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View Full Version : Wow. Dr. Michael Hudson airs it all out on Guns and Butter 4/26/10



c1ue
05-04-10, 04:08 PM
http://noliesradio.org/archives/12354

(iFrame attempts all failed miserably)

Some excerpt quotes:

"He's [Bernanke] what you call a 'useful idiot'. He misinterprets the Depression in the way that neo-classical and monetarist economists normally re-interpret it."

"If only prices for real estate would have been higher. If only all these people out of work would have had to pay 5 times as much for their housing as they did, if only wages would have been much lower than they actually were, and if only - well if only a few million people would have died much quicker - if people would have been paid cheaper, we would have gotten out of the Depression much quicker. That's Garbage, that's Crazy."

"That is what led the labor unions and most Democrats to have utter contempt for President Obama. No Republican could have gotten by with appointing such a right wing extremist such as Mr. Bernanke to the Fed. It takes a someone with friendly face and a Democrat to pursue a right wing policy that the Republicans could not have gotten away with. That essentially is what Obama and Bernanke is doing. The Obama plan is to lower wages by at least 25% in the United States and to put the class war back in business."

"Its as if he [Bernanke] were the marketing department of a commercial bank, not interested in the economy as a whole, or what I just said was Economy 101. Not increasing production. Not increasing wages. Just increasing bank profits."

"He's [Obama] now building up now military bases now in South America for a war in South America, and this is driving South America into a bloc with Asia in response"

"If there's only so much wealth to go around, the banks have to wipe out the savings of most people in order for them to get what's left over. That's basically the Obama economic plan.

Is this what happened in the 30s? {Faulkner}

Yes, this is how it works"

Finster
05-04-10, 04:14 PM
... a right wing extremist such as Mr. Bernanke ...

That's all I need to hear to conclude the writer is clueless.

don
05-04-10, 04:18 PM
Try this one: http://noliesradio.org/archives/12354

c1ue
05-04-10, 04:24 PM
That's all I need to hear to conclude the writer is clueless.

That may be, but I urge you to listen to the entirety of the interview.

Rajiv
05-04-10, 04:48 PM
I believe that this was originally aired on February 10 2010 - Guns and Butter - The New Junk Economics: From Democracy to Neoliberal Oligarchy (http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/58530)

It was recorded on Monday, February 3, 2010

<div style="margin-top:15px;background:#FFF url('http://kpfa.org/images/players/pbgr.gif') top left no-repeat;width:400px;height:100px;"><div style="padding-left:80px;padding-top:15px;font-size:10pt;"><b>Guns and Butter - The New Junk Economics: From Democracy to Neoliberal Oligarchy - February 10, 2010 at 1:00pm</b><br /><embed src="http://kpfaweb.kpfa.org/misc/utilities/players/1pixelout/player.swf" height="24" width="300" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" flashvars="bg=0xf8f8f8&leftbg=0x009dc8&lefticon=0xabffe6&rightbg=0x57862d&rightbghover=0x999999&righticon=0xd2ffab&righticonhover=0xd2ffab&text=0x009dc8&slider=0x666666&track=0xFFFFFF& border=0x666666&loader=0x7cc041&loop=no&autostart=no&soundFile=http://aud1.kpfa.org/data/20100210-Wed1300.mp3" scale="showall" name="index" /><br />Click to listen (or <a href="http://aud1.kpfa.org/data/20100210-Wed1300.mp3">download</a>)</div></div>

I am embedding above from the KPFA archives

jtabeb
05-04-10, 04:50 PM
Hudson? Clueless? That's a new one.

Hell, I wouldn't even have to take you to task on that one. I could just let EJ or FRED do it for once.

Finster, you see NO SIMILARITIES between Obama in the US and Carlos Menem in Argentina? I sure as hell do.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Menem

radon
05-04-10, 05:37 PM
Hudson? Clueless? That's a new one.


I'm with finster on this one.

Anyone who pegs Bernanke as an idiot is one themselves. Bernanke is well educated and extremely intelligent; furthermore he is doing an extraordinary job for his employers under less than ideal circumstances.

PS - He doesn't work for you.

jtabeb
05-04-10, 06:08 PM
"Useful idiot" and idiot are two very different things. "I didn't know, I didn't understand, I wasn't aware". These are terms a "useful idiot" employs while working his craft. He obtains his desired objective(s) and is then able to subsequently deflect real objective criticism of the odious results with self-professed ingnorance when the truth comes out. (While knowing full-well the true eventual outcome of their policy decisions from the get-go).

A "useful idiot" may in fact be very intelligent (in fact it would quite helpful if he/she were). That way, their "fall from grace" due to their self-professed ignorance when things fall apart is all the more dramatic.

Fall Guy = "Useful Idiot"

Greenspan, anyone? (Bernanke will get his chance to shine in the collapse later, Greenie get's front stage during the initial stages.)

chr5648
05-04-10, 06:10 PM
I'm with finster on this one.

Anyone who pegs Bernanke as an idiot is one themselves. Bernanke is well educated and extremely intelligent; furthermore he is doing an extraordinary job for his employers under less than ideal circumstances.

PS - He doesn't work for you.

Exactly, the man is ideologically blind.

He said Obama and Bernanke are 'misrepresenting the situation', haha, he's trying to defend him. I would say they know what they are doing, they know exactly what they are doing. What Obama and Bernanke are doing is not an accident, it is by design.

You can replace Obama and Bernanke with any politician from the left or right, they are all on the same team. The same crap would be happening with Bush and Greenspan in those places. Its a big club and the itulip forum ain't invited.

Finster
05-04-10, 06:56 PM
That may be, but I urge you to listen to the entirety of the interview.

No thanks. Far as I'm concerned he's destroyed his credibility with that one idiotic remark. Bernanke isn't even to the right, let alone extremist. True conservatives aren't Keynesians. Keynesian economics is incompatiable with the idea of limited government - the whole body of thought is predicated on government "management" of the economy. Bernanke is a Keynesian and therefore is on the left. Even most people on the left would at least consider him a moderate. For crying out loud, even Obama even reappointed him. Anybody that thinks he's a "right wing extremist" is just plain nuts and isn't worth listening to.

Munger
05-04-10, 07:10 PM
Remarkably shallow analysis. The whole of Bernanke's academic career has been as a monetarist, as have been his policies at the Federal reserve.

"Bernanke is a Keynesian and therefore is on the left" is jaw-droppingly inane is so many ways.

Rajiv
05-04-10, 07:14 PM
Bernanke is a Keynesian and therefore is on the left.


Finster,

I beg very much to differ with you -- see the following

1) Bernanke is no Keynesian (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1508720/posts) A speech by Gov Bernanke at FRB Dallas conference in 2003

Net upshot of it is put by the poster as


Those who try to paint Bernanke as a Keynesian need to do their homework. He is quite clearly much more of a monetarist, in the Friedman mold, than a Keynesian. Those who have studied economics know that today's 'New Keynesians' are far removed from that which was proffered by John Maynard Keynes. 'New Keynesians' have adopted much of Friedman's monetarist theory, but not enough.

If you took the time to read Bernanke's speech, I think it puts to rest the Keynesian charge. So, while Bernanke is not a supply sider, like Hubbard, he is more in the mold of Friedman than he is Keynes. Also from a comment further down


Ben Bernanke really made his bones writing economic history, especially about the Great Depression, extending the seminal work done by Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz.

Did you ever read Friedman and Schwartz's "Monetary History of the United States"? Bernanke mentions their findings in the story above.

They lay the lion's share of the blame for the Great Depression on monetary bungles by the Federal Reserve.

