Article submitted by JJ3, also known as Joel Jenkins, creator of the soundtrack for the revolution.
The company that I work for uses ADP for their payroll as many companies do. ADP has a convenient portal so that you can see your paycheck online if you want to view your deductions as we do not receive a physical hard copy check. I wanted to check one of my deductions and make sure it was being correctly calculated today so I went online to take a look. I found what I needed and then I took a look at the other deductions that were being taken by the government. Today is Feb 7th, so far I have received three paychecks for 2013, I was amazed to see that over $500 had been taken out of my paycheck so far this year, just for the social security tax.
This triggered a memory of the time when I opened up the first paycheck I had ever received. Back then minimum wage was $3.30 an hour, but that was enough to entice me to want a job, I was only 15 years old and I wanted to work. I had a roof over my head and food to eat neither of which I had to pay for. I didn’t mind working for that amount as this was all discretionary income for me. This was play money for me, there was nothing on the line, no bills to pay, no kids to worry about. I used that money to rent a movie, buy some candy or go play some Super Mario Brothers on the free standing video arcade at the Jiffy mart down the street. Remember those? Granted this was before the inflation of the past 25 years that has made three dollars essentially worthless, certainly not enough to live on if I had had real bills to pay or a family to feed. But it was a fair amount of money back in the mid 1980’s.
However, in my individual situation I probably would have worked for $2 an hour, I just wanted some money of my own. I did mow lawns for money on occasion but this was a real job with steady hours. I didn’t want to have to depend on my mom to buy me the star wars figures and other toys I had wanted for years, she was a single mom and I knew she didn’t have much extra money to spend on things like that for me. So I started my new job as a busboy with a zeal that only the young have. The job wasn’t too hard and one of the waitresses was really cute and the food was excellent. It was an Italian restaurant so to a 15 year old it didn’t get much better.
I remember feeling very proud as I opened my first paycheck. What an awesome concept, what an amazing feeling of accomplishment to earn my own money. It felt really good, that is until I saw the total dollar amount. I had put in a full work week, close to 40 hours. I had calculated in my head how much I thought the check would be. It’s easy enough math after all, $3.30 an hour times the hours I had worked which were right on my time card I punched in and out of work with every day. So imagine my surprise when I opened up the paycheck and the amount was substantially less than what I had calculated. I thought something must be wrong – they must have missed some hours. I went off to tell the manager and explain to her that she had calculated wrong.
She explained to me that the check was in fact correct and the reason it was not as much as I thought it would be was that there were taxes that had to be paid. I felt a little betrayed. It was very hard to understand as a 15 year old how money that I had earned was taken from me before I even received it. I thought taxes were something that I paid to the government, not something that was taken from me before I even received it. It just didn’t seem right to me, but everyone assured me that it was correct, and that is just how it was.
I shrugged my shoulders and went back to work, eventually I would be rich, I knew, because this was America and I was determined to work hard and eventually make lots of money, I wasn’t sure exactly how but I was sure that is the way it worked in America. It was only chump change anyways.
A couple of years later after I graduated college I got another job, supposedly as an assistant controller for a small company. However, in retrospect, I can see now that I was just an extra hand in customer service. In this new post college job I was making $8.50 an hour, big bucks to me at that point and I had gas to buy because it was a fairly long commute. I also had rent and bills to pay. Back then my rent was $420 a month for a two bedroom that I split with a roommate and we didn’t have things like cellphone or internet bills. I think my cable bill was less than $40 a month, my electric $50 a month and water around $20 a month.
After I got my first paycheck on this job, I wasn’t confused or surprised. I was angry. Didn’t the government understand? This job was different, this wasn’t just money to play around with, I had bills to pay and some extra things that I really wanted like a new surfboard. The money that the government was taking from me was money that I could use to buy things that I wanted after all the bills were covered. It just didn’t seem right to me that the government could just take a big chunk of my paycheck without even asking me if it was ok.
Back then, I was under the illusion that the government was benevolent, like a kindly old uncle that did things that were in the best interests of everyone. I thought that the government provided essential services that no one else could provide like roads, schools, hospitals and who knew what else. So even though I was angry at the way they just took my money that I had earned, I didn’t want to be selfish and if the government was taking my money then I was sure that they had good reasons.
Eventually, I just came to accept the fact that my paycheck would be less than I actually earned and that’s just the way it was. Everyone has to contribute a little bit towards the common good right? After a couple of paychecks I no longer got angry I just accepted it and learned to condition myself to budget around what was left for me after the government got its cut. Sound familiar?
