Tag Archives: Morality

Do The Right Thing

10/22/2013 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

The financial world took a big step closer towards a new currency over the past week.  First came revelations that the US Treasury increased its net debt by $1 Trillion in ONE MONTH, which, in and of itself is shocking.  Perhaps not coincidentally, Bitcoin prices blew through the $200 mark once again.  We have written extensively on why Bitcoin is likely to rise, you can purchase a copy of what is now our most popular ebook on a number of ereading platforms here:

Bitcoins: What they are and how to use them
Bitcoins: What they are and how to use them

Bitcoins:  What they are and how to use them

Today, we turn our attention to the area of morality here at The Mint.  We must warn you, however, that what you are about to read may turn everything that you once understood about ethics and morality on its head. Read on at your own risk.

Do the Right Thing

“Ask not what you are to do, for you are called to do the right thing, not the expedient thing, not the easy thing, but the right thing.  You will know what the right thing to do is when you learn to see your neighbor not as a rival, but as a brother.”

From our youth, when we were confronted with a form of temptation or, perhaps more commonly, the opportunity to choose between selfish gain or pursuing the good of others, we were often exhorted by our elders with a phrase that is both etched in our memory and charged with meaning: “Do the right thing.”

The phrase is alive and well today and continues to drip with authority, for it implies that in the situation that is being confronted, there exists a common body of knowledge which, if consulted, would lead the person confronted with the opportunity to “Do the right thing,” with an obvious course of action.

When this phrase is uttered, more often than not it is uttered by a person whose good intentions are matched only by their complete lack of a direct interest in the outcome of whatever is transpiring.  It is also often uttered by someone who, if they were to be in your shoes, would more often than not be completely incapable of “doing the right thing” that they benevolently have advised you to do.

Today, we hear the phrase in discourses by those charged with national government. In this context, even the feigned benevolence which is the hallmark of the way the phrase is delivered in political settings is overshadowed by the fact that by “doing the right thing,” the politician invariably means “submit to my will and ask no questions.”

Imperial governance, which is the form that the world labors under today, is paradoxically predicated on categoric refusal to “do the right thing,” as, at its base, modern governance results in the enslavement of men and women via a myriad of rules and threats in order to convince them to render tribute and allegiance.  We have explored this phenomenon thoroughly in our volume entitled “What is Truth?  On the Nature of Empire.”  The inescapable irony which engulfs every utterance of the phrase by a public official means that, at this point, we cannot hold a straight face when we hear it.

To draw on a recent example, when the President states that Congress must “Do the right thing” and fund the government, the statement may have been the most presumptuous ever to escape human lips, for the underlying assumption is that whatever the government does is right, which is, from most rational and religious standpoints, absolutely incorrect.

Politics aside, at its base, even the seemingly disinterested “do the right thing” offered by a friend,a parent, or colleague is a thinly cloaked act of moral superiority on display, for the phrase is all too often offered as thinly veiled advice which, once decrypted, is read to imply “do what I want you to do.”

If the term has indeed been hijacked to lay claim to the moral high ground in a debate, shaky as it may be, humankind must strive to understand the noble origins of this seemingly important and universal saying.

Life is complicated, and, contrary to what many would say, it does not come with an instruction manual which tells humanity what is categorically right and wrong in all situations which we may encounter.

For this reason, the Bible, which we believe to be the closest thing to a users manual, reads not like a how to or self-help book, but a series of events where people, both individually and corporately, are thrown into unimaginably complex and dire situations (once one looks beyond the surface to understand the Biblical settings) ostensibly to see what they will do.  The question that is being asked constantly of the Biblical characters as well as each and every human being today is this:

Will we do the right thing?

Doing the right thing is beyond important, it is imperative that anyone who is genuinely seeking God and His Kingdom Do the right Thing at all times that the circumstances demand them to choose a course of action.

However, what constitutes doing the right thing in any given circumstance is not a matter of democratic preference or legislative action, it is purely a mater left to God and the individual of whom the right thing is required, for it is they and they alone to whom the ability and intuition has been given to make these life and death determinations.

The right thing cannot be legislated or encouraged, it can only be done or not done.  Each time it is done, the Kingdom of God draws near to us all.  Each time it is neglected, we all suffer the consequences.

So Do the right thing and, more importantly, be close to God, for it is He who is the only judge of such matters. The logic can be carried further to imply that everyone who utters the phrase “do the right thing,” to someone who is faced with a difficult situation is, perhaps unknowingly, both usurping God’s role as well as inhibiting that person’s ability to learn for themselves how to choose the right thing, which is an ability that all of mankind must learn deeply and permanently.  The right thing is a lesson that can only be learned through personal experience and exercise of one’s own decision-making processes.

This however, does not mean that the right thing must be learned on the field of battle.  There are more often than not subtle clues which will guide us as to which situations demand us to respond by doing the right thing as well as what the right thing to do is.  For instance, in our observation doing the right thing often involves an initial sacrifice to be made of time or resources.  It is often a choice to pay the cost.  While it is not universal, this minor detail is often a clue that one is doing the right thing.

Only those with a perfect knowledge of all of the circumstances involved are qualified to ultimately judge what is right or wrong.  Even in the hypothetical case that the actors are in a position to understand all of the circumstances involved, the observation is limited by our über short human timelines which ignore the concept of eternal justice.

Doing the right thing is imperative, and all human judgement as to what the right thing is in any specific circumstance is null and void unless it is agreed upon by all parties who are directly (not indirectly) affected by a course of action.

Perhaps the distinction is best illustrated in the Gospels.  While the religious leaders were left legislating the right thing, Jesus was doing it.  It is a contrast that is emphasized for a reason, for the doing the right thing is deeply personal and immensely powerful.

There is one thing and one thing only that one can be absolutely certain that is always the right thing to do from an eternal perspective:  Forgive

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus!

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for October 22, 2013

Copper Price per Lb: $3.28
Oil Price per Barrel: $97.78
Corn Price per Bushel: $4.38
10 Yr US Treasury Bond: 2.51%
Mt Gox Bitcoin price in US: $208.76
Gold Price Per Ounce: $1,341
MINT Perceived Target Rate*: 0.25%
Unemployment Rate: 7.2%
Inflation Rate (CPI): 0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 15,468
M1 Monetary Base: $2,515,000,000,000
M2 Monetary Base: $10,867,000,000,000

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%
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

Never Compromise: Murder, Robbery, Decriminalization, and the Slippery Slope

6/8/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

As the world continues to hurtle towards a form of financial armageddon, at The Mint, we have become increasingly reflective.  Ed Harrision of Credit Writedowns, recently posted regarding the causes and effects of the current financial crisis/recession/depression which much of the western world now finds itself in.

In the essay, Mr. Harrison observes that one of the root causes of the financial crisis is the combining of financial deregulation with desupervision and the decriminalization of financial crimes.

The most notable example of this phenomenon has been the MF Global Bankruptcy.  On the surface, it would appear that the firm purposely helped itself to its clients’ segregated funds in order to cover the firms margin calls which it received in those gloomy days in late October of 2011.

In layman’s terms, this is robbery.  Yet in the parallel universe of the insane “debt is money” monetary system in which we live, John Corzine, the CEO of MF Global at the time and supposedly the one who is ultimately responsible for the firms actions, is able to freely walk the streets after telling a series of Congressional committees that He had no knowledge of the “transfers” (read: theft) of client’s funds which were illegally used by MF Global in a desperate attempt to stave off the firms imminent collapse in late October of 2011.

We do not wish to further flog Mr. Corzine, or for that matter, Jamie Dimon, who, as the CEO of JPMorgan, served as an accomplice to the theft (for JPM happily took the missing client funds as collateral in the fateful transfer), for their consciences, if indeed they have one, must be flogging them daily without mercy.

We do, however, wish to flog the idea of decriminalization when it comes to the financial industry.  Like sending remotely controlled drones into war, the digitalization of the world in financial matters gives the actors involved a false sense that they are operating not in the real world, but in a virtual world where they alone are acting.

How does this false perception of reality play out and, more importantly, differ from what is commonly understood as real life?

In the example of the remote controlled drone, the drone facilitates acts which more resemble murder than self defense, for it is much easier to convince a teenager, who has been raised playing video games where the actions taken on the screen have no real world consequences (save wasting otherwise valuable time), to kill someone if it can be done by giving them a video game control and a sofa from which to guide their armed drone into real world combat over half the world away.

The experience for the teenager on the sofa is similar to that of the video game and, as such, has the effect of removing the real world consequences of having murdered persons who posed them no existential threat.  It is as if the distance both dehumanizes the very real interaction which is taking place.

So it is with financial crimes.  As persons begin to conduct a great portion of their financial transactions, especially those involving large sums of money, in a virtual world with little or no human contact, it becomes easier for persons who have access to the funds of others to shun their fiduciary duty and use the funds of others for their purposes without their consent.

While the technical medium employed is an electronic transfer, the actions similar to those taken by Mr. Corzine are more accurately described as robbery.

Yet as of today, Mr. Corzine has not been accused of a crime.

The problem is not that crimes such as murder via remote controlled drone and robbery via wire transfer take place, for robbery and murder have been unfortunate parts of the human experience since the dawn of time.

Nor is it a problem that the means to commit these crimes exist and are used as a normal part of life.  For remote controlled airplanes and electronic wire transfers may have great benefits.

No, they problem is that the misuse of these mediums has been largely decriminalized.  Those who use them to commit crimes can now justify their actions behind a smokescreen of words and those who should be holding these persons accountable appeal to some good greater than Justice that is being served:  Security and Financial stability.

However, without Justice, security and financial stability are mere illusions.

What is important is to have a belief in one’s principles which is firm enough so that it is impossible to compromise them, even when holding to them causes one personal injury.

Bettie Mitchell, the founder of Good Samaritan Ministries, recently shared the story of how her father visited her one day, unannounced, when he was 70 years of age.  This was unusual because she knew that her mother had not sent him, which had always been the case in the past.

She knew that what he was to say was important, and that it did not come from him, but from the Holy Spirit.

Her father arrived at her house, she let him in.  He entered, sat down and told her the following:

“When I was your age, I had all of the spiritual gifts that you have.  Then I began to compromise.  Never Compromise.”

With that, Bettie’s father got up, and walked out.  There was nothing more to be said, the message had been delivered.

There are principles by which one must live their lives which cannot be compromised upon.  Put a different way, it is much easier to stand by one’s principles 100% of the time that 95% of the time.

Once one compromises on their principles 5%, or even 1% of the time, they begin to go down a slippery slope.  They are constantly searching for the next patch of firm ground upon which to stand as they find themselves caught sliding down an increasingly unstable incline.

How easy it would have been to simply stay on the level path, even if it did take a little longer to get to one’s destination.

Today, while lawmakers, Judges, and central bankers struggle to find their moral compass as they slide further down the slippery slope they have set out on, we challenge each and every one of you, fellow taxpayers, to stay on the path, where it has always been wrong to steal, and it has always been wrong to murder.

For it is this increasingly narrow path that leads to life.

Stay tuned for further sections and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for June 8, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.30

Oil Price per Barrel:  $84.10

Corn Price per Bushel:  $5.92

10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.64%


Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,595

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25% AWAY WE GO!

Unemployment Rate:  8.2%

Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.0%

Dow Jones Industrial Average: 12,554

M1 Monetary Base:  $2,306,000,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $9,790,100,000,000