Occupy: Security

January 13, 2014

Do you feel safe?

  • Some Congressmen don’t.

According to the Atlantic, “The NSA has spied on members of Congress, but acknowledging that would unnerve millions of Americans. That’s why their official response to the letter was so evasive that CNN summed it up, ‘NSA won’t say whether it spies on Congress.’

“The NSA noted ‘procedures that protect the privacy of U.S. persons,’ and said that ‘members of Congress have the same privacy protections as all U.S. persons.’ Put differently, a program that collects data about virtually every phone call in America cannot help but include the phone numbers that members of Congress dial, as well as the numbers of those who telephone members of Congress,” the article said.

  • Evidently your police don’t

Despite the lowest Police deaths from firearms since 1887,  cops are “cowboying up” with tanks, all over the country.  In Salinas County, “The Salinas Police Department recently issued a news release proudly announcing the arrival of the armored truck built to survive minefield explosions, which it got compliments of federal taxpayers as part of a program to convert military equipment to law-enforcement use….Critics took to the police department’s Facebook page to ask exactly why a city of 150,000 on the northern California coast really needs a vehicle designed for battlefield use. It’s more likely to be used against its own citizens, they said.

“’That vehicle is made for war. Do not use my safety to justify that vehicle,’one wrote. ‘The Salinas Police Department is just a bunch of cowards that want to use that vehicle as intimidation and to terrorize the citizens of this city.’” the article said.

It’s not just California – Take a look at how our Department of Homeland Security is spending our money – they just wasted $19 Million dollars – to protect police from the American People.  (Don’t tell anyone though.  It’s a secret.) “The Department of Homeland Security,” according to The RundownLive,”…is coming to Wisconsin in style.  The DHS is going to spend $19 million dollars on a private armed security force unit in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  The unit will have ‘Top Secret’ security clearance according to the official solicitation which also suggests that the DHS is not looking to hire armed guards, but professionals or military trained mercenaries,” the article said.

Compare the adult population of the two states to the total size of the DHS standing army. Care to take bets how long DHS would survive if they attack the American people? This policy is not sustainable. They will not win -state legislators need to send these “troops” home,  – adult supervision required. Support State legislators who vote to end this horrible waste of money. It’s your money. Ballots beat bullets, every time.

If you’ve spent your whole life expecting “the government” to be responsible for fixing everything – then suddenly figure out that “We the People” are the government – and “We” (which begins with “I”) have the responsibility – well, it feels uncomfortable.   It gets easier with practice.  If you were counting on “the government” in an emergency, according to Schneier on Security – well, think again.

“Katrina demonstrated that we haven’t invested enough in emergency response. New Orleans police officers couldn’t talk with each other after power outages shut down their primary communications system — and there was no backup. The Department of Homeland Security, which was established in order to centralize federal response in a situation like this, couldn’t figure out who was in charge or what to do, and actively obstructed aid by others. FEMA did no better, and thousands died while turf battles were being fought.

“Our government’s ineptitude in the aftermath of Katrina demonstrates how little we’re getting for all our security spending. It’s unconscionable that we’re wasting our money fingerprinting foreigners, profiling airline passengers, and invading foreign countries while emergency response at home goes underfunded,” according to the article.

  • Evidently, even some Wall Street people don’t feel safe, according to this article.

“David John Marotta, a Wall Street expert and financial advisor and Forbes contributor, said in a note to investors, “Firearms are the last item on the list, but they are on the list. There are some terrible people in this world. And you are safer when your trusted neighbors have firearms….And with your preparedness you will be equipped to help others who might be in need,” he wrote. “Be prepared. Especially because it keeps you from being scared.”

Having lived in Virginia, General Grant is not exactly a favorite historical charactor.  Virginia, however learned to take him VERY seriously. This is all about being safe by thinking about what We the People (starting with you and your “trusted neighbors) are required by the Constitution to do, ourselves.

“A General officer came in from his command at this juncture, and said to the general-in-chief, speaking rapidly and laboring under considerable excitement: (General Grant, this is a crisis that cannot be looked upon too seriously. I know Lee’s methods well by past experience; he will throw his whole army between us and the Rapidan, and cut us off completely from our communications.)* The general rose to his feet, took his cigar out of his mouth, turned to the officer, and replied, with a degree of animation which he seldom manifested:  ‘Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do. Some of you always seem to think he is suddenly going to turn a double somersault, and land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. Go back to your command, and try to think what we are going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do.’ The officer retired rather crestfallen, and without … saying a word in reply. This recalls a very pertinent criticism regarding his chief once made in my presence by General Sherman. He said: ‘Grant always seemed pretty certain to win when he went into a fight with anything like equal numbers. I believe the chief reason why he was more successful than others was that while they were thinking so much about what the enemy was going to do, Grant was thinking all the time about what he was going to do himself….’”

Listen to Dr. Edwin Vieira, a practicing attorney, specializing in constitutional law, here.  At one time, in Virginia,  he was my “trusted neighbor.”  If he is afraid, it doesn’t show – he is not thinking about what is being done to us.  He recommends that you and your neighbors, immediately, start Constitutional Homeland Security Associations (CHSA’s) to provide your own security.  Listen to co-host, Melinda Pillsbury-Foster – she is organizing a nationwide, grass-roots organization called Future Security, to help you and your neighbors create your CHSA’s.

According to Dr. Vieira in Constitutional Homeland Security, “As now being implemented, the General Government’s scheme for ‘homeland security’ is destined to fail, either by shortchanging this country on protection or by producing a National police state, or (most likely) both….A ‘top-down’, ‘one-size-fits-all’ proposal will always prove inadequate.  The craftsmanlike approach must go beyond a ‘generic’ statute couched in legal generalities, and instead must address the particular and peculiar ‘homeland-security’ needs and resources of each State individually.   Those needs and resources must be ascertained at the Local level,  because that is where the information, the interest, and the incentives for effective investigation, planning, and action are available,” he wrote.

Practical studies must be the second-highest priority for every CHSA….It does not include claiming to be, let alone operating as, a private ‘militia’ or other para-military organization,” according to Vieira.  “Ideally, a CHSA should conduct at least one regular ‘problem’ every week…..In order to avoid detractors’ hysterical charges that the CHSA is conducting ‘private military maneuvers,’ its ‘problems’ should consist primarily of simulations on paper, a desk-top, a sand-table, or a computer’s telescreen.  Participants should understand and engage in these ‘problems’ as Militia studies, not private ‘militia’ or other para-military exercises.  After all, the goal of these endeavors is not to create or train a private ‘militia,’ but instead to convince the general public and legislators to revitalize the constitutional Militia, by proving in principle that it can be done, and by providing experienced and enthusiastic cadres to put the legislation into practice as soon as it is enacted,” Vieira wrote.

“For example, to avoid certain Congressional prohibitions particularly pertinent in this era of international ‘terrorism,’ each CHSA in every State should explicitly set out in a statement of purposes and operations, to which every member must subscribe, that it:

(i) supports the revitalization of ‘the Militia of the several States’ solely by constitutional means;

(ii)  supports and defends in all other particulars the Constitution and laws of the United States and the constitution and laws of the State in which the CHSA is located;

(iii)  will engage in no activity a goal, aim, purpose, or intent of which is to control by force or violence, or to overthrow, either (a) the government of the United States or the government of any State, or (b) the Constitution and laws of the United States or the constitution and laws of any State;

(iv) will accept or retain as a member no individual who advocates the control by force or violence, supplantation, or overthrow of (a) the government of the United States or the government of any State, or (b) the Constitution and laws of the United States or the constitution and laws of any State;

(v) is not subject to foreign control or influence;

(vi) will not knowingly and willfully solicit or accept contributions of money or any other thing of value, loans, or support of any other kind, directly or indirectly, from (a) any foreign government or political subdivision thereof; (b) any officer, agent, agency or instrumentality of any foreign government or political subdivision thereof; (c) any political party in or of a foreign country; or (d) any international political organization;

(vii) will accept or retain as a member no individual who is an agent of any foreign government, or who puts his loyalty to any foreign country or to any international or supra-national organization ahead of his loyalty to the United States;

(viii) will not teach or demonstrate to any individual the use, application, or making of any firearm or explosive or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, knowing or having reason to know or intending that the same will be unlawfully employed for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder;

(ix) will not transport or manufacture any firearm, or explosive, or incendiary device, knowing or having reason to know or intending that the same will be use unlawfully in furtherance of a civil disorder; and

(x) will maintain no association, relationship, or other connection with any individual, group, or organization who or which it reasonably suspects may have links to ‘ terrorists’ or ‘terrorism,’ domestic or foreign.”

According to Vieira , “In addition, applicants for membership should be ranked and chosen on the basis of further knowledge and skills particularly suitable for ‘homeland security’ – including former military or police service; training in self-defense and martial arts; survival or other ‘outdoor’ skills; service or training in fire-fighting, rescue, or emergency-response units; medical, dental, or para-medical practice; and familiarity with such fields as gunsmithing, engineering, construction, communications and information technology, machining, and automotive maintenance.  Knowledge and skills of these types will be absolutely necessary if a CHSA is to devise and test a workable program for revitalization of the Militia,” he wrote.


Occupy: Malthus

October 18, 2013

Listen Now 

Wish you were here?

See the Tiny Blue Dot above the arrow – You Are Here. This is a Postcard of “Home Sweet Home,” from the Cassini Spacecraft at Saturn.

I don’t think you can see Uranus from here.  Somebody commented “Take it again, my eyes were closed.” Our very special guest for this Podcast, Melinda Pillsbury-Foster said, “I did not see me. Was I smiling?”  Listen to the Podcast, you’ll agree she probably was. She added, “Climb out of your paradigm today -It’s the shortest journey to the longest view.”

This show is about “Paradigm Shifts” – Once upon a time there was a man named Malthus.  He made a mistake.  He decided economist Adam Smith‘s classical liberal economics was wrong, basically because there are always more people competing for only one world. That’s the Malthus paradigm - and it changed everything. In short, Smith said controlled growth (Mercantilism) was obsolete.  Proponents of the Malthus Mistake advocate that growth needs to be controlled.

But Malthus made a mistake – he predicted human population growth rate doubling would strain world resources until life would become impossible.  His “end of the world” predictions were tempered in a second edition, when the world didn’t end, and another and even a fourth edition.  We’re still here – Malthus made a mistake.

Life is too short, and none of us is getting any younger.  For the purposes of discussion, we will not waste any more time on malthusianism, neo-malthusianism, or what ever else they try to pull the wool over our eyes with (again.)  I will note, in passing, that Malthus is supposed to be the name of a demon - which makes about as much sense as a lot of the other things written on this subject.  Take that with a whole heap of grains of salt, because it sources to A. Crowly.  Place your trust in him at your own peril. Liberals do not have to be told what to think.

