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Author Topic: Money as Debt  (Read 12361 times)
tyler
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November 29, 2010, 05:39:25 PM
 #41

Before 1609 (IIRC, source: some video (I don't know whether it is true)), there was a law which _prohibited_ lending against interest. That is, the very thing which makes banks trillions used to be illegal.  

It is called usury, and practicing it was punishable by death in some places.


Still is, its called Riba in Islamic law, and is illegal

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RHorning
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November 29, 2010, 06:51:14 PM
 #42

Before 1609 (IIRC, source: some video (I don't know whether it is true)), there was a law which _prohibited_ lending against interest. That is, the very thing which makes banks trillions used to be illegal.  

It is called usury, and practicing it was punishable by death in some places.


Still is, its called Riba in Islamic law, and is illegal

I'm curious about where it might be illegal among Islamic countries as they certainly have plenty of banks very well connected to the banks in Western Europe and most of the Persian Gulf states seem to have plenty of fiat currencies floating around their capitals that it would seem like such a concept is more lip service than any real illegal behavior.  I'm not doubting that it may be declared illegal, but if you are tied to the global economy, I don't know how you are able to get away from usury in some form.

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farmer_boy
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November 29, 2010, 08:54:02 PM
 #43

Another money system is described on http://digitalcoin.info (this is what the Money as Debt 2 movie refers to). As with bitcoins, I see no formal specification of how it is supposed to work, but it seems to me to be a better system than bitcoins if you look at the kind of properties one would want to get out of a money system and those that are actually obtained.

Bitcoins are similar to the permanent digital coins type, but have the downside (or upside depending on your role) of having a purely speculative value. The credit coin has no counterpart in the Bitcoin system and as such doesn't perform all functions one would like to get from a money system.

The author of bitcoins has a technical background, but less of an experience in money history (correct me if I am wrong). The designer of the digitalcoin probably has a less technical background, but a firm understanding of money and its history.

The most important feature that the digital coins have is that you never have the "we won't do this project, because there is no money"-problem, which was what happened in 1929. There were workers, people wanting to eat, and factories, but no money.

Initially, it does seem rather complicated to make these kinds of credit coins contract (see the movie), but if one were to label ever product with a number (which already happens for a lot of products (e.g. a soda)), then it wouldn't really be a problem. 

What are your thoughts on digital coin?

P.S.
Is the guy from OpenTransactions also on this forum? It seems he has the broadest technical view as he has implemented a very wide range of systems and documented these on his website.

Test sending bitcoins to this address: 1P2NYce9Gj2eDN1GQNYaxkjm1npvmdqY4F
Gavin Andresen
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November 29, 2010, 09:28:56 PM
 #44

What are your thoughts on digital coin?
I grabbed the "Digital Coin Technology" pdf file.

It looks to me like it fails in the second paragraph:
Quote
This
 Digital
Coin
 serial 
number
 can 
be 
up 
to 
512
 numbers 
long. 

The
 Digital
Coin
 software

 alone 
can 
find,
 read
 and
 alter 
this serial
 number.


If the DigitalCoin software can read the serial number, then so can other software.  It is simply not true that "The DigitalCoin software alone can ..."

Either you have a central server running the DigitalCoin software and you have to trust that the people running that server won't double-spend DigitalCoins.

Or... you have Bitcoin, where the "serial numbers" are the public keys of coin generation transactions.

How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
asdf
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November 29, 2010, 10:05:53 PM
 #45

Fractional reserve banking mean that the bank have a tendency to collapse. I think we're safer with mtgox type banks where they just keep the balance and earn their fees somewhere.

Think of your deposits as an investment with the understanding that the bank will lend out your (and others) deposits to provide capital for business and pay you interest. Now if there is a bank run (the bank becomes insolvent) that's your problem for making a bad investment. You should have picked a better bank or found another way to invest your savings. The tendency to collapse is there, but this doesn't mean it should be banned; you might as well ban the stock market.

This becomes a dangerous scam when you introduce the central bank into the system. Now banks don't have to worry about risk so much, because the central bank can always give them a loan to cover excessive withdrawals (printing money). Now banks can reduce their reserve requirements. Now customers don't need to shop around for a responsible bank; no chance of a run. With a central bank (also, deposit insurance has a similar effect), you've taken the capitalism out of banking; removed the market mechanisms.

