Many things should be regulated – for health and safety, for protection against fraud, and for other reasons.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Many things should be regulated – for health and safety, for protection against fraud, and for other reasons.
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”
If you’ve never taken the time to read George Orwell’s Animal Farm, I’ll do my best to sum it up in a paragraph or less (spoiler alert): An allegory of the Bolshevik Revolution that lead to the creation of the Soviet Union, the story begins on Manor Farm, with a pre-revolutionary fervor growing popular among the farm animals. Suddenly aware that the farmer reaps all the benefits of their hard labor, and led by the pigs, the animals chase the farmer off, and rename ‘Manor Farm’ as ‘Animal Farm’. Finally free of human oppression, the Animals set off to create an animal utopia. A place where all animals would be equal, and all animal needs would be met by the state (er, I mean farm). A place where the use of advanced technology would make it so that eventually machines would do all of the work for them. A place where they would never need to use money, as the oppressive humans had done. Of course, things gradually go sideways, the promises of utopia unwind, and the pigs rise up to rule over all the other animals. By the end, life is much worse for all the animals (except the pigs). The pigs, eventually walking on two legs, become completely indistinguishable from the humans who had ruled before them.
By the end of the book, the reader is forced to one of two conclusions: Either the pigs should have never been trusted by the other animals to lead the revolution, or the animals should have kept a much tighter reign on the pigs, to prevent the necessary positions of power from being so grossly abused. The reality that we face, much like the reality that the farm animals faced, is that we thought we had appointed more trustworthy pigs. Pigs who were looking out for us. Pigs who wanted us to have all the best. Pigs who wanted us to retire in comfort. Pigs who wanted us to have all the basic necessities like housing, and food, and medi-care, and yearly vacations, a pension, cheap gas, $5 foot-longs, and all the Viagra that fiat currency can buy. In short, we thought we voted for more benevolent pigs.
Well… They are pigs, stupid. What did you think they would do? It should have been obvious from the get-go that they were going to eat everything.
I find myself more disturbed than excited by the general nature of the #OccupyWallStreet protestors. Rather than seeking to remove the pigs, it seems that a good solid majority of them are really asking for the pigs to simply be less… well, pigs. A majority of them certainly seem to want our leaders to become “Robin Hood” pigs… Pigs who will take from the rich animals, and give to the poor animals… all the while ignoring the fact that their dream of a “JOBS for ALL @ Union Wages” society is still run by pigs… Pigs who eat everything.
At the heart of this debate is the question of wealth redistribution vs. wealth creation. In general, I do not hear the protestors demanding that the government get out of our way, remove senseless regulations, lower taxes, cut entitlements, allow for sound money to compete with fiat currencies, reduce the size of the federal government, allow states to manage more of their own affairs, end the military Keynesianism spending, and deconstruct the police state grid (FEMA, TSA, Homeland Security, Patriot Act, etc, etc…). Instead, they want the government to create jobs, “put people over profits” (whatever that means), provide every possible social service under the sun, end child poverty, build schools, provide houses, food, cheap fuel, and a comfortable pension… all while screaming “Shut Down Wall Street!“, as if the financial heart of the entire nation has nothing at all to do with the funding all of the entitlement programs that they believe the pigs should be providing for us, with our own funds.
Let us start by accepting the basic reality that jobs do NOT create wealth. Were that the case, Ethiopia could solve all their poverty problems by having the government hire everyone to dig holes, and fill them back up again. Pay the people in a national currency, and then everyone will have enough currency so that they can afford to eat, right? No… there is still no food to buy, because everyone is digging holes for a living, and nobody is growing any food. It is actually very simple, you see. If you want to have enough food for everyone, you need to produce enough food for everyone. If you want to have enough gasoline for everyone, you need to drill enough oil for everyone. If you want to have enough housing for everyone, you need to build enough homes for everyone. This stuff really isn’t rocket science, when you take a few steps back.
Wealth comes from P-R-O-D-U-C-T-I-O-N, not from redistribution. You can redistribute all the wealth in the world, but if you’re going to PRODUCE less goods, the standard of living will drop, irregardless of all the redistribution schemes under a clear blue sky. No amount of government promises will change this reality. America’s production sector has all but packed up and moved away. Flip over almost anything in your house for me, and fill in the blank:
“Made in __________”?
Even the vast agriculture industry of the heartland, which is real production, depends on large amounts of imported oil, mostly from Canadian oil-sands. The only products that America produces are little green pieces of paper, and the weapon systems to be used against nations that don’t want to trade their labor and resources in exchange for those little green pieces of paper. It really is one hell of a racket, if you are the guy printing the paper.
