Tag Archives: Anarchy

Free Banking – The Ultimate Solution

11/2/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

In our recent open letter to Evo Morales, we brought up three principles which must operate together in a society for the greatest amount of material good to come to the greatest possible amount of people.  While most assume that the principles, Liberty, Private Property, and Equality before the law, can only operate via the apparatus of government, we argue that the exact opposite is the case.  By necessity, the operations of government, an ultimate sovereign, would necessarily hinder the operation of these essential principles.

The reasoning is this:  These principles are so important that they must be learned and respected by every member of society.  At the same time, they are so basic to human nature that they are most effectively learned by simply living amongst one’s fellow human beings.  As such, the more a person is exposed to the anarchic environment in which we all ultimately live, the more quickly they will master these essentials.

Free Banking - The key to Liberty
Free Banking – The key to Liberty

The apparatus of Government can only retard the most effective teacher:  Hands on experience.

The recognition of the vacuum of power called Anarchy, which all systems great and small operate under, is extremely important when trying to understand the world as we know it.  However, it is not the focus of today’s Mint.

Today’s Mint is focused on Free banking.  Within our three great principles, Free banking generally fits under the principle of Liberty.  However, as banking and currency circulation, circa 2012 is perhaps the least free area of enterprise, it deserves special consideration as we examine what true freedom consists of.

Important as it is, the concept of Free banking may seem foreign to you, fellow taxpayer, as it is to nearly every other person, great and small, on our beloved earth.

However, the concept of Free Banking is perhaps the most important thing that men today can dedicate themselves to, for it is the lack of Freedom when it comes to currency and credit which has lead to stripping of the earth’s resources and the resulting environmental problems which a number of developing nations suffer from in a disproportionate manner.

Specifically, the suppression of Free Banking has caused the activities of man to create what is an unsustainable imbalance with the demands of the earth’s natural systems.

So what is Free banking?  As the name may suggest to many in the developed world, it is not a lack of monthly charges on a bank account, rather, it is the freedom for banks to compete as issuers of credit and safe keepers of currency in any form.

The Free Lakota Bank - Free Banking in action
The Free Lakota Bank – Free Banking in action

The current slave banking system’s fatal flaw is that it is obligated to issue credit and accept deposits in currencies which are nothing more than debt issued by a Central Bank.  This constraint causes the currency created by the Central Bank to be the basis of all of man’s activities out of a necessity to pay a tax to the government in said currency.

To compound this fatal flaw, the issuing Central Banks actively manipulate the interest rates, which affect the price of the flawed currency and credit, making the value of both the credit and savings of everyone completely subject to the whims of the Central Bank.

If the currency which everyone was working for had been created legitimately by the labor of another man and its price, via the interest rate mechanism, allowed to respond to real supply and demand signals, a natural balance would be struck between credit and savings in society.  This balance would express itself as conservation and eventual increase of the earth’s resources.

However, the currency which everyone is working for is nothing more than a piece of data created by a computer and printed onto a piece of paper and, via the active suppression of the interest rate mechanism, is not allowed to be properly discounted.  As such, all of the labors of man are set towards destroying the earth, turning it into more pieces of paper, and depositing them into a bank in order to close out the credit account created by the computer.

We observed the zeal with which Evo Morales and other revolutionary leaders have implemented reforms by closing down a majority of the ministries of the government almost immediately upon gaining the power to do so.  It is a swift move in which they attempt to consolidate their power.  However, as one studies these cases, they will see that often there was one notable exception that was allowed to continue operating:  The Central Bank.

The Central Bank is often seen as a sacred cow, even by those who vehemently opposite it, on the grounds that the currency and interest rates are too important to day to day life to be to the incapable hands of the people, which is what the concept of Free banking is all about.

However, it is for this very reason, the indispensible role of currency and credit in society, that currency and interest rates CANNOT be left in the hands of any one entity, no matter how much clairvoyance is attributed to them.

No one would argue that grains and fuel are important to everyday life in nearly all the earth.  However, even hard core Marxists would be hard pressed to admit that all peoples would be better off were only one entity given the ability to produce and set the price for either.  As such, it has been proven over and over again that the expansion of the ability to produce such indispensible items not only provides them in sufficient quantities to satisfy demand, it will do so at a price that is more or less tolerable for all (this argument, of course, is null if the price is controlled by a single entity).

