Fixing healthcare, higher education, housing, the wealth gap, mass shootings, the environment and ending racism.
My college buddies and I just had our annual CUBIGS reunion (“CU Boulder Idiot Golfing Squad”).
Enough beer was consumed to float the Titanic with carbonation alone. My wife made me sleep in the garage for a week to get the stench out.
In our early 40’s, we’re juggling a potpourri of loving wives, complicated divorces, kids of all ages (and temperaments), restaurant ownership, career conundrums, debt in all its forms, and hair-lines receding in unison like a well-trained team of synchronized swimmers.
We take one weekend each year to escape responsibility, reminisce about our care-free times in Boulder, drink way too much, then try to hit a golf ball straight.
A mixed bunch politically, we’ve got your Donald Trump fans to go along with some die-hard democrats pushing for AOC, the Bern’, and Elizabeth Warren.
I’m the fly-in-the-ointment who says all politicians are either stupid or crooked.
“If that weren’t so, you’d know it because they’d have to call-out the money system as fraudulent, the root of nearly all evil, and headed for collapse”.
“You offer no solutions”, replied Johnny Utah (nicknamed after Keanu in Point Break). “How can we fix healthcare, the environment, mass shootings, racism, and the wealth gap on criticism alone?!”
You asked for it, Utah. Here is My Plan to Save the World, free of charge.
Rule #1: Return to Gold-Backed Money
At the risk of being redundant, this is far and away the best thing any society can do to level the playing field, improve opportunity and create prosperity for the 99%.
Those in power marginalize it because it severely limits their control.
They want you to believe the consensus says it can’t work in modern times, because you’re afraid to look stupid by questioning the wisdom of the herd.
Don’t ever be afraid to stand up for what’s right, alone if you have to.
We went off the gold standard in 1971 after LBJ and Nixon printed so many dollars for welfare and warfare that foreign governments were cashing in our gold stash.
This fateful move started the great financialization, the hollowing out of America with debt. Inequities have exploded since, where we sit in perspiration today, finger quivering on the trigger.
To create money from nothing allows government to skim from the paychecks of teachers, firemen, taxi-drivers, line cooks, waitresses, construction workers, retirees, and business people. They inflate the money supply instead of adopting spending discipline or having any honest debate about taxation.
Worse, we’re dragged into endless war without any real discussion of how we’re going to pay for the death, destruction, and decades of anguish for a generation of soldiers and their families.
Paper money is at the root of the massive wealth gap. Look no further than the Federal Reserve which refers to their stimulative policy goal as the “wealth effect”.
They named it that! Then, they have the audacity to deny all culpability, a move that can only be described as dishonest or stupid. It must be one or both.
The gold standard brings a discipline we’re lacking, as there is no printing of new money without gold backing. The economy runs more smoothly because gold limits debt and malinvestment. There’s more opportunity, and a higher standard of living distributed across social classes.
It’s like putting your family on a balanced budget.
Is there anything more critical for the success of your family than working under a balanced budget? For family, currency, or country, the same rules apply.
In contrast, the historical performance of paper money is a flaming dumpster rolling downhill towards a crowd of peasants. We know how it ends. Let’s avoid that fate, shall we?
We can also “end the Fed” and their foolhardy practice of setting interest rates, the most important price in the economy. Why do we not set the price of milk, eggs, socks and televisions, too?
That’s what markets are for, stupid.
We may as well be the Soviet Union. And people wonder why the economy is not allocating resources well?
The economy is not a machine that can be managed. It’s a complex, dynamic system that needs unfettered price discovery in everything, most importantly in money.
Rule #2: Voluntarism
The power of government comes from the barrel of a gun, as Mao Zedong, the Chinese dictator, socialist, and mass murderer said. Control of others by force – the government’s primary monopoly – corrupts the morals and judgment of those who wield it (credit, Richard Maybury).
Even if coveted with the best of intentions, few are worthy.
The problem, therefore, is giving too much power to anyone. The answer is to limit this power, removing force from the equation. Every transaction must have only willing participants.
The role of government should be to protect against aggression and enforce contracts. We must stop letting the law push people around through regulatory capture.
Those who control it quickly become not the best among us, but the power-hungry, the busybodies, the charlatans, sociopaths, and eventually, just the highest bidders.
Only when the law cannot do their bidding will they retreat like cockroaches under the lights.
Any law is easily scrutinized not by whether “we think it has merit”, but by the question “does this law protect an unwilling party against aggression?”.
If the answer is “no” or worse, the law protects an aggressor or inhibits willing parties from free exchange, it must be wiped from the books. Those so inclined may toast its demise over two fingers of bourbon.
As the French say, voila.
Our problems are solved with enough time to discuss poetry over scones. What about healthcare? Housing? College costs? The environment? Mass-shootings? Racism?
Let’s see what happens in each…
Healthcare is a steaming pile of dung, and your government is the one to thank. They can no more fix healthcare than a golden retriever can prepare a broccoli casserole. Put the dog back in his crate.
No matter the intentions, let’s look at the outcomes. Your all-knowing government came along to “make healthcare affordable” for seniors (and buy votes for LBJ during the Vietnam War) in 1965.
Medicare was introduced, and look what happened next-
How’s that for a “great society”?
Now we spend $0.20 of every dollar sticking probes in our orifices, and feel zero responsibility for any of it (our own health, or the cost of care). More probes, doc. Save me!
Need more evidence? Medicare did not cover outpatient prescription drugs until January 1, 2006, when they implemented the Part D benefit. What happened to drug prices?
“Johnny Utah” blames evil corporations, but corporations that are evil don’t survive in free markets. They survive only with protection by government through regulatory capture.
To thrive in free markets, businesses must provide the best product at the best price.
Government, on the other hand, is where evil survives because of its monopoly on force. When they get into industries like healthcare, the whole apparatus is captured by rent-seeking cronies.
That can’t happen under Rules #1 and #2, without government printing and dictating how money is spent with laws formulated to protect the bigwigs.
What happens to prices, if we remove the laws that protect cartels and giant government buyers with mis-incentives? They inevitably come down through competition.
Ever wonder why no one talks about “evil corporations” in any industries except the ones in which your government is the biggest buyer of services or largest guarantor of debt?
Guess what other industries have the same rubberstamp? Housing and higher education.
Solved, and solved. Rules #1 and #2 keep government out of them too.
These markets have become badlands of fraud, waste, misallocation of capital, cronyism, and abuse, all at the hands of government coercion. They have not been “free” in many years.
Need another visual?
The federal government got into the student loan business in 1965 by guaranteeing all loans issued by private lenders (thereby removing any incentive for lenders to prudently evaluate risk). In 2010, they took it over completely by issuing loans directly from Department of Education.
Massive credit lines were opened for tuition, and colleges did what any business would in the face of increased demand: they raised prices, and expanded capacity.
Look at the chart-
We don’t make things “affordable” by artificially inflating demand with debt, government guarantees, and taxes. We make them unaffordable, while creating winners and losers. When will we learn?
Okay, this is a tough one, unless we start culling the herd (not suggesting that).
As a species, we’re doing what organisms do, growing into our food supply like bacteria in a petri-dish that multiply until all of the Jell-O is consumed (credit, Chris Martenson).
The problem is we are not only consuming current, regenerative food supplies, but hundreds of millions of years of ancient life in the form of fossil fuels, and doing so at an alarming pace.
It’s getting awkward, to relay to our children platitudes about recycling as we violently shake the food chain with mass extinctions, disrupt the climate, ruin the soil, and level the rainforests.
So, what is My Plan to Save the World going to do about it?
The biggest problem – you guessed it – is the debt-based paper money system. It requires endless, exponential growth (because every dollar is created as a loan, payable with interest).
If GDP isn’t growing enough to afford the interest payments, the system is collapsing, and that pain is too significant for society to worry about plastic straws in the ocean (or anything else).
All collective efforts today are directed at GDP growth.
Growth requires greater consumption of materials. More oil, more copper, more coal, more cattle, corn, cars, concrete, plastic, rainforest, fish, and most of all, more debt.
Somewhere, a dove cries as we scrape the Earth for another 1,000 points on the DOW like an addict harvesting his pipe for resin, just one more fix before the sun comes up.
The first step toward curtailing this destruction is a return to sound money, including elimination of fractional reserve banking. If gold (at 100% backing) becomes money again, the system will not need perpetual growth. That will be a great start towards sustainability.
Only a start, I’ll concede.
The other thing we can do is disincentivize procreation. There are 7.5 billion people on the Earth, but that number could be cut in half in 50 years if we stopped having unprotected sex.
Sure, that would hasten the collapse of Social Security, but that’s going to happen anyway. It’s a Ponzi scheme. Should we delay the reckoning by stuffing more rubes into the Ponzi and risk collapsing the freak’n food chain instead, or just accept it’s a bygone concept and plan accordingly?
Take my advice, young people: Kids are a huge pain-in-the-ass.
Every day I am tugged in too many directions, with too many mouths to feed. You should see my monthly credit card bills, which arrive in the mail to a giant flushing sound.
The lost freedom and financial responsibility of procreation are massive in a world as uncertain as this. Cherish your freedom, those who have it, and those with kids, make sure they understand it.
We don’t need everyone to stop procreating.
We can just take our foot off the gas by making it abundantly clear what a monstrous burden children are (as much as we love the ones we have!).
Kids are cute, sure, but that doesn’t last anyway. Here’s a meme to spread the word-
If that doesn’t work, we use tax credits as incentives for NOT having children.
Boo-ya, problem solved, folks.
Another tough one. I should have quit while I was ahead, telling my target audience of parents that they should never have had their beloved, sticky, whiny, chocolate-covered kids.
Is anyone still reading at word number 1,976? Anyone? Bueller?
Of course you’re reading, champ, because no one else tells it like it is. Just wait for the upcoming line of better bedtime stories. Your kids will never trust authority again.
Okay, mass shootings… our theory on these is that the people who commit them are almost certainly on prescription drugs for mental health, a.k.a. brain scrambles.
Enough of these drugs actually list “suicidal or homicidal ideations” as side effects on the bottle. Perhaps we should look at those more closely, eh Sherlock?
Forget PHI, let’s open the medical records of mass-shooters before another schoolroom is riddled full of bullets. Privacy is critical to a free society, but if you kill innocent people, your right is forfeited.
The real problem isn’t that so many people who want to mass-murder random, innocent strangers can get their hands on assault rifles. That’s a secondary problem, sure.
The first-order problem is people want to MASS-MURDER RANDOM STRANGERS.
Why are so many humans suddenly, semi-regularly bugging-out in this very specific, very horrific way? Can we blame Trump? Obama? The Federal Reserve?
I think it’s the brain scrambles, friends.
The molecules in prescription drugs are carefully designed in laboratories to scramble your brains. Sometimes it works wonders, and occasionally it makes you freak’n bananas.
Sure, it doesn’t help that the money system is crooked, and most of us plebes don’t understand why we are getting bent over and f—ed in the ass all day by an unseen force.
But they wouldn’t go on a killing spree if their brains weren’t scrambled up like a Denver omelet.
So, let’s open the medical records, and if we find a common thread, we ban the medications. We have to. If that doesn’t work, come back to me for Plan B.
But it’ll work, trust me.
Things are going to be so succulent after Rules #1 and #2, there won’t be an appetite left to hate. We’ll be having too much fun, like four-year-old’s drooling in a bounce-house.
Once we’re no longer getting rear-ended, the heavy baton of government stiff against our throats, the desire to point fingers will dissipate quickly.
Jussie Smollett won’t have to fake his own lynching as a vehicle for social change.
For any that do cling to racial biases, let them stew in their own s— while the rest of us build bridges, break bread, pour beers, and eat black-and-white cookies together.
What we cannot do under Rule #2 is legislate favoritism for any class of people (itself discrimination). I get that it was done for hundreds of years favoring white males, but we can’t fix that by flipping the script and creating unequal privileges for others. That’s right out of Dr. Seuss.
It didn’t work for the Sneetches, and it won’t work for us.
If you think we should discriminate against one group to end racism or sexism against another, you’re a hypocrite, and not very bright. You won’t save the world with that thinking.
To save the world, we need to get post-race, post-gender. We’re all humans, made of the same stuff, with the same hopes, dreams, and fears, for ourselves and our children.
We’re in this together, and should celebrate our differences.
The problem is we’re all getting butt f—ed by the money system. The string-pullers are happy when you miss that subtlety, attacking each other instead like caged rats.
Be the change you want to see, and help your kids do same. Stop the hate.
There you have it, Utah. My Plan to Save the World, under 3,000 words and I didn’t break a sweat. Give me something harder next time.
This isn’t that difficult, folks. What works and what doesn’t is all in the pages of history. So, crack the books, champ, and tune out the bullshit. We’ll help you keep it straight.
Would My Plan to Save the Word actually save the world? We can’t know for certain, because it won’t get implemented. The human experiment is way off course, and unlikely to avoid catastrophe.
I’m not saddened by that.
I could be saddened, but I’m not. This time we have on Earth together is too short. I’ve decided instead to embrace a state of appreciation and enchantment. Want to join me?
Choose to cherish every fleeting moment in kidlike wonder, making the best of them for your beautiful wife (or husband), your beautiful children and your beautiful self. You deserve that.
In a way, it’s cool to feel you see what everyone is missing. I’m happy to watch it unfold like I know it will, prepare as best I can, and place a few key bets accordingly.
As Ivan Drago once said, if he dies, he dies.
This planet – Earth we call it – has been around for 4.5 billion years, and will be around for 4.5 billion more. Species will come and go. Don’t get too hung up on the details you can’t control.
There is no voting our way out of this (tinvowoot), so just do the right thing, put on some acoustic guitar, and smile frequently.
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Want more like this? Try We’re Headed Back to a Gold Standard (and what to do first).