By Chris Rossini
Political folklore dictates that presidents visit disaster areas. But presidents do not have special healing powers that they can bestow on anyone suffering from a natural disaster. Since modern presidents are treated like Caesars, whenever they travel anywhere, they completely inconvenience everyone with their police escorts, entourages, and security details. Louisiana does not need that right now.
It's the 21st century. Let the president send a video message over the Internet to convey his feelings. Everyone has a mobile phone these days. Citizens of Louisiana can watch the video without all the heartache of having a president visit their town.
Louisiana needs its productive individuals to work on getting back to normality. Not only should President Obama stay on the golf course, but he should book some tee times for members of FEMA and all the other government agencies that interfere with economic recoveries.
Local politicians in Louisiana should remove all regulations on "price gouging" and should abolish all price controls as well.
The market needs to sort out where resources are desired most and from where they should be removed.
Prices should reflect current conditions, not conditions prior to the disaster. Unfortunately, politicians pretend that they can artificially create the latter with price controls and "anti-price gouging" laws.
Thomas Sowell describes the political mindset like this:“The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”
If prices rise for certain goods and services, it will signal to businesses outside of the area that it would be profitable for them to import their goods and services. Government price controls only create shortages and disincentives for outside businesses from risking their capital and manpower.
President Obama should extend his vacation as well. Golf everyday for the good of America. Anything that slows down the relentless lawmaking and war making counts as good news for life and liberty.
Tee off President Obama....You're finally putting our tax dollars to good use.
By Ron Paul
Is something brewing on the Ukrainian border? I offer my thoughts on what policy the U.S. government should be following, as well as Donald Trump's newly adopted tone in the presidential campaign:
Yesterday, the Fed announced that they now have a Facebook Page. As they continue their propaganda efforts, Ron Paul's Myth-Busters gives you the real truth about The Fed. You won't find this on Facebook. Don't miss it!
By Jeff Deist
The problem with presidential candidates is not so much what they say and believe, but rather what they don't say and believe. Behind the laying and dissembling and obfuscation there is a palpable suspension of disbelief. Our would-be political rulers simply ignore — or fail to grasp — the gravity of our economic situation.
We are preoccupied with terrible shootings, bathroom wars, and the petty intrigue of political campaigns. We debate trivialities. But the bigger story, the gradual but grinding reality behind how western governments operate, doesn’t hold our attention.
This is a time of unprecedented economic hedonism, engineered and encouraged by western governments and their central banks. It is sold to us as banal public policy and technical tinkering, when in fact a radical and anti-human ideology underpins it. The arc of human progress, marked by capital accumulation and ever-increasing productivity — at least in healthy societies — has been upended. It’s a slow-motion catastrophe, whereby Americans and Europeans live today at the expense of tomorrow.
Fiscal hedonism is rampant in Congress, and has been for decades. How do they get away with it? Perhaps because we allow it. US government debt, now more than $19 trillion, seems almost amorphous to voters. It’s been with us so long, and nothing too terrible has happened. … Yet while Ross Perot made the “national" debt a cornerstone issue of his campaign in 1992, today it’s become almost a third rail in American politics. Donald Trump recently discovered this the hard way, after an offhand comment about US creditors taking a haircut on their Treasury bond holdings.
Any talk of actually repaying or (better yet) repudiating government debt is today seen as crankish. That’s why the great James Grant took so much heat for daring to suggest that the US government is insolvent in his recent cover article for Time magazine.
Monetary hedonism, meanwhile, is the order of the day for nearly all western central banks. The US Federal Reserve, in particular, has shown it will stop at nothing to enable Congress to spend beyond its means. By providing a ready market for Treasury debt (i.e., quantitative easing, buying Treasury bonds from commercial banks using newly created money), the Fed effectively monetizes federal debt in a shamefully opaque way. And by keeping interest rates artificially low, thus reducing federal interest payments, the Fed helps Congress make annual deficits look smaller.
Consider that the Fed’s balance sheet has more than quadrupled since the Crash of 2008, to roughly $4 trillion. Will this historically unprecedented increase in the monetary base really just vanish into thin air with no ill effects? Will the malinvestment caused by cheap credit from commercial banks flush with reserves not create huge dislocations down the road? Will propping up overheated coastal real estate markets and inflating equity prices for companies with dubious earnings really create long-term economic growth?
The short answer is “No,” and the rest of the world knows it. Our creditors know that Congress will never put its fiscal house in order, and that the Fed will never return to “normal” monetary policy. The West cannot continue to live on borrowed time and borrowed money forever, despite our military power. The laws of economics prevail in the long run.
There are hopeful signs, however. Americans and Europeans may not be demanding libertarian approaches to our fiscal and monetary problems, but they are increasingly suspicious of centralized government power and central bank cronyism. Secession and breakaway movements like Brexit in the UK gain momentum, while disapproval of artificially engineered globalism grows. “Unbanking” alternatives grow, as distrust of currencies increases and flaws in cryptocurrencies (namely traceability) are corrected by blockchain engineers. Populism — while always a double-edged sword — threatens state-connected global elites like never before. And the rapid proliferation of social media options makes it almost impossible for the state’s media gatekeepers to control the narrative.
[From the July-August issue of The Austrian.]
There is reportedly a new video released in which the son of Osama bin Laden is urging Saudi youth to rise up and overthrow their government. He also expressed particular interest in areas where the US military is active in the greater Middle East. Is the recording authentic and if so, what does it mean?
By Ron Paul
It was pleasure to speak with Kate Dalley on FoxNews Radio. We discussed my motivations for entering Congress, as well as my time there. We also talked about my views on Donald Trump, departments of government that I would get rid of right away, and several other great topics. Please enjoy the interview below:
Over the past several days Saudi Arabia's brutal war against Yemen has taken an even more grim turn, as hospitals and schools have been hit. US weapons sales to the Saudis provide the firepower that kills Yemeni civilians. The military-industrial complex profits. And Saudi Arabia's strongest ally in Yemen? al-Qaeda.
By Norm Singleton
Yesterday was a sad day for political junkies with the news that John McLaughlin had passed away.
McLaughlin, a former Jesuit Priest and Nixon speechwriter, was best known for "The McLaughlin Group," a weekly round table that pioneered the fast-talking and combative format that today dominates TV talk.
Unlike many of its successors and imitators, the discussion on McLaughlin Group was both "high-spirited" and serious, and usually conducted with good humor.
The show also transcended the typical "left-right" political divide and even treated the libertarian point of view with respect years before Ron Paul's presidential campaigns made libertarianism a serious force in American politics.
This may have been because McLaughlin, as he once told a friend of mine, was a "closest libertarian."
In 2007 Mr. McLaughlin named Ron Paul the "person of the year."
Dr. Paul made the following statement on Mr. McLaughlin's passing:
Rest in Peace, John McLaughlin. A true gentleman who for more than two decades hosted one of the most interesting Washington insider programs. You will be missed.
Here is nice tribute penned by McLaughlin Group regular Eleanor Clift.
This article was originally published at Campaign for Liberty.
By Chris Rossini
Frustrating election isn't it? Heads, we lose. Tails, we lose. The ideas of liberty are nowhere to be found in American government. It's all power, all the time. The only difference is in who will wield the power, and who will be the victims.
How did it get so bad, so fast? Well, as always, the outside world is a servant to the inside world of ideas. In the year 2016, Americans believe passionately in government power and don't really mind the abolition of freedom.
It's quite astonishing considering the fact that government fails at every single thing it sets out to achieve. Government merely piles one failure on top of another, decade after decade, century after century.
Remember "making the world safe for democracy"? How about the "War on Poverty" or the "War on Drugs", and the "War on Terror". It's fascinating that when government declares war on something, it ends up making it worse!
And yet, the belief that government can solve this problem, or that problem, persists. That's the power of ideas. Once something is accepted as true, even though it's false, people will tend to hang on until the pain is completely unbearable.
The Declaration of Independence made mention of this characteristic with the following words: "all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."
Apparently, Americans believe that the evils are still sufferable at the moment. So naturally, power will continue its march. The 2016 election shows that power is marching on.
Elections cannot and will not change this. For a people that believe in power will continually elect those who promise to wield it.
There is only one antidote and that is for enough Americans to hold different beliefs about liberty and government. There are no shortcuts. The outer world will remain a servant to the inner world. So it is the inner world of ideas that must change.
If you're a person that understands the ideas of liberty, private property, voluntary transactions, voluntary interactions, non-aggression, sound money, and peace, an implicit responsibility comes with your understanding. And that is to share what you have learned in your own unique way.
You're in the minority. You're one of the lucky ones.
The great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises captured the responsibility with the following words:
“Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders; no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interests of everyone hang in the result. Whether he chooses or not, every man is drawn into the great historical struggle, the decisive battle into which our epoch has plunged us.”
In other words, if the ship sinks, we all go down with it. It's one thing to be oblivious and go down with the ship. But it must be a special kind of pain to know better, to know what the solutions are, and to go down with it too.
So how does someone anchored in the ideas of liberty share what he or she understands? The ways are as numerous as the individuals involved. If you're a writer, write. If you're an orator, speak. If you're on Twitter, tweet.....YouTuber? Podcaster? It's endless.
Just get the good ideas between your ears out there!
Pretend that Americans are drowning in a government ocean and your job is toss as many life jackets as you possibly can. Many will choose to drown anyway, and that's a shame. Many others will think you're ridiculous and will curse you for throwing the jackets out to them. But there will be those that will grab on. Of that, you can be sure.
The more that grab on, the better the chance to turn "the land of the free" around. A majority of people isn't necessary, just a critical minority. The majority always follows the minority. The horrendous ideas that the majority holds onto today were all cooked up by a handful of ivory tower elitists.
The critical minority is crucial.
They're out there.
Speak up and reach as many as you can.
Donald Trump delivered his big foreign policy speech yesterday. We take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly.