Donovan for Liberty

Chuck Donovan's Blog

Your 401(k) Goes Away: It Begins

Actually, it began long ago.  People with savings are independent.  The health of government relies on power, and independent people do not bow to power.  If you have savings in the bank, tax deferred or otherwise, these bloated, overreaching, debt-ridden, immoral governments want your hard earned money.

Don’t think your tax deferred 401(k) or IRA or Roth IRA are safe.  The government made 401(k)’s and IRA’s, the government can un-make them.  Just because it would be unpopular with you, don’t thing it would be unpopular for the government to attack Americans who have savings.

Most people in the world have fallen for the dumb idea that savings are bad.  People who save have given up the new car, the vacation, the bigger house, the big credit card balance and opted for a bigger personal savings balance.  Now they have a bullseye on them being sighted in by our central government.  This is a government, controlled by the so-called leadership of the Democratic and Republican parties that has found it impossible to balance a budget since the 1950’s and has now decided two things will solve their problem:  1. Print endless amounts of magic paper money to pay for more stuff.  2. Take away your savings.

Take a look at this sampling of headlines on the subject.  Note the published dates of the articles.  This isn’t new, folks.

Now He’s After Your 401(k)

The White House pulls a switcheroo on retirement savings accounts. (April 12, 2013)

” So Mr. Obama proposes to ‘limit an individual’s total balance across tax-preferred accounts to an amount sufficient to finance an annuity of not more than $205,000 per year in retirement, or about $3 million for someone retiring in 2013.’

Thus do our political betters now feel free to define for everyone what is ‘needed’ for a ‘reasonable’ retirement. “

Watch Out: Your 401(k) Is Being TargetedRichard Eisenberg, 12/29/2012

Why the Government Wants to Hijack Your 401(k)by KEITH FITZ-GERALD, Chief Investment Strategist, Money Morning, January 27, 2010

According to widespread media reports, both the U.S. Treasury Department and the Department of Labor plan are planning to stage a public-comment period before implementing regulations that would require U.S. savers to invest portions of their 401(k) savings plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) into annuities or other “steady” payment streams backed by U.S. government bonds.

Folks, there’s only one reason these agencies would do such a thing – the nation’s creditors think that U.S. government bonds are a bad bet and don’t want to buy them anymore. So like a grifter who’s down to his last dollar, the administration is hoping to get its hands on our hard-earned savings before the American people realize they’ve had the wool pulled over their eyes … once again.

Full steam ahead on Obama’s theft of IRA’s and 401k’sDecember 11, 2012 BY SUZANNE EOVALDI

2010 administration report on the Middle Class cites Vice President Joe Biden, who “floated [an] idea called Guaranteed Retirement Accounts’ (GRAs).”

Rest assured, the D.C. ruling class will stop at NOTHING to obtain the financing necessary for the continued purchase of votes and maintenance of power.

At the end of 2010, there was an estimated 17.5 trillion dollars in United States retirement assets, including 3.1 trillion in 401k’s and 4.7 trillion in IRA’s. The idea that those who thrive on money and power would permit such an alluring trove to go untapped is laughable.

Obama Administration Plans to Seize 401(k) Retirement Accountsby  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D., Wednesday, 05 May 2010 13:45

This isn’t the first time the government has decided how much money is enough for you.  Saint FDR, (Oh come on, that is the way he is spoken of.) wanted to place a 100% tax on all earnings over $19,000 per year.  He said nobody needed more money than that.  Fortunately an only slightly more sensible Congress disagreed, but the precedent was set.  The geniuses in D.C. know what is good for you to read, learn, eat, work at, and to earn.

It is nothing new.  Governments around the world, all with centralized banking and control, all with out-of-control spending and regulation, have been looking for anyone who actually has a few dollars saved somewhere.  Those paying attention to the last few years of “G” summit meetings will note the focus on disallowing people to leave their countries with the money they have worked for.  Freedom of trade is already stifled.  Freedom of movement is in danger.  Freedom of any kind is feared by the incompetent, tyrannical, over-bloated governments that now watch and control every move you make.

The warning signs have been right in front of you all along.  Why is this surprising to you?  What have you been paying attention to?  Maybe you are watching too much of the lasted gyrations and gossip on the latest headlining starlet, The View, the latest White House pet dog or cat, Anthony Weiner’s antics, or other similar things.  It is happening in the rest of the world and it will happen here too.  Try these headlines instead:

POLAND:  Poland Confiscates Half Of Private Pension Funds To “Cut” Sovereign Debt Load, Submitted by Tyler Durden on 09/06/2013 14:50 -0400

“To summarize:

  1. Government has too much debt to issue more debt
  2. Government nationalizes private pension funds making their debt holdings an “asset” and commingles with other public assets
  3. New confiscated assets net out sovereign debt liability, lowering the debt/GDP ratio
  4. Debt/GDP drops below threshold, government can issue more sovereign debt

‘And of course, once Poland borrows like a drunken sailor using the new window of opportunity, and maxes out its new and improved limits, it will have no choice but to confiscate more assets, and to make its balance sheet appear better, until one day, there is nothing left in the private sector to confiscate. At that point the limit itself will have to be legislated away, and Poland will simply continue borrowing until one day there are no foreign lenders willing to take the same risk as the nation’s private pensioners. At that point, Poland, which is in the EU but still has the Zloty, can just go ahead and monetize its own debt by printing unlimited amounts of its currency.

Of course, we all know how that story ends.”

PORTUGAL:  Portugal Confiscates Private Pension Funds – Can It Happen in the United States?, Posted on December 3, 2011 by David

“Portugal has confiscated $7.5 billion of private pension funds (November 2, 2011) as a last ditch effort to meet deficit targets. This is the European model for introducing “austerity” programs: steal the wealth from the producers.”

CYPRUS:  Cyprus Shellshocked As Unprecedented Savings Tax Imposed on All Deposits for EU Bailout  (16 Mar, 2013)

“the government agreed to an unprecedented levy on all deposits… ..is to be made up through the bank deposit levy of up to 9.9 percent, which will apply to everyone from pensioners to Russian oligarchs…  …Government spokesman  …tried to calm public anger, saying: “The situation is serious but not tragic, there is no reason to panic.”

U.K.: Brown knew pension fund raid would rob employees of £12bn, 2/15/2006

“Gordon Brown was warned he would rob pension funds of nearly £ 12billion when he decided to bring in a tax on private pensions in 1997.   …Mr Brown was well aware of the devastating financial consequences this would have on those saving for their retirement.

”  The scheme is categorized as a “tax raid”  “Pensions Commission headed by Lord Turner warned that ‘voluntary private pension provision is not growing: rather it is in serious and irreversible decline’.”

Has Labour really ransacked our pensions?, by ANNA REITMAN and DAN HYDE, 18:01 EST, 9 April 2010

“in 1997 when a fresh-faced, newly-appointed Chancellor said he would be tapping pension funds for some extra tax revenue.   …he scrapped the dividend tax credit. Pension funds could no longer shield 100% of their investment dividends from the grasps of the taxman.

…the argument followed, some defined benefit schemes had built up healthy surpluses – surely this could be put to public use?”

“Higher earners now pay tax twice;  …and we’ll all regret that.” – Keith Barton, Association of Consulting Actuaries

Brown’s raid on pensions costs Britain £100 billion, 15 Oct, 2006

“About 120,000 people lost part or all of their expected final salary pensions in recent years, as companies struggled with rising deficits. The removal of tax relief on share dividends starved funds of a key source of money.  …The demise of our final salary schemes began in earnest in 1997. Brown saw pension funds as an easy target — so he raided them.”

ARGENTINA:  Argentina Nationalizes $30 Billion in Private Pensions, By ALEXEI BARRIONUEVO, Published: October 21, 2008,

“Argentina’s government said Tuesday that it would seek to nationalize nearly $30 billion in private pension funds to protect retirees from falling stock and bond prices as the global financial crisis continues.”  “If the move is approved, her government may have secured an important electoral asset, which could help guarantee Mrs. Kirchner’s political survival.”

Argentina Makes Grab for Pensions Amid Crisis, By MATT MOFFETT, Updated Oct. 22, 2008 12:01 a.m. ET

“Argentine President Cristina Kirchner said the move to take over the private pension system was aimed at protecting investors from losses resulting from global market turmoil. “

HUNGARYHungary Follows Argentina in Pension-Fund Ultimatum, `Nightmare’ for Some, by Zoltan Simon – Nov 25, 2010 9:24 AM ET,

“Hungary is giving its citizens an ultimatum: move your private-pension fund assets to the state or lose your state pension.  …a government drive to bring 3 trillion forint ($14.6 billion) of privately managed pension assets under state control to reduce the budget deficit and public debt. Workers who opt against returning to the state system stand to lose 70 percent of their pension claim.

Hungary, the most indebted eastern member of the EU, is following the example of Argentina, which in 2001 confiscated about $3.2 billion of pension savings before the country stopped servicing its debt. The government in Buenos Aires nationalized the $24 billion industry two years ago to compensate for falling tax revenue after a 2005 debt restructuring.

In Hungary, employers set aside 24 percent of each worker’s salary for pension contributions and employees are required to pay 10 percent. Forcing workers back into the state system means the government will retain control of all that money, rather than transferring a portion to the private funds.”

 IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED IN AMERICA

Americans tend to think that “bad” governments in other countries do bad things to their citizens, but it could never happen in here.  I have to wonder what exactly they are looking at to continue to believe such baloney.  It has already happened here.  In the 1930’s our Saint FDR confiscated the gold of private Americans.  (Almost simultaneously it became legal for Americans to have alcohol but illegal to hold gold.)  In the 1980’s Bill Clinton and Newt Gengrich raided the meager holdings of Social Security and Medicare in order to leverage continued irresponsible spending at the Federal level.  Almost $4 Trillion in Social Security and Medicare funds were converted to “non-marketable securities”.  Read that I.O.U.’s that have never been sold to bond holders and are signed by people who are no longer in the government.

Social Insecurity:  Inside the Trust Fund Illusionby Charles Hugh Smith, 1/20/2011

Though the SSA doesn’t state it directly, what this means is that the Treasury took $2.6 trillion in Social Security cash surpluses and transferred it to the federal government to spend on other government programs. (For context, the total net wealth of U.S. households is $54.9 trillion, according to Federal Reserve data.)

The fact that the Treasury bonds the Trust Fund received in return for that $2.6 trillion are non-marketable — that is, they aren’t bonds that can be sold on the global bond market — has led some observers to characterize them as worthless.

The Social Security Administration defends the worthiness of its special bonds in its FAQ page:

“The [surplus] money flowing into the trust funds is invested in U.S. Government securities. Because the government spends this borrowed cash, some people see the current increase in the trust fund assets as an accumulation of securities that the government will be unable to make good on in the future. Without legislation to restore long-range solvency of the trust funds, redemption of long-term securities prior to maturity would be necessary.

Far from being ‘worthless IOUs,’ the investments held by the trust funds are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government. The government has always repaid Social Security, with interest. The special-issue securities are, therefore, just as safe as U.S. Savings Bonds or other financial instruments of the Federal government.”

This debt to Social Security is called “intragovernmental holdings,” and it isincluded in the total national debt, along with other special Treasury securities held by other agencies.

The “Trust Fund” Is Not a “Lockbox”

What the Social Security website fails to explain is where the Treasury gets the money to redeem those bonds. The answer: It borrows the money on the global bond market by selling freshly issued real Treasury bonds.

In other words, Social Security’s nonmarketable bonds are merely markers for actual Treasury bonds, which must be sold, and for which interest must be paid. Thus, Social Security is entirely dependent on the Treasury’s sale of new bonds for its future solvency. If interest rates spike or global buyers become wary of buying trillions of dollars in U.S. T-bills, costs for that borrowing will skyrocket, crowding out all other federal spending.
As a result, U.S. taxpayers are now paying twice for their Social Security benefits: Once through payroll taxes, and again when the Treasury uses their taxes to pay interest on the bonds it sold to fund Social Security.
This is not some far-in-the-future issue: The Treasury reported in October that it had to sell new bonds to fund Social Security shortfalls in 15 of the previous 25 months.
….the Trust Fund is illusory …the reality is that the U.S. Treasury will have to borrow $2.6 trillion on the global bond market to redeem Social Security’s non-marketable securities. That means the Social Security system is totally dependent on the Treasury’s ability to sell trillions of dollars of bonds at interest rates that won’t cripple the federal government.”

The following excerpt is from the 1998 Senate Budget Committee session. 

Hollings “What we’ve been doing, Mr. Chairman, in all reality, is taken a hundred billion out of the Social Security Trust Fund, transferring it over to the spending column, and spending it. Our friends to the left here are getting their tax cuts, we getting our spending increases, and hollering surplus, surplus, and balanced budget, and balanced budget plans when we continue to spend a hundred billion more than we take in.”

“It should be obvious from the above that the government has for decades been taking the money intended to pay Social Security benefits and spending it as general revenue. The Social Security trust fund is filled with Government IOUs, and those people who insists Social Security is solvent are operating in the faith that T-bills are always good, because the taxpayer can always be forced to redeem them.

But there is a problem. There are so many T-bills in the Social Security fund that when the baby-boomers start applying for benefits, the sudden surge of T-bills being presented for payment would collapse the Federal System, because there are not enough young taxpayers to carry the extra load.

Regardless of the mechanism, the bottom line is that the government looted the retirement funds of Americans, and that means one of two things has to happen (and maybe even both). Either Americans will be taxed twice for the same benefits, or the benefits will be cut.

The Myth of the Clinton Surplusby Craig Steiner

“The only debt that matters is the total national debt. You can have a surplus and a debt at the same time, but you can’t have a surplus if the amount of debt is going up each year. And the national debt went up every single year under Clinton. Had Clinton really had a surplus the national debt would have gone down. It didn’t go down precisely because Clinton had a deficit every single year. The U.S. Treasury’s historical record of the national debt verifies this.

A balanced budget or a budget surplus is a great thing, but it’s only relevant if the budget surplus turns into a real surplus at the end of the fiscal year. In Clinton’s case, it never did.”

You don’t have to believe me.  Read the government propaganda on the subject:

Social Security Trust Fund FAQ’s from the government’s own Social Security website:  www.ssa.gov

America, you are next.  The government wants to continue to make believe we don’t need savings in order to make investments.  The government wants to control everything as more of their stupid plans go out of control.  If you have savings the government will not be able to control you the way it controls those without savings.

Don’t kid yourself.  The government wants everything you have.

This is what comes of being afraid to let freedom win.

 

D4L Thoughts on Liberty – 11/12/2013

“Nothing appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the ease with which the many are governed by the few.” – David Hume

“The issue is always the same: the government or the market. There is no third solution.” – Ludwig von Mises

 

ANYONE ELSE NOTICE WE HAVE WOUNDED WARRIORS KILLING THEMSELVES?

REASON is one of the few “good guys” in our media.  In their recent piece, “Is Government Bureaucracy Failing Our Veterans?”|Nov. 11, 2013, they just noticed there is an alarming trend in veteran suicides.  The BBC just noticed this year also.  (BBC report from July, 2013, )  Only the Libertarians have taken a lead in this area.  In 2011 and 2012, Libertarian candidate for Vice President, Judge Jim Gray, the only veteran running for national office, made veteran suicides an campaign issue.  In 2010 during my campaign, I was asked how we should support our veterans.  As a veteran myself I have experienced being barred from further care at the Veterans Administration Hospital system.  My cancer was not quite cured and my new employer considered it a “pre-existing condition”.  I got through that, but I know what the VA Hospital system is like, and yes government bureaucracy does fail our veterans!

In 1971 the Libertarian was formed.  One of the primary motivations was an anti-war  stance.  We have been consistently anti-war since then.

In 2010 I said we could best help wounded warriors by getting less of them wounded.  Bring them all home now!

 

FROM THE GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION (GPPF, http://www.georgiapolicy.org)

GPPF publishes “Friday Facts” each week.  Here are some interesting quotes from their newsletter.

Health care – Ruling’s lesson: “The Supreme Court’s decision in the ObamaCare case to strike down the broad penalty for refusing to comply with the Medicaid expansion constitutes a significant victory for the Constitution and its Tenth Amendment. The ruling could grant states expansive new flexibility to modify or withdraw from programs without losing the funds that Congress thought it could use to cudgel the states into compliance with its endless stream of new programs. Now it is up to the states to test the boundaries of that new flexibility – and to push back everywhere that federal coercion comes attached to a dollar of federal ‘assistance.'” – Mario Loyola, “Loosening the Federal Straightjacket: How the NFIB Decision Affects Federal Funds in State Budgets,” Texas Public Policy Foundation

Taxes – No more taxes: Colorado voters rejected a tax increase that would have changed the currently flat 4.63 percent tax on all income to a 5 percent tax on the first $75,000 (an 8 percent increase) and a 5.9 percent tax on income above that (a 27 percent increase). It would have hit 95 percent of Colorado businesses. Source: Tax Foundation

 

THE CATO INSTITUTE ON HEALTHCARE

“If you want the Swedish healthcare system you are going to have to adopt the Swedish political system.”  – from Cato interview with David Goldhill, author of, “How American Health Care Killed My Father”

IMPORTANT DOCUMENTARY

Yes, YouTube has more important things than dancing cats and epic failures.  See this documentary and educate yourself, better yet de-educate yourself from the propaganda presented to you by our so-called education system.

Fiat Empire — Why the Federal Reserve Violates the U.S. Constitution

 

FOREIGNERS UNDERSTAND AMERICA COULD BE BETTER

This is excerpted from an open letter by Craig Ballantyne:

Dear America (Letter from an Admirer)”, by Craig Ballantyne

“..You’re not defined by being a donkey or an elephant. Quit labeling yourself, it means nothing.

Here’s what you really are, even if so many people around the world will only begrudgingly admit it. You are a great country full of even greater individuals that simply all want a better life. In fact, we all do, every person in every country of the world. 

But here’s the problem.

Everyday we teach our children that bullying is wrong. Don’t be mean, don’t pick on other kids, don’t tell lies or spread gossip, don’t belittle or ostracize others. But then what do the so-called leaders of America do? They bully each other and anyone that disagrees with them, which sets a terrible example.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, if left to the people of America, and not to the political parties, it wouldn’t be that way.

What real Americans do is add value, solve problems, and help one another.”

…and they do all of it without government interference.

 

Craig Ballantyne looks to be someone who is not afraid to let freedom win.

D4L Thoughts on Liberty – 11/9/2013

AIRCRAFT OWNERS AND OPERATORS HAVE HAD ENOUGH VIOLATIONS OF THEIR RIGHTS

Those seeking anarchistic opinion do not usually turn to the pages of Aircraft Owners and Operators Association (AOPA) Magazine. (http://www.aopa.org) Just take a look at these member comments that were triggered by among other things, “random” stop and search activity by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) directed against peaceful aircraft operators.

These are published comments by AOPA members.  (AOPA Magazine, October 2013, “Letters”, pp 12):

“… the ability to go where I want, and to do it without asking permission from a governing state.  …our overgrown , overspending government continuously overstepping its power is an abomination of our individual freedoms.  …Look around.  This government is not getting smaller.  This government is getting more oppressive by the minute.

“Whoever says, ‘Stop being such pansies, if you have nothing to hide, who cares?’, and ‘If you are a law abiding pilot, what really is the problem?’ – while I admire their childlike trust in the power of government, I question their ability to what has happened to every nation, throughout all human history – without exception – that has the unquestionable right to stop and search it’s citizens.  Police states always start out in the name of safety and end very badly.”

