Friday, January 16, 2009

My Manifesto!

PVT (property value tax): 7% Land Value and Intellectual Property Value
Property value is self decided, however the property can be purchased (with a delay) at the decided price. Money raised by the PVT to pay for a citizens dividend (Deliberately NOT called a citizens income).

Abolish Time Taxes: All taxes on time (income tax, NI & corporation tax) or transfers (CGT stamp duty) abolished and apologies sent out.

Voting Reform: Democracy replaced with Revocracy: for X candidates you get X-1 votes, which you can use to select who you don't want to represent you. Would end the party system!

Debt Licensing: To be legally allowed to borrow you have to pass a test showing you can work out compound interest and the final amount. Make it very illegal to lend to those who cannot work out interest.

Gun Control: I don't like the government giving itself special privileges, so if you do the same training as the police, you can arm yourself to the same level.

Prison Reform: Split Prison into 3 sections.
Reform Prison for first time criminals, resources concentrated here to make sure they don't come back.
Second chance prison, much tougher.
Holding Pen: Anti Social Criminals who are just a burden on society will spend the rest of their days here. No expense spent. Prison expected to be self feeding.

Drug Reform:
All drugs decriminalised. Being "high" treated as a form of voluntary and temporary mental illness (not sharing the same reality) requiring temporary separation from the rest of society until the effects wear off. Duty of care for the establishment providing drugs.

Monetary Policy:
BoE supervision to require banks to change reserves with changes in M4. Ban cash bonuses for Bank staff, must take bonus in Bonds sold by the bank.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Financial prowess in the fingers

The link could be down to testosterone exposure in the womb, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says.

This exposure may improve rapid decision-making skills and has been linked with aggression.

It's also been linked to the Austism spectrum "disorders" (so called highly male brain), which you should know make those affected increase the importance of Systematic Thinking and pattern spotting much more highly than chatting skills.

Why do Al Pravda think trading is more about aggression than skill?

Why not, you know, just keep them in jail?

click the link.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

There's No Pain-Free Cure for Recession

Belt-tightening is required by all, including government.


As recession fears cause the nation to embrace greater state control of the economy and unimaginable federal deficits, one searches in vain for debate worthy of the moment. Where there should be an historic clash of ideas, there is only blind resignation and an amorphous queasiness that we are simply sweeping the slouching beast under the rug.

With faith in the free markets now taking a back seat to fear and expediency, nearly the entire political spectrum agrees that the federal government must spend whatever amount is necessary to stabilize the housing market, bail out financial firms, liquefy the credit markets, create jobs and make the recession as shallow and brief as possible. The few who maintain free-market views have been largely marginalized.

Taking the theories of economist John Maynard Keynes as gospel, our most highly respected contemporary economists imagine a complex world in which economics at the personal, corporate and municipal levels are governed by laws far different from those in effect at the national level.

Individuals, companies or cities with heavy debt and shrinking revenues instinctively know that they must reduce spending, tighten their belts, pay down debt and live within their means. But it is axiomatic in Keynesianism that national governments can create and sustain economic activity by injecting printed money into the financial system. In their view, absent the stimuli of the New Deal and World War II, the Depression would never have ended.

On a gut level, we have a hard time with this concept. There is a vague sense of smoke and mirrors, of something being magically created out of nothing. But economics, we are told, is complicated.

It would be irresponsible in the extreme for an individual to forestall a personal recession by taking out newer, bigger loans when the old loans can't be repaid. However, this is precisely what we are planning on a national level.

I believe these ideas hold sway largely because they promise happy, pain-free solutions. They are the economic equivalent of miracle weight-loss programs that require no dieting or exercise. The theories permit economists to claim mystic wisdom, governments to pretend that they have the power to dispel hardship with the whir of a printing press, and voters to believe that they can have recovery without sacrifice.

As a follower of the Austrian School of economics I believe that market forces apply equally to people and nations. The problems we face collectively are no different from those we face individually. Belt tightening is required by all, including government.

Governments cannot create but merely redirect. When the government spends, the money has to come from somewhere. If the government doesn't have a surplus, then it must come from taxes. If taxes don't go up, then it must come from increased borrowing. If lenders won't lend, then it must come from the printing press, which is where all these bailouts are headed. But each additional dollar printed diminishes the value those already in circulation. Something cannot be effortlessly created from nothing.

Similarly, any jobs or other economic activity created by public-sector expansion merely comes at the expense of jobs lost in the private sector. And if the government chooses to save inefficient jobs in select private industries, more efficient jobs will be lost in others. 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.

If we look at government market interventions through this pragmatic lens, what can we expect from the coming avalanche of federal activism?

By borrowing more than it can ever pay back, the government will guarantee higher inflation for years to come, thereby diminishing the value of all that Americans have saved and acquired. For now the inflationary tide is being held back by the countervailing pressures of bursting asset bubbles in real estate and stocks, forced liquidations in commodities, and troubled retailers slashing prices to unload excess inventory. But when the dust settles, trillions of new dollars will remain, chasing a diminished supply of goods. We will be left with 1970s-style stagflation, only with a much sharper contraction and significantly higher inflation.

The good news is that economics is not all that complicated. The bad news is that our economy is broken and there is nothing the government can do to fix it. However, the free market does have a cure: it's called a recession, and it's not fun, easy or quick. But if we put our faith in the power of government to make the pain go away, we will live with the consequences for generations.

Mr. Schiff is president of Euro Pacific Capital and author of "The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets" (Wiley, 2008).