Journal of the Great Shutdown, Day Five

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72 Responses

  1. bill says:

    Gotta say, Patrick's post is perfect, saying so much with so little.And that seal is just some TeaBagging govt employee hating , Clark loving Libel anyway. Wait until Warlord Clark and his band of not caring about the poor anarcho-libertarians get a hold of him, hell be spit roasted faster than ChicagoScold, the dude who's name ends in B etc "Clark "duzint care about theee childrenz

  2. deskmerc says:

    Warranty void if seal is broken.

  3. ketchup says:

    At first I thought the shutdown wasn't going to affect me. Boy, was I wrong. I just learned that the hiking trail in the national forest near my house is closed. Apparently without the government caretakers, there is no way to use this hiking trail without causing irreparable damage to society. I know that in the past I have never actually SEEN a federal employee on this hiking trail, but they were there, watching over me.

  4. nlp says:

    Is Clark aware that the vanishing polar bears are taking on new protective coating and are now brown bears? Will he understand the risk when a brown, furry animal appears on the horizon, or will he mistakenly believe that Smokey the Bear has gotten lost?

    Tune in tomorrow (or possibly Monday) to see if Clark has survived his ordeal.

  5. MCB says:

    I really don't understand the folks who think a shutdown won't matter. It depends greatly on how long the shutdown is. A day? No biggee. A week? Some individuals will be affected but there won't be widespread impact. A year? Welcome to another recession, and probably quite a significant one. Like any recession the impact will bubble out as businesses close or cut back and capital markets lose value.

  6. Mike says:

    Still no response to my e-mail sent Thursday. Getting really worried.

    I also have to pick up the wife at the airport later today. The preparations for the ten mile trip are killing me! Checking and rechecking the weapons. And the body armor! Bucket seats were not designed to accommodate body armor!

  7. Brian Jones says:

    Warranty void if seal is broken. I thought I was being original, missed earlier post. damn.

  8. En Passant says:

    deskmerc wrote Oct 5, 2013 @9:02 am:

    Warranty void if seal is broken.

    But we don't know which seal it is. The first four have guys on horses with bad attitudes. The fifth has a hit list. Sixth has very wild parties. And the seventh has a trumpet section Duke Ellington could only dream of.

  9. Bill says:

    @MCB – So is there something magic about a year? What about 10 months, will that cause a recession? Where's the starting point of a recession, link please.

  10. C. S. P. Schofield says:

    I note that both sides of this political faction fight are playing the "MY overstated political soundbites are Constitutionally Protected Speech, YOURS are Hate Crimes" card.

  11. MCB says:

    @Bill

    Nope. Nothing magical about a year. When the government spends less money that reduces GDP. A one day shutdown over a 365 day years cuts about 1/365 of what would be cut over a year. When you cut that money from GDP the GDP goes down. This isn't very complicated, and I am sure you could figure it out on your own if you wanted to.

    Since you apparently need someone else to explain this to you as well in order to believe it:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-01/shutdown-would-cost-u-s-economy-300-million-a-day-ihs-says.html

  12. Al says:

    He probably just crashed at Daniel's.

  13. Erik Anderson says:

    I think the biggest issue with the duration of a shutdown is "how long can people go without pay?" And I'm not talking about the furloughed or "critical" workers, I'm also talking about companies who their entire business is federal contracts. Sooner or later they're gonna need to find more work, shrink, or disappear. Qwest apparently struggled and eventually got bought out after they said "no" to the NSA and were denied federal contracts, how much of our economy requires our largest "jobs creator" ?

  14. J@m3z Aitch says:

    @ketchup,
    "I know that in the past I have never actually SEEN a federal employee on this hiking trail, but they were there, watching over me."

    FTFY.

  15. TomB says:

    Shutdown theater gets stranger and stranger:

    Mount Rushmore blockage stirs anger in South Dakota

    "My God. It's made of cones!!!!"

  16. ChrisTS says:

    @Mike:

    I also have to pick up the wife at the airport later today.

    So, the FAA is still working?

  17. Terry says:

    Those cones by the side of the road at Mt. Rushmore are hilarious.

    I used to complain that the gov. was too big and involved in too many areas of my life. If this is the only way they can show the effect of the shutdown, the gov. must be pretty small.

