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Sunday, March 31, 2013

OTP: April 2013: Daily Caller: Baseball and the GOP: To rebrand the party, think like a sports fan

This week’s GOP autopsy report, commissioned by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, is a great start in the much-needed task of rebranding the Republican Party. As the chairman acknowledged, “the way we communicate our principles isn’t resonating widely enough” and “we have to be more inclusive.” The report contains 219 recommendations to “connect people to our principles.” To achieve that goal, the party will need a strategic vision of how voters think about politics, which is something that the report lacks. For that, the GOP can learn a lot from another American passion: baseball.

This year, about 75 million Americans will go to the baseball stadium to watch a ballgame, about the same number as those who will vote in next year’s election. We rarely think about why someone becomes a baseball fan, or why they root for a certain team. Nor do we usually think about why someone chooses to vote for a certain political party. But it’s actually a very useful exercise.

When it comes to baseball, fan loyalty has almost nothing to do with the brain, and almost everything to do with the heart. In all of history, there’s never been a baseball fan who rooted for his team because it had the lowest ticket prices, or because it had the most taxpayer-friendly stadium deal, or because its players did the most community service. For the vast majority of Americans, rooting for a baseball team — not to mention, voting for a political party — isn’t really a rational choice; it’s more of a statement of personal identity — a statement telling the world, “This is who I am.” And for most people, defining “who I am” starts with family and community, before branching out into areas like race, age, gender, and class.

Family is pretty straightforward. If your mom and dad are Yankee fans, you’re almost certainly a Yankee fan. The same is true in politics. If your mom and dad are Republicans, you’re almost certainly a Republican.

Community is also pretty straightforward. If you grew up in, say, Philadelphia, chances are pretty great you’re a Phillies fan. Likewise, someone who grew up in Republican territory like, say, suburban Dallas or rural Indiana is much more likely to become a Republican than a nearly identical person from Seattle or Santa Fe.

Cities with more than one baseball team, like New York or Chicago, show revealing breakdowns by race and gender. The racial split in Chicago between Cubs fans on the North Side and White Sox fans on the South Side is well-documented. In New York, there’s an intriguing gender gap between Mets and Yankee fans, with women gravitating a lot more to the Yanks. While there’s a few theories out there trying to explain that, one obvious answer leaps out: Yankees heartthrob Derek Jeter.

In sports, as in politics, people’s convictions can’t be conveniently reduced to who their parents are or what they look like. But those things are an important foundation, upon which more rational sentiments come into being. Once you’re attached to your team on an emotional level — seeing them as a personal reflection of who you are and what you care about most — a rational exterior comes into being through phrases like “the Red Sox are the best team because they have the most heart” or “the Republicans are the best party because they know how to create jobs.”

Tripon Posted: March 31, 2013 at 10:52 AM | 6544 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   2701. Jay Z Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:19 PM (#4415811)
flip
   2702. Morty Causa Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4415814)
"gold is the original gold standard."

Kind of like "Cy Young is the original Cy Young standard."

Before Elvis, there was nothing.
   2703. Jay Z Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4415822)
At this point, yes I consider traditional property friendly libertarianism hypocritical.

Property requires governmental enforcement which is just another gun pointed at someone else.

The Rays of the world fail to understand why someone else should care that they made something if the industriousness doesn't benefit the other party. Should rabbits be happy if Ray grows a garden and secures it with an efficient, effective fence? That's one less acre the rabbits have to find their meals. They're worse off. Why would they agree that Ray can have his secured garden if they had any say in the matter. And yet Ray is definitely better off securing his garden so he can reduce negotiating leverage of other parties.

This is one instance of many where someone's labor or industriousness is win-lose, not win-win. When it's win-lose, why should other beings be agreeable?
   2704. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4415824)
....then making change is going to be a beeyotch.

You do realize silver and gold are very malleable and ductile and can be formed into quite small coins? And, this was the norm for most of history.

A one-ounce silver US Eagle is worth about $24 today.
   2705. zonk Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4415827)
Andy, there is a growing sentiment that China is hoarding gold in order to launch a gold-backed Yuan/Renminbi as a new world reserve currency in the very near future. At that point, you could exchange gold for Yuan and then buy whatever you want, as you could with US dollars prior to 1971.


That won't work until/unless China stops dabbling in capitalism and ditches the tight state control -- "gold-backed" is meaningless is the currency is not traded in a truly open bond market, and China gives up a fair bit of import/export manipulation by going that route.

China isn't going to single-handedly resurrect Bretton Woods by just hoarding enough gold to back the Yuan at the price they artificially set... They'd essentially need to accept an almost complete full-stop to what has been for them, a very valuable economic lever not available to currencies pegged against the market. I mean, hey -- if China wants to go the full capitalism, bully for them... but there's a lot more to being the world reserve currency than having piles of gold.

In fact -- if I'm not mistaken -- at recent G8 events, China has actually been siding with the nations who want an international currency as the baseline rather elevating their own currency to the pseudo-status of 'world reserve'.... and why wouldn't they? Set aside the theorists - and look at it from a practical perspective, it's a very valuable tool for a state-run economy to be able to float its currency as policy and needs see fit.

   2706. Swoboda is freedom Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4415828)
Before Elvis, there was nothing.

What was great before sliced bread?
   2707. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4415830)
At this point, yes I consider traditional property friendly libertarianism hypocritical.

Property requires governmental enforcement which is just another gun pointed at someone else.


People enforced their property rights privately long before the emergence of government enforcement, or in the absence of government.

Heck, the whole system of Feudalism was built on private protection of property.
   2708. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:30 PM (#4415834)
Property requires governmental enforcement


Clearly wrong, as protection of illegal drugs being sold on the black market shows. It's just that government provides a reasonable structure of enforcing property rights, since, as we see from the black market, without a court system property is protected via force and threat of force.

which is just another gun pointed at someone else.


No again. Taxes are "your money or your liberty." Property rights are simply "I'm not asking you to give me anything; but this is mine not yours."
   2709. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4415839)
Clearly wrong, as protection of illegal drugs being sold on the black market shows. It's just that government provides a reasonable structure of enforcing property rights, since, as we see from the black market, without a court system property is protected via force and threat of force.

All of organized crime is basically protection for people who can't go to the cops.
   2710. Lassus Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:38 PM (#4415850)
All of organized crime is basically protection for people who can't go to the cops.

This one again. The noble thieves.
   2711. zonk Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4415851)

You do realize silver and gold are very malleable and ductile and can be formed into quite small coins? And, this was the norm for most of history.

A one-ounce silver US Eagle is worth about $24 today.


Sure - but it's not a realistic model for the billions across the planet or even millions here in the US.... I often go months without handling currency of any sort -- my paycheck is direct deposited, I do an electronic transfer to pay my rent, every other bill is auto-debited, and I use my debit card for day to day expenses.

Once all that starts happening in chunks of metal -- forget it, all bets are off... Having a stockpile of gold isn't going to do much good -- instead, I'll be honing my poaching, marauding, scavenging, etc skills... and if I need 'gold', I'll just take someone else's.
   2712. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4415854)
Before Elvis, there was nothing.


What was great before sliced bread?

And where would peanut butter and bananas be without it?
   2713. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4415855)
Once all that starts happening in chunks of metal -- forget it, all bets are off... Having a stockpile of gold isn't going to do much good -- instead, I'll be honing my poaching, marauding, scavenging, etc skills... and if I need 'gold', I'll just take someone else's.

Why would it have to? All those electronic transfers could just be denominated in gold.
   2714. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4415857)
Isn't that the definition of fiat currency?
(holds raised pointer finger over mouth, whispers)
I want to hear where this is going ... and what will be served at the CIA cafeteria next week.
   2715. spike Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4415858)
....then making change is going to be a beeyotch.

You do realize silver and gold are very malleable and ductile and can be formed into quite small coins? And, this was the norm for most of history.

You do realize that these fell from favor for reasons that exist today, right? Outright forgery, labelled versus actual content, non-stable relative value of silver and gold, etc. etc. Do you think society will endure with all it's members carrying around a minerals testing kit and scales in their pocket every day?
   2716. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4415862)
Once all that starts happening in chunks of metal -- forget it, all bets are off... Having a stockpile of gold isn't going to do much good -- instead, I'll be honing my poaching, marauding, scavenging, etc skills... and if I need 'gold', I'll just take someone else's.

This.

Why would it have to? All those electronic transfers could just be denominated in gold.


And also, do you seriously think that the guys hoarding gold don't have more guns than you?
   2717. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:46 PM (#4415867)
China has actually been siding with the nations who want an international currency as the baseline rather elevating their own currency to the pseudo-status of 'world reserve'


I'm sure China would love that - they don't love control any more than the US, they're just honest enough to admit it. Maybe their thinking is that their gold reserves will put them in a position to usurp the US as point man in any kind of new one world government.

   2718. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:46 PM (#4415868)
You do realize that these fell from favor for reasons that exist today, right? Outright forgery, labelled versus actual content, non-stable relative value of silver and gold, etc. etc. Do you think society will endure with all it's members carrying around a minerals testing kit and scales in their pocket every day?

You would quickly get large institutions creating currency backed by bullion. Have you never heard of Silver Certificates and Gold Certificates? They used to circulate regularly in the US.

Hell the NY Fed (whoever controls it) could quickly create an alternative currency backed by the gold in its vaults. Likewise, whoever controls Fort Knox.

Private bank "notes" were used as currency as far back as the Middle Ages. There's no inherent reason why currency must be a government creation.
   2719. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4415873)
If everyone wants bullion to use as currency, its value in terms of real goods goes way up.

And if everyone doesn't feel like doing that? Or if only a tiny percentage of the world can afford to buy it? What then?

---------------------------------------------------------------

what are these gold hoarders going to trade it for?

Other stuff. What else? (*)

In Weimer Germany, things got to the point where fiat currencies couldn't be traded for other stuff. At that point, it's either barter -- i.e. trading stuff for stuff -- or come up with something else everyone agrees has value and can be used as a medium of exchange. Gold fits that criteria perfectly.


Until it doesn't. And that's my point. Without a universally agreed upon faith (because that's all it really is) that those who control it will maintain its value at a stable rate, gold is little more than just another metal.
   2720. Morty Causa Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4415876)
Before Elvis, there was nothing.


What was great before sliced bread?

And where would peanut butter and bananas be without it?

Let them eat cake.
   2721. tfbg9 Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4415878)
All of organized crime is basically protection for people who can't go to the cops.

This one again. The noble thieves.


I didn't read snapper's post as being in any way supportive of organized criminals.

Isn't snapper merely saying that _because_ of the fact that what they're engaging in is viewed by the overwhelming majority of citizens as morally wrong,
the only way they can effectively protect their turf is by the organizing of, the coordinating of, illegitimate threats/acts of violence?
   2722. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:52 PM (#4415880)
I didn't read snapper's post as being in any way supportive of organized criminals.

Isn't snapper saying that _because_ of the fact that what they're engaging in is viewed by the overwhelming majority of citizens as morally wrong,
the only way they can effectively protect their turf is by the organizing of, the coordinating of, illegitimate threats/acts of violence?


Correct.
   2723. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:52 PM (#4415881)
And also, do you seriously think that the guys hoarding gold don't have more guns than you?

And the Beijing - Vatican axis will compete with the cockroaches to rule the world.
   2724. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:52 PM (#4415882)
Or if only a tiny percentage of the world can afford to buy it? What then?

Buy what? How do people "buy" paper money?

Without a universally agreed upon faith (because that's all it really is) that those who control it will maintain its value at a stable rate, gold is little more than just another metal.

That faith is all that backs paper money. Until it doesn't, as in Weimar Germany.

   2725. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:53 PM (#4415883)
And if everyone doesn't feel like doing that? Or if only a tiny percentage of the world can afford to buy it? What then?


Then they need to resort to the less efficient barter system. People will agree on a currency, and precious metal is a better currency that most.
   2726. zonk Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:56 PM (#4415886)
This.

Why would it have to? All those electronic transfers could just be denominated in gold.


So we have fiat plastic instead? Just because we call it 'gold' rather than 'dollars' means the entire system of digital transfers can survive? I thought the whole beauty of gold was that it's "real" not a fiat... How do I 'trust' my employer transferred the proper physical gold to my bank... How does my bank? How does my landlord?


And also, do you seriously think that the guys hoarding gold don't have more guns than you?


I didn't say I'd be breaking into bunkers... but gold isn't light, so I figure that when said hoarder figures out the gold cannot be eaten -- or at least, its nutritional value is much lower than its... market value... said hoarder is going to be weighed down carrying both his sack of gold and his extensive arsenal when he's out and about to acquire the goods he needs. In such an instance, I'll have the advantage just by virtue of not having this heavy sack of metal.

He has guards, you say? I assume he pays them in gold... in our new mad max world, I suspect it won't be too hard to find one that might consider it more profitable to just help me take all the gold rather than be satisfied with getting a krugerrand a month or whatever.

At some point, my growing band of marauders socialistically sharing our combined hoard of gold will then become powerful and numerous enough that we'll develop some juice within the community.

We will then pose a question: Wasn't all of this easier back when we were dealing with 'fiat currency'? Don't you miss watching Dancing with the Stars or sticking a small piece of plastic into a machine and getting paper that could be exchanged for chips of the same denomination and splitting aces and eights?

...and we'll be back where we started, having only wasted a few generations and a few million lives living out this fantasy of a 'simpler times'.
   2727. zonk Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:59 PM (#4415891)
That faith is all that backs paper money. Until it doesn't, as in Weimar Germany.


So whenever we finally get out of Afghanistan, we just don't agree to onerous reparations, give up the ruhr valley to foreign occupation, and we'll be fine?
   2728. ASmitty Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4415894)
So we have fiat plastic instead? Just because we call it 'gold' rather than 'dollars' means the entire system of digital transfers can survive? I thought the whole beauty of gold was that it's "real" not a fiat... How do I 'trust' my employer transferred the proper physical gold to my bank... How does my bank? How does my landlord?


Gold backed currency is nothing new. The objections to it's feasibility are disproven by history; the gold standard isn't exactly ancient history.

Economies didn't go off of backed currency because it was infeasible. They did it because they wanted to be able to (rightly or wrongly) control the volume of money.

That's what separates backed currency from fiat currency. The Fed can (rightly or wrongly) press a key and create billions of dollars out of thin air. If the currency is backed, then they can't.
   2729. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4415895)
I thought the whole beauty of gold was that it's "real" not a fiat...

The "beauty" of gold is that if the paper can be swapped into gold at a set rate, the paper can't be inflated away. The money supply -- and thus inflation -- is tied to gold and gold's a lot tougher to manufacture than paper (electrons, really).
   2730. spike Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4415898)
You would quickly get large institutions creating currency backed by bullion.

And which private institutions do you know of that you trust enough to use their paper currency? Will they have a series of branches that you can quickly convert your paper into bullion?


Have you never heard of Silver Certificates and Gold Certificates? They used to circulate regularly in the US.

And were functionally just another form of fiat currency barring the ability to easily and fairly instantly convert them into the commodity. Where do you easily go to turn in your certificates for actual gold or silver? Without it you are back to simply having faith that the issuer will make good on it - just like fiat currency.


Private bank "notes" were used as currency as far back as the Middle Ages. There's no inherent reason why currency must be a government creation.

And were subject to the same forms of fraud and conversion I mentioned before, which is why nobody uses them these days.
   2731. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4415899)
gold is little more than just another metal.


Why can't people get this? The reason gold has always been in demand is because it is inherently rare, by virtue of its position in the periodic table. It is rare throughout the universe. There's a reason that coins made of iron or tin never caught on.
   2732. spike Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:06 PM (#4415901)
That's what separates backed currency from fiat currency. The Fed can (rightly or wrongly) press a key and create billions of dollars out of thin air. If the currency is backed, then they can't.

Or rather you have faith that they won't
   2733. Lassus Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:07 PM (#4415902)
The Fed can (rightly or wrongly) press a key and create billions of dollars out of thin air. If the currency is backed, then they can't.

I'm certainly not sure how they would, but something tells me they'd be able to find a way if they felt they had to.

Coke to Fonzie's cousin.
   2734. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:08 PM (#4415905)
And which private institutions do you know of that you trust enough to use their paper currency? Will they have a series of branches that you can quickly convert your paper into bullion?

The Federal Reserves Banks? Yes, they'd have to offer ready convertibility.

And were functionally just another form of fiat currency barring the ability to easily and fairly instantly convert them into the commodity. Where do you easily go to turn in your certificates for actual gold or silver? Without it you are back to simply having faith that the issuer will make good on it - just like fiat currency.

The conversion is critical. It means the issuer can't inflate away the value of the currency, b/c any sign of increase in the paper money supply will cause a run on the bank.
   2735. Morty Causa Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:08 PM (#4415906)
There will be government!

If there is to be society, there will have to be an apparatus to issues where there are interests, and differing interests, which means everywhere. Either explicitly or implicitly--but it's there. That's government. Whether it's a tribal council or a Mafia setup. The real point is where will that overweening force effect and who gets a say in setting it up and seeing that it works. Try to get out of the categorical box you're trapped in. It's a deficit concept leading to outworn creeds.
   2736. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:10 PM (#4415909)
#2728 - A-1.

The Fed went off the gold standard so it could create more dollars out of thin air and lend them into circulation under the burden of interest, with no hard reserve constraints. Whether or not people agree that their motive was to transfer money from the payers of interest (us) to the collectors of interest (them) or not, I hope you can all see that that has been the consequence.

Edited a typo
   2737. ASmitty Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:11 PM (#4415910)
I'm certainly not sure how they would, but something tells me they'd be able to find a way if they felt they had to


Yes...by going to fiat money, which is what they did.

Which is great if you believe that having a central bank with control over the money supply is a good thing, and many people do. It's a disaster if you believe that having a central bank with control over the money supply is a disaster, which some people do.

The US sdidn't go off the gold standard to stop fraud or make transactions easier; fraud still goes on and transactions are just as easy. They did it to control the money supply.
   2738. spike Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:11 PM (#4415912)
It means the issuer can't inflate away the value of the currency, b/c any sign of increase in the paper money supply will cause a run on the bank.

And how exactly are you expecting to keep tabs on this?
   2739. Pingu Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:13 PM (#4415917)
zonk's #2726 gave me a chuckle. Surely needed on a dark day.

The gold standard? Really? Time to tune out.
   2740. ASmitty Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4415921)
That's what separates backed currency from fiat currency. The Fed can (rightly or wrongly) press a key and create billions of dollars out of thin air. If the currency is backed, then they can't.

Or rather you have faith that they won't


This is true, but trivially so. If the central bank wants to be able to control the money supply, they'd be better off going to fiat money (which is what they did) rather than commiting illicit fraud under a backed currency system.

Of course, I'm not framing this discussion in terms of some sort of anarchic apocolypse. I'm talking about simply a change to the currency. I'm neither an anarchist nor a gold bug.
   2741. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:16 PM (#4415923)
- 2732 $ 2733

They could, but when there is a set value in dollars for an ounce of gold, they would be knowingly exposing themselves to a massive short position. Backing a currency with a finite asset like gold is a very practical way to keep government spending in check. The value of an ounce of gold in dollars doesn't float under a gold standard, that's why its called a standard.
   2742. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:16 PM (#4415924)
And how exactly are you expecting to keep tabs on this?

Presumably the same way the money supply is tracked today. Speculators will also have great incentive to track it, b/c if they find inflation happeneing, they can make a killing being the first to convert. This system (gold standard) existed for hundred of years; it's not an unproven thing.

Edit: I'm not saying that a gold standard is better than our current system. I'm just saying it can work.
   2743. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:16 PM (#4415926)
And how exactly are you expecting to keep tabs on this?

Same way people keep track of the hard good value of money today. If I go to the store tomorrow and a 4-pack of Boddington's is suddenly $60, it's probably a good guess that too many dollars are being printed.
   2744. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:17 PM (#4415928)
And were functionally just another form of fiat currency barring the ability to easily and fairly instantly convert them into the commodity. Where do you easily go to turn in your certificates for actual gold or silver? Without it you are back to simply having faith that the issuer will make good on it - just like fiat currency.

The value in the gold certificates is in the fact that the amount of money in circulation is pegged to the amount of gold. You wouldn't be able to create more certificates than actual gold. Whereas right now central banks can just print additional money. I don't think this is a very sensible system in a world where the value of goods and services produced increases more quickly than we mine gold (which I'm presuming it does) but that's the supposed benefit.

Why can't people get this? The reason gold has always been in demand is because it is inherently rare, by virtue of its position in the periodic table. It is rare throughout the universe. There's a reason that coins made of iron or tin never caught on.

Gold also is a very stable element (i.e. it doesn't rust in air/water).

Separately, these reporters/networks are gigantic ass holes. Once it was clear his English wasn't good enough to understand the questions being asked, they should not have posted the interview online.
   2745. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:25 PM (#4415943)
4-pack of Boddington's is suddenly $60


Speaking of which, and not that I drink it, but 12 cans of Coors Light is now $23.49 in my wonderful province....
   2746. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:25 PM (#4415944)
No again. Taxes are "your money or your liberty." Property rights are simply "I'm not asking you to give me anything; but this is mine not yours."


So if a pond has been used by all in common for hundreds of years, then somebody in the village decides "I own this pond" and chases off anyone who attempts to use the water without permission at spearpoint, which category does it fall into?
   2747. ASmitty Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4415949)
Speaking of which, and not that I drink it, but 12 cans of Coors Light is now $23.49 in my wonderful province....


??!!

It better have been hand delivered by Burt Reynolds and the corpse of Jerry Reed.
   2748. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:31 PM (#4415954)

Why can't people get this? The reason gold has always been in demand is because it is inherently rare, by virtue of its position in the periodic table. It is rare throughout the universe. There's a reason that coins made of iron or tin never caught on.


The rarity, density, and durability of gold make it a better commodity to use a medium of currency than most other commodities, but that's like being the tallest dwarf. It still shares all of the downsides of commodity-based currency.

A great example of the volatility of commodity markets is the pilgrimage of Mansa Musa, king of Mali, to Mecca in the 14th century. He brought with him literally tens of thousands of pounds of gold (gold was plentiful in west Africa). When he arrived in the Near East, the effect of the influx of all of this gold was to create massive inflation that lasted for the better part of a decade. Total disaster was only averted when a bunch of merchants in Cairo got Musa to agree to borrow back much of the gold that he was spending, and pay off that debt in small installments over the next few decades to limit the influx of gold into the area. Shades of early central banking!

Any time one man has the ability to completely unhinge your economy you have a problem.
   2749. ASmitty Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4415956)
Any time one man has the ability to completely unhinge your economy you have a problem.


Ben Bernanke?

(I kid. Sort of.)
   2750. Ron J2 Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:38 PM (#4415958)
A while back we discussed Canada's immigration/investment program.

From the FAQ:

What is the minimum investment that I would need to apply for a start-up visa?

You must secure a minimum investment of $200,000 if the investment comes from a designated Canadian venture capital fund.

You must secure a minimum investment of $75,000 if the investment comes from a designated Canadian angel investor group.
   2751. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4415960)
The rarity, density, and durability of gold make it a better commodity to use a medium of currency than most other commodities, but that's like being the tallest dwarf. It still shares all of the downsides of commodity-based currency.

A great example of the volatility of commodity markets is the pilgrimage of Mansa Musa, king of Mali, to Mecca in the 14th century. He brought with him literally tens of thousands of pounds of gold (gold was plentiful in west Africa). When he arrived in the Near East, the effect of the influx of all of this gold was to create massive inflation that lasted for the better part of a decade. Total disaster was only averted when a bunch of merchants in Cairo got Musa to agree to borrow back much of the gold that he was spending, and pay off that debt in small installments over the next few decades to limit the influx of gold into the area. Shades of early central banking!

Any time one man has the ability to completely unhinge your economy you have a problem.


That one example isn't much of a case. There's no more undiscovered kings with hoards of gold.

The real problem of commodity currencies are the fact that money supply doesn't keep up with demand if the economy grows.

There was a major depression in the 1880's b/c the constrained money supply led to deflation, which is ruinous for borrowers. The situation wasn't fully resolved until the big gold discoveries of the 1890s (Alaska, South Africa, Australia) led to a steady increase in global money supply.
   2752. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:50 PM (#4415968)
We're breaking:

American Airlines has a system-wide ground delay until 5 p.m. ET, according to the airline's Twitter account.
   2753. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:54 PM (#4415973)
Love how the Daily News bends over backwards to avoid calling him a "suspect" and ends up writing something that makes utterly no sense:

PICTURED: Saudi national questioned by police in hospital is a 'key witness, NOT a suspect' in Boston Marathon terrorist attacks it is claimed as investigators search every inch of his apartment


Yes, because "key witnesses, NOT suspects" usually have every inch of their apartments searched.
   2754. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:59 PM (#4415975)
I read the Saudi volunteered to have his apartment searched. Like a gesture of, "I've got nothing to hide - go search my place."
   2755. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:01 PM (#4415979)
Ray, give it up - the Saudi d00d isn't who you want him to be and the NY Post was flat-####, buck-naked wrong.
   2756. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:05 PM (#4415985)
Ray, give it up - the Saudi d00d isn't who you want him to be and the NY Post was flat-####, buck-naked wrong.


I don't "want him to be" anything, or care. I never made any guesses as to who is responsible. I'm explaining to you why you don't understand the issues involved, and why newspapers and police are using words in a manner that is different from their plain meaning.

Take the term "person of interest," for example, which the police often label someone rather than labeling him a suspect. Why are they "interested" in this person? Because they want to take him to dinner? Because they want to offer him a job? No. It's because they suspect him of something, and need to clear him - or prove that he is involved - as part of the investigation.
   2757. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4415991)
I read the Saudi volunteered to have his apartment searched. Like a gesture of, "I've got nothing to hide - go search my place."


Irrelevant to the fact that they decided to search his place. They don't search places of people they believe aren't involved.

And no judge in this land would deny the police a warrant in this case.
   2758. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:12 PM (#4415993)
But do you love that the Post has backed off its bold, truth-telling, no B.S. reporting, with all of its articles now containing references to a "potential suspect" and a "person of interest" and "widening the search for a suspect"? Who was the last Post reporter to swallow the Big Lie?

Or maybe the Post is simply toning down the rhetoric out of respect for the 12 dead.
   2759. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:17 PM (#4415997)
Why are the NY Post's mistakes relevant to any of us?
   2760. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4416000)
We're breaking:

American Airlines has a system-wide ground delay until 5 p.m. ET, according to the airline's Twitter account.

Whoa. Sounds like they are preventing somebody from getting out of Dodge?
   2761. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4416004)
Whoa. Sounds like they are preventing somebody from getting out of Dodge?

Wouldn't it be better to allow a suspect to board a plane, where he could be easily apprehended, then have him running loose around the city?
   2762. Pingu Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4416006)
I supppose it would...as long as you knew which plane.
   2763. Pingu Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:24 PM (#4416008)
But would you really allow other passengers to board a plane with a known terrorist. Something tells me the dude might get spooked being the only one boarding.
   2764. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:26 PM (#4416011)
There's no more undiscovered kings with hoards of gold.


This completely sucks. The world was a lot cooler when undiscovered kings with hoards of gold could suddenly turn up and destabilize the regional economy.

American Airlines has a system-wide ground delay until 5 p.m. ET, according to the airline's Twitter account.


They are saying that their reservation system has gone down nationwide, causing the groundings. That could be a cover story, but it seems more likely to be true.
   2765. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:26 PM (#4416012)
On AA, from CNN: Earlier, the airline reported a problem with its reservation and booking tool, noting the network was experiencing "intermittent outages."
EDIT: Here's yer Coke.
   2766. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:27 PM (#4416014)
Never mind. Google tells me its a computer issue. I saw the post and immediately assumed it applied to Boston for no good reason.

EDIT: everybody unquote me so I can erase the original post and change it to a William Jennings Bryan reference or something.
   2767. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:31 PM (#4416020)

I read the Saudi volunteered to have his apartment searched. Like a gesture of, "I've got nothing to hide - go search my place."

Since he had a roommate (guy interviewed in link in 2744), the roommate could have consented to the search, right?
   2768. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:32 PM (#4416021)
Why are the NY Post's mistakes relevant to any of us?

Because there's a leftie narrative by which righties (*) will "overreact" to incidents of terrorism and that overreaction will be even worse if a person of Middle Eastern descent is accused of committing the terrorist act. So we can't have newspapers calling Middle Easterners "suspects," lest mosques burn and pogroms ensue.

(*) Note that the lefties are always worrying about what other people will do with information, since they never misuse it.
   2769. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:32 PM (#4416022)
The New York Post is exclusively reporting that Joseph Kony, Julian Assange and Thomas Pynchon's American Airlines flight is being held on the tarmac because they refuse to pay for their headphones.
   2770. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:33 PM (#4416023)
But do you love that the Post has backed off its bold, truth-telling, no B.S. reporting, with all of its articles now containing references to a "potential suspect" and a "person of interest" and "widening the search for a suspect"? Who was the last Post reporter to swallow the Big Lie?


Who cares? The point is that the guy was a suspect, but since most everyone runs screaming from that word, arms in the air (*), he's not referred to as such.

(*) When it's a person of middle eastern decent, of course. Let's not use history as a guide, and so let's pretend that Granny Smith or Clark Griswold or Cliff Huxtable are just as likely to go around planting bombs.
   2771. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:33 PM (#4416024)
Since he had a roommate (guy interviewed in link in 2744), the roommate could have consented to the search, right?

The way CNN is reporting, it seems clear he himself consented.
   2772. Greg K Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:35 PM (#4416026)
4-pack of Boddington's is suddenly $60

Speaking of which, and not that I drink it, but 12 cans of Coors Light is now $23.49 in my wonderful province....

It's always a bit sad going home to Canada. Not only do I need to walk about 15 minutes to buy a beer, but the cost is ridiculous. Whereas here I can sit in my living room and literally look out the window at a shop where I can buy a 4-pack of Boddington's for £3. Though I'd probably get a Fursty Ferret and Doom Bar instead.
   2773. Morty Causa Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4416029)
Who cares? The point is that the guy was a suspect, but since most everyone runs screaming from that word, arms in the air, he's not referred to as such
.

The threshold for being a suspect (as the term is used, loosely and in an everyday life) in these circumstance can't be very hard to meet.
   2774. zonk Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:48 PM (#4416032)
Gold backed currency is nothing new. The objections to it's feasibility are disproven by history; the gold standard isn't exactly ancient history.

Economies didn't go off of backed currency because it was infeasible. They did it because they wanted to be able to (rightly or wrongly) control the volume of money.

That's what separates backed currency from fiat currency. The Fed can (rightly or wrongly) press a key and create billions of dollars out of thin air. If the currency is backed, then they can't.


I get it, I really do...

I'm just saying that I'm... amused by the jenga being played here -- to wit...

Let's say we go back to the gold standard, or hell -- let's develop an international currency backed by gold or let the Chinese or the Swiss have it... whatever.

Backed by gold, we're all set, right?

Soo... who guarantees the currency IS backed by the gold? Would it be the same central bankers that couldn't be trusted with a fiat system who you would now trust to be the guarantors that yes, X dollars on the market are backed by exactly X gold? Or - would you find NEW central bankers (hell, give 'em a different title even!)?

Private bank notes? Great! Do I, as a depositor, have guaranteed rights to unannounced inspection of their gold reserves? I presume these reserves will be properly stored according to account holder, right? Otherwise - to "trust" this bank who is now debiting 'ounces' rather than dollars - I need to see not just MY balance, but everyone else's and be able to count the full body of gold.

Or... do I have to wait a few years until the 'reliable' institutions emerge (and hope they haven't Madoff'ed me into just thinking they're reliable).

I suppose that perhaps you've solved some.... concerns.... in certain segments of international economic theorists.... but to the great masses, now living in a highly digital world that is still based on faith and credit, the idea that you've supposedly put a gold backing onto the currency doesn't resolve the 'faith and credit' issue for anyone other than the people who actually have the gold sitting in a vault and those who believe them (regardless of whether they're lying or not).

The current financial system just went kaput... why would I, among these great masses, trust anyone giving me a piece of paper just because you've slightly re-worded the promissory note printed on it?

... I won't even get into the idea that I suspect most gold bugs don't actually have a shed full of gold -- they've probably got, at best, a physical stack of papers saying that X broker has purchased and procured said physical gold and the hope that the agent in question has 1)actually acquired said gold, especially as the whole economic world implodes, and 2)they won't be doing a Cersei Lannister greeting Ned Stark when you arrive with your sheets of paper demanding the gold promised therein.
   2775. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:49 PM (#4416035)

The threshold for being a suspect (as the term is used, loosely and in an everyday life) in these circumstance can't be very hard to meet.


Not according to leftists, who seem to think that word means PERPETRATOR!CRIMINAL!GUILTYGUILTYGUILTY!!!!!
   2776. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:53 PM (#4416038)
Backing a currency with a finite asset like gold is a very practical way to keep government spending in check.

Which pretty much is the political goal of 99% of the crowd that sees our gold-based pre-1933 economic system as some sort of long lost utopia.

------------------------------------------------------------

zonk's #2726 gave me a chuckle. Surely needed on a dark day.

AFAIC zonk won the thread with that post. (EDIT: And did it again in $2774) It wasn't the first time he's done it.

The gold standard? Really? Time to tune out.

What, you don't have faith in a metal that's the darling of USA Today advertisers, anti-government cavedwellers, and Scrooge McDuck wannabees who dream of having money bins the size of a McMansion? Surely you must hate Herbert Hoover's America.
   2777. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4416041)
Because there's a leftie narrative by which righties (*) will "overreact" to incidents of terrorism and that overreaction will be even worse if a person of Middle Eastern descent is accused of committing the terrorist act.
The righties earned it.
   2778. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:05 PM (#4416052)
Ray, give it up - the Saudi d00d isn't who you want him to be and the NY Post was flat-####, buck-naked wrong.

Haven't you talked about being a news/crime reporter in a previous career? If the police told you a guy isn't a suspect but they went and searched his apartment anyway, and did so on a day when law enforcement had literally thousands of other things they could have been doing, would you have taken that claim at face value? It's laughable.
   2779. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:09 PM (#4416054)
Which pretty much is the political goal of 99% of the crowd that sees our gold-based pre-1933 economic system as some sort of long lost utopia.

Wrong time period. The US was on a gold exchange standard until 1971, when Nixon ended it. You'll note that the economy almost immediately fell into the shitter thereafter.

The United States had a top-notch, balanced economy that worked for essentially everyone under a gold exchange standard. The 1946-71 period pretty much was an economic utopia.
   2780. Dan The Mediocre Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:10 PM (#4416055)
The United States had a top-notch, balanced economy that worked for essentially everyone under a gold exchange standard.


When?
   2781. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:11 PM (#4416057)
When?

1946-71 -- The Great Consensus.

No one can possibly suggest that the economy of today is better than that, in terms of everything an economy is supposed to accomplish.
   2782. Dan The Mediocre Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:12 PM (#4416058)
1946-71 -- The Great Consensus.

No one can possibly suggest that the economy of today is better than that, in terms of everything an economy is supposed to accomplish.


Do you think it's related to the gold exchange standard?
   2783. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:13 PM (#4416060)
Haven't you talked about being a news/crime reporter in a previous career? If the police told you a guy isn't a suspect but they went and searched his apartment anyway, and did so on a day when law enforcement had literally thousands of other things they could have been doing, would you have taken that claim at face value? It's laughable.


The police said it. So it must be true. Cops never lie!
   2784. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:15 PM (#4416062)
No one can possibly suggest that the economy of today is better than that, in terms of everything an economy is supposed to accomplish.

Great. So all we need to do is to destroy Europe and Asia, create a new communist threat, and go back to the gold standard and we'll be all set.



Just eyeballing it but it looks like quarterly GNP growth was in the mid 1% before coming off the gold standard and afterwards was in the 2.5 to 3% range quarterly.
   2785. zonk Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:21 PM (#4416066)
The United States had a top-notch, balanced economy that worked for essentially everyone under a gold exchange standard. The 1946-71 period pretty much was an economic utopia.


So all we need is another world war to essentially destroy vast swaths of a couple continents and be the ones left standing with intact cities, intact industry, and a millions of returning servicemen with free college educations at their disposal, and a female populace ready to return to the hubby and the kitchen in large numbers -- plus the gold standard!
   2786. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4416068)
Just eyeballing it but it looks like quarterly GNP growth was in the mid 1% before coming off the gold standard and afterwards was in the 2.5 to 3% range quarterly.

Inflation shot through the roof after 1971. Nixon imposed wage and price controls, but then those were taken off and by the end of the 70s inflation was at 15%.

   2787. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:26 PM (#4416073)
If the police told you a guy isn't a suspect but they went and searched his apartment anyway, and did so on a day when law enforcement had literally thousands of other things they could have been doing, would you have taken that claim at face value? It's laughable.

No, you do what every other news outlet BUT the Post did, and report that police have declared this guy is not an official suspect, but also that they're questioning him and searching his apartment. If this "semantic" distinction really bugs you that much, you write an editorial about the absurdity of the police's claims rather than letting it reshape your straight news coverage. And our boldest, most truthful newspaper doesn't get to "laugh" at anyone on the day they fuck up the death toll by a factor of six.

