As usual, when it comes to the warfare/welfare state there is no rancor in Washington. All the pretend acrimony between Republicans and Democrats is thrown out and consensus is magically reached. This week another massive military spending bill was approved by both parties - even as we learn about a trillion dollars being wasted in Afghanistan. The empire chugs along...
By Chris Rossini
As the great Ludwig von Mises proclaimed: "Human life is an unceasing sequence of single actions."
That's what we do, all day and every day....we act. Every one of our actions has a purpose in mind. They each have a desired end that we have chosen to (at least attempt to) achieve.
Every end that an individual chooses, he chooses because, from his point of view, he believes it will improve his situation. He prefers it to his current situation, otherwise he would not act. It matters not what the action itself happens to be.
And it can be no other way.
Our individual point of view is the only point of view we will ever have. Our individual life is the only life we are able to live. No one can live it for us, nor can we live anyone else's life for them.
Amazingly enough, this basic fact of human nature has been resisted and rebelled against throughout all of history.
There are always plenty of people who cannot accept that every individual is free to interpret the world from his own point of view and who subsequently chooses to act with the goal of improving his situation.
Abstractions are always concocted in an attempt to override human nature. People are told that "society" or "the collective" is more important than the individual. But this is an impossibility because "society" and "the collective" are not entities that exist!
The individual exists as an entity. On the other hand, there is no such entity called "society" that perceives the world, has a scale of values, and then chooses to act in order to reach a desired end.
Only individuals think.
Only individuals choose.
Only individuals act.
The ideas of Liberty accept this basic and fundamental fact of human nature. The ideas of Liberty do not attempt to negate or override nature, for nature cannot and will not be changed.
When individuals embrace Liberty, they believe that everyone should be the human being that they are. They should choose what to think, believe and accept, they should choose their own desired ends, and choose how to act in order to achieve them.
There is only one simple restriction to individual liberty. The chosen actions of each individual must not harm the person or property of any other individual.
The limit (or boundary) to individual liberty is the person, property and liberty of all other individuals.
All individuals deal with one another on a voluntary, peaceful and consensual basis. Everyone has the right to say "NO" as to how their person and property will be used when interacting with others:
"No, I will not trade with you."
"No, I will not sign that contract."
"No, I will not do that with my property."
"No, you may not take my property."
"No, you may not do that to me."
No aggressive force. Nothing can be simpler to understand.
Now...Let's mess everything up with politics and power.
Politics and power say "You must do as I say, or I will use violent force against you." Politics and power are the attempted negation of individual liberty. They are always at war with human nature.
You never want to wage war on nature, because you will always lose. Political History is a chronological record for the graveyard of power.
Power comes and goes. Nature remains as it always has.
So then why do people bother with power at all? If it's destined to end up in the political graveyard, why mess with it?
Because a few INDIVIDUALS benefit from it!
Power is held by INDIVIDUALS.
These individuals who hold power (like the rest of us) are always acting. They are always choosing ends that from their point of view, will improve their own situation.
The knee-jerk and conditioned reaction to this is: "No...no...no....these are 'public servants.' They are acting for the benefit of 'society.'"
But again, there is no entity named "society" that thinks, acts, chooses and feels. You can't point to a thing and say: "Look over there...See that? That's society. Go and say hello to it."
The knee-jerk reaction is: "But their intentions are to 'help' people. They're compassionate and they love humanity."
Hiding behind the words "humanity" and "compassion" do not wipe away the inhumanity of the deeds of those in power. Violence and Love are mutually exclusive. It's one or the other. If the means chosen to "help" someone is violent force against someone else, then love and compassion have been removed from the equation.
Who gets to decide for this "society" abstraction anyway?
Go next door to one of your neighbors and discuss political issues with him. You'll quickly find out that both of you probably disagree on just about everything.
Which one of you represents "society"? If you represent "society," where does that put your neighbor? Outside of "society"?
For most of us, you don't even have to go next door. Family members in your own house will disagree with you about political nonsense.
But politicians are so skilled in their rhetoric, that they have deceived people into believing that politicians represent hundreds of millions of people! Some even have the chutzpah to say they represent the globe!
The reason why there's so much disagreement in politics is because politics is force, and force is antithetical to human nature.
No one wants force used against themselves. This is the logical position, which is why we should only be dealing with one another voluntarily.
So what ends up happening with power and politics is that SOME INDIVIDUALS live at the expense of everyone else. They get to achieve their own ends in ways that no one else can (or should) achieve them.
Is it any wonder that individuals with power help themselves to whatever they want?
Is it any wonder that politicians are amongst the richest people on the planet? Is it any wonder that other people do whatever they can to cozy up with politicians?
Many end up noticing that the road to riches is to use political force, and politics becomes the only game in town:
Regulations .... Subsidies .... Monopoly Privileges .... Licensing .... Government Contracts ... WAR .... WELFARE .... Fake "Rights" ... FREE Everything ... Laws on top of more laws!
Voluntary interactions shrink...and shrink.
Peace dissipates...Anger escalates.
Power is a vampire that gradually bleeds its victims to death.
Is it any wonder why political history is a chronological graveyard for power?
When the pain is too great, enough people always come to realize that politics and power are a scam. Enough people eventually realize that all the "society" talk was just cover for a few to becoming filthy rich without serving anyone (but themselves).
Enough people eventually rediscover (or discover for the very first time) the beautiful ideas of Liberty.
For 18 years, US government officials - from the generals up to presidents - have knowingly lied to the American people about the Afghanistan war. As billions were being flushed away or stuffed into the pockets of corrupt officials, the news for those of us back home was always good! We're "making progress." Now, thanks to 2,000 documents recently released as a result of a FOIA request, we know the truth. Will anyone be held accountable for this monstrous, murderous lie?
By Ron Paul
Imagine that President Trump spent his phone call with the Ukrainian president threatening to withhold military aid unless the Ukrainian government agreed to use the money to purchase weapons from a US manufacturer. Does anyone seriously think that foreign service professionals and deep state operatives would be so shocked and offended by Trump’s request that they would launch efforts to impeach him? Would Congress view this as “high crimes and misdemeanors” or applaud Trump for carrying out one of modern presidents’ supposedly most important jobs — acting as salesmen for the American military-industrial complex?
This hypothetical shows that impeachment is not about President Trump’s abuse of power. Instead, it is an attempt to make sure President Trump, and all future presidents, confine their abuses of power to items that advance the agenda of the political establishment.
President Trump’s most consequential abuses of power have been met with the full approval of the majority in Congress, the mainstream media, and the deep state. For example, when President Trump launched military action in Syria without obtaining a congressional declaration of war there were no calls for his impeachment. Instead, most members of Congress were perfectly happy to let stand unchallenged President Trump’s claim that the 2001 authorization for use of military force —a limited grant of authority to act against those responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks — gave him the authority to launch military action against a government that had nothing to do with the September 11th attacks. The only times Congress rebukes President Trump’s foreign policy is when he speaks favorably about pursuing peaceful relations with Russia or ending US involvement in no-win military conflicts.
This hypocrisy extends beyond foreign policy. Many Democrats who claim that President Trump is both a fascist and mentally unhinged are eager to ensure President Trump can continue to conduct warrantless surveillance on every American by reauthorizing Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.
Trump-opposing progressives in Congress are also eager to give President Trump new authority to violate the Second Amendment. Even those progressives who say they believe Trump is a deranged fascist did not object when he endorsed “red flag” laws that give the government power to, as President Trump put it, “take the guns first, go through due process second.”
Perhaps the most sickening example of Trump’s congressional opponents’ hypocrisy is how many of those fretting about the safety of the Urkrainegate ”whistleblower” are silent about, or supportive of, the Trump administration’s complicity in the inhumane treatment of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. They are also silent about the US government throwing Chelsea Manning back into jail because she refuses to help the US prosecution of Mr. Assange.
