Exeunt Thomas Sowell

Wednesday, December 28, AD 2016

Intellectuals may like to think of themselves as people who “speak truth to power” but too often they are people who speak lies to gain power.

Thomas Sowell

 

 

Economist Thomas Sowell has decided to call it a day as a columnist at age 86. An understandable decision but a regrettable one. In a time when lunacy was often regarded as sound policy, Doctor Sowell has been a voice of consistent reason.

Tyler O’Neil at PJ Media has assembled 14 quotes from Sowell as a bitter sweet tribute to what we have enjoyed and to what we will be missing:
1. “It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.”

2. “Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.”

3. “Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.”

4. “Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late.”

5. “Some of the biggest cases of mistaken identity are among intellectuals who have trouble remembering that they are not God.”

6. “The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is: he confuses it with feeling.”

7. “Despite a voluminous and often fervent literature on ‘income distribution,’ the cold fact is that most income is not distributed: It is earned.”

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7 Responses to Exeunt Thomas Sowell

  • The gift of men of great wisdom is that even when they are gone from daily discourse, their words remain with us.
    These are gems.

  • Dr. Sowell is an American treasure. I wish him a long and happy retirement.
    He has more than earned it.

  • He’ll be missed. I do wonder if he’s giving up just topical commentary or if he’ll be taking emeritus status at Hoover as well.

    Most of us are a number of years deceased on the 86th anniversary of our birth, and nearly a quarter century retired. He’s impressive in everything he does.

  • Saw that headline and for a minute their I feared he was completing the Michael-Fisher-Trilogy.

    Although, lately they’ve been dying in pairs.

  • I think he is an enlightenment man in conflict with the vast Orwellian conspiracy.
    .
    A Dr. Sowell quote seen at “The Daily Gouge” blog: “The real minimum wage is zero.”

  • #1 is painfully true.
    One of the less fun blessings of the internet is figuring out how very many things there are where you don’t even know enough to identify if something is good information, bad information or the only thing correct thing it has is the grammar.

  • Was assigned as an economics major to read his “Knowledge and Decisions” at the Univ. of Dallas (Irving, TX) in the 1980’s.

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Victor Davis Hanson

Saturday, January 17, AD 2015

Multiculturalism

 

 

A multicultural approach to the conquest of Mexico usually does not investigate the tragedy of the collision between 16th-century imperial Spain and the Aztec Empire. More often it renders the conquest as melodrama between a mostly noble indigenous people slaughtered by a mostly toxic European Christian culture, acting true to its imperialistic and colonialist traditions and values.

In other words, there is little attention given to Aztec imperialism, colonialism, slavery, human sacrifice, and cannibalism, but rather a great deal of emphasis on Aztec sophisticated time-reckoning, monumental building skills, and social stratification. To explain the miraculous defeat of the huge Mexican empire by a few rag-tag, greedy conquistadors, discussion would not entail the innate savagery of the Aztecs that drove neighboring indigenous tribes to ally themselves with Cortés. Much less would multiculturalism dare ask why the Aztecs did not deploy an expeditionary force to Barcelona, or outfit their soldiers with metal breastplates, harquebuses, and steel swords, or at least equip their defenders with artillery, crossbows, and mines.

For the multiculturalist, the sins of the non-West are mostly ignored or attributed to Western influence, while those of the West are peculiar to Western civilization. In terms of the challenge of radical Islam, multiculturalism manifests itself in the abstract with the notion that Islamists are simply the fundamentalist counterparts to any other religion. Islamic extremists are no different from Christian extremists, as the isolated examples of David Koresh or the Rev. Jim Jones are cited ad nauseam as the morally and numerically equivalent bookends to thousands of radical Islamic terrorist acts that plague the world each month. We are not to assess other religions by any absolute standard, given that such judgmentalism would inevitably be prejudiced by endemic Western privilege. There is nothing in the Sermon on the Mount that differs much from what is found in the Koran. And on and on and on.

Victor Davis Hanson

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20 Responses to Quotes Suitable for Framing: Victor Davis Hanson

  • An interesting trivia point.

