Walter Williams on the Eighth Commandment

“You shall not steal.”  Exodus 20.15

Walter Williams claims that if I find a needy, destitute woman and I take $200 from you at gun point to help that woman, it is stealing.  If I vote a democratically elected government which takes $200 from you and then gives it to that poor woman it is no less stealing; this is just simply the majority deciding whom it robs and to whom it bestows favors and it is equally immoral to stealing on an individual level.

But socialism doesn’t work.  The seeds of socialism’s own destruction is in its benefiting wrong behavior and punishing good behaviour.  For it takes from the productive and gives to the non-productive.  When a behavior is rewarded you get more of it; when it is punished you get less.  This is the point of sin taxes on tobacco and alcohol and even socialists understand this basic concepts.

Williams further supports limiting the government’s take of the GDP to 10%.  That’s a brilliant suggestion that could help socialist Western countries to get back on track.  In my view, the only legitimate roles of a federal government are: (1) defense; (2) justice; and (3) regulation interstate/interprovincial commerce and foreign trade.  They must get out of the business of cradle to grave socialism or fail completely.

Click on the picture to watch the video at Yahoo:

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The Secret of Oz: Anti-central bank, anti-gold standard

This film was certainly interesting and well-made.  It is in favor of fiat money which is controlled not by central banks but by democratic government.  The title is based upon Hugh Rockoff’s allegorical interpretation of the 1900 children’s book Wizard of Oz, setting the story in the political controversies at the time of the author, L. Frank Baum (1856-1919).  According to this interpretation, the silver slippers are representative of silver money in competition with the gold standard, the Scarecrow, who is actually smarter than people think at first, is the American farmer who is destroyed by deflation, the Tin Man is the American industrial worker, who is in need of liquidity (oil), who comes along side the farmer in common cause and the cowardly Lion is William Jennings Bryan who was in favor of silver money and the US government issued greenback.  The wicked witches of the East and West were two major banks, and the water that kills the witch is the easy liquidity of the government’s own ability to create fiat currency which is not debt-based.

In my opinion the films successfully show how the gold standard can be manipulated by big banks and can have depressive effect on money–which can (1) stifle the growth of an economy and (2) create serfs out of people who cannot pay back their debts because of inadequate liquidity in the system.

The film fails to show how giving control of fiat currency to government can stop the government from politicizing the money supply and ultimately from creating hyperinflation.  The film also mistakes fiat money creation for wealth creation:  While it is true that wealth creation requires liquidity, it is a mistake to confuse wealth creation with the creation of fiat money.

I would conclude that restrained form of monetarism could be the best system in that it would grow the money supply in conjunction with economic production–but that all systems of money are open to manipulation and greed–and this is why the Austrians point out that all paper currencies eventually become worthless.  The advantage of a system of money which is based on precious metals is that neither a central bank nor a government can steal people’s wealth through the excess creation of money.  A stable currency would also encourage saving, as currency would be store of wealth.  The disadvantage of the gold standard is that liquidity can be dried up and there can arise situations in which money becomes too scarce.

You keep using that word … I. Consensus

Apparently, Al Gore, David Suzuki, and many other experts in global warming, have said that there is an international scientific consensus that man is the cause.  Looking out the window, I long for global warming, dreaming of returning to Grand Cayman Island for a month of summer weather.

Oh, and this is just in from Human Events (I don’t know why I get these e-mails everyday, but this one was worth sharing):

Petrobank’s THAI presentation

Please click on the above picture to watch the video presentation of Canadian oil company Petrobank.

THAI seems like a pretty straight forward method for extracting many billions of barrels of heavy oil from underground reservoirs, while at the same time making it into to a lighter, more useful, grade of oil.  Perhaps projects like this make oil an energy not just of the present but of the future by greatly increasing the world’s known reserves.  Canada is second only to Saudi Arabia in oil reserves.

Disclosure: I have a position in Petrobank.