Friday, September 10, 2010

Quote of the Day

"A man who chooses between drinking a glass of milk and a glass of a solution of potassium cyanide does not choose between two beverages; he chooses between life and death. A society that chooses between capitalism and socialism does not choose between two social systems; it chooses between social cooperation and the disintegration of society. Socialism is not an alternative to capitalism; it is an alternative to any system under which men can live as human beings."

Ludwig von Mises writing in "Human Action"

HT: Dennis Gartman in today's "The Gartman Letter"

19 Comments:

At 9/10/2010 3:27 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Stated as if it is a binary choice, when it is a continuum.

How would Mises describe the current economic existence of Scandinavia?

 
At 9/10/2010 8:14 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

"When working in Sweden it’s best to get the issue of taxation out of the way immediately because when most people learn about the amount of taxes they will have to pay they are usually put off the country for good!"

Income tax is payable at a rate of between 26% and 35%, then there's the municipality tax in which an individual resides of 22% to 32%, there is also a national income tax which is levied at between 20% and 25%, and on top of that there are a large number of miscellaneous taxes adding up to 20% to 25%. With that out of the way, you can enjoy Sweden's high standard of living." :)

 
At 9/10/2010 8:53 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"How would Mises describe the current economic existence of Scandinavia?"...

A socialist hell on earth...

 
At 9/10/2010 8:55 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

This is where Mises steps out of fact and into hyperbole. He speaks only to demonize and dehumanize such that opposing Mises in any way is to deny any humanity in the opponent.

For that, Mises is describing his own inhumanity.

 
At 9/10/2010 9:11 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Juandos:
It is easy to call it hell when your first thought is the Soviet model. Once painted with that brush, the Scandinavian countries are then fit for demonization.

Interesting that if the type of socialism/fascism is business-friendly(China, Vietnam, Latin American countries), it's a-ok to support, nuture it, trade with it, send jobs to it, use it against the US, or the various other means of support. If there is a question about their legal system, those businesses comply to spirit and letter, while trying to use every loophole to not comply with the US.

The socialistic part of those countries are not cleaned off just because the country uses a business-friendly model.

 
At 9/10/2010 9:22 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"This is where Mises steps out of fact and into hyperbole"...

This is where sethstorm regardless of the facts raining down upon him refuses to exit his delusional world...

"Mises is describing his own inhumanity"...

Are you sure Mises isn't describing the those that would rather leech off of others instead of making their own way on this planet?

"It is easy to call it hell when your first thought is the Soviet model"...

Well sethstorm its not suprising you're confusing communism with socialism since both have many points in common...

"Interesting that if the type of socialism/fascism is business-friendly(China, Vietnam, Latin American countries), it's a-ok to support, nuture it, trade with it, send jobs to it, use it against the US, or the various other means of support"...

ROFLMAO!

Well sethstorm just hang on a bit and your President (definitely not mine) will change this country into those you just villified...

 
At 9/10/2010 10:03 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Well sethstorm just hang on a bit and your President (definitely not mine) will change this country into those you just villified...


The problem is that you didn't really address my point. It's an OK version to you if performs some good function, but not OK if it doesn't. That is, it's fine if they use it to be business-friendly(and get around issues in the US), but it's not OK if that isn't the case.

 
At 9/10/2010 10:13 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Yes sethstorm I most definitely did address it...

Did you miss the 'ROFLMAO'?

BTW YOUR point NEVER changes...

You seem bound and determined to miss the ages old fact that its individuals striving to accomplish something so they can 'enhance their own living standard' and on occassion it also enhances the living standards of others who are willing to PAY for that something...

I mean do you really believe that an Edison cranked out a light bulb and a movie camera so everyone could have one or did he do it because he knew he could make money off of those who wanted what he made?

 
At 9/10/2010 10:54 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

After feverishly typing so many long meaningless comments, sethstorm feels exhaustion wash over him. Slowly he slumps back onto the couch, letting his head hang back, and soon only the regular breathing of his blissful sleep disturbs the complete silence of his mother's basement.

 
At 9/10/2010 11:07 PM, Blogger Curt said...

Interesting comments by people who do not understand the definition of socialism used by mises, and the definition as we use it today.

Socialism is state control over the means of production. It means a managed economy. A managed economy cannot work, because economic calculation cannot function in any practical way, and there are no incentives for cooperation, and black markets and alternate social orders develop to satisfy wants and needs.

Redistribution is not socialism. It has the same goals as socialism. But it is not socialism in the sense that Mises is using it.

People will act in accordance with redistributive policies as long as the society is small and homogenous and fairly hard working. Human beings, for all our wishes to the contrary, are not cross-culturally, cross racially, or even cross-class, approving of redistribution by nature. This is well recorded in the literature.

The US isn't a country or a nation - it's an empire. And significant redistribution will not be tolerated here because of heterogeneity and competition for political power, status and cultural dominance.

To achieve redistribution would require we vastly limit the power of the federal government, and send redistribution to the states, or, collapse the system entirely and develop regional governments.

 
At 9/11/2010 6:48 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Curt you bring up good points and I especially liked this: "Socialism is state control over the means of production"...

I guess one could make the argument that the present administration and Congress could be considered socialists with the take over of the two auto companies and the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill...

"A managed economy cannot work, because economic calculation cannot function in any practical way, and there are no incentives for cooperation, and black markets and alternate social orders develop to satisfy wants and needs"...

Hmmm, that reminds me of problems my Norwegian relatives face...

 
At 9/11/2010 9:42 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Hey sethstorm (or anyone else for that matter), I'd be interested in your opinion of the following three items:

From Richard Posner: Is the Federal Government Broke?

From the Brussels Journal: Economic Malpractice

From the Financial Times Alphaville: Ask Not Whether Governments Will Default, but How

 
At 9/11/2010 3:31 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 9/11/2010 3:45 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


juandos said...

Better the US gets to control General Motors than some foreign power or an entity that would use it to commit vengeance upon GM.

As it stands now, I don't have to worry if my Michigan(and UAW) built Oldsmobile will have knockoff/inferior/unavailable parts because someone wanted political vengeance.




From the Brussels Journal: Economic Malpractice

So, they haven't a businessperson in the administration. That experience isn't strictly necessary. Nice to have, but it means that the government isn't going to automatically favor business, or some non-citizen's business interests.

 
At 9/12/2010 10:07 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"As it stands now, I don't have to worry if my Michigan(and UAW) built Oldsmobile will have knockoff/inferior/unavailable parts because someone wanted political vengeance"...

Hmmm, sethstorm can you give me an example of something like that happening even if it isn't about automobiles?

"So, they haven't a businessperson in the administration. That experience isn't strictly necessary. Nice to have, but it means that the government isn't going to automatically favor business, or some non-citizen's business interests"...

Hmmm, makes me wonder if you're all for book burning sethstorm...

Oh my! You really believe that, hence the debt we're in as a nation...

Educate yourself sethstorm courtesy of Kevin Williamson of the NRO: The Other National Debt

About that $14 trillion national debt: Get ready to tack some zeroes onto it. Taken alone, the amount of debt issued by the federal government — that $14 trillion figure that shows up on the national ledger — is a terrifying, awesome, hellacious number: Fourteen trillion seconds ago, Greenland was covered by lush and verdant forests, and the Neanderthals had not yet been outwitted and driven into extinction by Homo sapiens sapiens, because we did not yet exist. Big number, 14 trillion, and yet it doesn’t even begin to cover the real indebtedness of American governments at the federal, state, and local levels, because governments don’t count up their liabilities the same way businesses do... (there's more)

 
At 9/12/2010 3:21 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Hmmm, sethstorm can you give me an example of something like that happening even if it isn't about automobiles?


Rover. Now in the hands of despots way outside the UK.

Wait until about 2013-2015 when GM gets killed by a thousand vengeful cuts.

 
At 9/12/2010 8:06 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Rover. Now in the hands of despots way outside the UK"...

You're talking about the Jaguar Land Rover company that will end up being manufactured in both India and China, right sethstorm?

Well to bad that British unions imposed high costs and the British tax structure taxed that company out of the UK...

"Wait until about 2013-2015 when GM gets killed by a thousand vengeful cuts"...

Didn't you hear? Its already dead...

Obama bought GM with our money whether we wanted it or not...

Don’t Be Fooled — GM Is Still Government Motors

 
At 9/13/2010 1:37 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


You're talking about the Jaguar Land Rover company that will end up being manufactured in both India and China, right sethstorm?

More like the parts of Rover that were handed over in the past 5 years; the joke being that people were offered jobs in China to put themselves out of work.

Or that the countries that acquired Rover are more willing to do things the US & UK abandoned a century ago, to the people that assemble those cars. Such as killing/maiming the critics.

 
At 9/13/2010 9:29 AM, Blogger juandos said...

O.K. sethstorm thanks for the heads up on Land Rover...

 

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