Archive from February, 2010
28 Feb
2010
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THE LIFE AND DEATH OF THE US DOLLAR

“Pearls are not valuable because men dive for them…
men dive for them because pearls are valuable.”

-Joseph Salerno

It’s pretty scary to think that the United States dollar is not backed by gold, silver or anything precious or valuable. The only reason we accept its value is because enough people believe it to be worth something. This is fiat currency, a legal tender where the power and the value of the dollar is determined by the central bank that prints it.

There is an inherent flaw with fiat currencies though. If the central bank prints dollars too rapidly, we face hyperinflation, where all perceived value of the dollar is lost. Let’s face it, Mickey Mantle rookie cards would not be nearly worth as much if millions more were discovered tomorrow. The same is true for dollars. With every extra dollar a central bank prints, the dollar in your pocket becomes less valuable because it becomes less scarce. Within the last century we have seen the value of the dollar fall 95%.

Some have even speculated that the dollar is worth less than the latest Hanson CD.
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It hasn’t always been this way. Our Founding Fathers knew the flaws of a centralized banking system. Throughout history empires have fallen because of loose monetary policies brought on by central banks. The Roman Empire fell because they constantly debased their coins to pay for an over-extended military and expensive social programs.

To prevent this from happening, the Founders decided to use gold and silver pieces to trade, instead of a central bank note. This would help deter banks from running a fractional reserve system. Fractional reserve banking, or FRB, for short, has been around for centuries. Banks loan out more money then the gold they have in their vaults. When there is a fiat money regime, if banks do not have enough money to cover a customer’s withdrawal, the central bank has the ability to just print up more notes to cover the difference. This happens all too often now. If we stuck to the Founder’s system, gold and silver pieces would be inflation proof and counterfeit proof.

Through the Constitution and the Coinage Act of 1792, the Founders set up a system where they defined dollars to be gold and silver coins, and allowed only Congress the power to coin money. Only these minted coins would be deemed “lawful money,” meaning that promissory notes or demand notes (today’s version of dollars) were unlawful.

The US government was able to keep to these standards for at least a little while, even during two 10 year reigns of central banks. But in order to finance the Civil War, Lincoln reeled in coins and replaced them with the infamous greenbacks. The value of the dollar plummeted and it wasn’t until after the war, when the government began to reissue coins, that the buying power of the dollar increased.

SIDE NOTE:
In order for paper money to have value, it must be a legally binding document or contract. That’s what all the writing and funky signatures on bills are for. But when looking at a bill you should pay close attention to the wording of it.

Between the Civil War and 1914, there were several versions of paper money with several different agreements, but when the Federal Reserve Bank, a “private” central bank, opened its doors in 1914 they began printing money with this contract on it:

“This note is receivable by all National Banks and Federal Reserve Banks for taxes and public dues. It is redeemable in gold on demand at the treasury department in Washington or in gold coin or lawful money at any Federal Reserve Bank.”

If a note can be redeemed for lawful money, then it is not lawful money. It is a loan, a promissory note, an IOU. It is a contract that gives the Federal Reserve the full power to inflate the dollar, and does not guarantee any set amount of gold in return.

Today’s dollars have been further revised to not allow the exchange of notes for gold.

Today’s dollars have been further revised to not allow the exchange of notes to lawful money.

LET THE PRINTING PRESSES BEGIN

By the 1920s Fractional Reserve Banking was in full effect. Banks, backed by Federal Reserve notes, loaned out too much money, creating a financial bubble that would soon burst and result in many bank failures. (Sound familiar?) To stimulate the shrinking economy, FDR sent the printing presses into overdrive and confiscated all of the circulating gold coins. He believed that people were “hoarding” gold and delaying economic recovery. Under Executive Order 6102, it became illegal for citizens to have any gold coin, bullion or certificate. The seized gold which would be exchanged for dollars became the infamous gold housed in the Federal Reserve vaults.

At the time of the exchange the dollar was pegged at $21/ounce of gold. But because FDR, used the Federal Reserve to print new money to exchange for the gold, he devalued the dollar driving the price of gold up to $35 per ounce. Ironically, in the name of preventing “hoarding” the American public was duped into taking money that was 40% less valuable then the gold they had originally had.

Complete control of the gold supply was now in the hands of the Federal Reserve, exactly what our Founding Fathers were trying to avoid. World war and depression raged on throughout the globe and, in order to provide a foundation for global recovery, a conference was held in Bretton Woods, NH in 1944 by all 44 major allied powers. At the conference it was recognized that the US represented half of the global economy, and it would be for the world’s best interest to make the US dollar the global reserve currency to make trade easier between nations. This was great for the United States, because in order to trade, all countries had to buy dollars at its $35 per ounce rate, resulting in a US economic boom. But there was nothing in the Bretton Woods agreement that stopped the Federal Reserve from issuing more Federal Reserve Notes.

In only a few decades, countries began to question how we were possibly able to finance our unending overseas wars. In order to fund the Vietnam War, the US ran huge budget deficits and started flooding the economy with paper dollars. The French, under President Charles de Gaulle, became suspicious that the United States could not back the money supply with gold, and began trading in their surplus of dollars for gold.

In 1971, the United States Treasury’s gold stocks began to decline at an alarming rate and, in order to save our reserves, Nixon declared a force majeure, unilaterally breaking us from the Bretton Woods agreement. He had officially closed the gold window, and would no longer allow anyone to redeem their dollars for gold. We were now completely severed from the gold system. Without gold backing our dollar, there was no limit to how many Federal Reserve notes could be printed.

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It took our country 300 hundred years, from the first pilgrim until 1973, to generate the first trillion dollars of money stock. The most recent trillion dollars was generated in the past four and a half months. Before our dollar completely crashes, we need to put an end to our out of control spending. We need to take back control of our dollar, and put it back in the hands of the United States citizens. And, above all else, we need to put an end to the Federal Reserve.

There is hope. The rules that were outlined in the Constitution still stand. There has been no amendment to repeal them. The Coinage Act is held in a state of suspension by laws that are both unconstitutional and illegal. We have ended central banks in the past and we can do it again. New currency can be phased in as the Federal Note is phased out. The introduction of the euro is proof of it. But unlike the euro, which is also a fiat currency, we would develop a new currency backed by gold, silver or any other precious commodity. We would allow this new currency to compete with the dollar on the free market and as people saw the prices in dollars inflate they would invest more in the new stable currency until eventually the dollar would be phased out.

Right now there is a bill, HR 1207, in Congress to audit the Fed. Contact your representatives and make sure that they are supporting this bill. This is the first step to change we can actually believe in.

EDITOR’S NOTE:
Please note that although gold coins deterred FRB, it did not stop it. Banks have been legally privileged to loan out “checkbook” money, which is literally created by the bookkeeper’s pen. It is the legal reserve ratio that determines this privilege, not the kind of money used. What sound money does is make it very hard to evade the consequences of fractional reserve banking – bank runs and bankruptcy for unscrupulous banks.

For more from this author go to:
Defeat Nita Lowey or The Eagle View

26 Feb
2010
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NYSYR Leadership Conference & Spring Board Meeting

Title: NYSYR Leadership Conference & Spring Board Meeting
Location: Hampton Inn, Albany NY
Link out: Click here
Description: NYSYR Leadership Conference & Spring Board Meeting
March 12th – March 14th 2010
Contacts:
Lynn Krogh: 917–922–4194 Chris Dziedzic: 607–723–5815

Hotel Info:
The Leadership Conference and Spring Board Meeting will be held at the Hampton Inn. They have granted us a special rate of $99 / night. The special rate is available by calling 518-396-3500 and asking for the “Young Republicans” rate. Reservations at the special rate need to be made by February 27th, 2010. http://www.hamptoninn.com/en/hp/hotels/index.jhtml?ctyhocn=ALBHSHX

Schedule:
Friday March 12th
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Tastes of Albany: Welcoming reception

Saturday, March 13th
8:30 am – 9:00 am Executive Board Meeting at the Hampton Inn
9:00 am – 11:00 am General Board Meeting & Brunch at the Hampton Inn

Speakers Include:
TBD
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm NYSYR 2010 Grassroots Campaign School
“Fundraising Towards Victory in 2010” Presentation
Presenter:
Jason Weingartner, Finance Director, NY Republican State Committee
Topics covered will include among other topics: fundraising from events, fundraising by personal solicitation, fundraising through direct mail, and fundraising through e-campaign strategies
“New Media Solutions for Victory in 2010” Panel
Participants:
Andrew Abdel-Malik, Co-Founder Gotham Management Group
Rob Willington, Rebuild the Party
“Deciphering Roberts Rules in 2010”

