Rust. I am full of rust, that's what it is. The squeaking and squealing and grinding as I try to bring this machine to life is grating to the nerves. The Tin Man needs some oil. On that note, I got the perverse urge to go have a rum and Coke and went out in the kitchen and made myself one. I don't know from where that urge came. I almost never have anything harder than wine when I am by myself. That's better. Why am I doing this OkStupid dating stuff? The answer is because it looks like the possibility of change, and perhaps I am growing tired of stasis. That's not a very good answer. I'm not going to get anywhere with that attitude. It reminds me of a cartoon I once saw: there's a guy in his house, standing by his front door. He's decked himself out in his raincoat and hat and boots and got his umbrella in his fist. Outside the window, rain is pouring down and lightning is flashing. His wife is looking at him. She says, "You're not going out in this kind of weather, are you?" He tells her, "Of course not; I'm going out and change into some other kind of weather." Is that what I'm doing, going out with the expectation of changing the weather, or is there some method to my madness?
This seems like a good topic to be contemplating on Columbus Day. Here we celebrate a guy who thought he was charting a new route to India and the spice trade. Instead, he found Central America, and gold. Maybe I should approach things in that spirit. I don't know. Dating made so much more sense when I was twenty and had all the answers. I really don't know what in the heck it is for which I am looking. Move. Squeak, grind, scrape, whine, groan. Push. Keep moving, the joints will loosen up as we go. That's what I tell myself. Maybe it's true.
So anyway, it was clouded-over this morning. I haven't seen a sky that looked so much as if it were trying to rain without raining, in a long time. The weather forecast says that it is a certainty that a large rainstorm is coming sometime today. It's been cool this summer and now this fall as well. I finally broke down this evening and turned the furnace on early this year.
My friend/co-worker, David, considers himself a leftish, New York-bred, intellectual. He's no dummy. Conversations with him do involve thinking on my part. He raises interesting points, which often require some thought-work to discuss intelligently. He tends to put far too much trust into things like The New York Times and NPR, from my perspective. We exchange views and dicker back and forth on economics frequently. He reads Paul Krugman in the Times. I've pointed out what the Austrian School thinks of Krugman and the unreconstructed Keynesianism he is selling. The Austrians were disowning the Nobel Prize committee way before Obama got that stupid prize because the committee gave Paul Krugman the prize in economics last year. The man is a vulgar slave of dead John Maynard Keynes. At any rate, this morning, David sends me an e-mail with just a link to Krugman's latest Times article on the web and the subject line: "Guaranteed to raise your hackles." True to advertising, Krugman was spouting his hard-money disdain and other foolish Keynesian balderdash and it caused me to go dig up Gary North's recent articles on Lew Rockwell explaining why Krugman and Keynes are wrong and essentially monetary theory idiots. I replied with the following to David:
Krugman is a joke, as is his religion, Keynesianism. He likes to pretend the 1970's never happened, when stagflation, concurrent high unemployment and high inflation, occurred — something which Keynesian economics absolutely denies is possible. The only reason Keynesian economics is touted and paid heed today is because it tells people that there is a way for politicians to "manage" the economy. This is something politicians are desperate to have people believe they can do, and something demonstrated over and over again as being false. The the big problem with Keynesian economics, and indeed, almost all of the major branches of economic thinking other than Austrian, is that they divorce monetary theory from all other economic law, as if it were some kind of magic that defies their own observations about the forces directing and influencing every other commodity and human action. Consequently, their science is irrationally bifurcated into a kind of physics analog of General vs. Special Relativity called Microeconomics vs. Macroeconomics. The physicists have a well-defended and easily explained reason for the bifurcation in their theory; the economists have only mysticism and other vague pronouncements. I'll see your Krugman and give you a nice sixteen-part [originally eight, edited to add subsequent articles — ed.] series by Gary North, just one of the Austrian Economists, explaining why the Austrians have the only integrated monetary theory and why that is important to economic understanding.
- "What Is Money? Part 1"
- "What Is Money? Part 2: Precious Metal Coinage"
- "What Is Money? Part 3: Schizophrenic Economists"
- "What Is Money? Part 4: Bait and Switch"
- "What Is Money? Part 5: Fractional Reserve Banking"
- "What Is Money? Part 6: Why Is Money Different?"
- "What Is Money? Part 7: Gresham's Law"
- "What Is Money? Part 8: Why Gold Has No Intrinsic Value"
- "What Is Money? Part 9: Monetary Reform"
- "What Is Money? Part 10: When Money Dies"
- "What Is Money? Part 11: The Great Default"
- "What Is Money? Part 12: Why Central Banking Persists"
- "What Is Money? Part 13: Exported Inflation"
- "What Is Money? Part 14: Money and Uncertainty"
- "What Is Money? Part 15: Hoarding, Old and New"
- "What Is Money? Part 16: Inflation and the Savior State"
- Bonus: "Refuting Keynes, Line By Line"
- Bonus: "Negative Interest Rates" (The loose bolt in Keynesian Economics)
The thing about David is that he will at least read some of the links and possibly apply some thought to them. It is either tragic or amusing to consider how many people don't pay economics any mind whatsoever and yet feel qualified to vote for idiots who propose to upend the entire economic order and restructure it for some nebulously defined pie in the sky. Ah well, it's coming down now, on our heads, unfortunately. We live in interesting times.