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The Federal Reserve's Explicit Goal: Devalue The Dollar 33%


By Thedaytoday   Follow   Fri, 25 Jan 2013, 2:50am PST   25,967 views   532 comments
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The Federal Reserve's Explicit Goal: Devalue The Dollar 33%

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) has made it official: After its latest two day meeting, it announced its goal to devalue the dollar by 33% over the next 20 years. The debauch of the dollar will be even greater if the Fed exceeds its goal of a 2 percent per year increase in the price level.

An increase in the price level of 2% in any one year is barely noticeable. Under a gold standard, such an increase was uncommon, but not unknown. The difference is that when the dollar was as good as gold, the years of modest inflation would be followed, in time, by declining prices. As a consequence, over longer periods of time, the price level was unchanged. A dollar 20 years hence was still worth a dollar.

But, an increase of 2% a year over a period of 20 years will lead to a 50% increase in the price level. It will take 150 (2032) dollars to purchase the same basket of goods 100 (2012) dollars can buy today. What will be called the “dollar” in 2032 will be worth one-third less (100/150) than what we call a dollar today.

The Fed’s zero interest rate policy accentuates the negative consequences of this steady erosion in the dollar’s buying power by imposing a negative return on short-term bonds and bank deposits. In effect, the Fed has announced a course of action that will steal — there is no better word for it — nearly 10 percent of the value of American’s hard earned savings over the next 4 years.

Why target an annual 2 percent decline in the dollar’s value instead of price stability? Here is the Fed’s answer:

“The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) judges that inflation at the rate of 2 percent (as measured by the annual change in the price index for personal consumption expenditures, or PCE) is most consistent over the longer run with the Federal Reserve’s mandate for price stability and maximum employment. Over time, a higher inflation rate would reduce the public’s ability to make accurate longer-term economic and financial decisions. On the other hand, a lower inflation rate would be associated with an elevated probability of falling into deflation, which means prices and perhaps wages, on average, are falling–a phenomenon associated with very weak economic conditions. Having at least a small level of inflation makes it less likely that the economy will experience harmful deflation if economic conditions weaken. The FOMC implements monetary policy to help maintain an inflation rate of 2 percent over the medium term.”

In other words, a gradual destruction of the dollar’s value is the best the FOMC can do.

Here’s why:

First, the Fed believes that manipulation of interest rates and the value of the dollar can reduce unemployment rates.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/charleskadlec/2012/02/06/the-federal-reserves-explicit-goal-devalue-the-dollar-33/

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thunderlips11   Thu, 14 Feb 2013, 5:34am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 493

Reality says

Are you kidding me again? When did the Gracci brothers live? circa 120-130BC. When did West Roman Empire collapse? late 5th century AD. What you are saying is essentially the equivalent of blaming our current economic problems on something happened 100 years before Columbus set sail? before even the last Norse settlement on Greenland died out?

I'm explaining the dynamics of the Roman Republic and Empire. The seeds of destruction were already present when it transitioned to Empire. Sulla and then Caesar are the results of the breakdown. The destruction of the tax base and the reliance on non-Roman soldiers are all factors that arose out of the concentration of wealth and land into smaller numbers of hands.

I didn't think what I wrote was so hard to follow.
Reality says

What you are saying is essentially the equivalent of blaming our current economic problems on something happened 100 years before Columbus set sail? before even the last Norse settlement on Greenland died out?

I don't follow. I think you're making another bad analogy.

I'm tracing the outcome of an unequal distribution of land over time in one state. The United States is not a direct descendant of the Spanish Empire or the Vikings. The Roman Empire, however is a direct descendent of the Roman Republic, and while some of the early Emperors mitigated many of Rome's problems, the Equestrian interests still triumphed, and their failed policies doomed Rome.

Reality says

Perhaps you don't understand the concept of "primorgeniture": The first-born (son) inheriting the entire estate, then in practice in Western Europe. Henry's dad was "the government" then his elder brother was "the government" of Portugal. Henry was not. That's why he had to find his own domain on the high seas. The order you talked about is the Portugese branch of what used to be "Knight Templer, " obviously a "non-profit" (but very wealthy) and non-government organization like the Catholic Church or the RedCross except some of their members can be heavily armed, not surprising considering the main branch had been previously mass-murdered by the king of France coveting their wealth.

