Philosophical Musings

Philosophical Musings

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Patriot or Traitor?

"If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." ~Samuel Adams 

"It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government." ~Thomas Paine

"Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience." ~John Locke

At the core of the American mission statement, The Declaration of Independence, the signers assert:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

History is a record of man's inhumanity to man, & the struggle for individual freedom. Many people have rebelled from an oppressive system of government, only to find an equally oppressive system take it's place. The French exchanged the monarchy for Napoleon. The Russians traded the Czars for Lenin. Most of the time, the human struggle for freedom is met with just another state centered, state run system of oppression & domination. One of the rare exceptions to that has been the American experiment in human government. The very basis of American ideology is the right of the People to alter or abolish the government, if it does not secure our fundamental rights & liberties.

Now let us examine some disturbing facts concerning the current government. I am not sourcing these facts here, but they can be verified easily. These are not crackpot conspiracy theories, but current realities.

1. Stockpiling of ammunition by The Homeland Security.
Why is a department allegedly dedicated to securing the homeland buying enough ammunition for a multiple year conflict? They have bought millions of rounds of .223 & .308 ammunition, used typically in warfare. Are they expecting an invasion of Al Quada terrorists? No, they are preparing for civil unrest from the American people, just redefining any dissenters as 'terrorists'.

2. Army training in civil unrest, & a commitment to fire on us citizens from top military leaders.
The Army has a training manual for “Civil Disturbance Operations”, where it is stated, 'warning shots will not be fired'. It has also been reported that the administration is using the willingness to fire on us citizens as a qualification for military leaders.

3. Gun control & banning of weapons used in armed conflict.
The administration is trying to ban 'assault weapons', or semi automatic rifles, even though they are used in less than 2% of domestic crimes. They are primarily used in armed conflict like civil wars. The government seems to be trying to preempt any civil unrest by disarming the citizens. This has nothing to do with domestic crime.

4. Drone strikes & other military actions against us citizens.
The administration has doubled down on their authority to kill anyone it deems a threat. Drones or military actions can be taken against American citizens, without due process. The Levin/McCain bill (S.1867) gives more power to the military, even allowing detainment of us citizens for any reason & with no limits.

“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” Barack Obama

There are other things.. executive orders, disinformation, propaganda, etc, but there are enough red flags to alarm any American who is concerned about freedom. These are not the acts of a constitutional, protective government that is in line with our mission statement, but an intrusive, power hungry system bent on domination.

When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty. ~Thomas Jefferson

It is time for us to return our government to a subservient position. They are not our Lords, but are simply servants & stewards of our freedoms. Their power has increased, & they are drunk with it. It has corrupted them from their central duties to secure our rights, & they are intruding more & more into our individual liberties. They are ruining the currency with public debt & 'quantitative easing'. They are trampling our freedoms with redistribution & social engineering.  They are ignoring the constitution & the basis for our democracy.  This same pattern has been repeated throughout history, with governments taking more & more power & limiting the peoples' freedoms.

What can we do to stop this disturbing trend?

"The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry." ~William F. Buckley 

1. Communicate with your representatives. Insist on a return to American ideals of individual freedom & responsibility.
2. Stand up for American ideals in everyday life. Condemn the encroachments & do not apologize for your heritage as a free American.  Oppose & expose propaganda.
3. Vote. The upcoming election will be very important, as a statist victory in the house would open the door to more intrusions, & could perhaps provide the final nail in the coffin.
4. Boycott. Do not support any sellers who work against American liberty. Be vocal & assertive in opposing those who oppose American ideals.  Boycott products, media, entertainment, or anything that profits from the American consumer.  Use your economic power!

There should be increasing intensity in actions if our calls are not heeded. Public protest, marching on Washington  civil disobedience, & other peaceful means should be employed to affect change. Violence should only be used as a last resort, as it has always been the final arbiter in human disputes. Americans are not afraid of violence, but mostly prefer a peaceful solution. But we will not trade our liberties for an illusion of peace & prosperity. I cannot at this stage recommend any violent actions. But i also cannot rule them out in the future.

It seems we cannot trust our representatives to represent us. So we must clarify & emphasize what their basic job is. If they do not do their job, we need to fire them & hire someone who will. Our words & actions in the next few years will have an impact on both our immediate freedoms, & those of future generations. It is time for us to stand & defend our country.  The silent majority needs to speak.

Friday, February 8, 2013

No Liberty in Statism

There is a difference between 'liberty' from the statist left, & that from the constitutional american perspective. Here's Lincoln again to start it off:

"We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men's labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name - liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names - liberty and tyranny." ~Abraham Lincoln

The left may talk of freedom & liberty, but that is propaganda. If you take by force the goods & labors of another, you violate their liberty. Conservative americans value free speech, a free press, the right to keep & bear arms, & open assembly. Statists cannot have these things, but need to 'manage' or restrict these rights to function.

1. Free Speech. Most people from the right support free speech. You don't hear them wanting to shut down radio or tv broadcasts, even if they promote an opposing view. But the left is constantly trying to limit speech.. restrict, & censor.
2. Free Press. The left has succeeded in dominating the press with their agenda & ideology. The press is not free anymore, but is mostly a propaganda mouthpiece for leftist/statist causes. Any that broadcast an alternate view are castigated.
3. Freedom of religion. Leftists are notoriously intolerant of opposing religious views. They are hostile toward christianity, especially, for some reason. But most right wing people are open to other religious views, even if they hold strong convictions themselves. The left does not want 'free exercise of religion', but tries to censor it & prevent people from publicly expressing their religious views.
4. Freedom to be armed. Obviously, the left is hostile toward the idea of citizens keeping arms. They attack & want to ban semi automatic rifles, even though those are used in less than 2% of crimes. Statism cannot have armed citizens. They cannot coerce people who will shoot back.

Go through the bill of rights. Almost every one of them is being needled by the left in some way. The statist agenda cannot function in an atmosphere of liberty, so they must redefine it. They call their intrusions into our liberties, 'regulation'. They want to manage & nanny us, for our own good, since they claim to know better what we need or want. Their goal is control, & you cannot control a free people. So they redefine liberty, & tell us that their oppression will liberate us.

All of their agenda is contrary to historical america. It is 'anti-american'. The statist left are enemies of freedom. Their ideology is opposite that of american liberty. They are enemies of the constitution, & want to rewrite & redefine it, too.

It is past time for americans to stand in opposition to those who wish to destroy our ideals. This is not a time for tolerance & debate, but a time to end the takeover of our constitution. We should be indignant about the direction we are driven. We should expose the lies & confront the hidden agendas the statists promote.

If we don't.. if we sit comfortably in our affluence, we will decay in it, & america will die.

Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue. ~Barry Goldwater

Rough men stand ready..

"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." ~Winston Churchill

The Kipling poem says it more colorfully, though:

I went into a public-’ouse to get a pint o’beer,
The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”
The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,

O makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
An’ hustlin’ drunken sodgers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.  Rudyard Kipling

But i like Orwell's comments on it, too.

A humanitarian is always a hypocrite, and Kipling’s understanding of this is perhaps the central secret of his power to create telling phrases. It would be difficult to hit off the one-eyed pacifism of the English in fewer words than in the phrase, ‘making mock of uniforms that guard you while you sleep’.He sees clearly that men can only be highly civilized while other men, inevitably less civilized, are there to guard and feed them. ~George Orwell

Most of the time, we just need to lighten up, put things in perspective, & enjoy the life we have. Sometimes we take ourselves too seriously, & overestimate our own significance. We're just blips on the radar screen of eternity, & we might as well enjoy our short stay here. But to do that, i need & want my freedom. ..And i want it for my children & grandchildren. I'm willing to fight for that freedom, as my ancestors before me. It seems to me that the time is approaching, if not overdue, when we'll need 'rough men' at the ready. So keep your powder dry & your bow strung. We may need that sooner than we think.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Trade Deficit

To me, the most important economic indicator is the balance of trade, or trade deficit. Any trend with it shows whether a nation is increasing in wealth, or piddling it away. We were pretty balanced in the late 80's to low 90's. Then you can see, it started to come apart. China was emerging, & we exported more manufacturing every year, and are continuing that trend.

This is pretty basic stuff. It's not rocket science or investment derivatives. Add to this the increase in govt spending, & you have a recipe for the collapse of the dollar. We might get some runaway inflation first.. hopefully we would.. that would be a wakeup call to fix things.

We had the little stumble at the housing bubble burst, when imports went way down, but we steadied ourselves, then took another big drink from the deficit jug, & hoped we'd be able to drive the economy, even though we could barely walk.

US vs China economically

I think its funny how progressives take something that is historically a negative in an economic system, like trade deficits, public debt, & increasing the money supply, & redefine it as a positive.

'It's not that bad.. we could be imprisoned by nazis & tortured!'

'As long as the credit card isn't declined, we should keep spending!'

The obvious problem is when other countries will not accept our currency. The US is like a successful corporation, with a solid brand name. Think Maytag. They used to have a good reputation & built solid washing machines. But they were bought out, & the name put on some cheaper stuff. They expanded in to other areas, using their name to sell.

This is kind of what is happening with the us. We have a reputation of a solid, dependable currency. Our trade deficit has historically been low or a surplus. Our public debt has also been historically low, until the last decade or so. We are getting by on our reputation of being a fiscally conservative nation, with a solid financial footing. The dollar was the darling of the currencies. But the politicians have been plundering the treasury for many years, now, & that is now an illusion. The problems with the euro have postponed us having to face our deception, & we have been able to keep spending. Even now, the politicians agree to spend more than they will tax, illustrated by the 'fiscal cliff' debates.

Our debt has been historically low.. we had a bit of debt from wars, but nothing that compared with what we have now. If you go back all the way to the american revolution, the central govt has incurred debt, but mostly for wars that threatened the republic. Now, we wage wars indiscriminately, & spend money we don't have.

And fyi, many people have been warning of the dangers of too much debt for decades.. since it started to pile up in the 80's. Just because there is no immediate 'hot stove' reaction, does not mean there are no consequences.

I've already made points about the deceptive use of gdp, & how politicians use it to deceive, rather than enlighten. Govt expenditures, disaster aid, & money shuffling are part of the gdp, when they are not indicators of real production & wealth increase. Both taxes & interest are leeches on the production of a society. They decrease production by robbing the producers of their operating capital.

The true gdp in america IS declining. Real production is down, yet consumption remains high. This is unsustainable & is a recipe for bankruptcy. You cannot borrow your way to prosperity. You can plunder your way, if your war machine is powerful enough, like rome did, but the us is not going that route.. yet.

The basis for the dollar is declining.. we just print more, even though our real gdp does not justify it. Eventually, we will have to devalue, and/or there will be major inflation. China is going the other way. Their economy is getting stronger & their currency is too. Most economists have already forecast that china will overtake the us as the major economic power this century. As that reality sinks in, & as more people believe it, the dollar will be dumped, which will add to the inflationary pressures. This will only worsen the us economy, which is dependent on foreign 'investment' in the dollar.

China is increasing production. The us is decreasing. You can try to spin that, or mask it in phony numbers & statistics that have been crafted to delude people, but reality is not fooled. We WILL have to pay the piper. Economic reality is that spending more than you take in, especially at the rate the us has been doing it, will lead to collapse.

China's economy is on a steep curve upward, while ours is heading down. They have already stopped buying our treasury bills.. for about a year now. They are stuck with dollars in the trade deficit, but they still need oil & other things that the dollars are good for. But if china switches to another currency for their foreign trade, & begins to dump the dollars, it WILL have an adverse effect on the us. Their economy is not dependent solely on the us.. they are expanding into the rest of asia, europe, s. america, & africa. They are not ideological 'friends' of the us, so their actions toward us cannot be trusted. They will do what is in their self interest, & if they can stab us in the back, they will. The current trend of the us is unsustainable. We keep drinking deeply from the deficit jug, yet think we can drive & function. We are a drunkard in denial, stumbling around like a fool, pretending to be a tough guy. But our facade will end & we will pass out face down in the mud.

Collectivism, Freedom, & the State

Language is always evolving. Definitions change. Words mean different things in different cultures, even in the same language.

I try to address the ideology, or the basis of the view, rather than worry about labels. But when doing that, labels inevitably come up. I tend to use 'leftist' rather than 'liberal' as it conveys a clearer, less muddled concept. I also think 'statist'  is a better description in many cases. To me, 'liberal' has become whatever the speaker or writer wants it to mean. It is like what Lincoln said of 'liberty'.

"We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men's labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name - liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names - liberty and tyranny." ~Abraham Lincoln

You can be a statist without being a collectivist, but you can't be a collectivist without being a statist. Without the power of the state to force compliance, people would not follow the collectivist rules. Some would either coast & not work, or they would work for themselves & be capitalists.

In reality, there is no way a collectivist system can operate without strong central leadership, i.e., statism. I don't care if it is the Party, the Chairman, a charismatic leader, a Pope, King, or whatever. Centralized state power, with enough juice to force compliance, is critical for any collectivist system.

Any that have tried voluntary compliance fizzle really fast. The only communes in the 60's that survived for long had a strong leader to force compliance. The mayflower pact was a collectivist venture. It completely failed as well. But once freedom was extended, the colony prospered.

So you can quibble about fine points of definition, but you cannot show any collectivist experiment that did not have strong state power to enforce compliance.

More libertarian ventures, like the early american pioneers, did not need statism, & had little to do with the state. They were successful with a capitalistic society, where people worked for their own interests. Sure, they helped each other out, & were compassionate neighbors, but that is different from mandatory collectivism.

I think it is fine to have some loyalty & identity with our locale. Common culture, language, heritage, etc all contribute to that camaraderie. But when i say 'i love america', it is deeper. It is ideological. It is historical. Sure, i love the grand canyon, yellowstone, the rockies, the land. And i love & admire the american people. But if you take away the basic ideology.. the idea of america.. freedom, liberty, limited govt.. you lose the best part. THAT, imo, is what we are in danger of losing. The people will adapt, even with a statist system or nanny state. We will survive, even if we become a socialist country.

But i don't want to see the leftist agenda succeed. I don't want us to become another euro nanny state. I see that as a negative & a step backward in our history. America is unique.. we are a nation 'conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.' We are historically centered on the individual, not the state. I would like my children & grandchildren to live in this idealogy. But i fear it is too late. There are too many now who want a state centered ideology. They want govt, not freedom. Guarantees, not responsibility. Security, not opportunity. The illusion of the left's carrot is strong, & i don't know if historical america will survive. We are already morphing into the 'new' america.

During the last couple of centuries, there have been many regional economic booms. The Northeast saw manufacturing. ..there was oil in Texas, Mining and technology in various places. ..But there was always something that was made.. something was created that increased the wealth of the region. Now we have a new region of wealth. It is the federal government. ..Except they don't make anything, they only take. They take from the producers of the nation and redistribute it to the rich, wealthy area around Washington DC.

They do not do it honestly by taxing us, directly. They know we would revolt. . No, they spend by borrowing. They obligate us with future debt and spend money that they do not have. Is the worst kind of redistribution because they not only take our money now, but they take from our children and grandchildren.

The powers that be have managed to deceive the bulk of the electorate, so that we pay them to oppress us. There are honest & sincere people who would make good representatives, yet they cannot compete with the 'scoundrels'. Why? Because we, the voting public, believe the deceptions, rather than see through the scams they are selling. Our media is complicit with them, in too many ways. Truth is hard to find, & it is easily manipulated by the smooth talking politicians.

It could be corrected. But it would require a determined electorate who wanted truth & reality, rather than fantasy. The idea of a 'reset' or a crash of the system might very well be in store, but i do not think it will be a good thing for the majority, nor for the idea of america & freedom. Those things seldom are, & we will more likely end up with some kind of despotic system. The left hopes they will end up on top, shouting victoriously over the carcass of capitalism, but that is a fantasy. The greedy, oppressive bosses they despise now will only increase in power with authoritarian control. Your evil rich will still be in control, there will just be changes in the bit players who perform as their mouthpieces.

No, the american system needs to be revived & implemented. If we are to retain our freedoms, we need to prioritize that, not prosperity at any price, not economic justice, not social engineering. The collectivist utopia will not produce freedom, just oppression. They always have & always will.

Roman Empire

Many people have likened the decline of America to other past world powers, like Rome.

It is interesting to me that so many people see the parallels, & have talked about the similarities for years. The points below are from a leftist, who compiled them after reading Anthony Everitt’s 'Rise of Rome'. I though his points were pretty solid, but the similarities do not stop there. 

1 — Staggering Increase in the Cost of Elections, with Dubious Campaign Funding Sources: 
2 — Politics as the Road to Personal Wealth:
3 — Continuous War: 
4 — Foreign Powers Lavish Money/Attention on the Republic’s Leaders: 
5 — Profits Made Overseas Shape the Republic’s Internal Policies:
6 — Collapse of the Middle Class: 
7 — Gerrymandering: 
8 — Loss of the Spirit of Compromise: 

All of his points were carefully cherry picked to show a wall street correlation, & blame for the republicans. But this decline has been going on for a long time, & includes a lot of other factors. I probably only agree with #2 & 3 above as major factors in the decline of rome & paralleled with the us. I would add,
1. moral decay.
2. Increase of dependency & govt entitlements.
3. deficit spending/fiat currency.
4. growth of corruption in the government sector.
5. plundering the public treasury.

These are typical symptoms of decline of successful nations. They build, grow, & prosper, then slowly decay from within. We are taking the same path, just doing it faster than rome.

GDP & Trade deficits

Lets look at a few indicators.

Gdp could be a useful tool, but it has been hijacked by the politicians into a propaganda ploy. How about sandy or katrina? The gulf oil spill? Are those 'increases' in production? Hardly, yet their expenditures are included in the gdp. Police, fire, military? Do they manufacture useful things? Things are made for them, but they do not, yet their costs are included. How about the massive growth of govt under obama? Was that from any real production in the country? No, yet the $1.2T added to the debt every year is viewed as a 'plus' in the gdp.

In essence, we have a phony number that is used to deceive, not enlighten. We are being conned with double accounting, deficit spending, & disaster relief into thinking the economy is growing. The only sector growing is the govt sector! That just drains the taxpayers more, & adds to the deficit!

But even if it is a flawed number, it can have some use as a trend analyzer. The current trend shows our growth of gdp as declining, while china is growing at a much faster rate, & will overtake us. We are doing nothing but shady accounting to 'fix' things, while they are actually manufacturing things, & growing the real economy. We are relying on govt & financial sector number juggling to give us an impressive number. But the real indicators, like trade balances, exports, imports, etc, are not really taken into account by the politicians, who always want a rosy picture displayed to elicit cheers from the deluded public & media.

How about combining imports & exports into a trade deficit number or rank? Want to know what countries rank in that dept? This is also from the cia world factbook:

1 Germany
$ 204,300,000,000
2011 est.
2 China
$ 201,700,000,000
2011 est.
3 Saudi Arabia
$ 158,500,000,000
2011 est.
4 Japan
$ 119,100,000,000
2011 est.
5 Russia
$ 100,300,000,000
2011 est.
6 Switzerland
$ 74,060,000,000
2011 est.
7 Netherlands
$ 70,920,000,000
2011 est.
8 Kuwait
$ 70,780,000,000
2011 est.
9 Norway
$ 70,000,000,000
2011 est.
10 Qatar
$ 51,980,000,000
2011 est.
But wait! I don't see the US in that.. oh.. looking down the chart, it is dead last in the world ranking.. 194th.. after Turkey. Turkey had a $77B deficit, & the us was not even close with $466B. Those in the top ten above are trade SURPLUSES. They exported more than they imported. They grew their economy, not with phony numbers & creative accounting, but with real production.

So the cheers for the current us economy are based on shady accounting, & propaganda from the money jugglers we elected to deceive us. We ARE going downhill, & unless we make some drastic changes to our structural & ideological priorities, we will continue until we crash. Rosy projections of phony numbers will not do it. The dollar is inflating, & the rest of the world will start to dump them, causing more devaluation & inflation. Eventually, we will hit bottom, & when we're a 3rd world country, we can try to compete again with the top world producers, but the us won't be the big consumer then, driving the world economy. We're fading from that now, & even that is built on deficit spending & shady accounting. ...Printed money with no real gdp to back it.

How about the trade deficit?

