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Thread: Conspiracy Theorists: the NALs case

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    Default Conspiracy Theorists: the NALs case

    Conspiracy Theories (being as flexible as they are) are totally compatible with the socialist mindset. After all, to understand Marxism, you must divide society into the small evil elite class who rule over the poor masses. Most conspiracy theories tend to do the same: a small number of powerful people do the conspiracies. In many instances, as in countries in Latin America today, the need to “uncover the truth” goes hand in hand with “saving the masses from the bourgeoisie”.
    For some reason conspiracy theories take over people’s minds enabling them ignore facts and even their degrees to get the kick out of “uncovering the truth” (I think) no matter how ridiculous it is. NALs shows the typical signs: exaggeration, distorting facts, ignoring evidence and outright lie. One thing is for sure, logic doesn’t come into play in these people’s minds. I would go as far as saying it is a psychological condition. I've felt that this mentality would be VERY dangerous if it takes over Dominicans’ minds at this critical point in our history. So I’ve felt responsible for trying to help clarify logic from empty rhetoric, and this might explain why I had gotten so heated before.

    It was about time NALs pulled the “you are new on this forum so you don’t know what you’re talking about!” again. Lulumba and rtejeda have said similar ridiculous statements as NALs, yet they didn’t receive the “wow NALs what a great post! You are so insightful”. Is it because they were “newbies”?
    Following the DR1 tradition, in response to his post, I will first attack NALs character. However, unlike many DR1-ers, I will not stop there and ignore his arguments or call him a “newbie”. I will go for his irresponsible arguments.
    (In response to his questions, I am pending graduation from NYU, business admin., close enough to economics [taken several advanced courses]. No, no Phd, but am actually planning on going into an economics related masters, for now I’m just an aficionado. I consider myself an economist at heart.)

    Where did NALs go wrong?
    1) “Many people seem to not realize or not want to realize that the sole purpose of the existence of countries is to accumulate wealth into a few hands and the sole purpose of culture, religion, nationalism, law enforcing entities, the military, etc is to ensure that the masses don't see what's really going on. Thus, the masses will support their country, not knowing that by supporting their country they are supporting the ruling class who is not bound to such dillusional ways of thinking such as diying for the nation, flag waving, so on and so forth!” (post)
    Before this ridiculous statement (typical conspiracy theorist), he had given us a peek into his mind with the question:
    “Well can we really call them countries?” hinting at his idea that developing countries aren’t really sovereign.
    I personally found that the term “country” was too vague. But since he said it was “Eurocentric” and citing a book describing recent politics I assumed that by “country” he was referring to the Nation State model. The most comprehensive work done about this, as I said before, was Benedict Anderson’s who approaches its roots from a cultural/political perspective. NALs refers to the cultural, not political, since several of the elements mentioned, such as flags, religion and language are CULTURAL (they ARE a country’s culture). Republicanism came out of this. If anybody could recall the first hurdles among the new Republics of Latin America in the 19th century was changing the mentality from being elitist (where white criollos were the only citizens who ruled over the non-citizen Indian and blacks) to uniting all the people in the country under one banner, your country. Whether successful or not, is besides the point; the system shouldn’t be criticized because of the failure of those who put it in practice. The fact is that the creation of “countries” pushed for inclusion rather than marginalization undermines his whole argument. I tried explaining it in terms of socialism, but still NALs has not responded to my counterargument and, though he claims it, has failed to explain how the creation of “countries” is elitist.

    2) The World Bank and the IMF, “ARE THE SAME THING!” (post)
    He changes his mind to, they are not the same thing but “World Bank and IMF are each 51% owned by the US Treasury.” (post)
    He then changes his mind again after reviewing facts to “"The United States is the largest single shareholder, with 16.41 percent of the votes…”(post)
    If NALs were in a court of law his credibility would be shattered, anything he would say after this would be taken as doubtful. Fortunately we’re just in a forum.
    What was said afterwards was even more ridiculous:
    “In fact, the IMF was created to ensure the repayment of the debt Third World countries owed to banking institutions such as JP Morgan.” (post)
    Both the IMF and World Bank were created during the infamous Bretton Woods conference. I won’t even go into the purpose or goals of the conference, but just think why would leaders from around the world meet up towards the end of WW2 to make sure debts are repaid to a private company such as JP Morgan?
    (By this point, I’m thinking “this guy is a complete idiot”)

    3) The question of the year: is NALs really an economist?
    I haven’t met the guy, I can’t say if he really does have a degree. One thing I CAN say is that no matter how many degrees he has, he is not a true economist at heart.
    The first notice I get from him being an economist is:
    “Bilijou, I'm an economist and may I recommend to you to take 3rd World Politics course…” (post)
    First thing to observe is how a person introduces himself as an economist and cites a political science work in the same sentence. (oh, and I have taken many 3rd World politics courses not limited to Latin America) Most economists tend to be liberals (I actually haven’t met ONE that isn’t).

    I ask myself, what are NALs sources? Ah, I got a clue, Connecticut universities?
    “It's obvious that what you are claiming, for the most part, is NOT what is being tought in American universities”([URL="http://www.dr1.com/forums/showpost.php?p=424936&postcount=99"]post[/URL])
    You’re right, this is NOT what is being taught in American universities. Let me throw in some facts. According to several studies made, Intelligence (IQ) and Education are the major determinants of whether you think like an economist, in the US population. (notice how thinking like an economist is equated with being pro-free trade/liberals in these studies) Despite this FACT, there is a tendency for those that who ARE intelligent and educated AND leftists to work or hang around universities. ( source) Anybody in the academic realm knows this. Pay someone to just think without regard for "competition" or "survival" does this to you. You don’t have to look far, remember the left in la UASD? And they are your sources?
    In my university if you ask ANY historian or sociologist or political scientist, they will ALWAYS lean left (ex hippies and communists), against free trade, unlike an economist. None of their answers give a solution to a fact of life: we need to compete to survive (as someone mentioned before with the phrase survival of the fittest). I don’t think these people are stupid, I actually have a lot of respect for most of them. I just think that they focus only on human suffering while ignoring economics, creating utopian inefficient systems. A true economist can never ignore this fact.

    “Economic theory is great and all (after all, I am an Economist, get that in your head!) but there is one tiny flaw in Economic theory and that is that it takes absolutely NO ACCOUNT FOR SOCIAL CONDITIONS!”(post)
    If NALs were an economist at heart, yes he should take social conditions into account but should never ignore economics. From my understanding NALs is for protectionism (assuming from what he said about Japan). In a past thread, NALs and I were discussing mercantilism. (post) Back then I realized he wasn’t an economist since, though being completely against mercantilism, he didn’t explain the theory from an economics point of view but rather a political approach. If NALs were truly an economist, he would see little difference between protectionism and mercantilism. He would believe in comparative advantage and understand that everybody benefits from trade, very much unlike the “zero sum” mercantilist view that only one side wins. He would see that the protectionism in mercantilism led to inefficiency and corruption. He would know that more competition leads to innovation which generates more wealth.

    Instead of explaining the faults in economic theory (as an economist should), he AGAIN approaches it from a political view, the BOTTOM UP and TOP DOWN theory:
    “Examples of top down democracies:
    Dominican Republic, Iraq (it's in the process), Egypt, Philipines.
    Examples of bottom up democracies:
    Chile, Spain, Japan, Brazil (although it ended prematurely, but southern Brazil benefited immensely from this), China (it's in the process with its citizens in its wealthiest region being the most active in desiring more democracy, not so in more backward areas of China).
    Of course there are more, but I am hoping readers of this thread would look at the histories of those countries and see how they are doing now economically and democratically. The coincidences are more than such!”
    (post)
    His definition of bottom up: “Democracy from the bottom up surges from the will of the people.” (post)
    My question is when was Chile, Spain and Brazil Bottom-Up? During Pinochet, Franco and Vargas’ authoritarian regimes? Are they now?
    When was economic development achieved? During the bottom up governments? These countries have gone through so many phases that by simplifying it into “bottom up” and “top down” would be retarded for any economist. In some, most economic development was achieved during bottom-up and in some it was top-down, there is no coincidence.

    Also, notice the size of the internal markets in these countries. If you were to open a business in DR, how big can it grow when you can only market to a maximum of 9 million people (out of which half are poor and can’t buy your product)? Is that the way to wealth?

