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I was able to find a notorious WW II Sedition Trial that was undertaken because FDR pushed a reluctant Attorney General to use it against FDR war critics.
This was not the trial in which my father defended a man against charges for his publications.
My thought is that if a local grand jury could indict members of the Federal Government for a felony crime if they usurped powers not granted to them under the Constitution, then they would not violate their oath of office with impunity. The missing element to make the Constitution hold up is that it does not treat the wrongful acts of its members as crimes that are enforceable by local citizens. Only the club (members of the Federal Government) can hold themselves to the limits of the Constitution. All members of the club have intensive to increase their powers not keep themselves restrained.
The Bill Of Rights (Amendments 1-10) have ultimately failed. What if they had included a specific crime of usurpation by any member of the government claiming a power of the general government not explicitly granted? Where the usurpation was by the legislature any Congressmen or Senator who proposed, advocated or voted for any legislation not authorized by Article 1 could be indited by a state grant jury for the high crime of Usurpation and if found guilty would forfeit all his legal property and serve one year in prison. Similar viscous legal sanctions for executives and judicial officials could be written.
The statement “they had no legal claim to leave and it was an implicit declaration of war” is nonsensical. That statement would justify the East German policy of shooting their citizens (slaves) for trying to escape. Even southern slave owners would not shoot their slaves for trying to escape. Mises007’s friend implicitly believes that if your ancestors decided to join a federation because the “they were duped” you are a slave to that fraudulent contract. I think Mises007’s friend is disingenuous, as well as, a poor lawyer. The usual legal remedy for a beach of contract is to sue for beach of contract and monetary damages to set things right. It is not a criminal offense to break contract. Of course fraud in establishing a contract would void the contract.
I just finished Peter Schiff’s “The Real Crash” it predicts that foreign investors and governments will ultimately dump the US bonds and currency holdings, unless much higher interest rates are offered. He wrote that the FED is buying much of the US bonds or rather banks purchase the bonds to deposit as their reserves at the FED. When the FED buys bank loans are there unseen strings attached?
The US government is very active in discouraging escape from their inflation scheme. They did seize all of Bernard von NotHaus gold and silver. Much of the metal was not owned by NotHaus but was being held for third parties that were using paper money he minted. Mr. NotHaus was motivated by the idea that the USA was on a course that would ultimately destroy the dollar. If you open a foreign bank account their are special forms and reporting required, especially if your balance reaches $10,000. Police, TSA, etc. have seize coins with a metal content worth more than $3,000. Foreign securities are monitored and regulated to prevent US citizens from moving assets out of the country. The US and other governments make tax haven countries provide information about their (US, etc.) citizens accounts in violation of the tax haven countries laws. Some countries therefor will not open accounts for US citizens.
Would the US outlaw gold ownership by private citizens and require that they surrender their gold for less than it is worth? That was done in 1933. At the time US money was gold and silver. It was assumed any one could go to their bank and withdraw their money in gold or silver coins. In actual practice most US citizens in the country operated with paper money and bank accounts. The silver coins were not seized or outlawed. The silver was removed from US coins in the 1960s. The silver coins were not outlawed and still exist, but disappeared from circulation, since the silver is worth more than the face value of the coin. It is a crime to melt down these coins, but the are traded as “junk silver” in bags by weight. The dimes, quarters and half dollars contain 90% silver and 10% copper. in the 1970s the laws against personal gold ownership was repealed. The US Mint now mints silver, gold and platinum coins (100%). A very short list of dealers are allowed buy from the mint and sell for profit. In all cases the face value is a small fraction of going price of the metal. A person pays about 3% over the metal value of the coin.
When the US government seized the gold coins in 1933, I think a very high percentage of the coins were held by the banks. So their was no effort to search homes and people for contraband coins. People have been in legal difficulty over gold coins that were not surrendered.
Buying gold coins or investing in other gold investing avenues (mining stocks, ETF stocks which buy and store gold) is definitely a good way to hedge against inflation but all may come under attack buy future politicians.
MichaelP & JohnD,
I soldered through Bryan Caplan and Pete Boettke 13 part youtube debate. I found their treatment of Austrian vs Mainstream fogy and confusing. Bob Murphy has a great youtube Austrian vs. Neoclassical Analytics | Robert P. Murphy. He even references Bryan Caplan and “Why I am Not an Austrian Economist”. It runs about 55 minutes and is very understandable.
Sons of Liberty,
The answer to your first question according to Gary North (in the link Jeff Herbener provided above)
1. What are the IOUs in the Social Security Trust Funds? Government bonds?
“There is no trust fund. The trust fund is a pile of IOUs from the Treasury….”
Do you doubt it?
I “retired” about two years ago. I own an interest in a business and I am still on the payroll for more than my and my wife social (in)security payments, so you could say I took Gary North’s advice from the 1st link in Jeff Herbener’s post above.
JohnD, I am not an economist but an IT expert for more than 40 years (I am 71). Before I ended up in IT, I thought that I wanted to become an economist. Luckily, I took some computer courses and gave up the idea of becoming an economist. My interest in economics has been a hobby. I think I have read more than 50 books on economics, though. MichaelP mentions of Robert Murphy. Murphy is great source for making difficult concepts understandable. JohnD, your choice of Economics in One Lesson and Meltdown were excellent for a non economist to get started with. I have read three or four of Heyek and Mises books. They were definitely a challenge for me (had I been test on their content I not sure how good my grade would have been).
After reading Henery Hazilitt’s “Failure of the ‘New Economics'”, I think it is most difficult to know what Lord Keynes would recommend. He often used the same word to mean different things a few pages later on in his General Theory. Also, he often contradicted himself. Hazilitt rips his ideas to shreds, line by line. However, his followers are all apologists and each tell you what he meant leaving their own various ideas and spins on it.
After reading the paper by Peter Summers, I find it most unconvincing. 1. Arriving at GDP is a process of aggregating thousands of sets of diverse data. 2. Arriving at this aggregate for 37 discrete GDPs (1966-2002) where the the sets of data for each year’s GDP would contain new array of data from the previous year (if accurately compiled). 3. Inflation is never actually defined (CPI, PPI, money supply, M1, M2, M3, etc.). 4. How often were the rules for calculating the aggregate change across the years from 1966-2002? 5. Is it too cynical to suggest that numbers are often fudged for the current administration? 7. a. Finally the thesis: The Great Moderation happened as a result of improved monetary policy, 7. b. The source: Peter M. Summers is an assistant economics professor at Texas Tech University. This
article was written while he was a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of
Kansas City. Matthew Cardillo, an associate economist at the bank, helped prepare
the article. The article is on the bank’s website at http://www.kansascityfed.org
The “1983-2000, the FED did a good job of stabilizing the economy” is fully consistent with Austrian Business Cycle Theory (ABCT). Mises, Heyek, et al teach that money creation by a central bank will generate economic activity especially in capital goods. The problem is this boom is doomed. It represents allocations of available capital to projects that will fail (i.e. the Dot Com Bubble). The Austrians recognize the response to the ultimate economic crises is to allow the liquidation of these failed enterprises (let the bankruptcies remove the bad projects and their authors from the scene).