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21 hours ago, Armacing said:

Your responses in bold

Hey, sorry for the delayed response... I didn't realize you were still in this discussion but I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was wrong!  Let's keep going with this...

No worries - we all have other things to do than internet discussions, interesting thought they may be. 

That said, I'm still not sure there's much room to make any headway here or reach a meeting of the minds, but I'll do my best. 

That's the problem with your use of the word "exchange".... in the context of gold taken by force by the government, your use of the word "exchange" bestows an undeserved patina of reciprocity.  Your emphasis on the "compensation in cash" that was given is further intellectual dishonesty because you are attempting to gloss over or morally equivocate the essential nature of the crime that was committed.  This is not like other government services where taxes are collected within the context of providing public services that benefit the tax payer.  There is no way you can say that any good or service of equal value was given in "exchange" to those who had their gold taken.  That's the absurdity illustrated in the analogy - which is a reflection of your absurd characterization of this whole affair as an "exchange".

The use of the word 'exchange' is a term of art specific to currency trading. It's not my personal word choice here. Currency 'exchange' has often been a mandatory pre-condition for conducting business within a given country - I don't see any reason that the same term wouldn't apply here.

And yes, there very much is a way that I can say a good or service of equal (or greater) value was given in exchange for the gold that way taken. For one, as previously described, I believe that benefit is the continued existence of the USA and all of the services provided since. That's pretty well trod ground through this discussion to this point.

Don't get confused here:  We're discussing what the government should or should not do.  *You* are the person who said the government should confiscate the gold, therefore you take on the mantle of "pro-government" advocate in this discussion.  As such, you are called to defend the government's actions as morally and socially just.  But saying "the government makes the rules" is not a suitable defense of the government's actions.  You actually have to say why those rules are just.... unless of course you are willing to admit the rules were unjust.  Then the discussion is over.

I have repeatedly explained why I think the government's gold confiscation was morally just. You clearly disagree with my assessment, and that's fine, but it doesn't do us much good for you to pretend that I haven't stated my position on this issue. 

No, this is patently wrong and contrary to the laws of supply and demand.  If people are asking for gold and trying to get rid of dollars, and then the government further restricts the public's access to gold by no longer exchanging it, then the price of gold on the street will immediately sky-rocket because everyone will be scrambling to trade dollars for gold with their fellow citizens because they don't want to be the last one's holding worthless pager.  The very act of declaring it will not exchange gold for bill is an admission that it's bankrupt.  That does not create a scenario where the dollar can increase in value versus gold.  Please think that through.

If a government no longer requires (or even permits) creditors to force their debtors to repay loans using a given currency or value-storage medium, then there is a decrease in demand for that currency/medium and therefore a reduction of value in that currency/medium. That's basic supply and demand with regard to currency. 

Your argument has nothing to do with supply and demand, and instead rests on speculation about how people might react to the declaration that the dollar is no longer backed by gold. You could be right, or course, but that would be an aberration from the general principles of supply and demand based on special circumstances. 

In any case, I'm certainly willing to consider your argument on this point if you can point to some examples of when such an aberration occurred, but you've yet to provide any. 

Yes, on this point is seems we agree almost completely.  Reparations to the descendants of those who had their gold taken.  Plus, all gold held by the US government distributed to the public.  And as compensation for the wrongs perpetrated against African Americans - they get a triple share of the excess gold.  And all National Park and National Forest and National Wildlife Refuge lands given back to the Native American tribes in the areas where they were located before being driven from their land.  And all other public lands like Bureau of Land Management land will be distributed evenly among the rest of the US population by random lottery, except that African Americans receive a triple share of the land distribution.  

Those actions would be a good start for divesting the US government of it's assets and returning economic control to the public.

Great! Glad you're on board for reparations, though I'm not on board for divesting the US government of all federal assets and distributing them to the population, which seems a bit off topic.

In short, the answer is "No".   The government should not create, endorse, or otherwise favor any currency over the other because doing so would represent undue influence in the economic affairs of Americans.  Not to mention the inevitable negative economic consequences that such interferences causes (business cycle, inflation, etc.) and the attendant human suffering those economic consequences  cause.

I disagree and I've already explained why so I'm not sure what else to say here, but I think it's completely within the purview of (and even advantageous for) a government to favor and promote its own currency. I guess that's an impasse.

This is a good, meaty, substantive comment to chew on right here.  See, I told you we were making progress!  

Here is the "alternative immorally-rooted motive" that you have been waiting for:  FDR was actually helping the bankers because the bankers convinced him the US would be economically ruined (and FDR would be politically ruined) unless FDR confiscated the public's gold and helped the bankers orchestrate a take-over of the entire money supply, and by extension, the entire economy.  There were power-hungry people in government who liked the idea of taking control of the economy.  There were political forces pulling on FDR to "do something" to make the public happy and "take control" of the situation.  But I actually ascribe intelligence to FDR.  In my opinion, he knew that letting the banks fail would not be the end of America.  But he also knew that letting the banks fail would be the end of the Democrats' political ascendancy because it would show they were no more competent in "managing" the economy than Hoover was.  And FDR also knew that the public was too stupid to understand the complex economic consequences of confiscating the gold and moving to a fiat currency.  I actually think FDR new what those consequences would be, and the public's stupidity was both a blessing and a curse in that it both prevented FDR from explaining why the gold should not be taken, and also provided cover for him when he was ultimately signed to order for the gold to be taken.  You see, taking the gold was not FDR's idea.  He was advised to do that by his surrounding circle of experts who said it was the only way out of the intractable situation.  But he always had the opportunity to say no, and disregard the warnings of his experts.  He could have taken a moral stand against taking the property of US citizens for the purpose of achieving political ends or baling out a failed industry (banking).  But he didn't... so I fault him for that.

FDR had already 'ascended' to the presidency based on Hoover's inability to respond to the economic crisis the US was experiencing. Further, as I previously noted, bankers and wealthy people literally tried to overthrow FDR and the US government with the Business Plot - if you're looking for a true-crime, actual honest-to-god conspiracy theory, there's no need to look any further than that. The Revenue Act of 1935 wasn't particularly popular with the (propeller) jet set of the era either. 

Given all that, what makes you think that FDR was actually intent on helping the bankers? In the scenario you depict, were the bankers also too stupid to realize that FDR was helping them? Was it all a ruse? Do you have any evidence to support your speculation about FDR's motives? 

In all seriousness, I vote across the political spectrum:  Libertarian, Democrat, Republican.  My vote is always calibrated to elect the candidate that I think will do the most to hasten the implosion of the US government and its finances.  Right now, I plan to vote for whoever is promising the most "free stuff".  It would be great if we could get the US national debt up to something like 500% or 1000% of GDP.  That might induce China to make moves needed to make the Yuan the world's preferred reserve currency and bring about the collapse in the dollar's value that is necessary for the public to give up on it and move back to gold.   Only then can a gold-standard libertarian utopia rise from the ashes of a defeated Keynesian system.  So you might say I'm playing the long game when it comes to voting.

