Like the L.P., Only More Obscure

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I'm guessing there's no chance of an open bar at the Capitalism Party.

I don't know whether this is much more than a one-man operation, but it looks like the main differences with the L.P. concern foreign policy (the C.P. wants to "end terrorism-sponsoring states") and minimal vs. no government as the ultimate goal (although the L.P. seems to be fudging that issue these days). The former debate is worth having, and it would be nice to see the day when the latter is too. But I'm not holding my breath.

NEXT: Acting Like Adults

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  1. Wow. The “Money Story” is delightfully true, false, silly, and bizarre.

  2. I get it! I get it!
    If the C.P. were to win, that would end the US being a terrorism-sponsoring state which would go a long way to ending terrorism-sponsoring states world-wide.

  3. Wow! Another party that wants the gold standard returned! Wow, boy I sure would like my money based on a metal that’s only value (besides for technical purposes, wiring, etc) is completely made up. Wow, boy oh boy. And the modern CP and the modern LP must have the tinfoil hat concessions just about tied up.

    Yep.

    Boy, I wonder why no one takes either party seriously, I just can’t imagine why.

  4. Yeah, Skeptikos, you’d think we’d be advocating the tin standard, wouldn’t you?

    Although your paper standard is “made up” even more so, eh?

  5. So Skeptikos, you prefer money based on paper whose value is completely made up?

    The difference is that the government can’t print more gold at will to inflate away their massive debt…

  6. Skeptikos,

    As opposed to money as it currently is? Backed by, uh, the “promise” that the government tells us it’s worth something? Sheesh.

    Okay. Say you wanted a currency that has inherent value. How about water? Probably the most valuable resource for humans. I’ll trade you, say, 10 gallons of water for an ounce of gold. According to your “logic”, I would be ripped off, because the value of gold is “made up”.

  7. Skeptikos,
    google, it’s not just for some.

    …and minimal vs. no government as the ultimate goal (although the L.P. seems to be fudging that issue these days).

    I don’t understand. Libertarians (both capital and lower case) have always been advocates of minimal government (we’re not anarchists you know). I can’t find any “fudging” in the statement of principals. Who’s calling for “no government”?

  8. Oh, Amigos,

    That’s my whole point. You see, both parties are REALLY upset at the Gov printing more money as they see fit, each for thier own reasons mind you, but in that, they have the beginning of a point. But to compound one fantasy with multiple layers of fantasy, is just the same as having a tax code that is indecipherable.

    My logic only states that the gold standard is not realistic, start by realizing that all credits are merely what you, I and the other guy say they are, and you will be on the way to understanding Zen Libertarinism. And the good people who make up this country might even take you seriously.

    Mind you, I’m not holding my breath.

  9. Warren, don’t mean to brag, but, my influence must be being felt.

  10. Someone should catalogue all the reasons listed on Hit & Run for why no one takes l(L)ibeterians seriously. I don’t know why, but someone should.

  11. Fyodor: They usually boil down to: “This is why no one takes libertarianism seriously: Because some anonymous commenter who may or may not be a libertarian just said something rude to me.”

  12. Skeptikos,
    Taken seriously by whom and by how many?
    It goes back to anarchy being more flexible than democracy.

  13. Warren,

    I love the link.

    fydor,

    I think there is only one that matters: They don’t want to be taken seriously. It’s basic economics. If the party gets taken serious, then the things it says might have impact (and I’m not talking about the fine staffs of institutions such as Cato, or Reason, but the politikos) and they might have to worry about the cohesion of the proposals they put out there.

  14. Skeptikos,

    You are refusing to ‘get it’. Sure “all credits are merely what you, I and the other guy say they are”, but what happens when the other guy says your credits are worthless to him? If they are backed by a tangible commodity with a variety of applications, they will retain value.

  15. Skeptikos – I agree with you philisophically about gold – its only value derives from the fact that it is rare, as opposed to useful. I admit it’s sorta wacky.

    But that’s not really a reason to mock the gold standard: gold has served as a “store of value” for all of civilization’s history – whereas every fiat currency has eventually ended up worthless.

    Regarding your comment about the LP: interesting viewpoint. I’m sure that’s part of it. I tend to think that they are more interested in talking about what their ideal society would be like in an ideal world than they are in being elected. This fits right in with what you said. Very frustrating.

