# Free your Thoughts

Other blogs have regular occasions when people can talk about whatever they like (within reason). So I thought we might give it a try. If you have a link to share, some news you want to discuss, or an idea that must be shared then here is your chance. Comment away.

29 thoughts on “# Free your Thoughts

  1. Good idea, Terje… we already have the discussion thread, but that doesn’t get rotated.

    We should have an open discussion thread each week – with the discussion menu link pointing to latest one.

  2. Does anyone now have a justification for the bailouts? We were abused by lunatics and Paulson-sycophants coming out in favour of this lunacy at the time. But one looked in vain for a solid argument justifying what was blatant stealing and obviously so. Cambria, in total violation of economics used the excuse that “it could work”. He still hasn’t backed down from his support of this criminal activity.

    You guys ought to be thinking a bit harder about who you are giving the microphone to and who you are censoring. Remember Humphreys originally censored me, not for rudeness, but for my opposition to bank-ponzi-pyramiding, which is what caused this banking crisis.

  3. That’s because your idea is crank economics, backed by assertions and it is terribly immoral to impose restrictions on honest, fully informed, consenting adults Graeme.

  4. Graeme – I’m not sure censored is the right word. However the decision was taken essentially because you scream at the microphone rather than engaging in dialogue and none of us has the time or interest in moderating your megaphone tactics. Your behaviour was effectively censoring others. You can’t moderate yourself so you have essentially been uninvited. The ALS is hardly the only site to do this to you.

    In my view JC (and DavidL and others) were wrong to support the bailouts. JC has however offered some degree of retreat from his original position (DavidL may have also but I have not seen it). In any case the ALS blog has had some quite robust dialogue on this issue without your input. You were hardly the only voice opposing this.

  5. I remember JC supporting the bailout of Fannie and Freddie, but I don’t recall going on the record supporting any bailouts.

    As it happens, I have some sympathy for preventing banks from failure due to the adverse effect on so many innocent bystanders (especially depositors). But I’d let a company like AIG or General Motors fail, and I haven’t said otherwise.

  6. But are depositors really innocent? Didn’t they know they were supporting a corrupt factional-reserve banking system? (As you have probably guessed, I put all my spare money into a credit union, so I can pretend to be morally superior.)
    Less facetiously, who owns Westpac, as an example? Why didn’t the owner/s demand accountability? Who was asleep at the teller?

  7. Exactly. A lot of depositors are even in a small way, shareholders or know how banks work.

    Everyone knows what happens and everyone wants it. Graeme’s position is like that of a liquor prohibitionist – imagining evils that don’t exist and wishing to impose a system of regulation that would have disasterous consequences.

  8. If it is a legal argument based on what the Government can and cannot do, I assume he is right.

    If it comes to the definition of taxation, if Ricardian equivalence is discussed, since the change in income over a year is small, I can’t see how he can win – materially, it is very similar to 52 lots of $17.31 if the TFT was raised by $900 for one year only. That is, if it is based on a definition given by economists, I don’t think he will win, particularly when the Government was in surplus last year.

    As for a gift, this is no different to a progressive restructuring of tax thresholds – so differences in the bonus and taxable income become irrelevant.

  9. I don’t think depositors are “innocent”. If they wanted 100% security, they should have paid to put their money in a vault backed by insurance and re-insurance. Instead, depositors chose to put their money at a bank and assume the small but real risks that are associated with that.

    Likewise, people with an insurance contract with AIG or an order with General Motors have taken a risk.

    Like Terje, I also remember DavidL supporting a bail-out, but I can’t remember the details or the forum (perhaps this). Either way — it’s good to see a growing libertarian consensus against any & all bailouts.

    Now that I have your attention, over on Cato@Liberty, they have a speaker discussing the case of Portugal, which decriminalised drugs in 2001, and has had no trouble since. Any trouble caused by drugged behaviour is more than made up for by not needing to police the drug laws, or fine people, or imprison them; and the decrease in crime (because prices are cheap and affordable on honest salaries) more than compensates. Go and see the arguments for freeing up the drug markets. Free those drugs!

  11. Obama has fired CEO of GM in US.

    “The Obama administration asked Rick Wagoner, the chairman and CEO of General Motors, to step down and he agreed, a White House official said.

    On Monday, President Obama is to unveil his plans for the auto industry, including a response to a request for additional funds by GM and Chrysler. The plan is based on recommendations from the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry, headed by the Treasury Department.”


  12. From The Australian:

    Kevin Rudd’s fatal conceit
    Geoffrey Luck

    WHAT makes Kevin Rudd run? The first answer to the question came 11 years ago, in the first words of the member for Griffith’s maiden speech to parliament: “Politics is about power. It is about the power of the state. It is about the power of the state as applied to individuals, the society in which they live and the economy in which they work.”


    Cherry picked or not – if this is what is in Hansard – it does not make me feel very comforted as a statement of his ideology. I fear things are going to get a lot worse before they get any better.

  13. I’m a Lotto winner.
    I only had three main numbers and 1 supplimentary, but I’ve still won something. If I did win a big sum, like the $1,000,000 first prize, what would be the best way to promote liberty, or libertarian ideas?
    Should I start up a marijuana network and make a profit from selling drugs, living a libertarian life, so to speak? Or could I start up a magazine that blatantly advocated anarcho-Capitalism, and see if there’s a big enough niche?
    Any ideas? What would you do with a million?

  14. A million dollars isn’t that much money, these days.

    Now, if I had $100 billion, I’d fund me a revolution…

  15. I have to agree with ‘Fleeced’ here, but with a mere million, I would probably hold a big piss up for all my yobbo mates as well as my laissez-faire, free market capitalistic,radical friends.

  16. Nick — you can already start a marijuana network and make money selling drugs. Get in quickly before they legalise it! 🙂

    You could start an an-cap think-tank/journal for Australia. Or invest in Patri Friedman’s seasteading project and start your own country floating in the pacific ocean.

  17. Instead of directly marketing drugs, I think I’d experiment with new types of containers, which would be sniff-proof, so police dogs get bored. Containers the police never notice, or which destroy the contents if opened the wrong way. That would be the thing to look into.
    A think-tank or mag would only take off if it was ‘free’, i.e. if advertising paid all the costs. There’s no such thing as a free launch, after all.

  18. You know, feasibility aside, the containers are a good idea – nothing illegal about selling containers – and the ones that make the best return in a gold rush are those selling picks and shovels… why sell illegal drugs when you can simply sell the necessary tools to those that do?

    Then again… have they outlawed pill presses yet? I seem to recall there was quite an open market for those, as they weren’t illegal.

  19. With a big lotto win, I could ‘retire’ to become a libertarian advocate. I might set up a post network, and deliver my products to my customers addresses, or at least to a mailbox. Better than hand-to-hand.

  20. I admire Prince Leonard, who is trying to get the UN to admit Hutt River Province in as a separate state. His example is one we can all follow. In fact, the name of any libertarian club I founded would be called Leonarditos, smaller versions of Leonard, with the hope expressed in the motto “I rule my life”.
    The complete philosophy would be-
    “I rule my life, lands, and property, absolutely;
    “We share common property democratically!”
    Private monarchies, public democracy- what more could a libertarian ask for?

  21. When will the discussion column be edited- that is, pruned? Or will it be allowed to grow unchecked for ever and ever and ever? Perhaps every season, it should be reduced to the last 20 comments, and then allowed to grow again until the next season.

  22. As for smell-proof containers, do you remember the thermos flasks? S-P containers could be built with an inner and an outer shell. Whilst smell is different to heat, I think it could be done.

  23. Better yet, we should just have an open thread every week, and the discussion link at top should just link to latest discussion thread… that way, we still have an archive of old comments/discussions.

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