Libertarian Summer Wrap Up So Far

I’m on vacation so less writing and more vegging out. Here’s a rundown of recent goings on, off the top of my head.

Murdering people celebrating homosexuality is wrong. The solution is not a government education program that will teach people that murdering gay people is wrong. The solution is to privatize the public roads so these parades take place on private property only and so nobody who opposes them is forced to fund them. Also to privatize the police and courts so that a guy who was previously convicted of attempted murder of gay people during their parade is not released while he makes public statements that everyone should stab gay people at their parade. And prisons should be privatized so the inmate must pay for his own incarceration through slavery rather than having me pay to give criminals free rent.

Donald Trump is the embodiment of the frustrated American whose standard of living is in decline who doesn’t know why it’s happening but wants to blame China. Trump might actually try to start a war with them, or Russia, or both. He could end up killing a lot of people.

Venezuela is collapsing in hyperinflation, to the collective yawn of every other country that has a government monopoly system of paper money.

China is on its way down again, with a big 10% decline in one day this week.

Money supply growth has now been stalled for 15 weeks. In 2008 it was 22 weeks. But on a longer term average it is now very close to actually shrinking.

I saw the Rabbi of a shul here in Miami who gave me a yasher koach (congratulations) for calling out Shmuly Yanklowitz for his organ donation stunt which, among other things, was meant to promote government laws against a free market in organs.

Another guy forwarded me a recent Yanklowitz status that claims that abortion is a “Jewish Value” and therefore Planned Parenthood must be continually force-funded by people who believe that abortion is murder. I can also imagine someone in Germany theoretically claiming that genocide is a “Jewish Value” citing the example of Amalek and urge the government to subsidize it. Same logic. (No, an analogy does not mean A = B. It demonstrates a common logical fallacy.) He further pointed out to me that Planned Parenthood frequently sells aborted baby organs to recoup its costs. And Yanklowitz supports this because he calls for more tax funding of Planned Parenthood. Fascinating. I need not delve further into my disgust here.

I have no problem with Planned Parenthood, provided it is privately funded and does not intentionally kill human fetuses that could be saved after being evicted from the womb, which is owned by the mother. I am an Evictionist. Evictionists hold that a woman may evict a fetus from her womb at any stage, but may not intentionally murder the fetus if it can be saved and taken care of by someone else. Late term abortions, therefore, are murder, legally and morally. Therefore, and I am not recommending this by any means and would never engage in it myself, anyone who stabs a late term abortion doctor at a Late Term Abortion Pride Parade of doctors who intentionally kill viable human babies when they could save them and parade that around, is not morally guilty of murder.

Full circle. Good Shabbos.


The Fascism of Rabbi Yehudah Leib HaLevi Ashlag, “ZaTzaL”

A commenter pointed me to this recently. Kabbalah is possibly my area of least interest because I don’t understand a word of it and I don’t take much meaning from mysticism. Ashlag is some sort of Kabbalist (I don’t even know what that technically means) who wrote a book called the Ladder. I assume it refers to Jacob’s ladder in VaYetzeh.

The only thing I know about Ashlag (does his name mean Rabbi Potassium?) is that he is the father of the teacher of Yehuda Berg of the Kabbalah Center. Kabbalah Center is like the Scientology wing of Judaism. Really creepy and whacked out. I’ve got no problem with it and won’t raise a din about it, but wouldn’t go near it my self, and would warn others to stay away lest they become persuaded to hand over large amounts of money to Berg.

But anyway, I went through this article of Ashlag’s, and the best pasuk I can find to paraphrase it is “אפס, כי עז העם” – that pivot the 10 spies made to freak everyone out of settling Israel. They began with the good news about the land, and then turned. A little bit of truth, and then a pumped-up story to pull the fear strings.

Ashlag’s economic vision, which is really a totalitarian vision, begins the same way. The first paragraph talks about the division of labor, how everyone tries to make profits, and how an economy works through exchange. Fine. True.