You need to ask why there’s no NFL games to stimulate the Ethiopian economy, and why they can’t end their poverty situation by hiring everyone to teach in schools, and to be policemen, or take census surveys, or be prison guards, or doctors, or lawyers, or firemen, or prostitutes, or politicians (ooops, I named the same profession twice in a row there… I could hit the backspace, but why stop now? I’m on a roll…). None of these professions PRODUCE anything. They add NOTHING to the real economy except tax revenue for the government; more redistribution. I’m not saying that we do not need a service sector in the economy, only that it does not produce any REAL wealth. Obviously, society will benefit from a sound education system, but having everyone with a university degree does not, in and of itself, produce any real wealth for society. It is only the increased PRODUCTION that comes from having a better educated society that increases our overall wealth. Smarter people, making better decisions for themselves, to produce more, using less.
Wealth comes from the people who bring abundant cheap energy to market, and those who grow food, and those who produce livestock. Wealth comes from the companies building automobiles, and the mines bringing industrial metals to market. Wealth comes from the infrastructure that we build, and the houses we construct. Wealth comes from PRODUCTION. The Keynesians want you to believe that wealth comes from spending. They want you to believe that wealth comes from destroying a bunch of houses, and the boom in spending that it takes to rebuild them all again. So they champion ideas like ending the recession by spending on all the necessary preparations for a space alien invasion. You can’t generate wealth by printing & spending currency foolishly, or by working to replace something that you already previously owned.
So, the next time that you are listening to a news clip of some protestor on the streets, ask yourself if the person you are listening to is demanding more wealth production, or more wealth redistribution. Time and again, it is absolutely clear that we have been conditioned to demand the latter, even while it adds nothing more to the wealth pool which we all draw from.
We don’t need more benevolent pigs. We need to make ourselves some bacon.“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country” –John F. Kennedy
~We Are All in This Mess Together.
Friday, September 23, 2011
By Dan Beaulieu
Instilled deep within us is the pride of what it means to be an American. That pride is derived from the notion that, in our country, our values and our way of life is superior to those of other countries. Indirectly, that pride pays homage to our founding forefathers for establishing and protecting those values in our Bill of Rights.
Our founding forefather’s vision for America was based not only on their recent emancipation from the British oppression, but also from their collective knowledge of history and mankind’s past mistakes. They understood the evolutionary process of how a society could transform from freedom to totalitarian empire by studying the mistakes of so many failed governments that came before us. With that knowledge, they created a safeguard; the Constitution was written to shield us from the otherwise inevitable fate of tyranny and ultimate self-destruction.
I can’t articulate enough just how privileged America is to have a heritage of such great revolutionary thinkers. These intellects have sculpted America into the greatness that it became and their words still resonate to this day, hundreds of years after their deaths. However, just as most privileged children naturally do, we live our lives simply pursuing our own priorities while taking for granted the great gift of liberty bestowed upon us. We fail to understand the necessity of demanding that our legislators remain diligent in upholding the constitution.
“If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.” - Thomas Jefferson
It’s the nature of the government, to continually expand and rarely, if at all, retract. These expansions are almost always at the peril of our constitution; our personal liberties. The income tax is a perfect example of this unconstitutional expansion. Although there have been taxes dating back to antiquity, the first U.S. income tax legally declared was in 1861 as a “temporary tax” to pay for the Civil War, which then expired in 1871. The income tax was tried again in 1894 but was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. However, in 1913 they found a way to pass the income tax, by writing a 16th amendment. The income tax was passed into law under President Woodrow Wilson after the 16th Amendment was ratified.
It won support by the masses under the guise that it would only affect 1% of the richest Americans. “Soak the Rich” was the twisted banner the people rallied to. Just a few short years later the tax didn’t just include the rich, it expanded to incorporate the vast majority. This example displays both the relentless persistence and the deceitfulness that we were warned to keep in check.
Oftentimes, when these intrusive laws are sold to us, the lawmaker first designates a purported evil. In the case of the income tax it was “the rich”, drawing them up as unethical thieves who are leeching off the poor anyway. The privileged children buy into the propaganda and rally support to justify battle against an ostensible evil. This evil takes many shapes: race, creed, class and sexual alignment to name a few. We must never give into this, as selling out our fundamental principles only opens the door for totalitarianism.
“He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” - Thomas Paine
It is my personal belief that the decline of our founder’s moral virtues greatly accelerated in the dawn of the 1900’s. Between bad legislation, central economic planning, wealth redistribution, war propaganda, unconstitutional and undeclared wars, military occupation, the nanny welfare state, the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency along with the conception of hundreds of tax funded bureaucracies. They, in concert, brought on the complete annihilation of our forefather’s vision, and welcomed even worse legislation into existence…
The precipice of desecration came shortly after September 11th 2001, where, for security, we traded our civil liberties and welcomed with open arms The Patriot Act. This horrific legislation represents the worst transgression against our civil liberties that we have ever encountered. A Trojan horse of sorts, just as with the income tax in 1913, we bought into an evil, and sold out our principals to combat it. The impulse to accept such a devastating law rested in the obvious anger, fear and strong desire for vengeance which clouded our prudence to fully deliberate what exactly we were signing on to.