You are free to exercise you vote as you see fit, of course. I was simply responding to your claim that "[you] would only be complicit [in the tyranny being imposed on your fellow citizens] if [you] voted in favor of it, which [you] don't" by pointing out the fact that if you've voted at all, then you have in fact voted for representatives who do not support a return to the gold standard. Right?

  On 8/25/2020 at 7:41 PM, ruraljuror said:

we know for a fact that abandoning the gold standard (right or wrong, smart or stupid, moral or immoral, legal or illegal) at the very least did not preempt the dollar from becoming the world's reserve currency. Staying on the gold standard could not have led to a better result on this point. The best that the staying-on-the-gold-standard scenario could hope for is a tie, and worse outcomes were certainly possible if not likely.

I'm not so sure.  Being the only currency backed by gold would be a major selling point in the contest to claim the title of "world's reserve currency".  You are correct that the US dollar was the only currency to attain the title of "world's reserve currency" in the post-gold fiat currency era.   And you are correct that moving to fiat currency did not stop the US from becoming the "world's reserve currency".  But the effects of WW1 on other major economies in Europe all but guaranteed the US would be in a position to become the dominant economy.  And the outcome of WW2 cemented that destiny in a very profound way.  So I would argue that some events in world history aside from monetary policy had a lot to do with the ultimate prestige of the US dollar.  And it may be that the US dollar ultimately loses it's position due to some events that are completely unrelated to monetary policy as well.  We'll just have to wait and see, or die while waiting.   My personal prediction:  Whichever country invents super-intelligent AI first will become the dominant power in this century.

My statement was simply a truism not intended to be controversial or profound. At any given point in time, either your currency is the world's reserve currency or it's not - there's not much to debate on that point. 

I think both your historical assessment and your prediction about AI dominance is solid, but if being the only currency backed by gold would "be a major selling point in the contest to claim the title of 'world's reserve currency'" then why do you think that no country has given it a shot? Seems like a boon in the waiting for whatever country decided to step up to the plate, and yet they don't.

Not really.   I consider it to be a hallmark of a true leader if he/she makes a decision based on their own morality (especially to protect a persecuted minority) even though they know it will outrage the majority and result in scorn from their colleagues and peers.  Those presidents had very little choice, but they still had a choice.  We need more leaders who will take a moral stand against the majority in order to protect the freedoms and property of minority groups in this country.

You're the one that said FDR had very little choice in the matter, and now you want to distinguish between having very little choice and no choice at all. Fair enough, but that seems like a pretty fine hair to split. Meanwhile, a few paragraphs up, you were describing how it was actually nefarious and a calculated move on FDR's part to prop up bankers and provide an opportunity for the ascendancy of the Democratic Party on the shoulders of voters too stupid to understand the economic implications involved. Morality issues aside (about which I've already made my thoughts clear via the extended amputation analogies in my last post) I'm not entirely sure whether you think FDR's hand was forced by exigent circumstances or if he was deliberately manipulating the US economic structure in order to benefit himself and his rich friends. Seems like you've argued it both ways.

Agreed, obviously.  I do tend to gravitate to the more hyperbolic analogies - a personality flaw perhaps?  But it sounds like we did come to an understanding that just because the economic affairs of the US ultimately turned out to be comparatively good (in relation to other countries), that outcome in-and-of-itself does not negate the inherent immorality of the gold confiscation.  It may make you (or the public at large) feel better about the confiscation, but it should not allow anyone to say with a clear conscious:  "Taking gold from private citizens is moral and just".

I've already discussed why I disagree with you about the inherent immorality of the gold confiscation, but I agree with everything else you wrote here.

I like your comments and you may be right about the slim chances of gold returning.  Maybe information will turn out to be the real currency in the future, and that information will turn out to be stored electronically.  I think gold is a good currency for humans, but humans may not be calling the shots economically.  An interesting subject for sure... worthy of its own thread.  But I'll leave it at that and return to the main issue.

Fair enough and a very reasonable prediction on your part. Only time will tell, I suppose.

A couple points about this:  Some of that 1% increase in the gold supply is consumed in manufacturing goods, so not all of it would be available to be held as pure metallic store of wealth.  But that's just a side point.  The main thing I want to comment on is your idea that the money supply needs to increase with the size of an economy.  This is completely wrong.  Indeed, the sum total of all transactions between individuals need not have any bearing whatsoever on the value of the currency being used.  Let's say a society is exchanging $1B worth of goods.  Does that mean we need $1B worth of gold coins?  No, because only a fraction of transactions are being made at any one time.  Most of that economic value is tied up in the goods themselves.  But for argument's sake, let's say that there is $1B worth of gold in circulation (there's your favorite word!) and suddenly a rich tycoon decides he hates the world and he will become a hermit and lock away $500M of gold in a vault.   So half the gold is out of circulation.  Setting aside the serious obstacles to achieving such a feat, let's say it could be done.  The result would be that the remaining gold in circulation would double in value (relative to the assets being purchased by the gold) and trade would continue unabated.  

You have to understand that the value of gold (and any currency) is the relative demand for that asset in comparison to all other assets demanded by society. 

Yes!! This is all accurate and progress, as you say! What you're not taking into account, however, is how the tycoon's hoarding will affect credit markets and wages. As you noted, if half of the gold supply is removed from circulation, then the remaining gold in circulation will double in value, which in turn means that the price of labor will be reduced by half while the value of labor remains constant.

For example, let's say I'm a contractor who builds custom bicycles for a living. Before the tycoon took half the gold out of circulation, let's say I charged 1 ounce of gold per bike I built. After the tycoon has removed half the gold supply from the market and the value of gold has doubled, however, I can only charge half an ounce of gold per bike to account for the currency deflation. On it's face, this pricing change wouldn't be a problem, but let's say I have an outstanding business loan that requires me to pay the bank 5 ounces of gold every month, and let's say I have a car payment and a home mortgage that collectively cost another 5 ounces of gold each month. In this scenario, I suddenly have to double my bike production in order to keep up with my outstanding debt payments. This is the deflationary cycle in its simplest form and is one of the main drawbacks to the gold standard which encourages further hoarding/market cornering and further deflation in a feedback loop that is very difficult to break out of (as the people of the US and Hoover experienced first hand during the Great Depression).

But bringing us back on track here:  The superiority of gold over fiat currency is the difficulty in expanding the supply of gold.  That 1% addition you referenced is accomplished at great difficulty by companies who scour the globe an incur massive expense to mine the extreme reaches of the planet.  In contrast, a government could raise the money supply by any multiple in a fraction of a second by simple decree.  So the security of an individual's savings in a fiat environment is, I would argue, dramatically lower than in a gold-reserve environment.

You are correct that the security of savings in a fiat environment is dramatically lower than in a gold-reserve environment, but this very principle runs counter to your idea that banks (and wealthy gold-holders) were actually in favor of abandoning the gold supply and that FDR was secretly trying to benefit the wealthy. Further, while it's also true that the difficulty in expanding the gold supply is a relative strength over fiat currency in some senses (specifically for people who already have wealth), it's also a weakness relative to fiat currency as described in the deflationary bike-maker example above.

Now there's your problem right there.  You can't describe money in an interest-bearing bank account as "idle money".   Don't you think that savers evaluate all of their investment opportunities before choosing to deploy their scarce resources in a savings account?  They could have bought bonds, or stocks, but instead they decided to keep some cash as a liquid asset and collect interest.  The cash in bank accounts is "active" in the economy.   But that does not mean it's going up in value by virtue of being active.  On the contrary, the savers are earning *more* money as a return on their investment.  So the balance in their account goes up not because each dollar becomes more valuable, but rather because of the income from the investment.

Circulation is what creates the interest that is paid out on interest-bearing bank accounts. If that money in the bank vaults weren't loaned out to other customers at a higher interest rate than the account holder is paid in return, then there would be no interest created and banks would be nothing more than ledgers and safety deposit boxes. 

Maybe I'm misunderstanding you here -what do you think creates the value that can be paid out in interest? 

People don't need to be incentivized to invest.  They always seek a return on investment and they always attempt to deploy their scarce resources in the most profitable way for their own personal benefit.

The return on investment is the incentive that induces investment in the first place. Maybe I'm misunderstanding you again? 

No, as I discussed previously, and as you state right here, the value of the remaining gold in circulation will increase, therefore the monetary value of the metal being exchanged is always sufficient to facilitate the exchange of goods and services.  You defeat your own argument by acknowledging that the value of the gold not "hoarded" will increase.  If the value increases proportionally, then there is always enough monetary value available to facilitate trade in goods and services, therefore:  no slow-down in the economy.

See my previous examples about the credit markets and the bike maker, and maybe research how deflationary periods affect economic output. 

  On 8/25/2020 at 7:41 PM, ruraljuror said:

Put another way, if gold owners are being increasingly incentivized to keep their gold supply out of circulation (because the less gold in circulation means the faster their non-circulated gold is increasing in value in a macro sense) then even if the actual gold supply is growing by 1% a year, the supply that is available for transactions could be shrinking into negative growth rate territory in any given year, further incentivizing hoarding and further slowing economic output, which results in a vicious cycle. This is what happens with deflation, and we had to deal with it in this country on more than a few occasions before we started moving away from the gold standard.

A decrease in real value can only be driven by demand or supply changes in the asset being purchased, not by the quantity of gold available.  Because, as I mentioned, the value of gold can flex up or down depending on the demand or supply of gold - but in such a scenario the buyer and seller are equally affected.  If I'm selling apples and I charge 1/4th ounce for a barrel of apples, but then the supply of gold is cut in half, then gold will double in value and I will sell apples at a price of 1/4th ounce for two barrels of apples?  Is that "deflation"?  Perhaps in a monetary sense the prices went "down", but in terms of economic activity there is no change because the 1/4th ounce coin I received is worth double what it was before, so I received the same amount of wealth.

A real economic contraction for me as an apple seller would be if the newspaper runs an article about the negative health effects of eating apple and everyone switches to oranges.  Then I might have to sell 4 barrels for 1/4th ounce of gold, which would be less value than before in an economic sense. 

This is all true and accurate. Again, however, it seems to me that you're not accounting for the other economic impacts on the credit market and the problems that come with the deflationary cycle.

Please don't confuse value with price - they are two totally different things.  The price of gold will achieve equilibrium with all other assets when people's demand for goods & services exactly offsets their desire to save monetary assets (gold) for future investments.  This is a reflection of peoples attitudes about current consumption versus future consumption and various macro trends and current events can affect the public's opinion about when it is a good time to save an when it is a good time to spend.  You love fiat currencies because they give the government a way to *stop* people from saving during times of economic uncertainty.  I'm arguing that saving serves a vital function in a healthy economy and the public should have the ability to quickly take their assets out of circulation until such a time as they see fit to re-enter the market in search of goods and services.  This ensures there is ample capital available to be re-deployed in the most profitable way when the environment for spending & investing has improved.  

The government doesn't stop people from saving with increases in the money supply - though it does disincentive types of saving that can negatively impact the economy as a whole (i.e. hoarding). If too much of the public quickly takes their assets out of circulation and those assets are both finite and necessary for the economy to function, then the environment for spending and investing is unlikely to improve on it's own without some kind of intervention - that is pretty much the whole issue with deflation and metal-backed currencies. 

It depends on how you measure the economy.  If new market information becomes available to investors (e.g., coronavirus exists!) then investors will react to that new information in a way this best for them and preserves the most wealth.  Absent government intervention, I think the Stock market would have continued to fall and lost most of its value.   On the other hand, the stock market was only has high as it was because of government intervention to begin with, so if we take that away too, then the stock market would be  a minor consideration.  Absent massive stimulus checks being sent to people, consumer spending would have decreased.  We might have actually seen a decrease in the price of goods.  Absent near-zero interest rates we might have seen a decrease in the price of real-estate.  People who had savings before the virus would become comparatively richer in that scenario - which would be a good thing.   

I would say that not being tied to a gold standard was definitely a good thing for the political parties currently in charge.  As for whether it will be a good thing for America in the long run - we'll have to wait and see.

I think all of your predictions here are fair, though I'm just not sure how much or what kind of savings people are going to have to have if the stock and real estate markets completely collapse, or in what kind of economy they're going to be able to put that savings back to work.

  On 8/25/2020 at 7:41 PM, ruraljuror said:

I'm all for living your principles and very much respect that approach to life, but those principles must be constantly reaffirmed and reevaluated, especially when it's likely that following a principle in a given instance would lead to more suffering and/or a worse outcome. 

That's the thing about principles:  They are only principles when living by them *does* lead to more suffering.   If you are constantly "reevaluating" and "reaffirming" your principles in such a way as to minimize suffering, then you have no principles.   You accuse me of being over-dramatic sometimes, but you have to admit that you portray the scenario of an FDR who decides not to confiscate the gold as a dire situation.  America became an economic powerhouse before the Federal reserve bank even existed, and while gold was the main store of wealth.   And if the Fed had collapsed there would be a regime change and a great economic realignment, but not the end of America or total economic devastation.  There would have been a great reckoning on Wall Street - that much is certain.  But I argue it would have been for the better.  Instead of a concentration of wealth in those who benefited from the government bail-out, there would have been a great dispersal of economic power and wealth around the country.  Who knows - New York might not even be the largest city in America right now.

