Interview with Kevin Freeman, Author/Advisor for Economic Warfare

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v54I-om8NcI]

Tisha Casida interviews author Kevin Freeman about how individuals and States (using States’ Rights and the Tenth Amendment) can protect themselves from economic warfare and economic terrorism.  The National Security Investment Consultant Institute (NSIC) can train and equip leaders and investment managers for how to protect their community and clients – www.NSIC.org.  Refuse to be motivated by fear and take your life, your finances, and your property and wealth into your own hands.  If the federal level of government and Congress won’t act – let’s have our States and our own families DO SOMETHING about protecting our money from economic warfare and terrorism!

I, American – An analogy and tribute to “I, Pencil” by Leonard E. Read

By: Tisha Casida

I am an American – a human being residing in the United States of America, a citizen who has come here or who resides in this country.

Liberty is both my vocation and my avocation – it is what I am.

You may wonder why it is necessary to express the purpose of explaining what I am.  I am a mystery, and sadly I have been taken for granted as a mere incident and without background.

“This is a species of the grievous error in which mankind cannot too long persist without peril. For, the wise G. K. Chesterton observed, ‘We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders’.” (Read, 1999).

I, American, as simple as I may seem, do in fact warrant your wonder, for if you can understand me better, if you can be more aware of what I am, then it can help save the freedom that mankind could so easily lose.

Simple? Yet no one knows exactly how to make me.  I am but a human, a citizen, a member of a community and country, and yet there are innumerable antecedents to what I am.

It is impossible to explain all of the antecedents that made me, however it is possible to name just a few.

My family tree begins on every continent in every country through most every part of the world.  From deserts to the tropics, the mountains to the oceans, the world was the starting point for me.  Think of all the people involved in the innumerable journeys through good times and bad to get me to where I sit today.  Think of the man-power, the machinery, the technology, the will-power to get me here today.  Think of the millions of transactions amongst people, the billions of words, the countless moments of inquiry and faith that made it possible to be in this moment.

Starting in far-away places, my ancestors made choices to seek freedom and prosperity.  In making a choice to come here, the American dream was alive and loved.  It was not just a dream; it was the reality of the journey, the faith, the motion.  My ancestors came to America to work and keep what they worked for, in a place where liberty was alive and responsibility was respected and honored.

Consider the people who have come to America.  White, black, brown; European, African, Asian, Hispanic; people who do not cling to color nor to class nor to ethnicity. For once you are here, you are American – this is the melting pot, and we are all the same, we are all Americans.  People who have come here as people, people who have come here knowing and believing that we are endowed by a Creator with certain unalienable Rights, and that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  The journey has not always been pleasant or good.  The creation of America held many tragic incidents involving the very people that She now desires to protect.  That is the road and the journey that exists, and I must move forward in an effort to do better, as an individual, as an American.  We can learn from our mistakes.

Consider the technology that has moved us here.  Inventions, the revolution in industry, and the revolution with communication – all of these over thousands of years have contributed to my journey.  Although my life cycle is short, the experiences I have are created on the shoulders of giants (Newton, 1676).  Piece by piece, moment by moment, I am standing here today because of these human discoveries, theories, interventions, and practices.

Consider the human desire that has moved us here.  Human beings from around the world, people who work hard, study, love, and crave the freedom that allows them to do those things.  Consider the faith – regardless of religion or origin – consider the faith of the people who want to move forward, want to protect what they love, want to be free in their just pursuit of happiness.

No one knows how to make an American, even though the 307+ million Americans have a part of shaping each other every day.  “There isn’t a single person in all these millions… who contributes more than a tiny, infinitesimal bit of know-how.” (Read, 1999).  Each day a citizen may decide to read a newspaper, watch a television show, or go to school, however the other citizens will never truly know how this affects them – we just know that it does.  None of us know what the other millions of Americans want, however we are still all able to co-exist and prosper.  None of us know exactly how this works, but we know that we are able to make transactions and decisions when we have the freedom to do so.

There is no master-mind dictating to people what they should do, what they should want, or where they should work.  For over two hundred years, the country of America has been able to grow without the master planning of its future.  There have been mistakes, and more recently attacks on Her freedom, however the 307+ millions of Americans who are a part of my country can still make informed decisions.  This “absence of a master mind, of anyone dictating or forcibly directing these countless actions which bring me into being. No trace of such a person can be found. Instead, we find the Invisible Hand at work.” (Read, 1999).

We cannot “make an American”.  The Invisible Hand (Adam Smith), the liberty present in our country, and the free market where we all stand equally as consumers, are a part of a complex combination of miracles.  America is where you can find me, in “the configuration of creative human energies—millions of tiny know-hows configurating naturally and spontaneously in response to human necessity and desire and in the absence of any human master-minding!” (Read, 1999).  We are free men and women, there is no greater miracle.

I, American, although made from many different races, classes, and religions, do not cling to those as testimony for how others should act or be.  I, American, although a part of a social system do not expect a social system, I take responsibility for what and who I am.  I, American, although faced with displeasure, anger, and poverty, righteousness, happiness, and prosperity, do not expect from anyone anything other than interaction in a marketplace where I can work, purchase, and sell goods and services without the intervention of a master-plan that tries to decide what is best for me.  I, American, understand what I am charged with and accept the responsibility and prosperity that accompanies such “risk”.  Having the liberty to make my decisions, is all I ask for.

I, American, in a country that has had millions of immigrants come to Her for liberty and the opportunity to pursue their dreams, believe in the creative interactions that have made our prosperity possible so far.

“The lesson I have to teach is this: Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organize society to act in harmony with this lesson. Let society’s legal apparatus remove all obstacles the best it can. Permit these creative know-hows freely to flow. Have faith that free men and women will respond to the Invisible Hand. This faith will be confirmed.”  (Read, 1999).

I, American, seemingly simple and often misunderstood, believe in the miracle of my creation. I believe in the liberty that rewards responsibility. I believe in the free men and women who are my fellow citizens.  I, American, believe.

References:

Newton, I. (1676, February 15). Letter to Robert Hooke. Retrieved  June 20, 2010 from http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton.

Read, L. E. (1999). “I, Pencil: My Family Tree as told to Leonard E. Read.” Library of Economics and Liberty. Retrieved June 20, 2010 from the World Wide Web: http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/rdPncl1.html

Smith, A. (1776). An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Edwin Cannan, ed. 1904. Library of Economics and Liberty. Retrieved June 20, 2010 from the World Wide Web: http://www.econlib.org/library/Smith/smWN.html

Winning the Economic War & Fighting Terrorism

Apparent both nationally and locally, 2012 is going to be an important year for Americans to make decisions regarding what the federal government should and should not be doing. So much money and time has been spent on special interests and social issues – neither of which should have ever been a part of the federal government’s mantra and charge for defending the individual liberties of the American people – and it is time we take a hard look and decide where to put our time, interest, and money.

 

Terrorism is real – it has been a part of free people’s lives since history has been recorded. There are interests that desire to control and kill factions of people based on money, religion, and other agendas. For free people, it is essential to pay attention to the basis for effectively maintaining freedom – and that is economic well-being and the ability to create and grow wealth. Only when people can exercise economic freedom, with the realization of property rights and the acknowledgement of natural rights, are we able to defend ourselves against terrorism.

 

Economic terrorism, a real-world means of destroying countries by using currency and the debt-system of our monetary policy, is American’s greatest terrorist threat. With the literal push of a button – our economic system as we know it could be wiped out – there are no regulations, no transparency, and no accountability to protect and defend Americans against this push of this financial melt-down button. Kevin Freeman has wrote an excellent book on the subject called Secret Weapon, and eloquently explains how America’s financial system could be collapsed with the vested interests of nations who would like to replace the dollar, and who would also be happy to end capitalism as we know it to instead adopt a different monetary policy under a different type of law. One which would erode not only our individual liberties, but also be dangerous to the peace and freedom embraced by humans around the world.

 

National defense is about much more than defending the borders of our country – it is also about defending the infrastructure and system by which we are able to operate freely and creatively. Whatever your belief system is, and whatever your values are – the most important thing to fight for right now is the ability to fight for and enjoy those things. If our economy is collapsed, we will no longer have the ability or freedom to do anything. And our economy and financial system could be collapsed. But unlike the scares in 2008, it will be much worse, and we may not be able to dig out.

 

This is about using our time and energy to focus on the taproots of problems, and as I see it – the greatest threat to the American people is economic warfare made possible by our debt, our weak currency, our monetary policy, and our lax regulation and insight of financial markets both here and abroad. This must change and change now for us to be able to continue having a voice for any of our values and special interests. This is trans-partisan – and this is something that should be discussed and deliberated by our representatives at every level of government.

