Liberty’s Lamp Has Been Doused

The COVID 19 crisis has revealed many truths that should have been realized long ago. In no particular order, it has revealed that the people of the various States have become so conditioned to instant gratification and direction from the state that they cannot, out of their own volition, take the proper steps to mitigate exposure to a virus which has no cure or vaccine. That seems like two diametrically opposed positions, but consider the Spring Break twits who knowingly threw caution to the wind in pursuit of hedonistic moments being followed by authorities in Miami deciding that they have to exercise authoritarian power to put a stop to such risky behavior. To avoid this, all that was needed was some rational thinking on the part of the brats, but instead, there had to be a typical government response: zero tolerance.

The other aspect revealed by this situation is that any desire to hold on to the bare threads of the governing system that existed before have been extinguished in favor of “government action.” In short, any libertarian sentiments that existed in the body politic prior to COVID 19–and believe me, there was not much of it–have been robustly laid in its grave. Consider that the one national political party that even entertained such notions, the Republican Party, has delivered to the President’s desk a $2 trillion “emergency” package aimed at doling out tax revenue from the U.S. Treasury to the people. Keep in mind that it was just a decade ago–almost exactly–that a movement emerged bemoaning large bailouts that spurred the GOP back into power. Now that same GOP is applauding a package that makes the one from a decade ago look like pocket change. And there was not even a debate about what this will mean for the rule of law, the power of the general government, or the prelude to future exertions of extra-constitutional powers by the general government. No, the biggest fuss was that the Democrats in the House sought to put other spending measures in the bill that had zero, ziltch, nada, to do with COVID 19.

In this current crisis, the people find themselves having to be told to basically stay away from public places as much as possible and even being threatened with detention by the state if they should dare take individual steps they think necessary for their immediate needs. The Department of Justice (DoJ)–you know that organization just a few months ago may Trump supporters were wanting to burn to its foundations for being a tyrannical arm of the Deep State–is seeking to have Congress grant it power to indefinitely detain individuals who would be in the midst of justice grinding away yet the courts in which they would be turned to grist are closed due to “any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation.” But that was only the beginning. Now the DoJ is seeking to detain people who “purposefully” spread COVID 19. “Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen [stated], ‘Because Coronavirus appears to meet the statutory definition of a ‘biological agent’… such acts potentially could implicate the Nation’s terrorism-related statutes.'” That is correct sports fans, if the DoJ suspects that you are “deliberately” trying to spread COVID 19–how that is defined we will have to stay tuned–you could be brought up on charges of terrorism! Oh, but do not fret my pet, I am just being a paranoid libertarian. Surely our masterful overlords would never abuse such a power if granted. Just like they would never abuse things like the FISA Court, domestic surveillance, or the rights of people who deposit $10K in their bank accounts.

For those of you who cheer the death of Libertarian sentiments in the good ol’ US of A, let me just explain to you why we are an important piece to the political world–because of the examples just listed above! If you did not have us around to point these types of things out in the first manifestation, then you would be completely taken by surprise when you notice that these things are being used well outside their sell by date. After COVID 19 passes–and it will pass–how many of you seriously believe that the DoJ is going to say, “Okay, crisis is over. All this power we were handed can be given back”? I know there are some of you out there who are thinking that very thought, so that is more of a rhetorical question. The fact of the matter is that those of us who still think that liberty for the individual is the second greatest gift from God are what allows those of you who are conditioned to think “It can never happen here” to be informed when you realize that it did happen here.

It was recently posited that leaders have tough decisions to make in this current situation, and believe me when I say that those are decisions that I am glad I do not have to make. But that piece also mentioned the pain that goes along with those decisions. It is the Republic’s old debate: security or liberty. I am not saying that one cannot have a balance of both, but I would think it foolish to say that we currently have such a balance. The scales are heavily tipped toward security, but given the conditioning of the people as evidenced by some here, I suspect that is what is desired.

Despite the battle having been won by the forces of tyranny, just know that not all of us liberty minded folk have been bayonetted on the field. We may not be able to constitute a force with which to continue the fight, but we still breath. In the meantime, those of you who no longer have any use for Libertarianism–such that you ever had any use for it–can comfort yourselves with this:

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25 thoughts on “Liberty’s Lamp Has Been Doused”

  1. From the link:

    “a $2 trillion stimulus package to rescue the economy”

    This is a total disaster.  This LiTeRaLlY makes the TARP bailouts look small.  This will also have the effect of resetting the mindless baseline rule.  Mark my words.  Just as with TARP, this will not be seen as a one-off.  Making some assumptions as I haven’t read the bill — NOBODY HAS — $2T over ten years is another $200B stacked right into the budget baseline.  To the extent that it is front-loaded (which is probably a lot), the baseline goes even higher.

    The virus did not cause our financial collapse, but this will.

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  2. Haakon Dahl:
    From the link:

    “a $2 trillion stimulus package to rescue the economy”

    This is a total disaster.  This LiTeRaLlY makes the TARP bailouts look small.  This will also have the effect of resetting the mindless baseline rule.  Mark my words.  Just as with TARP, this will not be seen as a one-off.  Making some assumptions as I haven’t read the bill — NOBODY HAS — $2T over ten years is another $200B stacked right into the budget baseline.  To the extent that it is front-loaded (which is probably a lot), the baseline goes even higher.

    The virus did not cause our financial collapse, but this will.

    Well ain’t nothing can be done about it now. That ship has sailed. That was the point behind this post. We are no longer heading toward the iceberg. We are now debating how big we wish the hole put into the hull it will create.

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  3. Before Big G, other institutions had to handle problems like this. I worry that a lot of money did I mention  a lot of money will be wasted.

    When did the thinking change that Big G needed to bail out people? Roosevelt?

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  4. Haakon Dahl:
    This is a total disaster.  This LiTeRaLlY makes the TARP bailouts look small.  This will also have the effect of resetting the mindless baseline rule.

    Here’s what I’ve been asking myself for the last 24 hours and not finding an answer.  Who is going to loan the U.S. two trillion dollars to be spent on current consumption, and what interest rate will they demand for that loan?

    Things have changed: the usual suspects who buy U.S. government debt: China, Japan, and the UK, all have their own pandemic and economic crises to deal with.  Do they have the resources, or the willingness, to pour money in the U.S., which was already set to borrow US$ 1 trillion in new debt this fiscal year before any of this happened?

    Is there enough liquidity in the entire world in the present situation to fund this?  If so, where?

    If it can’t be borrowed in the usual Treasury debt issuance cycle, then is the Fed going to buy this debt out of pure zap money?  But recall, that this US$ 2 trillion “stimulus” is peanuts compared to the US$ 4 trillion in additional buying by the Fed of every distressed asset in sight to “inject liquidity” into the casino banks.

    This is the kind of thing that might make the insane game of musical chairs end, with the quadrillions (yes, quadrillions) in notional of value of derivatives assuming no discontinuities in the present funny money game  evaporating like the morning dew on Mercury.

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  5. 10 Cents:
    Before Big G, other institutions had to handle problems like this. I worry that a lot of money did I mention  a lot of money will be wasted.

    When did the thinking change that Big G needed to bail out people? Roosevelt?

    Yeah that is where I would put the beginning. During the FDR years, those private, civil institutions you mentioned were destroyed by the general government–by methods that were thought to have been extinguished after Woodrow. Slowly those institutions were either done away with completely or became so hollowed out by federal and state dollars that they in all but name became instruments of the government. Now pretty much all that is left are churches. You cannot find one major, national charitable organization that is not compromised in some way by government dollars. Once you start receiving government dollars, you cease being able to act as an independent entity and lose all prospects of shielding yourself from the government boot. Plus, people start to decrease giving on the grounds that they already do through taxation. This is what prompted the placement in the tax code of the charitable deduction. And it is taught in law school that those deductions are subsidies to the individual AND to the charity. What the government giveth, the government will taketh away when it becomes expedient to do so.

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  6. John Walker:

    Haakon Dahl:
    This is a total disaster.  This LiTeRaLlY makes the TARP bailouts look small.  This will also have the effect of resetting the mindless baseline rule.

    Here’s what I’ve been asking myself for the last 24 hours and not finding an answer.  Who is going to loan the U.S. two trillion dollars to be spent on current consumption, and what interest rate will they demand for that loan?

    Things have changed: the usual suspects who buy U.S. government debt: China, Japan, and the UK, all have their own pandemic and economic crises to deal with.  Do they have the resources, or the willingness, to pour money in the U.S., which was already set to borrow US$ 1 trillion in new debt this fiscal year before any of this happened?

    Is there enough liquidity in the entire world in the present situation to fund this?  If so, where?

    If it can’t be borrowed in the usual Treasury debt issuance cycle, then is the Fed going to buy this debt out of pure zap money?  But recall, that this US$ 2 trillion “stimulus” is peanuts compared to the US$ 4 trillion in additional buying by the Fed of every distressed asset in sight to “inject liquidity” into the casino banks.

    This is the kind of thing that might make the insane game of musical chairs end, with the quadrillions (yes, quadrillions) in notional of value of derivatives assuming no discontinuities in the present funny money game  evaporating like the morning dew on Mercury.

    John, they have answered your question:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/25/negative-rates-come-to-the-us-1-month-and-3-month-treasury-bill-yields-are-now-negative.html

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  7. Robert, I need your address the government would like you to spend some time at a Liberty Camp. The great thing is you can stay as long as they want you to.

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  8. Robert A. McReynolds:

    10 Cents:
    Robert, I need your address the government would like you to spend some time at a Liberty Camp. The great thing is you can stay as long as they want you to.

    Check out any time I like but I may never leave?

    We even care enough to have a camera and a microphone to record you. We want you to enjoy your Liberty that we have freely chosen for you, Robert. (I bet George Orwell would write a great book about our times if he were young enough and alive. )

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  9. John Walker:

    Haakon Dahl:
    This is a total disaster.  This LiTeRaLlY makes the TARP bailouts look small.  This will also have the effect of resetting the mindless baseline rule.

    Here’s what I’ve been asking myself for the last 24 hours and not finding an answer.  Who is going to loan the U.S. two trillion dollars to be spent on current consumption, and what interest rate will they demand for that loan?

    Things have changed: the usual suspects who buy U.S. government debt: China, Japan, and the UK, all have their own pandemic and economic crises to deal with.  Do they have the resources, or the willingness, to pour money in the U.S., which was already set to borrow US$ 1 trillion in new debt this fiscal year before any of this happened?

    Is there enough liquidity in the entire world in the present situation to fund this?  If so, where?

    If it can’t be borrowed in the usual Treasury debt issuance cycle, then is the Fed going to buy this debt out of pure zap money?  But recall, that this US$ 2 trillion “stimulus” is peanuts compared to the US$ 4 trillion in additional buying by the Fed of every distressed asset in sight to “inject liquidity” into the casino banks.

    This is the kind of thing that might make the insane game of musical chairs end, with the quadrillions (yes, quadrillions) in notional of value of derivatives assuming no discontinuities in the present funny money game  evaporating like the morning dew on Mercury.

    Yes; I believe “zap money” is the plan.

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  10. If there are 350 Million Americans (man, woman, infant) and each one of them gets $1,200 regardless of net worth, income, age or anything else, that’s still “only” $420 Billion.  That’s 21% of the $2 Trillion that just got handed out.  Who is that going to?

    Not to you.

    I wonder if the Kennedy Center got its piddling Millions, and if that was just red meat to be thrown overboard to occupy us dogs while the wagon of thieves rolls on down the road.

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  11. John Walker:Here’s what I’ve been asking myself for the last 24 hours and not finding an answer.  Who is going to loan the U.S. two trillion dollars to be spent on current consumption, and what interest rate will they demand for that loan?

    Things have changed: the usual suspects who buy U.S. government debt: China, Japan, and the UK, all have their own pandemic and economic crises to deal with.  Do they have the resources, or the willingness, to pour money in the U.S., which was already set to borrow US$ 1 trillion in new debt this fiscal year before any of this happened?

    Is there enough liquidity in the entire world in the present situation to fund this?  If so, where?

    If it can’t be borrowed in the usual Treasury debt issuance cycle, then is the Fed going to buy this debt out of pure zap money?  But recall, that this US$ 2 trillion “stimulus” is peanuts compared to the US$ 4 trillion in additional buying by the Fed of every distressed asset in sight to “inject liquidity” into the casino banks.

    This is the kind of thing that might make the insane game of musical chairs end, with the quadrillions (yes, quadrillions) in notional of value of derivatives assuming no discontinuities in the present funny money game  evaporating like the morning dew on Mercury.

    I’ve been wondering this same thing.

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  12. John Walker:

    Haakon Dahl:
    This is a total disaster.  This LiTeRaLlY makes the TARP bailouts look small.  This will also have the effect of resetting the mindless baseline rule.

    Here’s what I’ve been asking myself for the last 24 hours and not finding an answer.  Who is going to loan the U.S. two trillion dollars to be spent on current consumption, and what interest rate will they demand for that loan?

    Things have changed: the usual suspects who buy U.S. government debt: China, Japan, and the UK, all have their own pandemic and economic crises to deal with.  Do they have the resources, or the willingness, to pour money in the U.S., which was already set to borrow US$ 1 trillion in new debt this fiscal year before any of this happened?

    Is there enough liquidity in the entire world in the present situation to fund this?  If so, where?

    If it can’t be borrowed in the usual Treasury debt issuance cycle, then is the Fed going to buy this debt out of pure zap money?  But recall, that this US$ 2 trillion “stimulus” is peanuts compared to the US$ 4 trillion in additional buying by the Fed of every distressed asset in sight to “inject liquidity” into the casino banks.

    This is the kind of thing that might make the insane game of musical chairs end, with the quadrillions (yes, quadrillions) in notional of value of derivatives assuming no discontinuities in the present funny money game  evaporating like the morning dew on Mercury.

    Well @johnwalker ,months ago when I asked if the entire global economy and social order  isn’t just  a confidence game, completely artificial, you said yes.

    so, if we can get the world  to place its greatest confidence in us, yea though they revile us, we should be okay, right?
    and I mean, who else is really in the field?

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  13. Well Hyp that seems to be the only line to shore we have left: the dollar as a reserve currency/petro-dollars. Luckily there isn’t an alternative and doesn’t seem to be one on the horizon, but believe me if ever there was an alternative reserve currency, not one place in the US would go unaffected. This is what allows the FED to create fiat money as John mentioned without completely debasing the dollar.

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  14. Well to avoid any blackpilling here. This event could actually be a good thing. Now I’m not saying that there won’t be a financial collapse or anything. A LOT of people will suffer. BUT, I think people are realizing how easy it is to shut down the economy and that perhaps the debt party is over. I think the whole world will see that the credit card is maxed out and we are going to have to tighten our belts to pay it off. I think that will be hardest for Europe.  It will be tough but we kind of knew this would come eventually.

    However, I have noticed that people are coming together. Reconnecting with family and friends over various internet video chat apps. I reconnected with a friend I haven’t talked to in years and it was amazing. We are doing another zoom happy hour on Friday. I’m planting a garden, and I get to be with my kids more. Also, public school parents who are “learning at home” with their kids have been noticing the socialistic language and propaganda that they are having to go over with their kids. I actually saw a thread today from a clueless friend who was surprised by that. College students may realize that perhaps putting yourself into debt to get that useless degree may not be worth it. They can take courses online. If they want to party,  they can find people to connect with and go party (when the bars open back up). Maybe the cat ladies who spend a fortune for a tiny apartment in a big city may realize how lonely they are and might rethink their feminist stance that men are evil and maybe look to marry one.

    Yes, I realize that the government is flexing it’s muscles here and there a lot of people in the media trying to stoke a panic, but people get tired of panicking, and some are trying to make the best of it. This is a massive lesson we are learning but I really think a lot of people’s eyes are being opened to what is actually important in life and that the government isn’t their friend. I’m not being a Pollyanna, it will get worse before it gets better, but there are points of light that can shine in the darkness.

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  15. Haakon Dahl:

    Mate De:
    Maybe the cat ladies who spend a fortune for a tiny apartment in a big city

    Now now, we’re not here to bag on Ricochet…

    What are we here for? (This is one of those questions you don’t have to answer that starts won’t with an “r” which you will ignore an answer anyway. )

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  16. We will watch as the world moves from the unreal value of financial markets to hard assets and production of essentials.

    We have valued money over assets for the last fifty years, and China has been focused on taking our manufacturing assets, taking our money to buy more hard assets (African minerals, European factories etc). (Same thing the USA did to Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries)

    The shock will be huge. Currencies will shift value to production capacity, innovation capacity and basic survival needs- food, metals, energy , water. We will need a military to protect hard assets here, not cash flow graft loss flows overseas for the elites. Space will be the new battleground for materials.

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