The Myth Of Diversity and Multiculturalism

I should note my perspective is based on United States and North American perspective. Multiculturalism is formally defined as “the co-existence of diverse cultures, where culture includes racial, religious, or cultural groups and is manifested in customary behaviours, cultural assumptions and values, patterns of thinking, and communicative styles.” 1. Many promote diversity as means of enriching the cultural fabric of either an institution or a nation. Diversity doesn’t really end up as meaning multiple cultures existing together, instead it means that people immigrate to a nation and adopt the nation’s language and culture. If a group of people doesn’t adopt a nation’s language and culture than it means separating one self from others. In other words for separate cultures it means assimilate and adopt the dominant culture or remain isolated from society.

The Irish are a perfect while on the whole are economically a very successful group of people in North America, they have however lost much of their cultural identity. Irish communities have disappeared and so too has much of the Irish culture in the new world. The Irish really didn’t obtain economic success until they decided to give up their culture in favor the dominant Anglo-Saxon cultures in Canada and the US. Immigrants in Latin American countries went through a similar process, many ‘Hispanics’ actually have ancestors who are from parts of outside of Spain but simply speak the Spanish language because it is dominant. Iranians while they still have Ethnic enclaves, will probably face a similar process by which whatever culture they have is replaced by the dominant English speaking or the dominant culture of other countries they immigrate to.

Even though Asian immigrants are successful economically they face isolation because they refuse to merge with the countries they are be it non-Asian countries or other Asian countries. Asians will remain outcasts or they will assimilate.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

In short immigration and assimilation does not truly create diversity in culture, what it creates is a group of people adopting the dominant culture and loosing their own. In short merging cultures together reduces the number of people in a given culture and further homogenizes cultures. Immigration and assimilation truly means less diversity. Merging people together creates a cycle of join the dominant culture or die.

Sources

1. http://www.ifla.org/publications/defining-multiculturalism

Environmentalism As Controlled Opposition

Introduction

The environmental movement or “green movement” as it is often called is a movement that arose from the 1960s to 1970s that was a response to the environmental problems of the currently existing society. This movement which has received both praise and scorn is a controlled response to society as it is currently designed and configured. One of the groups of people who funded the environmental movement is the Rockefeller family. The Rockefellers created the modern oil and natural gas industry, so why would such a group of people benefit from the environmental movement? A group of people such as them benefit from such a movement because it enables them to control the movement and therefore control the dialog of the movement and control the direction of its solutions.

Background

From the 1900s – Today cars, trucks, buses and airplanes throughout the world replaced traditional railroads and electrified street railways. During the 20th century the population of the globe expanded 10x along side various mass migrations. Most population growth was not evenly distributed and happened primarily in areas which already had large numbers of people in the first place and most people migrated to already populated areas. The effect of putting people in already populated metropolitan was metros expanding outward leading to sub-urbanization and urban sprawl. During the 20th century coal use expanded rapidly displacing water based power sources leading to various environmental problems such as pollution of various kinds and the land usage effects of mining. While many of these fore mentioned changes did bring positive outcomes such as increased economic well being, these things also brought a host of environmental problems which brought to us the environmental movement. These things also lead to cultures being decadent and consumeristic. The environmental movement however didn’t solve any of these problems or significantly reduce them they simply curbed them.

Fossil Fuel Use

What has been the environmentalist response to pollution and land use problems imposed by coal, oil and gas burning? The environmentalist response has been a combination of regulation and taxation. Regulation, taxation and reduced consumption helps reduce the effects of fossil fuel use but preserves fossil use and therefore such measures pose no threat to big business. A true solution to problems of fossil fuel use would be a conversion to new sources of energy and replacing cars, trucks, buses and airplanes with different forms of transportation such as Maglevs, Hovertrains, or Personal Rapid Transport. Restricting fossil fuel use fundamentally won’t do away with it and restrictions impose economic costs on people leading people to believe that society as it currently exists must be perpetuated to avoid said economic costs.

Overpopulation and Urban Sprawl

Many environmentalists will talk about overpopulation until they are blue in the face and some will talk about urban sprawl. What do environmentalists do? They push for “smart growth” which pushes people into already populated areas which will inevitably lead to expansion of said areas leading to the dread urban sprawl. The real solution to these described problems would be to build metropolitan areas with more reasonable scale without the need for constant expansion and on a global level we need to stabilize global population and reduce the need for migrations.

As you can see in both cases the environmentalist “solutions” don’t actually solve the fore mentioned problems and instead modify them. Big businesses therefore benefit from the environmental movement, because the environmental movement poses no challenges to them. What we need is not to modify society as it is currently designed, but to replace it and replace what the outcomes of the 20th century. We need more reasonable scale metropolitan areas, we need better forms of energy and we need different and better forms of transportation. In short society needs to be redesigned, not taxed and regulated more.

