Recently I wrote an article titled Toxic Anger about the mortgage crisis and how it now seems that many hard-working Americans will be forced by the government to pay for people who live in foreclosed homes to keep their homes. Well, the situation has not gotten any better.
More injustices abound. It seems that we, the people who work hard, the responsible, are being forced by the government to support the following irresponsible, gambled and lost, groups:
We, the people, have already bailed out nine Wall Street banks who are thinking about using $108 billion dollars of the recent $125 billion taken from us by the government to give to employees as bonuses. In fairness, many of these employees' compensation packages are bonus driven and people are saying these folks should not work for free, but if your company went bankrupt and had to get stolen money to keep going, do you still deserve that money? After all, it is not coming from the company anymore.
We, the people, are supposed to bail out additional homeowners in expensive neighborhoods who can pay their mortgages just fine, but are learning the value in being a looter and are now ceasing to make their payments. They have learned that is better to be a looter so they too can be in foreclosure and get a better mortgage on their home. (Sorry I don't have a link for this, but I heard it on 11/6/08 on CNBC.)
We, the people, are now supposed to bail out the auto industry and the United Auto Workers Union because although these companies are not profitable, we need them to stay in business and keep losing money. President elect Obama has promised $50 billion of our dollars to keep them in business. (Although how long they will stay is business is questionable since both GM and Ford posted losses of more than $27 billion in the first half of 2008 alone).
In addition, hedge funds, the insurance industry and others are all looking to get some of our money. Daily, more people fall into the looting category and fewer feel the desire to remain producers. Ayn Rand predicted this over fifty years ago in her brilliant book Atlas Shrugged. A must read for all these days.
We are told we need to give these folks money because they are u201Ctoo important to fail.u201D Here is a nice little article about past industries that did not get bailed out and as a result they brought the calamity of lost jobs. These companies included the typewriter industry, hoop skirt manufactures, and the enormous horse and buggy carriage industry that took with it stagecoach drivers, wheelwrights, and blacksmiths, as well as those darned buggy whip manufacturers.
Okay, so by now you are angry: Really, really angry. If you are like many Americans, this year you saw your home lose as much as 50% and many portfolios are down 60%. Even if you live in a tiny apartment in New York City and don't have a dime to your name, you have seen food and fuel prices go up like never before. We are all paying for this in some form. You now understand that all of these bailouts are coming from you and you don't like it. What can you do?
What follows is advice I have heard from Ron Paul in various speeches, articles, and his recent book The Revolution: A Manifesto as well as other sources such as Lew Rockwell and the Mises Institute who teach Austrian Economics. What can you do to fight this overreaching of government power?
1. Educate, educate, educate. First educate yourself. Learn about the Austrian School of Economics and why printing trillions of dollars is hurting every single American, even those that don't pay taxes. It is called the Inflation tax and comes when the Federal Reserve prints more and more dollars and weakens the value of each. This makes prices go up and we pay additional taxes in every penny we spend. If printing money could solve all our problems, then why not just print up ten million dollars for every household in America? Wouldn't that jumpstart the economy? Actually, all that would do is cause the dollar to crash and send us into hyper-inflation. If that is bad, then aren't these bailouts going to be bad one day too? We got into this mess by printing too much money. How is more poison going to help the poisoned?
2. Hand out as many Red Pills as you can. In other words, open people's eyes about government theft. For me, the u201Cahau201D moment came when I learned (and I admit I did not know) that the government does not have any money. It does not make anything. It does not produce any money. All the money it gets it takes from you and me. Therefore, anytime they talk about how u201Cweu201D need to give $700 billion dollars to anyone that is money that is taken from you and me in the form of higher direct taxes, higher taxes through inflation, or additional debt that must be paid back at some point by us.
3. Use better language. The government does not want you to put the focus on them and have taught us some bad habits. Instead of saying u201Cweu201D when talking about the actions taken by the U.S. Government, say, u201Cthe U.S. Government.u201D Such as: instead of u201Cweu201D are fighting a war with u201CIraqu201D change it to the U.S. Government is fighting a war with the government of Iraq. Only in America do we say u201Cweu201D when speaking of the government.
4. In the same vein, be clearer about current economics. Instead of saying that Obama will save the big three automakers as if he is a generous leprechaun with an unlimited pot of gold, make it clear where the money is coming from and who is taking it. Such as, I heard today that President elect Obama is considering stealing $50 billion dollars from the American public to give to certain auto companies. (I say stealing, because no one asked me my opinion on the matter and if they had I would have said no. If I do not have the right to say no, I call that stealing.) Try this little test with this article here and see how it sounds when you replace all the language. For example it talks about stimulus checks being given to Americans. Well, these did not come out of this air. Replace that phrase with u201Cstimulus checks paid for with money stolen from the American people.u201D They don't sound so stimulating any more.
5. Stop watching mainstream news. Most of it is propaganda or silly stories you can do without. I tried this and two months later watched a national newscast. I was shocked at all the direct lies and manipulations that were substituted as u201Cnews.u201D For example, before the $700 billion dollar bailout we were told the sky would fall and credit would stop if we did not hand over our money to these banks. Instead, they hoarded it, used it to purchase struggling banks in the biggest fire sale of the century and they barely increased the amount of credit extended to regular folk. (Don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting that they should have to give credit to the un-creditworthy – that landed us in this mess in the first place.) But the world did not end. Nothing much has changed except that these banks that were struggling a little are now doing quite well. (Well, goodie for them. I still can barely afford to buy groceries).
6. To replace the loss of the mainstream news, get your information from sources such as Mises.org, LewRockwell.com, FFF.org, and FEE.org. These are non-statist websites that are run by people who have already swallowed the Red Pill. They know that the government is nothing but force, it is run by thugs and thieves, it is not our friend, and its sole purpose is to steal as much money from each of us as it can get away with. These sites tell it like it is without a statist slant. (A statist thinks the State – the government – is better at spending your money than you are and we cannot be trusted to make our own decisions. A non-statist thinks just the opposite: that we are adults, we know better than some bureaucrat how best to spend our limited resources and that our private lives are our business.)
7. Understand that the government is not trying to make sure everyone gets a home, but instead, they are doing their best to make sure everyone gets a thirty-year mortgage. That sounds a lot less benevolent and a little more like crony capitalism does it not? The government is not the nanny state, it is the warden state. It is not there to gently teach you and guide you; it rules you with a heavy hand and stick. Which reminds me – stop calling these politicians our u201Cleaders.u201D They are not leading us anywhere. They are our rulers. They tell us what to do and in most cases we have very little we can do about it. Thoughts become much clearer when you use the proper language.
8. Anytime you hear someone say that the free market caused this mess set them straight. Do not let that lie spread any further. The financial crisis was caused by government intervention in the markets. Fannie and Freddie were both government-created programs designed to put a mortgage in every pot. The Federal Reserve continually lowered interest rates (as they are doing right now) until money was so cheap it didn't make sense not to borrow more than you could afford. In 1977, the Community Reinvestment Act was designed to provide u201Caffordableu201D mortgages to those with poor credit. In 1995, President Clinton made changes to the CRA that loosened credit standards even further and forced banks to make risky loans or face penalties. These actions are as far from a free market as you can get. This is corporatism and social engineering at its worst.
9. Finally, do all you can to tell as many people what you have learned. Tell everyone you know. Understand that it is not the foreclosed homeowners who are stealing from you, it is the government. (Although I have a thing or two to say to the people who stood outside the FDIC and protested about their mortgages being too high and demanded that the FDIC take money from you and me so they could have lower monthly payments. Apparently, they now think the deal the originally signed could have been better. AIG also thinks its bailout deal could have been better and now the old president of the company is asking for better terms. Gee, could it be because he is a major shareholder?) These folks could not get a dime from us legally if the government wasn't involved. The automakers do not have a right to one penny from you unless the government decides to steal it from you. Wall Street banks would fail or not based on their own business decisions without the government stealing from us to prop them up. No matter how much these looters beg, it is government action that actually takes money from you.
So, keep it simple. Keep it clear. The problem is government power and the need to get rid of it. It will not matter who is in charge if the government doesn't have much power. Moreover, we have a lack of understanding by most Americans that the government has no pot of gold to hand out. Teach that all wealth transfer is theft. Not too many people are comfortable being thieves. If you teach them that each government program they are seeking is grand theft, they may think differently. Explain that people have a right to their labor and they should not be made slaves to support leviathan. Tell them that if we eliminated all the government programs we could get rid of the Income Tax and spend our money the way we want to.
Learn about how liberal programs such as minimum wage laws and the Americans with Disabilities Act have actually hurt the people they are designed to help. Learn how u201Cfreeu201D government education is not free at all (many homeowners pay for it through property taxes) and they are teaching our children how to be good little citizens that do not question government action. Not much could be more dangerous to liberty.
Send articles to your friends. But most important of all, keep learning. It is easier to get clear information these days, but you have to look for it. Remember though, only the educated can teach and this country needs to learn a whole lot of lessons. Perhaps you might want to consider picking up copies of Murray Rothbard's What has Government Done to Our Money and Ron Paul's The Revolution: A Manifesto. My husband and I are giving a copy of each to everyone on our Christmas list. (Both of these can be found from the links on the front page of LewRockwell.com.)
Finally, for a brilliant inspiring speech by Ron Paul about what each of us can do to turn this country around, listen to this.
November 10, 2008