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Fourth Turning Economics

Fourth Turning Economics

“In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party. The catalyst will unfold according to a basic Crisis dynamic that underlies all of these scenarios: An initial spark will trigger a chain reaction of unyielding responses and further emergencies. The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way. If foreign societies are also entering a Fourth Turning, this could accelerate the chain reaction. At home and abroad, these events will reflect the tearing of the civic fabric at points of extreme vulnerability – problem areas where America will have neglected, denied, or delayed needed action.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe 

Image result for total global debt 2019

The quote above captures the current Fourth Turning perfectly, even though it was written more than a decade before the 2008 financial tsunami struck. With global debt now exceeding $250 trillion, up 60% since the Crisis began, and $13 trillion of sovereign debt with negative yields, it is clear to all rational thinking individuals the next financial crisis will make 2008 look like a walk in the park. We are approaching the eleventh anniversary of this crisis period, with possibly a decade to go before a resolution.

As I was thinking about what confluence of economic factors might ignite the next bloody phase of this Fourth Turning, I realized economic factors have been the underlying cause of all four Crisis periods in American history.

Debt levels in eurozone, G7, US and Germany

The specific details of each crisis change, but economic catalysts have initiated all previous Fourth Turnings and led ultimately to bloody conflict. There is nothing in the current dynamic of this Fourth Turning which argues against a similar outcome. The immense debt, stock and real estate bubbles, created by feckless central bankers, corrupt politicians, and spineless government apparatchiks, have set the stage for the greatest financial calamity in world history.

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

Doug Casey Debunks Four Myths About Trump, Taxes, and the Economy

Doug Casey Debunks Four Myths About Trump, Taxes, and the Economy

Trump taxes debunked

International Man: For many years, President Trump has made no apologies for trying to pay the least amount of taxes possible. He’s clearly stated this in many interviews.

His desire to minimize his taxes has brought scorn from many in the mainstream media, and politicians from both sides of the aisle. These people are of the opinion that paying taxes is an honorable and necessary responsibility. It brings to mind the wrongheaded saying “taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society”, which came from US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. Many people believe this.

But if that’s true, how come low tax locales like Singapore, the Cayman Islands, Monaco aren’t backward hell holes, but rather sophisticated and civilized?

Doug Casey: Almost any lie can be accepted as truth if it’s said often enough and with enough certainty. That absolutely applies to what Holmes said. It’s shameful how people don’t think about its meaning, but slavishly repeat it.

Taxes aren’t the price we pay for civilized society. They’re a sign of the fact that society is becoming uncivilized. A civilized society is based on voluntarism. Taxes are all about coercion.

People don’t seem to recognize or remember that before 1913 there was no income tax in the US. There was no reporting of any kind to the US government. It was a much more civilized and far freer country then.

As far as Trump minimizing his taxes, congratulations to him. The object should be to cut the size of the US government in half, and cut it in half again, and again. And along with it, cut the tax burden that it imposes on the average American.

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

The Force that is Ending Freedom

The Force that is Ending Freedom

Every empire is a dictatorship. No nation can be a democracy that’s either heading an empire, or a vassal-state of one. Obviously, in order to be a vassal-state within an empire, that nation is dictated-to by the nation of which it is a colony.

However, even the domestic inhabitants of the colonizing nation cannot be free and living in a democracy, because their services are needed abroad in order to impose the occupying force upon the colony or vassal-nation. This is an important burden upon the ‘citizens’ or actually the subjects of the imperial nation.

Furthermore, they need to finance, via their taxes, this occupying force abroad, to a sufficient extent so as to subdue any resistance by the residents in any colony.

Every empire is imposed, none is really voluntary. Conquest creates an empire, and the constant application of force maintains it.

Every empire is a dictatorship, not only upon its foreign populations (which goes without saying, because otherwise there can’t be any empire), but upon its domestic ones too, upon its own subjects.

Any empire needs weapons-makers, who sell to the government and whose only markets are the imperial government and its vassal-nations or ‘allies’. 

By contrast, ’enemy’ nations are ones that the imperial power has placed onto its priority-list of nations that are yet to become conquered. There are two main reasons to conquer a nation.

One is in order to be enabled to extract, from the colony, oil, or gold, or some other valuable commodity. The other is in order to control it so as to be enabled to use that land as a passageway for exporting, from a vassal-nation, to other nations, that vassal-nation’s products.

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

What were Roman Taxes v Modern Taxes?

What were Roman Taxes v Modern Taxes? 

QUESTION: You do a lot of comparison to the Roman Empire. What was the size of the government relative to GDP? Can you estimate that?

GY

ANSWER: The Roman economy was more like the USA during the mid-19th century in that it was pre-industrial. About 80% of its inhabitants worked in agriculture, which was about where we were in 1840. There was no social agenda of trying to redistribute wealth from one class to the other. Still, there were social programs. But the socialistic agenda that was adopted by modern governments has sought not merely to redistribute wealth among the classes, but it has justified bigger government on a grand scale never before witnessed in history. The tax rate in the ancient Roman Empire was about 5% with some paying as little as 2%. The actual cost of government during the Roman Empire was minimal compared to the modern standard. The Roman Emperor Trajan (98-117 AD) formalized the alimenta, which was a welfare program that helped orphans and poor children throughout Italy. It provided general funds as well as food and subsidized education. The program was supported initially out of Dacian War booty, and then later by a combination of estate taxes and philanthropy. So there were programs to take care of people who needed help.

Virtually all the taxes and rents raised by the imperial government were spent on the military, which came out to be about 80% of the imperial budget in 150 AD. This military spending constituted about 2.5% of the empire’s GDP. Obviously, we do not really see separatists movement until the mid-3rd century when Valerian I (253-260 AD) was captured by the Persians. With the cost of the military coming in about 2.5%, this explains the lack of tax rebellions.

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

The Income Tax is Destroying the World Economy

The Income Tax is Destroying the World Economy 

It is imperative that we MUST eliminate the income tax. It is a purely a Marxist development that is destroying the world economy. The income tax has become such a tyranny that our liberty, freedom of movement, and world economic growth are all at great risk. Never before in the history of human civilization do we find an income tax. It is true that Ben Franklin once said that the two certainties in life were death and taxes. It is equally true that taxes, in general, have been around since the beginning of civilization. We do know that the earliest recorded tax was implemented in Mesopotamia over 4500 years ago, where people paid taxes throughout the year in the form of livestock, which was the preferred currency at the time. The ancient world also had inheritance taxes, also known as estate taxes or death taxes. The earliest recorded evidence of a death tax came from ancient Egypt (700 BC), where they charged a 10% tax on property transferred at the time of death.

The most serious crisis we face is that with the dawn of Marxism (Communism/Socialism) the way we pay taxes has changed significantly. Yet, one for the record took place in 2006 when China eliminated what was the oldest existing tax in history. The agricultural tax was created 2,600 years ago and was eliminated in 2006 to help improve the well-being of rural farmers in China.

Taxation in the United States can be traced to the colonists when they were heavily taxed by Great Britain on many things from tea to newspapers. Legal and business documents were required to display a Stamp Tax. Most colonists objected to this form of taxation, since they had no political input about the creation of new taxes, giving rise to the term “taxation without representation.”

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

The Most Important Chart in Economics?

The Most Important Chart in Economics?

The Most Important Chart in Economics? - Peter Diekmeyer (25/03/2019)

Earlier this month, the U.S. Federal Reserve quietly released the Financial Accounts of the United States. Like most government data, the 198-page report (known to insiders as the Z1) is almost impossible to understand.

However, to the economists and accountants who wade their way through the mess, the implications are clear.

America has been growing government, business and household debts faster than its economy for more than four decades. Despite the huge runup in asset prices during that time, the country is essentially bankrupt.

The impending disaster becomes even clearer when presented visually. 

The above chart, compiled on the St-Louis Fed’s FRED site, strongly suggests that economists have been pushing a GDP expansion that has been fueled almost uniquely by debt.

The three stages of scam economics

The story of how the American government and the Federal Reserve—with the quiet backing of university academics—fueled this elaborate Ponzi scheme unfolded in three stages.

Tax and spend

The first signs emerged in the 1960s and early 1970s, when American companies, after an almost three-decade free ride, began to get competition in international markets from countries such as Japan and Germany, which had been bombed back to the stone ages during World War II.

By that time, the American public had gotten used to constantly-rising living standards. For politicians, asking voters to work harder or to curtail constant demands for “more” became increasingly more difficult. 

Governments responded with what became known as “tax and spend” economic policies.

Taxing the hard-earned savings of workers and passing the cash to bureaucrats to spend instantly created “sugar highs,” due to the short-term effects of dumping extra cash into the economy. 

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

Changes in Government Deposits and Money Supply

CHANGES IN GOVERNMENT DEPOSITS AND MONEY SUPPLY

The US debt ceiling suspension, signed in February 2018, expires at the beginning of March this year. Some commentators are of the view that the US Treasury must carry out special measures if it expects a delay in raising the debt ceiling in March.

The Treasury would have to draw down its deposits at the Fed and deposit the cash in various government department accounts at commercial banks, for future use to pay government salaries and contractors’ fees.

These commentators are of the view that the Treasury deposit withdrawals act like QE (quantitative easing) and the Treasury deposit build-ups like QT (quantitative tightening). However, is it the case?

If in an economy people hold $10,000 in cash, we would say that the money supply in this economy is $10,000. If some individuals then decided to place $2,000 of their money in demand deposits, the total money supply will still remain $10,000, comprising of $8,000 cash and $2,000 in demand deposits.

Now, if government taxes people by $1,000, this amount of money is then transferred from individual’s demand deposits to the government’s deposits. Conventional thinking would view this as if the money supply fell by $1,000. In reality, however, the $1,000 is now available for government expenditure meaning that money supply is still $10,000, comprising of $8,000 in cash, $1000 in individuals demand deposits and $1,000 in government deposits.

If the government were to withdraw $1000 from its deposit with the Fed and buy goods from individuals then the amount of money will be still $10,000 comprising of $8,000 in cash and $2,000 in individuals demand deposits.

From this we can conclude that a large withdrawal of money from the government deposit account with the Fed is not going to strengthen the money supply as suggested by popular thinking. 

What are the sources for money expansion?

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

Tax Cuts Without Reducing Government Outlays Is Not Possible

TAX CUTS WITHOUT REDUCING GOVERNMENT OUTLAYS IS NOT POSSIBLE

According to many economic experts and commentators, an effective way to generate economic growth is through the lowering of taxes. The lowering of taxes, it is held, is going to place more money in consumer’s pockets thereby setting in motion an economic growth. This way of thinking is based on the popular view that a given dollar increase in consumer spending will lift the economy’s gross domestic product (GDP) by a multiple of the increase in consumer expenditure. An example will illustrate the magic of this multiplier.

Let us assume that on average individuals spend 90 cents and save 10 cents of each additional dollar they receive. If consumers raise their spending by $100 million this will boost retailers’ revenues by this amount. Retailers in turn will spend 90% of their new income, i.e. $90 million on various goods and services. The recipients of the $90 million will in turn spend 90% of $90 million i.e. $81 million and so on. At each stage in the spending chain, people spend 90% of the additional income they receive. This process eventually ends with the GDP rising by $1 billion i.e. (10*100million).

In short, all that is required is to give every individual more money to spend, and this in turn should set in motion increases in consumer expenditure, which in turn will trigger increases in the production of goods and services. Observe that within the framework of ‘the multiplier’ savings are actually bad news – since the more people save the smaller is the multiplier.

The magic of ‘the multiplier’ however, is just wishful thinking – a myth. Every activity in an economy has to be funded and therefore it is always in competition with other activities for scarce real savings.  Hence, within all other things being equal if more is spent on consumption goods, then less is left for capital goods. An increase in retailers activity will be offset by the decline in the activity of capital goods producers.

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

Revolution – Why it is Always Inevitable?

Revolution – Why it is Always Inevitable? 

COMMENT: Mr. Armstrong, I just went to see Les Miserables with my wife. I was really moved for it was indeed how history repeats. It just seems we always end up in the same position because government never changes.

PB

ANSWER: Unfortunately, socialistic governments pretend that they are taking your money for your own benefit. The excuses are endless. Nevertheless, they constantly oppress the people by taking an ever increasing portion of their net disposable income, crushing them into the dust. The motives seem to change, but the end is always the same. This is why the Founding Fathers forbid direct taxation. That was such a critical deterrent to prevent revolution. The governments followed Marx at the beginning of the 20th century, and then convinced themselves that they were doing it to care for the people. In the process, they paid themselves pensions that no one else could possibly attain. Forbidding direct taxation was the only possible way to prevent the recurrence of revolution.

Norway to Track Cars GPS to Tax Per KM (Mile) – Your Govt is Next

COMMENT: Hi,
The Norwegian Data Protection Authority is now arguing that GPS based taxation, for the amount of kilometers driven by car, can be done within 5-6 years! Norwegians trust the government way too much, because they believe that this system will eliminate the need for road tax, fuel tax, toll roads and reduce the cost of car insurance.
No way will the tax be reduced! GPS based taxation is a governments dream! Who is to stop them from issuing parking fees or speeding tickets?
Norway also has a high number of electric cars, and an electric car is sold without any tax or VAT, has reduced road tax, free of reduced toll road passage and does not contribute to fuel taxation. With GPS active, the government can finally collect taxes from electric cars without the messy environmentalists meddling.
In the worst case, a corrupt government can use the system against its people to create implications, push the burden of proof over to a troublesome citizen, in court.
Norway may be a great country regards to statistics, but will be some kind of self-imposed totalitarianism if this nonsense continues. Stay away from Norway if you cherish your hard-earned cash!
And as always, thank you, Mr. Armstrong, for your service and enlightenment.
AA
Ex-social democrat
(see source #1)

REPLY: The political-economic system post-World War II has been a socialist driven agenda. “Vote for me and I will give you other people’s money.” This system cannot be sustained when those in power have promised themselves pensions. As government workers retire, they need to be replaced. The growth rate of government has started to explode. Instead of looking at the problem objectively, they are simply looking from paycheck to paycheck on how to meet the next payroll.

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

DEBT is the Achilles Heel of the globalist establishment… and pulling your money out of the banking system is the way to deal a DEATH BLOW to tyranny

Image: DEBT is the Achilles Heel of the globalist establishment… and pulling your money out of the banking system is the way to deal a DEATH BLOW to tyranny

(Natural News) After U.S. markets peaked in September nearly two years after Donald Trump’s victory came with the promise (and delivery) of pro-growth policies, investors got a scare in December when several factors combined with interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve to drive down indexes.

The Dow Jones, Nasdaq, and the S&P 500 all finished the year lower than they were in September. Worse, there are predictions that 2019 could hit markets harder. 

Bank of America just polled 234 panelists who manage more than $645 billion in investments where they think global growth is heading over the next 12 months, and 60 percent said it will be negative. 

On top of this potential nightmare scenario is the fact that governments around the world comprising the largest economies have nearly all become debtor nations that are one economic calamity away from global collapse.

As noted by Robert Gore at The Burning Platform blog, France’s Yellow Vest protesters may have inadvertently hit upon a way to bring about the collapse of the fiat money and debt system that is sustaining the very governments which increasingly suppress the people they are supposed to serve.

Gore notes that in recent days the French protesters — whom, you recall, took to the streets in response to a massive gasoline tax pushed by President Emmanuel Macron to fund France’s contributions to combat “global warming” agreed to at the Paris Accords in 2015 — have advocated a run on the country’s banks. Such a run, if it occurs, could actually start a chain reaction that would spread to other ostensibly wealthy countries including the United States.

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

In Africa, A New Tactic to Suppress Online Speech: Taxing Social Media

In Africa, A New Tactic to Suppress Online Speech: Taxing Social Media

Think things are bad in the US and Europe when it comes to social media speech suppression?

Check out, Africa.

Will this be our future?

Aware of the threat that social media poses to their power, repressive regimes in Africa have employed various methods to stifle internet-based mobilization. These include internet shutdowns, targeted social media applications shutdowns, website takedowns, extensive surveillance of digital communications, online propaganda, and the detention of online critics, writes Babatunde Okunoye for Foreign Affairs.

According to Okunoye, in 2018, repressive governments adopted yet another tactic: taxes on social media usage. In countries such as Uganda, Benin, Tanzania and Zambia, there are now laws in place which impose daily taxes on social media and other over-the-top services. In Uganda, for instance, citizens have to pay 200 Ugandan Shillings (US $ 0.05) per day to access Facebook, Twitter, or WhatsApp as a law adopted last year. Citizens of Benin have had to pay 5 CFA francs ($0.008) per megabyte consumed through social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter as stipulated by Decree No. 2018 – 341 of July 25 2018. The decree also introduces a 5 percent fee, on top of taxes, on texting and calls. These laws also make the cost of maintaining personal websites by citizens prohibitively expensive. As a result of the Electronic and Postal Communications Regulations 2018, citizens in Tanzania now must pay a $920 fee to receive the government’s permission to maintain a website…

Most citizens believe that these measures were drawn up to restrict the space for freedom of expression in worsening human rights contexts in countries like Uganda and Tanzania. While some of these social media taxes have been couched as measures to raise government revenue, given the poor economic situation prevalent in much of Africa, virtually everyone sees them for what they really are—attempts to stifle the right to freedom of expression and association of the millions of Africans demanding more from their governments.

The Yellow Vests Get it Right, by Robert Gore

The Yellow Vests Get it Right, by Robert Gore

Financial nuclear warheads.

The mainstream media has degenerated irreparably. Here’s a reliable rule of thumb: if it’s important it’s not covered; if it’s covered it’s not important. Stories in the American mainstream press about Yellow Vest protests have been few. One aspect of the protests, transcendently important, has received scant coverage.

The Yellow Vest protestors have called for a coordinated run on French banks. Whether they realize it or not, they’re playing with nuclear warheads that could annihilate not just the French, but Europe’s and the entire world’s financial system. Because inextricably linked to the ends of contemporary governments―how much they can screw up the lives of those who must live under them—is the question of means―how do they fund their misrule? The short answer is taxes and debt.

Since 1971, when President Nixon 
“temporarily” suspended international convertibility of dollars for gold (it’s never been reinstated), the monetary basis of the global economy has been fiat debt. Neither government or central bank debt nor currencies are tethered to any real constraint, like precious metals (see “Real Money,” SLL). Thus, politicians and monetary officials can create as much debt as they want: debt by fiat.

Government and central bank debt is at the apex of the global debt pyramid. The next tier is commercial banks that have accounts at central banks. Those accounts are bank assets and central bank liabilities, or debts. Central banks expand their fiat liabilities to banks in exchange for banks’ fiat government debt, an exchange called debt monetization, which is a bit of a misnomer since no “Real Money” is involved. The “monetization” is the central bank’s fiat expansion of banks’ accounts with the central bank in exchange for fiat government debt, which expands banks’ assets available for loans to governments, businesses, and individuals.

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

Money is no Object

Money is no Object

Chances are, most of what you’ve learned about taxes and the economy is wrong. In fact, the key principles at work in our economic system are very different from what we’re taught. 

If you find you’re one of those who’s been misled, it’s not your fault. A system such as ours – where eight individuals control as much wealthas half of all humanity – can only be maintained with force and deception. As the industrialist Henry Ford is said to have opined, “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

It’s commonly believed that:

Today’s money has intrinsic value. (It doesn’t.) 

Taxes fund government spending. (They don’t.)

Automation inevitably threatens jobs. (It doesn’t have to.) 

Federal budget deficits must saddle future generations with debt. (Not so.)

In fact, to fund needed social programs – like free national healthcare, free education, jobs for all, a reduced work week with no reduction in pay, cleaning up the environment, rebuilding infrastructure, converting the economy from fossil fuels to renewables, and more – the federal government could simply print more money. Wait a minute, you say, it can’t be as simple as that! But read on. The enormity of the deception promoted by those at the top is that funding human needs really is that simple. 

One of the biggest misdirections of all time is expressed in the well-known aphorism: “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” While it’s true that wealth doesn’t grow on trees, money and wealth are not the same thing. Money itself is available in whatever quantity society needs. 

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

Yellow Vests Destroying Speed Cameras

The Yellow Vest movement is indeed spreading worldwide. In France, they are out destroying speed cameras. Most Americans are familiar only with the red light cameras that cities have been forced to take down for they are unconstitutional. That is why you did not get points for the violation, just penalties. In Europe, the speed cameras are outrageous. When I was living in Switzerland for a few months, boy did I get tickets galore. You suddenly find out that you get a ticket for just 1 km over the speed limit. In the States, a cop will not give you a ticket until you are more than 10 miles an hour over the limit. Your speedometer can be off as well as theirs. In Europe, there is no such recognition.

In Rome, just don’t bother even renting a car. All you will get are countless tickets as they change the speed limits at different times during the day and they will take a year to send you a ticket without any description of what the fine is even for. In Europe, these are just an excuse to impose more forms of taxes.

As government becomes ever increasingly desperate for money to pay their own pensions, we are headed into a clash that will be civil unrest on a global scale that will begin to rise much more dramatically after the turn in the ECN come January 2020. The polls show that the Yellow Vests Movement in France has 70% of the population behind them.

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