Less is More?

2014 September 22
by drdog09

Or to quote Kohr —

Of the nine great powers entering the twentieth century with the customary belief in their own indestructibility, only three can therefore be said to have reached the mid-century mark, Russia, Great Britain, and the United States. And even amongst these the process of further shrinkage has already begun to manifest itself so that before long there will be actually only two survivors, Russia and America. Though these two joined the circle of the mighty last, they were destined through the interplay of their overwhelming population potentials and the vast expanse of their territories to outlive all the rest from the very beginning. Indeed, so inevitable was their course that as early as 1840 Alexis de Tocqueville was able to foresee every step of their development in such minute detail that what he wrote would be one of history’s great prophecies were it not simply a masterpiece of deductive reasoning spun from premises that permitted no other conclusion.


Kohr’s argument is that there is a natural `size` to nations and that there is an upper cap to their reach. If one looks at history there are markers supporting his argument —

* The Athenian Empire.
* The Roman Empire.
* The Han dynasty in China.
* More recent possibly the American Empire.

The text of his remarks is available here Its an interesting read.

But here is my argument against certain aspects of his text —

* The States articulated were single leader or oligarchy in form.
* The geospatial nature of the States was it was accessible by land.
* The States based on their form were subject to vacillating waves of governance as heads of state changed abruptly.
* The empires that arose lacked a competing State on their rise to the top.

Finally as it applies to the US, there is the certain barriers. First is the Federalist system. Designed as a check on Federal power is also diffused power. One could make the argument at its formation the US was 13 small States bundled for the common defense. `Being` large was not an issue. In the same vein, since the Federal govt was to be limited to a specific set of duties its ability to meddle was also limited. Finally were the inhabitants themselves. Free to pursue their individual interest under a common framework the need for `control structures` were of minimal value.

Sadly we have ventured far afield from our historical beginnings. We now are reaping what Kohr warned us of.

* We exhibit paralysis in critical domestic situations.
* Our obligations exceed our ability to pay.
* Our foreign obligations tie us down in various fashions some which are not to our benefit.
* The States are increasingly limited to the role of Federal purser. Doling out monies to non productive population sectors and greasing compliance with graft.
* Infrastructure is crumbling due to competing antigrowth forces preventing upgrades and repair.
* The political structure in stasis as the voting districts are pretty much gerymandered to deliver safe districts for all factions.

If we follow Kohr’s prescription then succession is the natural outcome.

38 Responses leave one →
  1. 2014 September 23 5:24 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Take it for what it is worth — http://moneymorning.com/ext/articles/rickards/55-billion-gamble.php?iris=252777 — And by all means, it is not offered as financial advise. Everyone’s aims are different, act accordingly for your own benefit.

  2. 2014 September 23 6:14 am


  3. 2014 September 23 6:18 am
    justrand permalink

    drdog, the sad reality for most folks is that if we pull all our money out of 401ks that have stock portfolios, we have no where else these days that is safe either. We can’t cash out (taxes), and we can’t convert it all to gold because the government is artificially trashing the price of gold. And mattresses are just so damn bulky 🙂

    the ultimate reality we face is that not only is Buffett looking to profit immensely from a collapse…so is OBAMA.


  4. 2014 September 23 6:21 am

    post 3 ~~~~ no need to “cash out” and pay a tax penalty, just close out the stock positions and keep it in a money market.

  5. 2014 September 23 6:53 am
    drdog09 permalink


    Also, little known fact — you can set up a LLC as an investment vehicle for tax purposes and transfer your 401k holdings into that vehicle. Now the LLC must still apply the same rules as your 401k trustee would, but without the trustee headaches. You could then buy say, rental property, trailer parks, etc. (Just don’t live in it!)

    Talk to a tax specialist and your trustee for the particulars.

  6. 2014 September 23 7:11 am
    bc3b permalink

    BJG Football Standings

    College Division
    Fight On: 41-20/11-4
    RP: 36-25/9-6
    bc3b: 36-25/9-6
    Mullet: 35-26/5-10
    MI Conservative: 31-30/7-8
    Justrand: 30-31/6-9

    NFL Division
    bc3b: 19-11/6-4
    Mullet: 18-12/6-4
    Justrand: 16-14/6-4
    Fight On: 15-15/3-7
    MI Conservative: 14-16/4-6
    drdog09: 11-19/4-6
    RJH: 11-19/4-6
    TLS: 12-18/6-4

  7. 2014 September 23 10:02 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Looks like BC needs to start a NFL bets line….

  8. 2014 September 23 11:15 am
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    “To debase a currency is to weaken its purchasing power. This is often done by inflating the money supply through quantitative easing, which the Federal Reserve has been practicing for years. When a currency is debased, a unit of that currency doesn’t buy the same amount of stuff that it once did. The US dollar has been seriously debased over the last hundred years or more. Just take a look at the handy infographic at the end of this blog post to see how bad it has become.

    Currency debasement is the same reason why the US ditched the copper penny in 1982, as well as silver half-dollars, quarters, and dimes in 1964. Today we call these old silver coins “junk silver,” and they’re popular physical precious metals investments. However, they’re anything but junk – they actually contain a useful commodity that has held its value for centuries. It’s not that zinc or copper or silver has become “too expensive,” it’s that those coins have lost some of their purchasing power.

    The government debases our currency and says it is because it became too expensive to produce instead of the real reason – destructive monetary policies. The policies of central banks around the world are supposed to stabilize economies and protect the people from currency debasement. However, the truth is that these policies only enrich the politically well-connected, while hurting the poor, those on fixed incomes, and savers.

    When currencies aren’t debased, prices tend to fall, not rise. This gives more purchasing power to the poor, those on fixed incomes, and savers. It also decreases the need to gamble savings in the stock market, which means you have fewer bubbles like the one we’re experiencing right now.
    So the next time a friend brings up the pretty well-know fact that it costs more to produce a penny than its worth, take the time to educate them about currency debasement.”


  9. 2014 September 23 11:21 am
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    “Obamacare architect Dr. Zeke Emanuel explained on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” why he believed 75 years was long enough for a person to live, saying that’s about the time health began to decline.

    “I picked 75, when you think about the combination of physical decline, the rise of Alzheimer’s, the loss of creativity. And I really say you need to think about what you’re going to leave your children, your family, your community, the country,” Emanuel said on Monday.”

    Not one comment on the page supports his idea, as it should be.

    UPDATE: With Video

    Peter Morici: Zeke Emanuel Echoes Nazis With Life-Cutoff Talk

  10. 2014 September 23 11:40 am
    drdog09 permalink


    Looks like daily signal pulled the article. Guess it didn’t fit their meme.

  11. 2014 September 23 12:10 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    “I picked 75, when you think about the combination of physical decline, the rise of Alzheimer’s, the loss of creativity. And I really say you need to think about what you’re going to leave your children, your family, your community, the country,” Emanuel said on Monday.”

    Funny. Using his criteria he would off Einstein, Mother Theresa, Dr. Leahky, Dr. Albert Schweitzer all famous people of works that did what they did till they dropped dead. All their works would be lost to society long before their time.

    Guys like Emanuel are typical socialists. First of all the only persons I `owe` are my parents for their tireless efforts. Anyone else I don’t owe didly. That I desire to bequeath to my family is my decision alone. The community? For the taxes I pay, they owe me. For the country? For the sacrifices made by many with their lives, and I with my taxes again, the country owes us. But to the community/country I call it even steven — you don’t write me a check and in return you leave me to hell alone.

  12. 2014 September 23 12:49 pm
    bc3b permalink

    This week’s college and NFL games are “in the mail.” Hopefully this will be the last college “Slaughter Saturday” for the year so we can have more major conference match-ups beginning next week.

    Note: There are two Friday college games so college picks are due by 7 PM Eastern Time (4 PM Moonbeam Time) Friday.

  13. 2014 September 23 1:33 pm

    13 – I thought that actually happened the Friday before last.

  14. 2014 September 23 2:14 pm

    15 I believe that was a temporary lifting of the ban. This is a follow up permanent lifting as I understand it.

  15. 2014 September 23 3:52 pm

    16 – Ah ok makes sense, I really thought I had imagined sh1t for minute there.

  16. 2014 September 23 3:58 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Some states need to also implement `purple finger` rules as well to prevent double voting. Like say in Florida where some residents really aren’t because they also homestead in NY or CT and get an absentee ballot from their other residence.

  17. 2014 September 23 4:06 pm
    justrand permalink

    I cannot imagine a more worthless POS as POTUS.


    FU&K HIM!

  18. 2014 September 23 4:45 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    “Best Headline of the Month

    From Zero Hedge:

    Syria Is 7th (Muslim) Country Bombed By 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Winner

    Since winning the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, President Obama has now bombed 7 predominantly Muslim countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Iraq, and now Syria.”

  19. 2014 September 23 4:49 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink


    Butler Shaffer nailed it when he said: “The environmental movement is little more than a secular religion made up of members of the faith I describe as Gang Green.”

    Members of this religion have become increasingly impatient with their progress. They despise anyone who questions their faith. Last year, Paul Krugman delved into what may happen to the doubters in the afterlife:

    You can deny global warming (and may you be punished in the afterlife for doing so — this kind of denial for petty personal or political reasons is an almost inconceivable sin).

    Well, Robert Kennedy Jr. (who apparently is one of the most vocal members of Gang Green) has no time to wait for the afterlife. He wants skeptics to be punished now, and as we all know, The State is the most popular way to use violence against people who disagree with you.

    What is a “skeptic” anyway? Google says that it’s “a person inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions.”

    In other words, a person who merely has a thought that may stray from what is considered acceptable!

    Kennedy wants laws to punish thoughts? Is that possible?

    Unfortunately, in a country that has become adrenalized with political correctness, I guess anything is possible.”

  20. 2014 September 23 5:39 pm
    bc3b permalink

    Wylie #21

    RFK, Jr. doesn’t like being questioned about his carbon footprint:


    Stuff you only get from the British Press.

  21. 2014 September 23 8:11 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    ” Extraordinary Government Madness Results in Clorox Ditching Venezuela
    Clorox Co. (CLX), the consumer-products company that sells everything from bleach to salad dressing, is pulling out of Venezuela after inflation and government-mandated price freezes made the business unprofitable, reports Bloomberg.

    Clorox Venezuela will cease operations immediately and try to sell its assets, according to a statement today.

    “This is a very difficult situation for our company,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Don Knauss said in the statement. “We are extremely proud of the men and women who did their very best to operate our business in the face of significant economic challenges. We are working to support them through this transition.”

    Clorox blamed triple-digit inflation and an almost three-year-long price freeze, which forced the company to sell products at a loss. While the government approved price increases this year, they weren’t high enough to let Clorox Venezuela break even, the company said.”

  22. 2014 September 23 8:33 pm
    drdog09 permalink


    That ain’t all. VZ is going to spend even more money to confiscate more guns from the populace.

  23. 2014 September 23 10:22 pm
    drdog09 permalink

  24. 2014 September 24 5:01 am

    There was never any doubt as to who the movers and shakers behind the global warming bravo sierra were, it’s just hard to believe that there are any upright primates living that still swallow this socialist crap hook line and sinker.

  25. 2014 September 24 6:34 am
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    “Roman satirist and poet Juvenal was displaying contempt for a degraded Roman citizenry that had shunned civic responsibility, shirked their duties of citizenship within a republic, and had chosen to sell their votes to feckless politicians for assurances of bread and circuses. Rather than govern according to noble principles based upon reason, striving for public policies that led to long term sustainability and benefitting the majority of citizens, politicians chose superficial displays and appeasing the masses utilizing the lowest common denominator of “free” food and bountiful spectacles, pageants, and ceremonies in order to retain power.

    The Roman Empire’s decline stretched across centuries as the gradual loss of civic virtue among its citizenry allowed demagogues to gain power and barbarians to eventually overrun the weakened empire. While the peasants were distracted with shallow exhibitions of palliative pleasures, those in power were debasing the currency, enriching themselves, and living pampered lives of luxury. The Roman leaders bought public approval and support, not through exemplary public service, but through diversion, distraction, and the satisfaction of base immediate needs and desires of the populace. Satisfying the crude motivations of the ignorant peasants (cheap food and entertainment) is how Roman politicians bought votes and retained power. Free wheat, circus games, and feeding Christians to lions kept the commoners from focusing on politicians pillaging and wasting the empire’s wealth.

    History may not repeat exactly because technology, resource discoveries, and political dynamics change the nature of society, but it does rhyme because the human foibles of greed, lust for power, arrogance, and desire for conquest do not vary across the ages. The corruption, arrogance, hubris, currency debasement, materialism, imperialism, and civic decay that led to the ultimate downfall of the Roman Empire is being repeated on an even far greater scale today as the American Empire flames out after only two centuries.”


  26. 2014 September 24 6:36 am
    justrand permalink

    IP: “There was never any doubt as to who the movers and shakers behind the global warming bravo sierra were, it’s just hard to believe that there are any upright primates living that still swallow this socialist crap hook line and sinker.”

    I got nuthin’ to add…just thought it needed repeating! 🙂

  27. 2014 September 24 6:51 am
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink


    Great chart on socialist economics vs free market economics!

  28. 2014 September 24 6:53 am
    drdog09 permalink

    The pyjamas brigade does better than this — http://hotair.com/archives/2014/09/23/nyt-on-second-thought-bush-did-pull-together-a-coalition-on-iraq/ — NYT’s reporters can’t even take the time to check their OWN archives for facts let alone do Google.

  29. 2014 September 24 6:58 am
    drdog09 permalink


    The economic theory I hue to tends to the Hayek but at the microeconomic level. Simply put, when you have no dollars to spend you just don’t. All the fancy fed moves and plays have not affected Main Street. But that is where most of us earn the money to spend. So it is no wonder that folks like Yellen scratch their heads wondering why the base of the economic pyramid has not moved since 2007.

  30. 2014 September 24 7:08 am
    drdog09 permalink

    You ARE a terrorist unless you can prove you are not — http://reason.com/blog/2014/09/23/aclu-tsa-now-using-hypothetical-threats

  31. 2014 September 24 7:53 am

    Find it interesting that in a state where you don’t have to be a citizen to get at DL nor soon apparently to be lawyer that anyone is actually taking the verification rules for health insurance seriously. Not that I’m upset over it, I just find it sort of funny.

    I see prop 47 is very likely to pass, probably a smart move considering all the costs and the constant overcrowding issues that surround the CA penal system.

    I’m curious what you peeps in CA think of prop2 – looking at it from the outside it looks like largely a waste of money the state doesn’t have, I’m thinking if you’re gonna spend 7B$ related to water projects and none of it involves a desal plant or two something is wrong cause drought aside CA pop has been outpacing it’s water resources for some time.

  32. 2014 September 24 7:57 am

    32 – Insane, heard about Hayes being on the list and just shook my head and said out loud “the theater continues”.

  33. 2014 September 24 7:59 am
    drdog09 permalink


    CA has to take it seriously as the transfer of federal $$ is contingent on it. That is a section of Obamacare law.

  34. 2014 September 24 8:07 am
    drdog09 permalink


    Well lets go really insane! Some smart cookie ought to set up the scenario as follows:

    – College student wins scholarship.
    – College student is provided stipend for travel to receive reward.
    – College student NOT a terrorist and can be backed by evidence.
    – College student is trained to act to trigger terrorist profiles at the airport.

    Now the TSA acts accordingly preventing the student from getting on the plane. His legal team jumps into action. (That’s who was coaching him….) They file a federal case under — Title IX not 4th Amendment.

    The DoJ will be doing pretzel twists on how to proceed in the defense. All the legal team has to prove is the preponderance of the evidence not that actual false positive screening occurred. And discovery can be a b@#$^%.

  35. 2014 September 24 10:19 am

    For financial info you will need this in the future:


    The course provides students with an overview of the principles of Islamic finance and its evolution over the centuries with emphasis on the last four decades. The different products are presented and discussed with reference to the modern conventional products in the marketplace. Coverage of the current Islamic capital markets and the institutions that are the major players in that market is undertaken. Issues related to insurance, accounting and auditing, and ethical concepts are covered. The course is only open to juniors or seniors.

    And from 2008:

    The Treasury Department has announced it will teach “Islamic finance” to U.S. banking regulatory agencies, Congress and other parts of the executive branch today in Washington, D.C.

  36. 2014 September 24 11:43 am
    drdog09 permalink


    I have always wondered how Muslims can talk finance at all. They are always complaining that all the money and the banks are owned by the Joooooos. Their reality does not match their rhetoric. Odd eh?

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