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Baltimoron last won the day on January 10 2008

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  1. Everything I placed emphasis on is a strawman or is part of a strawman argument such that i can't separate it from the strawman argument. =================== I am perpetually confused as to why the forum is such that people can just post such lies and misrepresentations. These are are just personal affronts to those who spend their free time trying to positively interact with other members of the community. Wouldn't a respectful person interested in true dialogue say something like "what do you mean by x" or "I understood y to mean..." "how does q fit into this" I'm positive a person disinterested in honest discussion wouldn't do that, but instead would troll and just misrepresent what x or y meant, not bothering to pay any regard to the content of the original messenger. Are we trying to understand what others are trying to communicate or are we simply trying to prove wrong whatever it is we think the other is trying to communicate (and dammed if we care what he really is communicating or trying to say)? Why can some just post whatever nonsense they wish, even as they admits/demonstrate they knows not what they are talking about, and consistently put the onus on those who wish to discuss things to constantly have to either 1) bow out of the confrontation after being shouted down by a blowhard or 2) waste lots of time trying to respond to the inane strawmans that are nothing more than diversions form the topic at hand. Why do we countenance people who post lies? Why do we think calling someone stupid or some such other personal affront is a bannable offense, but intentionally trolling is not? What about ad hominems? Is this not the definition of taking a discussion and making it personal by attacking the speaker? Yet Rshack consistently makes me all kinds of insulting, erroneous and misleading characterizations. I could just post misleading information in an effort to constantly frustrate discussion, to interject sophist nonesense by trying to re-define words and misrepresent other positions, but what good is that? I give a crap about other people, which is why I try to share what I know in this community. Its my understanding that a message board is an opportunity for people to communicate. I believe the ultimate form of disrespect is not listening to someone. One can disagree, and even consider someone else wrong. But to not even bother to respect their communicative efforts, and instead just post fallacious mischaracterizations of their point (so called strawman arguments) is the greatest reproach. There is no communication without listening and respect for another's position. I have expressed on multiple occasions the willingness to discuss these issues with Rshack. Yet instead of responding to what I post, or asking me questions about what I post, he simply tells me I am wrong, misrepresents my argument (i.e lies and posts a bunch of nonsense) and then goes off on his own tangents. Yet this is countenanced, over and over again. Rshack criticizes me for posting sources. Board policy requires sourcing. I don't want to banned but I'm happy to go if the game is posters can just post lies and misrepresentations and personally insulting ad hominems with impunity as such an environment is not for me. Why do we countenance those who simply do not respond and indeed intentionally frustrate the honest efforts of those who wish to communicate? Rshack has trolled me throughout his time on this board. Continually ignoring what I post and misrepresenting it as a strawman. Its obvious he is just trying to take what I post and argue against it, and then I post a little more showing his fallacies and he post more fallacies. This can't go on ad nauseum, as he knows I'll tire of responding to his lies. I tire of arguing with trolls. I honestly used to think I could post here, share my knowledge and make this a better place. I used to think I could share my knowledge here about SABR and the ideas of places like THT or BP or Tom Tango and help people learn to love and understand and appreciate baseball even more. And knowledge even beyond baseball. And whether people agree with me or not, aren't people better off knowing the other side, being exposed to the counter arguments? Isn't that learning? Yet here I am, marginalized once again by a troll, and the burden is once again on me to explain why the stuff he posted is wrong? Why aren't we wondering why he isn't quoting anything I have written? Read the thread, he talks about all kinda of nonesense that has nothing to do with anything I have posted. Why do we assume he has any credibility or grounding in reality? Well, I kinda think I should rest. I live in one of the most beautiful cities in the country and have many friends and a good paying job and spend enough time at the local homeless shelter that I know just how lucky I am despite all the reasons I have to complain about my life. Most of all, there are so many better things to do than to try to communicate with dishonest jerks who can do no better than to lie and consistently attack me. I wish everybody the best and Go Os. -- P.S. - Not like I know anything about economics or such but I wonder if encouraging a more respectful, intelligent "conversation" might help boost readership. After all, we're all just fanatics about a baseball team, looking for good info and somebody to hear us out, a place where blowhards won't shout us down while ignoring what we post. Guess I shoulda done a barrel roll.
  2. Its the same answer to every question (excepting the most minarchist functions of the Night Watchman* State). I'll give you a hint. :scratchchinhmm: F_ _ _ M _ _ _ _ _ If you guessed "Flea Market" you are so very close. --- * Yup, "V for Vendetta" and "Watchmen" are anti-statist graphic novels, for as you might know Alan Moore is an anarchist too. The movie Watchmen and the somewhat limited acceptance it received is what inspired me to revive this thread. I should get into that.
  3. I sense sarcasm and monetary envy (sorry if I am mistaken). Were the shareholders better or worse off for Mr. Icahn's intervention? If the MSM (mainstream media) label it as a sweetheart deal for Icahn, who as we know he gets in position for such deals because of his ownership of stock, hasn't he also earned such a deal for other shareholders? Isn't that the point, to protect the capitalists (anybody who buys stocks or otherwise saves their income) from pillage by the corporatists? What was sweetheart was that the powerful elite class, the corporatists, could not be protected from the great capitalist heros, the raiders. So the ruling corproate elite class got the MSM to work on the public and eventually got the federal and state legislatures to fall in line and we put the kibosh on protecting shareholders, all in the name of preventing "unfair profits" and punishing the evil raiders. See how this is so easy. Raiders should be highly compensated, they protected share holder wealth on an order of many multiples of their earnings. And the alleged "unfair profits" are a good thing, because they are a signal to others that says in effect "our corporations are being bilked and run like crap, and thus there are huge buyout arbitrage opportunities here for those who will stand up in the name of economic progress and efficiency and protecting the shareholders by doing what is in their own self-interest." ===== Yup, greed is good, as it regulates the greed of others. The trouble is when you start granting monopoly power backed by the threat of violence to the greedy - aka the State.
  4. Chanda Chisala is human rights activist and reporter from the African nation of Zambia who spent last year on a fellowship at Stanford studying “the impact of the internet on the future of African journalism, and the philosophy of human rights.” He thinks capitalism will save his continent and defend against human rights abuses. He yearns for freedom and writes:
  5. Hi Rshack, I'm sorry you have little economic knowledge and most of it seems to be horrendously mistaken. Your posts in this thread make clear you know nothing of Austrian economics, much less economics in general. This makes me sad. But as long as you insist you know what you are talking about and everybody else is wrong, like for example your belief you know what mercantilism or capitalism entail, I'm going to have to put you back on my ignore list. I'm disappointed but not at all surprised. I guess my lesson is blowhard know-it-alls can't really be expected to change their ways, especially when they have such a long and well-defined history and pattern of similar trolling. If you ever want to have a respectful discussion instead of lecturing me with posts chock full of your fallacious mis-understandings, send me a pm. You may not agree with the Austrians, but you can't define words and concepts for them and then use your definitions and your concepts to argue Austrians are wrong, because that's just a resort to a silly strawman argument. The Austrians may be all wrong, but as long as you wish to remain willfully clueless of their thoughts and theories, your idle ramblings are just that, idle ramblings. bye.
  6. Corporatism is a system of legal privilege that protects the structure of a corporation against capitalists. For example in the USA shareholders have little power over the major industries other than as someone a dividend must be paid to. The executives in the corporate hierarchy control the corporation, the capital-owners control nothing. Big corporate executive salaries and golden parachutes and incentives to cook the books and maximize wealth in the short term that funnel wealth from the rightful capital owners. This is not free-market Capitalism (see the legal, G does that). One could say Corporatism is just another name for Mercantilism, with Mercantilism being defined as the use of force by the State to produce particular winners and losers in the market (In Mercantilism, exporting businesses are favored by the State, in Corporatism, the class of individuals who control corporations). The leftist view of the question in terms of profit tends to lead one to see Mercantilism/Corporatism as just a species of Capitalism. I see Corporatism as a subset of Mercantilism. Both involve the State's threat/use of force as an essential feature to its existence. ===== What is a Capitalist? Murray Roth bard's Man, Economy, State - Chapter 6, 5. Time Preference, Capitalists, and Individual Money Stock ===== The (Free) Market for Corporate Control ... Poison Pills and Anti-takeover measures are bad, or why Drexel Burnham Lambert was the hero:
  7. <p><p><p>No, I didn't see Dr. Block in Baltimore as I live in Colorado, but I did see him in Colorado Springs (<a href="<a href="<a href="http://blog.mises.org/archives/009778.asp" rel="external nofollow">http://blog.mises.org/archives/009778.asp</a>" rel="external nofollow"><a href="http://blog.mises.org/archives/009778.asp" rel="external nofollow">http://blog.mises.org/archives/009778.asp</a></a>" rel="external nofollow"><a href="<a href="http://blog.mises.org/archives/009778.asp" rel="external nofollow">http://blog.mises.org/archives/009778.asp</a>" rel="external nofollow"><a href="http://blog.mises.org/archives/009778.asp" rel="external nofollow">http://blog.mises.org/archives/009778.asp</a></a></a>).</p></p></p>

    <p><p><p>Did you see Dr. Block's video presentation in response to the fallout from this Baltimore brewhaha? Its here: <a href="<a href="<a href="http://mises.org/media.aspx?action=author&ID=443." rel="external nofollow">http://mises.org/media.aspx?action=author&ID=443.</a>" rel="external nofollow"><a href="http://mises.org/media.aspx?action=author&ID=443." rel="external nofollow">http://mises.org/media.aspx?action=author&ID=443.</a></a>" rel="external nofollow"><a href="<a href="http://mises.org/media.aspx?action=author&ID=443." rel="external nofollow">http://mises.org/media.aspx?action=author&ID=443.</a>" rel="external nofollow"><a href="http://mises.org/media.aspx?action=author&ID=443." rel="external nofollow">http://mises.org/media.aspx?action=author&ID=443.</a></a></a> He has also written a lot at LRC on this issue: <a href="<a href="<a href="http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block-arch.html" rel="external nofollow">http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block-arch.html</a>" rel="external nofollow"><a href="http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block-arch.html" rel="external nofollow">http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block-arch.html</a></a>" rel="external nofollow"><a href="<a href="http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block-arch.html" rel="external nofollow">http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block-arch.html</a>" rel="external nofollow"><a href="http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block-arch.html" rel="external nofollow">http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block-arch.html</a></a></a></p></p></p>

    <p><p><p>Cheers, be well</p></p></p>

  8. Marx was wrong. A quickie. Mises in 1951: ========= Murray Rothbard, 1976, Praxeology: The Methodology of Austrian Economics =================== Bob Murphy, 2003, Mises's Non-Trivial Insight
  9. "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher (1788 - 1860) Maybe the Austrians are all wrong. But history makes clear acceptance of truth is evolutionary. People used to think the Earth was flat after all.
  10. I have two posts responding to Lucky Jim on Derrida, and a response to Clapdiddy. ========== Isn't this what we do in school? Teach kids by giving them stuff to read so they can learn. I'm not sure why you dismiss my references to scholarly articles and other sources, or my excerpts and highlights of pertinent passages. Are you against education? Do you not read? Don't you discuss new ideas with others? Is this not the point of a message board, to share ideas and opinion? What is a syllabus on indoctrination? Is this a cult reference? How many "public" cults are there that try to get people to listen to their ideas and arguments in public? Or more accurately, what is not a syllabus for indoctrination? If I post something from Tom Tango, or from Baseball Prospectus, is that a "syllabus for indoctrination"? Why is it not an idea for discussion, or an explanation of a concept? I'm appealing to intellect by offering ideas and arguments advanced by scholars with advanced degrees in economics. There has been a lot of banter about what Austrian believe and who they are, and I feel a lot of that is misleading. So I'm presenting their words and ideas. I've made two posts on my own hand (see all the typos/misspellings, disgraphia is the suck) explaining the theory for which F.A. Hayek was awarded the Nobel prize in economics. There is a lot of ignorance on economics, and a lack of exposure to it. Is your objection about economics, or just certain schools of economics? I think the Austrians are right on a lot of issues. I got an undergrad in econ and have always had an interest in economics. And I like their ideas, becuase they make sense. ====== I'm sharing what I believe to be a destroyer of wealth and a cause of widespread pain and suffering to my fellow humans. Unemployment and its related social ails, poverty, war, etc. Bad stuff. This is the rants forum. I am ranting about the perceived nonsense that is happening today. People are being hurt. Remember Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA"? A song that had such appeal because it both spoke to the promise of our supposed great nation of idealistic potential, and contrasted it with the harsh reality, the failure of recent government, of a silly war that had ruined lives, families, and communities. Prosperity and a chance were denied to so many. Similar themes. We could do so much to help humanity, but yet we do not. That makes me sad. So I post in the Rants forum and explain my point of view and the economic ideas I think are correct. ==== I'm sorry the study of economics is not a simple matter. As is obvious, many brilliant humans have devoted their lives to the study of economics. There are different schools in economics. Austrians are on board with most schools on a lot of stuff. But they also differ from the other schools. Just as the other schools differ from each other in their own way. Otherwise they wouldn't be different schools. I'd be happy to have a respectful discussion with you. I've made that clear to you. What is on your mind? ========== If you want you can ignore this thread, as can everyone else too. It won't bother me. But I like econ, and I think people deserve to the right to hear all sides to a debate. There are a lot of intelligent people here. What's the harm in my publishing/discussing it? Won't that just expose it for all its silliness? The ship will sink itself, you can just sit back and watch.
  11. Robert Higgs has written extensively on the Great Depression. ==== Here is a December 2008 interview with Russ Roberts (Ph.D. in econ from University of Chicago, teaches at GMU), about: ===== Wartime Prosperity? A Reassessment of the U.S. Economy in the 1940s is a shortish article by Higgs addressing the Great Depression: ====== A longer piece is this pdf "Regime Uncertainty: Why the Great Depression Lasted So Long and Why Prosperity Returned After the War,". Higgs has also written a book (a collection of longer essays) called "Regime Uncertainty: Why the Great Depression Lasted So Long and Why Prosperity Returned After the War,". ======== here is Higgs' 33 minute speech (youtube video), which looks at the connection between monetary inflation and war funding. He examines budgets, inflation and such in the US in WWI and WWII. Its a lot easier to fund a war by printing money than it is to tax people the full amount (assuming its not such a small war it can be fought out of present inventory). Here is a pdf file Dr. Higgs discusses in Death Fuel lecture that details budgetary information from WWI and WWII.
  12. Here is one of my favorite pieces by Bob Murphy in which he responds to criticism of ABCT from Paul Krugman and Tyler Cowen. Murphy explains the importance of capital consumption to ABCT, or what happens when we don't really save but simply keep consuming and thus do not release resources into the economy to support newly undertaken allocations of productive capital resources. A Sushi Model of Capital Consumption
