Posts Tagged ‘liberties’
The financial principles that have made America’s economy and people the envy of the world are clear and simple.
- In the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
- In the Constitution:
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Liberty and the blessings of liberty are both the cause and the effect of America’s financial success. Liberty derives from the ability of individual Americans to engage in “the pursuit of happiness” and is sustained by their success in doing so.
The ability to succeed in this elemental pursuit that is the foundation of America’s success and the success of its citizens is being challenged today by the failure of financial Behemoths, the incursion of the Dolts in DC into every aspect of the economy and many aspects of our individual lives. Just look at the headlines from this week alone:
|Obama opens health care summitPresident Barack Obama today opened a health summit
aimed at pushing through his stalled health care overhaul,
saying reform is critical to boosting the struggling U.S. economy and emphasizing coop…
|Home prices fall unexpectedlyHome prices dipped unexpectedly in December,
but the annual rate of decline slowed,
according to Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller indexes.
The S&P composite index of home prices in 20 metr…
|Number of 2010 bank failures climbs to 20The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)
shut down four banks late last week,
bringing the number of U.S. bank failures for the year to 20.
The FDIC took over La Jolla Bank, FSB, in La…
|Foreclosed, delinquent mortgages reach record highThe proportion of U.S. mortgages
in foreclosure or at least one payment past due reached a record high during the fourth quarter,
according to industry data provided by the Mortgage Bankers Associa…
|Fed raises discount rate to 0.75 percentThe Federal Reserve said it will
raise the interest rate it charges banks for emergency loans
in order to improve financial market conditions. The rate will be increased from 0.50 percen…
EUREKONOMICSTM lets you create wealth and manage personal finances regardless of bubbles bursting, markets crashing, Behemoths bumbling, or the Dolts in DC deceiving. EUREKONOMICSTM embraces the founding principles of America’s greatness and molds them into a money management model that every American can easily follow without sacrificing lifestyle or falling prey to the failed financial model that has brought America to the brink of bankruptcy.
What exactly is EUREKONOMICS™ and how does it help you create wealth and manage your personal finances?
EUREKONOMICS™ is a wealth creation and personal finacial management model that guides you as you lay your financial foundation with money that you control, and allows you to effectively…
- manage and eliminate the indentured servitude that derives from your debt
- deal with life’s surprisingly unsurprising surprises, which crop up every day
- secure your retirment with an income you don’t have to work for and you won’t outlive
- create a legacy of wisdom and wealth for those you care most about
The secret that allows EUREKONOMICS™ to serve 21st century Americans so well lies in its foundation. Just as the devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Chile demonstrate how weak foundations create havoc and death and solid foundations save lives. Having a solid foundation of money that you control helps you avoid the devastation of financial earthquakes.
As you gaze over your shoulder and down the path at the receding horizon of the 20th century, the distress and damage the financial model we call the Debt Paradigm has created litters the way. The financial model that let Americans live happily and contentedly in control of their finances and their futures in the middle part of that century lies beyond the horizon. During the past decades it morphed into a model that separated Americans from control their money in the names of credit, investing, and returns – the Debt Paradigm.
EUREKONOMICS™ puts you back in control of your money without changing your lifestyle or pinching your budget.
- EUREKONOMICS™ allows you to comfortably make simple and painless changes in the way you create wealth and manage your personal finances.
- EUREKONOMICS™ show you how to build a foundation that can survive earthquakes, tsunamies, Wall Steet’s serpents, and the Dolts in DC.
- EUREKONOMICS™ advocates for the time tested strategy of saving money in the financial products and institutions that made America’s economy the envy of the world.
- EUREKONOMICS™ reintroduces and reinvigorates the most powerful, flexible, and versatile financial product ever introduced into any economy in any century - participating whole life insurance.
It’s easy to fall back on worn out shibboleths about increasing rates of return, the market always coming back, the fear of inflation, the promise of unrealizable growth, and so on. EUREKONOMICS™ talks about guaranteed rates of return, never losing money, eliminating debt without jeopordizing lifestyle, minimal or no interest loans with no applications needed, ready cash when life demands it, a retirement that is truly secure that you won’t outlive, and leaving some wisdom and wealth behind when you die.