  16. Ah Warren, the beauty of the free market. People will respect your credits as long as they have real value. Demonstrable value. Gold is only a crutch. One day, I expect to see private currencies emerge, these will have the only real value, as all currency does. To quote my fav Lib author, Heinlin, currency is a wonderful, beautifully concocted symbol. The real value are the items produced, and these only representing the language of trade.

    If gold were viable as a currency, then coins would be made of them.

    But for reasons for to complex to go into here, in this fine but limited forum, that day is LONG, LONG passed.

  17. Skeptikos, I’m not denying your theory of the value of currency. I never suggested that our paper money has no value or only private currencies have value. My point, is that if the currency is not backed by something it is vulnerable to collapse. Backing currency with tangible goods, gives it increased stability, and even better, helps insulate the economy from the meddling aspirations of the mighty.

    Also I think you’ll find that gold coins are still in circulation.

  18. So what’s the difference between them and the ARI? Do they have an Immanuel Kant litmus test?

  19. Yes they are still in circulation. But not as a primary international trading units. Real credits, are postings on electronic systems that can be traded for tangibles. Yes you can prop up currency by pegging it to something. As you can do the same to your nation by closing your borders, and imposing trade restrictions, but in both cases you limit your growth. I am argueing that government should never support failing business, and we should never support failing currencies. Free market. Going to gold at this point seems to me to be both ludite, and anti-free matket.

    When a currency collapses, there is only one reasonable reason for it to have happened in 90% of the instances it occurs. It should have.

  20. So Skeptikos, what is “free-market” about our current fiat currency?

  21. I think skepticos is trying to view nations as corporations and is saying that if the currency of a nation fails, then the nation should be allowed to fail, rather than be propped up by a currency tied to a commodity.

    Personally, I see currencies tied to commodities as asset insurance for the uneducated, since most intelligent people will protect themsleves from a failing currency by investing in commodities.

    Commodity based currencies do provide one other benefit that is also significant to the uneducated. Namely, they stop the hidden taxation of inflation that many people are unaware of except in periods of high inflation.

    IMHO, commodity based currencies provide simple safe guards for the uneducated and poor that fiat currencies do not provide and the only cost is that our leaders must be more fiscally responsible. I think it is a good trade.

  22. Warren, I got the impression from the L.P.’s “Statement of Principles” that they are being deliberately vague on the question of minimal vs. no government. They say. e.g., that “where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual” and “governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights” (emphasis added). Strictly speaking, I suppose, if you concede the possibility that government can exist without violating people’s rights, you’re not an anarchist. But this language seems designed to placate anarchists by avoiding a clear position on whether government should exist at all.

    Or it could be I’m reading too much into those qualifiers.

  23. In Poland after the fall of the Wall, they had a term for the plethora of political parties that sprung up, overnight: sofa parties.

    The idea being that all the members of the party would be able to sit on a single sofa.

  24. Matt, I travel a bit internationally. The currency in my pocket is only worth what the people I am trading with value it at. My estimation is worthless. Just like the act of selling a car, it is the market that sets the equivalent trade value. The “currency” is merely a tangible with which to base the trade, quite often, currency is not even touched. For instance I will be assisting my cousin who is moving to Venice. I will do it entirely electronically, symbolically, and no currencies will be touched. Only the symbolic representations, and the market valuations between these representations will come into play. But in reality, I will put bonds into play here, converting them into credits in an international bank entry, trading for tangibles there, the only currency that will be touched is that of the hypothetical, market valuation kind. I may even trade currencies across systems in anticipation of more value for these wholly hypothetical units of credit. I wouldn’t touch gold, nor a gold based currency, if my life depended on it. Commodity based currency does not for me represent a true picture of the fiscal health of the economy I am trading within.

    A steak has value, a well cooked one more so, the credits I trade for it, are only representations of that value.
    Representations I accrued by producing a tangible or real, rather than representational value.
    Representations that they will trade as well. Useful, incredibly elegant, but in the end symbolic.

    and to Mole Nerd: There are many, many things we could do to protect the uneducated. Personally, it seems to me the only real solution to that, is education. If we start acting to protect the uneducated, should we start with Castro? He is excellent in his protection of the uneducated. The only thing I can to truly protect them (and I have actually done volunteer work in this area) is teach them to read, and give them a book. I’ll base my fiscal policy on something a little more pertinent.

    But, obviously I’m the out guy here, to me it seems such commodity based currencies are anti-freemarket, and anti-libertarian-due to the level of government doctrine they demand and the reality that currencies will still be traded according to the economy that girds them, but it certainly seems that I am in the minority.

  25. I don’t know whether to crack a smile or say very interesting? I didn’t get to read everything on the site, but may in the future. Not that I am signing up to join tomorrow.

  26. Skeptikos, Milton Friedman has a little book titled, “Money Mischief.”
    Here’s a bit of the description from Publishers Weekly:

    “From the Micronesian Yap islands’ 12-foot stone “coins” to today’s paper currencies backed only by fiat, Nobel-laureate economist Friedman ( Free to Choose ) here examines anomalies of world monetary history, including the effect of successive 19th-century gold ore discoveries and refining improvements on U.S. and British tender.”

  27. Skeptikos-

    I’m with you. I don’t see any reason why a government shouldn’t provide a common currency. If they only printed replacement notes where is the problem. The market will ultimately place value on the currency. My money is fairly imaginary in the first place. My check is electronically deposited in my account and it is spent through a debit card. Just numbers in the eather.

  28. Dan, you have a house worth $413,000? You must be rich; may I be your new best friend?
    I think the Gold Standard was a good idea when banking and financial markets were in the 1890’s. Now electronic transfers allow a greater degree of fluidity. If the US Government is hyper-inflating the dollar I can purchase D-Marks, Euro’s or Yen as a hedge, if that is a proper term.
    When there was just me, dirt farmer in Minnesota circa 1880 (merely an example, no historians need discuss the accuracy of my claim!) and the guv’mint inflated the currency what could I do? I didn’t have access to an international web of brokers that could convert my holdings, such as they were into another currency. Now I do and I think that takes some of the edge of the luster off the Gold Standard.
    Dan, I wouldn’t take up much room in your spacious $413,000 home and I would even mow the yard….

  29. I noticed that the Capitalist Party is going to repeal at least two Constitutional Amendments and one portion of the USC, the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.
    Would someone care to inquire of the CP HOW they intend to accomplish this? Or is it assumed that the Capitalsit Party miraculously comes to power in the US Presidency, the Congress and at least 60-plus states, all pretty much simultaneously? I just wondered the mechanics of the platform, since Amendment and US Code can’t just be repealed by the power of the President’s orders… or did I miss something in my Constitutional History classes?

  30. The Capitalism Party reminds me a little of the Personal Choice Party (PCP, get it?). OK, it’s much more right-leaning than the PCP, but it’s still basically a libertarian splinter group.

    http://www.personalchoice.org

  31. Joe L,

    Since the CP knows damm well they will never get the chance, they go right ahead and say impossible things anyway.

    But then they are really just scam artists and grifters.

    Like the supposedly libertarian arguements that I often hear from the “idealist libertarians” right here, that don’t just argue against over-reaching government actions, but against the constitution itself, without any explanation of how exactly they are going to change it.

    No me, I’m a pragmatic libertarian, I play well with others, and I rarely suggest political courses without considering the full ramifications. Which is why the LP party leadership makes me cry.

  32. “Gold is nearly useless”. What the hell do you think makes the computer you’re writing that stupid statement on work? What about those fillings in your moronically empty head. How about the componments that keep satellites functioning in space so you can make your money transfers? Gold is useless? There are thousands of uses. Learn to use Google before you post here, idiots.

  33. Dan:

    Seems to me gold has more uses than the green paper the government has currently decreed to be money. And you don’t have to favor gold to money, but it seems logical to favor a currency backed by a valuable commodity rather than a government promise.

    Skeptikos:

    Of course currency is merely a way to make trade easier. I think we all agree with that. My point is that, with the amount to which the government messes with the money supply I find it hard to see how fiat currency is at all free-market oriented.

    I’m not necessarily arguing for a government mandated gold standard either (although for reasons stated by others above it would be better than what we have now).

  34. U.S. Constitution:

    Article I, Section 8

    The Congress shall have the power….

    5. To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin…

    Section 10
    1. No state shall… coin money; emit bills of credit; make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts…

    The way I read this, no unit of government shall issue money but the Federal Treasury, and the states can’t pick an alternative to gold or silver. Let’s wait while we check to see if the Constitution authorizes a Federal Reserve System or National Bank.

    (“Jeopardy” theme plays in background…)

    Oh, it doesn’t, does it?

    BTW “to coin money” at the time of the Founding meant to take money and make coins out of it, not take something essentially worthless and declare that it is money.

    On the other hand, I don’t see any reason why private companies can’t issue competing coin or scrip, whether of the fiat sort, backed by a tangible commodity, or even an intangible one. A 100-Quatloo bill might entitle you to the equivalent of 100 hours of entry-level unskilled labor. A Zorkmid might be a standardized amount of PC RAM. The NYSE and NASDAQ could issue negotiable instruments based on the value of the index. Let a thousand currencies bloom! The most trusted and useful will win out.

    The legal tender laws and the invalidation of gold clauses in contracts are what made a problem of fiat money, not its non-commodity backing. Give people a choice.

    Kevin

  35. kevrob posted: “Let a thousand currencies bloom! The most trusted and useful will win out.”

    Um, that’s exactly what happened with gold, way back when. All the other currencies (chickens, slaves, big rocks, what have you) proved to be not as valued, not as widely as gold.

    But if 99 out of 100 people prefer gold, and number 100 is Skeptikos, that’s his privilege. I’ll take my gold and go buy something he does want to trade with him for the thing he has that I want.

    What about free trade between free people is so difficult for a lot of people, I wonder.

  36. kevrob posted: “Let a thousand currencies bloom! The most trusted and useful will win out.”

    Um, that’s exactly what happened with gold, way back when. All the other currencies (chickens, slaves, big rocks, what have you) proved to be not as valued, not as widely as gold.

    But if 99 out of 100 people prefer gold, and number 100 is Skeptikos, that’s his privilege. I’ll take my gold and go buy something he does want to trade with him for the thing he has that I want.

    What about free trade between free people is so difficult for a lot of people, I wonder.

  37. kevrob posted: “Let a thousand currencies bloom! The most trusted and useful will win out.”

    Um, that’s exactly what happened with gold, way back when. All the other currencies (chickens, slaves, big rocks, what have you) proved to be not as valued, not as widely as gold.

    But if 99 out of 100 people prefer gold, and number 100 is Skeptikos, that’s his privilege. I’ll take my gold and go buy something he does want to trade with him for the thing he has that I want.

    What about free trade between free people is so difficult for a lot of people, I wonder.

  38. Chilly-
    Is this a quiz? Silicon, copper, aluminum, ceramic composit. I thought we were discussing gold.

  39. Dan, you have a house worth $413,000? You must be rich; may I be your new best friend?

    $413,000 doesn’t buy you a rich man’s house — or much of any house at all — if you live in Southern California. Check out this list of San Diego median home prices. Even in places like National City, which is a complete shithole, half the houses cost over $365,000.

    I’m not rich, and I don’t own a home. I’m waiting for the housing market to collapse, first.

  40. What the hell do you think makes the computer you’re writing that stupid statement on work?

    If you’re asking if I’m aware that gold is used in the manufacture of computers, the answer is “yes, I’m aware of that”.

    What about those fillings in your moronically empty head.

    I don’t have gold fillings. I don’t know anyone who does.

    How about the componments that keep satellites functioning in space so you can make your money transfers?

    You already covered that with “computers”, above.

    Gold is useless?

    “Nearly useless”, little brain.

    There are thousands of uses.

    You’ve come up with exactly one: microelectronics.

  41. Seems to me gold has more uses than the green paper the government has currently decreed to be money

    What puzzles me is why you expect money to be useful for something other than buying things. If I want something with more utility than “little green pieces of paper”, I hand over some “little green pieces of paper” and receive what I want. Lots of luck paying for a McDonald’s hamburger with 0.06774 grams of gold.

