MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘social security’

There Is No Federal Solution

Posted by M. C. on April 28, 2022

If there is to be a war on drugs, government funding of education and health care, government welfare programs, government grants and subsidies, discrimination laws, gambling laws, and a minimum wage, then these things must be instituted at the state level. This, of course, does not mean that they are desirable, and, in fact, all of them are antithetical to the principles of liberty, even at the state level.

by Laurence M. Vance

The twentieth century in the United States can certainly be characterized by the massive increase in federal solutions to right every wrong, correct every injustice, and fix every problem, real or imaginary. This mentality is what gave us things like the New Deal, Social Security, Prohibition, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Deal, the Great Society, the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, Medicare, and Medicaid. Unfortunately, much of this is still with us.There are a number of issues where the federal government has so clearly and plainly violated the Constitution by its solutions that it boggles the mind that anyone would defend its actions.
[Click to Tweet]

With the coming of the COVID- 19 pandemic in 2020, the 50 states reasserted themselves as problem solvers, but not in a good way. Governors, mayors, county commissioners, and city councilmen enacted draconian lockdowns, quarantines, face mask requirements, the closure of “unessential” businesses, bans on indoor dining, the closing of schools, stay-at-home orders, contract tracing, curfews, capacity limits on stores and restaurants, the canceling of concerts and sporting events, social distancing requirements, prohibitions on weddings and funerals, vaccine mandates, and the closure of bars, churches, theaters, amusement parks, and casinos.

Compared to the actions of the states, the federal government’s role at the beginning of the pandemic almost seems benign. The federal government initially did what it does best: hand out money. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act gave $1,200 to each adult, plus an additional rebate of $500 per qualifying child. The Tax Relief Act gave every adult $600, plus another $600 per qualifying child. The third COVID-19 stimulus package passed by the U.S. Congress was the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). It provided adults with a maximum “recovery rebate” of $1,400 per eligible individual, plus an additional $1,400 per qualifying child.

But, of course, the federal government did not stop there. President Biden repeatedly promised on the campaign trail that he was going to “shut down the virus.” Soon after Biden took office, on January 29, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) instituted a face mask mandate for all people while on public transportation (airplanes, trains, subways, buses, taxis, ride-shares, maritime transportation, trolleys, cable cars) or at transportation hubs (commercial airports, bus terminals, commercial vessel terminals, train and subway stations, seaports, U.S. ports of entry, dedicated ride-share pick-up locations).

Throughout 2021, the federal government did everything it could to promote and mandate the COVID-19 vaccine. Biden’s “Path out of the Pandemic,” issued on September 9, maintained that his administration would “continue to use every tool necessary to protect the American people from COVID-19.” Additional actions were announced in December “to combat COVID- 19 as the United States headed into the winter months.

Biden’s statements

But then Biden made two brief statements that seemed to negate everything that the federal government was doing. In late December, Biden spoke with state governors on a call regarding potential strategies to manage the continued impact of COVID-19. After White House COVID coordinator Jeff Zients cleared the press from the room, Biden took questions from several governors. Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, chairman of the National Governors Association, spoke about challenges his state was experiencing in responding to the pandemic: “And so one word of concern or encouragement for your team is that as you look towards federal solutions that will help alleviate the challenge, make sure that we do not let federal solutions stand in the way of state solutions.” Biden then surprisingly said that “there is no federal solution” to the COVID-19 pandemic and declared that it “gets solved at the state level,” before he boarded a helicopter and departed for his home state of Delaware.

See the rest here

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Your Social Security Increase Just Might Be Taxed Away

Posted by M. C. on March 25, 2022

This post was written by: Laurence M. Vance

Social Security recipients got a nice benefit increase this year, but according to a report by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), “Almost half of all households that receive Social Security benefits might pay taxes this year on a portion of their benefits.” This raise and the possible reduction in benefits reveals the true nature of Social Security.Social Security is welfare for senior citizens.
[Click to Tweet]

The Social Security program provides monthly benefits to retired workers, families of retired workers, survivors of deceased workers, disabled workers, and families of disabled workers. It is funded by a 12.4 percent payroll tax (split equally between employers and employees) on the first $147,000 of an employee’s annual income. Self-employed individuals pay the full 12.4 percent but receive both a reduction in their net earnings from self-employment and a tax deduction equal to 50 percent of the amount of the Social Security tax they paid. One must pay Social Security taxes for a minimum of 40 quarters, or 10 years, to be eligible for benefits, which are figured on the basis of one’s Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) — the average of a worker’s 35 highest years of earnings (up to a particular year’s wage base), adjusted for inflation.

Since 1975, the Social Security Administration has based benefit increases (cost-of-living adjustments, or COLAs) on related increases in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. This is a monthly index calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). A COLA increases a person’s Social Security retirement benefit by approximately the amount of the COLA times the benefit amount.

Social Security recipients received a 5.9 percent COLA for 2022 — the largest increase in benefits since the 7.4 percent increase in 1982. Since 2011, COLAs have all been only 2 percent or less (except for 2.8% in 2019). For three years (2010, 2011, and 2016), there was no COLA granted at all.

Many senior citizens weren’t cheering as loudly as they normally would about the 5.9 percent COLA, for soon after it was announced last fall, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the standard premium for Medicare Part B — which is deducted from most people’s monthly Social Security benefits — would jump by 14.5 percent for 2022 instead of the 6.7 percent that the government had initially estimated. So much for the 5.9 percent COLA.

But that is not the only way that Social Security benefits will be reduced in 2022. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA):

  • Up to 50% of Social Security benefits are taxed on income from $25,000 to $34,000 for individuals, or $32,000 to $44,000 for married couples filing jointly.
  • Up to 85% of benefits are taxable if the income level is over $34,000 for individuals or $44,000 for couples.

(Income here is “provisional income” — adjusted gross income + nontaxable interest income + half of Social Security benefits.) Back in 1984, when the taxation of Social Security benefits was introduced, fewer than 10 percent of beneficiaries paid taxes on their benefits. Now that figure is almost 50 percent, and is expected to cost beneficiaries $45 billion in 2022. Turns out that Congress has never adjusted the income thresholds that subject Social Security benefits to taxation. They have never even been indexed for inflation.

COLAs and taxation of Social Security benefits reveal the true nature of Social Security.

Social Security is welfare, plain and simple.

Like other welfare programs, Congress can raise or lower Social Security benefits at any time and for any reason, means-test benefits, delay benefits, or change the way benefits are determined. What Congress gives in the form of COLAs, Congress can take away by taxing benefits. Just as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is welfare for the poor, the Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program is welfare for new mothers, and Supplemental Security Income is welfare for the disabled, so Social Security is welfare for senior citizens.

The fact that most Americans don’t think of it as welfare is because they “paid into the system,” “earned it,” “paid for it,” or are “entitled to it,” is irrelevant. There is no connection between Social Security taxes paid and benefits received, there is no contractual right to receive benefits, and benefits are calculated by an arbitrary formula that Congress can change at any time.

In response, some say that the money that comes out of Americans’ paychecks says it is for Social Security. In a sense it is, but not for the one who has it deducted from his paycheck.

Because the Social Security taxes collected are immediately spent on benefits and government programs, Social Security can be described as a system that takes money from the young who work and gives it to the old who don’t. This makes it an intergenerational, income-transfer, wealth-redistribution welfare program rather than a bona fide retirement savings program.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Freedom Is a Stabilizing Influence – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on February 5, 2022

Free to try, and fail, Americans prospered, building a country that became the envy of the world. Economic barriers and restrictions on movement between the states were forbidden, making the United States the largest free-trade zone since the Roman Empire. There were no feudal obligations or status; no military conscription (except during the Civil War); no income tax or Social Security tax; no licensing laws or monopoly privileges to protect favored interests

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/freedom-is-a-stabilizing-influence/

by Scott McPherson

The nativists at Breitbart are sounding the alarm. “Reports: U.S. Society Grows More Divided Amid Diversity” was a headline at Breitbart on January 28. The reports noted come from the Associated Press and the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace. Both suggest a growing divide between different people in the United States, and apparently foreigners are to blame.Freedom was the crucible for generations of diverse peoples, raising productivity, wages, and living standards to levels never before seen in all of human history.
[Click to Tweet]

According to the Breitbart story, “the AP report comes as academics admit that the United States is being politically divided by the ‘demographic shift’ caused by immigration of global migrants into an otherwise stable society.” In other words, things would be great if poor people from other countries just stopped trying to improve their lot in life by emigrating here. The Carnegie Foundation claims that the United States is “perniciously polarized” and “especially susceptible to polarization” through “the durability of identify politics in a racially and ethnically diverse democracy.”

