“All of us have heard this term ‘preventive war’ since the earliest days of Hitler. … A preventive war, to my mind, is an impossibility today. How could you have one if one of its features would be several cities lying in ruins, several cities where many, many thousands of people would be dead and injured and mangled, the transportation systems destroyed, sanitation implements and systems all gone? That isn’t preventive war; that is war. … I don’t believe there is such a thing; and, frankly, I wouldn’t even listen to anyone seriously that came in and talked about such a thing.”—Dwight D. Eisenhower
“The world has not prepared for the future. During the 1950s, people used twice as much oil as during the 1940s. During the 1960s, we used twice as much as during the 1950s. And in each of those decades, more oil was consumed than in all of mankind’s previous history. World consumption of oil is still going up. If it were possible to keep it rising during the 1970s and 1980s by 5 percent a year as it has in the past, we could use up all the proven reserves of oil in the entire world by the end of the next decade.”—Jimmy Carter, April 18, 1977
“Socialism, like the old policy from which it emanates, confounds Government and society. And so, every time we object to a thing being done by Government, it concludes that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of education by the State - then we are against education altogether. We object to a State religion – then we would have no religion at all. We object to an equality which is brought about by the State – and we are against equality, etc., etc. They might as well accuse us of wishing men not to eat, because we object to the cultivation of corn by the State.”—Frederic Bastiat, The Law
“The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”—Thomas Sowell
They may refer to themselves as ‘constitutionalists’ or ‘freemen,’ which is not necessarily a connection to a specific group, but, rather, an indication that they are free from government control. They follow their own set of laws. While the philosophies and conspiracy theories can vary from person to person, their core beliefs are the same: The government operates outside of its jurisdiction.
So anyone claiming to be a ‘constitutionalist’ is now to be monitored by law enforcement. Yeah, I think Ron Paul needs to be arrested. Oh, and here’s the kicker:
One prevalent sovereign-citizen theory is the Redemption Theory, which claims the U.S. government went bankrupt when it abandoned the gold standard basis for currency in 1933 and began using citizens as collateral in trade agreements with foreign governments.
So, now, anyone who thinks that abandoning the gold standard was wrong may be under suspicion. While the language this FBI memo uses is ambiguous on certain things, the danger comes from the fact that most law enforcement officers aren’t going to comprehend it entirely, leading them to monitor free-thinking individuals as a threat to the United States. What a joke. If you didn’t think our government was out to limit its critics, think again. One last quote from this ridiculous memo:
The FBI considers sovereign-citizen extremists as comprising a domestic terrorist movement…
“A republican, or free government, can only exist where the body of the people are virtuous and where property is pretty equally divided; in such a government the people are the sovereign and their sense or opinion is the criterion for every public measure; for when this ceases to be the case, the nature of the government is changed, and an aristocracy, monarchy, or despotism will rise on its ruin. The highest responsibility is to be attained in a simple struction of government, for the great body of the people never steadily attend to the operations of the government, and for want of due information are liable to be imposed on.”—Centinel, The Anti-Federalists
“The course of government is attended with an insensible descent to evil, and there is no reascending to good without very great efforts.”—Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu
“The principle that the majority have a right to rule the minority practically resolves all government into a mere contest between two bodies of men as to which of them shall be masters and which of them slaves; a contest that, however bloody, can, in the nature of things, never be finally closed so long as man refuses to be a slave.”—Lysander Spooner, No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority
While reading up on the War of 1812, a small fact caught my attention: Britain was the largest importer of American goods leading up to the war. Drawing a comparison to today, I was reminded that America is the largest importer of Chinese goods. In the meanwhile, our exports have dropped significantly, and we end up with an annual net loss in trade. We all know that Britain ruled the world at one point but their role has greatly diminished in the last century. America became, and today is, the most powerful country in the world. But are we following in Britain’s footsteps? I believe that the answer lies in the understanding of consumption economics, and the role of central banking in this phenomenon.
The consumption possibilities curve (above) shows us that investments increase only when consumption decreases, and vice versa. For a good portion of American history, the people believed in savings. They understood that savings grant investment opportunities, and investments lead to progress. This is where the banking system also came in. As savings increased, banks would lower interest rates and signal to the industry that if they build/produce, the savings will help in consumption. Conversely, when savings were low, the banks would increase interest rates, as the success of a company would be risky when people didn’t have the money to buy their products. This is how a free market works in terms of consumption and investment, and it’s something Americans experienced for a good portion of their history. However, this changed with the establishment of the Federal Reserve, America’s central bank.