“The nothing-to-hide argument is a straw man, in that unchecked power always turns to its own ends.  Freedom comes with risks and it’s own end.  If you do not accept these ideas, please consider another country in which to live – by the way, they have all destroyed aviation.

Seems there are members at AOPA who are not afraid to let freedom win.  I am proud to be one of them.

 

Which Cult Are You A Member Of?

“You demand privilege for a few.  I demand liberty for all.” – Frédéric Bastiat

“Journalist” Mike Lofgren(1.) rececently wrote an article titled “Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult.”(2.)  As a former GOP cult member myself I was interested in what he had to say.

Mr. Lofgren attempted to sound fresh, but his criticisms were filled with the usual rantings of somebody who worships at the foot of government.  Mr. Lofgen is clearly much more frightened by the loss of government than the loss of freedom.

Mr. Lofgren correctly articulates the idiocy taking place in the never-was-the-party-of-fiscal-responsibility.  But, among other criticisms he bemoans the fact the Republicans couldn’t write Medicare today.  I’m not seeing the problem here.  He is talking about a failed, bankrupt program that increases medical costs, decreases freedom-of-choice and freedom-of-exchange that currently pays out about $3 in goods and services for every $1 in contributions that working Americans are forced to pay?   (Hey, where’s my freedom of choice to opt-out of Medicare btw?)

Then, in a further weak effort to criticize the current circus in D.C, he gives credit to alleged economics and intellectual Paul Krugman.  Krugman is a centralized government worshiper who thinks the cure to our economic hangover is just a little more alcohol.  Nobody would give serious consideration to someone who suggests giving alcohol to a drunk who wants to avoid the pain of a hangover, but the “professional journalists” of our state-run media have no problem quoting and supporting the ideas of “leading economists” who think an economy drunk on debt, credit, and fake money just needs a bigger shot of debt, credit, and fake money.

Mr. Lofgren is yet another who also thinks if we all just “get along” in D.C. we could spend our way out of our spending problems and that the over bloated “defense” budget is the only part of the budget worth criticizing.  Nowhere in his article is a lick of sense about fake money, rampant debt, or out-of-control entitlements driven by a viral entitlement mentality.  He just re-chums the usual hackneyed perjoratives against the GOP – all of them accurate; none of them focused on any real or freedom-centered solution.

This writer clearly has no idea, or does not have the backbone, to face the fact that the only way out of our mess is for the central government to release its death grip on the American people and their economy, and to make real cuts in all programs, including Social Security and Medicare, in the 40% range.  He criticizes the massive “defense” budget, but never mentions the interest on the national debt he is so afraid of defaulting on is almost 65% of this year’s “defense” budget.  He is a typical economic chicken hawk who talks a big fight, but isn’t ready to face the epic battle that is really out there.

This writer is just more of the same.  Unfortunately he is representative of the people in the United States and the rest of the world who blah-blah about freedom but wouldn’t set their fellow humans free of over-bloated, irrational, insanely inefficient, and immoral government or its massive debt – for their own good.

Freedom is the commodity, not bipartisan “getting along”.

In a world where words no longer have meaning it is sadly ironic to read yet another article from a devotee of central government on a website titled “Truth Out”.  While I am grateful Mr. Logren might have left the cult of the GOP I wonder two things.  Which party will he vote for next time around, and what level of incompetence will it take to get him to leave the “cult of omnipotent government” ?

In the meantime, Mike Logren is yet another “analytical thinker” who is afraid of letting freedom win.

 

1.  Mike Lofgren:  http://www.truth-out.org/author/itemlist/user/45904
2.  http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/3079:goodbye-to-all-that-reflections-of-a-gop-operative-who-left-the-cult

 

 

D4L Thoughts on Liberty – 11/5/2014

Happy Guy Fawlkes Day!

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…”

It’s not what you mean to do.  It’s what you do.  from “V for Vendetta”

 

AN IMPORTANT DOCUMENTARY YOU NEED TO SEE

Terms And Conditions May Apply”  You need to see this well done documentary to understand how much information the government has on you personally and what a near and present threat it is to all of us.

The movie frightened me.  Therefore I offer the following quote: “Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty” – John Basil Barnhill, 1912

“…make sure that we can stop terrorists while maintaining privacy and liberty of innocent Americans.  We have to find a way to give the President the power to protect us while making sure that he doesn’t abuse that power.”

“…that simple principle that there’s somebody watching the watcher; whether that’s on an issue of freedom of the press or it’s an issue of warrentless wiretaps.  That simple principle is one that we can’t give up and we don’t have to give up.”

Video documentation for both of the above quotes is in the movie.  Both of the quotes were spoken by then Senator Barak Obama while he campaigned for President.  He now holds the dubious honor of being the President who holds the record for the most prosecutions against whistleblowers, more than all other US Presidential regimes combined, and presides over and NSA that is clearly out of control.

Shame on you Mr. Obama, and shame on all of us who made the very big mistake of trusting you.  You are now part of the problem, not part of the solution.

 

I AM A PROUD MEMBER OF  Georgia Carry

GeorgiaCarry.Org‘s Vice-President and Roswell Attorney John Monroe:

“The Reverend Jesse Jackson, through the Rainbow Push Coalition has filed a lawsuit against the state of Georgia (Governor Nathan Deal and Attorney General Sam Olens).  This lawsuit is similar to the lawsuit filed in August, 2012 by the Reverend Markel Hutchins and once again challenges Georgia’s stand your ground law. ” 

Let’s be honest. Jesse Jackson cares more about taking away your right to self defense than he cares about a “stand your ground” law.  This is an excuse to further disarm you.  

The Rainbow Push coalition is claiming they have “standing” because they have been hurt by the time they spent filing this suit.  Ridiculous doesn’t begin to put a point on this.

Forget “stand your ground”.  Just how far would the Reverend want me to retreat before he would consider it legitimate for me to defend myself and my family against an attacker?  Give me a number.  How far would he retreat?  

I say “the Reverend” should not have to retreat 1 millimeter and anyone who attacks him or his should know that.

Would he give me and mine the same right?

 

MORE RECORDS IN THE SO-CALLED “WAR ON DRUGS

If the US has been at war with drugs since 1971, why are we still setting records in the amount of drugs the government is discovering?  It has been 42 years!  At what point do we admit defeat and say it’s time for Plan B?

“Opium and morphine are certainly dangerous, habit-forming drugs. But once the principle is admitted that it is the duty of the government to protect the individual against his own foolishness, no serious objections can be advanced against further encroachments … Is not the harm a man can inflict on his mind and soul even more disastrous than any bodily evils? Why not prevent him from reading bad books and bad plays, from looking at bad paintings and statues and from hearing bad music? The mischief done by bad ideologies, surely, is much more pernicious both for the individual and for the whole society, than that done by narcotic drugs.” – from Human Action, by Ludwig Von Mises

UNDER US OCCUPATION, AFGHAN OPIUM INDUSTRY SURGES TO RECORD LEVELS, by Common Dreams staff, 11/13/2013

“…according to the 2013 Afghanistan Opium Survey released Wednesday by the United Nations… …cultivation of poppy across the war-torn nation rose 36 per cent in 2013 and total opium production amounted to 5,500 tons, up by almost a half since 2012.

‘This has never been witnessed before in the history of Afghanistan,’ said Jean-Luc Lemahieu, the outgoing leader of the Afghanistan office of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which produced the report.”

The way to help people on drugs is not to hold a gun to their heads and put them in jail.  You would not do that to someone with an alcohol problem.  Why do it to people with a drug problem.  I’m sorry to break this to you, but the government isn’t going to solve this problem.  You are going to have to embrace them in your community and help them get away from the poisons in their life.  You are also going to have to stop being afraid of letting freedom win.

US DISCOVERS HUGE HIGHTECH DRUG SMUGGLING TUNNEL

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/01/us-discovers-mexican-drug-smuggling-tunnel

A smuggling tunnel running from Tijuana in Mexico to San Diego in theUnited States, equipped with lighting, ventilation and an electric rail system, has been uncovered by US authorities.

Authorities who found the underground network seized 8.5 tonnes of marijuana and 148kg (327lb) of cocaine. The tunnel – dug 11 metres (35 feet) underground, 1.3 metres high and 1 metre wide – was shut down before the drugs could be distributed. [allegedly]

… length of nearly six football fields, links warehouses in Tijuana and San Diego’s Otay Mesa – an industrial area filled with nondescript warehouses, convenient for loading trucks…

As US border security has heightened on land, Mexican drug cartels have turned to ultralight aircraft, small fishing boats and tunnels to smuggle drugs. More than 75 underground passages have been discovered along the border since 2008, designed largely to smuggle marijuana.

In November 2011, authorities found a 500-metre tunnel that resulted in seizures of 32 tonnes of marijuana on both sides of the border, with 26 tonnes found on the US side, accounting for one of the largest busts in US history.”

INFORMATION FROM I.J. ON CIVIL FORFEITURE WAS PUBLISHED IN The Economist

This is happening right here in America.  Many of you think you don’t have to worry about the law and overeager law enforcers because you are doing nothing wrong and have nothing to hide.  These acts of “civil forfeiture” are being perpetrated upon innocent Americans as the result of the so-called “Patriot Act”, the so-called “War on Terror”, the so-called “War on Drugs”, and because of the militarization of our police.  The police are no longer the friendly Andy of Mayberry types.  They are now militarized, armored, hardened, impassive, clannish, and looking for an excuse to turn the law on you.

Nov. 2, 2013 | From the print edition of The Economist
Civil forfeiture: The grabbing hand of the law
How prosecutors seize the assets of the innocent

“The names of court cases usually make sense. Think of “US v Bernard Madoff” or“US v Timothy McVeigh”. What, then, is “US v $35,651.11”? Why is Uncle Sam prosecuting a heap of money?

The answer, alas, makes even less sense than the name on the docket. Terry Dehko and his daughter Sandy Thomas (pictured) run a grocery store in Fraser, Michigan. It sells everything from bread to hand-made sausages. Fairly often, someone takes cash from the till and puts it in the bank across the street. Deposits are nearly always less than $10,000, because the insurance covers the theft of cash only up to that sum.

In January, without warning, the government seized all the money in the shop account: more than $35,000. The charge was that the Dehkos had violated federal money-laundering rules, which forbid people to “structure” their bank deposits so as to avoid the $10,000 threshold that triggers banks to report a transaction to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Prosecutors offered no evidence that the Dehkos were laundering money or dodging tax. Indeed, the IRS gave their business a clean bill of health last year. But still, the Dehkos cannot get their cash back. “They offered us 20%,” says Ms Thomas, “But if we settle, it looks like we’re guilty of something, which we’re not.”

In criminal cases, the government can confiscate assets only after a conviction. Under “civil forfeiture”, however, it can grab first and ask questions later. Property can be seized merely on the suspicion that it has been involved in a crime. Citizens have no right to a swift hearing. For a small business, that can be fatal. The Dehkos’ store is surviving by paying suppliers late.

In many civil-forfeiture cases the agencies that seize the assets keep most of the proceeds, and can use them to pad their budgets or buy faster patrol cars. It is hard to know how common this is, but the Institute for Justice (a libertarian law firm that is representing the Dehkos) notes that the federal government shared $450m of seized assets with state and local authorities in 2012.

The grabbers do not always prevail. A motel owner in Massachusetts recently won back his motel after prosecutors tried to seize it because one guest in 13,000 had been arrested for drug offences. In October in California, prosecutors who were trying to seize a building because two of the tenants were marijuana dispensaries (which are legal under Californian law), gave up and let the landlord keep it.

But this is scant comfort for the Dehkos, who are struggling to hold on to the store they have run since 1978. “It’s kind of scary that they can do this to you,” says Ms Thomas. “In America, you’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.””

Civil forfeiture needs to stop.

Being afraid of freedom also needs to stop.

 

D4L Update for 10/31/2013

“The fact that the market is not doing what we wish it would do is no reason to automatically assume that the government would do better.” – Thomas Sowell

I discussed some of the information below on today’s Butler on Business show.

HEADLINES THAT CAUGHT MY ATTENTION

Marines Fly First STOVL Mission in F-35B

Finally!?!  This squadron, VMFAT-501, was started up on 2 April, 2010.  The flight on 28 October, 2013 was a training mission in a training squadron.   Three-and-a-half years after opening the squadron it flies the first mission profile the “new” airplane was designed to fly.  Can’t the military industrial complex do better than that?  How long before Marines on the front lines actually have the support taxpayers are funding for them through this clearly mismanaged program?

[STOVL stands for Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing.  The STOVL capabilities of the F-35B are a big leap ahead of the Harrier “jump jet” the Marines have been flying operationally since the 1970’s.]

Lagos private wooden bridge owners make millions of naira everyday – Investigation – OCTOBER 26, 2013 BY GBENRO ADEOYE

If you didn’t already guess, the investigation isn’t into the inefficient actions of a government that has utterly failed to keep roads and bridges in serviceable condition.  The investigation is to see if the bridge builders and operators are acting “unfairly” to those who want to use the bridges.

