discriminate against blacks or whoever you “choose” not to like as well. You believe individuals have a right to discriminate against blacks when it comes to who to marry, be friends with, let into one’s home, and who to buy goods from.

    You only use racism as a cover for your communistic attacks against free markets, where if buyers of money, i.e. sellers of goods, discriminate against blacks, then suddenly discrimination is evil and wrong.

    So in your society there’s no check on what the rich of the right race can do to those who are neither.

    Yes there is. There is the check of the consumers who can voluntarily bankrupt racist sellers. If the majority of individual consumers don’t want to deal with racist sellers, then racist sellers will simply not be able to earn profits. They will lose capital and those sellers who are not racist will gain.

    Even if sellers did discriminate and were able to earn profits, it would still be as voluntary as you discriminating against me, and racist spouse choosers, friend choosers, and buyers who choose which seller to buy from, discriminating against other races.

    You’re not a consistent, logical thinker. While you shed crocodile tears over racist sellers, you won’t shed a tear for sellers who have to put up with racist buyers. If you are in favor of putting racist sellers into prison for merely peacefully resisting a potential exchange that they have no obligation to fill, then to be consistent you’d have to be in favor of putting racist buyers into prison for peacefully resisting a potential exchange that they have no obligation to fulfill.

    “Hitler’s system was statist, which is the same solution you propose, with the only difference that instead of a single dictator with absolute power, there is 50% plus 1 with absolute power over 50% minus 1.”

    Even if that were wholly true it’s a major improvenemnt over Hitler.

    Hahaha, see that? Whereas your advocacy is only an “improvement” over HITLER’S totalitarianism, my advocacy completely overturns the immorality and oppression inherent in it.

    But even those in the minority benefit. this is why we have rights for Muslims or gays though they are the minority.

    That isn’t democracy. That is individual rights that democracy cannot touch because thankfully enough people in this country are against democracy in its full form and are in favor of the individual liberty I am advocating.

    This is hugely differnt from one dictator.

    No it isn’t. It is a minor difference.

    Of course your buddy Hoppe thinks that one man distatorship is perferrable to democracy.

    The words are spelled “dictatorship” and “preferable”, and while Hoppe believes monarchy is superior to democracy, he doesn’t advocate for monarchy, but anarchism.

    The thing is that in a democracy not ever thing breaks out 51-49 and even when it does it’s not alwasy the same districuttion of citizens in the 51 and 49 numbers.

    You’re right. In the US, typically only around 40% of the people vote. Out of that vote, 51% decide the outcomes, so on net, out of the whole population, roughly 21% decide the outcomes for 79% of the people.

    I was giving you the “ideal” version of democracy. In reality, it’s far worse.

    Thanks for bringing that up. I was totally overestimating the size of the group of people who rule and impose state force on the remaining part of the population.

    As a citizen in a democracy some issues will go against you.

    In private property anarchy, nobody can impose violence on others, thus there is no legal “going against” you.

    Does this mean you’re the victim of force? Of course not.

    Yes, it does. If 51% plus 1 vote and the outcome is imposed on the remaining 50% minus 1 by force, then that is victimizing the 50% minus 1 with force.

    It doesn’t matter if the 50% minus 1 are outnumbered.

    The same system of law that today went against your interest or desire tomorrow safeguards you.

    Don’t presume to know what’s best for me, or any other individual. You cannot know what interests me unless you passively observe what I do without being coerced.

    Tomorrow you may be in the majority.

    I do not favor majority rule based on force, so I will never be “in” the majority.

    But democracy at least liberal democracy is not crude majoritarianism.

    That is because there is enough libertarian philosophy that has been carried over from the enlightenment that still persist to this day. It is precisely because of the radicals like me that you are not having your rights voted away by the majority.

    It doesn’t mean that if you are in the minority you have no rights.

    That’s because democracy is not being practised in its consistent, full form.

    YOu have the smae civil rights that anyone else has.

    False. I do not claim to have the right to tax you, nor impose laws on you against your will. Those in the state claim to have that right, and you believe them.

    Even though most Americans are Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus or atheists have the same rights.

    No, they don’t. Equal rights are not possible in democracy, unless the majority vote to abolish majority rule, which isn’t happening.

    I believe that you use the word “violence” and “force” much too broadly.

    No, I use them with precision and without ambiguity.

    “You said on many occasions that if someone is no longer able to vote away the individual rights of another, then this is somehow a reduction of that person’s “freedom.”

    No I haven’t.

    Yes, you have. That is precisely what started you calling me unfreedom. You said I want to take away your freedom by wanting to abolish majority ruling the minority. You said taking away your “right to vote” is wanting to take away your freedom, as if you have the right to be “free” to take away other people’s freedom through majority rule, apart from civil rights, such as their economic freedoms.

    You are playing your usual game of putting words in my mouth. I believe in increasing rights.

    No, you don’t. You want to decrease rights by decreasing the right to produce and trade with others, through state violence that you call “laws”.

    YOu support taking them away.

    No, I support increasing freedoms. You support taking them away.

    I challenge you to name me a single thing that I am advocating that is based on initiating violence against your person or property.

    That’s why you and Rand Paul hate the Civil Rights Act.

    No, Rand Paul is against the part of the Civil Rights Act that contained violations of private property rights and thus the freedoms associated with free trade.

    Can you give me even one tangible example of an individual right that I want to vote away?

    You want to take away my right to do business with whoever I want concerning my own property. You want to take away my freedom to not sell goods to those in the KKK if I don’t want to, because I would allegedly be “breaking the law”, and “violating their freedom” to acquire my produced wealth as long as they have state created dollars to spend in my store.

    You want to take away my freedom to spend money as I see fit, by supporting coercive theft of my income that you call taxation.

    You want to take away many other freedoms of individuals, but the list is so long it would be pointless to name them all. It’s not like you would understand it anyway, what with you in your dogmatic ideological statist crusade of anti-free market violence.

  105. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    15. August 2012 at 18:14

    Mike Sax:

    I notice that those who think it is always conclude crazy things like the government cannot stop a father from abusing his wife and children or can’t prevent Denny’s from refusing to serve black people.

    Physical abuse is a violation of property rights, namely, the right to one’s scarce body. So practising absolute property rights would preclude physical abuse.

    Just because one is against the state from doing X (stopping abuse), it doesn’t mean one is against everyone doing X. You have to stop conflating a lack of state with a lack of protections.

    What’s wrong with Denny’s refusing to serve people from the Black Panthers?

    What’s wrong with refusing to marry a white person?

    What’s wrong with refusing to buy a haircut from an Asian barber?

    You don’t understand rights.

    So yes I’m not for absoulte propety rights.

    Then you have no argument against me taking all your wealth against your will.

    The whole concept gives us perverse results like this.

    What perverse results? You haven’t shown any!

    The belief in absoulte property rights means that only those with lots of property have any meaningful rights.

    False. Every individual would have equal rights.

  106. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    15. August 2012 at 19:51

    “What perverse results? You haven’t shown any!”

    this is why you eitehr suffer from short term memory loss or are a patholgoical liar. I just pointed out that you support the right to discimirnate and don’t let the state stop child abuse.

    If you don’t find that perverse that shows how perverse you are.

    “That’s because democracy is not being practised in its consistent, full form.”

    That’s the opposite of the truth. If you look at the different kind of governments, civil rights only developed in democracy. IN democracy minorites do have rihgts. It’s in the predemocratic countries that there wwere no rights of the minority-or the majority. Only KIngs and Nobles.

    “No, Rand Paul is against the part of the Civil Rights Act that contained violations of private property rights and thus the freedoms associated with free trade.”

    What he calls violation of property rights is being forced to served coloureds.

    “You want to take away my right to do business with whoever I want concerning my own property. You want to take away my freedom to not sell goods to those in the KKK if I don’t want to, because I would allegedly be “breaking the law”, and “violating their freedom” to acquire my produced wealth as long as they have state created dollars to spend in my store.”

    There’s no history of anyone being forced to do business with the KKK. What there is a history is people who dont wnat to do buiness with colureds. So they and the KKK were on the same side of the question.

    In the normal way it makes no sense to even care who you do buiessnw with. If I sell pizza why would I want to limit myself to only certain groups? But this is what the South did until recently.

    If you and Rand had your way they’d still be doing it.

    “You want to take away many other freedoms of individuals, but the list is so long it would be pointless to name them all. It’s not like you would understand it anyway, what with you in your dogmatic ideological statist crusade of anti-free market violence.”

    I bet nooe of thoe freedoms are the right to not be dscirminated against or for children to be free from abusvie partents.

    Just the worries of rich fat cats wanting desparatley to hold onto an extra dime.

    You deifiniton of rights is just about the ablitiy to pay. That’s all it means. If you have money you have rihgts.

    It’s useless to say you don’t like abuse but you stop the state from stoppoing it.

    There needs to be actual enforcement against it or it’s just words.

    “False. Every individual would have equal rights.”

    It wouldn’t. Even protection from violence would only be for those who could afford to pay for private protection. The only thing such a society values is ability to pay.

    My point is that a civilized society has to make some accomidation for those who for whatever reason can’t pay.

    YOu say the poor can’t be aggressed against by the rich but that’s meaningless. They can be discrimianted they can be disenfranchised. If you can’t even buy a cup of coffee or live in a decent neighborhood then you’;re a victim of aggression.

  107. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    15. August 2012 at 19:56

    Razer:

    “If I could get a majority to agree with me to come over to your house, rape and murder your wife and children then kill you, would you be okay with this? What about a unambitious vote?”

    That libertarians think such silly do you still beat your grandmother questions mean anything shows why they’re held in such low esteem.

    Tell me the last election that a whole country voted to rape one guy’s wife and kill his children?

    Such absurd exaggerations are meaningless.

    Democracy has rights for the minority. It’s not crude majoritarianism. If everybody in a town wants to rape and murder someone’s family the law prevents them from doing it.

    There’s a rule of law and the bill of rights. So unless you can actually give me a question that has any relation to the real world the whole thing is mute.

    I have to admit I find such questions as that just meaningless.

  108. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    15. August 2012 at 19:59

    Major Slavery

    “That is because there is enough libertarian philosophy that has been carried over from the enlightenment that still persist to this day. It is precisely because of the radicals like me that you are not having your rights voted away by the majority.”

    Baloney. You actually agree with the majoirty in the South during the Jim Crow era. You think their rights have been violated in that they can’t still make blakcs stand at the back of the hus and use coloured bathrooms and water fountains.

  109. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    15. August 2012 at 20:02

    “No, they don’t. Equal rights are not possible in democracy, unless the majority vote to abolish majority rule, which isn’t happening”

    Yes they do. All are equal before the law. The very same rule of law applies to each. If someone violates their rights they will be held legally accountable.

    You want to do away with law enforcemnt and come up with private law avaialbe to only those with deep pockets.

  110. Gravatar of Razer Razer
    15. August 2012 at 22:22

    Mike, you fail critical thinking 101. I find that when confronted with the incongruity of their reasoning, the statist either gets angry and runs off or has to change their minds. Usually it’s the former. You are no exception. You have no understanding of what democracy is nor have you given a moment’s thought to the nature of the state.

    Even other statists on this forum face palm when they read your gibberish. You are like the crazy uncle everyone is embarrassed of, but put up with because he’s family.

    You probably have no clue what first principles are, do you?

    Also, where does the government get it’s authority from?

  111. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    16. August 2012 at 02:43

    Razer how have I run off? What you see is that I have answered al questions poised to me. Your talk of “gibberish” is just noise.

    You haven’t shown anything that I’ve said id jbberish.

    Who said I need first principles? The state no more has to justify it’s existence than private property does.

    You’re the one who says I’m a “statist” that’s just your slur. I acknoweledge that the state and private property have a part to play.

    Both exist and will do.

    You haven’t come close to showing how believing in absoulte private property rights isn’t gibberish. What makes it so holy-is it God or Nature?

    The truth is that all you libertarians have are personal insults. If you were denied that you’d litterally have nothing to say at all.

  112. Gravatar of Mike T Mike T
    16. August 2012 at 04:28

    Mike Sax:

    “Democracy has rights for the minority”
    >> There is nothing inherent in democracy that contains rights for the minority.

    “It’s not crude majoritarianism.”
    >> Yes, it is.

    “If everybody in a town wants to rape and murder someone’s family the law prevents them from doing it.”
    >> The law doesn’t “prevent” them from doing it. The law grants authority to state enforcement reactively punishing those who have violated others’ person or property.

    “There’s a rule of law and the bill of rights.”
    >> Does a President who normalizes a policy of secret assassination and extrajudicial indefinite detention of anyone including its own citizens conform to our Bill of Rights due process clause? Does our federal government’s secret domestic surveillance programs conform to our 4th amendment right to privacy? Does a President have the legal authority to ignore Congress while embarking on non-defensive military operations against sovereign countries that do not pose an imminent (or any) threat to the country’s national security? Does the federal government have a right to impose a direct unapportioned tax on the people to force individuals into a healthcare system (ACA)? Hardly anything the government does is “legal,” so I’m not sure what point you’re driving at by simply restating that there are laws and a bill of rights.

    “You actually agree with the majoirty in the South during the Jim Crow era. ”
    >> You do understand that Jim Crow laws were government laws, right? They were also held up by our federal Supreme Court for 100 years. Where has MF ever insinuated agreeing with such nonsense.

    “You think their rights have been violated in that they can’t still make blakcs stand at the back of the hus and use coloured bathrooms and water fountains.”
    >> This was enforced by the state! It was private individuals that moved passed racial segregation, not the state imposing assimilation. The state had always been the largest propagator of racism and segregation. You are demagoguing the issue in a desperate appeal to emotion without any sense of logic or actual history.

    You say: “All are equal before the law. The very same rule of law applies to each. If someone violates their rights they will be held legally accountable.”

    After saying: “So unless you can actually give me a question that has any relation to the real world the whole thing is mute.”

    >> What real world are you living in where you think individuals are equally protected under the law in this country?

  113. Gravatar of miket miket
    16. August 2012 at 04:51

    Mike Sax:

    “Democracy has rights for the minority”
    >> There is nothing inherent in democracy that contains rights for the minority.

    “It’s not crude majoritarianism.”
    >> Yes, it is.

    “If everybody in a town wants to rape and murder someone’s family the law prevents them from doing it.”
    >> The law doesn’t “prevent” them from doing it. The law grants authority to state enforcement reactively punishing those who have violated others’ person or property.

    “There’s a rule of law and the bill of rights.”
    >> Does a President who normalizes a policy of secret assassination and extrajudicial indefinite detention of anyone including its own citizens conform to our Bill of Rights due process clause? Does our federal government’s secret domestic surveillance programs conform to our 4th amendment right to privacy? Does a President have the legal authority to ignore Congress while embarking on non-defensive military operations against sovereign countries that do not pose an imminent (or any) threat to the country’s national security? Does the federal government have a right to impose a direct unapportioned tax on the people to force individuals into a healthcare system (ACA)? Hardly anything the government does is “legal,” so I’m not sure what point you’re driving at by simply restating that there are laws and a bill of rights.

    “You actually agree with the majoirty in the South during the Jim Crow era. ”
    >> You do understand that Jim Crow laws were government laws, right? They were also held up by our federal Supreme Court for 100 years. Where has MF ever insinuated agreeing with such nonsense.

    “You think their rights have been violated in that they can’t still make blakcs stand at the back of the hus and use coloured bathrooms and water fountains.”
    >> This was enforced by the state! It was private individuals that moved passed racial segregation, not the state imposing assimilation. The state had always been the largest propagator of racism and segregation. You are demagoguing the issue in a desperate appeal to emotion without any sense of logic or actual history.

    You say: “All are equal before the law. The very same rule of law applies to each. If someone violates their rights they will be held legally accountable.”

    After saying: “So unless you can actually give me a question that has any relation to the real world the whole thing is mute.”

    >> What real world are you living in where you think individuals are equally protected under the law in this country?

  114. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    16. August 2012 at 06:47

    “The law doesn’t “prevent” them from doing it. The law grants authority to state enforcement reactively punishing those who have violated others’ person or property.”

    Which prevents the commission of many crimes.

  115. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    16. August 2012 at 06:49

    Mike T:

    “It’s not crude majoritarianism.”
    >> Yes, it is.”

    This is a brillaint conversation. Guess what my next move it? No is isnt’. Then your next move will be: no it isn’t. Then I’ll come back with..

    Some actualy substantiation on your part might be helpful

  116. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    16. August 2012 at 06:53

    “You do understand that Jim Crow laws were government laws, right? They were also held up by our federal Supreme Court for 100 years. Where has MF ever insinuated agreeing with such nonsense.”

    He opposed ending it with the Civil Right’s Voting Act of 1964. You had private businesses across the South denying blacks services and products.

    If you really opposed Jim Crow you wouldn’t still be trying to reverse the the Voting Rights Act. That you are shows that your just making excuses for policies you support

  117. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    16. August 2012 at 06:55

    “This was enforced by the state! It was private individuals that moved passed racial segregation, not the state imposing assimilation. The state had always been the largest propagator of racism and segregation. You are demagoguing the issue in a desperate appeal to emotion without any sense of logic or actual history.”

    You’re the one who’s desparate. Private indivudals in the South were fighting against the end of it in 1964. You and Major want to go back.

    I think people like you, Major Unfreedom and Rand Paul who want to abolish the 1964 Act today still after 50 years are the desparate ones.

  118. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    16. August 2012 at 07:33

    Mike Sax:

    “What perverse results? You haven’t shown any!”

    this is why you eitehr suffer from short term memory loss or are a patholgoical liar. I just pointed out that you support the right to discimirnate and don’t let the state stop child abuse.

    You support the right to discriminate in all interrelations except your anti-capitalist crusade against owners of means of production. You support the right to discriminate against sellers, spouses, friends, bosses, but if you’re an owner of a means of production, then you cannot discriminate.

    I don’t support child abusers as the people who should stop child abuse.

    If you don’t find that perverse that shows how perverse you are.

    If you don’t see how absurd your claims are, then that shows just how absurd your mind really is.

    “That’s because democracy is not being practised in its consistent, full form.”

    That’s the opposite of the truth. If you look at the different kind of governments, civil rights only developed in democracy. IN democracy minorites do have rihgts. It’s in the predemocratic countries that there wwere no rights of the minority-or the majority. Only KIngs and Nobles.

    This is not a valid response to the statement I made. I said democracy is not being practised in its full, consistent form, and is the only reason why you are even talking about civil rights protections, and your response is to make the fallacious claim that civil rights exist only in democracy. Your memory is absolute garbage. I already told you that there exists civil rights in many of the world’s monarchies, such as in Liechtenstein, Monaco, and Andorra. It is incorrect that civil rights are only in democracy.

    “No, Rand Paul is against the part of the Civil Rights Act that contained violations of private property rights and thus the freedoms associated with free trade.”

    What he calls violation of property rights is being forced to served coloureds.

    It is being forced to serve anyone one does not want to associate themselves with.

    What you call protection of property rights is buyers and employees not being forced to sell to, or work for, “coloreds”.

    “You want to take away my right to do business with whoever I want concerning my own property. You want to take away my freedom to not sell goods to those in the KKK if I don’t want to, because I would allegedly be “breaking the law”, and “violating their freedom” to acquire my produced wealth as long as they have state created dollars to spend in my store.”

    There’s no history of anyone being forced to do business with the KKK.

    Red herring. You asked for rights that you want to take away from me, and I listed rights that you want to take away from me. Whether or not there is a history of these rights being taken away is completely and totally irrelevant.

    You said that you are against sellers and owners of means of production discriminating against their buyers. Well, that means you are against my freedom to discriminate against those in the KKK and refusing to sell to them.

    What there is a history is people who dont wnat to do buiness with colureds. So they and the KKK were on the same side of the question.

    More irrelevant babbling. You want to take my freedom away to not sell to the KKK. What is your defense of why you want to take that freedom away from me?

    In the normal way it makes no sense to even care who you do buiessnw with.

    Then you contradict yourself. For you DO care who I do business with who I do not do business with that you support armed thugs kidnapping me and throwing me into a cage for doing nothing other than choosing for myself who I do business with and who I do not do business with.

    If I sell pizza why would I want to limit myself to only certain groups?

    You’re asking me that question? Are you serious? I am the one telling YOU that when individuals have the freedom to choose who to do business with and who to not do business with, that those who are racist will lose out to those who are not, because one can make higher profits by not being racist than by being racist, and now you’re rhetorically asking me why would any seller limit themselves to selling to only certain groups?

    But this is what the South did until recently.

    If you and Rand had your way they’d still be doing it.

    Sure, and if you continue to have your way, then potential buyers, employees, spouses, home owners, and friends can still be free to racially discriminate against potential sellers, employers, spouses, home guests and friends.

    Using your own crap logic against you, then I can say that because you’re not a supporter of laws against discrimination in the above scenarios, because you want people to be able to discriminate in the above ways, then you must support racism and discrimination against black people.

    “You want to take away many other freedoms of individuals, but the list is so long it would be pointless to name them all. It’s not like you would understand it anyway, what with you in your dogmatic ideological statist crusade of anti-free market violence.”

    I bet nooe of thoe freedoms are the right to not be dscirminated against or for children to be free from abusvie partents.

    False. You support the taking away of the “freedom” of sellers, employers, spouses, home guests and friends to not be racially discriminated against. Nowhere do you support laws throwing buyers into prison for discriminating against sellers, nowhere do you support laws throwing job searchers into prison for discriminating against employers, nowhere do you support laws throwing potential spouses and friends into prison for discriminating against potential spouses and friends.

    You also support children being victimized by child abuse, because if the state abuses children, which they do, hundreds of thousands of them in the middle east and many more who are kidnapped from their parents who did nothing wrong to the children, and to abuse them in prison like classrooms in prison like schools, just to name a few, even if all this occurs, you don’t support a private property law society and abolition of the state. You continue to support the state, which means you continue to support all the child abuse that the state inflicts. This is using your crap logic against you.

    You can’t say you’re against child abuse by the state, because you don’t support the free market taking over the state’s responsibility. That is how you wanted to characterize my free market position. You said that because I don’t support the state, that I must support child abuse in non-state homes. Well, because you don’t support anarchy, then you must support child abuse by the state.

    Just the worries of rich fat cats wanting desparatley to hold onto an extra dime.

    Straw man. Your worldview is so utterly depraved that not only you worry yourself daily about those who produce real wealth for the consumer’s benefit, rather than the institution that is committing genocide and torture, but you are also so messed up that you don’t even grasp that the very state you support is COMPOSED of the very rich fat cats you hate, and they coddle other rich fat cats you hate.

    You deifiniton of rights is just about the ablitiy to pay. That’s all it means. If you have money you have rihgts.

    No, that is not my definition of rights. That is your caricature of my position that you are repeating over and over as if saying it a million times will one day make it true.

    In private property law, there is no law against anyone protecting others for free, at the protector’s expense. The majority of people have already shown themselves willing to do so in democracy, so there is no reason to believe they will suddenly stop doing so without a state. Your view of mankind is sick and twisted. You have such little hope in people helping each other without material payback that you can only think of forcing everyone to pay at the point of a gun. I have a far more accurate, and uplifting, view of mankind than you do. You need help.

    It’s useless to say you don’t like abuse but you stop the state from stoppoing it.

    The by your crap logic it is useless to say you don’t like abuse but you stop the free market from abolishing the state whose members abuse children.

    There needs to be actual enforcement against it or it’s just words.

    Then why don’t you support actual abolition of the state that abuses children?

    “False. Every individual would have equal rights.”

    It wouldn’t.

    It would. It’s the very definition of a private law society. It’s the society characterized by equal rights for all, not just those in the majority, not just those in a state, not just the King. Every individual. You cannot argue against the very meaning of what it is I am proposing.

    Even protection from violence would only be for those who could afford to pay for private protection.

    This is false. Humans have proven themselves to help others who can’t pay. And private protection would be much, MUCH more cheaper than it is today. If you support the state stealing from the poor, so that this money can go to protecting their property (which is yet another contradictory position you hold, by the way), then letting the poor spend their money on protectors of their choice, would be a progressive step forward. More choice and ability to stop paying bad protectors.

    For those who are completely priced out, they can protect themselves. Many poor people are today armed with automatic weapons. It’s not like they would be helpless in defending themselves against thugs like you who want to steal their wealth.

    The only thing such a society values is ability to pay.

    There is no society that values anything. It is individual people who value, and individual people have shown themselves as valuing helping those in need. If the majority can vote to give billions of dollars to those in need every year, through the state, then there is no reason why the same majority won’t help those in need without the state.

    My point is that a civilized society has to make some accomidation for those who for whatever reason can’t pay.

    It is not civilized to do so at the point of a gun. It is uncivilized to point guns at innocent people to get what you want.

    YOu say the poor can’t be aggressed against by the rich but that’s meaningless.

    It is not meaningless. It means no violence and the poor can do what they want, such as economically compete with the rich.

    They can be discrimianted they can be disenfranchised.

    You want potential buyers, employees, spouses, and friends to racially discriminate and thus disenfranchise sellers, employers, spouse and friend searchers.

    If you can’t even buy a cup of coffee or live in a decent neighborhood then you’;re a victim of aggression.

    By whom? Nobody is aggressing against you if they merely refuse to do business with you.

    “If I could get a majority to agree with me to come over to your house, rape and murder your wife and children then kill you, would you be okay with this? What about a unambitious vote?”

    That libertarians think such silly do you still beat your grandmother questions mean anything shows why they’re held in such low esteem.

    That liberals think such silly I won’t answer your question because it will expose my hypocrisy shows why you’re held in such low esteem here.

    Tell me the last election that a whole country voted to rape one guy’s wife and kill his children?

    That occurred. The majority voted for Bush and then Obama, and then Bush and Obama went out and sent soldiers to the middle east who raped women and killed children at point blank.

    Such absurd exaggerations are meaningless.

    No, they’re meaningful. I can tell they’re meaningful by the way you hysterically respond to them and do everything you can to dodge them. Insult the questioner and then run away from the topic.

    Democracy has rights for the minority. It’s not crude majoritarianism. If everybody in a town wants to rape and murder someone’s family the law prevents them from doing it.

    That’s not democracy. Democracy has zero rights for the minority. The rights you are talking about are rights derived from outside democracy, that are considered inviolable. If democracy were “freer” to wage war, then those civil rights could be voted away if the majority so chooses.

    There’s a rule of law and the bill of rights. So unless you can actually give me a question that has any relation to the real world the whole thing is mute.

    You’re not describing the real world correctly. You’re calling anti-democratic individual rights a part of democracy, when in the real world, civil rights are derived from non-democratic foundations, the same foundations that I am advocating should beat the mob back FURTHER, so that we don’t have hundreds of thousands of people being tortured and killed by the state you support.

    I have to admit I find such questions as that just meaningless.

    You can’t “admit” what isn’t true.

    “That is because there is enough libertarian philosophy that has been carried over from the enlightenment that still persist to this day. It is precisely because of the radicals like me that you are not having your rights voted away by the majority.”

    Baloney.

    Non-response. I win.

    You actually agree with the majoirty in the South during the Jim Crow era.

    No, I don’t. Jim Crow laws were state laws, so YOU as a supporter of the state support those laws, not me.

    You think their rights have been violated in that they can’t still make blakcs stand at the back of the hus and use coloured bathrooms and water fountains.

    You think people’s rights have been violated if the state uses force to prevent buyers refusing to give their cash to black sellers, or potential employees refusing to give their labor to black employers, or home owners refusing to allow entry to black guests, or potential spouses and friends refuse to marry or be friends with black spouses and friends.

    You would believe these people’s rights have been violated if the state intervened and stopped this discrimination. Hence, you support racial discrimination.

    “No, they don’t. Equal rights are not possible in democracy, unless the majority vote to abolish majority rule, which isn’t happening”

    Yes they do.

    No, they don’t.

    All are equal before the law.

    No, they are not. Those in the state can tax, those not in the state cannot tax. Those in the state can legislate and enforce their laws, those not in the state cannot legislate and enforce their laws. Those in the state can legally declare war and rape, torture and murder people, those not in the state cannot. Those in the state can steal other people’s property to build a highway, those not in the state cannot.

    The very same rule of law applies to each.

    No, it doesn’t. Different rules apply to different people in statism. There are the initiators of force, and there are those who are legally obligated to obey and receive such force.

    If someone violates their rights they will be held legally accountable.

    By who? The same violator of rights of course. The defendant is also the judge.

    You want to do away with law enforcemnt and come up with private law avaialbe to only those with deep pockets.

    False. I do not want to do away with law. I want to do away with state law that is initiations of force.

    You want to steal from those with deep pockets.

  119. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    16. August 2012 at 07:43

    Mike Sax:

    “The law doesn’t “prevent” them from doing it. The law grants authority to state enforcement reactively punishing those who have violated others’ person or property.”

    Which prevents the commission of many crimes.

    It is based on initiating crimes. Those in the state violate other people’s persons and property in order to acquire the money that is only partly used to protect property. It’s a contradictory system.

    “It’s not crude majoritarianism.”

    >> Yes, it is.”

    This is a brillaint conversation. Guess what my next move it? No is isnt’. Then your next move will be: no it isn’t. Then I’ll come back with..

    Then make an argument other than simply denying the point.

    Some actualy substantiation on your part might be helpful

    Look in the mirror.

    “You do understand that Jim Crow laws were government laws, right? They were also held up by our federal Supreme Court for 100 years. Where has MF ever insinuated agreeing with such nonsense.”

    He opposed ending it with the Civil Right’s Voting Act of 1964.

    No, he opposed the part of the civil rights act that contained private property violations.

    You had private businesses across the South denying blacks services and products.

    We have private buyers in the South denying black sellers of money, and we have private employees in the South denying black employers of labor services.

    Since you don’t support kidnapping and throwing these discriminators into prison, you must be a supporter of racial discrimination, and you must consider it a “right” to discriminate and thus disenfranchise blacks.

    If you really opposed Jim Crow you wouldn’t still be trying to reverse the the Voting Rights Act.

    False. One can be against the state forcing segregation on those who do not want to segregate, AND one can support private property rights to allow individuals the choice whether to segregate or desegregate, at the same time.

    If you really opposed racial discrimination, then you wouldn’t be supporting buyers and employees racially discriminating against sellers and employers.

    “This was enforced by the state! It was private individuals that moved passed racial segregation, not the state imposing assimilation. The state had always been the largest propagator of racism and segregation. You are demagoguing the issue in a desperate appeal to emotion without any sense of logic or actual history.”

    You’re the one who’s desparate.

    Haha, you’re even playing “I know you are but what am I” with others on this blog, and not just me.

    Private indivudals in the South were fighting against the end of it in 1964. You and Major want to go back.

    Private individuals were fighting against state imposed segregation, and because you support the state, you must want Jim Crow laws back.

    I think people like you, Major Unfreedom and Rand Paul who want to abolish the 1964 Act today still after 50 years are the desparate ones.

    I think you’re desperate, because you are not making logical arguments, you’re not making empirically accurate arguments, and you’re setting up straw man after straw man. Those who are desperate typically relegate themselves to attacking straw men.

    You’re extremely desperate what with the quantity of straw men you attack.

  120. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    16. August 2012 at 09:24

    “You support the right to discriminate in all interrelations except your anti-capitalist crusade against owners of means of production. You support the right to discriminate against sellers, spouses, friends, bosses, but if you’re an owner of a means of production, then you cannot discriminate.”

    Major this crusade exists nowhere but in your feverished mind. You have never stopped arguing against straw men in our conversations.

    “I think you’re desperate, because you are not making logical arguments, you’re not making empirically accurate arguments, and you’re setting up straw man after straw man. Those who are desperate typically relegate themselves to attacking straw men.”

    Who cares what you think? You think all kinds of crazy things.

    You are the one not looking at empricial reality. I’ve given you emprical reality. You pass over it and back into your fevered theories that private property is absolute and that nothing matters but the rights of wealthy property owners.

    You ignore institutional racism and claim discrimination hurts no one and does not meet your definition of “violence”

    You try to draw a false equivalaence between insitutional discrimination and whether or not someone chooses one person or another for a friend or a mate

    Thhere is no continuation between the two. If people through what you call thier “free choice” don’t want to do buisness or offer services to certain groups then these certain groups have no redress. The right to their pursuit of happiness has ben curtailed.

    By trying to define discrimiaton as broadly as you do you take away any meaning from it.

    If someone lives in a communtiy who doesn’t like what they are so that they can’t go out to eat dinner or send their children to school as this is the “free choice” of the community where can they turn? The obvious answer is you need the rule of law to curtail such “free choices.”

    YOur answer is that’s their problem and they have not been “aggressed” against.

    The definition of you and Rothbard is pretty one-dimesnsional. As a New Yorker I remember the stories where I woman was raped and murdered in apartment buildings and the whole building could hear her screams and said nothing and went to sleep.

    In your mind those people did nothing wrong commmitted no “aggression” as they didn’t do anything.

    However, refusing to take action can be the ultimate form of aggression in certain situations.

    You pretend this is no difference than purely presonal choices of who you make friends with or marry.

    The differecne is between purely personal interaction and institutional interactions. When someone is the victim of say racism by institutions-it matters not whether they are private or public-they’re basic right to the pursuit of happiness is taken from them.

    You try to chip away and compare apples and oranges. There is no comparison between systematic institutionalized discriminaton bases on race, religion, and creed and whether or not a partiuclar person chooses to be friends with one person or another.

    To speak of instutitions it is not important whether the said are private or public. the bottom line is that there is no equaility before the law in such a scenario.

    “You want to steal from those with deep pockets.”

    More like those with deep pockets have done a lot of stealing.

    “You can’t “admit” what isn’t true.”

    You’re claiming I don find such silly questions meaningful?

    “That is because there is enough libertarian philosophy that has been carried over from the enlightenment that still persist to this day. It is precisely because of the radicals like me that you are not having your rights voted away by the majority.”

    Baloney.

    Non-response. I win.

    This shows all you care about if declaring that “I win” like a little bitch. Anyway it wasn’t a non-response just an accurate despription of your putrid arguments. baloney wans’t may last word.

    I think the reason you keep trying to declare me “desparate” is it’s you who are desparte. You have to feel like you alwasy get to be the one who says “I win.”

    You are congentially incapable of letting it go yet I won’t give you what you want and declare you’re right.

    Not going to happen

  121. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    16. August 2012 at 10:18

    Mike Sax:

    “You support the right to discriminate in all interrelations except your anti-capitalist crusade against owners of means of production. You support the right to discriminate against sellers, spouses, friends, bosses, but if you’re an owner of a means of production, then you cannot discriminate.”

    Major this crusade exists nowhere but in your feverished mind. You have never stopped arguing against straw men in our conversations.

    Non-argument. I win.

    “I think you’re desperate, because you are not making logical arguments, you’re not making empirically accurate arguments, and you’re setting up straw man after straw man. Those who are desperate typically relegate themselves to attacking straw men.”

    Who cares what you think? You think all kinds of crazy things.

    You care what I think, which is why you keep sending me these lovely posts full of tacit pleas to correct you and guide you.

    You are the one not looking at empricial reality. I’ve given you emprical reality. You pass over it and back into your fevered theories that private property is absolute and that nothing matters but the rights of wealthy property owners.

    You have not correctly interpreted empirical reality. Empirical information is meaningless without an active mind understanding the information and creating a coherent conceptualization. You lack the latter. You fallaciously believe empirical data can speak for itself.

    As such, you have not at all given a proper argument to justify private property rights violations.

    You ignore institutional racism and claim discrimination hurts no one and does not meet your definition of “violence”

    You ignore institutional racism from buyers, employees, home owners, spouses and friends.

    You try to draw a false equivalaence between insitutional discrimination and whether or not someone chooses one person or another for a friend or a mate

    Institutions are controlled and operated by individuals. They are nexuses of social interactions between individuals. You are creating a false dichotomy between “institutional” racism and “people” racism, as if institutions are separate from people.

    Thhere is no continuation between the two.

    Yes there is. They are both creations of individuals. They are both controlled by individuals. They both relate to individuals interaction with other individuals.

    If people through what you call thier “free choice” don’t want to do buisness or offer services to certain groups then these certain groups have no redress.

    You support such free choice. You support what you call people’s “free choice” to not buy from, nor work for, people for racial reasons, and those sellers and employers have no legal redress.

    The right to their pursuit of happiness has ben curtailed.

    You have no right to other people’s wealth.

    By trying to define discrimiaton as broadly as you do you take away any meaning from it.

    By trying to define discrimination as narrowly as you do you take away any meaning of discrimination and you turn it into a prejudicial attack on a particular group of racists solely because of the economic role they are performing, which is being in control of a means of production. Everyone else can be racists and discriminate in your worldview. Buyers, employees, every other group can racially discriminate and thus reduce the pursuit of happiness of those who are discriminated against.

    If someone lives in a communtiy who doesn’t like what they are so that they can’t go out to eat dinner or send their children to school as this is the “free choice” of the community where can they turn? The obvious answer is you need the rule of law to curtail such “free choices.”

    Communites don’t like or dislike. Individual people like and dislike.

    If someone lives in a community that contains individuals who don’t like blacks so they don’t give their money to black sellers, and don’t give their labor to black employers, and don’t let black people into their homes, then according to your fallacious understanding of individual freedom, those racists must have guns pointed at them, so that black sellers, black employers can receive money and labor from those racists who are refusing to do business with them.

    YOur answer is that’s their problem and they have not been “aggressed” against.

    Your answer to the problem of racist buyers and racist employees is that sellers and employers have not been “aggressed” against, so racist buyers and employees can continue to be racist and can continue to discriminate against blacks with impunity.

    The definition of you and Rothbard is pretty one-dimesnsional.

    Your definition is actually one-dimensional. You have the one dimensional prejudice against those individuals who own means of production. Only they must have guns pointed at them so that they are compelled to do business with those they don’t otherwise want to do business with. For everyone else, they are allowed to be racist. They can refuse to give black sellers their money, they can refuse to give black employers their labor, they can refuse to allow blacks into their home.

    Your definition of racial discriminatory “crime” is a one dimensional attack on private owners of the means of production. That’s all it is. It has nothing to do with racism. You are only using racism as a cover so as to justify state control over owners of means of production. Your advocacy is socialism, not anti-racism.

    As a New Yorker I remember the stories where I woman was raped and murdered in apartment buildings and the whole building could hear her screams and said nothing and went to sleep.

    That’s a flaw in statism. They didn’t say or do anything because it’s not their responsibility to protect anyone. The state has used forced to monopolize final authority over protection and security. Where was the state’s police? Why weren’t they patrolling the neighborhood? Oh that’s right, they were too busy eating donuts waiting for their pension, stealing and then selling cocaine for a profit, arresting dope smokers who cut into their profits, and sexually harassing women through blackmail.

    In your mind those people did nothing wrong commmitted no “aggression” as they didn’t do anything.

    Then you are doing something wrong 24 hrs a day, because 24 hrs a day, there is someone, somewhere getting harmed due to your inaction, due to your spending time posting crap on blogs.

    However, refusing to take action can be the ultimate form of aggression in certain situations.

    Only if the person who does not act, agreed to act via contract.

    Your worldview leads to everyone being guilty just by being alive. The ultimate secularized form of original sin.

    You pretend this is no difference than purely presonal choices of who you make friends with or marry.

    You pretend that there is a difference.

    The differecne is between purely personal interaction and institutional interactions.

    Institutional interactions are personal interactions.

    When someone is the victim of say racism by institutions-it matters not whether they are private or public-they’re basic right to the pursuit of happiness is taken from them.

    They aren’t victimized by an institution. They are refused to be interacted with by other individuals, who have no obligation to do business with anyone without their consent.

    You are just arbitrarily defining some personal interactions as “institutional”, then you are just arbitrarily claiming that individuals cannot be racist against those they do business with.

    The institution of buyers, the institution of employees, the institution of friendships, the institution of spouses, the institution of home ownership, all these “institutions” can be racist in your worldview, with absolute impunity.

    You try to chip away and compare apples and oranges.

    No, I am comparing apples with apples, that is, individuals with individuals. You are chipping away at individual liberty by arbitrarily denying the freedom of some individuals to associate and disassociate with who they want, whereas every other individual can choose to associate and disassociate. You are just chipping away at economic freedom, starting with those who happen to own means of production.

    You are chipping away at free markets, under the cover of anti-racism, when in fact you are a full supporter of racism as long as the racists are buyers, employees, friends, spouses, and so on. But as soon as an individual owns a hammer, and they build a shed for sale, then they are not allowed to choose who to give their own shed to. They are forced by the state to give the shed to whoever offers money.

    Why don’t you call for guns to be pointed at the potential sellers of money, i.e. the potential buyers of the shed, to force them to buy the shed from the black individual who produced the shed, so that they cannot be racist against the shed producer and deny him of the money?

    There is no comparison between systematic institutionalized discriminaton bases on race, religion, and creed and whether or not a partiuclar person chooses to be friends with one person or another.

    Yes, there is. They are both related to individuals and what individuals choose to do with their own property. There is no difference between a racist home owner denying entry to white people, and a racist shopkeeper denying entry to black people. In both cases, it’s the property of the home owner and shopkeeper, and in both cases, as owners, they can choose who to do interact with.

    To speak of instutitions it is not important whether the said are private or public. the bottom line is that there is no equaility before the law in such a scenario.

    There is equality before the law in that scenario. The equality is that the individual can decide who to deal with and who not to deal with.

    There is no equality in your scenario, which has one set of laws for those individuals who own property that is used to produce goods, and a different set of laws for those individuals who own property that is not used to produce goods.

    “You want to steal from those with deep pockets.”

    More like those with deep pockets have done a lot of stealing.

    Not all of those with deep pockets steal. Since you want to steal from everyone with deep pockets, you want to steal from those with deep pockets who did not steal.

    “You can’t “admit” what isn’t true.”

    You’re claiming I don find such silly questions meaningful?

    I am claiming that I cannot “admit” what is not true.

    “That is because there is enough libertarian philosophy that has been carried over from the enlightenment that still persist to this day. It is precisely because of the radicals like me that you are not having your rights voted away by the majority.”

    Baloney.

    Non-response. I win.

    This shows all you care about if declaring that “I win” like a little bitch.

    No, that’s not all I care about. If that is all I cared about, I wouldn’t patiently demolish your fallacious points one by one. I would only say I win.

    And kudos for swearing on Sumner’s blog. That is highly inappropriate. I guess not only did you not learn spelling, grammar, economics, history, philosophy, in your life, you also didn’t learn tact.

    Anyway it wasn’t a non-response just an accurate despription of your putrid arguments. baloney wans’t may last word.

    No, it wasn’t accurate. My arguments are not cold cuts. I know baloney wasn’t your last word, which is why I also responded to the words that are subsequent to that word, which were irrelevant and not engaging my argument at all.

    I think the reason you keep trying to declare me “desparate” is it’s you who are desparte.

    Projection. I think the reason you are calling me desperate is because it’s you who is desperate. You don’t see me calling you a “little b%^ch”. That you do smacks of your desperation. Your entire series of straw man accusations smacks of desperation.

    You have to feel like you alwasy get to be the one who says “I win.”

    I am just saying what you’re too afraid to admit yourself. Why else are you continuing to respond to my posts, antagonizing me and so on, if not to succeed in some respect?

    You are congentially incapable of letting it go yet I won’t give you what you want and declare you’re right.

    More projection. You are only saying that because you cannot let it go. You keep responding!

    I ADMIT I do not want to let this go. I do not want to get the last word. I want to keep debating you until you realize and understand how you are wrong.

    Not going to happen

    We will see.

  122. Gravatar of Prices in China Prices in China
    31. August 2012 at 11:23

    [...] is the first Sumner column that got it all started. So let’s consider what China should be producing, if it is currently [...]

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