Tea Party Heroes Ron And Rand Paul Make For A Bitter Brew; Sixth Response

Tea Party Heroes Ron And Rand Paul Make For A Bitter Brew; Sixth Response.

The following is the sixth paragraph of Barry Germansky’s op-ed Tea Party Heroes Ron and Rand Paul Make for a Bitter Brew, from earlier this year, interspersed with my rebuttals from within the last few days.

BARRY GERMANSKY: Naturally, the Pauls’ preference for putting economic values first – by believing in free market libertarianism, which uses economics in totalitarian fashion to run society – caters to big businesses far more than the average citizen.

HENRY MOORE: Free Market Libertarianism no more uses “economics,” regardless of how that word is defined, to run society, than any other system does. In fact, as I have argued and will continue to argue elsewhere, it is less likely to do so. Is free market libertarianism the only system that seeks to apply its economic principles to society? Or do other ideologies also seek to apply aspects of their ideology, for good or bad, to society? It is clearly the latter. Or at least it would be to someone who didn’t confuse the term “free market” with the term “economics,” which is at the root of your mistake in the above sentence. And there is nothing inherently totalitarian about it either. That goes for any system, let alone one whose actual principles are the definition of totalitarianism’s opposite! Not unless actual force is involved, which you have yet to reliably point to in any manner. So now you are stretching the term “totalitarian” to mean “anything Barry Germanksy doesn’t like.”

However, a system that throws you in jail for not letting the government steal from you (through taxation, inflation, and regulatory costs) necessarily involves force. And that is just its economic side. Just imagine what this same society does in other sectors! Have you heard of wars of aggression and victimless crimes, for example? What is it about the type of system you advocate, where all is arbitrary, all is tailored to the lowest common denominator, that prevents these other totalitarian (by definition) measures from taking place? I put it to you that the system you advocate is no different than the one already in place (and opposed by the Pauls), where the totalitarian crimes I mentioned are widely practiced and sanctified through the supposedly democratic means by which they are implemented, save only by degree.

Government shouldn’t “cater” to anyone. Not big business. Not small business. And not special interest groups masquerading as advocates of the average citizen.

BARRY GERMANSKY: Perhaps this is best demonstrated by Ron and Rand’s constant support for the abolition of government-issued money in favor of currency minted by private banks. As is commonplace with the Pauls, they choose to ignore history or simply distort it.

HENRY MOORE: The government does not issue the money. This is false. If government issued the money the monetary system would have collapsed a long time ago, because a bureaucracy does not have, and therefore cannot respond to, the various incentives and disincentives, associated with actually seeking a profit.  The current monetary system is a hybrid of both the public and the private sectors. They remain private in the sense that they are not democratically elected nor accountable to the people they purport to serve, and public in the sense that they are protected and artificially propped up, primarily through various types of fraud and force.

This is fascism. And here you are, a leftist of sorts, defending it as though a monetary cartel was somehow a friend to the common folk. With inflation, anyone living on a fixed income is negatively impacted. It is true, at least in the short term, that an inflationary currency regime helps debtors, but it is equally true and equally important that not all debtors are the poor and downtrodden, and that not all the poor and downtrodden are debtors. In fact, the less “fair lending” regulations there are, the less likely lenders are to “take advantage” of people who cannot repay loans, because there is simply no incentive to do so. Loan sharks who do see incentives are far more common in systems that regulate legitimate lending practices to the point of making it overly costly for most people to operate with them.

So, the Federal Reserve Bank, is a private system reorganized by the state into a quasi-private monopoly. By way of illustration, consider two competing car lots whose salesmen decide they can get more profits by cooperating than they can by competing. So they both agree to raise the price of a vehicle on their lot to the same exorbitant price. Assuming there are no other car lots around within a distance that would make it cost effective to just buy a car out of town, anybody in the area who needs a new vehicle will have no choice but to buy a car from one of the two lots at the exorbitant price. Sure, this is price-gouging, but unless they figure out a way to ban new competitors, it is not yet a cartel. So say there is another salesman who sees the need for, as well as profit in, setting up his own lot and charging significantly less for his vehicles. Free Market. Problem solved. But before he can even get his inventory in, the local sheriff (one of the two cooperating salesmen’s cousin perhaps) comes up with some excuse to shut him down and run him out of town (through threats or bribery or blackmail, etc.). Well, this is exactly how the Federal Reserve, and in fact the entire financial system operates. Only the two price-gouging salesmen are the private banks and institutions who already have connections to government (and no, the root of the problem is not private banking, but a government susceptible to nepotism and corruption), the local sheriff is the government, and the competing salesmen are smaller, less favored banks, who may be even more capable and efficient than the major banks, but are starting at a distinct disadvantage. And yet you defend this system and would seek to create microcosms of it in every sector?

As for history, competing banks and commodity standards have been more efficient and less predisposed to severe downturns than national/central banks have. Unfortunately, even with a great many private banks there has been government manipulation and fraud, or government aiding in or covering up private sector fraud. This is not dissimilar to the more institutionalized manipulation and fraud now an accepted (but not well understood by the average person, nor fully transparent as to the specifics) part of the financial sector thanks to the Federal Reserve and various government regulatory agencies.

Such interference (sometimes initiated by government out of hysteria or motive, sometimes by the private banks themselves to increase their own gain, but remember, government is still the problem here because it made itself responsive to corrupting influences), has at times resulted in panics and runs and recessions and Depressions that have later been blamed on private banking, in general, rather than on the specific administration and the specific banks. But none of these downturns were anywhere near as severe or long lasting (save one, the Long Depression, which was only a depression in terms of decreasing prices, not in terms of a weak, anemic, struggling economy) as those that occurred in the era of, and as a result of, the Federal Reserve System.

BARRY GERMANSKY: Their plan to abolish the Federal Reserve has already been tried to varying degrees, and does not lead to utopian freedom. Instead, it creates an influx of fraud and currency debasement, followed by the concentration of financial power in the few banks that survive the ensuing “big fish versus little fish gladiatorial match”.

