The 16 Years’ War and Its Cost

WarItsCost Every night on American TV you can see repeating commercials to raise money for young people who’ve had limbs blown off. It might be cruel to ask the following question in the presence of these veterans, but millions of other people have been forced to pay for all of this, and they need to be protected as well. And so, with condolences to the young people who signed up for …

How Free Money Fails

MoneyFails You might think that throwing free money into an economy would create a permanent party, but it never quite turns out that way. And I think it’s important to understand why. After all, we’ve been watching a free-money party since 2008, and if it ends, the morning after figures to be deep and dark. What if They Built a Building and No One Came? One of the primary uses of …

The Specter of Suffering

SpecterSuffering Jews know how to suffer. Christians don’t, although they once did. Most libertarians don’t know how to suffer either. While there’s no virtue in suffering itself, certain kinds of suffering are unavoidable if we want to change the world. (That is, to really change the world, not just to jabber about it.) If you run away from suffering, anyone with a pin and a threat owns you. Let’s be clear …

Why I’m Opposed to Activism*

activism * Before anything else, I need to clarify my meaning: There are “activists” whom I respect and support. (Ernie and Donna Hancock leap to mind, as do several Bitcoin “activists.”) I divide these people from the activism of my title, because these people act, encourage, and teach directly, not through third parties. This distinction will become clear to you as we proceed. The Distinction: What Happened to the Cool Kids …

I Am Not a Ferengi

ferengi Call me a businessman if you like; an entrepreneur, a capitalist even… but I am not a Ferengi, dedicated to grabbing as much of your money as I can, however I can. If that was all I wanted, I’d be exploiting Washington and Wall Street, or maybe I’d see if I could wriggle my way into central banking. And just in case some of you are not familiar with the …

How to Speak to the Brainwashed

brainwashed Last week, I posted an article entitled “Man Is Not Always Blind.” And quite understandably, I received comments from readers who disagreed. After all, when you are surrounded by people who wish to not see – who hate you for trying to make them see – it is natural to take that opinion. (And since the word is so often fitting, I will go with “brainwashed” to describe those who …

Who Will Be the Last to Crash?

lasttocrash This is the question that astute investors are forced to ask themselves these days. No reasonable person believes that a system of ever-expanding debt can resolve painlessly. It simply cannot happen… not, at least, until 2+2 stops equaling four. But the international money system, while deeply interconnected, can implode in sections. In fact, it’s highly unlikely that it will crash as a single unit. So, if you have significant moneys …

They’re Coming for Your Accounts

debt Nearly all of us grew up thinking that we registered ourselves to prove that we were safe and responsible. We advertised our services as “registered” or “licensed,” and we never thought about it beyond that point. After all, that was the way things were done, and we knew that it would help our customers trust us. There is, however, another side to registration, one that’s about to bite a lot …

Bribery in America

bribery-hands I know something about bribery. When I was a teenager, my dad was in the construction business in Chicago. So, as soon as I got my driver’s license (at 16), I was sent out delivering bribes. That’s just the way     things were done, and my dad let me drive a fancy car (with an FM radio!) to make the deliveries. I delivered leather coats to wives, envelopes to government …

Why the Founding Fathers Made Their Own Money

old-coins It is an interesting historical fact that people who take part in rebellions tend to coin their own money – not when the rebellion concludes, but as it starts. There is good evidence that silver half shekels, like the one pictured above, were actually minted on the Temple Mount during the Jewish Rebellion against Rome in 66-70 AD. (The wonderful Biblical Archaeology Review ran an article on the subject.) And …

Why the Banksters Don’t Care About Your Gold

banksters I regularly hear how important it is to hold silver and gold and how dangerous the central banks and their banksters (a combination of bankers and gangsters) really are. I’m sympathetic, of course, since I don’t like central banks and I do like silver and gold. But these folks have a problem: Their plans never seem to bear any fruit. Mostly, they are waiting for the banksters to lose control, …

Two Ways the Bitcoin “Crackdown” Could End

crypto currencies bitcoin I read a story recently about a group of dandies who want to “help regulate Bitcoin, for its own good.” The thing about these guys is that they don’t really care about Bitcoin as a beautiful, disruptive technology or even for the great benefit it brings to mankind. Instead, they see Bitcoin as their ticket into the halls of the elite. These people are not the agents of a new …

A Frank Letter to the Homeless Man Under the Bridge

letter-to-homeless I see you standing here, asking for help, about once a week. You are always polite, and I respect that. I’d like to do something for you… something that would matter long-term. Giving you a few notes or coins now and then may be fine, but I’d really like to improve your situation more permanently. In other words, I’d like to give you a job. I used to hire people, …

How Many Lives the Government “Eats” Each Year

government spending I like to look at things from an outsider’s viewpoint – to notice things that most people pass over. And I usually find these things more or less by accident. For example, take a quick look at this formula: This looks like physics or economics, but I actually ran across it in a legal case. As it turns out, this is the formula to determine the monetary value of your …

Is Bitcoin More Dangerous than “Cartel Money”?

btccartelmoney I’m going to use a couple of passages from the Bible (the original set of moral standards for our Western civilization), followed by an examination of both Bitcoin and cartel money, to see how they hold up in comparison. As for my use of the term “cartel money,” it’s the best short description I know for the dollars, euros, yen (and so on) that we use in our daily commerce. …

I’m sorry

studentloan Dear young people of America, I’m sorry. You’re entering a world that has condemned you to slavery before you were even born. No, not the full-blown, work-in-the-fields slavery you learned about in school, but something that has most of the same effects but looks far better: they take half of your life and expect you to thank them for it. There are actually several parts to your slavery. Today I …

“You’re Already Rich”

alreadyrich I got an email from my old friend Dick not too long ago – maybe the smartest guy I ever met, and I’ve known a lot of smart guys. He was coming through town and we decided to meet at our old hangout, Jay’s Bar. Dick was from California, but he came through Chicago every now and then back in the 90s, and he often joined our cypherpunk hangout in …

Money Issues in the US: Why Can’t We Party Like It’s 1905?

money issues in the US When writing historical things, I try to include perspective from people who actually lived through the events. And for money issues in the US, I’m able to do that back to about 1905. So, do you think life was nasty, brutish, and short in 1905? That there were poor and starving people falling dead on every street corner? Hardly. The Wright brothers were flying for 30 minutes at a crack; …

The Era of Fiat Currency Capitalism

fiat currency I have worked long and hard to gather a broad perspective on history. I don’t doubt that there is value in specialization. In fact, I would have great difficulty doing what I do without good specialists. Nonetheless, my particular set of abilities suits me to play specialist for short, intense periods, and then to integrate my gleanings into a larger whole. One of my general conclusions has been that if …