Not this again. Henry was the Duke of Viseu, governor of the Algarve.

By the way, know how Henry became the Grand Master of the Order of Christ? King John of Portugal asked the pope to make him so.

Military Orders got their wealth from land grants from the nobility anyway.

thunderlips11   Thu, 14 Feb 2013, 5:44am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 494

Reality says

Your thesis that somehow CA and NY property tax goes to building highways in the south doesn't make any sense at all.

Another Strawman. My point is that sources other than gasoline taxes pay for highways, particularly on the local levels.

Reality   Thu, 14 Feb 2013, 6:03am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 495

thunderlips11 says

I'm explaining the dynamics of the Roman Republic and Empire. The seeds of destruction were already present when it transitioned to Empire. Sulla and then Caesar are the results of the breakdown. The destruction of the tax base and the reliance on non-Roman soldiers are all factors that arose out of the concentration of wealth and land into smaller numbers of hands.

I didn't think what I wrote was so hard to follow.

You are going way too far back. Only court historians go back 600 years to explain something happening in front of their eyes. In real life, cause and effect are much more immediate. When was the last time when you explained anything happening to something that took place before Columbus discovered the New World? That was only 520 years go.

thunderlips11 says

I'm tracing the outcome of an unequal distribution of land over time in one state. The United States is not a direct descendant of the Spanish Empire or the Vikings. The Roman Empire, however is a direct descendent of the Roman Republic, and while some of the early Emperors mitigated many of Rome's problems, the Equestrian interests still triumphed, and their failed policies doomed Rome.

Do you think the foreclosure wave that took place a few years ago had much to do with the town incorporating master deeds that took place merely 300 or 150 or even 100 years ago? The Gracci brothers were 600 years before the final collapse of Rome, with many reforms, revolutions, rebellions, wars, almost-collapses and more reforms in between. Linking these two together would be as silly as talking about the interaction tetween dynosaurus and early homo sapiens (e.g. Flintstones).

thunderlips11 says

Not this again. Henry was the Duke of Viseu, governor of the Algarve.

By the way, know how Henry became the Grand Master of the Order of Christ? King John of Portugal asked the pope to make him so.

European feudalism doesn't work like modern bureaucracy. Henry went on his voyages in his private capacity as the old king's younger son , who is not inheriting the kingdom.

Military Orders got their wealth from land grands from the nobility anyway.

Any charity and non-profit can get government grant. When Henry went on his voyage, it was his way of taking leave from his older brother Edward the new king's court, so Henry wouldn't be any threat to Edward or vice versa.

thunderlips11   Thu, 14 Feb 2013, 10:48pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 496

Reality says

You are going way too far back. Only court historians go back 600 years to explain something happening in front of their eyes. In real life, cause and effect are much more immediate. When was the last time when you explained anything happening to something that took place before Columbus discovered the New World? That was only 520 years go.

What about the Federal Reserve devalue the dollar argument (95+% in about 100 years) or the "Slowly losing our liberties" idea (That esp. since the Civil War, the Fed Gov has grown stronger...)? Those are just two popular ideas. Historically, the Industrialization of England began way back in Middle Ages with Mills and was a long, slow process that gradually "gained steam" as time advanced. The Catholic Church Reformations, which also lasted over centuries - Luther wasn't first, either. There were also the Hussites, Lollards, etc. So yes, one can see social trends over several hundreds of years, sometimes a thousand years.

Those involve century(-ies) long timeframes.

Reality says

European feudalism doesn't work like modern bureaucracy. Henry went on his voyages in his private capacity as the old king's younger son , who is not inheriting the kingdom.

Of course it didn't work like modern bureaucracy. That doesn't mean Henry wasn't a titled ruler with governing responsibilities; and like many powerful noblemen of the time, he held a variety of positions simultaneously. You're dismissing the fact that Henry had many governorships and powers granted to him by the State.Before that he was given governorship of the entire Algarve, and before that made commander of the defense of Ceuta. In 1448 he was given exclusive rights by the King to all trade arising in Guinea, for example. Not to mention appointed Grand Master of the Order of Christ, all of which gave him the resources to fund expeditions and build observatories.

Henry didn't go on voyages of discovery around Africa, he arranged them.

Reality   Fri, 15 Feb 2013, 4:33am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 497

thunderlips11 says

What about the Federal Reserve devalue the dollar argument (95+% in about 100 years) or the "Slowly losing our liberties" idea (That esp. since the Civil War, the Fed Gov has grown stronger...)? Those are just two popular ideas.

Do you honestly believe that the Federal Reserve will last another 500 years? or for that matter the United States as currently constituted?

Historically, the Industrialization of England began way back in Middle Ages with Mills and was a long, slow process that gradually "gained steam" as time advanced.

So are you going to attribute your access to internet today to the prototype Steam powered water pumps in the coal mines 400 years ago? Remember, that's only 400 years ago, compared to the 600 years between Gracci Brothers and the collapse of WRE.

The Catholic Church Reformations, which also lasted over centuries - Luther wasn't first, either. There were also the Hussites, Lollards, etc. So yes, one can see social trends over several hundreds of years, sometimes a thousand years.

Those involve century(-ies) long timeframes.

What social trends today are you able to attribute to something that happened 1000 years ago? It's not like the Gracci Brothers started a new religion like Christianity or Islam. We are talking about a couple politicians, the likes of which come and go every generation.

thunderlips11 says

Of course it didn't work like modern bureaucracy. That doesn't mean Henry wasn't a titled ruler with governing responsibilities; and like many powerful noblemen of the time, he held a variety of positions simultaneously. You're dismissing the fact that Henry had many governorships and powers granted to him by the State.Before that he was given governorship of the entire Algarve, and before that made commander of the defense of Ceuta. In 1448 he was given exclusive rights by the King to all trade arising in Guinea, for example. Not to mention appointed Grand Master of the Order of Christ, all of which gave him the resources to fund expeditions and build observatories.

This is a brain dead argument to support government. At the time of Henry, all wealth were concentrated in the hands of feudal lords of one type of another. I argue that feudal lords are just the equivalent of wealthy landowners today. You argue that feudal lords were part of the government. Well, are you then arguing that we need to bring back the feudal lords in order to have new discoveries and innovations? Obviously it takes wealth to organize discoveries and innovations. Before the emergence of widespread merchant class, the feudal lords were the only ones with the resources. Then of course voyages of discovery would have to be funded by them. That's hardly an argument for the need of government in order to have any discovery or innovation.

Your argument essentially boils down to this: because Nazi Germany led the world in Rocket technology and they used slave labor to build rockets, it's prove positive that advancing technology is impossible without slave labor!

thunderlips11   Fri, 15 Feb 2013, 5:24am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 498

Reality says

Do you honestly believe that the Federal Reserve will last another 500 years? or for that matter the United States as currently constituted?

No, I don't think the Federal Reserve will last unchanged as it currently is for the next 500 years. The US has started and ended several incarnations of national banks with varying levels of public and private controls. I doubt the US will remain in more or less its current configuration 500 years from now.

Reality says

This is a brain dead argument to support government. At the time of Henry, all wealth were concentrated in the hands of feudal lords of one type of another. I argue that feudal lords are just the equivalent of wealthy landowners today. You argue that feudal lords were part of the government

Counts, Dukes, Barons, Governors, Viceroys, etc. didn't:
* enforce laws and hear legal cases
* administer justice (however shitily)
* raise armies
* collect taxes
* build infrastructure and charge tolls
* finance mills
* patronize scholars and artists
* Grant charters to orders, for the incorporation of cities, merchant companies, etc.

Of course they did so.

Reality says

Your argument essentially boils down to this: because Nazi Germany led the world in Rocket technology and they used slave labor to build rockets, it's prove positive that advancing technology is impossible without slave labor!

That's a false dilemma, not my argument at all.

For example: Rocket Technology can also be developed by NASA and the DoD spending tax dollars without the slave labor, but well compensated employees.