It cannot be denied that considerable effort is employed to push people into warring tribes, based on superficial differences of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or the politics of envy that vilifies the prosperous and productive. But handwringers on the right who fret about immigration misdiagnose the problem. A quarter of Republican voters, according to a recent YouGov poll, think their candidates should prioritize “securing the border,” compared to 5 percent who want tax cuts. Only 8 percent of the “law and order” party cares most about rising crime. Leftists, finding in every perceived problem the catalyst for another government program (like secret, government-funded flights of immigrants to locations around the country and generous welfare handouts), fuel the fire.

The first issue that ought to be addressed is the very notion that the United States is a democracy. The word never appears in our Constitution or its political antecedent, the Declaration of Independence. Early American statesmen warned against democracy and had no use for it as a system of government. The failure of the political right and left to uphold the principles of our constitutional republic politicizes everything and polarizes everyone. A return to limited, constitutional government would do more to stabilize our society than any border wall.

The diversity found on this continent throughout the history of European settlement is beyond comparison. People with different languages, customs, and religions found their way from Great Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and elsewhere, laying the foundation of a thriving society. Dreams of personal liberty, security against religious and ethnic persecution, and the opportunity to own land drove millions of people to leave everything behind, most likely forever. No officious bureaucrats, “swarms of Officers,” harried the people. These colonists were poor, insular, and provincial, to be sure, but the cold, stark reality of hacking their lives from a forbidding wilderness was foremost in their minds. Through the cold, stark reality of a North American winter, and the brutal summer heat and biting insects, these different people from many cultures built cities, towns, and villages from the Atlantic seaboard to the foot of the Appalachian mountains, their independent spirits, ironically, binding them closer to each other even as they became estranged from their home countries. They rejected the ancien regime in their hearts if not yet in form.

When the lone remaining colonial power in the region, Great Britain, began to exercise arbitrary authority over these people in the 1760s, tensions increased until they reached a literal breaking point. War brought political independence and a new country uniting all, in several states, under a federal government. The Constitution of 1787, which became the law of the land in 1789, ushered in a new age. Political stability was provided by a written document to restrain this new government, specifically limiting and enumerating its powers and including a Bill of Rights. Radical notions like equality before the law, individual rights, and reverance for private property and freedom of contract would take root and grow, and the result was an explosion of effort and ever-expanding opportunities.

Free to try, and fail, Americans prospered, building a country that became the envy of the world. Economic barriers and restrictions on movement between the states were forbidden, making the United States the largest free-trade zone since the Roman Empire. There were no feudal obligations or status; no military conscription (except during the Civil War); no income tax or Social Security tax; no licensing laws or monopoly privileges to protect favored interests; no regulations dictating working hours or a minimum wage; no free housing or government healthcare or food stamps; no war on drugs or restrictions on gun ownership. General education and literacy rates were quite high, despite the absence of a large and expensive public school system. Teachers were often itinerant, and certainly not unionized. Foreign visitors marveled at the motivation and cooperation of Americans and how little interaction they had with their government.

A glaring exception was slavery. This evil institution was allowed to continue for nearly eight decades. It was abolished in 1865 by the Thirteenth Amendment and the last obstacle to fulfilling the promise of the Declaration of Independence, that all are created equal, was finally removed.

To this land, the poorest and most ignorant of the world would flock. By the millions they came, in wave after wave, from Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Eastern Europe, and the Orient. Throughout the 19th century, they came relentlessly, escaping centuries of persecution, religious intolerance, and economic stagnation. Except for occasional and short periods, there were no restrictions placed on newcomers. From the end of the Mexican War in 1848 until 1920, there were no immigration restrictions at all. In a January 29 piece for RedState, the writer Bonchie said that “a country cannot sustain itself with the rule of law being so ignored and its borders so flaunted,” but during a century of open immigration, the population and economy of the United States flourished. The arts and humanities thrived. Freedom was the crucible for generations of diverse peoples, raising productivity, wages, and living standards to levels never before seen in all of human history. What we need is a return to the principles that made such a revolution possible.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Covid Stimulus Isn’t Like Other Stimulus. It’s Much Bigger. | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on August 27, 2021

The US was running budget surpluses in the late forties and through much of the fifties. Americans were young, and there were far more workers producing than collecting government Social Security welfare checks.

Those days are gone, and although American workers continue to be highly productive, the burden each worker must bear to pay for the elderly and the unproductive continues to grow. 

What we have now is a country heavily dependent on ever-larger amounts of government spending and monetary expansion.

https://mises.org/wire/covid-stimulus-isnt-other-stimulus-its-much-bigger

Ryan McMaken

When it comes to policy debates, it’s now pretty clear that if you’d like to sound very quaint and old fashioned, be sure to express some concerns over the size of the federal budget and deficit spending.

Such concerns are now taken about as seriously by the average politician in Washington as is the constitutionality of the PATRIOT Act. Virtually no one cares.

Admittedly, the lack of interest in spending was already largely in place before the covid crisis began. During the Trump administration, reckless federal spending was the norm, and inflation-adjusted federal spending surged even past spending in 2009, when the federal government was panicking over the financial crisis and the Great Recession. In other words, the Trump administration gave us crisis-level spending when there wasn’t even a crisis.

Not surprisingly, deficit spending was also remarkably high under Trump—precovid—as well. By 2019, Trump had signed off on a trillion-dollar deficit, something many thought to be outlandish during a nonrecessionary period before that.

spe

But those numbers—including the numbers from the Great Recession bailout years—all look modest compared to the surge in spending that occurred with the covid panic of 2020 and 2021.

Let’s compare spending in the two periods. For example, from 2019 to 2020, federal spending rose 54 percent—from $4.5 trillion to $6.5 trillion, respectively—as Congress and the White House poured money into bailouts and stimulus. On the other hand, in the wake of the financial crisis, from 2008 to 2009, spending “only” increased 14 percent, from $3.6 trillion to $4.2 trillion.

spending

On a per capita basis, the numbers were similar. Per capital federal spending rose 13 percent from 2008 to 2009, rising from $12,000 to $13,700 for each American. But from 2019 to 2020, per capita spending rose 44 percent, from $13,600 to $19,700. (These numbers are all in constant 2020 dollars.)

Spending Levels Similar to World War II

At this point, defenders of runaway spending will often suggest that what really matters is spending compared to gross domestic product (GDP). 

So let’s look at that measure. In 2020, federal outlays as a percentage of the nation’s GDP surged to 31 percent, the highest number seen since 1945.

gdp

Similarly, the federal deficit as a percentage of GDP surged to nearly 15 percent in 2020. Again, this is the highest number seen of this measure since 1945.

gdp

(Proportional comparisons of this sort tend to understate the extent to which debt and spending is growing compared to the overall GDP. This is because government spending is itself a component of GDP, and since GDP is measured in dollars, monetary expansion—even without true growth in economic activity—can fuel GDP expansion as well.)

Also of political significance is the fact that while federal spending was taking off over the past eighteen months, growth in state and local spending nearly flatlined, dropping to 0.38 percent growth over the previous year. That’s the lowest growth rate in state and local spending since 2011, in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Yet, at the same time, federal spending increased by 25 percent—the largest year-over-year increase in federal spending since the Korean War.

All combined, this means federal spending surged to comprise more than two-thirds of all government spending in the US during 2020. We’d have to go back to the dark days of the Cold War and the Vietnam War to find the last time federal spending so dominated government spending in America.

fed

This all reflects the fact that state and local governments are actually affected by economic crises. That is, when incomes and economic activity fall, state and local revenues—and spending—fall. Not so with the federal government, which, thanks to the central bank’s willingness to buy up US debt, can much more easily engage in large amounts of deficit spending than can state and local governments.

See the rest here

Author:

Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and Power&Market, but read article guidelines first. 

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Unthinkable: Culling the Population To Balance the Books – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 5, 2021

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/06/no_author/the-unthinkable-culling-the-population-to-balance-the-books/

By Bill Sardi with Matthew Sardi

Five years from now fearful Americans will still be wearing face masks when riding in cars.  According to the agenda laid out by the World Economic Forum that is driving these social, political and financial changes, no one will own anything.  Vehicles will be rented on a trip basis.  No one will own cars or homes or businesses.  There will be no wealth, only stipends for survival.  The new automobile lots are already empty, said to be due to a shortage of computer chips as new vehicle production winds down.  It will be the end of America as we know it unless the mindless and naïve public comes to its senses and fights for freedom and liberty.  The US will no longer be the greatest country in the world.  And, to hell with any idea of an anti-aging pill.  You had still better die on time. 

See the rest here

Bill Sardi, writing from La Verne, California. This article has been written exclusively for www.LewRockwell.com and other parties who wish to refer to it should link rather than post at other URLs.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why Your Nation-State Is On Its Way To The Scrap Heap of History

Posted by M. C. on September 3, 2020

The State will do any number of things to maintain itself, its cronies, and accompanying parasites—who all, in turn, support it. But while that happens, free thinkers will use evolving technologies to find each other and reorient their loyalties. More and more people will conclude the State no longer serves a useful purpose.

The concept of phyles originated with the sci-fi writer Neil Stephenson, in his seminal book Diamond Age. I’ve always been a big fan of quality science fiction. There’s no question sci-fi has been, and still is, a vastly better predictor of social and technological trends than anything else—including full-time “think tanks.”

https://internationalman.com/articles/why-your-nation-state-is-on-its-way-to-the-scrap-heap-of-history/

by Doug Casey

People believe the State is necessary and—generally—good. They never even question whether the institution is permanent.

My view is that the institution of the State itself is a bad thing. It’s not a question of getting the right people into the government; the institution itself is hopelessly flawed and necessarily corrupts the people that compose it, as well as the people it rules. This statement invariably shocks people, who believe that government is both a necessary and permanent part of the cosmic firmament.

The problem is that government is based on coercion, and it is, at a minimum, suboptimal to base a social structure on institutionalized coercion. In fact, it’s not only possible but increasingly necessary to minimize organized coercion. For society to function in the 21st century and beyond, the State has to be minimized—a reversal of the current trend. Even while technology controlled by the State makes it ever more dangerous, those same technologies make the State increasingly obsolete.

Communication technologies are an example. One of the huge changes brought on by the printing press and advanced exponentially by the Internet is that people can now easily pursue different interests and points of view. As a result, we have less and less in common with each other. Living in the same political jurisdiction is no longer enough to make us “countrymen” with strangers.

That’s a big change from earlier times, when members of the same region had almost everything in common, including genetics, language, traditions, religion, and worldview. That’s no longer the case with today’s nation-states. If you’re honest, you may find you now have very little in common with most of your countrymen besides superficialities and trivialities.

Ponder that point for a minute.

What do you have in common with your fellow countrymen? A mode of living, perhaps a common language, possibly some shared experiences and myths, and a common ruler… but very little of any real meaning or importance. In fact, your fellow citizens are more likely to be an active danger to you than those of a presumed “enemy” country like Iran. If you earn a good living, and certainly if you own a business and have assets, your fellow Americans are the ones who actually present the clear and present danger.

The average American (about 50% of them now) pays no income tax. Even if he’s not actually a direct or indirect employee of the government, he’s a net recipient of its largesse—which is to say your wealth—through Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and numerous other welfare programs. Not to mention the multitrillion-dollar giveaways of recent months.

Over the years, I’ve found that I have much more in common with people of my own socio/economic station  in France, Argentina, or Hong Kong than with a US Government employee in Washington or a resident of the LA barrios, a project in Chicago, or a trailer park somewhere. They may or may not be decent people, but we don’t have too much in common. It’s very un-PC to say so, but I suspect that many of you agree with that observation.

What’s actually important in relationships is shared values, principles, interests, and philosophy. Geographical proximity and a common nationality are meaningless—no more than an accident of birth. I have much more loyalty to a friend in the Congo—although we’re different colors and have different cultures, native languages, and life experiences—than I do to the Americans who support Bernie, Kamala, and AOC. I see the world the same way my Congolese friend does; he’s an asset to my life. I’m necessarily at odds with many of “my fellow Americans”; they’re an active and growing liability. Some might read this and find a disturbing lack of loyalty to the State. It sounds seditious. As far as I can tell, there are only three federal crimes specified in the U.S. Constitution: piracy, counterfeiting, and treason. That’s a far cry from today’s world, where almost every real and imagined crime has been federalized, underscoring that the whole document is a meaningless dead letter, little more than a historical artifact.

I’m not overly concerned about piracy. But the counterfeiting and treason—not to mention over 5000 other, more recently minted, federal crimes, are problematic.

Counterfeiting is simple fraud. But the Federal Reserve now legally debases the currency on a gigantic scale. The average American, however, thinks it’s part of the cosmic firmament, assuming he even knows what it is.

Treason is usually defined as an attempt to overthrow a government or withdraw loyalty from a sovereign. This is a rather odd proviso, considering the framers of the Constitution had done just that only a few years before. That said, I suspect the government is at risk of a de facto, if not de jure, overthrow in the not too distant future. Its replacement is likely to be even less friendly to freedom.

The Constitution was imperfect, even in its original form. Its most important part, by far, is the Bill of Rights. But that’s been interpreted out of existence for all practical purposes. America was a unique and excellent idea, but it’s almost vanished. It’s been replaced by the United States—which isn’t much different from any of the other nation-states that cover the face of the globe like a skin disease. Even the United States is on the slippery slope.

The way I see it, Thomas Paine had it right when he said: “My country is wherever liberty lives.”

But where does liberty live today? Actually, it no longer has a home. It’s become a true refugee since America withered away.

So now what? Here’s where the ongoing communications revolution comes in. It’s facilitated the possibility of Phyles.

Phyles

The concept of phyles originated with the sci-fi writer Neil Stephenson, in his seminal book Diamond Age. I’ve always been a big fan of quality science fiction. There’s no question sci-fi has been, and still is, a vastly better predictor of social and technological trends than anything else—including full-time “think tanks.”

The book, set mostly in China in the near future, posits that while states still exist, they’ve been overwhelmed in importance by the formation of phyles. Phyles are groups of people bound by whatever is important to them. Maybe it will be their race, religion, or culture. Maybe their occupation or hobby. Maybe their worldview or what they want to accomplish in life. Maybe it’s a fairly short-term objective. There are thousands—millions—of possibilities.

The key is that a phyle might provide much more than a fraternal or beneficial organization (like Rotary or Lions) does. I take the concept quite seriously. It’s one reason I believe organized charity is on its way out. “Big charity” is mostly a scam to benefit its managers and allow its enablers to feel righteous, while generally degrading its supposed beneficiaries. Phyles would know their members personally, obviating most fraud and self-aggrandizement.

In the same vein, phyles might provide insurance services very effectively, since a like-minded group—held together by peer pressure and social approbation—eliminates a lot of moral risk. It might very well offer protection services; a criminal might readily harm a citizen “protected” by a State. But they’ll think twice before attacking members of the Mafia—which is, in fact, a criminal variety of phyle.

People are social. They’ll inevitably organize themselves into groups for all the reasons you can imagine.

In the past, technology only allowed people to organize themselves by geography—they had to be in the same area. That’s changed over the last century, with the emergence of the train, the car, and especially the airplane. The same goes for communication. The telephone and television were huge leaps, but the Internet is the catalytic breakthrough. It’s now possible for people to reach out all over the world to find others that are their actual countrymen, not just some moron who shares a piece of government ID.

As things develop, people will discover—or create—places where their loyalties lie.

The nation-state has mostly been a counterproductive and expensive nuisance; it’s rapidly becoming completely insufferable and, as governments bankrupt themselves, dangerous. The people living off the State (those who act as parasites upon their “fellow citizens”) are going to resist having their rice bowls and doggy dishes broken. They’ll undoubtedly use the coercive powers of the State to try to maintain the status quo.

The military and the police will be out in force, wearing riot gear, in the next few years. They’re necessary to maintain order in today’s world. But remember, their loyalties are first to their coworkers, then to their employer, and only then to those whom they’re supposed to “serve and protect.” You can’t rely on them. You’re much better off finding a protophyle… as the real thing evolves.

The next decade is going to be tumultuous. The Greater Depression has been catalyzed by the mass hysteria surrounding COVID-19. The virus will go away in the next few months, the way they all do. But the damage the hysteria has caused will linger and compound. I suspect the bankruptcy of most States, as well as major sections of the population, are going to result in some major political and social upsets.

We’re just at the start of a new era. The State will use an intimidating variety of technologies to keep its subjects under control. Even while the Reds and the Blues—who’ve come to hate each other—each try to gain control of it.

The State will do any number of things to maintain itself, its cronies, and accompanying parasites—who all, in turn, support it. But while that happens, free thinkers will use evolving technologies to find each other and reorient their loyalties. More and more people will conclude the State no longer serves a useful purpose.

Editor’s Note: A government-led crisis is already underway in the US and throughout the rest of the world.

If you want to navigate the complicated economic and political situation that is unfolding, then your need to see this free report from best selling author Doug Casey and his team.

It reveals what you need to know as the crisis deepens, and what you should do so you don’t get caught in the crosshairs.

Click here to download the PDF now.

Be seeing you

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: How Elizabeth Warren’s Social Security Plan Would Damage the Economy Immediately and Screw the Young When It Comes Time for Them to Receive Social Security Payouts

Posted by M. C. on October 24, 2019

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2019/10/how-elizabeth-warrens-social-security.html?m=1

By Robert Wenzel

Elizabeth Warren recently released a Social Security plan that would exacerbate many of the program’s existing problems while also creating several new ones, writes Charles Blahous.

The key is to understand that Warren wants to increase payments to current recipients across the board.

Warren has outlined her increases:

  • Increases Social Security benefits immediately by $200 a month — $2,400 a year — for every current and future Social Security beneficiary in America.
  • Updates outdated rules to further increase benefits for lower-income families, women, people with disabilities, public-sector workers, and people of color.
But where is she going to get the money to pay for these increases to: “women, people with disabilities, public-sector workers, and people of color,” never mind the $200 increase she wants to give to all retirees (presumably even straight white males)?
Hint: Increase taxes.
In other words, her scheme is a simple transfer of income.
Blahous reports:

The Warren proposal would increase national Social Security tax burdens by roughly 30% relative to current law. Even the Zandi memo issued in support of the proposal recognizes that these tax increases would reduce economic growth by having a “negative impact on the supply of labor.”

And Blahous also informs how it will screw current youth when they reach retirement:

 One of the biggest problems arising under current Social Security law is that it treats younger generations much worse than older ones. Because Social Security is not a savings program but rather an income transfer program, it is a zero-sum game at best: No one can gain net income through Social Security without someone else losing it. The largest such income transfers occur across generations. The trustees’ report shows that unless something is done to moderate the benefit growth rate for current participants, younger generations will lose income through Social Security equal to 3.4% of their career taxable earnings—net of all benefits they receive. The program cannot reasonably provide social insurance for young workers if it is making them more than 3% poorer over the course of their lives. By increasing benefits for today’s participants (including the wealthiest) well beyond what their own future taxes can finance, the Warren plan would substantially worsen the aggregate net income losses of younger generations.

The Warren plan is an economic train wreck. It will slow current economic growth and sets up a scenario where current youth will receive less when they are eligible for payments than what they have been forced to pay in.

Warren is an economy wrecker.

RW

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Republicans Love Socialism Too – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on June 27, 2019

https://www.fff.org/2019/06/25/republicans-love-socialism-too/

by

Today’s New York Times is carrying a video op-ed entitled “I’m Republican. I Never Thought I’d Fight for Medicaid.” The op-ed calls for an expansion of Medicaid in North Carolina and other states to cover people who are uninsured and do not qualify for Medicaid because they make too much money.

First things first. While Republicans have traditionally despised welfare programs for the poor, such as food stamps, they are among the fiercest proponents of socialist programs for the middle class and wealthy.

Examples of the Republican embrace of socialism abound: Social Security, Medicare, public (i.e., government) schooling, school vouchers, education grants, state support for colleges and universities, foreign aid to dictators, farm subsidies, corporate grants, and many others.

Every one of those programs is based on using the coercive apparatus of the state to tax one group of people in order to give it to another group of people. In his great little book The Law, the French free-market legislator Frederic Bastiat called that type of system “legal plunder.”

Thus, while it might be shocking for a Republican to find himself supporting a welfare program for poor people, he is being disingenuous if he suggests that he opposes socialism in general. While he might disagree with Democrat Bernie Sanders in degree, he shares a deep commitment to socialism in principle with that self-labeled socialist.

Americans once had the finest healthcare system in the world — a free-market healthcare system. It was so reasonably priced that hardly anyone had medical insurance, with the possible exception of catastrophic insurance. It was a system in which people in all income categories were being treated. Doctors, who at that time loved their profession, would voluntarily provide free healthcare services to poor people simple out of sense of moral obligation.

The enactment of Medicare and Medicaid succeeded in destroying that healthcare system. That’s when healthcare costs began soaring, launching an ever-increasing set of healthcare crises, followed by healthcare reform after healthcare reform. Meanwhile, doctors began hating what they do in life and began checking out with early retirement.

Of course, no reform has ever worked to resolve the healthcare crises. There is a simple reason for that: Socialism cannot be made to work, even when it’s not referred to as socialism and even when it’s run by American bureaucrats…

There is only one way to get America back on the track toward the finest healthcare system in history: the repeal (not the reform) of Medicare and Medicaid and the total separation of healthcare and the state. There is no other way. Socialism cannot be made to work, not with Medicaid expansion, not with Medicare for all, and not with a full socialist government takeover of healthcare.

Finally, and most important, there is no way to reconcile a system of mandatory charity, which is what Medicare and Medicaid are based on, with the principles of a genuinely free society. Thus, Americans have to make a choice: Do you want freedom or do you want the “security” that supposedly comes with Medicare, Medicaid, and other socialist programs? You can’t have both because freedom and mandatory charity are opposites. The choice must be made: Freedom or “security”?

I say: Let’s go with freedom. Let’s repeal, not reform, Medicare and Medicaid. Let’s cast America’s horrific experiment with healthcare socialism into the dustbin of history and restore a free-market healthcare system to our land.

Be seeing you

propertyn tax

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A horrible future awaits for anyone who depends on government | The Daily Bell

Posted by M. C. on April 27, 2019

https://www.thedailybell.com/all-articles/news-analysis/a-horrible-future-awaits-for-anyone-who-depends-on-government/

By Joe Jarvis

Lice, cockroaches, and root canals all have better approval ratings than Congress.

Congress controls government spending. And nine out of every ten people say the government doesn’t spend tax dollars wisely.

57% say tax rates are too high.

(But only 13% want to cut right to the heart of the issue and abolish the IRS.)

And whatever side of the aisle you’re on, the voters’ choice of President seems to be getting more ludicrous with each election cycle.

We all agree there is plenty to bitch about when it comes to the government.

But I’m still waiting for people to realize that you can ignore most of what the federal government does.

I don’t cast a ballot on election day. I vote with my life choices.

Sure I’ll criticize the US government; they certainly deserve it. But I don’t fight them. I just step aside, find the loophole, and get on with my life.

When one loophole closes, another opens. For instance, I plan to move to Puerto Rico and pay a total tax burden of 4% by taking advantage of the amazing tax incentives of Act 20 and 22.

Identifying how to navigate around the beast is a much more valuable outlet for my energy compared to campaigning, rallying, or arguing.

Yet some people are hopelessly stuck in the system.

A recent survey found that 80% of millennials worry Social Security won’t be there for them when they retire.

And they’re right – it won’t. The Social Security Administration admits it will run out of money in 2034.

Luckily, millennials have decades, sometimes almost half a century to go until retirement.

You can’t save Social Security by voting, running for office, or rioting in the streets. It’s already over $50 trillion short on the promises it’s made.

But you can take your retirement into your own hands. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

It’s Unofficial: Social Security Is Broke

Posted by M. C. on April 20, 2019

The solvency of SS amounts to a pile of worthless IOUs.

https://www.garynorth.com/public/19402.cfm

The Social Security system in 2010 started cashing in its IOUs that it had been given for 70 years to the Treasury. The Congress had spent all of the money. Finally, the money coming in from FICA taxes was less than the money being paid out.

Congress had no money to pay to the Social Security Administration for the cashed-in bonds. So, Congress borrowed the money.

Unless FICA taxes are hiked or payments cut, SSA will continue to cash in its IOUs. It’s broke. Congress must bail it out.

The Ponzi scheme has hit a brick wall…

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »