More Babies or Something

Quote of the Day

People who see the declining population as a good thing tend to ignore the difficulties it will create. Let’s begin with the fiscal havoc. The federal government continues to spend more than it taxes, causing its debt to spiral upward. A low birth rate means more retirees and fewer workers to support them — more people entitled to Social Security and Medicare, but fewer taxpayers — worsening the debt. Even if we were to rein in the debt, a shrinking, aging population means more non-working people wanting to buy things with their savings, but fewer people to produce them, causing rampant inflation. As Stanford economist Charles Jones puts it, declining population has profound implications: “Rather than continued exponential growth, living standards stagnate.”

Robert Whaples
June 18, 2023
We Need More Babies

There are solutions other than more babies.

Robotics and AI will increase productivity. Anti-aging therapies will reduce the number of retirees and increase the number of projected workers.

But just because there are multiple potential solutions doesn’t mean the realization of any of the solutions will be successful.

Prepare appropriately.

Socialism is Barely on the Seattle City Council Ballot

A glimmer of hope for Seattle?

Bland is back? In Seattle the fiery far left is barely on the ballot

It appears the revolution has petered out.

Or maybe it’s just on pause. But Seattle’s great civic experiment of the past decade, dabbing in socialism and far-left progressive experiments in public policy, is all but a no-show in the current City Council campaigns.

It wasn’t long ago that candidates for public office here would routinely declare things like, “We’re going to make Seattle the most progressive city in America.” The campaigns were movements, centered around first-in-the-nation policy ideas involving wages, tenant law, anti-corporate campaign finance measures or such utopian fantasies as completely abolishing the police.

Seattle became one of the only cities to elect a real-deal socialist, of the type that wants to end capitalism — the outgoing Socialist Alternative Councilmember, Kshama Sawant.

Now candidates are talking about potholes. Building sidewalks. Hiring more cops. Fixing stuff.

There are 45 candidates running for seven seats. I can’t say that none of them are socialist at heart, and I definitely wouldn’t say that progressivism is on the run. We’re all liberals here, after all. But the mojo of the once-rising left sure seems missing.

I suspect the wolves have donned their sheep’s clothing but we will know more in a year. There has been so much damage done to Seattle that it would probably take a decade to heal even with the best wound care. And it isn’t going to get the best care. As soon as it appears to have life in it, the wolves will again attack and try to drain more blood.

Online Ammo Bank

This is a little different:

AmmoSquared Addresses Growing Demand for Alternative Assets

Nampa, ID – AmmoSquared Inc., the pioneer in online ammunition backed holdings, is answering the call from consumers seeking non-traditional ways to diversify their assets. The company offers a unique service by allowing customers to accumulate and store physical ammunition holdings off-site, providing an innovative way for individuals to build and protect tangible wealth while hedging against economic uncertainties.

As the global economy faces unprecedented challenges, many individuals are turning away from traditional asset accounts that can be vulnerable to fiat currency shocks such as stocks, bonds, and money market accounts. AmmoSquared’s ammunition-backed digital wallet offers a new approach for those concerned about the declining value of fiat currencies and the risks associated with conventional financial institutions.

“Ammunition is a physical, tangible asset that will never be worth zero,” says AmmoSquared CEO Dan Morton, “It’s more stable than cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which are still too volatile for most people to reliably use as an alternative store of value. Ammunition is more like gold, with intrinsic value based on the effort and cost of raw materials. It will never be worthless, nor will it vanish due to a tweet or hacker.”

AmmoSquared has developed a user-friendly platform that allows customers to build, store, and manage an ammunition inventory online. The company offers over 60 different caliber options to cater to the diverse needs of its customers. Asset holders take advantage of AmmoSquared’s secure, climate controlled, storage facilities, ensuring their ammunition holdings are kept in optimal conditions to preserve its value.

The company has also introduced features typically found in financial products, such as limit orders, percentage gains and loss tracking, and the ability to exchange between different calibers with just a few clicks. These features, combined with an easy-to-use interface, make AmmoSquared an attractive option for those seeking to purchase and store ammunition as an alternative safe haven for their excess funds.

