Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A couple of thoughts on taxation.

I had originally posted a more elaborate analysis, but it was hastily written at 3 AM. I've saved it somewhere, and I'll get back to it when I get a chance. (maybe tonight)

In the mean time, I'd like point out that under a fiat currency, all taxation is redistributive... that is, there's a centerline at which dollars and "things which can be purchased with dollars" float, and taxation merely shifts purchasing power around that line. That's really all it does (under a fiat currency). All taxation is theft, yes, but that's only half the picture. All taxation is redistribution. All government spending is taxation. This is a complicated idea, but if you think of the fact that the actual number of dollars in circulation means nothing, and pursue that line of reasoning to it's end point, eventually you'll see what I'm talking about.

Think of government spending. When the government steals that money, who benefits, really? The government itself? They get their salaries, yeah. But other than that, most of the money goes to contractors of one sort or another. The people who get paid by the government are the Power Elite. They are the people the government is really working for.

The government also pays people by not taxing them as much. This one is the most difficult to grok, and will cause the most objection, but if you've understood the last two paragraphs, it should make sense.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I found this interesting:
Why the global financial system is about to collapse.

It's well-written and clear, and though he's not any sort of anarchist, he's also kind of tricky about not being an anarchist. :)
It's almost as if he's some sort of public choice agorist in a way.

On the other hand, Tyler Cowan is kind of an idiot, at least publicly. It's not even that he's shilling for the state or "actually existing capitalism", it's that he doesn't seem to actually understand what he's shilling for. Statements like "One five or ten percent deflation is enough to crush the economy and indeed the whole gold standard idea" (umm... apples to oranges?) or "But we don't live in the broad sweep of world history, we live in 2008 and our ability to monitor and control central banks is unparalleled" (huh? how can that possibly work?) don't seem to recommend him much. If this is the kind of logic that Economics PhD programs produce nowadays, then we agorists don't have long to wait for the collapse.

As a counter-example, though Paul Krugman is an awful statist, the things he says at least make sense within his own insane world-view.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"There's no time to think, just do it."

This here is something pretty fundamental:
Labels, Enemies and Rambling.

Most people tend to fall back on associative thinking instead of actually listening to what other people are saying and considering it. In a way I don't blame them, the pressures of modern life do everything they can to push people into it. Not only directly, through propaganda engines (media, advertising, etc...) but also indirectly, by stressing people out and sapping them of their free time and energy.

On a related note is this:
Unbundle The Zaxlebax!

Friday, February 01, 2008

5 minutes to midnight?

First, a link I stumbled across:
The End Of Money?

The writer starts out explaining what FSK calls "The Compound Interest Paradox". But he goes on to make the further explanation that money growth is exponential(but not continuously/smoothly so).
I think this quote is extremely illustrative:
Bacteria grow by doubling. One bacterium divides to become two, the two divide to become 4, become 8, 16 and so on. Suppose we had bacteria that doubled in number this way every minute. Suppose we put one of these bacterium into an empty bottle at eleven in the morning, and then observe that the bottle is full at twelve noon. There's our case of just ordinary steady growth, it has a doubling time of one minuet, and it's in the finite environment of one bottle. I want to ask you two questions.

Number one; at which time was the bottle half full? Well, would you believe 11:59, one minute before 12, because they double in number every minute?

Second Question; if you were an average bacterium in that bottle at what time would you first realize that you were running out of space? Well let's just look at the last minute in the bottle. At 12 noon its full, one minute before its half full, 2 minutes before its ¼ full, then 1/8th, then a 1/16th. Let me ask you, at 5 minutes before 12 when the bottle is only 3% full and is 97% open space just yearning for development, how many of you would realize there's a problem?