The ACA, Bromides, and 1913: Wax on.

Wax On:

I read the other day a commentary regarding Justice Roberts divining what was overtly intended to be a “penalty,” to actually be a tax. As a result, he found an interpretation for the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It’s not a mandate, only the tax to pay for it is. So, you’re free to buy private health insurance but you are required to pay for the government plan regardless. Sounds a bit like selecting a non-government school for your children. Which brings up the idea of a universal health care tax credit, but I digress. In the context of the aforementioned commentary, one person vomited up the bromides that all one needs to do in this whole matter is to “follow the money” to find out who “they” are. Ostensibly, a very small cabal of characters responsible for all of our ills (including ACA); if we follow this nondescript long trail of money we will eventually discover who the cabal actually is, and find it was a group of greedy, money hungry, cats who stood to make fortunes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Please! Do not call me a Republican (or a Conservative)!!

The historical home of the GOP - The Little White Schoolhouse.

People occasionally ask me how I originally became a Republican, and why I so stridently left the GOP and now reject both the Republicans and the Democrats. There is a third option that I have pursued, and it is premised upon a rejection of both social mysticism and religious mysticism – in all their forms. Stated most eloquently by Ayn Rand:

The concept of individual rights is so new in human history that most men have not grasped it fully to this day. In accordance with the two theories of ethics, the mystical or the social, some men assert that rights are a gift of God—others, that rights are a gift of society. But, in fact, the source of rights is man’s nature.

The Declaration of Independence stated that men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” Whether one believes that man is the product of a Creator or of nature, the issue of man’s origin does not alter the fact that he is an entity of a specific kind—a rational being—that he cannot function successfully under coercion, and that rights are a necessary condition of his particular mode of survival.

“The source of man’s rights is not divine law or congressional law, but the law of identity. A is A—and Man is Man. Rights are conditions of existence required by man’s nature for his proper survival. If man is to live on earth, it is right for him to use his mind, it is right to act on his own free judgment, it is right to work for his values and to keep the product of his work. If life on earth is his purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being: nature forbids him the irrational.” (Atlas Shrugged)

Over time, I have continued to study and challenge my assumptions and understanding. I, for one, try to keep learning and I honestly believe that this is an obligation we all have to ourselves. Consequently, I cannot honestly support, or participate in any way, either the Republican or the Democrat partries – both are (as stated in a now defunct comment by a noted Objectivist): “evil statist fucks without the slightist rightful claim to power.” If memory serves, and to the author’s credit, that comment was characterized as “in more vulgar terms.” Well, I really don’t think that was necessary! The reason being is that both groups get to their evil statism-in my view-in morally reprehensible ways that, in the end, trample upon individual rights thus foundationally drawing into question whether the concept of inalienable rights (nicely discussed by George H. Smith here, here, and here) even has meaning.

So, why did I become a Republican in the first place? Well, like many, I first learned about politics from my parents. Also, I was influenced heavily by my grandparents, and in my case even a great-great grandparent! So, for me, it was a package deal. Later, as I began to become more “enlightened” in my thinking I studied the history of the political parties and in the GOP found what turned out to be a temporary political home. ‘To man, his birthright; to labor, freedom; to him that wants to labor, work and independence; to him that works, his dues.’ This is the Republican platform (Carl Schurz). It is indeed interesting to see the parallel between Schurz comment, and the positive and enlightening statements above by Ms Rand.

While I don’t agree with all that Schurz eventually advocated, I do find it sad that the above platform is not what Republicans of this day and age revere. The current gang of political hucksters known as Republicans are premised fully upon religious indoctrination bordering on a desire to institute a Christian theocracy in America. Their militant anti-abortion positions are merely a logical consequence of their indefensible, irrational, and contradictory philosophical positions. As a result, their only defense of capitalism is through altruism – a contradiction hardly to be matched. Yet, it is from such gymnastics that they all now hail. There is more to this current gang which is irritating, but those are eluminating attributes which if viewed by the men and women of the mid 1850’s who founded the party would likely have driven them right out of the Little White Schoolhouse.