Good point about how I portray the dire scenario that led to FDR's gold confiscation. That said, it seems to me that regime change essentially means the end of America (not the land but the idea/government). Could we have created something better from the ashes? Sure, I've conceded as much. I just think it's much more likely that the world would be a worse place today than a better one under those circumstances, with a wold-wide 1000 year Third Reich being the lowest hanging fruit as far as hypothetical examples go. Then again on the other hand, maybe the US capital and global financial center would be Cedar Rapids today and we'd all be thriving beyond our wildest imaginations. Unless we figure out how to hop about through the multi-verse, I guess we'll never know. 

Also, mostly as an aside, no principles that lead to greater amount of relative suffering should be considered good principles and they're certainly not worth living by, but that's just my two cents.  

There would be no guarantees in such a revolution, except for a regime change.  Since the first event everyone would become aware of would be the bankruptcy of the federal reserve and the US government, I think it's a safe bet to assume people would be angry at the government for getting them (the public) into this situation.  As for what would happen after that - who knows.  Here's another mantra for you that I just made up:  Better to have a revolution and hope for freedom than prevent a revolution and guarantee you will never have freedom.

What freedoms do you lack that you wish you have? 

American principles of freedom.  Why would someone become president and swear an oath to follow the constitution and defend American freedoms from all threats both foreign and domestic, and then turn right around and confiscate assets from one group of responsible Americans so they can be given to a group of irresponsible Americans to bail them out of a bad situation of their own creation?  It's contrary to the principles of freedom.

The freedom to own gold is no more enshrined in the constitution than the freedom to own another human being or the freedom to own a bomb. In fact, the freedom to own gold was less enshrined in the constitution than these other two examples. Freedom is not absolute in any society, nor should it be, nor has it been since it was determined that one person is not free to swing their broadsword directly into the face of another person. Maximizing freedom while refining and limiting exceptions should be the goal, and clearly not everyone is going to agree how those exceptions are to be enacted, enforced, and repealed - thus is the nature of civilization.

Why not just own it and say that you believe in taking physical assets from a small minority of Americans if most of the public agrees with it and most people like the outcome?

I've written you something like 30,000 words covering all of my thoughts on these issues. I don't know how much more thoroughly that I can 'own it' in terms of expressing my opinions than that. And if after all of that you still think that I would make the claim that "taking physical assets from a small minority of Americans if most of the public agrees with it and most people like the outcome" then I don't really know what else to tell you or what the point of this discussion has been.

Yes, you have something mixed up here.  Rich people who had gold did not want to trade their gold for dollars.  But bankers did want the federal reserve to bail them out - so the two groups were opposed to each other.  Furthermore, to the extent that a collapsing Federal Reserve note would have imperiled the finances of banks, they (the bankers) were in favor of preventing the public from owning gold or withdrawing gold from the banks.  And to the extent that the Federal Reserve facilitated easy credit to the US government to finance deficit spending, the political regime in charge of the US government was against the public's ability to withdraw gold because it represented a check against their unrestrained ability to borrow from the Federal Reserve.  So you are only half right:  rich people suffered the most, but bankers are part of the team that benefited the most.

I'll take half right! I guess those bankers were just a bunch of ingrates given how much FDR did to benefit them.

Huzzah!  It seems I avoided using those two words by chance even before reading this last part.  But yeah, I could name a bunch of tyrannical actions by the US government ranging from dealings with Native Americans ,to the Civil War, to oppression of African Americans and other minorities, to the creation and perpetuation of monopolies , to innumerable foreign policies  that were either oppressive or in support of foreign oppressive regimes.  Not accepting the Jews of Europe en masse as refugees before the holocaust.  The Vietnam war and dropping agent orange on the fields.   CIA operations to foment revolutions and civil wars in countless countries.  The NSA and mass-surveillance uncovered by Snowden.  Etc., etc., etc.,   It would take quite a long time indeed to list all instances where the US government (and by extension, the US voting populace) did not adhere to the principles of life, liberty, an the pursuit of happiness.

That's a good list. Other than the extent to which you blame the patent system for the creation of monopolies, I agree across the board! Glad to have a little perspective injected here in terms of the relative egregiousness of US government actions, so thanks for closing on a high note and for keeping the hyperbole in check throughout!

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Hey, I saw your battle royale with Titanhog in the economics forum and it reminded me I still owe you some responses here.  And away we go...

On 10/13/2020 at 1:16 PM, ruraljuror said:

And yes, there very much is a way that I can say a good or service of equal (or greater) value was given in exchange for the gold that way taken. For one, as previously described, I believe that benefit is the continued existence of the USA and all of the services provided since. That's pretty well trod ground through this discussion to this point.

Good clarification.  And I will take this opportunity to further clarify your point that you think the "benefit" was the continued existence of the regime currently in charge of the US government.  Because you accepted my view in another comment about the USA itself likely not disappearing if the gold hadn't been taken.  

On 10/13/2020 at 1:16 PM, ruraljuror said:

If a government no longer requires (or even permits) creditors to force their debtors to repay loans using a given currency or value-storage medium, then there is a decrease in demand for that currency/medium and therefore a reduction of value in that currency/medium. That's basic supply and demand with regard to currency. 

True for fiat currency, but not true for gold.  Go back and review my earlier comments about the special relationship between humans and gold.  Restricting access to it does nothing to its inherent value.  Are you trying to convince me that the government filled their vaults with gold at gun-point and then subsequently devalued that metal?  Quite the contrary - they devalued the fiat currency backed by gold via government decree.

On 10/13/2020 at 1:16 PM, ruraljuror said:

Your argument has nothing to do with supply and demand, and instead rests on speculation about how people might react to the declaration that the dollar is no longer backed by gold. You could be right, or course, but that would be an aberration from the general principles of supply and demand based on special circumstances. 

In any case, I'm certainly willing to consider your argument on this point if you can point to some examples of when such an aberration occurred, but you've yet to provide any. 

You want an example where restricting access to an asset causes the price to go up?  How about every time OPEC agrees to production cuts?  OPEC has oil, but they decide that they will not exchange it for dollars.  The public had gold but would not exchange it for dollars.  Thus, the price of gold went up relative to dollars.  This is even evidenced by the US Gov lowering the "conversion" rate from $20 to $35 after the confiscation, even though they weren't really doing conversion to gold anymore.  But the true price for gold was way higher than $35, notwithstanding the fact that citizens were threatened with jail time for owning that metal.

On 10/13/2020 at 1:16 PM, ruraljuror said:

Great! Glad you're on board for reparations, though I'm not on board for divesting the US government of all federal assets and distributing them to the population, which seems a bit off topic.

