Who to Blame for Your Debt

I hope that none of my regular readers are burdened with much debt, but I know that many people are. Sometimes shockingly so. And so I’d like to explain who’s really to blame for these situations, because they are more complex than they may at first appear.

blameI hope that none of my regular readers are burdened with much debt, but I know that many people are. Sometimes shockingly so. And so I’d like to explain who’s really to blame for these situations, because they are more complex than they may at first appear.

The Obvious Blame

The most obvious target for blame is the person who signed for it. And while there’s certainly a good deal of truth to that, it’s not quite that simple.

So, yes, if you’re in debt, you did bring it upon yourself, and you could have done better. So, before I begin to excuse you, take that to heart. We’ve all made mistakes (Lord knows I have), and this one was yours. Don’t defend your error; learn from it. And don’t do it again.

That Said…

The truth is that the people of the West (and of the US in particular) have been manipulated into debt. The forces arrayed against them are a virtual armada of undue influence. And so we’ll go through the largest of them one at a time.

Democracy: Democracy, carrying with it the policy of public debt, is a debt machine. It made the masses responsible for the debts of the rulers. Understand, please, that under monarchies, the monarch was responsible for their debts. Democracy took it away from them and tossed it onto our shoulders. And this trick was not lost upon the most observant people of that era. Here’s what Percy Shelley wrote about it as it began:

The rich, no longer able to rule by force, have invented this scheme that they may rule by fraud… The most despotic governments of antiquity were strangers to this invention, which is a compendious method of extorting from the people far more than praetorian guards and arbitrary tribunals… could ever wring.

This system has become centered on debt over the years and has spawned one debt-creation mechanism after another.

Central banking: Central banks, and the US Federal Reserve in particular, use debt as their primary tool. In fact, without debt, dollars wouldn’t exist. (If you think that’s overstated, please read Modern Money Mechanics or at least The Creature from Jekyll Island.) There’s much more to be said here, little of it complimentary toward the Fed, but this is an operation that would implode without the American citizenry taking massive debt upon themselves.

I’ll forgo a detailed explanation, but debt-centric banking affects more or less everything growing out of its central mechanism… and that means either forcing or encouraging ever-increasing debt.

Government schools: Nearly all of us have been compelled to attend schools run by the state. These institutions taught us to trust what is authorized and to distrust anything that is not authorized. As Ivan Illich wrote, “School is the advertising agency which makes you believe you need the society as it is.”

And debt is very much authorized by the system. It is not only expected, but the authorized system rewards debt-taking, as seen in tax deductions for mortgage interest.

Politicians: Politicians are to blame for the reasons above and doubly so in regard to student loans, the rules of which were written by politicians alone. And as you probably know, escaping these loans is all but impossible, thanks to those same politicians… and to the banking corporations that control them.

Major corporations: This one is a bit murkier but no less true. Consider this quote from Paul Mazur, a senior partner at Lehman Brothers (a primary investment house) back in 1927:

We must shift America, from a needs to a desires culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old had been entirely consumed. We must shape a new mentality in America. Man’s desires must overshadow his needs.

I think it’s pretty clear that this effort was successful. Americans buy far more than they need, compelled by endless assaults on reason via corporate advertising.

The Simple Explanation

I think it’s fair to say that the status quo of the West (and of the US in particular) is the root driver of debt and indebtedness. And so, I’ll make a very clear statement:

The status quo expects you to be a debt serf. And so long as you feel a need to fit in… are terrified of standing alone and apart… you’ll act against your personal interests and according to the desires of that status quo. You’ll end up living by their script, not your own.

And we should further understand that the status quo is shaped and maintained by the people and groups that feed off of debt.

There’s a reason so many great men and women separated from the status quo of their places and times before they did anything of importance. I encourage you to do likewise.

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Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

They’re Coming for Your Accounts

debtNearly all of us grew up thinking that we registered ourselves to prove that we were safe and responsible. We advertised our services as “registered” or “licensed,” and we never thought about it beyond that point. After all, that was the way things were done, and we knew that it would help our customers trust us.

There is, however, another side to registration, one that’s about to bite a lot of decent people… and hard.

What Is Registration, Really?

What did we do when we registered with a government agency? We gave them our name, address, birthdate, and so on. If we thought about it at all, we thought that they were acting as some kind of guarantor of our services. But what really happened was that we told them how to find us and hurt us.

Registration involves making ourselves easy to find by enforcers, and placing ourselves at their mercy. Yes, I know that we did it ignorantly (I know I certainly did) and out of necessity, but we did hand our best “how to find me” information to enforcement agencies.

Now, what I’ve described above involves commercial and professional registrations. Unfortunately, the same thing applies to bank accounts and retirement accounts. When you register those with a government, you are telling them where your money is and making it very easy for them to seize it.

Trillion Dollar Deficits

In recent years, the US government has been spending a trillion dollars per year more than it takes in. (And there are many additional factors at play.) The European situation is different, but not particularly better.

These situations can only last so long. At some point, the governments will need more money, especially as banks are ready to fail.

Governments will protect the big banks, at the expense of the citizens. You should take this seriously, and now.

Warning Shots

Just a week or two ago, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a horrifying paper, called The Fund’s Lending Framework and Sovereign Debt. That paper, in turn, was based on one from December 2013, called Financial and Sovereign Debt Crises: Some Lessons Learned and Those Forgotten.

Major media ignored all of this, of course.

The December 2013 document, right at the start, says that “financial repression” is necessary. Here’s what it says (underlining mine):

The claim is that advanced countries do not need to resort to the standard toolkit of emerging markets, including debt restructurings and conversions, higher inflation, capital controls and other forms of financial repression.

It continues:

As we document, this claim is at odds with the historical track record of most advanced economies, where debt restructuring or conversions, financial repression, and a tolerance for higher inflation, or a combination of these were an integral part of the resolution of significant past debt overhangs.

So, in order to fix debt overhangs – currently at horrifying levels – financial repression is not just an option, but required.

That’s not my interpretation; those are their words.

And, of course, they’ve already had a trial run, when they stole funds directly from individual bank accounts in Cyprus, just last year. Here’s how that went down:

  • March 16, 2013: Cyprus announces a bank holiday and sets the terms of a “bail-in” to save the banks: 6.75% of all bank balances under €100,000 and 9.9% of balances larger than €100,000 will be confiscated. In honest language, the word for that is “theft.”
  • People screamed, and the government hemmed and hawed for a number of days.
  • March 24, 2013: People are permitted to withdraw €100 at a time from their bank accounts.
  • March 25, 2013: A bail-in deal is announced. Accounts with over €100,000 lose either 40% of their money (Bank of Cyprus) or 60% of their money (Laiki bank).

And, as it happened, a number of very rich people and companies were permitted to withdraw their money in full, regardless of the “bail-in.”

The IMF report goes on to say:

Governments can stuff debt into local pension funds and insurance companies, forcing them through regulation to accept far lower rates of return than they might otherwise demand.

… Domestic defaults, restructurings, or conversions are particularly difficult to document and can sometimes be disguised as “voluntary.”

The paper that they slipped out three weeks ago adds this:

The Fund would be able to provide exceptional access on the basis of a debt operation that involves an extension of maturities.

That means that 30-day notes can be instantly turned into 30-year bonds.

The US Treasury Is Already on the Job

It’s not just the IMF, of course. The US Treasury has had a group working on these ideas since the Bush administration.

And in August 2010, the US Departments of Labor and the Treasury held joint hearings, deciding how best they could take control of all assets in IRAs and 401(k) accounts. The decision was that they’d replace them with “Treasury Retirement Bonds.”

More Examples

  • In 2009, the government of Ireland swiped €4 billion from their National Pensions Reserve Fund in order to prop up their insolvent banks. The following March, they stole the remaining €2.5 billion for another bail-out.
  • In November 2010, the French parliament took €36 billion from a reserve pension fund, to pay the debts of a “social” fund.
  • Also in November 2010, the government of Hungary effectively took 2.7 trillion forints ($13.5 billion) from 3 million retirement accounts.
  • The government of Poland nationalized one-third of future contributions to individual retirement accounts. That money will almost certainly disappear into the state treasury, robbing savers of some $2.3 billion per year.

