The Real Crash

As I have mentioned, I have been reading Peter Schiff’s The Real Crash.

Although spotted with a few typos and grammatical errors, Peter Schiff does a great job of explaining the insurmountable financial obstacles that face the United States–and most of the world’s economies.

In a very brief summation: the government is plagued by programs that are inherently unconstitutional and financially insolvent. These programs are being financed with debt and central bank monopoly money that is created out of thin air. Essentially, politicians keep kicking the proverbial can down the road. In The Real Crash Schiff argues (and has been for years) that we are about to run out of asphalt.

Since the Fed has continued to “fix” our recessions by artificially holding interest rates too low and flooding the economy with fake money (quantitative easing), the dollar itself is teetering on financial abyss.

Right now, the Fed is backed into a corner. Since the 2008 financial crisis, Ben Bernake—and now Janet Yellen, have kept interest rates at zero for about seven years. These seven years have seen little to no real economic growth. If the economy had recovered from 2008, the January 2016 rate hike would have been a non-issue. Instead, it triggered the deepest January plunge that stock market has ever seen.

Schiff further argues that the government is manipulating economic numbers—for instance, changing the way that the consumer price index is calculated in order to hide inflation. Other methods include downward revisions to critical economic data. These revisions are released a few months after the fact, usually after investor confidence has already pervaded the markets.

No matter how hard the government tries to hide poor data, the public can feel it. It is obvious that the economy is sick—people all over America are struggling. Nowhere is this better exemplified than the outright bizarre populist movements that are sweeping this nation. I mean, for Christ’s sake—Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders (who, before 2015 was described, as a political outcast by his constituents) were/are all serious presidential candidates.

At this point in time, the government has two choices, it can either default on the national debt and restructure (hopefully massively reforming everything about our country and government) or, we could continue down the path we are on, which will eventually lead to hyperinflation. Obviously, I support massive secession.

As you can imagine, politicians probably won’t default on the debt, because it would be political suicide. The latter is the most likely path. Either way, it will mean bad news bears for a lot of people. 

In the wake of the Brexit decision, the instability of the global financial markets has been lain bare (for instance, Europe’s biggest commercial bank, Deutsche Bank is on the verge of insolvency). As a result, the world’s central banks have unleashed massive rounds of quantitative easing. Why are the markets posting record highs? It certainly doesn’t feel like the economy is doing well.

Perhaps, this is all just hoopla, but the natural conclusions of the economic principles that we ascribe to predict eventual insolvency. Hopefully, we are not in for disaster, but if we are–look out below. It will be a long way down.

On a personal note, I am getting married on Sunday, so new content might be a little sparse–please don’t forget about Liberty Weekly! I really appreciate all of the new traffic that we have been seeing, and it is very encouraging! Welcome to all new readers, and be sure to subscribe via email for notifications of new content.

 

Freedom Fest 2016

After a red-eyed overnight flight from Las Vegas back to the Twin Cities, a seat covered in dried vomit, guy sitting next to me who couldn’t sit still, and a twenty dollar Lyft ride, I am back home safe and sound.

As exciting as all of that sounds, Freedom Fest was–in all seriousness–probably the coolest experience that I have ever had in the liberty movement, if only for the very fact that I was surrounded by people who knew Ludwig von Mises. I guess I don’t get out much.

I had a lot of good conversations with a lot of very interesting people–including listening to an Objectivist Randian bash Murray Rothbard extensively during the first day of the conference. (Didn’t enjoy that so much, but gave me perspective).

All things aside, while I still identify as an Anarcho-Capitalist, I have gained some very keen insight to the practical aspects of bringing about a stateless society–that may involve some small participation in the political process. (Voting is still aggression).

Quick side note: this topic makes me think about a Mises Weekend podcast in which Jeff Deist interviews Michael Boldin from the Tenth Amendment Center about grassroots activism (with a touch of Agorism). Check it out here. It is very hopeful and an all-around good listen.

In other news, I got to meet economists Bob Murphy and Peter Schiff as well as senators Ben Sasse and Rand Paul. There were many other big figures in attendance whom I didn’t get a chance to meet personally, including: Reason Magazine’s Nick Gillespie, Steve Forbes, Austin Petersen (not a big fan), Gary Johnson (who’s festival exploits I heard some gossip about), Bill Weld, Judge Napolitano, and Jeffrey Tucker etc . . .

Of all the figures I met, Ben Sasse and Bob Murphy were by far the most friendly and personable. Although I am still a big fan of Peter Schiff, the few words that he said to me involved investing with EuroPacific Capital. (I am enjoying his book “The Real Crash,” but am finding that it is blemished with grammatical errors and typos). Rand Paul was also distant, but not outright rude. I’ve heard that he is just a very reserved guy.

