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My Whacko American Histoy Professor

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Christopher Barcelo Posted: Sun, Nov 18 2012 3:14 PM

Okay so I have just been assigned a paper for American History (HIS103) at my college in which I must,

1.   Explain how checks and balances (Federal and State) provided for in the Constitution limit the government's ability to respond to the impending climate crisis.

2.  Explain how the controversy of the US Bank reveals populist distrust of government regulation of the economy.  Explain how politics of the two party system affected the controversy about the U.S. Bank, and how it might affect dealing with the climate crisis.  Explain how the laissez faire attitute of the American ideology makes it difficult to respond to the climate crisis.

Also in the requirements of the essay is that we 'must not dispute climate change' as it has been 'indisputably proven by scientists and climatologists everywhere'.  What I want to do was to follow the rules to a certain degree.  Let's say that climate change is happening.  Let's say it is man-made.  Wouldn't a decentralized government allowing for individual freedom and capitalist enterprise be the best solution?  

My purpose for posting this was to ask if anyone can help with some insights or suggestions as to the direction I should take, or points I could make, with this paper.  I am aware that he may fail me for sticking up for capitalism and freedom but that is a risk I'm going to take.  What I must make sure I do then is to include as much fact about capitalism so that when I fight such a failing grade with the higher ups I have a leg to stand on and can possibly have the grade rectified to reflect the quality of the paper.

Some points I was considering:

1. Through checks and balances on the Federal Government by it's own branches and by the states individual freedom and enterprise are protected allowing for capitalism to function.  Without such freedom, there is only socialism.

2. With the removal of freedom and liberty, and consequently capitalism, socialism will become the means for government 'response' to the climate crisis.  Due to the consequent inability for economic calculation, as made evident by Mises, there will be far more waste and a tremendous lack of results.

3. Simply having a Central Bank does not allow for the solution to the problem of having the means, in regards to wealth and capital, to respond to a such a crisis.  Money is a medium of exchange and as economics shows us, displayed as well by Mises in Theory of Money and Credit, simply creating money will not bring about corresponding wealth and capital.  It may actually lead to capital consumption and business cycles.

I'm sure these points could be added to, refined, or even new ones brought to light.   I would appreciate any input from the Mises community as I want to make this paper, regardless of the final grade, stand firmly for the truth found in capitalism and individual liberty.

"Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito"

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omg.  i would flip shit.  where about do you go to school?  this is hog wash!  You should of chunked your book at the professor the second he/she said what the assignment was and leave shooting obscenities of commies and fascists.

if i couldnt drop the class i still wouldnt write the paper under these terms.  I would probably write a paper on every reason that the assignment is bullshit.  Then turn the paper in and submit it to all major donors to the school, any board of governors for the school, and anywhere people talk about thinking about going to the school in the off chance of convincing a single person from not giving money or going to the school.

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Groucho replied on Sun, Nov 18 2012 3:54 PM

I would write "Do you often use loaded questions like this on assignments? How about 'explain why the socialistic attitude of teachers' unions makes it difficult to educate people about the financial crisis?'" and be prepared for the bastard to fail me.

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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^ yep.  just like that.  I'd make it as offensive as possible.  Call them baby killers and charge them with a conspiracy to committ murder on every American who doesnt follow their socialist policies.

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Wheylous replied on Sun, Nov 18 2012 4:19 PM

See "Environmentalism and Economic Freedom: The Case for Private Property Rights" (Page 31):

http://library.mises.org/books/Walter%20Block/Building%20Blocks%20for%20Liberty.pdf

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Wheylous replied on Sun, Nov 18 2012 4:20 PM

Essentially, it's the American obsession with fascism and nationalism, not capitalism, that hurts the environment.

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I would write whatever it is your professor wants you to write. Believe it or not, this can be a lot of fun. You get to pretend to be someone you're not in writing.

