The Cantillon Effect or The Federal Reserve And Income Inequality

Have you ever heard of the Cantillon effect?

The Cantillon Effect:

Richard Cantillon first suggested in 1755 that money is not as neutral as we think. He argued that money injection—what we could consider inflationary policies—may not change an economy’s output over the long-term. However, the process of readjustment affects different sectors of the economy differently. This analysis, known as the Cantillon Effect, serves as the foundation for the non-neutrality of money theories.

In recent history, the Fed injected enormous amounts of bank credit/money into the country’s banks. The banks were the first receivers of this new “money”. In a nutshell this means that some groups receive the new money first and they take some action with it, which changes prices in some market or markets, and as a result other economic participants change their behavior. Here is the importance of understanding this:

The next two chapters explore two of the more controversial topics, from the mainstream perspective. The first, chapter eight, analyzes the impact of new money on income and wealth. It is shown here that there are winners and losers from new money. For example, the Fed’s monetary expansions tend to help the wealthy, banks, big corporations, and the financial industry more generally. Subsequently, as prices rise, the Fed’s policy hurts retirees, those on fixed incomes, and wage earners who receive the new money last, if at all. This is one reason why the Fed and most mainstream macroeconomists vigorously deny the existence and importance of Cantillon effects and adopt the assumption of neutral money. Tragically, they often get away with this ruse because the theft cannot be directly seen, except in the final result.

In a nutshell, the Fed’s monopoly (granted by your wonderful Congress) on “money” creation allows one group of people to plunder another group of people. Without the physical force behind our “law”, this group would be powerless to do this, because people could switch out of Fed “money” much more easily (also known as a bank run). The law should be preventing this plunder. Unfortunately, it does the opposite. It facilitates it.

Unlicensed Contractors Arrested in Florida

“HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL — Following the completion of a nine-month-long construction fraud sting, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has arrested 118 unlicensed contractors accused of performing more than $540,000 worth of work illegally.”

It is interesting that this story made no mention of any homeowners, who felt any of these individuals defrauded them. This is an example of thought policing. The state thinks it can prevent crime or poor workmanship using licensing. It is not true.

In a free market business could set up associations that build a reputation and then those that want the benefit of that reputation could become certified by those associations.

Here is a different take on this sting operation:

Occupational licensing, whether it’s of contractors or hair braiders, is often much more about protecting incumbent businesses and government licensing revenue than it is about safeguarding the welfare of consumers.

Operation House Hunters is a perfect illustration of this, with cops going to great lengths to manufacture licensing law violations that either wouldn’t have happened or wouldn’t have produced unsatisfied parties.

The more effort law enforcement spends entrapping handymen, the fewer personnel and resources they have to devote to deterring other, more serious crimes. “These sting operations rake in big money in fines and court costs,” Sammis says. “Catching real criminals actually committing a crime is much harder.”

Why Hate Fiat “Money”?

Some people ask why I am against fiat currency. My answer in the smallest nutshell possible is that it is theft.

Fiat currency divides the population into two classes. One class can create currency out of nothing and create “debt” and the other class must work to pay off that “debt”. The first class does not have to work – only create money. There is a Master/Slave relationship between the creators of “money” and the consumers of “money” or debtors.

I know that everyone is watching the stock “market” and thinking it is going up, so all is well. What is really happening is the purchasing power of USD (the garbage that you and I need to live) is going down. If its purchasing power goes low enough, all the USD you think you have stored up in the stock “market” won’t do much for you.

Mike Maloney explains this well in a video that you will find here. Fast forward to 11:05 and listen till 15:40. The part where he really lays into the Central Banks begins at 14:16.

Isn’t Secession the Civilized Way to Dissent?

A struggle has been going on in Virginia. Ostensibly it is a struggle between gun control advocates and second Amendment advocates. It may really be a struggle between rural areas and urban areas. The rural areas do not want the second Amendment abridged. The urban areas argue for abridging it. It seems to me that the urban areas really want/need a Constitutional amendment. There is an easier and more peaceful way – Secession:

As Mises noted, to force members of conflicting groups to live side by side within a single jurisdiction is problematic to say the least. It only encourages each side to become ever more fanatical in its drive to gain control of the machinery of government so as to oppress the other side. This is why Mises presented his plan as a means of avoiding violence: increasingly intense competition over centralized institutions of political power tends to lead to violence in the long term. The answer lies in decentralization and secession. Conversely, the potential for violence is minimzed by minimizing the state’s power. In the presence of a mostly laissez-faire government, neither side has much reason to worry about who controls the state. But the stakes climb ever higher as the state gains more power over peoples’ lives.

But “minimizing state power” certainly isn’t what is going on in Virginia right now. If anything, the state is moving very much in the opposite direction. In a prudent and flexible political system, those parts of the state dominated by the now out-of-power groups would be permitted to join themselves to regimes more in line with their cultures and ideological views. But we do not live in a prudent and flexible political system. We live in a system where the dictates of “democracy” are such that whichever group finds itself in the minority must submit to the elected ruling regime. “Or else.” No other option is permitted. This is a road that often leads to violence, either by private parties, or by the regime against the people.

It is too bad that we don’t have MOAR freedom.

Your Money and Your Education

There is a sort of interesting case heading toward the Supreme Court,
which involves a dispute about how tax money (your money) should be
spent. Here is an articled from Time:

Kendra Espinoza of Kalispell, Montana, the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case, said the state court decision amounts to discrimination against her religious freedom. “They did away with the entire program so that no one could use this money to send their kids to a religious school,” said Espinoza, whose two daughters attend the Stillwater Christian School in Kalispell, near Glacier National Park.

She said she could not afford to keep her daughters enrolled without financial aid from the school, where tuition this year is $7,735 for elementary and middle school and $8,620 for high school. But Espinoza said she has never received money from the scholarship program and only began the application process late last year.

For Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, the Montana program is part of a nationwide, conservative-backed campaign against public schools. “This is a ruse to siphon off money from public education,” Weingarten said. Teacher unions generally oppose school choice programs.

It looks like Mr. Weingarten is afraid of putting his educational
product into competition with another educational product and losing.

I know that Progressivism has taught everyone that publicly funded
education is somehow scientific and is therefore a better product, but is it really “scientific”? If the state funded product is really better, why are people forced to pay for it by the threat of “law” and why are they forced to send their children there by “law”? In my experience better products sell themselves.

The Trump Impeachment Charade is Not New

Politically motivated impeachments do not appear to be new. David Byrne said in “Once in a Lifetime”, “Same as it ever was”:

This is from Lew Rockwell’s site:

Andrew Johnson, a Tennessee Democrat, stood with the Republican Union of Abe Lincoln. Consequently, Lincoln chose Johnson as his Vice President in his 1864 reelection campaign. When Lincoln was assassinated, Johnson became president.

President Johnson took to heart Lincoln’s emphasis on restoring comity between North and South. Consequently, Johnson opposed the harsh, exploitative, and demeaning policies of the Republican Congress during Reconstruction. He didn’t see how the Union could be restored on the basis of dispossession of Southerners, rape of Southern women, and the infliction of general humiliation on a conquered people.

The fanatical Republican Congress, however, was set on punishment and humiliation of the South. By blocking some of the most extreme Reconstruction measures, Johnson aroused the same enmity against himself as the Republicans had toward the South.  A series of disputes between the President and the Republican Congress led to a resolution of impeachment drafted by the Congressional Joint Committee on Reconstruction.

The United States government routinely uses its money as an incentive for countries to behave a certain way. We know that Mr. Joe Biden threatened to withhold aid from the Ukraine, if they did not fire a prosecutor, who was investigating his son, and then he bragged that Ukraine fired him.

I think it is pretty clear the impeachment is just politics as it was when Mr. Johnson was impeached.

Who Controls All Our Money?

This video is good, but I question the accuracy of some of the quotes. The video is correct that “money” is “created” by commercial banks out of nothing, every time someone borrows “money” and if there was no debt, there would be no money. This tells us we will never be free of debt.

Was Virginia About Guns or Rural Versus Urban Populations?

Thank G_d that the Lobby Day in Virginia on Monday was peaceful. An article on Mises today suggests that what we saw may not be so much about the right to bear arms as a rural environment versus an urban environment, and the urban environment being able to out vote the rural environment.

This is from Mises:

“To a certain degree, the showdown in Virginia is really only superficially about guns. It also represents the valid anxiety that has arisen as the state’s rural population finds itself increasingly powerless in the face of rapidly expanding political power wielded by high-population centers.”

Politically urban environments will always have MOAR power than rural environments and each of those environments have different needs due to their differing population densities. In an urban environment a person may be able to trust his/her self-defense to the police because they are able to respond to a call faster. In a rural environment there may be a long time before anyone is able to respond to a call for help with an armed intruder and thus there is a real need to be armed for self-defense.

I think most people think about a democracy as a way to have some self-determination and it is not just about pooling the most money possible. The Civil War showed us otherwise, but ideally I think democracy should be about self-determination. If that is the case, perhaps government jurisdictions should be smaller and perhaps each one should be composed of like minded people – like birds of a feather, flock together. The downside might be the “news” would be less entertaining!

MOAR democracy!

Choose Your Starting Point

The Freedom to Choose Our Starting Point

This is largely based on Rabbi Chaim Goldberg’s course called Freedom to Choose….

Were We Created, or Did We Arise “Naturally”?

There is only one answer to this question. From within the world the arguments for either side are of equal strength. Infact the arguments for “Arising Naturally”, may be stronger because creating a universe out of nothing seems to violate the law of identity. “Nothing” cannot be equal to “something”.

Richard Dawkins argued that we arose “naturally”:

Clinton Richard Dawkins FRS FRSL (born 26 March 1941) is an English ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author. He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the University of Oxford’s Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 until 2008.

Dawkins wrote that The God Delusion contains four “consciousness-raising” messages:

  1. Atheists can be happy, balanced, moral, and intellectually fulfilled.
  2. Natural selection and similar scientific theories are superior to a “God hypothesis”-the illusion of intelligent design-in explaining the living world and the cosmos.
  3. Children should not be labelled by their parents’ religion. Terms like “Catholic child” or “Muslim child” should make people cringe.
  4. Atheists should be proud, not apologetic, because atheism is evidence of a healthy, independent mind.[4]

Mr. Dawkins also wrote this at the end of an article in The Guardian in support of having all children read the King James Bible:

Whatever else the Bible might be – and it really is a great work of literature – it is not a moral book and young people need to learn that important fact because they are very frequently told the opposite. The examples I have quoted are the tip of a very large and very nasty iceberg. Not a bad way to find out what’s in a book is to read it, so I say go to it. But does anybody, even Gove, seriously think they will?

Why Is The Answer to the Above Question Important?

Mr. Dawkins has “created” an interesting problem for himself. He obviously considers himself to be a “moral” being, but a being that arose from nature rather than being created cannot be “moral”. How could that be? A being that arose from nature is simply the product of invariable/immutable natural laws. It is the product of collisions of particles whose motions and collisions and the results of those motions and collisions are controlled by these invariable laws. Such a thing can have no will and its future was pre-determined by the natural laws and the collisions and motions of the particles. To be moral a being has to have free will in order to compare its behavior to a standard and to adjust its behavior to more closely fit that standard. Mr. Dawkins has condemned himself to determinism and thus has no hope of adjusting his behavior. He cannot be “moral”. However, he is free to choose the opposite answer to this question and then set himself free to be moral and responsible. Since he is not likely to concede G_d exists and created the world, I don’t foresee him taking responsibility for his choices.

Prophecy versus Philosophy

The Ramak proposed an allegory about four friends. Three of the friends saw their friend Reuven carrying a sack. Simeon said that Reuven was a young, strong guy, so if he was bent over, the sack must be very heavy and was perhaps filled with stones. Levi said it could not be filled with stones, but must be filled with diamonds because Reuven would not use such an ornate sack to carry stones. Judah said that whatever was in the sack must be worth more than diamonds, perhaps it was platinum. Reuven would not have so many armed guards just for diamonds.

The three friends are like the philosopher/scientists of today. They can get closer and closer to the reality of what is in the sack, but they can never know the absolute truth of what is in the sack like Reuven can. The prophets were able to connect to the Author’s truth and thus have “complete” knowledge of it.

The Qualitative Factors of Philosophy Versus Prophecy

From Rabbi Goldberg’s Course – Freedom to Choose …
Philosophy Prophecy
Qualitative Factor 1 Philosophy acts in the dark, looking for the truth (all the tools of understanding by humanity – the senses, imagination, and intellect – are not able to lead to absolute truth, like prophecy) Prophecy understands absolute and complete truth (based on external revelation of the Creator Himself)
Qualitative Factor 2 Philosophy asks questions and answers them within a closed world – the philosopher both asks the questions and gives his own replies as he sees fit. Its a closed world with a pessimistic ending (endless cycles or circles). Prophecy receives external support from the “other”, the Creator (just as it is impossible to exit a swamp without outside help…) Its an open world with an optimistic finale.

I take particular note of the second qualitative factor of philosophy – “the philosopher both asks the questions and gives his own replies as he sees fit”. This puts the philosopher (King) above the law and there really is no restraint on him/her.

Hebrew Sages Preserved the Memory of Prophecy

Israel was a nation that witnessed G_d at Mount Sinai. The Torah of Moshe attests to this. Not only that, but the mere existence of Israel today testifies to this fact. Israel has always been a small nation that has faced persecution at the hands of larger and more powerful nations. Yet, as the Torah predicted, they have survived.

Here is Moshe reminding the entire nation of Israel of what they saw at Mt. Sinai:

Shemot (Exodus) 19

16 And it came to pass on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of a horn exceeding loud; and all the people that were in the camp trembled.
17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.
18 Now mount Sinai was altogether on smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
19 And when the voice of the horn waxed louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice.
20 And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, to the top of the mount; and the LORD called Moses to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.

D’varim (Deuteronomy) 4

9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes saw, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life; but make them known unto thy children and thy children’s children;
10 the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me: ‘Assemble Me the people, and I will make them hear My words that they may learn to fear Me all the days that they live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.’
11 And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the heart of heaven, with darkness, cloud, and thick darkness.
12 And the LORD spoke unto you out of the midst of the fire; ye heard the voice of words, but ye saw no form; only a voice.
13 And He declared unto you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even the ten words; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone.

D’varim (Deuteronomy) 5

1 And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them: Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and observe to do them.
2 The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.
3 The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.
4 The LORD spoke with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire–

Maimonides or the Rambam, one the greatest men in Torah Scholarship said:

Israel did not believe in Moses, our teacher, on account of the miracles he performed. For when one’s faith is based on miracles, doubt remains in the mind that these miracles may have been done through the occult and witchcraft…

What then were the grounds of believing him? The revelation on Sinai which we saw with our own eyes, and heard with our own ears, not having to depend on the testimony of others… (Mishna Torah – Foundations of Torah 8:1)

As you can see the Nation of Israel was witness to G_d and is qualified to produce prophets of G_d. The direct connection to the Creator through the prophets of Israel ended 2400 years ago, but the memories of that prophecy have been preserved by the Hebrew Sages.

The Foundation of Morality

Picture using a flashlight on a sunny day. When you shine the flashlight you cannot see it in the sunlight. At night you can see it plainly. At night you can’t see without the flashlight. This is a metaphor for G_d (the sun) and us (the flashlight).

Another metaphor is when a person dies. The moment before death there was something there that filled and animated the person. The moment after the death whatever filled and animated the body disappeared.

The Torah or the Bible opens:

1 In the beginning of God’s creation of the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was astonishingly empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep, and the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the water. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw the light that it was good, and God separated between the light and between the darkness. 5 And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night, and it was evening and it was morning, one day.

In Hebrew it says (transliteration), “B’reishit bara elokim et hashamayim v’et haaretz.”

We are interested in the word “bara”, which is translated to “creation”. In Hebrew this word means “to fill”, “healthy”, “robust” (See Genesis 40:2). In Aramaic it means “separate”, “son”. So, the word “bara” has two meanings: 1) Fill, 2) separate or give an independent existence. At the very beginning G_d “withdrew” or made space and then He filled it with our world.

G_d had an independent existence and He had no needs, but He made space and then gave to “another” or us. When He created us, He made us in His “image”. The Hebrew word translated to “image” also can mean “shadow”. G_d freely gave to us, without any need to do so, and He made us to be similar to Him. Thus we are to emulate Him and give to others and it is from this that all morality arises.

© Copyright 2017 John D. Marks.
All rights reserved.
by John D. Marks