TCS Daily


Political Dangers Ahead

By John Baden - March 25, 2009 12:00 AM

Many of my friends are worried about their future and that of our nation. This is surely understandable. Jobs are insecure, retirement funds are dissipating, and our governments are poised to become significantly more intrusive and constraining.

As a result of these obvious problems, many fear that American policies are moving us toward the European welfare state. Other people, of course, celebrate our "progressive" direction and view our economic crisis as a necessary precursor to and motivator of much needed reform.

Belief that our, or indeed any democratic, government can manage an economy defies my understanding. Perhaps it resembles the purchase of lottery tickets, a triumph of hope over experience and logic. The fact that I've never won the lottery doesn't mean I won't someday. The fact that governmental management has never worked as planned doesn't mean it won't this time.

Desperate people desperately want to believe that political solutions to economic losses and their social consequences exist, will be found, and will be enacted. I believe they are way too optimistic. First, someone will actually win the lottery. Further, the lottery is a voluntarily accepted individual tax on hope and stupidity. In contrast, the taxes and future costs imposed by government are diffused on all. Even those who don't pay directly suffer indirectly. Frictions and inhibitions on enhanced productivity and innovation always accompany political management.

Those who pay no income taxes may soon be a majority, a frightful prospect indeed. According to the Tax Foundation, in 2006, the top 5 percent of earners paid over 60 percent of all income taxes, the top 10 percent more than 70 percent. The bottom 50 percent paid less than 3 percent.

The bottom group may soon receive cash payments from the federal government. This means that half the population may see additional government as free. And when the cost is zero, the demand for government transfers and services is unbounded. The long run implications are dire for it fosters the plundering of our most productive citizens.

This month the official national debt has just exceeded $11 trillion. But this is a serious underestimate. If we include the government's off-the-balance sheet liabilities and unfunded retirement and healthcare obligations, the real national debt is actually $56 trillion, or $483,000 per U.S. household. And this neglects the underfunded liabilities of state and local governments and federally guaranteed corporate retirement accounts.

All of this is really quite dire. Alas it gets worse. American International Group illustrates my point, and not because of the understandable furor over the outrageous $165 million "bonuses" contractually awarded to 73 employees. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Senator Chris Dodd approved these contracts, although both now dodge responsibility.

My main concern is not the duplicity and opportunism of politicians, that's their normal behavior. However, the confiscation of wealth from the pariah group of 73 via a special "super tax" poses a huge risk to all. Instead, we should heed President Obama's admonition of February 24, "that in a time of crisis, we cannot afford to govern out of anger, or yield to the politics of the moment."

Greater than the problems that are receiving so much attention is the assault on constitutional principles posed by the attempts to seize the bonuses via the "super tax" working as a bill of attainder.

A constitution is the body of rules governing the making of rules. In designing ours, the founders were highly sensitive to the prospect of vindictive responses to groups that stirred great passions. For this reason, we have Article I, s. 9 of the U.S. Constitution. It says that: "No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."

A bill of attainder is a legislative act inflicting punishment without a judicial trial. "They are generally directed against individuals by name, but may be directed against a class, and may inflict punishment absolutely or conditionally."

I find it impossible to sympathize with the recipients of the AIG bonuses, and indeed find their exploitative behavior deplorable. However, if Congress can seize their contracted funds, which despised group is safe? Once we cheer, or even accept, the propriety of politicians targeting offending groups, we are all at risk. Who's next?


John A. Baden, Ph.D., is Chairman of FREE.
This article first appeared on FREE-ECO.org.
Categories:

141 Comments

Collateral damage
"I am proud of everything I have done for the commodity and equity divisions of A.I.G.-F.P. I was in no way involved in — or responsible for — the credit default swap transactions that have hamstrung A.I.G. Nor were more than a handful of the 400 current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. Most of those responsible have left the company and have conspicuously escaped the public outrage."