Participants:
Daniel Tierney, Parliamentarian, Young Republican National Federation
Edward Lass, Parliamentarian, NYSYR
“Sitting YR Elected Officials” Panel

Participants:
TBD

And More…
7:00PM Annual Teddy Roosevelt Dinner
Assemblyman Marc Molinaro will accept our Assemblyman of the Year Award.
INCLUDED IN REGISTRATION!]
9:00 pm – ? Night out on the Town
Sunday, March 14th
11:00 am – 4:00 pm Day to Tour Albany

Start Date: 2010-03-12
End Date: 2010-03-14

25 Feb
2010
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Celebrating Black History Month ,02/24 at WNRC, “The State of Black America”

As the director Mrs. Patti Page said,”its purpose is to present current issues on a non-partisan stance.”

Mr. Will Brown was there( Manhattan Republican Coalition) with much accolades to the young men of the Harlem Eagle Academy and , of course, the “Young Marines” who helped with the pledge of allegiance as it was accompanied by the voice of a lovely songstress

It was encouraging to see Martin Chicon is running for the United States Senate braving the majority of democrats and asking ‘ What are the common issues between the Republicans and Democrats? (if any).” He was accepted.

As a middle of road conservative or centrist it was encouraging to know that the Democrats were advocating
that sometimes you can’t vote all “D” in the voting booth but
a balance of both “Republicans” and “Democrats”.

The issues at hand were the raising of young black boys in single parent homes, education, mentoring for these young black boys, cooperative economics in the black community which is a congregate $89 Billion, education especially in reading at third grade and math and science competitiveness in upper grades( America qualifies 32 globally),the breakdown of the nuclear family,career shadowing by youth of their parents or mentor. and the fact that 70 percent of NYC inmates come from seven different neighborhoods or zipcodes.

The panelists agreed there is still hope for the young African-American men but it requires a long time investment.

A member of the Fugees R&B/Hip Hop band was there on the panel and he is a Yale University graduate. He was applauded for his well spokenness although still trying to protect the image of the record label industry.

Hey, people are people and contrawise there are some good conservative Democrats.

Alas, a man of the cloth, Rev.Falkner will running as a Republican candidate for Congress and he is a centrist.

24 Feb
2010
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Declaration of Tea Party Independence

Declaration of Tea Party Independence

(Posted by David Russell. Written by the Tea Party movement.)

 I. As the course of human events winds its way through History, it has found some paths lead to Tyranny and some to Liberty. In seeking a path to Liberty, a great and powerful movement is now rising from every corner of our land. Created by the Will of the American People, it rejects unconstitutional domination by the Government that is supposed to be its servant. This movement has arisen, in large part, because our elected officials have failed us.

For much of its history the United States has been a land of prosperity and liberty, sound policies such as fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and a belief in the free market have safeguarded this condition. In recent years however, Congress, the President, the Federal Reserve Board and the Courts have replaced those practices with profligate government spending and expansion of the government power beyond what is
constitutionally permissible.

This course, if not reversed, can only lead to economic collapse and tyranny.

Therefore, Individuals acting through the Tea Party Movement, seek to restore the policies, which are proven to safeguard liberty and prosperity for all. We will organize, demonstrate and vote until this restoration has been achieved. We will stay focused on this goal and remain INDEPENDENT from any persons or political parties who seek to distract us from this end.

Many seek to define this Movement, to use it, to lead it, to co-opt it, to channel it, to control it, to defeat it.

WE WILL NOT LET THIS HAPPEN.

The Tea Party Movement is in agreement with our Founders that the government that governs least governs best. We believe that Capitalism – NOT GOVERNMENT – is essential to the creation of wealth and a vastly reduced government provides the foundation for a thriving Capitalist system.

The Tea Party Movement of America embraces and serves people of all races, creeds, religions, and political affiliations, and we declare ourselves to be independent of all those forces that seek to manipulate our actions or control our destiny.

II. We Declare ourselves INDEPENDENT of the Democrat Party and its power drunk junta in Washington DC, which is currently seeking to impose a Socialist agenda on our Republic.

We reject arrogant Left-wing politicians who furtively hide from public scrutiny, as they cut corrupt deals loaded with earmarks and pork in order to produce 2000 page pieces of legislation so purposely incomprehensible, they do not even bother to read them before foisting them upon us.

We reject the endless creation of myriad federal government agencies that drown free enterprise and local control in the swarms of education, energy, ecology, and commerce bureaucrats who style themselves “czars” sent to harass us. We reject the creation of federal govern­ment regulations and agencies which demand the States pay for unfunded Federal mandates.

We reject a Democrat Party which refuses to give credence to our demands for just redress of grievances and which insults and seeks to demonize our legal right to peacefully protest the unjust laws it inflicts upon us.

We reject a profligate Government that is spending TRILLIONS of dollars on worthless socialist schemes designed to bankrupt us and put the American people in a position of dependence on the State, as peasants begging for their very sustenance from self-styled “educated classes” and so-called “experts”.

We reject a foreign policy which bows and scrapes and apologizes before the world for America.

We reject an Attorney General of the United States who offers succor and rights to vicious terrorist murderers and seeks to protect them with a mock civilian trial when such enemy combatants, captured on the field of battle, should be tried in secure military courts.

We reject the claims of an un-elected Federal Judiciary to violate the separation of powers by demanding its decisions be enforced by the other coequal branches of government, regardless of how unconstitutional the other branches of government may think those decisions are.

We reject all acts that ignore or diminish the 2nd and 10th Amendments to the US Constitution and we seek to have all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution to be reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

III. We Declare ourselves INDEPENDENT of the Republican Party, which has in the past manipulated its Conservative Base to win election after election and which then betrays everything that Base fought for and believed.

We reject the idea that the electoral goals of the Republican Party are identical to the goals of the Tea Party Movement or that this Movement is an adjunct to the Republican Party.

We reject the Republican Party professionals who now seek to use the Tea Party Movement for their corrupt and narrow political purposes.

We acknowledge that standing on our principles does not mean throwing out our common sense; we will NOT abandon our principles in the name of a nonexistent bipartisanship or a misguided devotion to an illusion of “pragmatism”, which disguises a desire to betray us in its name.

We reject the scare tactics of the Republican Party, which seeks to herd us into voting for candidates who supposedly represent the “lesser of two evils” in the name of fealty to the principle of small government and then having to suffer such candidates as they betray that principle.  We are not well served by parasites whose livelihoods depend on the very State whose power to reward or sanction we elected them to limit and proscribe.

We insist that the Tea Party Movement does NOT consider the election of Republicans in and of itself to be necessarily beneficial to our goals.

We demand the Republican Party understand that we reject its attempts to co-opt us.

WE WILL WORK AGAINST THEM when they oppose our views by trying to force Repub­licans In Name Only (RINO) on us. When Republicans are in accord with their Conservative Base as well as the Independent voters who align with it, IT WINS; when they are NOT in accord with the Conservative Base and the Independent voters who align with it, IT LOSES.

We reject RINO money; we reject RINO “advice”; we reject RINO “professional experi­ence”; we reject RINO “progressivism”; we reject RINO support of Big Government; we reject RINO back room deal making; we reject RINO pork spending; we reject false RINO profes­sions of Conservative views and we reject the RINO’s statist subversion of the principles of small government for which the Republican Party is supposed to stand.

Republican Party attempts to ignore the will of the Base, as it did in 1976, 1992, 1996, 2006 and 2008, resulted in disaster; when it embraces the will of the Base, as it did in 1980, 1984 and 1994, it wins historic victories.

We demand the Republican Party recognize that while the Tea Party Movement cannot guarantee their aid will help them win elections, it is very likely WE CAN MAKE THEM LOSE if they are disdainful of our goals.

IV. We Declare ourselves INDEPENDENT of the Media, which has proved itself to be anything BUT a fair and balanced enterprise and which focuses more on entertainment, fear mongering and shock value than investigation and unbiased fact.

We reject the fiction that an unbiased media still exists; there is friendly media and there is unfriendly ENE-media. The Tea Party Movement refuses to give false credence to the self-aggrandizing, self-deluding lie that ANY PART of the Fourth Estate is free of the self-serving agendas of those who own them.

V. We Declare ourselves INDEPENDENT of self-styled “leaders” who claim to speak for the Tea Party Movement. This movement is not a brand name to be used to sell product; nor is it a logo to be used to justify profiting off its name.

We reject those who seek to personally capitalize on our popularity and momentum by trying to asso­ciate with our cause.

We reject the idea that the Tea Party Movement is “led” by anyone other than the millions of average citizens who make it up. The Tea Party Movement understands that as a Free People, we need to SAVE OURSELVES, BY OURSELVES, FOR OURSELVES.

The Tea Party Movement is not “led.” The Tea Party Movement LEADS.

