Reader Mail – 07/14/2013 To 07/20/2013

Dan commented on UK Coinage Stupidity.
Speaking of taking low-denomination coins out of circulation, Canada killed off the penny last year.

Here we go!

Dan commented on Facebook IPO - Pump And Dump.
I don't say this to be confrontational, but why don't you "have the balls" to follow your own advice, especially when you advocate for it so strongly in so many of your blog posts?

It seems really weird to me that you would hold GLD/SLV given the fact that you think the funds are deliberately exposing themselves to default risk.

Due to my present living arrangements, I'm not allowed to buy physical. My parents said they don't want me holding physical, due to the robbery risk. Until I get my own apartment, I'm stuck. (I moved back in with them when I got sick.)

Dan commented on PHYS/PSLV Underwriters Steal $3M+ From Shareholders.
According to this, the trust can't even visit its own gold while in possession of a sub-custodian (or sub-subcustodian... or sub-sub-subcostodian).

To be honest, I can't understand how anyone in their right mind would buy shares in a fund that had its hands bound in such a fashion.

That's just legal weasel words. In effect, the GLD and SLV funds are a variation of the classical fractional reserve banking scam.

Even for a fund like PHYS, which claims to have full reserves, you don't know if the fund manager will cheat you.

A pro-State troll says "Those funds are audited!" Enron was audited. MF Global was audited. Lehman was audited. Being audited does not prevent fraud, especially when the CEO gets to choose the auditor!

I predict that, sometime in the next 10-20 years, there will be a default on one of the big PM funds. If you read the fine print of the prospectus, the fund shareholders are stuck with the loss in the event of the loss. However, as long as the fund has more buyers than sellers, they can Ponzi it, and delay the default for awhile.

Dan commented on George Zimmerman Charged With 2nd Degree Murder.
Zimmerman was acquitted. It blows my mind how many people think justice was served.

The trial seemed to focus on whether Zimmerman was acting in self-defense in shooting Martin, when a proper examination of the incident should first have ascertained whether Martin was acting in self-defense in response to being stalked by Zimmerman.

It amazes me what a great litmus test this case is for flushing out pro-state trolls. Even people who you would think are more to the libertarian end of the spectrum are not the least bit flustered by the fact that you can be accosted by a fellow citizen on the street, made to feel threatened and then shot to death when you respond to that threat.

It is doubly interesting because I tend to be more liberal in my politics, but in this matter I find myself putting on the shoes of people I used to dismiss as being psychotic constitutionalists.

Life is funny like that.

I favor compensation-based justice and not punishment-based justice. There's no point in sending George Zimmerman to prison, if you're sure he won't make that stupid mistake again. However, he should be required to make restitution to Trayvon Martin's heirs (relatives). Instead, most of Geroge Zimmerman's money went to his lawyers.

I was expecting a manslaughter conviction, because George Zimmerman did initiate the confrontation with Trayvon Martin. Trayvon Martin's relatives may file a civil lawsuit, but that's pointless because George Zimmerman has no assets.

The mainstream media spin is interesting, given with a tone of inciting more racial hatred. They simultaneously said "This verdict is offensive! You should riot!" and "Don't riot!"

dm commented on American Greed Fnord - Robert McLean.
I've been watching this show lately and decided to google this one a bit...found your site and read your article. Several of the points you make resonate with what I find myself mulling about after these shows as well(and will have to check some of you other articles).

My thinking is that the show is mistitled. "Human Greed" would be more appropriate...

I do not fully agree with your use of "evil". Thus, I don't really agree that the post mortem comment(s) were excuses for Robert (at all). Yes, I think I understand where you are trying to go with this, but in my opinion, there is a difference between evil, greed and stupidity - perhaps not come to think of it...I just would not lump human empathy into an excuse category.

Well, I suppose I teeter totter on who really deserves ruthless punishment... I think this show is just another sad testament to an abstraction about "what we've inherited", so I can not simply equate these con men with evil. I may mull about that further though....ughhh, I've inherited evilness...

Show is certainly making the cars, the watches and the boats seem less savory to me...

Interesting points in your article.

Dan commented on North Dakota Voters Considered Repealing Property Tax.
I'm not arguing the basic principle that taxation is theft.

But the existence of the current system complicates undoing that error. The nature of infrastructure at present is such that if half the people on Elm Street vote to stop paying property tax, they can't just "unhook" from utilities while the other half continues to rely on the city for their provision.

What I am arguing is that a vote to repeal property taxes entails a lot more than just amending a piece of the constitution because a tax-driven infrastructure already exists. And the same argument (99.9% of people can't vote themselves permission to steal from me via taxes) can be turned on its head to argue that 0.1% of people can't vote to sponge off of tax-supported infrastructure.

So in effect, a unanimous vote seems required, because otherwise the "Bob can't use voting to force Peter to live a certain way" argument -- which I totally agree with you about -- becomes hypocritical.

I'm a little offended that you call me brainwashed, when in reality I am simply indicating that the transition to a totally libertarian society isn't going to magically happen with one vote. It entails a lot of nitty gritty complications that will pose some interesting philosophical problems for someone who is truly all about personal choice and personal freedom without trampling on the rights and choices of others.

But once we get there, I agree, it'll be great.

I thought you were making the other argument, "It's impossible to provide for roads/water/garbage collection/utilities without a State-backed monopoly."

Getting freedom is more work than voting.

I say that bootstrapping agorist businesses is the best solution, and solve problems as they arise. The biggest problem for agorists is dealing with theft/kidnapping by the State.

For another example, California's Proposition 13 is a disaster. It severely limits the government's taxation power, while other laws require spending at a certain rate.

commented on Do Disabled Veterans Deserve Respect?.
you have no clue about the military. a lot of soldiers are in there 30s, 40s, and 50s. the military does not brainwash anyone. they train you to do a job and make you a better person.

Robert commented on Reader Mail - 06/30/2013 To 07/06/2013.
Are you okay FSK? Back in the late 2000's to 2010 you were on fire. I couldn't wait until noon est to check your latest post. You talked about economics with an insight that everyone needs to see, current events from a pro-liberty point of view. I have followed your blog since 2007, back when Fritz and I were posting and interacting with you. Is it the medication? Has it numbed your senses? Your compound interest paradox theory send Keynesians running for the hills!! I hope you are doing alright. You had a strong voice in free market and anarcho-capitalism. Can we hear it again?

I'll work on it. I've been distracted by other things.

8 Responses to Reader Mail – 07/14/2013 To 07/20/2013

  1. I’m convinced now that every single critic of the Zimmerman verdict is just making shit up. You did by claiming that Zimmerman initiated the confrontation. Yet Zimmerman claimed that he was blindsided by Martin while trying to maintain visual contact until police arrived. No evidence supports your claim. All of the evidence supports Zimmerman’s account of events.

    Ironically, Zimmerman should have shot Martin sooner, after he received the first punch. How many blows to the head would you take before defending yourself? And don’t bother repeating the lie that “Zimmerman started it” or making up any other baloney the anti-Zimmerman crowd circle-jerks to. The evidence doesn’t support anything other than Zimmerman’s story.

    And the government can’t incarcerate someone by just making shit up (at least not yet).

    • In answer to your point, why did George Zimmerman get out of his car? George Zimmerman deserves partial responsibility, because Trayvon Martin would have made it home without incident if he wasn’t there. I prefer compensation-based justice. There’s no point sending George Zimmerman to jail, because there’s not much risk of him being a repeat offender. He should owe damages to his heirs.

      • Martin was moving between houses where Zimmerman could no longer observe him from the car. That’s why he told the 911 operator that he was leaving his csr, which is when the operator told him “we don’t need you to do that.”

        Zimmerman was walking through his neighborhood, as he had a right to do. Martin was walking as he had a right. Then Martin attacked Zimmerman who had a right to self-defense. Even Trayvon’s friendgirl said she thought it was Trayvon who confronted Zimmerman.

        Your logic is nonsensical. If out of nowhere someone tries to kill me, I have the natural right to kill him in self-defense. Asserting “well if you hadn’t been walking down the street all nice and warm-bodied he wouldn’t be dead” is worthy of the harshestridicule. The Zimmerman case is almost that clear (but only if you give a damn about the actual evidence).

  2. And now you’re bagging on Prop 13 instead of bagging on the other problems. Hint: how does CA’s tax burden (per taxpayer, not per illegal alien) compare to other states without a comparable prop? Did you know that as weak as the R party is in CA right now the D’s have a supermajority? Prop 13 doesn’t matter right now but Jerry Brown is still pushing his craptacular ‘bullet train’, raises for his union buddies, and pensions that will kill the state just like Detroit. Prop 13 bought us 30 years, but apparently the populace is too damn stupid to keep from squandering the finest natural or human resources in the world. It just delayed it.

    • Prop 13 is a nice law, but it has some flaws.

      People who owned their house for a long time get a much favorable property tax rate than new homeowners, which is somewhat unfair.

      Also, corporations get a tax break due to Prop 13, and corporations are immortal. For property owned by individuals, the tax basis resets when ownership changes. For corporation-owned property, I believe the tax basis NEVER changes.

      California makes up the property tax deficit via higher sales taxes and income taxes. It’s just replacing one tax with another taxc.

      The ridiculous part is that Prop 13 limits taxation power (a good thing), while other laws require a certain spending rate on various things.

      • So you haven’t done the most basic googling of the tax burden? Even with Prop 13 we’re in the middle of the list for individual property tax. The volatility of the housing market means that enough homes are traded on that pesky free market to keep tax receipts going up, but without forcing people out of their homes.

        The corporation holdings are a red herring. Enough businesses are fleeing the state that plenty of those are changing hands too.

        I agree that the structural spending would be a problem…except in our one party state, the corruptocrats just keep stealing from the dedicated funds (seriously, check out the sordid history of the highway fund). Furthermore, the required spending is zimed at the things the gov’t is supposed to do (with education being one exception). And yet they even fail to do that.

        The education system is in shambles. We’re doing my part by homeschooling our kids. They’re getting better math, history, grammar and science than I ever did at a fraction of the cost.

        Now that Janet Incompetano is running UC my kids won’t even be able to get a Cal education like my wie and I did. Those schools (paid for by taxpayers) will only be for illegals and foreign studentz shortly. No Californian need apply.

        So please don’t sit there and complain about Prop 13. It’s the least of our problems. But hey, SCOTUS just handed the state a way to get rid of that too, so maybe it’ll be gone soon as well.

        • When corporations own property, they usually do it through a shell holding company. So, the effective owner of the property can change while the “legal” owner does not change. Prop 13 should not apply to corporate-owned property.

          One day, California may declare bankruptcy, and overturn Prop 13.

          The correct answer is that “All taxation is theft.” Arguing about tax policy is essentially arguing about the best way to steal. (How did SCOTUS just give California a way to get rid of Prop 13? Apply eminent domain to seize property with a low tax basis?)

          • CA cannot declare bankruptcy. Personally I think it should be dissolved into a federal territory until it (or pieces of it ) can prove governable. Prop 13 has nothing to do with it.

            Oh, and no, not all taxation is theft. Government has a very limited set of tasks to do, and taxes for those purposes aren’t theft.

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