A video recently caught the attention of social media and liberal media outlets. It is pro-gun-control. A hidden camera crew set up a fake gun store in New York City and filmed customer reactions to stories of tragedies involving irresponsible gun use. The video does a good job of pulling the emotional heart strings. It employs rhetoric. But it runs short on logic.
People walked into this fake gun store wanting to buy a gun, and while looking at the wares the seller tells them a tragic story associated with each gun. It shows customers giving the reasons they want a gun: protection, safety, or just being pro-Second Amendment.
They are then greeted with stories of how a 5-year-old took the gun out of his parents’ bedroom and then killed his 9-month-old baby brother. Or how a 2-year-old son pulls his mom’s gun out of her purse in Wal-Mart and shoots her. Or how an unhinged psycopath used a Bushmaster XM15-E2S to kill six teachers and 20 children at the Sandyhook massacre.
Some of the would-be customers were interviewed at the end. They give reasons for not buying the guns (besides the fact that it was a fake gun store). The information changed their minds. They decided they wouldn’t feel safe owning a gun.
Because why? Because they could become the next psycho who mass-murders 25 people in public? Because they are irresponsible regarding gun safety and their children? Are they incapable of learning proper gun safety? Are they incapable of disciplining their children and keeping the guns away from them while they are young, and teaching them how to properly use guns when they become older?
They did not hear stories about old men defending themselves by shooting their attackers. Or a house wife protecting her children by shooting an aggressive home intruder in the face.
If you go to the advertised website, their message is “Think twice before buying a gun.” They are quick to give you a long list of risks. Their conclusion, however, is not “Learn how to deal with these risks before buying a gun.” It’s just “Don’t buy one.”
If you follow the links to the parent organization, you’ll see that the first action step they invite you to take is defund any public gun companies you may accidentally be invested in. This isn’t a message of “Guns are tools that we need to use responsibly.” This is a message of “Guns are evil. Defund their producers.”
These people understand the value of imposing economic sanctions. They understand the importance of voting with your money. Their ultimate goal is political action, but this has been the primary weapon of choice against any disagreeable reality for over a hundred years. Gun control in Congress is dead on arrival. Public opinion in the wake of recent public shootings has swung in favor of private gun ownership, much to the liberals’ chagrin.
In the absence of Congressional action, gun control advocates seem to be increasingly desperate in their attempts to get guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens and into the hands of criminals. They are using viral video to manipulate emotions by suppressing facts and imposing false dichotomies (i.e. you are either in favor of gun control, or a homidical maniac, just like the Sandyhook shooter).
Guns are an important symbol that answer this question: who’s in charge here? That’s why modern bureaucrats hate their citizens owning guns. The right of gun ownership is a visible symbol of a very real authority: true veto power.
The Establishment managed to eradicate gold as money. The gold standard gave the consumers, not the bankers or the politicians, economic sovereignty. Economic sovereignty was evidenced by the power of the citizens to impose negative economic sanctions against not only those two classes of people, but any sub-par producer in general. In essence, consumers held the economic power of veto against bad banks and spendthrift politicians in the form of bank runs and the ability to impose high treasury bond interest rates.
But now, bankers and politicians have gained economic immunity. They did it by abolishing the gold standard and stealing our gold.
IMPOSING NEGATIVE SANCTIONS AGAINST BANKS
Bank runs were the economy’s way of rooting out fraud, a crime that offers a creative way to break the 8th commandment: thou shalt not steal. Modern banks participate in the policy of fractional reserve banking. If you understand the concept of fractional reserve banking, you’ll easily understand why the nature of the modern banking system is fraudulent.
For anyone unfamiliar with how the banking industry works, we quickly run the risk of losing readers when we dive into this topic. And, let’s face it, banking mechanics don’t exactly sound too intriguing in the first place.
But there’s no need to fret. Murray Rothbard was able to explain convoluted concepts such as this clearly and concisely. He was a gifted scholar and writer. He describes fractional reserve banking as the policy of having “far less cash on hand than there are demand claims to cash outstanding.”
BANK RUNS AND BAD MOMMIES
In essence, fractional reserve banking is like a mother who has one apple in her refrigerator and seven small children at home who love apples. They all ask their mother for an apple. She promises each of them that they can have an apple whenenver they want it.
The problem is, there is only one apple. By promising all seven children that they can each have a whole apple, she has lied to them. Her children will stay happy with her until the time comes that at least two of them decide to cash in on her promise and come claim their apple at the same time.
You can imagine what happens when the other five children learn that they won’t be getting an apple after all. You can imagine how quickly the news will spread. One of the first two children may run back to whisper the news to one of his siblings: “Better come quick because Mom is splitting the apple into pieces. You won’t get the whole apple, but if you want any of the pieces then you better go get them now.”
Maybe one of the other siblings overhears this conversation, or sees them running off hurredly and, able to spot mischief when she sees it, asks them where they are going. The third child tells her “Mom only has one apple, and she’s dividing it into pieces. We are going to get some before it all runs out.”
The fourth sibling then yells out to her remaining siblings “Hey, we gotta go to the kitchen right now or we don’t get any apples!”
They all rush in to the kitchen and pounce on mommy, even if they weren’t even hungry for their apple. They may burst into loud cries and temper tantrums and yell and get angry. They bring their collective judgment down on mommy’s head.
Mommy has been exposed for the fraud that she is, and she doesn’t like it. She’d rather be able to tell the lies and get the benefits of happy children without actually having to buy all seven apples.
It would be especially bad if this kind of news broke out while she had her other mommy friends over. That’s because she learned this trick from them. Those mommies have children, too. If they see their friends demanding apples from their mom, then they may get the same idea and rush to their own mother. “Give me my apple!”
Then, there is a whole house of screaming children and shamed mothers who lied to them.
To avoid this dreadful scenario, mommy has to con her children. She has to bluff. She has to make them think that there are seven apples in the refrigerator when there is really just one. As long as she is able to mislead them into believing her lies (and not let them audit the apples stored in the refrigerator), then they will continue to be happy with her. She gets good at telling lies. She has to–there is a lot on the line. She can’t afford to have the whole facade come crumbling down at the wrong time.
BANKING CON GAMES
This is rather silly metaphor, but it shows exactly how the modern banking system operates. Rothbard explains it:
This means that the depositor who thinks he has $10,000 in a bank is misled; in a proportionate sense, there is only, say, $1,000 or less there. And yet, both the checking depositor and the savings depositor think that they can withdraw their money at any time on demand. Obviously, such a system, which is considered fraud when practiced by other businesses, rests on a confidence trick: that is, it can only work so long as the bulk of depositors do not catch on to the scare and try to get their money out. The confidence is essential, and also misguided. That is why once the public catches on, and bank runs begin, they are irresistible and cannot be stopped.
Bank runs are the consumers’ way of bringing judgment down on the heads of immoral bankers. When other customers saw the long lines forming outside of a particular bank, they understood what it meant: the bank had been caught in a deception.
The first customers in line got all of their money. When the bank, drained of its vault cash, became unable to make good on its contractual promise –withdrawal on demand — then it shut its doors and declared bankruptcy.
During the Great Depression, there were approximately 9,000 bank failures. As Rothbard exposed in his masterful book, America’s Great Depression, the Great Depression began when the Federal Reserve System expanded the monetary base. This in-flow of money then encouraged banks to expand their loans through the fractional reserve process. The resulting flood of cheap credit kicked off and fueled the period we refer to now as the Roaring Twenties.
Describing the end of the inflation-fueled economic boom in 1929, Rothbard, on page 116 of America’s Great Depression, writes: “For the first time since June 1921, the money supply stopped increasing, and remained virtually constant. The great boom of the 1920s was now over, and the Great Depression had begun. The country, however, did not really discover the change until the stock market finally crashed in October.”
Once the Federal Reserve reversed its policy of monetary expansion, the banks who had over-extended themselves through those fraudulent lending practices felt the trap shut on their necks. Bank runs were the result. Since bank runs remove cash from the banking system, this further accelerates the money supply’s contraction and deepens the recession. While certainly a painful process for most people involved, the adjustment is needed to get things back to normal. Deflation speeds recovery.
But human nature, being what it is, resists correction when its moral failures are exposed. The bankers sought, and received, special priviledge from the federal government. They essentially became exempt from having to meet their legal obligations:
Any interference with their comeuppance via bank runs will establish banks as a specially privileged group, not obligated to pay their debts, and will lead to later inflations, credit expansions, and depressions. And if, as we contend, banks are inherently bankrupt and “runs” simply reveal that bankruptcy, it is beneficial for the economy for the banking system to be reformed, once and for all, by a thorough purge of the fractional-reserve banking system. (p.21)
EVEN BIGGER CONS: THE GOVN’T STEPS IN
The government stepped in and put a stop to bank runs in 1933 with an even bigger con: the FDIC, a federal insurance program. “No need to fear bank runs any longer. The government will insure each individual account for up to $5,000.”
This has increased to up to $250,000 today.
As Rothbard writes, “What, then, is the magic potion of the federal government?”
Why does everyone trust the FDIC, he asks, even though “they too have only a very small fraction of total insured deposits in cash to stem any bank run?”
The answer is really quite simple, he assures us: “because everyone realizes, and realizes correctly, that only the federal government–and not the states or private firms–can print legal tender dollars. Everyone knows that, in case of a bank run, the U.S. Treasury would simply order the Fed to print enough cash to bail out any depositors who want it. The Fed has the unlimited power to print dollars, and it is this unlimited power to inflate that stands behind the current fractional reserve banking system.”
The politicians and bankers, then, have formed an alliance against consumers. The politicians handed monetary sovereignty over to the Federal Reserve System, which acts on behalf of the five biggest banks. The Fed’s ultimate goal is simple: all of the small banks can go under if they want, but the big five cannot be allowed to. It steps in to bail them out. This is what we experienced in 2008. Congress, against their constituents’ wishes, used $700 billion of taxpayers’ money to bail out banks through TARP.
But the real action happened behind closed doors. While the politicians were keeping the public’s attention with the $700 billion in their left hand, the right hand of the Fed was providing a back-door bailout sometimes valued at over $16 trillion. No taxpayer voted for that. They aren’t allowed to.
The voters were angry with the politicians, and yet Boehner still ate his mud sandwich. He gave a speech before Congress with tears in his eyes. “Think about what happens if we don’t pass this bill. Think about what happens to your friends, to your neighbors, your constituents. Think about those retired people whose retirement income will shrivel up to zero. Think about the jobs that will be lost. If I didn’t think we weren’t on the brink of an economic disaster it would be the easiest thing in the world to say no to this.”
Now we know how big a disaster it was: so big that $700 billion wasn’t nearly enough. If the politicians had voted against the bill (both times), then the deception would have been uncovered: the Fed bailouts may have received prominent media attention. There may have been calls by the public to censure the Fed’s authority.
But the politicians aren’t ready to let that happen. They gave the bankers the power over ultimate economic sanctions (bank runs) by giving them monopoly authority over money. In return, the bankers agree to buy the endless debt required by the politicians’ insatiable appetite for spending.
The Fed’s quantitative easing program, a supposed economic stimulus program, was, at the end of the day, an excuse to create over $3.5 trillion out of thin air (though these days it’s all digital) that was used almost solely to buy U.S. Treasury Bonds.
The politicians make pork promises to voters, but the promises cost more than the tax money the voters are willing to give up. So, the Fed steps in and makes up the difference.
This is the mutual agreement worked out between the bankers and politicians. It was an agreement for both parties to gain economic immunity over the consumers. They had to take away gold and bank runs in order to make it happen.
CAN’T TAKE OUR GUNS
The Establishment would love to do the same with our guns, which give citizens ultimate political sovereignty. But it won’t happen. The game’s over for gun control. We know this because the gun control crowd has resorted to producing troll bait.
A gun owner has power that non-gun-owners don’t. Gun ownership announces the legitimacy to defend your private property from thieves. That means private property ownership is legitimate–which power-hungry bureaucrats hate because private property lines mark out the limits of their expansion. That reveals their power limits.
Marxism and the various forms of social liberalism seek to eradicate private property ownership. They believe everything should be owned by the State, or the community, or whatever collective social group they are promoting at the time. But to get all the property, they must also get all the guns.
Gun owners, in their minds (and rightly so), represent “the resistance.”
Gold and guns are both important symbols. Both are symbols of the authority vested with the consumer. Gold, via the gold coin standard, gave consumers economic sovereignty. They voted bad producers out of business by shopping with their competitors instead. This meant vetoing bad banks who dealt in fraud and deception, which are forms of theft. They could impose a bank run and put the bank out of business. This sent a message to other banks: if you deal in fractional reserves, you risk bankruptcy.
Politicians and bankers worked together over a long period of time to bring the gold standard down. Their plans were stalled when President Andrew Jackson failed to renew the charter on the Second Bank of the United States. Their plans were propelled forward when the Federal Reserve Act passed Congress in the last days of 1913. Their collective coup against the consumers was completed when President Franklin Roosevelt signed his 1933 Executive Order that forced the federal government to confiscate the gold of its private citizens.
This act of comprehensive and widespread theft was the final step towards de-monetizing gold. It was successful.
Guns represent the citizens’ ultimate veto property over State expansion through a legitimate defense of the right to own private property.
At the dawn of the 21st century, reality has intruded on the Establishment’s master plans to create a so-called New World Order. Their inability to confiscate their citizens’ guns is now clear. They have gone as far as they can go. The voters aren’t that dumb.
The Internet is slowly liberating us by decentralizing information, media, product competition, and every thing else. The Establishment’s plans rested on centralization, but the Internet is rapidly undoing all that the Establishment was able to accomplish over the last hundred or so years.
It has undone their control over the media: newspapers, radio, and television. This means the flow of information is no longer controlled by a single authority. It is no longer true that only the official story is published. The Internet makes sure that other information and perspectives get out beyond the official release, and that information often contradicts the official narrative. This undermines the legitimacy of the State.
Once the economy finally buckles under the weight of over $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities in the Great Default, then political freedom from the tyranny of administrative law and nosey federal bureaucrats will be restored by releasing the power, for so long consolidated at the top, back down to the local level.
Only time will tell what the future of our economic security looks like. Let’s hope it entails a return to a gold coin standard.