Catatonia - Road Rage
Another gorgeous Welsh bird with a great pair of lungs.
"I am by birth a free Commoner of England, and am thereby intailed or intituled unto an equall priviledge with your selfe, or the greatest men in England, unto the freedome and liberty of the Lawes of England." William Thompson, 14. of December, 1647
France entered the war with bad government finance. She had a national debt of 30 billion gold francs as against an estimated national wealth of 300 billion gold francs at the beginning of the war. France had had chronic deficits for many years before the war. There was governmental extravagance, and there was a great reluctance on the part of the people to submit to direct taxes. They did tolerate very heavy indirect taxes. When Caillaux undertook early in 1914 to introduce an income tax of 2 percent in the effort to balance the French budget, the outcry in France was so extreme that one would have supposed that the end of the world had come. During the war France did relatively little with taxation, and the public debt ran up from 30 billion to 147 billion francs before the war was over.From chapter 14 - France 1918-24
Then France began to have some real deficits. Adherents of the school of Keynes and Hansen would do well to study the history of French finance from 1918 to 1926. The one difference between the policies followed in France in this period and the polices advocated by the New Deal spenders for the United States is to be found in the fact that the French were ashamed of it and tried to conceal it and to find excusees for it, whereas the New Deal spenders would glorify it and call it "investment".
I asked the youngsters in what was predominantly a young crowd how many of them had held different views before encountering Ron Paul, and then after learning about him began to look at the world altogether differently. Huge cheer.
Then I asked, “Now how many people do you think have ever said, ‘My life was changed forever when I first discovered the philosophy of Mitt Romney’?”
1. Compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or an unwanted feeling or emotion, often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety.2. A compulsive, often unreasonable idea or emotion.
There are certain unsettled questions in economic theory that have been handed down as a sort of legacy from one generation to another. The discussion of these questions is revived twenty or it may be a hundred times in the course of a decade, and each time the disputants exhaust their intellectual resources in the endeavor to impress their views upon their contemporaries. Not infrequently the discussion is carried far beyond the limits of weariness and satiety, so that it may well be regarded as an offence against good taste to again recur to so well-worn a theme. And yet these questions return again and again, like troubled spirits doomed restlessly to wander until the hour of their deliverance shall appear. It may be that since the last discussion of the question we have made some real or fancied discoveries in the science, and some may think that these throw new light upon the old question. Instantly the old strife breaks forth anew, with the same liveliness as if it possessed the charm of entire novelty, and so it continues year after year, and will continue, until the troubled spirit is at last set free. In this class we find the question -- What is the "ultimate standard of value"?... then you may have reason to suggest that the Good Doctor is obsessed. As this is certainly not the case, and that, going by the thousands of Ron Paul clips on the internet, he is quite capable of confining his discussion of Austrian Economics to occasions when it is indeed relevant, we can safely surmise that the writer's use of the word 'obsessed' is rhetorical sleight-of-hand.
"Unfortunately, many — even on the left — will concede that property rights exist, and that the institution of property makes sense... I think this is the wrong move: the issue of property should be attacked head on for the incoherent mess that it is... You cannot justify ownership based on free exchange because ownership necessarily does not originate from free exchange: at some initial point, someone had to just grab some piece of land without exchanging with anybody. This is logically unavoidable."What Bruenig is pointing out here is hardly revelatory. He seems to think that he's spotted a flaw, but in reality he is merely working his way back to the starting point of Locke's principle of ownership. He is correct that it is logically unavoidable, which may explain why neither Locke nor any other thinker of note avoided it.
"Now, there are all sorts of efforts to explain how that initial appropriation can occur. Philosophers like John Locke, Murray Rothbard, and Robert Nozick give famous accounts, and there is significant amounts of literature explaining just how spectacularly they all fail."So Bruenig drops the names of Locke, Rothbard and Nozick, but where I might find the 'significant amounts of literature' which disprove such thinkers remains a mystery. I shall charitably presume for the moment that Bruenig has sated himself on such wisdom. Perhaps he will provide the knowledge for his readers?
"But the easiest way to understand how original appropriation cannot be justified within a conservative/libertarian framework is by focusing on the idea of opportunity loss. When an individual declares perpetual ownership of some piece of unowned land, every other human being on earth suffers an opportunity loss: their opportunity to use that land has now disappeared. Opportunity losses are real economic harms.
To be concrete about this, consider an example. The piece of land down by the river is owned by no one; so everyone can use it. Sarah declares — on whatever property theory she prefers — that the piece of land by the river now belongs to her exclusively. But, wait a minute. The previous ability of others to use the land by the river has now vanished! They have been hit with opportunity losses. If one of the dispossessed were to say “this is silly, I do not consent to giving up my pre-existing opportunity to use the land down by the river,” Sarah uses violence (typically state violence) to keep the dispossessed out.Unless unanimous consent exists, the original grabbing up of property results in violent, non-consensual theft from others. It is really just that simple. What follows from that conclusion is that the conservative/libertarian positions that depend on the sanctity of property rights are totally bogus."
"When an individual declares perpetual ownership of some piece of unowned land, every other human being on earth suffers an opportunity loss: their opportunity to use that land has now disappeared. Opportunity losses are real economic harms. "On the face of it, this is a ridiculous statement, which declares that it is wrong for anyone to do anything, because this will harm everyone else. Bruenig is talking about land, but the same principle could be applied to any other property. If I eat an apple, in doing so I deprive everyone else of eating that apple. If we accept this notion, let us not forget that I at least have benefited from eating the apple. Therefore, let Bruenig's cosmic ledger record on one side the benefit I received balanced against the sum of loss to the rest of mankind thus deprived, and suppose that these sums are equal.
"To be concrete about this, consider an example. The piece of land down by the river is owned by no one; so everyone can use it. Sarah declares — on whatever property theory she prefers — that the piece of land by the river now belongs to her exclusively. But, wait a minute. The previous ability of others to use the land by the river has now vanished! "Here we find how Bruenig has completely misunderstood the Lockean principle. His example does not address the principle at all. He states: "The piece of land down by the river is owned by no one; so everyone can use it." However the Lockean principle deals with land which neither owned nor used by anyone. Indeed it is the use of the land which confers ownership. If the land is already in use, say as common land, then its ownership has been thus established.
"If one of the dispossessed were to say “this is silly, I do not consent to giving up my pre-existing opportunity to use the land down by the river,” Sarah uses violence (typically state violence) to keep the dispossessed out."If he is now describing someone who was a prior actual user, this is a fine example of self-refutation. He uses the term 'dispossessed' - dispossessed of what? A prior property right! In other words, the dispossessed person needs to assert the very principle Bruenig wishes to deny. If however Bruenig is describing not a prior actual user, but merely a potential user now excluded, we are back to the starvation scenario above. Therefore, if only on pragmatic grounds, property rights must be defended if we are to avoid extinction.
The State of Sequoyah was a proposed state to be established in the eastern part of present-day Oklahoma. In 1905, faced by proposals to end their tribal governments, Native Americans of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory proposed such a state as a means to retain some control of their land. Their intention was to have a state under Native American constitution and rule. The proposed state was named in honor of Sequoyah, the Cherokee who created a writing system in 1825 for the Cherokee language.So much history, so little time. From the blurb at LRC:
Lew Rockwell talks to Charles Burris about political revisionism (and a little Kennedy assassination revisionism, too).
Charles A. Burris: Archives
The CIA and The Media Article by Carl Bernstein