What’s on your horizon? You choose.
Visit www.youBEthebank.com. Click on the Find an Advisor tab above to contact a Money for Life Guide and learn how you will benefit from EUREKONOMICS™.
There is much talk in Washington suggesting that the Federal Government should take over businesses and social programs based on the assumption that…
- equality of results is essential to the success of everyday Americans
- equality of opportunity – “the pursuit of happiness” – is inappropriate for the 21st century
An economics professor once faced a group of students that insisted that equality of results, not equality of opportunity, would create a better society and economy. They insisted that an economic model of big government, big union, and big bureaucracy for redistributing wealth, like the one the Obama administration seems to be promoting, would work better than and that promoted by the Founders. They believed that such a model would create a society where no one would be poor and no one would be rich – a great equalizer.
The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class based on a plan by which big government redistributes the wealth of the country to create equality among its citizens. In this class – our country for this experiment – grades are the wealth. We will average all of your individual grades and everyone will receive the same average grade. You will all be equal. No single student will fail.”
The class agreed to the experiment. After the first test, the professor averaged the grades of all the students and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were somewhat upset while the students who studied little were happy. However, all of the students accepted the outcome and felt the experiment proved the case for redistribution.
As the second test rolled around, many of the students who studied little studied even less and the students who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied less. The second test average was a C-!
No one was happy. Doubts about the efficacy of the program crept in.
When the third test rolled around, the class average was F. The scores never increased after that. Bickering, blaming, and name-calling created hard feelings. The professor was demonized. The students, disincentivized to achieve at a high level, would not study for the benefit of everyone else. Every single student failed.
The professor demonstrated to the students that redistributing wealth – grades in this case…
- failed to create benefits for any individual student
- penalized every student
The experiment demonstrated that a socialist society would also ultimately fail. We have seen the results of these kinds of governments many times over during the past one hundred years in failed socialist countries around the world. When the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great.
“When government tries to make everyone equal instead of assuring that everyone has equal opportunity, government imprisons individual liberties, shackles incentive, and no one can succeed.”
- Dr Agon Fly
As the late Adrian Rogers said, “you cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”
EUREKONOMICSTM rests on the solid principles laid down in the Founding Documents and the two hundred fifty years of the demonstrated success of free enterprise that transformed America and other free societies into economic, social, and moral leaders.
These principles have endured, successfully overcome abuses along the way, and currently recognize the failures in the system that need attention…
- Some businesses grew and prospered on the backs of slave labor but failed for the same reason.
- Some businesses abused capital and took advantage of workers, and free enterprise America corrected for these errors by creating competing businesses that honored the work of their employees.
- Unions began as advocates for employees and morphed into empires that exploit their members.
- Groups like Acorn and AARP masquerade as advocates for members but act in their own interest or as the pawns of political groups.
- Elected officials seem to lose their moral and ethical compasses as well as the memory of who elected them once they achieve office.
There are few economists and economic writers that can clearly articulate complex economic concepts as well as L. Carlos Lara and the other members of the United Services & Trust Corporation. Here is an historical and factual discussion of…
In-Depth by: L. Carlos Lara | Friday, February 5, 2010
My thoughts on the subject of sound money, of course, are not original. They have been guided here by my own private study of writers of a unique school of economic thought. These great thinkers, to whom I refer, can be traced to Salamanca, Spain as early as the 15th century. Later they were found in Austria, but now are centrally located here in the United States. These economic theorists have at their core of thinking the principles of scarcity and choice. More importantly, they believe that economic value is subjective to the individual. These concepts, when used in the thinking process, provide the ability to see the world and especially the market economy in a uniquely different way from all other schools of thought. What becomes apparent by utilizing this way of thinking is that an idea has crept into our world that is destructive. Ludwig von Mises, one of the greatest of these economists, believed that this idea was evil and that no one should give in to it. He felt, as most Austrian economists do now, that fighting against this idea was a responsibility each one of us had to society because the stakes are extremely high. They are nothing less than the future of human freedom. (1.)
Young or old, our own education is where our fight must originate. However, learning how the world works according to this manner of thinking is a different type of education not earned in the classroom. In fact, this type of education is an individual endeavor and each of us must decide when we really want to take it up in earnest. What most disappoints us is that even after we decide to take up this intellectual battle sometimes our understanding comes slowly. Painful experiences, for example, can be some of our greatest teachers, however, it is not until these experiences are combined with a sound body of knowledge and historical evidence that an epiphany occurs. As for me, I am “too soon old, too late smart.” (2.) Nevertheless, it is never too late to begin.
To understand what is meant by sound money, we need to examine a bit of history. There are a few unique characteristics about money that I suggest we revisit in order to obtain a full perspective on this matter especially in light of our current economic environment.
The Genesis of Money
First of all, money did not come into being by some sort of agreement, or social contract. Money comes into being freely in the market place by trial and error. This happens as individuals begin to facilitate the process of exchanging goods with one another.
In the days of bartering (what economists refer to as “direct exchange”), problems arose when people attempted to exchange two different commodities. For example, if you had butter to exchange for beef, but no one wanted your butter, then you obviously had a problem without a solution. This exchange problem, because it came up quite frequently, forced society to search for a commodity to serve as a temporary exchange, or what economists refer to as an “indirect exchange.” Obviously, the commodity society ultimately selected for the indirect exchange had to be highly marketable. It may have been eggs, milk or bread, but, whatever it was, society eventually employed it as money.
Over the course of time the one medium of exchange that won over all other forms of money has been gold. Why gold? Because it has features no other commodity has. For example, it is divisible. Imagine trying to divide butter to pay for something. Gold, on the other hand, can be cut up into tiny pieces while retaining its prorata value so that money calculations can be made. By making gold in either bullion bars or coins, it becomes very portable and very convenient to use.
There is also the fact that from time immemorial gold has been valuable as jewelry principally because of its decorative beauty. In addition to this, we must not forget that gold is limited in its supply. It is mined from the ground at great expense in order to get more of it. But that is not all; gold is extremely durable and non-perishable. It can last for centuries. And finally, gold is homogeneous. It can be made to look exactly like another of its kind, as in gold coins. For these reasons it is not surprising why historically gold has been the money of choice. No doubt, gold is sound money.
This brings up two extremely relevant questions.
What is the right quantity of money? How much should it grow?
These questions have been asked by economists for centuries. The struggle continues. As we well know, there has been an astronomical increase of the money supply by the Federal Reserve Bank during the last four decades and especially last year. The general public, I believe, innately knows that all this new money creation is not a good thing for society. I also am also convinced that only one man in a million knows how it is done and why. To help understand this and know for certain what the right answers to these two questions are, we need to try asking ourselves this question: What should the optimum amount of canned peas be in society? Or, what is the optimum amount of fresh turkeys, or watermelons, or cattle, or whatever commodity comes to mind. The point is that the more consumable goods we have in society the better it is for everyone. In fact, more goods in the market help bring down prices and our standard of living goes up. However, this is not the case with more money. An increase of money provides no social benefit whatsoever.
Why no benefit? Because money cannot be eaten or consumed. Money, remember, is used for exchange purposes only. Once a commodity is in sufficient supply as money, no further increases are needed. Any quantity of money is optimal. The more mining of gold for uses other than money, such as jewelry, is perfectly fine, but more gold as money is not needed. An increase in money only dilutes its value. And, it is this last point–dilution–that represents the sum total of our money problems today.
