The price of gold, the supreme money, has been steadily rising and topping $1,650. Since September of last year, the Federal Reserve has been printing new money at a voracious pace. While all of this new money is being created, the Coronavirus is affecting economic output. The tinderbox of rising prices continues to heat up.
President Trump must have been thrilled at the horrible circus that was the Democratic Party debate in Las Vegas last night. Rather than offer substance, it descended into a cacophony of accusations and insults. Bloomberg himself remarked that the whole thing would only end up getting more votes for Trump.
The Soviets Proved That "Total Socialism" Can't Work --- The U.S. Has Proved That "Socialist Policies" Can't Work Either
Last night, Bernie Sanders spilled the beans by saying: "We are living, in many ways, in a socialist society right now."
Now, to libertarians, this has been known for eons.
But many citizens who are Republicans and Democrats have been fed a steady diet of propaganda from the parties that they belong to.
Many who call themselves Democrats believe that we live in a "Capitalist" and "Free Market" country.
If only that were true...
On the other hand, many who call themselves Republicans believe that America "will never be a Socialist country."
If only that were true...
America is not a purely Socialist country in the sense that the government owns all of the means of production. The Soviet Union (and the few Socialist countries that remain) have proved that it is impossible for the government to own the means of production and "run" society.
Without private property, market prices, and profits & losses, the government is throwing darts into a pitch black room. It has no idea, what should be made, who should make it, where it should be made, and in what quantities.
Fortunately, the idea that government should own all of the means of production is a dead issue worldwide. Society falls apart very quickly when such an idea is implemented.
But while America is not a purely Socialist country, it is bursting at the seams with Socialist policies. While a person like Bernie Sanders believes that America needs even more Socialist policies, those of us who advocate for liberty and peace believe that it is time to go in the opposite direction.
The prime reason is that Socialist policies revolve around the use of force.
Government forcefully takes from (A), gives it to (B) and keeps a fat commission for itself for making the transfer.
The U.S. is engorged with these immoral policies.
The role of government should not be to act as a mugger on anyone's behalf, whether you're rich or poor. Theft is theft. Government is not a magical loophole.
But many in America believe that government is a magical loophole. As a result, everyone wants to be on the take. If you're not taking from someone else, you're a fool because they're taking from you.
Socialist policies really do create an environment of all against all.
Sanders says: "we have socialism for the very rich, rugged individualism for the poor."
In total, that statement is false.
Yes, there is Socialism for the rich. The U.S. military empire is the biggest example. It vacuums up trillions and trillions of taxpayer dollars. There are bailouts for corporations that are in bed with the government too.
But Socialism in America doesn't stop with the rich.
Social Security and Medicare are Socialism for the middle class. Government has made promises that it has no possible way of honoring. The U.S. has the largest welfare state in the world. About 50% of the country receives some kind of federal money.
For Sanders to say that there's "rugged individualism for the poor," is total nonsense. Rugged individualism has been virtually stamped out in America. Dependency, of every variety, has been embraced with both arms.
The problem is that the piper will have to be paid....and soon. The federal government, state governments, corporations and individuals are all in debt beyond belief! To think that debts can be racked up forever is incredibly naive. It has never been done, and never will be done.
Contrary to the ideas of Sanders, America does not need more Socialist policies. It needs to get rid of them....drastically!
But, as each year, and each decade passes, it appears that this will not be done voluntarily.
No one seems to have the political will to tell the truth. The other side of the coin is that it appears the American people don't want to hear the truth.
That's a bad combination. When politicians want to only lie, and the citizens want to only hear lies, you know you've gone down a very dark path.
So if Socialist policies are not abolished voluntarily, they will have to be abolished as a result of default.
A Great Default looks more and more likely to be somewhere on the horizon.
In the meantime, America can really use some rugged individualism again.
New ideas will have to accompany such a renaissance. The ideas of Liberty are perfect. And what better place than in America should the ideas of Liberty be revived!
No one has the right to use aggressive force against anyone else. All interactions between individuals should be voluntary and contractual. Government is meant to protect individual liberty, not be a mugger on behalf of (A), at the expense of (B).
The Soviet Union proved to the world that "total Socialism" cannot work.
The United States has proved to the world that "Socialist policies" cannot work either.
By Jacob G. Hornberger
Given the massive welfare-warfare state system under which Americans live, the natural assumption is that the Constitution failed in its mission to constrain the powers of the federal government.
Actually, though, that isn’t the case.
How, then, can these two points be reconciled? How can the Constitution be said to have succeeded in its mission given that, at the same time, we now live under a massive welfare-warfare state way of life?
During the first decade of American history, the American people lived under a governmental system called the Articles of Confederation. Under the Articles, the federal government’s powers were few and weak. That’s the way Americans wanted it. They did not want a federal government with big, massive powers. Under the Articles, Americans hadn’t even given the federal government the power to tax people.
Owing to various problems had arisen under the Articles, when the delegates met at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, it was only for the purpose of amending the Articles. Instead, they came out with a proposal for a different type of governmental system, one called a limited-government republic. Under this type of governmental system, the powers of the federal government would be greater than under the Articles but still extremely limited in scope and nature.
The American people were not enthusiastic about the proposal. They were concerned that under this new governmental structure, the federal government would end up wielding and exercising vast powers over the nation. That was the last thing our American ancestors wanted.
If the Constitution had proposed the type of governmental system we have today — a massive welfare-warfare state — there is absolutely no possibility that our American ancestors would have approved the deal. They would have laughed at such a proposal, thinking that it was big joke. Once they realized that the proposal was serious, they would have summarily rejected it and continued operating under the Articles of Confederation.
Freedom and limited government
The argument that sold the Americans was that the Constitution, which was the document calling the federal government into existence, set forth its powers. If a power wasn’t enumerated, it could not be exercised. Since the enumerated powers were so few and limited in nature, Americans took the chance with this new governmental system.
But even that wasn’t good enough for Americans. To make sure that the federal government could not do bad things to them, they demanded the enactment of the Bill of Rights, which expressly forbade the federal government from destroying their rights and liberties.
The result was the most unusual society in history. Imagine: no income tax, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, farm subsidies, education grants, corporate bailouts, foreign aid, public schooling, minimum-wage law, drug laws, Pentagon, CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, TSA, war on terrorism, foreign military bases, foreign wars of aggression, coups, alliances with dictatorial regimes, torture, state-sponsored assassinations, immigration controls, fiat (i.e., paper) money, secret surveillance, gun control, Federal Reserve, and very few economic regulations.
Today’s Americans, of course, live under a welfare-warfare state system that has all of those things.
Therefore, how can it be said that the Constitution succeeded in keeping the powers of government few and limited?
The protection of civil liberties
For one thing, consider the right of trial by jury. There is no doubt that U.S. national-security state officials hate the right of trial by jury. We can see that in the “judicial” system that the Pentagon and the CIA have established in Cuba. In their system, people who are being criminally prosecuted for terrorism are entitled only to a military tribunal, one that is kangaroo in nature.
In fact, the Pentagon and the CIA rejected virtually all of the protections of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments in their system. In Cuba, Pentagon and CIA officials are empowered to torture people into making confessions. Hearsay evidence and evidence acquired by torture are admissible. Lawyer communications with clients are secretly monitored. The accused are presumed guilty. No one is entitled to bail.
There is little doubt that that’s the type of criminal justice system we would be living under here in the United States if it hadn’t been for the Bill of Rights. The Constitution has protected us from the type of criminal justice system that the Pentagon and the CIA have established in Cuba, which, in many respects, resembles the criminal justice system that the communists have on their side of Cuba.
The same holds true with respect to freedom of speech and other liberties. While there are assaults on freedom of speech, no one is being jailed for criticizing the government, as they are in, say, China, Cuba, and North Korea.
So, why then didn’t Constitution protect us from the massive welfare state and warfare state under which we now live?
The Constitution as a sea wall
The answer can be explained with an analogy. The Constitution is much like a sea wall. The purpose of a sea wall is to protect a coastal community from high tides. But it is not designed to protect a community from a tsunami. Thus, when a tsunami hits and overwhelms the community, we can’t say that the sea wall has failed because that wasn’t ever the purpose of the sea wall.
The Constitution was intended to be a political sea wall, one designed to protect America from high tides of tyranny, such as assaults on civil liberties that took place during the Civil War or during World War I. But it was never designed to protect the country against a tsunami of public opinion favoring and even demanding an oppressive and tyrannical system, such as a massive welfare-warfare state.
That’s what happened with socialism. The move toward socialism began in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It culminated in a massive tsunami-sized wave of public opinion in favor of the welfare-state way of life in the 1930s and has grown ever since.
The same is true with respect to the warfare state. Foreign interventionism, empire, and meddling began in the late 1800s and then proceeded apace with the two world wars. The tsunami of public opinion reached an apogee with the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state after World War II, one where the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA were brought into existence and empowered to exercise omnipotent, dark-side, sordid powers that were characteristic of communist and totalitarian regimes.
The experience shows that a Constitution is never sufficient to protect liberty because if a critical mass of people in society lose their love for liberty and demand “security” instead, the Constitution will not prevent that from happening.
Is it possible to restore the good founding principles of America? Of course it is. All it takes is for the tsunami of public opinion to run in the direction of liberty and limited government.
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
Nine years after a US-led attack on Libya and murder of its leader, the democracy and liberation promised by Hillary Clinton and her band of "humanitarian interventionists" has never arrived. Instead, the once-wealthiest African country is mired in civil war and the standard of living has plummeted. There are several warring factions and militias vying for control, none of which seems strong enough to rule the country. This is a valuable cautionary tale about the disasters of US interventionism - which is precisely why no one wants to talk about it.
By Ron Paul
Listening to the howls from Democrats and the applause from Republicans, one would think President Trump’s proposed fiscal year 2021 budget is a radical assault on the welfare state. The truth is the budget contains some minor spending cuts, most of which are not even real cuts. Instead they are reductions in the “projected rate of growth.” This is equivalent of saying you are sticking to your diet because you ate five chocolate chip cookies when you wanted to eat ten.
President Trump’s plan reduces the Education Department’s budget by nearly eight percent, leaving the department with “only” 66.6 billion dollars. Cuts to other departments are similarly small, while reductions in entitlement spending consist mostly of reforms that will not affect most of those dependent on these programs.
President Trump deserves credit for proposing an 11.6 billion dollars cut in funding for the Department of State and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Foreign aid does little to help impoverished people overseas. Instead, it benefits foreign government officials willing to do the US government’s bidding. The State Department and USAID are extensively involved in US intervention abroad, including efforts to overthrow governments.
President Trump’s budget proposes a number of increases in spending. For example, his budget spends around 900 million additional dollars on vocational education. It also includes additional spending on items including infrastructure and childcare.
Few in DC have expressed concern over the fact that President Trump’s 4.8 trillion dollars budget proposal is the largest budget in American history. There is also little outcry from supposedly antiwar progressive Democrats over Trump’s proposal to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on militarism. This is not surprising, as many progressives are happy to support increased warfare spending as long as conservatives go along with increased welfare spending. Similarly, many conservatives are happy to support increased welfare spending as long as it means that progressives will vote for increased warfare spending. So, Congress is unlikely to approve any of President Trump’s spending cuts, but Congress will gleefully agree to all of his spending increases.
Even if Congress agrees to all of President Trump’s cuts, federal deficits will still be over one trillion dollars for the next several years. However, President Trump claims the budget will balance in 15 years. In order to show a balanced budget by 2035, the administration assumes three percent economic growth for most of the next decade. This level of growth is unlikely to come to pass. Instead, the current boom will likely end soon, and the economy will experience another major recession. Signs that we are on the verge of a downturn include rising homelessness and the Federal Reserve’s bailout of the repurchasing market.
The current economic boom is built on debt, and the debt-based economy is facilitated by the Federal Reserve’s easy money policies. The massive amount of debt held by consumers, businesses, and especially government is the main reason the Fed feels compelled to maintain historically low interest rates. If rates were to increase to market levels, government interest payments would be unstable. This would cause the government debt bubble to burst, leading to a major crisis. However, continuing on the current path of low interest rates will inevitably lead to a dollar crisis and a collapse of the welfare-warfare Keynesian system.
Continuing to waste billions on wars abroad and failed programs at home while pretending that we can avoid a crisis via phony cuts and Fed-fueled growth will only make the inevitable collapse more painful. The only way to avoid economic disaster is to cut spending and audit, then end, the Federal Reserve.
The US and Taliban have reportedly arrived at a deal to begin drawing US troops down from the current 13,000 to 8,600 and then...well no one knows. The initial reduction of hostilities will begin on 22 February and if successful the drawdown will follow. Already neocons in Washington are warning Trump not to be "too hasty" about ending the 18 year war. Will the US finally come home from Afghanistan? Don't count on it!
The big news last year was that billionaire oligarchs Charles Koch and George Soros were "burying the hatchet" and teaming up to fund a new US foreign policy based on restraint rather than "endless wars." From that cooperation came the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, as well as additional funding for other organizations working on "restraint." Is this a game-changer or is it an attempt to re-brand old ideas and discredited individuals and institutions?
By Adam Dick
During a new Fox News interview, Watters’ World host Jesse Watters asked former United States House of Representatives member and presidential candidate Ron Paul to give President Donald Trump a grade based on Paul’s evaluation of Trump’s actions as president concerning three major policy areas. In regard to those policy areas — immigration, economic, and foreign policy, Paul said Trump has earned “C-minuses” across the board.
Despite entreaties by Watters for higher grades, Paul would not budge from his assessment.
Watch here the complete interview in which Paul discusses some of the reasoning behind his grading of Trump’s presidency: