FREEDOM OR ANARCHY,Campaign of Conscience.

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The Free Thought Project,The Daily Sheeple & FREEDOM OR ANARCHY Campaign of Conscience are dedicated to holding those who claim authority over our lives accountable. “Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”
“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” - George Orwell, 1984

"Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war and until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation, until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes. And until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race, there is war. And until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship, rule of international morality, will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained... now everywhere is war." - - Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia - Popularized by Bob Marley in the song War

STEALING FROM THE CITIZENRY

The right to tell the Government to kiss my Ass Important Message for All Law Enforcers Freedom; what it is, and what it is not. Unadulterated freedom is an unattainable goal; that is what the founders of America knew and understood, which was their impetus behind the documents that established our great nation. They also knew that one of the primary driving forces in human nature is the unconscious desire to be truly free. This meant to them that mankind if totally left completely unrestricted would pursue all things in life without any awareness or acknowledgement of the consequences of his/her own actions leaving only the individual conscience if they had one as a control on behavior. This would not bode well in the development of a great society. Yet the founders of America chose to allow men/women as much liberty as could be, with minimum impact on the freedom or liberties of others

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

No, Really. It’s a Depression

Remove the burden of government • Restore the Constitution, rule of law • Limit the power of the Federal Reserve, regulatory agencies • Stop redistributing wealth

No, Really. It’s a Depression


t was my great good fortune to be a son of depression parents. My mother and father were born in the early 1920s. They were observant, sensitive, thoughtful parents who took the time to tell stories. They reflected on and spoke of their early years often to their sons, sharing the hopes and fears of their upbringing as we grew up ourselves. They showed us how to observe the world around us. One set of grandparents were loyal Democrats, the other staunch Republicans. These were tremendous gifts for this future historian. I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, but through the stories I heard I knew what it was like to grow up in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. My father and my uncles served in World War II, so I read everything I could get my hands on about the war because they wouldn’t talk about the war very much. My parents lived a frugal lifestyle carried over from their days as children and teens in the dark days of the depression of the 1930s. So I began to read widely to understand how such a national calamity and such a brutal war could have happened. I wanted to know how my parents came to be the way they were, and how my world came to be.

It wasn’t easy. Most of the accounts I read over the years attributed the depression to the ‘business cycle’ and the overproduction of goods in the 1920s. That didn’t explain much to me. Why was there overproduction of goods? It was the ‘Roaring Twenties,’ filled with Fords, Flappers, and Fanatics according to Frederick Lewis Allen’s Only Yesterday, standard reading for high schoolers of my cohort, but it didn’t explain why we had a depression in the 1930s. Then there was a farm depression that started immediately after the First World War and worsened all through the 1920s. Some said it was the stock market crash of 1929 that started it all, and some said it was simply President Hoover’s fault.
Gradually, I discovered historians and economists who began to explain what really happened. The first of these was Milton Friedman, whose A Monetary History of the United States 1867-1960 showed the role that the Federal Reserve had played in distorting the monetary policy of the United States. I heard Friedman speak three times on the University of Chicago campus in 1977. Then there was Murray Rothbard’s America’s Great Depression. I met Rothbard in New York in 1986, and Henry Hazlitt, who wrote Economics in One Lesson, the same year. Then I discovered Ralph Raico, Thomas Sowell, and Walter Williams. The world became much more understandable.
For my undergraduate work I read widely in historic newspapers from the Civil War era, the 1870s, the 1890s, the 1930s, and the 1940s. I looked for evidence of economic depressions in daily life in those eras, and I found it. Wars and financial panics often preceded the economic depressions of the past.
In many areas during a severe depression, business contracts, or pulls back from its previous positions. Some buildings sit empty, construction slows or stops, people are laid off from jobs, wages decline, some companies and individuals go bankrupt. There is a failure to thrive.
At the same time, many other areas of the country appear to be as prosperous as ever, and they often are. Land prices soar, good housing is scarce, companies do well, and markets show an upward trend. The arts thrive while fortunes are made and increased. Some areas thrive, indeed.
During a depression, government usually does very well, at least it has since 1900. In some cases it grows even more than the booming parts of the country. Since the 1930s government at all levels, but especially at the federal level, grew to a previously unknown size.
Because a depression develops gradually, people don’t realize it is upon them for some time, even years. Hardships filter through the levels of society at different rates. Certain sectors and regions feel the effects almost immediately, while others take longer, or never feel them at all. There is usually very little use of the term ‘economic depression’ in the press, and there is no definition circulated among economists or politicians to make it a topic of discussion. At best, media may focus on symptoms during an economic storm, occasionally pointing a finger of blame at a target of choice.
This vagueness has made it impossible in the past to turn to a specific date or event to mark the beginning of a depression. The depression of the 1930s, for example, did not begin with the stock market crash of 1929. The crash affected the financial centers of the country in a splashy but minimalistic way during 1929 and 1930, while affecting the rest of the country hardly at all. The depression of the 1930s did not begin with the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930. It did not begin with the Great Contraction by the Federal Reserve in 1931. It did not begin with the election of the new administration in 1932, and no one can say decisively when it ended. There are many explanations of why the depression of the 1930s ended, and some maintain that it never ended at all.
In recent decades, politicians and economists have tried to establish a definition of recession, since the idea of an actual depression is just too silly to even think about. Now they say that two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth signals a recession. Even that definition is difficult to interpret, and it only looks to national macroeconomic estimates to determine the beginning and end of a recession. As a result, we have been told that the recession that began in 2008 ended in April of 2009. Everyone has noticed how the economy has been roaring back since then!
But look around, and you will see, if you look past the clutter, that all of the indications of major depressions of the past are present in the United States today. Over the past two years, I have traveled our highways and byways from coast to coast three times, and from south to north twice more. I have been off the beaten track in 30 states, observing carefully, noting, watching for signs of boom and bust. Those signs are clearly visible all across the country.
One of the easiest ways to spot the failure to thrive is in strip malls and plaza shopping centers. It’s easy to find empty commercial property now. Depending on the surrounding area, vacancy rates of 10-40% are common. Some plazas are completely closed except for a lingering restaurant or deep discount store. Enclosed malls have higher than average rates of turnover, but they often dress up closed stores with snazzy ‘coming soon’ fronts. Dozens of major chains have closed hundreds of stores over the past few years as sales shifts and reduced purchasing power have taken their toll. Even perennially powerful restaurant franchises show the damage. Burger King, Taco Bell, and even McDonald’s have closed stores that once thrived. Supermarkets sit empty in many areas across the country. Even along the interstate system, service stations struggle to maintain the appearance of success at some interchanges, while others seem to have all the business. Posh housing developments in popular retirement areas sit with their gates complete, but their weedy lots remain idle.
Families struggle to maintain standards. Kids move back in with parents, or parents with kids. The dream of a vacation home or even a paid-for primary residence evaporates. Young couples keep renting as the demand for housing drives rental prices upward. In some areas, fine homes offered at a bargain go unsold, while nearby farmland is sky-high.
At the same time, there are parts of the country where boom times are manifest. Five of the six wealthiest counties in the United States border the District of Columbia, which shows that the federal government is doing quite well. Vast suburban stretches in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Kansas, Illinois, California, and around other major urban areas show every appearance of prosperity. Property values are at record highs, retail stores are booming, and traffic is heavy.
But it’s still a depression out there.
The depression we’re currently experiencing is actually far worse than the depression of the 1930s. When that depression turned to an economic storm in 1931 and 1932, there were few methods for providing aid for those hardest hit. Some programs for ‘relief’ as it was called then, began under the New Deal, but even those were spotty. If a breadwinner lost a job, the family began to suffer the loss of income in very short order. There was no unemployment check, food stamp program, welfare, or SSI payment. There were no rent subsidy apartment programs, no FHA loan program, no food pantries, no chain of Goodwill stores. Look in Amity Schlaes’ book The Forgotten Man to see that unemployment stood between 11% and 25% every year from 1932 to 1940.
If you could, you might borrow from family or friends, but that didn’t take people very far. The credit at the local grocery store could be stretched to a maximum, then it would be stopped. Stores then demanded cash for groceries until the bill was reduced considerably. Food could be grown cheaply in backyard gardens, but not everyone had the space available, and of those, not everyone stayed ahead of the weeds. When the rent went unpaid for too long, families sought cheaper housing, moved in with relatives, or lived in cars and tar paper shacks. Others drove from place to place, hoping for temporary work or a handout, as the Okies did in The Grapes of Wrath.
In the depression of the 1930s, immigration slowed to a trickle because the economic incentives, that is, plentiful jobs, disappeared. Few volunteered to leave the home country to migrate to an area mired in depression. It made no sense.
Now compare these features of what most everyone considers the worst economic downturn in American history, the “Great Depression” of the 1930s, to the present day. Vast programs now exist to provide support for those in poverty, and they have been growing since the 1960s. Today, 45 million recipients use food stamps to help feed themselves and their families. Five million receive rent subsidies through HUD grants. Social Security old age, survivor, and disability payments are paid each month to nearly 60 million individuals. These did not exist in the 1930s. Try to imagine the visual impact of seeing these 110 million individuals on the streets, looking for food or a place to stay for the night. Support programs don’t mean that there’s no depression, they serve instead to mask the depth of the crisis we’re in, to hide it from us.

Unemployment has been historically high since 2009, equaling or surpassing annual rates during the depression of the 1930s

Unemployment has been historically high since 2009, equaling or surpassing annual rates during the depression of the 1930s. Unemployment averaged 17% per year for the period 1931-1940, reaching a high of 25% in 1935. Today, unemployment isn’t calculated the same way. The nearest equivalent is the U6 unemployment rate. From February 2009 to February 2013, the U6 rate was never below 14.3%, standing above 17% for six months between 2009 and 2010. Some economists believe that the actual rate of unemployment has stood above 20% since 2010. Unemployment benefits have been extended several times over the past ten years. These payments do not mean there is no depression, but serve to conceal it.
In the 1930s, immigration slowed dramatically, but since 2000, a flood of immigrants have come into the country legally and illegally. This time, there are government benefits waiting for many of them, so they have come in spite of the disincentives of an economic downturn. At a time of economic pain and crisis, the population has grown substantially, increasing the strain on families, charity, and government agencies.
What we do know is that this week, the number of immigrants has been officially raised: according to a new analysis of 2015 U.S. Census data, a record-setting 61 million immigrants and their American-born children reside in the U.S., of which 15.7 million are illegal aliens. The actual number may be much closer to 30 million.

Three powerful institutions wage a full-time effort to postpone the reckoning that is surely coming

To maintain the illusion that we are only experiencing occasional recessions, three powerful institutions wage a full-time effort to postpone the reckoning that is surely coming.
First, the news media select targets for blame very carefully. During the terms of presidents in favor, the media reports very little of a negative nature. Polls show favorable public support, and reporters fail to ask tough questions.

Remove the burden of government • Restore the Constitution, rule of law • Limit the power of the Federal Reserve, regulatory agencies • Stop redistributing wealth

But once a president out of favor with the media takes office, a double standard emerges. The media assign blame freely to their enemies while their friends disappear or join in the new fight.
Second, state and federal governments increase spending to maintain the appearance of prosperity and well-being and to help elected officials pass out favors. Governments spend tax revenues prodigiously, then borrow money to spend even more. The debt of the United States government now stands at more than $19 trillion. $18 trillion of that has been accumulated over the past 40 years. State and local governments owe another $3 trillion.
Third, the Federal Reserve system, fully in control of the United States economy since 1913, has been manipulating the monetary system continuously in more and more direct ways. Now the Fed, along with foreign governments, buys and holds trillions of the national debt as it fans the economy with additional trillions in currency and financial system orders.
So what do we do now?
  1. Admit it. We’re in a depression. We need to understand the real causes so we can avoid having more of them. Political correctness makes it nearly impossible to educate people about the real causes; it isn’t presidential administrations that cause it, it’s policies over the course of years.
  2. Name and understand the contributing causes: the federal housing bubble, banks, the Fed, regulations, debt, out-of-control public spending, the health care takeover, public dependency, our open borders, our failed education system.
  3. Make the case for recovery measures. Remove the burden of government that rests on citizens. Restore the Constitution and the rule of law. Limit the power of the Federal Reserve and the regulatory agencies. Stop redistributing wealth. Free up free enterprise and profit making. Empower personal responsibility. Choose freedom.
(Read about the effects of the depression of the 1930s in Dr. Smith’s book The War Comes To Plum Street. Order it from Indiana University Press.)

Remove the burden of government • Restore the Constitution, rule of law • Limit the power of the Federal Reserve, regulatory agencies • Stop redistributing wealth

No, Really. It’s a Depression


t was my great good fortune to be a son of depression parents. My mother and father were born in the early 1920s. They were observant, sensitive, thoughtful parents who took the time to tell stories. They reflected on and spoke of their early years often to their sons, sharing the hopes and fears of their upbringing as we grew up ourselves. They showed us how to observe the world around us. One set of grandparents were loyal Democrats, the other staunch Republicans. These were tremendous gifts for this future historian. I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, but through the stories I heard I knew what it was like to grow up in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. My father and my uncles served in World War II, so I read everything I could get my hands on about the war because they wouldn’t talk about the war very much. My parents lived a frugal lifestyle carried over from their days as children and teens in the dark days of the depression of the 1930s. So I began to read widely to understand how such a national calamity and such a brutal war could have happened. I wanted to know how my parents came to be the way they were, and how my world came to be.

It wasn’t easy. Most of the accounts I read over the years attributed the depression to the ‘business cycle’ and the overproduction of goods in the 1920s. That didn’t explain much to me. Why was there overproduction of goods? It was the ‘Roaring Twenties,’ filled with Fords, Flappers, and Fanatics according to Frederick Lewis Allen’s Only Yesterday, standard reading for high schoolers of my cohort, but it didn’t explain why we had a depression in the 1930s. Then there was a farm depression that started immediately after the First World War and worsened all through the 1920s. Some said it was the stock market crash of 1929 that started it all, and some said it was simply President Hoover’s fault.
Gradually, I discovered historians and economists who began to explain what really happened. The first of these was Milton Friedman, whose A Monetary History of the United States 1867-1960 showed the role that the Federal Reserve had played in distorting the monetary policy of the United States. I heard Friedman speak three times on the University of Chicago campus in 1977. Then there was Murray Rothbard’s America’s Great Depression. I met Rothbard in New York in 1986, and Henry Hazlitt, who wrote Economics in One Lesson, the same year. Then I discovered Ralph Raico, Thomas Sowell, and Walter Williams. The world became much more understandable.
For my undergraduate work I read widely in historic newspapers from the Civil War era, the 1870s, the 1890s, the 1930s, and the 1940s. I looked for evidence of economic depressions in daily life in those eras, and I found it. Wars and financial panics often preceded the economic depressions of the past.
In many areas during a severe depression, business contracts, or pulls back from its previous positions. Some buildings sit empty, construction slows or stops, people are laid off from jobs, wages decline, some companies and individuals go bankrupt. There is a failure to thrive.
At the same time, many other areas of the country appear to be as prosperous as ever, and they often are. Land prices soar, good housing is scarce, companies do well, and markets show an upward trend. The arts thrive while fortunes are made and increased. Some areas thrive, indeed.
During a depression, government usually does very well, at least it has since 1900. In some cases it grows even more than the booming parts of the country. Since the 1930s government at all levels, but especially at the federal level, grew to a previously unknown size.
Because a depression develops gradually, people don’t realize it is upon them for some time, even years. Hardships filter through the levels of society at different rates. Certain sectors and regions feel the effects almost immediately, while others take longer, or never feel them at all. There is usually very little use of the term ‘economic depression’ in the press, and there is no definition circulated among economists or politicians to make it a topic of discussion. At best, media may focus on symptoms during an economic storm, occasionally pointing a finger of blame at a target of choice.
This vagueness has made it impossible in the past to turn to a specific date or event to mark the beginning of a depression. The depression of the 1930s, for example, did not begin with the stock market crash of 1929. The crash affected the financial centers of the country in a splashy but minimalistic way during 1929 and 1930, while affecting the rest of the country hardly at all. The depression of the 1930s did not begin with the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930. It did not begin with the Great Contraction by the Federal Reserve in 1931. It did not begin with the election of the new administration in 1932, and no one can say decisively when it ended. There are many explanations of why the depression of the 1930s ended, and some maintain that it never ended at all.
In recent decades, politicians and economists have tried to establish a definition of recession, since the idea of an actual depression is just too silly to even think about. Now they say that two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth signals a recession. Even that definition is difficult to interpret, and it only looks to national macroeconomic estimates to determine the beginning and end of a recession. As a result, we have been told that the recession that began in 2008 ended in April of 2009. Everyone has noticed how the economy has been roaring back since then!
But look around, and you will see, if you look past the clutter, that all of the indications of major depressions of the past are present in the United States today. Over the past two years, I have traveled our highways and byways from coast to coast three times, and from south to north twice more. I have been off the beaten track in 30 states, observing carefully, noting, watching for signs of boom and bust. Those signs are clearly visible all across the country.
One of the easiest ways to spot the failure to thrive is in strip malls and plaza shopping centers. It’s easy to find empty commercial property now. Depending on the surrounding area, vacancy rates of 10-40% are common. Some plazas are completely closed except for a lingering restaurant or deep discount store. Enclosed malls have higher than average rates of turnover, but they often dress up closed stores with snazzy ‘coming soon’ fronts. Dozens of major chains have closed hundreds of stores over the past few years as sales shifts and reduced purchasing power have taken their toll. Even perennially powerful restaurant franchises show the damage. Burger King, Taco Bell, and even McDonald’s have closed stores that once thrived. Supermarkets sit empty in many areas across the country. Even along the interstate system, service stations struggle to maintain the appearance of success at some interchanges, while others seem to have all the business. Posh housing developments in popular retirement areas sit with their gates complete, but their weedy lots remain idle.
Families struggle to maintain standards. Kids move back in with parents, or parents with kids. The dream of a vacation home or even a paid-for primary residence evaporates. Young couples keep renting as the demand for housing drives rental prices upward. In some areas, fine homes offered at a bargain go unsold, while nearby farmland is sky-high.
At the same time, there are parts of the country where boom times are manifest. Five of the six wealthiest counties in the United States border the District of Columbia, which shows that the federal government is doing quite well. Vast suburban stretches in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Kansas, Illinois, California, and around other major urban areas show every appearance of prosperity. Property values are at record highs, retail stores are booming, and traffic is heavy.
But it’s still a depression out there.
The depression we’re currently experiencing is actually far worse than the depression of the 1930s. When that depression turned to an economic storm in 1931 and 1932, there were few methods for providing aid for those hardest hit. Some programs for ‘relief’ as it was called then, began under the New Deal, but even those were spotty. If a breadwinner lost a job, the family began to suffer the loss of income in very short order. There was no unemployment check, food stamp program, welfare, or SSI payment. There were no rent subsidy apartment programs, no FHA loan program, no food pantries, no chain of Goodwill stores. Look in Amity Schlaes’ book The Forgotten Man to see that unemployment stood between 11% and 25% every year from 1932 to 1940.
If you could, you might borrow from family or friends, but that didn’t take people very far. The credit at the local grocery store could be stretched to a maximum, then it would be stopped. Stores then demanded cash for groceries until the bill was reduced considerably. Food could be grown cheaply in backyard gardens, but not everyone had the space available, and of those, not everyone stayed ahead of the weeds. When the rent went unpaid for too long, families sought cheaper housing, moved in with relatives, or lived in cars and tar paper shacks. Others drove from place to place, hoping for temporary work or a handout, as the Okies did in The Grapes of Wrath.
In the depression of the 1930s, immigration slowed to a trickle because the economic incentives, that is, plentiful jobs, disappeared. Few volunteered to leave the home country to migrate to an area mired in depression. It made no sense.
Now compare these features of what most everyone considers the worst economic downturn in American history, the “Great Depression” of the 1930s, to the present day. Vast programs now exist to provide support for those in poverty, and they have been growing since the 1960s. Today, 45 million recipients use food stamps to help feed themselves and their families. Five million receive rent subsidies through HUD grants. Social Security old age, survivor, and disability payments are paid each month to nearly 60 million individuals. These did not exist in the 1930s. Try to imagine the visual impact of seeing these 110 million individuals on the streets, looking for food or a place to stay for the night. Support programs don’t mean that there’s no depression, they serve instead to mask the depth of the crisis we’re in, to hide it from us.

Unemployment has been historically high since 2009, equaling or surpassing annual rates during the depression of the 1930s

Unemployment has been historically high since 2009, equaling or surpassing annual rates during the depression of the 1930s. Unemployment averaged 17% per year for the period 1931-1940, reaching a high of 25% in 1935. Today, unemployment isn’t calculated the same way. The nearest equivalent is the U6 unemployment rate. From February 2009 to February 2013, the U6 rate was never below 14.3%, standing above 17% for six months between 2009 and 2010. Some economists believe that the actual rate of unemployment has stood above 20% since 2010. Unemployment benefits have been extended several times over the past ten years. These payments do not mean there is no depression, but serve to conceal it.
In the 1930s, immigration slowed dramatically, but since 2000, a flood of immigrants have come into the country legally and illegally. This time, there are government benefits waiting for many of them, so they have come in spite of the disincentives of an economic downturn. At a time of economic pain and crisis, the population has grown substantially, increasing the strain on families, charity, and government agencies.
What we do know is that this week, the number of immigrants has been officially raised: according to a new analysis of 2015 U.S. Census data, a record-setting 61 million immigrants and their American-born children reside in the U.S., of which 15.7 million are illegal aliens. The actual number may be much closer to 30 million.

Three powerful institutions wage a full-time effort to postpone the reckoning that is surely coming

To maintain the illusion that we are only experiencing occasional recessions, three powerful institutions wage a full-time effort to postpone the reckoning that is surely coming.
First, the news media select targets for blame very carefully. During the terms of presidents in favor, the media reports very little of a negative nature. Polls show favorable public support, and reporters fail to ask tough questions.

Remove the burden of government • Restore the Constitution, rule of law • Limit the power of the Federal Reserve, regulatory agencies • Stop redistributing wealth

But once a president out of favor with the media takes office, a double standard emerges. The media assign blame freely to their enemies while their friends disappear or join in the new fight.
Second, state and federal governments increase spending to maintain the appearance of prosperity and well-being and to help elected officials pass out favors. Governments spend tax revenues prodigiously, then borrow money to spend even more. The debt of the United States government now stands at more than $19 trillion. $18 trillion of that has been accumulated over the past 40 years. State and local governments owe another $3 trillion.
Third, the Federal Reserve system, fully in control of the United States economy since 1913, has been manipulating the monetary system continuously in more and more direct ways. Now the Fed, along with foreign governments, buys and holds trillions of the national debt as it fans the economy with additional trillions in currency and financial system orders.
So what do we do now?
  1. Admit it. We’re in a depression. We need to understand the real causes so we can avoid having more of them. Political correctness makes it nearly impossible to educate people about the real causes; it isn’t presidential administrations that cause it, it’s policies over the course of years.
  2. Name and understand the contributing causes: the federal housing bubble, banks, the Fed, regulations, debt, out-of-control public spending, the health care takeover, public dependency, our open borders, our failed education system.
  3. Make the case for recovery measures. Remove the burden of government that rests on citizens. Restore the Constitution and the rule of law. Limit the power of the Federal Reserve and the regulatory agencies. Stop redistributing wealth. Free up free enterprise and profit making. Empower personal responsibility. Choose freedom.
(Read about the effects of the depression of the 1930s in Dr. Smith’s book The War Comes To Plum Street. Order it from Indiana University Press.)



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