The TSA: Another Tyrannical Agency of the Federal Government

TSA Not Sure if I should get molested or walk through the cancer machine frye

Shut Down the TSA!

 Ron Paul  February 4, 2019

…Airline security should be provided by airlines and airports. Private businesses, such as airlines, have an incentive to ensure their customers’ safety without treating them like criminal suspects or worse. Security personnel hired by, and accountable to, airlines would not force a nursing mother to drink her own breast milk or steal a stuffed lamb from a wheelchair-using three-year-old and subject the child to such an intensive screening that she cries “I don’t want to go to Disneyworld.” Those who claim that the TSA is necessary to keep us safe should consider that the Department of Homeland Security’s own studies show that TSA’s screenings and even the intrusive pat-downs are ineffective at discovering hidden guns, explosives, and other weapons….

…Because government operations are funded by coercive taxation rather than voluntary choices of consumers, federal officials cannot rely on the price system to inform them of whether they need to increase or decrease spending on airline security. In the private sector, businesses that charge more for security — or any other good or service — than individuals are willing to pay lose customers. Also, if businesses do not spend enough on security, people concerned about safety will be unwilling to use their services. Privatizing airline security is the only way to ensure that the “correct” amount of resources is being spent on airline safety.

In the 18 years since Congress created the TSA, the agency has proven itself incapable of providing real security, but more than capable of harrying Americans and wasting taxpayer dollars on security theater. Congress should permanently close the TSA and return responsibility for security to private businesses….

Read More: http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/february/04/shut-down-the-tsa/

After pointlessly groping countless Americans, the TSA is keeping a secret watchlist of those who fight back

…According to a confidential memo, any behavior that is “offensive and without legal justification” can land a traveler on the list, as can any “challenges to the safe and effective completion of screening.” Anyone who has ever “loitered” near a checkpoint could also make the list. So could any woman who pushes a screener’s hands away from her breasts.

The memo would be more accurate if it stated that anyone who fails to unquestioningly submit to all the TSA’s demands would be found guilty of insubordination. As an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, Hugh Handeyside, told the Washington Post, the policy gives the agency wide latitude to “blacklist people arbitrarily and essentially punish them for asserting their rights.” Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-New Jersey) expressed similar worry. “I am concerned about the civil-liberty implications of such a list,” she said.

The watchlist would seem less perilous if the TSA were not one of most incompetent agencies on Earth. After a series of undercover tests at multiple airports across the country, the Department of Homeland Security concluded last year that TSA officers and equipment had failed to detect mock threats roughly 80% of the time. (In Minneapolis, an undercover team succeeded in smuggling weapons and mock bombs past airport screeners 95% of the time.) An earlier DHS investigation found the TSA utterly unable to detect weapons, fake explosives and other contraband, regardless of how extensive its pat-downs were….

Read More: https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-bovard-tsa-watchlist-20180528-story.html

Government is the Problem. Taxation is Theft.

The Government Using my Stolen Income to Study Quail on Cocaine

Government Spending Doesn’t Create Economic Growth

01/25/2019

The view that an increase in government outlays can contribute to economic growth gives the impression that the government has at its disposal a stock of real savings that employed in emergency.

Once a recessionary threat alleviated, the government may reduce its support by cutting the supply of real savings to the economy. All this implies that the government somehow can generate real wealth and employ it when it sees necessary.

Given that, the government is not a wealth generator, whenever it raises the pace of its outlays it has to lift the pace of the wealth diversion from the wealth-generating private sector.

Hence, the more the government plans to spend, the more wealth it is going to take from wealth generators. By diverting real wealth towards various non-productive activities, the increase in government outlays in fact undermines the process of wealth generation and weakens the economy’s growth over time.

Read More: https://mises.org/wire/government-spending-doesnt-create-economic-growth

FBI Aided and Abetted a Paranoid Schizophrenic to Commit Terrorism

Attempted bombing suspect’s family issues statement

by KYLE SCHWAB & MEG WINGERTER

August 16, 2017

Family members of Jerry Drake Varnell issued a statement late Tuesday night regarding his involvement in Saturday’s attempted bombing of a downtown Oklahoma City bank building.