    Oh, wait, what’s that? You say that you wouldn’t actually pay *with* gold, but would, instead, use “little pieces of paper”? Interesting. Sounds like little pieces of paper are pretty damned useful after all.

  42. Aaaah the joys of living in a benighhted wasteland, $413000 buys you a SIZEABLE house here… not much yard. We have an Urban Growth Boundary to prevent the “EVILLLLLL” of Sprawl, but the house is big.
    I have read Libertarian-Anarchists talk about the use of IOU’s, everyone’s IOU being rated by Moody’s or the like. KevRob’s IOU being as good as gold, Dan, being an apostate-splitter-blashphemer has his rated at only 76% the value of KevRob’s. Seems a bit cumbersome if you ask me. I buy gas and present a credit card denominated in US Dollars, I get gas.
    This idea of many currencies is just one more reason I’m not a libertarian-Libertarian-Anarcho-Capitalist. Usually inside the 12 mile limit the LP bloc isn’t too crazy, but this just seems one of those moments that explains why Badnarik and his supporters will have to wait many eons in Limbo before assuming power.

  43. “Gold’s superior electrical conductivity, its malleability, and its resistance to corrosion have made it vital to the manufacture of components used in a wide range of electronic products and equipment, including computers, telephones, cellular phones, and home appliances.

    Gold has extraordinarily high reflective powers that are relied upon in the shielding that protects spacecrafts and satellites from solar radiation and in industrial and medical lasers that use gold-coated reflectors to focus light energy. And because gold is biologically inactive, it has become a vital tool for medical research and is even used in the direct treatment of arthritis and other intractable diseases.”
    http://www.goldinstitute.org/uses/

    “Each year approximately 660 tons of gold are used in telecommunications, information technology, medical treatments, and various industrial applications. Due to its high electrical conductivity, gold is a vital component of many electrical devices, including computers. It is used in the manufacture of approximately 50 million computers each year, as well as millions of televisions, DVDs, VCRs, video cameras and mobile phones.

    Gold has been used in medicine since 1927, when it was found to be useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Even before then it was used in dentistry, in fillings and false teeth. Because it is non-toxic and biologically benign, gold is perfect for many medical applications. Surgeons use gold instruments to clear blocked coronary arteries. In another medical procedure, gold pellets are injected into the body to help obstruct the spread of prostate cancer in men. Gold is also used in lasers, which allow surgeons to seal wounds quickly or treat once-inoperable heart conditions. Thin gold wires are used in many surgical procedures to provide strong and inert support.”
    https://www.reason.com/hitandrun/2004/09/like_the_lp_onl.shtml#comments
    You’re right completely useless.

  44. “Gold’s superior electrical conductivity, its malleability, and its resistance to corrosion have made it vital to the manufacture of components used in a wide range of electronic products and equipment, including computers, telephones, cellular phones, and home appliances.

    Gold has extraordinarily high reflective powers that are relied upon in the shielding that protects spacecrafts and satellites from solar radiation and in industrial and medical lasers that use gold-coated reflectors to focus light energy. And because gold is biologically inactive, it has become a vital tool for medical research and is even used in the direct treatment of arthritis and other intractable diseases.”
    http://www.goldinstitute.org/uses/

    “Each year approximately 660 tons of gold are used in telecommunications, information technology, medical treatments, and various industrial applications. Due to its high electrical conductivity, gold is a vital component of many electrical devices, including computers. It is used in the manufacture of approximately 50 million computers each year, as well as millions of televisions, DVDs, VCRs, video cameras and mobile phones.

    Gold has been used in medicine since 1927, when it was found to be useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Even before then it was used in dentistry, in fillings and false teeth. Because it is non-toxic and biologically benign, gold is perfect for many medical applications. Surgeons use gold instruments to clear blocked coronary arteries. In another medical procedure, gold pellets are injected into the body to help obstruct the spread of prostate cancer in men. Gold is also used in lasers, which allow surgeons to seal wounds quickly or treat once-inoperable heart conditions. Thin gold wires are used in many surgical procedures to provide strong and inert support.”
    http://www.newmont.com/en/gold/goldfacts/usesof/index.asp

    You’re right completely useless.

  45. You’re right completely useless.

    Who are you talking to? Nobody in this thread said that gold was completely useless.

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