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Il vero ruolo dell'oro

Freedonia - Lun, 16/05/2016 - 10:07




di Alasdair Macleod


In un momento di crescente preoccupazione per il sistema finanziario globale, dobbiamo ricordare a noi stessi perché l'oro fisico è così importante, soprattutto per coloro che potrebbero considerare l'apertura di un conto di deposito in oro.

Questo articolo spiega il ruolo dell'oro come denaro, e il pericolo di lasciare i soldi in deposito nel sistema bancario. Affinché si possa informare ed istruire un pubblico più ampio circa il potenziale vantaggio di utilizzare l'oro per i pagamenti giornalieri, sarei grato ai lettori se condividessero questo articolo con i loro amici e familiari.

Sappiamo tutti che per migliaia di anni l'oro è stato utilizzato come moneta. Ha ricoperto questo ruolo grazie alla sua rarità e alla sua utilità ornamentale: in altre parole, avrà sempre un valore, qualunque cosa accada. Ciò è in contrasto con la cartamoneta scoperta emessa dagli stati, che non possiede tale valore fondamentale. Non è un caso se tutti i crolli di potere d'acquisto del denaro abbiano coinvolto o una svalutazione delle monete d'oro e d'argento, o molto più spesso l'eccessiva emissione di cartamoneta. A queste due frodi, dobbiamo aggiungerne una terza: banche autorizzate dagli stati per creare credito dal nulla.



Come funziona il settore bancario

Consideriamo per un momento il credito bancario, perché questa è la fonte della maggior parte dei soldi in circolazione oggi. Se una banca s'impegna a prestarvi denaro affinché possiate pagare i creditori o comprare nuove attrezzature, saldate questi obblighi trasferendo il denaro dal vostro conto a quello delle loro banche. Però la vostra banca non deve avere i soldi che dà a voi. Riequilibra i suoi libri contabili prendendo in prestito fondi da altre banche che ne hanno in surplus.

Per illustrare il punto nel modo più semplice possibile, immaginate che esista solo una banca. La banca vi presta denaro e voi lo spendete. Quando lo spendete le persone e le imprese che vi vendono roba, vedono salire i loro saldi bancari quanto vengono pagati. La banca ha creato il prestito per voi, che è stato poi coperto dai depositi creati in seguito dalla vostra spesa. Questo esempio funziona anche se ci sono più banche. Tutto ciò di cui hanno bisogno è un meccanismo per garantire che i depositi siano allocati in maniera efficiente fra di loro, in modo che tutte le banche finiscano con avere libri contabili equilibrati. Questa è la funzione del mercato monetario.

Con questa magia, il denaro originariamente prestato a voi è stato creato dal nulla dalla vostra banca e poi coperto dai depositi di altre banche. Il settore bancario è un sistema monetario chiuso. Si noti che la vostra banca non ha dovuto usare il proprio denaro per creare il vostro prestito. Quindi un semplice bilancio bancario è costituito dal denaro proprio (il suo capitale, o patrimonio netto), dal denaro prestato ai suoi debitori e dal denaro dovuto ai depositanti.

Se prendete in prestito denaro dalla banca, vi fanno pagare un tasso d'interesse; e se siete una persona comune, stiamo parlando di un tasso tra il cinque e il venti per cento. Con i tassi d'interesse in prossimità dello zero, la banca può finanziare il vostro prestito a circa la metà dell'un per cento. È decisamente un buon affare, specialmente quando non è il suo denaro che mette in gioco. Ovviamente la banca deve affrontare un rischio, che deve coprire col capitale proprio, se necessario, qualora non ripagaste il vostro prestito.

Una banca prudente prenderà atto dei rischi di credito, e limiterà i suoi prestiti ad un ammontare che può coprire comodamente. Ma la tentazione di prestare più volte il capitale proprio della banca è forte. Se, per esempio, una banca ha $100 milioni in denaro proprio e li presta ad un tasso medio del 7%, che può finanziare attraverso il wholesale market a ½%, allora genererà $6,500,000 in proventi lordi, su cui pagherà i costi operativi. Ora supponiamo che presti dieci volte il denaro proprio; i suoi proventi lordi sarebbero di $65,000,000. Questo, cari lettori, è ciò che significa avere carta bianca quando si tratta di creare denaro ex-nihilo.

Non sarebbe bello se tutti potessimo fare una cosa del genere? Ma si tratta di frode, a meno che lo stato non dia licenza anche a voi di farlo. Ora comprendiamo come i banchieri possano cadere preda dell'avidità, soprattutto quando pensano che le condizioni economiche siano oneste. Allo stesso modo, comprendiamo come essi possano cadere preda della paura quando si deteriorano le condizioni economiche ed aumenta il rischio di perdite sui prestiti. Questo è l'elemento motore dietro ai cicli finanziari, l'espansione del credito bancario in tempi buoni e il ritiro del credito in tempi difficili.

Potreste pensare che creare credito dal nulla con un rapporto dieci volte superiore al denaro proprio sia molto rischioso, ma nel mondo delle banche è diventato una sorta di consuetudine. Nella zona Euro, i dati più recenti della Banca Centrale Europea ci dicono che il rapporto medio del capitale delle banche è il doppio rispetto al totale di bilancio. In altre parole, il rapporto medio del capitale proprio delle banche sul totale di bilancio è 1/20. Questo significa che il margine medio per assorbire le perdite è solo il cinque per cento. Ancora più preoccupante è il fatto che una media comprende sempre banche con un'esposizione al rischio più ampia in caso di errori di prestito, o di un deterioramento delle condizioni di prestito.

Certo, quanto sopra descritto riguarda solo una delle attività bancarie, perché c'è anche l'investimento dei depositi in titoli di stato e anche nei mercati mobiliari. Ci sono altri titoli, quali i derivati, che sono una sorta di scommessa sui prezzi futuri e possono rappresentare un enorme rischio per una banca. Poi c'è il denaro fisico, disprezzato dalle banche perché permette ai depositanti di togliere i propri soldi dal sistema, e quando lo fanno abbastanza persone ci troviamo di fronte alla classica corsa agli sportelli bancari.

C'è un'ampia letteratura su questi argomenti, ma questo è tutto ciò che dovete sapere per capire che dietro tutte le rassicurazioni di banchieri, economisti e politici, vi è sempre il rischio che l'intero sistema bancario possa diventare instabile, crollare e far diventare privi di valore i depositi. Per i piccoli depositi alcuni stati garantiscono una protezione, ma vale la pena di chiedersi se bisogna avere fiducia in uno stato che scarica tutte le sue responsabilità in una crisi finanziaria. È importante sottolineare che quando depositate i vostri soldi in una banca, non sono più vostri. Da quel momento in poi, il denaro è di proprietà della banca e voi siete solo dei creditori.



Possedere oro perché è denaro

Sappiamo tutti quanto siano diventate convenienti le valute cartacee per la spesa di tutti i giorni. Al contrario, l'oro e l'argento non sono più utilizzati come denaro da spendere, tranne che in alcune parti dell'Asia. Questo significa che l'oro non è più denaro? Beh, no, perché circolare tutti i giorni nelle mani degli attori di mercato è solo una delle tante funzioni offerte dal denaro. Il denaro funge anche da riserva di valore, e qui l'oro può sfoggiare la performance migliore. Diamo un'occhiata ad un semplice esempio, misurato dai calcoli sull'inflazione del governo degli Stati Uniti. Nel corso degli ultimi cinquant'anni il valore del dollaro USA è diminuito dell'87%; in altre parole, un dollaro risparmiato quando i pensionati di oggi avevano iniziato a lavorare, vale solo tredici centesimi in soldi di oggi. Come riserva di valore, il dollaro, e tutte le valute emesse dagli altri stati, sono pessime.

Nello stesso lasso di tempo, l'oro è salito del 34X in termini di potere d'acquisto misurato in dollari, il che significa che l'oro acquista quattro volte e mezzo di più quello che acquistava cinquant'anni fa. Così, come riserva di valore, l'oro ha continuato ad agire in modo molto efficace.

Un motivo per cui non l'abbiamo usato come denaro giornaliero è perché l'oro è risultato scomodo rispetto ai trasferimenti elettronici di credito, alle carte di debito, alle banconote di carta e alle monete in altri metalli. Ma BitGold e GoldMoney hanno cercato di risolvere questa "mancanza". In altre parole, ora possiamo di nuovo usare l'oro come moneta per gli acquisti di tutti i giorni, convertendolo in valuta locale presso un bancomat o presso un punto di vendita.

Questa funzione è più sicura rispetto ad un conto corrente o un conto di deposito presso una banca, perché si conserva la proprietà del proprio oro. Con un conto bancario, bisogna avere fiducia che la banca onori il suo obbligo di rimborsarvelo su richiesta. Avere il proprio oro al sicuro in una cassaforte, disponibile per l'uso ogni volta che si vuole, vi dà la possibilità di evitare i rischi dell'avere tutti i vostri contanti in una banca.



Il rischio di fallimenti bancari è in aumento

Quanto denaro convertire in oro fisico dipende da quanto siete preoccupati che la vostra banca, o un certo numero di banche nel sistema bancario, possano andare in bancarotta. Se seguite la stampa finanziaria, sarete consapevoli del fatto che i titoli bancari sono in calo al crescere delle preoccupazioni circa le finanze delle singole banche. Sono saliti anche altri indicatori, come le misure del loro rischio di credito, segnalandoci che non tutto sta andando bene. Così, anche se la gente comune non ne è a conoscenza, la probabilità di una nuova crisi bancaria è qualcosa che dovremmo prendere molto sul serio.

Le banche devono affrontare perdite derivanti da un certo numero di fonti, come i prestiti legati alle materie prime, insieme ad un rallentamento dell'economia mondiale. E dato che i livelli di debito sono al livello più alto mai registrato in tempo di pace, le banche potrebbero incappare in grandi perdite. Quando si tiene conto di come le banche prestano molte volte il capitale proprio, il pericolo del fallimento diventa fin troppo evidente. Se una banca europea media è costretta a cancellare solo il cinque per cento dei suoi prestiti e investimenti, tutto il suo capitale sarà eliminato.

I depositanti non sono stupidi, e stanno diventando consapevoli che il loro denaro è a rischio. Il loro nervosismo dà luogo ad un altro problema quando cercano di ritirare denaro, perché le banche non possono costringere i propri mutuatari a rimborsare immediatamente i loro prestiti (al fine di finanziare suddetti prelievi dai depositi). Pertanto una banca manca sempre del denaro per coprire una corsa agli sportelli, e potrebbe essere costretta a fare affidamento alla banca centrale per compensare la differenza. E non appena la banca centrale è costretta ad intervenire, la fiducia in una banca svanisce rapidamente.

Se siete un depositante la cui fiducia nella propria banca sta scemando, e siete preoccupati che i problemi bancari potrebbero diffondersi attraverso il sistema finanziario più ampio, non credo vorrete saltare dalla padella alla brace trasferendo i vostri depositi in un'altra banca. Le banche inoltre vi rendono difficile prelevare contanti fisici in qualsiasi quantità. Che cosa si può fare?

Potete acquistare qualcosa per sbarazzarvi del vostro denaro, e passare a qualcun altro tale preoccupazione. Ma questo non risolve il problema che vi ritroverete sempre ad avere: comprare gli elementi essenziali alla propria vita in caso di fallimenti bancari diffusi. In alternativa potete aprire un conto GoldMoney o BitGold, il quale viene convertito in oro e rimane di vostra proprietà da spendere a vostro piacimento.

Questo articolo si limita a richiamare l'attenzione del lettore sui rischi del sistema bancario, e i mercati ci stanno dicendo che sono in aumento. Non è una previsione. Va tenuto presente che le banche centrali sono abili a trovare soluzioni quando il sistema finanziario è sotto stress, e tutti dobbiamo sperare che i mercati siano solo troppo pessimisti. Detto questo, una persona saggia rifletterà attentamente sulle sue opzioni, nel caso in cui possa accadere il peggio.


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


I mercati non hanno bisogno di tassi d’interesse negativi

Von Mises Italia - Lun, 16/05/2016 - 09:54

Martin Wolf, condirettore e capo opinionista economico al Financial Timessembra aver dimenticato la natura dei tassi di interesse e la loro funzione di coordinamento. Secondo lui, le banche centrali non sono da biasimare nella loro insistenza a mantenere tassi di interesse bassi o negativi. Egli scrive: “Dobbiamo considerare i tassi ultra-bassi come sintomi della nostra crisi, non la sua causa”.

Wolf continua poi sostenendo che “i tassi di interesse negativi non sono colpa delle banche centrali”. E’ difficile comprendere come Wolf possa giustificare questa affermazione. I tassi di interesse negativi non ci sono mai stati, né durante il gold standard, né nei sistemi di banche libere, né in un’economia di libero mercato. In un mercato senza interferenze il tasso di interesse riflette infatti il tasso sociale di preferenza temporale, esso rappresenta il “prezzo del tempo”. E come è legge universale dell’azione umana che la preferenza temporale deve sempre essere positiva, così nel mercato libero i tassi di interesse non possono assolutamente essere negativi.

Di questo articolo sarebbe necessaria una critica quasi riga per riga, tanto mal concepiti e fallaci sono gli argomenti in esso contenuti che risulta difficile ignorarli. Ad ogni modo, sottoporrò a critica soltanto alcuni punti.

In particolare, esaminerò: (1) l’idea che le banche centrali non hanno nulla a che fare con i tassi di interesse negativi, (2) l’idea che esista una situazione di eccesso di risparmio/carenza di investimento, e (3) l’idea che i bassi tassi di interesse sono una conseguenza della bassa crescita di produttività.

 

Di chi è la responsabilità per i tassi negativi?

Non vi è alcuna necessità di mercato per i tassi di interesse negativi. Tuttavia, nel secondo paragrafo dell’articolo di Mr. Wolf, possiamo leggere:

L’economia mondiale è affetta da un eccesso di risparmio riguardante le opportunità di investimento. Le autorità monetarie stanno contribuendo a garantire che i tassi di interesse siano in linea con tale situazione. In ultima analisi, sono le forze di mercato a decidere i tassi che i risparmiatori ottengono. Ahimè, il mercato sta dicendo che i loro risparmi non valgono molto, almeno al margine.

Questo paragrafo presenta molteplici difetti. In primo luogo, vi è l’argomento in base al quale è il mercato che “determina” il tasso di interesse. Ma in un mondo dove il credito è fortemente influenzato dalle politiche delle autorità monetarie, è chiaro che i tassi di interesse non sono determinati dal mercato. Grazie alle operazioni di mercato aperto, le banche centrali sono in grado di ridurre il tasso di interesse ben al di sotto del livello di libero mercato, favorendo peraltro l’investimento sbagliato e dunque la crisi.

Con questa affermazione Mr. Wolf intendeva magari sostenere che il mercato è capace di adattarsi alle condizioni stabilite dalle banche centrali. Ma questo non è assolutamente un argomento a favore delle banche centrali e dei tassi di interesse negativi. Il mercato “si adatta” virtualmente a tutto: al crimine, ai regolamenti, all’inflazione, ecc. Se si verifica un aumento della criminalità in una città particolare – e di conseguenza il prezzo degli immobili diminuisce – dovremmo dire che il crimine non ha provocato questa diminuzione dal momento che “in ultima analisi, sarebbero le forze di mercato a determinare il prezzo degli immobili”? Il fatto che le forze di mercato si adattino alle politiche monetarie governative non può in ogni caso giustificare operazioni governative di contraffazione, così come non si può giustificare il furto, l’omicidio o qualsiasi altra aggressione.

 

L’inesistente eccesso di risparmio

Un secondo problema di questo particolare paragrafo è che, se ci fosse davvero un eccesso di risparmio, ne conseguirebbe che i tassi di interesse dovrebbero diminuire da soli, senza la necessità di alcuna “autorità monetaria”. Finché non vi è un forte intervento dello Stato nel libero mercato, non si può assolutamente verificare alcun “eccesso di risparmio”. Martin Wolf sostiene il contrario e ci riporta alla teoria sviluppata da Alvin Hansen, il principale economista keynesiano in America dopo la seconda guerra mondiale.

Secondo Hansen la depressione o la “stagnazione secolare” sono il risultato di una mancanza di opportunità di investimento. Egli sostiene anche che la Grande Depressione fu il risultato di una carenza di investimenti dovuta alla lenta crescita della popolazione ed all’assenza di innovazione. Oggi, questa teoria sta rinascendo con l’ipotesi della stagnazione secolare. Uno dei più importanti sostenitori, Laurence H. Summers, scrive:

Alvin Hansen ha indicato il rischio di stagnazione secolare alla fine degli anni 1930, per rilevare il boom dell’economia soltanto durante e dopo la seconda guerra mondiale. E’ certamente possibile che alcuni grandi eventi esogeni porteranno all’aumento della spesa o alla riduzione del risparmio in modo che nel settore industriale cresca il FERIR [tasso reale di piena occupazione] e renda irrilevanti le preoccupazioni che ho espresso. Ma in mancanza di guerra, non è ovvio quali potrebbero essere tali eventi. Inoltre, la maggior parte delle ragioni addotte per la caduta del FERIR sono probabilmente destinate a continuare almeno per il prossimo decennio.

In realtà Murray Rothbard criticò la “mancanza di opportunità di investimento” spiegando la depressione e la stagnazione secolare nel suo libro America’s Great Depression (pp. 68-72). Come ha osservato Rothbard, qualora si fondi il proprio ragionamento sul concetto walrasiano di equilibrio generale – dove le condizioni e le preferenze sono mantenute costanti – è facile concludere che soltanto un cambiamento negli ultimi dati (popolazione, tecnologia …) possa creare nuovi investimenti. Così, se la spiegazione principale dello sviluppo e della depressione deriva da un nuovo investimento, ne consegue che solo cambiamenti come la guerra, l’innovazione, la crescita della popolazione, ecc. possono dare avvio a nuove opportunità di investimento.

Il problema della teoria sostenuta da Hansen, Summers, e Wolf è che trascura il ruolo della preferenza temporale come fattore determinante dell’investimento. Infatti ci sono sempre opportunità di investimento dal momento che le esigenze umane sono insaziabili. Ma siccome le risorse sono scarse, risparmi compresi, è necessario scegliere le priorità sulle quali dovremmo investire in base ai nostri obiettivi di preferenza temporale. Come dice Rothbard “sono le preferenze temporali (i ‘gusti’ della società per il consumo immediato rispetto a quello futuro) che determinano l’importo che gli individui decideranno di risparmiare ed investire”.

Inoltre Rothbard continua:

Quello che ci serve, insomma, sono i risparmi: questi sono il fattore limitativo di un investimento. Ed il risparmio, a sua volta, è limitato dalla preferenza temporale: la preferenza per il consumo presente più del consumo futuro. L’investimento deriva sempre da un allungamento dei processi di produzione, poiché i processi produttivi più brevi sono i primi ad essere sviluppati. I processi più lunghi rimangono bloccati sebbene più produttivi, perché non sono sviluppati a causa delle limitazioni di preferenza temporale. Ad esempio, non c’è alcun investimento in macchine migliori e nuove perché non è disponibile abbastanza risparmio.

Così, dobbiamo concludere assolutamente che un ”eccesso di risparmio” non esiste.

 

La necessità di risparmio reale

Al contrario, abbiamo bisogno di maggior risparmio reale per promuovere la crescita economica. Quello che abbiamo in eccesso è invece il credito fiduciario derivante dalle politiche inflazionistiche delle banche centrali. Tali politiche porteranno all’esasperazione gli alti e bassi del ciclo economico. Inoltre, la politica delle banche centrali di tassi di interesse ultra-bassi potrà indurre gli imprenditori ad intraprendere progetti meno redditizi e si allenterà il vincolo che loro hanno sul libero mercato di soddisfare le esigenze più urgenti, non ancora soddisfatte, dei consumatori.

