One More Year - January 20, 2009 Inauguration Day

One more year folks. That's right, just one more year of this miserable failure in the White House. On January 20, 2009 I hope we will be inaugurating a Democrat as President of the United States. I hope.

So many people I speak with are overconfident about our chances of winning the White House that I'm just plain nervous. I'm especially nervous because it looks like the two men rising to the top in the GOP race are the likable, goofy Baptist minister and the aging war hero who was once a social moderate. Both men will appeal to southern conservatives regardless of party.

Think about it. We could be trading a man who borrowed his macho image from a chain saw to a man who borrows his macho image from Walker, Texas Ranger Chuck Norris, action adventure television star. Oh yippee.

The Huckster - as he is affectionately(?) called - isn't the type of man you would want to have a beer with. It's even scarier than that. Mike Huckabee is the kind of man you'd want to say a prayer with......before Sunday dinner....at Grandma's house.

Sorry folks, but that's scary. Then, of course, we have John McCain.

We could be trading a man who avoided service in Vietnam for a man who was held a prisoner of war and who is undeniably a war hero - maybe even a super hero. You just can't make any jokes about that. There's no room for sarcasm.

So, we'll talk about John McCain the politician. This is a man who is perennially confused about where he stands on the issues. John McCain is a man who has gone from saying, "But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations," to believing that life begins when there's a twinkle in Daddy's eye. Pandering to the wingers. Disgusting.

A former moderate, John McCain leans so far right he's had to have a special pair of shoes made to keep him from toppling over. Of course, falling over could prove advantageous for John McCain. It puts him on the ground which makes it infinitely easier to kiss winger ass shoes.

We have a tough road ahead here at BlueNC. No matter which man or woman you support for President now, we have a tough battle ahead as we move closer to November. I know we'll all still be on speaking terms, because we've weathered quite a bit of hullabaloo here at BlueNC. We're activists. We're fighters. It's going to happen. I'm confident, though, that we will all come through this primary season and work toward victory in November because when push comes to shove we are fighting for the common good. Heck, who knows....come November we might even still like each other.

One more year.

Comments

Use as open thread

I can honestly say I'm tired. I've had a migraine since yesterday and have been glued to this chair (except when I'm fixing meals, doing laundry and dancing with my vacuum) trying to figure out our server issues and clean up our site files.

I got a new calendar today...."The Out of Office countdown" calendar featuring the wit and wisdom of the dumbest man on earth.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Closer to Home?

I wonder what the collective wisdom is about how the presidential race impacts state races. We've got every branch of government on the line, and maybe a tenuous hold on the General Assembly. I've got my fingers crossed for Romney -- I don't see him inspiring a lot of the traditional rightwing here. On the D side, that's a can of worms, eh? Not that we have any control over the ticket . . .

All we can do is focus on local politics.

Get out the Democratic vote for every House district, every Senate district. If no one is running, you run. You can turn out an extra thousand people for the party just by giving locals someone they know to vote for.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

You're the best

Thank you so much for all you've done over the past week and month to make BlueNC rock. Go have a beer.

I wish I had been smart enough

to start this business. Ninety percent of the world can't wait for George to go away. What a celebration that will be.

But then we'll be upset that we're paying the asshole's retirement for life. Isn't there some way to cut that off short of impeachment?

Thanks for that link....

I see a shirt I want....and I might just have to get one for each of the girls. What a hoot to be able to wear the shirts with 1/20/09 on it and know that all these wingers around here would have no idea what it means. I also want to put my BuckFush bumper sticker on my car. :) (but around here I'd be asking to get pulled and hauled off to jail)



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Heh

I've had an "F the President" sticker on the back of my car since '04 and not any problems. Unlike my friend, whose Kerry/Edwards sticker on the back of her car got egged a few weeks after the election. I was like, "Wow. Sore winners much?" And we both live in fairly liberal Durham, though she's since moved to even more liberal Carrboro...

