"Ninety percent of the people I come into contact with are opposed to
new wars. So the question is this: If so few people want war why do we
keep getting so many of them?" ~Ron Paul
December 17, 2017
"The world of 1917 had technologies that we know well: electricity, telephones, phonographs, roll-film cameras, automobiles, airplanes, movies, and air conditioning. There were electrical household tools: stoves, washing machines, toasters, refrigerators, and vacuum cleaners.
"So far, 1917 sounds like today. The improvements technologically have been cumulative.
"What about politics? The Progressive movement was in control of both political parties. That had become clear in the election of 1912, when all three presidential candidates were openly Progressives. In 1913, the United States ratified the federal income tax and the direct election of Senators. In December of that year, the government created the Federal Reserve System. The United States was still on a gold coin standard, but Europe had abandoned it shortly after the war began in August 1914. The world had begun to enter into a new era: the era of fiat money." A CENTURY OF CHANGE
While lots of commentators are guessing what the future will bring, Gary North takes the safer route. He looks back at the past century. Surely there are useful lessons to be learned.
In Mark Twain's day there was no radio or television. The chief source of general news and opinion was the daily and weekly newspaper. Most communities had at least one paper. Some had two. Big cities may have supported a half-dozen newspaper publishers.
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed." ~Mark Twain
We daresay Mr. Twain would extend his criticism to the electronic news media were he alive today.
Our talented 'toonist nephew in Montana sketched this illustration, citing only one topic with which mainstream media are strangling themselves:
"The lefty media have been relentless in their biased attacks on President Trump. They were shocked by his election because they had grown used to brainwashing the masses. Hillary promptly blamed the Russians for Trump’s victory and claimed ‘collusion.’
"The rabid lefty media have been determined to prove the alleged ‘conspiracy’ ever since, but all they’ve come up with is empty bombast. They’re like a dog who chases its own tail but can never catch it…because the Russian collusion story is not factual.
"I recommend 'The True Story of Fake News,' by Mark Dice. It offers an excellent explanation and summation of fake news occurring in the legacy media as well as social media." ~Ben Garrison
'TIL DEBT DO WE PART"Americans need to get honest about their spending. If you’re charging purchases that you cannot afford to pay off right away, or if you are living above your means, it’s time to rein it in. Only then can you start to address your growing debt. " ~Brittany Jones-Cooper
We posted this Tuesday in the hope it may inspire someone to ignore the ads offering "quick loans" to people wanting to buy gifts for friends and loved ones for Christmas. Christmas-on-the-cuff can add to financial grief later in the New Year - - and beyond. Yes, we have a bit of Ebeneezer Scrooge in us, but long years of Christmasses taught us the folly of buying things with money one does not yet have.
This general rule ought to apply to the federal government, but it doesn't. We notice the budget deficit last month was greater than the deficit of November, 2016. We've been told for generations that the government will one day balance its budget. But Congress is so used to spending money it doesn't have that the prospects of ever balancing a budget are very dim. It will also have to haul in more money than it spends to begin the painful process of paying down the public debt. That's quite unlikely.
Where is the debt train headed? We don't know, but if history is a guide it may run off the trestle into a calamity. Erecting a tower of debt that must be paid by posterity strikes us as a mean-spirited thing to do, particulary since it promises a sharply lower standard of living for future generations. We pray they don't catch on to what's happening until we have passed from this world.
INFLATION CONTINUES TO NIBBLE AT THE DOLLAR.More than fifty years ago we noticed prices were spiralling upward. Our modest income was not keeping up. What the hell was going on?
We did some serious homework and discovered that rising prices weren't "inflation." Pumping new currency into the economic system at a faster rate than the production of goods and services was the culprit. In other words, rising prices were mainly the result of inflating the money supply.
Price inflation soared in the 1970s. Federal Reserve chairman Arthur Burns was puzzled. We had the good fortune to interview several respected economists on the subjecct, including Dr. Henry Hazlitt, whose book "Economics in One Lesson" remains in print to this day.
Hazlitt explained very clearly why price inflation occurred due to the loose policies of Congress and the Federal Reserve. The light-bulb went off in our mind. Of course! When the Fed creates dollars out of thin air with which to monetize government debt, Congress gets to spend the money first. By the time the additional dollars trickle into the general economy their buying power diminishes. It resembles yet another tax on the "little guy."
Since 2008 the Fed has pumped an additional $4.5 trillion into the economy through its various stimulus programs, such as Quantatative Easing, and is cautiously trying to gently raise interest rates to thwart runaway inflation. The Fed has always seen a slow rate of inflation as a good thing. Two percent, annually, or so. Double-digit inflation, or higher, would be catastrophic.
Zero inflation would be the ideal. People could deposit funds in banks at modest interest rates and see their savings actually grow.
Now comes Jeff Thomas, writing on the International Man blog:
"In the 100-plus years since the creation of the Federal Reserve, the Fed has steadily inflated the US dollar. Over time, this has resulted in the dollar being devalued by over 97%.
"The dollar is now virtually played out in value and is due for disposal. In order to continue to 'tax' the American people through inflation, a reset is needed, with a new currency, which can then also be steadily devalued through inflation.
"Once the above process is understood, it’s understandable if the individual feels that his government, along with the Fed, has been robbing him all his life. He’s right—it has."
It has taken more than a century for the once mighty U.S. dollar to lose most of its buying power. It may be too late to throw it a lifeline before it reaches zero. But it's time to recognize what's happening and do something about it.
Hello-o-o-o. . .