United States Trade Deficit Widens in November
Department of Commerce | Nuno Fontes | | 1/11/2013 1:39:32 PM

The Department of Commerce announced today that total November exports of $182.6 billion and imports of $231.3 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $48.7 billion, up from $42.1 billion in October, revised. November exports were $1.7 billion more than October exports of $180.8 billion. November imports were $8.4 billion more than October imports of $222.9 billion. source

Now, let's also consider the fiat money scam we have going. The people don't seem to have any problem with the govt printing lots of paper, arbitrarily putting value in it, & handing it out. It has worked for a while, mostly on our past reputation of having a solid financial footing. But that perception is fading, & it would not take much to pop the bubble. Like all bubbles, a currency one would bring on massive inflation like the world has never seen, since so much of the world is tied to the dollar. But that is changing, too. Illusion only lasts for a while. Eventually people catch on to the scam.

I have a problem using gdp as a valid indicator. It is somewhat useful as a trend analyzer, but overall, it includes deficit spending on govt programs, disaster relief, military, & other federal employees that do not produce anything. So it is false to use it as a 'production' indicator. But even if we use it, it shows the trend, which is still downward, which by any definition, is a decline.

If you look at wiki, using the cia world factbook data, they have the us at 157th, with a 1.8% real gdp growth rate.. not much to crow about. There are 156 countries with better growth in gdp numbers. 157th in a list of 218 is not very inspiring for the world hegemony. It is better than our trade deficit, though. We are dead last, there.

A favorite economic trick is to compare the skewed gdp number to public debt.. it used to work a little, but now even that doesn't fool anyone.

Oh, & let's not forget the public debt. At over $16T & growing, only a fool would think that this is sustainable. Obama has added $1.7T last year, & will probably exceed that this year. It has not worked through all of human history, & it won't work now. Bankruptcy is what we have to look forward to, if we do not get our fiscal house in order.

So the bottom line? America is in decline. Our finances are a mess, our currency is in a bubble, & our trade deficits are sending all our wealth & real value to other nations.

GDP: Government Deception Propaganda?

Earlier, the subject of the gdp came up. I think it has limited value as an indicator, and mostly in trends. Why? It has become a political tool for govt propagandists. It does not accurately measure true production in a country.

GDP is supposed to be 'gross domestic product'. Here is the wiki definition:

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living; GDP per capita is not a measure of personal income (See Standard of living and GDP). Under economic theory, GDP per capita exactly equals the gross domestic income (GDI) per capita (See Gross domestic income).

Now the problems. What else is in the gdp numbers?

1. Disaster relief. All the spending on katrina & sandy in the us, & the tsunami in Japan are included in a nation's gdp. Even borrowed money is used to indicate a growing or positive gdp, when in fact the opposite may be happening.. REAL production can be decreasing, but borrowing & spending makes it look like the economy is growing.

2. Govt employees payroll is included. Even though the govt does not produce anything, & their salaries are from taxes on the productive workers in the nation, their numbers are included in the official gdp. Police, firemen, prisons, & many other things that are necessary are included in the gdp, yet they are not 'productive'. You can have a massive prison building program, & spend billions on incarcerating criminals, & the govt will call that 'production'.

3. Wars. War is not productive, & is a drain on the resources of a nation. Yet either income or expenditures from wars are included in the nation's gdp.

Another thing about gdp is the different ways it can be presented, depending on the desired effect or point being made. It can be calculated by 'expenditures' or by 'income'. Both are pretty meaningless, as both have plenty of room for political maneuvering.

The bottom line is that gdp numbers can indicate trends, if compared over years with the same parameters, but have little immediate value, unless you subtract the deficit spending & artificial manipulation of the numbers to make it look good. But politicians & their economists are proficient at juggling numbers to deceive, & this is what they do with the gdp.

Politicians & shady economists are able to use phony gdp numbers to make it appear that we are growing in productivity, when the exact reverse is true. The us is strong in food production, & some areas of manufacturing, like tractors, but is declining in almost all other categories of production. Massive govt spending, borrowed from future generations, hides this fact, & provides an illusion of continued prosperity, but it is only delaying the inevitable. We have too much dependency & not enough production. This will lead to our collapse.

The US is not increasing production, nor going in a positive direction with the economy. It is moving from a production based economy to a 'service' economy, which seems to mean we shuffle money around & skim some off. That makes our gdp look good, but it is a false hope. It is a deception from the politicians & big government apologists. You can ignore all other evidence, put your fingers in your ears & chant, 'GDP. GDP' over & over like that will make it real. But we have to face the facts. China is on the increase, & the US is in decline, both economically & the currency valuation. The evidence is forecasting the end of the empire, or worse. We could take steps to turn it around, but we don't. All that says is we are stubbornly holding on to a fading empire, like rome & others in the past. We will follow their same fate. History repeats itself, because we do not learn from it.

Govt Spending & Debt

Increase in public debt:

bush-- $4T in 8 yrs.. $.5T/yr with massive costs in illegal wars

obama-- $5.3T in 4 yrs.. $1.325T/yr and growing every year, even with the reduction of the wars.

I thought bush was a big spending liberal, with many liberal social issues driving his ideology.  He was more of a 'classic' liberal, not like the 'progressive' ones that are more prevalent today, but his fiscal policies were still pretty liberal, imo.

But compared to Obama, bush was a fiscal conservative! O makes all of the 'tax & spend' liberals look like stingy misers. It seems to me his agenda is more in line with cloward/piven, rather than real compassion for the poor. O is a statist & anti american ideologue. His fiscal policies are building the currency bubble, destroying the middle class, & killing the economy. Other than that, he's ok.