  18. Head Stomp says:

    MCB makes an excellent point although he handicaps his own argument by not mentioning the great depression of 1945-50 where the impacts of the recession caused by significant cuts in government spending bubbled out as businesses closed or cut back and capital markets lost value. It's really unfortunate that politicians still have trouble grasping the fact that, "When the government spends less money that reduces GDP." As MCB says, this isn't very complicated.

  19. markm says:

    Terry: There are plenty of effects of the shutdown – but most people aren't going to miss those federal functions.

  20. StephenH says:

    @Terry: I don't know about small, but it sure is petty…

  21. Sparky says:

    So Terry complained that the government was too big and encroaching on his life, but his concerns were erased by the presence of lots of traffic cones at Mt. Rushmore?

    Uh, yea….

  22. MCB says:

    @Head Stomp

    :::sigh:::. Yes, it's magic. A government shutdown will miraculously create the same global economic conditions that buoyed American economic growth in the 1950s and 60s. All those government workers will be instantly absorbed into the private sector in all of America's vast growing sectors of employment. It's going to be so great.

  23. jdgalt says:

    The noticeable thing about this so-called shutdown is how unnoticeable it actually is, especially when you leave out the gratuitous closings that don't save the taxpayers a penny but actually COST us money.

    I propose that every last federal so-called worker who stayed home for these four days be fired and not replaced. And that funding for his job be cut from his department's budget, if Congress ever bothers to enact a budget again.

    PS. If Clark isn't back by Monday, you'd better send out Search & Rescue, because judging from his last few posts, he's off his meds.

  24. Sinij says:

    Some of you anarcho-libertarians are crazy enough to cheer as credibility of entire conservative movement gets dragged down to the tea party gutter with Cruz riding it down to a fiery doom Major Kong style. Whatever your political views may be, you do realize that by inconveniencing large number of general population your views, regardless of their validity, will be viewed dis-favorably, right? Whatever your goals might be, come next election none of them will be achievable, because to an average voter, vote for your side will be vote for shutdowns.

  25. Philosopherva says:

    "When the government spends less money that reduces GDP. A one day shutdown over a 365 day years cuts about 1/365 of what would be cut over a year. When you cut that money from GDP the GDP goes down. "

    But wait, how does the government add that money to the GDP since the money was originally extracted from the GDP to begin with? I'm just sayin' . I mean, it's not like the government actually produces something.

  26. Sinij says:

    Government shutdown does not stop taxes, so GDP goes down by having taxes remove wealth and not re-introduce portion of them back into economy.

  27. MCB says:

    @Philosopherva,

    Do you not understand what GDP is? Say lazy government employee Jim normally blows his whole paycheck on 40s at the 7-11. Now he has no paycheck. So, no 40s. Do you understand now?

  28. Dan Weber says:

    I propose that every last federal so-called worker who stayed home for these four days be fired and not replaced.

    "Don't show up for work — you won't be paid."

    "Okay."

    "Sucker! Now you are fire!"

  29. Dan Weber says:

    I remember the shutdown on the mid 90's. As a deficit hawk I thought, "well, at least it will save the government money."

    Then all the backpay was paid. And both sides have already agreed to pay back all the backpay. So no money will be saved at all. The government will just pay people to do no work. (I'll leave the joke unsaid for the next guy to complete.)

  30. MCB says:

    If you really wanted to scale back government spending via a shutdown (which isn't really a very efficient way to do it) the mid 90s would have been a good time. 2013 isn't.

    My experience is that:

    (1) The GOP becomes a party of serious deficit hawks when it is out of power. When it is in power, not so much.

    (2) Concern about the deficit is usually a concern for scaling back government services for the poor. I rarely see the GOP (or the Dems) really target "big government" programs that are more or less collusion between the government and big business to keep barriers to entry high.

    (3) This is ironic because provision of government services to the poor really does not have much to do with some empirical take on what kind or size of government is most efficient. There may be some debate over how effective these programs are for the needy, but my experience is that the difference of opinion is usually more about what ethical obligations–if any–society has to its least fortunately members than about the "size of government" per se.

  31. JR says:

    Sinij • Oct 5, 2013 @5:57 pm

    Many voters are easily bribed or coerced, susceptible to misinformation and willing to vote for anything that seems to reinforce their world-view without regard to unintended consequences. That's just human nature at work.

    Libertarians are opposed to the use of such tactics, viewing them as corruption and an abuse of the system. They prefer their self-interest with a touch of enlightenment. Perception of their intent is of less importance than the truth of their deeds. Kind of like a feminist in a beauty pageant.

    As far as the anarchists like Clark, a vote for them has always been a vote for shutting down the government. It's kind of a key feature to their values. And in what way is lampooning the inconveniencing of so many people the same as causing the inconvenience to those people? You do realize that anarcho-capitalist libertarians aren't the ones doing this, right?

  32. JW says:

    I don't mind the government shutdown, but that's because I still get SSI for my disability, and because the military still gets paid to protect me.

    Having said that, I don't like the fact that that everyone except "essential" personnel have been laid off. This shutdown needs to end. That or Congress should work for free and the employees should get paid instead for doing nothing.

  33. Shane says:

    @MCB

    When the government spends less money that reduces GDP.

    LMFAO, and if they spend no money does civilization cease to exist?

  34. northern_rebellion says:

    "Whatever your political views may be, you do realize that by inconveniencing large number of general population your views, regardless of their validity, will be viewed dis-favorably, right?"

    Is that a threat?

    It's like saying, hey, nice ideology you got there. Be a shame if something, y'know, happened to it.

    How much do some of you get paid to come to websites like this and try and *convince* us to come around to your way of thinking?

    Piss off. I hope Clarke makes it back soon (ha), I enjoy his writing. It's much better that the dreck that passes for writing at Salon and HuffPo.

    For emphasis, Piss Off.

    With *respect,* an angry minarchist.

  35. Shane says:

    @MCB

    When you cut that money from GDP the GDP goes down. This isn't very complicated, and I am sure you could figure it out on your own if you wanted to.

    The strange question though, is do they keep collecting the taxes? Because if they are still collecting the taxes and not spending the money then what is the purpose of collecting the taxes? And if they stop collecting the taxes and allow the slaves people to keep their money then how does that affect GDP?

  36. Head Stomp says:

    MCB

    So you mean to tell me that it's more complicated than, "When the government spends less money that reduces GDP"? I feel like I've been lied to my whole life. First the government shutdown and now this. I'm half considering just treading out alone into the wastelands in search of either meaning or death, whichever finds me first.

    Oh, and if I happen upon Clark, well… I just hope he was grass fed.

  37. Shane says:

    @Sinji

    Whatever your political views may be, you do realize that by inconveniencing large number of general population your views, regardless of their validity

    Yes, yes because I live for those people and how dare I or anyone else inconvenience them. My only concern must be for them because I am merely an ant on anthill to be disposed of as the general population sees fit.

    Whatever your goals might be, come next election none of them will be achievable, because to an average voter, vote for your side will be vote for shutdowns.

    Because the goal of stopping the loss of liberty even in the face of the might of the majority is a worthless?

  38. Shane says:

    @MCB

    Do you not understand what GDP is? Say lazy government employee Jim normally blows his whole paycheck on 40s at the 7-11. Now he has no paycheck. So, no 40s. Do you understand now?

    I see, no 40's and all of the money just piling up in D.C. sitting there doing nothing. Because the government won't stop collecting taxes, they will just let it pile up behind the speaker of the house, because the don't have any mattress' on capital hill.

  39. htom says:

    Those cones on the highway in the Black Hills? Four FEET of snow. I wonder if they're going to bring out the snowplows? Will they pick up the cones, plow, and replace the cones?

  40. John O. says:

    @MCB

    Funny that you keep talking about the economy like this becuase last time I remember, the GDP can be easily inflated with useless government construction projects. Isn't the formula for the GDP just simple addition and subtraction?

    GDP = private consumption + gross investment + government spending + (exports − imports)

    If GDP is so great, why does China need to build giant cities with nobody in them? http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50152767n Everybody's economic theories just seem so detached from reality when you see this disgusting waste of resources in China.

  41. Myk says:

    So "Clark" has spent a few days writing "satirical" posts about the shutdown, even though everything seems to be running approximately normal. Then he suddenly disappears, the same day that the World Police attack two Al Qaeda hideouts and kill some "terrorists". I think "Clark" may not be blogging anymore. And has anyone here actually met "Ken", or "Patrick"?

  42. Myk says:

    Q: What's a seal's favorite drink?

    A: Canadian Club, on the rocks.
    Thank yew, thank yew, I'm here all week.

  43. I think "Clark" may not be blogging anymore. And has anyone here actually met "Ken", or "Patrick"?

    I have.

  44. David says:

    I have met Ken or Patrick. He's a right friendly chap.

  45. Dan Weber says:

    LMFAO, and if they spend no money does civilization cease to exist?

    The person who responded to simply said that if the government spends less money that reduces GDP. He is, in fact, completely correct. I don't know where that extends to the complete end of civilization.

    If GDP is so great, why does China need to build giant cities with nobody in them?

    Scott Sumner (a better economist than anyone here) talks about those: http://www.themoneyillusion.com/?p=23817

    Is that a threat?

    The surest way to be discouraged from the liberatarian cause is to spend time around them. Like the Occupy movement, their biggest enemy is themselves.

  46. David C says:

    IF the shutdown reduces GDP by reducing spending (although it probably won't, since we'll just back-pay everyone), then it should also reduce the debt.

    At some point, we ARE going to have to do something about that debt, you know. It's a rather lame argument to say that the government can never reduce spending because it will cost a federal employee a job.

  47. Shane says:

    @Dan Weber

    He is, in fact, completely correct.

    Yes he is. If you you follow the formula that is given for GDP, there is a back door. And I have alluded to it in previous posts. If the government stops spending the GDP does indeed go down, but they have to hold the excess cash that they are collecting in taxes. This by definition cannot be spent into the economy otherwise the GDP will go back up. So with this surplus of cash three things can happen, they can hold the cash at the Fed (the same as putting into a mattress), they can pay down debts or they can return the money to the taxpayers. If they return the money to the tax payers then the GDP will go up. So just because the government is not spending does not mean that the GDP has to go down. It is only the first two conditions that will cause the GDP to go down. Honestly the first condition can not last. Any politician worth his weight will find a way to spend the surplus and once again the GDP will rise. It is the second condition that will make the GDP go down, and it isn't the shut down that is triggering this. At some point even with the games that will be played to shrink the debt, the debt must be payed and this ultimately is what is going to cause GDP to fall.

  48. Head Stomp says:

    Dan Weber

    He is, in fact, completely correct only under the unstated assumption of all else equal(or feedback effects in his favor, I suppose). To reiterate, he assumes all else equal in order to express an accounting identity in the asinine attempt to support the conclusion that an extended shutdown must necessarily be bad. Who is this supposed to convince other than political partisans or the economic illiterate?

  49. Bobby says:

    I assure you sir that even in the event of aliens suddenly disintegrating every single federal employee and the carrying on for Betelegeuse, society will not spontaneously dissolve. It may fray a bit at the edges but then people would step in to fill the essential roles which are roughly about 5% of the total. Many of the rest like say all of the IRS and vast swathes of the alphabet soup ones will actually be doing society and the world at large a favour by remaining disappeared.

  50. Bobby says:

    MCB, What you seem to be utterly incapable of understanding is that lazy Jim does NOT actually contribute at all to GDP. Either you have been brainwashed by the standard "ec-uh-gnome-ics" taught in school, or you really have no understanding of what GDP means. Especially the P part. Lazy Jim does not produce a damn thing, he is paid with stilen money called taxes, taken from people who actually DO create something. Jim buying a beer from me with money he stole earlier from me does not a product make. Much better for Jim to get his lazy ass in the street shining shoes or mowing lawns or doing something useful or dying and removing his lazy genes from the DNA pool.

  51. Bobby says:

    Halleluja. Economic theory does not make sense to a normal 10 year old for a reason. Because it's a damn lie! It's juggling 3 apples pretending there are really six or even nine or twelve because the apples in the air don't really count. The whole thing fails when apples start actually being eaten. Economics really IS as simple as Apples Math problems. And all the obfuscation in the world wont change a damn thing about reality once reality hits. Reality is coming. And that may as well be the sky falling for some people.

  52. Bobby says:

    Thank you!

  53. Al says:

    I'd be able to take your lecture more seriously if you figured out how the post button works.

  54. I was Anonymous says:

    Mount Rushmore blockage stirs anger in South Dakota

    Apparently, George, Tom, Abe, and Teddy haven't been drinking their prune juice…

  55. Sinij says:

    @Bobby Oct 7, 2013 @12:37 am

    Yes, you are correct that government employees do not directly produce wealth. If you chose to be charitable, you can view their actions as above 1.0 multiplier to private wealth creation. Picture gets a bit less clear when you start looking into government grants and/or science. For example, would you consider NASA's role a zero-wealth creation scenario? I'd say not, but let keep it simple and disregard this aspect.

    What everyone forgets in these types of arguments is consumption side. Here you cannot deny that government employees are consumers, and without government pay US economy would lose a % of consumers. You see, economy has two sides – production and consumption. They are both equally important – without people to consume goods, supply and demand dictates that any production would be value-less and would not result in wealth creation.

    This is one of the reasons wealth inequality and shrinking middle class has long-term implications for the economy. Well-off people do consume more in absolute numbers, but % of wealth/consumption is much, much lower than with the middle class. This is know as a problem of "dead money", and having this money channeled into production is only beneficial insofar as having it meet the demand of consumption. Any over-production is obviously does not count.

    Ether way, this is a very complex topic. Stating, "guberment employe activity does not result in production of wealth" is gross oversimplification.

  56. Shane says:

    @Sinji

    If you chose to be charitable, you can view their actions as above 1.0 multiplier to private wealth creation.

    Lol, charitable would be more like .25.

    For example, would you consider NASA's role a zero-wealth creation scenario?

    But let's not look at what was crowded out for this great "creation" opportunity.

    What everyone forgets in these types of arguments is consumption side. Here you cannot deny that government employees are consumers, and without government pay US economy would lose a % of consumers.

    Wait, what? I am not understanding how consumers that used money that would have been used by other consumers is somehow a positive creation. I think you are confused, because if Jack consumes because he took his money from Joe does not in fact make more consumption it just transfers from one to the other. Unless of course you know about a government money tree that the rest of us don't know about.

    This is know as a problem of "dead money",

    I have heard about all of these greedy rich people, everyone knows that they store their money in mattress' and the like.

    having this money channeled into production is only beneficial insofar as having it meet the demand of consumption.

    Right, because supply and demand are inelastic.

    Ether way, this is a very complex topic. Stating, "guberment employe activity does not result in production of wealth" is gross oversimplification.

    It is only complex when you don't understand it. And as for the statement that seems so simple … amazingly it is true.

  57. Sinij says:

    @Shane

    This reminds me of "credit card to government debt" comparison that inevitably get brought up by your side in every fiscal argument. Fundamental problem with your views is that they are simplified to the point of no longer being applicable in all (or most) cases. At the same time you are so used to framing arguments certain way that you may no longer capable of considering the issue.

    Language defines us and our arguments, if I frame the argument in terms of "parasites living off the dole" then only reasonable conclusion is government shutdown is a good thing. If I fame the argument as "out-of-touch 1% seeking to take away last $1 from the working class" then the only conclusion would be that a shutdown is a bad thing. Framing matters, and your framing betrays your 'preferred' answer.

    Specifically, government shutdown could be cheered on only if you believe that government should not have a role in our lives. If this is your true belief, then I invite you to move to Somalia and try to fend off for yourself without any kind of central government intervention.

    Government, and that includes government employees, is a necessary evil. Alternatives to it are ether idealistically impractical (e.g. variations of everyone is rational at all times) or demonstrably much, much worse. Once you come to terms with "necessary evil" part, you can start internalizing "spending by government employees is actually a part of the economy".

  58. Shane says:

    @Sinji

    Where does the money come from to fund the government? This is all that is necessary to understand what is happening.

  59. Sinij says:

    @Shaen

    No, this is maximum allowable insight in order to still subscribe to your ideology. Were you to resist the urge to frame your position in simpleton terms, you'd see that there is much more complexity to it. I have explained some aspects of this, but clearly you are not willing to consider any of my points, instead retreating to a comfort of willful denial.

  60. Shane says:

    @Sinji

    Where does the money come from to fund the government?

    In case I wasn't clear this is a question and it is directed at you.

  61. Shane says:

    @Sinij

    Sorry for spelling your name wrong, dyslexia ftl :(

  62. Sinij says:

    You are hoping for "the money comes from the taxpayers!" answer that would imply that government is parasitical and unnecessary. I can continue to lecture you about framing your arguments, but clearly you won't listen to any of it.

    "The money" is more like "information" than "loaf of bread". Modern economics that are based on fiat currency can only be viewed as cycles or flows, and framing them as a one-time transaction distorts the picture.

    So where does that money come from? How about "It was printed by the government!" or "it comes in part from taxing government-enabled activity" or "it would be unrealized potential without government enabling rule of the law".

  63. Clark says:

    @Sinij

    Specifically, government shutdown could be cheered on only if you believe that government should not have a role in our lives. If this is your true belief, then I invite you to move to Somalia and try to fend off for yourself without any kind of central government intervention.

    "The mafia shutting down could be cheered on only if you believe that the mafia should not have a role in our lives. If this is your true belief, then I invite you to move to Somalia and try to fend off for yourself without any kind of mafia intervention."

    When I phrase it that way, do you have even an inkling of how inane it sounds to say that someone who doesn't want violence directed at them has no other moral alternative except to leave their friends, family, job, and countryment and move 12,000 miles away?

    I love how "America, love it or leave it" is jingoistic and retarded when said by anti-communists, but is sophisticated and nuanced when said by progressives.

  64. Devil's Advocate says:

    I love how "America, love it or leave it" is jingoistic and retarded when said by anti-communists, but is sophisticated and nuanced when said by progressives.

    There is a difference here: when people suggest that anarchists should move to Somalia, they aren't saying it out of a "love it or leave it" mentality, they're saying it to point out how awesome going without a government is not in the real world. It's pointing out the the enormous chasm between theory and how it works in practice.

  65. Sinij says:

    @Clark

    The question is not if we could exist without government, but what kind of society it would be. Your ideology promises us a meritocratic paradise of rational self-interested individuals perfectly cooperating with each other. Sadly, human condition gets in the way and looting, pillaging, and raping ensures. If some form of government is applied, then it moves to exploitation, monopolism, and patronage. If more government is applied, then it moves to regulatory capture, revolving doors, and corporate lawfare. The only known method of keeping the very worst of humanity in check is the threat of violence by the government. At the same time, no amount of government results in a perfect society. About the only valid aspect of your ideology is that increasing government at some point reaches diminishing returns.

    Now, empirical evidence points to collapse of society, absence rule of the law, and real violence (as opposed to mislabeled “violence” of taxation, regulation, and policing that libertarians love to abuse in attempts to reframe arguments) as a result of absence of government. As Devil's advocate pointed out, Somalia is not meant to be "my way or highway", but "see what happened elsewhere when X".

    Unlike your failed substitution example of mafia, where we have plenty of empirical evidence that societies work just fine without presence of organized crime, but there is nothing to suggest that alternative to central government could lead to desirable outcomes.

    If you altered your position to state that the government is too big, we can discuss its merits. Still, that position only valid when you agree that government is necessary for our society to function. At this point you have to admit that current “shutdown” is a bad thing.

  66. Shane says:

    @Sinij

    I asked the question because yes, I want you to say it comes from people (taxpayers I think is too narrow). Because it is very clear accounting to move money from one account to another. In double entry accounting debiting one account creates credits in another and then debiting the credited account means a net movement of 0.

    You seem absolutely certain that this is a context or "framing" problem. So I will "frame" it this way. A government/company can create a product or service. The government/company will ask for monetary compensation for creating said product or service. Money will move from the people to the government/company. The money will be spent on creating the product or service. For this particular conversation that we are having I am desperately trying to point out that whomever spends the money (government or company) the money is coming from the same place. And since the money to do things is finite if money is spent using the government's product or service then it can't be spent using the company's product or service. You can not have your cake and eat it too. This is not complicated. What bothers me is that when people talk about the government doing this or that they ALWAYS forget that the money they are using comes from somewhere. This is a typical response from people that lose track of this:

    From San Jose Mercury News:
    “Of course, I want people to have health care,” Vinson said. “I just didn't realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.”

    This is analogous to saying: "Of course I want a new BMW, I just didn't realize that I wouldn't be able to buy a new Harley."

  67. Sinij says:

    And since the money to do things is finite

    Why do you consider money finite? Can USA ever run out of money? Not when more can be 'printed'. We can run out of credit, we can run out of trust, we can run out other countries willingness to accept our money. We can't actually run out of money unless we move back to the gold standard.

    Flaw in your thinking is that you conceptualize money as a static, very large number thing. It isn't. Money is like Internet IP addresses – it facilitate transactions, and as long as there is need more could be created.

  68. Sinij says:

    Problem with comparing the government to individuals is that concept of money is fundamentally different. For individuals, money represents stored wealth and is finite and discrete concept. For governments money represents geopolitical, trade, and military influence and is very fluid concept.

    To simplify to "credit card" level, your neighbor will accept monopoly money from you to settle your debts if they are afraid that you would set their house on fire, set their spouse and children against them, get them ostracized by other neighbors.

  69. Shane says:

    @Sinij

    Why do you consider money finite?

    And this is the part that you choose pick bones with. You missed the whole forest of moving it from one account to another for the trees of the size of money.

    Ok, At any one moment of time money is indeed finite. At the moment that you purchase your dinner from SuperDuperShoppingMart, all of the money that is existence is finite, and what that money is representing is moving so slow as to be considered finite also. You could kick down a hyper-inflation argument, but what the money is representing is not changing. So yes it is finite.

    We can run out of credit, we can run out of trust, we can run out other countries willingness to accept our money. We can't actually run out of money unless we move back to the gold standard.

    Complexity is the realm of charlatans. What does money represent? Of course we can never run out of money, and not because the government can print more. And no, putting us back on the gold standard will have no affect on that because we are simply substituting one form or representation of capital for another. You can ask all of the people that thought they would be safe in gold because of all of the inflation from the various governments how is that is working for them.

    Flaw in your thinking is that you conceptualize money as a static, very large number thing.

    That you are really wishing that there is a flaw in my thinking is giving you away. You wave your hands that it is all very complex and then proceed to pick at small issues in my overall argument, because the truth is that you don't understand what I am saying. You want me to be wrong because you don't like what I am saying, so you use complexity to overwhelm me with your intellectual superiority and you refute everything without ever once challenging my argument. This may work for your circle of friends who either don't care or don't understand what you are saying.

    Problem with comparing the government to individuals is that concept of money is fundamentally different.

    First, I wasn't comparing government to individuals. Second, how is it that individual money is different from corporate or government money? Third, all of this is asserted without a modicum of proof.

    For governments money represents geopolitical, trade, and military influence and is very fluid concept.

    This is why you are a socialist, because you don't understand money.

    To simplify to "credit card" level …

    LMFAO, how is basic accounting "credit card level".

    … your neighbor will accept monopoly money from you to settle your debts if they are afraid that you would set their house on fire, set their spouse and children against them, get them ostracized by other neighbors.

    And my neighbor's neighbor will do the same if I make the same threat. And the funny thing is that my neighbor will buy his neighbor's lawn mower with monopoly money that I foisted on him and my neighbor's neighbor will buy a weed wacker from my neighbor's other neighbor. So what. It isn't the money Neo … it is something else that is valued here.

  70. Sinij says:

    Fine, I will be extra-charitable in interpreting your words. Money represents wealth. You are correct when you say wealth cannot be created by redistribution of existing wealth. I could point out that wealth is somewhat divisive in nature – that is sum of small parts is always less than individual components. $5 is not equally valuable to an individual of net worth 50$ or $5mil. This effect is mostly due to hierarchy of needs – individual's ability to meet basic needs is more valuable to said individual than anything else. As a result of this initial basic wealth needed to meet these needs are more valuable. This is probably too complex, so lets pretend wealth is actually linearly static.

    Wealth cannot be created by redistribution of existing wealth, but wealth can be easily destroyed. There is no law of conservation of wealth. Government's function is to use portion of your wealth to preserve the rest of it. How does it do it? By redistributing portion of that wealth.

    And my neighbor's neighbor will do the same if I make the same threat. And the funny thing is that my neighbor will buy his neighbor's lawn mower with monopoly money that I foisted on him and my neighbor's neighbor will buy a weed wacker from my neighbor's other neighbor. So what.

    So what did you exactly do when you used threat of violence to get the initial neighbor to accept your monopoly money? You established yourself as an authority (a government of sorts) and a guarantor of that monopoly money. Now, to you these are just paper. To everyone else your monopoly money is actual money (for as long as you keep up with your threats of violence).

  71. Sinij says:

    Now imagine what will happen to your neighborhood when you finally get arrested for bullying everyone around. Any and all wealth represented by monopoly money is instantly destroyed. Without a guarantor it has no value.