Week in review

Quote of the week

“The gold standard has one tremendous virtue: the quantity of the money supply, under the gold standard, is independent of the policies of governments and political parties. This is its advantage. It is a form of protection against spendthrift governments.” – Ludwig von Mises

Can Fiscal Stimulus Revive the US Economy?

by Frank Shostak

“Most economists and various commentators are in agreement. They hold that the US government must sharply increase its spending in order to arrest the economic crisis that could turn into a prolonged slump.” They are wrong. Find out why here.

Some Costs of the Great War: Nationalizing Private Life

by T. Hunt Tooley

“I am suggesting here that a far-reaching cost of the war was the degradation of the autonomy of individuals and families in relation to their property. I might add that the huge, flashy fortunes of the 20th century are not the private property I primarily have in mind, since many of those fortunes are based on monopolistic partnerships between great centers of wealth and governments-the soul of rent-seeking activity, of soaking the producers. What I have in mind is the justice of keeping what one has worked for, the justice inherent in that wonderful capability of the human condition to work hard, plan, and save in order to survive, give, and consume in ways chosen by the individual and family-countered by the state’s aggressive tendency to take larger and larger chunks.” more…

Obama, Keynes, and Pragmatism

by David Galland

“[G]overnment doesn’t produce anything tangible. So when it comes time to ‘manage’ the economy, government is left with only a couple of tools. One is to force you and me to use our time and capital for purposes they view as important. Bush, for example, felt invading Iraq was a priority. Naturally, Team Obama has a slate of fresh ideas on the best use of your money, and say they want even more of it. I take umbrage at the notion that I should open my wallet even further for ‘the public good,’ especially when the perceived public good so often runs contrary to my own beliefs. For instance, on principle, I am against war – it is always the innocents that suffer the most. And I am against the creation of new and expensive regulatory structures, a government specialty.” more…

Obamanomics Will Fail the American People

by Michael S. Rozeff

“Everyone can be employed in jobs. We can all build pyramids. If the government builds pyramids, there is full employment but real income falls, growth of real income falls, and the general welfare falls. The pyramid building stimulates the brick-making and clay industries and it employs labor at the related chores, but the society uses up its productive capital stock to feed, clothe, and house us. When the government builds pyramids, it transfers capital from productive and potentially productive uses to unproductive uses. The product being produced, the pyramids, is not really in demand, and that is why it is unproductive. The return on the capital, the payback in the form of income, is insufficient to pay back the costs of capital that are being incurred. Hence, the pyramid building destroys wealth. The government may think it is creating wealth because it sees or measures employment and product, but these measures are illusory measures of overall wealth and value creation. There are many pyramids to see, but fewer loaves of bread to eat.” more…

Campaign For Liberty’s New Brochure (pdf)

by CampaignForLiberty.com

“Liberty is the noblest of political causes, and among political organizations we stand alone in defending and promoting it consistently and comprehensively. With your help, we can prevent the American dream from being taxed, regulated, and spent out of existence.” more… You can join by clicking here.

In the news…

  • Spain has lost its triple A credit rating.
  • Circuit City will liquidate all U.S. stores.
  • Slide show: unsold cars are piling up around the world.
  • Further steps have been taken toward creating the long sought after cloak of invisibility.
  • Here’s a nice article about geothermal heating. It’s pretty cool.
  • 50,000 are homeless in Gaza.
  • Here’s the text of Obama’s inagural speech. Many nice words in their, but talk is cheap. The jury is out on his actions.
  • Said inauguration will have cost $150 million in both private and public funds, with at least $50 million coming from the federal government.
  • There has been a major dispute raging between various European countries, Russia, and the Ukraine over the import of natural gas. Here’s a summary.
  • Fiat and Chrysler have entered into an alliance.
  • Zimbabwe’s national bank is issuing $100 billion notes, worth only a measly $33, but probably not for long.
  • Timothy Geithner, the new Secretary of the Treasury, says we must act swiftly to rescue the U.S. economy.
  • Toyota is now the world’s largest car maker.
  • Obama will have Gitmo closed in a year. I never had too big a problem with that place. Foreign prisoners of war need to be put somewhere and affording them the same legal status as U.S. citizens seems strange at best. Consider the right to trial by a jury of ones peers. Who exactly are their peers, other foreign combatants? Ideally we would stop with the foreign interventions and Gitmo would be a moot point.

Videos

  • Bailout bait and switch. What was the purpose of the $700 billion?
  • Here’s a funny one from the Daily Show. Obama isn’t so different from Bush… hmmm.
  • Yikes! We may end up with a corvee labor system here (2:00 – watch it)! In the United States!!! Land of the free? Rahm Emanuel is Obama’s Chief of Staff. He’s a real freaking wing nut.

And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 8,077.56 (-203.66/-2.46%)
Wilshire 5000 – 8,385.13 (-218.07/-2.53%)
CSI 300 (China) – 2,032.68 (+42.47/2.13%)
BSE 500 (India) – 3,204.48 (-227.14/-6.62%)
MICEX (Russia) – 553.62 (-55.01/-9.04%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 38,132.35 (-1,209.19/-3.07%)
Gold/oz – 897.70 (+57.80/6.88%)
Silver/oz – 11.94 (+0.725/6.46%)
Copper/lb – 1.472 (-0.0555/-3.63%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 47.46 (+0.89/1.91%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 5.8275 (+0.045/0.78%)
Corn/bu – 3.905 (-0.005/-0.13%)
Dollar/Euro – 1.2971 (-0.0298/-2.25%)
Yuan/Dollar – 6.8352 (+0.0023/0.03%)
Yen/Dollar – 88.78 (-1.95/-2.15%)
Dollar/Real – 0.43 (+0.0023/0.54%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.10 (-0.01/-9.09%)
2 Year Treasury – 0.81 (+0.09/12.50%)
10 Year Treasury – 2.62 (+0.30/12.93%)
30 Year Treasury – 3.32 (+0.45/15.68%)
Fed Target Rate – 0.25 (UNCHG)
U.S. Public Debt – 10,618,718,703,374.80 (-8,990,050,316.70/-0.08%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 945.00 (+64.00/7.26%)

So, Obama is the new President. I am and will remain cautiously pessimistic until I have some proof. He hasn’t done anything too over the top yet. Most of it amounts to rearranging the furniture on the deck of the titanic.

On the other hand, the crazies that he is appointing: Rahm Emanuel and  Robert Reich being two prime examples scare me. Bad. I know that “socialist” and “socialism” are pretty overplayed words, but they do have meanings, real meanings, and they equate to state control over the means of production, though in reality this implies every aspect of your life, because after all what are you but a “means of production”. Self-ownership is simply not compatible with such a system.

Anyway HR 45, a firearms and firearm owner registration bill, is in committee. Here is an analysis of it. Please call/write/email/fax your so-called representatives to oppose. Taking Britain and Australia as examples, registration has been shown to be the first step toward outright confiscation. On a side, if there can be a test for firearms ownership, why not voting, why not speaking? Tests designed to permit the exercise of one’s civil rights seem blatantly tyrannical to me. And YES self-defense is a civil right. And YES the National Firearms Act should be thrown out in its entirety. It it’s entirety! For what it’s worth the Brits appear to want their guns back. Let’s not get caught in that trap.

I found a very interesting link this week, The Online Library of Liberty. There are lots of great books available for download here, including works by Jefferson, Madison, Locke, Adam Smith, Mises, and many others. It’s a veritable treasure trove.

Meanwhile, someone decided it would be a good idea to countdown to when Obama’s first term will be over, or in the best case when he has to pack up and go back to Illinois. Here’s to him being a one-term president.

Have a great weekend, and please consider joining the Campaign for Liberty.

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