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The Ethics of a Gold Standard

The Ethics of a Gold Standard

goldstandard

The efficacy of a metallic monetary system is beyond dispute at least among real economists which eliminates just about 95% of whom are now engaged in the “profession.”  Money, which gold is, allows for specialization, the division of labor, and provides the means for mankind to escape from barter and, thus, a primitive existence.  Like free trade, money naturally integrates mankind both among and between peoples.

A system of central banking with an unbacked paper currency is the antithesis of a gold standard.  Manipulation of currencies by central banks, mostly through debasement, hinders trade, creates distortions, and ultimately leads to the dreaded business cycle.  Murray Rothbard aptly describes the baneful results of state intervention in the monetary system:

. . . government meddling with money has

not only brought untold tyranny into the world;

it has also brought chaos and not order.  It has

fragmented the peaceful, productive world

market and shattered it into a thousand pieces,

with trade and investment hobbled and hampered

by myriad restrictions, controls, artificial rates,

currency breakdowns, etc.  It has helped bring

about wars by transforming a world of peaceful

intercourse into a jungle of warring currency blocs.*

Rothbard Money

While the economic efficiency of a gold standard is important, the ethical case for it is more compelling and was the reason why gold, as money, lasted as a medium of exchange for so long.  Gold/money has to be created through honest-to-goodness production and exchange.  The often dangerous mining of gold takes labor, capital goods, and land.  Turning raw gold into coinage is another process which requires a high level of specialization and production techniques.  Both are honest and morally sound activities which make for the betterment of life all around.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Demonocracy: The Great Human Scourge!

Demonocracy: The Great Human Scourge!

Review: Christophe Buffin de Chosal, The End of Democracy, Translated by Ryan P. Plummer.  Printed in the U.S.A.: Tumblar House, 2017.

Introduction

One cannot speak too highly of Christophe Buffin de Chosal’s The End of Democracy.  In a fast paced, readable, yet scholarly fashion, Professor Buffin de Chosal* demolishes the ideological justification in which modern democracy rests while he describes the disastrous effects that democratic rule has had on Western societies.  He explodes the myth of Democracy as a protector of individual liberty, a prerequisite for economic progress, and a promoter of the higher arts.  Once Democracy is seen in this light, a far more accurate interpretation of modern history can be undertaken.  The book is a very suitable companion to Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s iconoclastic take down of democracy in Democracy: The God That Failed, released at the beginning of this century.  Buffin de Chosal has spoken of a follow up which will be eagerly awaited for.

Democratic Governance

The idea of rule by the people is a scam, one perpetuated by those who, in actuality, are in control of the government.  Through the “democratic process” of voting and elections, a small, determined minority can impose its will despite majority opposition:

We often hear it said that ‘in a democracy,

it is the people who rule. . . .’  Rule by the

people is a myth which loses all substance

once confronted with the real practice in

democracy.  [13]

Quoting from a Russian philosopher, Buffin de Chosal continues his criticism:

    The best definition [of democracy] was

given by the Russian philosopher Vasily Rozanov. 

‘Democracy is the system by which an

organized minority governs an unorganized

majority.’  This ‘unorganized majority’ is the

people, aggregated and individualistic,

incapable of reaction because disjointed.  [28]

He expands upon Rozanov’s theme:

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Debt, Death, and the US Empire

Debt, Death, and the US Empire

Deep State Operative John Bolton

In a talk which garnered little attention, one of the Deep State’s prime operatives, National Security Advisor John Bolton, cautioned of the enormous and escalating US debt.  Speaking before the Alexander Hamilton Society, Bolton warned that current US debt levels and public obligations posed an “economic threat” to the nation’s security:

It is a fact that when your national debt gets to the level ours is, that it constitutes an economic threat to the society.  And that kind of threat ultimately has a national security consequence for it.*

What was most surprising about Bolton’s talk was that there has been little reaction to it from the financial press, the markets themselves, or political commentators. While the equity markets have been in the midst of a sell off, it has not been due (as of yet) to US deficits, currently in excess of $1trillion annually.  Instead, the slide has been the result of fears over increase in interest rates and the continued trade tensions with China.

While Bolton’s warning about the debt is self-serving, it is accurate in the sense that the US Empire which, in part, he directs is ultimately dependent on the strength of the economy.  “National security” is not threatened by a debt crisis which would mean a compromised dollar, but such an event would limit what the US could do globally.  Real national security is defense of the homeland and border control – non intervention abroad. 

War mongers like Bolton are fearful that a debt crisis would necessitate a decline in US power overseas.  America is fast approaching what took place with the British Empire after its insane involvement in the two World Wars and its own creation of a domestic welfare state which exhausted the nation and led to the displacement of the British pound as the “world’s reserve currency.”  

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Debt, Death, and the US Empire

Debt, Death, and the US Empire

Yosemite Sam Gets Worried About Federal Debt

In a talk which garnered little attention, one of the Deep State’s prime operatives, National Security Advisor John Bolton, cautioned of the enormous and escalating US debt.

Deep State operative John Bolton, a.k.a. Yosemite Sam [PT]     Photo credit: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Speaking before the Alexander Hamilton Society, Bolton warned that current US debt levels and public obligations posed an “economic threat” to the nation’s security:

 

 

Annual federal surplus/deficit and total federal debt. Things have clearly gotten a bit out of control in recent years. [PT]

What was most surprising about Bolton’s talk was that there has been little reaction to it from the financial press, the markets themselves, or political commentators. While the equity markets have been in the midst of a sell-off, it has not been due (as of yet) to US deficits, currently in excess of $1 trillion annually.  Instead, the slide has been the result of fears over increase in interest rates and the continued trade tensions with China.

Interventionism is Expensive

While Bolton’s warning about the debt is self-serving, it is accurate in the sense that the US Empire which, in part, he directs is ultimately dependent on the strength of the economy.

“National security” is not threatened by a debt crisis which would mean a compromised dollar, but such an event would limit what the US could do globally.  Real national security is defense of the homeland and border control – not intervention abroad.

War mongers like Bolton are fearful that a debt crisis would necessitate a decline in US power overseas.  America is fast approaching what took place with the British Empire after its insane involvement in the two World Wars and its own creation of a domestic welfare state which exhausted the nation and led to the displacement of the British pound as the “world’s reserve currency.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Savings–Not Tariffs Will Make America Great Again

While the farcical Kavanaugh confirmation hearings dominated the news cycle for the past couple of weeks, little mention was made of a disturbing economic headline – the August US trade deficit. Despite all the bluster from the Trump Administration about “winning trade wars” and “trade wars are easy,” America’s trade imbalances for August were the highest ever and its deficit with its most contentious partner – China – reached an all-time high.

Some highlights or low lights for the Trump Administration and the clueless economic nationalists were:

  • August imports of industrial supplies and materials ($49.7 billion) were the highest since December 2014 ($51.8 billion).
  • August imports of automobile vehicles, parts, and engines ($31.7 billion) were the highest on record.
  • August imports of other goods ($9.1 billion) were the highest on record.
  • August petroleum imports ($20.5 billion) were the highest since December 2014 ($23.6 billion).*

These numbers will probably mean that the Trump Administration will push for more and stiffer tariffs, although the President is set to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month. Yet, if anything comes out of the meeting, it will have little impact on US trade imbalances or the economy overall.

President Trump does not have to meet with the Chinese President or, for that matter, any other head of state, for the cause of US trade problems emanate right where he currently resides – Washington, D.C. The US trade deficit is the culmination of years of ruinous Congressional and Presidential polices of high taxes, onerous regulations, and deficit spending which have gutted the nation’s manufacturing base. The US simply does not produce goods like it used to and has been kept afloat by its status as the world’s reserve currency. “King Dollar” has allowed America to consume without having to produce.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Gold Standard: Protector of Individual Liberty and Economic Prosperity

The Gold Standard: Protector of Individual Liberty and Economic Prosperity

A Piece of Paper Alone Cannot Secure Liberty

The idea of a constitution and/or written legislation to secure individual rights so beloved by conservatives and among many libertarians has proven to be a myth. The US Constitution and all those that have been written and ratified in its wake throughout the world have done little to protect individual liberties or keep a check on State largesse.

Sound money vs. a piece of paper – which is the better guarantor of liberty? [PT]

Instead, in the American case, the Constitution created a powerful central government which eliminated much of the sovereignty and independence that the individual states possessed under the Articles of Confederation.

While the US Constitution contains a “Bill of Rights,” the interpreter of those rights and the protections thereof is the very entity which has enumerated them.  It is only natural that decisions on whether, or if such rights have been violated will be in favor of the State.

Moreover, nearly every amendment which has come in the wake of the Bill of Rights, has augmented federal power at the expense of the individual states and that of property owners.

History has shown the steady erosion of individual rights and the creation of “new rights” and entitlements (education, health care, employment, etc.) which have occurred under constitutional rule.  Instead of being a limitation on government power, constitutions have given cover for a vast expansion of taxation, regulation, debt, and money creation.

As Murray Rothbard notes in Anatomy of the State: All Americans are familiar with the process by which the construction of limits in the Constitution has been inexorably broadened over the last century. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Fed’s “Inflation Target” is Impoverishing American Workers

Redefined Terms and Absurd Targets

At one time, the Federal Reserve’s sole mandate was to maintain stable prices and to “fight inflation.”  To the Fed, the financial press, and most everyone else “inflation” means rising prices instead of its original and true definition as an increase in the money supply.  Rising prices are a consequence – a very painful consequence – of money printing.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell apparently does not see the pernicious effects of inflation (at least he seems to be looking around… [PT]) Photo credit: Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg

Naturally, the Fed and all other central bankers prefer the definition of inflation as a rise in prices which insidiously hides the fact that they, being the issuers of currency, are the real culprit for increased prices.

Be that as it may, the common understanding of inflation as rising prices has always been seen as pernicious and destructive to an economy and living standards.  In the perverted world of modern economics, however, the idea of inflation as an intrinsic evil has been turned on its head and monetary authorities the world over now have “inflation targets” which they hope to attain.

America’s central bank is right in line with this lunacy. According to the Fed’s “May minutes”, it wants

Translated into understandable verbiage, the Fed wants everyone to pay at least 2% higher prices p.a. for the goods they buy.

Yes, by some crazed thinking US monetary officials believe that consumers paying higher prices is somehow good for economic activity and standards of living!  Of course, anyone with a modicum of sense can see that this is absurd and that those who espouse such policy should be laughed at and summarily locked up in an asylum!  Yet, this is now standard policy, not just with the Fed, but with the ECU and other central banks.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Strong Dollar”, “Weak Dollar” – What About a Gold-Backed Dollar?

Contradictory Palaver

The recent hullabaloo among President Trump’s top monetary officials about the Administration’s “dollar policy” is just the start of what will likely be the first of many contradictory pronouncements and reversals which will take place in the coming months and years as the world’s reserve currency continues to be compromised.  So far, the Greenback has had its worst start since 1987, the year of a major stock market reset.

A modern-day reenactment of the famous “our currency, your problem” play that went over so extremely well in the 1970s… [PT]

The brief firestorm was set off by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who said in response to the dollar’s recent slide:

“Obviously, a weaker dollar is good for us, it’s good because it has to do with trade and opportunities.”*

Mnuchin backtracked a bit as international financial leaders criticized the apparent shift in policy while Administration officials sought to clarify the Secretary’s remarks.  President Trump weighted in on the matter saying:

“Ultimately, I want to see a strong dollar” and added that Mnuchin’s comments were “taken out of context.”

While President Trump sought to allay jittery currency markets that monetary policy had not changed, candidate Trump supported the Federal Reserve’s suppression of interest rates and did not want to see a rising dollar:

“I must be honest, I’m a low interest rate person. If we raise rates and if the dollar starts getting too strong, we’re going to have some very major problems”.**

Of course, the entire uproar about a strong dollar versus weak dollar is a sham. When the dollar (and for that matter all other national currencies) cannot be redeemed for either gold or silver, it is inherently “weak” and ultimately worthless.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Bitcoin: A Tower of Monetary Babel

Bitcoin: A Tower of Monetary Babel

Bitcoin Fiat Currency

The promoters of crypto currencies have gushingly touted them as the mechanism by which the present central banking cabal and the system of nation states which derive much of their power from will be brought down and replaced by digital money.  Despite their meteoric rise as speculative “assets,” there are fundamental economic reasons why they will never act as a general medium of exchange despite the wild enthusiasm for them by the crypto-currency cultists.

Money – a general medium of exchange – is the most marketable (exchangeable) commodity in an economy.  As a good, money is not sought after for its direct use – to satisfy individual wants – but to satisfy wants indirectly through exchange for other goods.  Over time, one good becomes money since it possesses qualities superior to all other goods as a money.  When gold became demanded not for its “use value,” but for its “exchange value,” it became a general medium of exchange – money.

As a consumer good, gold possessed a value or a “price” prior to it becoming a money, as the eminent monetary theorist Murray Rothbard explains:

. . . embedded in the demand for money is knowledge

of the money-prices of the immediate past; in contrast

to directly-used consumers’ or producers’ goods, money

must have pre-existing prices on which to ground a demand.

But the only way this can happen is by beginning with a useful

commodity under barter, and then adding demand for a

medium to the previous demand for direct use (e.g., for

ornaments in the case of gold.)*

Thus, Bitcoin’s “price” is not in terms of its original commodity price, but its price is in terms of dollars, Euros, yuan, etc.  In the dollar’s case, it was at one time linked to gold, but has since been severed from it while Bitcoin has had no such relationship.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Donald Trump: Warmonger-in-Chief!

Donald Trump: Warmonger-in-Chief!

Trump Warmonger

If a world conflagration, God forbid, should break out during the Trump Administration, its genesis will not be too hard to discover: the thin-skinned, immature, shallow, doofus which currently resides in the Oval Office!

This past week, the Donald has continued his bellicose talk with both veiled and explicit threats against purported American adversaries throughout the world.  In a cryptic exchange with reporters during a dinner with military leaders, he quipped:

You guys know what this represents?

Maybe it’s the calm before the storm.  It could be the

calm. . . before. . . the storm.*

A reporter asked if he meant Iran or Isis which the POTUS responded, “you’ll find out.”  Instead of threatening supposed overseas foes with nuclear annihilation, none of whom have taken any concrete military action against the US, why not go after someone who has actually compromised the country’s security, namely Hillary Rodham Clinton!

While some dismissed the comments as typical Trumpian bluster, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders added further ominous overtones when questioned saying they were “extremely serious.”

Later in the week, Trump continued to threaten tiny North Korea, this time in not so veiled terms:

Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years,

agreements made and massive amounts of money paid hasn’t worked, agreements

violated before the ink was dry, making fools of U.S. negotiators.  Sorry, but only

one thing will work.**

If war erupts either on the Korean Peninsula or in any other part of the globe that the U.S has wantonly poked its nose into, it can be safely assured that neither Trump nor any of the other “military leaders,” with which he recently had dinner with, will be in the midst of hostilities as the bombs and bullets are being cast about.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The United States of Hubris

The United States of Hubris

If anyone should have any questions about whether the United States of America is not the most aggressive, warlike, and terroristic nation on the face of the earth, its latest proposed action against the supposed rogue state of North Korea should allay any such doubts.

Last week, the US circulated a draft resolution which it intends to present to the UN Security Council that would give the American Navy and Air Force the power to interdict North Korean ships at sea to determine if they were transporting “weaponry material” or fuel and that US forces would be given “the right” to use “all necessary measures” to “enforce compliance.”*

Not surprisingly, Nikky Haley, the blood-thirsty and incompetent American Ambassador to the UN, has enthusiastically backed the resolution, utterly clueless of its ramifications if passed, the most horrific of which would be the igniting of WWIII.  Trump’s selection of the neocon mouthpiece as UN Ambassador has been a disaster on several fronts: first, it was an early and quite telling sell out of his political base whom he promised an American First foreign policy of less belligerency and intervention.  Second, Haley had no foreign policy experience and has made a fool of herself internationally on more than one occasion with her inane statements.

That the US is even considering such a provocative scheme once again shows the hubris which exists within its vast corridors of power.  Any other country which would suggest such an audacious act would be rightly condemned, ostracized, and labeled as a rogue state.  Yet, it is US lawmakers, policy wonks, and the CIA/NSA-directed American press corps that charge others (mostly those who do not kowtow to US dictates) of “terrorism.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Bitcoin in an Illusionary Age

Bitcoin in an Illusionary Age

Bitcoin III

It is altogether fitting that crypto currencies, in particular Bitcoin, have witnessed a meteoric rise in this illusionary age.  Not only has their monetary value gone to dizzying heights, but they are now being touted as the destroyer of the current, crumbling monetary order and the next paradigm upon which a new money and banking system will emerge.

In an era where sacrifice, hard work, loyalty, ingenuity, tradition, and independent thought are considered anathemas, while affirmative action, sloth, effeminacy, office seeking, and something-for-nothing schemes are endemic in every walk of life, it is not surprising that non-tangible, computer-generated currencies would become a “natural” feature of such a world.

While it has always been a haven for charlatans, traitors, cheats, thieves, liars, and serial adulterers, contemporary political life has become even more of a sham.  The most glaring example of politics’ utter corruption can be seen in the recent departed chief executive officer of the US.  Unless one abandons all critical thinking, Obummer was unqualified to be president because of the obvious fact that he was not born on American soil.  Not only did this disqualify him, but his educational and professional backgrounds have not been verified.  Neither his collegiate records nor his supposed teaching career at the University of Chicago Law School have ever been exposed to public scrutiny.  From the few utterances he has made about his supposed specialty – constitutional law – it appears that he has only a rudimentary knowledge of the subject.

Cultural life has descended to the basest of levels and has abandoned nearly all of Western Civilization’s glorious achievements.  Consider music.  The dominant form of what passes as music today is not the works of the great maestros of the past – Bach, Mozart, Beethoven – but instead, noise in the form of rock, hip hop, rap, grunge, or whatever the latest degenerate trend is in vogue.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The American Empire and Economic Collapse

The American Empire and Economic Collapse

American Empire Collapse

Despite the widespread hope among libertarians, classical liberals, non-interventionists, progressive peaceniks, and all those opposed to the US Empire that it may have some of its murderous reins pulled in with the election of Donald Trump, it appears that such optimism has now been dashed.  While the hope for a less meddlesome US foreign policy is not completely extinguished and would never have existed had the Wicked Witch of Chappaqua been elected, a number of President Trump’s foreign policy actions, so far, have been little different than his recent predecessors.

President Trump’s biggest blunder was his acquiesce to the Deep State’s coup of General Michael Flynn, the most Russian friendly among Trump’s foreign policy entourage.  Since Flynn’s abrupt departure, there has been little talk of a rapprochement with Russia, but instead there has been continued saber rattling by the war mongers that Trump has, unfortunately, chosen to surround himself with.

The most recent Russian badgering has come from Secretary of Defense, James “Mad Dog” Mattis who wrongly accused it of “bad behavior:” “Russia’s violations of international law are now a matter of record from what happened with Crimea to other aspects of their behavior in mucking around other people’s elections and that sort of thing.”* Of course, the US has never tried to influence the outcomes of elections or “mucked around” in the affairs of sovereign countries, heaven forbid!

While candidate Trump correctly spoke of the Iraqi War as a disaster and US Middle Eastern policy as a failure, he has done little to alter course in the region, but continues to follow and has, in some instances, escalated tensions.  Some ominous examples:

Bombing raids of Mosul killing over 200 civilians

The deployment of another 1,000 ground troops to Syria

Additional US ground troops “expected” to be deployed to Afghanistan

Continuous threats to Iran – “put on notice”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Welcome to Totalitarian America, President Trump!

If there had been any doubt that the land of the free and home of the brave is now a totalitarian society, the revelations that its Chief Executive Officer has been spied upon while campaigning for that office and during his brief tenure as president should now be allayed.

Image adapted from the cover of “Deep State #5” – depicting an assassin from the future

President Trump joins the very crowded list of opponents of the American State which includes the Tea Party, tax resistors, non-interventionists, immigration opponents, traditional family advocates, and a host of others who have been spied upon, persecuted and badgered by federal “intelligence” authorities.

While Congress conducted some feeble hearings and investigations of the shenanigans of the US spy agencies during the interminable Obummer Administration, no real action or reform was taken to reign in the eavesdropping and spying by the national security state on American citizens.

Hopefully, the surveillance of President Trump will change his outlook on the US “intelligence community” especially in regard to those courageous souls who have spoken out and risked life and limb to alert the public about their rulers’ nefarious activities.

Edward Snowden should be among the first to receive a pardon while the person who provided him sanctuary from his American persecutors, the reviled Vladimir Putin, should be commended for his noble act, a rarity among world leaders in this democratic age.

 

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has become a disembodied robotic video image now and then beamed onto conference stages from his hideout in Moscow. That should be remedied as soon as possible.     Photo credit: Steven Rosenbaum / Getty Images

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Falling Oil Prices Not the Reason for U.S.’s Economic Woes

The dramatic fall in the global price of oil is being cited by the financial press, government officials, and academia as the catalyst for the recent abysmal U.S. economic data which shows that the economy is, in all likelihood, sliding into a recession or worse.

Oil_cartoon_12.09.2014_largeOil prices in dire straits…

While falling oil prices sound like a plausible explanation for the abysmal financial numbers, anyone with a modicum of economic sense (which excludes much of the financial Establishment) can see that it is merely a smokescreen to obfuscate the real culprit.

The fall in oil prices, while detrimental to many oil producers, should actually be a boon for the rest of the economy, especially those industries that are heavily reliant on energy. Lower fuel prices mean lower production costs leading to, ceteris paribus, greater output.

1-Gasoline, weeklyThe price of gasoline has declined precipitously – click to enlarge.

For consumers, lower oil prices mean lower utility bills and cheaper gasoline, both of which mean more disposable income for either savings or more consumption. Why would greater disposable income lead to a recession?

Naturally, lower prices are not good for oil producers. But a decline in one sector of the economy (albeit an important one), does not lead to a general collapse. While the energy sector may be contracting, industries that use fuel should be able to expand as their production costs fall.

Kipper Williams cartoon 6 January 2015What constitutes great news in oil exploration nowadays

The Pseudo-Prosperity of the Printing Press

The Federal Reserve’s Quantitive Easing (QE), Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP), Operation Twist (OT), and their variations have created a massive bubble in asset prices which is now beginning to burst.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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