VI. We are united in our common belief in Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets. This threefold purpose is the source of our unity in the Tea Party Movement.

We reject the idea that the Tea Party Movement must all be unanimous in our specific policy views in order to win.  We recognize that the current situation requires we come together in confederation to achieve the MANY MUTUAL GOALS we all seek to accomplish.

We recognize that the current situation requires that we concentrate on the many things we have in common rather than those few things about which we may disagree.

We are the Tea Party Movement of America and we believe in American Exceptionalism.

We believe that American Exceptionalism is found in its devotion to the cause of Liberty.

We believe that Liberty is based in rational self-interest, in freedom of thought, in free markets, free association, free speech, a free press and the ability granted us under the Constitu­tion TO DIRECT OUR OWN AFFAIRS FREE OF THE DICTATES OF AN EVER EXPAND­ING FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHICH IS AS VORACIOUS IN ITS DESIRE FOR POW­ER AS IT IS INCOMPETENT AND DANGEROUS IN ITS EXERCISE.

We believe that either fate or history has chosen this Country to be a beacon of freedom and prosperity to the whole world because of America’s belief in and vigorous defense of political and economic Liberty. The United States has been the instrument of Liberty against the many tyrannies that have threatened the people of this world.

The Tea Party Movement rejects the idea that America has to apologize to a far guiltier world that has been largely unappreciative of the sacrifices made on their behalf by the brave and noble members of our Armed Forces, whose sacrifice and patriotic service in our defense makes all else possible.

The Tea Party Movement rejects the imposition of “transformational change” performed on our Nation by smug elites who call themselves the “educated class”.

The Tea Party Movement understands that our Nation is NOT the same thing as our government and that America is much more than simply a militarily and economically powerful State.

The Tea Party Movement sees America as something exceptional, as something unique, as something that came into existence to fulfill the hope of all previous generations that longed for freedom.

It came into existence because it is more than simply a country with land and population and riches and armaments. America came into existence because LIBERTY is an eternal con­cept in the mind of both God AND Man.

The United States of America came into existence because Mankind needs freedom the same way it needs food and air and property and security and love.

And what is freedom other than the RIGHT to be free of the tyranny of Government and the elitist, self-styled aristocrats who seek to run it at our expense and to our detriment?

The Tea Party Movement will fight this danger to our Liberty as long as its members have breath in their bodies.

When America didn’t exist men and women were compelled to invent it, BECAUSE MANKIND CANNOT EXIST WITHOUT FREEDOM AND STILL BE FULLY HUMAN.

To this goal we mutually pledge to each other, as our Founding Fathers did over two centuries ago, our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

21 Feb
2010
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The sanctity of contracts

I heard again today of the whole wall street bonus mess and most everybody arguing that CEOs, etc should not be given the massive monetary bonuses promised in their contracts.  My take on this has been the same from day one: employees are entitled to whatever is promised in their contracts. If the employer feels the employee has done poor quality work, then there should be simple and guaranteed measures that can be taken to terminate the employees or not renew their contract again. As someone who works under a contract I certainly do not want any third parties, especially representatives from the federal government or political parties,  putting in their two cents about whether the contract negotiated between me and my employer is fair, excessive, or inappropriate.  Giving any third party a say or worse the power to invalidate contracts sets a dangerous precedent, and I’m surprised that is not realized by more people. ..or doesn’t seem that way.

17 Feb
2010
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Back to self-rule?

Tired of acrimony in politics?  Would you like a government that functions without constant partisan attack; government where good ideas are not derailed by special interests, where elected officials seem out of touch with the citizens?  Judging by Congressional approval ratings, most Americans are more than fed up.

Horrendous numbers for Congress are nothing new.  As far back as Real Clear Politics’ polling goes, Congress has a negative spread.  The transition from Republican to Democrat majorities has done nothing to help the perception of this once venerable institution.

President Obama, post-partisan in campaign rhetoric only, fairs better with a razor thin positive spread of 1.9%.  But bear in mind that he was elected with great fanfare; and in him many people, on the left and right, had pinned their hopes for a courteous and constructive future political.  His overreaching statist ambitions for cap and trade and healthcare, as well as equity-takeover of American banks, de facto control over the nation’s largest insurer, and increased regulations on credit card lending lifted the (in my opinion, naive, possibly delusional) veil of bipartisan rhetoric.  The arrogant government reach from Congress and the Executive branch, after Bush had already bailed out the insolvent banks, Fannie and Freddie, and used TARP funds to lend to the car companies, spawned the “Don’t tread on me!” Tea Party movement.  The president and Congress are severely weakened, and face the choice of compromise or complete dissolution of the Democratic party as we know it.

It is clear that our government at all levels is not working for, but actively against, the interests of the people.  Too concerned with tomorrow’s election results, they prefer not to notice the impending fiscal crisis: a result of their profligate spending, borrowing, and inflating.  Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker summed it up well on a recent CNN interview (approximately 1/4 down the page).  Asked by host Fareed Zakaria: ” … can the world’s greatest power be the world’s greatest borrower?” said Volcker: “I hate to give you this answer, but the crisis I most worry about is the crisis in governance.”  He added, “this is more dysfunctional than I’ve seen it.”

When Democracy works, it does so by limiting its sphere of governance; in other words, it remains within its constitutional adumbration.  Once the elected officials lose all sense of constraint due to hubris, stunning ignorance, or disdain for their fractious constituents whom they deem unsophisticated, Democracy in devolves into mob rule accompanied by the self-serving  flattery of pomp and circumstance. The language of liberty is cheaply used to provide cover for politicians who abuse their elected power and carve out more and more of the private sector for special interests.  What was once noble self-governance becomes the means for ever-more competitive lawful plunder.  Instead of serving the general welfare, roughly defined by our Constitutional, officials run a racket of political favors for their most influential constituents. Volcker’s comments suggests that he senses our Republic being blown off course by these dangerous political winds.

Americans, in spite of all our technology and cultural insularity, are still people, flesh and blood.  Recognizing that human nature is unchanging, it would do us well to recall the storied falls of past Democracies and Republics.  Although not taught in public schools, Athens, the archetype of majority politics, tarnished democracy’s name for centuries after its desperate citizens continually approved more and more grotesque tactics during the Peloponnesian War, including genocide.  (I should say here, explicitly, that I am not implying the American populace or military is anything like the Athenians.  The point is to exemplify the extremes that democracies can be driven to in times of desperation; the tyranny of the majority is not necessarily any less baleful than the tyranny of a Caligula.)  The waning years of the Roman Senate were marked by character assassination and physical assassination, intermittent despotic rule in the city of Rome, and dispossession of private property.  It was this degenerate behavior by the political class that softened up a proud, self-governing people for the rule of Caesar.  These are meant as warnings, not to illustrate an American fait d’accompli.

Which brings us to present-day America… The Obama administration and the Democratic Congressional majority have been shaken deeply by gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey, and most recently the election of Republican Scott Brown to the Senate, taking the seat of the “liberal lion” Ted Kennedy.  Obama’s home state of Illinois, a Democratic stronghold, is flirting likewise with political rebellion.  These defeats have taken their tole on the confidence of the ruling majority, and given hope to millions of disaffected Americans.

In what amounts to the first positive economic development from this administration the Obama has pledged $8.3 billion pledge of funding for nuclear power.  Now ideally, Congress would let the private sector handle the production of power.  But present attitudes and prejudices being what they are, this is as good as it gets.  If the administration is serious about this project and does not hinder progress by attempting to pacify the Greens, it may be the first step in the right direction for revitalizing American industry and subsequently our economy.  A vibrant nuclear power industry would cut capital energy expenditures, attract manufacturing, and make the American worker comparatively cheaper (less $ to energy bills means more available to “human capital,” i.e. labor).

Being familiar with his radical/socialist background, I have many doubts Obama will meaningfully move to the center.  Still, if he is serious about nuclear energy, and does not use it as a bargaining chip for nationalizing healthcare, it will be a salubrious sign for a government-weary people.

10 Feb
2010
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Thought for a wintery day

While the Obama administration is attempting to outlaw scarcity, tamp down the alleged rising ocean levels, and convince loathsome murderous terrorists that it’s a big misunderstanding…

Can he at least have the decency to ban winter with the stroke of his mighty pen, and help out the eastern seaboard?

8 Feb
2010
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Focus Targeting, Save Country

The mainstream media do not know what to make of the “Tea Partiers.”  Occasionally the participants are given a modicum of respectability, but overwhelmingly they are casually (and caustically) dismissed as merely “White” and “Angry;” the not-so subtle implication being that they’re unsophisticated racists looking for a reason to “riot” against a half-black president.  Whereas before the media seemed to think the movement was destined to fizzle out due to its spontaneity and an enthusiasm they deemed artificial (think “astroturf”), for the most part they now examine it as if it is a culture in a petri dish, and needs significant studying before it can be diagnosed.  The mainstream media’s attitude is somewhere between contemptuous and dispassionate, but consummately dehumanizing: Stay Away! and Observe and Critique.

