William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

The Future Of Freely Using Your Own Money, a.k.a. Capitalism

3548859033_8e85a8ebfe_o

This is only a quick introduction to a vast subject; mere musings. I’ll have a review of George Gilder’s timely new book, The Scandal of Money, next week, where I’ll explore matters in more depth. Forbes also has a new book, Reviving America: How Repealing Obamacare, Replacing the Tax Code and Reforming The Fed will Restore Hope and Prosperity.

On Wednesday, Steve Forbes and George Gilder held sway over an intimate gathering at the Cosmopolitan Club in Manhattan. The subject was What Future for Capitalism? Which is exactly the right question given we have presidential candidates promising, with all appearance of sincerity, to install socialism as official policy, to enforce “equality” and to shut down the coal industry and plunge us into darkness, and to, albeit indirectly, foist upon us a 45% punishing sales tax on many items in the name of greatness.

That’s only three, leaving one who would allow freedom to remain intact (well, more or less). Three-to-one against aren’t great odds. Still, there is no choice in our Democracy but to roll the dice. Gilder was optimistic and reminded us, “You can have revival almost overnight.”

Forbes made the case that “capitalism is profoundly moral”. It does good because it is a system where you need other people, with all that that implies. Socialism, as all experience proves, could rather do without people. Socialism always devolves into a heartless and brutal utilitarianism.

A problem, I think, are the names we give this system of economics: “capitalism”, “free markets”, which sound well enough considered as isolated words. But they by now have so much baggage that they grate the ears of many of us. “Free market” sounds, to many, like “rich people taking our money.” Well, that only goes to prove propaganda works.

My alternate title, freedom to keep and use your own money as you see fit, is too unwieldy. Have you ideas?

Against top-down control by self-credentialed experts of all subjects, i.e. socialism, and in the favor of letting people (families) look after their own business, Gilder said, “Creativity always comes as a surprise. If it didn’t, planning would work.” Centralized planning by definition is hostile to creativity, which is why socialist economies stagnant and develop cancers.

The cancers are entities which are not allowed to die. “Too big to fail” means the government supporting proven failures. Propping up the dead, besides consuming resources better left for the living, does not allow learning to take place—all people see is that failure isn’t failure—which is strange given the endless paeans to education which emanate from Washington.

Forbes said “Socialism goes against the grain of human nature.” Not those aspects of our nature that have fallen, but our more nobler parts. He also is a keen student of language. Take the phrase “giving back”, used of the generous. “Giving back implies you took something that didn’t belong to you.” Instead, in philanthropy, we should speak of freely giving “what you created.”

On trying to sell his flat tax plan, which is being used with great success in 40 jurisdictions around the world, he suggested giving people an option: use the new 17% fits-on-a-postcard plan, or use the old one, which requires an IRS to run. Then see which is preferred.

Now what about money. On this, Gilder has much to say, but I’m going to save most of it for the book review because there are too many details to summarize in this small space. However…

Both Forbes and Gilder agree that America is the biggest guilty party in manipulating its currency. Manipulating currency, a money tied to nothing but ephemeral human promises, is power, and politicians and their cronies like power. So it’s unlikely they’d cede this enormous benefit willingly. It has to be wrested from them.

Surely the most astonishing spectacle of our time is an official singular entity which gives almost free money to specially designated cronies, who in turn loan that money back to the government at a healthy interest. Strike that “almost”; it’s just-plain free.

Can you imagine what Janet Yellen must be thinking? “How are they letting us get away with this?”, she must whisper to her fellow Fed board members.

Indeed, how are we?

The solution is…What’s that? That celebrity, Whatshername, as a new selfie of her enormous buttocks? Let’s talk about that!

————————————————————————–

Podcast redux.

Pardon the indulgence, but since this post is emailed to many, and I want to test how an embedded mp3 player works for the podcast, and since I screwed up the time of this week’s show, I want to include it here, so I can see how it works.

49 Comments

  1. Forbes said “Socialism goes against the grain of human nature.” Not those aspects of our nature that have fallen, but our more nobler parts.

    Socialism encourages our baser nature. It tries to stop greed and selfishness by mandate which has the perverse effect of encouraging cheating. OTOH, capitalism gives instant feedback so a cheated victim can avoid a second fleecing. You will find a thriving black market in socialist economies, but only a quirky commune here or there in capitalist economies.

  2. This is only a tiny bit about economic policy, which is why all attempts to correct the problem fail. This is about belief. The last president to make this work was Reagan. Not because he was a capitalist, not because of tax cuts, but because he believed in America and it being great AND could get others to feel that way. There’s no one out there now that believes (Trump believes America should be great for Trump and if everyone else benefits, fine. He’s a salesman.) Without a leader who believes in the good of the country, we don’t recover. It’s all about hate and unfairness. In all the candidates, Trump included. Until we get someone who can infect America with optimism, it doesn’t matter what economic system we use. This is why Europe is self-destructing. Their leaders simply do not care any more. Humans follow their leaders—to the Garden of Eden, or over a cliff like lemmings. And they can change at the drop of a hate. Try leading a species with the ability to go to the moon and the attention span of a gnat. Oh! It’s that Kardashian woman again!!

