Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
John writes: I have little formal training in economics, only that provided by the Libertarian Party and the understanding I developed, starting at six, having returned from Europe. I found the “America” I knew from my dad’s books nowhere to be found and fiscal insanity reining. I was determined to be a mechanic and metalsmith, trying to find work, at six, that financed tools, scrapping, trash-picking, fixing anything and everything for cash, coin, and began to buy raw metal, for making things.
I quickly learned “metal doesn’t lie.” Not steel, copper, tool steel, scrap, nor aluminum. Their price constantly elevated, every year, yet remained almost exactly the same, relative to each other, altering by a percentage point or two, depending on trade choices. It was the single most important evaluation for me for decades, as it defined exactly what the economy was doing and how “paper money fared.”
I never fell into evaluating economics by end product, those “desirable toys,” but always have watched metals, the lowly metals, mainly, and known they told the exact truth of inflation, jobs, state of education, state of employment, and what factories were shutting down, for good, for foreign replacement goods. I didn’t run into Libertarian principles and ideas until my entry in high school but they completely supported my long-held thesis that metal was exactly the state of the market. I was very successful in building my collection of capital in tools, tooling, raw material, machinery, I just couldn’t get credentials, to earn what I was good for, and entered the Marines, to get a good foundation.
I’ve never stopped watching “electric cars” and noting that battery technology hasn’t changed all that much in the past century, not in terms of effective storage capacity, output production in amps, and in no way, improved in recharging, and keeping sound electro-mechanical internal structure. At ten, I postulated electric cars would become rational, when a liquid based, two part battery, with liquid flow, controlling current and voltage generation, essentially, tapping all the electrical potential between an alkali liquid, and an acidic, in a matrix allowing the control of ion exchange, and “recharging would consist of draining the depleted mixture, refilling with active fluids, and re-charging being electrically returning the fluids to separation, and high electrostatic differential” – as was beginning to be pursued in fuel cells, in preparation for space flight.
The advent of lithium batteries is well offset by the advanced cost of the same, relative to carbon zinc batteries, and general alkali, but much is hidden in inflation, as near as I can tell, we’ve had roughly 8 to 12 or 13 percent inflation since ’62, while at best, we’ve seen technology related jobs increase for a couple decades, to almost white collar wages, and now reduced to full blue collar wages, with most “high tech” relegated to machinery, or engineers.
I immediately believed the Libertarian statement, “any capital allocated to government, must perforce, be mis-allocated, as it has no means to measure value and establish it rationally.”
What government does is simply steal from some, rational thinkers, to give the crazies, who believe anything the government says, as long as it comes with a handout. For a short time, I considered our government fascist, but then realized, even “fascism” had principles, and regardless of the fact, most governments ignore their own principles, if I was naming our government for a purpose, calling it true, “kleptocracy” was the closest I could come to, with any real accuracy. You describe some of the convoluted, distorting and disgusting forms of its theft, because you expose the direct transfer of wealth from the worker, buying a car, to drive to work, to the “elite” who buy many cars, to make many different statements, “for the moment”. It can’t be too long now, before the fall.
My reply: I am often accused of being “anti” EV and while it is true I do not like electric cars (being soulless) I am not “anti” them – as such. If people wish to buy electric cars, that is their right – and if there is a market for EVs, then it would be outrageous for me or anyone else to urge the suppression of it.
But what we have is not a market. We have its opposite – because there is no significant market for EVs. Thus, EVs must be forced upon the market, via mandates and subsidies and so forth.
Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
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