Posted by: graemebird | January 31, 2010

Industry Planning VERSUS Passive Libertarianism.

Here is what I said:

“Thats a pretty involved question. Not as a general free for all no. Not in terms of a lot of spending or great levels of compulsion.

But I see the need for industry plans to take many industries smoothly to a situation where they are functioning like a free market ought to.”

Here we are talking mostly about tax exemptions and deregulation. So for example with the taxi industry, we want enough taxi licenses out there to bring the cost of a license down somewhere to the cost of a background check. But people have borrowed money to buy these expensive licenses. Hence an industry plan to bring the situation to a state of free enterprise might consist of talking to the industry about how reform will be handled. Then going through the following process:

1. Issue enough new licenses until the price of a license has fallen in every last locality.

2. Exempt taxi driving from being taxable income for a period of twenty years.

3. Exempt any work for a stand-alone taxi company being taxable income.

4. Once license prices have recovered start issuing more at a rate which brings the license price down in a pre-determined way. Perhaps by 1% every week.

The upshot is that you are not destroying the capital value of peoples property without first helping their cash-flow. Giving them a chance to reform. Its pretty hard to ask voters to support you if you are advocating destroying their capital value and their cash flow at the same time. So it is here we can see that industry plans to bring various dysfunctional industries to a functioning free enterprise situation are a good and necessary thing.

Or take farmers water allocations. During dry spells, water is priced too cheaply in many areas. We don’t want to destroy farmers cash flow, and the capital value of their farms at the same time. So we take away the farm income taxes and company taxes first and then slowly crank up the price of pumping water when the river is low. They get the cash-flow boost prior to being hit with the capital value hurt, or extra water costs.

So yes in every case industry plans are necessary because its a long way to a free society, and we want to get there quickly and smoothly. But morons who put word-connotation ahead of word-meaning are willful in their exploitation of the “Gotcha” moment. I must have gone over this issue about 50 times with people at Catallaxy. And they know, if they choose not to lie, by “industry planning” I mean neither increasing compulsion, nor expensive spending programs. But despite this knowledge, one of their number has struck again:

“Does Bird, the libertarian support industry planning?

In a word yes, as long as industry policy he approves. Any other form he disapproves and you could very well end end up being “mass sacked” which is really a euphemism for mass executions commie style.

https://graemebird.wordpress.com/2010/01/30/the-new-world-order-communist-conspiracy-is-far-more-prosaic-than-you-think/#comment-27158”

So he lies and he links straight to me as proof that he’s lying. Just shows what an irresponsible moderator Sinclair is letting such a defamatory and inaccurate post through.

Lets go through the implications of reform in a number of industries, and I am sure I can show once and for all why passive libertarianism cannot work, would be unjust, and will not succeed. Libertarianism is the goal and but passive libertarianism isn’t the method wherein we get to this goal. Neither a fair, just practical or even a potentially popular route.

MORE LATER.

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Responses

  1. “Bird’s ‘national planning’”

    It would be neat to know what Jason Soons point it. I think his point is that he’s lying in the sense of trying to mislead people. I think he knows that if he writes anything more, it will reveal that I’m not in favour of national planning in the way that Jason Soon is trying to mislead people.

    So he’s got to write about six words, and deceive people by leaving it to their imaginations.

  2. The primitive arch-slanderer Joseph Cambria now making legal threats:

    “Bird:

    Why don’t you get back you dungeon you call a bog where you can post, or allow to be posted criminally scurrilous slander about people.

    I’ve kept each single one, copied to ensure they match exactly with the cache. Keep them going to your hearts content and we’ll see what your legal aid lawyer says when he tells you you’ll need to visit a bank to get a loan to pay those additional debts you owe.

    Think I’m kidding, right? Watch and see what happens, you degenerate.”

    Its pretty simple Cambria. You and your sock puppet stop telling lies and advocating mass-stealing campaigns to help out bankers, and I’m just as likely to forget about your low-IQ act.

  3. The primitive wop is still at it:

    “The commie lard is pretending he didn’t write about his support for industry policy…. It’s a different kind of policy he says…. this time.”

    So to a bank-communist as brainless as Cambria, someone with that sort of low-IQ, Massive spending programs and compulsion, amounting to politicians attempting to be Captains Of Industry …….. This is no different from tax-exemptions and deregulation, leading to a smooth glide-path for industry reform. As explained clearly above.

    Think how primitive is Cambria’s mentality. We are really looking at the lowest common denominator here.

    Because I’m calling what I would do “industry planning” and a totally different way of doing things is “industry planning” Cambria thinks its the same thing.