    The Spanish weapons really were not superior to the Aztecs. Half the men were equipped with pikes (cutting edge technology at the battle of Marathon,) the other half had match lock muskets. Despite the noise and smoke these had a shorter range slower rate of fire than a bow and arrow.

    Without local allies to more than even up the fight, Cortes would have be a foot note in history.

  • Horses and artillery were quite helpful. The Spanish also were magnificent melee fighters especially since they knew being captured meant being the human sacrifice du jour. Finally, Cortez was a good combat commander and always projected an aura of optimism that the Spaniards would win no matter what the odds. Finally the Spaniards viewed the conflict as a crusade, often reporting that Saint James Matamoros appeared to aid them in their fighting.

    The Spaniards were also more adaptable than their adversaries as indicated by their adopting the quilted cotton vests of their adversaries which were better “armor” than their metal breast plates in a tropical climate.

  • The best account that I have ever read of the conquest was by Bernal Diaz del Castillo, one of Cortes’ soldiers. It puts things in a very different light than the multi-culturalist story one usually hears.

  • It is a good account BM, Diaz giving a warts and all telling of the Conquest in which he took part as a gentleman ranker.

  • The reality is the more extreme the Christian, the more peaceful the “radical.”

    Only by not following Christian principles do we end up with the Koresh’s of the world or a badly acting Christians.

  • Jim Jones had a titular affiliation with the Disciples of Christ, but AFAIK his theology bore little relation to anything recognizably Christian. Up until the very last days, Jones and his votaries were not a problem to anyone but themselves and family members alienated from their relatives consequent to Jones’ capture of them. The Koresh sect was a weird offshoot of Seventh Day Adventist congregations, so recognizably protestant after a fashion. Again, they were a danger to themselves and a cause of grief for their relatives, but not much of a problem for the larger community. The career of Janet Reno had a number of obtrusive fiascos for which she completely escaped accountability (bar from some critiques from George Will and National Review); that one was the bloodiest.

  • As Sowell has said in other connections (and in a sophisticated elaboration), multiculturalism (like red haze discourse generally) is a self-aggrandizing exercise. It’s verbalizers congratulating themselves for not being their ancestors and not being ordinary Americans.

  • In other words, there is little attention given to Aztec imperialism, colonialism, slavery, human sacrifice, and cannibalism,……..Brings to mind the age-old but oxymoronic concept of the “Noble Savage”. From Tacitus to the elites of the progressive multicultural movement marches the myth that civilization corrupts the otherwise altruistic aborigine. I recall reading, in “Bell of Africa”, about W.D.M. (Karamojo) Bell negotiating with a local African chief, the hiring of porters to staff Bell’s ivory hunting expedition. This occurs in the early nineteen hundreds, not so long ago. After arranging the assignment of a compliment of sturdy young men, the chief offers the sale -yes, sale – of a young African teenaged woman. The chief advertised the qualities of the young slave about as follows: She is strong and works hard. She cooks and cleans and will be good company in bed. And, if you tire of her, you can always eat her. Bell bought her instantly, and dropped her off at the first Christian mission he came upon. It is the same for the primitive person who does not know Christ as for the civilized person who rejects Christ. Cannibalism and human sacrifice on the one hand, embryonic stem cells and abortion on the other. Christ makes the difference.

  • “The Koresh sect was a weird offshoot of Seventh Day Adventist congregations, so recognizably protestant after a fashion. Again, they were a danger to themselves and a cause of grief for their relatives, but not much of a problem for the larger community. The career of Janet Reno had a number of obtrusive fiascos for which she completely escaped accountability (bar from some critiques from George Will and National Review); that one was the bloodiest.”
    .
    There were rumors of Koresh sleeping with minor children. (This too, is what Jim Jones did) It would have been proper for Koresh to give a good account of himself, in the open, and spare himself the assault on his compound. It was the public’s opinion that if Koresh was sexually abusing minor children, then the assault would proceed.

  • I have read a lot about the Spanish conquest of Mexico. The Aztecs were absolutely HATED by the other Indian tribes they ruled over. The Aztecs were all in on human sacrifice and cannibalism. The Tlaxcalan Indians were ferocious fighters who saw Cortez and his army as the allies they were looking for.