HENRY MOORE: The Federal Reserve System has been around for almost 100 years. Not once in that period of time has there ever been an attempt to abolish it. At least not an attempt that had any economic impact. Again your ignorance of history, which you project onto others, I am forced to deal with.

There were two national banks, neither of which were ever referred to as “the Federal Reserve” that had each been abolished. Perhaps that is what you are alluding to. But how could that be? Fully abolishing two banks are not “various degrees” of abolishing a bank. Abolishment is abolishment. Furthermore, the periods of these banks were replete with the problems you mention, though when the government does it they are not referred to as “fraud and debasement” because they are “legal,” while the periods where there was no central bank had less of these things. All of these periods had their fair share of panics, but panics are almost always overreactions to minor inconsistencies. If they are blown too far out of proportion the government steps in to “save the day.” What this usually means is they bail out their cronies (some of whom were just on the wrong end of a risk, others which were defrauding depositors), or where there is a genuine instance of good intentions on its part, wide scale distortions, leading to another round of blame, intervention, and yes, more reason to panic.

Now, there have been attempts to limit its policies, but the one time (1920/1921) where this had any meaningful impact it, a) had a good impact, and b) merely limited it to its original duties, those which it had just three short years prior (1917). Hardly an attempt to abolish it. And if you are referring to more recent history, something under FDR (confiscation of gold) or Kennedy (elimination of silver certificates) or Johnson (profligate spending) or Nixon (ending Bretton Woods) or Reagan (appointing supposed goldbug Greenspan) or whatever you are must be willfully ignorant, because the changes these men made were either attempts to strengthen the Federal Reserve or the equivalent of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Concentration of power in already exists. Indeed, it flourishes under central banking. And not just in the finance industry. Central banks are already privately owned cartels. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, they don’t always (if ever) use this power for the public benefit. Crony capitalism (I’ll wager you’d hate that even more than you do free market capitalism, if you knew the difference, that is) is what ensues. Favorites and those owed a favor get bailed out and subsidized. Those to whom this money “trickles down” eventually, as the economy reacts, lose the value that it initially had. This loss of value is always faster than the value gained in interest by saving money in a bank taking its orders from the Fed.

By the way, your metaphor really sucks. It conveys a false message and it is mixed.

BARRY GERMANSKY: Without government regulation to protect the country, individual autonomy among the masses becomes victimized by those with greater influence. The rich and powerful, who account for a small percentage of the country’s total population, have more wealth than the majority.

So now you are a nationalist? Protect the country? From what? The free society that made it great in the first place? The audacity!

What part of individual autonomy don’t you understand? Do I take it the phrase “Don’t Tread on Me” has no value to you? Because if I took your word for it “autonomy” is the right to steal and to kidnap or kill those who resist the theft.

And if you are worried about oppression by the rich and powerful, turn your eyes first to the policies you yourself advocate (or at least defend) that actually facilitate the oppression by the rich and the powerful. And who is this “majority?” Do you mean just anybody who you don’t arbitrarily classify as rich and powerful? Or like a true democrat do you mean 50.1% or more of the people with a minority of 49.9% or less? Or will either one do, depending on the situation? What about those that don’t care that some people have more money and more power? Shouldn’t you subtract them from your “majority?” And if you do, who then will be the majority? If it is the rich and the powerful and their less rich, less powerful allies, will their right to oppress become all of the sudden sacred because at least they are going about it democratically?

BARRY GERMANSKY: In a free market, some unfortunate people – for example, those who are physically disabled or grew up in poverty – will automatically be disadvantaged and have no assistance from society to overcome these factors (which the current system tries its best to accommodate).

HENRY MOORE: Yes, there are such people. But haven’t you heard of “community” or “family” or “charity”? Don’t you have any faith in humanity? None of these things are absent in a free market system. They and their proper functioning are all subject to risk in the free market’s absence, however.

Poverty exists, but like most other things it is exaggerated. For every genuinely distraught person there may be a handful of people who, for lack of better words, are just lazy bums. The average American household under the “poverty line” is in better shape today than all but the richest of the rich were 100 years ago. A rising tide lifts all boats. Poor people today have cable TV, multiple vehicles, washing machines, cell phones, computers, etc. That doesn’t mean we should let people who don’t fit this description fall through the cracks, but there are better ways than bankrupting the country and debasing the currency.

And what is to blame for a lot of this poverty? Minimum wage laws, welfare for the able-bodied, taxation, inflation, regulations, takings, prisons filled with nonviolent criminals, public schools (but then I already listed prisons). In a word, the state.

BARRY GERMANSKY: For these simple reasons, corporate monopolies would be even more widespread without government intervention. The little fish would have no chance.

HENRY MOORE: To recap: big government and big business go hand in hand. They are not foes. They are the best of friends. We are not talking about a little fish fleeing a big fish or a little fish competing for food against the big fish. No, we are talking about two enormous fish surrounding an unsuspecting little fish and tearing him to shreds before he even has a chance to realize what is going on.

Remember, Remember! and Don’t Forget: Just Who is Co-Opting the Liberty Movement?

Remember, Remember! and Don’t Forget: Just Who is Co-Opting the Liberty Movement?.

“Remember, remember

The fifth of November
The gunpowder treason and plot.
I know of no reason
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.”

That was technically yesterday (Mountain Standard Time), though I when I started this piece I hadn’t gone to bed yet. Today is officially election day. This post is intended to bring a few things to everyone’s attention. Many people already know these things. Some don’t. Either way, as usual, I will put a little of my own spin on it.

First on the election.

