Bribes in Bitcoins

Monday, 15 October, Year 4 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

There's no longer any doubt that the fiat currencies (which are really all variations of the US Dollar, practically speaking, sort of like Saturn's many rings in various color schemes) are headed for the crapper.

This is a done deal, not a matter of ifs and buts, just a matter of when. There's no way to extract the US from under that mountain of debt they've happily piled while building socialism and soon enough there won't be any way to even service it on tax receipts alone. There's no way to finance 2.1 trillion worth of imports on 1.5 or so trillion worth of exports. That striking sort of deficit in the 50% range simply can't be covered for. There's no way to make up for the deficits in the entitlements system, be they social security, retirement benefits, huge and exploding healthcare costs, social bribes programs of all kinds.

Sure, palliative measures will be attempted, monetize the debt, buy up imaginary this with fake that, balloon balance sheets with larger and larger helpings of imaginary. None of it can in principle work except for a limited (and likely very short) interval.

Sure, the EU is much larger in terms of populationi, in terms of economic powerii, in terms of social developmentiii, carries much less debt either per capita or per trading capital and is bleeding a lot less in gifts to the useless and unemployable to coax them into not burning down their own city. Therefore it's quite likely that the bubble will burst West of the Atlantic, in spite of all the bullcrap propaganda units disguised as English press are trying to push. This is a purely academic distinction however : once burst the bubble brings down everyone. The euro can't survive the collapse of the dollar any better than the reverse, once one goes it's bye-bye for the entire fiat system, yen to dinar and kronor to pula.

People being what they are, however, nobody inside the system will ever admit this. The stock exchange will continue to soar grossly speaking for as long as anyone cares to look and they can somehow pay the power bill. The Congressmen will continue to thank one another for "their leadership", as if anyone's doing any leadershipping there. The Presidential Household will continue to expand at an ever increasing rate (how many comissars czars are there yet, over a hundred ?). It will also continue to announce more and more absurd measures with firmer and firmer conviction, again for as long as anyone cares to listen. The judges will continue to sue the government to prevent it from cutting out their pay increases.

On the other hand, people also being what they are, as the disintegration of the welfare state systemiv enters its final phase early capitalism takes hold once more, and everything's for sale again. Wives, daughters, the process of law, the use of police cars, police weapons and police buildings to beat the shit out of one's enemies, everything and anything you might wish for as long as you're able to pay something in exchange.

Pay, you say ? But how would one pay, if the system has managed to render its own currency irrelevant ? Well, in Soviet Russia they took instant coffee bricks, cigarette cartons, even toilet paper. They didn't have Bitcoins yet, you see, the Internet is a child of the nineties not of the seventies.

So there we have it : once people start being asked to pay bribes in Bitcoins we know we've won. Just in case you were looking for a criterion, this is the criterion.

And yes, I'm saving some Bitcoins in a special wallet precisely to pay for the amusement of fucking interns in the oval office. The cigars are on the house.

  1. About once-and-a-half the headcount. []
  2. The US folks tend to firmly believe the colonies are the center of the world, but let's point out that Germany alone, one EU country out of twenty or so, does over 50% of the US gross export receipts. []
  3. The shockingly rural (which is to say, backward) nature of the United States is something that squarely eludes the average American. However, of those half a billion Europeans maybe a tenth live more than twenty miles away from a train station. Compare that with about two thirds of the US population. []
  4. Yet another fancy word for socialism. Isn't it shocking how that particular stupidity manages to call itself something else every coupla generations ? And isn't it fascinating there's always a majority of idiots willing to believe old shit in new plastic foil means all-new miracle cure ? []
Category: Bitcoin
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8 Responses

  1. Fiat currencies are *always* headed for the crapper. The more important question for the majority of people is how fast are their particular fiat currency is headed there at the moment. The US broke away from the gold standard under FDR. It closed the last vestige of the system under Nixon. The currency has already exceeded a lot of predictions regarding how long would it last.

    The small government critique of big government is generally spot on. The timing of when those bad consequences will show up is a lot less impressive.

    There are, however, signs of some hope. Entire states, such as Indiana, have fixed their pension problems by converting over to realistic pension schemes. In the federal government, the GOP pushed through a requirement that the postal service fully fund its pension system, something that actually looks like it might happen. The US system, in its complexity, is more akin to the EU (if the EU had 57 member states) on steroids than a nation. It is so complex that, I kid you not, they don't even know how many governments they have. Parts of the system are profoundly irresponsible. Others are... not.

    Eventually the whole thing will die. But it's less clear that it'll die anytime soon.

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Thursday, 21 April 2016

    Fiat currencies are *always* headed for the crapper.

    They're not going to go there willingly.

    Entire states, such as Indiana

    Indiana is a miserable example. Do Illinois, sometime.

    The US system, in its complexity, is more akin to the EU (if the EU had 57 member states) on steroids than a nation

    This would carry some water until one realises that the US has about 2/3 of the population of the EU, and even less importance than that in realistic economic terms [ie, a view that excludes the various usg ponzi schemes and delusions of IP].

    Eventually the whole thing will die. But it's less clear that it'll die anytime soon.

    Your own definition of "died" plays a part. Is the deer dead when the red spot lands on it ? When the round goes bang ? When the blood first spurts ? When the animal finally kneels ? When the ants start moving purposefully towards it ? When it's made sausage ? When the sausage are eaten ? When the eaten sausages are shat ? When the cockroaches start moving purposefully towards the shit in the pipe ? When the...

    More generally : the socialist delusion can be maintained for as long as there's easy money. Once that dries up, it's time to say goodnight. How long the easy money lasts is pretty much entirely outside of the control of the socialists themselves, and so "responsibility" or whatever peculiar behaviour has roughly the same chances as "irresponsibility" or whatever other peculiar behaviour. Once the insanity of socialism has been imported in the priors, all behaviours are ~the same anyway.

  3. TMLutas`s avatar
    Sunday, 24 April 2016

    I recently moved away from the Indiana/Illinois border (Indiana side) ultimately because I wanted to get out of the financial blast zone that is Chicago. I'm familiar with both government cases. I'm sorry that you seemed to be prejudiced against Indiana, finding it "a miserable example" for no reason you've bothered to articulate. If you gave your reasons, out of respect I might find an example that fits your rules but I'm not going to go shooting in the dark. That would just be a waste of both of our times.

    Since fiat currencies themselves are delusional and we're talking about them, I don't see why the delusions of IP are not worth equivalent consideration. But fine, we are discussing arbitrary things so why not arbitrarily eliminate key US advantages? It goes with the theme of the conversation.

    I find the idea of varying definitions of death interesting. Let's see if we agree. I think a currency is dead when the mainstream in a society that has it as legal tender stops wanting to use it. This doesn't lend itself to precise date of death calculations you can put on a certificate but it's what I've got and I think that people will be trading US greenbacks for goods and services for at least 20 years even if we don't get significantly better financial governance to extend matters. So what have you got in terms of death definitions?

  4. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Sunday, 24 April 2016

    > ultimately because I wanted to get out of the financial blast zone that is Chicago

    Here's the problem with the general theory of blast zone avoidance : inasmuch as the Sun is a total blast zone, and insamuch as the Earth is far enough from it to avoid the worst effects, it is nevertheless false that the Earth will stay habitable once the issues of the Sun's administration are fixed, either through political reform, demographic adaptation or pure and simple blasting itself out. In the latter case some of that blastout will surely reach you as far out as the Earth and ruin your constructive paradise, but in all cases the following cold will serve the same office.

    So no, the notion that Indiana can be an example or a basis of discussion is untenable. It exists as it exists BECAUSE of the Chicago blast area, no matter what it may wish to think or dream itself into. Blair has more on this topic, also.

    Gaddafi's Lybia was a very good example, or for that matter Mubarak's Egypt. These failed approximately for the same reason gifted students end up bullied in inner city schools - the curve of socialism doth not wish to be thrown.

    > arbitrarily eliminate key US advantages?

    Some advantages are more defensible than others. When we eliminate advantages (which is exactly what a simulation of conflict does, incidentally), we start with the weakest.

    > the mainstream

    This means nothing. What "mainstream" ? There isn't even one for low energy topics such as pop culture, let alone heavy duty items as contemplated here.

    Amusingly enough, the USG has pluriously refused to accept its own debts in settlement of tax. By your repudiation-based definition, it's dead already.

    To my eyes, a currency is dead once it no longer satisfies the primacy requirement. This has happened to all fiats cca 2010s, with the introduction of Bitcoin.

  5. TMLutas`s avatar
    Monday, 25 April 2016

    At the risk of sounding incredibly uneducated, how do you define the primacy requirement? All the rest is side issues in my eyes and I'm only going to address one.

    The financial blast zone reference was the specific event that triggered the unwinding of Chicago's interest rate 'swaps' agreements as its creditworthiness was (finally) recognized as junk. This predictably will reduce law enforcement ability and make Chicago a significantly more dangerous place for me and mine as, on a nice day, walking to the border of the city was a reasonable exercise program at my old place of residence.

    The financial troubles of Chicago are played out on the order of years, and if things go really wrong, decades. The Sun, however, plays out its processes on considerably longer periods than that, several orders of magnitude longer in fact.

    While I recognize the theoretical similarities, reaching out to the Sun as a counterexample demonstrates my point, that the timing of events is not seriously treated by you because while I may very well live to see my local/national fiat die, I am highly unlikely to see the Sun die.

  6. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Monday, 25 April 2016

    > At the risk of sounding incredibly uneducated, how do you define the primacy requirement?

    Take the "bad money pushes out the good". What's good and what's bad ? We don't know, all we know is that the primary unit of account does not circulate, but instead pushes all the secondary units of account into movement in its stead.

    It's not a well defined concept, but it is apparent to a variety of different approaches. Who's the boss ? The one sitting. What's the primate currency ? The one in which you save. Or, who's the boss ? The one that can explain the others. What's the primate currency ? The one of superior meaning ; the one of superior abstraction ; the one that's a superset of the others. On and on, in this manner, it's an empirical concept.

    > the timing of events is not seriously treated by you

    I daresay timing can not be seriously considered in this case. You get a sort of Heisenbergian choice, either get the specifics exact or the times exact. Asking for more violates pecuniodynamics.

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