Categories
Politics

States rights – Why the tenth amendment matters

States rights – How Americans ignore the US constitution, the 10th Amendment, systematically lose their freedom, rights and liberty and apparently do not care

Under the 10th Amendment States have the right to keep all power not specifically given to the US Federal government written in the US constitution. This idea was crafted into the US constitution by the founding fathers, particularly Thomas Jefferson, to prevent the Federal government from growing too big, over stepping its powers which often results in a large central government run by bureaucrats.

Preventing this was the whole point of the American Revolution, to create a government that protects life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, not stifling it. The founding fathers felt a loose confederation of states was the way do this.

The constitution granted states the right for nullification and succession. This is no interpretation of the constitution.

The Federalist papers no. 84 contain the intent of the Tenth amendment and the issue of states rights. At the heart of this issues is the future of your liberties, if you care.

The 10th Amendment literally says:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

This Amendment was a direct continuation of the Articles of Confederation statement:

Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.

Judges have chipped away at the interpretation of this constitutional  law:

  • United States v. Sprague (1931)
  • United States v. Darby, 312 U.S. 100, 124 (1941)
  • South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203 (1987)
  • New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144 (1992)
  • Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898 (1997)

Federal funding is lost if the states do not follow the central bureaucracy

The Federal power is gradually centralized and reaffirmed. The Federal government power is asserted via the tax, debt and reallocation of money to the States system enforces this law. If a particular state would not adhere, they would be taxed, but no money would flow back into the state. They would have all the burden of being in the Union and none of the benefits.

This is how the nationwide 55 mile an hour speed limit was enforced. States would lose highway money. It was a silly little ridiculous law.

Why State’s rights matter

However, states rights are not about silly laws like that. It is about when a Federal government becomes centralizes and powerful through incremental ism. States can not challenge or nullify Federal mandates, even if seems not to apply or be of benefit to a particular state or represent the beliefs of the people of that state.

The end result is always the same, government mandates, centralizes and becomes too strong. Top down management is also inefficient and often steps on ‘little people’ who are kept in their place.

Federalism is the ultimate top down approach

Having a strong central government that mandates universal laws and applies it to every household, is the opposite of democracy and efficiency. Americans say they have a democracy, I think it more like a like a large iron ship that is trying to navigate and turn though a narrow channel of water.

In our country a manifestation of centralization and a top down approach is seen by: large debt is placed on top of debt, and taxes on taxes, and wields its unlimited power and use up the trust of the American people in less than noble ways. Washington in its arrogance acts like an empire, to its own citizens and the world.

An empire where rich old men send poor young men and women to come back in body bags. State national guard units, young people who wanted to help their state in emergence or pay for the college are sent, not to help their state in times of flood or emergency, but to clear roadside bombs in Iraq.

Federal bureaucrats dictate their conception of that should be taught in schools children. Some see this as indoctrination.

The public’s liberties, rights and privacy are eroded with fear being used as a tool to get people to surrender their liberties. If a State protests like Texas did with body scans, the Federal government acts swiftly to squash the independent thinking.

Think about it while the Federal government operations maintain secrecy, you are watched more and more. What if we as private citizens were able to audit and watch the government workers, including the Federal Reserve? But this will never happen.

In summary the road to an authoritarian state is when the Federal government consolidates power, taking it from a bottoms up approach to a top down approach.

The Federalist papers no. 84

The Federalist papers are important as they describe the intent of the framers of the constitution, the ultimate law in our land. In the supreme court as cites the Federalist papers hundreds of times in their decisions. It is an original authoritative document.

James Madison, Thomas Jefferson never envisioned this and designed the constitution to safe guard against it. In fact Madison thought the 10th amendment did not need extra language because it was a truism that the states have the power except in exceptional cases.

If you read the Federalist papers, no 84 is about the rights of the people vs the role of the government as it related to the bill of rights.

Alexander Hamilton was against the Bill of Rights because his interpretation of this would be, it was a list of rights of the citizens, while these rights are self-evident. By listing them future generations might interpret this list as the only rights citizens have. If you read the Federalist paper, you will see the Federal government was clearly meant to be limited and the power was to reside in the States and more important the rights of citizens were to be expansive.

What if the US constitution was respected?

If the US constitution was respected and defended US citizens would have more choices in their lives, more freedom. They could live in the states were law and order was more in agreement with their life ideals.

In an alternative reality in which government workers, including the military honored their pledge to the constitution, you would not have the US military hunting US citizens with drones without a trial like was done in Syria. We could have school choice for children, no monopoly on money, we could live in a state that is governed more in accordance with their political economic ideas.

Choose your State based on the way to the laws and lifestyle

Even under the current system we live, people do this to a limited extent. It is no coincidence that, one of the reasons I choose to live in Florida was there is no state income tax. In contrast, Many states like Oregon California, and New Jersey will siphon off about 10% of your earnings or over a month of your work life a years.

More important, if there was limited Federal government, some states would be financially responsible and have a balanced budget and others would not. Each State could issue their owe money as well as private citizens. People would live in states that were not train wrecks fiscally or enjoyed more personal freedoms. It would create competition between states for hard-working honest citizen. On the other hand if you want to live in a free lunch state like California, you would accept higher taxes.

What is really done at the state level Vs. the Federal government?

Think how much is done at the state and local level. Schools, roads, prisons, courts, state armies, air force, fire, police, parks, assistance to the poor, including food stamps and even medical insurance. At the state level there are driver’s license, Real Estate and lawyer and other professional licenses and regulations.

It makes you wonder why the US government exists at all if day-to-day life is done at the local and state level. Of course there is Federal government funding to the states, but come on this is a small part of the black hole called the Federal Budget.