“We as a family are extremely distraught about this situation with our son Jerry Drake Varnell, but what the public must understand is that he is a paranoid schizophrenic and is extremely susceptible to different types of ideology that normal people would deem immoral….

What the public should be looking at is the fact that the FBI gave our son the means to make this happen. He has no job, no money, no vehicle, and no driver’s license, due to the fact that he is schizophrenic and we; his parents do everything we can possible to keep him safe and functional. The mental health system has consistently failed us due to the lack of establishments and health care coverage for a person like him. He has attended college and just enrolled in welding school. His medications allow him to be somewhat functional but he will never be completely functional in life. His brain does not work like a normal person and never will due to the nature of his mental illness. He has suffered through countless serious full-blown schizophrenic delusional episodes and he has been put in numerous mental hospitals since he was 16 years old. The FBI came and picked him up from our home, they gave him a vehicle, gave him a fake bomb, and every means to make this happen none of which he had access to on his own. We know who their informant is and what the public should know is that he is that a drug-dealing criminal. On June 15, 2017, Jerry’s Father told the criminal informant “that he was not allowed back on our property and if he returned we would have him arrested for trespassing and drugs”.  Apparently, he continued to sneak onto our residence. The FBI paid him to continue this operation and I believe they have cleared his criminal record.

The FBI should have filed conspiracy on our son and had him committed to a mental institution. They should not have aided and abetted a paranoid schizophrenic to commit this act. There are many more facts that I will not make public that will support my son and the disturbing acts made by the FBI.

https://newsok.com/article/5560334/attempted-bombing-suspects-family-issues-statement?utm_campaign=NIC-Facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook_NewsOK

Is the Real Threat from Within Our Own Government?

Mass Shootings Caused by the FBI

How The FBI Invents Terror Plots To Catch Wannabe Jihadis

 November 17, 2015

Terrorism prosecutions are rife with signs of entrapment by law enforcement, according to a new study provided to BuzzFeed News. FBI critics say the bureau is trampling civil liberties based on flawed ideas about radicalization.

Nobody would describe James Cromitie as a terrorist mastermind. Certainly not U.S. District Court Judge Colleen McMahon, who in June 2011 sentenced him to 25 years for his part in a plot to attack Jewish targets and shoot down military aircraft.

Cromitie was “bigoted and suggestible,” with a profound hatred of Jews, McMahon told the court in New York City. But she believed that he would have posed no serious threat if left to his own devices: “Only the government could have made a terrorist out of Mr. Cromitie, a man whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearian in its scope.”

By the time they were arrested in May 2009, Cromitie and his three fellow plotters from Newburgh, New York, thought they had planted car bombs outside two synagogues in the Bronx, and were in possession of what they had been told were Stinger surface-to-air missiles.

But the bombs and missiles were fake, provided by the FBI. The entire plot was driven by Cromitie’s accomplice, Shahed Hussain, a criminal-turned-informant who went to great lengths to entice the four others — all impoverished black Muslim converts — to take part. Among other inducements, Hussain offered Cromitie $250,000 and a BMW.

It sounds like a classic case of cunning entrapment by law enforcement. But under federal law, it’s a legitimate strategy so long as a suspect is already “predisposed” to commit a similar crime — which means that courts must judge suspects’ intentions. And since 9/11, juries have seemed unwilling to accept that anyone could get involved with a terrorist plot if they were not already motivated to do so. Cromitie’s lawyers mounted an entrapment defense, to no avail — despite the judge’s comments about the way in which the FBI had acted.

The Newburgh Four case is just one of several high-profile prosecutions that critics claim involve entrapment of Muslims who posed little independent threat. In his 2011 book The Terror Factory, journalist Trevor Aaronson accused the FBI of waging a “manufactured” war on terror using some 15,000 paid informants. Among 158 defendants charged after FBI sting operations, Aaronson found that 49 were snared in plots instigated by an agent provocateur controlled by the FBI.

