Ralph Peters outs the War Party

It’s not about Democrats or Republicans. It never has been:

Both parties are quick to employ our military. It’s the only foreign-policy tool we have that works. Neither party is a peace party – each just wants to pick its own wars. The hypocrisy in Washington is as astonishing as the dishonesty about security needs.

And why is the military the only policy tool that works? Because it doesn’t have to do anything but break things and kill people. That’s the one thing that government is perfectly capable of handling. Why so many people want more of it, when there is centuries of evidence demonstrating that all one ever gets from it is more broken things and more dead people, is something I will never understand.

The Fed and the Depression

Ben Bernanke defies the common Keynesian position:

It was in large part to improve the management of banking panics that the Federal Reserve was created in 1913. However, as Friedman and Schwartz discuss in some detail, in the early 1930s the Federal Reserve did not serve that function. The problem within the Fed was largely doctrinal: Fed officials appeared to subscribe to Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon’s infamous ‘liquidationist’ thesis, that weeding out “weak” banks was a harsh but necessary prerequisite to the recovery of the banking system. Moreover, most of the failing banks were small banks (as opposed to what we would now call money-center banks) and not members of the Federal Reserve System. Thus the Fed saw no particular need to try to stem the panics. At the same time, the large banks – which would have intervened before the founding of the Fed – felt that protecting their smaller brethren was no longer their responsibility. Indeed, since the large banks felt confident that the Fed would protect them if necessary, the weeding out of small competitors was a positive good, from their point of view. In short, according to Friedman and Schwartz, because of institutional changes and misguided doctrines, the banking panics of the Great Contraction were much more severe and widespread than would have normally occurred during a downturn. …

Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve. I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.

This jocular statement has never gotten the widespread attention it deserves, even if the current Fed Chairman errantly attributes this demonstration of Fed responsibility to the famous monetarist when it was actually the Austrian economist Murray Rothbard who first made the conclusive case in his 1963 book America’s Great Depression. It’s interesting, however, to see how Bernanke is, despite his promise, following the same general model that his predecessors did. I’ll have more detailed analysis of this in a future Voxonomics to see just how closely the Fed is imitating history, but needless to say, this doesn’t bode terribly well for the future.

I have to say, I’m really impressed with this timely step by WorldNetDaily, even though I knew nothing about it. If I understand my principles of socionomics, this is a definite bear sign as a broadening interest in technical analysis usually indicates volatility and a down market.

Voxonomics 1-1

Here’s the first experiment in Voxonomics… although apparently not in podcasting per se. For a variety of reasons, the RSS feed I created doesn’t appear to be validating. I’m not sure I’m going to do this every week or not, we’ll have to see if it’s of any interest first.

It’s one way out

Like Mississippi, many states use an inflated graduation rate for federal reporting requirements under the No Child Left Behind law and a different one at home. As a result, researchers say, federal figures obscure a dropout epidemic so severe that only about 70 percent of the one million American students who start ninth grade each year graduate four years later.

But whatever would we do without a public school system that can barely move half the students that enter it even with social promotion? If you tried to design an even half-way rational means of educating a child, just what aspects of the present system would you retain? And as the CPI fiction shows, these are far from the only federal figures being severely fudged.