 

Being Bellicose is Bad Business

Peaceful countries mean prosperous countries – a better quality of life and more opportunity to learn, grow, and love.  Peace enhances prosperity because it allow for commerce to take place without having fears about one’s security and environment.  Peace is good for everyone, in every class, of every creed and origin.

The creation of the Global Peace Index, by Steve Killelea, “measures 144 nations based on 23 indicators of the existence or absence of peace both within and outside a country’s borders”(Deprez, 2010). These indicators “use quantitative and qualitative data from the World Bank, various U.N. offices and Peace Institutes, and the Economist Intelligence Unit and are divided into three categories: five measures of ongoing domestic and international conflict, 10 measures of safety and security in society, and eight measures of militarization” (Deprez).

Who is on the top of the list?  New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Austria, Sweden, Japan, Canada, Finland, and Slovenia to name the top ten.  The gross domestic product (GDP) per capita ranges from $20K to above $100K, the unemployment rates are generally very low, and the mean years of education hovers in the 15-year to 17-year range.

Where does the United States rank?  In 2009, at 83rd place.  High incarceration rates, high homicide rates, and military operations overseas contribute to its ranking.  What can we learn from this?  It would be wise to work on peace and prosperity because it is key to citizens and consumers having the quality of life that makes a country, its economy, and its place in the world – beautiful.  And isn’t that the whole point?

Good business means good business practices and creating, enhancing, and promoting a peaceful environment is the key to this.  It can happen at the individual, family, business, organizational, and governmental level.  We each make our choices how we think and how we work with others – this happens between companies and between countries.  If we are in business to make money (and I believe in my heart that THAT is why millions of immigrants have come to the United States since its inception – because it is the land of the FREE where we can dream and make great/prosperous things happen) – then we need to be pro-peace.  Let’s stop the violence that can tear down our households, communities, and country.

Downsizing the Federal Government

Do you ever wonder if there are actually solutions to the mess we are in?

We hear a whole lot about the PROBLEM – but what about things we can actually DO?  I think we can all agree that our time would be better spent on positive and productive solutions versus complaining, hate speech, and rhetoric.

So, OF COURSE there are solutions.  This blog – Downsizingthefederalgovernment, as well as the book, Downsizing the Federal Government by Chris Edwards (available on our website for purchase; please purchase there if you so desire as it keeps the lights on), offer a “department by department guide to cutting the federal government”.

The TRUTH is that we can solve a whole lot of our budget problems by eliminating waste and inefficiences.  AND if we have more money in the bank, we can do more productive things in our economy.

Don’t be fooled – there are things we can do RIGHT NOW.  All it takes is a group of concerned citizens willing to stand up and speak up.

– Tisha Casida

Access to Local Food

In an AP article, a phenomena and trend which has been taking shape for quite awhile, is highlighted.

That trend is the limited access to food in rural areas (e.g. grocery stores), and the reason has to do with economics.  Smaller operations are generally more costly to run, and larger operations who can utilize the benefits of economies of scale to offer products and services for a lower price – will be able to attract more customers who are looking for cost-savings (especially if facing bad economic conditions).

Government proposals will include spending initiatives, and there are grants and other opportunities for these small grocery stores to try and stay in business.  What is truly sustainable, though, would be for consumers to change their purchasing patterns.  Because if the demand is not there, you cannot subsidize it – it will simply not work in a free market (and we are assuming that we are keeping the free market that we have).

So, if you are reading this and are a consumer and want to make a difference – find local farmers, ranchers, and producers to support, and be willing to spend some extra money to keep them in business.  If we keep our local guys open, and help their businesses to thrive, then eventually we will actually see local food prices decrease, and the wonder and beauty of economics in a free market can once again be realized.

It will take time, it is not easy, and we must all work together.  But it is possible.

– Tisha Casida

Downsizing the Federal Government

Do you ever wonder if there are actually solutions to the mess we are in?

We hear a whole lot about the PROBLEM – but what about things we can actually DO?  I think we can all agree that our time would be better spent on positive and productive solutions versus complaining, hate speech, and rhetoric.

So, OF COURSE there are solutions.  This blog – Downsizingthefederalgovernment, as well as the book, Downsizing the Federal Government by Chris Edwards (available on our website for purchase; please purchase there if you so desire as it keeps the lights on), offer a “department by department guide to cutting the federal government”.

The TRUTH is that we can solve a whole lot of our budget problems by eliminating waste and inefficiences.  AND if we have more money in the bank, we can do more productive things in our economy.

