Political Pygmies and Mad Hatters
The debate in Washington over this year's budget that threatened another (ho hum) government shutdown is a sterling example of how modern day pundits and politicians have shrunk their vision of political affairs down to the momentary, the picayune, the superficial, and the irrelevant.
Are there any "big picture thinkers" left in the political arena? Any "men of principle?" Sadly, no. Other than Ron Paul and a few maverick colleagues, there are none. Nothing but pygmies pontificating about the crucial business at hand and claiming how courageous their party is behaving in pursuit of justice and a better America.
To say this is an embarrassing charade is understatement indeed. Our government is $14.3 trillion in debt. The 2011 budget is approximately $3.8 trillion. The budget deficit is $1.5 trillion. And our solons in Washington are smugly bragging about their "fiercely negotiated cut of $37.8 billion?" Is it hyperbole to say these minds are obsessed with the momentary, the picayune, the superficial, and the irrelevant? Is it unfair to declare them to be pygmies? I think not.
When all things are considered, the total public and private debt in America is now over $100 trillion. Yet Bernanke and his Fed buddies are injecting credit (i.e., more debt) into the economy like a fire hose injects water into a bathtub. And still our "men of principle" in Congress declare with straight faces that they are stalwartly facing America's problems head on. Sure they are. Like drug addicts and embezzlers face their life's problems.
A Spectacle of Self-Delusion
What is horrifying is that this is not new. This charade-like aura of politics in Washington has been going on for 60 years ever since Dwight Eisenhower captured the GOP from the Robert Taft forces in 1952 and made it into a party of "me-tooers" to FDR's Democrats. What has been taking place in the American political arena for the past six decades is one of the most blatant spectacles of self-delusion in American history. Everyone is in on the charade – the populace, the politicians, the professors, the pundits – everyone makes believe that we have a legitimate Congress fighting for truth and justice, that we have a competitive two-party system where the Democrats wish to expand government while Republicans wish to reduce government. This charade is taught in the schools, pontificated about in the media, and argued about in the barrooms. Democrats versus Republicans. Big government advocates versus small government advocates.
It is disgusting that we as a people have become so delusional. But this is why our leaders in Washington argue over such meaningless trifles as $38 billion cuts in face of $1,500 billion deficits (which is equivalent to erecting a bamboo wall to stave off a Tsunami). Why do our leaders take part so proudly in such ludicrous debates? Because they have to perpetuate the great "two-party myth" that says the American people are being given a genuine choice about how they are to be governed. And we the people continue to buy into it like gullible rubes at a carnival. We have descended into the rabbit hole to join the Mad Hatter. Mountebanks and humbuggery saturate our politics and economics. Up is down, and down is up. Words are now tricks to twist the baneful into the tolerable. Reality is not what it is; it is what we wish it to be.
Not one in a hundred of our intelligentsia carry the cause and effect process of all this sham and destruction back to root causes. The best our mainstream media pundits can do is talk about how things started getting out of hand in the Greenspan nineties or the Reaganite eighties. Pygmies, all of them! Their sense of history extends only to a few decades, or at best the length of their own lives. Yet the nefarious destruction descending upon our country had its beginning in 1913. That was the year that brought us the Federal Reserve and the income tax, which brought us the false boom times of the 1920s, which brought us the necessity to extinguish the inflationary fires with the Great Deflation of the 1930s, which brought us FDR's welfare-state. This twenty-five year period, 1913-1938, was the fateful turn in American history. Prior to this period, statism was "alien and horrid" to Americans. By the period's end, statism was "needed and progressive." From this momentous era, we embarked upon a journey of social, economic, and political insanity that plunges us deeper into desolation with each passing decade.
Cataclysmic collapse looms ahead, and there is no chance whatsoever that the American ship of state can be righted. We crossed the Rubicon in 1971 when Richard Nixon began the great fraud of irredeemable currency creation that John Maynard Keynes had conned our intelligentsia into believing was somehow wealth. The productive booms and easily correctible recessions of a laissez-faire market became the dangerous booms and ever more devastating recessions of the corporate state.