Reality says

Obviously it takes wealth to organize discoveries and innovations. Before the emergence of widespread merchant class, the feudal lords were the only ones with the resources. Then of course voyages of discovery would have to be funded by them. That's hardly an argument for the need of government in order to have any discovery or innovation.

I'm arguing against the idea that only private enterprise can carry on research effectively. The point all along was that government can and does create innovation and sponsor discovery. Many times in history, theoretical research is too speculative for private agents to engage in and only government has the power to support it.

The US is an incredibly productive place for R&D, and one of our secrets is generous grants, patent protections, heavily subsidized world class universities and laboratories that people around the world compete with each other to study and work at, and other government services.

Reality   Fri, 15 Feb 2013, 8:54am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 499

thunderlips11 says

No, I don't think the Federal Reserve will last unchanged as it currently is for the next 500 years. The US has started and ended several incarnations of national banks with varying levels of public and private controls. I doubt the US will remain in more or less its current configuration 500 years from now.

So why did you even bring the FED up to defend an untenable thesis that postulates 600 year delayed effect in government policies? when much more proximate reasons were readily available.

thunderlips11 says

Counts, Dukes, Barons, Governors, Viceroys, etc. didn't:

* enforce laws and hear legal cases

* administer justice (however shitily)

* raise armies

* collect taxes

* build infrastructure and charge tolls

* finance mills

* patronize scholars and artists

* Grant charters to orders, for the incorporation of cities, merchant companies, etc.

Of course they did so.

Some medieval feudal lords did, others didn't. The difference was quite significant from one region to another, from one time to another. For example, the powers of English barons at the time of King John of England was very different from the powers of French barons at the time of King Louise XIV, which was again different from Russian barons at the time of Peter I.

Some medieval feudal lords, especially kings of major domains, were best approximated as the equivalent of government in today's society, others are much better compared to the captains of an industrial enterprise with a few hundred thousand employees.

In any case, Henry was sponsoring the voyages in his private capacity. Are you going to argue that Einstein's Relativity Theory was also impossible without government because he was a patent office clerk at the time? obviously a government employee?

thunderlips11 says

That's the fallacy of the false dilemma, not my argument at all.

For example: Rocket Technology can also be developed by NASA and the DoD spending tax dollars without the slave labor, but well compensated employees.

Then why is it so hard for you to make the next cognitive step forward: Rocket technology can also be developed in the private sector by private companies and individuals?

The NASA and DoD approach is actually much closer to the German approach than you think: most Germans researchers were government paid scientists and military officers, just like NASA and DoD. The Germans forcibly took almost all the surplus labor of a few hundred thousand laborers and made that available to Werner von Braun and his crew. First DoD then NASA forcibly took part of the surplus labor from millions of laborers and made that available to Werner von Braun and his crew. Your alleged middle-road is actually little different from the typical statist solution.

thunderlips11 says

I'm arguing against the idea that only private enterprise can carry on research effectively. The point all along was that government can and does create innovation and sponsor discovery. Many times in history, theoretical research is too speculative for private agents to engage in and only government has the power to support it.

So you are indeed arguing that Einstein undertook his purely theoretical work on relativity only possible because he was a government office clerk!

Government itself does not do research. Government bureaucrats direct other individuals to do research. Those bureaucrats sometimes can be associated with research results, in the same sense that the soviet bureaucrats sometimes could get people to put food on the store shelves too! Do you honest believe that the food wouldn't be there without the government bureaucrats supporting it? or do you recognize that food got to the shelves, when they did, despite the soviet bureaucrats' meddling?

thunderlips11 says

The US is an incredibly productive place for R&D, and one of our secrets is generous grants, patent protections, heavily subsidized world class universities and laboratories that people around the world compete with each other to study and work at, and other government services.

