04 Mar 2015


Potpourri 9 Comments

==> Scott Sumner agreed that I checkmated him, but for some reason took it really well.

==> Oh no… Alex Tabarrok too has succumbed to the “open borders” label. OK let me try it this way: Hey everybody, let’s start a movement called “Open Bank Vaults.” Now some of you are going to get huffy and argue that it would be insane to just leave bank vaults open, but all I mean by that phrase is that I don’t think the federal government should be deciding that certain foreigners aren’t allowed to go in the vault. Now that I’ve clarified what I mean by the phrase “Open Bank Vaults,” who’s with me?

==> Dave Ramsey vs. the world. (In case you guys don’t know, I often use Ramsey as the foil in my public talks on whole life insurance, since Ramsey hates it.)

==> Did I link to this one yet? Anyway I had some fun on Facebook saying that some conspiracy theory nutjobs were saying a U.S. state had been involved in forced sterilization of thousands as part of a eugenics program.

==> Another one that’s been on my browser for a while and I can’t remember if I linked: Mark Spitznagel explaining why he doesn’t think a market crash will be a “black swan.”

==> His style and mine are light years apart, but I love this line from Tyler Cowen: “[T]hat out of control Greek government spending and borrowing has been converted into a (supposed) cautionary tale about the dangers of fiscal conservatism is one of the greatest (and most unfortunate) public relations triumphs of modern times.”

9 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. Reece says:

    I think the “open borders” phrase is fine since the word “border” often refers directly to state controlled borders.

    For example, Merriam-Webster: “a line separating one country or state from another” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/border)

    And Dictionary.com: “the line that separates one country, state, province, etc., from another” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/border)

    That’s not the case for bank vaults. I agree that clarifying that not all *property* on the current border would be open is useful, but I don’t think we need to change the whole phrase. The phrase “privatize the border” could have some problems too – I don’t think public property would be completely absent in an anarchist society.

    • Dan says:

      How are you defining public property?

      • Reece says:

        Property that a large number of people have the right to use to some extent, and no single individual has final decision making power over. I think this could come about via homesteading (a trail made over time is the classic example of this), through private donation, and in the process of dismantling the state (I don’t see how all of the roads could properly be privatized for example, so I think some would have to be in an in between state).

        • Jan Masek says:

          So would all companies owned by a “large” number of people be considered “public property” in an anarchist society? Would Microsoft be?

          • Major.Freedom says:


            Anarchism means “no authority”. Our friendly neighborhood “wing” based anarchists have dutifully informed us that an authoritarian relationship arises when A gives money to B in exchange for B’s services.

            Their principles imply that consumers, who have money to spend, exert authority over producers, who have goods and services to offer. Producers have to do what they are told and do what the consumers want, or else the consumers will hoard and withhold the money.

            This is not tolerated in anarchism. There can be no classes of consumers on the one hand and producers on thr other in anarchism. Their existence can only perpetuate the exploitative revenue slavery of master consumer over the slave producer. The greedy money bags consumer class must be abolished, so that the free activity and humanized self-expression of all individuals can arise.

            Hence, in left wing anarchism, the only “permissible” activity is individual self-sufficiency and zero money based exchanges. Barter may be allowed, but if one party is offering say precious metals, then that means that party is greedy and exploiting the other party who may be offering non-precious metals. I’ll let you know whether it is permissible once I see those exchanges take place.

            • Jan Masek says:

              I take this as sarcasm, in which case I agree with you 🙂
              “Public” property makes no sense.

            • guest says:

              “Their principles imply that consumers, who have money to spend, exert authority over producers …”

              Our response is to say that they are both consumers and producers.

              The producer must make what the consumer wants only if the consumer provides what the producer wants.

              It’s a trade relationship, not a hierarchal one. Even when one party only has his labor to offer.

  2. Grane Peer says:

    I don’t see a problem with open borders, wide open borders. Now, when I talk to people about this I explain that there are any number of programs and harmful incentives which I would like to see end before an open border is no longer disallowed. That is not exactly right though. I don’t have problem with open borders, my problem lies elsewhere. Am I being inconsistent here, am I advocating something I’m not by saying open borders? I don’t see where Alex is saying open borders in some cases. It seems more like he is saying; while people may have fears about open immigration in some cases it certainly doesn’t apply in this case. Not; we can’t have open immigration in all cases just this one.

  3. Gamble says:

    The Time article seems to be saying Dave Ramsey is guilty of embellishing ROI . He claims 12% when reality may be closer to 6-8%. Okay but this does not discredit everything else Dave teaches. I will admit thought, Daves entire program makes much more sense when all interest rates are higher. For example an auto loans at 8% is much more damaging than an auto loan at 1.9%.

    IF being debt free is your absolute priority, term life is much more budget friendly than whole life, short term.

    Once debt free, whole life and many other investment vehicles make more sense.

    I think Dave is getting in trouble because he challenges the entire system when shunning debt and deferring investing till debt free.

Leave a Reply