Thursday, October 20, 2016

Scott Horton — Welcome to the Libertarian Institute!

The idea has been percolating around for a while, and now we’re ready. It is a unique moment. The time is ripe for advancing peace and liberty.
Our goal is to unite the libertarian movement and more importantly to realign American politics around our agenda — prioritizing opposition to the worst of state power: the permanent war state, the prison and police states, and the corporate welfare, corrupt contracts, and bank bailouts that rig the economy for the wealthy and politically connected.
The Libertarian Institute’s mission is to stress these issues and work with other groups from across the political spectrum against these greatest of abuses.
I am proud to announce that Managing Editor Will Grigg and Executive Editor Sheldon Richman join me in this ambitious venture. Their heroic legacies of authorship and activism will surely inspire confidence and help solidify the Institute’s place in the libertarian movement and the broader political conversation.
Jared Labell of Taxpayers United of America, deeply inspired by the idea, has taken on the launch of the Libertarian Institute as a personal project, already putting immense effort into making it bigger and better than we even hoped. We welcome his expertise as Executive Director and happily anticipate his fine writing.
We have begun inviting those who today best represent libertarianism in our country to write for our website and blog, and to collaborate on many projects. They come from many places and perspectives. This diversity will set the standard for our group and mission.
The Libertarian Institute
Welcome to the Libertarian Institute!
Scott Horton


Matthew Franko said...

should be: "welcome to the moron factory..."

Andrew Anderson said...

T'will be interesting to see if "liberty" requires a certain shiny metal.

Matthew Franko said...

They needed to do something looks like they lost the Alex Jones people and Peter Theil in all of this election scramble....

Tom Hickey said...

There is a sense in which gold IS "money" or better the numeraire to which "money" corresponds as a token.

This sense arises from meaning being dependent on context, which involves the agreement of the users of terms.

A whole lot of people agree that gold is the "numeraire."

The numéraire (or numeraire) is a basic standard by which value is computed. In mathematical economics it is a tradeable economic entity in terms of whose price the relative prices of all other tradeables are expressed. In a monetary economy, acting as the numéraire is one of the functions of money, to serve as a unit of account: to provide a common benchmark relative to which the worths of various goods and services are measured. Using a numeraire, whether monetary or some consumable good, facilitates value comparisons when only the relative prices are relevant, as in general equilibrium theory. When economic analysis refers to a particular good as the numéraire, one says that all other prices are normalized by the price of that good. For example, if a unit of good g has twice the market value of a unit of the numeraire, then the (relative) price of g is 2. Since the value of one unit of the numeraire relative to one unit of itself is 1, the price of the numeraire is always 1. Wikipedia

An an amateur analyst I use gold this way myself for two reasons.

1. It is useful to have some commodity as a benchmark of relative value since there is a lot of historical data about it available over a long period. Comparing relative currency values and prices in units of account is fraught with problems historically because of a variety of factors, from lack of available data to differences in monetary systems.

2. Secondly, I know that a whole lot of other people are looking that this as an important historical indicator, and this attribution of importance influences their behavior in markets.

Seehere, for instance, for some commodity to numeraire ratio charts.

MMT does not change this. It does not replace the concept of a commodity numeraire but rather adds more information that has to be considered.

Of course, one cannot trade off emphasis on a numeraire but it gives an idea of the historical context as well as how other "judges in the beauty pageant" are thinking, to paraphrase Keynes.

Six said...

They prefer "The Moron Institute"

Matthew Franko said...

Tom imo petroleum (monopoly rent) is in the gold price too...

Gold bottomed back in the late 90s with the oil... iirc oil went down to $10/bbl and gold might have went under $300...

So if you look at oil now at $40 (4x the late '90s price of $10) then 4 x that $300 late '90s price for gold puts it around 1200 where it about is..

Its that damn rent in the oil which is marked up in the high cost of all the other commodities which the production depends on it...

iow if by some miracle oil went back to $10 gold would probably go back down to $300...

Tom Hickey said...

Right. Gold was the numeraire in terms of which international trade was settled when it was a wash in traded goods. So there is a long history of gold as such.

Capitalism really begins with the expansion of credit and the advent of modern banking in Renaissance Italy. Initially, bank notes were backed by gold on deposit, which led to fractional reserve banking with a float.

Capitalism was based on finance capital. According to Schumpter and Keynes, "capital" is fundamentally finance capital as the basis for productive investment in capital goods, which don't arise from nowhere.

Coal, which fueled the steam engine, began as the energy numeraire. Oil replaced it with the advent of the internal combustion engine and steam turbines driven by bunker oil. Steam ships ceased to be coal-fired.

The rest is history and we have come a long way. But the fundamentals have remained constant enough to compare across time.

Tom Hickey said...

Here's a fun chart.
This 65-year beer vs gold price chart is the only one you need
Frik Els

Tom Hickey said...

Here's a fun chart.
This 65-year beer vs gold price chart is the only one you need
Frik Els

Matt Franko said...

Btw rig count creeping back up:


Steel and diesel waaay down in price....