On the presidential elections (I still have not voted yet today, but I think I will make it to the polls before they close), voting doesn’t really effect the election outcome unless you are in a battleground state. So I hope most people will be voting their consciences. Voting, however, does send a message, and that message for each voting block is the same REGARDLESS of the outcome. What I mean by this is, if you support someone but vote for someone else, odds are that not only will that vote have no effect on the outcome (unless, as I said, it is a tight race) in terms of who the next president is, but you are also keeping people from knowing what you truly believe. Voting to send a message therefore has much more of an impact than voting to put someone in power.

And now, the rest of the post on ongoing and attempted takeovers of the liberty movement by 1) Occupy Wall Street (this was only a minor and unintended offense on their part), 2) the rank and file of the Tea Party (originally a good thing, but now more or less synonymous with the GOP), and 3) the Kochtopus (who in my conspiratorial mind own Jesse Benton, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, and a good portion of many Republican, Tea Party, and Libertarian groups, organizations, and individuals, though I do not allege that everyone employed are receiving funds from the Koch Brothers is automatically a blind tool).

407 years ago this night was the Gun Powder plot where a group of English Catholics attempted to Assassinate James I of England. All religious considerations aside (I am not a Catholic), it was an act against oppression and thus a tradition has come down to us today, mainly in England, to celebrate the anniversary. I won’t go into any details about how the Fifth of November, AKA Guy Fawkes Day is traditionally celebrated, but I do want to call attention to the man it was named after. But not the historical man because that is fairly boring. It is to the fictionalized, mythologized, romanticized, and later Hollywoodified version that I will point you. Guy Fawkes is a Robin Hood-like hero in these later accounts, and much the same he has captured many hearts and minds. Like Robin of Loxley, he stands against the existing order, the status quo, and evades the unjust authorities, but perhaps unlike him, the whole idea of tyranny. What more could I ask for?

We’ve all seen the Guy Fawkes masks, the ones that come from the movie V for Vendetta. The first people that used them as activists, perhaps to the surprise of many, were in fact Ron Paul supporters. Not the hackers group Anonymous, and not the Occupy Wall Street movement. Just like with the Tea Party movement.

Speaking of Anonymous, Guy Fawkes, and Ron Paul, check out this “leak” and the video below.

https://cdn.anonfiles.com/1351956247586.pdf

Ron Paul raised $4.3 Million on Guy Fawkes Day in 2007. Why a similar money bomb didn’t occur in 2011 is probably due to former Campaign Manager Jesse Benton’s fear and loathing of anything resembling disorder or fringe or passion.

Most Ron Paul supporters had their suspicions of Jesse Benton. Some smelled a rat early on. Other reserved judgement until it was too late.

Adam Kokesh was one in the former category. [Warning: Foul Language!]

He regarded Jesse Benton and Campaign for Liberty (under Benton’s leadership at the time) with disdain from early one, at first for what seemed to be personal reasons, but later what turned out to be a dead-on instinct.

This all reminds me of an historical episode that occurred between another Jesse Benton, and a man who might be considered Ron Paul’s role model against the Central Bank, President Andrew Jackson.

Campaign for Liberty was perhaps the first real Tea Party organization, although in a sense Dick Armey’s Freedom Works (2004), the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity (2004) Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform 1985), and the Koch Brothers’ Citizens for a Sounds Economy (1984) all deserve honorable mention.

Even Murray Rothbard can be said to have had a role, albeit a small one.

The New Boston Tea Party – Murray Rothbard

And speaking of Murray Rothbard and the Kochtopus, I suggest you read some of these links I have done many hours worth of research looking for. I have read a number of them myself. There is some really juicy stuff in there. And it should be required reading for any liberty minded person worried about the corrupting influences to be found in politics, even in the libertarian movement. I don’t know entirely what to make of it all other than that the Koch brothers have done many great deeds for which they should be praised, but all for what appear to be the wrong reasons, reasons, which have also caused them to do a great deal of  more sinister things. Perhaps enough to outshine their more praiseworthy endeavors. They are corporate fascists and elitists no less than George Soros and Warren Buffet. They just have a different strategy. Perhaps the most clever and dangerous.

1969

Libertarian Cover for the Corporate State by Murray N. Rothbard

1980

The Clark Campaign: Never Again by Murray N. Rothbard

1981

http://mises.org/journals/lf/1981/1981_01-04.pdf

Konkin on Libertarian Strategy – Murray N. Rothbard – Mises Daily

Samuel Edward Konkin III “Reply to Rothbard”

http://mises.org/journals/lf/1981/1981_06-07.pdf

1993

WHY THE PRO-NAFTA HYSTERIA?

May 28, 2007

Conference on Austrian Economics and the Firm « Organizations and Markets

March 25, 2008

How Libertarian Is the Kochtopus? « LewRockwell.com Blog

April 22, 2008

The Kochtopus vs. Murray N. Rothbard by David Gordon

May 12, 2008

The Kochtopus vs. Murray N. Rothbard, Part II by David Gordon

October 22, 2008

The Board Game of Libertarian Public Policy

January 2, 2009

Tyler Cowen: Statist, anti-Rothbardian agent of the Kochtopus | TIME.com

March 2, 2009

The Kochtopus and Power « LewRockwell.com Blog

March 6, 2009

‘Libertarian’ Hero « LewRockwell.com Blog

August 28, 2009

Cowenian Second-Bestism Smackdown

Good for Pete Boettke « LewRockwell.com Blog

March 30, 2010

Koch Brothers Fund Trey Grayson’s Campaign « LewRockwell.com Blog

re: Koch Brothers Finance Trey Grayson’s Campaign « LewRockwell.com Blog

April 22, 2008

The Kochtopus vs. Murray N. Rothbard by David Gordon

April 16, 2008

‘Reason’-Funder To Host Cheney « LewRockwell.com Blog

August 4, 2010

Radical Roots of Libertarianism by Samuel E. Konkin III | JustLive

August 30, 2010

The Billionaire Koch Brothers’ War Against Obama : The New Yorker

In Defense of the Kochtopus by Justin Raimondo — Antiwar.com

August 31, 2010

Austrians Again « LewRockwell.com Blog

September 3, 2010

David Koch Attacks Alan Grayson « LewRockwell.com Blog

September 15, 2010

“Who’s Funding This?!”