Read More: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/peteraldhous/fbi-entrapment#.uvrnrQ2Rk

But… Muh Roads!

Buth without governmnet who would build the roadsFunny, someone told me recently “without government, who would build the roads.” Are you kidding me?
 
Last year I had to spend $700 on new tie rods.
Just where did the thousands I was forced to pay in state and local taxes go? Paychecks and pension funds for no one that worked on any roads.

Before Public Roads, Private Companies Did It Better

By Joe Jarvis – August 15, 2018
Even the U.S. Department of Transportation has to admit, the first major U.S. roadways were not built by the government:

The privately built Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike Road was the first important turnpike and the first long-distance broken-stone and gravel surface built in America according to formal plans and specifications. The road’s construction marked the beginning of organized road improvement after the long period of economic confusion following the American Revolution.

The road opened the territory northwest of the Ohio River and provided cheap transportation between the coast cities and the new Republic’s “bread basket” region surrounding Lancaster.

In the early days of the United States, the government certainly saw the benefit of roads. But most politicians didn’t think it was their place to raise taxes to pay for them.

State governments laid claim to all unoccupied land. So state governments would grant charters to private companies to build, improve, and maintain roads on “public” land.

The companies sold stock in the routes to investors, which funded the development of these roads. Tolls made the companies profitable so they could pay back investors.

The government’s only role was granting ownership of certain public pathways to these companies, under the condition that they improve them.

The best roads at the time were privately funded, for-profit businesses. Travel for leisure was not as common. People tended to work at home, or close to where they lived. Therefore merchants moving their goods to market paid most of the tolls. This surely brought down the price for other travelers.

Of course, the price of the toll would make it into the price of the goods. In that sense, everyone contributed to the roads. No taxation necessary.

Read More:
https://www.thedailybell.com/all-articles/news-analysis/before-public-roads-private-companies-did-it-better/

 

The New Ways They’re Stealing Elections: Ballot Harvesting

Refuse to Concede Election Until More Votes Fabricated

How Ballot-Harvesting Became The New Way To Steal An Election

America’s electoral obsession isn’t Russian meddling anymore. It’s ballot-harvesting, a long-disputed practice implicated in fraud that’s come to the fore with the nationwide embrace of absentee voting in recent years — and especially in last month’s midterms.

With ballot-harvesting, paper votes are collected by intermediaries who deliver them to polling officials, presumably increasing voter turnout but also creating opportunities for mischief.

The latter is suspected in North Carolina, where uncharacteristic Democratic charges of vote fraud prompted an investigation into whether Republican-paid political operatives illegally collected and possibly stole absentee ballots in a still-undecided congressional race. A national spotlight was shone by The New York Times, which, like Democrats, often minimizes vote fraud; it flooded the zone in this case, assigning five reporters to a single story.

In California, by contrast, Democrats exulted as they credited a quietly passed 2016 law legalizing ballot-harvesting with their recent sweep of House seats in the former Republican stronghold of Orange County, thereby helping them win control of the House. In that case, it was Republican eyebrows that were arched. House Speaker Paul Ryan said what happened in California “defies logic.”

In Orange County, an estimated 250,000 harvested ballots were reportedly dropped off on Election Day alone. County Republican Chairman Fred Whitaker claimed the 2016 law “directly caused the switch from being ahead on election night to losing two weeks later.”

One interaction caught by a Santa Clarita family’s doorbell camera suggested how harvesting can work in practice. A harvester, identifying herself as Lulu, asks for Brandi, and says she is there to collect her ballot, explaining that there is “this new service, but only to, like, people who are supporting the Democratic Party.”

However, there is no evidence that ballots were marked or discarded by those harvesting the ballots, as is alleged in North Carolina.