Bernanke's work builds on this.

Thus, it was no suprise to me that Bernanke was brought on board at the Fed after 9/11, when the Fed inflated the money supply to counteract the market crash, and then started backing the extra money back out of the system.

Most people didn't even notice, it was that smooth.

2)Friedman Economics (http://reason.com/archives/2009/09/01/friedman-economics/singlepage) - Is Fed chairman Ben Bernanke a follower of John Maynard Keynes or Milton Friedman?


Ben Bernanke just had a fine month. For allegedly saving the world from a second Great Depression, President Barack Obama awarded the Federal Reserve chairman a second four-year term. "As an expert on the causes of the Great Depression, I'm sure Ben never imagined that he would be part of a team responsible for preventing another," the president said (http://money.cnn.com/2009/08/25/news/economy/Bernanke_Second_Term/index.htm). "But because of his background, his temperament, his courage and his creativity—that's exactly what he has helped to achieve."


"Mission Accomplished," the banner might have read.


Missing from Obama's speech was any mention of Bernanke's economic ideology. The New York Times and Bloomberg News have called him a strict Keynesian—a liberal fan of fiscal stimulus—and that label has stuck.


In reality, Bernanke is following the monetarist depression-prevention model hatched by Nobel laureate and libertarian patron saint Milton Friedman. Bernanke has repeatedly invoked the late libertarian economist in support of lowering interest rates to zero, bailing out banks, and pumping untold trillions of dollars into the financial system. The implicit goal of these policies is to ignite artificial inflation.


The story begins in 1963, when Friedman and co-author Anna Schwartz published The Monetary History of the United States. Their chapter on the Great Depression was spun off into a standalone book, The Great Contraction: 1929-1933, an epic revisionist history that changed America's understanding of the causes of the Depression. Friedman and Schwartz contended that the Federal Reserve—not capitalism or Wall Street—was to blame for the dismal '30s. "The fact of the matter is that it was the decision to tighten credit policy in 1928 that produced the Great Contraction," the 93-year-old Schwartz said by phone from her office at the National Bureau of Economic Research in New York City. Interest rate hikes had been undertaken in 1928 to curb what the Fed saw as rampant speculation on Wall Street—a conflagration of leveraging, margin buying, and outright Ponzi scheming fueled by cheap credit that was supplied in the first instance by the Federal Reserve. (Goldman Sachs' pyramid schemes of the era, when they collapsed, would generate losses of $475 billion in today's dollars.)


Friedman and Schwartz, however, denied that speculation had ever posed a problem, or that there had even been a credit bubble in the 1920s. In their narrative, a paranoiac Federal Reserve had needlessly constricted the money supply and thereby crashed an otherwise prosperous economy.


After the Great Crash of 1929, the Federal Reserve drastically cut interest rates; but, on occasion, the Fed was forced to abruptly raise them again in complicated maneuvers to stem outflows of gold into Europe. Friedman and Schwartz blamed these sporadic interest rate hikes for smothering several incipient recoveries, opening a vortex of deflation, and turning a recession into the Great Depression.


Friedman and Schwartz's overarching thesis was that the Depression would have never happened if the Federal Reserve had inflated the American economy. As Schwartz told me, "What the Fed had to do was increase the money supply. By taking that action, it would've revived the economy. That's the lesson of the Great Depression." In The Great Contraction, she and Friedman argued that the Fed had an infinite capacity to inflate. "The monetary authorities," they wrote, "could have prevented the decline in the stock of money—indeed, could have produced almost any desired increase in the money stock."


Which brings us back to the question of Ben Bernanke's economic ideology. When it comes to the Great Depression, Bernanke is a disciple of Friedman and Schwartz. In 2002, at Friedman's 90th birthday party at the University of Chicago, Bernanke was effusive. "Among economic scholars," he began (http://www.federalreserve.gov/BOARDDOCS/SPEECHES/2002/20021108/default.htm), "Friedman has no peers." He developed the "leading and most persuasive" explanation of the Depression, whose impact on economics and the popular mind "cannot be overstated."


At the conclusion of his encomium, Bernanke made a stunning and ominous apology on behalf of the Federal Reserve. "I would like to say to Milton and Anna...regarding the Great Depression. You're right, we did it. We're very sorry. But thanks to you, we won't do it again."
.
.
.
.
.
.
.


The rest of the above article strongly argues persuasively that Bernanke is a Friedmanite, and definitely not a Keynsian

Finster
05-04-10, 07:18 PM
Remarkably shallow analysis. The whole of Bernanke's academic career has been as a monetarist, as have been his policies at the Federal reserve.

"Bernanke is a Keynesian and therefore is on the left" is jaw-droppingly inane is so many ways.

So if Bernanke is a "right wing extremist", where would you put Obama - who just reappointed him to another term?

In any case, where did you learn about what right and left are? Did you get that part about "limited government"? The true right doesn't believe in economic central planning. It believes in free markets. That's a long way from Bernanke, who heads the world's most powerful agency of central planning.

Guess I have to add one more name to my not-worth-listening-to list.

D-Mack
05-04-10, 07:27 PM
I think it's not really that clear, one would need to ask him what he means by right-wing.

Maybe he is using the original meaning, although it would be easier to say something like finance oligarch?



The aristocracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristocracy) sat on the right of the Speaker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speaker) (traditionally the seat of honor) and the commoners (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commoners) sat on the Left, hence the terms Right-wing politics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-wing_politics) and Left-wing politics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-wing_politics). Originally, the defining point on the ideological spectrum was the ancien régime (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancien_r%C3%A9gime) ("old order"). "The Right" thus implied support for aristocratic or royal interests, and the church, while "The Left" implied support for republicanism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republicanism), secularism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secularism) and civil liberties (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_liberty).<sup class="reference" id="cite_ref-Knapp_1-0">[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_spectrum#cite_note-Knapp-1)</sup>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_spectrum

It's clear that Keynes liked fascism from his foreword to the German language edition of his book.


The theory of aggregate production, which is the point of the following book, nevertheless can be much easier adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state than the theory of production and distribution of a given production put forth under conditions of free competition and a large degree of laissez-faire. This is one of the reasons that justifies the fact that I call my theory a general theory.[i] (http://mises.org/daily/3693#notei)

Read more: Keynesianism Loves the Total State - John Maynard Keynes - Mises Institute (http://mises.org/daily/3693#ixzz0n09ZmuVP) http://mises.org/daily/3693#ixzz0n09ZmuVP



Many people associate fascism with far right, although I don't really know why that's the case.


Scholars generally consider fascism to be on the far right (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far_right) of the conventional left-right political spectrum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-right_politics),<sup class="reference" id="cite_ref-6">[7] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism#cite_note-6)</sup><sup class="reference" id="cite_ref-ah.brookes.ac.uk_7-0">[8] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism#cite_note-ah.brookes.ac.uk-7)</sup><sup class="reference" id="cite_ref-GELM5-W_zMwC_1999.2C_p_3_8-0">[9] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism#cite_note-GELM5-W_zMwC_1999.2C_p_3-8)</sup><sup class="reference" id="cite_ref-Eatwell.2C_Roger_pp_71_9-0">[10] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism#cite_note-Eatwell.2C_Roger_pp_71-9)</sup><sup class="reference" id="cite_ref-Lipset.2C_Seymour_2003.2C_pp_112_10-0">[11] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism#cite_note-Lipset.2C_Seymour_2003.2C_pp_112-10)</sup><sup class="reference" id="cite_ref-11">[12] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism#cite_note-11)</sup> while some scholars say that fascism has been influenced by both the left and the right.<sup class="reference" id="cite_ref-12">[13] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism#cite_note-12)</sup><sup class="reference" id="cite_ref-13">[14] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism#cite_note-13)</sup>

Munger
05-04-10, 07:28 PM
I seem to have missed where I called Bernanke a right-wing extremist for not being to the left because he is a Keynesian.

