It remains to be seen who will be the Democratic presidential candidate in 2016. After this week’s congressional hearings on Benghazi it is certain that Hillary Clinton—the worst Secretary of State in American history—will not be that person. If this country’s political system has some spark left, the Libyan scandal will also come to define the Obama presidency.
The Department of State and the White House did their utmost to conceal the true nature of the attack last September 11, in which Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed. It was a brazen act of Islamic terrorism, carried out by hard-core jihadists, of course, but the Administration was understandably loath to admit that its former Libyan protégés were the culprits. The result was an elaborate, conspiratorial subterfuge. It entailed penalizing a senior career diplomat—Gregory Hicks, the Deputy Mission Chief in Tripoli—who refused to go along with the Administration’s patently absurd claim that the attack was the result of a spontaneous demonstration sparked off by an “anti-Islamic” video posted on YouTube.
Last Wednesday, Hicks testified before the House Oversight Committee that he called an acting assistant secretary to dispute Susan Rice’s claim—made on Sunday news shows five days after the attack—that the outrage was caused by the clip. He said he was “stunned” by the claim, because he knew that the video was actually a “nonevent” in Libya. “My jaw dropped,” he said. “I was embarrassed.” Hicks was immediately rebuked for his misgivings, and told in no uncertain terms to drop that line of questioning. He got a call from Beth Jones, an acting assistant secretary to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to stop doubting Washington’s stance that the attack was spurred by a protest: “The sense I got is that I needed to stop my line of questioning.” All efforts to get military help to the consulate were rebuffed, according to Hicks, and special forces in Tripoli wanting to help were “furious.”
Hicks further said that, within weeks, his performance was criticized by superiors: he received a “blistering critique” of his management style. This was a classic case of punishing the potential whistle-blower, not for speaking out—Hicks had remained silent until the hearing—but for doing his job. Hicks also revealed that Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s Chief of Staff, told him that he could not speak to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah)—who went to Libya on a fact-finding mission—unless a State Department attorney was in attendance. Hicks called the attorney “the minder,” send to monitor what was being said.
The end result was a demotion of Hicks. As Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) noted, his testimony provided proof conclusive that Hillary Clinton was personally involved in trying to suppress information about the true nature of the attack.
Mark Thompson, under-secretary at the Department of State’s counterterrorism bureau, provided evidence that supported Hick’s account—and then some more. He testified that the Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST), was not allowed to respond to the attack. Thompson noted that FEST was specifically created to respond to just such attacks. This tallies with Hicks. “Is anything coming?” he asked a defense attaché at the embassy in Tripoli as he worked to coordinate a response during the attack. “Will they be sending us any help? Is there something out there?” There was nothing, by the will of Washington.
Following Hick’s testimony House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) asked the White House and State Department to release all emails related to the attack which House committees were able to see, but not keep or share, during their investigation: “Last I remember, the President said, and I’ll quote, ‘Would be happy to cooperate with the Congress in any way the Congress wants.’ Well, this is his chance to show his cooperation so that we can get to the truth of what happened in Benghazi.” Boehner is asking for two sets of emails which show that the White House tried to change the initial characterization of the attack in Benghazi from a potential terrorist attack by Islamic terrorists to a spontaneous demonstration in reaction to the amateur film: “The truth shouldn’t be hidden from the American people behind a White House firewall.”
The first set of emails, sent one day after the attack, provide evidence that a senior State Department official told her superiors that in his final message Stevens said the attack “was conducted by Islamic terrorists.” This was four days before Susan Rice said went on Meet the Press and other Sunday news shows to claim that the attack was the result of a spontaneous demonstration. The second set of emails concerns frantic exchanges between the White House and State Department officials, where the former “insisted on removing all references to the terrorist attack to protect the State Department for providing inadequate security.”
According to Boehner, “somebody clearly decided they didn’t like the references to Islamic terrorism and made changes in this document.”
Contrary to administration claims that the mistaken description of the nature of the attack reflected “the best intelligence at the time,” we now know that the talking points that led to Susan Rice’s statement were revised 12 times. Early drafts contained references to Al Qaeda but they were later deleted. Especially damning is the fact that State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland pressed the CIA to delete references to the agency’s earlier warnings. As ABC News reported on Friday, the original paragraph read:
The Agency has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al-Qa’ida in Benghazi and eastern Libya. These noted that, since April [2012[, there have been at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British Ambassador's convoy. We cannot rule out the individuals has previously surveilled the U.S. facilities, also contributing to the efficacy of the attacks.
Nuland wrote that the lines “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either? Concerned …” The offending paragraph was duly deleted. It is now also known that then-CIA Director David Petraeus voiced surprise when he learned three days after the attack that officials had deleted all prior references to Al Qaeda and jihadists, leaving only the word “extremists.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney nevertheless maintains that “what we said and what remains true to this day is that the intelligence community drafted and redrafted these points.” He stood by claim that White House involvement was minimal: “the only edits made by anyone here at the White House were stylistic and non-substantive. They corrected the description of the building or the facility in Benghazi from consulate todiplomatic facility and the like.” On the same day State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell asserted that Rice’s comments were based on the intelligence community’s “best assessment that there was not any evidence of months-long pre-planning or pre-meditation, which remains their assessment.”
This is no mere spinmaster’s misrepresentation, it is a lie. On the basis of numerous off-the-record conversations with those in the know, I can aver that it never was the intelligence community’s true assessment, and it is not its assessment now.
The truth of the matter is that Obama and his team remain hell-bent on constructing user-friendly jihadists, and they will not allow the reality to get in the way of their construct. Egypt, the pivotal Arab nation, has already paid the price, as well as Libya and Tunisia. Syria may be next. Boston was but a minor sideshow, in terms of blood but not in terms of impact, in the unfolding tragedy. We have the most jihad-friendly administration the non-Muslim world has ever known.
The title of today’s column, “There Is A Conspiracy,” is a direct quote from Ezekiel 22:25. In this passage, God instructed Ezekiel to blow the whistle on the conspiracy of Israel’s prophets to deny people truth, to devour people’s souls, to defraud people’s substance, and to destroy people’s lives. I dare say this conspiracy is still alive and well today. Many pastors and religious leaders in 2013 America are as guilty of Ezekiel’s charges as were Israel’s ancient prophets.
However, use the word “conspiracy” today and even most Christians will roll their eyes in disbelief. And, of course, the mainstream media is so paranoid of the word conspiracy that one has to speculate that the reason for this aversion to objectively dealing with the subject is simply due to the fact that they are among the co-conspirators.
But once in awhile, someone in the media has the guts to broach the subject of conspiracy. My friends at TruthAlliance.net recently covered a report written by Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone Magazine. Taibbi begins his report saying, “Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world’s largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything.”
Speaking of the LIBOR and other Wall Street scandals, Taibbi goes on to write, “All of these stories collectively pointed to the same thing: These banks, which already possess enormous power just by virtue of their financial holdings–in the United States, the top six banks, many of them the same names you see on the Libor and ISDAfix panels, own assets equivalent to 60 percent of the nation’s GDP–are beginning to realize the awesome possibilities for increased profit and political might that would come with colluding instead of competing. Moreover, it’s increasingly clear that both the criminal justice system and the civil courts may be impotent to stop them, even when they do get caught working together to game the system.
“If true, that would leave us living in an era of undisguised, real-world conspiracy, in which the prices of currencies, commodities like gold and silver, even interest rates and the value of money itself, can be and may already have been dictated from above. And those who are doing it can get away with it. Forget the Illuminati–this is the real thing, and it’s no secret. You can stare right at it, anytime you want.”
See the report at:
Hallelujah! Just about everybody with an IQ over 80 knew it; so it’s about time someone finally said it: gold and silver prices are “rigged.” So is the Petro-Dollar. So is the ammo shortage. So are the headlines on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC. And so are many of our national catastrophes.
Back in 2011, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was added to the list of “conspiracy nuts” when tapes that were recorded within months of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, which had been sealed in a vault at the Kennedy Library in Boston, were released. In the tapes, former First Lady Jackie Kennedy revealed that she believed Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson and other “influential individuals” orchestrated the Dallas shooting that killed her husband.
Wow! Jackie Kennedy didn’t believe the official government story that her husband was killed by a “lone gunman.” She believed there was a conspiracy of “influential individuals” who colluded in killing her husband.
I’m with Jackie! Even though I was only a little boy when President Kennedy was assassinated, I could never wrap my head around the “lone gunman” theory. And the older I got, and the more I studied that tragedy, the more I became convinced there was a giant conspiracy involved in both killing the President and covering it up after he had been killed. I still believe that today.
While we are talking about conspiracies, let’s talk about a few more.
TWA Flight 800 “Explosion”
Do you really believe the official story of the crash of TWA flight 800 in 1996? What if an American missile accidentally shot down that jetliner? Do you really think the federal government would come clean about it?
Read this report from The Washington Weekly, if you are willing to be enlightened:
Oklahoma City Bombing
Do readers really believe the official story that Timothy McVeigh acted alone in igniting the explosion that took down the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and that there was no cover-up as to what actually happened? I don’t.
Here is where you can get started on this one:
9/11 Twin Towers and Pentagon Attacks
There has been so much written on this subject, I will let readers fend for themselves as to personal research on the matter. Without wading too deeply into this discussion (and for the sake of column space), let me ask just one simple question. Pray tell, what took down Building 7? To this good hour, I have not heard one single plausible explanation proffered by any government or media representative that explains why Building 7 collapsed.
Do I know what really happened on 9/11? No. But do I believe that the government is purposefully keeping the American people in the dark as to what really happened on 9/11/01? You bet I do! Do I believe that there is a cover-up of crucial evidence related to 9/11 by both the federal government and the national news media? You bet I do!
Another event that the official version is just completely unbelievable to me is the earthquake in Haiti in January of 2010. I will always believe that there was so much to this story that we were not being told. It didn’t “smell” right to me when it happened; it doesn’t “smell” right to me now. If you’re interested, try perusing through some of this information:
Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria Wars
Let me be so blunt as to say I don’t believe the official story about any of the wars America is waging in the Middle East. I believe virtually every reason George W. Bush gave the American people for attacking and invading Iraq was a premeditated, bald-faced lie! And I believe every reason Barack Obama gives for staying at war in the Middle East is a premeditated bald-faced lie!
I believe the so-called “War on Terror” which justifies endless wars abroad and endless surveillance at home is completely manufactured by those in government and business for personal economic and political interests. In the name of fighting for freedom overseas, the central government in Washington, D.C., is turning America’s homeland into a giant prison-camp. Pray tell, what good does it do to send American troops overseas to fight a war for freedom, then turn around and use the war for freedom overseas as an excuse to expunge the freedoms of the American people here at home? If that doesn’t smell of conspiracy, nothing does!
Ron Paul was right! “Blowback” truly is a reality; and America’s “War on Terror” is actually making the United States less safe, not more. In fact, if you really want to get sick to your stomach over what this so-called “War on Terror” is accomplishing and why so many people around the world are coming to hate us, take a look at this report:
The Boston Bombings
Noted researcher and analyst, Joel Skousen, recently wrote a detailed and lengthy exposé on the Boston Bombings in his excellent World Affairs Brief (which I highly recommend). Here is just a short clip:
“It seems very suspicious that the FBI would release so many photos and video excerpts (including even partial and grainy shots as if they are presenting everything possible) showing the brothers [accused bombers] in the area, but then they fail to produce the most conclusive evidence that matches what the indictment says.
“This narrative is so specific that it would be very risky for a federal official to make such detailed reference to video evidence if they did not actually possess it–unless they already had a legal strategy worked out where the claimed evidence would be suppressed under the government’s habitual use of the State Secrets doctrine or via a compliant judge who has agreed in advance to seal the evidence. The suppression of key evidence has been a central part of every major government cover-up including the JFK and Martin Luther King assassinations, Oklahoma City bombing and both WTC attacks.”
To subscribe to Skousen’s World Affairs Brief, go to:
Skousen is right to be suspicious. Agencies of the federal government have long-facilitated terrorist plots in this country. Even the New York Times carried an editorial outlining a long list of examples of how the FBI hatches and then “discovers” terrorist plots.
See the Times editorial at:
Furthermore, writing for Infowars.com, Paul Joseph Watson chronicles the long-established pattern of central governments in creating national terror as a vehicle with which to blame other groups and set in motion whatever predetermined plan had been previously concocted.
See Watson’s report at:
The Connecticut School Shootings, The Colorado Theater Shootings, etc.
There are so many inconsistencies, changed stories, and conflicting reports with virtually every official report regarding these mass shootings, so much so that it is difficult for any rationally thinking person to believe them. Unfortunately, the absence of true objective investigative reporting by the national news media means the vast majority of the American people will never have the information they need and, thus, they will never know the truth about any of these mass shootings. All the news media does today is simply regurgitate the official government story, without question. (That’s why, if you truly want to be informed, you must abandon the controlled propaganda press corps and research independent sources. But even there, one must be careful. Not every independent source is reliable. Plus, government propagandists are at work planting bogus information on the Internet and elsewhere in an attempt to make government critics appear foolish.) But there is one constant that surrounds every mass shooting: the push for increased gun control by anti-freedom politicians. Yes, I realize we could put this under the “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste” (Rahm Emanuel) category. But I’m so cynical now that I’m seeing the potential for the dark side of government behind every mass shooting.
Speaking of defending the Second Amendment, there is a brand new film being produced entitled, MOLON LABE: How The Second Amendment Guarantees America’s Freedom, based on the masterful research of attorney Edwin Vieira, Jr., in his book, The Sword and Sovereignty. The film features people such as Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, Larry Pratt, G. Edward Griffin, Alex Jones, Stewart Rhodes, and yours truly. This film has the potential to be a “game-changer” in the attacks against the preservation of our right to keep and bear arms. Acclaimed producer James Jaeger is nearing final editing and could really use the support of thousands of freedomists around the country. Your contributions to this project could pay off mightily in helping to preserve the Second Amendment. I highly encourage readers to seriously consider donating to the completion of this terrific film. It is a film that Barack Obama and Dianne Feinstein hope will never be seen. Here is the trailer along with information on how you can contribute:
So, Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone Magazine, the late Jackie Kennedy Onassis, and the Prophet Ezekiel all agree: “There is a conspiracy.” I believe it.
The politicians of the western world are coming after your bank accounts. In fact, Cyprus-style “bail-ins” are actually proposed in the new Canadian government budget. When I first heard about this I was quite skeptical, so I went and looked it up for myself. And guess what? It is right there in black and white on pages 144 and 145 of “Economic Action Plan 2013″ which the Harper government has already submitted to the House of Commons. This new budget actually proposes “to implement a ‘bail-in’ regime for systemically important banks” in Canada. “Economic Action Plan 2013″ was submitted on March 21st, which means that this “bail-in regime” was likely being planned long before the crisis in Cyprus ever erupted. So exactly what in the world is going on here? In addition, as you will see below, it is being reported that the European Parliament will soon be voting on a law which would require that large banks be “bailed in” when they fail. In other words, that new law would make Cyprus-style bank account confiscation the law of the land for the entire EU. I can’t even begin to describe how serious all of this is. From now on, when major banks fail they are going to bail them out by grabbing the money that is in your bank accounts. This is going to absolutely shatter faith in the banking system and it is actually going to make it far more likely that we will see major bank failures all over the western world.
What you are about to see absolutely amazed me when I first saw it. The Canadian government is actually proposing that what just happened in Cyprus should be used as a blueprint for future bank failures up in Canada.
The following comes from pages 144 and 145 of “Economic Action Plan 2013″ which you can find right here. Apparently the goal is to find a way to rescue “systemically important banks” without the use of taxpayer funds…
Canada’s large banks are a source of strength for the Canadian economy. Our large banks have become increasingly successful in international markets, creating jobs at home.
The Government also recognizes the need to manage the risks associated with systemically important banks — those banks whose distress or failure could cause a disruption to the financial system and, in turn, negative impacts on the economy. This requires strong prudential oversight and a robust set of options for resolving these institutions without the use of taxpayer funds, in the unlikely event that one becomes non-viable.
So if taxpayer funds will not be used to bail out the banks, how will it be done? Well, the Canadian government is actually proposing that a “bail-in” regime be implemented…
The Government proposes to implement a “bail-in” regime for systemically important banks.This regime will be designed to ensure that, in the unlikely event that a systemically important bank depletes its capital, the bank can be recapitalized and returned to viability through the very rapid conversion of certain bank liabilities into regulatory capital. This will reduce risks for taxpayers. The Government will consult stakeholders on how best to implement a bail-in regime in Canada. Implementation timelines will allow for a smooth transition for affected institutions, investors and other market participants.
So if the banks take extreme risks with their money and lose, “certain bank liabilities” (i.e. deposits) will rapidly be converted into “regulatory capital” and the banks will be saved.
In other words, the banks will just be allowed to grab money directly out of your bank accounts to recapitalize themselves.
That may sound completely and utterly insane to us, but this is how things will now be done all over the western world.
Sometimes a “bail-in” can be done by just converting unsecured debt into equity, but as we just saw in Cyprus, often when there is a major bank failure a lot more money is required to “fix the banks” than can possibly be raised by converting unsecured debt into equity. That is when it becomes very tempting to dip into uninsured back accounts.
In fact, some European politicians are openly admitting as much. According to RT, the European Parliament will soon be voting on a new law which will make Cyprus-style bank account confiscation a permanent part of the solution when major banks fail throughout the EU…
A senior lawmaker told Reuters the Cyprus model may not be an isolated case, and is perhaps a future template in dealing with troubled European banks.
The new template is now likely to turn into a full-scale EU law, letting taxpayers off the hook in case a bail-out is needed, but imposing major losses on bigger savers on a permanent basis.
“You need to be able to do the bail-in as well with deposits,” said Gunnar Hokmark, member of European Parliament, who is leading negotiations with EU countries to finalize a law for winding up problem banks, Reuters reported.
“Deposits below 100,000 euros are protected … deposits above 100,000 euros are not protected and shall be treated as part of the capital that can be bailed in,” Hokmark told Reuters, adding that he was confident a majority of his peers in the parliament backed the idea.
The European Commission has written the draft of the law, which now awaits approval from eurozone member states and the parliament on whether and when it can be implemented. It’s been reported, the law is planned to take effect in the beginning of 2015.
Are you starting to understand?
The other day when I said that “The Global Elite Are Very Clearly Telling Us That They Plan To Raid Our Bank Accounts“, I was not exaggerating.
And for those in Cyprus with deposits of over 100,000 euros, the news just keeps getting worse and worse.
When the crisis first erupted, they were told that 10 percent of all deposits over 100,000 euros would be confiscated.
Then a few days later they were told that it would be 40 percent.
Now, according to the Washington Post, those with deposits over 100,000 euros at the second largest bank in Cyprus may lose as much as80 percent of those deposits…
A deal was finally reached in Brussels with other euro countries and the International Monetary Fund early Monday. The country’s second-largest bank, Laiki, is to be split up, with its healthy assets being absorbed into the Bank of Cyprus. Savers with more 100,000 euros ($129,000) in either Bank of Cyprus and Laiki will face big losses. At Laiki, those could reach as much as 80 percent of amounts above the 100,000 insured limit; those at Bank of Cyprus are expected to be much lower.
Sadly, the truth is that those people will be lucky to ever see any of that money ever again.
How would you feel if someone came along and wiped out your life savings so that banks that took incredibly reckless risks could be bailed out?
Needless to say, a lot of people in Cyprus are very, very angry right now. The following reactions from outraged depositors in Cyprus are from Sky News…
“They have stolen our money,” Milton Loucas told Sky News.
“I have been working for 60 years. I am 80 years old. I cannot work again for my living – they have cut the lot.
“Our money, our social insurance – they have cut them. How are we going to live?”
Another Cypriot, Stelios, came out of the bank empty handed.
“I tried to get my February wages and they gave me a piece of paper only,” he said.
“I have two children in the army and they asked for money – I don’t have money to give them.
“The Government didn’t pay anybody. My old parents didn’t get their pension.”
A lot of people have just had their entire lives turned upside down.
But there were some people that were told ahead of the crisis and were able to get their money out in time.
According to the BBC, foreigners pulled a whopping 18 percent of their money out of Cyprus banks during the month of February alone…
Information from the Central Bank of Cyprus released on Thursday showed that foreign depositors had already withdrawn 18% of their cash from the nation’s banks during February, before the current crisis hit home.
So how did they know to pull their money out and who told them?
In addition, branches of the two largest banks in Cyprus were kept open in Moscow and London even after all of the banks in Cyprus itself were shut down. So wealthy Russians and wealthy Brits have been able to take all of their money out of those banks while the people of Cyprus have been unable to. It is hard to even find the words to describe how unfair that is. The following is from a recent article by Mark J. Grant…
So let us then turn back to Cyprus and see why the Russians are not quite so upset as they were at the beginning of the crisis. The answer to this question is Uniastrum bank which is headquartered in Moscow. Eighty percent (80%) is owned by the Bank of Cyprus. After the crisis began and right up until the capital controls were implemented the bank wasopen for business with no restrictions upon withdrawals. So the crisis began, was all over the Press and the Russian depositors walked into the local bank and withdrew their money from Uniastrum, the Bank of Cyprus, or had it wired in from the other local Cyprus banks and it was then withdrawn. Problem solved!
At the same time Laiki bank and the Bank of Cyprus had operating branches in London. There were no restrictions there either so people could walk into those banks and withdraw their money as well. No restrictions at all right up until the time of the Capital Controls. In the meantime, in Cyprus, people and institutions could not get at their money so the Russians and many British took out their money, closed their accounts while the people in Cyprus were left high and dry.
The wealthy always seem to come out ahead somehow, don’t they?
Meanwhile, those in Cyprus with deposits under 100,000 euros are now dealing with some very stringent capital controls. In other words, there are some very tight restrictions on what they can do with their money. For example, the maximum daily cash withdrawal has been set at 300 euros. The following are some of the other restrictions that are in force right now…
As well as the daily withdrawal limit, Cypriots may not cash cheques.
Payments and/or transfers outside Cyprus via debit and or credit cards are allowed up to 5,000 euros per person per month.
Transactions of 5,000-200,000 euros will be reviewed by a specially established committee, with applications for those over 200,000 euros needing individual approval.
Travellers leaving the country will only be allowed to take 1,000 euros with them.
When the next great wave of the economic collapse strikes, capital controls and bank account confiscation will suddenly become “normal” all over the world.
So get prepared while you still can.
One thing that you can do is make sure that you don’t have all of your eggs in one basket. The following is what Jim Rogers recently told CNBC…
“I, for one, am making sure I don’t have too much money in any one specific bank account anywhere in the world, because now there is a precedent,” he said. “The IMF has said ‘sure, loot the bank accounts’ the EU has said ‘loot the bank accounts’ so you can be sure that other countries when problems come, are going to say, ‘well, it’s condoned by the EU, it’s condoned by the IMF, so let’s do it too.’”
The more places that you have your money, the more difficult it will be for “the powers that be” to loot it.
The global elite are fundamentally changing the game. From now on, no bank account on earth will ever be able to be considered “100% safe” again. This is going to create an atmosphere of fear and panic, and no financial system can operate normally when you destroy the confidence that people have in it.
Confidence is a funny thing – it can take decades to build, but it can be destroyed in a single moment.
None of us will ever be able to have confidence in our bank accounts again, and I fear that the next wave of the economic collapse may be closer than I had first anticipated.
Source: The Economic Collapse
The Dow is at a record high and so are corporate profits – so why does it feel like most of the country is deeply suffering right now? Real household income is the lowest that it has been in a decade, poverty is absolutely soaring,47 million Americans are on food stamps and the middle class is being systematically destroyed. How can big corporations be doing so well while most American families are having such a hard time? Isn’t their wealth supposed to “trickle down” to the rest of us? Unfortunately, that is not how the real world works. Today, most big corporations are trying to minimize the number of “expensive” American workers on their payrolls as much as they can. If the big corporation that is employing you can figure out a way to replace you with a worker in China or with a robot, it will probably do it. Corporations are in existence to maximize wealth for their shareholders, and most of the time the largest corporations are dominated by the monopoly men of the global elite. Over the decades, the politicians that have their campaigns funded by these monopoly men have rigged the game so that the big corporations are able to easily dominate everything. But this was never what those that founded this country intended. America was supposed to be a place where the power of collectivist institutions would be greatly limited, and individuals and small businesses would be free to compete in a capitalist system that would reward anyone that had a good idea and that was willing to work hard. But today, our economy is completely and totally dominated by a massively bloated federal government and by absolutely gigantic predator corporations that are greatly favored by our massively bloated federal government. Our founders tried to warn us about the dangers of allowing government, banks and corporations to accumulate too much power, but we didn’t listen. Now they dominate everything, and the rest of us are fighting for table scraps.
In early America, most states had strict laws governing the size and scope of corporations. Individuals and small businesses thrived in such an environment, and the United States experienced a period of explosive economic growth. We showed the rest of the world that capitalism really works, and we eventually built the largest middle class that the world had ever seen.
But now we have replaced capitalism with something that I like to call “corporatism”. In many ways, it shares a lot of characteristics with communism, and that is why nations such as communist China have embraced it so readily. Under “corporatism”, monolithic predator corporations run around sucking up as much wealth and economic power as they possibly can. Most individuals and small businesses cannot compete and end up getting absorbed by the corporations. These mammoth collectivist institutions are in private hands rather than in government hands (as would be the case under a pure form of communism), but the results are pretty much the same either way. A tiny elite at the top gets almost all of the economic rewards.
There are some out there that would suggest that the answer to our problems is to move more in the direction of “socialism”, but to be honest that wouldn’t be the solution to anything. It would just change how the table scraps that the rest of us are getting are distributed.