Read More: http://thefederalist.com/2018/12/14/ballot-harvesting-became-new-way-steal-election/

Harvesting Democratic Votes

WSJ Editorial Board

Liberals want to impose the California voting model on all 50 states.

Democrats in Congress are making election reform their top legislative priority, and we’ve criticized it as a majority protection act. To understand why, consider that Democrats are trying to do for the country what they’ve done with election laws in California.

Read More: https://www.wsj.com/articles/harvesting-democratic-votes-11547856541

Does the FBI Murder Americans? A Call to Re-investigate Four American Assassinations

Shocking Admission By FBI Veteran Shows Why The FBI Shouldn’t Exist

Caitlin Johnstone

On the 18th of November, 1964, the FBI’s appallingly corrupt boss J. Edgar Hoover denounced Martin Luther King Jr. as “the most notorious liar in the country.” A few days later, a Hoover deputy named William Sullivan wrote King a letter posing as a disillusioned follower and using powerful, manipulative language to urge the civil rights leader to commit suicide before evidence of his extramarital affair became public. Enclosed was an FBI recording containing evidence of the affair.

Whenever America celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day we should remind ourselves that it is a known, undisputed fact that the Federal Bureau of Investigation engineered a psyop to manipulate one of the world’s greatest minds into committing suicide. It is also worth reviewing the compelling argument for the case that the FBI was behind King’s assassination as well.

Hoover, who headed the FBI for decades, obsessively despised King on a deeply personal level. He kept files on the civil rights leader in which he’d scribble hateful comments on memos he received about King, apparently for no purpose other than his own gratification and catharsis. On a memo about King receiving the St. Francis peace medal from the Catholic Church, he wrote “This is disgusting.” On the news of King’s meeting with the pope, he scribbled, “I am amazed that the Pope gave an audience to such a degenerate.”

FBI headquarters still wears the name of this childish pig, a brazen admission by the Bureau that it remains very much the same institution which tried to end Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, the same institution which assassinated Black Panthers leader Fred Hampton, the same institution which for years ran the unconstitutional COINTELPRO campaign to infiltrate and sabotage dissident political groups, and which has continued to infiltrate dissident political groups, including Black civil rights groups, to this very day.

We received yet another reminder of the FBI’s true face the other day in an interview with its former Deputy Assistant Director Terry Turchie on Fox’s Tucker Carlson Tonight. In a passing tangent largely unrelated to the rest of the interview, Turchie made the following shocking statement in relation to the ongoing Russiagate saga:

“And I think we can expect more of this, because quite honestly the electorate in some places is putting more and more progressives and self-described socialists in positions. And ironically, years ago, when I first got into the FBI, one of the missions of the FBI in its counterintelligence efforts was to try and keep these people out of government. Why? Because we would end up with massive dysfunction and massive disinformation and massive misinformation, and it seems to me that’s where we’re at today.”

Wow.

Read More: https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/shocking-admission-by-fbi-veteran-shows-why-the-fbi-shouldnt-exist-aa3508483acb

A Call to Reinvestigate American Assassinations

To mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day a group of academics, journalists, lawyers, Hollywood artists, activists, researchers and intellectuals, including two of Robert F. Kennedy’s children, are calling for  reinvestigation of four assassinations of the 1960s.

On the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a group of over 60 prominent American citizens is calling upon Congress to reopen the investigations into the assassinations of President John F. KennedyMalcolm XMartin Luther King Jr., and Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Signers of the joint statement include Isaac Newton Farris Jr., nephew of Reverend King and past president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Reverend James M. Lawson Jr., a close collaborator of Reverend King; and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, children of the late senator. The declaration is also signed by numerous historians, journalists, lawyers and other experts on the four major assassinations.

Read More: https://consortiumnews.com/2019/01/20/a-call-to-reinvestigate-american-assassinations/

 

CIA MIND CONTROL EXPERIMENTS: The Minds of Men | Official Documentary by Aaron & Melissa Dykes

THIS is an EPIC Documentary on CIA human experimentation created by two Missourians.

Please feel free to comment on their YouTube channel page, share it, download it, or buy the DVD from the creators Aaron & Melissa Dykes.

What’s Up with US-Neocon-backed Neo-Nazis in Ukraine?

john mccain Ukraine Neo-Nazi Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok

Kiev Regime – A Western Frankenstein Creation

strategic-culture.org 07.12.2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin put it succinctly when he recently warned that prospects for peace in Ukraine were negligible as long as the current authorities in Kiev remain in power. Worse, given a new rash of provocations by the Kiev regime, the entire region is being threatened with conflict, and even all-out war.

It seems clear – and criminally reprehensible – that the Kiev regime and its President Petro Poroshenko are intent on dragging the United States and the NATO military alliance into a war with Russia. The incendiary conduct of Ukrainian politicians and their military is that of a regime out of control, with no regard for maintaining international peace. But this Frankenstein creation is entirely the responsibility of the American and European governments which have enabled and condoned its reckless behavior.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova got it right when she said that Russia is the party which is preventing Europe from sliding towards war by stoically containing the Kiev regime’s provocative conduct. Yet the regime turns reality on its head by claiming that it is “defending Europe” from “Russian aggression”.

The recent Kerch Strait incident was a cynical and flagrant attempt by Poroshenko to incite a conflict with Russia. The three Ukrainian warships violated Russian maritime borders in a deliberately menacing maneuver. Moscow was within its legal right to apprehend the heavily armed vessels and 24 crew members some of whom were secret services.

Absurdly, the Kiev regime is accusing Russia of “lawlessness”. More perplexing, the US and European governments appear to have bought into that perverse narrative and are also haranguing Russia over the incident. Poroshenko has been doing the US and European media rounds urging American and NATO military support.

This week it was reported that the US Navy 6th Fleet is planning to send a warship into the Black Sea area “in response to Russian aggression”. US warplanes also reportedly this week flew over Ukrainian territory under the so-called Open Skies treaty, in a blatant show of force to Moscow.

Following the Kerch Strait incident, the Kiev regime has gone several steps further in inflaming tensions with Russia.

It is renewing the push for an historic schism in the Russian Orthodox Church. Evidently, the politicians in Kiev are trying to incite sectarian conflict between Ukrainians, many of whom wish to remain part of the Russian Orthodox denomination rather than a putative new, separate church of Ukraine. The nefarious agenda is also to antagonize Moscow which will be obliged to defend the security of its church interests and members.

There were also credible reports of the Ukrainian Armed Forces this week mobilizing artillery and troops on the Contact Line with the breakaway Donbas regions of Luhansk and Donetsk. The Kiev regime has been waging a low-intensity war against the ethnic Russian people in Eastern Ukraine over the past four years because they refuse to accept the legitimacy of the February 2014 coup which ousted an elected government. Despite an international peace treaty, the Minsk Accords of 2014 and 2015, the Kiev regime has shown no signs of granting autonomy to the Donbas regions and has continued its aggressive military campaign. This week’s mobilization of UAF – and reports of NATO troops also present – raises concerns that the Kiev regime is deliberately destabilizing the region.

Poroshenko and his Russophobic cabal are calling on NATO for support in the event of a confrontation with Russia. This is a reckless premeditated pursuit of war, which has been a tendency by the Kiev regime ever since it illegally seized power in the CIA-backed coup d’état in 2014.

Read More: https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/12/07/kiev-regime-western-frankenstein-creation.html

The reality of neo-Nazis in Ukraine is far from Kremlin propaganda

BY LEV GOLINKIN — 

As the Trump administration mulls sending weapons to Ukraine, the question of far-right forces employed by the Kiev government has returned to the forefront. Some Western observers claim that there are no neo-Nazi elements in Ukraine, chalking the assertion up to propaganda from Moscow. Unfortunately, they are sadly mistaken.