So…

Understand that the financial powers that be – the IMF, World Bank, Bank for International Settlements (BIS), assorted central banks, and your local government – are ready to rob you.

When the time comes, all their usual sucker-bait will be pulled out: “It only hits the rich,” “We have to trash the economy to save it,” “We must all sacrifice,” “It’s for the children,” and so on.

All the right-thinking people on television will wring their hands and say it’s the only way out. Perhaps they’ll even let a bank or two crash for good effect.

But in the end, they aim to steal your money. Government and the big banks will continue unharmed.

If you want to protect yourself, you need to get your wealth out of registered accounts, because that’s where they’ll grab first.

Understand that these people have only two real choices:

  1. Reform their system, close the central banks, and give up their power.
  2. Start grabbing the only big pile of portable wealth remaining: your retirement money.

I don’t think any of us believe they’ll take option number one.

It’s your money. Act.

Paul Rosenberg
FreemansPerspective.com

 

The Earth Belongs to the Living, Not to the Dead

government debt wake upWhat if your grandfather had gone on a wild spending binge, long before you were born, and put himself millions of dollars in debt to people who knew he could never pay? Would it be your obligation to work double-shifts all your life to pay that debt back? And if you died before paying it off, would it become your baby’s obligation?

I think most of us would answer those questions with a resounding “No way!” As well we should. We are not and should not be slaves to the past – slaves to actions we never took and for which we had no possible means of consent.

On September 6th, 1789, in the very first year of the US Constitution, Thomas Jefferson endorsed precisely this conclusion in a letter he wrote to James Madison:

I say, the earth belongs to each of these generations during its course, fully and in its own right. The second generation receives it clear of the debts and encumbrances of the first, the third of the second, and so on.

For if the first could charge it with a debt, then the earth would belong to the dead and not to the living generation.

He wrote the same thing to John Wayles Eppes twenty-four years later, in June of 1813:

The earth belongs to the living, not to the dead.

To lay debt upon the unborn is thoroughly immoral. To try to enforce such a debt is thoroughly criminal.

Your Child or Grandchild

This conversation is critically important, because each child born in the US is born massively indebted. Using $200 trillion to represent the promises already made to people now living (some estimates are higher) and assuming a population of 310 million, that comes to $645,161 of debt, by the time your child reaches his cradle. If you expect your child to become a productive person, his or her share will be roughly twice that amount, or approximately $1.3 million.

(The US government is not unique in this regard, by the way. I use the US example, because it’s easier and because most of my readers seem to be Americans.)

Would you sign papers loading your baby with such a debt?

I am stating these facts in personal terms to cut through the usual BS that passes for public discourse. I am also using the voices of “founding fathers,” partly because it undercuts the fraudulent government story that “we’re following the wisdom of the founders.” Beside, we’re talking about real persons here. Making it personal is not manipulative, but accurate. To make it amorphous would be manipulative.

And while I’m on the subject of founding fathers, here’s something George Washington wrote in a letter to James Madison, also in 1789:

No generation has a right to contract debts greater than can be paid off during the course of its own existence.

I think that’s a very clear and very moral expression. It is not, however, what has been done.

A group formed recently under the phrase, “Not our debt.” I know nothing about the group, but their phrase is entirely correct. The debt of the US government does not belong to us, and we have no moral obligation to repay it.

Most of us do pay something toward that debt (which grows exponentially, just the same), but we should stay very clear as to why we pay. That reason, of course, is naked force, as in coercion and violence. There is no morality to it, except the morality that some people might invent, either to salve their consciences or as sycophants to power. (Though most  just do what everyone else does, never considering why.)

My advice is this: Do whatever you want as far as paying under threat, but don’t ever be confused about the morality of this situation. This is a swindle of gargantuan proportions. And that’s precisely what Thomas Jefferson believed. You can see this in a letter he wrote to John Taylor, dated May 28, 1816:

The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling posterity on a large scale.

Do what you need to do, but don’t ever think you have a moral responsibility to pay that kind of debt.

Paul Rosenberg
FreemansPerspective.com