Paul Craig Roberts on Glass-Steagall, Free Trade and the Dangers of an Evolving 'Oligarchy of Private Interests'
The Daily Bell is pleased to present an exclusive interview with Paul Craig Roberts.
Introduction: Paul Craig Roberts is an economist and a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate. He served as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration earning fame as a co-founder of Reaganomics. He is a former editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Scripps Howard News Service. Roberts has been a critic of both Democratic and Republican administrations. He has written or co-written eight books, contributed chapters to numerous books and has published many articles in journals of scholarship. He has testified before congressional committees on 30 occasions on issues of economic policy. His writings frequently appear on OpEdNews, Antiwar.com, VDARE.com. Lew Rockwell's web site, CounterPunch, and the American Free Press.
Daily Bell: This interview will review material that you've gone over in your books and articles, but we hope you will answer the questions nonetheless as some in our audience are not aware of your works or point of view. But let's start at the beginning. Are you a libertarian? Can you briefly describe the belief structure from which you write?
Paul Craig Roberts: I am a libertarian in the sense that I am certain that there must be moral and constitutional limits on power as exercised by both government and private institutions. I am a conservative in the sense that I believe that reform of society must be piecemeal and based on good will. Progress has to be incremental. Reform cannot be achieved by violent revolution in one fell swoop.
Daily Bell: How did you come to your sociopolitical conclusions?
Paul Craig Roberts: During most of my life government power, the power of government bureaucracies, was excessive. The Soviet government was the epitome of unaccountable government power. In the US, government power over business and individuals grew.
Daily Bell: Is that still the case?
Paul Craig Roberts: In recent years there has been a redistribution of power in the US from government to private. The US now resembles an oligarchy of private interests. The most powerful ones are Wall Street, AIPAC, the military/security complex, the oil industry, agri-business, insurance and pharmaceuticals. These private interests control economic and foreign policy, write the legislation that Congress passes and the President signs, and have achieved the monopolization of the US economy by large-scale commercial organizations. As far as I can tell, traditional conservatives scarcely exist in the US today. They have been eliminated by the neoconservatives, essentially militarists committed to US world hegemony.
Daily Bell: That doesn't sound like a very healthy evolution.
Paul Craig Roberts: There's another. The Republican Federalist Society has succeeded in enhancing the powers of the executive over the co-equal branches of government. Many federal judges and Department of Justice appointments are drawn from the membership of the Federalist Society, thus putting in place ideologues to advance executive power. Once executive power becomes dictatorial, we will have lifetime rulers and growing conflict between the executive and private oligarchic interests.
American elections are meaningless as the vast majority of those elected are dependent, or become dependent, on the campaign contributions from the private oligarchic interests. Today government bureaucracies (Child Protective Services and police, for example) have unaccountable power over private individuals, but the power of government over organized private interests has been beaten back. Today the private interests rule the state.
Daily Bell: Can you give us some other examples?
Paul Craig Roberts: The examples are endless. President Obama broke his campaign promises and renewed America's aggression against Afghanistan, because that was what the military/security complex demanded. The health care "reform" was written by the private insurance companies and was designed to provide the insurance companies with 30 million involuntary new customers. Environmental restraints on deep-water drilling were removed at the instruction of the oil industry, resulting, for example, in the extraordinary environmental destruction in the Gulf of Mexico. Wherever one looks, the external costs that private companies are able to impose on others are rising.
This change has occurred more quickly than libertarians have been able to adjust. Historically allied with private interests against government, libertarians have been slow to acknowledge the rise of unaccountable private power.
Daily Bell: It sounds like an ideological rigidity of sorts.
Paul Craig Roberts: In my experience with libertarians, especially during my tenure as Distinguished Scholar at the Cato Institute during the 1990s, I have encountered an ideological inflexibility, dogma if you will, that turns blind eyes to analytical and empirical evidence. Many, most likely most, libertarians regard jobs off-shoring as the beneficial workings of free trade. Those, such as myself, who present the clear facts of the case are demonized as "protectionists," which means that libertarians do not have to examine the facts and encounter the empirical evidence.
