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).

Insane.

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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F. Bastiat's picture

When he's in DC, he's typically at the Ritz Carlton.

FreedomGuy's picture

It is mute testimony to the abject corruption that Corzine is free. Hey, all you big government statists and collectivists! Where is all that big government honesty and protection that those tens of thousands of rules and dozens of f**king police agencies are supposed to provide? A clear crook walks free without indictment even! Of course he was a senator and governor with the official state party, the Democrats. Surely some honest Democrat-statist like Eric Holder would take some time from suing the sovereign states to take on one of the evil undertaxed rich like Corzine, right?

For the rest of us libertarian leaning types...this is exactly what we expect from all powerful states. It's not about law, it's about government connections just like any other dysfunctional government from China to S. America. Taxes and law are for the little people and unconnected.

(BTW, does anyone else remember "crash" Corzine's auto accident, lol?)

The Watchman's picture

Whatever happened to the American social fabric? It's not supposed to be how to soak up other people's productivity. Zombies we've become.

engineertheeconomy's picture

ANYONE that does not keep Silver in their pocket and attempt to spend it or at the very least leave it as a tip is still a Zombiesheep...

PAPER IS NOT REAL MONEY, it's only monopoly money. The sooner we all stop using it, the sooner we will BRING DOWN THE SYSTEM.

December 21, 2012 

Put it on your calender

Then start using Silver today

infinity8's picture

http://www.facebook.com/weknowthesecretsofthefederalreserve

 

It's way far down their page now, from April 8, but there is a great image with monopoly $ laid out with USD. A friend e-mailed it to me a few weeks ago. I hadn't notice that our newer colorful bills are tinted differently and match up with the monopoly $ colors denomination to denomination, i.e. $5=pink, $10 yellow, etc. Had to look in my wallet. True and disgusting. Slap in the face, still pissed. - some one of you cats with image posting privileges might be so kind to throw it up here for all to see without fishing for it. . .

mess nonster's picture

Spending silver is easy. Getting paid in silver- now that's the trick!

Real Estate Geek's picture

ANYONE that does not keep Silver in their pocket and attempt to spend it or at the very least leave it as a tip is still a Zombiesheep...

You must be smoking some primo shit if you think I'm going to spread pearls before swine, who will simply dump my Ag into a Coinstar machine. 

I'm happy to spread the word about how $4/gallon gas is really only 20¢ when using real money.  But until I have a realistic chance of replenishing Ag via day-to-day transactions, my Monopoly money is going on the barrelhead and my pre-'64 coins are staying in my Gresham-commemorative coin purse.

 

 

StychoKiller's picture

Sorry, but as long as fools continue to accept worthless paper, instead of REAL MONEY, I'll hang onto my REAL MONEY, educating the few that will listen, one day at a time.  Besides, how many are equipped to make the correct change for a silver dollar?  How many are even aware what the current spot price is?

I always ask:  "Do you still take Federal Reserve Notes?"  You'd be amazed at how many people don't even know what they are, until you hand them one -- thinking is hard WORK!

Waterfallsparkles's picture

Watchman,

More and more people are getting the idea that it is better to do nothing and take.  Than produce and be taken from.

The Government will not survive when everyone is a taker.

FreedomGuy's picture

I like the way you said that. I plan tp plagiarize that, lol.

Dr. Sandi's picture

 

Whatever happened to the American social fabric?

The American social fabric was covered with cum spots, so it's been sent to China for a thorough cleaning.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Racer's picture

Leeches not elite methinks!

Duke of Con Dao's picture

the third in the series of 'You Didn't Build That' movies featuring our Prez and Alec Guinness:

YouTube - 'Obi-Wan Kenobi... You Didn't Build!' sez President Obama

May the Force be with you! 

 

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

 

 

 

SOLYNDRA employee to Obama:

you're right Sir, we didnT build that!

 

From:  http://didntbuildthat.com/

nmewn's picture

Average taxpayer looking at the national debt...we didn't build that.

Intelligence_Insulter's picture

Big government is ruining the world. I'm a government contractor and I know first hand the gross incompetence and waste that the government can dish out.  I should be fired.

 

I heart Ayn Rand.

Gully Foyle's picture

Intelligence_In...

Oh please BIGOV is no more incompetent nor corrupt than the average business creature.

Carlin points out that glaringly avoided fact.

 

 Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky. They don't pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It's what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you're going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain't going to do any good; you're just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it's not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here... like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There's a nice campaign slogan for somebody: 'The Public Sucks. Fuck Hope.'"

George Carlin

fonzannoon's picture

"Romney 2012...The public sucks, fuck hope."

That's actually pretty good.

Think for yourself's picture

Of course BigGov is much more corrupt than the average businesses. If you're a corrupt fuck, power necessarily attracts you like a flame does a moth. So the most corrupt gravitate and accumulate in nexuses of power, BigCorp, BigFinance, BigGov, until there is litteraly a phase change in that nexus and the corruption takes over the normal function entirely.

Of course you'll also see it in the average business but at a far milder concentration.

Moreover, Carlin might have been right about lots of stuff, and this quote of his is a good start, but he fails to have a systemic view of the problem. Individuals, society, corps and and gov are not isolated entities. They form an interrelated system in which actions of each part causes feedback in the others. Thus necessarily the actions that have the most effect on the entire system are those caused by the entity that can apply the most force to it: BigGov.

Of course, the public sucks, but the way the political system is set up, they do not elect random Redneck Bill to go in there and screw up stuff like an idiot. No. It is a highly competitive system, in which only the smartest, most vicious fucks will win. Then they get in and not only screw up stuff like an idiot, but rather systematically corrupt it in the cleverest way they can.

The public is under constant assault by the matrix, if you will, which is the environment they grow up in and need to adapt to. Shit culture, shit religion, shit lifestyle, shit attitude, shit corporations, shit "education", shit media, shit medicine, shit food, shit air, shit water, shit airwaves, shit gov, and I'm probably forgetting a few. Of fucking course John Q. Public will turn out like shit.

As Krishnamurti said, "It is not a sign of sanity to be adapted to a sick society". Yet, unaware of the fact that this society is profoundly sick, adapting to it is exactly what the average joe - and even the average good guy - will be doing.

And thus the cancer grows.

AnAnonymous's picture

but he fails to have a systemic view of the problem.

__________________

He saw it and name it: the systemics is 'Americanism'

Kayman's picture

Why don't you get a soap box, go to Tiananmen Square and offer some improvements to the Chicom system.  See how long it takes for your Chicom handlers to harvest your organs.

mjk0259's picture

Why would a corrupt fuck go to government when they go to finance and maybe make millions in a couple years instead of in 20 years? Some of the stupider ones do because they can't get jobs in finance. They work in the financial regulation part of government, learn the tricks and then get jobs in finance.

engineertheeconomy's picture

WRONG!

People are good, the Government is evil and needs to be replaced with an honest, transparent, accountable open source direct democracy like Iceland and Switzerland are working on

Gully Tinfoil you suck donkey balls

msmith9962's picture

Maybe it is big/bureaucratic anything which breeds waste and incompetence.  After reaching a certain size (business/government/religion) does the entity continue to exist under its own momentum?  Darwin and the need to be efficient and agile no longer apply. 

People are good; I have to remind myself of this frequently.  However, smaller and more local makes it easier to be good.  My HVAC guy/mechanic is less likely to screw me when he is my neighbor and I see him at the grocery store.  My small credit union knows me and that has paid off on several occasions.    It is easy to screw faceless people thousands of miles away.  My philosophy is evolving with the thanks of ZH.

I’m in the DC area and Just got back from a trip to a lake in rural Maine which restored my faith in humanity, this may become an essential yearly pilgrimage.

RichardP's picture

When the builders of the boats are the uncles of those who will sail them, the boats will be seaworthy.

