‘Black Friday’: A Symbol Of America’s Economic And Cultural Decline

The day after Thanksgiving in recent times has become known as “Black Friday,” a day where retail businesses who have been in the red recoup losses while profitable firms widen their income margins. The day is also a supposed boon for consumers where goods are significantly discounted and new products are first displayed.

The Establishment has long since been a promoter of Black Friday, encouraging Americans, with often patriotic rhetoric, of their duty to frequent shopping malls and the like despite economic conditions or safety concerns from either domestic unrest or international threats.

While not explicit about post-Thanksgiving Day shopping, President Obama made it a point to reassure Americans about their security in light of the recent Paris attacks: “It’s understandable that people worry something similar could happen here. As we go into Thanksgiving weekend, I want the American people to know that we are taking every possible step to keep our homeland safe.”

The financial press and academia are also big proponents of Black Friday since they are under the mistaken Keynesian belief that consumer spending is the most important component of economic life and the key indicator in the measuring of growth. Thus, retail sales over this period and up until Christmas are closely monitored by financial commentators.

Like most things in the modern world, however, such thinking belies logic and common sense, but typifies why society is in its current deplorable state both economically and culturally.

Despite what clueless politicians may say or what the dominant media may espouse, economic growth does not come about through greater amounts of consumer spending. Instead, prosperity can only be achieved through production and exchange, which itself can only take place when savings have been accumulated. Since production takes place over time, savings are the necessary means for this process to take place, the end result of which is consumer goods.

Without production, there can be no consumer spending. An economy, as for the individual, must first “produce” in order to “consume.” Most economists and politicians have it backwards.

Yet, the Obama Administration has wantonly put up impediments for the creation of wealth with its crazed regulatory policies, profligate spending, confiscatory taxation, and its epic money printing, all of which has done nothing to improve conditions, but has made them considerably worse.

Instead of encouraging people to go out and spend money, which many do not have, the chief executive should be promoting and enacting polices that lead to greater savings and investment. One simple step would be to immediately replace Janet Yellen with a Federal Reserve chairman that would allow interest rates to rise to market levels, which would induce people to save.

Besides financial betterment, the act of saving reinforces commendable human traits, such as self reliance and discipline, characteristics that are sorely lacking in America and most Western nation states. A true progressive society is not “consumer oriented,” but is one which rewards producers and savers.

Black Friday is the start of the “holiday shopping season,” which has replaced the legitimate meaning of this time, which is Advent. If the world had its priorities in order, it would be preparing to commemorate the birth of the Divine Savior. Advent is a penitential season, one of sacrifice and self abnegation, not that of gluttonous and often drunken partying and needless purchases of the latest consumer good fad.

None in the dominant media have put forth the possibility that the recent Paris attacks were retribution for the nearly complete secularization of what was once a holy season. Was it just a coincidence that one of the attacks took place at a concert hall where the California-based rock band, Eagles of Death Metal, was in the midst of performing a “song” whose title was “Kiss the Devil?”

While most of the modern world continues to ignore it, the Incarnation is the seminal event in human history. Only misery, hardship and despair awaits those who persist in denying this fundamental truth.

Until America, and, for that matter, the Western world, recognizes the absurd notion that consumer spending is not a pathway to economic well-being and, more importantly, remembers the significance and importance of Christmas, the economic and cultural rot will only continue.

The Constitution’s Big Lie

One of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated upon Americans at the time of its telling and which is still trumpeted to this very day is the notion that the U.S. Constitution contains within its framework mechanisms which limit its power. The “separation of powers,” where power is distributed among the three branches – legislative, executive, judicial – is supposedly the primary check on the federal government’s aggrandizement.

This sacred-held tenet of American political history has once again been disproved.

Last Friday (October 23), the Attorney General’s office announced that it was “closing our investigation and will not seek any criminal charges” against former Internal Revenue Service’s director of Exempt Organizations, Lois Lerner (or, for that matter, anyone else from the agency) over whether she improperly targeted Tea Party members, populists, or any other groups which voiced anti-government sentiments or views.

The Department of Justice statement read:

The probe found ‘substantial evidence of mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia leading to the belief by many tax-exempt applicants that the IRS targeted them based on their political viewpoints. But poor management is not a crime.’

Incredibly, it added:

We found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt, or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution.

That the DOJ will take no action against one of its rogue departments demonstrates the utter lawlessness and totalitarian nature of the federal government. The DOJ’s refusal to punish documented wrongdoing by the nation’s tax collection agency shows the blatant hypocrisy of Obummer, who promised that his presidency would be one of “transparency.”

It can be safely assumed that Congress will not follow up on the matter, as Darrell Issa (R-Ca.), who chaired a committee to investigate the bureau’s wrong doings, admitted that its crimes may never be known. The DOJ and Issa’s responses are quite predictable once the nature of the federal government, and, for that matter, all government, is understood.

Basic political theory has shown that any state is extremely reluctant to police itself or reform unless threatened with destruction, take over, or dismemberment (secession). The Constitution has given to the federal government monopoly power where its taxing and judicial authority are supreme. It will not relinquish such a hold, nor will it seek to minimize such power until it is faced with one of these threats.

While it was called a federated system at the time of its enactment and ever since by its apologists, the reality of the matter is quite different. As the Constitution explicitly states in Art. VI, Sect. 2, the central government is “the supreme law of the land.” The individual states are inferior and mere appendages to the national government – ultimate control rests in Washington.

In fact, it was the Constitution’s opponents, the much derided Antifederalists, who were the true champions of a decentralized system of government, while their more celebrated opponents such as Madison, Hamilton and Jay wanted an omnipotent national state.

Thus, in the American context, the only method for those oppressed by the federal government is to either threaten or actually go through with secession. Attempts to alter its dictatorial rule through the ballot box or public protests are futile. While there will naturally be outrage at letting the IRS off the hook, focus and anger must be redirected away from participation within the current political system to that of fundamental change.

Congress’ refusal to prosecute an executive bureau that has deliberately used (and is still using) state power to oppress and harass opponents of the Obama regime demonstrates the bankruptcy of the idea that separation of power limits tyranny. Federal power and the corresponding tyranny and corruption which it has bred has never been countered by the checks and balances and separation of powers of the supposed “federal republic” created a little over two centuries ago.

Until the “big lie” of the Constitution is realized, agencies like the IRS will continue to target and tyrannize anti-government organizations, groups, and individuals. The Constitution provides no real mechanism for the redress of grievances from the subjects which it rules. Only when the breakup of the federal Union has taken place will American liberties and freedoms be secured.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

U.S. Economy Deteriorating At An Even Faster Pace

Despite doubling the national debt and the expansion of the money supply to some $8 trillion since the beginning of Obummer’s misbegotten presidency, the U.S. economy is once again in a free fall. Actually, there has been no real recovery, but a continual deterioration of living standards despite the lies and distortions from the financial media and government authorities.

Conditions, however, are now descending at an even faster pace.

Recently, the leading manufacturer of heavy equipment, Caterpillar, announced that job cuts would exceed 10,000 through 2018. Up to 5,000 employees will receive pink slips between now and the end of 2016. Retail sales for the manufacturing giant have slumped 11% between June and August.

While Caterpillar’s contraction is an ominous sign, a more telling indicator of worsening economic conditions came from the Federal Reserve’s refusal to raise interest rates at its latest FOMC meeting. Many commentators had speculated that the Fed would raise rates at least a quarter of one percent on the belief that the economy was strengthening.

The Fed, of course, based its refusal to raise rates on “international concerns” – China’s stock market selloff. The real reason is that the nation’s central bank understands, although it will not publicly admit it, that the economy is far too weak to “absorb” a rate hike, no matter how infinitesimal.

More importantly, the Fed cannot raise rates to any significant degree because the entire financial system, which is built on “cheap money,” would immediately plunge into a significant downturn similar to that of 2008, or worse. The federal government and many of the states and municipalities would default since they could not continue to finance their current profligate borrowing and spending patterns with higher interest rates.

Thus, the Fed is trapped in a world of zero interest rates for the foreseeable future. As economic conditions continue to worsen, the central bank will more than likely turn to another round of money printing like its infamous “QE” program.

While the Fed is locked into a zero interest rate policy, the Obama Administration and Congress remain oblivious to economic reality. A few years back, Obama and the one-time Democratically-controlled Congress tried a “stimulus” program which did nothing but increase the national debt. Also weighing down the economy is the disastrous Obamacare program, which will only become more burdensome as time passes.

Just as troubling, none of the current crop of presidential hopefuls, with one possible exception, has proposed or suggested any credible measure that will improve matters. None of the fundamental problems that are crippling the economy have been seriously addressed.

The reason why there has been no recovery is that the malinvestments and bubbles created during the last boom have not been allowed to contract and/or burst. Instead, the Fed pumped massive amounts of “liquidity” (money printing) into the markets, which kept these institutions (mostly banks) and their assets afloat.

A credit implosion will not come about “voluntarily.” The Fed will not increase interest rates, nor will the Obama Administration or Congress have the courage to cut spending to relieve pressure on the Fed to finance its unsustainable deficits and continue to inflate the stock market.

Instead, there eventually will be a monetary crisis surrounding the dollar, which will force interest rates to rise, which will lead to widespread defaults and bankruptcies and an ensuing depression which will dwarf every previous economic downturn in American history.

Alternative financial analysts have, for some time, pointed to the declining living standards not only in the U.S., but throughout the Western world. Egon von Greyerz of Matterhorn Asset Management has predicted some very unpleasant times in the not too distant future: “The coming years will not be easy. I wrote an article a few years ago called ‘The Dark Ages Are Here’ and I now really think they are imminent. These will be difficult times for most of us.”

Ultimately, the only way the U.S. economy will be turned around is through a change in ideology. The ideas and policies upon which not only the U.S. but the entire Western world’s economies are predicated upon must be debunked. Until the principles and beliefs of the current economic system are intellectually discredited, the U.S. economy will continue to stagnate and eventually collapse.

Follow me on Twitter.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

Down With The Constitution!

It has been quite an eventful and productive couple of weeks for the forces of statism in the former “land of the free, and home of the brave.”

The federal government’s highest court has enshrined “perversity” into law, guaranteeing untold amounts of future litigation while infringing on the right of freedom of association and, just as important, “disassociation” for those who rightly consider sodomy an abomination which wantonly mocks the Author of the natural law.

Prior to its cultural wrecking decision on “gay marriage,” the Court ensured that socialized medicine would become a permanent feature of American life, upholding a key provision of Obamacare.

While the Supreme Court was issuing its heinous decisions, the two other federal branches of government were also actively augmenting the American Leviathan. After considerable arm twisting, threats, payoffs, and a large dose of GOP support, President Obummer was able to secure passage of the TPA fast-track legislation–one of, if not, the greatest piece of “crony capitalism” legislation ever conceived. Of course, in the current statist era, the exact details of this monstrous law have not, as of yet, been made public; however, what has been made known is quite chilling.

While these liberty-defying acts were being committed, a prior provision of the American police state was renewed by Big Brother Barack and his Congressional Commissars. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which outlines the budget and expenditures of the U.S. DefenseOffense Department, has since 2012 contained the provision (section 1021) “which allows the Federal government, through military force, to arrest anyone, including American citizens, without a warrant, and hold them indefinitely without charges or due process – habeas corpus.”

Naturally, there was considerable outrage among freedom groups and those within the alternative media over the latest expansion of federal power. The responses, however, were typical with calls for “taking back the country from the globalists,” “restoring the Constitution,” and “electing liberty-loving candidates to office.” The latter cry was spoken about the most with the Presidential election around the corner, with some commentators speculating on which candidate could best “turn things around.”

Such talk and the tactics promoted to combat totalitarian America have been trumpeted so many times that they have long lost their appeal. They are not only worn out, but they would not work even if successfully implemented–simply because they are not directed at the source of the problem.

The recent judicial decisions, the many wars, the debasement of the currency, spying, the fomentation of racial violence, and the ruination of the economy are the result of a single institution – the United States federal government – which was surreptitiously created with the “ratification” of the Constitution in 1789 against, as most historians agree, the will of the American majority for which it would tyrannically rule over ever since.

“The Miracle at Philadelphia” was a “miracle” only in the sense that the event has been viewed as some sort of liberty-defining watershed where individual rights would be safeguarded and state power held in check by the Constitution. Few historical fantasies have been believed for so long!

Instead of a federated system where power is decentralized between national and local governments, the Constitution created a highly centralized state through the document’s often vague terminology “for the general welfare,” and its explicit grants of power–“federal statute is the supreme law of the land.”* The highly lauded system of “checks and balances” between the three branches of government have rarely, if ever, stemmed the growth of state power.

Yet, despite the suzerainty of the federal state, “patriots” and all those opposed to the regime still believe the system can be “reformed.” Even when the national government is controlled by those supposedly sympathetic to liberty, government power continues to expand while any previous welfare or draconian measure enacted are never curtailed, much less abolished.

