President Trump wants The Fed to flood the economy with (even more) credit. The so-called "independent" Fed has indicated that it's going to comply. A bigger bubble means an even bigger bust must occur at some point. Central planning is right on course to where it always ends up -- an economic abyss!
Yesterday CNN was the sole source of an article accusing Iran's Revolutionary Guard of trying to seize a UK tanker in the Persian Gulf. Though CNN claimed there was video of the attempt, none has surfaced. Iran strongly denies any such attempt. Is this another psy-op to drum up support for a US attack on Iran? Bonus topic: A new Pew Poll shows that US military members do not believe recent wars have been "worth it." Maybe we should listen to them.
By Jacob G. Hornberger
Given the ongoing destruction of liberty and prosperity from President Trump’s trade wars, tariffs, sanctions, and embargoes, it’s time to think at a higher level, one that goes beyond mere criticism of Trump’s trade antics. It’s time to think in terms of individual liberty, free markets, and limited government, all of which translate to the idea of unilateral free trade.
What does unilateral free trade mean? It means that the U.S. government should simply lift, dismantle, abolish, repeal, and end all of its tariffs, trade restrictions, sanctions, embargoes, import quotas, and trade wars. No meetings. No negotiations. No demands. No “free trade” agreements. Just free the American people to travel wherever they want and trade with whomever they want.
Does this mean that other nations will do the same? Nope. Other nations might follow suit but not necessarily. Should that affect America’s decision to adopt a policy of unilateral free trade? Absolutely not! Americans should be liberated to travel and trade with others regardless of what foreign regimes are doing in their particular nations.
First and foremost is the principle of liberty. When people are living under a regime that wields the power to control the economic exchanges they enter into with others, there is no way for those people to be considered genuinely free. Freedom necessarily entails the right to travel wherever one wants to travel and trade with whomever he wants to trade. Any infringement on freedom of travel and freedom of trade, whether through tariffs, import quotas, trade restrictions, sanctions, embargoes, and trade wars, constitutes a severe violation of the principles of liberty.
Secondarily is the concept of prosperity and rising standards of living. It is an axiom that in every trade, both sides benefit, from their own individual perspective. That’s because in every trade, a person is giving up something he values less for something he values more. Every time a shopper buys any item from another person, he has improved his standard of living, and so has the seller. At the moment of the trade, they have both given up something they value less for something they value more.
Thus, whenever the government adopts rules, regulations, policies, or laws that interfere with the freedom of people to trade with others, the government is harming people’s economic well-being and reducing their standard of living.
Throughout history, people have been forced to live under regimes that wield the power to control trade. It’s time for one nation to lead the rest of the world out of this statist morass. I say that that nation should be America. Here is what I propose: A constitutional amendment stating the following: “No law shall be enacted, by either the federal government or the state governments, respecting the regulation of trade, or abridging the free exercise thereof.”
The advantage of a constitutional amendment, as compared to simply repealing, ending, abolishing, and dismantling Trump’s sanctions, embargoes, trade restrictions, tariffs, and trade wars is that the American people would no longer have to concern themselves with some president or Congress imposing, willy-nilly, some new restriction on their freedom to travel and their freedom to trade. If Trump, for example, wakes up some morning and suddenly and impulsively decides to start a wage war against China, someone can quickly file suit in federal court to get his trade war enjoined as a violation of the free-trade clause in the Constitution.
On July 4, Americans celebrated the Declaration of Independence, a document that points out that everyone, including Americans, possesses the natural, God-given rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Isn’t it time for Americans to recapture those rights by prohibiting their own government from infringing upon them? A good place to begin would be the adoption of a policy of unilateral free trade and a constitutional amendment enshrining it into law.
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
President Trump has threatened to veto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2020 if Congress adopts the House version of the bill, which increases military spending by $16 billion but does not come close to the $33 billion increase the Administration demands. When it comes to military spending...how much is enough?
By Chris Rossini
Liberty, freedom, and free will are the natural and built-in condition of each human individual.
Ironically, throughout human history (and up to the present day) people have been trying to shake themselves loose of their natural freedom. They'd rather others choose, decide and dictate everything to them. Unsurprisingly, there is never a shortage of others who want to play the role of dictator.
Over and over the error is repeated. Big Governments come and go. Tyrannies come and go. Empires come and go.
And every time, when the dust settles, everyone is forced to go back to start: The free individual.
The free individual has survived monarchies, and republics, and democracies, and military dictatorships, and oligopolies, and kleptocracies, and socialism, and communism, and cronyism.
The free individual survives it all.
So if we've discovered all the ways that free individuals are not meant to live, and have repeated them over and over, how exactly should free individuals live together in harmony?
Well, let's look at a rough analogy.
Let's compare something like electricity to free will.
Electromagnetic fields are present everywhere in the universe. So electrical energy can be generated and distributed by individuals here in the United States, as well as across the Earth by individuals in any other nation.
But the prime factor with electrical energy is how it is distributed.
Electricity can be used for beneficial reasons, like lighting up an entire city, or it can be used for harm, like burning down that very same city.
Electrical energy itself is neutral. It is neither good, nor bad.
Each individual that harnesses this energy decides how it will be distributed. If it's distributed for good, the number of specific uses is limited only by the imagination. Electricity can power a lamp, or a TV, or a coffee maker, or countless other things. On the other hand, if electricity is distributed in harmful ways, lives and property can be destroyed.
Same energy...different distribution and different results.
It would be rather odd if people were always fixated on abolishing electrical energy because it can be used for harm, wouldn't it?
Wouldn't it be strange if, century after century, people always came up with schemes and plans to get rid of it?
The schemes would always fail, of course, and electromagnetic fields would continue to exist across the universe, waiting for distribution.
Free will works in a similar way.
Free will is a natural part of every individual, and each individual must choose how his or her free will is to be 'distributed,' so to speak.
We know all the harmful ways that it can be 'distributed,' so there's no need to go over them all. Obviously, war is the most harmful. Lying, cheating and stealing come to mind as well.
It's extremely easy to spot all the harmful ways because they boil down to the use of aggressive force of one individual against another. Using force against others is equivalent to using electricity to burn everything down.
Harmony between individuals rests on non-aggression and voluntary interactions.
Live and let live.
Free will belongs to us AND our neighbors.
The moment that aggressive force is introduced, the fire begins. Over time, the fire turns into a raging inferno.
Big governments and Empires are nothing but raging infernos. They're wars of all against all, a massive combat of attempting to live at the expense of everyone else.
Big governments and Empires are signals that people have messed up, big time! They've taken the wrong road.
Fortunately, the wrong road always ends. It always leads to a dead end.
Then it's back to start once again...an opportunity to 'distribute' free will in ways that don't lead to raging infernos.
When free will is 'distributed' in non-aggressive and voluntary ways, the specific uses are limited only by the imagination. Entire societies can come together and they don't rest on a house of cards, or a mountain of lies. They can thrive on a solid foundation.
The free individual is finally exists in harmony with his own nature.
The free individual finally gets to really, and truly, live.
This week, Taliban and Afghan government officials met for the first time at talks hosted in Qatar and organized by Germany. The modest early agreement may pave the way to the end of the 18 year war. Meanwhile today the US resumes talks with the Taliban also in Qatar. Will the Trump Administration find a way to pull out of Afghanistan?
By Ron Paul
Hypocrisy seems to have become a defining characteristic of US foreign policy, especially when it comes to Iran. After breaking the Iran deal last year and, de facto, forcing the Europeans to violate the deal in May, the US Administration is now complaining that Iran is no longer abiding by its obligations under the deal!
It’s remarkable to see Secretary of State Mike Pompeo take to Twitter to complain of Iran enriching uranium to pre-deal levels, as if somehow the US believes it can still dictate the terms of a deal to which it is no longer a party.
This latest neocon push for US war on Iran started last week when Iran exceeded the limit of a 300 kilogram stockpile of low-enriched uranium. As usual, the media only reported part of the story. One reason Iran went over the limit was that the countries to which Iran was exporting its excess uranium were notified by the US in early May that they would face US sanctions if they continued taking the uranium off Iranian hands.
The US created the crisis by preventing Iran from exporting its excess uranium and then pointed to the expanding Iranian stockpile of uranium enriched to 3.6 percent as proof that Iran was about to launch a nuclear weapon!
Make no mistake about it: Trump’s neocons are determined to trap him into a massive, disastrous war with Iran and they are using the same tactics they used to hoodwink George W. Bush into a multi-trillion dollar war on an Iraq that could not have attacked us if it wanted to.
Secretary Pompeo Tweeted yesterday the exact kind of dishonest hysterics used to terrify many Americans into supporting an Iraq attack 13 years ago: “Iran’s regime, armed with nuclear weapons, would pose an even greater danger to the world.”
As the former head of the CIA, surely Pompeo knows that his own agency had determined back in 2003 that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program and that every US intelligence assessment since then has concurred with that conclusion. But then again, he did brag recently about his excellent ability to lie, cheat, and steal.
Though the Europeans promised Iran that they would continue to honor the deal, they have proven themselves unable to put forth a credible alternative to the US-dominated SWIFT system, meaning no trade in Iran’s number one export: oil.
Iran responded over the weekend to European fecklessness by announcing that they would begin enriching uranium up to five percent, which is a level needed to run one of its nuclear power generating plants. As could be predicted, this move – which is allowed according to section 36 of the Iran deal – is being treated as the equivalent of Saddam’s “mobile chemical weapons labs.”
The Iranians are not backing down. They rightly feel cheated, as they continued to honor the deal even as the US re-imposed crippling sanctions meant to destroy their economy and starve their people.
President Trump has a very serious decision to make. He is being frog-marched into war by his neocons and his Middle East “partners.” He has very little time left to change course. If the neocons are not swept out immediately, he is risking both his second term and his legacy.
Days after the UK - at US request - seized a tanker filled with Iranian oil near Gibraltar, a UK tanker in the Persian Gulf has made an abrupt u-turn and abandoned its mission to transport Iraqi oil to Europe. Now sheltering in Saudi waters, the tanker fears a tit-for-tat Iranian retaliation. Is this a case of "unintended consequences" for the US-engineered July 4th Iran tanker seizure? How far will this escalate? More on Iran at RPI's August conference! Info and tickets: RonPaulInstitute.org/conference
Jacob Sullum at The Ron Paul Institute May conference on "Winning the War on the War on Drugs."
With all the white noise on July 4th - tanks and flyovers, speeches - it can be easy to forget exactly what we are celebrating. In this special edition of the Liberty Report, Ron Paul explains his favorite part of the Declaration and why...