"After 12 months of hard work dismantling the company — during which A.I.G. reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March 2009 — we in the financial products unit have been betrayed by A.I.G. and are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials. In response to this, I will now leave the company and donate my entire post-tax retention payment to those suffering from the global economic downturn. My intent is to keep none of the money myself."

"You’ve now asked the current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. to repay these earnings. As you can imagine, there has been a tremendous amount of serious thought and heated discussion about how we should respond to this breach of trust.

As most of us have done nothing wrong, guilt is not a motivation to surrender our earnings. We have worked 12 long months under these contracts and now deserve to be paid as promised. None of us should be cheated of our payments any more than a plumber should be cheated after he has fixed the pipes but a careless electrician causes a fire that burns down the house.

Many of the employees have, in the past six months, turned down job offers from more stable employers, based on A.I.G.’s assurances that the contracts would be honored. They are now angry about having been misled by A.I.G.’s promises and are not inclined to return the money as a favor to you.

The only real motivation that anyone at A.I.G.-F.P. now has is fear. '

"That is why I have decided to donate 100 percent of the effective after-tax proceeds of my retention payment directly to organizations that are helping people who are suffering from the global downturn. This is not a tax-deduction gimmick; I simply believe that I at least deserve to dictate how my earnings are spent, and do not want to see them disappear back into the obscurity of A.I.G.’s or the federal government’s budget.'

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/25/opinion/25desantis.html?pagewanted=2&ref=opinion

This is what happens with mob rule.

"politicians targeting offending groups"
Good article but this author seems a bit naive. If he's worried about targeting certain groups, didn't he know that they do that all the time? Aren't drug takers such a group? How many of them are in jail, and have been killed, and billions spent over that out of favor group?

The worry about more government intrusion is misplaced because that's an inherent part of them, it's what they do.
It's like the Soprano show where some guy complained that Tony's mob was basically wrecking his business by their involvement; and Tony basically said: of course, that's what we do! The government is the same but since so many people have been brain washed in the public gulag propaganda organs they put up with it. How pathetic.

I've already talked with people who are making plans to leave the country.
The number is small, but growing rapidly.

Pulling A Baldwin
>"I've already talked with people who are making plans to leave the country."

To go where, exactly?

Seems to me this type of "abandonment" talk was ripe cause for all manner of ridicule and scoffing when issued from the mouths of BDS-inflicted lefties (especially the indignant celebrity kind)...

leaving the country
Almost whereever you go in the world there are many Americans living, who have given up on the States.
I've seen them in places like Costa Rica, Mexico, Brazil, Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, all over the place.
Lots of them are wealthy enough that they can afford it without working. Many have skills and have started business, many have pension that go a lot farther in those places, etc.
The numbers must be in the hundrreds of thousands at least. And it looks like the long arm of the government will be trying to steal more from them in taxes from overseas.

Hopefully they're all conservatives leaving the country
We could less of those mucking up our beautiful American landscape.


This is otherwise a pretty juvenile article. Whining and fearful of ghosts.

Don't worry idiots, the government isn't going to seize the AIG bonuses. The House passed it in a political move to kowtow to an enraged public. Everyone agrees it would be unconstitutional, so just calm your cheerleader passions. I suspect you know this, you just use it as an opportunity to conduct your own version of political warfare.

The other glaring idiocy is this:

"Those who pay no income taxes may soon be a majority, a frightful prospect indeed. According to the Tax Foundation, in 2006, the top 5 percent of earners paid over 60 percent of all income taxes, the top 10 percent more than 70 percent. The bottom 50 percent paid less than 3 percent"

What percentage of total income did the top 5 percent make? Unless the figure is lower than 60 percent, this is a COMPLETELY useless talking point on its merits. Ah, but conservatives don't need merit. Just a megaphone and a repeat button will do. Will conservatives ever learn that merit matters? The answer: not unless they change. Ha! That'll never happen. It will take a hostile takeover by those still with some thinking ability.

