An Outstanding Assessment

A very insightful piece from Simon Black.  I cannot add to this but to say, Mr. Black is spot on with his assessment of Americans today.

https://www.sovereignman.com/trends/new-poll-record-number-of-americans-want-more-government-in-their-lives-21388/?inf_contact_key=bca43013ae3658dd22297fe0e5837999bd3b2e4d6f6b2a81a9955af064c21ad9

April 24, 2017
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile

In a poll conducted a few days ago by NBC News / Wall Street Journal, a record 57% of Americans responded that they want MORE government in their lives, and that the government should be doing more to solve people’s problems.

That’s the highest percentage since they started asking this question in 1995.

In fact, 57% is nearly double what people responded in the mid-90s.

Furthermore, the number of Americans who feel the opposite, i.e. responded that the government is doing too many things that should be left to private businesses and individuals, fell to a near record-low 39%.  

Bottom line: people want more government.

It’s hard to even know where to begin with this.

First- more government is nearly an impossibility.

As I’ve written several times in the past, the US federal government already spends almost all of its tax revenue on mandatory entitlements like Social Security, and interest on the debt.

They could literally cut nearly everything we think of as government– national parks, Homeland Security, even the IRS– and still not make a dent in paying down the national debt.

According to the US government’s own financial statements, their net operating loss in 2016 was an unbelievable $1.05 TRILLION.

Think about that– they lost more than a trillion dollars in a completely unremarkable year.

They weren’t waging world war, funding a major infrastructure project, or dealing with an economic crisis.

It was just business as usual. And they STILL lost over a trillion dollars.

More government is going to cost even more money that they don’t have… which means even more debt and even more pain in the future.

The usual refrain is to pay for more government programs by raising taxes on the rich, or big corporations, or whoever the evil villain du jour is.

Anyone who thinks this actually works needs to study history.

Simply put, RAISING TAXES DOES NOT RAISE TAX REVENUE.

I wish every Bernie Sanders voter could understand this very simple fact:

Since the end of World War II, US federal government tax revenue as a percentage of GDP has been nearly constant at 17%.

In other words, while the actual dollar amount of tax revenue goes up every year due to inflation and economic expansion, the government’s slice of the total economic pie is 17%.

Yet during the previous eight decades, actual -tax rates- have been all over the board– sometimes rates were higher, sometimes rates were lower.

Back in 1963, for example, the highest marginal tax rate on individuals exceeded an unbelievable 90%.

I’m sure there are plenty of Americans who would love to see the wealthiest citizens paying 90% again.

Yet in 1963, even with rates that high, the total amount of tax revenue that the US government collected was 16.7% of GDP.

In 1988 when the highest tax rate was slashed to just 28% under Ronald Reagan, total tax revenue 17.3% of GDP.
 
It doesn’t matter if tax rates were high or low– the actual tax revenue that the government collects stays constant at around 17% of GDP.

This raises a point that these socialists never seem to understand:

If the government’s slice of the pie never seems to change no matter how high or how low tax rates are, shouldn’t they focus on making the pie bigger?

Duh.

And it seems intuitive that higher taxes obstruct economic growth (i.e. make the pie smaller) because there’s less money in people’s pockets to spend and invest.

Then, of course, we have to touch on the issue of competence.

It’s absurd to want a government that has a nearly interminable track record of overreach, waste, and failure, to be even MORE involved in people’s lives.

We’re talking about the same institution that wastes taxpayer money to study monkeys on treadmills…

… or spent $1 billion to destroy $16 billion worth of perfectly good ammunition…

… or $2 billion to build a website.
 
It’s extraordinary that these people are already in charge of educating our children, regulating our savings, and now our medical care.

It’s even more appalling that given such dismal performance people want more.

As the old saying goes, the classic definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

A final point I’ll mention is that it’s concerning to see people in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave expect the government to solve their problems.

What ever happened to self-reliance? The pioneering spirit? Good ole’ American can-do ingenuity?

In truth there are countless ways for a motivated person to solve problems. Or at least to make forward progress.

For example, to all these kids that have their hands out demanding free university education, I always ask the same questions:

How many books did you read in the last twelve months?

How many FREE online courses from Harvard and MIT did you take?

Are you actually doing anything to help yourself? Or are you just whining on social media about how no one is giving you anything for free?

America was founded as a place where people take responsibility for themselves.

But this now seems to be an outdated, minority view.

The Land of the Free is truly becoming the Land of Getting Free Stuff.

 

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black

Founder, SovereignMan.com

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State corruption

Just the last few hours of corruption reports. When will America realize, the state is the enemy of their freedom and prosperity?

Thanks to the Drudge Report, ZeroHedge and, ibankcoin for this information

Is Obama in cahoots with the Russians?

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-03/meet-russian-ambassador-center-sessions-scandal

Pelosi lies again….

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/nancy-pelosi-sergey-kislyak-meeting-235653

Schumer and the Russians, are all of our state actors speaking with them?

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/03/flashback-chuck-schumer-meets-vlad-putin-new-york-city/

Was there ever and consideration of a potential conflict of interest at CNN?

http://nypost.com/2017/01/19/daughter-of-close-obama-adviser-will-cover-doj-for-cnn/

Why are we hearing of this corrupt tactic again, isn’t this the way the Democrats pushed Obamacare through in the first place?

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-03-02/-secret-obamacare-plan-leads-congress-members-on-treasure-hunt

Isn’t Tesla a recipient of billions of US taxpayer dollars?

https://electrek.co/2017/03/02/tesla-autopilot-crash-video-how-note-to-use/

More Russian meetings by Democrats, is this a problem?

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-02/democrat-claire-mccaskill-caught-lying-about-meeting-russian-ambassador

More money coming to the elitist state lovers called the ‘one percent’ via the Federal Reserve?

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-03/fed-preparing-1-trillion-qe-next-recession-deutsche

Are these corrupt corporatists?

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-03/%E2%80%9Ci%E2%80%99m-sorry-we-had-experience-today%E2%80%9D-caterpillar-ceo-apologizes-over-shock-raid

Does anyone else just think this is weird?

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-02/valerie-jarrett-moves-obamas-dc-lead-fight-strategy-topple-trump

ICE is operating fairly?

http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/2017/03/02/22-year-old-argentinian-immigrant-arrested-by-ice-after-giving-anti-trump-speech/

The cause of American decline

If one looks beyond the mainstream media reports, one can easily tag attributes to present day American life that have often been associated with life in the third world. The most predominate of these characteristics is well documented and quite indisputable –  the living standard of the American middle class is in decline. If one elaborates this condition to better understand the phenomena, much of its cause is due to high levels of unemployment and underemployment among the American populous and stagnant wages of those who do manage to be employed.  This condition is not healthy ergo, research shows lower living standards often lead to increases in all types crime, growing corruption and a palpable decline in a nation’s most venerable institutions and infrastructure.  Using open minded analytical thought, one can reasonably see a correlation between America’s  decline in personal freedom and our nation’s migration towards third world status.

Consider the control government, at levels, has on the American economy; America does not have free markets anymore. The invisible hand Adam Smith spoke about is now highly visible and used by the government to pick economic winners and losers. Many segments of the American economy (healthcare, education, communications, manufacturing, transportation, etc.) are highly regulated and taxed such that true market forces such as price discovery and competition are not even present. For example, government bureaucracy sets healthcare prices to the extent that providers rarely compete on price and quality. Today, a medical services choice is rarely based upon price and quality of service. Likewise in higher education, the invisible hand is almost gone and replaced by the strong arm of the federal government; nearly all students can obtain government loans today to pay tuition. Institutions understand this fact and price their services accordingly.  It is not a coincidence as the increasing amount of student debt tracks the rise in college tuition.

Declining freedom can also be seen in governmental incentives/dis-incentives to work and wealth generation. It is well documented that welfare and disability benefits have grown significantly and have destroyed the self worth of millions. Many books and studies have pondered the question, would not most people be happier with meaningful work, earned paycheck, and a career path that could elevate them to a better life and come up with an answer of yes.  In a similar manner, government destroying personal freedom and is exerting greater control on those who do manage to generate wealth. Government’s high tax rates and its corrupt, overly complicated tax code have driven American companies overseas and led them to exploit loopholes to avoid paying taxes. There are many other examples of declining economic freedom in America however, government is working for more control over the most cherished freedoms American’s hold sacred.

America’s most precious freedom, that of free speech and the guarantee of a free press are under assault by government.  What is happening across America on college campuses is truly frightening. New restrictions placed upon the speech of the younger generation is actually happening. One well known institution of learning is going so far as to restrict the use of personal pronouns on campus as to not to offend anyone.  Declines in our first amendment rights go well beyond higher education to the new internet-based media that is under continual threat by the FCC and congress in their desire to police their speech.

Where does this assault on our freedom end? It will only end when Americans take heed to John Locke’s words, “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 farther Obedience, and are left to the common Refuge, which God hath provided for all Men, against Force and Violence. Whensoever therefore the Legislative shall transgress this fundamental Rule of Society; and either by Ambition, Fear, Folly or Corruption, endeavor to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other an Absolute Power over the Lives, Liberties, and Estates of the People; By this breach of Trust they forfeit the Power, the People had put into their hands, for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the People, who have a Right to resume their original Liberty”.1

  1. Powell, Jim (01. August 1996): John Locke: Natural Rights to Life, Liberty, and Property. In: The Freemann. Publisher: The Foundation for Economic Education, Irvington, New York, USA.

 

Is the empire in danger?

For better part of the current century, Americans see via the multitude of news mediums, stories depicting a weakening of the American Empire.  Almost daily, we see lower economic prosperity , diminishing social cohesion, and faltering international relations devolving our nation into despair and chaos. Seeing this reoccurring montage and showing  some level of concern is not a form of paranoia or being Chicken Little. One can reasonably infer that America is in trouble; maybe not quite to the extent of Thomas Cole’s 1836 depiction below but looking at the White House’s Friday night dump of the prediction of 1.9% GDP growth for 2016, the recent civil unrest in Dallas and other American cities, and the ISIS inspired slaughters around the world one could  with solid sanity conclude America is sliding into a morass of growing poverty and violence.

What can be done? This is not an easy question to answer however, only a fool would advocate for a continuation of the status quo big government.  So please become educated to perils facing us and speak to others about our ills so someday, American citizens will demand a real change and remove the shackles this big government has on its citizens.

 

cole62

Is America a Banana Republic?

Whether one believes Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while Secretary of State to be in violation of federal law or not, you have to be concerned what our nation has become in terms of its pursuit of justice in this matter. One holding either view (it was a violation or it was not a violation of the law) on the aforementioned issue can reasonably suspect the United States has taken on the moniker of a banana republic in its handling of the matter.

The former president who may be part and parcel of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server met with the nation’s chief law enforcement office in a clandestine meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. You also have Barack Obama saying that Clinton did not endanger national security, and both the president and vice president endorsed her without waiting for the investigation to conclude.¹

Congress must reauthorize the automatic appointment of a special prosecutor in cases of suspected wrongdoing by high-level members of the executive branch of our government so that we are not a banana republic.