Monday, August 30, 2010

Presentation on inflation and deflation

A presentation by Antony Mueller on "Inflation and Deflation in a New Capital-based Macroeconomic Model" held at the Universidad Francisco Marroquin:
http://newmedia.ufm.edu/gsm/index.php?title=Muellerinflationmacroeconomic

The price of hate

The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less.
~ Eldridge Cleaver ~

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