Monday, December 20, 2010

A test of ideas

"Wenn eine Idee nicht zuerst absurd erscheint, taugt sie nichts."
Albert Einstein

Thursday, December 2, 2010

How to be a man

“If”
By: Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you

But make allowance for their doubting too,

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:



If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,

If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:



If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breath a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”



If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;

If all men count with you, but none too much,

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

“The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved.”
Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Democracy

The political process…a mere battle of rival rogues. But the mob remains quite free to decide between them.

~ H.L. Mencken Notes On Democracy (1926)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Recommend to your children virtue; that alone can make them happy, not gold.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Get off our backs

We have a choice to make once and for all: between the empire and the spiritual and physical salvation of our people. No road for the people will ever be open unless the government completely gives up control over us or any aspect of our lives. It has led the country into an abyss and it does not know the way out.
~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, as quoted by Pravda (1986)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Let's do so again

There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A thing without a limit

In view of the fact that God limited the intelligence of man, it seems unfair that He did not also limit his stupidity.
- Konrad Adenauer

Say it loud

 What you keep to yourself you lose, what you give away, you keep forever.
- Munthe

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Money and happiness

A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.

The joys and frustrations of math

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.

Think!

All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think. The trouble is that men very often resort to all sorts of devices in order not to think, because thinking is such hard work.
- Thomas J. (Jr.) Watson

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Let ideas die for you

I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong. - Bertrand Russell

Evil is who evil does

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Writing is thinking

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world."
Ludwig Wittgenstein

Our true responsibility

"We are responsible for the quality of our vision, we have a say in the shaping of our sensibility. In the many thousand daily choices we make, we create ourselves and the voice with which we speak and work."
- Carolyn Forche

Know "thyself"

"I do not know myself and God forbid that I should."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Ever thought of that?

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap."

Slippery slope

Ludwig von Mises: "Once the principle is admitted that it is duty of government to protect the individual against his own foolishness, no serious objections can be advanced against further encroachments." - Human Action

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Change is not the same as progress

Change is not always progress.... A fever of newness had been everywhere confused with the spirit of progress.
- Henry Ford

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Reality and mathematics

Keynes, Robert Skidelsky, Allen Lane, 2009
«Keynes was not prepared to sacrifice realism to mathematics.»

Reality and theory

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.  Albert Einstein

Causes and consequences of the international financial market crisis


Global financial crisis - Discussion points


The power of minority

"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds"
- Samuel Adams

Why scholars fail

“The thousand profound scholars may have failed, first, because they were scholars, secondly, because they were profound, and thirdly, because they were a thousand.”
—Edgar Allan Poe, “The Rationale of Verse”

Why socialism does not work

Ludwig von Mises: "Socialism is unrealizable as an economic system because a socialist society would not have any possibility of resorting to economic calculation. This is why it cannot be considered as a system of society's economic organization. It is a means to disintegrate social cooperation and to bring about poverty and chaos." - Money, Method, and the Market Process

The politics of power

"[Roman] Tyrants would distribute largess, a bushel of wheat, a gallon of wine, and a sesterce: and then everybody would shamelessly cry, "Long live the King!" The fools did not realize that they were merely recovering a portion of their own property, and that their ruler could not have given them what they were receiving without having first taken it from them. A man might one day be presented with a sesterce and gorge himself at the public feast, lauding Tiberius and Nero for handsome liberality, who on the morrow, would be forced to abandon his property to their avarice, his children to their lust, his very blood to the cruelty of these magnificent emperors, without offering any more resistance than a stone or a tree stump. The mob has always behaved in this way – eagerly open to bribes that cannot be honorably accepted, and dissolutely callous to degradation and insult that cannot be honorably endured."

Étienne de la Boétie

100% Money

Irving Fisher, 100% Money
“Thus, our national circulating medium is now at the mercy of loan transactions of banks, which lend, not money, but promises to supply money they do not possess.”++

The great swindle

Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816
“I sincerely believe … that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”

The true master

James A. Garfield
“Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce.”++

The Law

Frederic Bastiat, The Law
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”++

Ruined by paper money

Daniel Webster, speech in the Senate, 1833:
“We are in danger of being overwhelmed with irredeemable paper, mere paper, representing not gold nor silver; no sir, representing nothing but broken promises, bad faith, bankrupt corporations, cheated creditors and a ruined people.”

