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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mailvox: improving RGD

PR has a suggestion or two:
I just got done with Return of the Great Depression. Great read. Thanks for the Nook version. I thought you did a pretty good job of dumbing things down enough that I could make sense of what you were saying, but you managed to do it in a way that it didn't seem like you were talking down to me at all. I really appreciated that dictionary since I was reading it in a location where I didn't have web access and therefore couldn't use any outside references to help me out.

If you care for any criticism on it, here's my effort:

1. You made me laugh about the apocalypse scenario. But I would've also appreciated a little more of an explanation as to why you think it's not likely at all. Something a little more than telling me that no serious economists take that scenario seriously. So what! I want(ed) to know why YOU think it's unlikely.

2. I would suggest maybe even a little bit more of a dictionary at the end. I'll show a little bit of my ignorance here and confess that I wasn't really sure what a "sub-prime" loan was and why it was a crisis. I did figure it out. But I started off thinking that "sub-prime" meant something like "below the 'prime' interest rate". That sounds like some loan that would be given to only the best risks. I am certainly more knowledgeable now that I realize it's quite the opposite. But a quick dictionary note would've helped me.

Anyway, I'm not even sure you care about feedback like this. But I thought it only right that since you gave me such a bargain, that I would give you my best critique. I'm looking forward to your next economics book.
In answer to (1), my reasoning is that despite the expectations of those anticipating the Eschaton, it never arrives. Societies seldom perish in blood and fire except at the hands of an implacable and merciless enemy; the fact that it is hard to think of many such societies besides some of the Slavic ones overrun by the Mongol hordes and the Carthaginian society wiped out by Rome is an indicator that when the global economy collapses, it will reduce living standards without ending civilization.

I've been reading Vanished Kingdoms, by Norman Davies, and one of the things that becomes eminently clear is that for the most part, societies are absorbed and replaced by larger societies that overwhelm them, either by invasion, immigration, or political amalgamation. So, America is much more likely to either devolve into a Brazilian-style second world country or break apart into a Europe of sovereign American states than to shatter into some sort of post-apocalyptic chaos out of Robert Adams or Walter Miller. Even a hypothetical Round 2 isn't likely to be particularly apocalyptic, although it would certainly be interesting to see the South rise again once Aztlan separatism draws the primary focus of the American Unionists.

The big thing that is missing from the scenarios drawn up by those prophesying apocalypse is the Aztlan factor. Most people are thinking in Red/Blue, urban/rural, black/white terms, but possibly the most important question is whether the Hispanics simply return to Mexico once the flow of benefits end or if they stay to carve out their own state. I would tend to assume the latter, but no one actually knows.

I digress. In response to number two, if I do an updated RGD, I will certainly consider expanding the appendix to include the various non-economic terms that may be unfamiliar to some readers. It's a good idea that simply had never occurred to me.

I should point out that although I'm not currently planning to write the economics book that melds Keensian Post-Keynesian economics with modified Austrian theory that some suggested yesterday, I do plan to begin working on an economics-related project after I finish the current novel in October.

Labels: ,

51 Comments:

Anonymous freddy July 17, 2012 5:57 AM  

so what is the true justified economic standard?

By what standard?

Can we really divorce economic theory from a theology?

Not so much.

Have you given thought to how you would defend a Christian economic theory against all the atheistic dribble?

Anonymous bw July 17, 2012 6:00 AM  

PR was, perchance, too modest.
Those were very good critiquing points.

Blogger Joe A. July 17, 2012 6:03 AM  

The South is perhaps too infested by the Hispanic insurgency to rise, lest my eyes deceive me and the numbers aren't as significant as they look.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza July 17, 2012 6:34 AM  

If RGD is updated, I'll buy the hardback version.

Blogger Dan Hewitt July 17, 2012 7:00 AM  

Cool, I bought RGD recently and am looking forward to reading it.

Anonymous Roundtine July 17, 2012 7:38 AM  

An intentional breakup scenario doesn't seem likely, excepting the Southwest. If the South went too, Idaho, Wyoming and even Alaska may want to join; the Midwest needs the water transport that flows into the Gulf. Canada would also be in play (adios Quebec?) and the Western oil producing provinces are also conservative. So if you have those areas plus the South, the Midwest can't be separate, and what kind of army would the blue states put up anyway? New York would secede from NYC, declare itself Western New York and join the rebellion. And if Round 2 ends quickly, suddenly that Southwest separation looks at risk of an America reconquista.

Anonymous Luke July 17, 2012 7:41 AM  

I don't think such a book can be complete without reference both to P.A. Sorokin's Man and Society in Calamity and of course Thomas Chittum's inestimable Civil War Two. Everyone here of course understands Chittum's historical reference to "bandenkrieg", right? /sarc Hint: a fair substitute for the latter is what the post-EMP book One Second After describes, with its 80% death rates...

Blogger Nate July 17, 2012 7:50 AM  

I don't see any reason to meld anything Keen has done with Austrian Economics. Modeling is a total waste of time.

Blogger Nate July 17, 2012 7:54 AM  

"The South is perhaps too infested by the Hispanic insurgency to rise, lest my eyes deceive me and the numbers aren't as significant as they look."

I don't know where you are... but since Alabama passed its immigration bill you can't hardly find a mexican at all down here. Our mexican places have white waiters now.

which... yeah.. I admit is kind weird.

Anonymous Conrad The Crazed July 17, 2012 8:07 AM  

Seems to me secession/breakup would be far preferable to devolving into a Brazil-like chaotic banana-republic (which is where we're apparently headed at the moment).

If Texas formally secedes, I'm moving there. Unfortunately, I believe the D.C. cancer has sufficiently metastasized into my home state of Virginia to hope it will ever grow the stones necessary to secede.

Come to think of it, I'm not sure even TX would muster the stuff needed to part ways with The People's Demokratik Republik of Amerika. Too much oligarchical establishmentarianism at all levels of state gubment.

Anonymous Rantor July 17, 2012 8:15 AM  

@ Nate,

Sherriff Arpaio has had a similar effect in Maricopa County, Arizona. Last trip there, no Mexican-American help in sight at two Mexican restaurants.

I agree that it is odd.

Blogger Nate July 17, 2012 8:18 AM  

"Come to think of it, I'm not sure even TX would muster the stuff needed to part ways with The People's Demokratik Republik of Amerika. Too much oligarchical establishmentarianism at all levels of state gubment."

Virginia has been downright commie for decades. its long fallen from grace.

in TN, and TX, and GA, and AL... I can assure the topic of secession comes up a lot. 20 years ago people would mocked you for even saying the word. Now people openly discuss it.

Anonymous re allow anonymous comments July 17, 2012 8:24 AM  

But vox, my life sucks and i want the world to burn!

Anonymous JartStar July 17, 2012 8:25 AM  

In 2013 GDP is likely to come in around 1% from the conservative predictions I've heard. Combine that with the "fiscal cliff" debate and it's a recipe for the next down phase in the Great Recession. Of course there are so many wildcards like the EU and Iran who knows what the hell's going to really happen.

Anonymous jack July 17, 2012 8:34 AM  

Vox write the book! [econ 3.0]

NateI don't know where you are... but since Alabama passed its immigration bill you can't hardly find a mexican at all down here.

I live in Al. Here, the hispanics left, for the most part, are pretty good people; green cards, hard working, respectable citizens. And, they are plentiful. At least around the tomato and quarry industries of eastern north central AL. I would see no problem having them stay. And, I can assure you, I am no fan of unchecked immigration.

Anonymous The One July 17, 2012 8:46 AM  

Cops shoot dead wrong man in his own home. What's new?

http://news.yahoo.com/video/deputies-shoot-kill-man-knocking-163819466.html

Anonymous FUBAR Nation (Ben) July 17, 2012 8:49 AM  

Is Voxic Shock coming back?

Blogger Nate July 17, 2012 8:51 AM  

"I live in Al. Here, the hispanics left, for the most part, are pretty good people; green cards, hard working, respectable citizens. And, they are plentiful. At least around the tomato and quarry industries of eastern north central AL. I would see no problem having them stay. And, I can assure you, I am no fan of unchecked immigration."

I'm in deep south alabama... just a few miles from the gulf. you can't find a mexican down here... where as before the bill... they were all over.

I'm assuming you've seen a drop in the population there as well... just not as drastic a drop as I've seen.

Blogger Nate July 17, 2012 8:54 AM  

"In 2013 GDP is likely to come in around 1% from the conservative predictions I've heard. "

GDP will come in where-ever they want it to come in... because it is fiction.

Blogger Lucas July 17, 2012 8:58 AM  

Do atheists have a sexual harassment problem?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/do-atheists-have-a-sexual-harassment-problem/2012/07/12/gJQAnMIAgW_story.html

Anonymous JartStar July 17, 2012 9:10 AM  

GDP will come in where-ever they want it to come in... because it is fiction.

What metric do you use to determine the economic health of the country and why is it superior?

Blogger Nate July 17, 2012 9:13 AM  

"What metric do you use to determine the economic health of the country and why is it superior?"

I watch the amount of debt and the rate of its expansion. I watch the real money supply.

Depression is like porn. You know it when you see it... and if you know what you're looking for... its easy to find... and easy to see... coming. no pun intended.

Anonymous ridip July 17, 2012 9:17 AM  

" Even a hypothetical Round 2 isn't likely to be particularly apocalyptic, although it would certainly be interesting to see the South rise again once Aztlan separatism draws the primary focus of the American Unionists."

Awe, there you go throwing out some love to Nate.

While it's OT, Nate, I'm expecting you SEC boys to kick Missouri's ass this year and teach 'em how football is played.

Roundtine, I don't understand your perspective on the Midwest. I don't think water transports quite as important to us as it used to be. Drive the trucks off the road and it might be again, but for now ... don't see it.

Had an interesting discussion awhile back at work. Missouri is probably one of the few states you could put a wall around and it would be self-sustaining between it's food producing regions, it's clay and metal mining resources, the quantity of dear and other huntables, a large spring-dense karst region. With the caves and hills a large part of the state is fairly defensible. Not to mention people here still know how to hunt and shoot. And the best reason no more layabouts coming over from Illinois. Goodbye East St. Louis.

It was an interesting discussion, but I'm with Vox on this, I'm not planning for apocalypse.

Anonymous ridip July 17, 2012 9:19 AM  

Deer. That's what I get for typing while the wife's talking to me.

Blogger Nate July 17, 2012 9:20 AM  

"While it's OT, Nate, I'm expecting you SEC boys to kick Missouri's ass this year and teach 'em how football is played."

Missouri is fixing to learn what speed is.

Anonymous Stilicho July 17, 2012 9:26 AM  

Depression is like porn. You know it when you see it... and if you know what you're looking for... its easy to find... and easy to see... coming. no pun intended.

Well, that would explain why you seem to disappear every time the Fed puts out a Z1 report.

Anonymous Stilicho July 17, 2012 9:59 AM  

Speaking of the Fed, the chairsatan speaks (again) today at 10. I predict that once you cut through the B.S., the primary message will be après l'élection, le déluge, until then you'll get nothing and like it!

Anonymous Praetorian July 17, 2012 10:14 AM  

"I don't see any reason to meld anything Keen has done with Austrian Economics. Modeling is a total waste of time."

Don't agree. Keen's models show a mechanical, book-keeping based system with underlying money system that grows in a stable manner and allows for profits. It is worth analysis of why that works, even if we have to temper it with healthy skepticism of it's universal applicability.

Anonymous Praetorian July 17, 2012 10:16 AM  

Ugh, I apologize for the typos. Still pre-coffee.

Anonymous The other skeptic July 17, 2012 10:23 AM  

Speaking of diversity, Toronto experiences the wonders of diversity

Anonymous The other skeptic July 17, 2012 10:27 AM  


Cops shoot dead wrong man in his own home. What's new?



Another of the wonders of diversity. It was lost on the diversity-hire talking head as well.

Anonymous Despair July 17, 2012 10:33 AM  

After reading your disappointment in the number of comments in your latest WND article, I suggest its time you write that Game Theory book we're all begging for.

Nothing sells like how to figure out girls.

Anonymous Roundtine July 17, 2012 10:37 AM  

ridip,

Specifically:

From Stratfor, The Geopolitics of the United States

The specific ratio varies greatly based on technological era and local topography, but in the petroleum age in the United States, the cost of transport via water is roughly 10 to 30 times cheaper than overland.
...The vast bulk of the prime agricultural lands are within 200 kilometers of a stretch of navigable river. Road and rail are still used for collection, but nearly omnipresent river ports allow for the entirety of the basin's farmers to easily and cheaply ship their products to markets not just in North America but all over the world.

Anonymous yukonyon July 17, 2012 10:46 AM  

Vox, how would one go about calculating the impending dollar meltdown? Will the dollar lose its world currency status overnight, or in pieces? When it does how much inflation is likely to occur?

Anonymous cheddarman July 17, 2012 10:50 AM  

Despair,

most World Net Daily readers would be more interested in reading the marketing teaser for the latest Jerry Jenkins or Tim LaHaye End Times-themed novel than a column Vox writes on economic theory...

Blogger Nate July 17, 2012 11:00 AM  

"Vox, how would one go about calculating the impending dollar meltdown? Will the dollar lose its world currency status overnight, or in pieces? When it does how much inflation is likely to occur?"

You realize Vox is a deflationist right? Have you read RGD?

Anonymous Stilicho July 17, 2012 11:03 AM  

OT: diversity is our strength/guess the race of the 300 "teens" in the mob: Vibrant Youth

Anonymous Roundtine July 17, 2012 11:16 AM  

“Will the dollar lose its world currency status overnight, or in pieces? When it does how much inflation is likely to occur?"

The opinion of this deflationist: the world is short on dollars (borrowed too much). Foreign currencies are based off of the U.S. dollar, they hold dollar reserves. The euro is collapsing due to their debt crisis, most deflationists are looking to Japan next. China's currency is devaluing and Chinese people are buying U.S. dollars. Not the central bank, it is selling U.S. dollars to buy renminbi. It either is doing that because it has to due to policy, or it is propping the currency up. Unlikely, but really bad news if its the latter.

As these currencies die, it will push USD higher and higher on a relative basis (though maybe not against gold), and the dollar will start competing with new fiat currencies and debt free countries. Thus, as USD goes higher and higher during the depression, the likelihood of a US dollar collapse becomes more and more likely.

Anonymous Justin July 17, 2012 11:46 AM  

Aztlan is some weird fantasy the Vox seems to share in. Living in the heart of "Aztlan" (here in Arizona), let me give you the lowdown:

Why in the world would Mexicans want to leave the US? They MIGRATED to the US, at GREAT COST, for a reason! Think about it!

Plus, the fact is, they are as apolitical as any group in the world, just a bunch of peasants who like to hang out, drink beer, and gamble.

"Only liars see everyone else as liars", right? Same with secessionists. The only secessionists ON THE ENTIRE PLANET are Whites. Everyone else are just peasants fit for empire. Why do you think our elites are so keen to import them. Use your heads, guys.

Anonymous paradox July 17, 2012 12:13 PM  

As a Southerner I can tell you, the South would be the last place to look for a secessionist movement. If you watched the Atlanta Braves Game, on the 4th you can understand why. Way too much federal troop worship. You may have pockets of Southern secession, but the neocon war on sheer holy terror has solidified the regular Southern into a federal. In South Carolina, the heart of secessionist South, Southern 'conservatives' boo the golden rule and any opposition to the Yankee Empire.

The only way for secession to work would be via de facto secession, like in Boston T. Party's book, Molon Labe. A state that is part of the Union, but backs-up nullification of federal laws with a state militia/army. The American people would never tolerate a state to fully secede for the Union.

Blogger Nate July 17, 2012 12:40 PM  

Don't know where ya live Paradox... but its quite different down here is southern alabama.

Oh sure.. they still worship the troops... but that doesn't mean they don't hate the government.

Southrons don't tend to lump the military in with government at all. Its a cognitive dissonance thing.

Anonymous jack July 17, 2012 12:45 PM  

Nate
I'm assuming you've seen a drop in the population there as well... just not as drastic a drop as I've seen.

Sorry for the response delay. Our homestead here requires much sweat.

Yes, there has been a drop. Interestingly, there has been a slight upswing in the black pop. in these parts. Possibly some American citizens getting some vacant job slots? True, a number of the Hispanic people here did leave. Plenty stayed behind what with nothing to fear but Obama and the rest of the corrupt political class. The folk around here are more than tolerant. I never hear any race baiting talk.

I think, from earlier posts, your wife is a doc? My bother and sister are registered nurses working in a hospital in the Mobile area. I can't remember the name but will try and find out. It may be a smaller world after all.

Anonymous Stilicho July 17, 2012 12:50 PM  

Southrons don't tend to lump the military in with government at all. Its a cognitive dissonance thing.

It's because white southern men serve in the military in numbers disproportionate to their percentage of the population. Further, in the South (and parts of the West), military service is still seen as an honorable thing, even a duty. In contrast, a large part of Yankeedom and most minorities see military service as the Big Green Welfare Machine--an easy way to get paid twice a month if you can avoid combat arms specialties. As the military becomes more sensitive, feminized, homosexualized, and diversified, Southerners' impressions will change. The real catalyst needed is an alternative outlet for Southerners' martial instincts.

Anonymous jack July 17, 2012 12:54 PM  

Nate:
A followup. I mentioned the posts about Hispanic pop. in AL. She pointed out that in this general, the Hispanic pop., due to the long standing tomato and quarry industry, is an legacy one, going back decades or longer. Many of our Hispanics are probably citizens by now.
In the construction business in this state, and this from construction folk, when the law passed the Hispanic work force evaporated and the subcontractors were hurting badly and may still.
I hope citizens will take up the slack.

Anonymous Rollory July 17, 2012 1:00 PM  

"but possibly the most important question is whether the Hispanics simply return to Mexico "

http://tinyurl.com/texas2040

"Today’s Texas population can be divided into two groups, he said. One is an old and aging Anglo and the other is young and minority. Between 2000 and 2040, the state’s public school enrollment will see a 15 percent decline in Anglo children while Hispanic children will make up a 213 percent increase, he said.

The state’s largest county – Harris – will shed Anglos throughout the coming decades. By 2040, Harris County will have about 516, 000 fewer Anglos than lived in the Houston area in 2000, while the number of Hispanics will increase by 2.5 million during the same period, Murdock said. The projection assumes a net migration rate equal to one-half of 1990-2000.

Most of the state’s population growth is natural, Murdock told the House Mexican American Legislative Caucus today. About 22 percent of the growth comes from people moving to Texas from other states."

I agree that no overt secession movement will occur in the absence of a critical failure of the central government. People would need to get used to the idea of the federal system being an unremitting problem as opposed to something to pledge allegiance to or to try to improve before they'll take up arms against it.

I am looking for a USSR-style scenario. Not necessarily apocalyptic, but definitely a clear Before and After.

Anonymous paradox July 17, 2012 1:03 PM  

Nate July 17, 2012 12:40 PM

Don't know where ya live Paradox... but its quite different down here is southern alabama.


I hope you're right Nate. I'm in Western NC, which conservative and basically should be separated from the rest of NC. However, a lot of transplants and boss hogs really want to turn the area into a Yankee paradise. An example, one of the county commissioners is a Yankee who used to be an FBI agent. The only way he was elected was via the transplants.

Anonymous JCclimber July 17, 2012 1:39 PM  

Here's hoping the upcoming book is for home schoolers....

Anonymous Forrest Trump July 17, 2012 5:26 PM  

No Apocalypse? Ok, hope you're right. Then again, there is that AR1515. Maybe the chances are astronomical. However, the chance that the planet experiences two year blackouts, (time to rebuild custom transformers), it may as well be for most.

Then there is Russia's secret weapon. The same tech the US was presented with by the author in '39, but said, "No thanks!" Now we are playing catch-up, in our 1st generation to their's 4th or 5th. Our only apparent savior at the moment, some mysterious small benevolent nation. Some are asking, "What is literally keeping the planet coming apart at the seams, except for the Hand of God?"

One has also have to muse to oneself. Why is Hollywood lately so obsessed with 7+ foot tall bipedal super-intelligent reptiles? Most of which wear some sort of super armor, and super-tech weaponry. Best exegetical Hebrew suggests the Serpent in the Garden, was not a snake. One would guess, that when more and more earthfolk report sitings of green scaley guys in lab coats, then we are on the verge of a paradigm shift.

Come 2013 and beyond. It may not necessarily look like a Biblical Apocalypse, but things will not be the same, as most of us have experienced for our past lifetimes.

Anonymous Daniel July 17, 2012 9:59 PM  

Why is Hollywood lately so obsessed with 7+ foot tall bipedal super-intelligent reptiles?

The Kardashians are not super-intelligent.

Anonymous P-Rad July 18, 2012 2:16 AM  

Vox,

Thanks for the response to my question/comment.

In reply to the secessionist stuff...
I've been constantly telling my friends that the problem with this country is that we're no longer a nation. Nothing binds us together anymore except for the fact that we all pay taxes and serve the same overlords in DC. There is no common faith, values, culture, race, etc. Nothing like that. I think the country is just too big in terms of population and area. I realized what a real nation might be like when I went to a Ron Paul rally. I felt a bond with those people WAY more than with some prototypical "American"..

Therefore I do think that the US is ripe for some kind of split. I'm liking the idea of getting a little piece of land up in Idaho/Montana/Wyoming. I'd like to get somewhere with no blacks or hispanics. Not only to make target identification a tad easier, but also because it seems like more of the people in those places share a little more of a spirit of freedom. Maybe I'm dreaming. Maybe it's not better there. But I'm going to check it out.

Anonymous Stilicho July 18, 2012 3:06 PM  

For those whose normalcy bias makes them think that the U.S. will continue on this path indefinitely and that resistance is futile:


It is interesting to hear certain kinds of people insist that the citizen cannot fight the government. This would have been news to the men of Lexington and Concord, as well as the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan. The citizen most certainly can fight the government, and usually wins when he tries. Organized national armies are useful primarily for fighting against other organized national armies. When they try to fight against the people, they find themselves at a very serious disadvantage. If you will just look around at the state of the world today, you will see that the guerillero has the upper hand. Irregulars usually defeat regulars, providing they have the will. Such fighting is horrible to contemplate, but will continue to dominate brute strength.


Col. Jeff Cooper, 1993

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