Central banks were tried a few times before the Federal Reserve, but were highly opposed by the likes of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, amongst others. Jefferson blasted James Madison for signing into law a central bank, as he saw it as one of the most corrupt organizations used by monarchists to subdue people. And he was right. Though they didn’t last long in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, the Federal Reserve is coming up on a hundred years, and has been responsible for every single recession since its inception, and, the kicker, the Great Depression. Even Ben Bernanke, the current Chairman of the Federal Reserve, admitted that Milton Friedman was right about the role the Fed played in the Great Depression. But of course, he’s not about to walk away from his cushy job with no oversight or accountability whatsoever. He just said they’ll get it right next time. Oy vey.
See, the problem with central banks is that they completely screw up the way free markets are supposed to work. The biggest way they do so is by artificially lowering and raising interest rates. Going back to the consumption-possibilities curve, when savings are low (either because consumption is high or productivity is low), investments disappear. There isn’t any money to lend, and so banks raise interest rates to signal the markets that it’s a risky time to start a new endeavor. However, the central bank decides that people must consume more to stimulate the economy, and so they extend lines of credits beyond what should be warranted. They either produce more money (printing or electronically), or they insure bad loans. The result is a confused market. The producers ramp up production, but the shelves are left stocked, and their goods never move. This throws the market in a tailspin until the politicians decide it’s time to give the people money, via tax breaks or incentives, to go buy the goods that shouldn’t have been produced in the first place. Unfortunately, that’s not enough, and another side-effect from the misunderstanding of this ever-booming economy takes place.
Credit cards. If production is constantly going, and people are supposed to keep buying to ‘stimulate the economy’, they will end up overextending themselves. It’s no wonder that in 2008, the average savings of an American was -10%. Yes that’s a minus sign. They spent ten percent more than they made. This only gets worse as the average family goes into debt for nearly four months out of the year to pay for Christmas gifts. The people end up working paycheck to paycheck just so they can consume. Instead of saving and building capital to do what they truly desire, they work thirty, forty, fifty years in a job they loathe. This has raised a generation of youth that look to the state to provide as much for them as possible. The recent Occupy Wall Street movement was an example of that. They wanted their student loans tossed so that they could spend their money elsewhere. In fact, it gets worse. Now, these very people believe the state should provide them with jobs. And young people, in droves, are starting to work for the government. On average, there are twice as many government employees in a state as there are workers in manufacturing or agriculture. And the numbers are growing. All the while, they don’t realize that the government isn’t self-sustaining, and that private industry is required to pay even those paychecks. But I digress.
The Fed has created an ever-consuming populous, and thus enslaved them to a perverted understanding of ‘the economy’. It’s become this unsatisfiable beast that must be fed constantly unless you want the world to collapse around you. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. The economy is the people. It’s the people who buy and sell. It’s the people who invest or consume. It’s the people, not a cog that needs fixing. People have hopes, they have dreams, and they have fears. When people are afraid, they will cut down consumption. But the government tells them that they must keep this up, unless they want things to get worse. The truth, however, is that there is no short-term solution to a dip in the economy. The world is constantly changing, and along with it so do the markets. Cutting consumption is an appropriate response to those changes, lest we find ourselves in a never-ending spiral. I believe that Britain’s strong central banking played its part in the decline of the empire, and I believe the same is happening in America today.
The sad thing is that the founding fathers fought against this - the oppression of the people. Yet today, we have an oppressed population that is deluded into believing it’s free. America is no longer the land of the brave and the home of the free. It’s the land of the timid, and the home to slaves. We’re heading down the same path Britain did, and unless we change our mindset about consumption economics, we will not be able to avert the coming fiscal disaster. The Fed must go, and we must return to competitive and sound money. We must restore unto Americans the freedoms they’ve lost, and to do that, we must elect people that understand economics, not simply a few catchwords here and there. A return to free markets will restore that freedom, and bring back the atmosphere that helped America rise to the top as Britain fell away.
“But whoever seriously considers the immense extent of territory comprehended within the limits of the United States, together with a variety of its climates, productions, and commerce, the difference of extent, and number of inhabitants in all; the dissimilitude of interest, morals, and policies, in almost every one, will receive it as an intuitive truth, that a consolidated republican form of government therein, can never form a perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to you and your posterity, for to these objects it must be directed: this is kindred legislature therefore, composed of interests opposite and dissimilar in their nature, will in its exercise, emphatically be, like a house divided against itself.”—Cato, Anti-Federalist Papers