Today, I want to talk a little bit about "civil disobedience" under the current regime.
I have been a law abiding citizen most of my life- with the possible exception of a few misdemeanors in my youth. From age 20 until age 52, all I have been guilty of is breaking a few unbelievably restrictive traffic laws. Like Oregon's ridiculously low speed limits on the most desolate highways in the west. So there's that. Guilty your honor. My penance has been fines and my forced participation in some of the finest insurance price gouging ever.
I spent my lifetime in small town America. I was a policeman first and then ultimately, a Police Chief. I believed in the mission of law enforcement and I also believed that without cops- the predators would most certainly have their way with the sheep.
Unfortunately, our government has become a predatory government. Instead of a government consisting of "We the people" we have an elitist government that has morphed into a government that caters to the aristocracy or the wealthy 1% of America. This government takes every opportunity to steal middle class money and tells us it is for our collective benefit. It passes laws that are clearly in violation of the Constitution of the United States and then asks the Supreme Court to rubber stamp them. I suppose this is done to convince "We the people" that this government is behaving lawfully and responsibly. I call it the theater of the absurd. That is the same crap that King George III tried to pull on us. He wanted to control us and steal our money. He was willing to send troops to threaten and then kill us over the issue and so it was. We had us a war with some bloodshed.
It's always about money. The absolute root of all evil.
In America, our government has a long standing tradition of labeling immoral or criminal acts with palatable terms so that they can behave like criminals without public retribution or outcry. They do the exact opposite when some other entity engages in the same behavior. Sometimes Americans sign onto this madness as long as there is something in it for them. Like killing native Americans because it was "God's manifest destiny" for us. Sorry Indians, God doesn't like you. Citizens who worked hard and saved gold in 1933 were labeled "gold hoarders" about the time that FDR issued an executive order- no law was passed- authorizing the government to seize gold without a warrant to prevent "gold hoarding." If the government doesn't like the negative connotations of a term such as "kidnapping" they substitute that term for "relocation" as was the case of WWII era Japanese Americans. If the government and the elite don't like the term "counterfeiting" because that denotes precisely what it is- they use the term "quantitative easing" instead. They tell us that they are diluting our money supply for our own good. When the government gets caught violating the law, they label the whistleblower(s) a "traitor" rather than a hero as was the case of Edward Snowden. People are not murdered by drones- they are "victims" or "casualties" or "enemy combatants" or "collateral damage."
We allow the government to essentially violate any law it wants to- just so long as they can find some innocuous term for their immoral conduct that sits well with us.
Well, most of us.
Of all the flawed character traits that I possess, and there are many, my ability to see through all of this bullshit like a laser beam is probably my worst. It has cost me dearly. But I have never let the consequences of my actions get in the way of what I know is morally right.
In other words, I am weary of this government bully.
So what term did Americans employ when we wanted to quit paying taxes, commit treason, and eliminate King George III? Well, we called that the period of "American Enlightenment." Ah yes, American Enlightenment.
The American Enlightenment is a period of intellectual ferment in thirteen American colonies in the period 1715–1800, which culminated in the American Revolution, American Independence, and the creation of the American Republic under the Constitution of 1787. Influenced by the 18th-century European Enlightenment, the American Enlightenment applied scientific reasoning to politics, science and religion. The foremost representatives of the American Enlightenment include religious leaders Jonathan Edwards and Ezra Stiles, political thinkers John Adams, James Madison, James Wilson, and Alexander Hamilton, and polymaths Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.
Let's shift gears here for just a minute. If our government is going to compel us to buy insurance and then allow the Supreme Court to call Obamacare a legally mandated tax- then by logical extension- all of my other compulsory insurance must also be a tax. My car insurance is a tax, my force placed mortgage insurance is a tax, my homeowners insurance is a tax. If the government requires my compliance and removes my choice to purchase these products then by law- it's not insurance, it's a tax. Right? I mean how am I supposed to distinguish the difference between insurance and a tax if the terms are interchangeable depending on how the Supreme Court feels on any given day?
The truth is, it's all bullshit dressed up to steal our money. King George tried the same tactics. Perhaps...
I might be able and willing to buy Obamacare just so long as the government allows me to write off all of the other compulsory insurance I am required by law to purchase. Or allows me the choice to quit purchasing it. I have never made one homeowners claim in 30 years. I have never defaulted on a mortgage payment. Yet I pay 1500.00 a year and in the case of mortgage insurance- I will never EVER receive a benefit despite the fact that I am required by law to pay 1100.00 a year for it.
My life and my health are far more important to me than insuring someone else's investment. Yet oddly, the government doesn't give me a choice. I have to buy everything the tell me to buy. I no longer have a choice what I can buy. Apparently the government will decide what I spend my money on- irrespective of what is important to me. Government is indifferent to my needs just so long as I do what they tell me. Is it a wonder that people have quit working or work for cash instead?
This has become the national insanity. Government seizing our money and telling us how to spend it.
Ultimately, all of this compulsory stealing of our money boils down to one immutable truth. Sooner or later, law or no law, label or no label, it matters not- we are going to run out of money. You can pass all of the laws that you want, fill all of our courts and prisons but ultimately, you can't squeeze blood out of turnips. Each one of us will have to decide whether or not we can continue to comply with the law. It's not a matter of if- it's a matter of when.
I am on the short side of when.
If I were wealthy, I wouldn't be here writing this nor would I be bothered by a little margin pressure from Obamacare when I have gobs of disposable income. But I do not. I have already arrived at that point in time when I am going to have to make decisions about what I spend my money on and then suffer the consequences of my decisions. Make no mistake about it- there are at least 200 million Americans stuck between poor (free Obamacare) and wealthy (can easily afford Obamacare) and so the middle class once again, will feel the boot of government on their throats.
To survive financially, many of us opted out of health care. All Obamacare is- is a law that compels healthy people back into a system where the corporate kleptocracy and the unhealthy benefit. That's all this is. Nobody gives two shits about our individual well being.
I hate to sound like a victim. But I'm not sure I can wait for the renaissance of American Enlightenment. I am going to have to make some decisions or die a slow and lingering financial death. Our government is sure to try and find some method of forcing us all into Obamacare compliance. They will start first with the palatable labeling of non compliant people. (In fact, I have been hearing this from the liberals already) In the beginning, the non compliant will be taxed, penalized, assets lien ed upon or seized, or failing that- persons non compliant will be subjected to prison. It's kind of like quadruple jeopardy. The government's penalties for non compliance start easy at first, then ratchet up quickly. That is how they always operate. If you aren't a criminal now just wait a little bit longer.
I am not advocating civil disobedience for anyone but that's what many of us will face.
Picking on 200 million broke "irresponsible and tax dodging" Americans isn't exactly a prescription for success but that appears to be the course of action of this government. Warren Buffett once said that the elite waged a war on the middle class in our country and that the elite have won.
Winning? That's just a label too. I'm not sure what Warren means by that but I do know this. When they raid the house they get everyone. Including the wealthy. The most fearless people I have ever known- were the ones with nothing left to lose. I am one of those folks. It appears that our ranks are swelling.
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Monday, September 16, 2013
After the collapse of financial markets in 2008, American government officials began triaging a financial system in desperate need of death.
The problem with QE is that they have been doing it so for so long- that the vast majority of Americans have forgotten (if they ever knew or cared to begin with) that QE is 100% responsible for the stock market rise and the illusion of an economic recovery. Without QE- we are living in a depression brought about by the simple expansion of credit. Just like 1929. No different.
By March of '09, after hijacking trillions of dollars of taxpayer money, Wall Street's bankers and the Federal Reserve embarked on the greatest counterfeiting scheme of all time. They call it "quantitative easing."
In America, if you don't like the negative connotations that go along with using a term such as counterfeiting, you simply call it something else. Thus we have the phrase "quantitative easing." It was probably the Japanese who invented the term QE and who also added that it doesn't work.
By working, that means re-installing a vibrant economy.
By working, that means re-installing a vibrant economy.
QE is a desperate act. In essence- all it does is simply prolong the inevitable collapse of the monetary system brought about by tremendous credit expansion and leveraging. Collapsing monetary systems are usually brought about by greedy bankers and by complicit politcians. Here's a decent history of QE since 2008.
United States QE1, QE2, and QE3 [edit source]
The US Federal Reserve held between $700 billion and $800 billion of Treasury notes on its balance sheet before the recession. In late November 2008, the Federal Reserve started buying $600 billion in mortgage-backed securities. By March 2009, it held $1.75 trillion of bank debt, mortgage-backed securities, and Treasury notes, and reached a peak of $2.1 trillion in June 2010. Further purchases were halted as the economy had started to improve, but resumed in August 2010 when the Fed decided the economy was not growing robustly. After the halt in June, holdings started falling naturally as debt matured and were projected to fall to $1.7 trillion by 2012. The Fed's revised goal became to keep holdings at $2.054 trillion. To maintain that level, the Fed bought $30 billion in two- to ten-year Treasury notes every month.
In November 2010, the Fed announced a second round of quantitative easing, buying $600 billion of Treasury securities by the end of the second quarter of 2011. The expression "QE2" became a ubiquitous nickname in 2010, used to refer to this second round of quantitative easing by US central banks. Retrospectively, the round of quantitative easing preceding QE2 was called "QE1". Similarly, "QE3" refers to the third round of quantitative easing following QE2.
A third round of quantitative easing, QE3, was announced on 13 September 2012. In an 11–1 vote, the Federal Reserve decided to launch a new $40 billion per month, open-ended bond purchasing program of agency mortgage-backed securities. Additionally, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced that it would likely maintain the federal funds rate near zero "at least through 2015." According to NASDAQ.com, this is effectively a stimulus program that allows the Federal Reserve to relieve $40 billion per month of commercial housing market debt risk. Because of its open-ended nature, QE3 has earned the popular nickname of "QE-Infinity." On 12 December 2012, the FOMC announced an increase in the amount of open-ended purchases from $40 billion to $85 billion per month.
On June 19, 2013, Ben Bernanke announced a "tapering" of some of its QE policies contingent upon continued positive economic data. Specifically, he said that the Fed would scale back its bond purchases from $85 billion to $65 billion a month during the upcoming September 2013 policy meeting. He also suggested that the bond buying program could wrap up by mid-2014. While Bernanke did not announce an interest rate hike, he suggested that if inflation follows a 2% target rate and unemployment decreases to 6.5%, the Fed would likely start raising rates. The stock markets dropped approximately 4.3% over the three trading days following Bernanke's announcement, with the Dow Jones dropping 659 points between June 19 and 24, closing at 14,660 at the end of the day on June 24.
Who benefits from QE? Anybody receiving freshly minted money and using it first. After that- it simply dilutes the existing money supply for the rest of us. So who gets first run? Bankers and other wealthy folks. By the time all that freshly minted fiat ends up in the money supply- it simply reduces our buying power.
Witness oil, priced in American petro dollars, doubling in price in five short years. It is not a coincidence.
Gold would have gone supernova had the government and bankers not manipulated it for years- desperately trying to keep the price down and contain inflation.
The problem in 1929 was that we had a gold standard which prevented bankers from printing their way out of the Great Depression which they had caused. In 1933- FDR essentially seized Americas gold without due process and in violation of the the 4th amendment. Once he and the bankers had it all, they fixed the price of gold by almost doubling it and then they began to print away. There was a secondary recession/depression which ran up to World War 2.
Ben Bernanke's brainchild, QE in all of it's forms, is scheduled to begin to wind down in two days. There has been tremendous speculation by some pretty intelligent people that they can't end QE without collapsing markets. http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/real-money-with-alivelshi/Real-Money-Blog/2013/9/17/ben-bernanke-taperingoffquantitativeeasingprogram.html
So the question is, can the FED end QE? We're going to find out in just a couple of days, Sept. 18. My personal guess is that they cannot. Nor do they have the political will although they might continue to talk tough until Bernanke leaves.
Paul Craig Roberts doesn't think so either and he is a helluva lot smarter than I am. Here's a link to PCR's site and although the clip is some 28 mins....PCR only talks for about 12 minutes. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/08/10/paul-craig-roberts-on-the-myth-of-gdp-and-tyranny-of-the-elite-prime-interest-71/
Predicting, like Larry Summers, is hard. Especially about the future- which gets here in two days.
Predicting, like Larry Summers, is hard. Especially about the future- which gets here in two days.