To put my points into perspective, imagine a free market economy where gold is the money. In such a society one can acquire the gold in one of three ways– mining, selling, or as a gift. In each one of these methods of acquiring gold, the principle of private property is strictly honored. However, let’s suppose an individual decides to take advantage of gold’s homogenous feature and creates an enormous amount of counterfeit gold coins for himself. This act will create a permanent destructive rippling effect throughout society. In addition to its fraudulent method of acquiring the gold and undermining the foundations of morality and private property, the counterfeiter will also increase the money supply substantially when he spends the money in the marketplace. With more money in supply, its value will necessarily decrease and drive up prices on all goods. This, of course, is price inflation. It is very destructive because it impoverishes the whole of society, while the counterfeiting continues. The counterfeiter obviously benefits immediately by getting the money first, as opposed to the later recipients of the money, or those who never get the money at all…usually the average hard working citizen. These good people wind up paying dearly because they are left to deal only with the increased prices on all the goods in the market place. For them the cost of living simply rises year after year, and no one can provide an explanation as to why it happens. For this reason, Austrian Economists have always said that the inflation process (the increase of the money supply), is a form of indirect or invisible tax on society. This entire counterfeiting scheme is cleverly hidden.
We are fortunate that private counterfeiting has really never been much of a problem in modern times. The shaving of the edges of gold coins, the customary method of counterfeiting, ceased when milling was developed. However, when counterfeiting is mandated by government, when it is legalized, we have a serious economic and moral problem for all of society. Historically, there have been two major kinds of government mandated counterfeiting-(a) Government paper money and (b) Fractional Reserve Banking. This is precisely what we have today in our United States, but not just here-now it is all over the world.
“There is in all of us a strong disposition to believe that anything lawful is legitimate. Thus, in order to make plunder appear just and sacred to many consciences, it is only necessary for the law to decree and sanction it.” (3.)
The American public, in just this past year, has become increasingly more informed in the absurd concept of printing dollars on a printing press, and then spending them as a solution to stimulating the economy. They realize that a flood of dollars into the market only devalues the currency. However, a much more insidious and camouflaged feature of our banking system is Fractional Reserve Banking. If you have the time, you can learn how that works by watching this educational video “The Mystery of Banking.” In the meantime, the most important thing to comprehend and remember is that so long as government paper money is redeemable in gold, it is as “good as gold” and can be said to be sound money. Our paper money, however, has not been linked to gold since President Roosevelt made that linkage illegal in 1933. Since that time, the continuous expansion of the money supply, mandated by government through its Federal Reserve Bank, has devalued our money by 97%. There seems to be no end in sight.
Message of Hope
Obviously, we must re-link our dollar back to gold. By doing so, we would all own, by assignment, property rights to a unit weight of gold. If our dollars are redeemable in gold, all banks would automatically be 100% reserve banks. More importantly, inflation would stop because gold cannot be inflated.
Next, we must privatize all banking, thereby abolishing government’s monopoly over our money. If step one and two can be accomplished, then there would be no need for the Federal Reserve. Step three would be to close it down. If that happened, the size and expense of government would decrease immensely; our taxes would go way down, our savings-which fuel investment-would go up.
Think this is too big to accomplish? You would be amazed at the literally hundreds of thousands who support this solution. This support has been fueled in large part by the Mises Institute, the Foundation for Economic Education and other such private institutes, funded with no connection to powerful elites. These centers of education have become the places for learning the economic principles that our children and grandchildren need to be taught. They continue to fan the flame of liberty by publishing articles, scholarly journals, books, by holding conferences, and teaching students. Because of their efforts spanning more than 60 years here in America, there is faith, hope and expectancy at these independent scholarly institutions that a dramatic change in the political and social landscape is right around the corner, a belief that a great change can take place overnight when the ideological conditions are right. These institutions continue to provide the educational fuel to keep the fire burning. Every conscientious citizen should join and become a member of one.
Remember, we do not need to convince the entirety of the United States. With only 10% of the population supporting this solution, public policy can actually change. In the end, all economic policies are ultimately dependent on the views of the general public and our choice is final! America was founded on the principle that the masses, the people, determine the course of our history, but this movement for change must start with the individual–that means you and me.