If we truly wanted a return to prosperity, we need to dramatically shift the rules of the game so that they are tilted back in favor of individuals and small businesses. A much more pure form of capitalism would mean more wealth, less poverty and a more equitable distribution of the economic rewards in this country.
But it will never happen. Most of our politicians are married to the big corporations and the wealthy elitists that fund their campaigns. And most Americans are so uneducated that they believe that what we actually have today is “capitalism” and that the only alternative is to go “to the left” toward socialism.
Very few people out there are suggesting that we need to greatly reduce the power of the federal government and greatly reduce the power of the big corporations, but that is exactly what we need to do. We need to give individuals and small businesses room to breathe once again.
With each passing year, things get even worse. In fact, the founder of Subway Restaurants recently said that the environment for small businesses is so toxic in America today that he never would have been able to start Subway if he had to do it today.
For much more on how small business is being strangled to death in the United States, please see my previous article entitled “We Are Witnessing The Death Of Small Business In America“.
What I want to do now is to discuss some of the results that “corporatism” is producing in America.
First of all, we continue to see incomes go down even though we live in an inflationary economy.
As Time Magazine recently reported, personal incomes took a huge nosedive during the month of January…
Data released by the Commerce Department last week showed that personal income fell 3.6% in January, the biggest decline in 20 years. The drop was even bigger when taxes and inflation are taken into account. Real personal disposable income fell by 4%, the biggest monthly drop in half a century.
Real median US household income — that’s “real,” as in “adjusted for inflation” — was $50,054 in 2011, the most recent data available from the US Census Bureau. That’s 8% lower than the 2007 peak of $54,489.
Meanwhile, big corporations are absolutely raking in the cash. The following is from a recent New York Times article…
“So far in this recovery, corporations have captured an unusually high share of the income gains,” said Ethan Harris, co-head of global economics at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “The U.S. corporate sector is in a lot better health than the overall economy. And until we get a full recovery in the labor market, this will persist.”
The result has been a golden age for corporate profits, especially among multinational giants that are also benefiting from faster growth in emerging economies like China and India.
Just check out the following chart. Corporate profits have absolutely exploded over the past decade…
Meanwhile, wages as a percentage of GDP continue to fall rapidly…
Most of the jobs being created in America today are “low wage” jobs. Tens of millions of Americans are working as hard as they can only to find that they can barely put food on the table and provide a roof over the heads of their children. The ranks of the “working poor” are exploding and the middle class continues to shrink.
Many of you that are reading this article are members of the working poor. You know what it is like to stare up at your ceiling at night wondering how you are going to pay the bills next month.
Today, most Americans are living very close to the edge financially. A recent article by NBC News staff writer Allison Linn shared some of their stories. The following is one example…
Crystal Dupont knows what it’s like to try to live on the federal minimum wage.
Dupont has no health insurance, so she hasn’t seen a doctor in two years. She’s behind on her car payments and has taken out pawn shop and payday loans to cover other monthly expenses. She eats beans and oatmeal when her food budget gets low.
When she got her tax refund recently, she used the money to get ahead on her light bill.
“I try to live within my means, but sometimes you just can’t,” said Dupont, 25. The Houston resident works 30 to 40 hours a week taking customer service calls, earning between $7.25 and $8 an hour. That came to about $15,000 last year.
It’s a wage she’s lived on for a while now, but just barely.
Sadly, the number of Americans that are “just barely” surviving continues to grow.
But if corporate profits are soaring to unprecedented heights, then who is getting all of those rewards?
The monopoly men of the global elite are.
Just check out the following video which does a great job of illustrating how corporatism has systematically funneled all of the economic rewards in our system to the very top…
Once again, I want to make it very clear that I am not advocating socialism as the answer in any way, shape or form. Socialism takes away the incentive to create wealth and it almost always results in almost all of the economic rewards going to a very tiny elite anyway.
As I said earlier, what we need is a return to a much more pure form of capitalism, but this is so foreign to the way that most people think that most people will not be able to grasp this.
It certainly would be possible to greatly reduce the power of the federal government and greatly reduce the power of the big corporations at the same time, but this is so “outside the box” for most people that they cannot even conceive of doing such a thing.
We need to create an environment where individuals and small businesses can thrive once again. But instead, most of us are content to continue “playing the game” and getting enslaved in even more debt.
For example, according to CNBC, auto loans just continue to get larger and continue to get stretched out for longer periods of time…
American car buyers, attracted by new models and cheap financing, are taking out bigger auto loans and stretching out the terms of those loans to a new record length.
New analysis from Experian Automotive shows the average new car loan in the fourth quarter of last year was $26,691 and stretched out over an average of 65 months. The length of the average loan is one month longer than the previous record set in the third quarter of last year.
What will they think of next?
Will we eventually have auto loans that get paid off over 10 years?
By the way, that is another way that the monopoly men of the global elite get all of our money. They enslave us to debt, and we spend year after year of our lives slaving away to make them even wealthier.
They are very smart. There is a reason why they have 32 TRILLION dollars stashed away in offshore tax havens. They know how to play the game, and they are very happy that most of the rest of us are asleep.
Fortunately, it appears that an increasing number of Americans are waking up.
For example, I wanted to share with you all an excerpt from a comment that one of my readers left on one of my recent articles…
In the past year, I’ve been slowly but surely waking up to the nonsense happening around me. There’s so many things I need to simply get off my chest, so excuse the length of this post. Recently in the past two years, I’ve gotten married and have been medically discharged from the Marines after being injured in Afghanistan. Being 23 years old and married, my goal is secure a secure a future for my family, but with the way things are going, I’m not exactly sure how much of a future we’re going to have in 50 years. I can’t explain it, but I’ve felt this need to change my attitude and motivations lately.
I started by turning off the garbage music, television and other mindless entertainment that seems to plague my generation. It was easier than it looked – I don’t miss most of it really. The next order of business was to educate myself on world news, so that’s what I did. Every day, like clockwork, I check all major mainstream news feeds (NBC, Fox, Abc, CNN, Reuters, BBC, etc.) as well as not-so-mainstream news sites – yours being one of them. It’s incredible how fast our world changes and the manner in which it changes. The local 10 o’clock doesn’t show anything but local news, sports, weather, lottery #’s and whatever else they decide to throw in. It’s a night and day difference once you start to actually research and see what’s happening all over the world. Look at the number of comments about a news story on the economy and then look at a celebrity story on the “news”….People are so blind, it truly amazes me. My friends, family and classmates at college seem to be under a spell of some sort. They’re distracted – and it’s contagious. Nobody I know gives a damn about global affairs/economics. They’re more interested in the newest iPhone, cars, shows, movies, and just about anything else you can think of. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with these things, but my friends/family/peers are CONSUMED by these distractions. When the election was taking place in 2012, every Tom, Dick and Harry on Facebook had an opinion and rant. After the circus ended however, everyone simply went back to posting about parties, kittens, Farmville etc. It’s a huge joke. For me, it’s little terrifying and exciting to see history unfolding in front of our eyes. This country of ours is going through big changes now that will most certainly affect our future, so I strive to adapt and prepare myself and my family. I’m looking at buying my first home this summer. Right now I live in an apartment right outside Philly and spend more money on rent than most pay for a mortgage. I need a house with a little land to raise chickens, grow fruits/vegetables, store canned food – and to be as independent from the system as I can. For my job, I wanted a skill/trade that people would always need, so I picked the funeral business. On the side, I work in construction and have been learning everything there is to know about building with my own two hands. I feel as though these old forgotten skills are going to be handy in a short while.
Hopefully we can get a lot more people to wake up and start breaking out of “the matrix” of control that is all around us.
Right now, the system is designed to continually funnel more money and more power to the very top of the pyramid. The global elite are becoming more dominant with each passing day. Unless something dramatic happens, at some point the American people will become so powerless that they won’t be able to do anything about it even if they wanted to.
The idea of a very tiny elite completely dominating all the rest of us goes against everything that America is supposed to stand for. In the end, it will result in absolute tyranny if it is not stopped.
Source: The Economic Collapse
U.S. politicians have cried wolf over austerity long enough for the public to ignore them. A perfect time, then, for politicians to actually unleash the wolves. Barring an unlikely last minute deal, here’s a short list of some of the massive, national bi-partisan-created austerity cuts, according to the New York Times
600,000 food stamp recipients will be cut from the program
Massive education cuts. According to President Obama: Once these cuts take effect thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off and tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care for their kids. “
$12 billion in Medicare cuts (more to come after 2013)
Federal funds to state governments will be cut, creating even more deficits for states and municipalities, and thus more localized cuts (the states have already made austerity cuts of $337 billion!)
Also, 700,000 jobs are expected to be loss, while 70,000 kids are also expected to be kicked off of Head Start
And this is just for 2013. The current plan for the austerity “sequester” cuts is $100 billion of federal cuts every year for ten years, equaling massive cuts to jobs, Medicare, education, and completely destroying federally funded social programs.
Will it actually happen this time? The New York Times reports:
In private, Capitol Hill staff members and members of Congress have admitted that there are no viable plans on the horizon to delay or offset the cuts.
The finger pointing in Washington, D.C. has already reached a crescendo, with the perverted logic being that, if both parties are to blame, it’s really no one’s fault. In reality Democrats and Republicans created these “sequester” cuts, and they can just as easily undo them with a snap of the finger.
Both parties are choosing not to delete the cuts. They just don’t want political responsibility for the fallout, which many economists have predicted will push the U.S. economy over the edge into official recession.
Obama has predictably blamed the Republicans for this mess, even though he personally began this process by creating the “deficit reduction commission” that helped shape the cuts (keep in mind there is zero debt crisis that calls for such drastic measures).
Obama could also just as easily appeal to the American public — over the heads of congressmen — to demand that the cuts be shelved forever. Instead, he’s proposing a “grand bargain” deal that he knows the Republicans won’t go for.
What’s in Obama’s grand bargain deal? According to the White House website:
$130 billion in “savings” [cuts] to Social Security, by implementing a “superlative CPI”
$35 billion in “savings” [cuts] to the retirement of federal employees
$400 billion in health care “savings” [cuts], much of it Medicare cuts.
Obama cynically fails to mention the words Social Security or Medicare in the above plan, choosing instead to write in code (“superlative Consumer Price Index”). Obama’s plan to avoid the March 1st cuts still assumes that $500 billion in cuts will be implemented over the next ten years, as opposed to $1trillion.
But his plan is just a distraction. Obama knows his plan has no chance of being passed by March 1st. He’s falsely portraying his plan as the only alternative to the March 1st cuts, even though a far better idea — the one preferred by a vast majority of Americans — is to simply to shelve the sequester cuts forever. To not put forth this option makes Obama complicit in the cuts.
Many pundits have speculated that Congress will allow the cuts to go into effect for three weeks, since March 27th marks a fiscal deadline that will pressure Congress to maneuver anew. This might trigger a new round of haggling over a new “grand bargain” that again targets “entitlement programs” and re-packages the massive cuts into a prettier box. The party that does the most effective finger pointing after the March 1st cuts will be in the best position to dictate matters post-March 27th, so say the pundits.
Whatever the actual result, the Democrats and Republicans share similar enough visions that massive cuts to cherished social programs appear to be inevitable. Much of the made-for-TV bickering is pure political posturing, meant to fool the working people most affected by these cuts into believing it’s “the other party” that’s responsible.
Politicians have been able to get away with this disgusting behavior because there are very few independent voices telling the truth about what’s happening. Many labor and progressive groups are consciously lying about the dynamic, placing blame squarely on the Republicans, thus allowing the Democrats not to be held accountable for their pandering to the corporate elite’s demand to use austerity to attack the social safety net. In reality both parties are jointly attacking working and poor people via austerity, on a city, state, and national level.
If Labor and community groups united in a demand of ‘No Cuts, Tax the Rich’ and organized massive mobilizations, there would be a very different public debate happening right now. It’s not too late for these groups to tear themselves from the jaws of their attackers.
There is a line from the movie Tombstone (one of my favorite westerns, by the way) in which Val Kilmer’s character, Doc Holliday, says to Wyatt Earp, “My hypocrisy knows no bounds.” (For the record, Kilmer should have won an Oscar for his performance of Doc Holliday in that movie.) Well, my friends, what Doc Holliday said in Tombstone could be said by virtually every prominent gun grabber in the country, because they are the biggest hypocrites the world has ever seen!
Paul Joseph Watson wrote a very enlightening report relative to the way that proponents of gun control are themselves heavily protected BY GUNS. Watson writes:
“The fact that Senator Dianne Feinstein’s gun control bill exempts government officials from the planned semi-auto assault weapons ban illustrates the astounding hypocrisy of gun control advocates who, while working feverishly to disarm the American people, own firearms and surround themselves with armed men.
“As the Washington Times reported last week, ‘Mrs. Feinstein’s measure would exempt more than 2,200 types of hunting and sporting rifles; guns manually operated by bolt, pump, lever or slide action; and WEAPONS USED BY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS.’ (Emphasis in original)
“Back in 1995, while carrying a concealed weapon for her own protection, Feinstein simultaneously called for Mr. and Mrs. America to ‘turn em all in.’
“Feinstein’s hypocrisy has been matched or surpassed by virtually every other public figure now pushing for the second amendment to be eviscerated.”
The report continued saying:
“-While Obama claims that semi-automatic assault rifles should only be in the hands of members of the military, the Department of Homeland Security has purchased no less than 7,000 fully automatic assault weapons for the purpose of ‘personal defense,’ in addition to more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition over the last 10 months alone.
[Notice that when DHS purchases FULLY AUTOMATIC submachine guns, they are called “personal defense weapons,” but when you and I purchase SEMI-AUTOMATIC rifles, they are called “assault weapons.”]
“-While refusing to even consider the idea of arming teachers and school officials to prevent school shootings, Obama recently signed a law that would give him and all past and future presidents armed Secret Service protection for life.
“-During an ABC Nightline interview broadcast on December 26 yet recorded before the Sandy Hook shooting, Obama said one of the benefits of his re-election was the ability ‘to have men with guns around at all times,’ in order to protect his daughters. In addition, the school attended by Obama’s daughters in Washington D.C. has no less than 11 armed security guards on duty at all times.”
The report also said, “Michael Moore, another vehement proponent for gun control, also has armed bodyguards.” And Moore is not the only gun control hypocrite. Watson notes that “Prominent gun control advocates like Piers Morgan, who base their argument on reducing gun violence, routinely threaten violence against ideological adversaries. Morgan once spoke of his desire to use machine guns to ‘take out’ his critics, while also making jokes with his guests about murdering second amendment advocate Alex Jones with a semi-automatic assault rifle during his CNN show on January 8.”
Watson concludes his report saying, “The agenda-driven and factually bankrupt political arguments of gun control advocates may be somewhat easier to stomach if the people making them were not rampant hypocrites who–while calling for the American people to be stripped of their right to bear arms–are precluding themselves from being subjected to the same treatment.”
See Watson’s report at:
The examples of gun control fanatics who either use guns for personal protection or hire guns for their own protection are ubiquitous. Not long ago, a gun-grabbing State senator from North Carolina used his own firearm to shoot intruders. FOX NEWS covers the story:
“Long time Anti-Gun Advocate State Senator R.C. Soles (D-NC), 74, shot one of two intruders at his home just outside Tabor City, N.C. about 5 p.m. Sunday, the prosecutor for the politician’s home county said.”
The report continued saying, “The Senator, who has made a career of being against gun ownership for the general public, didn’t hesitate to defend himself with his own gun when he believed he was in immediate danger and he was the victim.
“In typical hypocritical liberal fashion, the ‘Do as I say and not as I do’ Anti-Gun Activist Lawmaker picked up his gun and took action in what apparently was a self-defense shooting. Why hypocritical you may ask?
“It is because his long legislative record shows that the actions that he took to protect his family, his own response to a dangerous life threatening situation, are actions that he feels ordinary citizens should not have if they were faced with an identical situation.”
See the report at:
Virtually every major proponent of the banning of semi-automatic rifles, from Bob Costas to Joe Scarborough to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, all enjoy varying degrees of ARMED SECURITY–often including semi-automatic, or even fully automatic, rifles. Yet, these same people want to deny you and me the liberty of defending ourselves with a semi-automatic rifle.
And is there anyone reading this so naïve as to think that if they succeed in banning semi-automatic rifles that they would stop there? It has never happened. Disarmament is always accomplished one step at a time. Big-Government toadies will never be content until a population is, for all intents and purposes, totally disarmed. If gun-grabbers get their way, only the privileged few (including them) would be allowed to own their own firearms. The rest of us would be turned into helpless, hapless sheep: unable and incapable of defending ourselves, our homes, or our communities.
Among the thousands of emails I have received over the last few weeks was one written by a professing Christian who rebuked me saying, “The only guns anyone needs to own is a short-barreled shotgun and a large-caliber revolver.”
Does this man truly believe that if the gun-grabbers succeed in banning our semi-automatic rifles that it will stop there? If he does, he is positively delusional! Then, my next question to the gentlemen is, so what will you do when they ban your short-barreled shotgun and large caliber revolver?
The problem with this misguided Christian is that he suffers from the same sickness that many people suffer from: they truly do not understand the purpose of the Second Amendment. It was never about hunting or target shooting or anything of the sort. It was about the ability of the citizenry to be able to withstand government tyranny.
If you don’t think that the government fears an armed citizenry, pay attention to the way virtually any police agency reacts to almost any “dangerous” situation today. With full military garb, military hardware and ordinance, and almost battalion-size numbers, one would think that soldiers were headed to war against an invading army.
And as to the argument that the American people have “no chance” against the US military should the federal government decide to use it to enslave us, one must understand that a significant percentage (if not a majority) of our combat troops love freedom and liberty as much as we do and would use their skills and equipment to fight alongside of their fellow citizens in opposition to a tyrannical government. The hundreds and thousands of combat troops that have written me expressing this exact sentiment is too overwhelming to dismiss. Plus, the sheer number of armed citizens in the U.S. amounts to the largest fighting force in the world. An armed citizenry is anything but helpless.
But the reason so many people today have lost sight of the historical meaning of the Second Amendment is somewhat understandable. In the first place, it has been a long time since the American people have had to use their guns in the defense of their liberties on their own soil. It’s been several generations since the tree of liberty has been watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants (Thomas Jefferson).
In the next place, far, far too many people suffer from the affliction known as the “It Can’t Happen Here” syndrome. Americans today (especially Christians, it seems) are way too trusting of their government. Way too trusting! They seem to have lost all awareness of history–and all rational thought to boot. It is no hyperbole to say that many of today’s Americans are every bit as gullible as were the Germans who rejoiced over the rise of Adolf Hitler, or the Russians and Chinese who still revere the memories of Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-tung. They seem incapable of believing that there could be wicked people in Washington, D.C., who would, if possible, put the shackles of slavery over our necks. In fact, these would-be tyrants attempt to do just that every day with their onerous and burdensome laws, ordinances, and regulations, which are literally strangling the life out of our liberties piece-by-piece.
I dare say if George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Sam Adams, and Patrick Henry lived today, they would have hoisted the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag a long time ago!
In the third place, pacifist preachers are literally killing America! All over the country, local church pastors and radio and TV preachers keep telling their audiences to “trust the government,” “the government is good,” “don’t resist the government,” “Romans 13 says obey the government no matter what,” ad infinitum, ad nauseam.
But what is so incredible with these “don’t resist the government” preachers is that they are the first ones to lead the cheer for America fighting unlimited undeclared, unprovoked, preemptive wars of aggression against governments all over the world. It is okay for Barack Obama to order the killings of hundreds of people (including American citizens and innocents) with no congressional authorization or oversight; it is okay for America to attack and invade sovereign states without moral or legal justification; it is okay to distrust any and all government leaders throughout the world–but never distrust our own leaders; it is okay to send other people to pick up all kinds of guns and go fight and die in hundreds of nations all around the globe in order to “preserve freedom.” But when it comes to fighting for freedom in our own country, when it comes to distrusting our own government when it proves itself to be dishonest and untrustworthy, when it comes to defending our own lives, homes, and communities with our own guns, we have no right to do so? Hogwash! Balderdash! Poppycock!
At this point, let me remind readers that my constitutional attorney son and I are right now in the process of publishing a brand new book entitled, “To Keep or Not To Keep: Why Christians Should Not Give Up Their Guns.” This book thoroughly and completely researches both the Old and New Testaments to conclusively show that the right of armed resistance is cemented in both Natural and Revealed Law. The book should be released in a matter of just a few weeks. We are now taking pre-orders for the book. To pre-order “To Keep or Not To Keep: Why Christians Should Not Give Up Their Guns,” go to:
There seems to be no doubt that these pacifist preachers and gun-grabbing gasbags could say along with Doc Holliday in the movie Tombstone, “My hypocrisy knows no bounds.”
In our modern world there exist certain institutions of power. Not government committees, alphabet agencies, corporate lobbies, or even standard military organizations; no, these are the mere “middle-men” of power. The errand boys. The well paid hitmen of the global mafia. They are not the strategists or the decision makers.
Instead, I speak of institutions which introduce the newest paradigms. Who write the propaganda. Who issue the orders from on high. I speak of the hubs of elitism which have initiated nearly every policy mechanism of our government for the past several decades. I am talking about the Council On Foreign Relations, the Tavistock Institute, the Heritage Foundation (a socialist organization posing as conservative), the Bilderberg Group, as well as the corporate foils that they use to enact globalization, such as Monsanto, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, the Carlyle Group, etc.
Many of these organizations and corporations operate a revolving door within the U.S. government. Monsanto has champions, like Donald Rumsfeld who was on the board of directors of its Searle Pharmaceuticals branch, who later went on to help the company force numerous dangerous products including Aspartame through the FDA. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have a veritable merry-go-round of corrupt banking agents which are appointed to important White House and Treasury positions on a regular basis REGARDLESS of which party happens to be in office. Most prominent politicians are all members of the Council on Foreign Relations, an organization which has openly admitted on multiple occasions that their goal is the destruction of U.S. sovereignty and the formation of a “one world government” or “supranational union” (their words, not mine).
However, one organization seems to rear its ugly head at the forefront of the most sweeping mass propaganda operations of our time, and has been linked to the creation of the most atrocious military methodologies, including the use of false flag events. I am of course referring to the Rand Corporation, a California based “think tank” whose influence reaches into nearly every sphere of our society, from politics, to war, to entertainment.
The Rand Corporation deals in what I would call “absolute gray”. The goal of the group from its very inception was to promote a social atmosphere of moral ambiguity in the name of personal and national priority. They did this first through the creation of “Rational Choice Theory”; a theory which prescribes that when making any choice, an individual (or government) must act as if balancing costs against benefits to arrive at an action that maximizes personal advantage. Basically, the ends justify the means, and moral conscience is not a factor to be taken seriously if one wishes to be successful.
Hilariously, rational choice theory has been attacked in the past by pro-socialist (collectivist) critics as “extreme individualism”; a philosophy which gives us license to be as “self serving” as possible while feeling patriotic at the same time. In reality, the socialists should have been applauding Rand Corporation all along.
What Rand had done through its propaganda war against the American people was to infuse the exact culture of selfishness needed to push the U.S. towards the socialist ideal. At the onset of any communist or national socialist society (sorry socialists, but they do indeed come from the same collectivist mindset), the masses are first convinced to hand over ultimate power to the establishment in order to safeguard THEMSELVES, not others. That is to say, the common collectivist man chooses to hand over his freedoms and participate in totalitarianism not because he wants what is best for the world, but because he wants what is best for himself, and he believes servitude to the system will get him what he wants with as little private sacrifice as possible (you know, except for his soul…).
The psychologist Carl Jung notes in his observations of collectivism in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia that most citizens of those nations did not necessarily want the formation of a tyrannical oligarchy, but, they went along with it anyway because they feared for their own comfort and livelihoods. Many a German supported the Third Reich simply because they did not want to lose a cushy job, or a steady paycheck, or they liked that the “trains ran on time”. Socialism is by far the most selfish movement in history, despite the fact that they claim to do what they do “for the greater good of the greater number”.
Rand also used Rational Choice Theory as a means to remove questions of principle from the debate over social progress. Rational Choice propaganda commonly presents the target audience with a false conundrum. A perfect example would be the hardcore propaganda based television show ‘24’ starring Kiefer Sutherland, in which a government “anti-terrorism” agent is faced with a controlled choice scenario in nearly every episode. This choice almost always ends with the agent being forced to set aside his morals and conscience to torture, kill, and destroy without mercy, or, allow millions of innocents to die if he does not.
Of course, the real world does not work this way. Life is not a chess game. Avenues to resolution of any crisis are limited only by our imagination and intelligence, not to mention the immense number of choices that could be made to defuse a crisis before it develops. Yet, Rand would like you to believe that we (and those in government) are required to become monstrous in order to survive. That we should be willing to forgo conscience and justice now for the promise of peace and tranquility later.
This is the age old strategy of Centralization; to remove all choices within a system, by force or manipulation, until the masses think they have nothing left but the choices the elites give them. It is the bread and butter of elitist institutions like Rand Corporation, and is at the core of the push for globalization.
In my studies on the developing economic disaster (or economic recovery depending on who you talk to) I have come across a particular methodology many times which set off my analyst alarm (or spidey-sense, if you will). This latest methodology, called “Linchpin Theory”, revolves around the work of John Casti, a Ph.D. from USC, “complexity scientist” and “systems theorist”, a Futurist, and most notably, a former employee of Rand Corporation:
Casti introduces his idea of “Linchpin Theory” in his book “X-Events: The Collapse Of Everything”, and what I found most immediately striking about the idea of “Linchpin Events” was how they offered perfect scapegoat scenarios for catastrophes that are engineered by the establishment.
Linchpin Theory argues that overt social, political, and technological “complexity” is to blame for the most destructive events in modern human history, and it is indeed an enticing suggestion for those who are uneducated and unaware of the behind the scenes mechanics of world events. Casti would like you to believe that political and social tides are unguided and chaotic; that all is random, and disaster is a product of “chance” trigger events that occur at the height of a malfunctioning and over-complicated system.
What he fails to mention, and what he should well know being a member of Rand, is that global events do not evolve in a vacuum. There have always been those groups who see themselves as the “select”, and who aspire to mold the future to their personal vision of Utopia. It has been openly admitted in myriad official observations on historical events that such groups have had a direct hand in the advent of particular conflicts.
For instance, Casti would call the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria an “X-event”, or linchpin, leading to the outbreak of WWI, when historical fact recalls that particular crisis was carefully constructed with the specific mind to involve the U.S.
Norman Dodd, former director of the Committee to Investigate Tax Exempt Foundations of the U.S. House of Representatives, testified that the Committee was invited to study the minutes of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as part of the Committee’s investigation. The Committee stated:
“The trustees of the Foundation brought up a single question. If it is desirable to alter the life of an entire people, is there any means more efficient than war…. They discussed this question… for a year and came up with an answer: There are no known means more efficient than war, assuming the objective is altering the life of an entire people. That leads them to a question: How do we involve the United States in a war. This was in 1909.”
So, long before the advent of Ferdinand’s assassination, plans were being set in motion by globalist interests to draw the U.S. into a large scale conflict in order to “alter the life, or thinking, of the entire culture”. When a group of people set out to direct thinking and opportunity towards a particular outcome, and the end result is a culmination of that outcome, it is obviously not coincidence, and it is definitely not providence. It can only be called subversive design.
In the economic arena, one might say that the collapse of Lehman Bros. was the “linchpin” that triggered the landslide in the derivatives market which is still going on to this day. However, the derivatives market bubble was a carefully constructed house of cards, deliberately created with the help of multiple agencies and institutions. The private Federal Reserve had to artificially lower interest rates and inject trillions upon trillions into the housing market, the international banks had to invest those trillions into mortgages that they KNEW were toxic and likely never to be repaid. The Federal Government had to allow those mortgages to then be chopped up into derivatives and resold on the open market. The ratings agencies had to examine those derivatives and obviously defunct mortgages and then stamp them AAA. The SEC had to ignore the massive fraud being done in broad daylight while sweeping thousands of formal complaints and whistle blowers under the rug.
This was not some “random” event caused by uncontrolled “complexity”. This was engineered complexity with a devious purpose. The creation of the derivatives collapse was done with foreknowledge, at least by some. Goldman Sachs was caught red handed betting against their OWN derivatives instruments! Meaning they knew exactly what was about to happen in the market they helped build! This is called Conspiracy…
One might attribute Casti’s idea to a sincere belief in chaos, and a lack of insight into the nature of globalism as a brand of religion. However, in his first and as far as I can tell only interview with Coast To Coast Radio, Casti promotes catastrophic “X-Events” as a “good thing” for humanity, right in line with the Rand Corporation ideology. Casti, being a futurist and elitist, sees the ideas of the past as obsolete when confronted with the technological advancements of the modern world, and so, describes X-event moments as a kind of evolutionary “kickstart”, knocking us out of our old and barbaric philosophies of living and forcing us, through trial by fire, to adapt to a more streamlined culture. The linchpin event is, to summarize Casti’s position, a culture’s way of “punishing itself” for settling too comfortably into its own heritage and traditions. In other words, WE will supposedly be to blame for the next great apocalypse, not the elites…
I might suggest that Casti’s attitude seems to be one of general indifference to human suffering in the wake of his “X-Events”, and that he would not necessarily be opposed to the deaths of millions if it caused the “advancement” of humanity towards a particular ideology. His concept of “advancement” and ours are likely very different, though. I suspect that he is well aware that X-Events are actually tools at the disposal of elitists to generate the “evolution” he so desires, and that evolution includes a collectivist result.
With almost every major economy on the globe on the verge of collapse and most now desperately inflating, taxing, or outright stealing in order to hide their situation, with multiple tinderbox environments being facilitated in the Pacific with China, North Korea, and Japan, and in the Middle East and Africa with Egypt, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Yemen, Mali, etc., there is no doubt that we are living in a linchpin-rich era. It is inevitable that one or more of these explosive tension points will erupt and cause a chain reaction around the planet. The linchpin and the chain reaction will become the focus of our epoch, rather than the men who made them possible in the first place.
Strangely, Casti’s theory was even recently featured in an episode of the ABC mystery/drama show “Castle”, called “Linchpin” (what else?), in which a writer turned detective uncovers a plot by a “shadow group” to use the research of the innocent Dr. Nelson Blakely (apparently based on Casti) to initiate a collapse of the U.S. economy by assassinating the ten-year-old daughter of a prominent Chinese businessman, triggering a dump of U.S. Treasuries by China and fomenting WWIII:
Now, I think anyone with any sense can see where this is going. Casti and Rand Corporation are giving us a glimpse into the future of propaganda. This is what will be written in our children’s history books if the globalists have their way. The fact that Linchpin Theory is featured in a primetime television show at all is a testament to Rand Corporation’s influence in the media. But, as for the wider picture, are the trigger points around us really just a product of complex coincidence?
Not a chance.
Each major global hot-spot today can easily be linked back to the designs of international corporate and banking interests and the puppet governments they use as messengers. Casti claims that “X-events” and “linchpins” cannot be accurately predicted, but it would seem that they can certainly be purposely instigated.
The globalists have stretched the whole of the world thin. They have removed almost every pillar of support from the edifice around us, and like a giant game of Jenga, are waiting for the final piece to be removed, causing the teetering structure to crumble. Once this calamity occurs, they will call it a random act of fate, or a mathematical inevitability of an overly complex system. They will say that they are not to blame. That we were in the midst of “recovery”. That they could not have seen it coming.
Their solution will be predictable. They will state that in order to avoid such future destruction, the global framework must be “simplified”, and what better way to simplify the world than to end national sovereignty, dissolve all borders, and centralize nation states under a single economic and political ideal?
Is it the Hegelian Dialectic all over again? Yes. Is it old hat feudalism and distraction? Yes. But, I have to hand it to Casti and Rand Corporation; they certainly have refined the argument for collectivism, centralization, technocracy, slavery, moral relativism, and false-flag dupery down to a near science.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
The latest megalomaniacal threat from the financial globalists wants to saddle the world economy with a cost of trillions of dollars that benefits favorite corporatists. The phony global warming cult has a core purpose. Their objective is to drive down the standard of living for non-elites and prevent the use of fossil fuel energy. The fallacious science used to create a disinformation scare for politically unsophisticated “True Believers” is a direct result of transnational money manipulators. The Davos crowd sponsors the educational and media institutions that trump up junk research and manufacture idealistic solutions.
Make no mistake about it, the Davos Elites Enjoys the Global Depression, and love corporate welfare. They greatly profit from government subsidized “Green” ventures, which drive up energy costs and line the pockets of compadre companies, under the control of the financial barons. As the rest of us struggle to survive, pronouncements declare an every greater burden to bear. Note the ominous future in Davos Report Calls For Additional $14 Trillion To Restrain Global Warming.
“The world must spend an additional $14 trillion on clean energy infrastructure, low-carbon transport and energy efficiency to meet the United Nations’ goal for capping the rise in average global temperatures, according to a World Economic Forum report released on Monday.”
Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon states the globalist viewpoint.
“Economic growth and sustainability are inter-dependent, you cannot have one without the other, and greening investment is the pre-requisite to realizing both goals.”
What can be expected from these “greening investment” projects? In order to anticipate future plans, a comprehensive understanding of the past and present shady business practices is crucial.
Examine the industrial wind and solar model in detail. The Washington Post reports in, Sting operations reveal Mafia involvement in renewable energy, is just the tip of the iceberg.
“The still-emerging links of the mafia to the once-booming wind and solar sector here are raising fresh questions about the use of government subsidies to fuel a shift toward cleaner energies, with critics claiming that huge state incentives created excessive profits for companies and a market bubble ripe for fraud. China-based Suntech, the world’s largest solar panel maker, last month said it would need to restate more than two years of financial results because of allegedly fake capital put up to finance new plants in Italy. The discoveries here also follow “eco-corruption” cases in Spain, where a number of companies stand accused of illegally tapping state aid.
Because it receives more sun and wind than any other part of Italy, Sicily became one of Europe’s most obvious hotbeds for renewable energies over the past decade. As the Italian government began offering billions of euros annually in subsidies for wind and solar development, the potential profitability of such projects also soared — a fact that did not go unnoticed by Sicily’s infamous crime families.
Roughly a third of the island’s 30 wind farms — along with several solar power plants — have been seized by authorities. Officials have frozen more than $2 billion in assets and arrested a dozen alleged crime bosses, corrupt local councilors and mafia-linked entrepreneurs. Italian prosecutors are now investigating suspected mafia involvement in renewable-energy projects from Sardinia to Apulia.”
The in-depth analysis, Big Wind Energy Subsidies: A Hurricane of Carnage, Cronyism and Corruptionis a good primer on the way plungers game the system and pay off politicians at the taxpayers’ expense.
“Lewis “Lew” Hay, III is executive chairman of NextEra Energy, Inc., and it is estimated by Forbes, that CEO “Hay earns nearly $10 million in total compensation from NextEra.” Despite the fact that Hay was actually a “major political contributor to Sen. John McCain in 2008,” he quickly learned which side his power company could generate the title of the “Third Largest Recipient of DOE Risky Loans.” Hay too joined wealthy Democratic donorson Obama’s Jobs Council in 2011, along with the other two I have tackled in this series, “Spreading the Wealth to Obama’s Ultra-Rich Job Council” –– Jobs Czar, Jeffrey Immelt CEO of General Electric has raked in $3 billion and counting, meanwhile John Doerr, along with his “climate buddy” Al Gore’s, VC firm Kleiner Perkins is tied to at least $10 billion of stimulus funds. Both General Electric and Doerr were key contributors to what went into the 2009 Stimulus.
No matter how you slice it, whether we are sending money abroad or fueling corporate welfare here in the United States as well as the egregious practice of crony capitalism, the 2009-Recovery act is a lie, a travesty and a scam, favoring wealthy financial backers of President Obama and the Democratic Party as well as those with influential political connections to both. And with a president that’s dead set on pushing a fierce and radical climate change agenda and funding green energy with taxpayer money, no matter the long list of failures, there is no end in sight to this green corruption scandal.
Besides NextEra Energy taking full advantage of the federal production tax credit (PTC), we now can confirm that the Bank of Obama has rewarded this conglomerate of a power company, and his millionaire job council buddy Lewis Hay, with two large DOE loans ($2.3 billion); one large stimulus smart-grid grant ($200 million); and six 1603 stimulus grants totaling $398.5 million. Thus NextEra’s green tab is on its way to $3 billion of taxpayer money, and that’s not factoring in the PTC.”
With this background and sorry record of corruption to build upon, the World Economic Forum at Davos sets the agenda for the global economy.
Davos 2013: Green Governance To ’Save the World’ is all about enacting their Agenda 21 authoritarianism. Elizabeth Leafloor from RedIceCreations.com writes:
“The WEF suggests a crisis of leadership and debt are some of the biggest challenges facing the world, and that ’global governance’ is the key to stabilization. Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organisation, said: ‘We need proper global governance that has the necessary tools, power and energy to create a more level playing field at the international level.’
At the end of the day, a push for increased global governance and an environmental agenda is on the table for Davos 2013, under the banner of ’Resilent Dynamism’:
“Mr. Klaus Schwab (WEF Founder and executive chairman) said that the world is seeing “a new reality of sudden shocks and prolonged global economic malaise, particularly in major economies experiencing economic austerity”. He also mentioned, “Future growth in this new context requires dynamism – bold vision and even bolder action.
Either attribute – Resilience or Dynamism – alone is insufficient, as leadership in 2013 will require both”.
The “Greening” leadership translates into forcing upon the world a “Cap and Trade” dictatorship. The Calderon bandits that sip champagne from their Swiss chateau want to extend their aristocratic bondage upon a gullible public. The proper dictum is “Save the World” from the New World Order elites.
Read the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act – S. 2191, for the vision of the controlled carbon-trading scheme.
“The L-W CSA allows covered facilities to satisfy up to 15% of their compliance obligation with specific domestic offsets. An additional 15% can be covered using international emission allowances. Unlimited banking is allowed and owners and operators of covered facilities can borrow up to 15% of their annual compliance obligation from future years. The L-W CSA also creates a Carbon Market Efficiency Board to monitor the carbon trading market and implement specific cost relief measures, including increased borrowing and use of offsets.”
What a boondoggle for the consumer and a windfall for organized crime. If you worry about mob infiltration into this extortion racket, you had better focus on the true mafia; namely, the globalist plutocrats.
If the disclosed goal is to extract $14 Trillion from the distressed world economies, one can only reasonably conclude that the surreptitious objective is to widen the income gap between the ultra-rich and the peons. People pay the costs of taxation exploitation. The privileged elites view the masses as useless eaters, destined to be herded into pens of servitude.
The fake global warming panic is pure political propaganda, used to bolster a guilt complex to justify insider theft. A Cap and Trade ploy is designed to push up the costs of fossil fuel with full knowledge that “Greening Dreams” are no substitutes to real energy.
Research projects into technological alternative sources, based upon efficiency and reliability standards are valid. However, allowing governmental cronyism to impose limits on cheap energy, distorts the marketplace. The Davos crews of corporatist gangsters fly into their feast on private jets. The sycophant media reporting by the business toadies that attend the gala celebration of global autocracy should be indisputable evidence that the globalist own the public relations spin.
Even so, such distorted coverage does not blind those who understand the true nature of the planetary struggle. The monopolist plan for adding unwarranted tolls on your family budget, sold as a noble necessity, will only accelerate the systematic impoverishment of your economic existence.
Fiscal conservatives often are blind when it comes to alternatives to the “so called” commercial banking system. Many conventional Republicans are ignorant or simply carrying the water for the crony capitalist banking establishment. The fractional reserve banking monopoly that operates under the auspices of the privately owned Federal Reserve System, despises any trace of competition. The bondage from debt created money has doomed Main Street to the fate of contrite beggars in search of securing loans. Useful purposes for business financing are not sufficient reason for the qualifying for commercial credit.
Is there an alternative to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and centralized banking dominated by Wall Street investment banksters? Can state chartered commercial banks compete separate from the favoritism shown to the “Not Too Big To Fail” money centered banks? Well, Ellen Hodjson Brown JD, has popularized the subject of the state-owned bank and believes there is a better model for community banking.
“The secret of its success seems to be the state-owned Bank of North Dakota, which was established by the state legislature in 1919 specifically to free farmers and small businessmen from the clutches of out-of-state bankers and railroad men. By law, the state must deposit all its funds in the bank, and the state guarantees its deposits. The bank’s stated mission is to deliver sound financial services that promote agriculture, commerce and industry in North Dakota. The bank operates as a bankers’ bank, partnering with private banks to loan money to farmers, real estate developers, schools and small businesses. It loans money to students (over 184,000 outstanding loans), and it purchases municipal bonds from public institutions.”
The informative video, Bank of North Dakota provides a comprehensive overview, well worth viewing.Such a departure from the normal coordinated federal regulation and Federal Reserve prescribes, gives pause to the plutocrats that despise any departure from the top down banking model that is based upon special treatment for the schemes of investment banking.
Bloomberg News points out the banking industry opposition to the state-own charter in the article, North Dakota’s State-Run Bank Adds Millions to Treasury, Spurs Imitators.
“The U.S. banking industry opposes the idea and is lobbying against it, saying a state-run bank would compete with commercial banks for business and politicize a state’s lending decisions.
“A state-owned bank? Why don’t we just re-label the state capitols the Kremlin?” Camden Fine, president of the Independent Community Bankers of America, a Washington-based trade group that represents more than 5,000 community banks, said in a telephone interview.
“It’s a socialistic idea,” Fine said. “If you get a state-owned bank that is allocating credit, it can slide very quickly into a situation where those in favor get credit and those not in favor don’t get credit.”
How ironic the false claim that a sparsely populated state like, North Dakota could be such a citadel of collectivist enterprise when the titans of cartel-controlled crony capitalism were the financiers of the Russian communist revolution. The new generation of algorithmic traders has no more interest in writing business commercial loans then the banker funded Lenin investment of mercy shown to the Czar.
Even more sardonic is the viewpoint that the only banking monopoly acceptable is the one designated by the barons of usury. The slogan – no small business loans, is their operative policy.
Mother Jones examines what Republicans might call an idiosyncratic bastion of socialism in their interview with Bank of North Dakota’s president; Eric Hardmeyer, How the Nation’s Only State-Owned Bank Became the Envy of Wall Street. Mr. Hardmeyer explains the operation of their system thusly.
“Our funding model, our deposit model is really what is unique as the engine that drives that bank. And that is we are the depository for all state tax collections and fees. And so we have a captive deposit base, we pay a competitive rate to the state treasurer. And I would bet that that would be one of the most difficult things to wrestle away from the private sector—those opportunities to bid on public funds. But that’s only one portion of it. We take those funds and then, really what separates us is that we plow those deposits back into the state of North Dakota in the form of loans. We invest back into the state in economic development type of activities. We grow our state through that mechanism.”
The significance of the North Dakota experiment is that the dominance and control of the State/Capital cabal can be broken. Sensible banking is based upon making loans for productive enterprises, not derivative speculation. The customer of any bank is a person. Financing business growth and development is the core purpose and function of a bank.
The populist underpinnings of the independent method of funding the Bank of North Dakota provide an alternative model for depository transactions. Prosperity for local economies is an integral objective for any community interest bank. Those who profess free market enterprise principles need to adopt practical partner relationships with proponents of state charted banks.
ABC News reports the inconceivable, State-Owned Banks: The Future of Banking?
“Bank of North Dakota officials said that at least 10 states have turned to them for guidance, including some states, like Michigan, hardest hit by the financial crisis. They include California, Florida and Illinois, where a bill to create a state bank already is under consideration by the state legislature.”
Success is the best substitute to the stagnation of Wall Street greed and corporatism. Credit unions and associations provide another option for the depositor to conduct business. Loans are a way of life to most wage earners. Applying with an institution committed to their customer is rare in the era of national banking conglomerates. Trust is the basis of banking and the record of the Bank of North Dakota, compared to Bank America, demonstrates a stark difference. Register your discontent with your money stop doing business with national money-centered banks.
The middle class has quite a gift welcoming them as the calendar flips over to 2013. Their payroll taxes are going to go up, their income taxes are going to go up, and approximately 28 million households are going to be hit with a huge, unexpected AMT tax bill on their 2012 earnings. So happy New Year middle class! You are about to be ripped to shreds. In addition to the tax increases that I just mentioned, approximately two million unemployed Americans will instantly lose their extended unemployment benefits when 2013 begins, and new Obamacare tax hikes which will cost American taxpayers about a trillion dollars over the next decade will start to go into effect. If Congress is not able to come to some sort of a deal, all middle class families in America will be sending thousands more dollars to Uncle Sam next year than they were previously. And considering the fact that the middle class is already steadily shrinkingand that the U.S. economy is already in an advanced state of decline, that is not good news. You would think that both major political parties would want to do something to keep the middle class from being hit with this kind of tax sledgehammer. Unfortunately, at this point it appears that our “leaders” in Washington D.C. are incapable of getting anything done. So get ready for much smaller paychecks and much larger tax bills. What is coming is not going to be pleasant.
So what happened?
Weren’t the tax increases only supposed to be for the wealthy?
Well, that is what the politicians always promise, but it is always the middle class that ends up getting hit the hardest.
In this day and age, the big corporations and the ultra-wealthy are absolute masters at avoiding taxes.
For example, Facebook paid approximately $4.64 million in taxes on their entire foreign profits of $1.344 billion for 2011.
That comes out to a tax rate of about 0.3 percent.
Overall, the global elite have approximately 18 trillion dollars parked in offshore tax havens such as the Cayman Islands.
Keep in mind that U.S. GDP for 2011 was only slightly above 15 trillion dollars.
So the global elite have an amount of money parked in offshore banks that is substantially larger than the total value of all goods and services produced in the United States each year.
According to one estimate, a third of all the wealth in the entire world is stationed in offshore banks. Our politicians are playing checkers and the global elite are playing chess when it comes to taxes. Our current system of taxation is irreversibly broken and should be entirely thrown out and replaced with something else.
And of course under our current system those that are poor don’t pay much in taxes because they are just trying to survive.
So who always ends up getting the painful end of the hammer?
The middle class does, and that really stinks.
Let us hope and pray that our politicians can come together and do something for the middle class. In particular, we should all be screaming and yelling at our politicians about the Alternative Minimum Tax. It was originally designed as a method to “tax the rich”, but unless Congress does something the middle class is about to be ripped to shreds by it. The following is from a recent CNBC article about the AMT…
In a cruel epilogue to 2012, roughly 28 million families would owe the IRS $86 billion more than they anticipated for this year should the country plunge off the cliff, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.
Those families would face the “Alternative Minimum Tax,” which was introduced in 1969 to supposedly guarantee that wealthy Americans could not elude the taxman. But the AMT not only flopped, it was never indexed to inflation. So with each passing year, it seeps away from high society and into the wallets of Target and Wal-Mart shoppers. That sets up a disaster for April 15.
So how much money are we talking about?
According to that same article, many families are about to be socked by tax bills that will be absolutely huge…
On the whole, 98 percent of those with incomes between $200,000 to $500,000 would pay an additional $11,000 in AMT this year, according to the center’s estimates. About 88 percent of those with incomes of $100,000 to $200,000 would need to fork over another $3100, and even the majority of Americans with earnings between $75,000 and $100,000 would have an AMT liability.
Most of the tax increases that will be coming as a result of the fiscal cliff will be for 2013 earnings, but the AMT tax hike will apply to 2012 earnings. So if you end up falling under the AMT, you better get ready to write a very large check to Uncle Sam in just a couple of months.
And the AMT is only just one of the very painful tax increases that American families will be facing. If no deal is reached in Congress, every single middle class American taxpayer will be dealing with significantly higher taxes.
A recent ABC News report entitled “Fiscal Cliff: By The Numbers” detailed some of the other tax increases that you can expect in 2013…
So why don’t our politicians do something about all of this?
What are they fighting so bitterly about anyway?
Sadly, neither side is actually serious about substantially reducing the size of government deficits or about getting government spending under control.
During a recent interview on CNBC, Ron Paul explained that “they pretend they are fighting up there, but they really aren’t. They are arguing over power, spin, who looks good, who looks bad; all trying to preserve the system where they can spend what they want, take care of their friends and print money when they need it.”
Most in the mainstream media are making it sound like some kind of a “battle royal” is going on in Washington, but as Lou Dobbs recently pointed out, the U.S. national debt is going to end up in just about the same place no matter what happens.
According to Dobbs, if we “do nothing” the U.S. national debt will be approximately 25.8 trillion dollars in 2022.
If “Obama wins”, the U.S. national debt will be approximately 25.4 trillion dollars in 2022.
If “Boehner wins”, the U.S. national debt will be approximately 25.2 trillion dollars in 2022.
You can watch the entire analysis by Lou Dobbs right here…
So they are putting all of us through all of this torture even though nothing will really change in the long run no matter who wins?
What kind of a circus is this?
Meanwhile, the reckless spending continues.
Barack Obama has just issued a new executive order that ends the pay freeze for federal workers that had been in place.
So now all federal employees will be getting a nice hefty pay raise.
For example, Vice President Joe Biden brought in $225,521 this year.
Next year, he will make $231,900.
Not that our politicians really need the money. Most members of Congress are millionaires anyway. But if they can get us to pay for it, they might as well go for it, eh?
There are now close to half a million federal employees that bring homeat least $100,000 a year. Plus, it is important to keep in mind that the benefits that federal employees get are absolutely outstanding, and it is close to impossible to actually fire a federal worker.
Life is good if you are working for Uncle Sam.
Meanwhile, our politicians seem determined to keep draining more blood out of the middle class. Even if a “deal” is reached, we will still be hit by some categories of tax increases. Let’s just hope and pray that we don’t get hit by all of the tax increases that are scheduled to go into effect. That would be a financial disaster for millions of families.
So happy New Year middle class. Your taxes are about to go through the roof and our politicians are too busy fighting with each other to do anything about it.
What else will 2013 bring?
Source: The Economic Collapse
Since removing constitutional rights is all the rage now, I have to ask: when does dislocation from reality become severe enough to justify involuntary commitment? A good study case is NYC’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who recently uttered a real gem on his weekly radio show. Writes Politicker.com:
“I don’t think there’s anybody that’s defended the Second Amendment as much as I have, Ray,” Mr. Bloomberg said to a caller who asked him why he was “so against” the constitutional passage. “I think you have a perfect right to buy weapons and keep them for protection or for sport. We have tried to make sure that you have it.”
Well, take that, Wayne LaPierre. You thought you were the point man on gun rights, but you’re actually outshone by Little Big Gulp, who has defended the Second Amendment more than “anybody.”
Of course, this will come as news to Slate, which recently penned a piece titled “Beating Guns the Bloomberg Way: The New York mayor, not Obama, knows how to defeat the NRA.” The site credits Little Big Gulp’s example with being the gold standard for the evisceration of the Second Amendment, writing that, in contrast to Barack Obama’s “moral approach” to playing puppeteer, LBG “has been the exemplar of the alternative, paternalistic model….” Hey, who’s ya’ daddy?
I’m not sure what weapons LBG claims to want us to have; maybe the squirt is talking about squirt guns, although he’s not fond of those if they look too realistic. Heck, this is a guy who finds even really large drinks too intimidating because he has to look up at the rim (joke credit to Dennis Miller).
I don’t like it when crazies get their hands on guns, but it’s even more frightening when crazies get their hands on gun laws. LBG’s assertion is right up there with fellows behind institution walls who insist they’re Napoleon or the Queen of England. Next he’ll be telling us he’s more pro-life than Mother Teresa, more of a Confederate than Robert E. Lee, and more Christian than the Pope.
It really should be made easier to remove officials from their positions when they show the main warning sign of severe mental instability.
That would be liberalism.
While watching the halftime show for the Sunday night NFL game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys this past Sunday evening, I was stunned to hear NBC sportscaster Bob Costas drift from his sports commentary into using the tragedy of the murder-suicide committed by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher as a platform to promote yet another mindless assault against the Second Amendment.
Belcher had earlier shot and killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins and then himself. Costas used the tragic killings as an excuse to launch his assault against the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Costas quoted from a column written by sportscaster Jason Whitlock, saying, “Our current gun culture ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead. Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it…If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”
See the report at:
Let’s see. It seems to me that people have been murdering their fellow man ever since Cain murdered Abel. And would you know it: Cain had zero access to a .357 magnum revolver or .45 ACP pistol. And since when would a 240-pound linebacker need any help killing a woman half his size and strength? Does one really believe if someone is intent on murder, the lack of a firearm would deter him or her? How many people are killed with knives, clubs, axes, “blunt objects,” or even bare hands? Countless! And the fact is, firearms are used a minimum of 50 times more often in the protection of life against a violent attack than they are in the taking of a life.
My friend, Larry Pratt at Gun Owners of America, writes, “Perhaps Mr. Costas would have been disappointed if Ms. Perkins had had access to a gun and shot Belcher first? Would he then have thought there were too many guns? Actually, he might not have even heard about a self-defense shooting. Outside of the local press, self-defense shootings rarely make national news.
“To be sure, there are so many self-defense shootings each year that the national news would be carrying several accounts a day. Guns are used over 4,000 times a day (using conservative research findings) in self-defense. In fact, using those conservative figures given us by the Clinton Justice Department, guns are used 50 times more often in self-defense than to illegitimately take life.”
See Pratt’s column at:
Unlike Costas, who spouted out a sophomoric tirade of uneducated gibberish against the Second Amendment, a report in the New York Post more accurately describes the causes of this tragedy: “Kansas City Chiefs linebacker and former Long Island high-school star Jovan Belcher was allegedly battling football-related head injuries and booze, painkiller and domestic problems when he snapped and murdered his girlfriend before killing himself in front of two coaches Saturday.”
See the report at:
So, why didn’t Costas use the precious air-time he was given at NBC to call attention to the real causes of this tragedy? Why didn’t he talk about the on-going problem of chronic concussions being sustained by so many NFL players? It is well documented that too many head injuries are often speculated to be a cause of the rampant number of suicides among active and former NFL players–including the celebrated former superstar linebacker, Junior Seau? ABC News concluded its report about Seau’s suicide saying:
“Multiple former NFL players have committed suicide in recent years possibly as a result of brain injuries, including former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson, who also shot himself in the chest, ex-Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Terry Long, and Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Andre Waters.”
See the report at:
Why didn’t Costas talk about Jovan’s obvious alcohol and drug abuse? The only answer is because Costas has a personal anti-gun bias and used the air-time granted him by NBC to vent his paranoia. Well, now at least we know what Bob Costas is all about: he is just another mindless gun-control nut.
If Bob is reading this column, he might want to read this news report out of San Bernardino, California. According to the local CBS affiliate, “The city attorney of San Bernardino is under scrutiny for telling residents to ‘lock their doors and load their guns’ during a city council meeting.
“The official explained that because the city is bankrupt and slashing public safety budgets people will need to start protecting themselves.
“City Attorney Jim Penman said he doesn’t regret what he said.”
The CBS report continued saying, “The city attorney said it’s important for people to be smart about protecting themselves and their families.”
See the report at:
Instead of advocating the disarmament of honest, law-abiding citizens, Costas would have been better off advising people such as Kasandra Perkins who are mixed up with violence-prone individuals to arms themselves for their own protection. Obviously, the city attorney of San Bernardino is a much more reasoned and rational public figure than Bob Costas. That’s because, Mr. Penman probably has better real-world experience than Mr. Costas, who obviously has lived in the insulated, plastic world of the media elite for much too long.
As for me, I will continue to watch Sunday Night Football, but I will never again listen to another word that Bob Costas has to say about anything. The mute button on my remote control was made for nincompoops like Bob Costas. Beyond that, if Costas is really serious about his anti-gun position and not a hypocrite, like so many other gun-control nuts, I suggest he move out from behind his barricaded mansion and post a large sign outside his personal residence that reads, “This house proudly has no guns in it.” Anyone think that will happen?
The Salvation Army has long been a holy-day season fixture in front of my local supermarket, providing some Christmas sounds and cheer as it raises money to serve the poor. But when I went grocery shopping a couple of days ago, a difference was apparent: there was an SA volunteer and collection pot on the premises, but no trademark bell-ringing. So I asked the man why — even though I already knew the answer.
You might have read the recent news stories concerning complaints about the SA bells. And, sure enough, the volunteer at my supermarket confirmed that these grinches’ griping was the reason they’d been silenced. So now another element of the Christmas season is no more, at least in my area.
Of course, some may say that any continual noise can be irritating. But this raises questions: why didn’t people seem to find the SA bells as annoying 25 years ago? Is it any coincidence that increasing irritation with them seems to hew closely with the growth of our society’s secularist-grinch constituency?
It goes without saying that some people must have found the bells annoying decades ago as well. Most everything irks someone and everyone is irked by something (with me, it’s the grating, purposeless noise emanating from liberals’ mouths). Yet we tend to often tolerate things that annoy us, realizing that dealing with such comes with the territory of living among other beings. And tolerance is the relevant factor here because, clearly, it is only growing intolerance that could explain complaints intense enough to instigate the change in question.
Before proceeding, I’ll point out that “tolerance” is almost universally misunderstood today. While we often conflate it with affection or sympathy, the word actually implies the abiding of a perceived negative. We wouldn’t tolerate a fine car, delectable meal, or a beautiful work of art; we relish those things. But we would have to tolerate bad weather, a cold, or a Nancy Pelosi speech. Could you imagine someone asking not about pain, but “How much pleasure can you tolerate?”?
This explains why liberals fancy themselves the epitome of tolerance when they’re anything but. They will point to their attitudes toward homosexual behavior, illegal entry into our country, and the exaltation of other cultures within our borders as prime examples of tolerance, but they’re nothing of the sort. Liberals actually like or at least don’t mind those things, which means that, by definition, they cannot be tolerant of them. Their affinity or indifference makes that impossible.
So how tolerant are liberals really? Well, just consider how they react to things they actually do perceive as negatives. How tolerant are they of conservative commentary, politically incorrect dissent on college campuses, or expressions of Christianity? Heck, anything that finds disfavor with a liberal sets off bells in his head.
Now, it’s also true that what influences whether we perceive something as a negative or, at least, how tolerant of it we’ll be, is the person or group with which it’s associated. For example, we may discover that a habit we found intolerable in a person we disliked we find quite tolerable, or even endearing, in someone we like (I must confess to having once been guilty of this myself). Then we may realize it wasn’t that the earlier individual was so intolerable; it’s that we were unjustly intolerant and let our negative feelings for a person color our judgment of everything he did.
Liberals exhibit this all the time. They may detest former Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet, pointing out that 3000 people disappeared under his rule, while seeming not to bat an eye at Joseph Stalin’s murder of tens of millions. They’ll condemn Sarah Palin for supposedly using crosshairs imagery, but then say nothing about Barack Obama’s statement, “If they [Republicans] bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” And they’ll defend the broadcast of the Muslim call to prayer in Hamtramck,Michigan, while getting all bent out of shape over SA bells.
So it’s clear that the main problem some people have with the SA bells is not the ringing, but who is doing the ringing. The Salvation Army is a Christian organization with a mission statement that reads, in part:
“[The SA] is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”
Christian, church, Bible, love of God, and Jesus Christ…. It’s no wonder liberals perceive the SA as a negative.
Of course, this is just one little front in the War on Christmas. But now yet another element of the Yuletide season has been purged, thanks to the actions of liberals and inaction of yesterday’s liberals (conservatives).
Ah, liberals, the very embodiment of negativity, negative about all the wrong things for more than 100 years.
The fiscal cliff is the result of the inability to close the federal budget deficit. The budget deficit cannot be closed because large numbers of US middle class jobs and the GDP and tax base associated with them have been moved offshore, thus reducing federal revenues. The fiscal cliff cannot be closed because of the unfunded liabilities of eleven years of US-initiated wars against a half dozen Muslim countries–wars that have benefitted only the profits of the military/security complex and the territorial ambitions of Israel. The budget deficit cannot be closed, because economic policy is focused only on saving banks that wrongful financial deregulation allowed to speculate, to merge, and to become too big to fail, thus requiring public subsidies that vastly dwarf the totality of US welfare spending.
The hoax is the propaganda that the fiscal cliff can be avoided by reneging on promised Social Security and Medicare benefits that people have paid for with the payroll tax and by cutting back all aspects of the social safety net from food stamps to unemployment benefits to Medicaid, to housing subsidies. The right-wing has been trying to get rid of the social safety net ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt constructed it, out of fear or compassion or both, during the Great Depression.
Washington’s response to the fiscal cliff is austerity: spending cuts and tax increases. The Republicans say they will vote for the Democrats’ tax increases if the Democrats vote for the Republican’s assault on the social safety net. What bipartisan compromise means is a double-barreled dose of austerity.
Ever since John Maynard Keynes, economists have understood that tax increases and spending cuts suppress, not stimulate, economic activity. This is especially the case in an economy such as the American one, which is driven by consumer spending. When spending declines, so does the economy. When the economy declines, the budget deficit rises.
This is especially the case when an economy is weak and already in decline. A declining economy means less sales, less employment, less tax revenues. This works against the effort to close the federal budget deficit with austerity measures. Instead of strengthening the economy, the austerity measures weaken it further. To cut unemployment benefits and food stamps when unemployment is high or rising would be to provoke social and political instability.
Some economists, such as Robert Barro at Harvard University, claim that stimulative measures, the opposite of austerity, don’t work, because consumers anticipate the higher taxes that will be needed to cover the budget deficit and, therefore, reduce their spending and increase their saving in order to be able to pay the anticipated higher taxes.
In other words, the Keynesian effort to stimulate spending causes consumers to reduce their spending. I don’t know of any empirical evidence for this claim.
Regardless, the situation on the ground at the present time is that for the majority of people, incomes are stretched to the limit and beyond. Many cannot pay their bills, their mortgages, their car payments, their student loans. They are drowning in debt, and there is nothing that they can cut back in order to save money with which to pay higher taxes.
Many commentators are complaining that Congress will refuse to face the difficult issues and kick the can down the road, leaving the fiscal cliff looming. This would probably be the best outcome. As the fiscal cliff is a result, not a cause, to focus on the fiscal cliff is to focus on the symptoms rather than the disease.
The US economy has two serious diseases, and neither one is too much welfare spending.
One disease is the offshoring of US middle class jobs, both manufacturing jobs and professional service jobs such as engineering, research, design, and information technology, jobs that formerly were filled by US university graduates, but which today are sent abroad or are filled by foreigners brought in on H-1B work visas at two-thirds of the salary.
The other disease is the deregulation, especially the financial deregulation, that caused the ongoing financial crisis and created banks too big to fail, which has prevented capitalism from working and closing down insolvent corporations.
The Federal Reserve’s policy is focused on saving the banks, not on saving the economy. The Federal Reserve is purchasing not only new Treasury bonds issued to finance the more than one trillion dollar annual federal deficit but also the banks’ underwater financial instruments, taking them off the banks’ books and putting them on the Federal Reserve’s books.
Normally, debt monetization of this amount results in rising inflation, but the money that the Federal Reserve is creating in its attempt to manage the public debt and the banks’ private debt is hung up in the banking system as excess reserves and is not finding its way into the economy. The banks are too busted to lend, and consumers are too indebted to borrow.
However, the debt monetization poses a second threat that is capable of biting the US economy and consumer living standards very hard. Foreign central banks, foreign investors in US stocks and financial instruments, and Americans themselves observing the Federal Reserve’s continuous monetization of US debt cannot avoid concern about the dollar’s value as the supply of ever more dollars continues to pour out of the Federal Reserve.
Already there is evidence of central banks and individuals moving out of dollars into gold and silver bullion and into other currencies of countries that are not hemorrhaging debt and money. According to John Williams of Shadowstats.com, the US dollar as a percentage of global holdings of reserve assets has declined from 36.6% in 2006 to 28.7% in 2012. Gold has increased from 10.5% to 12.8% and other foreign currencies except the euro increased from 38.4% to 44.4%.
Russia, China, Brazil, India, and South Africa intend to conduct trade among themselves in their own currencies without use of the dollar as reserve currency. The EU countries conduct their trade with one another in euros, and although not reported in the US media, Asian countries are discussing a new common currency for trade among themselves.
The world is abandoning the use of the dollar to settle international accounts, and the demand for dollars is falling as the Federal Reserve increases the supply of dollars.
This means that the price of the dollar is threatened.
Concern over the dollar means concern over dollar-denominated financial instruments such as stocks and bonds. The Chinese hold some $2 trillion in US financial instruments. The Japanese hold about $1 trillion in US Treasuries. The Saudis and the oil emirates also hold large quantities of US dollar financial instruments. At some point the move away from the dollar also means a move away from US financial instruments. The dumping of US stocks and bonds would destabilize US financial markets and wipe out the remainder of US wealth.
As I have previously written, the Federal Reserve can create new money with which to purchase the dumped financial instruments, thus maintaining their prices. But the Federal Reserve cannot print gold or foreign currencies with which to buy up the dollars that foreigners are paid for their US stocks and bonds. When the dollars in turn are dumped, the exchange value of the dollar will collapse, and US inflation will explode.
The onset of hyperinflation can be as sudden as the collapse of a currency’s exchange value.
The real crisis facing the US is the impending collapse of the US dollar’s foreign exchange value. The US dollar’s value in relation to silver and gold has already collapsed. In the past ten years, gold’s price in US dollars has increased from $250 per ounce to $1,750 per ounce, an increase of $1,500. Silver’s price has risen from $4 per ounce to $34 per ounce. These price rises are not due to a sudden scarcity of gold and silver, but to a flight from the dollar into the two forms of historical money that cannot be created with the printing press.
The price of oil has risen from $20 a barrel ten years ago to as high as $120 per barrel earlier this year and currently $90 a barrel. This price rise has come about despite a weak world economy and without any supply restrictions other than those caused by the attempted US occupation of Iraq, the Western assault on Libya, and the self-harming Western sanctions on Iran, impacts most likely offset by the Saudis, still Washington’s faithful puppet, a country that pumps out its precious life fluid in order to save the West from its own mistakes. The moronic neoconservatives wish to overthrow the Saudi Arabian government, but what more faithful servant has Washington ever had than the Saudi royal house?
What can be done? For a number of years I have pointed out that the problem is the loss of US employment, consumer income, GDP, and tax base to offshoring. The solution is to reverse the outward flow of jobs and to bring them back to the US. This can be done, as Ralph Gomory has made clear, by taxing corporations according to where they add value to their product. If the value is added abroad, corporations would have a high tax rate. If they add value domestically with US labor, they would face a low tax rate. The difference in tax rates can be calculated to offset the benefit of the lower cost of foreign labor.
As all offshored production that is brought to the US to be marketed to Americans counts as imports, relocating the production in the US would decrease the trade deficit, thus strengthening belief in the dollar. The increase in US consumer incomes would raise tax revenues, thus lowering the budget deficit. It is a win-win solution.
The second part to the solution is to end the expensive unfunded wars that have ruined the federal budget for the past 11 years as well as future budgets due to the cost of veterans’ hospital care and benefits. According to ABC World News, “In the decade since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, 2,333,972 American military personnel have been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan or both, as of Aug. 30, 2011 [more than a year ago].” These 2.3 million veterans have rights to various unfunded benefits including life-long health care. Already, according to ABC, 711,986 have used Veterans Administration health care between fiscal year 2002 and the third-quarter of fiscal year 2011. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/us-veterans-numbers/story?id=14928136#1
The Republicans are determined to continue the gratuitous wars and to make the 99 percent pay for the neoconservatives’ Wars of Hegemony while protecting the 1 percent from tax increases.
The Democrats are little different.
No one in the White House and no more than one dozen members of the 535 member US Congress represents the American people. This is the reason that despite obvious remedies nothing can be done. America is going to crash big time.
And the rest of the world will be thankful. America along with Israel is the world’s most hated country. Don’t expect any foreign bailouts of the failed “superpower.”
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. paulcraigroberts.org
Source: Paul Craig Roberts
If Americans will trample one another just to save a few dollars on a television, what will they do when society breaks down and the survival of their families is at stake? Once in a while an event comes along that gives us a peek into what life could be like when the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is stripped away. For example, when Hurricane Sandy hit New York and New Jersey there was rampant looting and within days people were digging around in supermarket dumpsters looking for food. Sadly, “Black Friday” also gives us a look at how crazed the American people can be when given the opportunity. This year was no exception. Once again we saw large crowds of frenzied shoppers push, shove, scratch, claw, bite and trample one another just to save a few bucks on cheap foreign-made goods. And of course most retailers seem to be encouraging this type of behavior. Most of them actually want people frothing at the mouth and willing to fight one another to buy their goods. But is this kind of “me first” mentality really something that we want to foster as a society? If people are willing to riot to save money on a cell phone, what would they be willing to do to feed their families? Are the Black Friday riots a very small preview of the civil unrest that is coming when society eventually breaks down?
Once upon a time, Thanksgiving was not really a commercial holiday. It was a time to get together with family and friends, eat turkey and express thanks for the blessings that we have been given.
But in recent years Black Friday has started to become even a bigger event than Thanksgiving itself.
Millions of Americans have become convinced that it is fun to wait in long lines outside retail stores in freezing cold weather in the middle of the night to spend money that they do not have on things that they do not need.
And of course very, very few “Black Friday deals” are actually made in America. So these frenzied shoppers are actually killing American jobs and destroying the U.S. economy as well.
The absurdity of Black Friday was summed up very well recently in a statement that has already been retweeted on Twitter more than 1,000 times…
It has gotten to the point where it is now expected that there will be mini-riots all over the country early on Black Friday morning each year. The following are a few examples of the craziness that we saw this year…
Fortunately, many Americans are starting to get fed up with Black Friday. In fact, one activist named Mark Dice actually went out and heckled Black Friday shoppers this year. I found the following You Tube video to be very funny, and I think most of you will too…
In the end, it is not that big of a deal that people want to fight with one another to save 50 dollars on a cell phone.
But this kind of extreme selfishness and desperation could become a massive problem someday if society breaks down and suddenly millions of extremely selfish and desperate people are scrambling for survival.
With each passing day our economy is getting even weaker, and the next wave of the economic collapse is rapidly approaching. What are people going to do when the next spike in unemployment hits us and nobody can find work?
To get an idea of where things are headed, just look at Europe. In both Greece and Spain the unemployment rate is over 25 percent and civil unrest has become almost a constant problem in both of those countries.
So what kind of riots will we see in the United States when the economy gets much worse than it is now?
Already there are signs of social decay all around us, and most Americans are completely unprepared for what will happen if a major disaster or emergency does strike.
Sadly, the reality is that most Americans live on a month to month basis. Most families do not have any emergency savings to speak of, and one recent poll found that 55 percent of all Americans only have enough food in their homes to survive for three days or less.
To me, that is an absolutely insane number.
We just came through a summer of extreme drought and global food supplies have dropped to a 40 year low. Our world is becoming increasingly unstable, and the global financial system could fall apart at any time. Most of us just assume that there will always be huge amounts of very cheap food available to us, but unfortunately that simply is not a safe assumption. The following is from a recent article in the Guardian…
Evan Fraser, author of Empires of Food and a geography lecturer at Guelph University in Ontario, Canada, says: “For six of the last 11 years the world has consumed more food than it has grown. We do not have any buffer and are running down reserves. Our stocks are very low and if we have a dry winter and a poor rice harvest we could see a major food crisis across the board.”
“Even if things do not boil over this year, by next summer we’ll have used up this buffer and consumers in the poorer parts of the world will once again be exposed to the effects of anything that hurts production.”
When I watch my fellow Americans trample one another to get a deal on a television or a video game, it makes me wonder what they would be willing to do if they went to the store someday and all the food was gone.
Desperate people do desperate things, and someday if there was a major economic breakdown in the United States I think the level of desperation in this country would be extremely frightening.
Source: The Economic Collapse
One of the most ludicrous fantasies of the self-indulgent is that a property owner has an entitlement of subsidized government flood insurance. The inherent risk of building along the ocean shoreline is self-evident. The benefits that enhance the pleasure of proximity to the seaside seem unending. However, when the forces of nature thrust her fury and a wall of water inundates pristine dwellings, the first question asked after the storm usually involves rebuilding. The cost of repairs and renovated construction, once paid by private insurance, now normally requires a federal guaranty.
James Bovard made some salient points just after Katrina in Uncle Sam’s Flood Machine.
“The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s crown jewel. Unfortunately, the heavily subsidized insurance bribes people to scorn common sense, damages the environment, and creates staggering liabilities for taxpayers. Federal flood insurance illustrates how selling at a loss can be politically profitable.
The primary effect of federal flood insurance is that far more property is now damaged by floods than would have occurred if the insurance had not made it possible to build in flood-prone areas. The Long Island Regional Planning Board in 1989 complained that federal flood insurance “in effect encourages a cycle of repeated flood losses and policy claims.” And, especially in places like Long Island, the program underwrites the vacation homes of the wealthy.”
Now that Sandy made her presence known, many of those aforementioned Long Island properties were washed into the sea. Would anyone believe that federal guarantees have any premium correlation to the actual costs of such disasters? The current disconnect between subsidized costs for NFIP flood insurance and the enormous expense for reconstruction is beyond imagination.
The libertarian and media celeb, John Stossel relates his personal experience inTaxpayers Get Soaked by Government’s Flood Insurance. One factor in building his beachfront property on Long Island was that government insurance provided the guarantee necessary to qualify for a mortgage.
“Should a big storm wipe out half the coast, you’ll cover our losses — up to a quarter-million dollars. Thanks — we appreciate it — but what a dumb policy.
The insurance premiums were a bargain. The most I ever paid was a few hundred dollars. Federal actuaries say if the insurance were realistically priced, it would cost thousands of dollars. Why should the government guarantee water’s-edge insurance? Why should the government be in this business at all?”
Mr. Stossel has the knack for boiling down the complex into the common dominator. If private underwriting is not willing to cover the obligation of the risk, at a NFIP discount premium, maybe the insurance is too cheap. The Century Housing organization inShould Taxpayers Subsidize Property Owners in Flood Areas?, states: “Private insurance companies provide almost no flood insurance, because the insurance industry recognizes the huge risks.”Their conclusion is,
“The bottom line is that the taxpayers subsidize the development of property located in known floodplains. And that raises the question of whether that subsidy is good public policy, or whether the whole approach to flood emergencies should be changed. Would we all be better off if we ended the NFIP and instead provided short-term subsidies to floodplain property owners to move out of the danger zone, avoiding the inevitable loss of property and lives that occur so predictably along the nation’s waterways?At the very least, it seems that FEMA should end subsidizing the NFIP premiums for any insured property owners. And it may be a good idea for the states (which control land use) to prohibit construction within floodplains, or require any owner of property located in a floodplain to carry insurance to reimburse public agencies for emergency services when floods do occur.”
The political attraction to continue cheap government waterfront insurance has property owners flocking to buy up and build their dream house. This is probably the costliest boondoggle that benefits the upper middle class and the affluent. Human nature, being what it is, even the purest, as John Stossel, knows a good deal when it is dangled in his face by a seductive government.
So what is the alternative, only high-rise condominiums with expensive maintenance fees owned by offshore tax dodgers? Let us hope that the cherished tradition of individual property ownership is the standard that is protected by all government jurisdictions. However, perpetuating the incentive to willingly build in harm’s way, where personal financial risk is substituted by government guarantees that reward imprudent decisions, needs to change.
The rush to federalize disaster aid and transfer funds back into state coffers is symbolic of the obscene distortion within national taxation. As long as individual states must balance their yearly budgets and the federal government persists with unfunded deficits, individual states will gladly take the bribes and handouts.
Disasters are part of life. There is no warranted absolution from calamites. Insurance that is fairly priced, and rigidly administrated is a system that has provided relief from great suffering and pain. Nevertheless, the business of insurance should be a private contract among willing participants.
If the cost to insure is too high, just maybe the economics of ownership is too steep to continue to support the lifestyle.
The collectivist proponents of big government continue to spread their confusion and prevarications. The Hill reports in Democratic leaders say FEMA has enough cash for Sandy recovery.
“FEMA’s coffers are nearly full because the storm struck at the beginning of the fiscal year, which started Oct. 1.
On top of more than $1 billion left over in the Disaster Relief Fund from last year, Congress has appropriated $7.1 billion for fiscal 2013. President Obama’s decision to make disaster declarations in New York and New Jersey — in addition to emergency declarations in eight other states and the District of Columbia — allows local officials to access those funds immediately.”
Disaster relief can be compassionate and supportive. Even so, the practice of subsidized federal flood insurance only encourages the extent and degree of future disasters. Lacking common sense is a national condition. Building on high ground is the prudent course for action.