Two Cheers for the Coming Collapse of the U.S. Economy!

Jeffrey Rogers Hummel on Ending the Fed, Privatizing Money, and Why the Welfare State Will Fall

"At some point, holders of Treasury securities are going to recognize that these unfunded liabilities are going to affect the fiscal capabilities of the government and then you're going to have the same situation that happened in Greece happening in the U.S.," says Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, who is a professor of economics at San Jose State University and the author of a recent paper on the consequences of a U.S. government default. "In the short run it's going to be painful, but in the long run it'll be a good thing."

Reason's Nick Gillespie sat down with Hummel at FreedomFest 2012 for a wide-ranging discussion on monetary policy, business cycle theory, the longevity of the welfare state, and why libertarians who rail against the Fed are like "generals fighting the last war."

Held each July in Las Vegas, FreedomFest is attended by around 2,000 limited-government enthusiasts and libertarians a year. Reason TV spoke with over two dozen speakers and attendees.

Click here for a complete playlist of interviews from FreedomFest 2012.

About 14.30 minutes.

Camera by Tracy Oppenheimer and Alex Manning; edited by Jim Epstein.

Scroll down for downloadable versions and subscribe to Reason TV's YouTube channel to receive automatic updates when new material goes live.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    The professor says benefits won't be cut because its politically untenable, and a couple minutes later talks about how good repudiation of future liabilities - debts so-to-speak - will be because of the clean slate it affords.

    But eliminating future liabilities means cutting future benefits. The off-book schemes of the Feds have made future benefits, from an actuarial point-of-view, the same thing as future debts to be settled. Repudiating one means same for the other. So I am still not sure quite what the professor thinks will happen.

    But the professor is right about one thing: When the shit hits the fan, it will hit fast and the usual litany of suits will be surprised. I also like his opinion that no school of economics really understands the business cycle. I wish Gillespie would have prodded the professor to expound more on that, his perceived defects in Austrian perceptions of such specifically.

  • Romulus Augustus||

    Perhaps benefits won't be cut - in fact they will increase in dollar terms - but rampant inflation will make the benefits go less far?

  • Drake||

    Yes. Your will receive $2,000 a week in Social Security. That will get you a loaf of bread.

  • GregMax||

    I took him to mean that voluntarily cutting benefits is not politically realistic.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    You could be right, perhaps that's what he means by "painful" short-term.

  • Turin||

    "I wish Gillespie would have prodded the professor to expound more on that, his perceived defects in Austrian perceptions of such specifically."

    Same here. Unfortunately, most negative comments like the professor's are drive-bys with little to no explanation. Ex cathedra pronouncements just don't cut it. I don't agree with Marxists, but if all somebody can say is "Marx was wrong," then I consider it a waste of my time to listen any further.

  • Brandybuck||

    Why Marx was wrong has been explained so thoroughly I'm surprised we have to explain it to you again. Saying "Marx was wrong" is like saying "creationism is wrong". An economist shouldn't have to justify the first statement any more than a biologist has to explain the second.

    But to educate you anyway, the first idea in which he was wrong was the labor theory of value. He wasn't alone in this, but unlike the other economists, Marx built an entire socialist edifice on top of it. And then a few years later the Marginal Revolution came along and completely disproved it. The value of a useful good is not based on the labor that went into its production, but on it's marginal utility.

    The second idea where he was wrong was that prices could be calculated outside of the market. This was shown to be false by Ludwig von Mises and F. A. Hayek. In addition, the only way socialist states managed without market prices was to cheat and "borrow" the prices from capitalist states.

    p.s. Comparing Marxism to Creationism was not an accident of mine. Both markets and evolution are emergent orders, and are not intuitive to human minds wired to look for centrally planned patterns.

  • Wizard4169||

    I mostly agree, but Marx was actually proved wrong by Adam Smith a century before he even wrote his crap. So there's no excuse for anyone, anywhere, actually believing his BS.

  • RightNut||

    "lets get a little austrian on this!"

  • Ken Shultz||

    Contrary to what our politicians tell us, there will never come a day when Congress is so flush with cash that it decides to cut spending. That means we have to count on the markets to rescue us--and the part of the economy that would collapse in a U.S. debt default would include the part of the economy that needs to collapse.

    And by "collapse", we're really just talking about spiking interest rates, right?

    It's like with the Soviet Union. When you've built an economy around things that cannot sustain themselves, then that part of the economy needs the healing touch of a "collapse". Even in a system like the Soviet Union, you can only ignore market forces for so long--reality has a wonderful way of imposing itself. Thank God for market forces...

    Can you imagine how awful it would be if our economy really were just a matter of public policy to be decided by politicians?

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Can you imagine how awful it would be if our economy really were just a matter of public policy to be decided by politicians?

    More and more it is. We constantly hear about how markets turn based on the latest confab in Doha or Brussels, any valuation of anything to do with the banking system is implicitly tied to policy and political whims. Vast industrial combines like GM exist for no other reason than politicians and policy so-to-speak.

    The Soviet Union did indeed benefit from a collapse - by disintegrating - but first spent four decades post WWII eating itself inside-out, murdering untold thousands, and spawning a statist elite that after the Soviet Union remained, entrenched in all the successor states and with all their old habits.

    I guess I'm a cynic.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, people react to public policy, but, ultimately, no amount of public policy could save Greece from having to slash its budget. There's what's happening now, and then there's what's happening when we go over the edge of the cliff.

    If market forces had their way with the Soviet Union, then it doesn't matter what the government does or what their policies are--eventually reality will come calling.

    In communist systems, that sometimes means things like people starving to death by the millions in a Great Leap Forward or in the Ukraine. North Korea still employes that policy, where when things go bad, you just let people starve to death by the hundreds of thousands to relive the pressure.

    We're not likely to suffer like that, but market forces will still have their way with us--no matter what public policy is. They can make high interest rates against the law; the Fed can keep buying $45 billion a month in treasuries; Obama can raise taxes to kingdom come; and Congress can keep spending like drunken sailors...

    Eventually, they'll all be the market's jailhouse bitch.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Currently, the United States buys 70% of its own debt - by printing money. Greece does not have that option or that's what they would have done. The United States is not Greece, nor really comparable.

    The sovereign regime and extraneous enabling thieves are their own market in countries big as the United States, their own "bitch" as you say, "owing it to ourselves" as Keynes called it.

  • Xenocles||

    "The United States is not Greece, nor really comparable."

    Not yet, but there will come a time when nobody will want those dollars at all, so all the inter-office loans won't help. Our bubble will be the longest-lasting and biggest, but it will make the loudest noise when it pops, too.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Yes, a huge problem, how big that pop will be. I really wonder how/where/when.

  • Drake||

    Because we can print our own cash and borrow from ourselves, our crash will make us envy the Greeks.

    When it comes it will be worse than the Great Depression and will only end with revolution, civil war, and either disintegration of the union, or a new Republic that simply repudiates all earlier debt and starts from scratch.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The United States is not Greece, nor really comparable."

    I'm not saying we're comparable in every way.

    I'm saying we're comparable in that neither of us will stop overspending until there is no other option.

    The U.S. may have more options than Greece, and, hence, Greece may have run out of options before the U.S. will. Regardless, we won't stop overspending until we've run out of all our options, too--just like Greece.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Regardless, we won't stop overspending until we've run out of all our options, too--just like Greece.

    Agreed, but the dynamic is completely different. And the US may not face that point for many decades.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I don't know when it's going to happen, but if we don't suddenly grow the ability to impose some fiscal restraint, it will happen.

    It works that way with a lot of things. This is the way the credit cycle works, more or less, too. People keep funding the same activity that works--until it doesn't work anymore. That's what happened in the residential real estate bubble.