Attempts at reform or working within the “political process” are a gigantic waste of time. Instead, such efforts should be directed at secession, the goal of which is the dismemberment of the Federal Union into sovereign, independent entities–the greater in number, the better.

Until the Constitution is recognized for what it is, the chances of ending the American police state, economic recovery, and the cessation of the myriad of global conflicts, wars, and hostilities in which the U.S. is actively fomenting are next to nil.

The dissolution of the U.S. “federated” Republic is not only necessary for the well-being of Americans, but for the peoples of the globe, millions of which have been murdered, intimidated, plundered, and spied upon by the Leviathan residing on the shores of the Potomac. Likewise, as the Constitution has served as a model in the development of nation states throughout the last three centuries, so its demise will provide an example for the rest of the world to hopefully emulate.

* Kenneth W. Royce, Hologram of Liberty: The Constitution’s Shocking Alliance with Big Government.  Javelin Press, 2nd ed., 2012, pp. 105-106.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Monetary Reform In Iceland: Maybe There Is Still Hope?

Despite the barrage of catastrophic financial data throughout the Western world, there may be a glimmer of hope coming from the tiny Nordic island of Iceland.

It must not be forgotten that it was Iceland which was one of the first to feel the fallout of the financial crisis of 2007-08. Unlike most of the other nations, however, Iceland showed tremendous backbone and did not allow, for the most part, any of the NWO monetary agencies to intervene in its affairs. So, any Icelandic currency reform considerations must be taken seriously.

Instead of following in the global insanity of massive money creation, artificial suppression of interest rates, and all other sorts of tricks and gimmicks, Iceland is considering the prohibition of banks from artificially increasing the money supply through the fraudulent and evil practice of fractional reserve banking (FRB).

The Financial Times reports that the government in Reykjavik is contemplating “a complete ban on its banks creating krona when they issue new loans. Growth in the money supply would become a matter of government policy alone.” In the proposal under consideration, “the state has complete monopoly on legal tender. Banks can only lend what they have previously gathered in state money.” The Times adds: “Money created ‘out of thin air’ – the devilish secret at the heart of fractional reserve banking – becomes a relic of the past.” Oh, if it was only so!

Of course, the Financial Times gets much wrong in the story; but it does show that the monetary authorities of Iceland recognize that there is something radically wrong with the current monetary order, especially with FRB.

While Iceland’s proposal to eliminate banks from fractional reserve practices is commendable, the replacement of it by total governmental control would lead to similar, if not worse, problems. Under such a system, the money supply would be subjected to the whims of politicians who, no doubt, would expand it at the drop of a hat to gain and/or maintain their power among constituents. Such an arrangement should send chills down the spine of every native Icelander.

Economic theory has clearly demonstrated that a monopolist will exploit the privilege he is given, and the Icelandic government would be like any other monopolist. Monopoly control leads to higher prices and shoddy services. In the case of a money monopoly, the quality of money (its purchasing power) would drop.

A far sounder proposal for Iceland (and for the world at large) is to take away the power of both banks and governments to create money “out of thin air.” This would mean a complete “de-politicalization” of the Icelandic monetary order. A non-statist monetary system would surely be based on commodities – gold and silver – where the money supply would be determined by the amount of minerals mined, not by government fiat.

A metallic monetary standard naturally puts a limit on the amount of money in “circulation” since it has to be “produced.” Extracting gold and silver from the earth is an expensive process. Printing paper notes is virtually costless.

What Iceland (and, for that matter, the rest of the world) apparently does not understand is that economic growth is determined not by the amount of money there is, but the amount of genuine savings. If Iceland seeks economic well-being, it should undertake policies that increase savings.

There is a bigger hurdle that will most likely prevent either Iceland or any other nation from undertaking any meaningful monetary reform. FRB and central banking (which was created to legitimize fractional reserve banking) are the instruments where governments and the political elites derive much of their power. Central banks buy the public debt that allows government to spend recklessly without recourse. If this was taken away, and states had to rely solely on taxation, their power would be severely curtailed.

Iceland and the Western world’s financial doldrums will only be cured when FRB and central banking are eliminated. Prior to this, however, the public must be convinced that the only economically sound and morally defensible monetary order is one where money is fully redeemable in gold and silver. Until this is recognized, Iceland and the rest of the global economies will continue to stagnate and eventually collapse.

Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth