I announce my candidacy for the Libertarian Party nomination for President of the United States. Now here's my promise to you; if elected as your President, I will take office on January 20, 2013 – interestingly, that occurs on my 65th birthday. I promise that on that day, I will do three things … – Still2012.com
Dominant Social Theme: The government must work for the people.
Free-Market Analysis: Bill Still is one of those people you don't always hear about who's had a tremendous impact on the larger libertarian conversation taking place in the US and, in fact, throughout the West. Now he's running for the US presidency.
Will he win? Probably not. But he won't mind, in our humble view. Mr. Still's career is all about education – getting out the word about liberty as he sees it and making a case for freedom to as many people as he can. He's running on the Libertarian ticket, which will make it very hard for him to win, but will no doubt give him a larger platform from which he can express his views.
We're certainly glad he's running however. Not least because his platform seems to us to cut to heart of the current libertarian argument over money, state-power and political systems. This is still something of a subterranean argument and if nothing else, Mr. Still may do the libertarian community the favor of more fully unearthing it. Here's something on his background from his own website:
Bill Still is a former newspaper editor and publisher, best-selling author and award-winning documentary writer/director. He has written for USA Today, The Saturday Evening Post, the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, OMNI magazine, and produced the first syndicated radio "shorts" program, Health News. He has written 20 books, including his latest, No More National Debt, due out in March 2011; and three feature-length documentaries, including The Money Masters (1995), one of the most-watched films in Internet history; and The Secret of Oz (2010), winner of Best Documentary of 2010 at the Beloit International Film Festival.
Unlike, say, libertarian Congressman Ron Paul (engaged in an increasingly successful run for president on the GOP ticket), Mr. Still doesn't seen overly concenred with gold-as-money. He does however have very clear priorities. At his presidential website, Mr. Still makes a three-part pledge.
1. I will put an end to government borrowing. No More National Debt! The United States will replace Federal Reserve Notes by re-issuing debt-free U.S. Notes, and gradually pay off the National Debt with them.
2. I will put an end to the ability of commercial banks to control the Quantity of money in our system through what is essentially counterfeiting. This has been a massive fraud on the people of the United States. We, the people, will take back the money power from the big banks and return the American economy to monetary stability and prosperity.
To ensure this system is enforced, I will appoint a Special Prosecutor experienced in matters of fraud to prosecute to the full extent of the law those who have abused our system in the past to serve as an example for the future.
3. I will abolish the Internal Revenue System and the income tax – both personal and corporate — and implement a fair, simple and equitable consumption tax in accordance with the U.S. Constitution. This is how we funded our government for the first 100 years, and we can do it again.
Mr. Still elaborates on these points at his website. He believes in incentives and fears in America that the incentive to work hard and gain compensation has been lost. He believes people simply don't believe in the American system anymore. He writes:
Without buy-in, no one will work hard. It's just common sense. And ending the Fed will not do it! True reform depends on putting an end to two things: 1. The ability of government to borrow; and 2. The ability of banks to control the quantity of money in a national money system.
That's it! This is the ONLY way we can finally achieve economic STABILITY and therefore prosperity. If you ended the Fed tomorrow and achieved neither of these two pillars of monetary reform, you would have done exactly NOTHING!
But instead of talking about these two real solutions – the only real solutions – all you hear from the major media – and all the political candidates except for Dr. Paul — is one slightly different flavor of the same old tune – that is, trying to fix a debt problem with more debt!
We're not quite sure of the entirety of Mr. Still's position, given his quasi-endorsement of Dr. Paul at the end of this statement. But there seems to us a great deal of good in what he's espousing. He wants to simplify the tax structure and end the horrid progressive income tax. Good. He wants to end government borrowing. Great. Presumably he wants to reduce or eliminate a number of wasteful fedgov programs.
He also seems to want to give the awesome monopoly power to print money to the US government. Granted, he is doing this for the best of reasons: He wishes to take away power from the "banksters" and return it to fedgov where it belongs. But will this end monetary abuse? We have struggled with this question for years, and have pointed out some potential contradictios in the message of one of the foremost narrators of this message (besides Mr. Still), Ms. Ellen Brown.
We have, in fact, put forth the following question: "How much money is too much?" Absent a competitive, private money system (presumably featuring gold and silver), how does "government" KNOW how much money to print?
Mr. Still also wants to appoint a "special prosecutor" to prosecute to the full extent of the law those who have recently abused the system. But the current US "system" seems very rotten to us. Financial regulators routinely expose the corruption in their own ranks – though nothing ever happens. Congress passes ludicrous laws (in our humble view) against such practices as insider trading (Wall Street RUNS on inside information; that's how markets become "efficient") while itself conducting the practice regularly.
The law enforcement community is increasingly corrupt, too (sorry to say) – violent and increasingly lawless, using illicit wiretaps and other forms of surveillance virtually without supervision. There really is no law in America any more so far as we can tell, or no law as it has been understood for hundreds of years whereby citizens attempt to utilize "democratic" government as a shield against overwhelming abuse of civil authority.
Aren't there enough people in US jails already (half the world's population of prisoners)? Couldn't we consider a system of private justice instead of repurposing the public one? Here's what the The American Civil Liberties Union wrote as recently as November 23, 2011:
"The U.S. Senate is considering the unthinkable: changing detention laws to imprison people — including Americans living in the United States itself — indefinitely and without charge." … "The Defense Authorization bill — a "must-pass" piece of legislation — is headed to the Senate floor with troubling provisions that would give the President — and all future presidents — the authority to indefinitely imprison people, without charge or trial, both abroad and inside the United States."
Mr. Still is evidently and obviously a good, even great man who has spent a lifetime in the service of liberty. But is this a fully libertarian platform? Perhaps an even bigger question: What would one be?