-AG

I'm in Union County

Where women still swoon over Dubya and men call him a patriot and dream of having a beer with him.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Oh...

That makes sense now.

-AG

Shameful

Our long national nightmare is about over, but we should take this time to reflect on what we (as a country) did to get to this place. Our fathers, mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers died for allies around the world, through many wars and we let some guy just wipe those relationships away in one toss. We sent our people over to die in a war that history told us, would go on forever. We elected a man that EVERY single thinking American knew was not up to the job, just because certain people were promised an overturn of Roe v Wade and others a religious strangle hold on government. These groups knew he was not up to the job, but they figured after they got what they wanted, then they could get someone to come in and fix any mess he made. And because we were scared into turning our backs on who we are as a people, we said little to torture, secret prison and wire taps. We didn't realize the cost would be so great. I saw it coming from the first and never voted for someone like Bush. As Americans we can explain it away to ourselves, but the rest of the world is ashamed of us and we should be too.

Well said

This is exactly how I feel:

... the rest of the world is ashamed of us and we should be too.

Whenever I travel internationally, I find myself really saddened by the whole sorry mess that we have made of this country. We will be generations digging out from the incompetence of George Bush.

James

PS Welcome to BlueNC!

Are you really afraid of Huckleberry?

Are you really afraid of Huckleberry? I think he'd be God's gift to the Democratic Party. Americans don't want another four years of a religious zealot in the White House.

McCain, on the other hand, I think may be a shoe in for the White House and this country would be in much better shape today had he won the nomination in 2000 rather than Bush.

Carolina Politics Online

I've heard bad things about him.

Things that only Arkansans know at this point.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

What things?

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Huckabee linked to racists

In 1993 Huckabee spoke to the Council of Conservative Citizens -- the progeny of the old White Citizens' Councils via video tape. He planned on being the keynote speaker the next year until they announced that he would share the stage with Kirk Lyons, an avowed racist. In 1994 the CCC conducted its national conference in Little Rock just to attract Huckabee. Huckabee was worried about bad publicity for himself, not about the CCC's extremism. When he canceled, he was replaced by former Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson -- organizer of the mob that rioted against the end of segregation at a Little Rock high school and narrator of Jerry Falwell's debunked 'The Clinton Chronicles'.

We are losing 100,000 acres of prime forest, farmlands and open spaces for parks and recreation to development each year.

_________________
"Jesus was a community organizer while Pontius Pilate was governor."
--Jim Hightower

Huckabee linked to Indian killers?

Today! Chuck Norris had a fund raising event on his Texas Ranch for Huckabee. The 67 year old over the hill actor said John McCain was too old to be president and chances are that he would never filled the full term.

Governor Huckabee said he would be happy to be McCain VP since Norris has never miss a prediction in his actor career. He promise that when he takes the office after McCain passes away. He will remove the Indians camp out on Chuck Norris Ranch.

McCain

this country would be in much better shape today had he won the nomination in 2000 rather than Bush.

Wow, that's some pretty faint praise. My dachshund could have been a better president that Bush. Just sayin'.

What do you think of McCain's pitch that Iraq = Korea . . . and that we should plan to occupy stay in the country for the next 100 years?

umm

you forgot some zeroes.

He said "10,000 if we have to" if I remember right. Does that count as him being "pro permanent bases"?

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

stupid double post

I will use this double post as an oppurtunity to quote Think Progress

On CBS’s Face The Nation last week, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) claimed Americans would not be “concerned” if the U.S. spends “10,000 years” in Iraq. Earlier in the week, he said it “would be fine with” him if the U.S. military stayed in Iraq for “a hundred years” or even a “million years.”

The scary part is that McCain has done best (at least in NH and Michigan) amongst Republicans who want to leave Iraq.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

I especially liked

McCain's debate comment wishing for "zero percent interest rates".

You think your grocery bill has been going up? Just wait!

Please excuse me while I exercise my First Amendment rights:

"Dear God, please give us a President who understands economics, and the impact of our monetary system on the poor and disenfranchised."