Woah - mind blown.  When it comes to mass confiscation of private assets from innocent peaceful citizens you don't have a problem, but heaven forbid someone threaten to take the government's assents and suddenly you are "not on board".  Do you work for the government, by chance?  For someone who readily admits the myriad wrongs perpetrated by the US gov, you sure do carry water for the regime whenever its interests are threatened.  Why not walk on to the Choctaw reservation and declare you think giving land to the people is "off topic".  A government that takes land by force deserves to loose that land - completely on topic and relevant.  This whole discussion is about what government should and shouldn't do with respect to hard assets.  I say "don't take them, but if you do, give them back".  You say "take them and keep them".

On 10/13/2020 at 1:16 PM, ruraljuror said:

FDR had already 'ascended' to the presidency based on Hoover's inability to respond to the economic crisis the US was experiencing. Further, as I previously noted, bankers and wealthy people literally tried to overthrow FDR and the US government with the Business Plot - if you're looking for a true-crime, actual honest-to-god conspiracy theory, there's no need to look any further than that. The Revenue Act of 1935 wasn't particularly popular with the (propeller) jet set of the era either. 

Why do you keep bringing up the "Business Plot"?  It was completely discredited, there were no prosecutions, and the New York Times called it a "Gigantic Hoax".  There was no group of bankers trying to overthrow FDR, and they were well aware that he was baling them out of certain default.  My guess is that someone paid Smedley Butler to do this stunt to distract from the benefit derived by the banking class. 

On 10/13/2020 at 1:16 PM, ruraljuror said:

I think both your historical assessment and your prediction about AI dominance is solid, but if being the only currency backed by gold would "be a major selling point in the contest to claim the title of 'world's reserve currency'" then why do you think that no country has given it a shot? Seems like a boon in the waiting for whatever country decided to step up to the plate, and yet they don't.

That's a good question that the whole world is waiting to hear the answer to.  Russia and China have certainly been adding to their gold reserves as fast as possible.  The thing about making that move is that it helps to have the largest gold reserves in the world when you pull the trigger.  Probably part of the reason the Fed wants to keep the exact amount of their gold reserves secret... to keep the "enemy" guessing.  We could even flip the script on this as a thought exercise:  If gold is of no importance... if gold is but an outdated relic of a bygone era of metal wealth storage... why does every major central bank around the world have huge vaults full of it?  To a certain extent we are still on an "implied gold standard" (my words) in that you can't point to a major stable currency where the central bank printing that currency does not also have a large gold holding.  Can you?

On 10/13/2020 at 1:16 PM, ruraljuror said:

I'm not entirely sure whether you think FDR's hand was forced by exigent circumstances or if he was deliberately manipulating the US economic structure in order to benefit himself and his rich friends. Seems like you've argued it both ways.

It's cause and effect.  I think he was probably a good man who was forced by politics, and manipulated by his advisors, into a scheme that involved manipulating the US economic structure in order to benefit certain vested interests, and it was a carrot-and-stick scenario that involved rewards for going along with it or punishment for obstructing it.

On 10/13/2020 at 1:16 PM, ruraljuror said:

For example, let's say I'm a contractor who builds custom bicycles for a living. Before the tycoon took half the gold out of circulation, let's say I charged 1 ounce of gold per bike I built. After the tycoon has removed half the gold supply from the market and the value of gold has doubled, however, I can only charge half an ounce of gold per bike to account for the currency deflation. On it's face, this pricing change wouldn't be a problem, but let's say I have an outstanding business loan that requires me to pay the bank 5 ounces of gold every month, and let's say I have a car payment and a home mortgage that collectively cost another 5 ounces of gold each month. In this scenario, I suddenly have to double my bike production in order to keep up with my outstanding debt payments. This is the deflationary cycle in its simplest form and is one of the main drawbacks to the gold standard which encourages further hoarding/market cornering and further deflation in a feedback loop that is very difficult to break out of (as the people of the US and Hoover experienced first hand during the Great Depression).

You're only viewing this scenario from the perspective of the borrower though.  One man's deflation is another man's inflation.  Denominating the loan in gold was *designed* to guard against inflation or deflation - and that is the prerogative of the lender when they decide to loan funds.  The borrower also takes this risk.  Unless the various clauses of the loan outline some other measures that fluctuate with the market, then the payment terms have to be abided by.  Look at it the other way:  If physical gold floods the market because someone liquidates their holdings, then the 5-ounce payment loses value and it is a boon for the borrower.  But wealth is always preserved in the form of physical metal, wherever it goes, and the simple truth is that such fluctuations in the gold supply are miniscule (not to mention highly unlikely) compared to the massive devaluation we have seen with paper currency (which seems to be universally certain to occur). 

Granted, such  fiat devaluation is always in one direction (to the borrower's favor), but that only seems OK to you because you have been conditioned by the US gov to accept this as a "good thing".  In reality inflation is a transfer of wealth from one party to the other - thus the opportunity cost of such unprofitable transactions builds up like barnacles or arterial plaque in the economy and the cumulative effect of capital misallocation drags down the wealth-generating capacity of the economy in the long term. 

On 10/13/2020 at 1:16 PM, ruraljuror said:

You are correct that the security of savings in a fiat environment is dramatically lower than in a gold-reserve environment, but this very principle runs counter to your idea that banks (and wealthy gold-holders) were actually in favor of abandoning the gold supply and that FDR was secretly trying to benefit the wealthy. 

No, it does not run counter, it is consistent in the sense that banks profit when they are able to lend a higher and higher % of their reserves out in the form of interest-bearing loans and they no longer have to worry about maintaining adequate reserves to cover depositors because their bank is back-stopped by a fiat with no physical limits on total money supply.  

 

On 10/13/2020 at 1:16 PM, ruraljuror said:

Further, while it's also true that the difficulty in expanding the gold supply is a relative strength over fiat currency in some senses (specifically for people who already have wealth), it's also a weakness relative to fiat currency as described in the deflationary bike-maker example above.

That's not a weakness for the reasons I outlined above, but I think you are being too dismissive about the importance of people having a secure store of wealth.  Savings means the ability to stockpile assets for when you don't want to or can't work.  Savings can be passed down to the next generation to build up family wealth.  Savings in the form of a physical asset whose quantity is (relatively) fixed and whose value is (relatively) stable on account of that fixed quantity is the only way for someone to preserve wealth with relatively low risk.  What is the lowest risk asset held by most Americans today?  Cash?  Cash is extremely high risk because it has a proven track record of loosing value relative to all other assets.  If more people held wealth in the form of gold we might not have so many impoverished elderly who have fixed incomes and see rising prices in the cost of living year-over-year.

On 10/13/2020 at 1:16 PM, ruraljuror said:

Maybe I'm misunderstanding you here -what do you think creates the value that can be paid out in interest? 

