Tag: Bitcoin

Econ Saturday: Buy Stuff Now

Unemployment and Crytpo

I’m disgusted that the federal government refuses to acknowledge that its federal unemployment benefit program is killing employers. It’s simply disingenuous to claim that people would rather work for $10 an hour when they can get $7.50 an hour for doing nothing.

In my corner of the world, COVID has been virtually non-existent for the past six months. It hit us pretty hard in the second half of 2020, and I knew a lot of people hospitalized with it (and had five clients die of it . . . or something like it), but since last December or so? It has been a non-factor, but fast food restaurants can’t keep regular hours because they can’t find staff.

How bad is it? My law firm can’t find a receptionist and the workload is humongous. We have been forced to adopt summer hours. Instead of being open to the public for 45 hours a week, we are now open only 31 hours a week.

Dogecoin mania continues. I bought a small chunk at less than 4/10ths of a penny. I cashed in this week and am spending the profits as fast I can: a nice dinner, donated money to restore our local auditorium, bought Marie a very nice bike, invested in agricultural stocks, bought a leaf mulcher, bought more Bitcoin and Ethereum, gave each child some extra spending money.

As millions of Americans have experienced, Dogecoin has been great fun.

But what does it say about our economy when billions of dollars are flowing into a joke cryptocurrency (“They’re all jokes, Scheske!”)?

It tells you that there’s so much money sloshing around the system, people don’t know what to do with it. That’s why I spent my Dogecoin earnings right away. I wanted to get tangible stuff in my … Read the rest

Cryptocurrency isn’t in a Bubble

It might be terribly overvalued, but it’s not in a bubble

The cryptocurrency market was a lot of fun this week. The Coinbase IPO drove interest and prices to all-time highs. The leader: Dogecoin, which went from six cents to 50 cents in a wild frenzy (it has since settled in the upper 20s).

Dogecoin isn’t sustainable. Its creators have minted over 100 billion coins, they mint millions more every year, and they aren’t committed to capping it. It’s like the Federal Reserve.

Bitcoin, however, is different. It’s capped. Supply will run out. Other than land, it’s the only asset that can claim such a thing.

I hear two vigorous objections to Bitcoin:

1. “Each coin is worth $60,000. How are you supposed to buy a pack of gum with a $60,000 coin?”
2. “Bitcoin is in a bubble.”

Both of these objections, I believe, are bunk. I think there are other valid objections, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Bitcoin is extraordinarily overvalued, but those two objections don’t cut it.

1. Look at the edge of your coins. You notice the serrated edges? That’s a holdover from the days when the king had the right to take chunks off coins (or “criminals” did it), in order to create sub-specie that could be used to buy small items (or melted down with others “bits” and recoined). I don’t know of any reason Bitcoin couldn’t be used like that. In fact, right now, I own Bitcoin: about 5% of one Bitcoin. My account breaks it down to the seventh decimal. Call me crazy, but I suspect these newfangled computers could break it down to the 100th decimal, then reconvert the whole thing into a new sub-species currency (“Sub BTC”), like our dollars are broken down into quarters, dimes, nickels, and … Read the rest

The Weekly Eudemon

A round-up of good reading from the week

Squeezing Amazon, the existential benefits of gardening, and Bitcoin as it cracks $60,000. (“M” denotes Medium.com, so you may need a subscription to read.)

The Left hates Amazon because of how it treats its workers and because it’s an abject lesson in the  power of capitalism. The Right hates Amazon because of what Amazon did to Parler and its left-leaning agenda. I’m seeing more and more people fighting against that python. This woman describes how she weened herself off Amazon. And Marco Rubio just wrote an op-ed in USA Today that said conservatives won’t help Amazon in its fight against unionization, noting that the days when big business could count on conservative support are over.

I’m not a huge Marco Rubio fan, but that op-ed tells me he’s on the right track. Or at least has his ear to the political ground and is positioning himself for a 2024 run.… Read the rest

The Weekly Eudemon

A round-up of good reading from the week

Saving your marriage from the Oxford comma, Bitcatholic, and rolling back restrictions. (Excerpts to follow in the Traditional TDE Blog over the next couple of days. “M” denotes “Medium.com” and, therefore, you may need a subscription to read.)

Bitcoin is anti-institutional. It’s anti-authoritarian. It’s linked to buying sex and drugs. It’s . . . Catholic? That’s not exactly what Eric Sammons argues here, but he endorses the Bitcoin approach for the Catholic Church in the 21st century. Bitcoin is all about decentralization, especially online. In this era when Google, Twitter, and other behemoths throttle traditional religion, we need to embrace a decentralized approach. (Which is one reason I encourage everyone to set up a “junk” email folder and use it to subscribe to the heterodox writers out there you enjoy. I hope to set up a TDE newsletter this year, btw.)

“I like depriving myself of things,” said Kramer on Seinfeld. “It’s very monastic.” I think it’s a natural human trait, though people find it kind of weird and resist it. Even in my small town, middle-aged men want to “look cool” and “with it.” That’s one thing millennials seem to have right: they resist conventions, including the ones that say we should be obsessed with acquisition. Their bohemian resistance is often frustrating, but at times, it borders on the graceful, like when one millennial declares that “Owning a Decrepit Shack in The Middle of Nowhere Is The New American Millennial Dream.” (M) But warning: the article isn’t very good. It’s a Socialist rant against “unregulated” landlords and that’s about it. This is one of those articles in which the entire value is in the headline.… Read the rest

How to Take a Stance without Taking a Stance

In this age of uncertainty, you need beliefs and practices but not dogmas and preaching

“Let me tell you about COVID, the COVID vaccine, and Bitcoin.”

If any person starts telling me about those things, I write them off.

All three of those things are new and huge. As a result, they occupy a weird spot in the world of opinion: Everyone needs to have a stance on them and nobody’s stance is worth anything.

It’s difficult to reconcile such a paradox, but here’s one way: Take your stance, be prepared to shift it, and keep it to yourself.

Beliefs and practices, yes. Dogmas and preaching, no.

A wealthy client of mine recently asked a well-known financial guru for his stance on Bitcoin. I was a bit surprised the guru replied to the email, but I wasn’t surprised to see him take a strong stance: Bitcoin, he assured my client in all caps, is another Tulip Mania.

How can he know that? Bitcoin isn’t like the tulip in 17th-century Holland. It might be in a bubble like tulips were, but it’s not a known thing like tulips. Bitcoin is brand new. At best, we can analogize Bitcoin to tulips.

Analogy is a great thing. It allows us to see things that are similar. The problem is, it first requires that the things be different.

That’s why the Tulip Mania reference is so compelling yet not. Bitcoin is not an instance of “This time it will be different,” which is the mantra of every person riding an inflated stock market, only to crash when it comes down. Bitcoin is an instance of “This time is the first time.”

A reference to a crashing stock market doesn’t need analogy. We’ve seen it crash many times. Bitcoin needs analogy because we’ve … Read the rest

Tattletale Journalism to Apple’s Rumored Purchase of Bitcoin

A Tuesday Round-up of Worthy Articles

The Rise of Tattletale Journalism. There is a whole new genre of journalism out there: “Journalists” telling on people who don’t think correctly.

Glenn Greenwald ain’t havin’ it . . . and neither should we.

A new and rapidly growing journalistic “beat” has arisen over the last several years that can best be described as an unholy mix of junior high hall-monitor tattling and Stasi-like citizen surveillance. It is half adolescent and half malevolent. Its primary objectives are control, censorship, and the destruction of reputations for fun and power. Though its epicenter is the largest corporate media outlets, it is the very antithesis of journalism.

I’ve written before about one particularly toxic strain of this authoritarian “reporting.” Teams of journalists at three of the most influential corporate media outlets — CNN’s “media reporters” (Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy), NBC’s “disinformation space unit” (Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny), and the tech reporters of The New York Times (Mike Isaac, Kevin Roose, Sheera Frenkel) — devote the bulk of their “journalism” to searching for online spaces where they believe speech and conduct rules are being violated, flagging them, and then pleading that punitive action be taken (banning, censorship, content regulation, after-school detention). These hall-monitor reporters are a major factor explaining why tech monopolies, which (for reasons of self-interest and ideology) never wanted the responsibility to censor, now do so with abandon and seemingly arbitrary blunt force: they are shamed by the world’s loudest media companies when they do not.

Matt Taibbi follows suit, pointing out that we’ve reached a point where personal privacy is dangerous, official secrecy is not.

These people believe bad-think, left unaddressed, results in Donald Trump being elected. Therefore, as Chen and Roose put it in a chat last week, it’s “
Read the rest

What’s That Twitter Imp Up To?

Is Jack Dorsey looking to a Bitcoin (libertarian) Internet model?

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t much bugged by Twitter deplatforming President Trump. I didn’t think it was cool, and it bothered me that a company displays such brazen arrogance, but I agree with the ACLU’s ultra-liberal Ira Glasser, who said a President always has plenty of speaking outlets.

I was uber-bugged—outraged, in fact—when Amazon killed Parler’s access to the Internet altogether and, if antitrust laws mean anything, Amazon should be facing severe scrutiny in this regard.

But Twitter? I was just annoyed and, of course, I’ve long been frustrated by Twitter’s ongoing and disingenuous Leftist agenda: “We’re just neutral content hosts. We don’t favor either side, but we do enforce a certain narrative because that narrative is true, so we block other narratives because they’re false.” (Nevermind that in the philosophical field of “narratives,” the premise is that none of them are true.)

But overall? I wasn’t outraged by Twitter’s decision.

What We Know about Dorsey

Jack Dorsey is to blame, of course, but let’s acknowledge a few things about Dorsey:

1. He founded Twitter 14 years ago. It now has 4,600 employees and 321 million users. That’s shocking growth. Dorsey can’t entirely control that company as a practical matter, and he can’t control it as a legal matter since he’s a minority stockholder.

2. He is presumably surrounded by Leftists, many of them far Left.

3. He himself was raised Catholic and his uncle is a priest.

4. He supported Tulsi Gabbard (my favorite candidate) in 2020.

5. He also supported Andrew Yang (my second favorite candidate, but far behind Tulsi because of his troublesome trademark (the universal income)). Based on Wikipedia, those are the only two he supported in the primaries.

6. He is a huge … Read the rest