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Posts posted by moralist

  1. More importantly, as pointed out in the post by Marc K. quoting RadCap, it dosen't matter... either way, men should be free to produce.

    You hit upon the solution... only the productive wave of creative human innovation can overcome the obstacles to civilisation.

  2.  E'gads people, I can't believe more of you don't recognize this individual for what he is and what his real motives for posting to these forums are.    Make no mistake, this individual is the enemy of all Objectivism holds dear.  

    Of course there's always the risk of being labled a heretic for daring to advocate the blasphemy of solvency. Capitalism is a system based on capital. Creditism is a system based on the lack of capital. Whenever any economic system becomes based more on debt than it is based on capital... it fails.

  3. FRB is banks pretending to have more money they really have? I'm pretty sure banks know that they have a liability to the depositors. All FRB is and would be in a free market is them figuring out what portion of the deposits they need to keep as reserves and then use the other money to lend out to make a profit.

    You're correct in that banks know full well what they're doing. There are reasonable limits to FRB and then there are abuses. FRB, government monetary policy, and the credit/debt system all work just fine... until a critical mass of people faking reality brings about the inevitable returns to reality called Recessions and Depressions.


    The banks' real ace in the hole is the government, which indemnifies their fiscal irresponsibility with it's own... the unlimited ability to create currency from nothing. The government even creates currency and then uses it to buy its own debt... the ultimate in mindbending faked reality. Many people actually believe that fiscal irresponsibility can evade consequences by defying the reality of causality. Reality will always prove them wrong.

  4. You are talking about fiat currency. This topic is about Fractional Reserve Banking. It is *not* a discussion on fiat currency. Nobody here would support the notion of a fiat currency. So, as usual, you're simply arguing against a strawman: an argument that nobody has ever made here.

    Fiat currency operates on exactly the same faked reality as fractional reserve banking. FRB is banks pretending to have more money than they really have, just like fiat currency is the government pretending to have more money than it really has. In fact, the credit/debt system is people pretending to have more money than they really have. So whenever pretense pervades society, it gets a dose of reality like 2008.


    Banking FR practices and government fiscal policy are both merely an extension of the prevailing practice sanctioned by a society which lives by the same faked reality principle. And neither supporting FRB or fiat currency is an issue when everyone already has both and has no power to alter either except to change how they live. The only pertinent question to ask yourselves is: What do you do about what you already have?

  5. One cannot gold prices from 1933 (FDR confiscation) to 1971 (market opened up again) as an indicator for much. There was no true market for gold during this period. beofer FDR confiscate gold, in 1933, it was $20.67 per ounce. That was the gold-standard "price".

    $20.67 in 1933 to $1600 today is a 5.5% annual compounded increase in the dollar-price of gold.

    ...and after the government confiscated gold, the price then jumped 67% to $34.69 in 1934 by devaluing the dollar.


    Gold, like other equities, presents a continuing problem to government promotion of faith in it's paper curriency... simply because it's real.


    No thanks, Ben...



    I prefer reality to fantasy...




    For those who believe Ayn Rand had nothing to say about economics and business, which one do you think she would have chosen?

  6. moralist said #93


    In 1971 gold cost $40 an ounce.




    In 2013 gold costs $1,570 an ounce.




    Exactly the same one ounce of gold... only the amount of dollars needed to buy it has changed. And that is why the dollar is such a poor quality store of wealth.






    Again as an economic layman, while I do not doubt that these numbers are correct

    They are. I just did a simple search that took a minute. Look at any historical gold price chart. They all log exactly the same spot gold prices because they are public trading record.

    it doesn't necessarily follow that monetary policy is the sole reason for the change in values.

    Ok. Then I'll assume that you can answer this question. What other policies drove up the cost of gold to +39 times its original price over the last 40 years?


    Do you realize that is almost a 100% increase for each year?

    Of course irrational and or immoral principles will lead to less desirious economic effects. But the 'price' of a thing is what the price of thing is , as measured by the unit.

    No. You're looking at the wrong side of the ledger.


    The price of a thing is the measure of the (lack of) value of the dollars needed to buy it.

    In terms of gold , what is the price of gold? An ounce of gold was equal to an ounce of gold in 71 and still is today. Fiat currency and legal tender laws work to erode the concept of store of wealth. But they are not the sole cause of the change of value expressed in prices (dollars).

    Well, that's why you don't ever want to use Federal Reserve Notes as a store of wealth when almost any dollar denominated equity works so much better. I have some old dollars fromt he time they were printed as Silver Certificates. Do you know that you could go to the Federal Reserve Mint in San Francisco and trade those in Silver Certificates for packets of real silver bullion? This was a time when America was still a Capitalist nation. It has presently devolved into a Creditist nation.

    In capitalistic societies it should be expected that things will become 'cheaper' due to the amount of productiveness the political system allows to occur, or to put it another way: to the extent the political system does not hamper the virtue of productiveness. Operating a strict gold standard( or any commodity, gold just happens to be probably the best 'thing') would, I think, be the optimal monetary policy to adopt, along with what that would necessarily entail eg seperation of government and economics.

    The deadbeat debtor government can go straight to hell as far as I'm concerned. As an individual I choose to continue to operate as a 100% solvent Capitalist with my own gold standard just like they did in Galt's Gulch. 

    I doubt most rational people would choose the current state of monetary policy as the optimal policy, and yet here it is.

    The current state of monetary policy exactly matches the values of the fiscally irresponsible majority who created the government in their own insolvent image. The present government doesn't just magically spring in to existence for no reason at all. That's not rational. Every effect has a cause, and today's (rotten) government is the literal expression of the (rotten) values held by the majority in this country.

    There are myriad reasons why the current state of affairs is what it is, but it isn't the fault of the current politic minority.

    It sure isn't. I know because I belong to the rapidly dwindling political minority of American Capitalist producers.

    Spartacus (as the tv version of the story goes) rebelled against the gladitorail system in heroic manner because the system was immoral. I get the idea from your posts that he should rather have focused his energies on just working toward being the best gladiator, meaning disregarding the fact his opponents were also nonwilling participants.

    I'm not totally clear on your point of reference because I don't watch television. However, I'm more familiar with how the protagonists responded to the "system" in Atlas Shrugged by creating their own... so that's the ideal on which I model my own behavior.

  7. Why? Because you say so? 


    There is a difference between saying "you should try to protect yourself" and what you are saying: "if you fail to protect yourself, you deserved your rights to be violated".


    Consider the consequences of the latter. You validate the actions of the right violators by essentially saying it is your fault because you didn't protect yourself well enough. 

    Failing to protect yourself is what validates the actions of the rights violators, because it grants them the sanction for you to become their victim.

  8. Really? How do those that disagree with certain policies, but lose politically to the majority, deserve to have their rights violated?

    Because simply being a minority disagreeing with public policy demanded by the majority has absolutely no power to change it, the personal responsibility falls upon each individual American to learn how to protect themselves from the consequences that the majority sets into motion. Anyone who fails to rise to the occasion gets what they deserve for abdicating their responsibility to protect themselves.


    It's not really all that difficult. All that is necessary is to live by a different set of values from the majority, and that sets into motion beneficial consequences all of its own within each person's own sphere of personal influence. Those who do, will always find their own kind with whom to do business and all parties involved will consistently prosper regardless of public policy, economic, or political cycles.  

  9. Can I stop you right there? Do you care to give us an estimate of exactly what portion of our population does use FRNs as a store of wealth?

    I wasn't implying any number, just that what I said holds true. 

    Do any of these people have a portfolio of over about nine hundred bucks? Hiding cash in mattresses might have been common in 1900, but today we make use of "banks" and "mutual funds" and "diversified portfolios". I keep trying to find potential victims of US inflation and I still can't find any that I particularly care about...

    I can't find any I care about either, because all I see are people getting what they deserve. And another cycle like 2008 will return in its own time.

    And just to pile on here, Ayn Rand did not write about economics in Atlas Shrugged nor did she ever write about economics ever save a few disparaging remarks about LVM's psycho-epistemology...

    There's more than one way to look at Ayn Rand's writings. Read with the eyes of a businessman she offers literally a wealth of practical advice. What others see in what she wrote depends on how they live.

  10. moralist said #90

    If a paper note does not accurately represent gold, it's a denial of fiscal reality, and denying reality is a lying. This is similar to the A = B lie that credit is capital, when it is only the lack of it. This A = B lie causes economic depressions which are the inevitable return to the A = A reality that only capital is capital.

    I am not an economist, but as a layman I would suggest that this line of reasoning is an incorrect view of what happens in capitalism. Capital or wealth (values in addition to what is needed for sustanance) are created by productive means. A capitalist that uses the wealth he created by lending it to another for a productive/profitable purpose will gain assuming his is repaid from the profits of the second person. It could also be that the same capitalist takes his profits from year x and uses it to further expand his own business in year x+1 in essense he has 'lent it' to himself. How then, can credit be the evil thing you claim it to be?

    And what happens when credit comes to be regarded as if it was capital... and not the lack of capital?




    You'll have another chance to understand first hand the next time the pyramid scam collapses. I've lived long enough to see this cycle occur a few times and learned how to protect myself from becoming collatoral damage.

  11. Ayn Rand did not write about "the ethical American Capitalist economic business principles"

    I believe you. Eiuol.

    I'm completely convinced that from your point of view, Ayn Rand had nothing to say to you about the principles of Capitalism. For me she did, and I've been using her ideas in business for decades. So each of us takes away from her writings what they find most useful in their own lives.


    There are pitfalls to holding currency which represents nothing real except a fractional reserve banking system based upon illusion. This system mirrors the personal finances of many people who live by leveraged debt. the government uses the same system of debt except it can "create" money by diluting its value.


    And this explains why, from 1971 to today, the price of gold has gone up by 3,900%.


    The only reason people have eagerly granted their sanction to the fractional reserve system, is because they believe thay can profit from it. Except for the fact that their gain in that zero sum system can only come from another's loss, and not from any wealth they had worked to create for themselves. Sure, it ~seems~ like getting something for nothing, but no one bothers fo consider what they have to become to get it.

  12. Money doesn't *have* to be defined as accurately representing gold.

    It sure doesn't any more.


    In 1970 foreign countries were demanding gold for their dollars and the US didn't have enough gold to back them (fractional reserve banking) so to prevent a run, the government cut the dollar exchange rate from gold and allowed it to "float". 


    In 1971 gold cost $40 an ounce.


    In 2013 gold costs $1,570 an ounce.


    Exactly the same one ounce of gold... only the amount of dollars needed to buy it has changed. And that is why the dollar is such a poor quality store of wealth.



    It's a form of exchange. As far as I know,

    Money works just fine for immediate transient transactions, as long as you aren't holding onto it for longer periods of time..

    FRB in general is not fraud because it really just stands for money in such a way that people are trading when they need to trade. No need to wait until the bank itself has enough money. But as long as withdrawals and deposits are balanced, there is no real issue.

    Fractional reserve banking uses the same quality of principles as a floating dollar.

    You aren't making sense at all, because there is no intrinsic value to gold

    What an silly statement, Eiuol. Of course there is. The intrinsic value of gold is the labor and material costs mining and refining it into uniform units fit to trade. The market value is driven by demand.

    , it's just typically a good way to represent value in trade. If a paper note doesn't represent gold, it's not denying fiscal reality, it just shows why a store of value that is *paper* is a stupid idea.

    It's always a stupid idea to deny reality.

    Uhh, capitalism isn't some utopia. You make it sound like some communist utopia where good people don't need to worry about money, while the bad people are exterminated by their own evil because they violate ethical principles declared by the leaders.

    I don't believe your description any more than you do because what I said is nothing even close to that. What I am saying is that anyone who follows Ayn Rands ethical economic principles in Atlas Shrugged will consistently prosper in business regardless of political or economic cycles.

    Anything contrary to the utopian ideal is declared heretical and denied, regardless of how it really works (such as: if money isn't based on gold, it's all one big fat lie!). Please don't treat Objectivism as some kind of reverse-Marxism;


    I'm not talking about the othrodoxy of Objectivism. I am specifically referring to the ethical American Capitalist economic business principles in Atlas Shrugged.



    Galt's Gulch is not The Ideal.


    It's true that it is not the ideal for you... but it is certainly an ideal worthy of aspiration for anyone who freely chooses to work to make it real.

  13. You make some great points, but I can't get past that the note has to equal gold at some point. So when the depositor exchanges his gold for the note, or the other way around, it's considered an even trade (one for one). But I think I understand you to mean the person holding the notes after the exchange is holding something that is not equal gold. And if a bank run occurs, it's not equal gold. I'm not sure one can say the note is not equal gold while holding it, and it magically equals gold during an exchange -- that seems to be another contradiction. What's the essential difference?

    If a paper note does not accurately represent gold, it's a denial of fiscal reality, and denying reality is a lying. This is similar to the A = B lie that credit is capital, when it is only the lack of it. This A = B lie causes economic depressions which are the inevitable return to the A = A reality that only capital is capital.


    The economic pain of 2008 taught people nothing, so same thing will happen again... and again.



    To draw another analogy, let's consider a pyramid scheme. If everyone is honest about all the terms and rules, is that acceptable activity in capitalism? If so, why? There might be a connect here between honest pyramid scheme and honest FRB.


    In my view, there is no such thing as an honest pyramid scheme, and it has nothing to do with Capitalism. People will willingly participate in a Ponzi scheme if they believe that it is in their own selfish interest, but that is also a lie because it's not in their selfish interest when their gain comes at the loss of others, rather than working to create wealth honestly.


    This is why a Ponzi scam is always zero sum. It does not actually create wealth. It only creates the illusion of wealth because gain that can only come from the loss of others produces nothing. Transferred wealth produces no wealth, and  living off of transferred wealth is living off of others. This is a violation of the ethical code of Galt's Gulch:


    "I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."



    And this is why in 2008, people got exactly the fleecing they deserved, because they had violated this ethical code... and they didn't even bother to ask. Ponzis are not Capitalism which is not zero sum, because Capitalism creates wealth that does not come at the loss of others.




    Contrast the two economic systems Ayn Rand described in great detail in Atlas Shrugged. One was based on denying reality, while the other was based on affirming reality. Today, everyone still has exactly that same choice of the system in which they will participate. Choosing the ethical one brings real prosperity, while choosing the unethical one only brings the illusion of prosperity which is eventually destroyed by the return to reality called Depression. If people learned to live by the ethical Capitalist vaues Ayn Rand promoted, they would never have to worry about money for the rest of their lives.

  14.  I don't think FRB should be outlawed, because it is not fraud.

    Since neither of us possesses the power to set Bank policies, the only thing that really matters is how we each order our own finances.

    This is contrary to Objectivism, and moralist is not an Objectivist, he's a Christian fundamentalist who has on this forum expressed his opposition to things like money-lending, homosexuality, single women, television, etc., all obviously out of religious superstition.

    ...and yet I'm the one living by the sound ethical Capitalist economic principles Ayn Rand described existed in Galt's Gulch... while you support the fraudulent monetary policies of the government controlled banks. It's perfect moral justice that each of us gets what they deserve as the consequences of what each of us has chosen.

  15. Inflation syphons wealth from those who earned it and transfuses it to the source of inflation when an increase in the supply of money occurs;


    It is impossible for inflation to siphon earned wealth from those who do not use Federal Reserve Notes as their store of wealth. While government currency is just fine for transient financial transactions, it's wise to regard it as if it were rapidly blackening bananas.


    I couldn't care less that banks operate with fractional reserves because I have absolutely no power to dictate their monetary policy... only my own fiscal policy. So I act in my own best interests to protect myself from the effects of their swindle simply by refusing to participate. They do not have my sanction to become their victim, and they will never get it.

  16. Sorry to be dark but do you think I'm paranoid to worry that Obama might not step down at the end of his term? If the economy comes unraveled or the government goes belly-up and the nation finds itself in the midst of a serious crisis when the next election cycle rolls around, I can just see him saying something like "we can't afford partisan bickering at a time like this" or "we can't afford to let the Tea Party terrorists bankrupt the economy by cutting 1% of the Federal budget" and pushing to suspend the next election, either by executive order or by an act of a Democrat-controlled congress. I say this because I think the man lives for power and I have a very hard time seeing him relinquishing it.


    I don't see Obama as any more of a minimal personal threat than the majority of people living in the US who live by the same values he does. After all, they're the ones with the power to elect him, so it's fitting moral justice that they should get the government they deserve rammed down their gullets.


     My resolution to this situation is to live out on the edge a safe distance from crowded urban areas where centers of government power and control reside.  That's where individual Americans can enjoy the most autonomy.

  17. I would like to inform everyone on this forum of an online game where you can create your own nation.

    Why just play a game when you can do it in real life? :thumbsup:


    Each individual can be their own nation by owning land. They can be their own Department of Housing by building their own home. They can be their own Department of Commerce by engaging in a productive business as an independent Capitalist enterpreneur. They can be their own Department of Agriculture by growing food. They can be their own Department of Transportation by owning vehicles. They can be their own Central Bank by loaning money to themselves for business ventures. They can be their own Department of Health by taking good care of their own body. They can be their own Depratment of Defense standing Army by being able to defend themselves. They can be their own Department of State by making treaties (contracts) and alliances with others for the benefit of all parties involved.

  18. While understanding your reasoning SWN I disagree that "preying" is automatically assuming immorality.

    I use preying as a perjorative because it is usually associated with the kind of personal gain that only comes from another's loss... which makes that system zero sum.

    I see predation as value neutral with only context imbuing it with morality.

    "preying on small children" will generally be charged with an immmoral vibe while "preying on the stupid" could go either way and you have people who prey on predators...

    Good point.  The Police prey on predators in order to prevent them from preying upon others.

    I also totally get why "doing the math" is important in the context of the forum, and agree.

    I just think that someone who reaches the right conclusion by the wrong math should be treated helpfully since they at least partially "get it". <<< this statement not meant to accuse anyone of being unhelpful!

    I appreciate your kind words.

  19. Normative laws or neurophysiological laws?

    That would likely depend upon the scientist. Normative would involve searching for ways to develop moral behavior through self awareness, whereas neurophysiological would involve the amoral search to find the right drug to control behavioral symptoms.


     Even though the laws governing human behavior are objective, peoples' reactions to them are subjective.

  20. In terms of the power of a god determined the by quantity of its worshipers, Allah of Islam is a success story in this time.

    I would also add the power of government to your example... as leftism is presently the most dynamic and fastest growing religion on the planet.

    To see what it brings about by behaviorist rather than a doctrinaire, one only need look to the middle east to observe what abiding by Allah's "good", because it is "good" for them to do, and what "rewards" are heaped upon them for loving what is "right" enough to do.

    Islam also conforms to just moral law. It is an example of the just consequences of worshipping a false god. It has the opportunity to undergo a reformation, but that is an open question.  


    America also conforms to the justice of moral law as it is presently an example of the just and deserved consequences of worshipping the false god of government.


    Yes, moral law is exactly the same for everyone. And just like the law of gravity, it can be discovered and validated by objective observation. In this way, Rand is akin to Newton in identifying what the roots of morality rely upon, firmly entrenching them in the soil of existence as it pertains to the maintenance and flourishing of consciousness.

    This is what I love about Ayn Rand... her strong sense of justice.

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