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TSA, Brexit e l'implosione del mostro burocratico

Freedonia - 2 ore 21 min fa




di Francesco Simoncelli


Sono dell'idea che l'esperienza personale sia un ottimo modo per trasmettere concetti generali alla maggior parte delle persone. Probabilmente perché è possibile condividere con altri eventi similari che hanno caratterizzato le nostre vite. In questo modo entrare in sintonia con i lettori è decisamente più facile. Non solo, ma il messaggio rimane impresso senza il bisogno di un fiume di parole o opera di convincimento.



UN TRANQUILLO WEEKEND DI... SICUREZZA

Oggi è una serena giornata estiva. Fuori ci sono -52° ed è soleggiato. Trentanovemila piedi dal suolo non sono l'ideale per prendere una boccata d'aria. Ciononostante, la vista dello Stivale da una così considerevole altezza mi permette di ammirare il nostro paese da un'angolatura diversa. Tutti i problemi e patemi peculiari che si possono odorare stando a contatto con gli individui che popolano l'Italia, passano in secondo piano quando essi diventano talmente piccoli da svanire in un agglomerato di colori e figure geometriche. Il verde dei boschi, l'arcobaleno di auto che scorre lungo le arterie stradali, le abitazioni fuoriuscite da una scatola di Lego, l'azzurro intenso del mare, le scie spumose delle imbarcazioni. Da questa altezza i problemi sembrano letteralmente eterei ed inconsistenti, come se finalmente l'Italia avesse sbrogliato quella matassa di difficoltà che ne ingessano lo sviluppo.

Per un momento si dimentica anche quanto siano diventati invadenti i controlli all'interno degli aeroporti, nonché paranoici. Se la sicurezza delle persone è davvero così a rischio, perché treni e navi non sono altrettanto blindati? E gli autobus? Eppure anch'essi sono obiettivi sensibili. Se lo scopo dei pazzi scatenati è quello di creare il caos, non esiste obiettivo presumibilmente sicuro che possa garantire una certa immunità dalla furia delle bestie selvagge.




In realtà esistono individui, e sopratutto individui pronti. Infatti l'incognita di trovare persone pronte a rispondere ai pazzi scatenati rappresenterebbe un forte deterrente in quegli eventi riguardanti atti di terrorismo. Fino a quanto siamo disposti a farci rovistare nei nostri effetti personali per dimostrare la nostra innocenza? A quante libertà siamo disposti a rinunciare per farci cullare da un'illusione di sicurezza, quando sappiamo benissimo di nuotare in un mare di incertezze? La miglior fonte di sicurezza è quando noi scegliamo di essere sicuri. Armati o disarmati, è esattamente questo quello che ci permette di evitare situazioni potenzialmente dannose in cui la delega di aspetti chiave della nostra sfera individuale finisce per creare mostri burocratici; come la TSA, ad esempio.



DISCESA NELL'INFERNO BUROCRATICO

Inizia tutto con una lunga fila. Il simbolismo gioca un ruolo fondamentale nell'invasione delle libertà personali. Questo perché lo stato opera a vari livelli sulla psicologia umana. È questo che gli garantisce la sua presa ferrea sulla mente degli individui. Il ruolo giocato dai dettagli è fondamentale quando si vuole comprendere come lo stato cerca di prevaricare la sfera individuale delle persone.

Le lunghe file, infatti, servono a ricordare lo spreco. Ovvero, quanto la burocrazia sia incapace di valutare uno degli asset più importanti per gli attori di mercato: il tempo. Creando inutili incanalamenti affinché vengano applicati stupidi regolamenti, l'individuo viene privato del giudizio riguardante l'allocazione delle risorse, di conseguenza è come se venisse privato delle sue azioni. Ciò conduce ad errori. Ma i burocrati sono troppo idioti per capirlo. Questo perché sono keynesiani fino al midollo.

Il passo successivo è lo svuotamento delle proprie tasche. Ciò vuol dire che la burocrazia può mettere le mani dove vuole e quando vuole. La proprietà legittimamente acquistata viene sequestrata da coloro in possesso di un distintivo. Non è nemmeno più necessaria la pistola! La sua minaccia scatta automaticamente nella mente della maggior parte degli individui non appena vede il distintivo. Anni e anni di addomesticamento danno i loro frutti.

E se qualcuno vi deruba (accidentalmente o meno)? Scordatevi il rimborso, la burocrazia, e soprattutto gli imbecilli che la compongono, non hanno alcuna cura della vostra proprietà. Ciò che è vostro è loro; in fin dei conti non è questo il volere della maggioranza quando approva mostri burocratici come la TSA? E dov'è la maggioranza quando un branco di idioti invade le vostre proprietà e ognuno di voi vorrebbe gridare allo scandalo? È questo lo scopo della maggioranza, vale a dire, guardare passivamente lo stupro delle libertà individuali mentre ogni singolo individuo urla al suo interno per divincolarsi da questo sopruso? Inutile urlare in quei momenti, è troppo tardi riscoprirsi, volontariamente o involontariamente, amanti della libertà. Questi sono i risultati quando si bela a favore di una maggiore presenza dello stato nella propria vita.

Ma il misfatto più grave arriva successivamente, quando viene invasa la più sacra delle proprietà individuali: quella del proprio corpo. In questo modo si completa un cerchio tracciato molto tempo fa dall'apparato statale, il quale, attraverso il welfare state, ha inondato gli individui con una serie crescente di interventi mirati a scacciare l'indipendenza degli individui nella gestione della propria vita e dei propri beni. Dalla scuola all'assistenza sanitaria fino ai sussidi, lo stato ha sostituito il ruolo centrale delle scelte individuali con la sua influenza accentratrice, dissestando progressivamente il tessuto sociale ed economico. Tale processo non è regressivo e continua la sua escalation nel corso del tempo fino a far annegare tutte le libertà personali, cosa che inevitabilmente si conclude con l'implosione stessa dello stato.

Nel frattempo, però, una valanga di oppressione sommerge gli individui i quali vedono maltrattati e bistrattati i loro corpi. Non c'è possibilità di sottrarsi, nemmeno se ci si conforma chiedendo un minimo di interesse per la propria salute. Voglio dire, quanto è igienico togliersi le scarpe e camminare sullo stesso pavimento su cui hanno camminato Dio solo sa quante altre persone? Eppure la burocrazia è felice di spendere ogni qual volta è in grado di aumentare la propria influenza, soprattutto quando questo avviene col beneplacito degli attori di mercato. Invece la presenza di semplici sacchetti di plastica o altro materiale per prevenire malattie è sempre assente. Perché? Perché è una questione di simbolismo. Ovvero, la comparazione a delle bestie. Le bestie non agiscono, ma vivono per istinto. E questa è un'enorme differenza con gli esseri umani, le cui azioni sono propositive.

Rendendo quanto più istintive possibile le azioni degli attori di mercato, la burocrazia cerca instancabilmente il modo per conformare in un amalgama monoforme la varietà e il differenziamento presenti nell'ambiente di mercato. Questo perché altrimenti non avere potere alcuno. Se la massa tende ad andare istintivamente verso un'unica direzione, allora la burocrazia e lo stato in generale guadagneranno un potere pressoché illimitato.

Ora immaginate se la prossima volta che andate a giocare una partita di bowling, il gestore di accoglie con queste parole: "Benvenuti signori e signore. Siamo spiacenti ma abbiamo finito le calze di stoffa per proteggere i vostri piedi. Il nostro locale è affollato perché abbiamo deciso di aprire solo una pista per giocare, quindi vi invitiamo ad aspettare qui per le prossime 3 ore mentre vi girate i pollici." Non passerà molto tempo prima che un locale simile chiuda i battenti. Perché? Perché il mercato ascolta le lamentele dei clienti e fa di tutto per porvi rimedio, altrimenti la strada verso il fallimento è assicurata. Nessuno si sognerebbe di mettere la vostra salute in pericolo e pensare di poterla fare sempre franca. Ma, soprattutto, nessuno e dico nessuno in un ambiente di mercato si sognerebbe mai di mettervi le mani in tasca e rovistarvi dentro per vedere cosa avete.

Ebbene sì, è questo quello che è diventata la cosiddetta "Land of the free", un coacervo di piccoli tiranni che vanno in estasi non appena riescono ad aggrappare una briciola di potere. Se un anziano, frastornato da questo gigantesco circo burocratico composto da imbecilli e altra schiuma d'umanità, non svuota totalmente le tasche e inavvertitamente dimentica qualcosa (come ad esempio il portafogli), si vede assalire il proprio corpo da un bastardo con il distintivo che si arroga il diritto d'invadere la proprietà altrui e di rovistarne al suo interno. È davvero sconcertante notare come l'abbattimento della volontà individualista abbia fatto breccia nella mente della maggior parte delle persone, riducendole a meri robot che ciondolano verso l'oblio.

La frustrazione che ne scaturisce viene riversata sul prossimo, ed è qui quindi che notiamo una certa apatia da parte degli individui nei confronti dei propri simili e una rabbia repressa pronta ad esplodere ad ogni pié sospinto. Questa non è la natura dell'essere umano, questa è la natura di una bestia chiusa in gabbia. Lo stato infatti non è l'apice della civiltà moderna, ma l'apice della bestializzazione umana in nome di un presunto bene superiore. In realtà, non esiste nulla di tutto ciò. “The cake is a lie.” Quella attuale è una guerra tra banda che cercano di spartirsi il potere ultimo di possedere quante più anime possibili da sfruttare e vivere al massimo col minimo sforzo. Le élite non sono altro che gli aspiranti direttori di uno zoo, non viviamo affatto in una società civile.



LA VIA VERSO L'INFERNO BUROCRATICO È LASTRICATA DI BUONE INTENZIONI

Il fatto che queste misure siano approvate con le migliori intenzioni non ne elimina la natura intromissiva. Infatti è questo presunto interesse verso il bene comune che permette alle peggiori norme di vedere la luce e di ottenerne l'approvazione a livello sociale. È come se la libertà individuale fosse un mezzo di scambio attraverso il quale poter rinunciare a piacimento e comprare sicurezza. Ciò si basa sul presupposto che, in quanto individui e apoditticamente liberi, possiamo riprenderci le nostre libertà individuali qualora vogliamo. Ma lo stato non è composto da uomini. Lo stato è un'idea: il monopolio della forza sugli individui. L'idea non ha sentimenti o compassione, l'idea è quella che è poiché essa viene pensata. Di conseguenza non può essere sottoposta a mutamenti, poiché solo un essere pensate può mutare, mentre invece l'idea, essendo pensata, rimane quello che è per tutto il tempo in cui viene applicata.

È per questo motivo che lo stato non può essere cambiato. Chiunque voglia provarci si scontrerà sempre con una forza contraria che renderà vani tutti i tentativi di equiparare stato e libero mercato. Lo stato minimo, infatti, è un ossimoro in quanto costringe l'apparato statale ad andare contro la sua natura. Non sorprende, quindi, se gli esempi di stato minimo abbiano infine fallito e si è passati progressivamente ad un'invasione crescente delle libertà individuali degli attori di mercato.

Lo stato è un'idea e come tale quando applicata non si ferma finché non raggiunge lo scopo per cui è stata pensata: pianificazione di ogni aspetto della vita sociale. Problema: l'idea, seppur pensata, è in contrasto con una concorrenza di altre idee che spingono per essere applicate. Sabotare questo processo è impossibile, perché significherebbe sterminare gli esseri pensanti. In sostanza, è per questo che lo stato non avrà mai successo a soggiogare gli esseri pensanti, o attori di mercato. Lo stato è un'idea pensata, mentre invece gli attori di mercato sono esseri pensati che possono far nascere nuove idee. È l'eterna lotta tra staticità statalista e dinamicità del libero mercato.

La prima cerca di rincorrere la seconda a suon di normative e restrizioni, ma il divario è incolmabile. Non è un caso se il caos burocratico a livello europeo stia rendendo la vita impossibile agli attori di mercato, ma questo significa una crescente mancanza di conformazione e fallimenti nel lungo periodo. Scrisse Mises in Bureaucracy:

L'interventismo economico è una politica controproducente. Le singole misure che applica non raggiungono i risultati perseguiti. Conducono ad uno stato di cose che, dal punto di vista dei suoi stessi sostenitori, sono molto meno auspicabili rispetto alla situazione che dovevano modificare. La disoccupazione prolungata, i monopoli, la crisi economica, la restrizione generale della produttività, il nazionalismo economico, e la guerra sono le conseguenze inevitabili dell'interferenza statale con le imprese. Tutti questi mali per i quali i socialisti incolpano il capitalismo, sono il prodotto di questa presunta politica "progressista". Gli eventi catastrofici, che sono un vantaggio da sfruttare per i socialisti radicali, sono il risultato delle idee di chi dice: "Io non sono contrario al capitalismo, ma..." Queste persone non sono altro che alfieri della socializzazione e della burocratizzazione. La loro ignoranza genera il disastro.
Ma per quanto possa essere rigido l'assetto statalista, alla fine paga il dazio della sua natura. Gli errori all'interno dell'ambiente di mercato diventano incontrollabili e la burocrazia deve cedere porzioni di sovranità per non crollare sotto il suo stesso peso. Ciò è accaduto, ad esempio, nel periodo post-seconda guerra mondiale in Germania, dove il Ministro delle Finanze, Ludwig Erhard, si distaccò dai "consigli" provenienti dagli Stati Uniti e rifiutò in toto l'implementazione di controlli dei prezzi e razionamenti per far riprendere l'economia tedesca. Al contrario, permise una discesa dell'offerta di denaro del 90% e tagliò l'imposta sul reddito dall'85% al 18% per i redditi superiori ai 2,500 marchi. Inutile dire che l'economia più ampia reagì positivamente a queste disposizioni e, in virtù di una maggiore libertà, le attività commerciali aumentarono la loro offerta di beni e la produzione industriale salì del 50% nel solo 1948.

Erhard comprese come la dismissione dei controlli sui prezzi, l'introduzione di principi monetari sonanti e l'abbattimento della tassazione, erano gli ingradienti principali per permettere agli individui di organizzare al meglio l'ambiente economico che li circondava in accordo con le loro necessità; e non far accordare l'ambiente economico con le necessità dello stato. Questo non solo permise a Erhard di rimanere in carica per parecchio tempo e di consentire all'economia tedesca devastata di rimettersi in carreggiata, ma anche di impedire al mostro burocratico di mangiare di nuovo fette crescenti dell'economia tedesca.

Ciò in netto contrasto con l'economia inglese, ad esempio, dove i controlli dei prezzi non vennero aboliti fino al 1954 e il suo governo socialista post-bellico nazionalizzò le industrie chiave della nazione. La differenza marcata tra declino economico dell'Inghilterra e ascesa economica della Germania incarna l'essenza della rovina burocratica e della benedizione di mercati liberi. Non è un caso se la sterlina perse il suo ruolo di riserva mondiale nel 1944. Infatti 30 anni prima, quando l'Inghilterra decise d'inflazionare la massa monetaria per sostenere i propri sforzi bellici e sospendere il gold standard, i burocrati inglesi gettarono le basi per questo esito inaspettato. Sono pur sempre umani, e di conseguenza le loro azioni sono altamente fallibili, soprattutto quando cercano di tenere insieme apparati composti da migliaia e migliaia di attori di mercato. Il cervello umano non è predisposto per funzionare in questo modo.

Quindi nel 1922, quando alla conferenza di Genova si decise di riportare l'Inghilterra ad un gold standard, lo si fece con una parità aurea ai tassi pre-bellici. Churchill decise d'ignorare l'enorme inflazionamento della massa monetaria durante la guerra e ben presto, nel 1926, l'Inghilterra divenne il presagio della Depressione che sarebbe scoppiata tre anni più tardi, con il suo oro che lasciava la patria a ritmi frenetici. Questi eventi permisero al dollaro di affiancare la sterlina come valuta di riserva mondiale. Infine, nel 1939, quando l'Inghilterra sospese di nuovo la conversione sterlina/oro, il ruolo della sterlina come riserva mondiale cessò definitivamente, cosa che venne ufficializzata a Bretton Woods quando il dollaro scalzò la sterlina e le opinioni di Keynes vennero ignorate. Perché vennero ignorate? Perché se gli Stati Uniti avessero ceduto alle sue opinioni, avrebbero perso mordente nei negoziati mondiali e non avrebbero potuto assestare il "colpo mortale" alla sterlina e all'impero britannico.

Adesso il dollaro sta assaporando lo stesso destino. La burocrazia è fallimentare nel lungo periodo ed è incapace di organizzare la società secondo schemi sostenibili. L'ultimo esempio è il Brexit. Ci sono voluti 70 anni affinché il NWO realizzasse il gigantesco mostro burocratico rappresentato dall'Unione Europea, ma ce ne vorranno di meno affinché cada a pezzi. Le idee obsolete muoiono. Vengono sostituite da nuove idee. Chi le ha le nuove idee? Gli attori di mercato, i quali non si preoccupano affatto di trattati internazionali e altra immondizia simile, mentre si preoccupano invece delle proprie attività e attraverso di esse delle attività altrui. Lo scambio di mercato è quello che permette agli attori di mercato di poter attingere dal miglior modo di relazionarsi con gli altri.

Agli attori di mercato non interessa se il mostro burocratico dell'Europa cade a pezzi, perché essi andranno avanti con la loro vita e le loro attività. E con essi la società nel suo complesso. Nessuna tragedia, quindi, ma sicuramente grande devastazione per i programmi ben congeniati dei parassiti burocratici. Queste sono buone notizie per le nostre libertà individuali.

La perdita di fiducia nell'attuale sistema a pianificazione centrale è visibile a tutti. Non è ancora sufficiente a sovvertire l'intero sistema, ma quando arriverà la prossima recessione suddetta perdita di fiducia sarà più ampia. Ora si tratta di negoziare i migliori termini per l'uscita. Migliore sarà l'accordo, più i movimenti euroscettici saranno tentati a promuovere con maggiore strenuità le loro posizioni. "Possiamo staccare un accordo migliore!" Stiamo assistendo alla lente fine di un'era, ma questo non significa affatto la fine della società. È un nuovo inizio.



CONCLUSIONE

Quando ci si lascia alle spalle mostri burocratici come la TSA, si accede ad un ventaglio di attività che desiderano soddisfare i bisogni dei viaggiatori. E se falliscono? Chiudono bottega. Nessuno si dispera. Nessuno si strappa i capelli su futuri disastri riguardanti la chiusura di un'attività commerciale. C'è dispiacere, ma tutto finisce lì. Perché? Perché qualcuno la sostituirà e offrirà maggiore efficienza correggendo gli errori dell'attività precedente. Passo dopo passo, dispotismo dopo dispotismo, la burocrazia rimane a corto di fondi e di supporto popolare.

Ma ciò che vale per l'individuo, vale anche per le nazioni.

Quando ci si lascia alle spalle mostri burocratici come l'UE, si accede ad un ventaglio di nuove opzioni che garantiscono agli individui una maggiore facoltà di scelta. Normative complesse e costose lasciano il passo ad un'interazione volontaria tra attori di mercato, cosa che si traduce in un miglioramento del benessere sociale ed economico. Esempi come la Germania post-seconda guerra mondiale, la Cina post-Mao e la Russia post-1991, ci ricordano come mercati più liberi vanno a beneficio della società nel suo complesso.

Questa è la ragione per cui l'Occidente continua a tentennare lungo il baratro del fallimento, mentre le nazioni in via di sviluppo cavalcano l'onda del futuro. Le sabbie mobili della normativa burocratica asfissiante inghiottiranno tutti coloro che decideranno di rimanere nelle loro grinfie.


L’evoluzione culturale: un cammino tra mezzi e fini

Von Mises Italia - 3 ore 57 min fa

“La chiave di ogni uomo è il suo pensiero. Benché egli possa apparire saldo e autonomo, ha un criterio cui obbedisce, che è l’idea in base alla quale classifica tutte le cose. Può essere cambiato solo mostrandogli una nuova idea che sovrasti la sua.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I fenomeni sociali (come il linguaggio, il mercato, il denaro, la morale, lo Stato) sorgono di regola per via organica (irriflessa), ossia come l’involontario risultato di un’attività volta alla ricerca di un interesse individuale. Sebbene, infatti, tali fenomeni siano il risultato di decisioni prese da un certo numero di persone, non sono stati tuttavia coscientemente progettati da nessuno. Una volontà comune che si traduce in scelta direttamente pensata per il fenomeno sociale traspare solamente in seguito alla nascita del fenomeno e ciò fa sì che questo si perfezioni nel tempo avanzando di stadio.

Contemporaneamente al loro processo evolutivo, le istituzioni sociali si trasmettono da uomo a uomo, nello spazio e nel tempo, attraverso un contagio cosiddetto “memetico”. Il “meme” è un’unità di informazione comportamentale trasmessa da un individuo ad un altro per imitazione. Le nostre conoscenze collettive sono incorporate in regole, credenze, convenzioni ed istituzioni e queste ultime a loro volta sono incorporate nelle menti individuali sotto forma di schemi astratti. Infine, alla base di questi schemi, vi sono i singoli memi.

L’evoluzione culturale mette in competizione modi di pensare, di agire, di essere diversi, ma i modi selezionati, o selezionati di più, non sono sempre quelli soddisfano il criterio di maggiore utilità per tutti, bensì quelli che vengono sostenuti con maggior e miglior pressione. Il successo, la viralità di un meme, non dipende, pertanto, unicamente dalla sua utilità per la sopravvivenza dell’individuo, ma anche da altri fattori. Questi altri fattori cruciali possono essere il tempo che viene impiegato a trasmettere un meme ad altra gente, gli strumenti con cui viene divulgato, le aspettative che mediante esso si riescono a suscitare, il ruolo sociale già in essere di coloro che per primi condividono il meme.

Di fatto, è’ impossibile prevedere il successo o meno di un meme. Quel che si può asserire con certezza è che la selezione tende a favorire i memi che sfruttano a proprio vantaggio l’ambiente culturale al momento vigente. Questo ambiente culturale consiste in altri memi già selezionati. Si viene così a creare una sorta di “pool” di memi affini ed evolutivamente stabili che differenti memi faranno fatica a spodestare.

Da tutto ciò si evince che l’evoluzione culturale è influenzata dalle unità di informazioni comportamentali che più la trascendono e che le persone possono aggrapparsi a queste unità per cause diverse dagli effettivi benefici che ne ricavano. Benefici, tra l’altro, che non sono neppure capaci di misurare con esattezza. Il percorso dell’evoluzione culturale dipende, dunque, dalle unità di informazioni comportamentali più imitate e se queste unità producono regole, credenze, convenzioni ed istituzioni poco adatte a soddisfare il benessere del maggior numero di persone e comunque difficoltoso pervenire ad un cambiamento in tal senso più efficace di queste unità. La sola speranza per ottenere che le unità comportamentali più imitate siano quelle che vadano nella direzione di soddisfare il benessere del maggior numero di persone è quella di argomentare scientificamente che per determinati fini voluti ci sono mezzi idonei e mezzi non idonei e, in aggiunta, divulgare queste argomentazioni in modo tale che non possano essere eticamente screditate e simultaneamente che possano essere comprese dal più alto numero possibile di persone.

L’ordine esteso di libero mercato si configura nell’istante in cui gli individui si conformano a pieno all’assioma della non-aggressione, vale a dire quando viene completamente rispettata quella regola morale in base alla quale nessuno può aggredire la persona o la proprietà altrui. L’aggressione deve essere intesa come l’uso o la minaccia d’uso della violenza contro la persona o la proprietà di altri. Aggressione equivale a dire invasione. Violare o semplicemente intimorire fisicamente la persona o utilizzare la proprietà degli altri senza il loro consenso significa aggressione. Una volta rispettata tale regola i risultati generati da tale ordine possono essere considerati eticamente ciechi, privi di qualsiasi altro significato morale. Questo implica che le remunerazioni e le valutazioni di questo ordine sono perfettamente indifferenti nei confronti del valore morale e delle necessità degli agenti. Oltre ad essere ciechi sul piano etico, i risultati di questo ordine lo sono anche sul piano cognitivo. Data la sua complessità, infatti, nessuno può fissare a priori il valore di un lavoro, di un servizio o di un bene, nessuno può accedere a quella conoscenza collettiva rappresentata dai prezzi prima che questi si formino spontaneamente e, di conseguenza, nessuno è in grado di predeterminare i risultati che questo ordine può raggiungere in quanto esso è un ordine spontaneo.

L’ordine esteso di libero mercato non è un’organizzazione, ma un continuo processo spontaneo che deriva da innumerevoli azioni individuali ciascuna delle quali può porre in essere delle conseguenze inintenzionali non anticipabili. In questo continuo processo ogni posizione sarà sempre il risultato di sforzi e meriti precedenti ma anche di contingenze precedenti.

L’ordine esteso di libero mercato non è mai, però, un gioco a somma zero; ciò che al suo interno uno guadagna non corrisponde inevitabilmente a ciò che un altro perde. Tuttavia, se tutti guadagnano nel complesso, questo deriva dal fatto che, in ogni momento, c’è qualcuno che perde in maniera relativa rispetto agli altri. Affinché, di conseguenza, il gioco nel complesso risulti essere vincente occorre che qualcuno perda in termini relativi. Se si va perciò ad impedire, tramite l’implementazione di un’assicurazione politica, che alcuni concorrenti possano subire perdite relative durante il gioco, si andrà ad impedire che questo stesso gioco si concluda con somma positiva.

E’ giusto od ingiusto tutto questo? Se l’assioma della non-aggressione viene da tutti rispettato, il processo di selezione è allora anonimo e senza intenzione. Ad essere ingiusto, conseguentemente, sarebbe l’intervento di un’autorità centrale che prelevasse coattivamente risorse altrui allo scopo di salvare dal tracollo Tizio, Caio o Sempronio e non certo lo sviluppo spontaneo delle azioni umane. Il fallimento di un’impresa o la perdita di un lavoro provoca sempre delle sofferenze per chi ne è colpito; malgrado ciò, non si può sostenere che nel libero mercato il fallimento sia un qualcosa voluto intenzionalmente da qualcuno o qualcosa in particolare, poiché trattasi meramente di una inadeguatezza che, prima o poi, gli agenti economici nel loro insieme dovevano sancire. In questi fatti non è riscontrabile alcun complotto giacché quando qualcuno subisce un fallimento imprenditoriale o perde il proprio impiego non può considerare qualcun altro responsabile dell’accadimento più di quanto non lo sia lui stesso.

Cosa è, quindi, economicamente giusto secondo i criteri di un ordine esteso di libero mercato? Assegnare ad ogni individuo non ciò di cui necessita o ciò che pensa di meritare, ma l’equivalente dei servizi che rende agli altri, in altre parole lasciare che il valore dei contributi economici dati da un determinato soggetto siano liberamente decisi da tutti gli altri soggetti. Accettando questa prospettiva, gli individui saranno indotti ad uscire dalla propria soggettività e ad andare adeguatamente incontro agli altri e alle loro preferenze; in un certo qual senso, possiamo affermare che questo è il “valore morale” del libero mercato, un valore che va ad aggiungersi a quel “dovere morale basilare” che è l’assioma della non-aggressione. Con l’ordine esteso di libero mercato impariamo a fare cose buone, o meglio a dare un bene o un servizio utile agli altri, partendo del nostro interesse, ed impariamo ad offrire un bene o un servizio utile anche a persone verso le quali non siamo unite da alcun legame di tipo affettivo.

Qualcuno potrebbe obiettare che l’ordine esteso di libero mercato non rispetta sufficientemente la dignità umana, ossia quella condizione di nobiltà ontologica e morale che dovrebbe essere considerata propria di ogni essere umano in quanto tale. A questa obiezione si possono offrire due tipi di risposte ambedue esaurienti.

La prima risposta è che questo modello di ordine si pone in principio in modo del tutto conforme e successivamente neutrale nei confronti di quella morale kantiana per la quale si deve imperativamente vedere e trattare l’altro come un fine e non come un mezzo. In principio conforme, perché se si rifiuta l’aggressione come modalità di interazione a priori per forza di cose non si può essere considerati dei mezzi, bensì come dei fini. Successivamente neutrale, perché, una volta sancita l’inviolabilità dell’assioma della non-aggressione, sarà la forza riconosciuta ad ogni altra regola di condotta morale ad influenzare le azioni spontanee degli individui. Muovendo da questi presupposti, si andrà a sviluppare, sulla base di una rigorosa ragion pratica, una vicinanza ed un’equivalenza tra volontà e doveri dell’essere umano. Se la dignità umana viene spontaneamente e generalmente percepita come valore che deve essere tenuto all’apice della considerazione, l’ordine esteso di libero mercato tenderà a forgiarsi prestando massima attenzione a tale dignità.

La seconda risposta parte dalla premessa che l’etica non è una scienza. Non possiamo argomentare in favore o a sfavore di un principio etico alla stessa maniera con cui argomentiamo in favore o a sfavore di un enunciato scientifico. I valori non sono derivabili dai fatti e, di conseguenza, i valori e le relative norme etiche non sono da considerarsi altro che delle proposte. In questo senso, non esiste un valore dell’uomo in quanto tale e, dunque, da una ipotizzata qualità intrinseca propria di ogni essere umano, ma dal giudizio di valore altrui. Nonostante ciò, non possedere argomentazioni capaci di offrire un fondamento razionalmente valido ed indubitabile dei valori ultimi, non poter fissare una scala di valorizzazione dei fini universale, non poter decidere quello che è meglio per l’uomo in termini assoluti, non ci impedisce affatto di stabilire in modo scientifico cosa è giusto e sbagliato, cosa è meglio e peggio, in termini relativi. La scienza non può accertare il ciò che dovrebbe essere, ma il ciò che è, invece, sì. Se il nostro fine è, pertanto, assicurare nel contempo la migliore allocazione delle risorse economiche, promuovere l’elevamento materiale del maggior numero di persone, aumentare e differenziare i gusti e le opinioni delle persone, contenere la violenza di cui sono capaci tutti gli esseri umani, difendere i diritti e le libertà individuali, l’ordine esteso di libero mercato deve essere lo strumento, il meccanismo di coordinamento, a cui ci si deve affidare.

Se si ritiene che le persone non siano in grado contemporaneamente di unire ad una competizione incessante una certa pace sociale, se si ritiene, quindi, che l’ordine esteso di libero mercato non possa sopravvivere alla sua esclusiva dominazione e che per questo motivo sia necessaria la presenza di un apparato coercitivo che agisca in regime di monopolio legalizzato al fine di garantire una certa pace sociale, vale a dire che ci sia bisogno di uno Stato, si sappia che, in ogni caso, si andrà anche a suddividere la comunità in pagatori di tributi e consumatori di tributi con le seguenti ulteriori conseguenze: i consumatori di tributi, operano per legge in regime di assenza di libero mercato e perciò usufruiscono per legge di posizioni arbitrarie. Questa situazione li rende impossibilitati, anche volendo, a condurre le proprie attività cercando di soddisfare il più possibile le preferenze degli altri. I consumatori di tributi, infatti, “non vendendo una merce” ma “imponendola”, non sono sottoposti agli incentivi e alle sanzioni che una interazione volontaria è capace di mettere in atto. La posizioni arbitrarie di cui godono i consumatori di tributi, frutto di uno scambio reso coattivo, impediscono ai giudizi di valore altrui di far penetrare quei segnali informativi, prima di tutto quelli di prezzo, necessari ad adattare al meglio la merce alle preferenze di tutti gli agenti del sistema globale. E anche quando vi è un qualche adeguamento che va incontro a quanto richiesto dal sistema globale questo avviene molto lentamente.

Se in aggiunta si ritiene che lo Stato sia nella sua essenza il protettore dei più deboli contro i più forti, che sia il rappresentante degli interessi permanenti di tutti contro l’interesse temporaneo e violento del singolo individuo, che abbia l’autorità morale per violare i diritti di proprietà ed autoproprietà individuali quando lo ritiene opportuno, che individualismo sia sinonimo di egoismo, si sappia anche che l’accrescere delle funzioni da parte dei consumatori di tributi obbliga gli stessi ad eliminare quote sempre più consistenti di ordine esteso di libero mercato e condizionare così sempre più le attività dei pagatori di tributi. E con l’incrementare dei vantaggi arbitrari, dato che, come sopra si è accennato, un sistema di relazioni umane che assoggetta le preferenze di tutti gli altri individui ai vantaggi arbitrari di alcuni individui è impossibilitato a svolgere un calcolo economico che tenga adeguatamente conto delle preferenze di tutti, ci si allontana gradualmente dalla economizzazione del prodotto globale effettivo dell’economia e dalla possibilità media di tutti.

Si deve allora affermare con vigore che la pianificazione degli affari da parte dello Stato è orientata verso l’inadeguatezza. Fondandosi su scambi coattivi e sull’aggressione, essa mette in moto una politica deleteria. Raggiunto un certo limite di interventismo statale il prodotto economico totale diminuisce piuttosto che crescere e quando questo risultato viene raggiunto tutti risultano essere in qualche maniera perdenti. Nel frattempo, si andranno sacrificando dosi via via più consistenti di coscienza e proprietà individuale e la comunità sarà sempre più polarizzata in soggetti dominati e soggetti dominatori.

Da un punto di vista etico, dunque, è possibile rifiutare la civiltà fondata sull’ordine esteso di libero mercato. Tuttavia, bisogna sapere che più ci si distanzia da questo ordine nella sua forma ideale, più prenderà piede la pianificazione economica e sociale coercitiva, più risorse economiche verranno distrutte, più l’impoverimento sarà diffuso, più il risultato finale sarà la legge della giungla o il caos economico oppure entrambe queste due cose. L’etica non è in grado di stravolgere il rapporto che sussiste tra mezzi e fini: un ordine incentrato su relazioni volontarie ed uno incentrato su relazioni coercitive possono essere stati entrambi pensati per ottenere il benessere del maggior numero di persone, ma solo il primo tipo di ordine risulta essere concretamente adatto a questo scopo.

“Ogni forma di società è operativa nelle azioni degli individui.” — Ludwig von Mises

Quando si utilizzano concetti come società, classe sociale, comunità, partito politico, elettorato, chiesa, nazione, critica letteraria, fisco, Stato, ordine esteso di libero mercato e qualsiasi altro nome che identifica un aggregato di individui, non si dovrebbe mai dimenticare che si stanno adoperando dei “concetti ausiliari”. Questi concetti non sono realtà effettive. Non esiste la scelta del libero mercato; esiste la libera scelta di ogni singolo individuo che nell’insieme tendono a dire una cosa piuttosto che un’altra. Non esiste la scelta di uno Stato; esiste la scelta di quel politico o di quel burocrate che è riuscito a far accettare il proprio parere ad altri individui.

Non diamo la colpa a presunte leggi ineluttabili della Storia. L’evoluzione culturale è, infatti, caratterizzata solo da tendenze e non anche da leggi ineluttabili. Il passaggio da una società che definiremmo opulenta ad una che definiremmo decadente non avviene perché gli individui sono in sostanza prigionieri di realtà oggettive ed impersonali o perché le nostre azioni sono tutte inevitabilmente determinate da eventi cerebrali e compulsioni interne. Come soggetti agenti esistono esclusivamente i singoli individui e non anche i costrutti mentali che essi impiegano nel comunicare, e la causalità deterministica non preclude il libero arbitrio giacché la volontà di dar sfogo all’impulso più immediato non impedisce in seguito di scegliere, invece, un’azione frutto di una volontà più lungimirante.

I fenomeni sociali sono correttamente spiegabili soltanto muovendo il nostro ragionamento da individui che hanno assorbito determinate idee da altri individui o che hanno prodotto idee nuove in base a cui agire. I memi selezionati o più selezionati rappresentano sì un ordine astratto che fa da cornice all’ordine concreto delle azioni individuali, ma tra questi due ordini non sussiste un rapporto di subordinazione, bensì di codeterminazione; l’ordine astratto agisce sull’ordine concreto invitandolo ad una certa ripartizione dei diritti, delle obbligazioni e delle risorse, ma l’ordine concreto può sempre far emergere diversi memi che se vengono sufficientemente condivisi andranno ad incidere sull’evoluzione dell’ordine astratto. Una volta che si ha chiaro che a certi fini voluti devono corrispondere certi mezzi e non altri, siamo nella condizione di poter distinguere la via che porta all’inferno da quella che porta ad un umano purgatorio.

The post L’evoluzione culturale: un cammino tra mezzi e fini appeared first on Ludwig von Mises Italia.

Ah, Yes, I Remember It Well

Lew Rockwell Institute - 6 ore 31 min fa

Democracy no longer exists in the West. In the US powerful private interest groups, such as the military-security complex, Wall Street, the Israel Lobby, agribusiness and the extractive industries of energy, timber and mining, have long exercised more control over government than the people. But now even the semblance of democracy has been abandoned.

In the US Donald Trump has won the Republican presidential nomination. However, Republican convention delegates are plotting to deny Trump the nomination that the people have voted him. The Republican political establishment is showing an unwillingness to accept democratic outcomes.The people chose, but their choice is unacceptable to the establishment which intends to substitute its choice for the people’s choice.

Do you remember Dominic Strauss-Kahn? Strauss-Kahn is the Frenchman who was head of the IMF and, according to polls, the likely next president of France. He said something that sounded too favorable toward the Greek people. This concerned powerful banking interests who worried that he might get in the way of their plunder of Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Italy. A hotel maid appeared who accused him of rape. He was arrested and held without bail. After the police and prosecutors had made fools of themselves, he was released with all charges dropped. But the goal was achieved. Strauss-Kahn had to resign as IMF director and kiss goodbye his chance for the presidency of France.

Curious, isn’t it, that a woman has now appeared who claims Trump raped her when she was 13 years old.

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Consider the political establishment’s response to the Brexit vote. Members of Parliament are saying that the vote is unacceptable and that Parliament has the right and responsibility to ignore the voice of the people.

The view now established in the West is that the people are not qualified to make political decisions. The position of the opponents of Brexit is clear: it simply is not a matter for the British people whether their sovereignty is given away to an unaccountable commission in Brussels.

Martin Schultz, President of the EU Parliament, puts it clearly: “It is not the EU philosophy that the crowd can decide its fate.”

The Western media have made it clear that they do not accept the people’s decision either. The vote is said to be “racist” and therefore can be disregarded as illegitimate.

Washington has no intention of permitting the British to exit the European Union. Washington did not work for 60 years to put all of Europe in the EU bag that Washington can control only to let democracy undo its achievement.

The Federal Reserve, its Wall Street allies, and its Bank of Japan and European Central Bank vassals will short the UK pound and equities, and the presstitutes will explain the decline in values as “the market’s” pronouncement that the British vote was a mistake. If Britain is actually permitted to leave, the two-year long negotiations will be used to tie the British into the EU so firmly that Britain leaves in name only.

No one with a brain believes that Europeans are happy that Washington and NATO are driving them into conflict with Russia. Yet their protests have no effect on their governments.

Consider the French protests of what the neoliberal French government, masquerading as socialist, calls “labor law reforms.” What the “reform” does is to take away the reforms that the French people achieved over decades of struggle. The French made employment more stable and less uncertain, thereby reducing stress and contributing to the happiness of life. But the corporations want more profit and regard regulations and laws that benefit people as barriers to higher profitability. Neoliberal economists backed the takeback of French labor rights with the false argument that a humane society causes unemployment. The neoliberal economists call it “liberating the employment market” from reforms achieved by the French people.

The French government, of course, represents corporations, not the French people.

The neoliberal economists and politicians have no qualms about sacrificing the quality of French life in order to clear the way for global corporations to make more profits. What is the value in “the global market” when the result is to worsen the fate of peoples?

Consider the Germans. They are being overrun with refugees from Washington’s wars, wars that the stupid German government enabled. The German people are experiencing increases in crime and sexual attacks. They protest, but their government does not hear them. The German government is more concerned about the refugees than it is about the German people.

Consider the Greeks and the Portuguese forced by their governments to accept personal financial ruin in order to boost the profits of foreign banks. These governments represent foreign bankers, not the Greek and Portuguese people.

One wonders how long before all Western peoples conclude that only a French Revolution complete with guillotine can set them free.

The post Ah, Yes, I Remember It Well appeared first on LewRockwell.

Old Men Start Wars, Young Men Die in Them

Lew Rockwell Institute - 6 ore 31 min fa

“Older men start wars, but younger men fight them.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die.” ~ Herbert Hoover

“I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.” ~ George S. McGovern

One hundred years ago today—on July 1, 1916—thousands of young men died after older men decided, again, to send them to war. On the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the British army suffered 57,470 casualties, of which 19,240 were deaths, the French had 1,590 casualties, and the Germans had over 10,000. It was the single greatest day for casualties in British military history. By the time the Battle of the Somme ended in November, the British had around 420,000 casualties, the French about 200,000, and the Germans about 500,000.them even though they enlisted in the U.S. war machine of their own free will.

So, how do you end the war once and for all? Easy. Young men simply need to stop joining the military. It is just as Einstein said:

Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.

The pioneers of a warless world are the youth who refuse military service.

“War has never been possible,” writes Robert Meagher in Killing from the Inside Out: Moral Injury and Just War, “ unless men have been willing to kill each other and, while they’re at it, possibly to be killed.” And as I have said over and over again: you can’t have a war without soldiers. It is only by young men not enlisting or refusing to enlist that war can be ended once and for all.

The post Old Men Start Wars, Young Men Die in Them appeared first on LewRockwell.

Never Take These Killer Drugs

Lew Rockwell Institute - 6 ore 31 min fa

By Dr. Mercola

It is now estimated that 1 in 8 Americans are on serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressants1 and a shocking 1 in 4 among women in their 40s and 50s.2 Yet the U.S. suicide rate of 38,000 a year has never been higher.3

Clearly, the glut of SSRI prescriptions is not lowering the national suicide rate; rather there is compelling evidence that the popular pills are actually contributing to suicide.

SSRIs and Violence

The first suspicion that SSRIs can cause dangerous and unintended psychiatric effects was a Kentucky shooting in 19894 in which pressman Joseph T. Wesbecker entered his former workplace, Standard Gravure, killed eight people, injured 12 and committed suicide after being prescribed Prozac.

Families of the wounded and killed soon filed a lawsuit against Prozac maker Eli Lilly and Company, claiming the SSRI contributed to the violence. The case went to a jury that sided with Lilly.

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Yet three days before the shooting, Wesbecker’s psychiatrist had written “Prozac?” in his patient notes as a possible explanation for his bizarre behavior.

Since the Standard Gravure killings, psychiatrists, drug safety advocates and bereaved families have consistently tried to expose links between SSRIs and suicides but are hampered by mainstream safety data that deny a suicide link.

Study Suggests ‘No Suicide Link’ Is Not to Be Trusted

However, a recent study suggests the “no suicide links” findings are not necessarily to be trusted, noting that: “Therapists should be aware of the lack of proof from RCTs (randomized control trials) that antidepressants prevent suicides and suicide attempts.”5

Dr. David Healy, professor of psychiatry at Bangor University and author of 20 books including “The Antidepressant Era,” “The Creation of Psychopharmacology,” “Let Them Eat Prozac,” “Mania,” and “Pharmageddon,” heartily agrees that the SSRI statistics given to the public is problematic.6

“People haven’t had access to the data. There have been no publications around it. This is one of the biggest problems on which there’s a huge amount of data, but to which we’ve got little or no access …

If we were getting our drug information from The New York Times instead of medical journals, we would all be a lot safer. When the Times reporter Jayson Blair was found to have fabricated stories, he was history.

But the editors and writers involved with journal fraud still have their jobs and the articles are not even retracted. In fact, Liz Wager, Ph.D., the chair of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) is herself Pharma-linked.”

The COPE website said about Wager,7 its former chair, “Liz provides writing, editing, training and consultancy services for various pharmaceutical companies” (most recently AstraZeneca, Cephalon, Cordis Corporation, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, Janssen-Cilag, Merck Serono, Mundipharma, Norgine, Novo Nordisk, Sanofi Pasteur and Vifor Pharma) at the time of the interview with Healy.

Healy estimates as many as 1,000 to 2,000 Americans on SSRIs kill themselves each year when they otherwise would not have done so. Violent acts against others and birth defects are also linked to the pills, he says.

Suicides Linked to Antidepressants Number in the Thousands

Even as high-level links between medical editors and the drug industry prevented accurate information from reaching the public, in 1997, drug safety activists launched a website called SSRIstories.com,8 which archived credible and published reports that cite the role of SSRIs and related antidepressants in suicides and other violent behavior.

There are now thousands of entries. “The kind of energy, rage and insanity is seen in a lot of crimes today was not seen before SSRIs appeared,” said Rosie Meysenburg, a founder of the website in an interview shortly before her death.9

In addition to the thousands of suicides, “there are two cases of women on the SSRI Stories site who stab a man close to 200 times and a case of a man who stabs his wife over 100 times and then goes next door to the neighbor’s house and stabbed the neighbor’s furniture about 500 times.”

The SSRI stories archive includes people on SSRIs setting themselves on fire, violent elderly people (which is rare) and bizarre cases of kleptomania and female school teachers molesting their minor male students. The common denominator in all the recorded crimes is the drug.

Drug companies routinely blame suicides on the depression that was being treated, not the drugs — but the experiences of patients treated with the same drugs for non-mental indications like pain and the experiences of healthy volunteers cannot be written off as the “disease.”

The Dark Side of Cymbalta

In 2004, 19-year-old Traci Johnson who had no history of mental problems hung herself in the Eli Lilly Clinic in Indianapolis while testing the drug giant’s serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) duloxetine, sold under the brand name Cymbalta, a type of antidepressant similar to SSRIs.10

The suicide did not delay the drug’s approval and wide use. In 2008, the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology describes a 37-year-old man with a stable marriage, stable employment and no history of mental problems trying to kill himself two months after being prescribed Cymbalta for back pain.

“The patient was unable to state exactly why he wanted to commit suicide,” wrote the four physician authors in the report, also noting that the man returned to normal when the drug was stopped.

The authors also report a 63-year-old man with no mental health history becoming suicidal two weeks after being put on Cymbalta for fatigue, insomnia, and sadness, yet he too was “unable to explain why he was having thoughts of wanting to die.”

Other cases of healthy people committing suicide on Cymbalta have been reported11and many still remember the suicide of Carol Gotbaum at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport who was on the drug. She was the stepdaughter-in-law of New York City’s public advocate at the time, Betsy Gotbaum.