The very fact that 'the electorate' did not address this issue in the last election is a big indicator of the irresponsibility & delusion of the american people. We vote for the gravy train, & hope it will keep running, without fuel, without tracks, & without box cars.

No, the fiscal irresponsibility of the current administration, along with the increased levels of spending in previous administrations, will be the downfall of america, as it has been in every nation in history. Instead of having representatives who care for the country, & want to fix our REAL problems of spending, they obscure, deflect, distort, & deceive. They & their media elite co-conspirators promote propaganda, rather than truth to the people. Their apparent goal of the collapse of america inches closer to reality every day.

It would be good to differentiate between local govt 'services' like fire, police, etc, & federal govt expansion & debt building. Local services are paid for by taxes.. directly. There is no deficit spending, but they must have a balanced budget. If a govt official came up with a cool program that required a massive tax increase, the taxpayers would howl & vote that guy out of office. But our fed politicians are too crafty. Instead of telling us we need to cough up another +$1T a year, they just borrow it. It looks like we get the program for free, but in fact, we just put it on the shoulders of our children. That is despicable & unconscionable. Instead of re-electing these clowns, we should be dragging out the guillotines.

I've got no problem with govt providing useful services, as long as they pay for them up front, & are honest about the costs.  What is most insidious about deficit spending, is it is like taxing without taxing. The govt obligates us to pay for their stupid projects, which if we had to pay up front for, we would revolt. The politicians know this, so just spend without raising the taxes. This is an attempt to 'have cake & eat it too', philosophy, which is very popular with the progressive left. Some are deluded, & think the gravy train can just keep running. Other have a more sinister agenda.. the 'cloward/piven' strategy or other such plan.

The bottom line is that the spending is unsustainable, & will bankrupt the nation, as it always does. IF we required the politicians to raise the revenues before they could spend, that would curtail it a lot. Not many politicians would want to face their constituents with steep tax hikes for illegal wars, redistribution, or massive govt expansion.

The left seens to believe all there is to money is a printing press. You just print it, & it has value.. kind of like 'Field of Dreams' economics. 'If you print it, it will spend'.

What on earth makes this believable? Wishful thinking?  Unicorns & magic rainbows? The combined gdp & QE & the mythical production numbers are a pyramid scheme. The gdp is propped up with borrowed money, massive deficit spending, & dumping more printed money into circulation at a cheap rate, so govts & mega corporations can keep skimming off the top, like good little ponzi operators. It will collapse.. mark my word. The basic structure is flawed, & anyone with any sense can see it. The voodoo economists use smoke & mirrors to obscure reality, not reveal it.

The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it. ~John Kenneth Galbraith

Most of the 'wealth' created today is by money shufflers, not actual producers of anything. Our politicians have created an environment where speculators & gamblers make huge profits without doing anything. While business struggle to compete in the markets, & people deal with a shrinking job market & reduced income, the politicians & their corporate cronies are skimming from the public treasury, passing around huge sums of fiat money, & each taking a percentage to fatten themselves. They increase their wealth by public policy & financial decisions.. bailouts, grants, loans, juicy czar appointments, etc. Instead of re-electing these clowns, we should be oiling up the guillotines. They are destroying the middle class, the currency, & the basic structure of the american economy with their misguided social engineering agendas. They are redistributing, but most is going to political hacks, not the poor they claim to agonize over.

The biggest problem is an uninformed electorate. Our voters are not very wise, & are easily deluded by fast talking scam artists.

the welfare state, evolution, & racism.

I have always found it ironic how many on the left.. most of them devout darwinists.. suddenly become bleeding heart champions of human life. Instead of worrying about overpopulation, one of their biggest boogie men in the survival of the earth, they want to provide breeding grounds for unchecked population growth.. both by the welfare state & 'international aid', aka world redistribution.

It makes me realize that the issues they whine about are not really important to them but the destruction of capitalism, america, & the individual.

Margaret Sanger was an honest ideologue, without a hidden agenda. You cannot say that about leftists these days.

Most liberals are horrified at any suggestion of racism. Yet many promote a racist policy of welfare, that keeps the ghetto poor trapped in a gulag of dependence & racial discrimination. Many in the eugenics movement, including margaret sanger, the founder of planned parenthood, were at least consistent in their views.

'organized charity itself is the symptom of a malignant social disease. Those vast, complex, interrelated organizations aiming to control and to diminish the spread of misery and destitution and all the menacing evils that spring out of this sinisterly fertile soil, are the surest sign that our civilization has bred, is breeding and perpetuating constantly increasing numbers of defectives, delinquents and dependents.' ~margaret sanger

Sanger saw charity to the poor as destructive to the human race. She & other 'social biologists' preferred working with evolution to strengthen the human genetic pool, & through abortion & population control, limit the 'undesirables' who did most of the populating. They did not favor helping the poor, but sterilizing them. Social engineers saw aid to the poor as weakening the gene pool, since the fittest should survive, not the weak.

'it [charity] encourages the healthier and more normal sections of the world to shoulder the burden of unthinking and indiscriminate fecundity of others; which brings with it, as i think the reader must agree, a dead weight of human waste. Instead of decreasing and aiming to eliminate the stocks that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world, it tends to render them to a menacing degree dominant.' ~margaret sanger

classic liberals were more libertarian in their views of individual rights, & opposed the eugenics movement. Their roots were mostly religious.. Helping the poor & needy. They saw social biology as an enemy of humanity. But now that it has been sanctified by the progressives & the left as a 'women's rights' issue, liberals can support eugenics, abortion, population control, & all their racist roots without having to worry about the label of 'racist'.

The Progressive Race Drum..

The left are masters of propaganda. It is used to produce an emotional response, not to provoke clarity of thought. Thinking & skepticism is not encouraged by the propagandists, but compliance & feel good submission to the benevolent leader who will lead us to utopia.

To be fair, the right sometimes engages in propaganda, but they are light years away from using it effectively. The left has had more than a century to practice it, & they have polished it to an art form.

The race issue, for example.  They constantly harp about race, never letting it fade from the forefront.

In many ways, i don't see the 'racial' tension in the uk or much of europe as being racial, as much as a backlash to a 'cultural invasion'. If immigrants come into the new country, embrace the language, the culture, the history, & identify themselves now as 'english' or 'french', i don't think we'd see the problems. But the multiculturalists insist on demonizing the home culture to over compensate & appear 'liberal', 'accepting', or 'tolerant'. But when the existing culture feels threatened, they call it racism.

In the us, it is a bit different, but not much. We have primarily been a white euro cultural society, but with a broad base of different races, cultures, & ideologies mixed in. The common 'culture' was american multiculturalism.. an individual freedom, opportunity, & responsibility emphasized society. Post civil war, & especially during the heyday of the eugenics movement, there was an attempt by the progressives to breed a better human in america. This was margaret sanger's goal, & until hitler came along & ruined it, it was pretty popular in the left's ideology.

I have been on the receiving end of a lot of prejudice.. in mexico, hawaii, on indian reservations, & even in england! I've had prejudice for my race, my sex, my ideology, my nationality, & even my regional locality. It is a human condition, & most reasonable people don't take it too seriously. It will not go away. We can restrain it some, or keep the extreme elements from becoming mainstream, but racial differences are real & probably here to stay.

I see the backlash in europe as being over the progressive's utopian policies, & it is a glimpse of what is coming to america, since we are usually a bit behind in the latest ideological fashions. The outworking of the anti cultural, anti capitalist, anti individual leftist movement may differ in some ways, but the results are usually the same.. racial tension, economic collapse, & division.

I think america has been poised to become more color blind, but the progressive left won't let it. They want to continually open old wounds, which the current generation has had nothing to do with. We have anti discrimination laws. We have the support of the media & the entertainment industry. If they would just let it go, & emphasize people's ideas, rather than filtering them through some artificial racial screen, racism could be cut way back. I don't think it can ever be fully eliminated.. it is too much a human trait, like hate, war, & murder. But the constant pounding of the race drum does not help. One of the major criticisms of romney in the last election was that he was 'an old white guy'. This was a valid criticism to the racist, progressive left! The hypocrisy is unbelievable.

I believe it to be more individual, & depends a lot on your environment & upbringing.

For example: In team sports, there is often a major mix of races. The players bond with each other as a team, & work toward the common goal of winning. Race might be brought up on occasion, but it is not foremost, & the loyalty & camaraderie is for the team, not the race.

If a person grows up in more of a single race culture.. they definitely are more conscious of race differences. But if/when they get into multicultural environments, they either grow in their perceptions & awareness, or they slide deeper into racial bigotry, & interpret everything around them through a racial filter.

I have lived in mexico, & now in az, have many mexican coworkers & friends. I also live close to native american centers, & interact with Navajos often. There are cultural differences with us. The navajos are different than the white az culture, which are different from the hispanic culture. But we can live in harmony, intermarry, work together, etc, without racial tension. But if there is something or someone making a big deal about our physical or racial differences, it becomes artificially uncomfortable.. we lose sight of each other as comrades, & the physical differences seem magnified. IMO, that is what the progressives do with their constant race drum pounding.

Gun Control: The left fears armed conflict.

Most of the time, I glaze over with boredom when reading about gun control. We've heard it for years, & know what they want. But Obama & the left have recently come up with some specifics, which bring up a basic question:

What is the motivation?

I know what they say, but it is not consistent with the facts. Here is a simple argument that i have not heard the anti gun side respond to:

Why the focus on semi automatic rifles?

They are not talking about fully automatic machine guns, which are already tightly regulated, but semi-autos.. especially those that can hold more than 10 rounds.

Are semi autos used in crimes, either robbery, murder, domestic violence, etc? Not much. Very few. I've heard less than 2%. What is the weapon that is used in the most crimes & murders? The 22 pistol. Lots of them are revolvers. So if the left was honest about restricting weapons used for criminal activity, they would focus on the ones that are used for criminal activity. They would ban 22 caliber revolvers.

So this brings up the followup question:

What are semi automatic rifles, aka 'assault rifles' used for? Where do you usually see an ak-47 or an ar-15?  In wars, or armed conflict. So in wanting to ban those kinds of weapons, the progressives seem to be more concerned about future armed conflict with those who purchase them, not curtailing crime. THAT is their true motivation, not crime reduction. Why else would they ignore the statistics that show the real sources of crime, & focus on something that is used mostly in civil wars & other armed conflict? There is no other explanation. Obama & the left fear armed conflict with americans who do not submit to their ideology, & the way they deal with it is to ban the weapons & reduce the risks. It is a preemptive strike, to lessen the resistance to govt intrusions.