There are indeed neo-Nazi formations in Ukraine. This has been overwhelmingly confirmed by nearly every major Western outlet. The fact that analysts are able to dismiss it as propaganda disseminated by Moscow is profoundly disturbing. It is especially disturbing given the current surge of neo-Nazis and white supremacists across the globe.

The most infamous neo-Nazi group in Ukraine is the 3,000-strong Azov Battalion, founded in 2014. Prior to creating Azov, its commander, Andriy Biletsky, headed the neo-Nazi group Patriot of Ukraine, members of which went on to form the core of Azov. Biletsky had stated that the mission of Ukraine is to “lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival … against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”

Azov’s logo is composed of two emblems — the wolfsangel and the Sonnenrad — identified as neo-Nazi symbols by the Anti-Defamation League. The wolfsangel is used by the U.S. hate group Aryan Nations, while the Sonnenrad was among the neo-Nazi symbols at this summer’s deadly march in Charlottesville.

Azov’s neo-Nazi character has been covered by the New York Times, the Guardian, the BBC, the Telegraph and Reuters, among others. On-the-ground journalists from established Western media outlets have written of witnessing SS runes, swastikas, torchlight marches, and Nazi salutes. They interviewed Azov soldiers who readily acknowledged being neo-Nazis. They filed these reports under unambiguous headlines such as “How many neo-Nazis is the U.S. backing in Ukraine?” and “Volunteer Ukrainian unit includes Nazis.”

How is this Russian propaganda?

Read More: https://thehill.com/opinion/international/359609-the-reality-of-neo-nazis-in-the-ukraine-is-far-from-kremlin-propaganda

Is Putin the Provocateur in the Kerch Crisis?

On departure for the G-20 gathering in Buenos Aires, President Donald Trump canceled his planned weekend meeting with Vladimir Putin, citing as his reason the Russian military’s seizure and holding of three Ukrainian ships and 24 sailors.

But was Putin really the provocateur in Sunday’s naval clash outside Kerch Strait, the Black Sea gateway to the Sea of Azov?

Or was the provocateur Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko?

First, a bit of history.

In 2014, after the pro-Russian regime in Kiev was ousted in a coup, and a pro-NATO regime installed with U.S. backing, Putin detached and annexed Crimea, for centuries the homeport of Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

With the return of Crimea, Russia now occupied both sides of Kerch Strait. And this year, Russia completed a 12-mile bridge over the strait and Putin drove the first truck across.

The Sea of Azov became a virtual Russian lake, access to which was controlled by Russia, just as access to the Black Sea is controlled by Turkey.

While the world refused to recognize the new reality, Russia began to impose rules for ships transiting the strait, including 48 hours notice to get permission.

Ukrainian vessels, including warships, would have to notify Russian authorities before passing beneath the Kerch Strait Bridge into the Sea of Azov to reach their major port of Mariupol.

Sunday, two Ukrainian artillery ships and a tug, which had sailed out of Odessa in western Ukraine, passed through what Russia now regards as its territorial waters off Crimea and the Kerch Peninsula. Destination: Mariupol.

The Ukrainian vessels refused to obey Russian directives to halt.

Russian warships fired at the Ukrainian vessels and rammed the tug. Three Ukrainian sailors were wounded, and 24 crew taken into custody.

Russia’s refusal to release the sailors was given by President Trump as the reason for canceling his Putin meeting.

Moscow contends that Ukraine deliberately violated the new rules of transit that Kiev had previously observed, to create an incident.

For his part, Putin has sought to play the matter down, calling it a “border incident, nothing more.”

“The incident in the Black Sea was a provocation organized by the authorities and maybe the president himself. … (Poroshenko’s) rating is falling … so he needed to do something.”

Read More: http://www.unz.com/pbuchanan/is-putin-the-provocateur-in-the-kerch-crisis/

Drama in the Kerch Strait: teasing the Russian bear

 NOVEMBER 27, 2018

The West is complaining about Russian ‘aggression’ but the incident looks more like a cheap ploy by a desperate Ukrainian president and US conservatives keen to undermine Trump’s next pow-wow with Putin

When the Ukrainian navy sent a tugboat and two small gunboats on Sunday to force their way through the Kerch Strait into the Sea of Azov, it knew in advance the Russian response would be swift and merciless. 

