You’ve Been Robbed


You work long, hard days, but you never have enough to be secure. Your husband or wife probably works too, and yet you still never get ahead. Now think about this: Your great-grandparents worked hard, and they did get ahead. You work just as hard, but you don’t make the same progress.

Was great-grandpa really that much better than you? Not likely. So, how was it that he could get ahead on one income, but you can’t?

Take a good look at this graph:

robberd art-image001

The top line shows how many years of living expenses your great-grandfather would have accumulated as a hard-working young man. The bottom line shows what you can save. 

After working for five years, great-gramps had seven years of living expenses in the bank.

Doing the same things, you’d have less than two.

You’ve probably avoided this comparison((The graph was generated as follows: $725 per year is the income in about 1903, based upon discussions with men who lived through the time. A figure of $325 per year for living expenses is taken from a New York Times article, dated September 29, 1907. Assets were presumed to appreciate at 10% per year. For 2008 {the year the graph was generated} the annual income is $45,000 and monthly expenses were $2,000. This young man pays 30% income taxes and investment return is calculated at a reduced rate of 8.5% because of taxes upon interest. {That rate of return is ridiculously high for 2017, but I’m leaving it in anyway.} The young man of 1905 is investing $400/year after living expenses of $325. His modern descendent is investing $7500/year after living expenses of $24,000.)) , because it makes you feel bad. If so, that was your big mistake, because it was never your fault.

When great-gramps worked hard, he kept the money. There was no income tax and no sales tax. (The government survived anyway.) There was no Social Security tax either, and the streets weren’t  full of starving old people. Families were able to take care of their own.

In your great-grandparents’ day, it was very common for mechanics, carpenters, and shop-owners to make private business loans. Now you shuffle into banks with piles of the most personal documents and beg for loans. (As the banks create your loan money with a keystroke.)

You’ve Not Only Been Robbed, You’ve Been Demoralized

Why did this happen? Because Americans accepted a lie: that they were bad people.

Think this through: Your money is taken from you before it can accumulate (think “payroll deductions”), leaving you with barely enough to live a reasonable life. You have nothing left to help those who suffer unjustly – not because you don’t work, but because your surplus is continuously skimmed away to Washington.

And then those same politicians have the audacity to call you a bad person for not wanting to help the poor! Not only do they make it almost impossible for you to give, but they insult you for it!

Then of course they spend the money they took from you on armies of government employees who end up delivering a fraction of your money to the poor. (The vast majority of whom are dependent , rather than unable to work.) The rest is eaten up in bureaus, frauds, wars, handouts to foreign dictators, and other forms of crony-capitalist corruption.

Your great-grandparents were proud to help their friends and neighbors. They felt good about themselves, they felt compassion for others, and they were proud to make the world a better place. Being robbed of this heritage is the worst crime of all.


This is the point where people ask, “What do we do about this?” And the answer is simple: Stop playing their game!

The system is rigged and the abusers make the rules. All the news channels are in on the game with them. Everything big is in on the game. You’ll never actually reform it, and so long as you stay inside, you’ll keep suffering and you’ll keep it going.

People have been trying to reform this for a long time, and have accomplished next to nothing.

The only rational choice is to withdraw from the game and to start building something better .

* * * * *

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* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg

62 thoughts on “You’ve Been Robbed”

  1. Yes, finances (and happiness) was probably better about 100 years ago. Now, there are armies of non-producers along for the ride on the backs of producers. It’s easier to be a back-rider than to produce, so all that needs to be done is to convince the people who carry the back-riders that back-riders are vitally needed to monitor the “fairness” of the present system. And, as everyone agrees, fairness is sacred!

  2. If you are a producer you are a slave to the machine, a resource to be used up and discarded. If you are a “backrider” you are a deadbeat. No win either way it seems. But there is a transcendental escape hatch.

    1. The best escape hatch I’ve found is never, ever buying anything I didn’t really need until I had enough saved to pay for it. This leads to always having enough to buy the things you really need.

  3. Another good one, Paul. The most important withdrawal of consent one can make is to stop paying the taxes used to enslave. Dangerous, perhaps, but not nearly as dangerous as the alternative, which will inevitable come of the ever-growing, remorseless power the state derives from your taxes. Start with the income tax. After all, “it’s voluntary,” at least the government has been telling that to folks ceaselessly for over 100 years. ( )
    Whenever I hear progressives saying, “not my president,” or anything like that. I like to tell them that come April 15th they will be supporting Donald Trump and all of his policies in the only way that really matters when Trump’s IRS agents arrive to take their taxes. I don’t know if that will induce any progressive statist to join the revolution, but I can hope.