Whose idiocy now?
The top 5% make about 1/3 of all US income, thus even by your criteria, the article provides a useful comparison.

http://www.rationalrevolution.net/articles/american_income_taxation.htm

-Bob

Then the USA can have its socialist paradise.
Maybe it will then have the same environmental record as China, USSR, Cuba and Venezuela.

This talk of migration is madness, and also ingenuous
There's a good chance those homes will eventually be taken from them or else looted when next the country erupts. Hopefully not too many of them will get their throats cut when that happens.

This idea of Americans fleeing to countries with thin historical records of rule of law and stability is madness. Go where? To european nations that will face major crises spawned either by or in reaction to the increasing numbers of muslims that aren't integrating? To Asian nations where racism exists at levels impossible to imagine in the West? To South American nations where gringos have been convenient whipping boys for societal failure time and time again? To Canada from which a significant portion of the population migrates south to Florida every winter?

No place on earth is perfect; but like it or not, America is the last best hope, and worthy of fighting to preserve regardless of temporary setbacks. That's why the lefties didn't make good on their threats to leave. And that's why the free market purists won't leave either. For one thing in that regard; where are any substantial number of them going to find freer markets?

" We just need to have the right people in charge."
That is Roy's plan.

Freedomship
"We currently manage The World, the only private community at sea offering residential options and rental travel experiences to the discriminating traveler. Whether you are interested in purchasing a residence or renting a private home onboard The World, we are eager to assist you. '

http://www.residensea.com/index.html

"Freedom Ship would not be a cruise ship, it is proposed to be a unique place to live, work, retire, vacation, or visit. The proposed voyage would continuously circle the globe, covering most of the world's coastal regions. Its large fleet of commuter aircraft and hydrofoils would ferry residents and visitors to and from shore. The airport on the ship's top deck would serve private and small commercial aircraft (up to about 40 passengers each). The proposed vessel's superstructure, rising twenty-five stories above its broad main deck, would house residential space, a library, schools, and a first-class hospital in addition to retail and wholesale shops, banks, hotels, restaurants, entertainment facilities, casinos, offices, warehouses, and light manufacturing and assembly enterprises. Finally, this concept would include a wide array of recreational and athletic facilities, worthy of a world-class resort, making Freedom Ship a veritable "Community on the Sea." '

http://www.freedomship.com/freedomship/overview/overview.shtml

Exactly
>"[T]he lefties didn't make good on their threats to leave. And . . . the free market purists won't leave either."

Randian-type free-market Utopians are just as untenable as naive Socialist Utopians. Utopians of all stripes thrive on fantasy, not reality.

mad & ingenuous
You can't know that 'there's a good chance...." The last place that happened was Cuba I guess. I've known many people in many countries, as I posted, that have had houses, and/or rented for many years, without problem.

Even in Canada, a more expensive and less free place than the US, has untold thousands of Americans.

If an American decides to move to another country, it doesn't have to mean that there is any 'best place in the world', it can also mean that the place just is better for that person, and can be so from various aspects; perhpas cheaper, perhaps better weather, perhaps more freedom, perhpas easier access to girls, perhpas less business or personal taxes, etc.

It's possible that some may have moved because they are mad, usually people move for positive reasons.

not all conservatives
I have spent much of my own life overseas, and have found that those expats are of all stripes, from the tons of vets in the philipines, to former draft dodgers in Canada, to 'no tax' aficionados in the middle east.

"Bill of attainder or ex post facto Law" C'mon, we already do it!!
"No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."

And so what if it is **passed**? Will the offenders who passed it be punished? Hell no! They will appeal to the current mob mentality and that is all that will happen. If the law is overturned by the court, again, what is the punishment for those who passed it? Again, nothing.

Barney Frank will will still slobber on himself. Pelosi will still flash that "tales from the crypt" smile, Barry O-potter will still rant the secret spell "change, change change" the media will still be having orgasams over the election or at least some will still have that thrill shoot up their leg a la chris mathews.

