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Showing posts from December, 2019

Minecraft Economics: How the Nether Update uses the Subjective Theory of Value

What is an emerald worth in Minecraft?


An emerald is the currency used in the popular game Minecraft for trading with NPCs called villagers and wandering traders. Emerald ore is an extremely rare resource in the sandbox world, yet every employed villager has quite a few to trade with the player. However, players have wondered how the emerald compares with real world currency. One YouTube Video by GameTheory tried to find this answer. First, they tried to convert it by comparing the USD cost of bread with the cost of bread in the game, but found that conversion does not translate to other goods. Next they used the labor theory of value to try to determine the USD to emerald conversion, but again came up with a nonsensical conversion. Finally, they tried to assume emeralds have an inherent value in real life and work backwards to determine the in-game USD cost. After using all of these methods, they come to the accurate conclusion that it's not really possible to convert emeralds i…

Bitcoin is Dead

For an audio version of these ideas, check out this episode of my podcast, A Boy Named Pseu.

Bitcoin is dead.

Is it, now? Well, haven’t you heard? The 11 year fad of magic internet money is long over. Nobody is buying, trading, selling, or even “HODLing.” This volatile ecosystem of market booms and busts, degenerate gamblers, terrorists and drug dealers has finally bit the dust…at least that’s what the media would want you to think.

According to the Bitcoin Obituaries from 99Bitcoins.com, multiple articles have claimed that bitcoin has “died” 378 times since its genesis, and 40 times in 2019 alone!


This fear-mongering narrative has been pushed from the mainstream media, prominent figures in the crypto space, as well as my own friends. Why? Satoshi only knows. Honestly there’s nothing honest about it. Bitcoin is alive and well, and is still very much in its infancy. If you look closely, you might think this infant is gorging itself with one-up mushrooms from Mario Brothers because of t…

Our Enemy, the Party

Editor's Note: The "Libertarian" Party has had a great deal of success recently by inducing content creators to partake in their referral program, offering a hefty sum for new converts. Seeing this devolution, I felt it necessary to push back, and quickly found that dismissing the party for what it is - an immoral, impractical logical contradiction - is by no means the standard opinion held by most libertarians. To that end, the New Libertarian is honored to be re-publishing this brilliant piece by Samuel Edward Konkin III - "Our Enemy, the Party". Originally published in 1980, Konkin spares no punches exposing the LP for the fraud it truly is. Enjoy!


In 1935, proto-libertarian Albert J. Nock wrote his seminal analysis of the nature of government and society: Our Enemy, The State. During the Dark Ages of Libertarianism (between the Fall of Benjamin Tucker [1908] to the rise of Murray Rothbard [1965-70] the leading libertarian thinkers have warned freedom-seeker…

Growing with or without Permission

Growing like space isn’t an Issue
"Smoking is the leading cause of statistics" - Fletcher Knebel
Norway has the highest tax on tobacco products in Europe and a pack of cigarettes costs around $15 if you buy it over the counter. As you can imagine, as a side effect of this there is a high amount of smuggled cigarettes flowing into the country - Who could resist the deal of making double, sometimes triple, your money back on your investment, by crossing borders with some smokes?
In an official estimate, about 20% of all cigarettes sold in Norway circumvent the state taxation in some way.[1] 

When you think about the price of a pack of cigarettes, the cost of growing it and the hours you put into farming it, it is probably one of the most profitable crops you can grow legally here in Norway. If you want to sell it to others though you go from a gray area straight to the black market in the eyes of the state if you try to avoid "Smoking Kills" labels on your design an…

Positive Counter Economic Theory: Laffer Curve Applied to Agorism

Agorist thought has long been a normative theory, one that says what we ought to do. It is defined as a method to a libertarian-anarchist society. Perhaps, though, it would be helpful to think of it as more of a positivist theory, one without value judgments or calls to action. To examine this, we will start with a well-established economic model: the Laffer Curve.


Compliance/Intensity Graph

The Laffer Curve is used in macroeconomics to predict tax revenue as it relates to tax rates. Rates are on the x-axis with revenue on the y-axis. It argues that, at a certain rate (Point L), the overall revenue collected will decrease because people will stop producing. On the left side of the maximized point, the state collects less revenue than they could; on the right side, the state also collects less revenue.




However, one factor that is often overlooked is that the right side's decrease could caused in part, and perhaps a large part, by people switching from the white market to the grey …

Becoming Your Own Bank: Bitcoin for Beginners

Traditionally, in order to successfully exchange goods with an individual or firm not physically present, one must utilize a third party. With online shopping, the most obvious example - this third party usually takes the form of a credit card company, bank, or other payment processor such as PayPal. This third party is neither a buyer nor a seller. In the context of the exchange, the third party's sole function is to verify both the transmission & receipt of funds. For this service, they will of course collect a small fee.

Unfortunately, our enemy, the state, has discovered that by exercising control over a small number of the most popular third parties, they can succesfully interject themselves into our financial affairs. Thus, banks are used to rob us via inflation. Taxes are extorted at the point of sale. Black market products are prohibited from exchange. Etcetera.

The advent of Bitcoin in 2008 provided sufficient disintermediation to alleviate all of these concerns entire…