August 23, 2012

Free Banking

Not a whole lot to say since I'm swamped today, but I saw this article and thought of EE and JK. I hope you enjoy.

The Economist On Money and the State

Economics and Markets Posted by Bryan at August 23, 2012 5:00 PM

All Hail Selgin! Especially enjoyed the close:

Yet I suppose that we will never see the end of the myth that only governments are fit to coin money. Were bread a government monopoly long enough, Herbert Spencer once remarked, people would react with horror to the suggestion that it might instead be supplied, and supplied with better results, by the private sector. Spencer was probably right. I'm just glad I'll never live to see The Economist prove it.

Posted by: jk at August 23, 2012 5:53 PM

I can buy a one-year subscription to The Economist for $126.99 American, 117.00 British pounds, or 128 Euros. When they start selling subscriptions priced in Bitcoins, that will be a conversation worth having.

The RNC announced a committee to look into pegging the dollar to gold. A serious economic conversation, or a sop to keep the Paulistas faithful to the party? What do you think?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at August 23, 2012 6:14 PM

Hope it's a sop. I'm not a mettalist.

I was laughing this morning that I hope Gov. Romney's "get tough on China" is a sop. Sad that we spend so much time hoping our candidates really don't mean what they say.

Posted by: jk at August 23, 2012 6:30 PM

Was the gold-peg committee announced before or after the 'rights of the unborn trump those of the preborn' GOP plank?

In the story we get a glimpse of how the GOP intends to walk the tightrope between liberty and the theocratic wing of the party:

"It's not that we come down on exceptions one way or another, we leave that to states. The platform includes broad pro-life principles and leaves specifics up to the states."

"So it’s not that we are being pro-exception or anti-exception — we are SILENT on exceptions and leave that up to the states," the official said.

Put differently, the GOP position on abortion is that they're against it except when states are for it, at least until a Constitutional "human life amendment" is adopted. -- For the love of NED...

Anyone want to discuss monetary policy again?

Posted by: johngalt at August 23, 2012 6:43 PM

No, let's do this thing.

As the blog abortion squish, I have the same question for you as for my dear Facebook friends: do you actually fear that the US will introduce draconian abortion restrictions?

Sorry to disappoint the less squishy on the other side, but the hurdles strike me as very high. Stare Decisis on Roe, general attitudes in a secularizing environment, states' adopting legislation, further court challenges... A Constitutional Amendment? Rilly?

I appreciate your principled devotion to the rights of adult females, but future restrictions would likely be limited to later term, where I'm in and you get squishy, or to very localized geographic settings, or to government funding.

For all the strum and drang (isn't it great that Rep Akin has drawn out our needed national conversation?) I just don't see contraceptives for married couples being illegal in Connecticut again.

Posted by: jk at August 23, 2012 7:33 PM

I do believe a law prohibiting so-called "partial birth" abortion could pass at the federal level. I also believe that would be a diminishment of liberty for every woman forced to give birth in a jail cell.

I don't dispute any of your other points and I don't fear abortion law. I do fear that large quantities of voters can be dissuaded from voting for small-government Republicans because of Democrats stoking abortion law fears in their minds. Assuage that one for me please.

Posted by: johngalt at August 24, 2012 2:26 PM

Sorry, I tried. I just can't leave this one alone. I have been pregnant more times than JK, jg, rep Ryan, and rep Akin (misogynistic cretin - MO) COMBINED.

The idea that I might have to consider terminating a pregnancy at WHATEVER stage, for WHATEVER reason is frightening as hell! My devotion to, "the rights of adult females," has less to do with principle than it does to the fear that some government official might think he is supposed to be involved in one of the most difficult things I might have to consider with my family and medical providers.

Can you just imagine... You have to decide before 20 weeks... Your life (health) isn't really in danger... decided by some random bureaucrat.

So to answer, JK's question, yes, I do actually fear that unacceptable (not sure what you would consider Draconian) restrictions could be passed in the US.

That said, please note that I am planning to vote for Romney and Ryan in November. I DO believe that the lefist collectivism represents more of a threat to our liberties than rep Akin and his ilk. But I do NOT believe the threats from the right are to be ignored or taken lightly.

Posted by: dagny at August 24, 2012 3:48 PM

Glad to see that we're really fleshing out the role of free banking and competing currencies. Next week, we'll cover EE's nominal income targeting and euthanasia. (Yes, it is my fault and I think my blog brother & sister for their candor.)

I think there is a time before birth when the <noun> becomes endowed with the inalienable right to life. What makes me a squish is my reluctance to devote myself to a rational explanation of the date. I think nb suggested brain wave activity which I find philosophically perfect, yet likely unpractical -- it would be so early as to constitute an actual "undue burden."

And yes I am a male squish, but I fought for the rights or GM and Chrysler secured debt holders even though I owned none of the paper. But this male squish would be comfortable outlawing D&X. While I would not have voted for the 20 week bill – five moths is pretty close to my comfort zone.

No, jg, I don't like the disconnect on liberty, but guess we get at least as many die hard redistributionists voting GOP for being pro-life as we lose. That bit of grisly math might offend absolutely everyone, but growing up Catholic I watched "New Dealers" hold their noses and vote for Reagan, Bush, Dole, Bush, and McCain... The DNC in Charlotte promises to be "AbortionPalooza 2012!!!" Not sure that's a real electoral winner.

Posted by: jk at August 24, 2012 4:37 PM

I believe we are in a transition era and that attitudes towards another's reproductive choices will continue to evolve toward liberty for reproducing individuals. But elections must be held in the interim and pragmatism is called for. It seems the GOP is tap dancing as well as the music will allow and for that, I thank my party. I just have a difficult time defending its non-position positions.

As for the inalienable individual right to life you seek the origin of, what's wrong with the point at time in which the individual becomes inseparable? How is any other definition defensible without first abrogating self-ownership? Until they become separated, how can they be individuals? Does every woman step onto some Semi-Individual's Authoritarian Island for 42 weeks upon impregnation?? 22 weeks? ONE week?

Yes, self-ownership is my premise. I realize a great many people are not similarly "encumbered." In their world my argument is defenseless. But then, so am I.

Posted by: johngalt at August 24, 2012 5:29 PM

It perhaps lowers the bar of ThreeSources to spend too much time on poll results for items of philosophical importance, but my "hunch" is that this position is changing rather slowly. I happen to feel your way about gay marriage: its opponents do not notice the foundation crumbling beneath them in real time. Yet, 40 years after Roe, positions on abortion have extreme inertia. Taranto features both smart commentary and polling data on this topic today.

I respect your position but five minutes before birth and five minutes after do not suffice for me. Protecting the weak's rights from the strong is the highest if not the only purpose of government (that, and running the DMV...)

Posted by: jk at August 24, 2012 6:01 PM

The rate of the liberty movement is less important to me than the direction. But brother, please: Tell me you just wanted to see what would happen if you poked me with a sharp stick.

"Protecting the weak's rights from the strong is the highest if not the only purpose of government." Care to take a Mulligan?

Posted by: johngalt at August 24, 2012 6:52 PM

Protect the rights of the weak.

Posted by: jk at August 24, 2012 7:02 PM

Fair cop. I missed that nuance. Here's more of the same:

- The rights of the weak are no more valid than the rights of the strong.

- The rights of the strong (or the weak or the <adjective>) must be protected from the acts of the weak (or the strong or the <adjective>.)

- A government is the epitomy of the strong; the individual, of the weak.

I come not in defense of abortion in any of its forms, but in opposition to use of The Law to compel others in the disposition of their bodies. Some abortion procedures constitute an atrocity. All acts of tyranny are an atrocity.

Posted by: johngalt at August 24, 2012 7:20 PM

Like Rep. Akin, I chose my words poorly. You do not; that is well said.

Posted by: jk at August 24, 2012 7:42 PM | What do you think? [14]