By Ron Paul
On Sunday Ukrainian prime minister Yatsenyuk resigned, just four days after the Dutch voted against Ukraine joining the European Union. Taken together, these two events are clear signals that the US-backed coup in Ukraine has not given that country freedom and democracy. They also suggest a deeper dissatisfaction among Europeans over Washington’s addiction to interventionism.
According to US and EU governments – and repeated without question by the mainstream media – the Ukrainian people stood up on their own in 2014 to throw off the chains of a corrupt government in the back pocket of Moscow and finally plant themselves in the pro-west camp. According to these people, US government personnel who handed out cookies and even took the stage in Kiev to urge the people to overthrow their government had nothing at all to do with the coup.
When Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was videotaped bragging about how the US government spent $5 billion to “promote democracy” in Ukraine, it had nothing to do with the overthrow of the Yanukovich government. When Nuland was recorded telling the US Ambassador in Kiev that Yatsenyuk is the US choice for prime minister, it was not US interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine. In fact, the neocons still consider it a “conspiracy theory” to suggest the US had anything to do with the overthrow.
I have no doubt that the previous government was corrupt. Corruption is the stock-in-trade of governments. But according to Transparency International, corruption in the Ukrainian government is about the same after the US-backed coup as it was before. So the intervention failed to improve anything, and now the US-installed government is falling apart. Is a Ukraine in chaos to be considered a Washington success story?
This brings us back to the Dutch vote. The overwhelming rejection of the EU plan for Ukrainian membership demonstrates the deep level of frustration and anger in Europe over EU leadership following Washington’s interventionist foreign policy at the expense of European security and prosperity. The other EU member countries did not even dare hold popular referenda on the matter – their parliaments rubber-stamped the agreement.
Brussels backs US bombing in the Middle East and hundreds of thousands of refugees produced by the bombing overwhelm Europe. The people are told they must be taxed even more to pay for the victims of Washington’s foreign policy.
Brussels backs US regime change plans for Ukraine and EU citizens are told they must bear the burden of bringing an economic basket case up to European standards. How much would it cost EU citizens to bring in Ukraine as a member? No one dares mention it. But Europeans are rightly angry with their leaders blindly following Washington and then leaving them holding the bag.
The anger is rising and there is no telling where it will end. In June, the United Kingdom will vote on whether to exit the European Union. The campaign for an exit is broad-based, bringing in conservatives, populists, and progressives. Regardless of the outcome, the vote should be considered very important. Europeans are tired of their unelected leaders in Brussels pushing them around and destroying their financial and personal security by following Washington’s foolish interventionism. No one can call any of these recent interventions a success and the Europeans know it.
One way or the other, the US empire is coming to an end. Either the money will go or the allies will go, but it cannot be sustained. The sooner the American people demand an end to these foolish policies the better.
By Chris Rossini
Government intervention is like an addictive drug. Once that first dose is taken, more and larger doses are required in the future. Every government intervention creates ever larger problems, and they keep piling up until something breaks.
The United States federal government is the largest in the world. In fact, it's the largest government that has ever existed when it comes to welfare and warfare. As such, keeping such a government afloat is not cheap. The tax victims have to work like dogs. There are direct taxes that everyone can see, as well as hidden taxes that nefariously pick our pockets without our even noticing.
One income for a family has been largely squashed by the government. Only the wealthy have such a luxury that was once commonplace in an earlier and much freer America. Now women, for the most part, must work in order for a family to make ends meet, and to fund the biggest government in the world.
Should women always have the freedom to work? Yes, of course. Are there women who are fulfilling their dreams and economic desires? Yes, of course. Should women be forced into the workforce because one income can't keep their family above water. No way!
Most people, thanks to never-ending propaganda will attribute women in the workforce as the great accomplishment of feminism, and that women have been "liberated". But do the masses of women who work at subsistence jobs, and who hate those jobs, and who despise clocking in everyday really consider themselves "liberated"? There's no way to calculate subjective motivations, but you can use your imagination and draw logical conclusions.
What if it were possible to live on one income? How many of these "liberated" women would walk into their bosses offices and give their two weeks notice?
Once again, should women always have the freedom to work? Yes, of course. But let's not kid ourselves into thinking that the masses of women who are working to keep the biggest government in the world from bankruptcy is some kind of "liberation".
The U.S. government is not a "liberator". Just ask the Iraqis, the Libyans, the Syrians, the Afghanis, and on and on.
Women need to be liberated from government.
However, now that the die has been cast, there are the unintended consequences that inevitably show up. Women, after all, are women and are the only gender that can give birth. Naturally, they can't work while giving birth and have maternal instincts to take care of their newborns. But how can they do that when government forces the existence of two incomes? Now there's a problem.
Keep in mind that if government didn't force the existence of two incomes, women could join and leave the workforce as they please. Taking a hiatus to have a child wouldn't be an impossibility or huge burden. Only the powerful and highly paid women would have tough choices to make. But the masses of women that are doing grunt work would take the time off without the heartache.
Since two incomes are a necessity, and government has no intention whatsoever to shrink the tax burden, they're going to "help" women instead. How? By mandating that employers compensate women who don't work and stay home to care for their newborns. Some politicians out there are screaming for 3 months (!!!) of paid leave.
As always, government's attempt to "help" will only hurt. Its mandates must now make women very unattractive to hire. Now an employer would have to think very hard about hiring female employees. The higher-skilled women will not have a problem, but (like men) the higher-skilled are the minority. Employers will take the higher-skilled first. But the low-skilled women will not be an attractive hire, and an even less attractive hire if employers are forced to pay for no work.
When government forces up the price of something, people will buy less of it. That's supply and demand. So if government forces up the price of hiring women, expect employers to hire less of them.
So now that there's a necessity of having two incomes, government seeks to make it harder for a women to even get a job!
Government intervention is like an addictive drug. It's a road that should never be taken. We've been on that road for a long time now, and something is eventually going to break.
By Ron Paul
There's a lot more to taxation than the income tax. There are so many hidden taxes that most people don't pay attention to or even think of as taxes. As a matter of fact, the income tax is a lot less important than the hidden taxes.
Many people will say: "Well, poor people don't pay income taxes". This is true. However, tariffs are taxes, and they hurt the poor tremendously. When the government "slaps a tariff" on China, they're really slapping the tariff on Americans. After all, it's the American consumer who pays the tariff, not China. So even if you're not paying income taxes, you're paying government's hidden taxes, of which tariffs are just one.
The big hidden tax that I've talked about frequently is the "inflation tax". This one is really devious because it's not one that you can directly see or point to: like a tariff. The inflation tax hits the poor and the middle class the most.
Of course, the culprit of the inflation tax is the Federal Reserve which prints up dollars for whatever the government wants. If the government wants war, the Fed will print. If the government wants to dole out more welfare, the Fed will print. Every time the Fed does this (and they print by the trillions) they reduce the purchasing power of the dollar. In other words, they pick everyone's pockets without the victims even realizing that they've been robbed!
Americans ultimately do realize that something is wrong when they see consumer prices and their bills constantly going higher. But most people (at least at this point) don't make the connection to the Federal Reserve. There are many other excuses that are fabricated by politicians and the media in order to keep attention off the Fed. They don't want the American public to kill the goose that lays the paper dollar egg.
Another tax is the "withholding tax" which forces all businesses to be unpaid tax collectors for the government. If a business doesn't withhold taxes from their employees, they're in big trouble and can go to prison for it. Businesses are enslaved to keep the records, collect the taxes for the government, and send it off. Once again, most people pay little attention to this. They don't look at their gross income. They just think: "What's my check going to be?"
We're obviously in another presidential election season at the moment. When you go to the various candidate websites, you'll always get the impression that they're not going to raise your taxes. You don't win elections by openly saying that you're going to raise taxes. That's why hidden taxes are so valuable to politicians. They can raise your taxes with their policies while telling you that your tax burden will not be increased!
Government also promises FREE stuff. We're definitely seeing a lot of that these days as well. But politicians are merely acting as if they were magicians. While they hand you something with their right hand, they're picking your pocket with their left.
There are no free lunches, no matter how much emotion and excitement politicians are able to generate in their campaign speeches. Don't focus squarely on the income tax. It's through the multitude of hidden taxes that the government's really going to get you.
By Chris Rossini
The great Beatles drummer Ringo Starr once said something that should be chiseled into the stone of every government building: "Everything government touches turns to crap."
Everything government touches. Not some things. Not most things.
Ringo left no exceptions. Everything.
America's Founding Fathers, who actually had knowledge of history, attempted to create a government that touches very little. Their attempt would work for a very short while, but like a stream that erodes away even the tallest mountain, those with a lust for power and its centralization would take over and dominate.
Here we are 200+ years later and government now touches everything. It didn't take very long. Two hundred years is a flash in the pan.
Now that government touches everything, what can we observe?
Well, government monopolized charity with its monstrous welfare state. As a result, we have presidential candidates running around complaining about the extreme poverty of so many Americans.
Government monopolized money with its Federal Reserve. As a result, we have rising prices that never offer us any relief. The bills never go down. The purchasing power of The Fed's money relentlessly marches towards the dustbin. Furthermore, every few years Americans must suffer from illusionary economic booms that must be followed by heartbreaking economic busts. The Federal Reserve causes it all.
Government monopolized schooling with its Department of Education. As a result, millions of children are treated as cattle that are run through the mill, stripped of creativity, individuality and curiosity. Every single day they must stand up and recite their morning government prayer. They must pledge their allegiance not to themselves, not to their families, and not to their God. They must pledge their allegiance to their government. When these children leave the mill after 18 years of this, they're thoroughly conditioned to believe in a government that touches everything.
Government monopolized the media with its Federal Communications Commission. The media picks up right where the schools leave off. Now as adults, Americans are shown a 24 hour stream of propaganda that champions and supports a government that touches everything.
Government monopolized commerce with more agencies than we can count. As a result, our economy has become a giant landfill of "regulations" and red tape. Every aspect of employment or starting a business has government involved. As a result, American businessmen and entrepreneurs have been running for the hills. They open up shop in countries that don't gang tackle them with swarming bureaucrats.
Speaking of the rest of the world, the very same government that was designed to touch very little, has decided to monopolize the world. War after war, after war sums up American life. Troops stationed in nearly 150 countries. So many millions dead. At home, every American treated like a lab rat. No privacy and everything monitored.
And finally, a government that touches everything leaves no room for independent thought. It seeks to monitor thoughts with the tyranny of "political-correctness". No one may color outside of the lines or think unapproved thoughts. As a result, Americans walk around not knowing what to think or what to say. Mobs of "thought controllers" await and are ready to pounce on those who do not obey.
Remember Ringo: "Everything government touches turns to crap."
He's right, and there are no exceptions.
Peace, voluntary interactions with one another, sound money, and liberty are the only way out.
By Nick Giambruno
Central planners around the world are waging a War on Cash. In just the last few years:
This is why they’re lowering the threshold for mandatory reporting of cash transactions and, in some instances, simply making it illegal to pay cash.
In the U.S., central planners ratchet up the War on Cash every time the government declares a made-up war on something else…a war on crime, a war on drugs, a war on poverty, a war on terror…
They all end with more government intrusion into your financial affairs.
Thanks to these made-up wars, the U.S. government is imposing an increasing number of regulations on cash transactions. Try withdrawing more than $10,000 in cash from your bank. They’ll treat you like a criminal or terrorist.
The Federal Reserve is at the center of the War on Cash. Its weapons are inflation and control over the currency denominations.
Take the $100 note, for example. It’s the largest bill in circulation today. This was not always the case. At one point, the U.S. had $500, $1,000, $5,000, and even $10,000 notes. But the government eliminated these large notes in 1969 under the pretext of fighting the War on Some Drugs.
Since then, the $100 note has been the largest. But it has far less purchasing power than it did in 1969. Decades of rampant money printing have debased the dollar. Today, a $100 note buys less than a $20 note did in 1969.
Even though the Federal Reserve has devalued the dollar over 80% since 1969, it still refuses to issue notes larger than $100. This makes it inconvenient to use cash for large transactions, which forces people to use electronic payment methods.
This, of course, is what the U.S. government wants.
It’s exactly like Ron Paul said: “The cashless society is the IRS’s dream: total knowledge of, and control over, the finances of every single American.”
Policymakers or Central Planners?
On stories related to the War on Cash, you may have noticed that the mainstream media often uses the word “policymakers,” as in “policymakers have decided to keep interest rates at record low levels.”
When the media uses “policymakers,” they are often referring to central bank officials. It’s a curious word choice. As far as I can tell, there is no difference between a policymaker and central planner.
Most people who want to live in a free society agree that central planning is not a good idea. So the media uses a different word to put a more neutral spin on things.
To help you think more clearly, I suggest substituting “central planners” every time you see “policymakers.”
The World’s First Cashless Society
In 1661, Sweden became the first country in Europe to issue paper money. Now it’s probably going to be the first in the world to eliminate it.
Sweden has already phased out most cash transactions. According to Credit Suisse, 80% of all purchases in Sweden are electronic and don’t involve cash. And that figure is rising.
If the trend continues - and there is nothing to suggest it won’t - Sweden could soon be the world’s first cashless society.
Sweden’s supply of physical currency has dropped over 50% in the last six years. A couple of major Swedish banks no longer carry cash. Virtually all Swedes pay for candy bars and coffee electronically. Even homeless street vendors use mobile card readers.
Plus, an increasing number of government restrictions are encouraging Swedes to dump cash. The pretexts are familiar…fighting terrorism, money laundering, etc. In effect, these restrictions make it inconvenient to use cash, so people don’t.
So far, Swedes have passively accepted the government and banks’ drive to eliminate cash. The push to destroy their financial privacy doesn’t seem to bother them. This is likely because the average Swede places an unreasonable amount of trust in government and financial institutions.
Their trust is certainly misplaced. On top of the obvious privacy concerns, eliminating cash enables the central planners’ latest gimmick to goose the economy: Negative interest rates.
Making The Negative Interest Rate Scam Possible
Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland all have negative interest rates.
Negative interest rates mean the lender literally pays the borrower for the privilege of lending him money. It’s a bizarre, upside down concept.
But negative rates are not some European anomaly. The Federal Reserve discussed the possibility of using negative interest rates in the U.S. at its last meeting.
Negative rates could not exist in a free market. They destroy the impetus to save and build capital, which is the basis of prosperity.
When you deposit money in a bank, you are lending money to the bank. However, with negative rates you don’t earn interest. Instead, you pay the bank.
If you don’t like that plan, you can certainly stash your cash under the mattress. As a practical matter, this limits how far governments and central banks can go with negative interest rates. The more it costs to store money at the bank, the less inclined people are to do it.
Of course, central planners don’t want you to withdraw money from the bank. This is a big reason why they want to eliminate cash…so you can’t. As long as your money stays in the bank, it’s vulnerable to the sting of negative interest rates and also helps to prop up the unsound fractional reserve banking system.
If you can’t withdraw your money as cash, you have two choices: You can deal with negative interest rates...or you can spend your money. Ultimately, that’s what our Keynesian central planners want. They are using negative interest rates and the War on Cash to force you to spend and “stimulate” the economy.
If you ask me, these radical and insane measures are a sign of desperation.
The War on Cash and negative interest rates are huge threats to your financial security. Central planners are playing with fire and inviting a currency catastrophe.
Reprinted with permission from The International Man.
By Chris Rossini
Who can forget the pivotal moment when Ron Paul stood on the stage and explained "blowback" to Rudy Giuliani, who did not want to hear one word of it:
It's now been a few years, and unfortunately much more blowback has occurred. There has been the creation of ISIS, the terrorist attacks in Europe and the refugees running away from U.S. and western plans for regime change in Syria and Libya.
Has Rudy Giuliani changed his mind? Does he now accept that a superior foreign policy would be one of peace and non-interventionism?
Unfortunately, the answer is No. Here are some recent quotes from Giuliani on areas of U.S. interventionism:
Giuliani's tune has not changed. He's as militant as ever.
Well, news came out in February that Donald Trump considers Giuliani as a very close advisor: "Rudy is a very knowledgeable friend. I consider his counsel very important," Trump said.
And today the news is that Giuliani is going to vote for Trump. He told the NY Post: “I support Trump. I’m gonna vote for Trump.”
This is rather curious. You see, there are a lot of people (including some libertarians) who are under the impression that Donald Trump is not going to be as militant as Bush and Obama. In fact, the Washington Post recently said in a big headline that Trump "outlines noninterventionist foreign policy".
Is Giuliani supporting and voting for a non-interventionist?
Is Trump really the non-interventionist that many of his supporters believe that he is?
Something isn't adding up here...
By Ron Paul
Donald Trump's bizarre plan for remittances and his Mexican border wall sounds like theft. It also rings of illegality and immorality. And to top it all off, Trump is claiming that he gets the authority from the un-patriotic Patriot Act! I discuss this and more with Kennedy on Fox Business:
By Chris Rossini
Over the last several years "inequality" has become a popular buzzword. Politicians (of all people) fancy themselves as mechanics who will turn a few wrenches, push a few buttons and fix the inequality problem. Of course, they can do nothing of the sort, no matter how positively they portray their wrench-turning and button-pushing credentials.
Is there an "inequality" problem? Well, that depends on how "inequality" is defined.
Where are we equal?
Well, we're all equal before the laws of gravity. The laws of cause and effect as well as supply and demand apply to everyone equally as well. It doesn't matter where we are in the world, we cannot alter any of these. We can only identify and obey them (or attempt to disobey them if you're a member of government). So when it comes to every man's relationship with natural laws, we are in fact all equal.
What about man's physical characteristics in relation to other men? Well, for everyone with eyes that can see, we notice that our physical characteristics are not equal at all. We're all completely unique. No one has the ability to physically mold everyone into a cookie-cutter version of "physically equal men".
What happens when we move beyond the physical to the mental? It is here that our inequality grows even larger! Our thoughts, convictions, desires and beliefs are uniquely our own. We each interpret the world in our own unique way. That's why two different people can observe the same exact event and describe it in completely different ways!
In fact, imagine that we could take our thoughts and line them up, one by one, in chronological order. This "thought stream" would be completely different and unique for each and every one of us. No two would be the same, or "equal".
So physically we can never be equal, and mentally we can never be equal as well. That's a problem for politicians who are part of the equality brigade.
Since we can't be physically or mentally equal, can we be economically equal? In other words, can we all have the same stuff, or the same amount of money?
Of course not!
First of all, we all have our own unique desires. We all desire different things. I may desire a Mercedes, while another person desires a Toyota. A third person may desire a bicycle instead of a car. A fourth person may want to walk, or skateboard. How can this possibly be made equal? Who's going to make it equal? How?
Politicians are looking more foolish by the moment, aren't they? And that's just one simple example. No one is going to make us "equal" in terms of stuff.
Look around you right now and take a mental snapshot of the stuff that's in your vicinity. Will Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton make a carbon copy of it for every other person in America? Of course not! They can't even make a carbon copy of your stuff for your next door neighbor!
Ok, what about money? Surely, Hillary and Bernie can put the exact same number of dollars in your wallet as there are in Michael Jordan's? Right?
No? That would be ridiculous?
Well then these "inequality" battling politicians will then take all of Michael Jordan's money, all of Warren Buffett's money, and every wealthy person's money (including their own) and they'll shower it all on 300 million Americans, making sure that every person has the same exact amount. Then we can all be "equal" right?
What about income? Hillary and Bernie are going to "close the gap," right?
Since we are unequal in talents, abilities and skills, there must be disparities in what people earn. When 50,000 people pay top dollar to watch a star athlete play a single game, the athlete's income is going to be higher than the person selling hot dogs at the game. Hillary and Bernie cannot change that. Neither does there exist a correct "range" between what the athlete earns versus what the person selling hot dogs earns. Supply and demand determine their incomes, and politicians cannot overrule that.
The whole "inequality" charade is a scam from start to finish. We are not robots. We are unique human individuals.
With that being an unalterable fact, there is one thing that we can choose to do. While one man will never be equal to another, we can choose to equally respect each other's life and property. In other words, since our lives are different, we can respect those differences. The best way to respect our uniqueness is to only interact with each other voluntarily, and never use aggression against one another. We shouldn't steal, hire (or vote for) someone to steal on our behalf either. Stealing by proxy is still stealing. It's not a moral loophole.
The problems that most people attribute to "inequality" are actually fostered by the government itself. After all, government by its very nature must steal every penny that it has. Since it doesn't create anything, it can only take. Government also has the Federal Reserve, which steals covertly by diluting the purchasing power of our dollars. More than any other arm of government, the Fed makes it very hard for the seller of hot dogs to get by in life.
Many people are attracted to the government's nefarious nature, and they want a piece of the action. Why deal voluntarily with others when you have the ability to use force? Why satisfy a voluntary customer, when you can lobby for a government contract?
It shouldn't surprise anyone that the richest and wealthiest areas of the country are in Washington DC and the surrounding areas. Using force and stealing your way to wealth becomes an addiction that pulls in more and more people over time. These individuals step all over each other to get their hands on the hot money. They swim in ill-gotten gains and are illegitimately rich.
Meanwhile, everyone else is forced to shoulder the burden. It's natural to want to look for answers, especially when the burden gets heavier and heavier. When a tick latches onto the skin, it's going to engorge itself.
The answers will never come from the politicians. They're the problem.
The answer is for more and more people to choose a philosophy of live and let live. And, of course, not supporting the something for nothing philosophy of government.
We're unequal and unique. We should treat each other that way.