What convinced you of the merits of the Austrian School of Economics over other schools of thought?
The Austrian School of Economics is economics of freedom, economics for free people, economics of human action, not of government design. It is the only school which accurately predicted the fate of the socialist experiment, which cost over 150 million lives last century. Ludwig von Mises showed with precise and irrefutable logic why socialism could never work.
[…] What advice would you give to a student who is afraid to discuss Austrian economics with fellow students and with professors?
Do not be afraid. Mises’ personal motto was: “Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito. Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it.” Fight back any attempts to limit your freedom of speech. Having said that, I would advise students to be tactful and polite in their discussions with fellow students and professors. Remember that shouting and sloganeering are habits of the Left.
Daily Bell: Explain why you are so attracted to China?
Jim Rogers: It is not that I am attracted to China. It is that I see what is happening in China. I see the enormous changes that are taking place in China. I hope I would have thought that I would have seen the same sort of promise in Britain in 1807 – and seen that the UK was going to emerge on the world scene in a big way. I would hope I’d have detected the same promise in 1907 as regards America. Few people saw anything in the UK in 1807. Few people saw anything happening in America in 1907. The country was bankrupt in 1907, totally corrupt – Wall Street, Washington, everywhere. Yet, in fact, America was on the verge of becoming the greatest success of the 20th century.
Again, things change. If you study history you can see that. China has had recurring periods of greatness three or four times in the last few thousand years. Britain was great once, Egypt was great once, and Rome was great once. China has been great three or four times. It’s a resilient country, and we can see that now. For 300 years China was in decline. In fact, a few hundred years ago, China’s Emperor destroyed all the big sailing ships. They had vessels that had been to America, to Africa. They were sailing around the world long before Columbus. And yet the Emperor decided the China was not going to travel across seas anymore. He destroyed all the ships, destroyed all the maps, destroyed the records, destroyed everything. China, as could be expected, went into decline.
The 20th Century was a disaster for China. Mao Zedong may have been a great guerilla warrior but he ruined the place. It was in total collapse until Deng Xiaoping came along and started reversing what amounted to hundreds of years of decline.
[…] Daily Bell: Explain how gold would fit into your larger perspective. Are you in favor of a gold standard, or a gold and silver market standard?
Jim Rogers: The world has used silver as money more than gold, because silver was the “people’s money.” The US was based on a silver standard for many decades of its existence. Gold has always been important but silver has been money more than gold. But the gold standard has never really worked in the long term, nor has the silver standard, because politicians always figure out a way to get around it. They debase it, change the rules or whatever. Just look at Rome. The whole word debasement comes from the Romans who kept substituting more and more base metals into their gold coins until by the end there was nothing but base metals. The gold standard has worked very few times in history. It seemingly was successful in the nineteenth century, but then the British started discovering gigantic gold mines in South Africa, which led to more wealth and success for the UK though not necessarily for the rest of the world.
Daily Bell: Is there a better way?
Jim Rogers: My solution would be not to dictate what people must use for money. Once you give politicians the monopoly money right, then they can do what they please. Look at what Roosevelt did in 1933, and what Nixon did when he abandoned gold. If I had my way people could use whatever they wanted as money. If you and I make a deal and I offer you seashells for whatever and you accept them then fine, that’s what we use for money. Eventually the great mass will figure out what they want to use for money and they will do so.
You know only until 80 or 90 years ago in the UK, you could use all kinds of money, many different kinds of money. Bank issued money, guineas, but then when the depression came, British politicians passed a law making it an act of treason to use anything except paper pounds sterling, paper money as legal tender. Britain has been a basket case since. You used to be able to use whatever you wanted in the US as well. People would exchange what they saw fit as money.
[…] Daily Bell: Do you believe in the bailouts taking place in America?
Jim Rogers: Of course not. This is what the Japanese tried to do in the 1990s and it led to zombie banks, zombie companies, lots of problems generally. And the same thing is going to happen this time too. America already has its zombie companies. We are going deeper and deeper into debt. With Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, the debt is just staggering. And of course all those derivatives and off balance sheet items are obligations of the US taxpayer. This will continue to get worse and is a horrible disaster.
The way things are supposed to work is, when somebody goes bankrupt or somebody fails, he goes bankrupt. Then competent people come in, take over the assets, reorganize and start over from a sounder base. Just as what happened in Scandinavia, Korea or Mexico or Russia, or many other countries in the past twenty years. Yes it is horrible for two or three years but then things get much better. The Japanese did it the other way round, and they still have not recovered. What America is doing is taking the assets away from the competent people and giving them to the incompetent people – and then saying, “OK now you can compete with the competent people with THEIR ASSETS.” I mean it is absurd economics, it’s outrageous morally and the politicians don’t care about morality of course, and it’s a disaster that is being imposed on America and the rest of the world.
Daily Bell: Are you a fan of the EU? Do you think it will survive?
Jim Rogers: I am a fan and I hope it will survive. The world needs some kind of sound and competent currency. The euro would be spectacular. Big market, lots of depth. Unfortunately the EU has expanded too fast. Why they took in the last 10 or so countries is beyond me. Too many languages, too many welfare recipients, too many problems. So, I suspect that the euro will not survive and it will in fact lead to the dismantling of the EU. I don’t think it is going to happen this month, but it will happen down the road.
Socialism means centralized control of the means of production–or, in Hoppe’s more essentialist generalization where he defines socialism as “an institutionalized interference with or aggression against private property and private property claims”, A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism, p. 2; also see pp. 12–which is clearly incompatible with libertarian principles, by both standard- and left-libertarian lights. If we ignore semantics, even “communism” could work–after all, we are for community, no? But words have meanings and fighting over semantics is futile. Hell, we’ve even lost “liberal,” though there is some hope we can regain that (I recall Objectivist David Kelley once in a speech said, if the leftists are done with the term liberal, can they please give it back?). But “socialism”? Too late. If we were picking a new term, I might choose Hazlitt’s tentatively proffered term “Cooperatism” (Foundations of Morality, p. xii), but I think libertarianism, or anarcho-libertarianism, works just fine.
“There is a lot of uncertainty out there,” said a senior private banker at a Greek bank. “We’ve had a number of customers asking to move funds out of Greece, mostly to Cyprus, Luxembourg and Switzerland.”
Part of the government’s austerity package for this year is a declaration of war on income that hasn’t been taxed. While the government hasn’t ironed out details, that’s prompted fears among wealthy individuals that there will be new taxes on bank accounts.
The government estimates that at least 30% of the money generated in Greece is untaxed.
Clients of private banks also fear that Greece may be unable able to raise the €54 billion it needs this year to pay back maturing bonds and will therefore have to turn to the IMF for help.
„Grecii trebuie sa faca economii. De ani buni, ei cheltuiesc peste masura. Orice alta solutie este similara cu a oferi o sticla de shnaps unui alcoolic. Nu asa se rezolva problema dependentei“, si-a sustinut Shaffer punctul de vedere. „Uniunea Europeana si, prin urmare, Germania, ar putea ajuta financiar Grecia, dar in schimb are nevoie de garantii. Cateva insule ar merge“…
Cetățeanul Isărescu este un mic om de afaceri, are probleme când merge să-și plătească taxele și își face griji în privința pensiei. În rolul de “simplu cetățean”, guvernatorul BNR are experiențe traumatizante. Acum o săptămână, aflat într-o vizită la Craiova, guvernatorul BNR, Mugur Isărescu, s-a întâlnit cu oamenii de afaceri locali, cărora le-a povestit cum s-a deghizat “precum Cuza” și a fost umilit la ghișee de funcționare.
“Le-am întrebat: ce faceți acolo? Și mi-au răspuns: Da’ ce te interesează pe dumneata? Uite că mă interesează!” a povestit guvernatorul.
Reprezentantii Consiliului National al Intreprinderilor Private Mici si Mijlocii (CNIPMM) afirma ca Ministerul de Interne a initiat un act normativ de modificare a legii Politiei Locale, prin care sa se dea posibilitatea oricarui politist din cadrul acestei structuri sa controleze firmele, masura care
“ar fi aberanta”. Ovidiu Nicolescu, presedintele CNIPMMR, a declarat astazi ca proiectul de act normativ nu a fost facut public, deocamdata “circuland intre ministere”.
“Sper sa nu se adopte o astfel de prevedere pentru ca ar fi o aberatie. Prevederea ar urma sa dea politiei locale atributii in verificarea activitatii economice, adica politistii locali sa se verifice contabilitatea, bilantul, inventarul”, a spus Nicolescu. Exista deja patru structuri distincte care controleza activitatea firmelor, respectiv Garda Financiara, Directia de Investigare a Fraudelor, Autoritatea Nationala a Vamilor si Directia Generala Coordonare Inspectie Fiscala din cadrul Agentiei Nationale de Administrare Fiscala, a mai spus oficialul.
Parlamentarii vor avea de luat în perioada următoare o decizie dificilă: contează mai mult voturile sau averile personale? Și asta pentru că din cei 20.000 de români vizați de Legea Surupăceanu de impozitare a averilor de peste 500.000 de euro, o parte își numără banii pe furiș în băncile Legislativului.
Din păcate, nimeni nu va analiza oportunitatea, moralitatea și constituționalitatea unei astfel de legi expropriatoare. Cele două tabere își vor urmări doar interesul personal: o tabără, cea care va invoca principiul solidarității, pe cel electoral, iar cealaltă, care este și anticomunistă, pe cel financiar!
[…] Puțină lume știe că, la introducerea sa în SUA, impozitul pe venit avea o valoare modică de 1-2% și un prag de aplicare prin care era vizată doar o mică parte a populației. În timp, după majorări succesive, s-a ajuns la actualele cote progresive. În plus, nimeni nu mai e exclus de la plata sa.
Odată introdus în România “impozitul Surupăceanu”, se deschide o adevărată Cutie a Pandurei. Nimeni și nimic (poate doar Curtea Constituțională) nu-l va opri pe un eventual SuperSurupăceanu să majoreze cota de 0,5% sau să micșoreze pragul de 500.000 de euro, eventual chiar să-l elimine.