If my reasoning is faulty, someone show me. I don't want to believe the left is doing this to disarm americans so they can oppress us, but that seems to be the only explanation, given the facts. This sounds like old conspiracy theories i've heard, but these simple facts are hard to ignore.

Why do they want to ban a weapon that is not used in crimes, but in civil wars? Why do they ignore the weapons that are used in crimes?

The mission statement of america is individual rights & freedom. This is considered an innate right, not something graciously granted by a benevolent state power. The 2nd amendment is merely a tool to keep those rights intact. It is not a 'hunting' clause, nor a home defense provision. It is there to provide us with the means to 'alter or abolish' the govt should it fail in it's basic duty to secure our rights. Traditional americans see the govt in this way. Our constitution is not to protect the state from the people, but the people from the state. We have not had to use this provision, & hope never to have to. But it is there as a security clause.. a provision for us to keep our mission statement.

Give everyone a million dollars!

Using the left's logic & financial sense, where deficits don't really matter, & 'wealth' is actually just printed, why not give everyone a million dollars? Ok, let's be reasonable. Let's give every household $1m. That's more like $200T.. definitely not too big of a number for creative progressive accounting.

Suggesting this is not a serious proposal.. it is a ridicule of the lack of understanding of fiat currency, wealth, & coinage. If you suddenly dumped trillions of dollars into the market, the value would drop as well. The currency bubble we are building is about to pop, anyway, & adding more stress to the already shaky house of cards will collapse it. Many governments throughout history have tried this.

Now, we haven't done this 'suddenly', but over time. This has lulled us into a false sense of security, where we THINK we can roll the presses AND keep the value. We can have our cake, & eat it too! This is the dream of the progressives with the economy. Free housing. Free food. Free healthcare. Free money! But even though the world, the banks, & the citizens are trying to operate with this corrupt currency, which is devalued more every day, the inevitable will come. The bubble will pop.

And just like the Wiemar republic, there will be a strong, charismatic leader poised to deliver us, restore order, bring stability, & correct past wrongs. I don't think it will be Obama, since he will have to share much of the blame for the collapse, but it will be someone just as charismatic & calculating.

Want to get an idea how fast things can go down? Here's the value of the Mark, post ww1:

German Marks It Took to Buy 1 Ounce Of Gold:
September,1919……. 499
January, 1920……….1,340
September, 1920…….1,201
January, 1921……….1,349
September, 1921…….2,175
January, 1922……….3,976
September, 1922…….30,381
January, 1923……….372,477
September, 1923…….269,439,000
Oct. 2, 1923………….6,631,749,000
Oct. 9, 1923………….24,868,950,000
Oct. 16, 1923…………84,969,072,000
Oct. 23, 1923…………1,160,552,882,000
Oct. 30, 1923…………1,347,070,000,000
Nov. 5, 1923…………..8,700,000,000,000
Nov. 30, 1923…………87,000,000,000,000

You can see some mild inflation at first.. then it slowly built up. by the end, it went from 8T to 80T in about 2 weeks. This is exactly what will happen with the dollar, if we do not stop the madness. You could give everyone a million dollars.. no, make it a billion.. they can buy a pack of gum then go back to work.

Savings would be wiped out. Stocks would become virtually worthless. Social security checks & other entitlements would not support you.

One of THE most important things a govt can & should do, is provide a stable, consistent currency. But governments in decline use inflation to cover their excesses, pie in the sky promises, & deficit spending. But there is no free lunch, & the bill will come due. Like musical chairs, or some massive pyramid scheme, those at the end will be left with nothing.

Goldwater Conservativism

Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue. ~Barry Goldwater

I agree with this. It is the essence of traditional conservative american political thought.

I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution ... or have failed their purpose ... or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should be attacked for neglecting my constituents' 'interests,' I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty, and in that cause I am doing the very best I can. ~Barry Goldwater

How did it happen? How did our national government grow from a servant with sharply limited powers into a master with virtually unlimited power? In part, we were swindled. There are occasions when we have elevated men and political parties to power that promised to restore limited government and then proceeded, after their election, to expand the activities of government. But let us be honest with ourselves. Broken promises are not the major causes of our trouble. Kept promises are. All too often we have put men in office who have suggested spending a little more on this, a little more on that, who have proposed a new welfare program, who have thought of another variety of 'security.' We have taken the bait, preferring to put off to another day the recapture of freedom and the restoration of our constitutional system. We have gone the way of many a democratic society that has lost its freedom by persuading itself that if 'the people' rule, all is well. ~Barry Goldwater

This was the voice of conservatism in the 60's. 50 years later, the problems are much worse. This Barry is probably rolling over in his grave because of the current Barry.

I have been struck by the last quote many times. Even under Reagan, i was appalled at the steady increase in govt.. both in programs, warmongering, the welfare state, & all the statist pseudonyms that have built up up like maggots on roadkill. Now we're on the verge of bankruptcy, & we have no fiscally or politically conservative voice to bring reason & common sense to the government. We need a new Goldwater.. someone who will go into the federal budget, not with a scalpel, but a machete, or better yet, a chainsaw.