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Posts Tagged ‘Governments’

Governments Never Give Up Power Voluntarily | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on January 30, 2021

 Ludwig von Mises recognized the tendency by government wanting to control everything when he wrote:

All those in positions of political power, all governments, all kings, and all republican authorities have always looked askance at private property. There is an inherent tendency in all governmental power to recognize no restraints on its operation and to extend the sphere of its dominion as much as possible. To control everything, to leave no room for anything to happen of its own accord without the interference of the authorities—this is the goal for which every ruler secretly strives. If only private property did not stand in the way!

https://mises.org/wire/governments-never-give-power-voluntarily

Ludwig von Mises

[A selection from Liberalism.]

All those in positions of political power, all governments, all kings, and all republican authorities have always looked askance at private property. There is an inherent tendency in all governmental power to recognize no restraints on its operation and to extend the sphere of its dominion as much as possible. To control everything, to leave no room for anything to happen of its own accord without the interference of the authorities—this is the goal for which every ruler secretly strives. If only private property did not stand in the way! Private property creates for the individual a sphere in which he is free of the state. It sets limits to the operation of the authoritarian will. It allows other forces to arise side by side with and in opposition to political power. It thus becomes the basis of all those activities that are free from violent interference on the part of the state. It is the soil in which the seeds of freedom are nurtured and in which the autonomy of the individual and ultimately all intellectual and material progress are rooted. In this sense, it has even been called the fundamental prerequisite for the development of the individual. But it is only with many reservations that the latter formulation can be considered acceptable, because the customary opposition between individual and collectivity, between individualistic and collective ideas and aims, or even between individualistic and universalistic science, is an empty shibboleth.

Thus, there has never been a political power that voluntarily desisted from impeding the free development and operation of the institution of private ownership of the means of production. Governments tolerate private property when they are compelled to do so, but they do not acknowledge it voluntarily in recognition of its necessity. Even liberal politicians, on gaining power, have usually relegated their liberal principles more or less to the background. The tendency to impose oppressive restraints on private property, to abuse political power, and to refuse to respect or recognize any free sphere outside or beyond the dominion of the state is too deeply ingrained in the mentality of those who control the governmental apparatus of compulsion and coercion for them ever to be able to resist it voluntarily. A liberal government is a contradictio in adjecto. Governments must be forced into adopting liberalism by the power of the unanimous opinion of the people; that they could voluntarily become liberal is not to be expected.

It is easy to understand what would constrain rulers to recognize the property rights of their subjects in a society composed exclusively of farmers all of whom were equally rich. In such a social order, every attempt to abridge the right to property would immediately meet with the resistance of a united front of all subjects against the government and thus bring about the latter’s fall. The situation is essentially different, however, in a society in which there is not only agricultural but also industrial production, and especially where there are big business enterprises involving large-scale investments in industry, mining, and trade. In such a society, it is quite possible for those in control of the government to take action against private property. In fact, politically there is nothing more advantageous for a government than an attack on property rights, for it is always an easy matter to incite the masses against the owners of land and capital. From time immemorial, therefore, it has been the idea of all absolute monarchs, of all despots and tyrants, to ally themselves with the “people” against the propertied classes. The Second Empire of Louis Napoleon was not the only regime to be founded on the principle of Caesarism. The Prussian authoritarian state of the Hohenzollerns also took up the idea, introduced by Lassalle into German politics during the Prussian constitutional struggle, of winning the masses of workers to the battle against the liberal bourgeoisie by means of a policy of etatism and interventionism. This was the basic principle of the “social monarchy” so highly extolled by Schmoller and his school.

In spite of all persecutions, however, the institution of private property has survived. Neither the animosity of all governments, nor the hostile campaign waged against it by writers and moralists and by churches and religions, nor the resentment of the masses—itself deeply rooted in instinctive envy—has availed to abolish it. Every attempt to replace it with some other method of organizing production and distribution has always of itself promptly proved unfeasible to the point of absurdity. People have had to recognize that the institution of private property is indispensable and to revert to it whether they liked it or not.

But for all that, they have still refused to admit that the reason for this return to the institution of free private ownership of the means of production is to be found in the fact that an economic system serving the needs and purposes of man’s life in society is, in principle, impracticable except on this foundation. People have been unable to make up their minds to rid themselves of an ideology to which they have become attached, namely, the belief that private property is an evil that cannot, at least for the time being, be dispensed with as long as men have not yet sufficiently evolved ethically. While governments—contrary to their intentions, of course, and to the inherent tendency of every organized center of power—have reconciled themselves to the existence of private property, they have still continued to adhere firmly—not only outwardly, but also in their own thinking—to an ideology hostile to property rights. Indeed, they consider opposition to private property to be correct in principle and any deviation from it on their part to be due solely to their own weakness or to consideration for the interests of powerful groups. Author:

Ludwig von Mises

Ludwig von Mises was the acknowledged leader of the Austrian school of economic thought, a prodigious originator in economic theory, and a prolific author. Mises’s writings and lectures encompassed economic theory, history, epistemology, government, and political philosophy. His contributions to economic theory include important clarifications on the quantity theory of money, the theory of the trade cycle, the integration of monetary theory with economic theory in general, and a demonstration that socialism must fail because it cannot solve the problem of economic calculation. Mises was the first scholar to recognize that economics is part of a larger science in human action, a science that he called praxeology.

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How Governments Rigged the Game against Workers | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on December 9, 2020

Voluntary: done or undertaken of one’s own free will.

Coerce: to pressure, intimidate, or force (someone) into doing something.

https://mises.org/wire/how-governments-rigged-game-against-workers

Kyle Ward

Usually, actions can be easily categorized as voluntary or coerced. You choose where you work. You are coerced into paying taxes. However, long-standing concepts such as “wage slavery” challenge this simple classification. While socialists use this term to justify greater force and coercion (akin to southern US slaveholders), there is nonetheless a kernel of truth here. The truth is this: the rules are rigged. Social media encourages catchy slogans over detailed exposition, and arguments like “taxes are voluntary” and “wages are slavery” are quickly rewarded with internet points. Both comments are mirror images of the same proposition: that wages and taxes are either both voluntary or both coerced. You can choose, the argument goes, to avoid paying taxes by not working and not buying consumer goods. Pointing out that one must work to live appears to prove that you do not work voluntarily but only under duress: to avoid starvation.

Shallow arguments like these can be quickly brushed aside by simply referring to the definition of the terms:

Voluntary: done or undertaken of one’s own free will.

Coerce: to pressure, intimidate, or force (someone) into doing something.

The corner drug store offers a reward for work: money. The government threatens imprisonment to collect taxes. While this is enough to address newly minted socialist undergrads on Twitter, it fails to address underlying issues raised by more thoughtful scholars.

A Free Economy vs. an Interventionist Economy

In a free market, employment is clearly not slavery, but states everywhere reduce and limit the freedoms of employers, employees, and consumers. While this may not reduce wage earners to a state of slavery, market arrangements in an interventionist market such as this are not quite voluntary either.

The Marxist tradition has expended a lot of effort to classify societies into various modes of production, e.g., slavery, feudalism, and capitalism. These modes, while currently out of favor, generally sought to highlight key features and relationships that differentiated one mode from another. As socialist David Graeber put it:

in the case of [the] slave mode of production, the exploiters directly own the primary producers; in feudalism, both have complex relations to the land, but the lords use direct jural-political means to extract a surplus; in capitalism, the exploiters own the means of production and the primary producers are thus reduced to selling their labor power.

The presence—or lack thereof—of “outside options” (the ability to earn a living outside of formal wage labor) is critical for socialists when describing coercion within capitalism.

How Government Intervention Changes the Rules of the Game

Imagine a small merchant who runs a corner drug store. Now imagine that a massive corporation seeking to limit competition uses the state to make self-employment prohibitively expensive; more people will be forced to turn to wage labor. This serves to increase the size of the labor pool, reduce wages, and reduce competition from small firms.

Another example is the AB 5 legislation in California, which temporarily disrupted the gig economy before voters overturned it with Proposition 22. Ignoring the stated motivations, the actual impact was to drastically restrict the ability of people to work for themselves as independent contractors.

Consider other ways the governments can restrict the choices of wage earners:

  • Central banks: an inflationist Federal Reserve, for example, that steadily drains the purchasing power of small savers by printing new money used to buy corporate assets.
  • Covid restrictions that close the corner store while allowing big-box retailers to remain open.
  • Regulations that favor employee-based health insurance, and thus insurance is cheaper as an employee than as an independent worker.
  • Regulatory capture is well understood in free market circles. It’s only a small stretch to see how in some cases this could coerce more workers into going into wage labor than would naturally exist. 

This is not simply theoretical. A fascinating study out of UCLA measured the effect in the British West Indies of plantation owners using the state and legal coercion to restrict the outside options of former slaves and thus secure a steady supply of cheap labor. Return to plantation owners was highest where they could successfully lobby to restrict homesteading (or “squatting”) of abandoned land. They also used the tax code to benefit themselves at the expense of small plot holders. The same spirit of coercion, if not the exact same tactics, were used in the American South after emancipation to keep former slaves on plantations.

Underneath the vapid squawking of woke Twitter parrots, there exists a real issue: the incentive structure is being manipulated to hide coercion beneath the guise of free will. The rules are rigged. Let us not be tricked into defending a current system we do not support. Author:

Kyle Ward

Kyle Ward (@dkyleward) is a data scientist with degrees in engineering and statistics. He uses machine learning and econometrics to inform transportation and redistricting decisions. He avidly consumes all things Mises institute on his (almost) daily runs.

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Living in the Roach Motel – Doug Casey’s International Man

Posted by M. C. on July 14, 2020

Never in the history of any nation has this been truer than when that nation is in a state of decline. The more politicians extract from their electorate, the less healthy the economy becomes. The less healthy the economy becomes, the less revenue the government receives in tax. The less revenue they receive in tax, the more taxes they create.

https://internationalman.com/articles/living-in-the-roach-motel/

by Jeff Thomas

Roach motels are a marvellous invention, as far as humans are concerned. The roaches can check in, but they can never check out.

In our formative years, we were led to believe that governments exist to serve the people, but as we matured, we (hopefully) came to realise that this is not at all the case.

Governments by their very nature, are parasitic. They produce nothing and live off wealth created by the electorate. In order to advance themselves, they learn to squeeze the people as much as they can get away with, with the claim that they will then redistribute the wealth. But, as we know, their real goal is to use as much of that wealth as possible to increase their own wealth and power.

They do their best to create rhetoric that implies that one political party or another is quite guilty of this, whilst they (and their political party) are entirely innocent.

But the sad fact is that all political parties, in the end, are equally guilty of the desire to grab all they can, while they can, and why not? After all, the subjugation and sheering of the sheep is their life’s blood.

But there is that one caveat mentioned above: “as much as they can get away with.”

A strong electorate will resist the attempts of politicians to tax them. And this is a never-ending task. The electorate must never become complacent, because politicians never will. They will be unrelenting, in every administration. Their primary purpose will be to introduce new measures that will diminish the retention of wealth amongst the electorate. After all, it’s their full-time job.

Never in the history of any nation has this been truer than when that nation is in a state of decline. The more politicians extract from their electorate, the less healthy the economy becomes. The less healthy the economy becomes, the less revenue the government receives in tax. The less revenue they receive in tax, the more taxes they create.

In a major decline, such as we’re witnessing in most of the former Free World, people have begun to do what they always do when their government has overreached. They begin to leave.

At first, a government is likely to wash its hands of those who choose to seek greener pastures in other countries, but it soon becomes apparent that people tend to leave from the top down – those who contribute the most in tax are the ones most likely to seek a better country in which to live.

When that occurs, politicians – especially the more rapacious ones – seek to trap the people (and their wealth) within the country. They create capital controls and, later, migration controls to ensure that the sheep will remain in place to be sheared as often as need be.

We are now witnessing this throughout the former Free World, but most notably in the US.

  • Senator Chuck Schumer has proposed a bill to dictate that those who choose to relinquish their US citizenship must pay an exit tax equal to thirty percent of whatever property they had liquidated in the US.
  • Hillary Clinton has sought to tax corporations who relocate to other countries – a thirty-five percent exit tax.

But as the decline in the US becomes exacerbated, the ante is being raised further. In the runup to the 2020 presidential election, candidates have been competing to be seen as the leader in punishing those who seek freedom from their government.

  • Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have both proposed an exit tax of 40%. This is to be applied to all assets that an American has accumulated in his lifetime.

It should be borne in mind that each individual who is exiting has already been paying a property tax and/or income tax on his assets prior to the exit tax. Therefore, this is a double tax on the same earned wealth.

And the above individuals are not alone in their desire to bleed those citizens who are simply seeking the ability to move on to a location that offers more opportunity than the US. Other legislators are weighing in on the subject, as well.

However, the discussion has become muddied by the fact that so many legislators are proposing so many new taxes, in order to keep the sinking ship of state afloat.

Little wonder, then, that so many people are throwing up their hands. As one expatriated American recently said to me, “I’ve always thought of myself as a patriot. But the US isn’t American anymore. It’s been taken over by political robber barons.”

So, what does this say to the reader, if he happens to be a US citizen? Well, he may rightly feel that time is running out. After the 2020 election, the fur will begin to fly in the legislative houses as regards taxation. He therefore has very little time in which to decide whether he’s living in the right place.

At present, US citizens are able to seek greener pastures with a minimum of pillaging by their government. However, those days may be numbered.

Certainly, the US is heavily in debt, and except for dramatically increased taxation, there’s no way for the next government to pay for its voracious fiscal appetite. Increased taxation will therefore be the first focus after the election. Regardless of which party wins the presidency, both houses will be active in passing legislation to allow for aggressively increased taxation.

There can be little doubt that, within this package, there will be a crippling exit tax.

Therefore, for many US citizens, the time remaining prior to the election may be the last opportunity to escape with the majority of the wealth they have spent their lives building up.

To be sure, the US was once the envy of the world, as it was the foremost example of a free society, where its people had the liberty to prosper as a result of their labours.

Sadly, that greatness is no more. The proof of that is in the fact that its political class intends soon to convert it into a roach motel – one from which it is impossible to leave.

Editor’s Note: Misguided political and economic ideas have taken hold in the US and around the world. In all likelihood, the public will vote itself more and more “free stuff” until it causes an economic crisis.

It’s all coming to climax soon. That’s precisely why legendary investor Doug Casey a just released an urgent new video that explains what could come next and what you can do about it. Click here to watch it now.

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Trust No One | Liberty Blitzkrieg

Posted by M. C. on June 17, 2020

Become more beautiful and resilient as others become ugly and unhinged. Focus on what’s within your capacity to control and always remember to resist the crazy.

https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2020/06/15/trust-no-one/

Michael Krieger

The title of today’s post is not meant to be taken literally. I trust plenty of people. I trust friends who’ve demonstrated their trustworthiness over the years. I trust my family. Having people in my life I love and trust makes everything far more meaningful and pleasant. I hope people reading this likewise have a circle of trust they’ve built over the years.

On the other hand, you should never trust anyone or anything that hasn’t given you good reason to do so, and if someone or something gives you good reason not to trust them, you should never forget that. The more power a person or institution has in society, the less trustworthy they tend to be. I don’t say this because it’s fun to be cynical, I say this because my life experience has demonstrated its accuracy.

In the 21st century alone, I’ve been given good reason to distrust all sorts of things around me, including the U.S. government (all governments really), intelligence agencies, politicians, mass media, Wall Street and Silicon Valley, to name a few. These power centers make up “society” as we know it in 2020, which is really just massive concentrations of lawless financial and political power obfuscating rampant criminality behind the cover of various ostensibly venerable institutions. What’s most remarkable is how many people still maintain trust in so many of these provably untrustworthy organizations and industries, which speaks to the power of propaganda as well as the comfort of denial.

That said, the ground is clearly beginning to shift on this front. As more and more people recognize that the system’s designed to work against them, increased numbers will reject conventional wisdom and search for an alternative framework. Unfortunately, this next step can be equally treacherous and it’s important not to jump from the frying pan into the fire.

This is where social media comes into play. It offers an endless array of opinions and analysis that you don’t get from mass media, but it’s also filled with bad actors, professional propagandists and con artists. At this point, everyone knows that social media is the new information battleground, so every character or institution with malicious intent is aggressively playing in this arena and often with boatloads of money. The charlatans at MSNBC will have you believe it’s just the Russians or Chinese, but every government and every single special interest on the planet is now involved. They’re all on social media in one form or another, trying to push you in a specific direction that’s usually not in your best interests.

It took me a while, but I’ve finally recognized how unthoughtful and treacherous social media is whenever some big news event hits. Important arguments quickly lose all nuance and devolve into binary talking points and agendas. People split into teams in a way that feels very much akin to the traditional, and now largely discredited, red/blue political theater. For covid-19, it felt like half of Twitter thought it was an extinction-level event, while the other half was convinced the whole thing was a hoax. In the aftermath of George Floyd, you were either cheering on the civil unrest, or wanted to send in the military. Increasingly, if you aren’t in one of two manufactured camps on any issue you’ll be shouted down and ostracized.  That’s not the kind of discussion I’m here for.

As someone who’s found great value in Twitter over the years, I’ve become far more careful in how I use it and where to direct my attention and energy. It reminds me of Mos Eisley in Star Wars, a wretched hive of scum and villainy, but simultaneously a place you can connect with Han Solo and get a spaceship.

As we move forward, it’s going to feel like the world’s ending, and in some ways it will be. No the world isn’t literally ending, but a specific kind of world is ending, and it’ll be extremely difficult for many people to tell the difference as it’s happening. This will likely lead to many more episodes of mass insanity as professional manipulators take advantage of millions upon millions of disoriented people. Priority number one should be to stand guard at the gate of your mind during this time so as not to become a victim.

The best thing you can do from here on out is use your time and energy as productively as possible. We’re going to need builders, creators and inventors more than ever before, because we’re past the point of putting this thing back together. We’ll need to recreate, reimagine and rebuild, and all of this must spring from a point of consciousness in order to bring forth something that is both better and sustainable. Become more beautiful and resilient as others become ugly and unhinged. Focus on what’s within your capacity to control and always remember to resist the crazy.

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After Brainwashing People For Decades, MSM and Governments Are Losing Control of People

Posted by M. C. on April 27, 2020

Humanity is finally moving in the right direction.  The last step is to just live.  Protesting is begging the master to let you be free.  Just live free. Don’t ask permission. Conduct your life as the free, sovereign human being you were born as, and let the ruling class panic.

Freedom is not negotiable and rights are not gifts from governments or others. We all have the basic human right to be free and live our life the way we see fit. As more people realize this, our power grows and the mainstream media’s fear campaign fails.

https://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/after-brainwashing-people-for-decades-msm-and-governments-are-losing-control-of-people_04242020

Mac Slavo

The mainstream media and governments are losing control of people all over the globe.  Humans are finally standing up for their rights to live not as slaves, but as free sovereign people capable of making their own decisions without rulers and elitists calling the shots.

Never before have we seen global tyranny at this scale. But, never before have we seen a mass uprising against governments and their propaganda outlets (the mainstream media) either.  As more and more people get off their knees and stand up for their basic human right to live freely, governments and the elitists that control them lose power. We are at that point where power will return to the people and the elitists will be the ones living in fear. All we have to do, is be free.

The mainstream media is going to continue its smear campaign against anyone who dares to believe they have the right to live freely so long as they aren’t harming others and take life’s risk upon themselves. But as fewer people tune in to listen to their propaganda, fewer people will be brainwashed by it. A lot of people have lost everything in the tyrannical liberty-crushing demands put upon them, and now that they have nothing to lose, they are finally realizing their rights don’t come from the government or elitists. And no smear campaign by government lapdogs will stop people from waking up at this point. The media has been enslaving our minds so the government won’t have to enslave our bodies.  But it’s out now and in broad daylight and people have had enough. The veil has been lifted.

People are realizing that we own ourselves. And we are finally standing together to let the “masters” know that we are not their slaves. The quote in the movie, a Bug’s Life can be applied today with a simple change of words.  “It’s not about food. It’s about keeping those ants in line!” We all know at this point, “it’s not about health. It’s about keeping those people in line!”

Take notice of the clips of this movie on YouTube.  The comments have been disabled, not by those posting the videos, but by YouTube.  It’s just another means to keep people “in line.”  They censor us, they brainwash us, and they expect us to obey their commands stay as their slaves. But people have had enough!

Mass civil disobedience, where people are going to cease to obey laws that control them is already happening. Governors who locked people in their homes and barked commands that some close their businesses will lose the power to dictate once enough people disobey, and that day is coming.  This horrific cycle of violence and slavery is ending and it’s panicking those who have had control of us for so long. You can read it in their headlines. “Fear the second wave.” “Anti-government extremists.” “We can’t reopen or people will die.” Well, guess what? You don’t own us. And your fear-mongering is falling on deaf ears.

Free platforms are rising up during the mass censorship and fear-mongering propaganda pushing:

Humanity is finally moving in the right direction.  The last step is to just live.  Protesting is begging the master to let you be free.  Just live free. Don’t ask permission. Conduct your life as the free, sovereign human being you were born as, and let the ruling class panic. If you don’t buy their fear, they cannot control you. The fact that humans are finally realizing they had this power all along is incredible. Live your life your way! That’s the biggest middle finger we can give to any tyrant, whether it be a cop, a governor, a politician, an elitist, or anyone else who wants our compliance and enslavement.

Freedom is not negotiable and rights are not gifts from governments or others.  We all have the basic human right to be free and live our life the way we see fit.  As more people realize this, our power grows and the mainstream media’s fear campaign fails. After all, if there are no order followers, there are no orders.

It’s about time we all stand together and abolish the last shred of modern-day slavery! I will not sit back and allow anyone to continue life as a slave if I can help it! I might not be able to do much, but I can promote peace, liberty, and the abolishment of all forms of slavery.

Some say the pen is mightier than the sword, maybe that’s true, maybe it’s not.  But I am tired of being told I have to give up my rights to live free for a false sense of security. I will no longer be owned or commanded. This is MY life and I am peacefully choosing to be free.

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Why Governments Treat You Like a Number, Not an Individual | The Daily Bell

Posted by M. C. on December 31, 2017

http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/why-governments-treat-you-like-a-number-not-an-individual/

Big Gov

Governments hate anything that empowers individuals. This is because it makes governing harder. And this holds true regardless of whether you view government as overall good, or generally evil… Read the rest of this entry »

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