Guest Post: Bypassing Government Roadblocks To Your Personal Prosperity

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by David Galland of Casey Research

Bypassing Government Roadblocks to Your Personal Prosperity

Recently I helped out with some delivery chores. As I drove about, I discovered that one of the roads I would normally use was closed by roadblocks. It was, I imagine, due to road repair work. I had to reverse course and take a substantial detour.

I wondered why the road crew hadn't put up a sign indicating the road was closed back at the main intersection, but I shrugged and muttered something like "Typical government operation."

Driving back home, this idea of roadblocks took root in my mind. The thing is, only governmental entities can set up roadblocks – at least, legally.

Obviously, there are times when such roadblocks are entirely appropriate... for example, when a bridge is found to be dangerous.

In that case, putting up a roadblock to let drivers know that the road is a no-go makes perfect sense.

For example, a temporary warning sign to let people know that there is a road crew fixing potholes ahead makes sense and that sort of thing.

Otherwise, unless a road is damaged to the point where driving is either impossible or ill advised, there should be no roadblocks set up. Makes sense, right?

The decision to set up a roadblock should be taken only by people who are close to the problem, who understand the issues, and can deal with the problem on the road, fix it, and open it up again as quickly as possible.

Imagine then a world where government officials, as often as not operating hundreds or even thousands of miles away, are in control of the roadblock rules.

Despite having no real knowledge of the problem at a local level, they dictate that those roadblocks be set up and made permanent based not upon the specific condition that a road is out, but rather based on political expediency, cronyism, imaginary threats, and donations by influential lobbyists.

In a world like that, where roadblocks are set up all over the place and without any real thought to the consequences to road users, imagine how difficult it could be to get from Point A to Point B.

In fact, it would not be out of the question that the single road leading to your house could be blocked, leaving you no way out.

While that seems rather extreme, I would contend that it is a valid metaphor for the world we now live in.

To make the point, a couple of weeks ago, I discussed my recent travels to Ireland and Portugal and the devastating consequences the actions of the European central planners have had on those economies.

Before the European Commission bulldozed their way of life, the Portuguese fishermen made a nice living. They made money and supported their families the same way they had for generations. Life was good.

But not long after Portugal's admission into the Eurozone, however, they woke up one morning to discover their own regulatory roadblock.

It was cooked up by bureaucrats thousands of miles away who have no idea of the local challenges or hazards it would bring to the local economy and the families that rely on it.

This roadblock required them under law to destroy their fishing boats, thereby preventing them from earning their livelihoods.

Another example of roadblock insanity can be seen in energy policy here in the US.

Hollow Soundbites and Pointless Platitudes

Politicians bray about the need for energy independence.

Behind the scenes, however, they kowtow to the environoids and special interests by littering the landscape with roadblocks that prevent energy companies from achieving and innovating our way to exactly the independence they tell us we must have at all costs!

Here's where it affects you:

Government has set up another sizable roadblock. This time it is in the path of savers.

By meddling in the market in order to allow the debt-bloated government to continue its out-of-control spending, the Fed has suppressed interest rates to the lowest levels in US history.

Almost overnight, retirees and others who counted on the yields earned on savings to cover living costs have come to a dead stop in front of a roadblock placed in the way of their most pressing needs.

Their finances now in tatters, even people in their 70s who have worked hard and saved all their lives are being reduced to serving up French fries at fast-food joints.

For another roadblock, look no further than Obamacare.

In a recent Reason magazine article, it also expressed the same sort of convoluted logic that has gone into creating a series of related roadblocks. As one wit put it:

"If you think health care is expensive today, wait until it's free."

One of those roadblocks has to do with the considerably higher taxes tucked away in reams of unreadable legalese that will shift yet more funding from the private sector to the public. Here's the text from an email sent to Doug Casey by a financial professional friend of his this week:

You may have had only a casual interest in the debate over the Obama Health Care bill, and even if you followed it closely, the headline discussion seemed to be more on the inclusion of millions of uninsured citizens, the penalties for not being insured, etc., vs. the fact that this is a noticeable income tax increase on investment income.

For those who have an adjusted gross income of $200k ($250k for joint returns) or more, the number on the bottom of the first page of your 1040, which comes before itemized deductions, charitable gifts, or personal exemptions, there is a +3.8% uncapped tax applied on all investment income (capital gains, interest, dividends, etc.), plus an obscure provision of the code known as the Pease, which reduces the value of itemized deductions, adding another +1.2% to the tax rate.

Be aware that if the current "Bush tax cuts" are not extended, the current long-term capital gains tax rate of 15% will go up by two-thirds to 25% beginning 1/1/2013. The top rate on dividends will nearly triple from 15% to 44.6%!! Ouch.

Unlike Social Security taxes, which are capped, the Health Care tax is uncapped. The mouthy Warren Buffett is finally getting his wish – paying more than a 15% tax rate. Instead of just writing a check for more, which he is certainly welcome to do, as an advisor to the administration, he probably had some influence on getting it applied to all higher-income Americans.

As you know, I am not a tax attorney nor an accountant, so am sending this as a heads-up, and if it is relevant to you, you should confirm the details with your tax advisors.

On the topic of throwing up more tax roadblocks, here's one from overseas… sent along in an email from our own Vedran Vuk. In Vedran's own words…

"Most of the time when we think about raising taxes, it's the threat of millionaires leaving. We don't usually think about them not coming to a country. Here's an interesting case of Zlatan Ibrahimovic signing a soccer contract for 14 million euros per year. If the new tax goes through in France, he will be taxed for 75% over the first million euros. If the tax does go through, good luck attracting multimillion-earning players to France. A lot of people in the 99% will be pretty unhappy when all of their sports teams become horrible as a result of the tax."

My favorite quote from the article is:

"Ibrahimovic will earn 14 million euros annually, sports daily L'Equipe reported. Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron said that indicates that European football needs more regulation."

Yes, just what the world needs – more roadblocks.

Of course, this time it's to block decisions that the football team's management believes it needs to make in order to win (and therefore attract fans, sell tickets, and raise rates to sponsors).


I recently ran into a public-high-school English teacher and asked how the education business was going.

His response was, "Do you have four days for me to tell you all that's wrong?"

"It seems like every month some team or another shows up from the government in order to introduce a new teaching program. And the really frustrating thing, is that none of these people has ever taught school."

He went on to say that it becomes clear very quickly that they have no idea what they're talking about and that each new protocol was conceived by some bureaucrat with no teaching experience either.

It was eye-opening to hear such emotive language from a public-high-school teacher – in my experience, most of the people who choose that profession are largely on board with the whole big-government thing.

Yet, it seems that more and more people are beginning to catch on to the idea that central planning is not such a great idea.

It's how you end up with roadblocks where roadblocks don't belong.

It's how you end up on a road you never intended to travel along, forced there by roadblocks that don't make sense and clearly don't help.

Ultimately you risk getting hopelessly lost, or you turn around go back the way you came and start again.

So yet another school program gets introduced, another law, another rule. And it all starts again.

Happily, it is almost a certainty that, in time, the bureaucrats and their many roadblocks will be shoved aside.

I say that because there really is a limit to how long people will put up with being denied access to their fundamental rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

There is only so long that entrepreneurs will put up with having to navigate around more and more roadblocks in order to provide a product or service to consumers, when such roadblocks serve absolutely no useful purpose.

Unfortunately, while there are a number of things you can do to get started and plenty of sound advice along the way, it will take time.

That's because there is still a considerable swath of the voting public who actually buys into the idea that government is a force for good and that without it, equality and justice would go by the wayside.

And so it is that the US and virtually all of the large economies around the world are still firmly in the grip of the notion that central planning is the only way to get to the green pastures that surely must be just over the next hill.

Or, more specifically, the next round of legislation and policy machinations (read "roadblocks").