Paper money

Voltaire (1694-1778)

“Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value —- zero.”

Money and gold

“You have to choose [as a voter] between trusting to the natural stability of gold and the natural stability of the honesty and intelligence of the members of the Government. And, with due respect for these gentlemen, I advise you, as long as the Capitalist system lasts, to vote for gold.”
George Bernard Shaw

Statistics

Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once offered a bit of advice to a youngster whose
ambitions included a seat in Parliament. "The first lesson that you must learn," he told the chap, "is
[that] when I call for statistics about the rate of infant mortality, what I want is proof that fewer
babies died when I was prime minister than when anyone else was prime minister. That is a political
statistic."
-Government by the Numbers: Reliable or Not? (K. Daniel Glover, Intellectual Capital)

Elections

“We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” --Aesop (~550 BC)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

War is a crime

Ernest Hemingway’s dictum: "Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime."

The meaning of liberty of expression

George Orwell wrote, "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Forecasting

"We have 2 classes of forecasters: Those who don’t know… and those who don’t know they don’t know.” — John Kenneth Galbraith

Sequence

"Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you invest, investigate. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give." —William A. Ward

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Let's be good

As C.S. Lewis wrote in Chronicles of Narnia, "Life is difficult, so let us be good to each other." 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Some simple truths

Ronald Hoehn July 14, 2010 at 10:03 am

Once one understands that real world facts can not be supported by imaginary concepts all things become simplified.
Money does not grow on trees
Printing money devaluates worth already gained.
Misdirected value by mandate assures failure, rather than just chancing it.
Falsifying reports to hide investment implications sets up larger failures.
Restricting human invention and rewards stifles investments.
Politicizing reality rather than facing it demonstrates a type of insanity that breeds further fabrication of truths.
Dung is the fertilizer of liars and grows more weeds of deception than real fruits resulting in starvation of true principles.
Statistics can be shaped to mean anything.
Reality is usual obvious, yet not many really want to see it or believe in it as it would take sacrifice and commitment to apply it.
Truths can be made simple or complex depending on who you are trying to alienate or embrace.
Deception is a ploy as much as knowledge is a worth.
Value is insured by a commitment to it.
Natural market pressures are good.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"My role in society, or any artist's or poet's role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all."
John Lennon

It used to be the other way round

I believe in everything until it's disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?
John Lennon

Statistics

Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once offered a bit of advice to a youngster whose


ambitions included a seat in Parliament. "The first lesson that you must learn," he told the chap, "is

[that] when I call for statistics about the rate of infant mortality, what I want is proof that fewer

babies died when I was prime minister than when anyone else was prime minister. That is a political

statistic."

-Government by the Numbers: Reliable or Not? (K. Daniel Glover, Intellectual Capital)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The tyranny of the judges

Murray Rothbard explains: "... One of the fatal flaws in the concept of "limited" government is the judiciary. Endowed with the compulsory monopoly of the vital power of deciding disputes, of ultimately deciding who can wield force and how much can be wielded, the government judiciary sits as an unchecked and unlimited tyrant.
Pledged to preside over the rule of law, law that is supposed to apply to everyman, the judges themselvesare yet above the law and free from its sanctions and limitations. When clothed in the robes of his office, the judge can do no legal wrong and is therefore immune from the law itself..."
link

Friday, July 9, 2010

Believe or not

Global Governance and World Order Studies

Posted by Charles Burris on July 9, 2010 02:50 PM
I want to call to the special attention of LRC readers three exceptional articles by Andrew Gavin Marshall on “The Technological Revolution and the Future of Freedom,” here, here, and here.  This series of excellent essays combine a remarkable synthesis of background historical research with original insights and dire warnings of future consequences if past and present trends continue unabated.
There are those in academia and the elite news media who characterize anyone who raises the impending spectre of a coming “New World Order” as a “conspiracy theorist.” Such “researchers” who attempt to document plans for the implementation of an authoritarian world government with far-reaching  political and financial control are simply delusional and suffer from status anxiety, psychological projection,  fusion paranoia, conspiracism, or producerism.  Since historian Richard Hofstadter’s Ur-text in the field, The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Other Essays, was published in 1965 (following the Goldwater presidential campaign debacle); a thriving sub-genre of debunking screeds have appeared in the academic and popular press attacking these alleged “conspiracy theorists.”
This has been exceedingly disingenuous and deceptive.  During this same period we saw the emergence at universities coast-to-coast of what has been labeled “World Order Studies.”  For over twenty five years I have had a copy of Peace and World Order Studies:  A Curriculum Guide, published in 1978.  It is 476 pages in length, and is a collection of introductory essays, course outlines or syllabi from university faculty across the nation (along with a bibliography of books and periodicals) for teaching global studies leading to the implementation of a New World Order.  It was published by The Institute for World Order, and contains the following acknowledgement:
“Very special thanks are due, also, to the Rockefeller Foundation without whose generous support neither this curriculum guide nor its forthcoming companion manual (Global Interdependence and Human Survival:  An Introduction to World Order Studies) would have been possible.”
Kinda lets the old cat outta the bag, doesn’t it David?
This academic brainwashing and disinformation campaign has been going on for decades.
Murray Rothbard’s Rockefeller World Empire (RWE) is simply the New World Order (NWO).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The wisdom of Warren Buffett

The power of unconditional love. I mean, there is no power on earth like unconditional love. And I think that if you offered that to your child, I mean you’re 90 percent of the way home. There may be days when you don’t feel like it, it’s not uncritical love, that’s a different animal, but to know you can always come back, that is huge in life. That takes you a long, long way. And I would say that every parent out there that can extend that to their child at an early age, it’s going to make for  a better human being.
Buffett spoke from Sun Valley, Idaho, while attending the Allen & Company conference, an annual gathering of technology and media leaders.
Buffett, one of the most successful investors of our age, is known as the "Oracle of Omaha" for his wide-ranging views on economic, political and cultural issues.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tocqueville

" I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America. "
Alexis de Tocqueville, 1805-1859, French political thinker and author of Democracy in America

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mind and money

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
Upton Sinclair

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hard stuff

Imagine how much harder physics would be if electrons had feelings!
– Richard Feynman, speaking at a Caltech graduation ceremony
(end quote)
http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1003/1003.2688v3.pdf

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hanging on - hanging in

“I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”
- Leo Tolstoy

Friday, June 25, 2010

Profit

Ludwig von Mises: "Profit is a product of the mind, of success in anticipating the future state of the market. It is a spiritual and intellectual phenomenon." - Planning for Freedom

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A truth rarely known

" I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America. "-- Alexis de Tocqueville, 1805 -- 1859, French political thinker and author of Democracy in America

Power of the evil

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

Monday, June 21, 2010

Evil exports

Ludwig von Mises: "It may be safely taken for granted that up to now the natives have learned only evil ways from the Europeans, and not good ones. This is not the fault of the natives, but rather of their European conquerors, who have taught them nothing but evil. They have brought arms and engines of destruction of all kinds to the colonies; they have sent out their worst and most brutal individuals as officials and officers; at the point of the sword they have set up a colonial rule that in its sanguinary cruelty rivals the despotic system of the Bolsheviks." - Liberalism

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

O Lord

When I was twenty years old, and a college student, I defaced a portrait of Chairman Mao. For this act, and without a trial, I was declared a political prisoner and sent to a forced labor prison on Taihu Lake, where I served in a labor reform brigade in a stone quarry for seven years: five years in the labor prison and two years as an ex-prisoner laborer. The tales in this book, transformed by memory, imagination, and time, are based on my experiences in this camp, and are not, I believe, unlike experiences suffered by millions of others who did not live to tell their tales.
~ Xiaoda Xiao

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Being wrong is good for your career as an economist

"... To restart the economy in 1981, Thatcher instituted a fierce attack on the British deficit, coupled with an expansionary monetary policy.  Her moves were immediately condemned by 364 distinguished economists.  In a letter to the Times of London, they wrote a knee-jerk Keynesian (Prof. Krugman-type) response: “Present policies will deepen the depression, erode the industrial base of our economy and threaten its social and political stability.”  Thatcher was quickly vindicated.  No sooner had the 364 affixed their signatures than the economy boomed.  People had confidence in Britain again, and Thatcher was able to introduce a long series of deep free-market reforms.
http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2010/06/03/prof-krugman-is-wrong-again/