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

Well, here's what I've noted

McCain: Zero percent interest rates. Nope.

Huckabee: Disingenuously touts the FairTax as a "23% sales tax" when any human being who has ever gone shopping would call it a 30% sales tax. Plus doesn't emphasize that the FairTax alone can't help when we're still growing the debt by 300 billion per year in the face of ballooning entitlement liabilities. Nope.

Romney: Anyone who is content tinkering with an insanely complicated tax code while our economy is melting down is fiddling while Rome burns. Don't get me wrong, it's not a horrible plan, and putting grandma and grandpa back to work by eliminating payroll taxes for workers over 65 is creative and all, but he gives no thought to the underlying pathology behind our unstable economy. Nope.

Clinton: A $5,000 baby bond for every newborn. Wow. What moxie. Come to think of it, maybe that's not such a good idea. Nope.

Obama: I've got to admit, he sounds good. Unfortunately, he still believes the federal government can help us. I agree with him 100% that ending the Iraq war would be an economic boon. He appears to have a healthy distrust of corporatism, but his proposal to tinker with a ridiculously punitive tax code is, like Romney, fiddling while Rome burns and gives no thought to the underlying pathology. Nope.

Edwards: He sees the problem of corporatism and unequal economic growth, but apparently has no idea why it occurs. Tragic, because he is so close... and apparently all he can think of is Robin Hood "soak the rich" populism that ignores the role of the monetary and banking system entirely. Union labor isn't the cure, either. Nope. So close, but yet so far!

I guess that leaves just one:

It's not just his opinion, though. Check out David Walker:

Speaking truth to power... here's to a brokered convention in Minneapolis!

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

You should

look much deeper into Edwards' proposals. His economic plan isnt a "soak the rich" plan. Its a plan that would reward work, instead of rewarding already being rich. And you and I both know that right now we punish those who wish to work but make under 40,000 a year. So, we punish about 40-50% of Americans for, well, being Americans.
Links:
Tax Simplification
4 page tax plan (pdf)

As for Ron Paul, well, it turns out you cant vote no on everything if you are president. The one good thing I have to say about Ron Paul is that he is one of the only Republicans to propose spending decreases that actually make his tax cut proposals equal zero. I can only handle so many people saying they are going to increase spending in 5 different ways wile lowering taxes. The problem though, is that Paul wants to reduce spending in about 20 more areas than we should. And the results would be catastrophic for America.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Thanks, here's my take...

First problem with Edwards' proposals:

He's trying to stimulate "saving" with a Get Ahead Credit, Work Bonds deposited directly into a (gulp) savings account, $250 exemption for Investment Income, and turning child credits into tax-free savings.

Do you know anyone who "saves" in a savings account? When your grocery bill is going up at 10% per year, does it make any sense to put money in a savings account at 2% per year? Even a CD at 5% per year is being crushed by our government's destruction of our currency.

Oh, and how far will that $250 exemption in Investment Income take you? If you compound that investment income, and reinvest it, pretty soon you'll exceed the $250 threshold and be taxed like a "rich person" anyway. Or I guess you could think of it as eight tax-free fill-ups at your local gas station, and just spend the money.

Are folks getting the picture? Unless we stop debasing our currency and making the working American's wages and savings less valuable by the day, plans to "increase savings" are going to fall on deaf ears. When we're living with this much inflation in food and energy costs, not only is it hard to save, it doesn't make any sense -- you've got to chase returns greater than 10% to keep up with your grocery bill. So folks borrow and spend, instead. Good luck with that.

My second problem is that he wants to increase the capital gains tax rate to 28%, and selectively tinker with the tax code for the benefit of the "middle class", "small business owners", and "family farmers". First off, someone who had a capital gain should keep as much money as possible so they can try and do it again. The government is just going to take that 28% and waste it on war, occupation, interest on the national debt, or corporate welfare... none of which create real value. (I guess we kind of have to pay that interest on the debt, though.) Secondly, the devil is in the details when the government starts to define terms like "middle class", "small business owners", and "family farmer". Good luck with that, too.