Don't remember who said that.

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

engineertheeconomy screamed BS:

People are good [sic]

 

You know that business down the road from you, the one you always patronize?  Well guess what, that guy doesnT always pay the sales tax.  But ... as you already know: *He*always*charges*YOU*sales*tax*.

engineertheeconomy's picture

Whatever that is that you are smoking, it must be some gooood shit!

mkhs's picture

Anyway, he is screwing the state, and you have no liability. 

Winston Churchill's picture

Yep.He is just the UNPAID collector of your taxes.

I for one am sick and tired of being an unpaid tax collector.

Fuck 'them.,Lazy overpaid incompetents all.

Tax strike.

Kayman's picture

"that guy doesnT always pay the sales tax"

What a pissy, pathetic, dishonest statement.  Are you referring to yourself or trying to insult all small businesses.

 

Vooter's picture

I'm no fan of the federal government, but let's face it--most Americans (like most people everywhere) are fucking idiots. They don't read, they drown themselves in TV, sugar and booze, and they spend their lives trying to out-cheer their neighbors when it comes to supporting the home team (America) as it bludgeons the rest of the world with its "goodness." The United States, for the most part, is a nation of fat, shallow, illiterate MONKEYS...

i-dog's picture

While your observations on the abilities of the average employee-parent-student-functionary in the American population are less than kind, I'm not sure that providing each of them with a full-time babysitter and wet nurse has done anything to improve their lot or their abilities!!

For 170 years (that's at least 6 full generations!) the early settlers and 'founding fathers' of America were able to set up a functioning economy from scratch -- and with sufficient self-organisation to not only prosper but also take on, and defeat, the world's great Imperial Powers of the time!

There was no central government in America from 1620 until the founders of the Union in 1776 were konned by a kohort of Khazarians into konverting it to a Federal Republik in 1789!!

Employers and well-meaning neighbours are well able to keep the average couch potato heading in the right direction without the need to set up a central babysitting service located 2,000 miles away!

A Nanny Moose's picture

If people are good, why do we need government, and men in blue costumes, with guns?

AnAnonymous's picture

Because of US citizenism...

US citizens revelled in crushing stateless societies.

They were glorifying the use of the State when they were doing so.

Dont believe US citizens who declare that the State is bad.

As usual, US citizens do not disagree with the state inherent tyranny, they disagree with being tyranized by the State.

Lamenters who fear that the power of the US citizen state is turned against them instead of working for them.

That is all. US citizenism is all about duplicity.

They rejoiced when the State worked for them. They are now feeling very uncomfortable at the thought the State might work against them.

Kayman's picture

Don't hate Ananon. Hate his handlers.

A Nanny Moose's picture

This is actually not a bad breakdown. Now, let's turn it around. If people are so obviosly corruptible, why would we vote them the power to tell the rest of the people what to do, then hand them all the guns?

Dr. Sandi's picture

Because, as a group, we're too stupid to live?

mkhs's picture

To enforce their dictates?

Intelligence_Insulter's picture

Entrepreneurs are ready and willing to provide quality services and products to the consumer but are hindered by the bureaucratic tyranny Obama and his socialist regime enforce.

Regulations need to be destroyed so the flood gates of prosperity can trickle down. Time to unleash the job creators. Privatize everything so the effeciency of free market capitalism can be truely realized.  

 

Ayn Rand is right up there with Jesus. 

LetThemEatRand's picture

Putting aside the irony that I pay your salary with my small business (you admit elsewhere that you are a government contractor), I have a question.  Do you Rand cult members have some kind of unholy communion where you slaughter something on a regular basis?  The Jesus comment made me curious, especially given that Rand was openly anti-organized religion (other than her own).

fonzannoon's picture

I may not agree with LTER all the time but he is funny as shit. On a more serious note how did he find out about our meetings?

A Nanny Moose's picture

Somebody gave him the secret handshake.

CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Just don't give him the key to the Koch brothers' washroom. I like to nap in there.