The GOP establishment, meanwhile, is deeply conflicted: it  is hesitant to engage the vocal hoards for fear of their, at times, overblown rhetoric, but recognizes its vote attracting potential.  Yes – the Tea Partiers’ signs decrying Obama as a “Socialist” and (somewhat rarer) a “Fascist” contain truth on an intellectual level.  Anybody who has taken the time to study the roots and methods of these ideological movements will admit this, particularly regarding Obama’s economic centralization.  Honest scholars would agree.  Still, the GOP recognizes that most citizens have absolutely no idea what Socialist and Fascist actually mean in an historical context, and simply view the language of the Partiers’ as inflammatory effrontery: end of story.  Aligning themselves with people who appear to be downright rude isn’t necessarily good politics.

Complicating matters further is that the GOP as it exists today is terrified of such language because it is applicable to both parties.  Therefore, to align with the movement is to agree to limit their own power; given its recent history, GOP supporters are not unfairly cynical about the party’s commitment to truly limited government (Bush expanded Medicare coverage to prescription drugs, remember).

Still, the Tea Party is aimed at legislative actions being passed today, and being that the incumbent party in both the Oval Office and the Capitol Building is Democrat, the Tea Party possesses and undeniable lure for Republicans.

For what it’s worth, the present writer views the movement as one of real and justified anger.  The energy behind the movement is genuine moral outrage at the institution of government overstepping its necessary role of adjudicator of disputes and protector of individual rights.  All political revolutions that tilt towards liberty begin with the anger that stems from being told what to do.  In the case of the Tea Party, it’s not the arrogance of a single monarch but the Madisonian tyranny of the majority.  This anger is as much American as the anger Jefferson immortalized when he penned the Declaration of Independence.

Now, let’s take a turn from ideal-driven armed revolution and enter the realm of conventional politics.  Only kooks call for secession today.  Concrete action need not be this incendiary.

The GOP should engage the Tea Party on two relatively easy but crucial targets: Cap and Trade and so-called healthcare “reform.”  On the first, completely stop all attempts to impose any carbon tax, any cap on emissions, or further regulations in the energy sector.  Expand drilling for oil and mining for coal, lift the nuclear moratorium.  This will dramatically increase America’s output and drastically reduce the cost of doing business in America.

Healthcare reform should be all toward decentralizing.  Make absolutely no compromises with the badly damaged Obama and the Democrat Congress.  Stymie all efforts to create a universal coverage scheme.  Cut red tape, and privatize as much of the entitlement programs as necessary.  This can be done by refusing to remit the moral high ground to the statists.  Free-market healthcare provides more for all, and does not force government to pick who lives and dies.  It ceaselessly improves by innovation, and is the true progressive system, despite the rhetoric of the Democrats.

I humbly submit that these two goals would not only greatly serve your fellow citizens, but also be tremendously popular and relatively easy to achieve.  The GOP can make the most of the energy of the Tea Party, and the Tea Party can claim to have rescued America from the clutches of controlling government guardianship.  If this partnership is successful, the GOP can then begin to build the coalition necessary to role back the various statist programs that have plagued America since the New Deal.

5 Feb
2010
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More Job Cuts, Less Unemployment?

Next time you feel compelled to speak out for better funding of state educational institutions, remember that when conducting addition in Gov’t Mathematics, 1+1 = 0.5

From Fox Business:

The U.S. economy lost 20,000 jobs in the month of January, the Labor Department said Friday, but the nation’s unemployment rate fell to 9.7%. Stock futures reacted positively to the news.

The drop in the unemployment rate was surprising — economists were looking for an unemployment rate of 10.1% — but was related to fewer Americans actively looking for a job. The amount of “discouraged” job seekers, or Americans not actively looking for a job because they don’t believe work exists, rose to 1.1 million in January compared with 734,000 a year ago. [emphasis added]

Americans continue to lose jobs, while the so-called recovery is tepid, at best.  Curiously, government reporting is such that although more people are unemployed, once those people reach of a point of sufficient discouragement and totally give up looking, they are no longer officially unemployed.  Hence, the impossible scenario of the nation experiencing more job losses and simultaneously a lower percentage unemployed.  Instead, those who give up are wafted into a pool of  “discouraged” workers, separate and distinct from the unemployed.  This is a convenient way to mask what is, in reality, an economy advancing toward more serious decay.