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” - Benjamin Franklin, 1759
Since the Patriot Act’s incarnation we are so far removed from our roots and fundamental morals we now employ… Freedom of speech zones, security checkpoints, unwarranted surveillance, torture, indefinite detention, forced inoculations, sneak and peak searches. This act violates everything that our Bill of Rights stands for. We have turned our back on our moral values in the name of “The War on Terror”... in fear.
You might ask yourself what the motives are for such transgressions, and although I believe that answer is centered on control, I know it is extremely multifaceted, simply meaning that there is no specific answer. So I once again draw reflection on Thomas Jefferson’s logic, “It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.” Once we failed to be vigilant in the protection of our founder’s great gift, that our “general nature” will slowly consume our freedoms.
One of the worst unconstitutional displays of control is Obama’s new Super Congress (link) which has usurped all power from the congress, thus silencing the voices of the American people. Make no mistake, America is now an oligarchy.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right and raises at first, a formidable outcry in defense of custom.” - Thomas Paine
Have we ushered in the age of the Orwellian big brother society? When the people of the United States have come to the point of openly applauding the idea of a colossal razor wire barrier (link) that encompasses our borders, I think it’s apparent, that we truly have strayed from American fundamental principles. This whole notion brings frightening images of the berlin wall to mind; images of prison guard towers with razor wire glistening from the searchlights. What a disturbing vision for America, our Army standing at the border as we deign to the level of North and South Korea.
Big Brother is truly watching us all. Since 9/11 our privacy has been drastically diminished. Between the TSA groping’s in airports, subways, football games and even proms we are no longer secure in our persons. With wiretapping and warrantless sneak & peak searches we are no longer secure in our homes. We now see video monitors installed at banks, fast-food restaurants and Wal-Marts with looped videos of the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano urging us to spy on our neighbors saying, “If you see something, say something”. This is designed to invoke a constant state of tension and fear of looming terrorist threat. Legislation has come forth which would allow the government to take over the screens on your smart phone for urgent Presidential Addresses. The underlying message of “give up your freedoms and the government will keep you safe” prevails.
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower
Has the age of the Military Industrial Complex that Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about come to fruition? Our politicians bequeath cartels and handouts to colossal conglomerates in trade for career-making campaign funding. These large super companies own financial institutions, energy companies and healthcare establishments amongst a great many other things. They control our data flow through printed and televised media which gives them the opportunity to portray events or legislation in a light that benefits their cause. At the same time the same company will also produce the various tools and weapons of the war. Our government then gives other countries our tax dollars in the form of foreign aid with the condition that they use that aid to buy our (company’s) munitions.
This conflict of interests insures perpetual war, dishonest media coverage and a duopoly of corrupt lobbyist and bureaucrats in our political system. It also has particularly negative effects on our economy and small businesses. Driving our work overseas and underselling the more heavily regulated and taxed small business. This has killed the American entrepreneur and the dream of our forefathers… This is not how America was to be.
“We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” - Thomas Paine
The revolutionary war wasn’t just a war of muskets, steel and blood; it was a revolution of ideas. Once again, and long overdue, the notion of revolution has finally risen to the mainstream once again. The American people are reeducating themselves on the Constitution, studying economic policy and rethinking our role in the world. Although our movement is swimming against the current of big business, political interest and the mainstream media, we are within striking distance of reinvigorating the American Dream. But we need to choose the correct leader to hold the torch as the path is dark.
“…every generation needs a revolution...” “…at least once every 20 years…” “…a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.” – Thomas Jefferson
I believe right now that there is one amongst us. He’s the only top-tier candidate running for Presidency that offers us real change and a return to constitutional sanity both financially and morally. He has been called the professor, the prophet and the Thomas Jefferson of our time. With him the sun will set on the dark ages of intellect, and bring forth a new day. We must defend the American Pride that is our heritage by upholding the constitution. You can choose to stop buying into the duo-political system that enslaves us and vote for an idea. You can choose to save the American Dream.
“I am an imperfect messenger, but the message is perfect.” – Ron Paul
Some people believe the constitution is out-dated and simply will not work in today’s age, but logic perseveres, our founders were not simple men. America is just a newborn child in comparison to our civilization as a whole, and even in ancient times there were governments. Each fallen Empire became a testament of man’s “general nature” and how it shifts governments into Empires. Studying the triumphs and failures of man kinds past, our founding fathers created the constitution to stop history from repeating itself. We cannot be so vein as to think their logic doesn’t transcend both time and technology, as their logic was forged from 10,000 years of civilization. Their logic is sound.
Regardless of opinion, let’s look at the facts. We’re hated globally for our occupation, we’re $14.7 Trillion in debt, and we’re being spied on and groped by our own government. We’re broke and on the verge of collapse (Link).
History is about to repeat itself one way or another: Collapse or Revolution.
When we fail to uphold justice for all we invariably put our own freedom in jeopardy. Taxing the rich may sound like a good idea, if your not rich. However, why should one be forced to contribute more than another. I would rather level the playing field and remove the loopholes that the rich have over the poor to increase their wealth. Why does a convicted felon lose his second amendment right to bear arms if he has truly paid his debt to society. Does he lose his right to expression or freedom of religion, a fair trial, the right to be secure about his person? So why does he lose his second amendment right? Because he may do something? This land is about the freedom of the individual and the responsibilities that go along with those rights. You have the right to freedom of speech, however, if you yell FIRE in a crowded theater you have misused your right and must have an equal responsibility for that misuse. If we misuse our freedoms then we should be held accountable for that misuse not before because we might. Americans have forgotten what freedom is, true freedom. Many would argue that we must control human behavior for societies sake and make more laws. It is precisely that kind of sentiment that has brought us to a world with so many laws it is impossible to live without breaking them. If we can pass enough laws we shall all be criminals. What makes America different is that it holds the freedom of individuals over all else. - NewAmericaNow
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
"If the eurozone were to split, it is difficult to imagine for the European Union not to split as well. It is difficult to imagine Europe to be as safe as it is now without the European Union." -- Polish Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski (AP)
Ahh yes. Fear is being laid on thick as another "crisis" is being used in an attempt to consolidate political power. This time-honored tactic looks like it is now getting the final push in Europe as financial leaders and presidents alike call for a United States of Europe to avert collapse.
The message is clear coming from the establishment: form a more centrally-controlled political and economic union or you will suffer.
Unfortunately, that's not a prediction, but a promise.
It's become obvious that this has been the plan all along. "If you have a currency union, you certainly also need more elements of a political and of an economic union. That was clear from the outset when we started this project some 10, 15 years ago," said the Luxembourg finance minister Frieden.
However, many nations have not been so quick to give up their sovereignty and economic independence. Therefore, a good crisis is needed, followed by a coordinated chorus of experts to sway public opinion and policy.
Earlier this month former German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, set the stage for solution by calling for a United States of Europe. "The current crisis makes it relentlessly clear that we cannot have a common currency zone without a common fiscal, economic and social policy." He added: "We will have to give up national sovereignty. From the European Commission, we should make a government which would be supervised by the European Parliament. And that means the United States of Europe."
New IMF chief, Christine Lagarde, warned that developed economies have entered a "dangerous new phase" because of a "vicious cycle" of weak economic growth and feeble political leadership. Singing the same tune, Lagarde recommends a collective solution; "Without collective, bold, action, there is a real risk that the major economies slip back instead of moving forward." Incidentally, debt was not mentioned as part of the problem.
George Soros recently claimed that a European treasury is needed to avoid a depression. Soros warned, "Even if a catastrophe can be avoided, one thing is certain: the pressure to reduce deficits will push the euro zone into prolonged recession. This will have incalculable political consequences." Leaving no room for discussion, Soros states, "There is no alternative but to give birth to the missing ingredient: a European treasury with the power to tax and therefore to borrow."
U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner has not publicly endorsed a policy, but he's demanding more "forceful action." Geithner is also echoing calls for more unity; "What's very damaging is not just seeing the divisiveness in the debate over strategy in Europe but the ongoing conflict between countries and the [European] Central Bank." In other words, individual nations and the European Central Bank must unite the policies.
And the Federal Reserve continues to do its part to prop up the European Central Bank to prevent global contagion while policies are coordinated. As the Washington Post reports, "Worried that a mounting debt crisis in Europe could trip up the global economy, the Federal Reserve opened its vault Thursday to the central banks of other countries in an effort to head off a crippling shortage of dollars." No dollar figure was given for these short-term currency swaps, but after the first tens of trillions, who's counting?
So, the perpetrators of the so-called crisis are speaking in one voice to avoid disaster; Give us more control over taxation and policy and we'll maintain the misery at current levels. Even though the financial crisis was manufactured specifically for this power grab, the threat of collapse remains very real as the banks can turn out the lights anytime they want. If threats fail to bring all dissenting nations into the fold, they'll simply make good on their promise to tighten the debt/austerity screws until the tortured submit to their demands. This obvious cycle must be broken unless the European nations prefer a global dictatorship as described by Nigel Farage during a recent European Parliament debate:
Will there be a revolution to maintain sovereignty, or will the banksters get the political control they have long sought?