In honor of Independence Day and the heroic founding fathers who fought against tyranny, I want to talk about the subject of freedom. I believe we need more voices of reason, like Ron Paul, in these crazy times, and I have no problem being one of these voices. A lot of people live their lives in fear of speaking the truth, but I could care less. No one has any power over my thoughts.
Nations can collapse very quickly, especially if there is no political leadership. Marcus Aurelius, the last of the Five Good Emperors, ruled Rome until 180 AD, which was a time of great prosperity. By 235 AD, Rome was in crisis; over the next 50 years there were over 20 emperors. This is the type of political instability we are witnessing today in America. Things can and do change very quickly. I believe we are on the precipice of profound change.
Collapse of Freedom
When people talk about America, they automatically think freedom. I agree that America used to be very free; unfortunately, America is trending in the wrong direction. Per capita, we have the highest incarceration rates in the world. We have the Patriot Act that keeps getting extended by both Democrats and Republicans. All Americans know that we torture people, yet there isn’t a huge public outcry over it. We lost our moral high ground around the world a long time ago. Am I the only one concerned by these trends? I’m telling you, politics and economics are inextricably linked: we will have a day of reckoning soon because of the collapse in the rule of law.
Taxes and Freedom
The founding fathers understood that direct taxes were dangerous because they could be used as a political tool. That is why it was written in the Constitution that taxes, besides property taxes, were to be indirect. The income tax in America was introduced in 1913 (there was also a brief income tax during the Civil War). Those who worry about our ability to fund our government without an income tax need to understand we did just fine without one from 1776 to 1913. There is much more to direct taxes than just generating revenue.
What’s concerning about taxes is our habit of jailing people for not paying them. This is a rarity in history. Furthermore, why is it that if Timothy Geithner doesn’t pay his income taxes it’s no big deal, but if the average American doesn’t pay taxes, IRS agents are knocking on their door with guns drawn? Everyone should abide by the same laws. The lack of prosecution of investment banks like Goldman Sachs will go down as one of the most blatant examples of corruption in history. This is a sad state of affairs in America, but take solace in knowing that it takes drastic circumstances to bring about positive change. We are getting to the point where Americans have had enough.
Because of things like the Patriot Act, the press is scared to speak out on corruption they know is occurring in America. I’m sure many of you remember “Plamegate.” Former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson spoke out against the lies of former President Bush concerning Nigeria and the alleged sale of uranium to Iraq. As a result of his patriotism, Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, was exposed as a CIA agent by the government, putting her life at risk. How sad. The government will resort to childish measures to retain their power; that’s what they’ve always done historically. The press in America is failing us, so the burden is on regular people with a conscience to tell the truth.
Paradox and Freedom
I wish more people understood paradox and nuance. For example, legalizing drugs is the smartest way to deal with the problem of drugs. I don’t use drugs myself, and I won’t become a heroine addict because drugs are legalized. Most of you probably know normal people who use drugs who are not criminals. Is the fact that drugs are illegal stopping them from using drugs? Not a chance. Yes drugs are bad, but non-stop government infringement of freedom is worse. The killings surrounding the drug trade are worse. The money we waste on the war on drugs is worse. The overpopulation in our jail system due to the overprosecution for non-violent crimes is worse. This is paradox- deal with drugs by legalizing them.
With any law, you must weigh the good against the bad. So with freedom of speech, yes you will get the kooks standing on the street corner spewing nonsense. But you also get a check against the government. You get open debate and discussion. Freedom of speech is not something you can do half-way, for if you legislate against some forms of free speech, you run the risk of legislating against them all. It’s just like the Patriot Act. The American people gave in an inch, and now the government continues to add increasingly invasive measures to the Act. All Americans are now presumed guilty until proven innocent. If you don’t think this is a concerning trend, you better wake up.
There is surely going to be a collapse of confidence in America. This is what I’ve been warning about, and this is what I’m waiting for. I am just speaking the truth. Believe me, we will default on our debt. There will be incredible political instability. Gold is going to obscene levels. Our leaders really have no clue. I am very optimistic that there will be a trend of greater freedom in the years ahead, but only after we deal with a major crisis where the American people wake up. Be prepared. Stay nimble. Things are going to get crazy.Follow