About Krisanne Hall
KrisAnne Hall is an attorney and former prosecutor, fired after teaching the Constitution to TEA Party groups – she would not sacrifice liberty for a paycheck. She is a disabled veteran of the US Army, a Russian linguist, a mother, a pastor’s wife and a patriot. She now travels the country and teaches the Constitution and the history that gave us our founding documents. KrisAnne Hall does not just teach the Constitution, she lays the foundations that show how reliable and relevant our founding documents are today. She presents the “genealogy” of the Constitution – the 700 year history and five foundational documents that are the very roots of American Liberty. – See more at:
Let’s just look at the charges and specifications of late, shall we?
Big US and Global Banks have admitted (that is, have been convicted) of multiple criminal offenses over the last several years. A partial list can be found here; let me remind everyone that an ordinary person who commits three felonies, even if some of them are very minor in comparison to any of the listed ones here in impact and they take place over a period of decades, goes away for lifeunder long-existing three strikes laws. All four of the banks listed in that dissent have three or more “convictions” and thus all of them should be dissolved as they are obviously incapable of modifying their behavior. Nonetheless literally tens of millions of Americans and American corporations not only refuse to stand and demand that these charters be revoked they voluntarily do business with one or more of these firms!
We have a medical and insurance industry in this country that routinely, on a daily basis, engages in behavior that can easily be described as meeting the criteria for fraud, bid-rigging, racketeering and routinely uses the threat of both bankruptcy and violence by government goons to get what it wants. This “industry” routinely, for example, bills for things they didn’t actually do, sends people bills for hundreds or thousands of dollars for someone sticking their head in a door and saying “Hello”, allows “off-plan” doctors to treat people without their consent exposing them to thousands (or tens of thousands!) in unauthorized charges and then enforces those “charges”, takes drugs off the market that they produce so that the only remaining options are those made by the same company but are under patent and more. The single most-common cause of bankruptcy in this country is medical debt incurred as a direct result of these practices and these practices are where the so-called “need” for Obamacare, that is now resulting in demands for 50% premium hikes in some markets for the next year, came from. Yet we, as a nation and as a people, routinely consent to this crap and allow these corporations, institutions and individuals to continue their outrageous acts of pillage daily.
For a central banker, deflation is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Death, Famine, Disease, and Deflation. (We will address later in this letter why War, in the form of a currency war, is not in a central banker’s Apocalypse mix.) It is helpful to understand that, before a person is allowed to join the staff or board of a central bank, he or she is taken into a back room and given DNA replacement therapy, inserting a gene that is viscerally opposed to deflation. Of course, in fairness, it must be noted that central bankers don’t like high inflation, either (although, looking around the world, we see that the definition of high inflation can vary). In the developed world, 2% inflation seems to be the common goal. You wouldn’t think that 2% a year is a significant change in the overall price structure, but the panic among economists that would ensue with a 2% price deflation would border on hysteria.
Inflation and deflation are often topics of discussions as I travel, but I find that there is general confusion about what inflation and deflation actually are. This is understandable, since many economists don’t agree on the definitions, so they are often talking about totally different phenomena. In this week’s letter I have for you a brief essay on the topic of deflation. Depending on your view, you might find some of my thoughts controversial, but I will try to make my case clear, at least. Please note this is the 30,000-foot view and is nowhere close to definitive. If you want great detail, I suggest you get my good friend Gary Shilling’s latest book on deflation (of four that I know of), called The Age of Deleveraging. (It’s only $11.49 on Kindle.)
Definitions of Inflation and Deflation
Generally speaking, there are two schools of thought about inflation. The Austrian school of economic theory, founded by Ludwig von Mises, sees inflation as an increase in the money supply and deflation as a contraction in the money supply. Somewhat similarly (but not entirely!), the monetarist school of economic theory tends to see money supply as the chief determinant of GDP in the short run and of the price level over the long run.
Mainstream economics (generally Keynesian) tend to refer to rising or falling prices as inflation or deflation. They tend to see deflation as a general price decline, often brought about by reductions in available credit, money, or reserves or by the government’s restraint of spending programs.
So when we talk about inflation/deflation, it is important to know whether we’re talking about monetary inflation or price inflation. As we have seen recently, a rising money supply is not necessarily accompanied by rising prices (although there is a certain long-term rhythm to the two different measures).
When I talk to the general public about deflation being something to be avoided, I get confused looks. Don’t we like it when the price of something goes down? Who doesn’t love a sale on something they want to buy? Since the beginning of the First Industrial Revolution, the general tendency for the prices of manufactured goods (in real inflation-adjusted terms) has been to go down as productivity has gone up. This is what Gary Shilling and others refer to as “good deflation.”
You can actually have solid productivity, GDP growth, wealth creation, a general increase in the standard of living, and a buoyant economy during a period of overall price deflation such as we had in the late 1800s – if it is the good kind of deflation.
What is the difference between good deflation and bad deflation? Good deflation is the general fall in prices that comes from an excess supply of goods due to increased productivity and product improvement. From 1870 to 1897 wheat prices fell from $1.06 to 63¢ a bushel, corn from 43¢ to 30¢ a bushel, and cotton from 15¢ to 6¢ a pound. Most of the time farmers received even less for their crops.
While farmers blamed all sorts of people for their falling prices, the primary cause of their problem was overproduction resulting from increases in the acreage of farms and increased yields per acre due to improved farming methods, as well as the advent of railroads that made it easy to get produce to Eastern markets. A farmer had to produce more just to stay even. It didn’t help that global competition from Argentina, Russia, and Canada was added into the mix, as increasingly large oceangoing steamboats made international transportation cheaper and ended an era of American agricultural export advantages.
This period of time saw one-third of farmers move to the cities for other work as they lost their employment on small family farms. That trend in falling farm employment continued until recent years, and farming has seen even greater increases in productivity (yield per acre) in recent decades. Farm and ranch families are just 2% of the US population today. Only 15% of the US workforce produces, processes, and sells the nation food and fiber. Today’s farmers produce almost three times more food with 2% lower inputs than farmers did 60 years ago. A third of American agriculture is strictly for exports.
The late 1800s was a particularly contentious period of history in the United States as farmers blamed railroads, bankers, and industrialists for their problems – a situation not unlike the income inequality debate we have today. And while falling prices weren’t fun for the farmers, the general public enjoyed lower food costs and higher-quality food.
The easiest way to illustrate this trend in the modern area is by looking at the cost of a gigabyte of storage. You can see an interactive version of this chart here. Prices for a gigabyte of storage dropped from $500-700,000 in the early 1980s (depending on what you were buying) to about $0.03 today. Put another way, a gigabyte cost about 2 million times more 35 years ago than it does today. And it has fallen by 50% every few years. The good deflationary fall in prices for data storage has enabled all sorts of industries and products, creating millions of jobs. And we could find dozens of other, similar products whose prices have been falling dramatically.
Each month we are greeted by the announcement of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), telling us what the level of general price inflation has been for the previous month and year. I’ve written about CPI extensively in past letters, but basically we need to understand that the CPI is an artificial amalgamation of the prices of various products and services. The composition of the CPI has changed significantly over the last 40 years. As John Williams at Shadow Stats demonstrates, if we used the same measurement methodology that was in force during the Reagan years or the early Clinton years, inflation would be almost 4 percentage points higher now than it is currently calculated to be.
Contrary to some commentators, I do not see this is a conspiracy to mislead investors or consumers, or to slow down the rise in Social Security payments. We should all be grateful that there is a small band of economists who are consumed by the details of what inflation actually is. They go to conferences and vehemently argue with each other (well, vehemently for academic economists) over arcane topics that would bore 99%-plus of the population. They are passionate about trying to find the proper measure of inflation.
My personal feeling is that the adjustments that have been made in the calculation of inflation are generally quite reasonable, if somewhat controversial. With the prices of electronics and many other manufactured goods falling over the decades, how do you measure inflation in those items? Or rather deflation? I still spend about the same amount for a new phone today as I did 10 years ago, but my new iPhone 6+ is a major improvement over the Motorola flip phone I had 10 years ago, by any standard you want to apply. Both could make phone calls, but that is about where the similarity ends. Am I getting better value for my money? More bang for the buck? Absolutely.