The US used to be a very productive place for R&D when the universities were privately funded, and when the government just started to infiltrate the institutions that were still largely operating on private enterprise principles and personal responsibility. As more and more money wash through American universities, they are becoming just like government funded universities in other countries and church-funded universities before the industrial revolution: researchers and students twisting their funding proposals according to political needs! Why do you think the Russians, Japanese and Chinese produce far more degreed scientists and engineers every year than we do, yet they have far less productive R&D results to show for all that heavy handed government investment? Because for many decades, their universities have been over-run by nonsense political research subjects akin to our Anthropogenic Global Warming in recent years. That's the natural result of government funding for research institutions: it corrupts the research environment. Government bureaucratic process always seek to preserve existing order and take up more resources, and what better to preserve the pecking order than researching nonsense that has no real solution or new breakthrough possible? That's why in the most recent years, the most productive R&D's are moving away from university campuses onto corporate campuses like Google and Microsoft . . . while college graduates are finding themselves having paid a princely sum for learning nothing useful, just like the millions of Russian, Chinese and Japanese college graduates.

thunderlips11   Mon, 18 Feb 2013, 12:33am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 500

Reality says

So why did you even bring the FED up to defend an untenable thesis that postulates 600 year delayed effect in government policies? when much more proximate reasons were readily available.

Nobody said there was a delayed effect. I said these were recurring problems that were never satisfactorily resolved in the Roman Empire. I used several other examples, including the industrialization of England. Another example in Western History of a struggle lasting many centuries would be religious toleration between Christian - and later other - Sects. Had the West not solved the issue, it may have retarded or even destroyed Western Civilization.

The point, of course, was to show that there are similar narratives in Libertarian thought ("Losing our Freedoms" and "Central Banking") that span generations in length, so any criticism of my thesis based on length of time apply to many libertarian ideas.

Reality says

In any case, Henry was sponsoring the voyages in his private capacity. Are you going to argue that Einstein's Relativity Theory was also impossible without government because he was a patent office clerk at the time? obviously a government employee?

Again, Henry was a commander of Portugal's Army, Governor of the Algarve, a Duke, and the Grand Master of a religious order.

To say that as Governor of the Algarve that Henry had no governing power, never mind powers from all his other titles, is extraordinary. And extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

What about King John II continuing the explorations Henry began, and sponsoring Vasco da Gama's trip to India after Henry's death? What about the English sponorship of the Cabots, and Queen Isabella's sponsorship of Columbus? Were all these actions performed by Royal Family members solely in their role as private actors, too?

Zooming out even further, it seems to me the consequences of what you are suggesting regarding the private status of many feudal lords, including even some Monarchs, must mean that the pre-Modern time period in Europe can be characterized as a libertarian/anarcho-capitalist system dominated by private actors?

Reality says

So you are indeed arguing that Einstein undertook his purely theoretical work on relativity only possible because he was a government office clerk!

Another False Dilemma. I did not argue that all theoretical research is always too speculative for private actors to get involved.

From his patent office job to the University of Zurich (founded by the Swiss Government) to the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (now Max Planck Institute), the first and most fruitful half of his professional life, Einstein was doing his thinking in Government Institutions.
Reality says

Government itself does not do research. Government bureaucrats direct other individuals to do research.

I could turn this argument around into:

Managers and Admins don't produce, they simply direct. It's the lumberjacks and the truck drivers that actually do the work at Acme Sawmills Inc. Therefore, we should axe all the executives and let the workers control the company and get rid of the dead weight.

The ironic thing about free marketeers is that their Hayek-derived complaints about a small number of individuals controlling too much can easily be thrown back on their private heroes, for example commercial banks where a tiny group of people control massive amounts of resources with limited oversight from other groups.

Reality says

The US used to be a very productive place for R&D when the universities were privately funded, and when the government just started to infiltrate the institutions that were still largely operating on private enterprise principles and personal responsibility

Do you have evidence for this assertion?

Patent filings, a good indicator of R&D, are growing almost everywhere, both the US, Japan and China. Note that in almost every category, the US is in the top 2. Our only rival is Japan, which is even more state capitalist than we are:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_patents
(Source is the World Patent Organization)

Even more interestingly, the countries with the highest ROI on R&D is South Korea followed by Japan, again, both more state capitalist and protectionist than the USA.

I've discussed the glut of STEM grads before in other threads.

Reality   Mon, 18 Feb 2013, 12:52am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 501

thunderlips11 says

Nobody said there was a delayed effect. I said these were recurring problems that were never satisfactorily resolved in the Roman Empire.

In case it's not obvious, aside from the historians with racial leanings, the employment of soldiers from outside of the city of Rome itself was never a big problem: after all the Republic and the Empire lasted half a millenium using hired soldiers.

I used several other examples, including the industrialization of England.

The First Industrial Revolution took place over only about 70 years, from circa 1760 to 1830; the 2nd Industrial Revolution took only about 30 years, from circa 1840 to 1870. You are having difficulty grasping the time span of 600 years; it's like the 3yr old toddler counting: 1, 2, 3, many!

Another example in Western History of a struggle lasting many centuries would be religious toleration between Christian - and later other - Sects Had the West not solved the issue, it may have destroyed Western Civilization.

From the time of of Martin Luther putting forth his "95 Theses" in 1517 to Peace of Westphalia in 1648, there was only about a century and half. That's a far cry from 600 years! For you to make a link across 600 years, it's like blaming the recent Pope resignation on Martin Luther of the early 16th century! That's rather preposterous.

thunderlips11   Mon, 18 Feb 2013, 12:58am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 502

Reality says

Then why is it so hard for you to make the next cognitive step forward: Rocket technology can also be developed in the private sector by private companies and individuals?

Because that's speculative. Practical Rocket Technology was developed largely by government efforts in funding and direction, we don't know what would have happened if left up to private efforts.

Reality says

The NASA and DoD approach is actually much closer to the German approach than you think: most Germans researchers were government paid scientists and military officers, just like NASA and DoD. The Germans forcibly took almost all the surplus labor of a few hundred thousand laborers and made that available to Werner von Braun and his crew. First DoD then NASA forcibly took part of the surplus labor from millions of laborers and made that available to Werner von Braun and his crew. Your alleged middle-road is actually little different from the typical statist solution.

So you're comparing direct slave labor to paying income taxes?

Reality   Mon, 18 Feb 2013, 1:01am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 503

thunderlips11 says

Again, Henry was a commander of Portugal's Army, Governor of the Algarve, a Duke, and the Grand Master of a religious order.

To say that as Governor of the Algarve that Henry had no governing power, never mind powers from all his other titles, is extraordinary. And extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

What about King John II continuing the explorations Henry began, and sponsoring Vasco da Gama's trip to India after Henry's death? What about the English sponorship of the Cabots, and Queen Isabella's sponsorship of Columbus? Were all these actions performed by Royal Family members solely in their role as private actors, too?

Zooming out even further, it seems to me the consequences of what you are suggesting regarding the private status of many feudal lords, including even some Monarchs, must mean that the pre-Modern time period in Europe can be characterized as a libertarian/anarcho-capitalist system dominated by private actors?

You are making the classic mistake of "classification mania." Not everything can be classfied neatly into "government" vs. "private," especially for the time period that we are talking about. Even in modern life, a head of house hold in an isolated place can be the de facto government of that household. The most crucial difference between "government" vs. "private"
is whether the relationship between individuals is Hegemonic or Contractual.

More importantly, back to the core point, the reason why those feudal lords became sponsors was because they were the only source of great wealth after they plundered the rest of the society. It's like the Soviet government was the sponsor of scientific research in that country because the soviet government monopolized all resources in that country. It's not at all proof that R&D would be impossible without the government, like you claimed.

Reality   Mon, 18 Feb 2013, 1:05am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 504

thunderlips11 says

Another False Dilemma. I did not argue that all theoretical research is always too speculative for private actors to get involved.

From his patent office job to the University of Zurich (founded by the Swiss Government) to the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (now Max Planck Institute), the first and most fruitful half of his professional life, Einstein was doing his thinking in Government Institutions.

Yet most of his intellectual output was done before he joined any of them. Perhaps the politics at the institutions bogged him down? If anything is proven, it seems to be the counter-productivity of such institutions.

If high theorectical work can be done and often is done outside the government sponsored institutions, then your whole thesis about their necessity becomes invalid.

Reality   Mon, 18 Feb 2013, 1:11am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 505

thunderlips11 says

Managers and Admins don't produce, they simply direct. It's the lumberjacks and the truck drivers that actually do the work at Acme Sawmills Inc. Therefore, we should axe all the executives and let the workers control the company and get rid of the dead weight.

