That’s What You Get

A lot of my thinking lately has been related to what’s been going on with the Libertarian Party.

I will say that I thought some of the ideas that the folks running the Libertarian Party’s Mises Caucus were generally good ones.

As I’ve spent more time listening to them, I’ve come to a pretty uncomfortable realization — they’re lazy.

The realization came rather slowly. I remember hearing Cyprian discuss some of what he saw going on. I thought he was, maybe, going overboard with the sorts of people who were really backing one of the candidates, and his LPMC associates.

There was some really weird stuff going on with this stuff that happened in New Hampshire summer before last. Ultimately, what happened with the party there was underhanded. What happened with the LP National was similarly underhanded. But the issues were resolved, and most people moved on.

LPNH is putting out some radical things on Twitter (STFW if you’re curious; I’m not going to look at their toxic spew), but whatever. I don’t live in New Hampshire for myriad reasons. (Yes, it looks gorgeous sometimes. I’ve been to Minnesota, and could say the same of it, but I wouldn’t want to be there after the weather gets cold.)

Still, Cyprian’s criticisms, along with the wayward embrace of Ron Paul, and his antipathy towards central banking. I do give him credit, but the whole thing with the insane pandemic spending has really thrown his dogged reliance on “hard assets” into question. Here and there, I’ve been buying precious metals only to see them basically flat, despite the incredible increase of circulating money.

Milton Friedman said that price was a function of supply, demand, and available money. My own education, while I appreciated people from the “Austrian School,” was really flavored more towards the “Chicago School.” My professors really weren’t big on either the Keynesians, or the Austrians. Same goes for my father, who taught graduate students in Finance.

Even with that, I was fascinated by the same sorts of things that Rep. Paul advocated. I kind of just brushed aside things like Ben Stein’s improv’d scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

The failure of the hard assets really made me look more closely at some of the Chicago School teachings. In spite of some of the warnings against it, I’ve been using a lot of the things Harry Browne recommended in his financial writings.

The other big thing that was going on, too, was the crypto currency craze. Again, with the fixed currency supply, the price of BTC should be through the roof with all of the money printing. Yeah, about that.

So, I’ve been sticking to the Browne-inspired mix of revenue-producing assets, but making sure I have good diversification. (And I’m not going to go into my other passive income source; it’s personal.) But the folks who really are the Bitcoin Maximalists really have something in common — they hate some math that’s really not that difficult. An equation with more than one variable? No, you can’t have that!

The money supply needs to increase at roughly the same rate as economic output increases.

Even the folks at the hated Federal Reserve understand that. They’ve over-created money.

But so have the other central banks.

I really didn’t know that the Sterling was a “fiat currency.” Same for the Swiss Franc. So I assumed that those should be in good shape, but, no, they’re not backed with solid assets. The European Central Bank has created more money than the Federal Reserve has.

It’s all about the Petordollar! Nope, that doesn’t work, either. Conversions of currency are basically without fees now, and instantaneous.

If you wanted to pay me a large amount of Dogecoin, I’d accept it. The chances of it being in Dogecoin tomorrow are almost nil.

So they hate math. Okay. Got it. Whatever.

But they also hate laws. Can the Federal Reserve actually raise interest rates to where they should be? Strike that, since “Audit The Fed” has turned into “Abolish the Fed,” can the private markets set interest rates where they’re supposed to be without running afoul of various laws and regulations?

Not gonna consider that.

Over the summer, these people took over the LP.

The attitude since then has been, we took over the party, we can do whatever we want.

That’s not working, and it’s not because of the sort of chicanery that happened in New Hampshire previously. People are using various methods to keep from yielding to the new overlords.

Here in Virginia, the party’s charter is governed by laws. The people on the “outgoing” board choose to just go full President Madagascar.

Oops.

I’m reminded of a former boss whose car was stolen. The guy who stole it didn’t know how to drive a manual transmission, and blew up the engine.

Oops.

When I tweeted the story covering the things going on with the state parties rejecting the takeover, I said I shouldn’t be viewing it with bemusement.

You stole it. You broke it because you didn’t understand how to operate it. Now you’ve got nothing. Oh well.

Another Saturday

I haven’t written since my last summer binge.

Lots and lots going on. None of it is really worth writing about publicly.

I wish I’d saved the article I saw about the economic state happening right now. Essentially, the author admitted something that it seems to be tough for many to admit. I Don’t Know.

This started with the debate over whether that US economy is in a recession after the frequently-cited two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth.

Change the definitions, and hope that people don’t hold it against you that you don’t know.

I don’t know.

Neither do the armchair Austrian economists.

Why are asset prices not following inflation?

I don’t know.

Oil is still very high. Why is the same not true of precious metals? For the crypto-doesn’t-have-any-use-other-than-gambling crowd, looks like Real Estate is about to crash.

Nobody fucking knows.

Even the people who proclaim themselves to be right on just about everything, and that messaging is the most important thing ever. They knew that this would totally get people on their side.

What’s tougher — admitting you don’t know, or that you were wrong?

Good question.