Saturday, June 11, 2011
Easier than They Say?
Nathan Lewis of Forbes recounts how Germany returned to a gold standard after hyperinflation rendered its currency worthless in the 1920's. He ends his piece with the following claim:
It amuses me today when people invent this, that or another reason why a gold standard system is "impossible." What they usually mean by that is: they don’t know how to do it. You can’t be in a worse position than Germany on Nov. 15, 1923. If it was possible then, it is possible at any time.On the one hand, I want to credit Lewis for attempting to aid the cause of stable currency with historical data in the vein of winning what I call the "battle of imagination." On the other hand, it bothers me that he mentions, without elaboration or comment, that the first stage of the process was, "effectively render[ing] Germany a military dictatorship." That is a dangerous and unnecessary step, to say the very least.
And I haven't even gotten to the fact that Germany never got rid of its central bank...
"Physical or verbal abusers in a marriage, as well as dictators and 'spiritual' gurus on a national scale, can sometimes intimidate bodies to do what minds will never accept. It might even look for a while like it's working, but history has proven again and again that it never lasts." -- Michael Hurd, in "The Down-Side of Control" at DrHurd.com
"All forms of 'gun control,' 'travel control,' or 'health control' are just examples of a broader 'freedom control.' And they are all doomed to fail because at root they are just different ways of government violating our individual rights rather than protecting them." -- Paul Hsieh, in "Dude, Where's My Freedom?" at PajamasMedia
"When times are flush and risk aversion is low, overoptimism leads not only to record towers, but overvalued stock markets as well." -- Jonathan Hoenig, in "What Skyscrapers Say about Markets" at SmartMoney
Even More Controls
As if the parade of controls in Paul Hsieh's piece isn't long or ridiculous enough, there are two more recent ones at OpenMarket.org. One looks bad for e-commerce: "Another bill winding its way through the Senate would allow states to tax companies that have no physical presence inside their borders. I’ve written on similar state-level proposals before. It’s a bad idea."
I remember seeing a much larger collection of these some time ago, but Mental Floss culled the best: "That Tattoo Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means."