Economists vs the Public

They don’t agree:

20130112_FNC728

My responses:

Question 1 — Agree

Economists in Sapienza and Zingales’ study resolutely agreed that it is hard to predict stock prices. A majority of the public agreed with the statement, but not so resolutely. Stock prices are the culmination of transactions between humans, and human behaviour is hard to predict because it is often irrational and informed by cognitive fallacies.

Question 2 — Agree, with a bitter taste in my mouth.

Economists were vastly more bullish on the stimulus’ effect on unemployment than the general public. And the data is actually quite unkind toward the economists’ view — the real unemployment path was far worse than the path projected by those in the Obama administration who promoted the stimulus. However, this is more of a symptom of the stimulus’ designers underestimating the depth of the economic contraction that the financial crisis caused. There is no doubt that the stimulus created jobs and lowered the unemployment rate in the immediate term. Whether the jobs created were really useful and beneficial — and to what extent the stimulus was a malinvestment of capital  — is another question entirely, and one which can only be answered in the long run.

Question 3 — Agree

Economists overwhelmingly agreed that market factors are the chief cause behind variation in petrol prices. The public agreed, but to a lesser extent. Presumably, the dissenting public and dissenting economists see government intervention as a more significant force? Certainly, the present global oil market is a precarious pyramid of supply chains balanced on the back of the petrodollar empire. But the market reflects these factors.  When governments start a war, that is reflected in the oil price. That’s a force that the market responds to. If a central planner was directly setting the oil price (rather than merely influencing it) — as is the case in communist countries — that would be a price determined by non-market forces.

Question 4 — Uncertain

Economists were broadly certain that a carbon tax is less costly than mileage standards. I think this is far too general a question. Without nuts-and-bolts policy proposals, it is not really possible to assess which would be more costly.

Question 5 — Uncertain, leaning toward Disagree.

This was the only question where economists and the public were largely agreeable — and economists were largely split. As I stated above, the “success” of the stimulus package can only really be assessed in the longer run, and even then there are difficulties with measurement. Generally, I suspect very much that the various interventions in 2008 onward have preserved and supported economically unsustainable and inefficient sectors and industries that ought to have been liquidated and rebuilt (especially the financial industry, but also other sectors, e.g. Detroit). Had the government in 2008 followed the liquidationary trend in the market, the slump would have been much deeper, unemployment would have risen much higher, but the eventual rebound may have been much quicker and stronger.

Question 6 — Agree

This is where economists and the public disagree the most. It is the point on which the public was the most bullish, and economists almost unanimously bearish. Economists in general seem to believe that what they define as free trade is best, even when it destroys domestic supply chains and drastically decreases manufacturing employment. To economists, this means that the American government should not discriminate against foreign products but buy for the best product and the best price. This ignores some important externalities. Buying American certainly supports American jobs, because money goes to American companies, and toward American salaries. This might foster inefficient and otherwise-unsustainable industries, but if the American public chooses to favour American products for their government, that is their right. And a strong domestic manufacturing base is no bad thing, either.

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85 thoughts on “Economists vs the Public

  1. LOL, what an absolutely classic comment!

    “Certainly, the present global oil market is a precarious pyramid of supply chains balanced on the back of the petrodollar empire”.

  2. I should add, this empire I already largely private, unleashing the public into this empire, so to speak, would only require the lifting of a few little rules related to legal tender, and I speculate that doing so would produce not so much a gold rush as a boom in the (US) agricultural market – as DoubleLine Boss noted recently: farms are desperate for young workers and future owners

  3. I should add, Exxon should in reality be the biggest opponent of Bitcoin, for if legal tender laws were slightly relaxed and markets did gravitate towards Bitcoin it is I think not at all unlikely that the great scientists of our time would quite quickly come up with new means for energy independence!

  4. Officially unleashing Bitcoin into the US Zone would arguably turn the place into a Switzerland type of decentralised haven, especially if it became a tax free zone, just imagine the tsumnami of capital

  5. i think it pays to remember that basically ALL “currencies” on Earth now are essentially value-less insofar as they ALL allow for a virtual unlimited amount of taxation WHILE also being backed by nothing expect for the friendly face of the tax-chief-in-general

  6. imagine if you conscripted Hollywood to sell Bitcoin, and their one brief was, ok, you gotta sell freedom, and yeah, like me it call and make everyone want to come and spend their money here and then released the movie globally at the same time! LOLOLOLOL

  7. I suspect, in stiff opposition to the US, the Germans would be the least likely first mover in this game theory context vis a vis Bitcoin, despite the obvious fact that the POLITICAL SYSTEM in German is apparently ahead of the game in this regard, considering THE PIRATE PARY in Germany is already a MAINSTREAM force in the political process.

    Ironic. There’s even a full on economic guide available for policy makers.

    http://www.peterleeson.com/The_Invisible_Hook.pdf

  8. Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch. Nay, you may kick it about all day, and it will be round and full at evening.— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

  9. The (political) decision made was to let the central banks de-lever the private banks by transferring wealth to them from the public purse directly and also indirectly, via inflation, the draining of (purchasing) power from the bank accounts of working class professionals. Now, it is time to shift the terms of the Monetary Empire before it destroys our cultures, both externally and from within.

    http://www.gata.org/files/QBAMCO-MacroPolo-01-2013.pdf

  10. Anand Recently Said that

    “nobody is for free markets unless they can profit from the rules”

    point is, as it stands, confirming the princple of private property by institionalising it like is discussed below will enable those who are right now on the cusp of the wealthiest in the world to SECURE their wealth, otherwise imagine the crazy level of agner that will be directed towards them AND WHICH WOULD NOT BE IN ANYBODYS interest. also the idea that people will not arbitrage in such a future is crazy

  11. GOLD, E1, ARGENTINA AT GLOBAL LAW & ORDER ARE ALL INTIMATELY LINKED. MORE INFO TO COME. WATCH BELOW MEANWHILE. FOCUS ALL YOUR GROUP’S FORCE ON THE UPCOMING CASE FOR ARGENTINA. You need to invert the system of “public law” into a principled program of structured private law (based on private property, obviously) to ease tension and manage a Peaceful transition towards the New World Order. The Lunatic Lady recently said:

    “As long as I’m president, you can take our frigate, but nobody is going to take the liberty, the sovereignty and dignity of this nation” – says the crazy lady signing up ‘her citizens’ onto debt they never voluntarily agreed to. The (political) idea of the “nation” IS ALIEN, obviously, a glitch produced by the models. A “nation” can only ever be one person or some group at anyone point in time. This much should be very obvious!

    To deny this blindingly obvious fact is to give yourself into servitude in the name of a a stupid slogan used by an idiot politician so she can abandon on responsibility and get in the way of the rule of law.

    Can I SIGN YOU UP ONTO DEBT WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT? OF COURSE NOT. THAT’s ANARCHY. WE’RE DISINTERMEDIATING POLITICIANS FROM FINANCIERS AND THEIR RECIPIENTS OF CREDIT (IE “THE PUBLIC”). THE STOP GAP SOLUTION BOOSTING GOLD TO $20,000 PRIOR TO THE GRADUAL EVOLUTION OF BITCOIN

    ARGENTINA WILL DEFAULT, YES, BUT ONLY IN A TECHNICAL AND LEGAL SENSE WILL THE RELEVANT POLITICIANS WHO SIGNED ONTO THE DEBT DEFAULT.

    Global attention is beginning to focus on “E1″ – the plot of land. This needs to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, MONITORED VERY CLOSELY BY ALL MEDIA OUTLETS SO AS TO DETERMINE WHO, if any, PERSON OR GROUP ATTACKS E1, SO ORDER CAN BE RESTORED THROUGH ACCOUNTABILITY. ISRAEL WILL BECOME A NEW SINGAPORE AND THE NUCEAR ISSUE VIS A VIS IRAN WILL DIE DOWN, AND GRADUALLY BE RESOLVED. BUT FIRST, WE need:
    to invert the system of “public law” into a principled program of structured private law (based on private property, obviously). “E1″ WILL SERVE THIS FUNCTION WELL. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. ALL HANDS ON DECK. FULL FOCUS. DISCARD ALL ELSE.

  12. Pingback: Economists vs the Public | My Blog

  13. In regards to the oil question, I would think that the dissenters in the public assume not just government intervention, but manipulation and collusion among private market actors. There is a lot of mistrust of speculators and oil companies.