    The Azters were an empire that had achieved the highest they were capable of and could do no more. They had no written language, no knowledge of the wheel, did not know what a horse was, did not make steel, did not build ships to navigate the oceans, did not have the arch for use in architecture…in short, they were behind the Egyptians of centuries past. The Aztec Empire was doomed and it would have been worse for them if the English had set upon them first. Don’t think so? Ask the Indians of the United States.

    Through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico was converted and human sacrifice was ended. Spanish supplanted Nahutal and the other Indian languages.

  • yes- William Walsh “It is the same for the primitive person who does not know Christ as for the civilized person who rejects Christ. Cannibalism and human sacrifice on the one hand, embryonic stem cells and abortion on the other. Christ makes the difference. ”
    Mary said “if Koresh was sexually abusing minor children, then the assault would proceed.” yes that was my opinion too. watching the news about American Sniper makes us think of how to make the decision as to when and how to intervene.
    .
    I don’t agree that the “collision” of Christian Spain and the Aztec was a tragedy. I agree that multiculturalism puts the emphasis on the wrong syllable, but I don’t think you help that misunderstanding by trying to Relativise it all.
    .
    Maybe like childbirth, fraught with difficulty and danger but a net good result. I like Penguin’s words reminding us that it is not just a human encounter but a spiritual one– which is of course the basis for everything. that The Queen of Heaven intervened and I add..for all her children- she not only impacted the native peoples, she impacted the Spanish.

  • Mary/Anzlyne: Recalling Koresh and the Waco affair, why did they not just pick up Koresh on his way back from the barbershop some afternoon? I think of it as a hideous and stupid error. Are the various adults who somehow survived still in prison? Save for being “religious”, they were probably no more out of line than many a nonreligious hippie commune, and probably less so. Government is a necessary evil that needs be kept small and closely watched.

  • I don’t and didn’t really know what happened at waco- I was not as interested in politics, not well informed about what was going on in those days- but my opinion at the time was one of concern for what I thought was women and children being held and abused by a Charlie Manson like character. My reference to American Sniper was just about how to make decision about intervention– obviously we need true information. I agree that government should be small and closely watched!

  • . I recall reading, in “Bell of Africa”, about W.D.M. (Karamojo) Bell negotiating

    I’m jealous. That’s a book I’ve wanted to read since I read the chapter on Karamojo Bell in Capstick’s Death in the Silent Places.

    If you happen to possess a copy, you wouldn’t want to sell it, would you?

  • Ernst, my copy is a gift from a lifelong friend, inscribed with a personal message, and thus a keepsake which I still reread from time to time. We’re both getting long in the tooth so I want to keep it. Nonetheless, I appreciate your interest. It is still available here: http://www.amazon.com/Bell-Africa-W-D/dp/0940143267 and elsewhere: http://www.waterstonesmarketplace.com/Bell-of-Africa-with-appendix-on-rifles-and-shooting-W-D-M-Bell/book/626278 The latter link includes books with an appendix on rifles and shooting which may be quite interesting from an Englishman in Africa perspective. Bell shot 800 elephants with a Rigby made rifle chambered in7 m/m Mauser. Most hunters would have grave trepidations using such a small bore cartridge on such a large and dangerous beast but Bell had a different approach. I hope you succeed in your quest. It’s a tale of another and, in many ways, better day.

  • Thanks. Maybe I’ll pick that up along with Jungle Man.

  • William P. Walsh: I remember there being a problem of Koresh not leaving the compound. It was some weeks before the decision was made to storm the compound because of constant complaints that child abuse was going on.
    .
    It is incumbent upon the individual, the citizen, the person to give a good account of himself.

  • Mary, Thank you. Your memory is probably better than mine. It’s all so easy to taint recollection of things leading up to an event by how they turned out. I may be doing that.

  • If the BATFE was so concerned about the welfare of the children, why didn’t they show up at the front door in plain clothes to execute their search warrant? Or better still, hand the case over to an agency that actually deals with child welfare?
    .
    That is, instead of showing up all SWATted out and effecting a tactical entry through a second story window.
    .
    With a camera crew in tow, no less.

    It was, as Mr. Walsh said, “a hideous and stupid error.” But that’s par for the course for what was and is a hideous and stupid agency.

  • We leave the dead to God’s mercy but what of the various surviving adults who were trundled off to prison and to my knowledge remain there incommunicado? I am not aware of any released or publicly quoted.

The Left and Race

Wednesday, July 24, AD 2013

 

 

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Church that I have designated him Defender of the Faith, explains at Midwest Conservative Journal why the Left is so obsessed with race and finding racists, if not under every bed, certainly within every white skin:

Never let it be said that Naughton’s joint serves no useful purpose because I found this there.  If you’re wondering why all the Episcopal Organization reactions to the George Zimmerman verdict read pretty much the same way, some chick named Mia McKenzie explains it all for you, illustrating why national “conversations” about race are worse than worthless because they’ll go somewhere only when white people admit that they’re wrong now, they’ve always been wrong and they always will be wrong:

Racism is, in reality, a huge, systemic, deeply-rooted plague that exists everywhere and affects everything, that degrades and starves and rapes and murders people without losing its breath. It is built on hundreds of years of oppression and genocide. It is in our government, in our entertainment, in our literature, in our corporations, in our language. This entire country was built on it. It is everywhere, and it is insidious and subtle just as often as it is open and obvious.

It is not that crazy dude over there.

I see the appeal to white folks in thinking about racism this way. The “whack job” approach allows people to separate racist thinking and behavior from themselves. It’s that crazy screaming dude over there who’s racist. It’s your drunk uncles. It’s your he-was-so-quiet-and-seemed-so-normal-before-he-walked-into-the-mall-and-started-shooting-people neighbors. All of whom you can shake your heads at with furrowed brows while proclaiming that you’re “not like that.”

But you are.

White people, you need to get this: you are racist. The first step is admitting that you are part of the problem.

I am not going to tell you why or how you are racist. I’m not here for your education.

Whatever, kitten.

A question and a comment.  What is the difference between Miss McKenzie declaring and the Episcopal Organization tacitly agreeing the concept that every Caucasian becomes a “racist” the moment his or her umbilical cord is cut and some old National Socialist concentration camp guard somewhere claiming that we had to gas all those Jewish children because of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion?  And before you mindlessly invoke Godwin’s Law, at least take a run at answering my question.

You and I both know certain facts about certain countries in the world and certain cities in the United States.  But I’m not going  to mention any of them right now for the same reason why, when I drove an orange Pinto several decades back, I refused, much to the consternation of a mentally-challenged friend of mine to put a Confederate flag on my car’s roof (my man was a huge Dukes of Hazard fan back in the day).  I saw no reason to needlessly offend anyone over something that eventually wouldn’t matter anyway.

But keep up this “guilty until proven innocent” line and I’ll stop caring about your feelings and mention these facts that everyone knows.  I own two Confederate flags, a Second and a Third National, that I bought from the Museum of the Confederacy.  I obviously have no pole to raise either of them on but I do have several walls.  If by some miracle, I ever let you in my place, you should happen to see one and wonder why it’s there, I’ll tell you it’s because of my pride in my Southron heritage. 

If you happen to get mad at me, I’ll happen to not give a crap.  Because the result of attitudes like Miss McKenzie’s and the Episocopal Organization’s can never be racial understanding and certainly won’t be increased racial hostility.  It’ll be something far worse for the liberals than either of those two outcmes.

Indifference.

Put simply, the left needs “racism” and needs it desperately.  Take that crutch away and large numbers of leftists are going to be forced to do pretty much the most difficult thing in the entire world.  Look in the mirror.

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5 Responses to The Left and Race

  • It reminds me of “dry drunks”, people who aren’t drinking but haven’t moved past the alcohol. They’re no longer racist, but they can only think about race, and think that everyone else is only thinking about race.

  • Nasty and dishonest/inane attacks, and ugly ridicule are at the heart of liberal arguments.

    And, then they send in the infiltartors . . .

    Instapundit: “Her name is Renee Vaughn. Her employer, the ‘Texas Campaign For The Environment’, has also apologized. Nonetheless, I hope the picture of her standing with a sign reading ‘We’re Racist And Proud’ winds up being tagged to both. . . . Regarding the leftist activist that carried a signing saying that sign at a TX pro-Zimmerman rally. All they have are lies.

  • Cheap grace.

    Denounce an entire race to show your purity– of course all whites are racist, just the good ones are willing to “admit” it for all the rest. *eyeroll*

    If the “racism” is so nebulous that they can’t even give good examples, it’s clearly not the “racism” that was a big deal.

  • We need to think about the consequences of this: if all whites are racists, that absolves white people of the responsibility to try not to be racist–and it makes Klansmen and Nazis the most sincere white men on Earth, and therefore the most authentic. Is that the world we want to live in?

    Never mind the fact that this claim is itself racist. Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Indians, anyone can be a racist–or not. You don’t fight racism by being racist, but by treating people as individuals, not as groups.

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Financing Government Out of Thin Air

Monday, April 2, AD 2012

38 Responses to Financing Government Out of Thin Air

  • Insane – salaries to do this are cold, hard cash on the other hand. I wonder whether these geniuses use bank accounts.

  • It’s monitizing the debt.

    It is hyper-inflationary. It is actually printing more worthless paper.

    The Fed does not hold this paper and buy debt. It creates the paper from air.

    Buy gold. I sat through an economics PhD talk where he predicted $5 or $10,000 ounce gold, and $250 silver.

    Worse, very little gets to Main Street.

  • I’m going to look like an idiot but what is debt issued by the treasury? I don’t get what that means. Thank you.

  • I think these criticisms are off base. As Milton Friedman famously showed, it was the failure of the Federal Reserve to engage in similar activities that caused the Great Depression.

  • that creates the funds to purchase this debt by conjuring funds out of thin air. I have seen men go to prison for fraud schemes more fiscally sound than this. This will not end well.

    Regulating the dimensions of the monetary base (by purchasing securities with paper money) is one of the activities of a central bank. You will recall there was three years ago and abrupt increase in the demand for liquidity. Supplying it is what the central bank is supposed to do. The alternative was catastrophic deflation (been there, done that, 1929-33).

  • Your criticism is off base BA. What Friedman talked about was for the Fed to act to stop a run on the banks in 1929, not the Fed propping up the government through purchase of huge amounts of Federal debt that can’t find a buyer in the marketplace at a low interest rate:

  • “I’m going to look like an idiot but what is debt issued by the treasury?”

    The difference between receipts and expenditures by the government.

  • Your criticism is off base BA. What Friedman talked about was for the Fed to act to stop a run on the banks in 1929, not the Fed propping up the government through purchase of huge amounts of Federal debt that can’t find a buyer in the marketplace at a low interest rate:

    No he was not, because banks did not begin to fail at rates exceeding a certain background value until November of 1930. There were three waves of bank failures: one at the end of 1930 and the beginning of 1931, one extending from May 1931 to March 1932, and one running from November 1932 through March 1933.

    His confederate Sir Alan Walters offered that the most salient discrete failure of public policy in the United States during that era was electing not to follow Britain off the gold standard in September 1931. Britain began to recover within a few months while the American economy went through the most rapid contraction ever enumerated. Sir Alan put it this way: when you have a liquidity crisis, you need a manual over-ride in your monetary policy to maintain M1.

  • Here is what happens: The Fed adds, say, $700 billion to the US Treasury’s Federal Reserve Bank checking account and takes ownership of $700B US T debt securities that can’t be sold at negative real interest rates to citizens, to Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds, to China, etc.

    Here are the accounting journal entries:

    Debit/Increase “UST securities” $700B and credit/increase “Due to the US Treasury” $700B

    Voila – out of the Ether the Bernank created $700B.

    And, you thought that the creation of something from nothing was Divine.

    The monetary base is the sum of all Federal Reserve notes and coins in circulation, i.e., outside the Federal Reserve Banks. M1 and M2 add to that private, liquid bank deposits and etc.

    Later the money supply is increased as the US Treasury sends out the created-from-air $700B in checks to every body and his brother.

    Buy gold.

  • Don,

    Art is right. In fact, when Japan was facing similar problems a decade ago, Friedman explicitly advised them to engage in quantitative easing as a solution.

  • How much money was sucked out of the economy by the Great Recession? While I would fight QE3 with tooth and nail, I think TARP and QE1 are reasonably defensible on the grounds of stopping a crushing deflationary cycle in its tracks.

  • BTW, Friedman would agree with Taylor that rules-based monetary policy is superior to discretion-based monetary policy. The thing is, though, that Taylor’s own proposed rule (called unsurprisingly the Taylor Rule) has called for negative interest rates over the past three years. So following the Taylor Rule would mean doing precisely the sort of quantitative easing that Friedman recommended for Japan.

  • Inflation is the cruelest tax of all.

    If he wins in the SCOTUS, Obama doesn’t need the Fed. When Obama can force you to buy health insurance, he can force you to buy US debt instruments.

    BTW, financing the government is fiscal policy, not monetary.

    No one could possibly want the US economy’s next ten years to be anything like Japan’s economy of the last 20 years.

    The Bernank most fears high interest rates.

    I was at a conference in DC last week. There is no recession in DC or northern VA. Washington and its agile operators on Wall Street have sucked all the “air” out of Main Street.

  • Inflation is the cruelest tax of all.

    It is not a tax.

    The aforementioned Prof. Taylor has identified the period from 1985 to 2003 as one of appropriately conducted monetary policy. The mean annual increase in the consumer price index was 3.0% during those years. The increase over the last twelve months has been 2.9%

  • Thomas Sowell is great. But monetary policy is not his area. It was Milton Friedman’s area, and in a dispute between the two the smart money should be on Friedman.

  • When the government devalues the currency in order to repay unsustainable debt with cheap money, inflation is a tax.

    America has been able to sustain this sham because the dollar is the reserve currency. That may soon change.

    Consider the following from Tyler Durden at zerohedge.

    “If you think the last four years have been bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Hope is not an option. There is too much debt, too little cash-flow, too many promises, too many lies, too little common sense, too much mass delusion, too much corruption, too little trust, too much hate, too many weapons in the hands of too many crazies, and too few visionary leaders to not create an epic worldwide implosion. Too bad. We stand here in the year 2012 with no good options, only less worse options. Decades of foolishness, debt accumulation, and a materialistic feeding frenzy of delusion have left the world broke and out of options. And still our leaders accelerate the debt accumulation, while encouraging the masses to carry-on as if nothing has changed . . . “

  • I am not too sophisticated when it comes to high finance. However, I do think it’s
    significant that while the price of an ounce of gold in 2000 was roughly that of 12
    or 13 barrels of brent crude oil– and today it’s still roughly the same ratio– the
    price of both commodities in dollars has increased over 5X. In other words, if we
    were using gold to buy oil (or vice versa), we’d have seen relatively little
    change in those prices. It’s just that the dollar is worth about 1/5 what it was just
    twelve years ago.

    In March 2000, gold and oil sold for about $300/oz. and $27/barrel, respectively.
    Today, they’re going for about $1680/oz. and $125/barrel.

    Again, I’m not a banker or a treasury official, but it seems to me that the implosion
    of the dollar is well underway.

  • Aye.

    Dr. Sowell’s most scholarly writings are in the history of economic thought. He writes texts on economic history (sytheses, I think), but in the history of the 1930s he has been known to make serious errors.

  • Consider the following from Tyler Durden at zerohedge.

    Ummm. Wasn’t that a character in Fight Club?

  • Clinton,

    The ratio of the price of gold to oil tends to vary quite a bit. In 2005, for example, an ounce bought less than nine barrels of oil ($444.74 vs. $50.04), while in 2009 it would have bought more than eighteen barrels ($972.35 vs. $53.48) . And neither gold nor oil are typical of what happened to prices in general over the last twelve years. For all the talk about the coming hyperinflation, inflation over the last three years has been lower than normal, and from mid-2008 to mid-2009 we actually experienced deflation, with predictable consequences.

  • Buy low. Sell high. Supply and demand. That is all you need to know.

    The Dow/Gold ratio is an indicator of when one is comparatively cheap.

    Oil/gold is probably not so good for correlation. Gold is a commodity with aspects of a financial asset. Oil is strictly a commodity. Commonality: both are quoted in USD.

    I’ve been long gold since the early 1990’s. It’s for diversification and insurance.

    I was buying gold bullion at around $250 back in the day. I would buy over the phone from a dealer. He would call periodically for orders. As he did one day when gold had inched up to say, $275. Dummest thing I ever said, “I’ll pass. I think it’s too high.”

    No wait! That is the second dummest thing I ever said. The dummest was, “I do.”

  • Does your wife read this blog, T. Shaw?? 🙂

  • Short of conducting a seance I doubt if it is possible to get a definitive answer to how Milton Friedman would have reacted to the Fed buying huge amounts of debt. However both Allan Metzler and John B. Taylor believe that he would not have:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/allan-meltzer-explains-why-friedman-would-never-endorse-increasing-inflation-stimulate-econo

    http://johnbtaylorsblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/certainly-milton-friedman-would-not.html

    I agree with them, but even if he had endorsed the current debt purchase policy of the Fed, Friedman had no charism of infallibility on economic matters, and if he endorsed the idea of the government producing massive debt and then having the Fed purchase it, it would remain a disastrous policy.

  • “Does your wife read this blog, T. Shaw?? ”

    She is no doubt locking and loading even as we type Don!

  • Blackadder, of course there are fluctuations in the ratio between the price of gold vs.
    the price of oil. Commodities traders and speculators wouldn’t have anything to do
    if such fluctuations didn’t exist. However, my point is that over time the average
    ratio has been relatively stable while the purchasing power of the dollar has declined.

    I suppose we should ask ourselves if we can imagine ever seeing gold at $300/oz. or
    oil at $27/barrel again. If not, why not?

  • My wife does not read this blog.

    I may be crazy. I’m not suicidal.

    That was a joke. I actually made the other statement.

  • and if he endorsed the idea of the government producing massive debt and then having the Fed purchase it, it would remain a disastrous policy.

    If I am not mistaken, the Federal Reserve makes its purchases in the secondary market.

    We have been waiting for the disaster for three years now.

  • And we are living midst the first stages of the disaster now Art. I would find this funny if the ultimate outcome of this lunacy on stilts were not going to be so devastating to this country.

  • T. Shaw, “I do” I have to say that the dumbest thing you have ever done is to post this insult to your wife, without first asking her about how your wife feels about her dumbest “I do”. It has occurred to me that you may find yourself married to your wife in heaven and on earth. God works in mysterious ways.
    @Donald McClarey: She is no doubt locking and loading even as we type Don! Funniest thing I have heard all day. This post Is being saved for future laughter.

  • Lighten up Mary.
    It may be sexist from your POV, but it was a joke.
    If you wish, blame me for highlighting it – but it is fairly common world wide humour.
    My wife has some pretty good ones too. 🙂

  • And we are living midst the first stages of the disaster now Art.

    The latent disaster is derived from excessive public sector borrowing, for which Dr. Bernanke and the other governors bear no responsibility. Take it up with the President and Congress.

    Dr. Bernanke’s responsibility has been to maintain price stability and contain contagions in the financial sector by acting as a lender of last resort. That he has accomplished thus far.

  • The Federal Reserve is NOT an arm of the federal government. It is a private bank with monopoly privileges. It is a parasite and we are the host. We are very close to having the parasite killing the host. To think this is a good thing is insane. To think it is an evil thing that we somehow need and can control is naive. To support this monster is just evil. Time to role it back, audit it, expose it and then end it. T. Shaw is right, buy gold. In order for gold to reach parity w/1980 peak in $FRN-2011, gold would be over $7,000/oz.

  • No Ak, the Federal Reserve System is an arm of the federal government, internet insanity to the contrary. That says nothing about whether it should exist or not, but is simply a statement of fact. The system is completely a creation of Congress and Congress can alter or abolish it at will, along with the Federal Reserve Banks.

  • OK. Don, because you said so. Wow, I’ve been wrong for two decades about the fact that this was concocted by men controlling 25% of the world’s wealth as a banking cartel. What a fool, our money is totally safe in the hands of this government arm. I feel better now. end of sarcasm.

    Seriously, Don, you don’t really believe that the Fed is a government agency? do you? It is clearly a private bank with government-granted monopoly power and it is very, very dangerous. Seriously, you do know this right? I know it is uncomfortable, but you are an intelligent and bold man, I can’t believe that you actually buy this smokescreen.

    There are many things I disagree with that libertarians think, but this is not one of them – the Austrians are right about monopoly banking. Time to turn the tables and whip the usurious money-changers.

  • Conspiracy mongering aside AK, the Federal Reserve System is an arm of the Federal government. When I state a fact on this blog, you can take it to the bank, whether it is state or federal. As to my opinion of current actions of the Fed, I think you can clean that from this post and from my comments in the combox.

  • Don, since you and I agree so often, I rarely need to comment. We tend to disagree about the Fed and the War for Southern Independence, but I still like you and respect your intellect, your fidelity and your knowledge despite your Yankee-WASP-Moneyed-interest tendencies – I hope you take that latter part in jest as it was meant.

    BTW – it is not conspiracy mongering to note that this monstrosity was concocted by transnational bankers, in secret, at Jekyll Island, GA in Nov. 1910 – that is a fact and it is a conspiracy, by the most rigid definition of the word. We also know that it was stated, long after it was fait accompli, that if the people and the Congress knew that the conspirators at Jekyll Island were drafting a banking (cartel) bill, it would have never passed.

Going Rogue

Thursday, December 17, AD 2009

A guest post by Paul Zummo, originally posted at his blog, The Cranky Conservative.

It’s probably not a good idea generally to buy a book out of spite, but in some ways that is precisely what I did when I picked up Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue.  We had had a meeting at work, and several of my co-workers were amusing themselves with some anti-Palin jibes.  So at lunch time I decided to take a stroll to the local book store and pick up Palin’s book, prompting the “Oh, Sarah Palin” observation from the clerk, who must be wondering why anyone in the middle of enlightened Dupont Circle would be interested in the right-wing Neanderthal. And I have to admit that I also delayed reading the book until after I got home from Thanksgiving vacation so that I could proudly read the book on the Metro.

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7 Responses to Going Rogue

  • Great review Paul.

    As I thought she was perturbed by the questions Couric was asking her. Though her responses should have been more ‘presidential’ thank emotional.

  • I believe Mrs. Palin was caught short by the cattiness of Ms. Couric’s questions, and by her attitude.

    There is that about television interviewers / commentators which seems to lead them to think that they have enough political experience to be valuable thinkers on the political scene. They have not. They are mostly graduates of some political science [whatever that is] course, in which they learned techniques of debating, looking to score “Gotcha!” points. Their knowledge of history and of foreign countries and cultures is abominably shallow.

    I wonder how many can speak and read a foreign language.

  • Reading Palin’s book on the D.C. Metro? My, you’re a brave man, Mr. Zummo 🙂

    Gabriel: Actually, I believe most journalists, whether of the vanishing print breed or the TV kind, have “communications” degrees. I believe Canadian novelist Robertson Davies (who was a newspaper man for many years) said it takes a couple of hours tops for a bright kid to learn how to write an “inverted pyramid” news story – it’s not something you should build your education around. He thought a grounding in history, English lit, foreign languages and cultures, etc. was far better preparation for an aspiring reporter, and that the mechanics of the business should be part of the on-the-job training.

  • And I too find it heartening that she is influenced by Sowell. Reading “A Conflict of Visions” completed my own journey from left to right. The country would be in better hands if we had a president who uses Sowell, rather than Alinsky, as a guide.

    One area where I still have lingering doubts about Palin is foreign policy. Yes, she’d do better than Obama, but that’s setting the bar low. It’s a mindfield out there, and I am not sure she’s given it adequate thought. Does she say much about it in her book?

  • Donna:

    She doesn’t touch too much on foreign policy except in the context of energy policy and the need for “energy independence.” She does mention that as Governor of Alaska she did have to deal with the Canadian government on various border issues. As I said, she doesn’t get into a lot of policy detail in the book, but she doesn’t sound like a complete babe in the woods.

  • I second Donna’s endorsement of Sowell. I was first introduced to him in 1979 watching the PBS Free to Choose series hosted by Milton Friedman. He impressed me then and has never stopped. I also enjoyed his Conflict of Visions book. He truly is a first rate thinker.