  3. MP3 worked great for me.

  4. Briggs

    April 8, 2016 at 10:30 am

    JVH,

    Thanks much for the report!

  5. My grandfather (born at the tail end of the 1800s) had among his possession a little black box, and my mother and I were sifting through its contents a few summers ago. In the box was a savings book from that belonged to one of the relatives, and was included was a little chart issued by the bank that showed the rates of compound interest. Were my savings today to show a little interest, let alone compound interest, I would be less fearful for my personal future, let alone the future for the economy.

  6. Where did you get the picture of the young Trump? I see he used to try to hide the tanning booth burn with makeup.

    On Wednesday and Steve Forbes and George Gilder …

    So, Steve and George are calendar events?

  7. Briggs

    April 8, 2016 at 11:00 am

    DAV,

    My enemies tampered with the punctuation.

  8. I believe “Liberty” is the word.

  9. Capitalism is founded upon greed, plain and simple; that’s why it succeeds, because greed is prevalent. If that’s your idea of morality, your claim to being Christian is forfeited (it’s forfeited for many other reasons, but add that one).
    And Reagan was an unmitigated failure who destroyed true capitalism while planting the seeds for the 2009 financial collapse which still lingers and will for at least another decade… thanks to the current version of entrenched capitalists/corporatists (luckily they’ll die off in time).

  10. Yes, but I’m waiting to hear from Sylvain and Jersey so I know how dumb Forbes and Gilder are.

    BTW wasn’t capitalism, the term, first applied by its enemies? Makes it sound like an unsavory religion.

  11. “Capitalism is founded upon greed”

    Like saying the beer industry was founded on alcoholism. Wet streets cause rain.

  12. Shecky: Seriously, you actually believe socialism isn’t founded on greed? Of course it is. Everything people do is based on power and money. Biblically, there was nothing immoral about money, only the love thereof.
    Wow, another “living in the dream world” liberal. Everything is the Republicans fault. Guess you’re another one who can’t read or remember history.

    acricketchirps: Shecky has jumped in at the lead to let you know how dumb Forbes and Gilder are. No doubt there will be others.

  13. “Capitalism is founded upon greed, plain and simple …”

    Capitalism, as the word suggests, is the simple observation that in order to expand an economy and thus standard of living you must first save (i.e. accumulate capital) that can be invested in the expansion of your business. This is prevented when the short term greed of state overlords destroy savings and think that the same thing can be accomplished by monetary scams or brute force.

    The so called black market is just the natural response to overlord greed. People don’t want to starve and so capitalism, which is the only generator of wealth, must go underground. The more effective the state is in suppressing the black market the more impoverished the people become.

    “Wet streets cause rain” indeed.

  14. “Socialism always devolves into a heartless and brutal utilitarianism.”

    LOL!

    Nothing like opinions that pop out of the vacuum of utter ignorance.

    JMJ

  15. Right, JMJ. Briggs’ enemies again, probably. I’m sure that should have read, “Socialism has always devolved into a heartless and brutal utilitarianism so far… so let’s try it again!”

    I like guys named Shecky. They always make me laugh. (Ah, summers in the Catskills).

  16. As usual, JMJ projects. His comments against others are always such perfect and accurate discriptions of himself.

  17. Ye Olde Statistician

    April 8, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Reagan was an unmitigated failure who destroyed true capitalism while planting the seeds for the 2009 financial collapse

    One reason for the big meltdown one seldom sees mentioned is the pressure from HUD on mortgage lenders to lend mortgages to people who could not pay them back.

    For 1996, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gave Fannie and Freddie an explicit target — 42% of their mortgage financing had to go to borrowers with income below the median in their area. The target increased to 50% in 2000 and 52% in 2005.

    In addition, HUD required in 1996 that 12% of all mortgage purchases by Fannie and Freddie be “special affordable” loans, typically to borrowers with income less than 60% of their area’s median income. That number was increased to 20% in 2000 and 22% in 2005. The 2008 goal was to be 28%.

    Between 2000 and 2005, Fannie and Freddie met those goals every year, funding hundreds of billions of dollars worth of loans, many of them subprime and adjustable-rate loans, and made to borrowers who bought houses with less than 10% down.

    Since they had to make these loans or be accused of “redlining” the lenders looked for instruments by which they would not take huge bath. They were after all lending money to people unlikely ever to pay it back.

    For a decade the juggling seemed to work. Then housing prices finally crashed and the whole house of cards came tumbling down. I don’t know if Reagan led the charge against redlining, but I suspect it was a bipartisan feelgood crusade.