"Guess I have to add one more name to my not-worth-listening-to list."

Lulz.

chr5648
05-04-10, 07:28 PM
What really matters here is actions vs words. What one my say or identify as is different than their actions.

Anyone can argue left vs. right, democrat vs. republican, keynesian vs. neoclassical. What really matters is the action, and what actions has Bernanke and Obama taken?

Regardless of whether you interpret them as keynesian vs. neoclassical, the actions have not been in the favor of the US citizen.


That old saying 'actions speak louder than words' rings true here.

Finster
05-04-10, 07:44 PM
What really matters here is actions vs words. What one my say or identify as is different than their actions.

Anyone can argue left vs. right, democrat vs. republican, keynesian vs. neoclassical. What really matters is the action, and what actions has Bernanke and Obama taken?

Regardless of whether you interpret them as keynesian vs. neoclassical, the actions have not been in the favor of the US citizen.


That old saying 'actions speak louder than words' rings true here.

The "in favor of the US citizen" ism doesn't fall on the left-right scale. More to the point, "in favor of the US citizen" from whose point of view? Dollars to donuts Obama views himself as staunchly in favor of the US citizen. Bernanke too.

But I strongly agree Bernanke's actions have not been in favor of the US citizen. Bernanke, like Greenspan before, works to expand credit and money. The citizen borrows the money, sends it to China, and winds up poorer than he was before. Because he still owes it.

But does that put Bernanke on the right? Only if you use the term "right" as a general term of disparagement. And if Munger uses the term "right" as a general term of disparagement, that says more about Munger than Bernanke, doesn't it?

Rajiv
05-04-10, 07:57 PM
But does that put Bernanke on the right? Only if you use the term "right" as a general term of disparagement.

Bernanke is right wing, because he considers himself an acolyte of Mlton Friedman, and follows policies advocated by Friedman and Schwarz. And Milton Friedman was definitely a right wing economist.

Finster
05-04-10, 08:02 PM
... The rest of the above article strongly argues persuasively that Bernanke is a Friedmanite, and definitely not a Keynsian

It may persuade some folks, but not me. At the risk of descending into a semantic swamp, you could view monetarism (or "Friedmanites") as a subschool of Keyenesianism. For our purposes here, I define Keynesianism as that school of economics that advocates countercyclical monetary and fiscal policy, that is, cut interest rates, expand credit, and run fiscal deficits when the economy needs "stimulus", and raise interest rates, contract credit, and run fiscal surpluses when "inflation" threatens. And "inflation being defined in terms of consumer prices.

Yes, you could say a lot of the same things about monetarism. Not a problem here, since - outside of academia, perhaps - there isn't much difference anyway. And reality makes the whole question, well, "academic", because in practice the government rarely gets around to the contracting credit and running surpluses part. :rolleyes:

It's all a thinly veiled rationalization (I would say marketing ploy) for economic central planning. Which, by the way, was advocated by neither the classical right nor the classical left. The classical right, true conservatism, advocated limited government. The classical left, now referred to as "libertarianism", advocated individual liberty. It's only the bastardized "neo" forms that set government about superficially competing objectives.

chr5648
05-04-10, 08:02 PM
"in favor of the US citizen" from whose point of view?

Well thats part of the game, divide people by making point of views so ostensibly paradoxical, yet make it seem like everyone is 'in favor' of the citizen.


Dollars to donuts Obama views himself as staunchly in favor of the US citizen. Bernanke too.

Does obama view himself as in favor of the US citizen or does the media and marketing dept. making it seem like that. Sort of like Coca cola, one hell of a drain cleaner for clogs, just dissolves any calcium or hair, but its marketed as a refreshing beverage.


But does that put Bernanke on the right? Only if you use the term "right" as a general term of disparagement. And if Munger uses the term "right" as a general term of disparagement, that says more about Munger than Bernanke, doesn't it?

This thread has turned into a battle of right vs. left semantics. A good part of the american political vocabulary is still based on semantics and its relation to our world. A good example is the people who defend free markets and those that attack them without checking to see if there is a free market. (IMO, I haven't seen a free market in my life).

Finster
05-04-10, 08:04 PM
Bernanke is right wing, because he considers himself an acolyte of Mlton Friedman, and follows policies advocated by Friedman and Schwarz. And Milton Friedman was definitely a right wing economist.

Nobody has yet gotten around to answering my question:


So if Bernanke is a "right wing extremist", where would you put Obama - who just reappointed him to another term?

Finster
05-04-10, 08:12 PM
Well thats part of the game, divide people by making point of views so ostensibly paradoxical, yet make it seem like everyone is 'in favor' of the citizen.



Does obama view himself as in favor of the US citizen or does the media and marketing dept. making it seem like that. Sort of like Coca cola, one hell of a drain cleaner for clogs, just dissolves any calcium or hair, but its marketed as a refreshing beverage.



This thread has turned into a battle of right vs. left semantics. A good part of the american political vocabulary is still based on semantics and its relation to our world. A good example is the people who defend free markets and those that attack them without checking to see if there is a free market. (IMO, I haven't seen a free market in my life).

Your postings here are like a ray of light in an otherwise dark ages crowd. Absolutely. The political game is mostly marketing. We have one party, one economic agenda, just two different PR firms.

I likewise yet have to see a free market. The MSM seems to run stories all the time any more about how supposedly our economy got bad because there was too much free market going on and not enough federal involvement.

Does Dr. Hudson think that? Dr Hudson, if you think that, please accept my invitation to defend your views right here. Don't forget to bring a dirty clock.

Rajiv
05-04-10, 08:22 PM
Nobody has yet gotten around to answering my question:


So if Bernanke is a "right wing extremist", where would you put Obama - who just reappointed him to another term?

I would consider him being of the school "Leave it to the experts!" A person unsure of his ability to step out of his own perceived sphere of expertise, and therefore relying on the advice of his campaign supporters (I only consider those who made campaign donations of $2500 or more as supporters) -- who unfortunately come primarily from FIRE -- and are therefore mostly in the neo liberal mold.

However, there may be some signs that this phase in Obama's term may be coming to an end. His appointment of Janet Yellen as the deputy Chairman of the FED (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100429/pl_afp/usgovernmentbankexecutive) could be a signal towards that change.


Obama named Janet Yellen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Yellen) -- known for her sharp focus on tackling unemployment -- to become the Fed's number two

flintlock
05-04-10, 08:23 PM
Hudson sometimes uses labels with different meaning to him than generally accepted. He'd be better off avoiding them altogether. My brother had the same reaction to him as Finster and wouldn't read him after some offending label popped up. I can't recall what it was unfortunately. He does seem to use a lot of leftist like terms but I still find him a good read.

marvenger
05-04-10, 09:10 PM
I likewise yet have to see a free market.

Maybe this free market is a Utopia that can never exist and those that have some role directing can be serving special interests or egalitarian purposes to varying degrees. The fact is the Government is a multi armed octopus with some branches serving special interests and some egalitarian causes and these branches are fighting eachother for influence and some even change their colour to varying degrees and some are viewed as being on one particular side of the spectrum based on individual ideology. For a long time the Government has seemed to be favouring special interests with the Fed's influence all over it. So if Bernanke is a Keynesian, and Keynesianism is largely about bringing full employment so more leaning to egalitarian leaning, and the reality of policy has been falling real incomes and job security due to transfer in wealth to special interests, then I'd say Bernanke qualifies as a 'useful idiot'.

