News & Analysis
The Trouble With the Fed Is That Too Many Bankers Run It ... Not!
Bernie Sanders: The big banks rule the Fed, here's how to fix it ... The independent senator from Vermont is taking aim at the make-up of the Federal Reserve's board of directors, arguing it has too many bankers. At a time when the rally against Wall Street and corporate greed gains momentum, a U.S. government report released last week raises a question few protesters probably think about: Are too many members of the U.S. Federal Reserve board of directors from the banking sector? After all, the Fed regulates many of the very same companies that its members run, and so this potentially poses a conflict of interest, according to the Government Accountability Office. While the report didn't find that these firms directly benefited from the Fed, it confirmed worries that several financial firms and corporations could have gained from their executives' close ties to the Fed. – Fortune
Dominant Social Theme: Here's a simple and profound insight: The problem with the Federal Reserve is its conflicts of interest! If I, Bernie Sanders, independent socialist Senator from Vermont, ran the Fed things would be much better.
Free-Market Analysis: The duck-and-weave crowd is in full-cry in Washington, DC, led by the personable Senator from Vermont, "Bernie" Sanders. He's got a plan to fix the Federal Reserve that includes removing "conflict of interest" from its board.
Now he's giving interviews to Fortune magazine (see excerpt above) to burnish his credentials as a radical "Mr. Fixit." He's discovered the Federal Reserve is not what it appears to be (after how many years in Congress?) and is taking steps to deal with the problem. How glad we are! All Americans, no doubt, should be glad as well. There are "issues" with the Fed and Sanders is on the case ...
In fact, the problem with central banks is that they print money-from-nothing, increasingly in incomprehensible amounts, and the Fed is the biggest money-from-nothing-printing bank of all. Such tremendous flows of paper money inevitably distort economies, ruin businesses and centralize wealth and power among the elites that run the banks.
Bernie Sanders's remedy for this is to metaphorically throw a paper towel on top of a nuclear core in the throes of a full-fledged meltdown. All over the world, central banking is imploding. The modern fiat-money system is likely finished (as it is currently constructed), though the mainstream media and those in business and power who have the most to gain from the current system refuse to recognize this reality.
Instead, the idea is to promote sub-dominant social (power elite) themes that move the discussion away from the failure of the current monetary system to ways it can be "fixed." This is akin to the "transparency" meme we have discussed of late.
The idea is that government can be a workable force for good if sunshine is allowed to pour over it. As government is force, pure and simple, it is difficult to see how revealing government suasions will do anything to address underlying problems. What shall be discovered will likely increase fear rather than reformation.
In Sanders's case, he has the idea that too many industry bankers – especially from Wall Street – sit on Federal Reserve boards, including the powerful Federal Reserve Bank of New York. We note this is in line with what the Occupy Wall Street crowd has been protesting – the power of the "banksters."
Apparently, it is hip to discover the perfidious nature of private banking power. But one gets the feeling that if an inebriated Occupy Wall Street protestor made a fuss regarding the dangerous influence of the Walt Disney Company, Bernie Sanders would be right in the middle of it, proposing that Donald Duck be banned from the halls of financial power. In Congress, timing is all.
Yes, indeed ... Sanders apparently has just NOW discovered that Wall Street has considerable influence over the Fed. He's convening a team of "top" economists to draft legislation for purposes of reforming the Fed. Here's some more from the article excerpted above:
JP Morgan Chase could have benefited from its chief executive Jamie Dimon's position on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. According to the GAO, the bank received bailout loans from the Fed while it served as one of the clearing banks that facilitate payments for the Fed's emergency lending program.
Now self-described Democratic socialist Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, who spearheaded the report, has gathered a team of top economists to draft legislation to reform the Fed. Sanders (or "Bernie" as most call him) joins Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank and others in their call to restructure the Fed as the agency comes under increased scrutiny in recent years.
Sanders is one of only two independents in the U.S. Senate. The 70-year-old politico has long slammed the excesses of Wall Street and U.S. businesses. Only recently, as The Guardian points out, has he become less of a political outsider. Fortune caught up with the senator this week over telephone from his home state of Vermont. He talks about the inequitable influences of Wall Street and how to give the rest of America more say over policies to restart the U.S. economy.
