The Dollar Trap: How to Escape

by Lowell Ponte

“There is no such thing as a global anthem, a global currency, or a global flag,” said President Donald Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference days ago. “This is the United States of America that I’m representing.”

But there is a global currency, wrote economist Ralph Benko: the U.S. Dollar, which since the end of World War II has been the “world’s reserve currency”…once a blessing but now a curse.

The dollar was formally crowned with this title and power then by the Bretton Woods Agreement, whereby most of the world’s industrial nations agreed that the U.S. currency would be pegged to gold at a fixed value of $35/ounce, and other major currencies would be pegged to the dollar.

The French finance minister Valery Giscard d’Estaing once called this America’s “exorbitant privilege” because we could print a $100 bill for pennies – but other nations had to buy our money, the currency of international trade, by selling actual goods.

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But the French would have their revenge after we had printed mountains of money out of thin air to fund the Vietnam War. In 1971, to prevent France from buying all the gold in Fort Knox by converting its accumulated paper dollars, President Richard Nixon in 1971 abruptly terminated our last vestige of a gold standard, and the dollar’s value began to drift rapidly downward.

What one dollar could buy in 1971 would today cost at least six dollars – a 500% loss in value. But things might have been even worse.

With the dollar’s golden anchor gone, President Nixon used America’s might to secure another. He agreed to defend the Saudis in exchange for their agreement to sell their oil only for dollars. We thus jumped from a gold standard to an oil standard, the “Petrodollar.” This preserved the dollar’s status as the world reserve currency – but it tied us to an alliance in the unstable Middle East that could cost treasure, blood, and liberty – and that, along with the Cold War, has turned the U.S. into an empire, as monetary expert Craig R. Smith and I explain in our 2016 book Money, Morality & The Machine: Smith’s Law in an Unethical, Over-Governed Age.

America and President Trump now have three options, according to economist John D. Mueller.

(1) We can try to muddle through using the current dollar standard. Two problems: this condemns us to perpetual economic chaos because of what economists call the Triffin Dilemma; we, in effect, must uphold the entire global economy with money we print, and if we use fiat money printed out of thin air, this is unsustainable. And second, if the Saudi royal family collapses or withdraws support, the dollar will go up in a blaze of inflation as its value burns to ashes.

(2) We can let the International Monetary Fund (IMF) create its own currency from Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to carry the global economy, shifting the burden off America’s Atlas shoulders. Trouble is, the IMF is highly political and arbitrary, and not necessarily in a pro-U.S. Direction. It has wanted to impose a global tax on the rich, and to favor a world government. The U.S. would lose its global reserve currency power.

(3) President Trump could move toward a new modernized international gold standard that could restore our currency’s power and end our dependency on the Saudis. Such Monetary Rearmament could begin with Mr. Trump naming pro-gold standard people to the Federal Reserve Board. Trump has already spoken favorably of the Gold Standard, which if approved could increase the value of gold to $5,000 or more per ounce. This change would be manna from heaven from those who got gold for pennies on the new dollar.


 

For a fascinating interview with Lowell Ponte, contact: Sandy Frazier sandy@mystic-art.com 516-735-5468

For a media copy of Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte’s latest book, Money, Morality & The Machine: Smith’s Law in an Unethical, Over-Governed Age, contact: David Bradshaw, ideaman@myideafactory.net 602-918-3296


Sources:

Ralph Benko, “President Trump: Replace The Dollar With Gold As The Global Currency to Make America Great Again,” Forbes, February 25, 2017.

John D. Mueller, “Trump’s Real Trade Problem Is Money,” Wall Street Journal, January 25, 2017.

Tyler Durden, “Donald Trump, Saudi Arabia, And The Petrodollar,” ZeroHedge, February 22, 2017.

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Trump Fights the “Deep State”

by Lowell Ponte

The people voted last November to put Republicans, the “Small Government” Party, in charge of the House, Senate, and White House.

But the permanent government of 2.6 million bureaucrats in 2,000 federal agencies, commissions and departments cannot be voted out of power in our democratic republic. They have become the Fourth Branch of our government.

