Drifting Jelly

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Live drifting jellyfish from the Monterey Aquarium. What does this have to do with anything political/economic/philosophical? Absolutely nothing. It’s just totally neat and I wanted to make sure I could get to it whenever I wanted.

Inflation Definition And Why You Should Care About It

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11971488501372485334drunken duck balloon svg med Inflation Definition and Why You Should Care About ItSo what is inflation? Where does it come from? What does it actually do?

Whether it’s paper currency (fiat currency, that isn’t directly backed by anything of value), digital or even physical clams, it’s what we use for trading with other people when the economy is too big to do direct trades of I have what you want and you have what I want. It also allows us to store earnings for later spending or investment. If the clamshells are pretty enough, you can even wear them as is. Which, incidentally, works for Gold and Silver too, but that’s a topic for a different post.

So let’s set up a simple example. You have 100 people with an average of $100 each that have, on average, $95 worth of stuff (physical goods, services, etc) to sell. That works out pretty well. Everyone can pretty much get what they want with something left over for saving or investing in increased future productivity. But two of the people, let’s call them the Freds, realize that they can set up a printing press and get more money to spend without having to actually work for it or take it directly from the other 98. So off they go, and before you know it they’ve printed an additional $1000 worth of bills that you can’t tell from the original. Now they get to go on a buying spree.

Of course the amount of stuff available for sale hasn’t increased, or at least not by nearly as much as the money supply. Next thing you know people can’t get what they want because the Freds already bought it with all of their “extra” inflationary money. So the next time around, they realize if they want something they’re going to have to be willing to pay more for it. The prices start to go up. And up. Those who sell for more have more money to buy with though, so they’re not too bad off. Eventually it all settles out to where the prices and dollars available equal back out. Ah, but those Freds still have their printing presses.

Now, let’s look at something interesting. On first glance, it seems that it all comes out in the wash and nothing really changes. But that’s not what happens in reality because of the time it takes for that money to work it’s way through.  Who really benefits the most from the inflated money supply? The Freds, of course. They got to do their buying at the pre-inflation prices. The people they bought from (usually big business) get the extra money when the prices haven’t gone up nearly as much as they eventually will. The big losers? The average Joe that has to pay the inflated prices long before the extra money cycles through the economy enough times to get to him. So the poor get poorer and the rich get richer.

Isn’t it amazing what the Feds … I mean the Freds … can do with a couple of blocks of carved metal and some paper? Even easier now when most of it is digital bits on computers.

Polarizing Adjectives

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 did an experiment once and bought two newspapers from cities over 100 miles apart, one very left leaning and one very right leaning then looked at stories that they published from the wire, i.e from a national reporting agency and only edited for … [Continue reading]

Liberals Vs Religion

I just ran across one of the best calls for reaffirming the roots of liberalism with respect to religion that I've read in many a year. It talks both about things that really make me mad at a lot of liberals and yet find myself falling into on … [Continue reading]

Civil Forfeiture – Arresting Your Money (or House Or Car Or …)

I Demand Your Money

Civil forfeiture, or civil asset forfeiture, is a legal action where your property is arrested and seized even if you aren't. Get stopped on your way to buying a used car and having a couple of thousand dollars in cash on you? The cop can take the … [Continue reading]

Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That E-Cigarette

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I admit it. I smoked for over 30 years. I enjoyed it. I knew it wasn't good for me, but I did it anyway. I had no idea how bad they smelled, having been around it my whole life. I finally quit. How? I don't really know why that time worked and the … [Continue reading]

Voting For David Patterson In The Kentucky Senatorial Race

Politix finally got around to asking on the KY Senatorial race. Check it out here: http://politix.topix.com/debate/13430-who-do-you-favor-in-the-kentucky-senate-race … [Continue reading]

In A State Of Nature

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John Locke was one of the most influential political philosophers that the Founders drew from. In particular, his Second Treatise On Government. His starting place was from what he called being in a "State of Nature." Here's my short form take on … [Continue reading]

Things Worth Checking Out, 7-5-14

Big Check

Hilarious column from Reason taking a very tongue-in-cheek approach to outlawing volunteerism. http://reason.com/archives/2014/05/26/a-modest-proposal-to-ban-volunteering And another on the ExIm (Export-Import Bank) authorization. It’s about as … [Continue reading]

Rights And The Declaration Of Independence

Declaration of Independence

Sorry for not being here lately. Sometimes earning money to pay the bills has to take precedence. This is an expanded version of a comment I made on PBS at (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/finding-empowerment-words-founding-fathers/). Fascinating … [Continue reading]