The end result is a distorted economy which is prone to gross malinvestment, leading to booms and busts and all sorts of economic chaos. Not to mention the theft of inflation, as banks have essentially passed on their risks to the savers. But fractional reserve banking is basically just an agreement between a group of people to pool their savings, earn interest and have the advantage of being able to pull out at any time.

I read this article and I will say it tempers my attitude somewhat towards the idea of banks doing this.  One of the things sort of not stated is that most current banks assume that you know about fractional reserve currency already and that you have agreed to the system.  Perhaps that is the real scam, although if you asked a branch manager or bank executive I'm sure they would explain the system in detail if you were interested.  There still is something just a little off, however, in terms of the system actually used within both Europe with the EU, the GBP, and how the Fed deals with dollars.

I had the same reaction, that's why I posted the link. Because the risk of banking has been essentially removed, people have forgotten how the system (FRB) even works and are ignorantly participating in the system.

Of course, bitcoin fixes all these problems, which is why I like it so much :-)
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November 29, 2010, 10:33:27 PM
 #46

The most important feature that the digital coins have is that you never have the "we won't do this project, because there is no money"-problem, which was what happened in 1929. There were workers, people wanting to eat, and factories, but no money.


That's not really what happened in 1929, or 1932.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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November 29, 2010, 11:01:33 PM
 #47

The most important feature that the digital coins have is that you never have the "we won't do this project, because there is no money"-problem, which was what happened in 1929. There were workers, people wanting to eat, and factories, but no money.


That's not really what happened in 1929, or 1932.
The banks stopped increasing the money supply, did a few tricks (called back margin loans) on the stock market to make it fall faster and probably shorted the entire economy. What's wrong with that? The end result was that normal people were not able to pay with labour for their living expenses.

Test sending bitcoins to this address: 1P2NYce9Gj2eDN1GQNYaxkjm1npvmdqY4F
farmer_boy
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November 29, 2010, 11:23:21 PM
 #48

What are your thoughts on digital coin?
I grabbed the "Digital Coin Technology" pdf file.

It looks to me like it fails in the second paragraph:
Quote
This
 Digital
Coin
 serial 
number
 can 
be 
up 
to 
512
 numbers 
long. 

The
 Digital
Coin
 software

 alone 
can 
find,
 read
 and
 alter 
this serial
 number.


If the DigitalCoin software can read the serial number, then so can other software.  It is simply not true that "The DigitalCoin software alone can ..."

Either you have a central server running the DigitalCoin software and you have to trust that the people running that server won't double-spend DigitalCoins.

Or... you have Bitcoin, where the "serial numbers" are the public keys of coin generation transactions.

Let me put it differently: I think the _ideas_ with respect to associating to every product its own self-issued currency have some value. The double spending problem has to be addressed, yes, and that's why I would prefer that people that bring these systems into the world would first take the time to show why they would be secure in the first place. Today it is even possible to show these properties in a way that it is verifiable by software that this holds.

Claims and proofs of the form: P=/NP -> description_of_payment_system -> NoDoubleSpendingPossible description_of_payment_system /\ NoForgeryPossible description_of_payment_system are possible to express in systems like this.


Test sending bitcoins to this address: 1P2NYce9Gj2eDN1GQNYaxkjm1npvmdqY4F
MoonShadow
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November 30, 2010, 01:22:39 AM
 #49

The most important feature that the digital coins have is that you never have the "we won't do this project, because there is no money"-problem, which was what happened in 1929. There were workers, people wanting to eat, and factories, but no money.


That's not really what happened in 1929, or 1932.
The banks stopped increasing the money supply, did a few tricks (called back margin loans) on the stock market to make it fall faster and probably shorted the entire economy. What's wrong with that? The end result was that normal people were not able to pay with labour for their living expenses.

