"Taxes, regulations, and wars are not for the benefit of the electorate, but simply to pay off one special interest group or another." ~Bill Bonner


    Curmudgeon's Archive. 

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  Twittering to Death
   Posterity's Debt To Me
    Bailout Blues
    The Party Fades
    Commitment to Posterity
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   What Fools, We Mortals

   Unvarnished Truth
   End-of-everything Blues
   My Immigrant Relative
   The Eloquent Pogo
   Hucksterism Gone Wild
   Unmanageable Religion

Columbia  Weather



























June 29, 2016

    One of our favorite scribes is Bill Bonner.  Here's his take on BREXIT:

"After a majority of Britons voted to end their 43-year membership of the EU in a referendum, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan issued statements stressing the availability of liquidity to keep the banking system running.

           "But there’s a problem…

             "The Deep State can control Congress. It can control the state bureaucracy… Wall Street… and Big Business. It can even – usually – control the voters.

              "But it can’t control the credit cycle."   Viva la Revolution.

   Former Fed'l Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan has been somewhat in the media spotlight the last several days, having reached the age when he can and will say anything he chooses about events.  In a fascinating review by Zero Hedge he endorses the reintroduction of honest money (a gold standard) and says he thinks we're in a stagnant spot in the economy which will lead to a sharp increae of the money supply resulting in....inflation. He admits to being a "gold bug" and being laughed at, but we can attest from long years of experience one can get used to the chuckles and snide remarks from the experts who have their faith placed solidly in fiat currency.

  Following the article are remarks from the public. They are anonymous and therefore a waste of time. But they reflect the hatred of bankers by many Americans, and the love of anonymous writers to use coarse language. ZERO HEDGE

 Another point he raised, which is entirely verboten everywhere, is the enormously expensive welfare burden on the economy.  It's deadly for a politician to even mention that the cost of welfare is a problem.  By "welfare" we mean the myriad programs called "entitlements," including Social Security and Medicare.  Imagine what would happen to any public figure who dared suggest that these programs are unsustainable for the long run and must be trimmed to affordability.

Affirmative Action Affirmed

     "Supreme Court decisions in affirmative action cases are the longest running fraud since the 1896 decision upholding racial segregation laws in the Jim Crow South, on grounds that 'separate but equal' facilities were consistent with the Constitution. Everybody knew that those facilities were separate but by no means equal. Nevertheless, this charade lasted until 1954."  THE FRAUD GOES ON < Professor Thomas Sowell may be getting long in the tooth (he's an octogenarian) but his mind is as sharp as ever.  Moreover, he write3s with a clarity that's quite rare in an era when Internet blogging is open to almost anyone with a computer and a server account.  

    (Reporter to passerby)  "Ma'am, a survey question:  Are you concerned about the financial burdens society is placing on posterity?" 

         (Passerby)   "Heavens, no!  Posterity has never done a damned thing for ME!"  

         (To 2nd passerby)  "Sir, what about the financial burdens society places  on posterity?"

         (Man)      "Nobody should put a burden on prosperity, especially government. Government should guarantee our prosperity."

         (Reporter)  "No, we're talking about POSTERITY."

         (Man)  "Oh.   Umm....what's a posterity?



  "Policies matter. When a country experiences hyperinflation, the cause is not a mystery. It is government policy. When there are no groceries on the shelves, the cause is obvious: it is price controls. When a once-rich country descends into abject poverty, the cause is not bad luck.  it is socialism. Socialism is, always and everywhere, an economic and human rights disaster. The fact that most members of the Democratic Party do not understand this means that the United States could be in for hard times."  Clueless in Venezuela.  < This article describes an interview by left-leaning National Public Radio with a Venesuelan based left-leaning New York Times reporter.  The interview apparently avoided any direct blame of socialism for the economic distress in Venezuela.  

        The popular attraction of socialism is understandable, until one begins to hunt for any examples in history where it succeeded for long.  

Establishing a standard for the dollar. 
An argument favoring a pre-election debate about  sound money.  

by John Wrisley

   What a mess civilization would be in if there were no universal standards of measurement. Could there be civilization in the first place? 

   We take for granted that 16 ounces constitute a pound and that 8 furlongs (5,280 feet) equal one mile. No one questions there are 2 pints in a quart or 60 minutes in an hour. Weight, distance, time - there are precise standards for measuring almost everything. Except money.

   Strangely enough, people are willing to measure their economic transactions with something that is based on no fixed standard at all! The U.S. dollar.

   The U.S. dollar once had a precise physical dimension. It was a coin containing 371.25 grains of pure silver. It was also defined as 22.32 grains of gold. U.S. dollars now exist chiefly as digits in countless computers and also as paper notes circulating in denominations from $1.00 to $100.00. By definition the notes are IOUs, although they are generally accepted in payment because the government has declared them legal tender and is also willing to accept them as tax payments. (Some merchants refuse higher denominations of notes such as $50.00 and $100.00. They are entirely within their rights.) 

    Circulating coins, the smallest fraction of the money supply, are not IOUs. However, with the exception of the five-cent and one-cent piece they don't contain metal that is valued anywhere near their face value. When the dollar was a silver coin the half-dollar, quarter-dollar, and dime contained silver proportionate to their stated face value. That is, a dime contained 1/10th the amount of pure silver as the dollar. The cent and nickel were minted for change-making in small transactions and contained no silver. Hence, their dimensions had nothing to do with those of the dime, quarter-dollar, half-dollar, and dollar. Also, they did not have milled edges as silver coins did to discourage scraping metal from the edges.  (An ancient practice called "clipping".) 

   Gold and silver coins emerged as useful money because they were perceived as valuable and durable. They became widely accepted as media for exchanges in the marketplace.  The intrinsic value of money was about the same value as the items exchanged. A bushel of corn, for example, might be worth 30 grains of silver which, in turn, might trade for a pair of leather sandals. The actual exchange was corn for sandals, but a small silver coin containing 30 grains of silver became the conventional medium to expedite that exchange. 

   The coin was also a store of value. The exchange of goods or services didn't have to occur on the spot.  Goods could be traded for money and the money, a carrier of actual value, could be exchanged for goods or services of like value at a later time. 

   Money was a standard of measure. The silver content was guaranteed by a trusted authority whose mint struck coins of equal quality and precise content. 

   That was it in a nutshell; To be an efficient measuring device money had to 1/ be widely accepted as a medium of exchange, 2/ store value over time, and 3/ be a reliable standard of measure.  Modern currency has lost all but the first attribute.

   The above is not just an opinion by a crackpot curmudgeon.  Arguments supporting sound money have been circulating for centuries.  The famous scientist/economist Copernicus wrote: "Coinage is imprinted gold or silver, by which the prices of things bought and sold are reckoned. . . It is therefore a measure of values.   A measure, however, must always preserve a fixed and constant standard.  Otherwise, public order is necessarily disturbed with buyers and sellers being cheated in many ways - just as if the yard, bushel, or pound did not maintain magnitude.  (1517)  

    Among other observations, Copernicus also came up with the Quantity Theory of Money and an early version of what became Gresham's Law.  He also noted that the earth was not the center of the universe and our planet revolved around the sun.  

    Copernicus was born in the old Kingdom of Poland.  We can dispense with the jokes about "dumb Polacks."