Currently, the economists who determine inflation see that increase in value as an actual drop in inflation, and they use a somewhat controversial methodology called hedonics to adjust the prices of a myriad of products for quality. If anti-lock brake systems are now standard whereas before they were optional, then by this doctrine the price of your car went down. (Those who are interested can google hedonics and get a wealth of information on the definition and the controversy.)
Housing is a big component of our spending. Should we use actual housing prices or what the inflation economists call “owner’s equivalent rent prices” as our measure of housing cost increases? If we had used actual housing prices during the 2000s, the inflation figures would have gone through the roof, suggesting to the Federal Reserve that they should be raising interest rates rather than lowering them or keeping them too low. And again, if we had been using actual house prices to calculate inflation during the Great Recession, the economy would have been seen as being swamped by serious deflation. There would’ve been even more weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.
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A quick glimpse at the big miss in the January payrolls report, which just reported only 151,000 jobs gains well below the 190,000 expected and below most big banks’ expectations, if precisely on top of the whisper number, would have been sufficient to send futures soaring in the pre market: after all it would mean the economy has topped out and no more hikes are necessary.
Additionally, prior months were also revised sharply lower, with the November and October prints of 292K and 252K revised to 262K and 177K, a net loss of 105K jobs in the prior two months.
However, one glance below the headline and things get troubling because if indeed the Fed is most focused on the growth in hourly wages then we may have a problem: average hourly wages jumped by 0.5% – and 2.5% from a year ago – far above last month’s unchanged print, and quite a bounce to the expected 0.2%, suggesting wage inflation is indeed starting to heat up and putting the Fed in a very uncomfortable place.
Previously I have proved that life cannot have evolved. Today I will prove that life cannot exist.
Let us begin with Samuel Johnson’s response when asked whether we have free will. He replied that all theory holds that we do not, all experience that we do. A similar paradox occurs in the realm of Impossibility Theory. Many things occur in biology that all science says are possible, while all common sense says that they are not.
Consider the development of a barely-existent zygote into seven pounds of puzzled and alarmed baby. (“Where the hell is this?”) Anyone familiar with Murphy’s Law knows that it isn’t possible. Half an hour with a textbook of embryology will confirm this judgement. It is a case of phenomenal complexity following phenomenal complexity building on phenomenal complexity with, almost always, no errors of consequence.
The resulting little science project enters wherever we are with a squall, the ductus arteriosus closes, the nursing instinct kicks in, and the interloper eventually grows into, God help us, a teenager (arguably the only flaw in the process).
As a legislator and I am always interested in people’s opinions. This is a thought experiment; a hypothetical. There are no right or wrong answers.
What would you do if all of the requirements of Article V of the Constitution were met and the Second Amendment was repealed?
What would you do if the Second Amendment was effectively repealed by a US Supreme Court ruling that the right to bear arms does apply to an individual, but only individuals in a militia?
If the defense of the Second Amendment rests in reference to the Constitution as it stands now, what argument would you use if the Constitution was changed to no longer protect the individual right to bear arms?
As a law abiding gun owner, would you give up your guns?
What do you think would happen to violent crime rates, accidental shootings and suicides?
Would you follow the new law of the land that was legitimately established, just as laws allowing the possession of a firearm have been legitimately established?
I care about the opinions of citizens of America; I would like thoughtful comments in the comment section about what law abiding gun owners would do if the Second Amendment were repealed or if the SCOTUS issued a new ruling reversing the Constitutionality of the individual right to bear arms.
I’ll bite, because there are right and wrong answers to many — but not all — of these questions.
I don’t criticise democracy or the modern world because I want it to fail. It is destined to fail. I want you to be ready for it. We are on the downward slope and gaining momentum. A democratic solution is impossible. The high point of this age is behind us. The decline has so far been disguised by media, entertainment and technological progress but eventually even that will not be enough to hide it. Empires and civilisations rise and fall and there is nothing special about ours that will save it from the fate of every single empire that has come and gone before us. In front of us is only further decline, starvation, violence, war and chaos until the birth of a new age.
This doesn’t mean despair. I want you to embrace it. Even encourage it. The system is unsustainable, corrupt and fatally flawed. It cannot be fixed. It must be destroyed so that we can build something new. Those of us here today will plants the seeds of something new.
I don’t rail against conservatives because I hate them. I want them to follow us in order to save themselves while they still can. It’s not too late to realise that you have been misled into acting against the best interests of your own nation and your own people. There will be a time when it will be too late for excuses. The die will be cast and lines will be drawn.
Conservatives do not understand just how isolated they have become, dithering in a no-man’s land between left and right, Europe, Israel and the third world. The rise of the cuckservative meme shows we are standing on the precipice of a fundamental change in conservative politics and they can either embrace racial tribalism or become obsolete and despised by future generations of Europeans.
Conservatives gravely misunderstand the unbridled fury of the young men growing up in the world today. Because of conservatives’ constant surrender to the left our young men and women are growing up in a physical and moral wasteland while hostile cultures swarm and pick over the bones of our civilisation.
Whoever wins the nominations, the most successful campaigns of 2016 provide us with a clear picture of where the center of gravity is today in both parties and, hence, where America is going.
Bernie Sanders, with his mammoth crowds and mass support among the young, represents, as did George McGovern in 1972, despite his defeat, the future of the Democratic Party.
That Hillary Clinton has been tacking left tells you Sanders is winning the argument. Should she avoid indictment in the email scandal, and win the nomination and the election, Clinton would be a placeholder president.
Yet, should Sanders win the nomination and election — highly improbable — he would become a frustrated and a failed president.
The conservative movement is starting to look a lot like Syria.
Baited, taunted, mocked by Fox News, Donald Trump told Roger Ailes what he could do with his Iowa debate, and marched off to host a Thursday night rally for veterans at the same time in Des Moines.
Message: I speak for the silent majority, Roger, not you, not Megyn Kelly, not Fox News. Diss me, and I will do fine without Fox.
And so the civil-sectarian war on the right widens and deepens.
And two questions arise: Will the conservative movement and Republican Party unite behind Trump if he is the nominee? And will the movement and party come together if Trump is not the nominee?
A breakdown of the balance of forces in this civil-sectarian war finds most of the media elite of the right recoiling from Trump, while Trump leads by a huge margin in Middle America.
National Review, Commentary, The Weekly Standard, Wall Street Journal, and the conservative and neocon columnists on the op-ed pages at The Washington Post and The New York Times have almost all come out viscerally against Trump.
At the end of the cold war, a cadre of neoconservative intellectuals surveyed the debris of the fallen Soviet colossus and boldly proclaimed “the end of history.” The West, said Francis Fukuyama, writing in The National Interest, had won not only the cold war but also the war of ideas – for all time. We were inevitably embarked on a pathway to a “universal homogenous state,” and although the pageant of History (always capitalized!) would continue to “unfold” along a rather bumpy road, in the end it would prove to be a highway to US hegemony over the entire earth. In a symposium commenting on Fukuyama’s thesis, the ever-practical Charles Krauthammer nevertheless insisted that it would be necessary for the United States to hurry History along by force of arms. In a subsequent polemic in Foreign Affairs, he argued that we ought to take advantage of “the unipolar moment” to “integrate” the US, Japan, and Europe into a “super-sovereign” global empire united by a “new universalism” – which, he averred, “is not as outrageous as it sounds.”
Blinded by hubris, enthralled by the possibilities of unlimited power, the neocons – and their liberal internationalist doppelgangers on the other side of the political spectrum – didn’t see the nationalist backlash coming.
That rebuke was prefigured by a stinging rebuttal from the pen of Patrick J. Buchanan in the pages of The National Interest, who wrote that Krauthammer’s vision was “un-American,” pure and simple. In Buchanan’s view, this militarized universalism was nothing less than treason. Invoking the Founders, he wrote that this globalist fantasy failed “the fundamental test of any foreign policy: Americans will not die for it.” A nation’s purpose, he added, cannot be ascertained “by consulting ideologies, but by reviewing its history, by searching the hearts of its people.” So what, if not the “benevolent global hegemony” dreamt of by the neocons, would and should Americans fight for? Buchanan’s answer was to quote these stanzas from Lord Macaulay:
It is important to remember that government interference always means either violent action or the threat of such action. Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen. The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning. Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.