Although I have mostly been involved with Young Americans for Liberty at the University of Minnesota, I attended the conference with Students for Liberty, an international liberty organization, and found them to be a genuine pleasure to work with.

I was able to leave the conference with a sense of community, new friends, and a literal tote bag full of books, all of which I should eventually discuss on the blog as I read through them.

Most encouraging at all, Liberty Weekly has seen a huge jump in subscribers and traffic in the last week as a result of networking, a retweet from Bob Murphy, and continued support from my friends at @Catoletters and @AnarchoNerdist! Thanks guys for the support.

Yet another note! I received news on Friday that I have been accepted as a writing associate with my law school’s public policy journal. My write-on submission has now taken the form of the anti-minimum wage E-book that I give to every new subscriber. Subscribe and check it out if you haven’t already.

As always, thanks for reading, and I will be in touch later in the week!

 

 

 

Tom Woods Podcast Spot and Freedom Fest Update

Welcome to all new Liberty Weekly readers!

Yesterday, Tom Woods was kind enough to feature Liberty Weekly in episode 694 of his podcast (Liberty Weekly is featured around the 30 minute mark). The episode featured Michael Malice and discussed the prospect of an American secession in the wake of the great Brexit vote.

In other news, I have just arrived at Freedom Fest and will be providing coverage through my twitter account @LibertyWeekly. I am here representing Students for Liberty through a great scholarship opportunity and will be simultaneously promoting the blog.

Among the many great speakers presenting here at Freedom Fest, I am most excited to cover economists Peter Schiff and Bob Murphy from Euro Pacific Capital and the Mises Institute, respectively. So stay tuned for that!

If, in the future, you are reading this post through a conversation that I’ve had with you at Freedom Fest, thank you so much for checking my site out.

That’s it for now, my opening conference starts in seven minutes.

Shoutout here goes to Tom Woods for the free publicity. Thanks Tom!

Liberty Weekly–Freedom Fest Update

I have to apologize for not being super active in posting to the blog this week.  I’ve been pretty busy in my personal life planning my upcoming wedding and spending vacation time with my family.

I have a few pieces coming up in the “Money: The Basics” series that will deal with fractional reserve banking, central banking, and the Federal Reserve.

In more recent news, I have received a scholarship from Students for Liberty to attend Freedom Fest in Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood! The conference starts on Wednesday afternoon and runs through Saturday night. I will be moderating a couple speaking events and also doing some tabling. If, by chance, you will be in attendance, send me a direct message through Twitter and maybe we can meet up!

In yet more news, I am waiting on some free publicity from Tom Woods as soon as he gets finished moving his family across the country. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out his podcast at www.tomwoods.com.

Alright, that is all from me for now. I will try and pound some blog posts out during the conference this week. I am currently reading some Bastiat and making progress on Rothbard’s “The Mystery of Banking.” I hope that this post finds you all well.

Best,

Patrick MacFarlane

“Total War” and Anatomy of the State

In one of the most seething criticisms of government, “Anatomy of the State” exposes government for what it is: a mafia shakedown racket with a virtual monopoly on institutionalized violence.

In its natural, parasitic form, the State seeks only to leech more and more resources from productive members of society using what esteemed German sociologist Franz Oppenheimer called: the political means of acquiring wealth. That is, coercion through asset seizure and taxation, or legalized theft.

In order to see these concepts illustrated, one need only look to the realm of video games.

I have been a long-time fan of the “Total War” series published by SEGA and The Creative Assembly. Inherent in these games (as their title would suggest) is the idea that war is the modus operandi of the State. For anyone who has played “Total War,” or games like them, it is clear that war is the only path to accumulate real wealth–that is, the enslavement of new tax livestock.

These concepts may also be seen in games such as Cities: Skylines, in which a player may create, control, and manage an entire city with godlike dominion over zoning, private property, and taxes. Once you think about the implications of the game, the overall concept is quite alarming, because it is a simplified version of the truth.

Sure, in real life, city planners have political processes and various other hoops to jump through before violating property rights, but in the end, the process gets done and “the will of the people” is carried out. In the game, the process can be as simple as clicking the bulldozer icon and deleting someone’s home or business.

Once the veil is lifted and government’s true purpose is exposed, it is very easy to see through the illusion of government. While it is true that a video game cannot entirely capture its real-life intricacies, Rothbard’s concept of what the State inherently is, is conceptually communicated even at these very basic levels.

That being said, the popularity of these games may partially be derived from the fact that, for once, one of us little guys can get in the control seat and orchestrate some of humanity’s longest running criminal syndicates.

Once again, thanks for reading, and try not to knock yourself out cold from all the facepalms associated with social media and the 4th of July today!