WDCRob
05-04-10, 09:21 PM
I likewise yet have to see a free market. The MSM seems to run stories all the time any more about how supposedly our economy got bad because there was too much free market going on and not enough federal involvement.

If the cops are on the take, are they really cops? I'd rather put the criminals behind bars and hire good cops than agitate against the police and get rid of law enforcement altogether.

Ben
05-04-10, 09:40 PM
I think this was talked about quite a lot in one of the threads under the interview.

By right wing Hudson means supporting the elites. He doesn't mean that they believe in a limited role for the state.

chr5648
05-04-10, 10:26 PM
By right wing Hudson means supporting the elites. He doesn't mean that they believe in a limited role for the state.

I don't like to pull up individuals politicians names but I will for an example.

In this country there are politicians like McCain who advocate staying in afghanistan/iraq for 100 years. He's on the front lines of war mongering against Iran. In the media and peoples minds he is considered a moderate or conservative or a centrist, and this image of rationality is marketed by the media which influences alot of people.

Then theres Ron Paul, he advocates for the immediate withdrawal of troops and ending the wars and occupation in afghanistan/iraq. Also for the audit of the fed. He is considered and marketed by the media a far-right facist crackpot, a looney toon, rarely given air time and hated by both the 'left' and 'right'.

The marketing by the elites is very very good. The real question is, who determines what is 'right'?

bpr
05-05-10, 01:54 AM
I would consider him being of the school "Leave it to the experts!" A person unsure of his ability to step out of his own perceived sphere of expertise, and therefore relying on the advice of his campaign supporters (I only consider those who made campaign donations of $2500 or more as supporters) -- who unfortunately come primarily from FIRE -- and are therefore mostly in the neo liberal mold.

However, there may be some signs that this phase in Obama's term may be coming to an end. His appointment of Janet Yellen as the deputy Chairman of the FED (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100429/pl_afp/usgovernmentbankexecutive) could be a signal towards that change.

You're right in that he's an opportunist, a mouthpiece for those who will support him, but I'd put Obama right in with the rest of the Democratic leadership: Moderate Conservative.

3264

At least one site (http://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2008)agrees.

c1ue
05-05-10, 09:47 AM
So if Bernanke is a "right wing extremist", where would you put Obama - who just reappointed him to another term?


According to Dr. Hudson - right wing represents the rentiers.

In this respect, Obama is 100% consistently a representative of the rentiers - bankers, insurance companies, and the like.

I distinguish this from right-wing as in Fox: the isolationist NRA small government types.

Dr. Hudson does often speak on the role of government and government spending in economic downturns - indirectly he can therefore be considered a 'liberal' in this sense, but note that he specifically distinguishes between spending money to prop up banks and other representatives of the rentiers as opposed to spending money to help the masses of the population survive the downturn. Even then he never speaks of the term 'fairness', but rather coaches this behavior in light of stability in the economy: stability of demand, stability of production, etc. etc.

I would also note that I have never heard him specifically advocate one type of government (i.e. socialism, communism, capitalism) vs. any other.

His focus is always on very specific actions: the use of property taxes to stabilize property prices as well as provide a more consistent government revenue stream, the use of debt jubilee/foregiveness to balance out the inherent instability of the interest carrying debt system, the distribution of taxation between Capital and Labor, etc etc.

The full hour long segment also contains a lot of color behind many of the historical economists - showing yet again how convenient specific statements or segments of beliefs from Adam Smith onward are used to justify behaviors which in turn are actually opposite those expounded by the original authors.

All this from an economist who studies and teaches economic history.

What I got from this segment is that Dr. Hudson is pissed.

Well, so am I.

Munger
05-05-10, 12:05 PM
But does that put Bernanke on the right? Only if you use the term "right" as a general term of disparagement. And if Munger uses the term "right" as a general term of disparagement, that says more about Munger than Bernanke, doesn't it?

Honestly not sure what your beef here is, Finster. Please point me to where I called anyone "right" or "left" and I will explain what I meant. But I'm not seeing it.

bpr
05-07-10, 06:43 AM
I'm a little confused as to how Hudson wound up in Junk Economics.

Rajiv
05-07-10, 11:23 AM
FRED -- Thanks for moving it from Junk economics!

Finster
05-07-10, 10:37 PM
I think this was talked about quite a lot in one of the threads under the interview.

By right wing Hudson means supporting the elites. He doesn't mean that they believe in a limited role for the state.

In that case I think his vocabulary needs a tune-up ... but definitely agree on the substance. Bernanke is one of the elites.

Finster
05-07-10, 10:41 PM
Honestly not sure what your beef here is, Finster. Please point me to where I called anyone "right" or "left" and I will explain what I meant. But I'm not seeing it.

I posted in strong opposition to regarding Bernanke as a "right wing extremist". Regardless of the particulars, you replied with a rebuttal. If you do not disagree with my position, then what is the beef indeed?

Finster
05-07-10, 11:00 PM
So if Bernanke is a "right wing extremist", where would you put Obama - who just reappointed him to another term?

I would consider him being of the school "Leave it to the experts!" A person unsure of his ability to step out of his own perceived sphere of expertise, and therefore relying on the advice of his campaign supporters (I only consider those who made campaign donations of $2500 or more as supporters) -- who unfortunately come primarily from FIRE -- and are therefore mostly in the neo liberal mold.

The expertise issue wouldn't make Obama any different than any other president. No mere mortal can be an expert in everything that a president has to deal with. And if you go by his choice of Paul Volcker as high-profile adviser, you could make a case that he’s somewhat conservative. After all, the Volcker Rule is at heart a smaller-government thing - it says the government shouldn’t be subsidizing Wall Street’s high-rolling activities.

(hello Republicans? … )

On the other hand, the health care bit is pretty left wing.

Far as the FIRE thing goes, this is a point I have been trying to drive home - both parties have been in the grip of the moneyed elite. They may be at opposite poles on just about everything else, e.g. the "social issues", but when it comes to the heavy money stuff it's hard to find the difference. Which side wants to eliminate the Fed? Which side wants to get rid of the income tax? Sometimes I think the social issues are little more than PR cover to trick the voters into thinking they really have a choice.


However, there may be some signs that this phase in Obama's term may be coming to an end. His appointment of Janet Yellen as the deputy Chairman of the FED (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100429/pl_afp/usgovernmentbankexecutive) could be a signal towards that change.

Best I can find between Yellen and Bernanke is subtle shadings of gray. She’s as much a member of the elite as he is … both academics who support the Keynesian-Phillips-Curve-NAIRU paradigm of creating phony credit from nothing … favored by their Washington-to-Wall Street financial and political benefactors.

Finster
05-07-10, 11:20 PM
Maybe this free market is a Utopia that can never exist and those that have some role directing can be serving special interests or egalitarian purposes to varying degrees. The fact is the Government is a multi armed octopus with some branches serving special interests and some egalitarian causes and these branches are fighting eachother for influence and some even change their colour to varying degrees and some are viewed as being on one particular side of the spectrum based on individual ideology. For a long time the Government has seemed to be favouring special interests with the Fed's influence all over it. So if Bernanke is a Keynesian, and Keynesianism is largely about bringing full employment so more leaning to egalitarian leaning, and the reality of policy has been falling real incomes and job security due to transfer in wealth to special interests, then I'd say Bernanke qualifies as a 'useful idiot'.