All modern presidents have exceeded constitutional limitations on their power and thus could have, and maybe should have, been impeached. The reason they were not impeached is that a majority of Congress members support allowing presidents to wage war abroad and destroy liberty at home without being “hamstrung” by Congress. The only real dispute among the political class is which party should wield the levers of power.
Restoring constitutional limits on government power and thus protecting liberty depend on spreading ideas and building a movement. Our lost freedom will only be restored when presidents and members of Congress fear being “impeached” at the ballot box for committing high crimes and misdemeanors against peace, prosperity, and liberty.
Actions always speak louder than words. The word is that it's sunshine and rainbows for the U.S. economy. The actions of The Fed and central banks around the world say otherwise. They're all acting as if a global financial crisis is approaching. Ron Paul discusses -- along with a personal anecdote about the late Paul Volcker.
By David Stockman
With each passing day the casino becomes an ever greater menace because it
embodies an ultra-fragile Super-Bubble which is at the mercy of the out-and-out
lunatics who dominate all levers of power in the Imperial City. That is, the deranged
House Dem Caucus, the money-printing fools in the Eccles Building and the Orange
As to the latter, it's virtually impossible to overstate how far the Donald has gone off the
deep-end with his Tariff Man act. During the course of the current week alone he has
invented three truly preposterous reasons for imposing tariffs (i.e., taxes) on imported goods freely purchased by American consumers and businesses.
To wit, after re-imposing a 25% tariff on Brazilian and Argentine steel and aluminum
because he doesn't like the short-term path of their exchange rates and then threatening
to tax Dior handbags at 100% because he disapproves of France's new 3% digital
services tax, the Donald has now proposed to raise tariffs on German goods because,
well, he doesn't think they are spending enough on defense!
You truly cannot make this up. Even though in its sovereign discretion, Germany has
demonstrated year after year by its action that it doesn't consider Russia a material
threat to its national security, and therefore chooses to spend a mere $42 billion or 1.2%
of its $4.0 trillion GDP on defense, the Donald is having none of it:
He said he expected Germany to ramp up its military spending. "They have to,"
Today Nancy Pelosi said the House Dems are going ahead with impeachment on the
ridiculous grounds that Donald Trump isn't America's King. The irony, however, is that
when it comes to America's $4.3 trillion trade account (exports plus imports)
specifically and its $21 trillion economy generally, the Donald actually does seem to
think he is an economic King.
In fact, the Donald is actually such a thorough-going statist as to make even the ghosts
of Hubert Humphrey, LBJ or FDR himself blush with envy.
He seems to think that the tens of millions of American consumers and businesses,
which bought $2.61 trillion of foreign made goods last year, are the servants of the
Federal government, and can be commanded to pay not the market price for these
goods, but the one the Donald has personally ordained as part of his madcap
mercantilist economic policy machinations.
So if you are a small metal-working shop in Wisconsin that uses cheaper Brazilian
steel to make trailer hitches for final sale to RV customers, please be advised that you
have been drafted into US government service. You are now also in the business of
teaching this foreign government a lesson as to the proper FX rate for the real per US
dollar as decreed by the Donald---notwithstanding that the rate has fluctuated around
the barn and back between 1.45 and 4.20 real per dollar during the last two decades.
Likewise, never mind the fact that millions of US businesses have spent years---even
decades---building up foreign export markets, such as US soybean producers' sales to
It took 17 years to build US sales from 5 million tons to 36 million tons, but then the
Trade King got a whim. In a flash, exports were back to 5 million metric tons after it was
decreed in Washington that the good farmers of Iowa and Nebraska would take a
bullet for the Donald.
And not just for the Donald. Throw in the Big Business lobbies. The latter loudly insist
through their K-Street hirelings that when they invest in the Red Ponzi they must be
protected by American patent rules and technology transfer practices; and that
Washington needs to make that happen, which Trump has been more than happy to
oblige by wielding his Tariff weapon as a bargaining lever.
The truth is, the US government owes nothing to American companies which
voluntarily put their capital and technology at risk in China. If they wish to go on
bubblevision or appear at investor conferences, where they brag about their "growth"
strategies in China and why this warrants a higher PE and share price (and stock option
value), then they can live by the Red Rules or invest elsewhere.
Most surely, Washington is not entitled to draft farmers, import-based US finished
goods manufacturers or consumers of the $360 billion of Chinese goods now subject to
the Donald's malicious tariffs into the cause of forcing China to play nice with American
companies. Yet that's exactly what America's self-appointed Trade Czar is now doing.
Moreover, the capricious harm to innocent consumer and business draftees into the
Donald's Trade War doesn't stop with the above collateral damage. Washington is now
collecting about $60 billion per year in customs receipts from innocent American buyers
of Chinese goods, but is then handing most of it out to American farmers to allegedly
compensate them for the Trade War harm that has fallen their way.
Consequently, it is now estimated that upwards of 40% of the $92 billion of projected
farm income for this year will flow from Federal government subsidies and handouts!
That's right. Some bus driver in Lincoln Nebraska is paying more for tariffed goods at
Wal-Mart, so that the upcharge can be handed out to his soybean farmer neighbor, who
has suffered significant harm from lower soybean prices, but has mainly seen his
shipments diverted to Europe and other foreign markets, thereby displacing the South
American exports which have gone to China.
As shown in the chart below, before the Donald started his China Trade War, US
soybean and grain exports to China totaled about $18 billion per annum , while
exports of these same products to the rest of the world (RoW) amounted to about $27
billion (2015 $).
During the LTM period shown below ending in April 2019, however, exports to China
had plunged to barely $4 billion, while exports to the rest of the world had risen to
about $37 billion.
In short, the Great Deal-Maker has caused US soybean exports to China to drop to
ZERO in November, but the all-in impact has been to massively reshuffle the flow of US
farm exports in the global markets and top up the farm vote with nearly $40 billion in
Call it what you will, but do not call it MAGA.
Still, the point is not merely that the Donald is a hopeless economic statist in the realm
of global trade. It's actually much larger than that because he seems to believe that the
job of whole classes of the US population---millions of purportedly free citizens---is to
bend to the whims of Washington in the course of daily commerce.
For example, consider the $9.7 trillion of savings deposits (brown line) in the US
banking system----a figure that has nearly doubled since the Great Recession ended
in June 2009. Self-evidently, the Fed's radical interest rate repression policies caused
the already meager 160 basis points (purple line) of return being earned when the
recession ended to sink to barely 30 basis points (0.3%) during most of the recovery.
Even when the Fed briefly attempted to normalize interest rates in 2017-2018, the
return on 2-year CDs never rose much above 80 basis points---and has now retreated
to a pathetic 60 basis points in the face of the Fed's post-July rate cutting campaign.
Yet King Donald is up in arms at the Fed on the grounds that its savage attack on U.S.
savers is not nearly brutal enough. He essentially wants rates to be reduced to zer0,
which means confiscation of the real value of assets at a time when the running inflation
rate exceeds 2.25%.
Needless to say, the Donald's reason for trashing the Fed's already meager interest rate
policy is a reminder of why markets, not kings, should rule in the sphere of economics.
To wit, the Donald foolishly believes that he has done such a bang-up job fixing the
American economy and making it the global "winner" that he is entitled to the lowest
interest rates on the planet; it's a scoreboard thing.
Still, the Donald's utter nonsense does raise the question of stupider than what?
What we mean is that the Donald's lunatic economic ideas are no state secret: He blasts
them out hour-after-hour via his Twitter feed. Yet the delusional day-traders and robo-
machines on Wall Street stubbornly refuse to get out of harms' way, and keep buying the
dips, as they were again today.
But what do these cats think, even if you could dignify it with that term?
Can anyone doubt that the market is sitting at the tippy-top of a bubble which has been
10-years in the re-making and that the higher it inflates the more vulnerable it becomes
to a blow from the southern end of the Acela Corridor?
