The Consent of the Governed

88
Mon, Nov 25, 2013 - 2:12pm

“Government has become a paramecium, an amoeba whose prime directive is to grow and consume and multiply without knowledge of what it is supposed to be doing other than expanding. Or maybe the better metaphor is the zombie. The groping State smells those still alive and then plods and claws itself toward the few remaining living, in a mindless effort to incorporate or devour them. The zombie likes best the scent of the pizza franchiser or masonry contractor, not the welfare recipient or the Facebook executive.” (Link)

*

I have a neighbor who is a small farmer, and in addition to growing feed corn and raising beef cattle, he raises healthy, free-range chickens and sells a few hundred fresh eggs a week at farmers markets and “buy local” Co-ops. That is, he used to. He quit last year when new regulations for food safety (instituted at the behest of factory egg farms) required all sorts of new certifications, inspections, and expensive equipment to comply with the laws. Paying for all the things the new laws will require was only cost-effective for a large operation (thus driving small farmers out of the market, which was precisely why the large operations lobbied for the bill). Rather than do all that work for virtually no gain, he butchered his flock and just stopped producing.

*

Healthy young people, finally waking up to the fact that they are the financial pack-mules for Obamacare, have refused to sign up for the program in numbers that come anywhere close to balancing those they are supposed to subsidize. One wonders what they will do if they ever take a good, hard look at Social Security and Medicare: A double-earner couple (making the US median wage) who retired in 2010 will receive $310,000 more in benefits than they paid in to the system over the rest of their lives. The same couple, if the household was a single-earner married couple, will receive nearly half a million dollars more ($446,000) in benefits than they paid in during their lifetimes (Link). Just like Obamacare, the young are expected to produce in order to subsidize these costs. It will be interesting to see what happens if they ever figure this out.

*

Taxpayers, particularly successful middle and upper-middle class business owners, are deliberately managing their income levels by working less and precisely calculating how much they need to give to charity in order to fall below Federal tax thresholds. Many have simply decided that, given increasing taxation and regulatory burdens, it is no longer in their interests to run a business at all and have closed-up shop entirely (Link).

*

There is a property I particularly admire that I pass on my drive to work- beautiful fields, groves of woods along the property boundaries, and the whole thing gently sloping to the banks of a bend in the river. It used to be a working farm, but the family that bought it a few years ago realized that if they registered with the state as a farm and rented out the acreage, they would be subject to all sorts of restrictions and laws. Worse, the new “Food Safety Act” which is set to become law next year has granted unelected bureaucrats in numerous Federal agencies (from the FDA to the Department of Agriculture to the EPA) unprecedented control over privately held farmland, in particular the ability to force landowners to comply with expensive restrictions without recourse or appeal (Link). The choice was easy for the folks who own that farm- don’t farm anything, and don’t get on the watch list of half a dozen federal agencies. I think about how much that prime land could have produced as I drive past it. But I suppose there is a silver lining: eighty tillable acres that have been left fallow look quite pretty when the weedy grasses turn a golden tan in the fall.

*

California’s productive middle class, realizing that the social compact constructed by Sacramento over the last few decades is one where they have enormous financial obligations and regulatory burdens and receive precious little in return aside the privilege of contributing even more, have left the state in droves: you could literally populate the state of Montana three times over with the number of middle-class earners who have left the People’s Republic of CA over the last 20 years (Link).

*

Tri-City Herald, Kennewick WA: It took Bob Bertsch 25 years to build his construction business and just a day for it all to go away. Bertsch’s Ashley-Bertsch Group went on the auction block Friday at 9 a.m. By 4 p.m., Booker Auctions had sold off almost two dozen vehicles and trailers, tons of power tools and supplies, even the gas-fired fireplace in the office. Bertsch, 65, said he is down-sizing because the tax burden got too expensive to stay in business.