Why does 1/3 of your life, really more if you aggregate all taxes go to the Federal government? They are not here to help you. For example, when I had problems abroad I felt they were more worried about cover their own complacency, then helping me the tax payer and citizen.

If the Federal government were to shut down, disappear or turn into a small into a small set of buildings which holds the US Constitution and the President acting mostly as the ambassador to other countries,; after an adjustment phase the world would go one. Of course this scenarios is to just make a point. The USA does not need to be the greatest empire the world has ever seen as well as being, the lender of last resort to failed businessmen nor control the money as well as every aspect of our lives.

Basically life would go on and the United States of America would prosper after an adjustment phase.

In another scenarios what happens when states rights are ignored and government continues to expand ad consolidate power:

  • The problem of massive Federal debt will not go away, which neither party in this great democracy of ours will address until it causes long-run damage to US competitiveness. Then everyone will be stretching their heads saying what happened. The Federal government happened. I can assure you Federal assistance to the poor and small business will go before the massive military industrial complex, the state department and the CIA and other government agencies. A military state will always cut social programs before military and spy agencies which seem to be expanding.
  • We have a Federal government that watches your every move, instead of the converse being true. The Federal government in my mind operates under the shroud of cloak and dagger guarded secrecy, like in George Or-well’s 1984. Big brother is watching you. You could be deemed as an enemy combatant. What if Americans watched the move of every bureaucrat and the lavish lifestyles I have personally witnessed with government workers and outsourced consulting firms? I bet corruption and waste would decrease if people really understood how their money was being spent. However, in free America that will not happen. The Federal government watches you, not the converse.

The Civil war and States rights issues

Did we not fight the civil war because of States rights which were connected to Slavery and other inhuman laws? Yes. There is a simple solution regarding the issue of slavery and civil rights. Of course there could be some limited Federal laws that deal with human rights and respect for the individual. That was an exceptional case and specific to the time, once we have crossed the huddles of abolishing slavery and civil rights for all people, the pendulum now swings in the other direction.

But the Civil war was caused by the Federal government making things worst with draconian laws. For example, In 1828 for example South Carolina was strapped with a horribly unfair Tariff Act. When the State nullified the law in 1832 . This unfair law escalated the conflict and polarized both sides. The north was industrial and the south was agrarian based. This was regardless of the slave issue. If there was no slavery the issue would be the same. The North passed laws that held the North but hurt the South. GDP in the South plummeted. If you like original documents you can read John C. Calhoun’ defense of nullification.

Jefferson in the Kentucky resolution of 1799 supported nullification as did Madison in the Virginia resolution in 1798.

Resolved, that the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that by compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes, delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government. – Thomas Jefferson

It was almost universal that states would have the right to nullify Federal laws to the founding fathers to prevent abuse and growth of a central government.

  • A good resource is Nullification: How to resist the Federal Tyranny in he 21st century by Thomas woods.
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution by constitutional scholar Kevin Gutzman.
  • States right – the tenth amendment – quietly growing movement. I expect to see more challenges to the current interpretation of the 10th Amendment.

The Federal government needs to exists almost with the sole purpose of protecting individual rights of its citizens.

Categories
Politics

Is the income tax legal – Taxation immoral and Unconstitutional?

I turn my ear up to a 45 degree angle to hear better when someone say “the income tax is unconstitutional or illegal”. I listen to their arguments, but they never convince me on legal grounds. Further, I find it curious when intelligent people do not file tax returns and get caught. Lastly I take an interest in those who offshore their income and assets to hide money from the IRS.  I think it is a dangerous game these tax protestors play. That being said, it is worth to read about the arguments that have been raised against the 16th Amendment and taxes. But heed this warning:

Morpheus: I won’t lie to you, Neo. Every single man or woman who has stood their ground, everyone who has fought an agent (has lost) – The Matrix

0% tax rate is the best via a legal repeal of the 16th Amendment

Now, do not get me wrong, I am against the income tax in the United States, however, if you want to practice that type of civil disobedience or you are just avoiding taxes for monetary reasons, you need to be willing to pay the price. I believe the only thing a US citizen can do is keep their head down and  pay your taxes like we all do. However, with every election vote for the candidates that are for fiscal sanity and maybe even a repel of the tax laws including the 16th Amendment. Further, there are a number of legal and honest ways to keep your take bill down, but that is the subject of another post.

We could simply cut the budget 50% (many working Americans have had to do this with their own budget, why should the g-men and fat cats in Washington not have to?). Have more non punitive tariffs and excises taxes, like the first 150 years of America, which lead us to be ‘the land of opportunity and liberty’. It would be a questionable assessment to make that bold statement today. I believe it is possible to repeal the 16th Amendment through the political process.

John Bull being approached with new taxes
  • Here is a resource that is worth reading –  Are taxes moral? –  Taxes the root of all Evil –  By Frank Chodorov

Is the income tax legal? The income tax is written in the US constitution and there are many laws written and passed by congress. The income tax is legal. However, the question about, is it right and does it agree with idea of individual property rights, the founding fathers what is good and moral in the world?  Does it help the poor and middle class live better lives? Does it help productivity and work incentives? Do taxes make American great? Does it make a civilization advance? No.

The fringe arguments against the legality of the 16th Amendment and  US income tax:

  • non ratification argument – A book called  “the Law that never was” by William Benson and Martin Beckman put forth this argument, but I do not agree with their arguments and frankly I do not think the book was well researched. Maybe I am wrong. He argues passionately that many of the 38 states that ratified the 16th Amendment did not. For example, Secretary of State Philander Knox who proclaimed the 16th Amendment ratified ignored such things as California never voted on it, or Kentucky rejected the Amendment nine in favor, twenty-two opposed. These are a few examples, William Benson cites based on his personal research. However, I do not believe it and would have to research it myself and believe his book and argument was proven in court to be not correct.
  • The fact that Ohio was not a State until 1953 argument does not hold water either since President Eisenhower retro actively sign a law allowing Ohio to be a State since 1803, even though the constitution forbids such things ex post facto. Porth v. Brodrick did not really address that issue so technically the argument is correct. However, the income tax is legal because the under common sense and practicality.
  • 16th Amendment argument against taxes – You can also read about the case of Trohimovich v. Commissioner – I think they through this guy in the clink.
  •  16th Amendment was ratified legally. You can read about other more fringe tax protestor cases like, Stanton v. Baltic Mining Co

Constitutional arguments against the income tax are stronger, but to date none have been successful challenges:

  •  religious objection to the income tax – This is about the first amendment (there is also a free speech argument). Basically if people pay homage to a state not God this is wrong and against their religion, but in 1878 Reynolds Vs. the USA cased struck down this argument. Give to Caesar what is Caesars.
  • fifth amendment argument against taxes – filing a tax return with could lead to self-incrimination (United States v. Sullivan), or it is taking without compensation (Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad).  As a follow-up up to this, the IRS really does not care too much, how you make your money as long as you pay taxes. If you are a ‘working girl’ just pay taxes on income generated. It is interested to note that in Europe this profession is non taxed and tax evaders said they were ‘professional girls’ when questioned about income sources reported but not taxed.
  • income tax is discriminatory  – it is progressive and therefore in conflict with the 14th amendment which guarantees equal treatment under the law. I think this is a weak argument, we are not talking about race or anything just earnings.
  • Taxes are servitude – Paying taxes enslaves one and is therefore unconstitutional. Porth v. Brodrick argued this based on the 13th Amendment and lost. Considering tax payer liberation day is sometime in August, which means you work a good part of the year to the feudal state, it has merit as a moral argument. I mean a serf in the Middle Ages only worked three days for his master and three days for himself, while you work for.
  • You can be a citizen of the state you live – It goes something like if you are a sovereign citizen in the state where you live you do not have to pay Federal taxes, for example, you could be a citizen of Texas and only answer to Texas. But you can not use US dollars or anything to do with the US government.  This is based on an argument around the 14th amendment. – The court ruled ‘while the Fourteenth Amendment does not create a national citizenship, it has the effect of making that citizenship ‘paramount and dominant’ instead of ‘derivative and dependent’ upon state citizenship.’ Therefore you still have to pay your taxes.
  • FYI- trying to argue (assert an argument on your tax return) that the income tax is illegal with the IRS based on various reasons why not to file can result in a $5,000 frivolous tax return penalty IRS section 6702(a).

Other arguments against the legality of taxes on specific individuals rather than universal is it a law that agrees with the constitution of the United States

  • “natural individuals’ or sovereigns individuals argument (similar to the 14th amendment argument), people renouncing US citizenship so as not to pay taxes, titles of nobility (not allowed in the USA by the way), Federal zones outside the USA such as military bases.
  • Definitions of income arguments are many.

Think about it the difference between legal and moral. Slavery was perfectly codified and legitimate at one time, but does that mean it was right? Of course not. You need to separate the idea of legal and moral in your mind. The law is a reflection of the collective unconsciousness of the people at a point in time, and if you study history sometimes this can be out of line with that is universally good. People need to work peacefully within the system though the political process via voting change the systems so legal and moral are more congruent. The purpose of this post if to raise one’s awareness about the fact that the USA did not have direct taxation most of its history.therefore, it not a necessary evil, but rather just a break on the economy, that in a global competitive world the USA can no longer afford.

People tolerate taxes for a while because they have previously accumulated wealth. As the tax burden grows and productivity falls, tax revenue falls and the only answer seems to be higher taxes. If the people can no longer tolerate higher taxes, government merely borrows and creates new money, and then the inflation tax is paid with higher prices. The whole system destabilizes and eventually becomes a threat to civilized progress. – Liberty Defined – Ron Paul

 History of Taxes in the USA

  • The USA prospered – The United States had no direct tax from 1776 to 1861.  Zero,  nothing, and people thought it absurd that an income tax might exist.
  • The USA really did not have an income tax from 1776 to 1913 and not in large measure until the 1950s.
  • Crisis and war brings emergency powers to government so to help pay for the civil war the USA saw its first personal income tax, on August 5, 1861 – the rate was 3% on income over 800 dollars ( This is about 20,000 dollars in todays income). After the war the tax was repealed.
  • Tax the rich – the Revenue Act or Wilson-Gorman Tariff of 1894. The Democrats imposed a 2% on income over 4,000 dollars or 90,000 dollars in todays terms. It was to be a tax on the rich, the top 10% to compensate for lost revenues of tariff reduction.
  • Surprise –  the US supreme court rules  direct tax to be unconstitutional on April 8, 1895, with Chief Justice Melville Fuller residing basically argued that it was a violation of the idea of individual property rights and the State had no right to limit this through taxation, an income tax.
  • Start of the road to serfdom – 1913 the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States constitution was passed “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”
  • The USA rested on its laurals until 2007.
  • 2021 the USA started to have problems no one could foresee –  as it was too top-heavy fiscally – We will see.

Expat taxes and giving up US citizenship

As a former expat many people have told me because they live abroad they do not have to pay income taxes. This is wrong too. Taxes need to be paid and they are legal, even if you renounce your US citizenship believe it or not. There is no way around it. Just because you live in another country or have a dual citizen means nothing to the Internal revenue service. Do not fool yourself or play think about trying to play naive, they do not care.

Can people challenged the 16th Amendment?  You can read about any number of cases like, Marrita Murphy and Daniel J. Leveille, Appellants v. Internal Revenue Service and United States of America, Penn Mutual Indemnity case, Brushaber case etc. Not a chance to win on legal grounds in my opinion, the amendment has to be repealed by an act of congress.

Do some people just not pay taxes? I highly recommend you do not try. Even if you earn a pittance, I recommend you file a tax return as you do not want to be on the wrong side of the law. Rich and famous from Wesly Snipes to Richard Hatch, the first survivor winner to entrepreneurs like Barrie Konicov have been pursued for tax evasion and their money and fame could not protect them. If you off shore your money you have to be very clever as the IRS is getting sophisticated. I would rather just pay what I owe than try to evade taxes, too much risk.

Is the IRS filled with bad people? Nope. I call the IRS often to ask for clarification as my tax situation is complex living in two countries, having my own business and trading stock. In every case they are normal nice people with a human face. They have checked me several times with a mini audit, and as long as your documentation and prove you’re doing things right you are OK. If you are not, you get a penalty. But the people themselves are not bad per say.

Why is the income tax bad? The income tax in the US might be legal but it places people on the road to serfdom. This law turns extracts your hard work and creativity  to the United feudal States of America.

Does the income tax help or hurt the United States? It is a penalty on productivity and innovation.  It hurts America and US citizens. It allows the US to be an imperial power to engage in countless ‘preventative wars’ secret and public. The income tax along with the Federal Reserve is a blank check that leads the road to serfdom. Can you imagine if someone gave you a blank check and said write any amount you want on this check. It is trouble. You might have to work for him for the rest of your life. This is what the 16th amendment to the US constitution did.

Do not be fooled, taxes hurt our society, destroy the work ethic, have people using their intellectual creativity to try to avoid taxes instead of creating a better mouse trap (think of all the large accounting firms out there doing taxes, I used to do this for PWC).

Taxes are the price we pay for civilization – Oliver Wendel Homes

This is the opposite of what taxes do. They de-civilize people and Oliver Wendel Homes was brainless supreme court judge with a long mustache.

My assessment of taxation?

The more taxes, the more need for government management mismanagement. If you think it is legit or not, it does hurts Americans. I think it is wrong and unpatriotic to advocate more taxes over less. It is anti-american to want tax increases. Duty (which is duty), custom, tribute, levying revenue so the king President can levy an army with continued overseas wars. It makes the country of liberty, the country of socialism.

If we as a society continue to believe that paying for civilization through taxation is a wise purchase and the only way to achieve civilization, we are doomed. It’s a bad idea for the cause of liberty. -Ron Paul – Liberty Defined.

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Politics

Who is to blame Wall Street or Washington?

Who is to blame for the financial crisis and the US economic problems? Wall Street or Washington? The simple answer.

Do not read some egg head NY times economist or some economist in Washington with fancy degrees and on a policy board or maybe even a Nobel prize. I will explain the situation, clear and concise. If you want to fix the bust, do not create the boom, economics is based on real value not fake stimulous.

The government in Washington is a puppet to special interests and neither party really means business in taming this threat to liberty and prosperity
  • The Federal Reserve is the engine of the business cycle. It creates unemployment because disequilibrium in the  money markets have dramatic effects in the real sector. In the long-term Government spending crowds out investment and stifles creativity and initiative and makes the US less competitive in a world-wide economy.  As new economies rise, only building a better mouse trap will help the US compete, not stick your head in the sand protectionism or government expansion.

So if you have not figured it out yet, some greedy bankers with big homes on the Connecticut gold coast of New Canaan or Greenwich pales in comparison to the cosmic proportions black hole of government that is absorbing the US entrepreneurial strength.

  • World wide demographic changes and rising new economies to compete with dulled senses intoxicated by political mantras like ‘yes we can’ is the bigger problem.  Deploy some uncommon common sense, and look at the world as a whole, what is happening in the world. 1.3 billion Chinese and 1.3 billion Indians are competing with .3 billion Americans. We better be ready, I do not think we are.  We will be economically overwhelmed if we do not sharpens our competitiveness and stop blaming some greedy scapegoats on Wall Street, which make us feel good for the moment but not the answer.

Remember for 30 years after WWII the world either had communism, or laid in ruin, so the US did not need to address the global economy as seriously, now for the USA it is sink or swim and the answer that Wall Street not the root of the issue, that is government will bring ruin to the US relative strength.

The answer can be found in Adam Smith, the enlightenment, John Locke. These thinkers fought against thousands of years of history of government tyranny at the expense of the people. Why do we want to turn back the clock to a feudal government power?

Ron Paul write in his book Liberty Defended:

Restraints placed on our government in the Constitution by the Founders did not work. Powerful special interests rule, and there seems to be no way to fight against them. While the middle class is being destroyed, the poor suffer, the justly rich are being looted, and the unjustly rich are getting richer. The wealth of the country has fallen into the hands of a few at the expense of the many. Some say this is because of a lack of regulations on Wall Street, but this is not right. The root of this issue reaches far deeper than that.

The issue is crystal clear for anyone who looks. Expansion of government is crushing the USA in this time because we now must compete globally, to an extent not seen in the past.  Washington does not support a policy of free markets which allow the reckless to fall, money to be free and interest rates determined by the market rather than through changing dials and nobs at the Federal reserve bank. It is corporate socialism, a strong armed central government that is in bed with Wall Street players, picking and choosing which feudal lord should have the power and be saved economically. This is not a real free market. Will we pursue policies of Spain in the 17th century or  America in the 19th century?

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  • The most jobs in the USA are created by small businesses and individuals. However, for some reason politics in Washington supports big business at the expense of you.

Ron Paul continues to write:

Understanding how governments always compete with liberty and destroy progress, creativity, and prosperity…

The existence of the wealth-extracting leviathan state in Washington, D.C., a cartoonish massive machinery that no one can control… neither party is truly dedicated to the classical , fundamental ideals that gave rise to the American Revolution.

Who is to blame Wall Street or Washington? I think the answer is clear.

Categories
Politics

Why I am a Libertarian

The problem with political parties are they are an abstraction. Rene Descartes wrote ‘ every abstraction is a distortion of the truth’.  Therefore, if you are like me you never fully felt comfortable wearing the hat of a Democrat or Republican.  A particular leader from one party might inspire you, but how often do Abraham Lincolns or Ronald Reagans come around? I would say once every 50 years max.

It is better to have a clear ideological vision, than a charismatic leader as a guideposts. The issue is the platforms of the political party you are registered to, represent 65% of your ideals, but run contrary to the other 35%. What to do, what can you do?

You become painfully aware of this as the 2012 US presidential election grows closer and you see the Republican and Democratic nominees. You take your hat off, scratch your head and say ‘is this the best this great country of American has to offer’? It would seem that fate is not without a sense of irony. The greatest nation on earth has mediocre leaders.  Therefore,  politics is the true breeding ground for discontent.

My registration to the Libertarian party of Florida

Why I change to the Libertarian party

I joined the Republicans during the second term of Ronald Reagan, as he was a leader and represented the spirit of self initiative better put, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However, with the Bush wars and expanding debt and corporate bailouts, I do not think the Republicans have exactly been the champion of the founding fathers, nor respected the US constitution. I wrote an article on reasons to vote Republican here.

The Democrats have done no better mind you. In fact, as an American that has lived in Europe, from afar I can see only small differences in the action of the Democratic and Republican parties. I see only elephants and donkeys. Their words are strong, but their actions fall short.

Elephant, Donkey and Statue of liberty, political party symbols

Therefore, I decided to slide down the trunk of the elephant, buck the trend of the donkey and land on the Statue of Liberty, that is register Libertarian. I would be a hard argument to say that Libertarians are no different. I registered to the Libertarian party of Florida. To my surprise there are about 150,000 members.

I wrote an article on reasons to vote Libertarian.

Although when it comes to the Presidential election, partially in a key swing state like Florida, I will most likely vote Republican, however, I joined the Libertarian party. As a side note, one trivial

Why I did not want to join the Libertarians without hesitation

Admittedly there was some hesitation to switch political parties.

  1. I was thinking I will not be able to vote in the Republican primaries for example, which are arguably the most important part of the election.
  2. Also there are some ideas associated with the Libertarians, that might not sit right with some people. For example, the Libertarians on the right want guns, and the Libertarians on the left want legalization of some mind altering organics. I guess these are OK as long as the person with the gun is not the same person with the mind altering substance simultaneously. But the truth is these types of arguments fronted against libertarianism pale in comparison to Wall Street bailouts, crushing Federal debt and endless foreign wars.

I keep coming back to the idea that the government that governs least governs best, and this is why I change my party affiliation to Libertarian.

It is about personal liberties and a belief in the US constitution.

In the end, I felt is was more important to stay true to my political ideals. To have the courage of my convictions. My political economic ideals are closely aligned with my philosophical ideals, which are similar to the enlightenment ideas. That is,  each individual has the right to choose and make their own destiny in this world, and government’s role is to defend the liberties of the individual. That is your enlighten self-interest will result in a society which maximizes happiness, even for the poor.  Therefore, I said, why not change my political party? Why not be a Libertarian, it is only politics, and is not like changing your religion or loyalty to the USA.

P.s. one trivial advantage of being a “Libertarian” is it keeps one clear of the political mud-slinging. For example, when my acquaintances ask me what political party am I? I reply Libertarian, and the most I get is an ‘oh’, rather than scorn from a hipster riding Democrat or a pat on the back from a ‘Connecticut casual dressed’ Republican.

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Categories
Politics

US foreign service jobs – questionable value of the US embassy workers

Most US foreign service workers are glorified postal workers who are living out a fantasy of living abroad on the tax payers dime. I have been an expat for a good part of my life and every time I ever dealt with an US consulate abroad it was nothing more than arrogance and paperwork.

I am not against the people themselves nor the US, but the waste of the US government investment in the US foreign service. Although they are on a much higher level than the US military, which is financial a sink hole. The military destroys, the foreign service can work to promote trade and economics, but in my opinion needs to be scaled back to a minimum. Too much fat and VIPs walking around in suits.

The US embassy should outsource most of their functions like visa applications. They need to put everything online, their websites are filled with broken links and a navigational maze. They really are not hiring the best and the brightest. Objectively speaking the US consultat general could be run with a skeleton crew. Instead I see them spending large amounts of your dollars on wine and cheese parties.

Why I have a disdain for the politics of the foreigner service

I had a very serious incident happen to me about a year ago, and they were more concerned about covering their own butts than helping me as an US citizen. I am sorry to say that but it was true. I only got traction on the incident when I wrote the President of the country I resided and the top Ambassador. But it was a violent attack and a cover up, yes a real web of lies. So much for public service. Enough said on that.

In my experience they certainly do not do diplomacy, please.

Consulate workers are not friendly boy scouts who want to lend a helping hand to US citizen in the name of public service, but rude, inefficient, living a life of entitlement and privilege, and a waste of your money

What I observe at the US embassy

I see them skate off work at 3:30 pm in the afternoon and hitting the expat pubs hitting on local girls. It is a very cushy job to say the least. They get a lot of vacation, top medical coverage and their families attend the best local schools and they are surrounded by a high level of security. I am sure you do not live the way these guys do? And yes they have a nice fat pension plan complements of your family.

They have high priced tutors teaching everyone the local language, something I had to learn myself. I could go on, but the main point is I do not think they add any value to you.

If you are wondering how to get a job working for the US embassy read up on this US foreigner service jobs.

I am not sure what they really do besides cut ribbons and shake hands with local VIPs who the average working guy could care nothing about. There exists countless matrix like workers there just watching the clock. Maybe there are CIA operatives and people like that working there but the average worker the the consultant has a sweet government job. I would never be a government worker, I think I would rather beg on the street.

Most of the functions could be done online or outsources. I wish I had the opportunity to be a business flow process consultant.

Economics of the US embassy

I know they have ridiculous economic programs which try to establish ties between companies in the US and abroad, but this is so lame compared to the private sector. If a company wants to do business abroad they have their own consultants on the ground. I work for such a company and they have real experts and are a model of efficiency and cost you nothing.

Why this is ridiculous? It is all on your money. Every worker there takes about five US workers to support via taxes. Give the money to me directly and I could start a private company and create jobs. Rather than that scenario, US foreign service workers congratulate themselves on being masters of the universe and smoke cigars rolled in hundred dollar bills, your money.

I have mostly met very rude people there. The ones who get the job get a pump for their egos and a title to boot. If you want to really service the US go back home and start a company and create jobs.

Getting a visa at the embassy

Keep your head down and do not make direct eye contact as it could be a sign of aggression. Basically you give some 20 something guy who has not too much experience in the real work real power over people’s lives and you get a very rude postal worker working at the embassy. I did not have any great experiences here. I think before someone works at the embassy they should have to prove themself in the real business world. To get a visa you have to jump through a lot of stressful hoops, they do not make it any easier.

I have seem them deny families of US citizens with my own eyes, which I could not believe. The US government has no problem separating families based on income. If you want to know more about read up on US visa requirements. Even if you are married to an US citizen with children for many years you can not come to the US unless you have a reasonable level of US-based income. You could be a lawyer in the UK but it does not matter.

One area that needs to really be cut fiscally is the US foreign service as it seems important but it is not.

 

 

 

 

Categories
Politics

How to balance the US budget

The Heritage foundation has producted a video which explains in simple terms how to balance the US budget and how to return the US to growth and prosperity. Please watch it below as it is as entertaining as it is informative. I wish President Obama (debt man walking) would watch it.

Why is the US government is out of control? Look at when the budget grew and there is your answer.

The US budget deficit

I am sure everyone understand, the US budget agreement that raised the debt limit, did not cut anything. Zero. Have no illusions it was all fake. Here is why.

It slowed the rate of increase for the next ten years, but spending will still go up and up every year, and government is still expanding. Nothing was cut. It was all smoke and mirrors.

I do not recommend causing  inflation to devalue the US dollar and minimize the impact of the debt as some have suggest like Kenneth Rogoff an economist from Harvard in his article the Second Great Contraction.

So people have asked how can anyone, President, economist or congress balance the budget? What is going on. Here is a nice little video, that explains how it can be done.

 

Translate this into concrete terms – how to balance the budget

Ron Paul has suggested:

  • Stop government growth – A five-year freeze on spending increases. That means whatever a department got last year, it gets this year. I was an accountant and ran various departments. A spending freeze is easy and painless.
  • Balance the budget – Further, if each department of the US government took a 1% cut across the board, than in five years you could have a balanced budget. Just 1% is all it would take. It could be in one year with bigger cuts. The US could pass a balanced budget amendment.

However, departments, entitlements and agencies of the US government will not consider this because of both parties have entrenched special interests. The Democrats with the expansion of the social state and Republicans with the industrial military complex. I personally do not care which party gets credit for getting the budget under control. I really don’t. I personally think the tea party side of the Republican party take the issue the most serious or Libertarians.

But it can be done with the right leader.  The GOP failed the US when they ran someone like Citizen McCain in the last election. Lets hope they choose someone wiser.

But both parties have vested interests and only someone like a Ronald Reagan can convey the message to the American people. So the above plan is possible but needs a real leader.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Politics

Government raw milk raids

As a political issue Raw milk raids by Federal officials may not seem that important. However, from a personal liberty, function of government issue, it is important. Further, it is  yet another waste of government resources to track down and arrest harmless US citizens and police your life.

If we are not even free anymore to decide something as basic as what we wish to eat or drink, how much freedom do we really have left? – Ron Paul

The big cheese government officials who engineered the raids on raw milk farmers, including tax payer salaries workers at the FDA and CDC, the law enforcement agents leading SWAT style raids, get paid a nice cushy salary with benefits and pension most private companies do not. But most important it is another step towards big brother control and goes against my understanding of why the USA was founded.

Legal language like  ‘conspiracy’ to sell raw milk were used. Gee Wiz, next thing you know it the police state will be shutting down little girls lemonade stands.

Does the Fed raid even simple Amish raw milk farmers? Yes. This video illustrates what I am talking about and it is worth viewing.

From my understanding it took about a year of preparation and under cover surveillance to orchestrate these sweeps on Milk smugglers. What were you doing last year? I imagine working hard to earn a living not collecting on the tax payers tab.

Do they raid organic health food stores? Yes.

Guns drawn and all.

Is America still the land of the free?

What can I say, I live in Eastern Europe and my wife’s family has a farm, I have been drinking raw milk for years. It taste great, is healthy and most of all in the countryside no one cares if you do or you do not. She grew up on it as everyone in the countryside did. If you leave it out in the heat it makes great Kefir, you do not even have to add yogurt cultures.

In fact, I am going to the countryside this weekend and drink some raw milk, thank goodness this is not the land of the free America or I could be arrested. In the EU,  Europe, raw milk and dairy products are perfectly legal and this freedom is protected by law.

Therefore, explain to me why, in the USA, it is OK to use tobacco products, consume alcohol, fly on energy drinks (all of which can and do result in fatalities) and do any number of self destructive behaviors, but drinking raw milk gets cracked down on?

Personal liberty issue of raw dairy

I guess the issue is who’s life is it anyway? What is the role of government in people’s lives?  The ‘got raw milk’ issue is only an example.

As adults you should be free to choose how you want to live your life. If you want to do a behavior and understand the cost and benefits of this and does not hurt other people’s lives, why should there be a middleman called the US government policing your action.

The problem is government laws rarely increase freedom, but rather incrementally take freedom away. Step by step, day by day new laws and regulations are passed that curtail people’s personal liberty. The USA is becoming an increasing litigious Byzantine society. What will it look like in one hundred years if the USA still exists?

The rational for government protection is gone. One hundred years ago pasteurization protected people from bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis. Today the concern is more about E. coli O157:H7, Listeria, and Salmonella. So in all fairness there is a reason the FDA involved.

These two cows are not so innocent, they are conspiring to produce raw milk and your government will track it.

You can read the pros and cons of raw milk but that is not the point it is more a personal freedom issue:

Farm sanitation and effective testing has made most of this a moot point. Besides the heavy worded warnings by the CDC,and  the reality some people have become ill, I have not personally heard people dying from raw milk. I do know many people do die from OTC medications. People become ill from walking around in NYC in January, should this be banned.

28 States do not restrict raw milk sales in the USA.

One legal solution for raw milk sellers is they could label the milk for sale as:

  • Pet food, not for human consumption or
  • Milk detergent, not for human consumption
  • Low-temperature vat pasteurization seems to be a compromise

Once ‘100% pure milk detergent’ is sold, in the privacy of people’s homes it could be hard for the Feds to check what you do with it, that is if you use it for natural soap or drink it. Although I would not put anything past the Feds and it would not surprised me if a story like that wound up on Drudge report.

Categories
Politics

What is Washington, D.C. really like?

I know this is a bit of a rant but the news of the US Federal budget is wearing on me, so here goes.

I would never live in the Washington, D.C. area, our nations capital. Why? It is filled with, G-men, government workers, people feeding off the government and making careers off the Federal government. This includes, analysts, lawyers, silly PhD’s who can not find anything to do with their titles, to consulting firms filled with people who know they are in the Matrix but do not care.

Like it says on W.C Field’s gravestone – ‘On the whole, I would rather be in Philadelphia’

It is doubtful George Washington would approve of what the city that bears his name has become.

People connected to government are the laziest, boring, lack of creativity people I know. It is depressing. They are living out their lives and going through the motions to wait for their retirement and perks provided to them by the US government and cry if the ninny bottle might be taken from them. I have personally had experience with them and it was not fun, stifling and frustrating at the same time.

There is so much redundancy in government agencies and departments. Overlaps of responsibility and diffusion of responsibility.

What if the metro area separated from the Continental US and became an independent city state which needed their own economy to support themselves, instead of sucking the lifeblood from the US citizens like feudal lords? I think we would see a wave of recovery in the US states, as tax money outflows from people’s pockets stop. In fact the roads in the US could almost be paved with gold if this ever happened. On the other hand, the lost island of D.C. would have trouble fending for themselves and chaos would break out.

Now as humans beings they might be good honest people.  However, the type of person that gravitates towards a Federal job is,  the signature of someone who does not have the entrepreneurial spirit to strike out on their own and use their imagination.

This almost means a low risk preference, including not doing things like stock trading, living abroad, running our own business or simply living in a unique way, nor learning and trying a second or third career. No sir, these guys have a sweet deal and will ride that gravy train as long as they can. No other employees in the USA get such nice benefit packages. Who pays for it? You do and small businesses whose margins are already squeezed thin.

The professionals in the area are almost caricatures, Khaki wearing men who have Blackberries and iPads from firms like PWC and Accenture, deriving their self worthy from their resume, LinkedIn profile and relative wealth. They are bourgeois and conformist. The women more often than not are quasi feminist American girl libs who you would not want to marry, date or hang out with.

Traffic in the D.C area is horrible, as the industry of big government is an irresistible draw. Homes and lifestyles are over price. Although it is one of the riches places in the nation, it has no industry other than taking the tax money from good people across the USA. I just would not feel right living and working in that type of environment.

If you are there, you are there for a reason, and I just can not agree with that reason. That is big government. For everyone government worker it takes several hard-working American families to support that ‘ward of the state’ called an US Federal worker. Think about it. Add up all the benefits and pay and future benefits that is comes down to the taxes several US families have to pay.

So when I drive up the east coast I prefer to avoid the D.C area and swing through the Appalachian mountains even if it adds two hours to my trip.  And goodness I certainly would not want to live in the metro D.C. area including Northern Virgina, which is a Mecca for  superficial cookie cutter people who measure each other up based on externals like where you got your MBA or the kind of car you drive. The last things on their mind is to fight for reducing the burden of government.

Categories
Politics

Government spending and the Federal Debt are like thieves

Debt driven government spending is like taking things off the shelve at the store and not having to pay for it. Well in some abstract theoretical sense the Federal government tax payers, do have to pay for the spending but since the debt is being pushed out  ad infinitum, then lets be honest we really we do not. Watch this video, although it is about something else the point is made.

Everyone is watching and letting others get away with it. It is unfair. It is, what it is, steeling from honest people and business without paying for it. The Federal Debt is a perpetuity, that is an annuity that has no end, as debt is rolled over.

Why the debt affects the economy?

  • Crowding out effect – Which is a reduction in private consumption and investment that occurs because of an increase in government borrowing. When the government borrows, this decreases available funds that entrepreneurs could use for business as well as disposable income consumers have for themselves.  It results in higher interests for borrowing for the private sector. Aggregatae demand is stuck at a lower level. So even if the government does pay back the debt it does not come without cost. This is contrary to Keynesian thinking. But as we know now Keynes was wrong about most everything in economic and  worse had an influence on the political process.
  • Government spending does not help out the poor – Look at Greece for example. A small country of 12 million people got billions and billions of EU bailouts. If that money was given directly to the people each person would get a lot of money I do not know like a few hundred thousand dollars each) and they could spend it to stimulate the economy. But instead the common people in Greece are complaining it was stolen by government officials. This is partially true. I was there. Greek people are poor, except the ones that have large houses and yachts usually with government connections. In the USA you can say it is something different but it is not. Large business who have the special interest and it is a form of feudalism.
  • I know people in the public sector – Not one would I hire personally.

I hope that the debt ceiling is not raised. Either steep real cuts in government spending, like 50% or the government should default. I know this is crazy talk and it is. But government spending and the federal debt is steeling from the poor and giving to the rich.

 

 

Categories
Politics

The war powers act – What’s up Mr. President?

Rand Paul and five other US senators have asked in a letter to President Obama about:

the statutory sixty-day period for you to terminate the use of the United States Armed Forces in Libya under the War Powers Resolution

Further, it seems not matter that the President did not inform Congress about the use of the US military there as required by law. Rand Paul stated clearly ‘this is the law it is on the books’. It is public law 93-148. How can you argue with that? Just because you are the President or do not like the law, you still are not above it.

Article one Section 8 of the US constitution is clear about the Congress’s role about war. Read the constitution yourself.

The war powers resolution keeps the President from acting like a king.

From child like thinking about war and US foreign policy to reality

As a child growing up in New England with long winters I had a lot of time to spend indoors. As a child of 10 to 15 years old I was studied military history for countless hours a day and played intricate war games  producted by a company called SPI (I visited the HQ in NYC once and meet the President of the company).

With maps spread out all over the floor and thousands of pieces that represented military units, my friend George and I would  play every variation and scenario of war historical and hypothetical all centered on war, and we were the leaders.

If you asked me at the time about US foreign policy, I would have parroted the fathers in the neighborhood who worked for defense contractors. They said things like we needed to have a strong military as we were the policemen of the world or the liberals want to undermine it all.

I even considered going to West Point but my mother would have nothing to do with it.

When I was a child and thought like a child. What is beyond me is that grown men like the President of the United States thinks like the 19th century queen of England. It is not just President Obama that has ignored the Wars power act, but basically all the Presidents.

John McCain, the man who said ‘The United States should stay in Iraq for 100 years if  we have to’ says it is OK that Obama ignores this US law because it is unconstitutional. The last I check, judges not a loose cannon politician interpret the law.

Obama’s double standard about the law

Obama, the same man who replied to a question about why Private Manning was held under horrible conditions without a trial, replied ‘He broke the law and we are a country of laws’ . 1. Last I check people are innocent until proven guilty. 2. It’s OK for Obama to break the law?

What is the war powers act?

It is an US law that keeps the checks and balances of government honest. To prevent the President from acting like a king. It is a law that says congress decides on war and the President is the man on the white horse leading the change once war has been declared. The President has 60 days to be a cowboy and play with the military without a declaration of war, however he must notify congress. After 60 days he becomes somewhat of a military dictator. This is because in a democracy, the people represented by congress, decide  on a declaration of war, the President who is only a servant of the people is the commander-in-chief once war has been declared.

The history behind the War Powers act

The war powers act was passed in 1973 by over a 2/3 majority in congress. This overload a presidential veto (Nixon like Obama did not like it). The reason the wars power act was passed was we had just fought a ten-year plus war in Vietnam called a ‘police action’.

The term police action make you think there are cops and robbers chasing each other. It was not. Many people died in an undeclared war, complete with high civilian casualties, innocent American youth coming back in black body bags, chemical agents, war crimes and CIA secrets integrations. How is this now a war? I used to watch it on the CBS evening news and it looked like war to me.

The President clearly over stayed his right to direct US forces based on a temporary situation with choosing sides in the civil war of the oil rich country of Libya. I do not doubt his motives are good, I guess. That is, to secure a free flow of foreign oil for the US, but at least run it by congress as the law requires.

That is why the people of the United States, represented by congress, both the house and the senate passed this law. To make sure the executive branch does not abuse their power and become a King (or queen).

The designers of the constitution, the founding fathers wanted the collective judgement of Congress and the President, not one or the other to determine something so important as battle.

It is an abuse of power because the executive branch ignored the war powers act.

Why I oppose war

I am not against the idea of a just war, that is the United States has a right to defend itself if attacked. I am against unconstitutional foreign wars and entangling alliances. I am against the US spending your money and money to help others in that way. A few missiles are a few million dollars which we do not have.  I mean if the US really wants to help people, just send the same money to children’s charities abroad or at home directly, rather than get involved in another oil war. Or give the money to me so I as an American citizen can buy a house for my family.

I have suffered a reasonable amount in life and have become more aware of other people’s suffering.  I have grown to realized that people are not chessmen you move on a board and certainly a President has no right to do this unless granted so by the collective voices of the people represented by congress. I use to play board games based on war. They were games for a child. When I see the President thinking this way, it makes me question his judgement as a leader and defender of the constitution.