There has never been a starker example of the mindset of the current administration and its many followers than a comment made by President Obama this week. Here it is:

"If you've got a business, you didn't build that.
Somebody else made that happen."

His point is that essentially, all human progress is due to the good work of governments.

  • That without governments, there would be no roads to set up roadblocks on.
  • There would be no Internet.
  • There would be no body of case law nor a judicial system to enforce that law.
  • There would be no telephones.

I disagree, and so do many others – including many from past governments who see the direction Washington, DC is taking and don't like it.

I contend that this view of the world is essentially the opposite of the tenets of the capitalist/free-market model.

In the view of Mr. Obama and his ilk, We the Sheeple are all but helpless without the government to lead us forward.

That the US government's activities as a share of GDP have gone from well under 10% at the beginning of the last century to over 40% today – and will go over 50% by the time Obamacare is fully implemented – makes it clear that this country is now operating on principles that run completely contrary to those that promote success and economic well-being.

The consequence of continuing to operate on this model will be a steady decline in the quality of life for most Americans, while favoring a ruling elite that produces nothing… except more roadblocks.

Ayn Rand will someday be celebrated as a futurist.

But how does one fight back? Grab a gun? Don't even think about it: the Second Amendment may have been intended to protect against a tyrannical government, but the actual truth is that the weaponry of the US government is so incredibly advanced at this point that even the most well-armed militia wouldn't last a minute.

No, the best way to "fight back" is to get wise to the whole thing.

Understanding what's happening and knowing where the roadblocks are likely to be just makes sense.

And having clearly set out strategies that both sidestep the roadblocks and preserve your wealth is not just a good idea – it's critical.

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marz929's picture


engineertheeconomy's picture

Stealing something from someone, somewhere... 

with his fuckbuddy Bernanke

Not Too Important's picture

Where The Secret Trillions We Printed Went:

“…estimates the amount of wealth hidden in tax havens by the super-rich at a minimum of $21 trillion: i.e. $21,000,000,000,000.”

It might be as much as $32 trillion…

Henry came up with this range of numbers by sifting through data from the Bank for International Settlements, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and private sector analysts—and it does not even include yachts, mansions, art works and other forms of wealth held overseas.

Some of it is the laundered proceeds of crime, and much of it is money stolen from national budgets by corrupt national elites (an estimated $306 billion from Nigeria, $798 billion from Russia, $1,189 billion from China), but most is deposited by the respectable super-rich of the West.

…almost half of the minimum estimate of $21 trillion is owned by just 92,000 people, some of whom pay no tax at all.”

 And the real kicker (if this doesn’t piss you off, nothing will):

 “…the amount of wealth that is managed by the top-10 private banks, most of it held overseas in secret accounts, has more than doubled in the past five years.”

 Full report:

The massive amount of corruption could not be explained any better. They're printing tens of trillions of dollars for their friends, and they want us to pay for it with 'austerity'.



Manthong's picture

At least we can assume that the electronic vote tabulating administered by centralized government is honest and when the voice of the people from the voting terminal or scanner (NOT ballot box, counted at the local level) is expressed, the bureaucrats and their many roadblocks will be shoved aside”.

Doña K's picture


In Chamonix French Alps minus the beard. Hotel la Vallee Blanche. Hurry up and get him before he helicopters out

cycloptron's picture

Travers: Tucker and Walker! We're missing 3 bags.
Gabe Walker
: What's in them?
: None of your fucking business!
Eric Qualen: Suits, socks, 100 million dollars - the usual stuff.

goldfish1's picture

the bureaucrats and their many roadblocks will be shoved aside

the bureaucrats and their many roadblocks will be ignored and will fall away of their own weight.

Lord Blankcheck's picture

The Us Gov would spend all $21 trillion in about four years.Then what?

Gully Foyle's picture

"Ayn Rand will someday be celebrated as a futurist."

I always enjoy when people Rand would despise as bloated ticks feeding off the success of others, cite her.

Fucking hypocrites all.

fonzannoon's picture

Ayn Rand was an Author, correct? She studied Philosophy and history. She was not a plumber or an electrician or farmer. So technically that would make her more of a bloated tick than a true productive member of society. She had a rare insight into things though and she spread the word and she seems like a genius now. Still, Irony is fun.

mrdenis's picture

 "I am opposed to all forms of control. I am for an absolute laissez faire, free, unregulated economy. Let me put it briefly, I am for the separation of state and economics".....the visonary ,AR 

engineertheeconomy's picture

Yeah buddy!

"Seperation between Economics and State" would be ideal if "We the people" had a Gold/Silver Standard and uninhibited trade/barter without tax. This would most importantly include NOT LETTING THE GOVERNMENT PRINT MONEY, BUT INSTEAD RELY ON THE PEOPLES UNFORCED VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS EXCLUSIVELY

CH1's picture

We HAVE silver.

We HAVE gold.

We HAVE digital gold.

We HAVE Bitcoin.

We HAVE barter.

We HAVE encryption.

But...people are slavishly waiting for permission, rather than using them. Such permissions will NOT be forthcoming.

Your ACTIONS are what count, not your words.

F. Bastiat's picture

Ditching cable service and TV are also good practical steps.

nodhannum's picture

Just ditched DirecTV, they beg every day to come back. FUCK them and the horse they road into town on.

nodhannum's picture

Just ditched DirecTV, they beg every day to come back. FUCK them and the horse they road into town on.

TraderTimm's picture

You are absolutely correct. This is what really galls me about ZH readership - the tools are HERE, right NOW. If only a few percent of the people who read ZH switched to some of the tools you listed and stuck with them - we could change how things operate, and starve the BANKS of income.

I'm doing my part, that is for damn sure...

Hacked Economy's picture

Right-o.  Every little bit really DOES count, especially in a fractional-reserve system.  I myself hold accounts with four different banks and credit unions, and keep ONLY enough money in them at any given time to cover my activities (such as EFT or mortgage payments, etc).  I have my paycheck direct-deposited amongst them so as to receive the "privilege" of having those accounts without any monthly fees, then I simply withdraw the excess cash and stash it elsewhere (or convert to silver).

The banks don't necessarily need to be starved to death to learn to scale back...we only have to stop trusting them with ALL our cash.

On top of all that, I operate on primarily a cash-only and debt-free basis whenever and wherever I can, which is 99% of all purchases and transactions.  For me, life continues as usual.  For the banks...sorry, Charlie.  :)

Papasmurf's picture

Here we go again with the freaking bitcoin plug.

CH1's picture

It's okay, you don't have to act. And you can besmirch those who do!

Important people on TV say so!

granolageek's picture

And just what can you actually buy with Bitcoin? I sell maple syrup and a few other things over the web. Software that will handle actual multiple currencies costs more than my profits. I set my prices in dollars, and Paypal, MC and Visa handle currency conversions, albeit at outrageous fees to both me and my customers.

This option is not available with Bitcoin. I must accept fiat, or I may as well just shut down. I suppose I could set up a mirron site that works in Bitcoin. The software I use will indeed work in Bitcoin, just like it will work in dollars, pounds or Euros. But only one at a time. I already have enough inventory issues when my wife or I sells something locally for cash and doesn't tell the webstore quickly enough. I don't need more, nor do I need the maintenance work of cutting and pasting every change into a second site.

Care to explain how I can realistically move to Bitcoin?

PS. I suppose I could become a vendor on SilkRoad. Most SR buyers jump through hoops to buy Bitcoin with fiat to get something they otherwise couldn't. They're not about to do that to get something they could just get with fiat in the first place.

CH1's picture

Care to explain how I can realistically move to Bitcoin?


If you're not going to act until everything is just right... if you don't care enough to jump in and WORK for freedom, you're still on the wrong side.

A Nanny Moose's picture

WADR. I remain unconvinced as to how a bunch of fucking 1's and 0's are better than 1oz of something tangible in my hand. Bird in the hand...

Help Is Not Coming's picture

But...people are slavishly waiting for permission, rather than using them. Such permissions will NOT be forthcoming.


Help is not coming and neither is permisson.

NeedtoSecede's picture

Who is the troll that would give CH1 a red arrow for this post? Only some statist troll trying to suppress liberty would give that post a red arrow. Show yourself troll. Come out of the shadows and explain to everyone here at ZH why you would be against personal liberty and personal responsibility. I doubt you have the intellect or the guts.

i-dog's picture

It's to her shame that she didn't go the extra logical step and push for the separation of the State from planet Earth!

engineertheeconomy's picture

Perfect! Send them too some far off planet where they can enslave and screw eachother into eternity!

AnAnonymous's picture

I am for an absolute laissez faire, free, unregulated economy. Let me put it briefly, I am for the separation of state and economics".....the visonary ,AR


Wait a minute. The state is the only body able to make regulations?

What another great advancement by US citizen thinkers.

How impressive.

Totentänzerlied's picture

Another leg down in the sad story of AnAnonymous posts, when a non-native English speaker resorts to equivocation, you know the calibre of troll with which you are dealing.

"Like squatters on the roadside, these are the trolls of our lives. Chinese US Citizenisms, time to die." -Brade Lunner

AnAnonymous's picture

Equivocation? please point out. In absence of, well, again, US citizenism at work, you are the one pushing forward equivocation by not pointing out my supposed equivocation.

Neethgie's picture

Ayn rand used state provided healthcare for her lung cancer, she was a hypocrite. sorry to kill your hero's picture

As has been discussed to death here Rand was forced into the medicare system at gunpoint. If you can get some restitution from a thief who has robbed you you are not a hypocrite.

AnAnonymous's picture

JKC, something that must be written by Indians living in the US... US citizen Rand was forced into the medicare system at gunpoint...

How US citizens are cheapening extortion... It does not take much to extort from them. So they say.

mjk0259's picture

Really and who was holding the gun? Couldn't she just have let herself be shot instead of submitting to socialist health care that would be painful and just drag things out?


A Nanny Moose's picture

Try to avoid paying taxes. You will learn who is pointing the fucking gun, PDFQ!

Arkadaba's picture

Was wondering when someone would bring up that interesting fact ...

AnAnonymous's picture

As interesting as knowing the Founding Fathers for some owned slaves.

US citizens are worshippers, cultish type people. And worshipping is worshipping.

Kayman's picture

Are your Chicom controllers still holding back on your toilet paper ?

How about offering some insight on fixing a society built entirely on corruption- China.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Reclaiming your property from the theif that stole, through non-violent means is morally justified.

Beyond Going Galt, what better way to bring down a kleptocracy, than to work within its own rules.

Cabreado's picture

"I am opposed to all forms of control. I am for an absolute laissez faire, free, unregulated economy. Let me put it briefly, I am for the separation of state and economics".....the visonary ,AR


Even Sociopaths get a few things right.

But they are not to worshipped -- ever.

ISEEIT's picture

Ayn was an individual who expressed her thoughts publicly and unapologeticly. I personally do not favor her brutally selfish perspective, however I do favor and support her individual LIBERTY to hold and express such views.

Ayn Rand told A truth. Her truth.

If we had something close to a healthy society expressing individual truth would be normal, typical, supported and encouraged.

In a fucking zoo though the only expressions that count are those of the warden. Everybody else is just on display.



LetThemEatRand's picture

Ironically, I cannot think of a single human being I have met or read who has suggest that Rand should not have been allowed to preach her religion of selfishness and pursuit of material wealth.  The entire premise behind the First Amendment is that vigorous debate will eventually reveal the truth, or at least provide rational people with the tools needed to decide what is the truth.  Calling out a philosophy as bullshit is not even remotely the same as suggesting it should be stifled.  The true irony of Ayn Rand is that -- like everyone of her disciples I have ever met -- she fed from the same trough and benefitted with great financial success from the same society she shunned as broken.   

i-dog's picture


"I cannot think of a single human being I have met or read"

Neither we nor Rand can be held responsible for your extremely poor choices of acquaintances and reading material!

Monedas's picture

Gullible Foil @ Ayn Rand:        You did not write those books .... somebody helped you .... sweat shop workers built your typewriter !

A Nanny Moose's picture

Clicking your heals and saying "it's bullshit," 3 times, might make it true. You sure have the anti-Rand talking points down.

How is it bullshit to act in ones own self interest, and attempt appeal to the sense of value in others? What about preaching the failed religion of The State? The State in current Keptocratic form is the direct and proximate result of attempts to coerce "selflessness" How is it immoral to attemp to reclaim your property from the thief which stole that property?

LetThemEatRand's picture

Why is it always one or the other?  The problems are complex and so are the solutions.  Getting rid of government for all but the limited purposes espoused by Rand would have unintended consequences beyond belief.  Greenspan famously admitted that he did not account for the fact that a CEO would run his company into the ground for personal profit, taking the savings of thousands with him.  How could he not see that?  Because he believed that John Galt would emerge from deregulation and save the planet.  Your philosophy is elegant in its simplicity, but at its base simplistic.  Much of what Rand wrote rings true because it is.  Government is too big, it is corrupted, taxation is often unfair and counter-productive. Much evil has been committed by government.  But Rand ignores the evil perpetrated by free enterprise and what the world would like like if everyone were acting out pure self-interest.   There is no magic bullet.  Humanity is flawed.  The solution is balance.  Complex, ugly, difficult, often wrong balance that must be constantly tweaked and worked on.

A Nanny Moose's picture

"The problems are complex and so are the solutions." 

What makes you think a few HUMANS are capable of solving these complex problems? They only appear complex because we choose to evade reality, but cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.

Getting rid of government for all but the limited purposes espoused by Rand would have unintended consequences beyond belief.  

You have proof of this? Where in human history as there NOT been a violent monopoly in charge of a geographic area? Where has there not ben a social hierachy based on might makes right? Please provide supporting evidence.

Greenspan famously admitted that he did not account for the fact that a CEO would run his company into the ground for personal profit....he believed that John Galt would emerge from deregulation and save the planet.  

It is government regulation, in the form of the Corporation which allowed this to happen in the first place. John Galt did not emerge from deregulation, but from the requirement to gain permission to produce from, and share the resultant wealth with, those who produced nothing. Either Greenspank (by extension you) needed to better understand Rand, or you are mis-interpreting Greenspank.

"Your philosophy is elegant in its simplicity, but at its base simplistic."

This is your opinion. Save the editorial for such time as you have provided sufficient evidence to back your claims. Please.

"Much of what Rand wrote rings true because it is. But Rand ignores the evil perpetrated by free enterprise and what the world would like like if everyone were acting out pure self-interest.... Humanity is flawed."

Why do you continually assail Rand? More to the point, why to you engage personal attacks toward those who cite Rand, and about who you know nothing, but assume much?

If government is a walking socio-economic cluster fuck, which has always existed, then how can you blame the free market, for that which is obviously the result of goverment intervention?

Governments have murdered over 250 million of their own citizens, in the 20th century alone, not including wars. Free enterprise? Not so much. Even if you agree that government was the means to that end, you must also agree that such ends could not have happened without government.

If government is so evil, why do we keep repeating the same thing over, and over and expecting different results? If humanity is flawed, what is the sense in giving a few HUMANS all the guns, and all the power to order everyone else around?

The magic bullet is to live by the principle that initiation of force is wrong, Universally. Even Rand went a bit astray on this point. Are we going to accomplish this overnight? Nope. Continuing to live by the sword is not going to get us any closer to that goal either.

You are now encountering know what to do. When you are done, please produce answers to the questions, rather than logical fallacies.