America is now deep into the death spiral of Rome. The only thing left to fight for is the establishment of some means to inform the American people about the coming cataclysm and what we must do to avert a World-Government as a result of its devastation – some means that can circumvent the tyrannical lock that collectivists have established over our schools, churches, media, and political parties.
Telling the Truth to the People
It is this writer's contention that there is only one means left for us to bring about such a mass educational undertaking. And that is to establish a third political party beachhead that can gain entrance into the National TV Presidential Debates where it can then tell the truth about "1913 and the fateful turn" to 70 million voters during the monstrous crash that is coming – where it can tell the truth about how progressive tax rates and Fed monetary inflation have given government the power to grow exponentially in our lives.
Republicans will not, and cannot, tell the truth to American voters. Why? Because our corrupt progressive tax system in America allows 50% of American voters to get their government services FREE. This creates what is called in economic jargon, "infinite demand for government services." Republicans realize this. They know full well that if they don't cross the aisle and offer more government spending every year like the Democrats do, they will not be reelected to power. They know they must feed the voters' "infinite demand." Thus they go along to get along, and the gargantuan state grows more hideous every decade.
This is why all conventional activists – who insist on "remaining within the GOP" and trying to reform it – continue every decade to fail. The evil of our present political system cannot be ended by attempting to change Republican behavior. It can only be ended by changing the tax and monetary systems formed in 1913 that lie at the root of the contemptible "vote buying" in which our politicians partake. But this can only be done from without – from a third political party that is not tied to perpetuating the system.
The Tea Party activists who denounce all third-party efforts and insist that we must work within the GOP have no sense of history. If they did, they would realize that their strategy of taking over the Republican Party by sending more conservative Republicans to Congress is not new. It has been advocated routinely by scores of activist groups ever since the days of Eisenhower. And it has failed repeatedly because all new conservative Republicans we send to Washington merely get bought off as fast as we send them because of the "infinite demand for government services" that comes from our corrupt tax and monetary systems. Until these two systems are radically reformed, Washington will continue to be a charade. Throwing the rascals out only results in new rascals taking their place.
What we suffer from today is a deadly, rotting deceptiveness that permeates all levels of our society from lofty scholars and mega-moguls down to cab drivers and ditch diggers. What we suffer from is the eternal human vice of trying to get more out of life than we are willing to put in, which we have politicized via the two institutions of 1913, the Federal Reserve and the progressive income tax.
There is only one solution to the death spiral we are now caught up in. We must get a freedom candidate into the National TV Presidential Debates who can explain to 70 million voters in dramatic fashion how and why the devastation of our country has come about and what must be done to genuinely heal the economy so that such a devastation can never plague us again in the future. The schools, the churches, the media, and our two major parties will not talk of this. They are controlled by the collectivists.
If we fail to establish a third-party beachhead that can tell the American people about why we must climb out of the coming crash in the direction of Thomas Jefferson and Federalism instead of George Soros and World-Government, then we will have nothing to guide us in the midst of the collapse and its chaos but future John Boehners and Harry Reids. Nothing but more self-delusion. Nothing but more "pygmies and mad hatters" dressed up in political garb spinning out fairy tales to a populace sanctioning its own enslavement.
Trekking the Same Path
If America loses her national sovereignty during the 21st century and succumbs to a tyrannical world government, a large part of the reason will be because today's "activists and Washington watchers" (who pride themselves so on their political acumen) did nothing more than mouth the same old platitudes in vogue since the days of Eisenhower. It will be because our activists continued to trek like mules down the same path that all the others unthinkingly trekked before them in putting forth their policies and strategies. It will be because they became enamored with establishment rituals and forgot about the need to attack root causes. Instead they built bamboo walls and prosaic political action committees to playact at being movers and shakers. They marched into battle armed with nothing more than Tea Party bromides about "sending more conservatives to Congress."
The collectivist Gargantua gobbled them up as it has gobbled up all political activists who preach that working within our two major parties is the only way to stop the tyrannical growth of government.
