How to Replace Austerity with Freedom, Independence and Prosperity

The Economic Collapse Blog has this list of examples of how European-style “austerity” is already hitting the U.S., including cities closing schools and fire stations, and states eliminating whole state agencies and raising taxes. That includes the state of Illinois whose legislature has passed a “temporary” 66% personal income tax hike that the Democrat governor will sign. Rest assured, this income tax hike will be as “temporary” as the one in Massachusetts, still in place since 1989. Such austerity measures may lead to the same kind of social unrest Europeans have been experiencing.

The Economic Collapse Blog concludes,

We are entering a time of extreme financial stress in America.  The federal government is broke.  Most of our state and local governments are broke.  Record numbers of Americans are going bankrupt.  Record numbers of Americans are being kicked out of their homes.  Record numbers of Americans are now living in poverty.

The debt-fueled prosperity of the last several decades came at a cost.  We literally mortgaged the future.  Now nothing will ever be the same again.

To say that “nothing will ever be the same again” is just pessimistic and unnecessary. We actually can return to the prosperity of the past, by replacing debt and austerity with freedom and independence.

There is no need for Americans to suffer through what European countries are suffering, because nearly all the problems we face are caused by governmental intrusions into many aspects of our personal and economic lives — intrusions by federal, state and local governments. Regardless of the good intentions that the welfare and military socialism statists have in justifying their use of compulsory government powers, what America needs is to cut the shackles of State-imposed dependence, restrictions, regulations, taxation, all those policies of moral relativism that involve violations of the Rule of Law: theft, trespass, denial of Due Process, and other acts of State-initiated criminal aggression.

Freeing Americans includes repealing all forms of intrusive presumption-of-guilt regulations and restrictions that are in place having nothing to do with whether any individual is suspected of any crimes against others. Regulations are before-the-fact demands by the government that presume the individual and one’s business guilty, in which one must submit one’s private personal or financial information to the government to prove one’s innocence. Government regulations and arbitrary restrictions are literally searches and seizures by the government of information that is none of anyone else’s business, and effect in the stifling of everyday citizens’ growth and prosperity.

Ending all personal income taxes, corporate taxes, estate taxes, and capital gains taxes frees people who own or share in the ownership of businesses — i.e. employers and prospective employers — to invest in their own research and development and in the expansion of their businesses, which is the genuine force behind jobs creation, in both blue collar and white collar sectors. Ending all personal income taxes frees people to explore their own ideas and inventions, and to start their own businesses that will employ more people and advance society further. Also, ending all personal and corporate income taxes allows individuals and businesses to donate more of their own money to worthy charitable organizations, like it used to be before the intrusiveness of the government entered the scene and discouraged such charity giving.

Some may respond to such suggestions, “Well, if we do all that, then how will government functions be funded?” My response is: do you mean, how do we fund public employees’ 6-figure pensions, how do we fund all the extravagant public employee salaries that are now on average higher than private sector salaries? Or, for example, do you mean to ask how we fund the federal Department of Education that has done nothing but create bureaucracies and turn American education into a Soviet-style indoctrination camp for State-worship? As far as the federal government is concerned, just about every agency and department in Washington can be eliminated, because they are unnecessary and have been nothing but parasitic and slowing America’s growth and progress almost to a halt.

We also need to be honest about the “War on Terror” and the War on Drugs, which are not wars on terror or drugs, but wars on freedom. The war on drugs has been extremely hypocritical, by going after only “street drugs,” but not alcohol and not prescription drugs, all of which have been just as dangerous and lethal. The war on drugs criminalizes victimless behavior, discourages personal responsibility, and has been a boondoggle for law enforcement agencies through confiscation of private property and through bribery, and has caused a black market in drugs which incentivizes the formation of drug gangs and cartels that leads to increased violence, as well as the corruption of otherwise “good” cops and other government officials. What would happen if we immediately ended the War on Drugs and required individuals to be responsible for their actions and decisions? Do we really need to have costly government “anti-drug” enforcement agencies?

And regarding this “War on Terror,” many of the terrorists themselves have expressed explicitly that their primary motivations for their terrorist acts have been political, and not religious, responding to the U.S. government’s many decades of intrusions on those foreign lands as well as the U.S. government’s intrusive interventionist foreign policy. Even a top U.S. general has recently stated that for every one innocent civilian the U.S. military and CIA murders, ten new terrorists are created.

So, what would happen if we simply just closed all the U.S. military bases on foreign lands and brought all U.S. troops, contractors, and bureaucrats back to the U.S.? Does anyone in his right mind actually believe that there would be more terrorism against the U.S.?

If we closed all those foreign bases and brought everyone home and ended the violence that the U.S. military has been committing against foreigners, why, that would mean that the military socialism and welfare redistribution of wealth from middle-class workers over to defense contractors would have to stop. And, I’d like to ask, just how selfish are those defense contractors, knowing how counter-productive U.S. government aggression in the Middle East has been, knowing that they are playing a major role in making America less safe and much less productive, less prosperous and less free?

And how selfish are these big corporate-statist financial institutions, such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Bank of America, etc., in insisting that their billions of dollars in bonuses that result from bailouts and quantitative easing continue, at the expense of poor, middle-class workers and producers? How selfish will the parasites continue to be, as America continues to decline economically and morally? How much longer do we need to suffer at the hands of the most destructive of political institutions, that Federal Reserve? Because Americans’ inherent, inalienable rights to trade, commerce and contracts with free, competing currencies have been unconstitutionally squashed by this voracious federal Leviathan, we are all becoming poorer, and America is literally turning into a Third World economy. Which isn’t even an “economy” anymore because of the intrusive crimes of the State — America is a State-owned political prison.

In other words, just how helpful has the federal government been to America’s progress? What would happen if we just eliminated the federal government, and restored to the states their constitutionally-recognized inalienable rights to independence and sovereignty that political criminals have stolen from them in these 235 years of America? Is it possible to have an organized country consisting of independent states, but without a central-planning compulsory federal government? Of course it’s possible — and, for us to survive, it is necessary to make such a change, in addition to the elimination of the theft of taxation, the search and seizure of regulations, and the counter-productive wars on drugs and terrorism, and the sooner the better.

In honestly considering such solutions, one would have to conclude that, without a central federal government and all of government’s intrusions, no one would be able to monopolize territorial jurisdictions, monetary functions or the defense of others. There would be freedom, prosperity, and yes, much more security, and with a further assurance of stability for future generations.

Scott Lazarowitz
Whiskey & Gunpowder

January 28, 2011

The Daily Reckoning