And then he starts to turn, just like all power hungry fearmongers do. He sticks with truth, but slowly adds bad words into it. Turns you off to it. Makes it sound bad. Competition can lead to theft. If everyone is looking out for himself, people can fight. It can get very bad.

Well, yes, this is true. Some people steal. OK. Therefore what? Then he gets into the plain lies and falsehoods, interspersing the lies between true sentences. (Lies in bold.)

מכיון שהבסיס הוא סיפוק עצמי, נמצא שהאדם היחיד נתון בתוך חברה שלימה, של מליוני אנשים, שכל אחד משקיע במסלול כלכלי מסוים, עמ”נ לצבור רווחים. הדבר דומה לאדם שנמצא בתוך ג’ונגל של חיות רעות, שכל אחת מעונינת לטרוף למען סיפוק עצמי, כך גם במישור הכלכלי, האדם נמצא בלחץ חברתי גדול, מטעם הנ”ל, ובדאגה מתמדת לשלום עסקיו, מטעם האיום החברתי הסובב, המאיים לבלעו, באשר אין רחמים וסנטימנטים בג’ונגל החיים האכזר, אשר בו כל אחד נאבק למען השרדות, ובצורה הטובה ביותר.

ד) מכיון שכל המניע הוא צבירת רכוש וסיפוק עצמי, לכן היותר מוכשרים בחברה, היותר פעילים ואקטיביים, היותר מהמרים, הם אשר מקימים מפעלים גדולים וכדומה, ומעסיקים פועלים רבים בשכר מינימום, מנצלים את כוחותיהם מעל ומעבר לסביר, עמ”נ לצבור רוחי ענק, בעוד שהפועל הקטן, מחמת חוסר כשרון ומעוף, אינו מסוגל להתמודד מול החיים עם משכורת המינימום שלו. נמצא אשר המוכשרים מנצלים בכל יכולתם את החלשים.

The basis of economics, he says, is self satisfaction. Therefore, the individual finds himself amongst an entire society of millions of people where everyone invests in a different path in order to earn profits. It’s similar to a man in a jungle of wild animals, where everyone wants to tear apart the other for personal gain. So too in the economic realm…the surrounding social threat of everyone that threatens to swallow him, there is no mercy, with everyone fighting for survival in the best way possible.

Because the only motive is building wealth and self satisfaction, the more talented people, the more active ones, the risktakers will build factories and the like and hire lots of people at minimum wage, take advantage of them to make profits to the point where the average worker dies of exhaustion. We see that the powerful take advantage of the weak as much as possible.

This is right out of the damn Communist Manifesto. It’s so unoriginal it’s practically plagiarism.

The first outright lie is his comparison of a human economy with a jungle of wild animals. ארץ אוכלת יושביה היא. An economy is based on trade. Trade is mutually beneficial for both parties. Two people agree, and they trade. Both win. Both want what the other has. They trade, and the economy grows through cooperation.

In a jungle, there is no trade. There is only conquering. The strongest animal kills challengers and threatens the rest, and takes the females. This is not an economy. This is totalitarianism by brute strength. In an economy, people don’t threaten one another as a rule of thumb. When that happens, we’re talking about crime. In an economy, they try to trade with one another, see who can benefit from what they have in exchange. It requires communication and working together. It is constructive rather than destructive.

An animal society in the jungle is destructive inherently. Nature keeps things in balance by killing off numbers if they become too big, meaning if the herd consumes too much. Since they cannot grow more food than is there and construct things, they will die when resources run out, allowing the resources to regrow on their own and the cycle begins again. Nothing but bare subsistence.

Humans can build things, and grow things, and develop nature. It happens through trade, not through taking advantage. And that takes us to his second paragraph full of lies. The talented people in society will be the entrepreneurs. They will take the most risks to build. But they will not hire a bunch of people at minimum wage until they all die of exhaustion.

He will offer money to workers who want it. He will have to compete with other entrepreneurs who also want these workers. The workers will go to whoever offers them the best conditions, not the worst ones. Or, they don’t have to take jobs at all. It’s entirely their choice. Before the entrepreneurs came, they did not have salaried jobs. Now they can take them if they want them, or they can go back to do whatever it was they were doing before. Picking fruit or whatever. Who knows.

The workers will get the market rate for whatever it is they do. The more capital equipment the entrepreneurs build, the higher their real wages will be, meaning regardless of the number of money units they get, they will be able to buy more stuff with it, because capital increase productivity.

So what’s Ashlag’s solution to his make believe problem? Well, he doesn’t like the idea of people stealing, so he’s just going to head all of society and tell everyone what to do on pain of punishment. He just Judaizes the idea of Stalinist totalitarian evil with a few psukim:

והנה רבינו בעה”ס החל לרקום תכנית להקמת סוג חדש של כלכלה, והיא כלכלה אשר תהיה מיוסדת בחברה, שאנשיה מקבלים על עצמם את העקרון של צורת חיים המבוססת על “ואהבת לרעך כמוך”. המוטיוציה והכח המניע של הכלכלה הזו, אינה צבירת רכוש, והגדלת האגו של האדם הפרטי, גם לא בניית חברה מוצלחת, אלא המוטיוציה היא – החיבור עם בורא העולם. כי ע”י חיים בדרך “ואהבת לרעך כמוך” מתחבר האדם עם בורא העולם, באשר זוהי תכונת האופי של הבורא – אהבת זולתו.

Our Rabbi then puts together a program for a new kind of economy, one that will be founded in a society where people accept the principle of “Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself”. The motivation behind this economy will not be personal gain and growing the ego, and not even building a successful civilization, but only connecting with the creator (his bold) because through “Love Thy Neighbor” man connects with his Creator, since this is the characteristic of the Creator.

WOW! You want to see something cool? Watch this:

Our Comrade then puts together a program for a new kind of economy, one that will be founded in a society where people accept the principle of “From Each According to His Ability, To Each According To His Need”. The motivation behind this economy will not be personal gain and growing the ego, and not even building a successful civilization, but only connecting with the love of his State and Country because through “From Each According to His Ability” man connects with his Country, since this is the characteristic of his Sublime Government.

This sounds like it was written by a 5 year old.

Ashlag then goes into how all goods would be given away, no money would exist, “society” would educate everyone, and blah blah blah.

If Ashlag had his way, the division of labor would break down, there would be mass death and starvation in the streets, purges, and “Love They Neighbor” police patrolling down your neighborhood block.

He’s worse than Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, and that says a lot.

So according to Ashlag some people steal. Therefore, his ultimate solution is “Put me in charge, and I’ll tell everyone what to do, and if they disobey my commands I’ll kill them and take their stuff and give it to someone else.”

Do I really think that if Ashlag or people that think like him were in charge they would engage in mass murder? Yes, I really do think that. Because mass murder is the only way to keep a society going where mutually beneficial exchange is illegal.

The guy who forwarded this to me says it is “crypto communism”. I don’t see anything crypto about it.


Why I don’t care about the stupid Iran deal, and why it’s a red herring

If there’s any news piece out there that’s getting a lot of attention that matters about as much as the dental hygiene of a subway rat, it’s the “Dreaded Iran Deal”. It’s there to put you in a war mindset, to get the war drum going, to make you think that Iranians are evil and that Israel is going to get nuked, so the politicians can spend more money building more weapons to make you feel more protected when the only reason you were ever in danger in the first place is because they never stop talking about war war war. So they should shut the hell up.

Logically, why the Iran deal doesn’t matter, is because if the Iranian government wants to build nuclear weapons, it will do that, whether there is a deal or not. The only purpose of the deal is to fill up the meaningless days of government officials who want to make themselves feel important, and you “cared for”.

Iranians, like all people, are just people. They want the same things you want. Maybe some of them hate Jews. Definitely some of them hate Jews. But not as much as they love better living standards through trade. And most Jews hate Muslims too. But that’s because of governments. I guarantee you that if a Jew offers to trade with a private Muslim Iranian, private Iranians will trade, because trade, economics, breaks down barriers of superficial hate.

Superficial hate becomes deep-seated suicidal hate only when government brainwashes people that the other side is suicidally hateful as well, and prevents all trade between the two sides. If you think Muslims are the only suicidal haters, just translate that into Western language when the Israel Defense Forces indoctrinates you into declaring you will “give your life” for the State of Israel.  Sure, we see that as “noble”. But what do you think Muslims see dying for their cause as?

If you want to differentiate because Westerners only target soldiers and Muslims target civilians, I point you to every single war since World War I. The Western Statists target civilians just like Muslim statists do. Westerners just don’t say they target civilians for PR, to pretend they are “moral”. Anyone who denies that is lying to himself.

It’s a perfect set up that programs everyone to kill themselves in a worthless war that could easily be prevented by trade, which sanctions prevent.

I remember when I was in the army, some Russian guy, a funny guy named Ruslan, responded when one of our female commandants had explained that in the pledge after basic training, we were expected to declare that we will give our lives for the State. Ruslan raised his hand, and said, “Certainly not. I will not give my life for the State.”

The commandant didn’t know what to do, so she just said, “Well, just say it then.”

Simply logistically speaking, treaties between government caretakers don’t mean a thing. They can be broken by the next caretaker by a single vote.

If the Israeli government wants to take out the Iranian nuclear program, they should shut up and just do it already and accept the consequences, because they are incapable of talking like human beings. But if I were in charge, I would simply pick up the damn phone and demand to speak with the Ayatollah, and offer to meet with him in Switzerland, offering him bribes until he accepted and we could sit the hell down and talk about trade.

For those who think that trade between enemy States is impossible, I urge you to watch this. Andrew Zimmern is a Jew. He’s in Syria, doing a show. Is it staged? Yes, to a degree. Are the Arabs paid off? Of course. Trade. Is Zimmern eating Kosher food? No. But he’s doing something way more important than conducting a shiur in Yoreh Deah.


What I wouldn’t give to go to Damascus and trade, and end this Godforsaken stupid meaningless pointless war.

The Fed is about to Be Squeezed into a Corner

At the end of my recent column for CalvinAyre, I wrote the following:

US securities have a possible day of reckoning coming in around 3 weeks. Take a look at the latest money stock measures release, and you’ll notice that in the final column of table 2, the three figures above $12T occupy the first 3 rows. In 3 weeks, those numbers will be off the quarterly table, and the 13 week average two columns over will plummet if we don’t decisively break through $12T consistently in the next 3 weeks. Assuming weekly money supply stays constant by July 30, money supply will have actually shrunk on a quarterly basis.

Keep in mind that this is not a magic number game and there’s nothing inherently special about a declining quarterly money supply average that necessitates a crash. It just greatly increases the chance of one happening. And the last time money supply shrunk on a quarterly basis was the weekend of September 25, 2008. It has never done that since.

The last three weeks have been interesting though. Demand deposits have increased by $231B, but savings deposits have decreased by $292B, a net $61B loss in money supply. That tells me that savings are being moved to checking accounts for spending purposes. Does that movement hint at signs for the next 3 weeks? Possibly. Increases in demand deposits usually correspond with decreases in savings deposits. An increase in both in the same week is very rare, and that is what we’d need to top $12.1T. It doesn’t look like we’re going to make it. Not in three weeks anyway.

If it does happen in the next three weeks and it triggers a selloff, the Fed may have ironically lost its window of opportunity to raise the Federal Funds Rate as it has been threatening to do for months.

There’s a machlokes (argument) here between Bob Wenzel on one hand, and Ron Paul and Peter Schiff on the other. Paul and Schiff believe the Fed will never raise interest rates ahead of the market forcing them to do so, and QE4 or 5 is coming. Wenzel believes that the Fed will raise interest rates and QE is off the table.

I have sided with Wenzel, until now. In 3 weeks, we could be headed for a market crash. We’ll find out in a week or two. If money supply doesn’t jump quickly by Thursday when the next report comes out, it looks like a real possibility. And the response of the Fed to a crash will be more QE.

GREECE CAVES: Will Yanis Varoufakis Come to the Rescue?

He may have resigned as Finance Minister but the guy is pissed. Greece not only completely caved. They agreed to sell off 50 billion Euros of assets to the banks. Governments selling assets is good. But selling them to German banks is definitely not good.

Varoufakis has a Q&A up at Zerohedge that shows both sides of him pretty well. That gross white-wine-socialist side that seems to shrug off all the grotesqueness of the situation, and the human side of him. These are the most interesting lines: (The full interview can be found here.)

 “It’s not that it didn’t go down well – there was point blank refusal to engage in economic arguments. Point blank. You put forward an argument that you’ve really worked on, to make sure it’s logically coherent, and you’re just faced with blank stares. It is as if you haven’t spoken. What you say is independent of what they say. You might as well have sung the Swedish national anthem – you’d have got the same reply.

This weekend divisions surfaced within the Eurogroup, with countries split between those who seemed to want a “Grexit” and those demanding a deal. But Varoufakis said they were always been united in one respect: their refusal to renegotiate.

“There were people who were sympathetic at a personal level, behind closed doors, especially from the IMF.” He confirmed that he was referring to Christine Lagarde, the IMF director. “But then inside the Eurogroup [there were] a few kind words and that was it: back behind the parapet of the official version. … Very powerful figures look at you in the eye and say ‘You’re right in what you’re saying, but we’re going to crunch you anyway’.”

Varoufakis was reluctant to name individuals, but added that the governments that might have been expected to be the most sympathetic towards Greece were actually their “most energetic enemies”. He said that the “greatest nightmare” of those with large debts – the governments of countries like Portugal, Spain, Italy and Ireland – “was our success”.“Were we to succeed in negotiating a better deal, that would obliterate them politically: they would have to answer to their own people why they didn’t negotiate like we were doing.”

The deal now has to go through a bunch of parliaments. Who knows if it will. But here’s a scenario that no one sees coming. It’s a long shot, but possible. The plan is implemented at the expense of the Greek government collapsing and new elections being called. Varoufakis is pleaded to run at the head of a new party. He wins.

And he scraps the deal.

Yanis Varoufakis is not a good economist. He’s a very bad one. But he does not covet power either. He’s half human, unlike the others who aren’t human at all. If he is forced into the Prime Minister’s seat, anything could happen.

Why the current state of Negotiations over Greece proves anarcho capitalism

Alexis Tripras is broken. Over the past 48 hours, Eurozone creditors have demanded more and more cuts from his government in order to stay in the Eurozone. Given that Tsipras is an outright and full-blown communist, this total and outright capitulation really shows how political theory is drenched in total and complete bullshit.

If printing money is great, then why can’t Greece print Drachma? Because even the total communists know that hyperinflation will follow, because there are no goods and services in Greece for those drachmas to chase. It all comes from productive Eurozone countries. Greece is a welfare state. Most of its GDP is welfare and it produces nothing but tourism.

When reality hits and there is no more to inflate or steal outright, all the disgusting illusion breaks down. Germany is demanding cuts far more drastic than anything Greece has rejected over the past 5 months, and Tsipras is desperate for any agreement whatsoever, as long as he stays in the Euro. Because he knows that if he exits, thousands will starve and die.

Debt is not a game. This is not a math game of numbers. If it is too high, people will die. It becomes all too real. Greece is just the beginning. When the illusion is sliced in half in the US and the $18 trillion debt pile comes crashing down in ashes, that will be the end of the West as we know it, forever. It will be globally catastrophic.

Syriza has lost. Ignominiously, completely, and totally. They will agree to almost anything. The only question now is Germany. They finance all this. Will they push Greece to the brink of the almost, making their acquiescence so completely humiliating in light of the Communist and Unionist policies they stand for that they will simply resign, or does Germany have a smidgen of faith left that the Communists in charge of Greece can understand that wealth is indeed scarce on planet Earth, and that economics is, indeed and reality, the study of scarcity and choice, no matter how your “electorate” votes?

