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The Defamation Of Independence, Or Getting Nothing For Something

Tyler Durden's picture


From Bill Buckler, author of The Privateer

Getting Nothing For Something

One of the great ironies of the way that politics and economics is conducted in our “modern” societies is that the great majority of those who are lured into going along with the game by the promise of “something for nothing” end up in a situation where their payoff is “nothing for something”.

A truism of the retail trade is that you get what you pay for. This means that REAL quality costs more than the run of the mill. It has to. It takes longer to make. It uses superior raw materials. It requires a higher level of skill from those making it. It lasts longer. And it does what it is supposed to do better. There are many people who cannot afford or do not want real quality. But there are also many others who stridently maintain that there is no such thing as “quality” and that the widget that they paid $50 for is “just as good” as the one in the shop across the street that cost you $100.

There is great wisdom in the old adage that you should buy the best you can afford. If the item is vital to your well being or your livelihood, stretch what you can afford as far as it will go. But the operative word here is “afford”. Nowadays, people don’t look at the price tag, they look at the limit on their credit card(s). If they are buying a house, they don’t look at the cost of the house - and the mortgage - they look at the required down payment. They don’t look at what is left over after they have made the purchase. They think about “owning” the item. They don’t think about paying for it.

The old “buy now - pay later” - attitude leads to a lot of woe when the ability to pay dries up for whatever reason. Bad as that can often be, there is something much worse. That is the acceptance of the claim that government-run economies and welfare states hide behind - the claim that it is possible to get “something for nothing”. Everybody knows that this just ain’t so. But they see what appears to be people getting something for nothing all around them so they decide that it must “work” - somehow.

What the last five years has begun to teach an ever greater number of people is that those who succumb to the siren song of “something for nothing” end up with “nothing for something”. It’s a mugs game.

The Defamation Of Independence

Mr Bernanke and his colleagues all over the central banking world are well aware of their fundamental problem. If there is one “entity” in all modern societies where the very concept of “savings” is seen as a deadly danger it is government. The act of saving (and access to something WORTH saving) makes for a nation of independent and increasingly prosperous individuals. Such individuals do not look for something for nothing. An individual who can sustain his or her life by their own effort has little need of being “governed” and will not be “ruled”. That makes the job of governance very easy, but the “job” of ruling prohibitively difficult. Since a government does not produce, it cannot “save” in the real meaning of the term. All it can do is to minimise its demand on those who DO save, those who consume LESS than they produce. That is anathema to a government intent on gaining the power necessary to “run” an economy.

The purpose of a “welfare state” is to convince a majority of the people that savings are not necessary. Once a welfare state has been put into operation - as it has been all over the developed world for a century or so - those in power go further. Their new task is to convince their subjects that the act of saving is not only unnecessary, it is dangerous to their “prosperity”. This would seem at first glance to be both a ridiculous and a formidably difficult task. It is. It has taken our “powers that be” a long time to succeed.

But succeed they have. The majority of the subjects of government all over the world have swapped independence for “entitlements”. That act, all by itself, has impoverished every nation in terms of REAL wealth. The higher the pile of IOUs pile up - the greater the impoverishment becomes.


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Sat, 03/09/2013 - 06:47 | 3314474 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

The Road To Serfdom by Hayek makes this point clearly

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 07:40 | 3314498 falak pema
falak pema's picture

How can anybody who looks at society through the consumer lens ONLY and expresses social norms in terms of trade only be a reference for defining what society is ?

What happened to value systems and the place of ethics and morals in the societal equation?

These new philosophers who jumped on the Economic thread post Marx and industrial revolution, to define the be all and end all of society, just ZAPPED three thousand years of human experience and struggle.

1776 USA was not born on that thread, it was born on the basis of an IDEAL; where is that ideal gone if expressed ONLY in terms of the consumer prism of Hayek which totally debases the citizen function of man in society? 



Now the Oligarchs RUN state to their designs; just like supreme Oligarch, Caesar, primus inter pares, did with Roman Senate! 

We are back to square one! The road to Serfdom has now been hijacked by those who sang Hayek's song in Machiavellian sleight of hand. Hayek's spiel on inevitable verticality resulting from higher education just means the game is not a simple trade off on a linear scale of economic efficiency in society but a more complex, holisitic system, more three dimensional than linear where other criteria enter into account in a holistic vision of society.

Hayekian reasoning is now dépassé as too simplistic; like Ayn Rand. Modern society requires other societal skills, that is evident to anybody with a modicum of sincerity and respect for society's real problems; aka demographics, ecology, runaway consumerism, ageing pyramid etc...

Thank you very much for spouting pure theory and forgetting pragmatic reality. 


Sat, 03/09/2013 - 08:06 | 3314521 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Brennan takes oath on draft Constitution—without Bill of Rights


He could have asked around for a Bible.....but he was in a really big hurry. Like anyone is going to notice anyway.


Sat, 03/09/2013 - 11:45 | 3314796 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Couldn't use a bible ... converted to Islam years ago.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 15:24 | 3315335 Jena
Jena's picture

Much as I found Brennan's swearing in with the Constitution without the Bill of Rights rather creepy, there was refreshing sort of honesty about it.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 08:07 | 3314527 archon
archon's picture

But the "social norms" you speak of are already valued in terms of consumer value.  The State takes about 50% of my income in taxes, fees, and payments of various forms, in the name of "social norms" or the "common good".  That is real money, not just "theoretical money".  They use that money to pay unproductive bureaucrats, and give single moms, unemployed people, "the needy", and a host of other people who didn't earn that money food stamps, unemployment, welfare, and all kind of freebies at my expense.  The money they take from me is precisely the amount of money that I will never get to spend on my own family, my own community, my own friends, local businesses, and other worthy and "needy" causes in my own realm of influence. 

Question 1: So, what is the value of these "social norms" you speak of?  Answer 1: About 50% of my paycheck.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 08:46 | 3314558 falak pema
falak pema's picture

ok, there are trade offs on the amount the state should take. That is an acceptable ratonale to be decided by the elected and controlled by the people via elections or via straw polls. That is the meaning of society, a dynamics that recognises there are trade offs and perpetually ADAPTS theory (laws, pieces of paper) to the reality of changing technology/social expectations.

But selling the whole economy down the river to the Oligarchs, in the name of entrepreneurial freedom, whereas in reality its CORPOFASCISM, their secret, unstated model, is not the ideal that 1776 was all about.  We are there ...time and time again.

Just saying, there has to be balance between the achievers and the non achievers, whatever the playing field, economics or football or what have you. Every body has to get a bite at the cherry. A society that EXCLUDES people is not one worth supporting. That is the true indicator of the road to serfdom; when people are excluded 'cos they don't fit the zeitgeist NORM; whether it be race, creed or gender, whether it be economic predatory nature, or might is right MAfia rule of law. And being blasé about that, singing "glory to the achievers" is not civilization; its asking for trouble and we have our fair share of it today, thanks to the RR/MG brigade and their mantra of "greed is good" and "deregulate global mayhem to China and beyond'. 


Sat, 03/09/2013 - 09:27 | 3314593 Fishthatlived
Fishthatlived's picture

"Every body has to get a bite at the cherry."

No, everybody has to have the OPPORTUNITY to get a bite at the cherry. Plenty have no desire to bite.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 10:11 | 3314673 falak pema
falak pema's picture

depends how hungry they are...thats part of social elasticity; the boomerang effect, but it has to be there; if it goes INELASTIC then they end up in inferno! Social nets should avoid that people get PUSHED over the brink, like expendable sheeple. 

But seriously, does everybody have an opportunity for a bite at the cherry today in first world; ask those guys in Greece; totally innocent of their own social/material decadence imposed in TOP down mode. by corrupt Oligarchs running wild.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 11:24 | 3314753 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

...corrupt Oligarchs running wild....welcome to our world of conspiracy theories Squire! Though you may disdain those not of your own making, it seems that the horse can indeed be both led to water...and -on a long enough time line - induced to drink it!

Oligarchs. Corruption. Wild Runnings.

Sounds just like bizness as usual though the ages. Those Black Nobility Venetians who you constantly seek to scuse from the scrutiny of historical judgement - masters of the game... that has been continued on from before and ever since their time. A Khazarian time line...if you will...with a little bit of Etruscan divinatory necromancy thrown in for good measure.

You're making excellent progress. As far as code words like 'oligarchs' go, "ask those guys in Greece"...they know the score...

Salonikan Sabbateans and Lurianic Kabbalists running wild through the western world - Oh vey, you don't say!


Sat, 03/09/2013 - 14:45 | 3315202 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Joyful, it's not a question of conspiratory organizations, it's a mindset, the way I understand falak. An extremely commercial mindset, that reduces human experience to consumption and production and pure materialism

Take the concept of citizenship and state, through this specific lens you'd have nations organized as shareholder based enterprises and pure mercenary wars

They aren't (yet?) because they evolved in a different turf, one for which part of the US/UK are nearly (hydroponically?) detached by now

This mindset, in it's pure form, spontaneously leads to networks and Old Boys Clubs. Buccaneers recognize each others and find easily the right
sort of clients and henchmen, and is easily used in supporting propaganda

Eventually it collapses in itself, as it happened several times in history, then the sheer weight it sets on stranger's cooperation versus peer cooperation can't be held since distrust kills commercial empires quicker than egalitarian or authoritarian setups, as in the extreme examples of the Soviet Union (70 years of posing as pure eqalitarian) and Nazi Germany (where Genetic Destiny was crowned as God-Emperor)

There IS a reason for those three great ideological families, they are most probably psychlogically even needed, and they come back in force if too long neglected

so - imho no, buccaneers and mercenaries and great commercial enterprises are manifestations of a mindset - knights, honour, mafia,holy flags and tribal help and conflicts of another mindset, and forced group-think, uniformity of expectations and lifestyles and collectivism of a third mindset

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 11:19 | 3314752 Vidar
Vidar's picture

There is no justification for the state getting even one cent. ALL taxation is THEFT. Make all taxes voluntary and disarm all the cops and other state agents, then we would be getting somewhere.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 08:24 | 3314538 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

1776 USA was not born on that thread, it was born on the basis of an IDEAL; where is that ideal gone if expressed ONLY in terms of the consumer prism of Hayek which totally debases the citizen function of man in society?

Ah, but the ideal is still kicking and rearing.
'American' ways are still the same as on day one.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 11:42 | 3314788 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

impressive reach on the idiomatic and colloquial ESL campaign. My compliments on your progress as well. Clearly you are putting all that empty time at the dusty and folorn Ordos Public Security Compound desk to good use.

Bye the's buck ing and rearing...but kicking will come in handy, nonetheless...there's, for instance, kicking the bucket -what the "Merikan ideal" did long time gone... and Amerikan ways have changed, a bundle...they used to kick out tyrants, now they just kick the can.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 13:47 | 3315033 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

'Americans' used to kick out tyrants?

But tyrants did that a lot in the past.

Tyrants fighting tyrants, that is a lot of wars.

So what is the message here?

'Americans' have been kicking the can from day one. Kicking the can is 'american'

When the noble de Lafayette asked Jefferson about freeing the slaves and ending slavery to come in par with the speech on freedom, Jefferson retorted maybe in a few generations.

Another obvious evidence that the 'american' ways have not changed.

It is 'american' fantasy to claim a change, especially tasted by 'americans' who fear to be next on the target list of 'americanism'.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 14:19 | 3315110 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

AnAnonymous, the more I read you posts the more I am ashamed to be an American. Truly you have exposed us as the frauds we are, present as well as historically. Every day I learn from you American history I never knew existed! I bow to you and your race. You are obviously the shining light of truth the world needs today. The people here just can't appreciate the wisdom you share. They're just jealous they can't be Chinese citizens so don't take offense at their angry responses. Instead, revel in your superiority because you clearly are. All eyes will turn to china as the beacon of hope and freedom you will bring to the world.


Sat, 03/09/2013 - 09:20 | 3314585 nmewn
nmewn's picture

1776 & 1980?

I'd say, beginning 1860 through 1945 there was a sustained assault on our population as it relates to how we would be governed in the future, law, taxation, public education and individualism as it relates to our values as a society.

And the People lost.

It is within these short 85yrs years, that we find the "progressive" income tax, the birth of the Federal Reserve, the suspension of individual Constitutional rights because they interfere with the iron fist of nanny-state progress, the Prussian model of public education for the "good of the state", the direct election of federal senators instead of them representing the individual states governmental bodies.

And we look around at each other, in wide eyed wonderment at just why it is, that it took the voice of one man, standing alone on the floor of the US Senate, refusing to yield, asking simply, is it acceptable to us, as a society, for the President of the United States to order citizen executions without anything but the stroke of his pen?

Thats how far freedom & liberty has fallen from our grasp. It shouldn't even be open for debate, a given, that such a thing could never happen. But the Senate just confirmed a man who will do it without hesitation and there is a stooge sitting in the WH who will sign off on it as a matter of executive power.

Liberty died in those 85yrs. a slow strangulation, she fought as best she could...but there were just too many with their hands reaching for her throat.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 10:30 | 3314690 falak pema
falak pema's picture

that is an evolution that many consider as the MAKING of America. Liberty was seen to go to the trend setters at the expense of the small guy.

Hey that is capitalism in essence. Its not Davy Crockett style its Rockafella stuff!

Denying it is historical revisionism, changing it for the future would be revolution! 

So your opinion of that is contrary to the majority and to history. You would like to go back to bottom up grass roots logic and decentralised government. History decided otherwise. Your premise that the majority lost is debatable as the majority voted for it massively; both parties buying into it since 1860 onwards, after the south lost the battle (another decisive nation building watershed). 

Will the american people go BACK to that original model?

I think not...especially those who run Corporate America, where the power TRULY is. 

I don't see a blue print for that other US reality taking form; except here on ZH...not in mainstream USA.

Unless the Ron PAul legacy gets resuscitated BIGTIME!

Good luck with that! 

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 11:53 | 3314812 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Your premise that the majority lost is debatable as the majority voted for it massively..."

No, my premise is not debatable at all, it is absolutely correct and I covered it when I said...

"Liberty died in those 85yrs. a slow strangulation, she fought as best she could...but there were just too many with their hands reaching for her throat."

Those were the hands of democracy, not those who desire a republic based on iron clad law. Those were the hands of the "free shit society" and the pandering pols who can never say no.

And you bring up Davy Crockett, an honorable man to be sure. But he also got sucked into "democratic-statist matrix think" based on emotion, premised on, doing right for his fellow man, instead of what is right for the nation as a whole and the law he swore to protect & defend.

An excerpt...

"Well, my friend; I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing Treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just as I did."

"It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means. What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government.

So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he. If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had been burned in this county as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the sufferers by contributing each one week's pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of wealthy men in and around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life. The Congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditably; and the people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from the necessity of giving by giving what was not yours to give. The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution."

And there you have it.

Often someone is accused of being heartless or uncaring for resisting the temptation to spend other peoples money. The opposite of that is, the man in question, can never be described as a thief.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 12:10 | 3314845 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

Enjoyed both of those posts, thanks.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 12:32 | 3314892 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

Indeed, I as well.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 12:55 | 3314938 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Thank you both.

Its taken years for one segment to come to understand another segment of society, not just here but globally. If we can't change the way they think, even after everything being revealed these last few least they can be made to feel guilty for being the authoritarian hacks and manipulating busy-bodies they are, by continuing to promote failure.

Thats assuming of course, that they have eyes or any conscience left in them at all.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 16:26 | 3315489 CourtJester
CourtJester's picture

As did I.


Sat, 03/09/2013 - 13:09 | 3314968 glenlloyd
glenlloyd's picture

I don't believe it can be better said.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 10:25 | 3314691 geewhiz
geewhiz's picture

Liberty is not quite dead yet, but she is gurgling very loudly. Gun sales are up bigtime and when its no longer possible for the dumbed down majority to delude themselves that they are free maybe some kind of backlash will take place. What else are all those secret FEMA detention camps for? Our oppressors must know how the end game will be played out, hope it doesn't end something like the Bolshevic "revolution" did. Guns won't work to stop this very thought out enslavement but I think an Orwellian 1984 or North Korean type society is achievable, let North Korea be our role model society.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 13:50 | 3315036 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Liberty died in those 85yrs. a slow strangulation, she fought as best she could...


Liberty in America died when the Emancipation Act was signed. Before that date, America was a temple for Freedom.