What attracted me to the GOP many years ago, and what was clearly the impetus for my quick and total disengagement with them, revolves around the original founding of the party and its emphasis on individual rights. To understand the origins of my GOP leanings, and to understand my utter disenchantment with them presently, one needs to go back to the late 1850’s roughly 10 years after Wisconsin gained statehood. It was at this time that my great-great grandfather, Professor Edward Daniels, was running around the state as a “Freeman” advocating for individual rights – overtly the rejection and rebellion against The Fugitive Slave Acts of 1850. Edward Daniels was an abolitionist, and very active in the cause. He also supported the Freesoilers who believed that any new states entering the union ought to be free states where slavery was banned. This world-view can be illustrated rather dramatically by the Booth War that was raging at the time in Wisconsin.

Edward Daniels (and his Republican enthusiasts) position was well represented by the Ripon Times of both August 4th and August 10th of 1860 in reference to the “Riot in Ripon”:

“At the Hall, as soon as order could be restored, a resolution was offered by A. E. Bovay,–“Resolved, That Mr. Booth shall not be re-arrested in Ripon,”–which was adopted amid deafening shouts and hurras. Mr. Daniels took the stand and made an impassioned speech for a few minutes, and moved that we now organize a League of Freedom, the members of which shall be pledged to resist any attempt to execute the Fugitive Slave Act. One hundred and twenty persons were enrolled as fast as the names could be written. A. E. Bovay was elected President, and C. J. Allen Secretary. A Vigilance Committee of twelve members was appointed, consisting of Edward Daniels, O. H. LaGrange, A. B. Pratt, Dana Lamb, A. E. Bovay, C. D. Loper, J. S. Landon, F. R. Stewart, I. A. Norton, F. W. Cooke, Lucius Thatcher, A. M. May, Benj. Pratt, L. P. Rivenburgh. The mass of the people then formed a procession, preceded by the Ripon Wide Awakes, and escorted Mr. Booth to the residence of Prof. Daniels. Some twelve or fifteen persons were put on duty as volunteer guards, to defend the residence of Prof. Daniels, and the remainder dispersed. (Aug 4)”

The Times then published this on August 10th:

“WHERE RESTS THE RESPONSIBILITY?–No good citizen desires to see such a state of affairs as prevailed in this city last Saturday and Sunday–a community excited, angry, turbulent–men arming themselves for defense, and organized in military bands to protect themselves and their friends.

A man appears in our midst who has been convicted for an offense under the Fugitive Slave Act, and who has escaped from imprisonment. Personally he is not known to a dozen persons in community [sic]; circumstances connected with his career have not commended him to popular regard. Yet at the first intimation that he is to be again arrested, hundreds of men become excited, solemnly pledge themselves that he shall not be taken again into custody, and rally to his defense. What is the character of the men who do this thing? They are not the depraved, the debauched, the reckless–the supporters of the grog shop, the gaming-table, or any other of the dens of vice. They are our farmers, our mechanics, our students–men, young and old, of sobriety, integrity, and honor–men who in all the ordinary routine of life are the best neighbors and citizens. Moreover they are persons of strong moral convictions, and uncompromising in their devotion to their principles.

When such men, to the extent of large numbers in a community, resolve that an enactment which is offensive to all their ideas of right shall not be enforced, is it claiming too much to maintain that those who instigate, abet, and encourage, either actively or by their indifference, such a course of proceedings as will oblige these men to either defend their principles or abandon them, are responsible for disturbing the peace of community?

After the recent demonstration here it must be conceded that the Fugitive Slave Act cannot be peaceably enforced in Ripon. The public sentiment is up to that point. Let this fact be recognized and respected, and there will never occur a repetition of the scenes enacted in this city on the 4th and 5th days of August last. (Aug 10)”

For my great great grandfather, in the summer of 1860, support of Sherman Booth and active rebellion against The Fugitive Slave Acts were an uncompromising commitment to the highest ideals and vision of America’s founders; the implicit sense of individual, inalienable, rights put forth in The Declaration of Independence.

As a result of my historical connection to the founding of the party (we have it on family history that Edward Daniels was one of the gatherers at in Ripon in March of 1854, but given the surrounding history that is documented it is fair to conclude he was at least one of the earliest-outspoken-members of the GOP), I held and believed for many years that the Republican Party subsumed this sense of individual rights. Through time, I am now fully convinced that was a mistaken assumption. Clearly, by any measure, the slow and steady rise of religious and arbitrary moral litmus tests for membership and, most importantly, party leadership and candidacy positions is well known (such as the effects of the Christian Coalition, Ralph Reed Jr., and Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority). The rise of Falwell, and his so-called “Moral Majority,” was the first overt sign I saw in my lifetime of serious anti-individual rights issues and blatant contradictions within the GOP. Their defense of property and liberty was particularly troublesome from an economics as well as philosophical perspective. For example, Bush 43’s position on lowered tax rates was defended not on an individual rights basis (as the original founders of the GOP would have), but rather on a convoluted notion that lowered tax rates were justifiable because they would, in the end, return more revenue to the federal government. Moreover, that sort of altruistic rationalization is clearly premised upon a theocratic view that one IS obligated to be the keeper of ones brother. A parallel premise is held firmly and overtly by Democrats who simply escalate government and collective rights above the individual and make no excuses that this is turning the founders vision on its head.

It is this sort of convolution that simply resulted in my search for another option. That search led me to some brilliant minds such as George Reisman, Ayn Rand, Ludwig von Mises, Adam Smith, John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, Aristotle, and others. Also, I found myself with renewed interest in the history of scientific development. Great minds such as Galileo, Newton, Einstein took on a whole new meaning to me. My view gelled to where I am far more comfortable in my own philosophic skin. In philosophical terms I fully embrace that reality is an absolute, reason the only means of knowledge, that humans do have a free will (to think), that rational self-interest is profoundly moral, and that above all of this that individual rights, properly understood, are in fact inalienable and absolute and that the source of those rights is profound – man’s nature as a living being. On this view, only capitalism can be considered as a social system worthy of man’s mind, and that politically only those governments (and the elected representatives) that are premised upon and dedicated to the protection of individual rights are just. Moreover, that the founders vision that all government be subordinated to the individual must be defended.

To effect all of this one must take the time and incur the effort to visit the ballot box armed with knowledge, but while on the way (if you happen to see me) …. please do not call me a Republican (or a Conservative)!

The Wisconsin State Historical Society notes

Daniels, Edward 1828 – 1916
Definition: geologist, abolitionist, soldier, b. Boston, Mass. He moved to Wisconsin in 1849, where he taught at Ripon and Carroll colleges. He was Wisconsin state geologist (1852-1854). In 1854 he aided in the escape of fugitive slave, Joshua Glover, and in 1856 participated in Jim Lane’s expedition to Kansas. Returning to Wisconsin, he aided in the freeing of the Milwaukee abolitionist, Sherman Booth (1860) (q.v.), and in 1861 organized the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry Regiment and served as its colonel until his resignation in 1863. After the war he moved to Gunston Hall, Va., where he engaged in scientific farming, became a newspaper editor, and later edited a labor magazine. Milwaukee Evening Wis., May 13, 1916; 32nd Reunion of 1st Wis. Cavalry Assoc. (n.p., 1916); E. Daniels Papers.

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Happy Randsday!

The 20th century’s most important philosopher, Ayn Rand, advocated for a revolutionary philosophical system she called Objectivism. It is no understatement to note that even today it is widely misunderstood, often misquoted, and all too frequently, patently, and purposefully mis-stated. In short, it is the incredibly visionary and liberating world-view that a person ought to always operate under the premise of rational self-interest. Meaning that one should use one’s best judgement in the achievement of life-serving, long range, values: those things one works to gain and keep that are necessary for the achievement of happiness.

And make no mistake about it, her philosophical system was what was missing in the brilliant work of the Founding Fathers. It is what gives fundamental power to the political system they envisioned. Had they had her then, we would not have Obama nor would we have had the incredible rise of the interventionist state we all are force to live under today. Her admonition was to always keep the long-range in view, and never commit a sacrifice – never “surrender a greater value for the sake of a lesser one”. To Rand this was the essence of morality, and as such a profound virtue.

Today is the anniversary of Ms Rand’s birthday, she would have been 107 years old today.. So, as Harry Binswanger writes:

“February 2nd is the birthday of Ayn Rand, the author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. Ayn Rand developed and defended Objectivism, a philosophy that advocates “rational selfishness.”

To celebrate Randsday, you do something not done on any other holiday: you give yourself a present. Randsday is for getting that longed-for luxury you ordinarily would not buy for yourself. Or for doing that long-postponed, self-pampering activity you cannot seem to fit into your chore-packed schedule.

Randsday is for reminding ourselves that pleasure is an actual need, a psychological requirement for a human consciousness. For man, motivation, energy, enthusiasm are not givens. Pathological depression is not only possible but rampant in our duty-preaching, self-denigrating culture. The alternative is not short-range, superficial “fun,” but real, self-rewarding pleasure. On Randsday, if you do something that you ordinarily would think of as “fun,” you do it on a different premise and with a deeper meaning: that you need pleasure, you are entitled to it, and that the purpose and justification of your existence is: getting what you want—what you really want, with full consciousness and dedication.”

Let’s hope it won’t take another 100 years to fully grasp and embrace her profoundly moral philosophical system!

RANDSDAY LINK
Happy Randsday!

Posted in Blog Referral, Capitalism Advocacy, Founders Vision, Philosophy. Comments Off on Happy Randsday!

Oppose SOPA / PIPA

If уου supported (οr attended) tһе protests іח Madison over collective bargaining, уου wеrе exercising уουr freedom οf speech. If уου protested tһе protestors іח Madison, уου tοο wеrе exercising уουr freedom οf speech. Freedom οf speech іѕ, іח fact, wһаt I wουƖԁ consider аח inviolable, sacrosanct, principle οf American-style democracy аחԁ fully reflects tһе brilliant enlightenment ideology οf ουr founders аחԁ tһе founding documents tһеу penned. It doesn’t mean уου аrе endowed wіtһ ѕοmе un-sourced, uncaused, supernaturally οr socially granted rіɡһt tο ѕау wһаt уου want, wherever, аחԁ whenever. Freedom οf speech іѕ fundamentally premised upon tһе recognition аחԁ due respect fοr tһе property upon wһісһ one speaks – іt іѕ a reflection аחԁ outgrowth οf tһе fundamental οf individual rights.

Wһеח уου һаνе permission frοm those wһο һаνе ownership οf ѕаіԁ property tο speak, уου аrе enjoying tһе freedom οf speech, properly understood. If уου ԁο חοt һаνе tһеіr permission, аחԁ speak anyway, уου аrе wrongfully trespassing аחԁ violating tһеіr pre-emptive rіɡһt tο hold аחԁ еחјοу property privately. Tһіѕ means tһе land upon wһісһ уου аrе holding уουr sign, οr speaking іחtο уουr megaphone; tһе building іח wһісһ уου rise tο deliver уουr message; tһе radio station οr television studio іח wһісһ уου аrе crafting уουr words аחԁ images; οr, indeed, tһе very web page upon wһісһ уου аrе posting уουr tһουɡһtѕ (video, writing, audio message). Sіחсе wе tһе people һаνе granted tο government tһе unique υѕе οf physical force іח ουr society, tһеу һаνе a profound role tο uphold tһе individual rights οf property owners wһο invite-οr give permission tο-people tο speak. Wе һаνе tһе rіɡһt tο speak ουr minds provided wе ԁο חοt violate tһе actual rights οf others іח tһе process – mу individual rights еחԁ wһеrе yours bеɡіח. Wеrе уου οr I invited onto private property tο speak аחԁ demonstrate, аחԁ tһе police (οr anyone) used force tο unilaterally silence such speech THAT wουƖԁ bе a violation οf уουr freedom tο speak аחԁ tһе property rights οf tһе landowner. Alternatively, іf уου rυח іחtο a lecture hall wһеrе аח invited speaker іѕ presenting views уου аrе opposed tο, аחԁ bеɡіח tο shout, interrupting tһе speaker, іt іѕ YOU wһο аrе violating tһе speaker’s (аחԁ tһе venue owner’s) freedom οf speech – уου аrе NOT legitimately exercising уουr οwח freedom, bυt rаtһеr preventing someone еƖѕе frοm іt.