  13. In Human Action, Ludwig von Mises uses the example of a master builder who is building a house but he is under a misleading impression as to how many bricks he has to explain ABCT. The master builder thinks he has 20% more bricks than he actually has (Mises posits he can’t buy more bricks). So the master builder begins building a house, but he is building the wrong kind of house, as he would build a different house if he knew how many bricks he actually had. In the master builder’s microeocnomy, the pool of real savings is not large enough to support his house. The master builder is undertaking a project he will not be able to finish. What would be the best way to get the builder out of this predicament? To alert him as to the real supply of his bricks, to tell him he is building a house he will not be able to finish. And you want to do this as soon as possible, not right before he runs out of bricks, because he has to demolish the partially built house and start anew. We see the master builder has squander society’s resources by undertaking a project that cannot be completed. The boom period, when he is building the house and employing lots of peoples, that is when is doing the damage, wasting the resources. The bust period is when he is fixing his past mistake, correcting his prior waste of resources and labor time. This is the healthy correction of his prior error. Applying this example to the real economy, we can see why its best to find out now what is unsustainable, to stop it and start viable, sustainable projects. Not to prop up the unsustainable, non-viable projects that squander capital and labor on what could be seen as quixotic production paths, on unsustainable production trajectories. When people say the solution is to pump more money into the system, they are saying lets drive the interest rate down to keep entrepreneurial investment going. Its sorta like saying lets get the master builder drunk so he doesn’t notice the dwindling supply of bricks and just keeps building the doomed house, he keeps up the inherently unsustainable production. But this does not hold up the bust, the bust is inevitable. Pumping money and other intervention only leads to the waste of more resources as we prop up unsustainable activities. When Alan Greenspan did exactly this in 2001 by lowering rates to stimulate the economy, he refused to let occur the the healthy process that is the reallocation of capital to sustainable projects during a bust. Greenspan sought to stimulate the economy to fight the bust, he perpetuated this misallocation and squandering of resources in unsustainable liens of production. And for the first time on record, we had a recession where housing starts did not decline. And thus we see the heart of the myths that housing never declines, prices always go up, home prices don’t go down during a recession, a home is the best investment you can make, that you can buy and flip houses and make lots of money with no risk, etc. – the Fed’s intervention in the economy. Greenspan kept the master builder drunk, and we kept building houses and commercial/residential real estate developments that we did not have the savings to consume. Bust. ========== Bob Murphy (Ph.D. in Econ from NYU where he studies under Israel Kirzner and Mario Rizzo) expounds on thsi idea in Mises's Example of the Master Builder
  14. Think about building something complex like an airplane. You have to build all the factories to build the various parts, you have to build all the necessary equipment before you can even think about building the airplane. And you have to plane and do all kind of science to learn how to fly and then you have to educate your workforce, you need highly skilled engineers and mechanics and etc. You have to build an enormous plant that takes years to build and requires huge hangars and lots of land. The inputs themselves involve multiple stages of production. This means for example producing x, selling it to another producer who puts in into z, who then sells to another producer who adds it to W, and so on until it is finally incorporated into the final consumer good. ============ Leonard Reeds’ classic article 1958 article “I Pencil” beautifully illustrates this point. The article is written in the first person from the point of view of an Eberhard Faber pencil. The pencil narrator details the complexity of its own creation, listing its components (cedar, lacquer, graphite, ferrule, factice, pumice, wax, glue) and the numerous people involved, down to the sweeper in the factory and the lighthouse keeper guiding the shipment into port. It illustrates the complex capital structure necessary to make a simple pencil. I, Pencil. My Family Tree as told to Leonard E. Read ========= As Sheldon Richman has commented: I Pencil Revisited
  15. Here is another short and unfairly brief attempt to convey a sense of what the Austrian Business cycle theory is about. It is in no sense intended to be a complete or anywhere near the best or a scholarly explanation of ABCT. Austrian Business cycle is all about capital theory, and the importance of the interest rate to the allocation of capital. In ABCT there is a strong recognition of the role of interest rates in the economy. Its not just number, interest rates play a “coordinating” function in the economy. When the interest rate is unhampered and allowed to perform this coordinating function, what the interest rate does is coordinate production over time. ABCT is all about intertemporal allocation of capital across various stages of production. When we save more, and interest rates consequentially decline, that is the very time it makes sense for businesses to engage in projects that are going to bear fruit in the future. When we save more, we are forsaking consumption now for consumption in the future. It is this desire for future consumption that investor/entrepreneurs are preparing for in investing in future production, in capital intensive products. The investors/entrepreneurs can make these capital investments because we have saved and thus interest rates are low, making borrowing more attractive than at higher interest rates. The longer term the production is, what is often referred to as multiple stage production or complex production stages, the more interest rate sensitive the production. Interest matters more when you make a 20 year loan to develop property or to build a factory than it does over a shorter time frame. The interest rate coordinates consumer’s desires to consume in the present versus the future, and business production of good for the present and the future. By saving part of one’s income, one is forgoing a claim on the current resources out there in the economy and freeing these resources up to support more complex, longer stage production. This deferral of present consumption releases resources into the economy, which provide the material wherewithal to see all the new business projects undertaken by entrepreneur/investors through completion. The interest rate in effect coordinates the supply of real saved resources in the economy. ABCT basically says when you tamper with the structure of interest rates as the market sets them, you are tampering with the coordinating function of capital production in the economy, introducing dis-coordination. So now, if for example a Central Bank wants to force interest rates down through open market operations, we see that the public has not necessarily indicated a desire to consume in the future, yet investor/entrepreneurs are being told (and incentivized) in effect by the lower interest rate to begin more capital intensive, longer term stage investment for the production of future goods. But people are not saving, they want to consume now. Yet businesses are being encouraged to engage in production of the future, in long term investment. People are demanding more goods for consumption now, but entrepreneurs are being mislead into engaging in long term product development, in producing for the future. Thus we see the time mismatch, or what Austrians call the intertemporal misallocation of capital resources. In the initial short run we see the boom, as present consumption stays high while we see artificially lowered interest rates stimulating what is ultimately unsustainable entrepreneurial production. We are buying TVs and building stuff like houses and cars. The houses and cars require lots of inputs, lots of other factories have to be built and stuff made to put into the houses and cars. So unemployment goes down during the boom as society culls its resources to engage in capital production in response to low interest rates. ===== Just because a Central Bank forces interest by pumping money into the banking system does mean consumers are deferring present consumption. The pumping of money to drive down interest rates does not release any more resources into the economy for investor/entrepreneurs to use to complete their long term investment projects. With artificially lowered interest rates you have an unchanged resource pool to fund all the new long term capital production projects. There are not enough resources to fund all of these projects, and you have a bust as resources dry up and projects have to be abandoned. The investment was not financed with savings, but with printed money. Printed money is not a capital resource. Printing money does not produce anything of value, it just misleads people to think this is the case. Printing money to lower interest rates just encourages more wasted resources as investor/entrepreneurs are incentivized to undertake long term projects that they will not be able to complete. They will have to abandon these projects, and thus squander (waste) valuable human and physical resources (capital resources). Keeping interest rates down is not the cure for a recession/depression, it is the cause. Artificially low interest rates are what gets entrepreneurs onto these unsustainable future investment trajectories. If you keep interest rates artificially lowered you just keep encouraging people to plan, design, build and make things that ultimately can’t be finished or won’t be profitable or for which there won’t be sufficient consumer demand in the future. =========== Austrian Business Cycle Quickie: 1. The FED lowers the rate of interest below the natural rate. 2. This creates a boom. 3. Misalignment sets a course of events into line that is seen as "prosperity" (increase in average standard of living), but it is really an illusion. 4. The boom is really an accumulation of malinvestments. 5. The bust is a necessary and beneficial liquidation of malinvestments, which are really misallocated resources (wasted resources). * The Austrian Business Cycle theory is a theory of the boom-bust cycle, not just a discussion of recession. The ABCT does not say that all recessions are explainable by the ABCT; albeit, most modern business cycles are ABCs. Earthquakes and natural disasters and foreign invasions are other things that for example could impact economic production and cause economic busts. ** As is sort of implicit, the real issue is the expansion of credit. While the modern business cycle is dominated by the Governmental injection of money into the economy that drives interest rates lower, ABCT is really a tale of the artificial expansion of capital. "Tulipmania" is a famous episode that can be explained by ABCT and the boom/bust of credit expansion. Doug French studied at UNLV under Murray Rothbard and has written and studied Tulipmania extensively. From The Truth About Tulipmania: Here is Mr. French's review of Tulipmania: Money, Honor, and Knowledge in the Dutch Golden Age by Anne Goldgar. Doug French has also published a book on Early Speculative Bubbles & Increases in the Money Supply. The Chapters:
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