    As far as the last question, undoubtedly protectionism is good for domestic manufacturing employment. I think the economists were responding to a different prompt than the one actually written – namely, “‘Buy American’ is a good idea in general.” It’s like asking, “Are unions good for union member wages?” Shit yes they are. But if you ask, “Are unions good for the public in general?” then the answer is quite different.

  14. UNWAVERING DEDICATION TO THE ISSUE AT HAND IS, FOR THE TIME BEING, STILL REQUIRED:

    the important thing is that Griesa isn’t just delivering judgments against Argentina, but that he’s also binding intermediaries like Bank of New York Mellon and generally the entire financial clearing system.

  15. America is slowly emerging from the unexpected horrors of the first decade of the millennium that brought us, in short order, a devastating assault upon our shores by vicious enemies who held our civilized values in contempt followed by an abrupt collapse in our material fortunes that brought us to the brink of penury. We found ourselves fighting two foreign wars simultaneously and reliving our great-grandparents’ financial fears. We have endured a battering that combined elements of the Great Depression, World War II and Vietnam. Light can be glimpsed on the horizon, but few have yet regained the wide-eyed confidence with which we greeted the new century.

  16. Nobody should be called an Economist until they have had enough business experience at the micro economic level before making assumptions about the Macro economy. Economists are little more than tea leave readers for Politicians. None are ever right consistently.

    But the public who are comprised of people with business experience understand economic reality. Provided that the local economy has sufficient domestic competition, buying locally makes long run economic sense.

    Economists would import cheap lemonade concentrate but miss the hot days waiting for it to be delivered, whereas a businessman would pay what the market would bear using available fresh lemons on the hot day when needed.

    Economists are wonks. The public is the economy.

    • I mostly agree with this. I think it is possible to understand the macroeconomy without having a great deal of microeconomic experience, but I think that that is a rare gift.

      I myself have a fair amount of experience as a trader, and a small amount of experience as a merchant and salesman.

      • Aziz, if you visit pure free market economy such as a Bazaar, you will see that maxium revenue is extracted from the customer. Big business do not have that ability.

        From reading Adam Smiths, “The Wealth of Nations” Regulatory capture of the legislature has interferred with the free market. I bet this went back to antiquity where City States controlled caravan traders.

        I think anybody who advises a Politician, and influences public policy and the economy in general is a very dangerous thing. Individuals haggling with individual traders is the best solution by far.

        I hear more common sense ideas from day to day people than I hear on economic blogs. Ths best thing about the internet is these people now offer advice on topics, that were once only the realm of Universities and Political Policy advisory. People are questioning these wonks and holding them to account. Their bubble is being popped. Their Ivory Tower is being breached. The Church provided refuge for people who are not very practical and Univerіsities are a modern day Church. These tenured Professors must accept criticism when wrong. I was wrong about my Chinese Reserve Currency timing. I admit I can’t predict. I think the Chinese. Made a big mistake. The USA with its Natural gas accendency is going to take comparitive advantage away from China. China missed its strategic advantage in causing economic chaos in the USA. But I guess the leaders of China will just migrate to the USA, and leave their people behind. China rises then collapses throughout history.

        • The purpose of all institutions is in supporting the status quo [in this case, debt-money]. In the West, all institutions are completely intra- and inter-dependent on debt.

          Experts are created once there is something to protect. This becomes glaringly obvious when all institutions are completely dys-functional, yet the experts feel that, although things might be not-so-great, they can certainly be a lot worse. Essentially, they get paid to lie.

          BR, China is a mess as the last thing they want [or anybody else, for that matter] is to have the reserve currency. Nearly the entire world supports the USD being the reserve currency for many reasons, perhaps the most important being the inter-connectedness of the U.S. with every damn thing, economically and otherwise. If the shit hits the fan, who you gonna call, One Hung Low?

        • @Buddy Rojek

          Don’t be so quick to write off China. They are importing THOUSANDS of tonnes of Gold, YOY. They will, at the appropriate time, (and not one minute earlier) unveil their reserve currency to the world, and it will probably be backed by Gold.

          The Chinese however, cannot launch a global reserve currency whilst still holding Trillions of US Dollar denominated debt that will mathematically never be re-paid. They (Chinese) are essentially being held to ransom by the US. The Chinese know this. It is the prime reason they are rapidly exchanging these worthless dollars for tangible wealth while the dollar still has (some) value, including farms, mines, energy producing assets and precious metals.

          Don’t be so quick to write off the Chinese. They are nowhere near as myopic as Western nations. The Chinese plan over centuries, not decades or fleeting political terms. There is a very good reason the Chinese are the only surviving culture of antiquity, today. For well over 5000 years the Chinese have maintained their civilization whereas others have crumbled and fallen, several times over…

        • “The Chinese plan over centuries, not decades or fleeting political terms. There is a very good reason the Chinese are the only surviving culture of antiquity, today. For well over 5000 years the Chinese have maintained their civilization whereas others have crumbled and fallen, several times over…”

          India and Egypt are still around…I think. Isn’t Greece?

          The Chinese have reinvented themselves a million times over, but point well-taken. The current Chinese leadership seems to be looking ahead, well, maybe a month or two, maybe. That country is a complete mess [economically and otherwise].

  17. Economics is one of the easiest ways to view the encounter between the individual and the group. Since economics has become global, the group has become all. When the group contains all, it becomes easy to see how the few who run the group are [by far] its largest beneficiaries, and de facto, becomes its raison d’existence.

    If you pare back the layers of the group, eventually you get back to the individual, where the essence of being human, lies.

    Economics is the relationship between [one] producer and [one] consumer. When this relationship grows, then the human mind begins to see all the possibilities of one of greatest of all human fantasies [getting something for nothing], and the insanity takes seed.

    Once the carrot is hung out front, the geniuses come out morphing into thought-leaders, apologists [liars] are hired by the media, politicians are given power to regulate and tax, and the elite [those willing to do whatever needs to be done] draw the most accurate maps possible so the people can find the shortest route to Hell.

    The great lesson of the 20th century was that the way to control people is not through coercion, brute force, or abject fear, but instead, through giving them EXACTLY what they want. Meet their short term desires, and they will give you their long term needs wrapped-up in a very pretty package [debt] with a very nice bow on top.

    The group serves as a mechanism to separate people from their true nature, to distract them from becoming independent beings capable of deciding for themselves what path is appropriate for themselves and their family.

    It is only when the individual can complete themselves as such, can they re-join the group and function within, yet remain independent of its treachery.

  18. Paul Krugman:

    “Failing to pay debt service would be a breach of contract”

    LOL: since when can you impose a contract on someone? I thought a contract was only valid if it was voluntarily entered into? Silly me.

  19. ORDER EMERGING: PAUL KRUGMAN IS NOW A LAWYER

    CASUAL UPDATE, PREPARING MEMORANDUM FOR GLOBAL LAW & ORDER

    To Whom It May Concern,

    ATTN: BOB RICE , JAMES RICKARDS , CHARLIE ROSE , JAMES WOLFENSOHN
    The authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual – Galileo Galilei

    Paul Krugman:

    “Failing to pay debt service would be a breach of contract”

    LOL: since when can you impose a contract on someone? I thought a contract was only valid if it was voluntarily entered into? Silly me.

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/12/so-what-will-you-do-mr-president/

    Paul Krugman is the Key Keynesian Counterfeiter

    http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/KWN_DailyWeb/Entries/2013/1/12_This_Is_The_Frightening_Reality_We_All_Face_Going_For

    What soon becomes apparent is that the richest 1000 families on Earth, and all the biggest corporations and individual banks, share strong, common interest to promote the natural bond that exists not just between themselves and the poorest, but also between all humans on Earth, if we are to accept what John Locke once said – that a (private) property exists in each person – because in that case the only difference between the top and the bottom is that the top include property external to their immediate persons…whereas the bottom only have their own selves to worry about. Each group, in other words, depends on the other for the failure to institutionalize a principled point of departure away from the (necessarily incoherent) idea of “public property” in the form of “nation-States” will setup a sub-optimal environment, to say the least, now that we have breached the chasm.

    A new order for Peace, accountability and prosperity is emerging from this chaos, but it hinges on holding the Lunatic Lady alleging to represent the citizens of Argentina to account vis-à-vis Elliot & Co., and the all powerful “E1” plot of Land in the Middle East, which the global media is beginning to now seriously focus on.

    Hernando De Soto is explaining the way forward in a condensed form:

    Why? You can have all the gold, all the stocks, and all the farmland in the world, literally, but if masses of people are not respecting the principle of private property the value of your holdings is immediately devalued in very real terms. This much should be obvious to even the most casual observer! We require the Rule Of Law for Long Term Stability to Produce More Wealth To Escape This Shocking Abyss.

    Lynn Forester de Rothschild was not wrong when she recently wrote “only business itself can restore faith in capitalism”, so I have addressed this email to you, sirs, because it seems you’re a particularly nimble and highly intelligent group of global financiers.

    Can I sign you onto some debt without your consent? No, of course not, that would be anarchy! This link quickly explains in detail: http://economics.org.au/2011/08/government-is-in-a-state-of-anarchy/ The idea of “public property” dressed up as a “nation-State” is manifestly absurd, as the Harvard Business Review recently realized: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/11/the_economically_out_of_date_n.html.

    Before I do, actually, herein is the basic outline for the terms going forward:

    This Man:
    Hans-Hermann Hoppe needs to be contacted for high level discussions re insurance:
    A detailed idea of what is to roughly expect is here:

    http://mises.org/journals/jls/14_1/14_1_2.pdf

    PLEASE REALISE IT HAS NOW BECOME MORE PROFITABLE TO PRODUCE PEACE OPPOSED TO CONFLICT:

    NICOLA TESLA WHO ENABLED ELECTRICITY FOR THE MASSES, LIFTING UNTOLD MILLIONS OUT OF POVERTY THANKS TO HIS INIMITABLE GENIOUS SAID IN HIS ESSAY, APPROPRIATELY TITLED:

    THE TRANSMISSION OF ELECTRICAL ENERGY WITHOUT WIRES AS A MEANS FOR FURTHERING PEACE

    Thus a state of human life vaguely defined by the term “Universal Peace,” while a result of cumulative effort through centuries past, might come into existence quickly, not unlike a crystal suddenly forms in a solution which has been slowly prepared.

    http://www.tfcbooks.com/tesla/1905-01-07.htm

    WHOEVER PLACES THE HIGHEST BID GETS TO OWN E1. WHOEVER IS IN IT AT THE TIME IS LARGELY IRRELEVANT. THAT CAN BE ARRANGED WITH PAY OFFS LATER ON. WITH GLOBAL MEDIA FOCUSING INTENSE ATTENTION ON THIS SINGLE PLOT WE CAN INDUCE SERIOUS ACCOUNTABILITY FOR AGGRESSION. IF SOMEONE, ANYONE, ATTACKS THE PROPERTY (PERSONS OR ‘PROPERTY PROPER’) WITHIN E1 – WITH SUFFICIENT GLOBAL SCRUTINY CARE OF INTELLIGENT PEOPLE AND THE GLOBAL MEDIA THE RELEVANT INDIVIDUALS CAN BE HELD TO ACCOUNT.

    E1 IS THE SWITCH INTO GLOBAL PEACE TO START COLONISING THE UNIVERSE, in other words.

    BILL HICKS WAS RIGHT.

    I CANNOT EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH:

    THE RICHER YOU ARE, THE MORE YOU HAVE TO PROTECT, THE MORE FIERCELY YOU AND YOUR PARTNERS SHOULD FOCUS WITH INTENSE DISCIPLINE ON THIS ISSUE.

    WE ARE PASSING THROUGH A ‘PHASE TRANSITION’ – THE ECONOMIC EQUIVALENT OF GOING THROUGH THE SOUND BARRIER. PLEASE UNDERSTAND THERE IS METHOD TO MY LOGIC. THIS IS RESULT OF 8 YEARS WORK.

    STUDY THIS ARTICLE

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/13/magazine/shimon-peres-on-obama-iran-and-the-path-to-peace.html

    BOTH PRESIDENTS REQUIRE ALL KNOWLEDGE RE: THE GLOBAL MEMORANDUM

    Simplicity is Divine, The Path All Too Clear

    Niccolò Machiavelli wrote: “With a people equally controlled by Law, as those Kings were, we shall find in that multitude the same good qualities as in those Kings, and we shall see that such people neither obey with servility, nor command with insolence”.

    America is slowly emerging from the unexpected horrors of the first decade of the millennium that brought us, in short order, a devastating assault upon our shores by vicious enemies who held our civilized values in contempt followed by an abrupt collapse in our material fortunes that brought us to the brink of penury. We found ourselves fighting two foreign wars simultaneously and reliving our great-grandparents’ financial fears. We have endured a battering that combined elements of the Great Depression, World War II and Vietnam. Light can be glimpsed on the horizon, but few have yet regained the wide-eyed confidence with which we greeted the new century.

  20. @VerizonUltima regarding comment made by @William
    “I would suggest reading The Asylum ”

    I would suggest to VerizonUltima that he should VISIT ‘The Asylum.’
    Most of his ranting is incoherent and irrelevant. What on earth do sonic booms on Youtube have to do with the subject matter at hand?

  21. @VerizonUltima – Why did you change your name halfway through the comments to Cupod? It is a little odd that you would decide to completely change your screen name but not your demeanor. Anyone with just a few neurons firing can spot the similarity between comments made by VerizonUltima and Cupod. Why the change? Just curious, really.

    In total, there are 29 posts from you in a little over 24 hours? WTF, man?

  22. John: If i were a professional economist (whatever that is — credentialed?), I would not like to vote on such poorly defined (OK — silly) propositions. But since I am not, I’ll sound off.

    1. As a generality, I agree that it’s “hard”.

    2. A “trick question”, as you partially expose. Whatever the true unemployment rate (not the government’s), the survey’s generalized, past-tense proposition is meaningless, without specifying longevity, private vs. public, cost/benefit, etc. “Stimulus” was the result of political calculus, not economic; any reluctance in Washington was extinguished with pork and crony capitalism.

    3. Again, what length of time? Short term prices are affected by speculation (not even the feeble possible action) on tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve or by a few days of weather shut in. But US politicians profit politically by false finger-pointing, especially at Exxon-Mobil whose merger aggregates “obscene” profits. Has there been published an honest study on this?

    4. What emissions? California has controlled REAL automobile emissions (sulfur and nitrogen compounds), and similar truly damaging smokestack discharge has been reduced. There is NO carbon (CO2) problem — it is all political and private fraud. Does the study serve a useful purpose by demonstrating that economists are woefully scientifically ignorant and politically gullible?

    5. Same nonsense as #2.

    6. This proposition, along with #3, is an appropriate question for economists. But one has to be skeptical about one answer for such a huge generality.

    So, in the unlikley case that I were surveyed and that I would choose to answer at all:

    1. Agree. 2. A distraction. 3. Agree. 4. Nonsense. 5. Disagree. 6. Agree.

  23. Menotyou:

    We all have different sides, so updating names to reflect my moods seems like an okay idea? Why so many comments? Markets move quickly

  24. I have never understood the term “civil war”. What war is civil? All wars are barbaric. To say a war could be civil is to say something like fighting for peace is not like screwing for virginity. Surely we are smart enough to realise this much?

    For more details, see the attached PDF (think Switzerland)

    One scholar has claimed the build-up to the Norwegians winning over their sovereignty for themselves “possessed [the] attributes of a battle for freedom and liberty as clear as those involved in the American Civil War”. Does this make Locke the missing link? Either way, in contrast to the American Civil War, the Norwegian case is particularly exceptional precisely because it relied exclusively on communication without any force whatsoever in order to achieve the type of self determination which Woodrow Wilson was perhaps thinking about whilst discussing such matters with his subordinates in Paris following the end of the world’s first major war.

    PEACE NOT WAR – see the pdf.

    http://pdfcast.org/pdf/peace-not-war

  25. a “geographically contiguous state” is an alien idea, a fiction, no matter what you call said state, seeing as any and all states can only ever be one person or a group, who by definition move around

  26. “Wikileaks has inspired America to just cut the diplomatic cables situation and just go full on front page headline” -SH In other words, the entire Commonwealth has undergone a Leveraged Buyout to privatise the system through a structured system of private law.

  27. I distrust academic and professional economists because they act like a ‘priesthood’ justifying the status quo and in back actions of their pay masters the banker financiers. And the politicians are linked to these as well.

    They have terms like Natural Rate of Unemployment etc. which serve to hide the actions of the central planners. Too many people are control freaks wanting to meddle in the lives of millions of others because they have a ‘vision; or idea that somehow they can make things better. If only they knew that they have neither vision, ability or the power.

    • I totally agree. Men like self importance. Especially Politicians. That is why they enter Politics.
      *Free community organisation dinners. Now that is corruption!

      *Young Journalists asking questions (Potentially buttering them up before hand!)

      * Seeing their name in the paper.

      They need Advisers to guide them and reassure them. Economists help them assure the unemployed (or nearly unemployed) voters that things will be better.

      THE ECONOMIC PRIESTS SAY THE ECONOMIC GODS WILL BE FAVOURABLE!

  28. Ok, so, basically, I this is what’s going to happen:

    Imagine a man (US economy) who’s jumped out of a plane, and is now speeding towards the Earth. When Gold is let loose it’s like the sudden halt of a parachute, causing Stocks to plummet, but not in dollar terms ;-) So at around $15,000 for Gold people will buy the dip for stock in agriculture, helping to generate a fairly remarkable return to mother nature, if you will.

    The NYTs is running huge articles about Yoga for God’s sake. This organic-hipster trend is about to go parabolical.

  29. the market IS more powerful than any individual or particular group- it was aristotle who said the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, this basic point has been magnified by the information revolution that in turn has produced a slightly wacky uptick in commerce

    • “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” is TOTAL bullshit. Here’s why.

      #1. For those mathematics aficianados in the crowd, this is impossible :).

      #2 Even taken in the spirit which it is written, the suggestion that the group is greater [better, in any sense] than the individual is fallacious. If you are speaking of productivity of labor in absolute terms, then, of course, you can turn people into a human assembly-line and crank out commodities, but in terms of creativity [a wholly human trait that only the individual can manifest], the submission of the individual to the group takes this creativity and morphs it into a plasmoid substance that when folded into others renders ideas that basically SUCK, completely void of any creative substance other than conforming to the goal of the group which it to maximize ROI [at the present time].

      For example, you can go to McDouglies and get a cheap hamburger, but it is the same horrendous hamburger everywhere. If you wish to get a truly great hamburger, then you must find an individual that makes truly great hamburgers. This principal applies to everything else.

      People have been told [particularly] over the past century that the group, the institution, the government, etc., is better than the individual, and they have been told this because the people who control these various groups make fortunes off of spewing this non-sense. They use the power of the group for self-enrichment, an eternal scam.

      The group destroys individual creativity, instead, producing moronic humanoids that look like human beings, but think like cows.

  30. According to mathematics, yes it is not possible. But mathematics is just one language of an infinite amount used to make sense of the inter-actions of nature for the sake of a certain type of human productivity

  31. Obsessed by Megalomania

    http://mises.org/daily/6332/Obsessed-by-Megalomania

    The Western “welfare state model,” “socialism light,” will collapse just like “classical” socialism—of course, I can’t say whether in five, ten or 15 years. The key words are: state bankruptcy, hyperinflation, currency reform and violent distribution battles. Then it will either come to a call for a “strong man” or—hopefully—a massive secession movement.

  32. as far as i understand it, the only way for free societies to emerge is to stop asking government employees to help and/or be punished for whatever they have done that may or may not be illegal, or against the spirit of the Law, and instead focus on solutions without government assistance, so that the demand for force-based governance becomes less due to a relative increase in the potential alternatives.

    Like, I would say that, over a long enough time horizon, markets tend to naturally gravitate towards the authentic, or at least what seems to be authentic and trustworthy and reliable

    • It’s like mowing your front lawn, then waiting for local government to cut their patch along the road in front. Just cut it all! It is a reflection on you as a property owner.

      People have become too reliant on Local Government when they can fix it themselves. Local Government grows and asks for more property taxes because it has to provide the “Services”.

      This is the same on the Federal and State Level. People expect too many “Services” These days. Services cost!

  33. Bifurcating the world into some theoretical split between developed and developing is irrational, to say the least, if you are willing to accept that in all times during human history things have been developing: time does not stop for anybody, after all!

  34. If this (“Arab Spring” takeovers) is true — and I think it is, at least partially — we will see a test of reversibility of top-down government. Lenin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, Chavez, et al were quite good at the first task of despots — secure their absolute power. Obama is making progress!

    • Everything is cyclical, so the pendulum will indeed swing back.

      Characters like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and the like, are responses to a system way out of whack. You take too much from the peeps and massive bad energy is going to manifest itself in some form or another.

      That’s why, generally speaking, great wars follow great financial crisis/depressions.

  35. World Peace Plan

    Sell E1 to the highest bidder – I guess a joint-stock company split between Obama, Peres and two Arabs – (not familiar with possible names because I don’t really ‘study’ this issue) – and then have said individuals or their relevant authorities go to the site and declare at a press conference with all the world’s media there a “Charter City For Peace”; they can say: ‘we are charting the way forward for Peace!’ – then, obvsiouly, the leaders can allow whoever THEY choose to let into said E1 area, and with such a huge amount of media attention focused on the 1 spot, anybody who dares attacks the new charter city for peace and be directly held personally accountable. Slowly, then, this would ripply out to dampen down instability and help to inspire better global governance. This way, the leaders can really ‘take ownership’ over the issue and mediate between the various competing factions in a more orderly manner less likely to spark off any unintended consequences.

    Coming Soon: A Privately Run City To Create Development In The Developing World

    http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680512/honduras-is-creating-privately-run-cities-to-combat-government-corruption-and-weakness

    http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680402/how-do-you-make-a-city-from-nothing

    http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680426/are-charter-cities-the-cities-of-the-future

    http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680401/can-importing-well-run-cities-into-poorly-run-countries-lift-the-world-from-poverty

    http://www.fastcoexist.com/1678720/former-seasteaders-come-ashore-to-start-libertarian-utopias-in-honduran-jungle

    http://www.fastcoexist.com/1678375/ibm-partners-with-portland-to-play-simcity-for-real

  36. As wrong as economists have been, they certainly do know better than the common public. Most of the common public can’t even think about money in terms of purchasing power parity, nevermind them trying to understand stock prices or something of the sort.

    Also, I’d like to make a comment on “Buy American”. This will definitely foster unsustainable industries that should go bust. In the long haul, this kind of policy would make this country much poorer. I’m just highly skeptical of top down efforts to direct an economy in this manner. I think it usually ends in disaster because you have politicians doing favors for their buddies.

  37. “As wrong as economists have been, they certainly do know better than the common public.”

    The “common public” understands the truth [economics is the relationship between one producer and one consumer].

    What they do not understand is all the bullshit, that is, the unlimited number of ways there are be be stolen from, aka, institutional economics.

    • How does the common public understand the truth? They elect idiots into office that do 90% of the stupid shit. Then, when shit hits the fan, they reelect them. Just take a look at the retards running government. They were all guys that had power before.

      Look, true democracy is more dangerous than a true dictatorship. The common public is filled with idiots that don’t know anything. They put the guys in charge that steal from them, aka dumbasses.

      • Suvy, when you opined that “true democracy is more dangerous than a true dictatorship”, did you consider that dictatorships are a helluva lot harder to get rid of? Dictatorship* is aggregated POWER — Might makes Right in economic governance as well as ethics.

        * Monarchy, empire, theocracy, Communism, Nazism, etc. [Reminder — Communism is socialism with stormtroopers, secret police and gulags].

        • You do realize the dangers of groupthink and herd behavior right? We don’t have a true democracy in the world today. The Founding Fathers of the United States also believed the exact same thing when it comes to pure democracy. That’s why when the US Constitution was written, the Senators were selected by state legislatures and why the Supreme Court members are appointed, not elected.

          There was a time when most people in the South believed it was okay to kill people of a different race for no reason. There was a time when the herd behavior that existed caused a Civil War in the United States over slavery where half the country thought that it was okay. The idiocy of groupthink and herd behavior causes them to target and attack minorities. This herd behavior among men has prevented equal rights for women, prevented voting rights for women, prevented equal rights for men of different color, and it’s the same reason why gays aren’t able to have the same rights today.

          Now, I do agree that republican governments allow people to remove bad leadership and that is the primary advantage of such a system. However, the dangers come when herd behavior and groupthink take over. The Founding Fathers of the United States felt the same way; I tend to agree.

  38. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you, However I
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