Clearing a path to affordable living

Standing between you and your living

Markets are most advantageous to individual participants in a state of perfect competition, where we find fair wages, fair prices, and fair opportunities.  Perfect competition is unattainable in any market. However, this does not mean our society should not strive to attain it.  With the passing of Sherman Anti-Trust legislation in 1890, Congress first recognized the public’s need for competition.  Congress recognized that some extremely large corporations were creating insurmountable barriers to entry for competitors.  The government knew that the best way to promote competition in a market is by minimizing that market’s barriers to entry, and therefore passed anti-trust laws.  Current Anti-Trust legislation protects against the abusive strangling of competition that was prevalent in the pre-income tax days of the late nineteenth century; but today, competition’s adversaries are subtle, suffocating forces, that the old competition laws do not address. These newer anti-competitive forces, though subtle, are undeniably more numerous, more pervasive, and more restrictive than the old tactics of the “robber barons.”  Moreover, these anti-competitive measures have used and seek to further use the government, which exists only for the benefit of the public, as a means for stifling competition.  Why would a corporation seek–even write–legislation that restricts its own industry, but for the restriction it puts on its competitors and the protection it provides itself?

It is still true, as any economist or well-educated politician will admit, that maximizing competition involves recognizing and breaking down barriers to entry; in order to walk the proper path, we must first blaze and cut the trail, and we will find it necessary to dispose first of the largest and thorniest impediments.  When the task is so simple as cutting a literal trail in the woods, the greatest obstructions are visible to all; but when we are asked to clear the severely mangled path of the invisible market, the prickles and roots must be uncloaked, and the path’s participants (the public) allowed full view of them. They might be surprised to learn that the largest obstructions are called “taxes” and the most vexing weeds “regulations,” which multiply so quickly that the eye cannot watch them, and the mind cannot fathom their extent.  In almost every market’s path, individuals will find–upon diligent examination–that the elimination of only taxes and regulations would leave a clearing so starkly contrasted to the brush that currently lies before them, that it would be cause for celebration.  They could imagine themselves skipping where those obstacles once stood.

After this honest presentation, market participants are left with real choices: they may try to maneuver through the cramped, bladed monstrosity; they may become frazzled, and sit in their place as eternal sideliners, watching with amazement or amusement as others awkwardly navigate the improper market; but eventually, having their unoffending humility tortured to action, they shall realize the utility of hatchets and chainsaws, and choose a delegation to take up axes or machete, and begin destroying the offensive contrivances that stand in their path, replacing tax and regulation with opportunity and innovation–economic revolution.

Patriotism and Partisanship in America

Give me back my country!

“I do not believe that any two men, on what are called doctrinal points, think alike who think at all.  It is only those who have not thought that appear to agree.” – Thomas Paine

“I am a Democrat.”  What does this mean?  “I am a Republican.”  What does this mean?  Does anyone even know anymore?

I contend that I have never met a Democrat or a Republican.  I have met Americans, and I have met aristocrats.  Almost every American I know is exactly the same in political philosophy, differing only in historical knowledge (or lack thereof) and political application of that knowledge (or ignorance).  The typical American approach to politics, at its root, is this: always do what is best for our nation and our freedoms.  This is the basic political thought of the majority of Americans, regardless of political affiliation, and it matches the intent of our founders. 

There exists, however, an opinionated and vocal minority that will not rest until our freedoms are stamped out, our nation is unrecognizable, and our humanity is enslaved under the self-destructive goals of maximum employment and minumum wage.  This powerful minority has already succeeded beyond measure.  If Jesus Christ returned today, he would not recognize the religion that bears his title, because most of its members ignore his simple teachings; nor would Jefferson, Madison, or Washington claim the nation they helped to create, because it now resembles the opposite of what they intended during the revolution, before the rise of the new tyrannical minority.  The minority to which I refer is the corporate political establishment–the new aged robber barons–repackaged with mythical concerns for the community and environment, and freedom.