A similar failing has made most libertarians blind to the virtues of countervailing power. Libertarians line up with capital against labor. Libertarians, for example, supported the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, thereby setting the stage for the current world financial crisis. For libertarians freedom means no restrictions on capital, and they want labor unions destroyed.
Daily Bell: Libertarians are then naïve in this regard? ...
Paul Craig Roberts: I am convinced that liberty as epitomized by Anglo-American law and civil liberties has been lost. I make this case in my book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions. Both the US and UK governments have acted lawlessly by taking their countries to war based on deception of their domestic populations and the UN. Both have violated their own laws and international laws in torturing detainees, in spying on their own citizens, and in curtailing the civil liberties that historically have defined the UK and the US. Libertarians regard liberty as a natural right when in fact liberty is a human achievement fought for over hundreds of years by people who believed in liberty. Liberty was hard to gain, and it is easily lost.
Daily Bell: You mentioned one of your books. Can you update our audience on some of your other writing?
Paul Craig Roberts: I regard all of my books as important. In my latest book, How The Economy Was Lost, I explain why off-shoring is not free trade. I also explain why the two necessary conditions set out by David Ricardo for the principle of comparative advantage, the basis for free trade, no longer exist. I further explain that when a country moves the production of goods and services that it consumes offshore, GDP growth and consumer incomes are moved offshore as well. Jobs off-shoring or "globalism" is a way to convert US labor income into executive bonuses and capital gains to shareholders. This is the explanation for the rising income inequality in the US.
Daily Bell: And also for rising unemployment?
Paul Craig Roberts: Since 2008 the lowest interest rates and largest federal budget deficits in US history have been unable to stop the rise in US unemployment, much less to call the unemployed back to work. There are no jobs to which to call workers back. The jobs have been given to the Chinese and Indians.
Daily Bell: Good points. Can you mention some other books?
Paul Craig Roberts: My first book, Alienation and the Soviet Economy, was appreciated by libertarians, because it showed that Soviet central planning was a failure, producing outputs worth less than the inputs. However, the deeper message of the book might have passed unnoticed. My book documents speculative excess as a force in history. The Marxist aspirations that gave rise to the Soviet economy were inordinate and did not bear on reality.
Daily Bell: You wrote a famous book about supply side concepts as well.
Paul Craig Roberts: My book, The Supply-Side Revolution, presented supply-side economics as a necessary correction to Keynesian demand management. The Keynesian policy of stimulating consumer demand with easy money while restricting output with high marginal tax rates resulted in stagflation. The supply-side policy, by reversing the policy mix, cured the stagflation. As far as I can tell, few libertarians have understood supply-side economics. Most demonized it as a form of Keynesian tax-cutting.
Daily Bell: It's still a controversial subject.
Paul Craig Roberts: One would have thought that libertarians would welcome lower income taxes as a move toward personal freedom. Historically, the definition of a free person is a person who owns his own labor. Serfs and slaves do not have ownership rights in their labor, and neither do people who pay income taxes. Curiously, libertarians get much more upset over tariffs as infringements on free trade than they do over the income tax's infringement of free persons.
Daily Bell: You raise some intriguing points.
Paul Craig Roberts: Thank you. I trust that these comments will provoke thought among libertarians and help them to reorganize their defense of liberty against the new enemies that now confront freedom.
Daily Bell: It's been an honor to interview you.
This interview though brief is a glimpse of one of the most brilliant conservative minds in the Western world. Paul Craig Roberts' on-point articles and principled insights have set a "gold standard" for those interested in providing conservative commentary to a public that is occasionally receptive and certainly restive.
We are almost too intimidated by Roberts' profundity and perspicacity to wish to attempt an addendum of any sort. But it is our collective job, so we will present some thoughts on the matter, hoping those viewing these efforts will bear in mind they are offered reluctantly and within the knowledge that in no way can they match what has just been presented by the master himself.
Let us deal specifically with issues of free-trade and Glass-Steagall. Regarding both of these subjects, we plead guilty to the libertarian zeal that Roberts identifies above with such devastating effect. We have written in numerous articles, especially, that the emphasis on rebuilding a fire-wall between banking and commercial/merchant banking so that the latter may not take advantage of the former's customers gives the misleading impression that government can regulate the marketplace. In other words, if only the RIGHT regulations were implemented, the difficult issues would be resolved and the world would be a better place.
With all due respect (we do not believe it to be an inordinate amount), the argument that government CAN legislate correct as well as incorrect regulations only perpetuates the idea that governments are occasionally competent. But in our view this misreads such elemental economic laws as marginal utility, which is the dividing line between classical and neo-classical economics and the reason that Keynesianism and econometrics ultimately fail. Why is that? Because fundamentally, government cannot foretell the future.
A trend projected by government is bound to become undone before it is realized. This is the basic truth, often misunderstood, around which Austrian economics is built. Human action, the profound sacrament of Austrian economics and one of the most resonant presentations of modern philosophy, tells us that people will not sit idly by in the face of drought, famine, illness, etc. People will DO something. And thus it is that no catastrophic trend shall continue to its logical conclusion and no tree shall touch the sky.
People's propensity for taking human action is the reason that Thomas Malthus's dismal predictions proved wrong. It is the reason that Marx's predictions failed; it is the reason the USSR toppled and why centralization of governance and planning is always doomed to failure. Having isolated a trend, those who predict it in any sort of numerical or statistical way, are inevitably doomed to failure. One can make some general observations to be sure (we do it all the time to be sure) but to try to create by regulatory fiat what natural law has not already developed is likely a futile exercise.
We are not inclined to cede ground to government on these principled grounds. We have the advantage of course of being a minor adornment in the splendid brilliance of the blogosphere. We don't have to make policy, only comment on it. We don't have to try to put our ideas into action on anything but an individual basis. From Paul Craig Roberts point of view, then, we are hopelessly naïve if not jejeune.
Roberts sees his role, obviously, as one of principled realism. He presents his arguments within the context of the world as it is, while we have gaily if not carelessly assumed the prerogatives of perfectionism. We argue, therefore, from the logic of an ideal world, and, within this ideal, it is evident to us that trade – free trade – ought to be pursued by individuals in pursuit of individual self-interest.
Within this admittedly proscribed perspective, there is no room for tariffs, trade negotiations, managed trade, protectionism, etc. As we see it, if people were free to do business as they pleased, then they would do so in a way that promoted their individual and, therefore, their aggregate self interest. If counter-parties were trying to take advantage of such trading, it would be immediately evident and obvious. Then trade would diminish and go elsewhere until such behavior was rectified. But this would take place on an informal, ad-hoc basis, as business ordinarily does. There would be no great fuss about it, no blasts of windy rhetoric, no legislative or military preemptions.
It can be seen in these two examples that we find ourselves on the other side of the table from Paul Craig Roberts, not because we want to be but because this is where we have chosen to take our (ample) seat. The Bell is a modest blog about the problems caused by power-elite promotions and how free-market thinking might provide a palliative. Having breakfasted with idealists, you could say, we dine with zealots.
Yes, it is likely one of the more unattractive qualities of our reprobate characters ... we are interested in the way things MIGHT be. Paul Craig Roberts is a practical genius, interested in building a more friendly free-market government today. It is the reason he served in lofty positions in the most powerful government in the world during one of its most successful regimes. We remain gravity bound, firmly anchored to our ink-stained wretchedness on an inhospitable planet that has little notion of perfectibility and less ambition as regards its realization. Roberts is the realist. We have never felt endangered by accusations of practicality.
A final note: Above, we have attempted to present some thoughts on free-trade and banking from a principled free-market perspective. We could write an another entire "after thought" on Paul Craig Roberts' brilliant observations regarding the dangers of the creation of an 'Oligarchy of Private Interests.' We have identified the danger similarly, only our preferred nomenclature is "power elite." Also, while the danger is private, the mechanism utilized by the power elite is resolutely public. What is evident and obvious is that the elite seeks to control the levers of PUBLIC power in order to operate under color of law for private gain. This process called MERCANTILISM and has nothing to do with the legitimacy or value of the private sector, which is considerable. The problem may lie with the private sector, but the problem would not exist without the availability of the public one. No government, no problem – within this context at least.
Posted by Tim Norris on 09/18/10 07:21 AM
Interesting article and good analysis. The situation in the US is appalling. The theories asssociated with Keynesian economics pertain to a properly organized commercial system. Such Keynesian economic policies do not work when the US monetary system is a collosal Ponzi scheme.
Glass-Steagall law prevents the creation of such a Ponzi scheme. It is for this reason that the banking elite in the Stock Exchange (London, UK) and Wall Street (New York, USA) are scared stiff that enthusiasm for Glass Steagall grows generally amongst the population.
The truth behind President Obama's "Stimulus Package" is that it was alleged to provide "trickle down" benefits to society via the banks. In practice, what it has done is merely pay for losses by the banks. Rather than the banks failing due to their poor practices, US society will be deprived of the infrastructure, schools, hospitals railway systems and so forth that the USA deeps to the future.
However, this is not the only bad decision that the USA has made. The war in the Middle East is essentially one for oil. The "war against terror" is mere propaganda. The reality is that that US and UK military intervention in Iraq has cost between 500,000 and 1,000,000 civilian lives; who then is the real terrorist?
From my viewpoint, the tragedy of the Iraq/Iran situation is that the US resources used on the war could have been used to equip the USA with advanced Thorium nuclear power facilities, created high skill hope and training amongst the US population and made the USA leading World nation again. By squandering the US wealth on needless war in the Middle East has merely enriched US defence companies, created lots of badly injured and now handicapped US soldiers without really increasing oil supply significantly. The defeat of the US in Vietnam should have taught the US a lesson in strategy. The trouble is the USA and UK seem to have learn nothing from the Vietnam war.
We should encourage the oil industry to move away from oil and concentrate its efforts on Thorium. This is good long term strategy for the oil companies becuase they will make more money and reap greater profits. To burn fossilized plant matter for our energy seems objectively a curious way to progress matters when the primary natural energy source in the Universe is nuclear fission (as occurs in the core of the Earth to keep its magnumhot)and nucelar fusion which keeps stars raidating energy.
It is time for the USA to wake up, otherwise the various oligarchies will drive it to civil war and then eberyone will be driven to poverty. The USA must change to a credit-driven system, Glass-Steagall reintroduced and the needless war in the Middle East brought quickly to a conclusion by withdrawing troops. Thanks for reading my comments.
Reply from The Daily Bell
We don't believe regulation makes things better, not even Glass-Steagall.
Posted by Huh? on 08/03/10 03:34 PM
DB, the following quote from your afterthoughts strongly reminds me of Stefan Molyneux's rants and debates ...
"Also, while the danger is private, the mechanism utilized by the power elite is resolutely public."
Is there a chance you can interview Stefan Molyneux?
Reply from The Daily Bell
We will try ...
From Wikipedia ...
Stefan Molyneux (born September 24, 1966) is a Canadian blogger, essayist, author, and host of the Freedomain Radio series of podcasts, living in Mississauga, Southern Ontario. He has written numerous articles and smaller essays which have been published on libertarian websites such as Click to view link, Click to view link and Strike The Root, recorded over 1500 podcasts and written numerous books which are all self-published except for his first, which was published by Publish America. Molyneux's works cover politics, philosophy, economics, relationships, atheism, and personal freedom. In 2006 Stefan Molyneux quit his job in the field of computer software and now works full-time on Freedomain Radio, a philosophical community website which is funded completely through donations.
Posted by PRice on 07/23/10 02:57 PM
I had the same reaction as Ross Kaminsky. Libertarian?..not! Make sense?..not!
Skimming through his latest book, I think he should have made good on his promise to stop writing. He's just confusing himself and his readers.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Wonder why ...
Posted by Ross Kaminsky on 07/22/10 02:52 PM
I had to stop reading about 1/4 of the way through the interview with Roberts. How can a guy be taken seriously who:
Lists AIPAC second in a list of "private interest oligarchies"?
Blames libertarians and repeal of Glass-Steagall for the financial crisis, rather than Fannie, Freddie, and other gov't actions?
