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Everything posted by mrocktor

  1. The broken window is an example created by Frederic Bastiat, which Hazlitt credits
  2. In that case, I'd love to loan $100,000,000 that I don't have at 1% a year. See the problem? It is having more outstanding on-demand claims to money (gold) than you have money (gold). You clearly understand the concepts (if not all the lingo) and are against it. He dismisses the wrong problem. Fractional reserve banking is not (necessarily) fraud against the depositor. Simply informing him of the conditions of his deposit eliminates this concern (i.e. the depositor agrees to the specified conditions). It is also not fraud because it devaluates outstanding money claims (though it does). Again, if this was informed to the depositor it cannot be considered fraud against him. FRB is, necessarily, fraud against everyone else. Paper money is, supposedly, a property title to the actual money (gold). Under 100% reserve banking this is always true - while individual ounces of gold are fungible (i.e. one ounce is as good as another, you cannot ask to have one specific ounce of gold, just one ounce of gold of a certain fineness) in 100% reserve each fraction of an ounce is owned by exactly one person at any given time. Whether this ownership is documented by posession of a paper note or by a balance on a checking account does not matter. Future claims also do not matter: if I owe the bank 10 oz payable tomorrow, they cannot lend that much out today. FRB breaks the property title characteristic of paper money. Even when the depositor is made 100% aware of the practice, each note is no longer property title to a specific amount of gold. Rather, it becomes a contractual claim to that amount of gold limited by the conditions of the contract (i.e. "I will pay you face value on demand but I don't really own enough currency to pay everyone so beware"). While this is not fraud against the depositor (if forewarned) it is fraud against everyone else - if this paper money is passed off as money. True, this other fraud could also be mitigated in the same way - by printing "50% RESERVE MINIMUM" (or any %) and NOT A PROPERTY TITLE on the note itself, for instance. The thing is, a completely honest FRB scheme such as this one is also completely untennable. The moment the 50% bank note hits the market, marked as such, it ceases to be fungible. It is ostensibly not gold. While people might comfortably use these notes for pocket money, the dis-incentive for holding significant amounts of ones wealth in fractional notes would be considerable. What this would mean, in a free market, is that people receiving large payments in "fractionals" would immediately head to the bank, claim the money and deposit it in a 100% reserve bank. Same amount of gold, no risk. This would push reserves upward, since low fraction notes (or accounts) would not remain outstanding for long. It would also mean that fractional money would trade at a deficit against real money - and this is a strong dis-incentive for depositing in fractional accounts, since you put in 1 oz and get a 1 oz note (or balance) that is worth 0.97 oz (or whatever) on the market. This would also push reserves up. Thus under an "honest" FRB system the margin for reducing the reserve would be under constant pressure, which in turn would mean the additional profits from the practice would be small, which in turn would mean the yields on fractional deposits would be low. I find it very unlikely that it would be worth the trouble. Profiting significantly from FRB depends on defrauding the market at large - by pretending that a 1 oz note actually represents 1 oz of gold when it does not. Strip away the fungibility and there is no fraud, true, but the moment everyone knows that "Bank X" notes are not titles to money but contractual constructions that may or may not be backed by money, FRB falls apart. People are not stupid.
  3. The bank lends out funds that depositors have lent to it - not the funds held in on-demand checking accounts. If you deposit 10 oz in your checking account, the bank can lend 0 oz. If you deposit 10 oz in a 1 month 0,5% yield fund, the bank can lend out those 10 oz for one month and make money on the spread. And you can't use that same money while it is lent out. That is not fractional reserve banking Thomas, that is 100% reserve banking. Fractional reserve banking means that the reserve is only a fraction of the outstanding notes, not that the notes pertain to fractions of the gold deposited (but add up to the deposited total).
  4. ABCT is sound. Inflationary expansion of the currency means creating more titles to money (paper) than there is money (gold, silver or whatever the money comodity is). Under a fiat money system every cent created is inflation. Whether it is the government perpetuating this fraud or a private bank, the effects are the same. Fractional reserve banking is fraud. No reserve fiat money is fraud on crack. As for Mises, his epistemology is a rudimentary form of skepticism, his ethics utilitarian. As a philosopher, he fails. His economics, on the other hand, are brilliant. The way he managed to get away with that was: 1- He intentionally disregards why people do what they do. A "values free" economics is a "untennable ethics free" economics; 2- He (accidentally or otherwise) chose as axioms and general assumptions things that are true; 3- His economic theory focuses at the level where economic decisions actually take place: the individual. PS: Mise's "subjective theory of value" certainly raises red flags if you are an Objectivist. But, in practice, the term "subjective" in that expression means "individual context dependent" - in that he simply assumes that each individual's values differ from the others due to factors outside the economist's scope of analysis. Despite the name he chose, it is a valid theoretical artifice.
  5. In Portuguese the usual phrase for making money, be it a salary or business profit, is "ganhar dinheiro", which is "win money" (like in a lottery). It says a lot about how much brazillians understand the causes of wealth. I sometimes use "fazer dinheiro" (make money) which most people get, and sometimes "criar dinheiro" (create money) if I'm trying to make a point of it.
  6. This draft document already uses "the pursuit of happiness". I also heard the original cited property, but have not found actual documented evidence.
  7. I frankly can't imagine doing things differently. Its not about being ready for a divorce, its about knowing you pull your weight, about remaining an individual. I suppose it can be weird when there is a non-working parent, but I don't like that arrangement to begin with
  8. America has wlefare, eminent domain, compulsory schooling. At what point can it be said that America has become a democracy? Individual rights are being violated via majority rule as we speak.
  9. The thread is way off topic but the whole thing has finally been proved to be a sham. The tribe is known since 1910 and is not isolated. A political move to gain sympathy for the pressure groups that are trying to transform roughly one third of a state's area into an indian reserve (not subject to Brazillian law) - removing the "invaders": men who have lived and put the land to productive use since the beggining of the last century. The whole thing is as good an of an anti-mind, anti-man mentality at work as one could imagine.
  10. "Like I always say, there's no "I" in team. There's a "me" though, if you jumble it up" - Gregory House
  11. What does "real" mean to you? "Real" has no meaning other than "exists in the world you are denying". Every concept you use for your mind games is dependent on what you call "external reality" - we just call it reality. This is all painfully obvious to us, and it will be to you as well once you have actually gone through the effort of learning Objectivist Epistemology.
  12. The funny thing is just yesterday I was reading the "no energy innovation" thread and thought: "someone should build a MONSTER sized floating refinery and park it just outside USA territorial waters". Hopefully with a pilar of smoke and vapor so huge it could be seen from shore
  13. First of all, David is right in that your questions are fully answered, in detail, in Objectivist literature. You should absolutely read Dr. Peikoff's book Objectivism: the Philosophy of Ayn Rand, whether you like the answers here or not. That said, I'll address your comments in general terms. Stop. You are doing it again. Before you ask these questions, define "proof". To "prove" something means to demonstrate that it is true. The concept "truth" means "in accordance with reality". Thus direct sensory evidence is proof in the most fundamental terms - it is direct perception of reality. All knowledge is derived from perception, because perception is the way we relate to reality. I know your next question is "but what if my tea kettle actually is a purple elephant but looks like a tea kettle?" or some such. The answer is that the tea kettle is what is is, and how it affects your sensory organs is part of it's nature. You should study Objectivist Epistemology before trying to have a more in depth discussion about this. A stolen concept is using a concept to deny its own validity. Thus you arguing that it is impossible to prove anything is a contradiction. You use the idea of "proof", which means "demonstrate adherence to reality" to deny that there is any reality to adhere to. The existence of reality and the means to perceive it are pre-conditions for "knowledge", and "proof". Again, you should read up on Objectivist Epistemology. Ayn Rand and Leonard Peikoff explain it clearly and directly (which may be odd if you are used to reading other philosophers). No, because I know things have specific natures, that I exist in a causal universe. You have to be alive to be indifferent. If you don't lie down and die, you have chosen to live. All of these questions have been discussed here before. I suggest you read the book and get familiar with the forum's search function. People will gladly answer your questions, but serious discussion Objectivism requires you to at least be familiar with it.
  14. "Proven", as a concept, depends on sensory data and a persisting external world. Without those, the word "proven" means nothing. This fallacy is known as "stolen concept". Doubt in the presence of evidence is as irrational as belief in the absence of evidence. I know that water boils when heated. I know why water boils when heated. I know how several factors affect the boiling of water. I have a glass of water. I am absolutely 100% sure that if I heat it, it will boil. Because there is no evidence to the contrary. There is a choice that is outside the realm of ethics: the choice to live. Since things (including man) have specific natures, there are things that help you and things that destroy you. If you want to live, there are things you should do, and things you shouldn't. If you don't want to live, you don't need to do anything at all, Ethics is irrelevant to corpses.
  15. You managed to use all the planet's resources (side note: how did you manage to destroy matter?) and didn't develop a means to get us off this rock? Somehow that seems unlikely... If you want to be bugged by fantastic hypotheticals, fear invasion by gnomes. They can't be trusted!
  16. Seat backs and tray positions are important to prevent head injury in case of full brake application. A three point seat belt is better, but people would tend to take them off more during the flight and that is a poor tradeoff (the seat belt basically exists to keep you in place in the event of turbulence and during deceleration). Keeping the shades open makes sense in that for an emergency evacuation the flight attendants must determine if there is a fire outside the aircraft before opening the doors. If there is a fire in the vicinity of a door, it is important to not open it (incidentally, it is for this reason why evacuation tests are done with only half the doors open). Shades open is, to my knowledge, not mandatory by regulation - but it can be part of an airline's operating procedures. Finally, another thing you may have noticed during night time operations is that the cabin lights are dimmed or turned off for takeoff and landing. Once again, the rationale behind this is that in the event of mishap the cabin crew will already be adjusted to the darkness and act effectively to evacuate the plane immediately. This too is not mandatory by regulation, as far as I know.
  17. Agreed. The Catholic church is, and has been for centuries, extremely competent at beating a constant tactical retreat while reason and science advance - to maintain their strategic goals. It is fascinating really. God of the gaps. The gaps get smaller, but there will always be gaps.
  18. I'd like to add that understanding the nature of emotions is very pertinent to your current situation. There is an essay by Dan Edge here thet I recommend you read (if you haven't yet).
  19. See, this is where I think you go wrong. If you consciously choose to act in a manner opposite to gut (i.e. habit), this is your rational mind recognizing that your previous course of action was not consistent with your core values. It is not the acting that changes your values, your mind, recognizing your values, changes your actions. Thought experiment: Do you think that by choosing to give 100$ to the first bum you meet on the street each day you can make altruism a value to you? No kidding. Stopped reading right there. If you tend not to valuate objectively, you have bigger issues than what we are discussing here. If you think people (i.e. "not us") tend not to valuate objectively and are prescribing behavior to rational people (i.e. "us") based on that, that is one nasty switcheroo. I think people are capable of objective judgment and of living their lives based on it. Perhaps not every single instant of their lives, and people can make mistakes - but in long term life decisions such as what we are discussing, the fact that you can and should be objective has to be acknowledged.
  20. Chance: No. Nature: Yes, if you subsume physiological reflex under the concept "behavior". Habit: This is the real bone, I think. Habit is chosen, and this choice is primary. Choice: Obviously. You are arguing that habit can build a value, I'm arguing that values determine actions, and thus determine habits.
  21. I seriously doubt that rational, honest, free people can be programmed to feel a certain way in opposition to their core values. Prove me wrong. Or better, prove yourself right.
  22. This is strike 3. What Ifat is trying to make you understand is: no, they don't. Actions have no influence on emotions, the values that underly those actions do. She already went into sufficient detail so I'll just point to that. You are still not addressing the contradiction: if your match is so perfect, how can you possibly fall for someone else? EDIT: This is basically assuming we are irrational, incapable of objective valuation.
  23. Matus, thanks for the thoughtful reply. I don't disagree with anything you wrote there. The crux of the matter is: Is sticking with your current relationship the right thing to do in principle - to the extent that it is moral to pre-emptively scuttle other valuable relationships to "protect" it, or is sticking to your current relationship the right thing to do because since it is good, other values pale in comparison? I think the second is the right mindset when dealing with relationships. No need to "program" your emotions or to deprive yourself of the good things you can share with other people. While the first point of view holds exclusive relationships as the ideal, the second view sees them simply as the kind of relationship that is most likely to develop.
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