After the financial collapse of 2008, I had worked as an accountant for many years and I made decent money, above the average for society. The collapse didn’t affect me much. Our company sales were down for the year but I still got a small raise and a bonus. It wasn’t as much as I had hoped for but it just didn’t seem like that big a deal to me. I heard some people were losing their jobs but that was their problem, not mine. I had finally just bought a house, something I had trying to do for a long time because I knew that was the way you got ahead in America. I saw all my friends buying houses and “flipping them”, but I didn’t have very good credit so I wasn’t able to get in on the cash bonanza that was the housing market.
The reason I didn’t have good credit was because I had been given tens of thousands of dollars worth of credit cards when I was in college and graduate school and of course naturally at 21 years old I was a wizard at managing my money. Not! But it didn’t matter to me because I had a college degree, a Masters degree no less, so I was going to be rich one day. Who cares about a couple of tens of thousands worth of credit card debt, one day I would be making so much money I would pay off all my debt with one paycheck. At least that is what I thought at the time. After all this was America, the land of opportunity and one day I was going to be rich. Eventually, when the minimum payment got a little too high to pay and I lost my job shortly thereafter, I did what any red blooded American would do. I financed a trip to Cancun on my credit cards and then quit paying them when I got back. I thought who cares? After seven years it will just fall off my credit report and I will be good. Besides, I would be rich one day and I wouldn’t even need credit.
But then I watched as many of my friends bought houses and then sold them and made lots of money. I wanted to do that too, but I couldn’t because I had bad credit. But finally in 2008 with the help of my stepdad cosigning for me and my mom also having to cosign for me (at the last minute they insisted after reviewing my credit one last time) I was finally able to buy a house. Now we were talking! I was finally on my way to making my fortune. With my house value going up every year and my salary going up I was going to be rich.
Just like my friends had done, I was going to hold on to this house for about 4 to 5 years and make about a huge chunk of change, which I would then turn around and by a bigger house, which I would then turn around and make even more money which I would then buy a house on the river with a boat and a big screen and whatever else I wanted with all of the money I was going to make “flipping houses” like my friends had done. I was going to be rich, because that was the American Dream, owning a house and then selling it and buying a bigger one. I had finally figured out the secret, I was on my way. I was finally going to be rich.
Back then I had turned my back on God. I had grown up in a very supportive church. It was actually my neighbor’s church and my mom went sometimes but mostly I insisted on going with them regardless. There were some cute girls in that church so I think that is why I liked to go. But as I got older I realized not many people had grown up going to church. In college I had some friends that were spiritual but then I started waiting tables and hanging out with the cool crowd. Eventually, I began to believe that church was just a scam to get your money and I was smart enough not to be taken in by that old con job. Of course, looking back I now realize I had replaced my worship of God with worship of money. That is the American way after all, right?
Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out the way I planned. Somehow the housing market collapsed, even though everyone knew that housing values didn’t go down. I was really confused and a little angry all over again. I mean, house prices had been going up like forever. I knew that, everybody knew that, how could they do down. I thought, it must just be an anomaly. I was sure that my new houses value would turn around and go back up next year or the year after. I mean, it has to right, it’s a house?
A couple of years later, around 2011, once my house bottomed out at about sixty percent of what I paid for it, I felt my anger rising again. This really wasn’t fair. Why is it that every time I decide to invest in a sure thing, the sure thing became a very unsure thing that did exactly the opposite of what it had been doing for years. The same thing happened to me ten years ago when I bought a bunch of internet stock that was supposed to make me rich. Good thing I bought those stocks with those checks the credit card companies gave me that I stiffed or else I would have been really mad.
I knew that all those rich bastards had somehow made out with my money but I didn’t know how, but I was sure it was the rich people’s fault. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. At this point all my friends were just living in their house as long as they could without paying rent and then walking away as they got foreclosed upon. But what did they care they were saving thousands every month? I thought that they were so smart to play the system like that and I wished I could do it too. It wasn’t even my conscious that got in the way so much as it was my parent’s name was on the loan with me and I just couldn’t ruin their credit. I didn’t so much care about mine but I couldn’t do that to someone who had helped me out when I needed it the most.
So I started asking questions, I heard about the Occupy movement and I began to follow it and listen to what the occupiers were saying. I was right, it was the rich people, the 1% who had robbed me and taken away all of the money I was supposed to earn on my house. I was ready to go protest on Wall Street with the other occupy movement activists. I thought that they were so cool and were going to make some real changes that we needed. I knew that the system had to be changed and these guys all seemed to have a plan to do just that.
In all of the OWS online videos I began to look at I saw people with all kinds of signs and one in particular didn’t make much sense to me, it said END THE FED but I really didn’t know what that meant. I googled it and found out that it meant End the Federal Reserve Bank and I didn’t understand what a government bank had to do with anything. But my curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to understand what the Federal Reserve was and how it worked. I also really wanted the 99% to rise up and overthrow those rich bastards. Never mind that I had aspired to be one of those rich bastards myself for years.
But then an interesting thing happened. My research led me to this old guy named Ron Paul saying some very interesting things. Apparently he had run for President in 2008, (funny I never heard about that) and had written a book called End the Fed. I wanted to know more about that. I mentioned wanting to know about the Federal Reserve and an older guy at work told me about a website called silverbearcafe. So I checked it out. They had a whole section on the Federal Reserve and why it was bad for our economy. I read about three or four articles but it wasn’t making complete sense to me.
I kept at it however and after a month or two of reading all the articles on this site I began to notice a pattern and I realized that the person who ran this website wasn’t writing all of the articles he was just providing links. So I started following the links which led me to read articles on other websites like The Burning Platform, Mish’s economic analysis, The Economic Collapse Blog, Zero Hedge and Lew Rockwell, to name a few. Holy smokes, I couldn’t believe what I was reading. There was a whole other alternative media out there that was saying the complete opposite of everything I was hearing on CNN and MSNBC.
I was right, I had been ripped off and I was being ripped off even more every day by an insidious tax called inflation. The equity was stolen out of my house but it wasn’t by the rich people it was by the banks themselves. For God’s sake the banks even knew what was going to happen as they were betting against their own mortgage bundles. Why wasn’t anything being done I thought? Shouldn’t the government be doing something to stop the banks from stealing my home’s equity from me? Then I heard about some fines that the banks were paying to the government and I came to the realization that they were in on it too. The government wasn’t putting the people who did this in jail, the government was just taking their cut. Their excuse was that these banks were too big too fail, but that made me wonder if that were the case weren’t they too big to succeed as well?
I began to truly understand what was going on that our country was being robbed on a massive scale and the banks through the Federal Reserve were intentionally devaluing our currency that would eventually lead to a collapse of the dollar. I understood the math, I understood the financial mechanisms and I saw the certainty that this system was unsustainable and would eventually collapse under its own hubris. I saw the duct tape that was holding not just our country’s economic system together but the international economic system as well. I was way past angry and was downright becoming revolutionary.
I felt like I had become awake in a world full of people who were still sleeping, I wanted to tell everyone and explain to them what was REALLY going on. How the whole false Left Right Paradigm was dividing us when in essence both political parties were continuing on the same path to ruin. I needed people to know, but I soon discovered that most people didn’t really want to listen. Some of my best friend’s that I have known since childhood told me that they don’t speak crazy, or Ron Paul’s a racist or my personal favorite, “Socialism is Love”. Oh my God, I thought, not only do they not want to wake up with me, they think I’m crazy for telling them what I absolutely know in my heart to be the truth, backed my many facts, not theories. I remember reading a quote, “Truth is Treason in an Empire of Lies” and I truly understood what they meant.
I began to see everything in a different light. The news on CNN and MSNBC was different, I could see right through their arguments and I finally understood what people meant when they said that the mainstream media was slanted in their arguments. I reevaluated my opinion of the unauthorized invasion of Libya, which at the time I remembered thinking, those poor people in Benghazi, they are about to be slaughtered. WE MUST DO SOMETHING! I began to realize that my education in government schools was complete propaganda. Abraham Lincoln was not the saint that they always told me he was. The civil war he instigated wasn’t about ending slavery as they led me to believe, it was about money and consolidating the power of the Federal government over the States. The entire premise for the civil war was something called a false flag where the government uses propaganda to justify state violence. I found out that slavery was ended in Britain without any war at all. I also realized that FDR wasn’t a hero who helped create a better society, he was the person who set our country on the path to ruin some 70 years later. He was extremely anti-business and his policies or “leadership” actually extended the great depression by a decade. It wasn’t world war II that ended the great depression as I had always believed and been taught, it was a change of governmental policies that allowed the free market to work it’s magic. From Pearl Harbor to Osama Bin Laden, it was all lies and propaganda.