While free market proponents are quick to recognize the benefits of the freedom to produce grains, fuels, and healthcare, for example, they become hardcore Marxists when it comes to currency and credit.  What those who fall into this trap fail to realize is that all of the virtues of free markets are worthless if the most basic economic common denominators of currency and credit are not allowed to operate in as nature intended.

Free banking would allow free markets to solve all the problem of scarcity in currency and credit in the most efficient way possible.  Why, then, is Free banking seen as the ultimate boogeyman by those in authority?  It is for one reason and one reason only:

Control of currency and credit represents the ultimate authority in the material world.

While free market reforms can go a long way towards liberating the peoples of the world, the task and to close down the Central Bank and allow both the banks and the people to choose in what currency they will issue credit and maintain their savings.  Far from leading to anarchic chaos, the basic need for exchange and the issuance of credit amongst humans would cause all of society who wished to trade with one another to arrive at a tacit decision as to what is best suited to serve as currency.

While in most cases, this tacit decision has arrived on Gold and Silver, the British and American empires, the most recent examples of empire, grew so wealthy that lesser metals, such as copper, were thrust into use as currency.

As a practical matter, it must be admitted that closing down the Central Bank would be a shock.  For this reason, we look to solutions such as those seen in the actions of Canupa Gluha Mani, the Ithanchan of the Free Lakota Bank, as a path to free banking and the ultimate freedom of the peoples of the world.

The Lakota people declared their freedom from the sovereignty from the Government of the United States government in 2007.  As an important part of this process, they knew that it would be necessary to establish their own monetary system.  Further, they recognized that to simply choose another currency would again make them slaves to the creators of that currency.

To solve this problem, they opened the Free Lakota Bank and adopted what is known as the American Open Currency Standard, which is attempt to return to a balanced system of metallic weights and measures to use as currency which is recognized and traded internationally.

While this may seem now like an impossible step to take, the Peoples of the earth must enjoy free banking if they are to enjoy Liberty, Private Property, and Equality before the law in any meaningful way.  For the lack of options in currencies in favor of the Central Bank’s monopoly on the issue of credit will keep the Peoples of the earth and their governments in the bonds of financial slavery until the Freedom of Banking is restored.

Free banking, by its very nature, does not obligate a people to adopt a currency standard, as the native Lakota people have.  While the most likely outcome of the liberation of the currency and credit markets is for all involved to quickly settle on a new currency standard, it is necessary to guarantee that all Peoples the right to choose which currency they want to hold and to bank in.  This is the only way that man can live in harmony with one another and with the natural world.  This freedom is the spirit of the principle of Free Banking.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for November 2, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.48
Oil Price per Barrel:  $84.86
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.39
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.73%
FED Target Rate:  0.17%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,677 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.9%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.6%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,093
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,394,100,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,168,900,000,000

Our Theory of Economic System Fluidity: Marx and Rand together in perfect harmony

10/22/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

In the realm of economic thought, there are two extremes.  On one end of the spectrum sits the economic equivalent of Karl Marx’s workers’ paradise, known as Socialism.  On the other end sits the economic expression of Ayn Rand’s rugged individualism, known as Capitalism.  As anyone who has studied these philosophical extremes can tell you, the operation of real world seems to constantly fall somewhere in the space between the two, making strict adherence to either an indefensible position.

While apologists for these extreme positions do a wonderful job of explaining why complete adherence to their ideals by all would lead to an utopia on earth, a careful examination of the arguments, along with a quick glance at how things operate in the real world, lead one to conclude thatevidence of both Socialist and Capitalist ideals can be found in nearly any system.

How can this be?  If the extremes are both correct in their reasoning, they msut be mutually exclusive of each other.  However, we look around at the world around us, as well as into the depths of our own souls, and we invariabley find an uncomfortable coexistence of ideals that is difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile.

That is, until today.

Our aim today is to reconcile this age old dilemna.  Fret no more, fellow taxpayer, for the answer is simple:  Socialism works for local systems, while large scale systems are best served by embracing Capitalist ideals.

How can this be?  The answer is simple.

Socialism, with its embrace of community property and centralized decision making, is a superior policy for systems until they reach a critical mass.  Socialism unwittingly provides the framework in which society cares for its economically weaker members.  It is a system which is entered into with the understanding that at least a portion of one’s actions will take the form of altruism, that is, they will work for the benefit of others without the expectation of material compensation.  In fact, socialism is the basis for the family unit into which a great deal of humanity enters the world.