That's exactly why lumberjacks and truck drivers should be allowed to choose which company to work for . . . instead of the ancien regime arrangement of serfs being attached to particular management institutions!

Government does not allow people individually choose what service to buy what refuse service on.

The ironic thing about free marketeers is that their Hayek-derived complaints about a small number of individuals controlling too much can easily be thrown back on their private heroes, for example commercial banks where a tiny group of people control massive amounts of resources with limited oversight from other groups.

That's a ridiculous statement. Apparently, the government bureaucratically run deposit insurance schemes and central bank schemes have been running so long that you have completely forgotten what a bank-run involving thousands of people was like. Bank-run by all the depositors is the ultimate market supervision on commercial banks.

ElenaMo313   Mon, 18 Feb 2013, 1:13am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 506

thunderlips11 says

But many companies love those bases and the military spending. Boeing uses a lot of "Money-Speech" to "Convince" the government to spend like water on aircraft, no. KBR loves the lucrative, cost-plus contracts knowing their Money-Speech guarantees that they'll never be held to account for non-performance. GE makes a bundle on military gear. Even ol' IBM collects nice checks from the military.

The contributions of the MIC - aka "Money-Speech" - are major factors in military spending and intervention.

^^ I agree with this. A lot of this is just one vicious cycle at our expense. And it's a great hustle: These corporations not only get us to buy their goods/services, but they get an additional kickback via our tax dollars to fund so-called government activities.

Reality   Mon, 18 Feb 2013, 1:18am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 507

thunderlips11 says

Do you have evidence for this assertion?

Patent filings, a good indicator of R&D, are growing almost everywhere, both the US, Japan and China. Note that in almost every category, the US is in the top 2. Our only rival is Japan, which is even more state capitalist than we are:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_patents

(Source is the World Patent Organization)

Goes to show the brain-deadness of the modern college-bred brain. Just by looking at the lack of innovativeness in Japanese economy compared to the US should give you a hint that perhaps patent filing numbers is a very very poor indicator of innovativeness. . . yet it's cited because the mainstream professional misleaders use it. Goes to show you the modern college education has become the training of regurgitators perfected suited for reciting scriptures.

Even more interestingly, the countries with the highest ROI on R&D is South Korea followed by Japan, again, both more state capitalist and protectionist than the USA.

How are those ROI on R&D calculated? Do you like believe every printed number dropping into your laps?

Reality   Mon, 18 Feb 2013, 1:30am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 508

thunderlips11 says

Because that's speculative. Practical Rocket Technology was developed largely by government efforts in funding and direction, we don't know what would have happened if left up to private efforts.

Considering the massive success that the private industry had with flight and automobile despite much more backwards manufacturing base, it takes serious lack of imagination to think that the private sector wouldn't be able to do space technology without the government. If space technology had developed at a comparable pace to flight earlier, there should long have been space hotels and perhaps even colonies on the moon by now, instead of having resources mis-directed to the pre-mature moon-shot then three decades of space shuttles.

thunderlips11 says

So you're comparing direct slave labor to paying income taxes?

The difference is in degrees, and with income tax rates rising the difference becomes smaller. BTW, the state slaves of Roman and Egyptian time faced an effective tax rate in the teens.

thunderlips11   Mon, 18 Feb 2013, 1:32am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 509

Reality says

From the time of of Martin Luther putting forth his "95 Theses" in 1517 to Peace of Westphalia in 1648, there was only about a century and half. That's a far cry from 600 years! For you to make a link across 600 years, it's like blaming the recent Pope resignation on Martin Luther of the early 16th century! That's rather preposterous.

Sorry, what's preposterous is your assertion that the Peace of Westphalia ended religious discrimination in one fell swoop. It was centuries before religious toleration existed in Europe. In most European countries, Jews and non-majority Christians were persecuted by law and did not gain the same rights of ordinary citizens until well into the 19th Century, 300 years after Luther.

Religious persecution also didn't begin with Lutherans. There was also the Hussites, Wycliff and the Lollards, Cathars, Bogomils, the Knights Templar, and many other sects and orders that were discriminated against and persecuted throughout European history.