Don’t be fooled – there are things we can do RIGHT NOW.  All it takes is a group of concerned citizens willing to stand up and speak up.

– Tisha Casida

Knowledge Vs. Presumptions

Reading through Thomas Sowell’s book, Basic Economics, it is easy to see that letting the market work is essential to having a sustainable and productive economy.

The reason “the market” works so well is that there are millions of people with specialized knowledge making decision about what to buy and what to sell.  These people – the 300+million consumers in the United States of America – each have their own individualized knowledge that helps them to make decisions

Knowledge, in itself, is a scarce resource.

When government officials start making decisions that affect the market, they are doing this based on PRESUMPTIONS.  Presumptions about what is best ARE NOT the same as specialized knowledge coming from the market, of the 300+ million people that make up our economy.

Presumptions are what get people in trouble – it is KNOWLEDGE that we need.  And thus, less government intervention, red tape, and bureaucracy in our free market would allow for more efficient and more specialized decisions from WE THE PEOPLE.  That’s the whole idea of a FREE MARKET!

-Tisha Casida

I, Pencil: My Family Tree as told to Leonard E. Read

WE MUST BELIEVE IN FREE MEN.

We must believe that we are completely capable of solving our problems, being innovative, and putting controls and restraints on systems.  We The People – we are capable and we are exemplary and WE ARE FREE.  We must protect our freedoms and the free market in which we operate, for we are our only true hope.

We encourage you to read this iconic essay by Leonard E. Read, entitled “I, Pencil”

Please find the complete essay here: http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/rdPncl1.html

Health Care – POSITIVE and PRO-ACTIVE Solutions

By: Sean McCarthy

There is a truism in governance which states if you want to limit a particular behavior or activity then regulate it—if you want to severely limit it then tax it.  Consider the current “health care” debate this country is having.  Then reflect on the various “social engineering” initiatives this country has supported based on moral grounds:  Prohibition—alcohol; regulation and prohibition of various pharmaceuticals aka “drugs”; regulation of tobacco, and ever increasing taxing of its use; legalization and government funding of abortion; funding and support for various sex education programs for youth; government funding of planned parenthood, and single parent support initiatives.

The list above is but a few random selections.  Based on the examples I provided above, when the government both regulated and taxed an activity (tobacco use) the result was a dramatic reduction in the use of the offending product.  Those unable to break their habit pay a heavy tax to continue satisfying their urge.  Some may say this is an unjust taxation as typically smokers are from the lower strata of the socioeconomic status—we are penalizing the poor to fill government coffers.  What can I say?  What government tax or regulatory regime is fair?  When does it not take from one group and give to another group?  At least the behavior is legal and smokers are free to choose whether to pay the price or not, whereas many other tax schemes do not afford one a choice.  Note the failings of the other initiatives listed above—what do they have in common?  They are projects whose stated objectives are failing miserably.  It seems the more money we put into education, or child pregnancy prevention the worse the results.  There is no adverse tax, or regulation associated with those behaviors.  We don’t regulate or tax the activity—in fact we subsidize it and thereby encourage the behavior.

So, drawing empirically from the anecdotes above, one could surmise if you wish to limit a behavior, then you should regulate and tax it.  If you wish to encourage a behavior, then limit the regulation, tax, and cost associated with the activity.  (Hmmm, a paradoxical conundrum may exist; we publically deplore an activity, yet through our governmental action we are literally increasing the numbers of participants in said “bad” behavior.)

Applying this postulate to health care will allow an effective perspective to develop.  Let’s start by stating the goals for which we can all agree:

  1. Universal transportable coverage.
  2. Reasonable/affordable costs for both services and insurance.
  3. The best health services and medication available in the world.

We don’t want to see costs continue their rapid escalation; we don’t want to see rationing, or long waits for care; and we don’t want to see any degradation in the quality of care in our country as it exists today.  It is becoming readily apparent the various proposals being weighed in the Congress will not achieve the basic tenets we desire, nor will they guarantee no degradation of the current system we have.

The various options all discuss increased regulatory oversight of all aspects of our system; they include various increases in the tax burden for both small business and the currently insured.  Remember, taxing and regulating limit a behavior; I think we want to encourage citizens and business to be responsible and pay for their own insurance and health care.  So, if the solution is to reduce regulatory burden and the tax burden to incentivize a desired behavior, what would it look like?  John Mackey’s “The Whole Foods Alternative to Obamacare” (WSJ, August 12, 2009) provides a CEO’s (Whole Foods, national grocer) perspective with several private sector solutions:

-Encourage HSAs (Health Savings Accounts).  Similar to IRAs, individuals can deposit money directly tax free, as well as accepting deposits from their employer into this same account tax free.  The monies roll forward year to year tax free which encourages savings to cover deductibles or health care costs directly.  This is a limit on taxes which encourages a good behavior.

-Ensure all health insurance plans are tax deductible.  Whether paid for directly by the individual or by an employer, we should encourage this.  Making the premiums tax deductible will definitely encourage everyone to buy an insurance plan.

-Reduce regulations regarding mandatory coverage.  Oftentimes many like to blame a failing of the market place when results are not desirable.  In this case years of mandated coverage by our well meaning government have increased the cost of coverage for all concerned.  Let’s allow the consumer/citizen to choose what coverage they need—not special interest groups and their lobbyists.  This is the practice in all other forms of insurance markets (i.e., auto, life, property, etc.)

-Tort reform.  No surprise here.  If my costs to insure my practice increase, I simply pass the cost to the consumer.  If I cannot recover the cost, then I cannot stay in business which limits the number of practitioners, increasing demand on the remaining service providers which further increases costs.  Some argue tort reform is a canard.  They say liability claims represent only 1% of the total monies spent in health care.  What they don’t discuss are the various extra tests, and costs associated with ensuring a practitioner is not vulnerable to a future claim of negligence.  Oftentimes a past law suit judgment against a doctor causes all others in the medical field to require additional procedures to ensure they are safe from potential nuisance suits.

-Transparent and timely costs.  Call a doctor or hospital and ask for their rate sheet on various procedures and they won’t be able to provide one.  Why?  Well, it depends on the method of payment, the insurance company, and several other medically irrelevant factors.  Why is this not the case with a dentist?  How about a Veterinarian?  If you get a cavity filled, or your dog has its regular check up, you know the cost and you pay it right then and there.  Let’s make routine treatment the same for our personal medical needs.  If you have to pay it, you will likely be more cost conscious.  If your doctor does not have to wait 60 to 90 days while fighting your insurance company for payment, then costs will be reduced.

You can see these are simple suggestions, but they are based on eliminating needless regulation and tax.  We should own our coverage and be responsible for the costs associated with our health care.  As with other areas of our life, when we have to pay the freight directly, we are more diligent in ensuring costs are low and quality is high.  What about pre-existing conditions?  If you owned your health care plan, and it was not tied to your employment, then this issue would be mollified tremendously. With few exceptions we could all get inexpensive health coverage plans when we are young. Similar to term life insurance, you would lock in an annual premium for life.  Regardless of sickness in the years ahead, your premium would remain the same.  If you lose your job, you don’t lose the coverage—analogous to life, property, and auto insurance.  Your employer can, and as your value to the firm dictates, should contribute towards your individual health insurance plan.  Again, this would be tax deductible and increase the savings for the individual plan holder.

Individual responsibility, limiting government involvement, and allowing the power of personal economics to govern one’s choice of coverage is the key.  Whatever difficult issue faces our country, it is, it will be, and it always has been better to solve difficult issues in our country by supporting individual choice, as opposed to arcane legislation.

A US ARMY Veteran who proudly served as a Cavalry Officer and  Airborne Ranger.  After his military service, McCarthy worked as an executive in the transportation industry providing transportation solutions for large manufacturing facilities.  Intrigued by manufacturing McCarthy was hired by the Trane Company in Pueblo as a production manager in 1995,  learning their innovative world class manufacturing processes.  This allowed him to run his own facility in Colorado Springs for a small door and window manufacturer.

Commuting, and working long hours for the benefit of absentee owners motivated McCarthy to start his own enterprise.  His affinity for “numbers” drew him to the mortgage industry.  On July 4th, 1997 he started his venture which he has run continuously either solely or with partners since.  He purposely started on that date to commemorate his own “independence” day.  McCarthy still owns and operates Castle Investment & Loan, an independent mortgage brokerage and private placement lender.

McCarthy serves on numerous community boards in Pueblo; currently he is President of both the PCC Foundation Board of Directors, as well as the Pueblo Performing Arts Guild (PPAG).  He proudly advocates for Pueblo businesses, the downtown district (member Board of Directors Pueblo Downtown Assoc.), taxpayers, and the “Traditional Liberal” perspective of free enterprise, limited government, and fiscal prudence.   McCarthy can be reached at: seanmccarthy@aculink.net

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