Critique of A Theory of Justice (Part 1)

I am in the process of reading John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice. What strikes me is his assumption of the world being fixed. That individuals do not change with time as they grow and experience more. His distribution of wealth is similarly fixed in time and is bequeathed by random chance. The purpose of his conception of justice is to nullify “the accidents of natural endowment.”

In a statistical economic framework, individuals maximize their entropy-freedom, based upon the constraints that they are given.  When we look at the society from a wider veil of ignorance, one where we as the framers of the society are unable to uniquely identify the individual members, we treat those individuals the same. They have different knowledge, characteristics, and allotment of resources. They act with their full knowledge, the sort that Hayek calls practical knowledge. What is uniform is our ignorance of their specific and uniquely identifiable features.  This is very different from Rawls. He assumed that we ignored our ability. We are here allowing it, not denying it.  This has some fundamental impacts on the outcome. Continue reading

Regulatory Applications for Bitcoin: Environmental and Spectrum Allocation

I recently wrote a post about using property rights to avoid the tragedy of the commons.  Jesse Jenkins, of The Energy Collective, responded to my draft post that he thought my idea of allocating property rights based off of land use was too complex. I assured him that it was not and gave a logical and concise rebuttal. However, his challenge to me left me thinking about how to simplify the regulatory approach. This post is my effort to sketch out such a simplified approach. Continue reading

What Level of Government Is Necessary?

What Level of Government Is Necessary?

The short answer is, it depends. But on what? The purpose of this post is to etch out how we can estimate what level of government we need.  The recent actions of my government (United States) restricting our civil liberties in the name of security got me thinking about the subject.  I ranged from reflecting back on my socialistic youth to contemplating the consequences of anarcho-libertarianism.  The answer came contemplating Hayek’s notion of emergent social order and trying to understand why and where that social emergence comes from. Continue reading

A Network Analogy for Currency

Continuing my recent currency posts, I want to provide an analogy for what Bitcoin is as I understand it. This analogy may exist elsewhere on the web. To those authors who’s ideas I may be infringing upon it is not intentional and please notify me so that I may give the appropriate credit.  I read a great deal and don’t know where ideas come from, weather inside or outside my head.

Bitcoin is not so much a currency as it is a network protocol where the number of packets that can be exchanged grows at some fixed rate to a defined maximum. There are rules for how the packets are exchanged on a peer to peer basis to ensure that packets aren’t duplicated or lost. This is the genius of Satoshi Nakamoto. This is what he created. In this context the lines with what Bitcoin can become are very blurry. As I understand there are portions of the original source code that leverage the network analogy. Continue reading

All Fed Action is Distortionary

In this post I want to introduce some thoughts on why the actions of the Federal Reserve are distortionary, why the creation of money within the shadow banking system is more organic, and propose a more formal definition of inflation or deflation of the money supply.

Milton Friedman identified that the point of introduction of money into the economy benefited the person who introduced it the most, with its effect lowering as it spread further into the economy. Here the money being introduced isn’t aware of the overall size of the economy. It thinks based off of its one interaction that I am worth such and such and as it interacts more and more with the larger economy it begins to poses more information about the action that it can induce. Continue reading