You could start off making some ridiculous declarations, like that the world will never be able to solve problems without a world government. Since people at the individual level are just bumbling around without the organizational power of the State, the same goes for States in the international system. Further, the leader of this world government should be someone who understands climate change...maybe Bill Nye. Why even have a legislature? Screw it, it'll just get in Bill's way. Be sure to use the buzz words your professor uses in class: "Capitalist system", "Climate change deniers", whatever your professor says a lot; use your professor's language.

I guess it's like trolling your professor :P. And the best part is, it's your professor's JOB to read it!

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GOD! seriously this stuff pisses me off so much. Dont concede your moral authority to them.  Write what you believe.  If you dont want to risk your grade talk to the teacher.  if they wont move on their stance go through the chain of command.  One of your teacher's bosses will give in because they dont have morals and will just want you out of their office.

*for the record im not coming for a radical anti-global warming stance.  I believe it is a fact that greenhouse gases warm the earth.  Yes that is proven, but to suggest what global-warmists claim is truth is such bullshit.  They have no idea.  They cant conclude the weather predictions in a week to the accuracy they are claiming the next 20-50 years.  Its insane.

even al gore said, "i believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations of how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are"

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That liberal bastard.

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I'd pull a Bart Simpson by spelling out "Suck My Snot" on the answer bubbles.

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Suffolk County Community College,  it's a state run college in New York.  In researching who the dean of history is - or who I should contact when disputing the grade - I found out that Tom Woods used to teach here.   Shame I missed him, he left in 2006.

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I agree that Global Warming may be happening, though I wouldn't go so far as to declare it an indisputable fact.  My qwam is more so that the solution would not be less freedom and more government, actually it would be the opposite.

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Tom Woods responded to this on his blog!:

Now you don’t need me to tell you that this alleged assignment is an exercise in propaganda, in which the students are expected to take a host of value judgments (and I’m not even referring to the “climate change” stuff) for granted.

I especially like item number two. I would be willing to bet half my bank account that this professor has not exactly combed the writings of the monetary theorists of the 1830s. By presenting the fight over the Bank as a “populist” issue, he indicates his belief in the usual, long-discredited comic-book version of the event, in which stupid yokels who didn’t understand finance brought well-deserved ruin on themselves by foolishly tearing down the benevolent Bank.

Left out, naturally, is the proto-Austrian business-cycle theory of people like William Leggett and William Gouge, the latter of whom was by far the most important monetary theorist of the time. They and others did not oppose the bank for “populist” reasons. They opposed it for economic reasons primarily, and to a much lesser degree for political and constitutional reasons. No one could read Gouge’s A Short History of Paper Money and Banking in the United States and come away thinking opponents of the bank must have been yokels. Opponents of the bank were a diverse lot, to be sure, but as Jeff Hummel concluded in his review of the literature, ”The attack on the Bank was a fully rational and highly enlightened step toward the achievement of a laissez-faire metallic monetary system.”

If you have any suggestions on how this student might approach this assignment without violating his conscience, please share them in the comments. If you think it is morally wrong for a professor to promote his personal views in the guise of an “assignment,” especially when he seems more familiar with his own ideological prejudices than he does with the primary sources of the historical episode in question, feel free to write a (cordial) letter to Assistant Dean of Faculty Jeanette Bravo.

http://www.tomwoods.com/. I check his blog multiple times a day XD

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This is off topic, but it is related to American history.

"Business cycle" according to my US history textbook

The periodic rise and fall of business activity characterist of market-driven capitalist economies. To increase profits,producers increase output and eventually create a surplus (over-supply); the surplus then prompts a cutback in output, which produces an economic recession. The major periods of pre-World War II economic expansion (1802-1818,1824-1836,1846-1856,1865-1873,1896-1914,1922-1928) were followed either by short financial panics or extended depressions (1837-1843,1873-1896,and 1929-1939). In the postwar period, several short recessions-in 1945,1949,1953,1958,1961,and 1969-were relatively minor exceptions to steady economic growth. After the steep down turns of 1974-1975 and 1980-1981,there was relatively sustained growth through the 1990s. In 2008,however, the United States experienced its deepest recession since the 1930s.

 

Ugh. This is why I want to double major in history and economics when I get to college.

 

 

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This is why I want to double major in history and economics when I get to college.

This kind of thing doesn't end in college, mate! And if history and economics are what interest you, college might not even be necessary. I think it was Tom Woods who proposed the following alternative to going to college for a history degree (I'm looking for it now):

Immerse yourself in history for four years at home without going to college. Read all the books that interest you and lots of primary sources. Analyze them and start writing. Become a good writer (I'm working on that part now :P). If you go to college for history and econ, maybe 1/2 or 3/5 of your courses tops will actually be in those subjects; everything else will be unrelated, like linear algebra and organic chemistry and dance appreciation and other lame stuff. The degree, therefore, doesn't say much about you. If you have writing skills and study history and econ for 4/4 years, you have more to show for yourself. Some careers require a degree (like teaching), but the social sciences (especially history) are flooded with teachers. All my friends majoring in history want to become teachers. Try to figure out what you want to do for a living before you go to college, if you do decide to go.

Just remember: your guidance counslor who says you'll be a loser if you don't go to college won't be the one paying off your student loans.

But you're right. This is off-topic.

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Believe me, I'd love to skip college and spend my time reading,learning,and writing. Unfortunately,my parents are the "anyone who doesn't go to college is stupid and it's not possible to teach yourself anything" crowd. Plus my mom is a public school teacher(which is why I don't mention my opposition to public schools), and so she thinks very highly of education. High school is bad enough as it is, especially when I'm being fed blantant lies and propaganda in my history class. 

I should probably start a blog. I'd most likely use it just for book reviews.

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Although, I did have a serious libertarian American history teacher a few years back. He taught us about Lysander Spooner. He told us he thought Lincoln was the worst president, and then preceded to rattle off the Mises Institute talking points on the subject to back it up. That was at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey.

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Forgot to add this to my other reply:

I've pretty much already determined what I want to do in my life, and that's be a historian/economist/economic historian. I've even planned out the titles for books I plan to write.

Join or Die:The American Colonies in the French and Indian War

A Monetary History of Rome

A History of Western Philosophy (this would be my magnum opus. i'd start probably with plato and discuss,analyze,and critique views in the history of western philosophy. i'm not too familiar with philosophy right now so it's going to take a lot of reading, though I do know that Hoppe's argumentation ethics will be one of the key emphasized points of the latter half of the 20th century)

etc. 

 

Also,the only thing I could really get out of college is math. Right now I'm in my 3rd year of high school and I'm only in Algebra 2. I'm supposed to be in Calculus, but back in middle school they messed up my schedule and I took Algebra 1 three years in a row,passing every year. I was supposed to go 6th grade pre algebra, 7th grade algebra 1, 8th grade geometry, 9th grade algebra 2, 10th grade precalcus, 11th grade calculus a/b, 12th grade calculus b/c.

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I largely agree that it's possible to get a great history education entirely at home.  But I do want to point out that a college course gives you the overall view that can be difficult to acquire alone, without guidance from professors.  The broad survey of available sources, all introduced in one place, serves very well as the template for later solo study.  I would say my first two years of my history degree showed me everything I'd need for my own purposes, but I would have done poorly on my own without at least those two years.

Also, depending on the kind of history one is interested in, not going to college makes it harder to get to some source material or become involved in hands-on research.  It becomes difficult to publish anything that will be noticed without the authority of either academic degrees or direct experience.

Finally, being a good writer is something that requires intensive practice with the oversight of an experienced critic giving you feedback.  I'm not saying you always get that in college, but it's to be hoped that you will.  No high school senior that I ever met could write a quality journal article even if they knew how to do the research for it.

 

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