    People have to understand what a dead-head this fellow really is.

  4. I know about the other sort of “industry planning” since I was around during the Muldoon “Think Big”era. It was just ridiculous. Since you had politicians affecting to be industrial bigshots. But when asked to justify it Muldoon would act like we ought to put all our faith in these bigshot international corporations. Whereas no doubt they were putting all their faith in the lawyers.

    See to someone that dumb, as what Cambria is “industry planning” means “industry planning” no matter what. Whether it was once used as a euphemism for fascist economics, or whether I’m using it as something quite different. The primitive wop only sees the words on the page.

    This is not the first time he has shown this sort of idiocy. It was the same with “fiscal tightening.” Didn’t matter what the context was. Ergo he decided, like a complete idiot, that you cannot cut government spending during a recession.

  5. I was around during the Muldoon “Think Big”era.

    You must have confused it with the ‘Be Fat’ era

  6. I was still a good weight right up until my mid-30’s. I was going to say “You wait SOON” but then you being from the Hakka side of things you might not have that late 30’s weight-gain.

    I’ll start fixing things up pretty shortly. I was going to get a kindle. That makes getting motivated to hit the trains and the gyms easier. Of course now the temptation of waiting for the I-pad is there. But not really. Because eventually a fellow is going to have a whole library on these devices. So it wouldn’t go bad to have both of them.

  7. You ought not be misrepresenting my position on national planning. I’m talking about a strategy that includes being able to resist nuclear intimidation. This is not about more spending its about less. Not about more taxation less. Not about more compulsion less.

    You know that since I’ve talked about this before. You are acting like a cheerleader for the woppy goon. You ought not turn your talents to rabble rousing, and getting the lowest common denominator all riled up.

    Take the Treasury Heads (Ken) idea about a congestion tax. He would use it as a fundraiser. I would choose it to rebalance over many decades, the big-city country balance. Because right now it takes just a few nukes to take us down. Clearly this is unacceptable. And simply throwing more money at the defense department isn’t going to be enough to deal with this.

  8. Mr Bird I do think that income tax and taxes such as death duties should be used for the purpose of reducing economic inequality between individuals and classes. Other possible measures would be to impose a maximum wage and transfer control over large-scale production and finance from private hands to the state. And investment trusts should not be wholly private profit making concerns. I see no great technical or political obstacle to transforming these into publicly controlled corporations in order to achieve a rational direction of the flow of investment.

    I also support self-government (of workers) in industry rather than authoritarian management and genuine autonomous functional management of public services and state funded bodies.

  9. fair enough Graeme. what do you weigh at the moment?

  10. I’m not giving a running commentary on my current weight Soon. Last time I was at the gym the laser thing said I had less than average percentage fat for my age. But then carrying extra muscle doesn’t mean you have to carry a lot of extra fat also.

    What is Menzies House and why would I worry about Humphreys becoming an editor there? I worry about him pretending to be an economist and stupid people actually listening to him. Thats what I would worry about. The guys a head case. But I’m sure he can do okay as an editor. He might be a fine librarian too if he gave that a shot. He can never be a sound economist or policy guru.

    Adrien appears to be saying I’ve been to Menzies house. I’m finding that a bit hard to believe. So I wouldn’t mind the link just to figure out if Adrien is pretending to be me, or if indeed I went over there awhile back.

    Adrien is such a liar that he will show up here, and I cannot let any of his posts through. The last time he was here he pretended he had contemporary documentary evidence of when the pyramids were built. He even went so far as to post a link. Of course it was all lies. Even Cambria can sometimes post and not tell lies. But Adrien? Its like you cannot let even one post through when he comes over.

    If you see him again tell him I’m still after that link with the documentary evidence. That fellow is deranged.

  11. I think Menzies House is a toilet block Graeme.

  12. Look at this. The bludger has barely worked at all. But he’s been able to build a mighty sounding resume:

    “John Humphreys is an economist with experience in the public service, consulting, academia and think-tanks. He is currently the President of the Human Capital Project (a non-profit operating in Cambodia) and an Adjunct Scholar at the Centre for Independent Studies. His personal blog is at http://www.johnhumphreys.wordpress.com.”

    Consulting? Surely he’s making that up. Surely no-one would be stupid enough to employ him as a consultant. That reminds me of when Mark Bahnisch tried to tell me he was picking up income as a consultant. What possible use could Bahnisch be to business? The human capital project. The fellow just has no idea.

  13. Well I found the site. Its just a new allegedly conservative and libertarian website. So Philomena you aren’t likely to change your opinion of it real soon. Its not even a paid gig.

    I don’t know about all that nationalisation and harsh measures Philomena. I think if we could get the money and banking situation sound, the felt need for such things would be less over time. For example, all those bludging bankers gorging themselves on the backs of the American treasury, would now either be bankrupt or in retrenchment, with the more minimal changes that I would put through.

  14. When has Humphreys worked in academia? Did he do a bit of tutoring or something?

  15. ‘Human capital’ as terminology is really quite disgusting and repulsive and signals a typically rightwing anti-human view of human beings as abstracted, fetishised commodities that exist solely for their exchange value.

    Not what a country like Cambodia – or any desperate people – needs [understatement alert]

  16. Right. I think you might be right there Philomena. I don’t like the phrase. I was thinking of it as a phrase that leads to sloppy thinking with regards to economics. Mixing two categories together like that.

  17. There’re heaps of sinister Western carpetbaggers in Cambodia Graeme. Sounds like Humphreys is of that ilk.

  18. Yes, exactly. Human beings are not capital except in a seriously out of whack social construction with all its attendant atrocities and abuses of the human part of that equation.

  19. When were death duties abolished and why?

    Thing is they seem to have been reintroduced now in all but name except this time they strip the relatively poor of their inheritable-transferable assets in a highly regressive way.

    • I think what happened is that Old Joe in Queensland abolished them and so the other State governments felt like they had to follow suit. They are not real enlightened taxes these death duties. Because they often mean selling up of worthy businesses, involving the liquidation of capital goods. They are a tax on capital. If one wants to be redistributive about it, then it would be better to have a total assets tax of say 1% per year with thresholds, then to hit someone that hard just after the old man has died.

      Usually the really really rich types can get out of these death duties as you are suggesting.

  20. Graeme, it’s probably helpful if you see Joe Cambria and comparable political acquaintances as SS men. Meaning they Suck up to those above (with $ and power) and Stomp on those below.

    You see this all the time up close in the workplace. Very ugly. But also very Stupid. SSS, even.

    Cambria reveres greed and monetary success regardless of the social or individual cost because that is the outward expression of his life’s work and political endorsement. And so it follows that he despises and actively abuses the victims of such an abstract, principle-less, exploitative arrangement.

    It’s really quite simple. JC lacks basic human solidarity or empathy. He and his views should be repudiated in exactly the way they are and will continue to be from a variety of sources.

    In Australian terms he and his corrupt world views are certainly anathema to the body politic in its majority sentiment.

    This is Good.

  21. Whilst John Humphreys and I do not see eye to eye on a number of issues, the fact is that he has done more for the poor of the world than you have Philomena, even if you think his use of the term “human capital” is unfortunate. Regardless of terminology, the PRACTICAL EFFECT of the “human capital” project in this particular instance has been to open up education opportunities to dozens of Cambodians who would otherwise go without.

    As you all may be aware, Cambodia has experienced quite a “human capital deficit” in recent years, thanks to the policies of an insane Maoist cult called the Khmer Rouge, of which Philomena is an objective apologist. Closing this deficit, which was originally caused by the strictest application of egalitarianism in world history, a legacy that cannot be disowned by any consistent Leftist – Gough Whitlam was an early denier of Khmer Rouge atrocities – would be a victory for freedom and human rights.

    • Hold right on there Fisk. What has Humphreys done for the poor? So you happen to know the project is functioning in some sort of way?

  22. FISK I’M GOING TO HAVE TO WIPE THAT ONE. SINCE I’VE NEVER HEARD PHILOMENA SPEAKING IN FAVOUR OF MAO OR ANY RED KHMER’S. AS A LEFTIST YOU WILL FIND THERE ARE MANY THINGS TO TAKE A SHOT AT PHILOMENA ABOUT. I DON’T THINK YOU OUGHT TO BE TAKING A SHOT AT HER EXCESSIVELY. BUT AT LEAST MAKE IT SOMETHING SHE HAS ACTUALLY SAID.

    HUMPHREYS FAVOURS FRACTIONAL RESERVE AND RECENTLY SPOKE OF CUTTING OFF OLD GUYS PENSIONS. NOT PHASING THEM OUT BUT CUTTING THEM OFF. HE’S A REALLY ODD FISH. THESE IDEAS DON’T SINGLE HIM OUT AS MOTIVATED BY THE GOAL OF WIPING OUT POVERTY. WHILE WE WANT TO WEAN OFF PENSIONS THE OLD GUYS DON’T DESERVE THE RUG PULLED OUT FROM UNDERNEATH THEM.

  23. Michael Fisk knows nothing about me, who I am or my connection with the Cambodia today and in the recent past (i.e. post Khmer Rouge).

    I am neither a Maoist nor an ALP supporter. D’uh.

    And my comments about Humphreys stand. The man is clearly a grandstanding rightwing ideologue and disgusting carpetbagger.

    Prove he isn’t Michael Fisk. With evidence this time please, without emotive, but 100% meaningless, irrelevant rhetoric.

    And even a skerrick of evidence for your reflexive, content-less defence of the Human Capital (sic) Project please.

    /crickets

  24. People like John Humphreys do nothing for “the poor”. The fuck them over even more, even literally.

  25. And my comments about Humphreys stand. The man is clearly a grandstanding rightwing ideologue and disgusting carpetbagger.

    Prove he isn’t Michael Fisk. With evidence this time please, without emotive, but 100% meaningless, irrelevant rhetoric.

    And even a skerrick of evidence for your reflexive, content-less defence of the Human Capital (sic) Project please.

    Phil, you’ve made a positive accusation against Mr Humphreys – that he is a “disgusting carpetbagger” – and the emphasis is on YOU to prove it.

    GO!!

  26. A HECS-style scheme of bonded labour in one of the poorest most Western-fucked-over countries in the world.

    Heh, way to go!! NOT.

  27. Don’t tell me Humphreys has a Cambodian girlfriend?

  28. Actually, Cambodia was “fucked” over by a group of Maoists who were aided by the Viet Cong. You supported them at the time, and continue to do so. As for Humphreys scheme, it is not technically a HECS scheme because there is no debt involved.

  29. No Cambodia was fucked over by US imperialism.

    Not technically a debt. Then no repayments whatsoever are involved, eh?

  30. So let’s get this straight. Humphreys has set up a scheme where Cambodians can get a uni education (in what?) and in return their earnings are taxed at a set rate straight into the pockets of this shadowy, non-transparent “NGO” con?

    Is that right?

  31. It sounds something like that. It sounds like a negative sum game to me. It wouldn’t be so bad if they were being taught to be electricians and other tradesmen. But it sounds like he wants them to get these soft degrees. I don’t know the details.

    I would think it would be doubtful that such a scheme would get off the ground. But then I don’t know. It may be going ahead in leaps and bounds for all I know. He has a way of doing very little and yet finding he has something pretty flash to put on his resume.

  32. Smoke and mirrors Graeme, at best. At worst, a disgusting ripoff of some of the poorest people in the world.

  33. I wouldn’t suggest that Humphreys is a carpetbagger. A grandstander yes for sure. But I think this is all volunteer stuff. I don’t see him getting in there and making a fortune taking a cut from all these loans. I don’t see it really taking off at all.

  34. Humphreys may not be the wicked person you are imagining. He’s basically narcissistic and awesomely oblivious. Whether his scheme is doing great things, or whether it is doing harm, he would not be the person to ascertain an honest judgement of it. He fundamentally blocks out anything he doesn’t want to hear.

    So for example on economic problems. People can be attempting to explain things to him for 3 or more years running. And he will never get it. Since he simply and even belligerently blocks out anything he doesn’t like. He is totally unsuited to have any influence over policy. He ought to be doing the back-office hack work. But his ego and his flare for self-promotion gets him into a lot of projects that he is unlikely to be helpful with.

    He tends to live frugally so he doesn’t have to work hard. When he used to come to Sydney he’d doss on Jason’s floor. We went out drinking and you want to be able to kick back and guzzle a bit. And the narcissist drinks almost nothing and talks flat out, not listening to ones point, never allowing one to get these points out, and filling the room with words. He may as well be moderating his blog the way he does it. I was an observer of this rather than being crowded out myself. But even when talking to people about being an agnostic versus an atheist its all the same.

    Its a menace to the LDP that he controls the main LDP discussion site, even though he has managed to wash his hands of the hard yards in the party. This is why I have grown remote from the party. Because of the influence he still yields in this way.

    He started the LDP and can put that on his resume, but he’s never hung out to do the real work in it. Well neither have I. But the point is thats on his informal resume. It would have been much better were it started somehow by someone else.

  35. No Cambodia was fucked over by US imperialism.

    Funny, I could have sworn those guys in black pyjamas and red scarfs, carrying out the most intensive extermination programme since WWII, were KHMER ROUGE. According to you they were CIA agents working for President Ford or something. Odd.

    Not technically a debt. Then no repayments whatsoever are involved, eh?

    There is no debt: dividends are paid to the investor. It’s equity, not debt. If their earnings are zero, the dividends are zero, just like any other share. Dividends (or returns to the NGO) are fixed at a proportion of income. The more you earn, the more you pay back. It’s an equitable programme that also happens to be profitable. Most such programmes under a genuinely free market are.