Come afferma Mises in Human Action, nel mercato senza interferenze il tasso di interesse “impedisce che l’imprenditore dia inizio a progetti la cui realizzazione verrà disapprovata dal pubblico a causa della lunghezza del tempo di attesa di cui hanno bisogno. E lo costringe ad impiegare lo stock disponibile di beni capitali in modo da soddisfare al meglio i bisogni più urgenti dei consumatori”.

Tassi di interesse negativi sono una ricetta per il disastro. Provocando errori nelle scelte di investimento, sono una causa fondamentale di stagnazione economica e depressione.

L’idea che la responsabilità sia la mancanza di opportunità di investimento dà origine ad errori altrettanto fondamentali, soprattutto per quanto riguarda la formazione del tasso di interesse. Così, scrive Martin Wolf:

L’eccesso di risparmio (o la carenza di investimento, se si preferisce) è il risultato di sviluppi sia prima che dopo la crisi. Anche prima del 2007, i tassi di interesse reali a lungo termine erano in declino. Da allora, la debolezza degli investimenti privati, le riduzioni degli investimenti pubblici, una tendenza rallentamento della produttività ed i picchi di debito lasciati in eredità dalla crisi hanno tra loro interagito per far abbassare il tasso reale di equilibrio degli interessi. Per poco tempo, una forte domanda post-crisi nelle economie emergenti ha in parte compensato queste tendenze. Ma ora anche questa è venuta meno.

L’errore più evidente in questo paragrafo è l’affermazione completamente falsa secondo cui esiste una relazione causale tra la produttività ed il tasso di interesse. La teoria austriaca dimostra invece che non vi è nulla di simile. I tassi di interesse non dipendono dalla produttività, come molti economisti classici affermano, ma dalla preferenza temporale. Non è la maggiore produttività dei processi di produzione più lunghi che spinge il tasso di interesse, bensì il contrario.

Il tasso di interesse dipende dal tasso sociale di preferenza temporale e spiega perché i processi di produzione più brevi vengono utilizzati nonostante l’esistenza di processi più lunghi, che garantirebbero maggiore produzione per unità di input. Come afferma Israel Kirzner “considerazioni non riguardanti la produttività possono certamente entrare a far parte della spiegazione relativa ai tassi di interesse”.

 

Dobbiamo stimolare la domanda

E ‘evidente che il tentativo di Mr. Wolf di esonerare le banche centrali dalla loro responsabilità in merito ai tassi negativi si basa sui concetti keynesiani secondo cui le banche centrali devono fare qualcosa. Martin Wolf ritiene che la stabilità delle nostre economie si basi sui governi e sulle banche centrali, che i tassi di interesse debbano essere “resi coerenti” e che la domanda aggregata debba essere “equilibrata”. D’altra parte egli non sembra disposto a riconoscere che la conseguenza non intenzionale dell’intervento delle banche centrali che lui chiede è proprio la situazione attuale dei tassi di interesse negativi. Wolf scrive:

Qualcuno obietterà che il calo dei tassi di interesse reali è solo il risultato della politica monetaria, non delle forze reali. Questo è sbagliato. La politica monetaria determina in effetti i tassi nominali a breve termine ed influenza quelli a lungo termine. Ma l’obiettivo della stabilità dei prezzi significa che la politica ha lo scopo di bilanciare la domanda aggregata con l’offerta potenziale. Le banche centrali hanno semplicemente compreso che i tassi ultra-bassi sono necessari per raggiungere questo obiettivo.

Dopo aver letto quest’ultimo paragrafo, è legittimo chiedersi quale sia il limite della potenziale auto-contraddizione di Mr. Wolf. Infatti egli sostiene che le banche centrali non hanno nulla a che fare con i tassi di interesse negativi e, contemporaneamente, che non solo le banche centrali determinano i tassi di interesse, ma anche che “hanno compreso che i tassi di interesse ultra-bassi sono necessari.” Perciò Mr. Wolf ha chiarito al lettore, nonostante le proprie intenzioni, che le banche centrali sono assolutamente responsabili dei tassi di interesse negativi.

Inoltre, dobbiamo sottolineare che la “stabilità dei prezzi” che Martin Wolf sembra prediligere è un obiettivo illusorio. Un’economia in espansione può funzionare molto bene con la deflazione dei prezzi. L’idea che i governi dovrebbero manipolare domanda od offerta aggregate al fine di garantire la stabilità economica e dei prezzi è fallace. Infatti, se un concetto deve essere acquisito dall’economia classica, è che l’offerta aggregata e la domanda aggregata sono due facce della stessa medaglia e che, come scrisse Ricardo, “gli uomini sbagliano nella produzioni, non è questione di mancanza di domanda”. Non c’è assolutamente alcuna necessità di un’autorità politica per equilibrare la domanda e l’offerta aggregate. Ne consegue che viene meno anche l’ultima giustificazione di Mr. Wolf a favore dei banchieri centrali.

L’affermazione che i tassi di interesse negativi sono in qualche modo naturali o rispondenti alle esigenze dell’economia è assurda e, senza le interferenze di banche centrali e governi, il tema dei tassi di interesse negativi sarebbe inesistente.

The post I mercati non hanno bisogno di tassi d’interesse negativi appeared first on Ludwig von Mises Italia.

Libertarian Open Borders

Lew Rockwell Institute - Lun, 16/05/2016 - 06:01

Angela Merkel’s open borders policy continues to pay dividends in the destruction of open borders as a libertarian concept.  But before I come to “practice,” I will revisit “theory.”

Theory

There is no “state” in libertarian theory.  The only “borders” are the borders that divide private property, one privately-owned parcel from another.

Libertarian theory does not recognize open borders when it comes to property.  The property is private and exclusionary.  Is your property open to anyone who wants to come on it? Now, this doesn’t mean “closed” is the only other possibility.  Is your property closed to everyone?

Access to the property is managed.  Not only is this perfectly compatible with libertarian theory, it is the only acceptable application of libertarian theory.  (If a property owner chooses his border to be “open,” he is still managing his border.)

What of property that isn’t owned by anyone?  Certainly, this property is available for anyone to claim, according to the customs (call them laws, regulations, whatever – but not limited solely to homesteading) of the region and if the property owners between the individual and the unowned property allow him to travel to the unowned property.

So, that’s it for theory: borders are managed, not open.  By definition, the unowned land is a land without a border – something without a border by definition cannot have an open border.  It is just open.

Practice

Now on to the German gift that keeps on giving.  You will recall that Merkel said all are welcome, no stopping them, no questions asked (she has since backtracked a little, mostly by hiding behind Austrians and others, but the object lesson remains).  You cannot get more open than this.  How is it going so far?

Germany’s government expects to spend around 93.6 billion euros by the end of 2020 on costs related to the refugee crisis…

That doesn’t sound very libertarian.

The report said that 25.7 billion euros ($29.07 billion) would be needed for jobless payments, rent subsidies and other benefits for recognized asylum applicants by the end of 2020.

“Now bionic, you are complaining about government subsidies – these should be dealt with on their own, and not on the back of the refugees.  After all, local Germans get similar subsidies.”

Do you realize how non-libertarian that sounds?  But, OK, I will play along.

Another 5.7 billion euros would be needed for language courses and 4.6 billion euros would be required for measures to help migrants get jobs, it added.

Language courses?  These aren’t necessary for Germans – as they already speak German.  Aid to get a job – isn’t this what German schools and their well-developed apprentice programs already do?

No, there is nothing libertarian about open borders in practice.

I Can Hear Walter Block Now

“bionic, the government doesn’t own any land.  What if the immigrants go to the deserts or the top of the mountains?”

Sounds good in theory.  What about practice?  There are some problems with this.  First, while it is true that the government doesn’t own land, it does not follow that nobody owns the land. Even government controlled land has labor applied to it – labor paid for by the taxpayers of the country.  It is to the taxpayers that the land belongs – ask Ragnar Danneskjöld.

You don’t like that?  Then try this: immigrants aren’t moving to the top of the Alps; they aren’t roughing it north of the Arctic Circle.  They are moving to the cities, the developed parts of the country, using resources that you will pay for whether you want to or not.

An immigrant moving to the deserts or the mountaintops carving out an independent life in the new world can be OK in libertarian theory; it doesn’t happen in practice.  The €100MM that Germany is going to spend is €100MM that was not going to be spent otherwise.

Conclusion

Open borders is bad libertarian theory and can only be implemented by initiating force in practice.  Once advocates of open borders recognize and accept this, perhaps the dialogue on this topic can finally move along toward some meaningful ends.

In this world, that will require including in the discussion some concepts that libertarian theory does not directly address.  As if this is the only topic where this is true.

Reprinted with permission from Bionic Mosquito.

The post Libertarian Open Borders appeared first on LewRockwell.

Creation of Transgender Hysteria

Lew Rockwell Institute - Lun, 16/05/2016 - 06:01

I have a feeling that most people don’t really understand what the transgender bathroom issue is all about. Obviously, it has nothing whatsoever to do with “civil rights.” In reality, it’s nothing more than part of an overall radical-left strategy to create civil unrest. (Yes, the Cloward-Piven strategy to collapse the welfare system and precipitate a crisis that would lead to a guaranteed national income for everyone is part of the same civil unrest plan.)

But first, let’s first state the obvious: There is no such thing as a “transgender.” The whole notion that a man can arbitrarily decide he’s a woman and a woman can arbitrarily decide she’s a man is not just perverse, it’s ridiculous.

And guess who’s well aware that it’s ridiculous? The power structure of the radical left, that’s who. In fact, I believe that every time they come up with another crazy, in-your-face idea, they high-five each other and laugh up a storm behind closed doors. (Similar to what they did after they pushed Obamacare down the throats of a public that had made it clear it did not want it, then joked about how they had to lie to get it passed.)

So what’s really behind all this transgender nonsense? The same thing that has motivated the radical left for decades, long before Obama snookered his way into the White House: the desire to create an uprising, preferably a violent uprising. Since day one in office, the Duplicitous Despot has repeatedly poked the average citizen in the eye, with no hint of sympathy for those who believe in a civilized society or American exceptionalism.

Whether it’s forcing people to violate their religious beliefs, forcing them to accept to Obamacare, or forcing them to pay generous benefits to those who are illegally in the country, the intent is to inflame passions to the point of fomenting open rebellion.

Once a rebellion is at hand, the government would then “have no choice” but to declare a state of emergency, call out the national guard to put down the “rioters,” and, of course, “postpone” the upcoming elections. After all, the government has to put public safety first, right?

In the early days of the Duplicitous Despot’s reign, I thought the odds of his second term being extended via a phony state of emergency were 50-50. However, I no longer believe that, because I think Obama has overplayed his hand, which in turn has led to a huge split in the Democratic party.

As is evidenced by their support of commie Bernie, young people, in particular, hate the current power structure, which would make implementation of a state-of-emergency scam much more difficult to accomplish than it would have been a couple years ago. Even so, I believe Obama will continue to poke his finger in the eyes of everyday Americans in the hopes of leaving the country in an even greater state of chaos than it now is when he finally gives up the Oval Office.

But since Hillary, regardless of whether or not she will be eased out of the race by Comey and Friends, will NOT win the presidency, it’s going to be difficult for the radical left to prevent a Trump regime in Washington from at least getting the country started on the decades-long task of digging itself out of the eight-year abyss into which the anti-American crowd has pushed it.

That said, look for the most egregious violations of Western culture — things like transgender bathrooms, sanctuary cities, and open borders — to be the first to go by the wayside once Obama is gone.

I should add that even though Trump took a lot of heat for his remarks about the transgender bathroom issue, what he actually said (as opposed to what his enemies would like us to believe he said) was very reasonable. Leaving a matter up to the individual states to decide is almost always a good idea.

In addition, Trump is right when he says that so-called transgenders using whatever bathroom they want have never been a big problem. That being the case, there is little doubt in my mind that Trump will repeal Obama’s toothless decree on the transgender bathroom issue once he’s in office, and the individual states will be able to resolve the matter as they see fit — which will undoubtedly be to the liking of conservatives.

Okay, enough said on this gigantic “problem.” Now, is anyone interested in discussing some lesser important issues — like, say, the national debt, balancing the budget, how to deal with 12 million illegal immigrants, and protecting the homeland from radical Islamic terrorists? Just thought I’d ask.

Reprinted with permission from RobertRinger.com.

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We’ve Learned How To Stop School/Mass Shootings

Lew Rockwell Institute - Lun, 16/05/2016 - 06:01

Originally published by AmmoLand.com.

USA – What if I told you that all of the mass and school shootings over the past 20 years or so could have been done, to equal effect, by a murderer using a 150-year old lever action rifle?

You know, the same kind that was commonly used in the Civil War?

Or, what if I told you that the majority of mass shootings could have been done, again to the same effect, with a 170-year old single-shot Sharps-type rifle? That rifle was invented 13 years before the Civil War began.

In the collective rush to “fix” the problem of these types of unspeakable crimes, we tend to get collectively stupid by grasping at straws in a desperate race for a solution. You know exactly what I am talking about. When something bad happens, there’s an immediate call to ban something. So-called “high-capacity” magazines are almost always blamed for tragic results of mass shootings. The thinking goes that if you reduce magazine capacity, then vicious and heartless murderers wouldn’t be able to hurt and kill as many people. You’ve probably heard all the quotes in the news like this one:

“If only we didn’t have these high-capacity magazines on the market, the shooter would never have been able to inflict that level of harm…”

To the uninformed and intellectually lazy, these types of statements sound perfectly rational. When challenged with the fallacy of their logic, you might hear those same folks shift gears and offer up statements like, “Well, of course, it won’t completely prevent another mass murder, but it will probably help.” I get it. It’s hard to admit the existence of true evil and even harder to try to solve the root problems that cause humans to do unspeakable things. As a result, we cry for quick and easy solutions that feel good.

I recently sat in what was perhaps the most enlightening presentation I’ve seen in decades. At the recent United States Concealed Carry Association Expo, Chief USCCA Instructor Michael Martin presented a veritable mountain of data that he had painstakingly compiled about mass shootings. Deciding to look at actual facts as a basis for formulating meaningful, realistic, and effective response strategies, he evaluated what actually happened during a mass shooting events. Were magazines a factor? What about police response time? Did it make a difference when unarmed people fought back against the killer? How about security, like simple door locks? Did simple and inexpensive deterrents like that make any difference?

The results of Martin’s data compilation are nothing short of stunning. I don’t have the space to go through all of the angles here, so I’ll stick with the magazine capacity angle as an example of the study. Since the perception of the uninformed is that magazine capacity allows an increased rate of fire, and therefore more killing in less time, Martin took a close look at that factor in dozens of shootings. Here are the actual rates of fire based on the number of minutes the murderer had compared to the number of shots fired. I’m naming the locations only as I refuse to print the names of the despicable slime that perpetrate these heinous crimes.

All numbers reflect rounds per minute fired.

  • Virginia Tech: 15
  • Newtown: 15 – 31
  • Columbine: 4
  • Red Lake: 5
  • Oikos University: 6
  • Northern Illinois University: 8
  • San Bernardino: 7 – 14
  • Fort Hood: 21
  • Binghampton: 25
  • Aurora: 8 – 14

Next, Martin considered realistic rates of fire, performed by a relatively inexperienced shooter, as nearly all of these psychos are. With 30-round magazines, a sustained rate of fire is about 100 rounds per minute. Using a 10-round magazine, the sustained rate is about 75 rounds per minute. As you can see, not one of the actual events came anywhere close to these rates.

In fact, that lever-action rifle we mentioned earlier has a sustained rate of fire of 30 rounds per minute. And that antique single-shot Sharps has a sustained rate of between 10 and 12 rounds per minute.

The point of all this? If people (meaning the uninformed and intellectually lazy) would stop to think for a minute before launching into half-cocked solutions, we might invest more problem-solving time in strategies that actually work. This is the real point of Martin’s research. By looking at the details of what actually happened in all these cases, we have a much better basis of understanding from which to do meaningful and effective things to dramatically reduce the number of these horrific events.

Consider some other data points from Martin’s research:

The real factor that drives casualty count is the time before the shooter is opposed – by someone else with a gun. Looking at all the events over the past couple of decades, the killers have an average of nine minutes of completely unopposed time to do whatever they want. Considering that over 70% of school killers end their spree by committing suicide, it’s clear that time is all they seek. There’s no escape plan. There’s not even a big hurry. Nine minutes of complete and total domination is an eternity. In fact, according to Martin’s research, it usually takes two minutes before a 911 call is placed. That alone is an eternity. Then it takes minutes for the police to arrive. Then it takes more minutes for responders to formulate and execute a response plan. The killer actually knows, not thinks or believes, but knows, that they have another four minutes after they hear the sirens coming. The result of all that is nine minutes of pure hell for the victims.

If nine minutes doesn’t seem like a long time to you, try sitting still and waiting to be shot while slowly counting to 540. Image: USCCA.

How about disruption and fighting back? If time is the number one determinant of casualties, then anything that even temporarily disrupts the ticking clock or plan must have a positive effect, right? As it turns out, that’s true. At Virginia Tech, students and professors in two of the five classrooms mounted resistance by trying to block the door. In these two rooms, a professor, and one student were killed. In the three other rooms, 27 were killed and eight wounded. When the killer’s plan was disrupted in such as way as to cost him time, he moved on. At La Toscana Village Mall, New Life Church, Appalachian School of Law, and Thurston High School, potential victims fought back, ending the killer’s rampages.

How about background checks? As it turns out, this is no easy fix either. Of the cases Martin studied, 79% of mass murderers bought their firearms from an FFL and completed a background check. 13 percent stole guns and six percent acquired them through illegal means.

Oh, none was acquired via private sale or “gun show loophole” as some like to call it. Did you catch that? Not one killer got their gun through a private sale. Stated differently, universal background checks would not have stopped a single one of the 47 mass shootings since 1998.

So what to do? Based on his learnings, Martin recommends a four-part plan. Be aware that we’re just skimming the surface here, Martin’s plan has hundreds of detailed action items. The USCCA is contemplating how to best disseminate this information, but for now, here are the high points.

1. Hardening schools

If you stop to think about it, a Motel 6 guest room is far more secure than the average classroom. While Martin’s recommendations go far beyond locks and sturdy doors, a simple swing bar lock goes a shockingly long way towards disrupting an attacker. If you want to see some ideas in action, check out the leading edge security system installed at Southwestern High School in Indiana. Total cost? About $400,000, or less than 10% the cost of the average High School football field.

A sample of some of the suggested school hardening measures. Image: USCCA.

2. Teaching students and staff to fight back

Most of us have understood the wisdom of run, hide and fight for a long time. Finally, even the Department of Homeland Security is admitting the stupidity of telling victims to sit still and hope for the best.

3. Creating an armed educator program

We’ve got an armed pilot program, how hard can it be to create a similar program for teachers motivated to take and maintain training? ( A good example is Buckeye Firearms Association Armed Teacher Training Program )

Buckeye Firearms Association Armed Teacher Training Program : http://tiny.cc/b87eby

4. Eliminating schools from the “gun free zone” list

Do I need to comment on this? We’ve painted big targets on schools for far too long at the expense of far too many lives. It could not be more obvious that deranged killers actively seek these zones to maximize the impact of their nine minutes of fame.

So what can you as an individual do? It’s simple really. The solution to these problems is education. We need to educate the educators, the media, the politicians, and our friends and neighbors. If you want to get wired into a source of outstanding information, consider becoming a USCCA Certified Instructor.

It’s time to start calling BS on all the feel good and politically expedient “solutions.”

Reprinted with permission from AmmoLand.com.

The post We’ve Learned How To Stop School/Mass Shootings appeared first on LewRockwell.

If Frank Sinatra Lost His Temper

Lew Rockwell Institute - Lun, 16/05/2016 - 06:01

When you think of Frank Sinatra, who died on May 14, 1998, aged 82, you may think of the suave singer of sophisticated ballads. Away from the microphone, though, this wonderful singer was one of the most bad-tempered men in showbusiness. “Don’t get even, get mad,” he used to quip. He blamed his “Sicilian temper” for his violent and abusive outbursts. One wife, Barbra, said there was “a Jekyll and Hyde aspect to Frank,” another wife, the actress Mia Farrow, said he was a “24-Carat manic depressive”. One thing was for sure, once Sinatra took offence, you were frozen out for good. Here are the 17 examples of his explosive need for anger management.

He took a sledgehammer to his ‘JFK’ heliport

A sad case of what happens when you fall out with the president you once pimped for and provided with drugs. In March 1962, President Kennedy was due to say with Sinatra at his mansion in Palm Springs, California. Brother Bobby Kennedy got cold feet because of Frank Sinatra’s links to the mob and persuaded JFK to stay with Bing Crosby instead. Sinatra had installed a special suite at his house, with 25 extra phone lines and a helipad. When Sinatra’s actor friend (and Kennedy’s brother-in-law) Peter Lawford broke the bad news that JFK was instead staying with Bing Crosby, he paid the price. “He never forgave me. He cut me off  just like that,” said Lawford. Sinatra stormed into the house, smashed up his JFK photographs, kicked in the door of the presidential suite he’d had built and tried to wrest the gold nameplate from the door. He even took a sledgehammer to the heliport he’d had built for JFK.

He threw a glass pitcher at jazz drummer Buddy Rich

The Tommy Dorsey band was full of tough characters. When Sinatra accused Buddy Rich of messing up drum solos, Rich called him a “silly f–k”. Sinatra picked up a pitcher of water and threw it all at Rich’s head, narrowly missing.

He punched a reporter

Sinatra hated New York Mirror journalist Lee Mortimer. When the pair exchanged words in Ciro’s Nightclub in 1948, Sinatra punched him (it was reported in Modern Television & Radio in December 1948 as a “sock on the jaw”, while Sinatra dismissed it as “a little fracas”). Sinatra ended up in court, agreeing a private settlement to end the assault and battery charges brought against him by Mortimer.

He refused to speak to Phil Silvers for 16 years

The pair had initially been friends. Phil Silvers had written the lyrics to a 1942 song called Bessie… with the Laughing Face. When they sang it at a birthday party for Nancy Sinatra and changed the lyrics to Nancy, the singer thought it was a song written especially for his daughter and recorded the song. Silvers and Sinatra then went on a 1945 United Service Organisations (USO) tour in the Mediterranean. But when CBS programmed The Phil Silvers Show opposite ABC’s The Frank Sinatra Show, Sinatra was enraged and rang the comedian shouting, “You had to go Fridays, huh?” Sinatra reportedly stopped speaking to Silvers for 16 years.

Light My Fire really lit his fuse

Sinatra bemoaned the rise of rock music in the Sixties and particularly hated The Doors and their song Light my Fire, calling it “ugly and degenerate”. When Sinatra was driving home one night it came on the car radio. He switched stations and found that channel playing the same song. He stopped the car and smashed the car radio to bits with his shoe.

Read the Whole Article

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Captain America: Civil War

Lew Rockwell Institute - Lun, 16/05/2016 - 06:01

Good movies often reflect the attitudes of the times in which they were created. However, great movies that withstand the obscurity of history reflect the emergence of some sort of counterculture. Captain America: Civil War is most definitely the latter. In a world where political correctness, state worship, war cheerleading, and socialist propaganda have infected the very nurseries of American culture (namely higher education and Hollywood), Civil War shines as a beacon of pride that will have libertarians in the audience smiling brightly. Besides, any movie that can send Salon.com into a tantrum has to be good, right?

Amanda Marcotte’s laughable attempt to complain about how Marvel ruined the character and to smear Cap as a “douchey libertarian” and “Ayn Rand acolyte” rests on an assumption of some perceived inconsistency of previously established “liberal” values. (I, for one, am shocked to see someone use that “d” word to belittle someone else. The writer must be a sexist). To Ms. Marcotte, and many on the left, Steve Rogers was always a good ole rule following American patriot who stood up for Democracy and its values around the world. Supposedly, this was established early on in Cap’s first movie (when he enlisted in WWII to fight the Nazi’s parallel, Hydra). Similarly, in Winter Soldier, it is perceived that Rogers does the right thing by putting a stop to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s secret spying and drone assault program that was never OK’d by the voting public. Then, she reasons, that somehow Marvel went and broke the reddest hearts of leftist comic book movie enthusiasts in Civil War by Cap suddenly breaking from his defense of Democracy by refusing to be conscripted into the United Nation’s Avengers Oversight Program (In the movie, the Sokovia Accords).

I’d like to point out, however, that in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America has never simply been the “fighting face of democracy.” Also, it should come as no surprise to the viewer that Cap would refuse to sign onto the Sokovia Accords. In each prior movie, he has broken the law and taken actions against the wishes of the federal government. In the first movie, he illegally enlists and forges his forms, and later defies orders to enter into enemy territory single-handedly to retrieve hostages that others had written off as dead. In Winter Soldier, Captain America becomes an enemy of the state which had been co-opted by Hydra Operatives in secret. Why is it surprising, then, that Cap would take a position in opposition to the United States government, or worse for leftists, the Holy United Nations (which I would also like to point out consists of non-elected bureaucrats; so much for “democracy”). In every prior installment, Steve Rogers has defied the government. In two out of three movies, he has actively fought against it.

The bottom line here is that Captain America, in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, has never been the poster boy of American Democracy. He has, however, been consistently the representative of individual liberty. When asked in the first movie if he “wants to kill Nazi’s,” he responds that he doesn’t wish to kill anyone, but that bullies need to be stood up to. Note that Rogers here is abiding by the non-aggression principle- initiation of violence is wrong, but self-defense is justifiable. In the second movie, he doesn’t fight against the Hydra-SHIELD-state spying/drone machine because the program wasn’t voted on by the populace, but because the data collection and green-light to kill anyone on a moment’s notice is a blatant violation of individual rights. In this instance, it is the domestic state who is the bully who needs standing up to. In Civil War, Rogers stands up for his own individual right to self-determine what he does with his own body, remarking “The safest hands are still our own…” and “Politicians have agendas. What if they send us somewhere we don’t want to go, or if they won’t let us fight someone we feel we have to?” Captain America has a deep mistrust of politicians in general, unlike Ms. Marcotte, who only has a deep mistrust of politicians on the wrong side of the aisle. There was even a passing blow to the patron saint of modern liberalism. When Tony Stark (Iron Man) presents Rogers with a peace offering of the pens that FDR used to sign legislation that would allow the country to help arm the allies, Rogers rebukes the gift, noting correctly that “some would say that action brought us closer to war.”

When it comes to the movie in general, much can be said about Captain America’s budding libertarianism. However, it becomes more obvious if we contrast him with Robert Downey Jr.’s role as the consummate state apologist. Whereas Captain America exhibits more of his principled, liberty-loving side, Iron Man goes in the opposite direction. Since the Sokovia Accords, the political legislation the movie centers around were a reaction to the devastation caused by the events of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tony begins to feel guilty. He says that “they need to be put in check,” and agreeing that their superhuman abilities seem to attract powerful enemies. Increasingly epic movies needing increasingly epic foes aside, the correlation of supervillains to superheroes doesn’t appear to be caused by the superheroes themselves- except Iron Man. Ultron, the antagonist of the previous Avengers film, was created by Tony Stark as a means to protect the earth. Unfortunately, the mad robot spiraled out of control, recruiting Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver to his side. The two twins were radicalized by none other than Tony Stark’s former weapons, which were used to bomb their town when they were children. The damage that was caused in Sokovia in Age of Ultron (the place in which the Accords in Civil War were named) was entirely the fault of Tony Stark. It was Captain America and the other Avengers who were relegated to picking up the pieces. What we have when Stark notes that “we” need to be put in check is the same rhetorical collectivism that statists use as an excuse to have society at large solve all their own problems. Tony Stark caused the whole ruckus in the first place, but it’s the rest of the Avengers who are suddenly at fault for it, and would have all their bodies conscripted by a supranational political bureaucracy.

Some, like Salon’s authors, would think it silly and paranoid for Cap to mistrust such an organization with noble intent like the United Nations. If dozens of countries agree that a mission must be carried out, what’s so wrong with that? Well, we have only to look at the movie and the Marvel comics for the next great conflict of interest here to surface.

One of Cap’s concerns is that the Avengers might be sent to a place that they don’t want to go, or feel they shouldn’t. One of those places could be Wakanda, a fictional, super-advanced, and hermit African nation ruled over by King T’challa (Black Panther). Wakanda is rich in the fictional metal vibranium, which is the rare and near-indestructible substance that Cap’s shield is made out of. Since we know that Black Panther is getting his own movie soon, would it be far-fetched for the plot to center around an organized coup to rid King T’challa of his seat, so that the new ruler of Wakanda is more willing to freely give away the vibranium, not through trade to foreign markets and businesses, but to militaries like the United States, or UN member countries (who, quite possibly, are still infiltrated with Hydra operatives)? [SPOILER ALERT] At the end of Civil War, Captain America leaves Bucky, the Winter Soldier, in the protection of T’challa and the Wakandans, so there could be multiple motivations for an invasion of Wakanda- either through outright war or covert means.

The pattern here is all too familiar. While some movie-goers might object that Wakanda was present to the signing of the Sokovia Accords, that would make no difference as to if they could be a possible victim of the Accords. We’ve seen in Iraq, Libya, and Iran to an effect that even countries that initially play nice can see the barrel of the United States military at a moment’s notice when the mood suits the politicians in charge. Is it outlandish to suggest that if Steve Rogers had just gone along with the Accords, that he and the Avengers would eventually have been sent into Wakanda in an effort to overthrow the Wakandan king?

In any case, the co-opting of the politicians in power of Tony Stark represents national takeover of certain industries that normally would be subject to lawsuit due to property violation, and giving them a slap on the wrist before turning them loose to do the same thing, except under the magic banner of blamelessness known as government. We can also see the parallels to the police state, of deciding someone needs to be punished before justice is done or deciding guilt before a warrant is issued. As movie watchers will know, Bucky was framed and was too far away in actuality to bomb the building that housed the UN ambassadors to sign the Accords. It’s also no coincidence that all the news outlets were good dogs, repeating the same tale that it was the Winter Soldier who had done it almost immediately after the bombing had taken place. The new Crony Avengers were promptly sent on their way to bring in the Winter Soldier, regardless of whether or not he had actually performed the attack while Cap knew of his former friend’s innocence and fought for what he knew was right.

In one of the scenes climactic fights, Cap’s Libertarian Vigilantes face off against the Crony Avengers in all their glory. One of Iron Man’s powerhouse teammates, Vision, notes that they have to stop Captain America’s quest to stop a complex terror plot involving new secret Winter Soldier Operatives “for the good of the collective.” Whereas bleating sheep and progressive column writers would point out that Vision is an android who possesses some sort of higher intelligence, and therefore, we must yield decision-making authority to him like they would have us yield to their own crop of infallible (and well-paid) experts, scientists, and technocrats in government, a brilliant nugget of information is sprinkled in on this character in particular. Vision gets distracted by Scarlet Witch (they have a thing in the comics), leading to his subduing by Cap’s team. Tony Stark is appalled, telling Vision that “I thought you didn’t get distracted,” and Vision remarks that he didn’t think he did either. We can see here that even the shining higher powers that be are not perfect in their judgment. Vision is trying to represent the collective, and justifying their actions as righteous on those grounds while the viewers know that Cap is in the right and that only they can stop the new batch of Winter Soldiers that could be released upon the world. Since Vision is subject to human faults, why not human prejudices and superstitions like collectivism and Statism?

After this fight, it is most of Cap’s freedom fighters that are apprehended and placed at a black site, which is where I would argue Tony Stark needs to be in the deepest cell of. Thankfully, it’s implied that Steve breaks them out on his own later. When Captain America fights Iron Man, and beats him, at the end of the film, Stark remarks that Cap’s vibranium shield isn’t even his, that it’s the property of the United States Government. Rogers simply discards the shield and walks off; symbolically casting off the shackles of Statism, collectivism, and government loyalty, in order to follow his own individual path.

Two of the most defining moments in the film were monologs by Steve Rogers (writing a letter to Tony at the end), and the funeral of Peggy Carter (which was spoken by Cap in the comics). The latter runs as follows: “Doesn’t matter what the press says. Doesn’t matter what the politicians or the mobs say… When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree next to the river of truth, and tell the whole world, ‘No, YOU move.’” Such a statement runs completely antithetical to the prevailing Divine Right of Democracy. In the letter monolog at the end of the film, it says that Cap places his faith in individuals. This sort of language seems extremely out of place in today’s Hollywood, and it is. Hollywood has become all about the good of the collective, and of government cheerleading. In a country where Seth MacFarlane would present a socialist society as Star Trek, and tell libertarians to move to a Mad Max society (despite the fact that the most socialist societies seem to approach Mad Max like conditions. Google: Venezuela), what makes Civil War so great is the fact that it stands up to the wave of collectivist propaganda and boldly proclaims, no you move. Captain America is being hailed by many as the greatest Marvel movie in history. I would agree. To go along with the epic fight scenes, the movie has a theme of individualism and freedom that has the potential to awaken a new wave of liberty-lovers. For younger libertarians, Steve Rogers is the new John Galt. Who was that other guy, anyway?

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World War Zero

Lew Rockwell Institute - Lun, 16/05/2016 - 06:01

More than 3,000 years ago, the flourishing Bronze Age civilizations of the eastern Mediterranean suddenly met their downfall.

The Trojan War erupted as one of the final events culminating an era of chaos which one archaeologist has named ‘World War Zero’, plunging the region into a Dark Age soon after.

And, it was all begun by a mysterious and powerful civilization which came to be known as the ‘Sea Peoples,’ a new theory suggests.

The new ideas presented by Luwian Studies propose a scenario that could explain the fall of the Bronze Age around 1200 BC, and the events leading up to the Trojan War.

The post World War Zero appeared first on LewRockwell.

PC Kills

Lew Rockwell Institute - Lun, 16/05/2016 - 06:01

Eagles of Death Metal recently finished a Canadian tour and I got to sit down with vocalist Jesse Hughes and discuss the Bataclan attack in Paris that killed 89 of his fans. You’d think he’d want to avoid the topic, but he was actually eager to get into it. He sees it as a catharsis.Hughes is not happy with the way the media has treated the story. Details are randomly pulled from his interviews and entire angles are edited in later that are diametrically opposed to his beliefs. Jesse Hughes is an ordained Catholic minister. He’s pro-gun, pro-Trump, and pro-life. He recognizes that Islam is the problem and political correctness is literally killing us.

Takimag: It’s hard to talk about the attack without sounding like you’re blaming the victims, but it’s impossible to deny fear of Islamophobia and fear of guns led to a lot of deaths that night.

Jesse Hughes: I saw fear fall like a blanket on the whole crowd and they fell like wheat in the wind—the way you would before a god. I was totally alert from the very beginning. The first thing I needed to do was find my girl. Fear took a backseat and “where’s my girl?” took over. I could smell gunpowder in the backstage area and I knew someone fired around back there. I saw a guy with an FAL and when he turned to face me his eyes looked like marbles. He was stoned out of his mind, and we now know they were on Xanax and cocaine. I recognized him. I’d seen him earlier in the day and noticed him staring at us.

They were in the venue early. That implies some staff were in on it.

I got in a lot of trouble for saying that. I know for sure that they were in there early. I remember them staring at my buddy. I just chalked it up to Arab envy. You know what I mean? When a Muslim sees a cocky American dude with tattoos, he stares at him. I realized later it was Abdeslam and he was staring at my buddy because they thought he was a threat. There’s no denying the terrorists were already inside, and they had to get in somehow. During the shooting, I went outside and the backstage door was propped open. How did that happen?

Do you think political correctness is killing our natural instincts and making us vulnerable?

Definitely. There were two girls who were involved. They were at the venue and vanished before the shooting, and these women were in traditional Muslim garb. They knew people wouldn’t check them because of the way they were dressed. They got caught a few days later.

The fear of offending Muslims is a terrorist’s greatest weapon.

Look at the guys who bombed Brussels. They were wearing black gloves on one hand. Their luggage was too heavy to lift, but they didn’t want anyone helping them with it. Nobody brought any of this up until after the bombs went off.

Read the Whole Article

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Blacks Dominate Politics in Philadelphia, Detroit, and Baltimore

Lew Rockwell Institute - Lun, 16/05/2016 - 06:01

Most black politicians, ministers, civil rights advocates, and professionals support Hillary Clinton’s quest for the presidency. Whoever becomes the next president, whether it’s a Democrat or Republican, will mean little or nothing in terms of solutions to major problems that confront many black people. We’ve already seen that even a black president means little or nothing. Politics and political power cannot significantly improve the lives of most black people and may even be impediments.

Blacks hold high offices and dominate the political arenas in Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and other cities. Yet these are the very cities with the nation’s poorest educational outcomes, highest crime rates, high illegitimacy rates and other forms of social pathology. Let’s look at this pattern, focusing just on Philadelphia, Detroit, and Baltimore, cities with large black populations and black-held political power for nearly a half-century.

The Obama administration, as well as black and white liberals, expresses concern with disproportionate numbers of black students suspended or expelled. They have created a practice called “restorative justice,” where students are called on to repair the harm caused by their bad behavior. Under this regime, cursing a teacher or assaulting a teacher is no cause for traditional discipline. Instead, there’s talking and pleas. But I’ll bet the rent money that the black and white liberal elite would never send their own children to schools where teachers are routinely assaulted and cursed. They would never send their children to schools so unsafe that students must enter through metal detectors so as to prevent the introduction of guns, knives and other weapons.

The disgraceful academic performance by black students is not preordained. In other words, it just doesn’t have to be that way. The Washington, D.C., Opportunity Scholarship Program, a school-choice voucher program, has an excellent record, with 91 percent of its “at-risk” students graduating. But the Obama administration, doing the bidding of teacher’s unions, has attacked the program. U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., questioned Secretary of Education John King Jr. about the D.C. scholarship program during confirmation hearings. King replied, “I do not personally believe that vouchers are a scalable solution to the equity and excellence challenge and prefer the route of public school choice.” I would have asked Mr. King how that position differs from a position that says: “No black children shall be saved unless and until all black children can be saved.” I don’t think black people can afford such a policy perspective.

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Pfizer VP Comes Clean

Lew Rockwell Institute - Lun, 16/05/2016 - 06:01

Below is a clip taken from the “One More Girl” documentary, a film regarding the Gardasil vaccine, which was designed to prevent Human Papillomavirus. In it, Dr. Peter Rost, MD, a former vice president of one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world (Pfizer), shares the truth about the ties between the medical and pharmaceutical industry.

Rost is a former vice president of Pfizer and a whistleblower of the entire pharmaceutical industry in general. He is the author of “The Whistleblower, Confessions of a Healthcare Hitman.” Considering his work experience, it would be an understatement to say that he is an insider expert on big pharma marketing.

Below are a couple of quotes from both a former and a current editor-in-chief of the two largest, and what are considered to be the most credible, medical journals in the world. It’s only fitting to include them into the article as they are directly related to what Dr. Rost hints at in the video.

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.”  – Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime editor-in-chief of the New England Medical Journal (NEMJ) (source)

“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”  – Dr. Richard Horton, the current editor-in-chief of the Lancet – considered to be one of the most well respected peer-reviewed medical journals in the world. (source)

It’s Time To Re-Think Current Medical Research & See The Bigger Picture

In 2005, Dr. John P.A. Ioannidis, currently a professor in disease prevention at Stanford University, published the most widely accessed article in the history of the Public Library of Science (PLoS) entitled Why Most Published Research Findings Are False. In the report he states:

“There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false.”

We now have a large amount of evidence, and statements from experts that come directly from the field, which paint a very concerning picture. The science used to educate doctors and develop medicine is flawed. We are only ever exposed to studies that have been sponsored by big pharmaceutical companies, but these studies are not designed to take the long view. They are not designed to detect problems that can occur years or even decades after a treatment, or examine the risks of taking a drug for long periods of time. Nobody ever seems to mention or acknowledge the many studies which clearly show significant risk associated with many of the products that pharmaceutical companies are manufacturing to help fight disease.

What is even more concerning is the general population’s lack of awareness when it comes to these facts. This issue is definitely not going to be addressed in the mainstream news, and despite plenty of evidence to support it, some people will refuse to even look at or acknowledge that it exists. This is a big problem, our world is changing and we must keep an open mind and be open to new possibilities regarding the nature of our world. It’s 2015, and as we keep moving forward there will be more information coming out that challenges the deeply held, engrained belief systems of many. It’s okay to look at information that goes against what you believe, in fact, it’s needed if we are going to move forward and create a better world for ourselves.

You would think the statements above the video, from longtime editors of such major, peer-reviewed scientific journals (apparently, the best in the world) would at least get some mainstream attention.

When Dr. Rost was still working for Pfizer he had a couple of appearances in the mainstream media. Here is an example of him speaking with the Wall Street Journal almost 10 years ago, before he blew the whistle.

This is why alternative media is important, especially in a time where more and more people are waking up to what is really happening on our planet.

It’s time to examine the research that’s being conducted all over the world, from experts (scientists) at various institutions, that is not sponsored by these giant, multinational “health” corporations – the independent literature. Brilliant work is being published regarding various drugs, cures, treatments, vaccines, and more.

“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.” – Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), Harvard Professor of Medicine and Former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Medical Journal (source)(source)

Thanks for reading, and I hope the video above gives you something to think about.

Reprinted with permission from Collective Evolution.

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What You Eat for Breakfast

Lew Rockwell Institute - Lun, 16/05/2016 - 06:01

The word ‘breakfast’ came into the English language in the 15th century to describe the break from eating nothing (‘fasting’) overnight, although the concept of a morning meal is as old as time itself.

We are repeatedly told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is also important in understanding what background, social class and aspirations a person has and how they are setting themselves up for the day.

Let’s tuck in…

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT

We shall cover the victuals first. Although social class is not quite as clear cut as lower, middle and upper anymore (each now with their own sub sections) a person’s breakfast can easily be divided into one of those categories.

If you opt for a bowl of cereal, you’re at the lower socio-economic end of the breakfast spectrum. They are not so grr-r-reat for any social kudos you wish to maintain. In the words of the great Hyacinth Bucket: ‘This is not a Cornflake establishment.’

Sadly, Hyacinth’s own breakfast of choice was off-message – half a grapefruit in a footed glass bowl. Just thank heavens there wasn’t a glacé cherry on top, too.

The middle classes today are obsessed with health foods to start their days. Protein this, good fats that. All rather boring and faddy for the uppers to worry about.

They’ve survived this far without chia seeds, thank you, and will somehow manage to carry on the lineage in their absence.

The top of middle class health foods in vogue at the moment is the avocado (which you must call, correctly, an avocado pear if you wish to remain smart). Only eat this for breakfast upon total desperation. You are not Mexican.

Scrambled eggs and bacon are reportedly enjoyed each morning by The Queen, and are also a staple in country houses for guests.

But the smartest of breakfasts is, without any question, Kedgeree.

If you are eating something called ‘The Full English’ then you must be at an airport pub.

Read the Whole Article

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Trash Your Garden

Lew Rockwell Institute - Lun, 16/05/2016 - 06:01

You don’t have to spend a fortune at the nursery or garden supply center to have a happy and healthy garden. There are a few things you probably have lying around the house that can put some extra green in your thumb—and many of them are items you might otherwise consider trash!

  • Coffee Grounds: What’s better than starting the day with a strong cup of coffee? Saving those coffee grounds and using them as compost, of course! Coffee grounds are an excellent addition to your garden; simply spread them directly onto the soil. Don’t worry about coffee grounds being acidic—since acidly is water-soluble, it stays in your coffee and out of your garden. Coffee grounds improve soil structure and anecdotal evidence suggests that the grounds keep slugs and other pests away. As a bonus, you can even shred used paper coffee filters and throw them into the soil as well. These act as a carbon source and make your soil even richer.

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Buy Panic

Lew Rockwell Institute - Lun, 16/05/2016 - 06:01

Editor’s note: Successful crisis investing boils down to one skill. The ability to go against the crowd to buy beaten-down assets that have been left for dead.

Few people know as much about this subject as Jim Rogers. Jim is a legendary investor and a true “international man.” He has earned millions investing in crisis markets.

Today, in a classic interview first published in December 2013, Crisis Investing editor Nick Giambruno speaks with Jim about this idea. It’s a fascinating discussion we think you’ll enjoy…

Nick Giambruno: Thanks for joining us today, Jim. First off, tell us what you think it means to be a successful contrarian and how that relates to investing in crisis markets throughout the world.

Jim Rogers: Well, there are two aspects of it. One is being a trader, being able to buy panic, and nearly always if you are a trader or an investor, if you buy panic, you are going to do okay.

Sometimes it is better for the traders, because when there is a panic—a war breaks out or something like that—everything collapses, and some people are very good at jumping in and buying. Then, when the rally comes, the next day or the next month, they sell out.

Now, the people who are investors can also do that, but it usually takes longer for there to be a permanent rally. In other words, if there’s a war and stocks go from 100 to 30 and everybody jumps in, it may rally up to 50, and then the traders will get out, it may go back to 30 again. I’m trying to make the differentiation between investors and traders buying panic.

As an investor, nearly always if you buy panic and you know what you are doing, and then hold on for a number of years, you are going to make a lot of money.

You also have to be sure that your crisis or panic is not the end of the world, though. If war breaks out, you have got to make sure it’s a temporary war.

I used to work with Roy Neuberger, who was one of the great traders of all time, and whenever stocks would panic down, he was usually one of the few buyers, because he knew he could get a rally—if not that day, at least maybe that week or that month. And he nearly always did. No matter how bad the news, especially if there’s a huge drop, it’s probably a good time to buy if you’ve got the staying power and your wits, because you will likely get a rally. In terms of panic buying or crisis situations, that’s normally the way to play.

Now, it’s not always easy, because you are having everybody you know, or everybody in the media, shrieking what a fool you are to even try something like that. But if you have your wits about you and you know what you are doing, and you know enough about yourself, then chances are you will make a lot of money.

Nick: What is the story behind your most successful investment in a crisis market or a “blood in the streets” kind of situation?

Jim: Certainly commodities at the end of the ’90s were everybody’s favorite disaster, and yet, for whatever reason, I had decided that it was not a disaster. In fact, it was a great opportunity and there were plenty of things to buy. In 1998, for instance, Merrill Lynch—which at the time was the largest broker, certainly in America and maybe the world—decided to close their commodity business, which they had for a long time. I bought. That’s when I started in the commodity business in a fairly big way. So that’s the kind of example I am talking about.

Everybody had more or less abandoned or were in the process of abandoning commodities, and yet, that’s when I decided to go into commodities in a big way, because of what I considered fundamental reasons for doing it, but the fact that Merrill Lynch was getting out buttressed in my own mind anyway that I must be right, because, you know, everybody was out. Who was left to sell? There was nobody left to sell at that point.

Nick: What about a particular country?

Jim: I first invested in China back in 1999 and then again in 2005. The market at those times was very, very bad. I invested again in November of 2008, when all markets around the world were collapsing, including in China.

So I have certainly made investments in countries with crisis markets, and I’m getting a little better at it than I used to be, because I have had more experience now. That’s why I keep emphasizing that you have to know what you’re doing. And by that I mean paying attention to and doing your homework on a stock or a commodity or a country. If you do that with a crisis market, then chances are you can move in and make some money.

Nick: Doug Casey and I were in the crisis-stricken country of Cyprus a few years ago, which is also a pretty hated market, for obvious reasons. While we were there, we found some pretty remarkable bargains on the Cyprus Stock Exchange. Companies that are still producing earnings, paying dividends, have plenty of cash (in most cases outside of the country), little to no debt, and trading for literally pennies on the dollar.

Jim: When I saw what you guys did, I thought, “That’s brilliant, I wish I had thought of it, and I’ll claim that I thought of it” (laughs). But it was really one of those things where I said, “Oh gosh, why didn’t I think of that,” because it was so obvious that you are going to find something.

It’s also obvious, after what happened in Cyprus, that it’s a place where one should investigate. Whether it is right to buy now or not, you are certainly right to look into it. If you stay with it and you know what you are doing, and you do your homework, you are probably going to find some astonishing opportunities in Cyprus. It’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about and that you are talking about.

Nick: Speaking of hated markets that literally nobody is getting into, I heard that you managed to find a way to get some sort of exposure to North Korea through bullion coins. Could you tell us about that?

Jim: Yeah, you know, it’s illegal for Americans to invest in North Korea. It’s probably illegal for us to even say the word “North Korea” (laughs). I look around to see which countries are hated. In North Korea there is no stock market, and there is no way to invest, especially if you are an American, but sometimes you can find something in a secondary market.

Stamps and coins were the only ways I knew of that one could get some sort of exposure. This is because you are not investing in the country, obviously, because you are buying them in a secondary or tertiary market. That said, I think the US government is going to make owning stamps illegal too.

There were people once upon a time—and maybe even now—who invested in North Korean debt. I have not done that, but it may be another way that people can invest in North Korea. I don’t even know if North Korean debt still trades, but it was defaulted on at some point.

Nick: Another hated market that actually does have a pretty vibrant and dynamic stock market is the Tehran Stock Exchange in Iran. Have you ever taken a look at this market?

Jim: Yes, at one point I did invest in Iran, back in the 1990s and made something like 40 times on my money. I didn’t put millions in because there was a limit on how much a person could invest. But this was over 20 years ago. I would like to invest in Iran again, but I don’t know the precise details on the sanctions and the current status of Americans being able to invest there. But Iran is certainly on my list.

Nick: Jim, thank you for your time and unique insight into these fascinating topics.

Jim: You’re welcome. Let’s do it again sometime.

Reprinted with permission from Casey Research.

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Results of Glyphosate pee test are in ‘And it’s not good news’, Virtually everyone in Europe is contaminated with Big Ag’s glyphosate pesticides: Of MEPs tested, ALL show positive results for Monsanto’s cancerous weed-killer

Deep Politics Monitor - Dom, 15/05/2016 - 19:31
by Lorraine Chow Last month, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) volunteered to take a urine test to see if glyphosate—the cancer-linked weedkiller—is in their system. Forty-eight MEPs from 13 different European Union countries participated in the test, and now the results are in. Greens take the #MEPee to highlight ‘probably carcinogenic’ effects of #glyphosate https://t.co/

The Stellinga

Deep Politics Monitor - Dom, 15/05/2016 - 11:48
From bionic mosquito: From my post on The Freemen, I introduced the larger-than-life Harm, and the person who soon became his charge, Erin.  Erin has grown quite curious of Harm, his background, and the history of those Harm often refers to as “my people.”  Another of Harm’s “people,” Bern, explains...you have to go back to Charlemagne – or, as Bern calls him, “Carl the Butcher.” From The

As the Economy Goes Down the Toilet

Lew Rockwell Institute - Sab, 14/05/2016 - 06:01

May I ask you a question? How’s this great economic recovery working out for you? It’s really affected the cardboard recycling market adversely, did you know that? Because everyone is raiding the cardboard recycling bins to get cardboard to make signs that say: “Hungry, please help” and “Spare change, anything will help”. Yeah, great economic recovery! If we recover any more, we’ll be asking the UN for food drops here.

My wife and I were returning from Bisbee some weeks back and I looked over at the railroad mainline and see this siding with what looked to be hundreds of locomotives sitting there stashed like mothballed C-130s over at the nearby Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. I thought this to be very unusual because it’s not every day you see hundreds of railroad locomotives sitting there idle. Those are expensive pieces of equipment. Those cost money and if they’re not moving, they’re not making money. But, weeks later now, the truth has been revealed.

Imagine that! Undeniable proof the economy is in the toilet without the Tidy Bowl Man in sight! Gosh, what happened to all the great reports from the government about this “recovery”? Well, look, if the railroads are not moving freight because—and THEY TOLD US—-the economy is so bad there isn’t enough freight to be moved, we are obviously not in a recovery! Well, shucks! And we had such great hopes that the economy would be the same Obama success story as Obamacare and installing a democracy in Syria and defeating ISIS have been.

But why would the government be covering this up? Because can Hillary gets elected if people realize she was a part of the administration responsible for the reduction in force for 16% of a major railroad’s prime movers? Why do I say the Obama administration is responsible? Because if you say you can fix the economy and you don’t, look, there’s only so long you can keep blaming George W. Bush some eight years later after the fact. Of course, Hillary hasn’t got any answers as to how she’s going to fix the economy. She admits people are struggling but, look, lady, this was YOUR BOSS that has been at the helm of this economic Titanic for eight years now. So what the blue blazes are you going to do differently?! Ask Bill what to do?

If 16% of the locomotive force for what may be the largest railroad in the nation (or second largest) is sitting idle, that means several industries are sitting idle also. You think “consumer spending” is going to pull our collective butts out of these flames? I think we’re whistling in the graveyard here. The impact of this has not yet hit us. The idle locomotives are merely a warning sign of what is yet to come, has not yet fully manifested, but is manifesting as we speak. I think we’re about to run out of gas, overheat the radiator, and get four flat tires—right there between Barstow and Needles in July.

The Democrats need to sweep all this under the rug in the desperation to save Hillary’s campaign. Since they have a lot of friends in the media, this is not hard to do. But why are they so attached to Hillary? Well, I daresay she was promised the 2016 run back in 2008 if she would throw in the towel and let Obama be the guy and get behind his campaign. This is how deals are made, after all. It’s like kids playing ball. “You can bat first the next game if you just let me bat first for this one.” Well, the Democrats have been striking out all over the place, too.

A federal court just ruled that Obamacare can’t pay subsidies to private insurance corporations without approval from Congress. Right, Page 12 news, are you surprised? But this is huge. Such a ruling could torpedo that tramp steamer once and for all. Now, you would think such a thing would have been obvious. You can’t just spend government money without Congressional approval. Unless you’re the CIA, of course. However, they’re just trying to patch Obamacare together long enough for Hillary to get elected, at which point she can enact even worse laws to force compliance and keep it going. Obama can’t do that right now or Hillary will flat out lose. Obamacare has already damaged their chances enough. But it will be Hillary that will have to force more Obamacare compliance—and she has already said that she will do so “aggressively”—or Obamacare will literally collapse under the weight of its own stupidity.

Therefore, the Democrats are burning the midnight alternative energy to keep all of this under wraps as best as possible. They’re also busy doing the, “Look what Donald Trump said! Oh, hey, look over there at this wonderful new economic recovery where we created 50 new part-time jobs across America!” Many people are dumb enough not to ask, “Hey, what are all those locomotives doing over there?” Or see the story in the paper and think, “Hmmm…if the railroad isn’t hauling freight, that means factories are shut down and there’s a whole new wave of unemployment and a bigger recession coming. Maybe even a depression.” It is not surprising that the Democrats want to cover that up to try to save Hillary’s campaign. What is surprising is Hillary wants the job knowing this. But, they say there’re people power-hungry enough that they’d still want the job of fuehrer in 1944, even knowing how it ends.

I don’t know about you folks, but I think it might be a good idea to put off major purchases for a while. Because when you hear the government telling you we need to bring consumer spending back up, that’s the red flag warning that they’re in the outhouse crapping bricks. You can’t just see warning signs like we’re seeing and think nothing is going to happen. Oh, it might be several months yet. They’re going to use duct-tape and sandbags as much as possible hoping to get past the 2016 elections. After that? Well, I think then we’ll see a lot more cardboard in our future. Spare change you can believe in.

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If You’re an Adult, Good Luck

Lew Rockwell Institute - Sab, 14/05/2016 - 06:01

It appears to be a simple maths question on first glance, but this brainteaser is the latest to have the internet scratching its head.

A debate has erupted over the correct answer to the problem, which reads: 9 – 3 ÷ 1/3 + 1 = ?

The question originally went viral in Japan, where reportedly only 60 percent of adults could get the right answer.

A debate has erupted over the correct answer to this problem, which originally went viral in Japan 

While the answers have ranged from three to nine, the correct solution relies on a basic rule that you probably learnt at school – but have most likely never thought about since.

The rule, which is remembered using the acronym BODMAS, tells you the order that you must do mathematical operations in – as explained in a video by a maths expert.

Read the Whole Article

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Are You Genuine?

Lew Rockwell Institute - Sab, 14/05/2016 - 06:01

There’s an enormous amount of research suggesting that emotional intelligence (EQ) is critical to your performance at work. TalentSmart has tested the EQ of more than a million people and found that it explains 58% of success in all types of jobs.

People with high EQs make $29,000 more annually than people with low EQs. Ninety percent of top performers have high EQs, and a single-point increase in your EQ adds $1,300 to your salary. I could go on and on.

Suffice it to say, emotional intelligence is a powerful way to focus your energy in one direction with tremendous results.

Copyright TalentSmart.com

But there’s a catch. Emotional intelligence won’t do a thing for you if you aren’t genuine.

A recent study from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington found that people don’t accept demonstrations of emotional intelligence at face value. They’re too skeptical for that. They don’t just want to see signs of emotional intelligence. They want to know that it’s genuine—that your emotions are authentic.

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Paul Ryan Is a Pipsqueak

Lew Rockwell Institute - Sab, 14/05/2016 - 06:01

“No modern precedent exists for the revival of a party so badly defeated, so intensely discredited, and so essentially split as the Republican Party is today.”

Taken from “The Party That Lost Its Head” by Bruce Chapman and George Gilder, this excerpt, about Barry Goldwater’s defeat in 1964, led Thursday’s column by E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post.

Dionne is warning what could happen if the GOP perpetrates the political atrocity of nominating Donald Trump.

For weeks now, the Post’s editorial page has sermonized about the “moral” obligation of all righteous Republicans to repudiate Trump.

The Post’s solicitude for the well-being of the Republican Party is the stuff of legend. Yet it is a bit jarring to see these champions of abortion on demand, same-sex marriage, and visitation rights for cross-dressers in the girls’ room, standing in a pulpit lecturing on morality.

Trump’s denunciation of NAFTA and other “free-trade” deals Ryan supports is echoed by Sanders, who opposed those deals when they were up for a vote. Hillary Clinton no longer rhapsodizes over husband Bill’s NAFTA, and signals she will not support Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership in a lame-duck session.

Ryan professes to be a man of principle. Why does he not then stand by his principles, as Goldwater did, and bring up TPP for a vote?

Is Paul Ryan’s “immigration reform” package as popular inside his party as Trump’s tough line? It would seem not. The longer the primaries went on, the closer the other GOP candidates moved toward Trump. And if Ryan believes in it on principle, why not bring it up?

Ryan voted for the Iraq War that Trump calls a disaster. The people seem now to agree with Trump that the war was misconceived.

Thursday’s Post reported that, five years ago, Ryan stood on the House floor to declare, “This is our defining moment.”

And what was Ryan’s defining moment?

“On that day in 2011,” said the Post, “the House’s new GOP majority approved Ryan’s budget plan — which …called for cuts in a government program that voters knew and loved: Medicare.

“Ryan … wanted eventually to turn the massive health-benefit program over to private insurers.”

Come to think of it, Barry Goldwater wanted to turn Social Security over to private enterprise. How did that one work out?

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