RE: [lpsf-discuss] Reflections on the Heresy Called Religion

Steve is correct about one thing...the Greeks were onto something. And
of course, Murray Rothbard who also credited the Catholic Church in
later years wrote about it.



This was taken from Januara 5th 's
Daily Reckoning and was reppublished
by Vedran Vuk

Many fools, eager to part with their
money, have wasted their time on
psychics. Any extremely useful talent
or skill will be immediately
identified by the market. If
psychics really existed, we would
not need to
search far and wide for them. We
could simply examine markets that
most likely attract psychic "talents.

Consider gambling in casinos. Any
person who actually possessed psychic
abilities could live the life of a
gambler and read people's minds at
card table. There would be no
educational degree required and no
skills necessary other than psychic
ability. However, do we actually see
people with psychic abilities in
casinos who never lose? No, of
not. If psychics are not present in
an area of the market where their
"talents" would produce the biggest
payoffs, then they do not exist.

Some would argue that psychics would
want to obfuscate their skills in
order to keep gambling or to avoid
persecution. However, it would be to
the benefit of psychics in a free
market to reveal their skills.
with such skills would be instantly
hired by any company or government in
the world as advisors. The bidding
would be extremely high for psychic
talents. Since psychic advisors for
companies do not exist, the market
shown that they are in fact frauds.

Fortunetellers are also notorious
cheats. The free market would place
these people in politics predicting
the fate of world leaders and
One could make a fortune in sports
gambling as well with fortune
ability. If you could truly see the
future, your options would be
The stockbrokers of Wall Street
would all be fortunetellers instead
educated speculators.

Fortunetellers read your palm for a
few dollars. This shows that they
definitely not maximizing their
supposed potential. Why would the
give them such a job with their
skills? Some would say skepticism.
cannot be true because the market
eventually selects what works best.
something works every time, the
market accepts it as legitimate.
Even in
the presence of many fraudulent
fortunetellers, the real ones would
at the top of the market through
competition. From that point,
fortunetellers could enter whatever
financially maximizing field that

Faith healers fall into the same
category as psychics and
The market chooses what works. If
these healers worked better than
medicine, the healers would be at
the top of the market while modern
medicine would become obsolete.

Skepticism as the reason for faith
healers not having prominence does
hold up here either. The market
chooses what works especially in life
death situations. When a person has
cancer, there is no room for
skepticism. A person must choose the
option that works best. That option
is modern medicine. Faith healing is
rarely used because it does not
If people were healed better by
faith healing, anyone with any sense
go to these faith healers. But, the
market has already proven the better
choice is modern medicine.

Last is the myth of politicians.
There can be no such profession in a
market. Politicians do not arise
through free market competition.
Politicians, inherently, must
influence and coerce their way to the

Even heroic politicians like Ron Paul
have not achieved their positions
through free-market means. Ron Paul
is one of the finest men ever to
the House of Representatives. But
even Ron Paul explains that he does
view himself as a politician but
rather an educator. Among his
his performance is not evaluated in
the same way the free market
employees in a private company.
Indeed, he is not considered
by the standards of conventional
politics. If Ron Paul were not to
re-elected, it would not be because
he was a bad congressman. In
the one who is most successful in
using deception and coercive wins. In
free market, the person who performs
the best for others in the framework
of voluntary exchange wins.

Thievery and chicanery are essential
in this political process. The free
market relies on voluntary
agreements. A voluntary agreement is
agreement that mutually benefits both

A politician cannot help one person
without first stealing from someone
else. This forced redistribution is
anti-free market because the
redistribution is not voluntary.
People have already voted for their
desires on redistribution and charity
through their own bank accounts. The
charitable offerings voluntarily
approved show true desires.

This theft by the government is
necessary to achieve the most power
influence. Theft is dishonest. Hence,
being a "good" politician must also
always be dishonest and involve

The free market rejects theft. Murray
Rothbard excellently drew the
connection between thieves and the
government in Man, Economy, and
by saying,

"If governments budget their revenues
and expenditures, so must criminals;
where a government levies taxes,
criminals extract their own brand of
coerced levies; where a government
issues fraudulent or fiat money,
criminals may counterfeit. It should
be understood that, praxeologically,
there is no difference between the
nature and effects of taxation and
inflation on the one hand, and of
robberies and counterfeiting on the
other. Both intervene coercively in
the market, to benefit one set of
people at the expense of another set.
But the government imposes its
jurisdiction over a wide area and
usually operates unmolested.
on the contrary, usually impose
their jurisdiction on a narrow area
and generally eke out a precarious
existence. Even this distinction does
not always hold true, however. In
many parts of many countries, bandit
groups win the passive consent of the
majority in a particular area and
establish what amounts to effective
governments, or States, within the
area. The difference between a
government and a criminal band,
then, is a
matter of degree rather than kind,
and the two often shade into each
other." (Murray Rothbard, Man,
Economy, and State)

Government spreads further deceit
through the predictions of the
Reserve and the Congressional
Budgeting Office. If these groups
are so
accurate, why do they not work? Why
do financial companies constantly
search for further answers to trends
in the economy when people such as
Alan Greenspan are supposedly so

The market searches for further
answers because the CBO and the
Reserve are constantly wrong. They
are amateurish fortunetellers. When
they predict something generally
correctly, they are hailed as
geniuses to
the Nth degree. However, we all know
that more times than not their
predictions are horribly incorrect.

When these economic forecasters claim
that the war in Iraq or Hurricane
Katrina relief will cost a certain
amount, they are telling you no more
truth than a palm reader. They
looked into the face of the problem
then guessed the kind of future it
holds just like a palm reader does
his customers. How did President Bush
determine that the Katrina relief
would cost exactly $200 billion
dollars?! There is no actual proof
of this
cost. The cost can only be
determined when private enterprises
negotiated all deals necessary for
repairs. All of these deals cannot be
simultaneously calculated.

The war in Iraq is similarly laced
with numerous calculations which
only have been picked out of a
crystal ball. Former Bush economic
Larry Lindsey, claimed a cost of $200
billion. Congressional Democrats put
their two cents in by suggesting $93
billion. White House Office of
Management and Budget Director,
Mitch Daniels, guessed $50 to $60
based on the First Gulf War. If
apples were oranges, the First Gulf
costs compared to the new Iraq
Debacle would matter.

In a CBO letter to Congress dated
September 30th 2002, the CBO pretends
even calculate the amount of
ammunition that will be used each
during different levels of the war.
This is as bad as old Soviet style
economic calculation. The CBO even
admits, "CBO has no basis for
estimating the number of casualties
from the conflict...." If you can't
estimate casualties, how can you
possibly estimate the amount of
ammunition to be used?!

Economic calculation in its many
different forms ranging from $50 to
billion can never hit the mark. Only
the market determines the true cost
of anything. Predictions on
ammunition spent and durations of war
are as
good as the predictions of a
fortuneteller. The future is
unknowable by
both fortunetellers and economic
forecasters. The market determines
future and final costs.

The future is impossible to see or
calculate. This has been proven
the market by not empowering
fortunetellers and palm readers.
calculation of future events is
similarly impossible. Error after
has shown the mistakes of economic
calculation. Why does then it
Because the free market is not
involved in the process. No one is
in the government for making mistakes
on budgets. There is no profit
incentive. Without the incentive, any
number is thrown out to satisfy
particular groups or political
motivations. The incentive of
coercion is
the only extant incentive in
politics. With coercion, the act of
theft and
misinformation about the future is
proliferated to the masses.


Vedran Vuk
for The Daily Reckoning