Writing for Slate, reporter Jeanne Lenzer identified 13 suicides12 linked to Cymbalta besides Traci Johnson. Eli Lilly wanted to market the drug as a treatment for urinary incontinence too but withdrew its application and would not release the study data to Lenzer, she says. It may well have contained more evidence of suicide side effects.

The Drug Industry Still Fights Black Box Warnings Added in 2004

In 2004,13 in response to the outcry over antidepressant-linked suicides, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) directed drug makers to add a “Black Box” warning to SRRIs and related psychiatric drugs, highlighting suicide risks and the need for close monitoring of children and adolescents for suicidal thoughts and behavior.

“Today’s actions represent FDA’s conclusions about the increased risk of suicidal thoughts and the necessary actions for physicians prescribing these antidepressant drugs and for the children and adolescents taking them.

Our conclusions are based on the latest and best science. They reflect what we heard from our advisory committee last month, as well as what many members of the public have told us,” said Dr. Lester M. Crawford, acting FDA commissioner at the time.

Unfortunately, then and now, drug industry funded doctors have tried to claim that the warnings scare doctors and patients away and heighten suicide. While it would be ridiculous to blame obesity on the tighter restriction of obesity drugs, that is essentially what drug industry spokesmen have done with SSRI warnings and continue to do.

Even The New York Times was misled by such disinformation, reporting that SSRI warnings were causing a leap in suicides.

Journalist Alison Bass, however, revealed14 the paper on which the Times article was based was funded by a $30,000 Pfizer grant. The conclusions about higher suicides also turned out to be wrong because the researcher got his years mixed up.15

Contrary to drug industry claims about the warnings, the proportion of children and teens taking antidepressants actually rose in the U.S. after the Black Box was added from more than 1 percent to nearly 2 percent says Dr. Andrea Cipriani, associate professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Oxford, in England.16

Still, both David Shern, Ph.D., president of Mental Health America, a group investigated by Congress for undisclosed industry funding17 and Dr. Charles Nemeroff, also investigated by Congress, blamed18 the Black Box warnings for rising suicides. Speaking to ABC News, Nemeroff said:19

“I have no doubt that there is such a relationship. The concerns about antidepressant use in children and adolescents have paradoxically resulted in a reduction in their use, and this has contributed to increased suicide rates.”

False Charges About Black Box Warnings Continue

Nemeroff left his post at Emory University in disgrace because of his drug industry links20 and a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant he managed was suspended because of the conflicts of interest — a rare occurrence.21 Nor have the false charges about Black Boxes died down. Here is how a New York Times editorial read just last year.22

“Worse, antidepressants, which can be lifesaving, are probably being underused in young people. Their use fell significantly after the FDA issued its so-called black-box warning in 2004, stating that all antidepressants were associated with a risk of increased suicidal feeling, thinking and behavior in adolescents. That warning was later extended to young adults.

It’s not hard to understand why. The FDA’s well-intended warning was alarming to the public and most likely discouraged many patients from taking antidepressants. Physicians, too, were anxious about the admittedly small possible risks posed by antidepressants and were probably more reluctant to prescribe them.

This very small risk of suicidal behavior posed by antidepressant treatment has always been dwarfed by the deadly risk of untreated depression … Parents and teenagers, and their doctors, too, should not be afraid of antidepressants and should know that they can be very helpful. Indeed, with careful use and monitoring, they can be lifesaving. The only thing we should all fear is depression, a natural killer that we can effectively treat.”

Blaming underuse of drugs and falling sales on warnings that made patients or doctors “anxious” is not limited to antidepressants. Recently, industry-funded groups charged that warnings on the bone drugs called bisphosphonates about fractures and osteonecrosis of the jaw were scaring patients and doctors away and denying patients the drugs’ benefits.23

SSRIs Ignored in the Extremely High Rate of Suicide in the Military

During the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, troop suicides were higher than combat fatalities themselves and the majority of the suicides were among troops who had never even deployed.24 But when a long-awaited Army report came out, it largely blamed soldiers themselves for the deaths, especially highlighting illegal drug usage and barely mentioning the huge number of troops on prescription psychoactive drugs. In fact, the word “illicit” appears 150 times in the Army report and “psychiatrist” appears twice.25

At the time of the Army report, 73,103 prescriptions for Zoloft had been dispensed to troops, 38,199 for Prozac, 17,830 for Paxil and 12,047 for Cymbalta.26 In fact 4,994 troops at Fort Bragg alone were reported to be on antidepressants by the Fayetteville Observer.

Four years after the Army report, researchers addressed the military suicides in JAMA Psychiatry27 again not finding or considering the high prescribing of SSRIs within the military. The authors had financial links to Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Janssen-Cilag, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, Shire and Johnson & Johnson.

In a series of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars called “Medicating the Military,” when SSRI use was mushrooming, Military Times reported:28

“A Military Times investigation of electronic records obtained from the Defense Logistics Agency shows DLA spent $1.1 billion on common psychiatric and pain medications from 2001 to 2009. It also shows that use of psychiatric medications has increased dramatically — about 76 percent overall, with some drug types more than doubling — since the start of the current wars.

Troops and military health care providers also told Military Times that these medications are being prescribed, consumed, shared and traded in combat zones — despite some restrictions on the deployment of troops using those drugs. The investigation also shows that drugs originally developed to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are now commonly used to treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, such as headaches, nightmares, nervousness and fits of anger.

Such ‘off-label’ use — prescribing medications to treat conditions for which the drugs were not formally approved by the FDA — is legal and even common. But experts say the lack of proof that these treatments work for other purposes, without fully understanding side effects, raises serious concerns about whether the treatments are safe and effective.”

Many military administrators have unabashed drug company links, like Dr. Matthew Friedman, former executive director of the Veterans Affairs’ National Center for PTSD,29 who admitted receiving AstraZeneca money in a video on the Center’s site a few years ago (a video since taken down) and served as Pfizer Visiting Professor while helping a government organization.30

Recently, the Annals of Internal Medicine ran another study looking at military suicides without finding an antidepressant role. The study’s editors at the Annals had links31 to Eli Lilly, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. Considering all the risks associated with antidepressants, it would be wise to use them as a very last resort. To learn more about safer treatment options, please see my previous article, “Supplements Proven Beneficial for Your Mental Health.”

Sources and References

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A False Flag Event

Lew Rockwell Institute - 6 ore 31 min fa

A missionary friend of mine in Eastern Europe recently gave me a heads up regarding an excellent article written by Sebastian Swift entitled “5 Confirmed False Flag Operations And How To Spot Them In The Future.”

Swift writes, “The false flag phenomenon is distinctively modern and used as an ideological weapon to control populations with the fear of a manufactured enemy. They are used in ostensibly democratic systems where people believe they have inalienable rights. Such democratic systems–primarily the United States, Israel, and Great Britain–must shock people into sociopolitical and geopolitical consent and, as such, require sophisticated modern propaganda systems and advanced covert operations teams with highly proficient skills.”

Here are his telltale signs of a false flag operation:

~There is an immediate comprehensive narrative, including a convenient culprit. Law enforcement, government agencies, and the mainstream media immediately proffer a narrative that completely explains the event and encourages citizens to tie their intellectual understanding of the tragedy to the emotions they experience. In his lecture at Contact in the Desert, [author and researcher] Richard Dolan noted that a distinguishing characteristic of a false flag operation is that the official narrative IS NOT questioned by the media. There are often legislative, ideological and sociopolitical power plays waiting in the wings, which the government can immediately implement.

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~The official narrative has obvious domestic and geopolitical advantages for the governing body. The Bush administration used 9/11 to usher in the War on Terror, which has served as a lynchpin for countless civil liberty infringements by the national security state, including ubiquitous domestic surveillance and indefinite detention.

~The narrative behind the attack serves to leverage emotions like fear, as well as patriotism, in order to manufacture consent around a previously controversial issue. For example, many of the recent domestic terror attacks, including the Aurora [and Orlando] shooting[s], have exacerbated and reinforced advocacy of gun control legislation.

~Military training drills and police drills occur on the day of and very near the attack itself, causing confusion to obscure eyewitness testimony and allowing orchestrators to plant both patsies, disinformation and backup operatives. This is no small point. An incredible percentage of major domestic or international terror attacks have involved simultaneous “training drills.” This list includes, but is not limited to, the infamous NORAD drills of 9/11, the 7/7 London Bombings, the 2011 Norway shooting, the Aurora shooting, Sandy Hook, and the Boston Marathon. Though none of the aforementioned events can be confirmed or denied without a doubt, they bear a striking resemblance to previous false flag attacks and should be looked at with an investigative eye.

See the article here:

5 Confirmed False Flag Operations And How To Spot Them In The Future

It’s time for those of us who have been reluctant to consider the possibility that our own government (and the governments of Israel and Great Britain) could actually be complicit in domestic terrorism in order to further a nefarious agenda to at least stop accepting the government and media’s version of these tragedies at face value. For the most part, the mainstream media is little more than a propaganda ministry for the federal government. We haven’t seen true objective investigative journalism since before the death of John F. Kennedy.

Granted, not every national tragedy is part of a government conspiracy–and there is a plethora of “conspiracy nuts” out there to whom EVERYTHING is a conspiracy and through which we must wade to try to ascertain the truth. These people make it difficult for all of us. The Internet has provided the Chicken Littles of the world with an opportunity to play journalist. And their “everything’s -a- conspiracy” rants only serve to mask the true conspiracies and turn the average John Doe away from the truth. That’s why I believe that many of these “conspiracy-everywhere” Internet bloggers are actually PART OF THE CONSPIRACY. Their job is to make genuine whistleblowers and researchers look like conspiracy “kooks.” Then, of course, there are genuine kooks out there, too.

Regardless, the similarities and “coincidences” of many of these national tragedies are just too numerous for rational people to ignore. I believe Mr. Swift’s analysis is very intelligent, coherent, and plausible.

Our Founding Fathers believed their government (the British Crown) was deliberately conspiring against them. Thomas Jefferson said as much in our Declaration of Independence:

“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Read it again: “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a DESIGN to reduce them under absolute Despotism . . . .” Jefferson and the rest of America’s founders believed that there was a “design” (i.e, “plot,” “scheme,” or “conspiracy,” if you please) to “reduce them under absolute Despotism.” So, if you believe that government conspiracy is only for kooks, you must include America’s Founding Fathers in that group.

Patrick Henry may have said it best: “We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation?

“For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth–to know the worst and to provide for it.”

I submit if we deliberately “shut our eyes against a painful truth,” liberty is not long for this country. And there is plenty of blame to go around.

Obviously, the “no conspiracy” group is contributing greatly to the demise of liberty by their unwillingness to even examine the evidence suggesting government conspiracies. Truly, they are shutting their eyes “against a painful truth.” And, unfortunately, this group is most prevalent among pastors, Christians, and churches.

I find it incredible that people who supposedly study their Bibles are so completely blind to government conspiracies. The Old and New Testaments are replete with examples of government conspiracies. Jewish governments, especially, were notorious for conspiring against God’s prophets in the Old Testament and against Jesus and the Apostles in the New Testament. Plus, the New Testament plainly pictures the master conspirator, Satan, as being the “god of this world” and “the prince of the power of the air.” His offer to Christ on the Mount of Temptation to give Jesus the “kingdoms of the world” was NOT challenged by the Lord. In other words, Jesus didn’t dispute the fact that Satan controls many, if not most, of the world’s governments. The Book of Ephesians warns against the conspiracy of “principalities,” “powers,” “rulers of the darkness of this world,” and “spiritual wickedness in high places.” Every Bible commentator that I respect includes wicked civil magistrates within these personages. Yet when one brings up the possibility of government conspiracies to the average church member, he or she is treated as if they have the palsy.

Nowhere is this attitude of the denial of conspiracies more evident than in the whole Muslim versus America façade. Almost no Christian leader seems to be able to see the “man behind the curtain” in this whole affair. They have absolutely NO concept of what the governments of the U.S., Great Britain, Israel, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia are surreptitiously doing to instigate and foment this “war with Islam.” (Of course, there is no war against the Islamic states of Saudi Arabia and Turkey; they are our “allies.”) Christians aren’t even willing to study the matter. Therefore, the devil–along with the evil miscreants inside Western governments that he controls–is able to go about his diabolical work completely undetected.

But, in all fairness, the “everything’s -a- conspiracy” group must also share culpability in our country’s demise. There are too many professing “patriots” who seem to have no honesty or objectivity whatsoever. To them, everything the government does is bad whether it is or isn’t. And, of course, they, the so-called “patriots,” can do NOTHING wrong.

For example, if a black kid in an inner city is unjustly killed by a police officer, these “patriots” say absolutely NOTHING. But if one of their “own” is justly killed by police, they scream “tyranny” and shout about the need for revolution. Such people seem to have no reasoning ability and no understanding of Natural Law. They are agenda driven as surely as are big-government toadies. In fact, some of these “patriot” Internet bloggers and radio broadcasters are no better than the mainstream media: they twist the truth in order to pander to the people who are supporting them financially. It’s not about principle; it’s not about truth; it’s not about the rule of law. It’s all about their financial success.

When we only condemn injustice committed by the government, while overlooking and condoning injustice committed by so-called “patriots,” we lose all credibility and integrity. Everything is not a conspiracy. Every policeman or federal agent is not a Jackboot. Sometimes there are real acts of violence committed by real deranged criminals with no help whatsoever from anyone–including anyone in government. And sometimes there are so-called “patriots” who are themselves evil, using the freedom movement for their own ulterior purposes. And, of course, there are well-intentioned people who sometimes do very foolish and unwise things. And only foolish and unwise people would condone and support foolish and unwise actions, even if they are well-intentioned.

I totally agree with Sebastian Swift’s article that there are indeed false flag operations being perpetrated by rogue elements within government–including the governments of the United States, Great Britain, and Israel. I further agree that people need to honestly and objectively be alert for the identifying characteristics of these false flag operations. More than that, the American people need to begin holding our civil magistrates accountable for these operations, as they could not continue without the tacit support of our elected representatives and President.

But what we do NOT need are phony “patriots” who do nothing but distract, confuse, and incite by calling everything a conspiracy and who themselves are guilty of unlawful conduct–unlawful conduct as defined by God and Natural Law. (This is why the ignorance and silence of America’s pulpits is such an egregious crime: people do not even know how to discern lawful and unlawful conduct because pastors are not teaching them these Biblical Natural Law principles.) Plus, I am personally convinced that many of these hot-headed so-called “patriots” are in reality government agent provocateurs who are deliberately trying to incite real patriots into doing something stupid.

Again, I submit if we deliberately “shut our eyes against a painful truth,” liberty is not long for this country. And that includes admitting when a tragedy is NOT a conspiracy. But it also means admitting when evidence suggests that it IS.

P.S. Let me remind readers that we are currently shipping THE FREEDOM DOCUMENTS. We do this in honor of Independence Day. This is the great compilation of America’s most important historical documents in ONE VOLUME. Such a volume does not exist anywhere else that I know of. Our supply is very limited and will not last long. Order now:

THE FREEDOM DOCUMENTS

Reprinted with permission from ChuckBaldwinLive.com.

The post A False Flag Event appeared first on LewRockwell.

How Fast Can You Bug Out?

Lew Rockwell Institute - 6 ore 31 min fa

Bugging out.

Getting out of Dodge.

Evacuation.