Freedom has a hard time existing because there are always people who want to tell other people how to live. And who are not satisfied with merely telling them, either - if you don't agree with them they will send men with guns and jails to make you act like you do. This is really what separates big-government advocates from liberty advocates. The former will not hesitate to use force to get you to comply with their ideology.

If you think about it, it's really the defining characteristic of government. It gets its way by use of force.

marvenger
05-07-10, 11:29 PM
I can definitely see the libertarian perspective but i just think its too utopian. There's always going to be influence, we're social animals and we work together. The way i see it there is always those that are going to try to abuse this working together and will try to create an institutional environent where they can skim wealth or create rents, crazy trading profits etc and there's those that will try to put forward ways where we can work together in an instutional way where hopefully most are better off. I think the later process needs to be as democratic as possible and needs to make room for as many functional institutions as it can, there's always going to be give and take. People also need to be as educated as possibel so they can see when an institution is exploitative and they can make better informed choices about what institutions they want to see thrive. We're obviously a long way from this and it probably seems pretty utopian too but I think its the most practical. Institutions don't have to be straight jackets they can still leave a lot room for individual liberty, i'd prefer they didn't allow some to become uber wealthy like the current ones do( i believe institutions have to be behind this process because no one is actually worth that much money)....you can't get away from institutions but you can influence which ones prevail.

bpr
05-08-10, 05:28 AM
TSometimes I think the social issues are little more than PR cover to trick the voters into thinking they really have a choice.

whew. Not crazy.

bpr
05-08-10, 05:29 AM
In that case I think his vocabulary needs a tune-up ... but definitely agree on the substance. Bernanke is one of the elites.

Whew! Finster's not crazy, either.

bpr
05-08-10, 07:05 AM
I've finally had a chance to listen to this and I understand the confusion: Dr. Hudson is decidedly inarticulate and thinks faster than he speaks.

Of Bernanke, he says:

"No professor I know believes that he's an expert at all. He's what you call a 'useful idiot.' He misinterprets the Depression in the way that noeclassical and monetarist economists normally re-interpret it. He has a banking-eye view of the Depression..."
~13:20

He continually uses this unidentified coterie of "professors" -- not economists, not historians, not even "experts -- "professors" that agree with him.

Suspect at least, false support for his ideas at worst.


"No Republican could have got by with appointing such a right-wing extremist to the Fed. It takes a someone with friendly face and a Democrat to pursue a right wing policy that the Republicans could not have gotten away with. That essentially is what Obama and Bernanke is doing."
~14:20
Dr. Hudson is clearly mixed up here, since it was Bush, a Republican -- and a radical one at that, that first appointed Bernanke.

I think what he's saying is that Obama is far more conservative than anyone is giving him credit for (or accusing him of).

That said, I think his ideas are worth exploring in-depth here.

He talks in layman's terms about asset-price inflation and its aeffects on the banking industry (and why banks and the government are so focused on increasing the prices of houses and assets). The result is that it "doesn't actually produce anything."

At ~20:10 he takes on Bernanke's version of the Great Depression and explains it in his own terms:

"America after World War I insisted that its allies pay us for the arms that it had sold them before it joined the war. So, England and France owed a huge war debt to the United States. And they didn't have the money to pay, so they turned to Germsany, and said that Germany had to pay reparations.Well Germany had lost all of its coal fields, its steel fields, its assets were Stripped. So it had to get the money to pay the allies by borrowing from the United States. Until 1929, American investors would buy German municipal bonds, and buy German stocks, and the German Central Bank would take these dollars that it got for the bonds and would pay England and France reparations. England and France would pay the arms debts to the United States government that would then re-lend the money to Wall Street to buy mre German bonds.

So this is a kind of circular flow. The problem is, all this required low interest rates in the United States so that people would borrow at a low interest here and buy the higher-yielding German bonds. And, in order to keep the interest rates low, just like Mr. Bernanke's doing now, the Federal Reserve created so much credit that it created a stock market boom, that burst in 1929. That is what Bernanke's trying to do again..."

Is this an understood and well-documented and accepted explanation for Weimar Germany and American investment in the 1920s?

Rajiv
05-08-10, 11:20 AM
From - Weimar and Nazi Germany By Stephen J. Lee (http://books.google.com/books?id=eRDg5_Ay_PcC&pg=PA18&lpg=PA18&dq=american+investment+in+weimar+germany&source=bl&ots=T-9fgwX2d2&sig=G6UPXPVq6yGFHsxZ3EXKlaI8I8Q&hl=en&ei=VW_lS4-RN52usQPE39SdBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CCoQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=american)


German recovery after the inflation of 1923 had been brought about largely by American investment, a direct result of the Dawes Plan of 1924. There was, however a hitch. The investment was in the form of short-term loans which could be ended at any time and repayment demanded in full. For most of the 1920s, the American economy expanded rapidly and investors were happy to renew loans to Germany as they were needed. But in October 1929, disaster struck the New York stock exchange on Wall Street. The value of shares collapsed following a few days of wild spculation. Many business people were ruined. The Americans had no option but to pull out their investments from Germany and demand immediate payment.

This destroyed the whole basis of Germany's recovery.
So it appears that Hudson is right on this issue

Also from Ellen Brown's article - Time To Get Out The Wheelbarrows? Another Look At The Weimar Hyperinflation (http://www.webofdebt.com/articles/hyperinflation.php)


History Repeats Itself – or Does It?

In his well-researched article, Hutchinson notes that Weimar Germany had been suffering from inflation ever since World War I; but it was in the two year period between 1921 and 1923 that the true “Weimar hyperinflation” occurred. By the time it had ended in November 1923, the mark was worth only one-trillionth of what it had been worth back in 1914. Hutchinson goes on:

“The current policy mix reflects those of Germany during the period between 1919 and 1923. The Weimar government was unwilling to raise taxes to fund post-war reconstruction and war-reparations payments, and so it ran large budget deficits. It kept interest rates far below inflation, expanding money supply rapidly and raising 50% of government spending through seigniorage (printing money and living off the profits from issuing it). . . .

“The really chilling parallel is that the United States, Britain and Japan have now taken to funding their budget deficits through seigniorage. In the United States, the Fed is buying $300 billion worth of U.S. Treasury bonds (T-bonds) over a six-month period, a rate of $600 billion per annum, 15% of federal spending of $4 trillion. In Britain, the Bank of England (BOE) is buying 75 billion pounds of gilts [the British equivalent of U.S. Treasury bonds] over three months. That’s 300 billion pounds per annum, 65% of British government spending of 454 billion pounds. Thus, while the United States is approaching Weimar German policy (50% of spending) quite rapidly, Britain has already overtaken it!”
And that is where the data gets confusing. If Britain is already meeting a larger percentage of its budget deficit by seigniorage than Germany did at the height of its hyperinflation, why is the pound now worth about as much on foreign exchange markets as it was nine years ago, under circumstances said to have driven the mark to a trillionth of its former value in the same period, and most of this in only two years? Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar has actually gotten stronger relative to other currencies since the policy was begun last year of massive “quantitative easing” (today’s euphemism for seigniorage).<sup>3</sup> Central banks rather than governments are now doing the printing, but the effect on the money supply should be the same as in the government money-printing schemes of old. The government debt bought by the central banks is never actually paid off but is just rolled over from year to year; and once the new money is in the money supply, it stays there, diluting the value of the currency. So why haven’t our currencies already collapsed to a trillionth of their former value, as happened in Weimar Germany? Indeed, if it were a simple question of supply and demand, a government would have to print a trillion times its earlier money supply to drop its currency by a factor of a trillion; and even the German government isn’t charged with having done that. Something else must have been going on in the Weimar Republic, but what?

