Reaction Points (#7)

It’s been a long time since one of these. Abandoning it seemed a good idea because Foseti and NBS were providing such a rich diet of reactionary and miscellaneous links (there’s also Free Northerner, among others). Now it’s got to the point that I’m drowning in unused reaction points, so the safety valve has been forced open again, for floating odds and ends.

At Handle’s place, are Jews and antisemites caught in a “bad equilibrium”? (From Alrenous in the comments: “The British conquer the entire world, twice, and people are still scared of the Joos.”). In addition, this fished-up piece on the muscular liberal push beyond boutique multiculturalism is an impressive catch.

Jim sees “chaos coming. Power will fall into the street, hot, radioactive, dangerous, and desired, to be picked up first by one group, then another, each new pair of hands slippery with the blood of innocents, after the fashion of the Arab spring.” (Anti-entryism isn’t exit, but a different problem altogether.)

Spandrell has been going microscopic (here,and here), which got Scharlach playing with the zoom control (here, here, and here … so far).

Bryan Caplan revisits Galton’s controversial plan to liberate Africa from Africans.

Bill Fleckenstein delivers a righteous Austro-Apocalyptic rant: “The longer you keep pursuing insane policies, the more you pile (them) on top of each other, the worse it gets … So, when the Fed can’t print money and we have to deal with this, it’s going to be brutal.”

Jim Quinn pans out to the wider political economy: “The best case scenario would be for a collapse similar to the Soviet Union’s relatively peaceful disintegration into impotent republics. I don’t believe we’ll be this fortunate. The most powerful military empire in world history will not fade away. It will go out in a blaze of glory with a currency collapse, hyper-inflation, and war on a grand scale. … Sadly, I’ve come to the conclusion that our system and majority of citizens are too corrupted to change our course through the ballot box or instituting policies along the lines of those proposed by Ron Paul and many other thoughtful liberty minded people. We are experiencing the downside of a representative democracy.”

Pethokoukis on the cost of the crisis so far: a cool US$30,000,000,000,000. (That’s just in America.)

Some nice wealth graphics here. Half of the world’s richest women are Chinese. Except for some Germans, and a few Brazilians, it seems that just about everyone on earth with serious assets is either Anglospherean or Chinese (or both).

Decline. Referencing this (half-hearted push-back here).

Macro is garbage. (Vladimir makes the same point better, here.)

Is online information about to be containerized?

The excommunication of Spinoza.

Mars madness.

Where’s my jetpack?

Forget Arab democracy. (Chinese still confused about it.)

September 18, 2013admin 23 Comments »
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23 Responses to this entry

  • Thales Says:

    “Macro is garbage” link is, oddly enough, garbage.

    http://consultingbyrpm.com/blog/2013/09/the-intellectual-bankruptcy-of-mainstream-macroeconomics.html

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Many thanks (now switched and enriched).

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 18th, 2013 at 2:22 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alrenous Says:

    From my experience elsewhere in epistemology, formal macro may be garbage, but naive macro is probably just fine. E.g. Post hoc ergo propter hoc is a formal fallacy, but we have to list it as such because, normally, it’s just fine and thus we develop a habit of relying on it. So, the economy was crap after stimulus – probably due to stimulus. Economy was fine to good after sequester – well, it at least upheld the Hippocratic oath.

    The only reason macro is even slightly hard is because of ideologues and sophists deliberately and constantly muddy the waters to support their theories/grip on power.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 18th, 2013 at 3:59 pm Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    That Caplan piece just blew half my brain away into shellshock. This naked examples of utterly content-free sanctimonious madness terrify me, please stop linking to them. Or at least add a “contains sensitive content” disclaimer or something.

    [Reply]

    Thales Reply:

    “It should bear a large red label reading, ”WARNING: LARK’S VOMIT!’ if you would like to avoid prosecution in the future.” — John Cleese, Monty Python

    [Reply]

    C. Y. Chen Reply:

    @

    Trigger Warning: Bryan Caplan

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Yes. The brand should do the marketing.

    Cimon Alexander Reply:

    I find it interesting that Caplan considers replacement of African populations through immigration and out-breeding to be evil.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    It’s impossible to read that without thinking there’s some secret wink-wink point he’s making, but it’s also impossible to tell what it is.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    A link “just blew half [your] brain away into shellshock” and you’re asking me to stop doing it? You’ve no sense of fun.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 18th, 2013 at 4:20 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    What is it about our Matchless King?

    [T]he Lord and his jealousy shall smoke against that man…

    (Via the Spinoza piece. Talk about rubbing it in. Sorry – couldn’t resist)

    The Mou extracts are amazing btw. So much so they’re taking some processing (connections flying off in all directions). Presumably we’ll be returning to him for some time?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “Presumably we’ll be returning to him for some time?” — Yes, if I can get my priorities lined up functionally. A post that did some real work would be an encouraging start.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 18th, 2013 at 4:46 pm Reply | Quote
  • Kgaard Says:

    @

    Disagree. How many doomsayers have loaded up on gold stocks over the past few years because it seemed intuitively obvious — and been wiped out? Bernanke has been doing a good job. The end is not near, at least in financial terms …

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Apocalyptic Austrianism has to be corrected in the direction of skeptical realism by EMH (see Vladimir’s comments linked in post). No Keynesian macro needed, wanted, or tolerated.

    [Reply]

    Kgaard Reply:

    Vladimir is correct to say you can’t have a gold standard together with fractional-reserve banking. That’s a good insight that most Austrians gloss over. So which one has to go? One reasonable answer is to sharply raise bank capital requirements and lending standards. Turkey had no banking crisis post-2008 because their banks had like 16% capital ratios and demand very good collateral for making loans. Ditto Sri Lanka.

    But the idea we’re going to get rid of fractional-reserve banking … well … it just isn’t going to happen.

    Here’s something else to consider: It could be that the aging global population coupled with DECLINING population in some countries could bring a greater risk of DE-flation than inflation (see Japan). Also, with Third-World IQs going up, instances of hyperinflation become rarer.

    From a Kondratieff perspective, the 2008 crash could be viewed as a one-off, every-fourth-generation event, not to be repeated until everyone who experienced this crash is dead.

    Here’s another instance of two things not going together: the welfare state and stable money. Since you can’t get rid of the welfare state, you can’t have stable money. These are just the problems you get with 100% voter participation. To get to hard money you’d have to disenfranchise the weak.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    Of course we disenfranchise the weak.

    I wouldn’t bet the farm on no hard money. Nor would the actual farmers.

    Somehow the world had both a gold standard and fractional banking [if I have to choose between the two, that’s so easy, but I’m not a speculator] until 1971, or 1933/1913 if you like, but it did exist.

    We have an interesting situation under managerial progressivism of a electoral coaltiion of the the very weak [mostly by choice] and super-predators of government and finance. Both must be disenfranchised, the latter is disenfranchised by hard money. That’s why it’s unthinkable to speculators, and why it must happen.

    The value of goods will meet the value of trustworthy money available, that’s something that can be trusted because it’s the story of man and money.

    Posted on September 18th, 2013 at 8:45 pm Reply | Quote
  • Kgaard Says:

    Fleckenstein is also wrong, actually. I’ve followed him fairly closely and his model is flawed. The whole problem with blaming QE for everything is that QE worked far better than austerity ever would have. If the Fed is printing so much money, why is gold going down? (Answer — because demand for safe assets is decreasing as confidence in the US economy returns.)

    We really are not likely to see some sort of economics-driven collapse in the US. Central bankers are getting better. Tax policy isn’t that bad relative to the rest of the world. Seems to me we are just going to see more of what we’re seeing now for years to come. Even as the native population is being replaced, it’s also the case that everyone is getting a bit more capable every year due to the Flynn Effect. So we’ll be steadily more alienated and regulated, but I can’t see where an economic crisis comes from …

    [Reply]

    James A. Donald Reply:

    We really are not likely to see some sort of economics-driven collapse in the US. Central bankers are getting better.

    Everything works until it does not. Everyone who bets against a bubble loses until they win.

    We are seeing a bubble in government promises.

    I predicted the financial crisis in late 2005 early 2006. In fact it happened in late 2007 early 2008. Oh boy was I wrong 🙂

    The crisis was postponed – at the cost of extending it forever.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 18th, 2013 at 9:05 pm Reply | Quote
  • Vxxc Says:

    Mars exploration doesnt take the possible pyschological consequences into account. No economists , pyschologists or fags on Mars. I’m normally all in favor of Imperialism but this evil must be checked here.

    Or they go out the fucking airlock. That can be on reality TV too.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    The part about the colonists going mad because they wouldn’t have access to regular psychiatric attention was sadly comical.

    [Reply]

    Thales Reply:

    You should kick that one over to TLP. She’s have a hoot with it. ‘reminded me of this — just substitute shrinks:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhkmOThIySc

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 19th, 2013 at 12:59 am Reply | Quote
  • Vxxc Says:

    If it takes Hitler America goes to space. Fuck it

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 19th, 2013 at 1:02 am Reply | Quote
  • Kgaard Says:

    @Kgaard
    Well … to me it’s not a coincidence that each of the two big devaluations of the 20th century (1933 and 1971) came soon after expansions of the right to vote to weaker members of society (first to women, then to blacks). Yes, we had a gold standard and fractional reserve banking til 1971, but it was crumbling by 1968. Also, it’s pretty clear bankers ran on less leverage in the pre-1971 era. So if we reduced the leverage that would help.

    That said … it’ seems to me it’s a very rare thing for a country to go 100 years with stable money. The Romans had periodic devaluations, for instance. Yes, the English and the Americans have put up 200-year spans of monetary stability — but again these were with limited voter participation and hugely growing economies.

    Still … I’m not sure we need to worry much about inflation for the next 50 years. It’s the wrong thing to worry about. You can have a little bit of monetary erosion and it is offset by increasing efficiencies of production. So, for instance, the real cost of airplane tickets is pretty low.

    Where will truly stable money come from? I don’t know. I used to think gold was stable in real terms, but now I’m a little less sure given how much it’s outperformed the last few years. Bitcoin is NOT stable money because it’s always rising in value, which freaks me out.

    So, it seems to me central bankers do about the best thing you can do, which is target bond yields, CPI and growth, all with an eye toward reasonably strong growth and reasonably low inflation. It’s worked out reasonably well. In emerging markets, monetary policy is now RADICALLY better than before the 1997-98 crash. I just got back from Jakarta, for instance, and the place has never looked better. That’s because the currency hasn’t been pegged for 15 years and central bankers have learned their trade, allowing interest rates to fall to single digits.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 19th, 2013 at 2:18 pm Reply | Quote

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