October 25, 2010

Good for the Cato Institute « LewRockwell.com Blog

November 24, 2010

Liberty Central: Repo’d by the Koch brothers? | Smart v. Stupid

November 26, 2010

Libertarians Against the Regime by Justin Raimondo — Antiwar.com

January 26, 2011

Koch Brothers Feel the Heat In DC, as Broad Coalition Readies Creative Action to Quarantine the Billionaires Gathering in California Desert | Alternet

January 27, 2011

‘Koch Brothers Trot Out Ed Meese To Defend Them’ « LewRockwell.com Blog

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Koch Brothers Trot Out Ed Meese to Defend Them

Koch conference under scrutiny – Kenneth P. Vogel and Simmi Aujla – POLITICO.com

February 2, 2011

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Koch Brothers Hire Arnold Schwarzenegger’s PR Operative

February 3, 2011

More Adventures With the Kochs « LewRockwell.com Blog

February 6, 2011

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Americans for [Koch] Prosperity

February 9, 2011

Monetary Policy Hearing Today: Ron Paul Versus the Kochtopus | Next New Deal

February 24, 2011

Why the Evil Koch Brothers Must Be Stopped: They Support Drug Legalization, Gay Marriage, Reduced Defense Spending | Peace . Gold . Liberty

February 26, 2011

Wisconsin, Reason, and the National Conversation

March 2, 2011

On Koch Supported Herman Cain by Robert Wenzel

The Koch Bros. Love Herman Cain & Hate Ron Paul | Peace . Gold . Liberty

March 10, 2011

Murray Rothbard on the Kochtopus by David Gordon

April 22, 2011

Gary Johnson: Caveat Emptor by Justin Raimondo — Antiwar.com

May 6, 2011

The Proto-Koch « LewRockwell.com Blog

May 9, 2011

Utah Court Strikes Blow for Free Speech, Dismisses Trademark and CFAA Claims Against Political Activists | Electronic Frontier Foundation

July 3, 2011

The Caravan Keeps Rolling « LewRockwell.com Blog

Their Master’s Voice | Lew Rockwell’s Political Theatre

July 8, 2011

Koch Brothers to Democrats: Stop Asking us For Money

July 22, 2011

Koch Bros. for Higher Taxes (on Their Competitors) | Lew Rockwell’s Political Theatre

July 25, 2011

Do the Koch Bros. Own Bachmann, Too? | Lew Rockwell’s Political Theatre

September 6, 2011

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: HOT: Mother Jones Releases Secret Koch Brothers Tapes

September 29, 2011

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Oh Geez, Charles Koch Advised Friedrich Hayek to Sign Up for Social Security

October 3, 2011

Update: Austrian economics program denied at Loyola New Orleans

October 13, 2011

Could a Tea Party Occupy Wall Street? by Addison Wiggin

November 6, 2011

That 3rd Koch Brother | Lew Rockwell’s Political Theatre

November 16, 2011

MF Global and the Koch Bros. « LewRockwell.com Blog

January 1, 2012

From Vienna With Love: The Kochtopus Warms Up to Ron Paul

January 31, 2012

What’s wrong with the Cato institute? | Peace . Gold . Liberty

February 16, 2012

“History of the Libertarian Movement” by Samuel Edward Konkin III | Left-Liberty.net

March 1, 2012

Kochs launch court fight over Cato – Mike Allen – POLITICO.com

Koch Brothers sue Cato Institute, president – Think Tanked – The Washington Post

Cato says Koch engaged in “a hostile takeover” of the think tank – Think Tanked – The Washington Post

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Billionaire Koch Brothers Sic Super Lawyer on Widow

Koch Bros. Sue Ed Crane, Cato Institute « LewRockwell.com Blog

The Kochs vs. Cato : The New Yorker

March 2, 2012

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Will Lew Rockwell Show at the Next Meeting of the Cato Board?

The Volokh Conspiracy » Koch v. Cato

The Cato Putsch | The American Conservative

March 3, 2012

‘Cato Putsch’? « LewRockwell.com Blog

Brad DeLong: Ed Crane and the Cato Institute vs. the Kochtopus!

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Beltarians versus WaPoists on Koch-Cato

The Volokh Conspiracy » Koch v. Cato — A View from Cato

March 4, 2012

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Murray Rothbard Haunts Koch-Cato from the Grave

Justin Raimondo on the Latest Cato Broadside « LewRockwell.com Blog

Bob Wenzel on the Lineage of the Cato Shares « LewRockwell.com Blog

March 5, 2012

Libertarian Ed Crane Decides to Act Like a Liberal. Will It Destroy the Cato Institute? | RedState

Koch Brothers, Worth $50 Billion, Sue Widow Over $16.00 of Nonprofit’s Stock » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

What Goes Around Comes Around by Skip Oliva

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: What It Takes to Get Big Support from the Koch Brothers

CATO: From Libertarian to Republican? | The American Conservative

March 6, 2012

Is It Charles Koch’s Moral Duty . . . « LewRockwell.com Blog

Charles Koch Makes a Good Point by Thomas DiLorenzo

Cato and the Kochs | The Moral Sciences Club | Big Think

March 7, 2012

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Where’s LewRockwell.com?

March 8, 2012

Charles Koch: I Am Not Backing Down « LewRockwell.com Blog

Koch vs. Cato — A Guest Post by Brink Lindsey | Bleeding Heart Libertarians

The Battle for Cato « ThinkMarkets

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: MIT Prof: The Kochs Will Not Takeover the World

March 12, 2012

Cato’s Amazing Hypocrisy as It Battles the Kochtopus » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

March 19, 2012

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: For the Neocons, It’s Crane over Koch

March 22, 2012

Robert Lawson on Koch ‘n Cato « LewRockwell.com Blog

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: David Koch Gives Ed Crane an Employment Review

March 26, 2012

Family Feud | The Weekly Standard

April 11, 2012

Judge Napolitano Visits Cato

April 16, 2012

The Libertarian Challenge to Charles Murray’s Position on Property Rights and Homesteading by Walter Block

April 20, 2012

Digging the Hole Deeper « LewRockwell.com Blog

Independent and Principled? Behind the Cato Myth | The Nation

April 24, 2012

How Not To Change America’s Politics: Set Up a Public Policy Think Tank by Gary North

April 27, 2012

The Think-Tank Mentality by Skip Oliva

July 7, 2012

» Lessons from the UVA, Cato Wars Kleptarchy

August 17, 2012

The Paul Ryan Selection: The Koch Brothers Get Their Man – Roger Stone: The Stone Zone

August 30, 2012

Plutocrat David Koch Not a Libertarian « LewRockwell.com Blog

Two Additional Links I can’t put in the chronology:

Kochtopus

Interview With Samuel Edward Konkin III

One of the most interesting things (and there were many) I garnered from reading these is the Kochtopus’ love for Central Banking, despite their roots in Austrian Economics. Evokes memories of Alan Greenspan. And why the Koch Brothers put stock in Herman Cain. And why Rick Perry was derided by so-called conservatives when he called Ben Bernanke a traitor. And why their oh so brief ally Ron Paul is so hated by them and theirs anymore.

And it reminds me further of several graphics I have seen floating around on the various End the Fed sites and blogs. A stream of consciousness post like this would be seriously remiss without tying everything together with a few related images.

Do I need to spell out the connection?

Hydra/Kraken/Squid/Octopus/Kochtopus/Leviathon/Federal Government/Federal Reserve/National Bank/Petrodollar/Koch Industries/Corporations/Military Industrial Complex/Fascism Hello?!?!

Please don’t think I’m going all occult on you or anything (I do admit that I came across some pretty dubious sites looking for some of these images). I just really like mythology and history and metaphors and analogies.

From the Comments: Loose Fiscal and Monetary Policy is the Cause of the Problem, not the Solution

From the Comments: Loose Fiscal and Monetary Policy is the Cause of the Problem, not the Solution.

There is a comment on one of my posts. It is really off-subject, but since I rarely get comments that aren’t pure spam (I even suspect that the comment in question is cleverly disguised spam), and since it is something that I talk about here on the site, replying to it and bringing it to my readers’ attention seemed like a good option. I don’t do this with all of the comments, just the ones that give me a clear opportunity to get a point across. It is probably bad blogger etiquette to do it at all, but at the moment I am working on several fairly extensive projects so I need a quick and easy post.

Mercadee: We have used both monetary and fiscal policy to battle this recession, and without the Fed’s actions to limit the downturn things would have been much worse. Fiscal policy in the form of the stimulus package, though too little, too late, and too tilted towards tax cuts, also helped to limit the damage to the economy. But when it comes to promoting a faster recovery, both monetary and fiscal policymakers have failed to do enough to help the economy return to full employment.

Me: Wrong! You are suggesting that policymakers should do those things which brought about the bubbles in the first place. What caused the depressions of 1920-1921 and 1930-45, and what made the latter one so long that did not occur in the case of the former? Loose fiscal and monetary policy. Stimulus to fund World War One, stimulus to pay off debts accrued from World War One, stimulus to fund public works projects, and stimulus to fund World War Two. What caused the housing bubble and its burst? The malinvestment that arose from the stimulative monetary and fiscal policy that was supposedly necessary to soften the blow of the dot-com burst, which was itself the result of prior loose policies. And here you are arguing for the same thing again. This time the bubbles are in student loans, car loans, and sovereign debt. It would be fine if there was a never ending series of bubbles that could burst and re-inflate, but there isn’t. Sovereign debt and government bonds are the end of the line. When that bubble bursts it will destroy the dollar, as the bubble and the false confidence it gave rise to is the only thing that has been propping it up. What gave rise to this bubble? There are many factors, and I suspect that, unlike the case of the other bubbles, this one was intended. Whether it is/was the Nixon Shock and completely detaching from a commodity standard; or wars for oil (the first one arguably being World War Two, as evidenced by the events leading up to Pearl Harbor, but perhaps more notable than this being the 1953 coup in Iran); or the creation of Bretton Woods in 1945; or the creation of the Fed in 1913; or the strengthening of the Fed in 1917; or the price controls and confiscation of gold in 1933; or the social programs and public works projects that created the current high levels of National Debt and Unfunded Liabilities, leading to the need to print more unbacked dollars; that is/was the chief cause I know not. And I care not as they are all contributing factors and all were misguided policies. The effects of these policies must be diminished. And similar policies must be prevented.

The Problem With Excessive Anti-Communist Rhetoric, An Edit

The Problem With Excessive Anti-Communist Rhetoric, An Edit.

I emailed Old Right celebrity Paul Gottfried about my Joe McCarthy piece because he had written one on old Joe that same day. I told him that I read his piece at Lew Rockwell and then asked him to read mine on this blog and give me some feedback, whether positive or negative. He had one main criticism:

I find it hard to buy your argument about the effects of McCarthyism. I for one don’t think McCarthy did much to change partisan loyalties in the US; and except for providing a rallying point for the early postwar conservative movement and a bugaboo for the Left, I really don’t see him as having been a significant historical figure. The Jews who backed him and who belonged to the Jewish Anti-Communist League had nothing to do with the neocons. They were an isolated minority of genuinely rightwing Jews.

Paul Gottfried is surely more knowledgeable on most of these subjects than I am. Here is a list of just some of his books. Not only that but he was kind and willing to take a look at what I wrote. So the purpose of this post is to make modifications of my argument to make it more accurate. This of course, requires me to do some extra research.