Signed: an American.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 10:14 | 3314679 petolo
petolo's picture

Falak, you have made my day. A sincere thank you.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 16:02 | 3315426 malek
malek's picture

 "...too simplistic..."

Nothing else I need to quote from your post. You have swallowed hook, line and sinker the mantra of the ruling class: more complex is better.

Maybe you should ask yourself what set of ethics and morals and ideals are the best, and if those you selected are simple or complex.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 06:55 | 3314481 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

Individual freedom cannot be reconciled with the supremacy of one single purpose to which the whole of society is permanently subordinated....................There are three main reasons why such a numerous group, with fairly similar views, is not likely to be formed by the best but rather by the worst elements of any society. First, the higher the education and intelligence of individuals become, the more their tastes and views are differentiated. If we wish to find a high degree of uniformity in outlook, we have to descend to the regions of your moral and intellectual standards where the more primitive instincts prevail. This does not mean that the majority of people have low moral standards; it merely means that the largest group of people whose values are very similar are the people with low standards....................Limitation of output so that prices will secure an “adequate” return, is the only way in which in a market economy producers can be guaranteed a certain income. If, as has become increasingly true, in each trade in which conditions improve, the members are allowed to exclude others in order to secure to themselves the full gain in the form of higher wages or profits, those in the trades where demand has fallen have nowhere to go, and every change becomes the cause of large unemployment. There can be little doubt that it is largely a consequence of the striving for security by these means in the last decades that unemployment and thus insecurity have so much increased. The utter hopelessness of the position of those who, in a society which has thus grown rigid, are left outside the range of sheltered occupation, can be appreciated only by those who have experienced it. There has never been a more cruel exploitation of one class by another than that of the less fortunate members of a group of producers by the well-established. This has been made possible by the "regulation" of competition. Few catch-words have done so much harm as the ideal of a "stabilization" of particular prices or wages, which, while securing the income of some, makes the position of the rest more and more precarious. In England and America special privileges, especially in the form of the "regulation" of competition, the "stabilization" of particular prices and wages, have assumed increasing importance. With every grant of such security to one group the insecurity of the rest necessarily increases. If you guarantee to some a fixed part of a variable cake, the share left to the rest is bound to fluctuate proportionally more than the size of the whole. And the essential element of security which the competitive system offers, the great variety of opportunities, is more and more reduced.       F A Hayek

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 06:56 | 3314482 The Heart
The Heart's picture

Good news comes as the nation gets closer to the hundredth Monkey time. More and more people SEE what is happening and now the ship, she is steering into the wind to face the adversarial forces aligned against the real answers to the real problems. It only takes one upright soul to effect a real shift in the course of the whole ship. The answers are here. Who will step up to the plate to implement them?

From this article titled "Killing America."

"All foreign spy organizations such as the ADL and related lobbying groups such as Aipac  and the like must be registered as foreign intel operations and closely regulated.  No more Congress-critters should be allowed to sign loyalty oaths to anyone and must honor their oath to uphold the US Constitution from all enemies both Foreign and Domestic.  It must be made illegal for anyone who is a member of a secret society has sworn allegiance to extra-judicial entities to serve in in official capacity in the USG, LE, or the judiciary.

Any Congressperson being involved in or promoting unConstitutional or illegal acts or wars should be immediately impeached, and those who have committed Treason and Sedition must be tried in a suitable court of law by “we the people”.

And most of all the Federal Reserve Banking System, a private Delaware Corporation and its agent the IRS must be abolished and replaced by a new Central Bank solely owned and run by Americans, one that issues real money, not debt-based fiat notes, but real Greenbacks like the Colonialists or Abe Lincoln or what JFK tried to do.  The phony national debt must be cancelled, “fair trade” must replace “free trade” and proper tariffs must be assigned to imported goods to establish parity. All foreign aide must be stopped and all foreign US military bases closed and the troops brought home."

Read the rest of this very interesting report here.:

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 07:14 | 3314486 Inthemix96
Inthemix96's picture

Hundreth monkey indeed Heart,

Do you think the big cheeses ever gave a thought to the game changer of human history?  They didnt understand the power or scope of the internet did they?

Five years or so ago people like me knew sweet fuck all about money or debt, or where it came from or how it perpetuates the to be frank, slave system placed around our collective necks.  But thanks to the web, and smashing places on it, such as this one, we do now.

I really believe the PTB are shitting themselves.  In fairness to them though, its ingenious how they have gotten away with it for so long, and given the chance most folk would screw someone over for a cheap profit, but alas, the sun is setting on this stage, we are just along for the ride.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 07:09 | 3314484 archon
archon's picture

Democracy doesn't guarantee freedom, only give it a chance to survive.  It's easy to take something from someone who never knew they had it in the first place, or had it, but didn't care, or didn't know its value.  People will gladly give up their freedoms cheaply, and those who would rule them will gladly take them, when people believe that "free" is when they get something for nothing, rather than to still have the choice to get something for something. 

If people don't like Ayn Rand now, they're really going to hate her when they're living in the world of "Atlas Shrugged".  The motor of the world is grinding to a halt with each passing day...

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 07:10 | 3314485 de3de8
de3de8's picture

Unfortunately we will not see the return of liberty and freedom for a very long time.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 07:17 | 3314489 philipat
philipat's picture

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."

-A. Tytler (Attributed to)

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 09:22 | 3314589 SmallerGovNow2
SmallerGovNow2's picture

A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from ....

We're there...

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 14:03 | 3315064 DCFusor
DCFusor's picture

First place I saw that was in the writings of Robert Heinlein.  A real conservative, not a right-wing-nut.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 09:46 | 3314632 spooz
spooz's picture

Seems to me the thing that destroys democracy is the inequality created by the wealthy and powerful. They make sure the tax code favors them over the working stiffs and receive subsidies and bailouts that undermine fairness. And there is no need for them to vote for such largesse, they hire lobbyists to buy off our politicians.

I like this quote from Teddy Roosevelt better:

"To say that the thriftless, the lazy, the vicious, the incapable, ought to have the reward given to those who are farsighted, capable, and upright, is to say what is not true and cannot be true. Let us try to level up, but let us beware the evil of leveling down.”



Sat, 03/09/2013 - 14:05 | 3315068 DCFusor
DCFusor's picture

You didn't go back far enough.  Things like tax breaks don't matter unless there's already a (big enough) tax to create the possibility of redistrubutionism.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 11:08 | 3314739 Vidar
Vidar's picture

The problem is not democracy (though I agree it is doomed) but the state itself. As long as one group is given a monpoly of force and allowed to fund themslves by confiscating the wealth of those who produce, the cycle of power, death, and destruction will continue. Smash the State and establish a private law society.


Sat, 03/09/2013 - 08:34 | 3314548 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

More 'american' gibberish like producing more than consuming.

It is quite telling that self proclaimed innovative people as 'Americans' pretend to be are unable to deliver on their cheap propaganda and renew it.

Production is an act of consumption.
Infinite growth, here we are. 'American' mantra.

Indeed,'americans' have to try to maintain the absolute nonsense of producing more than consuming.

Because in the consumption department, 'americans' are peerless. There are the 'americans' and the others.

And finally, as a corollary, if 'americans' are peerless at consumption, meaning nobody can even hope to rival with them, as a consequence, 'americans' are peerless at conservation, meaning that anyone out matches 'americans'.

Unfortunately for 'americans', you cant shine in both consumption and conservation department.

As the current situation would demand conservation efficient people,well, 'americans' can not tell as it would definitively exclude them from any position.

When you want a consumption job to be performed, ask an 'american'.Nobody can do better save another 'american'.

When you want a conservation job to be done, anyone can do a far better job than 'americans'.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 10:23 | 3314688 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

You made me laugh with your comment.

It is quite telling that self proclaimed educated people, as AnAnonymous pretends to be, are unable to deliver on their cheap propaganda and renew it.

Production is an act of consumption. Here we are, the mantra of AnAnonymous, the rejected thesis of a failed academic. Little surprise that he is compelled to trumpet his crackpot theories here, since he was laughed out of the university system.

Incidentally, it leads me to  something. Wonders if his rejected thesis, which sunk his doctoral ambition, was laughed out of an 'american' university. Just connecting.

When you want an offuscation job done, when you need to export the blame to a convenient exterior, when you need elaborate scapesgoatery and denial to avoid self indiction, ask a Chinese citizenism citizen. Nobody can do better save another Chinese citizenism citizen, especially one that is an embittered failed academic.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 13:52 | 3315045 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Production is an act of consumption. Here we are, the mantra of AnAnonymous, the rejected thesis of a failed academic.

Only an 'american' could request a thesis to tell that production is an act of consumption.

Just for the fun and exposing once again the eternal nature of 'americans', mind to provide a single example of production that is not an act of consumption?

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:21 | 3316751 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous driveled:

Only an 'american' could request a thesis to tell that production is an act of consumption.

Your comment gave me a good chuckle. There was no request involved.

You have, on your own initiative, put forward here the thesis that production is consumption, a notion that a word and its antonym are equivalent in meaning. It is clear from some of the comments you've made here over the last three years that you're an educated person, so I would expect you to be able to support such an unusual proposition.

Yet all you've been able to offer is unsupported assertions, trite sloganeering, sanctimonious pecksniffery, and bitter invective. This vigorless defense of your thesis is the hallmark of a failed academic. The one thing that you have successfully demonstrated is that one can be educated and still have a tenuous grasp on reality.

Just for the fun and exposing once again the eternal nature of 'americans', mind to provide a single example of production that is not an act of consumption?

A single example? Such a triviality. Planting a garden, something which I will begin today, is such an act. Have I sufficiently exposed my eternal 'american' nature for your amusement?

I expect that, in accordance with your eternal nature, your response will be nothing more than convoluted word games or, far more likely, running away and saying nothing.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 10:26 | 3314693 LongBallsShortBrains
LongBallsShortBrains's picture

That's a broad brush you're painting with....

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 12:18 | 3314853 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

... 'americans' can not tell as it would definitively exclude them from any position....When you want a conservation job to be done, anyone can do a far better job than 'americans'.

Gotcha - a little too cute for your own good there Master Leung...can not...we went through that yesterday with the "GoldBear74" syntaxical terror tsunami; comment 3311803

correct usage requires cannot instead of can this case as well. But you already know that doncha!>>>? Since you are, clearly, GoldBear74!!! arrncha!!!!

Just another guy looking to make a splash, and a name for himself...while nursing a grudge that he didn't get the nod...which went to that real American Icon...Smokey. It's over bud...hand in your Party Card. Only Merikan bears can be productively conservationist and managing consumption of efficiently harvested public lands...and as a corollary.. prevent forest fires...they're Pandas just goof around lookin for grass and navel gaze!

I'll bet my bottom yuan you two never appear in the same room together!

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 13:59 | 3315055 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Ah, such a nice display of 'americanism'

When confronted that in a world heading for conservation, 'americans' are totally misplaced and an aberration so to tell, the 'american' will try to shift attention on a point of detail.

Back in the days, I had so much fun with that 'american' trait.

I usually snuffed anything about 'americanism' with small errors so that 'americans' could rush in and try to hide behind the details while the big picture was staring at them.

Until a day when an 'american', his face red with anger, jumped off his seat and shouted "dont you see, he is doing that on purpose" But that is another story.

Keep trying, 'americans', your 'american' nature dominates you.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 14:08 | 3315073 akak
akak's picture

Ah, such a nice display of AnAnonymystical hypocritizenism and inability to self-indict.

Back in the Long March of Insanitation and Little Red Book days, he had so much fun with the chinese citizenism trait of murdering his fellow citizenisms by the tens of millions.

Until a day when a fellow Chinese citizen, his inscrutable face reddish-yellow in anger, jumped from his roadside squatting position and shouted "Don't you see, we chinese citizenism citizens are as bad, or even worse, than US 'american' citizenism citizens in our blobbing-up and consumptionalizing?"  But that is another story.

Keep trying to avoid reality, AnAnonymystics, your 'chinese' citizenism eternal roadside crapmongering nature dominates you.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 14:11 | 3315089 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Again that fantasy of chinese citizenism?
Fantasy is the last shelter for 'americans'.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 15:08 | 3315270 akak
akak's picture

Again that fantasy of US 'american' citizenism?

Fantasy, and scapesgoatery, is the last shelter for ananonymystics.

(Fantasy and scapesgoatery, and ragingly collectivist bigotry, that is.)

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 08:38 | 3314551 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Indians also thought that somehow independent life could save them.
As a side product, it gave the funny event of Tecumseh and fort detroit, and the emblematic 'american' situation of "selling guns, never used, dropped once" that would later turn to be a good measure of the spread of 'americanism'

'Americans' are creatures of theft. As such, anyone leaving on their borders or among them, is dragged in an attrition war.
Independence is a pipe dream in an 'american' world as in an 'american' world, you only own things that you can keep away from the 'americans'greed. And it takes resources to achieve that. Always more and more resources. Until you run out...

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 09:20 | 3314584 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture


This message brought to you by a consumer consuming goods he didn't produce to tell you how much you are consuming. It's always the other guy who consumes too much.

Did he make his computer from an old bicycle in his garage?

Probably stole one from his beloved Indians. Apple's birch-bark edition.

Too funny.

A one trick pony complaining how nobody appreciates horsemeat.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 14:05 | 3315070 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

It's always the other guy who consumes too much.
Ah, classical 'american' take.

Try to make it general in order to get away with what you are doing.

So what's up on that issue?

People consume unevenly.

'Americans' have been consuming much more than anyone in human history over a same period. Actually, over the last 50 years, in certain things, 'americans' have consumed more than the rest of humanity since dawn of times.

They are far above anyone.

So yes, when the others point at 'americans' for overconsumption, it is a fact.
In an overconsumption situation, somebody is doing the overconsumption.

And for them, when they point the finger at 'americans', it is right for them to say that "others are consuming too much"

Now indeed, 'americans' do the same and it is when it comes fun because 'americans' are pointed fingers at people who can happen to be outside consumption.

For 'americans', starving people are already consuming too much. If you eliminate starving people, the overconsumption issue will be solved.

The way it works in the 'american' world.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 14:12 | 3315091 akak
akak's picture


So yes, when the others point at 'americans' for overconsumption, it is a fact.
In an overconsumption situation, somebody is doing the overconsumption.

It is also a fact that the anthorde billions of chinese citizenism citizens today consume even more, far more of certain things, than Americans do. 

Blobbing-up world resources is the new dogma of Chinese citizenism --- hence all the exploitative Chinese resource neo-colonialism in Africa and South America.

When are AnAnonymystics going to confront that reality, and self-indict themselves as the new consumptionizers par excellence?

Alas, alas, a few times more alas, do not hold the breathings on that one.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 09:33 | 3314603 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Chinese citizenism citizen cinches his sphincter muscles together and drops this into the collectivist stew pot...

"Indians also thought that somehow independent life could save them."

Would these be the indians who conquered, killed, enslaved other indians in order to expand their tribe & hunting grounds or the indians in chinese citizen citizenism childrens books?

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 10:29 | 3314696 LongBallsShortBrains
LongBallsShortBrains's picture

Quit mixing reality into his idealism.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 14:16 | 3315105 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

What idealism?

Noone needs to be an angel to make statement on 'americans'.

There is absolutely zero needs to misrepresent Indians when it comes to 'americans'.

When it comes to certain departments, 'americans' are way out of the league. They reign supreme. When you look down from their achievements, it takes a outstanding sight to perceive the second to them.

No matter how much you want the Indians to engage in slavery, war and conquest, 'americans' have outperformed them by far.

It will be more a demand from 'americans' to depict Indians in the way they were not in order by transivity to save their 'american' image of themselves.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 14:23 | 3315122 akak
akak's picture

No matter how much you AnAnonymystics want your strawmen "US 'american' citizenism citizens" to be the parangongs of overconsumptionalization and resource blobbing-up, your antheap chinese citizenism citizens are outperforming them by far.  Dozens of entirely empty, centrally-planned chinese ghost cities being one of many proofs of that.

Where is the self-indictment, oh son of self-proclaimed Middle Kingdom guiltlessness?

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 11:00 | 3314729 gould's fisker
gould's fisker's picture

AA's just pissed off because he owns 32 condos in Chinese ghost cities and he's Fucked too along with Mao's little red (now dictatorial captialist) book.  So AA, STFU, and go bugger your dog before you eat him for dinner.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 12:44 | 3314918 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

LOL, exactly!  How conveniently people forget the entirety of human nature and history. 

The progressive brain believe we have evolved beyond these basal drives in our nature, that we have evolved beyond tyranny. This is why they never view government as the problem.  After all, these 'regal' Senators represent our own highly evolved society, to see them as evil would mean.....

Statists do not like that rabbit hole.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 14:09 | 3315076 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Does it mean that those Indians were 'americans'?

A question that wont find answers.

And a remark already made: does it come as a justification for what happened?

Since 'americans' outperformed by far anything that the Indians did in the department of conquest, killing and enslaving, does it mean that 'americans' deserve the same treatment?

Ah, 'americans', the way they killed debate is wonderful. Too clung to double standard for debate to survive.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 14:16 | 3315100 akak
akak's picture

Ah, the outrageous offuscationalizings, scapesgoatery, inability to self-indict and hypocritizenism of chinese AnAnonymystics, the way they blobbed-up and killed Tibetans is wonderful. Too clung to double standard of hypocriticality for debate to survive.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 11:48 | 3314806 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

is it just me, or does anyone else see the irony of a Chinaman talking about pipe dreams.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 14:10 | 3315079 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

There is as much irony in a fantasy as the fantasist decides.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 15:05 | 3315102 akak
akak's picture

There is as much truth and honesty in AnAnonymysticalism as the roadside squatting sphincter can provide.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 09:31 | 3314599 deerhunter
deerhunter's picture

We have for too long looked the other way and said it has always been this way.  The taxes we pay enable those who rule over us to do as they will with virtual impunity.  It seems to me that "taxation without representation" was once a battle cry in our country.  I saw some beef steaks for 11.98 a pound at a grocery store the other day and just wondered out loud if those could end up anywhere but as ground beef when the expiration day passed.  Who would even if they could spend that kind of money on a couple of steaks?  Yet we are told the inflation rate is less than 2%?  Really?  This won't end well,  just saying.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 10:31 | 3314698 spooz
spooz's picture

How trite is the "taxation without representation" meme.  As if our biggest problem is high taxes, when an extended period of tax breaks on the wealthy has resulted in inequality that hasn't been seen in our country since the great depression.  You toot the same old horn as the wealthy and powerful disenfranchise the rest of us by simply buying our legislature.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 11:48 | 3314804 Pareto
Pareto's picture

That's not the pont, however inadvertently you have contradicted yourself.  The distribution of wealth widening between the many and the few is precisely because of taxation without representation.  And you need only to look at $17T debt balance to see, fully and completely that government simply doesn't work.  The measure of ineptocracy approaches insanity and you're bitching about the rich's failure to pay their "fair share".  Like Benjamin Carson says, "If I make $1,000, then I pay $100 in tax.  If I make $1,000,000, then I pay $100,000 in tax - but then somebody will say, 'thats not fair, the guy paying $100,000 doesn't feel the pain as much as the guy paying $100.'  Since when did we decide we have to hurt somebody - the guy just boned up $100,000!!"

This is a government and socialized planning problem which creates perverse incentives by those governing the governed.  We've created an entitlement society that thinks they ought to get something for nothing without thinking even for a second who is actually going to pay for it.  And because the pain of the cost is felt neither by the policy makers or the users, (fiscal illusion), the costs soar, quality collapses, and corruption continues because that is government and that is its morality.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 07:10 | 3316574 spooz
spooz's picture

If you accept that inequality leads to an unstable economy and should be avoided, the most pressing reason to tax the rich is to reduce inequality, not to make everyone pay their "fair share".  The simplest way to reduce inequality is taxing the rich.  

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 14:35 | 3315162 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

"no representation without taxation" is one meme/answer to the perpetual fiscal deficit (or until the whole thing blows up when interest costs more than health and education). you have as many votes as dollars you pay.

if you don't pay don't get a vote..that includes prisons, government workers and the military.

corporates get a vote for the amount of taxes they pay as well, but cannot lobby. 

simple enough. you pay to play, otherwise, you pay nothing you get no say.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 11:41 | 3314789 lieto
lieto's picture

Bill Buckler is the man.

He makes an honest and valid point with an economy of words.

You guys can all argue about it but the trade off he is referring to is almost a self evident truth in imho.

Us private sector shleps have 1.5 government workers and people on the dole to support.

This can't continue indefinately.

Then what?

We have been conditioned to accept fake money and false values.

Bill points this out time and again for those that have ears to listen.


Sat, 03/09/2013 - 11:54 | 3314813 TrustWho
TrustWho's picture

Read the founding fathers who discussed the problems of the Constitution in their letters and The Federalist Papers. The Founding Fathers understanding of the human condition surpasses even the great people on ZeroHedge. For example, they debated whether the Bill of Rights should be included or not even when they all agreed with each amendment. The people for including believed these rights were so important each had to be explicitly stated and enshrined so NO government could take them away from the individual. The people against including believed the Constitution explicitly limited government rights such that all other rights were exclusive to the individual, so by explicitly including the ten amendments to the Constitution all other rights NOT mentioned might be considered in the domain of the state.

The founding fathers were very concerned about the courts as "Who Police the Police?"  They even discussed phrases in the amendments that a federal power would use to acquire more power, because the state would impose its power to protect the individual's rights as so written. (i.e. abuse of the Interstate Commerce clause used to right a wrong) In my opinion, the Founding Fathers predicted their experiment would fail. They predicted this without any thought the state would annul the 2nd amendment.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 13:46 | 3314878 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

SF Chronicle today ran an editorial in support of Rand Paul's filibuster.  You can find it at under Oped.  It is the headline editorial on the back page of the A section in the print version.  This in the  home of Feinstien and Pelosi while McCain ridicules and attacks.  Very interesting.

Here's the link

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 13:03 | 3314943 steve from virginia
steve from virginia's picture





"The purpose of a “welfare state” is to convince a majority of the people that savings are not necessary. Once a welfare state has been put into operation - as it has been all over the developed world for a century or so - those in power go further."


Business tyranny vs. excessive govt. What is there not to like?


One or the other standing on the neck of prostrate free market productivity, right?


Guess what? There is no such thing as industrial productivity. Output always costs too much, the entire enterprise is subsidized by credit. No credit, no industrialization. Little wonder the finance sector has such outsized power over everyone, the industries of the world will stop working without endless loans.


Government is necessary as it provides debt service for finance! Public sector can run endless deficits while the private sector cannot. Public sector can finance interstate highway systems and militaries, provide right-of-way for power lines, pipelines and railroad and make free-trade agreements while the private sector cannot.


Besides, so-called productivity is actually the cannibalization of capital. The world's machines  are literally eating themselves into the poorhouse.


Quit whining, getting rid of government won't help and rid of banking is impossible without de-industrializing. Sit back and enjoy the consequences of living without capital. I'm sure your grandchildren will have the times of their lives ... cursing the days you were born!



Sat, 03/09/2013 - 14:27 | 3315147 Mr. Magniloquent
Mr. Magniloquent's picture

steve from virginia says

"Besides, so-called productivity is actually the cannibalization of capital. The world's machines  are literally eating themselves into the poorhouse"


I do not understand this statement. Are you claiming that money is preferable to finished goods? That if barefoot, Gold, Silver, and other monies are superior to human happiness and function that a produced shoe? It's difficult for me to approach your other assertions as they are poorly stated. There is always room for reducing cost and requirements in production. This very improvement is what delivered mechanization and the insuing industrial revolution. Computers have further improved this cost reduction both in an outside of factories.

Industrialization is arguably the greatest driving force in invalidating government. Industry produces to satisfy human wants and needs as the lowest possible cost. Psychologically healthy individuals with materials needs satisfied have no obvious need to impinge upon the lives of others. This makes the primary role of government (security in person/possession) irrelevant.

Technology and industry are the principle reason why traditional wars of conquest are unnecessary. At a certain point in history, it became less expensive to produce something than to plunder it. I believe it won't be many decades (historically speaking) before this reaches the individual scale as well.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 13:22 | 3314990 besnook
besnook's picture

most of you don't know shit. my plan is to leave the country as soon as i can, which won't be for a coupla years. most of the rest of you will sit here and take the crap that is thrown at you. many of you will say it tastes real good. and chastise people who don't feel the same way. it is way past time to use the second amendment but all that could be mustered is a lame occupy movement themed kumbaya with very little rage against the machine. watch how the europeans do it. greece is about to explode, so is spain and portugal. italy may follow as long as the wine flows. there is even trouble brewing in britain. here in the usa, not a peep by the generations(x and milleniums) that will get fucked the most. what a bunch of weak kneed namby pamby quivering towers of jello. this is my rifle and this is my gun. you got nothing. bring it you pussy bois.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 16:14 | 3315452 malek
malek's picture

If you really look long and hard enough you realize there is no other country that is better and will remain that way.

Most other countries are just a few years behinds in the progress towards getting more messed up by the week,
And pockets of sanity exist because of ignorance by some greater evil powers, not because the sane region has strength and a populace that wholeheartedly supports that sane approach and is willling to protect it.

That being said, you cannot contrue a valid reason to stay put out of my arguments, but you cannot presume you will find your paradise elsewhere either.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 01:27 | 3316362 honestann
honestann's picture

I escaped over 3 years ago.  I hope you can still escape in 2 years.  You are correct in your inference that the vast majority of humans are essentially brain dead.

Those who pretend nowhere else is better don't know what they're talking about.  Good luck to you.

Sat, 03/09/2013 - 15:56 | 3315416 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

"Getting something for nothing" is an inherent trait in biology and is ok.  In a natural ecosystem, the natural checks & balances of true competition balance things out dynamically.  In an artificial/contrived ecosystem of politics, these checks & balances are subverted, perverted and distorted.  The result is a system that seeks to create a static balance.

The inherent drives remain unchanged, but the opportunities now change in favor of an elite that has created new rules that favor them -- and the clergy class aids & abets insofar it 'discourages' the ppl in the lower classes from using their forms of power to re-balance the equilibrium.

If a society cannot or will not maintain its natural checks & balances of a free market, then the imbalance will be achieved by other methods.  One method is described by Diderot in his famous 18th century quote:  There will be no world peace until the last monarch is hung with the entrails of the last priest.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 01:22 | 3316360 honestann
honestann's picture

The primary way to get something for nothing is... theft.

And theft is indeed what the predators-that-be and their supporters advocate and seek.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 04:32 | 3316508 dunce
dunce's picture

Subsistence farming has always been equated with abject or slightly above poverty mostly because farmers that could provide for their own needs were free and independent. Some very small farms or farms with poor soil or little water were real poverty, but larger farms provided very comfortable lives for their owners far above mere subsistence and this was America up until about the sixties. There are fewer small  family farms every year and the govt. is driving them out of business with tax and agricultural policies. Through taxes every farmer is now effectively a sharecropper with the govt claiming real title to the land. He is told what to plant , how much to plant, where to plant, and what he must sell the crop for plus in some cases who he may sell to for what price. We are a much richer country today but a much less free people.

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