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They are given an average of $120,000 each year in wages and benefits – more than double the earnings in the private sector – yet these government workers produce mostly paperwork, not valuable products.

What they do make, in too many cases, is rules and regulations – at least 11 for every one law enacted by congress, each rule with the force of law. Like taxes, regulations have the power to kill, to destroy, and the regulatory state created under Barack Obama’s presidency used the threat of thousands of new rules and massive fines to impose his anti-business ideology by intimidation and brute force.

The word “bureaucracy” has two roots – the Old French word bureau, meaning “desk or office,” and the Latin Kratos, “rule or political power.” A bureaucrat rules us politically because he sits at the desk or in the office making and imposing rules.

When Obama and then-Senator leader Harry Reid used the “nuclear option” to end Senate filibusters, it was used so Mr. Obama could pack the Washington, D.C., appeals court with far-left judges. This had been the court that controlled bureaucratic excess and overreach. Since this court-packing was done, the bureaucracies have felt free to run amok, to grab more power than either elected lawmakers or the President possess.

Bureaucratic offices in our young republic had little power, because the government had little under the Constitution. They were mostly easy government jobs that politicians could give to friends and partisan allies, who knew they would be replaced if and when the other party won. Under Progressive Presidents like Teddy Roosevelt, they turned into civil service work with job protections. This was supposed to make the bureaucracies less political – but instead it filled their ranks with long-term acolytes of the Big Government Party, the Democrats, and filled them with the smug self-righteous power of people who know they can never be fired by the voters.

Thus, in recent days, we have seen apparent Obama holdovers leaking national security secrets to undermine a Republican President Donald Trump. Bureaucrats declare that they will defy Republican attempts to change Obama regulations as the voters wanted.

Leftist bureaucrats communicate with one another via encrypted email, even though doing so probably violates laws about making their emails available if subpoenaed.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) arrogantly refuses a congressional committee’s request for its raw data supporting an extreme climate claim. (Weeks later a scientist whistleblower explains that the claim was based on fake data, and NOAA was eager to hide this.)

The next evolution in bureaucracy was tested by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, devised by the notorious Elizabeth Warren, now a Massachusetts senator and 2020 ultra-left presidential aspirant. CFPB has all the powers of a government bureaucracy, but is beyond the purse string control of Congress and thus unaccountable to taxpayers and voters. CFPB and its sky-high salaries are directly Federal Reserve funded, which the courts have ruled unconstitutional. But President Trump has yet to put his foot down and squash this renegade, looney-left bureaucracy.

The bureaucracy has become part of the Deep State, the “Machine” that monetary expert Craig R. Smith and I discuss in our 2016 book Money, Morality & The Machine: Smith’s Law in an Unethical, Over-Governed Age. The outcome of President Trump’s battle with the bureaucracy could determine whether America’s Constitution and economy survive. It is literally a battle to the death, liberty versus the government our Framers tried so hard to control.


 

For a fascinating interview with Lowell Ponte, contact: Sandy Frazier at sandy@mystic-art.com or call 516-735-5468.

For a media copy of Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte’s latest book, Money, Morality & The Machine: Smith’s Law in an Unethical, Over-Governed Age, contact: David Bradshaw at ideaman@myideafactory.net or call 602-918-3296.

Sources:
1. Juliet Eilperin and others, “Resistance from Within: Federal Workers Push Back Against Trump,” Washington Post, January 31, 2017. URL: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/resistance-from-within-federal-workers-push-back-against-trump/2017/01/31/c65b110e-e7cb-11e6-b82f-687d6e6a3e7c_story.html?utm_term=.453ada575193

2. Adam White, “Break the Bureaucracy!” City Journal (Manhattan Institute), Winter 2017. URL: https://www.city-journal.org/html/break-bureaucracy-14947.html

Trump Should Reform the Forfeiture Laws

Confiscating Our Property Can Be Un-American
by Lowell Ponte

In 2015, American law enforcement used civil asset forfeiture laws to seize more than $5 Billion from people.

This is “more money than was stolen in all burglaries, combined” that year, as Craig R. Smith and I document in our latest book, Money, Morality & The Machine: Smith’s Law in an Unethical, Over-Governed Age.

