Liberty vs. Leviathan

Chronicling Liberty's battle against Leviathan

Fixed

Despite the fact that the fix has been in since the days of FDR, Bernanke’s press conference this week is a sure sign that Keynes is on the ropes.

And just in case you missed EconStories‘ “Fear the Boom and Bust” from last year…

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Stimulus

While VP Biden prepares to spread the fallacy that government spending of newly created fiat money will create economic prosperity I thought I’d highlight a few businesses that are in the trenches, surviving and growing without the benefit of stimulus dollars.  Each one is led by men who respond to markets and serve customers.  They have no tariffs protecting their market, no lobbyists influencing legislation, nor special financial stimulus or protection from failure like the financial or manufacturing conglomerates.

If you have need of the services they offer please consider contacting them.  If not, please consider increasing their exposure by forwarding this post to others.  Make it viral!

Accurate Audio Consultants ~ Audio & Video Consulting

FamilyMint ~ Helping Kids Appreciate Money

Your Advocate, LLC ~ We can help to find the right solution for you

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Sound familiar?

A couple of years ago while doing research for a paper I had the good fortune of coming across the transcript of a radio speech made by then Senator Carter Glass given to refute what he claimed were false statements made by President Hoover on the campaign trail of 1932.  In this speech, Glass explained what he thought were the “…predominant causes of the prevailing depression”, critiqued the remedies put forth by the Hoover administration and answered the charges of Hoover against the Democrats.

Here’s a short excerpt from his introductory remarks.  This “conservative” Democrat from Virginia, certainly did not see Hoover as the “do-nothing” president.

…at the expense of the taxpayers, President Hoover has converted the Treasury at Washington into a national pawn-shop and infected the central government with the fatal germ of financial socialism. All semblance of state initiative and community pride has been extinguished, and the minions of Federal bureaucracy are given full sway to distribute huge sums of money picked from the pockets of the American People. Instead of being the servant and instrument of the people, with certain delegated powers, the Washington government has been made the creditor and overlord of the States, with power to coerce and subjugate these sub-divisions of the nation at the will of the party in power whenever pay-day approaches or an election needs to be won.

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The audacity of 2BG2FAIL

From Agora Finacial’s 5 Min. Forecast we learn of Andrew Ross Sorkin‘s photo of a Morgan Stanley executive reveling in corporate welfare.

New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin spotted this license plate in Greenwich, Conn. It traces to a vice chairman at TARP beneficiary Morgan Stanley. Clearly, he doesn’t feel the sort of jitters that have reportedly prompted some executives at Goldman Sachs to buy handguns for self-defense.

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Building houses on financial sand

The Foundation For Economic Education (FEE) presents The House That Uncle Sam Built, an excellent synopsis of the government’s role in the housing boom and bust.  Authors are Peter Boettke and Steve Horwitz of The Austrian Economists.  Editor is Lawrence Reed, President of FEE and President Emeritus of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

From the Introduction by John Allison, one of the few financial CEOs to run a profitable and sound business during the boom and take exception to the financial bailout during the bust in the fall of 2008.

This paper provides a “common sense” and understandable outline of fundamental causes and cures. The analysis is based on long proven economic laws. Despite the wishes and hopes of politicians, economic laws are just as immutable as the laws of physics. If you jump off a ten story building, hitting the ground will not be pleasant. If the Federal Reserve holds interest rates below the natural market rate by rapidly expanding the money supply (“printing” money) as Alan Greenspan did, individuals and businesses will make bad investment decisions and there will be negative consequences to our long term economic well-being. There are no free lunches.

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Spleen Vent

Arrrggghhh!  Where do we get these people?!

I read tonight in a local weekly paper this economic nugget about Cash for Clunkers from Candice Miller, a local Republican representative in Congress, “I think that, by anybody’s standards, this has been the best economic stimulus program that the government has enacted.”  Later on she continues, “This is going to be a critical component of how we get out of this recession, especially in Michigan.  Throughout our nation’s history, it has been auto sales that have pulled our country out of the recessions.  Talk to any economist.” [emphasis added]

The article further states without quoting that she sees another upside – a goose to the state revenues through new license and registration fees and increased sales taxes.  Now I feel better.

Perusing her Issues and Endorsements pages one sees that her policies and associations smack of modern day mercantilism and are similar to those of the socialists Bastiat warned against in The Law.

I repeat.  Arrrggghhh!  Where do we get these people?!

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Economic Cures

It’s been a hectic few weeks so I’m just now getting back to my daily diet of reading.   Be sure to read these from two of the most reasonable men in the MSM.

Last weekend in the WSJ James Grant asks “Is the Medicine Worse Than the Illness?” noting that “Trust itself entered a bear market in 2008…”

And today again in the WSJ, Peter Schiff asserts that “There’s No Pain-Free Cure for Recession“, spelling out in one sentence why our living standard is at risk of heading on a downward trend – “As more factors of production come under government control, the more inefficient our entire economy becomes. Inefficiency lowers productivity, stifles competitiveness and lowers living standards.”

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Fannie, Freddie and NASA

I started reading Rick Ackerman at Goldseek.com years ago.  I like him so much that now I subscribe to his free daily email update.

His commentary today had this word picture that was too good to not share.  Regarding the latest government plan to goose housing prices: “Not that such a hair-brained scheme could possibly succeed. NASA might just as well try to launch a trash can into orbit by stuffing it with cherry bombs.”

And while in principle I can’t condone any kind of bailout, if we’re going to have one, I vote for Rick’s remedy: “It would probably be cheaper in the end for the Treasury (i.e., taxpayers) to mail out checks to every homeowner for 20% of the amount of their mortgages.”

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Fasten Your Seatbelts

Inflation is currently running at 341% per annum.  No, I’m not talking about Zimbabwe.  It’s 231 million percent there.  It’s 341% in the good ole USA.  See Gary North’s analysis of why the the Fed is in a panic.

Adjusted Monetary Base

Adjusted Monetary Base

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Bernanke Still a Student

In 1963, Anna Schwartz co-authored with Milton FriedmanA Monetary History of the United States“, in which they made the case that the Great Depression was caused by tight monetary policy. It’s a work that Ben Bernanke often praises in his public speeches, citing the lessons learned from it as a basis for all the recent banking system liquidity infusions.

In an interview published by the Wall Street Journal over the weekend though, Schwartz schools Bernanke in one sentence, reminding us that in regards to today’s crisis “…to assume that the whole problem is inadequate liquidity bypasses the real issue.”

She doesn’t let Alan Greenspan off the hook either, saying that he hasn’t provided “…an adequate kind of response to those who argue that absent accommodative monetary policy, you would not have had this asset-price boom.”

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