  18. Milton Hathaway

    April 8, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Sheri baby – I’m going to pick on you here because you have annoyed me so much more succinctly than the others, with your comment:

    “Without a leader who believes in the good of the country, we don’t recover. . . . Until we get someone who can infect America with optimism, it doesn’t matter what economic system we use.”

    I’m an engineer – I can’t help but see the world as an engineering problem. I have spent my career doing “root cause analysis”. Over-simplified, this is the process of repeatedly asking “why” a problem exists, with the goal of making changes to alleviate or eliminate the problem.

    Whenever a human is involved in the manifestation of the problem, often the root cause seems at first blush to be a problem with human behavior, with the simple solution “don’t do that”. However, since we engineers didn’t design humans, changing human behavior isn’t a viable solution, forcing us to look elsewhere.

    At this point, you have to ask yourself if you really want to solve the problem, or if you just want to complain about it. If you truly want to solve the problem, you will have to look beyond human nature for a solution.

    In my engineering mind, I have come to the conclusion that the root cause of the worst of our current problems in the USA is inadequacies in the US Constitution. Specifically, the system of checks and balances has proven inadequate to prevent our current slide toward totalitarianism. Thomas Sowell has stated this best, I think:

    “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”

    So, the only hope is to fix our Constitution. But this is far from hope-less, as we have amended our Constitution many times in the past. It seems unlikely that two-thirds of Congress would vote to propose an amendment that of necessity must diminish their own power (in an isolated city where power is money), which leaves the only other method allowed in the Constitution, with two-thirds of the State legislatures calling for a Constitutional Convention.

    We have heard for years the fears people have with a Constitutional Convention, that it would be a Pandora’s box of every pet issue. However, this might be exactly what we need to convince two-thirds of the States, as there would no doubt be a different proposed amendment that would appeal to each State’s interest.

    The other day I was talking with a (young) fellow engineer, who was going to the Democrat Caucus that evening. I told him that Hillary had been indicted, just to get a rise out of him, but he was unfazed, and said he liked Bernie. I asked him if he’d really vote for an avowed socialist, and he responded “What’s wrong with Socialism?”.

    He’s always complaining about being given insufficient time to test his designs, so I played on that. I told him to imagine that he was given one and only one chance to complete his design, and he must do it sitting at his desk. No prototyping, no trial and error, no hands-on anything material. He must finish his design documents and send them directly to vendors for production. That, I said, was socialism. He paused for a while, in obvious sheer horror at that thought, then said “No, that’s completely different”. But I could tell from his demeanor that I had at least planted a seed that might one day blossom into wisdom.

  19. JMJ: Guess you would know about those opinions out of ignorance things, right?

    I would note that liberals are constantly admitting capitalists are far more successful than the government, as witnessed by Reagan having influence 20 years after his presidency ended. Apparently, liberals are utterly impotent to fix anything. No matter how hard they try. The Republicans always win.

    Milton: I’m flattered to be so annoying and so succinct.

    Yes, if you can look beyond human nature for a solution that would be nice. However, you’re still appealing to human nature in trying to change the constitution. Humans wrote and amended it. There is no work around. I understand you would like the world to be an engineering problem, but sadly, it’s just not that way. Every work around for human nature is quickly destroyed by someone with a better work around. We can’t fix people, so, yes, we do workarounds the best we can. Until people can be fixed, it’s a bandaid on a sucking chest wound. (The Constitution worked fairly well for 200 years—that’s a feat when it comes to human beings governing themselves. How would you change it? Term limits? Much lower salaries? Merit pay? Just curious. And yes, we have amended the constitution in the past, but that was only successful part of the time. You seem to be suggesting a major rewrite that somehow would fix checks and balances, right? Note the fit Washington is throwing right now over much, much less. I see no hope for changing the Constitution in a positive direction. Dumping it seems more likely.)

  20. Oh, for starters, let’s have the states nominate the senators (again), and get the senators interested in doing what’s good for the states.

    The growth of government itself is untenable and cannot continue at its current rate. Shades of Herb Stein, but there will be a point when “won’t” will be the only option.

  21. The only way to stop the slide into totalitarianism/full-blown socialism is for the state’s to call for a constitutional convention whereby they vote to repeal the 16th amendment (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution).

    To understand why, you merely need to Read Chedorov’s book, “Taxes are the Root of All Evil”

  22. Briggs,

    You not being careful with your propositions. Please define “great success” with respect to a flat tax, I’d hate to think you begged the question.

    Great podcast, btw.

  23. Milton Hathaway

    April 8, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Sheri – what changes would I make? Much tougher subject!

    I agree with Cack, repealing the 16th amendment would be a huge first step. So much of the totalitarian slide has directly resulted from, or been empowered by, the 16th amendment.