Schacht Lets the Cat Out of the Bag

Light is thrown on this mystery by the later writings of Hjalmar Schacht, the currency commissioner for the Weimar Republic. The facts are explored at length in The Lost Science of Money by Stephen Zarlenga, who writes that in Schacht’s 1967 book The Magic of Money, he “let the cat out of the bag, writing in German, with some truly remarkable admissions that shatter the ‘accepted wisdom’ the financial community has promulgated on the German hyperinflation.” What actually drove the wartime inflation into hyperinflation, said Schacht, was speculation by foreign investors, who would bet on the mark’s decreasing value by selling it short.

Short selling is a technique used by investors to try to profit from an asset’s falling price. It involves borrowing the asset and selling it, with the understanding that the asset must later be bought back and returned to the original owner. The speculator is gambling that the price will have dropped in the meantime and he can pocket the difference. Short selling of the German mark was made possible because private banks made massive amounts of currency available for borrowing, marks that were created on demand and lent to investors, returning a profitable interest to the banks.

At first, the speculation was fed by the Reichsbank (the German central bank), which had recently been privatized. But when the Reichsbank could no longer keep up with the voracious demand for marks, other private banks were allowed to create them out of nothing and lend them at interest as well.<sup>4</sup>

A Story with an Ironic Twist

If Schacht is to be believed, not only did the government not cause the hyperinflation but it was the government that got the situation under control. The Reichsbank was put under strict regulation, and prompt corrective measures were taken to eliminate foreign speculation by eliminating easy access to loans of bank-created money.

More interesting is a little-known sequel to this tale. What allowed Germany to get back on its feet in the 1930s was the very thing today’s commentators are blaming for bringing it down in the 1920s – money issued by seigniorage by the government. Economist Henry C. K. Liu calls this form of financing “sovereign credit.” He writes of Germany’s remarkable transformation:

“The Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, at a time when its economy was in total collapse, with ruinous war-reparation obligations and zero prospects for foreign investment or credit. Yet through an independent monetary policy of sovereign credit and a full-employment public-works program, the Third Reich was able to turn a bankrupt Germany, stripped of overseas colonies it could exploit, into the strongest economy in Europe within four years, even before armament spending began.”<sup>5</sup>
While Hitler clearly deserves the opprobrium heaped on him for his later atrocities, he was enormously popular with his own people, at least for a time. This was evidently because he rescued Germany from the throes of a worldwide depression – and he did it through a plan of public works paid for with currency generated by the government itself. Projects were first earmarked for funding, including flood control, repair of public buildings and private residences, and construction of new buildings, roads, bridges, canals, and port facilities. The projected cost of the various programs was fixed at one billion units of the national currency. One billion non-inflationary bills of exchange called Labor Treasury Certificates were then issued against this cost. Millions of people were put to work on these projects, and the workers were paid with the Treasury Certificates. The workers then spent the certificates on goods and services, creating more jobs for more people. These certificates were not actually debt-free but were issued as bonds, and the government paid interest on them to the bearers. But the certificates circulated as money and were renewable indefinitely, making them a de facto currency; and they avoided the need to borrow from international lenders or to pay off international debts.<sup>6</sup> The Treasury Certificates did not trade on foreign currency markets, so they were beyond the reach of the currency speculators. They could not be sold short because there was no one to sell them to, so they retained their value.

Within two years, Germany’s unemployment problem had been solved and the country was back on its feet. It had a solid, stable currency, and no inflation, at a time when millions of people in the United States and other Western countries were still out of work and living on welfare. Germany even managed to restore foreign trade, although it was denied foreign credit and was faced with an economic boycott abroad. It did this by using a barter system: equipment and commodities were exchanged directly with other countries, circumventing the international banks. This system of direct exchange occurred without debt and without trade deficits. Although Germany’s economic experiment was short-lived, it left some lasting monuments to its success, including the famous Autobahn, the world’s first extensive superhighway.<sup>7</sup>
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ThePythonicCow
05-08-10, 10:06 PM
"No Republican could have got by with appointing such a right-wing extremist to the Fed. It takes a someone with friendly face and a Democrat to pursue a right wing policy that the Republicans could not have gotten away with. That essentially is what Obama and Bernanke is doing." ~14:20
Dr. Hudson is clearly mixed up here, since it was Bush, a Republican -- and a radical one at that, that first appointed Bernanke.I don't see Hudson mixed up here. This is the usual paradox that right wing leaders can get away with left wing policies easier than left wing leaders can, and the reverse for leftist leaders and rightist policies.

When a leader goes out of character like that, his own party is muted in their criticism because "he's their guy" and the other party is muted in their criticism because "he's doing the right thing."

A classic one of these was that it took Nixon (the staunch anti-Communist) to open the door to Communist China.

bart
05-09-10, 12:29 AM
...
2)Friedman Economics (http://reason.com/archives/2009/09/01/friedman-economics/singlepage) - Is Fed chairman Ben Bernanke a follower of John Maynard Keynes or Milton Friedman?


After the Great Crash of 1929, the Federal Reserve drastically cut interest rates; but, on occasion, the Fed was forced to abruptly raise them again in complicated maneuvers to stem outflows of gold into Europe.

...



There's a serious factual error here, which makes the whole article suspect.

There was only one time between late 1929 and into 1934 where the Fed raised the discount rate (late Oct. 1931).

"but, on occasion" is spin (or unclear at best), and Reason is far from apolitical.




As far as whether Bernanke is more Keynesian or Friedmanite, I don't hear him calling for 7 out of 11 US government departments to be eliminated - as Friedman did.

Overall in my opinion, there's almost as much confusion and bad data and bad facts extant about Friedman as about Keynes... let alone all the spin-offs from Keynes work.

bart
05-09-10, 12:38 AM
Also from Ellen Brown's article - Time To Get Out The Wheelbarrows? Another Look At The Weimar Hyperinflation (http://www.webofdebt.com/articles/hyperinflation.php)


Schacht Lets the Cat Out of the Bag

Light is thrown on this mystery by the later writings of Hjalmar Schacht, the currency commissioner for the Weimar Republic. The facts are explored at length in The Lost Science of Money by Stephen Zarlenga, who writes that in Schacht’s 1967 book The Magic of Money, he “let the cat out of the bag, writing in German, with some truly remarkable admissions that shatter the ‘accepted wisdom’ the financial community has promulgated on the German hyperinflation.” What actually drove the wartime inflation into hyperinflation, said Schacht, was speculation by foreign investors, who would bet on the mark’s decreasing value by selling it short.

Short selling is a technique used by investors to try to profit from an asset’s falling price. It involves borrowing the asset and selling it, with the understanding that the asset must later be bought back and returned to the original owner. The speculator is gambling that the price will have dropped in the meantime and he can pocket the difference. Short selling of the German mark was made possible because private banks made massive amounts of currency available for borrowing, marks that were created on demand and lent to investors, returning a profitable interest to the banks.

At first, the speculation was fed by the Reichsbank (the German central bank), which had recently been privatized. But when the Reichsbank could no longer keep up with the voracious demand for marks, other private banks were allowed to create them out of nothing and lend them at interest as well.<sup>4</sup>



Although Schacht was relatively brilliant (excluding political issues) in getting Germany out of the depression quicker than most via translating money printing directly into goods and assets like the Autobahn etc., the quoted part is self serving at best.


The facts show that excess money printing both preceded speculation, and most importantly did not stop and pull the rug out from under the speculative influences until very late 1923 - by the actions of Schacht himself and others.

Even the bit about private banks creating money is duplicitous and avoids the fact that the Reichsbank itself was the one that allowed them to create that money.

aaron
05-09-10, 02:26 PM
Finster, did you listen to the whole talk?

Finster
05-12-10, 07:32 PM
Finster, did you listen to the whole talk?

Actually, none of it. After seeing that remark about Bernanke being a right wing extremist, I decided my time would be better spent opening up my email and reading the spam.

Finster
05-12-10, 07:59 PM
I can definitely see the libertarian perspective but i just think its too utopian. There's always going to be influence, we're social animals and we work together...

Right. The real question is not whether we work together, but whether we do so voluntarily or by force.

For the libertarian, it's the first way, for the socialist, the second.

marvenger
05-13-10, 09:01 AM
what would you classify wall st as then. Are they forcefully controlling people, are they socialists? or are they libertarians acting in their own interests and we vote to go with them in the market because they're a good thing and they're doing gods work. Or are they just pricks that society should realise they are prone to being screwed by and should set up some rules against.

Finster
05-15-10, 01:00 AM
It's not at all clear how Wall Street would fit into the libertarian-socialist axis. It may tout the free market party line, but it's anything but. It more than any other segment of society lives of the fat of big government.

The socialist-big government PR is that left to its own devices, free markets would make the rich richer and the poor poorer, and that the job of goverment is to mitigate that disparity. Government as we know it if anything contributes to that disparity. Wall Street has not been riding high on free market capitalism, it's been riding high on government "management" of the economy. We have here in the US the single most powerful agency of central planning in the world: the Federal Reserve. Close behind are the GSEs such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Their areas of control include the credit markets and housing. And where do you suppose the epicenter of our troubles has appeared?

Take just the Fed for a moment. Its policy lending rate is somewhere around zero. But can you borrow money at zero? I didn't think so. I sure can't. More like 4%, 6%, 8%, 9% or even 27%. So where does the difference go?

Somebody is getting really stinking rich off this government manipulation the credit markets, and if you are not a bank it's not you.

And if you really thought that Fannie and Freddie were there just to help ordinary folks get a leg up, you weren't thinking much at all.

Let's stop being so naive. The big-government let's-spread-the-wealth crowd has a marketing line, and by the sound of it, a lot of people swallow it hook, line and sinker. It claims it's here to help you, and to promote economic justice. It creates a jumble of programs in that name to show how compassionate it is while in the back room its passing its plunder on to its wealthy benefactors. The average citizen knows his standard of living is stagnant to falling but hasn't the faintest idea how he's being hosed.

The reason we have big centralized government isn't because compassionate socialists want it. It's because the powerful want it. The more you collect all the levers of power in one place the easier it is for them to pull. It's been this way at least since 1860 and still the vast majority are clueless. They may think Wall Street is their enemy and that Washington is their friend, but that's just the big boys playing good cop bad cop.



Edit: More of what the mainstream media won't tell you at this link: Wild West Capitalism (http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?15323-Wild-West-Capitalism).

...

medved
05-15-10, 03:40 AM
The reason we have big centralized government isn't because compassionate socialists want it. It's because the powerful want it.

Actually, it's both. Socialists drive this movement and the wealthy elite adjusts to it. They are very flexible and much less ideological than most people think.

It is no coincidence that Central Banking so loved by Wall St. crooks is one of the planks of the Communist Manifesto.

bart
05-15-10, 09:19 AM
What is the Communist Manifesto anyhow?



Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.

c1ue
05-15-10, 09:55 AM
The socialist-big government PR is that left to its own devices, free markets would make the rich richer and the poor poorer, and that the job of goverment is to mitigate that disparity. Government as we know it if anything contributes to that disparity.

Finster,

In general I don't disagree with this statement, but I would point out that those bastions of pure free markets and low/no government like Somalia are hardly shining examples of utopian societies.

Secondly the United States prior to World War I was also hardly a shining example of a utopian society: it was just better than Europe because of the frontier and free land obtainable from it.

We are no longer in the situation where you can get free land.

Simply because government is being used/has been used improperly does not mean it is inherently evil any more than government can be inherently good.

Any and all institutions - including free markets - can be used by those with selfish/malicious intent.

marvenger
05-15-10, 08:51 PM
You guys are starting to sound like me. It sounded like finster was putting me in the socialist camp when I mentioned that there should be some rules against banksters, that i'm forcing my opinion on others rather than allowing everyone to come to an invisible hand consensus and working together, the libertarian way. Now you've just said the Federal Reserve is a very bad thing, it was instituted by the powerful to further increase and centralise their power. So that means there were rules instituting against this kind of power at one stage, republican law instituted for democratic means perhaps? and the powerful overcame these laws and its lead to astronomical abuse.

Well I'm struggling to see why you have a problem with my thinking. Laws are made against greed, people get around them and it leads to consentration of power, abuse and misery, people adapt the laws to protect society. Its a natural process it seems, and I believe you should redisribute the wealth after such events or else it creates moral hazzard. I think libertarians are the public face of these powerful interests and in their utopian zeal they strap themselves and everyone along with them over a barrel, greatly prolonging and intensifying these trends.

So i reckon what you are describing in socialist and libertarian are extreme poles of abstract, neither refering to real world possibilities and both used in hegelian type arguments when trying to win high school debating contests, when consistency of argument is all that counts rather than real world applicability and results.

And yes in our troubled world I realise hegelian high school debaters are considered very smart and somehow dominate all manner of the PR of debate and decision making except the really important ones like establishing the Fed and bankers who don't seem to fit in any category

medved
05-16-10, 03:23 AM
Now you've just said the Federal Reserve is a very bad thing, it was instituted by the powerful to further increase and centralise their power. So that means there were rules instituting against this kind of power at one stage, republican law instituted for democratic means perhaps? and the powerful overcame these laws and its lead to astronomical abuse.

Central banks are created mostly by socialists. There are a lot of countries (Britain, Spain, Japan etc.) where they are not private like FED, but just gov’t agencies. It does not change anything. They are still controlled by the same crooks. Before the FED there was a rule in US that currency should be tied to gold, period. The powerful overcame the gold standard because socialists persuaded the people that gov’t should control fiat money rather than rely on the unruly “free market”. Gradually the same socialists expanded the FED charter to solve even more problems – unemployment, slow growth etc. while still claiming that we have a “free market” system. Obviously, the crooks were glad to support this nonsense. There is nothing they fear more, than the real free market.


Laws are made against greed, people get around them and it leads to concentration of power, abuse and miseryThere were no laws against greed, stupidity, hatred, racism etc. These are just human traits, not crimes. It is when dogoodniks create these laws they create tools for abuse. We do need the laws to limit concentration of power, but the voters usually ignore them. They want the big and good gov’t, not the limited one. Gold standard is a “libertarian” law, it has nothing to do with "prohibiting greed". Central banking is the socialist law, it promotes fiat currency to "solve problems". Even gold standard needs a better regulation than US used to have before the FED, but regulating CBs is impossible, they have way too much power and it will eventually be abused.

marvenger
05-16-10, 06:41 AM
Didn't the founding fathers say something like central banks posed a greater threat to liberty than standing armies. I think there were rules in the constitution to prevent them because of a human trait called greed that when out of balance with the other human traits causes major problems and I don't think there were socialists to contend with back then, just stock standard greed. The bible has anti usury laws etc. I'm not saying pure socialism works either, both are phantoms.

Rajiv
05-16-10, 12:54 PM
The Full text here (http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html)



Karl Marx and Frederick Engels
Manifesto
of the Communist Party

1848

<hr> Bourgeois and Proletarians (http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html#Bourgoise) | Proletarians and Communists (http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html#Proletarian) | Socialist and Communist Literature (http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html#Socialist) | Position of the Communists in relation to the various existing opposition parties (http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html#Position) | Preface to 1872 German edition (http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html#1872German) | Preface to 1882 Russian edition (http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html#1882Russian) | Preface to 1883 German edition (http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html#1883German) | Preface to 1888 English edition (http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html#1888English) | Preface to 1890 German edition (http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html#1890German) | Notes on the Manifesto and translations of it (http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html#Notes)
<hr> A spectre is haunting Europe -- the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies.

Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried as communistic by its opponents in power? Where is the opposition that has not hurled back the branding reproach of communism, against the more advanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionary adversaries?

Two things result from this fact:

I. Communism is already acknowledged by all European powers to be itself a power.

II. It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the spectre of communism with a manifesto of the party itself.

To this end, Communists of various nationalities have assembled in London and sketched the following manifesto, to be published in the English, French, German, Italian, Flemish and Danish languages.

<hr> I -- BOURGEOIS AND PROLETARIANS [1] (http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html#c1r1)

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Lays out the context. Historical context is very important when looking at what has been said in times past.

But of course, people become religious about the words -- and they become more important than the ideas that led to the words in the first place.

c1ue
05-16-10, 08:55 PM
Central banks are created mostly by socialists.

Uh, I'm not sure where this came from.

Central banks existed long before socialism even was a theory.

From wiki:


In 1664, the central bank of Sweden - "Sveriges Riksbank" or simply "Riksbanken" - was founded in Stockholm, in this time namned "Stockholms Banco", and is by that the world's oldest central bank (still operating today) <SUP class=reference id=cite_ref-3>[4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_bank#cite_note-3)</SUP>. This was followed in 1694 by the Bank of England (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_of_England), created by Scottish businessman William Paterson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Paterson_(banker)) in the City of London (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_London) at the request of the English (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_England) government to help pay for a war.

For that matter, the Federal Reserve is actually the THIRD central bank in the United States.

medved
05-17-10, 05:10 AM
Central banks are created mostly by socialists.


Uh, I'm not sure where this came from.

Uhm, it came from history.


Central banks existed long before socialism even was a theory.
For that matter, the Federal Reserve is actually the THIRD central bank in the United States

Just like democracy existed long before the Greeks invented the word, CBs existed long before Marx. There were many attempts to create CBs with various degree of authority, some more disconnected form the gold standard, some less. However, just like the failed US CBs (or John Law’s CB in France) most of them failed.

With the advent of socialist faith (end of 19th – beginning of the 20th century) the idea of fiat currency controlled by the state became widely accepted and finally implemented. The gov’t always knows better :rolleyes:. With growing gov’t power no state controlled CB can fail, because this duo is infallible (it runs both printing presses and tax collection).

Nobody needs savings, prudence, self-reliance etc. anymore, they all are replaced by the faith in the gov’t and the con game is on.

The socialists call it “free market”. It is understandable, they need to vent their hate somewhere and find somebody to blame before another spurt of gov’t growth. The so-called “conservatives” call it the same way because they adjust to this game. They are doing just fine milking the same gov’t cow while pretending they have an opposing ideology.

marvenger
05-17-10, 08:39 AM
if only the government would just disappear hey Medved. This invisible free market will suddenly be illuminated, and we will all rejoice and be glad in it.

medved
05-17-10, 05:42 PM
if only the government would just disappear hey Medved. This invisible free market will suddenly be illuminated, and we will all rejoice and be glad in it.

I have a better proposal. Let's go back to the limited gov't as defined by the Constitution and stop treating gov't as the only solution to all the problems (and there are many, including unregulated banks).

c1ue
05-17-10, 07:50 PM
Just like democracy existed long before the Greeks invented the word, CBs existed long before Marx.

This is an interesting statement in causation.

Socialism created central banks before socialism existed?

And democracy existed before the Athenians created a novel form of government?


Uhm, it came from history.

Yes, I can clearly see that now. If something (A) existed EVER, even after something else (B) was created, then clearly B created A.

So by this logic, the Federal Reserve system was created by the Babylonians.

Because the Babylonians created banks. And Central Banks require banks. And Socialists created Central Banks.

Thus equally the Babylonians created socialism.

Makes sense. Not.

medved
05-18-10, 08:55 AM
This is an interesting statement in causation.
Socialism created central banks before socialism existed?
And democracy existed before the Athenians created a novel form of government?

Athenians created a form of gov’t that was, probably, novel *for them*. Democracy in Sparta existed even earlier. Similar political systems had existed before.

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/157129/democracy

We overestimate role of Athens in “creating” democracy, because they actually developed scholarly study and philosophy of political systems (including democracy). Besides, we inherited much of what was written in Ancient Greece, which we cannot say about many other civilizations.

It may come as a surprise for you, but the English language existed long before it was systematically studied and its grammar was created. The same applies to democracy.

In much the same way central banks existed as historical episodes, many of them failed as you correctly pointed out. It is only with the advent of socialist/marxist/keynesian ideas and the big gov’t that the central banks became indispensable and infallible. The socialists also expanded their functions from pure banking to manipulating the real economy and related markets (stocks, bonds, currencies etc.). Since early 20th century no central bank in a western democracy failed (we could say that in Weimar republic it did fail, but it failed together with democracy).

c1ue
05-18-10, 09:46 AM
It is only with the advent of socialist/marxist/keynesian ideas and the big gov’t that the central banks became indispensable and infallible.

Thank you for the clarification. The lumping of Keynes, Marx, and Socialism is also interesting.

Under this heading, there is almost no nation on earth that is not under the grip of Socialism.

I would posit that calling Keynesian economics and Marxian economics equally socialist is an incorrect grouping however. One involves control of economy via money, the other involves control of the economy by exclusion of capital.

I think a new term is needed.

I would also point out that the jury is still out with regards to central banks being indispensable and infallible.

Let's reconvene in 20 years to assess the results!

medved
05-18-10, 03:28 PM
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Thank you for the clarification. The lumping of Keynes, Marx, and Socialism is also interesting.

Under this heading, there is almost no nation on earth that is not under the grip of Socialism.

Exactly! It propagates much on the same scale monotheism did 1500-2000 years ago. <o></o>


I would posit that calling Keynesian economics and Marxian economics equally socialist is an incorrect grouping however. One involves control of economy via money, the other involves control of the economy by exclusion of capital.<o></o>
Could you please point out where exactly I called them equally socialist?
They are not equally socialist, but both are parts of the same process.


I would also point out that the jury is still out with regards to central banks being indispensable and infallible. Let's reconvene in 20 years to assess the results<o></o>
Jury is watching the present and guessing about the future. In terms of recent past the result is clear: CBs won and freedom , rule of law, gold standard etc. lost. As we speak, everything is being done to preserve them and give them yet more power.
<o></o>
MHO is, we will move further on the path of centralized control (from Keynes to Marx). If gov’t is unable to save the financial system in its current condition, it will increase its direct control over the real economy.

marvenger
05-18-10, 08:18 PM
Where is the evidence for the decentralised aggregation of individual parts into whole market purity. Neoclassicals have to assume away most of the world to get to a model that behaves like this utopia. As soon as you add one real world element you cannot claim that the production and distribution is pareto ultimate and this then opens the pandoras box of planning. Planning isn't easy and there's going to be all sorts of errors and unintended consequences but it has to be done if this phantom free market does not, has not, and never will exist. Otherwise others will definitely do your planning for you ie casino gulag bankers and corporate power in current form.