4 Ps of marketing and innovation

Any marketer can quickly rattle off the so-called "4 Ps" of marketing (product, price, place, and promotion). Innovators should also be able to quickly recite the 4 Ps that capture their idea's potential: population, penetration, price, and purchase frequency.
Source

White and black swans

"A white swan for the butcher is a black swan for the turkey."
Nassim Taleb

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lies and more lies

“[T]he majority of politicians, on the evidence available to us, are interested not in truth but in power and in the maintenance of that power. To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lives. What surrounds us therefore is a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed.” – Harold Pinter, Nobel Lecture (Literature), 2005

Secular religion

" Patriotism, like religion, meets people's need for something greater to which their individual lives can be anchored ... America's state religion, [is] patriotism, a phenomenon which has convinced many of the citizenry that "treason" is morally worse than murder or rape "-- William Blum, author of Killing Hope

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Social cooperation

Ludwig von Mises: "What alone enables mankind to advance and distinguishes man from the animals is social cooperation." - Liberalism

Mind over matter

Ludwig von Mises: "What counts is not the data, but the mind that deals with them…. Galileo was certainly not the first to observe the swinging motion of the chandelier in the cathedral at Pisa." - Epistemological Problems of Economics

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Paper Wealth

"We are now taught to believe that legerdemain tricks upon paper can produce as solid wealth as hard labor in the earth. It is vain for common sense to urge that nothing can produce but nothing; that it is an idle dream to believe in a philosopher's stone which is to turn everything into gold, and to redeem man from the original sentence of his Maker, 'in the sweat of his brow shall he eat his bread.'" --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:381

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Social Security

Ludwig von Mises: "By weakening or completely destroying the will to be well and able to work, social insurance creates illness and inability to work; it produces the habit of complaining... it is an institution which tends to encourage disease, not to say accidents, and to intensify considerably the physical and psychic results of accidents and illnesses. As a social institution it makes a people sick bodily and mentally or at least helps to multiply, lengthen, and intensify disease." - Socialism

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Vladimir Lenin on how the world works

-“Democracy is indispensable to socialism.”
-“Fascism is capitalism in decay.”
- “Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in ancient Greek republics: Freedom for slave owners.”
-“ Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” (obvious reference to state public education)
-“ No amount of political freedom will satisfy the hungry masses.”
-“ One man with a gun can control 100 without one.”
-“ The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency.”
-“ The goal of socialism is communism.”
-“ The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses.”
-“ The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”
-“ There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel.”
-“ When there is state there can be no freedom, but when there is freedom there will be no state.”
Lenin

A theory of democracy

‘’Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard’’
- Mencken

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Subjectivism of values

Ludwig von Mises: "There are no such things as absolute values, independent of the subjective preferences of erring men. Judgments of values are the outcome of human arbitrariness. They reflect all the shortcomings and weaknesses of their authors." - Bureaucracy

Sunday, March 14, 2010

In praise of the uncommon man

Ludwig von Mises: "Everything that is thought, done and accomplished is a performance of individuals. New ideas and innovations are always an achievement of uncommon men." - Human Action

The right way

"The free man will ask neither what his country can do for him nor what he can do for his country." – Milton Friedman

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Great Depression

Henry Morganthau, in May 1939: "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong ... somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises ... I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started ... And an enormous debt to boot!"

Experiment and human action

Ludwig von Mises: "What makes natural science possible is the power to experiment; what makes social science possible is the power to grasp or to comprehend the meaning of human action." - Money, Method, and the Market Process

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Source of prosperity


Ludwig von Mises: "It is not labor legislation and labor-union pressure that have shortened hours of work and withdrawn married women and children from the factories; it is capitalism, which has made the wage earner so prosperous that he is able to buy more leisure time for himself and his dependents. The nineteenth centurys labor legislation by and large achieved nothing more than to provide a legal ratification for changes which the interplay of market factors had brought about previously." - Human Action

Source of freedom and truth

"The Austrian School of Economics is economics of freedom, economics for free people, economics of human action, not of government design. It is the only school which accurately predicted the fate of the socialist experiment, which cost over 150 million lives last century. Ludwig von Mises showed with precise and irrefutable logic why socialism could never work."
Yuri Maltsev

Saturday, March 6, 2010

God loves America

Otto von Bismarck: "God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and Americans"

American prosperity

Ludwig von Mises: "What is called the American way of life is the result of the fact that the United States has put fewer obstacles in the way of saving and capital accumulation than in other nations." - Planning for Freedom

Friday, March 5, 2010

The collectivist mindset

"Society does not consist of individuals but expresses the sum of interrelations, the relations within which these individuals stand."
~ Karl Marx (1818–1883), German political theorist, social philosopher. Grundrisse, "Notebook 2" (written 1857–58; first published 1939).

The power of the myth

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
~ John F. Kennedy (1917–63), U.S. Democratic politician, president. Commencement address, June 11, 1962, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

The threat of the welfare state

"A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have." Gerald Ford, US president

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Money

 Larry Parks, Executive Director, FAME “With the monetary system we have now, the careful saving of a lifetime can be wiped out in an eyeblink.”
                                    
George Bernard Shaw “You have to choose [as a voter] between trusting to the natural stability of gold and the natural stability of the honesty and intelligence of the members of the Government. And, with due respect for these gentlemen, I advise you, as long as the Capitalist system lasts, to vote for gold.”
Voltaire (1694-1778) “Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value —- zero.”
Daniel Webster,
speech in the Senate, 1833
“We are in danger of being overwhelmed with irredeemable paper, mere paper, representing not gold nor silver; no sir, representing nothing but broken promises, bad faith, bankrupt corporations, cheated creditors and a ruined people.”
Thomas Jefferson to
John Taylor, 1816
“I sincerely believe … that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”
Daniel Webster “Of all the contrivances for cheating the laboring classes of mankind, none has been more effective than that which deludes them with paper money.” 
St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank,
Review, Nov. 1975, p.22
“The decrease in purchasing power incurred by holders of money due to inflation imparts gains to the issuers of money–.”++
Federal Reserve Bank, New York 
The Story of Banks
, p.5.
“Because of ‘fractional’ reserve system, banks, as a whole, can expand our money supply several times, by making loans and investments.”++
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia,
Gold, p. 10
“Without the confidence factor, many believe a paper money system is liable to collapse eventually.”++
Federal reserve Bank of New York, 
I Bet You Thought
, p.19
“Commercial banks create checkbook money whenever they grant a loan, simply by adding new deposit dollars in accounts on their books in exchange for a borrower’s IOU.”++
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 
Modern Money Mechanics
, p.3
“The actual process of money creation takes place in commercial banks. As noted earlier, demand liabilities of commercial banks are money.”++
U.S. Supreme Court,
Craig v. Missouri,
4 Peters 410.
“Emitting bills of credit, or the creation of money by private corporations, is what is expressly forbidden by Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution.”++
James A. Garfield “Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce.”++
Frederic Bastiat,
The Law
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”++
Irving Fisher,
100% Money
“Thus, our national circulating medium is now at the mercy of loan transactions of banks, which lend, not money, but promises to supply money they do not possess.”++
John Maynard Keynes, 
The Economic Consequences of the Peace,

1920, page 240
“If, however, a government refrains from regulations and allows matters to take their course,  essential commodities soon attain a level of price out of the reach of all but the rich, the worthlessness of the money becomes apparent, and the fraud upon the public can be concealed no longer.”
John Maynard Keynes, 
The Economic Consequences of the Peace
,
1920, page 235ff
“Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalistic System was to debauch the currency. . .  Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million can diagnose.”
Ralph M. Hawtrey,
former Secretary of Treasury,
England
“Banks lend by creating credit. They create the means of payment out of nothing.”++
Robert H. Hemphill,
former credit manager,
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
“Money is the most important subject intellectual persons can investigate and reflect upon. It is so important that our present civilization may collapse unless it is widely understood and its defects remedied very soon.”++
Sir Josiah Stamp, former President,
Bank of England
“Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money and control credit, and with a flick of a pen they will create enough to buy it back.”++
Rt. Hon. Reginald McKenna, former
Chancellor of Exchequer, England
“Those who create and issue money and credit direct the policies of government and hold in the hollow of their hands the destiny of the people.”++
John Adams, letter to
Thomas Jefferson
“All the perplexities, confusion and distresses in America arise not from defects in the constitution or confederation, nor from want of honor or virtue, as much from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.”++
Wm. Jennings Bryan “Money power denounces, as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes.”++
George Washington, in letter to
J. Bowen, Rhode Island,
Jan. 9, 1787
“Paper money has had the effect in your state that it will ever have, to ruin commerce, oppress the honest, and open the door to every species of fraud and injustice.”++
George Bancroft, 
A Plea for the Constitution
(1886)
“Madison, agreeing with the journal of the convention, records that the grant of power to emit bills of credit was refused by a majority of more than four to one. The evidence is perfect; no power to emit paper money was granted to the legislature of the United States.”++
Article One, Section Ten, 
United States Constitution
“No state shall emit bills of credit, make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts, coin money—.”++
John C. Calhoun,
Speech 5/27/1836
“A power has risen up in the government greater than the people themselves, consisting of many and various powerful interest, combined in one mass; and held together by the cohesive power of the vast surplus in banks.”
Andrew Jackson: To delegation of
bankers discussing the
Bank Renewal Bill, 1832
“You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the eternal God, I will rout you out.”
Treasury Secretary Woodin,
3/7/33
“Where would we be if we had I.O.U.’s scrip and certificates floating all around the country?” Instead he decided to “issue currency against the sound assets of the banks. [As opposed to issuing currency against gold.] The Federal Reserve Act lets us print all we’ll need. And it won’t frighten the people. It won’t look like stage money. It’ll be money that looks like real money.” [Emphasis added.] (Source: ‘Closed for the Holiday: The Bank Holiday of 1933′, p20 – Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)
John Kenneth Galbraith “The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it.” Money: Whence it came, where it went – 1975, p15
John Kenneth Galbraith “The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled.” 
Money: Whence it came, where it went
– 1975, p29
Senator Carter Glass,
Author of the Banking Act of 1933
“Is there any reason why the American people should be taxed to guarantee the debts of banks, any more than they should be taxed to guarantee the debts of other institutions, including merchants, the industries, and the mills of the country?”
Chief Justice Salmon Chase, formerly Secretary of Treasury in President Lincoln’s administration, in dissent of Knox vs. Lee (The Legal Tender Cases, 1871)  “The legal tender quality [of money] is only valuable for the purposes of dishonesty.”
Dr. Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, 11/20/2003 “As long as we issue fiat currency, I see no alternative to a legal tender law.”
John Adams “All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation.”
Friedrich A. Hayek (1899-1992) Austrian Economist, Author and 1974 Nobel Prize-Winner for Economics “With the exception only of the period of the gold standard, practically all governments of history have used their exclusive power to issue money to defraud and plunder the people.”
Dr. Edwin Vieira, FAME Foundation Scholar “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, and that’s good enough.”

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Money makes the world go round

1881: President James A. Garfield (The 20th President of the United States who lasted only 100 Days) states two weeks before he is assassinated: “Whoever controls the volume of money in our country is absolute master of all industry and commerceand when you realize that the entire system is very easily controlled, one way or another, by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate.”

The value of money

"Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value --- ZERO." - Voltaire (1694-1778)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Limits of Science

Ludwig von Mises: "Science does not give us absolute and final certainty. It only gives us assurance within the limits of our mental abilities and the prevailing state of scientific thought. A scientific system is but one station in an endlessly progressing search for knowledge." - Human Action

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The power of "no"

Years ago, somebody coined the aphorism, "'No' is a complete sentence." While some grammarians might disagree with that conclusion, "no" is incontrovertibly the most powerful word that a freedom-focused individual can utter – assuming, of course, that he has the fortitude to let it be his final answer.
William Norman Grigg

Without qualifiers

"Let your 'yes' be 'yes,' and your 'no' be 'no'; anything more than this comes from the evil one."
~ Jesus of Nazareth, as quoted in Matthew 5:37

Plutus

Plutus, the Greek god of wealth, did not have an easy life. As the myth goes, Plutus wanted to grant riches only to the "the just, the wise, the men of ordered life." Zeus blinded him out of jealousy of mankind (and envy of the good), leaving Plutus to indiscriminately distribute his favors.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Stuck in ignorance

"I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives."
- Leo Tolstoy