The solution to the coming cataclysm is summed up in this must-see 12-minute video: Why a Third Party Is Necessary and How it Can Win.
Posted by Wayne on 04/23/11 09:09 PM
"I guess it would be too impolite to suggest to the IRS that, instead of paying tax on the so-called gain in the CHF, we get a deduction for the losses in the dollar?'
But then, what would be the purpose of creating losses in the dollar? After all, this is the greatest tax scam ever created. Remember all the money spent in getting politicians elected? Well, it's nothing compared to the money they steal!
Empires are expensive, and always require the theft of more money!
Posted by bionic mosquito on 04/23/11 12:22 AM
I guess it would be too impolite to suggest to the IRS that, instead of paying tax on the so-called gain in the CHF, we get a deduction for the losses in the dollar?
Posted by jasper on 04/22/11 06:04 PM
I have expressed to friends and family my pessimistic realization that the country is doomed because of the percentage of people and businesses who get some form of goodie/handout/subsidy from the STATE has reached a tipping point. I have a hard time visualizing those "moochers" all voluntarily saying, hey, I could continue to receive this subsidy, but for the good of the country, I henceforth renounce it.
That is why I am encouraged by the soundness of Mr Hultberg's proposal, it has a chance of working. I wish everyone who is knocking the idea will slow down and think it through, and think beyond their own circumstance and personal prejudices. To quote a great artist and songwriter, Sia, who has a line that says "we play victim with such conviction" It's from the album "We Are Born" for anyone interested. Those of you who are accusing Mr Hultberg of being anti middle class are only revealing some insecurity or prejudice within yourselves. This is not a time to "go victim" to our petty concerns, not if we are going to turn this thing around. It's time for a little tough love, not pandering to every whim of every different person.
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 04/21/11 11:47 PM
looses. Should have been "looses" against the CHF. 10 years of hunt and peck typing have done me no good at all...
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 04/21/11 11:40 PM
@ The Bug
"Allow for fully competitive currencies (to include monetary metals of gold and silver as currencies), with no tax consequences for holding one vs. another; in other words, no income tax consequence for currency gains (or losses)."
I'll second that. The idea of taxing "gains" on precious metals and foreign currencies is really strange. The Fed debases the dollar, it loses against the CHF (or whatever), two years later I exchange it for dollars and I pay a *tax* on the "gain"? How weird is that?
Posted by Bionic Mosquito on 04/21/11 10:26 PM
While I believe the US is beyond the hope of any political solution, and still standing behind my comments throughout this thread, I would like to come back to something posted earlier:
Huh on 4/21/2011 12:23:46 PM
"No disrespect, but have you heard of competition in currencies a la Hayek? About Ron Paul's recent efforts? Abolishing legal tender laws?"
I think if Mr. Hultberg would consider a modification to his platform regarding the Fed: Keep the Fed, set whatever target you like. But remove legal tender laws. Allow for fully competitive currencies (to include monetary metals of gold and silver as currencies), with no tax consequences for holding one vs. another; in other words, no income tax consequence for currency gains (or losses).
Let the Fed compete with gold, silver, Swissies, Yen, Euros, whatever. Level the playing field. Of course, the Treasury can demand taxes in whatever form it chooses, presumably this would remain USD/FRN.
In addition to my suggestion about getting a front man / spokesperson, let's call this my contribution (cheer leading for Huh's idea) to Mr. Hultberg's cause.
Posted by Catevala on 04/21/11 09:19 PM
Nelson does have a "talent" for antagonizing certain people without really trying. One can juxtapose Nelson Hultberg and say Ed Griffin. Now Ed has a "talent" for saying many of the same things as Nelson but without antagonizing people. We all have different gifts.
I would suggest that Nelson find a good "front-man" who is a People-Person. But working behind-the-scenes, so to speak, he has done some very fine work in analyzing our current situation. I think that his 4 pillars are possibly workable. At least he has a plan of action, whereas I get the feeling regularly, that some people are content to nod their heads in agreement over the things that are discussed on these pages, and then go back to doing nothing, except waiting for the Apocalypse, at which point they can self-satisfyingly say, "I told you all so".
Oops! now I am showing my stripes! I am almost as good as Nelson at antagonizing people myself! LOL. Anyway, I agree with Nelson in principle but suggest he get a P.R. man!
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 04/21/11 09:00 PM
"You might be surprised to know that there are some, not many, but some"
I have met them and they are us :)
We need to find meaningful productive jobs just like everyone else and our problem is regulation. All we really need to do is allow ourselves to work. The town planner's assistant secretary finds a job with the local architect, who's suddenly overwhelmed with business because the county "no growth" policy has been revised to allow re-construction. The county health inspector needs to open a restaurant.
We can really do this. It won't be that hard.
Posted by Bluebird on 04/21/11 01:40 PM
I would say it is impossible to win votes by treating people like they are something nasty you just scraped off the bottom of your shoe. I did not create this mess. I am looking for solutions. We file taxes because it is the law. I do not choose whether I pay 10 arms and a leg or receive it. I just obey the law.
I am not part of any group, other than Christian and a Daily Bell addict. I am registered Independent and I vote the lesser of two evils. I have NEVER voted myself any entitlements and I would guess that there are millions who could say the same. We are the ones looking for something to save this country. I will still be looking, crybaby that I am. I have not found it in this hateful man.
Reply from The Daily Bell
OK, let's calm down. Mr. Hultberg is on the same side as most Daily Bell readers, it would seem. He simply has a different approach and a less radical methodology. But let us not eat our own ...
Posted by Adam on 04/21/11 12:54 PM
So now YOU'RE going to infiltrate the mafia?
Ron Paul Part 4: Infiltrating the Mafia...
Click to view link
Posted by WorkingClass on 04/21/11 12:48 PM
You can't even make the case that income tax payers in general pay a larger percentage of their income in taxes than non income tax payers. I will gladly give up progressive taxes if you will give up regressive taxes.
Click to view link
Posted by Huh on 04/21/11 12:23 PM
"The approach of radical libertarians who preach that the Fed and the income tax must be instantly abolished [blah blah]"
No disrespect, but have you heard of competition in currencies a la Hayek? About Ron Paul's recent efforts? Abolishing legal tender laws?
Posted by Damon West on 04/21/11 11:45 AM
Why such hostility towards libertarians? Can you cite specific examples of "libertarian crybabies and apparatchiks" that don't want to tell the truth for fear of ruffling feathers? About whom are you talking?
Again, I think nobody on this website, or others of like mind not here, holds a candle for the Lib Party. As far as I can tell, none of us libertarians (or whatever label it is) support income taxes in any way whatsoever. Where do you get this belief that libertarians love progressive incmoe taxes?
Your anger towards people on this site who, as a small minority of people who actually give a damn, are truly trying to understand complex/opaque world events as well as promote a world-view of non-aggression, is very misdirected. "Real" libertarians of the anarcho-capitalist variety are indeed the eventual solution, however long it may take, not some new and improved flavor of conservatives on the oh-so-tired left-right spectrum.
And I don't care if you win 100% of the vote in the 2012 election, the impending economic collapse is already baked in the cake. Call me a pessimist but $100 trillion is still a lot of money these days.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Yes, many of our elves are anarcho-capitalists theoretically but it is possible to support Mr. Hultberg, too, as he is trying something practical.
We would certainly point out that if one is building a political party it is better to engage those who might support the party rather than to confront them too severely. Many libertarians might support this venture if it explained in terms of practicality over ideological purity.
Thus persuasion might be seen as paramount, Mr. Hultberg!
Posted by Bionic Mosquito on 04/21/11 11:44 AM
Thank you for your continuing participation. If nothing else, I will say it was enlightening. If you hope to succeed in your efforts, I will suggest you find a front person who is better able at building the coalition necessary toward your aims.
You might be quite skilled at many things, as DB has suggested. However attracting 38% given your demeanor is certainly a road less traveled. Given your sense of urgency and hope for success, I will suggest it would be a significant burden to overcome. I will bet it is impossible.
You criticize Rothbard, and ridicule those who have learned from him. In 100 years we will still know his name, and he will still have influence, even greater than he has today. You can surmise by my silence regarding my view of your political party lasting that long.
Posted by Nelson Hultberg on 04/21/11 11:21 AM
When more than 50% of the nation (both rich and poor) do not pay anything toward the $1.4 trillion dollars of services that come from the income tax revenues taken in by the Federal Government, that means they are getting something FREE, no matter what other taxes they pay. That means they are getting a special privilege. This is not a difficult concept to understand. Junior high school students grasp it. I do not hate the working poor. I hate all classes who try and get something for nothing. I'm sorry, but you appear to be the one who is blinded. Read my article. I talk about ALL classes being in on this charade and corruption. But what's the use. I ask for something that can never be -- objectivity from a libertarian apparatchik.
Posted by WorkingClass on 04/21/11 11:09 AM
Either we have equal rights in this country, or we do not.
We do not. The rich have many privileges that the poor do not enjoy. For instance, money buys justice and health care. It's not just about goods and services. I remember an interviewer asking Ralph Nader if he "ever worried about the rich". "No I don't" he said. "The rich are doing fine".
Mr. Mosquito is correct. I am here seeking common ground. I often defend Libertarianism to lefties at Firedog Lake. They are often as ridged and closed minded as their counterparts on the right. Meanwhile, the Fascist Police state extends its reach and tightens its grip. I think all Americans who value democracy and the rule of law should unite to throw off the Fascists. When that is done we can settle our left right differences through honest elections.
Posted by Bryan on 04/21/11 10:48 AM
let it crash. incrementalism will prohibit fundamental change.
Posted by Bionic Mosquito on 04/21/11 10:45 AM
"Progressive tax rates destroy equal rights."
You get no argument from me. See my comment above to DB. I can live with a flat tax, if we are to have to suffer the invasion of privacy that comes with income tax.
However, social security taxes and sales taxes, to note a couple of examples used in this thread, are not progressive, but regressive. Social Security taxes end at $107K or some such income level. The tax rate is over 12% from the first dollar of earnings, no exemptions.
Sales taxes, for the basics of life, are also regressive. That the wealthy voluntarily buy expensive toys does not change this.
Posted by WorkingClass on 04/21/11 10:43 AM
@ Bionic Mosquito
Gee. Thanks Mr. Mosquito.
If I didn't pay any taxes at all I would be getting government services for free. But since I am paying state and local taxes I am not getting government services for free. This is not a difficult concept. I don't know you sir but it is possible that you are blinded by your hatred of the working poor. My apologies if I have misjudged you.
Posted by Nelson Hultberg on 04/21/11 10:28 AM
To Bionic Mosquito:
The important issue is the progressive tax rates that have skewed our country and allowed 50% of the populace to receive "special privileges." You cannot have "equality of rights under the law" if you are going to allow privileges to be conveyed by the government to anyone, rich or poor, white or black, old or young. This is what is killing us – a tax system that conveys privileges to rich and poor alike.
You can wander around in semantic briar patches all you want about this or that amount of dollars, and whether or not FICA taxes do this or that. But this is just evasion of the real issue. Either we have equal rights in this country, or we do not. Progressive tax rates destroy equal rights. Until libertarians get this through their heads, they will continue to be part of the problem, not the solution.
This is the issue that we must be concerned with -- equality of rights under the law. If a few libertarian activists get their feathers ruffled because I have pointed out this salient principle of America, then that is the price of truth and liberty. Libertarian activists have turned into such a bunch of crybabies. My goodness. We mustn't tell the truth. Someone might get their feelings hurt.
I am not attacking just the "working class." I am attacking the desire of all classes to try and get more out of life than they are willing to put in, which they do via the progressive income tax and the Federal Reserve. Read my article and my comments afterward. I talk about ALL classes.