Friday, January 31, 2014

Bitcoin predictions.

At some point in the not-so-distant future, a nation will issue its own crypto-currency that is exchangeable one-to-one with its ordinary currency.  If Bitcoin really does have transaction advantages beyond ordinary banking and credit cards, this more stable currency will share those advantages but also have a MUCH simpler exchange process into a real-world currency.

Why would a national crypto-currency be more stable?  In the old days, gold was considered most stable in value and its exchangeability with fiat currency made the fiat currency more stable.  Fiat money is considered more stable in value than crypto-currencies and can stabilize their values.

Once some smaller nation has established the first national crypto-currency, it will be obvious to the nations with dominant currencies (and the banks and the credit card companies and the rest of the financial industry) that they need to do the same thing to protect the demand for their currencies.

As national crypto-currencies develop, the value of Bitcoin will plummet.  Even the rumor of these currencies will make Bitcoin plummet.  National crypto-currencies will keep transactions traceable to prevent money laundering and other evasion of laws, leaving Bitcoin with primarily black market transactions.  At that point, Bitcoin will be regulated out of existence if not simply made illegal.

How could Bitcoin be eradicated by governments?  Very simple: use market mechanisms!  Set up a privateering system whereby Bitcoin usage that is caught results in confiscation, with the booty split between the government and the privateers.  Libertarians often like to talk about pirates as anarchist entrepreneurs that created complicated organizations without government, but they conveniently forget that government licensed pirates (privateers) were also very common.

[Update 2/4/2014]  The Paperless Economy: How governments can and should beat Bitcoin at its own game.   at Slate presents another good reason why governments such as the US might want to switch from paper to digital: to allow better control of interest rates and thus better control of the economy.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

What's new

Another 50+ entries this past month or so.

