Do Away With Dealers?

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Did you know it’s illegal to buy a new car from the manufacturer? That’s right. In most states (48 states) so-called direct-buys are unlawful by statute.B0G7Y4

It is a crime to not go through a dealership.

Or rather, it’s a crime for you – if you decided to manufacturer a car – to try to sell it without going through a middleman. The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has seen to it – for all the obvious reasons.

You are also not the first legal owner of your new car.

The dealer is.

He buys the car from, say, Ford – and pays the cost to have it shipped by rail/truck from its final assembly point to his store. This freight cost – plus mark-up – plus other costs (including “prep”) is then folded into the so-called Manufacturer’s Suggest Retail Price (MSRP), which is what you’re expected to pay for the car.

You then wrassle with him over the bottom line price and – eventually – buy the car from him.

Not Ford.dealer pic 2

Even if you did a really thorough job researching the MSRP vs. the dealer invoice price (what the dealer supposedly paid Ford – in our example – for the car) it’s highly likely he still made money off you. There are almost always secret factory-to-dealer holdbacks and other incentives which reduce the actual cost of the car to him. And there are numerous opportunities in between that first hello-there handshake and your signature on the contract to pad the bottom line.

The process is purposely designed to be Byzantine.

Which isn’t – as such – evil.

The shuck and jive, the bob and weave – hey, that’s capitalism.

If you have the personality for the ancient rite known as “haggling” – and understand how the game is played – you can sometimes come away from the encounter with a steal of a deal. Or at least, without having been made to squeal. And – yes – dealers can be helpful. It’s sometimes nice to just offload your old car (the trade-in) and drive the new one home. Modern cars are also often pretty elaborate – and having someone explain the features and how things work is a legitimate service. Assuming you need it – and want it.

Not everyone does.    dealer 3

Which brings us to the real issue here: The involuntary nature of the initial transaction – and the fact that you can’t (legally) end-run that initial transaction. You want a new car?

You’ve got to see Mr. Dealer.

We’re assured by NADA that it’s all very benevolent. That dealers provide a critical support network for car buyers so that when they need a warranty claim handled, it can be done locally, etc. All of this is certainly true to some extent. The same extent that it’s true the DMV provides various its “services” to us  . . . services we have to pay for and which, of course, we’re not allowed to say no to.

The question arises – or ought to: If the services provided are so critically desirable, why is it necessary to strong-arm the “customers”?

The smell of day-old tuna rises …tesla pic

Readers of this column already know how I feel about Tesla – well, about the car. The idea of using government force to subsidize the purchase of high-end toys by very high-income people is a pretty obnoxious idea. Trabbies (or the modern equivalent) for the Proletariat, that’s one thing. Maybe not a right thing – but plausibly justifiable, if you’re a social-leveler kind of person. On the other hand, handing an LA orthodontist a $7,500 check (the amount of the direct federal subsidy) to ease the bite of paying for his new $70,000 (base price) electric car using funds taken out of the hides of plumbers and roofers driving around in eight-year-old, 120,000 mile Impalas and Malibus kind of sticks in the craw a bit.

But the way Tesla wants to sell its cars – direct buy – is something I can get behind. Go online, pick the model, the color, the equipment – and click pay. It gets shipped right to your house if you want – just like ordering a new flat screen via Amazon.

What Tesla is trying to do does not eliminate the traditional dealership system. No bans have been proposed. No legislation introduced that would make it illegal to sell cars via a dealership.Tesla merely wishes to offer its cars for sale direct to buyer. Ford, et al, would be free to continue to sell cars however they wish. Tesla pic 2

And – key point – buyers would be free to choose.

That the NADA objects – violently – to allowing people this freedom to choose says a lot. (There’s a good news story about the contretemps here.) Anytime someone insists a given thing is so important that people simply have to be forced to buy it, you know you’re dealing with a con. Football fans pay $100 a pop for NFL tickets – and millions of people pony up $19.99 for Jiffy Lube oil changes – because it seems worth it to them. If it seems like a good deal to buy a car through a dealer – hey, he pulled all the plastic off the seats and gave it a thorough vacuuming before he tossed me the keys – then people will continue to patronize dealerships. No skin off anyone’s nose.

The threat posed by Tesla’s direct-buy model is competition.

Selling cars to customers sans the middleman gives customers an alternative – and this puts pressure on traditional dealers to lower the fees they charge and improve the services they provide.

And that, ultimately, is the crime Tesla stands accused of – and which the NADA is determined to see punished with all the inquisitorial fervor (and lobbying muscle) it can muster.

Why not, instead, just do a better job of selling cars – and make customers happy?

Too simple, I know.

Or perhaps, too much work.

About the writer: Eric Peters is a veteran car/bike journalist and author of Automotive Atrocities and Road Hogs.

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  119 comments for “Do Away With Dealers?

  1. Maxillius
    May 15, 2014 at 11:32 am

    I’ll tell you why dealers have made it illegal to buy direct from the manufacturer: MICHIGAN. Back when the Big 3 was all we really had, everyone was headquartered in Michigan, and specifically the Detroit area. So there you have 2 million customers within an easy drive to the manufacturer. The dealers realized this and stuck their foot in it immediately. It ended location specificity. Why would you pay $400 extra for a Ford to shipped to you from Wixom when you can buy an Oldsmobile that’s built down the street? This kind of thing helped the imports take off here. If people were allowed to buy an Escort or Cavalier from the factory, why would they bother with the markup for a Corolla or Civic?

  2. Steve Friedrich
    April 1, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Remember, Tesla paid off their energy department guaranteed loan many years early. And as a (small l) libertarian myself I think the the government shouldn’t be giving cash incentives for anyone’s business. The EV incentives are not Tesla’s fault. That said, I took the money… they have taken millions from me!

    I live near Sacramento, CA and have owned a Model S since Nov 2012. One thing that I have noticed in all this time is that there is a very big difference in the opinions of automotive journalists that just write about the car and automotive journalists who DRIVE the car and then write about it.

    If you haven’t had this pleasure yet, please think about arranging a test drive at your nearest Tesla Service Center. Think of it as extending your automotive knowledge.

    The nearest experience that compares is either a rocket-sled or roller coaster. Trust me, you’ll have a blast. To steal another automotive tag line: “nothing else even comes close”.

    • Steve Friedrich
      April 1, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      Oh, and I forgot to mention… my direct relationship with the car manufacturer has been a particular point of delight.

    • eric
      April 2, 2014 at 6:00 am

      Hi Steve,

      I don’t dispute the attractive looks – or the impressively quick acceleration – of the Tesla.

      My issues are these:

      * A fundamental justification for electric vehicles is to get around the cost of fueling an IC car. But if the cost of the EV is literally three or four times that of a decent IC economy car, how is the EV in any way “economical”? I could drive a V-6 powered mid-sized car such as an Altima for probably 15 years before I spent enough on gas to even approach what you spent on your car. Take away the economic advantages (if any) of an electric – or hybrid – powertrain and what are you left with, exactly? Why buy one? I could buy a new CTS-V that’s quicker (and much faster) and comparably luxurious for about the same money. Sure, the Caddy will cost me more to feed. But does this issue – the cost of fuel – really matter to anyone who can afford a $60k (to start) car?

      * While the Tesla can accelerate very quickly, if one uses this potential more than a handful of times, the battery will very quickly deplete. The same goes for high-speed running. In effect, it is like owning a BMW M5 with a 2 gallon gas tank that must be refilled with a syringe.

      * The Tesla is a very high-end car. The entry price is comparable to a loaded BMW 5 series, Lexus LS or Mercedes E-Class. Only very affluent people can afford such cars. It’s bad enough, as I see it, to force anyone to subsidize the purchase of someone else’s car. But how can anyone justify giving a very affluent person a massive subsidy to encourage them to purchase what amounts to an indulgence? Is this not exactly like giving rich people huge tax breaks to buy 6,000 sq. ft. homes?

  3. April 1, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Ayn Rand was part of the first group of women ever to enroll at Petrograd State University, she studied in the department of social pedagogy, which is the academic theory of the shared responsibility of society.

    At the university she was introduced to the writings of Aristotle and Plato, who would be her greatest influence and counter-influence, respectively.

    A third figure whose philosophical works she studied heavily was Friedrich Nietzsche. Able to read French, German and Russian, Rand also discovered the writers Fyodor Dostoevsky, Victor Hugo, Edmond Rostand, and Friedrich Schiller, who became her perennial favorites.

    After being kicked out along with many other “bourgeois” students, Rand was later allowed to complete her work and graduate, which Rand did in October 1924.

    She subsequently studied for a year at the State Technicum for Screen Arts in Leningrad. For one of her assignments, she wrote an essay about the Polish actress Pola Negri, which became her first published work.

    Ancient Greek Philosophy – Atlas Society
    http://www.atlassociety.org/ancient-greek-philosophy-history

    Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Men
    http://oi.uchicago.edu/pdf/intellectual_adventure.pdf

    Despite Rand’s best efforts, she was unable to help the rest of her family leave the Soviet Union, and her parents died during the Siege of Leningrad.

    Stalin Stands Alone
    http://www.pbs.org/behindcloseddoors/in-depth/stalin-stands.html

    During the siege of Leningrad, people froze to death or died from starvation or disease while being bombarded continually by German artillery.

    Some ate rats, cats, dogs, sawdust, wallpaper paste–anything they could try to digest. Roving gangs preyed on lone pedestrians as people resorted to cannibalism. For 900 days, the Germans laid siege to Leningrad. By the time the Red Army finally broke through in January 1944, more than 640,000 residents had died.

  4. Pete
    April 1, 2014 at 11:16 am

    So what are the 2 states where it is not illegal to buy direct?

    Does this mean the territories such as Puerto Rico can buy direct?

  5. Tor Libertarian
    April 1, 2014 at 8:53 am

    “Bevin, of course I believe in chartalism, the same way I believe in death and taxes, and so should you. I don’t like either of death and taxes, but I believe that they are there and that they work like that.

    Good luck not believing in death, taxes or chartalism, once the tax bill arrives.”

    Pure emoting and nonsensicality, sounds like something Gil might write.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_%26_Taxes

    Death and taxes is a common reference to the famous quotation:

    Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.
    —Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789

    It would make equal sense to say the following:

    Of course I believe in the practice of early to bed and early to rise, because it makes me healthy wealthy and wise.

    So should you likewise practice early to bed and early to rise. You may not like going to bed early nor rising early, but they are what leads to being healthy, wealthy, and wise, that’s how it works.

    Good luck not going to bed early and rising early, once your levels of health, wealth, and wisdom begin to decline, which they will.

    The meaning and origin of the expression: Early to bed and early to rise makes and man healthy, wealthy and wise
    http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/early-to-bed-and-early-to-rise.html

    • Bevin
      April 1, 2014 at 9:20 am

      Dear Tor,

      Amen to that.

      It always baffles me how so many online forum participants seem to think that others can’t detect the logical defects in their arguments.

      They seem to think they can get away with anything, if only they talk fast enough and snow others with pedantic BS.

      But as I mentioned to others earlier, I learned long ago that the man made world is actually very simple. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. I’m sure others are equally adept at seeing through sophistry.

      • Tor Libertarian
        April 1, 2014 at 12:03 pm

        So true Bevin,

        It’s like they come to our potluck, but all they bring is some dried powder manifesto. Just add distilled phlogiston, they’ll say, it’s delish.

        Or a treatise on the edibility of the Elizabethan era noodle.

        Mmmm look at the brushstrokes on my limited edition print of a high renaissance portrait of goulash, quite filling, no?

        They never bring anything to eat.

        I’m not saying I don’t add some fillers or pink slime here and there where expedient.

        But I’m always making the honest attempt, to feed some of the people some of the time.

  6. Tor Libertarian
    April 1, 2014 at 7:11 am

    The dutch system, looks to be merely to declare copper to be worth 250% of its European market price in far away colonies with no means of getting the European market price.

