Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rick Perry: The Keynesian Disciple

Rick Perry  has become a successful politician reinventing himself to fit the political trends over his very long career. Perry's political career started as a Democrat. He was head of Al Gore's Texas Campaign for President in 1988. Rick Perry abruptly switched to the Republican Party in 1989. The timing of his conversion was at a period when Texas was in the process of becoming a Republican dominated Red State. Over time Rick Perry has reinvented himself on many issues with the exception of economics. Presidential candidate Rick Perry is portraying himself as a free market capitalist. The question for those who believe in capitalism is, what evidence is there that supports that assertion? To borrow a line from Forrest Gump, "Rick Perry is like box of chocolates you never know what you are going to get". Here's empirical evidence that Rick Perry's record is far from being a Laissez-faire Capitalist but in fact is that of a Keynesian Socialist.

1. Rick Perry used stimulus money to balance the 2010 budget.
"Perry used $6.4 billion in federal money to smooth over the state’s growing deficit. Hence Texas hasn’t been forced to enact the same sharp budget cuts over the past three years that most other states have made." Brad Plumer

2. Rainy Day funds were never used.
The free market approach to balancing the Texas budget would of been to cut spending and use the rainy day fund thereby no additional debt is created to solve the problem. Perry's choice was to add to the National debt by taking stimulus money as documented by The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Spending remained at unsustainable levels and now in 2011 Texas is dealing with a 27 billion dollar deficit, With no stimulus funds available the Texas legislature is in the process of making steep cuts in many parts of the budget. Unfortunately according to the Associated Press the Texas Legislature with the cooperation of Rick Perry engaged in accounting gimmicks to push hard budget decisions into the future. A classic politically expedient move and very unethical.

 3. Texas Emerging Technology Fund.
One basic principal of free market capitalism is that government's role is to create the environment that is conducive to entrepreneurial ventures. That does not mean Government should directly help a company with either monetary aid or regulatory favoritism. To do so would give that company a competitive advantage over another company. This is a key factor in how monopolies are formed. Rick Perry created the Texas Emerging Technology fund in 2005. The taxpayer funded program was used to help companies that gave contributions to Rick Perry's gubernatorial campaign. Examples are given in Wall Street Journal' article Rick Perry's Crony Capitalism Problem.
4. Rick Perry's connection  to Merck and their Gadisil Vaccine.
Articles from various publications have covered the moral and constitutional problems with Rick Perry's executive order. In Tom Bevan's article Rick Perry's Gardasil Problem he explains Perry's actions "Gov. Perry chose to bypass the legislature and on Feb. 2, 2007, he issued an executive order making Texas the first state in the country requiring all sixth-grade girls to receive the three-shot vaccination series (which cost about $120 per shot)"
This is clearly an intrusion into the free market because it would of given Merck an instant monopoly in Texas. Putting aside the discussion of the effectiveness of these types of vaccinations, from a free market stand point other companies who may come up with an alternative vaccine would have a major disadvantage in competing with Merck's corporatist arrangement with Government. Fortunately Rick Perry's overreach was stopped and forced vaccinations were not implemented.
5. Rick Perry supported the TARP bailout.
Below is a copy of the letter Rick Perry in cooperation with the DGA President, sent to then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in support of  the TARP legislation often referred to as the "banker bailout". The very controversial TARP bill  is a textbook example of  Keynesian methodology of  solving problems in the economy. Bank of America one of  the major recipients of bailout funds is back in the news with serious financial problems along with other banks. TARP has failed to deliver what was promised by the Federal Government, stabilization of the financial system. Billionaire Warren Buffet recently provided a bailout of sorts by investing 5 billion dollars in Bank of America 
Rick Perry was approached by a Bank of America executive after a speech, with a brief exchange that was caught on CSPAN cameras at the event. The BOA executive said: "Bank of America, we'll help you out"  
Considering Rick Perry's history with the Texas Emerging Technology Fund of helping campaign donors with taxpayer funds it doesn't take much imagination to figure out what the message from BOA was about.

 6. Rick Perry, Trans Texas Corridor and Toll Roads.
Terri Hall founder of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF) describes the concept of the Trans Texas Corridor as: "A 4,000 mile network of toll roads taking 580,000 acres of private land in TX alone to provide new trade corridors to transport foreign goods into the United States. It's part of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP)which is the primary step in the economic integration of North America into the North American Union (NAU)."  Brian Williams NBC news report on TTC. During his tenure as governor, Rick Perry made the TTC and the expansion of Government sponsored toll roads a major part of his administration's agenda. However TTC and toll roads proved to be very unpopular with many Texans. The  TTC concept would of directly impacted over a million Texans with it's purposed massive use of imminent domain by far the largest attempted in Texas history. New toll roads have been implemented in Central Texas especially in the Austin area and the result has been anything but positive. In a Austin American Statesman article the author reveals the unsustainable nature of   Central Texas toll roads."Tolls and other revenue have fallen more than $100 million short of covering debt and operating costs of the state's three-road Central Texas Turnpike System since the highways opened about four years ago. Texas Department of Transportation subsidies almost 70 percent more than originally predicted have made up the difference."

Who was John Maynard Keynes? 
 Keynes was educated in British elite institutions, Eton and then King's College Cambridge. He published a number of  books on economics but his magnum opus was The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. To sum up the central concept of Keynesian theory, it's the belief that free market capitalism is too unstable and Government intervention into the market is necessary to ensure consistent growth in the economy.  It's a collectivist approach to economics, that government spending and central planning is superior to free market capitalism and it's hands off approach. Governments around the world have adopted the concept and we see it's manifestation in the repeated bailouts and attempted economic stimulus schemes. Now that we've had decades of  Keynesian theory put into action what has the result been? Lew Rockwell head of the Mises Institute, a Austrian School of economics think tank, wrote in his article The Many Collapses of Keynesianism "The core issue is that 1) we have a monetary and banking system that is socialistic and therefore used by the power elite to enrich themselves at our expense, and 2) the policy elite clings to the Keynesian pretense that government is capable of waging a war against market forces. That, and the fact that Keynesianism empowers the elite, is why this pathetic and dangerous history keeps repeating itself."

The worlds economy is on the brink of collapse and the methods used by government have failed repeatedly. There is simply no evidence that Rick Perry will do anything significantly different then what the Bush administration and now the Obama administration have done to turn the economy around.

Thank God There Was No Television In 1789

One wonders how many of the Founding Fathers could have gotten elected in the television age.

George Washington? Painfully shy, standoffish and a slow and deliberate speaker. Bill O' Reilly would have torn him apart.

Thomas Jefferson? Didn't deliver his own speeches, he had them read - and maybe too much of an intellectual for today's taste.

James Madison? Physically tiny with a high squeaky voice.

If we'd had TV journalism in 1789, there might not be an America today.

Are Americans so shallow as to only pick someone because they look "Presidential" or they sound "Presidential"?
Does philosophy or the constitution matter in the pop culture age?
Is image everything, substance and character obsolete traits of a bygone era?

One very likely outcome of the impending economic collapse, is a fundamental change of the current American culture. What that will look like over the next few years no one can say for sure. But I think it's safe to assume the people who put so little effort in picking the leaders we have now have applied the same lack of effort in being ready for things to come. This country was born under extremely difficult circumstances. The founding fathers were remarkable men who like the rest of us were flawed. Their intellect and understanding of human history transcended those flaws. The people of the time clearly valued the ideas and overlooked the superficial. Hopefully modern Americans will gain that wisdom in the near future.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Textbook Example Of How To Be Used By The Media Against Ron Paul's Campaign

I was conflicted about even writing this  because the best thing for the actions of Robert Morrow and his infamous Rick Perry sex ad is to ignore it and hope it fades quickly. Unfortunately the ad made national news even creeping into a recent interview on Fox News with Ron Paul. Here's a link to what the ad looked like.Have You Ever Had Sex With Rick Perry?

Here's Ron Paul's interview on Fox News the reference to Morrow's ad begins at about 6:01

‘It’s Rather Silly’: Ron Paul Responds to Supporter’s Rick Perry Sex Ad Controversy

Ron Paul wisely distanced himself from the informatory ad and clearly stated this is not how his campaign operates.

I look at this as an opportunity to learn a very valuable lesson on what not to do as a Ron Paul supporter. The media microscope is focused on the Ron Paul campaign and the Liberty movement as a whole even more so then in 2008 because now it's clear Ron Paul can actually win. His numbers are impressive and growing. That makes any action by Ron Paul's supporters fair game in the Media's warped world view as they try guilt by association correlating actions of an obsessed supporter to the campaign like a "tar baby" Ron Paul wisely refused to take on the "tar baby" so the  issue is likely to go away soon. However for Mr Morrow the damage of what he did might haunt him for years. The media is branding him "unstable" a" gadfly" "deranged" etc etc.. this may end up costing him financially and personally.
 Rick Perry's campaign has not hesitated to respond and it's going to have far more impact then the reckless rantings of Mr. Morrow. Already the predictable narrative is to brand Ron Paul supporters as unstable conspiracy theorist and Morrows ad gives them ammunition.  The effect is classic marginalization, the average person often heavily influenced by peer pressure does not want to be associated with "crazy people". So obsessed with creating that narrative, one journalist  mistakenly attributes a JFK conspirator named Robert Morrow with the Sex ad Robert Morrow. The wrong Robert Morrow

The liberty movement must mature and change some of the tactics used in the past if it's going to truly be a catalyst that "starts brush fires of freedom in the minds of men". In 2008 the media shut out and marginalization efforts were far more effective and it required some creative thinking to get the message out. At times it manifested itself in harmless acts of civil disobedience with hand made signs hung over bridges and overpasses. Unfortunately a few went beyond that accepted form of civil disobedience and crossed over into  trespassing, putting signs on private property without permission, and defacing public property. The obvious problem is that Ron Paul's message is about respecting property rights and the rule of just law. Hypocrisy is never justified. This applies to Robert Morrow's reckless attempt to pin a sex scandal on Rick Perry. Morrow was as guilty of dirty tricks as the politicians that he rails against. He published an ad in desperation because none of the so called eyewitnesses agreed to go public. Mr. Morrow made a serious accusation without having the accused face their accuser. This is not what moral people do or we are as guilty of corruption as the status quo politicians.

Friday, August 5, 2011

FDA: Big Agriculture's Monopoly Enforcement Agency

By Phil Pepin

In modern America if you are a small business owner there's a bulleye painted on your back. If you are unfortunate enough to be a small business that's in the raw milk and organic food trade you also have a arm band with a Star of David on it. FDA's recent raids on a Amish raw milk farmer and Rawsome foods show a Government agency actively engaged in a sort of completion genocide, in a country that is supposed to be about the free market, the actions of the FDA reveal an America that has been transformed into Corporatocracy. That statement would seem extreme if these incidents were the only examples but they're not, just among the most outrageous. The raw milk industry is all but extinct after years of targeted regulation, yet that doesn't seem to be satisfactory to Corporate Agriculture only total extinction will do.

Armed Agents Raid Raw Milk and Cheese Sellers

Feds Raid Amish Farm

There were no deaths, no food poisonings reported, no tainted products to be recalled yet the Federal Government deemed it necessary to send armed agents as if they were taking on a violent drug cartel.
In contrast near the same time frame as the swat style raids on Rawsome Foods, the media reports that Cargill a giant corporate meat company is in the mist of a recall of 36 million lbs of ground turkey, but only after a death and numerous reports of food poisoning. One would assume after the treatment Rawsome foods and the Amish Farmer received that the CEO of Cargill would have at least been subjected to the same humiliation after all a human being died. However this is Corporatist America where there is one set of rules for small business and another for the mega corporations that spend millions lobbying to insure that regulations keep any competition from threatening their market share.
Cargill Turkey Recall

The overwhelming evidence of the destructive force that is the Federal Government is on display in these examples. The actions are immoral on so many levels it's beyond any pretense of being just a few missteps by some rogue bureaucrats. This is a systemic and chronic problem for the very simple reason that allowing Government control over our most fundamental needs is a recipe for tyranny. Perhaps someday Americans in large enough numbers will finally understand that a Government big enough to take care of you,will eventually take everything away.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Why Elections, The Tea Party & Activism Won’t Save Our Republic. But There Is An Answer

I recently had a life changing event. It happened during a meeting with a fellow political activist who through great personal sacrifice has discovered the root cause of why all attempts to restore America's original Republican form of Government have failed and will continue to fail. More importantly he has discovered the solution. It's not because he's some all knowing guru, like everyone else he's a flawed human. Many people have discovered parts of the solution but no one has put all those parts together until now. The solution he found is not a untried theory but in fact has been battle tested multiple times with miraculous results. To achieve meaningful reform this solution must be learned and spread to everyone willing to be an activist.

Elections and activism are very important, unfortunately are rendered ineffective because corruption undermines the goals. The key is to focus on a strategy to end the corruption.

To understand the solution you must understand the root cause of the problem. Philosophically it's nothing more complicated then the pursuit of power. The manifestation of this lust for power is a corrupted political system. This is no great revelation most moral thinking people recognize this obvious fact. The founders recognized the danger and logically concluded that power corrupts therefore it must be separated and bound with the shackles of checks and balances. The corruption is the cancer that is eating away the body of our Republic. One of the reasons all attempts at reforming the Republic have failed is we are diverted by tyrants towards the symptoms. The tyrants allow some of the symptoms to be cured creating the illusion that progress towards reform has been made. The reality is the march towards tyranny is slowed at best but never stopped and most certainly not reversed. Without curing the cancer all attempts at reform will fail. Moral people simply are worn down trying to cure the never ending symptoms. Tyrants have perverted the process to the point that moral people not knowing the true source of the problem never fix the root cause.

