March 26, 2009
March 25, 2009
Notice how even Bernanke is calling it a bailout now. HAHA!
March 23, 2009
I remember sitting in my economics class when the professor talked about inflation and showed examples of some of the largest denominated bills ever printed. Check these out:
On December 23, 1993, the former Yugoslavia issued a new banknote to keep up with rampant inflation, the 500 billion dinar note, that's a 5 followed by 11 zeros, but shortly after cut off nine of the zeros. One of the 500 billion dinar notes could have bought you lunch if you were very frugal.
The 500 Billion note just blew my mind. That was, until I saw this, just released from Zimbabwe:
Look at all those zeros!
March 17, 2009
Why? Because I support Ron Paul and the Campaign for Liberty. Also, because maybe I own guns, oppose abortion or support homeschool.
Even, and I'm serious, because I support the U.S. Constitution.
This is no joke. Read it for yourself here. On the top of page 7.
March 14, 2009
March 8, 2009
Suffice it to say that we are suffering from what could be called pro-state cancer. It is the malignant idea that the state can somehow solve our problems. It also reminded me of a demotivational poster I saw on depair.com that was funny. It fits the current situation perfectly.
March 6, 2009
March 3, 2009
And yet, there is an interesting phenomena that occurs particularly around the time of presidential elections. From among a broad range of candidates, people choose a favorite politician and find themselves defending that politician by all means. If their politician said this and the media thought it was wrong, they will say their politician meant that and the media is simply taking it out of context or misconstruing his words. This game is known as politics and we all got more than two earfuls of it during the presidential campaigns. We probably even participated in it to some extent, arguing over what he meant by this and what he didn't mean by that. At the same time, we were quick to point out the flaws in the words of politicians we didn't like as evidence that they were incompetent or dishonest.
First of all, I think it very sad that the media has embraced this practice and called it politics. They revel in this sort of bickering and he-said-she-said noise. I see the political pundits constantly searching for any snippet of a sound bite or excerpt that could be controversial in any way. The art of being elusive and avoiding this sort of criticism is known as political correctness. Politicians, under constant threat of being attacked personally because of the way they chose to phrase something, seek more refined, vague, and mostly cryptic ways of speaking their message. This translates into political positions that aren't really positions at all. They do not dare take a stance on important issues for fear of sounding politically incorrect or deemed radical and uncompromising. Their favorite phrases are some of the following: "I am committed to working with....to accomplish....for the good of our country" or "We need to come together on this to find a solution that works for the American people" or "This bill has strong bipartisan support" or "I have experience working with people on both sides of the isle". What do these statements really even mean?! They certainly don't articulate a true position on any certain issue.
This whole mess that the politicians and media have created does nothing more than muddy the waters. The bickering over the meaning and intent of words and phrases distracts from the truly important debates that need to happen in order for people to understand issues and decide what they believe about them. If the water were cleared, I think we would find that many who are continuously at each others' throats about what the other has said about X, are really not in any disagreement at all. Their argument is simply to distract from this fact and maintain the illusion that there are deep ideological differences among key political figures. Generally speaking, there are few, if any, ideological differences, and politics-as-usual masks this fact rather well to the untrained eye.
Gone, it seems, are the days of true statesmanship. The days when a man stood up for what he believed and didn't revel in the mud of personal attacks and semantics. Rather, there was honest and serious intellectual debate about issues that mattered.
For this reason, I breathed a sigh of relief that some of these statesmen may still exist when I saw Ron Paul take on a political pundit today, touching on this very issue. The reader may know of my affinity for Congressman Ron Paul, but let me say that there are certainly others out there like him. I just don't know where they are at the moment. We should seek these good, honest men, and uphold them in the principles that they espouse.
The video is well worth watching and shows perfectly what I mean.
March 2, 2009
Here's the Newsweek article.
March 1, 2009
Your recent article about the mortgage bailout and income taxes was quite disturbing, to say the least. Without going into too much detail (since I doubt you will read this anyway), I wanted to respond to your misguided attempt to cover for the failed policy of price-fixing.
You mention in your article, and I have heard many times throughout the past several months, that the government is justified in rescuing bad mortgages in order to keep the prices of houses from falling too low. You write that it is legitimate for the government to use our tax dollars to pay for the mortgages of others so that the value of our house will not fall. There are two important economic problems with this argument, besides the moral hazard it creates. The first problem is that not everyone owns a home. Not everyone is concerned with a mortgage and therefore with the falling value of houses. In fact, many people are looking forward to buying a house and have been saving their money, paying their taxes, and otherwise living frugally. And yet, our tax dollars are being used to keep housing prices high--exactly what we do not want if we are going to buy a house. This works directly against our interest.
The second problem with this plan is that it, quite simply, creates a price floor for homes, not allowing the market to fix the correct price. The simplest laws of economics teach us that price-fixing creates distortions in the efficient outcome of the market. In particular, price floors, such as would be created by keeping house prices higher than the market would set them at, create surpluses in housing and general waste. The prices of houses MUST go down in order for the surplus to be liquidated. The fact that you do not understand this should exclude you from writing about economics at all.
I also wanted to touch on another point you made in your article about the income tax. First of all, the dates you listed for the ratification by each state are heavily disputed and have not been clearly verified to have taken place in the correct manner. Second of all, there was mention in the title of your article about whether or not income taxes are legal. You actually never address this point. And NO, just because it was "ratified" does not make it legal. The Constitution clearly states that there shall be no direct tax on the people. You can dance around this all you want, but the fact is that the income tax is simply unconstitutional. This does not mean that I do not pay it. To do so would be unwise. But I have to object to your dismissal of the argument and your treatment of those who espouse it as juvenile and ignorant.