Nelson Hultberg on the Power of the Market, 3rd-Party Success and His New Book
The editors of The Daily Bell are pleased to publish an interview with the distinguished libertarian-conservative thinker and free-market activist, Nelson Hultberg.
Introduction: Mr. Hultberg is a freelance writer in Dallas, Texas and the Executive Director of Americans for a Free Republic. His articles have appeared in such publications as The Dallas Morning News, Insight, The Freeman, Liberty, and The Social Critic, as well as numerous Internet sites. He is the author of Why We Must Abolish The Income Tax And The IRS (1997) and Breaking the Demopublican Monopoly (2004). He has just written a new book titled, The Conservative Revolution: Why We Must Form a Third Political Party to Win It.
Daily Bell: Thanks for sitting down with us. You have a new book, and exciting news – and we'll discuss that in a minute. But let's jump right in. Is there a kind of Anglo-American power elite driving us toward socialism in the West?
Nelson Hultberg: Yes, there are very powerful corporate, banking, and bureaucratic elites in England, Europe, and America driving the West toward collectivism. But very few understand the root cause of this drive, which must be exposed if we are to successfully confront it.
Daily Bell: What is the root cause?
Nelson Hultberg: The cause of the elites' perfidy lies in ideology. It stems from many decades of ideological corruption in our colleges and universities stretching back over the past 200 years. The power elites who have formed into globalist organizations such as the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations are not motivated solely by greed and power lust as many on the right believe. These power elites have been indoctrinated with false philosophical, political and economic theories that have their origin in the works of influential collectivist thinkers such as Jean Jacques Rousseau and his idea of the General Will as the rightful ruler of society, Auguste Comte and his preaching of altruism as man's highest moral purpose, Karl Marx and his idea of dialectical materialism as the motive power of history, and John Maynard Keynes and his doctrine of monetary inflation as the only means to run a modern economy.
The overwhelming majority of academics throughout the West have been greatly influenced by such false theories (which has led them to conclude that laissez-faire capitalism and gold money are "chaotic and unworkable"). These academics have in turn taught the best and brightest of each generation this erroneous conception of history and economics, especially over the past 100 years.
These best and brightest of students then go out and climb the political-economic ladders to positions of power in society. They become corporate moguls, mega-bankers, book publishers, movie producers, powerful lawyers, politicians, and writers, etc. They also form and build organizations such as the Trilateral Commission and the CFR. In their zeal for order and armed with their flawed political-economic views, they become driven to centralize all people and all nations under one rule. This is basic human nature. Smart, ambitious men and women will always attempt to further what they have been taught as the "ideal." Our scholars have taught these power elites of the West that one-world collectivism is the ideal, and that capitalism is an evil, exploitative system that must be phased out along with the idea of national sovereignty. Our scholars have turned the moral, philosophical, political, and economic views that built the West upside down. So it is not just greed and power lust that lie behind the power elites drive for a socialist one-world government. These power elites believe that they are building an ideal.
Daily Bell: Will this thrust toward globalization continue or subside?
Nelson Hultberg: It will definitely continue unless America wakes up in time. Both America and England have long-standing and strongly developed "individualist" political traditions, while the rest of the world has "collectivist" political traditions. But England's traditional foundation has suffered far more damage than America's this past century, so the primary hope for a cessation of the collectivist / globalist thrust must spring from America. It is here that we have the strongest chance to sway public opinion sufficiently enough to restore a society of freedom and rebuild the concept of national sovereignty so as to act again as the ideal that the Founders envisioned. If America's Constitutional system could be revived, the drive toward world collectivism could be stopped through the power of example. Freedom works! Thus we must restore America's original laissez-faire model to become a shining light of example again.
Daily Bell: Do you believe in free-banking and private fiat money? Why not let the market decide?
Nelson Hultberg: Yes, I believe free-banking is the ideal that we should work for. Let the market decide what our money should be, and it will always choose gold and silver. Financial power would then be diffused out among thousands of individual entrepreneurial banks instead of its present centralization into the Federal Reserve government cartel. As I pointed out in a recent Daily Bell essay, the case for free-banking is misunderstood by many in the freedom movement because they have been taught a false concept of 19th century monetary history.
Ron Paul and Lewis Lehrman have written an excellent analysis of this issue in The Case for Gold. Also Antal Fekete's series of essays, "Monetary Economics 101" and "Money and Credit," explains essential requisites about credit that must accompany a free-market monetary system. See also Kurt Schuler, "The World History of Free Banking," Chapter 2, in Kevin Dowd (ed.) The Experience of Free Banking, pp 7-47.
What precise role the government should have in maintaining the monetary system is subject to widely divergent views among those in the freedom movement. But I think we all can agree that the Federal Reserve is a dangerous institution, and at the very least must be denied the power to arbitrarily expand the money supply.
Daily Bell: What do you think of Sarah Palin and the conservative movement?
Nelson Hultberg: I think Sarah Palin is too conventional of a conservative to save America. She's a very charismatic, lightning rod personality and certainly not the dummy that the media tries to portray her as. But America needs "libertarian" conservatism if it is to be saved, and from what I've observed of Palin, she is not very libertarian in her political espousals. Nor is she very strong on stopping the flow of immigrants across our borders. Moreover, she is caught up in the neo-conservative approach to foreign policy matters, which is hegemonic and obsessed with spreading democracy to primitive cultures via the butt ends of our rifles. This is bankrupting us both morally and financially. Of course, Palin may alter her views and move toward a mind-our-own-business foreign policy. She may also become bolder on the immigration issue. We at AFR have no trouble with her support of traditional values. The Conservative American Party shares them.
The conservative movement, as originally conceived by National Review in the 1950s, has basically self-destructed. As I point out in my book, it contained the seeds for its own destruction because it embraced Keynesian fiat money and progressive taxation and tried to accommodate the Welfare State. What is desperately needed in America today is the restoration of the Jeffersonian / Burkean blend of libertarian-conservatism that built our nation during the first 125 years up through World War I. The first step must be to stop the growth of the Leviathan, which can only be done by implementation of the "Two Pillars" of tax and monetary reform put forth by the Conservative American Party. Conventional conservatives like George Will, Newt Gingrich, and Wall Street Journal apparatchiks are incapable of doing this. They long ago made a Faustian pact with the mega-state and neo-cons such as Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz in order to gain celebrity and power. They sold out the principles of freedom. Thus true American conservatives must dump them and the Republican Party that they have built.
Daily Bell: We think the conservative movement is flawed by excessive support of the Anglo-American military empire. Agree, disagree?
Nelson Hultberg: I agree wholeheartedly. We at AFR are Ron Paul / Pat Buchanan conservatives. The Conservative American Party wishes to merge the "constitutional" conservatism of Ron Paul and the "cultural" conservatism of Pat Buchanan, i.e., the Jeffersonian / Burkean tradition. As you know, both Paul and Buchanan vehemently oppose the aggressive seeking of hegemony via our military in the Mideast and throughout the world. The battle for America is between the forces of freedom and statism. Far too many conservatives have caved in to statism over the past 40 years in order to revel in power and celebrity. This we hope the Conservative American Party can rectify.
Daily Bell: Why not build a third-party around Ron Paul?
Nelson Hultberg: Congressman Paul would be a great candidate to build around. The only problem is that he has rejected all attempts to get him to run as a third-party candidate. He prefers to remain a Republican. He now has a formidable power base in Washington and is catered to by the media. He no doubt feels that he can affect policy best this way with his recent national recognition gained through his 2008 campaign.
