Residents of Maury County, Tennessee, recently expressed concern that their water supply might be contaminated with radiation. Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) deputy director Sherwin Smith reportedly responded by warning them that complaining about low-quality tap water could be construed by Homeland Security as an act of terrorism.
I can understand government’s concern about false allegations about water quality. Such false claims could cause a panic and adverse consequences. But I can also understand that, inevitably, one or more government-employed morons will threaten well-meaning Americans with charges of “terrorism” if they dare to criticize the local water supply.
I can also understand that equating “unverified” claims about water quality with terrorism is another example of government going too far.
Somewhere, there must be a line beyond which private acts cannot be construed as “terrorism”. So far, however, government hasn’t found or even looked for that line.
• Government’s capacity to charge you with “terrorism” if you make critical claims about the water supply (do you suppose that includes alleging that fluoride might be a poison?) sounds silly. Surely, America hasn’t yet slipped so deeply into a police state that we can’t even comment on the water without being accused of terrorism—right?
Maybe not. According to the Boulder Weeky, we may’ve already sunk deeper into the police/surveillance state than many can imagine. A recent article (“NSA uses ‘terrorism’ to justify mass surveillance that started long before 9/11 and the Patriot Act”) warns that government has been spying on us for decades and that “terrorism” is merely a recent and convenient pretext to do so. For example, back in the 1980s, long before the excuse of “terrorism” even existed, government used Project ECHELON computers to spy on the content of American phone calls.
Nevertheless, the Boulder Weekly reports that a majority of Americans (about 53%) favor government spying on the American people so long as that that spying catches “terrorists”.
I disagree with that majority. For me, the big implication in gov-co’s persistent spying on virtually all Americans is seen in a question: Who do you spy on—your friends or your enemies?
The answer is Both. Husbands spy on wives; wives spy on husbands. Friends sometimes spy on friends. But that’s a kind of “amateur” spying. When it comes to real spying (conducted with trillions of dollars’ worth of equipment and manpower) by the governments of the world—they primarily spy on their enemies.
Insofar as the government spies on Americans, does government regard us all as “enemies” or at least potential enemies?
If so, is it reasonable for Americans to continue to believe that government “is here to help us”? Or should we recognize that insofar as government views us as its enemies, we should likewise view government as our enemy?
More, government spying on all of us indicates a bifurcation in the American body politic and an “us-against-them” mentality. Won’t this us-against-them mentality ultimately do more harm to America than a few dozen “terrorists”? Decades of spying will reduce public trust in government. How can that trust be regained?
The Boulder Weekly article concluded by advising, “We need to get rid of that word ‘terrorism’ that is clogging our ears, so we can hear the truth.”
In other words, government has successfully used the fear or “terrorism” (just as it’s used “public safety” and “national security”) as a pretext to justify its own criminal (and even “terroristic”) behavior. We must therefore wake up, recognize that we’re being hustled and even oppressed by our own government, and withdraw our consent to that oppression.
• The fundamental question is this: Is our government really our “enemy”? Does our government intentionally work against the American people’s best interests? Or can most of government’s abuses of power be excused as the work of a bunch morons who are well-meaning and zealous but incompetent?
The Founding Fathers viewed government as a necessary evil. George Washington compared government to “fire—a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” According to Washington, the best you’ll ever get out of government . . . the very best . . . is a “dangerous servant”. At worse, you’ll have a “fearful master”.
How can government morph from a “dangerous servant” to a “fearful master”? By the people bestowing their uncritical trust on their governmental “servants”. If you’re dumb enough to trust the government when it claims to be working against “terrorists” (or for “public safety” and “national security”), you’ll pay for that trust with higher taxes, less rights and (as you’ll read) diminished prosperity.
Washington was not alone in his distrust of government. Virtually all of the Founders agreed—and therefore designed a Constitution based on distrust of government and desire to prevent the “dangerous servant” from becoming the “fearful master”.
We have three branches of government to encourage government “servants” to fight amongst themselves rather than oppress the people. We have the rights of free speech and free press so if one of us catches government’s “dangerous servants” committing a crime, we can sound the alarm before government becomes the “fearful master”. As per the Preamble to the Bill of Rights, we have the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of preventing “misconstruction or abuse” of the “powers” of the Constitution by our “dangerous servants”. We have “checks and balances”. We even have elections every two years to give us the opportunity to eject any “dangerous servant” who threatens to become a “fearful master”.
It’s the genius of the Constitution of the United States to be the world’s only anti-government constitution. This official anti-government sentiment laid the foundation for American “exceptionalism”. So long as we distrusted government, this nation rose to prosperity and glory. On the other hand, as we’ve slowly assented to government pretexts for violating the Constitution, we’ve also seen our nation devolve into a police state, our rights disappear and prosperity wane.
• A lot of readers might dismiss the previous anti-government comments as too extreme, irrational or even un-American.
I’d say that being a good American means living in harmony with the “spirit” of the Constitution. Insofar as that “spirit” is anti-government, those who trust the government are fools guilty of un-American activities—including treason.
Since A.D. 2001, the US government has spent over $1.4 trillion on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Our government has plenty of money to invade foreign countries for no discernible reason (“weapons of mass destructions”?)—but it has little or no money to protect this nation from an invasion of illegal aliens.
Instead, government seeks to reward the illegals with a blanket amnesty.
In exchange for the amnesty, government promises (cross their hearts and hope to die) to double the number of Border Patrol Agents in order to prevent the next wave of illegals from pouring into this country.
That promise is a bunch of crap. Government will grant the illegals amnesty—and that will stick. Government will also, temporarily increase the number of Border Patrol Agents. But the first time the economy is admitted to be in recession of depression, the first time gov-co needs more money to invade Syria, Iran or any other nation on the globe, those new Border Patrol Agents will be furloughed as too costly and the border will be opened to a new wave of illegals aliens.
If government was not your enemy . . . if our government gave a damn about this country . . . it would have protected this nation from an invasion by illegal aliens. But it didn’t. And it won’t.
We are left to ask why government rewards lawbreakers and allows America to be invaded. Whatever the specific reasons may be, it’s apparent to many that our “dangerous servant” has morphed into a “fearful master” that’s intentionally working to impair or destroy this country.
• Bold talk, hmm? Radical, extremist prose, right?
Well, what about this headline from CNSNews.com: “IRS Sent $46,378,040 in Refunds to 23,994 ‘Unauthorized’ Aliens at 1 Atlanta Address”?
Here, in the surveillance police state, where the NSA tracks virtually all of our phone calls and emails, IRS computers overlooked the fact that almost 24,000 income tax returns, totaling $46 million (averaging $1,900 each), were sent to “unauthorized aliens” (illegals) at a single address in Atlanta. Can such oversight be excused as an accident? Or is it evidence of intent to harm this nation?
More, the previous report was no anomaly. There were at least three other Atlanta addresses that also received a total of 18,000 income tax returns for illegal aliens worth $6 million. Similar reports from California, North Caroline, Arizona, Florida, indicate that the IRS sent thousands of refunds totaling millions of dollars to single addresses in those states.
How th’ hell can illegal aliens who don’t even speak English be smart enough to con the IRS out of hundreds of millions of dollars? Is the government and/or the IRS really just that freakin’ stupid? Or are these IRS handouts for illegal aliens intended by our government to reward and encourage a further invasion?
• Still unconvinced? Still don’t see the government as your enemy? Well, you may not give a damn about illegal aliens, but I guarantee you give a damn about your income. So, get a load of this next article and see if you still refuse to see government as your enemy.
Reason magazine recently published an article entitled “Federal Regulations Have Made You 75 Percent Poorer”. In that article, Reason reports on a study conducted by economists John Dawson of Appalachian State University and John Seater of North Carolina State:
“According to a new study in the Journal of Economic Growth, the growth of federal regulations over the past six decades has cut U.S. economic growth by an average of 2% per year. As a result of government regulations since A.D. 1949, the average American household receives about $277,000 less annually than it would have received in the absence of six decades of accumulated regulations—a median household income of $330,000 instead of the $53,000 we get now.”
“The proliferation of federal regulations especially affects the rate of improvement in total factor productivity, a measure of technological dynamism and increasing efficiency. Regulations also affect the allocation of labor and capital—by, say, raising the costs of new hires or encouraging investment in favored technologies.
“Overall, they calculate, if regulation had remained at the same level as in 1949, GDP would have been $53.9 trillion instead of $15.1 in 2011. In other words, current US GDP in 2011 was $38.8 trillion less than it might have been.”
The report is breathtaking. If we were as free from government regulations today as we were in A.D. 1949, our average incomes would be about six times whatever we currently receive. Six times.
How much governmental welfare or subsidies would you require if your income was increased by 600%? What would it mean to your children, if you made $333,000 each year instead of $53,000? Could you afford to pay for their braces? Could you afford to pay for their college? How many problems do you have right now that you couldn’t solve all by yourself if your income was increased by 600%?
How many people would need public welfare if all of our average incomes rose by 600%?
Conversely, if government regulations have reduced our average incomes from a potential $333,000 to the current $53,000, how many people are now so impoverished as to be desperately dependent on government support? Have government regulations diminished our incomes (and our independence) by accident or by intent?
And, don’t forget, if our incomes were increased by 600%, guess who’d probably have 600% more tax revenue? Yes, indeed—your favorite federal government.
Would we have a significant national debt, if government hadn’t regulated us into poverty and an inability to repay most of our debts?
Nevertheless, our government seems determined to “over-regulate” (rule) the American people rather than allow the freedom that could increase everyone’s prosperity—including government’s.
Are you beginning to see evidence that our “dangerous servant” is determined to become and remain our “fearful master”? Are you beginning to wonder if my “radical” claims might not be as extreme as they’d first seemed?
“Defenders of regulation will argue that regulations also provide benefits to Americans: lower levels of air pollution, higher minimum wages, and so forth. But the measure devised by the economists Dawson and Seater accounts for both the aggregate benefits and the costs of the regulations. The two researchers note their results ‘indicate that whatever positive effects regulation may have on measured output are outweighed by negative effects.’
“So, if the effects of regulation are so deleterious to economic growth and the prosperity of citizens, why do countries enact so much of it?
“Dawson and Seater’s research does not address the question of ‘why society allows excessive regulation . . . . It’s an important [issue], but it’s one for the public choice people to study, not for macroeconomists like ourselves.’”
However, Dawson and Seater did list four possible explanations including,
“George Stigler’s view that industries capture regulatory agencies in order to exclude competitors and increase profits, and Mancur Olson, who argued in The Rise and Decline of Nations (A.D. 1982) that economic stagnation and even decline set in when powerful special-interest lobbies—crony capitalists if you will—capture a country’s regulatory system and use it to block competitors, making the economy ever less efficient. The growing burden of regulation could someday turn economic growth negative, but Dawson and Seater suggest that in the long run that will ‘not be tolerated by society.’ Let’s hope that they are right.”
Fascism has been broadly described as such close cooperation between corporate businesses and government that it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.
Q: But why would government officials and major corporations agree to cooperate to betray the best interests of the average Americans?
More precisely, bribery. Fascism isn’t really about ideology, goose-stepping and blitzkrieg. It’s about mo’ money and unearned wealth. In the end, fascism is nothing more than organized crime masquerading as legitimate government.
Major corporations bribe government legislators, officials and judges to enact or enforce laws and regulations that protect major corporations (those “too big to fail”) from competition from smaller, newer, smarter and more aggressive businesses. As major corporations are protected from the rigors of competition, they become less competitive, less efficient and less able to survive without government support. As major corporations become less competitive, prices of their products rise and become increasingly unaffordable; the increasingly inefficient nation slides towards poverty, depression and political chaos.
As the American economy becomes dominated by the forces of big, multi-national corporations, that economy becomes increasingly inefficient until it finally collapses under the weight of its own corruption (fascism) and greed.
That’s a good thing. The more power the fascists gain, the more inefficient they become and the sooner they reach an economic and/or political collapse.
That’s also a bad thing because when the fascist-economy finally falls, a lot of ignorant—but largely innocent—people will also be ruined by the collapse.
• One intriguing implication of the theories advanced by Stigler and Olson is that the key to fascism may be lax political campaign contribution laws. The more money that politicians can receive from wealthy special interests, the more regulations are passed (ostensibly to protect the public from unsafe products, but actually to protect the major corporations from free-market competition)—and the less efficient and less prosperous the nation becomes.
For example, I can remember that in the early 1990s, the cost of long distance telephone calls could run to 25 cents per minute. Then, elements of government actually “de-regulated” the telephone industry and today long distance charges are minimal. If we talk on Skype, they are zero.
The decline in the cost of long distance and increased telephone inefficiency is classic evidence of the benefits that can flow to the people by means of de-regulation. Conversely, the story of falling long distance charges is also evidence how damaging government regulations can be.
I’m not going to even start on the price of gold except to ask, Do you really believe the price of gold could’ve recently fallen below $1,200 without government-sanctioned manipulation? Do you really think the Dow Jones could’ve recently broken the 15,000 mark without government manipulation? Do you think that manipulation could’ve taken place without the complicity of the government “regulatory agencies”? Except for government regulation, where would the price of gold and the Dow Jones be today?
• If you agree that our government has become increasingly fascist (corrupt); that, in return for fat bribes (often called “political campaign contributions”), government legislators and officials have betrayed their fundamental duties to protect American borders, enforce laws and regulations favoring the general welfare rather than special interests, and maintain an economy where we can all compete freely, efficiently and prosperously—one of the first steps should be to break the bond between major corporations and Congress.
Breaking that bond is called “de-regulation”.
To the extent that government/corporate bond is based on bribery, we could reduce fascism, increase freedom, and even dramatically increase our incomes—by forcing politicians to enact and enforce ruthless political campaign and anti-bribery laws. Let’s suppose that the board of directors of any major corporation that offered bribes and any politician or official who received such bribes would be jailed for one year for every $100 in bribes offered or received. And let’s make it the Number 1 objective for the FBI to find and prosecute all such bribery. Would the growth of new government regulations wither? Would our economy become competitive? Would our incomes begin to grow?
Do you want a real economic “recovery”? Stop government regulation.
Q: And what’s the first step to forcing politicians to stop taking bribes?
A: Recognizing—as did our Founding Fathers—that the principle enemy of every nation’s people (including those of the USA) was and will always be their own government. In the final analysis, you’re not losing your freedoms or your prosperity to Alcaida, or Red China or even illegal aliens. You’re losing your freedoms and prosperity to your own government.
When are you going to wake up, face that truth, and do something about it?
If we would simply stop trusting the government, we could expect a renaissance in American productivity and prosperity. On the other hand, so long as we allow politicians and government officials to take bribes and otherwise profit from working in government, get ready for the Greater Depression.
Want to restore our prosperity? Start objecting to government corruption and any increase in government regulation.
And while you’re at it, start thinking about public hangings for any politician or government employee convicted of taking bribes.
(Interesting idea, hmm? Kinda makes you smile, doesn’t it?)