Sometimes I wonder if “force” is the underlying motive behind everything? 

I know we preach the NAP and that “voluntary association” between people who trade goods and services is the key to humanities success. 

But then i wonder what keeps everyone honest in that system? 

And it’s not just the capitalist system or the free market system. Every system, even those that lack structure; like cavemen who kill and loot. Is the use (or the threat) of force a fundamental part of life and the universe?

I really don’t have an answer or a theory or even an idea in either direction. I’m just thinking out-loud and expanding on tiny ideas. Maybe i’ll expand more on this later. 

utilitymaximiser:

meownarchy:

One of the reasons I got sorely disillusioned with capitalism is the fact that many capitalists I do know will argue about things like maquiladoras or outsourced factories, saying that they’re great for impoverished people because now they have jobs.

So people n the third world are supposed to be happy putting together your flat screen T.V.s, working menial, repetitive, and sometimes dangerous jobs because it’s better than starving?

Last time I checked, true freedom wasn’t working a laborious job for 30 bucks a week thanks to the generosity of some American capitalist. It was the power and means to seek a full and happy life at any means necessary, and the economic flexibility to find a niche for yourself.

Plus the argument reeks of Western superiority.

Outsourcing factories increases the productivity of labour in the country because it has more capital to work with, increasing the marginal revenue product of labour, and therefore increase the wage rate. Nobody has ever suggested that making TVs in factories constitutes “true freedom” (whatever that’s supposed to mean) except inasmuch as it allows people in those countries to achieve their short and long term goals. Foreign investment is an important stepping stone on the road to prosperity.

If there’s anything that reeks of “Western superiority” it’s people who live comfortable lives condemning the very mechanisms that the world’s poor have of increasing their wellbeing, because those mechanisms don’t adhere to some moronic hippie standard of freedom that only wealthy Westerners can indulge in.

The reason “poor” countries are poor is because they lack the resources, skills, labor force and knowledge (or a combination of those items) that it takes to produce “wealth”. Wealth is the best available goods and services in any particular industry.

Poor countries are poor because they lack two things: #1 they can’t build or produce the top notch goods and services that first world countries can. And #2, they lack the ability to exchange for those goods and services. 

What does this mean? It means that if you’re country A and you don’t have any oil, let’s say, but you have computer chip manufacturing, you can exchange and have the best of both worlds. Or if you’re country B and you have oil and computer chips, you’re self-sufficient and can remain a first world country. 

3rd world countries need help to either #1 produce these goods and services or #2 find ways to leverage what they can produce to exchange for those goods and services. 

Stepping out of an agrarian society (farming) and into an industrial society and eventually into a first world society doesn’t happen overnight. It happens through evolution and education of both a society’s/country’s people and their resources/production methods. 

People aren’t going to be born with the ability to code computers or build complex production machines or to be top notch doctors. All of these things take education and effort and input and all of those things take time, money or both (usually both). So that process is slow. It’s hard to leapfrog from one position to the other. It is possible and growth can occur fast, but it can not be instantaneous. 

For example, I’m working with a company in the Philippines. the Philippines isn’t the poorest but they aren’t rich, either. They don’t produce their own medical equipment (top notch machines like MRI’s PET/CTs and Gamma Knives) in the Philippines. They don’t know how to, they lack the education and industries to do so. So they have to purchase from other countries like the US or Germany or France. They sometimes buy brand new equipment but usually they buy used, older equipment. Relative to the entire planet, they have decent medical equipment but they don’t have a lot of first world level equipment. However, what they have today is worlds better than what they had a decade or two ago. Today, they are about 5 years behind in cancer medicine, 5 years ago they were a decade behind and 10 years ago they were, more or less, ignorant of cancer technology. They are currently limited by one thing, currency exchange rates. The goods and services that they can produce are still limited in quality and quantity so it’s harder for them to buy better equipment than it is for a place like, say, Chicago, USA.

But they slowly invest the income that they do make from their goods/services and they invest that in resources, infrastructure and in education and they now have Filipinos who are capable of installing, repairing and running the equipment, where as before, they had to bring in foreigners to do all of that work and pay a premium for that labor. 

in another decade or so, they’ll perhaps have the ability to manufacture that equipment within their own country and they will no longer need to trade for it. When they achieve this, they will be closer to being on par with the rest of the planet.

This is just one sector of one industry, but this is how all emergent markets grow and come to par with the leaders of the world. They need the education, the application of such knowledge and the resources in order to do so and all of those things come with growth, which takes time. 

If you don’t believe me, look at China. What was just a few short decades ago an agrarian land of poor farmers is steadily putting more people into the “middle class” than any other country, and that transformation happens through the industrialization and education of the country. No way around that. 

(via eltigrechico)

Why Do We Exchange?

If we each have a boxed lunch with the same sandwich, chips, a pickle, and a cookie, why would we consider trading items? Perhaps I prefer chips and you prefer cookies. Maybe I’ll give you my cookie for your chips. Now both of us are happier with our lunches. This is one example of how exchange can make people better off even without increasing the total amount of wealth. Exchange helps correct mistakes in allocation and it makes everyone involved happier. Professor Michael C. Munger offers a few examples of how exchange can make people happier whether people have the same preferences or different preferences, the same stuff to start with or different stuff. The ability to make people better off by simple exchange may seem like magic, Munger says, but it’s just markets.

Markets are this amazing organic machine that sorts out what best fits where, how much do of what we need, how much each thing should cost and any other unknown we may have on an individual level. 

This is because a market doesn’t need leadership or guidance or any form of planning or even creation or assembly of the market. It only requires participation. So long as there are enough parties that are willing to participate in exchange, the market will filter through all the information and coordinate the rest of the details. It sounds like magic, but it’s not. It’s logic. 

This phenomenon is one of my favorite things to introduce to people who are knew to economics or free market theory. It totally blows their mind at first, almost to the point that they don’t believe it or even deny it. 

Markets!

halcyonhours:

priceofliberty:

halcyonhours:

nerdylibertarian:

sugashane:

Bitcoin just fell off a cliff.
EDIT: Supposedly, it was hit with a DDoS attack… 
Even if that were the case, not to happy that the exchanges are that vulnerable. 

It was bound to happen. It was rising too fast due to all the speculative buying. It’s gonna be real volatile for a while but shit will settle out eventually.

I was expecting this. Yet, it doesn’t seem like a proper bubble. Growth will most likely slow down now.

Doesn’t seem like a proper bubble? You should look at a long-term graph!
Four days ago I said that bitcoin was about to crash :p So the image is a little outdated. Just imagine the right-side of the image continuing to escalate exponentially to 266.00 or so until it crashes back down to 160 (and falling).
Totally looks like a bubble to me!


Smells like demand crisis, eh? 
BTC has had a bullish growth lately. This behaviour has dissuaded mainstream investment (which usually marks the onset of market bubbles), nonetheless, investors are using it as an asset and not a currency, which is usually a determining factor in bubbles. They buy and buy overvalued stuff wanting to sell it to other eager speculators (greater fool, anyone?).
Also, hoarders. 

There is certainly bubble-esque issues, but anything can be a bubble if there is a sudden collapse in demand. 
I think the biggest issue is that it’s near impossible to actually buy bitcoins. Go out and try. Mt.Gox takes 10+ business days to set up an account and CoinBase never has any supply. You have to order it like a future (3 to 7 business days out) without even knowing the price you’re going to buy at! You’re forced to pay the market price of the day, 5 days out. That’s no way to invest. 
If someone bought a bunch of bitcoin and is desperate to liquidate and needs to convert currency to a “usable” one, like dollars or euros, it can be very hard to get out due to it being hard for others to buy in. If someone gets desperate and the market is locked up (say a DDoS) attack, you’ll see the sell-order price plunge until they can find a buyer. But the problem isn’t a buyer or the price, it’s the ability to buy. 
The middle men of bitcoin are 99.99% of all the issues. Security, stability, etc. 
That’s probably exactly what happened. Someone saw no activity due to the DDoS and tried to sell a bunch of coins. Couldn’t sell, dropped the price, couldn’t sell, dropped the price, etc, etc. Boom. Crash. 
Usually, in the stock market, this is caused by demand shortage because the systems are pretty much crash proof. But for bitcoin, this isn’t the case. 
It’s still a concept in the rough. A lot of 3rd party issues to work out, including storage, lending, banking, selling, buying, and trading avenues. 

halcyonhours:

priceofliberty:

halcyonhours:

nerdylibertarian:

sugashane:

Bitcoin just fell off a cliff.

EDIT: Supposedly, it was hit with a DDoS attack… 

Even if that were the case, not to happy that the exchanges are that vulnerable. 

It was bound to happen. It was rising too fast due to all the speculative buying. It’s gonna be real volatile for a while but shit will settle out eventually.