We at AFR, however, feel he could better impact the political battle running a third-party campaign. With his popularity and money-raising prowess, he could make it into the national TV election debates if he ran on the "Two Pillars Strategy." This would be so much bigger than his appearances in the Republican primary debates. The national debates are televised to 70 million viewers on the major networks, the primary debates to only 10 million viewers on the cable networks. And most importantly, if Paul was in the national debates, he could buy three ½ hour TV slots to give powerful lectures before each of the debates on why progressive tax rates and fiat money are the roots of the government aggrandizement swallowing up our country. He would be talking to 70 million Americans instead of 10 million. This, he can't do as a Republican.
Daily Bell: Can you expand on the differences between this party you propose and the Constitution Party?
Nelson Hultberg: We agree in principle with the Constitution Party's stands on abortion, national defense, education, the environment, foreign policy, health care, immigration, religious freedom, social security, state sovereignty, trade policy, terrorism, and welfare. We just disagree with their strategy of how to go about convincing America to adopt such stands. At present we must concentrate on stopping the Gargantua of government. Tomorrow we can concentrate on cutting him down to size. Therefore we at AFR believe it is best to just concentrate on the "Two Pillars Strategy" of tax and monetary reform, and leave other radical reforms for the future -- like abolishing the income tax, the Education Department, welfare, social security, etc. In this way, we do not threaten the people with the dissolution of the welfare state. This will allow the Conservative American Party to get the necessary 15% in the polls to qualify for the crucial national TV election debates.
The Constitution Party marginalizes itself like the Libertarian Party because it threatens the people with the dissolution of the welfare state. It assumes radical, ideal stands on the issues rather than practical, achievable stands. This is political death. The Constitution Party will never get into the national TV election debates with such an idealistic platform, and thus it will remain an obscure fringe party. The debates are everything. Without participation in them, no political party can ever be truly effective.
Daily Bell: In the last depression during the 1930s, the government increased its power over the American economy and the lives of Americans tremendously. What makes you think it can be different this time?
Nelson Hultberg: I think it can be different this time because we have the vast power of the Internet. In addition, we've had 60 years of free-market education put forth in this country outside the school system from thinkers like Ludwig von Mises, Ayn Rand, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, and several others. There are now millions of articulate voices out there who believe in free enterprise. They're not going to go along so eagerly with the collectivists and authoritarians as Americans in the 1930s did. This is AFR's mission -- to attract all these free-market voices into a dynamic party of patriots who want to restore the country to the Founders' vision.
Daily Bell: What do you say when critics claim that nothing can be done to reform the system because a corporate-bureaucratic-banking triad controls the economy, and they have far too much power to be defeated at the polls?
Nelson Hultberg: I tell them to check their history. All progress in forming better, freer societies comes about because there are certain people in this world (the Thomas Jeffersons and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyns) who just don't allow immense power structures to bother them or dissuade them from their goals. The reason why is because of a very dynamic force that all tyrannical systems lack, and all rational revolutionaries possess -- and that is MORAL TRUTH. This is what brings the most powerful of tyrannies down. No matter how ruthless they are, they are always vulnerable in face of men and women who are willing to take a moral stand against overwhelming odds. Moral truth is the key. That's what we who advocate freedom and limited government have on our side. We just have to design the right strategy to implement it.
Recent polls show that 40% of Americans consider themselves to be "conservative." An additional 40% of Americans consider themselves to be "independent." These are the two constituencies that will build the Conservative American Party into a power that can challenge the liberal / statist elites in Washington. We have the opportunity here to do something very profound. We can inject the two greatest issues of our day -- honest money and equal tax rates -- into the living rooms of 70 million Americans every election year. This would be big time, TV oriented, major league politics. It would stop the growth of the Leviathan cold, and it would begin the restoration of the Republic. That's what we have the power to do with the Conservative American Party and its Two Pillars Strategy.
Daily Bell: Your latest book is titled, The Conservative Revolution: Why We Must Form a Third Political Party to Win It. Can you give us a brief overview of what the book is about?
Nelson Hultberg: In simplest terms, the book is about how to save our country from the political madness taking place in Washington. Anybody with a lick of sense realizes that there's no real difference between Democrats and Republicans anymore. Both are lackeys to the special interests. No matter who wins, we always get more spending, more taxes, more bureaucracies, more wars, and less freedom. So America desperately needs to open up the process and establish a third choice. But it can't be a Libertarian style party that preaches utopianism to the choir. It must be a real third-party that poses a genuine threat to the status quo.
This is the main purpose of the book -- to show Americans how to form a third-party that can get 15%-20% in the polls in 2012 and qualify for the national TV election debates, where it can dramatically challenge the corruption and obtuseness of the Demopublican establishment. Then build on this to get 35% by 2016 and win in a three-man race.
Daily Bell: You write that it is a fallacy that third parties cannot work in America. This you say is because all third parties throughout the past century have made two disastrous mistakes in strategy that always doom them to failure. What are these two mistakes and why are they so important?
Nelson Hultberg: The two major mistakes that all third parties make are what I call "marginalization" and "cloning."
1) "Marginalization" is the flaw of the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party. This takes place because these two parties attempt to instantly implement an ideal vision of how society should be constructed through the political process. They ignore the fact that politics is a game of incrementalism, that it is not an arena in which an "ideal society" can suddenly be voted into place. Because they try to do this, they are perceived by the public as not living in the real world.
For example, whenever they are asked what tax policy they advocate for the country, Libertarian and Constitution Party members reply that the income tax should be totally abolished and government should be stripped down to a minimal state funded by tariffs. Now this is a wonderful "ideal" that could perhaps be achieved in 100 years. But it's not a credible political platform to be gained through a political campaign. Libertarian and Constitution Party members are blind to the damage this does to their image in the minds of the voters. As a result, both parties are marginalized as utopian. They end up getting at best 1% of the vote every year and remain obscure fringe voices.
A couple of Libertarian Party candidates recently complained to me that I was being unfair with the above assessment. For example, in the last election they had modified the tax proposals of the LP and ran their local individual campaigns on just a simple flat tax, and still they got nowhere. So according to them the LP's problem was not its radical idealism; it was basic voter apathy and the unfair rules set by the major parties. But what these LP candidates overlook is that the national Libertarian Party ideology has been around for 35 years, and it has firmly cemented into the public's mind that the LP stands for abolition of the income tax with no replacement. Seeing that the Federal Government took in $1.42 trillion in revenue from the income tax in 2008, the LP stand on taxes means that there will be $1.42 trillion less in government services. This paints a picture of extremism and unreality to the people; it is a threat to the stability of their lives that they will reject overwhelmingly. This is the image of the national Libertarian Party, and it taints all individual candidates no matter what they say to voters. This is why Libertarians get only 1% of the vote. The national Libertarian Party has the "mark of Cain" on it, and no amount of individual side-stepping in local campaigns will remove the mark. LP candidates don't understand that the national party has marginalized itself over 35 years, and anyone associating with it will be stuck with the image of extremism and unreality. Unfortunately the Constitution Party succumbs to this same error.
2) "Cloning" is the flaw of groups like the Reform Party that Ross Perot founded (and also John Anderson's independent candidacy in 1980). Because they wanted to win the Presidency right away, the Reform Party couldn't risk espousing any radical policies. They had to copy the basic approach of the Demopublicans and thus became nothing but a clone, offering only more of the same statist pabulum of the two major parties. In other words, while the Libertarian and Constitution Parties project too much radicalness, the Reform Party projected no radicalness and became just another "big government party." This meant they had to run on the notion that they would somehow govern the monster welfare state better because they would bring "better personnel" to Washington. Their bureaucrats would supposedly do a more professional job of confiscating our money and throwing it down the rat holes of political boondoggles. In the end, the voters didn't see the need for still another big government party. So the bottom line was that because the Reform Party campaigned on a platform designed for instant victory, it became nothing but a clone and failed.