My Advice to Italy and France: Don’t Poke Germany, They Might Leave

Varoufakis has said this in the past, that if maintaining the illusion of an artificial fiat monetary union becomes too expensive for those who have to support it (Germany), then Germany will simply exist. There is no problem with Germany going back to the Deutschemark. Or Mark. Or whatever it is. (Or GOLD or God’s sake.) It would cause a minor disruption but nothing catastrophic.

Then again, even Germany is sporting 80% debt to GDP. Back in the 19th century governments never ran more than 10%. Germany may well just leave because they cannot afford to finance the debts of even more indebted countries. France is at 93%. Italy, well, you know, they’re the second highest debt in the Eurozone.

France and Italy are now ganging up on Germany. This hasn’t gone well in the past. Those two should shut up, or they might push Germany out, simply because it doesn’t want to fund all this nonsense anymore.

Mussolini’s Children Are Trying to Boss Around the 4th Reich

Or is it the Fifth one? I lose count. Some Italian zhlub Prime Minister is set to tell Merkel, apparently, that “enough is enough” and Germany cannot “humiliate” Greece any longer. From The Guardian:

“Now common sense must prevail and an agreement must be reached. Italy does not want Greece to exit the euro and to Germany I say: enough is enough.

Now that Tsipras has made proposals in line with the European demands, we must absolutely sign a deal. Humiliating a European partner after Greece has given up on just about everything is unthinkable.”

HA! You know why Italy with a 132% debt to GDP ratio is trying to bully Merkel around, when German citizens are the ones paying for this crap? Because Italy knows very, very well that it is next in line. If Greece goes, Italy is next.

Greece doesn’t have to be “humiliated”. The Greek government has to be humiliated. Humiliate it. Bring it down. Crush it and starve it so they cannot restrict the Greek people any longer. If I were Merkel, I would say to Greece, simply, “Do whatever you want. Print drachmas, don’t print drachmas, we don’t care. Just, you’re not getting any more money from my taxpayers. And whatever happens happens. Have a nice day.”

Sunday Still Looks Like Grexit, After All the Craziness

Nuts. I don’t know how the bureaucratic nonsense in the Eurozone works, or if they need unanimity to agree to fork over another few billion Euros to the Greek vacuum cleaner, but if they need unanimity, they’re not gonna get it.

Wolfgang Schauble, the German Finance Minister, actually proposed a 5-year Grexit, where the country would be quarantined to see if it could survive without other people’s money flowing into it. Sort of like kicking your 18 year old (or 40 year old) out of the house to get his own job, and trying not to think about the possibility that he’ll starve to death on the streets.

The Germans are the main financiers of this crap, and it looks like they’re saying Nein.

Two things we can learn from what’s happened in the last week.

  1. Economics trumps democracy, every time. You cannot simply vote for more money if the people who own it do not want to give it to you.
  2. Economics trumps politics, every time. You cannot create wealth by restricting how people trade. Lefty ideologues are in an exercise of how much they believe their own bullshit. If more paper Euros will save them, why won’t paper Drachmas? Because paper Drachmas will only be able to claim economic goods and services within Greece. And there aren’t much of those. Whatever there is has been bought with Euros, which can claim goods throughout Europe, that were given to them in bailouts, and therefore represent the work of other Non Greeks. Drachmas would be fine if the citizens simply stopped living off welfare. After voting to pass fake austerity measures even bigger than the ones they rejected, they have failed to believe their own bullshit.

Real austerity would produce real wealth. Real austerity would be cutting government spending by 50%, and abolishing 90% of all regulations, and lowering taxes by 80%. This fake austerity is giving a 25 year old kid who lives at his parents’ teat $500 a month instead of $520. It doesn’t make him the least bit independent. It only pisses him off. Cut it down to $10 a month for a falafel or whatever, and he’ll either grow up and get a job, or die.

Do some real austerity, and you won’t need a Grexit. That’s not happening until the whole system collapses in a flaming debt heap.

Shavua Tov!