AmmoSquared, which started in 2015 as an ammunition subscription service, has evolved into something akin to an ammunition bank. They offer customers a unique way to diversify their savings into a tangible, useful asset. As dollar dominance wanes and people seek alternative safe havens for their excess cash, AmmoSquared provides a practical, secure solution that helps protect customers’ wealth in these uncertain times.

For more information about AmmoSquared and its innovative ammunition solutions, visit https://ammosquared.com/.

About AmmoSquared Inc.:

AmmoSquared is pioneering an online ammunition wallet or “bank account”, offering customers an innovative way to purchase and store ammunition while still meeting their everyday shooting and hunting needs. With a wide variety of calibers available, AmmoSquared’s platform provides a user-friendly experience that allows individuals to manage and diversify their assets with ease. The company is dedicated to providing secure storage solutions and exceptional customer service, positioning itself as a leader in the burgeoning ammunition depository market.

For further information, please contact:

marketing@ammosquared.com

www.ammosquared.com

America’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’ Moment has Arrived

Quote of the Day

As cities and blue states become more confiscatory and hostile to property rights, they drive out wealthier people and wealth creators. And as prosperous people leave, the politics become more confiscatory and hostile to property rights. And the cycle continues.

Jon Miltimore
May 8, 2023
America’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’ Moment Arrived, New IRS Data Show

Interesting observation. It is possible that all positive feedback loops in the social order are bad news for the participants. The only thing I know for certain is this feedback loop is not an exception.

I would like to have a good model for the state of things a decade or so after “Atlas Shrugged”. Somehow, I don’t think it will bear much resemblance to Gault’s Gulch in Colorado as envisioned by AI:

Seattle is Going to Get Worse Before it Gets Better

Quote of the Day

We are walking down a very well taken path. And this board will be the ones leading us.

Tammy Morales
April 28, 2023

Watch through the end pic.twitter.com/PjKeMtCWn9

To be fair, there are others on the board as well. See this announcement for more information. There is damning material it is as well. I especially “like” the part about “social housing” where the rental price is according to what people can afford to pay. This slogan echoes from 150 years ago:

From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

This is indeed a well taken path.

The Everything Collapse

Quote of the Day

The inevitable consequence of the current Global Debt Bubble will be the Bankruptcy of the financial system and many of its participants.

The one Swiss and three US banks that just went under is just a foretaste of what is to come.

As the US and European banking systems come under pressure, The Everything Collapse will cause a collapse in financial markets of a magnitude that has never before been seen in history. Since the global financial system is a mesh which reaches every financial player in the world, from sovereigns to private individuals, no-one will be able to escape the The Everything Collapse.

Egon von Greyerz
April 16, 2023
FIRST GRADUALLY THEN SUDDENLY – THE EVERYTHING COLLAPSE

The author is trying to sell you gold. There is a strong potential for bias in the analysis and claims.

However, with the U.S. debt increasing by a trillion dollars per year it seems more plausible.

The Chart that has Launched a Thousand Takes

Quote of the Day

This is the chart that has launched a thousand takes.

The conclusion seems obvious: Everything the govt touches goes to infinity in price. Everything pure capitalism touches goes to zero.

But there’s another way of looking at this graph that dramatically changes the story.

image

Derek Thompson @DKThomp
Tweeted on March 18, 2023

The details of “the other way of looking at the graph” is at the linked tweet. It is claimed:

It’s not just govt vs. capitalism

It’s also services vs. goods.

But I see Cellphone Services and Food and Beverages out of the claimed groupings. Still, it is an interesting graph.

The Winning Mindset is Destroyed

Quote of the Day

I’ve always been puzzled by how many abandoned and buried cities there are. What happened to entire civilizations?

Now we are watching human population collapse in a number of countries.

Makes me wonder if all human civilizations fail for the same reasons. What would those reasons be?

My guess is that pockets of humans develop belief systems that drive success, but success creates space for diverse opinions, and then the winning mindset is destroyed.

That’s what is happening in America. Traditional American values — with all its flaws — created a strong country. Now we have the luxury of entertaining less productive mindsets that are destroying the foundation.

Maybe that happens to every civilization.

Scott Adams @ScottAdamsSays
Tweeted on March 29, 2023

Interesting hypothesis. I don’t see any obvious flaws. In our particular case, the ever increasing debt spent on unproductive things is a strong datapoint in support of this hypothesis.

Nationalized banks?