Karl Marx
Karl Marx

Given the barbarities which are justified in the name of profit, it can be said that the basis for morality and human decency most frequently occurs in a Socialist setting.  Given the inherent requirement of altruism, Socialism is the system which asks the individual to look beyond themselves.  However, as we touch on later, Socialism on a large scale tends to bring out the worst in human beings, as the inevitable onset of poverty quickly diminishes any moral advantage that small scale Socialism may enjoy.

We digress on the question of morality for a moment and instead submit to you an insightwith regards to the corporate structure.  It is the revelation that Corporations, entities which are held out as the champions of Capitalism, are, in fact, Socialist institutions (the stunned silence is deafening, please do read on, fellow taxpayer, it will make sense, trust us.)

It is for this reason that wages do not fit well into free market pricing mechanism and instead lend themselves to the “Labour theory of value” which is a base concept of Socialist philosophy.

The logical proof is the following:  The employer, employee relationship is based on a set rate per time period of work.  Once it has been agreed upon, the wage rate ceases to adhere to free market theory and bcomes a component of the Labour theory of value.  The top level managers in corporations that employ persons in an employee capacity become the centralized authorities in what is a socialist realm.

Another proof of this can be found in that property, which is held in the name of the Corporation, is cared for and used by employees.  As such, corporate property, as its name would imply, is held in common by subjects who themselves have no property rights in said property.  They may be offered shares in the corporation themselves, but this does not directly effect their day to day use of the Corporation’s (their employer’s) real and personal property.

A majority of human beings today find themselves as part of a Socialist entity of some sort, be it a family, household, corporation, or governmental employer (which, for purposes of analysis, behaves in a similar fashion to a corporation).  It is within these systems that we have most of our day to day interactions.  It is understandable, then, that most people would see a form of Socialism as the basis for a utopian ideal.

However, the members of these same Socialist organizations, the heads of household, CEOs, heads of government, members of Boards of Directors, salespeople, security personnel, customer service agents, and a host of others, well know that the “esprit de corps” which may exist in their organization is thrown aside in their dealings with the outside world.  The outside world, where individual corporations collide, is marked by brutal self interest and the protection of private property rights which are the hallmarks of Capitalism.

What gives?

Capitalism, the system which honors private property rights and glorifies the pursuit of self interest, must be embraced and allowed to operate in an unhindered state as the basis for the interactions between the small scale Socialist systems (families, corporations with employees, and those brave individuals who choose to face the Anarchic system of the world alone.)

Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand

The reason that Capitalism must be embraced by the smaller systems is that its principles, namely the laws of supply and demand and the Golden Rule, must be allowed dictate their day to day activities so that the smaller systems can better adapt and survive in a harsh, unforgiving environment.  To put it another way, Capitalism is a superior response to the Anarchy in which we all find ourselves, whether we are willing to admit it or not.

However, apart from its invaluable contributions to understanding the material world, even hard core Capitalists would agree that blind adherence to the Capitalist creed would not only lead to a trampling of those less fortunate in society, but the potential isolation of the individual from human warmth, feeling, and dare we say, loss of the ability to love.

For all of the virtues of Capitalism, its potential frigidness at the individual level and lack of a clear moral compass make it unpalatable to the majority as an absolute ideal.

So the answer is simple.  Socialism operates on a small scale, Capitalism on a large scale.  Marx asks Rand to dance, she accepts, and the world makes sense.  As the theory of biologos attempts to bring harmony to the polarization of two views of the world’s origins, our theory of economic system fluidity allows the economist and politician to embrace both the virtues of the Socialist ideal as well as the Capitalist economic imperative.

The final question which begs to be asked is the following:  In terms of size, at what point is it appropriate for a system to stop being guided by Socialist principles and to break up into units better able to cope with the Anarchic surroundings, meaning a leap to the Capitalist model, which naturally defines the size limitation of what may be called a functional Socialist system?

While there is no firm answer, it is clear that a Socialist system has reached its limit when it is corporately bankrupt and unable to fulfill its commitments, either morally or financially, to its members.

In the case of the corporation, it must adjust its productive activities and/or release either property or employees into the capitalist system until it finds equilibrium.  The released Employees then find themselves, albeit for a moment, in what may be called the free market for labor.  In it, they will either learn to compete perpetually in the capitalist environment and form their own small scale socialist entity, or link up quickly with another socialist entity, be it another corporation, state welfare, or the generosity of a family unit.

The fact that both families and corporations can accumulate wealth are proof that socialist entities can and do compete and thrive in a world where capitalist thinking and political structures are an imperative.  It is the ability of each unit to adapt to changes and to seize opportunities which makes the difference.

There is much more to say about this but it will have to wait for another day.  We leave you with what should now be obvious.  When Socialism is employed on large scales, it looses both its ability to compete as well as any moral superiority which it may have enjoyed.  When persons are thrust headlong into poverty, which is the logical economic end of large scale Socialism, what were once moral imperatives are tossed aside in pursuit of purely Capitalistic aims in a desperate attempt to eat.

Anyone who has lived such an event will attest that it is in these unfortunate circumstances that the rotten core of humanity is laid bare for all to see.  While unbridled Capitalism has its own faults, which are daily brought to light in the media as a reminder of when it has been allowed to run too far.  It is this consciousness, and the human desire for mercy, which work to keep the evils of Capitalism in check.

The beauty of the theory is that the normal operation of each system keeps the proliferation other in check, any attempts by government or sovereigns to impose or preserve one system over the other will end in disaster.

Rushing to extremes is for fools, for the Kingdom of God is one of perfect balance.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for October 22, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.64
Oil Price per Barrel:  $89.16
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.61 
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.80%
FED Target Rate:  0.15%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,729 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.8%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.6%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,345  
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,334,000,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,199,400,000,000

A Passionate Appeal for a Sidewalk

With the election cycle in full swing, we turn our attention not to the national scene, where two people we will refer to only as BO and MR are bombarding the nation with empty promises in hopes that the dangling chads in November will fall their way, but to more pressing local matters.

Here at The Mint, we recognize that the natural operation of anarchy renders much of what happens at the highest levels of government, which in the US means those seated at the State and Federal levels increasingly irrelevant.  While they have the potential to do great harm, government on a large-scale generally suffers from a form of paralysis which makes their decisions increasingly meaningless to the average Joe.  They have grown to the point where they are nothing more than an amoeba, which at best should be ignored and at worst, actively avoided.

As such, we consider it a great waste of time to obsess over them.

Government at the local level, meaning the City and, more importantly, the County level, has a much greater direct impact on the lives of its constituents.  As such, we see government at the City and County level as absolutely necessary to the smooth functioning of society.  We also present, for your consideration, that participation in government at a local level is not only time well spent, it can be profitable.

A great opportunity to guide public policy at a local level is presented frequently at events that are generally referred to as requests for public comment.  While in some cases, these events are held to give an air of legitimacy to an already planned action, some of them present a grand opportunity to sway local policy and public resource investment decisions.  Given this grand opportunity, it may come as a surprise that these events are often overlooked, even by those who would be directly affected by the action being considered.

For your perusal and enjoyment, we present the following example of yours truly taking advantage of such an opportunity presented by our County’s Minor Betterment Project Committee.

Each year, the committee is presented with a list of potential minor public works projects which have been vetted by overpaid consultants and assigned a ranking based on a point system which is theoretically designed by the consultant to capture potential public benefit of a project in a tidy little number.

This is like the BCS for your tax dollars, and, as any NCAA coach knows, it never hurts to lobby your case, especially when the voting is tight.

We recently found out that a much-needed improvement project, one that could modestly increase our property value, had made the “Top 20” of the latest version of the public works BCS.

Pompeii Sidewalk by Paul Vlaar
The ancients had sidewalks, why can’t we? photo of sidewalks in Pompeii by Paul Vlaar

Like any good coach, we picked up our digital writing implement and began to lobby for our own, local, pet project.  The result of this activity is what we call “A Passionate Appeal for a Sidewalk,” a transcript of which follows:

As both a property owner and frequent pedestrian of this stretch of Madison Road, I can attest to the large-scale safety hazard that the lack of a pedestrian walkway on this stretch of road presents daily.  Not only to the school children who wait for the bus on the thoroughfare during the morning, but all manner of pedestrians, bicyclists, school bus drivers, and vehicle operators who daily traverse it.  Were it not for the vigilance of the drivers on this stretch of road, this perilous route would no doubt be the site of a lamentable tally of traffic fatalities.

For those who have not seen it, Madison road is narrow and increasingly relied upon by all manner of commuters (pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists) during rush hours.  During these peak times, it is commonplace to see cars nearly miss a head on collision with each other as they make a noble attempt to give way for pedestrians (a majority of which are school children) who literally have no choice but to walk along the 12 inch border of the existing roadway alloted to them.  Alternative routes for this pedestrian trail are far enough away to that they are not viable options, and, as we mentioned before, pedestrian traffic on this stretch of road continues to increase.

While the sidewalk project proposed to remedy this dangerous situation is the most expensive on the list, and can hardly be considered minor, the money spent will likely spare a tragedy involving the dangerous mix of vehicles and school children which is present every day of the school year.  If the goal of these projects is to increase the safety of the community, this project has perhaps the greatest potential to do just that.  In a sense, it is long overdue.

We, your neighbors along this deceptively dangerous stretch of Madison road, appreciate the committee’s attention to this matter.

What do you think, will our impassioned plea sway the committee to divert funds into our pet project?  We should know by late October whether or not ours comes out on top.  Either way, civic involvement, on a local level, is necessary given the proximity of the governing body.  While the body and budget itself is small, its potential to wreak havoc on your everyday life is too big to ignore, just ask anyone who has found themselves on the wrong end of a dispute with an activist home owners association board.

As for the State and Federal versions of Government, in their late, degenerate, bankrupt form they can do little more than create the illusion of watching your every move and controlling the details of your life.  Despite their large-scale propaganda and their presence at the airport gate, they are mostly harmless.  Your impassioned pleas and time spent informing yourself on issues are best spent at the local level.

Who knows?  You may even save a life or make the world a better place, all while increasing your property value at the government’s expense.

It is the closest thing to Nirvana that the governed can experience.

 

The anarchic, feminine genius of Mary Kay’s sales structure

8/24/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

We recently attended a Mary Kay event for the first time with our better half and were astounded by the simple genius of this amazing organization.  For starters, the products are terrific and, by most counts sell themselves.  From Satin Hands to the revolutionary TimeWise Repair, there is simply no better way to keep one’s skin soft, smooth, and younger looking.

Yet the true genius of this world class organization lies in what we call its anarchic, open source sales structure.  It is a structure that not only appeals to feminine tastes, but ensures an optimum sales force which manages and promotes itself.

How do they achieve this?

First and foremost, when the founder Mary Kay Ash set out to create her dream company, She consulted Accounting firms, Management consultants, Human resource experts, and MBAs of the day with business plan.  As legend has it, every one of them told her it would not work.  Mary Kay had simply examined what she liked about her direct sales experience with other companies as well as her needs as a woman and mother and created a place where literally anyone has the opportunity to succeed and advance in the sales structure.

It is the sort of thing that is difficult for those with advanced degrees and professional credentials to grasp.

As we now know, Mary Kay Ash didn’t listen to them.  As a result, working for the company can be a woman’s dream.  It emphasizes, relationships, beauty, goal setting, self improvement, and recognition.  It is literally a sisterhood of like minded individuals driving the vehicle (the sales structure) that Mary Kay Ash gave them to achieve their dreams and help encourage others to do so along the way.

Mary Kay offers the chance for all those who are interested to become a retailer of their world class product offering.  For a nominal fee, which amounts to the production cost of the products included in the starter kit, anyone who is interested can become a Mary Kay Consultant.  Establishing this relationship gives the consultant the right to order products at the wholesale price, which is 50% of the suggested retail price of the products.  This is in line with what one would expect a small scale retail markup to be in any line of business.

In order to maintain the right to order products at wholesale pricing, the consultant must maintain a minimum order volume over the course of each three month period.

The next part of the structure which we will explore is the tiered referral commission structure.  This is the part of the structure where those consultants who have actively recruited other consultants can naturally move up the ladder and begin collecting a portion of the sales of those whom they have recruited.

The structure is simple and works in the following way.  The consultant who is responsible for signing on a new Mary Kay consultant has the right to receive a commission of up to 26% on the new consultant’s sales.  This 26% may be shared amongst three tiers of consultants depending upon the receiving consultant’s level.

It is important to note that this commission does not impact the selling consultant’s 50% take on sales, rather, it is paid by the company (technically, the customers via the company).  We can imply, then, that the Mary Kay Corporation, who is the manufacturer, must produce their products and cover their overhead for 24% of the suggested retail price in order to break even.

Selling Mary Kay cosmetics is not a get rich quick scheme.  It is a real company selling real products where, in sharp contrast to jobs in the government or financial industries, six figure incomes must be earned.  According to one statistic, roughly one in 2,000 consultants will attain a six figure income from their annual sales activities.

Mary Kay Pink Anarchist Flag
The Mary Kay Pink Anarchist Flag, and homage to Mary Kay’s anarchic sales structure

And therein lies the anarchic genius of the Mary Kay structure, it gives literally everyone a shot at working to attain said six figure income, which cannot be said of many jobs out there.  The barriers to entry are practically nil and sales training is freely available in most cities from fellow consultants, who naturally stand to benefit from the overall success of their fellow consultants.  The only limitations placed on the consultant are the time, energy, and ingenuity that they are willing to put into the endeavour.

The genius of the Mary Kay structure is furthered in that the commission and the sales leadership structures allow for advancement in almost direct correlation to the of effort and ingenuity of the individual consultant.  For the most part, there are no administrative barriers to income advancement, and at any point the consultant can choose to attempt to increase their income by increasing their efforts towards product sales or towards recruiting a team and supporting their team’s efforts at product sales.

It is the entrepreneur’s dream, and it appears to work as the founder, Mary Kay Ash, intended it.  The sales structure of Mary Kay allows the manufacturer to harness the anarchy in which we all live to maximize the sales potential of their considerable product offering.

The secret to success in any income earning endeavour is self determination (being one’s own boss) and working one’s tail off.  Mary Kay provides the tools and gives the consultant the first part of the equation from the outset.  Results and advancement are then determined by the initiative of the consultants themselves.

Starting one’s own business can be a hard, thankless, and sometimes losing proposition, especially during the first few years when the proprietor is learning the ropes and testing what works and what does not.  In Mary Kay, as with anything in life, there is no guarantee of success if one gives it a run, but there is a guarantee of failure if one does not try.

Even if one has no need for skin care products, it is impossible not to admire the anarchic genius of Mary Kay’s sales structure, for it is a microcosm of organic economic activity as nature intended it.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for August 24, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.46
Oil Price per Barrel:  $96.07
Corn Price per Bushel:  $8.02
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.68%
FED Target Rate:  0.13%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,671 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  8.3%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.0%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,173
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,262,700,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,058,800,000,000

How Anarchy shapes the US Presidency and Foreign Policy

George Friedman delivers another excellent analysis in his Geopolitical Weekly report on the limits, both explicit and implicit, of the power of the US Presidency.

He further analyzes how the choice to intervene or not in foreign conflicts is seen as simply a choice between maintaining the balance of power in the world via a series of minor conflicts or via a large scale conflict ala WWI and WWII.

Like the large black locust tree in our yard which fell over the weekend, you choose to either trim it along the way or wait for it to come crashing down.

In the end, the US President is subject to forces well beyond their control, just like the rest of us.  While ascribing omnipotence to the office may help those who cannot accept the reality of anarchy to sleep at night, it does little to change the relative impotence of the one that holds it.

Mr Friedman’s complete report can be seen here via Stratfor:

The Election, the Presidency and Foreign Policy

Is Atheism with regards to Government going Mainstream?

7/12/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

We recently subscribed to Gary North’s latest project, a site called “The Tea Party Economist.”  To be clear, we have no political interest nor affiliation.  It is our feeling that government, in its current state, is best ignored and avoided rather than confronted.  It will go away on its own.

To draw on a well known analogy, the Tea Party, like the Republican and Democratic parties, are all fighting for control of the steering wheel of the Titanic after it hit the iceberg.  Rather than fight it out on the control deck, we at The Mint realize that the only ones who survived the Titanic were those who found a lifeboat or other means to stay afloat.

Despite our distaste for all things political, we respect Mr. North and have greatly enjoyed and benefited from what he shares.  We suspect that the use of “Tea Party” is more of an attempt to attract his target audience than any endorsement of the Tea Party.

Today, Mr. North shared an article at Forbes which made us gasp.  It was written by Jerry Bowyer and as we read through it, one thought passed through our mind:  Has our manner of thinking really gone mainstream?

Mr. Bowyer points out a number of examples of a general decline in voluntary compliance with things the government increasingly uses its superior force to mandate, such as taxes and environmental laws.  The irony is that as a government’s power grab via rules and regulations accelerates, voluntary compliance, from which all forms of government derive their power, declines.

If Mr. Bowyer is correct, then it would appear that Americans are taking the idea of Atheism with regards to government to heart.