Sources

http://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/our-focus/our-focus/climate-environment

http://socialistworker.org/2008/05/08/rockefeller-family-fables

http://capitalresearch.org/2005/01/the-rockefeller-brothers-fund-and-rockefeller-family-fund-how-a-great-capitalists-fortune-came-to-fund-anti-capitalist-causes/

http://canadianliberty.com/?p=13562

 

 

 

Refuting The Land Value Tax

image

Very few attempts are made at challenging the Land Value Tax and it’s strong following and very few of these challenges are very good challenges. These considered I seek to point out the flaws a Land Value Tax would create and maybe by pointing out these flaws they can be corrected. In fact if everyone jumps on it then I could see several disastrous effects happening.

It Taxes Land Ownership Not Landlordism

A Land Value Tax simply taxes land itself not the act of being a land lord. Simply owning land doesn’t make one a land lord. Similar to how courts often presume guilt a Land Value Tax presumes landlordism.

A Land Value Tax Encourages Landlordism

If one imposes a cost on any kind of activity the act of performing that activity becomes more expensive, land is not magical in this regard. A Land Value Tax increases the cost of Land Ownership and therefore will place barriers to ownership. Those who can best afford to pay the Land Value Tax will be land lords and they will have no incentive to de-consolidate land ownership because of this. If you want less consolidated land ownership then you should encourage it not discourage it.

It Will Encourage Urban Sprawl

A Land Value Tax being a single tax to replace all other taxes would replace the Gas Tax. Replacing the Gas Tax makes driving effectively free. By having free driving you have increased driving. Increased traffic as a result of increased driving will make Urban areas less attractive. A Land Value Tax also addresses urban sprawl in the wrong way. In terms of land policy most urban sprawl is caused by land use regulations such as euclidean zoning,  parking requirements, and the various other requirements that local governments impose.

A Land Value Tax Subsidizes Imports

Productive Export oriented businesses tend to be land intensive, because of this a Land Value Tax would be a large burden upon such businesses. Georgists also support “free trade” which means free importing with no tariffs. Untaxed foreign made items means that domestic industry would have to be taxed more in order to make up for this.

A Land Value Tax Hurts Farmers

Farms because they are land intensive would pay a heavy burden under a Land Value Tax system. Land is the single largest asset a farm has. Farm land due to its special application and scarcity tends to be highly valuable. Urban land really isn’t more valuable than rural land especially not farm land. As I point out a Land Value Tax would encourage urban sprawl which would mean less land available to farming. Most voters tend to be urban voters and would therefore be subsidized by rural residents. In many tax codes you find either a property tax deduction or exemption for farmers because farmers view it as an undue burden upon them.
Examples
www.nd.gov/tax/property/forms/farm-exempt.pdf

http://www.agecon.purdue.edu/crd/localgov/topics/essays/Prop_Tax_FarmLand_Asmt.htm

In my view the Land Value Tax tries to address real problems but it goes about it in the wrong way. I should be clear I don’t advocate then system we have today, but the system of both state and local property taxation and federal income taxation have roots in Georgism and Georgist movements. Effectively we would be exchanging one Georgist tax for another. All that said I hope this article spurs debate about the topic of the Land Value Tax and encourages alternative solutions.

http://georgist.com/1-2013-february-announcement-update-from-cgo/

http://inequality.org/progressive-tax-system-detroit-powerhouse/

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/janusg/100yrs.htm

Why Thomas Woods is Wrong

http://www.tomwoods.com/blog/why-the-greenbackers-are-wrong/

“This is a long piece, but no longer than strictly necessary. It refutes a few of the most common claims advanced by Greenbackers, opponents of the Fed who believe the solution is to transfer its money-creation monopoly directly to the government.”

This is a false claim on the part of Thomas Woods there is no monopoly on money. The government may give privileges to certain banking institutions and prevent some alternatives from coming into existence however no one forces you to use Federal Reserve Notes. People do use alternative currencies such as Bitcoins and mountain hours. I might add neither mountain hours nor Bitcoins are based upon commodities. Having governments issue money does not stop people from using their own money nor do people who inherently support governments issuing money support monopolization.

“(1) that the Fed is “privately owned” (the Fed’s problem evidently being that it isn’t socialistic enough)”

The Federal Reserve is pretty darn capitalistic it is run for the benefit of banks. Of course Thomas Woods throw out the over used Word “socialism”. Of course what “greenbackers” are against is government borrowing money and then taxing you to pay the interest on this borrowing. This process is essentially a form of “socialism” for the rich. Though it all depends on how one defines “socialism”.

“Money emerges from the primitive system of barter, in which people exchange goods directly for one another: cheese for paper, shoes for apples. This is an obviously clumsy system, because (among a great many other reasons I trust readers can conjure for themselves) paper suppliers are not necessarily in the market for cheese, and vice versa.