The corporate version of freedom is carefully defined.  Everyone should know that freedom is the absence of government coercion, but that definition of freedom does not do much to support government plunder.  It takes a very careful explanation indeed, for a people to understand why they must work five days every week and then receive pay for working only three, especially if the practice is to be perpetuated for fifty or more years of their lives.  This is why the definition of freedom must be skewed, and the process still requires what Orwell branded “doublethink,” because we all know, as individuals, that no one is better equipped to make decisions about our money than ourselves.   Liberty’s central thesis is this: no authority will ever be able to meet my needs better than I can (with the help of nature or nature’s God).  “Liberty or death” is the battle cry of the able American patriot, whether fighting the British crown in the eighteenth century, or the United States Congress in the twenty-first.

I believe it is time once again for the American people to unite against a tyrant that does not meet the nation’s basic human needs for civil liberties and free markets, and does not even give them the option of choosing leaders who actually do believe in these things, as the corporate media sees a peoples’ statesman as a serious threat to their own control over the political process.  Even media types will complain about apathy and blame themselves for it, but as soon as citizens get excited about the process, you can bet the media will call them whackjobs and undermine their efforts. 

If you don’t believe this, research Ron Paul’s presidential campaign.  Look him up on youtube or meetup, and you will see what I’m talking about.  By far the most popular candidate, Paul was intentionally crushed by the media for telling the truth too often and getting credibility amongst real people (he received more donations from military members than every other candidate in both parties combined).

Government submits to God, who wants to leave us alone

God at his computer.

This story is, of course, fictional.  If you see this headline in the newspaper tomorrow morning, you will need to pinch yourself–and if that does not wake you–realize that you have in fact died and gone to heaven.  As I imagine it, there are no tax collectors in heaven.  Upon entry into heaven, I could pick up the Times and read the following:

Today God announced major cutbacks in everything government. 

God called for an immediate end to all hostilities in Iraq, and condemned George W. Bush for lying to His people and killing His children without just cause.  “You’ll burn in hell for this,” God ordained matter-of-factly, in an unusually calm damning ceremony.  Taking questions after the announcement, God explained the departure from the usual thunderbolt display.  “Our traditional ceremony was a little over the top, and we’re trying to cut expenditures in these ceremonies anyway.  After the Falwell incident, I don’t really trust the lightning machine anymore–he wasn’t supposed to burn until he actually got to Hell.  I am not one to deprive Lucifer of his fun, but I am told he has still had plenty of it with Falwell.”  He then belted maniacal laughter for over three minutes.

God’s announcement expectedly drew some disfavor from President Bush, who backwardly believed he was doing God’s work.  “But God–” he started to say, but The All-Knowing knew what was coming and responded before Bush could finish.  “I do my own work, thank you,” God thundered.  “Love thy neighbor.  It’s simple, really.  Why couldn’t you just do it?  Jesus!”

The military will be mostly dissolved by mid-year, much to the dismay of the military industry.  Sources tell us that one CEO was particularly opposed to God’s will.  God quieted his argument, saying, “I never intended for you people to go around killing one another because of your petty arguments about me.  I’m going to let you keep fire and subsequent technological advancements.  Don’t push your luck with this fighting fetish you’ve developed.”

God called for the immediate dissolution of the CIA, FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and all government secrecy.  He said His “reasoning here is simple: if people really want to be free, information must be free to them.  Besides, there is no reason for a good government to have secrets.  Good governments do not need protection, because people find no fault in them worth attacking.  If anything is going to be mysterious in this world, it’s going to be Me.”

No more personal taxes or tax identification numbers.  God seemed particularly frustrated by these human measures.  “I don’t know what nation is before me now, when I look at these income taxes,” God offered.  “Soviet Russia? Nazi Germany? Oceania?  Certainly not one nation, under Me, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.  There’s no liberty in assigning everyone a number and staking claim to their labor–it’s as if you’ve modeled your society after Hell.”

God ended drug laws as well, and allowed all non-violent drug offenders to leave prison.  He called for a cutback of over 85% of the nation’s local police forces.  “You’ve got a lot of nerve,” He reprimanded Congress.  “Do you think I put cannabis on this planet so that you could spend your days trying to destroy it?  It’s not going away.  I put it here for your enjoyment.  Don’t tell people what they are allowed to do with what I put here.  I ought to damn you all to Hell for this!  As I look around, you’re all headed there anyway–oh, except for you, Dr. Paul of Texas: the Lot of Washington D.C.  What’s that, Ron?  Alright, you can bring Duncan along too.  No, Kucinich burns with the rest of them!  Alright, you may rescue Barney Frank from damnation as well, as we cannot fault the mentally handicapped.”

