“Nobody has the intention of building a wall!” Protested angered Walter Ulbricht during a press conference on June 15, 1961. None of those present had asked him because none of them supposed that this was even possible. The lapsus linguae of the first secretary of the SED was not taken seriously because, who in his right mind could even conceive the idea of enclosing an entire city with two million people inside?
We harbor a crippling dislike for the abstract. One day in December 2003, when Saddam Hussein was captured, Bloomberg News flashed the following headline at 13:01: u.s. TREASURIES RISE; HUSSEIN CAPTURE MAY NOT CURB TERRORISM.
Whenever there is a market move, the news media feel obligated to give the “reason.” Half an hour later, they had to issue a new headline. As these U.S. Treasury bonds fell in price (they fluctuate all day long, so there was nothing special about that), Bloomberg News had a new reason for the fall: Saddam’s capture (the same Saddam). At 13:31 they issued the next bulletin: u.s. TREASURIES FALL; HUSSEIN CAPTURE BOOSTS ALLURE OF RISKY ASSETS.
Being Macron a man of honor, or something similar, forced military service will be soon reestablished in France. Well, if a few weeks ago I was here explaining the basics of Colonialism, now it’s turn for Conscription, which turns out to be something very similar.
Continuar leyendo “The Economics of Conscription”
The inventions of paper and printing gave enterprising governments, always looking for new sources of revenue, an “Open Sesame” to previously unimagined sources of wealth. The kings had long since granted to themselves the monopoly of minting coins in their kingdoms, calling such a monopoly crucial to their “sovereignty,” and then charging high seigniorage prices for coining gold or silver bullion. But this was piddling, and occasional debasements were not fast enough for the kings’ insatiable need for revenue. But if the kings could obtain a monopoly right to print paper tickets, and call them the equivalent of gold coins, then there was an unlimited potential for acquiring wealth. In short, if the king could become a legalized monopoly counterfeiter, and simply issue “gold coins” by printing paper tickets with the same names on them, the king could inflate the money supply indefinitely and pay for his unlimited needs.