L. Carlos Lara is President of United Services and Trust Corporation, a Management Consulting Firm specializing in Business Consulting, Corporate Trust Services, Corporate and Private Seminars including Speaking Engagements.
1. Special credit to Ludwig von Mises, Austrian Economist born 1881 Lemberg, Austria-Hungary, died 1973 New York City, NY. Noted for Praxeology. The Science of Human Action. Also, special credit given to Murray N. Rothbard, Austrian Economist, 1926-1995, student of Mises, for all information in this article.
2. From the title of the national best selling book Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart, Thirty True Things You Need To Know , by Gordon Livingston, M.D. Copyright 2004 by Gordon Livingston published by Da Capo Press
3. Frederic Bastiat 1801-1850, The Law-the classic blueprint for a just society. Republished by the Foundation for Economic Education, Irvington-on-Hudson, New York
Copyright © 2009-2010 United Services & Trust Corporation. All rights reserved. Repreinted with permission.
The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards stated mission is “to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for personal financial planning.” The CFP Board’s web site discusses and defines financial planning as “the process of meeting your life goals through the proper management of your finances.”
Here’s the contradiction. Planning is one thing. Management is another thing altogether. Planning may be a prerequisite to managing personal finances but it is not the process itself.
Planning is a map-making process. Map-making is done from an aloof and uninvolved position using esoteric engineering tools to describe real terrain in abstract terms. Managing is what you have to do when you come to the river on the map and discover that there is no way to cross the turbulent waters at that particular point because last week’s flood washed away the bridge on last month’s map.
Financial planning, as described and defined by the CFP® training program, is akin to map-making. The planner is not actively involved in the “the process of meeting [a clients] life goals through the proper management of [their] finances.” The planner’s role is to recommend and sell financial products and advisory services that may or may not actually support the goals of the client during the management phase.
There are, of course, ethical standards to which each CFP® must adhere. There are also practice standards that the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. and other regulatory powers impose and enforce. Add to that the burden of the standards and rules of conduct imposed by bureaucratic regulatory agencies such as FINRA and these collectively impose a set of “established norms of practice” on the planner that often restrict the options the planner may present to the client.
The restrictions may not overtly deny a client the best option, but often direct the options along the “established norms of practice” and thereby deny the possibility of any other better-suited alternatives.
None of what I wrote above intends to demean either the designation or practices of those who legitimately profess themselves to be financial planners. It does intend to clarify that the entire process of planning and managing personal finances is shrouded by an imposing oversight structure and that this structure does not always provide Americans with the most appropriate personal financial advice or products.
Case on Point…
Over the past decade, I have met with and trained hundreds of insurance and financial advisors in life insurance and Series 6 pre-licensing, and a wide variety of continuing education topics including ethics.
- Almost every one of these professionals assumed that investing is an appropriate – perhaps essential – part of every American’s personal financial program – an idea that Behemoths in government and on Wall Street slowly injected into the American psyche over the past 30 years.
- One-hundred percent of them assumed that contributing to a 401(k) or its equivalent was the starting point for every personal financial management program – another idea that slithered into our collective psyche in just the past 20 odd years.
- Fewer than one in ten of these – ahem – professionals (not referring specifically to CFPs®) understood the most basic concepts relating to participating whole life insurance, mutual insurance companies, or even the life insurance products they sold most – universal life insurance.
- Only a handful understood the most elemental economic principles that clearly indicate that participating whole life insurance is the best and safest foundation for virtually every personal financial management plan.
One can more easily grasp the reasons for this strange set of facts when one reviews the history of personal financial management in America since 1974, a history that illustrates the slow erosion of control of personal wealth from the pond of individuals to the oceans of government and Wall Street.
I am often accused of being “down on” financial planners. Not true. I am down on lemming-like robotic adherence to “established norms of practice” that have misled Americans into a financial swamp that consumes both their money and their liberty while denying the validity of more conservative and viable financial management strategies.
Financial planning is an oxymoron when it denies the use of planning tools and strategies at the expense of individual wealth and liberty.
by Jeffrey Reeves youBEthebank.com
Knowledge, understanding, and wisdom are complimentary and synergistic. However, it should be clear that only wisdom embodies the qualities of all three. It is possible to have an abundance of knowledge, deep understanding, and a complete lack of wisdom.
NAZI Germany (and successors totalitarian governments around the world today) demonstrated this gap most shockingly when it applied knowledge of what is required to sustain human life and understanding of how to eliminate those requirements to annihilate six million Jewish and other human beings. Wisdom was absent.
When discussing knowledge, understanding, and wisdom as they relate to personal economics, considering the role of education is essential. 21st century Americans do not understand money. One of America’s leading commentators on money, wealth, and business in general said this:
“In most cases, when people make more money, they get deeper in debt.” – Robert Kiyosaki
These folks have knowledge and understanding but a serious deficit in wisdom.
Nonsense from VP Joe Biden and Others
Our educators, legislators, unions, big businesses, and government bureaucracies have led Americans down a similar path to financial ruin. Many Americans’ personal economies are already broken and the US government is following a fools path to financial ruin with its insistence that “We the people” need more debt.
“Now, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’. The answer is yes, that’s what I’m telling you.” – VP Joe Biden
Debt Equals Loss of Liberty
The foundation for a personal (or national) economy is money that you control. Debt is money that others control. Worse still, it is money that you actually pay those others to control. You give up your libertyand pay others to do so as if it were a privilege.
Alternative to Debt
EUREKONOMICS™ teaches that money serves you in four – and only four – ways.
- It serves to eliminate debt and regain control of money that was previously ceded to others.
- It serves as ready cash to deal with life’s surprisingly unsurprising surprises – unexpected expenses and opportunities.
- It serves to deliver inflation protected income at a time of your choosing that you don’t have to work for and you can’t outlive.
- Finally – in every sense – your money and your wisdom about money allow you to deliver a legacy to those you care most about.
Debt is financial death and the death of liberty. Presidents, Vice Presidents, legislators, union bosses, big business execs, and individual Americans that fail to recognize this fact lack knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.
Ron Jennings, a successful Money for Life Guide in West Chester, Ohio, emailed this Adrian Rogers quote. While you are reading it, reflect on the policies and practices of the federal government during the Great Depression.
“You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation.
You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”– Adrian Rogers, 1931 – 2005
The most prosperous decades in American history for the common citizen occurred in the late 20th century when the Federal Government reversed the policies of the Great Depression and reduced its meddling in the personal economics of the American family.
Unfortunately, those also turned into the decades of the greatest financial frauds in American history. Not the least among these frauds (but the least recognized and reported) are the pork-barrel projects of the power and money hungry Dolts in DC.
The problem we Americans face today is that our personal economies are being attacked by the cons in Congress and White House Wonks. Their attack is based on the false premise that Adrian Rogers stated so clearly just a few years ago (above). The saddest aspect of the current attempt to reduce the individual liberties of every American by a small majority of committed liberals is that it failed in the 1930s and it won’t work today. Moreover, the elitists in Congress are unwilling to apply to themselves the same standards they want to apply to unsuspecting Americans – that includes you and me.
The greatest attack on your personal economy comes from the proposed National Health Insurance plan. The simple reality is that the “plan” is more complex and convoluted than even Medicare and Medicaid – both of which are riddled with fraud and neither of which has reached a level of fiscal discipline needed to become a model for all of America.
Even worse, the “plan” favors big unions, big business, big government, and big bureaucracies at the expense of everyday citizens and small and micro businesses like the Avon lady, the child care center, the local independent insurance rep, small manufacturers and distributors, the local plumber, electrician, and heating contractor, and too many others to mention.
The greatest fraud, however, is that there is not a single congressperson that has read and evaluatedthe several 1,000+ page bills that are being bandied about the halls of the Capitol; nor will they. They plan to lift our liberties right out of our pockets and they don’t care enough to know all the details.
By Jeffrey Reeves, MA