I began to question the official explanation for the 9/11 attacks. I started to understand that there was a police state emerging in “The Land of the Free”. I began to realize that we weren’t nearly as free as I thought we were. Then something really crazy happened. I went back and saw videos of Ron Paul predicting the housing crisis years before it happened. Articles on the alternative media that I was reading that had made predictions that seemed a little out there when I was reading them, well, their predictions started to come true. The explanation that there was a group of elites that was controlling everything at the highest level seemed a little far fetched to me when I first heard it. However, now the idea of a “directed history” with which the elites had been controlling the way entire populations thought for centuries made complete sense to me and felt more like the truth than the truths I had been taught.
I was trying to explain all of this to my parents, my wife and my friends. I wasn’t doing a good job supporting my arguments so I listened to a reading of Murray Rothbard’s “For a New Liberty” on my ipod. I joined a libertarian book club and read “The Law” by Frederick Bastiat. I bought the book “The Road to Serfdom” by Frederick Hayek and “Human Action” by Ludwig von Mises. I began to listen to the Lew Rockwell podcast and read every article I could find that revealed the truth of how the Free Market will always do a better job than a centralized power for one reason. I discovered a very important truth, profit equals motivation.
I began to write lyrics based upon principles of liberty and freedom that I was learning about and I connected with musicians on youtube to create some really great music that I shared with my growing audience. I made a promise to help cure the Ideology of Apathy that had permeated our culture. I reconnected with God. I realized that God had provided me with a gift for writing and that he had a purpose for my life other than playing video games, watching football and getting drunk on weekends. I realized that there truly was a battle going on between good and evil in this world and that I wanted to fight for the side of the good. I felt it was His will that I follow this path and I continue to do this today.
After finding out the truth I felt as if I had been set free. I felt like I had no choice but to fight in any way that I could. I had to inform my friend regardless of the scorn. I began to discover essentials truths about economics and I began to realize that there were free market alternatives that could provide a better functioning society. I realized that private companies could and had in the past provided efficient police, roads and court systems throughout history much better than any centralized power ever could. I began to hate the state and I considered it my enemy.
So back to my paycheck…
Once I made the realization that all taxation is in essence THEFT I realized that this bureaucratic, corrupt, inefficient government full of gangsters will steal from me over $500 a month for a tax that is supposedly supposed to help pay for my retirement. I know the money has already been looted from the Social Security Fund and I don’t think for one second that I will receive one dollar back that I have put into the system. Once you awaken and realize the LIES and can identify them as such it makes you realize just how many there are. They are endless. It reminds me of the old joke, how do you know a politician is lying? Their lips are moving.
The most important thing that I have learned through reeducating myself is that I have finally achieved the one thing that was so important to me throughout the years. I had become rich. I wasn’t necessarily rich in the monetary sense however as I looked around and began to count my blessings I knew that I was richer now than I had ever dreamed I would be. I am rich with an amazing wife who supports me regardless of the new truths I discover almost daily now. I am rich in my relationship with Christ as he has given me a purpose. I am rich with family and friends. I am rich with an ability to write and share my thoughts with you. I am rich with thoughts and answers and a curiosity to know more. I am rich because I know the truth and it has truly set me free.
“A true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love.”
I recently wrote the lyrics to this song, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it. If you want to hear more of my music come take a tour of my youtube channel at www.youtube.com/jenklefritz
Welcome to the narcissistic nanny state
It’s a bureaucratic feudalistic magistrate.
It’s got an ego powered artificial mad mandate,
If you’re full of self importance than you think it’s great
If you love to control others then you can relate
But the only thing a government can ever create
is a central banking system a destructive tax rate,
and a craving for power they can never satiate.
Governments and bureaucrats,
Monopolies and manipulated stats
Bureaucracies and men in black,
Come work for us we’ll all get fat.
They’ll offer you destruction and democracy,
They’ll give you money if you follow policy,
They’ll never let you know it’s all a fallacy
They’ll even let you pretend that you’re truly free
As long as you don’t ever go and disagree
Then they won’t shock and awe you very viciously.
We’re regulated by fickle fabulous fools,
Who love to dominate you with their government rules.
They’re in it for the power and perhaps the glory,
Manipulate the media to sell their story
The military industrial complex,
Enforces all their orders regardless if they wreck,
The lives of ordinary people by mistake,
To get your vote they’ll give but they prefer to take.
To offer up a little bit of clarity,
You just can’t print your way to prosperity.
I just want a government that’s sensible,
And follows a non aggression principle,
But every day leviathan increases in size,
Truth is treason in an empire of lies.