SandySandfort on February 15, 2011, 08:58:34 am
I read The Economic Hitman a few years ago and most everything fell into place. This video is a cogent synopsis of the books premise. For those of you who hate "capitalism," you will enjoy it. For those of you who understand capitalism, you should enjoy it to:

http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/1036.html

ContraryGuy on February 15, 2011, 09:56:26 am
I read The Economic Hitman a few years ago and most everything fell into place. This video is a cogent synopsis of the books premise. For those of you who hate "capitalism," you will enjoy it. For those of you who understand capitalism, you should enjoy it to:

http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/1036.html

Y'know Sandy, you could just tell me.  You dont have to say "those of you".

I dont hate capitalism; without it, how would I make a living?  But I'm not sure I would like the "AnCap" version of capitalism.  Hasnt that been tried before?  I think they called it Laissez-Faire.  Or The Gilded Age,  or The Age of the Robber Baron.
And this was before government intervention.

Do you know why the government started trust-busting?  Because the free market anarchy had gotten out of hand and was not self-correcting.

I know why *you* think the govt got involved, but we're talking history not paranoid delusions of the militia variety.

sams on February 15, 2011, 10:02:41 am
I know why *you* think the govt got involved, but we're talking history not paranoid delusions of the militia variety.

You should be more respectfull, because you are the one lagging on the fact side.

I dont hate capitalism; without it, how would I make a living?  But I'm not sure I would like the "AnCap" version of capitalism.  Hasnt that been tried before?  I think they called it Laissez-Faire.  Or The Gilded Age,  or The Age of the Robber Baron.
And this was before government intervention.

Wrong facts read some history, some ''Barons'' got their wealth by genuine work others had Daddies to get subsidies and Handouts.

J Thomas on February 15, 2011, 10:52:21 am

I dont hate capitalism; without it, how would I make a living?  But I'm not sure I would like the "AnCap" version of capitalism.  Hasnt that been tried before?  I think they called it Laissez-Faire.  Or The Gilded Age,  or The Age of the Robber Baron.
And this was before government intervention.

No, it wasn't. There has been government intervention as long as there has been government. At least back to the neolithic.

Quote
Do you know why the government started trust-busting?  Because the free market anarchy had gotten out of hand and was not self-correcting.

Just like the government hands out tobacco subsidies and then tries to get people to stop smoking, it was playing both sides of that one too.

It's hard to build a system that can't get into some stable balance you don't like. Fishponds tend to eventually get full of lots of small bluegills or lots of small bass. Governments tend to get full of bureaucrats who demand small bribes to do the paperwork you need them to do that is supposed to be done for free. Economic systems in general tend to eventually get pwned  by winners who own pretty much everything and who dole out jobs etc stingily and by whim.

OK, that's life. Things tend to fall apart. What do you do about it? Sometimes you can fix it up. You can drain the fishpond and restock it, and it will go awhile before it has to be drained again. Sometimes it's slow and risky to change the system. "In Soviet Russia the fishpond drains you." I don't think we can depend on corrupt bureaucrats to ride herd on corrupt capitalists. That's something which can work sometimes and fail sometimes, and when it fails the system is more stable than when it succeeds.

We need some other method, and you won't get very far arguing with AnCaps that the system won't take care of itself until you have a candidate proposal for a better alternative.

Brugle on February 15, 2011, 12:13:22 pm
I read The Economic Hitman a few years ago
Do you mean Confessions of an Economic Hit Man?  As I recall (from reading it a few years back), there wasn't anything very surprising but it had lots of interesting details.

According to Amazon, John Perkins has written 3 more books with either "Economic Hit Man" or "Economic Hit Men" in the title or subtitle.  I suppose one of them might be even better, but I haven't read them.

spudit on February 15, 2011, 12:16:05 pm
Good one Sandy, thanks

The site mentioned War is a Racket by Gen. Smedley Butler, a retired Marine with 2 Medals of Honor. Maybe he knew his stuff

http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

And then there's this guy, Mr. David Crockett, talking about government handouts.

http://www.constitution.org/cons/crockett.htm



Vote Early and Vote Often
for EFT
have you voted today?

SandySandfort on February 15, 2011, 12:34:24 pm
I read The Economic Hitman a few years ago
Do you mean Confessions of an Economic Hit Man?  As I recall (from reading it a few years back), there wasn't anything very surprising but it had lots of interesting details.

Yes, my bad.  Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

spudit on February 15, 2011, 12:50:22 pm
As I recall from a 20 year old ecconomics class, incorporation is one of 3 ways to organize a business, along with partnership and sole propriatorship. It has the advantages of many owners with limited liability and less risk to each and a potentially huge financial resource base. This can let it get huge though most corporations are mom and pop scale tax dodges.

Where did it go wrong, become so malignant?

Confused here because I am naturally well disposed towards business in general and have a hard time with the stated evil of the DuPont end of the scale.  Is it the ability to apply so much political/ecconomic power? 

Confused.
Vote Early and Vote Often
for EFT
have you voted today?

quadibloc on February 15, 2011, 02:33:31 pm
It certainly is true that we make loans to corrupt dictators, and instead of holding the dictators responsible, we hold the country responsible.

Responsible opposition to this would consist of opposing just this injustice, ensuring that our dealings with poor countries are helpful instead of harmful to the people there. And, of course, recognizing the principle that, yes, we still have to deal with the existing governments as they are, if we aren't going to overthrow them.

But without going to the extreme of claiming that the United States is evil and exploits the poor people of the world. Some reforms to the IMF and the World Bank may be needed. But it's still the United States that leads humanity to the future, and its enemies that wish to destroy the world.

Basically, the picture shown by that video takes the past misbehavior of the U.S. in a few places like Guatemala, and generalizes it to the whole Third World. I'm sorry, but people aren't dying of thirst in Sa'udi Arabia because Coca-Cola took all their water away. Or Nestle poisoned their infant formula or something.

Even the Shining Path isn't made up of "desperate people" - they may have started to grow initially by exploiting a few desperate people, but it's largely evil people that made it what it is.

This is a distorted oversimplification aimed at encouraging hatred of the bastion of freedom. It serves, therefore, the cause of slavery, not the cause of freedom or of truth.

mellyrn on February 15, 2011, 03:20:35 pm
Quote
Even the Shining Path isn't made up of "desperate people" - they may have started to grow initially by exploiting a few desperate people, but it's largely evil people that made it what it is.

How do you know the Shining Path people?

terry_freeman on February 15, 2011, 04:14:01 pm
[
I dont hate capitalism; without it, how would I make a living?  But I'm not sure I would like the "AnCap" version of capitalism.  Hasnt that been tried before?  I think they called it Laissez-Faire.  Or The Gilded Age,  or The Age of the Robber Baron.
And this was before government intervention.
You sure do like to parade your ignorance as if it were fact, do you not? Do you think that nobody in your audience is educated enough to know the difference?

The "Robber Barons" of whom you speak were sucking at the taxpayer teats. One of the great projects of that age was the building of "the" transcontinental railroad, at taxpayer expense. I put "the" in quotes because another, much lesser-known transcontinental railroad was built at about the same time, without taxpayer subsidies, government bonds, and eminent domain.

Guess what? The government-sponsored project attracted thieves and scoundrels as manure draws flies. These were the "Robber Barons" of whom you speak - not a product of Laissez Faire, but of mercantilism/cronyism/fascism/socialism - pick a name, they're all flavors of state-sponsored violence being used to enrich the favored few.

Meanwhile, James Hill, who built the other transcontinental railroad, did not use eminent domain, did not suck at the taxpayer teats, and built a profitable railroad. The government-sponsored railroad managed to lose money, just as today's Amtrak does.

Quote


Do you know why the government started trust-busting?  Because the free market anarchy had gotten out of hand and was not self-correcting.

Once again, the paranoid ravings of the ill-informed. Attempts to create trusts collapsed of their own weight. So-called "regulations" were created to stabilize cartels. Even trust-busting was a device used by some large corporations to defend against any possible encroachment. You witnessed a war among titans who were all dependent upon government support, and you believed it was a war of government against business.

If you are that gullible and uninformed, you probably believe that studio wrestling is authentic.

Ignorance is curable, but you have to want the cure.

Have a gander at, among other sources,
The Myth of the Robber Barons by Burton W. Folsom.

In more recent times, many of us remember the breakup of Ma Bell. What most of us are not old enough to know from first-hand experience is that Ma Bell was a creation of government privilege. When Bell's patents expired after 17 years, a thousand competitors sprang up. Ma Bell promoted a bullshit theory of "natural monopoly" in order to convince governments to grant monopolies to Ma Bell, supposedly for the benefit of the consumers.

Many years later, the Justice Department finally ordered the breakup of a monopoly which was created by and sustained by government force, not by the market itself.

Compare and contrast with the market for ISPs, which is much more competitive. This too is only partly market-driven, since many of the players - cable and phone companies - still have government-issue grants of monopoly. If you are not in an area where Verizon is allowed by the government to offer FIOS service, and you want it, you are just plumb out of luck. Same with your cable provider; if your government awarded the contract to Comcast, and you prefer Time Warner, or vice versa, tough titty, you don't get to make that choice. Fortunately, some competition is still permitted by our <sarcasm>Wise and Benevolent </sarcasm> Government in the area of cell phone and satellite services.

 

SandySandfort on February 15, 2011, 04:26:30 pm
... But it's still the United States that leads humanity to the future, and its enemies that wish to destroy the world.

Balderdash. The "United States" (i.e., the governing state of states) is just as evil any other government. America, on the other hand, is who "leads humanity to the future..." Do you understand the distinction?

Basically, the picture shown by that video takes the past misbehavior of the U.S. in a few places like Guatemala, and generalizes it to the whole Third World. I'm sorry, but people aren't dying of thirst in Sa'udi Arabia because Coca-Cola took all their water away. Or Nestle poisoned their infant formula or something.

First, for crying out loud. It's a two minute precis of the issue.
 
Second, read the damned book and get a clue. ("Bastion," my pink posterior!)


terry_freeman on February 15, 2011, 04:39:16 pm
As I recall from a 20 year old ecconomics class, incorporation is one of 3 ways to organize a business, along with partnership and sole propriatorship. It has the advantages of many owners with limited liability and less risk to each and a potentially huge financial resource base. This can let it get huge though most corporations are mom and pop scale tax dodges.

Where did it go wrong, become so malignant?

Confused here because I am naturally well disposed towards business in general and have a hard time with the stated evil of the DuPont end of the scale.  Is it the ability to apply so much political/ecconomic power? 

Confused.

The Myth of the Robber Barons would be a great place to start. The author examines a number of large corporations, of two different categories. One is the "political entrepreneurs", who use the government to their advantage. An example would be the greedy, corrupt, and incompetent people who got the government to underwrite "the" transcontinental railroad. Another example would be Ma Bell.

The other category would be those, like James Hill, who avoided entanglement with the government, and simply strove to deliver an honest product at an honest price.

Some corporations have given in to temptation and moved from the market-driven to politics-driven sector.

War is a Racket is about a whole industry sector which is driven much more by politics than by voluntary market transactions.

The financial sector, by and large, is very heavily dominated by politics, not by voluntary market transactions - especially since the creation of the Federal Reserve, but that was not the first example of political corruption in the United States, by far.

Indeed, Jesus Huerta de Soto, Murray Rothbard, and others make the case that fractional reserve banking is itself a fraud, a kind of politicization of money, which governments permit in order to stuff their own coffers with "elastic" currency - a process which began hundreds of years ago, and which accelerated greatly in 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve, in 1934 with the confiscation of private gold in America, and in 1971 with the closing of the "gold window."


Plane on February 15, 2011, 10:13:38 pm
Guess what? The government-sponsored project attracted thieves and scoundrels as manure draws flies. These were the "Robber Barons" of whom you speak - not a product of Laissez Faire, but of mercantilism/cronyism/fascism/socialism - pick a name, they're all flavors of state-sponsored violence being used to enrich the favored few.

Meanwhile, James Hill, who built the other transcontinental railroad, did not use eminent domain, did not suck at the taxpayer teats, and built a profitable railroad. The government-sponsored railroad managed to lose money, just as today's Amtrak does.


Is sale of Bonds objectionable?

Quote
On July 1, 1862, President Lincoln signed the Railroad Act of 1862, which authorized the Union Pacific to build a railroad from the Missouri River to California, or until it met the Central Pacific. Major General John A. Dix was elected president of the Union Pacific, but he never took office. So Vice President Thomas C. Durant called the shots. The government also authorized the Central Pacific to push beyond the borders of California to meet the Union Pacific. Congress fixed the longitude, and Lincoln picked Omaha as the eastern terminus. Bonds were sold to finance the railroad. Tragically, Judah, who started it all, died in 1863, without seeing his dream come true.
http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/old_west/27482

sams on February 16, 2011, 07:38:32 am
Is sale of Bonds objectionable?

Quote
On July 1, 1862, President Lincoln signed the Railroad Act of 1862, which authorized the Union Pacific to build a railroad from the Missouri River to California, or until it met the Central Pacific. Major General John A. Dix was elected president of the Union Pacific, but he never took office. So Vice President Thomas C. Durant called the shots. The government also authorized the Central Pacific to push beyond the borders of California to meet the Union Pacific. Congress fixed the longitude, and Lincoln picked Omaha as the eastern terminus. Bonds were sold to finance the railroad. Tragically, Judah, who started it all, died in 1863, without seeing his dream come true.
http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/old_west/27482

If the sale of the bonds is guaranteed by the Tax payers, ie whether the train exist or not, make a profit or go on empty, the tax payers will foot the bill to pay ''investors''.

This is why the sale of bonds is objectionable and I nothing more than making it easy for politicians to raise money without the trouble of raising tax now.

Private companies and individuals could sell bonds on their ventures, but any one putting their money into it would do it willingly knowing the risk
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 07:42:07 am by sams »

 

anything