Any third-party challenge of the Demopublicans must avoid these two mistakes. A third-party must offer radical enough change to separate itself from the Demopublicans, but not so radical that it becomes marginalized like the Libertarians and the Constitutionalists.
Daily Bell: What is the name of this new third-party, and how far along is it in its formation?
Nelson Hultberg: The name is the Conservative American Party, and we plan on officially launching in the next few months. This is what Americans for a Free Republic in Dallas is all about. Our website is: www.AFR.org. We're an educational organization set up to inform the people about why the Conservative American Party is so desperately needed, and also to explain the unique political strategy that we have designed. We want to bring millions of disenchanted Republicans, Democrats, and Independents together to support the cause.
Daily Bell: Your book's main emphasis is formed around what you call the "Two Pillars Strategy." Can you tell us what this strategy entails?
Nelson Hultberg: The "Two Pillars Strategy" is the foundation of the Conservative American Party. It is designed to put in front of the American people two crucial political reforms that will stop the relentless growth of government and begin the restoration of the Republic.
These two crucial reforms are: 1) Ending the Federal Reserve's power to inflate the money supply at will, and 2) Ending the government's power to progressively tax its citizens. These two powers give government the ability to steal wealth from the people by debasing the currency and by confiscating the earnings of our most productive citizens through progressive tax rates. The politicians then use this stolen wealth to buy votes from the special interests, which leads to all kinds of corruption and tyranny as we can well see around us today.
So if we really want to stop the tyrannical growth of government in America, we have to stop the Fed from expanding the money supply in excess of the growth of goods and services. And we have to enact an "equal-rate" income tax so that government can't redistribute the people's wealth in order to buy votes with subsidies and handouts.
Thus Pillar #1 is to enact Milton Friedman's 4% auto-expansion plan for the Fed. This will mandate by law that the Fed only increase the money supply by 4% every year. Monetary expansion will be taken away from the FOMC's arbitrary discretion and be computerized, which will keep money supply growth equivalent to the growth of goods and services, which will reduce price inflation to zero. This will end the Fed's irresponsibility and allow time for the people to be educated as to the necessity for a gold standard, which might require 30-40 years. Such an auto-expansion plan is not perfect and not a permanent solution, but it will stop the destruction of our currency. It is a vital interim policy until gold money can be reestablished.
Pillar #2 is to enact an equal-rate income tax of 10% for everyone (i.e., a genuine flat tax). If we are to uphold "equal rights" in America, then we must have "equal rates" in our tax system. And all citizens must be assessed the tax. No exemptions. Period. Only in this way can we have a responsible electorate. When all people have to pay proportionally for their government services, they will begin to vote for less government every year at the polls. A 10% equal-rate tax for everyone will be revenue neutral, and thus not threaten the stability of the voters' lives. And because all the people will have to pay the tax, the overwhelming majority will demand that the 10% rates be lowered every year. We could have a 5%-7% tax in a decade or two.
Once these "Two Pillars" are enacted, the dangerous growth of government will be stopped because government will no longer have the ability to arbitrarily create money, and it will no longer have the ability to redistribute earnings so as to promise massive pork and privileges in return for votes.
Daily Bell: Wouldn't a 10% "equal-rate" tax for everyone place a heavy burden on the low-income earners who presently pay zero taxes? How would you overcome the massive resistance to this problem?
Nelson Hultberg: First of all, it is not true that a 10% equal-rate tax will hurt the low-income earners. I show in the book that it will not impose a net burden on them at all. In fact, it will actually increase their standard of living because of the explosion of economic productivity that will accompany enactment of the Two Pillars. This I show by figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce, along with the work of John Williams at Shadowstats.com, and a wonderful study by the political scholar James L. Payne titled, Costly Returns: The Burdens of the U.S. Tax System.
With enactment of the Two Pillars, low-income earners presently paying zero taxes will gain a 16% increase in their standard of living. That nets out to an increase of 6% after assessment of the 10% tax. Once the American people are made aware of this, a large portion of them will begin letting common sense guide their vote instead of the massive guilt that has been heaped upon them by liberal professors and pundits over the past 50 years.
Daily Bell: You say the main strength of the Two Pillars Strategy is that it will eliminate "infinite demand" for government services. Will you explain this concept of "infinite demand" and what we must do to eradicate it?
Nelson Hultberg: "Infinite demand" for government services comes about because the progressive income tax permits large groups of voters to pay zero taxes and equally large groups to pay next-to-zero taxes. These two constituencies comprise 50% of our voting population today. As we see below, IRS figures show that the upper 50% of income earners in the U.S. pay 96.03% of all taxes, while the lower 50% of income earners pay only 3.97% of the tax load. The bottom 25% of income earners pay zero taxes. (From IRS Statistics of Income Division, September 2002.)
Thus a progressive income tax spawns a something-for-nothing voter mindset that dominates all elections. It creates an irresponsible electorate that demands a steady expansion of government services. This is basic human nature and one of the cardinal laws of economics. If government benefits are free (or nearly free), demand for them will be infinite. This is why the voters constantly vote for more and more government; 50% of them get their services FREE, or for pennies on the dollar.
Overcoming this "infinite demand" will be impossible until we radically reform the tax system and eliminate its something-for-nothing aspect. This means adopting a simple "equal-rate" income tax that doesn't convey favors or exemptions to anybody. Once we have an equal-rate tax in place, all voters would then have to pay for their government services proportionally out of their own pockets. This would kill their desire for all the pork and subsidies. The voters would begin to favor politicians who advocate reduction of government instead of its constant expansion, because this is the only way they could get their own taxes reduced and more freedom into their lives. They would begin sending Ron Pauls to Congress instead of Chuck Schumers.
Daily Bell: Getting the necessary 15% in the polls to qualify for the national TV election debates plays a very important role in the "Two Pillars Strategy"? Please explain why.
Nelson Hultberg: The Demopublican elites control the political process in America to a great extent through control of the national TV election debates. Only Democrats and Republicans are allowed. And they propose only statist / imperialist policies to the people. But once the Conservative American Party is in the debates, its candidate would then be able to explain the cause for freedom and limited government to 70 million voters.
As things stand now, the freedom message is totally shut out to the voters at election time. They never hear about any alternate vision of governing. They never hear what is really causing their problems. They never hear about fiat money, debasement of the currency, and why progressive tax rates cause "infinite demand" for government services. They never hear about why we should return to a mind-our-own-business foreign policy that the Founders advocated. But with the Conservative American Party in the debates, we could have a third voice that would tell the people how corrupt and tyrannical the Demopublicans have become.
To give you an example of how powerful the national debates can be, imagine an articulate Conservative American Party candidate giving one-half hour lectures prior to each debate like Ross Perot did in 1992. Only this time the lectures will be about how the Fed is stealing 5%-10% of our savings every year through currency debasement, and how progressive tax rates create "infinite demand" for government services.
The Conservative American Party approach would dramatically transform the field of politics. I believe that 15%-20% of the American people will support the "Two Pillars" of honest money and equal tax rates, which will get the party into the debates in front of 70 million voters in 2012. And then that 15%-20% figure can be built to 35% by 2016. This would force the Demopublicans to enact the two pillars into law. Because if they didn't, the Conservative American Party would be able to capture 35% of the vote and achieve victory in a three-party race. So either way, the Conservative American Party wins.
Daily Bell: What important platform planks other than the "Two Pillars" of tax and monetary reform does the Conservative American Party advocate?
