It's been almost a decade since the last Federal Reserve financial crisis. They thought that unprecedented money printing (by the trillions) would fix things. It only made things much worse, promising an even bigger financial crisis to come. Ron Paul keeps the focus on the Fed on today's edition of Myth-Busters.
By Chris Rossini
So President Trump closed down his "Manufacturing Council" and no one cheered?
What a shame.
Why was there a "Manufacturing Council" to begin with? It's not the job of the president to meddle with our economy. His job description says nothing about benefitting "manufactures" or "scientists" or "Silicon Valley" or anyone else.
These "Councils" are breeding grounds for the cronyism that has virtually destroyed the American Dream.
If a CEO has the ear of the president, do you think he's going to "advise" the president to do anything that will hurt his own business?
On the other hand, would the CEO be tempted to advise the president to hurt his competitors, both foreign and domestic? Would the CEO advise the president to make it hard for start-ups and entrepreneurs to compete? Would he advise for subsidies? Strict licensing laws?
The president doesn't need Advisory Councils, Czars, or any other destroyer of our economic liberties.
Let the CEO's be "counciled" themselves by free market prices. Let them deal with economic reality as it is, not massage the president for unconstitutional interventions. Let them stand on their own.
Either satisfy consumers profitably, or fold up so that other people can.
The president, at the same time, should stop pretending that he can push buttons and pull levers to make the economy run. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Government intervention only stifles the economy.
The economy continues to function despite the political intrusions that exist. Fortunately, entrepreneurs are creative enough to always find ways around so-called government "regulations". There's always a loophole somewhere. But why make it hard on entrepreneurs to begin with? Just get the heck out of the way!
But alas, the government and multi-national corporations are attached at the hip. One scratches the back of the other.
Mr. President, close down all the "Advisory Councils," and keep your hands off the economy.
More than two years after a Saudi-led coalition began attacking Yemen, the country is a wasteland. Thousands of airstrikes, scores of children killed, epidemics, misery. Who's really responsible and what can be done?
By Mark Spitznagel
Every further new high in the price of Bitcoin brings ever more claims that it is destined to become the preeminent safe haven investment of the modern age — the new gold.
But there’s no getting around the fact that Bitcoin is essentially a speculative investment in a new technology, specifically the blockchain. Think of the blockchain, very basically, as layers of independent electronic security that encapsulate a cryptocurrency and keep it frozen in time and space — like layers of amber around a fly. This is what makes a cryptocurrency “crypto.”
That’s not to say that the price of Bitcoin cannot make further (and further…) new highs. After all, that is what speculative bubbles do (until they don’t).
Bitcoin and each new initial coin offering (ICO) should be thought of as software infrastructure innovation tools, not competing currencies. It’s the amber that determines their value, not the flies. Cryptocurrencies are a very significant value-added technological innovation that calls directly into question the government monopoly over money. This insurrection against government-manipulated fiat money will only grow more pronounced as cryptocurrencies catch on as transactional fiduciary media; at that point, who will need government money? The blockchain, though still in its infancy, is a really big deal.
While governments can’t control cryptocurrencies directly, why shouldn’t we expect cryptocurrencies to face the same fate as what started happening to numbered Swiss bank accounts (whose secrecy remain legally enforced by Swiss law)? All local governments had to do was make it illegal to hide, and thus force law-abiding citizens to become criminals if they fail to disclose such accounts. We should expect similar anti-money laundering hygiene and taxation among the cryptocurrencies. The more electronic security layers inherent in a cryptocurrency’s perceived value, the more vulnerable its price is to such an eventual decree.
Bitcoins should be regarded as assets, or really equities, not as currencies. They are each little business plans — each perceived to create future value. They are not stores-of-value, but rather volatile expectations on the future success of these business plans. But most ICOs probably don’t have viable business plans; they are truly castles in the sky, relying only on momentum effects among the growing herd of crypto-investors. (The Securities and Exchange Commission is correct in looking at them as equities.) Thus, we should expect their current value to be derived by the same razor-thin equity risk premiums and bubbly growth expectations that we see throughout markets today. And we should expect that value to suffer the same fate as occurs at the end of every speculative bubble.
If you wanted to create your own private country with your own currency, no matter how safe you were from outside invaders, you’d be wise to start with some pre-existing store-of-value, such as a foreign currency, gold, or land. Otherwise, why would anyone trade for your new currency? Arbitrarily assigning a store-of-value component to a cryptocurrency, no matter how secure it is, is trying to do the same thing (except much easier than starting a new country). And somehow it’s been working.
Moreover, as competing cryptocurrencies are created, whether for specific applications (such as automating contracts, for instance), these ICOs seem to have the effect of driving up all cryptocurrencies. Clearly, there is the potential for additional cryptocurrencies to bolster the transactional value of each other—perhaps even adding to the fungibility of all cryptocurrencies. But as various cryptocurrencies start competing with each other, they will not be additive in value. The technology, like new innovations, can, in fact, create some value from thin air. But not so any underlying store-of-value component in the cryptocurrencies. As a new cryptocurrency is assigned units of a store-of-value, those units must, by necessity, leave other stores-of-value, whether gold or another cryptocurrency. New depositories of value must siphon off the existing depositories of value. On a global scale, it is very much a zero sum game.
Or, as we might say, we can improve the layers of amber, but we can’t create more flies.
This competition, both in the technology and the underlying store-of-value, must, by definition, constrain each specific cryptocurrency’s price appreciation. Put simply, cryptocurrencies have an enormous scarcity problem. The constraints on any one cryptocurrency’s supply are an enormous improvement over the lack of any constraint whatsoever on governments when it comes to printing currencies. However, unlike physical assets such as gold and silver that have unique physical attributes endowing them with monetary importance for millennia, the problem is that there is no barrier to entry for cryptocurrencies; as each new competing cryptocurrency finds success, it dilutes or inflates the universe of the others.
The store-of-value component of cryptocurrencies — which is, at a bare-minimum, a fundamental requirement for safe haven status — is a minuscule part of its value and appreciation. After all, stores of value are just that: stable and reliable holding places of value. They do not create new value, but are finite in supply and are merely intended to hold value that has already been created through savings and productive investment. To miss this point is to perpetuate the very same fallacy that global central banks blindly follow today. You simply cannot create money, or capital, from thin air (whether it be credit or a new cool cryptocurrency). Rather, it represents resources that have been created and saved for future consumption. There is simply no way around this fundamental truth.
Viewing cryptocurrencies as having safe haven status opens investors to layering more risk on their portfolios. Holding Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies likely constitutes a bigger bet on the same central bank-driven bubble that some hope to protect themselves against. The great irony is that both the libertarian supporters of cryptocurrencies and the interventionist supporters of central bank-manipulated fiat money both fall for this very same fallacy.
Cryptocurrencies are a very important development, and an enormous step in the direction toward the decentralization of monetary power. This has enormously positive potential, and I am a big cheerleader for their success. But caveat emptor—thinking that we are magically creating new stores-of-value and thus a new safe haven is a profound mistake.
Republished from The Mises Institute.
By Liberty Report Staff
We have an "injustice" system now where the rich and political connected can easily get away with lots of felonies. Central Banking plays a starring role in making this possible.
Ron Paul discusses this and much more below:
How to solve the issue of free speech and hate speech? Some use violence to silence speech they do not like. Others use intimidation or shouting down. Many Republicans and Democrats take sides based on political preference rather than principle. What's the libertarian view on speech?
By Liberty Report Staff
Have you ever noticed how many experts there are on "American values"? These characters are everywhere. They're always telling us about their laundry list of "American values."
One value that never happens to make the list is the unique American idea that set this country apart from all others --- Liberty.
Instead, the term "American values" has been turned into a partisan grab bag of everything that is un-American.
Paul Krugman of the New York Times has a funny one for us in his latest screed about "American values". Check out Krugman's definition of America:
More fundamentally, what makes America America is that it is built around an idea: the idea that all men are created equal, and are entitled to basic human rights.
That's a total contradiction.
First let's start with "All men are created equal."
That statement was a revolutionary statement at the time that it was written in 1776.
Kings were presumed and believed to be divine. The King and his progeny were privileged by birth. To be thought of as divine is quite a special privilege, no?
The King would also grant privileges to his cronies. He'd create monopolies, and grant subsidies to his buddies.
If you weren't born into the right family, your life was fixed from the moment you took your first breath. Men were certainly not equal under the law.
America, on the other hand, was founded on the idea that all men were created equal in the sense that no one is born with special privileges and is not entitled simply by being alive.
This was revolutionary thinking.
It was (at the time) considered treasonous, and extremist.
Sadly, people are still having a hard time with accepting this very basic fact of life.
Which brings us back to Paul Krugman...
Krugman pays lip service to the fact that "all men are created equal" but then goes off the rails by saying we "are entitled to basic human rights."
No we're not!
The word "entitled" means "believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment."
How can men be both "equal" and "entitled"?
Unfortunately, America has morphed from a land of liberty and no special privileges to one of infinite entitlements.
Everyone has their pet entitlement that they believe they have a "right" to.
The American government is now (by far) the biggest and most violent government on the face of the earth. Remember, government doesn't create or produce anything. Everything that it "gives," it must first steal from someone else.
In order to sustain the gimme...gimme...gimme's that are always pouring, it has to go on a global rampage in an attempt to put everyone under its thumb.
Ultimately, this house of cards will collapse on itself. The promises will not be kept, and there will be a lot of disappointed people who believe their "entitled" to what they were promised.
At that point, will enough Americans choose a philosophy of all men are equal with no special privileges and entitlements?
We better hope so (and must help to make it so).
Otherwise, it's not going to be pretty.
President Trump appears to want to make good on his promise to tear up the Iran nuclear deal. He's angry that Iran is certified as abiding by the deal even though Iran has abided by the deal. Iran threatens to cancel the deal if the US keeps adding sanctions. What's next?
By Chris Rossini
There's a lot of "left-wing" vs. "right-wing" allegations being thrown around, especially after the latest violence in Charlottesville. We're told that "leftist" Communist groups are pitted against "far-right" Nazi groups.
That may well be the case, but it's important to realize that they're all Socialists!
The whole left/right stuff can be dropped. They're just different brands of Socialism.
It must be remembered that the U.S.S.R. stood for Union of Soviet *Socialist* Republics.
Meanwhile, NAZI stood for National *Socialism.*
So when you look at the ridiculous "political spectrum" that people often use, both "left-wing" and "right-wing" equal Socialism.
Here's a good question: Where does it leave Liberty?
Ahhh....look how that happened!
Liberty is not an option.
But "no...no...no..." you might say: "Communists and Nazis are not the same. Don't you remember World War II? They killed each other by the millions."
True, but that doesn't point out anything other than the fact that socialists don't like each other any more than they like liberty.
Socialism is not one big happy family.
Socialists hate each other and fight viciously for power. Remember Stalin and Trotsky?
Even if you have no idea about their story, just look at the more recent feud between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Both despise liberty. Both want government to run our lives. But they don't like each other, do they?
Socialists hate other socialists that disagree with them, whether it be in the former U.S.S.R. or even between politicians in what's supposed to be the land of the free.
Socialists are vicious to one other because the real prize is at the top.
When you're the one at the top of the socialist heap, everyone must obey you.
You're the one with the master plan for humanity. You're the one with the correct blueprint for how the rest of human life should live.
Everyone that happens to agree with your master plan is fine. But since people have free will to think as they want, there's always going to other socialists who believe it is they who have the real master plan. You don't have the correct blueprint...they do! Everyone should obey them!
Now, in reality, neither has the correct blueprint. There's no such thing. No one has the ability to run the world and all of its peoples. There is no form of Socialism that can bring about the utopia that its adherents have conjured up in their imaginations.
But that doesn't stop them from viciously fighting each other for power. And it surely doesn't stop them from perpetually trying to take away every single one of our liberties.
In the end, only Liberty is compatible with human nature.
We are born free and meant to remain free, no matter how many flavors of tyranny try to snatch it away.
Ironically, as kids and adults try to find out where they fit on the bogus "political spectrum," it is liberty that has been taken away as one of the options.
Press Play to hear Ron Paul deliver his Weekly Update:
By Ron Paul
There is something unsettling about how President Trump has surrounded himself with generals. From his defense secretary to his national security advisor to his White House chief of staff, Trump looks to senior military officers to fill key positions that have been customarily filled by civilians. He’s surrounded by generals and threatens war at the drop of a hat.
President Trump began last week by threatening “fire and fury” on North Korea. He continued through the week claiming, falsely, that Iran is violating the terms of the nuclear deal. He finally ended the week by threatening a US military attack on Venezuela.
He told reporters on Friday that, “We have many options for Venezuela including a possible military option if necessary. …We have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away. Venezuela is not very far away and the people are suffering, and they are dying.”
Venezuela’s defense minister called Trump’s threat “an act of craziness.”
Even more worrisome, when Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro tried to call President Trump for clarification he was refused. The White House stated that discussions with the Venezuelan president could only take place once democracy was restored in the country. Does that mean President Trump is moving toward declaring Maduro no longer the legitimate president of Venezuela? Is Trump taking a page from Obama’s failed regime change policy for Syria and declaring that “Maduro must go”?
The current unrest in Venezuela is related to the economic shortcomings of that country’s centrally-planned economy. The 20th century has shown us very clearly that state control over an economy leads to mismanagement, mal-investment, massive shortages, and finally economic collapse. That is why those of us who advocate free market economics constantly warn that US government intervention in our own economy is leading us toward a similar financial crisis.
But there is another factor in the unrest in Venezuela. For many years the United States government, through the CIA, the National Endowment for Democracy, and US government funded NGOs, have been trying to overthrow the Venezuelan government. They almost succeeded in 2002, when then-president Hugo Chavez was briefly driven from office. Washington has spent millions trying to manipulate Venezuela’s elections and overturn the results. US policy is to create unrest and then use that unrest as a pretext for US intervention.
Military officers play an important role in defending the United States. Their job is to fight and win wars. But the White House is becoming the war house and the president seems to see war as a first solution rather than a last resort. His threats of military action against a Venezuela that neither threatens nor could threaten the United States suggests a shocking lack of judgment.
Congress should take President Trump’s threats seriously. In the 1980s, when President Reagan was determined to overthrow the Nicaraguan government using a proxy army, Congress passed a series of amendments, named after their author, Rep. Edward Boland (D-MA), to prohibit the president from using funds it appropriated to do so. Congress should make it clear in a similar manner that absent a Venezuelan attack on the United States, President Trump would be committing a serious crime in ignoring the Constitution were he to follow through with his threats. Maybe they should call it the “We’re Not The World’s Policeman” act.