Hey Joe

77
Mon, Dec 23, 2013 - 1:04pm

This essay was inspired by a deceptively simple question: At what point will people decide they have had enough? By this, I mean at what point will a plurality of citizens look around them, examine their situation, and come to the realization that the present system is not working to their benefit and indeed, is likely working to their detriment? Does the frog really sit in the pot while the heat is slowly turned up, content until the moment where it is too late and he cooks to death? Or does the frog in fact realize at some point that heat is on, he is getting extremely uncomfortable, and that he better jump if he wants to live?

Here’s why I wonder about this.

Just six short years ago, the median net worth of middle class US households was $120,000. Today, it has fallen a whopping 45% to just $66,000 (https://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/19/business/americas-sinking-middle-class.html?_r=0). The number of working-age Americans stuck in part-time employment has more than doubled during the last six years from four million to nine million, and this number is about to take another major leap upwards as Obamacare mandates incentivize companies to cut previously full-time worker to below 30 hours per week, above which the government now requires companies to provide coverage. Speaking of Obamacare, its initial impact has been to raise premiums nationwide, amounting to a massive middle class tax-hike, while five and a half million people who used to have health coverage have now lost it. When the employer mandates really kick in next year, some estimate that based on numbers provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, between 50 to 90 million additional Americans may lose their current coverage (https://hotair.com/archives/2013/10/31/did-hhs-estimate-that-93-million-...). Hope and change!

So play along with me here. Pretend you are an average Joe. Joe has just seen his net worth nearly halved in the last six years. He just lost the health insurance that his employer used to provide, and because Joe has a spouse and kids he is suddenly looking at an additional 15% of his yearly salary to cover health insurance. Joe didn’t expect or plan for this. He starts doing the math and realizes that he already pays 1/3rd of what he earns in State, Federal, and various local taxes. Now Joe suddenly has all these additional health care costs, real inflation is making everyday items like gas and clothing more expensive, and at this point, he doesn’t honestly know how he is going to pay the bills… assuming Joe is able to keep his job. In the past, Joe managed to set aside about five grand per year because he foregoes expensive vacations and always buys used cars, yet he has seen the real purchasing power of the money he set aside ten years ago decline by 30% over that time… $1,500 of every $5,000 he managed to save has been confiscated via inflation and lower purchasing power. But the futility of saving doesn’t really matter much to him right now, because not only is he not going to be able to save anything this year, he may have to start cannibalizing what savings he does have. Joe starts to get scared because he just doesn’t know how he is going to make this work. He hasn’t done anything wrong, he is working harder than ever, yet he is drowning.

So how about it, Joe? Still think the system works to your net benefit? Just how long are you going to keep taking this? How much more CAN you take?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3DvRScC3tE

Joe may indeed be pissed. He might be mad as hell and isn’t particularly inclined to take it anymore. But here’s the problem: chances are that Joe doesn’t even know who he should be mad at for this. Depending on his previous voting history, he might blame one party or the other but he needs to understand that neither party is going to fix this thing under the present system. He might want to blame general groups like “welfare queens” or “greedy corporations” but he needs to understand that ultimately they both feed from the same trough- him and his labor, through the inherent wealth confiscation of fiat creation over time.

This is where, dear Turdite, you come in. Joe probably doesn’t quite understand the symbiosis between the Federal Reserve, big banks, and big government. He knows he is being screwed by the system in some way, but he doesn’t really comprehend that it is fiat money creation that is both causing his current difficulties AND is strengthening and enabling the Leviathan powers beyond his control to screw him at every turn. He doesn’t yet get it… but for the first time in his life, he might be ready to hear a few things and not dismiss them out of hand. Maybe, if you see him this Christmas, you can gently direct Joe to Mike Maloney’s series on money. Maybe you can buy him a copy of The Creature from Jekyll Island. Maybe you can just quietly talk about why these things are happening and how sound money acts as a check on both corporate AND governmental power, each of which is accrued at his expense. Who knows, maybe you can even sneak the word Liberty into the conversation.

Small things like this might just have a bigger impact than you can imagine. In his bestselling book The Tipping Point, author Malcolm Gladwell notes that social changes often take place with surprising ferocity, when an invisible but crucial point is reached that destabilizes the current paradigm. Everyone takes the status quo for granted… right up until the moment that a critical mass of people (nowhere near a majority, just a sizeable percentage) shift their behavior. Then a tipping point is reached and everything changes.

Gladwell notes three major factors that precipitate such tipping points. First, he describes the “Stickiness Factor”, referring to the power of a simple slogan or idea that distills the movement into a memorable and instantly comprehensible core. Additionally, he ascribes great importance to “The Power of Context”, outlining how such sweeping changes can take place only in an atmosphere fertile for change where people are receptive to new ideas or practices.

Finally and most crucially, he notes “The Power of the Few”. It doesn’t take many to precipitate a tipping point, but those involved have special skills that Gladwell breaks into three categories. Connectors are people who thrive on social information and interpersonal relations, and they have a unique capacity for making connections between large numbers of people with complementary skills. Connectors function as the social equivalent of a computer hub- they always know a guy who knows a guy, and are great at putting people together. Salesmen have the special knack for communicating a message and getting people to go along with them. Charismatic and persuasive, they are powerful negotiators and have an indefinable knack for influencing people to agree with them. Finally, Mavens are amazing repositories of information and knowledge. They possess a deep understanding of issues and facts, and are exceptionally skilled at solving problems.

It sure seems like we have a whole bunch of people who fit these descriptions perfectly, knocking around in the comments section at TFMR every day, doesn’t it?

Here's the deal: If the Great Keynesian Experiment really is in its death throes, if seventy years of malinvestment and easy money really are coming home to roost in a decrepit and dying system, then something is going to have to take its place. Maybe the motto “Prepare Accordingly” might not just be solely applicable to gold and silver investing. Maybe we should be out there trying to plant some memes and prepare some intellectual battlespace. Maybe we should do our best to talk to a few folks, if we have the opportunity. Maybe they’re ready to listen.

Hey, Joe.

. . .

Enjoy your holiday, my friends.

About the Author

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AlienEyeswhy do I even bother
Dec 23, 2013 - 10:34pm

Godwin's Law (ROF-LMAO)

Besides being an attorney, Godwin is a "progressive", politically.

Although I never mentioned Hitler in my last post, there are those that see his name everywhere including under their bed at night. For these people, guilt is a two way street.

A lie told often enough will eventually be believed by most citizens. To err is human but to lie and deny is Jewish.

Big L
Dec 23, 2013 - 10:26pm

If you really want to know.....

The frog does not jump out and it does get cooked.

I know because I had a pond pump overheat and gradually raise the temp in my little pond about two months ago.

The resident frog (little guy) was in fact still in the pond, dead and cooked, when we found the problem.

Felt bad about it, but now I know the answer to that question.

As far as changing people's minds, I've been trying lately. I've found that the push back to new info from the 'believers' is stunningly strong. They really resent the suggestion that there is anything they should know but don't. They reject info as being political bashing, period. At least that's what I've encountered lately. I think I got through to one person over the global warming issue. But Obama care, nada.

I don't think there has been enough pain yet. Those folks won't admit it doesn't work until they can't get services or someone close to them can't get services. And maybe not then either. They are deeply invested in being right.

My experience so far is they have an excuse for just about everything, or it 'doesn't matter'. Or they just shut down the conversation.

Dec 23, 2013 - 10:19pm

Spectacular, As Usual, Pining

Thank you for getting this discussion going. I vacillate between despair and hope every time I interact with the general public. It is so obvious that the current paradigm is doomed to change in a negative way. But, I see the masses who are simply incapable of understanding the truth.

There is no such thing as the low information voter. Those who vote are doing the very thing they believe seems in their best interest to do at the time. Others, like me, just do not vote anymore. In California, my vote has NEVER mattered. If I seem defeatist, I am not. I just understand that groups of voters, that is, large monolithic blocs, control the outcomes of elections. My political views are not subject to grouping, and hence, there is no one bloc or group to which I identify or support.

Voting is entirely centered around the incentive structure.

Until fiat money is outlawed, politicians will be controlled by their money masters. Politicians will promise moar moar moar to their voters to get elected, then, when in office, will repay the favors, every single time.

As such, there is not a single group of voters that can overcome the free shi- army. Never, ever, not in this lifetime, will it ever happen.

How, then, will there be an awakening? It will not happen. There may be some fringe-types, like us here, that tell the truth and hope to educate others. There may be some converts, too. But, because the takers outnumber the productive, there will not be collective action that changes the status quo because there is no conceivable incentive structure that benefits such an undertaking.

The takers will vote for more free shi-. The productive will resist, but will lose every time because there are more takers than productive and those in charge want it this way so that they can stay in charge.

The only thing that alters this outcome is collapse.

On that point, and echoing the comments above, regarding keeping the masses fed, this is the key. If folks get hungry, then and only then would there be a collective desire to change the status quo.

And Pining, you have astutely, with skill and humor, tied it altogether.

Keeping folks fed is EXACTLY what is going on.

Has anyone been to a shopping mall lately? Look at the obesity among the folks. Why is that? Look at the food choices for sale at those malls: high fructose corn syrup laden treats and drinks, gmo corn and wheat products as far as the eye can see, and almost no protein. They have in common a simple fact: they are all high carb foods, all of which provide the illusion of satiety, a quick fix of supposed nutrition, but which do little from a real nutrition standpoint.

Carbs are CHEAP; protein not so much.

Americans are FAT because they consume cheap carbs, constantly! So long as the carbs are flowing, those Americans will not feel hungry, even though the food they consume is nutritionally lacking.

The water is getting hotter, but the frogs feel nothing because their carb cravings are being met with endless sweets and treats. Even the supposed good foods are but high carb foods that end up turning to blood glucose, result in an insulin spike and turn into stored fat: pasta, whole wheat, rice, corn, potatoes.

It is more expensive to produce and consume a high protein diet for the masses. If the folks had to eat a traditional protein rich diet, the folks would have revolted long ago.

So, to end a long post, look around and see for yourself. Ask why there is such a push to consume carbs? Ask why Americans have grown exponentially fatter since 1971?

Is there any connection?

Thanks Pining, as usual! Keep up the good work, and Merry Christmas!

tyberious
Dec 23, 2013 - 10:15pm

FSK's Guide to Reality

FSK's Guide to Reality

I want to do useful work and get paid, without having to report it for taxation, confiscation, and regulation.

This Blog Has Moved!

My blog has moved. Check out my new blog at realfreemarket.org.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Did the USA Declare Bankruptcy?

In 1913, Congress signed a surrender treaty to the international banking cartel. Congress ceded its sovereignty to the Federal Reserve by surrendering its money printing authority. The 16th amendment sold all US citizens into slavery via the income tax. After 1913, bankruptcy was inevitable, although it wasn't formally declared until later.

Under the Federal Reserve System, the Compound Interest Paradox guaranteed that government debt would grow exponentially. Under the Federal Reserve System, the amount of dollars in circulation was greater than the amount of physical gold in the US treasury. This guaranteed an eventual default. People didn't immediately demand to exchange their dollars for gold, because they didn't understand how badly they had been cheated. It wasn't obvious until the banking crisis in 1933.

In 1929, the international banking cartel jacked up interest rates everywhere, causing a worldwide depression. The Compound Interest Paradox caused all the money to drain out of the world economy. The international banks knew about the credit crunch in advance. They stopped issuing loans before the crash and bought assets cheap after the crash.

There were secret meetings where the international banking cartel negotiated with all the major world governments. Every world government secretly declared bankruptcy. Bankruptcy treaties were ratified. The bankruptcy treaty was never formally declared to the public. Laws were gradually implemented that formalized the terms of the bankruptcy proceeding.

In 1933, President Roosevelt formally declared bankruptcy to the US public. He told them that the US government was defaulting on its promise that dollars were backed with gold. He demanded that US citizens turn over their gold in exchange for worthless dollars.

Even though bankruptcy was declared, President Roosevelt kept the US government going by executive order. The US government has been operating under marshal law since 1933, although this has been carefully kept secret from the general public.

Corporations can continue operations even though they are bankrupt. As long as enough interest payments are made to satisfy the creditors, operations may continue. Corporations can operate for years while in bankruptcy protection. As long as the creditors deem it to be in their best interests, they allow operations to continue during the bankruptcy reorganization.

Similarly, the US government has continued operations even though it's formally bankrupt. Technically, the US government has ceased to exist. Its current operations are one protracted bankruptcy proceeding. Its operations vaguely resemble its original structure, so the details of the formal bankruptcy are kept hidden. Interest payments (income taxes) are made to the creditors, so operations are allowed to continue. The US government is allowed to continue to exist with permission from its creditor, the international banking cartel.

That's the reason tax protesters are forbidden from mentioning the Constitution when defending themselves. That's the reason red market enforcers aren't required to cite the specific laws that require people to pay income taxes and disclose all economic activity to the government. In a bankruptcy proceeding, the creditors are running the corporation and making up the rules. The creditor is the international banking cartel. US citizens have to pay income taxes. That's part of the surrender treaty and bankruptcy process.

That's the reason the President, Congress, and Supreme Court are able to flagrantly violate the Constitution. The Constitution has no legal standing anymore.

A bankruptcy proceeding cannot continue forever. At some point, either the creditors convert their debt to equity or a liquidation occurs.

A conversion from debt to equity would involve a repeal of the Federal Reserve Act and a repeal of the 16th amendment. That isn't going to happen. That is the hope of Ron Paul's campaign supporters. If the creditor decides to convert his debt to equity, he will allow Ron Paul to be elected President and pass his reforms.

The purpose of Ron Paul's presidential campaign is not to convert the debt to equity. The purpose is to announce the liquidation. When Ron Paul is cheated out of the Republican nomination, it will be obvious to everyone that it is time for a liquidation. (Maybe not everyone, just those people who are smart enough to count for anything.)

The creditors of the US bankruptcy proceeding have decided that they prefer a liquidation over equity in the US government. Pretty soon, the US government is going to be denied bankruptcy protection. All world governments have declared bankruptcy and surrendered to the international banking cartel. All world governments are going to be liquidated, not just the US government.

I believe that the Supreme Leader of Humanity and the leaders of the international banking cartel have decided that it is time for the final liquidation of this bankruptcy proceeding. They are intentionally allowing the coming agorist revolution to occur, so the US government can finally be liquidated. They will allow the current system to survive until the replacement system is in place. An agorist revolution should be mostly peaceful, so there probably won't be a lot of casualties during the transition. The violence will come from red market agents resisting the liquidation.

tyberious
Dec 23, 2013 - 9:49pm

@Igiveup2

Dont give up!

Igiveup2
Dec 23, 2013 - 9:27pm

health care

The heath insurance industry saddled up to Obamacare because they believed they were going to pick up millions of young, healthy insured who generate little in the way of related expenses. At the same time they knew the older, risker insureds would be paying way more for premiums to offset expenses related to themselves. It was a win/win for the insurance companies.

In October, between 4 and 7 million people lost their insurance. I was one of them. Three months into this experiment, based on what you believe, somewhere between .5 and 1.5 million people have signed up on the exchanges. That's 10-20% of those who lost their insurance.

The insurance companies lost their bet big time. That 4-7 million people who lost their insurance were paying for coverage. As of right now, most of them are not. Second, the huge group of young, healthy, low risk premium payers the government promised to herd their way are mostly AWOL.

So where am I going with this? Insurance companies cannot and will not lose money on a risk. If they have suffered a loss based on bad assumptions, they make it up by spreading the cost of that loss via increases in premium on their existing polices. Those by the way are the teachers, public employees, GM workers and everyone else who doesn't give a shit about what is going on with those of us on this side of the fence.

Here is Wisconsin the teachers and public employees rallied and tried to recall the governor when he proposed them picking up a very insignificant portion of their own retirement and health insurance costs. How will they respond when they come knocking for some "real" money?

This isn't going to be the trigger for change. The unions and public employees are not part of the 47% that need to be jolted into action. I will however thoroughly enjoy watching them scream with righteous indignation as they experience those things that are simply fact of life on this side of the fence.

Dec 23, 2013 - 9:26pm

Excellent, Pining

Just great. Thank you.

1wileyz
Dec 23, 2013 - 8:52pm

Hey Joe..........

Where you going with that gun in your hand?

Happy Holidays....Prepare accordingly, and KEEP STACKING!

I mean it.

MountainMan
Dec 23, 2013 - 8:40pm

At the Edge of Darkness...$1180 Set for Final Break

I would suggest selling now and buying back at much lower prices and premiums! Remember, a real bottom can't form until the diehards on king world news throw in the towel. On that note, we have a ways to go to the downside.

dd

Maryann
Dec 23, 2013 - 8:17pm

Thank you

Great job Pining. I think there just might be a tipping point. At least, I pray there is.

Malcolm Gladwell is a very interesting author, and I think you are right about those folks in Turdville.

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