Looting by U.S. Government at All-Time Highs
by Michael S. Rozeff
by Michael S. Rozeff
There are two bull markets going on right now. They are in U.S. government looting. They are Congressional looting and Federal Reserve (FED) looting. They are bull markets for the government, banks, and select beneficiaries. They are bear markets for the Americans being looted, which is most of us.
These bull markets in looting are at all-time highs. Never before has the amount of looting reached such astronomical heights, either in absolute terms or relative to other measures like population or product.
The looters are promoting their looting with a stream of false advertising and mis-information. They are claiming one false rationale after another. They are making out like their looting is essential to American prosperity and employment. There is no basis for these claims. The looting is transferring wealth from those who have created it to those who have not. It is outright theft by government. There is absolutely no way that theft through such transfers can ever create prosperity or employment.
Article 17 of the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights states
- Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
- No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
The U.S. government and the FED are engaged in massive violations of the right to own property, which entails the right not to be deprived of it arbitrarily. They are violating our rights to own property by taking that property from us for themselves and others. They are looting us.
The Congress and the FED are depriving many Americans of their property for the benefit of a select few. That makes their looting arbitrary. Their looting is both unjust and unjustifiable. They are doing this under the U.S. Constitution, but this makes it no less arbitrary. Populations have been exterminated under constitutions. Only by stretching the U.S. Constitution beyond all proper grounds have they grasped the power to loot so rapaciously and openly.
The U.S. Constitution says that no person shall
"be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
The government's looting of private property, taken for public use, without just compensation is at an all-time high.
The bull market in government looting kicked off in 2007. It now amounts to multiple trillions of dollars. It rises at least to $8 trillion. This includes money already spent and money guaranteed to defunct, ailing, and insolvent institutions. There is no end in sight. Both Congress and the FED have promised even more.
This theft is not and will not be evenly spread over all Americans, born and unborn. But to get some idea of its immensity, there are about 100 million households in the U.S. A trillion dollars is $10,000 per household. Eight trillion dollars is $80,000 per household. It is $26,667 for every man, woman, and child in America. The looting shows up in the form of debt and debt-like tax obligations that Americans will pay. The $8 trillion bill and rising is addressed to them.
Even before the government engineered this looting, Americans were already deeply in debt. Non-mortgage debt is about $8,460 for every man, woman, and child. The total of this consumer credit came to $2.5 trillion in 2007. Mortgage debt came to another $14.6 trillion. See here. This debt, accumulated over many years by many Americans, added up to $17.1 trillion. The U.S. government, in a little over a year, is looting Americans and adding to their debt by another $8 trillion.
The amount of this brazen violation of property rights is astounding. The minimum value of a human life is often estimated as the present value of the future income of that person. Juries often award wrongful death damages that average $500,000 to $800,000. At the higher figure, which produces a lower number of equivalent human lives, $8 trillion is equivalent to 10 million human lives. Suppose that the U.S. government exterminated 10 million persons, each worth $800,000. That amounts to $8 trillion.
In my mind, the government looting is equivalent to a massive genocide of 10 million human beings. These things cannot accurately be measured, I grant. The additional poverty, misery, travail, lower income, and other consequences that stem from this looting cannot be measured; and they cannot be accurately compared with the loss of human lives. I grant that. Yet human necessity requires us to make an inaccurate comparison in order to grasp, even faintly, the meaning of the looting that is going on.
The latest Geithner plan is not included in the $8 trillion total. That plan is, again, outright looting. It is a wealth transfer from taxpayers to banks that have made bad loans. It is just as much theft as the transfer payments from taxpayers to the creditors of the AIG company.
One sure effect of theft is that the victim is made poorer. He has to work to make up for what he has lost. He is set back. It is as if he were a slave who had worked for the thieves. Looting enslaves. The American government is enslaving the American people to a massive extent. It will not matter what the GDP numbers show if a good part of it is work effort devoted to paying debts and taxes. That is money that otherwise could have gone to meeting the needs and wants of the victims.
The massive victimization of the American people through the looting of the Bush-Obama-Bernanke regimes will be felt as time passes. The rulers count on spreading out the pain and obscuring its cause. The cause is an $8 trillion rape. The cause is outright looting. The cause is outright violation of property rights.
I hope for a bear market in faith and trust in government.
March 30, 2009
Michael S. Rozeff [send him mail] is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York.
Copyright © 2009 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.