Op-Ed by Brandon Smith
I think one of the great misconceptions about economic crises is that solutions are always dependent on centralized government action. In truth, most financial disasters are actually caused by too much government action and involvement. Central banks like the Federal Reserve are also primary culprits; as I outlined in last week’s article their machinations, which are independent of government oversight, fall into the category of deliberate sabotage. The Fed bankrolls corruption through fiat money creation while government officials and corporations utilize that money to wreak havoc on our living standards.
Ending the Fed would solve the fiat money problem, but there’s still a host of agenda-driven politicians and bureaucrats to deal with before our nation can right the ship.
One clear way to fix our system would be to first force government to interfere less. As a point of reference, consider the common media narratives surrounding the covid pandemic. Along with the White House the media has been the premier driver of irrational fear over the spread of covid, which ended up being a minor threat compared to the hype as the average Infection Fatality Rate was no more that 0.27%. Yet, in response to a virus that was a mortal danger to less than one-third of 1% of the population, bureaucrats declared a national emergency requiring insane and unconstitutional lockdowns.
The lockdowns damaged the economy in ways people are only now beginning to comprehend, with hundred of thousands of small businesses lost across the country. Not only that, but the establishment responded to the economic implosion they created by printing over $6 trillion in new money through the Fed in 2020 alone. This helicopter money, or beta test for UBI (Universal Basic Income), has expedited a stagflationary disaster and helped to push prices on necessities to 40-year highs (the official number).
The media claims it is “covid that is causing the crash,” but this is a lie. It was the RESPONSE to covid that is causing the crash. The virus was incidental to the economic sabotage initiated by governments and central banks. As we saw in conservative red states that defied the lockdowns and the vax mandates, economic activity thrived while leftist blue states suffered. And what did these blue states get in return for their economic sacrifices? Nothing. Covid infections continued to rage in blue states, and deaths often outpaced red states with similar-sized populations.
In other words, the lockdowns, the mask mandates and the attempts force vaccinations through medical tyranny saved ZERO lives and possibly made things worse. This is the legacy of government micro-management (And yes, let’s not forget that Trump went along with these lockdowns in the beginning of the pandemic also. Biden is just the dirt-bag that continued the measures despite the massive amount of evidence that they don’t work).
While the covid event illustrates my point in a big way, there are a lot of deeply rooted problems that government intervention has caused that add up to one big fiscal calamity. Many of these threats require a basic but sweeping return to fundamentals that government elites will rarely address and will try to stop at all costs. Here are just a few examples…
Inflation And Stagflation? Back The Dollar With Hard Commodities
The Federal Reserve and their minions have spent the better part of a century trying to convince the public that a gold standard for our currency is what caused the Great Depression and what could cause future depressions. They claim that limitations on money printing strangle liquidity and disrupt velocity. This is a lie.
Former fed chairman Ben Bernanke openly admitted in 2002 in a speech in honor of Milton Friedman that it was the CENTRAL BANK that actually caused the deflationary collapse of the 1930s, not the existence of the gold standard. This rare moment of truth from a Fed official was perhaps due to the sheer amount of evidence that Friedman often cited which contradicted the original anti-gold propaganda. Or maybe it happened because the banking elites did not see Friedman as a particular threat, and figured no one among the public would read Bernanke’s speech anyway.
In fact, a commodities foundation held the American economy together for centuries until the Fed came along and the government slowly began removing gold from the picture. All subsequent economic crisis events have been exponentially worse ever since. When a commodities standard is employed, stability always follows. Just look at what has happened in Russia recently; their currency was on a downward spiral due to international sanctions; yet, when they reopened markets this past week the ruble skyrocketed back to normal. Why? Because Putin had the currency coupled to gold. It’s really that simple.
The US and parts of Europe are facing their own inflationary disasters and this is largely due to the unchecked avarice of central bank stimulus and government spending. The ONLY way to secure the dollar’s existence as a stable store of wealth would be to back it with hard commodities like precious metals (among others). This might kill the dollar’s world reserve status because fiat printing would be impossible from that point on, but I have a news flash for those that hate the idea of grounding the dollar in commodities: we’re going to lose world reserve status anyway, and it’s going to happen soon.
One third of the world’s population including Russia, China and India are already breaking from the dollar in bilateral trade. The US might as well accept this is the reality and prepare to mitigate the coming currency collapse by supporting the dollar with commodities.
Oil Shortages And Energy Inflation? Stop Interfering With Oil Exploration
In early February of this year the Biden Administration made legal filings which halted new oil and gas leases including exploration due to conflicts over “climate costs.” This interference with America’s oil independence is only one of many instances starting with Biden’s sabotage of the Keystone Pipeline in 2021. Interestingly, with gas prices doubling ever since Biden entered office, the White House now claims that they have nothing to do with energy inflation and are not preventing drilling in the US.
During the same period, Russia was establishing a decades-long oil and gas contract with China and laying the groundwork for a major pipeline to be finished by 2025. And, yes, China DOES in fact have the capacity along with India to absorb most of the oil and gas that might be shunned by Europe should they follow through with energy sanctions. Russia was planning ahead, while the US was shifting from energy independence and net exporter status to once again becoming dependent on authoritarian regimes in the Arab world. Why?
Biden’s excuse is usually climate alarmism. The Earth’s temperature has only risen by ONE DEGREE CELSIUS in the past 100 years according to the NOAA, so the main argument against oil production in the US is based on the fallacy that man-made carbon has any bearing whatsoever on climate changes. But maybe the carbon fraud is just a distraction from something else?
To fix any supply-and-demand issues in the US, we only need to start producing once again at levels which were easily obtainable in 2020. But what if the issue of supply contraction is not the main cause of oil inflation? I would note that the dollar is not only the world reserve currency but also the global petro-currency. Until recently, almost all oil was traded internationally using dollars. The decline or collapse of the dollar’s buying power due to money printing and runaway inflation is more likely the direct cause of rising oil prices, and supply issues are secondary.
If the dollar were about to collapse due to inflation, oil would be one of the first early warning indicators. With the establishment blocking new oil production and hindering the most cost-effective method for oil transport (pipelines), an engineered decline in supply becomes a very effective smokescreen for the death of the dollar. The crisis caused by the government and the Federal Reserve’s currency destruction could then be blamed on supply-chain issues and climate “peril.” This is the reason why the establishment will not allow any future growth in US oil production. They cannot allow the public to realize the precarious position our currency is in.
Supply Chain Interdependency Leading To Shortages? Bring Back Manufacturing
There are many reasons why manufacturing has left the US, from greedy and corrupt labor unions driving up wages to higher taxes and land costs to extremely cheap shipping from overseas exporters. There is also the theory that US factories were outsourced to places like China in order to deliberately force the public into a global interdependency scheme. In other words, we are stuck with the supply chain we have, not because it’s the best system, but because the globalists want it that way.
It’s unlikely that the federal government and the elitist establishment would ever allow real manufacturing to come back to the US in a way that would make us more self-sufficient. As long as our country relies on outsourced goods and raw materials from other nations, we remain beholden to the global chain for our survival. Being completely independent might be impossible, but we could be producing far more domestically than we are today.
State governments could create incentives to manufacture within their borders by removing property taxes, reducing state taxes and protecting businesses from certain federal obstructions such as carbon restrictions. As long as those companies do not support anti-freedom initiatives with the money they make, they should be aided so that real jobs and real production make a comeback in the US.
I would also note that if states want to survive the coming financial crisis that is about to strike, they are going to have to start ignoring federal restrictions on land use and the production of raw materials (like oil or coal). Some environmental rules are good, but some are pointless and are only designed to control rather than protect. States will have to stand in defiance of these rules if anything is going to change for the better.
Debt And Liquidity Crisis? Let States Establish Their Own Banks And Currencies
The state of North Dakota has an interesting model for economic independence, which utilizes a state-sponsored bank designed specifically to help businesses in ND. I would say it’s bizarre that this idea has not become popular across the nation, but I understand that if it did the federal government and the central bankers would be very unhappy.
Here’s the thing. While it is true that the Constitution explicitly states that the US Treasury be the only issuer of US currency, this was done at a time when our currency was backed by gold and silver and there was no corrupt middleman in the form of a central bank. In truth, the Treasury is now second fiddle to the Federal Reserve, and the constitutional regulations on money have already been broken. It’s time for a new currency model and new banking model.
An official bank in each state could decentralize power away from the Federal Reserve in terms of how debt and interest rates are handled, creating something closer to free-market discovery of interest rates rather than a rate dictatorship controlled by the Fed. By extension, each state could also issue currency scrip legal for use only within the borders of those states. This would create a secondary safety net against inflation in the dollar.
In other words, we decentralize the banking system and we offer state alternatives which function not so much as competing currencies but as parallel or complementary currencies backed by and exchangeable in certain commodities. I believe very strongly that this model (along with a couple dozen other measures I don’t have space to cover here) could save our country from decades of economic mismanagement and bring us back from the brink of inflation and debt catastrophe.
States could do this without the permission of the federal government or the Federal Reserve, but I have little doubt that the elites would be in an uproar. Make no mistake, states will have to move to decouple from the national financial system and build alternatives as soon as they realize that the dollar is tanking and stagflation is here to stay. And when they do, the establishment will declare such actions on par with “insurrection.”
In the meantime, there are numerous preparations each individual can make in their local communities to insulate themselves from economic dangers. There are those who will say that local measures are only a stopgap and more national action needs to be taken. They are partially correct: in the long run there needs to be wider organization towards free markets once again, along with redundancies in state economies. In the short term we must do what we can.
Ultimately, the most clear solutions to our fiscal fate are not pursued because the elites do NOT WANT to save the economy, at least not in a way that ends up with them having less power. They want even more power and centralization that extends beyond national boundaries into the realm of global management. Fixing the system can’t happen because they won’t let it happen.
This means that the fix that will save us in the long run will be the one that allows all others to progress; and that fix is to remove these people from positions of influence and authority. You can’t really repair the body in the wake of an illness until the offending disease is eliminated. For now, all we can do is keep the country on life support until a cure is applied.
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