May 24, 2011
Just about every day now, a ‘crisis’ unfolds somewhere in the world as if carefully adapted from the pages of Atlas Shrugged.
It’s such a massive aberration and departure from the free market… yet amazingly enough, this elitist system of sociopathic narcissism passes as democracy– “rule of the people.”
The real irony is that the West, which fancies itself the paragon of modern, civilized society, has it the worst. Day in, day out, the developed world gets plundered and violated more by its kleptocratic leaders than any tinpot dictatorship. The stroke of genius is how well they masquerade their thievery.
The US Senate, for instance, introduced a bill late last week to limit the amount that the defence Department spends… on printing. Never mind multiple front wars, unlawful invasions, and million dollar Tomahawk missiles… they’re focusing on the big picture: print costs.
Meanwhile, NATO forces continue waging war in Libya, now escalating the air campaign with supplemental rotary wing squadrons. When they introduce attack helicopters to the battle space, you can be sure that ground forces are not too far behind.
Needless to say, this all carries tremendous cost to taxpayers. To a normal person, the maths is simple… each of us is forced to live within our means, and any deviation outside of that is quickly squashed by the credit market.
In the consequence-free environment of politics, however, costs are magically pushed forward to the distant future, while benefits and goals are muddled amid grandiose, unquantifiable platitudes like “freedom,” “security,” and “prosperity.”
It’s amazing that people demand more accountability from their favourite sports team. Any head coach who notoriously overspends a team’s budget and has no strategy for success other than eloquent speeches about “victory” and “sportsmanship” would quickly be shown the door…
… and yet, a political system in which malignant forces steal resources from the productive, waste the vast majority on folly, and redistribute the breadcrumbs in order to buy votes and maintain the status quo, is hailed as ‘rule of the people.’
Around the world, people are voicing their utter disgust with this system… in some places violently (Egypt, Syria), and in others at the polls (Spain, Finland). In either case, governments are reaching deep into their playbooks to maintain the status quo of kleptocratic elitism, including:
– sending government forces to open fire on their own people
– confiscating public and private pension funds
– banning protests and public demonstrations
– lying about secret bailout meetings
– conjuring villains to justify huge spending programs (like $150,000 body scanners)
– printing trillions of dollars and denying price increases
– fraudulently misstating macroeconomic indicators and sovereign balance sheets
– engaging in military conflict to distract the population at home
– eliminating financial privacy
– allowing police agencies to spy on their own citizens without a warrant
– imposing exchange controls and restricting the free flow of capital
– raising taxes, without warning, overnight
Generally, the more dire the economic circumstances, the more desperate the government, and hence the more severe their tactics… and this is why we’re seeing the brunt in the Middle East, North Africa, and even parts of Europe, all regions which are forced to deal now with a grim economic reality.
For a very short while, the United States is in a position where it can continue kicking its can of problems down the road. When you can print your own currency, issue debt to people who are still dumb enough to buy it, and temporarily export inflation to the rest of the world, you can keep the party going for a long time.
Individual states, on the other hand, are not so fortunate. The Illinois State Treasurer, for instance, just announced that they are “on the verge of financial disaster,” and that the share of debt and unfunded liabilities for every household in the state amounts to $42,000 each.
Illinois has already raised taxes and will likely do so again… soon. This will likely drive many talented, mobile people out of the state to relocate to greener pastures.
It certainly begs the question– if state governments are set up to fall like dominoes, and the federal government is its own looming disaster, why bother looking within the same country for greener pastures?
There are a lot of places in the world with healthy economies, solid fundamentals, and great lifestyles which welcome foreigners with open arms through a very transparent process.
Here in Chile, for example, you can be up and running with official residency in no time. In Singapore, Lithuania, and Estonia, you only need to register a local corporation. In Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Qatar, Cayman Islands, etc., you can obtain a visa by accepting employment. All have strong job markets open to foreigners.
For many people, the thought of heading overseas seems radical… and one’s first instinct is to find fault or excuses– ‘this is only something rich people can do,’ or ‘there is no way I could find a job’.
This uncreative, self-defeating attitude is what perpetuates the elaborate system of thievery masquerading as democracy. The truth is that there is no such thing as “rule of the people.” There is only “rule of the person,” meaning you.
You have completely control and rule over yourself… you cannot affect what the US government is going to do, or how much the European Central Bank is going to print, or whether Great Britain sends helicopters into Libya. You can, however, determine where you are going to go, and what opportunities you will seek.
This ‘rule of the person’ is the ultimate freedom that each of us possesses, yet rarely exercises. Most people will simply ignore the obvious warnings and denounce those who take action as misguided radicals.
Yet in a world where the economic bankruptcy of entire nations is matched only by the moral bankruptcy of the politicians who lead them, radical ideas are perhaps the only sensible solutions.
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