We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

“What you need to know about Ireland’s economic crisis is that it’s not about Ireland: a small country of slightly more than 4 million people and an economy of roughly $200 billion. It’s about Europe. For decades, Europe has pursued two great political projects. One is the democratic welfare state, designed to improve economic justice through various social safety nets. The other is European unity, symbolized by the creation in 1999 of a single currency — the euro — now used by 16 countries. The fact that both contributed to Ireland’s troubles suggests that Europe could be on the brink of a broader crisis.”

Robert Samuelson.
He’s a steady-as-she-goes, moderate voice of, well, good moderate sense. And he’s just said that the welfare state and the creation of the euro are going to tip Europe over a cliff. When Tory MPs said this a decade ago, they were called “swivel-eyed extremists”, and in Mrs Thatcher”s case, deemed to be insane.

16 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Jim

    I was once attracted to libertarianism, but you people are not libertarians you are truly evil. Right in front of our eyes we are witnessing the greatest theft of wealth in history. Governments and bankers have conspired to blow the largest property bubble the world has ever seen, via money printing and credit creation. Most ordinary people can’t even define inflation. The bankers are paying themselves billions a year, they have looted pension plans in Ireland and France in the last two days, but somehow it’s the fault of the welfare state.
    As I track the fraud that has gone off in the banking sector over the last ten years, a lot of this information being publicly available at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com and http://www.zerohedge.com, it utterly sickens me that completely unethical scum like yourselves can pretend to be libertarians.
    Essentially you are trying to argue that the people who receive money from the state are to blame, whilst the people who determine how much they get (ie, those who have the money and power) are not mentioned. If you really were libertarians you would write far more about the unethical frauds taking place, but you don’t, so you are just upper class guillotine fodder.

  • James Waterton

    Essentially you are trying to argue that the people who receive money from the state are to blame, whilst the people who determine how much they get (ie, those who have the money and power) are not mentioned.

    Are you sure you’re strictly following your prescription, Jim?

  • John Galt


    Essentially you are trying to argue that the people who receive money from the state are to blame, whilst the people who determine how much they get (ie, those who have the money and power) are not mentioned. If you really were libertarians you would write far more about the unethical frauds taking place, but you don’t, so you are just upper class guillotine fodder.

    Nope – Personally, I’d hang them all. However, for the purpose of “Teaching a Lesson to the Others” I am content to hold my anger against the politico’s and their fellow travellers in the liberal and left establishments. When the European Welfare states finally collapse, there will still be plenty of lamp posts and rope.

  • Allan Duff

    It is a slow day in a damp little Irish town. The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted. Times are
    tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit. On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving
    through the town, stops at the local hotel and lays a €100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to
    inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night. The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the
    visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the €100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher. The
    butcher takes the €100 note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer. The pig farmer takes the €100
    note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel. The guy at the Farmers’ Co-op takes the €100 note
    and runs to pay his drinks bill at the pub. The publican slips the money along to the local prostitute drinking at the
    bar, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer him “services” on credit. The hooker then rushes to the
    hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the €100 note. The hotel proprietor then places the €100 note
    back on the counter so the rich traveller will not suspect anything. At that moment the traveller comes down the
    stairs, picks up the €100 note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money, and leaves town. No one
    produced anything. No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now out of debt and looking to the future with a
    lot more optimism. And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how the bailout package works.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Jim, do you do TV as well?

    I was once attracted to libertarianism, but you people are not libertarians you are truly evil. Right in front of our eyes we are witnessing the greatest theft of wealth in history. Governments and bankers have conspired to blow the largest property bubble the world has ever seen, via money printing and credit creation. Most ordinary people can’t even define inflation. The bankers are paying themselves billions a year, they have looted pension plans in Ireland and France in the last two days, but somehow it’s the fault of the welfare state.

    Apart from the first sentence, I agree with everything you write; and we have, repeatedly, written about the disasters caused by central banks, fiat money, high spending; the welfar state, etc. So why are you claiming we are “evil”? Were you drunk when you wrote that? Can you actually read this site? Go and look at our archives, and click on stuff about banking and money, for heaven’s sake.

    “As I track the fraud that has gone off in the banking sector over the last ten years, a lot of this information being publicly available at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com and http://www.zerohedge.com, it utterly sickens me that completely unethical scum like yourselves can pretend to be libertarians.”

    Oh, now you have gone and hurt my feelings. Have you even bothered to read the articles we have done about, say, the rickety state of fractional reserve banking; the disaster of moral hazard caused by bailouts, the unintended consequences of government banking regs, etc?

    I am surprised you haven’t blamed the Jews. Bit of an oversight – those cunning bastards are at it again!

    Oh, and evil bankers blew up the WTC. You must have seen it on Wikileaks.

    (sarcasm)

  • Eric

    I was once attracted to the internet, but I found that too often people post long, crazy rants with no grounding in reality.

  • Simon Jester

    Jimbo, when spamming comment threads to boost your own sites’ traffic, it works better when your URLs are included as links rather than plain text.

    The site designers have even been kind enough to include a button to insert links for you, in case you can’t work out how to do it yourself.

  • John B

    Jim’s attack is unjustified and a bit strange.
    However, sometimes it does seem to me that the extent of crossover between the captains of banking and industry and the captains of state can be under rated. They are substantially the same people, I think.
    And definitely the 0.001(?) per cent super rich get richer while the medium rich to poor, 99.99 per cent get poorer.
    The goods and services are still there. Someone is enjoying them. In Brussels and elsewhere.
    Perhaps Jim doesn’t like your posh accents?

    Allan Duff. While the money made the merry go round, no new “stuff” actually entered the system. So the 100 pounds was worth less stuff when it landed back on the hotelier’s desk.
    The perpetual motion machine not being possible because of inherent friction (in this case goods and services consumption), if nothing else.
    Not sure what your take is because you do say it is how the bailout “works”.

  • Corsair

    Allen, I can see two hidden assumptions in your model of the bail-out:

    Firstly, all the creditors atre waiting for their money without charging interest: all it would take is for the butcher to charge the hotelier EU1 interest and the chain breaks.

    Secondly, the tourist doesn’t charge interest on his ‘loan’ either. If it picked up the EU100, and then said to the hotelier ‘give me another EU10′, then you would see that all the debts have not been paid and the hotelier is still in the hole.

    In the real world it costs money to borrow money.

  • The Pedant-General

    Allen,

    none of your people are in debt.
    Every single one of them has EUR100 Accounts payable and coincidentally EUR100 Accounts receivable. There’s no net debt anywhere.

    that’s why nothing has been produced and there’s apparently no debt afterwards. That’s only trivially true because there was actually genuinely no debt to begin with.

  • Jerry

    Thanks Pendant-General

    I KNEW there was a flaw in it somewhere but couldn’t see it.
    Everyone having their accounts payable and accounts receivable is the ‘trick’.
    Reminds me of a mathematical proof I have, ‘proving’ that 1 = 2.
    There is a flaw in it ( obviously ) as well but it’s difficult to find.

  • Jerry

    Oh, and as to the first comment –

    ‘the people who receive money from the state’

    State it correctly –

    ‘the people who receive money from the TAXPAYERS’

    Gov’ts have no real wealth EXCEPT what they take out of the pockets of their private citizens in the for of taxes.

  • Jim (but not the same one)

    A big thank you to the pendant general for explaining how that particular little debt payment circle doesn’t make sense. I knew it didn’t, like a perpetual motion machine, but couldn’t see the flaw.

  • PeterT

    Yes thanks Pedant General, Allan almost had me thinking bailouts were a good thing.

    There is no need for the merry go round example though. Banks ‘centrally clear’ debt. Imagine that all the people in the example borrow and lend to the same bank. It then becomes clearer that what a bailout actually does is steal money from the tax payers and use it to take duff investment projects off of the banks hands. I guess a bailout does not actually reduce wealth at an aggregate level, that has already happened it just spreads the cost over the tax payer base.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    I think our trouble is that people still confuse libertarianism with liberalism. Jim seems to be some kind of liberal, but not a classic liberal. Perhaps government-loving liberals should be labelled neo-liberals.

  • Paul Marks

    My first guess is that Jim is a troll – however I have been accused of being a bit harsh and intolerant in my judgements (in the same way that the ocean is a bit moist), so I will assume Jim is an honest (if wildy misinformed) person.

    Dear Jim.

    Libertarians are people who (among other things) OPPOSE the bailouts and other corporate welfare to the banks (and to enities that have declared themselves banks in order to get more money – such as Goldman Sachs and General Electric).

    We are NOT people who support such bailouts and other corporate welfare.

    I hope that clears things up.

    Yours Sincerely.

    Paul Marks.