It is clear, yet seldom acknowledged, that the absence of voluntary compliance is the most effective type of revolution which can be waged.

Mr. Bowyer also makes an important distinction.  The lack of voluntary compliance is not a form of civil disobedience or act of aggression towards a government.  Rather, it is the conscious choice to stop believing in the government and live one’s life as if it does not exist as anything more than a lethal nuisance to be avoided.  Mr. Bowyer eloquently describes this phenomenon via an amoeba metaphor:

Amoeba Government
Amoeba Ordinatio

“It’s not civil disobedience that I’m talking about. It’s the opposite:  Civil disobedience is meant to be noticed. It is a price paid in the hope of creating social change. What I’m talking about is not based on hope; in fact, it has given up much hope on social change. It thinks the government is a colossal amoeba twitching mindlessly in response to tiny pinpricks of pain from an endless army of micro-brained interest groups. The point is not to teach the amoeba nor to guide it, but simply to stay away from the lethal stupidity of its pseudopods.”

“The amoeba does not get smarter but it does get hungrier and bigger. On the other hand, we get smarter. More and more of our life takes place outside of the amoeba’s reach: in the privacy of our own homes, or in capital accounts in other nations, or in the fastest growing amoeba avoidance zone ever created, cyberspace. We revolt decision by decision, transaction by transaction, because we believe deep down that most of what government tells us to do is at bottom illegitimate.”

You can read the entire article here at Forbes.com:

July 4th Question, Part III: Americans Revolt Billions of Times a Day

Everyday, more and more people are recognizing the insanity of attempting to comply with the onslaught of rules and regulations which allegedly protect them against others.  They are realizing that the Rules are building a prison in which they themselves are incarcerated.

We conclude today’s Mint with a quote from Ayn Rand which seems appropriate when considering an amoeba like government:

“When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed.”

While we may have no confidence in government, we make up for it in an abundance of faith in God and our fellow men and women.  Are you ready to come out of Babylon?

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for July 12, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.43
Oil Price per Barrel:  $85.76
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.71
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.48%
FED Target Rate:  0.17%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,571 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  8.2%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  -0.3%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  12,573
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,367,500,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $9,963,900,000,000

Spain, Inc., the latest proof of Anarchy in action, an Impromptu Manifesto

6/11/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

When we attended graduate school in Spain, we were the first North American student in our course.  It was late 2003 and the Eurozone was full of optimism.  This optimism lead some of the professors to use a portion of their class time taunt the US model as failed and the European model as the obvious way forward.

As proof of European supremacy, our Finance professor often made a point of mentioning to us that the yields on the Spanish 10yr bond were almost the equivalent to the yields on the US 10yr bond.

What a difference nine years and 500 basis points make.

Circa 2012, Spain dominates the financial headlines as the latest casualty of the European debt crisis.  Apparently Spain now is in need of a bailout.  The bailout strategy which will be employed by Spain, Inc. is a hybrid of the prior bailouts accepted by their counterparts, Greece, Inc. and Ireland, Inc.

Greece, Inc. required a bailout because its government was broke.  Ireland, Inc. was slightly more ingenious in that it made a good faith effort to backstop its banks, only to find that it was now the entity which required a backstop.  Spain, Inc, theoretically learning from both experiences, forced its banks to accept the backstop directly so that the Spanish government could save face and be spared the humiliation of the Irish scenario.

Unfortunately, the markets have seen through the charade and are now putting pressure on all bonds, bank or sovereign, which hail from the Iberian Peninsula.

What a difference nine years and 500 basis points make!

Spain’s strategy has failed before it was even implemented for lack of collateral and credibility, both of which are in desperately short supply amongst the EU leadership.

How did once proud Europe end up in this situation?  They decided to force a debt based currency integration by integrating only the currency part of the equation and leaving the debt and fiscal matters to chance.

As if choosing to use a debt based currency weren’t bad enough, choosing only to implement the currency is like handing the nations foolish enough to engage in such a gamble the revolver in a game of Russian roulette where the revolver is fully loaded.

Now, the revolver is being passed and it is Spain’s turn.  Once Spain slumps to the floor, it is Italy’s turn, the Belgium, France, etc. until the European Currency Union, doomed from its outset, breathes its last.

At some point in the process, possibly as Spain pulls the trigger, USA, Inc. will be forced to step in with the “ultimate” backstop, the final hope of the failed, insane “debt is money” currency regime.  As the US throws its sovereign credit rating in front of the runaway freight train of Europe’s soveriegns, it will quickly find itself in the very situation that it is trying to save the European Sovereigns from.