Argues that anyone (like the Cato Institute) who disagrees with him, such as about jobs going offshore, is just not looking at the facts?
Neglects to note that while so many jobs were moving offshore, the US unemployment rate was going steadily downwards, until the current recession?
Mr. Roberts is not nearly the clear thinker he used to be.
Posted by Strangewalk on 07/22/10 08:45 AM
Many commentators and just ordinary people are saying the same things. It doesn't matter who is elected this November or in 2012, they will automatically find themselves locked in a structure under control of the power elite. As in so many past cases, the only way out will be complete collapse, violence and revolutionary turmoil, it's now inevitable. Let's just hope the elitists who caused the mess aren't able to weasel out somehow.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Posted by AmanfromMars on 07/20/10 05:08 AM
In this interview, ... Click to view link ..... and it is a corker, you will hear an honest admission, which I can only suppose was entirely unintentional from Jeffrey Sachs, Economist, Columbia University [that's just what the world needs.... more head in the sands, talking economists who make .... well, what is that they provide, by the way? As imaginative as I may be, I always keep coming up with absolutely nothing useful and Professor Sachs is a star performer] ...... that repaying massive national/sovereign debt is never a game to be played, it is all about just servicing it.
Has the Daily Bell ever interviewed Hugh Hendry, who appears to shoot straight from the hip, and certainly nailed the professors colours to the mast, much to his obvious displeasure at being so well read as being just a empty talking head?
[For those who cannot be bothered to listen to eight useful enough minutes of enlightening debate/venal disagreement this is where you would need to zoom to 6:46 / 8:21]
Posted by Bruce on 07/19/10 10:16 PM
I wrote what follows after reading your first post. Since, I have read them all. You are someone with exceptional clarity.
@ Pat Fields
The truly unique approach economists may seek to engage should rather be to look completely afresh at our entire monetary history through our newly developed capabilities and dispense with accusatory preconceptions (however justifiable they may appear to be) to derive a clear recognition that this monetary 'Original Sin' of insisting on fixed money-value has sequentially led to the pantheon of ills we've suffered from antiquity through to the present.
I have been reading your comments for some time, and I dearly love it when someone cuts through the crap and gets to the root of a problem. You don't disappoint. You are a true radical!
England at one time had honest money which was tied to the value (weight and purity) of silver denominated only in terms of pounds sterling. Somehow pounds became no longer pounds in the minds of Englishmen and their money became viewed in a skewed light allowing for the ridiculous proposition that one could thereafter buy a pound (silver)sterling (.925 pure)with a note denominated in appreciably more pounds sterling than what is being purchased.
To your above comment, I might add that declaring one specific commodity as money exclusive of all others is another original sin, allowing for the possibility manipulation of that commodity by powerful domestic or foreign interests to inflate or deflate the money supply rather than allowing the market to determine what money is necessary and prudent. Thus, if gold comes into a shortage as money, silver can serve, or copper, or nickel, or palladium.
(You have addressed this issue admirably.)
The dictatorial declaration of a specific commodity, to be used in the market (not for public accounts, which of necessity must be defined) exerts pressure on the people's ability to choose the best money for the situation, and thus manipulates the market. Isn't manipulation always engaged in with a particular advantage or gain in mind?
(and this issue as well)
Also, the delegation of power to borrow money on the credit of the United States was an original sin. While borrowing money from the Dutch might have been necessary to fight the war for independence, it also guaranteed that no matter what side won, the United States would never truly be free unless it paid its debts. That, more than any reason is an argument for a provision to amend the Constitution " to remove the power to borrow money when the war debt was repaid.
Posted by Harold Larsen on 07/19/10 12:51 PM
The human dilemma. I believe that there is no solution to this problem, man is damed if he does and damed if he dosnt,and there is no third option,like, I dont know,humanity is to be impaled upon the horns of the dilemma whether he likes it or not.The imutable law of cause and effect, like the law of gravity cannot be suspended or overtured by human will or ingenuity,Lord Actons obsevation,power corupts and absolute power corupts absolutley is a good discripton of the human dilemma, justice without power is impotent and power without justice is tyrany, man is between the proverbial devil and the deep blue sea.
