Jul 152015
 

Tell someone on the left that crony capitalism is not the same as the free market and they’ll often respond that capitalism as it really exists is crony capitalism. They will say that there has never been an instance of capitalism in which government-sponsored or government-abetted cronyism didn’t play a substantial role — either through war, taxation, or slavery — in a market economy. As a result, the failings of crony capitalism — corruption, privilege, oppression, business cycles — are simply the failings of capitalism itself.

One correct response is to show that the less intervention there has been, the less corrupt, privileged, oppressive, and unstable the socioeconomic order also has been. Many would simply reiterate that, historically, laissez-faire capitalism has never existed, nor could it exist, without interventionism. They simply will not or cannot distinguish the free market from state capitalism, corporate capitalism, or other forms of the mixed economy.

Which is perhaps why some on the left have adopted the term “neoliberalism,” a perfectly good word that has come to represent an imbroglio of vaguely market-cum-corporativist views. They can’t imagine how markets could work without some form of state intervention holding it all together. And that’s probably because they reject what economist Peter Boettke calls “mainline economics,” or economics in the tradition of Adam Smith, Frédéric Bastiat, and Carl Menger, among others.

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Oct 132014
 

Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson declared “War on Poverty.” It sounded great to me. I was taught at Princeton, “We’re a rich country. All we have to do is tax the rich, and then use that money to create programs that will lift the poor out of poverty.” Government created job-training programs for the strong and expanded social security for the weak.

It seemed to work. The poverty rate dropped from 17 percent to 12 percent in the programs’ first decade. Unfortunately, few people noticed that during the half-decade before the “War,” the rate dropped from 22 percent to 17 percent. Without big government, Americans were already lifting themselves out of poverty!

Johnson’s War brought further progress, but progress then stopped. It stopped because government is not good at making a distinction between needy and lazy. It taught moms not to marry the father of their kids because that would reduce their welfare benefits. Welfare invited people to be dependent. Some people started to say, “Entry-level jobs are for suckers.” Many could live almost as well without the hassle of work.

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Sep 292014
 

The greatest man made societal and economic collapse in history is unfolding before our eyes. This Journey to the collapse of the developed world’s civilization and empire began over 100 years ago during the Presidency of Woodrow Wilson with his subversion/betrayal of the constitution of the United States and creation of a privately owned banking and currency monopoly called the Federal Reserve and the creation of the income tax to fund the beginning of the Confiscationism of the progressive socialism we see today. In exchange for a monopoly on money to multi century banking cartels which allowed the country to be run for the benefit of the banking systems. In exchange for unlimited funding for government. Private property rights began its road to demise at that time.

In Part I of this series we covered the transformation of the monetary system from sound reserve backed constitutionally mandated currency system to what now has become completely unsound Fiat currency and credit system. Money has changed from a system for storing wealth, purchasing power and ones labor for the future to a confiscation scheme run for the benefit of Banksters and socialist progressive government. Do not miss this as UNSOUND money and Reserveless banking is the master thread and foundation of all the chaos unfolding in the world today.

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Aug 272014
 

This is part II of IV of Useful Idiots and The Something for Nothing Society. In part I, we covered the beginning of the evolution from a capitalist constitutional republic during Teddy Roosevelt’s presidency a century ago into the progressive socialist state we have become today. This transformation has taken over a century and has been implemented in such an incremental manner as to be mostly imperceptible to the public at large. It began with the creation of the Federal Reserve (privately owned central bank owned by multi-century banking families) and UNSOUND money (which transformed money from a place to store your savings and labor and a store of value which moved your savings into the future, into an instrument of confiscation, theft and exploitation of the public. The other element of the road to serfdom was the personal income tax, also implemented at that time. This series is a connect the dots exercise designed to allow you to see the enormity and inevitability of the societal collapse we find ourselves in. Its causes, the system that is in place driving it forward and the reality of our situations, better allow you to see and prepare for its demise, hopefully benefitting from it. It is the greatest opportunity in history but requires a keen understanding of history and Austrian economics which has predicted it all. The history of this collapse of empires is being presented to you in this series.

Inhabitants of the developed world have experienced an IRON curtain of government policies crushing their futures and prohibiting prosperity. This plan has been in place and unfolding for over 100 years. It is a plan and the playbook is easily found and understood on the internet. It is central to creating USEFUL IDIOTS and a Something for Nothing Society. It is nothing less than the destruction of the American way, the taking of our freedoms, private property, future prosperity and destruction of any incentives to produce. It is a process where the elites which control society transform the public into modern day serfs and transform the fruits of your labor to themselves in a myriad ways. It is the implementation of socialism, which is the consumption of wealth and the destruction of wealth creation as we outlined in part 1.

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Aug 252014
 

#11 – Rich People Have an Obligation to Give Back

For a society that has fed, clothed, housed, cared for, informed, entertained, and otherwise enriched more people at higher levels than any in the history of the planet, there sure is a lot of groundless guilt in America.

Manifestations of that guilt abound. The example that peeves me the most is the one we often hear from well-meaning philanthropists who adorn their charitable giving with this little chestnut: “I want to give something back.” It always sounds as though they’re apologizing for having been successful.