But my biggest problem is that all-out assault on "tax havens". Why can't WE be a tax haven??? What small business owner wouldn't want to grow bigger by starting and growing a business where she can keep the fruits of her labor? What smart person is going to start and grow a business here for the privilege of giving the profits to the government, and likely giving the business itself to the government in taxes when she dies?

When our country was young, settlers would think it completely rational to start a hardwood tree farm, literally farming oak trees where the first harvest wasn't expected for fifty years. They weren't doing it for themselves, but for their family. Why is it that today everyone has a "flip it and run" mentality where they're looking to make a quick buck before going on to the next thing?

Could it be because our relentless inflation and high taxation make it cost-prohibitive to invest for the truly long term? What would it be like to have REAL economic growth that rewarded business that take the long-term view? What would it be like to have businesses succeed based upon how well they treat their customer, as opposed to what favors they can get from government?

What would it be like to have an economy that rewarded capitalism, instead of corporatism?

http://blog.lawsonforcongress.com/2007/12/24/capitalism-versus-corporatism/

Ready for a reality check? The Treasury has released the government's financial report for 2007. Check out the Overview on page 3: the long term liabilities for social insurance are at $41 trillion, up from $39 trillion last year. It's time for a change!

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

few things

I am not sure where people get the idea that you can solve all the worlds monetary problems by somehow magically changing the way money works and that will somehow get rid of inflation. There are only two ways to get rid of inflation. Stop the population from growing or create an infinite amount of resources. Banks, currency whatever else you want to blame may or may not exacerbate the problem, but they are not causing the problem.

Two, I agree that the savings numbers are probably too low, but does that make them a bad idea, or one that should be expanded?

Three, if you can manage to pay for everything that only a government can and should provide without paying taxes, then yes, we should be a tax haven. Until then, everyone should pay their fair share.

Four, Capital Gains. All that Edwards plans to do is treat all income the same. If you and I make the same amount of money, but I do it by working 40 hours a week and you do it by collecting on returns from investments, we should pay the same amount of income tax. Why should I be punished for working? If you respond by saying rich people create jobs I have about a million graphs from the last 30 years showing that to be not only wrong, but the exact opposite of what occurs.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Movie night!

Banks, currency whatever else you want to blame may or may not exacerbate the problem, but they are not causing the problem.

With all due respect, our fractional reserve banking system and monopolistically-managed fiat currency are absolutely causing, and exacerbating, the problem. What problems, you ask? Widening gap between rich and poor, boom/bust cycles that disrupt economic growth, and transfer of wealth through inflation from wage earners to money-creators (the banking cartel).

Check out the following video, The Money Masters:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-515319560256183936

Please -- I am not speaking here as a candidate or partisan figure. I'm simply a citizen imploring (dare I say begging?) people to look into this issue. I stumbled into exploring it myself about seven years ago, and found it both fascinating and profoundly disturbing.

Far too few people understand our monetary system, the forces that control it, and the problems it causes. It is essential that we begin exploring this critical issue!

Two, I agree that the savings numbers are probably too low, but does that make them a bad idea, or one that should be expanded?

The problem isn't that savings numbers are too low... but that the savings themselves lose their purchasing power so quickly so that saving doesn't really make sense. You have to "invest", and chase high returns by putting your money at risk in volatile markets.

Three, if you can manage to pay for everything that only a government can and should provide without paying taxes, then yes, we should be a tax haven. Until then, everyone should pay their fair share.

If we don't become a tax haven, then investment will continue to flee our country just as surely as water flows downhill. How about asking a better question: "How can we pay for the services of government while still being a tax haven?"

Here's a potential answer: Allow more wealth to stay at the state and local level, to provide better services with greater local control and accountability. End an irrational foreign policy with endless wars and occupations that are bankrupting our country. Stop taxing income and investment, and start taxing consumption.