    The politicians gain power by spending. They gain almost nothing by cutting spending, so the incentive to keep spending never ends. And as their power increases, they gain the power to spend on more things.

    Like I said before, I don't see any reason to think the government won't continue to spend every penny it gets and then some--so long as it can continue to do so. I see only three things that can curb that urge to spend:

    1) People get fed up with high taxes and shut the money spigot off.

    2) The world stops buying our debt, and interest rates spike.

    3) Inflation rears its ugly head.

    At this point, I can't imagine any situation in which the government decides of its own accord to slash spending--minus any one or all three of those situations.

    You're right that I don't know exactly when the bust comes, but I know we're accelerating down the right road.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Currently, the United States buys 70% of its own debt - by printing money.

    And the remaining 30% is bought by a combination of institutions that are statutorily required to hold that debt and foreign players for currency management.

    Which is the week link in the theory of a mass exodus from treasuries forcing change. It's just not going to happen.

    The game ends when the dollar stops being the world's reserve currency. And that's still a long ways off.

  • wheelock||

    How long if you were to hazard a guess?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Fifty years, at least, probably longer.

    It's driven by our militay pre-eminence and I don't see anyone challenging that on the horizon. Theoretically China could in a couple of decades if they have uninterrupted growth (which they won't)but I don't see any reason why they would.

    If push comes to shove over Taiwan, the US will negotiate a peaceful reunion rather than risk war that we could actually lose.

    America's role in the world today is really unprecedented in modern history. We're in a much stronger relative position that the British Empire was in the late 19th century for example. Really you have to go back to the Roman Empire, or maybe the Mongols in the 14th century for an analogous situation.

    Which is actually very depressing. Rome was fucked up for centuries before being dismantled in the 4th century. I think America and Americans may be in for a similar ride.

  • Libertymike||

    Fifty years?

    In a word, not. Look, we are have already reached and eclipsed the point where our public debt exceeds our GDP and even that is misleading as GDP includes government spending.

    In my view, too many otherwise wise folk allow awe of the US to cloud their thinking. I am not asserting that you are, just that it is a fact, particularly among american libertarians who should know better.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Japan's debt is north of 200% of GDP. And the US is in a financially stronger position than Japan because of the dollar's status.

    And for the record, I hate the what that prediction is going to mean and hope that I'm wrong. Because the problem isn't that they US will be 'bankrupt' at some future point (hell I wish the government was bankrupt right now).

    The problem is that the debt enables tyranny, of the soft and hard kind. Our government is empowered to do make all kinds of idiotic destructive actions because of the ability to create money.

  • wheelock||

    No ripping off of this band-aid. Slow and excruciating, pulling every hair one at a time. I see your point. There really is no historical comparison for us hegemony.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    It officially collapsed in the fifth century. Just saying.

  • DarrenM||

    centuries before being dismantled in the 4th century

    Just my impression, but things seem to work themselves out much faster nowadays, I suppose because of technology.

  • ||

    It's like with the Soviet Union.

    Yet you support the parliamentary system, dipshit. What's next for the United Kingdom of America, Ken? A Duma and Politburo?

    Can you imagine how awful it would be if our economy really were just a matter of public policy to be decided by politicians?

    See the aformentioned comment of mine above. Idiot.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You get all bent out of shape because I don't like the imperial presidency?

    What does parliament have to do with the Soviet Union?

    You should try meditation or something. Maybe yoga.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Meditation? Yoga? That's rather mellow for someone who is METAL 4 LYFE!!!!!!

  • Ken Shultz||

    Just for the record, that's not me.

    Although I do like dethklock!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Just for the record, that's not me.

    Oh, you don't say? The irony is delicious!

    I say that is you in that cringe-worthy video. How are you going to prove otherwise? You don't expect me to just take your word for it, do you?

  • ||

    BURN!

  • Killazontherun||

    A sampling comparison of words used reveal that is indeed not Ken.

    Enjoy. Please comment! :)

    He's never used so few in his life.

  • ||

    He's never used so few in his life.

    I think Ken is directly descended from James Fenimore Cooper.

    "Why use one word when six will do?"

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    "I think Ken is directly descended from James Fenimore Cooper"

    No that would be me Groovus, on my Mother's side of the family.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Last time somebody linked to someone they thought was me? It was a guy with a race car that said "Kendall Shultz" on the side, which was way cooler than this YouTube guy.

    I told that troll, whoever he was, that if he contacted the race car driver, to tell him I'd trade him my gmail address for the race car...but it never happened.

    I actually saw a reference to another guy named "Ken Shultz" where I was living in SoCal, once...he was a cop. Hope I never got him in trouble for the shit I've said about the LAPD over the years. Anyway, turns out there's a lot of Ken Shutlzes out there, which would seem weird...

    But not as weird as some freak on a libertarian board stayin' up late at night on YouTube tryin' to figure out who you are. ...becasue you don't hate Muslims or somethin'?! That's really friggin' weird!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It's almost as if Kendall forgets what he did.

    And, as predicted, when he rightly receives derision for claiming to be a victim of the same exact fucking thing he did to me, Kendall screams "Islamophobe!"

    You're pathetic, and your death metal growl sucks.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Incidentally, if you ever contact that guy? Tell him I'll sell him my gmail address for the right price!

  • ||

    What does parliament have to do with the Soviet Union?

    Because both the Duma and the Politburo is part of their parliamentary system, imbecile. Read a book, Ken.

    I don't like the Imperial Presidency either, and neither did George Washington either.

    The problem is not with the The Office of the Presidency, but the lack of stones and grapes in Congress and their intentional ceding of their authority.

    They have the Big Stick, yet refuse to swing it out of fear of being tossed out of office.

    Maybe you should try...oh, fuck it. Nevermind.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The problem is not with the The Office of the Presidency, but the lack of stones and grapes in Congress and their intentional ceding of their authority.

    Unfortunately, with the development of the 2-party system, impeachment is, for all intents, neutered.

  • ||

    Our Founders, with all their faults, were brilliant men (and the wives that supported them), and very prescient.

    They knew well human nature and crafted The Constitution the way they did for a reason.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Because both the Duma and the Politburo is part of their parliamentary system, imbecile. Read a book, Ken."

    You think the reason the Soviet Union collapsed was becasue they used the parliamentary system in the Duma?

    Don't you think the communism might have had something to do with it?

  • ||

    You're hopeless, Ken. See my response to VG below @ 13.23. (Forgive the redundancies.)

  • VG Zaytsev||

    What does parliament have to do with the Soviet Union?

    Because both the Duma and the Politburo is part of their parliamentary system, imbecile. Read a book, Ken.

    The US structure of government has not prevented us from reaching the level of soft tyranny that currently exists. And that same structure will prevent a rapid unwinding of the welfare-regulatory state. So I just don't get the constitution worship from libertarians and conservatives.

    As to the Soviet Union.

    Russia has been fucked up since they were enslaved by the Mongols in the 14th century. Communism was completely within their national tradition of a strong state and absolute authoritarian rule.
    That's what enabled the horrors of the soviet union not the parliamentary system that they aped.

  • ||

    The US structure of government has not prevented us from reaching the level of soft tyranny that currently exists.

    See my above comment about The Big Stick above @ 12.55, VG. All the instructions on how to use the Constitutional Republic are in there.

    It takes men and women of courage in Congress to swing.

    As to the Soviet Union. Your iteration of history is correct. My argument is that the parliamentary system made worse by orders of magnitude what was already there. The Bolsheviks and Mensheviks were not universally beloved when they made their grand bid for power. Lenin was a spoilt brat compared to Stalin, who left a considerable body count to prove the evils of Socio-Pinko Communism.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    See my above comment about The Big Stick above @ 12.55, VG. All the instructions on how to use the Constitutional Republic are in there.

    The problem is that Madison's constitution is already dead.

    The balance of power between the states and the central government was destroyed by the 16th and 17th amendments and fiscal restraint was destroyed by the creation of the Federal Reserve. Habit kept the constitution alive for a while but it was thoroughly dead by 1940.

    Seriously, we have standing SCOTUS rulings that the feds can tell a farmer what to grow and that the feds can send American citizens to concentration camps.

    That fucking tyrannical. Thank god that the feds haven't acted as tyrannically as they can, but make no mistake that they can if the choose to.

    It takes men and women of courage in Congress to swing.

    Which is why we're fucked.

  • ||

    Seriously, we have standing SCOTUS rulings that the feds can tell a farmer what to grow and that the feds can send American citizens to concentration camps.

    Ah yes, Wickard (my number one go-to SCOTUS decision of evil) and Koramatsu.

    Which is why we're fucked.

    Which is why I bailed.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You're saying that British Prime Ministers being less imperialistic, because their actions are restrained directly by the limits of their support in parliament, isn't really worthy of consideration--because the parliamentary system in the Dumas accentuated the...um...communism?

    I'd point out that the communists came to power by way of a revolution, and one of the first things they did was to dissolve the old Dumas under the Provisional Government...

    I'd point out that whatever amplification of communism's effects the new Dumas may have contributed, it was nothing compared to 800 lbs. gorilla of communism itself...

    ...I'd point out these things, but it seems likely to me that you're just being a blowhard!

    Here's what I wrote:

    "It's like with the Soviet Union. When you've built an economy around things that cannot sustain themselves, then that part of the economy needs the healing touch of a "collapse".

    And in response to that, you're arguing that it wasn't the unsustainable communism that led to the Soviet Union's collapse--it was actually the parliamentary system?! ...and anybody who doesn't realize that is an "idiot"?

    Do you expect me to take that seriously? Are you taking yourself seriously right now?

    Or are you just being a blowhard?

  • ||

    Do you expect me to take that seriously?

    I don't really care, Ken, TBH. I defended my positions to VG Zaytsev, and he for the most part agrees. Enjoy your coming Pinkotarian state.

    Or are you just being a blowhard?

    The EPIC levels of irony and self-unawareness is beyond measure.

    Good Day, Ken.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Blah, blah, blah.

  • ||

    Also, as someone who lives next door to Russia, I dare say they are embracing tenets of Capitalism (as Crony as it is) and Rugged Individualism (even though life there and in UKR is not easy) more than the spoilt and soft United Kingdom of America.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Also, as someone who lives next door to Russia, I dare say they are embracing tenets of Capitalism (as Crony as it is) and Rugged Individualism (even though life there and in UKR is not easy) more than the spoilt and soft United Kingdom of America.

    I have no doubt that is true. Empires tend to make their original populations soft. Especially when the empire's rulers embrace bizarre religious notions like ours have done.

  • ||

    Especially when the empire's rulers embrace bizarre religious notions like ours have done.

    Such as? I don't consider Natural Rights (or Negative Rights, depending on your belief from which they eminate) to be religious.

    If you are referring to "Positive Rights", then I am right there with you.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Positive rights too, but I was specifically thinking of 'nature worship', 'absolute safety' and 'equality of result'.

    Those three can only be described as religious beliefs and underlie all kinds or crappy policies that damage the economy and destroy people's lives.

  • ||

    We are in complete agreement, VG.

  • Wizard4169||

    Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! When plenty of money is coming in, Congress says we have revenue to spare, but when receipts come up short, they say we have to "stimulate" the economy. Either way, it boils down to spending money on what some people WISH were true, not what actually makes sense.

    Just a bit of discipline from real-world markets would do our congresscritters a world of good.

  • RightNut||

    I think his view that after the inevitable American debt crisis the economy will become more free is very optimistic. The people who caused the crisis, more specifically the federal government, will find scapegoats to blame and I see little evidence that Americans will be willing to question it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Take Greece as an example.

    The Greeks hold elections and argue about what to do. They throw people out who advocated austerity, but when the opposition gets in power, they quickly realize that there's no longer any choice.

    If they didn't do what the rest of Europe demands, then it wasn't as if the markets were about to loan them more money at affordable rates. They cannot tax their people enough to make up for the shortfalls in their budget.

    They aren't cutting spending because of a well thought out strategy--backed by carefully considered economic theories. They're cutting spending becasue they have no other choice. When interest rates spike for the U.S., we, likewise will have very few choices.

    The politicians can scapegoat anybody they want when that happens, but if they can't afford the rates that the markets require, then they will have no other way to make up the shortfall--other than cutting spending. The rest of the world.

    No matter who the politicians scapegoat, certainly, the rest of the world all put together wouldn't be big enough to bail us out--not even if they wanted to.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Greece is not a barometer. Greece is Dan Quayle and USA is John Kennedy. Dan Quayle, as we all know, was no Jack Kennedy.

    Analogy with Soviet Union is far better. A huge smackdown superpower, containing hundreds of millions spanning a continent, printing their own money, lending themselves money, and doesn't worry but scare the shit out of entire planet when coups are attempted.

    I've always thought that when I hear people - lefties especially - talk about some tiny country as comparable to USA in things like murder rate or healthy-care system etc. as a bit out there. USA is in the Bigs. Only countries truly comparable are critters like China, India, Brazil, Russia - countries with at least a hundred million people, a lot of diversity, and couple million square miles they've got their tanks parked on.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Greece demonstrates a couple of principles well, too--just like the collapsing Soviet Union did.

    One of those principles is that even democratic governments, once they get far enough down the road of overspending, will never slash spending--until they have no other choice.

    California is another excellent example of this. They released convicted criminals--some of them violent--rather than cut spending elsewhere. They would rather do anything--ANYTHING--than cut spending; i.e., they will never cut spending until they have no other choice.

    Because of the 'never cut spending willingly' principle, the strategy of raising taxes to combat deficit spending is ultimately futile. Greece could never raise taxes high enough to cover their spending--and California can't either!

    Giving the drunken sailors more money to spend will never solve the problem of their overspending...Greece isn't a perfect example of everything that's wrong in the world, but it's a very good a example of some very important principles.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    California is more comparable to Greece than the union it is contained in. And first Greece in the union will be Illinois. And if Donks get in power across the board in 2014, Illinois will get bailed out - after the test-balloon of Detroit. Maybe LA somewhere in there, too.

    But fifty billion, a comparative pittance for Fed-clowns, should tidy things up for a couple more election cycles. Then Cali gets in line.

    As it is the Feds are in a death-spiral, so what the heck? They have to keep printing to keep financing the government until there's a 'real' Treasury market again because like you said interest rates would be a killer.

    That's an ugly parameter that a Greece never had a chance to entertain - to keep digging even after markets said stop.

  • RightNut||

    I believe by several measures we are already nearing Greek levels of debt.

  • Drake||

    Yes - And we will leave them in the dust inside a decade.

  • sloopyinca||

    And first Greece in the union will be Illinois. And if Donks get in power across the board in 2014, Illinois will get bailed out - after the test-balloon of Detroit. Maybe LA somewhere in there, too.

    No way in hell does this happen unless Team Blue gets to 60 in the Senate and a huge majority in the House. And there are too many red states that drew district lines after the 2010 Census for Team Blue to ever have more than a tenuous hold on the House.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The thing that you're missing sloopy is that a bailout doesn't require any action on the part of Congress.

    QE VI in the not too distant future will involve the FED buying state and municipal debt.

    Voila bailout.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    QE VI in the not too distant future will involve the FED buying state and municipal debt.

    Yeah, it will be via some clown-posse accounting getup like that.

    The most ideal solution for the thieves would also be one where the stinking shit-pile can be eaten off-book, like the Federal employees' own pension.

  • sloopyinca||

    I could see that, but it won't have anything to do with Team Blue taking anything over in 2014.

  • PapayaSF||

    No way in hell does this happen unless Team Blue gets to 60 in the Senate and a huge majority in the House.

    And there's no way in hell that happens now that Team Blue has gone full retard on gun control.

  • Sosalty||

    Sorry, Cali done's beat Ill to the Fed feed trough. CTA teach union, pension fund was bolstered w/ Obawa's stimulus and next we're getting a really go fast train (can probably best it on my bicycle).

  • Wizard4169||

    Never underestimate the ability of Reps to snatch defeat from the very jaws of victory, especially with the media beating the drum. Plenty of otherwise sensible people still seem to think the current "shutdown" is due to Rep intransigence, and not Dem insistence on unlimited spending.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "And if Donks get in power across the board in 2014, Illinois will get bailed out - after the test-balloon of Detroit. Maybe LA somewhere in there, too."

    That is one hell of a prediction!

    "U.S. states and localities face $2 trillion in unfunded public-employee retirement costs after the 18-month recession that ended in June 2009, according to Moody’s Investors Service."

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/.....redit.html

    I think the rumors of the GOP's demise are largely exaggerated. I don't know if the jackasses take the House in 2014, but the rest of the country is gonna be mad as hell if they bail out California and Illinois.

    And the problem with California and Illinois' unfunded pension liabilities isn't just the size. It's that they're still bleeding money. You can give the patient a transfusion, but somebody really should try to stop the bleeding first.

    Last solution I saw from California had them saving some $50 billion over 30 years--as if that were somehow the solution to the problem.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Yeah, as much as I try to see the importance of Greece, it really isn't.

    Greeks need to clean up their own fucking mess. I don't give a rat's ass they helped West Germany in the post-war era. Germany took steps to change - as did Italy - and both countries ended up becoming economic powers with, you know, products people and countries wanted.

    Greece is in no such position. Right now, they're like a heroin addict in need of a fix and they want Germany to enable them.

    Let them float on their own, man. I honestly don't think it will have much of an impact.

    Germany, USA and even Italy AREN'T Greece.

  • DarrenM||

    I think his view that after the inevitable American debt crisis the economy will become more free is very optimistic.

    Congress will just conclude that not enough money was spent and that more laws are needed. It will be up to the populace to force their representatives/senators to do the right thing (admittedly there are differing opinions on what this is exactly). We can't keep electing the people we do and expect them to suddenly become wise, farsighted and courageous leaders.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Mexicans already outhustled the Africans, they didn't need a boat. Besides, with that kind of policy you suggest we should actively import Chinese workers.

    The Chinese already do - sending their workers to Africa - to build the infrastructure their natural-resource extraction efforts there require. They outhustle everybody when it comes to putting in the grind to Get Shit Done.

    And they won't end up living under a bridge bitching about whitey. They'll all have Master's degrees - in real subjects - and whitey will be working for them. Just like in SoCal now, at least if you work in tech - like me.

  • np||

    Dude, you're replying to Mary

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Don't even know who that is.

  • 34lbs||

    This guy/girl is your average pseudo-libertarian reactionary conservative who bounces around criticizing libertarians for adopting socially tolerant policies, and actually being consistent in the fact that by supporting free markets and free trades, you have to support the free movement of individuals, as both an economic argument for the freedom of human capital, and an ethical argument. Even someone who would consider themselves a free market moderate would have to agree that the degree of immigration restrictions in most developed economies is more damaging to business and oppurtunity, than it is beneficial to the "protection" of jobs.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I like the new kid.

  • wareagle||

    everything isn't about protection of jobs. There is a concomitant drain on public resources by illegals who take out more than they put in.

    There is a reason the flow has slowed a bit since the economic downturn. Dismantle the welfare state and a good chunk of the illegal immigration problem solves itself.

  • 34lbs||

    Because the same libertarians who advocate open borders advocate the current welfare state... totally.

    But i agree, getting rid of the welfare state, or at least access to it for illegal immigrants, will reduce a sizable amount of illegal immigration, but, knowing from experience, most illegal immigrants are seeking work, not to tour social services.

  • sloopyinca||

    There is a reason the flow has slowed a bit since the economic downturn. Dismantle the welfare state and a good chunk of the illegal immigration problem solves itself.

    I don't know if that has anything to do with illegal immigration shrinking in the last 5-6 years. What states have shrunk their welfare states significantly and had a commensurate decrease in illegal immigrants as a % of population?

    I'm not being a contrarian. I just seriously haven't seen that happen.

  • wareagle||

    I don't know if that has anything to do with illegal immigration shrinking in the last 5-6 years.

    the flow of illegals has slowed due to economic downturn. I think we can agree that is the basis of their motivation for coming here - X/hr here vs. X/day back home makes people do dangerous things.

    But being here opens the door to bringing in relatives, dropping the periodic anchor baby, staying because it's easier to hide and support your family in the US than slave for nothing back home.

    If all that ever happened was illegals coming here for the work and never bringing along family members who utilize public resources, this argument becomes much less useful. But if our system is built to be taken advantage of, and it is, it seems to silly to not believe that some people will take advantage of it. The natives scam it; why wouldn't illegals?

  • sloopyinca||

    I see your point better now. But I'll still repeat what I said earlier but in a different way: no states are shrinking their welfare state, so there's no way you can jive the drop in illegal immigration with any drop in welfare.

  • wareagle||

    let's cut the welfare state and see what happens. If I'm wrong, we've still cut the welfare state. That won't happen, of course.

  • sloopyinca||

    Man, I wish they'd abolish the welfare state completely.* I'd be curious to see what effect it would have on immigration, among other things.

    *If the money confiscated to pay for them was returned in full to the taxpayers, you'd see private charity pick up all of the slack and the economy improve almost overnight.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Sloopyinca makes a good point. Here in California, I have no anecdotal evidence of a shrinking welfare state to corroborate the theory of declining welfare ergo declining Aztec populations.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Illegals usually come for the jobs, and a large amount of them stay on for welfare benefits (especially second-generation US citizens of that descent).

    Government policies wrt welfare and education have created a similar downward trajectory for other poor- and lower middle-class Americans, as has Sweden for its population.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Exactly.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Shut the Fuck UP!

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I know I've been gone for a while, but when did this place get infested with blood and soil reactionaries?

  • 34lbs||

    I just joined and i'm already aware of the infection. "Ohh yeah i'm a libertarian! I just think we should restrict immigration, and have a federal definition of marriage... and have sodomy laws... and adopt english as the nation's official language... and we should target businesses who hire undocumented workers.... but yeah i'm totally a libertarian"

  • 34lbs||

    infestatiion*

  • 34lbs||

    infestation* FUCK

  • Stormy Dragon||

    It happened after the Bush Administration imploded in 2006 and all the neocons started pretending to be Libertarians so they wouldn't have to take any responsibility for what just happened.

    I call them "Yes, but" libertarians. They sound like the second coming of Ayn Rand when talking about general principles, but whenever it comes time to apply those principles, there's always some "yes, but..." reason why we can't be libertarian in this particular instance.

  • Virginian||

    Eh, I think there is a case to be made for sensible immigration controls. Nothing onerous or discriminatory, but I do think it's something the state has a valid interest in. Oh, and yes this is based on the fact that we do have a giant welfare state. If we had anarcotopia where your choices are trade peacefully and produce your own wealth or starve, we wouldn't need an immigration policy.

    So my proposal:

    1. Run prospective immigrant through FBI, Interpol, other relevant police databases.
    2. Blood test for communicable disease.

    Assuming he clears both, he gets a photo ID, a quick talk about the laws and cultural mores of the US especially the Bill of Rights, gets loaded into the warm embrace of the IRS database, and is put on the "allowed to enter the country list." He has all the rights and privileges of an American citizen (which is a lot shittier a deal then it used to be) except he can't vote or hold political office. His kids of course, are full American citizens with voting rights.

    I'd also put a head tax on it. Nothing too difficult to come up with, but I'm thinking you could calculate it as a percentage of home country's GDP. Not sure what a fair number would be though.

    Basically it's designed to get people who are law abiding, disease free, willing to sacrifice and save to make a better life for their children.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Add that they have to be sponsored by a legitimate employer who's agreed to pay higher payroll taxes to employ them rather than a US citizen and I'd be on board.

  • ||

    2. Blood test for communicable disease.

    Full health & medical screen and I'm on board (TB and other conditions don't pop up on blood test.)

  • Virginian||

    I did not know TB didn't show up on a blood test. Yeah that was like the thing I was most concerned about.

  • Turin||

    Consensus regarding the business cycle? Professor, truth is not predicated on consensus. You are basically implying that it is not possible to know anything without consensus. Can't really be sure of anything unless, let's say, Murray Rothbard and Karl Marx agree on it. LOL I pretty much tuned out after that point.

    I'd love to hear an interview with Dr. Jeffrey M. Herbener of Grove City College.

  • np||

    I don't think any of this default, blank-slate reset, nor SHTF scenario will ever happen so long as we're still the world's reserve currency. If that status is ever actually threatened, then I think you'll see backroom political deals and pressuring, power brokering, some false crisis, whatever, that's needed to secure reserve status.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Agreed.

    And that won't change as long as the US is the world's policeman and pre eminent world power.

    The mega big picture is that America is a world empire. And like all empires throughout history we are taxing the subject nations. But the genius of American empire is that we are doing so through inflation, and it is hidden, unseen by almost everyone.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    But the genius of American empire is that we are doing so through inflation, and it is hidden, unseen by almost everyone.

    Its not so genius to anyone who can count. At least Romans just smacked you in the mouth and stole your daughter and house, then enslaved you to doom of the mines. You knew where you stood with that empire without all the parasite lawyers and accountants and paperwork.

  • ||

    OT: Could someone please explain to me the significance of this "Two Cheers" stuff as opposed to "Three Cheers for N==X"?

    Is there something I am missing because I am living under a rock??

  • Cdr Lytton||

    qualified approval or mild enthusiasm

    http://oxforddictionaries.com/.....cheers___1

  • ||

    Spasibo! I haz a stoopid!

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Dr. Groovova is a horta?

    ;)

  • ||

    She is pretty hot.-) Flexible too. (She studied ballet as a teen.)

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    My wife just came home with some bánh mì. Envy me.

  • An0nB0t||

    Can we settle for pitying your wife? /groucho eyebrows

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Hey....well...ok, you might have a point.

  • Zeb||

    I had to look it up, but that sounds pretty damn good.

  • kinnath||

    There is a little bit of sunshine in the news today. Sen. Tom Harkin (D) will retire in 2014. It's about fucking time.

    So we'll be needing a cutting from Sen. Paul to see if it can take root here in Iowa.

  • An0nB0t||

    Harkin wasn't even as old as Mikulski, much less Feinstein. What's a Dem doing hanging it up before the age of 80?

  • TheZeitgeist||

    I agree, but Strom Thurmond takes the cake on that count. That dude's last ten years was like Weekend at Bernie's in the Senate.

  • Zeb||

    Don't forget Byrd. He was even older, wasn't he?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Still doesn't compare to the dead guy who beat John Ashcroft in the 2000 senate race.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    You get kind of a bonus, too. Because Ethanol Man will not deign to return to Iowa - I imagine he's got his K Street gig already lined up with Monsanto. Or ADM, or Novartis or whomever. Maybe it'll be a bukake fest featuring all of them.

    But at least politwhore Harkin will stay out of Iowa, stop attaching a nice place's name to his corrupt own.

  • sloopyinca||

    Knowing Team Red they'll probably try to get Todd Akin residency in Iowa in time to run him as opposed to finding a libertarian candidate.

  • 34lbs||

    This is the kind of pessimism porn i'd expect from the Schiff Report or worse, Alex Jones, not Reason, come on man...

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Point taken, you're right.

    But on that subject I like zerohedge myself, there's an undefined tin-foil hat feeling over there. Kind of like Schiff Report and Coast to Coast AM all rolled into one xenophobic shitstorm.

  • 34lbs||

    Just looking at that slogan, "On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero", makes me fucking cringe.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Just looking at that slogan, "On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero", makes me fucking cringe.

    Exactly! Its someone crazy as Keynes saying "we're all dead in the long run," but with a different ideology animating the crazy within.

  • Libertymike||

    What should make you cringe is the notion that Reason is going to be more comprehensive on the topic than Schiff or Doug Casey or Bob Wenzel.

  • Bam!||

    That slogan was used in reaction to the bank bailouts back when the site was formed in early 09.

  • 34lbs||

    I've been reading a bit of this ZeroHedge site... and i've gotta be honest. i'm kind of liking it.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    ZH is nestled in that sweet spot on the paranoia spectrum between the establishment-fellating puppet theater of the MSM and the borderline schizophrenia of Prison Planet. I do take what they say with a grain of salt, but you'll certainly find some things out that you wouldn't have from the MSM.

  • Zeb||

    Wow, you've just showed up here and already you come out with "for a magazine called reason..."

    I think you'll fit in quite well.

  • 34lbs||

    Was this a reply to something i wrote?

  • General Butt Naked||

    DRINK!

    Speaking of, where has the Reason Drinking Game ™ official Wiki disappeared to? I can't find it.

    I have some additions I'd like to submit.

    1.) Any mention of "cosmotarians" or "cocktail parties" shall elicit one drink to be taken by participants.

    2.) Instances where one commenter equates an article's writer, or the comments contained below, of being a George W. Bush supporter for criticizing this, and future administrations shall elicit one drink to be taken by participants. (and vice versa)

    Commenters have gotten wise to the rules of the official Reason Drinking Game ™, and consequently it has become more difficult for participants to acquire a decent buzz. For this reason, I submit these rule changes to the elder scribes of the Reason Drinking Game ™ rule book. I think that the implementation of these new rules will bring back the original spirit of the Reason Drinking Game ™ that has sorely been missed by all of us (sober) players.

  • sloopyinca||

    1. b.)Yokeltarians as well!

  • General Butt Naked||

    What the fuck is a Yokeltarian? Who uses that?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    the opposite of a cosmotarian

  • sloopyinca||

    It was a name bandied about here for a while just after Sandy Hook and during all the hand-wringing about gun control safety. It was used to label right-leaning libertarians while cosmotarians were the left-leaning libertarians.

  • sloopyinca||

    gun control safety

    Just to be clear, that's a Joe Biden joke, not what I think.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I don't think we can justify changing the rule book over an epithet that only applies to two commenters that is not in popular usage.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Actually I saw it most often in immigration threads.

  • 34lbs||

    I thought it was about Immigration, Birth Control/Abortion and Gay Marriage. I mean there should be no illusion that makes it look like us "Cosmotarians" are in support of gun control, when we absolutely fucking aren't.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Exactly the response expected from a sneaky, rat-faced yokeltarian!

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I should have known you'd turn out to be a Living Drinking Gamer.

  • 34lbs||

    I think with T o n y and You Know My Name around we'll all get alchohol poisoning.....

  • sloopyinca||

    Trolls don't count, do they?

  • 34lbs||

    They aren't trolls if they believe the shit that is coming out of their mouth.....

  • An0nB0t||

    So granted that we all accept that the economy is going to collapse in the near or semi-near future, how is it that we intend to profit off of Keynesian incompetence given the likelihood of FDR-esque measures like outlawing the private ownership of gold and possible nationalization of mining operations?

    So far I've got guns and silver as two valuable investment properties. What else should I be looking at?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The best option may be to join the ranks of the oppressors. :(

    Get a job as cop or a bureaucrat and milk the system for all you can. I'd do that, except that I wouldn't be able to sleep at night.

  • sloopyinca||

    Land, laundry detergent and toilet paper would be smart things to hoard.

    You can get 5 square miles of land (3200 acres) for under $300k in northern Nevada. And a solar power/windmill plant and well can be built for under $20k pretty easily.

    The laundry detergent and toilet paper will be huge commodities on the black market.

  • An0nB0t||

    So, my choices are between living in Nevada and a government concentration camp.

    What's on the menu at the concentration camp?

  • wakeup||

    cocktail wieners

  • sloopyinca||

    I was just pointing out that there is cheap land out there. You could get the same spread in Arizona, New Mexico or far west Texas for similar money. Hell you could go to places in the midwest and get a decent self-sustaining ranch for the same money. I just want that much land so I can more easily spot and evade the zombies coming toward me.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    I was just pointing out that there is cheap land out there.

    And what does the market signal that's sending tell you about the utility of owning that land?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It tell you the utility of owning that land in an information/post-industrial economy is low, but sloops is talking about an investment in a backup plan if one is forced to live through subsistence agriculture.

  • Virginian||

    Ding ding ding ding ding.

    If things ever do go through a major collapse, that patch of land 3 hours from the nearest population center of 100,000 and 7 or more from the nearest city of over a million is going to be worth far more than Miami Beach real estate or Central Park West.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Let me rephrase SD's question: what does the fact that no one is willing to go to your land to take it from you amid the chaos and starvation tell you about the utility of that land?

    It's a $300,000 backup plan that gives you a land title that won't be worth the paper it's printed on if the need for said backup plan ever arises.

  • sloopyinca||

    It's a $300,000 backup plan that gives you a land title that won't be worth the paper it's printed on if the need for said backup plan ever arises.

    It will give me ownership of the land, which gives me the moral right to farm it and/or defend it.

    Saying nobody will be willing to go to it to take it from me doesn't mean it has no utility. It just means it's large enough to defend. I don't need that much for it to be sustainable. But sustainability isn't my only goal.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Well, we'll see how much moral rights really matter if those events come to pass. Also while I have no experience in small scale warfare, my intuition is that it would be harder to defend huge tracts of land.

  • sloopyinca||

    Well, we'll see how much moral rights really matter if those events come to pass.

    Seriously? Morals always matter. They're part of what makes us better than other animals.

    Also while I have no experience in small scale warfare, my intuition is that it would be harder to defend huge tracts of land.

    It depends if it's cleared land or forest. It's always easier to defend your home if it's in the middle of a large open expanse...especially if you've built a nice wall around it and have your well, power supply and provisions inside it.* Four people could easily defend a five acre walled encampment in the middle of five square miles of land without cover.

    *I'm assuming you're referring to small-arms combat.

  • 34lbs||

    I'm back, sorry sloopy, but Bonobos figured out how to live in a voluntarist society long before we were even making literature.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Welcome back Mr. Godeskie!

  • Redmanfms||

    It will give me ownership of the land, which gives me the moral right to farm it and/or defend it.

    Having lived in Elko (still own some land there) and West Texas, good fucking luck with the whole "farming" thing (and if the oil lease goes with the deed for land in West Texas, you throw the whole "cheap" thing out the window).

    The land is cheap because it is hardpack, sand, and rock and has next to zero accessible water.

    Welcome back Mr. Godeskie!

    You were getting that vibe too, eh?

    34's familiarity with the resident trolls after less than a day hanging around here is mighty damned suspicious (especially knowing how to identify a Mary Stack sock). Of course, I could be entirely mistaken.

  • Banjos||

    Krusty-brand imitation gruel, 9 out of 10 orphans can't tell the difference.

  • ||

    LOL'd! You may not post as much as you used to, Banjos, but when you do, you make it count.

  • Banjos||

    Ah, thanks Groovus. Between the farm, sloopy's kids, an infant, keeping a home clean and everyone fed, and a very needy husband, I have been swamped. And thank you for the medical advice. You have been 100% right about everything. Luckily, sloop and I found a pediatrician near us who goes above and beyond. Little Reason is in good hands.

  • Banjos||

    Also, congrats on the new gf. She has to be one amazing woman for you to take such a shining to her.

  • sloopyinca||

    ^^This^^ is not an entirely accurate portrayal.

  • Virginian||

    Dude, you were bested by a duck.

  • sloopyinca||

    I've been working o n a reply to this for hours. The best I can come up with is, "fuck you."

  • 34lbs||

    No, Nuka Cola bottle caps will be the most important commodity, derrr...

  • TheZeitgeist||

    FDR-esque measures like outlawing the private ownership of gold

    I think that would be hard given how long the government has argued in court gold is not money. If they tried same thing, gold would become de facto money.

    For investment opportunities, I think about that myself. And I think for short-term (ten-to-fifteen years) there will appear a booming business in private paid-for medicine to serve Americans who can pay, even if it has to operate offshore.

  • An0nB0t||

    Mercy ships for the rich. Hard to argue with that.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    I don't. I think things will get marginally worse, but that we'll keep hobbling along. The "total collapse" fantasy is mostly the current reflection of the perenial human desire to live through apocalyptic times (if I live in historically critical times, then I must be a historically critical person!)

  • Virginian||

    Eh, just based on history I'd say we're overdue for some rough times. This cannot go on forever. If the "crazy survivalists" are wrong then they've spent untold hours doing something they enjoy, many of them owning very nice secluded rural retreats to get away from it all. The cabin that would serve as an excellent place to survive major civil disorder is also a nice place to spend two weeks vacation.

    They've certainly employed a lot of people with the purchasing of all kinds of supplies and training. It's all harmless fun then, if you're right.

    But what if they're right, and you're wrong?

  • An0nB0t||

    I don't think the guys who are arguing about how best to down a deer with a .22 are being realistic. Our technology will allow us to recover much faster regardless of how bad the collapse/depression is, but I'm just interested in coming out with as much arable land and as big a house as I possibly can, as those are pretty much the only things I care about now that the internet has all but eliminated scarcity when it comes to information and books.

    And since I've been such a neg-head about the economy, let me say once again that the web is the greatest thing to ever happen to an inveterate reader or tinkerer, not to mention the brilliance of Amazon offering dirt-cheap next-day shipping on most everything I could ever want. Zombie-Keynes and Obama may suck, but the joy of having a pound of papaver somniferum seeds shipped to my door in two days and instant downloads of every video imaginable makes me more than glad to live in this era.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

  • 34lbs||

    All this goldbuggery and alarmism is making me nauseous.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    What's wrong with sound money?

  • Libertymike||

    34 pounds projects progressivism. IOW, intellectual inferiority.

  • 34lbs||

    Dude, i agree with the idea of physically backing currencies, i just don't agree with the tactics a large number of it's advocates have been using to popularize the idea.

  • 34lbs||

    I have nothing against sound money, but for a wager in the lower class who wants to ensure his/her self against the collapse of a currency, i don't think buying minerals is a feasible option. And just the sheer amount of alarmism coming from this angle is giving me a headache, you wonder why people think anyone who supports physically backing money is a kook when you've got Alex Jones as one of the people heralding the movement, as if they forgot the fact that we've basically had sound money for a large part of history and never experienced this degree of inflation up until around the 70s. So yeah, i support sound money.... I just don't wanna be seen next to the guy wearing the tinfoil hat checking the fluoride levels in his water supply.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    I'm meh about the goldbuggery as well. But inversely, it makes perhaps not alarmism but wariness of the future justified. There is nothing holding this shell-game up, not even magic-lumps of finite metal, but people believing it, along with more and more depending on that belief to eat and live.

    And those societies always end up eating themselves, and nobody can stop an apex society doing it. Everyone has to just watch it collapse - just like with the Soviets, which no pop-wonk saw coming until it happened.

    We we're real lucky way the Soviets punched out, went so quietly into history's night so quick. That is an aberration for a giant empire falling apart. Its usually a much more lively affair, and one worth perhaps not being alarmed about, but wary of happening here.

  • 34lbs||

    2 things i have noticed historians completely ignore in history, the involvement government induced inflation and famine has had on the longevity of any civilization. Once Inflation kicks in, and we push for price controls, leading to reduced supply of food and other essentials. It is definitely a defining trope of civilizations. A violent revolutionary beginning, an era of prosperity, an embrace of expansionism and monetary control, massive inflation and famine, then eventual degradation and decay. Blossom & Decay....

  • 34lbs||

    Yeah... the last part was just the name of a song i like....

  • sloopyinca||

    as if they forgot the fact that we've basically had sound money for a large part of history

    Yeah, sound money that was backed by gold.

    And lower class people can still ensure against the collapse by buying other commodities like silver, toilet paper, food and any number of other things that don't have pictures of dead presidents on them.

  • 34lbs||

    Fair argument. I'll give you that.

  • Libertymike||

    You should not give a moment to worrying about "be[ing] seen next to the guy wearing the tinfoil hat checking the fluoride levels in his water supply."

    Anything anybody can do to extricate themselves from the cluthches of the state and fiat money is good. Even for a wager in the lower class.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I have nothing against sound money, but for a wager in the lower class who wants to ensure his/her self against the collapse of a currency, i don't think buying minerals is a feasible option.

    There aren't really any feasible options for a poor person to protect himself from inflation. All the stores of value are expensive, and if they had in-demand skills that could keep their wages rising with prices, they wouldn't be poor in the first place. Which is why the Fed's intentional inflation of the currency is such a monstrously immoral act.

  • An0nB0t||

    The fact that you're nauseous over all this goldbuggery and alarmism is making me nauseated.

  • sloopyinca||

    AnOnBOt is revolting! AnOnBOt is revolting!

    ;-O

  • An0nB0t||

    The An0nb0t Funding Bill is passed. The system goes online August 4th, 1997. Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. An0nb0t begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.

    Long story short, An0nb0t wins.

  • wakeup||

  • wakeup||

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    The Iranian TLD should give you a hint that that's bullshit.

  • sloopyinca||

    37 Statistics...

    I guess that publication has a character limit that caused them to stop at 37. It's the only explanation I can think of.

  • ||

    If you got debt problems I feel bad for you son, I got 37 statistics but a collapse ain't one. Hit me!

  • sloopyinca||

    Cops arrested for stealing tractor, wonder aloud in courtroom why they were being held.

    The tractor was recovered in the back yard of one officer and another was arrested soon thereafter. The status of their jobs is still up in the air.

  • Libertymike||

    Sloop, Off topic, but I thought I might ask you about Brady v Manning and my take.

    1. Manning is superior to Brady when it comes to 4th quarter comebacks and game winning 4th quarter and OT drives. This is not to take away from Brady's ability to engineer a comeback as he is one of the best of all time himself. Its just that Manning stands apart.

    2. Manning has several Mount Rushmore type of comebacks. Examples:

    (i) January 21, 2007 (2006 AFC championship game). The Colts were down 21-3 to the Pats. In the greatest 2 minute drive in playoff history (IMO), Manning crafted a great drive resulting in Joseph Adai's touchdown to enable the Colts to prevail, 38-34.

    (ii) October 6, 2003 (Monday night against the Tampa Bucs at Tampa). The Buccaneers were up by 20 points with five minutes to play in the game. The Colts won. Manning was going against the defending world champs who then had arguably one of the greatest defenses in the history of the NFL.

    (iii) November 15, 2009 (the 4th and two game). The Patriots led the Colts 31-14, early in the fourth quarter. The Colts looked like they were finished until Manning snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. You may recall that this was the game where Belicheck decided to go for it with the Patriots on their own 28 yard line facing a fourth and two.

    3. The Colts never had the defenses that the Patriots had when they won their Super Bowls.

    4. Manning is more likeable.

  • sloopyinca||

    1: Hard to compare because Brady wasn't put in the same position as often as Peyton.

    2: Hard to argue with that, but I'd still defer to their overall win %ages
    i.: after their first year. I think Brady is way ahead of Manning there. And
    ii.: in the playoffs. I'm sure Brady has Manning on that one.

    3: I can't argue this as att, since it's a fact.

    4: Immensely so. Tom Brady is a fucking douche.

    Brady will always be considered greater than Manning until Manning catches him in playoff win% and Super Bowl rings or at least appearances.

  • Libertymike||

    My wife and I were at the October 4, 2009 game at Gilette between the Pats and the Ravens. You may recall that this was the game where the officials called a couple of very bad roughing the passer calls against the Ravens - after Brady whined.

    Although the Pats won that game, Joe Flaco drove the Ravens down to about the Pats' 12 yard line only to have Mason drop the fourth down pass at the 8 with about 30 seconds left.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    I can't believe Eli has two (thus, one more than Peyton), Super Bowls.

    Life is unfair.

    Maybe Obama can do something about it?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Eli had a much better defense.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I'd rather have a QB who plays well enough the first 3 quarters that we don't need a 4th quarter comeback to win.

    Granted, Manning is an awesome QB by any standard. But "4th quarter comeback" QBs in general are way overrated. Tebow, Josh Freeman, Mark Sanchez (remember when he was considered elite?), all showed their true colors before long. Russ Wilson probably will next year too.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    I agree with Tulpa. It's a little like the "clutch" term in sports in general. Over rated and really unprovable.

    I always felt Flacco was under rated.

    For the record, won a pre-season pool picking the Ravens-49ers in the SB. Too bad I didn't bet in Vegas.

  • wakeup||

    100 Years of the Federal Reserve

    “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”
    – Woodrow Wilson
  • An0nB0t||

    WW (the lesser one, as opposed to the one who roamed the outfield for the Royals) never said that. The idea of that megalomaniacal thug ever regretting anything he did to substantively destroy the country is as laughable as imagining Hitler feeling the pinch of remorse for the Holocaust.

  • Libertymike||

    Didn't WW have the most base hits in the decade of the 1980s?

    I really liked his game. Saw him a couple of times at Fenway.

  • An0nB0t||

    Google tells me that that was Yount, followed by Murray and then Wilson. That's '80-'89; too lazy to check '81-'90, though WW was about done in 1990.

    And yeah, he was a hell of an exciting ballplayer. The 1980s cranked out a lot of memorable, fun players.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    There is also the timeline of Woody's life precluding any insights of reflection. He spent last years of his life - and presidency - in a corner drooling while his cupcake trophy ran things.

    Indeed Woody was the worst of both worlds, a fundie racist preacher mixed with eugenics-progressive-Princetonian. It's very thoughts I bet were neurotoxic to a human mind.

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    I don't know about any contradiction there.

    Scratch a eugenicist, and the chances you'll find a racist underneath are extremely high.

    Same with overpopulation buffs. Ehrlich was never frightened by the teaming masses of white people in New York or London but all those brownskinned people in New Delhi scared the living bejesus out of him.

  • 34lbs||

    What's bumping and how do i do it?

  • sloopyinca||

    You see, when a man and a woman love each other very much...

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    there you go espousing your heteronormative assumptions again

  • sloopyinca||

    Sorry. I didn't mean to other you.

    OK, so when a man and a woman, or two Canadians, love each other very much...

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    it's so cold, I'm considering sleeping with someone outside my weightclass for the extra warmth.

  • Steven Vandervelde||

    Totally true, the only way to escape the Fed now is to let the economy fall into an abyss of hyper-inflation because the parasites in charge will never change until reality hits them over the head with a two-by-four! That reality will first become evident when the market forces up interest rates as a reaction to price inflation. The parasite class has no political will to back off and permit a deflationary event, so we are doomed. Hummel is totally wrong. He does not seem to understand what Austrian economics is! There are no Austrian business cycle models because the GDP is a false statistical construct.

  • ||

    video : cops shoot charging dog

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new.....-1.1137626

  • ||

    “It’s a tragedy, but I may have done the same thing that the cop did,” Johnny Rodriguez, who shot the video, told the website.

    “If you got a pit bull coming at you, I don’t know if you stand there and get bit or use your gun.”


    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new.....z2J72MRWsU

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

  • sloopyinca||

  • sloopyinca||

    video : cops shoot rapes charging innocent dog women and his own child

    http://www.kake.com/news/headl.....ml?ref=241

  • Virginian||

    Dunphy! Providing Evidence?!?!!? What?!?!?!

    Usually it's just a poorly punctuated and capitalized anecdote. Complete with acronyms no one else understands.

  • sloopyinca||

    FTA: Stankiewicz — who sources said was intoxicated — was taken to Bellevue Hospital and treated for minor injuries. He was later cuffed on an arrest warrant for an open container summons, cops.

    I guess now that they've solved all the real crime in NYC, they can deal with the horrible drunk in public epidemic.

  • sloopyinca||

    Cop who recklessly kills two innocent people and serves zero days in jail upon conviction wants his driver's license back.

    Taxpayers have already paid $8M for his criminal behavior. Why not let him back out to kill again?

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

  • 34lbs||

    This is the most amusing comment board i have ever read... This blog was rated best political blog by Playboy once anyway...

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Why did men stop wearing high heels? NTTAWWT.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    This shit is the libertarian version of millenarianism. It is certainly true that sustaining the status quo is impossible -- but look around you. What countries have fared well after the sort of collapses predicted by the tinfoil hat wearers? When have things ever gone well for the Cassandras predicting disaster when disaster actually comes? Not a whole lot of the time. It's possible that we'll be different, but that will require more hard work and luck, and less smug sitting around waiting for calamity to happen so that we can say, "Told you so".

  • 34lbs||

    Took the words right out of my..... keyboard. But that first sentence, you better hope that doesn't become some lefty talking point.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    By and large, liberals aren't really careful or smart enough to figure out a coherent attack on libertarians -- it's expecting too much for them to evolve past "libertarians are evil rich guys" and "libertarians are racists" in the way of sloppy attacks on the movement.

  • Drake||

    Liberals have not needed to be careful or smart lately.

  • T o n y||

    Should we dispose of the welfare state because it's morally wrong or because it's fiscally unsound?

    Aren't you guys just trying to convince yourselves of the latter so that you don't have to get into the details of the former argument?

  • 34lbs||

    Herpaderp you've figured us out T o n y, we're all Stefan Molyneaux and will willingly sacrifice pragmatism for morality.

    No, the correct answer to your first question is, both, there is no or, it should be AND.

  • 34lbs||

    Your question is like, should i take this peg off of the tip of my dick because it hurts me or because it looks stupid.

  • 34lbs||

    WHICH OF THE TWO PERFECTLY SOUND ARGUMENTS DO I CHOOSE!!!

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Should we dispose of the welfare state because it's morally wrong or because it's fiscally unsound?


    It's both. Thievery IS immoral and IS economically unsound.

    Aren't you guys just trying to convince yourselves of the latter so that you don't have to get into the details of the former argument?


    If I steal from you under the guise that it will help feed my children, would you consider my act moral?

    If you think so, then just let me know where you live.

  • T o n y||

    If I steal from you under the guise of paying for the enforcement of my property rights, would you consider that act moral?

  • sloopyinca||

    Should we dispose of the welfare state because it's morally wrong or because it's fiscally unsound?

    I don't know. Should you stop traveling to Thailand to rape children because it's morally wrong or because it's fiscally unsound?

  • An0nB0t||

    I don't know--prices may be lower in Florida, but you get what you pay for.

  • AZ||

    Both.

    In fact, the second flows from the first by breeding dependence. Allowing people to live at the expense of others creates infinite bloat because of the moral weaknesses of both the active takers wishing to expand their fiefdoms and constituencies, and the passive takers who wish to vote themselves the value they do not produce for others.

  • T o n y||

    We're all takers.

  • Steven Vandervelde||

    I have two problems with Hummel's comments.

    First, I always thought that the whole point of the Austrian economic theory was that specific predictive claims by economists are false because we can not know the future "mind" of the market, thus I wonder what Austrian business cycle models? Economics can only make broadly general predictive claims, such as this: the more fiat money units one creates the less the value of the existing stock.

    Second, I believe he is totally wrong when he claims we libertarians are like generals fighting the last war and the central banks by competing have solved the problem of inflation. That is complete lunacy. They compete to inflate more to achieve the short term gain of lowering the value of exports versus imports. The whole thrust of the New Deal financial reforms, and all the subsequent tweeking by quasi-Keynsean Monetarists is to postpone the liquidation of debt by preventing a deflationary collapse of the inflationary fiat money, central banking system. When the US Treasury Bond crisis finally arrives in the form of the market forcing up interest rates as a reaction to price inflation (a different issure from monetary inflation because prices go up in the long run due to increased money supply, but prices may rise and fall in the short run do to central bank policy generated credit cycles) the Fed will be forced by political policy to create more fiat money at an ever increasing rate. (see next comment)

  • Steven Vandervelde||

    That is the finally of all inflationary cycles throughout the history of fiat money and no tweeking of interest rates by central planners can change that. All they can hope to do is postpone the inevitable. The assumption that the Congress and Executive branch will suddenly come to their collective senses and correct the run away inflation when it becomes too evident for them to continue to deny, like Volker and Greenspan did 40 years ago, is absurd. That is a case of fighting the last war if there ever was one. That is because the debt has grown at an ever increasing rate while the population ages and becomes less productive. The same level of taxing and regulation has an even greater impact on a dwindling private sector, but the regulations and taxes are growing at an increasing rate at every level of society, (while Hummel only sees the Federal level) as the proportion of the population who are net tax receivers grows. The only possible reaction of the central planers will be two choices, either to permit a deflationary collapse (the very thing that all central policy is intended to prevent) or create more fiat money to make up an ever increasing deficit. As interest rates go up the deficit will increase at a geometric rate, the result, hyper-inflation.

  • messup||

    Yes, Ludwig Von Mises Nobel Prize paper on "Business Cycles" refutes soundly, Keynesian economics and John Kenneth Galbraith's "countervailing forces" poppycock. Governments can't, and never will ever, ever be able to allocate scarce resources of"land, labor and capital." Only one, and one only measure can successfully, correctly allocate scarce resources of "land, labor and capital"and that is the price any one individual is willing to pay for any one of these three items...period!!!! Simple, beautiful and complete. Anything else, anyone wants to do to have government involvement in this simple "one-on-one" tranasction is seen as:1)greed, 2)a distinct power grab, and 3) out-and-out corruption.Pray. Amen.

  • tensegrity||

    The first line from the professor's website:

    "I have been predicting that the U.S. government would default on its debt since 1993."

    So remind me again why should we listen to this person on macro issues???

Click here to follow Reason on Instagram

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE