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Posts Tagged ‘corruption’

Cops Arrest A 76-Year Old Veteran For Using His First Amendment

July 23rd, 2014

overholtMac Slavo: Eddie Overholt was attending his second county board meeting last Friday when he was arrested by police for interfering with a public meeting and Read more…

Government, Uncategorized

Political Parties Are Rushing To Defend The NSA and Condemn Whistleblower Edward Snowden

June 14th, 2013

Edward-SnowdenEstablishment politicians from both major political parties are rushing to defend the NSA and condemn whistleblower Edward Snowden.  They are attempting to portray Edward Snowden as a “traitor” and the spooks over at the NSA Read more…

Government, World News

Private Prisons: The More Americans They Put Behind Bars The More Money They Make

March 11th, 2013

prisonHow would you describe an industry that wants to put more Americans in prison and keep them there longer so that it can make more money?  In America today, approximately 130,000 people are locked up in private prisons that are being Read more…

Economy, Government

25 “Why Questions” For You To Ponder As We Enter 2013

January 1st, 2013

Michael Snyder: Why does it seem like America is getting crazier with each passing year?  It has become glaringly apparent that very deep corruption has taken root in our society from the lowest levels of society all the way up to the Read more…

Economy, Markets, World News

Election Fraud: Accounts Of Voting Machines Turning Mitt Romney Votes Into Barack Obama Votes

November 17th, 2012

Michael Snyder: Why is the mainstream media saying nothing about election fraud even though there are eyewitness reports from all over the country of voting machines turning Romney Read more…

Economy, Government

22 Signs That Voter Fraud Is Wildly Out Of Control And The Election Was A Sham

November 13th, 2012

Michael Snyder: After what we have seen this November, how is any American ever supposed to trust the integrity of our elections ever again?  There were over 70,000 reports of voting Read more…

Economy, Government, Markets

Go Long Material, Go Short Certified Idiots

April 25th, 2011

Some relationships:

The last time the US dollar exceeded 120 on the dollar index (DXY) was in January 2002. Today it’s trading at 74.04, a 38% decline. Since January, 2002, gold has risen from $282 to $1,509 an ounce. Silver has risen from $4.30 to $47.36 an ounce. A barrel of crude oil (WTI) has risen from $20 to $112. A rising oil price increases the costs and prices of wheat, corn, gold, silver, shipping, and Internet searches.

Some other relationships:

Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, knows that his stock-market support operations are coming to an end, or a pause – time will tell. Propping up the stock market was an explicit objective of QE2. Quantitative Easing 2 (QE2), a process by which the New York Federal Reserve is buying $600 billion of US Treasury securities, is due to end in June. Classified as Permanent Open Market Operations (POMOs), the New York Fed dispatches about $6.5 to $8.5 billion into the banking system every day, as payment for 5- to 7-year Treasury notes. Chairman Bernanke wants the POMOs to continue, forever.

A few Federal Reserve Bank presidents have recently stated their reservations, in public. They warn that it is time to stop POMO-ing, QE-ing, or otherwise bankrupting America. (“Bankrupting” was not their description.) But Christina Romer, former chairperson of the “Council of Economic Advisors,” is “all in.” During a recent interview on Yahoo’s Daily Ticker, Romer gushed, “I think the evidence is that QE2 was very effective and certainly QE1 was very effective. I don’t understand why we’d be dialing back that tool.”

Central to her argument is that a lower dollar helps Americans. Since she worked so hard to emphasize this view on the Daily Ticker, we can be sure that: (1) Ben Bernanke is doing all that he can to lower the value of the dollar against other currencies, (2) jobs, wages, working hours, and production industries will continue to shrivel, and (3) tried-and-true asset relationships of the past decade (i.e. gold up, dollar down) will accelerate.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) calculated the civilian population available to work was 216 million in January 2002. It was 239 million in December 2010, an increase of 23 million. Within this group, the BLS calculated 132 million were working in January 2002. In December 2010: 138 million, an increase of 6 million. Thus, the percentage of those with jobs among those who can work has dropped significantly. Those who do have jobs are worse off, in general, than they were in 2002.

The BLS calculated the weekly earnings of the average worker at $341 in January 2002. In December 2010, it was $342. This calculation is adjusted for inflation – but given the corruption of government inflation numbers, the latter figure ($342) should be reduced by at least 20%.

However, despite the overwhelming evidence that QE I and II have been dismal failures, Romer continues to applaud them as successes, just like Chairman Bernanke. The striking similarity between Romer’s perspective and Bernanke’s seems odd…until you examine their resumes.

We have, first, Christiana Romer, Class of 1957, Garff B. Wilson Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, former Chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, former economics professor at Princeton University, current co-director of the Program in Monetary Economics at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER),former member of the NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Committee, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship recipient, who received her Ph.D in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1985.

We have, second, Ben S. Bernanke, current chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, former Howard Harrison and Gabrielle Snyder Beck Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University, former chair of the President’s Council of Economics Advisers, former Director of the Program in Monetary Economics at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), former member of the NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Committee, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship recipient, who received his Ph.D in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1979.

Perhaps there’s a bit too much “in-breeding” in the gene pool of professional economists. Now some “highlights” from the Romer interview:

The Daily Ticker’s, Aaron Task: A lot of people say the Fed’s been very successful helping financial markets and helping people at the upper end of the income scale. There hasn’t been a translation into wage growth for the average worker or substantial hiring, so [how] would the Fed be doing more to help [if it continued to QE]?

ROMER: Noooooooo! If you look in fact at what quantitative easing does, it tends to lower the price of the dollar, both of those things that are good for ordinary families and lower long-term interest rates means firms can do investment. It means it’s easier for consumers to afford borrowing, so that tends to encourage spending and when people spend that puts the people back to work. A lower price of the dollar helps to make goods more competitive in foreign markets. If we’re exporting more, we need more workers to produce it.

TASK: Isn’t it true that long-term rates have risen since the Fed announced QE2 in August? And also, a lot of people think a “weaker dollar” means the dollar doesn’t go as far, when I go to the grocery store and when I put gas in my tank, or things of that nature. So, I think a lot of people think the weaker dollar is hurting them, not helping them

ROMER: So, you need to be very careful. It’s hard to evaluate what QE has done to long-term interest rates, because there were a lot of announcement effects. What I can tell you is that the academic studies that have looked at this absolutely say that QE does what we thought it was going to do.

And, of course, on the price of the dollar we’re not talking about what’s happening to your purchasing power here; we’re talking about what the price of the dollar is in the foreign exchange markets. I think that everyone agrees that a lower price of the dollar tends to make us export more, which ultimately causes unemployment to come down… There’s no evidence that what’s holding back business spending or consumer economy is government activism.

[Editor’s note: In 2010, David Farr, President, Chairman and CEO of Emerson Electric Corporation, in Chicago, told investors: “Why would any CEO invest one penny in the US? There is not one reason based on the new rules of the game.”]

Many brand-name professors and economists from the Romer/Bernanke gene pool also continue to cheer the “successes” of quantitative easing. Average Americans, not so much…

“Comments” by Yahoo! viewers responding to the Romer interview, featured widespread contempt for QE, and therefore for Romer’s perspective.

Comment #1 was from “Ross,” who asked, “Is this chick retarded or what?” Of viewers who expressed an opinion about Ross’ analysis, 227 liked his comment; 16 disliked it.

Comment #2 was from “Brian,” who queried: “Who knew it was so easy? Someone should go tell those poor nations in Africa that we’ve learned the secret: just produce more of your currency.” (Score: 182 to 11.)

Comment #3 was from “Kimmie Taylor” who observed: “QE1 has failed on jobs. QE2 has failed on jobs. The only success with these QEs are increased bank profits.” (253-18)

Comment #4 was from “Jack,” who stated one obvious problem and a fair conclusion: “The woman has never held a real job and knows nothing about the real world. She is a complete failure.”

There was not a single Romer defender as far as the eye could see. (The eye saw the first 20 reviews.)

We will finish with “PhilippeB” (#6), a fast learner: “No idea who she is, but it is now official: Christina Romer is a certified idiot.” (62-3)

What to do about it? Please refer to the very top: “Some relationships.”

Regards,

Frederick J. Sheehan,
for The Daily Reckoning

Go Long Material, Go Short Certified Idiots originally appeared in the Daily Reckoning. The Daily Reckoning recently featured articles on stagflation, best libertarian books, and QE2

.

Read more here:
Go Long Material, Go Short Certified Idiots




The Daily Reckoning is a contrarian e-letter, brought to you by New York Times best-selling authors Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin since 1999. The DR looks at the economic world-at-large and offers its major players – investors, politicians, economists and the average consumer – some much-needed constructive criticism.

Uncategorized

Government Spending Screws the Little Guy

April 11th, 2011

Joel Bowman, managing editor of The Daily Reckoning, is in Argentina, and it looks like he is discovering that the corruption that comes with creating more money, so that the government can stupidly spend it, is now everywhere, and, indeed, the ugly end result is everywhere, too. In his essay “The Unfortunate Sate of the Argentine Beef Industry” an Argentine friend of Mr. Bowman’s explains, “as usual, the little guy, the one who the government supposedly set out to help, ends up paying more.” Ain’t that the truth! Hahaha!

I laughed, as I cleverly noted by appending, “Hahaha!” to the end of the sentence, because inflation in prices is the Same Damned Thing (SDT) that always, always, always happens when the government tries to, in one way or another, “help the little guy.”

And yet everybody has a government that just keeps on screwing “the little guy,” by creating more and more inflation in the money supply, that creates inflation in prices, that screws “the little guy” during the process of “helping the little guy.”

Luckily, I can ascertain how much “the little guy” is getting screwed because The Economist magazine is within easy reach, and by deftly going to the back page, I scan down the table to see that Argentina has a monstrous 10% inflation in consumer prices, but with three mysterious little asterisks.

“Asterisks? What’s with the asterisks?” I wonder. When I go to the bottom of the page to hopefully find out what these asterisks mean, I find that they mean, “unofficial estimates are higher.” Whoa! Does this mean that Argentina’s government is a corrupt, lying piece of worthless trash like all the other countries in the world, only more so than any other? Hmmm!

Then, curious, I scan up and down the table, and note that none of the other countries in the Whole Freaking World (WFW) have their inflation figures marked with asterisks, even though I am sure they are shot through with lying corrupt crap. So “Hmmm!” again!

In fact, the only other country in that selfsame Whole Freaking World (WFW) that has any symbol attached to their inflation figures, at all, is Britain, so as to note that their 4.0% inflation is the “Centred 3-month average,” which is, I cynically note since I don’t know what it means nor do I care, probably just another kind of corrupt, lying fraud where a lot of people should wind up in prison, too.

So, with that kind of exhaustive, unbiased research on my part, I guess the three asterisks denotes Argentina as being this week’s winner of the Mogambo Biggest Liar Award (MBLA) about inflation. Congratulations!

And my pity to the “little guys” of Argentina who must pay these higher and higher prices, reminding me about the song title, “Don’t cry for me, Argentina,” although I don’t know what that’s about, either.

Then, to expand my fabulous foray into real research, I cast my eye up the page to the United States, and read across to note that inflation in consumer prices is a laughable 2.1%! Hahaha!

Hell, The Economist magazine shows that the dollar index of “all items” is up 42.4%, and the latest government report shows that inflation in food and energy is at double-digit rates, for crying out loud!

And, I am loathe to report, it’s going to get worse because the Federal Reserve is still creating money out the ying-yang, which has increased the monetary base by $73 billion in the last week, which is a rise of 3.1% in One Freaking Week (OFW), and the monetary base is up $160 billion in the last three weeks, which is an expansion of the money supply of over 7% in Three Freaking Weeks (TFW)! We’re Freaking Doomed (WFD)!

That is why I laugh when Spencer Jakab, writing in The Financial Times, writes that, despite acknowledging Milton Friedman’s famous aphorism that “inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon,” and even after stipulating that “the monetary base has indeed mushroomed,” he nonetheless qualifies it with “in the quantity theory of money, it is not a simple increase in the base that causes inflation. It is an excess supply of money, which is the not the case – not yet anyway.”

I screech, “What? No, it doesn’t! The money goes into government deficit spending! That’s how the government gets money into the damned economy! And I further argue that ‘a simple increase in the monetary base’ is not significantly different from ‘an excess supply of money,’ too, even though you say one will cause inflation and one will not, even though the prices of food and energy are up by double-digits everywhere!”

“So where does the money go?” you ask with that cute little look on your face that melts my heart.

He says, “At the moment, the money shows up as excess reserves on bank balance sheets, for which they receive interest.”

I say, “The money goes into higher prices.”

He does not say to buy gold and silver to protect yourself against the gigantic inflation in prices that is guaranteed by the Federal Reserve creating So Freaking Much Money (SFFM).

I say to buy gold and silver to protect yourself against the gigantic inflation in prices that is guaranteed by the Federal Reserve creating So Freaking Much Money (SFFM).

And while, by his photo, I cannot imagine him saying, “Whee! This investing stuff is easy!” that is exactly what I am saying.

In fact, I’ll say it now! “Whee! This investing stuff is easy!”

The Mogambo Guru
for The Daily Reckoning

Government Spending Screws the Little Guy originally appeared in the Daily Reckoning. The Daily Reckoning recently featured articles on stagflation, best libertarian books, and QE2

.

Read more here:
Government Spending Screws the Little Guy




The Daily Reckoning is a contrarian e-letter, brought to you by New York Times best-selling authors Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin since 1999. The DR looks at the economic world-at-large and offers its major players – investors, politicians, economists and the average consumer – some much-needed constructive criticism.

Uncategorized

The Loose Cannon Credit Crisis

April 11th, 2011

Starting in the 1970s, international credit flows began to destabilize the global economy. One country after another was plunged into crisis as dollar-denominated credit from abroad produced short-term booms followed by longer-lasting busts. Each crisis threatened the solvency of the international financial system; and in each crisis the large international banks that had made the loans were bailed out from their mistakes by rescue programs directed from Washington.

The United States not only tolerated those credit flows, it encouraged them by promoting capital-account liberalization in those countries where it could exert influence. By bailing out the banks each time, Washington rewarded imprudent risk-taking and thereby encouraged the next round of foolish lending. The sums at stake grew from one decade to the next, so that each successive crisis required a larger bailout than the one before.

The Latin American debt crisis, the Mexican peso crisis, the Asian crisis, and the contagion that subsequently spread to Russia and Brazil, are generally viewed as separate, compartmentalized episodes. In reality, they are all part of one long crisis caused by unregulated cross-border credit flows. In the mid-1970s, enormous amounts of dollar-denominated credit began sloshing around the world.

Like a loose cannon on a ship, the credit would reel from one side of the world when economic conditions tipped one way—wrecking havoc all along its path—and then rocket back across the deck of the world economy in another direction, causing more chaos, when macroeconomic conditions began to tilt in a different direction. International credit broke loose in the 1960s owing to the failure of US policymakers to control the Eurodollar market and the US banks that dominated it. By the late 1970s, it had produced its first destabilizing economic boom, in Latin America.

The crisis that began in Latin America in the 1980s, re-erupted in Mexico in 1994, engulfed Asia in 1997, and spread to Russia the next year hit New York in September 1998. In its earlier phases, this loose-cannon credit crisis had posed serious medium-term threats (of fluctuating severity) to the solvency of the world’s largest banks. But when genius failed at Long Term Capital Management, the global financial system was confronted with the prospect of immediate and complete collapse.

When US policymakers were forced to cut interest rates to avert the meltdown, they lost control over the US economy. Consequently, over the following decade, the United States itself was to become overwhelmed by foreign capital inflows just as its smaller Latin American neighbors had been in the 1970s. Foreign capital blew the US economy into a bubble and in 2008 that bubble burst.

Unregulated cross-border credit flows, encouraged by moral-hazard-inducing IMF bailouts, were a key element behind the global economic disequilibrium that eventually produced the New Depression. Until international capital flows are brought under control, they are certain to continue destabilizing the global economy.

Regards,

Richard Duncan
for The Daily Reckoning

P.S. For the details, please see The Corruption of Capitalism, Chapter 6: “The International Debt Crisis, Phases One Through Three.”

The Loose Cannon Credit Crisis originally appeared in the Daily Reckoning. The Daily Reckoning recently featured articles on stagflation, best libertarian books, and QE2

.

Read more here:
The Loose Cannon Credit Crisis




The Daily Reckoning is a contrarian e-letter, brought to you by New York Times best-selling authors Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin since 1999. The DR looks at the economic world-at-large and offers its major players – investors, politicians, economists and the average consumer – some much-needed constructive criticism.

Uncategorized

The Loose Cannon Credit Crisis

April 11th, 2011

Starting in the 1970s, international credit flows began to destabilize the global economy. One country after another was plunged into crisis as dollar-denominated credit from abroad produced short-term booms followed by longer-lasting busts. Each crisis threatened the solvency of the international financial system; and in each crisis the large international banks that had made the loans were bailed out from their mistakes by rescue programs directed from Washington.

The United States not only tolerated those credit flows, it encouraged them by promoting capital-account liberalization in those countries where it could exert influence. By bailing out the banks each time, Washington rewarded imprudent risk-taking and thereby encouraged the next round of foolish lending. The sums at stake grew from one decade to the next, so that each successive crisis required a larger bailout than the one before.

The Latin American debt crisis, the Mexican peso crisis, the Asian crisis, and the contagion that subsequently spread to Russia and Brazil, are generally viewed as separate, compartmentalized episodes. In reality, they are all part of one long crisis caused by unregulated cross-border credit flows. In the mid-1970s, enormous amounts of dollar-denominated credit began sloshing around the world.

Like a loose cannon on a ship, the credit would reel from one side of the world when economic conditions tipped one way—wrecking havoc all along its path—and then rocket back across the deck of the world economy in another direction, causing more chaos, when macroeconomic conditions began to tilt in a different direction. International credit broke loose in the 1960s owing to the failure of US policymakers to control the Eurodollar market and the US banks that dominated it. By the late 1970s, it had produced its first destabilizing economic boom, in Latin America.

The crisis that began in Latin America in the 1980s, re-erupted in Mexico in 1994, engulfed Asia in 1997, and spread to Russia the next year hit New York in September 1998. In its earlier phases, this loose-cannon credit crisis had posed serious medium-term threats (of fluctuating severity) to the solvency of the world’s largest banks. But when genius failed at Long Term Capital Management, the global financial system was confronted with the prospect of immediate and complete collapse.

When US policymakers were forced to cut interest rates to avert the meltdown, they lost control over the US economy. Consequently, over the following decade, the United States itself was to become overwhelmed by foreign capital inflows just as its smaller Latin American neighbors had been in the 1970s. Foreign capital blew the US economy into a bubble and in 2008 that bubble burst.

Unregulated cross-border credit flows, encouraged by moral-hazard-inducing IMF bailouts, were a key element behind the global economic disequilibrium that eventually produced the New Depression. Until international capital flows are brought under control, they are certain to continue destabilizing the global economy.

Regards,

Richard Duncan
for The Daily Reckoning

P.S. For the details, please see The Corruption of Capitalism, Chapter 6: “The International Debt Crisis, Phases One Through Three.”

The Loose Cannon Credit Crisis originally appeared in the Daily Reckoning. The Daily Reckoning recently featured articles on stagflation, best libertarian books, and QE2

.

Read more here:
The Loose Cannon Credit Crisis




The Daily Reckoning is a contrarian e-letter, brought to you by New York Times best-selling authors Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin since 1999. The DR looks at the economic world-at-large and offers its major players – investors, politicians, economists and the average consumer – some much-needed constructive criticism.

Uncategorized

Why Silver Sales Demand Excitement

February 15th, 2011

Being a Big Silver Buff (BSB) like I am, I note the ups and downs of silver. Lately, it’s been mostly the downs. This strange downtrend in the silver price makes me look like an idiot after I so arrogantly Highly, Highly Recommended (HHR) that people buy silver, buy silver, buy silver all these years, and I’m pretty testy about it, too.

I mean, the sheer fundamentals of silver make me giddy with excitement that, thanks to the manipulation of silver prices via the commodity futures since (by one estimate) 1983, the low market price of silver is an unbelievable, unbelievable bargain.

And, apparently, a lot of other people think so, too, as in his essay, “Silver Eagle Sales Hit Their Second-Highest Ever”, Addison Wiggin, Publisher of The Daily Reckoning reported that “The US Mint sold 6,422,000 Silver Eagles in January 2011 – half again as many as were sold in the previous record-setting month of November 2010.”

You can see by the way my hands are shaking with excitement that I am titillated by this, which is odd in that I don’t ever remember being “titillated” before, and if I had, I probably would not have admitted it because it sounds so weird.

But titillated it is! I’m very excited by the fact that in November 2010, a few short months ago, the US Mint sold a record amount of Silver Eagles, and now, fast-forwarding a few short months back to today, they have surpassed that mark by a whopping 150%!

Mr. Wiggin says, “There are a few nattering nabobs who say the figures are skewed because the Mint credited some December sales to January. So what? If you add up December and January sales and average them, you still get the second-highest monthly total ever…right behind November 2010.”

To his eye, the “fact is” that “demand is intense.”

Of course, he may have been prompted to say this by reading ahead in his own newsletter, The 5-Minute Forecast, to the part where it looks like the supply/demand dynamic is out of whack, where it reads, “After just one week, Canada’s biggest bullion bank sold out its limited stock of 100-ounce silver bars. Now ScotiaMocatta has no silver bars to sell in any size. One ounce, 5 ounces, 100 ounces and the kilobars – all gone.”

All gone! As in zero, zilch, nada! So what does THAT do to the old law of supply-and-demand where price adjusts up or down to clear the market? Hahaha!

This is not only very interesting, but is also the subject of today’s Mogambo Pop Quiz (MPQ), which involves me finding an obscure fact, proving that you do not know the answer (and thus help you prepare for a lifetime of failure), but that I do know it, the object being both pedantic (in that you will learn something), and also so that everybody will think I am smart to know such an esoteric thing, and then maybe people will stop telling me to shut up all the time and calling me “stupid” and “ridiculous.”

So, the question for today’s MPQ is, “What do you call a thing that has such voracious demand that the marketplace is sold out of it, yet the price goes down, seemingly violating the law of supply and demand, which would say that the price should be rising?”

Well, grading your test papers, I see several of you came up with the answer “Giffen good,” named after the guy who came up with the term to describe the phenomenon of the poor buying more bread as the price of bread rose, which seemed utterly paradoxical.

Paradoxical, that is, until it was shown that prices were rising so high that the poor could increasingly not afford to buy other foods, too, because they were simply unaffordable, and thus the poor increased their consumption of bread to make up for the deficit in their diets.

So, this Giffen good answer was a good guess, but actually incorrect.

Actually, the correct answer is, “There is no such thing as something whose price falls as demand rises, you morons! And even if there was such a preposterous thing, it would not be a Giffen good, because to be a Giffen good, demand should fall as the price falls, or demand should rise when the price rises, neither of which is happening, as proved in previous paragraphs, which clearly, clearly show that the price is falling even as high demand has cleared the marketplace due to insufficient supply! It’s just a weird circumstance of the corruption in the silver market, government and regulatory complicity, and the foul Federal Reserve creating more money to finance the Whole Freaking Thing (WFT)!”

Of course, such massive manipulations cannot long continue, which means that if you are not buying gold and silver at every opportunity, then you are probably really stupid, and too stupid to come up with some clever ways to raise money with which to buy gold and silver, like telling your kids that they weren’t getting their allowances this week, whereupon you find, to your delighted surprise, that you have a few extra bucks with which to buy gold and silver!

Like I always say, “Whee! This investing stuff is easy!”

The Mogambo Guru
for The Daily Reckoning

Why Silver Sales Demand Excitement originally appeared in the Daily Reckoning. The Daily Reckoning has published articles on the impact of quantitative easing, bakken oil, and hyperinflation.

Read more here:
Why Silver Sales Demand Excitement




The Daily Reckoning is a contrarian e-letter, brought to you by New York Times best-selling authors Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin since 1999. The DR looks at the economic world-at-large and offers its major players – investors, politicians, economists and the average consumer – some much-needed constructive criticism.

OPTIONS, Uncategorized

Who’s Afraid of a Free Society?

February 15th, 2011

Last week, my new book, Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse was released. It could just as easily have been called Everything Needs to Be Abolished, and Here’s Why.

The book does two things. First, it lays bare the true fiscal position of the U.S. government, and shows why some kind of default is not merely possible but inevitable. But this is not a book full of numbers about the impending collapse. The collapse is merely the jumping-off point. By far the more central part of the book is this: the critical first step for reversing this mess and checking the seemingly unstoppable federal advance is to stick a dagger through the heart of the myths by which government has secured the confidence and consent of the people.

We know these myths by heart. Government acts on behalf of the public good. It keeps us safe. It protects us against monopolies. It provides indispensable services we could not provide for ourselves. Without it, America would be populated by illiterates, half of us would be dead from quack medicine or exploding consumer products, and the other half would lead a feudal existence under the iron fist of private firms that worked them to the bone for a dollar a week.

Thus Americans tolerate much government predation because they have bought into the myth that state intervention may be an irritant, but the alternative of a free society would be far worse. They have been conditioned to believe that despite whatever occasional corruption they may observe in politics, the government by and large has their well-being at heart. Schoolchildren in particular learn a version of history worthy of Pravda. Governments, they are convinced, abolished child labor, gave people good wages and decent working conditions; protect them from bad food, drugs, airplanes, and consumer products; have cleaned their air and water; and have done countless other things to improve their well-being. They truly cannot imagine how anyone who isn’t a stooge for industry could think differently, or how free people acting in the absence of compulsion and threats of violence – which is what government activity amounts to – might have figured out a way to solve these problems. The history of regulation is, in this fact-free version of events, a tale of righteous crusaders winning victories for the public against grasping and selfish private interests who care nothing for the common good.

But let’s suppose that the federal government has in fact been an enemy of the people’s welfare, and that the progress in our living standards has occurred quite in spite of its efforts. It pits individuals, firms, industries, regions, races, and age groups against each other in a zero-sum game of mutual plunder. It takes credit for improvements in material conditions that we in fact owe to the private sector, while refusing to accept responsibility for the countless failures and social ills to which its own programs have given rise. Rather than bringing about the “public good,” whatever that means, it governs us through a series of fiefdoms seeking bigger budgets and more power. Despite the veneer of public-interest rhetoric by which it camouflages its real nature, it is a mere parasite on productive activity and a net minus in the story of human welfare.

Now if this is a more accurate depiction of the federal government, we are likely to have a different view of the consequences of the coming fiscal collapse. So an institution that has seized our wealth, held back the rise in our standard of living, and deceived schoolchildren into honoring it as the source of all progress, will have to be cut back? What’s the catch? This is no calamity to be deplored. It is an opportunity to be seized. The primary purpose of the book, therefore, is to demonstrate that we would not only survive but even flourish in the absence of countless institutions we are routinely told we could not live without.

And with the exception of the final chapter, that’s what the rest of the book does. I wanted it to be a relentless presentation, such that even a skeptical reader would have to be impressed by the sheer number and force of the arguments.

Some of the topics covered include:

* Could we survive without the welfare state?
* Was the Industrial Revolution a disaster for workers, and evidence of the wickedness of the free market?
* The market vs. global poverty
* How the market, in spite (not because) of government, leads to higher living standards for everyone
* How the market leads to improved working conditions and does away with child labor
* Federal education programs: a critique
* Doesn’t Sweden prove a large welfare state is compatible with lasting prosperity?
* If government shrinks, won’t big business fill the void and oppress the public via predatory pricing?
* Why it’s impossible to design a wealth redistribution program that does not cause net harm
* The truth about “affordable housing” programs
* Iceland and the financial crisis: a case study of free markets run amok?
* California energy “deregulation” – proof that free markets don’t work?
* Is the Savings & Loan (S&L) crisis evidence of the failure of free markets?
* The real record of Sarbanes-Oxley
* OSHA and workplace safety
* The FDA
* Don’t we need to make an exception for government science funding?
* A primer on the War on Drugs
* Obamacare: the problems and the solution
* Why “stimulus” programs make things worse
* How prudential regulation contributed to the financial crisis
* Are some firms “too big to fail”?
* Did the “repeal” of Glass-Steagall contribute to the financial crisis?
* The real story of “deregulation” and the financial crisis
* Is Paul Krugman right to absolve Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac of blame?
* The Pentagon’s impact on the U.S. economy
* Has the Federal Reserve really made the U.S. economy more stable, as so many proponents try to claim?
* What caused the bank panics of the nineteenth century? Are they evidence of the need for a central bank?
* The separation of money and state
* Do we need the Fed to protect us from deflation?
* Regulation as an anti-competitive device
* Possible approaches: agorism, jury nullification, Free State Project, and more

One of the goals in writing my books has been to help get people up to speed on important issues as efficiently (and, I hope, enjoyably) as possible. (In fact, much of what I write comes down to this: what do I wish I myself had known 20 years ago, so that I wouldn’t have had to come by all this information so laboriously on my own?) That way people can more easily prepare themselves to answer many of the most common objections to their position they are likely to encounter.

That’s what I’m trying to do in Rollback as well. The propaganda with which we are flooded regarding how indispensable the political class is – why, they are selflessly devoted to “public service”! – is unworthy of a fifth-grader. We would not die instantly in the absence of the Joe Bidens and Mitch McConnells. We would flourish. And here’s the proof.

Regards,

Thomas E. Woods
for The Daily Reckoning

P.S. You can purchase Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse here, or receive a free chapter here.

Who’s Afraid of a Free Society? originally appeared in the Daily Reckoning. The Daily Reckoning has published articles on the impact of quantitative easing, bakken oil, and hyperinflation.

Read more here:
Who’s Afraid of a Free Society?




The Daily Reckoning is a contrarian e-letter, brought to you by New York Times best-selling authors Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin since 1999. The DR looks at the economic world-at-large and offers its major players – investors, politicians, economists and the average consumer – some much-needed constructive criticism.

OPTIONS, Uncategorized

Investing in Gold Will Save Your Butt

November 2nd, 2010

When I got back to the office, the place was abuzz, all stemming from how my boss wanted to “see me” as soon as I got back from wherever the hell I was. I knew what it was about. It was about old man Sanderson and the stupid Sanderson account.

The problem was that I had just seen the Britebart.tv video of the megalomaniacal and totally incompetent Harry Reid, Congressional Representative from Nevada and doofus extraordinaire, saying, “But for me, we’d be in a worldwide depression.”

So, inspired, I told Sanderson to stick his problems, and that, “But for me, you would be sued into bankruptcy after using our defective parts, ya moron!”

So I grudgingly went up to her office, and the first thing I see is her stupid secretary, who hates my guts because I once told her to buy gold, silver and oil against the terrible inflation that will result from the traitorous neo-Keynesian econometric nitwits at the Federal Reserve creating so much excess money, especially when the corrupt federal government was monstrously deficit-spending us into bankruptcy.

So, a few days later, I saw her in the hallway, and being a friendly, collegial type of guy, I casually asked her if she had bought any gold, silver or oil so that she could Save Her Butt (SHB) when the devastating inflation and economic collapse hits, which has happened to every lowlife, dirtbag deficit-spending government who tried this stupid crap Every Freaking Time (EFT) in the last 4,500 years.

She admitted that she hadn’t, so I said to her, in a delicate way, like a kindly uncle gently instructing a wayward and ignorant child, “Then you’re a moron! Instead of gold, silver and oil saving your butt, which, by the way, looks big in those pants, it is going to get chewed up by ruinous inflation and economic collapse!”

Well, I figured that she would say, “Thanks for the important information!” since she has beneficially learned – at absolutely no cost to her! – that she is a moron, plus she now knows that those pants make her butt look big. A two-fer!

She did not, as I supposed, thank me. Instead, she’s hated me ever since, and every time I get summoned to my boss’s office, I always ask her stupid secretary, “Have you bought any gold, silver or oil to save that big butt of yours from the raging inflation in prices that will be caused by the Federal Reserve creating so much money?” and she says, “No,” and I say, “Then you’re a moron!” and she replies, “No, YOU’RE the moron!” and I will cleverly reply, “No, YOU’RE the moron!” and she’s yelling back at me, “No, YOU’RE the moron!” which is about when my boss usually comes out of her office and tells us to immediately stop acting like children.

I say, “It’s her that is acting like a child with a big butt! I tell her to buy gold, silver and oil, which is the only intelligent, time-tested, guaranteed thing to do when the loathsome Federal Reserve is creating so much money, but she never does! So she’s the childish idiot, not me!”

Well, my boss, with an angry look on her face, hisses at me through clenched teeth to “get into my office this instant!”

Well, it turns out that she had found out that somebody (meaning me) had screwed up the big order from old man Sanderson, and now the Sanderson account was in danger, and he was really angry.

She says, “What did you do to him to make him angrily cancel his account, threaten to have his lawyers sue us, and make a lot of vague death threats against you personally?”

Well, I told her that the problem was caused by The Washington Post breaking the story that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is, as was always suspected, corrupt. The headline was “Commodity Futures Trading Commission judge says colleague biased against complainants.”

It turns out that George H. Painter is “one of two administrative law judges presiding over investor complaints at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission,” and he writes that the other CFTC judge, Judge Bruce Levine, had “a secret agreement with a former Republican chairwoman of the agency to stand in the way of investors filing complaints with the agency.”

The seamy corruption was a permanent bias against investors in disputes “as a favor to Wendy Gramm, then Chairwoman of the Commission” to “never rule in a complainant’s favor.”

Damningly, Mr. Painter wrote, “A review of his rulings will confirm that he fulfilled his vow,” and that in the last 10 years, “Levine had never ruled in favor of an investor.” Never!

The important part, for me, was when her husband, the laughable former senator from Texas, Phil Gramm, said he would “pass along a message” but added, “I doubt she’s going to want to get involved in this.”

My boss, by this time, was looking at me with this look of unbelieving incredulousness on her stupid face, her mouth actually falling open in stunned stupefaction. Then she says to me, “What has that got to do with the Sanderson account?”

So, I said, as will probably Ms. Gramm, “I don’t want to get involved in this!”

Then I got up, left her office in a huff, and went out to have a few drinks to steady my nerves, figuring that by the time I get to work tomorrow, she will have smoothed things over with Sanderson and we can all start some crapola “healing process” of forgiving and forgetting.

And her secretary? She’s still a moron who has not bought any gold, silver or oil. Just between you and me, maybe that explains her fat butt! Hahaha!

If so, then my new Mogambo Slogan Of Inspiration (MSOI) is, “Whee! Buying gold, silver and oil is an easy investment, and in doing so, I got a great-looking butt for free, too!”

The Mogambo Guru
for The Daily Reckoning

Investing in Gold Will Save Your Butt originally appeared in the Daily Reckoning. The Daily Reckoning, offers a uniquely refreshing, perspective on the global economy, investing, gold, stocks and today’s markets. Its been called “the most entertaining read of the day.”

Read more here:
Investing in Gold Will Save Your Butt




The Daily Reckoning is a contrarian e-letter, brought to you by New York Times best-selling authors Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin since 1999. The DR looks at the economic world-at-large and offers its major players – investors, politicians, economists and the average consumer – some much-needed constructive criticism.

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