Richard wrote via e-mail:
I came across your site a while back. I even loaded it up into google reader a few weeks ago. I just wanted to say thanks for posting. I feel the same way about (nearly?) everything I’ve read here. You often times put into words the things that I’ve felt but couldn’t express. Thanks. It’s become what I consider ‘required reading’, like CATO, FEE, Mises books, etc.
I sent him an e-mail letting him know how great it is to hear these things from readers. It really does make it all worth it.
I’ve been receiving more e-mails lately, and I’ve been trying to respond to them on the blog. If you have a question, feel free to ask anytime via e-mail through the “Contact Me” page, or by leaving a comment/question on a blog post.
Kip Esquire of A Stitch in Haste contributes an excellent addendum to my reply in “On Taxes, Guns, and Restaurant Bills“.
Some people had problems viewing the “page” version (in the top menu bar) of this FAQ, so I re-posted it in the blog. The problems occurred with Opera web browser.
FSK said that it’s not worth my time to debate with fools. Right now I’m in a rut, debating with fools. I’m hoping it will soon pass. That said, I do get some value out of the process, hopefully by strengthening my arguments.
Mike Gogulski mentioned Rad Geek’s Can Anybody Ever Consent to the State? in the comments. Mike, I had completely forgotten about that post, which was a good summary of another debate along similar lines.
The Whited Sepulchre left a comment:
My God….I get long-winded sometimes, but how could you read all of that mess, much less respond to it?
It just goes to show that the strongest argument is the one that is so long that no one will read it.
Well, with that said, I hope to have the longest argument. In all seriousness, eternal vigilance and such.
I had a client when I worked at Quicken who was a IRS agent. This guy was making $105k after being there for only 2 years. I’ll never forget the story he told me where he had to shut down a car repair shop because the owner was behind on his business taxes. He said it was sad because it was one of those shops that the whole family worked at. Father and son were the mechanics, mom was the secretary, and extended family cleaned and detailed cars. By them not paying business taxes now ALL of them are out on the street.
I think now how awesome it would be to put him (and his $105k(after only 2 years(F!)) salary with a pension and benes) out on the street.
Don’t feel bad for anybody who works at the IRS.
Seriously? $105K after two years?
I’ve been at my job for over two years. I’ve gotten great performance reviews, promotions, etc. A hundred grand isn’t even on my radar.
I guess it makes sense though, his entire job consists of stealing from other people I don’t feel bad for anyone who works there, especially if they lose their jobs. The world would be a far better place if all IRS employees lost their jobs tomorrow.
My accountant friend Zach said:
I never said you would eliminate my job…I just felt bad for other accountants who are with the IRS. Some people, its their dream (I mean it’d be cool to be an accountant who carries a gun and goes on sting operations)
No, I don’t think you did say that. I think Shawn did. I understand the macho fantasy, but seriously, do we really need to carry a gun to shut down Auto Detail shops? Really? If these agents face violence, it’s only because they’re routinely trying to take people’s lives from them. I’d be inclined to fight, too.
One could make an arguement that without government laws (Specifically from the SEC) I wouldn’t have a job because there would be no accounting rules; however, I think this point is moot. The public sector would eventually find a way to self regulate…
Agreed. Do you know how hard it would be to get a loan if you refused to open your books to other people? How hard it would be to get contracts or bills of credit? Insurance? There’s an awful lot of things you wouldn’t be able to do, unless you could independently verify financial statements, and it takes smart people with a finance and accounting background to do these things. There’s a market for honesty, right now it’s just crowded out by government interference.
I tried feedburner once, I think feedburner is retarded. My blog already has a perfectly good feed. In any event, I may eventually get around to inserting Google Ads into feedburner, but I’m not concerned about it right now. My clickthrough rate was something like 0.22% for the few days I had Google Ads. I am probably going to dump Amazon Ads, too, because it makes no mney, and I don’t have the time to keep trying to fix the CSS that I break every time I try to insert new ads.
The type of people who read my blog aren’t “casual web-surfers” who are more inclined to click on random ads. The type of people who read my blog come here for opinion and commentary. I know, because I’m one of them. With rare exception, I never click on ads, and I don’t believe I’ve ever bought anything from a click-through.
There are some problems I have with Google Reader. When is FSK going to get off his ass and write his own RSS reader? :)
The forum’s on speculation (mostly stocks, currencies), but they’re discussing economic topics as well. The one you’re linking to is about devaluation of our national currency, LTL – Litas, which is tied to Euro, but as we’re also having credit crisis of some degree, the current rate is unreasonable (This mostly happened because everyone’s taking consumer/business loans in EUR, and converted it to LTL, due to differences in interest rates – my opinion at least, as I did the same for my student loan). They are now discussing causes/implications/outcomes of this. The post says:
Current Crisis was caused by fractional reserve banking system and
governmental interventions in economy. I once posted a link to a great
article on the topic, but I can add some more:
mises – about crisis in general
nothirdsolution – short post on malinvestment and what happens
mises – current crisis step by step
mises – what happens when money base is increased
If anyone’s interested, I can give links to more serious books.
A round of applause for Tiberyus, whose translation we have to thank!
Giedrius left a comment, he was the one who posted it in the forum.
I think it’s really cool to see ideas spreading around the world like that, especially when it’s one of your own pieces!
John left a comment on Bank of America Receives Bailout, Promptly Lays Off Thousands:
In one of the most dismal economic years in our countries history, what’s the big deal with these CEO’s giving up their bonuses?
What do they get paid a bonus for, breathing air?
I wouldn’t put any of these people on a pedestal, can you image, after what they have done to the small working guy if they took the bonus?
Agreed. I’ve been meaning to write a follow-up post to that, since it could be interpreted as pro-banking industry.
My friend Brad G left a comment on Paulson and Bernanke Are Lying, which turned out to be a pretty popular post so far. Brad mentions Ron Pauls hard-money advocacy. Brad and some of my other meatspace friends recently read Ron Paul’s Revolution, he lent me his copy.
I loaned my copy of Rothbard’s “What Has Government Done to Our Money?” to one of them, and I loaned Brad my copy of Economics of Liberty. If you want one of these books, you should buy them through the Amazon links. I get paid for that :)
Overall, traffic to my blog is still increasing. I had a Google PageRank of 4 until I got haxxed. Now the spam is out of my index results but I still think I’m being penalized for it, since my new PageRank is only a 2. I’m not concerned with making money or search enging optimization of whatever buzz-words people are using, but at the same time, if there is something I could be doing better to increase my readership, I’d be glad to give it a shot.