NEW 1/25/2014: Teaching Economics? Start with Key Contested Ideas [More...]
Many basic ideas in economics are highly contested: how decisions are made, value, what economics is, capital, money, how to measure the economy, different economic systems, institutions; policy and economists’ relationship with it. [more...]
NEW 1/25/2014: We Can’t Afford to Leave Inequality to the Economists [More...]
Justin Fox points out that economics isn't going to resolve the debate over the rising inequality in the U.S. and the world. "[...] these are areas in which economists possess no comparative advantage." [more...]
NEW 1/25/2014: Economics Should Not Tell Us What To Do
Economics is only a tool, fundamentally amoral. But there are many other inputs for our moral values. For example, there are conditions under which slavery makes economic sense, yet we should not choose slavery and instead could change the conditions. [more...]
NEW 1/23/2014: Ordoliberalism, Neoliberalism and Economics [More...]
"Ordoliberalism sees a vital role for the state, in ensuring that markets stay close to some notion of an ideal market. In particular, ordoliberals believe that without a strong government powerful private interests would undermine competition." [more...]
NEW 1/22/2014: I'm Changing My Mind About Bitcoin [More...]
Joe Weisenthal changes his opinion from "joke" to "unknown future". He points out that the current increase in value is due to Chinese money laundering or circumventing of capital controls: he cites Tyler Cowan as saying this could change radically due to crackdowns or liberalization. [more...]
NEW 1/22/2014: Fool's Gold [More...]
"Bitcoin is a fantasy [...] More than anything else, it resembles a Ponzi scheme -- and the wild claims made on its behalf reveal a great deal about a libertarian strain of thinking with deep roots in the American psyche." [more...]
NEW 1/22/2014: Bitcoin Is Broken [More...]
Two researchers at Cornell have published a paper describing an attack strategy called Selfish-mine that creates immediate higher profits, encouraging others to join in a pool, which eventually gives the pool control over the Bitcoin blockchain. [more...]
NEW 1/22/2014: Meet the New Kochs: The DeVos Clan's Plan to Defund the Left [More...]
"The DeVoses sit alongside the Kochs, the Bradleys, and the Coorses as founding families of the modern conservative movement. Since 1970, DeVos family members have invested at least $200 million in a host of right-wing causes—think tanks, media outlets, political committees, evangelical outfits, and a string of advocacy groups." [more...]
NEW 1/21/2014: A Geolibertarian FAQ [More...]
Geolibertarians are Georgists (single taxers), who believe that a tax on land is the only legitimate tax. Ordinary (right) libertarians have no coherent response to Georgist arguments. [more...]
NEW 1/21/2014: Alliance of the Libertarian Left [More...]
"The Alliance of the Libertarian Left is a multi-tendency coalition of mutualists, agorists, voluntaryists, geolibertarians, left-Rothbardians, green libertarians, dialectical anarchists, radical minarchists, and others on the libertarian left [...]" A large index of these anti-corporate-capitalist ideas. [more...]
NEW 1/21/2014: Uniting to Defend the Four Freedoms [More...]
Chip Berlet write about how the Four Freedoms his father fought for in WWII are essential to "what unites us as a nation concerned with democratic values. In doing so, we need to commit to a process that respects civil liberties, and civil rights, and civil discourse." [more...]
NEW 1/21/2014: Four Freedoms
Franklin Roosevelt's freedoms that we fought for in WWII. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. Freedom from want. Freedom from fear. Far superior to the libertarian idea ofeconomic freedom that benefits corporations and the rich. [more...]
NEW 1/21/2014: Freedom
Freedom has many interpretations. Libertarians want to enforce their idea of freedom, rather than engage in political negotiation for which freedoms we will enjoy. [more...]
NEW 1/20/2014: Eagle Scout. Idealist. Drug Trafficker. [More...]
The story of Ross Ulbricht (aka Dread Pirate Roberts) and Silk Road. What he did, how he was caught, his libertarian deep, and how bitcoin-based online marketplaces are traceable and often fraudulent. [more...]
NEW 1/20/2014: Unregulated Market
Also known as black market. In an unregulated market, you have the freedom to buy and sell whatever you want, no matter how noxious. Drugs, poisons, child prostitutes, slaves, beatings, torture, executions, military force, mass murder: all these are sold in unregulated markets. [more...]
NEW 1/20/2014: Ross Ulbricht aka Dread Pirate Roberts and Silk Road
Eagle Scout become libertarian become bitcoin drug dealer become buyer of murder. An example of how Bitcoin can not guarantee anonymity. As "Dread Pirate Roberts", he created the Silk Road unregulated market for drugs and other black market deals. [more...]
NEW 1/18/2014: Ten Examples of Welfare for Corporations and the Ultra-Rich [More...]
"If you want to look at the welfare for the rich and corporations, start with the federal Internal Revenue Code. That is the King James Bible of welfare for the rich and corporations. Special breaks in the tax code are the reason that there are thousands of lobbyists in the halls of Congress [...]" [more...]
NEW 1/17/2014: Dani Rodrik
Dani Rodrik is the Albert O. Hirschman Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Previously he was the Rafiq Hariri Professor of International Political Economy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He has published widely in international economics and globalization, economic growth and development, and political economy. [more...]
NEW 1/17/2014: Economics: Science, Craft, or Snake Oil? [More...]
Dani Rodrik laments that while economics has innumerable models, it has very few tools for deciding which model is appropriate. He also points out that simple answers, such as support of free trade, rely on long lists of preconditions which are seldom met. [more...]
NEW 1/17/2014: Casinos’ worrying knack for consumer manipulation [More...]
A number of examples of how various industries make it extremely difficult to know if you are getting a good deal and exploit addiction by design. Based on the book Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas by Natasha Schüll[more...]
NEW 1/16/2014: Consumers Are At A Disadvantage In Markets
Consumers are generally amateurs attempting to compete with professionals. The professionals use a wide variety of psychological tactics to maximize the money extracted by misdirection, hiding information, and fostering irrationality. Regulations can alleviate this problem. [more...]
NEW 1/14/2014: LINGO: Libertarian propaganda term BINGO. [More...]
Play LINGO while you listen to any libertarian ranter or read libertarian screeds, checking off the libertarian jargon as you go. You may want to shout "LINGO!" when you complete a row, column, or diagonal. [more...]
NEW 1/14/2014: 15 Months in Virtual Charter Hell: A Teacher's Tale [More...]
Virtual Charter Schools are the latest ALEC-sponsored attempt at undermining public schools through corporatization of education. They target communities of color or poverty which are dispossessed and disempowered. [more...]
NEW 1/13/2014: Social Democracy
Social democracy combines a universal welfare state and collective bargaining schemes with a capitalist economy. It usually refers to the highly successful social models and economic policies prominent in Western and Northern Europe, such as the Scandinavian nations. [more...]
NEW 1/13/2014: Matt Bruenig: The other move on property [More...]
If a libertarian admits property is based on involuntary coercive violence, they often seek to excuse it on the grounds that it is generally peaceful and we can live with it. But the same is true of taxation. [more...]
NEW 1/13/2014: Matt Bruenig: How the property is coercive violence move functions in the debate [More...]
Because property is based on involuntary coercive violence, libertarians who would oppose taxation on those grounds would have to oppose property on the same grounds.[more...]
NEW 1/13/2014: Property Is Coercive
Claims that government is coercive but markets are not overlook the coercion involved in property. [more...]
NEW 1/13/2014: No, we don’t spend $1 trillion on welfare each year [More...]
Mike Konczal refutes Cato Institute claims which overestimate spending by a factor of 4 and ignore the fact that poverty rate statistics are measures of what poverty would be without the spending, rather than after the spending. [more...]
NEW 1/13/2014: The Anti-Scientific Revolution in Macroeconomics
Paul Krugman reviews "the remarkable extent to which powerful groups, including a fair number of economists, have rejected intellectual progress [such as Keynesianism] because it disturbs their ideological preconceptions." [more...]
NEW 1/13/2014: Keynesian and Post-Keynesian Economics
Most libertarians oppose Keynesian arguments (such as insufficient demand causing recessions) because they conflict with their ideology. [more...]
NEW 1/10/2014: Why The Republican’s Old Divide-and-Conquer Strategy -- Setting Working Class Against the Poor -- Is Backfiring [More...]
As note and more of the working class becomes insecure and approaches poverty, the chances of uniting against the wealthy grow better. [more...]
NEW 1/10/2014: The War Over Poverty [More...]
Paul Krugman points out that the war on poverty has been a huge success with important long-term effects when you look at the data. And that "the problem of poverty has become part of the broader problem of rising income inequality, of an economy in which all the fruits of growth seem to go to a small elite, leaving everyone else behind." [more...]
NEW 1/09/2014: Human materialism as support for universal basic income [More...]
"if people are provided a universal basic income, they're still going to want to do sometimes unpleasant work in order to accumulate more than their neighbor. It also puts a dent in the myth that government largesse creates dependency. Fundamentally, people want to have more things even if it means pointless work." [more...]
NEW 1/06/2014: Economic Policy
Libertarian ideas for economic policy are generally either loopy or grossly harmful. [more...]
NEW 1/06/2014: Unemployment
Libertarians have no solution to unemployment beyond discredited trickle-down theories. [more...]
NEW 1/06/2014: Economists agree: Raising the minimum wage reduces poverty [More...]
Arin Dube has published a paper showing that even studies by opponents of minimum wage show large reductions in poverty as a result. [more...]
NEW 1/06/2014: That's what freedom is all about: taking your own risks. [More...]
Kent SnyderRon Paul's former campaign chairman, was young and uninsured. He died leaving $400,000 in hospital costs to his mother, who was incapable of paying. He fought for the "right" to inadequate care, placing burdens on charities, his social network and hospitals. [more...]
NEW 1/06/2014: Anthropology and Scientific Psychology
Libertarian ideology omits basic facts of anthropology, such as the fact that humans naturally engage in gift networks and sometimes barter, but that markets are unnatural to our psychology. Libertarian ideology also usually ignores scientific psychological findings in favor of pop psychology. Capitalist exploitation relies on this fact. [more...]
NEW 1/03/2014: Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Libertarian Extraordinaire [More...]
"Is anyone in the libertarian community willing to denounce Hans-Hermann Hoppe as not one of them, and call him the lunatic he clearly is? Or is he still going to get an invite to the next convention?" [more...]
NEW 1/03/2014: Sorry, John Stuart Mill Was Not a Libertarian [More...]
"For Mill, who gets what is a social decision. The only thing that causes anyone to ever have entitlement over pieces of the world are the laws and institutions of society. It is police violence in concert with legal rules that actually demarcate what belongs to whom, and there is no demanded-by-the-universe way of orienting those institutions." [more...]
NEW 1/03/2014: The endless struggle for ownership of “economic freedom” [More...]
"But just because the right-wing has strangely captured the phrase in the last few decades, that does not mean it should be conceded over to them. The idea that extreme laissez-faire capitalism can be described as economic freedom is a very new one historically, and one for which there are very convincing reasons to reject." [more...]
NEW 1/03/2014: John Locke
Essentially all libertarians rely on Lockean homesteading and cite him in the evolution of their thought. But he was not in any way libertarian. He insisted on regulation of markets, limitations of property rights and redistribution of wealth. [more...]
NEW 1/03/2014: Reclaiming John Locke from libertarians [More...]
"Locke does support the institution of private property ownership, but not in the absolute sense that libertarians do. He thinks that justice demands redistribution from the wealthy to the very needy and checks on the coercive power that property owners have." [more...]
NEW 1/03/2014: Workplace coercion and the capability approach [More...]
Procedural liberty fails because one person's liberty forcibly excludes others. Amartya Sen's Capability Approach is an alternative. [more...]
NEW 1/03/2014: One last, short note on redistribution -- I promise [More...]
A term that assumes that there is some original (or current) distribution that should be privileged. But since all distribution is socially determined and continually changing, it is really just a statement about dislike of change. [more...]
NEW 1/03/2014: Redistribution
A term that assumes that there is some original (or current) distribution that should be privileged. But since all distribution is socially determined and continually changing, it is really just a statement about dislike of change. [more...]
NEW 1/03/2014: What is limited government? [More...]
"What we are really seeing in references to limited government is our old cultural-ideological friend: the assumption that laissez-faire institutions are somehow natural, default, and don’t involve the government making intentional distributive decisions that require a great deal of resources to enforce." [more...]
NEW 1/03/2014: Limited Government (propaganda)
Libertarians mean limited to enforce their ideology. The real meaning of limited government is to create a stable, self-limited mechanism that performs the functions desired by the populace. [more...]
NEW 1/02/2014: Bodyguard of Zombies, Counterattack by Cockroaches [More...]
Paul Krugman points out: "Today's right wing never gives up on a politically convenient argument, no matter how thoroughly it may have been refuted by analysis and evidence. It may downplay that argument for a while -- though often even that doesn’t happen -- but it always comes back." It's true of libertarianism too. [more...]
So I invented a new law the other day [More...]
"In any discussion about libertarians, the comments by libertarians will invariably make the stupidity of libertarianism clear." A variant on Lewis’ Law[more...]
A Pick-Up Mini Internet Symposium: **More Than** Five Posts on BitCoin Triggered by a Question from Adrienne Jeffries of The Verge… [More...]
Tyler CowenNick RoweHal VarianBrad DeLongJohn Levine and Joe Weisenthal all discuss aspects of Bitcoin and its future. [more...]
How and why Bitcoin will plummet in price [More...]
Tyler Cowen makes a strong marginalist argument for why values of crypto currencies will plummet. Prices of currencies will be limited by marketing costs of potential competitors. "In short, we are still in a situation where supply-side arbitrage has not worked its way through the value of Bitcoin. And that is one reason -- among others -- why I expect the value of Bitcoin to fall -- a lot." [more...]
Obamacare makes takers out of the middle class [More...]
A "taker" concern troll complains that his dignity is offended because he chose to have lower-cost ACA coverage that is subsidized. Instead of keeping his old policy. And then claims that this is a disincentive to earn more (which would eliminate the subsidy, but also leave him with more money.) He gets reamed in comments. [more...]
Bitcoin, Magical Thinking, and Political Ideology [More...]
"Bitcoin has become synonymous with everything wrong with Silicon Valley: a marriage of dubious technology and questionable economics wrapped up in a crypto-libertarian political agenda that smacks of nerds-do-it-better paternalism." [more...]
The Greatest Investment Opportunity Since Dogecoin [More...]
A nice satire on the greed of bitcoin investors. [more...]
Daylight Atheism review of Atlas Shrugged [More...]
Adam Lee's page-by-page review and critique of Atlas Shrugged: 38 blog posts and counting in 2013. [more...]

Monday, January 06, 2014

Simple Critique Of BitCoin still holding up....

I've been updating

Simple critique of Bitcoin

with news as I encounter it.

I predicted a horde of imitation Bitcoins, and of course I was right.  Today I added a link to Coingen, which allows anybody to create any new coin they want for a very small fee.