Bob G

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  1. Confusion about fractional reserve banking

    Paul, I have heard those legal arguments before and not been impressed. I would like to hear what a legal authority had to say and none of the people who I have seen make that argument have that training or experience. In addition, the argument does not take into consideration the actual agreement between the depositor and the bank. To me, the very fact that a deposit was made in a bank that practiced fractional banking would discredit any attempt to use that argument in the first place. Please be careful in this issue, everyone. Fractional reserve banking and government fiat currency are two different things. A government can inflate the money supply without fractional reserve banking. It is just easier with fractional reserve banking in place. In a precious metal money context, there is a limit to how much the money supply can expand and thus you cannot have year-in-year-out inflation. The issue that causes difficulties in the context of a precious metal currency and fractional reserve banking is the safety of the banks. If a bank is poorly managed it can go bust. If it is just a warehouse, that can't happen.
  2. Confusion about fractional reserve banking

    bborg, I have seen the modern economist argue that private banks increase the money supply because of fractional banking, but they alwasy start with a new dollar in their example. New dollars are something that happens rarely or slowly in a precious metal money system but often and in large quantites when the government controls the money. Inflation is caused by governments. The critics of fractional banking are concerned about bank failures and thus people losing their deposits. Certainly, when banks are poorly managed or when the governemnt is playing games, the risk is high. Capilalist defenders of fracional banking do insist that every depositor in a bank practicing fractional banking needs to know what the bank is doing. When done above board, in a precious metal money context, by real bankers, fractional banking works (sorry, off the top of my head I don't have the references for you). If fractional banking wasn't practiced, the bank would become more of a warehouse than what we think of as a bank. Lending would have to come from funds that was put into the bank by the owners (capital), or from money lent to the bank, i.e., savind deposits or bonds. One of my popular blog posts is a detailed description of how the U.S. Federal Reserve System works, See
  3. Paul, I wrote some comments on Salsman's review. If you recall, our book group dsicussed Buechner's book. I thought it was good. I don't try to defend Buechner as much as I am very disappointed in what Salsman did.
  4. DCOS is having a discussion group meeting on February 21 in Fairfax: Announcement Please join us for a discussion of the first two essays in Ayn Rand's book Philosophy: Who Needs It: 1) Philosophy: Who Needs It 2) Philosophical Detection We will be following the pattern used by the Front Range Objectivism Groups (FROG) in Colorado, which was developed by Lin Zinser and has been successful for years. Lin Zinser will be leading the first discussion. We'll try to start the discussion at 1:30 sharp. We can spend about an hour or so on the first essay, then have a 30 minute break, then spend about an hour on the second essay. We should be done by 4:30. There is a dinner afterwards at a good Italian restaurant. You don't have to go to the discussion group to have dinner. Come to either one or both. If you are interested, send me a private message and I'll get you directions.
  5. Capuletti: Untitled on paper

    I seem to come across these things. If I only had the money. Online auction; beginning price $250, really $250. It is an original. It isn't what you normally think of as a Cappuletti. Maybe a little more Dali like. Here I made sure that this is a current auction!! Couldn't get a copy to paste.
  6. If anyone is thinking of coming to this event, let me know. There are several things that I can tell you about regarding attending that wll make it easier, such as parking, lunch, getting there, etc.
  7. This is good. Really, the thing that you can really come out of this with is the understanding that it is fun and not hard to talk to women. Most of them like to talk to men, especially if the man is confident and fun. There is all kinds of fun. There is intelligent fun. At first, it is just the fun of connecting. Even if you decide that you don't want to see any of these women again, you can still enjoy the contact.
  8. If your willing to listen to an old guy, what do women always complain about? Men just talk about themselves, don't listen, etc. So, being relaxed, warm, and confident to set it up, then, take the initiative and: Ask them questions, not about work or beliefs because you want sense of life and you don't want them to feel that you are doing any kind of judging on first impressions or one-up them. Ask them about what they like to do, what is fun in their life, what was the most interesting thing they have done, stuff that lets them smile and laugh. And listen, closely, because they will like it and because they will tell you a lot about themselves which is what you want to know. If you notice some small thing about her clothes or hair or something, say that you like it. Such a compliment has to be specific. It says that you noticed her, you really looked at her, you're paying attention to her. Every other guy will be trying to impress them. You will be the confident guy who was interested in them and listened. A few years ago, after a few years of being alone, I came up with a new strategy and said to hell with my old reserved self. I decided to talk to every attractive woman within 10 feet (I didn't always find a way to do that). I decided that it didn't matter what I said, just that I be warm, friendly, funny if I could be, and say things to which someone could respond. I didn't try to impress, just open a channel of communication. It worked. My girlfriend and I are going on 5 years. What was really fun was that in our first telephone conversation she was the one who brought up Ayn Rand. Wow!! I moved fast then!
  9. Doing business in China

    rtg24, What's your take on the situation with Google, censorship, and the digital attacks on Goodle and its email customers?
  10. Is Beauty Quantifiable ?

    But, I bet you never saw number you didn't like.
  11. The actual location has not been determined yet. They often wait until they see what the turnout will be before announcing where the event will be. They have also changed the site at the last moment. There are a lot of different locations available to the Smithsonain in downtown DC. The senior discount is $77. To order and get your discount you need a code. If you qualify for the code from ARI or DCOS, get it before you go online to place your ticket order. I have often just gone to the event that I want to attend and bought my ticket on location. It might be a little sticky doing it in this case because the people handling the evening for the Smithsonian may not be aware of the special discount. However, if you can't do it any other way, you will probably be able to get in even if it sold out. There are always no shows. The Smithsonian Associates has a wide range of programs. If you're going to be in DC, be sure to look at the events planned by them as well as the Smithsonian itself, the National Art Gallery, etc. Incidentally, if you like art, the National Art Gallery is a world class collection.
  12. Ahh, a link to the discounts? There is a code at the DCOS site. I haven't heard how you would get the code if you are a ARI supporter. Contact the ARC, I suppose. Betsy, I know that you are a member of DCOS so you could get that one by going to the listing for this event in the calendar. But, there is no other way that I know of. The listing in my original post gives you the information for the event.
  13. Discounts are now being offered to supporters of ARI and DCOS members.
  14. Doing business in China

    While I think that we have seen that not trading with someone, especially cutting off trade, can lead to war, I doubt that there is any evidence to suggest that trade will change someone's mind, not if they are into power in the first place. When someone accepts the idea that war makes some sense in the first place, how can you tell what irrationality will justify going to war? Making "sense" doesn't make sense in that level of irrationality. Okay, say your guy, the current Chinese Premier is relatively okay, sort of ignoring his willingness to be in that position of power, etc. What if he gets hit by a Mack Truck (those things are so handy for arguments!)? What if the rest of the power elite get scared? There is a lot of risk there. I don't want to say that there isn't good reason to look seriously at China. In today's context, with the future of the U.S. in peril, which country has the best chance to come out of this okay is certainly unclear. The one asset that no country has is us. We could be the difference, which is up to us and free will.
  15. Fred Seiler is hosting a new Objectivist Discussion Group patterned after the very successful Front Range Objectivist Group in CO. Go to the DCOS Meetup Site for details. The first meeting will be on Feb. 21, 2010. Front Range Objectivism activity was the result of many years of work by Lin Zinser, who is now the Vice President of Public Outreach of ARI and oversees the activities of ARC in DC. Fortunately for us in the DC area she hangs out with us when she can. She has volunteered to lead one of the discussions of the first meeting of our new group (I am sure that Fred said yes!). So this will be good. I am hoping that we will have people of various levels of knowledge of Objectivism. Knowing the people who have already signed up, I can say that there will be a lot of good background and understanding there. I can also say that these people will be very tolerant of ignorance and will encourage questions and concerns. There is also a dinner planned later that day. You don't have to go to both. I am looking forward to those events. Bob