Four, Capital Gains. All that Edwards plans to do is treat all income the same. If you and I make the same amount of money, but I do it by working 40 hours a week and you do it by collecting on returns from investments, we should pay the same amount of income tax. Why should I be punished for working? If you respond by saying rich people create jobs I have about a million graphs from the last 30 years showing that to be not only wrong, but the exact opposite of what occurs.

Here I agree that we SHOULD treat all income the same -- except that I believe we must not tax income at all, and instead tax consumption.

We must first tax the right thing and provide an option to use a sound currency if we want our economy to recover, and again prosper as a free nation.

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

oh god

Consumption taxes sound great, until you look at what would actually be taxed, and you realize how utterly regressive it is.

Also, tax havens and companies leaving the country are two entirely different things. Tax havens result in companies opening up PO Boxes so that places in Bermuda have 3000 companies in a small office building. Companies leaving means they move their actual factories. They arent moving the factories to avoid taxes.

I am serious. You can avoid taxes for a few thousand dollars in lawyers fees.

On the other hand, factories are moved because of labor costs, because companies want to avoid environmental standards, because of a million things that have nothing to do with taxes or banks or anything else you talk about.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

It doesn't need to be regressive

The FairTax includes a "prebate" that will "prefund" the estimated tax expense for a poverty-line consumer, effectively removing the burden of taxation entirely for those on the margin.

I'm not saying that the FairTax is a panacea, but it certainly makes the cost of government transparent.

Why is a 30% sales tax worse than a 30% income tax?

Imagine if you got to keep all your INCOME, and were only taxed 30% on the portion of your income that you chose to SPEND. That sounds MUCH better than paying 30% of my income, and then paying tax *again* on the investment earnings (interest and capital gains) from money that has already been taxed when it was earned the first time.

What would that do for saving?

:-)

... oh, and I still don't understand Edwards' war on capital gains taxes. Doesn't anyone want to save up enough money to retire? If you *are* able to save, and invest in income-producing securities, you'll need less income-producing securities to retire if that income is tax-free.

But maybe that's not a worthwhile goal. Maybe we shouldn't encourage people to save for their own retirement. The government can always print enough money to take care of us.

Also, tax havens and companies leaving the country are two entirely different things. Tax havens result in companies opening up PO Boxes so that places in Bermuda have 3000 companies in a small office building. Companies leaving means they move their actual factories. They arent moving the factories to avoid taxes.

I am serious. You can avoid taxes for a few thousand dollars in lawyers fees.

On the other hand, factories are moved because of labor costs, because companies want to avoid environmental standards, because of a million things that have nothing to do with taxes or banks or anything else you talk about.

You cannot "avoid taxes for a few thousand dollars in lawyers fees." It's more expensive and involved than that, and as such gives false economies of scale to large corporations. I experienced this phenomenon firsthand -- it was both amusing and disturbing, and illustrates the corporatism that inhibits true capitalism and real economic growth:

http://blog.lawsonforcongress.com/2007/08/17/uhhhh-you-cant-say-that/

Factories are absolutely moved for all the reasons that you cite. But the problem is of our making, and the solution is within our reach:

http://blog.lawsonforcongress.com/2007/08/12/the-china-conundrum/

In a word, we gave China the rope. They tied it into a noose. But we put it around our own neck by selling the debt that gives them a free ride to depress their currency at very little cost other than inflationary pressures over time.

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

Would that 30% flat tax be charged

Why is a 30% sales tax worse than a 30% income tax?

on purchases made on credit cards that already charge...oh say 20% interest? And would you be charged another 30% flat tax every time your credit card accrued an interest charge?

That scenario makes me squirm right out of my chair.

of course not

because he would also get rid of the banks and credit card companies at the same time.

I have no idea if David Copperfield is involved in the execution of this plan or not. I am going to assume that he is.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Maybe I'm missing something...