When Ronald Reagan supported the wide use of civil asset forfeiture, his aim was to stop letting crime pay by confiscating what its dirty money – especially illegal drug money – buys.

New President Donald Trump and his Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as defenders of capitalism and private property, ought to oppose the way civil asset forfeiture laws are now sometimes misused against innocent citizens by money-hungry governments.

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In civil asset forfeiture, please understand, a police officer can confiscate a citizen’s cash, charge the money but not the citizen with criminal activity, and keep the money if that citizen is unable to prove that the money is legitimately his.

This process circumvents constitutional rights. You are not “innocent until proven guilty.” You are typically not even charged, so you have no right to a day in court. The burden of proof is on you to prove that your money or other property did not come from dealing drugs (and 90 percent of paper money in circulation has tiny traces of cocaine or other drugs on them) or other criminal activity.

The worst asset forfeiture law reigned briefly in the city of Helper, Utah, where individual lawmen could receive 25 percent of whatever money or assets they seized. All that an officer needed to confiscate someone’s million-dollar house or luxury car might be to find a fragment of a marijuana cigarette on or in the property.

Although almost all officers are honest, many police departments stand to keep all or most of the money or assets they seize. Officers might have incentive to pursue the richest, not the worst, members of society. In one California case, lawmen killed an innocent homeowner during a midnight drug raid, yet they found no drugs. Lawyers later found police notes planning all they would buy with the money from seizing his large property.

States such as California, Nebraska and Ohio now require conviction of a crime to justify civil asset forfeiture. Lesser reforms have happened in several other states. What is needed is to end the perverse incentive of law enforcement keeping what it confiscates. Imagine what Washington bureaucrats might do with such power. President Trump should spearhead wise reform to protect innocent people and their property.

A prime use of civil asset forfeiture laws is to intimidate people who carry significant amounts of cash, which government can often now seize on the thinnest of pretexts. Your bank is now required to notify the IRS of any large or “unusual” deposit or withdrawal in cash from your account, to spy on you for the government. Civil asset forfeiture grew rapidly during President Barack Obama’s two terms.

In the future “cashless” world desired by globalist elites, all transactions would go through computer connections monitored by the government and be fully taxable. Your new “cashless” money would be mere blips in a computer. Private transactions would disappear, and so would any remaining hope of restoring honest money.


For a fascinating interview with Lowell Ponte, contact: Sandy Frazier at sandy@mystic-art.com or call 516-735-5468.

For a media copy of Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte’s latest book, Money, Morality & The Machine: Smith’s Law in an Unethical, Over-Governed Age, contact: David Bradshaw at ideaman@myideafactory.net or call 602-918-3296.

Sources:

1. Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte, Money, Morality & The Machine: Smith’s Law in an Unethical, Over-Governed Age. Phoenix: P2 Press, 2016. Page 124.

2. ”Libertarians Split with Trump Over Controversial Police Tactic,” Fox News, February 13, 2017. URL: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/13/libertarians-split-with-trump-over-controversial-police-tactic.html

3. C.J. Ciaramella, “Inside Mississippi’s Asset Forfeiture Extortion Racket,” Reason, January 5, 2017. URL: http://reason.com/blog/2017/01/05/inside-mississippis-asset-forfeiture-ext

Liberals AND Conservatives Prepare for Disaster, Escape – “Is The Wall to Keep Illegals Out? Or Us IN?”

“Some of America’s richest people are spending billions quietly preparing for a global Apocalypse,” reported the U.K. Daily Mail days ago. “What do they know that the rest of us don’t?”

These people include rightists and leftists. Peter Thiel, the libertarian billionaire who created PayPal and was an early investor in Facebook, and supports President Donald Trump, paid $10 Million for an isolated 477-acre lakeside estate in New Zealand’s Southern Alps.

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Others who see New Zealand as a safe place to ride out widespread economic and social breakdown are venture capitalist Sam Altman, billionaire hedge-fund pioneer Julian Robertson, and Hollywood film director James Cameron – who told the true story of disaster for rich and poor when a supposedly-unsinkable ship sank in Titanic.