About that amendment not to punish people. If you drop the specific name and make the group big enough, its called a "tax" and the liberals will feel it is just and right. That is especially true if they can claim some type of righteous fury on those who have "benefited unfairly" from society.

So, while a bill of attainder might be taboo, make it affect enough people and viola, its ok. And look, we already do it.

Here's a place you'll be familiar with
Kosovo.

No rules. No government. It's run by the American military and the Albanian mafia. Money can buy you ANYTHING.

For someone like the gang here, it's paradise on earth.

Excellent link HobNob
There is a lot of data there. One problem with your point is that you're talking about 2001 while Baden talks about 2006. Its hard to imagine the gap would shift so dramatically in just 5 years, to make my point valid, however. But, every bit of data in that link related to the subject highlights how the top 1% benefited BY FAR more than everyone else because of Bush's tax policies. Except for a blip in the nineties, the trend since 1979 is a lower share of tax burden on the top and increased burden on the middle. Tax burden was lessened on the top 10% and increased on the middle to upper middle incomes during the W years. The burden also lessened on the lower incomes. A point I've argued repeatedly on TCS in the past to deaf minds of rightists. Surely by 2006 the top 5% made more than one third of all income, but whether the share was more than their tax burden remains to be seen. Reading that data makes me question the comparison too, I realize there are many more factors to consider. Honestly, I can't conclude on this question yet. You and I are both wrong on the face of it. Very good stuff though HobNob. I do think the core of my point is strengthened, that the talking point about the top's share of income tax is spurrious. The issue is even more complex than I realized, so to simplify it in that manner is devious. No doubt thats the intent. Its consistent.

True that Joanie
I think you're right on with that. It also reminds me its not "actual" socialism we're talking about. Thats just the word conservatives use to scare people and conjure the day's preferred demon ghost. If Republicans worked as hard at solving problems as they do at attacking everyone else they might find themselves relevant again.

Granted, we've moved in the direction of socialism in the financial sector, with the government "owning" significant portions of a few banks. But these are desperate times, and as unfortunate as it is that the banks were allowed to do this to us, I would rather the government get something for our money than see the money disappear and we have nothing to show for it. Beyond that I think the government is doing a horrible job of managing the situation. All the options are bad.

Stop drinking the Obama Kool-Aide, Bob
Tax burden reflects how much is paid, not how much is earned.

And when 50% of the income-earning Americans don't pay a damn dime in income taxes, they are getting a free ride from those that do, period.

No matter how much you throw your straw men and red herrings at it, they don't change those two facts.

Who said Republicans are no longer relevant?
After all, Obama and his media whores keep blabbing about how they 'obstruct' everything despite the fact that Obama had all the votes he needed (some even Republicans) for his COMMUNIST (I'm not using 'socialist'!) take-over so far.

Here's a place you'll be familiar with...
California

Lots of stupid Rules, All-Encompassing Government. Its run by the pink mafia. High Unemployment. Money can buy you anything but security, even cops get mowed down by human debris.

From someone like yor gang, its paradise on earth.

Nice Post Bob
If you like inane blither.

"It will take a hostile takeover by those still with some thinking ability."

You mean thinking like the idiots that were swooning and passing over Obama?

dumb example
If a place is run by the US, or any other military, then it's a MILITARY government, not an absence of government.
If a place is run by a mafia or warworld, or some princeling, then that's its form of government, not a lack of government.

Anarchy, or lack of government, means no military, or civilians to bully you. And if someone tries to, then you can defend yourself.

Whether money can buy anyting is irrelevant. You can also buy anything in NYC with money; it doesn't matter if it's against the law.

So it's a false analogy; big government or Kosovo.

“Anarchy” DOESN’T mean no bullying; it means NO WAY to KNOW the “RIGHTness” of ANY act of violence
How do you resolve the dilemma of the proverbial materially disinterested honest Third Party?

For a more detailed discussion, you can refer to my exchanges with Marjon on TCSDaily.com or to

http://rous.redbarn.org/objectivism/Writing/RobertBidinotto/ContradictionInAnarchism.html

Anarchy doesnt.
Your title is just an example of confusing the basic term.

It's sort of like this quote from that source article:"In truth, what the anarcho-capitalist objects to is not government, but the fact that gives rise to the need for one".

There are many such nonsense statements there. It's like saying; even though they say they object to govenment, they really don't, because government is necessary.

They also make is seem like one cannot tell whether violence has been INITIATED against them. But it's actually easy to recognize.

They also use the phony argument that; since not all people who call themselves liberatarians, or even anarchists have the same opinion on every facet of human existence, then their position is not valid. That's precisely why the default setting should be freedom; so that people with differing opinions may follow their own way, as long as it doesn't interfere with, or initial violence against anyone else.

Every justification for government rests on the argument that it's OK to force other people to do things against their will.

yes the mob does rule.
Like the most un-constitutanal pess of crap I have ever seen pass congress.

The Patriot Act.

Rand has an argument she doesn't complete.
She asserts that private security firm A is coming to arrest you and you hire private security firm B to protect yourself. Are the two firms going to fight?

Therefore government must have a monopoly on power. That's her weak argument.

What happens now is we have multiple government agencies, federal, state and local stepping over each enforcing and not enforcing laws.
The Maricopa County sheriff is enforcing the federal immigration laws that the federal government refuses to enforce. We have cities around the country refusing to enforce federal immigration laws.

With private property rights and contract laws, there will be few conflict between private agencies and no economic incentive to fight each other. Something Rand did not want to address as she wants government.

Fed to increase money supply 15 times over 2009
http://www.marketskeptics.com/2009/03/fed-is-planning-15-fold-increase-in-us.html

But don't worry! According to Roy, that is replacing money 'that has been lost' to hedge fund crooks and Rahm Emanuel:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/obama/chi-rahm-emanuel-profit-26-mar26,0,3286269,print.story?ref=patrick.net

Don't think so
From everything you hear, it's a place with no rules. The military never involves themselves in local affairs. They hang out in Camp Bondsteel. The "government" amounts to Hashem Thaci and his organization. Whatever they allow, exists. What they don't, doesn't.

So things are simplified. If you want to relocate in a place like that, you speak with the head man and ask him how much it'll cost you. The amount due's not written down in some ledger.

"You can also buy anything in NYC with money; it doesn't matter if it's against the law."

NYC in the old days is a pretty good analogy. I have no idea what New York's like now.

Way too crowded
California's not really my thing. They've always been cutting edge.. where the rest of the country will be in another fifteen years. Cram full of people, overpriced, noplace to park and bankrupt.

I like Wyoming a lot better. Lots of money rolling around up there. Wide open spaces, pronghorns, wild horses, ghost towns.. all good stuff.

Question
Would that money supply be M1? I see where recent normal for this quantity is around $1.37 trillion.

http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h6/Current/

And by this past February it was at $1.558 trillion. And I see where the Fed is just now injecting $1.2 trillion in liquidity into the financial system. But what it intends to do with that "money" is to purchase long term government bonds and mortgage backed securities.

Can you assure me that every dollar of this amount, which is mostly just making good on government guaranteed assets of dubious value, is going to become actual dollar bills? M1? If you can, I'll agree that the Fed has in a single stroke nearly doubled the money supply.

But I don't think that's the correct way to interpret what's happening. These dollars look to me more like accounting entries. M-some other number.

However, let's assume you can come up with some circuitous argument by which we can compare our M-1 apples to our M-3 oranges. Can you then assure me that we'll be seeing a 15-fold increase? Fifteen times 1.37 comes to around twenty trillion dollars, all in cash, dropped in the middle of Main Street.

I don't see it. Compared to the value of all asset-based securities, say, twenty trillion would be wholly inadequate.. a drop in the bucket. But to divide that up among only 300 million people.. THAT sounds like a very unlikely thing for the Fed, or the government, to do. Even Paul Volcker might think that could wreck the economy.

It's the Christian Way
I think you state your position very clearly here:

"Every justification for government rests on the argument that it's OK to force other people to do things against their will."

And I assume that for you the converse is also true: that the case against having a government is that it is NEVER okay to force someone else to do something against their will. Correct?

So if I want to hold you up and take your money and diddle your wife, that's okay? You'd never use force to stop me?

I like this free will stuff. Turn the other cheek. I want to kick it.

You forget the other part, of course.
Your rights stop at the tip of my nose.

Merely ASSERTing that it’s easy to recognize (who INITIATED violence) doesn't make it so
You have to explain the MECHANICS of such recognition in a specific case, such as, for example, the unfortunate killing of UNC student in late 2007 or early 2008.

Marjon says “In “anarchy”, ALL who act as their OWN security agent WILL simply SURRENDER to ANYBODY”
who comes to arrest them.

Money is not credit and credit is not money
No Roy. It is 'money in circulation'. Good old M0. Otherwise known as 'base money'.

M1+ is M0+ debt. Bank deposits are debts -- debt owed to the depositor by the bank. While monitoring the various M1+ indicators gives a good idea of where the demand for money is deriving from as well as overall demand (and hence, the future base money velocity), that's about it.

It is confusing because they use the terms 'M' for 'money supply' when in fact only one of them really is the money supply.

http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h41/20080828/h41.htm

I won't go over the math with you. It is in the article.

"THAT sounds like a very unlikely thing for the Fed, or the government, to do. Even Paul Volcker might think that could wreck the economy."

Do you even know what Ben Bernanke's nickname is? "Helicopter" Ben. As in, helicopters dropping cash over crowds of people in order quickly pour cash into the economy -- an idea Milton Friedman came up with.

'He famously quipped that deflation can be fought against by "dropping money out of a helicopter".' - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_friedman

think so
First you said it was run by the military, now you say only by the mafia. Anyway even if just run by the mafia that is still their particular form of repressive government; ours is another.
And I reject this other of your false ananogies; only two alternatives, like us or like Kosovo.

Somebody wrote that in their area you need a permit to have a garage/yard sale. Eliminating that particular repression does not mean that some mafia would automatically take over that sector.

In a freer place I think people can band together to take care of certain cases where some gang tries to take over. Like my previous example of where some gang from down south was thinking it was getting too hot there, so they thought they'd go up north to Minnesota or somewhere like that for easy picking amongst those country rubes. Turns out the town found out about them, and when the gang came to rob the bank with their handguns, the locals all armed with long guns wiped them out at a distance. You can do the same with the Hell's Angels or tony Soprano.
Now the cops would probably say; 'well no crime has been committed yet therefore our hands or tied, so you're on your own suckers, and if you handle it yourself then we'll bust you guys".

"Scandinavian settlers of this town brought down the most dangerous and successful outlaw bands oper
"Much to the outlaws' surprise, the people of Northfield not only refused to cooperate with the robbery, they shot back. A lot of them shot back. With deadly accuracy. And they organized huge posses that didn't give up but kept after them for days and weeks. As many as 2000 men chased them for weeks. This just didn't happen to them in Missouri. The guns the Northfield townspeople grabbed quickly to use may have been old or in poor working order, but they had an advantage of range over the handguns the robbers used. It's worth noting, though, that despite accounts written at the time mocking the apparent poor marksmenship of the Missouri robbers, the outlaws were very pointedly trying not to kill anyone. Cole Younger later said, "Chadwell, Woods and Jim rode up and joined us, shouting to people in the street to get inside, and firing their pistols to emphasize their commands. I do not believe they killed any one however... Every time I saw any one with a bead on me I would drop off my horse and try to drive the shooter inside..." The townspeople, on the other hand, were shooting to kill."

http://www.civilwarstlouis.com/History/jamesnorthfield.htm

Armed Scandinavian farmers. What a gang!

And you forget the most important thing
When the other guy's fist is bigger than your nose, his rights stop considerably beyond your nose.

You talk like you've never had to live in a place where survival is an issue. Without the law on your side, things get wild in a hurry.

You can't be serious
Are you saying there isn't a link between what one earns and how much income tax one pays?
Thats what I get from your statement:
"Tax burden reflects how much is paid, not how much is earned."

I would amend your sentence- Tax burden reflects how much is paid, how much is paid reflects how much money one makes.

To tie back to my previous comment, HobNob's link made me realize, for example, all the many different ways we pay taxes and all the different ways we can make money. Many more factors than just income taxes.

You would be well served to read through that document that HobNob linked, you appear to be simplifying the subject too much just as I was.
As indicated by this statement:
"And when 50% of the income-earning Americans don't pay a damn dime in income taxes, they are getting a free ride from those that do, period."

That 50% number is flatly wrong. Its about 41%, which still seems weird/high, but doesn't alleviate the fact you're wrong. And they don't get a free ride per se, they still pay social securtiy taxes and payroll taxes.

Beyond that, I think at the core are two problems. One, is our convoluted tax system. Two, the people who don't pay any income tax don't make enough money. (That will get your loons in a rankle) The FEW pay SO much of the tax burden BECAUSE they make SO much more money than the median, and the MANY pay SO little of the tax burden because they make SO much less than the median.

You know, thats a major problem with your ideology. You think of people who work hard but don't make a lot of money as getting a free ride. You lost sight of the American way. You're too concerned about small fries and turn a blind eye to those rotten apples at the top who cheat on their taxes. Unless they're Democrats of course. :)

Dreamworld
This is the silliest argument imaginable:

"And I reject this other of your false ananogies; only two alternatives, like us or like Kosovo."

Have you ever lived in a lawless area? It's like Afghanistan. You imagine some flower child land, with everyone going around with roses in their hair. Oh, we're so free-ee.

The reality is that Very Bad People find out about such places in a twinkling. Then they come in and kill everybody they don't want to have sex with. Good lord, you're naive.

But you, you've had handgun training.. right? So you're okay with them coming in at night, on battle wagons with hood mounted machine guns.

Wow. And for all this freedom, you save having to pay taxes. What a deal!

Those who bring a fist to gun fight don't last long.
Bullies don't last long when the victims have superior firepower.

Money falling like rain
I'll read your article. I understand from Lew Rockwell that M0 is only a measly $630 billion, as of the end of 2008? ("As can be seen from this chart, there has been an entirely unprecedented increase in the money supply. By the week of 3 December 2008, the money supply was a staggering $630 billion, or 74% higher than it was during the week of 3 September 2008. An increase of this size in the past took on the order of a decade.")

That doesn't sound right. $630 billion for a nation of 310 million people? $2,000 a person? That really doesn't sound right. I don't think I'll be taking any of this at face value. But I'll do some reading.

As for the approach of injecting money into the economy to correct deflation, I see nothing wrong with that equation. But that's not what's happening now. We are in the midst of a temporary deflationary period. Which makes this a safe time to flood the system with enough money to get the ice floes moving down river.

Later, fiscal prudence dictates that we raise taxes to the degree that we get the newly issued money back in the form of revenues. And who cares if this chills the economy? We got into this mess because it was overheated to begin with.

Next time around we should keep taxes higher.. and be less exuberant.

Modern or ancient, Man is what he has always been; a being of “free will”. His nature hasn’t changed
To claim that “Modern day anarchism in not like the stereotype of old time Bakunin terrorists or whatever” (http://www.tcsdaily.com/discussionForum.aspx?fldIdTopic=9704&fldIdMsg=100808) is to ignore the fact that, modern or ancient, Man is what he has always been; a being of “free will”. His nature hasn’t changed.

You ignore the observation that - Government or no Government - people have “free will”; meaning, you cannot rule out the possibility of violent actions from them under ANY dispensation.

You wrote "In a freer place I think people can band together to take care of certain cases where some gang tries to take over".

How can the proverbial materially disinterested honest Third Party KNOW that the "gang" (or some other "gang) that took on the "gang" that got wiped out, is ITSELF NOT some other "gang" winning a turf war for a FINAL "take over"?

Like the "other anarchist" in this forum that I know of, you also conveniently ignore the dilemma of the Third Party.

You heard me
Obstruction is all the Republicans have/do these days.

Funny, we don't hear that often about how obstructionist they are. I recall not that long ago Republicans constantly whined anytime Democrats filibustered. Now, Republicans filibuster every single bill, except the one where they gave themselves pay raises. We hardly ever hear about the reality every bill needs 60 votes these days. You should bring it up more often, the media whores are being lazy.

Way to prove you're the biggest idiot Zyndryl. Skip the socialist scare ghost and go straight to communist. So desperate.

Different levels of government working at cross purposes is a feature, not a bug
Marjon - "What happens now is we have multiple government agencies, federal, state and local stepping over each enforcing and not enforcing laws."

The founders wisely set up things so that just this sort of confusion and contention would happen. We hate that government is not efficient; but in the long run we would hate it much more if government was very efficient.

Think about bipartisanship; which all politicians ritualisticly say they want. Sure, they to work with the other party to accumulate even more power with which to feather their nests better.

another knowledge problem
What if you are part of the gang of people defending itself against some gang coming to town to try to take over? Then you can recognize who is who, right?

Of course you can't know if say one member of your own neighbourhood will try to ursurp power for himself. But then it would manifest it in some way, like trying to make people do stuff they don't want to do; so then you recognize that it's HIM; and so on.

Positing some 'third party' problem as an excuse to have a nanny state is not a valid argument.

Let's say the third party is your kid or your wife; of course they will have to dedend on you and what you do in regard to their care. I would rather look after my own loved ones they place them in some bearocrats hands.

dreamworld
The 'only 2 alternatives' is the argument you often make. It's invalid because in every case there have been at least one more alternative scenario.

And regarding dreamworlds, I think you must have watched Mad Max again and had a nightmare about it.

Instead of Kosovo here would be a better scenario. You just mentioned that you liked Wyoming I think it was.
Imagine if somehow wyoming became the Wyoming Free State, and power was devolved; first no more dept of edu; etc till there was nothing much left for them to do. Now walk us through how you nitmare scenario will probably happen there. Would Hell's Angels come riding in? Would the NJ mafia show up? Or would some local guy try to take over? If the Wyoming people then had to stick up for themselves what would they do to prevent such takovers.

You make it sound like all those people would prey on each other. In fact I'll bet most Wyoming people will be insulted by your suggestion that they want to take their neighbours women as sex slaves, and kill their men. I hope you don't visit that state and tell them that.

But I'll bet they not only wouldn't, but would also try to stick together to wipe out the Hell's Angels or anyone who tried to start another repressive government, or guys like your who always seem to have such fantasies.

you take the wrong message
On the one hand you say that 'we got into this mess because it was overheated to begin with', but then draw the wrong conclusion that to solve the problem, the remedy will be the same as the initial overheating element; the fed printing even more money.
This is the very method that keeps this stupid cycle repeating itself.

Christian mix up
You seem to be confusing all this.
Your example is pretty clear cut; if you want to rob the guy and diddle his wife, it's clear he can protect himself against YOUR initiation of violence towards him.
If some masochist wants to sit back and take it, then he should be free to do it. I think there are not so many such masochists in the world, and in such rare cases maybe the woman has enough balls to defend them.

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