For in this debt crisis, the unwritten rule of quality holds.  When one adds wine to sewage, one gets sewage.  When one adds sewage to wine, one gets sewage.  The sovereign vats have long since been polluted.  It might make sense to check one’s portfolio and remove as much sewage as possible.

Beyond that, we will present two unsolicited yet practical bits of advice.  First, US Bonds will ultimately slide as USA, Inc. wades across the pond to aid Europe.  The Euro currency will rally as the run on European banks by the citizens and the wholesale dumping of any bond denominated in the currency begins.  Quite simply, demand for the Euro will exceed supply in the short term.

Plan accordingly.

We submit to you that the Spain, Inc. debacle is further evidence of one of The Mint’s central themes, that Anarchy is man’s reality, it is an ultimate given, it simply is, and all understanding of the current political and social structures is greatly facilitated by one’s acceptance of this fact.

In fact, one’s ability to act and react to the unfolding changes in the current political and social structures depends upon accepting and embracing Anarchy as the basis for reality and learning to operate in the Truly Capitalistic system which organically emerges as men learn anew that mutual trust and cooperation are in their rightly understood self interests, and that he who is to lead must truly become the servant of all.

To truly embrace this fact, we must understand the nature of mankind.  Man, left to his own devices, is completely devoid of the ability to do the right thing.  He doesn’t have it in him.  He is lazy, self-serving, and completely evil.  He needs God and his fellow man to be able to do anything productive, altruistic, or what may be considered remotely good.  A full defense of this statement is a subject for another day (although the evidence is all around us), we mention it here only to underscore the necessity of a framework which presupposes this fact within which mankind can use this weakness to avoid both self and mutual destruction.

The only reliable framework which has emerged out of natural Anarchy which not only addresses the problem of human nature, but also turn man’s weaknesses into strengths is what we call True Capitalism.  Ironically, by allowing market forces to work with as little hindrance as possible, mankind can insulate itself from descending into chaos and catastrophe.

In fact, to fight the workings of True Capitalism is, by default, to submit oneself to chaos and misery.  Yet every nation on the planet is devoted to some degree in the fight against True capitalism.  Why?  Because the nation state sells itself as the most perfect expression of man’s good intentions, which we presuppose do not exist.  In other words, the dream of the nation state is built on a false pretense that is usually attributed to socialism: That man is inherently good and wants to do good to others.

Given their presuppositions, is it clear that the nation state and a truly capitalistic society are, in fact, the antithesis of one another.  Where a nation state regulates by edict,  truly capitalistic society regulates by example.  Where a nation state is rigid, where  truly capitalistic society is pliable.  Hence, where  truly capitalistic society will bend but not break, the nation state is repeatedly smashed to pieces when faced with change.

For the more a nation state tries to force men to do good, the more mankind’s character flaws will overtake these good intentions until the nation state becomes an expression of mankind’s evil nature.

The truly capitalistic society allows each mans evil nature to be corrected by allowing him to experience the consequences of his inherently poor behavior, paradoxically and naturally improving the behavior and norms of all.

Moving to a less philosophical level, how can we be sure that Anarchy is the basis of man’s current existence?  The evidence can be found in that the institutions which supposedly offer the best option to Anarchy, the nation states if the world, are beginning to succumb to the punishments they have built up in their losing fight against natural law.

Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Italy, and now Spain, Inc. are now succumbing to the inevitable.  The member of club med which turns from the failure of the Euro currency to go it alone and embrace the much feared “Anarchy,” as it were, paradoxically stands to be richly rewarded by the flocks of tourists who can suddenly afford a European vacation without the Euro.

We conclude with a brief manifesto for your perusal and enjoyment.  What does the future hold?

Out of Anarchy, a Truly Capitalistic System will ORGANICALLY emerge, and with it a new dawn for humanity, built on mutual interest and almost endless capital formation which will engender a spontaneous and dynamic social order, a society without borders that would enjoy freedom and prosperity that we cannot even imagine under current conditions.

Believe.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for June 11, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.35
Oil Price per Barrel:  $81.49

Corn Price per Bushel:  $5.92
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.60%
FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!

Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,596 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  8.2%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.0%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  12,411

M1 Monetary Base:  $2,306,000,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $9,790,100,000,000