Daily Archives: 03/18/2011

Fed Flame Fight Fanned with Financial Fanatics -Intellectual Debates


Intellectual Debates
Stephen Williamson
Thu, 17 Mar 2011 14:10:00 GMT

In an earlier post, I discussed Ron Paul’s book, End the Fed. In the Fox News clip linked at the beginning of that piece, Ron Paul speaks approvingly of Robert Wenzel. He appears to know him, and seems to feel that Wenzel is some kind of representative of Paul’s in the "intellectual debate."
I was quite careful in my earlier piece to be up front about who I know, where I work, and my background. It seemed that, in arguments with people of a conspiratorial mindset, you want to be very clear and transparent. I expected I might get some flak from Wenzel, but the guy must be a little slow on the uptake. I have written two pieces on Ron Paul, including
this one, one with Paul’s name in the title, and the recent one with the title of Paul’s book in the title. A little web cruising would pick that up in short order. Anyway, I actually had to email Wenzel to point the piece out, in order to get a rise out of him.
In any case,
this thing is what Wenzel comes back with. So much for intellectual debate. Now, we’ll give Wenzel the benefit of the doubt and assume that he actually has some intellectual capacity. Everyone can learn. Here are some tips for him on intellectual debate:
1. Know your audience. If the audience is a group of 8-year-old boys, then photo-shopped Ben Bernankes with Federal Reserve notes coming out of their butts will go over great. Pornography typically does not go over so well with the intellectual debaters.
2. Know the things that are at the core of your argument. What’s at the core of Ron Paul’s argument is seignorage, but Paul clearly does not understand how to measure it. Neither does Wenzel. "Seignorage even has a
Wikipedia entry. Start there.
3. There is no mileage in attacking people for being Canadian. Canadians are boring, shy, and quiet. Pointing out someone’s Canadianness won’t get you anywhere. Newfies, on the other hand, can be made the butt of jokes with impunity.
I have had some email contact with some other intellectual debaters, who I assume are readers of Robert Wenzel. Here is my good friend John Gonzalez:

Hey, I’m glad that you know some powerful people (I read your missive over at EPJ).
You are an idiot. You work with idiots. I look forward to you returning to Canada, you schmuck. You and your Federal Reserve will be going down in flames. You do not see it coming, but it is coming. Me, I saw this mess coming from a mile away, and made money shorting the S&P 500 with leverage back in late ’08. I retired after that (age 46), because I knew it was going to be a long-term mess, and I was happy to watch from the sidelines, until the storm blew over. Oh, by the way, the storm is just beginning, and will trough in 10 years or so. I’m a multimillionaire who rents his home (since ’04) because I knew that home prices would come crashing down. Dumbkopf Bernanke took a loss on his recent home sale, I vaguely remember.
Get some humility, idiot. You guys are blind, and you will be out of a job within the next few years. Oh, protect your family, by buying gold and silver bullion. I know you do not see its value and utility, but you will just have to trust me. John Gonzalez, La Jolla, CA. P.S. – I thought Wash. U. was a good school; I will revisit my assumptions, given that they have Bozos like you on staff. Univ. of Texas-Austin, BBA, ‘85, Univ. of Chicago, MBA, ‘92, LT, USN, ’85-‘90

And another good friend of fine, D. Sherman Okst:

People,(and I’m going on a limb whenever I associate that classification of species with economically inept imbeciles) like you should not teach. This statement is pathetic. NBER – the morons who called the largest recession (really a depression) 9 months late and then said it was over? 22% unemployment, 44 million on food stamps. I can only imagine they don’t know what Hedonics, a bogus deflator, and the rest of the BS that goes into cooking GDP a-la Enron are. And your proud of your association with them? Or those who have devalued our currency 96%. FYI – Getting a broom closet with no window is NOT something one should be proud of, it shows where you rank – even at the worst institution.

You can see the high intellectual plane we are working on here. Ron Paul claims to want an intellectual debate on the merits of central banking. Unfortunately, he seeks advice from some economists who claim to be the heirs of Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, but who are actually disgruntled fringe economists – essentially quacks. Some of his supporters are confused and angry people who would benefit us all by directing their energies toward something more productive. Perhaps they could go back to school and learn some economics.


Taking Mike’s Advice

Stephen Williamson: New Monetarist Economics

via Taking Mike’s Advice.

Land of the free? NOT!

I find it fascinating that the heritage foundation (no bastion of socialists), finds the Canada freer than the US.  This even though Canada has a single payer healthcare system.  Per Rush limbaught as soon as government has healthcare, bye bye freedom. 

To clarify, I think that some kind of coherent health care system with better access and lower cost is what we need.  I’m not sure what that will ultimately look like, but my hope is that in passing a comprehensive reform we’ll get there.  States taking different paths might really help with that.  Finally, I’m not necessarily an advocate of Canadian style single payer.  It just I can’t deal with the over the top nonesense that the talk radio right claims and so so many uncritically accept.

What a Flawed Strategy

We’ve intervened when and where we shouldn’t have, again.  This is under a resolution that means we can’t finish the job.  If we don’t finish the job, as I noted that will be another disaster.


For realists, I would love to hear how doing nothing in Libya was going to help U.S. security interests. Having an oil-rich pariah state that could very well return to supporting terrorism and wreaking havoc in the region would be disastrous, creating Iraq part 3 and making it more likely we’d have to intervene sometime further into the future, at much greater cost and consequence. Did we not learn from the quelched Shia uprisings of 1991? Or from standing by idly (or supporting) the military coup that ended Algerian democracy in 1991? – Shadi Hamid

From where I sit, it looks like we’re moving precisely in the direction Hamid says he wants to avoid. Gaddafi is already an international pariah. If the U.S. simply adheres to the letter of the UN Resolution, which limits international action to protecting Libyan civilians but does not commit to regime change, Gaddafi may hang on, effectively partitioning Libya much as Iraq was split following the first Gulf War. In such an environment, it’s quite likely that Gaddafi will turn to terrorism to seek revenge against his rivals.

Florida: 18 Percent of Homes are Vacant

Question for Moe if you read this.  Does this seem correct?  The 18% that is.

Calculated Risk

via Florida: 18 Percent of Homes are Vacant.

You are what you read (via Middle of the Freakin Road)

What can I add? Nothin…

The following was passed along to me by a reader from the great state of Ohio. Thanks Rod.    1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.   2. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.   3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country and who are very good at crossword puzzles.   4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don't real … Read More

via Middle of the Freakin Road

You gotta kill that bear now !

Assuming we are part of airstrikes against libya, we better realize in a little, means in all the way.  Ghaddafi is a monster.  That’s clear.  But honestly I felt we should stay out.  This was becoming somewhat painful as rebels are brutally attacked, and one thinks of what will happen to them if and when Ghaddafi regains control of all of Libya.

So why would we stay out?  We’re badly overextended militarily already, mostly in Muslim nations.  While we may help take down a monster here its not at all clear that the rebels in the end may not  behave a lot like him, especially in an area as tribal as Libya is.  The consequences of intervention are anything but clear.  In the end western intervention will certainly be used against those we support in the sense of calling them foreign puppets.  Finally what happens if we lose the stomach to see this through to a new government in Libya?

That will be disastrous in at least two ways.  We will have just made the libyan government (the bear) mad but not have killed it.    This may have blowback in a more bloody suppression of our allies, who will have the taint of foreign support.  Second, that angry bear may lash out with increased terrorist activity in Europe, and maybe even here in the US.

But the die is caste now.  I hope the President and the US public see this to a conclusion.