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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Embrace The Shadows

I awoke this morning to this story -
Here is one of the most alarming signs that the U.S. economy is still far from healthy:  More than one in six men between 25 and 54 years old – the prime working years – aren’t working. That’s 10.4 million men, more than double the population of the city of Los Angeles.
Holy crap.  Seventeen percent of all men in that "sweet spot" of earning years aren't working.  Been there, done that.

From the Preface of my upcoming book -
I wrote this book because I see so many people struggling to make a buck.  Some of this struggle is self-imposed, some of it is because of the layer upon layer of regulation “society” has dumped on us – making it near impossible to earn a decent living for a day’s work.

In 2008, I found myself unemployed.  After 31 years in banking, I was laid off.  Here I was, a late-40’s, Executive Vice President, looking for work.  I soon realized that the salary I had formerly commanded was not going to be found any time soon.

A couple of things dawned on me:  (1) There were too many, “young bucks” out there that could fill my old job for a lot less money, and more importantly (2) I never wanted to be at the mercy of someone else to earn a good living.
 This post isn't about developing Multiple Streams of Income (which you should be doing).  It's about having and keeping the resources you've earned with the goal of making yourself self-sufficient - not dependent upon any other entity for your well-being.

It ain't gonna be easy.

We hear the phrase, "Get them out of the shadows," when people are talking about granting amnesty to illegal aliens.  It's a propaganda tactic used by socialists to engender sympathy for some poor, huddled mass of humanity that just wants make their life better.  According to their Utopian view, no one is harmed by allowing these illegals the opportunity for a better life.

Anyone with two brain cells and a command of fifth grade math can see that's a lie.  All it does is flood our job markets with cheap labor, driving down wages - not surprisingly resulting in calls for a "living wage".  Clearly, it is their actions that caused the drop in wages.  They now want the "evil, greedy business owners" to finance their actions via tax increases.

The result in the real world is that businesses lay off employees, or don't hire as many as they could use.  For example, my businesses pay tens of thousands of dollars in various taxes each and every year.  Income tax, sales tax, business tax, licensing fees, use tax, and so many state, city and county fees, I can't list them all.

Due entirely as a result of the myriad taxes and fees - which are near impossible for a business owner to track - I have to pay two separate CPA firms (one for this business and one for the precious metals business) to let me know who I must pay and when.  That's several thousand MORE dollars I must pay to people who keep abreast of all of this government regulation to ensure I don't miss one, and end up paying fines and penalties as a result.

I pay all of this money to government agencies instead of to employees as wages.  I must follow the rules, and pay for the privilege of doing so.  The government then gives those dollars to others - who DO NOT follow the rules - so that their lives can be better.

Such a deal, huh?

These policies are directly taking one group of people out of the shadows, and forcing another group in.  Instead of either group prospering and contributing to society, they now both become dependent upon The State for their basic needs.

Freedom - real freedom - is dependent upon your ability to own property.  It's obviously not the only measure of freedom, but it is a key component.  Without the knowledge that what you own is yours to do with as you wish, you're not truly free.

Property can be a car, your wages, a home, a boat, some land - anything for which you expend effort or money to legally acquire.

Our various levels of government are working hard to make the point that you don't own squat.  You own what they let you own.  Nothing more.  And should they decide they want what you have, they'll just come and take it.  Legally, of course.

This whole welfare state that they've been building is costly.  More costly than even the socialists had anticipated (as a group, they've got a pretty poor historical record for economic forecasting).  Just look at what has been reported this past week alone -

IRA confiscation: it’s happening

U.S., Canada forge deal in global anti-tax dodger push

The Countdown To The Nationalization Of Retirement Savings Has Begun

Is your money safe at the bank? An economist says ‘no’ and withdraws his

That last article, by the way, was from the uber-conservative, TEA Party lovin', PBS network.  Kind of scary to me when The Opposition prints an article on a subject I've ranted about for years.

They are in overdrive plugging "loopholes" and setting the stage for a massive confiscation of your money.

"OK, OK.  I get it.  They own my ass.  So what?  What can I do about it?"

Embrace the shadows.  If they don't know you own it, they can't tax it.... or take it.

As of right now, here is a partial list of assets you can own anonymously and legally -

Precious metals
Precious gems
Ammunition (in most states)
Guns (in some states)

There are hundreds, if not thousands of tangible "investment" assets you can own.

What's the down-side?  Well, you're not going to be making any interest income on your deposit accounts.  Not really a material point in the current economy.

Perhaps more importantly, you must store and secure them yourself, and do so properly.  Cash can burn, ammo can go bad, guns can rust, PMs can crash.  And all of it can be stolen by non-sanctioned criminals. 

So, be sure you don't, "keep all of your eggs in one basket."  Have your assets properly stored, and stored in different locations.  Read up on caching.  You are responsible for the safekeeping of your property.

Remember:  Acquisition takes some planning.  If you're buying your ammo online, there's an electronic breadcrumb trail leading right back to your home.  Same goes with gold, silver, gems and jewelry.

Use cash or barter, ONLY.

And for God's sake, be sure that you get a receipt for as much of your property as possible.  Have it made out to, "cash" or better yet, your first and middle name - not your last name.  Include serial numbers, and certification numbers (or mint dates and face amounts for coins) whenever possible.

Why?  You then have a leg to stand on if TPTB confiscate your property.  It may not work, but without a receipt, you're guaranteed your property won't be returned.

Also, with precious metals in particular, when they're sold, you must report your gain or loss on your tax returns.  Without a receipt, you've got no basis for your tax calculation.

In the end, if all or some of your property becomes illegal to own - ala the 1934 gold confiscation - by having your assets in the shadows, you can make the choice to comply or not.  You can retain the property which you legally acquired, or you can voluntarily register or gift it to your government.

You have the freedom to determine how your property is used.  You can spend it on your retirement.  You can use it to start or operate a business.  You can trade it to acquire other assets.

But you've got to have it to use it.  And you can do that if you embrace the shadows...

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Copyright 2014 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.

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