Stated differently, anyone even near the Oval Office possessed by the outright crack-
pottery described above is a clear and present danger to the greatest Wall Street bubble
So the question recurs: Why in the world do they think that the Donald will not have an
accident, and that it is therefore safe to play for nickels and dimes of gain from here
when the downside is 30-50% or even more?
That's especially the case because it is not merely a matter of the Donald's whacko
substantive views on economics, money and trade. He is also completely out to lunch as
to the unfolding processes around him and the likely reaction of Beijing and all the other
parties that have been meted with his wrath, scorn and amateur negotiating maneuvers.
As we indicated above, the Chinese did not buy one freaking bushel of soybeans during
November, yet the Donald keeps tweeting and gassing about a trade deal just around the
That is, it's plain to see they aren't buying any soybeans---a reality that even Agric.
Secretary Perdue was forced to admit earlier this week. Yet just a few weeks ago the
Donald claimed to have already made a deal that would have had a fleet of Capsize bulk
carriers loaded with soybeans steaming toward China's ports already:
The deal I just made with China is, by far, the greatest and biggest deal
The question that crisis analysts will soon be pondering, therefore, is why did not Wall
Street take the madman in the Oval Office at his word? How did they think the Great Big
Fat Ugly Bubble that the Donald himself identified during the campaign three years ago
would not be suddenly burst by a curveball from the Orange Swan?
The answer is surely that all the smart guys at Goldman Sachs and elsewhere on Wall
Street believe that there are adults in charge behind the scene, and that the Donald's
tweeted and spoken lunacy is just some kind of sideshow act that will never impact the
But that's a delusion. Kudlow is a hopeless Wall Street cheerleader and boss-pleaser and
the rest of them should not even be teaching Jr. high school civics.
What is really happening is that the state apparatchiks on both sides of the
Beijing/Washington corridor have taken over the process and are playing rope-a-dope
with each other, while not having the foggiest idea on how to bring the Donald's so-
called Trade War to a soft landing, or any landing at all.
Indeed, it is the apparatchiks on both sides who are keeping the Donald's trade insanity
veiled in a thin veneer of plausibility via a stream of calculated leaks. But this farce has
been going on so long now, and the mainstream business media is so invested in bullish
delusions, that the "progress" leaks have now become virtually ritualized.
Thus, last night the dovish contingent in China's Ministry of Commerce antiseptically
averred that "both sides have maintained close communication".
Yet that become the peg for a bold-print Wall Street Journal headline, which wasn't
even supported by the dispatch.
Actually no Chinese official issued any such "reassurance". What the Commerce
Ministry actually said amounted to a process-oriented nothingburger, and no way
contradicted the far less constructive reiteration from the foreign ministry and Xi
Jinping's unofficial spokesman at the Global Times that there will be no Phase One deal
unless Washington rolls back some of the existing $360 billion of tariffs.
But that the Donald and his hardliners are not about to do.
Yes, it is likely that the $160 billion of new tariffs slated for December 15 will be delayed,
but that's meaningless: It's just the next sequel in the game of perpetual rope-a-dope
conducted by both sides.
China’s trade negotiations with the U.S. remain on track, Beijing said, offering
Actually, here are the central rope-a-dopsters---Bob Lighthizer and Vice-Premier He.
They'll be in business until the Orange Swan finally brings down the house.
Meanwhile, the Donald's Trade War hijinks are more than matched by the utter
insanity that has over-taken the Eccles Building. As shown in the chart below, there has
been more than $320 billion of total repo market support from the Fed since Sept. 17,
when the central bank began pumping in daily liquidity after the term repo lending rate
on one particular day jumped to almost 10% from nearly 2%.
Yet even as the Fed has desperately flooded the bond-pits with freshly minted fiat credit,
the talking heads keep jawing about why the repo ructions have been occurring,
implying that there is some mysterious ailment in the Wall Street plumbing that the
wise men and women on the FOMC have been Johnny-on-the-spot to remediate.
There is nothing going on down in the bond pits except that the law of supply and
demand has been rearing its head in the face of massive demand for new credit from the
US Treasury and Wall Street speculators alike. So the Fed has been clubbing the price of
short-term money like a squealing baby seal, blindly hoping to extinguish the thing and
The nonsense of it all, however, was perhaps inadvertently captured by a MarketWatch story on the matter this AM. The focus was on why banks were "hoarding" their reserves which now stand at a staggering $1.5 trillion compared to pre-2008 history when perfectly functioning bond and money markets operated with less than $40 billion of reserves most of the time.
“The big banks are just hoarding cash,” he said. “They told the Fed they
Let's see. Suppose the Fed abolished its idiotic IOER (interest on excess reserves)
program and gave the market a whole week or even a few days to breath.
Presto. Earning 0.000% at the Fed, bank reserves would surge into the repo and other
wholesale money markets, and after a few days of turmoil money dealers would clear the
markets at an honest interest rate.
But that rate might not be 1.55%----the level at which the Fed has pegged its almighty
policy rate for the tiny Federal funds market that was abolished 10-years ago when
Bernanke euthanized it.
If the Wall Street gamblers can't stand 2.50% or 4.50% or 6.50% money, so be it. Market
clearing money rates would actually be a tonic that would flush speculative activity and
capital out of Wall Street and dissuade the C-suites from further strip-mining their
already badly impaired balance sheets in order to feed the Wall Street gamblers with
stock buybacks, M&A deals and other forms of artificial financial engineering.
Of course, that isn't going to happen because the symbiotic ties between the central
bankers and the Wall Street gamblers have become virtually insuperable.
For example, the apparatchik (Brian Sack) who actually ran the open market desk
during all those years of Fed money printing after the crisis has now gone through the
revolving door to the Hedge Fund side of the equation. There he has naturally produced
a hideously self-serving rationale as to why the Fed needs to turn on its printing presses-
--even though the real cost of money has again gone to negative, where it has been 94%
of the time since April 2008.
Shortly thereafter, former New York Fed markets group head Brian Sack, now
As for Nancy Pelosi's lynching party, that is surely a case of the cat calling the kettle
black, yet one which is likely to become so partisan and bitter as to cause a
constitutional crisis before the Electoral College meets in December 2020, as we
explained in a recent extended conversation with Tom Woods.
Needless to say, a government in virtually an armed stand-off might even wake up the
This article was reprinted with permission from David Stockman's Contra-Corner.
David Stockman began his career in Washington as a young man and quickly rose through the ranks of the Republican Party to become the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street. Stockman is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.
It looks like the Fed's throwing in the towel and is willing to accept higher consumer prices. Aren't we lucky? The damage has been done. The Fed has inflated the money supply to astronomical levels, and they keep creating hundreds of billions more out-of-thin-air. When it shows up in higher prices, it shouldn't surprise anyone.
So much for getting out of endless wars! President Trump has announced that he is sending 14,000 more US troops to the Middle East and may even send more. The reason is the manufactured "Iran threat" that Trump continues to delude himself over. Neocons are thrilled. So are Saudi Arabia and Israel, who would love nothing more than to have the US fight and die in their wars. But what about America first?
The celebration in London of NATO's 70th year has ended with a renewed purpose: the "challenges" posed by China. NATO is a military alliance, but the attendees were careful to point out that they do not view China as an enemy. So what is the point?
By Chris Rossini
Whenever you see a big government, or worse, a big government that sets out to be an empire, you know that people have messed up -- BIG TIME! The wrong road has been taken.
Big government politicians (and everyone that believes them) have to inhale and exhale a constant stream of lies. That's the only way that big governments can sustain themselves. That's why you've heard Ron Paul repeat over-and-over that "Truth is treason in an empire of lies."
So today, since the U.S. federal government has become the biggest government to ever exist in mankind's history, it follows perfectly that finding a kernel of truth uttered anywhere is almost impossible.
Just as kryptonite would sap Superman of his powers, the truth saps big government of its powers. So truth has to be relentlessly suppressed and avoided.
Now, thousands of years of recorded history shows us that the wrong road always ends, and sound economic theory explains why the wrong road always ends.
Rarely (if ever) does big government reverse its own course. Politicians don't decrease their own powers. Rather, they keep making up new powers.
They keep conjuring up new "rights" from their imaginations.
Politicians never decrease their budgets or debts, but keep piling them on as well. They never stop looking for enemies, but keeping seeking new bogeymen to conquer. There's a reason why since ancient times, people have warned about the lust for power. It's the worst addiction of them all.
As the mountains of power, debts, laws, regulations, and enemies pile up, the lies to sustain them have to get more and more outrageous. The lies don't even have to make sense. They just have to be told, and repeated over-and-over.
Fortunately, for the perpetuation of human life, nature has a built-in rehabilitation process for this addiction. It's called economic law, and it cannot be broken. Every single big government and empire that has ever existed has been dismantled by economic law.
What the people will not do for themselves, economic law does for them.
For those that live through the dismantling, it is always considered a 'surprise' and is referred to as a 'crisis.'
But it's not a surprise to everyone. After all, has not Ron Paul been warning for decades that the U.S. government is headed for economic catastrophe?
So it's not really a 'surprise,' and it's not really a 'crisis' either.
When you drink way too much, is the hangover a crisis? No, its biological law bringing you back to reality and health. The hangover is the cure.
When you pollute your body beyond its limits, is the subsequent fever a crisis? No, the fever kills the bacteria and viruses. The fever is the cure.
So that which is known as 'economic crisis' is actually the economic cure.
Yes, it is painful, in the same way that a hangover is painful. But the problem is not the hangover itself. The problem is the prior reckless actions that preceded it.
With the economy, the problem is the irrational beliefs that government can micromanage everything and everyone (not only in America, but in the world), rack up debts that cannot be paid, make welfare promises that cannot be paid, and bailout everyone to boot.
In an Empire of Lies, this is what people believe. That's the problem.
History has taught us that when economic law does its thing to big government, the people finally have an opportunity to see the truth. The illusions are shattered, and the free individual has a much better chance to discover himself.
That doesn't mean that everyone discovers Liberty, and all humanity lives happily ever after. Not at all. It just means that the ideas of Liberty are much easier to discover, and are much more attractive now that big government has lost its credibility.
Liberty, freedom and free will have always been the natural and built-in condition of each human being. Government (while it tries its best) cannot change that, but it can cover it up with lies. However, always hidden underneath those lies, there remains the timeless truth that we're all individual sovereigns.
When big government loses its credibility, individuals have a much better chance and incentive to ask themselves:
"What is it about ME that put me in this situation?"
"What can I do to change my circumstances?"
"What have I thought and believed, that turned out to be false?"
Self-contemplation can be painful. We tend to avoid admitting that we were wrong. It's much easier to blame others. That's why politics is such an attraction to people. It's an outlet to blame others instead of yourself.
But when big government has to contract, blaming others won't do any good anymore. The politician is broke and busted. He can't act as your bully anymore.
Of course, there's no need to wait for any of this. The ideas of Liberty can be embraced right now. The question: "What is it about ME...?" can be asked right now.
Reading Mises, Rothbard, Paul and Rockwell can happen right now.
Teaching your children that no one (including government) has the right to use violent and aggressive force against anyone else, can happen right now.
Force is for defense only. It's for the suppression of an aggressor.
The proper role of government is to punish aggressors, not be an aggressor itself.
The limits to Individual Liberty are so simple that a child can understand them --- Your liberty extends to the person and property of other individuals. Their life and their property are their own personal kingdoms, just as your life and your property are your personal kingdom.
Interacting with other individuals is done on a voluntary and consensual basis.....by contract, not by fiat.
Now you may think to yourself, 'People will never live like this.'
That may, or may not, be true.
But you're not "people" ... You're you, and you can live like this.
We can all individually reach...and climb...and aspire. We can keep the ideas of Liberty in the forefront, and daily chip away at our own errors and illusions.
The Empire of Lies offers only illusions and delusions.
All illusions end up shattered....and all big governments end up like sunken ships.
Individual Liberty is the ultimate life preserver.