The New York Post wasn't as fearless and loosey-goosey when it was writing a large settlement check to Richard Jewell. And that was after the FBI had pulled hairs out of Jewell's head for analysis. The Post newsroom probably even owned a dictionary that included their preferred definition of the word "suspect." I "suspect" there are other words the Post would also like to redefine.
   2788. zenbitz Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:28 PM (#4416075)
Great. So all we need to do is to destroy Europe and Asia, create a new communist threat, and go back to the gold standard and we'll be all set.


You forgot raise the top income tax bracket to 90%, send all the wimmins home to cook and clean, and all the brown people back into second class citizens.
   2789. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:28 PM (#4416076)
So all we need is another world war to essentially destroy vast swaths of a couple continents and be the ones left standing with intact cities, intact industry, and a millions of returning servicemen with free college educations at their disposal, and a female populace ready to return to the hubby and the kitchen in large numbers -- plus the gold standard!

The countries that we destroyed did very well in those years, too. The world economy performed very well under the Bretton Woods gold exchange standard, not just the US.
   2790. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:33 PM (#4416079)
1946-71 -- The Great Consensus.
Yeah, gold was the reason the U.S. economy was so far ahead of everyone else. Couldn't possibly be any other reason, and we shouldn't talk about the fact that the U.S. functioned under a gold exchange before 1946 either.
   2791. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:36 PM (#4416082)
The countries that we destroyed did very well in those years, too.


Growth from zero is always easier.
   2792. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:40 PM (#4416085)
Growth from zero is always easier.

All countries did well. Those who destroyed, those who were destroyed, those that weren't touched. Part of that was Sisyphisean rebuilding, but a very small part.
   2793. spike Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:41 PM (#4416088)
Great. A reported package bomb went off down the street at a local store. FBI/GBI and all sorts of LEO activity.

   2794. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:47 PM (#4416090)
The New York Post wasn't as fearless and loosey-goosey when it was writing a large settlement check to Richard Jewell. And that was after the FBI had pulled hairs out of Jewell's head for analysis. The Post newsroom probably even owned a dictionary that included their preferred definition of the word "suspect." I "suspect" there are other words the Post would also like to redefine.


I'd have to go back and review those cases, but from the wiki entries there seemed to be a lot more than media calling him "a suspect." And out of the 5 lawsuits (one was against a former employer, not the media) we had 4 settlements and Jewell *lost* the 5th case [edit: actually, the 5th one was dismissed by the judge following Jewell's death].

Here are the wiki entries:

Richard Jewell v. Piedmont CollegeJewel filed suit against his former employer Piedmont College, Piedmont College President Raymond Cleere and college spokesman Scott Rawles.[9] Jewell's attorneys contended that Cleere called the FBI and spoke to the Atlanta newspapers, providing them with false information on Jewell and his employment there as a security guard. Jewell's lawsuit accused Cleere of describing Jewell as a "badge-wearing zealot" who "would write epic police reports for minor infractions."[1]

Piedmont College settled for an undisclosed amount.[11]

[edit] Richard Jewell v. NBCJewell sued NBC News for this statement, made by Tom Brokaw: "The speculation is that the FBI is close to making the case. They probably have enough to arrest him right now, probably enough to prosecute him, but you always want to have enough to convict him as well. There are still some holes in this case".[12] Even though NBC stood by its story, the network agreed to pay Jewell $500,000.[9]

[edit] Richard Jewell v. New York PostOn July 23, 1997, Jewell sued The New York Post for $15 million in damages.[13]

[edit] Richard Jewell v. Cox Enterprises (d.b.a. Atlanta Journal-Constitution)Jewell also sued the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper. According to Jewell, the paper's headline, FBI suspects 'hero' guard may have planted bomb, "pretty much started the whirlwind".[10] In one article, the Atlanta Journal compared Richard Jewell's case to that of serial killer Wayne Williams.[14][15]

The newspaper was the only defendant that did not settle with Jewell. The lawsuit remained pending for several years, after having been considered at one time by the Supreme Court of Georgia, and had become an important part of case law regarding whether journalists could be forced to reveal their sources. The case was dismissed by Judge John R. Mather in December 2007, four months after Jewell's death. The paper claimed this was proof of the accuracy of their coverage.[16]

[edit] CNNAlthough CNN settled with Jewell for an undisclosed monetary amount, CNN maintained its coverage was fair and accurate.[17]

   2795. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:52 PM (#4416095)
Third victim is a BU grad student, school says.
   2796. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:53 PM (#4416096)
#2787 — Absurd parsing, and also an apples-to-oranges comparison. Re: the first part of your comment, the Post called a duck a duck; re: the second, unlike the Jewell case, it didn't name any names.

This insistence from some lefties that a person who was not only questioned but also had his apartment searched didn't qualify as a "suspect" is patently absurd.
   2797. zenbitz Posted: April 16, 2013 at 06:02 PM (#4416103)
Not gold standare but economix:
   2798. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 06:04 PM (#4416104)
All countries did well. Those who destroyed, those who were destroyed, those that weren't touched. Part of that was Sisyphisean rebuilding, but a very small part.

The UK didn't do particularly well, but then again they nationalized most of their industry, and kept rationing going into the 1950's, so, it's hard to blame the gold standard.
   2799. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2013 at 06:18 PM (#4416111)
All countries did well. Those who destroyed, those who were destroyed, those that weren't touched

Why would economies that weren't devestated by a brutal world war not do well?
   2800. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 06:29 PM (#4416120)
This insistence from some lefties that a person who was not only questioned but also had his apartment searched didn't qualify as a "suspect" is patently absurd.


Yeah, some lefties, but not all. Andy for example, I believe, would admit that the guy was a suspect.
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