Archive for the ‘taxes’ Category

The Correlation Between Wealth Inequality and Money Creation

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

See any correlation between the “Actual Distribution of Wealth in America” (second set of graphs) in the above video and the graph below? The red line is the number of “dollars” aka federal reserve notes (including digits) that have been created since 1925.

FRN's

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered…I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies… The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

Thomas Jefferson

The banks create the money.

They loan it only to those who will bring in the most, i.e., the corporations.

The lawyers and politicians follow the “money.”

The rest of us are left out in the cold.

Until we get hungry enough.

Then we tear them apart with our bare teeth.

The system collapses and some bright guys aka “founders” decide:

“[No State shall] make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts;“

See the little blue line on the chart of dollars? It is the amount of gold in circulation since 1925. Fairly stable huh? While a hard money system would not do away with a few at the top and a few at the bottom it would provide all of us with a more reasonable equal opportunity.

Tax Feeding Parasites

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

There are somewhere around 44 million tax feeding parasites. Federal employees, state employees, military, law enforcement, contractors, insurance companies, teachers, friends, relatives, close relatives, wives, husbands, sons and daughters. One in every five adult American is a parasite.

I was a parasite once, by force. I was drafted in 1971. Was a parasite for 2 years. Got out!

It is not easy to look at your relatives and realize they “make a living off of other peoples taxes.” They make a living because another parasite is willing to extract money by force from the hard labor of the host.

Reminds me of a song. (1:43 “Makes his living off of other peoples taxes.”)

Bankster Power and Why It Must End!

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

United States House of Representatives, Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy & Technology, May 8, 2012

Although it has taken nearly a century, it seems that the entire spectrum of the American political establishment has finally realized the destructive power of the Federal Reserve System. Whether left, right, or libertarian, politicians are lining up to attack Ben Bernanke and the Fed’s destructive monetary policy. Where there is disagreement or lack of understanding, however, is on why the Fed’s monetary policy is destructive, how it harms the economy, and what should be done about it. Today’s hearing will examine the various proposals that have been put forth both to mend and to end the Fed. It is my hope that this hearing will spur a vigorous and long-lasting discussion about the Fed’s problems, a discussion which will lead to concrete actions once and for all to rein in the Fed.

Much confusion exists over what the Federal Reserve System actually is. Some people claim that is a secret cabal of elite bankers, while others claim that it is part of the federal government. In reality it is a bit of both. The Federal Reserve Board is a government agency, while the Federal Reserve Banks are privately-run government-chartered institutions, and monetary policy decisions are made by the Federal Open Market Committee, which has members from both the Board and the Reserve Banks.

The Federal Reserve System is the epitome of crony capitalism. It exemplifies the collusion between big government and big business to profit at the expense of the taxpayers. The Fed’s bailout of large banks during the financial crisis propped up poorly-run corporations that should have gone under, giving them an advantage that no other business in the United States would have received. The bailouts continue today, as banks maintain $1.5 trillion worth of excess reserves at the Fed, reserves which were created through the Fed’s purchase of worthless securities from banks. The trillions of dollars that the Fed has injected into the system have the goal of forcing down interest rates. But the Fed fails to realize that interest rates are a price, the price of money and credit, and that forcing interest rates down will only create an even bigger bubble and an enormous economic depression when this entire house of cards comes falling down.

The Federal Reserve is statutorily required to focus on three aims when engaged in monetary policy: full employment, stables prices, and moderate long-term interest rates. In practice, only the first two have received any attention, the so-called “dual mandate.” Some reformers have called for the full employment mandate to be repealed, in order to allow the Fed to focus solely on stable prices. But these critics ignore the fact that stable prices are not a desirable goal. After all, with increasing productivity and technological innovation, the natural trend for most goods is for prices to decrease. By calling for the prices of goods to remain stable, the Fed would have to inflate the money supply in order to counteract this trend towards price declines, pumping new money into the system and creating economic distortions. This is exactly what happened during the 1920s, as the Fed’s monetary pumping was masked by rising productivity. The result was stable prices, but the malinvestment caused by the Fed’s loose monetary policy became evident by 1929. There is no reason to expect that focusing on stable prices today would have a dissimilar outcome.

Other reformers have called for changes to the composition of the Federal Open Market Committee, the body which sets the Fed’s monetary policy objectives. On Constitutional grounds, the FOMC is undoubtedly problematic, as government appointees and the heads of the private Federal Reserve Banks work together to set monetary policy objectives that directly impact the strength of the dollar. While all of the members of the FOMC ought to be confirmed by the Senate, debates about the size of the FOMC or whether Reserve Bank Presidents should make up a majority of the members or whether they should even serve at all are largely a sideshow. While the only dissent to monetary policy decisions in recent years has come from Reserve Bank Presidents, there is no reason to think that expanding the FOMC to include more Reserve Bank Presidents would lead to any greater dissent or to any substantive changes to the conduct of monetary policy.

Another proposal for reform is for outright nationalization of the Fed or its functions. No longer would the Fed create money; that function would be taken up by the Treasury, issuing as much money as it sees fit. No longer would the Treasury issue debt to cover fiscal deficits, it would just issue new money to cover budget shortfalls. If what the Fed does now is bad, allowing the Treasury to print and issue money at will would be even worse. These types of proposals hearken back to the days of the first greenbacks, which the U.S. government began issuing in 1863. A pure fiat paper currency, unbacked by silver or gold, the greenbacks were widely reviled. Only once the greenbacks were made redeemable in gold were they accepted by the American people. The current system of Federal Reserve Notes is even worse than the greenback era in that there is no hope that they will ever be redeemable for gold or silver. The only limiting factor is that the Federal Reserve System only creates new money when purchasing assets, normally debt securities. Allowing the federal government to print money without at least a nominal check on the amount issued would inevitably lead to a Weimar-like hyperinflation.

So what then is the solution? The Fed maintains that a paper standard can be adequately managed without causing malinvestment, inflation, or other economic distortions. If the Fed were omniscient and knew the wishes, desires, and future actions of all Americans, this might be possible. But the Fed cannot possibly aggregate or act on the information necessary to engage in monetary policy. The actions of hundreds of millions of individuals, all seeking to better their position in life, acting purposefully towards that aim, cannot possibly be compiled into aggregates or calculated through mathematical equations or econometric models. Neither a single person, nor the members and staff of the FOMC, nor millions of people with millions of computers working in a new Goskomtsen will ever be able to accumulate, analyze, and act upon the information required to create a centrally planned monetary system. Centrally planned fiat paper standards such as the one currently in place in this country are doomed to failure.

This brings us to the question of the gold standard. The era of the classical gold standard was undoubtedly one of the greatest eras in human history. For a period of several decades in the late 19th century, largely uninterrupted by war, the West made enormous advances. Economic productivity increased, art and culture flourished, and living standards rose so that even the poorest citizens lived a life their forebears could have only dreamed of.

But the problem with the gold standard is that it was run by the government, which exercised a monopoly over monetary affairs. The temptation to suspend gold redemption, so often resorted to by governments throughout history, reared its head again with the outbreak of World War I. Once the tie to gold was severed and fiscal restraint thrown to the wind, undoing the damage would have required great fiscal austerity on the part of governments. Emancipated from the shackles of the gold standard, the Western world proceeded to set up a gold-exchange standard which lasted not even a decade before the easy money policies it enabled led to the Great Depression. While returning to the gold standard would certainly be far better than maintaining the current fiat paper system, as long as the government retains the power to go off gold we may end up repeating the same mistakes that occurred from 1934 to 1971 as the government went first off the gold coin standard and finally off the gold bullion exchange standard.

The only viable solution for monetary stability is to get government out of the money business permanently. The way to bring this about is through currency competition: allowing parallel currencies to circulate without any one currency receiving any special recognition or favor from the government. Fiat paper monetary standards throughout history have always collapsed due to their inflationary nature, and our current fiat paper standard will be no different. The Federal Reserve is currently sowing the seeds of its own destruction through its loose and reckless monetary policy. The day of reckoning may still be many years in the future, but given the lack of understanding on the part of the Federal Reserve’s decision makers, it is quickly coming upon us.

It is imperative that the American people be educated on the dangers of the Fed and the importance of restoring sound money. Now that nearly 50 years have elapsed since silver was removed from circulation, fewer and fewer Americans have firsthand familiarity with real money. The laying of the groundwork must begin today, so that the American people will be prepared for the day when the mirage the Fed has created evaporates completely.

Ron Paul

Ron Paul’s Greatest Interview?

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Why Paying Taxes is Immoral

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

And the Christians think their so-called God is ordering them to pay! Disgusting isn’t it?

“Ron Paul 2012 – Repent or Be Destroyed! America, This is Your Last Warning” – God

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Tricked on the Fourth of July

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Tricked on the Fourth of July

by Gary North

I do not celebrate the fourth of July. This goes back to a term paper I wrote in graduate school. It was on colonial taxation in the British North American colonies in 1775. Not counting local taxation, I discovered that the total burden of British imperial taxation was about 1% of national income. It may have been as high as 2.5% in the southern colonies.

In 2008, Alvin Rabushka’s book of almost 1,000 pages appeared: Taxation in Colonial America (Princeton University Press). In a review published in the Business History Review, the reviewer summarizes the book’s findings.

Rabushka’s most original and impressive contribution is his measurement of tax rates and tax burdens. However, his estimate of comparative trans-Atlantic tax burdens may be a bit of moving target. At one point, he concludes that, in the period from 1764 to 1775, “the nearly two million white colonists in America paid on the order of about 1 percent of the annual taxes levied on the roughly 8.5 million residents of Britain, or one twenty-fifth, in per capita terms, not taking into account the higher average income and consumption in the colonies” (p. 729). Later, he writes that, on the eve of the Revolution, “British tax burdens were ten or more times heavier than those in the colonies” (p. 867). Other scholars may want to refine his estimates, based on other archival sources, different treatment of technical issues such as the adjustment of intercolonial and trans-Atlantic comparisons for exchange rates, or new estimates of comparative income and wealth. Nonetheless, no one is likely to challenge his most important finding: the huge tax gap between the American periphery and the core of the British Empire.

The colonists had a sweet deal in 1775. Great Britain was the second freest nation on earth. Switzerland was probably the most free nation, but I would be hard-pressed to identify any other nation in 1775 that was ahead of Great Britain. And in Great Britain’s Empire, the colonists were by far the freest.

I will say it, loud and clear: the freest society on earth in 1775 was British North America, with the exception of the slave system. Anyone who was not a slave had incomparable freedom.

Jefferson wrote these words in the Declaration of Independence:

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

I can think of no more misleading political assessment uttered by any leader in the history of the United States. No words having such great impact historically in this nation were less true. No political bogeymen invoked by any political sect as “the liar of the century” ever said anything as verifiably false as these words.

The Continental Congress declared independence on July 2, 1776. Some members signed the Declaration on July 4. The public in general believed the leaders at the Continental Congress. They did not understand what they were about to give up. They could not see what price in blood and treasure and debt they would soon pay. And they did not foresee the tax burden in the new nation after 1783.

In an article on taxation in that era, Rabushka gets to the point.

Historians have written that taxes in the new American nation rose and remained considerably higher, perhaps three times higher, than they were under British rule. More money was required for national defense than previously needed to defend the frontier from Indians and the French, and the new nation faced other expenses.

So, as a result of the American Revolution, the tax burden tripled.

The debt burden soared as soon as the Revolution began. Monetary inflation wiped out the currency system. Price controls in 1777 produced the debacle of Valley Forge. Percy Greaves, a disciple of Ludwig von Mises and for 17 years an attendee at his seminar, wrote this in 1972.

Our Continental Congress first authorized the printing of Continental notes in 1775. The Congress was warned against printing more and more of them. In a 1776 pamphlet, Pelatiah Webster, America’s first economist, told his fellow men that Continental currency might soon become worthless unless something was done to curb the further printing and issuance of this paper money.

The people and the Congress refused to listen to his wise advice. With more and more paper money in circulation, consumers kept bidding up prices. Pork rose from 4¢ to 8¢ a pound. Beef soared from about 4¢ to 100 a pound. As one historian tells us, “By November, 1777, commodity prices were 480% above the prewar average.”

The situation became so bad in Pennsylvania that the people and legislature of this state decided to try “a period of price control, limited to domestic commodities essential for the use of the army.” It was thought that this would reduce the cost of feeding and supplying our Continental Army. It was expected to reduce the burden of war.

The prices of uncontrolled, imported goods then went sky high, and it was almost impossible to buy any of the domestic commodities needed for the Army. The controls were quite arbitrary. Many farmers refused to sell their goods at the prescribed prices. Few would take the paper Continentals. Some, with large families to feed and clothe, sold their farm products stealthily to the British in return for gold. For it was only with gold that they could buy the necessities of life which they could not produce for themselves.

On December 5, 1777, the Army’s Quartermaster-General, refusing to pay more than the government-set prices, issued a statement from his Reading, Pennsylvania headquarters saying, “If the farmers do not like the prices allowed them for this produce let them choose men of more learning and understanding the next election.”

This was the winter of Valley Forge, the very nadir of American history. On December 23, 1777, George Washington wrote to the President of the Congress, “that, notwithstanding it is a standing order, and often repeated, that the troops shall always have two days’ provisions by them, that they might be ready at any sudden call; yet an opportunity has scarcely ever offered, of taking an advantage of the enemy, that has not been either totally obstructed, or greatly impeded, on this account…. we have no less than two thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight men now in camp unfit for duty, because they are barefoot and otherwise naked…. I am now convinced beyond a doubt, that, unless some great and capital change suddenly takes place, this army must inevitably be reduced to one or other of these three things: starve, dissolve, or disperse in order to obtain subsistence in the best manner they can.”

Only after the price control law was repealed in 1778 could the army buy goods again. But the hyperinflation of the continentals and state-issued currencies replaced the pre-Revolution system of silver currency: Spanish pieces of eight.

The proponents of independence invoked British tyranny in North America. There was no British tyranny, and surely not in North America.

In 1872, Frederick Engels wrote an article, “On Authority.” He criticized anarchists, whom he called anti-authoritarians. His description of the authoritarian character of all armed revolutions should remind us of the costs of revolution.

A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon – authoritarian means, if such there be at all; and if the victorious party does not want to have fought in vain, it must maintain this rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionists.

After the American Revolution, 46,000 American loyalists fled to Canada. They were not willing to swear allegiance to the new colonial governments. The retained their loyalty to the nation that had delivered to them the greatest liberty on earth. They had not committed treason.

The revolutionaries are not remembered as treasonous. John Harrington told us why sometime around 1600. “Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”

The victors write the history books.

What would libertarians – even conservatives – give today in order to return to an era in which the central government extracted 1% of the nation’s wealth? Where there was no income tax?

Would they describe such a society as tyrannical?

That the largest signature on the Declaration of Independence was signed by the richest smuggler in North America was no coincidence. He was hopping mad. Parliament in 1773 had cut the tax on tea imported by the British East India Company, so the cost of British tea went lower than the smugglers’ cost on non-British tea. This had cost Hancock a pretty penny. The Tea Party had stopped the unloading of the tea by throwing privately owned tea off a privately owned ship – a ship in competition with Hancock’s ships. The Boston Tea Party was in fact a well-organized protest against lower prices stemming from lower taxes.

So, once again, I shall not celebrate the fourth of July.

Dennis Kucinich – May 31, 2011

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Beware, Citizen! Here Are Ron Paul’s 15 Most ‘Extreme’ Positions

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Canadian tax time spoof

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Open season on taxpayers

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

What will they tax next?

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011