On the nature of Empire, Part I

8/30/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Those who have followed The Mint for a reasonable amount of time may have noticed a shift in focus, if indeed there ever were a focus.  At first, we simply commented on the folly of the economy post August 2007, when the wheels began to come off.  We spent our digital ink examining the Federal Reserve and the perversions of what we use as money with a focus on current, even daily events.

Since those days, we have begun to examine the corroded bases of the economy, financial system, and society, as it were.  We poured through “Human Action: A Treatise on Economics” the magnum opus of Ludwig Von Mises and compared its compelling logic to the economic reality that we observe in the world around us.  What we have found has been all at once predictable and surprising, it that is possible.  A world where time and progress have been accelerated by the accumulation of a completely unnatural amount of debt.

On one hand, the accumulation of debt has enabled men to make technological advances which were not even dreamed of a generation before.  On the other, this debt has created severe imbalances in the natural world for which the only cure is the liquidation of said debt and an uncomfortable change in the daily activities for many.

Chart - Decline in US Capital Stock
August 2012 has seen a decline in private capital stock in the US. Coincidence or evidence of Empire? Courtesy of The Money Game at http://businessinsider.com

We’ve found that debt, left to its own devices, has a way of achieving equilibrium.  Credit is created in response to anticipated increases in the capital stock.  However, with the advent of Empire, which we define as a centralized system which employs the philosophy of “Might makes right” to dominate its subjects, debt came to be associated not with increases in the supply of capital, but by decree of the imperial authority.

The nature of an Empire is simple.  It arises out of some sort of ambiguous idea of payment for a common defense.  Through this seemingly logical argument, the Empire extracts a certain amount of voluntary tribute, what today are commonly called taxes, as people make a conscious choice to cede a portion of their earnings for the common defense.

Yet it doesn’t stop there.   With its nascent consolidation of the power to resort to violence, the Empire inevitably expands its activities beyond the maintenance of a common defense.  Most of these extensions of power are more difficult to palate for those subject to the Empire.  They naturally begin to look for ways to lower their tribute.

A view of Empire througout the world - A Map of World Empires 1900-1914 by Geordie Bozanko
A view of Empire throughout the world – A Map of World Empires 1900-1914 by Geordie Bozanko

The lower tribute coincides with increasing monetary outlays by the Empire, which it must fund by issuing debt.  Yet debt issued by an Empire has nothing to do with an anticipated increase in the capital stock, rather, the proceeds are used to fund deficits as the “Might makes right” model goes to work destroying the capital stock of both the Empire and those subject to it.

As the capital stock begins to dwindle, the Empire naturally progresses to using its monopoly on force to take control of the food supply.  Those subject to the Empire are required to render crops as tribute and then to accept a ration of food from the Empire.  Once the Empire has control of the food supply, the supply “mysteriously” begins to dwindle.

Whatever economic pretense that the Empire was founded on is sacrificed in the blind pursuit of a de facto communism.  The end game, which has played out numerous times throughout history, involves starvation, moral deprivation, violence, and revolution.

As the script has played out over the centuries, civil persons everywhere have been known to murmur, “there must be a better way,”

More tomorrow.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for August 30, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.42
Oil Price per Barrel:  $94.62
Corn Price per Bushel:  $8.11
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.62%
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,655 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  8.3%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.0%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,001
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,306,900,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,032,900,000,000