Obama has been in office for a full year.  TARP has “saved” the banks, and “stimulus” has had its affect “saving or creating” jobs.  Really?  The current malaise is the result of TARP and stimulus – slashed interest rates, a continuing a policy of easy money, “stimulating” failed businesses and industries, and a refusal to allow a market correction to take place.  Additionally, in the last year, Congress has  raised the Federal minimum wage, further interfering with the necessary corrections in the labor market.  Taken as a whole, this unprecedented intervention is aggravating the price adjustment process of labor, interest rates, and commodity prices.

Trade – i.e. interpersonal exchange of economic goods – is the fundamental action behind all economic development.  It is through trade that civilization realizes the gains made possible by the division of labor.  Trade happens when there is a meeting of the minds; when two (or more) independent parties both agree that exchange is mutually beneficial.  When the costs to both parties are expressed in money, we call them “prices.”

Regardless of what anybody else tells you, be it President Obama or Chairman Bernanke, price fixing in any form necessarily leads to less economic activity, and I’ll prove it to you right now.

Imagine you and I are bargaining in a simple world where you are the monopolist of widgets, and I the monopolist of doodads.  We each desire some variety in life, and would like to trade.  Through a process of negotiation, we agree to exchange 3 widgets for 5 doodads.  But there is a third party, government, which decides (arbitrarily) that in fact widgets and doodads are equal in value, and must be exchanged on a 1:1 basis.  Government illegalizes trade at any other ratio.  Now, three things are possible:  1) We renegotiate our deal on a 1:1 ratio, if such an arrangement is permissible by both parties.  2) We cancel our deal, because the government terms are unacceptable to one or both of us.  3) We evade the law, creating a black market.  Note that government has done absolutely nothing to encourage trade, but only served to detract from the potential gains.

This is a simple scenario, but its essential truth remains valid across similarly simple and very complex scenarios played out for all 300 million Americans.  Price controls, taxes, and regulation necessarily curtail trade.

A government that insists on artificially raising or lowering prices creates a relative paucity of trade compared to one that refuses, out of good sense, to interfere.  Government intervention designed specifically to set prices during a depression – e.g. lowering interest rates, raising home prices and nominal wages, or say, attempting to “contain” the costs of medical care – is actually accomplishing the exact opposite of “rescuing” the economy.  Imagine a lifeguard, who having just rescued a drowning swimmer, decides that the man coughing up water on the sandy shore needs a drink, opens his mouth, and commences a second deluge.

Furthermore, by bailing out State governments, the administration has only delayed the necessary contractions that must be realized with state budgets, resulting in what will likely be sporadic bankruptcies in State capitals around the country.

Taking cues from the policy playbooks of Hoover and FDR is one way to trigger a Second Great Depression.

4 Feb
2010
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Note to Commerce Secretary: $ are used to buy exports

President Obama pledged to double American exports over the next 5 years in his SOTU address last week.  Some details are emerging on this plan:

From Marketwatch:

The commerce secretary said the White House would not focus on one sector at the expense of others. Doubling exports is “an aggregate goal,” he said.

“We’re not focusing on any one particular area. There is a great demand for high quality products and services around the world and we just need to really put a lot more effort in matching that need that desire that demand for great products and services supplied by U.S. companies,” Locke said.

Locke said the new initiative has three prongs: a more robust trade promotion strategy, expanded access to credit, and rigorous enforcement of international trade laws.

In a question and answer session, Locke would not be drawn into a discussion of the value of the dollar.

“Our goals are without any regard to the currency issues,” Locke said.

Mr. Locke: Your goals are not only inherently tied in with currency issues, but DEPENDENT ON THEM.

Fellow citizens, even if you think it’s a good idea to arbitrarily double exports – I see no way this can be accomplished by government planning, nor do I understand why this is a priority – a commerce secretary that speaks such inanities really shouldn’t make  you feel confident in your government.

From later in the story:

Kevin Gallagher, a professor of international relations at Boston University said it would take “some magic” for a doubling of exports to occur under Locke’s plan.

And if exports do double in the next 5 years, we can be pretty sure that it will be not a result of Locke’s plan, but currency debauchment.  Stunning, what comes out of this White House; telling, that they feel it’s permissible to speak in incoherent sentences.