Use access key #2 to skip to page content.

Bogus Fiscal Crisis

Recs

37

February 05, 2013 – Comments (51)

Over the last six months, I have gotten increasingly agitated at the consensus that has developed that we have a debt and fiscal crisis in the US.  I attributed much of the noise coming from those who were telling us to watch out for the falling sky to a political agenda with the election approaching.  Nevertheless, I have been unable to clearly articulate the opposite case - that we don't have a fiscal crisis - we have a an impending disaster from those who want to fix the debt challenge we have with austerity - and that would be the true crisis.

This morning, a mental health professional I am married to referred me to the linked article from Pscycology Today.  I was humbled and thrilled at the same time - the individual who has perfectly captured the irony in our muddled thinking is a high school student and economist.  

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201302/is-there-us-fiscal-crisis-no-and-heres-why

51 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On February 05, 2013 at 1:31 PM, outoffocus (23.33) wrote:

De ja vu

Report this comment
#2) On February 05, 2013 at 1:39 PM, EnigmaDude (87.70) wrote:

The author of the article you reference is another CAPS member and he also wrote a blog about it:

http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/no-the-us-is-not-in-a/794810

Report this comment
#3) On February 05, 2013 at 1:42 PM, whereaminow (32.00) wrote:

Mental health professionals are apparently only capable of regurgitating MMT nonsense.

David in Liberty

Report this comment
#4) On February 05, 2013 at 1:52 PM, bbmaven (100.00) wrote:

Thank you Whereaminnow - my apologies to Bilifuduo - I should have looked around the CAPS site and would have found it.

 Great article Bilifuduo.  You speak and I listen.

bbmaven

Report this comment
#5) On February 05, 2013 at 1:53 PM, bbmaven (100.00) wrote:

My thanks was intended for EnigmaDude.

Whereaminow - the mental health professional you seem delighted to slander was my wife.  Please spread your venom elsewhere.

Report this comment
#6) On February 05, 2013 at 1:57 PM, whereaminow (32.00) wrote:

Whereaminow - the mental health professional you seem delighted to slander was my wife.  Please spread your venom elsewhere.

Oh yeah, that was absolutely my intent.  A little sensitive?  Perhaps you need to learn how to control your reactions. If only someone in your family could help you with that.....

MMT is crank science though. If you love her, you'll ask her to consider some of its criticisms. Google helps.

David in Liberty

Report this comment
#7) On February 05, 2013 at 2:07 PM, bbmaven (100.00) wrote:

Like I said David - spread your venom elsewhere - I can refer you to a few pseudo scientific sites that will be more receptive to your nonsense. 

Report this comment
#8) On February 05, 2013 at 2:10 PM, whereaminow (32.00) wrote:

Ohhhh, you got  me there.

Seriously, if you can't take a joke, you shouldn't be on the Internet.

I'm sure your wife is great.  But I have done detailed blogs on MMT, not to mention every other economic theory out there.  MMT is money crankism and nothing new. Look up chartalism.

David in LIberty

Report this comment
#9) On February 05, 2013 at 2:17 PM, whereaminow (32.00) wrote:

And just to be clear, lest anyone infer otherwise:

The joke was about mental health professionals (my mom is one as well) and the fact that this piece was posted today by another Fool.

I don't have anything against anyone's wives, despite what was inferred by the blog author.

David in Liberty

Report this comment
#10) On February 05, 2013 at 2:22 PM, bbmaven (100.00) wrote:

You get the last word David.

Report this comment
#11) On February 05, 2013 at 3:00 PM, whereaminow (32.00) wrote:

OK, here =D

David in Liberty

Report this comment
#12) On February 05, 2013 at 3:22 PM, BigFatBEAR (29.37) wrote:

Guh. David's channeling his inner Alstry. Go lick a frozen pole in Liberty, David. Maybe being stuck to a pole will yield positive benefits to your ego.

This is the argument Paul Krugman has been saying for quite some time, yes? A fairly standard, and accurate, Keynesian assessment of where we're at. And one of the reasons why most of the GOP is, frankly, full of BS on fiscal issues (to say nothing of social issues).

The question is - will political leaders be brave enough to raise taxes and/or tighten fiscal policy once the economy does fully recover? If the past is any indication, I'm guessing they won't tighten when they need to, just like most investors aren't brave enough to buy/sell when they really need to.

Report this comment
#13) On February 05, 2013 at 3:30 PM, binve (< 20) wrote:

bbmaven,

Good article, and very much in agreement, we don't have a fiscal crisis. 

Report this comment
#14) On February 05, 2013 at 3:33 PM, whereaminow (32.00) wrote:

BFB

Well since I just have to:

will political leaders be brave enough to raise taxes and/or tighten fiscal policy once the economy does fully recover?

MMT does not advocate raising taxes unless they are trying to fight inflation (or relatedly, prop up the value of the fiat currency), not as a cyclical strategy. See here.

So that is one difference between MMT and Keynesianism.  This post was about MMT.  

I may be arrogant, but I didn't tell anyone to "lick a pole" (although that would have been hilarious considering the conversation above), and at least I know the theory discussed above.

David in Liberty

 

Report this comment
#15) On February 05, 2013 at 4:30 PM, ChrisGraley (30.04) wrote:

The US debt is 108% of GDP. We are getting close to the same ratio as Greece and you refuse to remark about the emperor's new clothing?

 

Let us all eat cake. 

My post gave us as much educational value as the OP's. 

 

Report this comment
#16) On February 05, 2013 at 5:24 PM, ElCid16 (96.07) wrote:

http://i.qkme.me/35xgo4.jpg

Report this comment
#17) On February 05, 2013 at 6:23 PM, ChrisGraley (30.04) wrote:

Also, I'm a bit confused. bbmaven is Ronald E Riggio your wife?

Report this comment
#18) On February 05, 2013 at 9:01 PM, whereaminow (32.00) wrote:

Does anybody actually want to debate the contents of the article (which is pretty much standard MMT shtick I've dissected before) or would that be "venemous" too?

(In religion, it's not unusual for the parish to consider anyone who questions the faith as venemous.)

If not, just one question, do you guys agree with L. Randall Wray that price and wage controls work?

David in Liberty

Report this comment
#19) On February 05, 2013 at 9:37 PM, ChrisGraley (30.04) wrote:

Yeah, I'll debate, but we are on the same side so that will be boring. 

I don't agree with the popular posters in this thread that other countries can't help but to love our money which isn't backed by anything. They'll always love our money even though we are a debt ridden nation and a huge net importer. 

I'm just waiting for someone to tell me that everyone decided the earth is in the center of the universe again. 

Report this comment
#20) On February 05, 2013 at 9:48 PM, whereaminow (32.00) wrote:

ChrisGraley,

After L. Randall Wray's views on Argentina have blown up in his face, you'd think the MMT folks would be in hiding today.  But here they are, two posts with worshippers saying "Amen!" and little else.  

It's quite the cult.

David in Liberty

Report this comment
#21) On February 05, 2013 at 9:52 PM, ChrisGraley (30.04) wrote:

Free money is always popular

Report this comment
#22) On February 06, 2013 at 1:03 AM, bbmaven (100.00) wrote:

The Flat Earth Society awaits your application for membership

Report this comment
#23) On February 06, 2013 at 1:20 AM, whereaminow (32.00) wrote:

I've said I'm open to debating the article (or any aspect of MMT you'd like.)  

So far I've been told to lick a pole and called a Flat Earther.

Interesting. 

David in Liberty

Report this comment
#24) On February 06, 2013 at 9:27 AM, Louebsch (< 20) wrote:

What I don't understand is why doesn't the FED just print enough money to give out to all the people in the country to pay off their debts? This would make people a lot happier and may open up Obama to a third term!

Instead the FED prints all the money and gives it to the banks. That's no fun. Now millions are unemployed and millions more are on welfare.

If we can print all this money, why is the government making people to be miserable? Wouldn't they want everyone to be happy so they get reelected more easily? You can't blame the media on this one either because the media supports this money printing.

Report this comment
#25) On February 06, 2013 at 10:59 AM, outoffocus (23.33) wrote:

Because misery = dependency and dependency = power for the government.  

Report this comment
#26) On February 06, 2013 at 11:18 AM, bbmaven (100.00) wrote:

I've said I'm open to debating the article

And what value would that bring to either of us or to anyone else? You would regurgitate your Austrian economics with religious like fervor.  I would regurgitate what you derisively refer to as MMT.  At some point you would do a Karl Rove and claim victory to the wonderment of all - and that is really the point of it for you - winning.

One thing I have learned over the last few years (after 40 years of trying to bludgeon people with the power of argument) is to stop debating climate change with oil executives, LGBT rights with fundamentalist bible thumpers, racism and oppression with white males who are oblivious to their cultural privilege, and economics with Austrian cultists. 

I will have a dialogue with these folks occasionally - but I no longer have any interest in the type of contest you seem to be interested in.  I offered you the last word some time ago - but you apparently want more attention than that and I am afraid I don't have the appetite to give it to you.

bbmaven

Report this comment
#27) On February 06, 2013 at 11:23 AM, whereaminow (32.00) wrote:

Project much?

David in Liberty

Report this comment
#28) On February 06, 2013 at 11:31 AM, whereaminow (32.00) wrote:

Just be clear, BB:

1.  I don't ever remember having a single discussion with you

2. I've had MANY discussion at TMF with MMT supporters,  Many of those have been and remained coridal.  Some of them have not.

3. I don't recall pulling a "Rove" and claiming victory in any of those, nor have I.  They usually end as all things on the Internet do.  Both parties move on with their lives.

4.  I don't know why you continue to hurl insults my way, but the fact you continue to do so with minimal prodding (I haven't directly insulted you, though I do like to poke fun at MMT a bit) indicates your not a very good person.

So yeah, I'll move on from this discussion.  I can see why you have trouble persuading anyone to your view.

I don't. That's why I like debates. 

David in Liberty

Report this comment
#29) On February 06, 2013 at 12:33 PM, bbmaven (100.00) wrote:

David - you finally made me laugh - good luck to you on your journey.

Report this comment
#30) On February 06, 2013 at 12:46 PM, amassafortune (29.73) wrote:

We may not have a fiscal crisis at this very moment, but that is mainly due to the reserve currency status of the U.S. dollar. 

If the article is all true, then we were silly to run a budget surplus under Clinton when we could have been funding programs and projects at $1.5 trillion more per year. 

Debt is a poison. We all survive, even thrive with low levels of toxins for very long periods of time. The only time it matters is when the levels exceed some unknown level or when the exposure time exceeds our healing or immune system's cleansing capacity. 

Just ask a smoker who lists cigarettes as one of their daily joys - until they name it as one of their life's biggest regrets. 

Our current fiscal contentment will continue as long as our digitally-printed currency (immune system) is accepted, but don't mistake the Federal Reserve's "success" as having found a perpetual answer to prudent, restrained public spending.   

Report this comment
#31) On February 06, 2013 at 4:26 PM, elektrotherapy (81.82) wrote:

This is a brilliant article. The underlying political issue has to do with the nature of government and not with some dreamed up fiscal crisis. By creating an issue out of government debt (which anyone who reads the article, understands is not as serious a problem as it seems) Republicans can push their agenda of cutting the social welfare state.

 It's all political strategy. It's analogous to social security. If Republicans came out specifically against these programs, they'd get hammered in elections. So they refocus the issue around a completely phony framing that most people, including the media, have trouble deconstructing. 

Social Security and Medicare are fiscally sound if minor adjustments are made such as ending the the cap and making it a flat tax rather than a regressive one.

Debt can be dealt with the same way. Most of this debt is a result of Bush's tax cut on the richest 10%. Raise those taxes and things will be fine.

 

 

 

 

 

Report this comment
#32) On February 10, 2013 at 3:50 AM, scott231 (< 20) wrote:

The argument that everything is great because the percentage of increase in debt over the last three years is modest, has a major flaw.  The saying "the straw that broke the camel's back" seems to sum up that flaw nicely.  

Report this comment
#33) On February 12, 2013 at 12:27 PM, WildTing (80.45) wrote:

Interesting article... Of course it turns political as soon as people get involved. I don't listen to people who start discussions by calling stuff "XYZ nonsense."

One quesiton: Why are we so concerned with oil and inflation? This may be due to the human condition of being oversensitive/biased to low probability, high impact events. In the 70s, there was an oil shortage crsis and terrible inflation. 40 years later, we're all so paranoid of... Oil prices and inflation. Maybe it's like if you survived a plane crash, and now you're afraid of flying, even though it's safer than driving. (bbmaven check with your wife on this one, I'm not an expert)

Report this comment
#34) On February 13, 2013 at 7:21 PM, rfaramir (29.47) wrote:

Actual critique of the article's contents:

"There is so much worldwide investor confidence in the financial health of the U.S. government that for the past 20 years, the government’s cost of borrowing has been negative in real terms…. investors are effectively paying to lend money to the government… worldwide enthusiasm for U.S. debt… costs the government less to borrow money from investors than it does to tax its citizens"


These are an amazing set of facts! These are absolutely the warning signs that a crisis is approaching if not upon us. This should not be!

No one can sustain a negative cost of borrowing. This is prima facie evidence of something wrong somewhere. My prime suspect is the Fed. Only the dilution of the money supply--so that debts are repaid with cheaper dollars than were borrowed--sustains this.

The next has the same answer: "worldwide enthusiasm for U.S. debt"??? There has been a noted cooling off of such enthusiasm, but purchases by the Fed have prevented the failing of debt auctions that the free market has tried to produce to get us back on track.

The unbridled spending of our federal government comes from it costing less to borrow than to tax. Taxation is painful, borrowing ought to be more painful. But strangely, it is not. As a result, our politicians promise to rape our children instead of giving us the pain of paying today for today's 'benefits' of government largesse. Shameful.

"the U.S. will never default." followed by "U.S. dollars are not pegged to other currencies or backed by gold."

This simply means, the US *will* not default because it already *has*. When (D) Roosevelt made dollars inconvertible back to gold for Americans, he effected a partial default. When (R) Nixon made dollars inconvertible back to gold for everyone else, he completed the default. A dollar used to be a promise to pay the bearer 1/20th ounce of gold. Reneging on such a promise is a default, no matter the justifications that have made it the law of the land. The current situation is immoral and unconstitutional. It ought to be fixed.

Without such a fix, we are headed for a cliff of some sort, at least.

"the debt-to-GDP ratio for the U.S. is only expected to be about 6% higher in 2022"

"Only"? 6% increases forever will eventually do one in. Knowing which 6% will do it is another matter, of course. We've had 99.5 years of Federal Reserve shenanigans, maybe we can live with another 20 or more? Maybe we cannot. scott231 is on the right track with the straw and camel.

 

"U.S. GDP in the fourth quarter of 2012 actually contracted 0.1 percent due to government spending cuts."

This shows the uselessness of believing any argument based on GDP. Government spending is *not* productive spending. It detracts from our prosperity at least twice: once when what we produced is confiscated from us (through taxation or debasement), and again when it is spent politically instead of economically by the state (spending). The first is directly impoverishing, the second indirectly so, with varying impact, depending on how stupid the spending is. Adding regulation-writing bureaucrats is worse than taxation as they destroy the capacity for wealth production. Infrastructure spending is still bad but less bad because we at least get something somewhat useful in return. Just remember that it is always less than the free market would have produced.

And there is more Keynesian nonsense that I am not responding specifically to here, including "boosting aggregate demand".


By fearing "austerity measures", he fears the solution. He has probably never heard of the Great Depression of 1920-21. It started as a panic and was a great disruption, but because  the government did *nothing* but cut its expenditures, cut its regulations, and cut taxes, the whole episode was over in about 18 months and was never labelled a "depression" as it didn't last long enough. Afterwards, we were set for a prolonged period of robust growth. The bubble end of the "Roaring Twenties" was fueled by loose Fed policy, but at the beginning it was just a sound period of prosperity following a quick recovery from the preceding panic. Sound because of austerity on the part of the government.

Report this comment
#35) On February 18, 2013 at 12:09 AM, tomlongrpv (77.56) wrote:

bbmaven

Bravo to you for standing up to the right-wing neo-fascist anti-government claptrap that whereaminow and other toadies of big business use to clutter up the blogs on this website.  "Austerity" is so fashionable now that disagreeing with it is heresy.  But I have yet to understand how cutting spending, leaving our infrstructure to further decay, and thowing millions of people out of work will improve our economy.  And none of the economics "geniuses" have been able to explain this to me.  Perhaps it is my stupidity, but perhaps it is theirs. 

Report this comment
#36) On February 21, 2013 at 4:16 PM, rfaramir (29.47) wrote:

"I have yet to understand how cutting spending, leaving our infrstructure to further decay, and thowing millions of people out of work will improve our economy."

I'd be glad to try to explain it to you, tomlongrpv!

Government spending is always against the best interests of the people they rule. For example, if a business needs a subsidy to survive, it is by definition not desired by consumers and should go out of business. Keeping it alive means destroying wealth. The politician pandering to a special interest to prop up said business damages the well-being of the people, who through their free economic choices are NOT served by said business. Taxation is always damaging (no explanation needed). Government services, while not 100% wasted, are *always* done more poorly (higher price, lower quality, lower availability or over-availability) than when the free market provides them.

So, by economic law, cutting government spending is a good thing.

"our infrastructure" is part of the problem. It should not be 'ours', it should belong in private hands. Only public property suffers the Tragedy of the Commons. Private property is cared for, its capital value preserved and enhanced over time. New supply (e.g., of roads, bridges, electric wires, dams) comes into use to serve the consumers on the free market at the rate the consumers demand. When the state provides these things, they happen when either enough voters demand them or, more likely, when it is convenient for a lobbyist and his paid (corrupt) politician to declare by fiat that a new road, bridge, etc be constructed. Maybe it is needed, maybe it is a Bridge to Nowhere. The central planner cannot know which (and doesn't care), whereas entrepreneurs take risks with their own capital to serve the consumers and have profits and losses to tell them when they are right or wrong.

"throwing millions..."

When people are laboring in non-optimal lines of work, they need to be re-allocated. This is a painful part of putting things right but it is necessary. The damage was done during the inflation-fueled boom; the bust sets things right, *if* government gets out of the way (stops propping up zombie businesses) and lets the reallocation happen. It's not just workers, it is also the capital that is being mis-handled by poor businessmen. The businesses have to go bankrupt so their wealth-destroying capital can be purchased by wealth-creating businesses.

These are the natural and necessary consequences of government intervention into what was a free market. Liberty needs to be returned to the people, property needs to be respected and cared for by individual owners. Socialism and fascism have no place in a free and prosperous society. (Socialism and fascism are essentially the same thing, by the way, which I can explain, too, if you like.)

Report this comment
#37) On February 23, 2013 at 11:44 AM, tomlongrpv (77.56) wrote:

rfarmir

 What's a "free market?"   The US has never had one I don't think.  The implicit assumption in all of your arguments is "public spending always bad, private spending always good."  But your assumptions are just a religious faith not a reasoned conclusion.  Since the beginning of this country the governmentt has spent money necessary to bring about economic growth that private capital would never have spent.  Without government subsidy we would not have had the Erie canal, railroads, navigable waterways or aiports just to name a few.  The list of things we would not have today if we depended on private spending is far longer.  Your libertarian approach to infratructure hasn't worked at any time in the past in any place on the globe and never will in the future either.  There are certain categories of things where the initial outlay is too large and/or too risky to allow user fee charges that would provide a good enough return to incentivize private investment even though the project is good for the economy overall.  And your assumption that private capital improvements are always cared for better than public ones suggest that you have never been a renter.  (But at least yor assumption gives all of us who have been renters a good laugh.) 

Political decisions of how to allocate economic resources are not like a religion and therefore should not be based on faith like your reasoning but rather on logic.  The extreme right wing elements who hold a lot of sway in this country have abandoned logic a long time ago in favor of a religous-like faith in so-called "free markets" that are just a rationalization for the selfishness of the wealthy.  The result has been a decay in living standards and life expectancy compared to much of the rest of the developed world. particularly countries not enamored with libertarian/anarchist ideals that you advance.

Report this comment
#38) On February 24, 2013 at 9:37 PM, bbmaven (100.00) wrote:

Eloquently stated truth, Tom.  Thank you.

Report this comment
#39) On February 24, 2013 at 10:13 PM, whereaminow (32.00) wrote:

What's a "free market?"

The free market is the sum of all voluntary and peaceful exchanges of goods of services.  It's everything you do every day, minus the State interference. 

The US has never had one I don't think 

The US has had many. Markets begin as free markets.  If a market does not exist, the government has nothing to do, nothing to interfere in, nothing to regulate.  How can the government become involved in something that doesn't exist?  

The implicit assumption in all of your arguments is "public spending always bad, private spending always good.

That's a simplified child-like interpretation of what he is saying.  He is saying that capital invested peacefully and exchanges made without the threat of violence are superior both ethically and economically to the alternative, which is violent redistribution via the State.  

That's not an assumption, it's the result of deductive reasoning that begins with the a priori truth that all human action is purposeful action.

Since the beginning of this country the governmentt has spent money necessary to bring about economic growth that private capital would never have spent.

Incorrect.  When the government builds something, all it does it take resources that would have been used in other ways.

The private sector would have spent (sic) that capital.  They just would have spent it in other ways. 

Therefore, all the government did was build something in exchange for the private sector building something else.  Because A exists, A is good is a logical fallacy.  You, nor I, nor anyone, knows what the private sector would have done with that capital. What we do know is that the interaction would have been accomplished through voluntary exchange in respect to the subjective value scales of the market participants.  In other words, that other thing (or things) that might have happened would have reflected the best use of capital according to those participants.

Btw, you forgot to mention all the Indians the government murdered to clear the land for those crony railroad pals.  You also forgot to mention that every single one of the original government railroad cronies went bankrupt.  You forgot to mention that the canal projects were such a boondoggle that several states ammended their State constitutions to prevent government subsidized infrastructure projects in response! 

That's enough for now. If the rest of your "Eloquently stated truth" is as bad as this, I have no reason to continue.

David in Liberty

Report this comment
#40) On February 24, 2013 at 11:02 PM, whereaminow (32.00) wrote:

Bravo to you for standing up to the right-wing neo-fascist anti-government claptrap that whereaminow and other toadies of big business use to clutter up the blogs on this website. 

Well I got my laugh for the day too.

From 2004-2008 I spent my days being called a left-wing communist by supposed "right wingers" for opposing the wars and run away government spending of the Bush era (I was a proud NeoCon before 2004. Thankfully, I reformed.) Then when Obama took office, I found myself in the same exact arguments, only this time it was the Democrats supporting endless war and runaway government spending.

Hmmm......

As for the "neo-fascist" perjorative (smear what you cannot defeat in debate, I guess), the term fascism means the merging of State and economic interests.

Now, judging by the comments above, which one of us actually supports fascism?

I guess tomlong is another zombie:

David in Liberty

Report this comment
#41) On February 24, 2013 at 11:38 PM, whereaminow (32.00) wrote:

and other toadies of big business

Hmmm....

If I'm a toadie (?) of big business, why do they come to you for bailouts and not me?  And why do you give them bailouts while I oppose?

And why are all the regulatory agencies (your agencies - I oppose them) stocked with big business sympathizers and revolving door bureaucrats?  And why are all the regulations they pass written by corporate lobbies, e.g. ObamaCare?  And why are you always supporting legislation that favors big business while I oppose it?  

And why does big business spend billions to finance the campaigns of Democrats as well as Republicans, but next to nothing (if anything) to support libertarians?

And if you say, that's because they know libertarians wouldn't win, then how does their money have any influence at all, and how does big business continue to wield so much power with it?

Hmmmmm.... 

David in Liberty

Report this comment
#42) On February 24, 2013 at 11:51 PM, whereaminow (32.00) wrote:

"The U.S. is not like a household. It can never default."

This is one of the topics I'll be discussing in my upcoming response to Warren Mosler (the only MMTer that will actually engage me in discussion, heh).  

It's exactly like a household, just not one that any normal person would ever run.

If, for example, the Johnson household borrows from the Smith household in a contractual arrangement between the two, Smith would expect repayment.  As time went on, however, the Johnson household decided to stop payment and choose an alternative method.  Smith would of course protest, but let's assume the Johnson household hires some muscle to force the agreement upon Smith.

Now let's assume further that after a few years go by, a group of economists analyzed the situation and remarked that the Johnson household's new debt relationship meant that they could never default!

The U.S. government would be exactly like the Johnson household.

David in Liberty

Report this comment
#43) On March 23, 2013 at 11:45 PM, tomlongrpv (77.56) wrote:

David in "Liberty"  (wherever that is--Doha Qatar??  Ha, ha very funny.).

Why doesn't big business support Libertarians?  Because libertarians are outside the political system altogether and always will be.  They are essentially anarchists.  Again, ponder what it takes to support economic progress and consider how much progress would really occur with virtually no government.

Libertarians still seem to believe in property rights.  And property rights ultimately are supported by force just like every other law.  Why should predatory businesses be allowed to use the courts to support their activities?  Because of a naive belief that such an approach is something called "free" enterprise. 

More appropriately, the way we live together in a society is the result of a social contract, not "free" enterprise or capitalism.  The contract can be whatever we collectively decide it will be.  And it does not have to be freedom for the strong to prey on the weak (which is the libertarian model). 

Not only are you not a Democrat, you are not a democrat or a republican either--you are just like so many libertarians--a modern day believer in social Darwinism and the superiority of those who make more money.  What's astounding is that so many relatively poor people buy into your nonsense.

 And bbmaven--you hit the nail on the head as to our banking system with your quote from Ford.

 

 

tomlongrpv

Report this comment
#44) On March 24, 2013 at 12:06 AM, NOTvuffett (< 20) wrote:

yeah f*uck freedom tomlongpv, lol.

 

Report this comment
#45) On March 24, 2013 at 12:20 AM, NOTvuffett (< 20) wrote:

zombie says "brainz!".

 

Report this comment
#46) On March 24, 2013 at 2:26 AM, whereaminow (32.00) wrote:

tomlong,

Convoluted as usual, but I'll play.

Libertarians are anarchists, you say.  That's interesting because so is the State. The State wishes to live in anarchy with other States. Tell me, who is the State's master? (Don't say the voters. I want to take you seriously. Voters do not elect The State.)

You support an institution that applies the principles of anarchy to itself but denies it to you.  

 David in Liberty

Report this comment
#47) On March 24, 2013 at 12:13 PM, tomlongrpv (77.56) wrote:

Yes, states live with each other partially in anarchy.  There is of course "international law" but in many respects that is an oxymoron.  But within the borders of our own state we are usually to some degree protected from anarchy.  A libertarian society would gibe us less protection from anarchy.  Libertarianism starts from the naive proposition that that the individual knows his own needs better than the state does (not really likely for most of us who really think about it) and that the individual is better at providing for those needs (again a very naive assumption given the power of big business that controls the access to most of what is needed.  Acting to gether through government we can better identify our needs and better meet many of them. 

As Paul Ryan said while running for BP on the big business ticket lasyt fall, a society wil be judged by how well the strong take care of the weak.  By his own logic he should be fighting the anarchist wing of his own party.  Perhaps someday he will.

 

 

Report this comment
#48) On June 16, 2013 at 1:10 PM, reashbaugh (69.62) wrote:

whereaminow,

I am not taking sides on this, but..

You fancy yourself some genius debater.. I don't think so.

I am impressed by your mental gymnastics, but that is all they are..

A little more humility (hopefully driven by some introspection) in your remarks might help you make your points better.

Report this comment
#49) On July 31, 2013 at 9:10 PM, profits4fun (< 20) wrote:

 

This statement is indicative of the maturity level of the high school author. 

"The U.S. federal government can print infinite amounts of U.S. dollars to repay its debts at practically no cost,"... 

really... hmmmmmm 

 

Report this comment
#50) On August 01, 2013 at 3:11 PM, amassafortune (29.73) wrote:

profits4fun

It seems many really believe we can print and take on more debt and not act responsibly without eventual consequences. 

Meantime, China, Russia, and others are taking very real steps that threaten the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency. 

The Fed has bought 31% of the debt the Treasury has issued. That means no one else wanted to buy it and the Fed had to "pretend" to buy it (couple keystrokes,... and here's the money). 

It is naive to think this can go on forever. The Fed thinks they are smart enough to pull back if the currency is threatened, but no other country in history has been able to stop printing once they have traveled this path. 

I'm with you. I think debt matters. I think every month of $85 billion being thrown at the market and other wasteful spending is a form of counterfeiting. Every dollar printed in excess of keeping up with economic growth devalues existing dollars. 

The problem is, as in September, 2008, everyone will "get it" within a few days after years of the problem being ignored or wished away with simple statements like, "Deficits don't matter."

Report this comment
#51) On August 12, 2013 at 3:43 PM, RedScourge (23.62) wrote:

I don't get how the government setting their own borrowing rates to low levels and then having the Fed buy 90% of its debt is proof that the US is not having any problems borrowing money and that thus there is no fiscal crisis. If anything it's damning proof, because it's an admission that a) they can't let rates float freely for fear of how much interest they'd owe, and b) not enough outside entities are interested in purchasing treasuries.

 

Mugabe did something very similar, and that didn't turn out so well. Is economics different because it's the US doing it now?

 

What I understand even less is how psychology has anything to do with the situation, other than perhaps to serve as a cheap way to discredit anyone of dissenting opinion.

Report this comment

Featured Broker Partners


Advertisement