Monday, June 27, 2016

Class(less) Warfare

Ended up giving up on Cafe Hayek too. Many so-called libertarians are proving they are part of their own class, in that case the academic class, serving as useful idiots. Tariffs aren't great, but so what? Back when the country was run on tariffs, we were freer. Sure, Trump isn't promising to shut down the I.R.S., but he is promising less taxes, and a better deal for businesses in America. Everybody better get on board with this soon- either you make it feasible to hire people, or you are going to lose your entire flipping tax base as corporations figure out how to automate everything.

They are just insulting people.

And whether here or across the pond, all dissent against the progressive bureaucrats is reinterpreted as hate, usually racial hate.

Makes me angry.

And they ratchet up the violence too. Still obviously not something real, something manufactured, something forced on the political landscape by the establishment. I see in places on the internet, especially in permaculture, a coalition of the right and left- as long as they are doers and not jack-asses. Seriously, preppers and hippies finding some common ground, well, literally, in a shared desire for better soil so that they can grow better food. Yes, there are also the S.J.W. protester types who want to somehow appropriate everything the doers are doing.

The real interesting thing with Brexit is there were left and right voting to leave, in opposition to their leaders.

Enough folk of every persuasion showing up to say, well, that's enough of that. This is the type of vote I'd like; a type of vote that basically ensured I'd never have to vote again. Never another idiot showing up and trying to mis-use the government. Would be nice.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Modern Libertarianism: Disease of Abstraction?


This post was inspired by Jon Murphy in the comments at Cafe Hayek.

One cannot have, properly speaking, a property right and no property. Certainly, one should defend not only the right to private property, but the right to get private property. But these things have collapsed in a supernovae of abstraction, especially since the farce of intellectual property has been imposed upon the land.

Stephan Kinsella has mentioned it is more appropriate not to call things property, but to state people have property rights in things. This would absolutely help the average libertarian think more clearly. I think he went even further and said that we have ownership interests in the things. There is no magical 'propertiness' of the thing. A thing might or might not be property.

Additionally, it would help to remind oneself that these things are in space and time.

And things with borders in space and time must be defended. Either the defense is there, or the existence of private property begins to break down. In the modern libertarian's case, the real is sacrificed for the abstract. Since most libertarians are a little smarter than average, it is easy for them, for instance, to fall to the wiles of the left, and discount the what they hear from the right.

There's freedom of association. There's private property. If they are defended and strong, then people can create their own communities. It doesn't matter if they are racist. It is simple logic- you can either exercise your rights or you cannot. If they result in an ethnostate, so be it. I doubt the desire for an ethnostate would be a strong as it is now if those rights had been upheld since the beginning.

These rights also apply to other citizens. Citizens who want non-citizens to come hang out. That's fine. Have the citizens who want this be liable for the non-citizens.

This makes sense to me. It has made sense to me for a long time. I remember a big border demonstration years ago, where one of the prime complaints was that ranchers kept being inundated by illegals. The government kept insisting on tying the ranchers hands, so they couldn't defend their land, nor really defend themselves- and they were definitely in danger.

But this doesn't make sense to others. It seems mystifying as to why anyone would need to protect private property in space and time when you are talking about immigration. Similarly, with freedom of association- space and time is a necessary part. I suppose most libertarians are wealthy enough to avoid unwanted associations, and it doesn't dawn on them how much the government has enforced a variety of associations upon the poor.

The changing demographics of Compton come to mind.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What Would Be Better For Truth Than Freedom Of Speech?

The great imaginary bugaboo is some Hitlerian anti-truth regime, but this is mostly a hypothetical. What we have now in this dead Republic is against truth at its most basic core, because the truth is someone owns something, and the thieves get together and pass a law to take from that someone and divide the spoils.
So, a real regime would have private property. A monarch would have a private property interest in his realm in the same fashion as farmer would have a property interest in his farm.

Already we can see freedom of speech would allow people to say this is not so. So truth loses out. Not just for the monarch, but for the farmer. Even in such a small arena of property rights, much garbage can be spewed.

Additionally, under the current situation, people actually think they have some sort of hold over others. They think, for instance, that you can trespass in order to engage in speech. And that another person actually has some requirement to stay, and listen to whatever nonsense you happen to be spewing at the time. So, it is not totally clear to me that we would have to do away with freedom of speech, if this erroneous assumption were quickly brought to an end.

Because, like I mentioned, if the king owns the realm, the farmer owns his lands, you are some progressive idiot, they can just kick you ought for trespassing if you won't shut up.

There are, of course, many more discourses to have, so barring tiring old redistributionist schemes, the likelihood is that speech would be relatively free in a society more concerned with truth, but that at a certain level ideas would be more rigorously tested, and multi-billion dollar global fraudulent schemes, like the multi-decade attempt to institute a carbon market, would not be able to happen. Funding for research would be more decentralized, though presumably, one could imagine a realm small enough in which only the king was the major funder of research. If this were to be the case, then there would also be all public research published outside of the realm, plus whatever the king consented to fund. A king, having an interest in the care and upkeep of his own realm, would consent to lines of research in the hopes of improving his realm and/or his own self. So, for instance, I could easily see a desperately ill king having as much research as possible done on his illness, or a relatively healthy king having research done on traffic flow. What I cannot see is Al Gorius the first, and his complicated schemes for power. A king already has power, and he would not be able to increase his power by perverting climatology.

A curtailment of speech then, is not necessarily a curtailment of truth. Indeed, a reduction of speech would likely, on the whole, increase the likelihood one would happen upon truth, should truth continue to be within the realm of acceptable speech. Of course, herein lies the problem, and the liberal would seize upon this and suggest that all curtailment of speech is necessarily evil- except perhaps whatever curtailment of speech the social justice warriors have dreamed up today.

But as we've seen, a curtailment of speech based on property rights is not an arbitrary approach, but an organic one, in which the environment in which you speak is respected. Additionally, if one were to raise the stakes surrounding speech what would result is less bullshit, not less truth.

Of course, as we have seen, the people most likely to destroy freedom of speech are the idiots I've used as examples in this post.

The Hypothesis At The End Of My Patience

Freedom of speech, at least as it is currently thought of, is not conducive to truth.

Now this is a hypothesis. I am not sure it is totally correct yet, but what I used to believe is totally not true.

Even after finally letting go of egalitarianism, I still had an assumption that there was something called a market place of ideas. Perhaps there is, but if there is, I can tell you it is a frightening small place. Most people in this marketplace are sellers of one particular idea, and they have no interest in collecting new ones. It is unclear how many people are legitimately buyers.

What is clear however, is that this market place of ideas is swamped by a leviathan- the market place of feels. This is much more obviously a market. Hollywood, drugs, alcohol, self-help books- somebody out there is willing to take your money and give you whatever feel you want.

The assumption I had was probably similar to the invisible hand argument in mainstream economics. Ideas that are true are more accurate, map better to reality, so people in the market place of ideas will, over time adopt the most truthful ideas.

Meanwhile the large majority merely purchase feels. A small minority explicitly believe in nonsense and yet manage to be extremely successful. Purchased feels tend to exist a substitutes for what would be authentically elicited in the process mentioned above.

And, as we have seen, academia is actively discriminating against people who have ideas. You must accept the ideology and be in one of three categories- a) a minority, b) a woman, or c) have connections. C) is increasingly female too. I think the elites may actually be having fewer male children.

Sure, you can trot out some white professor and say, see, he came from such and such po-dunk town, and he ain't connected, he doesn't believe the progressive narrative, etc... I call bullshit. Connections can be weak connections, and these guys very obviously moderate their views until they have tenure. Even with tenure, if they want their career to flourish, they continue to moderate their views. Consider the number of economists who say 'end the Fed' versus all those who have various new strategies for the Fed to try. And then consider their careers.

At best freedom of speech is a very poor approximation of what we really need, which is freedom to discover, distribute, and implement the truth. The only thing freedom of speech gets us is the merest of possibilities that the truth may be whispered in cacophony of voices.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Roosting Chickens Make It Easy For Trump

Obviously, immigrants running amok are the rather obvious one, but even federal agencies seem hell bent on proving his words to be true:

But now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is proposing to buy 300,000 acre-feet of water this summer to flush down rivers to the ocean to protect the threatened Delta Smelt fish — the minnow-like fish referred to by Trump.

Yep.

There's something I honestly don't understand because I am me, and not them. If I were one of them, I would be contrite. It doesn't really matter which them- them cuckservatives, them commies, Jon Stewart- any of the anti-Trump brigade. Why? Because people are more important than fish. Or, perhaps more importantly, especially if you are really cynical, people vote and fish don't. Additionally, actual citizens vote. It takes a little while for new immigrants to get to the point where they can vote, and many of them, having just left a really crappy place, don't want to import the problem they left.

I was raised to the egalitarian myth, so when I see these guys I have the feeling they ought to be able to see Trump's popularity, and even the rise of the Alt-right and see where they've gone wrong. They've been in charge of the schools, so despite being surprised (as I was) by a sudden outbreak of identity politics among young whites, they should have been able to analyze this and realize where they went wrong. They've been shoving this pattern of political behavior down everyone's throats, but then just telling white males they can't do it. Meanwhile, we have a historical record showing this discrimination against white males in favor of everyone else hasn't done anyone any favors. As more of us have been pushed out of the 'professional' classes, mysteriously, more states, cities, businesses, etc... have ballooning debt and run out of money.

This was one of the most annoying things about Black Lives Matter after Eric Garner died. Garner died because the police were reduced to a revenue generating agency for the state. They aren't protecting and serving anymore; they have to generate cases via which the courts and the city government can extract money from the people.

So, I am amazed at the lack of contrition. I could even see a true believer becoming contrite, assuming a true believe could become aware of certain facts, and understand how these facts mean they aren't really achieving what they thought they were achieving. But perhaps this isn't true- perhaps progressives are in fact transpolitical: they, like transgendered people, find people to lie to them and turn them into a simulacrum of what they want.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Looking for new material to read

As the sociologists go, so goes the (mainstream) economists.

I put Econlog out of my feed reader today. Scot Sumner was talking about the unfeasible nature of a universal basic income, which seems like a reasonable sentiment. I mentioned in the comments that I had read a sci-fi story long ago where the central bank just gave money to the people, rather than the banks.
Scott decided to focus on my use of the word 'gave', and responded to my comment by saying central banks do not give money banks.

Way to go, idiot.

As daft as U.B.I is, it is much less daft than ignoring private debt, and imagining the push for automation is all awesome and everything. Our various governments are damaging themselves, making the cost of employing people ever higher- and when the cost of automation with an acceptable margin of error is cheaper than the cost of hiring through the maze of regulation, insurance, and liability concerns, automation shall be implemented.

Apparently, the mainstream's response to the juggernaut is to ignore it and quibble.

At least U.B.I. addresses the damn issue. In the short term, the people receiving U.B.I would use it to pay off their debts, and we would see some growth again. But the debt level would eventually rise again, and then we'd be stuck with a high debt level and U.B.I.

If I remember correctly, Scott's big thing is to have the central bank target nominal G.D.P. This, of course, involves not getting rid of the central bank, nor does it involve modelling what the current system actually does and then attempting to act in some sort of rational faction. No, Scott merely dreams of being a central banker and targeting nominal G.D.P.

This involves trusting the numbers and actually hitting targets. And then, of course, should he actually be able to hit the target, he would have to invent wonderful new epi-cycles to explain why his brilliant plan didn't work.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Irresponsible Governments

I was thinking about the nature of taxation, and how a very old sort of tax can become a very new, and pernicious one. Consider the sales tax. Perhaps they were always harmful, but there exists a large difference now. Once the likelihood of an item being made in or near the location it was sold was a little higher than it is now, so various governments could not play pretend economy. In other words, their laws had to better reflect what was needed to actually make stuff.

What has been happening instead? Various nations decide they want to grow, so they go beyond good governance and into forced growth, usually by encouraging a lot of debt. You have a boom of products from these places which are essentially subsidized. Now here, in America, there is plenty of work that has all but been banned. Despite the occasional photo op with a governor and some corporate big wig, we haven't seen any real change where it matters. In aggregate, small businesses hire more people- these large corporate deals usually just leave us with empty buildings, and empty promises.

So it makes sense to make it ridiculously easy for small businesses- yes even to the point where you let them discriminate as much as they want, because generally speaking they are discriminating for good workers, not against anyone for any particular reason, and we tend to be better off with more businesses around, whether our feelings have been hurt or not.

It is tough to succeed in business. It makes no sense to make it harder.

But the subsidized goods from somewhere, like China, which is trying to keep it's economy revved up, flow in to these misgoverned places, and they can tack on their sales tax. Indeed, there are probably quite a few jurisdictions that manage to tack on a tax or two, as the products transit across the globe.

This is just not the same as taxing something that was made locally. Before, they had to take into account whether or not they would put a local out of business. Right now they can ignore it. It would be smart of them not to, but where have we seen smart happen? Some are better than others, but it seems like all are lurching in a particular direction.