The return on investment is the incentive that induces investment in the first place. Maybe I'm misunderstanding you again? 

We both agree on how interest works and how it is earned - no argument here.  Maybe I misunderstood your comment about the dollars going up in value and you were actually talking about earning interest.  Just to keep us both grounded I will say that interest can be earned by depositors who own gold the same as depositors who own paper.

On 10/13/2020 at 1:16 PM, ruraljuror said:

[Armacing]: You love fiat currencies because they give the government a way to *stop* people from saving during times of economic uncertainty.  I'm arguing that saving serves a vital function in a healthy economy and the public should have the ability to quickly take their assets out of circulation until such a time as they see fit to re-enter the market in search of goods and services.  This ensures there is ample capital available to be re-deployed in the most profitable way when the environment for spending & investing has improved.  

[Ruraljuror]: The government doesn't stop people from saving with increases in the money supply - though it does disincentive types of saving that can negatively impact the economy as a whole (i.e. hoarding). If too much of the public quickly takes their assets out of circulation and those assets are both finite and necessary for the economy to function, then the environment for spending and investing is unlikely to improve on it's own without some kind of intervention - that is pretty much the whole issue with deflation and metal-backed currencies. 

Yes, an increase in the money supply is a transfer of wealth from savers to borrowers.  The primary vehicle through which the Fed increases the money supply is by lending out "new" money that didn't previously exist.  This lowers the purchasing power of everyone else who happens to be holding cash at that time.... thus, by devaluing savings, the government has prevented savers from achieving their goal of storing wealth for the future.

Your assertion that "the environment for spending and investing is unlikely to improve on its own" is completely wrong.   We have already agreed that investors will inherently seek returns.  So much consumer spending is non-discretionary if you think about it.  Once the shock of a disaster has passed, spending will resume, perhaps in a new way that takes the recent disaster into consideration.  Humans trade among themselves spontaneously - there is no need for outside stimulus from the government to make this happen.  The government can only distort the true free market by using force to direct spending/investing - and in so doing, also introduces inefficiency into the market where it would otherwise be functioning at maximum efficiency.

On 10/13/2020 at 1:16 PM, ruraljuror said:

I think all of your predictions here are fair, though I'm just not sure how much or what kind of savings people are going to have to have if the stock and real estate markets completely collapse, or in what kind of economy they're going to be able to put that savings back to work.

I was thinking more along the lines that if it hadn't been for government manipulation of the economy and money supply, the values of stock/real estate would never have risen to those inflated levels - so there would be less room to fall.  Imagine an economy where housing is a relatively small % of a normal person's spending - - that's what we're aiming for here.

On 10/13/2020 at 1:16 PM, ruraljuror said:

Good point about how I portray the dire scenario that led to FDR's gold confiscation. That said, it seems to me that regime change essentially means the end of America (not the land but the idea/government).

I would argue that abandoning democracy (via executive order) and taking gold from the public and taking over the entire money supply does mean the end of the "idea" of America.  The US is a fundamentally different country from the one imagined by the founders if the president has the authority to assume control of the nations' economy and compel citizens to turn in their gold savings at the nearest federal bank.  I know we have been through this multiple times already, but I strongly encourage you to ponder the wide-reaching implications of that event.  To me, it is the most significant economic event in US history.  There were more significant social events or cultural events, but in the realm of economics, I think that executive order was a watershed moment.

On 10/13/2020 at 1:16 PM, ruraljuror said:

Could we have created something better from the ashes? Sure, I've conceded as much. I just think it's much more likely that the world would be a worse place today than a better one under those circumstances, with a wold-wide 1000 year Third Reich being the lowest hanging fruit as far as hypothetical examples go. Then again on the other hand, maybe the US capital and global financial center would be Cedar Rapids today and we'd all be thriving beyond our wildest imaginations. Unless we figure out how to hop about through the multi-verse, I guess we'll never know. 

True, totally agree.   Still, it would have been cool to see Cedar Rapids with a population of 20 million.

On 10/13/2020 at 1:16 PM, ruraljuror said:

What freedoms do you lack that you wish you have? 

Economic freedoms like lower taxes and no inflation, in addition to all the others that we already have.  If  I'm wishing... I would also ask for more individual liberty and fewer regulations in general.  Probably a topic for another thread - but worthy of discussion.

On 10/13/2020 at 1:16 PM, ruraljuror said:

The freedom to own gold is no more enshrined in the constitution than the freedom to own another human being or the freedom to own a bomb. In fact, the freedom to own gold was less enshrined in the constitution than these other two examples. Freedom is not absolute in any society, nor should it be, nor has it been since it was determined that one person is not free to swing their broadsword directly into the face of another person. Maximizing freedom while refining and limiting exceptions should be the goal, and clearly not everyone is going to agree how those exceptions are to be enacted, enforced, and repealed - thus is the nature of civilization.

True gold ownership is not explicitly enshrined in the words of the constitution.  But the spirit of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness implies the right to work hard and become wealthy without persecution by the government.  Notice how all of the other non-freedoms you mentioned above involve violence, but gold ownership does not.  Government exists to persecute violent actors in society and protect peaceful citizens who wish to work hard and trade among themselves.  However, when government is the initiator of violence against peaceful citizens for purposes of ensuring the survival of the government at the expense of citizens' life, liberty, and property, then it is no longer consistent with the principles of American liberty.

On 10/13/2020 at 1:16 PM, ruraljuror said:

That's a good list. Other than the extent to which you blame the patent system for the creation of monopolies, I agree across the board! Glad to have a little perspective injected here in terms of the relative egregiousness of US government actions, so thanks for closing on a high note and for keeping the hyperbole in check throughout!

I don't think we are that far apart on most issues.  Heck, we might be super close philosophically on most all issues, but we probably have different educational backgrounds.   My economic philosophy was influenced by my time at the Mises Institute, and also by some independent reading.  Then I've spent a lot of time following world events and traveling and filtering all of that through the lens of Austrian Economics and Libertarianism.  But, after all of that weirdness, most of my views seem to be agreeable to both democrats and republicans as long as I don't present too many of then in rapid succession.  I don't feel quite so constrained on this board though since I'm dealing with people of above-average intelligence, including, obviously, yourself.  

Also, patents are bad.  Topic for another thread.:D

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18 hours ago, BnaBreaker said:

Oh brother.  Rather than have me play twenty questions, how about you just come out and tell us what this sinister "desired effect" was that you and your preferred narrative are convinced is on the other side of a donation to affordable housing.  

Sorry to rain on your Amazon cheerleading session, but I will just offer my obligatory "Libertarian Counter-Point" commentary since you asked, which consists of this:

2018-2019:  TN and Nashville offer Amazon $100M+ incentives

2020:  Amazon donates $2.5M to local charities and "Dedicates" $2B to 3 cities (of which Nashville is one) paid out over a number of years

So here are the 5 things that we are apparently required to do to avoid any negative emotions or hurt feelings on this forum

1) Work hard to earn money

2) Have that money taken by local governments as taxes

3) Watch the local government give a large sum to one of the largest corporations

4) Pay close attention when that large corporation gives a fraction of that sum to local charities

5) Celebrate the generosity of that large corporation unquestioningly.

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3 hours ago, Armacing said:

Sorry to rain on your Amazon cheerleading session, but I will just offer my obligatory "Libertarian Counter-Point" commentary since you asked, which consists of this:

2018-2019:  TN and Nashville offer Amazon $100M+ incentives

2020:  Amazon donates $2.5M to local charities and "Dedicates" $2B to 3 cities (of which Nashville is one) paid out over a number of years

So here are the 5 things that we are apparently required to do to avoid any negative emotions or hurt feelings on this forum

1) Work hard to earn money

2) Have that money taken by local governments as taxes

3) Watch the local government give a large sum to one of the largest corporations

4) Pay close attention when that large corporation gives a fraction of that sum to local charities

5) Celebrate the generosity of that large corporation unquestioningly.

There will be new and increased property/sales tax revenues as well as ancillary jobs (tech, healthcare, conferences, construction) that will result from the Amazon investment that need to be included above. Estimated in the billions over time. 

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5 hours ago, nashvylle said:

There will be new and increased property/sales tax revenues as well as ancillary jobs (tech, healthcare, conferences, construction) that will result from the Amazon investment that need to be included above. Estimated in the billions over time. 

That is all good and I am in favor of those things.  But to me, Amazon lost the ability to bask in the glory that is due to those who truly give altruistically the moment they accepted public subsidies.  I say to Amazon "Don't use the government to take this community's money and then give it back to us and expect us to thank you".  I say "Come here of your own free will and create jobs (which you profit from) and then give a portion of those un-subsidized profits to local charities and I will be first in line to praise your generosity".

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12 hours ago, Armacing said:

That is all good and I am in favor of those things.  But to me, Amazon lost the ability to bask in the glory that is due to those who truly give altruistically the moment they accepted public subsidies.  I say to Amazon "Don't use the government to take this community's money and then give it back to us and expect us to thank you".  I say "Come here of your own free will and create jobs (which you profit from) and then give a portion of those un-subsidized profits to local charities and I will be first in line to praise your generosity".

I see what you’re saying, but your issue (in my opinion) is more with our government than Amazon or any other company big or small that receives public money. Of course a company is going to accept money when it’s offered. 
 

I will be grateful for Amazon’s investment despite taking public $ because they are not required to make any contribution to affordable housing, NMAAM, TSU etc. as part of their agreement with our local and state politicians; and we can agree to disagree. 

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7 hours ago, nashvylle said:

I will be grateful for Amazon’s investment despite taking public $ because they are not required to make any contribution to affordable housing, NMAAM, TSU etc. as part of their agreement with our local and state politicians; and we can agree to disagree. 

Fair enough.  And you would also be grateful if Amazon gave back all the incentive $'s to the state as well.

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1 hour ago, dragonfly said:

Thank you profusely.  I live in one of the states prominently mentioned in the piece, not accidently. I am occasionally on this board noticing certain individuals lambasting the TN legislature as a bunch of doofuses to be ashamed of. Every time I read stuff like that on here, I think my God, you guys sit at your keyboards licking your chops at the good fortune of Middle TN and never mention the ppl who made it happen except to disdain them or the ppl who voted them in, for pro-growth policies?

Forget for the moment the fiscal discipline your state and my state legislators represent. Why is the health care sector big in Nashville? One answer: HCA started it, that's right, a private company that wouldn't have started up but for the late entrepreneurial guy by the name of Dr. Frist Sr. Who at the time was employed at a private university med center, one founded by a religious denomination. And the sector has taken off like it probably never would have in a place like Illinois. Relatedly, why did the auto sector in the state hit it on all cylinders starting 40 years ago? Because a private foreign company decided to take a chance building trucks in a southeastern right-to-work state with no income tax, in Smyrna. The first foreign automotive company to locate in the SE. The South is now bustling with happy auto workers not having to subsidize with union dues politicians they don't support ideologically.

Here you go I can't resist: let's look at a comparison of two neighboring industrial states, one of them holding on to population better than the other one which is losing population to Tennessee because of unsustainable fiscal policies:  https://www.theepochtimes.com/taxes-separate-thriving-missouri-from-dying-illinois_3918621.html

I can add this. Nashville is becoming sort of a hub for conservative punditry, the domicile for: Roger Simon (founder of PJMedia), Candace Owen, Carol Swain, Tomi Lahren, Ben Shapiro's Daily Wire company (don't scoff there are several hundred employees), and Clay Travis.  These people are constantly on a couple of, let's face it, hated news networks with huge audiences. With guess what skyline constantly on display for the nation to see, driving more publicity for your city every day and night.  And I must give a shout out to Rebecca Bynum who heads NewEnglishReview.org based in your city. Her website is every bit as high level as quillette.com with the addition of high art and culture to the offering.

So just for balance I include this very much hostile reaction in the NYT from a woman who apparently thinks Nashville should be just for people like her, and not like the rest of the Middle Tennessee in spite of her and everyone else's fortune, that is those lucky enough to have invested in local real estate. Driven by forward looking state fiscal policy: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/18/opinion/parler-nashville.html 

I mean it can't be all that bad, Joe Rogan has surely helped with the Austin publicity and reputation for forward free thinking.

No dimwitted left turns here. 

Absolutely refreshing.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.

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1 hour ago, BnaBreaker said:

I think Andy hit the nail on the head that there are policies from both ends of the spectrum that the average joe and jane might find appealing and not so appealing that may or may not lead to more growth.  Still other factors, such as weather, have nothing to do with politics at all.  It just isn't that simple.  For every Tennessee, there's a West Virginia or a Mississippi.  There's got to be a whole hell of a lot of cognitive dissonance going on to be able to convince yourself that only the people you like are responsible for all the good stuff, and that only the people you don't like are responsible for all the bad stuff.  I mean, seriously guys... Oy vey.  It must be nice going through life with such a myopic, childishly simplistic, black and white view of the world.

He did. That map of population growth and shrinkage tells a lot. Big cities everywhere are growing, and rural counties everywhere are shrinking. Doesn’t matter which color the states are. And Florida is gaining lots of boomers. 

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12 hours ago, andywildman said:

As a state, Tennessee grew less than Colorado, Oregon, and Washington over the last decade, per the US census. So I don’t think growth is just about having a Republican legislature. But I’m inclined to agree that big (blue) cities in red states are the hottest places in the country, because they have something for everybody - high paying tech and financial jobs, a critical mass of healthcare, good ol boys and manufacturing and immigrants and LGBT community and sprawling stereotypical suburbs with their “good schools” and yuppies in high rise condos and nightlife and low income taxes and low worker protections and (relatively) low cost of living, at least outside of Davidson and Williamson counties... 

The biggest issue I see is that these growing areas are not building the housing necessary to keep up with job growth. Two maps I found really interesting:

Whose moving to those states currently? 

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18 hours ago, BnaBreaker said:

It must be nice going through life with such a myopic, childishly simplistic, black and white view of the world.

Really?  Come on.  If you think this about conservatives or people who are frank about specific issues, you should spend some time with them to find out why they think the way they do.  It is usually a liberal that says to me, "It's more complicated than that" but, actually, it isn't.  Some very important decisions can be made using basic principles.  Common sense works for everyone.  I do not have to have a Ph.D. tell me how to live my life - I can make my own decisions and live with them all by myself.

17 hours ago, samsonh said:

He did. That map of population growth and shrinkage tells a lot. Big cities everywhere are growing, and rural counties everywhere are shrinking. Doesn’t matter which color the states are. And Florida is gaining lots of boomers. 

Actually, it does matter what color the states are.  The five year and one year numbers show a trend that is different than the ten year numbers.  See the reasons given by the New Yorkers below.

12 hours ago, Flatrock said:

BTW, anecdotally, while having a flat tire repaired at my local shop on Porter Rd in East Nashville yesterday, I met 2 people - new residents, both waiting for their cars. Both from greater NYC.  Different stories, but with similarities: lower cost of living, nicer/friendlier people/environment, lower taxes. Both worked virtually. They weren't here for jobs/working - they are here for living. They love it here. There will be more coming. Many more. Now starting to meet newcomers from the Boston area, as well. Wild.

The aspects of life that were keeping certain people in NYC, California, Illinois, Connecticut, and other high tax, blue states, have lost some their influence.  The aspects of life in these states that were tolerated pre-pandemic are not intolerable to some people.  It's not everyone.  It's never everyone.  These shifts occur over time.  This is also how investors work in the markets - a few here, a few there, some with the trend, some against, but the real pattern becomes more apparent over time.

I've spoken with these new Nashvillians from NYC, Cali, Illinois, Minnesota, and other places.  The ones I talk with are here for the reasons given by Flatrock.  They are usually conservative politically and decided a few months ago that they could no longer put up with the policies of decades of Democratic leadership in their city or state.  They tolerated high taxes because they had great jobs.  They enjoyed the great climate of California so they put up with politicians they did not agree with.  Their extended family lived close by so they hunkered down and did the best they could in life.  The part of the city they lived in had lower crime rates than the poorer parts - in LA, San Fran, Chicago, New York, etc. - but the liberal, no-cash-bail DAs combined with the pandemic and riots of 2020 to increase crime and cause them to no longer feel safe.  The authoritarian lockdowns were too much and they longed for the freedom of red states.  As of 2020, the negatives finally outweighed the positives.  They finally said, "That's enough.  We're out of here."  And the extended family is following so we have several generations moving here together.

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37 minutes ago, Mr_Bond said:

Really?  Come on.  If you think this about conservatives or people who are frank about specific issues, you should spend some time with them to find out why they think the way they do.  It is usually a liberal that says to me, "It's more complicated than that" but, actually, it isn't.  Some very important decisions can be made using basic principles.  Common sense works for everyone.  I do not have to have a Ph.D. tell me how to live my life - I can make my own decisions and live with them all by myself.

Apologies if I wasn't clear, but I was referring specifically to Licec and, to a lesser extent, dragonfly, not making a sweeping statement about conservatives in general.  I talk to conservatives all the time, and the hyperbolic word salad referenced below is not representative of your average conservative that I encounter.  They might disagree with a policy, but if you can't express your disagreement without just immediately defaulting to the most extreme combative language you can conjure up, such as calling local mask mandates an example of a 'communist slave state,' then I'm sorry, but I really don't think it'd be a fruitful usage of time to try and probe that person for deeper meaning and nuance, because more than likely, if there were any, they wouldn't have used such language to begin with.  

4 hours ago, Licec said:

People are tired of being treated like slaves in the commie states. Alabama is freer than CA, IL, NY, etc.

Wow... dramatic much?   I think you need to seriously reevaluate your definitions of the words "slave" and "communist."  

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1 hour ago, Mr_Bond said:

Really?  Come on.  If you think this about conservatives or people who are frank about specific issues, you should spend some time with them to find out why they think the way they do.  It is usually a liberal that says to me, "It's more complicated than that" but, actually, it isn't.  Some very important decisions can be made using basic principles.  Common sense works for everyone.  I do not have to have a Ph.D. tell me how to live my life - I can make my own decisions and live with them all by myself.

Actually, it does matter what color the states are.  The five year and one year numbers show a trend that is different than the ten year numbers.  See the reasons given by the New Yorkers below.

The aspects of life that were keeping certain people in NYC, California, Illinois, Connecticut, and other high tax, blue states, have lost some their influence.  The aspects of life in these states that were tolerated pre-pandemic are not intolerable to some people.  It's not everyone.  It's never everyone.  These shifts occur over time.  This is also how investors work in the markets - a few here, a few there, some with the trend, some against, but the real pattern becomes more apparent over time.

I've spoken with these new Nashvillians from NYC, Cali, Illinois, Minnesota, and other places.  The ones I talk with are here for the reasons given by Flatrock.  They are usually conservative politically and decided a few months ago that they could no longer put up with the policies of decades of Democratic leadership in their city or state.  They tolerated high taxes because they had great jobs.  They enjoyed the great climate of California so they put up with politicians they did not agree with.  Their extended family lived close by so they hunkered down and did the best they could in life.  The part of the city they lived in had lower crime rates than the poorer parts - in LA, San Fran, Chicago, New York, etc. - but the liberal, no-cash-bail DAs combined with the pandemic and riots of 2020 to increase crime and cause them to no longer feel safe.  The authoritarian lockdowns were too much and they longed for the freedom of red states.  As of 2020, the negatives finally outweighed the positives.  They finally said, "That's enough.  We're out of here."  And the extended family is following so we have several generations moving here together.

I appreciate trends take place over time and people have all sorts of reasons for moving. I will certainly retire from Tennessee to a state like California or Oregon, while maintaining a place here for a few months a year. I will move because I want to live in those places and the extra taxes do not bother me. I appreciate your anecdotes, but find it interesting they are moving to the bluest part of the state, probably because living in ruby red Tennessee is not a fun experience. I say this as a life long native.

Anyway, enough politics, I’ve heard the talking points and anecdotes before.

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