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Archive for October 24th, 2010

Insane Psycho-Sociopathic Court Economists

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by Trace Mayer, J.D.
Originally posted on April 22, 2009

GREGORY MANKIW, PROFESSOR OF COURT ECONOMICS AT HARVARD and economic advisor to President George W. Bush, proposed negative interest rates in a recent New York Times article. Mike Shedlock, a prominent financial commentator has appropriately weighed in 19 March with Time For Mankiw To Resign and again on 21 March with Economist Mankiw Defends Policy of Theft.

Interestingly Mankiw, a monetarist, appears to have the support of Paul Krugman, a Keynesian, who responded, “Greg Mankiw says yes. Since that was the answer I arrived at for Japan more than a decade ago, I have to say that it makes sense in principle.”

“Imagine that the Fed were to announce that, a year from today, it would pick a digit from zero to 9 out of a hat. All currency with a serial number ending in that digit would no longer be legal tender. Suddenly, the expected return to holding currency would become negative 10 percent. The idea of negative interest rates may strike some people as absurd, the concoction of some impractical theorist. Perhaps it is.

But remember this: Early mathematicians thought that the idea of negative numbers was absurd. Today, these numbers are commonplace. Even children can be taught that some problems (such as 2x + 6 = 0) have no solution unless you are ready to invoke negative numbers.  Maybe some economic problems require the same trick.”

I will attack Mankiw’s insane proposal from several fronts, missed by most commentators, but nevertheless extremely important.  While I do agree with revoking legal tender status for all FRN$, not just 10%, I differ with his proposed procedure and underlying moral reasoning.

Notice that Mankiw suggests that ‘the Fed were to announce that… would no longer be legal tender.’  This talk about the Fed determining what is and is not legal tender baffles me. Perhaps Mr. Mankiw should open up a copy of the Constitution and read it.

Under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 5 Congress is given the power to ‘Coin Money, regulate the Value thereof’. Notice the Constitution does not say what money is only that it is something that is coined rather than printed.  The Tenth Amendment states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”  The Constitution operates on the principle that if a power is not specifically delegated then it is prohibited.

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Statism is Dead, Part 3 – The Matrix

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Try this: True News 13: Statism is Dead – Part 3 – The Matrix

Written by aurick

24/10/2010 at 6:49 pm

France: Can you hear us now?

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from The Daily Bell
Originally posted Friday, October 22, 2010

(left) Nicholas Sarkozy

Nobody expected this French revolution … The pensions row has turned into a referendum on Sarkozy … As the French Autumn of Discontent morphs into its second week (more trains, fewer planes, long lines at petrol stations, banlieues kids indulging in a bit of self-administered wealth redistribution in the streets), no one can predict how things will turn out for Nicolas Sarkozy (left) and his embattled government. And yet this should have been the easiest reform of his first term … The strikes have turned into a referendum on Nicolas Sarkozy – not his actual policies, so much as his style. The perception is that he panders to the rich, an unfair one when you consider his predecessor Jacques Chirac, who never paid for any holiday he took in or out of office. … Sarkozy (whose fortune is the product of selling his family flat for £1.6 million when he was elected in 2007) earned himself, early on, the “bling bling president” tag. Nothing he has done since has shifted the impression that he wants the French to make efforts he will not subject himself and his rich friends to. – UK Telegraph

Dominant Social Theme:
The French are crazy and need to blow off steam once in a while.

Free-Market Analysis:
Until recently we have been somewhat alone in trying to explain the reality of what was taking place in Europe. In a series of articles, we predicted that Europe would blow up sooner or later, because Europe was basically a tribal environment and, in fact, a patchwork of tribes. In one of our recent articles, we even provided a Wikipedia excerpt showing how the tribes had conquered Rome and then migrated throughout Europe in the next 500 years. To think that Europeans themselves are not quite conscious of their background, or have no tribal solidarity, was naïve in our view.

The tribes are bloody-minded. In fact, Europe has been a cauldron of blood and resentments, much of it whipped up by the Anglo-American power elite for purposes of consolidating wealth and power. But the tribal solidarity and brutal arithmetic used by the tribes to calculate their well-being had not in our view changed much in eons. We felt fairly certain the tribes of Europe would take action once they perceived that the EU was not going to prove a net benefit but would actually have a negative impact on their wealth and property. We recalled the unrest of the 1960s (in which admittedly American intelligence played a part via Operation Gladio) and we predicted that those days would come again.

The EU, in fact, was not providing any other options, or making it any easier to avoid what has now occurred. Either the elite is out of ideas or out of options. We believe it may be the latter (assuming the powers-that-be are not engineering some sort of total implosion for nefarious reasons yet to be fully comprehended.) By insisting that the common man in various PIGS nations pay back large commercial banks that had lent recklessly to those same countries and enriched their political and industrial elites, EU leaders were almost inviting (and arrogantly so) what has now occurred. The so-called “austerity” unrest was about this perception. Normal people saw that the EU had bribed national elites to build a consensus for joining – and they didn’t wish to pay the bill.

It’s not just government pensions. Taxes are going up even as services are going down. Distorted private industrial sectors, gorged on the inflationary euro, imploded over the past few years and shed jobs. Harried people have sought shelter in government work, and now the government jobs are leaving as well. Many economies lie in ruins, and still there are no jobs to be had. Meanwhile, Brussels’ Eurocrats pretend it is the “people’s” fault. Sure governments had been greedy, but ultimately the blame lies with the electorate. So it is said.

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