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Another example of why "libertarians are idiots"

Can you believe that this moron thinks that roads, or NASA, or resolution to legal disputes could be exist without government?

He actually thinks that things would be better if the "free market" controlled them.


Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog,

One of the great absurdities of our modern financial system is that a nation living within its means, i.e. spending less than what it confiscates in tax revenue, is no longer the norm.

Living within your means is now considered ‘austerity’. And unfair.

Whether in the UK, Europe, or North America, many voters have become so accustomed to the government’s massive role in the economy, they can’t begin to imagine how it could be scaled back.

You usually hear heavy objections from people like– “What about roads? If we start cutting budgets, there would be no more roads!”

The ‘road argument’ is one of the most widely misused defenses of government… as if there are no private roads in the world.

Chile comes to mind as a great example– the country’s very modern toll-based highway system is privatized, and the operators have a huge profit incentive to keep the roads in top condition.

In fact, the 2 1/2 hour ride from Santiago to our farm is along one of these roads, and it’s smooth sailing the whole way.

A few years ago when Chile had its major earthquake, portions of the highway system were damaged. This meant that the operators were missing out on toll revenue… so they found a solution and were back up and running in a matter of days.

It was amazing how fast they were able to pull it off when so much of their profit was at stake.

When you think about it, just about everything that government provides either is already, or could be, provided by the private sector. That there is presently a private vessel docked at the International Space Station in Low Earth Orbit is the finest testament to this concept.

SpaceX has twice succeeded in launching a vessel into space in its 10-year history with a total of just $1 billion in funding, averaging to $100 million each year… roughly 5.6% of  NASA’s massive budget.

Then there are things like the court system… where the wheels of injustice grind away at such a pedestrian pace that it can take years for a case to even be heard, let alone resolved.

Enter 21st century technology: there’s a relatively new service called Judge.Me, an online arbitration service whose decisions are legally binding in 146 countries, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe… and yes, including the US, Canada, and Western Europe.

At just $299, disputes can be settled in a matter of days, and the firm’s case history shows that 96% of all arbitration awards have been honored.

This is the sort of thing that makes me very excited– the private sector displacing the public sector. And there’s going to be a lot more of it coming.

The more insolvent governments become, the more they’re going to be forced to axe all the things they can’t afford. We’re already starting to see this in places from California to England that can no longer hide from their fiscal reality.

With the government monopoly out of the way, the private sector will mop up every service that it can turn a profit on– trash collection, security, fire, prisons, libraries, etc. This forces competition, higher quality service, and lower prices for everyone.

The people who protest against austerity, or think it’s a tragedy when a courthouse closes down due to budget constraints, are really missing the larger point: the sooner this corrupt house of cards collapses, the better off we’ll all be.

Average: 3.78261 Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (46 votes)

by Anonymousreply 7310/09/2012

Why is it that no railroads were built in America until the government subsidized them? Why was there not a single bank in the modern sense in the USA until government chartered one and gave it special privileges?

Because as it turns out government is more often the creative force in the economy than private business, and this has always been true because of the risks involved. Indeed, the corporation form was created by government in order to reduce that risk for the purpose of encouraging innovation. However, it has not been very effective where money has been monopolized by the few, business does not progress AT ALL.

by Anonymousreply 106/07/2012

Why was the lightbulb built?

by Anonymousreply 206/14/2012

Until US patent law made it possible for people to profit from their inventions for a set period of years, no light bulb was ever built R2.

by Anonymousreply 306/14/2012

R3, correlation does not necessarily mean causality.

by Anonymousreply 406/14/2012

R4, stop trying to deny the obvious and argue against reality.

by Anonymousreply 506/14/2012

R5 then maybe you need to recognise the reality that before US patent law tons of shit were invented.

by Anonymousreply 606/14/2012

And R6, you need to realize that's utterly irrelevant to the point being made.

by Anonymousreply 706/14/2012

Not "tons of shit" no.

by Anonymousreply 806/16/2012

OP has not done a very good job at refuting anything said in this article, other than calling the man who wrote it an idiot, which would seem to me the very definition of idiot, to spread his entire argument into another forum, giving him press and not actually contradicting anything he says and using juvenile terms against him. Think about it.

by Anonymousreply 906/16/2012

Like we need any more evidence that libertarians are idiots.

by Anonymousreply 1006/16/2012

[quote]Why was the lightbulb built?

Because we needed a way to see who is truly dim.

by Anonymousreply 1106/16/2012

Greed going rogue. That's what Mr. Black wants.

Libertarians trust in the goodwill and common sense of CEOs and the rich. Given recent events (Wall Street, oil companies, military weapon manufacturers, drug companies, etc.) I don't think that they would quite honor the trust given to them.

by Anonymousreply 1206/16/2012

Regulations and social safety nets evolved for a reason. Libertarians ignore those reasons.

by Anonymousreply 1306/16/2012

"Evolved" Hell no, every one was agitated for over time by brutal experience.

by Anonymousreply 1406/16/2012

No one said evolution was easy. All evolution is brutal.

by Anonymousreply 1506/16/2012

SpaceX $1 billion in funding: private equity has provided about $200M, Musk (CEO) investing approximately $100M, other investors put in about $100M. The remainder has come from progress payments on long-term launch contracts and development contracts with the U.S. government.

2 May 2005, SpaceX announced that it had been awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract for Responsive Small Spacelift (RSS) launch services by the United States Air Force.

22 April 2008, NASA announced that it had awarded an IDIQ Launch Services contract to SpaceX for Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launches. The contract will be worth up to $1 billion USD, depending on the number of missions awarded.

18 August 2006, NASA announced that SpaceX had won a NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) contract to demonstrate cargo delivery to the International Space Station (ISS) with a possible option for crew transport.

This is like the government paying Blackwater to be our army, and hasn't that turned out well?

by Anonymousreply 1606/16/2012

R9 I'm the OP, and haven't tried to defend anything. I just posted the first reply.

by Anonymousreply 1706/16/2012

Libertarianism is the flip-side Fairy Tale of Marxism. They both have a rigid ideological point of view with the withering away of the State as the Utopian end product.

by Anonymousreply 1806/16/2012

Yet we fought a Civil War over railroads (it wasn't slavery) The main reason I'm interested in Libertarianism is there would be no war. The oil companies won't fight their own wars.

by Anonymousreply 1906/16/2012

Blackwater exists because of the government.

You act like the FDA is doing much at all to protect anyone but the companies that give them money.

Wall Street exists because of our government.

I don't see BP paying for that holocaust in the Gulf or even paying fucking taxes to the US.

But sure, maybe we can vote for a more liberal president and it will be different. But I'm the idiot.

by Anonymousreply 2006/16/2012

The last liberal president, Republican or Democrat was Lyndon Johnson (or, arguably Richard Nixon.) Everyone after that was conservative or centrist, but certainly not liberal. Obama is somewhat liberal on social issues, but is pretty mainstream centrist when it comes to economy and foreign policy.

by Anonymousreply 2106/16/2012

R20, yeah, you're an idiot. Thanks for confirming it.

by Anonymousreply 2206/16/2012

R22 is right.

None of these entities could exist in a peaceful and free market.

by Anonymousreply 2306/17/2012

Ultimately the difference between socialists and libertarians (and in reality, those are the only two poles in the system) is this-

Socialists believe in the perfectibility of man, the notion that if the right laws were passed and enforced by the right people under the right educational and controlled economic conditions then everybody would be happy and carefree.Â

Libertarians realize that man is never perfect, and that laws must be designed to account for the self-interested nature of the men that pass and enforce them- and the nature of those who live under those laws, that education and income and desire and aptitude will always vary in everyone, and that not everyone will be happy and free from harm in every interaction. And how boring would that be anyway.Â

The problem arises from the fact that the laws and regulations and safety nets and bailouts that socialists love create numerous unintended consequences that require more rules, more regulations, etc. Their blind devotion to this ideal society leaves them unable to see the damage their beliefs create.Â

The laws that control education have resulted in a system where many (especially minority) youth don't graduate, and most of those that do graduate don't have a decent education. The banking system has been designed to transfer wealth and power from the lower and middle classes to the uberwealthy (the .01%) and the regulatory system is under their control (Madoff, Corzine, Summers- remember them?) and they get the first new money that gets printed; the military, big business and big oil are all aligned to control the middle east via violence; the health care laws are written by the big insurance, pharma and medical lobbies...the list of corruption- petty, grand and treasonous- could fill this entire site.Â

See Europe circa 2012.Â

by Anonymousreply 2406/19/2012

Examples of corruption from libertarian societies are much worse. Contemporary Lagos, Nigeria is in a state of libertarian anarchy.

by Anonymousreply 2506/19/2012

R25, is that the best you have?

One example, from a small society in West Africa with no tradition of individual property rights or law beyond tribal?

The quality of the trolls here is dropping.

by Anonymousreply 2606/19/2012

There are no libertarian societies. Libertarianism doesn't work, never has, never will, and in fact, cannot ever work.

by Anonymousreply 2706/19/2012

Lagos has 20 million people dumbass. It's one of the largest cities in the world. And it has slid into libertarian anarchy.

by Anonymousreply 2806/21/2012


What part of "small society in West Africa with no tradition of individual property rights or law beyond tribal?" is so hard to understand?

Do they have property rights? Are contracts honored, and if disputed do they have a legal system to arbitrate? Are personal endeavors- such as running a business, marrying the person you love, using your body and mind as you see fit without worrying about bureaucrats or criminals (redundant) interfering and punishing you if you do- respected and protected by the inviolable right and responsibility to live your life as you see fit?

If not, then calling it "libertarian" is just a display of ignorance and petty jealousy over the fact that your "progressive/socialist" ideas are being supplanted by real liberalism.

by Anonymousreply 2906/21/2012

There's a reason social safety nets and regulations evolved. Libertarians are so ignorant of history, in addition to being completely ignorant of their own level of privilege.

by Anonymousreply 3006/21/2012

The answer to your question is they have laws and police, property rights, etc. They do have bureaucrats but a tiny percentage. Certainly they would qualify as libertarian by any standard.

by Anonymousreply 3106/21/2012

Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

The Master Narrative Nobody Dares Admit: Centralization Has Failed

All centralized systems, open and shadow alike, act as heavy taxes on the society and economy. This is why they cannot compete with the forces of networked decentralization.

The primary "news" narrative may be the failure of the euro, but the master narrative is much, much bigger: centralization has failed. The failure of Europe's "ultimate centralization project" is but a symptom of a global failure of centralization.

Though many look at China's command-economy as proof that the model of Elite-controlled centralization is a roaring success, let's check in on China's stability and distribution of prosperity in 2021 before declaring centralization an enduring success. The pressure cooker is already hissing and the flame is being turned up every day.

What's the key driver of this master narrative? Technology, specifically, the Internet. Gatekeepers and centralized authority are no match for decentralized knowledge and decision-making. Once a people don't need to rely on a centralized authority to tell them what to do, the centralized authority becomes a costly impediment, a tax on the entire society and economy.

In a cost-benefit analysis, centralization once paid significant dividends. Now it is a drag that only inhibits growth and progress. The Eurozone is the ultimate attempt to impose an intrinsically inefficient and unproductive centralized authority on disparate economies, and we are witnessing its spectacular implosion.

Centralization acts as a positive feedback, i.e. a self-reinforcing loop that leads to a runaway death spiral. Centralize the entire banking sector into five corporations and guess what happens? They buy access to the highly centralized power centers of the Federal government. Like the HIV virus, centralized concentrations of capital like the five "too big to fail" banks disrupt the regulatory "immune response" that was supposed to control them.

This feedback between centralized capital and centralized government cannot be controlled by more rules and regulations--the two partners in domination will subvert or bypass any such feeble attempts with shadow systems of governance and control of the very sort we now see dominating economies and governments around the globe.

Centralization itself is the disease, and devolving power to decentralized nodes based on the transparent power of the Web is the cure. The authorities and Elites attempting to maintain their centralized fiefdoms of power are desperately trying to control the technology of the Web, but disruptive technology that offers stupendous improvements in efficiency and productivity cannot be put back in the genie's bottle. The authorities can try, but they will fail.

The analog to the printing press is but one example. The centralized authorities of the Holy Roman Empire tried to limit the citizens' access to the Bible and other books, and as their failure became evident they ramped up their oppression to extremes: printing the Bible was a "crime" punishable by death.

Despite their almost total dominance of society and the economy, the centralized authorities failed to limit the technology of printing and distributing books.

Centralized authorities face an impossible double-bind: if they limit access to the Web, their economic growth is doomed, and thus eventually so is their power as the impoverished and oppressed populace rises up to overthrow their failed Elites. But if they enable widespread access to the Web, then the populace eventually realizes the centralized authorities and Elites are burdensome hindrances to liberty and prosperity.

by Anonymousreply 3206/21/2012

The highly centralized Elites controlling China are engaged in a desperate campaign to constrain the Web in China to what they deem supportive of their regime. The "Great Firewall of China" reportedly has tens of thousands of employees monitoring and censoring content. Hyper-nationalistic rants are "enabled" to spread virally, while inquiries into official over-reach and misconduct are quickly suppressed.

You can't fool Mother Nature for long, and the Chinese are trying to tame forces akin to Nature.

We already saw this dynamic play out with the Soviet Union. In the former U.S.S.R., networked computers were understood to be a serious threat to political control by centralized authorities, so access was strictly limited. Scientists and mathematicians in the U.S.S.R. were relegated to working with paper and pencils because this was "politically acceptable."

Denied access to transformative technologies, the economy and society of the U.S.S.R. withered and eventually expired.

China has played a very quick game of catch-up based on a unique set of factors:

1. An abundance of low-hanging fruit to be picked, both domestically and globally. If you watch documentaries filmed in China in the early 1980s, villagers were harvesting bamboo by hand and the village "theater" was one black-and-white television. By the time I first visited China in 2000, there was already a glut of cheap TVs and massive overcapacity in TV manufacturing.

2. An abundance of mobile global capital to fund the initial industrialization.

3. The ease of stealing/copying existing technology. It's always easy to steal/copy existing technologies: strip down the motorbike to its parts, machine-tool a factory to make the parts and voila, you are soon producing "Yamaka" motorbikes in quantity (and drinking "Starbuck" coffee).

But once the low-hanging fruit has been picked, you have to develop new technologies on your own to keep growing. The U.S.S.R. was able to keep up by stealing technology for decades, but once the pace of innovation slipped from centralized labs (where spies could be highly effective) to decentralized networks of innovation, the game was over: stealing technology became inefficient and/or impossible on the necessary scale and timeline to keep up.

The Web also feeds social innovations. Centralized authorities move with glacial trepitude because any change, no matter how modest, steps on the exquisitely sensitive toes of some vested interest, protected fiefdom or favored Elite. So while the centralized Elites and their apparatchiks in government are detailing more regulations of the buggy-whip industry, the entire industry is bypassed by social and technological forces beyond the control of the Elites and their flunkies and factotums.

The forces of centralized authority will not relinquish their power easily. In Egypt and many other quasi-feudalistic nation-states, the Empire of centralized Elite authority is striking back, often via the "shadow" systems of governance and control they established behind the thin veneer of legitimacy created by their organs of propaganda.

But all centralized systems, open and shadow alike, act as heavy taxes on the society and economy. Their attempts to retain control will fail because of the conundrum outlined above: if they succeed in stifling the Web and the powers of decentralization, their economy will wither and their impoverished people will eventually tire enough of poverty to rise up and crush their oppressive Elites.

If they allow access to the Web and the innovation-driven power of decentralized networks of knowledge, collaboration and information, then their political and financial control will be eroded. Either way, disruptive technologies will dismantle their power base and wealth.

by Anonymousreply 3306/21/2012

Utter nonsense R33. Democracy, capitalism (banking and credit), and the internet. These are decentralized structures created by centralized power. "Centralization" is not some evil process that is relentless and self-sustaining, and if it were, they could blame it on technology, which enables a very few to provide for the mass. Nor is decentralization always superior (as we saw with Reagan's Federalism, sometimes it is a massive and manifest failure).

by Anonymousreply 3406/22/2012

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world.

The other, of course, involves orcs.

by Anonymousreply 3506/22/2012

I think the Idiot Libertarian just found himself a new project: move to mainland China and convert the Chinese to the joys of unfettered capitalism.

Good luck, boychik! Don't forget to write.

by Anonymousreply 3606/23/2012

[quote]Democracy, capitalism (banking and credit), and the internet. These are decentralized structures created by centralized power

Are you really that stupid? Do you realize democracy spreads power to the individual, that capitalism is just the sum of billions of individual interactions, and the Internet is the most decentralized and chaotic system on the planet? They work because a few very simple, very reasonable, very narrow laws govern their behavior, and leaves all higher order behavior to the individual?

by Anonymousreply 3706/23/2012

You're not processing with an intelligent mind R37.

Neither is the author of OP's article. Chile did not gain by University of Chicago economic medicine. Today it is far inferior in wealth to Argentina, which has always been to the left of it, politically.

by Anonymousreply 3806/26/2012

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — A top Argentine official denied on Friday that the government plans to devalue the peso amid rumors that drastic official actions are looming.

"We are not going to take any explosive measures," Deputy Economy Minister Axel Kicillof said at a news conference.

Argentina's economy is under pressure from rising inflation and slowing trade, and people have been increasingly trading their pesos for U.S. dollars to shelter their earnings.

Currency controls aimed at reducing rampant tax evasion have fueled anxiety about the economy, accelerating capital flight and discouraging investment. After years of booming growth, businesses of all kinds are slowing down.

Kicillof insisted Argentina is well-positioned to confront these challenges, with nearly $47 billion in central bank reserves, more than enough to meet a $2.3 billion bond payment due in August.

He raised the issue as he accused opposition news media of trying to instill panic in a population that remembers losing two-thirds of its wealth a decade ago when the government tried to avert economic collapse by limiting what people could withdraw from their savings, and then devalued the currency.

Wealthy Argentines with overseas accounts were able to get their money out of the country ahead of that devaluation, but many others lost their life savings overnight.

Since then, many Argentines have tried to keep their money outside banks and beyond the reach of tax agents, dumping pesos for dollars whenever they can.

"This is not 2001," Kicillof said, waving a copy of a newspaper that alleged Friday that he was lobbying President Cristina Fernandez to "de-dollarize" the economy.

The supposed plan described by El Cronista Comercial would summarily change dollar-denominated contracts into pesos at official exchange rates after the August bond payment, trapping the wealth of the middle and upper classes inside Argentina.

"They're trying to say that I'm launching an atomic bomb," Kicillof complained. "It's a total invention, designed to create panic."

"When one says that the government is going to take away savings and take money from safety deposit boxes, what they're doing is instilling terror in the population, creating panic. And why? To force a devaluation, so that those who have deposits in dollars win," he added.

He blamed increasingly ominous news reports for encouraging Argentines to withdraw their savings in pesos and turn to the black market, where the demand for dollars has driven down the value of pesos 30 percent in recent weeks. A hundred pesos, Argentina's largest denomination, has slipped to $17 in illegal trading, while the official exchange rate would bring $22.

"They're saying we're going to open strongboxes, rip apart their pillows. It's all a lie. I haven't presented any proposal," Kicillof said.

"I'm asking the public here to watch what this government does" and ignore the media," Kicillof said. "They're all going to end up stuck in situations that they themselves created. They're going to end up trapped."

The president decreed in October that anyone buying foreign currency must first get authorization from Argentina's tax agency. The agency examines what the buyer has paid in wealth and income taxes, then subtracts documented living expenses from declared wealth to determine how many legally obtained pesos an individual might have available to sell.

The controls now have their first legal challenge, filed by Julio Cesar Duran, a retiree in the provincial capital of La Plata whose request to sell $10 worth of pesos for dollars to give to his grandchildren was denied. The online authorization system declared his purchase "inconsistent," without further explanation.

Theoretically, anyone who has paid his taxes and properly declared his income and wealth should be able to freely trade pesos for dollars at the official rate. But Duran is among a growing number of Argentines complaining that they've been cut off even though their taxes are up to date.

Fernandez has sought to vilify those trying to profit from the peso's unofficial decline against the dollar. She said Thursday that agricultural companies holding back grain sales to make bigger profits in the future are committing "a capital sin," and recommended that wealthy Argentines "forget for a moment the speculation and think about the country."

Meanwhile, even dogs are getting their due. The tax agency said Friday that its canine agent "Kiki" had sniffed out 135,000 pesos (about $30,000 at the official rate) that two Argentines were trying to smuggle over a bridge into Bolivia, where they hoped to buy dollars. The money was seized.

by Anonymousreply 3906/26/2012

Argentine banks have seen a third of their U.S. dollar deposits withdrawn since November as savers flee the mad antics of two Argentinian women on a mad spending spree.

According to Reuters, depositors withdrew a total of about $100 million per day over the last month in a safe-haven bid fueled by uncertainty over policies that might be adopted as pressure grows to keep U.S. currency in the country.

The flight into dollars is motivated by fear that the government may further toughen its clamp down on access to the U.S. dollar as high inflation and lack of faith in government policy erode the Argentinian peso. The Argentine central bank, under the supervision of  Mercedes Marcó del Pont, is pumping out pesos at a rate that may ultimately result in the destruction of the currency.

So is Argentine President Cristina Kirchner ordering del Pont to stop the mad money printing?

No. The flight out of the peso, brought on by this money printing,  has resulted in Kirchner attempting to force Argentinians to keep their money in the rapidly depreciating pesos.

Reuters reports: U.S. dollar deposits of Argentine banks fell 11.2 percent in the preceding three weeks to $11.5 billion, according to central bank data released on Friday. The run on the greenback has waxed and waned since November, after President Cristina Fernandez won a second term on promises of deepening the state's role in the economy.

From May 11 until Friday, data compiled by Reuters from private banks showed $1.9 billion in U.S. currency had been withdrawn, or about 15 percent of all greenbacks deposited in the country.

Feisty populist leader Fernandez was re-elected in October vowing to "deepen the model" of the interventionist policies associated with her predecessor, Nestor Kirchner, who is also her late husband.

Since then she has limited imports, imposed capital controls and seized a majority stake in top energy company YPF...

The near-impossibility of buying dollars at the official rate is driving some savers and investors to pay a hefty premium in the black market.

Many are taking what dollars they can get their hands on and stashing them under the mattress or in safety deposit boxes, fearing moves by the government to forcibly "de-dollarize" the economy. Officials have strongly denied any such plan.

The president's battle to slow capital flight and fatten the central bank reserves needed to pay the public debt has prompted even tighter controls in recent weeks, making it almost impossible to buy dollars at the official rate. The effects have been felt throughout the South American country's economy.

For example. Argentines, who normally pay for new homes with stacks of dollar bills, have been struggling to get their hands on U.S. currency since Fernandez started imposing stringent controls on dollar buying late last year.

She wants Argentines to end their love affair with the greenback and start saving in pesos despite inflation clocked by private economists at about 25 percent per year..

by Anonymousreply 4006/26/2012

Yesterday, I reported that the Argentine economy was on the verge of collapse.

There is a huge flight of money out of the country and out of the Argentine peso and into the U.S. dollar. Price inflation in the country is around 25%.

I warned this would occur back in April: Two women have taken control of Argentina's central bank and are about to use it as if they are on a weekend shopping spree.

Paul Krugman, on the other hand, has been encouraging this mad money printing for some time. He wrote last October: Argentina was facing deflation; the trouble was that by pegging to the United States, which did not by any means dominate its trade, Argentina exposed itself to the fluctuations of the dollar (any perceived similarities to the problem of a gold standard are completely right)...

Oh yes, according to Krugman, everyone is suffering from deflation---although prices aren't going down at the consumer level anywhere, certainly not in Argentina.

In May, seemingly ignorant of the developing price inflation storm, he wrote about the current Argentine economy:

[I]t’s a remarkable success story, one that arguably holds lessons for the euro zone.

Got that? A country experiencing nationalizations, massive capital flight and near hyper-inflation is to Krugman a "remarkable success story" that should be copied in the eurozone. Krugman's latest book, which encourages the type of mad government spending going on in Argentina for the eurozone, is apparently a big seller in the F PIIGS countries. Heaven help the F PIIGS.

by Anonymousreply 4106/26/2012

Two women have taken control of Argentina's central bank and are about to use it as if they are on a weekend shopping spree.

WSJ's Mary Anastasia O'Grady reports: Argentina's Franken-state stormed the central bank last month, destroying the last vestiges of independence. Given the hyperinflationary history of that nation, it is worth asking why Argentines have allowed this to happen.

The pathology of a government power grab is not hard to discern. The state creates the conditions for crisis. Crisis strikes. Politicians seize extraordinary powers. Crisis passes. Left behind is a popular perception that complete annihilation was averted due to government genius. Politicians are permitted to expand their power...

Under Kirchner presidencies—first Néstor and now his wife Cristina—since 2003, the state has confiscated bank accounts and retirement savings, hyper-regulated many entrepreneurs out of business, abrogated contracts, imposed price controls, and raised import tariffs and export taxes. Vast entitlements, notably in subsidized utilities and transportation, have been used to consolidate power...

Last month the Kirchner-controlled Congress delivered what could be the coup de grace for the Argentine economy: a reform of the central bank charter that eliminates a 1991 monetary rule requiring that base money be backed up by international reserves and placed beyond the control of the government. The central bank board now will come up with some formula for the amount of reserves to be kept on hand. Reserves above that amount will be available for Mrs. Kirchner's government to borrow. The formula can be adjusted at any time.

The Kirchner government has been dipping into the central bank's "excess" reserves—the surplus over the monetary base...  [Kirchner] since 2010. A showdown about that policy provoked the resignation of former bank president Martin Redrado in January 2010 and the naming of the more compliant Mercedes Marcó del Pont.maintains her popularity with generous government spending, and with international reserves fleeing, excesses are shrinking. She needed a charter change if she wants to tap more central bank funds. According to the reform, she can now borrow from the bank about twice what she could borrow before. The bank's singular mandate of price stability has also been removed. In its place is a three-pronged mandate that includes the goals of providing for growth with social fairness and financial stability along with price stability.

Given Argentina's track record, it is hard to imagine that these new rules won't lead to more inflation....

Government claims that inflation is running around 10% have been challenged by independent economists who say it is more like 20%.

In February, the Economist echoed those doubts with a seething commentary announcing that it would no longer publish official statistics. "We are tired of being an unwilling party to what appears to be a deliberate attempt to deceive voters and swindle investors," the magazine wrote.

A crisis is brewing. When it hits, will Mrs. Kirchner get even more power or will Argentines finally come to their senses?

Cry for Argentina.

by Anonymousreply 4206/26/2012

Do the above posts sound like a stable economy, R38. Argentina will default, devalue and deprive their people of liberty once again very soon.

What business wants to operate in a country where their assets can be seized overnight, with no recourse? Why do you think they are moving money out of the country?

by Anonymousreply 4306/26/2012

"Wealthy Argentines with overseas accounts were able to get their money out of the country ahead of that devaluation, but many others lost their life savings overnight."

So, once again we see how the deck is stacked in favor of the wealthy and politically connected. The middle class suffers while the top .01% make out like bandits.

by Anonymousreply 4406/26/2012

The truth about Argentina is that it was attacked by Mercosur (Brazil especially) when it depegged its currency from the US dollar because austerity had not worked. It will now be attacked again, but if it were left alone, it would succeed.

by Anonymousreply 4506/26/2012

"He blamed increasingly ominous news reports for encouraging Argentines to withdraw their savings in pesos and turn to the black market, where the demand for dollars has driven down the value of pesos 30 percent in recent weeks. A hundred pesos, Argentina's largest denomination, has slipped to $17 in illegal trading, while the official exchange rate would bring $22."

If you are going to trade cash at a 25% discount then you are probably pretty sure your economy is about to collapse.

by Anonymousreply 4606/26/2012

R45, please come back when you understand basic economics.

by Anonymousreply 4706/26/2012

Here is why libertarians are better than idiotic leftists.

by Anonymousreply 4808/21/2012

No, R48. Just ... no.

Libertarians are idiots. They believe in an ideology that has never existed anywhere (with good reason), and that never will exist, because it can never work.

by Anonymousreply 4908/21/2012

[quote] Can you believe that this moron thinks that roads, or NASA, or resolution to legal disputes could be exist without government?

He actually thinks that things would be better if the "free market" controlled them.

I saw ron paul give an interview and the person asked him about the EPA. Paul said he would abolish it because we don't need it and that current laws prevent everything the EPA does anyway. He said if someone is dumping toxic waste on your property that you can use property laws to remedy that. is he for fucking real? If it's a corporation, you're fucked because they would tie it up in court for decades. And you paying all your legal expenses would be bankrupt in a few months. And then you wouldn't be able to sell your property to anyone for any amount of money because it's ruined. And if it's a person doing it, the police won't do a thing about it. You would have to hire experts and then try to sue them in court. Good luck with that. As flawed as these government agencies are, we have them for a reason. Actually thousands of reasons. They were all formed because a lot of people got killed because of someone /or a corporations carelessness.

ron paul also went on to tell the host (Elliott Spitzer) that the steel factories in Pittsburgh cleaned up their acts all on their own. And the air went from putrid to completely cleaned up. Spitzer told him that was completely false and what really happened was the steal companies built big gigantic smoke stacks that sent all the pollution to NJ and NY

companies/corporations can not be trusted to do or not do anything. If given free reign they would do what ever is best for them and only them. That's an established fact

by Anonymousreply 5008/21/2012

R50, I want to thank you for focusing on one issue- pollution- and being intelligent enough to point out some very specific disagreements.

If you will indulge me (I've been in Maine visiting friends, and my BF has finally fallen asleep and I'm NOT sleepy) I would like to address some points.

"He said if someone is dumping toxic waste on your property that you can use property laws to remedy that."

Although the concept of anarchy is probably alien to you (since the cultural connotation is disorder, chaos, violence) in a society where you can control your body, the land you live on (or rent, via contract) and the property you legitimately acquire (you know, the basis of civilization) and are allowed to dispose of as your conscience dictates means that any property you owned (this includes all waterways, government lands and "public" property being owned privately) would fall under "natural law" theory and allow for recovery of treble damages.

" is he for fucking real?"

Once you let go of your petty prejudices and poorly conceived ideas of how the world should work (as opposed to how the world ACTUALLY works) then he is for fucking real.

"If it's a corporation, you're fucked because they would tie it up in court for decades. And you paying all your legal expenses would be bankrupt in a few months. And then you wouldn't be able to sell your property to anyone for any amount of money because it's ruined."

Corporations (like banks, and dollars) are artificial constructs, via edict by the government (formerly the king) and could be constructed via contract with ALL parties, including anyone who buys from them. However, under fascist corporate bankster law, they are protected (by laws they wrote for the government) from "the little people" and they can do anything. They control the government agencies that are supposed to be regulating them, pay off puny fines if they do get caught and destroy anyone who tries to point it out.

"And if it's a person doing it, the police won't do a thing about it."

The police are thugs who just want to shoot you, or give you a ticket. They are there to control the sheep. If it was Obama, or Bush, or Buffett, or Gates calling they would shoot you if you dumped garbage on their lawn.

"You would have to hire experts and then try to sue them in court."

A Corrupt Society Has Many Laws-Tacitus

"Good luck with that. As flawed as these government agencies are, we have them for a reason. Actually thousands of reasons. They were all formed because a lot of people got killed because of someone /or a corporations carelessness."

How many people has the US Government killed in the last 10 years? You think that it is more, or less, than the number that would have died if all these "safety" agencies were abolished?

by Anonymousreply 5108/21/2012

Smedley Butler on Interventionism

-- Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

by Anonymousreply 5208/21/2012

[quote]Once you let go of your petty prejudices and poorly conceived ideas of how the world should work (as opposed to how the world ACTUALLY works) then he is for fucking real.

How ironic that R51 thinks he knows how the world "actualy" works instead of how he thinks it "should" work...

Libertarians live in the biggest "should" bubble there is, and have absolutely NO clue how the world ACTUAL works, or how the simple reality of human nature dooms their pet ideology to utter failure.

Libertarianism is a deeply flawed utopian ideal, like Communism, and will never work, can never work, and really, libertarians are in a state of bizarre arrested development (ever notice how libertarians are always relatively well-off, privileged white young men who are utterly ignorant of their own level of privilege?)...

Time to grow up and join the real world, and leave your idiotic idology behind.

by Anonymousreply 5308/21/2012

Why communism doesn't work- nobody "owns" anything. Land, factories, bodies- all are "owned" by "the collective". No one has an incentive to cooperate, innovate or take a risk.

Why libertarianism works- you own your body, the things you produce, and the things you buy with that excess "capital". As long as you don't steal, defraud, or harm someone you can do as you please, and you have an incentive to treat them well, create new things and risk money on a venture.

by Anonymousreply 5408/21/2012

Well, great, except Libertarianism DOESN'T work, has never worked, and will never work. But it's cute you think it "works".

by Anonymousreply 5508/21/2012


So I guess you like being a slave to your betters?

Does Romney's dick taste good? It is as big as it looks?

by Anonymousreply 5608/21/2012

The title of this thread should really be:

Why People Who Get Their Political News From A Gossip Website Are Idiots

OP, if you ever bothered to visit a political website, you would know that libertarians being morons isn't news nor is it noteworthy and many people with far better insight than yourself have commented upon it. It's a great, big internet; you should explore it.

by Anonymousreply 5708/21/2012

R57, your shocking ignorance of how dominant libertarian thought is on the Internet is telling.

Have you ever read anything beyond DL and The nytimes?

by Anonymousreply 5808/22/2012

Libertarians deny history and they deny factual evidence.

Free markets never made any society rich. No society in history has even become rich because of free markets. Not one. Not ever.

by Anonymousreply 5908/22/2012


Your complete ignorance of history and reality is astonishing.

by Anonymousreply 6009/01/2012

R60? I think you're the one that's ignorant of history here.

by Anonymousreply 6109/01/2012

sad little libertarians...

by Anonymousreply 6209/02/2012


by Anonymousreply 6309/27/2012


Money for new highways should and would be better spent on improving and enlarging nationwide passenger rail service.

by Anonymousreply 6409/27/2012

R64, without a market pricing signal (aka a real free market) the government cannot calculate what is and isn't needed. Add to that the crony "investments" and pork barrel projects and you will see why libertarians are the only people who actually get it.

by Anonymousreply 6509/27/2012

To R65! I view Libertarians as just Republicans Ver 2.0 with a bent twist.

by Anonymousreply 6609/28/2012

Next time we all think Obama's not down with privatization of everything, we should remember it was he who scrapped NASA's ARES launch vehicle in favor of funding private guys like SpaceX, Blue Origin and Orbital Sciences. Not that these private ventures aren't extremely exciting and worthy.

For human spaceflight, who's going to be safer? Will these entirely profit-driven companies beat MASA's spotty safety record?

by Anonymousreply 6709/28/2012

MASA = NASA. Sheesh.

by Anonymousreply 6809/28/2012

I haven't seen a single thing on this post that disproves the original statement.

by Anonymousreply 6909/28/2012

No private company in Chile built those roads. The tolls on those roads are hampering development in Chile. They are the worst possible form of capitalism: a monopoly handed out in return for campaign contributions. I remind everyone that Chile is not a wealthy country.

by Anonymousreply 7009/28/2012

Exactly, R70

"privatizing" is just fascism by another name. Sell them off to the highest bidder, with no government involvement and they will get cheaper and better at the same time.

by Anonymousreply 7109/28/2012

Just for fun

by Anonymousreply 7210/08/2012

The Federal Aviation Administration is working towards putting the finishing touches on rules and regulations for widespread domestic drone use, and the agency expects as many as 30,000 UAVs will be in America’s airspace by the decade’s end. As Russia Today notes, given that the department has already addressed the issue of acquiring drones to give the DHS a better eye of domestic doings, though, those law enforcement operations in question could very well transcend away from legitimate uses and quickly cause civil liberty concerns from coast-to-coast. All drones will be equipped with Electro-Optical/Infra-Red sensors, as well as the technology to sniff out certain chemicals from thousands of feet above our heads. Have no fear though, since the "Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety" program is for your own protection, we are sure Janet Napolitano would suggest.

by Anonymousreply 7310/09/2012
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