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Debating the Anarcho-Capitalists

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Yes, there are no easy solutions. People will have to take human action on their own terms and enlighten themselves as they can. Markets work; communitarian and agrarian republican solutions have proven themselves over and over, mostly recently in Switzerland and in the pre-Civil War US; they will work again when the current Leviathan collapses. You and Ms. Brown and others will do everything you can to prop up the current Leviathan and retard its collapse, but eventually freedom will have its day, as in so many epochs before.

Scott Baker The Daily Bell

Once again, you say so many wrong things I have to make a list to go through them one by one:
1. Monetary expansion. Well, yes, if you mean that a Public Bank would practice creating money through what's quaintly known as "fractional reserve banking" (even though I once heard the 10+ year Senior VP of the Bank of North Dakota swear to a roomful of PB conventioneers that the BND did NOT practice Fractional Reserve Banking). But this is what private banks have and do practice for hundreds of years. Now, you can argue, I suppose, that private banks do it better, but the $29 trillion bailout (according to Prof. L. Randall Wray) argues otherwise, and the experiences of countries with their own State (as in "The State") Banks, like China, show you can have growth for years, decades even, without bankrupting the State. (Yes, I know about their "ghost cities" but a Land Value Tax on all that property would solve that in a year, by lowering prices, forcing sales, and increasing revenue to the local regions. I am also a Georgist (and president of Common Ground-NYC) and I have no problem with speculators and hoarders losing money for locational values they never created in the first place). China will soon eclipse the U.S. in size of economy, albeit not per capita for a bit longer. I could make a good case their banking system is less corrupt than ours, but Bill Black has made a better argument that I could...

2. Ah, Bill Black. He oversaw the prosecution of thousands of frauds during the S&L crisis. Would DB have preferred to have the same "Free Market" that gave us the fraud, and gave us an even bigger one now, continue to "met out punishment"? Even if the BANKS went bankrupt, as they should, the perpetrators of the fraud, would simply have lost their jobs and walked away with millions (today, tens or even hundreds, of millions). Most people would take that kind of "punishment." It's as one of my economics teachers always asks his classes at the beginning: "If you knew that you could make millions of dollars in just a couple of years by doing something wrong, but for which you would almost certainly not be punished, who would not do it?" Very few hands go up, I can assure you. Banks without regulations are like driving without traffic rules - exciting, high-speed, and ultimately lethal. The current system is, as Black has pointed out, criminogenic, in that fraud is not merely probable, but inevitable.

3. What's wrong with LETS? You want to move away from Big Government; this is a way to do it, by having alternate currencies, while still keeping a central one for paying taxes (which gives the currency legitimacy) and international trade. It also shows that the current economic system does not produce enough money to meet the productive capacity of the nation. People from E.F. Schumacher to Monetary Reformer Bill Still are in favor of them. I'm on Brown's PBI Google group and read all her articles too, and never heard her say anything negative about them, though she, perhaps wisely, chooses to focus on Public Banking, which is time-consuming enough.

4. Ah, Bill Still. Former Libertarian Party candidate for President and a Greenbacker (like me, Brown, and Stephen Zarlenga, though we all disagree on specific implementations of it - Zarlenga will barely speak to me anymore, despite my meeting him 4 times both privately and in public, and Still says Zarlenga's Monetary Authority is far too centralized a power body, to which I agree (which is why Zarlenga is mad at me, plus my support for Public Banking, which he regards like the DB, as none of the government's business). Anyway, Still favors "Decentralization to the maximum extent practical" a quote he has made repeatedly. Yet, he still found a way to weave Public Banking into his philosophy, and invited Brown to be his V.P. running mate on his campaign.

5. DB's "solution" is, shall we say, not well thought out. It is close to anarchy, which, despite your prognostications otherwise, is neither the natural state of Man: "freedom will have its day" in your words, nor desirable. I have a link too! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/06/somalia-libertarian-parad_n_197763.html

It's kind of funny actually. I'm pretty sure DB and Brown would find places to agree - on the size and corrupting influence of the TBTF banks, for example, but DB likes to pick arguments, not agreements - part of the anarchist zeitgeist, as I understand it. As for me, I'll continue trying to synthesize POVs where I can. Still looking for something new from DB, however, instead of just nattering nabobs of negativity.

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The Daily Bell Mod Scott Baker

  "Monetary expansion. Well, yes, if you mean that a Public Bank would practice creating money through what's quaintly known as "fractional reserve banking.'"
You miss the point. These state banks receive their expandable assets basically at the point of a gun. The state forces people to provide the assets.
"Bill Black " oversaw the prosecution of thousands of frauds during the S&L crisis. Would DB have preferred to have the same "Free Market" that gave us the fraud, and gave us an even bigger one now, continue to "mete out punishment' "?
The S&L crisis was caused by GOVERNMENT regulation and reregulation. We never hear that the initial ground for such frauds is ALWAYS prepared by dysfunctional government regulation and legislation -- and of course central bank monetary stimulation. For us there is something repugnant about enthusiastically advocating the use of the US penitentiary-industrial complex with its six million incarcerated inmates, a good many of whom are either innocent or there as a result of "victimless" crimes. You don't understand that either.


"What's wrong with LETS?"
In its current incarnation, backed by the recently departed Margrit Kennedy and her United Nation's employers, it forces people to keep a full ledger of every single transaction. Great for government paper trails but not much else. You are shocked, by the way, that Ellen Brown has nothing negative to say about these systems? Ellen Brown, bless her heart, is basically a government apparatchik.


"BD's "solution' is, shall we say, not well thought out. It is close to anarchy, which, despite your prognostications otherwise, is neither the natural state of man, nor desirable."
Apparently, you don't understand that anarchy is merely the absence of government force. You believe in Leviathan -- the bigger and more complex the better -- as a social and economic solution. We believe in human action, local action and the "invisible hand" of market competition to discipline the fraud and corruption that inevitably occur in human activities. Every time your solutions fail, you call for more of them. "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome."
"It's kind of funny actually. I'm pretty sure DB and Brown would find places to agree."
The solution to most of what ails modern society is additional freedom not additional regulation. Ms. Brown wants to use Leviathan's force to create a cure for what Leviathan has caused. We find it " disingenuous. Your arguments too.

Scott Baker The Daily Bell

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The point of a gun? Governments, when they work, provide us with roads, schools, R&D from everything from the internet to Apple and Tesla (who both received government money until they succeeded). The gun was apparently put away in favor of a handshake.

What regulations are you talking about that caused the S&L crisis? It was dysfunctional, to be sure, but dysfunctional as in weak and under-used, not overly strict. Please provide counter-examples, if there are any. BTW, we should bring back Glass-Steagall too - it's only a grade B solution, whereas Public Banking and Land Value Taxation are grade A solutions, but it's better than Gramm-Leach-Bliley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass--Steagall_Act) that led to the wild west of banking we have today, and even bigger TBTF banks.

LETS are always voluntary arrangements, even counter-government arrangements. DB once again expresses its incoherence by opposing this Libertarian alternative that they ought to be embracing, if they were consistent. The record-keeping you criticize is something its participants require and want in order to make it work. You say you believe in "local action" but then when LETS comes along, you dismiss that too. Just what does DB actually propose?

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http://newthinking.blogspot.com/

Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a blogger for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Global Economic Intersection.

His anthology of updated Opednews articles "America is Not Broke" was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:
http://www.americaisnotbroke.net/

Scott is former President of Common Ground-NYC (http://commongroundnyc.org/), a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written (more...)
 

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