Translated, that statement means something like this: “I’ve accumulated some wealth over the years. Never mind how I did it, I just feel guilty for having done it. There’s something wrong with my having more than somebody else, but don’t ask me to explain how or why because it’s just a fuzzy, uneasy feeling on my part. Because I have something, I feel obligated to have less of it. It makes me feel good to give it away because doing so expunges me of the sin of having it in the first place. Now I’m a good guy, am I not?”

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Aug 222014
 

Adam Smith in his seminal book, Wealth of Nations, outlined how all great empires rest upon an educated, productive and prosperous citizenry. The United States is no exception as its schools over the centuries from grade school to colleges provided the teachings of history, reading and writing, logic, self-reliance, independence and the principles of the constitutional republic brought to us by our founding fathers and God. The United States was founded by people seeking shelter from Despots, authoritarian governments and dictators. Independent souls who were not afraid of providing for themselves, who wanted freedom of religion, and who were willing to strike out into the wilderness to flourish or die. And flourish they did, as did their children and grandchildren. They created the greatest empire in history, the most freedom, the least government, the greatest wealth and middle classes as never seen in history.

Now, this is coming to an end. The assault on the wealth (citizens) and freedoms of the United States began with Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson (created the Federal Reserve) a century ago. With a BIG BOOST from progressive liberal Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the creation of the Second Bill of Rights. The progressive movement goal of transforming the United States from a Capitalist constitutional republic to a progressive socialist democracy has been underway for over 100 years and its realization spells the demise of the greatest country ever known. We are near the final denouement of economic collapse and destruction of our monetary and financial system caused by their policies. Ultimately, these PROGRESSIVE men and their supporters transform their societies from the production of great wealth, also known as CAPITALISM, to the consumption of it, known as SOCIALISM (the Orwellian name they use is DEMOCRACY). This final conversion of capitalist economies in the developed world to SOCIALIST economies was set in motion in the developed world at Bretton Woods II.

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Aug 202014
 

Today, capitalism is blamed for our current disastrous economic and financial situation and a history of incessant booms and busts. Support for capitalism is eroding worldwide. In a recent global poll, 25 percent (up 2 percent from 2009) of respondents viewed free enterprise as “fatally flawed and needs to be replaced.” The number of Spaniards who hold this view increased from 29 percent in 2009 to 42 percent, the highest amongst those polled. In Indonesia, the percentage went from 17 percent to 32 percent.

Most, if not all, booms and busts originate with excess credit creation from the financial sector. These respondents, incorrectly, assume that this financial system structured on fractural reserve banking is an integral part of capitalism. It isn’t. It is fraud and a violation of property rights, and should be treated as such.

In the past, we had deposit banks and loan banks. If you put your money in a deposit bank, the money was there to pay your rent and food expenses. It was safe. Loan banking was risky. You provided money to a loan bank knowing funds would be tied up for a period of time and that you were taking a risk of never seeing this money again. For this, you received interest to compensate for the risk taken and the value of time preference. Back then, bankers who took a deposit and turned it into a loan took the risk of shortly hanging from the town’s large oak tree.

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Aug 132014
 

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

People often ask me, “When did you become an anarchist?” It’s not an easy question to answer. Deep changes in one’s intellectual outlook do not happen overnight. You first entertain the idea. Then you assess its plausibility. You might even embrace the idea fully, but only in the abstract. Real intellectual change comes when you can see how the idea works in the real world—even in your daily life. That’s when confidence in an idea comes.

For this reason, it always mystifies me that anyone could become a socialist. It is the least plausible idea imaginable. Scarce goods cannot be literally owned on a socialist basis. Try socializing your laptop or your shoes or any capital or consumer good. Two people cannot be simultaneous and full owners of the same thing. Socialism always ends in State ownership and control, which leads to disaster every time it’s fully implemented. Real-life socialists either don’t understand the idea or they just decide to live in an illusion.

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Jul 302014
 

#9 – Human Rights Are More Important Than Property Rights

It is not the right of property which is protected, but the right to property. Property, per se, has no rights; but the individual—the man—has three great rights, equally sacred from arbitrary interference: the right to his life, the right to his liberty, the right to his property…. The three rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave. 

—U.S. Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland

Tricky phrases with favorable meanings and emotional appeal are being used today to imply a distinction between property rights and human rights.

By implication, there are two sets of rights—one belonging to human beings and the other to property. Since human beings are more important, it is natural for the unwary to react in favor of human rights.

Actually, there is no such distinction between property rights and human rights. The term property has no significance except as it applies to something owned by someone. Property itself has neither rights nor value, except as human interests are involved. There are no rights but human rights, and what are spoken of as property rights are only the human rights of individuals to property.

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Jul 162014
 

#8 – The Economy Needs More Planning–Central Planning, That Is

Thanksgiving is just one day each year.  But because we have so much to be thankful for, maybe it ought to be every day.

G. K. Chesterton once said, “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

Think about that, especially Chesterton’s use of the word “wonder.” It means “awe” or “amazement.” The least thankful people tend to be those who are rarely awed or amazed, in spite of the extraordinary beauty, gifts and achievements that envelope us.

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