Whatever you choose to call it, thousands of Americans end up having to leave their homes due to emergencies every year.  According to FEMA:

Evacuations are more common than many people realize. Hundreds of times each year, transportation and industrial accidents release harmful substances, forcing thousands of people to leave their homes. Fires and floods cause evacuations even more frequently. Almost every year, people along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts evacuate in the face of approaching hurricanes. (source)

We feared that if we had to leave our home, we might never be coming back.

Identify the things that are dear to your heart and put them in a place where you can grab those treasures quickly. Insurance can’t replace these things. They can’t replace that big-headed clay dinosaur with pink sparkles that your little one lovingly presented to you.

We have all of these items stashed or displayed near a bin into which they can quickly be stowed in the event of an evacuation. We have backed up the photos digitally. You can’t imagine how awful it would feel to lose these things, so please take steps to make them quick and easy to take with you.

Secondly, if you have room, take some of your favorite things that may not be practical right now, but that you’d really miss. Do you have a favorite suit for work? A pair of shoes or a tie that make you feel fantastic and confident? Some comfy sweats that you’ve spent 7 years breaking in until they reached the perfect level of softness?  As impractical as it sounds, these are far less easy to replace than jeans and whatever t-shirt you grab first. Favorite things can help you feel more normal when your world is turned upside down. If the worst happens, and your home in destroyed, you will find some small comfort in familiar items.

If your home is destroyed.

Sometimes, despite the best efforts of emergency crews, your home is destroyed in whatever disaster you evacuated from. The first step to rebuilding your life is replacing any important documents that you weren’t able to bring with you. You can find more information on that topic here.

Reprinted with permission from The Organic Prepper.

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The Goldwagon Won’t Wait

Lew Rockwell Institute - 6 ore 31 min fa

Between 1999, when gold bottomed at $250, and the 2011 peak at $1,920 there was only one major correction lasting 8 months in 2008. The ensuing correction from the 2011 top at $1,920 of almost $900 seemed to take an eternity until it finally finished in December 2015. During those four years, it was always clear to me that the uptrend in the precious metals was still intact although I must admit that I did not expect a correction of that duration. But after a long life in markets, patience becomes a virtue that is absolutely essential. If your investment decisions are based on sound principles at the outset, there is no reason to change your opinion because the market takes longer to accomplish what it must do.

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Summer Fun: Hot Dogs, Fireworks

Lew Rockwell Institute - 6 ore 32 min fa

I suppose we’re all supposed to be shocked by this terrorist attack by ISIS over in Turkey just a couple weeks after the one in Orlando. I don’t suppose anyone will recall that Turkey is a NATO nation, like the United States who honchos the whole NATO shebang. Gosh, and Turkey is hopping mad and demanding revenge. Imagine that.

I wouldn’t think that the quiet buildup of U.S. military forces in the region might herald an invasion of Syria, would you? Nah, none of this has anything to do with that. I mean, according to the government, ISIS can only really be found in Syria. Well, except when they’re launching attacks in other countries, evidently unimpeded by the vast resources in electronic eavesdropping the government has. No, I don’t think that these attacks might be used to justify an invasion of Syria people would not otherwise support, do you?

If I had to predict when such an invasion would take place, I’d have to say probably August. Obama slipped up and mentioned that if the “civil war” in Syria didn’t end by then, the United States would need to step in. How very interesting that attacks from or inspired by ISIS are ramping up as August approaches. I think the invasion is already in progress. I think the military forces are already being put into place and quite a few are already there. Many placed in nearby regions, too, under the cover of “military exercises” which is, after all, how Germany invaded Poland in 1939.

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There’s a lot of theories out there about who benefits from this. There’s got to be some money or power or both involved here. All of this certainly is not about Bashar al-Assad. I would wonder if vast oil reserves have not been quietly discovered in Syria. Perhaps they want to slant drill into some neighboring country’s fields. I don’t know. But there is some tangible reason the government has gotten a hold of this and won’t let go of it. It’s gone beyond the ego factor.

I would think that the peace overtures to Iran have more to do with isolating Assad from a potential ally in an invasion than any genuine wish for peace with Iran on the part of the United States government. After Syria is conquered, Iran can be made the enemy again, if need be. The wild card here is Russia and that’s one reason that three NATO divisions have just been sent into Poland in the past month. I don’t think all the activity on the part of NATO in Eastern Europe and the Baltic nations has anything to do with Russia per se. But it has to do with sending a message to stay out of Syria if the United States and NATO invade.

People think such an invasion would never come on the doorstep of a presidential election. That’s one reason it just might. People might be lulled into a false sense of security that the Democrats wouldn’t risk an election to get into Syria. Right, but Hillary will play that up as the reason we “can’t afford” to make changes or take chances with “inexperience” and she’ll try to win the election based on that. They’re banking that no one will remember that, hey, this party STARTED the war. However, the way it will be sold is: “We’re getting tough on these terrorists! See?” Yes, I see it a bit more clearly than that.

Turkey will probably, in the next few days, invoke the NATO Suicide Pact of “an attack on one is an attack on all” and demand help to start bombing targets in Syria. Gosh, and weren’t some A-10 tank killer aircraft just sent over that way some time back? They’ll need those to take out Assad’s new T-90 tanks because those are impervious to the TOW anti-tank missiles we gave to ISIS, I mean, the Syrian moderates. It’ll be the United States that will first say that we stand firm with our NATO ally, blah, blah, blah. And, gee, we just happen to have a number of military assets in the region available for use. Not to mention aircraft carrier battle groups can sit right there and launch sorties into Syria with impunity.

But they’re throwing the dice on a gamble that Russia will not intervene on behalf of Assad. At some point, Russia is going to get tired of the United States spreading its wings in front of their face. They may or may not decide Syria is the proper place to do that. One thing Russia knows is that if NATO tried to come into Russia from Eastern Europe, they’ll soon be shaking hands with Napoleon’s army and Hitler’s army. Russia isn’t threatened by a NATO invasion. They don’t like them there, true. But the United States has not fought a winter war since World War Two and neither have NATO nations. And if the invasion of Syria is in August, and Russia joins Assad, Russia knows a retaliatory NATO invasion of Russia will bog down and fail in a scant few months.

However, if Russia decides it isn’t worth it, here’s how it’ll go down after the U.S. and NATO invade Syria. They’ll find Assad’s army is not Saddam’s army. The U.S. and NATO will incur some substantial losses, including aircraft, this time, tanks, and plenty of troops. Americans and Europeans will begin to fidget in their seats and the streets of Europe will erupt into riots. Very possibly American streets, too. But unless Assad gets lucky and sinks an aircraft carrier (which will scare the crap out of the American people), he won’t be able to wangle a cease-fire out of the United States. In time, U.S. and NATO forces will overcome Assad’s army and they’ll “win” the war. But not so fast.

What they will have “won” is a war against the army fighting ISIS in Syria. Meaning Syria will, within less than a week, be crawling with hardline Islamic radicals and guerillas looking to eject the American and European infidels. They’ll sit tight until Assad and his army are gone; even incurring losses since NATO will need to look like the war is against ISIS. They’ll probably cross the border into Turkey and hide in plain sight. But once Syria falls, those U.S. and NATO forces are going to be paper ducks on a conveyor belt in a shooting gallery. As was the case in Iraq, one by one, the European allies will fall away as losses anger their citizens back home. Leaving the United States, once more, fighting a war it cannot win after it thought it had a victory. Wars are not won in the Middle East with weapons and armies. They are won with time and patience. The Romans discovered that the hard way, too.

Obviously, if ISIS had as its goal the establishment of a hardline Islamic government in Syria, that goal has not changed if they still exist. Therefore, once Assad is gone, they will then see the only thing standing between them and their goal are U.S. and NATO military forces. They will remember that a guerilla war against them will bear fruit as casualties mount. The United States thinks once in Syria, it can eliminate Assad and ISIS in one swoop. Wrong. In fact, eliminating Assad and occupying Syria will create yet another resistance movement separate from ISIS which will be composed of ex-Syrian army soldiers, Syrians who will not submit to a U.S. government satrap, and Syrians who lost family members to American military operations. ISIS will be but one group of, I predict, three major guerilla armies that will often cooperate in a quasi-confederacy to eject the United States.

The United States does not have the ability to learn from past mistakes. Why? Because these clueless people continue electing the dummies that make them and allow them to do so even when it is revealed they’ve elected a tyrant. They buy into the “We’ve been attacked!” hogwash and will go along with a war every time. There is no reason the government cannot do as it pleases. There are no consequences for them. In fact, they’ll make money off the books ghost writers will scribble for them.

I wouldn’t put it past the government to start bombing Syria on the Fourth of July to really put the finishing touches on this Propaganda Masterpiece Theater. They’ll call it “Operation Independence Day Freedom”. That way, they can channel another cheesy, pathetic, over-the-top “patriotic” movie in this farce just as they did with the movie “The Patriot” after 9/11. Yeah, remember that? Then we had “The Patriot Act” and Bush telling us to “stay the course” when Iraq turned sour just like the lead hero in “The Patriot” was told after his son got killed. Right, stay the course this Independence Day for freedom and freedom and, oh, did we mention freedom?

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Clinton the First

Lew Rockwell Institute - 6 ore 32 min fa

[Classic: May 22, 1997] — Americans are traditionally taught that any boy can grow up to be president, and nobody has taken that idea to heart like William Jefferson Clinton. Dreaming of greatness, he didn’t foresee that his presidency would be consumed by such questions as Just how bad is this president? Will he be impeached? Will his wife go to jail?

The first O. J. Simpson trial may be the fitting emblem for the Clinton years. Bill Clinton is his own Dream Team, artfully suppressing evidence, changing the subject, and getting himself off one hook after another, even when he’s obviously guilty

The historian Paul Johnson writes in Esquire that “there can be no doubt that Clinton has already seriously damaged the office [of the presidency].” He goes on: “Clinton’s general moral standards are low or nonexistent. He seems to lie easily and fluently when cornered, and he seems to have had no scruples about using his office to enrich himself and his friends…. He is not so much consciously wicked as merely amoral, a man unaware of sharp distinctions between right and wrong.”

What saves this president from ruin, Mr. Johnson observes, is partly the confusing multiplicity of his scandals; the public can barely focus on one before another distracts attention from it.

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With O. J. Simpson there were two corpses, but the proceedings still got tangled up in side issues. With Bill Clinton, there never seems to be a central issue – just a kaleidoscopic serial scandal, which the public regards with weary cynicism. Just when you get up to speed on Vince Foster, Susan McDougal, Paula Jones, and Craig Livingstone, out pop John Huang and his friends

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal is conducting a running discussion on its editorial and correspondence pages as to whether Mr. Clinton is a “sociopath.” A pair of psychiatrists from Arizona write: “Sociopaths are wonderful blamers. They are always ready to identify fault elsewhere.” They can also be facile charmers, highly persuasive and seemingly compassionate to others while caring only for themselves.

Maybe, maybe. But is it just Bill Clinton? Doesn’t the concept of a “sociopath” sound uncomfortably like a recipe for a successful career in modern mass politics?

Who but a ruthlessly ambitious though outwardly charming man is likely to rise to the top in a fluid system of unlimited opportunity, even if we call it “democracy”? The old idea of self-government was that communities would tend to choose their best men as their rulers and representatives. That may be possible in a small community, where people know each other and can judge each other’s character.

But how can it happen in a mass society, where we may never hear of a candidate until he already has a powerful organization behind him? And in those circumstances what we hear of him is likely to be the result of a professionally engineered “image” rather than anyone’s considered personal judgment.

This century’s most disastrous rulers have been upstarts, almost unknown until they took power. Looking back over the fraud and carnage, you have to wonder if there isn’t something to be said for pedigrees, blue blood, and snobbery and even hereditary rule.

Samuel Johnson, a monarchist, opposed popular elections on grounds that the choice of a “rabble” was no more reliable than blind chance. You can go further. The choice of a rabble (that is to say, We the People) is likely to be an ambitious man who has positioned himself to be elected before the rabble knows he exists.

At least we know that a hereditary monarch didn’t seek the job and didn’t need a sociopath’s skills to get it. If power must be given to someone, maybe it’s wisest to impose it on someone who has no choice about it. The perks of monarchy are pretty good and should console him for the burdens. Besides, if he really hates the job, he can always abdicate.

Bill Clinton isn’t our worst president, just the most degraded – the first occupant of the Oval Office to inspire zipper jokes and speculation about possible sociopathic tendencies. Somewhere, George III is having a good laugh.

An interesting detail is that many of those unpedigreed men of the people – Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Tito – took power under assumed names, rather than the ones they were born with. Bill Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe.

###

This column, which was included in a collection of Sobran essays titled Hustler: The Clinton Legacy (Griffin Communications, 285 pages, 2000), was published originally by Universal Press Syndicate on May 22, 1997.

Reprinted with permission from Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation.

 

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Get Out of Jail Free Card

Lew Rockwell Institute - 6 ore 32 min fa

If you’ve been waiting to buy gold and silver the wait is over.

In his most recent Gold Videocast, Peter Schiff looks at how the price of silver has just surged to a high it hasn’t seen since January of last year. In the aftermath of Brexit, Peter takes this as a good sign that the prices of both gold and silver are about to really break out and begin moving up in significant bursts. Now that gold is holding steady above $1,300 an ounce, investors who have been waiting on the sidelines to buy should consider acting soon – before sellers start hoarding their metals as the prices move up.

Peter’s forecast is based less on the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, and more on what is going to happen in America. Peter reiterated what he said in his recent appearance on CNBC’s Trading Nations: the Brexit basically gave Janet Yellen a get out of jail free card:

only here but around the world, and all the naysayers, all the people who have been saying that, oh, the guys like Peter Schiff are wrong, the Fed was right, Bernanke was right, he was the hero, Paul Krugman was right, there is no inflation, all the people that had these premature victory laps are gonna have a lot of egg on their face.

But in the meantime, there isn’t a lot of time left for people to buy gold and silver while there are still people foolish enough to sell it. Because I think the supply of sellers is gonna rapidly run dry as more and more people come to the obvious conclusion they should have come to years ago but they didn’t. But all of a sudden, people are gonna have that a-ha moment, they’re gonna have that epiphany, and it’s gonna be a race. But before that happens, if you haven’t fully allocated your gold and silver positions, I would encourage you to do so now. And if you haven’t bought any, if you’ve been waiting, you know, the wait is over. And I wouldn’t be waiting for lower prices because I doubt we’re gonna see them. The prices are low enough. Just buy them. Maybe they’re higher than they were. Don’t think, “Oh, I missed out because we’ve had this big run in the last few months.” Prices are still very cheap not only relative to where they’ve been in the past, but they’re very cheap relative to where I think they’re gonna be in the future.

“If you’ve been waiting, the wait is over. And I wouldn’t be waiting for lower prices because I doubt we’re going to see them. The prices are low enough. Just buy them.”

Reprinted from SchiffGold.com.

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Don’t Say Christmas Vacation

Lew Rockwell Institute - 6 ore 32 min fa

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill issued a guide this week which instructs students that Christmas vacations and telling a woman “I love your shoes!” are “microaggressions.”

The taxpayer-funded guide — entitled “Career corner: Understanding microaggressions” — also identifies golf outings and the words “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” as microaggressions.

The UNC Chapel Hill guide, published on Thursday, covers a wide range of menacing microaggressions — which are everyday words that radical leftists have decided to be angry or frustrated about.

Christmas vacations are a microaggression, the public university pontificates, because “academic calendars and encouraged vacations” which “are organized around major religious observances” centralize “the Christian faith” and diminish “non-Christian spiritual rituals and observances.”

Interestingly, the long break between semesters at UNC Chapel Hill for the 2016-2017 academic year will last from December 17 to January 10 — thus covering Christmas as well as the New Year’s Day of the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar is named for Pope Gregory XIII. The Roman Catholic Church introduced the calendar in 1582.

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The microaggression of liking shoes occurs when someone says “I love your shoes!” “to a woman in leadership during a Q & A after a speech.” So it’s a very specific microaggression. The problem, the University of North Carolina document declares, is that the shoe admirer values appearances “more than” “intellectual contributions.”

Read the Whole Article

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Bait & Switch Unplugged

Lew Rockwell Institute - 6 ore 32 min fa

The defeat of the “remains” on June 23 was one of the great days in my life. Yet I am an American. Why should I care?

Answer: because I have been opposed to the New World Order for over half a century. I have watched these clever people pull off the final phase of the most self-conscious bait-and-switch operation of the twentieth century. It has now begun to disintegrate. Brexit was the first stage of this disintegration.

The first phase began in England in the decade after the Boer War and before World War I. The central institution, literally and figuratively, was the Round Table Group. Begun in 1909, it was run by Lord Milner, who was funded by Cecil Rhodes. Its commitment was to the British Empire. It sought greater integration of the Commonwealth countries, plus the breakaway colony: the United States of America. This goal goes back to Rhodes, in whose honor the Rhodes Scholarships are named.

Phase two began shortly after World War I. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. was the main source of the funding in the United States. His agent (“bag man”) was Raymond Fosdick, the brother of liberal Protestantism’s pied piper, Harry Emerson Fosdick.

Why are the most advertised Gold and Silver coins NOT the best way to invest?

BAIT AND SWITCH

What was the bait and switch? This. Lure intellectuals and then politicians into a lobster trap of one-world government by means of the promise of greater wealth through free trade. Create free trade alliances that are in fact not free trade but rather trade managed by international bureaucrats. This is a combination of low tariffs and detailed regulations of production and distribution. Economic regulation favors large multinational firms that can afford lots of expensive lawyers. This regulatory system creates economic barriers against newer, more innovative, but undercapitalized competitors. In short, use the bait of greater national wealth to persuade national leaders into agreeing to a treaty-based international government that requires member nations to surrender much of national sovereignty. The final stage is the creation of centralized regional governments that absorb national governments into an immense international bureaucratic system that regulates most areas of life.

The arguments favoring free trade go back to David Hume in 1752, and later to his friend Adam Smith, whoseWealth of Nations (1776) presented a comprehensive case. Liberty is more productive than freedom. Free trade simply means that two people can legally agree to an exchange if they choose to. Simple. The idea of voluntary exchange is hated by those producers who cannot compete effectively, but the case is both logical and moral.

The reason why the Rockefeller Foundation paid F. A. Hayek, Wilhelm Röpke, and Ludwig von Mises to write books on international trade was to provide the economic bait.

Raymond Fosdick went on John D. Rockefeller, Sr.’s payroll no later than 1913. He went on Junior’s payroll no later than 1916. He had met Fosdick in 1910. Fosdick was one of Woodrow Wilson’s protégés at Princeton. A brief summary of his career is here. It does not cover his time at the Versailles Peace Conference, where he and Jean Monnet worked together in 1919 to create the League of Nations. It does not mention Monnet. It also does not cover his time as Junior’s personal lawyer and advisor, 1920-1936. His brother Harry was on the board of the Foundation from 1917 on.

Another Wilson protégé was John Foster Dulles. He was the grandson of John Foster, Secretary of State under Harrison, known as “the fixer.” He was also the nephew of Robert Lansing, Wilson’s Secretary of State, who helped take the government into World War I. He was Secretary of State under Eisenhower. He was the defense attorney for Harry Emerson Fosdick in Fosdick’s 1924 trial for heresy in the northern Presbyterian Church. He had been one of America’s richest lawyers in the 1930’s. He was a committed globalist. He was a deal-maker between American firms and the Hitler government until a revolt in his own firm got him to stop. He was an early promoter of the World Council of Churches, founded in 1948. He also presented a program in the 1930’s for creating an international government funded by a low tax on international trade that would be created for the sake of huge firms — his clients. They would be exempted from national tariffs.

These men were globalists. They proclaimed the doctrine of free trade, but always with this proviso: free trade was the bait for creating an international government with managed trade.

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Lee Harvey Oswald Was Innocent

Lew Rockwell Institute - 6 ore 32 min fa

Lee Harvey Oswald was not in the sniper’s nest from which President John F Kennedy was shot – but his gun was used in the shooting, a new book concludes.

In a forensic analysis of the killing, author Flip de Mey puts forward a new theory for the assassination which he says has not previously been considered.

De Mey says that Oswald was not on the sixth floor of the Dallas book depository when the three shots were fired at Kennedy.

He analyzes the claims of two key witnesses and says that they either lied or were unreliable.

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But in a surprise twist de Mey also claims to prove conclusively that Oswald’s gun was used in the killing – even if it was not him who pulled the trigger.

Crucial picture: This image of Lee Harvey Oswald, taken by his wife Marina, in his backyard with a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle is the one most closely associated with his role in the Kennedy assassination

Key witness: Howard Brennan was caught in a photograph which showed him outside the Texas School Book Depository. The image was annotated to show A, the window where he says he saw a man fire a gun from and B, where he saw ‘colored guys’ watching the motorcade. But de Mey says he could not have seen a man at A

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L'impossibilità di un atterraggio di fortuna

Freedonia - Gio, 30/06/2016 - 10:09




di David Stockman


Mentre i robo-trader giocano coi punti sui grafici, val la pena considerare come andrà a finire questa storia. Dopo tutto, alla chiusura dei mercati di oggi l'S&P 500 era valutato al 24.3X degli utili per azione. Cioè, le valutazioni sono alle stelle, ma la storia finanziaria è caduta nelle profondità delle possibilità future.

Detto in modo diverso, ogni inizio anno gli analisti sanno che ciò che spinge gli LBO è il tasso di crescita previsto per fine anno. Diventate abbastanza fantasiosi circa le possibilità, e potrete ritrovarvi con un ottimo ritorno sugli investimenti, anche se gli anni successivi potrebbero sembrare un po' burrascosi.

A quanto pare poco importa se gli utili siano scesi per cinque trimestri consecutivi e a $86.53 per azione sono ora giù del 18.5% rispetto al loro picco del settembre 2014. S'ignora anche che questo trimestre sarà in negativo del 10% e che non vi è alcuna base razionale per un rimbalzo in tempi brevi.

Ma da qualche parte dietro ai robo-trader ci sono persone senza cervello che acquistano ciò che Wall Street sta scaricando. E che lo sappiano o meno, a 24.3X stanno scommettendo su un grande tasso di crescita di fine anno nonostante le turbolenze deflazionistiche che affliggono l'economia globale.

Ecco il punto, però. L'attuale ondata deflazionistica non è una deviazione una tantum che passerà a tempo debito. Per l'analogia di cui sopra, non abbiamo soltanto due anni di numeri pessimi con un robusto valore a fine anno.

Quello che abbiamo, invece, è semplicemente una serie di onde d'urto iniziali partite dalle banche centrali. In agguato, quindi, c'è un rischio insondabile, non una crescita straordinaria.

In una parola, il mercato azionario non vale nemmeno 15X dei suoi utili correnti, o a 1300. Alla fine i tipi senza cervello là fuori che si fanno buggerare dai continui dead cat bounce, ringrazieranno la loro buona stella se le loro perdite saranno solo del 40%.

Il vicolo cieco storico davanti a noi è drammaticamente evidente se guardiamo alla BOJ e alla follia della NIRP. E il Giappone sta seguendo solo quelle politiche raccomandate dai keynesiani e che vengono anche seguite dalla BCE e dalla FED.

L'ultimo posto sulla terra che può permettersi tassi d'interesse negativi, è proprio il Giappone. Si tratta di una colonia di vecchi in lizza per il fallimento fiscale. Tra un paio d'anni avrà un disperato bisogno di acquirenti per i suoi titoli di stato, i quali non rappresentano affatto la loro ricchezza in yen.

Eppure Kuroda-san ha appena ribadito al parlamento giapponese che può andare più in profondità nella NIRP, se necessario, o comprare più titoli con il QEE — anche se questo coinvolgerebbe $50 miliardi l'anno di ETF a causa della scarsità di titoli di stato giapponesi.

E "scarso" non è certo un termine adeguato. La BOJ sta ora acquistando più del 100% delle nuove emissioni di debito fiscale del Giappone, e queste a loro volta ammontano a quasi il 50% della spesa corrente. Eppure dopo che i pazzi alla BOJ acquistano le loro quote mensili, rimangono solo pochi bond in circolazione.

Così adesso il decennale giapponese è trattato ad un tasso negativo di 13 punti base. È diventato così scarso che è emersa una comica caccia a rendimenti decenti in quel che resta del mercato dei titoli di stato giapponese. Vale a dire, gli investitori istituzionali giapponesi al fine di trovare rendimenti "positivi" si accalcano verso la fine della curva dei rendimenti, dove stanno raccogliendo obbligazioni a 40 anni ad un rendimento di soli 29 punti base.

Questo è semplicemente orrendo. Ecco come apparirà la colonia giapponese di vecchi tra 40 anni da oggi. Stiamo parlando di un 40% di riduzione delle dimensioni della popolazione in età lavorativa.

L'attuale popolazione in età lavorativa del Giappone (75 milioni) sta già barcollando sotto il peso delle imposte correnti e del costo della vita elevato. Ma quando raggiungerà 45 milioni entro il 2060, la matematica diventerà proibitiva.




In altre parole, il culto dei tassi d'interessi ultra-bassi e l'assioma keynesiano secondo cui la prosperità può essere sempre creata con più debito, sta letteralmente distruggendo la capacità del Giappone di adoperare una governance razionale. In realtà, ciò di cui ha bisogno il Giappone è esattamente l'opposto della NIRP — cioè, alti tassi d'interesse e forti ricompense per il differimento del consumo presente.

In preparazione della bomba ad orologeria rappresentata dalla demografia, ad esempio, i politici del Giappone dovrebbero ricercare a tutti i costi avanzi di bilancio. E potrebbero essere molto più inclini a farlo se avessero dovuto affrontare i cosiddetti bond vigilantes, non un branco di manager obbligazionari disperati a caccia di 29 miseri punti base di rendimento.

Allo stesso modo, le famiglie del Giappone dovrebbero essere attratte da una quantità maggiore di risparmio, ma è accaduto esattamente il contrario. Nel 2015 il famoso alto tasso di risparmio del Giappone, che era stato quasi del 20% nei primi anni '80, ha raggiunto lo zero.




Ad un certo punto il Giappone dovrà prendere in prestito da stranieri, ma non ci saranno acquirenti a 29 punti base per titoli quarantennali la cui garanzia è costituita da una casa di riposo che una volta era una nazione. In breve, il sistema finanziario del Giappone è sicuro che collasserà, azzerando migliaia di miliardi di titoli di stato giapponesi.

Sì, la BOJ potrebbe anche annullare le migliaia di miliardi di JGB che ha in pancia, quando la crisi diventerà così disperata da richiedere un Giubileo per i Debitori. Ma è proprio questo il punto — il caos finanziario incombente incarna un mondo in cui i tassi di crescita di fine anno non meritano un multiplo del 24.3X.

Infatti, quando il Giappone sarà il primo paese ad andare in default, nessuna obbligazione sovrana sul pianeta sarà investibile ai tassi ridicoli di oggi. Quindi le perdite incorporate nei mercati obbligazionari di tutto il mondo sono già nell'ordine delle decine di migliaia di miliardi.

Lo stato ridicolo in cui versa il mercato dei titoli di stato del Giappone è stato spiegato più dettagliatamente in un altro post, ma non vi è nulla di straordinario perché è ormai un fenomeno planetario.

Un altro vicolo cieco simile lo ritroviamo nella madre di tutti i debiti impagabili: lo Schema Rosso di Ponzi. Con poco meno di $30,000 miliardi di debito finanziario impagabile, le aziende cinesi stanno ora affrontando l'inesorabile deflazione del giorno dopo.

Vale a dire, stanno tentando di ripagare i loro banchieri rivalendosi sui loro fornitori. Come mostrato di seguito, nel sistema aziendale della Cina i pagamenti ora soffrono di una dilazione di 192 giorni. Ed è per questo che tutto il suo castello di carte rischia di crollare con un botto. Ad un certo punto i miliardi di crediti non pagati di cui è composta questa catena di S. Antonio, supereranno di gran lunga la capacità dei banchieri statali della Cina di contenerli e supereranno anche la crescente flotta di cellulari della polizia per mantenere in riga questo gigantesco schema di Ponzi.




Infatti questo aumento dei debiti ha due implicazioni spiacevoli. La prima è che il mito della capacità di Pechino di una governance economica onnisciente e infallibile, sarà fatto a pezzi. È stato tutto un fraintendimento — il fallimento della "crescita" spacciata dai propagandisti di Wall Street, farà capire loro che il doping monetario attraverso un sistema bancario controllato dallo stato finanzia solo una spesa pubblica incontrollata ed emissioni infinite di asset a reddito fisso; e non genera affatto una crescita efficiente o una ricchezza sostenibile.

Ma i suzerain rossi di Pechino stanno già dimostrando che quando l'espansione del credito finisce, non hanno idea di cosa fare. A questo proposito, ora sembra che nel primo trimestre il sistema bancario cinese abbia generato nuovo credito ad un tasso annuale di $4,000 miliardi, o quasi il 40% del PIL.

Inoltre il cosiddetto "settore siderurgico" cinese ha avuto nuova vita grazie ad una domanda artificiale per investimenti di capitale e infrastrutture. Di conseguenza, a marzo la produzione di acciaio della Cina ha raggiunto un massimo storico, provocando un aumento temporaneo dei prezzi, e le acciaierie chiuse hanno riaperto.

Tanti saluti al restringimento del credito promesso dalla banca centrale cinese e allo smantellamento dei 150 milioni di tonnellate di capacità annunciato dai burocrati di Pechino qualche mese fa. Sin da quando Deng ha scoperto la stampante monetaria nel seminterrato della PBOC, il partito comunista cinese ha fatto un patto con il diavolo finanziario. Ma ora è troppo tardi per fermare lo Schema Rosso di Ponzi, il che significa che è in programma un'altra implosione del debito.

E non sarà contenuta entro i confini del Regno di Mezzo. Come ha anche spiegato l'autore del pezzo, “Red Ponzi Imploding — How It Will Turn The EM Into A Wasteland”, Douglas Bulloch:

I massicci investimenti cinesi in infrastrutture hanno creato l'illusione temporanea di ricchezza, mentre i livelli del debito globale sono cresciuti senza sosta. La maledizione delle commodity ha poi indebolito il progresso economico reale in tutto il mondo, poiché le élite hanno inseguito eccedenze in diminuzione. Questo ha lasciato esposti i produttori; uno in particolare – il Venezuela – è rapidamente diventato una terra desolata. La Russia è stata lasciata in uno stato di declino industriale e demografico, e il Brasile ha confermato gli stereotipi sulla corruzione latinoamericana. Tutto perché gli ordini si stanno prosciugando e il denaro è finito. Sia il Brasile sia la Russia si trovano ad affrontare la possibilità di un crollo imminente. L'India, al contrario, è una promessa mai mantenuta, la quale gioca alla tartaruga e la lepre con la Cina.

L'unica vera storia nella parola BRICS è sempre stata la "C", e l'enorme boom degli investimenti che ha alimentato i prezzi delle commodity ha fatto letteralmente impazzire il mondo. C'erano soldi per i programmi sociali in Brasile, c'erano i soldi per il nuovo modello di esercito di Putin e c'erano i soldi per le Olimpiadi e la Coppa del Mondo in entrambi i paesi. Poi c'erano i soldi per i palazzi di Londra, c'erano i soldi per i conti bancari panamensi, c'erano i soldi per le piccole guerre e alcuni avanzi per le presunte istituzioni di un "nuovo ordine mondiale".

Ora il dilemma della politica cinese è di tutti. Dopo aver trascorso 15 anni a succhiare i consumi e gli investimenti da tutto il mondo, la Cina ora ha una capacità produttiva che non può assolutamente sostenere, e si affaccia su un mondo riluttante a compensare le carenze della domanda cinese. Quindi sta accumulando debiti che avrà difficoltà a pagare ed investitori che si aspettano un ritorno che non riceveranno.
Solo il permabull più sfegatato potrebbe sostenere che l'economia statunitense è disaccoppiata dalla Cina e dai mercati emergenti. Ma per fugare ogni dubbio, basta considerare le sue implicazioni nell'ennesimo trimestre di utili in calo.

Vale a dire, le vendite di Coca-Cola (KO) per il primo trimestre sono scese del 4% rispetto all'anno precedente ed è il dodicesimo calo delle vendite negli ultimi 13 trimestri. Allo stesso modo, l'utile netto è sceso di oltre il 5%.

Ma KO non è trattata al 27X degli utili perché gli scommettitori pensano che i baby-boomer americani stanno per essere improvvisamente rapiti un rinnovato desiderio di Coca-Cola. Gli attuali livelli da capogiro presuppongono che gli abitanti della Cina e dei mercati emergenti, andranno in fissa con tale bevanda frizzante.

Inutile dire che il grande boom del credito in Cina/mercati emergenti degli ultimi 20 anni si sta trasformando in un crollo deflazionistico e drenerà la "frizzantezza" dal prezzo delle azioni Coca-Cola. Nel corso degli ultimi quattro anni, le vendite di Coca-Cola e il suo utile netto sono costantemente diminuiti. Eppure il suo PE è lievitato dal 17X al 27X. Cioè, andando a ritroso ha generato $50 miliardi di capitalizzazione di mercato.




Come abbiamo detto, fate attenzione alla crescita di fine anno. I segni premonitori sono ovunque e ciò che sta dall'altra parte non è un mondo di valutazioni al 24.3X.

Saluti,


[*] traduzione di Francesco Simoncelli: http://francescosimoncelli.blogspot.it/


Whitewashing Hillary

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 30/06/2016 - 06:01

The 800-plus-page report of the House Select Committee on Benghazi was released earlier this week. It slams former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her willful indifference to her obligation to repel military-style attacks on American interests and personnel at the U.S. Consulate and a nearby CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya. She particularly failed to save the lives of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his colleagues, all under her care and control while she was secretary of state.

The report also slams Clinton for her repeated lies about the cause of the attacks. After she told her daughter in an email that the Benghazi consulate had been attacked by an organized terrorist group using heavy military hardware, she told her colleagues at the State Department that the attacks were a spontaneous overreaction by locals to an American-made internet video about the Prophet Muhammad.

After telling that lie, she sent another email, this one to the Egyptian foreign minister, repeating what she had truthfully told her daughter.behavior? Ambassador Stevens and the others were killed by heavy military hardware that Clinton and her colleagues permitted to make its way into the hands of terror groups.

Though Clinton was the creator of the conspiracy and remained at its heart and hoped to ride it triumphantly into the White House — and though she bears more blame than any other conspirator — the committee’s work fails as a seeker of the whole truth.

The truth is that some of the committee’s congressional allies set in motion the awful events that led to the tragedy in Benghazi. The truth is that these people will probably escape accountability for their lawless behavior. The truth is that Congress knows that the president wages secret wars and it does nothing to stop them. The truth is that Hillary Clinton put her own political ambitions above fidelity to the rule of law and properly doing her job.

The truth is that the House Select Committee on Benghazi concealed more truth than it revealed. Yet the government is supposed to work for us. Aren’t we entitled to know what the government has done in our names?

Reprinted with the author’s permission.

The post Whitewashing Hillary appeared first on LewRockwell.

Is a Freedom Revolution Even Possible?

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 30/06/2016 - 06:01

As the clock winds down on what is supposed to be the end of Barack Obama’s valiant attempt to transform America from the world’s only superpower into a banana republic dictatorship, a couple of unforeseen events have occurred.

The first is the totally unexpected appearance of a brash, anti-establishment billionaire who pays homage to no living person or political party and appears to be totally devoid of fear. Contrasted to the bootlicking cowardice of the vast majority of politicians, particularly in the Republican Party, his lack of fear is both astonishing and refreshing.

The other unexpected event is the appearance of a strange new hybrid word spelled B-r-e-x-i-t — the referendum on whether Great Britain should or should not break away from the European Union. Of course, it was supposed to be a mere formality for Britons to vote against exiting, but, as with the Donald Trump phenomenon, the experts completely misjudged the anger and nationalistic fervor of voters. Thus, the polls were once again exposed as little more than propaganda devices.

The bottom line is that after centuries of bondage, everyday people are suddenly revolting against the political criminals who have controlled their lives. Why do so many politicians, including the most power hungry among them, still not understand the phenomenon that is unfolding before their very eyes? Perhaps the prison warden in the film Cool Hand Luke best summed up the disconnect between the corrupt establishment and the general populace when he drawled, “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”

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While I wouldn’t want to get my hopes too high, I admit that for the first time in my life I see a freedom revolution as a real possibility. Not a probability, but a possibility.

Most of us, when we talk about revolution, think of an uprising from the left. Revolution tends to bring visions of the good old-fashioned kind of uprising that Marx and Engels wrote about in the nineteenth century and Lenin and Trotsky put into action early in the next century.

Since those heady days of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, left-wing revolutions have occurred with regularity throughout the world, with the people in whose name such revolutions have been fought always ending up much worse off than prior to the overthrow of their rulers. To their dismay, the low-information masses have repeatedly found that left-wing revolutions result in poverty, oppression, and a loss of freedom — not to mention torture and death.

Enter communications technology, which has not been kind to the power structure that has been so successful for so long in keeping the average citizen in check. Plain and simple, the Internet has made it possible for too many everyday folks to learn far too much truth in a relatively short period of time and, just as important, given them the ability to spread that truth worldwide virtually instantaneously.

Democratic slaveholders knew how important it was to keep slaves uneducated and uninformed. But today, in rapidly increasing numbers, the sharecroppers on Uncle Sam’s Plantation are becoming educated and more informed. Thus, it is possible that history may someday record that Barack Obama came along fifteen to twenty years too late to accomplish his goal of taking down America. But don’t count him out just yet. The man is superb at his craft.

In other words, let’s not get carried away with current events and prematurely celebrate the overthrow of our masters. Even if the masses succeed in kicking out of office the ruling establishment, it will all be in vain if they are not willing to go all the way. And by all the way, I mean that they must be willing to utter two words that are considered taboo by the media, politicians, and both low- and high-information voters: impeachment and treason.

In the U.S., my concern is that even if Trump becomes president, he will end up yielding to establishment pressure and let Hillary, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, et al escape punishment. In defending their crimes, one of the left’s favorite arguments is, “Oh, c’mon. That’s all in the past, so what difference does it make now? People want us to move on with fixing today’s problems.” It’s a very old trick, but a very cute one.

I’ve heard this kind of clever refrain from both Democrats and Republicans all my life, which is why politicians like Chris Dodd, Tom Daschle, and Barney Frank — to name just a few scoundrels who engaged in massive criminal activity during their stay in office — get off scot-free, then peacefully live off their ill-gotten gains for the remainder of their lives.

If there is to be real change, people like this must be punished to the full extent of the law. Taking the trouble to prosecute lawbreakers and mete out meaningful punishment is an important deterrent to criminal activity. If there are no consequences to criminal behaviour, what motivation do criminals have to change their ways?

But there’s another component to the hint of freedom revolution in the air: Trump and Brexit have reaffirmed something else that most of us already knew — that people are fed up with multiculturalism and want their countries back. They’re not impressed by the Con-Artist-in-Chief making self-serving pronouncements like “This is not who we are.” The arrogance of using the word “we” to speak on behalf of millions of Americans who totally disagree with him is beyond arrogance and narcissism; it’s downright nauseating.

As I have repeatedly pointed out, one of the biggest lies politicians and their media water-carriers have tried to stuff down our throats for decades is that “diversity is America’s greatest strength.” Specifically, they tell us that we must support so-called multiculturalism or we are racists.

Really? Well, I have news for you: Human beings are tribal by nature. They don’t want to live side by side with people who do not share their culture — which includes, above all, their values.

Note that I used the word culture rather than race. Personally, I don’t know anyone who evaluates people on superficial differences such as the amount of pigmentation in their skin. What the hell does the color of a person’s skin have to do with his worth as a human being? Absolutely nothing.

But a person’s cultural beliefs are an entirely different matter. America used to be a melting pot where people came here and willingly adopted American culture and values. That’s what made America a melting pot.

Today, however, thanks to the nefarious actions of globalists in both major parties, America has been intentionally Balkanized. Which is great for politicians, because when the populace is divided, it’s much easier to conquer.

The one little reality of life that true-believing globalists can’t seem to grasp is that every nation and every culture, like every individual, will always act in its own self-interest when differences arise. “We are the world” is a nice thought and all that, but neither ISIS nor economic reality are swayed by such radical-left gibberish.

Which is why, if there is to be a true freedom revolution, an important step would be for the United States to not only drop out of the world’s most corrupt political organization (repeat, political), the United Nations but kick the entire den of thieves out of the country. Let the globalist criminals set up shop elsewhere to do their dirty work.

So, is it possible that we really are in the early stages of a freedom revolution? Again, yes, I think it’s possible … but doubtful.

I say doubtful because, notwithstanding the existence of the Internet, probably at least half the public is either too stupid (i.e., lacking in intelligence), too ignorant (i.e., lacking in knowledge), too prone to envy and avariciousness, too immoral, and/or too irrational to embrace the notion of living in a totally voluntary society in which the supreme law of the land makes it clear that force or violence, or the threat of force or violence, is illegal and is to be dealt with swiftly and harshly — especially in the case of politicians.

Having said all this, Americans should focus on first things first. And the first order of business is to stick a large finger in the tyranny dyke by making sure that no more anti-constitutionalist radicals will be appointed the Supreme Court because a couple more of those would make everything else moot.

Something to think about long and hard between now and November 8.

Reprinted with permission from RobertRinger.com.

The post Is a Freedom Revolution Even Possible? appeared first on LewRockwell.

They Stopped Mass Murder, Unlike the Cops

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 30/06/2016 - 06:01

Louisiana – It took the Orlando Police three hours to stop a mass murderer in a gay nightclub.   Armed citizens like you responded in seconds.  This happens not once, but time after time, and month after month.  Again, you stopped mass murder in May of 2016.  Similar reports from earlier months are listed here.

-A mass murder was defined as four victims of an armed attacker.  I continue to use that definition.  Our first example took place in Saint Andrew, South Carolina at about 10 in the morning.  The store owner and six customers were playing video games in a game store when two criminals tried to rob them.  The robbers wore masks and one robber carried a handgun.  The robbers took money from the store owner and then started to rob the customers at gunpoint.  That gave the store owner the chance he needed.  The store owner drew his firearm from his pocket and shot the armed robber several times.  Both robbers ran, and the armed robber shot back.  The store owner and customers were not hurt.  Police arrested the robbers at the local hospital.

An armed man came into a Phoenix, Arizona taco restaurant and pointed a pistol at the store clerk.  The female store clerk opened the cash register and ran away.  She hid in the bathroom with several other people who worked at the restaurant.  The robber also approached another store employee, only this employee was armed.  The armed employee shot and killed the robber.  The store had been robbed earlier that week.  This time, none of the employees or customers were hurt.  The robbery happened at around 9 pm.  Police are looking for the eight customers who witnessed the robbery.

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A mentally ill man wasn’t feeling well.  He visited a mental health clinic in Houston, Texas.  The clinic agreed to reschedule the man’s appointment once he felt better.  The mentally ill man left, but returned to the clinic a half hour later.  He kicked through the glass doors, and threatened the staff and patients.  The patients and staff hid in their offices.  The violent mentally ill patient kicked on the solid doors as well. The mentally ill man then walked into a neighboring business in the same building.  There, the mentally ill man lunged at one of the customers.  The business owner shot him.  The business owner was licensed to carry a concealed firearm.

In contrast, the medical clinic was a “gun free zone” even though the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than sixty percent of workplace physical violence occurs in the health care workplace.

A store owner and his son were working in the back office of their Florida liquor store.  It was noon when an armed and masked robber demanded money from an employee who walked out the back of the store.  That employee didn’t have the store’s money, so the employee led the robber up to the other store clerk who was working at the cash register.  That is when the owner and his son saw the robbery in progress.  They saw their employees held at gunpoint.  The robber demanded their money as well.  The store owner’s son drew his firearm and shot the thief several times.  The thief died at a local hospital.  None of the employees or customers were injured.

A mentally disturbed man lived in a nearby home.  He tried to break into the wrong house, but the first home that the intruder tried to enter had a reinforced door.  The occupants told the intruder to go away.  The intruder went to yet another home in this Seattle neighborhood and started throwing furniture through the front window as he yelled and cursed at four in the morning.

This homeowner heard his windows breaking.  He retreated with his wife and two daughters to their back bedroom.  The homeowner also had his gun and a phone.  One of his teenage daughters called police.  After the stranger broke through the front of the house, the homeowner left the back room.  The intruder moved toward the homeowner and the homeowner shot him.

Arriving deputies heard the shots and found the wounded suspect in the front yard. They applied a  tourniquet to the intruder’s leg before medics transported him to the hospital for treatment.  The mentally ill man survived his injuries.

A 25 year old man barged into a busy sporting goods store in Memphis and demanded money.  News reports are not clear whether it was a store employee or a store customer who took exception to being robbed at gunpoint.  In either case, one of the robbery victims was armed with a concealed weapon of his own.  He shot the armed robber.  The robber was taken to a local hospital where he died.  Neither the defender nor other customers and staff were hurt.

One customer said, “I’m only 24 and I really want to get away from Memphis.”

These are a few examples where you prevented mass murder in May.  Instead of saying “Thank you,” socialist politicians propose more laws to disarm the victims of violent crime.  I have a different plan.  I trust my neighbors to keep us safe.  Neighbors just like you.

I report on Self-Defense Stories each week.

The original article is here.

Reprinted with permission from AmmoLand.com.

The post They Stopped Mass Murder, Unlike the Cops appeared first on LewRockwell.

Hillary’s Religion

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 30/06/2016 - 06:01

Few books have as misleading a title as Hard Choices. For Hillary Clinton, as this tedious memoir of her years as Secretary of State makes evident, there are no hard choices. The Solutions to all political and economic problems are easy. We must always rely on the directing hand of government, guided by the superior wisdom of our moral and intellectual betters, Hillary Clinton foremost among them.

In her main discussion of economic policy, she says something that will surprise those familiar with her record.  She contrasts China with America: “China had become the leading exponent of an economic model called ‘state capitalism,’ in which state-owned or state-supported companies used public money to dominate markets and advance strategic interests. … These principles ran directly counter to the values and principles we had worked to embed in the global economy. We believed an open, free, transparent, and fair system with clear rules of the road would benefit everyone.”

Have we been unjust to Mrs. Clinton? Is she in fact a supporter of the free market? No, she is not, despite her criticism of China’s resort to state-control. The giveaway is her phrase “fair system with clear rules of the road.” Among the things she means by this is that foreign countries must enact similar labor legislation to that prevalent in America. On no accounts must foreign countries try to undercut America by offering employers the chance to hire cheaper labor: “Lowering barriers to access for American companies was a big part of our efforts. So was raising standards in foreign markets on key issues like labor rights, [and] environmental protection. … Companies in the United States already met these standards, but those of many other countries didn’t. We needed to level the playing field and improve a lot of lives around the world along the way. For too long we’d seen companies closing factories and leaving the United States because they could do business more cheaply in foreign countries where they didn’t have to pay workers a living wage or abide by U.S. rules on pollution. Using diplomacy and trade negotiations to raise standards abroad could help change that calculus.”

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Thus, far from supporting the free market, she wants the government to pressure other nations to adopt restrictive policies. In doing so, she illustrates a key point that Ludwig von Mises often emphasized. Government intervention in the free market fails to achieve its ostensible purpose and often leads to further intervention to correct the untoward results of the initial interference. Here costly environmental and labor legislation, supposedly aimed at helping American workers, puts many of them out of work by making firms unable to compete with foreign companies. To remedy this, she wishes to burden foreign firms as well: this restores a “level playing field.” It never occurs to her that the policies she favors will destroy the jobs of impoverished foreign workers. To grasp this would require of her a few minutes of thought, and she doesn’t have the time.

Instead, she conjures up a fantasy world not governed by economic law. “In many countries around the world, unions are still suppressed.  … This is bad for them and it’s bad for American workers too because it creates unfair competition that drives down wages for everyone. Contrary to what some governments and employers might think, research shows that respecting workers’ rights lead to positive economic outcomes, including higher levels of foreign direct investment.” In sum, increase labor costs and then employment and investment will rise. Such is Clintonian economics.

Can we at least give her credit for favoring free trade? No, we cannot. True enough, she opposes foreign restrictions of American investments and sales abroad, but this for her is subsumed under a broader strategy of governmental “guidance” of American business. She does not say, “Let’s end tariffs and other restrictions so firms can trade as they wish.” Instead, she endeavors to guide American business in directions that she favors. “I made export promotion a personal mission. During my travels, I often made a pitch for an American business or product, like GE in Algeria. … We got creative with initiatives like Direct Line, which allowed our Ambassadors to host phone calls or videos chats with American businesses eager to break into foreign markets.” It is ironic that she criticizes China for its “state capitalism,” when she fails completely to grasp the difference between genuine free enterprise and government-business “partnership.”

When we turn to “climate change,” the same pattern of thought recurs. In exact opposition to her book’s title, there are no hard choices; and, as always, salvation lies in the state. She says, “The problems of global warming are evident, despite the deniers. There was a mountain of overwhelming scientific data about the damaging effects of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gasses … a serious, comprehensive response to climate change remains stymied by the entrenched political opposition at home … the old false choice between promoting the economy and protecting the environment surfaces again.”

Prominent scientists like Richard Lindzen and Fred Singer would dissent from her assessment of the scientific evidence about global warming; but let us put the controversy to one side, and consider the matter using the understanding that she favors of the scientific data. Measures to reduce greenhouse gasses impose severe costs on business. Must not these costs be weighed against the supposed benefits of the measures she favors? She makes no attempt to do so: rather for her, there is no need at all for choice between economic growth and regulating the environment.

At one point, though, reality is so insistent that she cannot ignore it. If the environmental regulations for America that she wants were imposed, the goal she seeks could not be achieved. “Even if the United States somehow reduced our emissions all the way to zero tomorrow, total global levels still would be nowhere near what they need to be if China, India, and others failed to contain their own emission.”

Once more, the failure of intervention begets proposals for more intervention. Environmental regulation must be extended worldwide: “The United States was pushing for what we considered a realistically achievable outcome: a diplomatic agreement agreed to by leaders … which would commit every major nation, developed and developing alike, to take substantive steps to curb carbon emissions and report transparently on their progress.”

Clinton’s plans to control the world extend far beyond environmental regulation. She has an ideological “human rights” agenda that she demands other nations accept.  To the objection that importuning and threatening other nations arouses resentment and thus threatens American security, she has an answer that should by now be familiar: “Throughout the history of American foreign policy, there has been a running debate between so-called realists and idealists. The former, it is argued, place national security ahead of human rights, while the latter do the opposite, These are categories I find overly simplistic. Over the long term, repression undermines stability and creates new threats, while democracy and respect for human rights create strong and stable societies.”

Once more there is no need for choice: interference with other nations does not threaten our security but promotes it. Have we not heard this before? “The world must be made safe for democracy.” In pursuit of this ambitious goal, she pressures other nations that enact measures she deems inappropriate. If the “regime of Vladimir Putin in Russia has enacted a series of anti-gay laws, prohibiting the adoption of Russian children by gay couples,” why is it the business of the United States to endeavor to change this? Clinton’s attempts to impose on other nations her ideological views are, in Edmund Burke’s phrase, an “armed doctrine.”

Clinton has a high opinion of the effect of her inflated rhetoric about rights. “The ripples created by the speech [about LGBT rights] were bouncing around the globe and back, and my phone was soon crowded with messages. A huge number of people had watched the speech online.” Her image of herself as one of the world’s moral teachers, correcting the less enlightened, brings to mind a familiar passage from the Bible: “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself: God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are.” (Luke 18:11).

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.

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They’re Shaking in Their Hand-Made Shoes

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 30/06/2016 - 06:01

During Friday’s bloodbath, I heard a CNBC anchor lady assuring her (scant) remaining audience that Brexit wasn’t a big sweat. That’s because it is purportedly a political crisis, not a financial one.

Presumably in the rarified canyons of Wall Street, politics doesn’t matter much. After all, when things get desperate enough, Washington caves and does “whatever it takes” to get the stock averages moving upward again.

Here’s a news flash. That’s all about to change.

The era of Bubble Finance was enabled by a political abdication nearly 50 years ago. But as Donald Trump rightly observed in the wake of Brexit, the voters are about to take back their governments, meaning that the financial elites of the world are in for a rude awakening.

To be sure, the apparent lesson of the first TARP vote when the bailout was rejected by the House in September 2008 was that politics didn’t matter so much.

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Wall Street’s 800 point hissy fit was all it took to prostrate the politicians. Indeed, the presumptive free market party then domiciled in the White House quickly shed its Adam Smith neckties and forced the congressional rubes from the red states to walk the plank a second time in order to reverse the decision.

There was a crucial predicate for this classic crony capitalist capture of the authority and purse of the state, however, that should not be overlooked. Namely, that in the mid-cycle period of the world’s 20-year experiment in central bank driven Bubble Finance the rubes had not yet come to fully appreciate that they were getting the short end of the stick.

Indeed, the earlier phases of the bubble era witnessed an enormous inflation of residential housing prices. For instance, between Greenspan’s arrival at the Fed in August 1987 and the housing bubble peak in 2007, the value of residential housing rose from $5.5 trillion to $22.5 trillion or by 4X. 

The greatest extent of the housing bubble occurred in the bicoastal precincts, of course. But it did lift handsomely the value of 50 million owner-occupied homes in the flyover zone, as well.

Accordingly, the latter did not yet see that the new regime was stacked in favor of the top 10% of the economic and wealth ladder, which owns 85% of the non-housing financial assets. And that the speculative casinos of Bubble Finance would be an especially verdant source of windfalls for the top 0.1%.

Indeed, the entire 13 percentage points of the wealth pie lost by the bottom 90% of households (105 million households) during the past 30 years have been captured by the 120,000 households at the tippy-top (0.1%).

Nor was it yet evident as to the degree to which massive money printing under conditions of Peak Debt almost exclusively stimulates Wall Street speculation, not main street production, jobs, incomes and spending.

In any event, by the eve of the great financial crisis, the GOP was actually controlled by the racketeers of the Beltway and the Wall Street gamblers, not the red state voters who had elected it.

In fact, Goldman’s Sach’s plenipotentiary to Washington, Hank Paulson, was in complete command of the elected side of government. At the same time, the Bush White House had populated the central banking branch of the state with proponents of monetary activism, who were more than ready to authorize “heroic” measures to reflate the bubble.

Needless to say, the leader of the pack, Ben Bernanke, had been groomed for the role of chief bailster by none other than Milton Freidman. The latter, in turn, had led Nixon astray at Camp David 37 year earlier when he persuaded Tricky Dick to default on the dollar’s link to gold, thereby opening the door to fiat money, massive credit expansion and the modern era of Bubble Finance.

There is a straight line of linkage from that great historical inflection point to Friday’s Brexit uprising. Namely, Nixon’s abandonment of the Bretton Woods gold-exchange standard, as deficient as it had been, was also a profoundly political act.

It resulted in the abdication of economic and financial policy to an unelected elite and their eventual capture by Wall Street and the forces of speculation and financialization unleashed by unanchored central bank money and credit.

Nixon’s destruction of Bretton Woods was the enabling event. It turned central bankers and financial officialdom loose to operate a dictatorship of bailouts, bubbles, and financialization of economic life. And to spread this baleful regime to Europe, Japan and the rest of the world, too.

To be sure, it took more than two decades to fully materialize. There were deeply embedded institutional cultures and ideologies among policy-makers that restrained opened-ended resort to the printing press and financial bailouts.

The Paul Volcker interlude in the US and the determined sound money regime of the Bundesbank are cases in point.

But eventually, the old regime gave way. There emerged Greenspan’s dot-com and housing bubbles, the rise of the ECB and the financial rulers of Brussels, the massive bailouts triggered by the global crisis of 2008-2009, the hideous expansion of central bank balance sheets during the era of QE and ZIRP, the emergence of the destructive “whatever it takes” regime of Draghi and the current financial lunacy of subzero interest rates across much of the planet.

But here’s the thing. The rubes are on to the rig.

Twenty-years of Bubble Finance have made the City of London an oasis of splendor and prosperity, for example, but it has left the hinterlands of Britain hollowed-out industrially, resentful of the unearned prosperity of the elites and fearful of the open-ended flow if immigrants and imports enabled by the superstate in Brussels. As on observer put it, the geography of the vote said it all:

“If you’ve got money, you vote in,” she said, with a bracing certainty. “If you haven’t got money, you vote out.” We were in Collyhurst, the hard-pressed neighbourhood on the northern edge of Manchester city centre last Wednesday, and I had yet to find a remain voter.

Look at the map of those results, and that huge island of “in” voting in London and the south-east; or those jaw-dropping vote-shares for remain in the centre of the capital: 69% in Tory Kensington and Chelsea; 75% in Camden; 78% in Hackney, contrasted with comparable shares for leave in such places as Great Yarmouth (71%), Castle Point in Essex (73%), and Redcar and Cleveland (66%). Here is a country so imbalanced it has effectively fallen over.

The rise of Trumpism in the US reflects the same social and economic fracture. To wit, Bubble Finance has also drastically unbalanced the US as between the bicoastal zones of prosperity it has enabled and the fly-over zones its has effectively left behind.

It goes without saying that massive debt monetization and 90 months of zero interest rates has been a boon for the Imperial City. With almost, no restraints on its ability to borrow and spend, the military/industry/security/surveillance complex have prospered like never before, as has the medical care cartel, the education syndicate and the lesser beltway rackets such as green energy and the farm subsidy/food stamp/ethanol alliance.

Likewise, asset gatherers, financial intermediaries, brokers, punters, financial engineers and corporate strip-miners have prospered enormously because the market has been rigged every since Black Monday in October 1987. That is, the cost of debt and carry trades have been falsified, downside hedging insurance in the casino has become dirt cheap and time after time the Fed’s put has bailed-out speculations gone bust.

Even what passes for entrepreneurial breakouts in the world of social media and new tech isn’t really. It’s just another variant of the dot-com bubble in which a few good innovations are being drastically over-valued (e.g. Uber) while a tsunami of worthless and pointless start-ups have become giant cash burning machines (e.g. Tesla).

Taken all together, they are funding an ephemeral complex of pseudo businesses, pseudo jobs and pseudo start-up networks that are attracting tens of billions in venture capital. But that amounts to a simulacrum of prosperity today and the substance of tomorrow’s malinvestment waste and losses.

Meanwhile, the main street economy has atrophied. The first round of Bubble Finance buried the middle class in debt, while the post-crisis intensification has turned the C-suites of America into a giant stock trading room and financial engineering arena.

Contrary to the bubble vision pattern, in fact, there has been no business deleveraging at all. On the eve of the crisis in Q4 2007, total non-financial business debt outstanding was $11 trillion, and it is now $13.5 trillion.

But on the margin, every dime of that massive swelling of the business debt burden represents real economic resources cycled out of the flyover zones and pumped back into the financial casinos and the bicoastal elites which fatten on them.

The recent studies of the Census Bureau data which show that just 20 counties have generated half of all start-ups since the financial crisis provides another take on the underlying fissure. What the study describes but doesn’t explicitly articulate is that the massive flow of venture capital to the 20 mainly bicoastal counties and outposts of the military/industrial/security/surveillance state is itself a product of Bubble Finance:

Americans in small towns and rural communities are dramatically less likely to start new businesses than they have been in the past, an unprecedented trend that jeopardizes the economic future of vast swaths of the country.

The recovery from the Great Recession has seen a nationwide slowdown in the creation of new businesses, or start-ups. What growth has occurred has been largely confined to a handful of large and innovative areas, including Silicon Valley in California, New York City and parts of Texas, according to a new analysis of Census Bureau data by the Economic Innovation Group, a bipartisan research and advocacy organization that was founded by the Silicon Valley entrepreneur Sean Parker and small group of investors.

That concentration of start-up activity is unusual, economists say. In the early 1990s recovery, 125 counties combined to generate half the total new business establishments in the country. In this recovery, just 20 counties have generated half the growth.

The data suggest highly populated areas are not adding start-ups faster now than they did in the past; they appear simply to be treading water. But rural areas have seen their business formation fall off a cliff.

Economists say the divergence appears to reflect a combination of trends, all of which have harmed small businesses in rural America. Those include the rise of big-box retailers such as Walmart, the loss of millions of manufacturing and construction jobs across the country and a pullback in business lending that appears to have stung small-town and rural borrowers particularly hard.

The changes also reflect a fundamental shift over the past two decades in which workers and industries power the country’s economic growth. That shift advantages highly educated urbanites at the expense of everyone else. Polling suggests it is one of the driving forces in the political unrest among working-class Americans — particularly rural white men — who have flocked to Republican Donald Trump’s presidential campaign this year.

In short, Bubble Finance is a giant engine of reverse Robin Hood redistribution. It embodies a sweeping fiscal intervention in the natural flows of the free market that punishes savers, laborers, self-funded main street entrepreneurs and the retired populations in favor of speculators, the holders of existing financial assets and the dealers in money.

Bubble Finance is an affront to both democratic governance and true capitalist prosperity. The Trump voters, the Brexit voters, the masses rallying to the populist banners throughout Europe above all else represent a reactivation of the political machinery in a last-ditch campaign to stop the financial elites and their regime of Bubble Finance.

Yes, this time is different, and this time, there will be no reflation of the financial bubble like there was after Black Monday, the S&L bust, the dot-com crash and the great financial crisis of 2008-2009.

Needless to say, the Wall Street dip-buyers and perma-bulls who take their cues from the modern day financial ruling class are in for a shock. And today’s statement by Martin Schulz, the President of the EU parliament could not more aptly explain why.

Said Schulz,

The British have violated the rules. It is not the EU philosophy that the crowd can decide its fate“.

We think Schulz is dead wrong.

Reprinted with permission from David Stockman’s Contra Corner.

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