I was expecting this. Yet, it doesn’t seem like a proper bubble. Growth will most likely slow down now.

Doesn’t seem like a proper bubble? You should look at a long-term graph!

Four days ago I said that bitcoin was about to crash :p So the image is a little outdated. Just imagine the right-side of the image continuing to escalate exponentially to 266.00 or so until it crashes back down to 160 (and falling).

Totally looks like a bubble to me!

Smells like demand crisis, eh? 

BTC has had a bullish growth lately. This behaviour has dissuaded mainstream investment (which usually marks the onset of market bubbles), nonetheless, investors are using it as an asset and not a currency, which is usually a determining factor in bubbles. They buy and buy overvalued stuff wanting to sell it to other eager speculators (greater fool, anyone?).

Also, hoarders. 

There is certainly bubble-esque issues, but anything can be a bubble if there is a sudden collapse in demand. 

I think the biggest issue is that it’s near impossible to actually buy bitcoins. Go out and try. Mt.Gox takes 10+ business days to set up an account and CoinBase never has any supply. You have to order it like a future (3 to 7 business days out) without even knowing the price you’re going to buy at! You’re forced to pay the market price of the day, 5 days out. That’s no way to invest. 

If someone bought a bunch of bitcoin and is desperate to liquidate and needs to convert currency to a “usable” one, like dollars or euros, it can be very hard to get out due to it being hard for others to buy in. If someone gets desperate and the market is locked up (say a DDoS) attack, you’ll see the sell-order price plunge until they can find a buyer. But the problem isn’t a buyer or the price, it’s the ability to buy. 

The middle men of bitcoin are 99.99% of all the issues. Security, stability, etc. 

That’s probably exactly what happened. Someone saw no activity due to the DDoS and tried to sell a bunch of coins. Couldn’t sell, dropped the price, couldn’t sell, dropped the price, etc, etc. Boom. Crash. 

Usually, in the stock market, this is caused by demand shortage because the systems are pretty much crash proof. But for bitcoin, this isn’t the case. 

It’s still a concept in the rough. A lot of 3rd party issues to work out, including storage, lending, banking, selling, buying, and trading avenues. 

(via 0227199208142014)

statehate:

wckrspgt:

respect the workers who serve your consumer ass. well bye

respect the consumer without whom your ass would be unemployed

Respect each other because without a market economy, you’d both be fighting over the King’s left over moldy bread. 

(via 0227199208142014)

Profits are the driving force of the market economy. The greater the profits, the better the needs of the consumers are supplied … He who serves the public best makes the highest profits.

Ludwig von Mises

Check out this awesome article from Values and Capitalism: “People-vs-Profits” is a False Dichotomy

(via learnliberty)

I wished business schools would remind themselves of this. I think b-schools students should be taught Austrian Econ, as a prerequisite

(via lalibertarienne)

Personally, I’d replace “profits” with “incentives”. People far to often think of profits as purely monetary gains. But some people believe in gains that are not necessarily monetary in nature, such as emotional gains. 

There are those that engage in supplying consumers for some sort of emotional gain and that, to them, is the incentive of doing business. 

This is where the theories of economics start to diverge with the theories of ethics and philosophy; specifically with the ethics of altruism of David Hume. 

Maybe it’s just me, but if we started talking about “income” and “profits” as things that go beyond just monetary gains, maybe we’d attract more individuals to the ideas of capitalism and anarcho-capitalism. 

(via lalibertarienne)

thecheekylibertarian:

self-ownership:

satans-advocate:

This is by and far the absolute best TED talk I have ever seen. Watch it.

The next 17 minutes of your life should be spent watching this video.

If you watch one video on developmental economics (or more generally, charity) this DECADE, make it this one.

If you enjoy it, and want to know more about the economics, pick up William Easterly (especially ‘The White Man’s Burden’, which is one of the most powerful books I have ever read) and maybe Paul Collier (The Bottom Billion); if you want to learn more about neocolonialism, pick up Dead Aid.

This is my field and my passion, so if you are interested in learning more, I’d like nothing more than to share resources with you. The debate over government and how the West can mold the global South always dominates the discussion, but at the heart of the matter, true development is not rooted in ideology, but the human spirit.

Reblogging again because MARKETS

(via thefreelioness)

Ernesto Sirolli: “Want to help someone? Shut up and listen!”

Probably the best TED talk I’ve seen. Central planning? Top down? Bottom up? It’s all bullshit. Markets have no direction, they are an ecosystem of contribution, collaboration and innovation.

(via thinksquad)

Corbett Report - How the Markets Are Manipulated

I laugh at people who invest in gold stocks or “paper gold”. What? Why would you think paper gold is a protection against other paper asset devaluation? 

Physical assets or bust, you guys. 

Markets are nothing more than the collective action of society and ethics are the collective belief of that society, than there’s no one to blame for unethical behavior of the market than society as a whole.

Therefore, if one wishes to clean up the market of unethical behavior, one shouldn’t punish the market with regulations. Instead, one should try to teach society to embrace and practice better ethics.

— We need ethical evolution, not market regulation. 
It’s ironic that the black market is seen as the nemesis of a regulated market for the black market is only spawned when a regulated market fails to deliver the goods and prices necessary to satisfy the needs of market participants due to artificial blockades created by regulations. — A theory that I like to call Market Suicide by Overdose. 



US to Win Currency War, Then ‘Implode’ 







The U.S. will win the global currency race to the bottom but decimate its economy in the process, economist Peter Schiff said.
With global central banks using currency manipulation to spur growth, capital markets have been awash in talk of what the fallout will be for investing strategies and consumers who may have to bear the weight of inflation.
LongtimeFederal Reservecritic Schiff said the central bank is being forced to prop up an ailing U.S. economy and the only way it can is by weakening the dollar.
"There is a currency war going on," Schiff said at the Inside ETFs conference presented by Index Universe. "The irony of a currency war which makes it different from other wars is the object is to kill itself. Unfortunately, I think the U.S. is going to win the currency war."
The CEO of Euro Pacific Capital in New York has been one of the market’s most outspoken supporters of gold as a hedge against inflation specifically and global turmoil in general.




He believes the metal will be a prime beneficiary of the currency war, while consumers will be its main victim.
"Anybody who believes there is no inflation isn’t shopping," he said.
Government cost-of-living indexes such as theconsumer price indexare a “total fraud. Consumer prices in the U.S. are moving up much faster than indicated by the CPI. It is manipulated. It is deliberately designed to mask inflation, not report it,” he said.
As for U.S. economic prospects, Schiff believes they are gloomy.
Gross domestic productindicated a slight contraction in the fourth quarter, though most economists expect that to change in future revisions and growth to be steady but modest through the year. In the meantime, the European sovereign debt crisis is beginning to return to the news as well, though the stock market hasn’t seemed to mind any of it.
But that could change quickly.
"We’re broke. We owe trillions. Look at our budget deficit, look at the debt to GDP (ratio), the unfunded liabilities," Schiff said. "If we were in the euro zone they would kick us out."
For Schiff, such talk, though incendiary, is fairly routine.
He found a good deal of interest at the conference, though, with attendees crowding him after his panel discussion even as some other participants were beginning to catch flights out.
"The Fed knows that the U.S. economy is not recovering," he said. "It simply is being kept from collapse by artificially low interest rates and quantitative easing. As that support goes, the economy will implode.” 





Sometimes the consistent propagation of doom & gloom, especially from a well known and trusted source, causes the doom & gloom to come into fruition. 
Even if I didn’t believe the US dollar was ready to collapse, which I do, I’d still bet that it would due to so much talk and preparation of it. The sell-offs will come and the investments will shift and it will all happen very quickly by those that have large sums of capital and the sophisticated machinery to detect and move said capital, leaving the unsophisticated investors at the bottom of the leftover rubble. 
My advice to small time players is to get out and never come back in or know how hot of a fire they are playing with. 

The U.S. will win the global currency race to the bottom but decimate its economy in the process, economist Peter Schiff said.

With global central banks using currency manipulation to spur growth, capital markets have been awash in talk of what the fallout will be for investing strategies and consumers who may have to bear the weight of inflation.

LongtimeFederal Reservecritic Schiff said the central bank is being forced to prop up an ailing U.S. economy and the only way it can is by weakening the dollar.

"There is a currency war going on," Schiff said at the Inside ETFs conference presented by Index Universe. "The irony of a currency war which makes it different from other wars is the object is to kill itself. Unfortunately, I think the U.S. is going to win the currency war."

The CEO of Euro Pacific Capital in New York has been one of the market’s most outspoken supporters of gold as a hedge against inflation specifically and global turmoil in general.

He believes the metal will be a prime beneficiary of the currency war, while consumers will be its main victim.

"Anybody who believes there is no inflation isn’t shopping," he said.

Government cost-of-living indexes such as theconsumer price indexare a “total fraud. Consumer prices in the U.S. are moving up much faster than indicated by the CPI. It is manipulated. It is deliberately designed to mask inflation, not report it,” he said.

As for U.S. economic prospects, Schiff believes they are gloomy.

Gross domestic productindicated a slight contraction in the fourth quarter, though most economists expect that to change in future revisions and growth to be steady but modest through the year. In the meantime, the European sovereign debt crisis is beginning to return to the news as well, though the stock market hasn’t seemed to mind any of it.

But that could change quickly.

"We’re broke. We owe trillions. Look at our budget deficit, look at the debt to GDP (ratio), the unfunded liabilities," Schiff said. "If we were in the euro zone they would kick us out."

For Schiff, such talk, though incendiary, is fairly routine.

He found a good deal of interest at the conference, though, with attendees crowding him after his panel discussion even as some other participants were beginning to catch flights out.

"The Fed knows that the U.S. economy is not recovering," he said. "It simply is being kept from collapse by artificially low interest rates and quantitative easing. As that support goes, the economy will implode.” 

Sometimes the consistent propagation of doom & gloom, especially from a well known and trusted source, causes the doom & gloom to come into fruition. 

Even if I didn’t believe the US dollar was ready to collapse, which I do, I’d still bet that it would due to so much talk and preparation of it. The sell-offs will come and the investments will shift and it will all happen very quickly by those that have large sums of capital and the sophisticated machinery to detect and move said capital, leaving the unsophisticated investors at the bottom of the leftover rubble. 

My advice to small time players is to get out and never come back in or know how hot of a fire they are playing with. 

What Do Prices “Know” That You Don’t?

When people ask me who creates jobs, I always answer “Market Participants.”

People always ask me this question and I always give the same answer. It’s simple and almost mind boggling that even some Ivy League “brains” don’t understand this. 

If creators didn’t create, what would consumers have to buy?

If consumers didn’t consume, who would buy the creations of the creators? 

If laborers didn’t labor, how would anything get built, shipped and maintained? 

Everyone is integral to the success and sustainability of the market system. The cogs don’t just help the movement, they make up the structure. Remove one and you weaken and even collapse the entire machine of prosperity. 

From innovators to mass producers to laborers and billionaires, if people didn’t participate in the Market, there would be no Market. There would be no jobs, no incomes, no progress, no society. 

The less people participate in the Market, the less society benefits. The more input, regardless of who and how that input comes in, the better off society is. 

The Market is the chicken and the egg. It doesn’t matter who came first, what matters is that they both remain integral to the cycle. Lose one, lose it all. 

- Sha

libertarians-and-stoya:

extremecapitalism:

libertarians-and-stoya:

extremecapitalism:

maxvoluntarist:

libertarians-and-stoya:

oh yeah, and concerning that picture of a farmer spending all his money on hookers not farm equipment:

an Austrian would argue that it is okay for a farmer to be doing that because markets shift towards where they should be

that is, if markets wanted tons of strippers and no food, that’s where it would go

so yeah, suck my dick haters

What’s your point? Sounds like a straw man argument.

Food>strippers

This guy is so incredibly brain dead. “If the markets wanted strippers instead of food, that’s where it would go.” Really? You *really* think if you open the markets that somehow, people will magically suddenly forget that they need food to survive? Do you really consider society to be that fucking incapable of sustaining itself? That’s pretty much what I’m hearing right now.

people can’t understand hypotheticals

How exactly is that a hypothetical…to anything? What’s your big example? “If the market wants more strippers than it does toothpaste, that’s what’ll happen. If the market wants more strippers than cars, that’s what’ll happen.” Like what’s your point? Do you really think that most rational people will pick a stripper over brushing their own teeth? Or that it should actually matter to you what the fuck people do on their own time? JFC, Keynesians. Y’all baffle me.

>me

>Keynesian

>yfw there’s no such things as “rational”

It’s hilarious that people take your hypothetical and assume that’s were you think markets will go. Hint: NO ONE KNOWS WHERE MARKETS WILL GO! If we did, we would completely control our economy and limit the busts while replicating the booms. We’d have perpetual growth with relatively no effort. But we don’t because markets are organic. 

If he said the market might shift from food to cocaine or from food to urine, it would still be as correct as saying the market would shift from hookers to food. 

So many idiots. 

(via libertarians-and-stoya-deactiva)