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More evidence UBI is coming. It’s implicitly already here. It’s a question of when, not if, its perpetual recurrence becomes codified into law:

It is almost unheard of for an action explicitly tied to Trump to be this popular. Even Democrats are split down the middle. To say it’s a winning issue for the president is an understatement.

Look, if the dollar is invincible and the only price threat is deflationary in nature, then fire scads of cash at people already. Why only $5 trillion? Make it $10 trillion or $20 trillion. People like the cash and they might even end up liking you in the process. Do you want to lose to a guy who can’t complete a sentence?

Parenthetically, my assessment of the situation is radically at odds with this conception, but almost everybody thinks I’m a nut. So the Trump administration should really act like I’m a nut and put the petal to the medal before congressional Democrats manage to get their feet underneath them and respond to Trump’s workaround of their free money obstructionism.

 
• Category: Economics, Ideology • Tags: Economics, Election 2020, Polling 
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  1. Universalism seems to really just be Bioleninism in sheep’s clothing, so UBI (a sort of true universalism) would actually be a challenge to the prevailing ideology. As such, I can’t see it ever happening in a multicult society – not unless there is regime change.

    The idea that whites are owed anything as a group – implicit in the idea of UBI (even if it is just funny money, and they are still putting more in through taxes) would be far too dangerous for the regime to allow, on an ideological level.

    The regime is not merely redistributive – it is antiwhite. That is its underpinning. It is committed to the idea, and will not change, unless it is replaced.

    • Agree: Daemon
  2. 2K a month, yeah baby, you’ve got my vote.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh, AaronB
  3. There’s no scenario where printer doesn’t go brrr. So if you’re Trump why would you not try to buy the election, when the alternative is you lose, the other side prints infinity after they win anyway, and they also put you in jail?

  4. Although it is rather obvious why my 1992 white paper on it was ignored, it is rather puzzling that with the Likud connections to the American Enterprise Institute, and The White House being occupied by what I, in 2015, called “The Likud Candidate”, no one is bringing up the the book “In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State” by the AEI’s shabbos goy.

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
    @James Bowery

    Murray's book had a strong influence on this blogger.

    , @Charles Pewitt
    @James Bowery

    Although it is rather obvious why my 1992 white paper on it was ignored, it is rather puzzling that with the Likud connections to the American Enterprise Institute, and The White House being occupied by what I, in 2015, called “The Likud Candidate”, no one is bringing up the the book “In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State” by the AEI’s shabbos goy.

    I'm too lazy to do the exercise required to read Scottish Blockhead Murray's book that might talk about Universal Basic Income, but I think he had a delightfully cynical hard-headed Scottish perception that the managerial class and the bureaucratic class and the government workers who run all the programs could be relieved of their jobs, and their political power, by simply doling out the cash to individual citizens on a large scale.

    Mr. Epigone could be talking about a book by Murray Rothbard instead of Charles Murray, but I'm too lazy to find out that also.

    The Pewitt Conjured Loot Portion(PCLP) is highly cynical and highly absurd, I know, but I figured that offering up cold cash would get people to think about the CENTRAL BANKER SHYSTERISM that is keeping the ruling class of the American Empire in power. I want to remove the current treasonous ruling class from power and I want to run the American Empire myself, or be a happy peasant in the empire while somebody somewhat patriotic is running the empire, so removing the ruling class from power and explaining central banking is why I am pushing a form of universal basic income.

    The Pewitt Conjured Loot Portion(PCLP) will pay each American who has all blood ancestry born in colonial America or the USA before 1924 a cool ten thousand dollars a month. The US Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank shall work together to conjure up the cash out of thin air, just like the ruling class is doing now.

    Murray might have been wonderfully Scottish Blockheaded in that Scottish people love to tinker with things and systems and they functioned well within the upper echelons of the British Empire and their brains cut to the chase real good and Murray suggested a form of Universal Basic Income as a way to sever the government workers and their power from the welfare state and to reduce the power of the managerial class somewhat. Fire the bastards screaming for government grants for this or that and give the cash out directly to the American people.

    Bypass the biped government worker faction and make those bastards a thing of the past.

    The global financial implosion is now underway and there is no saving or reforming the global financial system, so electronically conjure up the cash -- ten thousand dollars a month -- and give it to every American citizen who meets the eligibility requirement of having all blood ancestry born in colonial America or the USA before 1924.

    THERE IS NO CAPITALISM

    THERE IS ONLY CENTRAL BANKER SHYSTERISM

    Vote CHARLES PEWITT as a write-in candidate for president of the USA and get ten thousand dollars a month PCLP-- if you are eligible!

    PCLP -- Pewitt Conjured Loot Portion

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone

  5. Man, why did the one Chinaman who’s bad at math have to have the prominence that Yang did? His policies either read or math out like a CEO who knows he won’t be held accountable for overrunning the books.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    @Wyatt

    Being a Chinaman, maybe Mr. Yang cheated his way through any and all math classes. He probably worked hard and passed his economic classes with flying colors though. They teach this stuff. Keynesian on steroids, yeah, baby, ctrl-P like your life depends on it!

    , @Alexander Turok
    @Wyatt

    Look at the alternatives to Yang and the question answers itself.

  6. @Wyatt
    Man, why did the one Chinaman who's bad at math have to have the prominence that Yang did? His policies either read or math out like a CEO who knows he won't be held accountable for overrunning the books.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @Alexander Turok

    Being a Chinaman, maybe Mr. Yang cheated his way through any and all math classes. He probably worked hard and passed his economic classes with flying colors though. They teach this stuff. Keynesian on steroids, yeah, baby, ctrl-P like your life depends on it!

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  7. put the petal to the medal

    That’s too wrong to not be deliberate.

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
    @Mr. Rational

    Admittedly it would be more clever if Yang was ethnically Japanese instead of Chinese, but we round eyes can't tell the difference.

  8. Parenthetically, my assessment of the situation is radically at odds with this conception, but almost everybody thinks I’m a nut.

    Do not include me in the list of persons who think you’re a nut!

    On the contrary, your analysis—which you have outlined during recent months—is compelling and merits serious attention. Your analysis forces those who disagree (probably including me) to sharpen their arguments.

    So let us sharpen the arguments. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) observes that the value of fiat money is ultimately anchored in fiat money’s exclusive power to satisfy a tax bill. Such an observation brings counterintuitive results. Fiat money does not work as specie does. Dynamics are subtly different.

    A long post to introduce the dynamics should follow, but who has time to read it? Nor am I qualified to write it. I will only say that an erroneous idea is afoot that MMT were unfriendly to supply-side analysis. The erroneous idea causes some right-libertarians (I am not one) to give MMT short shrift.

    One way or another, no coherent macroeconomic monetary analysis is possible unless the dynamical difference between fiat money and specie is grappled. Insofar as Yang’s UBI is purely a monetary operation, the difference between fiat money and specie matters in this context.

    I do not think that I support Yang’s UBI. I blame the Corona-UBI for this summer’s riots. However, on monetary grounds, I believe that Yang’s UBI is somewhat sounder than you think.

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
    @V. K. Ovelund

    If UBI works without serious economic drawbacks, then ramping it up could help prevent the riots. On the other hand, there is that pesky aphorism about idle hands.

    Replies: @Charles Pewitt

    , @Kratoklastes
    @V. K. Ovelund

    MMT requires either autarky or reserve-currency status. Having reserve-currency status by itself is hard to maintain without presenting a compelling argument to the rest of the world why you ought to get a free ride (by not having your currency depreciate): usually (i.e., UK pre-WWII; US since) this has involved threats of naval bombardment, but those days are now over.

    MMT is just Keynesianism with a bunch of new slogans and a doubling-down on the wisdom of central planners: at the end of the day it's about increasing G, and funding it by printing money rather than issuing bonds (and then having the money-printers print enough to clear the bond market at a decided-upon interest rate).

    Keynesianism relies on ignorance of all economics related to external balance: it is explictly a fixed exchange-rate paradigm, and falls apart the moment you incorporate a realistic external sector.

    MMT in an open economy with a non-reserve currency has been tried a bunch of times - shorn of its "this time it's different" marketing bumph: Argentina, Hungary, Weimar Germany, Zimbabwe. Always with the same effect - economic destruction and declining living standards.

    The US dollar is done as a reserve currency: adjust your expectations of MMT accordingly.

    Replies: @Eugene Norman, @Svevlad, @V. K. Ovelund

    , @Kratoklastes
    @V. K. Ovelund


    the value of fiat money is ultimately anchored in fiat money’s exclusive power to satisfy a tax bill
     
    This old chestnut...

    It's not clear why proponents of MMT pretend that legal tender laws were unknown to monetary theorists before MMT was brain-farted into existence.

    Since they're aiming at people much like Malcolm Gladwell's target audience, MMTs proponents are clearly banking on people silly enough to believe that 10 previous generations of economists just missed something obvious. (Kahnemann and Ariely have the same expectations: that an audience of dilettantes will accept the claim that Kahnemann/Ariely schtick is economically meaningful in practice)

    Foreign debtors don't give a shit about US legal tender laws: when they collect their bond coupons, they want to convert it to foreign-jurisdiction legal tender without getting ass-raped.

    MMT proponents very deliberately ignore any discussion of what would happen to USD import prices (and therefore the cost of capital replacement) if the rest of the world stopped feeling as if they needed to hold excess USD balances.

    That's because they're Keynesians, and hence have no model that includes agents whose expectations are priced in other currencies.

    As to UBI: the disincentive effects of handing out $2k/mo to all comers, would rapidly cause real output to tank to such an extent that $2k/mo will not suffice to purchase a week's groceries.

    Equity-market sell-side guys generally like the UBI idea, because a very large majority of UBI recipients are at a marginal propensity to consume of 1 (i.e., they spend every extra dollar they get), which is good news for Amazon (which is the bellwether stock for the entire planet now). It's also why they like the 'gig-ification' of the labour market: if everyone's a grinder with three side hustles whose weekly income just covers rent and grocieries, there's no savings 'wedge' between wages and expenditure and no risk of labour market unrest... ever.

    Bond market guys hate the UBI idea, because they know that there is no Magic Pudding for the ½ trillion/mo: someone's on the hook for it - either at the time, or later (with interest ... to compensate them for deferral of gratification).

    Bond market guys are also skeptical of nonsense like Zeitgeist, too... omniscient, omnibenevolent central planners are understood to exist only in fiction (and even then, mostly in defiance of other parts of the narrative).

    , @advancedatheist
    @V. K. Ovelund

    I don't understand why libertarian hard-money obsessives consider fiat money inherently "fraudulent," while at the same time they complain about having to use fiat money to pay their taxes.

    But then they make other confusing assertions as well. How could a libertarian advocate both the gold standard and the general corncupianism of natural resources? These ideas make contradictory assumptions about Element 79 in the Periodic Table.

    Replies: @El Dato, @V. K. Ovelund

  9. Why only $5 trillion? Make it $10 trillion or $20 trillion.

    Leaving the children’s money out of it (that the parent’s confiscate anyway – we did, that’s OK, right?) that’s a cool 1/2 trillion a month for 250,000,000 American adults. That’s only 6 trillion bucks a year, which does more than double the budget, but I’ve got a great idea! We tax it! Hopefully, we can more than cover the deficit.

    BTW, if it makes you feel any better, this “muh Constitutional” nutcase agrees with you, so you aren’t the only nut around, A.E. You and I are the Ying to Mr. Yang. Even though we have that in common, I will have to chastise you for making two near-homonym eras in on idiom. Put the petal to the medal? Dude!

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Yes, I did mean to write "eras". That was done in fun.

    , @Audacious Epigone
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Those weren't errors, but they do tie together predictions about the end of eras! I added hyperlinks for clarification.

    Buy gold. Warren Buffet is.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @Stargazer

  10. @Achmed E. Newman

    Why only $5 trillion? Make it $10 trillion or $20 trillion.
     
    Leaving the children's money out of it (that the parent's confiscate anyway - we did, that's OK, right?) that's a cool 1/2 trillion a month for 250,000,000 American adults. That's only 6 trillion bucks a year, which does more than double the budget, but I've got a great idea! We tax it! Hopefully, we can more than cover the deficit.

    BTW, if it makes you feel any better, this "muh Constitutional" nutcase agrees with you, so you aren't the only nut around, A.E. You and I are the Ying to Mr. Yang. Even though we have that in common, I will have to chastise you for making two near-homonym eras in on idiom. Put the petal to the medal? Dude!

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @Audacious Epigone

    Yes, I did mean to write “eras”. That was done in fun.

  11. @Wyatt
    Man, why did the one Chinaman who's bad at math have to have the prominence that Yang did? His policies either read or math out like a CEO who knows he won't be held accountable for overrunning the books.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @Alexander Turok

    Look at the alternatives to Yang and the question answers itself.

  12. @Mr. Rational

    put the petal to the medal
     
    That's too wrong to not be deliberate.

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone

    Admittedly it would be more clever if Yang was ethnically Japanese instead of Chinese, but we round eyes can’t tell the difference.

  13. @V. K. Ovelund

    Parenthetically, my assessment of the situation is radically at odds with this conception, but almost everybody thinks I’m a nut.
     
    Do not include me in the list of persons who think you're a nut!

    On the contrary, your analysis—which you have outlined during recent months—is compelling and merits serious attention. Your analysis forces those who disagree (probably including me) to sharpen their arguments.

    So let us sharpen the arguments. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) observes that the value of fiat money is ultimately anchored in fiat money's exclusive power to satisfy a tax bill. Such an observation brings counterintuitive results. Fiat money does not work as specie does. Dynamics are subtly different.

    A long post to introduce the dynamics should follow, but who has time to read it? Nor am I qualified to write it. I will only say that an erroneous idea is afoot that MMT were unfriendly to supply-side analysis. The erroneous idea causes some right-libertarians (I am not one) to give MMT short shrift.

    One way or another, no coherent macroeconomic monetary analysis is possible unless the dynamical difference between fiat money and specie is grappled. Insofar as Yang's UBI is purely a monetary operation, the difference between fiat money and specie matters in this context.

    I do not think that I support Yang's UBI. I blame the Corona-UBI for this summer's riots. However, on monetary grounds, I believe that Yang's UBI is somewhat sounder than you think.

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone, @Kratoklastes, @Kratoklastes, @advancedatheist

    If UBI works without serious economic drawbacks, then ramping it up could help prevent the riots. On the other hand, there is that pesky aphorism about idle hands.

    • Replies: @Charles Pewitt
    @Audacious Epigone

    If UBI works without serious economic drawbacks, then ramping it up could help prevent the riots. On the other hand, there is that pesky aphorism about idle hands.

    I call the Social Security Disability System -- the Boo-Boo Checks and the Cuckoo Checks -- Riot Prevention Payments(RPP).

    I wrote this in April of 2017:


    Educational attainment has been used as a proxy for intelligence in the administrative law system of the Social Security Administration to determine eligibility for disability. Give the dumb saps who ain’t got much schooling some bit of scratch every month and let them boneheads drink and drug themselves to death.

     


    The disability payments are known as “Riot Prevention Payments” in some circles. The disability payments are also known as “Boo-Boo Checks” and “Cuckoo Checks” by some people who have a rather Dickensian bent.

     

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/educational-attainment-in-america-dot-map/#comment-1849955
  14. @Achmed E. Newman

    Why only $5 trillion? Make it $10 trillion or $20 trillion.
     
    Leaving the children's money out of it (that the parent's confiscate anyway - we did, that's OK, right?) that's a cool 1/2 trillion a month for 250,000,000 American adults. That's only 6 trillion bucks a year, which does more than double the budget, but I've got a great idea! We tax it! Hopefully, we can more than cover the deficit.

    BTW, if it makes you feel any better, this "muh Constitutional" nutcase agrees with you, so you aren't the only nut around, A.E. You and I are the Ying to Mr. Yang. Even though we have that in common, I will have to chastise you for making two near-homonym eras in on idiom. Put the petal to the medal? Dude!

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @Audacious Epigone

    Those weren’t errors, but they do tie together predictions about the end of eras! I added hyperlinks for clarification.

    Buy gold. Warren Buffet is.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    @Audacious Epigone

    I don't take any advice or cues from Warren Buffet, but, yes, REAL MONEY is always the best.

    OK, I'll check out your links for the explanation of "pedal to the medal".

    , @Stargazer
    @Audacious Epigone

    Buffet is not buying gold. He is buying a claim to gold (paper shares) that the government can nullify when (not if) gold becomes the reference standard for all failing currencies. Buy the real stuff: bullion coins and bars and keep them close. If you can't touch it, you don't own it.

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone

  15. @James Bowery
    Although it is rather obvious why my 1992 white paper on it was ignored, it is rather puzzling that with the Likud connections to the American Enterprise Institute, and The White House being occupied by what I, in 2015, called "The Likud Candidate", no one is bringing up the the book "In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State" by the AEI's shabbos goy.

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone, @Charles Pewitt

    Murray’s book had a strong influence on this blogger.

  16. @V. K. Ovelund

    Parenthetically, my assessment of the situation is radically at odds with this conception, but almost everybody thinks I’m a nut.
     
    Do not include me in the list of persons who think you're a nut!

    On the contrary, your analysis—which you have outlined during recent months—is compelling and merits serious attention. Your analysis forces those who disagree (probably including me) to sharpen their arguments.

    So let us sharpen the arguments. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) observes that the value of fiat money is ultimately anchored in fiat money's exclusive power to satisfy a tax bill. Such an observation brings counterintuitive results. Fiat money does not work as specie does. Dynamics are subtly different.

    A long post to introduce the dynamics should follow, but who has time to read it? Nor am I qualified to write it. I will only say that an erroneous idea is afoot that MMT were unfriendly to supply-side analysis. The erroneous idea causes some right-libertarians (I am not one) to give MMT short shrift.

    One way or another, no coherent macroeconomic monetary analysis is possible unless the dynamical difference between fiat money and specie is grappled. Insofar as Yang's UBI is purely a monetary operation, the difference between fiat money and specie matters in this context.

    I do not think that I support Yang's UBI. I blame the Corona-UBI for this summer's riots. However, on monetary grounds, I believe that Yang's UBI is somewhat sounder than you think.

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone, @Kratoklastes, @Kratoklastes, @advancedatheist

    MMT requires either autarky or reserve-currency status. Having reserve-currency status by itself is hard to maintain without presenting a compelling argument to the rest of the world why you ought to get a free ride (by not having your currency depreciate): usually (i.e., UK pre-WWII; US since) this has involved threats of naval bombardment, but those days are now over.

    MMT is just Keynesianism with a bunch of new slogans and a doubling-down on the wisdom of central planners: at the end of the day it’s about increasing G, and funding it by printing money rather than issuing bonds (and then having the money-printers print enough to clear the bond market at a decided-upon interest rate).

    Keynesianism relies on ignorance of all economics related to external balance: it is explictly a fixed exchange-rate paradigm, and falls apart the moment you incorporate a realistic external sector.

    MMT in an open economy with a non-reserve currency has been tried a bunch of times – shorn of its “this time it’s different” marketing bumph: Argentina, Hungary, Weimar Germany, Zimbabwe. Always with the same effect – economic destruction and declining living standards.

    The US dollar is done as a reserve currency: adjust your expectations of MMT accordingly.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
    • Disagree: Lot
    • Replies: @Eugene Norman
    @Kratoklastes

    Where’s the evidence that keynesian economics, along with Bretton Woods, etc failed in the postwar period?

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    , @Svevlad
    @Kratoklastes

    Then why does the Washington Consensus have the power to insta-shithole a country when enacted?

    Replies: @Alexander Turok

    , @V. K. Ovelund
    @Kratoklastes


    MMT is just Keynesianism....
     
    MMT builds on Keynesianism, true enough. However, unwise U.S. monetary policy during the 1970s—policy which as far as I know had little to do with Keynes and his ideas—fraudulently appropriated Keynes' name for prestige's sake. “Neo-Keynesianism” might more accurately have been named (John Kenneth) Galbraithism.

    It may be a mistake to judge Keynes for an apostate creed that borrowed Keynes' name after Keynes' death. After all, Keynes never got a chance to object. As far as I can tell, MMT (rather than the 1970s' Galbraithite price-control nonsense) is the worthy successor of the original Keynesianism.

    I must admit though that I am trying to sound smarter than I really am. Not an economist, I could be very wrong.


    MMT requires either autarky or reserve-currency status.
     
    I did not know this. When you have some time, would you explain?

    Replies: @Mario Partisan

  17. if the dollar is invincible and the only price threat is deflationary in nature

    If.

  18. @V. K. Ovelund

    Parenthetically, my assessment of the situation is radically at odds with this conception, but almost everybody thinks I’m a nut.
     
    Do not include me in the list of persons who think you're a nut!

    On the contrary, your analysis—which you have outlined during recent months—is compelling and merits serious attention. Your analysis forces those who disagree (probably including me) to sharpen their arguments.

    So let us sharpen the arguments. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) observes that the value of fiat money is ultimately anchored in fiat money's exclusive power to satisfy a tax bill. Such an observation brings counterintuitive results. Fiat money does not work as specie does. Dynamics are subtly different.

    A long post to introduce the dynamics should follow, but who has time to read it? Nor am I qualified to write it. I will only say that an erroneous idea is afoot that MMT were unfriendly to supply-side analysis. The erroneous idea causes some right-libertarians (I am not one) to give MMT short shrift.

    One way or another, no coherent macroeconomic monetary analysis is possible unless the dynamical difference between fiat money and specie is grappled. Insofar as Yang's UBI is purely a monetary operation, the difference between fiat money and specie matters in this context.

    I do not think that I support Yang's UBI. I blame the Corona-UBI for this summer's riots. However, on monetary grounds, I believe that Yang's UBI is somewhat sounder than you think.

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone, @Kratoklastes, @Kratoklastes, @advancedatheist

    the value of fiat money is ultimately anchored in fiat money’s exclusive power to satisfy a tax bill

    This old chestnut…

    It’s not clear why proponents of MMT pretend that legal tender laws were unknown to monetary theorists before MMT was brain-farted into existence.

    Since they’re aiming at people much like Malcolm Gladwell’s target audience, MMTs proponents are clearly banking on people silly enough to believe that 10 previous generations of economists just missed something obvious. (Kahnemann and Ariely have the same expectations: that an audience of dilettantes will accept the claim that Kahnemann/Ariely schtick is economically meaningful in practice)

    Foreign debtors don’t give a shit about US legal tender laws: when they collect their bond coupons, they want to convert it to foreign-jurisdiction legal tender without getting ass-raped.

    MMT proponents very deliberately ignore any discussion of what would happen to USD import prices (and therefore the cost of capital replacement) if the rest of the world stopped feeling as if they needed to hold excess USD balances.

    That’s because they’re Keynesians, and hence have no model that includes agents whose expectations are priced in other currencies.

    As to UBI: the disincentive effects of handing out $2k/mo to all comers, would rapidly cause real output to tank to such an extent that $2k/mo will not suffice to purchase a week’s groceries.

    Equity-market sell-side guys generally like the UBI idea, because a very large majority of UBI recipients are at a marginal propensity to consume of 1 (i.e., they spend every extra dollar they get), which is good news for Amazon (which is the bellwether stock for the entire planet now). It’s also why they like the ‘gig-ification’ of the labour market: if everyone’s a grinder with three side hustles whose weekly income just covers rent and grocieries, there’s no savings ‘wedge’ between wages and expenditure and no risk of labour market unrest… ever.

    Bond market guys hate the UBI idea, because they know that there is no Magic Pudding for the ½ trillion/mo: someone‘s on the hook for it – either at the time, or later (with interest … to compensate them for deferral of gratification).

    Bond market guys are also skeptical of nonsense like Zeitgeist, too… omniscient, omnibenevolent central planners are understood to exist only in fiction (and even then, mostly in defiance of other parts of the narrative).

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
    • Thanks: TomSchmidt
  19. All four corners of the political spectrum for Yang’s UBI … the memes for which some of the best recently

  20. @Kratoklastes
    @V. K. Ovelund

    MMT requires either autarky or reserve-currency status. Having reserve-currency status by itself is hard to maintain without presenting a compelling argument to the rest of the world why you ought to get a free ride (by not having your currency depreciate): usually (i.e., UK pre-WWII; US since) this has involved threats of naval bombardment, but those days are now over.

    MMT is just Keynesianism with a bunch of new slogans and a doubling-down on the wisdom of central planners: at the end of the day it's about increasing G, and funding it by printing money rather than issuing bonds (and then having the money-printers print enough to clear the bond market at a decided-upon interest rate).

    Keynesianism relies on ignorance of all economics related to external balance: it is explictly a fixed exchange-rate paradigm, and falls apart the moment you incorporate a realistic external sector.

    MMT in an open economy with a non-reserve currency has been tried a bunch of times - shorn of its "this time it's different" marketing bumph: Argentina, Hungary, Weimar Germany, Zimbabwe. Always with the same effect - economic destruction and declining living standards.

    The US dollar is done as a reserve currency: adjust your expectations of MMT accordingly.

    Replies: @Eugene Norman, @Svevlad, @V. K. Ovelund

    Where’s the evidence that keynesian economics, along with Bretton Woods, etc failed in the postwar period?

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    @Eugene Norman

    There's a lot of ruin in a nation, and in in the long run the creators of this stupidity are all dead. Some may be dead in the short run once hyperinflation hits.

    Replies: @Eugene Norman

  21. @Audacious Epigone
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Those weren't errors, but they do tie together predictions about the end of eras! I added hyperlinks for clarification.

    Buy gold. Warren Buffet is.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @Stargazer

    I don’t take any advice or cues from Warren Buffet, but, yes, REAL MONEY is always the best.

    OK, I’ll check out your links for the explanation of “pedal to the medal”.

  22. @Eugene Norman
    @Kratoklastes

    Where’s the evidence that keynesian economics, along with Bretton Woods, etc failed in the postwar period?

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    There’s a lot of ruin in a nation, and in in the long run the creators of this stupidity are all dead. Some may be dead in the short run once hyperinflation hits.

    • Replies: @Eugene Norman
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Hyperinflation has been expected for a few decades now from the anti Keynesian geniuses on the internet - this time in the midst of a huge depression.

    You didn’t answer the question, either.

    Replies: @Mark G.

  23. @Audacious Epigone
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Those weren't errors, but they do tie together predictions about the end of eras! I added hyperlinks for clarification.

    Buy gold. Warren Buffet is.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @Stargazer

    Buffet is not buying gold. He is buying a claim to gold (paper shares) that the government can nullify when (not if) gold becomes the reference standard for all failing currencies. Buy the real stuff: bullion coins and bars and keep them close. If you can’t touch it, you don’t own it.

    • Agree: Realist
    • Thanks: Audacious Epigone
    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
    @Stargazer

    Good point. California just enacted a wealth tax that is retroactive for the last ten years. They can't take a piece of bullion if they don't know you have it.

  24. Everyone gangsta until countries start shorting the dollar

  25. @Kratoklastes
    @V. K. Ovelund

    MMT requires either autarky or reserve-currency status. Having reserve-currency status by itself is hard to maintain without presenting a compelling argument to the rest of the world why you ought to get a free ride (by not having your currency depreciate): usually (i.e., UK pre-WWII; US since) this has involved threats of naval bombardment, but those days are now over.

    MMT is just Keynesianism with a bunch of new slogans and a doubling-down on the wisdom of central planners: at the end of the day it's about increasing G, and funding it by printing money rather than issuing bonds (and then having the money-printers print enough to clear the bond market at a decided-upon interest rate).

    Keynesianism relies on ignorance of all economics related to external balance: it is explictly a fixed exchange-rate paradigm, and falls apart the moment you incorporate a realistic external sector.

    MMT in an open economy with a non-reserve currency has been tried a bunch of times - shorn of its "this time it's different" marketing bumph: Argentina, Hungary, Weimar Germany, Zimbabwe. Always with the same effect - economic destruction and declining living standards.

    The US dollar is done as a reserve currency: adjust your expectations of MMT accordingly.

    Replies: @Eugene Norman, @Svevlad, @V. K. Ovelund

    Then why does the Washington Consensus have the power to insta-shithole a country when enacted?

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
    @Svevlad

    It doesn't. Those countries were even shittier before adoption.

    Replies: @Svevlad, @TomSchmidt

  26. @Svevlad
    @Kratoklastes

    Then why does the Washington Consensus have the power to insta-shithole a country when enacted?

    Replies: @Alexander Turok

    It doesn’t. Those countries were even shittier before adoption.

    • Replies: @Svevlad
    @Alexander Turok

    Then why did every developed country use hard protectionism and only became free market shills when they became developed, knowing that only they benefit?

    The writings of Michael Hudson certainly are useful...

    , @TomSchmidt
    @Alexander Turok

    Maybe he's talking not finance but the ability to destroy infrastructure, like water treatment plants in Iraq? By destroying water infrastructure, you're literally going to create shitholes.

  27. @Alexander Turok
    @Svevlad

    It doesn't. Those countries were even shittier before adoption.

    Replies: @Svevlad, @TomSchmidt

    Then why did every developed country use hard protectionism and only became free market shills when they became developed, knowing that only they benefit?

    The writings of Michael Hudson certainly are useful…

  28. “Parenthetically, my assessment of the situation is radically at odds with this conception, but almost everybody thinks I’m a nut. ”

    To quote JohnConnaly to European finance ministers: “the dollar is our currency, but your problem.”

    We hold the privilege of reserve currency for the investment of building the atomic bomb in WW2, and using it, something Stalin and Mao never accomplished in all their mass-murdering. We have continued to use nukes ever since, this time to threaten. In the words ofMichael Ledeen, “every few years we need to throw some crappy country against the wall just to show the world who is boss.”

    The people who collect the wealth we extort from the rest of the world have NO desire to relinquish it. They know that the profits derived from the Triffin Paradox go away if we don’t spend a ridiculous amount on “defense” to enforce Ledeen’s threat. That they earn without labor disconnects them from reality, and their politics drifts further and further left, asNYC has done as it moved from the manufacturing center of the US economy to a place that mostly shuffles symbols in a virtual world.

    It should come as no surprise that defense and intelligence have contributed mightily to hobbling Trump’s efforts to end wars, and come to terms with Russia.

    Since the connected/protected benefit from profit without labor, someone has to labor without profit to supply them. That has meant that the profit Must depart manufacturing, and American workers simply refused to work to funnel profits up to the predatory Professional/Managerial class, so their jobs were sent overseas for the lower classes; with everyone below the PMC now happily Zooming in from home, the outsourcing of their jobs to preserve the income of the stock option class is next.

    Unearned wealth tends to destroy the recipient, and the USA is no different. We were facing a rubicon crossing soon: the Trumpian “big beautiful” deficits of $1trln BEFORE COVID-19 had led to a situation where the USG was barely borrowing any new money; most of the deficit was interest being rolled over. The massive borrowing for COVID represents perhaps a last chance to cash out on the reserve status of the dollar. That’s $4trln the USG theoretically commits to paying back, but everyone knows that that will never happen.

    The council on Foreign Relations lays out the issue:

    What are the primary drivers of future debt?

    The main drivers are still mandatory spending programs, namely Social Security—the largest U.S. government program—Medicare, and Medicaid. Their costs, which currently account for 47 percent of all federal spending, are expected to surge as a percentage of GDP because of the aging U.S. population and resultant rising health expenses.

    Meanwhile, interest payments on the debt, which now account for 8 percent of the budget, are expected to rise, while discretionary spending, including programs such as defense and transportation, is expected to shrink as a proportion of the budget.

    The CFR, natch, understates defense spending. But the issue remains: a death-cage match for budget dollars between SS/Medicare, and Defense, made worse as interest on the debt rises to consume more of the budget (good thing the Fed took away any interest being paid on tBills earlier this year, saving billions in cost. Driving the 10-year bond to .5% also saves budget dollars.) At first it looks like “discretionary” spending, like defense and intelligence, gets to be eroded in the budget battle.

    Cue “systemic racism” and reparations. Presumably inflicted by whites, in the former case, and due to blacks, in the latter case. For a long time, Social Security was the “third rail” of American politics; touch it and you die. Now, however, it represents a program that taxes a 40-50% nonwhite labor force at the young end to pay benefits to people who reflect the demographics of the country 65 years ago: 90% white. The only thing that can preserve the defense budget that buys the arms to show crappy countries who’s boss from being cut is to cut SS and Medicare. The Democrats would NEVER do this previously to undermine the crown jewel of New Deal social policy, but now they’ll feel obligated to do so to punish the racist whites who benefitted from systemic racism.

    The Republicans gave them the cudgel in the 2017 tax act, signing into law a change to use “Chained CPI” for calculating benefit increases and tax bracket indexation; this was originally a Democrat idea. so the Democrats can impoverish old, racist whites without ever casting a vote to defund them: simply run inflation at a high rate while indexing benefits at the lower Chained CPI rate, and you can cut in half the real value of benefits in 10 years if the understatement of inflation is 7% a year. Meanwhile, the incorrectly indexed tax brackets will add billions more in tax revenue.

    The whole system is brilliant in its construction, and has required R and D “opponents” to play their part in the dance. Until the reserve status of the dollar collapses, it will continue. Loss of reserve status for the dollar will be a catastrophe for the USA, but more so for the people at the top who’ve benefitted from it. You cannot take much more wealth away from the white working class, but it will be a glorious day when there’s no more money to support the grifters at the top. It’s coming, soon.

    • Replies: @John Achterhof
    @TomSchmidt

    Great post, Tom. The density of worthy insights to this fairly long comment is....I was going to say "professional grade" but then realized the term doesn't apply so well in this field....impressive.

    Replies: @TomSchmidt

  29. @Alexander Turok
    @Svevlad

    It doesn't. Those countries were even shittier before adoption.

    Replies: @Svevlad, @TomSchmidt

    Maybe he’s talking not finance but the ability to destroy infrastructure, like water treatment plants in Iraq? By destroying water infrastructure, you’re literally going to create shitholes.

  30. @V. K. Ovelund

    Parenthetically, my assessment of the situation is radically at odds with this conception, but almost everybody thinks I’m a nut.
     
    Do not include me in the list of persons who think you're a nut!

    On the contrary, your analysis—which you have outlined during recent months—is compelling and merits serious attention. Your analysis forces those who disagree (probably including me) to sharpen their arguments.

    So let us sharpen the arguments. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) observes that the value of fiat money is ultimately anchored in fiat money's exclusive power to satisfy a tax bill. Such an observation brings counterintuitive results. Fiat money does not work as specie does. Dynamics are subtly different.

    A long post to introduce the dynamics should follow, but who has time to read it? Nor am I qualified to write it. I will only say that an erroneous idea is afoot that MMT were unfriendly to supply-side analysis. The erroneous idea causes some right-libertarians (I am not one) to give MMT short shrift.

    One way or another, no coherent macroeconomic monetary analysis is possible unless the dynamical difference between fiat money and specie is grappled. Insofar as Yang's UBI is purely a monetary operation, the difference between fiat money and specie matters in this context.

    I do not think that I support Yang's UBI. I blame the Corona-UBI for this summer's riots. However, on monetary grounds, I believe that Yang's UBI is somewhat sounder than you think.

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone, @Kratoklastes, @Kratoklastes, @advancedatheist

    I don’t understand why libertarian hard-money obsessives consider fiat money inherently “fraudulent,” while at the same time they complain about having to use fiat money to pay their taxes.

    But then they make other confusing assertions as well. How could a libertarian advocate both the gold standard and the general corncupianism of natural resources? These ideas make contradictory assumptions about Element 79 in the Periodic Table.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    @advancedatheist

    Just wait until Elon Musk drags the Gold Asteroid into Earth orbit. You will change your tune.

    , @V. K. Ovelund
    @advancedatheist


    I don’t understand why libertarian hard-money obsessives consider fiat money inherently “fraudulent”....
     
    I am admittedly sympathetic with the libertarian position. I want the libertarian position to be correct. Unfortunately, the astonishing lack of U.S. inflation following the Panic of 2008 has persuaded me that the libertarian analysis is probably insufficient.

    I have reassessed.

    The libertarian analysis has a strong foundation, though. Before the 20th century, specie (along with notes backed by specie) simply was money. The state coined the money and sometimes manipulated the money but did not make the money. The money existed whether you had a state or not. Money preëxisted the state and continued to exist after the state had ceased to be.

    This was a good thing.

    When the state during the 20th century told the citizen that he could no longer have money as money has been understood since the beginning of time, but that he must instead rely on the state's fiat, what libertarian would thank the state for that? The libertarian was right to distrust. The libertarian was right to dissent.

    Nevertheless (if I may borrow @dfordoom's method of argumentation), fiat money is what we have. As long as the U.S. endures, Americans will be stuck with fiat money as far as I know. Meanwhile, fiat money brings some benefits, so one might as well make the best of it. MMT helps us to do that.

    Replies: @A123, @Audacious Epigone

  31. Conceptually, there is a huge difference between:the

    — Emergency, counter cyclical, one-time spending
    — Permanent , entitlement, ongoing spending

    Corporate, Individual, and Government spending all decreasing simultaneously leads to economic dead ends (e.g. Stagflation, Austerity Trap, etc.). WUHAN-19 has suppressed Corporate and Individual spending power. Thus, Government spending is a necessity to prevent layoffs from becoming permanent unemployment. If high unemployment became “The New Normal”, the U.S. would look like Greece.

    Creating a new entitlement that will be added on top of other entitlements is a wealth transfer from workers to non-workers. In theory, UBI would replace other programs, but no one believes that Team Blue would write or run it that way.

    The best thing that could happen right now is ending Science Denial. Generic HCQ is safe, medically effective, and economically frugal. The use of HCQ early & often would allow more normal economic activity to resume. Alas, Democrats are incapable of accepting Science.

    PEACE 😇
    .

    • Agree: Mario Partisan
    • LOL: The Alarmist
    • Replies: @AaronB
    @A123


    Creating a new entitlement that will be added on top of other entitlements is a wealth transfer from workers to non-workers
     
    Actually, it's a transfer from machines to humans. 3% of the workforce produces the essentials. 97% are free not to farm because of the invention of machines. They can do this because machines do their work for them.

    But instead of giving people the surplus from machines, we made them earn it through producing or selling inessentials.

    Except now, machines have gotten good even at that - so there is literally no option left but to finally give people the surplus from the original machine revolution.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @Rosie

    , @Audacious Epigone
    @A123

    April was the highest month for personal income in the history of the United States. There's a production problem, not a demand problem.

    Replies: @A123

  32. @A123
    Conceptually, there is a huge difference between:the

    -- Emergency, counter cyclical, one-time spending
    -- Permanent , entitlement, ongoing spending

    Corporate, Individual, and Government spending all decreasing simultaneously leads to economic dead ends (e.g. Stagflation, Austerity Trap, etc.). WUHAN-19 has suppressed Corporate and Individual spending power. Thus, Government spending is a necessity to prevent layoffs from becoming permanent unemployment. If high unemployment became "The New Normal", the U.S. would look like Greece.

    Creating a new entitlement that will be added on top of other entitlements is a wealth transfer from workers to non-workers. In theory, UBI would replace other programs, but no one believes that Team Blue would write or run it that way.

    The best thing that could happen right now is ending Science Denial. Generic HCQ is safe, medically effective, and economically frugal. The use of HCQ early & often would allow more normal economic activity to resume. Alas, Democrats are incapable of accepting Science.

    PEACE 😇
    .
    https://i2.wp.com/www.powerlineblog.com/ed-assets/2020/08/image022-2-copy.jpg

    Replies: @AaronB, @Audacious Epigone

    Creating a new entitlement that will be added on top of other entitlements is a wealth transfer from workers to non-workers

    Actually, it’s a transfer from machines to humans. 3% of the workforce produces the essentials. 97% are free not to farm because of the invention of machines. They can do this because machines do their work for them.

    But instead of giving people the surplus from machines, we made them earn it through producing or selling inessentials.

    Except now, machines have gotten good even at that – so there is literally no option left but to finally give people the surplus from the original machine revolution.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @AaronB


    Actually, it’s a transfer from machines to humans. 3% of the workforce produces the essentials. 97% are free not to farm because of the invention of machines. They can do this because machines do their work for them.

    But instead of giving people the surplus from machines, we made them earn it through producing or selling inessentials.

    Except now, machines have gotten good even at that – so there is literally no option left but to finally give people the surplus from the original machine revolution.
     
    I think you've made a valid point there.
    , @Rosie
    @AaronB


    Except now, machines have gotten good even at that – so there is literally no option left but to finally give people the surplus from the original machine revolution.
     
    The plutocrats have been promising to redistribute the economic gains from outsourcing since forever. It's about time they pony up. People who complain of wealth-eroding inflation fail to appreciate that they are not entitled to dirt-cheap goods and services at the cost of impoverishment of their fellow citizens. You can pay higher prices for goods and services, or you can pay to support the displaced and destitute.

    Replies: @another fred, @dfordoom

  33. Yet again, this chart confirms my feeling that in “Trump’s America” there has been a bizarro-world inversion of political attitudes, with Blue-Team voters embracing DNC neo-liberalism (understood to mean ditching their social democratish leanings of yesteryear) and Red-Team voters becoming more populist as opposed to conservative.

    In a “normal” world, I would always have thought that Blue-Team “liberals” would support populist fiscal transfers (i.e. Keynesianism) in an economic downturn, whereas the Red-Team would posture as deficit hawks. But no, it’s the bleeding heart liberals that want to cut off benefits during a “pandemic” and massive global depression. WTF?

    Sadly, this inversion has happened on a number of issues: 1) The Blue-Team is now hawkish because Trump campaigned as a dove; 2) The party that used to tell Reagan to talk with the USSR, now doesn’t want to talk with post-USSR Russia; 3) The Blue-team which traditionally thought that the social good should transcend private rights, now supports social media censorship because Google is a private company; 4) the Blue-team which “traditionally” (sic) supported greater sexual liberation, has now become MeToo Puritans; 5) The Blue-team which used to insist on the primacy of the Federal gov, now falls back on state and local rights to justify De Blasio preventing Americans from entering NYC, like it’s behind some new Mason-Dixon line…

    Is this just Trump Derangement Syndrome? The average Blue-Team voter would insist 2+2 =5 if Trump said 4? I think that is a large part of it. Sadly, since 2016 I’ve realized that the average person has no principles at all, and instead identifies with personality cults, and changes their principles/policy preferences based on what their leader says. Policy is downstream from candidate choice as ass backwards as that is.

    Hey, here is a thought. Should we run a referendum on eliminating universal suffrage? Given the complete ignorance of much of the population, I think it might just pass.

    • Agree: dfordoom
    • Replies: @A123
    @Mario Partisan


    Hey, here is a thought. Should we run a referendum on eliminating universal suffrage? Given the complete ignorance of much of the population, I think it might just pass.
     
    Hmmmm..... What would the campaign look like?

    The Personal Right to End Suffering must be Universal

    This message has been endorsed by KEVORKIAN-FAUCI 2020
     
    PEACE 😇
    , @Alexander Turok
    @Mario Partisan

    The Dems still want a lot more money, they just want congressional control of the spigot, thus the disingenuous constitutional complaints. And "sexual liberation" has pretty much always meant imposition of neo-puritanism. But there definitely has been a realignment of sorts, as stupider whites move from Left to Right, bringing their stupid ideas like anti-vax and 9/11 trutherism with them:

    https://alexanderturok.wordpress.com/2020/07/08/march-of-the-clevons/

    Replies: @Mario Partisan

    , @Alexander Turok
    @Mario Partisan

    The Dems still want a lot more money, they just want congressional control of the spigot, thus the disingenuous constitutional complaints. And "sexual liberation" has pretty much always meant imposition of neo-puritanism. But there definitely has been a realignment of sorts, as stupider whites move from Left to Right, bringing their stupid ideas like anti-vax and 9/11 trutherism with them:

    https://alexanderturok.wordpress.com/2020/07/08/march-of-the-clevons/

    , @Audacious Epigone
    @Mario Partisan

    Should we run a referendum on eliminating universal suffrage? Given the complete ignorance of much of the population, I think it might just pass.

    Suffrage? Hey, I want to eliminate suffering! Vote yes on the referendum to end suffrage!

    Yes, I think it could pass.

  34. Before Republicans decide to support giving a Republican president power to do something, they need to imagine a future Democrat president with the same power. If a future Democrat president decides to spend money by executive order on something like, say, a Green New Deal then Republicans won’t be able to point out the Constitution doesn’t allow that since the power of the purse resides with Congress. If they try it, Democrats will then be able to respond by pointing out the Republicans supported Trump when he wanted to spend money by executive order on unemployment benefits.

    The Founders understood there would be a tendency for the government to grow so they tried to set up roadblocks to that. The separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches was meant to slow down new legislation since they knew most new legislation would be a movement away from smaller government. The Constitution was also not meant to list the rights people had since the list would be too long. Instead, it listed what the federal government was allowed to do with an understanding that everything that wasn’t on the list wasn’t allowed.

    This is pretty basic stuff. It used to be taught in school but probably not in recent years with the decline of the public education system. I learned it 45 years ago in high school. That even Republicans now support something unconstitutional like giving the president the power to spend money, as long as he is a Republican, shows what bad shape we are in.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  35. Unemployment benefits are not UBI.

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
    @Lowe

    When tens of millions of people receive them and they exist in perpetuity, they will quickly become indistinguishable from it as that tens of millions grows to hundreds of millions.

  36. @Mario Partisan
    Yet again, this chart confirms my feeling that in “Trump’s America” there has been a bizarro-world inversion of political attitudes, with Blue-Team voters embracing DNC neo-liberalism (understood to mean ditching their social democratish leanings of yesteryear) and Red-Team voters becoming more populist as opposed to conservative.

    In a “normal” world, I would always have thought that Blue-Team “liberals” would support populist fiscal transfers (i.e. Keynesianism) in an economic downturn, whereas the Red-Team would posture as deficit hawks. But no, it’s the bleeding heart liberals that want to cut off benefits during a “pandemic” and massive global depression. WTF?

    Sadly, this inversion has happened on a number of issues: 1) The Blue-Team is now hawkish because Trump campaigned as a dove; 2) The party that used to tell Reagan to talk with the USSR, now doesn’t want to talk with post-USSR Russia; 3) The Blue-team which traditionally thought that the social good should transcend private rights, now supports social media censorship because Google is a private company; 4) the Blue-team which “traditionally” (sic) supported greater sexual liberation, has now become MeToo Puritans; 5) The Blue-team which used to insist on the primacy of the Federal gov, now falls back on state and local rights to justify De Blasio preventing Americans from entering NYC, like it’s behind some new Mason-Dixon line…

    Is this just Trump Derangement Syndrome? The average Blue-Team voter would insist 2+2 =5 if Trump said 4? I think that is a large part of it. Sadly, since 2016 I’ve realized that the average person has no principles at all, and instead identifies with personality cults, and changes their principles/policy preferences based on what their leader says. Policy is downstream from candidate choice as ass backwards as that is.

    Hey, here is a thought. Should we run a referendum on eliminating universal suffrage? Given the complete ignorance of much of the population, I think it might just pass.

    Replies: @A123, @Alexander Turok, @Alexander Turok, @Audacious Epigone

    Hey, here is a thought. Should we run a referendum on eliminating universal suffrage? Given the complete ignorance of much of the population, I think it might just pass.

    Hmmmm….. What would the campaign look like?

    The Personal Right to End Suffering must be Universal

    This message has been endorsed by KEVORKIAN-FAUCI 2020

    PEACE 😇

  37. Get ready for a shortage of pretty much everything. The money they’re going to pay you for the work you pretend to do, or not to do, won’t buy you toilet paper to wipe your bottom, and e-currency won’t do much to rectify that matter. Take a page from the Sovs and buy up as many copies of the collected works of Kamala Harris (paper, not e-book versions) as you can get your hands on. Heck, you might be able to soak the Amazon shipping containers and pulp them into crude TP too.

    • Disagree: J
  38. @advancedatheist
    @V. K. Ovelund

    I don't understand why libertarian hard-money obsessives consider fiat money inherently "fraudulent," while at the same time they complain about having to use fiat money to pay their taxes.

    But then they make other confusing assertions as well. How could a libertarian advocate both the gold standard and the general corncupianism of natural resources? These ideas make contradictory assumptions about Element 79 in the Periodic Table.

    Replies: @El Dato, @V. K. Ovelund

    Just wait until Elon Musk drags the Gold Asteroid into Earth orbit. You will change your tune.

    • Agree: V. K. Ovelund
    • LOL: Rosie
  39. @Achmed E. Newman
    @Eugene Norman

    There's a lot of ruin in a nation, and in in the long run the creators of this stupidity are all dead. Some may be dead in the short run once hyperinflation hits.

    Replies: @Eugene Norman

    Hyperinflation has been expected for a few decades now from the anti Keynesian geniuses on the internet – this time in the midst of a huge depression.

    You didn’t answer the question, either.

    • Agree: V. K. Ovelund
    • Replies: @Mark G.
    @Eugene Norman


    Hyperinflation has been expected for a few decades now from the anti Keynesian geniuses on the internet – this time in the midst of a huge depression.
     
    In the case of transportable goods, consumers can substitute lower priced foreign goods for domestic goods that are increasing in price due to inflation. This suppresses the effect of inflation in those areas. So, no, we haven't had high inflation in that area. The Fed's inflationary policy has led to the hollowing out of our industrial base instead as domestic workers with wages boosted by inflation producing higher cost goods can't compete with foreign workers earning lower wages producing lower cost goods.

    Where people can't substitute lower priced foreign goods for higher priced domestic goods, there has been high levels of inflation. Examples would be medical care and higher education. The rapid price increases in areas such as these have caused people to call for increased government subsidies in these areas to offset the increased prices.

    The Fed is printing up so much money now that at least some people are becoming concerned and have started investing in gold. This has caused a rapid run up in gold prices in the last year. You are also starting to see higher prices from the recent massively inflationary Fed policies. The government tries to hide this by measuring inflation with a basket of goods and changing what is in the basket to change the amount of inflation in order to pretend its inflationary policies aren't actually inflationary. You should take all official government statistics involving inflation with a grain of salt.

    Even in spite of that, though, prices are going up. For example, food prices have gone up 4.5% in the past year. This may not seem like a lot but many people are barely getting by and if that continues then several years from now there will be calls for the government to subsidize food for people who can't afford it. The government will then print up even more money to pay for the food subsidy and that will cause a further increase in prices.

    Replies: @Rosie

  40. @Kratoklastes
    @V. K. Ovelund

    MMT requires either autarky or reserve-currency status. Having reserve-currency status by itself is hard to maintain without presenting a compelling argument to the rest of the world why you ought to get a free ride (by not having your currency depreciate): usually (i.e., UK pre-WWII; US since) this has involved threats of naval bombardment, but those days are now over.

    MMT is just Keynesianism with a bunch of new slogans and a doubling-down on the wisdom of central planners: at the end of the day it's about increasing G, and funding it by printing money rather than issuing bonds (and then having the money-printers print enough to clear the bond market at a decided-upon interest rate).

    Keynesianism relies on ignorance of all economics related to external balance: it is explictly a fixed exchange-rate paradigm, and falls apart the moment you incorporate a realistic external sector.

    MMT in an open economy with a non-reserve currency has been tried a bunch of times - shorn of its "this time it's different" marketing bumph: Argentina, Hungary, Weimar Germany, Zimbabwe. Always with the same effect - economic destruction and declining living standards.

    The US dollar is done as a reserve currency: adjust your expectations of MMT accordingly.

    Replies: @Eugene Norman, @Svevlad, @V. K. Ovelund

    MMT is just Keynesianism….

    MMT builds on Keynesianism, true enough. However, unwise U.S. monetary policy during the 1970s—policy which as far as I know had little to do with Keynes and his ideas—fraudulently appropriated Keynes’ name for prestige’s sake. “Neo-Keynesianism” might more accurately have been named (John Kenneth) Galbraithism.

    It may be a mistake to judge Keynes for an apostate creed that borrowed Keynes’ name after Keynes’ death. After all, Keynes never got a chance to object. As far as I can tell, MMT (rather than the 1970s’ Galbraithite price-control nonsense) is the worthy successor of the original Keynesianism.

    I must admit though that I am trying to sound smarter than I really am. Not an economist, I could be very wrong.

    MMT requires either autarky or reserve-currency status.

    I did not know this. When you have some time, would you explain?

    • Replies: @Mario Partisan
    @V. K. Ovelund

    Hi there. Since you seem interested in MMT, I thought I’d share some MMT lit with you. Short article and longer e-book.

    http://moslereconomics-kg5winhhtut.stackpathdns.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/The-Natural-Rate-of-Interest-is-Zero.pdf

    https://moslereconomics.com/wp-content/powerpoints/7DIF.pdf

    The first one I read some time ago and the second I have perused, but I think I’ll take the time to read them more thoroughly.


    Not an economist, I could be very wrong.

     

    Don’t be so humble: “I am an economist, I could be very wrong” is also a truism.

    Kratoklastes wrote:

    MMT requires either autarky or reserve-currency status.
     
    My somewhat stale thought on MMT is that it is, in essence, an argument for combining fiscal stimulus with accommodative monetary policy. In some ways, this fits with the basic conclusions of a simple open economy model (Mundel Fleming). Under flexible exchange rates and capital mobility, fiscal stimulus sans monetary accommodation results in an increase in interest rates, that induces currency appreciation that, in turn, nullifies the effect on output, that in turn keeps money demand from rising and keeps domestic and foreign bond interest rates equal. But if the money supply is allowed to expand to finance the government spending, there is no upward pressure on interest rates, the currency does not appreciate, and so the impact of the stimulus on real output is positive.

    In short, MMT is an argument for the monetary stimulus that would make fiscal stimulus effective in an open economy. I think where MMT would differ from simple monetarism is that it tends to agree with Keynes that increasing G with new money would be more effective than just monetary stimulus by itself, because of the channels through which the new money would flow.

    So, my response to him is that MMT seems to be an attempt to make fiscal policy relevant in an open economy world and thus does not need autarky (in theory). It could apply to an autarky situation, but it would be less necessary, because of the lack of international capital markets to complicate fiscal policy. In turn, autarky would constrain the supply side to the domestic resource base and thus increase inflationary pressures from applied MMT.

    However, I think his point about reserve currency status is probably accurate more or less. I’m going to nitpick a little and say that the currency might not have to be a reserve currency like the US dollar, but must have some kind of weight in international transactions. Otherwise, the depreciation of the currency for small countries would be so severe that the hyperinflations that would be induced would make any stimulus irrelevant. Essentially, it’s a question of the price and income elasticity of demand for the currency.

    Lastly, and while this is somewhat tangential to the point, I think the hyperinflations in a lot of countries were not caused primarily by money supply expansion, but by more complex factors that began to collapse the exchange rates, producing inflation, that then compelled governments with limited access to capital markets to then begin printing more money just to maintain the same levels of real expenditure that they had prior to the inflationary pressures and the situation just got out of hand.

    For example, Venezuela. The real problems began with the collapse of oil prices post-2015. This opened up a current account deficit, that in turn led to an outflow of Bolivars onto the world market and severe currency devaluation, which combined with the inability of the sanctioned country to access capital markets, led the government to use seignorage as a financing tool. Similarly, Argentina, which had borrowed a lot of money in the 1970s, found itself unable to finance its deficits after the US Fed jacked up interest rates under Volker. The Argentine state was basically compelled to issue currency just to keep running.

    However, MMTers will point out that the very austere currency board under which Argentina put itself in the 1990s made even moderate fiscal stimulus impossible in response to the 2001 downturn and thus turned a recession into a depression. The depression ended when Kirchner ditched the currency board.
  41. @Mario Partisan
    Yet again, this chart confirms my feeling that in “Trump’s America” there has been a bizarro-world inversion of political attitudes, with Blue-Team voters embracing DNC neo-liberalism (understood to mean ditching their social democratish leanings of yesteryear) and Red-Team voters becoming more populist as opposed to conservative.

    In a “normal” world, I would always have thought that Blue-Team “liberals” would support populist fiscal transfers (i.e. Keynesianism) in an economic downturn, whereas the Red-Team would posture as deficit hawks. But no, it’s the bleeding heart liberals that want to cut off benefits during a “pandemic” and massive global depression. WTF?

    Sadly, this inversion has happened on a number of issues: 1) The Blue-Team is now hawkish because Trump campaigned as a dove; 2) The party that used to tell Reagan to talk with the USSR, now doesn’t want to talk with post-USSR Russia; 3) The Blue-team which traditionally thought that the social good should transcend private rights, now supports social media censorship because Google is a private company; 4) the Blue-team which “traditionally” (sic) supported greater sexual liberation, has now become MeToo Puritans; 5) The Blue-team which used to insist on the primacy of the Federal gov, now falls back on state and local rights to justify De Blasio preventing Americans from entering NYC, like it’s behind some new Mason-Dixon line…

    Is this just Trump Derangement Syndrome? The average Blue-Team voter would insist 2+2 =5 if Trump said 4? I think that is a large part of it. Sadly, since 2016 I’ve realized that the average person has no principles at all, and instead identifies with personality cults, and changes their principles/policy preferences based on what their leader says. Policy is downstream from candidate choice as ass backwards as that is.

    Hey, here is a thought. Should we run a referendum on eliminating universal suffrage? Given the complete ignorance of much of the population, I think it might just pass.

    Replies: @A123, @Alexander Turok, @Alexander Turok, @Audacious Epigone

    The Dems still want a lot more money, they just want congressional control of the spigot, thus the disingenuous constitutional complaints. And “sexual liberation” has pretty much always meant imposition of neo-puritanism. But there definitely has been a realignment of sorts, as stupider whites move from Left to Right, bringing their stupid ideas like anti-vax and 9/11 trutherism with them:

    https://alexanderturok.wordpress.com/2020/07/08/march-of-the-clevons/

    • Replies: @Mario Partisan
    @Alexander Turok

    Thanks for enlightening me and my fellow stupider whites. I used to think that a cave man on dialysis wouldn’t be able to knock down 3 birds with 2 stones, but I realized how skilled he was when he died twice.

    Cheers!

    Replies: @Alexander Turok

  42. @Mario Partisan
    Yet again, this chart confirms my feeling that in “Trump’s America” there has been a bizarro-world inversion of political attitudes, with Blue-Team voters embracing DNC neo-liberalism (understood to mean ditching their social democratish leanings of yesteryear) and Red-Team voters becoming more populist as opposed to conservative.

    In a “normal” world, I would always have thought that Blue-Team “liberals” would support populist fiscal transfers (i.e. Keynesianism) in an economic downturn, whereas the Red-Team would posture as deficit hawks. But no, it’s the bleeding heart liberals that want to cut off benefits during a “pandemic” and massive global depression. WTF?

    Sadly, this inversion has happened on a number of issues: 1) The Blue-Team is now hawkish because Trump campaigned as a dove; 2) The party that used to tell Reagan to talk with the USSR, now doesn’t want to talk with post-USSR Russia; 3) The Blue-team which traditionally thought that the social good should transcend private rights, now supports social media censorship because Google is a private company; 4) the Blue-team which “traditionally” (sic) supported greater sexual liberation, has now become MeToo Puritans; 5) The Blue-team which used to insist on the primacy of the Federal gov, now falls back on state and local rights to justify De Blasio preventing Americans from entering NYC, like it’s behind some new Mason-Dixon line…

    Is this just Trump Derangement Syndrome? The average Blue-Team voter would insist 2+2 =5 if Trump said 4? I think that is a large part of it. Sadly, since 2016 I’ve realized that the average person has no principles at all, and instead identifies with personality cults, and changes their principles/policy preferences based on what their leader says. Policy is downstream from candidate choice as ass backwards as that is.

    Hey, here is a thought. Should we run a referendum on eliminating universal suffrage? Given the complete ignorance of much of the population, I think it might just pass.

    Replies: @A123, @Alexander Turok, @Alexander Turok, @Audacious Epigone

    The Dems still want a lot more money, they just want congressional control of the spigot, thus the disingenuous constitutional complaints. And “sexual liberation” has pretty much always meant imposition of neo-puritanism. But there definitely has been a realignment of sorts, as stupider whites move from Left to Right, bringing their stupid ideas like anti-vax and 9/11 trutherism with them:

    https://alexanderturok.wordpress.com/2020/07/08/march-of-the-clevons/

  43. @advancedatheist
    @V. K. Ovelund

    I don't understand why libertarian hard-money obsessives consider fiat money inherently "fraudulent," while at the same time they complain about having to use fiat money to pay their taxes.

    But then they make other confusing assertions as well. How could a libertarian advocate both the gold standard and the general corncupianism of natural resources? These ideas make contradictory assumptions about Element 79 in the Periodic Table.

    Replies: @El Dato, @V. K. Ovelund

    I don’t understand why libertarian hard-money obsessives consider fiat money inherently “fraudulent”….

    I am admittedly sympathetic with the libertarian position. I want the libertarian position to be correct. Unfortunately, the astonishing lack of U.S. inflation following the Panic of 2008 has persuaded me that the libertarian analysis is probably insufficient.

    I have reassessed.

    The libertarian analysis has a strong foundation, though. Before the 20th century, specie (along with notes backed by specie) simply was money. The state coined the money and sometimes manipulated the money but did not make the money. The money existed whether you had a state or not. Money preëxisted the state and continued to exist after the state had ceased to be.

    This was a good thing.

    When the state during the 20th century told the citizen that he could no longer have money as money has been understood since the beginning of time, but that he must instead rely on the state’s fiat, what libertarian would thank the state for that? The libertarian was right to distrust. The libertarian was right to dissent.

    Nevertheless (if I may borrow ’s method of argumentation), fiat money is what we have. As long as the U.S. endures, Americans will be stuck with fiat money as far as I know. Meanwhile, fiat money brings some benefits, so one might as well make the best of it. MMT helps us to do that.

    • Replies: @A123
    @V. K. Ovelund


    Meanwhile, fiat money brings some benefits, so one might as well make the best of it. MMT helps us to do that.
     
    After listening to a number of explanations for MMT and Standard economics, the difference seems to be more about sequencing rather than math.

    Standard:
    -- Collect Cash -- Bonds, taxes, whatever
    -- Spend -- Based on Collections

    MMT:
    -- Spend -- Based on an achievable Economic end-state
    -- Collect Cash -- To control Money Supply/ Inflation Rate

    With the Fed using aggressive QE and similar measures, we may already be functionally MMT. However, no one can admit that on the record.

    PEACE 😇

    , @Audacious Epigone
    @V. K. Ovelund

    There has been enormous price inflation in assets, just not yet in consumer prices, though that is coming. The enormous price inflation in assets over the last two decades has been horrible for millennials and zoomers. They can't get out of debt, they can't own anything, they can't afford to live on their own, they can't start families because of the price inflation that has taken place.

    Replies: @Rosie, @Thomm

  44. @Alexander Turok
    @Mario Partisan

    The Dems still want a lot more money, they just want congressional control of the spigot, thus the disingenuous constitutional complaints. And "sexual liberation" has pretty much always meant imposition of neo-puritanism. But there definitely has been a realignment of sorts, as stupider whites move from Left to Right, bringing their stupid ideas like anti-vax and 9/11 trutherism with them:

    https://alexanderturok.wordpress.com/2020/07/08/march-of-the-clevons/

    Replies: @Mario Partisan

    Thanks for enlightening me and my fellow stupider whites. I used to think that a cave man on dialysis wouldn’t be able to knock down 3 birds with 2 stones, but I realized how skilled he was when he died twice.

    Cheers!

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
    @Mario Partisan

    No idea what you're referring to.

  45. @Mario Partisan
    @Alexander Turok

    Thanks for enlightening me and my fellow stupider whites. I used to think that a cave man on dialysis wouldn’t be able to knock down 3 birds with 2 stones, but I realized how skilled he was when he died twice.

    Cheers!

    Replies: @Alexander Turok

    No idea what you’re referring to.

    • LOL: Mario Partisan
  46. @V. K. Ovelund
    @advancedatheist


    I don’t understand why libertarian hard-money obsessives consider fiat money inherently “fraudulent”....
     
    I am admittedly sympathetic with the libertarian position. I want the libertarian position to be correct. Unfortunately, the astonishing lack of U.S. inflation following the Panic of 2008 has persuaded me that the libertarian analysis is probably insufficient.

    I have reassessed.

    The libertarian analysis has a strong foundation, though. Before the 20th century, specie (along with notes backed by specie) simply was money. The state coined the money and sometimes manipulated the money but did not make the money. The money existed whether you had a state or not. Money preëxisted the state and continued to exist after the state had ceased to be.

    This was a good thing.

    When the state during the 20th century told the citizen that he could no longer have money as money has been understood since the beginning of time, but that he must instead rely on the state's fiat, what libertarian would thank the state for that? The libertarian was right to distrust. The libertarian was right to dissent.

    Nevertheless (if I may borrow @dfordoom's method of argumentation), fiat money is what we have. As long as the U.S. endures, Americans will be stuck with fiat money as far as I know. Meanwhile, fiat money brings some benefits, so one might as well make the best of it. MMT helps us to do that.

    Replies: @A123, @Audacious Epigone

    Meanwhile, fiat money brings some benefits, so one might as well make the best of it. MMT helps us to do that.

    After listening to a number of explanations for MMT and Standard economics, the difference seems to be more about sequencing rather than math.

    Standard:
    — Collect Cash — Bonds, taxes, whatever
    — Spend — Based on Collections

    MMT:
    — Spend — Based on an achievable Economic end-state
    — Collect Cash — To control Money Supply/ Inflation Rate

    With the Fed using aggressive QE and similar measures, we may already be functionally MMT. However, no one can admit that on the record.

    PEACE 😇

  47. @Eugene Norman
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Hyperinflation has been expected for a few decades now from the anti Keynesian geniuses on the internet - this time in the midst of a huge depression.

    You didn’t answer the question, either.

    Replies: @Mark G.

    Hyperinflation has been expected for a few decades now from the anti Keynesian geniuses on the internet – this time in the midst of a huge depression.

    In the case of transportable goods, consumers can substitute lower priced foreign goods for domestic goods that are increasing in price due to inflation. This suppresses the effect of inflation in those areas. So, no, we haven’t had high inflation in that area. The Fed’s inflationary policy has led to the hollowing out of our industrial base instead as domestic workers with wages boosted by inflation producing higher cost goods can’t compete with foreign workers earning lower wages producing lower cost goods.

    Where people can’t substitute lower priced foreign goods for higher priced domestic goods, there has been high levels of inflation. Examples would be medical care and higher education. The rapid price increases in areas such as these have caused people to call for increased government subsidies in these areas to offset the increased prices.

    The Fed is printing up so much money now that at least some people are becoming concerned and have started investing in gold. This has caused a rapid run up in gold prices in the last year. You are also starting to see higher prices from the recent massively inflationary Fed policies. The government tries to hide this by measuring inflation with a basket of goods and changing what is in the basket to change the amount of inflation in order to pretend its inflationary policies aren’t actually inflationary. You should take all official government statistics involving inflation with a grain of salt.

    Even in spite of that, though, prices are going up. For example, food prices have gone up 4.5% in the past year. This may not seem like a lot but many people are barely getting by and if that continues then several years from now there will be calls for the government to subsidize food for people who can’t afford it. The government will then print up even more money to pay for the food subsidy and that will cause a further increase in prices.

    • Replies: @Rosie
    @Mark G.


    Where people can’t substitute lower priced foreign goods for higher priced domestic goods, there has been high levels of inflation. Examples would be medical care and higher education.
     
    The problem here is that there are alternative explanations for inflation in these sectors.

    Education: Artificially profitable student loans. These are risk free for lenders. They get interest AND a government guarantee AND no possibility of discharge in bankruptcy.

    Moreover, students are not paying a higher price for the same service. Universities are luxurious affairs now, in a way that is totally inappropriate to the spirit of higher education. There are far too many distractions.

    I was perfectly content to study in a dark room with almost nothing. All I could see was what fell within the area illuminated by a desk lamp.

    Health Care: Health care inflation is caused by consumer price insensitivity resulting from third party payment. Medical services that are not covered by insurance (e.g. laser eye surgery) have not seen out of control inflation.

    The inflation dog is not going to bark - ever. Not with outsourcing, immigration, and automation.

    Replies: @Mark G.

  48. @V. K. Ovelund
    @Kratoklastes


    MMT is just Keynesianism....
     
    MMT builds on Keynesianism, true enough. However, unwise U.S. monetary policy during the 1970s—policy which as far as I know had little to do with Keynes and his ideas—fraudulently appropriated Keynes' name for prestige's sake. “Neo-Keynesianism” might more accurately have been named (John Kenneth) Galbraithism.

    It may be a mistake to judge Keynes for an apostate creed that borrowed Keynes' name after Keynes' death. After all, Keynes never got a chance to object. As far as I can tell, MMT (rather than the 1970s' Galbraithite price-control nonsense) is the worthy successor of the original Keynesianism.

    I must admit though that I am trying to sound smarter than I really am. Not an economist, I could be very wrong.


    MMT requires either autarky or reserve-currency status.
     
    I did not know this. When you have some time, would you explain?

    Replies: @Mario Partisan

    Hi there. Since you seem interested in MMT, I thought I’d share some MMT lit with you. Short article and longer e-book.

    http://moslereconomics-kg5winhhtut.stackpathdns.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/The-Natural-Rate-of-Interest-is-Zero.pdf

    https://moslereconomics.com/wp-content/powerpoints/7DIF.pdf

    The first one I read some time ago and the second I have perused, but I think I’ll take the time to read them more thoroughly.

    Not an economist, I could be very wrong.

    Don’t be so humble: “I am an economist, I could be very wrong” is also a truism.

    Kratoklastes wrote:

    MMT requires either autarky or reserve-currency status.

    My somewhat stale thought on MMT is that it is, in essence, an argument for combining fiscal stimulus with accommodative monetary policy. In some ways, this fits with the basic conclusions of a simple open economy model (Mundel Fleming). Under flexible exchange rates and capital mobility, fiscal stimulus sans monetary accommodation results in an increase in interest rates, that induces currency appreciation that, in turn, nullifies the effect on output, that in turn keeps money demand from rising and keeps domestic and foreign bond interest rates equal. But if the money supply is allowed to expand to finance the government spending, there is no upward pressure on interest rates, the currency does not appreciate, and so the impact of the stimulus on real output is positive.

    In short, MMT is an argument for the monetary stimulus that would make fiscal stimulus effective in an open economy. I think where MMT would differ from simple monetarism is that it tends to agree with Keynes that increasing G with new money would be more effective than just monetary stimulus by itself, because of the channels through which the new money would flow.

    So, my response to him is that MMT seems to be an attempt to make fiscal policy relevant in an open economy world and thus does not need autarky (in theory). It could apply to an autarky situation, but it would be less necessary, because of the lack of international capital markets to complicate fiscal policy. In turn, autarky would constrain the supply side to the domestic resource base and thus increase inflationary pressures from applied MMT.

    However, I think his point about reserve currency status is probably accurate more or less. I’m going to nitpick a little and say that the currency might not have to be a reserve currency like the US dollar, but must have some kind of weight in international transactions. Otherwise, the depreciation of the currency for small countries would be so severe that the hyperinflations that would be induced would make any stimulus irrelevant. Essentially, it’s a question of the price and income elasticity of demand for the currency.

    Lastly, and while this is somewhat tangential to the point, I think the hyperinflations in a lot of countries were not caused primarily by money supply expansion, but by more complex factors that began to collapse the exchange rates, producing inflation, that then compelled governments with limited access to capital markets to then begin printing more money just to maintain the same levels of real expenditure that they had prior to the inflationary pressures and the situation just got out of hand.

    For example, Venezuela. The real problems began with the collapse of oil prices post-2015. This opened up a current account deficit, that in turn led to an outflow of Bolivars onto the world market and severe currency devaluation, which combined with the inability of the sanctioned country to access capital markets, led the government to use seignorage as a financing tool. Similarly, Argentina, which had borrowed a lot of money in the 1970s, found itself unable to finance its deficits after the US Fed jacked up interest rates under Volker. The Argentine state was basically compelled to issue currency just to keep running.

    However, MMTers will point out that the very austere currency board under which Argentina put itself in the 1990s made even moderate fiscal stimulus impossible in response to the 2001 downturn and thus turned a recession into a depression. The depression ended when Kirchner ditched the currency board.

    • Thanks: V. K. Ovelund
  49. @Mark G.
    @Eugene Norman


    Hyperinflation has been expected for a few decades now from the anti Keynesian geniuses on the internet – this time in the midst of a huge depression.
     
    In the case of transportable goods, consumers can substitute lower priced foreign goods for domestic goods that are increasing in price due to inflation. This suppresses the effect of inflation in those areas. So, no, we haven't had high inflation in that area. The Fed's inflationary policy has led to the hollowing out of our industrial base instead as domestic workers with wages boosted by inflation producing higher cost goods can't compete with foreign workers earning lower wages producing lower cost goods.

    Where people can't substitute lower priced foreign goods for higher priced domestic goods, there has been high levels of inflation. Examples would be medical care and higher education. The rapid price increases in areas such as these have caused people to call for increased government subsidies in these areas to offset the increased prices.

    The Fed is printing up so much money now that at least some people are becoming concerned and have started investing in gold. This has caused a rapid run up in gold prices in the last year. You are also starting to see higher prices from the recent massively inflationary Fed policies. The government tries to hide this by measuring inflation with a basket of goods and changing what is in the basket to change the amount of inflation in order to pretend its inflationary policies aren't actually inflationary. You should take all official government statistics involving inflation with a grain of salt.

    Even in spite of that, though, prices are going up. For example, food prices have gone up 4.5% in the past year. This may not seem like a lot but many people are barely getting by and if that continues then several years from now there will be calls for the government to subsidize food for people who can't afford it. The government will then print up even more money to pay for the food subsidy and that will cause a further increase in prices.

    Replies: @Rosie

    Where people can’t substitute lower priced foreign goods for higher priced domestic goods, there has been high levels of inflation. Examples would be medical care and higher education.

    The problem here is that there are alternative explanations for inflation in these sectors.

    Education: Artificially profitable student loans. These are risk free for lenders. They get interest AND a government guarantee AND no possibility of discharge in bankruptcy.

    Moreover, students are not paying a higher price for the same service. Universities are luxurious affairs now, in a way that is totally inappropriate to the spirit of higher education. There are far too many distractions.

    I was perfectly content to study in a dark room with almost nothing. All I could see was what fell within the area illuminated by a desk lamp.

    Health Care: Health care inflation is caused by consumer price insensitivity resulting from third party payment. Medical services that are not covered by insurance (e.g. laser eye surgery) have not seen out of control inflation.

    The inflation dog is not going to bark – ever. Not with outsourcing, immigration, and automation.

    • Replies: @Mark G.
    @Rosie


    The inflation dog is not going to bark – ever. Not with outsourcing, immigration, and automation.
     
    The inflation dog has already been barking and that is exactly what the Fed wants. The Fed wants high inflation in one specific area: stock prices. Stock prices have not been going up in most cases because the underlying companies have been making greater profits and are therefore worth more. They have been going up because Fed induced inflation has been raising stock prices. The people who run the Fed don't care if Joe Average has to pay higher prices or loses his factory job because his wages have increased through inflation enough to make him unable to compete with lower wage foreign workers. What they care about is the ten percent of the population who own ninety percent of the stocks so they follow a policy that will increase the price of those stocks. Rich people control the government.

    I think this is actually a case of shortsighted greed, Rosie. The small number of people who own a lot of stocks have had their net worth increase a great deal in recent years. This has increased income inequality as the rich have become richer and the middle and working class has shrunk in size. Political stability in a democracy depends on having a large middle class and a belief that things are getting better for most people, not just the rich. The current increasing income inequality will lead to increased political instability in future years and the rise of leftist demagogues who promise to confiscate a large portion of the wealth of these rich people.
  50. @AaronB
    @A123


    Creating a new entitlement that will be added on top of other entitlements is a wealth transfer from workers to non-workers
     
    Actually, it's a transfer from machines to humans. 3% of the workforce produces the essentials. 97% are free not to farm because of the invention of machines. They can do this because machines do their work for them.

    But instead of giving people the surplus from machines, we made them earn it through producing or selling inessentials.

    Except now, machines have gotten good even at that - so there is literally no option left but to finally give people the surplus from the original machine revolution.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @Rosie

    Actually, it’s a transfer from machines to humans. 3% of the workforce produces the essentials. 97% are free not to farm because of the invention of machines. They can do this because machines do their work for them.

    But instead of giving people the surplus from machines, we made them earn it through producing or selling inessentials.

    Except now, machines have gotten good even at that – so there is literally no option left but to finally give people the surplus from the original machine revolution.

    I think you’ve made a valid point there.

    • Agree: Rosie
    • Thanks: AaronB
  51. @Rosie
    @Mark G.


    Where people can’t substitute lower priced foreign goods for higher priced domestic goods, there has been high levels of inflation. Examples would be medical care and higher education.
     
    The problem here is that there are alternative explanations for inflation in these sectors.

    Education: Artificially profitable student loans. These are risk free for lenders. They get interest AND a government guarantee AND no possibility of discharge in bankruptcy.

    Moreover, students are not paying a higher price for the same service. Universities are luxurious affairs now, in a way that is totally inappropriate to the spirit of higher education. There are far too many distractions.

    I was perfectly content to study in a dark room with almost nothing. All I could see was what fell within the area illuminated by a desk lamp.

    Health Care: Health care inflation is caused by consumer price insensitivity resulting from third party payment. Medical services that are not covered by insurance (e.g. laser eye surgery) have not seen out of control inflation.

    The inflation dog is not going to bark - ever. Not with outsourcing, immigration, and automation.

    Replies: @Mark G.

    The inflation dog is not going to bark – ever. Not with outsourcing, immigration, and automation.

    The inflation dog has already been barking and that is exactly what the Fed wants. The Fed wants high inflation in one specific area: stock prices. Stock prices have not been going up in most cases because the underlying companies have been making greater profits and are therefore worth more. They have been going up because Fed induced inflation has been raising stock prices. The people who run the Fed don’t care if Joe Average has to pay higher prices or loses his factory job because his wages have increased through inflation enough to make him unable to compete with lower wage foreign workers. What they care about is the ten percent of the population who own ninety percent of the stocks so they follow a policy that will increase the price of those stocks. Rich people control the government.

    I think this is actually a case of shortsighted greed, Rosie. The small number of people who own a lot of stocks have had their net worth increase a great deal in recent years. This has increased income inequality as the rich have become richer and the middle and working class has shrunk in size. Political stability in a democracy depends on having a large middle class and a belief that things are getting better for most people, not just the rich. The current increasing income inequality will lead to increased political instability in future years and the rise of leftist demagogues who promise to confiscate a large portion of the wealth of these rich people.

    • Agree: botazefa, Daniel H
  52. @AaronB
    @A123


    Creating a new entitlement that will be added on top of other entitlements is a wealth transfer from workers to non-workers
     
    Actually, it's a transfer from machines to humans. 3% of the workforce produces the essentials. 97% are free not to farm because of the invention of machines. They can do this because machines do their work for them.

    But instead of giving people the surplus from machines, we made them earn it through producing or selling inessentials.

    Except now, machines have gotten good even at that - so there is literally no option left but to finally give people the surplus from the original machine revolution.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @Rosie

    Except now, machines have gotten good even at that – so there is literally no option left but to finally give people the surplus from the original machine revolution.

    The plutocrats have been promising to redistribute the economic gains from outsourcing since forever. It’s about time they pony up. People who complain of wealth-eroding inflation fail to appreciate that they are not entitled to dirt-cheap goods and services at the cost of impoverishment of their fellow citizens. You can pay higher prices for goods and services, or you can pay to support the displaced and destitute.

    • Agree: iffen, AaronB, V. K. Ovelund
    • Replies: @another fred
    @Rosie


    You can pay higher prices for goods and services, or you can pay to support the displaced and destitute.
     
    A third option might be to try to get rid of the displaced and destitute, but nothing ever works exactly as planned.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @iffen

    , @dfordoom
    @Rosie


    The plutocrats have been promising to redistribute the economic gains from outsourcing since forever. It’s about time they pony up.
     
    I agree.

    You can pay higher prices for goods and services, or you can pay to support the displaced and destitute.
     
    Increasing the price of goods and services through higher wages, tariffs, etc, won't work because fewer and fewer workers are going to be needed due to automation. Protectionist policies are most likely to accelerate the process of automation. Well-paid jobs for the vast majority of the population is simply not going to happen. There are very very few jobs that cannot be done by machines.

    So the best answer is to redistribute the economic gains directly through something like a UBI. But not the kind of starvation-level UBI that iffen favours. A generous UBI sufficient to allow a decent life is needed.

    There are quite a few concepts that we're going to have to abandon. One of them is the Protestant work ethic. The idea that people without jobs should be punished is now hopelessly obsolete.
    One of the benefits of automation that we should get to enjoy is that most people will simply not have to work crappy soul-crushing jobs, because those jobs simply do not need to exist. We should be benefiting from automation by having massively increased leisure time and we need to ditch stupid moralistic ideas that work is somehow ennobling. We will need to learn not to feel guilty about not working.

    People will need to learn to find meaning in life from things other than jobs.

    Replies: @Rosie

  53. @TomSchmidt
    "Parenthetically, my assessment of the situation is radically at odds with this conception, but almost everybody thinks I’m a nut. "

    To quote JohnConnaly to European finance ministers: "the dollar is our currency, but your problem."

    We hold the privilege of reserve currency for the investment of building the atomic bomb in WW2, and using it, something Stalin and Mao never accomplished in all their mass-murdering. We have continued to use nukes ever since, this time to threaten. In the words ofMichael Ledeen, "every few years we need to throw some crappy country against the wall just to show the world who is boss."

    The people who collect the wealth we extort from the rest of the world have NO desire to relinquish it. They know that the profits derived from the Triffin Paradox go away if we don't spend a ridiculous amount on "defense" to enforce Ledeen's threat. That they earn without labor disconnects them from reality, and their politics drifts further and further left, asNYC has done as it moved from the manufacturing center of the US economy to a place that mostly shuffles symbols in a virtual world.

    It should come as no surprise that defense and intelligence have contributed mightily to hobbling Trump's efforts to end wars, and come to terms with Russia.

    Since the connected/protected benefit from profit without labor, someone has to labor without profit to supply them. That has meant that the profit Must depart manufacturing, and American workers simply refused to work to funnel profits up to the predatory Professional/Managerial class, so their jobs were sent overseas for the lower classes; with everyone below the PMC now happily Zooming in from home, the outsourcing of their jobs to preserve the income of the stock option class is next.

    Unearned wealth tends to destroy the recipient, and the USA is no different. We were facing a rubicon crossing soon: the Trumpian "big beautiful" deficits of $1trln BEFORE COVID-19 had led to a situation where the USG was barely borrowing any new money; most of the deficit was interest being rolled over. The massive borrowing for COVID represents perhaps a last chance to cash out on the reserve status of the dollar. That's $4trln the USG theoretically commits to paying back, but everyone knows that that will never happen.

    The council on Foreign Relations lays out the issue:

    What are the primary drivers of future debt?

    The main drivers are still mandatory spending programs, namely Social Security—the largest U.S. government program—Medicare, and Medicaid. Their costs, which currently account for 47 percent of all federal spending, are expected to surge as a percentage of GDP because of the aging U.S. population and resultant rising health expenses.

    Meanwhile, interest payments on the debt, which now account for 8 percent of the budget, are expected to rise, while discretionary spending, including programs such as defense and transportation, is expected to shrink as a proportion of the budget.
     
    The CFR, natch, understates defense spending. But the issue remains: a death-cage match for budget dollars between SS/Medicare, and Defense, made worse as interest on the debt rises to consume more of the budget (good thing the Fed took away any interest being paid on tBills earlier this year, saving billions in cost. Driving the 10-year bond to .5% also saves budget dollars.) At first it looks like "discretionary" spending, like defense and intelligence, gets to be eroded in the budget battle.

    Cue "systemic racism" and reparations. Presumably inflicted by whites, in the former case, and due to blacks, in the latter case. For a long time, Social Security was the "third rail" of American politics; touch it and you die. Now, however, it represents a program that taxes a 40-50% nonwhite labor force at the young end to pay benefits to people who reflect the demographics of the country 65 years ago: 90% white. The only thing that can preserve the defense budget that buys the arms to show crappy countries who's boss from being cut is to cut SS and Medicare. The Democrats would NEVER do this previously to undermine the crown jewel of New Deal social policy, but now they'll feel obligated to do so to punish the racist whites who benefitted from systemic racism.

    The Republicans gave them the cudgel in the 2017 tax act, signing into law a change to use "Chained CPI" for calculating benefit increases and tax bracket indexation; this was originally a Democrat idea. so the Democrats can impoverish old, racist whites without ever casting a vote to defund them: simply run inflation at a high rate while indexing benefits at the lower Chained CPI rate, and you can cut in half the real value of benefits in 10 years if the understatement of inflation is 7% a year. Meanwhile, the incorrectly indexed tax brackets will add billions more in tax revenue.

    The whole system is brilliant in its construction, and has required R and D "opponents" to play their part in the dance. Until the reserve status of the dollar collapses, it will continue. Loss of reserve status for the dollar will be a catastrophe for the USA, but more so for the people at the top who've benefitted from it. You cannot take much more wealth away from the white working class, but it will be a glorious day when there's no more money to support the grifters at the top. It's coming, soon.

    Replies: @John Achterhof

    Great post, Tom. The density of worthy insights to this fairly long comment is….I was going to say “professional grade” but then realized the term doesn’t apply so well in this field….impressive.

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    @John Achterhof

    Thanks for the kind words, John.

    We will have an increasingly desperate elite trying to hold onto its privileges and pelf. Anyone under 60, white, better not plan on Social Security: we need that money for useless wars.

  54. UBI is a wonderful concept. It only needs a strong hand at the top to work.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  55. @Rosie
    @AaronB


    Except now, machines have gotten good even at that – so there is literally no option left but to finally give people the surplus from the original machine revolution.
     
    The plutocrats have been promising to redistribute the economic gains from outsourcing since forever. It's about time they pony up. People who complain of wealth-eroding inflation fail to appreciate that they are not entitled to dirt-cheap goods and services at the cost of impoverishment of their fellow citizens. You can pay higher prices for goods and services, or you can pay to support the displaced and destitute.

    Replies: @another fred, @dfordoom

    You can pay higher prices for goods and services, or you can pay to support the displaced and destitute.

    A third option might be to try to get rid of the displaced and destitute, but nothing ever works exactly as planned.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @another fred



    You can pay higher prices for goods and services, or you can pay to support the displaced and destitute.
     
    A third option might be to try to get rid of the displaced and destitute, but nothing ever works exactly as planned.
     
    If only we could persuade the displaced and destitute to do the right thing and just kill themselves. Why can't they understand that it's their social duty to do so? What's wrong with these people?
    , @iffen
    @another fred

    A third option might be to try to get rid of the displaced and destitute, but nothing ever works exactly as planned.

    The south was able to send a substantial % of its displaced and destitute to the north and west.

  56. @James Bowery
    Although it is rather obvious why my 1992 white paper on it was ignored, it is rather puzzling that with the Likud connections to the American Enterprise Institute, and The White House being occupied by what I, in 2015, called "The Likud Candidate", no one is bringing up the the book "In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State" by the AEI's shabbos goy.

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone, @Charles Pewitt

    Although it is rather obvious why my 1992 white paper on it was ignored, it is rather puzzling that with the Likud connections to the American Enterprise Institute, and The White House being occupied by what I, in 2015, called “The Likud Candidate”, no one is bringing up the the book “In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State” by the AEI’s shabbos goy.

    I’m too lazy to do the exercise required to read Scottish Blockhead Murray’s book that might talk about Universal Basic Income, but I think he had a delightfully cynical hard-headed Scottish perception that the managerial class and the bureaucratic class and the government workers who run all the programs could be relieved of their jobs, and their political power, by simply doling out the cash to individual citizens on a large scale.

    Mr. Epigone could be talking about a book by Murray Rothbard instead of Charles Murray, but I’m too lazy to find out that also.

    The Pewitt Conjured Loot Portion(PCLP) is highly cynical and highly absurd, I know, but I figured that offering up cold cash would get people to think about the CENTRAL BANKER SHYSTERISM that is keeping the ruling class of the American Empire in power. I want to remove the current treasonous ruling class from power and I want to run the American Empire myself, or be a happy peasant in the empire while somebody somewhat patriotic is running the empire, so removing the ruling class from power and explaining central banking is why I am pushing a form of universal basic income.

    The Pewitt Conjured Loot Portion(PCLP) will pay each American who has all blood ancestry born in colonial America or the USA before 1924 a cool ten thousand dollars a month. The US Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank shall work together to conjure up the cash out of thin air, just like the ruling class is doing now.

    Murray might have been wonderfully Scottish Blockheaded in that Scottish people love to tinker with things and systems and they functioned well within the upper echelons of the British Empire and their brains cut to the chase real good and Murray suggested a form of Universal Basic Income as a way to sever the government workers and their power from the welfare state and to reduce the power of the managerial class somewhat. Fire the bastards screaming for government grants for this or that and give the cash out directly to the American people.

    Bypass the biped government worker faction and make those bastards a thing of the past.

    The global financial implosion is now underway and there is no saving or reforming the global financial system, so electronically conjure up the cash — ten thousand dollars a month — and give it to every American citizen who meets the eligibility requirement of having all blood ancestry born in colonial America or the USA before 1924.

    THERE IS NO CAPITALISM

    THERE IS ONLY CENTRAL BANKER SHYSTERISM

    Vote CHARLES PEWITT as a write-in candidate for president of the USA and get ten thousand dollars a month PCLP– if you are eligible!

    PCLP — Pewitt Conjured Loot Portion

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
    @Charles Pewitt

    I was referring to Charles Murray's book. I wouldn't refer to Murray Rothbard by his first name exclusively! From what I gather about the man, though, he wouldn't be the least bit bothered if I did.

  57. @Audacious Epigone
    @V. K. Ovelund

    If UBI works without serious economic drawbacks, then ramping it up could help prevent the riots. On the other hand, there is that pesky aphorism about idle hands.

    Replies: @Charles Pewitt

    If UBI works without serious economic drawbacks, then ramping it up could help prevent the riots. On the other hand, there is that pesky aphorism about idle hands.

    I call the Social Security Disability System — the Boo-Boo Checks and the Cuckoo Checks — Riot Prevention Payments(RPP).

    I wrote this in April of 2017:

    Educational attainment has been used as a proxy for intelligence in the administrative law system of the Social Security Administration to determine eligibility for disability. Give the dumb saps who ain’t got much schooling some bit of scratch every month and let them boneheads drink and drug themselves to death.

    The disability payments are known as “Riot Prevention Payments” in some circles. The disability payments are also known as “Boo-Boo Checks” and “Cuckoo Checks” by some people who have a rather Dickensian bent.

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/educational-attainment-in-america-dot-map/#comment-1849955

  58. @John Achterhof
    @TomSchmidt

    Great post, Tom. The density of worthy insights to this fairly long comment is....I was going to say "professional grade" but then realized the term doesn't apply so well in this field....impressive.

    Replies: @TomSchmidt

    Thanks for the kind words, John.

    We will have an increasingly desperate elite trying to hold onto its privileges and pelf. Anyone under 60, white, better not plan on Social Security: we need that money for useless wars.

  59. Anonymous[312] • Disclaimer says:

    Everybody wants inflation in the things they own and sell, and deflation in everything else.

    The farmer wants high and rising food prices for the crops he grows and sells. He wants cheap and falling prices for tractors and other equipment he uses.

    The manufacturer wants high and rising prices for the manufactures he produces and sells. He wants cheap and falling prices for the food he has to buy.

    Etc.

    The wealthy are people who own lots of stuff and can draw high income from that stuff and not have to work for a living.

    That “stuff” is financial assets like stocks and bonds and shares in private companies and real estate. From this stuff the wealthy draw dividends, interest, profit shares, and rent as income. They can also borrow money very cheaply with all the stuff they already own, much more cheaply than ordinary people, to buy more stuff, supplement their income, speculate, etc.

    Since their position and livelihood is based on owning this stuff, these assets, the wealthy want high and rising prices for these assets, and low prices for everything else. Not just because they want cheaper prices for themselves, but also because cheap food and basic consumer goods prices mitigate social upheaval and rebellion that threaten their position.

  60. @Rosie
    @AaronB


    Except now, machines have gotten good even at that – so there is literally no option left but to finally give people the surplus from the original machine revolution.
     
    The plutocrats have been promising to redistribute the economic gains from outsourcing since forever. It's about time they pony up. People who complain of wealth-eroding inflation fail to appreciate that they are not entitled to dirt-cheap goods and services at the cost of impoverishment of their fellow citizens. You can pay higher prices for goods and services, or you can pay to support the displaced and destitute.

    Replies: @another fred, @dfordoom

    The plutocrats have been promising to redistribute the economic gains from outsourcing since forever. It’s about time they pony up.

    I agree.

    You can pay higher prices for goods and services, or you can pay to support the displaced and destitute.

    Increasing the price of goods and services through higher wages, tariffs, etc, won’t work because fewer and fewer workers are going to be needed due to automation. Protectionist policies are most likely to accelerate the process of automation. Well-paid jobs for the vast majority of the population is simply not going to happen. There are very very few jobs that cannot be done by machines.

    So the best answer is to redistribute the economic gains directly through something like a UBI. But not the kind of starvation-level UBI that iffen favours. A generous UBI sufficient to allow a decent life is needed.

    There are quite a few concepts that we’re going to have to abandon. One of them is the Protestant work ethic. The idea that people without jobs should be punished is now hopelessly obsolete.
    One of the benefits of automation that we should get to enjoy is that most people will simply not have to work crappy soul-crushing jobs, because those jobs simply do not need to exist. We should be benefiting from automation by having massively increased leisure time and we need to ditch stupid moralistic ideas that work is somehow ennobling. We will need to learn not to feel guilty about not working.

    People will need to learn to find meaning in life from things other than jobs.

    • Agree: AaronB
    • Replies: @Rosie
    @dfordoom


    Increasing the price of goods and services through higher wages, tariffs, etc, won’t work because fewer and fewer workers are going to be needed due to automation.
     
    True.

    Well-paid jobs for the vast majority of the population is simply not going to happen.
     
    But I'm not sure this follows.

    Among the things that we need to get over, as a society and as a movement, is our hangup about "extended adolescence." I can't defend this proposition right now, because I've only recently begun looking into the matter, but apparently the human brain is highly adaptable to circumstances early in life.

    Civilization (ease and plenty) may actually slow brain maturation, while danger and trauma accelerates it. This would stand to reason, because a state of barbarism would favor those who grow up quickly, with brains more attuned to danger and less attuned to other people's feelings, abstract ideas, curiosity, etc.

    All that is to say, a brain optimized for civilized life takes longer to develop than a brain optimized for chaos and danger. It may in fact not be reasonable to expect youth to be self-supporting until much later in life. From my own limited observations, young people seem to really come into their own in their early thirties. At the other end, people should be able to expect a long and enjoyable retirement. Instead of working for forty years, we should work for twenty, and shorter hours with longer vacations at that.

    Replies: @Rosie, @dfordoom

  61. @another fred
    @Rosie


    You can pay higher prices for goods and services, or you can pay to support the displaced and destitute.
     
    A third option might be to try to get rid of the displaced and destitute, but nothing ever works exactly as planned.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @iffen

    You can pay higher prices for goods and services, or you can pay to support the displaced and destitute.

    A third option might be to try to get rid of the displaced and destitute, but nothing ever works exactly as planned.

    If only we could persuade the displaced and destitute to do the right thing and just kill themselves. Why can’t they understand that it’s their social duty to do so? What’s wrong with these people?

  62. @Stargazer
    @Audacious Epigone

    Buffet is not buying gold. He is buying a claim to gold (paper shares) that the government can nullify when (not if) gold becomes the reference standard for all failing currencies. Buy the real stuff: bullion coins and bars and keep them close. If you can't touch it, you don't own it.

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone

    Good point. California just enacted a wealth tax that is retroactive for the last ten years. They can’t take a piece of bullion if they don’t know you have it.

  63. @A123
    Conceptually, there is a huge difference between:the

    -- Emergency, counter cyclical, one-time spending
    -- Permanent , entitlement, ongoing spending

    Corporate, Individual, and Government spending all decreasing simultaneously leads to economic dead ends (e.g. Stagflation, Austerity Trap, etc.). WUHAN-19 has suppressed Corporate and Individual spending power. Thus, Government spending is a necessity to prevent layoffs from becoming permanent unemployment. If high unemployment became "The New Normal", the U.S. would look like Greece.

    Creating a new entitlement that will be added on top of other entitlements is a wealth transfer from workers to non-workers. In theory, UBI would replace other programs, but no one believes that Team Blue would write or run it that way.

    The best thing that could happen right now is ending Science Denial. Generic HCQ is safe, medically effective, and economically frugal. The use of HCQ early & often would allow more normal economic activity to resume. Alas, Democrats are incapable of accepting Science.

    PEACE 😇
    .
    https://i2.wp.com/www.powerlineblog.com/ed-assets/2020/08/image022-2-copy.jpg

    Replies: @AaronB, @Audacious Epigone

    April was the highest month for personal income in the history of the United States. There’s a production problem, not a demand problem.

    • Replies: @A123
    @Audacious Epigone


    April was the highest month for personal income in the history of the United States. There’s a production problem, not a demand problem.
     
    I concur on Production:

    The U.S. spent decades undermining domestic production. There is significant lead time & investment needed to recover from that neglect. The U.S. commitment to ending China's monopoly in Rare Earth elements will not show output for some time yet.
    ______

    However there is still an issue with Demand:

    Yield on service industries is also problematic. In places where crowds used to gather there are still much lower numbers of people. Plus, additional government imposed expenses. This consumes cash with little to no benefit to the small business owner.
    ______

    I am surprised there has not been a inflation spike. Every time I go to the grocery store I know that I spend more and get less, versus last year.

    PEACE 😇

  64. @Mario Partisan
    Yet again, this chart confirms my feeling that in “Trump’s America” there has been a bizarro-world inversion of political attitudes, with Blue-Team voters embracing DNC neo-liberalism (understood to mean ditching their social democratish leanings of yesteryear) and Red-Team voters becoming more populist as opposed to conservative.

    In a “normal” world, I would always have thought that Blue-Team “liberals” would support populist fiscal transfers (i.e. Keynesianism) in an economic downturn, whereas the Red-Team would posture as deficit hawks. But no, it’s the bleeding heart liberals that want to cut off benefits during a “pandemic” and massive global depression. WTF?

    Sadly, this inversion has happened on a number of issues: 1) The Blue-Team is now hawkish because Trump campaigned as a dove; 2) The party that used to tell Reagan to talk with the USSR, now doesn’t want to talk with post-USSR Russia; 3) The Blue-team which traditionally thought that the social good should transcend private rights, now supports social media censorship because Google is a private company; 4) the Blue-team which “traditionally” (sic) supported greater sexual liberation, has now become MeToo Puritans; 5) The Blue-team which used to insist on the primacy of the Federal gov, now falls back on state and local rights to justify De Blasio preventing Americans from entering NYC, like it’s behind some new Mason-Dixon line…

    Is this just Trump Derangement Syndrome? The average Blue-Team voter would insist 2+2 =5 if Trump said 4? I think that is a large part of it. Sadly, since 2016 I’ve realized that the average person has no principles at all, and instead identifies with personality cults, and changes their principles/policy preferences based on what their leader says. Policy is downstream from candidate choice as ass backwards as that is.

    Hey, here is a thought. Should we run a referendum on eliminating universal suffrage? Given the complete ignorance of much of the population, I think it might just pass.

    Replies: @A123, @Alexander Turok, @Alexander Turok, @Audacious Epigone

    Should we run a referendum on eliminating universal suffrage? Given the complete ignorance of much of the population, I think it might just pass.

    Suffrage? Hey, I want to eliminate suffering! Vote yes on the referendum to end suffrage!

    Yes, I think it could pass.

  65. @Lowe
    Unemployment benefits are not UBI.

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone

    When tens of millions of people receive them and they exist in perpetuity, they will quickly become indistinguishable from it as that tens of millions grows to hundreds of millions.

  66. @V. K. Ovelund
    @advancedatheist


    I don’t understand why libertarian hard-money obsessives consider fiat money inherently “fraudulent”....
     
    I am admittedly sympathetic with the libertarian position. I want the libertarian position to be correct. Unfortunately, the astonishing lack of U.S. inflation following the Panic of 2008 has persuaded me that the libertarian analysis is probably insufficient.

    I have reassessed.

    The libertarian analysis has a strong foundation, though. Before the 20th century, specie (along with notes backed by specie) simply was money. The state coined the money and sometimes manipulated the money but did not make the money. The money existed whether you had a state or not. Money preëxisted the state and continued to exist after the state had ceased to be.

    This was a good thing.

    When the state during the 20th century told the citizen that he could no longer have money as money has been understood since the beginning of time, but that he must instead rely on the state's fiat, what libertarian would thank the state for that? The libertarian was right to distrust. The libertarian was right to dissent.

    Nevertheless (if I may borrow @dfordoom's method of argumentation), fiat money is what we have. As long as the U.S. endures, Americans will be stuck with fiat money as far as I know. Meanwhile, fiat money brings some benefits, so one might as well make the best of it. MMT helps us to do that.

    Replies: @A123, @Audacious Epigone

    There has been enormous price inflation in assets, just not yet in consumer prices, though that is coming. The enormous price inflation in assets over the last two decades has been horrible for millennials and zoomers. They can’t get out of debt, they can’t own anything, they can’t afford to live on their own, they can’t start families because of the price inflation that has taken place.

    • Agree: V. K. Ovelund
    • Replies: @Rosie
    @Audacious Epigone


    The enormous price inflation in assets over the last two decades has been horrible for millennials and zoomers. They can’t get out of debt, they can’t own anything, they can’t afford to live on their own, they can’t start families because of the price inflation that has taken place.
     
    But inflation, by itself, doesn't hurt young people. What hurts them is higher house prices with stagnant wages. The cause of this is immigration, not QE.

    Replies: @Anonymous

    , @Thomm
    @Audacious Epigone

    UBI is socialism by another name. If you doubt this, ask any UBI advocate how they will fund it. Why, higher taxes, of course!

    There is some benefit to consolidating all the convoluted entitlements into one stream, but that is not enough money for a UBI.

    Audie Baby's understanding of what inflation is, and isn't, is extremely incorrect.


    There has been enormous price inflation in assets, just not yet in consumer prices, though that is coming.
     
    The stock market going up is not 'inflation', for Christ's sake. Stock market gains net of CPI are actual wealth gains, however concentrated. New wealth creation being concentrated does not mean it was not created at all.

    You probably believe that living standards have not risen at all in the last 50 years. Or 200 years.


    The enormous price inflation in assets over the last two decades has been horrible for millennials and zoomers.

     

    By your logic, nothing should ever go up in price, since there will always be young people. Which then means no one will invest in anything since there is no return. Welcome to 'One Million BC : The Age of Audie Baby'.

    Again, you're a nice guy, but you really have no understanding of the subject of inflation whatsoever.

    Oh, and by the way, your specific prediction that a stock market crash (like we had in March-April) would result in 'inflation leaking out' of the stock market and causing hyperinflation in everything else has failed shambolically. The CPI is the measure of inflation, not 'stock market gains'.

    You made a specific prediction, and the exact opposite happened. Time to eat the terror bird.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @Audacious Epigone

  67. @Charles Pewitt
    @James Bowery

    Although it is rather obvious why my 1992 white paper on it was ignored, it is rather puzzling that with the Likud connections to the American Enterprise Institute, and The White House being occupied by what I, in 2015, called “The Likud Candidate”, no one is bringing up the the book “In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State” by the AEI’s shabbos goy.

    I'm too lazy to do the exercise required to read Scottish Blockhead Murray's book that might talk about Universal Basic Income, but I think he had a delightfully cynical hard-headed Scottish perception that the managerial class and the bureaucratic class and the government workers who run all the programs could be relieved of their jobs, and their political power, by simply doling out the cash to individual citizens on a large scale.

    Mr. Epigone could be talking about a book by Murray Rothbard instead of Charles Murray, but I'm too lazy to find out that also.

    The Pewitt Conjured Loot Portion(PCLP) is highly cynical and highly absurd, I know, but I figured that offering up cold cash would get people to think about the CENTRAL BANKER SHYSTERISM that is keeping the ruling class of the American Empire in power. I want to remove the current treasonous ruling class from power and I want to run the American Empire myself, or be a happy peasant in the empire while somebody somewhat patriotic is running the empire, so removing the ruling class from power and explaining central banking is why I am pushing a form of universal basic income.

    The Pewitt Conjured Loot Portion(PCLP) will pay each American who has all blood ancestry born in colonial America or the USA before 1924 a cool ten thousand dollars a month. The US Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank shall work together to conjure up the cash out of thin air, just like the ruling class is doing now.

    Murray might have been wonderfully Scottish Blockheaded in that Scottish people love to tinker with things and systems and they functioned well within the upper echelons of the British Empire and their brains cut to the chase real good and Murray suggested a form of Universal Basic Income as a way to sever the government workers and their power from the welfare state and to reduce the power of the managerial class somewhat. Fire the bastards screaming for government grants for this or that and give the cash out directly to the American people.

    Bypass the biped government worker faction and make those bastards a thing of the past.

    The global financial implosion is now underway and there is no saving or reforming the global financial system, so electronically conjure up the cash -- ten thousand dollars a month -- and give it to every American citizen who meets the eligibility requirement of having all blood ancestry born in colonial America or the USA before 1924.

    THERE IS NO CAPITALISM

    THERE IS ONLY CENTRAL BANKER SHYSTERISM

    Vote CHARLES PEWITT as a write-in candidate for president of the USA and get ten thousand dollars a month PCLP-- if you are eligible!

    PCLP -- Pewitt Conjured Loot Portion

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone

    I was referring to Charles Murray’s book. I wouldn’t refer to Murray Rothbard by his first name exclusively! From what I gather about the man, though, he wouldn’t be the least bit bothered if I did.

  68. Well, i guess this puts to rest that whole, “only Democrats want welfare” tome.

    • Replies: @Thomm
    @Truth

    Truth, my brotha!

    The comedy is surging forth at such a rate that these updates are getting pretty extensive.

    1) See over here, where Mr. Hack rose to the occasion and fed off of my comedic boost to put forth some comedy of his own, taking the level of jest at RUnzie Baby’s expense to profound heights (see the whole exchange, particularly the pictures) :

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/ron-unz-appears-on-stark-truth-radio/#comment-4099050


    2) See here were Anatoly Karlin took the unprecedented move of commenting on another blogger’s thread. His attempt to pull off a tough-guy persona ends in hilarity :

    https://www.unz.com/anepigone/blackbird-singing-in-the-mid-of-fall/#comment-4074214

    3) See here, where the famous clip of how WNs and ‘woke’ people are the same fits into my own commentary. I have long said that White Tr**hionalist culture and W*gg*r culture have fully merged. This video proves I was right.
    https://www.unz.com/chopkins/the-white-black-nationalist-color-revolution/#comment-4074431

    The White T**shionalists get mad when one calls them the other name, but they really are exactly the same.


    4) Very important : Did you know that there was a famous ‘Kamala Harris’ 35 years ago? James ‘Kamala’ Harris was a WWF wrestler in the 80s and 90s. Yes, his actual last name is ‘Harris’. He died on the exact same day as when Kamala Harris was appointed to the Veep slot under Biden, perhaps the most consequential Veep appointment ever. See proof :
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/kamala-harris-is-an-affirmative-action-candidate/#comment-4097536
    This is truly an immense coincidence. It has to be seen as an Omen of supernatural implications. I’m serious.

    5) I posted the Ann-O-Mite song again, but this time Alden agreed that it is accurate representation of how Ann Coulter fleeces needy WN incels :

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/the-woke-are-after-the-poetry-foundations-200-million/#comment-4084759

    I also snuck in a mention of my older hit song, ‘Little Shop of W*gg*rs’, which was recognized by the Library of Congress as culturally, aesthetically, and historically significant.


    Lastly, I don’t think signing off with mere text in the form of ‘Heh heh heh heh’ is enough of an impact on all senses. Hence, I will now post this video in its place in the future.

    https://youtu.be/MD53hwAN5DY

    Replies: @Truth

  69. What is the real case for gold and silver?

    If you get deflation with essentially zero interest rates, the Central Bank has to implement a regime of negative interest rates. The only way to pull this off is by banning large holdings of cash (as who would buy a bond with a negative yield if you can own dollars with a positive yield).

    What to do if the government is likely to ban large holdings of cash? Buy gold and silver as cash substitutes.

    Granted, some of the run up in gold prices is an effect of uncertainty, and some of it is due to the true believers in monetarist inflation clap-trap (hint: banks create money, not central banks, at least according the the Bank of London). But deflation and the anticipated action of the central banks will run up gold prices.

    As far as the dollar, first, a strong currency is terrible for domestic manufacturing. England screwed their manufacturing industry for decades as the world’s reserve currency, and America has been screwing its manufacturers since the 70’s.

    Second, dollars have been up against other currencies for over a decade, so a weaker dollar is just a reversion to the mean. However, if using government spending to stimulate demand and running deficits is the cause of currency decline, why is the Euro and the Pound up against the Dollar, when the UK and much of Europe has been guaranteeing paychecks and printing money, while the U.S. handed out $1200 once, and is now hell-bent on bankrupting landlords?

    To put it differently, if your thesis is true, why is the currency of countries that have engaged in a bigger amount of spending relative to GDP to stimulate demand as a result COVID-19 actually stronger than the Dollar?

    [Rates will go up because the Fed is phasing out QE, which depressed rates, but is different from inflation. Further, we will probably get an oil shock by Q2 2021, which will temporarily raise prices a point or two, but we won’t have “inflation” like the 1970’s, where you had a systematic and accelerating annual increase in consumer prices and wages.]

  70. The Deflationary Thesis (deflation + negative interest rates) would play as follows:

    Long gold and silver (as cash substitutes to end run bans on large cash holdings and which have limited industrial application), short commodities which will be devalued due to deflation.

    If you believe in inflation, then you should be long on ALL commodities, not just gold, as wheat futures will rise as the currency is devalued.

  71. @another fred
    @Rosie


    You can pay higher prices for goods and services, or you can pay to support the displaced and destitute.
     
    A third option might be to try to get rid of the displaced and destitute, but nothing ever works exactly as planned.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @iffen

    A third option might be to try to get rid of the displaced and destitute, but nothing ever works exactly as planned.

    The south was able to send a substantial % of its displaced and destitute to the north and west.

  72. @Audacious Epigone
    @A123

    April was the highest month for personal income in the history of the United States. There's a production problem, not a demand problem.

    Replies: @A123

    April was the highest month for personal income in the history of the United States. There’s a production problem, not a demand problem.

    I concur on Production:

    The U.S. spent decades undermining domestic production. There is significant lead time & investment needed to recover from that neglect. The U.S. commitment to ending China’s monopoly in Rare Earth elements will not show output for some time yet.
    ______

    However there is still an issue with Demand:

    Yield on service industries is also problematic. In places where crowds used to gather there are still much lower numbers of people. Plus, additional government imposed expenses. This consumes cash with little to no benefit to the small business owner.
    ______

    I am surprised there has not been a inflation spike. Every time I go to the grocery store I know that I spend more and get less, versus last year.

    PEACE 😇

  73. @dfordoom
    @Rosie


    The plutocrats have been promising to redistribute the economic gains from outsourcing since forever. It’s about time they pony up.
     
    I agree.

    You can pay higher prices for goods and services, or you can pay to support the displaced and destitute.
     
    Increasing the price of goods and services through higher wages, tariffs, etc, won't work because fewer and fewer workers are going to be needed due to automation. Protectionist policies are most likely to accelerate the process of automation. Well-paid jobs for the vast majority of the population is simply not going to happen. There are very very few jobs that cannot be done by machines.

    So the best answer is to redistribute the economic gains directly through something like a UBI. But not the kind of starvation-level UBI that iffen favours. A generous UBI sufficient to allow a decent life is needed.

    There are quite a few concepts that we're going to have to abandon. One of them is the Protestant work ethic. The idea that people without jobs should be punished is now hopelessly obsolete.
    One of the benefits of automation that we should get to enjoy is that most people will simply not have to work crappy soul-crushing jobs, because those jobs simply do not need to exist. We should be benefiting from automation by having massively increased leisure time and we need to ditch stupid moralistic ideas that work is somehow ennobling. We will need to learn not to feel guilty about not working.

    People will need to learn to find meaning in life from things other than jobs.

    Replies: @Rosie

    Increasing the price of goods and services through higher wages, tariffs, etc, won’t work because fewer and fewer workers are going to be needed due to automation.

    True.

    Well-paid jobs for the vast majority of the population is simply not going to happen.

    But I’m not sure this follows.

    Among the things that we need to get over, as a society and as a movement, is our hangup about “extended adolescence.” I can’t defend this proposition right now, because I’ve only recently begun looking into the matter, but apparently the human brain is highly adaptable to circumstances early in life.

    Civilization (ease and plenty) may actually slow brain maturation, while danger and trauma accelerates it. This would stand to reason, because a state of barbarism would favor those who grow up quickly, with brains more attuned to danger and less attuned to other people’s feelings, abstract ideas, curiosity, etc.

    All that is to say, a brain optimized for civilized life takes longer to develop than a brain optimized for chaos and danger. It may in fact not be reasonable to expect youth to be self-supporting until much later in life. From my own limited observations, young people seem to really come into their own in their early thirties. At the other end, people should be able to expect a long and enjoyable retirement. Instead of working for forty years, we should work for twenty, and shorter hours with longer vacations at that.

    • Replies: @Rosie
    @Rosie

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180615094830.htm

    , @dfordoom
    @Rosie


    All that is to say, a brain optimized for civilized life takes longer to develop than a brain optimized for chaos and danger. It may in fact not be reasonable to expect youth to be self-supporting until much later in life. From my own limited observations, young people seem to really come into their own in their early thirties.
     
    You may have a point there.

    It's easy to get all nostalgic about the past and think how great it was when as soon as the kids reached their teens they were told to go and got a job and become independent. But maybe it wasn't so great?

    At the other end, people should be able to expect a long and enjoyable retirement. Instead of working for forty years, we should work for twenty, and shorter hours with longer vacations at that.
     
    I certainly agree with that. You could make a good case for making the retirement age 55. Or maybe even 50.
  74. @Audacious Epigone
    @V. K. Ovelund

    There has been enormous price inflation in assets, just not yet in consumer prices, though that is coming. The enormous price inflation in assets over the last two decades has been horrible for millennials and zoomers. They can't get out of debt, they can't own anything, they can't afford to live on their own, they can't start families because of the price inflation that has taken place.

    Replies: @Rosie, @Thomm

    The enormous price inflation in assets over the last two decades has been horrible for millennials and zoomers. They can’t get out of debt, they can’t own anything, they can’t afford to live on their own, they can’t start families because of the price inflation that has taken place.

    But inflation, by itself, doesn’t hurt young people. What hurts them is higher house prices with stagnant wages. The cause of this is immigration, not QE.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Rosie


    But inflation, by itself, doesn’t hurt young people. What hurts them is higher house prices with stagnant wages. The cause of this is immigration, not QE.
     
    Higher real estate prices is asset price inflation.

    Rich people and banks buy assets like stocks and bonds, real estate, artwork, etc.

    There's been enormous asset price inflation, despite immigrants not buying stocks and bonds, artwork, etc.

    If you're a debtor, like most homeowners since they have mortgages, inflation can be good if prices including their wage prices shoot up and they can thus more easily and quickly pay off the fixed nominal price of their mortgage loans. On the other hand, this inflation can end up mucking up the real economy and output and employment. Also real estate prices can eventually inflate to catch up with the wage inflation.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @Rosie

  75. @Truth
    Well, i guess this puts to rest that whole, "only Democrats want welfare" tome.

    Replies: @Thomm

    Truth, my brotha!

    The comedy is surging forth at such a rate that these updates are getting pretty extensive.

    1) See over here, where Mr. Hack rose to the occasion and fed off of my comedic boost to put forth some comedy of his own, taking the level of jest at RUnzie Baby’s expense to profound heights (see the whole exchange, particularly the pictures) :

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/ron-unz-appears-on-stark-truth-radio/#comment-4099050

    2) See here were Anatoly Karlin took the unprecedented move of commenting on another blogger’s thread. His attempt to pull off a tough-guy persona ends in hilarity :

    https://www.unz.com/anepigone/blackbird-singing-in-the-mid-of-fall/#comment-4074214

    3) See here, where the famous clip of how WNs and ‘woke’ people are the same fits into my own commentary. I have long said that White Tr**hionalist culture and W*gg*r culture have fully merged. This video proves I was right.
    https://www.unz.com/chopkins/the-white-black-nationalist-color-revolution/#comment-4074431

    The White T**shionalists get mad when one calls them the other name, but they really are exactly the same.

    4) Very important : Did you know that there was a famous ‘Kamala Harris’ 35 years ago? James ‘Kamala’ Harris was a WWF wrestler in the 80s and 90s. Yes, his actual last name is ‘Harris’. He died on the exact same day as when Kamala Harris was appointed to the Veep slot under Biden, perhaps the most consequential Veep appointment ever. See proof :
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/kamala-harris-is-an-affirmative-action-candidate/#comment-4097536
    This is truly an immense coincidence. It has to be seen as an Omen of supernatural implications. I’m serious.

    5) I posted the Ann-O-Mite song again, but this time Alden agreed that it is accurate representation of how Ann Coulter fleeces needy WN incels :

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/the-woke-are-after-the-poetry-foundations-200-million/#comment-4084759

    I also snuck in a mention of my older hit song, ‘Little Shop of W*gg*rs’, which was recognized by the Library of Congress as culturally, aesthetically, and historically significant.

    Lastly, I don’t think signing off with mere text in the form of ‘Heh heh heh heh’ is enough of an impact on all senses. Hence, I will now post this video in its place in the future.

    • Replies: @Truth
    @Thomm

    Thomm, I rarely miss a stroke of your comedic genius, lately I have just been under attack from the White Nationalist Losers from all directions.

  76. @Rosie
    @dfordoom


    Increasing the price of goods and services through higher wages, tariffs, etc, won’t work because fewer and fewer workers are going to be needed due to automation.
     
    True.

    Well-paid jobs for the vast majority of the population is simply not going to happen.
     
    But I'm not sure this follows.

    Among the things that we need to get over, as a society and as a movement, is our hangup about "extended adolescence." I can't defend this proposition right now, because I've only recently begun looking into the matter, but apparently the human brain is highly adaptable to circumstances early in life.

    Civilization (ease and plenty) may actually slow brain maturation, while danger and trauma accelerates it. This would stand to reason, because a state of barbarism would favor those who grow up quickly, with brains more attuned to danger and less attuned to other people's feelings, abstract ideas, curiosity, etc.

    All that is to say, a brain optimized for civilized life takes longer to develop than a brain optimized for chaos and danger. It may in fact not be reasonable to expect youth to be self-supporting until much later in life. From my own limited observations, young people seem to really come into their own in their early thirties. At the other end, people should be able to expect a long and enjoyable retirement. Instead of working for forty years, we should work for twenty, and shorter hours with longer vacations at that.

    Replies: @Rosie, @dfordoom

  77. Anonymous[110] • Disclaimer says:
    @Rosie
    @Audacious Epigone


    The enormous price inflation in assets over the last two decades has been horrible for millennials and zoomers. They can’t get out of debt, they can’t own anything, they can’t afford to live on their own, they can’t start families because of the price inflation that has taken place.
     
    But inflation, by itself, doesn't hurt young people. What hurts them is higher house prices with stagnant wages. The cause of this is immigration, not QE.

    Replies: @Anonymous

    But inflation, by itself, doesn’t hurt young people. What hurts them is higher house prices with stagnant wages. The cause of this is immigration, not QE.

    Higher real estate prices is asset price inflation.

    Rich people and banks buy assets like stocks and bonds, real estate, artwork, etc.

    There’s been enormous asset price inflation, despite immigrants not buying stocks and bonds, artwork, etc.

    If you’re a debtor, like most homeowners since they have mortgages, inflation can be good if prices including their wage prices shoot up and they can thus more easily and quickly pay off the fixed nominal price of their mortgage loans. On the other hand, this inflation can end up mucking up the real economy and output and employment. Also real estate prices can eventually inflate to catch up with the wage inflation.

    • Replies: @V. K. Ovelund
    @Anonymous


    Rich people and banks buy assets like stocks and bonds, real estate, artwork, etc.
     
    Wise public policy should punitively tax the excessive holding of real estate as assets. I want my children to be able to afford suitable homes when they marry and start families. All of us should want our children to be able to do this.

    As pleasant as they are for existing homeowners, rising real-estate prices are generally a bad thing.

    Replies: @Rosie

    , @Rosie
    @Anonymous


    Rich people and banks buy assets like stocks and bonds, real estate, artwork, etc.

    There’s been enormous asset price inflation, despite immigrants not buying stocks and bonds, artwork, etc.
     
    A sincere question: Why should I care?

    If you’re a debtor, like most homeowners since they have mortgages, inflation can be good if prices including their wage prices shoot up and they can thus more easily and quickly pay off the fixed nominal price of their mortgage loans. On the other hand, this inflation can end up mucking up the real economy and output and employment. Also real estate prices can eventually inflate to catch up with the wage inflation.
     
    Assuming wages keep up, how does inflation "muck up" the economy? I am very much a layperson when it comes to economics, so I feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that a moderate amount of inflation would stimulate economic growth. If I own a business, wouldn't I be more likely to borrow money to expand (and hire more people) if I expected to pay back the loan in cheaper dollars? On the other hand, I might reasonably fear borrowing for expansion if I anticipate falling prices for the goods and services I expect to provide with my increased capacity (and, along with that, greater difficulty paying back the loan).

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone

  78. @Audacious Epigone
    @V. K. Ovelund

    There has been enormous price inflation in assets, just not yet in consumer prices, though that is coming. The enormous price inflation in assets over the last two decades has been horrible for millennials and zoomers. They can't get out of debt, they can't own anything, they can't afford to live on their own, they can't start families because of the price inflation that has taken place.

    Replies: @Rosie, @Thomm

    UBI is socialism by another name. If you doubt this, ask any UBI advocate how they will fund it. Why, higher taxes, of course!

    There is some benefit to consolidating all the convoluted entitlements into one stream, but that is not enough money for a UBI.

    Audie Baby’s understanding of what inflation is, and isn’t, is extremely incorrect.

    There has been enormous price inflation in assets, just not yet in consumer prices, though that is coming.

    The stock market going up is not ‘inflation’, for Christ’s sake. Stock market gains net of CPI are actual wealth gains, however concentrated. New wealth creation being concentrated does not mean it was not created at all.

    You probably believe that living standards have not risen at all in the last 50 years. Or 200 years.

    The enormous price inflation in assets over the last two decades has been horrible for millennials and zoomers.

    By your logic, nothing should ever go up in price, since there will always be young people. Which then means no one will invest in anything since there is no return. Welcome to ‘One Million BC : The Age of Audie Baby’.

    Again, you’re a nice guy, but you really have no understanding of the subject of inflation whatsoever.

    Oh, and by the way, your specific prediction that a stock market crash (like we had in March-April) would result in ‘inflation leaking out’ of the stock market and causing hyperinflation in everything else has failed shambolically. The CPI is the measure of inflation, not ‘stock market gains’.

    You made a specific prediction, and the exact opposite happened. Time to eat the terror bird.

    • Replies: @V. K. Ovelund
    @Thomm


    UBI is socialism by another name.
     
    Our entire system is market socialism already. Whether this is good or bad can be debated (personally, I am unsure), but many have in good faith long supposed that market socialism must spread misery and poverty. Including me.

    They and I, and maybe you, have supposed wrongly. In country after country after country, market socialism observably does not in fact spread misery or poverty. Not generally. The time has come to reassess.

    “But Venezuela!” they object.

    Well, I do not know what is going on in Venezuela. Fake news reports are comically unreliable, and I know no one who has actually been to Venezuela in a capacity that would qualify him to inform me. U.S. news delivers little but propaganda. I really have no idea, except that sectarianism evidently divides Venezuela. My suspicion (without evidence) is that the current Venezuelan government has thwarted some Jewish plutocrat who has U.S. media influence, and that this explains the curiously one-sided, unrelentingly negative U.S. reporting on the Venezuelan scene. (Please note that I have expressed no support for the Venezuelan regime. I have just seen what they did to Jeremy Corbyn in Britain, not to mention James Alex Fields, Jr., in the United States, and have thus surmised that they might do the same to Nicholas Maduro in Venezuela. That is all.)

    Setting Venezuela aside, you have Canada, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, etc., etc., etc. All are market-socialist countries. Each affords the common man an imperfect but conspicuously affluent standard of living.

    Facts are facts. These particular facts have proved durable.

    Like you, I oppose UBI—mainly because I correlate the Corona-UBI with this summer's riots in the United States. (Again, facts are facts.) Nevertheless, I remain open to the possibility that some form of UBI were wise public policy, after all. Don't you?

    Though firmly right of center, I just do not believe in ideology very much. I believe in a roughly balanced selection of empirical observations, rather, to the extent to which I can get it. I think like Russell Kirk in this. That's just me.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund

    , @Audacious Epigone
    @Thomm

    Pfft, if we want to get pedantic, inflation has nothing directly to do with prices at all. It refers to an increase in the supply of money. Inflation is occurring, that much is undeniable. Equity prices do not represent real wealth. Jeff Bezos is worth $200 billion on paper, but if he ever tried to convert that into $200 billion dollars, he'd only be able to get somewhere around half of it. There are a lot more claims on resources out there than there are actual resources, and that's going to become increasingly obvious in the coming months and years.

    Re: the CPI, the "exact opposite" is not what happened.

  79. @Anonymous
    @Rosie


    But inflation, by itself, doesn’t hurt young people. What hurts them is higher house prices with stagnant wages. The cause of this is immigration, not QE.
     
    Higher real estate prices is asset price inflation.

    Rich people and banks buy assets like stocks and bonds, real estate, artwork, etc.

    There's been enormous asset price inflation, despite immigrants not buying stocks and bonds, artwork, etc.

    If you're a debtor, like most homeowners since they have mortgages, inflation can be good if prices including their wage prices shoot up and they can thus more easily and quickly pay off the fixed nominal price of their mortgage loans. On the other hand, this inflation can end up mucking up the real economy and output and employment. Also real estate prices can eventually inflate to catch up with the wage inflation.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @Rosie

    Rich people and banks buy assets like stocks and bonds, real estate, artwork, etc.

    Wise public policy should punitively tax the excessive holding of real estate as assets. I want my children to be able to afford suitable homes when they marry and start families. All of us should want our children to be able to do this.

    As pleasant as they are for existing homeowners, rising real-estate prices are generally a bad thing.

    • Agree: Audacious Epigone
    • Replies: @Rosie
    @V. K. Ovelund


    Wise public policy should punitively tax the excessive holding of real estate as assets. I want my children to be able to afford suitable homes when they marry and start families. All of us should want our children to be able to do this.
     
    Agree 100%.

    As pleasant as they are for existing homeowners, rising real-estate prices are generally a bad thing.
     
    I'm not so sure about this. I think moderate inflation of house prices (that doesn't outpace wage growth) is probably a necessity. At the very least, falling house prices absolutely should be avoided. Otherwise, people wouldn't be able to tolerate the risk involved in purchasing a house, and this state of affairs would inure to the benefit of the very rent-seekers we both dislike.
  80. @Thomm
    @Truth

    Truth, my brotha!

    The comedy is surging forth at such a rate that these updates are getting pretty extensive.

    1) See over here, where Mr. Hack rose to the occasion and fed off of my comedic boost to put forth some comedy of his own, taking the level of jest at RUnzie Baby’s expense to profound heights (see the whole exchange, particularly the pictures) :

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/ron-unz-appears-on-stark-truth-radio/#comment-4099050


    2) See here were Anatoly Karlin took the unprecedented move of commenting on another blogger’s thread. His attempt to pull off a tough-guy persona ends in hilarity :

    https://www.unz.com/anepigone/blackbird-singing-in-the-mid-of-fall/#comment-4074214

    3) See here, where the famous clip of how WNs and ‘woke’ people are the same fits into my own commentary. I have long said that White Tr**hionalist culture and W*gg*r culture have fully merged. This video proves I was right.
    https://www.unz.com/chopkins/the-white-black-nationalist-color-revolution/#comment-4074431

    The White T**shionalists get mad when one calls them the other name, but they really are exactly the same.


    4) Very important : Did you know that there was a famous ‘Kamala Harris’ 35 years ago? James ‘Kamala’ Harris was a WWF wrestler in the 80s and 90s. Yes, his actual last name is ‘Harris’. He died on the exact same day as when Kamala Harris was appointed to the Veep slot under Biden, perhaps the most consequential Veep appointment ever. See proof :
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/kamala-harris-is-an-affirmative-action-candidate/#comment-4097536
    This is truly an immense coincidence. It has to be seen as an Omen of supernatural implications. I’m serious.

    5) I posted the Ann-O-Mite song again, but this time Alden agreed that it is accurate representation of how Ann Coulter fleeces needy WN incels :

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/the-woke-are-after-the-poetry-foundations-200-million/#comment-4084759

    I also snuck in a mention of my older hit song, ‘Little Shop of W*gg*rs’, which was recognized by the Library of Congress as culturally, aesthetically, and historically significant.


    Lastly, I don’t think signing off with mere text in the form of ‘Heh heh heh heh’ is enough of an impact on all senses. Hence, I will now post this video in its place in the future.

    https://youtu.be/MD53hwAN5DY

    Replies: @Truth

    Thomm, I rarely miss a stroke of your comedic genius, lately I have just been under attack from the White Nationalist Losers from all directions.

  81. @Anonymous
    @Rosie


    But inflation, by itself, doesn’t hurt young people. What hurts them is higher house prices with stagnant wages. The cause of this is immigration, not QE.
     
    Higher real estate prices is asset price inflation.

    Rich people and banks buy assets like stocks and bonds, real estate, artwork, etc.

    There's been enormous asset price inflation, despite immigrants not buying stocks and bonds, artwork, etc.

    If you're a debtor, like most homeowners since they have mortgages, inflation can be good if prices including their wage prices shoot up and they can thus more easily and quickly pay off the fixed nominal price of their mortgage loans. On the other hand, this inflation can end up mucking up the real economy and output and employment. Also real estate prices can eventually inflate to catch up with the wage inflation.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @Rosie

    Rich people and banks buy assets like stocks and bonds, real estate, artwork, etc.

    There’s been enormous asset price inflation, despite immigrants not buying stocks and bonds, artwork, etc.

    A sincere question: Why should I care?

    If you’re a debtor, like most homeowners since they have mortgages, inflation can be good if prices including their wage prices shoot up and they can thus more easily and quickly pay off the fixed nominal price of their mortgage loans. On the other hand, this inflation can end up mucking up the real economy and output and employment. Also real estate prices can eventually inflate to catch up with the wage inflation.

    Assuming wages keep up, how does inflation “muck up” the economy? I am very much a layperson when it comes to economics, so I feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that a moderate amount of inflation would stimulate economic growth. If I own a business, wouldn’t I be more likely to borrow money to expand (and hire more people) if I expected to pay back the loan in cheaper dollars? On the other hand, I might reasonably fear borrowing for expansion if I anticipate falling prices for the goods and services I expect to provide with my increased capacity (and, along with that, greater difficulty paying back the loan).

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
    @Rosie

    The issue is whether or not the rising prices are organic or artificial. If the latter, the problem with rising prices and low interest rates (as prices are rising, interest rates should be rising too since an interest rate is the price of money) is it leads people to expand at an unsustainable rate--because they can't get a return any other way and the money to do it is cheap--and then when the artificial system goes away, the result is spent excess capacity. Since 2000 we've been on two straight decades of this. There is a lot of useless capacity and a lot of debt that brought it into being out there.

  82. @V. K. Ovelund
    @Anonymous


    Rich people and banks buy assets like stocks and bonds, real estate, artwork, etc.
     
    Wise public policy should punitively tax the excessive holding of real estate as assets. I want my children to be able to afford suitable homes when they marry and start families. All of us should want our children to be able to do this.

    As pleasant as they are for existing homeowners, rising real-estate prices are generally a bad thing.

    Replies: @Rosie

    Wise public policy should punitively tax the excessive holding of real estate as assets. I want my children to be able to afford suitable homes when they marry and start families. All of us should want our children to be able to do this.

    Agree 100%.

    As pleasant as they are for existing homeowners, rising real-estate prices are generally a bad thing.

    I’m not so sure about this. I think moderate inflation of house prices (that doesn’t outpace wage growth) is probably a necessity. At the very least, falling house prices absolutely should be avoided. Otherwise, people wouldn’t be able to tolerate the risk involved in purchasing a house, and this state of affairs would inure to the benefit of the very rent-seekers we both dislike.

    • Thanks: V. K. Ovelund
  83. @Rosie
    @dfordoom


    Increasing the price of goods and services through higher wages, tariffs, etc, won’t work because fewer and fewer workers are going to be needed due to automation.
     
    True.

    Well-paid jobs for the vast majority of the population is simply not going to happen.
     
    But I'm not sure this follows.

    Among the things that we need to get over, as a society and as a movement, is our hangup about "extended adolescence." I can't defend this proposition right now, because I've only recently begun looking into the matter, but apparently the human brain is highly adaptable to circumstances early in life.

    Civilization (ease and plenty) may actually slow brain maturation, while danger and trauma accelerates it. This would stand to reason, because a state of barbarism would favor those who grow up quickly, with brains more attuned to danger and less attuned to other people's feelings, abstract ideas, curiosity, etc.

    All that is to say, a brain optimized for civilized life takes longer to develop than a brain optimized for chaos and danger. It may in fact not be reasonable to expect youth to be self-supporting until much later in life. From my own limited observations, young people seem to really come into their own in their early thirties. At the other end, people should be able to expect a long and enjoyable retirement. Instead of working for forty years, we should work for twenty, and shorter hours with longer vacations at that.

    Replies: @Rosie, @dfordoom

    All that is to say, a brain optimized for civilized life takes longer to develop than a brain optimized for chaos and danger. It may in fact not be reasonable to expect youth to be self-supporting until much later in life. From my own limited observations, young people seem to really come into their own in their early thirties.

    You may have a point there.

    It’s easy to get all nostalgic about the past and think how great it was when as soon as the kids reached their teens they were told to go and got a job and become independent. But maybe it wasn’t so great?

    At the other end, people should be able to expect a long and enjoyable retirement. Instead of working for forty years, we should work for twenty, and shorter hours with longer vacations at that.

    I certainly agree with that. You could make a good case for making the retirement age 55. Or maybe even 50.

  84. @Thomm
    @Audacious Epigone

    UBI is socialism by another name. If you doubt this, ask any UBI advocate how they will fund it. Why, higher taxes, of course!

    There is some benefit to consolidating all the convoluted entitlements into one stream, but that is not enough money for a UBI.

    Audie Baby's understanding of what inflation is, and isn't, is extremely incorrect.


    There has been enormous price inflation in assets, just not yet in consumer prices, though that is coming.
     
    The stock market going up is not 'inflation', for Christ's sake. Stock market gains net of CPI are actual wealth gains, however concentrated. New wealth creation being concentrated does not mean it was not created at all.

    You probably believe that living standards have not risen at all in the last 50 years. Or 200 years.


    The enormous price inflation in assets over the last two decades has been horrible for millennials and zoomers.

     

    By your logic, nothing should ever go up in price, since there will always be young people. Which then means no one will invest in anything since there is no return. Welcome to 'One Million BC : The Age of Audie Baby'.

    Again, you're a nice guy, but you really have no understanding of the subject of inflation whatsoever.

    Oh, and by the way, your specific prediction that a stock market crash (like we had in March-April) would result in 'inflation leaking out' of the stock market and causing hyperinflation in everything else has failed shambolically. The CPI is the measure of inflation, not 'stock market gains'.

    You made a specific prediction, and the exact opposite happened. Time to eat the terror bird.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @Audacious Epigone

    UBI is socialism by another name.

    Our entire system is market socialism already. Whether this is good or bad can be debated (personally, I am unsure), but many have in good faith long supposed that market socialism must spread misery and poverty. Including me.

    They and I, and maybe you, have supposed wrongly. In country after country after country, market socialism observably does not in fact spread misery or poverty. Not generally. The time has come to reassess.

    “But Venezuela!” they object.

    Well, I do not know what is going on in Venezuela. Fake news reports are comically unreliable, and I know no one who has actually been to Venezuela in a capacity that would qualify him to inform me. U.S. news delivers little but propaganda. I really have no idea, except that sectarianism evidently divides Venezuela. My suspicion (without evidence) is that the current Venezuelan government has thwarted some Jewish plutocrat who has U.S. media influence, and that this explains the curiously one-sided, unrelentingly negative U.S. reporting on the Venezuelan scene. (Please note that I have expressed no support for the Venezuelan regime. I have just seen what they did to Jeremy Corbyn in Britain, not to mention James Alex Fields, Jr., in the United States, and have thus surmised that they might do the same to Nicholas Maduro in Venezuela. That is all.)

    Setting Venezuela aside, you have Canada, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, etc., etc., etc. All are market-socialist countries. Each affords the common man an imperfect but conspicuously affluent standard of living.

    Facts are facts. These particular facts have proved durable.

    Like you, I oppose UBI—mainly because I correlate the Corona-UBI with this summer’s riots in the United States. (Again, facts are facts.) Nevertheless, I remain open to the possibility that some form of UBI were wise public policy, after all. Don’t you?

    Though firmly right of center, I just do not believe in ideology very much. I believe in a roughly balanced selection of empirical observations, rather, to the extent to which I can get it. I think like Russell Kirk in this. That’s just me.

    • Replies: @V. K. Ovelund
    @V. K. Ovelund

    I wrote:


    I have just seen what they did to Jeremy Corbyn in Britain, not to mention James Alex Fields, Jr., in the United States, and have thus surmised that they might do the same to Nicholas Maduro in Venezuela.
     
    Richard M. Nixon, too. And Joseph McCarthy, not to mention David Irving. How could I forget?

    You really don't want to cross the Jewish plutocrats.

    Anyway, it's nothing for or against Nicholas Maduro, Juan Guaidó or any other Venezuelan, but I do not believe a word of the reporting that comes out of their country. Neither should you.

  85. @V. K. Ovelund
    @Thomm


    UBI is socialism by another name.
     
    Our entire system is market socialism already. Whether this is good or bad can be debated (personally, I am unsure), but many have in good faith long supposed that market socialism must spread misery and poverty. Including me.

    They and I, and maybe you, have supposed wrongly. In country after country after country, market socialism observably does not in fact spread misery or poverty. Not generally. The time has come to reassess.

    “But Venezuela!” they object.

    Well, I do not know what is going on in Venezuela. Fake news reports are comically unreliable, and I know no one who has actually been to Venezuela in a capacity that would qualify him to inform me. U.S. news delivers little but propaganda. I really have no idea, except that sectarianism evidently divides Venezuela. My suspicion (without evidence) is that the current Venezuelan government has thwarted some Jewish plutocrat who has U.S. media influence, and that this explains the curiously one-sided, unrelentingly negative U.S. reporting on the Venezuelan scene. (Please note that I have expressed no support for the Venezuelan regime. I have just seen what they did to Jeremy Corbyn in Britain, not to mention James Alex Fields, Jr., in the United States, and have thus surmised that they might do the same to Nicholas Maduro in Venezuela. That is all.)

    Setting Venezuela aside, you have Canada, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, etc., etc., etc. All are market-socialist countries. Each affords the common man an imperfect but conspicuously affluent standard of living.

    Facts are facts. These particular facts have proved durable.

    Like you, I oppose UBI—mainly because I correlate the Corona-UBI with this summer's riots in the United States. (Again, facts are facts.) Nevertheless, I remain open to the possibility that some form of UBI were wise public policy, after all. Don't you?

    Though firmly right of center, I just do not believe in ideology very much. I believe in a roughly balanced selection of empirical observations, rather, to the extent to which I can get it. I think like Russell Kirk in this. That's just me.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund

    I wrote:

    I have just seen what they did to Jeremy Corbyn in Britain, not to mention James Alex Fields, Jr., in the United States, and have thus surmised that they might do the same to Nicholas Maduro in Venezuela.

    Richard M. Nixon, too. And Joseph McCarthy, not to mention David Irving. How could I forget?

    You really don’t want to cross the Jewish plutocrats.

    Anyway, it’s nothing for or against Nicholas Maduro, Juan Guaidó or any other Venezuelan, but I do not believe a word of the reporting that comes out of their country. Neither should you.

  86. @Thomm
    @Audacious Epigone

    UBI is socialism by another name. If you doubt this, ask any UBI advocate how they will fund it. Why, higher taxes, of course!

    There is some benefit to consolidating all the convoluted entitlements into one stream, but that is not enough money for a UBI.

    Audie Baby's understanding of what inflation is, and isn't, is extremely incorrect.


    There has been enormous price inflation in assets, just not yet in consumer prices, though that is coming.
     
    The stock market going up is not 'inflation', for Christ's sake. Stock market gains net of CPI are actual wealth gains, however concentrated. New wealth creation being concentrated does not mean it was not created at all.

    You probably believe that living standards have not risen at all in the last 50 years. Or 200 years.


    The enormous price inflation in assets over the last two decades has been horrible for millennials and zoomers.

     

    By your logic, nothing should ever go up in price, since there will always be young people. Which then means no one will invest in anything since there is no return. Welcome to 'One Million BC : The Age of Audie Baby'.

    Again, you're a nice guy, but you really have no understanding of the subject of inflation whatsoever.

    Oh, and by the way, your specific prediction that a stock market crash (like we had in March-April) would result in 'inflation leaking out' of the stock market and causing hyperinflation in everything else has failed shambolically. The CPI is the measure of inflation, not 'stock market gains'.

    You made a specific prediction, and the exact opposite happened. Time to eat the terror bird.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @Audacious Epigone

    Pfft, if we want to get pedantic, inflation has nothing directly to do with prices at all. It refers to an increase in the supply of money. Inflation is occurring, that much is undeniable. Equity prices do not represent real wealth. Jeff Bezos is worth $200 billion on paper, but if he ever tried to convert that into $200 billion dollars, he’d only be able to get somewhere around half of it. There are a lot more claims on resources out there than there are actual resources, and that’s going to become increasingly obvious in the coming months and years.

    Re: the CPI, the “exact opposite” is not what happened.

  87. @Rosie
    @Anonymous


    Rich people and banks buy assets like stocks and bonds, real estate, artwork, etc.

    There’s been enormous asset price inflation, despite immigrants not buying stocks and bonds, artwork, etc.
     
    A sincere question: Why should I care?

    If you’re a debtor, like most homeowners since they have mortgages, inflation can be good if prices including their wage prices shoot up and they can thus more easily and quickly pay off the fixed nominal price of their mortgage loans. On the other hand, this inflation can end up mucking up the real economy and output and employment. Also real estate prices can eventually inflate to catch up with the wage inflation.
     
    Assuming wages keep up, how does inflation "muck up" the economy? I am very much a layperson when it comes to economics, so I feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that a moderate amount of inflation would stimulate economic growth. If I own a business, wouldn't I be more likely to borrow money to expand (and hire more people) if I expected to pay back the loan in cheaper dollars? On the other hand, I might reasonably fear borrowing for expansion if I anticipate falling prices for the goods and services I expect to provide with my increased capacity (and, along with that, greater difficulty paying back the loan).

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone

    The issue is whether or not the rising prices are organic or artificial. If the latter, the problem with rising prices and low interest rates (as prices are rising, interest rates should be rising too since an interest rate is the price of money) is it leads people to expand at an unsustainable rate–because they can’t get a return any other way and the money to do it is cheap–and then when the artificial system goes away, the result is spent excess capacity. Since 2000 we’ve been on two straight decades of this. There is a lot of useless capacity and a lot of debt that brought it into being out there.

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