The only reason that I don't go to greater lengths to correct your misunderstandings of economic history is that I grow weary of doing so on online forums without due compensation.  Not just for yourself, as economics is a widely misunderstood subject even among those who consider themselves well educated.  This is something that I've often viewed as strange, considering it's not really a complicated subject to understand from a scientific perspective; but too many try to view it from the macro side and then overcomplicate it.

The contraction of the money supply in that general time period is not what caused the Great Depression.  The contraction of the money supply was the concurrent remedy to the malinvestment that was rampant in the decade that preceded the Great Depression, which was itself caused by excessive expansion of the monetary base by the Federal Reserve banking system from it's conception in 1913 to 1929, but mostly after 1924.  Most of the human suffering during the Great Depression was the direct result of attempts by the US Government to intervene in the natural corrective process of deflation, rather than simply stay out of the way and let the nation take it's hard medicine and move on.  The Great Depression was, largely, a political event as opposed to an economic or fiscal event; and the parallels to the current state of things is striking.  For a wonderful counter example, look at the Panic of 1920, and the similarities and differences in how that was handled by the two administrations.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
farmer_boy
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November 30, 2010, 02:07:16 AM
 #50

The most important feature that the digital coins have is that you never have the "we won't do this project, because there is no money"-problem, which was what happened in 1929. There were workers, people wanting to eat, and factories, but no money.


That's not really what happened in 1929, or 1932.
The banks stopped increasing the money supply, did a few tricks (called back margin loans) on the stock market to make it fall faster and probably shorted the entire economy. What's wrong with that? The end result was that normal people were not able to pay with labour for their living expenses.

The only reason that I don't go to greater lengths to correct your misunderstandings of economic history is that I grow weary of doing so on online forums without due compensation.

I actually don't see much difference between the way you describe it and I do. You label the government as intervening, but AFAIK it was the Federal Reserve which decided to act essentially against the interests of the population. By shorting against the national economy they could get even more money. They do this trick every few decades and are speeding up the process.

You are free to reference books that claim the government intervened.

Test sending bitcoins to this address: 1P2NYce9Gj2eDN1GQNYaxkjm1npvmdqY4F
TylerJordan
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November 30, 2010, 02:24:09 AM
 #51

Greetings,

I manage the http://earthsociety.org domain and main blog - it is a libertarian anarchist/anarcho-capitalist website on the whole. I'm also, and this is more the relevant part, the forum-master for the digital coin forum - linked from the above portal page. It was set-up with Paul Grignon's consent - Paul being the man behind "Money As Debt" ! & 2.

I've spent a lot of time studying the monetary system and the history and I'm a bit of a coder too, but more of a hack than anything.

I've a strong interest in the development of Bitcoin and I see it as potentially a very good alternative to Paul's Digital Coin concept.

I believe Paul Grignon's system would use a centralized structure, however this does not by any means imply a monopoly. I believe the concept is that there would be many bourses (central trading markets) that would function independently.

Perhaps Bitcoin, has leapfrogged Grignon's idea, however Bitcoin is very dependent on the internet is it not?  While I'm not overly concerned that governments will be able to successfully shutter the internet, it is a valid concern as government's these days are mostly institutions that function as the middle-man between the corporations and the people, or put another way, they are the slavemaster's that serve the ruling class and keep the peasants in chains. Way oversimplified, but, governments are able to do this so successfully as they control a nations money (In actuality the money supply is usually controlled by an unelected ruling class) and through the ability and willingness to coerce people to use the government money.

So, I'm concerned and I think it is reasonable that others are concerned, about the potential for the use of coercion to limit or destroy any monetary system that competes with the monopolist's money system.

If a new system can be both distributed yet can also function in isolation, settling differences when they are able, then it would be much more resistant to attack.

Can Bitcoin function in this manner? How many nodes are needed for it to work, and can it work on a local network?


So, assuming that the above concerns are unwarranted, then I think Bitcoin may function in a manner most similar to Digital Coin's 'PC'.  Digital Coin's 'CC' could then be created at a local level and function with Bitcoin as it would with 'PC'.  


Just my two bits  Grin




RHorning
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November 30, 2010, 02:50:54 AM
 #52

The only reason that I don't go to greater lengths to correct your misunderstandings of economic history is that I grow weary of doing so on online forums without due compensation.  Not just for yourself, as economics is a widely misunderstood subject even among those who consider themselves well educated.  This is something that I've often viewed as strange, considering it's not really a complicated subject to understand from a scientific perspective; but too many try to view it from the macro side and then overcomplicate it.

The contraction of the money supply in that general time period is not what caused the Great Depression.  The contraction of the money supply was the concurrent remedy to the malinvestment that was rampant in the decade that preceded the Great Depression, which was itself caused by excessive expansion of the monetary base by the Federal Reserve banking system from it's conception in 1913 to 1929, but mostly after 1924.  Most of the human suffering during the Great Depression was the direct result of attempts by the US Government to intervene in the natural corrective process of deflation, rather than simply stay out of the way and let the nation take it's hard medicine and move on.  The Great Depression was, largely, a political event as opposed to an economic or fiscal event; and the parallels to the current state of things is striking.  For a wonderful counter example, look at the Panic of 1920, and the similarities and differences in how that was handled by the two administrations.

The more that I read about Calvin Coolidge and how he dealt with the Panic of 1920, the more impressed I am with him.  He shared a whole lot of attributes with Dwight Eisenhower so far as how they governed in the White House... attributes that I personally wish the current resident of that palace on Pennsylvania Avenue would pay attention to.  Heck, attributes I wish the last three residents had.

I agree with you too that I think Roosevelt's intervention policies likely prolonged that recession and turned it into a full fledged depression.  I've wondered myself a sort of "what if" had Congress and the White House simply left well enough alone over the past two years, would America be in the middle of a major recovery right now or not?  My own gut feeling is that the monkeying around with tax rates, increasing regulations, and pouring insane levels of money into the economy (from both congressional actions and actions by the Fed like QE2) are only going to be shooting themselves in the foot.  Talk of hyperinflation certainly has a sound basis of fact.

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November 30, 2010, 03:03:45 AM
 #53

Greetings,

I manage the http://earthsociety.org domain and main blog - it is a libertarian anarchist/anarcho-capitalist website on the whole. I'm also, and this is more the relevant part, the forum-master for the digital coin forum - linked from the above portal page. It was set-up with Paul Grignon's consent - Paul being the man behind "Money As Debt" ! & 2.

I've spent a lot of time studying the monetary system and the history and I'm a bit of a coder too, but more of a hack than anything.

I've a strong interest in the development of Bitcoin and I see it as potentially a very good alternative to Paul's Digital Coin concept.

I believe Paul Grignon's system would use a centralized structure, however this does not by any means imply a monopoly. I believe the concept is that there would be many bourses (central trading markets) that would function independently.

Perhaps Bitcoin, has leapfrogged Grignon's idea, however Bitcoin is very dependent on the internet is it not?  While I'm not overly concerned that governments will be able to successfully shutter the internet, it is a valid concern as government's these days are mostly institutions that function as the middle-man between the corporations and the people, or put another way, they are the slavemaster's that serve the ruling class and keep the peasants in chains. Way oversimplified, but, governments are able to do this so successfully as they control a nations money (In actuality the money supply is usually controlled by an unelected ruling class) and through the ability and willingness to coerce people to use the government money.

So, I'm concerned and I think it is reasonable that others are concerned, about the potential for the use of coercion to limit or destroy any monetary system that competes with the monopolist's money system.

If a new system can be both distributed yet can also function in isolation, settling differences when they are able, then it would be much more resistant to attack.

Can Bitcoin function in this manner? How many nodes are needed for it to work, and can it work on a local network?


So, assuming that the above concerns are unwarranted, then I think Bitcoin may function in a manner most similar to Digital Coin's 'PC'.  Digital Coin's 'CC' could then be created at a local level and function with Bitcoin as it would with 'PC'.  


Just my two bits  Grin
Hi,

Good that you dropped by. You cannot have a disconnected network topology with Bitcoin; they would simply be different "virtual commodities". So, you could have the Foocoins, the Barcoins, the Abrahamcoins etc. and you would have exchanges which allow you to exchange between the various "virtual commodities", but it seems rather hard to keep track of so many "virtual commodities", so because of network effects it would be easier if there was just one.

By the time such a system has more than a million users, there are bound to be some mesh radio networking guys in the case we lose the Internet. I think this risk is smaller than the crackdown of a market as you described it. The larger the network is, the harder it is for an attacker to take it over.

I personally don't like that there is an arbitrary limited fixed precision in the Bitcoin sytem, but the author claimed that was not a problem. I think an ideal solution would have this credit coin idea too incorporated in it, but how exactly it is supposed to work? No idea.

Test sending bitcoins to this address: 1P2NYce9Gj2eDN1GQNYaxkjm1npvmdqY4F
RHorning
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November 30, 2010, 03:25:15 AM
 #54

Perhaps Bitcoin, has leapfrogged Grignon's idea, however Bitcoin is very dependent on the internet is it not?  While I'm not overly concerned that governments will be able to successfully shutter the internet, it is a valid concern as government's these days are mostly institutions that function as the middle-man between the corporations and the people, or put another way, they are the slavemaster's that serve the ruling class and keep the peasants in chains. Way oversimplified, but, governments are able to do this so successfully as they control a nations money (In actuality the money supply is usually controlled by an unelected ruling class) and through the ability and willingness to coerce people to use the government money.

So, I'm concerned and I think it is reasonable that others are concerned, about the potential for the use of coercion to limit or destroy any monetary system that competes with the monopolist's money system.

"The internet" is by design very decentralized and based upon public specifications and frankly a whole bunch of very libertarian concepts that are woven deeply into its structure.  Attempts to legislate behavior on the net is something that has almost always been fraught with extreme difficulty, as evidenced by Wikileaks and other similar projects.  Pirate Bay seems to be a website that just can't die and there has been an organized effort to try.  China has the "Great Firewall" and even that still has so many "leaks" that the Chinese government really can't keep data out of their country in terms of subversive websites like Wikipedia that insist on telling the world what happened in Tiananmen Square... in Chinese of all things too.

The saying goes, "the internet routes around censorship as damage".  I used to think that was a silly notion, but every time I've seen problems and ideas being censored, it only spreads the concepts even further.  Peer to peer networks make that doubly so.

If Hilary Clinton can't keep embarrassing details about the State Department from getting published widely, a few people playing with alternative currencies is going to be ignored.  Besides, to most outside observers what we are doing is using play money acting as if it is real.  Using bitcoins is really no different than using Linden Dollars or gold coins from World of Warcraft or Runescape.  If governments aren't really all that concerned about thousands of dollars being used to buy a "Vorpal Dragon Cleaver with invisibility", Bitcoins and other digital currencies are way, way under the radar even from that at the moment.

BTW, digital currency concepts are almost as old as the internet too, and you can find explicit literature on the topic going back at least 30 years or more.  I need to get copies of some of that simply for ammunition against some idiot who decides to patent some of these concepts, but don't think this is something new and original.  The thing that Satoshi did which is unique is putting it into a peer-to-peer network, which is novel.

The internet is in this sense one of the strengths of Bitcoins, as if it goes away there will be rioting in the streets and perhaps armed insurrection.  It could have been stopped years ago but became too big too fast.  Thank goodness for a bunch of hippies from the Western USA who came up with the concept, and more amazing that anybody else paid attention to what they were doing.  I believe stuff like Bitcoins to be subversive, but in a good way.  It will force dishonest people to become honest, which may get them to stammer and scream and try all kinds of stupid things, but they won't be able to fight it.  The honesty comes because they can't double spend coins or make stuff out of their hind end any more.  Ordinary people will be very ticked off if they can't get their Netflix or Hulu, and Bitcoins is sort of hanging on for the ride at the moment.

Quote from: TylerJordan


If a new system can be both distributed yet can also function in isolation, settling differences when they are able, then it would be much more resistant to attack.

Can Bitcoin function in this manner? How many nodes are needed for it to work, and can it work on a local network?


See this thread for details:  http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1989.0

Yes, Bitcoins can be used in a setting somewhat removed from regular network access.  You may also want to look at this article:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delay_tolerant_network

Then again if you want you can also take the current bitcons client and set up your own network of just a few friends and "trusted" associates with a fresh genesis block. I wouldn't recommend it for a number of reasons I won't get into at the moment, but an isolated network from the main grid certainly could use the tools of bitcoins on a separate network for your own purposes.

There are many different options available to both use the concept of Bitcoins for other purposes and to distribute Bitcoins themselves in ways that don't necessarily need to be connected to a network or even a computer for that matter.  Printed Bitcoins have been suggested... again I won't go into details but computers aren't completely necessary here or at least fancy computers.  A $10 MP3 player has sufficient computing power to be able to conduct transactions with Bitcoins and a USB port is all you really need for a connection.

Quote from: TylerJordan

So, assuming that the above concerns are unwarranted, then I think Bitcoin may function in a manner most similar to Digital Coin's 'PC'.  Digital Coin's 'CC' could then be created at a local level and function with Bitcoin as it would with 'PC'.  


It would be treated as a separate currency, subject to an exchange rate where you would need people willing to trade between the currencies.

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November 30, 2010, 03:36:21 AM
 #55

Quote
The only reason that I don't go to greater lengths to correct your misunderstandings of economic history is that I grow weary of doing so on online forums without due compensation.  Not just for yourself, as economics is a widely misunderstood subject even among those who consider themselves well educated.  This is something that I've often viewed as strange, considering it's not really a complicated subject to understand from a scientific perspective; but too many try to view it from the macro side and then overcomplicate it.

The contraction of the money supply in that general time period is not what caused the Great Depression.  The contraction of the money supply was the concurrent remedy to the malinvestment that was rampant in the decade that preceded the Great Depression, which was itself caused by excessive expansion of the monetary base by the Federal Reserve banking system from it's conception in 1913 to 1929, but mostly after 1924.  Most of the human suffering during the Great Depression was the direct result of attempts by the US Government to intervene in the natural corrective process of deflation, rather than simply stay out of the way and let the nation take it's hard medicine and move on.  The Great Depression was, largely, a political event as opposed to an economic or fiscal event; and the parallels to the current state of things is striking.  For a wonderful counter example, look at the Panic of 1920, and the similarities and differences in how that was handled by the two administrations.

I think many are blinded by the vast amount of historical material. A close look at the underlying structure however, tells us all we need to know. The details of each boom-bust cycle cannot be fathomed without inside information, to which, we are not privy; however, the larger picture is as crisp and clear as the air of the antarctic.

The FED, like many central banks around the globe, was instituted in order to lend legitimacy to what would otherwise be seen as a completely fraudulent ability to create boom and bust cycles in an economy. Those who control the central bank know in advance what the interest rates are going to do and when such will be applied.  Such information ultimately gives this institution absolute economic power and as absolute power corrupts absolutely, tyranny is the result, and what we have.

Nearly all booms and busts around the world are deliberate acts of theft perpetrated by a small number of ultra-wealthy individuals who see themselves as being above all law. Ongoing (repeated continuous) theft of an individual is enslavement.

Slave owners 'manage' their slaves as they do cattle. Giving them only what they need to live a productive life as a slave and taking everything else. Humans, being more complex than cattle, require a complex arrangement to keep them from panicking and stampeding those they fear.  Hence we have 'socialism'. Socialists governments are the kinder gentler face/proxy of the ruling elite - those who control the money and hence, our lives.

Many other good points on the reality of government here in this short vid, by Stefan Molyneux - "The Story of Your Enslavement": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbp6umQT58A

Taking control of money is a giant leap of a step for humanity, and one that will not go unnoticed by those who farm us. Therefore we must seek ways and means to get around future obstacles.

 Roll Eyes




TylerJordan
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November 30, 2010, 03:45:25 AM
 #56

Thanks for the great follow-ups, I'll check out the links and dig deeper  Cheesy

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November 30, 2010, 03:52:16 AM
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The only reason that I don't go to greater lengths to correct your misunderstandings of economic history is that I grow weary of doing so on online forums without due compensation.  Not just for yourself, as economics is a widely misunderstood subject even among those who consider themselves well educated.  This is something that I've often viewed as strange, considering it's not really a complicated subject to understand from a scientific perspective; but too many try to view it from the macro side and then overcomplicate it.

The contraction of the money supply in that general time period is not what caused the Great Depression.  The contraction of the money supply was the concurrent remedy to the malinvestment that was rampant in the decade that preceded the Great Depression, which was itself caused by excessive expansion of the monetary base by the Federal Reserve banking system from it's conception in 1913 to 1929, but mostly after 1924.  Most of the human suffering during the Great Depression was the direct result of attempts by the US Government to intervene in the natural corrective process of deflation, rather than simply stay out of the way and let the nation take it's hard medicine and move on.  The Great Depression was, largely, a political event as opposed to an economic or fiscal event; and the parallels to the current state of things is striking.  For a wonderful counter example, look at the Panic of 1920, and the similarities and differences in how that was handled by the two administrations.

I think many are blinded by the vast amount of historical material. A close look at the underlying structure however, tells us all we need to know. The details of each boom-bust cycle cannot be fathomed without inside information, to which, we are not privy; however, the larger picture is as crisp and clear as the air of the antarctic.

The FED, like many central banks around the globe, was instituted in order to lend legitimacy to what would otherwise be seen as a
[snip]
So, it was not the US government. There was just a stupid president who was fooled by some international bankers.

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November 30, 2010, 04:14:38 AM
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So, it was not the US government. There was just a stupid president who was fooled by some international bankers.

If only he was "fooled", i think "controlled" is a better word

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November 30, 2010, 04:23:00 AM
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So, it was not the US government. There was just a stupid president who was fooled by some international bankers.

If only he was "fooled", i think "controlled" is a better word
That's the age old malicious vs incompetent question. I am also fine with your choice of words. I don't have information to decide and I think neither do you.

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November 30, 2010, 06:06:37 AM
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The most important feature that the digital coins have is that you never have the "we won't do this project, because there is no money"-problem, which was what happened in 1929. There were workers, people wanting to eat, and factories, but no money.


That's not really what happened in 1929, or 1932.
The banks stopped increasing the money supply, did a few tricks (called back margin loans) on the stock market to make it fall faster and probably shorted the entire economy. What's wrong with that? The end result was that normal people were not able to pay with labour for their living expenses.

The only reason that I don't go to greater lengths to correct your misunderstandings of economic history is that I grow weary of doing so on online forums without due compensation.

I actually don't see much difference between the way you describe it and I do. You label the government as intervening, but AFAIK it was the Federal Reserve which decided to act essentially against the interests of the population. By shorting against the national economy they could get even more money. They do this trick every few decades and are speeding up the process.


The Federal Reserve did what central banks always do, which is manipulate the monetary base to favor a very small minority insider class.  That's not at all special to the Great Depression.  What was different was that Congress & the Executive Branch operated under the (particularly damaging) idea that the markets were something that were 'broken' and could be fixed by the right kind of adjustments.  Some even operated under the (false) assumption that those who managed the Federal Reserve were there to actually help.  There were tariffs imposed upon imports from China (sound familiar?) to protect domestic producers, and programs to destroy livestock in order to support prices.  In the end, however, the will of the market can only be delayed, not avoided outright; so the deflation (the direct result of the destruction of credit outstanding due to defaults, not the deliberate reduction of the monetary base by the Federal Reserve) continued; but the suffering of the public was exacerbated by the misguided attempts by members of the political class to fix a socio-economic problem with political solutions.  In the end, most historians credit WWII with pulling the US out of the depression, but that was just because the political class was largely too busy with the war effort to continue to screw with the economic system.  It is the uncertainty of political intervention that delays a recovery more than anything else, because if investors don't know what claptrap Congress might try to pull next, they tend not to risk their capital.  Political uncertainty adds much risk to the markets, which is part of the reason that most 3rd world nations have real difficulty attracting investments, even when their dictator is known to be particularly friendly to business interests.

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You are free to reference books that claim the government intervened.

I am free to do anything that I wish, including nothing.  It's not a concern of mine if you believe me or learn anything.  In fact, it's better if you don't believe me.  feel free to prove me wrong, if you can, and you will learn vastly more on your own than I could teach you on an online forum; whether you succeed or fail.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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