So the Occupy movement has moved into the next phase of operations, which they are calling “Shut Down The Corporations.” This is a 24-hour protest across the country of major businesses, including trying to “foreclose” on Wells Fargo.
Now let me be clear: many of these corporations have lobbied the federal and state governments extensively, and are direct actors in that vile practice known as cronyism. I am not fans of them. But think about this.
If you, the Occupiers, shut down the corporations, millions of Americans will be out of work. Americans. You know, people. People like you.
You would put folks who are struggling to pay their mortgage, put food on the plate of their family table, clothes on their children’s backs, out onto the soup line. You would aggravate the already tenuous economic situation (which, despite what the mainstream media is saying, is not improving—just take a look at the labor force participation rate) and punish millions of Americans who might even agree with you.
It’s not just executives in their Armani suits and corporate jets who work at corporations. You also have mid-level managers, junior analysts fresh out of college, down to the individual laborers and janitors. Poor janitors, being forced out of a job because you want to shut down their employer.
Does Occupy think through these things? More importantly—do they even care? I don’t think so. If anything over the past year or so has shown, they do not care about what they are doing, nor do they really know what they’re saying. They’re fed up with the current situation—as well as they should be—but don’t have a clue as to what to do about it. And therefore, in their lashing out against the situation, they are hurting a lot of people.
During four years of non-presidency, the 2012 election in the United States will finally furnish us a leader! While the media are jabbing away fruitlessly at the GOP candidates, one thing is certain: Barack Obama will not be elected twice. If he is (least likely), there will be rebellions in America’s Main Streets.
Just this morning; the USA Today reported, for instance, that the auto-industry bailouts of 2008, were a success! Success? More like highway robbery. There were two articles, one a reprieve to counter. But it is clear who is instigating GOP roadblocks: socialists, occupy wall streeters, the media, the IMF, the U.N. and other fat-cat democrat-billionaires and their crony go-for-mediocre claptraps. Cries for the ouster of president Barack Obama are heard world-wide.
Nightmare scenario reality: Obama’s assault on the markets, are plunging the world into darkness. In congress money is used like never before, to make Washington D.C. more like Paris. Let us be clear: no sane American wants/wanted this. It is time for this ghost, to make his ghoulish departure.
A government which becomes so large it is able to give to everyone, anything at anytime it wishes no matter the cost, will take it all away. Violently.
What has Obama done?
To sum up: he has stalled the economy (purposefully) into a ditch, ruined our dollar, made promises lies, frivoluosly disobeyed the constitution, waged war on all faith, handicapped elderly in a cement straight-jacket, given taxes to Egyptians for jihad against Europe, increased immigration and pummelled this great land with medicare, benefits, welfare, handouts, support, birth control, donations, freebies, impositions on all!
Auto-industry bailouts worked; only insofar as it was the only decision in a one-man’s debate. Another way to have dealt Detriot would have been; to let companies fail, let them go: whatever is left, would be parcelled out among those lasting.
Let us make fresh.
The reason why Rick Santorum would not oust Barack Obama in November, is not his faith. It is simply that he is running a ‘social message’ of uniform decency against a ‘social message’ of uniform healthcare. Plainly, Obama’s health plan, is vital: but not more pressing than the economic calamity of bailouts, frauds, money-laundering, spending and public debt. These are focal issues of the 2012 election.
Santorum is the politician everyone can super-impose themselves on. He’s no CEO like Mitt Romney, no renowned speaker like Newt Gingrich, not intellectual like Ron Paul. No, he is a regular Pennsylvania lawyer, who argued some weird World Wrestling Federation cases. Somehow he is unspectacular enough, that he could almost be your town butcher, postal deliverer or stockyard piler. You would think this is a strength. But it is not.
Eventually, while trying to keep your political pronunciations to a minimum, to correspond to the widest social base possible, you hit a tollboth going 160 mph. Santorum is earnest, he surely is: means well to families and the elderly, but he has yet to prove his salt. His record is plain: he has taken massive amounts of Washington D.C. beltway funding, voted to raise the debt ceiling, is in cahoots with the (so-called) ‘military industrial complex’ and dislikes many anomalies of our population: young pregnants, migrant-labor, jobless, gays, blacks. He has been able to entrench his campaign in an atmosphere of rustic humbleness and simpletonness.
The more connected you are, within the Washington D.C. circuit; and on the long-stretch between Los Angeles and New York, the more clout you have as a politician. Especially, if you’ve squandered taxpayer money on “bridges to nowhere” (Rick Santorum), Olympic “Games” (Mitt Romney) or have been kick-backed by Fannie & Freddie (Newt Gingrich).
All these, of course, are fine examples of Capitalist enterprise, of leadership and smart capital-management. But what do all these undertakings reveal, about abilities in leadership, necessary to plug the dam of the 2008-unward recession? Not, much.
Ron Paul is the antithesis. He negates almost in it’s entirety, every other issues brought by his opponents in the GOP presidential race. He is not reported on, because those who indeed try to, fail miserably: the way Gerald Seib did, moderating the Republican Debate in South Carolina. Ron Paul is too honest: clear, succinct, philosophically astute. This makes him a slippery fish, to place in the Republican Party, although he is by far the most consequently, stalwartly arch-conservative since that other Gipper, that slipped his way into the White House: Ronald Reagan!
Being less ‘politicized’, in other words by having put his neck out on an execution-block, or guillotine, to amass money, has meant he has to do with less campaign finance. But what Paul has lacked in initial spending, his patriots have donated in turn. No other US politician has ever raised a sum, close to over 1 million, which Paul’s campaign has been able to do in 2011. What this means, is; people base decision on mass-media, pandered bits-and-pieces of evening chatter, boxed soundbites (often misinterpreted) while heading out the door in the morning. Ron Paul is lucky to get 3 minutes airtime, after a debate platform.
In the course of the past week, there have been ruminations from Washington D.C. and the liberal media establishment, following the political circus circuit. Rumors are, there is a Romney-Paul split ticket in the works. This would mean, Ron Paul as Vice President to Mitt Romney. Sources are weak and at this point, still very much unsubstantiated.
Whether Ron Paul would accept a Vice Presidential spot, at this point is unclear. He is Mitt Romney’s senior, both in intellect and age. Others report, and speak of, a Rand Paul Vice Presidency; however, at this point into the GOP retake of the vacant White House, Rand Paul (R-KY) is nowhere near the fire of the action.
It is quite obvious, that if Mitt Romney is going to sock Obama in November, he will have to square the Tea Party vote. Segments of which he has neglected, again and again; with big government “corporations are people” rhetoric. Steadily he holds the strongest conservative wing, but a wing does not fly without a body. If Ron Paul considers an Independent presidential run after all, Mitt Romney will feel luke-warm to libertarians, independents, cross-overs, undecideds.
Given Ron Paul’s consistent stance on positions: his remorseless scrutiny and straight-edge in terms of vascillation, it is highly unlikely he will takle a split-ticket such as this. If these comments continue, there will be the possibility that Ron Paul’s integrity is pu to the test. Is he really the stalwart, people say he is? Or, is he another politician who might use his stature, to win the GOP the election in November 2012?
Deep within the bowels of CPAC, in a small conference room on the second floor of the Marriott Wardman hotel, dozens of people packed inside to listen to a blue ribbon panel—or perhaps I should say “gold standard” panel, for that was what John Mueller of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Jeffrey Bell of the American Principles Project, and James Grant—yes, that James Grant, author of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer and Ron Paul’s pick to head the Federal Reserve—were on hand to talk about and explain: a return to the gold standard. And yes, Grant—and many in the crowd—were wearing bowties.
Although I do wonder if the real reason people showed up were because of the Bavarian pretzels they were offering.
I have to admit, I came into the panel with a major question. I am totally for the abolition of fiat currency, the abolition of the Federal Reserve, and the restoration of a sound money policy. 2011 dollars are worth about 19 cents in 1971 dollars, the year when Nixon closed the gold window and took the country off the gold standard. It is, I argue, the necessary step before we can even look at getting rid of minimum wage, unemployment compensation, things that libertarians would want to remove, but we can’t because the money people are using isn’t worth anything. But is the gold standard really, well, the “gold standard” of monetary reform? Would going back to the sixties necessarily bring back prosperity? Were there any other alternatives?
I’ve been busy settling into a new day job this week (hence my dearth of United Liberty posts) and haven’t been paying a whole lot of attention to the news. But one thing that did appear that caused a firestorm on my Twitter were Newt Gingrich’s comments about the moon, specifically, his plan to build a moon base:
To cheers and applause in an area that has suffered major job loss since the cancellation of the space shuttle, Gingrich said, “By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American.
“We will have commercial near-Earth activities that include science, tourism and manufacturing, and are designed to create a robust industry precisely on the model of the development of the airlines of the 1930s, because it is in our interest to acquire so much experience in space that we clearly have a capacity that the Chinese and the Russians will never come anywhere close to matching.”
He also said that by the end of 2020, the country would have “the first continuous propulsion system in space” capable of allowing people travel to Mars.
“I am sick of being told we have to be timid and I am sick of being told we have to be limited in technologies that are 50 years old,” the former House speaker told the crowd at a “space round table” he hosted at a Holiday Inn.
As the resident scifi geek/nerd/whatever here on United Liberty, I feel I must write some sort of response to this. It’s precisely the kind of thing that gets me excited and makes me want to jump up and down and say “Hey, let’s make Star Wars a reality, guys!” (Note, I’m referring to the work of science fiction, not the work of political fiction, the 70s, not the 80s.)
[In the voice of that narrator guy from Law & Order:]
In the libertarian movement, there are two separate but equally important groups: the minarchists who support a minimal state, and the anarchists would believe in no state at all.
These are their stories.
Such could be the introduction to any documentary about modern libertarianism. It’s quite true: there has been a raging argument between those who want a minimal state that does only a few bare functions (law enforcement, defense, prisons, perhaps roads and fire departments) and those who want absolutely no state whatsoever. It lead to a split in the Libertarian Party in the 80s, after Ed Clark received 1% of the presidential vote in 1980, when anarchists felt the party wasn’t being radical enough. You see the argument vocalized on anarchist websites, such as this writer at Strike the Root who declares that minarchists are “the enemy.” It isn’t helped that it anarchism does seem logical, from a certain standpoint: how can you be for liberty yet still want a state? That’s a contradiction!
Fortunately, a very powerful argument for libertarian minarchism has emerged, one that is built on the foundation of peace.
Stephen Pinker just wrote the book The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, and gave an interview to reason about it. In his interview, he points out some very fascinating facts about why violence has gone down. The first point is that the free market (aka “capitalism”) leads to peace:
Some things have a distressing ability to return time after time. Things like taxes, paperwork, that annoying guy at all the happy hours, pop music, Republicans, Democrats, Mondays, campaign seasons, slow Metro trains, heartburn, children, and a most odious thing called Yellow Peril.
What is Yellow Peril? It is irrational fear of Asia in general, and China more specifically. Fear that China will take over the world, fear it will take all our jobs, fear that it will surpass the United States. Lately, as Ted Galen Carpenter wrote last week, there has been more China-bashing in the news and in the presidential campaigns, as people are afraid:
A new year brings new opportunities for harsh rhetoric toward China. On issues ranging from Beijing’s valuation of its currency to China’s military modernization program, to the PRC’s expansive territorial claims in the South China Sea, critics in the United States are voicing shrill complaints. Many of those critics warn that Washington must “stand up” to Beijing.
When I read Jimbo Wales’ Twitter account about Wikipedia going dark, he linked to this October 2011 article from the Guardian in the United Kingdom about the entertainment industry’s profits. Surprisingly, it shows that piracy might not be having that much of a dent after all:
A surge of more than 50% in spending on e-commerce services such asNetflix and Amazon – helped by booming sales of Blu-ray discs of films such as the Star Wars franchise – has fuelled the first rise in home entertainment spending in the US for more than three years.
Consumer spending on services that provide films and TV shows digitally – including streaming, video-on-demand and subscription services such as iTunes and Hulu – grew 55.79% year on year to $811m in the third quarter, according to a report by industry body the Digital Entertainment Group.
The booming growth of digital services and surge in Blu-ray disc sales fuelled an overall 4.87% year-on-year increase in total US home entertainment spending in the third quarter to $4bn.
“[It is] a major milestone as this is the first time spending has increased since the first quarter of 2008 when the economic downturn began,” said the report. “This growth reflects an encouraging shift in the marketplace … [and] the continued stabilisation of the industry.”
Of course, it was a change from previous years, but then, that’s to be expected since we’re in a global recession.