Monday, February 7, 2011

Fringeelements Hates Charts

So the Fringeelements guy made a stupid video trying to refute my graph video. He said he didn’t even watch my video but knows what it’s about since I'm allegedly this perfect stranger to original thought. So right off the bat, he shoots himself in his impudent foot, since he immediately goes on to list reasons as to why all these shit eater Americanist union labor nationalist socialist types are totally retarded when they ask why can't America return to the way things were during the post-WW2 boom era. After subjecting us to some supercilious mimicking of the way most Americans spoke back in the 50s, he asserts that reverting back to the policies of that time is a fantasy at this stage, seeing as how the number of Nations capable of competing with (and surpassing) the States has increased tenfold over the last half century. The argument being that the immense prosperity America enjoyed was damn near unavoidable during the good ol’ days, irrespective of any meticulous examination targeting the policies in effect during that time. He’s under the impression that by alluding to this, he’s refuting an aspect of my video. Had he actually bothered watching the video, he’d have known that I never joined the shit eater Americanist union labor nationalist socialist types in their pondering. I didn't call for a return to the 1950s. My video had 2 objectives; To highlight the outcomes of trickle down implementation and to illustrate why the current extensions of the Bush era tax cuts aren't going to be conducive to anything that will favour the overwhelming majority of Americans. I never called for a return of the 90% rate on the top 2% of income earners. The point was to counter the audacious rhetoric in the States, which has sadly succeeded in convincing many Americans that the current administration's proposed tax hike (now defunct) on the rich will somehow result in the stagnation of job creation. Keeping the rate stuck at 36% instead of hiking it up to 39% will just add to the deficit. It’s pertinent to remember that the contemporary debate in America is about this idea that the richest people in the world must retain the current cuts or the economy will worsen. Blatant bullshit. As I pointed out in the last entry, we’re hardly in Ma n' Pa company here. We’re mostly in CEO/banker territory.

This entire ramble about the impracticality of reverting back to the 50s amounts to a giant non-sequitur courtesy Mr. Elements. As for the specific variables he brought up, they’re nullified by the fact that the Federal taxes deregulated by Reagan were mostly in the capital gains zone, with the deficit being made up for at the local level by sales taxes. Reagan never had a problem with running the gov't on deficit because with his privatization schemes the goal was to bankrupt the State anyway, funneling its revenue into private pockets. Easy to balance a budget when there's less money coming in and staying in.

Without the Fed, interest rates would be set by the banks as they were prior to its formation, with rates going through the roof. Had the Fed not regulated the printing and issuance of currency, money would be in short supply (as would credit) and people would see a real starvation economy like they did during the good ol' gold-hoarding days. The Fed's printing does create inflation, but this gesture is preferable to the short money regime which would cause real suffering and bring us right back to the era of violent labor and populist protest. Maybe that's what it's going to take to pull some heads out of asses. People really ought to read up on the Panic of 1907, as well as several others throughout the 19th century. All sprouting before the Fed, with no system of accountability in place to disincentivize elaborate banker crookery.

One thing about his non-sequitur points regarding American economic privilege at the end of WW2; To place blame on unions is a backhanded way of validating their role in raising living standards of American workers vis-a-vis those elsewhere (places now in competition with the US for global production markets). Driving down costs to the lowest common denominator is just a race to the bottom. Apparently this guy is living in some glass cage where this reality won't affect him. The lag in American production in the 1970s is just as much to blame on unimaginative management. The auto industry being the prime example of this, as it was hammered by imports because Japanese and German car makers catered to what the average driver actually wanted, instead of overblown luxury vehicles catering to executive taste. The contributions of bungling focus-groups along with the absence of managerial responsibility are completely overlooked when it comes to this, and every example he's given, it's always someone else's fault. Just pip-squeaking the corporate line.

The premise of supply-side in its Reagan incarnation is based on the Laffer Curve, the optimum taxation point. The concept of this curve is based on faulty premises. There is no enforcement mechanism to ensure that the non-taxed wealth is re-invested in any revenue-enhancing growth (as opposed to investing in multinational money markets). If the incentive is there, the production is there, Mr. Laffer said. And thus gov't revenue was raised. A complete non-sequitur, because with drastically cut capital gains taxes, there can be no parity between revenue and investment, but such is the theory of supply-sidism.

Freeing capital from domestic regulation, taxation, and investment directly resulted in the expansion of capital on a global level. This is a good thing only if one believes that the purpose of the economy is to make profit for entities that have no responsibility to the publics they putatively serve. Arguing the amount of legitimate profit amounts to playing the corporate game of seeing these entities as persons with rights. The uprising in Egypt is related to Cairo's heavy involvement with foreign (especially U.S.) investment that has devastated its once-independent middle class and locked the mass into a glass ceiling of poverty. This also explains why Hillary Clinton, the Corporate Mouthpiece herself, has been so mealymouthed over Egypt's 30 years of tyranny, but so shrill over Iran's equally-old regime.

On to the snark: His assertion regarding my inability to conjure up original ideas just proves how much of a first-impression reactionary he is. I'm going to keep reiterating this more strenuously the more often I hear it ignored, but I myself declared at the beginning of that video that I intended for it to be about plain statistics, and not about me drilling some notion I have about my originality down people’s throats. Not everything has to be original. There are lots of excellent but terribly unoriginal arguments that most people are still in desperate need of hearing. Yes, even today. If making unoriginal arguments every now and then (or often, depending on who you ask, and how much free time they can afford to spend on comfy YouTube) makes me appear wholly unoriginal to the self-absorbed who analyze arguments with an overbearing focus on originality instead of on practical impact, whose problem is that? It's just pampered psychology imposing itself on the relevancy of my argument, which I myself said needs to be made regardless of originality. I explicitly noted that others have already debunked trickle down, but they primarily focused on the last decade, so I dug deeper. But even if we bypass all of that, all one needs to do in order to see just how superficially he absorbs content, is to acknowledge that a proper analysis of statistics is not contingent on capacity to think originally, it just requires one to lack a bias going in. If anything, excessive aspirations of originality often prove to be a hindrance to objectivity, as the subject's main goal is not to reduce suffering, but to be seen as a trailblazer. It's pure ego. And on top of all that, this guy has made a number of arguments over the last couple of years that I’ve seen Stefbot make way back in 2007, almost verbatim. He has clearly been influenced by Stefbot. Does this mean I’m going to instantly dismiss him as a Stefbot drone? Would that be fair? Only if I felt like playing tit for tat with his Inmendham junior bullshit, which ironically is itself a highly unoriginal insult to throw my way.

I just saw that he made yet another dumb video, this time with a deliberately unflattering shot of me in rant mode selected as the video icon. I'll take that as an invitation to offer some commentary to it. Oh look, it’s another video where he’s just shoving down everyone's throats that he’s ways-away from conventional politics, much more than people who happen to hold positions which (you guessed it) don't place them as far away from conventional politics. Totally righteous and edgy. This doesn’t prove anything, unless one believes that holding views which happen to coincide with mainstream politics every now and then automatically leads to a poorly formed outlook, which isn’t much better than liberals pretending that Fox News reports propaganda 100% of the time.

Apparently I'm also big on patriotism. Good to know. I'll be sure to alert the rest of the people depicted in the stills. They'll be ecstatic to find out.

Suggesting that the conventional wisdom of democracy is as dangerous as the policies pushed by Nazis prior to WW2, simply because both are/were well accepted in their time, is laughable on several levels. Consult my Anarcho-Impracticalism blog to read up on just how conventional and lacking in critique the National Socialist party was during the early 1930s. Had conventionalism been their forte, they wouldn't have decisively lost the elections on 2 occasions, nor would they have resorted to prompting violent riots in order to obtain power. He seems to think that these aren't your standard Nazi comparisons of Glenn Beck proportions, but it really is just like watching the Glenn Beck show. In the comment section he mentions that he's seen all but 5 minutes of Beck. This aptly explains why he's under the impression that Beck's scare tactics are of a vastly more simian nature than that of his own. For every example of a conventional political movement paving the way to disaster like we saw with Nazi Germany supposedly (let's grant him that just for argument's sake), I can cite 100 generally accepted movements which didn’t lead to anything of the sort. He’s just cherry picking with this Nazi crap, and the cherries he's trying to pick aren't even there to begin with. Blatant fear mongering. By this logic, should Anti-Statism ever gain unquestioned support from the overwhelming majority of Americans, that alone will be enough to draw the same analogy to the Nazis. This is too one dimensional for words. Why do I have to argue this simplistic nonsense? Why is there a shot of me in this retarded video? I'm one of the few people outside his camp who has made it publicly known that I oppose the State owning endless acres of land in the middle of nowhere, stiffing experimentations of alternative systems. This video amounts to putting off even the tiny number of State advocates who are at least curious about the potential of unseasoned systems. He's his own agenda's worst enemy.

Listen to him go on and on. Yes, we get it, your overall content alienates approximately 95% of the general public while most other politically motivated vloggers' overall content alienates only about 75% of the general public. You're totally a better revolutionary than the rest of us. Now quit using people’s images as an aid to drive home your stupid points.

As a mildly amusing side note, I've never even advocated democracy in the classic sense. I’ve advocated IRV and knowledge-driven democracy with the merit of vote being proportionate to individual test results. I'm also for participatory democracy, pending no freeloading. Do I have contempt for democracy as most people envision it in the West? Not really, but it is far from functional at present. Despite the imperfection, I shouldn't have to point out all the harm reduced over the last 100 years alone thanks directly to democratic rule and labor virtually being tied at the hip once upon a time. But the joke’s on us you see, because they do little animated sketches where they speed up their voices and portray anyone on the pro-democracy side as a mainstream dunce the likes of Brian from Family Guy, whose own words come back to bite them in the ass at the end. Oh the hilarity. Making sarcastic and sometimes even half-clever commentary parodying people who point out all the good that democracy has done, doesn’t erase the fact that democracy has actually enabled the working class to vote for policies from which they saw their standards of living increase boisterously. This is a matter of public record. The only way one ends up with utterly unshakable contempt for democracy is if one deifies every last individual’s arbitrary notion of what constitutes as a trespass on individual freedom. Deifying this principle to the point where harm reduction takes a back seat is a recipe for an impossible replacement system. No matter which way you slice it, every last society will have to construct rules in the form of laws; Laws which a myriad of minority voices will always object to. The more complex the circumstance, the more complex the law, the more cries of minority oppression will arise. I’m not going to describe all the examples of this again, for that you can consult this blog. The State's role is superfluous in this. Somebody will always be bitching about some law. This is unavoidable. What is avoidable however, is forming these inevitable laws through an oligarchic (Landlords 3:16) method in the first place. So what do we do? Do we form them based on majority vote, or based on what 60 Anarcho-Capitalists on YouTube deem to be better for us? I guess the verdict isn't in yet, because in Anti-Statism at Light Speed Part 3 he’s endorsing some degree of decision making being relied upon 70/30 majority vote victories. So right there, a level of participatory democracy, and I think that’s great as long as there’s no leeching from those opting out.

Contrary to this image he's trying to put out there about the way Statists argue, there's nothing manly about the pro-State argument, and there's certainly nothing feminine about the Anti-Statism argument, which Pro-State meat-heads purportedly macho-posture over. No sale. We're the ones arguing for the safety net. They're the ones arguing that everyone ought to keep a gun nearby in the event of a B&E because the cops' response time just doesn't cut it. How the hell am I (the person uncomfortable with shooting even my intruders) the macho-posturing bubba in this scenario? Fella's got it twisted.

This guy makes too many long videos and I simply don’t have the time to sit through all of them without scrapping other videos off of my must-see list, so if anyone sees a future video of his where he's using my image with the word Nazi in the title, or something along those dopey lines, let me know and I will explain on here why it's anserine to imply whatever he’s implying. And no, I will not waste actual video time referencing any of his over-generalizing rhetoric and downright trollish bullshit.


1 comment:

  1. Before the Fed - as in the crash of 1907 - the US Government had to go hat in hand to private bankers, specifically J. P. Morgan. This is where the abolitionists want to return. As such they're just shills for private financial imperialism, regardless of any libertarian crapola they spout.