Quote of the Day

Joe Biden is spending the country into oblivion. He is bailing out wealthy depositors at these banks. Under Biden, our once-private banking industry has essentially been nationalized, too. With each year this man remains in office, a little bit more of America you and I knew will be chipped away. Eventually, we will look much like the European Union: a boon for crony capitalists and a nightmare for innovators.

Brandon Weichert
March 15, 2023
Joe Biden Might Have Just Destroyed America’s Banks

We live in interesting times. Prepare appropriately.

On socialism and communism

Quote of the Day

In the end, we will be okay. The economy might crash, but in fundamentals we’re okay. Even manufacturing is reviving, even if it’s doing so in American fashion: fewer workers needed, less expense, more production, more profit.

We will be okay. Might “crash” in externals and structure for a while, before coming back, though. Same with the rest of our symptoms.

But we’re the majority. And we’ve already won.

The mop up is going to hurt like a b*tch.

But be not afraid. We got this.

In the end we win, they lose.

Because 2+2=4.

Sarah Hoyt
February 8, 2023
DOING THE ARITHMETIC

The post is about socialism and communism. I think she has things figured out as well as anyone.

Quote of the day—Steve H. Hanke, Barry W. Poulson

U.S. debt has increased more rapidly than national income for more than half a century, creating what is often termed “debt fatigue.” The Congressional Budget Office reports that federal debt held by the public as a share of GDP increased to 98 percent in 2022 and is projected to increase to 185 percent by 2052, implying that Americans’ debt fatigue will only worsen. The fiscal rules enacted by Congress to constrain debt have clearly failed, and the federal government has virtually abandoned any semblance of a rules-based fiscal policy. Indeed, the debt ceiling has been routinely lifted or suspended, and the spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act have been largely flaunted and were allowed to expire in 2022.

Steve H. Hanke, Barry W. Poulson
January 9, 2023
It’s Time to Put a Brake on the Debt-Ceiling Charade
[Most sources put the ratio about 120% or higher,

The debt “ceiling” is a total joke.

Prepare appropriately.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Alan M. Dershowitz

In the bad old days, race was often used to discriminate against black applicants. Today race is often used to discriminate in favor of black applicants. I guess that is some sort of progress. But real progress will be achieved only if and when race is no longer a factor that trumps meritocracy.

Only then will Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of how his children and ours should be judged become a reality.

Alan M. Dershowitz
December 1, 2022
ALAN DERSHOWITZ: San Francisco Is The Canary In The Coal Mine For Where Wokeism Is Headed
[Just interact with people as individuals rather than some racial/religious/ethic/sexual-preference group. Does this person do good work and get along with people? If so, then except for a very few jobs, the other stuff does not matter.

By not hiring people based on merit society is made to pay more for goods and services. It is an waste of economic resources. Or, if you want to tweak the lefties, non-meritocracy hiring damages the planet.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Rohail Saleem

Proponents argue that a digital U.S. dollar will allow the Federal Reserve a much greater level of precision in enacting its own monetary policy. For instance, if the Fed wants to juice up consumer spending, it can start penalizing the digital U.S. dollars stored in each citizen’s wallet, thereby creating a perverse incentive to spend those dollars. Similarly, the Fed can also provide targeted relief to those most in need by depositing a set balance of the digital U.S. dollar directly within designated wallets.

Rohail Saleem
November 15, 2022
Here Comes the Digital U.S. Dollar: The NY Fed Has Now Launched a 12-Week Pilot Program for Digital Dollar Tokens
[This is what the proponents are saying? Wow! That’s like a used car salesman telling you, “This car is a ticking time bomb and by morning it will take out your house and family in a huge fireball. Just give us your money and in a few minutes it is yours to drive off the lot.”

This is a really bad idea. I prefer cash and perhaps precious metals for money. Change my mind.—Joe]

What is the worst that could happen?

Given the abundant historical data we can ask some interesting questions that should prove enlightening to people that have an interest in being enlightened.

  1. Based on the historical record what has been the best possible outcome from a country adopting a predominantly Marxist political philosophy? Where and when is this example?
  2. Based on the historical record what has been the best possible outcome from a country adopting a predominantly free market, free minds political philosophy? And where and when is this example?

Compare those two scenarios and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of the outcomes due to one philosophy over the other.

  1. Based on the historical record what has been the worst possible outcome from a country adopting a predominantly Marxist political philosophy? Where and when is this example?
  2. Based on the historical record what has been the worst possible outcome from a country adopting a predominantly free market, free minds political philosophy? Where and when is this example?

Now compare these two scenarios and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of the outcomes due to one philosophy over the other.

If you country were to have a complete political reset and have the option to chose between a Marxist and a free markets, free minds, political philosophy which would be the lowest risk of catastrophe?

Which political philosophy would be the most likely to result in the greatest good for the greatest number?

What is your choice for the political philosophy for your country as it comes out of reset? What are the critical factors in your choice?

Discuss.

Citations needed

With great eagerness I read the article, Crypto’s Decline Was Inevitable, Because It Is Based on a Classic Money Myth. I’ve been struggling for a long time to understand whether Bitcoin (and/or other cryptocurrencies) are the future or a Ponzi scheme:

I expected the author to make everything clear to me.

I was extremely disappointed.

While I tend to believe the main conclusion, the decline of the cryptocurrency market is inevitable, is true, I am exceedingly annoyed that he does not back up his claims. He merely asserts that, as a psychoanalyst, he knows his claims about the nature of money are true.

Even highly credentialed economists are not so arrogant as to make sweeping claims about the nature of money or the inevitable decline of cryptocurrency without detailed explanations and/or numerous citations. This guy is not even playing in his area of expertise and claims complete mastery of it.

That’s really, really lame. This discredits his entire profession. And, for a psychoanalyst, that is no easy task.

Quote of the day—John Robb @johnrobb

21st Century planned scarcity.

As in, “let’s not expand into space for energy and resource acquisition, or take the actions on earth necessary in the short term (nuclear power), because scarcity induced totalitarianism is much safer, just, and deserved.”

John Robb @johnrobb
Tweeted on August 28, 2022
[It’s the ongoing conflict between centrally planned and free markets.Or the zero-sum versus non zero-sum mindset. There exist people who crave and even insist on control. These people believe there MUST be someone, organization, or something in control. They are certain they and the world are a better place if control is exerted over a wide set of peoples action.

Some people believe the world would be a better place if most property and (possibly “or” instead of “and”, but this would be rare when you get down to the details) economic decisions are controlled by some supposedly superior being. This superior being is typically a government controlled by a committee and/or a dictator. These people fall in a spectrum that can generally be considered socialist to communist.

Some people believe the world would be a better place if social position and activity decisions (particularly sexual behaviors) are controlled by some supposedly superior being. This superior being is typically a government controlled or at least guided by a set of religious leaders. These people fall in a spectrum that can generally be considered democratic theists, many monarchists, to theocrats.

In the more general case people can be classified as being on a scale from anarchist to authoritarian. Here I am referring to the somewhat less common definition of anarchist as the organization of society on the basis of voluntary cooperation, without political institutions or hierarchical government rather than a state of disorder and chaos.

All social organizations have tradeoff. And under various situations some organizational types are vastly superior to others. For example an anarchist society does not do well against a communist society in search of hosts to satisfy their parasitic requirements. Yet, not too far up the spectrum from anarchist a society with government formed for the protection can economically and technologically, hence militarily defeat a similarly sized society near the authoritarian end of the spectrum.

I find our current political climate annoying because, as Robb indirectly points out above, a frightening number of people are demanding “progress” toward authoritarian government. There is actually a “sweet spot”, by many measures of societal “health”, which lies far closer to the anarchist end of the scale. This is an old, and mostly ignored, observation. History appears to be nearing another catastrophic rhyme.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Adam Kotsko @adamkotsko

My ideal land use distribution (based heavily on KSR): all agricultural land is collectively owned and scientifically managed to balance quantity, quality, and variety of food against sustainability and ethical practices. No single-family or corporate for-profit farms.

Adam Kotsko @adamkotsko
Tweeted on August 22, 2022
[I think “KSR” means “Knowledge and Social Responsibility.”

As collective farms have always worked out so well when and wherever they have been attempted.

As Robb Allen @ItsRobbAllen said:

My God, the hubris & ignorance to believe this level of central management is even possible is simply breathtaking.

Prepare and respond appropriately.—Joe]