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The Magistrate

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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 83,926

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I Agree, Sir: This Is 'Corporate Sovereignity', And It Is An Abomination

No investor has any right, repeat any right, to profit from an investment, and any claim he has is absolutely without foundation in law, custom, history, or even economic theory. Laws, regulations, possible changes in them, acts of governments and rulings of courts are simply some of the factors people must calculate and try and anticipate when investing, and if you gauge these wrongly you are supposed to lose your money! That is how the thing works, how it is supposed to work, how it always has worked.

"The trouble with our modern corporations is they have neither souls to be damned nor bodies to be kicked."
Posted by The Magistrate | Sat Oct 26, 2013, 11:26 AM (2 replies)

He Does Not Even Get The Standard Doctrine Of Inflation Right, Ma'am

The classic defined cause of inflation is 'too much money chasing too few goods'. In other words, if the amount of money in circulation increases more rapidly than the quantity of goods and services available to purchase, each unit of money must necessarily be able to purchase a lesser amount of goods and services. This can work in reverse, of course: if the supply of money increases more slowly than the quantity of goods and services, each unit of money must necessarily be able to purchase a greater quantity of goods. The former is as destructive as the latter, though in different ways. Inflation harms creditors, since the units of money in which a debt will be repaid will have less purchasing power; creditors protect themselves by lending only at higher rates of interest, which, by making money itself more expensive to acquire, insures that less of it will be used for productive investment, and so reduces the production of goods and availability of services. Deflation harms debtors, since they must repay debts with units of money worth more than those they borrowed, and the very units of money needed to repay are more scarce and hard to come by; debtors frequently cannot manage to repay under these conditions and must forfeit assets to creditors, which when widespread drives down the value of assets generally and places many of them idle, again reducing the production of goods and services.

Government is far from the only agency of increase for the supply of money; private extension of credit has exactly the same effect on the amount of money available as does government creation of debt. Government debt becomes a capital asset for those who hold it, just as does private debt ( in the form of various sorts of commercial paper ); the only difference is that generally private debt is more likely to be wiped out by default and bankruptcy than government debt. Without the capital assets provided by government bonds, and the liquid market for them, a very large proportion of economic activity would seize up; in effect, deflation would be imposed, by a reduction in the supply of money. In our present economy, a similar result would occur if credit cards were removed, and people required to pay cash for all purchases, and allowed to borrow only upon security of real property or specie; in effect, deflation would be imposed, by reduction in the supply of money. Like it or not, our entire economic system depends on lavish extension of credit and creation of money, and whether this is done by private or public agency makes no essential difference, though it remains still the case the government debt is a more secure asset than private debt, as a general case.
Posted by The Magistrate | Fri Oct 18, 2013, 01:05 PM (0 replies)

He Does Not Even Get The Standard Doctrine Of Inflation Right, Ma'am

The classic defined cause of inflation is 'too much money chasing too few goods'. In other words, if the amount of money in circulation increases more rapidly than the quantity of goods and services available to purchase, each unit of money must necessarily be able to purchase a lesser amount of goods and services. This can work in reverse, of course: if the supply of money increases more slowly than the quantity of goods and services, each unit of money must necessarily be able to purchase a greater quantity of goods. The former is as destructive as the latter, though in different ways. Inflation harms creditors, since the units of money in which a debt will be repaid will have less purchasing power; creditors protect themselves by lending only at higher rates of interest, which, by making money itself more expensive to acquire, insures that less of it will be used for productive investment, and so reduces the production of goods and availability of services. Deflation harms debtors, since they must repay debts with units of money worth more than those they borrowed, and the very units of money needed to repay are more scarce and hard to come by; debtors frequently cannot manage to repay under these conditions and must forfeit assets to creditors, which when widespread drives down the value of assets generally and places many of them idle, again reducing the production of goods and services.

Government is far from the only agency of increase for the supply of money; private extension of credit has exactly the same effect on the amount of money available as does government creation of debt. Government debt becomes a capital asset for those who hold it, just as does private debt ( in the form of various sorts of commercial paper ); the only difference is that generally private debt is more likely to be wiped out by default and bankruptcy than government debt. Without the capital assets provided by government bonds, and the liquid market for them, a very large proportion of economic activity would seize up; in effect, deflation would be imposed, by a reduction in the supply of money. In our present economy, a similar result would occur if credit cards were removed, and people required to pay cash for all purchases, and allowed to borrow only upon security of real property or specie; in effect, deflation would be imposed, by reduction in the supply of money. Like it or not, our entire economic system depends on lavish extension of credit and creation of money, and whether this is done by private or public agency makes no essential difference, though it remains still the case the government debt is a more secure asset than private debt, as a general case.
Posted by The Magistrate | Fri Oct 18, 2013, 01:05 PM (0 replies)

Hostage Takers And Extortionists Cannot Be Rewarded

No offer short of unconditional surrender by Congressional Republicans is acceptable.

They have to drop the gun and kick it over to the officer; they cannot just tuck it back into the waist-band and drape a shirt-tail over it.

The debt ceiling must be raised by an amount sufficient to ensure it is the next Congress which must vote to raise it, and the continuing resolution must be for the full fiscal year --- neither can have any condition attached.
Posted by The Magistrate | Fri Oct 11, 2013, 01:08 PM (35 replies)

The Right, Sir, Does Not Accept Elections They Lose Are Legitimate

They do not subscribe to the tenets of Democracy.

In their view, an election is simply a device by which their natural right to rule is given the trappings of an expression of the popular will of the citizenry. It is not by any means a thing which could possibly put into power by the popular will of the citizenry anyone other than themselves. Any election result which does not ratify their holding power must therefore, by definition, be illegitimate, and they will not and by their lights should not recognize it as binding. When such a thing does occur, they must do their best to continue functioning as the true rulers of the country they know themselves to be, until such time as an election with the proper result can be contrived....
Posted by The Magistrate | Fri Oct 4, 2013, 10:04 AM (2 replies)

The Right, Sir, Does Not Accept Elections They Lose Are Legitimate

They do not subscribe to the tenets of Democracy.

In their view, an election is simply a device by which their natural right to rule is given the trappings of an expression of the popular will of the citizenry. It is not by any means a thing which could possibly put into power by the popular will of the citizenry anyone other than themselves. Any election result which does not ratify their holding power must therefore, by definition, be illegitimate, and they will not and by their lights should not recognize it as binding. When such a thing does occur, they must do their best to continue functioning as the true rulers of the country they know themselves to be, until such time as an election with the proper result can be contrived....
Posted by The Magistrate | Fri Oct 4, 2013, 10:04 AM (2 replies)

A Short Note On The Democratic Party And The Progressive Left....

I think it is quite fair to say the Democratic Party is not an ideal medium for securing a variety of progressive and left-rooted measures, and I do not, personally, view it as such.

It is, however, and however unfortunately, and however imperfect an instrument for it, the only tool available at present, in our political system as it is actually constituted.

Accepting that there is an imperfect fit between the Democratic Party and the furthest aims of left and progressive people, several things must be acknowledged.

First, it has to be acknowledged that left and progressive people really do not have solid ground to proclaim they and only they are true Democrats, or are the real base of the Democratic Party, and that people who are left of center or center-left or even centerists are not really Democrats.

Second, left and progressive people need to consider whether the tactic of attacking people who are perhaps a bit to the right of them, though generally well to the left of a national average, or of the average in the locale where they reside, as rightists who do not belong in the Democratic Party, is likely to expand and increase their influence in the Democratic Party, and advance the prospects of actually getting laws and regulations they would like to see adopted come to pass.

Accepting these things would shift the focus of debate to pragmatic questions, and entails acknowledging facts of contingency. It highlights that the real debate is not so much over what should be done, as it is over what actually can be done, in present circumstances. Obviously, views will differ concerning what is or is not possible at present, over what a practical and achievable goal might be, and over what the best means of getting the best possible result would be. Put bluntly, it is here, and most particularly in the last of these things, that most of my disagreements with our President and our Party center: I would prefer a more combative attitude, prefer a staking out of initial positions much more in advance of what an acceptable final compromise would likely be, and suspect more could be got than Party leadership seems to suspect, or even seems in some cases to desire.

Argument by hyperbole is fun, and used sparingly, can be quite effective in getting someone to see, and take, a point. But taking argument by hyperbole for one's principal means is like serving a dinner composed of mounds of spice and little else; it will not be palatable and will not fulfill the purpose of a meal. People who habitually argue by hyperbole tend in time to lose consciousness they are employing a rhetorical device, and come to take what began as deliberate exaggerations for effect to be statements of fact, accurate descriptions of people and events. When they do, to put it bluntly, they come to appear as clowns at best and as demons at worst, and in either case, forfeit all credibility with people who do not already agree with them, and lose any ability to sway people to come to agreement with them from a neutral, or even a hostile, view.
Posted by The Magistrate | Tue Sep 24, 2013, 11:46 AM (327 replies)

We Live In The Emotional And Economic Wreckage Of This Broken Home....

During the sixties and seventies, the left in this country and the white working class went through a very bitter and messy divorce. The left largely abandoned economic issues in favor of liberations and life-style questions, and took to muttering in its cups about flag-waving, bigoted stick-in-the-muds who couldn't see the beautiful colors painted in the future, while the white working class threw itself at an old actor who promised to settle the hash of those hippies and uppity Negroes and women, and did not care and did not notice he was taking it for every cent it had or ever would have while he struck those enticing patriotic and traditional poses that captivated it so.

We live in the emotional and economic wreckage of this broken home....
Posted by The Magistrate | Wed Sep 18, 2013, 12:00 PM (112 replies)

Insurance Company Profits Are Dead Loss, Sir

Because insurance companies add nothing; they just rake off the top of the betting pool.

Insurance is simply a bet by the purchaser something will happen, and a bet by the seller it will not. The seller, like any bookie, tries to set the odds so that what he has to pay out in total losses is less than what he gets to keep on total wins. When the bookie is selling payments to doctors, he no more adds a value of health care than a bookie selling payments if the Packers win provides points on the board.

A company manufacturing medical equipment, such as pace-makers or artificial joints, say, or a laboratory providing diagnostic tests, provides something of value, something which can actually further health of a patient, so profit to them is not a dead loss to the system. It may be exorbitant in some instances, but that is a different matter: profit to such bodies is a proper enticement towards adding real value.

But insurers simply stand between a mass of patients and potential patients, and persons who actually provide health care, and short-stop as much as they can manage into their own pockets of the total outlay made by the former for the services of the latter. In the course of this, they very frequently engage in sharp practice, and welsh on their obligations to pay, denying services or even cancelling policies when they have lost their bet with a policy-holder.
Posted by The Magistrate | Tue Sep 17, 2013, 04:44 PM (1 replies)

So Any Post That Observes Established Facts Supports Unilateral War, Sir?

Refusing to believe Syrian government forces gassed several neighborhoods of metropolitan Damascus is required of those who do not think U.S. military action in Syria wise, to such a degree that observing the established fact Syrian government forced gassed several neighborhoods of metropolitan Damascus means one is arguing for U.S. military action in Syria?
Posted by The Magistrate | Mon Sep 16, 2013, 03:00 PM (1 replies)
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