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Everything Popular Is Wrong: Malinvestment And Consumers

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Submitted by J. Dayne Girard of The Ludwig von Mises Institute,

“Everything popular is wrong” — Oscar Wilde’s famous quote can be supported by economic theory. One of the seemingly neglected aspects of malinvestment is the effect it has upon the popular perception of products, services, and lifestyles.

Malinvestment, while misunderstood by many, is nonetheless an easy concept to grasp. Imagine that the government decided that cars were unsafe and, therefore, more people should drive trucks. To encourage the use of trucks over cars, the government offers easy credit to truck buyers through a federal truck loan program. The easy credit creates an artificially high demand for trucks, increasing revenue and profits for truck manufacturers at the expense of other industries.

The easy credit encourages more people to buy trucks than would otherwise buy them. That’s malinvestment in a nutshell — capital being diverted from somewhere to somewhere else through government intervention.

Malinvestment is a term usually reserved for the malinvested capital created by credit expansion. But, any kind of government intervention in the economy creates malinvestment, whether it’s a loan program, regulation, or other economic intervention. In many cases, if it manipulates behavior, it causes malinvestment.

The same effect could be obtained by regulation. The government might require those who drive cars to study for a special license, then pay an annual fee for that license. Just like the loan program, this would cause an imbalance in economic investment. People would avoid buying cars because of the additional expense and hassle. Instead, they would be more likely to buy trucks, which don’t require the extra license.

The government intervention, in whatever form, causes an increase in revenue for the truck industry. This increase in revenue means larger marketing budgets for the truck manufacturers. Larger marketing budgets will afford more advertisements touting the value of trucks over cars. They will spend more money creating and promoting research that exposes the negative traits of other types of vehicles. With their larger marketing budgets, they can reach the masses with their message as never before.

What makes these marketing messages so dangerous is that they are indeed true. The research that the truck industry puts out will be accurate and convincing. It will show up before the eyes of the population and convince many. But there is a missing message that should be balancing the truck manufacturers’ marketing. The revenue diverted from car manufacturing to truck manufacturing results in more marketing for trucks but also results in less marketing for cars.

Significant amounts of research and marketing for the truck industry are created that should have never existed. On the other hand, research and marketing that should be informing people about the advantages of cars never comes into existence. Combine the prevelance of one messsage and the absence of competing messages and the result is a perfect storm for widespread misinformation. This is all the result of government intervention in the ecomomy.

Higher education, an industry bloated with government incentives and malinvestment, shows the effects of malinvestment in spades. Students are told that degrees provide the path to higher earning potential. I believe that this is true. There is still value left in the higher education system. But malinvestment in higher education has saturated the economy with this message so pervasively that alternatives are not even considered.

Consider the student pursuing a business degree. Is it really possible that spending four years and $60,000 is the best method of preparing for a career in business? $60,000 is enough to cover the average startup costs of two small businesses. As an entrepreneur myself, I would argue that many business concepts can be easily market tested in three months for $4,000. In four years, an aspiring businessperson could test 15 different business models for the equivalent cost of a business degree. In terms of effective preparation for success, I find it hard to believe that a college degree could even begin to compete with four years of experience working on business startups.

Consider also the hundreds of wonderful educational resources made available online for free. In college, I learned more from a one hour YouTube video lecture by Murray Rothbard on the Fed than I did in my entire Macroeconomics class at the state college.

But these alternatives do not have the long marketing arms that regionally accredited higher education institutions have. Government does not offer incentives for alternatives to traditional college and, therefore, few people realize they even exist. The partial truth that higher education offers a path to a better future so heavily dominates the “path-to-a-better-future” landscape that it might as well be a lie.

Healthcare provides another fascinating example of unbalanced messaging. Patent laws and strict FDA regulation provide synthetic drugs exorbitant revenue compared to natural healthcare products (which cannot be patented). Hunter Lewis writes, “Only a medicine protected by a government patent can hope to recoup the enormous costs (up to $1 billion) of taking a new drug through the government’s approval process.”

The result on the American psyche is obvious. Any product that has not undergone rigorous double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trials is considered quackery. Synthetic drug manufacturers masquerade their research with marketing budgets hundreds of millions dollars deep and convince the masses that nothing else is as safe or effective.