    At worst, a disgusting ripoff of some of the poorest people in the world.

    No it isn’t. It is a very generous contract that is freely entered into by consenting parties. It dramatically boosts the future incomes of the “capital” recipients, who pay out dividends to investors. A win-win. Under your alternative system of “bread-line” socialism, these people would be working for food stamps and standing in queues for most of the day to receive their pitiful rice rations.

    But you know what really was a disgusting ripoff? Chairman Mao (you know, that guy you love so much) working his own people into the ground, sending surplus produce (which they didn’t have – so people starved) abroad to sponsor Maoist movements around the world, such as the genocidal Khmer Rouge. He lived a life of unparalleled luxury.

  36. It wouldn’t be so bad if they were being taught to be electricians and other tradesmen.

    Birdy, tradesmen make an absolute pittance in that part of the world. The labour market is very different to what we’re used to in this little antipodean “worker’s paradise”. You would only fund such a trades programme if it could guarantee a 457 visa at the end of it (which can’t be be guaranteed at all). I would actually advocate this kind of thing, but you’d have to get DFAT/Immigration on board, and but there are many other criteria that need to be met and it would be a complicated process.

    Humphreys’ project is still pretty good and dozens of people will get better jobs out of it, whatever you might think of Humphreys personally.

  37. Hold right on there Fisk. What has Humphreys done for the poor? So you happen to know the project is functioning in some sort of way?

    Yes I am aware of its operations.

  38. Well tell me about them? How does it work. What courses do they do? Where is the money sourced from? Is there government guarantees to the loans? Is there government subsidy?

    Excellent idea to do with immigration. Both you and I are cagey about mid-term immigration. And yet here we agree. Because this would be a cheaper way to get trades labour hours. Better still train trades teachers, who are trained to teach our unskilled worker on-the-job. We can employ the resulting teachers at no more than the cost of the unskilled local operator.

    “Humphreys’ project is still pretty good and dozens of people will get better jobs out of it, whatever you might think of Humphreys personally.”

    What doing? There is an excellent chance that this is a negative sum game. Cost accountants? That could be wealth creating. If they are to be trained as economists cold they get an internship with Hernando De Soto’s crowd? Supposing the leading text was Reisman’s “Capitalism”, they got interned as cheap workers for De Soto’s outfit, and on top of that they were interned with De Soto’s outfit. The potential wealth creation could be utterly explosive. But Humphreys doesn’t understand this and he is not the man to listen.

    Is the funding based on equity? Or could it lead to more ponzi-money? All these questions need to be asked before we can decide that its a wealth creator.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    If Philomena has said FRENCH imperialism both of us could have made that case. Since after all those Red Khmer’s also got help with their education. Generous aid for their education in Paris. Reading Rousseau and Marx. Its just this sort of generous assistance with education that helped get one third of the population slaughtered.

    I think the movie Avatar is good for the kids. We have to be careful what we do.

  39. Michael Fisk is a racist. He blames the Vietnamese and Cambodians for the US’s decimation of their countries.

    And the Global Capital Project is clearly an exploitative scam. No wonder, It has been implemented by the same mentality that wrecked those countries: Western imperialism and their meddling carpetbaggers, above all in the 20th century, the US aided by Australia.

    It was the left and humanitarian forces internationally who put a stop to that slaughter of Asian people.

    The Michael Fisk’s of this world would have been cheering on the napalming of villages, towns, and cities.

  40. And Cambodia does have many genuine aid programs involving overseas activists and on the ground workers implementing programs approved of and directed by Cambodians that can help build a self-determining, non-Western exploited economy in that still devastated country (thanks to the US).

    This project is not one of these. But then it is implemented by Humpheys and co. So of course it isn’t.

  41. You may have been a harder leftist than you are now when you adopted that view of history. I would have to blame also Chinese, French and Russian imperialism surely. One would have to rank the Americans a little lower on the blame ranking where Cambodia was concerned surely?

    I can certainly make that argument that Imperialism was to blame with this country. I would just find it harder to make the argument that it was primarily AMERICAN imperialism.

    “The Michael Fisk’s of this world would have been cheering on the napalming of villages, towns, and cities.”

    Mikes not really like that Philomena. I don’t know why he’s going along with the Catallaxy momentum of excess nastiness towards you, but this is not where his act is. He would more like to get the bigshots and put their head on a stick. He’s like me in this regard. Target the leadership and kill them on TV if necessary. No way would he be in for the napalming of the kids.

  42. The economists, accountants and lawyers ought to get their theory from this man:

    http://www.capitalism.net/articles/A_Blog_11_09.html#Start

    And their practical work from this man:

    http://www.heritage.org/Research/WorldwideFreedom/hl977.cfm

    Hernando not too proud or worried to refer to Marx right there in the middle of the Heritage foundation. I’m not saying thats good or bad:

    “What bothered Marx, of course, was that that surplus value should be only captured by a certain group of people, which he argued would lead to the concentration of wealth among a few, which would, in turn, necessarily lead eventually to the demise of capitalism.

    That very kind of concentration of wealth is exactly what we get in Latin America, together with China: Too few people are rich, too many people are poor and on the other side looking in—and thus, as Marx predicted, comes alienation, resentment, and the downfall of the system.”

    Simply funding economics degrees is likely to screw things up. Think of what the post-war Empires did to Africa by giving them fiat money and Maynard Keynes. What a disaster.

    John seems to be good at starting these things. But he is just as likely to poison everything if he doesn’t listen to the right people.

  43. It was the left and humanitarian forces internationally who put a stop to that slaughter of Asian people.

    HA! You mean by supporting a bunch of genocidal crackpots who massively accelerated the death rate in Cambodia?? It’s not every day you lose nearly a quarter of your population, you know.

  44. Graeme, the money is acquired through private donation. The candidates (of which there are currently 25) are studying economics/management related courses. Any foreign company that wants to set up in Cambodia will need to hire locals with that sort of background. It’s a good investment.

  45. Shorter Michael Fisk: “I am and always have been a craven apologist for imperialist exploitation of men, women and children of the Third or underdeveloped by rich nations’ imperial wars of conquest and exploitation in countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia.

  46. Management LOL. Management can’t be taught you imbecile.

  47. “He’s basically narcissistic and awesomely oblivious.”

    Graeme, your word picture of the increasingly odious as the portrait is fleshed out Humphreys is fascinating and very familiar. I know the type well. It also fits 100% with the generally useless online political contributions I’ve seen of his from time to time.

  48. Shorter Phil: Chairman Mao was such a dreamboat and I really wish I could have been among the thousands of young women press-ganged into “serving” his needs. The fact that he didn’t wash and his teeth were rotting is a plus.

  49. Please, Michael Fisk, your sicko adolescent, misogynist male fantasies are all yours. Not mine.

    And very inadvertently revealing ones they are too!

    You’re actually jealous of Mao! Ha ha.

  50. “the candidates (of which there are currently 25) are studying economics/management related courses.”

    So there is the potential for great harm. Because if John is churning out people with his lack of understanding of economics, then they may influence the elite in such a way as the elite have the excuse to do what elites do and screw things up.

    I’m not saying there is the actuality of great harm. Just the potential. Well actually when you think of it the cruise-path is indeed towards great harm.

    Clearly John has the gift of STARTING THINGS. The one ability he has is to get things going. But he is not an economists small toe. I suppose if I could trade my economics understanding for entrepreneurial gifts, and if it was a committee decision with my girls, I suppose I’d lose my economics hyper-sophistication. So I’m not belittling in any ways this fucking oddball Martians uncanny skills.

    If you could relate my comments, and he would take them seriously, he could turn a negative sum scheme into a scheme of great righteousness. If he would do things my way, recognising that it is HE who has the gift for starting these things, then he need not spend his life screwing things up, while morons worship the very quicksand, upon which he walks.

    He can still turn what looks like a negative sum game into a real winner, but only if he LISTENS for a fucking change.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Now another thing. Philomena is my friend. Thats not about to change. I don’t like friends running down other friends more than they really need to to get their point across with some sort of rhetorical strength.

    Michael I want you over here enhancing my blog as much as possible. You used to make better posts when you weren’t singling out present company for abuse. Let me give you an example of the attitude I think you should take:

    These days I STILL disagree strongly with a lot of what Professor Quiggin is about. But you see I OVER-ABUSED him for about two years. Because I had a bit of a fatwah on the Professor. So he’s already copped about ten years of the abuse he probably deserves, in only about two years from me. I’ve over abused him by a quotient of at least about 500%. He has copped all my abuse in advance.

    It tears me up a bit when he calls my folks delusionists and so forth. But I try and tone the criticism down on the grounds that I earlier was trying to run him into the ground.

    You know that Philomena is coming from a hard left background? Why not just accept that and try and focus your skills on trying to move her 5% towards your perspective. I can only hope for that, because that would be about 4% towards my perspective right there.

    Why not try and be nice to her? Be a gentleman all over again. You must have been scandalised by the abuse I used to throw at Kim and other leftists when I first showed up Truly there had been nothing like that on Ozblogistan before I showed up. Nothing quite like that. Not thats all old hat.

    I’ve created a monster with catallaxy. No-one had seen that level of abuse, now they’ve all become tiredly accepting of it. They lack the smarts to make that level of abuse even partially worthy. Recognise that by continuing with that sort of nastiness, that you are being unoriginal in mine eyes.

    I’m asking for a favour. Do it for Graeme. “I don’t ask much and I don’t ask often.” Turn on a bit of charm and try and use your persuasive skills. Not too much charm or I might get jealous (thats a bit of a joke).

    Yes hard leftists deserve a bit of abuse from time to time. But surely you can see that my friend Philomena has taken more than her fair share. She has taken ten years of abuse in about six months. From here on in I expect you to turn on the charm ……….. OCCASIONALLY with a few righteous snapbacks. As a favour to me.

    Let a bit of her criticisms go over your ducked head. I want quality on my blog. And that means you as well as her. And that means you being a gentleman, if she is to stick around as well as yourself.

  51. Thank you Graeme.

    If what you say is true about you and blogs in the early days then you are certainly growing as a blogger and a human being. Congratulations.

    The worst bombing campaigns in history were against Cambodia, South Vietnam and Laos and occurred in large part because of the absence of public protest, which was at the time mostly confined to the bombing of North Vietnam.

    A greater tonnage of explosives was dropped by the USAF on the peasant society of Cambodia than were dropped by the western allies in all theatres during WWII including the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, making Cambodia perhaps the most heavily bombed country in history.

    The international anti-war movement averted the use of nuclear weapons in Vietnam by the Nixon administration.

  52. Right. Well thats a good point. Does anyone know how many people were killed in that disaster? I suppose there is no way of knowing how many or how many of them were combatants.

    Its been my experience that when you have an accident at work, or you make mistakes which cost money, there is seldom a single cause to it. Its usually 2 or 3 contributing causes. Our side sees the common thread of the dominance of eschatological utopianism in Marxist circles that in practice leads to mass murder. You have two steps to this. The millenarian who thinks the destruction of the old order is inevitable, and a better world comes out of it.

    But then there are the post-millenials. And these are the people who agree that the above is a true prophecy. But they believe they have to force history. So they act to destroy the old order, in the belief that the better world will come out of their destructive behaviour.

    For some reason to do with internal dynamics of leftists, when they cluster the post-millenials seem to get the upper hand. So from 1917 onward our side would say the bodies have just kept piling up. Whenever post-millenial thinking has arisen. So at first blush we wouldn’t see the bombing as the main cause. But as I say it seems to be something in the way of things that to have utter disasters you must have more than one contributing cause.

    Now matters are also complicated a little bit. Marxism, because of it being laced with eschatological utopianism, was always going to lead to trouble. But we don’t know if it was destined to be quite as utterly bloodthirsty as what it turned out. Because the twentieth century version had the lunatic Lenin. Who paved the way for Stalin. Mao was Stalins bitch. Mao was corrupting the Vietnamese communists. And so a movement that was destined to be bitterly violent may been far more violent then it ought to have been because of what we now know is the common thread of personalities involved.

    Always since world war II the American military policy has been just bizzare, with the exception of Reagan alone. Now someone like me tends to see leftist obstruction in their bizzare military policies, which tend to lead to painful wars of attrition, where the culprits are left in blissful security, where the war cannot be won or resolved, and where the body count on all sides just piles up.

    I tend to imagine that this is caused by powerful psychological warfare techniques being directed in Washington. These Asian wars weren’t particularly difficult wars to win. The Americans went out of their way not to win them, and their strategies seemed tailor-made to lead to senseless killing of tens of thousands of people that they didn’t need to kill and had no quarrel with.

    So you see Philomena, its easy for me to be a bit one-eyed about this sort of thing. I thought it was just leftist domination in Washington. I thought George Bush the younger was really quite good for the first two years. BUT THEN IT ALL HAPPENED OVER. This time with Republicans. They left their people on the ground, fought in the territory of the enemies choice, didn’t have a clear plan that was going to work, pretended that third party regimes were not involved in the violence, and basically did most of the stupid things they did in Vietnam.

    So I don’t know. The American people seem to mean well. But Washington is enemy occupied territory it seems. Only Reagan knew what he was doing. And he probably had a bit of early onset Altzhiemers. Thank goodness he held it together long enough to get the job done.

    I watched that old man every day for eight years with endless fascination. All of us thought he was doing the wrong thing but we liked him anyway. Turns out he was right about almost everything. And he pulled it all off with astounding ability and success.

    You know he would not have had a clue the sort of counter-productive and harmful nastiness that was going on that John Perkins has revealed to us. Wouldn’t have had a clue and would have imagined that this was all lunatic behaviour.

    You have to keep a lean government. You cannot have these automatic budgets going forth every year and these crazies building up Empires from the comfort of bureaucracy. It makes me quite sick what John Perkins has told us. Washington out of control. The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.

    Only mass-sackings can hope to cure that sort of runaway wickedness and stupidity.

  53. Garbage In, Garbage Out
    The Free Market Fetish
    By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

    Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan answered that he had placed his trust in a flawed theory when he was called before Congress to explain why he, Goldman Sachs Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Deputy Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, prevented Brooksley Born, head of the Commodity Futures Trading Corporation, a government regulatory agency, from doing her job of regulating over-the-counter derivatives.

    The efficient markets theory is that unregulated markets are efficient and rational. According to this theory in which Greenspan placed his trust, unregulated markets produce the best possible result. Any regulatory interference worsens the outcome.

    Greenspan blamed his own bad judgment on a theory. The theory, or Greenspan’s understanding of it, nevertheless still holds sway as Congress has proved impotent to re-regulate the gambling casino that is Wall Street. Clearly, the theory serves powerful interests.

    But what is the truth?

    The truth is that markets are a social institution. Their efficiency depends on the rules that govern the behavior of people in markets. When free market economists talk about markets deciding this or that, they are reifying a social institution and ascribing to it decision-making power. But, of course, markets do not act or make decisions. People act and make decisions, and markets reflect the decisions and actions of people.

    The entire debate over regulation is misconstrued. It is not the market, an efficient social institution, which is regulated. What is regulated is the behavior of people in markets. If you want good results from markets, good regulation of human behavior is a requirement.

    The market is like a computer. Garbage in, garbage out.

    If people who use markets are not regulated, they issue fraudulent financial instruments. They leverage assets with absurd amounts of debt. They market their instruments with fraudulent investment grade ratings. They deal themselves aces.

    Did Greenspan not know this? Was he a victim of a theory or an enabler of greed unleashed by the absence of regulation?

    The failure to regulate financial markets has produced enormous losses to all Americans except the super-rich. But the U.S. government is guilty of an even greater failure. Washington has not only permitted but also encouraged the unemployment of its citizens by enabling greed-driven corporations to send American jobs abroad in order to maximize profits for CEOs’ bonuses, shareholders, and Wall Street.

    As Ralph Gomory has made clear, economic theory has been shattered because there is no longer any connection between the profits of American companies and the welfare of Americans. The profits of American companies are derived from the cheap labor in offshored locations and are at the expense of the American work force.

    This dispossession of American labor has been heralded by offshoring’s pimps in the major universities as “the New Economy.”

    The “New Economy” is a hoax like most everything else the bought-and-paid-for-media feeds to Americans. There is no new economy. There is an unemployed economy. The headlined unemployment rate is just over 10 per cent. The real unemployment rate, as measured by the current methodology is 17 per cent. The unemployment rate as measured by the methodology of 1980 is 22 per cent.

    If jobs offshoring is a benefit to America, as the hired pimps of the transnational corporations claim, why is more than one-fifth of the U.S. work force unemployed? Why does the U.S. have the largest trade deficits in world history? Why is the U.S. dollar losing value over time to other tradable currencies?

    Greed, and elected representatives who are toadies to special interests, are decimating the American economy.

    Consider President Obama’s budgets for 2010 and 2011. The combined red ink is $2.9 trillion. No one anywhere in the world has this kind of money to lend to Washington. How will these massive deficits, never before experienced on earth, be financed? They can only be financed by the Federal Reserve destroying its own balance sheet by its purchase of toxic financial instruments from the banks thereby providing the banks with cash with which to buy the Treasury’s bonds, or by the Federal Reserve itself purchasing the Treasury’s bonds by creating new money, or by another collapse in equity values that sends investors fleeing into “safe” Treasury bonds.
    American power is on the precipice, about to fall. Perhaps it is a good thing. The world will be rid of bullying, of invasions of innocent countries based on blatant lies, of torture and murder of woman and children, of redistribution of income from the poor to the rich.

    The criminal record accumulated by the United States makes it the least indispensable country on earth.

    Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. His latest book, How The Economy Was Lost, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com

  54. Excellent work my good girl. And on the grounds purely of your excellence I will reinstate that thread that I did not know for sure that I was up to…

    Chasing the hills up to aberveganny…..


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