In perhaps related news, the Federal Reserve Board has disappeared.  No one can find any of them anywhere.  God did not explain where they went, but did say they will not be back.  “Gold and silver will always back the currency, to protect My people’s savings from confiscation.  The market, which I created, will determine rates of interest.”

To cap off His day of governing, God smote Mike Huckabee.  “Huckabee is a false idol,” decreed God, “almost as bad as the pope.”  The Almighty went on to relate Huckabee to the ancient Golden Calf, and his followers to ancient pagans because of their lack of respect for what God called “civic virtue.”

Fear is Tyranny was able to catch up with God during an evening prayer session.  We asked Him if He was done with governing for awhile.  “Absolutely not,” He said, “this is just the first day.  I’ve got five more to go before I rest.  My motivation here is very basic and has never changed: I gave people the capacity to think so that they might use it to guide themselves, and I am simply taking steps to encourage individual thought.”  Pray for similar results tomorrow.

Letter to the regulatory proponent

More regulation is not helping America

“Despite the long term damage to the economy inflicted by the government’s interference in the housing market, the government’s policies of diverting capital to other uses creates a short-term boom in housing. Like all artificially created bubbles, the boom in housing prices cannot last forever. When housing prices fall, homeowners will experience difficulty as their equity is wiped out. Furthermore, the holders of the mortgage debt will also have a loss. These losses will be greater than they had otherwise been had government policy not actively encouraged over-investment in housing.” – 07/12/2002 (in House, Congressman Ron Paul, R, TX)

The economic problems we are experiencing now are a result of regulation, and we actually wanted them to happen, so that we could have an excuse to propose more regulation. We predicted this recession would happen way back in 2002. We knew it would happen all along, and we were actively warned about it, and we listened, and we decided to let it happen anyway. The Democrats knew it would happen, and so did the Republicans, and they could have stopped it. They didn’t because, quite frankly, they don’t give a sh** about you or me, or anyone else in this country that doesn’t directly help them gain or retain power, or help propagandize people like us. If you think regulation is the answer, read up on Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek, because you’ve been relying on the “news” for economic information, and they’ve got you painfully brainwashed. Americans now live like feudal serfs, working all of their lives, and never controlling their directions. Socialism is more similar to the tyranny of the past than to the prosperity of the future.

Other things you should know, in your infinite economic wisdom, before you take over the free market and start planning the economy: medical care is only expensive because it is overregulated. any economist will tell you that competition brings down prices, and the government is helping big health/drug companies keep competitors out. the market mechanism actually works pretty well with very little regulation, as long as collusion and monopoly are avoided wherever possible.

And lastly, the reason people work all of their lives at a grueling job for little pay is because the government makes it really hard for them to offer their services at a marketable price, by creating artificial labor surpluses. Workers also give a sizeable percentage of their earnings to government. They also have difficulty using their skills for their own profit because starting a business requires them to fill out long, expensive licensing forms, and they often are discouraged by the added tax burden. Many feel like they can’t go out on their own because they do not know the tax laws well enough, and are afraid they will break the law while trying to help themselves. However, all of these situations help the corporation for which they endlessly slave away, because it keeps the upstarts down. Hooray for taxes.

Stealth bailouts and the Washington Mafia

You’ve been hearing about the Bush/Paulson plan for “streamlining” or “revamping” the “outdated” regulatory system.  Let me take the spin off of this story for you:

 The plan is to allow the Fed to do whatever the hell it wants to, injecting taxpayer money into whatever irresponsible bank needs it for the time being.  After the liquidity pressures in the market subside, the Fed will use its newfound power to stop banks from doing anything stupid again; this is basically a nationalized banking system without a mask.  The unthinkable conclusion of Bush and Paulson is that the only reason we have this recession is because the Fed doesn’t have enough control over our finances, when in fact it is a result of government coercion.  The same federal government that encouraged irresponsible lending is now denouncing it, but offering to pick up the tab.  We should elect people like Ron Paul, or become familiar with the fact that the aristocracy will always win, and the people will always lose.  The people will remain at the mercy of corporation, which hides behind a pretend government.

The more I study this, the more I realize nearly all politicians are scum, and that the federal government is much more similar to a criminal organization than a service organization.  In fact, I can think of no difference between what organized crime does and what the federal government does, except that the federal government has more power, and involves millions of people that only want to do honest business.  To look at what our government does, and want to be a perpetuating force in that process, is a lot like wanting to be made in the Italian mafia.  It’s all about power, prestige, and money, and at its core it is merely a group of thieves who force others to work for them, hiding behind expensive suits, slick haircuts, and a team of grunts with automatic weapons.  I can live with the Sopranos; they don’t steal from me.  I can’t take the Bushes and Clintons anymore.  All the nationalist and/or socialist mobsters can go to hell.  America is for liberty, so get your hands out of our pockets.

The birth of a new Republican party

Out with the old, in with the new

Throughout the primary season, Republican activists have been turning out in droves to denounce the mistakes their own party has made under the reign of President Bush.  The Republicans who elected Bush in 2000 supported a platform of non-interventionism, lower taxes, less spending, more individual freedom, and smaller government.  Bush delivered almost exactly the opposite. 

Republican figureheads have continued to stand by their man, but the party’s activists have not changed their philosophy to match Neo-Bush policies.  The concerned citizens who make up the party’s activist faction continue to say things like “no nation-building,” “fewer regulations,” and “less government,” but the leadership and pundits ignore the massive crowds. 

The overconfident GOP leadership will soon realize the price of ignoring their own party’s activists, who aren’t about to give up on their party’s conscience.  In Missouri last weekend, county caucuses elected a surprising majority of delegates for a mainstream sideliner, Texas Congressman Ron Paul.  Some Paul diehards believe he can still win the White House, but conventional wisdom denies the possibility.

Even if Paul’s White House bid is history, his effect on the Republican party is only beginning to take root.  Missouri Republicans now support a reformation of the GOP platform, which will demand noninterventionism, Constitutional rights, abolishing the Federal Reserve, ending income taxes and the IRS, and returning to a fractional reserve metal-based currency.  Recent non-partisan public concerns about the falling dollar, government exuberance, and the quagmire in Iraq–concerns of the seventy-some percent of Americans who show disapproval for Congress and the President–will become Republican concerns under the new party platform in Missouri.  There is suspicion that Republican activists like those who supported Paul in Missouri will dominate GOP conventions all over the United States.

The old Republican leadership (the McCains, Bushes, Hannities, Huckabees and Limbaughs) may mold themselves to the new platform, as they did when Bush changed it during his Presidency.  If they choose not to accept the new platform, they have two options: join the Democrats or form a third party.  The real Republicans are taking charge of the party.

Federal Homeowner Preservation Corporation: a blank check from taxpayers

Bank of America announced it will acquire Countrywide, universally thought to be a toxic mortgage corporation, for $4.1 billion on January 11, 2008. This action gave Bank of America about 20% of U.S. market share in the mortgage loan industry. On February 23, the New York Times blew the whistle on a confidential proposal being circulated among members of Congress by Bank of America, calling for a new “Federal Homeowner Preservation Corporation,” to buy up billions of dollars of bad mortgages at a deep discount.

Bank of America claims $739 billion of mortgages are at moderate to high risk of default over the next five years, emphasizing that millions of families are at risk of losing their homes. It is nice to see Bank of America’s executives showing concern for American families, but I suspect that worry would dissolve if the government decided not to fund a bailout. I can only wonder if Bank of America’s people were planning the FHPC long before they bought Countrywide. I guess Congress is above the law, but this resembles government participation in organized crime and insider trading, at the moderately to highly expected expense of $2,400 per U.S. individual.

This bail-out may seem convenient to someone who is unable to pay their mortgage, but the FHPC will undoubtedly encourage irresponsible lending in the future, with the expectation that the federal government will cover any losses. Compounding this threat to economic health, Americans will not feel the need to work to pay off their debts if they know there is a safety net like the FHPC in place, which would decrease American labor, and consequently lower real GDP.

The federal government cannot create, and should not attempt to create, an America where there is no risk of failure, as was the aim of the Soviet Regime. No American would really wish to live in such a place, and if some do, I suggest our funds would be well spent providing those Americans with passports and one-way fares to their ideal nation, Cuba-word on the street is things are looking up there.