“I am tired of carrying all the tax load,” Bertsch said. “I renew 13 licenses here every year just so I can spend money in this city.” Bertsch makes no attempt to conceal his frustration with the costs government imposes on small businesses like his. “Government is killing small business. We used to have 24 employees at our peak. Now, all of those people who used to work here are in unemployment lines,” he said. (Link)

__________________________________________________

What does any of this have to do with precious metals investing? I am of the opinion that it has quite a bit to do with it, actually. In each of the above cases, you see a two-part dynamic at work. Part 1 is a political system and its allied bureaucracies treating the earnings, property, and labor of the citizenry as its piggy bank and plaything- a government/state which bases its very existence on successfully conducting a continual process of plunder in order to fund a continuous expansion of its own power. Part 2 is the response of individuals to the particulars of this process, the quiet refusal to play the role of serf to the feudal lords of the state. In each case, from closing a business to working/earning less to letting productive farmland lie fallow, the dynamic is the same. The state says “Your productivity is mine” and the individual quietly responds “No, it isn’t” and changes their behavior accordingly. These people are, in a very practical way, refusing to aid and abet this process. They are withholding their consent.

The ‘consent of the governed’ isn’t created simply because a political party manages to make enough promises to enough special interest groups to bring in enough campaign cash to buy enough political ads to deceive enough people to squeak out a narrow electoral victory. It doesn’t result from the ability of unelected bureaucrats to use the coercive power of government and law to enforce their will. At the core of it, the ‘consent of the governed’ rests on each individual citizen consenting (or not) to go along with the demands being placed on them. Refusing to consent doesn’t require armed resistance, or showy protests and signs, or loud confrontations. It doesn’t require breaking the law or going to jail. All it takes is a refusal to participate in the activity being controlled.

At this moment, western central banks are engaged in a process of funding massive expenditures through monetizing (directly or indirectly) government debt. They create more Euros or Yen, or Pounds, or Dollars out of thin air and each time they do, they devalue your paycheck, pension, retirement account, and the change in your pocket. I understand they have the legal right to do this. I understand they are appointed by the elected representatives of the people and that this supposedly gives them the moral and practical authority to do so. But I have not been asked and did not give my approval to this process. My money is nothing more than a marker for my productivity and saved value, my efforts and risks, and indeed a significant portion of my life – and these things are mine. I do not consent to them being plundered in this way. So I remove my money from their system, as much as I am able. I buy gold and silver.

More regimes have been brought, piecemeal, to their knees by what was once called “Irish Democracy,” the silent, dogged resistance, withdrawal, and truculence of millions of ordinary people, than by revolutionary vanguards or rioting mobs. –James Scott, Two Cheers for Anarchism (Princeton University Press, 2013)

Dogged resistance, withdrawal, and truculence.

Sounds good… I’m in.

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bullion only
Nov 26, 2013 - 11:50am
tyberious
Nov 26, 2013 - 11:43am

Thanks for posting that. I'll

Thanks for posting that. I'll watch it and consider making it into a new thread later today.

bullion only
Nov 26, 2013 - 11:40am

The Tax Poem

The Tax Poem Tax his land, tax his wage,
Tax his bed in which he lays.
Tax his tractor, tax his mule,
Teach him taxes is the rule.

Tax his cow, tax his goat,
Tax his pants, tax his coat.
Tax his ties, tax his shirts,
Tax his work, tax his dirt.

Tax his chew, tax his smoke,
Teach him taxes are no joke.
Tax his car, tax his grass,
Tax the roads he must pass.

Tax his food, tax his drink,
Tax him if he tries to think.
Tax his sodas, tax his beers,
If he cries, tax his tears.

Tax his bills, tax his gas,
Tax his notes, tax his cash.
Tax him good and let him know
That after taxes, he has no dough.

If he hollers, tax him more,
Tax him until he's good and sore.
Tax his coffin, tax his grave,
Tax the sod in which he lays.

Put these words upon his tomb,
"Taxes drove me to my doom!"
And when he's gone, we won't relax,
We'll still be after the inheritance tax.

tyberious
Nov 26, 2013 - 11:38am

Silver & Gold: When Money Is

Silver & Gold: When Money Is Corrupted – Hidden Secrets Of Money 5 – Mike Maloney

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OQWMd_NPSBA

whygoldandsilver, Published on Nov 26, 2013

More: https://www.hiddensecretsofmoney.com Welcome to the 5th episode of Michael Maloney’s Hidden Secrets Of Money. In this instalment, we travel to Berlin and Frankfurt, where we were able to film the money museum inside the Bundesbank…one of the world’s largest Central Banks.

This episode serves as an ideal primer for those waking up to the monetary matrix around them, as it clearly shows the history of true money and why it so important to our freedom. The quality of a society is directly proportional to the quality of its money. Debase a currency for long enough, and you end up with dangerous deficits, debt driven disasters, and eventually…delusional dictators. History proves this to be true.

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Terabyte
Nov 26, 2013 - 11:36am

Galt? How about redress...

Apologies if this has been previously posted.

"WASHINGTON – A retired Army general is calling for the “forced resignations” of President Obama, other administration officials and the leadership of Congress for the direction they’re taking the nation, his list of grievances including the systematic political purge of hundreds of senior military officers in the U.S. military.

Retired Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely told WND he is calling for nationwide rallies and protests to demand the resignations and added that a peaceful “civil uprising is still not out of question.”

In his capacity as chairman of the organization Stand Up America, Vallely issued what he termed a “National Call to Action” to force the resignations of Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Vallely, formerly the deputy commanding general of Pacific Command, said the current crop of leaders must be forced to resign by the “demand resignation” process, which he explained requires massive grass-roots protests and social networking. As an example, he cited the public and media pressure that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

Impeachment, Vallely said, is not a viable option because of “partisan politics.”

“Our federal government continues down the path of destroying America,” he said. “Americans must now stand up and put America back on the right track.”"

https://www.wnd.com/2013/11/general-lets-make-obama-resign/

John Galt
Nov 26, 2013 - 11:33am

Another Tidbit From Yesterday's Lunch

In my earlier post I mentioned my friend having started his business more than 30 years ago. At that time he purchased (quite cheaply) some waterfront property in a very isolated area, which he subsequently used as a location for his business. Although his property use is and always has been consistent with the existing zoning, about 10 years ago the local municipality decided to rezone some of it and expropriate a prime chunk of his property to turn it into a park.

Of course, he balked at first with demands that were the equivalent of donating the land to local government. Government bureaucrats threatened to make his life Hell if he resisted, which pissed him off - so he fought. And make his life Hell they did.

The crazy thing is that he was willing to sell his property to them all along, provided they paid him a fair price. They refused, and in the ensuing years a legal battle raged. The government figured they could win by bleeding him dry with legal costs. They figured wrong. Although eventually they (government) won, and expropriated the prime chunk of land they wanted, my friend also "won" in the sense that government was finally forced in court to pay fair market value. And the legal costs associated with the battle also had to be paid by the government too, all $1.75 million worth.

(But who cares about the costs, because it's taxpayer money - so what does a government bureaucrat care? All that just to build a f*cking park.)

Yesterday at lunch we were sitting in the restaurant, by a window that happened to overlook his property. A one point he stopped talking, and was staring out the window. I turned to look, and asked what he was looking at. He pointed to 2 figures standing in the distance wearing hardhats and government issued vests with glow-in-the-dark "X"s on front and back.

"By-law enforcement officers" he said "Looking for violations."

"But what does it matter if they're inspecting the property they bought from you?"

"They didn't buy any property me" he clarified "They got what they did because they took it. And what they're now standing on now is MY land - the land they haven't taken yet - and they're now sniffing around, looking for new problems."

The hungry beast of government continues to prowl, and will only be stopped when it has starved itself into submission. Expecting this beast to put itself on a self imposed diet is not going to work.

It will continue to eat and continue to grow stronger - the best course now is to hibernate and get out of the way.

tyberious
Nov 26, 2013 - 11:10am

SS121

Are you related to themadhatter?

SS121
Nov 26, 2013 - 11:05am

Excellent post P4...

To your point of how this relates to precious metals- Silver and Gold will 'fix' the giant fake money apparatus that feeds the political system and those "agencies" that operate as you describe.

No need to fight what will soon die a natural death, but to tactically withdraw from the system, as you explain... yes indeed, and well said!!

And kudos to you for encouraging folks to stack and promote the Silver and Gold that always destroys fiat currencies, and the cancerous economies, financial systems, and fake markets that they produce...

What a giant cancerous mess it did become. Hard to look at-

tyberious
Nov 26, 2013 - 10:55am

LOL

I was just trying to jog Ag's memory, see I knew his son was 7!

Counterfiatag1969
Nov 26, 2013 - 10:54am

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