Look, I'm not saying that a 30% sales tax is ideal. It's clearly not. But why doesn't paying 30% of your INCOME to the government not making you squirm right out of your chair???

Imagine keeping ALL your income, and just paying tax on what you choose to spend. Doesn't that sound better?

But seriously, for this to work without inciting a lot of black market activity, I think we've got to get the cost of government down to a more reasonable level. Which means better state and local government, and keeping more of our wealth to be used at the state and local level.

Regarding credit cards... sigh... If you're paying any interest on credit card debt, let alone 20%, you really need to read this:


http://blog.lawsonforcongress.com/stop-the-bleeding/

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

Because

why doesn't paying 30% of your INCOME to the government not making you squirm right out of your chair?

A single parent who makes $22,000 a year will have to spend nearly all of that income caring for her (or his) family - which means that no matter how careful or smart that parent is, all of that expense will be taxed.

The same single parent who makes $222,000 will not have to spend all of that income caring for her (or his) family - which means that quite possible, if that parent is careful or smart, quite a bit of that income will tax free.

That means that the working poor will bear an unequal burden of taxation.

I don't know why that's so hard for folks to figure out.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Prebate!

The FairTax contains a prebate to offset the high burden of taxation on low income families.

All you need to do is sign up, and the money shows up in your account every month in advance of your expenses.

Thus, the FairTax is a progressive consumption tax that provides a reasonable alternative to the income tax.

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

Duplicate

Why do these comments keep posting twice? Weird...

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

Gold standard

A wiser man than I or Dr. Paul once said:

Mr. Carlisle said in 1878 that this was a struggle between the idle holders of idle capital and the struggling masses who produce the wealth and pay the taxes of the country; and my friends, it is simply a question that we shall decide upon which side shall the Democratic Party fight. Upon the side of the idle holders of idle capital, or upon the side of the struggling masses? That is the question that the party must answer first; and then it must be answered by each individual hereafter. The sympathies of the Democratic Party, as described by the platform, are on the side of the struggling masses, who have ever been the foundation of the Democratic Party.

There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that if you just legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, that their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find its way up and through every class that rests upon it.

You come to us and tell us that the great cities are in favor of the gold standard. I tell you that the great cities rest upon these broad and fertile prairies. Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic. But destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.

My friends, we shall declare that this nation is able to legislate for its own people on every question without waiting for the aid or consent of any other nation on earth, and upon that issue we expect to carry every single state in the Union.

I shall not slander the fair state of Massachusetts nor the state of New York by saying that when citizens are confronted with the proposition, “Is this nation able to attend to its own business?”—I will not slander either one by saying that the people of those states will declare our helpless impotency as a nation to attend to our own business. It is the issue of 1776 over again. Our ancestors, when but 3 million, had the courage to declare their political independence of every other nation upon earth. Shall we, their descendants, when we have grown to 70 million, declare that we are less independent than our forefathers? No, my friends, it will never be the judgment of this people. Therefore, we care not upon what lines the battle is fought. If they say bimetallism is good but we cannot have it till some nation helps us, we reply that, instead of having a gold standard because England has, we shall restore bimetallism, and then let England have bimetallism because the United States have.

If they dare to come out in the open field and defend the gold standard as a good thing, we shall fight them to the uttermost, having behind us the producing masses of the nation and the world. Having behind us the commercial interests and the laboring interests and all the toiling masses, we shall answer their demands for a gold standard by saying to them, you shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.

"85% of Republicans are Democrats who don't know what's going on." -Robert Kennedy, Jr.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

William Jennings Bryan

was indeed a populist hero, and a true Democrat.

I'm in strong agreement that a gold standard is unnecessary, and counterproductive. What we need is a free market for money where gold and silver (and anything else that consumers and producers deem appropriate) can circulate as a medium of exchange.

The problem is a monetary and banking system that limits us to monopolistically-managed paper money whose value evaporates at the whim of the banks, and government.

We should not crucify mankind on a cross of gold. Nor should we crucify mankind on a cross of debt and paper, which is currently our plight.

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

One more quote

"If the American people ever allow the banks to control the issuance of their currency...the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property, until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

- Thomas Jefferson

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

um...

Did I miss the announcement that Bank of America is now printing money?

Good thing you posted this quote. God knows Jefferson was never wrong about anything. What's that Miss Hemings? No, I don't think this is an appropriate time to bring that up, no ma'am...

ahem.

"85% of Republicans are Democrats who don't know what's going on." -Robert Kennedy, Jr.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

You're missing the point.

There was no "announcement". "Printing money" is an inherent "feature" of fractional reserve banking. You simply deposit money at Bank of America, they proceed to loan out more than you've deposited for the purpose, effectively putting more money in circulation to compete with your hard-earned dollars. Of course, you only earn interest on the funds you've deposited, while they charge interest on the money they create out of thin air as well. With a 10% reserve ratio, a $100 deposit multiplies into $1,000 in loans.

See here for more context. You may be aware that your grocery bill has been going up, or you may be privileged enough so that $4 for a gallon of milk doesn't affect your standard of living.

Let me try again. How about Andrew Jackson, in his statement when he vetoed the bill to renew the charter of our second Central Bank?

It is not our own citizens who are to receive the bounty of our government. More than eight millions of the stock of this bank are held by foreigners. Is there no danger to our liberty and independence in a bank that in its nature has so little to bind it to our country? ...

Controlling our currency, receiving our public moneys, and holding thousands of our citizen in dependence... would be more formidable and dangerous than a military power of the enemy.

If government would confine itself to equal protection, and, as Heaven does its rains, shower its favor alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing. In the act before me there seems to be a wide and unnecessary departure from these just principles.

For reference, our Federal Reserve, born in 1913, is our third central bank. It is not "federal", it is privately owned. And it has no reserves for our circulating currency. So we're paying lots of interest on a growing national debt held largely by private central banks, who created money out of thin air to lend us. That's a great deal if you can get it. (For the bank, I mean. Not us.)

If you'd prefer a shorter cartoon illustration, this movie does a nice job:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9050474362583451279

"99% of Americans who think partisan politics matter don't understand the banking and monetary system." -Anonymous

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

Andy Jackson doesn't inspire,

unless fear of genocide is considered an inspiration.

Of course, you only earn interest on the funds you've deposited, while they charge interest on the money they create out of thin air as well. With a 10% reserve ratio, a $100 deposit multiplies into $1,000 in loans.

You know, I think you've spent a little too much time looking at numbers, and now you can't see the instances where you contradict yourself. This "problem" you've just detailed is the formula for how most wealth is created, both here and abroad. Get rid of it, and growth will be extremely slow, and money will be held by a shrinking elite.

Nope.

This "problem" you've just detailed is the formula for how most wealth is created, both here and abroad.

Think about it -- you take out a loan, and I'm just going to throw some extra zeros in your checking account. Did I just create "wealth"?

No, I just threw some extra zeros in your checking account. And you're going to promise to pay me back those zeros, plus interest. You may feel "wealthy" because of the balance in the account, but the balance went up because you took out a loan, and now owe me.

Those extra zeros are certainly purchasing power for you, but they are not "wealth". You may use those zeros to *purchase* wealth, or you may use them to create a business that creates wealth... but the zeros themselves are just, well, zeros.

Here's the deal: there is a BIG difference between money as a medium of exchange, and money as a store of wealth.

Paper money (our federal reserve notes) are a fine medium of exchange. Lots of people accept them for lots of useful things.

But they're a crappy store of wealth. If you save paper money under your mattress, it will buy a lot less food in a year. Why is that, you ask? Because our government and our banks are always printing a lot more paper money.

Note that when commentators say "printing" money, most of the time they mean creating new checkbook money through the banking system... not the Treasury literally printing new paper currency. That's also a common source of confusion.

Since you're dissing all of my quotes from famous Americans who fought the banking cartel, I've got a few more from people that *should* make you uncomfortable:

“It is well enough that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” - Henry Ford

"Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws." - Amschel Mayer Rothschild

Back to your comments:

Get rid of it, and growth will be extremely slow, and money will be held by a shrinking elite.

You're kidding, right? Have you looked around recently? You just described a stagnant/recessionary environment with increasing concentration of wealth and shrinking middle class. Or maybe you're a fan of that "uniquely American" tendency to work three jobs just to keep up. Welcome to our nightmare.

If you read some history you'll realize there is a better way to do things. But first you must be willing to question the status quo, and take a closer look at the emperor.

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

Without that fractional increase,

Think about it -- you take out a loan, and I'm just going to throw some extra zeros in your checking account. Did I just create "wealth"?

the business that is being "started up" will be much smaller, or only one person out of ten will be able to even get the loan. That's a recipe for very slow growth, no matter how you slice it.

Unless you're going to postulate the other investments will come rolling in to take the place of those added zeros. If so, where is that magic money now? Is it hiding somewhere?

I'm really resisting the David Letterman impulse right now.

Of course it's not hiding somewhere. There are a finite number of resources, Steve. We all know that. The "zeros" that have purchasing power become wealth because they have purchasing power. If we all agreed that quartz rocks had purchasing power, I'd be in pretty good shape because of my new age crystal phase. But we've agreed that the number of zeros in your checking account matters, as long as there are other digits in front of them.

Changing the entire monetary system to return to a "gold standard" or a "silver standard" or a "quartz crystal standard" would require such a major overhaul to our society that the meager safety nets in place at this point would be stretched to the breaking point. It is not something that could be magically done over night, and having read through all of this, I'm not sure it should be done at all. I don't see why we can't agree that zeros mean something, and give everyone zeros. What the hell? Then we'd all be starting even, and we wouldn't have to worry about all this class warfare.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

To a certain extent, this:

I don't see why we can't agree that zeros mean something, and give everyone zeros. What the hell?

has already happened, and it's driving the current financial meltdown. Or more specifically, the desire and/or drive to profit from the movement of money caused financiers to ignore borrowers' potential risk factors (bad credit, debt burden) and award loans that were likely to end in default.

It's actually a double-whammy; in addition to the billions currently tied up in bad debt that is squeezing the finance market, new housing starts are drying up, which will adversely impact manufacturing, retail, construction crews, etc. Basically it's a shit sandwich, and we're all going to have to take a bite.

Monopoly anyone?

I don't see why we can't agree that zeros mean something, and give everyone zeros.

OK, cool. Why don't we just use Monopoly money? It's already available in every game of Monopoly, and we'll let Parker Brothers do the job of printing it.

Come to think of it, my laser printer will do a good job printing it up too. So I'll show up at your game of Monopoly and give everyone sitting at the table a cool $100,000. Wonder what will happen to the prices you are willing to pay for the property?

Hint: When the money supply grows much faster than the capital stock, you tend to see a rise in prices, called inflation.

Real wealth creation comes when you take human ingenuity and effort and combine it with intellectual or natural resources to create a product or service that is worth more than it costs to create to a willing buyer. That buyer then just has to find a suitable medium of exchange to complete the transaction.

Why must we always denominate our transactions in "dollars"? Why can't we just as easily exchange a fractional ounce of silver, or gold?

Point being is that we don't need a "standard" of any type. We need choices, just like you can choose to buy either the fantastic Maple View Farm milk in the returnable glass bottle versus the regular 'ol Kroger milk. They're both "milk", but some people think milk in a glass bottle from Maple View Farm tastes better.

Other point is there's no need to disrupt the current (unstable) system to free it. Providing choices will simply give an "escape valve" that will let people get off the treadmill of the ever-expanding mountain of debt-based currency.

Oh... and if you're wondering what a "dollar" really is, check this out.

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

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