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Dave Lindorff joins Scott to talk about his recent article, “The Pentagon’s Massive Accounting Fraud Exposed,” in which he outlines the results of the recent audit of U.S. military spending. The Pentagon’s cavalier attitude toward flunking their audit reveals that they don’t really care what the voters think, knowing they’ll get the funding they want no matter what. In fact, explains Lindorff, much of the supposedly “lost” money is lost because it was never actually spent in the first place. It’s a long established practice for military officials to pretend to have spent any leftover money, just so their budgets will be matched or increased the following year. The lost money is actually laundered into some other area and spent later on something it was not intended for.
Dave Lindorff is an investigative reporter and journalist. He is the author of This Can’t Be Happening!: Resisting the Disintegration of American Democracy. Follow him on Twitter @DavidLindorff.

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  • It appears to me that one of the biggest drawbacks to the current model of cryptocurrencies is the lack of reversibility in transactions. Historically, third parties such as banks have enabled transactions to be reversed, such as refunds or guaranteeing purchases. I think that if cryptocurrencies want to avoid third parties as much as possible, they should adopt a method for reversing transactions for the purpose of dispute resolution. Thoughts?

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  • Hello, I’ve become quite keen on Jeffrey Rogers Hummel views on inflation. https://fee.org/articles/governments-diminishing-benefits-from-inflation/ That governments don’t get as much cash money as they used to from Seigniorage(money printing)…becuase of some details of the modern banking system. Hummels view is that the US Gov is more likely to actually default on it’s bonds than print it’s way out of it’s financial problems as so many of us libertairans often predict. Any way…. how are people actually calculating the revenue states are getting from seigniorage? There is constant mention to specific statistics in his works on what revenue governments make from printing money…but how are economists attempting to calculate this so exactly? “Almost none of the developed countries could boast seigniorage amounting to more than 1 percent of GDP, despite the fact that the study incorporated the inflationary years of the 1970s. Joseph H. Haslag’s smaller sample of 67 countries over a longer period, 1965 to 1994, finds that seigniorage averaged about 2 percent of total output for the entire sample, ranging from as low as 0.25 percent to as high as 9.98 percent (for Ghana).” However, I’m not smart enough to figure out how this is being calculated? When I Google — I see Seignoarge defined as the cost to money vs what the money is worth. (if it costs 1cent to print a dollar bill than Seigorage is 99cents). Pennies have negative seigniorage — cost the Gov more to mint than 1 cent.) But for the point Hummel is making it seems like a more sophisticated calculation? How did people figure out that for example in WW2 seignorage was 6%? Perhaps this is rather obvious? Thanks! –Luke

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  • Who are the money changers? What role have they played in history?

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  • A Penny Doubled Dailey For Thirty Days comes to a Total of $5,368,709 and 12 Cents. 1 .01 2 .02 3 .04 4 .08 5 .16 6 .32 7 .64 8 1.28 9 2.56 10 5.12 11 10.24 12 20.48 13 40.96 14 81.92 15 163.84 16 327.68 17 655.36 18 1,310.72 19 2,621.44 20 5,242.88 21 10,485.76 22 20,971.52 23 41,943.04 24 83,886.08 25 167,772.16 26 335,544.32 27 671,088.64 28 1,342,177.28 29 2,684,354.56 30 5,368,709.12 Is the power of compounding working for you or against you?  Hint: are you paying interest or making interest?

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  • In What Has Government Done to Our Money? Murray Rothbard writes, A most important truth about money now emerges from our discussion: money is a commodity. Learning this simple lesson is one of the world’s most important tasks. So often have people talked about money as something much more or less than this. Money is not an abstract unit of account, divorceable from a concrete good; it is not a useless token only good for exchanging; it is not a “claim on society”; it is not a guarantee of a fixed price level. It is simply a commodity. It differs from other commodities in being demanded mainly as a medium of exchange. But aside from this, it is a commodity — and, like all commodities, it has an existing stock, it faces demands by people to buy and hold it, etc. Like all commodities, its “price” — in terms of other goods — is determined by the interaction of its total supply, or stock, and the total demand by people to buy and hold it. (People “buy” money by selling their goods and services for it, just as they “sell” money when they buy goods and services.) [emphasis added] @mattgilliland said in last week’s bookworm hangout that he considers this a potential problem with the WHGDtOM, if taken literally — a problem that only becomes evident with the advent of cryptocurrency. But I guess I need someone to explain to me why Bitcoin isn’t a commodity. It certainly seems to fit Rothbard’s implicit definition in the above passage.

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