While it is true that natural products have not been tested as thoroughly, this is not necessarily because they are less effective or safe. It’s because the product’s creators cannot afford the testing. Natural products never get a chance to compete because they are stuck playing in a completely different economic arena.

The story is the same in nearly every other area of the economy. Government intervention in the economy manipulates the buying decisions of the population. The resulting malinvestment quickly turns into malinformation and imbalanced marketing messages. Our minds are dominated by the marketing messages of malinvestment which blankets our economy in a dark fog of partial truths.

In a free economy there are no advantaged or disadvantaged parties. The best product obtains the most revenue and has the biggest marketing budget. Messaging from one industry is balanced by messaging from competing industries.

But our economy is another story. Partial truths masquerade as the whole story, granting subpar products and services unchallengned attention and popularity. Oscar Wilde was right: “Everything popular is wrong.”

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Richieg
2736 days ago
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Grand Blanc, Michigan
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The Death And Decay Of Detroit, As Seen From The Streets

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With the stock market hitting record highs day after day, it is easy to move on and forget that one of American's once premier cities, Detroit, has been bankrupt for nearly a year. But out of mind doesn't mean out of sight, especially now that Google has launched its street view Time Machine, which provides for 7 years worth of street images, capturing the time shift of the tumultuous period period starting in 2007. One blogger who decided to take this time lapse data and apply it to the city of Detroit is GooBing Detroit who, as the following time-lapse photos demonstrate, has captured Detoit's unprecedented slow-motion collapse into death and decay in what is the closest we have to "real time."

Perhaps what is most stunning about the following series of photos is not the ultimate fate of the bankrupt city, but how quickly a once vibrant metropolis has succumbed to blight and sheer desperation.

Hopefully not coming to a street near you.

All photos from the Goobingdetroit tumblr depict various areas and streets in Detroit, then and now.

2009

2011

2013

Montlieu between Gilbo and French, City Airport Neighborhood. Top to bottom Google streetview circa 2009, 2011 and 2013.

2007

2009

2011

July 2013

September 2013

Chene between Palmer and Ferry. 15 of the 20 properties on this block have been, or are subject to, tax foreclosure. Looked like a nice bakery.

2009

2013

Healy Street north of Hamtramck

2009

2011

2013- July

2013 - August

Exeter between 7 Mile and Penrose, Northern Detroit.


Brightmoor neighborhood.

Around 7 Mile, West Side


Northwest, near Grand River

West Golden Gate, Detroit

Southwest Detroit

East side, near Alter Road

Patton Street, NW Detroit 

Feel like you can kind of see how this scene unfolded:

In the top photo, the tree is blocking the view of that yellow house in the middle — that house isn’t in great shape, but it’s ok. The house to the left has neatly trimmed hedges and a chair on the porch. The house on the right has been gutted by fire.

I imagine that middle house - since it’s been demo’d by 2012 - caught on fire and caused the further damage to the house at the right. Whoever had been living in the nicely maintained house on the left, moved out, and that house was gutted.

In the last photo — with the nicely maintained house farthest to the right — you see another nice house on the left, with a boarded up, but fairly stable, house in the middle. By 2012, both nice houses are gutted, as is the boarded up one in the middle.

Springwells Village

Near City Airport. Wonder why they didn’t take down the one next door while they were at it…

From top to bottom: 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013. Hickory Street between Manning and Pinewood, northeast Detroit.

Of the 12,093 properties in this Detroit neighborhood, 1,037 are owned by the City of Detroit, mostly due to tax foreclosure. Another ~4,500 are either subject to tax foreclosure right now, or will be in the next year or two.

Eastwood between Queen and MacCray, Northwest Detroit. Just east of Osborn, in “Burbank”… if anyone actually calls it that.  Of the 34 properties on this block, 24 have been tax foreclosed, 13 are at risk of foreclosure, and precisely 1 property is in good tax standing.

Corner of Thaddeus and S. Leigh Street, Southwest Detroit. That’s a lotta washing machines…

Hazelridge between Celestine and MacCray, Northeast Detroit

This block is incredible. Still pretty dense with housing, but only one of them is occupied. If you go a block to the west, the housing stock changes to brick and the neighborhood looks pretty stable.

The New York Times visited this block during the Motor City Mapping survey:

"Blight, as Karl Baker, one Detroit resident, has seen, tends to spread. Along his block of Hazelridge Street on the East Side, he is the only remaining tenant. “Everyone went bye-bye,” Mr. Baker said the other day as he walked up the center of the silent street to get to his house since no sidewalks had been shoveled.

Most of the houses nearby are standing but abandoned, and visitors have clearly passed through — empty liquor bottles lie along debris-covered floors near broken windows and doors, every memory of a metal appliance or gutter seems to be gone from some of the homes, and two old couches that were dumped along a lawn are now blanketed by a thick layer of snow.

The last neighbor left six months ago, he said, and the single streetlight overhead has not worked for months. “I love the quiet, but if something went wrong, the city isn’t going to come,” Mr. Baker said. “They don’t do anything.”

Hoyt between Liberal and Pinewood, Northeast Detroit

Arndt between Elmwood and Ellery, East Side, Detroit

Lady waving to the street view car in the first image, c. 2009. Nearby the Heidelberg Project, and in the style, though not sure if a Tyree or not.

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Eric Holder Announces Task Force To Focus On "Domestic Terrorists"

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Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

It’s been obvious for quite some time that the so-called “war on terror” is nothing more than a fear-mongering induced power grab; a convenient excuse to strip the citizenry of its civil liberties and humanity. Many commentators, including myself, have predicted for years that the entire counter-terror juggernaut that has been constructed post-9/11 would be ultimately redirected upon the domestic population.

Snowden’s heroic whistleblowing has already proven without a doubt that the government spy apparatus (along with tech company complicity) has been zeroed in on the domestic population for quite some time, but is the situation about to escalate? Are the feds so fearful of their own people, they are about to focus all their counter-terror energy on U.S. citizens? It appears so.

I warned about this development back in 2011 in my post: The War on Freedom. In it I stated:

This whole charade shouldn’t be called “The War on Terror.”  It is actually all about keeping the citizenry terrified.  The government loves keeping you in a state of fear so that then they can do anything they want to the little sheep.  It should be called “The War on Freedom.”  Your freedom.

Before I get to the main topic of this article, I think it’s important to read excerpts from yesterday’s powerful and timely op-ed by Noam Chomsky titled: Edward Snowden, the World’s “Most Wanted Criminal. Discussing the Snowden revelations, he writes:

These exposures lead us to inquire into state policy more generally and the factors that drive it. The received standard version is that the primary goal of policy is security and defense against enemies.

The doctrine at once suggests a few questions: security for whom, and defense against which enemies? The answers are highlighted dramatically by the Snowden revelations.

To defend state power and private economic power from the domestic enemy, those two entities must be concealed – while in sharp contrast, the enemy must be fully exposed to state authority.

The principle was lucidly explained by the policy intellectual Samuel P. Huntington, who instructed us that “Power remains strong when it remains in the dark; exposed to the sunlight it begins to evaporate.”

Huntington added a crucial illustration. In his words, “you may have to sell [intervention or other military action] in such a way as to create the misimpression that it is the Soviet Union that you are fighting. That is what the United States has been doing ever since the Truman Doctrine” at the outset of the Cold War.

Policy must assure the security of state authority and concentrations of domestic power, defending them from a frightening enemy: the domestic population, which can become a great danger if not controlled.

From that day forward, in order to carry out violence and subversion abroad, or repression and violation of fundamental rights at home,state power has regularly sought to create the misimpression that it is terrorists that we are fighting, though there are other options: drug lords, mad mullahs seeking nuclear weapons, and other ogres said to be seeking to attack and destroy us.

Throughout, the basic principle remains: Power must not be exposed to the sunlight. Edward Snowden has become the most wanted criminal in the world for failing to comprehend this essential maxim.

In brief, there must be complete transparency for the population, but none for the powers that must defend themselves from this fearsome internal enemy.

The concept of the U.S. government viewing the population as the true enemy has been a theme on this site for many years. For some background, I suggest reading the following:

Rep. Steve Cohen Calls Tea Party Republicans “Domestic Enemies” on MSNBC

It’s Official: The FBI Classifies Peaceful American Protestors as “Terrorists”

The reason I chose to highlight these two articles, is that in one case it is the “tea party” being demonized, and in the other it is Occupy Wall Street. It doesn’t matter if the dissent is seen as emanating from the “right” or the “left,” it is dissent in general which is increasingly being demonized as “domestic terrorism.”

With all of that in mind, here is what Eric Holder’s “Justice” Department is up to. From the LA Times:

Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder, Jr. on Monday announced the creation of a task force within the Justice Department to combat an “escalating danger” from “homegrown” terrorists within the United States.

The task force will chiefly comprise leaders from the FBI, the Justice Department’s National Security Division and U.S. Attorneys. Called the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, it is a recreation of a task force formed by former Atty. Gen. Janet Reno after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The task force fell into disuse after 9/11.

Though the original task force, which was little known, focused mainly on right-wing zealots, Holder’s version is aimed at U.S. citizens or visitors radicalized via the Internet. Holder said the government will continue to fight terrorists abroad.

Oh the internet! That dangerous place where the citizenry engages in thoughtcrime and can actually perform real journalism without the censorship of mainstream propaganda media.

“But we also must concern ourselves with a different type of threat. We face an escalating danger from self-radicalized individuals within our own borders,” he said.

“Now — as the nature of the threat we face evolves to include the possibility of individual radicalization via the Internet — it is critical that we return our focus to potential extremists here at home,” Holder said.

NPR adds that:

“The threat from al-Qaida is much more diffuse after Sept. 11, and the threats posed by a single horribly misguided citizen or permanent legal resident in the U.S. is in a sense as great as what core al-Qaida posed before Sept. 11,” says Neil MacBride, a former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

There you have it. It’s no longer al-Qaeda, it’s now supposedly your friends and neighbors. This is the prevailing meme of every tyrannical fascist regime in history.

The state’s war on the citizenry is becoming overt. Don’t be fooled, this is real and it is very dangerous.

Image at the top of this post is brought to you by the always excellent WilliamBanzai7.

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Richieg
2740 days ago
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New Stargate Movie Trilogy Coming From Original Creators

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Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin will revive their original sci-fi franchise for theaters

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Richieg
2745 days ago
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(505): Ooo, yeah! Thanksgiving...

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(505): Ooo, yeah! Thanksgiving will be a blast. Can't fuckin wait for the next round of "have you found a nice young man yet?" Followed by a lovely helping of "don't worry, there's someone out there for you.".
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2928 days ago
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Americans Have Lost VIRTUALLY ALL of Our Constitutional Rights

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http://www.theispot.com/images/source/FredaLibertyUpended1.jpgPainting by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com

 

This post explains the liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution – and provides a scorecard on the extent of the loss of each right.  (This is an updated version of an essay we wrote in February.  Unfortunately, a lot of information has come out since then.)

First Amendment

The 1st Amendment protects speech, religion, assembly and the press:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Supreme Court has also interpreted the First Amendment as protecting freedom of association.

However, the government is arresting those speaking out … and violently crushing peaceful assemblies which attempt to petition the government for redress.

A federal judge found that the law allowing indefinite detention of Americans without due process has a “chilling effect” on free speech. And see this and this.

There are also enacted laws allowing the secret service to arrest anyone protesting near the president or other designated folks (that might explain incidents like this).

Mass spying by the NSA violates our freedom of association.

The threat of being labeled a terrorist for exercising our First Amendment rights certainly violates the First Amendment. The government is using laws to crush dissent, and it’s gotten so bad that even U.S. Supreme Court justices are saying that we are descending into tyranny.

For example, the following actions may get an American citizen living on U.S. soil labeled as a “suspected terrorist” today:

And holding the following beliefs may also be considered grounds for suspected terrorism:

Of course, Muslims are more or less subject to a separate system of justice in America.

And 1st Amendment rights are especially chilled when power has become so concentrated that the same agency which spies on all Americans also decides who should be assassinated.

Second Amendment

The 2nd Amendment states:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Gun control and gun rights advocates obviously have very different views about whether guns are a force for violence or for good.

But even a top liberal Constitutional law expert reluctantly admits that the right to own a gun is as important a Constitutional right as freedom of speech or religion:

Like many academics, I was happy to blissfully ignore the Second Amendment. It did not fit neatly into my socially liberal agenda.

 

***

 

It is hard to read the Second Amendment and not honestly conclude that the Framers intended gun ownership to be an individual right. It is true that the amendment begins with a reference to militias: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Accordingly, it is argued, this amendment protects the right of the militia to bear arms, not the individual.

 

Yet, if true, the Second Amendment would be effectively declared a defunct provision. The National Guard is not a true militia in the sense of the Second Amendment and, since the District and others believe governments can ban guns entirely, the Second Amendment would be read out of existence.

 

***

 

More important, the mere reference to a purpose of the Second Amendment does not alter the fact that an individual right is created. The right of the people to keep and bear arms is stated in the same way as the right to free speech or free press. The statement of a purpose was intended to reaffirm the power of the states and the people against the central government. At the time, many feared the federal government and its national army. Gun ownership was viewed as a deterrent against abuse by the government, which would be less likely to mess with a well-armed populace.

 

Considering the Framers and their own traditions of hunting and self-defense, it is clear that they would have viewed such ownership as an individual right — consistent with the plain meaning of the amendment.

 

None of this is easy for someone raised to believe that the Second Amendment was the dividing line between the enlightenment and the dark ages of American culture. Yet, it is time to honestly reconsider this amendment and admit that … here’s the really hard part … the NRA may have been right. This does not mean that Charlton Heston is the new Rosa Parks or that no restrictions can be placed on gun ownership. But it does appear that gun ownership was made a protected right by the Framers and, while we might not celebrate it, it is time that we recognize it.

The gun control debate – including which weapons and magazines are banned – is still in flux …

Third Amendment

The 3rd Amendment prohibits the government forcing people to house soldiers:

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

While a recent lawsuit by a Nevada family – covered by (Mother Jones, Fox News and Courthouse News – alleges violation of the Third Amendment, this appears to be an isolated incident and an aberration.

So we’ll count this as an Amendment which is still being honored! Score one for We the People!

 In America, Journalists Are Considered Terrorists
Painting by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com.

Fourth Amendment

The 4th Amendment prevents unlawful search and seizure:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

But the government is spying on everything we dowithout any real benefit or justification.

Indeed, experts say that the type of spying being carried out by the NSA and other agencies is exactly the kind of thing which King George imposed on the American colonists … which led to the Revolutionary War.

And many Constitutional experts – such as Jonathan Turley – think that the police went too far in Boston with lockdowns and involuntary door-to-door searches.


Paintings by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com.

Fifth Amendment

The 5th Amendment addresses due process of law, eminent domain, double jeopardy and grand jury:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

But the American government has shredded the 5th Amendment by subjecting us to indefinite detention and taking away our due process rights.

The government claims the right to assassinate or indefinitely detain any American citizen on U.S. citizen without any due process. And see this.

As such, the government is certainly depriving people of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

There are additional corruptions of 5th Amendment rights – such as property being taken for private purposes.

The percentage of prosecutions in which a defendant is denied a grand jury is difficult to gauge, as there is so much secrecy surrounding many terrorism trials.

Protection against being tried twice for the same crime after being found innocent (“double jeopardy”) seems to be intact.  Hey … that’s two Constitutional rights which are still intact!

HUNG LIBERTY (NYSE)Image by William Banzai

Sixth Amendment

The 6th Amendment guarantees the right to hear the criminal charges levied against us and to be able to confront the witnesses who have testified against us, as well as speedy criminal trials, and a public defender for those who cannot hire an attorney:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Subjecting people to indefinite detention or assassination obviously violates the 6th Amendment right to a jury trial. In both cases, the defendants is “disposed of” without ever receiving a trial … and often without ever hearing the charges against them.

More and more commonly, the government prosecutes cases based upon “secret evidence” that they don’t show to the defendant … or sometimes even the judge hearing the case.

The government uses “secret evidence” to spy on Americans, prosecute leaking or terrorism charges (even against U.S. soldiers) and even assassinate people. And see this and this.

Secret witnesses are being used in some cases. And sometimes lawyers are not even allowed to read their own briefs.