    1. “Another good one, Paul.”
      I see, more disingenuous, and more notably, more disjointed views of history from the wonderfully failed school of Austrian economics.
      The author of this junk, and Austrian economics generally, fails to understand individual, and group psychology, throw into the mix, the fact that society, culture and the human race generally, has changed 10 times more post-industrial era, than any other time in human history.
      The deceiving; no let’s call it for what it is, a lie, from you and other Austrians, is that taxes were paid in my grandpa’s day, and were not sufficient to keep up with the demand on public services, such as public transport, child care and early childhood schooling, just to name a few.
      Taxes have increased, and at the same time, those services I’ve just mentioned, have also increased exponentially, to the point where they are far superior, than they were 100 years ago.
      Needless to say, consumer choice was far less demanding 100 years ago, and there was no psychological demand to spend our hard earned money on superfluous accoutrements.
      Moreover, consumers demands, over the decades for more and more “stuff,” has forced us to work longer and harder, in order to accumulate material wealth.
      Time and time again, the Austrian school demonstrates its epic fail, AT NOT understanding psychology.
      This typical, cherry picked piece of Austrian school propaganda, once again fails to address the elephant in the room, and that is, if all this Austrian school flim-flam is the pinnacle of economic freedom and prosperity, and conversely, socialism is the very opposite, then how come post-Second World War, other countries have prospered under socialist programmes?
      In other words, it’s a bit like the flat earthers, who are still desperately trying to convince us that we live on a two-dimensional plane, while modern astrophysics, the shaping of gravity, and just simply photographs of earth from outer space, prove that earth is indeed a round ball, are still claiming that, yes, there is a cliff or edge somewhere on this flat earth.
      And if you get to close to that cliff, then…
      Ergo, the Austrians will urge you not to get to close to that “Socialist” cliff
      The human race has proven that in some cases, socialism works, given a robust democracy, where as, this disjointed and horribly simplistic Austrian economic model, has not been tried once anywhere in the history of economics.
      Once again, Austrian/American thinking.
      Altruism = Socialism.
      Utilitarianism = Communism

      1. Peter, your knowledge of Austrian-School economics is deficient, and perhaps its greatest contributor, Ludwig von Mises was more proficient in psychology than most economists and many recognized psychologists. Of course socialists have been chaffing for almost a century now at Mises’ eminently logical deconstruction of socialism in his 1922 work, which is titled SOCIALISM in its English translation. Ever since it was published and logically proved beyond doubt that if socialism was ever installed in any nation it would lead inevitably to economic chaos and social disintegration. Although a very few socialist “economists” tried, no one has been able to dislodge Mises criticism and the correctness of his doomsday prognosis for socialism. Of course such socialist experiments as first Lenin’s and then Stalin’s Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Mao’s Socialist China, Pol Pot’s socialist Cambodia, Hitler’s National Socialist (NAZI) Germany, Tito’s Socialist Yugoslavia, Robert Mugabe’s Socialist Zimbabwe, and Chavez/Maduro’s Venezuela have all proven beyond stupid arguments that Mises was 100% right in his analysis of socialism. Your silly diatribe here, composed entirely of false “facts” and incomparable ignorance, lacks even the slickness of the propaganda those socialist leaders of the murderous socialist regimes I mentioned to sell their socialist b.s. to their citizen victims. Why don’t you take your socialist crap to the people of Venezuela who are now suffering the fate Mises warned they would meet if they listened to the likes of Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro. If you do, those disappointed socialists will probably hand you from the nearest streetlamp, which isn’t working because the power has gone out all over that socialist paradise.

        1. So typical of the characteristics displayed from the savages in the Austrian school.
          I don’t think you engaged your prefrontal cortex once, instead, you just allowed your limbic system to run wild, as evidenced by your long rambling and disingenuous reply.
          And another thing I have noticed about Austrians, is they are masters of cherry picking.
          Your last comment is evidence of that.
          Venezuela is suffering, in large part, because the decades of US hegemony, and more recently because of CIA meddling in Venezuelan politics.
          You know, it’s the old story.
          US government wants to steal a countries natural resources, as they have done the best part of 80 years now, by creating scare tactics around so-called “Communist” governments, then in a CIA backed coup, they displace the democratically elected leader, and install a right-wing puppet, who in turn, to maintain their privileged position as puppet, allows US corporations and other business interests, to come in and rape the country of its natural resources.
          But I guess they didn’t teach you that, at what is widely regarded around the world, as the dysfunctional US education system.

          1. Hey, hey, socialist troll. I see my verbal assault has left you sputtering ad hominems. (That’s Lating. Look it up.) I know when an opponent resorts to ad hominems I’ve won the intellectual debate. I accept your surrender. Now go quietly, but stay away from Venezuela for your safety’s sake.

          2. Ha ha, ok then, what did i say that is “Ad-hominem”?
            “Hey, hey, socialist troll.”
            Austrians are experts in hypocrisy too.
            And what is “Lating”?

          3. Peter, You said, “So typical of the characteristics displayed from the savages in the Austrian school.I don’t think you engaged your prefrontal cortex once, instead, you just allowed your limbic system to run wild, as evidenced by your long rambling and disingenuous reply.” Peter, that is all ad hominem. Now google “ad hominem,” and you will see that your screed fits the definition. Then see if you have anything of substance to criticize. You ought not criticize Mises, because you have demonstrated with your comment about group psychology that you never read anything Mises wrote. Just because two Austrian economist, Mises and Eugene Bohm von Bawerk exploded and obliterated all of the economic nonsense Carl Marx wrote doesn’t provide a basis for you to criticize them or AE.

          4. You don’t like my use of the word, savages?
            You look it up.
            It also means uncivilised, and that’s how the world would become, if it were to be subjected to the Austrian model of economics.
            “Then see if you have anything of substance to criticize. You ought not criticize Mises, because you have demonstrated with your comment about group psychology that you never read anything Mises wrote. ”
            As i said earlier, i have read Mises.
            If von Mises wrote anything of value, that could contribute to the understanding of group psychology, within the Austrian economic model, and how that would impact on the social sciences and group psychology, you would have left me a link, correct?
            So, in the absence of such a link, or other information, I can only assume that Mises did not write anything of the sort, regarding anything about psychology and he’s economic model.
            As I said Ned, try and answer some of my questions now.
            Have you got the courage to answer the my questions??

          5. Oops. I already gave you the link. Here you go: HUMAN ACTION. I’ve given you the link to its location on the www. Check out the index. You’ll find both Psychology, Psychology and Praxeology, and Psychoanalysis listed. Read these sections and come back to me. You will discover why Mises didn’t integrate psychology or group psychology with praxeology. You may be a little miffed by his very wise dismissal of any value to psychology to praxeology understand, but if it leads you to try to understand why that is by trying to understand praxeology, you will have learned something of value. Btw, I am not aware of any “Austrian economic model,” are you?” If so, please explain it to me.
            P.S. Why is group psychology so important to you, and how do you see its influence on economics?

          6. Peter, I answered your central questions several times over. See Mises HUMAN ACTION. Here is one of several links to it on the web:
            But let me answer you question(s) once again, and for the last time. If you understood the meaning of economics, you would not be asking those questions, which, for anyone who does understand economics appear to be non-germane. Here, for your edification is the definition of economics from the best mind on the subject, Ludwig von Mises..
            “Economics is a theoretical science and as such abstains from any judgment of value. It is not its task to tell people what ends they should aim at. It is a science of the means to be applied for the attainment of ends chosen, not, to be sure, a science of the choosing of ends. Ultimate decisions, the valuations and the choosing of ends, are beyond the scope of any science. Science never tells a man how he should act; it merely shows how a man must act if he wants to attain definite ends.”
            Now I hope you can see why your questions are, and I’m being kind, non-germane. Here is the crux, which should allow you to answer your own “central question:” Ultimate decisions, the valuations and the choosing of ends, are beyond the scope of any science.” That is because valuations and the choosing of ends are entirely subjective with each individual. They are also obviously beyond the scope of psychology in so far as it is a science. Mises fully comprehended psychology, altruism and utilitarianism. In HUMAN ACTION, published in German in 1940 (English version, 1948), Mises explicitly addresses the significance of all three to economics.. All you have ever had to do to get your answers is go to the index and look up what he had to say about those three subjects, which he understood far better than you do, I think, and he knew their place in economics far better than the anonymous author at the silly socialist site you linked. Mises dealt with psychology to the full extent of the role it plays in economics. He did not bother to deal with the psychobabble, which has been evinced in this thread.
            Thanks for engaging. I’ve given you all I can give on this matter, so I’ll sign off. I wish you well, and rest assured that I take no umbrage from your attempted insults. They did me no harm, and I hope they didn’t hurt you much either. If any of my intended insults were not warranted, I apologize for them.

          7. Not true.
            He gave scant and perfunctory meaning to altruism, and it could be argued that he was patronizing and dismissive of altruism.
            Example: “If action is primarily directed toward the improvement of other people’s conditions and is thcrefore col-nmonly called altruistic, the uneasiness the actor wants to remove is his own present dissatisfaction with thc expected state of other people’s affairs in various periods of the future. In taking care of other people he aims at alleviating his own dissatisfaction.”
            Also: ” The socialists may still babble about the miraculous change in human nature that the advent of socialism will effect, and about the substitution of lofty altruism for mean egotism. But they must no longer indulge in fables about the marvelous effects the selfishness of each individual will bring about under socialism.”
            Again: “They want to ban those motives that direct the individual’s action in the market economy (they call them selfishness, acquisitiveness, profit-seeking and to replace them with other impuises (they call them conscientiousness, righteousness, altruism, fear of God, charity).
            They are convinced that such a moral reform would in itself be sufficient to safeguard a mode of operation of the economic system…”
            And this points to Mises’s complete lack of understanding of Altruism, both locally, and in a broader sense: “Says the reformer: The entrepreneur is rugged and selfish when,taking advantage of his own superiority, he underbids the prices asked by a less efficient competitor and this forces the man to go out of business. But how should the “altruistic” entrepreneur proceed?
            Should he under no circumstances sell at a price lower than any competitor? Or are there certain conditions which justify underbidding the competitor’s prices?”
            But you were missing the point Ned, I was asking you the questions.
            You can’t simply answer with a link to Mises.
            I was expecting you to put in to your own words, using your thoughts.
            And what about my other question Ned, you conveniently ignored that.
            Regarding health, safety and security, in the world which is totally stripped of regulation, such as my example of food on your dinner plate at a restaurant.
            Are you going to answer that question too, with a link?
            P.S. Sorry about the broken up quotes, but when I copied and pasted them here, from the PDF, for some reason they broke up.
            I tried to fix it, and that is the best I could do.
            I didn’t have time to type them out manually, but I’m sure you can look them up if you’re confused. After all, you studied this work by Mises, “Human Action”, correct?

          8. Ned, you really are becoming foolish.
            We have dealt with that issue.
            I prove to you that communism, had nothing to do with the oppression, and death of people within their society.
            I gave you a long list of right-wing dictators, who also did bad things to their people, which you conveniently dismissed.
            That link you sent me, also criticises Marx because of his personal style, such as his grooming.
            Well, I have news for you Ned.
            Displays of the eccentricity, is not purely the preserve of people on the left, in fact it’s not the preserve of political leaders, period!
            You find the eccentricity in all-sorts of intellectuals, whether they are artists or musicians for example.
            That stupid article you sent me, is just a pathetic attempt to smear Marx’s character
            The reason I say you’re foolish, is you still refused to answer my question, regarding the scenario of food on your plate in a restaurant, in a totally unregulated world.
            Again, are you going to attempt to answer that question, or just deflect it away with more nonsense??

          9. Roger, believe me, you have “proved” nothing yet.
            Here is a link to a book on Mises. The summary gives you a hint at just how admired he was. and it tells me, if not you, why he is considered the most dangerous man who ever lived to socialists and other statist. I completely understand why you will say anything to try to undermine his credibility, but so far you haven’t even dented the dust on his shoes. And, btw, the Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics murdered 70 million of its own citizens, the largest group being those who were starved to death as the result of the socialist state under Stalin imposing socialist central planning upon the farmers who had been supplying the socialist republics food. The famine caused by socialization has also occurred in China and now looks to be occurring in socialist Venezuela. And, no, the CIA was not responsible for the thug Lenin’s rise to power in Russia. Here is the link:

          10. “the scenario of food on your plate in a restaurant, in a totally unregulated world. I used to live near a very large Amish community in Ohio. Several of women hosted dinners for small groups of guests in their homes. Of course being good Amish they didn’t apply to the regulators for permission because they didn’t think it was necessary since it was in their own homes. Their food was so good and the prices so reasonable that word spread quickly and before you know it the regulators found out and shut them down. You have a statist mind set. It is impossible for you to see anything beyond what your government allows.

          11. Nice try Ned.
            But that’s not really what I’m referring to.
            I’m referring to a large commercial operation, down through the supply chain.
            And in that case, what happens to the meat on your restaurant?
            Yes, I would trust the Amish to do the right thing, because they are honourable people.
            But I cannot say that about other people, who just have the profit motive to drive them.
            So try again.
            “You have a statist mind set.”
            And you don’t a rigid “mind-set?”

          12. Ned, you’re getting more delusional and off topic, even more than when we started.
            I asked you again, to explain how you would not get food poisoning, in a totally unregulated world.
            And what did you do?
            You sent me an article again about Mises.
            And the author of that article, Art Carden, is a (as you Americans say) crank,
            I have seen him before.
            He’s one of these extreme right-wing Christians, who has interpreted the Bible in a completely disjointed way, in order to fit his free-market economic ideology.
            There’s a photograph of him, puffing on a Cuban cigar.
            This is just hilarious! And extremely hypocritical.
            He’s ideology, goes against every teaching of Jesus Christ.
            Jesus Christ was the very embodiment of Altruism, sharing and compassion.
            If Jesus Christ does return, and I hope he does, it won’t be to the United States.
            I’m sure he will bypass, much of your country, and the extreme selfish right-wing population of the United States.
            But hey Ned, don’t let me distract you, because my comment is not intended for you to start another discussion, or defense of right-wing Christians, rather get back to answering my question.

          13. More disjointed and completely inaccurate propaganda from Mises?
            Can’t you think to yourself?
            You rely on Mises, for all your information?
            God help you.
            And by the way, my name is not Roger, it’s Peter.

          14. Sorry, Peter, I was talking to Roger on the other line 🙂
            Here is a link that will keep you up to date on the latest from the socialist paradise of Venezuela. I think Chavez kicked the CIA out a long time ago, so Maduro has no excuse except to say, “Well, you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.” (Of course in Venezuela there are no longer any eggs. The fleeing farmers took their chickens with them.

          15. “Btw, I am not aware of any “Austrian economic model,” are you?” If so, please explain it to me.”
            Oh, so let’s have an argument about semantics, will we?
            A classic diversionary tactic from somebody who is failing to support their argument, and at the same time, failing to come up with, even a simple rebuttal.
            I think you know what I mean by “Austrian economic model,” so don’t Piss-fart around anymore Ned.

          16. “You will discover why Mises didn’t integrate psychology or group psychology with praxeology.”
            Maybe you have already inadvertently answered my question.
            Therein lies the great flaw in Mises’s theory on economics.
            Maybe the word flaw is an understatement.
            Maybe a complete failure to understand group psychology would be more accurate.
            Perhaps Mises did not have any feeling of shame, or guilt, because I can’t think of any other reason why he would not include group psychology.
            Perhaps he was a sociopath, because they show no empathy whatsoever.
            Mises in his day, took on the appearance of a cult leader, and like many cult leaders, the disciples never question the massive flaws, and holes in their arguments.
            For Mises not to include group psychology, into economic theories, would be like a cosmologist studying the attributes, and characteristics of a celestial body, yet failing to acknowledge the most important aspect of astrophysics into his equations, which is gravity.

          17. Define “group psychology.” Explain what it can contribute to economics. A sociopath is “a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.” That description fits Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, and most of the paragons of socialism. Mises undoubtedly saved many from the ravages of socialism when he exploded its illogical foundation in his other masterpiece titled, SOCIALISM. a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.
            Peter, you are the first person I have ever heard refer to Mises as a “cult leader.” What leads you to say that? Is it original with you or did you pick it up elsewhere?
            Peter, you accuse me of not answering your questions. I have answered ever one you have raised. However, there are over half a dozen questions I’ve asked you that you’ve ducked. Please, get honest at least with yourself,

          18. “You may be a little miffed by his very wise dismissal of any value to psychology to praxeology understand, but if it leads you to try to understand why that is by trying to understand praxeology, you will have learned something of value.”
            I’m a little miffed about that point.
            If you’re suggesting that i might learn something, by studying Praxeology, then you are miffed.
            Because Praxeology is very simplistic in its understanding, and it doesn’t really have any value in understanding psychology, and the motivations of humans.
            Put simply, Praxeology is a cheap throwaway word that has little meaning.

          19. This is getting very funny Ned.
            You are clearly showing signs of desperation.
            I have defined Praxeology, and in my belief, it’s a nonsense word that has very little meaning.
            What’s laughable, is that you are demanding an explanation from me (which I have already done), but you yourself, have not defined Praxeology.
            As I have said, you are getting desperate in your avoidance.
            You have avoided answering my question, what, 10 times now?
            I will attempt to ask you again.
            How can you maintain the highest human values, such as altrurism and utilitarianism, in the Austrian model of economics?
            Maybe the author of this story, Paul could answer the question.
            I’ll throw it out to anyone else here, who are willing to answer the question.

          20. Peter, the silly website. social democracy ought to be ashamed of itself for ripping passages out of context in order to what? To do what socialists have been vainly trying to do ever since Mises logically and conclusively demonstrated that socialism wont work, except to bring about economic chaos and social disintegration and democratic socialist regimes like Venezuela and Zimbabwe keep proving Mises was right over and over and over again. To do what? To try to discredit Mises, the economic giant of the 20th century. But at least the author of that screed and that website must have read a little of Mises in order to compile quotations out of context, whereas you have demonstrated here that you have never read Mises, for as I pointed out above, you couldn’t possible have read him and argue that AE was only interested in money. What a joke.
            Peter, I dare you to try to offer a logical criticism of Mises IN YOU OWN WORDS, not something copies and pasted from a socialist website. I have often criticized Mises’ criticism of anarchism. He thought government was necessary to deal with those perverse individuals who refused to conform themselves peacefully to the market economy, whereas anarchist point out that perverse people are far more dangerous when they obtain the mantle of government agents; that perverse people are attracted to the power of government for their own perverse reasons. Now let’s see you come up with something you’ve read by Mises that you can LOGICALLY refute or criticize.

          21. “Venezuela is suffering, in large part, because of the decades of US
            hegemony, and more recently because of CIA meddling in Venezuelan
            Talk about cherry picking. I mentioned 7 utterly failed, and deadly to their citizens socialist states, and you pick Venezuela alone. And then you blame it on the CIA and US government. You won’t get me to defend the latter. I’m sure I’m a bigger critic of any and all governments than you are, not the last the USA. However, you sure didn’t advance the cause of socialism by failing to defend all those other socialist failed states I mentioned, nor show any sympathy for the hundreds of millions of their victims.

          22. Ned, cherry picking was not my intention.
            I simply didn’t have time to go through every dictator you mentioned.
            I picked the last one, Venezuela, which goes to show I did look at your list.
            However, if you want me to mention the list of dictators you gave me, then all I would say is that you are parroting more Mises propaganda.
            Those dictators, could not give a flying F&%#, about socialism.
            Those dictators, just happen to be in power, and residing over a social system, when they were in power.
            It is completely ridiculous to make a connection between them, and socialism.
            Correlation, is not always necessarily causation.
            Because quite simply, if that were the case, I could make a claim that countries that predominantly play soccer have nasty dictators.
            Or, countries that have rice as their staple diet, produce dictators.
            Still not convinced?
            This is a brief list of right-wing capitalistic dictators.
            Francisco Franco, Hideki Tojo, Alberto Fujimori, Georgios Papadopoulos
            Idi Amin and Mobutu, just to name a few in Africa.
            Thanom Kittikachorn in Thailand was vehemently anti-Communist, yet he was extremely violent.
            Fortunately he was not in power that long, and was kicked out.
            And of course, somebody you may not of heard of (because Mises only keeps a handful of convenient talking points) is Suharto in Indonesia.
            He was a brutal right-wing dictator, who is believed to be responsible for the murder of disappearance of 3,000,000 Indonesians.
            And of course, he was installed and backed by the American government.
            And like all dictators, regardless of whether they were left or right, were mired deep in corruption, and exploited the country’s wealth, to live like kings.
            Mises never looks at Socialism objectively, because quite simply it wouldn’t fit their black-and-white view of economics.
            And needless to say, it wouldn’t help them in selling their dysfunctional Austrian model of economics.
            If you want an objective look at socialism, read Noam Chomsky.
            While he supports the principles of socialism, he also agrees that those dictators you mentioned were anti-socialist in their practice, and in their brutal methods of control and coercion.
            But Ned, I suspect that you want to keep this conversation on your talking points, because while you’re doing that, your avoiding my question.
            So what are you try to answers some of my questions?
            No more diversionary tactics from you.
            Answer my questions.
            I’ll put it simply for you.
            How can you maintain the principles of higher human values, such as alturism and utilitarianism, along with simple human values, such as respect for one and another, kindness selflessness, compassion and sharing.
            So Ned, how do you maintain those important human values, in the Austrian economic model??

          23. “This is a brief list of right-wing capitalistic dictators.”
            Not one of those you mentioned allowed free markets, Their economies were centrally planned–as in socialism. The brutal dictatorships I mentioned, like most of the ones you mentioned, were much, much closer to the socialist model than the free market economy Mises championed.
            Peter, you ask, “How can you maintain the principles of higher human values, such as
            alturism and utilitarianism, along with simple human values, such as
            respect for one and another, kindness, selflessness, compassion and
            sharing.”l And AGAIN I answer: There are many wise people who have pointed out the fatal flaws in altruism and utilitarianism, which I need not raise here, but the point you are missing is that unlike socialism, laissez faire (which Marx called capitalism) provides people with the freedom to do as they please, including being selfish, an attribute socialism cultivates, to practicing altruism. Keep in mind, there is nothing, absolutely nothing altruistic involved in taking wealth by force from some people to give it to others. That is not altruism, that is stealing. Social welfare program funded by taxation are NOT charity, and indeed, they put a damper on charity by relieving individuals of their impulse to succor the poor with their own, as opposed to others’ money.

      2. “If all this Austrian school flim-flam is the pinnacle of economic freedom and prosperity, and conversely, socialism is the very opposite, then how come post-Second World War, other countries have prospered under socialist programmes?”
        Answer: They haven’t! The Scandinavian countries American socialist try to hold up as examples of socialism’s success, have universally applied sufficient free-market principles to their “mixed” economies to keep them from falling into the abyss of decay and degeneracy full socialism always leads to. When Bernie Sanders was running around the country telling people of how great socialism was working in Denmark, the Prime Minister of Denmark to the time and trouble to travel to Harvard University to explain to Americans that Bernie was lying.
        “I know that some people in the US associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism. Therefore I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy,”–Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen
        Unfortunately, that didn’t shut Bernie up, nor his minions, but it sure left him and them with egg on their face whenever they try touting Nordic socialism while pretending Venezuela’s and Zimbabwe’s socialism don’t exist. Won’t work Peter.

      3. “Time and time again, the Austrian school demonstrates its epic fail, AT NOT understanding psychology.”
        Probably the most important work in Austrian economics is called “Human Action” by Ludwig von Mises. It clearly demonstrates that actions within an economy are taken by individuals, based on their personal preferences (beliefs, fears, doubts, search of pleasure or fulfilment and what not).
        What you claim here that Austrian economics is lacking, is the very thing that makes it Austrian economics…

        1. You are just reinforcing my point.
          Von Mises knew nothing about group psychology/dynamics.
          When I say it’s an epic fail, I’m referring to he’s complete ignorance as to what he’s system of economics allows, which is for individuals, or groups of individuals to contrive against others.
          The Austrian economic model, would become a cess pool of all the base human emotions.
          Avarice greed, is the obvious one.
          But more broadly, in the Austrian economic model, it allows individuals, or groups of individuals, to cut corners in say service industries.
          Just one of thousands of examples.
          In your world of no regulations, let’s say one night you go to a restaurant.
          Now of course, in your utopian world of no regulations, the local government does not exist, therefore, no health Department inspector to occasionally check the cleanliness of the kitchen.
          And of course, where the profit motive is always the biggest driving factor, the restaurant owner will cut back on health and safety standards.
          So anyway, you’re at this restaurant, eating a meal with friends, and of course you get sick the next day.
          But I know what you’re going to say; “Well if this restaurant serves bad food, no one will come, and the restaurant will go out of business.”
          Yes, but the damage is already done.
          You have got food poisoning!
          Or maybe worse, one of your friends has died.
          A bad business has been eliminated from the Austrian economic model, but the collateral damage is someone has died.
          As I said, there are thousands of other examples, of the complete failures within the Austrian economic model.
          If you wanna complete list, give me a few weeks.

        2. Hear! Hear! Wish I’d said that. Thanks. After those …, I would add …and far more important to a peaceful, prosperous society of success-achieving human beings than anything psychology has to offer.

          1. AE is the economics of free markets, and free markets promote peaceful human interaction and cooperation., All government programs are predicated on force. Free markets depend on voluntary exchange, mutual respect, human cooperation and open border so goods instead of armies can cross. Freedom and free markets are repugnant to socialism, which relies on state violence to ensure its central planning edicts are obeyed.

          2. “…socialism, which relies on state violence to ensure its central planning edicts are obeyed.”
            This just goes to show how much of the Mises propaganda you swallowed.
            Like all proponents of Mises philosophy, and economics, you make the mistake of conflating socialism with communism.
            As I pointed out (and which appears you failed to read), is that some brutal communist states, had socialism as their model of economics.
            Your broadbrush nonsense that socialism relies on violence, is completely ridiculous, given the success of socialism in countries, post the end of communism.
            I’m sure those people in Scandinavian countries would agree, that they have not been subjected to violence or coercion, quite the opposite in fact, they are some of the most healthiest and happiest people in the world.
            So shouldn’t the happiness of people, be a mark of a successful economic model?

          3. “Like all proponents of Mises philosophy, and economics, you make the mistake of conflating socialism with communism.”
            Please explain the difference between the two? The brutal regimes I named all called themselves socialist, like in the “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.” But again, define socialism, and define communism, and the I’ll see if there is a difference.
            As the Danish PM pointed out, and I have already showed you a quote of what he said, “DENMARK IS NOT SOCIALIST, DENMARK IS A MARKET ECONOMY.” All of the Nordic countries are essentially market economies with a large degree of social welfare programs financed by high taxes. The reason these countries can sustain high taxes is because their market economy produces significant wealth. But, in the long run, as Maggie Thatcher pointed out, “the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money,” These expensive social welfare programs in Scandinavia have over burdened the countries economies and they have ALL been moving away from that Nordic model for a more free-market oriented model.
            “The Swedish Institute of Trade reported in 2002 that “the median household income in Sweden at the end of the 1990s was the equivalent of $26,800, compared with a median of $39,400 for U.S. households”. If Sweden were introduced to the U.S. as a new state, it would rank as the poorest according to these standards. This is in light of the fact that these numbers are gross values – before taxes – and Sweden has the highest taxes in the world. The same report also shows that Swedes fare lower than the lowest American socio-economic class, working-class black males.”–!/?sw=Sweden
            Here are some more links to sites revealing the truth about Sweden, truth Bernie Sanders never talked about in any of his b.s. speeches: Imagine: the utter nonsense Bernie was spewing about Denmark drove the PM to make a trip to the US to refute the lies he was telling, which you evidently fell for..
            There are many more sites dissing Sweden’s “miracle of happy people” baloney.
            When you provide the definitions of socialism and communism, I will show you exactly why and how, AS I SAID, “socialism… relies on state violence to ensure its central planning edicts are obeyed” I will also show you that this charge against socialism is mine, and definitely does not originate with Mises, but rather is contra-Mises.
            You say you have read Mises. What have you read that Mises wrote?

  4. Hey Paul, I’ve just read your bio.
    “Paul Rosenberg knows a lot about a lot of things.”
    That’s a little boastful, isn’t it?
    Though after living in the states, it’s not surprising to me.
    “…with a broad range of interests and experiences under his belt, current passions include philosophy, theology, history, psychology, and physics.”
    Again, really?
    Without trying to sound like a troll, or insulting, that’s just laughable.

      1. I can see that your knowledge is “monumental,” because you only managed 2 lines of text.
        And regarding your other question, no I am not a Keynesian.
        There are some aspects of Austrian economics that I agree with, such as Gold backed currencies, and how Fiat currencies lead to economic disasters.
        I actually own Gold and Silver myself.
        But just like the human body, to maintain homoeostasis, you don’t apply one system, or modality to maintain good health, you treat the body holistically.
        And I think the same approach should be taken to economics.
        No one model will work in isolation.
        But the trouble is, everyone is pulling in different directions, demanding that their system is the right one.
        However, I do favour what you refer to as “socialist” programs, because they address the needs of the many.
        Put simply, they are more Alturistic if implemented correctly.
        Remember, economics is just not about making money, it’s about making society better now, and in the future, FOR everyone.
        That is a huge blind spot in the Austrian school.

    1. Peter, may I see your resume? My guess is on it you highlight your education and your accomplishments, or at least you should, and I read Paul’s bio in that light. He is highlighting his achievements in the most positive light to attract or keep readers, just as we all do–or should do–when drawing up a resume to obtain an interview for a better job.
      However, I am not unaware of the wisdom of your comment. “As the island of my knowledge increases, the shoreline of my wonder (ignorance) grows longer,” and I would add, there is a vast ocean of what I don’t know beyond. The quote is often attributed to John Archibald Wheeler or Ralph Washington Sockman

      1. “Peter, may I see your resume?”
        I have Qualifications in Natural medicine (Ayurvedic, and Traditional Chinese Medicine-TCM), as well as Evolutionary biology and Epigenetic’s.
        Also Psychology.
        I have studied informally, cosmology, astrophysics and quantum mechanics.
        And you??

        1. Wow! You are almost as diverse in your interests as Paul. My formal education ended with a BA in English and Finance, emphasis on economics (Keynesian, introduced by Samuelson and very much a waste of time and money). I have subsequently informally studied Austrian-School Economics (AE), reading many of its major works, including Mises’ incomparable HUMAN ACTION (HA) several times, and taking a few courses from (a great resource) including Logic from the hilarious David Gordon. Have dipped a toe in philosophy. Have also studied the New Testament, the historical Jesus, and written on Jesus.
          I confess I had to Google epigenetics.
          As a curious aside, I have found that folks whose careers have been in the physical or natural science wherein they depend on the empirical, “scientific method,” on a daily basis, have trouble comprehending AE and its aprioristic methodology. (There is neither logic nor reportable evidence supporting what is merely my casual observation). Those other scientists often disparage AE, IMHO for want of understanding. The methodology of AE is strikingly different than the empirical method of other sciences and those other schools of economics, to the extend that if I had my druthers those others would not be called economics. (Yes, I have studied many of them too.)
          Your critique of Austrian econ in your response to disqus..etc..below, may be a reflection of your scientific training. Certainly, your comment, “That is a huge blind spot in the Austrian school,”.implies there is a huge blind spot in your knowledge of AE. If you were to read HA, no small task, you would discover that AE is deeply concerned with human welfare, and far, far more concerned with making society better than making money, which in AE is very subsidiary to its primary task of making known what–in the field of human action–will work or won’t work. You could rid yourself of that blind spot merely be reading the Introduction to Mises HA, a mere 10 pages. It is free on the web in both PDF and HTML (
          Thanks for engaging and for letting me know you better.

          1. You have spent a lot of words, describing my qualifications, as well is your own qualifications.
            But you haven’t responded to my example of just one of the thousands of failures, within the Austrian model of economics.
            And remember, in my example of the restaurant owner, the long list of failures only ends at his restaurant table.
            Because you can well imagine, in a totally deregulated world, there are numerous failures, before the food gets to your plate.
            The supplier of steak to the restaurant will also cut corners.
            Maybe the meat supplier, will not use a refrigerated truck, at some point of the supply chain, thus allowing the meat to rise in temperature, allowing the meat to go rancid.
            And before that, the meat has to be processed at an Abattoir.
            Abattoirs have to follow strict health and safety regulations and protocols, because otherwise, meat will be contaminated.
            The most common contamination in abattoirs, if the meat is not processed correctly, and the faeces from the intestine’s can come in direct contact with the meat, causing possible salmonella poisoning.
            And even before that, what about the farmer?
            Today, Modern, high intensity farming practices are used, which include the use of growth hormones, and as a consequence, the livestock’s immune systems suffer, so they have to be given antibiotics.
            And in recent studies, it is pointing to the fact that the reason why bacteria is proving resistant to antibiotics in human, is because the antibiotics had built up resistance, due in large part, because of the rapid and indiscriminate use of antibiotics in farming practices, which find their way into the meat that we consume.
            So who’s going to regulate the farmer, so as he doesn’t further abuse the use of hormones and antibiotics?
            By the way, hormones used in cattle production, have their own set of problems.
            Who’s going to regulate, to make sure that meat is processed in a healthy way?
            Who is going to regulate the companies involved in the distribution chain of the meat?
            I used to comment on, but they ended up blocking my comments.
            So much for free speech, huh?
            Anyway, while I was there, they never attempted to address the elephant in the room, and that was, how do you overcome a tsunami of problems, in your Austrian, deregulated world of economics??
            “Your criticism of AE in your response to “disqus..etc.” below, may be a reflection of your scientific training.”
            Not so, because you don’t need a qualification in anything.
            It’s only common sense, to realise that the Austrian economic model is completely flawed, and will allow all the foibles of human nature to rise to prominence, and then we descend into our old animalistic characteristics.
            Fear, greed, apathy, cheating, laziness, spitefulness, selfishness and, did I mention greed?
            Lets say hypothetically, that we were living in the Austrian world of economics, and at the same time, Jesus Christ was walking amongst us.
            What do you really think his opinion of the world would be?
            Remember, Jesus Christ was, and still is all about, love and universal compassion, FOR ALL.
            I cannot see those human qualities getting promoted in the Austrian world.

  5. My great grandpa must have channelled this to me, since all my great grandparents were long gone by the time I was born. Unlike my late parents and late sister, I have never had any kind of regular credit cards. The Chevron, Sears, Penny’s, and Wards cards of my youth are long gone. I’ve been offered a $20,000 credit limit card twice by Citibank, but never accepted them. I did follow through just to see if they were serious, and they were.
    I have always been a manic saver, which has been supported by being a vandweller since the mid 80’s. Rent or mortgage, property tax, and utilities eat a lot of money that I never had to spend.
    That said, getting out of a system which is so pervasive that few ever know there is another way is virtually impossible as a result. It is unlikely that most will ever discover an alternative, so we will remain mired in the ignorance of our ancestors.

  6. You’re being robbed, sure, but that’s just the beginning. You’re also being defrauded via hidden inflation, probably at a much higher rate than you’re being robbed. They claim that inflation is ~3% per year (iirc), but anyone who just watches prices from one year to the next should know this is BS. Anyone who has read this article should *definitely* know that number is BS.
    Interestingly enough, the solution to income taxes and inflation fraud is the same: stop using FRNs. Honest monies can’t be fraudulently inflated, and don’t have withholding.

  7. Although this is meant for Peter Harris, who has been saying some rather slanderous things about a man who many have said was the greatest economist of the 20th century. I thought I’d move it to the top of the comments so I don’t have to keep searching through the comments to find Peter’s replies, and to give my defense of Mises greater prominence, because he deserves it.
    It is not surprising that a socialist like Peter would be critical of Ludwig von Mises, since Mises was the economist who drove a stake through the heart of the socialist economic nonsense perpetrated by Karl Marx in his tome, Das Kapital. Marx’s socialist economics had unfortunately been swallowed by many shallow minds, people who liked Marx’s idea of living off the fruits of other people’s labor, which he sold to the avaricious in words that almost made stealing sound noble: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!” Marx failed to mention that the only way to accomplish this noble goal was by the State using its police powers to violently take from those with ability (the productive class), and give it to the needy (the slacker class), with a huge part of the lucre sticking to the government class doing the forcible distribution. What is sad is the calumny to which Harris resorts in a vain but futile attempt to discredit an intellectual giant whose economic legacy has been indelibly secured–even by his honest socialist critics.
    The esteemed Polish economist and prominent defender of socialism, Oskar Lange, spent years in earnest and honest debate with Mises, but always accepted Mises’ main premise regarding the Marxist economic model. Unlike Mr. Harris, Lange always referred to Mises as Professor Mises, recognized Mises brilliance, and treated him with the respect required of gentlemen scholars engaged in scholarly debate.
    “In his final, posthumous work, designed as the first of a multi-volume treatise on economics, Oskar Lange devoted a great deal of time to the painful acknowledgement that economics must encompass praxeology as well as Marxism. The particular irony is that Lange devoted a great amount of attention to an economic theory of his old antisocialist rival which still remains almost unknown in conventional Western economic thought.”–

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