    Now, I will agree the way Leonel (as Mexico and many other countries that have signed FTA’s) is going about it is completely wrong. I am guessing he, as many, is following the “East Asian Tiger” export driven economic models. The problem is that these countries had always been focused on education even before they applied the strategy. They also had high savings for reinvestment. The failure of many Latin American leaders to see this (and other factors as corruption and obstacles to operating a business), doesn’t mean that we should discard Free Trade in general. It would be irresponsible. This forum is for the “exchange of ideas”, but these ideas should be based on facts. The difference between NALs and me is that I back everything up with facts, he backs it up with ideas from “people he has discussed it with”.

    As I had suspected, it was only a matter of time before the “anti-free trade” conspiracy theorists of South America showed interest in DR. Yesterday I read how known “anti-free trade” organizations, the International Socialist organization and COPPPAL, decided to “mediate” disputes between members of the Dominican party of the masses, PRD. And they are not the only ones. Many organizations and groups are targeting the poor with these conspiracy theories. It is only a matter of time before we get an idiot like Chavez in DR.

    I’m done with this forum.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilijou View Post
    I’m done with this forum.
    Dang - I shoulda read this line FIRST - LOL.

    Gregg

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    Quote Originally Posted by bilijou View Post
    I’m done with this forum.
    Oh no, we've all given up on Nals and he is mostly in the 'don´t pay too much attention to this and skim it lightly in 3 seconds or less' category. If you're done with it, who is going to take Nals to task.

    We need economists on this forum.

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    Madre mia!

    Bilijou, relax. The sky is not falling because you and I desagree on a particular subject. If anything, the last time I referred to you was by asking you to let us know where you come from, what's your logic behind your ideas, your opinions.

    Granted, I might have come through a little "harsh", but the best way to get a person talking is by attacking their ego.

    Little did I know that doing such thing to Bilijou would result in him (or her) creating the longest post ever on DR1.com and (oh, this is the funny part) all about mua!!!

    Never has there been a DR1er who has given as much attention and time and effort to type the longest post ever on DR1.com especially when the subject matter is myself!

    Why did this came about? Perhaps I struck a cord that bilijou did not like. Ah well, who knows! What we do know is that bilijou is bothered by something, because the longest post ever does not comes out of the blue or without provocation.

    Listen, stop focusing on a person and begin answering the question I posted on the last post I created towards you. In case you missed it, here it is one more time:

    Quote Originally Posted by bilijou
    To bilijou:

    Can you please elaborate from what source / educational insitution you have come to your conclusions?

    It's obvious that what you are claiming, for the most part, is NOT what is being tought in American universities. This is particularly true when it comes to geopolitics.

    Now, would you please elaborate on your source for all of that?

    Everyone I have discussed this with (which includes current professors at various universities in Connecticut AND former U.S. military men who have also gained Doctorates in geopolitic) has reaffirmed what I have been stating. In addition to all of this, they even influenced the way I used to perceive the world into what it actually is.

    Until then, I have no interest in your opinions nor in the holy-than-thou approach you seem to be portraying, assuming DR1ers are neither college educated nor in accordance with the realities of the world we live in!

    You rejected Tordok in another thread, despite the fact that he is a well educated person who is respected by everybody in this forum except you, the newbie!

    In fact, you have been rejecting everyone in every single subject you have been posting without taking into consideration the reality that there are DR1.com members who are former U.S. military men, current linguist experts, economists, experts in geopolitics, engineering, so on and so forth!

    On top of that, you even insulted Rick Snyder, one of the moderators of this board simply because he was doing his job as a moderator and you rejected to being reminded that this website does not functions according to your rules, but to the rules established by Dolores and Robert and the moderators!

    Explain yourself now, otherwise don't bother responding to my postings, especially if you continue with your subtle personal attacks, as if you have the ultimate understanding of what the world is like and everybody else is wrong!

    This site is a place where people EXCHANGE IDEAS, nothing more and nothing less. This is not a bilijou comes to save the day with his superiority over every DR1 member complex.
    I'm waiting....

    -NALs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Oh no, we've all given up on Nals and he is mostly in the 'don´t pay too much attention to this and skim it lightly in 3 seconds or less' category. If you're done with it, who is going to take Nals to task.

    We need economists on this forum.
    Gee, since when does Switzerland comes to the rescue!!!!

    All this time I thought the Swiss were neutral!

    Or is it South Africa?? Oh well!!!

    -NALs
    Last edited by NALs; 08-08-2006 at 03:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NALs View Post
    Gee, since when does Switzerland comes to the rescue!!!!

    All this time I thought the Swiss were neutral!

    -NALs
    Nals, you are so wrong it is funny and tedious all at the same time! (added) .. just had a thought. Why don't you just ask me?

    Shall we now stay on topic here?

    The topic here is your economist tendencies or not

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Nals, you are so wrong it is funny and tedious all at the same time! (added) .. just had a thought. Why don't you just ask me?

    Shall we now stay on topic here?

    The topic here is your economist tendencies or not
    The decision at the fork was yours, I only followed.

    In anycase, you have been on this board for MUCH longer than bilijou! Thus, you know where I stand regarding economics and the country.

    It's obvious bilijou has done ABSOLUTELY NO RESEARCH on DR1.com to see where I stand on the economic issue. If he had, he would had seen the multitude of posts I have made regarding the economy of the DR and economics in general and he would know that everything he posted here regarding me being a conspiracy theorist is nothing more than pure bolony!

    Example: here is a quick post I made back in 2004 (tell me, is this the work of a conspiracist?

    This was from the thread regarding the instability in the Dominican peso at the end of 2004. I began responding because some members were grossly overestimating what could have happened, without evaluating the economic realities of the country at that time and consequently, misapplying economic theory or dismissing it all together.

    This is only one of many.
    Quote Originally Posted by NALs

    You do know that prices never (in any economy) are eager to fall as fast as they are to rise, do you?

    21% decline in market basket prices might still be short of excellent, but it sure is a heck better than it would otherwise had been, that is on a realistic note.

    By realistic I mean realizing and accepting that prices don't drop as fast as they go up, so any decline (big or small) is better than no decline. Let's see how the year end, another 21% decline in prices on top of the one that already has taken place would be a blessing, don't you think...

    The one's who pay for that decline won't be me, but those who couldn't afford anything before Hippo was even around!

    Prices are falling and if things continue as they are, by this time next year everybody here will stop whinning so much as they see the positive effects of this!
    -NALs
    Last edited by NALs; 08-08-2006 at 03:38 PM.

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    Interesting thread, bilijou. Although I agree with some of your points, you also seem to miss some points of NALs previous thread.

    Are "countries" created by the "elites" or by "the people"?

    I can easily agree with NALs if we take historical facts into account. The Roman empire was built by the elites, the Ceasers extended the empire through warfare, the people did not have a say, same applies to the U.S., France, Spain, and most of todays existing countries. Very few countries were established by the people, afterall Hawaii did not choose to become a state and part of the USA; the only country that comes to mind that might even be remotely considered to be started by the people is modern Cuba and we all have seen how that has turned out.

    Reading your posts, I conclude, you define countries by culture, nationalism, and/or racial makeup of the people. Technically that does define a country but would strangers ever feel connected (social-nationalism) if it were not for the past events that lead to the creation of said country? Most "people" were manipulated by a few, such as the case in Dominican Republic, were a few wealthy land owners and accepted mulattos rebelled against the Haitian government (according to some historical documents, the poor liked the Haitian government), if it were not for those rich and unsatisfied "men" would have the DR existed? Would the sterotypes that the "elite" gave the Haitians exist (Xenophobia-Dominican culture)? Although I do agree with you, those characteristics certainly make up a country, you must also examine the past actions that have created those traditions and culture of said country. It is my belief that the elites, intellectuals, and established people with in a given society are the leaders of the country and culture, therefore, the lower classes will try to emulate those at the top, therefore they create or shape the culture in one form or another.

    Both of you are correct, but with different points of view regarding history, when does a country become a country? Is it when the rulers draw the borders (splitting of resources, income, etc) or is it when the people feel they share a common bond (nationalism, pride, sports,etc.)?

    Economic views:
    1. I get the feeling, bilijou, does not like socialism or communism. Although I believe both socialism and communism are failed economic and political models, one can learn alot from these systems and should not be disgarded as "liberal crap". Our current economic systems are leading the earth towards failure (biosphere, environmental, social sense), although capitalism is good (depending on which side your own: rich or poor), my own interpretation of NALs posts is that one cannot just look at money but for the human causes behind economics and world politics. I must also say this, you cannot say person is not a professional ________ just due to personal point of views, afterall some scientists believe in god and religion and they still try to state the metaphysical/paranormal world does not exist, therefore, NALs might be an economist, he just might be a different type of economist or have a diffferent point of view.

    2. On the other points; I won't comment, after reading Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins and a few other books, I must say I cannot make a conclusion whether these organizations are "evil" or "good". One must always remember we can read all we want about any particular historical subject but in the end we do not know what really happen or why organizations are really formed because history is written by those in power and it can be changed. For example, according to the Turkish government the Armenian genocide never occurred.

    Before, bilijou or anybody calls me a "liberal" or "republican", I must say, I am an elitist and believe the cows must be branded and the animals separated..... and I am not here to defend NALs or any other poster.... you guys can't afford my legal fees.

    FIN.
    Capo

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    Quote Originally Posted by capodominicano View Post
    Are "countries" created by the "elites" or by "the people"?

    I can easily agree with NALs if we take historical facts into account. The Roman empire was built by the elites, the Ceasers extended the empire through warfare, the people did not have a say, same applies to the U.S., France, Spain, and most of todays existing countries. Very few countries were established by the people, afterall Hawaii did not choose to become a state and part of the USA; the only country that comes to mind that might even be remotely considered to be started by the people is modern Cuba and we all have seen how that has turned out.

    Capo
    I would say not even Cuba! The entire revolution was initiated and continues to exist in Cuba due to the Castro family, who are still the cream of the crop as far as prestige and respect and authority in Cuba.

    The Castro family were rich. In fact, Fidel's father was an immigrant from Spain who amassed large estate and from there built his wealth.

    Today, Cuba is being ruled by government elites who can't be voted out of power. Everyone in the upper levels of that bureacracy is hand picked by Fidel himself!

    Quote Originally Posted by capodominicano
    Reading your posts, I conclude, you define countries by culture, nationalism, and/or racial makeup of the people. Technically that does define a country but would strangers ever feel connected (social-nationalism) if it were not for the past events that lead to the creation of said country? Most "people" were manipulated by a few, such as the case in Dominican Republic, were a few wealthy land owners and accepted mulattos rebelled against the Haitian government (according to some historical documents, the poor liked the Haitian government), if it were not for those rich and unsatisfied "men" would have the DR existed? Would the sterotypes that the "elite" gave the Haitians exist (Xenophobia-Dominican culture)? Although I do agree with you, those characteristics certainly make up a country, you must also examine the past actions that have created those traditions and culture of said country. It is my belief that the elites, intellectuals, and established people with in a given society are the leaders of the country and culture, therefore, the lower classes will try to emulate those at the top, therefore they create or shape the culture in one form or another.
    My argument was not against those points, but rather that those aspects of a country are created by the ruling elites in order to keep the masses loyal to them and their goal.

    Personally, I don't think this is a negative thing at all, in fact I think its necessary in order for the modern complex nation-state to exist.

    However, culture is not defined by political boundaries. There are many types of people around the world who are unified by a culture and divided by political boundaries (look at the Kurds all over Asia Minor and Middle East).

    However, a society is defined by the ruling elites. In Third World country is much easier to see because the boundaries are sharp and very visible. Not so in developed nations, but even there you can see.

    Look at the US, the entire country was colonized by New Englanders. The New England elites (some of whom have dispersed to other areas but still, they are of New England heritage) were the one's who rebelled against England, the one's who expanded westward, the one's who defined what it means to be an American, and the one's who shaped and continue to shape this country!

    Every region in the US has visible New England influences, however in New England there are almost no influences from any other region of the US! In essence, the rest of the US is a "colony" of New England (with some exceptions of course).

    So yes, Capo is right!

    Quote Originally Posted by capodominicano
    Both of you are correct, but with different points of view regarding history, when does a country become a country? Is it when the rulers draw the borders (splitting of resources, income, etc) or is it when the people feel they share a common bond (nationalism, pride, sports,etc.)?
    We are both correct, but I am arguing that countries exist for the control of resources whereas bilijou is saying that countries exist for other reasons.

    Capitalism is based on the notion of private property and other things and the creation of a nation gives a group of people (whomever creates that nation) absolute control over the exploitation and development of that peace of real estate, including any indigenous or non-civilized peoples who may inhabit that place.

    Of course, in order for all of this to work, you have to make those people loyal to your country and from this nationalism starts. You need to make them loyal to your authority, to the authority of the state.

    When driving, what makes a person stop at a stop sign? Is it the sign made of non-living metal? The color red of the sign? The word 'STOP' on the sign? The cultural belief in stoping at a stop sign? Or is it the police force who enforce the stop sign law?

    To who does the police belong? To the state or the people?

    To who does the state responds to, people with money or impoverished people?

    When does legislation for protecting molested children managed to pass? When million of girls were molested or when multi-billionare Oprah Winfrey spoke to a panel of senators in Washington, DC?

    How come that one person has more power than millions of less wealthy individuals?

    I am not saying whether this is good or bad, just or unjust, right or wrong. But, I am saying that this is the world we live in.

    Quote Originally Posted by capodominicano
    Economic views:
    1. I get the feeling, bilijou, does not like socialism or communism. Although I believe both socialism and communism are failed economic and political models, one can learn alot from these systems and should not be disgarded as "liberal crap". Our current economic systems are leading the earth towards failure (biosphere, environmental, social sense), although capitalism is good (depending on which side your own: rich or poor), my own interpretation of NALs posts is that one cannot just look at money but for the human causes behind economics and world politics. I must also say this, you cannot say person is not a professional ________ just due to personal point of views, afterall some scientists believe in god and religion and they still try to state the metaphysical/paranormal world does not exist, therefore, NALs might be an economist, he just might be a different type of economist or have a diffferent point of view.
    Indeed! I also detest socialism and communism, but just because I have a particular distaste for that ideology does not means that I will not give it credit when credit is due!

    Quote Originally Posted by capodominicano
    2. On the other points; I won't comment, after reading Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins and a few other books, I must say I cannot make a conclusion whether these organizations are "evil" or "good". One must always remember we can read all we want about any particular historical subject but in the end we do not know what really happen or why organizations are really formed because history is written by those in power and it can be changed. For example, according to the Turkish government the Armenian genocide never occurred.
    Good point!

    Quote Originally Posted by capodominicano
    Before, bilijou or anybody calls me a "liberal" or "republican", I must say, I am an elitist and believe the cows must be branded and the animals separated..... and I am not here to defend NALs or any other poster.... you guys can't afford my legal fees.

    FIN.
    Consider yourself lucky if a label has not been created by now!

    Your response was balance, concise, and to the point.

    -NALs

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    Chris,
    I had thought this forum was, as NALs said in a past thread, about exchanging ideas. It is very similar to the academic world. You publish a paper with an argument, and you risk having a counterargument. Depending on how strong your argument is, it will stick. I thought this was logical or at least understood. Unfortunately, this is not how this forum works. The strength of your argument is overridden by their impression of the person’s character and how long the member has been in the forum (the number after “posts:#”). I’ve been teamed up against for being the “newbie” as if the time you have spent in the forum is a reflection of your knowledge.
    After pointing out the inconsistencies in his arguments (and the facts he based it on), he doesn’t defend/clary it or admit he was wrong. He doesn’t say anything with substance. He says “Listen, stop focusing on a person” and he follows it by one of his previous posts questioning my background rather than my arguments, “focusing on a person”. Conspiracies have him confused, hehe. (And by the way, I don’t say any of his questions which I haven’t answered, please point them out.)
    So what does the “economist” do next? He pulls the “are you siding with the newbie” at you with “All this time I thought the Swiss were neutral!”
    This is what ****es me off. Interesting wording, “neutral”.

    He follows with his “shining moments” in 2004 when he did read up his old economics books and proved everybody wrong:
    “This was from the thread regarding the instability in the Dominican peso at the end of 2004. I began responding because some members were grossly overestimating what could have happened, without evaluating the economic realities of the country at that time and consequently, misapplying economic theory or dismissing it all together.” Haha…

    I’m not gonna waste my time… He has evaded every single one of my arguments.

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