Indeed, even the laws themselves are now starting to be kept secret. And it’s about to get a lot worse.

True – when defendants are afforded a jury trial – they are provided with assistance of counsel. However, the austerity caused by redistribution of wealth to the super-elite is causing severe budget cuts to the courts and the public defenders’ offices nationwide.

Moreover, there are two systems of justice in America … one for the big banks and other fatcats, and one for everyone else. The government made it official policy not to prosecute fraud, even though fraud is the main business model adopted by Wall Street. Indeed, the biggest financial crime in world history, the largest insider trading scandal of all time, illegal raiding of customer accounts and blatant financing of drug cartels and terrorists have all been committed recently without any real criminal prosecution or jail time.

On the other hand, government prosecutors are using the legal system to crush dissent and to silence whistleblowers.

And some of the nation’s most powerful judges have lost their independence … and are in bed with the powers-that-be.

Seventh Amendment

The 7th Amendment guarantees trial by jury in federal court for civil cases:

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

As far as we know, this right is still being respected (that’s three rights still being followed).

However – as noted above – the austerity caused by redistribution of wealth to the super-elite is causing severe budget cuts to the courts, resulting in the wheels of justice slowing down considerably.

Painting by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com

Eighth Amendment

The 8th Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment:

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Indefinite detention and assassination are obviously cruel and unusual punishment.

The widespread system of torture carried out in the last 10 years – with the help of other countriesviolates the 8th Amendment. Many want to bring it back … or at least justify its past use.

While Justice Scalia disingenuously argues that torture does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment because it is meant to produce information – not punish – he’s wrong. It’s not only cruel and unusual … it is technically a form of terrorism.

And government whistleblowers are being cruelly and unusually punished with unduly harsh sentences meant to intimidate anyone else from speaking out.

Ninth Amendment

The 9th Amendment provides that people have other rights, even if they aren’t specifically listed in the Constitution:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

We can debate what our inherent rights as human beings are. I believe they include the right to a level playing field, and access to non-toxic food and water. You may disagree.

But everyone agrees that the government should not actively encourage fraud and manipulation. However, the government – through its malignant, symbiotic relation with big corporations – is interfering with our aspirations for economic freedom, safe food and water (instead of arsenic-laden, genetically engineered junk), freedom from undue health hazards such as irradiation due to government support of archaic nuclear power designs, and a level playing field (as opposed to our crony capitalist system in which the little guy has no shot due to redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the super-elite, and government support of white collar criminals).

By working hand-in-glove with giant corporations to defraud us into paying for a lower quality of life, the government is trampling our basic rights as human beings.

Tenth Amendment

The 10th Amendment provides that powers not specifically given to the Federal government are reserved to the states or individual:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Two of the central principles of America’s Founding Fathers are:

(1) The government is created and empowered with the consent of the people

and

 

(2) Separation of powers

Today, most Americans believe that the government is threatening – rather than protecting – freedom.  We’ve become more afraid of our government than of terrorists, and believe that the government is no longer acting with the “consent of the governed“.

And the federal government is trampling the separation of powers by stepping on the toes of the states and the people. For example, former head S&L prosecutor Bill Black – now a professor of law and economics – notes:

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the resident examiners and regional staff of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency [both] competed to weaken federal regulation and aggressively used the preemption doctrine to try to prevent state investigations of and actions against fraudulent mortgage lenders.

Indeed, the federal government is doing everything it can to stick its nose into every aspect of our lives … and act like Big Brother.

Conclusion: While a few of the liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights still exist, the vast majority are under heavy assault.

Other Constitutional Provisions … and The Declaration of Independence

In addition to the trampling of the Bill of Rights, the government has also trashed the separation of powers enshrined in the main body of the Constitution.

The government is also engaging in activities which the Founding Fathers fought against, such as taxation without representation (here and here), cronyism, deference to central banks, etc.

As thethe preamble to the Declaration of Independence shows, the American government is still carrying out many of the acts the Founding Fathers found most offensive:

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. [Background]

 

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. [Background here, here and here]

 

***

 

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: [Background]

 

***

 

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences [Background]

 

***

 

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. [Background]

 

***

 

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. [Background here, here and here]

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Richieg
2969 days ago
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