[ExI] In gold we trust

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 23 15:08:14 UTC 2009

--- On Tue, 6/23/09, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 6/23/09, dan_ust wrote:
>>  First, all of these happened under heavy
>> financial regulation with the regulators'
>> approval.  So, that's a failure of regulation,
>> don't you think?
> I don't think you even realize what you are saying.
> Whatever bad happens, it's the fault of the government!
> They either caused the bad themselves or they failed to
> stop the
> gallant free enterprisers from thieving from the populace.

Not at all.  You took my comments out of context, ignoring the rest of my post, including my immediate parenthetic comment:

"(By the way, being for free markets does not mean being pro-business or pro any particular businesses.  In fact, my view is I think many businesses are crappy, scheming, and out to just separate you from you money.  I think it's good to have a healthy distrust of anyone trying to sell you something..  But I also think it's idiotic to trust someone simply because he claims to be a public servant or seems to operate from "higher" motives.  Just as we should be skeptical of businesses, we should also be skeptical of governments.  Usually, though, I find people either trust government implicitly but fear businesses or trust businesses implicitly but fear government.)"

Also, in the very next paragraph, I stated:

"Second, on a truly free market, yes, some people -- perhaps many, seeing how many trust government fiat monies today (what's backing the US dollar or the Euro today?) -- would be duped.  However, at least there would be a corrective mechanism.*  Under government money, there is little corrective mechanism.  This is why, e.g., the dollar is now aomewhere around 1% to 5% of its pre-Federal Reserve System value today."

Does this sound like I'm saying "Whatever bad happens, it's the fault of the government!"???  My point is and was: free markets are not perfect, they're just better than regulated markets and total socialism.  Yes, thieving will still happen, but there are clearer, easier to use mechanisms to limit it.  (The main mechanism being the exit option -- people could choose to not participate with anyone they felt was gaming the system.  Another mechanism is free entry: other people can enter into competition with any provider of money.  )

Finally, I stated:

"Finally, it's really up to each person to look after her or his money.  This is true no matter what system you live under.  If you're looking for a system where you don't have to worry, it doesn't exist.  All that can be said, though, is government controlled money systems give the illusion of security at the price of freedom.  The current crisis and all the previous ones of the last two centuries or so should be proof enough of this."

> I think you've closed the circle.

Not at all.  You've just ignored what I wrote and also believe I romanticize thieves.  Unlike your caricature of me and probably other libertarians, I don't have a romantic view of "gallant free enterprisers from thieving from the populace."  I've taken pains to point -- and I don't how much more clear I can make this with you -- that I don't particularly trust businesses.  I also have never stated free markets are perfect -- something, again, I've taken pains to underscore, especially with my comments on inflation and my criticisms of the EMH.  (If markets were perfect, I submit, inflation would not be a problem.  Nor would profits or losses occur.  Everything would work optimally and there would probably be no field of study known as economics.)




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