So instead of this,

It was not too long ago we had someone in town for a conference where one of his featured roles was to heap laud upon Conservative Hero Joe McCarthy. Ever since Obama and his Marxist rhetoric (but not so much deeds) have been front and center on the national stage, Conservatives have found it stylish to immerse themselves in the history and propaganda of all things Anti-Communist. And while there is a time and a place for this, I find it incredibly unhealthy for the Conservative movement at large, because it leads them to focus on words more than deeds. If someone uses the language of a wealth-envier, class warrior, what have you, he is automatically labeled a Stalinist, whether he is or not. But those that are more subtle in their wealth-distributing ways, and who may even have a few nefarious deeds under their belt, are just as quickly given a pass. Especially if they happen to have an R next to their name. But remember, the greatest danger to a nation or a movement is always from within. So, I will attempt to set the record straight on Joe and go off on several related tangents, including ones dealing with two August 15 Anniversaries: The unofficial Surrender of Japan which ended World War Two, and Nixon’s termination of the Bretton Woods System which put the last nail in the coffin of the gold standard.

Joseph R. McCarthy was largely responsible for the influx of East Coast (and very progressive) Jews (both religious and agnostic) and Catholics (both devout and nominal) into the Republican Party, which (because of the Neoconservatives this influx brought with it) ultimately has spelled its (still ongoing) demise (which, in my opinion, culminated in the year 2001, when George W. Bush reneged on his promises to pursue a humble foreign policy and end the Department of Education. I guess he learned that from his father: No New Taxes!). What I mean by this is that the Protestant Ethic that had come to be central to both major parties was replaced with either a virulent strain of secular totalitarianism (mainly Marxist) or religious totalitarianism. This is not to disparage either Catholics or Jews. Nor is it to let Protestants off the hook. And neither is it to diminish or downplay the other ideological inroads made into the two major parties over the decades that have also in some way contributed to their destruction.

Joe’s legacy, though not his intent, was to destroy his own party by building a coalition of Middle American Protestant Conservatives with East Coast Totalitarian Progressives, thus watering down the once Conservative GOP. Both of these groups, despite having little in common in terms of heritage, politics, or demeanor, opposed Stalin’s Soviet Communism (which bore more resemblance to Nazi Germany than it did the idealized Communist state). It is important to note that some key persons in the eastern part of the coalition were in fact Communists and Socialists themselves, though of a different strain than the Soviets. They were more intellectually aligned with Trotsky, Luxemburg, De Leon, and others than they were with Stalin, whom they viewed as an impure Marxist.

Joe was right about the influence of Stalinists in the State Department, but his jingoism played right into their hands. In the end Joe was betrayed by President Eisenhower (1951-1959). Vice-President Richard Nixon sided with Joe, which some see as a source of vindication. But during his presidency (1969-1974), on the 26th anniversary of the Japanese surrender, he enacted widespread wage and price controls for the first time since the Great Depression. On the same day he ended the Bretton Woods System. The Bretton Woods System was created in 1944 by the Allied Nations, and was the last vestige of the Gold Standard. The average lifespan of a fiat currency is 27 years (see thisthisthis, and this). Bretton Woods lasted exactly that. The post-BWS Dollar turns 41 next month. It is well past its date with destiny.

I would like to go with this,

It was not too long ago we had someone in town for a conference where one of his featured roles was to heap laud upon Conservative Hero and Anti-Communist Icon Joe McCarthy. Joseph McCarthy was representative of the Anti-Communist movement in post-War America. Ever since Obama and his Marxist rhetoric (but not so much deeds) have been front and center on the national stage, Conservatives have found it stylish to immerse themselves in the history and propaganda of all things Anti-Communist. And while there is a time and a place for this, I find it incredibly unhealthy for the Conservative movement at large, because it leads them to focus on words more than deeds. If someone uses the language of a wealth-envier, class warrior, what have you, he is automatically labeled a Stalinist, whether he is or not. But those that are more subtle in their wealth-distributing ways, and who may even have a few nefarious deeds under their belt, are just as quickly given a pass. Especially if they happen to have an R next to their name. It is good to remember that the greatest danger to a nation or a movement is always from within. So, I will attempt to set the record straight on “Anti-Communism” and go off on several related tangents, including ones dealing with two August 15 Anniversaries: The unofficial Surrender of Japan which ended World War Two, and Nixon’s termination of the Bretton Woods System which put the last nail in the coffin of the gold standard.

The Anti-Communist movement, over the decades, has been largely responsible for the influx of East Coast (and increasingly progressive with each new wave) Jews (both religious and agnostic) and Catholics (both devout and nominal) into the Republican Party, which (because of the Neoconservatives, like Kristol, and New Righters, like Buckley, this influx brought with it) ultimately has spelled its (still ongoing) demise (which, in my opinion, culminated in the year 2001, when George W. Bush reneged on his promises to pursue a humble foreign policy and end the Department of Education. I guess he learned to break his promises from his father: No New Taxes!). What I mean by all this is that the Protestant Ethic that had come to be central to both major parties was replaced with either a virulent strain of secular totalitarianism (mainly Marxist) or religious totalitarianism. This is not to disparage either Catholics or Jews. Nor is it to let Protestants off the hook. And neither is it to diminish or downplay the other ideological inroads made into the two major parties over the decades that have also in some way contributed to their destruction.

Anti-Communism’s legacy, though not its intent, was to destroy the Republican Party by building a coalition of Middle American Protestant Conservatives with East Coast Totalitarian Progressives, thus watering down its Conservatism. Both of these groups, despite having little in common in terms of heritage, politics, or demeanor, opposed Stalin’s Soviet Communism (which bore more resemblance to Nazi Germany than it did the idealized Communist state). It is important to note that some key persons in the eastern part of the coalition were in fact Communists and Socialists themselves, though of a different strain than the Soviets. They were more intellectually aligned with Trotsky, Luxemburg, De Leon, and others than they were with Stalin, whom they viewed as an impure Marxist.