On July 20th, 1969 a human left footprints on our first second world – and that changed everything.  Remember that Malthus Formula; Population Doubling – Only One World.  Wrong – Earth/Moon is a Binary Planet.  The supply of World doubled, that day.  So much for small talk – don’t get rid of people, add worlds.  Paradigm Shift, anyone?

Hitler’s National Socialists used the Malthus Mistake to justify some pretty serious unpleasantness.   Wiki again, follow the sources – draw your own conclusions::  They called t Lebensraum. “The Nazis supported territorial expansionism to gain Lebensraum (“living space”) as being a law of nature for all healthy and vigorous peoples of superior races to displace people of inferior races; especially if the people of a superior race were facing overpopulation in their given territories.[1] The German Nazi Party claimed that Germany inevitably needed to territorially expand because it was facing an overpopulation crisis within its Treaty of Versailles-designed boundaries that Adolf Hitler described: “We are overpopulated and cannot feed ourselves from our own resources”.[1] Thus expansion was justified as an inevitable necessity for Germany to pursue in order to end the country’s overpopulation within existing confined territory, and provide resources necessary to its people’s well-being.”  Most of the rest of the world disagreed with this policy.

Same mistake – other side of the equation.  Population Reduction (writ large) called the Final Solution.

If you are a Malthusian, you might have found yourself agreeing with these policies.  Some of those policies are not ancient history – they are today’s headlines.  Privatization, for example , according to Wiki: “The Economist magazine introduced the term in the 1930s in covering Nazi German economic policy.[5][6]” (Just in case that goes away, “[5] Edwards, Ruth Dudley (1995). The Pursuit of Reason: The Economist 1843-1993. Harvard Business School Press. p. 946. ISBN 0-87584-608-4″ “[6] Compare Bel, Germà (2006). “Retrospectives: The Coining of ‘Privatisation’ and Germany’s National Socialist Party”. Journal of Economic Perspectives 20 (3): 187–194.  doi:10.1257/jep.20.3.187 “)

OccupyInterview talked with Paul Craig Roberts. for this show.  He was such a fascinating source of information, the interview wasn’t recorded.  Hopefully, he’ll take time to talk with us again.  He wrote, “Not that long ago government and free market proponents were at sword’s point, but no more. With little left in the private sector to rip off, the financial gangsters have turned to the public sector and put to work for them the free market economists’ advocacy of privatization. Governments themselves became part of the conspiracy once the politicians realized that looting public assets was an efficient way to reward their private benefactors.”

Our guest, Melinda Pillsbury-Foster’s bio states she “…has studied the evolving dynamics of political and social change since she was a young teenager.  She is also a columnist, self-published and published by others, the author of several books, and a published poet.
Most of her life has been spent in politics, working for social and justice reform from the convergent ideological position of left-libertarian….She has written numerous articles on the issue of psychopathy and sociopaths, who account, she believes, for many of our present problems since they behavior, including lack of a conscience and empathy, is not accounted for by our legal and court systems.

She believes until we understand the problem presented by psychopaths, we cannot solve it.”  She has created a board game called Greedville.

Join us as she and co-host Robin Loerner (both have made an extensive study of paradigm shifts) search for solutions.  Don’t be a perpetrator, victim, or enabler – resist.

Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791
“Revolutions, then, have for their object, a change in the moral conditions of governments and with this change the burden of public taxes will lessen, and civilization will be left to the enjoyment of that abundance, of which it is now deprived….”

Special thanks to Activist Post writer Heather Callaghan.  Several of her stories provided perfect examples for this show.

Additional Links

Cost of Fake Government Shutdown compared to Space Exploration total cost

Frontierism

Orbital Economics:  Engineering Growth

Historian Antony C. Sutton

Wall Street and FDR

Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler

Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution

The Best Enemy Money Can Buy

Holocaust: 2013?

Read more at OASN


Declare Victory – Wage Peace

February 6, 2011

If I

Declare, I am making visible.
Victory, is my manner of life, food
Wage, is my security to go, to walk, and

Peace, I am agreeing, I am bargaining, I am negotiating to
Declare Victory Wage Peace

Anonymous

Vincere est totum – To win is everything

Cato

Declare

“…from Latin declarare, from de- + clarare to make visible, from clarus clear….”

Victory

“…from Latin victoria, from victor, victus, “…Living, manner of life / nourishment, food.”

Wage

“akin to Old High German wetti pledge,  wed,  Latin vad-, vas bail, security to go, to walk

Peace

from Latin pac-, pax; akin to pacisci “make a bargain or agreement; agree, enter into a marriage contract; negotiate

“Declare Victory, Wage Peace” could be the winning political platform, anywhere, worldwide.   Everybody can declare their wars victorious (because just getting a war stopped is victory for all sides.) 

Americans can declare V-Day on Independence Day- No need to hold up any treaty arguing over whose fault it is – Victory can be claimed by all.

We Win

Declare “We won” (Doesn’t that have a nice sound)

We won the following partial list of “War on…”(Fill in the Blank) as of V-Day.

Terror, Drugs,Poverty, Science, Religion, Guns, Politics, Fat, Cancer, Smoking, Sickness and Dying in General, Journalism, Accounting, Work, Class (including Upper, Middle, Low and No Class.)