    The dutch are the most market oriented colonial people I would say. Unfortunately, sooner or later, the English, Spaniards, Americans, or other more villainous colonial powers which were force oriented, eventually robbed them blind and then renamed the dutch colonies as something else, and then decreeing that their new dutch holdings had always been rightfully theirs in the first place.

    I think P.M. is quite clear that he is fairly comfortable with the Devil he already knows and is ruled by.

    Being that he’s in Australia, I can’t say that I blame him, nor disagree with him, we’re I to be in his shoes.
    – – – –

    What if you were an Australian Brothel proprietor. You have an open-ended system of virtually unlimited value creation at your disposal.

    Assuming no state interference, and the right associates, your markers would seem to be of the highest caliber, since you could easily provide value to settle your marker, and thus maintain a sterling reputation.

    Also an opium farmer in Afghanistan. You provide products of high consumer or industrial value. You would definitely want to establish a good reputation, considering those who fail to make good on their word, encounter brutal sharia and tribal justice.

    There you have the reasons why the war on sex and drugs will continue, so long as worthless fiat currencies continue to exist. At least the UK allows a limited amount of tightly controlled sex and drug trade.

    The puritan US and its petro dollar mideast cronies are inhuman monsters of the worst kind imaginable. The true nature of their supposedly superior morality is paper thin to anyone with his eyes open.

    • April 1, 2014 at 7:51 am

      The dutch system, looks to be merely to declare copper to be worth 250% of its European market price in far away colonies with no means of getting the European market price.

      No, that wasn’t the trick at all.

      There was already money around in the advanced parts of the East Indies, i.e. most of Java and parts of some other islands (I happen to know this separately, but I’m not going to fill this up with links). Like most places, daily use involved cheap copper or bronze coins, and the Dutch were already getting their standard taxes that way.

      Then the Dutch overhauled things, and depreciated the coinage in the East Indies as part of doing it, so they could use the skim off the top to set up that culture system. That did not involve any change in exchange rates for copper between Europe and the East Indies, it just meant that the Dutch said “you can pay all your taxes in rupees with any coins marked as rupee coins, whether they are the old ones or our new lightweight ones”. That was more convenient than the culture shift and wear and tear of going all the way to fiat paper money straight away (though I’d guess that there were paper notes there by the end of the 19th century). They could have taken a lot of time and trouble and recoined the old material a little at a time right there, as it came in as taxes, but they speeded things up by having a new batch made up in Europe even before withdrawing the old coinage, only that meant a new lot of copper needed to be bought in, so bonds had to be issued (by the way, it may also have been a factor that in the 19th century it was cheaper to process copper by bringing it or its ores to European coal for smelting than to transport the European coal to the copper, so copper usually got processed in Europe).

      I think P.M. is quite clear that he is fairly comfortable with the Devil he already knows and is ruled by.

      Do not make things up. You may be used to a culture in which everybody always says what they are for or against and in which silence means agreement, but you really, really shouldn’t project that onto others. When I tell you how or what things are, I am only telling you how or what they are, not how or what I am.

      If you want to know how or what I am, you can bloody well ask me, don’t just make it up on the back of inferences from silence. You could even take the trouble to google around for times and places when I really did bring such things out, if you cared more about evidence than about unwarranted presumption (in both senses of the word).

      • Tor Libertarian
        April 1, 2014 at 8:38 am

        PML,

        Who are you? What are you? Do you support the Australian penalty for not voting? If I lived there, I’d probably be a criminal, because I won’t vote, and I won’t answer shit governments send me in the mail.
        – – –

        What happens if I do not vote?
        After each election, the AEC will send a letter to all apparent non-voters requesting that they either provide a valid and sufficient reason for failing to vote or pay a $20 penalty.

        If, within the time period specified on the notice, you fail to reply, cannot provide a valid and sufficient reason or decline to pay the $20 penalty, then the matter may be referred to a court. If the matter is dealt with in court and you are found guilty, you may be fined up to $170 plus court costs and a criminal conviction may be recorded against you.

        http://www.aec.gov.au/faqs/voting_australia.htm

        Do you feel like less of a human being, because you live in a culture where you are a criminal merely by not doing complying with ridiculous mandates?

        Does it do your heart good, to see Americans now saddled with state run health care, and now similarly emasculated as you are, no longer free to ignore a federal mandate to buy insurance?

        • Bevin
          April 1, 2014 at 9:12 am

          Dear Tor,

          No need to allow the real issue to be sidelined by pointless pedantry.

          The reality is crystal clear. Historians of money and currency have confirmed it. No currency in recorded history has ever survived. Every currency in recorded history has eventually become totally worthless. They may “work” briefly, but only until they don’t.

          They always cease “working” because they cannot do otherwise. They always become worthless, because they were worthless to begin with! They always revert to their original value, which was zero.

          That is the nature of currency, as opposed to money. Currency has no intrinsic value. Money does.

          Currency is like an IOU. The guy who issues it swears up and down “Don’t worry. Just show me this IOU, and you’ll get your money.” The reality? Sometimes you will. Usually you won’t.

          Money is a whole nother ball game. Say a guy gives you money — real money — a gold or silver coin. You don’t need to go back to him to redeem it for something of value. You already have the value in your hand. The deal is already done. You cannot be cheated.

          Those who attempt to argue that black is white merely make themselves look ridiculous.

          • Tor Libertarian
            April 1, 2014 at 11:28 am

            The options are
            1 Real (commodity) money.
            2 Real force.
            (colonial, patriarchal, familial, caste systems, hunting, gathering, farming, tribal, and religious cooperatives)

            All kinds of other transitory schemes come and go, but none have lasted very long, as you’ve said. In the long run, only the two options remain.

            The most successful systems are often a combo. Japan is both value and force based.

            People live in tight quarters in cities, and much of their goods are public goods, yet it works well because cities are generally safe and the force based systems are stable and non-predatory. (at least so far, there may be currency collapse at some time)

            Commodity Money

            Commodity money started as barter. The exchange of cattle and sheep advanced to one of gold and silver because metals are not perishable, their purity and weight can be measured easily and they can be traded for any good or service.

            Unlike diamonds, metals can be melted down and reformed into smaller quantities for smaller purchases without losing value.

            In 2100 BC, gold cubes were used in China. In 600 BC, the Lydians used precious metal coins in Asia Minor. In 400 BC the Greeks began minting coins.

            From about 300 AD to 1100 AD, the Byzantine empire (Eastern Holy Roman Empire) used a coin called the Solidus. One could not file or chip the coins or issue a false coin under the penalty of chopping off your hand.

            As a result, the Byzantines never bankrupted, never went into debt and never devalued the currency over a span of 800 years. The Byzantine Empire had a perfect monetary system: the best in history.

            The Western Roman Empire, on the other hand, used every imaginable means to devalue their currency and plunder the people. As a result, it collapsed in 476 AD long before the Byzantines who eventually succumbed in 1453 AD for reasons having nothing to do with the stability of their currency.

          • liberranter
            April 1, 2014 at 7:14 pm

            Currency is like an IOU. The guy who issues it swears up and down “Don’t worry. Just show me this IOU, and you’ll get your money.” The reality? Sometimes you will. Usually you won’t.

            Money is a whole nother ball game. Say a guy gives you money — real money — a gold or silver coin. You don’t need to go back to him to redeem it for something of value. You already have the value in your hand. The deal is already done. You cannot be cheated.

            Those who attempt to argue that black is white merely make themselves look ridiculous.

            As obvious as this is, you’d think there would be no need to explain it, even to the electro-lobotomized masses that make up the majority in the Western World[TM]. Unfortunately, the bankster class has used the century it had at its disposal to complete the brainwashing far more thoroughly than even they must have imagined possible.

        • Boothe
          April 1, 2014 at 1:30 pm

          Tor – I have at times answered things the gun-vernment sent me with “Presentment refused for cause without dishonor.” Then gone on to explain the cause. Do a little research on this for your own edification. The other thing I do is sign the state’s documents, to which I do not agree, with the words “Under duress” above my signature. Legally that’s no signature at all. Now there are those that might question my stance since no one is directly pointing a gun at my head at the time.

          But my argument is this: If I “fail to file” or throw away “official” papers that create a liability for me by signing them, the gun-vernment will most likely send more papers with more threats on them. If I ignore those papers they will summon me to appear before their agents (i.e. hold an adminstrative hearing, appear before a magistrate, judge, etc.). If I ignore their summons, regardless of the fact that I have committed the non-crime of failing to respond to their paperwork (or responding in a manner the state’s agents don’t like), they will send men with guns to my house to “take me in” by force (i.e. kidnap me) and put me in a cage until it is convenient for them to deal with me (i.e. detain me indefinitely. I also have good reason to believe they may steal any assets I have and deprive me of my fundamental rights. Knowing this, I might choose to fight back.

          At that point if they have not sent enough men to subdue and or terminate me, they will go back and get enough men (all paid for in part with money they have already stolen from me). Therefore, if they send me paperwork that I do not wish to sign, I only do so ultimately out of fear for my life, liberty and property. That is clearly a matter of duress in my mind. Is my logic or reasoning about this somehow flawed?

  7. Tor Libertarian
    April 1, 2014 at 6:54 am

    PM Lawrence, you’re right I didn’t look into Madagascar. Doing that now. First glance, shows no mention of chart*** in the links you’ve provided.

    Also, I don’t mean to be the guy that just shoots everyones ducks down. I organically came to my initial conclusions on chartalism and palace economy.

    Aristotle says monarchy is the best system. And he may be right as far as from his time going forward. The ancient greeks had better systems, but is that a bygone time?

    I consider Ayn Rand as only a starting point for a long journey of further scholarship, thought, and practice.

    She herself was always careful to limit anyone to consider her “theories” to be anything more than constructs that enabled her to write well fortified and logically consistent social science fiction.

    Ayn Rand never claimed to be a Carl Menger or Ludwig Mises. She just said you can’t get a life philosophy from mere economics, but then never elaborated why.

    • April 1, 2014 at 7:08 am

      Where I gave a link that said “chartalism” right there, you will find material that describes the theory of chartalism. Where I gave links to examples of it and told you that you would find actual historical examples of people practising chartalism, you will find people doing the very things to support the value of the currency that chartalism says they would. That doesn’t mean anyone said “we can’t make this unless work we first turn round three times and say ‘chartalism’ each time, so it gets into the records that it was chartalism”, it just means they were doing chartalism whether they knew it or not and whether the historians who wrote it up knew it or not, so those are still examples because the practice matches the theory whether it was labelled that way or not.

      • Tor Libertarian
        April 1, 2014 at 7:32 am

        If I could be so crass as to distill chartalism into something I agree with.

        Europeans take their boats to Java, or Madagascar, or wherever. Through superior technology, and outcome focused warlike behavior, they enlist huge swaths of natives in various intensive endeavors.

        The natives become far richer, become “civilized”, eventually they may become strong enough and wealthy enough, to throw out the Europeans, or to join the multilevel human marketing scheme business and find their own natives to exploit.

        Many places, such as India, seem to have absorbed the good aspects of Western Capitalism, while not becoming ruthless demonoid consumerist zombies.

        I don’t mean to look back and disparage any of the progress that’s happened so far. Nor overly praise it either.

        As far as chartalism, it’s certainly something to discuss and mull over, who is its greatest adherent and champion so far? Probably libertarianism has no more solid root than chartalism, if one were to compare the two.

        What I advocate going forward, is for the weakest and least productive on the Earth, to still be given the dignity and choice of continuing in their limited subsistent ways.

        The European colonialists, though some of the richest of all time, because of their warmongering and destructive tendencies, may very well just be an advanced form of The Walking Dead.

        I would rather see progress slow down, but no longer be nearly exclusively based on force, nor mystical lies and deceptions about the true nature of barbaric brute force.

        I prefer Sumer, Babylon, Egypt, China, Ancient Greece, Quakers, and Mediterranean traders, and any kind of regional power that has never tried to become a global power.

        What good is American ingenuity, when sooner or later, Americans have shown they’re eventually going to bite into your flesh and infect you with their idiotic ideas and insatiable bloodlust and flesh eating?

  8. Tor Libertarian
    April 1, 2014 at 6:27 am

    Speaking of palace economy, I think that explains fairly well what happened economically to this blog.

    Googul the absolute monarch, set up a benevolent system for producers to earn income and provide capital for the true owners of the internet. Those who write and propagate the code. Those who permit access.

    Then, someone in the employ of the Googul monarchy decided that some bloggers were no longer in favor, and they pushed them aside and cut their income to nearly nothing. This blog was one of those so cut.

    There is no recourse to a true monopolist monarch. Except to build a boat and sail elsewhere, probably far away and at a considerable risk to life and property.

    Really the whole internet is a palace economy.

    It is a vast digital dumpster full of all manner of stolen loot and voluntarily disposed of loot. All of us are picking through the digital rubble and salvageable goods.

    Using a search engine, is like dumpster diving. Things might continue like they do for a thousand years. Or we might wake up tomorrow and find out Googul has padlocked all the dumpsters and now you have to pay them to access all the content and shit you used to get for free.
    – – –

    As far as Bitcoin, it may be a form of chartalism. It kind of works, kind of doesn’t. I sincerely hope a go of it can be made.

    But there was already PayPal, which was the greatest stateless payment system ever to exist. Before it was ruthlessly and utterly crushed by governments, and its former anarchistic character was flushed down the memory hole.

  9. Tor Libertarian
    April 1, 2014 at 5:36 am

    Palace Economies – elaborate, and perhaps pleasant and probably far better than what Americans currently endure. But it is still based on an Absolute Monarch, who holds power of life and death over all.

    Palace Economies, while they go on for ever trying to play up their mystical benevolence, are at root brutal force hierarchies of the most rigid sort
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_economy

    The concept of a redistribution system is at least as old as the concept of Pharaoh, which means “great house” and describes the royal palace. Much later, the New Testament describes a population of early Christian communities giving all they had to the patriarch, who would return what they needed to live; as there is no Palace as such, this was similar to the equally ancient concept of Gift economy.

    Anthropologists have noted many such systems, from those of tribesmen engaged in common subsistence economies of various sorts to complex civilizations, such as the Incas, which assigned segments of the economy to specific villages. The essence of the idea is that a central administration plans production, assigns elements of the population to carry it out, collects the goods and services thus created, and redistributes them to the producers.

    The Palace Economy is a specific type of redistribution system in which the economic activities of the civilization are conducted on or near the premises of central administration complexes, the palaces of absolute monarchs. It is the function of the palace administration to supply the producers with the capital goods for the production of further goods and services, which are regarded as the property of the monarch.

    Typically this is not an altruistic undertaking. The palace is primarily interested in the creation of capital, which may then be disposed of as the king pleases. Some may become merchandising capital, to be sold or bartered for a profit, or some may be reinvested in further centers, additional production facilities, wars (economic activities from which a profit is expected to be extracted), favorable alliances, fleets, mastery of the seas.

    Redistribution in Aegean Palatial Societies
    http://www.ajaonline.org/forum/905

  10. Tor Libertarian
    April 1, 2014 at 4:02 am

    Moustache – Twin Twin – Eurovision 2014 Contender
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWJFfnHNOWI

    Something is missing, but what? I want this, I want that
    When I’m dreaming, I’m dreaming in dollars, every day I’m wearing a different suit.

    At my place everything is new, everything is beautiful,
    the world is crying behind my curtains. I don’t care, I’m living on the last floor. I don’t even know my cleaning lady.

    There’s leather in my car, the smell of my perfume reassures me. I don’t like showing my emotions at the gym. I’m lifting some weights and barbells, my body is a war machine. I have everything one could ever dream of
    I may have everything, true, but

    I wanted a moustache, a moustache

    I want this, I want that. there’s never enough for me. it’s like this, it’s like that. there’s always something I don’t have

    So I keep adding more, tons of stuff in my closet. I have friends too. even some who like me

    I tell myself I’ve got everything to please. I got everything, I got the world at my feet, It’s crazy, I have everything one could ever dream of. I may have everything, true, but
    I wanted a moustache, a moustache

    I’d give everything I have. for a moustache. Now I know
    what I want is. a moustache

    I could abandon everything. give away everything. for a moustache. I may have everything, true. but not what I really wanted

    I want this, I want that. there’s never enough for me
    it’s like this, it’s like that. there’s always something I don’t have. Moustache

  11. Anonymous
    April 1, 2014 at 2:12 am

    I don’t understand why Tesla is having problems with needing a dealership. Why can’t they just file the forms to make their showroom a “dealership”, whatever that means? If it needs to be a different corporation, fine. If it needs to be “well capitalized” and “independent”, fine. Perhaps Tesla is trying to remove a step which causes an additional tax collection?

    • eric
      April 1, 2014 at 6:35 am

      Hi Anonymous,

      Yes, taxes are surely a factor. A physical dealership is a major revenue generator for the area in which it’s located – as well as a profit center for the person who owns the dealership itself.

      It’s always about the money. Journalism 101!

  12. ekrampitzjr
    March 29, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    What gets me about these dealer-protection laws is that in general vehicle dealers are virtually the only such groups to get this type of protection.

    Years ago I worked for an electrical wholesaler. One type of material that greatly interested me was what is generically called “pole line hardware”: the stuff that goes on utility poles, such as insulators, crossarms, metal fasteners, etc. My company was a distributor for one of the major manufacturers in the industry. If you wanted to buy pole line hardware, you had to come to us.

    Unless you were with Dominion Power (formerly Vepco), Appalachian Power, Duke Power, or any other large electricity provider. They could buy directly from the manufacturer, cutting out the distributor. I never have been able to understand why you would bother to set up distributors if you’re going to sell direct for the bulk of your business, while the distributor gets only the dregs from electrical contractors and the like. State law provided no protection for distributors from such practices.

    • MamaLiberty
      March 29, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      Whoa there! Who has any legitimate authority to prevent people from trading freely with anyone they wish? Why should “distributors” be entitled to such “protection?”

      If the manufacturers wish to set up dealers/distributors, and refuse to sell directly, that’s their problem. Someone else will come along and take their business.

    • Bevin
      March 29, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      Dear ek,

      Mama Liberty is right.

      No third party ever has any right to dictate the terms under which others may trade.

      They might have the power, but they don’t have the right.

      Free trade is about two parties reaching a mutually agreeable arrangement they can live with. If they can’t reach such an agreement, they go their own way. No skin off anybody’s ass.

      Looking to “The Government” to receive equal state granted privileges is merely begging for equal enslavement.

  13. Eric_G
    March 29, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Real Estate agents, car dealers and most lawyers mainly exist to get inbetween buyers and sellers. A very few will actually help negotiate a transaction, most will line their pockets without adding any value at all. The majority will simply fill out the state mandated forms for you.

    • joePA
      March 29, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      “The majority will simply fill out the state mandated forms for you.”

      so very true!

  14. Tor Libertarian
    March 29, 2014 at 3:24 am

    @Brian,
    You are a mechanic, a value-producer who is mystified by all the non-producers who hold power over you and prevent you from making an honest living by exchanging value for value.

    It is the exact bewilderment that Hank Rearden experiences in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

    Hank Rearden is serenely confident in his work, but bewildered by the irrationality of people around him. When he generously gives his wife a gift, she and his family mock it as an act of selfishness.

    This response is nothing new: though dependent on him economically, his family constantly belittle his achievements and values. Society at large does the same thing to him. Yet Rearden silently tolerates their hostility.

    Rearden realizes that somehow, to succeed in their schemes against him, his enemies need his own voluntary cooperation.

    Francisco visits Rearden. He explains to him that by continuing to work under dictatorial circumstances, Rearden is granting a moral sanction to the looters, a sanction they need from him in order to destroy him.

    Rearden finally begins to grasp the concept of “the sanction of the victim.”

    Abruptly, the government provokes a series of outrageous actions against Rearden: fomenting violence at his plant, demanding raises for his workers, seizing his property on trumped-up tax charges.

    Rearden does not rise to the bait: he remains silent, refusing to respond or protest. Within days, he receives profuse apologies about “misunderstandings,” and is invited to a meeting with government officials. Instead he completely destroys his own business and disappears off the grid.
    – – – –

    The “sanction of the victim” is the willingness of the good to suffer at the hands of the evil, to accept the role of sacrificial victim for the “sin” of creating values.

    “Then I saw what was wrong with the world, I saw what destroyed men and nations, and where the battle for life had to be fought.

    I saw that the enemy was an inverted morality—and that my sanction was its only power. I saw that evil was impotent—that evil was the irrational, the blind, the anti-real—and that the only weapon of its triumph was the willingness of the good to serve it.

    Just as the parasites around me were proclaiming their helpless dependence on my mind and were expecting me voluntarily to accept a slavery they had no power to enforce, just as they were counting on my self-immolation to provide them with the means of their plan—so throughout the world and throughout men’s history, in every version and form, from the extortions of loafing relatives to the atrocities of collectivized countries, it is the good, the able, the men of reason, who act as their own destroyers, who transfuse to evil the blood of their virtue and let evil transmit to them the poison of destruction, thus gaining for evil the power of survival, and for their own values—the impotence of death.

    I saw that there comes a point, in the defeat of any man of virtue, when his own consent is needed for evil to win—and that no manner of injury done to him by others can succeed if he chooses to withhold his consent. I saw that I could put an end to your outrages by pronouncing a single word in my mind. I pronounced it. The word was “No.”

    What causes this overwhelming injustice? The businessmen’s own policies: their betrayal of their own values, their appeasement of enemies, their compromises—all of which add up to an air of moral cowardice. Add to it the fact that businessmen are creating and supporting their own destroyers.

    The sources and centers of today’s philosophical corruption are the universities . . . It is the businessmen’s money that supports American universities—not merely in the form of taxes and government handouts, but much worse: in the form of voluntary, private contributions, donations, endowments, etc. In preparation for this lecture, I tried to do some research on the nature and amounts of such contributions. I had to give it up: it is too complex and too vast a field for the efforts of one person. To untangle it now would require a major research project and, probably, years of work.

    All I can say is only that millions and millions and millions of dollars are being donated to universities by big business enterprises every year, and that the donors have no idea of what their money is being spent on or whom it is supporting. What is certain is only the fact that some of the worst anti-business, anti-capitalism propaganda has been financed by businessmen in such projects.

    Money is a great power—because, in a free or even a semi-free society, it is a frozen form of productive energy. And, therefore, the spending of money is a grave responsibility.

    Contrary to the altruists and the advocates of the so-called “academic freedom,” it is a moral crime to give money to support ideas with which you disagree; it means: ideas which you consider wrong, false, evil. It is a moral crime to give money to support your own destroyers. Yet that is what businessmen are doing with such reckless irresponsibility.

    The Trial of Hank Rearden
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1926478/posts

    • Garysco
      March 29, 2014 at 4:43 am

      @Tor – Francisco d’Anconia reinterates it his “what is the root of money?” speech at Jim Tagert’s wedding reception.

      • Tor Libertarian
        March 29, 2014 at 12:39 pm

        Right, Garysco.

        I believe her bottom line is:

        We can either deal with each other through money, through value, or deal with each other through force, there are no other options.

        We fool ourselves, into thinking we can create some kind of code, that our adhering to NAP will magically make the world the way we wish it would be.

        But human nature is such that one or both sides will breech agreements if it is to their advantage. When the time comes, NAP is powerless without a means of honestly bartering with each other.

        Our sentiments are also ephemeris, until we make them concrete with other necessary acts. All mystics and witch-doctors are irrelevant reality hucksters that can be ignored, except to the extent they have manifested their ideas into concrete accomplishments.

        For me, it’s like Schroedingers cat. Two things are both true about all other humans at the same time.

        Everyone is a sacred value producer who is of infinite worth. Everyone is potentially a force user, who is of utter worthlessness.

        Given that nearly everyone demands some kind of justice apparatus, I will go along, but only to the extent such a protocol could be one that is based on value and restitution.

        No one should be given a death penalty. Or put into a cage. That is not restitution. That is savagery and making bad situations worse.

        If a man wrongs someone, they must be made to work and produce until such time as they make full restitution, or die.

        There is no society on earth which would not benefit from adopting this mindset of human interactions based only on value, and never on force.
        – – – –

        Relevant Rand, which she readily admits is mere rehash of Ancient Ionian Greek Wisdom from 3,000 years ago:

        So you think that money is the root of all evil? . . . Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them.

        Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

        When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears nor all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow.

        Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor—your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money. Is this what you consider evil?

        Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes.

        Try to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical motions—and you’ll learn that man’s mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth.

        But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles.

        Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think. Is money made by the man who invents a motor made at the expense of those who did not invent it? Of course not.

        Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? Again, no. By the able at the expense of the incompetent? No. By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy?No.

        Money is made—before it can be looted or mooched—made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can’t consume more than he has produced.

        Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. Money allows no power to prescribe the value of your effort except the voluntary choice of the man who is willing to trade you his effort in return.

        Money permits you to obtain for your goods and your labor that which they are worth to the men who buy them, but no more. Money permits no deals except those to mutual benefit by the unforced judgment of the traders.

        So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another—their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.

        Most people lump together into the same category all men who become rich, refusing to consider the essential question: the source of the riches, the means by which the wealth was acquired.

        Money is a tool of exchange; it represents wealth only so long as it can be traded for material goods and services. Wealth does not grow in nature; it has to be produced by men.

        Nature gives us only the raw materials, but it is man’s mind that has to discover the knowledge of how to use them. It is man’s thinking and labor that transform the materials into food, clothing, shelter or television sets—into all the goods that men require for their survival, comfort and pleasure.

        Behind every step of humanity’s long climb from the cave to New York City, there is the man who took that step for the first time—the man who discovered how to make a fire or a wheel or an airplane or an electric light.

        When people refuse to consider the source of wealth, what they refuse to recognize is the fact that wealth is the product of man’s intellect, of his creative ability, fully as much as is art, science, philosophy or any other human value.

        Money is a great power—because, in a free or even a semi-free society, it is a frozen form of productive energy. And, therefore, the spending of money is a grave responsibility.

        Contrary to the altruists and the advocates of the so-called “academic freedom,” it is a moral crime to give money to support ideas with which you disagree; it means: ideas which you consider wrong, false, evil. It is a moral crime to give money to support your own destroyers.

        Money is the tool of men who have reached a high level of productivity and a long-range control over their lives. Money is not merely a tool of exchange: much more importantly, it is a tool of saving, which permits delayed consumption and buys time for future production.

        To fulfill this requirement, money has to be some material commodity which is imperishable, rare, homogeneous, easily stored, not subject to wide fluctuations of value, and always in demand among those you trade with.

        This leads you to the decision to use gold as money. Gold money is a tangible value in itself and a token of wealth actually produced. When you accept a gold coin in payment for your goods, you actually deliver the goods to the buyer; the transaction is as safe as simple barter.

        When you store your savings in the form of gold coins, they represent the goods which you have actually produced and which have gone to buy time for other producers, who will keep the productive process going, so that you’ll be able to trade your coins for goods any time you wish.

        Money cannot function as money, i.e., as a medium of exchange, unless it is backed by actual, unconsumed goods.

        • Garysco
          March 30, 2014 at 4:56 am

          But wait…there’s more….

          “Money is your means of survival. The verdict you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. If the source is corrupt, you have damned your own existence. Did you get your money by fraud? By pandering to men’s vices or men’s stupidity? By catering to fools, in the hope of getting more than your ability deserves? By lowering your standards? By doing work you despise for purchasers you scorn? If so, then your money will not give you a moment’s or a penny’s worth of joy. Then all the things you buy will become, not a tribute to you, but a reproach; not an achievement, but a reminder of shame. Then you’ll scream that money is evil. Evil, because it would not pinch-hit for your self-respect? Evil, because it would not let you enjoy your depravity? Is this the root of your hatred of money?

          “Money will always remain an effect and refuse to replace you as the cause. Money is the product of virtue, but it will not give you virtue and it will not redeem your vices. Money will not give you the unearned, neither in matter nor in spirit. Is this the root of your hatred of money?

          “Or did you say it’s the love of money that’s the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It’s the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money–and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.

          “Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.

          “Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another–their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.

          “But money demands of you the highest virtues, if you wish to make it or to keep it. Men who have no courage, pride or self-esteem, men who have no moral sense of their right to their money and are not willing to defend it as they defend their life, men who apologize for being rich–will not remain rich for long. They are the natural bait for the swarms of looters that stay under rocks for centuries, but come crawling out at the first smell of a man who begs to be forgiven for the guilt of owning wealth. They will hasten to relieve him of the guilt–and of his life, as he deserves.

          “Then you will see the rise of the men of the double standard–the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money–the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law–men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims–then money becomes its creators’ avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they’ve passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.

          “Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that is does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.

          “Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men’s protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked, ‘Account overdrawn.’

          “When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, ‘Who is destroying the world? You are.

          • Tor Libertarian
            March 30, 2014 at 6:13 am

            That’s the good stuff, Garysco
            – – – –

            How were the Greeks of 600 BC able to invent philosophy and tragedy? In this book Richard Seaford argues that a large part
            of the answer can be found in another momentous development, the invention and rapid spread of coinage, which produced the first ever thoroughly monetized society.

            By transforming social relations,
            monetization contributed to the ideas of the universe as an impersonal system (presocratic philosophy) and of the individual alienated from his own kin and from the gods (in tragedy).

            Seaford argues that an important precondition for this monetization was the Greek practice of animal sacrifice, as represented in Homeric epic, which describes a premonetary world on the point of producing money. This book combines social history, economic anthropology, numismatics and the close reading of literary, inscriptional, and philosophical texts.

            Questioning the origins and shaping force of Greek philosophy, this is a major book with wide appeal.

            Money and the early Greek mind
            http://f3.tiera.ru/1/genesis/580-584/582000/072ae1487539716622e960d6ca53ddee

            Thales and his friends were discussing money-coins, which had just recently been invented. Thales made the remark, “Anybody can make money if he puts his mind to it…
            http://www.anselm.edu/homepage/dbanach/thales.htm

            Intro to Thales, Anaximenes, & Anaximander
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyUWeoPc1wg

            Milesians – rational account of nature. logos of physis. what is the world made of.

            Ancient Greek coins of Miletus
            http://rjohara.net/coins/

          • Garysco
            March 30, 2014 at 6:30 am

            But Tor. A certain group of beanie wearing bankers back in 1913 gave us the Fed Reserve to save us from the drudgery of coinage.

            “Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper.”

            Well said Ayn. It just took another 60 years to come fully true.

        • April 1, 2014 at 5:06 am

          So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another—their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.

          Give over. There have been very many successful systems that used neither; even their lower prosperity may only reflect their coincidentally earlier occurrence at a time when material progress was less advanced. To give but one example, consider “palace economies” of the sort that happened as long ago as ancient Crete and as recently as Jesuit rule in Paraguay.

          Money cannot function as money, i.e., as a medium of exchange, unless it is backed by actual, unconsumed goods.

          Oh, yes, it can. For instance, colonialists used chartalism with great success, e.g. in Madagascar. All they needed was actual, unconsumed people with subsistence resources – which does not mean actual, unconsumed goods for subsistence but the ability to get them as and when needed.

          • Tor Libertarian
            April 1, 2014 at 6:06 am

            If you add “an” and reorder the letters of chartalism, you have charlatanism, which is what it amounts to in a world where there is no honorable man.

            I try never to loan anyone anything, I’d rather make some kind of transaction, even if its not that favorable to me.

            Because its far better to sell below market or buy above market than to endure the sting of someone betraying their honor and failing to settle a debt with you, IMHO.

            A chartalist(sucker) is born every minute.
            – – –

            A true chartalist might go to Jorge the meth dealer and get himself a great deal for an ounce of 100% uncut meth at 1/2 price.

            Chartalist gives Jorge $500 and gets a token from Jorge, acknowledging his right to come pick up his purchase next Friday.

            A metallist would never consent to that, he would insist on only trading one store of value for another.

            A rational cynic metallist might only get his future meth at a 10% discount, since he finds chartalism a questionable concept, and thus give Jorge $900 for meth to be delivered next Friday.

            Jorge, not yet having the meth available, will give the metallist 7/10ths of an ounce of gold as his marker, and they will both agree that the metallist can come by next Friday to pick up his 100% pure meth.
            – – –

            http://wfhummel.cnchost.com/metallismchartalism.html

            Ultimately, the value of chartal money involves a willingness to accept another’s IOU. The value of State money derives from the fact that nearly all households, require some of its IOUs in order to pay taxes or other fees to the State. Being in wide demand, it naturally becomes useful as a medium of exchange within the private sector. There can be no doubt that monetary systems of modern economies are based on chartal money.
            – – – –
            Logic and a review of history show that Metallism is not only unsupported by the available historical data, but also that it fails to provide even a plausible explanation for the fundamental aspects of money. The Chartalist explanation of the origins, nature, value, and acceptance of money is the far superior of the two perspectives, as it is supported overwhelmingly by logic and the available historical evidence.
            http://anewsreports.com/?p=1318

            – – – –
            George Knapp coined the term “chartalism” in his State Theory of Money, which was published in German in 1895 and translated into English in 1924. Knapp argued that “money is a creature of law” rather than a commodity.

            Chartalism is probably championed by the same people who wanted to destroy the existing gold standard, so they could bring in the era of Central Bank Robber Barons.

            Perhaps in the UK, people see going off the gold standard as a good thing, since many of them may have benefited from the theft, I’m not sure.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Monetary_Theory#Modern_proponents
            – – – –

            Chartalism seems similar to toilet paper oil filters. It all sounds plausible, but it always comes back to only a few proponents of a new, untested, and not widely considered theory.

          • Bevin
            April 1, 2014 at 6:18 am

            Dear PM,

            You sound as if you actually believe it.

            In any event I doubt if anyone here at EPA will object to you using “chartalist” principles in your personal financial planning.

            Good luck with it!

          • April 1, 2014 at 6:28 am

            Tor Libertarian wrote at April 1, 2014 at 6:06 am:-

            Chartalism seems similar to toilet paper oil filters. It all sounds plausible, but it always comes back to only a few proponents of a new, untested, and not widely considered theory.

            You do appreciate that it is neither new, untested, nor widely unconsidered, right? I mean, you do understand that I mentioned colonialist practice in Madagascar as an example because it really happened, right? If that’s not enough you could consider colonialist practice in the East Indies as well. Those both involved currencies whose value was supported by government coercion, just as chartalism prescribes and describes.

          • April 1, 2014 at 6:33 am

            Bevin, of course I believe in chartalism, the same way I believe in death and taxes, and so should you. I don’t like either of death and taxes, but I believe that they are there and that they work like that.

            Good luck not believing in death, taxes or chartalism, once the tax bill arrives.

          • Bevin
            April 1, 2014 at 6:37 am

            Dear Tor,

            Re: real money

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQWMd_NPSBA

            Silver & Gold – When Money Is Corrupted – Hidden Secrets Of Money Ep 5 – Mike Maloney

            This is why any attempt to create a monetary system using anything other than real money, instead of currency, is doomed.

          • Bevin
            April 1, 2014 at 6:41 am

            Dear PM,

            Uh… let me remind you that your earlier comment is still posted above.

            Anyone can read what you actually said.

          • April 1, 2014 at 6:57 am

            How are my earlier remarks problematic, Bevin? Is there any way of reading in the idea that I approved of chartalism when I described it and its practice, unless you bring in the strained construction that truthful comment must mean endorsement? I mean, would you read a description of the industrial production and achievements of the Gulag system as meaning endorsement? Because, among other things, that really did give the U.S.S.R. safer strategic access to the outside world by supplementing Archangel with routes to Murmansk and the original Trans-Siberian Railway near Vladivostok with other lines less threatened from areas controlled by others. But the Gulags were still what they were.

        • George Houghtby
          April 1, 2014 at 3:01 pm

          That sounded like an excerpt of Ayn Rand’s

    • Brian
      March 30, 2014 at 2:34 am

      Thanks for the great replies Tor Libertarian! I have read nearly all of the easily available Ayn Rand books. Indeed; reading Atlas Shrugged was a life-changing event for me! I now wish that she would have taken that last step to anti-statism.
      Anyway, I seem to be a cross between Hank Rearden and Howard Roark. Unlike Howard; I do have a great sense of humor and I do have to eat even when nobody is hiring.
      Some years ago I took a series of on-line tests that ended up telling me that I should have become an architect instead of a mechanic/truck driver. There were no architects in my family and my school never told me that I had any special skills based upon my test results. I thought that nearly everyone who was smart enough to graduate high school could design things in their heads, see the objects in color 3-d, spin those objects in any direction, mentally walk inside, then put those images on paper and work out a step by step construction plan. But the results of the test that I took placed me in the top 1% of society in spacial intelligence. Why in the HELL didn’t my school tell me that? Had I known that I was superb in that one area: I would have chosen an entirely different career path!
      Please do not think that I am bragging here. Eric, Tor Libertarian, and many other readers here are very brilliant in areas that I am not. I’m merely pointing out how very much different my life would have been had the education system which claims to care about the future of their students would have told me about my ‘gift’. I think that they withheld that information because they wanted only the college kids to learn about their real potential. I came from a lower middle class family that was very far in debt, so I was pretty much on my own. I took the ASVAB test and the Army recruiter told me that I had potential as a mechanic without ever mentioning the architect side of it. I guess the Army didn’t want any architect soldiers since civilians had those types of jobs!
      Like Roark, I do stand solidly upon principles! I scored an INTJ in the Myers-Briggs test, I do need money though. There are hundreds of people with-in 50 miles of me who can also do handyman work, weld, drive truck, build fence, and do farm work.

      • Brian
        March 30, 2014 at 3:03 am

        Oh, and to head off the next obvious question that someone will probably ask: “Well, why don’t you become an architect now?” That is a good question. The answers are because I am 50 years old without enough money to spend on a college education that would take several years of attendance to get. On top of that: architects have to get licensed by the state and ideally should live near to a city. Also, I suspect that architects are also underemployed in this economy. As a youngster I could have put up with some of those things for a couple of decades and saved my money to retire early in the rural living environment that I prefer.

        • Helot
          March 30, 2014 at 3:42 am

          Brian my cousin wrote, “There are hundreds of people with-in 50 miles of me who can also do handyman work, weld, drive truck, build fence, and do farm work.”

          The object is, can the bankers and their minion separate you from your money? That’s what makes you special from the rest of them.

          Brian wrote, “I thought that nearly everyone who was smart enough to graduate high school could design things in their heads, see the objects in color 3-d, spin those objects in any direction, mentally walk inside, then put those images on paper and work out a step by step construction plan.”

          Unless you opted to sever the empire, in which case those “skills” might have come in handy, this is your first indication you’ve been played for a sucker, imho.

          Brian wrote, “Why in the HELL didn’t my school tell me that?”

          Ya. I used to ask myself that often, but less now that the years have rolled on. The answer is, It’s in their best interest.

          Brian wrote,”the education system which claims to care about the future of their students”

          Keyword: “which claims”.

          Need I say more?

          Brian, you’re “getting it”.
          Keep at it.
          And, I hope you get a following.
          The rest of the suckers need to wise Up.

          • Brian
            March 31, 2014 at 2:17 am

            Oh, but you have underestimated my past cousin Helot. Yes, I was a sheeple back then, but I came from a family that are still willfully blind sheeple, and this all happened pre-Internet. I began to wake up in the early ’90’s, and when I got my first computer in late ’98 I spent many hours researching what went wrong the our so-called Constitutional government. Of course I very promptly found Patriot sites and others, but none of them answered my questions. Then I found the now defunct Loompanics on-line bookstore and discovered books which were written by Boston T Party and Claire Wolfe. I read Boston Tea Party’s book: Hologram of Liberty http://www.javelinpress.com/hologram_of_liberty.html and I became terribly furious to have learned that I had been lied to for my entire life! I faced the choice of pretending to not have learned this like most sheeple that you can prove nothing to, or to start a new life based upon the truth. You already know which choice I made. Claire Wolfe was the kind of lady that I would happily have married if she were roughly in my age group and unmarried. She turned me onto Ayn Rand, and the book entitled Atlas Shrugged forever changed my life. Shortly afterward I discovered lewrockwell.com. I have been a libertarian anarchist for well over a decade now.

          • Brian
            April 2, 2014 at 3:19 am

            Hello Hellot, I am replying to your message below but the button is only available up here. I didn’t get offended by your reply BTW, and I’m not offended now…….

            >Unless your 88 S-10 was rusted out (which it probably was) that would have been good to keep.You didn’t get the skid steer, so the F-gas-hog-350 appeared to be a miscalculation.How are those solar panels holding up? I’ve heard they have lower lifespans than they advertise. I kind of wanted some, once.The soapstone wood stove seems like a great thing to get, I’ll bet it lasts forever. But, did you pay a freakin’ arm and a leg to get it?I think I read that Greg Judy’s method of renting fixer-upper pastures – only – I thought it was a better idea to own the cows and rent the fields.This is the part of your comment that spurred me to comment:
            From what I understand of Austrian Economics, the prices of cattle are Not going to fall anytime soon, if even in our lifetimes.
            From what I understand of the history of land booms and from what I gathered from thehousingbubbleblog.com, pasture prices will likely decrease along with housing prices, it’s not like there’s a shortage of land. But cattle, that’s a different story.Your story about your sawmill, all I kept thinking was, it’s a story about a mal-investment. You were deceived by economic factors and pitchmen into thinking there was a demand for your services when there wasn’t. It’s a textbook example in Austrian Economics you won’t hear of from anywhere else.It’s a good thing you chose not to get the skid loader because there is already an abundance of loader owners for hire around there. If you did get one, that would be another mal-investment.<

            I have already stated that the reason I chose to not go the steer loader route was because there was an over-abundance of people in that sector in this area. There was not a single one mal-investment made by me even though I had hoped to actually use the sawmill to earn money. This is because I can still use that sawmill to build my own house, harvest my lumber, and to later sell the mill if I chose to do so. There aren't many people who live in 1000 +/- sf houses they have built for less than $10K on 5 acres of land without going into debt. My house plans are entirely different and larger than Lamar's; but if anyone doubts that small nice houses can be built at low cost should check out these links:
            https://www.youtube.com/user/solarcabin
            http://tinyhousenewsletter.com/
            Of course, if local laws mandate that you hire from the local building cartel, the links are of no use to you.
            I have also been listening to Jack Spirkos podcasts for several years although I am usually behind because I listen to blocks of podcasts from different sources.

          • Brian
            April 2, 2014 at 3:27 am

            The reply that I made earlier got completely butchered when I clicked to submit it, so here is the actual reply if it will work this time:
            Hello Hellot, I am replying to your message below but the button is only available up here. I didn’t get offended by your reply BTW, and I’m not offended now…….

            >Unless your 88 S-10 was rusted out (which it probably was) that would have been good to keep.You didn’t get the skid steer, so the F-gas-hog-350 appeared to be a miscalculation.How are those solar panels holding up? I’ve heard they have lower lifespans than they advertise. I kind of wanted some, once.The soapstone wood stove seems like a great thing to get, I’ll bet it lasts forever. But, did you pay a freakin’ arm and a leg to get it?I think I read that Greg Judy’s method of renting fixer-upper pastures – only – I thought it was a better idea to own the cows and rent the fields.This is the part of your comment that spurred me to comment:
            From what I understand of Austrian Economics, the prices of cattle are Not going to fall anytime soon, if even in our lifetimes.
            From what I understand of the history of land booms and from what I gathered from thehousingbubbleblog.com, pasture prices will likely decrease along with housing prices, it’s not like there’s a shortage of land. But cattle, that’s a different story.Your story about your sawmill, all I kept thinking was, it’s a story about a mal-investment. You were deceived by economic factors and pitchmen into thinking there was a demand for your services when there wasn’t. It’s a textbook example in Austrian Economics you won’t hear of from anywhere else.It’s a good thing you chose not to get the skid loader because there is already an abundance of loader owners for hire around there. If you did get one, that would be another mal-investment.<

            I have already stated that the reason I chose to not go the steer loader route was because there was an over-abundance of people in that sector in this area. There was not a single one mal-investment made by me even though I had hoped to actually use the sawmill to earn money. This is because I can still use that sawmill to build my own house, harvest my lumber, and to later sell the mill if I chose to do so. There aren't many people who live in 1000 +/- sf houses they have built for less than $10K on 5 acres of land without going into debt. My house plans are entirely different and larger than Lamar's; but if anyone doubts that small nice houses can be built at low cost should check out these links:
            https://www.youtube.com/user/solarcabin
            http://tinyhousenewsletter.com/
            Of course, if local laws mandate that you hire from the local building cartel, the links are of no use to you.
            I have also been listening to Jack Spirkos podcasts for several years although I am usually behind because I listen to blocks of podcasts from different sources.

        • eric
          March 30, 2014 at 5:48 am

          I’m facing the same thing, Brian. JFK put it as follows:

          Too young to retire, to old to start a new career.

          I may have made a Big Mistake dropping most of my “straight” jobs to focus on EPautos full time. Now I’m barely earning any money and facing divorce (probably the two are related). And 50 is not far down the road.

          • Bevin
            March 30, 2014 at 6:29 am

            Dear Eric,

            Meanwhile, whenever the Banksters need funds, they merely engage in legalized counterfeiting, buying and selling Treasuries with rubber checks, loaning out 90 dollars of every 100 dollars in your checking account and collecting interest on it.

            They, the Rothschilds and Rockefellers have more money than they can ever use, yet they still want more, via fraudulent means.

            They impoverish us. Make it impossible for us to make ends meet. Destroy our careers and marriages.

            This is the world we live in.

          • Brian
            March 31, 2014 at 1:17 am

            I’m sorry to hear about that Eric. I sure do hope that things turn around for both of us.

            • eric
              March 31, 2014 at 5:39 am

              Me too. It’s been rough winter; worst ever for me.

              Fingers crossed for the both of us, too.

      • Garysco
        March 30, 2014 at 5:21 am

        @Brian – Two questions.
        (1) What do YOU and those close to you feel you are good at.
        (2) What are you willing to invest your time and effort into for you, not the recruiter or counselor or hourly rate posted. In other words if you could eliminate the current state of fear. Not easy questions to answer sometimes.

        Because of the environment at my county job I had used up all my sick time trying to avoid the place and people (not necessarily the actual work). One day I asked the personnel department what place had the best morale anywhere in the county. With some shock at the question they said over in X city, but that is a miserable location and far away from where you live. I went there and never enjoyed my work so much and felt accomplished at the end of the day.

        A bad morale workplace and attitude it creates can suck the life, desire and hope out us humans pretty easily. Especially if you are there only for the money (that is the hook of the American Dream fishing rod held by our betters). That is why statistically lawyers are the richest and most miserable group of humans in our culture.

        • Linda
          March 30, 2014 at 9:04 am

          Dear Garysco, Tor, Brian,

          Very interesting set of comments. Thank you all sincerely for tutoring me.

          “Garysco, March 30, 2014 at 5:21 am
          “That is why statistically lawyers are the richest and most miserable group of humans in our culture.”

          I would like to know your justification for calling lawyers “human”. On what criteria would you make such a statement? (sarcasm)

          • Garysco
            April 1, 2014 at 3:26 am

            @Linda – Able to walk upright on two legs and possess index fingers. Nothing more. :)

          • April 1, 2014 at 5:15 am

            Now, now. You should know perfectly well that it’s only 99% of lawyers who give the other 1% a bad name.

        • Brian
          March 31, 2014 at 1:07 am

          Garysco, I am not a native of this area. When I first moved here, I worked at a couple of excavating companies that didn’t pay very well. When the economy went south I started getting laid off a day per week, so I went back to driving truck OTR for several years. I upgraded my ’88 Chevy S-10 to a 2000 F-350 4×4 with a 7.3, bought thousands of rounds of ammo, a years supply of dehydrated food, enough individual solar cells to make 15 solar panels, a pure sine wave charge controller kit (prewired with inverter and other things), a new soapstone wood stove with a catalytic converter, bought gold and silver, and I saved up a lot of money. 2 of my former co-workers moved out of state, 1 died, 2 already lived far away, and I don’t know where the other 2 went to. Therefore: I still do not know very many people here.
          I also did a lot of reading and trying to secure multiple ways of becoming self-employed. I bought that big F-350 because I really need a 4X4 where I live, got tired of owning gas trucks that only get 10-12 mpg (my F350 gets 17), and because I wanted to have a truck big enough to pull a skid loader on a trailer if I chose to buy one.
          I also intensely studied Greg Judy’s method of renting fixer-upper pastures long term and raising cattle: http://www.greenpasturesfarm.net/ and I read a bunch of books that were written by a guy that lives in the same state as Eric does: Joel Salatin: http://www.polyfacefarms.com/books-dvds/ . Once I left trucking, I bought a county property plat book and I drove all over the local roads looking for fixer-upper places that I hoped to rent and to start raising my own hair sheep while renting out the fixed pasture to ranchers with cattle. I called dozens of people, and I could not find a single fixer upper pasture over 5 acres that was available. The prices of cattle are at all time highs and even scrubby pastures are fully rent out. This is the type of job that I want most because I would just love to improve the properties soil to being better than it has ever been, but it is going to have to wait until the prices of cattle fall enough that the demand for pasture decreases. I can over time raise small animals and a handfull of goats and sheep on my own land, but I need to start earning money here first.
          I also had noticed that there were no adds around here for a mobile sawmill, so I bought a good one from Turner Mills that cost me nearly $7K http://www.turnermills.com/index.html , and I bought flyers with tear-off tabs and I advertised on Craigslist and in the free papers. A whole bunch of tabs have been torn from my flyers, so there is definitely good interest in my service. I have gotten a number of calls and each caller sounds intent on hiring me as soon as he gets some trees cut. Every time I pull the sawmill into town I have people approaching me in the parking lot interested in hiring me, and I give them my business card. Yet I can count on one hand the number of jobs that I actually got this past year. Some of the people I spoke with told me that they will call me next Spring, so perhaps I am about to become very busy.
          I chose not to get the skid loader because there is already an abundance of loader owners for hire around here.
          So I had taken many steps to prepare myself to become self-employed and I had a good reserve stashed away. This past year sure has sucked!

          • Garysco
            April 1, 2014 at 3:51 am

            @Brian Didn’t mean to run you down, only offer what I had to do for myself. I had a few big money opportunities, but turned them down as morally repugnant or something that just did not appeal to me. So at 64 years old “I” have decided to live in the lower half of economy, with Bambi and her friends in my front yard every day and no one playing boom-boom rap anywhere nearby. Maybe a neighbors weekend rifle shot or two, but I kinda like that. I am “prepper” comfortable there, as I watch the rest of the world stand in line at 3:00AM for the next IPhone model. Not to say that some of the best opportunities don’t always come in the biggest of recessions/ depressions. It is a matter of personal attitude and vision.

            I am aware of Joel Salatin through Jack Spirco over at thesurvivalpodcast.com. Pretty big operation these days. But he is still paying dues for not being a compliant regulatory milk-cow himself.

            • eric
              April 1, 2014 at 6:31 am

              Hi Gary,

              ” “I” have decided to live in the lower half of economy, with Bambi and her friends in my front yard every day and no one playing boom-boom rap anywhere nearby. Maybe a neighbors weekend rifle shot or two, but I kinda like that. I am “prepper” comfortable there, as I watch the rest of the world stand in line at 3:00AM for the next IPhone model”

              I, too, wanted that – worked for it, got it.

              Now I’m hoping I don’t lose it.

          • Helot
            April 1, 2014 at 4:25 am

            Got damn interesting life story, Brian. Don’t take the following the wrong way, it might be easy to do so:

            Unless your 88 S-10 was rusted out (which it probably was) that would have been good to keep. You didn’t get the skid steer, so the F-gas-hog-350 appeared to be a miscalculation. I wanted one too about then.

            How are those solar panels holding up? I’ve heard they have lower lifespans than they advertise. I kind of wanted some, once.

            The soapstone wood stove seems like a great thing to get, I’ll bet it lasts forever. But, did you pay a freakin’ arm and a leg to get it?

            I think I read that Greg Judy’s method of renting fixer-upper pastures – only – I thought it was a better idea to own the cows and rent the fields.

            When you wrote, “I drove all over the local roads looking for fixer-upper places” Ha! I did the same, and for housing, too. Even to buy. That was prior to 2004. No dice. Just like you.

            This is the part of your comment that spurred me to comment:

            “to have to wait until the prices of cattle fall enough that the demand for pasture decreases.”

            From what I understand of Austrian Economics, the prices of cattle are Not going to fall anytime soon, if even in our lifetimes.

            From what I understand of the history of land booms and from what I gathered from thehousingbubbleblog.com, pasture prices will likely decrease along with housing prices, it’s not like there’s a shortage of land. But cattle, that’s a different story.

            Your story about your sawmill, all I kept thinking was, it’s a story about a mal-investment. You were deceived by economic factors and pitchmen into thinking there was a demand for your services when there wasn’t. It’s a textbook example in Austrian Economics you won’t hear of from anywhere else.

            It’s a good thing you chose not to get the skid loader because there is already an abundance of loader owners for hire around there. If you did get one, that would be another mal-investment.

            Know that term, mal-investment. The Uber-Power-Elite will suck you in with it if they can.

            I’m with you mang, This past year sure has sucked!

            That’s the View from Here, anyway. YMMV.

            P.S.
            I liked all your other ideas.

          • Helot
            April 1, 2014 at 4:37 am

            Hmm, I just realized that a lot of you guys talk about the N.A.P. (which is cool) but you Never talk about Austrian Economics. WHy is that?

            I imagine it’s because it takes quite a bit more reading and thinking and who has time to do that? Or, maybe because you feel no need to mention it? Idk.

            I mean, any minute now my better half is going to tell me to come to bed,… as if I’m Not doing some important shit here.

            I know, I know, Mercola says sleep is important. And that’s true. But, Conan says, there’s time enough to sleep when you’re dead.

            • eric
              April 1, 2014 at 6:27 am

              Hi Helot,

              Speaking just for me:

              I focus on the NAP because it elaborates everything else. It’s a kind of Libertarian Occam’s Razor. Economics is about various ways of ordering or facilitating the production and allocation of resources; of human activity in commerce, etc. Lots of issues there, some of them very complex, but – as I see it – if one filters it all through the NAP, it’s easier to make sense of things, and to stay on track!

          • April 1, 2014 at 5:20 am

            I hear that Dexter cattle are a good choice for getting started on a small scale, as they are getting on for miniature without being overbred to the point of trading off their robustness.

          • Garysco
            April 1, 2014 at 6:41 am

            @Eric – They got us all running scared now. It is the Cloward-Piven plan to get us all on the plantation by over taxation and rasing our cost of living until we beg for Brother’s welfare. They know that most men have been metrosexually emasculated and will not stand up to them.

  15. Bevin
    March 28, 2014 at 5:31 am

    “Did you know it’s illegal to buy a new car from the manufacturer? That’s right. In most states (48 states) so-called direct-buys are unlawful by statute. It is a crime to not go through a dealership.”

    Undertakers did the same thing. They made it illegal to cremate a family member without first buying a coffin.

    Why?

    Is it even necessary to ask? So they can make a profit on the coffin.

    What makes it especially contemptible is the way they take advantage of the bereaved. The surviving family members are in no state of mind to fight such victimization, so they just sign on the dotted line.

    I learned about this first hand, the hard way, with a death in my own family.

    • JoePA
      March 28, 2014 at 11:05 am

      One of my neighbors owns two funeral parlors in Pennsylvania. He stated to me that it is illegal to dispose of a body yourself so he his not afraid of the coming economic collapse. I believe the title for Eric’s piece should be “Fascism”.

      • Bevin
        March 28, 2014 at 11:17 am

        Dear Joe,

        Anyone who provides an honest product or service at free market rates has no need to apologize.

        But those in the funeral industry who lobbied for the law enabling undertakers to rip people off at their most vulnerable moment, are fucking vultures.

        • liberranter
          March 28, 2014 at 1:55 pm

          Yep. I’ve reached the point where I don’t hesitate for a nanosecond to abandon all courtesy and express my overt contempt at “business people” who openly engage in what is so obviously state-corporate-enabled rent-seeking activity. Insurance agents are one of my favorite targets (the claims adjuster who handled our homeowners claim for freeze-related burst pipe damage on our guest cottage last year got a really nasty earful from me. I nearly had her in tears at one point – and that was before my wife, who makes me at my worst sound like Mahatma Gandhi, started in on her).

      • eric
        March 28, 2014 at 12:50 pm

        In my area, a rural farming area, you can’t even bury kin on your own land. Not without getting all kinds of permissions first, at any rate.

        It’s just another way they let us know who really owns “our” land… and us, for that matter.

        • April 1, 2014 at 4:46 am

          That’s not so much completely senseless as going too far in not trusting people’s competence, because there actually are genuine concerns with meeting sanitary needs. But if a farmer knows the trick for easily cremating fallen stock to avoid hurting his other stock (it’s really rather clever) he almost knows enough to dispose of his granny; he just needs to know that his granny is more likely to explode on ignition, a hazard not ordinarily encountered when cremating cows though not unknown in sheep in cases of bloat, as his granny might have had a lithium battery pacemaker or some such.

    • Brian
      March 29, 2014 at 2:14 am

      Thanks Bevin for this post. I knew that those numbers were high. Here are a couple of links that may interest some of you readers:
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2014/03/22/free-markets-tesla-battles-car-dealers-over-right-to-sell-cars/
      I am not at all a fan of Huffing paint fumes Post, but I did find via search engine a good article from one of them, presumably before the huffing started:
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/25/home-funerals-death-mortician_n_2534934.html

    • April 1, 2014 at 4:34 am

      For more on this, see Jessica Mitford’s The American Way of Death, from over fifty years ago.

    • Beholden to No One
      April 1, 2014 at 7:35 am

      In FL and perhaps some other states, you can get around that stupid law, mostly, by buying a cardboard coffin from the funeral home. I paid, I think, about $100 for one. That’s a lot for a cardboard box. Maybe you can order one on
      Amazon.com.

      I walked into a crematorium and told them I needed to fill out the paperwork and be gone in 15′. I had to pick someone up at the airport. I told them not to bullshit me, just get it done. I think it cost just over $500 for the whole pick up, set up, and cremation.

      The last family funeral that I had any part of, cost $9,000. The family went into debt to do this.

  16. Brian
    March 28, 2014 at 3:43 am

    As a former semi-truck mechanic: I really have several beefs with how dealerships and the whole repair industry is run!
    A mechanic spends $2K in education and $5K and up in tools and earns $20K- $50K per year, getting sweaty and greasy every day. A salesman spends $2K for a suit and easily earns $50K-$100K per year, and seldom does a hair get out of place. Since the buyer already has a great idea of the type of vehicle he wants along with the accessories; the salesman is little more than a combined store floor clerk and cashier at a chain store. Sure he may have to fill out some paperwork, but mechanics also have to fill out paperwork. The intelligence level of a decent mechanic is pretty high because he has to know the details of how so many things operate. The salesman should be a good liar and has to be friendly, along with the ability to fill out a few forms.
    Manufacturers often low-ball the estimated time it takes to fix a certain problem on a given vehicle. A few jobs done this way works to the benefit of the mechanic, but many of them do the opposite. If I am working for a dealership for $11 per hour book rate (as I was 14 years ago), and the job was listed as being a 24 hour job that (clutch/flywheel replacement) took me 30 hours due to problems; then I worked the other 6 hours for free (to the customer). There is nothing meritorious or based upon the law of supply and demand about these sorts of jobs! It is easy to lie to people: therefore dealership salesmen do not posses any special skill. Being a door to door salesman or a cold caller marketeer, OTOH, does take skill, persistence, and thick skin. (not that I like those people either)

    • eric
      March 28, 2014 at 6:03 am

      Agreed, Brian –

      On the book rate thing: It seems to me to be a bad idea, if the object is to get the repair done right at a fair price to the customer and to compensate the mechanic fairly. Each repair job is different, even if it’s the “same” job – because each car is different, you run into different things. Sometimes it takes longer, sometimes it goes faster. Book rate places artificial pressure on the mechanic to rush (in order to beat the clock or get more jobs done per day) or it generates resentment by effectively having him work for free, if the job can’t be done in the specified time allotted.

      • Brian
        March 29, 2014 at 1:44 am

        You are correct Eric about “the book rate thing.” It is among the reasons that I left that profession after 20 years. The first 8 years was in the military and I did well there. The next several years after 1.5 years as a truck driver I returned to being a mechanic for a city government, working on mostly old gasoline powered dump trucks and becoming an ASE master tech., then moving back to Missouri and working as a semi-truck/trailer/reefer mechanic.
        None of these jobs went strictly by book rate, but the foreman of the last one noticed that I worked slower in doing things like replacing leaking wheel seals. I noticed that the other mechanics would pressure-wash only the brake-shoe contact area of the brake drums filled with oily mud. Reason told me that the spinning hot drums would allow the oily mud to soak the shoes with oil again, so I took the extra time to blast away all of the gunk. That job paid by the hour, so I guess I was ‘permitted to do that. I would gradually learn that the entire group was following the pecking order, and I refused to get in line because merit and reason were my guides even though I was still a statist back then. I achieved a leadership role for the new graveyard shift that nobody else wanted during the winter, but when spring came one person did want my position and the pecking order came into play. They had no reason to remove me, so they made up one. Once I was removed, I told them that I refuse to work alongside of those responsible for my pay reduction, and I gave my 2 week notice. (That place went out of business a few years ago) .
        I then went work for a dealership that went by the book rate, and I quickly found that my quality work was costing me lots of money, so I returned to trucking, which is also a job that really sucks! Now I am seeking other choices, but the economy really sucks. Please wish me luck.

        • eric
          March 29, 2014 at 6:21 am

          Hi Brian,

          I have a good friend who is a mechanic, so your story is one I’ve heard before. And it’s one that’s becoming universal, across the professions. It’s the Sovietization of America. Pull and politics have always been factors, of course – but they’re becoming the dominant factors. It’s one of the reasons I went freelance – self employed – because at least then, I thought, my boss is me.

          But, as you’ve observed, times are tough. It is getting harder and harder to make it outside their system – but when you go back into the system, you find that isn’t much of an improvement!

        • MamaLiberty
          March 29, 2014 at 11:46 am

          Come to Wyoming. The oil and coal companies always need competent mechanics, truck drivers, etc. They operate 24/7, regardless of the weather, so conditions can be tough.. but the pay is fantastic. They are always short of help, and get desperate often… so they are generally very good to their employees. Drug testing for drivers, like pretty much anywhere else, but I don’t think so for mechanics.

          No state income tax, every other tax low to individuals. Wide open spaces and people pretty much mind their own business. Gun friendly…

          • Brian
            March 30, 2014 at 1:05 am

            Thanks for the tip Mama Liberty! I might just do that! I was already aware of the oil boom in one of the Dakota’s; but I heard that the rent prices were sky high as well. I already live in a travel trailer, so I can take my house with me. Some years ago I entertained joining Free State Wyoming, but I desired buying 5-20 acres of land for a homestead and I found the prices there to be sky high. I bought my 5 acre undeveloped (except for a logging road) forested homestead outright for $8600 8 years ago.
            What towns or regions would you recommend?

          • MamaLiberty
            March 30, 2014 at 6:40 am

            Brian, send me an email and we can talk about it so much more!
            mamaliberty at rtconnect dot net – just replace the at and dot with appropriate symbols and leave no spaces.

            That goes for anyone who wants to talk about Wyoming, of course. :) Or freedom, for that matter.

          • jqpublic
            April 1, 2014 at 9:35 pm

            When you get there, ask for some Newcastle Brown Ale, some of them think it’s a local beer!!!!
            Oh, and stay clear of FSW, most of them don’t even live in the state, they’re just internet groupies.

        • Helot
          March 30, 2014 at 2:53 am

          Brian wrote, “I refused to get in line because merit and reason were my guides”

          Ya, I wish you luck.

          …I don’t do that often.

        • Helot
          March 30, 2014 at 2:58 am

          Brian wrote, “I bought my 5 acre undeveloped (except for a logging road) forested homestead outright for $8600 8 years ago.”

          That sounds nice.

          Still, you over paid. [By about 250 %} But it’s sounds nice. Especially if you can hang on to it.

          • Brian
            March 31, 2014 at 1:48 am

            What evidence do you have that I overpaid by 250% Helot? My evidence says otherwise: http://www.unitedcountry.com/search06/SearchResults.Asp?SID=176311122&Lcnt=&AU=N&RF=N . There are a few cheaper properties there, but all except for 2 of them are for parcels of land smaller than 5 acres. The most that I ‘might’ have overpaid by was perhaps around a grand.
            Back when I bought it, I could have bought 4 others cheaper, but those others had close neighbors. You can walk all around my 5 acres of forested land without seeing a single neighboring house or trailer when I bought it. Now, you can see one trailer through the now leafless trees that is about a 1/4 mile away. It is like living in a 100 acre forest here.
            I can most certainly keep my land because I own it outright and my property taxes on it is only $47 per year unless Agenda 21 becomes enforced and all of the sheeple cave.

            • eric
              March 31, 2014 at 5:38 am

              Hi Brian,

              It sounds like you got a great deal. In my area – SW Va, where land is considered inexpensive by VA standard – 1 acre goes for about what you paid for your several.

          • Helot
            April 1, 2014 at 4:49 am

            Hey Brian, you didn’t say what you paid per sq. ft.

            Just head on over to thehousingbubbleblog.com and ask them.
            They know their shit.
            Most of them ,anyway.

            For residential housing, if you paid over $50 per sq. ft. you overpaid. If you’re talking pasture, that’s a different matter. But it’s likely you overpaid. The Fed has run most things over their true value.

            You bought around 2005, that’s about the height of the boom. It’s very hard to see how you didn’t overpay. Maybe you didn’t, but it’s likely you did.

            Don’t forget, I said it sounds nice.
            Especially if you can hang onto it.

          • Brian
            April 2, 2014 at 3:45 am

            Well my post keeps getting completely butchered and large portions didn’t make it, so I will try to paste what I wrote from notepad while deleting the redundant stuff that posted earlier before pasting it here. For this reason my paragraphs might be confusing for those who have not read or remembered the previous posts……
            It (the S-10) was a lemon and some idiot replaced the front differential with a 4-11 when the correct one was 3.73. Of course the front suspension failed, but I fixed it. The truck got 15 mpg.

            You did not read my post very closely. I had stated that my F-350 4X4 was a diesel that got 17 mpg. That is 2 mpg better than the S-10, and my present truck can pull vastly bigger loads than the S-10 if I manage to find a hotshot job. The truck is also 12 years newer and safer to drive than that S-10.
            I didn’t mention it earlier, but after the S-10 I bought a 2002 Ranger 4X4 before trading it in for my present truck. I had to nearly floor the accelerator of that Ranger in order to get it to take off at a normal level, and I only got 15 mpg. I got ripped off big time when I bought it because it had been wrecked and I didn’t know then how to look for tell-tail signs. The truck would work perfectly for about an hour then suddenly it wanted to overheat no matter what I did. The fins on the entire cooling system were straight. The water pump, thermostat, and drive belt was replaced along with flushing the coolant and replacing the antifreeze. There was absolutely no improvement. I went to a dealer in order to upgrade my truck and he did a carfax on it. My truck was only worth half of what I paid for it due to the wreck and the tiny bubbles in the paint that I hadn’t noticed. My F-350 has a clean carfax, much less than 200,000 miles, has a very solid frame and suspension, and only has some hail damage and some rust areas that aren’t highly noticeable. I got it for just over $10K 3 years ago when new versions were priced at over $50K. The new versions do not have the great 7.3 L engines that mine has and that is so very popular.

            I haven’t made them yet. I had mentioned that I had enough cells to build them. Doing that will require me to do a whole bunch of soldering. I am intending to first build my own house using a combination of recycled materials and using some of the trees on my land for a post and beam design. I am confident that I can build the house for between $3K – $7K excluding labor, but I am not about to spent more money until I get a positive cash flow. I will also need to buy about $1200 worth of batteries.

            Yes and no. Modern wood stoves burn about 30% less wood than old ones to put out the same heat. This is accomplished by strategically routing air flow. You are no longer merely burning wood in a steel container with a chimney on top of it. Modern ones also emit less smoke by burning it. Add to that the fact that the EPA is trying to make all of the old smoky and inefficient stoves illegal. I will post the link to the company that I bought my stove from here, and you can visit that site to verify everything that I have said about wood heat there and by using the Startpage search engine:
            https://startpage.com/eng/
            http://www.woodstove.com/

            Yes. That is what (Greg Judy) recommended and what my goal is.

            I am pretty well read at lewrockwell.com , but I hardly ever visit the Mises site. Where has the topic of cattle grazing and pasture renting come up?

            Yes, I likewise am expecting a fall in prices for those things.

            No I wasn’t in fact (fooled by mainstream market forces). I was an OTR truck driver that was seldom home, so I could not do much researching. I did, however, get the local papers while I was at home. I also checked Craigslist while I was out on the road. The thing about being an OTR truck driver (which pays vastly more than local jobs in this area) is that it is not possible to gradually exit the old job into the new unless you want to remain an OTR truck driver. Nobody sold me on anything, and I understand Austrian economics very well for a non-graduate. I was simply seeking self-employment opportunities that weren’t already flooded around this rural area.

            I have already stated that the reason I chose to not go the steer loader route was because there was an over-abundance of people in that sector in this area. There was not a single one mal-investment made by me even though I had hoped to actually use the sawmill to earn money. This is because I can still use that sawmill to build my own house, harvest my lumber, and to later sell the mill if I chose to do so. There aren’t many people who live in 1000 +/- sf houses they have built for less than $10K on 5 acres of land without going into debt. My house plans are entirely different and larger than Lamar’s; but if anyone doubts that small nice houses can be built at low cost should check out these links:
            https://www.youtube.com/user/solarcabin
            http://tinyhousenewsletter.com/
            Of course, if local laws mandate that you hire from the local building cartel, the links are of no use to you.
            I have also been listening to Jack Spirkos podcasts for several years although I am usually behind because I listen to blocks of podcasts from different sources.

  17. Pedro
    March 28, 2014 at 1:58 am

    I am a car salesman at a Ford dealership in Houston. So much of this business angers me beyond belief. The only reason I’m still in it is because it’s the only business where I can get a job anywhere and make a livable wage. So long as I pass the drug test and don’t get a DUI.

    I can write an entire article about the bullshit I have to do because of my sales managers. The “desk” (sales managers) do not allow me to price vehicles, tell customers interest rates ect. ect…

    They purposely keep all of this information from me. The belief is as follows: If I (the salesman) am given a number to present to a customer, I have to believe it is the lowest number. This way I will be convincing and maximize profit for the dealer. This antiquated process ensures job security and ridiculously inflated salaries for my 3 sales managers who do nothing but sit on their lazy asses bitching at us for not closing enough sales.

    6 more months and I’m done with this business forever.

    • Garysco
      March 28, 2014 at 4:55 am

      Have you ever seen the movie “Suckers”?

      http://youtu.be/n2wLlrfU89E

      • Tor Libertarian
        March 28, 2014 at 6:08 am

        Most of us have lived through it, I imagine. Especially the ones who think they’re “car savvy” and salesmanproof.

        Vegas is a boiler room confidence man sales shill mecca. Free hotel rooms. Free gambling money. Free vacation, if only you’ll sit through a one hour time share sales presentation.

        Real estate, electronics, furniture, insurance, loans, any big ticket item, you’ve probably been mercilessly scalped by somebody.

        Yellow page ads. Classified ads. Promotional items and business logo items. Stockbrokers. Financial planners. There are countless ways to shear sheep out there, we’ve probably all been there in one way or another.

        Wolf of Wall Street – Leonardo DiCaprio speech
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9GR6wvoPOY

        • Bevin
          March 28, 2014 at 8:03 am

          Dear Tor,

          I recently watched The Wolf of Wall Street on video.

          The Banksters who set up the Federal Reserve System so they could engage in naked counterfeiting, in broad daylight, make Jordan Belfort look small time.

          And it was 100% LEGAL!!! Why? Because they wrote the laws. They specified that their form of counterfeiting would be considered legal.

          200 million? A lot to us Mere Mundanes. But to the Rothschild and Rockefeller Banksters? Pocket change.

    • GW
      March 28, 2014 at 7:55 am

      And another Libertarian is born…

      Welcome to the club Pedro

    • liberranter
      March 28, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      I’d be very interested in hearing of your experiences here. I’m sure Eric and everyone else would as well. It’s always rewarding to hear an “insider’s” perspective.

      I’m definitely not surprised to read your take on “management.” I really think that your experiences with these oxygen thieves is pretty much universal, in every industry or profession out there today. It wouldn’t be so bad if the majority of these creatures demonstrated anything that even remotely resembled managerial skills, or the ability to interact productively with other humans beings. Unfortunately, 99.9999% of them don’t even come close. If anything, they’re a collective drain on the business. I’m really surprised that the collapse rate of businesses isn’t much higher than it is, given the prevalence of Dilbertesque stupidity.

      • Pedro
        March 31, 2014 at 2:10 am

        I would be happy to write an article or 5 about life as a salesman at a dealership. I have PLENTY of stories to tell about the stupidity of upper management. Let me know if you’re interested Eric!

        • eric
          March 31, 2014 at 5:36 am

          Hi Pedro,

          I am interested. I think others would be, too! There are two ways to do this. One, you can e-mail me the article (EPeters952@yahoo.com) the other is to post it here (go to the top menu bar and click on Guest Post). I’ll format/edit it (just for typos and so on; I won’t alter the text’s meaning or ad/delete anything without discussing with you first).

          Looking forward to it!

    • Bevin
      March 28, 2014 at 1:37 am

      Dear Tor,

      Really brings back fond memories of my college years in architecture school.

      Wright was a born genius.

      • Tor Libertarian
        March 28, 2014 at 5:52 am

        Gives me chills, just looking at it. Somewhere this world must still exist; north side of San Fran maybe?

        I had something similar to the Froebel’s Gifts he had as a child, but I mostly liked designing geodesics, and homes that had a pool in the center.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeKzIZAKG3E

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuZ0x5Qkgzg

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ce9iyHM5Ge8

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3VmhLB7IqM

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMiLkPFJ7LE

        • Bevin
          March 28, 2014 at 8:47 am

          Dear Tor,

          The TV Miniseries “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” featured a Roman atrium house with a pool in the center.

          http://www.planetminecraft.com/project/house-of-batiatus—roman-styled-villa-from-spartacus-blood-sand/

          Roman atrium houses are strikingly similar to Chinese courtyard houses.

          • Tor Libertarian
            March 28, 2014 at 1:31 pm

            Bevin, I watched a few episodes from season 3 of that Starz show. I’ll check out Season 1 – Blood and Sand

            2.2 Season 1: Blood and Sand (2010)
            2.3 Season 2: Vengeance (2012)
            2.4 Season 3: War of the Damned (2013)

            3D Greek / Roman Villa in Africa
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyksXWllYLo

            Am currently watching DallasBuyersClub

          • Bevin
            March 28, 2014 at 6:42 pm

            Dear Tor,

            All seasons of that show were good.

            Very libertarian message.

            Whether it was historically accurate is not the main issue. Taken as fiction, it made the right points regarding human rights and individual liberty.

          • April 1, 2014 at 4:17 am

            You may be missing something. Atrium houses evolved over centuries, and the only feature they kept was that the atrium worked as an entrance hall, even though it wasn’t long and thin like a hall, off which practically everything else opened and which itself connected to the outside through a door. So, the point of similarity with Chinese practice you’re noticing – the courtyard – wasn’t even present in houses with small atria that had clerestory windows instead of an open centre with cloisters around it, and the essential feature of atria – working as an access buffer to the rest of the house – could be missing in a Chinese house in which there wasn’t a direct connection between the courtyard and the outside or in which the courtyard simply merged with the outside in an open plan way or with steps or ramps, rather than having a door like an atrium.

    • Eric_G
      March 29, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      Tor,
      Thanks for posting that. I grew up a few miles away from Falling Water and got to tour it twice. If you haven’t been there it is nearly impossible to describe just how the building is simple and highly complex at the same time, and how the interaction of space and enviroment plays perfectly.

      The only problem Wright’s houses is that it is very difficult to make changes as technology and/or style changes…. maybe that’s the point?

  18. liberranter
    March 27, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    I find it interesting that pharmaceuticals are the only goods other than cars (as far as I know) that consumers are prohibited by statutory fiat from purchasing directly from manufacturers.

  19. stanton7
    March 27, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    How come “Edmund’s Automotive”, “Consumer Reports Annual Automotive Issue”, the Federal Fair Trade Commission”, all those state/federal consumer protection agencies, etc. … have never mentioned a word about this outrageous situation that directly violates free trade & rights of automobile buyers/consumers? No politician has ever mentioned it either, and the courts must have rubber-stamped this corruption many times over the past 80 years.

    I’m not a conspiracy buff, but this automobile-dealer racket counts as a genuine grand conspiracy against car buyers. It is really, really successful, longstanding nationwide, and almost totally invisible to the public.

    Classic collusion between government and favored businesses, which reflects the fundamental nature of government. The alleged “consumer-protection” zealots (within & outside of government) have failed miserably too.

    • eric
      March 28, 2014 at 6:08 am

      Hi Stanton,

      Edmunds makes its money by “partnering” with the dealerships (and the car companies). It is in the business of selling cars under the guise of reviewing cars.

  20. MamaLiberty
    March 27, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Only one car lot here in town, I think he sells two or three different “brands.” Also used cars and trucks, trailers and assorted other things. From the number of new heavy duty pickup trucks around here with his sticker on the back, he does a pretty good job. There are lots of other dealers within a 100 mile radius, and for that kind of money it might be worth going that far, of course. Evidently, he’s got a good enough reputation here that quite a few buyers either don’t go… or come back and buy local.

    Wish I had the money to buy one of the old trade in pickups…

    So we are very lucky here, so far. But the free market is absolutely the only real solution.

  21. chiph
    March 27, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Dealers should be able to differentiate themselves based on a superior service experience and home-town friendliness. But they don’t want to do that – they’d rather fleece their customers.

    Don’t get me wrong, they have the right to try & make a profit as much as anyone. It’s when they use the law to mandate a profit – that’s the problem.

    • eric
      March 27, 2014 at 2:42 pm

      That’s my take also, Chip.

      The good dealers should have no worries; it’s the bad ones who are sweating this…

      • chiph
        March 27, 2014 at 3:50 pm

        I’m wondering if/when the laws get changed, dealers will be able to mix & match their brands. So we might see both Chrysler and Ford new cars being sold at a lot, since presumably once the requirement to sell through a dealer goes away, so will the exclusivity requirement.

        This would be good for the customer, since they get more choice at a location. And it’s good for the dealer since it increases the chance of making a sale (potential customers stay on the lot longer, looking at the different models).

        And since a lot of the money that a dealer makes comes from the service department, it increases the chance that their technicians will stay busy.

        • Brian
          March 28, 2014 at 11:50 pm

          I don’t really think that this would be an improvement for the customers at all for 3 reasons:
          1. The same corrupt dealers would be running the show. They already sell a wide range of vehicles under the same brand. How would adding more vehicle choices alter salesman behavior?
          2. This would gradually squeeze out the smaller dealerships just like has happened to the banking industry in recent decades.
          3. Semi-truck dealerships have been allowed to carry more that one brand of trucks for at least 2 decades. The last one that I worked for sold mostly Volvo’s, but also Mack’s semi-tractors and G.M.s medium-sized trucks. The head salesman made over $100K per year. The top mechanic made way less than half that, and would have made even less had not our shop allowed certain mechanics pick out all of the gravy jobs at the expense of the rest of us.

  22. Garysco
    March 27, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Saw this the other day on Market-Ticker.org -:

    If Anything, Car Dealers Have Gotten MORE Sleazy

    C’mon guys, you really don’t think that most of Boobus Americanus will fall for this, do you?

    Well, actually they do.

    Witness the frequent game with “dealer stickers” on the windows in which they charge up to $1,000 for what amounts to $5 worth of Scotchguard (yes, from a spray can) in the form of “fabric and paint protection.”

    That’s pretty good money for a guy to spray a bunch of silicone from a can on your new upholstery for 10 minutes!

    No, I’m talking about the ubiquitous “documentation fee” that has showed up of late — well, ok, not necessarily “showed up” (it’s been there for quite a while) but ratcheted up.

    My quick survey says that these junk fees have more than doubled in the last 10 years or so and now frequently are over $500!

    You know what the dealer does for that?

    He hits “Print” on his computer.

    Yes, really.

    What’s his per-hourly billed rate, when you look at what’s actually done, for that “service”? $5,000 or so? That’s nice if you can manage to talk people into paying that sort of hourly rate.

    Since this is a “fee” it generally cannot be blanked off their purchase agreement, and in fact there are even laws to that effect. But that doesn’t stop you from getting rid of it — simply demand that the same amount come off the top-line price of the car.

    Oh, by the way, if you want to really be insulted in most states you will pay sales tax on that “Documentation Fee” too. So now you get to pay the state for the dealer pressing “Print” and his $5,000 per hour charge to do so.

    People say that “The Internet has made car buying more-transparent.” That’s a lie. Take a look at all the various sites — Truecar, Edmunds, etc.

    They all state in the fine print that these fees are excluded in the prices they quote you.

    As such you cannot compare apples-to-apples using these “shopping tools”, because they exclude a fee that each dealer sets and that fee tends to be quite large and is factually nothing more than “additional dealer profit” on a per-unit basis.

    I own two vehicles I bought new at the present time. On one I walked out of the dealership twice when they tried to add that fee in after we had negotiated a cash price “plus only tax, title and tag” and then in the F&I office they attempted to present with me a “standard” sales order that had it on there. I told them I wouldn’t pay it, they said because it was pre-printed it couldn’t be negotiated, and I countered with “oh yes it can, subtract it from the price of the car and it is mathematically removed.”

    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?blog=Market-Ticker&page=2

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