Remember when “climate scientists” (climate zealots) tried to “prove” global warming by pointing to record high temperatures in Australia and Europe last year?
What are they doing now that Europe and North America are experiencing one of the worst winters on record, with Scotland going down to an Arctic -21 degrees?
Well, now they are saying recent cold temperatures in Europe don’t disprove global warming.
I would be fine with that if they hadn’t already pointed to recent high temperatures as proving the existence of global warming.
Could the climate guys be any dumber? First, they schedule a conference on global warming in Copenhagen in the middle of winter. Then, they point to recent high temperatures as proving global warming but run away from the implications of the record cold snap in Europe. Then, they display unbelievable cynicism about the whole process of science by cooking the books on climate science. Then they try to deny the cover-up.
The whole thing is sad.
If this is what academics spend their time doing, I’d prefer it if they all got new jobs in some more reputable, productive profession. Like porn, or drug trafficking. At least in those industries you have to deliver a real product with a real bang.
Paul Krugman made me laugh today. Really laugh! Here is the funny piece from his blog:
This is the way the Chicago School ends.
Not with a bang, but with a cackle.
Like them, I find it really sad. Here’s Eugene Fama, insisting that there was no financial crisis, just markets reacting rationally to an economic crisis caused by
brain-eating aliens flouridated watersomething or other — hey, macro isn’t his department. John Cochrane, on the other hand, says that it’s all because George W. Bush gave a scary speech.
What struck me was the fact that Cochrane is still trying the argument-from-authority thing: this was all proved false in the 1970s, nobody serious believes in it, etc.. At this point he knows (although one wonders whether he did originally) that there’s this thing called New Keynesian economics on which a lot of smart people have been working since the mid-1980s. And yes, the models do allow for effective fiscal policy. But Cochrane is still using the Lucas giggles and whispers line.
It’s hard to avoid the sense that Chicago just turned inward on itself circa 1982, and stopped paying attention either to the world or to anyone not of its tribe. And now it finds that the rest of the world is returning the favor.
Two things made me laugh.
First, the brain-eating aliens/flouridated water line was both unexpected and very witty. I liked it from an economist who is normally so serious about his own profession.
Second, the obituary he writes for the Chicago School is exactly the obituary I would write for the whole mainstream – particularly the Keynesians. Henry Hazlitt cut Keynes to bits half a century ago, and Keynesianism still carries on, like a zombie, brain-dead, lifeless, causing death and destruction wherever it is allowed in. After the Keynesian-induced disasters of Japan and the US, each time PK visits any country the call should go out across the land:
“A Keynesian is approaching! Shut the town gates! Hide the women and children! Run! To the men: Get the crucifixes, the Holy Water and the garlic and the shot guns and let’s all meet in the town square to distract the Keynesian zombie away from the gold and our women! Apparently all Keynesian zombies love brains – give me some mad cow brains and perhaps he’ll eat those!”
Paul Krugman writes accurately of the Chicago School’s demise but doesn’t realise his words could apply equally to himself and Keynesians generally.
Then again, zombies can never tell that they’re already dead.
Shhh…. don’t tell him (he might start staggering my way!).
Remember the ads? The govt’s warnings about this being potentially catastrophic “pandemic” (the formal UN classification)? The millions wasted on contingency plans?
Should we just ignore similar UN-issued warnings in the future if this one was such a joke, such a non-event, such a complete waste of time?
I suspect it’s a dry run, but who knows what the world’s governments are up to?
People don’t see crises coming because they believe in the rationality of government. They don’t see the dynamic inherent in a coercive rent seeking entity that necessarily compels governments worldwide towards madness again and again and again.
WWI was madness. The Great Depression was madness. WWII was madness. Hiroshima was madness. The Cold War was madness. Chernobyl was madness. The deliberate death of the Aral Sea was madness. The destruction of arable land worldwide to convert this precious fertile land into low-density residential development is complete madness. Deliberate and govt-supported over-fishing worldwide is unsustainable madness. The GFC was predictable madness. The continued presence of the West in Afghanistan is madness.
Why do governments the world over act with such apparent suicidal, manic-depressive blind stupidity, such venal short-termism, such environmental destruction, such barbarity?
Because very simple incentive structures built up over time around the coercive activities of government compel it towards destructive barbaric madness. Simple.
Those contractors supplying government make money out of what government does. Government (originally) was developed to provide a limited range of essential services – law and order and defence. Suppliers to government have a natural incentive to try to convince government to spend more, to make government bigger. It’s an easy gig because governments can print to finance their own spending habits (unlike the private sector).
Governments then get bigger doing things they shouldn’t do. And because there is no appeal process beyond government (all you can do is appeal to another agent of government), government has a natural tendency to get bigger because nothing can stop it short of complete anarchy. So it keeps growing until chaos really does ensue.
This happens again and again throughout history and every time people are “shocked” by the chaos, by the suddenness of the social breakdown. The Soviet Union, Iran, the US in the ’60s, Cambodia, the former Yugoslavia, Europe after WWI… all these regions experienced government-induced chaos, government supported madness.
The US will experience exactly the same social breakdown, the same insane bankruptcy, the same comic-tragic stupidity. Why? Because the dynamics of government compel the country towards this inevitable denouement.
Let me explain by providing a quote from Bill Bonner of Daily Reckoning:
Bethesda is one of America’s wealthiest suburbs. Money from all over the nation rolls this way. The playing field is tilted in Bethesda’s direction.
“I was sitting in the Starbucks, having a cup of coffee,” Elizabeth reported. “One man next to me was on the phone. He was talking about some deal he had done with the US Army in Afghanistan. It sounded as though he was very happy with it. The man next to me on the other side was on the phone too. He was a jollier fellow, talking loudly about how much money he had made. I thought he was a stockbroker or something like that. Then, I realized he was talking about a contract with the government.”
While the rest of the nation has suffered a setback over the last ten years…the Washington metropolitan area has boomed more than ever. Real estate prices are down…but less than other areas.
And when we looked for a house to rent, we expected to be able to name our price. We thought it would be a buyer’s market. Not so. Nice houses in Bethesda are still being sought after. How so?
Wars…bailouts…boondoggles – this area loves them. Federal employees’ earnings keep going up…and a higher portion of the US national income goes to Washington.
People make money out of the government’s fascist madness. So the fascist madness increases.
What’s hard to understand about rent-seeking?
Our politicians in the UK, the US and Australia are all verifiably insane.
Example 142,426,273 in the long, sorry tale of governments trying to “do something” to fix problems they themselves created, is fiscal deficit spending to “cure” a slump caused by too much credit creation (itself caused by the govt’s support of central banking).
The solution to most government-generated economic “problems” is for the government to shrink, to get out of the damn way, to stop interfering, to stop meddling, to stop creating uncertainty in the business plans of real businessmen and women. In other words for bureaucrats to shoot themselves in the head. Of course, that’s the last thing a bureaucrat (or banker) wants to hear, so the madness continues until they really stuff up an economy beyond the point of no return. Like Japan. Or the UK. Ha Ha Ha!
I know it’s old-fashioned to remind the anti-trust regulators, or the cops picking up someone for possessing a few grams of coke or pot, or the central bankers that the real purpose of monopoly government was very limited. It was to provide (1) defence and (2) security services to allow citizens to protect their property rights and (3) very little else (perhaps provide public goods where they genuinely existed).
Now the government appears to try to do everything BUT these things.
They are allowing our soldiers to be killed in Afghanistan, but laughing at me when I say my wallet was stolen in my own suburb at home. They tax me so they can give the money to another homeowner for home improvements (since when was it government’s job to decide who should get home insulation?) or they bailout bankers instead of saving bankrupted small businesses and farmers (since when was the government’s role to pick winners in the economy? Where’s my bailout?). They steal my guns, my gold (gold coin sales are often suspended for no reason), my income, my livelihood, my right to smoke what I want where I want - and yet they don’t provide regular running water (water restrictions are a regular occurrence around here), they don’t defend me against embezzling bankers and they don’t stop robberies in my local area. But they think they’re geniuses when it comes to curing an economic slump!
Are these guys delusional?
Sterling T. Terrell writes:
Fiscal policy, the attempt to use government outlays and revenue to better the economy, simply does not work either a priori or in practice.
But just ask any undergraduate student in Macroeconomics 101 about fiscal policy. They know the “correct” answer: If the economy is “too slow,” the government should lower interest rates and increase government spending. If the economy is “overheated,” the government should raise interest rates and decrease government spending.
The horrors of monetary policy aside, fiscal policy cannot stimulate the economy. As we know, the government has no money of its own. It has only the power to tax and spend the money of others. There can only be a transfer that takes place, not a creation of wealth: jobs in X are gained, but jobs in Y are lost.
However, this transfer is actually a loss. Taxing away a person’s ability to fulfill his own wants and then providing him with things he may not care about makes him worse off. This process condescendingly supposes that individuals cannot decide for themselves what they need.
Furthermore, taxing is not done in a uniform manner. Progressive income taxes, double corporate taxes, and estate taxes all disproportionally take from the people that make, create, invest, and speculate to the betterment of all. Henry Hazlitt famously explained this in his well-known work Economics in One Lesson (see chapter five).
The common objection to such a theoretical analysis is: “Well. No. You have to look at the fiscal multiplier. One dollar in government spending, once it filters through the economy, will make GDP increase by more than one dollar.”
Let us agree to play the empirical game, momentarily.
New work done by Ethan Ilzetzki, Enrique Mendoza, and Carlos Vegh, covering data from 45 countries from 1960 to 2007, casts doubt on the validity of the multiplier in many cases.
Our findings lead to the usual “it depends” answer to the size of the fiscal multiplier question. As those familiar with macroeconomic theory likely anticipated, the size of the fiscal multipliers critically depends on key characteristics of the economy (closed versus open, predetermined versus flexible exchange rate regimes, high versus low debt) or on the type of aggregate being considered (government consumption versus government investment). Policymakers would therefore be well -served in taking into account a given country’s characteristics in evaluating the benefits of any fiscal stimulus package.
Read the details for yourself, but the differences they found seem to be the largest when comparing fixed- and flexible-exchange-rate economies,
and closed and open economies:
This all suggests that in a country such as the United States the fiscal multiplier is virtually zero. Robert Barrow agrees.
So, in addition to fiscal policy taking away the freedom to choose, robbing X to hand it to Y, and penalizing the very people that improve our lives, it also fails empirically. Even if it did not, as is seemingly the case in certain closed economies graphed above, there would still not be a valid reason to oppress people further by taxing away their money for “stimulation.” By that rationale, a fiscal policy taking up 95% of GDP would make people better off than a fiscal policy taking up 5% of GDP. Clearly, this is not the case.
Fiscal policy does not work, a priori or empirically, but the Austrians already knew that.
JQ goes after Plimer. Again.
I am no great admirer of Plimer. Why JQ wants to lump all critics of an ETS as right-wing psychopaths robotically parroting the same point of view is beyond me.
I have the following issues to raise with JQ (of course he won’t respond, but my frustration compels me to act):
1. George Monbiot admits he is ashamed and embarrassed as a scientist regarding Jones’ (and other climate scientists’) attempts to suppress contrary research, to “mould” the debate to suit their agenda and their cynicism regarding the whole process of science. Is JQ equally ashamed?
2. If scientists are willing to plunge to these depths, what integrity can we expect from the political process regarding an ETS, which is much more corrupt and is subject to rent seeking pressures?
3. Even if Plimer is a madman financed by the mining industry (neither of which I accept) what has this got to do with the efficacy of an ETS in tackling climate change? Satyajit Das (noted derivatives expert and trader) has come out on Phillip Adams’ LNL in support of a carbon tax NOT an ETS. He thinks an ETS would be subject to corruption and wouldn’t achieve the goals needed on climate change. Is he mad too?
4. Why the focus on climate change when dry land salinity, phosphate depletion, the destruction of farm lands in WA and in central NSW, irrigation rights, the destruction of the Murray-Darling Basin are all more pressing issues?
Name one recent government innovation or policy that has “worked” regarding the environment.
$2 billion in free insulation? Corruption, deaths from faulty installation… requiring govt to step in and regulate the industry even more because of govt incompetence in the first place.
Reserving land for climate change? Farmers are protesting in NSW (one is on a hunger strike) because of the effect this policy has had on farmland. This amounts to compulsory acquisition of land without compensation – a violation of the Constitution. No one seems to care. Certainly not from the NSW or Federal govts.
Everywhere govt goes, disaster, corruption, incompetence and rent-seeking parasites seem to follow.
Does anyone see a pattern here?
This is going to be an even ”crazier” post than usual, so please keep up with me and just go with the flow for a little while and hopefully things will make sense at the end.
Assume you’re a fan of freshwater dolphin meat. I know you’re not, but just go with me here. Assume you’re also an investor.
The “fundamentals” regarding freshwater dolphins from an “investor” perspective are very good. The baiji on the Yangtze are dying due to their food source (fish) being massively overfished and appalling pollution problems contaminating the Yangtze from China’s industrialisation. Some have declared that the baiji are “functionally extinct.”
As an investor, it would be wise to try to “invest” in baiji, wouldn’t it? Supply down, demand either steady or up (on anticipation of limited supply). Price should be higher.
Two points immediately need to be addressed from this hypothetical.
First, for those who think it’s “distasteful” to even consider valuing dolphins in terms of their meat, I say to you – think it through carefully. The harsh reality of life is that animals and plants which are useful to humans are “protected” by humans and flourish.
Those with no value to humans are vulnerable to extinction.
This has been proven time and time again throughout modern history.
I don’t like this either, and I wish the human population would not grow exponentially. Then again, I wish I was a dictator so I could turn this loser nation of overconsuming mindless debt-drones on to a more sustainable path of development. In both cases, I’m dreaming.
We have to deal with reality.
And the reality is that animals that we can eat survive in this crazy world much better than animals that serve us no purpose.
The absolutist thinking of so-called conservationists drives me crazy. This kind of “leave alone!” thinking is naive and dangerous and infects so much of the environment movement. I cannot believe their basic naive stupidity.
The ban on the sale of elephant tusks in my mind is crazy. Elephants have become less valuable to local communities in Africa. Elephants “compete” for arable land. Guess what’s going to happen when you ban the sale of elephant products? There’s going to be ongoing tension between local communities and international organisations who don’t have to live with the problem (and who coercively scream for a ban on the sale of anything elephant related). Ultimately, the local communities will have even more of an incentive to kill the elephants and not help sustain the elephant population. What do you think is going to happen over the long-run?
Obviously, land will be taken over by local communities in need of food. Elephants will die due to lack of natural habitat. They will not have been “killed” literally by a gunshot, so the zealots in the international conservation organisations will be silent. But the elephants will die just as surely as if they had been killed for their tusks.
Same with whaling. Why we are so paranoid about Japanese whaling I will never understand. We overfish, we pollute the waters with oilspills, chemicals, toxic sludge and refuse, we kill the natural habitat of the whales with a massive toxic plastic waste dump in the middle of the Pacific Ocean - and yet we criticise the Japanese for “hunting” the poor whales. We kill them slowly but just as surely through starvation, through the destruction of their natural habitat, but because that’s one step removed, because it doesn’t involve a direct bullet to the head, somehow everyone is OK with that. But when the Japanese actually kill a single whale – whoa… that’s barbaric!
I can’t stand this hypocrisy, this stupidity, the childish incapacity to directly connect up destruction of natural habitat with the death of an animal. As an animal I’d prefer the quick and relatively painless death of a bullet to the head (safe in the knowledge that some of my family would survive and possibly even by protected by my killers) rather than a slow and excruciating and depressing death by starvation and destruction of my whole natural habitat, grieving knowing my children will slowly but surely starve to death, perhaps be forced to eat toxic plastic… knowing that none of us will survive.
Which would you prefer, if there was no other choice? And don’t say there’s a third choice. There isn’t.
Unless humans agree TODAY to stop all human reproduction and start consuming less, there is no third option.
Given this sad reality, I have another invariable rule for environmentalists to consider: Once an animal is valued by man, it is protected by man.
Sheep outnumber New Zealanders for a reason – sheep are valuable. New Zealanders take care (good care) of their sheep.
Kiwi birds can’t be eaten. They have no direct intrinsic value. They are difficult to spot in their natural habitat so they are not even valuable from a tourist perspective. Guess what – they are dying and are nearly extinct.
So discussing dolphin meat for me is perfectly reasonable. Ironically, if freshwater dolphin meat was more valuable perhaps the baiji would not be functionally extinct today.
But this is not even the main point of this post.
Let’s continue with this thought experiment.
In a superficial sense, you would think as a naive investor (supply down, demand up) that somehow “getting into” freshwater dolphins would be a good idea. BUT THE WHOLE HABITAT OF THE DOLPHIN IS BEING WIPED OUT. This is not a matter of being able to “invest” in dolphins. What we are witnessing in the case of the baiji, I’m sure you would agree, is inevitable extinction.
Similarly, Jim Rogers consistently states that the “fundamentals” for agriculture are incredibly positive. He states that investors should get into agriculture. Supply is down. Demand (with population growth and rising Asian incomes) will inevitably go up.
Although I respect Jim Rogers as an investor, this shows his limited thinking, his inability to see the full implications of the trends here. He has spent his whole life as a commercial trader and investor, not as a social scientist or economist or philosopher. He sees the problem, thinks in terms of supply and demand and then concludes that investment in agriculture is a good idea.
I beg to differ. Although I respect Jim Rogers as an investor, I don’t respect him as a deep thinker.
My view is that we are watching EXACTLY THE SAME PROCESS AS THE EXTINCTION OF THE FRESHWATER DOLPHIN, APPLIED TO HUMANS!
Overfarming cannot be reversed. Topsoil is irreplaceable. Phosphates, once lost, cannot be replaced if there is no supply. The water table once polluted cannot ever be cleansed of chemical toxins. Destruction of arable land is in most cases irreversible.
The price mechanism cannot transform houses into farmland, cities into arable land. Once destroyed these things (vital for our very survival) cannot ever be put back in place.
Similarly, once the freshwater dolphin is extinct no amount of hedge fund investment is going to get its natural habitat back.
So Jim Rogers is right to see the trend, but he hasn’t worked out the full implications.
WE ARE ACTUALLY WATCHING THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR OWN FOOD SOURCE. WE ARE WITNESSING BEFORE OUR VERY EYES THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR OWN HABITAT. WE ARE INEXORABLY CAUSING OUR OWN EXTINCTION.
Sometimes the price mechanism has become so corrupted by bankers and governments that the warning bells don’t go off until it’s too late.
I don’t believe we are watching a “bull market” in agriculture.
What we are watching is the massive extinction of our various food sources, resulting in a massive food crisis for the (much higher!) human population in a few short decades.
No amount of hedge fund money will turn Asian cities back to rice paddies, Western suburbs back into farmland, or polluted toxic African mining towns back to unspoilt Savannah.
It’s already too late, in my view. The trends are “locked in”.
We are the next freshwater dolphin. We are killing ourselves. Climate change, if it exists, will simply accelerate this process.
Those institutions supposedly designed to “forward plan” us out of this mess also happen to have control of the guns. History records that when a crisis hits, governments turn from protector to predator, plundering the people for food. Chile. Zimbabwe. Cambodia. Talk to indigenous peoples in Australia, in New Zealand, in Hawaii, in North America, in South America, in Asia, in Africa about what elite governments do to those they supposedly have a duty to protect.
Sorry, that’s right. You can’t.
Because they’re already dead.
According to Wikipedia:
In economics, rent seeking occurs when an individual, organization or firm seeks to earn income by capturing economic rent through manipulation or exploitation of the economic environment, rather than by earning profits through economic transactions and the production of added wealth.
In other words, rent seeking activity occurs when businesses try to use corrupt governments to change compulsory laws in their favour and feed off government revenue rather than try to serve individuals in the market through voluntary trade.
Banks are the biggest rent-seekers in the Western world, spend the most on lobbying governments and have the closest connections with central banks and governments. Oil companies probably come a close second. Third, probably the military-industrial complex. Fourth, probably aged services and medical services providers. Fifth, probably telcos.
The ETS is a massive rent seeking exercise with billions at stake.
You create a honey pot of billions of dollars collected coercively by governments worldwide and concentrated in the form of an ETS, you set up a venue for around 15,000 people to discuss how to collect and dole out these billions, and then you invite 45,000 people into the venue…
And you are surprised by chaos?
This is government at work.
We are doomed.
“Anarchy” (decentralised local voluntary self-government and a voluntary gold standard) is way, way, better than this.
They may well succeed given our non-existent libertarian movement.
“Sheeple, stay in line and watch what we want you to watch! Fleecing you is good for your health! Shut up and keep quite! That’s not an iceberg, we’re headed for global warming, so it can’t be an iceberg. The govt models don’t predict an iceberg, so it doesn’t exist. Do NOT move towards the lifeboats. Govt employees to the lifeboats first! The Captain is also entitled to be the first to leave, because he’s the most important brain on this ship! Die sheeple…you deserve it because you let me run your life! Ha Ha Ha!”
It is so obvious that the push for an ETS is all about new sources of govt revenue, it is not funny.
What is funny is that AT THE SAME TIME as govt bureaucrats are “promising” (hand on heart, promise!) to reduce carbon emissions some of the biggest govts in the world are neck high in debt, facing multiple financial crises and can no longer hide their embarrassing fiscal and managerial incompetence – incompetence that would make a compulsive gambler or drug addict blush with shame!
The NYTimes reports that the State of New York faces a massive financial crisis (again).
Greece is in big trouble, with a €300 billion debt black hole.
Central Europe is in big trouble.
The UK is in big trouble.
The US is in big trouble.
Heck, even Queensland may default on its massive debt.
And you think these SAME incompetent, blind, short-sighted govts, these same govts that have caused such unprecedented, massive environmental, financial and human suffering over the past recent decades are genuinely concerned about the environment, are genuinely concerned about our children, are genuinely interested in saving the planet and are not just desperately grabbing for another tax buck to save their own stupid short-sighted venal little skins?!
Ha. Ha. Ha.
Copenhagen isn’t going so well.
India has labelled Australia’s delegation as an “ayatollah” for their zealotry on the one-track approach, which will eventually force all countries on to a single treaty.
It’s always best when there are only two wings on the govt bird of prey.
According to the SMH, there are 3000 journalists, 22,000 observers (including lobby groups and activists), and 8000 delegates representing 192 countries.
8000 wings on the same bird of prey.
That’s a lot of flapping around, but it’s unlikely to get off the ground.
“Joh” Bjelke-Petersen’s 99th birthday is coming up on 13 January 2010.
Who remembers Queensland as the lowest taxed, best governed State in Australia? Who remembers when it had the lowest debt levels of any State?
The government-owned ABC, which was controlled by the Labor government at the time, did a series of vicious, incendiary “hit pieces” on Joh that caused the collapse of his conservative government and ushered in a Labor State government that has proven to be equally as corrupt as Joh’s much smaller government and has systematically destroyed the State’s finances to such an extent that lefties are now fighting amongst themselves over whether the State should sell off the family silver to pay these debts.
I wonder if Queenslanders prefer the days of Joh to the corrupt debt-laden days of Capt Bligh?
And I wonder if the ABC’s “award-winning” Chris Masters will come out of hiding and do a hit piece regarding the corruption, the venality, the incompetence, the financial destruction of the Bligh Labor government.
Somehow, I doubt it.
Governments are always and everywhere corrupt. The question is whether you have corruption on a smaller scale with less debt or corruption on a larger scale with more debt.
I hope the ABC, Chris Masters and the Queensland public are happy with the latter.
On 3 October, 2010, Germany will make its final payment on its WWI debts, imposed on it by the Allied Powers via the illegitimate, coercively imposed Treaty of Versailles, which precipitated the Weimar Republic’s hyperinflation, which wiped out the German middle class and precipitated WWII.
Can you believe that through all of this, the debt was still enforced, payments still honoured, and interest paid on the debt for nearly a century?
Oh, the humanity!
All this Brave New World dystopian nightmare stuff is making me even more concerned for the future (if that’s possible).
I was in the (govt owned) Post Office earlier today. Long line. A couple walked in. Both had tattoos all over their arms. They walked around the store, picking up CDs and Christmas gifts and put them in two large plastic bags. They were clearly openly stealing stuff. The guy was insane, talking loudly to himself that “Me mate’s gonna like this CD!”, picking up stuff around the store like he already owned each item. Everyone in line shut up, did nothing. Including me. One short frail female staff member came out and said “The cameras have shown that someone put a CD in their bag. Who was it?” I pointed at these two people, now in line apparently waiting to pick up a parcel. These two screamed that they hadn’t been served yet and were intending to buy one of the CDs, which they pulled out of one of the bags. They then threw one of the CDs at the staff member and asked for the staff member’s name. The woman started screaming “We haven’t been served yet! We were gonna buy but now we’re not! You’re a bitch, you are!”
Still screaming at the top of their voices they walked out, carrying one bag full of stuff, leaving the second bag on the ground. No staff member did anything to stop them. No one called the cops. The line of people obediently stayed in line. So did I.
I was amazed not one staff member realised that the couple had put the calling card on the counter, which showed their address. All the staff needed to do was to call the cops, and give them the residential address on the card! But, as govt employees, they didn’t care. They were still paid the same regardless of the items being stolen. No one seemed to care, they were all relieved these two crazy people left the store.
Later I realised this was the perfect analogy for the whole organism of coercive government.
These two insane people really believed they had a right to steal, because their friends needed the items “more” than anyone else. They had a sense of righteousness – they really believed they had a right to take anything in the store. They were doing it for their mates. Then, when a staff member questioned them, they became even more aggressive, intimidating the staff member and walking out with stolen items. No guilt. No regrets. No understanding of the consequences of their actions.
Government steals by coercively collecting taxes from the people. They then disburse these funds to their rich and powerful friends, mainly holders of govt bonds in most of the Western world (which means, ultimately, counterfeiting bankers). They never question the “righteousness” of their mission. They never apologise. They never stop. They never reflect on the damage they cause.
The people never protest. Who would they appeal to? If they talk up, they are likely to be attacked and have their careers destroyed. They keep in line, they keep silent. They are submissive. They don’t want to cause trouble.
No one has the power AND the interest to stop the theft. Those with power thieve. Those with an interest in stopping the theft don’t want to fight.
The theft continues forever until no one is left to produce anything, and even the thieves starve.
This is coercive government – righteous theft.
This mindset infects any righteous group of zealots who believe in taking land, property, the livelihoods of others. This has happened throughout history. To indigenous peoples everywhere.
And now, to the Palestinians.
This is the mind of the zealot: I AM ENTITLED TO STEAL BECAUSE GOD GAVE THIS WORLD TO US.
Who am I to stop them?
Because without a market, they never get taught the fundamental lesson – that their “product” is no longer wanted. If it ever was.
That’s why I’m quietly confident deflation and sporadic financial implosions are more likely than hyperinflation. Japan is still trying to inflate, but they are learning (slowly) that throwing trillions of paper dollars at a receding tide does not make the tide stop receding. Years of malinvestments cannot be resurrected and made into viable self-sustaining marketable investments.
The zombie cannot be made to live again. A zombie stays a zombie forever.
So, after all the political “intrigue” over the Liberal split, it looks like the ETS legislation will pass tomorrow no matter whether the Goldman Sachs message boy or the Banker’s Husband is voted in as leader. Abbott would vote down the legislation, but big ears is as likely to win as Dumbo is to fly.
Libertarians in the US often label the two political parties as “two wings of the same bird of prey,” a term coined by Butler Shaffer. To think the ETS legislation – giving unprecedented power over virtually all economic activity to Canberra – would be voted down by the central government is laughable. Those “employed” in this game are there to dole out favours to their backers. This increases that power. Everyone in Canberra wins. Only the “community” loses. So it will pass. Of course.
But step back and think of the irony, the lunacy of this legislation. We don’t yet have definitive uncontested factual evidence establishing whether grass absorbs more carbon than trees, whether storing carbon in trees is better than cutting them down and letting them grow again, whether the mouths or the butts of cattle cause more emissions, whether sequestration will work…we don’t know ANYTHING definitive about these and many other questions.
But, in the name of an invisible gas that may or may not be causing climate change, we will be forced to cede unprecedented planning, financial, economic, business, farming power to the central govt. Property rights will be rendered meaningless because a carbon tax could change the valuation of any asset at any time.
Two wings of the same bird of prey, flapping away to enslave the working men and women of the world. This is Mark of the Beast-style control over every transaction in the economy. I am reminded of Murray Rothbard’s sad, forlorn efforts to hold back the tide of govt oppression in the US. From the WP on this great man:
Building on the Austrian School’s concept of spontaneous order in markets, support for a free market in money production and condemnation of central planning, Rothbard sought to minimize coercive government control of the economy. He considered the monopoly force of government the greatest danger to liberty and the long-term wellbeing of the populace, labeling the State as nothing but a “gang of thieves writ large” – the locus of the most immoral, grasping and unscrupulous individuals in any society.
Rothbard concluded that virtually all services provided by monopoly governments could be provided more efficiently by the private sector. He viewed many regulations and laws ostensibly promulgated for the “public interest” as self-interested power grabs by scheming government bureaucrats engaging in dangerously unfettered self-aggrandizement, as they were not subject to market disciplines which would quickly eliminate such parasitic inefficiencies if they were to occur in the competitive private sector.
Rothbard was equally condemning of state corporatism. He criticized many instances where business elites co-opted government’s monopoly power so as to influence laws and regulatory policy in a manner benefiting them at the expense of their competitive rivals.
He argued that taxation represents coercive theft on a grand scale, and “a compulsory monopoly of force” prohibiting the more efficient voluntary procurement of defense and judicial services from competing suppliers. He also considered central banking and fractional reserve banking under a monopoly fiat money system a form of state-sponsored, legalized financial fraud, antithetical to libertarian principles and ethics. Rothbard opposed military, political, and economic interventionism in the affairs of other nations.
The locus of the most immoral, grasping and unscrupulous individuals in any society.
We are regressing back to tired ideas about govt being the saviour with this legislation. Where are the lessons from Eastern Europe, from Chernobyl, from the Aral Sea? This stealth centralisation of economic decision-making, away from the market-based decentralised approach that has worked in the West for centuries is a guaranteed recipe for disaster. I stand as a witness to this madness.
What drives this fascist-socialist agenda? Certainly not genuine policy debate about the environment.
Madness drives it, the insane zealotry that has driven egotists and madmen for centuries.
And the paranoia of parasites.
They are the ones screaming about climate change and an ETS, whilst SIMULTANEOUSLY ignoring the after-effects of the shocking West Atlas oil spill off the WA coast and the culpability of PTTEP and the govt in minimising and covering up the seriousness of these long-term effects; ignoring the seriousness of repeated dust bowls affecting Sydney, which signal the loss of irreplaceable top soil from central and western NSW plains; ignoring dry land salinity, which threatens 12 million hectares of arable land; ignoring toxic landfill which in turn threatens the already-compromised integrity of our exhausted aquifers and poisoned water table.
Some call them “watermelons” (green on the outside, red on the inside).
I just call them government employees.
It is a commonly recognised psychological condition that insane egotists “project” their own insanity onto others, accusing innocent bystanders of conditions that they themselves suffer.
In commie John Quiggin’s latest “contribution” he labels rational debate on climate change as “lunacy” and states the following:
There is no reasoning with lunatics, and my attempts to do so have gone nowhere. At this point, we just have to hope that they will remain, as they are at present, in the minority, and that they can be kept as far as possible from political power.
Right. So, those who point out that the University of East Anglia has been found to have engaged in cover-ups and collusive, corrupt anti-scientific propaganda on climate science are “crazy”? Those who question whether an ETS is the right solution should be silenced? Those who want open debate on the subject even on JQ’s own blog should be censored? Those who have alternative solutions should be shut out of the debate altogether?
If this line of thinking is cultured, intelligent and rational, if this kind of thinking is sane, if this kind of zealotry passes for a national conversation on an important aspect of our public policy, then vote me off the f*cking island.
The One World Government Fabian lunatics have indeed taken over the asylum. The hilarious aspect of this stealth takeover of our public policy debate by idiotic zealots is that these binary robots are now running around trying to destroy anyone who looks insane to them.
Remember the Daleks out of Dr Who? Robots programmed for the sole purpose of destroying their enemies at all costs, blindly going forward like mechanised zombies, screaming “Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!”
Then read JQ’s blog and see how he handles “dissenting views”.
Daleks. JQ. Daleks. JQ.
Think about it.
By the way, I welcome JQ coming onto this blog and explaining the University of East Anglia controversy, explaining why increasing interest rates would NOT be a viable way of saving the environment (it looks like a good idea to me!), explaining why an ETS is the ONLY viable solution to climate change, explaining why he repeatedly finds it necessary to censor me on WP and on his own blog, explaining why he hates Libertarians and why he wants me dead.
I’m all for a free exchange of ideas. Somehow I don’t think he’ll find his way onto this blog site. He may try to shut it down. But I doubt he’ll contribute.
I suspect he’s more a “backdoor” kind of guy, shooting people in the back rather than coming at them straight on, from the front.
The Emissions Trading Scheme looks likely to pass, with both wings of the coercive government “Bird of Prey” agreeing to foist this new “Mark of the Beast” tax on the unsuspecting Australian public.
Sad, in so many, many ways.
Second, there were allegations in the Senate today that Dr Clive Spash’s work on alternatives to a carbon tax had been censored by the CSIRO. The CSIRO just happens to report to “Red” Carr (noted left-wing zealot). See here and here and here.
Third, no one seems to have made the OBVIOUS alternative suggestion: If climate change threatens to kill our children, and human production/consumption is causing this supposedly deadly over-heating, surely the most efficient, immediate, effective and equitable solution would be to raise interest rates around the world to 10%.
This simple measure would (a) reward savers (b) encourage capital accumulation and allow for further research and investment in alternative energy production (c) with 100% certainty reduce consumption and therefore emissions (unlike the hare-brained ETS scheme which gives back with one hand what it “taxes” with the other) (d) be equitable in the sense that it would minimise the govt’s ability to selectively impose the tax on its enemies and provide carbon credits to its favourites.
Ahhh….but that’s the very reason why it couldn’t ever be considered!
Because this whole scam is about putting in place a “Mark of the Beast”-style universal tax that will have every industry running to the govt begging them for favours. Giving tribute to Satan’s Spawn is what it’s all about. Bow down slaves and beg for life. Or else.
Fourth, the only Parliamentary idiot who made sense today was Senator Barnaby Joyce. He correctly (a) accused Labor of Leninist-style censorship (it’s true!) (b) stated openly that the ETS is a scam to create more gambling chips for corrupt venal bankers and brokers (c) stated that this huge bureaucratic nightmare is simply a wealth-transfer scheme to suck $s from every ordinary Australian to Sydney and Melbourne “elites” (read: PARASITES). This is the real reason for this bizarre new tax. The bwankers desperately need another paper scam if the liquidity demands currently being considered by APRA do get imposed on the counterfeiting bwankers. The bankers are looking at fleecing another sheep if they can’t make more profits through excessive monetary embezzlement.
Yet, irony of ironies, Joyce was the “victim” of ABC employee and (apparently) govt-spokeswoman Virginia Trioli’s “crazy face” accusation, which effectively labelled him (and anyone else questioning the efficacy of the ETS) as insane. See here, here, here and here.
She’s still employed by the ABC, despite this massive insulting faux pas. If you or I did this when interviewing Senator Wong, daughter of Mao, I’m sure we’d never have a career in media EVER AGAIN.
So we have a left-wing zealot play-acting as a journalist, laughing at anyone genuinely questioning this bizarre new tax – and she’s still employed. We have this “crazy” Senator being the only one making any sense today in the Senate. We have a new “Mark of the Beast” tax that makes no sense, will not do anything other than create a massive new bureaucracy and trading chips for bwankers and brokers. We have not actually addressed pollution and “climate change” (remember: the big polluters have received massive tax credits for no reason other than politican influence). We still have massive depletion of the world’s resources through debt-created over-consumption.
We are run by madmen. And madwomen (most of whom appear zealots or lesbians – or both).
Finally, just on the very legitimate point that – perhaps – gays and lesbians should (generally) not be chosen to form long-term public policy, see this controversial research by Hans Hermann-Hoppe.
Then look at Wong, and half of the Labor Cabinet.
I rest my case.
We are run by a pack of sociopathic zealots intent on controlling every aspect of our lives, incapable of addressing our real (very real) environmental problems and who will undoubtedly feed off our children like cannibals.
Death, come swiftly…
- Austrian School
- Bell Curve Blues
- CDS = WMD
- Central banking
- Fiscal Armageddon
- Fractional Reserve Banking
- Investment tips
- Mainstream failure
- Money As Debt
- Moral Hazard
- Predictions for 2010
- Socialism for the rich
- Socialist zealotry
- The Makian Distribution
- Unsustainable environmental destruction