Dateline: Makati, Philippines
In the sixteenth century, the Philippines were already playing an important role in international trade.
Manila, home to the important Manila-Acapulco route of the Spanish Treasure Fleet, was booming. In fact, it was from Manila in which one of the world’s first eastward-bound trade routes was found when Miguel Legazpi – for whom part of the modern-day city of Makati is named – discovered the way back to the Americas.
However, after centuries of colonial rule, Filipinos took up arms during the Philippines Revolution of 1896. Fifty years later, the country would be reborn as the second Filipino Republic after keeping colonial governments at bay.
Of course, over the subsequent decades, dozens of nations around the world have broken free from desperate governments that stretched themselves too thin. However, no matter how desperate a government becomes, they always manage to keep a straight face.
It is that dedication to “keeping the party going” among politicians that leaves the general public thinks their government is in total control when, in fact, it is not.
Today, we are living in an era of desperate governments.
With the rise of the internet, recent whistleblowers like Edward Snowden – and citizens losing faith in the institutions like government and banking- the roving gangs that operate as governments around the world are starting to feel the pressures of having to constantly prove their legitimacy in order to keep their power.
Ever notice how the mainstream media portrays decent, in other words, viewpoints that go against the American two-party system, or that actually question the system?
Typically the media will personally attack the messenger, and attempt to marginalize him or her, without actually taking on the facts presented. This is how propaganda works, and it’s why there is an unholy alliance between government and the media in much of the developed world.
The propaganda runs deep in The Land of the Free. The US has 24-hour news stations spewing the latest propaganda that the White House would like you to believe. It has “free speech zones”, routine checkpoints on the highways, the TSA, the NSA, and the IRS all there to keep the slaves in line.
But, they’ll claim, the citizens are “free”.
Desperate governments no know bounds. In Thailand (the United States of Asia – in a bad way – in my opinion), the country’s name basically means The Land of the Free.
When it comes to government, there is a clear reek of desperation in the air. Here are seven signs that you live under a desperate government:
1. The economy is a house of cards. In order to have people continuing to believe things are just fine and dandy, the Federal Reserve’s only move is to keep printing money and calling it “quantitative easing”. This serves to prop up the stock market and the housing market, and while inflation keeps ticking upward, they can simply not report all data and make it look like prices are stable and everyone is happy.
2. Taxes and regulations are increasing. This can be clearly seen at local and state levels. For example, the communist state of California has recently increased state income taxes on those earning $508,500 or above to a whopping 12.3%! If you made a million dollars last year and claim California as your residence, you would owe the bureaucrats in Sacramento $120,300.
3. Capital Controls are enforced. Capital controls are alive and well in the USSA. We’ve covered FACTA and its implications quite extensively on this blog. Section 1474 refers to “withholdable payments” to Foreign Financial Institutions that don’t meet United States standards for information sharing.
The law requires that any financial institution (US or foreign) remitting any foreign payment to a bank in such a country withhold 30 percent of the amount of such payment and remit that percentage to the IRS as a tax.
This makes banks the tax police, working for the government to bring about individual compliance. The provision also holds the banks harmless if they improperly hold the 30 percent when it is not due.
Therefore, banks will be inclined to simply withhold 30 percent tax on all foreign payments to banks and countries that do not have what are considered “information sharing” agreements with the United States.
4. Retirement savings nationalization. Nationalization is an important sign that you live under a desperate government. This has happened time and time again in various countries throughout history.
I can already hear the cries “It can’t happen here! This is America! Freedom! Capitalism!”
It can and will happen here, and of course- they won’t call it nationalization, but rather, they will try to make people feel guilty by being against it.
Good old propaganda strikes again.
And it may be coming soon.
Obama’s myRA program is designed to force lower income workers who don’t have access to traditional IRA or employer-sponsored 401(k) programs to invest in government debt.
As debt grows, so will programs like this. Before long, everyone will be urged by some hot celebrity to give up their hard-earned money out of patriotic duty, for the greater good, or some other nonsense the government will come up with.
5. Price and wage controls. Price and wage controls have been executed in America most recently during World War II and in 1971 under Richard Nixon.
So this is nothing new in the Land of the Free.
These are happening in more subtle (or disguised) ways today. Obama recently raised the minimum wage 39% to $10.10 an hour. He also signed an order to require employers to expand overtime pay.
These controls are a natural product of central planning, and more desperate the planners become, the more they will apply their version of “fixes” to the economy.
6. Wars. Wars have historically worked amazingly well as a huge distraction for the citizens in times of trouble.
The problem, they say, is not something within, but a scrooge that exists “out there”, that is a threat to our way of life. So the authorities will find a war to get involved in, and the lapdog media will focus on that 24×7, with fantastical headlines about a dictator slaughtering people in far away lands that absolutely, at all costs, must be stopped.
If you are against this action, then you are against the troops, against America, and you are even against life itself. Wars also, of course, cost lots of money, and for a short time, it can look like “things are picking up” and “people are going back to work”.
Meanwhile, the military-industrial complex continues to rip the country to shreds while the masses waive their flags. But the positive thing here is, this tactic is working less and less these days.
Not many Americans are excited about going to war. Obama and John Kerry’s latest chest pounding in Urkraine ended in nothing but words, and in the end, backing down.
7. Losses of freedom. Another important tactic of a desperate government is to start stripping away freedoms from citizens. Hitler would have admired the way the NSA is able to spy on Americans, or the way the TSA is subjecting people to humiliation in every airport.
The freedom to choose your doctor has been taken away for millions of Americans under Obamacare. And on the state level, politicians in desperate states like California are robbing bank accounts of innocent people, with a “guilty-before-innocent” motto.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Luckily, we still have the internet, and there is still time to get out of the way of the wave of desperation that is sweeping across a government near you.