Joe was right about the influence of Stalinists in the State Department, but his apparent jingoism played right into their hands. In the end Joe was betrayed by President Eisenhower (1951-1959). Vice-President Richard Nixon sided with Joe, which some see as a source of vindication. But during his presidency (1969-1974), on the 26th anniversary of the Japanese surrender, he enacted widespread wage and price controls for the first time since the Great Depression. On the same day he ended the Bretton Woods System. The Bretton Woods System was created in 1944 by the Allied Nations, and was the last vestige of the Gold Standard. The average lifespan of a fiat currency is 27 years (see thisthisthis, and this). Bretton Woods lasted exactly that. The post-BWS Dollar turns 41 next month. It is well past its date with destiny.

The Problem With Joe McCarthy, Dispelling Other Accepted Narratives

The Problem With Joe McCarthy, Dispelling Other Accepted Narratives.

It was not too long ago we had someone in town for a conference where one of his featured roles was to heap laud upon Conservative Hero Joe McCarthy. Ever since Obama and his Marxist rhetoric (but not so much deeds) have been front and center on the national stage, Conservatives have found it stylish to immerse themselves in the history and propaganda of all things anti-Communist. And while there is a time and a place for this, I find it incredibly unhealthy for the Conservative movement at large, because it leads them to focus on words more than deeds. If someone uses the language of a wealth-envier, class warrior, what have you, he is automatically labeled a Stalinist, whether he is or not. But those that are more subtle in their wealth-distributing ways, and who may even have a few nefarious deeds under their belt, are just as quickly given a pass. Especially if they happen to have an R next to their name. But remember, the greatest danger to a nation or a movement is always from within. So, I will attempt to set the record straight on Joe and go off on several related tangents, including ones dealing with two August 15 Anniversaries: The unofficial Surrender of Japan which ended World War Two, and Nixon’s termination of the Bretton Woods System which put the last nail in the coffin of the gold standard.

Joseph R. McCarthy was largely responsible for the influx of East Coast (and very progressive) Jews (both religious and agnostic) and Catholics (both devout and nominal) into the Republican Party, which (because of the Neoconservatives this influx brought with it) ultimately has spelled its (still ongoing) demise (which, in my opinion, culminated in the year 2001, when George W. Bush reneged on his promises to pursue a humble foreign policy and end the Department of Education. I guess he learned that from his father: No New Taxes!). What I mean by this is that the Protestant Ethic that had come to be central to both major parties was replaced with either a virulent strain of secular totalitarianism (mainly Marxist) or religious totalitarianism. This is not to disparage either Catholics or Jews. Nor is it to let Protestants off the hook. And neither is it to diminish or downplay the other ideological inroads made into the two major parties over the decades that have also in some way contributed to their destruction.

Joe’s legacy, though not his intent, was to destroy his own party by building a coalition of Middle American Protestant Conservatives with East Coast Totalitarian Progressives, thus watering down the once Conservative GOP. Both of these groups, despite having little in common in terms of heritage, politics, or demeanor, opposed Stalin’s Soviet Communism (which bore more resemblance to Nazi Germany than it did the idealized Communist state). It is important to note that some key persons in the eastern part of the coalition were in fact Communists and Socialists themselves, though of a different strain than the Soviets. They were more intellectually aligned with Trotsky, Luxemburg, De Leon, and others than they were with Stalin, whom they viewed as an impure Marxist.

Joe was right about the influence of Stalinists in the State Department, but his jingoism played right into their hands. In the end Joe was betrayed by President Eisenhower (1951-1959). Vice-President Richard Nixon sided with Joe, which some see as a source of vindication. But during his presidency (1969-1974), on the 26th anniversary of the Japanese surrender, he enacted widespread wage and price controls for the first time since the Great Depression. On the same day he ended the Bretton Woods System. The Bretton Woods System was created in 1944 by the Allied Nations, and was the last vestige of the Gold Standard. The average lifespan of a fiat currency is 27 years (see thisthisthis, and this). Bretton Woods lasted exactly that. The post-BWS Dollar turns 41 next month. It is well past its date with destiny.

The one decent president (policy-wise) we have had between Coolidge (1923-1929, who said, “the chief business of the American people is business.”) and Reagan (1981-1989, who was fond of quoting Coolidge), Kennedy (1961-1963), actually committed voter fraud during the 1960 election, most notably in Illinois (with his father’s help) and Texas (with help from Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1963-1969). It is generally acknowledged, though very quietly, that Nixon would have won in 1960 if not for this. Some have speculated that the Watergate Scandal, which was little more than a non-newsworthy political prank was his latent and vengeful response to the stolen election. Note that Kennedy, Nixon, and McCarthy all served in the US House together, and were very close friends. Kennedy’s father was one of McCarthy’s biggest supporters. He was also named Joseph and was also an Irish Catholic. Joe Kennedy, though a Democrat who had initially supported Roosevelt, later opposed him and some of his policies, including in regards to entry into World War Two in the Atlantic theater.

The Communists in the state department, along with “conservative” icon Winston Churchill (whose hero Lord Kitchener essentially invented the concentration camp and rivaled Union General Sherman for his inhumanity to soldiers and civilians alike) and “liberal” icon Roosevelt (1933-1945) were also responsible for giving Eastern Europe to Stalin. WWII was started to liberate Poland and Czechoslovakia from the Nazis. Both of these nations were given to Stalin in exchange for his help in the war effort against Japan. Roosevelt died before both the German surrender and the Japanese surrender. Truman (1945-1951) oversaw both victories.

George S. Patton was one general who knew not to trust the Soviets. He wanted to get to Berlin before them because he knew they would wreak havoc and attempt to occupy Germany indefinitely. It was possible for the Americans to get there first but the British (who hated Patton because he knew better than to get along rust a smarmy pederast redcoats like Lord Bernard Montgomery) and their lackey General Eisenhower prevented this. The Red Army reached Berlin first, and as a result Germany was divided between the West and the Soviets. The Western portion flourished in the post war era. The Eastern portion was in a similar situation that North Korea is in today. Today, as a result of the Western portion’s economic liberty (which was fostered, in part, by German Minister of Economics Ludwig Erhard), Germany is Europe’s economic powerhouse. It is likely all that is keeping the European Central Bank and the Euro afloat. It also stands to gain no matter what happens. What Charlemagne, Napoleon, Otto, Bill, and Adolf could not accomplish and sustain with brute force, Angela will, simply by being at the helm of so great a productive engine.

General Patton also wanted to push the Soviets out of Eastern Europe. But since Eastern Europe was sold down the river at the Yalta Accords by Churchill, Roosevelt, and the Communists in the State Department (some of the ones Joseph McCarthy later warned about), there would be none of this. He died as the result of a “car accident” while being driven through the German countryside in December 1945. There is a substantial, though still dubious case to be made that he was in fact assassinated by the OSS (forerunner to the CIA) to either silence him or prevent him from getting his way.

Truman’s Atomic bomb, sickly dubbed Little Boy, was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6. On August 7, the Japanese were considering surrender, a conditional one, but surrender nonetheless. On August 8, the Soviets broke the Neutrality Pact and invaded Japan. This caused a reaction within the higher echelons of Japan’s war ministry. The desire now was to NOT surrender but instead declare martial law and repel the invasion. There was now the “need” to drop another nuclear weapon, named Fat Man, this time on Nagasaki. Such was done on August 9. On August 15, in a radio address, Emperor Hirohito announced surrender, this time unconditional. The official surrender was on September 2. The United States has troops there to this day.

Because the Soviets and the Chinese had become involved, they were allowed to take part in the occupation. The Soviets were given North Korea, which is why it is a communist hellhole to this day. The Chinese were given Taiwan, which is today a breakaway republic and a major point of contention between the US and China.

And why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor in the first place? Because they wanted to conquer Hawaii? Nope. Japan had invaded China TEN years before. But because Britain had its eye on China for its own reasons, America cut off Japan’s oil supply. The nation was also economically and diplomatically isolated by the League of Nations (created by Woodrow Wilson and reconvened as the UN by Roosevelt and Truman). The Japanese attempted to placate the British and American’s all throughout the 1930s, including by appointing Pro-Anglo ministers and seeking out diplomatic alternatives to sanctions. These gifts were rejected out of hand. The Roosevelt administration deliberately antagonized the Japanese so as to keep the from becoming involved with the Russians. Roosevelt did not want his buddies Stalin and Churchill to have to fight the Germans and the Japanese. The result was Pearl Harbor, which some have contended was known about days in advance and preventable even up to just minutes before the attack. Such was ignored by the administration and the Naval bureaucracy because entry into the European conflict on the side of Britain and the USSR (something Roosevelt had explicitly promised to not do) was apparently the ultimate goal.

Hitler’s rise to power was a direct result of the World War One Allies chopping Germany into little pieces (resulting in the invasion of France to reclaim German-speaking Alsace-Lorraine, the invasion of Czechoslovakia to reclaim German-speaking Sudetenland, and the invasion of Poland to reclaim German-speaking Silesia and Prussia) and the steep reparations that caused Germany defaulted on, which led to hyperinflation. Hitler did not let the crises go to waste. And the story of how the US got involved in World War One and with the British Empire, and its foreign policy aftermath is just as reprehensible as the story of our involvement in World War Two and with the Soviet Empire.

I saved the best for last. The Federal Reserve System was created in 1910 at a secret meeting of some of America’s most elite bankers. It was “justified” by the [government-induced] Banking Panic of 1907. The Federal Reserve Act, and its older sibling, the Sixteenth Amendment (the increase in revenue from the Income Tax actually made tariffs, which had been the norm since 1861, when the excuse for them was the Banking Panic of 1857, obsolete as a source of revenue) were enacted by Congress (and in the case of the 16th, three fourths of the states) in 1913, one year before the onset of World War One and four years before the United States’ unnecessary entry into that conflict. And after that Great War, and the heroin-like addiction to Central Banking that ensued, there was no turning back. The Federal Reserve System’s and Department of the Treasury’s role in financing and lending to heavily indebted England after World War One was the cause of the Depression of 1920-1921 AND the Great Depression of 1929-1945. Warren Harding (1921-1923, and a corrupt politician to be sure) let human action and the Free Market allocate resources to their proper places, and the Depression lasted less than a year. 

Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) and Franklin Roosevelt, on the other hand, did everything in the book to prolong the Depression that began in 1929. Wage and price controls. Bailouts. Stimulus. Tax increases. Public works projects. Seizure of the population’s gold. Fixing the price of gold. Beginning the end of the gold standard. Welfare. Subsidies. War. The Depression ended in large part due to World War Two ending. Keynesian economists tend to claim that the Depression ended because the War spending primed the pump and revived consumer confidence, acting as a sort of stimulus program and that the draft cured unemployment. On the second count, there is truth, but a very priggish truth. Of course SLAVERY (involuntary servitude, which violates the Thirteenth Amendment) cures unemployment! Should everyone out of work be enslaved? And on the first count nothing could be further from the truth. In reality the Depression subsided because men were coming back from Europe and the Pacific and adding to the nation’s productive capacity and Harry Truman cut “defense” spending by 75 percent. It is very ironic that one of the presidents that neoconservative warmongers worship and adulate (often in disgusting and servile fashion) the most (mainly because he has the blood of 200,000 unsuspecting Japanese civilians on his hands) actually CUT “the military”! Why don’t they emulate their hero? Wait! I know what you are thinking: A neocon wanting to cut a nickel from the Military-Industrial Complex’s profligacy and plunder about which we were warned by none other than their other [ironic] demigod, Dwight Eisenhower?! And I agree: You would have better luck finding a jihadi attending a church potluck humbly asking for another helping of roast pork.