    Another huge step would be reassigning the final arbiter of Constitutionality away from the Supreme Court to the States. There is no longer even the pretense of an apolitical Supreme Court; both sides obviously understand how important it is to get their ideologues on the court, and work openly toward that end.

    But in general, I’m thinking along the lines of allowing the States to vacate certain Federal actions. For example, say, 1/3 of the States could vacate any Federal regulation created by an unelected body, a simple majority of the States could vacate a Federal law mandating State action under the Commerce clause, a 3/5 majority could vacate a Supreme Court ruling, etc.

    This is where it gets tricky for me. For example, I don’t believe the Federal government has the power under the Commerce Clause to mandate health care regulations. On the other hand, I do believe that the Federal government has the power under the Commerce Clause to void State laws that restrict the purchase of health care or health insurance across state lines. In other words, I believe that the wording the Commerce Clause only allows Federal actions that remove State barriers to interstate commerce (i.e., more freedom for citizens).

    So, something along those lines, except crafted by much smarter people than me. It might take more than one amendment. Call it the “Restoration of States Rights” package of amendments, although it would be important that each proposed amendment could stand on its own.

  24. To put is simply it either capitalism or slavery. If you cannot freely spend of invest you money and some of it need to be taken away from you to do “public good” that is slavery. Now paying fo the info structure our modern societies use and taxing you for that is not slavery. Taxing someone to build a football stadium, subsidize solar panels, windmills, and the thousands of pork barrel projects in this country that is slavery, soft slavery yet slavery.

  25. Milton: Okay, I can see where some aspects of your ideas might be passed. States rights, repeal of the 16th amendment, etc. Personally, I’m still leaning toward dividing the country down the Mississippi or Missouri River and then making the East Coast liberal and the West Coast conservative. On the other hand, your ideas are less controversial and more likely to actually to be accepted. Thanks for explaining.

  26. “One reason for the big meltdown one seldom sees mentioned is the pressure from HUD on mortgage lenders to lend mortgages to people who could not pay them back.”

    And this is a lie.

    JMJ

  27. Ye Olde Statistician

    April 9, 2016 at 1:13 am

    “One reason for the big meltdown one seldom sees mentioned is the pressure from HUD on mortgage lenders to lend mortgages to people who could not pay them back.”

    And this is a lie.

    Okay.
    “the pressure from HUD on mortgage lenders to lend 52% of their mortgage financing to people below the median income and 22% to people earning less than 60% of the median income.”

  28. @Cack: “Taxes are the Root of All Evil”.

    Yes, and Taxes are the illegitimate daughter of “INTEREST on money at its source”.

    Root Cause Solution: Abolish “interest on money at its source” (i.e. interest on bank lending).

  29. There was no pressure from the government to write bad paper. What you’re asserting, or I should say repeating, is not true. There was no pressure to write bad paper. No evidence of it at all. It’s a lie. You’re being a dupe repeating a lie.

    There was loosening of regulation in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s that appeared to be politically motivated to some extent (people in need of opportunity to become homeowners tend to vote Democratic, while home owners tend to vote more Republican, hence that progression of political events), but the real impetus for the bad behavior was the lack of accountability for writing bad paper and for obscuring the disposition of real assets.

    But please, go ahead and keep lying, or just repeating something about something you do not understand, or whatever. Just try not to watch to many precious metal coin commercials. Crooks love guys like you.

    JMJ

  30. Milton Hathaway

    April 9, 2016 at 3:36 am

    For a well-researched look at the inner workings of the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, read “The Housing Boom and Bust” by Thomas Sowell. One thing that struck me was the ‘erroneous’ assumption by many that the securities were government-backed, that, when all was said and done, became reality through bailouts. Were those people mistaken or prescient?

  31. IT’S ALL ABOUT BELIEF;
    There’s no one out there now that believes
    (Trump believes America should be great for Trump
    and if everyone else benefits, fine.
    He’s a salesman.) Without a leader who believes in the good of the country, we don’t recover.
    It’s all about hate and unfairness.
    In all the candidates, Trump included.
    Until we get someone who can infect
    America with optimism,
    it doesn’t matter what economic system we use.
    This is why Europe is self-destructing.
    Their leaders simply do not care any more.
    Humans follow their leaders—to the Garden of Eden,
    or over a cliff like lemmings.
    And they can change at the drop of a hate.
    Try leading a species with the ability to go to the moon
    and the attention span of a gnat.
    Oh! It’s that Kardashian woman again!!

  32. Speech marks are missing from Sheri’s above quote.
    They are not my words.

  33. Free enterprise is the voluntary exchange of goods and services. In each voluntary exchange, both parties’ utilities increase–as does, modulo externalites, aggregate utility. Socialism, however, dictates involuntary exchanges, so someone’s utility usually decreases.

    Free enterprise spurs us to find ways of benefiting others; if a transaction does not benefit the counterparty, he will not engage in it. Parties don’t have to benefit from the forced transactions dictated by socialism, and at least one or the other is usually harmed.

    So it’s passing strange that capitalism’s voluntary exchanges are so often characterized as motivated by greed but socialism’s taking by force what one didn’t produce is somehow altruistic.

  34. OzWisard, you forgot the sarcasm indicator.

    http://www.gocomics.com/frank-and-ernest/2016/04/09

  35. Milton H: Can I throw in that we should eliminate the stock market and the futures? All the stock market does is create a false impression of how the economy is doing (like now—ridiculously high, but 37% of the US population is not working. Annual incomes averages are going done, oil is laying off thousands and coal is being wiped out. How, then, can the economy be growing at such a phenomenal rate? Plus, the government uses quantitative easing to produce lies about the economy. Futures are nothing but legal gambling. Of course, technically, so are stocks. Maybe less gambling?)
    “Too big to fail” comes to mind concerning your comment on the housing bubble. I am thinking they knew.

    JMJ: It is fascinating that you posses the truth about all politics and the rest of us are just dupes. It’s almost like you have blind faith in the government…….Actually, I don’t need to sell precious metal coins to conservatives—liberals can be bought off much cheaper (read “at no cost”) with the promise of “free” stuff from the government. Send a donation and we’ll get you more food stamps, more free housing, etc. Best thing—I never, ever have to deliver! Just promise. And the libs never get mad and they never stop believing.

  36. JMJ: While I fully believe the government should keep its mitts off people’s money, I thought I should note that I do think Americans have too much money and there are too many luxury items out there. I realized that when I saw a $500 chicken house for backyard chickens. This can be corrected with shaming, however, no government intervention required. (I also now refuse to buy from the seller of the $500 chicken house. That’s just immoral.)

  37. Ye Olde Statistician

    April 9, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    There was no pressure from the government to write bad paper.

    Sure, just the quotas to be met regarding the percentage of mortgage financing to be issued to people with lower incomes. The greed of the mortgage lenders was such that they would never have done so voluntarily, so they had to be “encouraged” by the Besserwissers — or be labeled as “redliners.” And of course there was also the genuine desire to help people become homeowners (because of the belief in magical thinking* that governments of all persuasions). Once it was a matter of meeting government quotas, the bad paper was a foreseeable consequence. The bets had to be laid off somehow, and bundles and derivatives were a way of diluting the risks.

    This is also why financial institutions became too big to fail. As the price of real estate bubbled, Bill and Ted’s Excellent S&L simply couldn’t carry the risk on your mortgage. So starting a long time ago, the began selling their paper to institutions big enough to suck it up; which is why your mortgage payments are no longer is sent to the local bank where you got the loan. The two biggest mortgage bundlers were Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both of which are quasi-governmental agencies. They are required by law to buy mortgages, bundle them, and sell the bundles to investors — such as Saudi oil sheiks — and then make the proceeds from those sales available for further mortgages, a specified percentage of which were to go to those earning less than 60% of the local median wage.

    This increases the amount of money chasing goods in the housing market and this drives the prices up — which makes the further availability of such subsidies even more critical. [This was not the only factor driving up housing prices, of course. Zoning laws, greenbelt legislation, and so forth also played a role by restricting supply, even as the subsidies were inflating demand.]

    Because the mortgages to lower income folks were so risky, they were distributed in bundles with other, regular mortgages. [Something similar happened in auto insurance in New Jersey. Since auto insurance was a state-mandated purchase, a lot of policies were written for very bad drivers, so the State formed a Pool in which they tried to dilute the risky policies into a mass of ordinary-risk policies, so as to make them more affordable than the associated risks warranted.] Just as the premiums from good drivers would cover the losses due to the poor drivers in the Pool, so too the payments from homeowners would cover the losses due to defaults by low income homeowners.**

    Now, me, I’ve never been sure how anyone can make money buying and selling other people’s debts, but that’s how it was set up. American mortgages were a primo investment because the American homeowner always paid his mortgage payments, guaranteeing the return on the investment. The problem was that a) the continual recycling of the investment money into additional mortgages inflated the prices until the bubble burst and b) the Affordable Housing Act added a significant sub-group of people who were not going to pay their mortgages.

    *magical thinking: Politicians observe that homeowners possess desirable socioeconomic properties and, since no one believes in cause and effect anymore, assume that they can encourage those desirable properties by inveigling folks into home ownership. Substitute “marriage” for “home ownership” to observe the same “wet sidewalks cause rain” magical thinking.
    **insurance pool: Now we are subsidizing college tuition by attaching a hose to the federal treasury. Tuition is skyrocketing the way home prices did, and students are now graduating with unrecoverable debts. Wait for that bubble to burst, too. Also the health insurance pool currently being formed.

  38. Sheri, “I should note that I do think Americans have too much money …”

    Please send your excess money to me. I prefer small unmarked bills in a nondescript briefcase.

  39. “This can be corrected with shaming, however, no government intervention required” That is a horrendous idea. So use the same tactic as the media would use against the right? What hypocrisy.

    So what is the shameful limit on chicken runs?
    How does a £7000. cat enclosure sound to you? Too much?
    How do you keep purist capitalism which Briggs promotes and keep control on chicken run sizes and cost? As the post implies “freely using your own money”.
    is a statement which does not allow for chicken house or people house size being limited.
    You must be careful that you are not jus making the usual judgement about what people should and shouldn’t have based on your own prejudice.
    That is idealism.
    That is the gospel of envy Churchill spoke of. It is the socialist attitude.

  40. Scotian: Need an address. 🙂

    Joy: Shaming is the way society has always dealt with bad behaviour effectively. It’s the most effective way to maintain order in society. Other than oppressive violence. Would you prefer that option? (BF SKinner was dead wrong on positive/negative reinforcement being enough to change behaviour. That’s what happens when you use a sample size of one.)

    I have not said the Left cannot try to shame people. I have not said the media cannot shame people. Actually, the media and the Left seem certain the only shame there is is in believing there is shame. I have always said it is the people who allow themselves to be shamed falsely are the problem. If you’re right, you have no reason to be ashamed. Accusations will be ignored. The Left seems to work that way—in their minds, they are always right, so no shame. (That is a simplistic answer, but to answer otherwise is a long answer with several caveats—not space here for that discussion.)

    Biblically speaking, Adam and Eve introduced shame and from there on out, it was what controlled bad behaviour, if there was any controlling it. It’s how humans are made. The Bible advocates shame—or there would be no need for forgiveness. You have to be sorry first.

    I did not say I could keep control on the extremely idiot purchase of a $500 chicken house. I said I could refuse to buy from the company selling it. That was my only idea. “While I fully believe the government should keep its mitts off people’s money,” should have made that clear. A cat house that cost nearly $10,000 US dollars would qualify as an immoral use of money to me. You are free to disagree if you wish.

    You are confusing “should” with “will”. My judgment of buying a $500 chicken house is “should” and yes, it is idealistic. That’s where rules and morals come from. I also acknowledged that people “will” by the house, which is reality. Moral judgments and reality are not the same. (“You must be careful that you are not jus making the usual judgement about what people should and shouldn’t have based on your own prejudice.” Aren’t you telling me not to judge, which is what the Left does? What is “my prejudice”? What if I have good reasons for not approving? What if I just say I think it’s stupid—that’s my opinion. So is saying “I think it’s immoral because I just do”. That’s an opinion. Can I not have opinions either?)

    It’s not envy. I could buy a $500 chicken house if I wanted. The reason I don’t is I consider it obscene to buy a filthy animal a $500 house—it speaks to the lack of knowledge about chickens and how filthy they really are. I wouldn’t buy a $10,000 cat house—I don’t have a cat. I do have a dog and she does not get a $10,000 house, stupid dog clothes, etc. It’s not that I can’t buy this stuff, I simply consider it ridiculous to spend thousands on an animal to make one’s self feel important and proud.

  41. Dear Ye Olde Statistician,

    I enjoyed the comment you posted on April 9, 2016 at 9:58 pm.

    I suspect that McJersey’s brain lacks both the speed and capacity of yours.

  42. It’s the most effective way to maintain order in society. Other than oppressive violence. Would you prefer that option?”
    That’s argument from the false dichotomy. Black and white thinking again. Who’s been teaching you?
    “I have not said the Left cannot try to shame people.”
    “ I have not said the media cannot shame people.”
    That’s a cheese straw man.
    However your repeated reference to the ‘unfairness’ of the treatment of the right compared with that of the left is worth comment. You can’t have it both ways it’s okay or not okay. You can’t only say it’s okay when it happens in the direction you like. That, Sheri, is irony. I say it is not okay at all to use false arguments.
    “Actually, the media and the Left seem certain the only shame there is is in believing there is shame.”
    Patently false given the left’s attempts to shame, no?
    “I have always said it is the people who allow themselves to be shamed falsely are the problem. “ Which people? nobody’s being shamed, you just said.
    ‘Allow’ themselves’ to be shamed falsely causing a problem.
    This is idealistic empowerment language and it’s phoney.
    Everybody is not the same and shame is not the same as guilt, incidentally.
    “If you’re right,” I take it you mean about a given argument? In which case life ought to have taught you that it not enough to be right. I’ll take it to mean that ‘you are in the right’, i.e. done no wrong.
    you have no reason to be ashamed.” that’s not what happens.
    “Accusations will be ignored.”!
    What no gossip? Have you never heard of throwing mud? Do you not realise that ‘there’s no smoke without fire’, This is the reason the media carries on this way. Some, even many, will feel there is truth in a thing just because it is asserted and the more outrageous the more likely people will believe it, especially if it is what people want to hear.
    “Biblically speaking, Adam and Eve introduced shame and from there on out, it was what controlled bad behaviour,”
    No, and we’re back to sex again.
    You are talking about several different things and weaving them together. original sin and the prospect of using shame as a weapon.
    I did not say I could keep control on the extremely idiot purchase of a $500 chicken house. I said I could refuse to buy from the company selling it. That was my only idea. “
    No it wasn’t you said that it could be controlled by shaming. Which was, I believe, my singular point.
    “A cat house that cost nearly $10,000 US dollars would qualify as an immoral use of money to me. You are free to disagree if you wish. “ why thank you very much.
    You are confusing “should” with “will”.
    I am not confused, Sheri.
    My judgment of buying a $500 chicken house is “should” “and yes, it is idealistic. That’s where rules and morals come from.“
    We are progressing. Idealism has it’s extremes.
    “Moral judgments and reality are not the same”
    They are different categories.
    “Aren’t you telling me not to judge, which is what the Left does?”
    No I’m saying don’t complain about judgement if you accept, as any rational person must, that judgement and prejudice is a fact of life. If the judgement is unfair then the argument can be had and shown for what it is. There is good and bad judgement.
    “What is “my prejudice”? What if I have good reasons for not approving? What if I just say I think it’s stupid—that’s my opinion. So is saying “I think it’s immoral because I just do”. That’s an opinion. Can I not have opinions either?)”
    We are discussing and giving opinions. You can chose to defend your position or not.The choice is always yours. Just as someone from the left is free to defend theirs but rarely if ever does with any integrity.
    It’s not envy. I could buy a $500 chicken house…
    …I simply consider it ridiculous to spend thousands on an animal to make one’s self feel important and proud.”
    I wasn’t implying you were envious but that the ideal of everyone having the same is based on envy or fear of it.
    People do a lot of ridiculous things. You can either approach people looking for good or looking for the obvious wart or imperfection about their personality and magnify that. I have found my day when at work far more fulfilling when each person was a new person to be listened to and learned from. I often disliked every patient walking in.

    People, perhaps not so moral in some aspects, put me to shame. We are all good at different things. Wisdom is everywhere even in the ‘stupid and dull’. Sometimes people chose ridiculous because that’s all they know. I think that is most often the reason. If you can notice ridiculous, you are blessed.

  43. Joy: Nice try. It’s only a false dichotomy if there are more options than two. There are not. Psychology and history both verify this.

    No cheese straw man, but I must ask if you’re sampling some strange substance while typing. It’s not a straw man if I did not say it and you addressed the idea as if I did. Perhaps if your writing were clearer, I could tell.

    I HAVE NOT said the Left is unfair to the Right. You can type that a thousand times and it won’t change that. I have said the left are cruel, evil at times, draconian in their behaviours, etc, but I have not said the Left is unfair to the right. I have pointed out that the Left does not follow rules—those apply to others. Actually, to be correct, the Left does not believe in rules and only point out the Right is not following the rules because the Right does believe in rules.

    I say it’s not okay to keep making up stuff I never said.

    The Left only shames those who believe in shame. Show me where they don’t.

    I did not say no one is being shamed. Please read what I actually write. I said the Left shames those who believe in shame, ie the Right. Republicans are virtual shame sponges, rolling over and doing anyone’s bidding to avoid being shamed.

    Sorry, I have no idea what “idealistic empowerment language” is. Perhaps you could define the term.

    I mean that a person should not be ashamed or feel guilty if they have done no wrong.

    Yes, Adam and Eve DID introduce shame via eating the forbidden fruit. Bible says so. Can’t help it if you don’t like it.

    I said you could buy the chicken house. I said I’d think you a foolish person and not respect you if you did. Unless you are arguing as the gay do that I MUST accept your behaviour and approve, then I can think what I want of what you do. Otherwise, you’re imposing your values on me. You can call me foolish and mean if I don’t approve. That’s fine with me. But I can and will call you foolish for buying a $500 chicken house. You cannot change that.

    I do learn something from everyone I meet. Much of is very discouraging and not a good sign for humanity. There are some people with no redeeming qualities. I asked about Hitler before—tell me what a nice guy he was, okay?

    “rarely if ever does with any integrity.” Judgmental and mean. You seem okay with being judgmental when it suits you.

  44. ‘Surely the most astonishing spectacle of our time is an official singular entity which gives almost free money to specially designated cronies, who in turn loan that money back to the government at a healthy interest. Strike that “almost”; it’s just-plain free.’

    It’s not official. It’s a private entity, owned by exactly those cronies to whom it gives the money.

    You’ll be pleased to know that, in order to ensure that the government can afford to pay the interest on the money that it borrows from this entity, the entity’s cronies arranged for an unconstitutional income tax to be legislated and implemented around the same time as they set up their private money tree.

    You lost your republic in 1913.

  45. “Nice try. It’s only a false dichotomy if there are more options than two. There are not. Psychology and history both verify this.”
    Nonsense.
    “No cheese straw man, but I must ask if you’re sampling some strange substance while typing.”
    What kind of remark is that? Was it another veiled insult?

    “ It’s not a straw man if I did not say it and you addressed the idea as if I did. Perhaps if your writing were clearer, I could tell.” Hmm so it might have been a straw man, I see.

    “I HAVE NOT said the Left is unfair to the Right. “
    Untrue, it’s your constant theme, usually proceeded by ‘interesting that…’ ad nauseam.
    “You can type that a thousand times and it won’t change that. “ Yep, evidently.
    “I have said the left are cruel, evil at times, draconian in their behaviours, etc, but I have not said the Left is unfair to the right.” See previous
    ” I have pointed out that the Left does not follow rules—those apply to others. Actually, to be correct, the Left does not believe in rules and only point out the Right is not following the rules because the Right does believe in rules.”Yep, you’ve said that.

    “I say it’s not okay to keep making up stuff I never said.”
    Who did that, let me at’em.
    The Left only shames those who believe in shame. Show me I did not say no one is being shamed. Please read what I actually write. I said the Left shames those who believe in shame, ie the Right. Republicans are virtual shame sponges, rolling over and doing anyone’s bidding to avoid being shamed.” Shame.
    “Sorry, I have no idea what “idealistic empowerment ‘language” is. Perhaps you could define the term.”
    Your remark is the very definition. Give it some thought.

    “I mean that a person should not be ashamed or feel guilty if they have done no wrong.” Yes I took you to mean that if you read again you will see.
    “Yes, Adam and Eve DID introduce shame via eating the forbidden fruit. Bible says so. Can’t help it if you don’t like it.” There’s a straw man . If you’re going to be exacting about it they didn’t ‘introduce shame’. Inane remark and irrelevant to your original assertion about chicken runs; i.e. Use of shame to control chicken run costs! in your new world order! You’ll have to get it past the committee.

    “I said you could buy the chicken house. I said I’d think you a foolish person and not respect you if you did. Unless you are arguing as the gay do that I MUST accept your behaviour and approve, then I can think what I want of what you do. Otherwise, you’re imposing your values on me.” The discussion is about freedom to use your own money not about gayness or good or bad behaviour. It is about charity or enforced removal of funds to pay from centrally controlled agents. No moratorium on chicken runs.
    You can call me foolish and mean if I don’t approve.That’s fine with me. But I can and will call you foolish for buying a $500 chicken house. You cannot change that.” Change what? You are using some old cliche about stupid. That’s irony.
    “I do learn something from everyone I meet. Much of is very discouraging and not a good sign for humanity.”
    Hmm.
    “ There are some people with no redeeming qualities. I asked about Hitler before—tell me what a nice guy he was, okay?”
    silliness Sheri, just silly.

    ““rarely if ever does with any integrity.” Judgmental and mean. You seem okay with being judgmental when it suits you.””
    Read carefully and this isn’t the first time I’ve outlined to you about judgement. I do not believe you can still be ignorant on my view. You have misquoted as well in a way that missed the part where I address your judgement. remark.

    If you don’t read properly and accept what is written then how can one conduct a sensible debate? It can’t be done.

  46. I don’t make veiled insults—I just insult straight out.

    Anything MIGHT be—I deal in what is. If you don’t make clear what you are saying, I can’t respond.

    You don’t ever show where I have said the Left is unfair to the Right—which I have not. In the absence of evidence, I must assume it’s some kind of fantasy on your part.
    (Please go after yourself as you’re the one making up things I have not said.)

    If you won’t define a term for me, I see no reason to believe you have any case at all. I guess I could write in something other than English and then berate you for not understanding the language. Want to give that a try?

    Actually, I’m done. You’ve devolved into completely irrational responses based on some fantasy you have about what I believe. This is utterly pointless. You pay no attention to anything and just ramble and ramble. (Yes, that is an insult and the last thing I’m saying. I won’t waste my time on someone who evades, ignores and fabricates.)

  47. Sheri,
    Pick a page, any page. Your comments are evidence of what you think. I do not need to give yet more examples, there are enough just on this page alone.

  48. Joy: This is to let you I will no longer read or respond to your comments. Bob has a rule about not being rude, I have one about not engaging people who don’t answer questions, won’t provide evidence, etc. You are in that catagory. If you want to type answers, feel free. Maybe someone else will care.

  49. Sheri, Is that a promise or a threat?
    Remember you promised me that once before but it didn’t last.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

© 2016 William M. Briggs

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