Nelson Hultberg: We advocate two subsidiary planks which are: 1) the restoration of a mind-our-own-business foreign policy and 2) a thorough crackdown on illegal immigration that will stop its flow into our country and return the majority of the illegals to their country of origin. The immigration plank will also return us to the pre-1965 legal immigration levels. These are the four cornerstones of the party -- tax and monetary reform, along with foreign policy and immigration reform. The rest of the platform is to be conventional Republican fare. This is very important because we must avoid becoming marginalized like the Libertarians.
Daily Bell: Why should we not work within the Republican Party and try to convert them to a limited government philosophy? Wouldn't it be easier to convert them instead of trying to build a new party from scratch?
Nelson Hultberg: In order for the Republicans to convert to a limited government philosophy, there has to be a mandate from the people to do so. No such mandate will ever arise, however, until all citizens are taxed proportionally for their government services with an "equal-rate" tax. As long as 50% of the voters get their services FREE, or for pennies on the dollar, they will continue to demand more government spending. Republicans will never propose the necessary tax reform to change this because they know that proposing an equal-rate tax with no exemptions would doom their re-election chances. They want to return to Washington every year, and they have to compete with Democrats who continually offer more and more spending programs to the people. So Republicans join the crowd and do likewise.
Consequently no REAL reform toward limiting government will ever come from Republicans. Only a third-party that doesn't crave immediate victory will propose an equal-rate income tax with no exemptions, which is what is necessary to stop government growth. Republicans crave immediate victory, and thus can never do this. But since the Conservative American Party candidate's goal is not immediate victory, he will be able to do it. His goal is to win, but only by offering the "Two Pillars" of tax and monetary reform to the people and be elected after these reforms have won them over. This can be orchestrated spectacularly through the national TV election debates.
An equal-rate tax for everyone will not get 51% support at this time, but 15% of Americans will support it. This will get the Conservative American Party into the debates where the Two Pillars can be presented to 70 million Americans every election year. No longer will the Demopublicans be able to ignore the truth about America's problems in front of the voters. A third voice will be present to tell the people how the Demopublicans are causing our problems, and why we must adopt the "Two Pillars" of tax and monetary reform if we are to save America. This will dramatically change the nature of American politics.
Daily Bell: Can you please expand further on this issue of why we cannot reconfigure the Republican party and must instead start a new party?
Nelson Hultberg: For over 40 years, conservatives have been attempting to reshape the Republican Party into a party of liberty by working to elect "better, more conservative" candidates to turn Congress into a true limited governing body again.
The flaw in their strategy is this: When such conservative political aspirants start out on the campaign trail, almost all of them have noble motives and truly wish to slay the prodigal beast that rules Washington. But once they become entrenched on Capitol Hill, they get bit by the power disease and realize that it is much easier to win votes by playing the pork and subsidy game, that it is much easier to get big campaign donations by conveying special privileges to the corporations. They quickly succumb to the sordid favor dispensing game and join the ranks of the Demopublican big spenders.
The fundamental problem is that without a third-party in the election debates, there is no counteracting force to mandate that the Republicans continue to try and distinguish themselves from the Democrats. Without the people being aware of another vision (e.g., that of honest money and equal tax rates), they will not demand that the Republicans change their stripes. If there is no demand from the voters, then these "better, more conservative Republicans" slowly get consumed by the Washington beast of big government. That ol' devil human nature gets in the way of their original, noble aspirations. They end up choosing another term of acquiescence to statism (with all its celebrity in Washington) instead of fighting for true tax reform, which will bring them defeat on Election Day and a return to the obscurity of life in Midville.
Thus the conservatives we send to Washington continue to be bought off by the system as fast as we can send them. This will not change until we reform the tax system that buys them off. But only a third-party can genuinely reform the tax system because only a third-party like the Conservative American Party (that doesn't fear defeat on Election Day) will be willing to put an "equal-rate" tax in front of 70 million voters.
Daily Bell: Can you explain for our readers how it became more difficult to start a third-party way back in the late 1800s?
Nelson Hultberg: There were basically no restrictions for minor party candidates forming and running in elections prior to the 1880s in America. Consequently there were numerous third parties. Examples were the Anti-Masonic Party in the 1830s, the Liberty Party in the 1840s, the Free Soil Party in the 1840s, the American Party in the 1850s, the Liberal Republican Party in the 1870s, the Greenback Party in the 1880s. And of course, the Republican Party was a third-party, formed in 1854 as a union of several smaller factions. It put the Whigs out of business and elected Abraham Lincoln in 1860. All these efforts were easily formed and became influential, some very influential. It made for an open forum on policy, and kept political factions from gaining an unfair monopoly of ideas.
By the end of the 1880s, however, political reformers among the two largest parties -- the Democrats and Republicans -- began to see the benefit of monopolizing the process with strict ballot access laws so as to deny those with contrary ideas the ability to be heard. This, they began to implement in greater degree over the next few decades.
With the onset of the New Deal in the 1930s this monopolizing process gained further strength because fiat money and progressive tax rates became ready tools to gain votes. This drove both major parties to make use of these tools in order to win office, which further merged the Democrats and Republicans into a similarity of ideas. Naturally they moved to protect this similarity with even more restrictive ballot access laws. When the televised debates came into being in 1960, a powerful means to further protect their monopoly was created. The two major parties eventually set an attainment of 15% in the polls as the requirement for entrance into the debates. This was an extremely high number that effectively destroyed all competition to the major parties because without participation in the debates, it was impossible for a third-party candidacy to achieve the necessary credibility in the eyes of the voters.
Daily Bell: How did we get into this fix where we have two parties that are virtually the same?
Nelson Hultberg: We got into this fix once the FDR / Keynesian revolution came about in the 1930s. FDR's New Deal showed politicians how to buy votes with fiat money and progressive tax rates. Prior to the New Deal, Congress didn't have blatant use of these two powers even though they were enacted in 1913. But after 1936 because of fiat money and progressive tax rates, the Republicans had to keep pace with the Democrats in spending if they wanted to be elected and re-elected. Richard Nixon consummated the merging of the parties in 1971 when he stated that, "We're all Keynesians now." The Republicans' flirtation with fighting for limited government lasted one campaign under Barry Goldwater in 1964. From then on out they became big government conservatives and resigned themselves to spending just like the Democrats. The New Deal tragically restructured the American political system so that only a "big spending party" could prevail. The contest now became, not who could best govern within the constraints of the Constitution, but who could best print money and redistribute wealth.
Daily Bell: Where can our readers get your book?
Nelson Hultberg: They can buy the book with a credit card at the AFR website, www.AFR.org. Callers from within the United States can also call our toll-free number 1-888-404-2155 if they wish to order over the phone.
Daily Bell: Thank you for your time and especially for your disciplined and gracious lifelong commitment to freedom. Good luck! We look forward to sharing your columns with our readership.
We are always pleased to listen to Nelson Hultberg because we think he has one of the finer libertarian minds in the US. He really understands, intuitively and factually, the sweep of free-market thinking not just from an economic, Austrian standpoint but from the larger classical liberal viewpoint. He is as comfortable with Locke as with Mises, as familiar with Ricardo as Hayek. On top of that, he's a very good writer and a very clear and analytical thinker. You can read a sample of his work previously posted to the Daily Bell here:
We are impressed of course by his idea for a third party. If anyone can pull off a new form of political endeavor, it's Nelson. We'd encourage everyone to read his book.
As usual, Nelson's ideas come at a good time. There is a need for such guidance as he offers. The freedom movement is growing rapidly. And the patterns of those that seek to oppose it are ever-more obvious. It is almost as if those running the one-world promotions are giving up. They know they've been exposed. It's not secret anymore.
Let us travel back in time to figure out how we got here – and why Nelson Hultberg's contributions can be both timely and important. The past century has very obviously seen an Anglo-American power consolidation. The elite running the consolidation is a very small group of American and European families (and you can throw the Israeli government in there too) and the centralization of power is a generational phenomenon, with the latest incarnation apparently going back hundreds of years.