A money economy, on the other hand, is one in which goods are exchanged indirectly for each other: instead of having to be a hat-wanting basketball owner in the possibly vain search for a basketball-wanting hat owner, the basketball owner instead exchanges his basketball for whatever is functioning as money – gold and silver, for example – and then exchanges the money for the hat he wants.”

“We know from our earlier analysis that money has to emerge on the market as a useful commodity, and that the state theory of money, whereby money has value only when and because the state declares it to have value, is untenable.”

It is funny to see that Thomas Woods still believes in the Barter myth.

http://www.monetary.org/a-refutation-of-mengers-theory-of-the-%E2%80%9Corigin-of-money%E2%80%9D/2010/12

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/09/david-graeber-on-the-invention-of-money-%E2%80%93-notes-on-sex-adventure-monomaniacal-sociopathy-and-the-true-function-of-economics.html

http://www.davidabanks.org/home/2013/5/31/bondsy-and-the-modern-myth-of-barter.html

Money did not originate in societies through barter that isn’t to say it can’t come about that way but for the most part Money comes about through government and lw.

“Note that there is nothing in this process that requires government, its police, or any form of monopoly privilege. The Greenbackers’ preferred system, in which money is created by a monopoly government”

This is a strawman having the government create money does not necessitate monopoly. Nobody will force you to transact in a certain currency.

“Second, even if government did try to impose a paper money issued from nothing on the people, it could not be used as a medium of exchange or a tool of economic calculation because no one could know what it was worth. Are three Toms worth one apple or seven fur coats? How could anyone know?”

This is nonsense the market would simply determine the value of the government issued money and calculation would be done from there. Here Thomas Woods invents problems.

“Free-market money, therefore, is commodity money.”

To the extent that there is free market money people use Electronic currencies and people use hours based currencies. Nothing commodity based about either Mountain hours or Bitcoin. Even under a gold based system people people don’t really use the gold they use the gold backed certificates. Gold is at best a form of savings. This statement contradicts much of Austrian economics. Austrians will often say that you can’t predict what markets will do here Thomas Woods is trying to predict what the markets will do.

“So free-market money does not enter the economy as a loan.”

You would still for the most part have to get a loan from a bank to get this commodity money and the commodity money would still enter in the economy as a loan. So yes gold would be debt based.

“The free-market’s form of “debt-free money” also doesn’t require a government monopoly, or rely on the preposterously naive hope that the government production of “interest-free money” will be carried out without corruption or in a non-arbitrary way.”

This is ludicrous. Gold has often been upheld by governments. Gold has been made legal money and has been made good for payment of taxes.

“Remember, once again, that when people pay banks interest on their loans, these interest payments themselves will in large measure be spent into the economy by employees of the bank. The same unit of money can thus be used to pay principal or interest on multiple loans as it circulates again and again. There is no reason that bankers or anyone else would want to earn profits and never spend or invest them, unless someone happens to be a fetishist deriving pleasure from literally rolling in the money itself. This is unusual.”

The short answer to paying off the debt is this because not every dollar of bank profit is spent into the economy and much these profits are re-lent into the economy thus these profits become part the growing debt bubble.

“The Greenbacker objection assumes that demand for loans is infinite. Like zombies, we’ll continue to demand loans no matter what the interest rate, and banks will always be able to find more people willing to take on more credit.”

This is because it is true. Look at how stupid people are with money. People will often get loans despite not being able to pay them. This is an example where Austrian economists assume completely rational humans. In order for people to continue their ongoing living expenses they may continue to get loans in perpetuity.

“Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.” – John Maynard Keynes

“First of all, no one can expect to print pieces of paper with his face on them and spend them into circulation. Nobody would accept them, needless to say, and as we have seen, it is impossible for money to be introduced ex nihilo in this way. The only kind of money that can emerge on the free market is one that, at least at one time, had been considered a useful commodity.”

This complete nonsense there are hour based paper money systems that people willingly accept. Banks have been creating paper money for years and people willing accepted it. A great deal of the money created during the free banking years was paper money. This is another example of Thomas Woods trying to predict what the market will do.

“In short, there is no need to replace the Fed with another government creation. There is no good reason to replace the Fed’s monopoly with a more directly exercised government monopoly. All we need for a sound money system are the ordinary laws of commerce and contract.”

This is false the Federal Reserve System does not have a monopoly. There are other alternative currencies that can be used and foreign currencies can be used. In some parts of the US Gold has been declared money. The Federal Reserve may receive some degree of protection on the part of the government but it isn’t an outright monopoly. No greenbacker suggests granting a monopoly only that government should create money. No one ever suggests out right banning alternative currencies.