Why is this so?

Again it's a simple reason, we are divided in our efforts so we always fail. Tyrants divide and conquer us. In order to stop this devious tactic we must discover what divides us. For the rest of this article I will refer to the solution as the "plan" because that's exactly what it is. Tyrant's always have a plan and if moral people who believe in freedom don't have a unifying plan we will continue to fail. It's not the purpose of this article to cover the intricate details of the "plan" That will be covered in a series of articles on this blog.

What exactly is dividing us?

To understand clearly what is dividing our efforts we must accept a undeniable fact. Immoral people stay united easier then moral people do. What I mean by moral people are those who believe in universal truths that it's wrong to lie, cheat and steal. This is not about religious morality, though religion teaches these principals. The "Plan" will work as long as moral people never use the evil tactics of the immoral people. It is immoral to think "the ends justify the means". The "plan" will unite everyone regardless of race, religious beliefs, or lack there of. It will unite people from incredibility diverse backgrounds. The reason, the "plan" is based on love and freedom. "Love thy neighbor". "Treat your neighbor as you wish to be treated". These are concepts from the Bible but the "plan" is a combination of secular and religious sources because the "plan" is for political purposes. Truth is truth no matter what the source.

Moral people come together as a group to seek wisdom. Immoral people seek power.

In the case of our political system the intent of the founders for congress was to have a deliberative body that seeks wisdom in order to best guide this country. This principal applies to every form of activism as well. This is why organizations with good intentions will fail if they ever seek power. The leaders of those groups adopt the tactics of the immoral people and though they may win a few battles they ultimately lose the war.

Why don't moral people succeed using immoral tactics in an organization?

Immoral people who's goal is power will resort to anything to obtain it. When a group of moral people, out of frustration resort to immoral tactics for expediency they will ultimately fail. The tactic will divide and conquer because the people who are the most faithful to their principals will not tolerate using evil means to accomplish a goal and will leave if they cannot change the tactics. That means they lose the heart and soul of their organization and the spiral down begins.
Immoral tactics will also ruin the organizations reputation outside the group, because moral people hate hypocrisy.

The "plan" can only succeed if it is followed completely. Like an engine if you remove any essential parts it will not work. Though the "plan" is simple in concept it is extremely hard to implement. It will require people to change their behavior.

This is absolutely necessary because the current tactics utilized by activist including myself have been for the most part ineffective. In my next article I am going to fully explore all the details of what divides us. The change in behavior that will be necessary to unite us and how the very political system that is being used against us can be turned on the tyrants and bring them to their knees.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Authoritarian Socialism

Authoritarian Socialism is how we are governed.

by Phil Pepin

March 7 2010

I don't believe in playing word games. Unfortunately most of the mainstream press and Americans in general play them with gusto. People cringe when the dreaded "s word" is used. Typically an emotional tirade devoid of facts is launched. Denial doesn't change the fact that our government is not a constitutional republic intended by the founders. The republic has not existed for years. Our government operates as a totalitarian socialistic regime. Totalitarian socialism sounds ominous and perhaps too extreme, but consider the following. You don't have a choice in paying income tax you are forced to. You are compelled to participate in social security. Soon what little choice you have in the free market will be replaced by corporatism. America's health care industry is predominantly a corporatist system. Obama's agenda to completely socialize medicine is possible with a congress full of totalitarian socialist. Participation is not likely to be voluntary.

It's important to point out that government is not about voluntarism, never has been. George Washington understood the nature of government. "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action." The fire is burning out of control. Americans have not heeded Washington's warning. Irresponsible action is the standard mode of operation for our government.

Americans have allowed themselves to become dependent on government in a variety of ways. These same Americans complain about high taxes. They resent the inevitable forced compliance. They fail to understand that socialism is always authoritarian. Freedom is about personal responsibility. Government's constitutional role is to protect freedom, not manage our lives. When government exceeds that role, freedom is diminished. Like gravity this is a law of nature that can't be overcome, no matter how promising the campaign speech. America is at a critical crossroad. Full scale totalitarian socialism of an unimaginable scale is on the horizon. Freedom loving Americans are frustrated by the lack of concern by so many. Ignorance has never been a virtue, in these perilous times it's a dangerous indulgence.

"War On Economic Freedom" San Antonio Tea Party April 15 2009