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Open Thread #276

What better way to introduce (shamelessly) my new book – Letters from Joseon – than through a book review on the open thread?  Thank you for looking and now back to your squabbling.

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    Congratulations, Mr. Neff.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    Second Bro!

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • YangachiBastardo

    Count me among the buyers 

  • ig5959292ee

     same here

  • keyinjpop

    First bro.
    So has anyone ever been to Ilbe? I just read an article about it and wow, the comments. I heard it being compared to 4chan even.

  • Brier

    Forcast calling for some snow later today. Might be a good chance for an urban winter walk.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6KFMIOLXZTCWEEJ3GF3YIAZIJ4 mightymouse

    Congratulations, Mr. Neff.
    Now if I could only get myself to finish reading Bishop’s accounts of Korea.

  • cactusmcharris

    Some of you may have not seen wartime Korean kittens before – here’s one I ran across today.

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=149163281898096&set=a.136941399786951.31570.105699689577789&type=1&theater

  • http://www.gofundme.com/1k98a8 Jakgani

    It is just a “Korean copy” of 4chan – used mainly by high school boys and young punks.

    Many of the articles on IIbe – are the exact same articles posted on 4chan years ago – that High school boys have just discovered and posted onto IIbe – followed by the usual ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ response.

  • Cloudfive

    I’d be much more interested in reading letters by Koreans living during the Choseon era translated into English.  Neff, is there such a thing and do you translate any Korean work or is all your research based on the writings of English speaking ex-pats?

    Can you imagine years later if historians got their idea of Korean Culture from the blog of Roboseyo for example? His post on the onion salad phenomenom at Costco, even after it had been covered extensively by other bloggers, was classic.

  • gafafweaefwa955929592

    hope you end up in the ICU. Fuckface

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Wow.  Did I miss something here?  Did he shag your girlfriend one night, send her packin’ back to you, and she still longs for him? I’m lost to what could elicit such a response.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    I see posts are disappearing.  Is this the mods or users?  If I remember, the comment I referred to was, “I hope you end up in the ICU, f@ck face.”

  • dlbarch

    Hot damn…can’t wait to see how the Samsux apologists deal with this:

    http://bgr.com/2012/12/28/lg-samsung-patent-lawsuit-south-korea-271891/

    BTW, the skiing in Tahoe this week has been AWESOME!  Which reminds me, I will be in Seoul on business in a couple of weeks and have blocked out two days for skiing. If anyone knows anything about the O2 resort (I assume it’s a reference to oxygen, fresh air, whatever), please pass along your views. It got a prominent but surprisingly modest write-up in the NYTimes a few weeks ago, so I thought I’d give it a try.

    Cheers.
    DLB

  • MichaelMurakami

    I haven’t been to o2 but given it’s location at Taebak it should have good snow (by local standards). I don’t know how long it’s been since you skied in Korea, but High1 (opened maybe five years ago – http://www.high1.com/eng/skiInfo/html.high1) is probably the best in Gangwon-do now (better runs and better snow than Phoenix, Yongpyeong, and Hyundae). I live in Daejeon so I ski at Muju, but when I have the chance to go north High 1 is now my first choice. O2 looks good as well though…

  • Robert Neff

    Cloudfive:
    I use anything and everything that I can get my hands on – including Korean material.  I have friends of different nationalities who assist me with material published in their languages which, in my opinion, helps give me a more balanced view of the material.

  • Robert Neff

    Bishop’s book is a great read and she was well liked by the Western community in Seoul.  My book mentions her several times because she was often at the American legation and, in fact, one of the pictures in my book was taken by her and, to my knowledge, has never been published before.

  • Robert Neff

    Thanks YangachiBastardo – I hope you enjoy it.

  • Robert Neff

    Thank you Mr. Hodges.  I am sure it won’t measure up to the high-brow and educated material that you consume but I hope it will at least provide you with some entertainment.

  • dlbarch

    Thanks, MM. Yes, even though I get to Korea about once a year, the last time I hit the slopes there was 2008, so I am overdo for a return! I have skied at all the resorts you mentioned, and Muju is certainly among the best of the lot, but based on your recommendation, I will indeed check out High1.

    For one thing, O2 seems geared for newbies, and the website actually boasts of essentially having the longest bunny slope in Korea. WTF. That does not portend good things for the rest of us!

    Again, thanks for the heads up.

    DLB

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    Congratulations on your new book! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.koehler.98 Robert Koehler

    It’s a robot troll. Basically spam.

  • Brier

    Interesting composition of the snow outside. About 3 to 4 cm deep but bottom layer hard and made of melted snow turned to ice. The top layer being dry powdery snow. All this due to light continous snow fall starting at a bit above freezing to a final layer put down as the cold air hardened around.

  • HSchmidt

    The Korean government must eliminate Jasmine Lee. She is promoting immigration of false-Kopino children (those without Korean ancestry but claim to have Korean ancestry). Jasmine Lee is basically encouraging unethical and fraudulent immigration and exploitation of South Korea’s welfare system. 

    Furthermore, many reports are saying that there are only approximately 1000 Kopino children, however some Korean left-wing sources are saying that there are thousands. This is false. Most of these mixed children in the Philippines are Filipino-Japanese. There are literally ten or hundred fold more Japanese-Filipino children than there are Korean-Filipino children. 

    If the Korean government is behind this fraudulent and illegal immigration, then they should be overthrown. There are already too many immigrants in Korea and it’s getting annoying for me as a foreigner. I came to Korea to interact with Korean people and fellow English-speaking people, not being disgusted by these third world Southeast Asian immigrants who live off welfare and have no manners. To me, Korea is becoming a multicultural garbage dump and it’s disgusting. 

  • Narrow Mustache

    Dear Mr. Schmidt.
    As you once wrote, you are not  of pure German descent.
    As a Nazi, this troubles me and I would like to “eliminate” you.
    Sincerely,
    Adolf

  • http://profiles.google.com/setnaffa Mike Morgan

    “I’m sorry.  Let me get this straight.  A guy walks into a school and shoots 20 children, causing a nation to believe it’s time to re-examine gun laws?

    In 2012–just in the USA–1.2 MILLION unborn children were hacked apart and discarded like trash; but that’s okay?

    I think it’s time to re-examine our morals.”

  • ig5959292ee

     connard

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    The Korean government must eliminate Jasmine Lee. She is promoting immigration of false-Kopino children (those without Korean ancestry but claim to have Korean ancestry)

    No, she’s not.

    Furthermore, many reports are saying that there are only approximately 1000 Kopino children, however some Korean left-wing sources are saying that there are thousands. This is false. Most of these mixed children in the Philippines are Filipino-Japanese. There are literally ten or hundred fold more Japanese-Filipino children than there are Korean-Filipino children.

    So?

    If the Korean government is behind this fraudulent and illegal immigration, then they should be overthrown.

    Ah, I love the smell of sedition in the morning.

     There are already too many immigrants in Korea and it’s getting annoying for me as a foreigner.

    Look, it’s perfectly OK to admit you’re a Korean, Schmidt. Be proud of who you are.

  • wangkon936

    Ain’t the mods.  Rob might be playing with the blog’s guts again.

  • wangkon936

    DLB, it ain’t really anything until the verdicts come out and or settlements are agreed upon and the appeals are exhausted.  Com’on, you’re a lawyer, you should know that.

  • wangkon936

    Korean sock puppets tend to pick embarrassingly obvious screen names that they “think” sound so Western.

  • dlbarch

    WK is, again, spectacularly, objectively wrong. Even a casual review on MH’s search engine will show that the Samsux commentariat — include, ahem, WK himself — was commentating on the Apple lawsuit against Samsux LONG BEFORE the August 2012 verdict came down.

    I don’t mind having these arguments on MH over whether Samsux is or isn’t a respectable company, whether those with an interest in Samsux only have an interest when the target is an iconic American company, but can WK just do even a modicum of homework before he weighs in on something so easily verifiable?

    Unbelievable.

    DLB

  • wangkon936

    DLB,

    Simple question.  Is the article you linked to a verdict or is it just a motion?  Dude, you’re the lawyer.  Why get so excited over a motion?  Get excited over the verdict, or not.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    Go Clippers!  Invincible Blake Griffin and Teamwork Chris Paul.   Wonderful players working together.   Won 17 in a row already.   Watch Clippers (much better than the other team in LA with the aging ball-hogger).

  • Koreandumbdumb

    The financial cliff may be resolved tonight.  Hooray!   Finally, those crooks in Washington got people’s mandate – if you f**k up, we the people are going to kick all of you out.    Stocks will jump on Jan 2nd.   Buy early.  

  • SalarymaninSeoul

     The “Fiscal Cliff” is a joke. I like the name though, it does its job, much like the red and amber alerts used to scare the shit out of the populace for years and paving the road for Patriot Act, Patriot Act 2, NDAA, acceptance of the TSA and all the other government intrusions into the lives of the people. The Fiscal cliff is the same thing: scare the people and pave the way for more fiscal irresponsibility. Scare the people into demanding that government be allowed to run up a larger debt! Much like they demanded to be “protected” by the government. Its actually a brilliant ploy because it is so fucking transparent. In a year or two it will again come to the same thing. This way the government doesn’t even have to reign in spending.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

     Next time you go to the Staples Center, look up. All those banners (16 of them), all those retired numbers (8 of them) of absolute legends…NONE, ZERO, NOT A SINGLE ONE, is from the Clippers. Hell, the Clippers do not even have a little division banner to hang somewhere in a dark corner. Enjoy this fluke of a season, your team is a flash in a pan after decades of absolute failure. Even this year, you may get the better record than the other LA team (first time ever, I believe) but the other team will go farther in the playoffs.

    Alternatively, you can go to the Hall of Fame and see 24 Lakers (17 of them players). I think the Clippers have 3.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    Government intrusion?  You want to be one of the three thousand people who died in 9/11?  Debt is good for a country.  As Reagan said “it is a proof that other countries believe in the future of America”.   You borrow, build factories, give jobs to people and you go on.   You do not like Reagan?  I am a Democrat and I like Reaganomics, the borrow and spend and get prosperous.     Do not worry about national debt.   The Chinks will go to war against Japs and the US do not have to pay either party.   WWII cash-and-carry made the US prosperous  It is not how much to save but how you play the game.    

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Wait till people stop believing in the future of America. You won’t be singing this tune. No, I do not like Reagan.
    WW2 made the US prosperous? What a truly dumbdumb thing to say. Not surprising for a Clippers fan, though.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    And the federal debt held by Americans?  What are they going to do? Dissolve gov’t?  Then, they get absolutely nothing.  c’mon.  You are just playing Chicken Little.  After a couple of decades later, the US maybe totally debt-free.  Just print more money.  Borrow more.  Reagan did it.  Absolute genius, he was.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

     3 thousand people died so that 300 million can be enslaved to the State.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    That is, as people say, history.  The future belongs to Clippers as a ball hogger called Kobei plays at another LA team.  He can average 50 points per night and the team will go to the bottom.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Some questions:

    1. Who borrows money to build factories the give people jobs? The State or private enterprise?
    2. What is the “fiscal cliff” about, public or private debt?
    3. What is government debt actually made up of? In other words, is it good or bad debt? Most has been to fund war, tax breaks for the rich, and current government operations: i.e. terribly wasteful.
    4. Just because something is good in the short term does not mean it will be good in the long term. All borrowing kicks the can down the road: we borrow to live beyond our means and basically sell our kids out to be debt slaves to other nations. If you think we can continue to run up the debt, you’re an utter moron.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    What future? You have an owner who has always been a cheapskate and a racist to boot. You think you have a future? Griffin will be a Laker when he becomes a free agent and Chris Paul is only a Clipper because the league caved to the cries of some who didnt like the trade. You have no future.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    A police check is an enslavement?  National security is an enslavement?  What is not an enslavement?  Getting bombed by terrorists?  If you live in Seoul, just wait till NKs shoot at you or imprison you.  You will learn the true enslavement.  

  • SalarymaninSeoul

     Yeah, print more money. You never did take a single econ class, did you. Great idea: print a million dollars for everyone. Problems solved!

  • Koreandumbdumb

    “Wait till people stop believing in the future of America.”?   This will not happen until your grandson’s time.  Whenever there is a financial crisis, people sell gold and buy dollar.  Just incredible thing is happening in financial market.  People prefer dollar over gold.  Very strange but true.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    I took two terms of Economics.  Reganomics is better.   Now do not go to extreme.   I just think that when a country has over 8% of perpetual unemployment the government has to print more money or borrow more till it reaches about 4%.   I  don’t believe in total employment.   However, when a government does not provide liquidity at a time of recession, the economy could go into perpetual deflation – like what happened in 1920s.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

     What is money? Money is simply a medium of exchange. Money is NOT wealth. Its irrelevant whether there is 1x or 2x of money in a money supply, all that changes is ratio of money:good that is required for the exchange to take place. Do not be afraid of deflation. Deflation is natural. All products should decline in price as competition and technical improvements come into effect. Decreasing prices are a GOOD thing. Look at computers which are now significantly cheaper on a per computer basis than they were 15 years ago, and significantly better as well. There has been tremendous price deflation in computing yet the industry is doing quite well. This is pretty much the same for every industry, and the more an industry thrives the more deflation there has been over the last few decades. No, what you are pushing is a myth. Which Keynesian charlatan taught you your economics? There is no reason why government should be in charge of monetary policy and no reason why government should have a monopoly on printing money.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

     Really? Then tell us why gold has been skyrocketing in price, i.e. why the fiat monopoly money is losing value relative to gold. Gold will continue to break records into the near future especially as Uncle Ben prints the dollar into worthlessness.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

     But what is relevant is when you get into massive inflationary printing as Uncle Ben is now doing. Inflation is worse than taxes because it is something that people notice less than taxes. Inflation transfers wealth to those who get the money first: banks. It destroys savers (me and you) and is a windfall for debtors (for example the government which is able to borrow at low rates). When you print without caution as the FED is doing now, you are pretty much begging for a crack up boom to come and take you out. When it comes, it comes without warning and the currency is wiped out in a matter of weeks or months. No, it won’t happen until my grandson is alive -  I see this whole thing crashing within 3 years unless spending is brought under control, the FED’s massive printing is stopped and taxes are lowered. But this will not happen if Congress just makes 11th hour deals on “fiscal cliffs.”

  • Koreandumbdumb

    I am not the only one who thinks that the US will stay out of upcoming China-Japan war.  http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2013/01/116_128100.html

    The US should stay out as I mentioned  several times.  It can be the best thing that happened to America and EU.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    What kinds of f***ups work at NY times? http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/30/opinion/sunday/drones-for-south-korea.html?_r=0
    “re-engage NK”?  No.  Pressure the Chinks to comply and cut off gasoline shipments to NK.  Let the Chinese pigs de-nuclear NK if it has any.  The US has no need to “engage” the Chink’s pawn.   The US is better than that.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    SalarymaninSeoul:  What is money? Money is simply a medium of exchange. Money is NOT wealth. Its irrelevant whether there is 1x or 2x of money in a money supply, all that changes is ratio of money:good that is required for the exchange to take place.

    Money is more than simply a medium of exchange.  Money provides a unit of account that allows us to easily compare the price of apple to oranges while we shop in a fish market. Money also provides a store of wealth.  Money allows banana farmers to sell their goods in a given time period and use the proceeds in another time period.  Therefore, the change in money supply does matter.Do not be afraid of deflation. Deflation is natural. All products should decline in price as competition and technical improvements come into effect. Decreasing prices are a GOOD thing. Look at computers which are now significantly cheaper on a per computer basis than they were 15 years ago, and significantly better as well. Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Deflation is a more significant problem than inflation in the ways that it alters consumer/producer, borrower/lender, and other behaviors.  In the significant long run, history shows us that the world is deflationary because of collapses in governments and civilizations.You are correct, though, that the government’s method for measuring inflation tends to overstate inflation, particularly across many time periods.  The government’s method is to compare the price an entry level computer in time period zero with the price of an entry level computer in time period 20.  The method does not take into account that the computer in time period 20 would cost a bazillion dollars in time period zero with matching specs.  There are other more subtle ways (e.g., ignoring substitution effects in consumer behavior) that inflation gets overstated by the method of government measurement.

    There is no reason why government should be in charge of monetary policy and no reason why government should have a monopoly on printing money.

    There are not only good reasons but also good reasons for a responsible government to have the monopoly.  Yes, responsibly controlling the money supply is a good reason.

  • Anonymous_Joe

     SalarymaninSeoul:  But what is relevant is when you get into massive inflationary printing as Uncle Ben is now doing. Inflation is worse than taxes because it is something that people notice less than taxes. Inflation transfers wealth to those who get the money first: banks. It destroys savers (me and you) and is a windfall for debtors (for example the government which is able to borrow at low rates). When you print without caution as the FED is doing now, ….

    The empirical data does not bear you out.  Inflation has been at worst mild and certainly within its targeted range.

    When you print without caution as the FED is doing now, ….

    The real danger is unanticipated inflation.  Market participants bake in anticipated inflation and even a risk premium for unanticipated inflation.  The more risky (as in standard deviation in expectations) the greater the risk premium.

  • YangachiBastardo

    If you trust the official CPI and PPI numbers i got some hot Chinese social network IPO to sell you.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Ummmm…. I wrote that I did not.  There are many problems with the way that the numbers are calculated, and as I wrote, I don’t think the numbers are valid across long time periods.

    BTW, if you are going to comment on something like this, you should come out of the twitterverse and provide examples rather than catchy sound bites that appeal to those who really have no knowledge beyond “that’s what they say.”  I’d be happy to read, consider, and debate your ideas on the subject.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    For a libertarian, you are one hell of a statist, Joe.

    1. No, governments should not have a monopoly on printing money. Read Hayek on denationalization of currency. In fact it would be a great thing for everyone of every Tom, Dick and Harry could print his own currency. The result would be a quicl return to gold and move away from the fraud that is fiat money.

    2. As for your post on deflation, you fail to realize that deflation, like inflation, is really a by-product of the system of government monopoly on money. Here are some quotes:

    “Deflation is actually a good thing, because in a deflation prices drop
    and money becomes more valuable, so deflation encourages people to save
    money. Deflation rewards the prudent saver and punishes the profligate
    borrower. The way a society, like an individual, becomes wealthy is by
    producing more than it consumes. In other words, by saving, not
    borrowing. And during a deflation, when money becomes more valuable,
    everybody wants money. They want to save. Whereas during an inflation,
    you want to get rid of the money. You want to consume. You want to
    spend. But you don’t become wealthy by spending and consuming; you
    become wealthy by producing and saving.” Doug Casey

    “Deflation is not inherently
    bad, and that it is therefore far from being obvious that a wise
    monetary policy should seek to prevent it, or dampen its effects, at any
    price. Deflation creates a great number of losers, and many of these
    losers are perfectly innocent people who have just not been wise enough
    to anticipate the event. But deflation also creates many winners, and it
    also punishes many ‘political entrepreneurs’ who had thrived on their
    intimate connections to those who control the production of fiat money.
    Deflation puts a break–at the
    very least a temporary break–on the further concentration and
    consolidation of power in the hands of the federal government and in
    particular in the executive branch. It dampens the growth of the welfare
    state, if it does not lead to its outright implosion. In short,
    deflation is at least potentially a great liberating force. It not only
    brings the inflated monetary system back to rock bottom, it brings the
    entire society back in touch with the real world, because it destroys
    the economic basis of the social engineers, spin doctors, and brain
    washers.” Jörg Guido Hülsmann”Lower prices increase demand; they do not reduce or delay it. That’s why
    more and more people own flat-screen TVs, cellular telephones, and
    laptop computers: the prices of these goods have fallen, and people with
    lower incomes can afford them. And there are more low-income people
    than high-income people” Doug French (of the Mises Institute, though Im sure youre more of a Keynes sort of guy)”The Great Depression dealt a near-fatal blow to such
    common-sense thinking about prices and the price level. A new generation
    of economists became so obsessed with avoiding the bad kind of
    deflation that they all but forgot about the good kind. Followers of
    Keynes advocated inflationary policies, which have been the norm ever
    since. Having paid penance for the Great Depression by suffering through
    six decades of inflation, it is time for us to revive old-fashioned
    logic concerning the potential benefits of deflation.
    Recognition of the possibility of benign deflation should
    have a salutary effect on the thinking of the world’s central bankers.
    By helping them to overcome their fear of falling prices, it will
    encourage them to deal a deathblow to the worldwide scourge of
    inflation. But that is only the beginning. Once the possibility of
    benign deflation is fully appreciated, zero inflation itself will come
    to be recognized as an overly expansionary policy—that is, as a mere
    steppingstone on the way to something even better.” George Selgin

    The deflationary scare is a result of heavy Keynesian propaganda that disdains saving and loves spending. They have been scaring the shit out of people because they need a bogeyman (hyper deflation) to sell people on having their money stolen from them through inflating it into worthlessness

    3. All the functions of money you state are secondary and flow from its primary role as a medium of exchange. It is a store of value BECAUSE it is a medium of exchange -  because you can exchange it tomorrow for something else. Likewise, it is a unit of account BECAUSE it is a medium of exchange. Whether there is x, 2x or 3x money in circulation, none of these change. Only when you get to a point where people realize that the growth of the supply is growing too quickly you get to what Mises coined the crack up boom: people abandon the fiat currency and move into real things, and the currency collapses.

    Deflation, much like inflation, only ever get to a point where they are a threat when someone has the power to manipulate the money supply.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

     I’m also amazed at how ready you are to take the government’s word for everything, such as inflation.

    On a basic level, one only needs to go to stores to see that prices are significantly up.
    On another level what do you think about this? http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article33502.html
    “But a report issued last week by the non-profit group American Institute
    for Economic Research (AIER) says the U.S. inflation rate for 2011 is
    far higher – 8%.”
    “‘You know this argument that the prices are going up about 2%, nobody
    believes it,” Paul bluntly told U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben
    Bernanke during a hearing last week. “People on fixed incomes – they’re
    really hurting, the middle class is really hurting because their
    inflation rate is very much higher than the government tries to tell
    them and that’s why they lose trust in government.”

    The article isn’t really bringing up anything new, but sometimes we need to be reminded of obvious things. Such as the general bullshit of hedonics and the manipulation that goes into not only WHAT is included in the commodity basket, but also how what is included is manipulated.

    You are free to keep buying what they are selling; I do not buy any of it.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    I look at governments as companies.  Reagan was an excellent CEO who borrowed money and took over computer market.   If it had not been Reagan, we would be using Japanese computers or German network provider.   Instead, even the Chinese are using American product.   Sometimes gaining market share is more important than balancing books.  Education, infra structure, financial market, employment have to be considered.  At 8% unemployment, the government MUST inflate by borrowing.  It must!

  • SalarymaninSeoul

     How do you inflate BY borrowing? You inflate by printing. You can inflate AND borrow but these are not related.

    The government should relax labor laws, deregulate and provide low taxes. Clean up its books and provide a good, clean legal system with much less red tape. It should stop backing labor unions. It should create a stable, sound currency. All these measures would be healthier than inflating and borrowing. Most of all, it should abstain from fuelling the business cycle by driving interest rates to abnormal levels. Saving and investments over consumption.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

     Companies face competition. They are driven to create efficiencies. Governments are monopolies driven to create inefficiencies. How are these even remotely alike? Companies need to provide a competitive service or product, governments can strong arm people into buying theirs. Again, where do you see the similarities?

  • YangachiBastardo

    I promise i will, i’m a bit busy and don’t feel too well and the aspirin is getting me queasy…the subject is interesting indeed: i’ll readily concede it isn’t that easy to calculate an appropriate  consumer inflation rate as it really depends a lot on the basket you pick (and that’s not news) and recently price fluctuations have been wildly varied, with some goods and services showing an effective decrease of price and others going through the roof (a newer phenomenon, to this extent at least). 

    I’ll also readily concede that, i was an inflation hawk til last spring and i have a few doubts now. Inflation is still alive and well in Asia. In the US i don’t know and i have to admit there’s none here in my country: actually prices are showing signs of plummeting (i’m personally convinced our GDP is crashing at way faster rate than the official -2% reported, some numbers don’t add up)…we will see

    PS

    DO NOT, for your financial well being, try to forecast future volatility based on market expectations implied by levels of risk premia, options implied volatility, VIXX futures, GARCH models etc. All these tools have a very poor  forecasting track record.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    Last thirty years, using Reaganomics, the US has prospered.   Why abandon what works?   Borrow and spend.   Or, are you saying as Ross Perot and Romney, get rid of 1/3 of federal employees?  Why tip the apple cart when you do not know what happens next.  You wrote “should…should..should..” but it is not perfect world and there are entrenched interest groups and they will not let you change anything.   Reagan’s people recognized them and decided to borrow instead.  Borrow for the future.  Reaganomics works.  I lived very well in last thirty years.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    OK, here goes.  I suppose that I can get out of this in one line with “show me a prosperous deflationary time.  The Great Depression?  The Dark Ages?”, but I”ll briefly address your points.

    For a libertarian, you are one hell of a statist, Joe.

    I believe there is a place for government intervention in places where there is no market or to ensure the integrity of market behavior.

    1. No, governments should not have a monopoly on printing money. Read Hayek on denationalization of currency. In fact it would be a great thing for everyone of every Tom, Dick and Harry could print his own currency. The result would be a quicl return to gold and move away from the fraud that is fiat money.

    A quick return to the gold because markets would break down.  I would have to evaluate the creditworthiness of every Tom, Dick, and Harry.  I see the world devolving into a specie or barter system.

    2. As for your post on deflation, you fail to realize that deflation, like inflation, is really a by-product of the system of government monopoly on money.

    Any commodity used as a medium of exchange, store of value, and account of value is vulnerable to inflation or deflation.  Reduce the economy to two goods:  gold and fish.  They would appreciate or depreciate against each other depending on the catch of the day or a strike in the mother lode. 

    Here are some quotes:
    “Deflation is actually a good thing,…. …during a deflation, when money becomes more valuable, everybody wants money. They want to save. Whereas during an inflation, you want to get rid of the money. You want to consume. You want to spend. But you don’t become wealthy by spending and consuming; you become wealthy by producing and saving.” Doug Casey

    Who are consuming and spending so that “you become wealthy by producing and saving”?  It’s called the paradox of thrift.  Economists settled that long ago. 

    3. All the functions of money you state are secondary and flow from its primary role as a medium of exchange. It is a store of value BECAUSE it is a medium of exchange -  because you can exchange it tomorrow for something else. Likewise, it is a unit of account BECAUSE it is a medium of exchange.

    No, the three are mutually exclusive.  Money is a medium of exchange because people accept it in exchange.  People could use cod fish.  The “accepted as a medium of exchange” is facilitated BECAUSE it is a store of value and BECAUSE it is a unit of account.  Although the three are mutually exclusive, I can argue the opposite of your point easier.  

  • Anonymous_Joe

     I’m also amazed at how ready you are to take the government’s word for everything, such as inflation.

    I don’t.  In fact, I think that inflation data is meaningless for any significantly long enough periods of time.

    The effects of the inflation rate on specific groups of people is misusing the statistic.  The inflation rate is an aggregate statistic and used to measure inflation in the economy as a whole on some hypothetical “typical” consumer.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    I promise i will, i’m a bit busy and don’t feel too well and the aspirin is getting me queasy…the subject is interesting indeed:

    I understand.

    PS:  DO NOT, for your financial well being, try to forecast future volatility based on market expectations implied by levels of risk premia, options implied volatility, VIXX futures, GARCH models etc. All these tools have a very poor  forecasting track record.

    I found that out the hard way.  I tested, particularly the VIXX, on my own accounts.  Where were you 12 years ago when I really needed you?  Ouch.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    The US has prospered?! Seriously? Youve been through two serious bubbles created by the government and have now spent yourself into a situation where you are literally on the verge of economic collapse. Why change?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Sure, every commodity is susceptible to deflation and inflation. Tell me another truism. But what commodity is as susceptible as paper? Hell, now, you don’t even need paper! Its all electronic….no brakes on either inflation or deflation but the “good intentions” of BANKERS. Sounds great, Joe.

    Do you think, seriously, that credit worthiness would not be easily established in world where the government does not have a monopoly on money?

    Paradox of thrift: wow, a Libertarian who follows Keynes. It should be noted this has NOT been settled, it is only Keynesian vomit. One simple answer is that when people increase savings in a bank, the bank has more money to lend, which will generally decrease the interest rate and spur lending and spending. That you are falling in line with the lies told by Keynesians and central bankers does not really surprise me one bit, since you are obviously not a libertarian but a pretty dogmatic statist and Keynesian.

  • SalarymaninSeoul
  • Koreandumbdumb

    Who are consuming and spending so that “you become wealthy by producing and saving”?  It’s called the paradox of thrift.  Economists settled that long ago. 

  • Koreandumbdumb

    Bravo.. The paradox of thrift.  Very nice.  This is what I have been writing.  Japan tried “saving” for last thirty years.  It did not work.   Their industries are dying.  Only food items and bare necessities are selling.   The country is dying.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Japan’s problems go very deep, beyond this fictitious paradox. 0% interest rates have not helped much there.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Sure, every commodity is susceptible to deflation and inflation. Tell me another truism. But what commodity is as susceptible as paper?

    Except that money is a meta-commodity.  Other commodities are susceptible to vagaries of supply What if they discover a huge lode of gold that doubles the supply? What if a substitute is found? For that matter, what is the differences between fiat money and gold in the sense that we value them simply because we value them?

    Hell, now, you don’t even need paper! Its all electronic….no brakes on either inflation or deflation but the “good intentions” of BANKERS. Sounds great, Joe.

    The transfers might be all electronic, but the supply is fixed. Ummmmm…. besides, how does your idea of everyone printing his own money fix that?
     

    Do you think, seriously, that credit worthiness would not be easily established in world where the government does not have a monopoly on money?

    Yes, creditworthiness is difficult enough to figure when applying for a mortgage or car loan and lenders are performing a financial colonoscopy.  Do you want to go through an anal probe every time you buy milk at a 7-Eleven?

    Paradox of thrift: wow, a Libertarian who follows Keynes. It should be noted this has NOT been settled, it is only Keynesian vomit.

    The idea existed long before Keynes, thought it does fit in with Keynesian economics.  So does supply and demand and the law of gravity.  Are you going to guilt them by association, too?

    One simple answer is that when people increase savings in a bank, the bank has more money to lend, which will generally decrease the interest rate and spur lending and spending.

    The problem is that in a deflationary and low to zero interest rate environment, banks have no incentive to lend.  In a zero interest rate lending market, banks aren’t compensated for default risk, and you can’t push the nominal rate below zero,   Also, Salman, in your world without governments, why would anyone, particularly in a zero interest rate environment, put their money in banks rather than under their mattresses?  Banks, even in zero rate environments, offer more safety than mattresses, but without gov’t guarantees, I’d trust my mattress.

    That you are falling in line with the lies told by Keynesians and central bankers does not really surprise me one bit, since you are obviously not a libertarian but a pretty dogmatic statist and Keynesian.

    No, I’m just not a fantasy island anarchist.  My libertarian views allow for personal choice so long as the person making the choice assumes the full cost of his decision.  So yeah, I believe in stop signs and speed limits.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    I still like the paradox of thrift.   It is so right.   If everyone is saving, then nobody is buying other than food and clothing.   And, may keep an old car.  None other.  Basically all companies will make less profit.   No one is investing.   Nothing goes up in value.   No one is buying any property or stocks because they will go down in price.   The whole country goes down.  No jobs for young people.  Everything is static.  No change.  Only gets worse.   1930s?  We should thank Ben Bernanke for giving different future to America.

  • Matthew Clancy

    A Long Island who lived in Korea for a while has invented a new game!! It is designed to make English Teachers in South Korea feel a little bit less like losers. But I don’t know what to call it. 
    You just look out for the weekly group of Koreans who roll into Tijuana in tour groups and lie in wait, like a lion hunting zebra.As soon as one or two weak ones stray from the group you pounce.That’s when you walk over to them on the streets of Tijuana Mexico and say, “안녕 하십니까?  밥먹었어? 약국 어디서?” (Hello. How are you? Excuse me, where is the pharmacy?)The reactions are priceless!! I have never had as much fun just by being friendly to people. Bonus points if you find a tourist from an outer province of Korea and deliver the question in the appropriate dialect.You lose the game and must take a shot if the Korean you approach is 한국계 멕시코인 (Mexican Korean. Yes. They have those.) And you’ll probably get yelled at in Spanish, but hey, it’s a learning experience.And since the questions you can come up with are endless, it never gets old! Please check out my website and tell me what to call my game! matthewclancy.blogspot.com 

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    You do Long Island proud, sir.

  • RElgin

    That is a great game but nowadays I can play this in *so* many places, including Greece.  Koreans are fervent tourists nowadays.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    The system still work.   The budget bill passed in the House as well.  Great!   And.don’t get me wrong.  We need people like SalarymaninSeoul to keep the rate of money supply to go up in slow pace.   We need both yin and yang to balance things out. It is just that TeaParty movement came at the wrong time.   Romney got sunk because of that.   At the time of high unemployment, a government has to increase money supply by causing mild inflation.   Just textbook case.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Am I pushing for 0% interest rates? Thats your schtick, Mr. Statist. You are free to follow Keynes, I prefer Mises. 0% interest rates are an abomination and I have not been arguing for them. You seem to have conflated interest rates with inflation, and think that because I am against inflation, which you support, I must be for 0% interest rates. Nor am I for deflation, by the way. I am for money separated from the government, a strict gold standard. This is because I realize that the sort of deflation you are fearing, and you are RIGHT to fear, comes as a result of having first inflated. Its like a sudden drug withdrawal after a massive injection, the system crashing and in need of an even larger does next time. What is to be feared is not deflation, per se, but the unexpected and sudden deflation following the sugar rush of liquidity.

    Stop signs and speed limits, now we agree.
    How would everyone being able to print his own money solve the proble, of inflation? People would pretty quickly take to gold thereby establishing what should be established -  the gold standard.
    Yes, a massive deposit of gold could suddenly be found. Unlikely, but it could. Then again Uncle Ben could triple the money supply over night. Which is more likely?
    See, the law of gravity is a scientifically established fact. The paradox of thrift is nothing of the sort, and much like what Keynes wrote, is pure garbage designed to create and justify government intrusion into the economy and our lives.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    This is such an extreme thing though. Thin: under what circumstances is NOBODY buying. Step back, think of your life: would you stop buying things today other than food? would you stop spending money? What would force you to resort to such drastic measures? Now, step back again, and ask yourself when Keynes was writing when he articulated this paradox. The Keynesian system is one born of very bad economic times and does not really reflect 95% of reality. One more step back: when recessions and depressions happen, why do they happen? You may find that like with the past two large bubbles, or like with the Great Depression itself, these are the fruits of government intrusion into the economy.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Joe,

    how do you square the tenets of libertarianism with your support for government sanctioned theft? Having been here for a few months now I have not noticed a government action you actually disliked. Libertarianism rests on the Non-Aggression principle, yet the very idea of goverment rests on aggression. self-ownership would seem to indicate that we own our bodies, and that we therefore own the fruits of our labor, yet taxation and inflation steal what is ours, one by force the other by stealth, but steal nonetheless. Stop signs and speed limits do no such thing, they simply create boundries for our actions which neitehr libertarianism nor anarchism reject, nor are they as serious: having to stop at a red light is not the same as having your savings eaten away because the government is slowly destroying the currency.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Am I pushing for 0% interest rates? Thats your schtick, Mr. Statist. You are free to follow Keynes, I prefer Mises. 0% interest rates are an abomination and I have not been arguing for them. You seem to have conflated interest rates with inflation, and think that because I am against inflation, which you support, I must be for 0% interest rates.

    Well, Mr. Misanthrope living on fantasy island who is so stuck to his ivy tower what-color-is-the-sky-in-your-world theories that he doesn’t care what empirical evidence from the real world says so he resorts to hyperbolic name calling, you don’t have to push for 0% interest rates because all interest rates (save the federal funds rate) are determined in the market.  In a deflationary environment, lenders (as in households) would not be compensated for their liquidity preference and credit risk in loaning funds; therefore no loans would take place.  Technically, households are not “saving”; they’re holding funds in liquidity.  Regardless, they’re not loaning by hoarding underneath their mattresses and the money supply, in effect shrinks.

    Nor am I for deflation, by the way. I am for money separated from the government, a strict gold standard. This is because I realize that the sort of deflation you are fearing, and you are RIGHT to fear, comes as a result of having first inflated. Its like a sudden drug withdrawal after a massive injection, the system crashing and in need of an even larger does next time. What is to be feared is not deflation, per se, but the unexpected and sudden deflation following the sugar rush of liquidity.

    …and with a fixed supply of gold, how do you grow the money supply to keep up with real world realities like increasing populations (labor) with better technologies (capital in the economics term sense not the way most people understand the word) and better entrepreneurial skills?  That’s right, you don’t.

    Stop signs and speed limits, now we agree.

    …and how do you pay for these stop signs and speed limits?  Who decides where to place and who places them?  ..and how do you pay for all that?  Uh oh.

    How would everyone being able to print his own money solve the proble, of inflation? People would pretty quickly take to gold thereby establishing what should be established -  the gold standard. So your idea of prvately printed money is a trojan horse (without the gift or aesthetic value ruse)?  Good job, we’re all going to take that in.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    how do you square the tenets of libertarianism with your support for government sanctioned theft? Having been here for a few months now I have not noticed a government action you actually disliked.

    Living in the real world, I accept a role for government and a need for taxation.  I prefer such a place to the climate on some misanthripical island where people live in isolation because everyone either eats or gets eaten.

    Libertarianism rests on the Non-Aggression principle, yet the very idea of goverment rests on aggression. self-ownership would seem to indicate that we own our bodies, and that we therefore own the fruits of our labor, yet taxation and inflation steal what is ours, one by force the other by stealth, but steal nonetheless. Stop signs and speed limits do no such thing, they simply create boundries for our actions which neitehr libertarianism nor anarchism reject, nor are they as serious: having to stop at a red light is not the same as having your savings eaten away because the government is slowly destroying the currency.

    Well, after four months I’ve finally gotten you to live in a world with stop signs and speed limits.  My resolution for the coming year is to get you to accept reasonable limits on private action and property so that the spillover doesn’t harm others.  Say, limits on the production and storage of nuclear waste in residential areas.  Welcome to 2013.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I agreed wioth you on stop signs and speed limits the first time you brought it up. Don’t credit yourself with too much, Joe. Never have I rejected the idea of rules. Not even rules for storage of nuclear waste. In your strawman world no government means no rules. Im sure you think anarchy = chaos and disorder. 

    You are free to accept anything you want. I don’t begrudge you that freedom. I may simply be nitpicking, but you simply are not a libertarian; more of a utilitarian who accepts everything because he thinks it has some benefits. Though you sure do love your false dichotomies and strawmen.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    I agreed wioth you on stop signs and speed limits the first time you brought it up. Don’t credit yourself with too much, Joe. Never have I rejected the idea of rules. Not even rules for storage of nuclear waste. In your strawman world no government means no rules. Im sure you think anarchy = chaos and disorder.

    Show me where you agreed.  You’ve put up roadblocks all along.  And show me who puts them up and how they’re paid for. As for your imputing what you are sure that I think, you seem to be sure about all that you impute.  No, I did not use anarchy in the sense of A Clockwork Orange; I used it in the sense of its Greek etymology.  I do think that once you inhabit fantasy island with people that the lack of rule of law and means to enforce it leads to anarchy in the sense that you impute.

    You are free to accept anything you want. I don’t begrudge you that freedom. I may simply be nitpicking, but you simply are not a libertarian; more of a utilitarian who accepts everything because he thinks it has some benefits. Though you sure do love your false dichotomies and strawmen.

     No and no.  I simply believe in non-aggressive libertarianism and absolute free choice where one assumes the full moral cost. Show me false dichotomies and strawmen.  If so, I will reevaluate because I absolutely hate when someone imputes positions

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    The property owner would decide where, or if, to place such stop signs. Now you’re onto the age old “but who would build the roads if there was no government” mantra of the statists.

    In a deflationary environment interest rates could still rise:
    http://fifthwavefinancialanalysis.blogspot.kr/2010/02/interest-rates-in-deflation.html

    But really you are still failing to grasp the idea that there are several different causes of deflation and that not all deflations are bad. As long as you continue to misrepresent what Im saying you’re no different than a brick wall, or a statist in libertarian clothing.

    http://inflationdata.com/articles/2008/07/16/what-is-deflation/

  • Anonymous_Joe

    The property owner would decide where, or if, to place such stop signs. Now you’re onto the age old “but who would build the roads if there was no government” mantra of the statists.

    Now, what if a property owner did not allow the easements over his property to even build the roads?  If all property rights are private, anyone can be the butt plug that stops all traffic.  Even with the beneficence of the individual private property road owners, why would they build roads to begin with?  Oh, to charge usage fees (i.e., tolls) well who is going to collect those tolls at each individual parcel of property?  

    Salman, markets break down for private goods.

    In a deflationary environment interest rates could still rise:
    http://fifthwavefinancialanaly

    And rising interest rates in an aggregate deflationary environment means that the risk premium is very high.  That’s worse than low or zero interest rates because the real interest rate becomes prohibitive..  Oh and BTW, nominal interest rates are highly correlated with the inflation rate, almost lock step.  If they no longer correlate with the same difference its because of credit risk or uncertainty.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Thats up to the property owner. You seem to now be vocing implicit support for eminent domain or perhaps government ownership of all land.
    Yes, to charge toll fees. Why not? Wait, do you think your roads are free now? And do you think its IMPOSSIBLE to collect tolls? Seriously? Private roads have existed for centuries and somehow property owners found the motivation and the way to collect on that motivation. And yes, private property owners could very well be able to put up stop signs on their roads. Roads financed by taxation essentially means that drivers perceive them as free: the taxes are sunk costs that they siply do not even register in their minds. And as you know, lower the price for any good below the equilibrium point and what happen? Shortages – i.e. masive traffic jams. I would prefer tolls that make it present on everyone’s mind that they are paying for the road and paying a proper price. As far as collection, there are so many options, including coordination of collection via technology (for example Hi-Pass) between multiple road owners in a region.

    Again, I’ll state this, private roads have existed for a long time. It did not take government to give us roads. And guess what, lighthouses?, they too have been privately owned. Lighthouses being the classic example of the so-called public good for which the market supposedly “breaks down.”

    The risk premium will be what the market will bear. Lender A and Borrower B would have to come to an agreement as to what the rate of interest would be. Like anything, money, being a commodity, clears the market at a certain price, the interest rate. I find it far more positive in the long run if the rate of interest matches what the market bears instead of being driven down to nothing by one huge price-setter. But enough on this, I don’t think we will come to an agreement on this issue, because an anarchist and a statist simply cannot agree on much.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6KFMIOLXZTCWEEJ3GF3YIAZIJ4 mightymouse

    What’s going on with the weather in Korea? Has it become an extension of Siberia?? 

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Global warming.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    Why gold standard is a bad idea. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_reserve#Officially_reported_gold_holdings

  • Anonymous_Joe

    What color is the sky in your world?

    I’ve gotten used to the blue sky in reality, though sometimes I wish it were different.  I’ve just come to accept that in reality and with all practicality, I live in a world with a blue sky.  

    Are you followin’ me here?

  • Koreandumbdumb

    Very interesting scenarios may develop once the US go gold standard:  Dollar may become the store of value.  The most stable country(not likely to be attacked and lose gold) with the most stable currency (you can exchange dollar to gold).   This may attract other countries to hoard dollar.  All dollar is owned by the world.  There is not enough dollar to go around in the State.  In  the end, dollar may only be available in the black market.  Currency appreciation.   Just what happened in Japan.  Nobody will buy American goods because they are so expensive.   Computer industry will be the victim.  No Apple, Google or Mcrosoft.  Just big fat consumer nation with no industry.   Just loansharking to the rest of the world.   The Japanese model.  See where Japan is.  Decades of deflation.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    The U.S. is not going to go on the gold standard.  That experiment is done.  

    Think about it.  If the U.S. pegs the price of gold at say, I don’t know, $35 an ounce, and dollars are redeemable for gold.  What would happen if the price of gold went up in the marketplace?  I wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder…. If only we had a historical example.  Hmmmmm…..

  • ecw73

    Libertarianism rests on the Non-Aggression principle, yet the very idea of goverment rests on aggression. self-ownership would seem to indicate that we own our bodies

    Libertarianism can’t rest on the “non-aggression principle” or on “self-ownership”. Concepts like non-aggression and ownership are social constructs that arise out of agreements made among people. Prior to these agreements, these concepts don’t exist as sacrosanct principles. One owns anything, including one’s self, only to the extent that one is able to defend it oneself.

    If libertarianism rests on anything, it rests simply on the ability of people to make agreements. But libertarianism certainly doesn’t automatically follow from this ability. People can just as easily agree to establish non-libertarian concepts.