Get ahold of the Internet and start searching. It won't take you long to pick up on the centralizing theme. You'll find plenty of anecdotal evidence, by the way, to back up your conclusions as you go. What you'll find are the same names over and over, especially in the modern day and the same think tanks and the same constructs. It's all there, laid out on the Internet. No one comes out and says it, but why should they. It's enough that it's there in the electronic glare like a big "oops!"
It's an oops of course, because much of the aggressive consolidation and planning was carried out in the open in the 20th century so that there could be no question of criminal collusion or treason. After all, if everything is published and all the actors sign on to the conclusions, what's the harm? It was a very clever plan right up until the end of the century when the Internet began to reveal the patterns in earnest.
What was once a way to conceal a generational power grab in the open became increasingly a kind of detective story where all the clues were made generously available. A blizzard of annual reports, think tank memberships, biographies and of course Wikipedia itself hit the ‘Net. For even a mildly ambitious report in the US, it became easy to track the relationships and the money flows. For some reason of course the mainstream press has never availed itself of this incredible opportunity, but we've been taking advantage of it for years, as have increasing thousands and millions of others.
Yes ... the miscalculation was made. The Internet spread – much faster and more powerfully than was probably intended. We can't see it otherwise. The promotions of the power elite, their endless efforts to create campaigns of fear to drive Western citizens into evermore authoritarian postures, are mostly fizzing and even sputtering now. When nothing but brute force remains, the compulsion of government, this is not a victory for those in charge but a defeat.
So, those are the tectonic plates in play, in our opinion. No one can tell at this point where it's going to end, but we've been maintaining consistently that the power elite will discover eventually that it has to take a step away from the domination it seeks. It's not going to happen, in our opinion, not this time. Too many know. The promotions are losing credibility and sooner or later the ability to motivate through fear will diminish as well.
Part of our optimism stems from such writers and thinkers as Nelson Hultberg. No single person can capture the burgeoning freedom movement at this point, but the Hultbergs of the world are critical to its continued healthy expansion. Wise men like Nelson Hultberg can indeed point the way to a healthier and saner and more peaceful future and help get us there. We wish him the greatest of success and salute him, as always, for his lifelong quest in the service of freedom.
Interviews and after-thoughts may include the contributions of several Daily Bell editors and writers.
Posted by Betty on 02/06/10 12:10 AM
Very interesting read. Much of it I have never read anywhere else. Will there ever be a 3rd party understanding in this country?Is it possible in the future?I hope so. We definitely need "hope and change " and not what we are getting. It is so sad. I don't want to live in the 70s again. Been there, done that. And definitely not in a socialist country, ever.Betty
Posted by Gary on 01/23/10 02:40 PM
The problem I see is that before the populace becomes convinced enough to take appropriate action at the polls, too much damage will have been done to recover. At that point, an outside source, to whom we owe large amounts of money (China) could step forward and forclose.
Posted by Mark on 01/06/10 02:23 PM
I find it interesting that Hultberg's proposal to limit the Fed's money supply expansion to 4% per year is very similar to Ellen Brown's "Brownian" thinking. Perhaps the Brownians could jump in with the AFR as a means to their end? The social agendas seemingly desired by the Brownians could then be pursued at the state level without the smothering presence of the Elite's Federal megastate.
A comment on Hultberg's piece by Ellen Brown would be very interesting. I think the big picture point is that the enemy of all of us who want individual freedom is the Elite's ever growing megastate. And the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks for the feedback.
Posted by The Walking Man on 01/05/10 12:19 PM
The "Two Pillars Strategy" would be a dramatic improvement from the current morally corrupt system. I have long been an advocate of a flat tax system for many of the reasons expounded by Mr. Hultberg. Hopefully writers and educators like Mr. Hultberg will be able to gain support for their ideas through the new mediums of communication such as the Internet. The politicians will not listen unless the people they represent make their voices heard. Thank you for bringing your readers this interview.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks for the kind words.
Posted by John K. Euers on 01/05/10 09:40 AM
Greetings and Best Wishes for this Year. This interview may be about the USA, but I think it should be implemented here in the UK. If the Liberal Party were to take a draught of 'clear the head' thinking, I'm of the opinion that this would be a government creating vote winner, rather than the worn out, tedious weasel words we get from the present bunch of politicians.
Reply from The Daily Bell
The UK has the same problems as the US - and even more of them.
Posted by Bruce on 01/04/10 09:11 PM
Rebuttal, expansion, and clarification.
In a free market if the supply of gold expands at a rate of 4% per Annam you have an expansion in the total net wealth. Gold is a commodity. Purchasing power of gold might go down if the goods and services do not expand at an equal or greater rate, but net wealth still expands. Gold can then go into luxuries such as jewelry.
There is no such thing as fiat money. Alleged fiat money is actually fiduciary money. In fiduciary money a note represents the title interest in goods and services and acts as a claim check for same. It exists in opposition to goods and services rather than as a contribution to them.
If (fiat credits) claim checks expand as denominated at a rate of 4% per annum with a theoretical static economy, prices rise. If the economy expands at 4%, prices remain the same, but the issuer of the currency still has title to it all.
Whenever you confuse fictions of law with substance, i.e. phony money with specie, your conclusions will be suspect. Garbage in = garbage out even if the logic is perfect.
Regarding Statutes being positive law, consider the following: Government receives its just powers from the governed - by consent. There is no collective authority over the individual. Collective authority is exercised over the administrators of the public trust, whom we call public servants.
Thus, through voting the people decide how they wish the public assets are to be used. This proposition is clear when there are few public assets relative to the overwhelming private assets of the people. A good illustration might be a country club held in common where each member can vote on it's administration. However, when an entity which we call government claims eminent domain over a whole nation, the principles become blurred.
Common law has been established over hundreds of years of jury decisions, in which the people have addressed what behavior they will accept and what they will not. Those decisions addressed behavior which causes injury, and determine the appropriate amount of money to restore the injured to its pre-injury condition.
Where there can be no restoration, such as in a case of murder or physical impairment, then either mercy or execution is invoked. The concept of penal statutes is feudal in nature and such statutes are imposed upon subjects of a master or king.
Positive law in the contest of Congress has to do with directives to the Administrative branch to carry into action what Congress directs. Congress provides the funds to the Executive branch to create public works. It's all internal affairs and has nothing to do with the people.
Common Law acts after the fact of injury where one either knows or should know that such behavior would cause an injury. However, crimes against the state, or against the amorphous society, are penal clauses to a civil code. That's just another term for a master servant relationship.
As I have explained before, common law is the law of substance. Government only has authority over its creations - fictions of law. The exception is where one consents to be regulated in exchange for a privilege or paycheck. Those who do are called employees - again, a master servant relationship, and they act through the public transmitting utility called a person. The law acts on the person, a fiction of law.
That brings us back to feudalism and the roman civil law. The name of the master(s) change, but the relationships remain the same. The civil law is foreign law in these united States. Thus, all the civil law courts, which includes all of them, are all private foreign courts.
Think I don't know what I'm talking about? Do the research. Courts in the US are private for business enterprises. The only authority they have is by consent, but they have ways of making you give evidence of your consent.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks Bruce. You have an interesting turn of mind. We've written about common law as well here at the Bell - which is private law and the only basic law worth having in our opinion. Not sure about your definition of fiat money. But thanks for the insights.
Posted by William on 01/04/10 05:03 PM
Sane and rational! It will never work.
I am reminded of Katherine Austin Fitts who asked her conservative Christian audience if they would support these kinds of changes if it meant stopping their government checks. Not one volunteered. And these were the people who thought of themselves as 'patriots'!
I wish the Conservative American Party all the best, but, I don't believe they have a realistic assessment of just how dependent their hoped for constituency has become. Don't quit your day job!
Reply from The Daily Bell
He won't. But he works day and night anyway.
Posted by Terry McIntyre on 01/04/10 04:43 PM
Nelson Hultberg says we need enough change to not be a "clone", but not so much change that we are "marginalized."
If he says it would take 100 years to abolish the IRS and eliminate the "services" now funded, he is part of the problem, not the solution. Rolling back the budget by 30% or so would not roll us back 100 years - it would be about a decade. Was America being invaded by foreign nations a decade ago? When polls ask "would you prefer lower taxes and fewer government services", a plurality agree. Until recently, poll-takers did not even ask such questions - the idea seemed too ridiculous.
The collectivist virus is ancient; it has a lot of staying power, especially since the Powers That Be tend to capture the educational system. John Taylor Gatto documents much of the process in his Underground History of Education. He focuses mostly on how an elite gained control of the educational system itself - the schools-which-must-not-be-called-government-schools. ( Who are they trying to kid? The government owns, operates, funds, and controls the schools - so why do they so adamantly object to calling them "government schools?" )
Not only schools, but history and economics and other "social sciences" tend to be captured by court intellectuals. Huffington Post recently reported, for example, the extent to which the Federal Reserve dominates the discussion of economics. If you question the very idea that money should be controlled by the government, you're automatically an "outsider" - but nonetheless, you'd be in the right.
There have been encouraging trends lately. One of these is home schooling and private schools; people are no longer trusting their children to the government. The absolute numbers are not large, but the growth rates are; the curve is reaching a point where just about everybody knows, and is impressed by, at least one home-schooled family. Average gains of 30 percentile points make a compelling argument.
Another encouraging trend is the reliance on self-defense. People have lobbied for more liberal CCW laws in 40 states, and privately ignore the laws in more backward states such as California, New York, and Illinois. Gun ownership is way up, and it isn't all "white rednecks" - I helped start several chapters of Pink Pistols, and found a receptive ear at several "alternative" newsweeklies. Also in the self-defense column, note that "passengers and attendants" subdued the recent crotchbomber's attempt at self-mutilation. The public is starting to ask "why don't we have a much more active role in defense?"
Conservatives such as Hultberg can't resist their anti-immigration bias; in so doing, they marginalize themselves amongs immigrants and people who value the numerous contributions made by immigrants. This is part of that collectivist virus, the belief that "we" are somehow better than "they."
I really don't think the change needed by America is going to come from self-described "conservatives" - what exactly are they trying to conserve? Inevitably, the tendency of the conservative is to defend at least some of the existing powers of the State, if not most of them. Abolish the Fed? Too radical, they think. Downsize the military? Too radical. Let peaceful people cross the borders freely? Too radical. Abolish 20,000 gun laws? Too radical. Better to insist upon "better enforcement of the laws we already have" or some such claptrap. This is the Revenge of the Clones, no more.
Ron Paul is hugely popular among the young, not because he is a clone, but because he lays out a clear, articulate case for a radical program which strikes at the root of the problem. His most popular applause line is "End the Fed" - hardly an incrementalist approach.
Those who call for the abolition of the federal reserve are not unaware that this would necessarily entail a severe downsizing of the federal government as well. It is well to bear in mind that Ron Paul, far from being marginalized, has been re-elected to Congress ten times. I cannot believe that his district in Texas is the only district in all of America where people would vote for his ideas - but in most districts, they are not given that choice.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks. Interesting post. There are not enough Ron Pauls?
Posted by Doug on 01/04/10 09:30 AM
My only complaint is in "After thoughts with Scott Smith". The use of the phrase "in my opinion" only serves to weaken your argument. We know it is your opinion ..... you are writing it.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks for the feedback.
Posted by Nelson Hultberg on 01/04/10 08:59 AM
Answer to JAMES JAEGER:
As for the problem that "increased income won't materialize over night," the speed with which it will materialize is a matter of opinion. Many libertarian / conservative thinkers believe that it will materialize within a matter of 2-3 years once an "equal-rate" tax is passed. But until it does, our welfare services will take the brunt of any suffering that takes place. This, of course, is why the welfare state must be "incrementally" phased out. You can't just wave a magic wand and implement Harry Browne's libertarian program.
As for fractional reserve banking, the marketplace will handle it through the concept of "competition for reputation." In a free banking system, banks will be allowed to practice fractional reserve banking if they choose, and depositors will be free to put their money in such banks if they choose.
This is what freedom is. Fractional reserve banking is not, as many libertarians try to maintain, fraudulent. It is only fraudulent if it is not openly disclosed to depositors. In other words, only if "mens rea" (evil intent) is present. There is no evil intent if banker and saver both agree to enter into a contractual relationship whereby the banker only keeps a fraction of his bank's deposits on hand.
And in a free-market, no bank would be able to avoid this type of disclosure. Thus the libertarian argument that fractional reserve banking is fraudulent and must be outlawed by government is bogus. It would require that government disallow free contractual agreements between bankers, merchants, and savers. Not exactly a free-market then.
For a thorough discussion on this point, and how the marketplace will spontaneously produce a marvelous form of credit to accompany gold money that is non-inflationary, see Antal Fekete's "Monetary Economics 101" at his site, Click to view link.
Also check out a series of articles on the AFR website, Click to view link, on Nelson Hultberg's Editorial Page, between July 11, 2005 and October 5, 2005. In that series I debate the Rothbardian wing of the libertarian movement over Fekete's concept of necessary credit to accompany a gold standard, and how fractional reserve banking will be controlled in a free-market banking system.
Rothbard was adamantly for a 100% gold standard. But Fekete shows that a 100% gold standard would be a disaster; it would plunge us back to a Middle Ages level economy. Mises actually was not so intolerant of fractional reserve banking because he saw that requiring government to outlaw it would open the tent for the camel to get his nose into the money creation process for society. Rather dangerous. Mises thought more clearly than Rothbard did on the issue. But Fekete thinks the clearest of them all. He throws lightning bolts down on paper in his "Monetary Economics 101." No one can understand money until he has read it.
Reply from The Daily Bell
"This is what freedom is. Fractional reserve banking is not, as many libertarians try to maintain, fraudulent. It is only fraudulent if it is not openly disclosed to depositors. In other words, only if "mens rea" (evil intent) is present"
Daily Bell editors, supportive of free-banking, applaud the above statement and the well-reasoned arguments surrounding it. Let the market decide.
Posted by Nelson Hultberg on 01/04/10 08:12 AM
In rebutal to Bruce, I presume that you consider any expansion of the money supply to be "debasement." Thus we should operate on a totally static money supply. How possibly could we then have a free banking system?
In a free-market banking system, gold would be used as money by the people, and gold naturally expands throughout any free economy at about 4% annually over the centuries. If we went to a static money supply, it would require that the State prohibit the use of gold as money; it would have to "mandate" that humans not interact freely in trade. Moreover, we would crash back to a pre-civilizational economy of primitve cavemen if the money supply is not allowed to expand.
All reputable economists consider "currency debasement" to be only when the money supply grows at a faster pace than goods and services are growing. As history shows us, a free-market cannot bring this on; only government control of the money supply can.
This is why we need free-market banking. It would bring about annual (average) 4% increases in gold money, which would roughly balance with annual (average) 4% production of goods and services. Until we are able to convert Western societies to such a free-market banking system with gold money, however, the Conservative American Party advocates that we neuter the Fed with Milton Friedman's 4% auto-expansion plan for monetary expansion by taking its control away from the FOMC and computerizing it.
This is far from perfect. Such a plan will surely be corrupted by the politicians over the decades. But it will buy us some time -- two, three decades -- in which we can convince the American people to abolish the Fed and establish a free-market in banking that uses REAL money the people desire, i.e., gold and silver.
Regarding the corruption of the courts, I disagree with your statement that "Statutes are not law, they are just given the force of law by ignorant people." Statutes are indeed law, but they are not "supreme" law. Statutes make up what is called the Positive law in the West. But they are not valid if they are not in union with the Natural law.
This concept of law is the fundamental basis of America and our Declaration of Independence. The positive law (passed by legislatures) has to be "proper law" in order to be just. What is proper law? That which is in agreement with natural law. What is natural law? That which is discovered by right reason. What is right reason?
The synthesis of reason, experience and intuition over the centuries by our greatest thinkers. When the positive law (i.e., statutes) become divorced from the natural law, then misery, tyranny, disease, decadence, and chaos ensue. We are now in one of these periods of history. It will require that we cultivate a very clear understanding of the proper law among humans, i.e., restore the concept of Natural law as the guide to the Positive law. This goes all the way back to Thomas Aquinas in the Middle Ages in his famous statement, "Lex mala, lex nulla." (An evil law is no law.)
How do we get back to a society in which the Positive law is in union with the Natural law is, of course, the great dilemma. To reject incrementalism in the process, however, is to maintain that nothing "imperfect" be enacted that would put us closer to union with the Natural law. It would require that we take part in no political activism at all unless our activist efforts are totally pristine in accord with the Natural law.
This will require that we take your stand and tolerate no peaceful activism at all, but instead bring about full scale violent revolution against the power elites, which means tanks in the streets and collapse of society as we know it. Because that is the only thing that will make them bend to your degree and enact laws that are "in pristine accord with the Natural law." This may well be what we as a society are headed for. If that day comes, then it will be time to head for the barricades. But until that day comes, I think most Americans want to try and peacefully reform their society.
As Ayn Rand put it (and I'm paraphrasing), "As long as we can freely speak, write and vote, then it is our duty to work peacefully within the law for change. Only when these tools are taken away from us are we then in a true dictatorship. Only then are we justified in going to the barricades."
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks for the further clarifications.
Posted by Bernie D. M.D. on 01/04/10 01:52 AM
Have some important news regarding the thin end of the wedge of the global "carbon scam." There is an unfortunate farmer in Australia who has been expropriated of most of his land by some carbon related law and who is now on the 30+ day of a hunger strike--check out Joanne Nova's site and the gut wrenching interview with this good guy who has been wronged in a Stalinist type of manner. His name is Peter Spencer.
Click to view link
Reply from The Daily Bell
This is a good site and one we were not aware of. Australia is well along the fascist drift.
It's Day 43 without food, and Peter Spencer grows weaker. For those who don't know, Peter Spencer's farm has been stolen from him by our government through Native Vegetation Legislation - which locked up 80 - 90% of his entire farm but paid him no compensation. The regrowth on his farm holds "carbon credits" of supposed value to the Commonwealth, yet Peter has been obliged by law to pay the rates on that land-that-holds-these-carbon-credits, and the mortgage for the right to do nothing with this land that really belongs to the Commonwealth. Is this not an extortionate tax? Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has declined all requests to meet Peter.
Posted by James Jaeger on 01/04/10 12:01 AM
Nelson's "two pillar" strategy for getting a third party candidate into the national TV election debates makes sense. As we learned in Ross Perot 101, the only way a third party candidate will be able to reach 70 million voters is in this debate, and the pre-debate talks. Nelson also correctly points out how the DemGOPS have conspired to exclude third party candidates, especially since Ross Perot by raising it to 15%.
I can see that if a third party's platform is too idealistic, it will remain invisible. This has been a problem with the Libertarian Party for many years and may be one of the reasons this party has never attracted many/any dynamic candidates. Addressing fiat money and progressive taxation may work, because increasing numbers of Americans are becoming very interested in both of these issues, thanks to the likes of Ed Griffin, Edwin Vieira, Ron Paul and Larkin Rose. When I made, FIAT EMPIRE featuring Ron Paul, most people though it was a movie about cars. See Click to view link.
I agree a flat tax would probably be more fair, but it would be impossible to avoid. The problem is, the 50% that are now paying little or no taxes and/or getting rebates, would still have to pay state and local taxes and many in this bracket pay their state and local (property taxes) with their federal tax returns. A flat tax, even though it's postulated to increase gross income, would put millions in the lurch because increased income wouldn't materialize over night. This, and other traps, have been nefariously engineered into the current "system" to keep people dependent. I would be interested in how Nelson would handle these problems. I would also be interested in how he would handle fractional reserve banking, the place where the corporate fascists in the banking industry get most of the money they need to fuel Wall Street excesses.
Lastly, the two subsidiary planks, foreign interventionism and illegal immigration would probably draw people from the Democratic party and the Republican party, respectively, although the later might also alienate many in the Republican-tending business community that exploits cheap foreign labor.
For those of you who have gone to public school too long and can thus only watch movies, we substantiate almost everything Mr. Hultberg discusses in this interview in ORIGINAL INTENT, our new documentary featuring Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, Edwin Vieira, G. Edward Griffin and Ted Baehr. See Click to view link
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks once again for the insights and all the good work you do with your films.
Posted by Kaydell Bowles on 01/03/10 11:58 PM
Good article. Thanks. I do not agree with having a 3rd party candidate as this is divide and conquer tactic. Also look what a third party has done to the politics of Germany. A third party has been tried several times in the USA and it only hurts the party from which it broke away from. Glean the independents voters by esposing the ideals of what they currently demand; fiscal responsibility, no ear marks, no lobbying and vote buying. This is what the American want plus the personal freedoms that we now have. This is what the TEA party is about for it included Democrats and Republicans of all ages. Politcal parties are like religion.. their parent were Democrats and so am I without knowing the take of the current candidate.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Maybe Ron Paul will be successful in turning the Republican party inside out ...
Posted by Bruce on 01/03/10 10:27 PM
Just two comments in rebuttal to Nelson Hultberg,
First, 4% debasement of the currency is debasement no matter what the economy does. If goods and services expand at 4% and government takes that 4% through inflation, while prices might remain the same, the government has just taken 4% of the economy. The result over time is that the Government will have title to it all. If you don't believe me, just look at the situation that we have today. The government claims title to everything, even the bodies and all the efforts of its citizens.
Secondly, of course the courts of the Corporate Criminal Conspiracy which has hijacked America, will view the income tax as being legal. But, these courts are commissioned to enforce public policy. You want to know what public policy is? Do whatever is necessary to maintain the power structure.
Policy, from the Latin word "polic," meaning occupation force on a conquered land.
A court is the seat of the sovereign. In America, we the people are sovereign, and public opinion (the decision of each one of us)is supreme.
Statutes are not law, they are just given the force of law by ignorant people who do not understand that reluctant agreement IS agreement nonetheless.
You cannot incrementally reverse an unlawful path by unlawful acts.
Reply from The Daily Bell
An interesting, eloquent rebuttal.
Posted by Glenn W. Murphy on 01/03/10 09:43 PM
I just discovered Nelson's extraordinary powers of clear, coherent thinking, and measured reason in approach to a problem that stands ready to consume the planet.
I see a powerful mind categorically educated, and need to study him further. His compatriots in his effort, Edward Griffin and Sheriff Mack, (no doubt among many esteemed others), have all had time to study and think and write as well. Nelson is bursting with rationality in his approach and considerations. Such are the hallmarks of true statesmen, and are to be commended and held high. Twenty years will indeed tell, but can we survive that long without a Talisman to lead us a New Way?
My doubts are not quibbles with the processes nor timings, such are the business of statesmen and their stock in trade.
Nor do I doubt the invalidity of the illegitimate IRS and Fed, and the great benefit to Humanity to be had by their summary executions.
As I am neither statesman nor a believer in fairytales, my problem lies in the evolution of human consciousness, and the doorways of knowledge we pass through via the Net as that Consciousness, once chained stationary by force-now accelerating in an algorthymic dead heat with the Evil Besetting Us, to ...SOMETHING...we all sense is beyond this nonsense of "politics" altogether.
Cut To The Chase, it is all about SURVIVAL. EVERYTHING can be divided by a single line drawn down the center of a page. Everything Humans do is either: Practicing Living-or Practicing Dying. We have a choice, that sets us apart from all other creatures in nature, yet we are bound by the single directive that governs ALL Nature including us: "Adapt Or Die". We also live in a "larger" Nature, which includes the infinite possibilities of space, and who/what we find there. (Or HAVE found?)
I see this as the JOKER in the deck with which the game of Freedom is played.
FREEDOM FROM OPPRESSION seems to be a High Card, whether from that which calls itself "Government, Hunger, Ignorance, or Destruction".
I see the evolution now spawning beckoning us with that which goes by "Greater Reality, Free Energy, Free Existence, and Unfettered Manifestation Of Our True Nature".
I see Mankind drawing the JOKER from the top of the deck as I write.
So call me an idealist, and damn me for unbridled imaginings of us all AWAKENING to our True Unlimited, Natural Selves, Enmasse, as we see ourselves step back from dark brink. this "Practice Death", and say: "Woah! THAT was a rush..."
I look forward your book, Nelson. Thank you, and the Bell for having you.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks for the kind words.
Posted by Ingo Bischoff on 01/03/10 09:37 PM
I've been a long time reader of Nelson Hultberg's writings, and I quite agree with the goals he wants to achieve. I only believe that it will be difficult for him to see it accomplished via the methods he suggests.
There is in my opinion no better way to attain that for which Nelson Hultberg strives than to repeal the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If that can be done, the control of the power elite will have been effectively checked and the "States" and the "people" will then again be in charge of their federal government, as well as in control of a monetary system that serves them.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks for writing, Mr. Bischoff. It is a point worth making.
Posted by Nelson Hultberg on 01/03/10 04:50 PM
As Jefferson said, "the price of liberty is eternal vigilance." Short of this, no political party can ever be sure of the continuation of any of their goals. But to deny the efficacy of pursuing incremental improvement in our conditions because we can't have the "full ideal" implemented all at once is simply not rational. Fighting for freedom is a messy endeavor. In the real world, it requires that one get into the ring and take whatever one can get that will move his country along the path to the ideal.
The purist libertarian naturally feels that just eliminating the "progressivity" of the income tax will never do. The income tax itself is unconstitutional, and to launch a party upon something so illegal would doom our efforts before we begin. There is great disagreement in legal circles, however, on this issue. The courts are not at all sympathetic to the argument that the income tax is based upon an "unconstitutional" law. There is much vagueness here and uncertainty. Since the courts feel the tax itself is constitutional, all those who have chosen to fight upon these grounds have their work cut out for them. I have several friends in this camp. I disagree with them because I feel that the courts are going to defend the stability of the state at all costs. Thus we will never overcome the income tax with "court challenges." We would have a better chance at challenging the papacy to consider teaching the tenets of Judaism in its seminaries.
But challenging the income tax on the basis of "progressivity" is another game entirely. Any tax that is based upon unequal rates clearly violates our right to "equality under the law" in America. This is where the statists are highly vulnerable! We have a clear principle of constitutional philosophy on our side here. The "progressive nature" of the income tax is demonstrably "unconstitutional." The Goddess of Justice has been allowed to peak. "Tell me first who you are, and what you earn," she says. "Then I will tell you how the income tax laws apply to you." This is privilege and arbitrary law, the harbingers of evry tyranny throughout history. Thus we need to take the fight to the American people in this context. And that is what the strategy of the Conservative American Party is all about. Attack the progressive nature of the tax both practically and morally. It leads to "infinite demand" for government services, and thus is the root cause of government growth. In addition, it violates the most sacred principle of our country's origin -- "equal rights under the law.
This is a fight that we can win. But to send our slings and arrows into the legal cesspool that comprises today's courts in an effort to convince them that the tax itself is "unconstitutional" is like trying to take on Godzilla with a fly swatter. Attacking the "progressivity" of the tax, however, both practically and morally in front of the voters every year gives us a bazooka to fire at Godzilla.
I have immense respect for the Larkin Roses and the Irwin Schiffs of the freedom movement. They are willing to suffer greatly in pursuit of their goal of forcing the courts to someday rule the income tax itself to be unconstitutional. This is most admirable. But unfortunately our Godzilla court system is impervious to this line of attack at this time in history because of the lack of certainty over whether the income tax is (or is not) constitutional.
Judges are human beings, and human beings can spend centuries clinging to the vagueness of the law to defend the status quo. Thus the Conservative American Party chooses to fight in an arena where victory is possible. By getting the progressivity of the tax ended, we will be setting in place the eventual demise of the tax itself because once all citizens have to pay it, they will not tolerate it. They will rise up and vote it out of existence, not immediately, but over a decade or two.
Great generals in war always pick their battles. They know that not all battles can be won, not all hills can be taken. We must approach the tax fight in this manner also. The Conservative American Party prefers to fight smartly rather than blindly. We prefer a bazooka to a fly swatter. We are realists because we realize the immense philosophical bias of our court system toward the tax itself. Thus we choose not to go up that hill. Rose and Schiff have already shown us the immense futility.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks for the update.
Posted by G. G. on 01/03/10 04:33 PM
OK. Well after reading just about every article posted to this site, it is a bout time I opined.
Basically, the only way for any serious change to happen at this time is through bloody revolution. Those responsible for the wealth tapping of America must be held responsible. They are thieves and destroyers of the highest order.
Many, over time, have described them and their intentions. They have an affinity towards draining any society other than their own... which tends to profit from their techniques.
Today, America faces the result of their efforts which has siphoned off wealth to assist with the development of a one-world agenda.
Anyone who cannot see this is deficient in logical capacities.
There is, and always has been, a "problem" and it needs to be dealt with. There is no peaceful solution. It must be eradicated permanently.
America will suffer if it does not resuscitate itself from the materialistic stupor it finds itself drowning in.
There is a definite "Problem" that has now escalated itself into a global secular attack against those who encapsulate Christian beliefs ... and it is threatening all of humanities' moral structure in the process.
It is time to stand tall. To stand arm in arm and attack the wizard behind the drapery. Time to attack the core of their mainstream media propaganda techniques. Time to put one's body and soul on the line for the wholesome American values we all believe in so strongly.
Truth be told, we are all under a power structure that is determined to destroy all of our liberties. And If Ron Paul or Nelson Hultberg and others won't come out and say it ... well we will.
We had better wake up and start to put up serious resistance to the anti-christian agendas that are being proliferated by the power elite ... or else be willing to submit to eternal slavishness.
America the Free. Supposedly the Home of the Brave... We'll see about that.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Why don't you respond to tomorrow's article on just this subject. (See Monday Bell)
Posted by Adrian W on 01/03/10 03:58 PM
I agree with Nelson Hultberg. Bad government has slowly evolved. Therefore, the best course is to slowly devolve it until it becomes something agreeable to the majority. It appears that a return to basic Constitutionality has become popular thanks in large part to educating people on it benefits. Changing government for the citizen's benefit will not be an easy task nor be immediate.
Reply from The Daily Bell
A process may not be perfect, but at least it is a plan.