As we pointed out recently in "Limited Hangout at the Fed vs. the Internet Reformation," there is a good deal of activity in Congress to "reform" the Fed. Congressman Ron Paul is conducting an audit. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) has introduced a bill to make the Fed an entirely public entity. Sanders is convening a committee of "experts."
God help the long-suffering American public if Sanders and others are successful at "restructuring" the Fed to remove "conflicts of interest." What this apparently means is that people like Sanders will have more power over money printing than Wall Street types.
Conclusion: This, then, is reform. Bernie Sanders and his ilk will assume the reins of the Fed, pushing out financial types. The system will grind on until there is virtually nothing left of the country Sanders purports to love but is simply sabotaging with his phony legislation and disingenuous reform. End the Fed.
Posted by Dave Jr on 10/31/11 10:03 AM
I hope you don't mind my lurking and poking around, I find these subjects very interesting.
I understand that if gold were the agreed upon standard, then gold would have no price because gold would be the price. In its' purist form, the unit of price would be denominated in ounces or grains. But this is not what we have today.
You have said that gold has value because it requires the expending of effort or energy to bring it from the ground. But also, all products and commodities originate in the ground or air. It stands to follow then, the amount of effort or energy is a component in determining value, and value is a component of price. Effort or energy will determine minimum price, below which, producers will cease activity (no profit). And the maximum price is discovered by the percieved and subjective value to the consumer. So not only does gold have a price, it has millions of prices. It has so many prices in fact, that it becomes universal in trade.
So everything is in flux and relational to each other. When gold was found in a new territory, nuggets were plucked from the stream beds. Then exposed veins were hammered from the mountainside. Now, huge earth moving equipment is employed and 10 tons of rock proccessed and chemicals used and a massive amount of energy expended to produce 1 oz. of gold.
Human effort or the equivalent energy expended will always be the standard. For example, if the price of beef gets too high, I may say forget it, I will raise my own cattle. It is mostly a question of effort in to effort out which is then magnified or dimminished by personal desire.
Even though using gold as a standard of measure will facilitate trade and offer a degree of stability, it seems to me it would float in value when measured in terms of human effort and energy like everything else.
But maybe in the end we are saying the same thing. But my concern is, a money supply needs to be proportional to the amount of productive activity for an economy to be stable. Can gold keep up with world economic growth without artificially distorting prices? And then there is the question of supply manipulation by the elites.
Posted by Agent Weebley on 10/30/11 10:50 PM
Hello again Ingo,
After 1.34 hours of searching, the only other conversation I could find where I had the last word with you was here:
Click to view link
I searched articles, exclusive interviews, and editorials . . . all the way back to the middle of August, when we got back from BC. I am really tired now, and after seeing about 15 years worth of red pill talk, I think it is time for a few blue pills to keep it real.
On the bright side, I do see moderation in your thinking about Real Bills, judging by what you are now saying to others. That makes me feel good that you are not so rigid in your thinking on that subject anymore . . . normal talk now.
So . . . if you answer me, great, but if we pass like cars in a rainstorm at night from now on, so be it.
You may notice that the guy waving madly at you as we pass, is me . . . I'm the guy wearing the dashing luminescent clothing . . . and I am at one with my Aston Martin Rapide.
Click to view link
Dang, I shouldn't have taken my hands off the steering wheel . . . and, er, it was supposed to be real leather! I'm taking it back . . .
Posted by Bischoff on 10/30/11 10:26 PM
Again I thank you for replying to me. I will compose a reply tomorrow.
At this point, I want to say that by your comments, you always give me a very good opportunity to make points to support my view. I will be happy to address the question of power, but I will do it in relation to economic systems.
Please check back tomorrow.
Posted by NAPpy on 10/30/11 10:00 PM
Thanks for the reply.
To provide perspective, I would accept living under the constitution in a heartbeat. I agree it was a step in the right direction. I think that a sound argument can be made that man has evolved in the following way:
1. Very direct, very brutal, rule of one individual over small groups (tribal leader, warchiefs, etc.)
2. Very direct, very brutal, rule of small groups of individuals over larger groups (early kingdoms and empires) which were based on tribute systems. The small group in power is now required to share power with more local leaders. This is a devolution of power.
3. As power devolved, even to this small extent, people at the top of the pyramid needed to give excuses for, or to justify why, they should be on the top of the pyramid.
4. Lots of excuses have been tried. None are coherent, logically justifiable, or universal in terms of theory structure and content. Examples include divine right of kings, monarchy, democracy, republic, oligarchy, autocracy, constitutional republic, confederation, etc.
5. A test of viability for a governmental theory is whether its application provides a government that lasts. I use "last" to mean that it does not die out, in a monarchy; there is no revolution; there is no bankruptcy; there is no internal collapse; there is no destruction and take over by foreign entities, etc.
6. None of the old forms of government lasted, and were therefore not viable as a theory or in practice.
7. Our founding fathers did an admirable job of constructing a constitutional republic which I'll admit was the best experiment to date in limiting government power, maximizing individual liberty, and maximizing economic prosperity.
8. This constitutional republic was sold as an experiment in self-rule. Language like "by the people, for the people" was used.
9. In fact, use of the term self-rule is inaccurate. A more accurate description is that people elect their rulers. They are, however, still ruled.
10. The inescapable logic for election of rulers is that the achievement of a majority vote provides moral legitimacy. This is a logical fallacy.
11. Despite the logical contradiction of its justification, the U.S. experiment involved a huge devolution in power. Even though the logic is false, a large percent of the population believes they have self-rule. People want self-rule. I want self-rule. It is this further devolution of the centralization of power that marks the progress of man.
12. Self-rule is the next logical step in the evolution of man's attempt to govern himself.
13. Since the modern constitional republic has arguably died several times: 1861; 1913; 2008; arguments in favor of experimenting with self-rule are at least justifiable, if not morally obligatory.
An ethical theory, in order to be justifiable, must be universal, objective, consistent, and binding.
I've seen logically consistent theories that argue that it is never justifiable to initiate force against others. Rothbard's natural rights theory is one. Hoppe's discourse ethics is another. Molyneux's Universally Preferable Behavior is not an ethical theory per se, however, it does provide a rational system of evaluating ethical theories.
I've never seen a logically consistent theory that argues that it is ok for one man to rule over another.
"I look at the U.S. Constitution, and I see the provision for a governmental structure which most perfectly recognizes Natural Law and human nature."
The natural law theory that I've read argues that anything that hinders man's ownership of himself is a violation of natural law and human nature.
You might not be a fan of Rothbard, but that is not an argument. You're a bright man and I take your points seriously, but if we're going to move this conversation forward, you need to attack either Rothbards' premises, or his logical form. To be honest, I think there are probably holes to be found. I think Hoppe is on the right track, in terms of epistemology and ethical theory. If you were prepared to attack Hoppe in terms of his epistemology or ethical theory that we would be great. I'm still developing my ideas on epistemology and discourse ethics, so I'd be forced to admit incompetence in responding to your points. But, I'd at least be able to use your points to develop my own ideas.
If you're not willing to attack epistemology, premises, and logical forms, then we'd probably just be talking past each other, and have to agree to disagree. I wouldn't blame you since I find the subject confusing, frustrating and intimidating myself. This is, however, where I'm directing my current studies since I'm sick of losing arguments (or declining them) to people that understand these subjects.
Off topic, but I find it interesting that internet discourse isn't low brow as the MSM would have us believe. I've found debators on several of the sites I frequent that understand epistemology and logic, and use that in their arguments. Their numbers seem to be increasing. It's actually rare now where I don't go a day without someone saying: ad hominem, or argument from authority, etc.
Anyways, thanks, as usual, for the follow-up.
Posted by Agent Weebley on 10/30/11 09:03 PM
Although I have not found the first article, I found the second article where you had not answered my question. That time, it was my posit that there needs to be money distributed to people at the street level . . . immediately.
Winter is now upon us, so time is of the essence.
Click to view link
There is a myriad of articles to search, so it is easy to miss something that happened a few days ago . I know can I miss them . . . and it takes a long time to search through them!
I will bookmark it and check in on that thread every now and again for your response.
Posted by Bischoff on 10/30/11 06:52 PM
My view on how things work are based on my education and my life experience. I don't follow any particular "School of Thought". I very much belief in the quote by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who said that, "Every school of thought is like a man who has talked to himself for a hundred years and is delighted with his own mind, however stupid it may be."
My primary and secondary education is European with a heavy dose of the classics (Greece and Rome). My undergraduate work was in Physics and Chemistry. My graduate work was in Business and Economics. I supported myself and raised my family on income from Sales and by operating my own business, and oh yes, I also served in the U.S. military to include a stint in command of a line unit.
It is this background, and the absolute bias which I have for the thoughts of the founders of the American Republic, particularly the thinking of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Mason, James Madison, Roger Sherman and Alexander Hamilton.
I look at the U.S. Constitution, and I see the provision for a governmental structure which most perfectly recognizes Natural Law and human nature.
The provisions of the U.S. constitution allow the exercise of the greatest amount of individual liberty and freedom, while it provides a system to restrain basic human instinct, which is suitable for living in an arboreal environment, but which is highly unsuitable for peaceful existence in a terrestrial environment in which humans are condemned to live.
I will answer your comments in light of this background. I look at economics and government from a stand point which begins with God (electro magnetic energy) and Natural Law (whatever "works"), the origin of the universe (E=mc^2) and finally the development of the human ancestor and humans with their institutions.
This leaves me with a particular point of view to judge reality. I am comfortable with the logic of holding this view, and I defend it with conviction. HOWEVER, if I can be shown that it doesn't "work", then I MUST reconsider. On the other hand, if my paradigm does "work", as I argue on the basis of feedback in real life, then my view must be considered a truth. Understanding the Heisenberg Principle, I would never claim that the view by which I arrive at my truth is the only valid view. What I find wrong with any "School of Thought", just as Goethe points out, that it concentrates its view on a particular subject, often with disregard about how the rest of the universe "works".
First, I have to tell you that I am no fan of Agorism nor of the anarcho-capitalism promoted by Murray Rothbard. When it comes to Rothbard on money, his 100% gold backing requirement is entirely unworkable. While there is much in the "Austrian School of Economic Thought" that I find applicable to my view, there is plenty with which I disagree.
Let's get to specifics.
YOUR COMMENT: "With all due respect, basing your arguments, as well documented as they are, on the constitution, is nothing more than an appeal to authority, which is a logical fallacy."
I accept the U.S. Constitution as the best system of governing a society of humans which has yet been devised in human history. I make this argument based on human nature, Natural Law and the reality on the ground. To me the U.S. Constitution provides for the greatest power of government to be exercised at the lowest level. I do not appeal to the U.S. Constitution as an authoritarian decree that tells you or me what to do, but as a set of rules, that if followed, allows you and I to coexist in peace and prosper.
YOUR COMMENT: "Basing an argument against a freely fluctuating gold standard... .".
Even you must admit that "a freely fluctuating "standard" is an oxymoron.
YOUR COMMENT: "Prices will vary if priced in gold. In terms of measuring the coincidence of buyer and seller, a floating price exactly measures that coincidence. What is absurd about that?"
Prices are quoted in a denominated currency, such as the USD, EURO, RUBEL, YUAN, YEN, RUPPE, CRUZERO, etc. The denominated currency is the accounting standard. There has to be however a value attached to a currency, to justify it to be an accounting standard. For thousands of years until 1971, the standard has always been a specified, constant, fixed amount of gold. The value which this fixed amount of gold represents in terms of a denominated currency is the standard against which the value of any other commodity or service is judged. Therefore, gold has no price. A "price" is merely the value of any good or service divided by the value of gold in a "gold standard" denominated currency. Yes, prices fluctuate based on Marginal Utility (Austrian Economics), but since gold has a marginal utility that is constant, its price is ZERO. To claim otherwise is absurd.
YOUR COMMENT: "Do you have a right to legislate gold as money?"
Money cannot be legislated. The U.S. Constitution did not decide what money was. The founders and everybody else in North America and all over the world knew what money was in 1787. All the constitution does is to prohibit the states from going down the road, as many governments in history did before, of declarring something other than gold or silver to be legal tender. Gold has been Money for 3,000 years. Only gold is Money today, not by legislation, but by virtue of it being the most liquid commodity on earth. Period. No government legislation or power ever prevented gold from being Money. There is no Right to legislate what Money is. Money is a commodity with constant marginal utility. If the world population would choose green cheese to be the commodity with constant marginal utility, I will be happy to say that Green Cheese is Money.
YOUR COMMENT: "How do they know what the appropriate weight is?"
Section 8, Article I of the U.S. Constitution gives the U.S. Congress the power to set standards. One of the standards which it is empowered to set is the value of denominated currency for the United States. They did so with the Coinage Act of 1792. If you and your customers don't agree with the value for the currency set by the U.S. Congress, just lower or raise your price of goods and services. On the other hand, you can play the game which gives value to the USD today. You can enter into an agreement (Jamaica Agreement) where you value your currency with the value of the globally used staple commodity for which you or your ally/partner is the marginal cost producer, and then you can set the "price" of that commodity.
However, guess what... ..??? The "price" is derived based on the value of gold which has no price. Gold only seems to appears to fluctuate in value, because the staple commodity "price" used to give value to the denominated currency is manipulated. Then when you sell gold for USDs it seems that gold has a price. To rob yourself of that illusion, just "price" the USD in terms of quantity of gold. You can looks at the chart for Saudi Oil and Gold.
I know, it's hard to get your head around the concept that gold has no price, but with your understanding of marginal utility and Austrian economics, you should have a jump on the average Joe in figuring it out.
Posted by Bischoff on 10/30/11 12:42 PM
Thank you for your reply. It is most informative and gives me just the right comments against which I can contrast my understanding of how things work.
Please, understand that I will never claim that the way I see things is the only way to the truth. However, I believe that I can argue my point of view logically and consistently from the time of the "big bang" until today.
By responding to your comments point by point, as soon as I will find the time today, I will contrast my understanding with your views.
Again, thanks for responding to me. Please check back.
Posted by NAPpy on 10/30/11 05:37 AM
I enjoy our discourse also.
I accept ancap / voluntarist principles as true. I'm waiting for someone to successfully argue that 5th grade morality (don't hit people and don't take their stuff) does not apply to adults. If it does apply to adults, then taxation is theft, military use other than self-defense is murder, physically enforcing a law that does not conform to the NAP is assault, and lying to your customers (citizens) is fraud.
With all due respect, basing your arguments, as well documented as they are, on the constitution, is nothing more than an appeal to authority, which is a logical fallacy. Basing an argument against a freely fluctuating gold standard based on how today's fiat model also does not work (sorry, I can't think of which logical fallacy that is off the top of my head).
"The idea that you can have a varying standard of measure is absurd upon its face. It's like measuring linear distance with a rubber band."
Prices vary now. Prices will vary if priced in gold. In terms of measuring the coincidence of buyer and seller, a floating price exactly measures that coincidence. What is absurd about that?
"What greater, more convincing market is there other than the entire world population, please tell me... "
I'm not arrogant enough to try to predict the future. Historically, people have been appallingly ignorant about economics. You and I are both well read in economics and we disagree. If people become smarter about economics, are you willing to guarantee me that people might not choose a different commodity for their money? Do you have a right to legislate gold as money? What if I don't agree with you? Unless you're willing to use force, then me acting on my disagreement is the free market. Austrian free bankers say that individuals may choose gold, but aren't stupid enough to guarantee that probability.
"If the USD is not fixed in value by specifying it to be a certain amount of gold... "
Who specifies? How do they know what the appropriate weight is? What if I disagree with their arbitrary judgment, and my customers would rather use my weight because they find it more convenient? Will you use force to stop me? I would never use force against you over a mere disagreement.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Prices vary now. Prices will vary if priced in gold.
Absolutely. This is why he's so set against entertaining the notion of the (historically viable) PRIVATE gold and silver standard, which implies flux.
Posted by NAPpy on 10/30/11 04:53 AM
I always appreciate your posts.
To answer your question, yes, the standard floats. However, in application, I think the float would be invisible. Everything would be priced in gold. Prices would change when priced in gold, just like prices change to day when priced in dollars. Price changes come from changes in consumer demand, seller competition, market interruptions, etc.
As far as a solid mooring goes, day to day pricing would be no different than it is today. If you go to a mall today, you'll find one set of prices, in dollars. If you go to the mall a year from now (and the dollar is still around), you'll find a different set of prices in dollars. Pricing under gold would be similar.
It would be nice to have a solid mooring, but we'd have to eliminate change to get that.
Posted by Agent Weebley on 10/30/11 12:17 AM
Hi Dave Jr,
Everything floats. You trade this for that. A bar of chocolate for some Pokemon cards, or a dozen eggs . . . it's all a question of how badly you want something, and how much you value what you've got to trade. It's a question of learning, or re-learning how to negotiate . . . how to haggle.
If you wanted to trade something of value, but would only be prepared to accept gold . . . only gold . . . you would be waiting a long time before a buyer appeared, because not many people have gold to trade. And if you had gold to trade, you would be walking around watching your back the whole time.
Gold has been regarded by the PE as "money" since the Mespotamian times, because that is what they use to trade with each other. They know the paper money they circulate for the plebes is worthless. Gaddafi lost 144 tons of gold, so now it is in the hands of someone else.
That's definitely Ugly.
Click to view link
Money backed by "trust" is where it's at.
Posted by Bischoff on 10/29/11 09:28 PM
I do appreciate the discourse with you, even if I am sometimes sharp tongued.
The Austrians argue that the "free market" determines what is "Money". The problem with the Austrians is that they utterly and stubbornly refuse to follow their own argument. You can point it out to them again and again. You try to use logic. You try to show how they contradict themselves. How one of their star members argues for competitive money, but then writes a long treatise on why money has to be stable in order to value capital. Yet the disciples steadfastly refuse to see the dichotomy.
The market has long, long ago decided what money is. There is complete concensus on the decision among all peoples of the world from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. The world's people unanimously recognize gold to be "money". They have done so for practically 3,000 years. Yet, the Austrians stubbornly refuse to accept this decision, and they keep talking about some "free market" which will decide what money is without recognizing that the decison has long been made.
If you want to bring utility into the equation, then "Money" is the commodity for which marginal utility is constant or nearly constant. There is your utility analysis. The commodity which has that utility going back 3,000 years, is gold. The founding fathers knew that gold was money. That is why they prohibited the states from making anything but gold and silver legal tender.
Gold is the one standard of value. It is a measurement of the value of work. As part of Section 8 of Article I in the Constitution where the Congress sets weights and measures, it also includes the valuing of lawful money of the United States.
The idea that you can have a varying standard of measure is absurd upon its face. It's like measuring linear distance with a rubber band.
The problem with our current system is that we do have a floating gold standard through the quotation of Saudi oil exclusively in USD. Check the charts, you find perfect synchronization between the Gold to Crude Oil valuation.
If the USD is not fixed in value by specifying it to be a certain amount of gold, then there is no fixed accounting standard and the valuation on the balance sheet are effectively in flux. This is what is happening right now. Ut makes it impossible for businesses to make longterm projections and decisons about capital use.
There is only one standard, it is gold. Only gold is money. J.P. Morgan told hat to the Congress, and he knew something about money. He knew people the world over had made that decision long ago. It only seems that the Austrians themselves are unwilling to believe in the free market choice for money.
What greater, more convincing market is there other than the entire world population, please tell me...
Posted by Dave Jr on 10/29/11 08:38 PM
Good stuff NAPpy,
I am trying to get past the 2nd grade in the school of economics. So if we want a gold standard, just understand the standard floats? I have argued this based only on intuition, seeing that the supply of gold is subject to fluctuations, be it caused by mining strikes and depletions or by outright manipulations.
It would be nice to have a solid mooring, but reality keeps teaching me that nothing is for sure, and the surest thing is what I can learn to do myself. Hey, there's a standard that doesn't need universal agreement. Where would we go from there?
At least the subject keeps life interesting.
Posted by NAPpy on 10/29/11 07:43 PM
"Doesn't the position von Mises takes vis-a-vis the utility of gold, while at the same time he acknowledges that gold, is necessary as a constant by which to properly value of capital.
This dichotomy between varying utiliy and fixed value doesn't bother you... ???"
No, it doesn't bother me. It sounds like you are expecting a constant relation between utility and value, in which case I can see why that would bother you.
Value is subjective. That's apodictically true, at all times, in all places, as derived from the action axiom. So, by definition, value is a variable, not a constant. It's easy to understand with examples. If I'm saving for retirement, I'll value a diamond higher than a Big Mac. If I'm starving, I'll value the Big Mac higher than the diamond.
I don't know off-hand what Mises specifically said about the necessity of gold having a fixed value. The austrian position, now, is clear. If the number of goods and services change, and the amount of gold in circulation changes, then how can gold possibly have a fixed value? Buyers and sellers determine price through auctions. Prices are determined individually, at the margin. It is conceivable, that in a truly free market, each new buyer and seller can have individually different prices. This holds for gold, as well. Gold is a final good and a medium of exchange. It is valued subjectively by its buyers and its sellers. It's value is subjective in terms of what each individual gives up in opportunity cost and in the end they are trying to achieve. Gold should have a different value and utility, for each individual, if you hold the law of marginal utility as true.
It sounds to me as if you're looking for guarantees. It sounds to me like you don't trust the market. The market is merely a matrix of 1x1 auctions. As long as these auctions are free of coercion, it's not a matter of trust, it just happens.
The law of marginal utility applies to producers in terms of pricing. Producers must buy raw materials that are subject to marginal utility. Producers sell at prices that are subject to marginal utility. They might use return on capital invested to determine what they want to receive ahead of time, when deciding whether to undertake a speculation at all. However, once the product is made, their final sales price is determined, at auction, with consumers, according to marginal utility.
If I had to trace the greats in the Austrian school, I'd go Menger, Boehm-Bawerk, Mises, Rothbard, and Hoppe. It's still being fleshed out, but Hoppe is in the process of finally completing a rational / foundational epistemology. The old "how do we know" argument that has been spinning us in circles for centuries seems like it's mostly worked out. That implies that the Austrians aren't just living on their past laurels, it's still a dynamic and exciting school, giving answers to real world questions.
Posted by Dave Jr on 10/29/11 06:04 PM
"Jeanna, please note that Mr. Bischoff is complicating all of this unduly in our view. All of the painstakingly adumbrated elements of Mr. Bischoff's tale can be provided clearly and appropriately by the free market itself, not by politicians."
Possibly so. But what Ingo has alluded to, is that we allow it to happen. It all starts and ends with the people. We the people are the free market. We only have to look around, at people, to understand the condition of the free market. How many are even involved in their local government, where we have the most influence.
So Ingo meticulously dissects the condition. This is not a bad thing.
Reply from The Daily Bell
"So Ingo meticulously dissects the condition."
Sorry, Mr. Bischoff is NOT suggesting a condition. He is explaining an elaborate financial system that has an immense amount of government involvement.
Posted by Bischoff on 10/29/11 05:40 PM
"Jeanna, please note that Mr. Bischoff is complicating all of this unduly in our view. All of the painstakingly adumbrated elements of Mr. Bischoff's tale can be provided clearly and appropriately by the free market itself, not by politicians."
If I was Jeanna, I'd ask the DB for details. It's easy to throw around a phrase like, "let the free market choose the money". It is much harder to explain how it would work in practice.
The DB staff has attempted to explain their "free market currencies" to me on a couple of occasions, but with little success. In the process of explaining "free banking", the DB staff had the good sense to stop before their explanations became too illogical.
We all are seeking answers. No one has the only or absolute truth. However, the answers are found in logical discourse and reasoned argument, not by throwing around "loaded" concepts, the meanings of which are anything but transparent. If I were Jeanna, I'd keep it in mind.
Reply from The Daily Bell
It is much harder to explain how it would work in practice.
Ha, we don't KNOW, entirely how a free-market money system would "work in practice." We can only observe that statist/mercantilist ones DON"T work.
Posted by Bischoff on 10/29/11 04:56 PM
"But current banking practices of loaning out their depositors' money and keeping all of the profits earned from OPM is fraudulent"
Current banking practices do not involve currency creation under the Real Bills Doctrine. Todays central banking system set up with the Banking Act of 1935 required the legislation of the Glass-Stegal Act in 1935, in order to put a wall between banking operations and investing. Bill Clinton took down that wall. I wonder why... ??? Maybe Robert Rubin, his Secretary of the Treasurer, had some influence on him, what do think... ???
In any case, the involvement of investment houses like G/S with banking took us to the brink in 2008.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Jeanna, please note that Mr. Bischoff is complicating all of this unduly in our view. All of the painstakingly adumbrated elements of Mr. Bischoff's tale can be provided clearly and appropriately by the free market itself, not by politicians.
Posted by Bischoff on 10/29/11 04:28 PM
"Until they begin to nullify the laws passed by Congress, and reclaim their constitutional powers, they are part of the problem."
Chide the 48 States all you want for ratifying the 16th and 17th Amendment, and thereby giving us the all powerful federal government we have today.
However, please don't forget that it was the people in the separate states who let it happen.
You also talk about the state as, if you had nothing to do with its existence. You can argue to me all you want about corrupt politicians and big money, etc., but somebody votes for those politicians.
Maybe you have a better alternative to elections. How about marching on the capitols and throwing those bumbs out by their ears? That is much more direct than campaigning and getting people to vote for the straight politician, don't you think... ???
It always surprises me how people can spend more time on choosing a brand of cereal than they spend in looking into a candidate for office to whom they give power over their lives by their vote.
Of course, the states are now dependent on Washington, DC, because by ratifying the 17th Amendment, they walked away from the table of power in the federal government and threw the place open to every lobbyist and special interest. These lobbyist over a hundred years have stunck up Washington, DC. Now the states are in the clutches of the big banks, real estate interests and public employees unions.
Instead of repealing the 17th Amendment, the states bow to special interests, and the public has lost the fortitude required to clean house. Its much easier to accuse and blame than to get involved in politics.
Lobbying before 1913 didn't exist. The word "lobbying" itself didn't even exist then. Rather than going around and pointing the finger at big bad government, how about working for the repeal of the 16th and 17th Amendment... ??? With the repeal of the 17th Amendment, the state legislators can again select the U.S. Senators and tell them that they are to dismantle these mountains of federal government regulation or they are coming home on the next plane.
This country can survive an Obama, but what it cannot survive is a brain dead electorate which elected him and acquiessed in his "Obama Care".
Posted by Jeanna on 10/29/11 03:39 PM
I used "state" as the forceful, tyrannical government we are subject to, which includes at this point the 50 Sovereign US States. The 50 Sovereign States are currently in collusion with the US Federal Government by accepting mandates in exchange for money. Until they begin to nullify the laws passed by Congress, and reclaim their constitutional powers, they are part of the problem.
Individuals, separate and apart from office holders of the state, or acting as state agents, do not pass statutory laws and regulations which are imposed upon other individuals, so I do not classify privately employed individuals as "states".
Posted by Jeanna on 10/29/11 03:31 PM
Certainly. Voluntary contracts for investment purposes make the world go around. But current banking practices of loaning out their depositors' money and keeping all of the profits earned from OPM is fraudulent. The two functions must be separate.
Posted by Bischoff on 10/29/11 11:11 AM
Accept for the part of the bank notes, you gave a superb explanation.
Whether in digital or paper format, the currency must have a "positive value". This can be accomplished by the use of Real Bills. Very little specie would be required in a currency system under the Real Bills Doctrine. Transactions using currency created against the value of Real Bills does in fact transfer title in Equity.