In a single recent week “More than 13,000 Americans registered to buy a home in New Zealand – 17 times the usual rate,” reports the Daily Mail.

Billionaire Ted Turner seemed eccentric years ago when he built a giant survival estate in Patagonia near the southern tip of Argentina. But now the billionaire founder of Oracle, Larry Ellison, has bought 98 percent of a Pacific island, and megawealthy Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has purchased a 750-acre estate nearby.

“[A]t least 50 percent of Silicon Valley billionaires have taken out so-called ‘apocalypse insurance’ by finding a refuge at home or abroad,” reports the Daily Mail, although many describe their fortified overseas property investments only as vacation homes.

Companies such as the Survival Condo Project have been building defensible, site-hardened luxury homes for $3 Million to eager buyers. The rich see danger in our fragile economy and troubled society.

A sudden passion for acquiring survivalist guns, grub and gold has, surprisingly, swept over liberals. Gun purchases fell by 500,000 in January, largely because conservatives no longer fear that former President Barack Obama and his party might confiscate their firearms. But many liberals have become frightened and started buying firearms for self-defense.

At the same time, riots on college campuses and in inner cities threaten to grow as leftists there react to President Trump’s policies. Ideological leftists appointed to our courts have blocked some of his policies, especially changes restricting immigration. Some worry that Mr. Trump’s proposal of a wall on America’s southern border to halt a flood of illegals is opposed by Republican as well as Democrat globalists and might never be built.

President Trump, meanwhile, is using carrots and sticks – tax and regulation cuts as well as tariffs – to persuade companies to bring investment and jobs to America, even as some of our richest citizens are preparing to flee abroad.

“Is the wall only to keep illegals out, or is it also to keep the rich in?” asks veteran think tank futurist Lowell Ponte. “The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which many hope Mr. Trump will rein in, on January 25 asserted its power to revoke the passports of those the IRS says owe taxes.”

In their 2016 book Money, Morality & The Machine: Smith’s Law in an Unethical, Over-Governed Age, Ponte and monetary expert Craig R. Smith warned of this. “This new Progressive rule,” they wrote, “declares that citizens who owe…tax…would not be permitted to leave the United States. These citizens would be required to pay the demanded tax and penalties to exit, or live out their lives without leaving the United States under a kind of nationwide house arrest.”

“A rich American might own a protected estate in New Zealand, but the IRS can instantly turn off his passport and keep him here until he pays a potentially huge amount of money to buy his freedom,” says Ponte. “We document 19 such risks that are a trap for the unwary, and we show people how to protect themselves and their life savings.”

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For a fascinating interview with Lowell Ponte, contact: Sandy Frazier sandy@mystic-art.com 516-735-5468

For a media copy of Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte’s latest book, Money, Morality & The Machine: Smith’s Law in an Unethical, Over-Governed Age, contact: David Bradshaw, ideaman@myideafactory.net 602-918-3296

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Sources:

Tom Leonard, “Apocalypse Island: Tech Billionaires Are Building Boltholes in New Zealand Because They Now Fear Social Collapse or Nuclear War. So What Do They Know that We Don’t?” U.K. Daily Mail, February 3, 2017. URL: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4190322/Tech-billionaires-building-boltholes-New-Zealand.html

Shane Dixon Kavanaugh, “Liberal Preppers Stock Up On Guns, Food As Trumpocalypse Looms,” Vocative.com, January 17, 2017. URL: http://www.vocativ.com/390175/liberal-preppers-stock-up-on-guns-food/

Brian Wheeler, “Why US Liberals Are Now Buying Guns Too,” BBC News, December 20, 2016. URL: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-38297345

Robert W. Wood, “Another Travel Ban: IRS Moves To Revoke Passports For Unpaid Taxes,” Forbes Magazine, February 2, 2017. URL: http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2017/02/02/another-travel-ban-irs-moves-to-revoke-passports-for-unpaid-taxes/print/

Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte, Money, Morality & The Machine: Smith’s Law in an Unethical, Over-Governed Age. Phoenix: P2 Books, 2016. Pages 122-123.