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agrippa1 last won the day on March 11 2013

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  1. That's not quite right. The two party system emerges from the plurality-takes-all elections. Even though the actual election has a majority requirement (by electors, or failing that by House members), the parties themselves have rigged the elector selection by adopting a plurality-takes-all system in their respective states. They have also rigged the issues to evenly divide the populace near 50-50, leaving no room for a third party to take advantage of a weakened party. So are we to accept the two-party hegemony because the two-parties have rigged it in their favor? And are we really to
  2. Assuming an equilibrium in a stock price, all buy orders are at lower levels than all sell orders, and the current price reflects the last buy order that was fulfilled by the lowest sell order. When you place a new buy order, without a target price, you are sold the stock at the lowest sell order price, plus a brokerage spread. The result is the price rises from the previous exchange price to the new exchange price. Likewise, if you place a sell order without a target price, you will sell to the highest buy order on the books, minus the spread, and the price will drop to that new price.
  3. And you're justified in thinking so. But if someone were to perform the acts of a Galt or a D'Anconia, he would be viewed exactly as Greenspan and Roberts are, the only clue being the contradiction between their espoused beliefs and their actions. You can't deny that there is a profound contradiction between their ostensibly deeply held beliefs and their actions. Since there are no contradictions, they either do not hold those beliefs, or they are taking actions congruent with their enemies precepts in order to hasten the inevitable failure of those precepts. I don't think it's possible
  4. There was at least the principle that gov't was constrained by the Constitution. This evades that constraint, by making the expropriation of property, in the form of taxes, exempt from any other Constitutional tests. The gov't could pass a law laying a tax on Walmart equal to the total value of all capital assets of that company, forcing them to convert their capital into cash and pay it as tax to the gov't. At least with a penalty, there is some law that needs to be broken (like not purchasing insurance) in order to trigger the penalty; taxes can be laid with absolutely no justification wh
  5. The hope that Justice [sic] Roberts ruling of the Mandate as a tax will allow a simple majority repeal, is a false one. He states explicitly that the "tax" definition is for purposes of Constitutionality only, and that for legal purposes, including application of the Anti-Injunction Act, and presumably for application of Congressional procedures, the Mandate is what Congress defined it to be in the legislation, i.e., a penalty. Roberts has ruled that A both is and is not A. There's no silver lining here. SCOTUS has affirmed the authority of the federal gov't to lay and collect taxes, reg
  6. Fooling people is good for the rational skills, the fooler must have an understanding of how the mind can be tricked into believing something that is not true, and the foolee finds himself defending against the naivete that allowed him to be fooled. People who get mad at April fools jokes are usually the least rational, and least able to play the game. All around a good win-win, and a celebration of reason!
  7. Here is the crux of the issue. A person tries to avoid using gov't currency by bartering, and is still held taxable by the gov't. Bartering, except under certain rare circumstances, is an extremely inefficient means of exchanging value. A minimum standard of taxed currency should be that the tax is less than the efficiency lost in not using gov't backed money for transactions. A currency incurring taxes on transactions could be moral, if the after-tax value of the currency exchange is greater than the value of a barter exchange or the risk-adjusted value of an exchange made with non-gov't-
  8. He is saying that things with value are valid stores of value. Your question implies the question: "Valuable, to whom?" The gold standard has an inherent problem.
  9. Why the U.S. Treasury Began Auctioning Treasury Bills in 1929 Fascinating little piece of trivia from the Fed. In this article is documented the seeds of our current financial destruction. In 1917 the U.S. Gov't began issuing Liberty Bonds to fund our involvement in WWI. By the end of the war, we had issued an amount, $24 billion, of more than half our pre-war GDP. (our debt prior to these issues was less than $1B) After the war, the gov't did not pay off that debt, but rolled it all into Treasury Bills. Every term, they had to guarantee to sell enough T-bills to roll all the exp
  10. Good point, but it's true for a commodity standard as well, as we saw in the period from 1917 to 1929. The real answer is to let the Fed do whatever it wants, but allow us to use other, private, competing forms of currency. Coercive monopoly is the problem with our money.
  11. To get true equality, you would need to take children from their homes and put them into communal living spaces where all would be treated equally. Since some of society's roles are more favored by all, it would be unfair to allow those more talented to compete for - and inevitably win - the coveted jobs. Therefore the enlightened rulers would wisely choose roles for each young adult, based on the premise of equality of outcome - an intelligent, ambitious man might be given a job sweeping streets so that his outcome would be comparable to a dullard given a job as an engineer. To prevent the
  12. It's the act of getting rich, not feeling rich, that diverted assets from savings to investment. If you look at returns, you see the stock market underperforming savings rates up until about 1983. Before that point, investing was a crap shoot, and the average person made more on savings than in the stock market. After 1983, the market entered a twenty-year boom during which DJIA returns far outstripped savings rates. The crash in 2001 led to a modest uptick in savings rates, and the crash in 2008 got people to reevaluate the risk of stock market investing, dramatically reducing its risk-ad
  13. Those bastardizations included churches, priests and the pope. How does someone call himself a Catholic if he don't believe in these?
  14. No, I meant "underived," that is, a concept that emerges spontaneously without a premise. A concept can't derive from faith that it is true. It must derive from a premise first, before it is believed (or rejected). I'm not saying that God "should" be understood that way, I'm pointing out that the Ten Commandments are consistent with objective morality. The person who wrote down the Ten Commandments did not get them from a burning bush, but he told the people that he did in the hopes that their fear and superstition would lead them to accept the morality by faith. That was a corrupt
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