We won the War on Truth, Justice and the American Way.

Wage Peace

V-Day is the day we lose our fear  – walk like an Egyptian.  We are secure.  The cost of peace is high, but not as high as the price of war.

Declare that in America (North or South), Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, and  the world  “…it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such forms as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Whatever form of government they establish is no more my choice, than their choice of who should rule me.  I think it is reasonable to support people’s ability to ” …to provide new Guards for their future security….towards these goals we pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”


Orbital Economics: Engineering Growth

April 26, 2008

I presented this paper 25 years ago -  I haven’t changed my mind. 

 

This is Part 1 – hopefully it won’t take another 25 years to get around to publishing the second part.

 

Orbital Economics: Engineering Growth

 

 

Terry Bain.

 

Twentieth Space Congress

Cocoa Beach, Florida

 

Private Enterprise in Space

April 26, 1983.

 

Copyright 1983, Terry Bain

 

 

Abstract

 

Government funding is usually too irregular and inefficient to sustain Orbital Industrial Operations.  Economic history indicates that America’s Moon landing was probably engineered by the Kennedy Tax Rate Reductions of 1964-66.  Taxation, directly and indirectly, has always affected the aerospace industry: rate cuts engineer growth.

 

Economic “Bad Medicine” is the primary causation of most problems delaying Private Enterprises’ expansion into space.  Rate cuts increase government revenues: tax hikes seem to precipitate budget cuts that can kill projects, or people.  Unnecessarily high tax rates almost always force private sources of capital “underground”.  Mankind needs access to its “second worlds”.  One-world, “fractional economics” is obsolete.

 

Introduction: the Malthus Mistake

 

Aviation people understand the crashes are usually the result of an uncorrected chain of small mistakes.  Each isolated error often seems far too minor to be singled out as an accident’s cause.  A long train of minor errors, however, can have results that are fatal.

 

America‘s economy “stalls out “occasionally.”  Any good pilot knows how to recover from a stall; they simply nose their ship down, and trade off a little altitude for airspeed to regain lift.  If the machine isn’t damaged, a stall should only be a relatively minor problem – unless, of course, it happens a little too close to the ground.

 

Good economic “navigation” is essential, if the captains and crews of American commerce choose to avoid “pilot error”.  Today’s economists, for the most part, are not navigating effectively: their tools still work, but their charts are out of date.  All forms of Malthusian, or controlled growth economics (Mercantilism) are dangerously obsolete – since July 20, 1969, Earth’s expanding population has had potential access to a “second world.”  Mercantilism is too slow; economic “bad medicine” is the only barrier, in 1983, to unrestrained frontier growth.

 

Mercantilism became obsolete in 1776, when Adam Smith published Wealth of Nations.  (Figure 1).  Smith advocated minimum governmental intervention, free enterprise, and free trade, based on the assumption that the labor of individuals (rather than the national hoard of gold) was, and is, the only real source of all wealth.  Smith felt that the interests of society, as a whole, are best served by allowing every individual to pursue his own self–interests.

 

Classical economics began veering off course in 1798, when Thomas Malthus published An Essay on the Principle of Population.  He observed, correctly, that unrestrained populations tend to grow geometrically, while resources seem only to rise at an arithmetical rate.  Malthus feared that more and more people, competing more each year, for ever-smaller per-capita shares of the planet, would someday leave Earth hip-deep in hungry people.

 

Later European economists, including Jeremy Bentham and David Ricardo, attempted to deal with the projected Malthusian “evils” of unrestrained growth.  Classical economics became the “gloomy science,” and mainstream economic philosophy gradually began reverting back towards controlled growth.

 

Income redistribution and social reform were advocated, in the 19th century, to ration out the alleged “dwindling resources” of the planet.  John Stuart Mill advocated “progressive taxation,” socialization of land rent, and compulsory education, while paradoxically insisting on limited governmental power, to preserve individual freedom.  Karl Marx pondered Ricardo’s “gloomy science” and came to the conclusion that only political revolution could save society.

 

John Maynard Keynes wrote The End of Laissez-Faire, in 1926.  Later, he became the first economist to argue that increased government spending (Monetarism) would solve the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Monetarists were “… all Keynesians”; but by the 1970s, severe inflation had forced a few economists to begin having second thoughts.  Milton Friedman, in Free to Choose, re-examines Smith’s classical economics to find solutions that government spending, alone, couldn’t seem to cure.

 

While working as an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal, Jude Wanniski noticed two economists, who seemed to be “navigating” correctly.  Wanniski observed, in The Way the World Works that Robert Mundell and Arthur Laffer foretold the rapid inflation of 1973, and correctly predicted the recession of 1974-75.

 

In the summer of 1974, Wanniski writes, President Ford proposed a 5% surtax on personal income. (1)  The nation’s economy.  “stalled and crashed”.  At first glance, the cause of that crash might be dismissed as a coincidence.  Ford’s surtax and the “Crash of ’75,” probably wasn’t the only time in economic history that bad economics had “grounded” the aviation industry.

 

Mellon’s Medicine: Engineered Growth

 

Small-scale air-transport experimentation, wrote Hugh Knowlton in Air Transportation in the United States, was just getting underway from 1911 to 1921.  In 1916, Congress authorized funds to the Post Office Department to advertise for private enterprise contracting bids.  “No bids were received, because those who would have liked to bid found it impossible to obtain suitably constructed planes for such a service.” (2)  During World War I, the War Department started the first experimental air-mail route, in May of 1918.  After the war, the Post Office Department took over the entire operation in 1919, operating three routes.  Congress authorized funds for the first transcontinental route, and it made its debut flight in February, 1921. (3)  Early progress was slow; necessary venture capital was only available from the government.

 

Wanniski writes that Warren G. Harding won the 1920 presidential elections, following a severe post-war recession, by the largest landslide victory in history; his platform urged a “Return to Normalcy”. (4)  His predecessor, Woodrow Wilson, had signed a $6 billion surtax into law, February 24, 1919, to pay off the nation’s war deficit. (5)  America’s economy “stalled”; the League of Nations and many Democratic reelection bids “crashed”.  Harding appointed Andrew Mellon as Secretary Of Treasury.  In 1921, they urged Congress to eliminate the excess-profits surtax, and the economy began a slow recovery. (6)  Following Harding’s death in office, in 1923, President Calvin Coolidge called for further income tax rate reductions in February, 1924 – the stock market began responding immediately. (7).

 

On Mellon’s advice, rates were reduced from 57% on upper-income tax brackets, towards a maximum rate of not more than 25%. (8  Between 1921 and 1929, Mellon’s tax rate cuts increased government revenue enough to reduce the national debt by more than 20%. (9)  Wanniski writes, “It had taken four years for the New York Times index to rise from 90 to 106.”  By December of 1924, it rose to 134, and by the end of 1925, it reached 181.  After a plateau through 1926, it got to 245 by the end of 1927.  The Times Industrials peaked on September 19, 1929, at 469 – the index, Wanniski notes, had quadrupled in five-and-a-half years. (10)

 

Commercial aviation “took off” too; Mellon’s medicine was the perfect prescription for Commercial Air Transport growth.  “The Post Office had demonstrated the practicability of mail by air…”, wrote Knowlton, “but it did not wish permanently to perform the role of operator.  “Rather, it wanted to turn over the operation of airmail service to private enterprise as soon as possible”. (11)  In February, 1925, one year after Mellon’s income tax rate reductions began, Congress passed the Kelly act, which made provision for the transportation of airmail by private contractors.  Ford Motor Company was first to enter the field.  They had begun building airplanes in 1924, and in 1926 they began operating routes.  By 1927, the Post Office Department was able to turn over its last route to private contractors. (12)

 

“Once placed on a private contract basis expansion of the airmail service was rapid, and more and more private capital came into the field,” Knowlton wrote,  “New lines were established all over the country.” (13)  on May 20, 1927, Charles Lindbergh flew to Europe.  “New companies sprang up, and the securities of existing companies soared to fancy heights…by 1929 there were 44 listed operators of scheduled routes in the United States, nearly 2 1/2 times the number that are in existence….,” Knowlton wrote, in 1941. (14)

 

Wanniski writes, “None of the prevailing theories could explain the 1929 crash any better than they could explain the preceding boom.  “Until this writing, no one has linked the crash with the breakdown of the anti-tariff coalition in the Senate in the last days of October of ‘29.” (15)  “The stock market crash of ’29, writes Wanniski, “… and the Great Depression ensued because of the passage of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930.” (16)

 

Knowlton wrote “… 1929 began a period of mergers and consolidations, which became necessary with the collapse of the boom late that year.” (17)  In April, 1930, Congress passed the McNary-Watres act that paid contractors by weight, instead of mileage: bonuses had to be instituted to “stimulate” passenger service. (18

 

Equilibrium had almost been recovered, according to Wanniski, when President Hoover tried to “balance the budget” by increasing income tax rates for fiscal year 1932.  As usual, the economy stalled – and this time the banks crashed.  As the March 15, 1933 income tax payment deadline approached, taxpayers all across the country were forced, simultaneously, to withdraw their savings, and the banking.  “Panic of ’33” was the result.  Roosevelt’s famous “Bank Holiday,” which he announced at his inauguration on March 4, 1933, merely enabled the Fed to reflow tax receipts to the nation’s “overtaxed” banking system. (19)

 

In 1934, all airmail contracts were suddenly canceled by Presidential decree.  Knowlton noted that charges of “collusion” between operators and the Post Office Department were cited.  “The Army, forced overnight to carry the mail, a task for which it was technically unprepared, attempted to rise to the occasion and made a gallant effort to fill the bill, but the tragic results to many of its personnel are well-known.” (20)  Subsequent contracts were set at prices that bidders knew in advance were inadequate to pay for the service.  Knowlton observed that, “… revenues did not keep up with expenses.  We thus have the spectacle of an industry growing by leaps and bands in volume of traffic, but losing money in the process – a sort of profitless prosperity.” (21)

 

By 1926, Robert Goddard had successfully demonstrated the liquid fuel rocket.  Further developments, however, were slowed by the Depression.  Major General Walter Dornberger, formerly the commanding officer of the Peenemunde Rocket Research Institute, writes in V-2, “As so often before in the history of technology, necessity in Germany after the first world war had forced a great invention to proceed by way of weapon development. (22)  “Neither industry nor the technical colleges were paying any attention to the development of high powered rocket propulsion.  There were only individual inventors who played about without financial support, assisted by more or less able collaborators… as we did not succeed in interesting heavy industry.  There was nothing left to do but to set up our own experimental station for liquid propellant rockets….” (23)  Lacking venture capital from any source other than the government, Dornberger noted that, “Research workers were obliged to serve the ends of war.” (24)  The road to the stars was open, but the moon was still a tax cut away.

 

Camelot: Ticket to the Moon

 

Twenty years ago, in April of 1963, former President Dwight Eisenhower wrote, “The space program, in my opinion, is downright spongy.  This is an area where we particularly need to demonstrate some common sense.  “Specifically, I have never believed a spectacular dash to the moon, vastly deepening our debt, is worth the added tax burden it will eventually impose upon our citizens… I suggest that our enthusiasm here be tempered in the interest of fiscal soundness.” (25)

 

Ken Hechler writes, in Towards the Endless Frontier, “the very size and steep increases in the NASA budget alarmed many Congressmen….” (26)  “Selling the space program to Congress was no easy task….up to 1962, this was comparatively easy; the shock of Sputnik and Gagarin’s flight had not yet worn off, and John Glenn, and the other Mercury astronauts had made the program easy to sell.  “Congress in 1963 was reflecting incipient dissent from many groups in areas throughout the country, and this dissent expressed itself in several different ways.”  Hechler notes that in FY 1963, the NASA budget was “trimmed” by $500 million. (27)  Budget cuts always have hidden costs; the Mercury program concluded by 1963, but the Gemini program slipped back a year. (28

 

In February of 1964, President Johnson signed the Kennedy Tax Cut Bill.  Increased revenues, as always, poured into the treasury from the expanding economy.  Wanniski notes that the stock market slid up steadily until February 9, 1966. (29)

 

“1965…,” Hechler writes, “was a banner year.”  Early in 1966, however, funding for future planning and post-Apollo programs were severely slashed by the Bureau of the Budget. (31)

 

“Instead of recommending return of the (revenue) surpluses via further rate reductions, Republicans watched in dismay as Johnson Democrats not only spent revenues in hand, but also committed anticipated future receipts to Great Society’s spending programs,” Wanniski writes. (32)  “In the Decade 1964 to 1974, not a single Republican advocated tax-rate reductions.  Instead, as Great Society and Vietnam spending increased in 1966, the Republican leadership pressured Johnson into proposing a 10% surtax on personal incomes in March of ‘66.” (33).

 

During NASA authorization debates on the House floor on May 3, 1966, Congressman Olin Teague said, “The war in Vietnam has already forced a substantial reduction in the NASA budget for the coming fiscal year.  “Fortunately, however, thanks to our abundance of resources, it has not yet forced us to abandon our goals and our national requirements in space.” (34).

 

Hechler writes that the “… budget for NASA had already passed its peak, and it was touch and go whether the spending plateau could be maintained high enough to enable a successful moon landing by the end of the decade.” (35).

 

“Camelot” was beginning to stall, in July of 1966, when the House science committee published the results of its future planning studies under the title of “Future National Space Objectives.”  Hechler notes, “The most important single recommendation made in the committee report was the opening gun which the committee fired in support of the space shuttle.” (36).

 

Stall Warning: Budget Cuts Kill

 

Less than one year after Johnson’s surtax (March ‘66), an accidental fire claimed the lives of astronauts Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee on January 27, 1967.  Hechler reports that NASA was “stunned” by Congressman Teague’s initial reaction to the NASA Review Board report on the cause of this accident. (37).

 

“On the opening day of the committee hearing (at Cape Kennedy on April 21, 1967) Science Committee members clashed with (NASA’s) Webb over his allegation that appropriation cuts had caused the deficiencies which the Board of Review pointed out,” Hechler writes.  ‘(Congressman) Daddario, in particular, documented the fact that there was no evidence to bear this out, and furthermore, that the most severe reductions had occurred at the Bureau of the Budget level.” (38

 

“The high-water mark for NASA appropriations had been reached in calendar year 1964,” Hechler notes, “… when NASA was furnished with $5.25 billion, and ever since then (as of 1979) the funds have dwindled every year.” (39).

 

Following the successful Moon landing, on July 20, 1969, surtax “stalls” (and the budget cuts that almost inevitably follow) have slowed aerospace developments to a crawl.  Tight budget constraints (Design to Cost Approach) create very tight safety margins: additional funds taxed out from under private-sector contractors seem to sharply increase the possibility of an operational mission problem.

 

It seems less than coincidental that a broad spectrum of orbital hardware, ranging from large manned vehicles like Apollo, down to smaller vehicles, like Vought’s Scout; seem to show a lower operational success rates following periods of tax hikes, and/or budget cuts. (Figure 2)  Extra quality-assurance might well prove cost-effective during periods of overtaxation.

 

Capitol Reformation: Freedom Works

 

Recent changes in the tax code, have given the IRS vastly expanded powers to police returns of “… the millions who each year cheat the government out of estimated $90 billion of taxes on some $250 billion of undeclared income,” according to a Newsweek article, dated April 11, 1983.  “The IRS estimates that 15% of all dividends and 11% of interest income are never declared.”  Newsweek reports that, starting this month, bar and restaurant owners are required to withhold taxes on tips declared by their employees; the IRS says, “… short of criminals, waiters and bartenders are the most chronic under reporters of income.” (40).

 

Tax evasion problems in 1924 with a specific economic problem that the Mellon tax rate cuts were designed to solve.  Mellon knew that fairly taxed upper-incomes (on dividends and interest, for example) would obviously yield far greater revenues than any nationwide crackdown on tips from “outlaw waiters.”  Mellon Bill supporters perceived that, then as now, when tax rates become too high-the wealthy simply stop paying.  (Figures 3 and 4).

 

“It is, of course, impossible to accurately determine what rate of tax (a) taxpayer will submit to, rather than (to) avail himself of means of evasion.  But experience has demonstrated very clearly that a 50% surtax cannot be collected, and that it results in a steadily diminishing revenue…. it becomes clear beyond dispute that we would actually collect more at a low rate upon a broad base then at the present high rate upon an extremely restricted and steadily narrowing one,” according to a New York Times article from 1924, in support of the Mellon plan. (41)  The historic results of commercial aviation, from 1924-29 seem to verify that Mellon’s plan was economic advice worth listening to.

 

The article noted, “The only way that the income tax as applied to large incomes can be made an actuality, and not a pretense is by reducing the rate of tax to a sound level, thus lessening the incentive to taxpayers to avoid the tax.”

 

“The present rates interfere with the normal course of business and credit, and so, indirectly affects the great mass of the people who do not pay income taxes.  A sound tax is one that can be collected with a minimum of economic disturbance.  The income tax today does not conform to this rule.”

 

“We have noted the unfortunate effect upon revenue collections occasioned by the disappearance of taxable income under the pressure of higher rates.  There are, however, other consequences arising from this avoidance of taxes, which, if they cannot be actually measured, should not be minimized.  If the capital normally available for new investment in productive enterprise is diverted to unnecessary governmental expenditure under the stimulus of the tax-exempt privilege, an artificial restriction has been placed upon economic development.”

 

“In addition, the cost of production and distribution has been adversely affected by increasing the interest rate on capital actively employed.  When men refuse to put their capital to its most productive use, because the risk appears too great in view of the limitation by taxation of profits; when, rather than divide with the government, they fail to take actual realizable profits, and so slow up the turnover of liquid assets; when the first instead of the last question to be considered in any new business transaction is that of taxes — then there are foreign forces at work in the economic field, which, if incalculable, are unquestionably potent….”

 

“Finally, while taxes on net profits or not, as a general rule, passed on, this general observation is subject to modification.  The effort will always be made to pass on a tax, and when conditions are favorable, it will succeed….one fact is undeniable.  Any influence which high taxes exert on the price structure must be in an upward direction; and this is true, whether they are actually paid or whether, in order to evade them, business and credit are diverted from their normal channels.” (42)

 

Frontier Economics: “Expectations Rise.”

 

Economies grow only through increased freedom, not legislative control.  Lower individual tax rates motivate individuals to produce by allowing them to keep more of what they earn.  Technological progress is neither the result of governmental good intentions, or even massive corporations: only inventors invent.  In 1924, several professional organizations actively endorsed the Mellon plan. (Appendix A.).

 

In the 1960s, it wasn’t massive government spending that got us to the moon.  Congressman Teague’s, “… abundance of resources,” were generated by private enterprises, and efficiently invested private venture capital, generated by comparatively reasonable tax rates.

 

Thomas Paine, in Common Sense, forewarned frontier Americans of 1776, “as to government matters,… the business of it will soon be too weighty and intricate to be managed with any tolerable degree of convenience by a power so distant from us, and so very ignorant of us;…waiting four or five months for an answer, which, when obtained, requires five or six more to explain it in, will in a few years be looked upon as folly and childishness — there was a time when it was proper, and there is a proper time for it to cease.”  The American Revolution was, (naturally) a revolt against British war taxes.  Mercantilism, then and now, moved far too slowly to keep up with an open frontier.

 

Malthus was wrong.  Mankind has access to “second worlds”: we need no longer fear growth.  The Malthusian population to resource growth ratio need not remain a fraction – “War Taxes” seem to be the mysterious, cyclical force that historically retards the rate of growth of mankind’s resources.  Perhaps Wanniski has discovered a “universal history”.

 

Dr. Laffer offers an excellent “navigational plot” for reengineering frontier economic growth.  “I would like to see taxes in real terms, not just schedules.  I would like to see them as they were in 1965….,” Laffer said.  (43) (figure 5), Private Enterprise in Space “will never fly” without another tax cut.  America, and the aerospace industry deserve “Rising Expectations”.  A healthy growing world badly needs a little extra room.

 

References

 

(1) Wanniski, Jude.  The Way the World Works, New York: Basic Books.  (1978, p. 288.

(2) Knowlton, Hugh.  Air Transportation in the United States, Chicago: University of Chicago press (1941) p. 2

(3) Knowlton, pp. 1-4.

(4) Wanniski, p. 100.

(5) Halsey, Francis Whiting.  History of the World War, New York:  Funk and Wagnalls Co. (1919) volume VI, p.406.

(6) Wanniski, p. 119

(7) Wanniski, pp. 120-122.

(8 Wanniski, p. 119.

(9) American People’s Encyclopedia, New York: Grolier Incorporated (1968 p.  329, Vol. 12

(10) Wanniski, p. 122.

(11) Knowlton, p. 4.

(12) Knowlton, pp 4-5.

(13) Knowlton, p.5.

(14) Knowlton, p. 8.

(15) Wanniski, p. 150.

(16) Wanniski, p. 125.

(17) Knowlton, p. 8.

(18, Knowlton, pp. 8-9.

(19) Wanniski, p. 141

(20) Knowlton, p. 8.

(21) Knowlton, p. 11.

(22) Dornberger, Walter.  V-2  New York: Bantam Books (1979) p. 290.

(23) Dornberger, p. 21.

(24) Dornberger, p. 20.

(25) Hechler, Ken; Toward the Endless Frontier, Washington: Government Printing Office (1980)p. 171

(26) ibid

(27) Hechler, p. 170.

(28 Hechler, p. 179

(29) Wanniski, p. 201

(30) Hechler, p. 184

(31) Hechler, p. 190

(32) Wanniski, p. 214.

(33) Wanniski, p. 215.

(34) Hechler, pp. 192-193.

(35) Hechler, p. 193.

(36) Hechler,p. 191.

(37) Hechler, p. 196

(38 Hechler, p. 197.

(39) Hechler, p. 208.

(40) Newsweek, April 11, 1983, p. 54.

(41) New York Times, February 12, 1924, p. 12

(42) ibid

(43) UPI, September 23, 1981


Count Every Vote

January 9, 2008

As a yellow dog Democratic supporter of Dr. Paul, I feel it is necessary to remind Republican and Independent voters what we Democratic voters have learned (the hard way) – expect vote fraud where vote totals are unauditable. Would you deposit money in your bank without a receipt? Your vote is far more precious than your bank account.

Dr. Paul’s message, first and foremost, is integrity. There will be voices who suggest that evidence of vote fraud should be ignored (again) as a “sufferable evil, ” rather than demanding a recount. Democratic voters, whose votes have not been counted in the past, have learned that “not rocking the boat” only results in more uncounted votes in election after election. Integrity demands taking a stand to count every vote. In America, every vote counts.


Engin Arik, Nuclear Physics Professor, Killed in Turkey

December 1, 2007

According to Associated Press Writer SELCAN HACAOGLU, Engin Arik is one of 57 people killed in a plane crash in southwest Turkey on Friday.  According to the article, The dead also included a group of academics who planned to take part in a physics conference at an Isparta university. Among them was Engin Arik, a prominent female nuclear physics professor from Istanbul’s Bosporus University.”  Dr. Arik’s webpage states she was head of the Experimental High Energy Particle Physics Group. 

A NewYork Times article by Sabrina Tavernise, published 12/01/07 says the cause of the crash is still unclear, since the weather was good, according to airline officials.  She quotes Semsettin Uzun, governor of Isparta Provence as having said “We don’t understand how it landed there,” since the plane went down in an area that is not on its scheduled route.

Dr. Arik’s publications list shows she has authored several Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Documents.  Four of these documents were listed as “in preparation.”  Most of the CBTBO documents seem to indicate specialization in Radionuclide Monitoring for the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) CTBTO International Data Centre (IDC) inVienna, Austria.

A Background Briefing paper explains that Radionuclide Monitoring is one of four types of test ban verification data fed to the Vienna IDC.  The verification data is designed to locate nuclear testing.  “The detection of certain radioactive products – that is, the fission ones – enables an event to be identified as nuclear in origin.  Further analysis of the ratio of specific radionuclides detected, together with a knowledge of their decay processes, enables determination of origin:  whether a nuclear explosion; some other event, such as releases from a nuclear reactor; or a natural occurrence. This ability to identify and discriminate has some similarities to fingerprinting.”


November 11, 2006


Armistice

An Armistice is derived, according to Wikipedia from the Latin arma (Weapons) and stitium (stopping .) Wikipedia defines Armistice Day as the anniversary of the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, officially ending World War I. Peace broke out on the “11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.”

About six months later, according to Wikipedia, the Treaty of Versailles formalized Germany’s World War I surrender. The Treaty forced Germany to accept full responsibility for the war, and reparations were required. Essentially, the winning Allies, including the United States, found the entire population of Germany guilty of war crimes.

Historian Wolfgang Mommsen of the University of Düsseldorf, was quoted in the PBS series, The Great War.

“The Treaty of Versailles created a political climate in Germany in which the right put all the blame on everything that went sour, onto the Treaty and the lost war. And that created this climate in which many people then began to think one had to fight the war once again.

“Hitler sold the Second World War to the Germans as righting the wrongs of Versailles,” according to Mommsen. Stopping the weapons again produced a whole new crop of war criminals. Instead of blaming the entire German nation, however, the winning Allies, including the United States, assigned war guilt to individuals found guilty at places like Nuremberg.

The Nuremberg Trials were an effort to preemptively stop the weapons of war. Julius Streicher, (pictured above) was one of the Germans found guilty and executed by the Allies, including the United States. Part of Streicher’s unsuccessful defense was that some international treaty law didn’t apply to the axis powers because they were not signatories.

As of today, unfortunately, there is no armistice and the weapons in Iraq and Afghanistan have not yet been stopped. According to Time, charges against the outgoing United States Defense Secretary and other officials will soon be filed in a German court. The article noted that the Bush Administration rejected adherence to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Marjorie Cohn, wrote in the Jurist, that even though Bush “…immunized his team from prosecution in the International Criminal Court, they could be tried in any country under the well-established principle of universal jurisdiction.”

“Nearly 3,000 American soldiers and more than 650,000 Iraqi civilians have died and tens of thousands have been wounded. Our national debt has skyrocketed with the billions Bush has pumped into the war. Now that there is a new day in Congress, there must be a new push to end the war. That means a demand that Congress cut off its funds,” Cohn said.


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