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For the Following Author: Jeff Thomas

May 17, 2022

Libertarians and others who seek to be left alone to run their own lives, habitually ask themselves the above question regarding their government. So, what’s the answer? Are they out to get you? Well, unfortunately, the answer isn’t a simple “yes,” or “no.” In fact, it’s “yes,” and “no.”

May 5, 2022

Benito Mussolini stated that “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.” Quite so. Interestingly, many, and perhaps most people today, lack an understanding as to the system under which they are ruled. In the US in particular, most people who vote Republican take pride in believing that the US is a capitalist state. Democrats, too, regard the US as a capitalist state, and take the view that that’s what’s wrong with America today. Increasingly, they seek a move in the socialist (or collectivist) direction to save them from the perceived evils of capitalism. Interestingly, though, the evils to which they refer are the socio-economic inequalities that exist and the fact that those on the lower levels of society have decreasing opportunity to improve their lot in life. And, of course, since they believe they live under a capitalist system, they assume that capitalism must be the problem. But this is not the case.

Apr 12, 2022

That was a popular phrase in the past. And, because the dollar has been the world’s reserve currency for nearly eighty years, there’s a temptation to assume that the dollar will remain the king of currencies. But history shows us that all fiat currencies eventually come to a bad end, and the dollar is most assuredly a fiat currency, having lost its backing by gold in 1971 – something that US President Nixon promised would be a “temporary measure.” But why should this be? Why should it end at all?

Apr 5, 2022

Recently, I was in a pharmacy and overheard the pharmacist say to someone, “There’s so much unpleasantness on the news these days. I’ve stopped watching.” The pharmacist has my sympathy. I’d love to be able to ignore the deterioration of the First World. It is, at turns, tedious, depressing, disturbing and infuriating. Unfortunately, we’re now passing through what, before it’s over, will be the most life-altering period in our lifetimes. As much as we’d like to behave like ostriches right now, we’d better keep our heads out of the sand and be as honest with ourselves as we can, if we’re going to lessen the impact that these events will have on us. I stated in a recent article, “I cannot emphasize too strongly the importance of this (a possible shortage of food). History is filled with examples of cultures that would endure most anything and still behave responsibly….Nothing will cause greater, more unpredictable nor more violent behaviour in a people than a lack of food.” Interesting to note that, whenever I converse with people on the finer points of the Great Unraveling, when I mention the words “famine” or ‘food riots”, even those who are otherwise quite comfortable discussing the subject, tend to want to discount the possibility that these will be aspects of the troubles that are headed our way. For this very reason, I believe that we should shine a light on this eventuality.

Mar 30, 2022

“Progress may have been all right once, but it has gone on too long.” I’ve always been fond of that quote. Back when Ogden Nash wrote it, it was quite clever. Today, the quote is a bit less entertaining, as we are living in a period when, more and more, world leaders seem to be headed in the wrong direction – away from progress. As the Great Unravelling plays out, people are coming to the conclusion that the directions taken by their leaders are (in Doug Casey’s well-chosen words), not only the wrong thing to do, but the exact opposite of the right thing to do.

Mar 22, 2022

Where’s Your Loyalty? Recently, after reading an essay of mine, a reader angrily questioned my loyalty to the USA. My immediate reaction was that I’m not a US citizen. I therefore tend to observe the US dispassionately, just as I’d observe any of the nearly 200 “foreign” countries in the world. But, as I’m British, what if he’d questioned my loyalty to the UK? Would he have a valid point? Well, at the very least, he’d certainly have a question worthy of an answer. I, of course, have a legal right to live and work in the UK, and yet I choose not to. It’s simply not my idea of a great country in which to reside. As much as I regard the traditional English village to be an ideal environment in which to live, I reside elsewhere. The reason is that I place a very high value on personal freedom, a non-intrusive government and a populace that doesn’t feel that it’s entitled to largesse that’s been forcibly taken from another segment of the population. But that doesn’t exactly address the question of “loyalty,” does it? Well, there, I must confess, I tend to answer the question with another question. Whenever someone speaks to me of his loyalty to his country, I’m inclined to ask him to define “country.”

Mar 15, 2022

Whenever a movie has been a huge hit, the film industry tries to follow it up by doing a sequel. The sequel is almost invariably far more costly, as there’s the anticipation by those who create it that it will be an even bigger blockbuster than the original. The Great Depression of the 1930’s is seen by most people to be the be-all and end-all of economic catastrophes and there’s good reason for that. Although the economic cycle has always existed, the period leading up to October 1929 was unusual, as those in the financial sector had become unusually creative. Brokers encouraged people to buy into the stock market as heavily as they could afford to. When that business began to level off, they encouraged people to buy on margin. The idea was that the buyer would only put up a fraction of the money for the purchase and the broker would “guarantee” full payment to the seller. As a condition to the agreement, the buyer would have to relinquish to the broker the right to sell his stock at any point that he wished, should he feel the need to do so to get himself off the hook in the event of a significant economic change.

Mar 8, 2022

In 1960, eighteen European countries, plus the US and Canada, signed on to become charter members of the new Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Since that time, another twenty countries have signed on. The Organisation was an expansion of an existing French organisation, the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC), begun in France in 1948. Not surprisingly, the OECD became an extension of the OEEC and was led by France. As such, the tone of the OECD reflected French Governmental thinking on economics. As the organisation expanded its power, its direction became more focused on two of the French Government’s economic bugbears – worldwide collection of tax and worldwide equalisation of tax. Of course, France is known for its often crippling levels of taxation and, in 2013, over 8000 French people saw their tax bills top 100% of their earnings. This extraordinary tax level was, not surprisingly, introduced by socialist President Francois Hollande. Monsieur Hollande may be have been extreme in his tax, but, by French standards, not dramatically so. France has long been a bastion for the socialistic belief that the “Greedy Rich” must be forced to pay their “fair share.” So, who exactly are the Greedy Rich?

Mar 2, 2022

Throughout history, political, financial and military leaders have sought to create empires. Westerners often think of ancient Rome as the first empire, which eventually collapsed under its own weight. Later, other empires formed for a time. Spain became an empire, courtesy of its Armada, its conquest of the New World and the gold and silver extracted from the West. Great Britain owned the nineteenth century, but lost bits empire due largely to economically destructive wars. The US took over in the 20th century and, like Rome, is now crumbling under its own weight. Invariably, the last people to understand the collapse of an empire are those who live within it. As a British subject, I can still remember my younger years, when, even though the British Empire was well and truly over, many of my fellow Brits were still behaving in a pompous manner as though British superiority still existed. Not so, today. You can only pretend for so long. But this does suggest that those who live within the present empire – the US – will be the last to truly understand that the game is over. They may regard the decline as a temporary setback from which they will rebound.

Feb 17, 2022

In 1987, Levon Helm, a former cotton farmer from Arkansas, sat brooding in his yard, trying to describe why his apparent success had turned to near-bankruptcy: “Well, it’s hard to put your finger on. You get behind financially and once you get behind financially, you seem to get behind spiritually. And your luck turns against you.” Levon’s perception of his situation is a common one. He had become quite successful, but had never learned to understand more about economics than, “If you got it, spend it.” As a result, throughout his life, he repeatedly found himself in monetary difficulties. He habitually lived in the moment and didn’t invest much time analysing what his actions would need to be to assure a sound economic future. Unfortunately, his approach to his future is, to a great extent, the approach of the vast majority of people. Let’s take his comments one sentence at a time...

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