Thursday, September 29, 2011

Doug Casey attacks a common fallacy

The Gold Report, Sept. 27:
TGR: If panic erupts on the U.S. dollar, would products manufactured in the U.S. become super-cheap or super-expensive?

DC: They would become super-cheap. Everybody says that devaluing the dollar will stimulate U.S. industry because the products will become cheaper and foreigners will buy them. This is a huge canard everybody repeats and nobody thinks about. Yes, it is true for a while, but if devaluation were the key to prosperity, Zimbabwe should be the most prosperous country in the world as it has already collapsed its currency.

A strong currency is essential for a strong economy. Sure, a strong currency can hurt exporters for a while. But, a strong currency encourages manufacturers to invest in technology, and become more efficient. It rewards savings and results in the growth of capital that's critical for prosperity. A strong currency allows businessmen to buy foreign companies and technologies at bargain prices. It results in a high standard of living for the country, and yields social stability as a bonus. The idea that decreasing the value of currency to stimulate exports is a short-lived, stupid and counterproductive solution to the problem. People seem to forget that while the German currency was rising about sixfold from its level of 1971, and the Japanese yen about fourfold, those countries became the world's greatest export economies. It didn't happen despite a strong currency, but in large measure because of it.
I wonder if anyone's done a study like Friedman's and Schwartz' A Monetary History of the United States for Germany and Japan. I know about the hyperinflation and that Hitler ended it and I was watching Germany pretty closely from the mid-'70s on.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Constitution Day was last Saturday.

I wasn't feeling much like celebrating. I was kinda feeling like H.L. Mencken must have been feeling when he wrote this.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cantillon's Essay

A new translation, by the Mises Institute. You might enjoy seeing page one:

I took a screenshot of the pdf. It looks like I chopped off the bottom, but that's all the info on the page, except for the page number.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ooh, I like this guy! Dr. Ross Greene

I'll just print his front page blurb:
Be a part of the solution.
Lives in the Balance is the non-profit organization founded by child psychologist Dr. Ross Greene, author of The Explosive Child and Lost at School, and originator of the Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) approach. This website contains a ton of information – streaming video, an extensive Listening Library, and a boatload of additional resources -- to help you learn about and implement the research-based CPS model and provide you with the support you need. Just CLICK HERE to get started.

And if you’re ready to help Lives in the Balance educate others about the true factors contributing to kids’ behavioral challenges...about why time-outs, detentions, suspensions, expulsions, restraints, and locked-door seclusion often make things worse (and about what to do instead)...this website has lots for you, too. Want to get involved? CLICK HERE to find out how.

Understanding and helping a behaviorally challenging child is a tough journey. No need to go it alone...we're all in this together.
I put in the Amazon links to his books. By the way, here's what I think is the most hard hitting video on his introductory page: Check Your Lenses.

And I should run you over to see his Hot Topics section.

This quote is from a different section, but, anyway:
When does the child exhibit challenging behavior? The CPS [Collaborative Problem Solving] model has an answer to that, too: He exhibits challenging behavior when the demands being placed upon him exceed the skills he has to respond adaptively. Would the child prefer to respond adaptively? Of course! Is the child choosing to respond maladaptively? Now why would he choose to do that? If he had the skills to respond adaptively, he would.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Hey! Look! The Tibetan Book of the Dead!

Right here!

Or, maybe it'd behoove me [you've never seen me in hooves] to do this:
The Tibetan Book of the Dead: The Great Book of Natural Liberation Through Understanding in the Between

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Nicely put.

Sanford Ikeda explains the proper uses of micro- and macroeconomics. The first commenters said something that roused a thought:
But in the overall “Macro” economic world, the drag of the Welfare State and the Warfare State has led to the economic problems we have today. There are just too many non-producers. Too many wars,too many Welfare Recipients,too many Social Security recipients,too many people on Food Stamps,Unemployment Compensation etc.,etc. plus much,much too many government employees and retired government employees,who may be deemed necessary for a “civilized society,” but in the end produce no real wealth.
My thought is that somebody ought to mention that a huge part of the American economy pays for government employees whose job it is to actively destroy wealth. The only way that could work for us is if we followed the WWII model and destroyed all other industrialized nations. I think that's what our Keynesians and Neocons actually have in mind (though, perhaps, hiding in the back). Our commenter, Libertarian Jerry, goes on to say:
Its a classic example of the imbalance between the Economic Class that creates the wealth and the Political Class that lives off of that created wealth. Add to this “Macro” economic problem the “Too big to fail” mentality of the plutocracy that use government connections to try and thwart the rules of economics,then you have the sorry mess of the American Economy.
I'm going to have to buy a WSJ today. I see the Swiss are buying Euros to keep their Francs cheap. Hey! Speaking of 'nicely put', here's Larkin Rose doing what he does best:
On an individual basis, most people understand and accept that threatening people and using violence is justified only when used defensively. It's not okay to use force to steal someone's stuff. It is okay to use force to stop someone from stealing your stuff. It's not okay to violently assault someone. It is okay to use violence to stop someone from assaulting you. Yes, there can be occasional gray areas, but the general idea of the non-aggression principle is pretty simple. So no, killing innocent people, because the regime they live under does bad things, is not okay. It's not okay if you're a middle eastern terrorist, or if you're a U.S. soldier. On the other hand, using violence to try to stop aggressors is justified, whether the aggressors are private or "government." (In most cases, trying to forcibly resist thugs who imagine themselves to be representing "authority" tends to be very hazardous and counter-productive, but that doesn't mean it isn't morally justified.)
The parenthetical point is important to mention. I don't know any anarcho-capitalists who advise starting a war with the police, nor looting any non-violent business. We preach education and negotiation, not aggression. The problem of violence will never be solved by warmongering. I'm sorry if I haven't made it clear that I've made about a 170° turnaround since I started spewing my guts all over this page back in '03. I sincerely doubted then that the government would go about seeking justice for 9-11 efficaciously, but I agreed that they should try. Now I think that Clarence Darrow (of Scopes Trial fame) had the right of it, when he published his book Resist Not Evil a hundred years before.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Study links bad parenting to binge drinking I got that from Stef who got it from the Daily Mail who got it from Demos. The Demos article is the best. It actually defines the parenting styles discussed. Stef just gave the link and the Daily Mail's summary of the summary isn't informative enough. It might even be a little misleading. I think it is, without this:
Tough love or authoritative parents: Parents falling into this category tend to expect that their children will conform to household rules and boundaries but that these will be set and negotiated within a context that encourages autonomy in the children’s decision-making. Such parents have high standards but support their children warmly in adhering to them; in their enforcement of rules such parents are assertive without being aggressive.