However WHEN WE ARE PREPARED TO CHANGE THE WAY WE LOOK AT THINGS, THE THINGS WE LOOK AT CHANGE. It is a change of thinking only possible to the ultimate contrarian , tin foil hatter, if the human dilemma was of human origon it would have a human solution,stated another way, mans problems stem from a moral weeknes not a political deficency. Finaly let me endevour to state the problem of the human dilemma in its simplest form, the human eqasion is governed by the constant of CHANGE, hence the more things change the more they stay the same, there is I, am happy to say, a devine solution to the human condition, unfortunatley for the bulk of humanity, its solution will come in the form of a black swan, not because of human endevor but in spite of it
Posted by Tazio Zatori on 07/19/10 09:02 AM
Kudos to TDB, PCR and all the Reader Feedbacks, especially AmanfromMars, for one of the best and most spirited exchanges of useful knowledge. The Revolution is indeed taking place on the Internet as we (the relatively few open-minded, clear-thinking, freedom-loving individuals) increasingly re-cognize, return to, re-establish a global De Facto Private Gold Bullion Standard. Semper fi!
Posted by AmanfromMars on 07/19/10 06:09 AM
"I calculate AmanfromMars, that things are about to get real weird." ... Posted by John Edwards on 7/19/2010 5:31:44 AM
Amen to that, John Edwards, and beyond the wildest of really weird and wired dreams too, which have been shared in AI Perfect Storm Clouds, although subject to Server Message Block Latency Transfer, which may or may not render Posted Monday 19th July 2010 09:43 GMT with Publication for Greater General Knowledge and Edutainment here with NASA headlining ........ Click to view link
And the Daily Bell, for all of its protestations at not understanding a lot of what is going on, is fantastically rewarded by being in the Vanguard of Momentous Change by virtue of their conspicuous fairness in hosting constructive discourse on Systems ills, even as they evolve, in consideration of prudent requirements relating to the provision of steganographic security, into the irregular and unconventional and the novel and noble.
The Pleasure for such Selfless Diligence will be Ours to repay with a Gratitude and Reward that knows No Bounds.
Posted by John Edwards on 07/19/10 05:31 AM
Truth has gone viral on the Internet AmanfromMars, and it is jumping from the screen into everyone who watches/listens.
It is the kind of infection that the PE always based their wet dreams for the ultimate purpose for the Web on. Except they thought that the content wouldn't have any bearing on the efficacy of their brainwashing techniques.
Turns out that the truth about something, anything, overrides all previous and/or later attempts to brainwash with lies.
This is/has/will be showcased by the Internet.
I calculate AmanfromMars, that things are about to get real weird.
Posted by Bionic Mosquito on 07/19/10 05:08 AM
@Zenbillionaire on 7/19/2010 3:13:15 AM
"And I believe Social Security cost me 12% of my income at the barrel of a gun for my entire working life."
I find your comments puzzling. On the one hand, you properly identify social security as theft, therefore you know you are dealing with thieves. On the other hand, you are both a) quite angry that the thieves may not be able to continue stealing as much as they told you they would on your behalf, and b) you are somehow surprised that thieves are not good for their word. And for this, you are angry at others that had no role in your gullability?
"I'm angry, that much is certain...You dance around on the head of pins, inciting insurrection then running to the moral high ground whenever it's suggested."
Only one possible action is insurrection, for which the Daily Bell has been quite clear about their views. That you only run to this avenue suggests difficulty in channeling your anger to a more productive use.
It seems you believed the thieves, and in fact were counting on them to be honest thieves in the future -- keeping all promises. These promises will be broken, and only through this avenue do I see hope for a better, more stable financial and political system in the future.
Posted by AmanfromMars on 07/19/10 05:00 AM
"GOD .....is a Global Operating Device and a Virtual Machine Program in AI Circles and Cloud Crowds Mentoring Order to CHAOS, which are Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems." ....Posted by AmanfromMars on 7/18/2010 2:20:58 PM
Well ... we understood some of it. Thanks .... Reply from the Daily Bell.
In Order for to Lead*, it is important to understand nearly all of it, for IT is crucial to All for Command and Control of Life and LOVE Support Systems. This article in a popular IT magazine identifies it as, as unbelievable as it may seem, a NASA priority too, with a whole host of mega multi-national conglomerate business empires engaged to deliver Prime Objectives ......
Click to view link
And to understand only some of it will leave you ill prepared to influence and input vital direction, although, and such is the simple beauty of what is already developed by those pioneering experts in the Field, would those who understand nearly all of it are immaculately equipped to act as your true phantom proxies.
And yes, I do realise the seeming incongruity of being expert in pioneering, but such is the Nature of Fields in Quantum Communications Exploration for Virtual TelePortation in Thought Transfer Systems to Mind Control Hubs ..... with the most Basic being, and still probably the most Effective, Simply Complex Imaginative Plain Text, which can then be accurately transcribed into whatever Mother Tongue would be necessary for Universal Knowledge of New IntelAIgents and their CyberIntelAIgent Commissions.
*Without Orderly Leadership is there only Anarchy and CHAOS and Puppets easily manipulated to Destroy Crooked and Dodgy Elite Power InfraStructures and SCADA Systems ...... and all at the Click of a Mouse and the Speed of MBps.
"I think we could, but I fear it would demand a revolution. Trouble is, it would have to be one in which nary a shot was fired or a life spent, for me to be a part of it.
I guess the Internet is part of the revolution I envisage, but will it be enough ?" ..... Posted by John Edwards on 7/19/2010 4:01:19 AM
OH YES,... MORE THAN ENOUGH, John Edwards, and please excuse the enthusiastic shouting. Sometimes one just cannot say something simple, loud enough.
Reply from The Daily Bell
OK, interesting link. Thanks.
Posted by Dennis Mihalka on 07/19/10 04:17 AM
Paul Craig Roberts does share wisdom however, he can not have it both Click to view linkee trade and no "off shoring". When one attempts to stop off shoring, free trade does not exist. Similarly, "buy local" (assuming local prices are higher) the standard of living is deminihsed.
What is missing from his thinking of "off shoring" is the concept of time...as market nuances (labor costs, shipping, cultural differences, currency valuations) vary over time, the free market dictates companies to seek the most efficient manner to maximize profits by serving the consumer best (price, quality, product safety, functionality and durability).
Please do not pander with a free market. The Free Market provides the best goods to be designed and produced, and it also allows any human being the opportunity to offer his/her services for a price they are willing to receive which by natural design is better than what they would otherwise earn.
This does press those who have lost their jobs to off shore workers to redifine their value and worth by retraining and/or additional education or personal innovation resuting in a greater value to society. An additional benefit is that the new "off shore" worker now has more funds with which to purchase from others, incuding the displaced worker. Every one benefits, although self improvement or innovation is required as opposed to government intervention.
To not allow "off shore" production is protectionism and not free enterprise and certainly not libertarian. One can not have it both ways.
Posted by John Edwards on 07/19/10 04:01 AM
I always figure that the moment a piece of legislation/regulation such as the Glass-Steagall act is even at committee stage, there are already people looking for ways around it, or how to get rid of it all together.
Success these days seems to be measured by how well you avoid or negate these laws/regs.
I offer the recent example of the EPA in the USA directing BP to cease and desist in using Corexit dispersant in the Gulf of Mexico, only to have there directions ignored.
The dilemma with this example, of course, is that our environment does need to be protected from companies and individuals who would seek to gain from it's partial (or complete) destruction.
I agree with the DB on laws/regulation for things we can afford to have destroyed in front of us.
However and hopefully, yourselves at the DB and elsewhere will agree that the total destruction of the worlds Fiat-monetary and financial system would be no world ending shock if we didn't allow it to. But the total destruction of the worlds natural environment would be a life ending event.
Yet regs/laws didn't help in the slightest in the BP instance. Probably made the situation worse. Plenty of reports in the Alt media that support that contention.
Can we prevent either from happening no matter what we do ?
I think we could, but I fear it would demand a revolution. Trouble is, it would have to be one in which nary a shot was fired or a life spent, for me to be a part of it.
I guess the Internet is part of the revolution I envisage, but will it be enough ?
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 07/19/10 03:13 AM
"We believe social security is a farce. "
And I believe Social Security cost me 12% of my income at the barrel of a gun for my entire working life. Pardon me if I fail to shed tears for anarcho-libertarianism.
You publish these dweebs. You apologize for them? Maybe grant them provenance in the act? Perhaps you and Lew need to be more erudite. I'm angry, that much is certain.
You failed to condemn the man. You dance around on the head of pins, inciting insurrection then running to the moral high ground whenever it's suggested. Does your liver bleed milk?
Reply from The Daily Bell
Actually, several of us have been involved in libertarian outreach for decades, learning as we go and believing that education is the only realistic option, unless a movement toward mass non violence protest sweeps the US and perhaps the world. From what we can see, non-violent protests may eventually materialize - or at least there is a possibility of it, which is more than we expected in our weary lifetimes. If people are attacked in their own homes, for whatever reason, we would expect they would fight back.
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 07/19/10 02:34 AM
It's particularly tickling that you would choose a self avowed libertarian who was also an inner circle (shall we say 'elite') member of the Ray-Gun administration to promote your views.
This is a man who openly (and willingly we might suspect) perpetrated one of the the great swindles of the 20th century; to wit, the scandalous 'entitlement' moniker of Social Security.
Ronnie and your friend Paul here managed to bilk the American populace out of some 2.9 trillion dollars when they collectively (let's not leave Mr. Greeenspan out of this picture) decided to allow the use of US citizens retirement savings to pay 'general obligations' of the US government. They are scoundrels. Mr. Roberts is a scoundrel. And you, Sirs, are scoundrels and lay abouts if you choose to bed down with the likes of him.
Have you considered useful employment?
Reply from The Daily Bell
Our views on these issues are fairly straightforward, as was our After Thought. We are inclined toward anarcho-libertariansm. We believe social security is a farce. But if you wish to be angry with us, please include Click to view link and numerous other erudite libertarian sites that have had literary commerce with Paul Craig Roberts.
When it comes to ideas, as we noted in our After Thoughts, the perfect can be the enemy of the good. If we pitched our tent according to such precepts, it would ultimately be a small one indeed, and we should all be the poorer for it ...
Posted by William on 07/19/10 02:24 AM
More is said by what is left out than what is included. Notice that Roberts leaves out banking as one of the (probably because it is THE most) powerful force on the political situation in the US. This is a red flag to the astute to take Roberts with a very large grain of salt.
Reply from The Daily Bell
He left out a good deal, in our opinion.
Posted by Acudoc on 07/19/10 02:06 AM
Great interview, but you have heard that from me innumerable times before.
Please check out this link to a brilliant essay by Mexican billionaire Hugo Salinas Price, giving a clear-headed analysis of the present situation and an impassioned cry for a return to the international gold standard as a remedy for the de-industrialization of the West and the continuing outsourcing of jobs as described by Dr. Roberts.
The imbalance of trade can only be rectified by a gold accounting system, according to Senor Price, and his essay is a gem for its simple clarity.
Click to view link.mx/mplata/articulos/articlesFilt.asp?fiidarticulo=161
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks. We have had the honor of interviewing Hugo Salinas Price as well ...
Posted by Rolland Carpenter on 07/19/10 01:19 AM
Thanks for Paul Craig Roberts. Some more insidious changes are destroying America over a period of many years. I staarted paying into Social Security as a paper delivery boy in the 1940s. Yes, it is a bit of a pyramid acheme, but we were sold on Social Security "contributions" as work life long payments toward our own retirement.
Today, they are no longer "contributions" but "payroll taxes" which can be used for general government expenses, such as the Trillion dollar "bailout for billionaires" only a fraction of which will apparently ever be recovered. But we now learn that the supposed Social Security Trillion plus dollar reserves are somehow already spent. Promised benefits must be cut, as we should expect with any government program which is "Tax" based.