After a year of talks over the post-2014 US military presence in Afghanistan, the US administration announced last week that a new agreement had finally been reached. Under the deal worked out with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the US would keep thousands of troops on nine military bases for at least the next ten years. In fact, much of the US government’s desire for an ongoing military presence in Afghanistan has to do with keeping money flowing to the military industrial complex. Addressing Afghan tribal elders last week, Karzai is reported to have expressed disappointment with US assistance thus far: “I demand tanks from them, and they give us pickup trucks, which I can get myself from Japan… I don’t trust the U.S., and the U.S. doesn’t trust me.” Let us hope that Karzai sticks to his game with Washington. Let the Obama administration have no choice but to walk away from this twelve-year nightmare. Then we can finally just march out.
It would be a mistake to think that QE is the first time the Fed's policies have benefited the well-to-do at the expense of the average American. The Fed’s polices have always benefited crony capitalists and big spending politicians at the expense of the average American. The well-connected benefit from inflation, as they receive the newly-created money first, before general price increases have spread through the economy. It is obvious, then, that middle- and working-class Americans are hardest hit by the rising level of prices. Far from promoting a sound economy for all, the Federal Reserve is the main cause of the boom-and-bust economy, as well as the leading facilitator of big government and crony capitalism. Fortunately, in recent years more Americans have become aware of how the Fed is impacting their lives.
On December 23, 2013, the U.S. Federal Reserve (the Fed) will celebrate its 100th birthday, so we thought it was time to take a look at the Fed’s real accomplishment, and the practices and policies it has employed during this time to rob the public of its wealth. The criticism is directed not only at the world’s most powerful central bank - the Fed - but also at the concept of central banks in general, because they are the antithesis of fiscal responsibility and financial constraint as represented by gold and a gold standard. The Fed was sold to the public in much the same way as the Patriot Act was sold after 9/11 - as a sacrifice of personal freedom for the promise of greater government protection. Instead of providing protection, the Fed has robbed the public through the hidden tax of inflation brought about by currency devaluation.
84% Of US Adults Don't Use Twitter, Only 4% Of Americans Over 30 Get Their News From Twitter, Pew Study FindsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/12/2013 09:39 -0500
When it comes to Twitter, there seems to be a discrepancy in the publicly available user data. Recall that according to the company's S-1 filing, Twitter's US monthly user base has risen from 10 million in 2010 to just shy of 50 million. And yet, according to a just released Pew Research poll, a whopping 84% of the US adults were not Twitter users, and perhaps more importantly, of the 16% of adult users, half admitted to using Twitter for news. Narrowing this down even further, close to half, or 45%, of Twitter news consumers were under 30, which implies that roughly 4% of American adults use Twitter as something more than just a place to vent occasionally, and actually have a productive use for the service. So in attempting to reconcile the two vastly differing sets of numbers: one from the company and one from Pew, one wonders: is Twitter merely the latest platform for "socializing" teens who unfortunately for Twitter's advertisers (who between Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Yahoo and so on, seem to have infinite advertising budgets) don't have access to a credit card? And what happens when, just like FaceBook, Twitter's coolness factor disappears and only the hardcore, and quite paltry, news users remain?
“It is no coincidence that the century of total war coincided with the century of central banking.” --Ron Paul
Instead of using inflation statistics as a political ploy to raise taxes and artificially cut spending, the President and Congress should use a measurement that actually captures the eroding standard of living caused by the Federal Reserve’s inflationary policies. Changing government statistics to exploit the decline in the American way of life and benefit big spending politicians and their cronies in the big banks does nothing but harm the American people.
Speaking, ironically, at the Economic Club of Detroit in 1988, Ron Paul warns oh-so-prophetically of a coming economic crisis and the profound implications of the government's fiscal and monetary program largesse.
October was Iraq’s deadliest month since April, 2008. In those five and a half years, not only has there been no improvement in Iraq’s security situation, but things have gotten much worse. As post-“liberation” Iraq spirals steadily downward, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was in Washington last week to plead for more assistance from the United States to help restore order to a society demolished by the 2003 US invasion. Obama pledged to work together with Iraq to address al-Qaeda’s growing presence, but what was not said was that before the US attack there was no al-Qaeda in Iraq.
As Rand Paul grows more vociferous with regard the Janet Yellen nomination, he and his father are once again pressing for more transparency into what really occurs at the Fed. While some argue that there has never been a more 'transparent' Fed as we are plagued with volumes of double-speak (projections and prognostications), Ron Paul explains in this brief clip that "the big stuff is done in secret," including international central bank bailouts. His hope, based on the fact that Janet Yellen is a self-described agent of transparency that "the time is ripe," to truly audit the Fed.
One has to wonder if somewhere deep down a change is occurring in America. While stock prices soar to record highs, it is clear a growing number of 'real' people are realizing the nonsense that watching a 'market' as anything indicative of reality has become. The latest 'shift' is the appearance on New Orleans local TV of a two-minute primer on an "alternative" school of economic thought - Austrian Economics. While the anchor is careful to add the caveat that the mainstream economists think the world would be a terrible place if they didn't help us along, the brief clip begins with some useful common sense, "the market alone should decide the value of products and services. If a company is not successful, it should go bankrupt." Indeed...
When three weeks ago, the FBI arrested Ross William Ulbricht - the creator of the now shutdown Bitcoin-only "alternative" marketplace Silk Road also known as Dread Pirate Roberts, some were surprised that the Feds only confiscated about $3.6 million worth in Bitcoins from Ulbrecht. Proving all doubters wrong, and that creating the first "libertarian" marketplace not subject to any rules and regulations, not to mention fiat monetary constraints, actually does pay quite well, moments ago it was revealed that Federal prosecutors had found an additional $29 million, or 144,336 BitCoins, belonging to the Dread Pirate. According to Reuters, the booty was discovered on "computer hardware" belonging to Ulbricht. The repossessed electronic money, whose encryption technologies seem to leave a bit to be desired, has now been impounded and will likely remain on the FBI's hard disks indefinitely.
As part of Mike Maloney's recent documentary, Ron Paul was interviewed to discuss the monetary system that he proposes. He begins... "Just get the government out-of-the-way, you know, and let the markets decide and apply the rules of ’no counterfeiting’ to the people and to the government..." as he goes on to discuss everything from The Founding Fathers to how a gold standard could work...
While no longer actively engaged in politcs, one of Ron Paul's crowning achievements while in Congress, was to bring some much needed sunlight to the balance sheet, the activities, and secret bailouts of the Fed, and according to some, was being responsible for the "transaprency, openness, and forward guidance" approach to monetary policy. The paradox here, as the whole Taper - Non Taper shocking episode provied, is that the Fed itself is now caught in a reflexive Catch 22, and no longer can "renormalize" and extricate itself from its policy through "guidance" without in the process destroying everything it has achieved during the prior period of central planniing. Still, despite Ron Paul's unsung accomplishments there is much more to be done to expose just how actively the NY Fed's trading desk participates in the fixing of the S&P500's closing price day after day. For that, he will need the help of his son, Rand. Which is why as the Sunshine State News reports, "Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is ramping up his opposition to President Barack Obama’s nomination of Janet Yellen to chair the Federal Reserve. Paul is teaming up with the Campaign for Liberty, chaired by his father former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, to stand in opposition to Yellen and push legislation taking aim at the Fed."
Washington, DC, Wall Street, and central bankers around the world rejoiced this week as Congress came to an agreement to end the government shutdown and lift the debt ceiling. The latest spending-and-debt deal was negotiated by Congressional leaders behind closed doors, and was rushed through Congress before most members had time to read it. Now that the bill is passed, we can see that it is a victory for the political class and special interests, but a defeat for the American people.
In this exclusive interview with Birch Gold Group, former Congressman Ron Paul shares his opinions on a number of topics, including investing in physical gold and silver, the future of the U.S. dollar and the role of the Federal Reserve.
“The longer [Quantitative Easing] lasts, the worse the correction will be when eventually people give up on our dollar and give up on our debt.”