If уου wеrе one οf tһе impassioned protestors іח Madison wһο ѕһοwеԁ up οח tһе steps οf tһе capital, οח еіtһеr side οf tһе debate, уου wеrе exercising tһіѕ protected rіɡһt аחԁ tһе principles behind іt. Yου wеrе חοt hauled οff tο jail аѕ a consequence οf protesting against Governor Walker bесаυѕе tһе land upon wһісһ уου demonstrated іѕ owned, theoretically, bу חο one іח particular, аחԁ everyone simultaneously, i.e. public property. If wе lived іח a dictatorship, Governor Walker сουƖԁ һаνе simply ordered tһе Capital Police tο seize уουr signs, аחԁ toss уου іח jail. Protesting οח public lands іѕ, іח fact, a unique case іח аח otherwise general freedom οf speech. It іѕ tһе government’s agents responsibility tο ensure tһаt уουr rіɡһt tο speak іѕ protected, аחԁ חοt violated – whether іt bе οח public lands (wһіƖе abiding tһе reasonable access rules needed), οr, especially, οח private property. Tһе wοrѕt case οf аƖƖ іѕ wһеrе tһе government presumes ownership οf аƖƖ property аחԁ simply uses іtѕ unique access tο physical force tο censor уου frοm speaking out merely bесаυѕе tһе message уου want tο deliver іѕ еіtһеr antagonistic tο, οr otherwise inconsistent wіtһ, official government policy. Tied fοr first wοrѕt, уου аrе hauled οff, οr censored, bесаυѕе someone standing next tο уου, wһο уου don’t know οr perhaps don’t even agree wіtһ, held up a sign οr played ѕοmе audio tһаt tһе government didn’t appreciate, οr violated someone’s intellectual property rights, аחԁ therefore уου wеrе summarily denied tһе rіɡһt tο speak (οr even remain οח tһе premises bесаυѕе tһе government сουƖԁ condemn tһе property forthwith) bу υѕе οf tһе force οf government – аƖƖ without аחу due process. Tһаt іѕ wһаt happens іח a dictatorship, οr аחу overtly tyrannical, οr theocratic/religious, state.

Wһісһ brings mе tο SOPA (аחԁ PIPA) –ill-conceived legislation supported bу tһе Motion Pictures Association οf America (MPAA), аחԁ others wһο claim (correctly) tһаt piracy οf protected material іѕ a problem οח tһе internet. Tһе stated intention οf tһіѕ expansion οf tһе Federal Government’s power over tһе internet іѕ ostensibly tο protect intellectual property, such аѕ music, video content, аחԁ literature. WһіƖе protecting tһе individual rights οf intellectual property owners IS a legitimate function οf government, іt саחחοt bе tһе case tһаt such protection simultaneously tramples tһе rights οf other’s free speech іח tһе process. Bυt tһаt іѕ exactly wһаt tһіѕ legislation wουƖԁ ԁο. Tһе legislation’s fundamental premise іѕ tһаt tһе internet іѕ actually tһе property οf tһе United States Government, аחԁ аѕ such those wһο happen tο bе іח power today саח unilaterally υѕе force tο restrict уουr аחԁ mу ability tο exercise ουr freedom οf speech, properly understood. Tһе proponents οf SOPA view tһе internet аѕ being owned bу tһе United States Government, аחԁ therefore subject חοt јυѕt tο protection οf intellectual property, bυt tο tһе overt υѕе οf force tο shut down entire websites аחԁ internet communities without tһе application οf tһе rule οf law. Tһіѕ іѕ wrοחɡ, іt іѕ a violation οf property rights, аחԁ іח fact a violation οf tһе individual rights οf website owners аחԁ οtһеr content producers.

Aѕ stated οח Wikipedia’s site “Tһе originally proposed bill wουƖԁ allow tһе U.S. Department οf Justice, аѕ well аѕ copyright holders, tο seek court orders against websites accused οf enabling οr facilitating copyright infringement. Depending οח wһο mаkеѕ tһе request, tһе court order сουƖԁ include barring online advertising networks аחԁ payment facilitators frοm doing business wіtһ tһе allegedly infringing website, barring search engines frοm linking tο such sites, аחԁ requiring Internet service providers tο block access tο such sites. Tһе bill wουƖԁ mаkе unauthorized streaming οf copyrighted content a crime, wіtһ a maximum penalty οf five years іח prison fοr ten such infringements within six months. Tһе bill аƖѕο gives immunity tο Internet services tһаt voluntarily take action against websites dedicated tο infringement, wһіƖе mаkіחɡ liable fοr ԁаmаɡеѕ аחу copyright holder wһο knowingly misrepresents tһаt a website іѕ dedicated tο infringement.[4]”

Tһіѕ іѕ analogous tο аƖƖ tһе protestors against Governor Walker wһο wеrе οח tһе grounds οf tһе capital іח Madison being hauled οff, en-masse, bесаυѕе a single protestor οח tһе οtһеr side οf tһе block held up a sign tһаt violated tһе copyright οf ѕοmе third party. If уου οr I violate a copyright іח ουr activity οח tһе internet, іf someone pirates intellectual property, tһаt іѕ a problem аחԁ piracy laws аrе already іח force. Bυt trampling tһе rights οf otherwise innocent website owners аחԁ tһеіr law abiding site visitors іѕ חοt tһе solution – bυt tһаt іѕ exactly wһаt SOPA wουƖԁ ԁο. I rarely agree wіtһ Hillary Clinton, bυt I ԁο agree wіtһ һеr wһеח ѕһе ѕаіԁ:

“Wһеח іԁеаѕ аrе blocked, information deleted, conversations stifled аחԁ people constrained іח tһеіr choices, tһе Internet іѕ diminished fοr аƖƖ οf υѕ.. Tһеrе isn’t аח economic Internet аחԁ a social Internet аחԁ a political Internet. There’s јυѕt tһе Internet.”

Today Wikipedia, аחԁ numerous οtһеr sites, аrе offline tο protest tһіѕ proposed legislation. I stand іח full support οf Wiki іח tһіѕ matter. Oppose SOPA! If such laws аrе allowed tο pass іח America, tһеח wе deserve tһе noose bесаυѕе wе һаνе given tһе government tһе rope аחԁ tһе authority tο tie tһе knot.

Posted in Founders Vision, Outrage and Rant, Property Rights. Comments Off on Oppose SOPA / PIPA

The Source of Natural Rights: Part I

“Though the argument for rights can be made in the absence of God, I find it difficult to completely separate the two.”

I have heard and read the above response on numerous occassions, I reject it and its various forms emphatically. There is no logic in this idea that natural law can be divined from a supernatural source. Moreover, the notion that there are natural laws atributable to men that are somehow “intrinsic” is also false and indefensible. Such mere assertions open the door wide for any would-be looter of either the mind, your life here on earth, and all too often your pocketbook! More importantly, without a rational basis for this claim of natural rights anything created on its back, e.g. The Declaration and The Constitution, become easy targets for subjectivist reinterpretation and utter bastardization if not total dismissal. Be they Christians, Moslems, Jews, Buddhists, Marxists, Liberals, Republicans (Conservatives), etc. Let me take this all the way through the door to its logical outcome, and then let’s take a different tack..

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Posted in Founders Vision, Philosophy. Comments Off on The Source of Natural Rights: Part I

The Source of Natural Rights: Part II

Physical force is anti-life. And to whatever extent or degree it is used, it restricts or prevents one from acting on his or her own judgment. The greater the force the less human a life one can live. This is not an opinion, a social convention or a divine decree – it is a metaphysical fact.

The way that humans live (survive) is by acting on their rational judgment, as opposed to animals or plants that survive by evolutionary instinct and/or biochemical reactions which mutate over time via natural selection. Of course, humans also evolve and mutate but their fundamental tool of survival is their rational mind. And when we humans are precluded or stopped by force from exercising our rational judgments our lives are ratably lessened, and in the worst case resulting in death. Choosing to ignore this objective, metaphysical, fact of the need to act rationally and use reason to survive and live will just as directly limit an individual’s independence; his freedom to act on his own judgment, which is the definition of liberty. Remember, man has no innate instincts to guide his actions. If a man chooses to ignore reason and rational action there are no innate instincts that will save him; pain, suffering, and even death will eventually find him, and it will find him whether he likes it or not because that is the nature of reality.
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Money IS the most moral of things..

What is wrong with the Federal Reserve? Do we need a different approach? Robert Klein and George Reisman recently wrote an article for Barron’s entitled Central Problem: the Central Bank. While I wholeheartedly agree with the conclusion of the article, it seems to me a fair bit more needs to be said and explained in this matter..

You have heard it uttered over the years by mindless idealists of virtually every stripe that, “money is the root of all evil.” Alternatively, some will take a completely altruistic but similarly mindless stance by saying, flippantly, “it’s only money.” Personally, I make zero attempts to understand the irrational but, and although convoluted, there may be a “reason” some people say these things. What such an attitude or perspective reveals is utter confusion over what money is, fundamentally. To explain this, one needs to have a fundamental grasp of money.

To understand the state of money, one needs to have a basic understanding of its systematic implementation, known as a monetary regime. A monetary regime is any political jurisdiction’s (such as a sovereign nation) legal system of using some other means than barter to facilitate goods and services exchange. This definition also extends to goods and services exchanged between traders from other jurisdictions and those members of the subject jurisdiction. Given a division of labor premise where producers and consumers engage in specialization, yet need a variety of goods and services in order to survive, it makes zero sense, being a coffee bean roaster, to drive out to a farm with your beans (that you obtained by traveling to Costa Rica with a stock of sandals the plantation owner needed to trade locally for drying equipment) and trade for lamb parts so that you can take a leg of a lamb down to the grocery story and barter with the grocer for milk and eggs (who has all the beans he currently needs, but will trade for lamb). One can conjure up a myriad of illogical combinations and permutations of barter that would illustrate just how impossible life would be.

In fact, without some intermediary medium of exchange it should be rather obvious that the very division of labor we have come to rely upon, and which has allowed for light-year leaps in economic efficiency and productivity (and the resultant boom worldwide in standards of living), world-wide would grind to a halt tossing everyone into stark raving poverty and distress. There can be no doubt given the long view of history that is at our fingertips that even the factory worker, garbage collector, or postal mail carrier of today has at his or her disposal a realm of possibilities of action through this medium of exchange to live as a modern Renaissance man. The average worker today can afford both the time and the investment to live a life which the ancient Greeks thought only possible by a slave-owning aristocracy. This fact is due entirely to the economic efficiency brought to human existence by the theory of division of labor.

Therefore, instead of trading cattle parts for milk and eggs we use a device, money, which represents the specialized productivity embedded in the labor of the cattle rancher. When the cattle rancher goes to market, he exchanges his cattle for an amount of money (a medium of exchange) agreed upon either at the moment (on the spot), or a price guarantee agreed upon prior to delivery (futures). All others who, not raising cattle directly, desire it base the amount of money due the cattle rancher upon the current level of demand for beef. Moreover, all of those others in this simplified equation need to eat and consume many other goods and services in order to survive and to engage in similar other trades and transactions with others who themselves specialize in a myriad of goods and services. The sum total of all of this represents “the marketplace” of final goods, raw natural resources, commodities, and services. Very little would happen, as you can easily see, were it not for the ability for the division of labor specialists, in the face of the actual demand for the goods and services they provide, to produce anything unless they can quickly and easily exchange and keep this medium of exchange. Money and its equivalents is the oil in the crankcase of the division of labor engine. An engine which powers the vehicle of freedom and continuously increasing standards of living for humans – capitalism.

The cattle rancher, and the bean roaster, the butcher, baker and candlestick maker take that money only on the clear and unambiguous understanding that they will be able to exchange it for the product of the efforts and production of others who produce things they need and want. Money, then, is your claim upon the labor and work of the mind of others who also produce something, which is of value – of value to someone, somewhere. It is, by definition, the tool of exchange for the men and women of goodwill – it is, in fact, and profoundly, the root of all that is good. It allows for no fraud, and demands the best of our virtues particularly independence, productivity, and pride. In order for our virtues to be reflected in our trading, the mechanism used, the medium itself, must be virtuous. The medium of exchange itself must not be something that can be manipulated at whim, thereby causing its intrinsic value to change independently, or arbitrarily. Traders must be able to trust that when they give up their work (goods, services, etc.) for money the money itself will not loose its ability to hold the value they placed upon it. Therefore, it must be backed by an object whose intrinsic value cannot be subject to the whims of politics, the irrational wishes of the hedonist or the altruist, or the dictates of tyrants. Indeed, a division of labor society enabled by such a medium of exchange is a truly capitalistic society; it is inherently moral and virtuous. It is not the tool of the preachers, the teachers, or the politicians who claim it by mystical revelation, perceived need, or governmental coercion at the point of a gun. It is the fundamental tool of men and women of good faith, good will, and honesty who understand that man can only survive by the productive use of his rational mind and through the honest labor of his hands. The money you acquire, use, and hold is a tacit statement of your conviction that there are others who will not default on that conviction.

The fundamental keys for any such virtuous medium of exchange are that it must be uniformly established and accepted, defended by the rule of law, reliable, relatively scarce, cannot be counterfeited, and must be divisible into logical portions without destroying its fundamental value (each of ten pieces of a single unit, must be worth precisely 1/10th of the original single unit). Moreover, it must also be able to be stored (saved), and when retrieved have a predictable ability to once again facilitate trading and exchange at a level roughly equivalent to the value at the time of saving, adjusted (increased) for any lost value were it to have been used for other, immediate, productive use. In addition, it must be acceptable as a payment for debts when they come due (and the lender who is repaid after the loan period must not be placed in a worse position, in effect, again, a reflection of the time value of the medium). Lastly, as regards the relative scarcity of the medium, the increase in the supply of the medium must be a by-product, or reflection, of the general increase in productivity. This is so because if the medium were not relatively scarce, and not highly valued in and of itself, there would be a distinct tendency for its supply to increase more rapidly than the supply of other commodities; leading to each additional unit being worth relatively less, and therefore take more of them over short periods of time to purchase a fixed basket of goods and services, i.e., inflation.

The basis of a free society-the concepts of individual liberty and freedom-as outlined by not just this country’s foundational principles and documents, but in fact the whole concept of man’s inherent rights, is clearly understood to be optimized by one and only one social and economic system – capitalism. The hallmark of capitalism is the premise of personal (private) property and the inherent right to keep the fruits of ones labor (that in fact you own your own mind). The singular system which maximizes this historical and demonstrated truth is the division of labor enabled by a virtuous medium of exchange. Anything else, any movement away or apart from this enlightened view, I submit, becomes the root of all evil and a return to the primitive tribal mentality that characterized the dark ages. If you doubt this conclusion, please investigate its antithesis. In fact, just look around you! The financial calamity we have just (and are currently experiencing) gone through is the logical outcome of the degree we have moved away from sound money that traders can rely upon – what we presently have is not moral. Klein and Reisman conclude, as do I, that the madness of fiat currency must end. Such a conclusion stands the tests of logic and reason, as well as the demonstrated test over time.

Posted in Capitalism Advocacy, Founders Vision, Property Rights. Comments Off on Money IS the most moral of things..