After all, Kiev was entering waters claimed by Russia with military vessels without clarifying their intent.

The intent, though, was clear; to raise the stakes in the militarization of the Sea of Azov.

The Kerch Strait connects the Sea of Azov with the Black Sea. To reach Mariupol, a key city in the Sea of Azov very close to the dangerous dividing line between Ukraine’s army and the pro-Russian militias in Donbass, the Ukrainian navy needs to go through the Kerch.

Yet since Russia retook control of Crimea via a 2014 referendum, the waters around Kerch are de facto Russian territorial waters.

Kiev announced this past summer it would build a naval base in the Sea of Azov by the end of 2018. That’s an absolute red line for Moscow. Kiev may have to trade access to Mariupol, which, incidentally, also trades closely with the People’s Republic of Donetsk. But forget about military access.

And most of all, forget about supplying a Ukrainian military fleet in the port of Berdyansk capable of sabotaging the immensely successful, Russian-built Crimean bridge.

Read More: http://www.atimes.com/article/drama-in-the-kerch-strait-teasing-the-russian-bear/

 

The Truth About America’s Crony-Capitalism: It’s Controlled by Less Than a Dozen Companies

People act like massive inequalities are the fault of capitalism, a system of buying and trading goods and services that goes back to the beginning of human history.

In fact, none of us would be alive today if our ancestors did not partake in trading, buying and selling.

It has been evident through the centuries, that humans flourish the most when allowed to partake in trade, and they flourish even more depending on how free the trade is from central authorities’ taxation and arbitrary regulation.

The problem with blaming our current inequalities on today’s system of capitalism is that it’s not really a free system, but tightly controlled by corporate and government-created cartels. It’s crony capitalism. It’s corporatism. It’s not allowing people to freely trade with one another.

It would be a mistake to claim that we need to replace today’s system of centrally controlled trade with another system of central control, like socialism. You can’t cure an ill by doubling up on the poison that caused the illness in the first place.

No system that allows for human freedom and happiness can ever create perfect equality of outcomes for everyone.

Humans are messy creatures, we don’t appreciate any centrally-forced solution that reduces our freedoms.

The best we can hope from a system is to provide an equal playing field for freedom of trade… which is exactly the opposite of what we have going on today in the United States, where eleven companies control every consumer good, while five companies control all mainstream media, and a central bank, owned privately by global conglomerates controls our money policy.

11 companies control everything you buy

11 companies control everything you buy – wikibuy.com

The Myth Of American Capitalism Exposed: Competition Is Dying As The Biggest Corporations Gobble Up Everything

Vibrant competition is absolutely essential in order for a capitalist economic system to function effectively.  Unfortunately, in the United States today we are witnessing the death of competition in industry after industry as the biggest corporations increasingly gobble up all of their competitors.  John D. Rockefeller famously once said that “competition is a sin”, and he was one of America’s very first oligopolists.  According to Google, an oligopoly is “a state of limited competition, in which a market is shared by a small number of producers or sellers”, and that is a perfect description of the current state of affairs in many major industries.  In early America, corporations were greatly limited in scope, and in most instances they were only supposed to exist temporarily.  But today the largest corporations have become so huge that they literally dominate our entire society, and that is not good for any of us.

Just look at what is happening in the airline industry.  When I was growing up, there were literally dozens of airlines, but now four major corporations control everything and they have been making gigantic profits

AMERICA’S airlines used to be famous for two things: terrible service and worse finances. Today flyers still endure hidden fees, late flights, bruised knees, clapped-out fittings and sub-par food. Yet airlines now make juicy profits. Scheduled passenger airlines reported an after-tax net profit of $15.5bn in 2017, up from $14bn in 2016.

What is true of the airline industry is increasingly true of America’s economy. Profits have risen in most rich countries over the past ten years but the increase has been biggest for American firms. Coupled with an increasing concentration of ownership, this means the fruits of economic growth are being monopolised.

If you don’t like how an airline is treating you, in some cases you can choose to fly with someone else next time.

But as a recent Bloomberg article pointed out, that is becoming increasingly difficult to do…

United, for example, dominates many of the country’s largest airports. In Houston, United has around a 60 percent market share, in Newark 51 percent, in Washington Dulles 43 percent, in San Francisco 38 percent and in Chicago 31 percent. This situation is even more skewed for other airlines. For example, Delta has an 80 percent market share in Atlanta. For many routes, you simply have no choice.

And of course the airline industry is far from alone.  In sector after sector, economic power is becoming concentrated in just a few hands.

For a moment, I would like you to consider these numbers

  • Two corporations control 90 percent of the beer Americans drink.
  • Five banks control about half of the nation’s banking assets.
  • Many states have health insurance markets where the top two insurers have an 80 percent to 90 percent market share. For example, in Alabama one company, Blue Cross Blue Shield, has an 84 percent market share and in Hawaii it has 65 percent market share.
  • When it comes to high-speed Internet access, almost all markets are local monopolies; over 75 percent of households have no choice with only one provider.
  • Four players control the entire U.S. beef market and have carved up the country.
  • After two mergers this year, three companies will control 70 percent of the world’s pesticide market and 80 percent of the U.S. corn-seed market.

I knew that things were bad, but I didn’t know that they were that bad.

Capitalism works best when competition is maximized.  In socialist systems, the government itself becomes a major player in the game, and that is never a desirable outcome.  Instead, what we want is for the government to serve as a “referee” that enforces rules that encourage free and fair competition.  Jonathan Tepper, the author of “The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition”, made this point very well in an excerpt from his new book

Capitalism is a game where competitors play by rules on which everyone agrees. The government is the referee, and just as you need a referee and a set of agreed rules for a good basketball game, you need rules to promote competition in the economy.

Left to their own devices, firms will use any available means to crush their rivals. Today, the state, as referee, has not enforced rules that would increase competition, and through regulatory capture has created rules that limit competition.

Our founders were very suspicious of large concentrations of power.  That is why they wanted a very limited federal government, and that is also why they put substantial restrictions on corporate entities.

When power is greatly concentrated, most of the rewards tend to flow to the very top of the pyramid, and that is precisely what we have been witnessing.  The following comes from the New York Times

Even when economic growth has been decent, as it is now, most of the bounty has flowed to the top. Median weekly earnings have grown a miserly 0.1 percent a year since 1979. The typical American family today has a lower net worththan the typical family did 20 years ago. Life expectancy, shockingly, has fallen this decade.

So what is the solution?

Read More: http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/the-myth-of-american-capitalism-exposed-competition-is-dying-as-the-biggest-corporations-gobble-up-everything

These 11 Companies Control Everything You Buy

wikibuy.com

Is freedom of choice an illusion?

The rapid rise of variation in everyday goods and services, from which cereal we eat in the morning to which toothpaste we brush our teeth with at night, gives the perception of unlimited choice. For example, if you’re deciding which bottled water to buy, the possibilities range from budget brands, like Deer Park or Ozarka, to higher-end options, like Perrier or S. Pellegrino. But this appearance of choice is actually manufactured. All of the aforementioned brands are owned by one company: Nestle.

Despite the amount of choices in the consumer market, several big companies own a large majority of major brands, effectively controlling everything you buy.

So, how much of “choice” is really controlled by big business, and how well do Americans understand which corporations have a stake in the goods and services they rely on every day? To find out, we took an in-depth look at the major companies that own a majority of America’s food and consumer goods. Then, we surveyed 3,000 Americans about their understanding of which big businesses own which major brands. Check out our full visual below, or skip ahead to see our survey findings.

Read More: https://wikibuy.com/blog/b8b9