Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Is This the "Golden Age" of America?

In March, NS Kinsella wrote an article, The Golden Age of America is Now.

I didn't read it at the time because I wanted to focus on his IP work, before my debate with him.  I have read it now. The gist of the article seems to be "don't worry be happy," but it offers enough twists and turns that I may recommend it to Disney as a new type virtual roller coaster.

As per usual, Kinsella starts off with an odd use of words, in this case he titles his article using the words, "Golden Age" to define the present. But his article is about an optimistic future, which means the current would not be the "Golden Age".

 Wikipedia contains the following description:
Invariably, the term "Golden Age" is bestowed retroactively, when the period in question has ended and is compared with what followed in the specific field discussed.
The online dictionary informs:
 golden age - a time period when some activity or skill was at its peak;
The Oxford dictionary defines:
 an idyllic, often imaginary past time of peace, prosperity, and happiness.
 the period when a specified art, skill, or activity is at its peak
Thus, in the common use of the term, "Golden Age" means peak, which is the exact opposite of what Kinsella  is arguing in his article. Go figure.

Among Kinsella's "don't worry be happy" arguments is this:
Too many libertarians, especially of the “sky is falling” crowd (the ones who have been predicting major societal collapse for 40 years), are sure we are in End Times. 
But, as I argued in my speech on the collapse of the Soviet Union, countries have what can be considered reserve funds, that is, built up wealth that only dissipates over time, before full collapse occurs. For the USSR, it took some 70 plus years for full collapse.  Given that the United States is a much wealthier than the USSR means that the careful eye that understands trends and warns of eventual danger shouldn't be ignored because no collapse has yet taken place. Chiding such views can really only be done by those who have a simplistic view of the world and fail to understand its complexities. And with the right crackdowns and regulations, the dissipation can be speed up very quickly.

NSK goes on to list a number of new technologies that have been developed in recent years, as sort of a reason to not worry and be happy, I guess. He names the cellphones, portable computers and 3-D printing, but fails to mention drones, the growth of SWAT teams, the advanced bank monitoring of money flows and surveillance cameras. In other words, there is some very selective anecdotal evidence as to the direction in trends by NSK. Further, he makes this bizarre statement:
 We don’t have soccer hooligans and stampedes at football games here. 
Well, ugh, yeah, we don't have soccer hooligans because soccer is not that popular a sport here. But we have riots following Super Bowl winsWorld Series riots and riots after NBA championships

But more important, the United States government still maintains a central bank, which has been trying its best to inflate the hell out of the economy. A large amount of newly printed money has founded its way into excess reserves and out of the economic system, but there is nothing from preventing that money to come flying into the system. We are teetering on the brink of monetary destruction, it could happen tomorrow or 10 years from now and I want to be prepared. A "don't worry be happy" approach is simply an irresponsible approach to advocate with this threat hanging over everyones head.

While failing to notice the potential major dangers to society, NSK does seem to notice some minor infringements on liberties and creates a theoretical model that suggests these are the only impediments and thus he concludes:
 We can still recognize it, take it into account, and prosper despite the state.
That's the NSK view: Things will never get so bad that you won't be able to prosper, "don't worry be happy." This attitude resulted in the death of many Jews. As part of his roller coaster ride, NSK does mention "Jews living in ghettos or even concentration camps in Hitler-era Germany," but he fails to note the lesson learned: Jews, who didn't recognize what was coming, were killed and Jews such as Ludwig von Mises and Sigmud Freud who recognized the dangers, left and survived.

To down play how dangerous the state can get is the height of irresponsibility. Kinsella does so in spades:
I am a personal optimist in the sense that I think I, myself, and many other people as well, can and will be able to live happy, successful, flourishing lives, despite the state.
And, he suggests his advocacy for liberty is just one notch above a parlor game:
I view my libertarian involvement not as typical political activism; it is more of my own hobby, or avocation.
Ah yes, a hobby, nothing to be taken to seriously, we can all still prosper. Oh yeah, with the Department of Homeland security buying more and more ammunition and the Federal Reserve doing what it can to pump even more money into the hands of banksters, this sure is party time and  the advocacy for liberty should be nothing more than a hobby.

I consider Thomas Paine's view much more sound:
If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.


  1. Isn't that the point? Now, as in the present, not now as in a particular date.

  2. Some will say you're nitpicking, and they may be correct.

    But it's nitpicking for a good cause, the cause of liberty.

    We should be optimistic for mang reasons; prepared, educated, and alert for many, many other reasons.

  3. Re: Reserve Funds. I totally agree. There is a tipping point. While the typical perceptions of large inflation with respect to money "printing" has not yet come to pass, we are in a different environment where central banks coordinate and devalue in unison. Couple this with the dollar being the reserve currency of the world, and as a country, the US is at the top of the inflation chain.

    In aggregate, the rest of the world gets the short end of the stick because the dollar can devalue by a large amount but still have demand from the rest of the world to prop up its value in relation to other fiat currencies. The dollar is riding on its ghost from a bygone era when it was tied to gold and a productive, non-interventionist economy.

    "When governments forcibly intervene in market transactions, they reduce or distort the information that would otherwise flow through market channels. This will generate various problems, depending on the severity of the interventions, and those problems, in turn, will typically generate demands for even more intervention. Thus as interventions multiply, and despite the best intentions of planners, a country will become trapped in a downward economic spiral that will terminate in a highly regimented economy."


    Interventionism isn't going away, it's increasing. Obama-care is going to put our country on par with Europe's productivity. It's already happening with the amount of people leaving the workforce and going on disability, along with the destruction of full-time jobs so as to avoid the Obama-care mandate.

    A reduction in workforce, a reduction in pay, a reduction in hours worked, a reduction in benefits. At the same time you have an increase in medical costs and an increase in the use of welfare programs. Add to this an increase in government spending and you have a recipe for disaster. You cannot maintain a standard of living when the productive members of a democracy become the minority.

  4. NSK: I'm happy with the world.

    Wenzel: I'm unhappy with the world.

    Everything else is rhetoric and spite.

    1. Wenzel's a naive little bitch, with a horrible inferiority complex.

  5. well its better than living in the 19th century, especially between 1860 and 1875 moreso if you lived in the South. Its better than living in western Europe 1914-20 and 1929-60 and Vietnam 1945-90 and Russia 1900-93 so it could be much worse but of course it could a lot better so its less of a golden age, more a nickel/copper alloy age.

  6. Here's Mark Thornton saying he's a raging optimist


    Here's Lew Rockwell talking about optimism:


    Let's try Walter Block:


    Bill Walker:


    Walker even address your capital markets point:

    Bringing up government control of capital markets is of course the perfect segue into pessimism. ... The parasite government is not going to keep growing faster than the host economy for very much longer; either the economy will kill the parasite or the parasite will kill the economy. Either way the parasite will lose its power over the rest of the world. A hundred kleptocracies would fall without US foreign aid.

    Maybe you can attack these people as being foolish as well, Wenzel.

    1. I doubt it. He kisses Rockwell's ass whenever he gets the chance. It wouldn't matter if Lew held the same positions as Tucker and Kinsella or not. Wenzel's grudge against these guys is pathetic. It would be better if he put forth a positive position [not just yelling at people and saying that he grabbed their balls] on the issues that he has with Kinsella/Tucker. I doubt that we will actually see this though.

    2. Another dim wit easily dismissed. I have always given Tucker credit when it is due. (Though, he is usually wrong)


  7. For the most part, I agree with Kinsella's post. I am actually turning bullish on America again for all of the reasons that Kinsella mentioned, and energy. We are going to be the most dominant player in the energy markets within two decades, and that will have an enormous effect on our economy. We have the largest natural gas fields in the world, and we will be exporting it by the end of 2014. Even if we don't export it, it will be used in transportation and manufacturing, and we're already seeing that. What effect will that have on the dollar? On our trade deficit? Energy costs food costs? Also, as I have said before here, the dollar's status as reserve currency of the world will not go away over night, so this sky is falling scenario, monetary destruction BS you're always talking about just won't happen. Yes, the state steps out of line, but the beauty of technology is that we can now monitor the state easier than it can monitor us.