How many times has the Jesuit Order been banned by various States, including Catholic ones?

In the 17th Century, about the same time as the Peace of Westphalia, England passed various laws restricting the rights of Catholics and various Protestant "dissenter" groups (like the Puritans). Many of these Puritans left for MA, where they quickly began exercising plenty of intolerance of their own, particularly against Quakers and Unitarians, plus a good witch craze to boot.

Around 1600, France tolerated Calvinists (but not other Protestants) - but they did not enjoy full rights. Yet in 1700, France had repealed the toleration and began persecuting protestants again.

It wasn't until 1829 when state discrimination of Catholics pretty much ended in Britain.

In the 1700s, Maryland banned Catholics from holding office. It was founded by Catholic Lord Baltimore almost a hundred years before and had established no religious test. Yet the demographics shifted and, led by Puritans, who had previously been given shelter there, soon controlled the colony and imposed their intolerance on Catholics, who suffered legal discrimination, including the prohibition on holding office, banning of catholic churches, religious instruction, and a ban even on sending away children for religious instruction out of the colony, for many decades to come.

Jews couldn't join the Prussian military until 1812.

Reality   Mon, 18 Feb 2013, 2:15am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 510

thunderlips11 says

Sorry, what's preposterous is your assertion that the Peace of Westphalia ended religious discrimination in one fell swoop. It was centuries before religious toleration existed in Europe. In most European countries, Jews and non-majority Christians were persecuted by law and did not gain the same rights of ordinary citizens until well into the 19th Century, 300 years after Luther.

You were talking about intra-Christian religious conflict that threatened the very survival of western civilization. That was the period between Martin Luther and Peace of Westphalia. What intra-Christian religious conflict since Westphalia has threatened the very survival of western civilization?

General discrimination and religious conflicts have been with humanity long before Martin Luther, and probably will go on till the humanity ceases to exist.

Reality   Mon, 18 Feb 2013, 2:29am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 511

thunderlips11 says

How many times has the Jesuit Order been banned by various States, including Catholic ones?

The Jesuit Order was founded in 1534. Do you want to argue countries ban it for religious reasons till 600 years later 2134 for religious reasons relating to something St. Ignacious of Loyola personally did in 1534? as opposed to political ones utterly unrelated to its founding 600 years earlier?

thunderlips11 says

In the 17th Century, about the same time as the Peace of Westphalia, England passed various laws restricting the rights of Catholics and various Protestant "dissenter" groups (like the Puritans). Many of these Puritans left for MA, where they quickly began exercising plenty of intolerance of their own, particularly against Quakers and Unitarians, plus a good witch craze to boot.

What's your point? That was all within that couple hundred years after Martin Luther's "95 Theses" not 600 years later in 22nd century. Like I said, you are suffering from: Dynosaurs lived a long time ago, early homo sapiens lived a long time ago, therefore they must have played together like in the Flintstones.

thunderlips11 says

Around 1600, France tolerated Calvinists (but not other Protestants) - but they did not enjoy full rights. Yet in 1700, France had repealed the toleration and began persecuting protestants again.

Again, it was 1700, not the 2200's, 600 years after Calvin.

thunderlips11 says

It wasn't until 1829 when state discrimination of Catholics pretty much ended in Britain.

That was still only a couple hundred years after the last time when Catholicism was the state religion of England (Britain didn't even exist as a political entity back then, but only a geographical concept).

thunderlips11 says

In the 1700s, Maryland banned Catholics from holding office. It was founded by Catholic Lord Baltimore almost a hundred years before and had established no religious test. Yet the demographics shifted and, led by Puritans, who had previously been given shelter there, soon controlled the colony and imposed their intolerance on Catholics, who suffered legal discrimination, including the prohibition on holding office, banning of catholic churches, religious instruction, and a ban even on sending away children for religious instruction out of the colony, for many decades to come.

As you can see, things change dramatically in 100 years. Blaming Maryland discrimination on something happened 600 years prior would be silly.

thunderlips11 says

Jews couldn't join the Prussian mi