Sunday, November 25, 2012

Steve Forbes at The Daily Bell

DB: Please be civil in the feedbacks.

BM: And hopefully respectful….  I find Steve Forbes about as good as it gets on the political economy when it comes to mainstream writers.  The economic world he suggests is preferable to the one we live in (if you can divorce the economy from his views about national defense….).

SF: [regarding competitive currencies in the US] You should not face the prospect of jail if you decide to issue a piece of paper that is backed by gold and if people want to do contracts they should be free to do so. Let it go from there. I don't think it's going to be easy to do but the barriers need to be removed, meaning the tax barriers. As it stands now, if I sell a dollar for four quarters that's considered a tax-free exchange but if I buy an ounce of gold, that is considered a taxable event. So we should remove all taxes on transactions of gold and silver.

BM: He gets this one quite right.  This is the most non-mainstream, free-market position he takes – and he says it well (assuming he also advocates for removal of taxes from any currency exchange, not just gold and silver).

SF: …instituting a sound money policy including a re-link to gold…Well, if you do the gold standard right, you can keep the central bank so they can have a place to show up for work and not do too much harm, as long as it's clearly defined that gold is fixed to a certain price and the value of the dollar is fixed to gold. I think it was Robert Mundell, Nobel prize-winning economist, who said, "When you do it right a monkey could run the system." I would be gentler and say that a high school student could do it. As for the Ph.D.s, I would take pity on them and let them play with their models during the day.

BM:  Why should “money” have a “policy”?  Why don’t (nominally) free-marketadvocates see this as central planning?  This, I believe, is the litmus test for free market advocates – a free market in money, banking, credit and currencies.  In other words, End the Fed.  It separates the wheat from the chaff.

SF: [Obama will] do what he can to gut national security.

BM: What has he done so far to cause concern here?

SF: [regarding the Democratic agenda] Making big government bigger and raising taxes in the process.

BM: Is this different than the Republican agenda?  Look at Romney, McCain, Bush II, Dole, Bush I, Reagan, Ford, Nixon – the Republican nominees for the last 45 years.  Which one proposed, or if elected actually enacted, a shrinking state?

SF: I think the Republicans need to get a Reaganist candidate. I think we have a very good bench now. We have Rand Paul coming along…

This has been obvious to me for some time – Rand Paul is being positioned as the next Reagan, and he will run this way in four years, likely winning the nomination:

SF: That was settled in the War of 1812.

BM: US Imperialism was born with the Constitution – this was the Founders’ generation, for goodness sakes!  Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” was President when the US launched this invasion of Canada.  Yet somehow returning to the Constitution is a good idea?

SF: The only way a political union can be effected is with the consent of the governed…

BM: I will suggest asking the people in Europe if this is true…or the people in South Carolina in 1865….

What if some of the governed don’t consent to the current political union any longer?  Would secession be supported by Mr. Forbes?  He has a chance to advocate for this today.  As I have not heard his views either way, I will not presuppose his answer.

SF: It's incredible that students don't get an understanding of what makes this country unique.

BM: Even if one believes the US is in some way “unique,” it is not incredible.  The state educates the children.  What else should be expected other than a rotten education?

SF: [regarding the Patriot Act] So far its role has been constitutional but the assault is now going on in all sorts of areas.

BM: It was cited by Clark below, I do so again here for completeness.

Every act IS constitutional.  The government says so.

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