I've been doing a lot of ruminating over the past couple of weeks - really since my last post. I see our supposed Best And Brightest running for president, The House, The Senate, and for our state government, and it depresses me. The lying, the spin, the outright deceit has just got me wanting to become a hermit and separate myself from society.
The continual grab, grab, grab for our money and property and liberty is weighted like an elephant on the chest.
Some ruminations for ya....
Here in California, we have a full load of tax increase proposals on the ballot. One of them has the proponents running ads saying, "Every dollar will go towards educating our (not your) children". I told my wife that I guarantee that it would end up like the Lottery. They told us the lottery would provide over $1 billion a year to schools, and it couldn't go anywhere else.
It got my vote, and a lot of other votes.
The problem was, once this extra billion bucks started flowing, the state legislature lowered the school budget by a billion bucks. Net/net, the school system didn't see an extra dime as a result of the lottery. The bastards in Sacramento got a windfall to spread around to their cronies, or give themselves huge stipends for travel expense, food and meal expense, living expense, etc. It was a sweet deal for the incumbents.
Well, imagine my surprise (not) that one of the acceptable uses of the school bill funds for "educating our children" includes funding the shortfall in the retirement packages of the Teacher's Union members.
BAM! Another sweet deal for someone else, funded by my pocketbook.
Just last night, I was watching the show, Drugs, Inc. It's a show that digs into the business side that is a part of illegal drugs. This episode was in Las Vegas.
About half way through the show, they showed the LVPD putting together a plan to bust some guy that provides out-of-towners with drugs. His base of operation was a nice hotel room in one of the higher-end properties in Vegas.
They start with the hut-hut-hut squad - the SWAT Team. About a half dozen of these guys go hut-hut-hut into the hotel and make sure the "bad guy" was secured. The SWAT Team leaves, and another half dozen detectives show up to see what kind of haul they have.
The two guys had a couple dozen MDMA pills, a small amount of cocaine, and a little bit of cash.
For those of you who haven't been here before, let me repeat my stand on "illegal" drugs. I believe that you, as an individual, should STILL be able to put anything you wish into your body. Booze, pills, coke, meth, "bath salts", E, pot, cigarettes - whatever. It's your body, do as you wish. The only time the police should be involved is if you infringe on the rights of another - whether you are high or straight.
And if you become addicted or dead, tough shit. Actions have consequences. Deal with it.
Perhaps most importantly, as soon as drugs were re-legalized, the crime and death associated with "illegal" drugs would go away. There would be no need for illegal enforcement of selling territories. If I used drugs, and could get them from a 7-11, the illegal traffickers would be out of business. Just like what happened when Prohibition was repealed. Al Capone - no mas!
At the federal level, there is absolutely, positively NO CONSTITUTIONAL JUSTIFICATION for our drug laws. The big tipping point was the 1914 Harrison Narcotics Tax Act [link]. It was taken to the SCOTUS, and the bastards let it stay because of "the public good" or some other unconstitutional crap like that.
Now, that being said, the Tenth Amendment WOULD allow a state to write any drug law it wished. You could have California be an open-air market for drugs, and Nevada have zero tolerance for any drugs whatsoever.
So, back to Vegas. As I'm watching the hut-hut-hut squad doing their thing, I'm shaking my head, thinking, "What a GD waste of time, money and resources". But it's Nevada money, I don't live there, so go at it. It doesn't affect me one little bit.
Ten minutes later, a similar raid is shown. Only this time, it had a dozen hut-hut-hut squad members, and they were DEA agents.
Now, that DOES affect me and my pocketbook.
They went into this rental house that was changed into a pot growing house. They cut down some 400+ plants and made zero arrests. Thank God for that, as their trial and subsequent incarceration would have just extended the waste of money even further.
I know many of you who stop by here support our drug laws. Let me ask you a question: If every drug was re-legalized tomorrow, would you start using, say, meth? Or coke? Or pot?
No? Me neither. If I wanted any of them, or heroin, MDMA, "Bath Salts", magic mushrooms or any illegal drug in this country, I could get them right now. The drug laws are not only useless, they are a horrific waste of tax dollars. Drugs are more readily available now than they've ever been.
Who is for drug laws? Government, of course. It's damned near a Full Employment Act for cops at every level of society. County jails, state and federal prisons are full - FULL - of people who wanted to conduct a business transaction which would not infringe upon the rights of anyone else.
And of course, the drug cartels LOVE the drug laws as well. If you had Ron Popeil selling the Home Crack Maker on late-night TV, the cartels would be out of business. They need our laws to sustain their drug distribution business.
Good on us to be so proactive in helping foreign businesses grow and prosper. Makes ya proud to be an American, no?
I was thinking of doing some financial diversification. I'm heavily invested in physical precious metals. Back in 2007, I dumped all of my paper stocks, bonds and mutual funds, and bought gold and silver.
My primary target for diversification continues to be real estate. I just need to find the right property in the right state for the right price. Not as easy as it sounds!
So, in the mean time, I was considering buying some stock. Not just any stock, but I was focusing in on those companies that have paid a dividend for at least the last 5 years - longer if possible.
Looks like I won't have to do much research.
I had started a little bit of digging, when I heard the news that Barry & Company - our federal government - have a tax proposal that will increase the tax on - you guessed it - dividend payments. What I've read indicates that the tax rate on dividends will be as high as 44%! Damned near half of your earnings taken by an entity with a long track record of incompetence.
But wait, there's more! Barry has told us, ad nauseum, that he only wants to raise taxes on that top 1 percent. All of those rich bastards that don't pay, "their fair share".
Hey Barry! Sixty-fiive percent of the folks that get dividend payments - and would be penalized by this new law - earn $100k or less per year.
I guess he wasn't lying. It was just a misinterpretation of the numbers. He meant to say he only wanted to tax the top 100% of wage earners.
Whew. Glad we got that cleared up.
Accept The Challenge
Hmm. I'm a doer and not a whiner, but I'm coming to the end of my patience. The government seems intent on controling and regulating and taxing every little piece of our lives. For goodness sake, NYC actually regulates the size of the soda you can buy. How can that be in America?
The presumption of our handlers is that we are unable to make decisions by ourselves. They are all-knowing, and are just looking out for our best interests.
The price for this regulation is two-fold: Increased taxes to pay for the bureaucracy and loss of freedom. I'd submit that taxes are another form of loss of freedom, as you are being forced to give the results of your labors to another entity.
No, I'm not suggesting anarchy, just that we play by our rule book, the Constitution. That's all, just play by the rules.
But that's not going to happen. It will never happen. As long as one arm of government gets to bless the clearly illegal actions of another arm of government as legal, we're screwed.
As noted earlier, I've got a good bit of PMs. I know with absolute certainty that at some point in the future, I will not be able to anonymously convert those holdings into fiat cash that I may need to buy real property, for instance. The government will paint holders of PMs as unpatriotic or greedy bastards or terrorists. Or all of the above - just like they did in 1933.
They are already well on their way to controlling all markets, setting prices for virtually all commodity foodstuffs (via the farm bills), energy production and distribution, banking, communications and water rights.
They are well on their way to controlling all of your transportaiton options - flight, rail, busses; your ability to defend yourself against enemies of all stripes by controlling what guns you may own and when yoiu may possess them, which knives, pepper spray or stunguns you may own; which of our inalienable rights they will grant themselves the ability to alienate.
Economically, you can't fight this beast head-on, and win. Every form of government has way too many tendrils. And lots more guns than you do to enforce their will. If you haven't read Atlas Shrugged, you've got to do it. You read the book and you will be amazed at how much of Ayn Rand's (a former Soviet citizen) "crazy talk" has happened or is happening. Especially the whole concept of "economic justice".
When you take away the financial incentive to produce, you stop producing. Read this snippet from 1990 about the old Soviet Union -
While the Soviet Union's legislators and theorists ponder the vistas of a revolutionary economic-reform program, the people of this country live like hunter-gatherers in a real-world economy that is half desert, half medieval bazaar.I believe the two most important skills we're going to need in the coming economic collapse are the ability to barter/trade, and the ability to keep your head down - don't draw attention to yourself. If you're doing considerably better by outwards appearances than your neighbor, you can bet your bottom dollar that your neighbor will turn your ass in for a state-sponsored Enemy Of The State bounty.
The official structures of the Bolshevik experiment are collapsing with such finality, the state-run shops are so barren, that nearly everyone now must participate in the immense ``shadow economy'' of speculation and petty bribery, barter deals and black-marketeers.
The demands of the ``shadow economy'' trace a Soviet lifetime. A child comes into the world with the mother paying a 200-ruble bribe to the maternity nurse for a sterile needle and an anesthetic. When a Soviet citizen dies, relatives are overcome not only with grief but with the knowledge that they must pay thousands of rubles in bribes to the mortician, the coffin maker and the gravedigger.
What comes in between is an unending hustle. To buy a car means entering a world of markups in the thousands of rubles. A place in a good kindergarten requires 100 rubles - or better, $10 - slipped to the local school inspector. To find a pair of jeans or even the cheapest Western luxury inevitably means a trip to places such as Moscow's Vidnoye Market or Odessa's City Market, vast parking lots of primitive commerce that seem like market scenes in the paintings of Brueghel or Bosch. Crowds form around old women who sell shampoo, hairpins and lipsticks out of tattered plastic bags.
With regards to the other inalienable rights that have been stomped, I think our national outrage will peak when/if significant numbers of people start "disappearing" with no explanation. The TSA is brushing up against this with their No Fly List - you can't find out why you've been banned from commercial air flight.
If this happens - and I believe it will - THEN the shooting will start. Farmers, bankers, beauticians, grocers, all stripes of small business owners and just regular people, will start sending a message to our handlers that they've crossed the line.
I think any organized resistance will be generally crushed. I think it will be regular folks - individuals - picking a spot and time, and firing off a couple rounds at some form of government symbol. They'll fire a couple of rounds, then beat feet. Wait a couple of weeks, then repeat as necessary.
Or they'll burn a government car. Or cut the power to a government building. Or any other such act of rebellion. Anything to cause grief, pain and suffering on whomever you consider an oppressor.
We'll all then be considered Enemies Of The State.
Copyright 2012 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com