One Look at Venezuela Has Convinced Me to Keep Prepping

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Being a Prepper in the land of plenty sometimes seems like utter foolishness yet my kids and I do it anyway.

Now granted – we are not over-the-top, end of civilization Preppers who are preparing for a Zombie apocalypse. I just decided a few years ago to begin storing some things for emergencies. Every week I purchase one or two extra items and put them away.

It’s rather startling what you can amass by just doing that. At times it also comes in rather handy when you forget something at the grocery store. Simply pull it from your own stock and your good – but don’t forget to replace it. My family personally prides itself on never running out of anything, so when we have to pull something out of storage, the penalty is it must be replaced with at least two items.

So why do we do it? It’s because you never know. We aren’t prone to natural disasters in New England but we’ve had to utilize our supplies on more than one occasion due to snow storms and power outages.

And despite the rosy picture painted by our current administration, we should all be concerned with the poor shape of our economy. It won’t take too much to push it over the edge. If by some miracle we are able to contain $20 trillion in debt and almost a quarter of a quadrillion in unfunded liability, then fine – we’ll use it ourselves or give it away.

I’ve thought of giving up prepping, but when I see what is happening in places like the socialist/communist paradise of Venezuela, coupled with millions of our own citizens claiming that socialism would be good for America, I come to my senses. read more

Fiscal Cliff

Although I don’t agree will all the following points of this article, Mr. Livingston does make one think.

The Fiscal Cliff Is A Mirage, But A Real Cliff Is Ahead

by: Bob Livingston

The Fiscal Cliff Is A Mirage, But A Real Cliff Is Ahead

Don’t worry over the so-called fiscal cliff. It is just the latest in a long line of crises created by the elected sociopath class as another ploy to extract more wealth from the American people and further advance its agenda.

The cliff you need to worry about is the one we are barreling toward regardless of how the fiscal cliff negotiations turn out. It’s the hyperinflation cliff. It’s dead ahead. It has become unavoidable. The Nation is in default.bush tax cuts

The fiscal cliff is the term adopted to refer to the end of the misnamed George Bush tax cuts (which expire on Dec. 31 and because Obama extended them in 2010, so we will rightly call them Obama tax cuts) and sequestration ($1.2 trillion in cuts to social programs and defense spending that kick in on Jan. 1 barring a budget deal). It’s an unpalatable option to the political class because the political class hates cutting government — which reduces the power of the state — and uses a progressive tax rate to help reinforce the Hegelian dialectic.

President Barack Obama and his redistributionist minions have drawn a line in the sand over the misnamed George W. Bush tax cuts. Obama wants to end his own tax cuts on those making more than $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers). This, despite his statement in 2010: “You don’t raise taxes in a recession.”

The United States remains in the old or has entered into a new recession. As John Williams of Shadowstats.com writes here1 (subscription required): “[T]here has been no recovery in economic activity, since the economy plunged from 2006/2007 into mid-2009, just ongoing low-level stagnation. Reporting of retail sales, production and durable Wall Streetgoods orders shows the economy turning down, once again, into what will become recognized as the second-dip of a double-dip recession, likely timed from third-quarter 2012. The reality remains that current economic woes are an ongoing part of protracted economic collapse, not the beginning of a new cycle.”

While the “official” phony-baloney government statistics show U.S. gross domestic product rising steadily since late 2009, real GDP growth remains stagnant, as it has since late 2009, and mirrors real unemployment, retail sales and housing starts.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has instituted QE3 to infinity. This will serve to prop up banks and the establishment, but it will hasten the demise of the dollar. (Watch the prices of gold and silver for confirmation.) It’s out-and-out theft from the American worker, saver and retiree.

QE3 and the unwillingness of the political class to make substantial and substantive cuts to government have prompted Williams to shorten his outer hyperinflation timeline from 2018 to 2014.

America is a warfare/welfare state2. A full 20 percent ($718 billion) of the Federal budget in 20113 was spent on perpetual war, defense and security-related international activities. “This portion of the budget is untouchable,” according the warfare wing of both parties.

Another 21 percent ($769 billion) went to Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). An additional 13 percent ($466 billion) went to safety-net programs like SSI, food stamps, school meals, housing and childcare assistance, etc.entitlements “These are untouchable,” according to redistributionist class of both parties.

And 20 percent ($731 billion) paid for Social Security, which provided retirement benefits to 35.6 million workers and other benefits to another 19.8 million spouses and children of retired workers, spouses and children of deceased workers, disabled workers and their eligible dependents. Social Security is considered an entitlement program, but it should not be since it is supposedly funded by money confiscated from workers — who had no say in the matter — to fund their retirement. The program was long ago looted by the elites and is the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. “Social Security is sacrosanct and untouchable,” leadership of both parties lie to you as they confiscate the funds faster than they pour in.

Obama and his redistributionist minions play the class-warfare game to perfection, pitting the poor against the so-called rich in order to steal more from the middle class. Their big lie is that the “rich” pay a lower percentage of income in taxes than the poor or middle class. The politics of envy —The-Politics-Of-Envy nasty, vile and green wealth envy that causes some to wish ill will or disaster on others who have enjoyed more success and has turned to hatred in the hearts of many — is advancing us toward total totalitarianism.

And now Republicans — supposedly the party of low taxes and smaller government — are joining the growing ranks of redistributionists and feeding the dialectic.

According to Internal Revenue Service data5, the highest average tax rates in America are paid by those making between $1.5 million and $2 million. Their tax rate is 25.1 percent. Tax rates then begin to fall on incomes greater than $2 million, as a greater percentage of income comes from capital gains and dividends. Still, those making more than $200 million pay an 18 percent tax rate on their adjusted gross income.

Those making $1 million to less than $1.5 million pay a 24.9 percent tax rate. Those making $500,000 to less than $1 million pay 24.1 percent, and those in the $200,000 to less than $500,000 range pay 19.6 percent. Tax rates below $200,000 break down as follows:

  • $100,000 to less than $200,000 incomes pay 12 percent.
  • $50,000 to less than $100,000 incomes pay 7.5 percent.
  • $30,000 to less than $50,000 incomes pay 4.8 percent.
  • Those making less than $30,000 paid no Federal taxes6 after deductions and credits.

Representative Tom Price (R-Ga.) says Obama’s plan to increase taxes on the rich will generate only enough revenue to fund the Federal government for eight days7. What he doesn’t tell you is that income taxes don’t fund the government. They are simply a wealth redistribution/information gathering tool used by the government.wealth redistribution

Price is one of the employees of the state who daily work to propagandize the masses on the idea that there is government debt and that money (sometimes called “revenue” to fool the people with doublespeak) to pay that debt must be confiscated from the masses. But there is no debt. Ask yourself this question: If you had a machine that would crank out an unlimited number of bills, would you have debt? Of course not. And that’s what government does.

Government debt is a world-class delusion. It is a tool used to justify theft and redistribution. And it has worked to perfection, pitting the have-nots against the haves, while the 1 percent (government workers and elected class) make out like the bandits they are. Meanwhile, many become ever more embittered over the idea that someone may have a greater pile of worthless green paper strips than they do.

It won’t be too much longer before people will be papering their walls with the green paper strips they’re so jealous of others for having. Study your history, and look to Weimar Germany as the example.

Workers were transporting wheelbarrows of cash to the store for bread, hoping to arrive before the prices changed. The price of coffee would triple between the time it was poured hyperinflationand the time it was consumed and the check arrived. Mothers prostituted themselves so their kids could be fed.

The next U.S. Great Depression is the cliff to be concerned with. Time is short. Store food (buying it now is also a hedge against inflation) and water, guns and ammunition, and personal hygiene items. Accumulate silver and gold. This Christmas, give silver as a gift that keeps giving — especially pre-1965 U.S. silver coins:

  • Dec. 1, 2000: silver $4.69/oz.; today: silver $34.28/oz.
  • Dec. 1, 2000: Dow Jones industrial average 14,053; today: DJIA 13,023.

Times will be especially difficult for the unprepared and those who depend upon the system for sustenance.

Love Him or Hate him, He’s Right

Two Cheers For Glenn Beck, With Some Reservations

By Jerry Bowyer

Glenn Beck’s analyses of the history of authoritarian movements has many people concerned, and justifiably so. Most recently Beck has been laying out the ways in which the progressive movement in the U.S. has been following a three phase strategy to undermine the free-market constitutional order traditional to America.

He has also uncovered ways in which progressive propaganda on behalf of President Obama taps surreptitiously into language of earlier extremist thought, most notably Stuart Chase’s book,” The Road We Are Traveling,” and his invocation of Political System X. Chase was a Fabian socialist who was influential in the left wing of the New Deal, and may have coined the phrase ‘New Deal’.

Beck argues that phase 1 of the program, which focused largely on the institutionalization of the socialist movement and the de-legitimatization of traditional free institutions, has been completed over roughly the past 100 years. Phase 2 of the agenda, largely a matter of creating an escalating series of crises, Beck argues can happen ‘at lightning speed’. Phase 3 refers to a time in which the people, tired of chaos and crisis, permit the Left to grab power and perhaps even to liquidate inconvenient groups of people.

There is a lot to appreciate in Beck’s work, and I do not share the tendency among some in the conservative institutional elite to deride him. When someone like a Peggy Noonan at the Wall Street Journal describes Beck as ‘insane’, she may well be responding more to the social pressures of the Manhattan cocktail party circuit than to anything Beck has actually said. Frankly, I’m tired of conservatives, such as David Frum and others, who have made a career out of appearing in liberal media venues to ritually denounce Beck or Palin or whoever is the liberal hate icon of the month, as beyond the pale.

In fact, I share Beck’s association of Obama with the Fabian socialist movement, and did so very early, perhaps earlier even than Beck did.

Personally, I like Glenn Beck. I appeared as a guest on his TV show when he was on CNN. He did something which TV broadcasters almost never do: he talked to me (through my ear piece) during the break. He told me “You are my absolutely favorite economic commentator,” no doubt in keeping with the well-known Beck hyperbole. I told him that he was something which I’ve found to quite rare in broadcast TV, an actual vulnerable human being.

So, mutual admiration aside, do I agree completely with Beck? No, I do not. I’ve found myself talking with investors often over the last couple of years who need to be coaxed down off the ledge of despair over alleged imminent depressions, hyperinflations, and dollar collapses. I’ve seen analysts on his former Fox show running elaborate scenarios about horrible economic events to unfold in matters of months, if not days or weeks. I am increasingly running into investors, often Beck watchers, who have thrown aside the ancient wisdom of asset diversification in order to jump with both feet into precious metals.

What I think Beck is missing is a sense of depth perception. He sees a danger ahead, but, can’t seem to focus his eyes in order to see how far ahead it is. Taking what he no doubt believes is the safest approach, and one that accords with the emotional intensity of broadcasting, he pronounces the danger to be imminent. Beck’s shows are anxiety-inducing; they’re meant to be. In fact, a colleague of mine was advised by his psychiatrist to stop watching the shows because they were triggering unhealthy anxiety episodes in him. The psychiatrist is an evangelical Christian who is not by nature inclined to be unsympathetic to Beck’s worldview.

I am not the only one who notices Beck’s lack of depth perception and tendency to telescope disastrous events…

“The one thing I always get wrong is timing. I told you three years ago that they were going to print money, that inflation was coming, that trouble was coming, three years ago. Before Bear Stearns collapsed. And I said the stock market was going to crash. I didn’t know when. I used to tell you when things were happening, but I noticed, I see everything as a flat wall. Everything I see in the future is just right here, right now. And it used to give me real high anxiety. ”

So, let’s leave aside for the moment the timing issues, which we as investors must pay close attention to, and take up the issues about the direction of our country, which we as citizens must also pay close attention to.

Beck is right and his critics are wrong about a number of things:

The progressive movement is totalitarian at its core. Whenever it has been allowed free reign, it has become highly repressive, and in some cases, genocidal.

Large swaths of the liberal coalition are, in fact, progressives, especially those in the emotion-forming industries such as film, TV and music.

It can happen here. No nation is immune from the totalitarian impulse and countries which had once been the high water marks of western civilization such as Italy, Greece, Turkey and Germany have all succumbed to totalitarian impulses at one time or another.

American economic hegemony is not inevitable. Every other great nation which has adopted a fiat currency has seen that currency eventually collapse. Every other nation whose currency enjoyed the exorbitant privilege of reserve currency status, has lost that privilege.

Most nations which have reached our level of public indebtedness, eventually suffered severe economic crises.

But, when and how, and most urgently, how quickly do events like this happen to nations such as the U.S.? Yes, Rome fell, and so did Byzantium, Spain, and the British Empires. But how long did it take to fall? How many reprieves did those nations get? How fragile are nations like the United States in terms of culture and political institutions compared the great nations which collapsed in ruin? Only time will tell.

Attribution: Forbes Online