Keep in mind, independent people, acting through freedom-of-choice, have taken a risk with their time and money to provide a service to people who otherwise would have to either wade across rivers, travel a longer distance to cross another bridge, or not get across at all.  Don’t these entrepeneureal risk takers deserve compensation of some sort?  Don’t the people using the bridge have a choice to find work or business in another location?

Nobody is holding a gun to anybody’s head forcing them to build these bridges or to use them, yet people not used to seeing freedom in action see a problem.

I don’t think these bridge owner/operators should be investigated or vilified.  In fact they should be held up as the heroes they are.

As usual, the problem is people who are afraid of letting freedom win.

DR. ANTAL FEKETE IS NOT AFRAID OF LETTING FREEDOM WIN

The following is extracted from an interview published at The Daily Bell (www.thedailybell.com)the full article is available at:  http://www.thedailybell.com/exclusive-interviews/34698/Anthony-Wile-Dr-Antal-Fekete-on-Real-Bills-Quantity-of-Money-Theory-and-the-New-Austrian-Economic-Manifesto/#sthash.H73tVMFk.dpuf

Dr. Antal Fekete on Real Bills, Quantity of Money Theory and the New Austrian Economic Manifesto

With Anthony Wile – October 27, 2013

“Professor Antal E. Fekete is an author, mathematician, monetary scientist and educator. Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1932

Daily Bell: The price of gold is still declining. Bring us up to date on the price action since we last spoke, please.

Antal Fekete: I take strong exception to your using the language of ‘rising and falling gold price.’ It puts things standing on their head. It paints a will-o’-the-wisp picture of reality. The rising of the gold price in reality is the irreversible long-term decline in the value of the dollar; the falling of the gold price in reality is a temporary strengthening of the dollar for whatever, mostly irrelevant, reasons. There is absolutely no symmetry between the two events. Moreover, this is as it ought to be, since the dollar is nothing but a dishonored promise to pay gold. When did you last see the dishonored promise of a banker permanently going to a premium? Whatever decline in the gold price you are talking about, it has not made a dent in the towering fact that the dollar has lost 99 percent of its gold value as well as its purchasing power since it was dishonored 42 years ago in 1971. The language of ‘declining gold price’ serves the interest of those who do everything in their power to blindfold the public in order to keep them in blissful ignorance about the terminal agony of the moribund dollar. It is disingenuous to suggest that the gold price is declining. A better way of expressing it is to say that a stay of execution for the dollar is in force.

Daily Bell: Do you still believe there’s no way out of this cycle but “extinction” and then barter?

Antal Fekete: I believe that the way out of the present disaster, brought upon us by the incompetence and ineptitude of our Keynesian and Friedmanite money doctors, leads to permanent gold backwardation (read: headlong rush of gold into hiding) that will in the fullness of time convert our incomparable multilateral trading system into miserable barter, and our highly productive world economy into a subsistence economy.

Daily Bell: What would you do if you were head of the Fed?

Antal Fekete: When Mises was asked what he would do if he were the President of the United States he said he would resign forthwith. I answer your question by saying that I would also resign and issue a strongly-worded statement that I don’t want my name to be associated with a wrong-headed, utterly corrupt and unconstitutional experiment with irredeemable currency, foisting it upon the rest of the world. It is immoral. It marks the darkest hour in the history of this nation.

Daily Bell: What is Janet Yellen going to do when she becomes Fed head? Will there inevitably be another crash and a depression?

Antal Fekete: She is well-heeled to kick the can further down the road. This road leads to a series of crashes, the blowing and pricking of bubbles. We are already in a depression, masked by unlimited money creation which is pouring oil on the fire of deflation. Bond purchases by the Fed lead to halving interest rates and halving them again and again. This is tantamount to the destruction of capital, as we have discussed a moment ago. Lower interest rates mean higher bond prices, which measure the increase in the burden of debt, the proverbial straw that breaks the back of the camel.

Daily Bell: Are the central bankers managing to restimulate? We believe that they will cause another stock market boom and bust. Your thoughts?

Antal Fekete: Central banks stimulate prosperity and the economy into oblivion. Capital destroyed by the falling interest rate structure cannot be resurrected by an exercise in exit strategies. Besides, easy money (quantitative or otherwise) is addictive. Once being hooked on it, the economy cannot be weaned off the drug. There is a threshold of abuse beyond which the economy is doomed.

Daily Bell: The current “recovery” will not be extensive no matter how high the market runs because a money-led expansion cannot affect the underlying distortions of the economy. Only a full-fledged purging can do that, letting bankrupt firms fold up, etc. Comment?

Antal Fekete: You have put it beautifully.

Daily Bell: Let’s return to your previous interview with some follow-up questions. Why does gold’s marginal utility decline at a rate lower than that of any other commodity, as you observed last time?

Antal Fekete: It is the result of a long historical process that had started even before writing was invented. As Menger described it in his Origin of Money, people came to be using the most marketable good for exchange purposes, to avoid losses. Like it or hate it, the most marketable good was (and is) gold….”

 

 

The Real Costs of ObamaCare

Government intervention in markets causes prices to rise and makes things more difficult for lower income people to afford things.  Healthcare is no exception to this rule.  Below are actual numbers published by a real US business giving an example of what the effects of the coming social and economic storm known as “ObamaCare” will be.

A US corporation with over 80,000 employees released the following information.  The corporation has a very good reputation with its customers, employees, and with the communities it works in.  The employees receive significant medical, dental insurance coverage for themselves and their families, life and accident insurance coverage, and retirement benefits in addition to their salaries.  Motivation and loyalty among employees is high due not only to their compensation, but their work environment and the respectful way they are treated by their management.

The numbers below reflect the actual experience of this business.  These numbers will be repeated many times once Obama Care begins in earnest in 2014.

  1. Inflation – Unlike the government’s CPI, the real world has to deal with actual price increases.  This company spent about $500 million last year to cover healthcare for their employees.  Their documented expenses have increased between 7% and 10% annually for many years.  Estimated increased costs this year alone will be an additional $40 million – that is before ObamaCare expenses are added in.
  2. The Reinsurance Fee – will add roughly $10 million in added costs for the company’s 160,000 plus covered employees, their families, and retired employees.  It amounts to what the company referred to as “a direct subsidy from our employees to those who participate in <healthcare> exchanges.”
  3. Covering “Children” until Age 26 – added more than 8,000 “children” to their rolls creating a permanent increase in costs of about $14 million annually.  Additionally, these “children” are consuming considerably more health care than other covered children.
  4. The Individual Mandate – This requirement will add another $14 million in costs annually.
  5. Thirty Hour Rule – This Company is not planning to reduce employee hours (at this time).  However, it pointed out that other major companies are planning to reduce work hours.  This amounts to a charge to lower income workers.
  6. Pay or Play Penalties – This business already provides more coverage than what is mandated by ObamaCare.  However, their estimated compliance costs are significant and they view the rules as onerous:
    • The rules, “…unnecessarily impose HR information systems changes that will be costly to build and maintain.”
    • “…employers will not have time to react should final regulations be issued this year.  This puts employers at risk of being assessed penalties in innocent situations…. …and imposes additional costs…”
  7. Cadillac Tax – Employers are reducing or terminating “rich” plan designs in order to ensure they do not have to pay the tax.  Eventually it is not just the “rich” plans designs that will be affected.  The “Cadillac” tax level represents a ceiling on the value of benefits provided by employers.  The level rises each year at the rate of the CPI.  Because actual prices are not reflected by the CPI eventually all plans risk being subject to the Cadillac Tax.  The unintended consequence over time will be that businesses will continuously reduce benefits to employees to avoid this tax.
  8. The Real Cost – For this one company, the costs above combined with normal medical cost inflation, their cost of providing health care to employees will increase by nearly $100,000,000 next year without an increase in benefits for their own employees.

Consumers and Labor Will Pay For Obama Care 

With the increased costs for Obama Care, all businesses will have increased expenses.  There will be less money left for employee benefits, pay, business investments, or job creation.  Consumers will further shoulder the burden of the hidden cost of ObamaCare when they purchase goods and services from companies that have been forced at gunpoint to comply with this law.

The above information was published by that company with the intent it be shared with United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and with the President.  I wonder if either of them will ever see or comprehend these facts.

CONCLUSION

The unintended consequence of ObamaCare will be to even more rapidly increase medical costs than government’s blundering ways already have.  You can forget reduced medical costs for Americans.  ObamaCare, along with all of the other interventions into healthcare will be a financial disaster for patients, families, businesses, employees, and the American economy.

Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers are not slaves.  We cannot force them to provide care and medicine for sick people.  These fellow Americans, working and producing in what we refer to as our healthcare system, are attempting to live their own lives and to support their own families.  They work for wages and compensation.  Wages and prices are only properly set in a freed market.  Any intervention in the process of the market setting prices causes unsustainable distortions in pricing and makes access to those goods more difficult, especially for people with lower incomes.

If you want to see more people get healthcare you are going to have to do something nobody in Washington, D.C. seems willing to do.  You must not be afraid to let freedom win.

 

While Rome Burns, The Debt Continues to Rise

Our so-called “leadership” in Washington, D.C. continues to fake concern for the budget, the defecit, and ObamaCare.  Meanwhile, nobody wants to talk about the two economic elephants in the room – 1. The shameful and deadly national debt, and 2. The ticking economic time bomb of entitlements known as Social Security and Medicare.

Any so-called compromise by our irresponsible central tyrants will add to the already crippling national debt.   The current debt already exceeds 100% of GDP but promises our government has made for future payments will easily increase that debt at least tenfold.  Our interests payments this year alone will be over $400 billion dollars.  That is more than 10% of the non-budget spending taking place this year.  Oh by the way, we are funding those interest payments with – you guessed it – more debt.

The so-called “mandatory” payments to entitlements Social Security and Medicare are soon to exceed spending on all other government expenditures combined.  Remember, these items were not “mandatory” before they were passed.  Just what makes you think they cannot be changed by the whim of our central planners?

Some are demanding a Continuing Resolution (CR) to end the budget “crisis”.  A CR is little more than approval for yet another credit card to be rung up by central rulers who have repeatedly shown their inability to live within realistic limits.  Just who would be dumb enough to hand them another credit card?  Just who would continue to trust these “leaders” to spend our money after the horrific mess they have already created?  The answer to all those questions is “you”.  You will give them another credit card to max out.  You will underwrite their overspending.  You will do it all because you refuse to learn what is really happening with your money in Washington and what really must be done to control the spending of a government that is supposed to be working for you, not the other way around.

Here is the truth about Federal spending.  Even if we completely shut down all Federal operations including Defense, we cannot sustain payments to Social Security and Medicare without radically increasing our national debt.  Just how much of our big spending do we think we can fob off on our grandchildren and great-grandchildren?

It is long past time we had a grown up discussion about money and admitted that we have allowed ourselves to make promises that cannot be kept.  Difficult choices must be made now.  An economic storm is on the near horizon.  Action now might reduce the damage from that coming storm just a little bit.

One more thing we need to grow up and do.  We need to not be so afraid of letting freedom win.

Below are some other sensible perspectives on the issue:

”As President Barack Obama and Congress continue to bicker over passing the federal budget and raising the government’s debt ceiling, a report published by one of the nation’s most credible agencies warns that the U.S. could face economic disaster within 25 years due to excessive government spending.

Obamacare is part of the problem, but so are Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.  The cost of these programs will mushroom as tens of millions of baby boomers reach retirement age.

The report was published on Sept. 17 by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.  Its most optimistic forecast shows the federal debt growing to 100% of annual economic output by 2038, from an ‘already quite high 73%’ today.  That would make the U.S. like France, which in terms of fiscal strength is none too good.

But the CBO implicitly concedes that the outcome is likely to be a lot worse than that, and so it included its ‘alternative fiscal scenario,’ which is far more realistic.  It projects the federal debt will grow to 190% of the nation’s annual economic output by 2038.  That would make us worse than Greece today, which has a 27% unemployment rate and periodic bloody riots over its dreadful economic conditions. ” – by Gene Epstein, Barron’s, September 30, 2013, Cover story

From Investor’s Business Daily:

”Shutdown: The government is shut and the sky hasn’t fallen, just as the sequester didn’t invite Armageddon.  It’s time to realize just how much of government can be permanently furloughed.

‘In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem,’ Ronald Reagan said after taking the oath of office.

He pointed out that ‘we have piled deficit upon deficit, mortgaging our future and our children’s future for the temporary convenience of the present.’

Sound familiar?  And that was in 1981, when the deficit was under $80 billion, not $1 trillion as today; and the national debt was less than $1 trillion, not $17 trillion.

Government — more of it than ever — remains the problem today, more than it ever has.

But it won’t be long before millions of Americans may want to put on the 2013 equivalent of an ‘I survived Y2K’ T-shirt.  The light bulb might go off when they take a stroll on the National Mall in Washington that the government insists is closed, and discover going for a walk can be done without state supervision.”

”We hear of how most federal agencies are being forced to prioritize because of the shutdown.  But shouldn’t they be doing that when the government is open too?

As Reason’s J.D. Tucille writes, during a shutdown ‘the military stays at its posts, the Post Office keeps losing your mail, Social Security and Medicare continue hemorrhaging money.’ What’s more, the real non-governmental world of the equity markets actually gained a goodly amount on day one of closed-down government.

Government is indeed the problem, as Reagan knew.

In the coming days and weeks we will discover we can do without a whole lot of it — a fact worth emphasizing in an era when nothing is certain except debt and taxes.” – IBD Editorials, 101/2013, http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/100113-673339-chicken-little-was-wrong-about-government-shutdown.htm

From Gary Johnson, the most qualified man to run for President in my lifetime:

“A few days ago, I predicted that, when October 1 arrived, President Obama and Congress would make yet another back-room deal to keep the government open while continuing their big-spending ways. I was wrong.

What they did is even worse. They have done NOTHING. They let a costly government pseudo-shutdown happen — inconveniencing Americans from World War II veterans visiting Washington, DC, to millions who simply need to get some information on government websites. Who else in America could get by with such incompetence and neglect without being fired??

…when all is said and done, we will find that this ridiculous political circus will have cost us a great deal of money we don’t have.

…If they are non-essential, why do we have them — especially when facing a $17 trillion debt?

But…whether it is today or next week or whenever, the politicians will somehow get the government doors reopened — and nothing will have changed.”

The games have to end.  And the only way they will end is if we demand it. …STOP playing around and get on with the task of actually shutting down non-essential government programs for good. STOP pretending to care about the deficit and debt while doing NOTHING to reduce them. And STOP funding government programs that are attacking our liberties at every turn, from spying on us to regulating every aspect of our lives to using the tax code as a weapon of force.” – Gary Johnson, Libertarian candidate for U.S. President, 2012

From the greatest political journalist in American history, Garet Garrett:

“War debts and depression debts possess the same character.  All the things needful to conduct a war exist at the time.  So why the fiction of borrowing them from the future?  Why create a debt to represent them?  In the same way, all the things needful to feed and clothe and house the unemployed exist in the present.  Why a fiction of borrowing them from the future?  Why create a debt to represent them?  The reason in both cases is the wish to postpone and avoid payment.  Let others pay.  Let tomorrow pay.  Let the next generation pay.

A war that was charged wholly to its own time, one paid for in full by taxation, would be a very unpopular war.  But it would be a solvent war.  So also with depression.  Every depression hitherto has been paid for at the time.  Such a thing as issuing bonds for relief was almost unknown.  An that is why the recovery, when it came, was always so amazing.  It had no load of debt to drag along’ instead of it a new , unmortgaged future. Now for the first time we are trying to charge a depression to the future, though never before had we been so rich in all the means to pay for it ourselves.” – Garet Garrett, “When Wishes Think,” February 23, 1935

 

 

 

Economic Freedom – Why Isn’t the USA Number 1?

Since 1996 the Cato Institute has published and Economic Freedom of the World Annual Report.  US citizens used to participating in energetic chants of “USA, Number One!” and unchallenged statements such as, “We are the most free country in the world!”,  will be surprised to see  our country not listed as Number 1.  The US based Cato Institute ranked us a little below Number 1

 

The United States as number 18.

 

 

…below Qatar.

 

The report is interesting not only because of its honest assessment of national rankings, but because its data points to direct links between economic freedom and prosperity of the average citizen in each country.  Clearly the data shows that more economic freedom directly improves the lives of millions of people, a point Libertarians have been shouting since 1971.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next month we can expect the most recent Economic Freedom of the World rankings to be published by the Cato Institute.  What do you think?  Consider what decisions we have made over the last year and tell me, will the new report rank the USA Number 1?

Why not?

The world faces the worst economic situation it has ever seen.  Massive debts have been piled up.  Nothing good can come of this.

Massive amounts of regulation, economic intervention, and bureaucratic oversight stand as roadblocks to our basic freedoms of trade, contract, and association.

When the weight of our debts becomes evident to the biggest doubters among us, what will be the cry?  Will it be for more regulation and government control, or for more economic freedom?

The data from the Cato Institute shows that prosperity comes from freedom.

Don’t be afraid to let freedom win.

Burdens of Regulation

“State policymakers should review current and proposed licensure schemes to determine whether they truly serve the public or instead fence out competition.  As millions of Americans struggle to find productive work, one of the quickest ways legislators could help would be to reduce or remove needless licensure burdens.[1]

 “License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing documents the license requirements for 102 low- and moderate-income occupations—such as for barbers, massage therapists and preschool teachers—across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. From this wealth of data, we found that occupational licensing is not only widespread, but also overly burdensome and frequently irrational.[2]

“…Maryland county officials for shutting down an unlicensed lemonade stand and fining the children who operated it $500.  As Jason explained, that kind of tyranny will persist until judges “become more engaged in deciding constitutional cases instead of deferring reflexively to the supposed wisdom of legislators and regulators.”[3]

Whether we are talking about food trucks, lemonade stands, day care providers, interior designers, doctors, barbers, or beauticians, government licensing tells Americans we don’t have enough sense to figure things our for ourselves.  In fact, all government licensing is little more than the few people in the government telling millions of Americans that government knows what is best for us.

Government doesn’t trust us to decide where we get value for our hard earned money.  Instead, government forces free Americans to ask permission to engage in business.  They tell us there is no one outside of government capable of making a logical judgment about what we consume, who we hire, and how we operate our tools, our vehicles, and our business.  Do you actually think the same government that consistently brings us endless traffic jams, poor school performance, a failed economy, massive debt, impenetrable tax codes, war, prisons, and executions is really capable of making the correct choice of a hair stylist for us?

“…cosmetologists need 10 times the training as emergency medical technicians (EMTs), who literally hold lives in their hands. Yet that is what most states require. In fact, 66 occupations face greater average licensing burdens than EMTs.”[4]

Government offers what it calls protection, but what it accomplishes is a violation of our basic rights to freedom of contract, freedom of association, and freedom of trade.  Worse yet, Americans have become used to accepting this faulty logic and to further trusting government despite government’s long track record of cronyism, corruption, tyranny, and failure.

Irrational and overly burdensome licensing laws do not protect public health and safety. They keep some people out of work so those with licenses face fewer competitors and can command higher prices. That is why consumers rarely advocate for licensing laws, but industry insiders do.”[5]

So what is it, do we have freedom of choice or not?

Let’s stop trusting government and stop being so afraid of letting freedom win.

 

MORE ON ECONOMIC LIBERTY

VIDEO

 

 

[1] “License to Work, IJ’s Newest Study Reveals the Burdens of Occupational Licensing”, by Dick Carpenter and Lisa Knepper, Liberty & Law, June 2012, Volume 21, Number 3, http://www.ij.org/l-l-license-to-work-2

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid