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“This Is Wealth Redistribution”: Blackrock And Other Institutional Investors Buying Entire Neighborhoods At Huge Premiums

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Remember, the rulers have already told us we will own nothing and be happy.  They didn’t tell us that they will own everything and you’ll be charged to live and breathe their air. This is only one step toward that dystopian nightmare that we are already on the path to unless we wake up quickly. Masters own everything, slaves own nothing.

As the real estate market continues to break records, a cabal of institutional investors has been tossing gasoline on the fire – buying up properties hand-over-fist as middle-American renters watch their dreams of homeownership fade at the hands of pension funds and other financial behemoths.

“You now have permanent capital competing with a young couple trying to buy a house,” according to real estate consultant John Burns, whose firm estimates that in many of the country’s hottest markets, roughly one 20% of homes sold are bought by someone who never moves in.

“That’s going to make U.S. housing permanently more expensive,” said Burns, who thinks home prices will climb as much as 12% this year, on top of last year’s 11% rise.

“Limited housing supply, low rates, a global reach for yield, and what we’re calling the institutionalization of real-estate investors has set the stage for another speculative investor-driven home price bubble,” his firm concluded – finding Houston to be a favorite location for investors, who have accounted for 24% of home purchases in the area.

The coronavirus pandemic sparked a race for home-office space and yards. Occupancy rates reached records and rents are rising with home prices. The ecosystem of companies that service, finance and mimic the mega landlords is booming.

Burns counted more than 200 companies and investment firms in the house hunt: computer-assisted flipper Opendoor Technologies Inc., money managers including J.P. Morgan Asset Management and BlackRock Inc., platforms such as Fundrise and Roofstock that buy and arrange for the management of rentals on behalf of individuals and builder LGI Homes Inc., which now reports wholesale home sales to bulk buyers in its quarterly results. –WSJ

In one example, a bidding war broke out over a D.R. Horton complex in Conroe, Texas – after the homebuilder put the entire subdivision up for sale. After a “Who’s Who of investors and rental-home firms flocked to the December sale,” the winning bid of $32 million came from an online property-investment company, Fundraise LLC, which manages over $1 billion for around 150,000 individuals, according to the Wall Street Journal.

D.R. Horton ended up booking roughly twice what it typically makes selling houses to middle-class homebuyers according to the report.

“We certainly wouldn’t expect every single-family community we sell to sell at a 50% gross margin,” said CEO Bill Wheat at a recent investor conference.

What does this mean for the average American family? We’ll let Twitter analyst @APhilosophae take it from here in this ominous, yet soberingly accurate thread:

Click on any of the above tweets to continue reading.

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China Locks Down 15 Million People For 100 Cases Of “Delta Variant”

The ruling class in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong is carrying out mass testing and has locked down entire areas of the province to try to control a “flare-up” of coronavirus cases in Guangzhou. The “flare-up” consists of 100 cases of the “Delta variant” and 15 million others are now prisoners of the state.

The psychopaths are not giving up on their lockdowns.

The city has cited the Delta variant of the coronavirus, first detected in India, as a driver behind the uptick in cases it has reported since the latter part of May. The Delta strain is known to be highly transmissible.

Guangzhou, a city of over 15 million people and the provincial capital, has reported 96 of the over 100 cases in Guangdong province in this latest outbreak. –CNBC

Should we do some quick math? 1oo out of 15 million is .0000066667% of people. That’s what a Chinese province is locking down for. Yike. We’ve always been slaves to the government, but this planet has reached a level of totalitarian control that is almost beyond comprehension.

Liwan, still the worst-hit district, has imposed strict lockdowns on certain streets. Some areas are not letting people in and out of a certain zone and residents are not allowed to leave their building. Twenty-four-hour checkpoints have been set up to monitor movement in and out of these areas. –CNBC

The mainstream media continues to attempt to normalize lockdowns as something we should just submit to without question. And it isn’t just China.  Australia recently locked down again for 26 cases of COVID and the United Kingdom is threatening to NOT lift their over a year-long lockdown because of the “Delta variant.”

Australia Institutes Strict Lockdowns AGAIN After 26 Tested Positive For COVID

Guangzhou has carried out over 16 million tests between May 26 and midnight on June 5. Of those tests, they found 100 that were positive.

Still think this is about health? It is not and it has not been since day one. How anyone can read those numbers apply logic and critical thinking and still come up with lockdowns as the best solution is beyond comprehension.  We would be delusional at this point to assume another lockdown cannot happen in police state USA.

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Pentagon Uses “World’s Largest Secret Army” To Brainwash the Masses

The United States government has to be one of the shadiest of them all as they lie and tell the slaves they are free while they brainwash them with a secret army.  The Pentagon is using the world’s largest “secret army” to brainwash domestic civilians and effect changes “abroad.”

NOTE: If you are still stuck in the left vs. right paradigm lie, this article is going to trigger you.

 Newsweek has reported that this secret government force has also been manipulating social media as mind control and brainwashing technique. After a two-year investigation, the outlet reported that the undercover army consists of around 60,000 people, many of whom use fake identities to carry out their “assignments”. The Pentagon’s agents operate in real life and online, with some even embedded in private businesses and well-known companies.

Newsweek’s exclusive report on this secret world is the result of a two-year investigation involving the examination of over 600 resumes and 1,000 job postings, dozens of Freedom of Information Act requests, and scores of interviews with participants and defense decision-makers. What emerges is a window into not just a little-known sector of the American military, but also a completely unregulated practice. No one knows the program’s total size, and the explosion of signature reduction has never been examined for its impact on military policies and culture. Congress has never held a hearing on the subject. And yet the military developing this gigantic clandestine force challenges U.S. laws, the Geneva Conventions, the code of military conduct, and basic accountability. -Newsweek

However, the fastest-growing group within the Pentagon’s clandestine force operates exclusively online. These “cyber fighters” assume fake identities to gather intelligence and search for “publicly accessible information” on the internet. They even reportedly take part in “campaigns to influence and manipulate social media.” Hundreds of these shadowy keyboard warriors are employees of the National Security Agency, Newsweek reported.

We are being played. If you still cannot see that government is slavery, at this point, it may not be possible to awaken you to this system of lies, control, manipulation, and corruption. In the “land of the free” where people are increasingly realizing how enslaved they truly are, this should outrage the masses. But it probably won’t.  Some will likely even defend this simply because it’s the Pentagon doing it and they were taught to worship the military regardless of the action committed.

We had better wake up.  Time is ticking.

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No Relief In Sight: Food Prices Will Continue To Go Up

Anyone who has been to the grocery store lately has likely noticed the spike in food prices. But most are warning that because this is a hyperinflation situation, we should be expecting the prices of food and other necessities to continue to go up.

According to a report by Yahoo News, food price inflation, on a 12-month unadjusted basis, is running at 2.4% and was up 0.4% in April, the largest increase since October 2020. Overall inflation is running at 4.2% the largest 12-month increase since a 4.9% increase for the period ending September 2008. Even that’s likely a dramatic understatement based on the fact that most report an over 20% rise in food costs.

The mainstream media is now warning that we should expect the prices to continue to rise in the face of hyperinflation caused by money creation and fewer products thanks to the ruling class’s desire to destroy the food supply chain, which COVID gave them the perfect excuse to do.

“Any animal that you eat is eating grains, and it’s eating corn, soybeans, or soybean meal, and perhaps even some wheat,” said Sal Gilbertie the CEO and president of Teucrium Funds, the company’s ETFs track prices for corn, soybeans, and wheat.   “We see the prices of these grains go as high as they’ve been literally since 2012, 2013,” Gilbertie told Yahoo Finance Live.

Yikes! Corn Prices Are Up Roughly 50% In 2021 As Americans Brace For Years Of Horrific Food Inflation

Food industry manufacturers blame increasing chicken prices on the national labor shortage (but we all know it’s the fault of the central banks and their money creation) as well as an increase in demand. But, the Bloomberg Agriculture Spot Index, which tracks key farm products, saw prices spike at the end of April hitting their highest level in nine years. That surge is also driving up prices for bread and meat.

Everyone should be prepared.  Grab a few extra things now each time you shop if you haven’t been. It sure looks like before too long, we will be faced with a dystopia future in which prices are so high, the middle class has been priced out of eating.

Stay alert and aware. Take notice on your own that prices are going up and use your critical thinking. We are lied to constantly and consistently and the only way to beat the rulers and elitists hellbent on the enslavement of humanity is to wake up and start to question things while thinking for ourselves.

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Oregon Governor Taking Advantage of New CDC Mask Guidelines to Impose Vaccine Passports and a Vaccine Caste System

This article was originally published by Adam Dick at The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. 

Some people have celebrated as a signal of the collapse of coronavirus crackdowns the Thursday announcement of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that it is changing its guidance to indicate that people ”fully vaccinated” with experimental coronavirus vaccines need not wear masks indoors or outdoors or engage in so-called social distancing in many circumstances. Hopefully, the celebrating people are right.

But, there are politicians out there, including Oregon Governor Kate Brown, who look at the new guidance differently — as a means to exert new types of control over people, including through mandating vaccine passports and a vaccine caste system.

Notably, United States President Joe Biden, who posted Thursday on Twitter that “The rule is now simple: get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do,” seems to have a similar take as does Brown.

In a Thursday statement, Brown noted that the Oregon state government will continue requiring all people, whether they have taken experimental coronavirus vaccines or not, to wear masks in public transportation situations and places including hospitals, health care clinics, correctional facilities, long-term care facilities, and schools, before describing the vaccine passport mandate and vaccine caste system the state will be imposing in light of the new CDC guidance.

Brown makes clear her determination that in Oregon only “fully-vaccinated” people may now legally be “in most public places” without wearing a mask and engaging in so-called social distancing. If you do not fit in that special category, Brown condemns you to a lower caste in Oregon where you must continue complying with such mandates.

Brown’s plan includes requiring “businesses, employers, and others” to either implement vaccine passports and a vaccine caste system or continue requiring mask-wearing and social distancing compliance from everyone. Whether a business or other entity chooses Option A or Option B, it will be acting as an enforcer of the state’s abusive dictates. Brown explains in her Thursday statement:

In the coming days, the Oregon Health Authority will be providing updated guidance for businesses, employers, and others to allow the option of lifting mask and physical distancing requirements after verifying vaccination status. Some businesses may prefer to simply continue operating under the current guidance for now, rather than worrying about verifying vaccination status, and that’s fine.

Brown is doing her best to ensure freedom advocates have nothing to celebrate in her state. She likes her coronavirus crackdown, and she is working to keep the crackdown going as long as she can.

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More MSM Fear Mongering: New Texas COVID Variant Is “Antibody” Resistant

It just doesn’t end. The constant bombardment with fear to attempt to panic the public is getting ramped up even though it’s obvious to most of us by now what a hoax this entire charade has been. The mainstream media now says a new Texas variant of COVID is “antibody resistant” and sickening young people.

It’s quite obvious they want people panicked and hiding in their homes while they turn Earth into an inescapable prison. So in comes more fear-mongering over year another variant, and of course, it’s in a state that had decided to kill the totalitarian rules in favor of at least a smokescreen of freedom.

TX Governor Now “Allowing” Texans To Be “Free”

Scientists at Texas A&M University Global Health Research Complex say they’ve detected a new Covid-19 variant that shows signs of antibody resistance. This new one that we should all be terrified of if you believe the mainstream media, is named BV-1 for its Brazos Valley origin. According to CNBC, scientists say it is related to the U.K. strain and shows signs of resistance to antibody neutralization.

But if you read further, even the mainstream media can’t make it look that bad anymore:

The new variant, BV-1, named after its Brazos Valley origin, was found during Texas A&M’s routine coronavirus screening via saliva sample in a young student who had mild cold-like symptoms. The student tested positive for Covid on March 5 and tested positive again on March 25, showing that the new strain may cause a longer infection in younger people. The student’s symptoms resolved by April 2 and a third test on April 9 came back negative. –CNBC

“We do not at present know the full significance of this variant, but it has a combination of mutations similar to other internationally notifiable variants of concern,” said Texas A&M Chief Virologist Ben Neuman. “This variant combines genetic markers separately associated with rapid spread, severe disease and high resistance to neutralizing antibodies.”

Coronavirus Variants Detected In California Are Now “Variants of Concern”

What are variants of concern? Based on my best guess, they are the variants the media will attempt to panic us into taking the experimental gene therapy shot over the coming months.  Heck, based on how this is going, any one of these new variants could be the next hoax scamdemic: COVID-21.

Stay alert, know what they are trying to do, and prepare the best you can.  This is not over and the mainstream media has proven that to us.

The Elites Laugh As Americans Revel In Their Enslavement While Fearing Each Other

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The Rulers Want You Locked Up In Your Home Forever: “Do NOT Travel”

The State Department is telling people they want us locked up and detained in their homes forever under their complete totalitarian control. They have updated their “COVID-19 restrictions” on travel telling 80% of the world: Do NOT travel!

This will not end until we stop acquiescing like the slaves they think we are. As long as we continue to bow to these psychopaths and obey their edicts, they will issue more edicts.

Ruling Class: The Scamdemic Won’t End Until The WHOLE WORLD Is Vaccinated

The updated guidelines seem to be based on the CDC’s advisory published on Monday. Unvaccinated people are advised to delay or cancel any international travel, according to a report by RT.  Americans who have completed immunization with FDA-approved vaccines are still considered “at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading new [Covid-19] variants,” the CDC says.

If that is true, why get a vaccine and subject yourself to death or other health-related complications from these vaccines?

The vaccine is an obvious piece of the overall agenda, hence the “official narrative” being crafted to manufacture the consent of those who are taking it. If the media was honest, they’d be calling the vaccines what they have been proven scientifically to be: experimental gene therapies.  But Big Pharma can’t escape liability or force these onto the public without FDA approval if there is no “emergency declaration.”

COVID-19 mRNA Shots Are Legally Not Vaccines

This is about control. That much we know. The official COVID-19 narrative is already so shaky that any further attempt at shoring it up suggests desperation. And that appears to be the stage they are at.  People are figuring this out, which means we may be waiting for another manufactured crisis. More and more wake up daily to the reality that government is slavery and that’s the one thing the master fears: the slaves figuring it out. 

Globalists Will Need Another Crisis In America As Their Reset Agenda Fails

Once enough people understand what is being done, they will have to switch gears.  My guess is, they already have a plan and know what’s next to get us to all comply and willingly enslave ourselves. Stay alert and stay prepared because we probably won’t know what the next step in their sinister plan is until it hits us.

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The “Helicopter Parent” Fed and the Fatal Crash of Risk

This article was originally published by Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds Blog. 

All the risks generated by gambling with trillions of borrowed and leveraged dollars didn’t actually vanish; they were transferred by the Fed to the entire system.

The Federal Reserve is the nation’s Helicopter Parent, saving everyone from the consequences of their actions. We all know what happens when over-protective Helicopter Parents save their precious offspring from any opportunity to learn from mistakes and failures: they cripple their child’s ability to assess risk and learn from failure, guaranteeing fragility and catastrophically blind-to-risk decisions later in life.

Helicopter Parents generate a perfection of moral hazard, defined as there is no incentive to hedge risk because one is protected from its consequences. Moral hazard perversely increases the incentives to take on more risk because Mommy and Daddy (the Fed) will always save me / bail me out.

For example, when Mommy and Daddy make their reckless teen’s DUI charge go away, the teen’s already potent sense of godlike liberation from real-world consequences floats even higher. So next time the teen gets into his car drunk and takes his friends on a high-speed spin down Mulholland Drive, he loses control and kills everyone in the car–not just himself but those who trusted his warped sense of risk.

The Fed is the ultimate Helicopter Parent, protecting all the power players in our economy and society from the consequences of their risky actions. By crushing interest rates to near-zero, the Fed has perversely incentivized increasingly risky expansion of credit, and given the green light to there’s no limit, spend as much as you want government borrowing.

The Fed’s implicit promise to never let the stock market drop for more than a few days–the Fed Put–has incentivized every punter from billionaires to corporations to unemployed people with stimmy checks to max out their credit (or margin accounts) to increase their bets in the market casino.

The Fed has implicitly informed the bigger players that they can bet as big as they want because the Fed will always bail them out, transferring private losses to the public via Fed bailouts, lines of credit, backstops, etc.

The Fed has also signaled it will change the rules as needed to save its Players from loss. Mark-to-Market reveals the insolvency of the Players? Well, we’ll just get rid of that. All fixed! (heh)

Once the path of moral hazard has been taken, a fatal feedback loop takes hold: as reckless punters take on more risk to boost their gains, the fragility and brittleness of their positions increase geometrically. This soon endangers not just their own bets but the entire financial system, as it’s not just one punter who responds to the Fed’s Helicopter Parenting promise of no consequences for taking on more risk–every punter gets the green light to take on more risk because the Fed has our back.

Indeed, now that the Fed Put has been established as unbreakable, it would be irrational not to max out margin to increase one’s exposure to risky bets. And voila, margin debt has soared as the Fed has signaled its commitment to bail out every risky bet in the market casino.

Now that every punter has maxed out their margin account to increase their bets on markets lofting ever higher, the Fed has no choice but to increase the system’s moral hazard: as punters respond to the Fed’s incentives to take on more risk, the Fed has to expand its protection of punters from the consequences of their recklessness, which then increases their recklessness.

Nobody’s ever had a more generous and godlike Helicopter Parent than the Fed. But alas, just as actions have consequences (first-order effects), those consequences have consequences (second-order effects): in the case of the Fed, credit and markets, the second-order effects are as catastrophic as the drunken teen’s there’s no risk I can’t handle last race down Mulholland: all the risk that the Fed has supposedly dissipated into nothingness has been transferred to the entire financial system.

All the risks generated by gambling with trillions of borrowed and leveraged dollars didn’t actually vanish; they were transferred by the Fed to the entire system, which is itself now too fragile and brittle to withstand even the slightest intrusion of consequence.

The entire financial system is now careening down a treacherous stretch of curves and blind spots, absolutely confident that being dead-drunk on the Fed’s promise of never-ending gains in the market poses no risk whatsoever because the Fed has our back.

Unfortunately for the drunken teen, Mommy and Daddy could make the DUI go away but they can’t bring the lifeless bodies of those who reckoned their distorted view of risk was actually accurate back to life.

Once the fragile, brittle, disconnected-from-reality system the Fed has created crashes, the Fed will be as powerless as all the other grief-stricken Helicopter Parents to reverse the irreversible consequences of their meddling with moral hazard.

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German Ruling Class Tries To Figure Out How To Impose New & Harsh Lockdowns

The German ruling class is still trying to figure out how to impose new and harsher lockdowns on its slaves as people start to figure out this scam. After canceling Germany’s draconian Easter lockdown last month, due to backlash from the slaves, another lockdown is on the table once again.

Dictator Merkel Takes a Step Back After Issuing Draconian Lockdown Orders Over Easter

German Chancellor Angela Merkel “took full responsibility” for her misjudgment over the Easter lockdown. But, now it looks like her government (the ruling class) is reverting to the decision that new COVID-19 restrictions need to be put in place, before spiking COVID cases lead to a surfeit of deaths. Bringing in the propaganda to try to manipulate the masses into willingly accepting their slavery has become the new normal.

A new proposed plan has been developed to implement nighttime curfews, sweeping business closures and severe limits on public gatherings. These measures, and more, are all part of the German government’s new bill aimed at “standardizing” COVID-19 measures to stop the third wave. -ZeroHedge

According to a report by RT, Berlin is currently working on amendments to the national Infection Protection Act, which would reimpose lockdown restrictions and greatly reduce the federal states’ ability to defy the government’s orders, the German media which obtained the draft document report. The document that is expected to be discussed and potentially approved by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet on Tuesday will require all federal states where an average seven-day COVID-19 infection rate will rise over 100 per 100K people.

Such states will no longer be able to find any excuses to avoid imposing the so-called “emergency brake.”

This bill could be imposed on the slaves as early as April 19 after the government does their magical ritual and makes it a law that they can do whatever they want to anyone else.

When are we going to figure out that some people don’t have more rights than the rest of us?

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The Song That Is Irresistible: How the State Leads People to Their Own Destruction

This article was originally published by Robert Higgs at The Mises Institute. This is from Robert Higgs’s Schlarbaum Award Acceptance Speech, delivered on October 12, 2007, at the Mises Institute’s 25th Anniversary Celebration.

Margaret Atwood’s poem “Siren Song” begins:

This is the one song everyone
would like to learn: the song
that is irresistible:
the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even though they see the beached skulls.

Our rulers know how to sing that song, and they sing it day and night. The beached skulls are those of our fathers and our sons, our friends, and our neighbors, for whom the song proved not only irresistible but fatal.

The state is the most destructive institution human beings have ever devised — a fire that, at best, can be controlled for only a short time before it o’erleaps its improvised confinements and spreads its flames far and wide.

Whatever promotes the growth of the state also weakens the capacity of individuals in civil society to fend off the state’s depredations and therefore augments the public’s multifaceted victimization at the hands of state functionaries. Nothing promotes the growth of the state as much as a national emergency — war and other crises comparable to war in the seriousness of the threats they pose.

States, by their very nature, are perpetually at war — not always against foreign foes, of course, but always against their own subjects. The state’s most fundamental purpose, the activity without which it cannot even exist, is robbery. The state gains its very sustenance from robbery, which it pretties up ideologically by giving it a different name (taxation) and by striving to sanctify its intrinsic crime as permissible and socially necessary. State propaganda, statist ideologies, and long-established routine combine to convince many people that they have a legitimate obligation, even a moral duty to pay taxes to the state that rules their society.

They fall into such erroneous moral reasoning because they are told incessantly that the tribute they fork over is actually a kind of price paid for essential services received, and that in the case of certain services, such as protection from foreign and domestic aggressors against their rights to life, liberty, and property, only the government can provide the service effectively. They are not permitted to test this claim by resorting to competing suppliers of law, order, and security, however, because the government enforces a monopoly over the production and distribution of its alleged “services” and brings violence to bear against would-be competitors. In so doing, it reveals the fraud at the heart of its impudent claims and gives sufficient proof that it is not a genuine protector, but a mere protection racket.

All governments are, as they must be, oligarchies: only a relatively small number of people have substantial effective discretion to make critical decisions about how the state’s power will be brought to bear. Beyond the oligarchy itself and the police and military forces that compose its Praetorian Guard, somewhat larger groups constitute a supporting coalition. These groups provide important financial and other support to the oligarchs and look to them for compensating rewards — legal privileges, subsidies, jobs, exclusive franchises and licenses, transfers of financial income and wealth, goods and services in kind, and other booty — channeled to them at the expense of the mass of the people. Thus, the political class in general — that is, the oligarchs, the Praetorian Guards, and the supporting coalition — uses government power (which means ultimately the police and the armed forces) to exploit everyone outside this class by wielding or threatening to wield violence against all who fail to pay the tribute the oligarchs demand or to obey the rules they dictate.

Democratic political forms and rituals, such as elections and formal administrative proceedings, disguise this class exploitation and trick the masses into the false belief that the government’s operation yields them net benefits. In the most extreme form of misapprehension, the people at large become convinced that, owing to democracy, they themselves “are the government.”

Individual passages back and forth across the boundary between the political class and the exploited class testify, however, to nothing more than the system’s cunningly contrived flexibility and openness. Although the system is inherently exploitative and cannot exist in any other form, it allows some leeway at the margins in the determination of which specific individuals will be the shafters and which the shaftees. At the top, a modest degree of “circulation of elites” within the oligarchy also serves to mask the political system’s essential character.

It is a sound interpretive rule, however, that anything that cannot be accomplished except with the aid of threats or the actual exercise of violence against unoffending persons cannot be beneficial to one and all. The mass belief in the general beneficence of democracy represents a kind of Stockholm syndrome writ large. Yet, no matter how widely this syndrome may extend, it cannot alter the basic fact that owing to the operation of government as we know it — that is, a government without genuine, express, individual consent — a minority lives on balance at the expense of the rest, and the rest, therefore, lose on balance in the process, while the oligarchs (elected or not, it scarcely matters) preside over the enormous web of criminal organizations we know as the state.

Notwithstanding the ideological enchantment with which official high priests and statist intellectuals have beguiled the plundered class, many members of this class retain a capacity to recognize at least some of their losses, and hence they sometimes resist further incursions on their rights by publicly expressing their grievances, by supporting political challengers who promise to lighten their burdens, by fleeing the country, and, most important, by evading or avoiding taxes and by violating legal prohibitions and regulatory restraints on their actions, as in the so-called underground economy, or “black market.”

These various forms of resistance together compose a force that opposes the government’s constant pressure to expand its domination. These two forces, working one against the other, establish a locus of “equilibrium,” a boundary between the set of rights the government has overridden or seized and the set of rights the plundered class has somehow managed to retain, whether by formal constitutional constraints or by everyday tax evasion, black-market transactions, and other defensive violations of the government’s oppressive rules.

Politics in the largest sense can be viewed as the struggle to push this boundary one way or the other. For members of the political class, the crucial question is always: how can we push out the frontier, how can we augment the government’s dominion and plunder, with a net gain to ourselves, the exploiters who live not by honest production and voluntary exchange, but by fleecing those who do so?

National emergency — war or a similarly menacing crisis — answers the political class’s crucial question more effectively than anything else, because such a crisis has a uniquely effective capacity to dissipate the forces that otherwise would obstruct or oppose the government’s expansion.

Virtually any war will serve, at least for a while, because in modern nation-states the outbreak of war invariably leads the masses to “rally ’round the flag,” regardless of their previous ideological stance in relation to the government.

Recall the situation in 1941, for example, when public-opinion polls and other evidence indicated that a great majority of the American people (approximately 80 percent as late as autumn) opposed outright engagement in the world war, an engagement that Franklin D. Roosevelt and his administration had been seeking relentlessly by hook and by crook from the very beginning. When news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor reached the public, mass opposition to war dissolved overnight almost completely. No wonder the neocon intriguers, in a September 2000 report of the Project for the New American Century, expressed their yearning for “some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor.”

Although other kinds of great crises may not elicit the same immediate submission to the government’s announced program for the people’s salvation, they may prove equally effective if they are sufficiently menacing and persistent. Thus, the Great Depression, which pushed millions of Americans into economic desperation in the early 1930s, was eventually viewed by almost everybody as, in Justice Brandeis’s words, “an emergency more serious than war.” Other pregnant crises have included nation-wide strikes or widespread labor disturbances, so-called energy crises, such as those of the 1970s, perceived crime waves, great epidemics or health scares, and, lately, even a bogus scare about global warming.

In 2001, the attacks of 9/11 answered to perfection the neocon prayer for “a new Pearl Harbor.” An administration that had been wallowing without a breeze in its sails was suddenly invested with overwhelming public support for aggressive military action abroad. In a Gallup poll taken during September 7–10, 2001, 51 percent of the respondents approved of “the way George W. Bush [was] handling his job as president,” 39 percent disapproved, and 10 percent had no opinion — yielding an “opinion balance” of + 12 percent (= 51–39). A few days later, while the ruins of the World Trade Center’s twin towers were still smoldering, 86 percent approved, 10 percent disapproved, and only 4 percent had no opinion — an opinion balance of + 76 percent, or more than six times greater than it had been just a few days earlier. Although Bush had done absolutely nothing to demonstrate an abruptly improved performance of his job as president, nearly the entire population, many members of which roundly disliked the president, suddenly showered approbation on his performance in office. A week later, the opinion balance had risen even higher, to 84 percent, on the strength of a 90-percent approval response.

Afterward, Bush’s job-performance-approval rating followed a long downward trend, interrupted by only brief upticks, until it reached its present range. In the Gallup poll of July 6–8, 2007, the opinion balance was negative 37 percent, and only 29 percent of the respondents rated the president’s performance favorably. (In more recent polls, the balance has stood a few points higher in the president’s favor, but such small differences have little significance.) During the long downhill slide, Bush’s performance-approval rating held up amazingly well among Republicans but fell lower and lower among both Democrats and independents — an expression of how normal political partisanship reasserted itself as the initial, unifying crisis slipped farther and farther into the background.

Similar movements may be seen in the Gallup polls that asked the respondents whether they viewed George W. Bush himself favorably or unfavorably: here, the opinion balance jumped from + 25 percent in August 2001 to + 76 percent in November 2001 — a three-fold increase — before beginning a long downward trend and becoming increasingly negative after mid-2005.

When the public’s approval of the president’s actions is broken down by specific issues, we see that his greatest 9/11-related jump occurred in the area of — mirabile dictu — foreign affairs. In the Gallup poll taken during July 10–11, 2001, the opinion balance in this area was + 21 percent (54 percent favorable minus 33 percent unfavorable), but in the poll taken during October 5–6, 2001, the opinion balance had jumped to 67 percent, or more than three times higher (81 percent favorable minus 14 percent unfavorable).

The lesson is clear: if the president conducts foreign policy so as to antagonize foreigners and provoke them to launch massively destructive attacks on this country, the American public will respond with an enormous outpouring of approval of his actions, as if to prove that in our political system no failure goes unrewarded.

Bertrand Russell long ago stated the underlying condition for this sort of perverse public reaction when he remarked that “neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.” Indeed, the fundamental condition of the entire process by which the government leads people to their own destruction is widespread public fear, which causes people to put aside their normal distrust of the state and to turn to it, especially to its chief, as a child turns to a parent, for security and reassurance that everything will be okay if only people do as they are told.

Not only did the events of September 11, 2001, cause the American public to look more favorably on the president as a person, as a president, and as the principal architect of US foreign policy, but those events also apparently caused the public to express more trust in the federal government in general in its handling of both international and domestic matters.

In the Gallup poll of September 7–10, 2001, 68 percent of the respondents expressed “a great deal” or a “fair amount” of trust and confidence in the government’s handling of international problems, whereas 31 percent expressed “not very much” or “none at all,” which implied an opinion balance of + 37 percent (= 68–31). A month later, in the poll conducted during October 11–14, this opinion balance had risen to 67 percent (= 83–16), almost doubling. The public’s perversely increased trust in the government had also spilled inexplicably onto its handling of domestic problems, increasing this opinion balance from 22 percent (= 60–39) in the early September poll to 56 percent (= 77–21) in the October poll.

A final measure of public opinion, “trust in Washington to do what is right,” which is normally a fairly stable indicator, also rose in an unusual way owing to 9/11. In the Gallup poll of July 6–9, 2000, 42 percent of the respondents expressed confidence that the government will do what is right “just about always” or “most of the time,” whereas 58 percent responded “only some of the time” or “never,” which implies an opinion balance of negative 16 percent. When the pollsters next asked this question, in October 5–6, 2001, however, the opinion balance had risen to + 21 percent (= 60–39), indicating a complete turnaround toward greater trust than distrust in government.

At the time of these events, as I considered everything that was going on, I was dismayed by what seemed to me to be a wholly unwarranted public stampede into the protective arms of the federal government — the same government that had been robbing and abusing most of the people in countless ways for as long as they could remember. Hardly anyone asked whether the government’s actions abroad might actually have provoked the 9/11 attacks — of course, most were so ignorant of those actions that they had no inkling of how the government might have created such a provocation. Many people seemed consumed by a combination of fear and rage that manifested itself in a desire to “nuke” someone, anyone, who might have had something to do with the attacks. Standards of proof fell precipitously. People didn’t want careful investigation; they didn’t want to “get to the bottom” of what had happened. Instead, they wanted action, and in particular, they wanted the government to “strike back” immediately at any and all plausible targets.

In searching for the cause of this tremendous, rationally unjustified “rallying ’round the flag,” we do not have far to go. Such public reactions are always driven by a combination of fear, ignorance, and uncertainty against a background of intense jingoistic nationalism, a popular culture predisposed toward violence, and a general inability to distinguish between the state and the people at large.

Because the government ceaselessly sings the siren song, relentlessly propagandizing the public to look upon it as their protector — such alleged protection being the principal excuse for its routinely robbing them and violating their natural rights — and because the mass media incessantly magnify and spread the government’s propaganda, we can scarcely be surprised if that propaganda turns out to have entered deeply into many people’s thinking, especially when they are in a state of near-panic. Unable to think clearly in an informed way, most people fall back on a childlike us-against-them style of understanding the perceived threat and what should be done about it.

If any resistance should arise to the rulers’ war-making, the state has a time-tested means of disposing of the resisters. Perhaps the classic description of this tactic was given by the Nazi bigwig Hermann Göring when he was being held in prison during the trials at Nuremberg in 1946. This account comes to us from Gustave M. Gilbert, the German-speaking prison psychologist who had free access to all of the prisoners during the trials and talked to them frequently in private. On the evening of April 18, 1946, Gilbert visited Göring in his cell, and he later described their conversation as follows:

We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.

“Why, of course, the people don’t want war,” Göring shrugged. “Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.”

“There is one difference,” I pointed out. “In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare war.”

“Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country. (Nuremberg Diary, pp. 278–79)

Göring was right, and matters have only become worse in this regard during the past sixty years. Under the postwar regime in the United States, of course, Congress never declares war — it has made no such declaration since June 5, 1942, when it declared war on Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary — and the president now wages war solely at his own pleasure and caprice, as if he were Caesar.

“Dragging the people along,” as Göring put it, remains as easy as ever, because, as we have seen, an initial incident, even one the government itself has provoked or trumped-up, invariably causes the masses to rally ’round the flag. We have also seen, however, that the ardent enthusiasm and mindless support for the government’s war-making begins to erode soon afterward. When the people increasingly come to their senses, as casualties and other costs accumulate and as bits and pieces of the truth seep out, why does the system not revert to the status quo antebellum?

The answer is that actions taken during the early days of the crisis, when the government responds practically without opposition to the public’s fear and desire for retribution by vastly expanding its powers (Stage II of the ratchet phenomenon), take the form of political, legal, and institutional changes that set precedents or become so deeply embedded that not all of them are abandoned during the post-crisis stage of incomplete retrenchment (Stage IV of the ratchet phenomenon).

For example, soon after the Pearl Harbor attack, the government enacted the First War Powers Act (December 18, 1941) and the Second War Powers Act (March 27, 1942). These sweeping delegations empowered the president to rearrange the executive branch as he pleased, gave him a free hand to contract with munitions suppliers almost as he pleased, and gave him far-reaching control over international financial transactions and censorship power over all communications between the United States and any foreign country; they expanded the government’s powers to seize private property for war purposes, empowered the president to set priorities for deliveries of designated goods and services, and gave the president effectively unrestrained power over resource allocation in the domestic economy, a power he delegated to the War Production Board under his direct oversight. Wielding all this authority, the president and his lieutenants became in effect central planners of a command economy for the duration of the war.

Similarly, just six weeks after the 9/11 attacks, the government enacted the USA PATRIOT Act, which greatly trenched on civil liberties and long-established rights, effectively demolished the Fourth Amendment, and gave a mighty boost to the US police state. Other measures moving in the same direction followed soon afterward, including nationalization of the airline-security industry and creation of the bureaucratic monstrosity known as the Department of Homeland Security, an organization as menacing in its ideological underpinnings as it is feckless and absurd in its day-to-day operations.

Once the government has expanded greatly at the outset of war or other crisis and then employed its new powers for an extended period, getting rid of all the new weapons in the government’s arsenal of power is virtually impossible even when the emergency ends and people clamor for a return to normal arrangements. Therefore, many of the crisis measures become permanent parts of the government’s apparatus for dominating and robbing those outside the political class.

Wartime organizations may be retained to carry out new functions, as, for example, the War Finance Corporation of World War I was kept going for six years after the war, providing subsidized credit to exporters, agricultural cooperatives, and rural banks. After finally having been discontinued in 1925, it was revived in 1932 as the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, a huge lender to politically favored railroads, banks, and insurance companies during the Depression, and later the government’s chief agency for financing a variety of military-industrial undertakings during World War II. Retained after 1945, the RFC continued to make subsidized loans to privileged borrowers until it sank in a storm of scandal in 1953, only to be replaced — as a political quid pro quo — by a similarly egregious agency, the Small Business Administration, which has continued its politically driven misallocation of taxpayer money ever since.

Cases such as that of the War Finance Corporation and its direct descendants exemplify how national emergency solidifies so-called iron triangles: alliances of government bureaucrats, congressional overseers, and privileged private-sector beneficiaries. These arrangements are called “iron” because they are so difficult to break. Their beneficiaries have great incentive to fight for the retention and even for the expansion of the triangle’s activities, whereas the general public rarely has much incentive to fight against them, even when it is aware of them because the public burden per capita is normally too small to justify anyone’s expenditure of much time or effort in the requisite politicking.

Under modern conditions, high wartime taxes always stick to some extent, leaving the amount of the government’s plunder much greater after the war than it was before the war. In the present so-called war on terror, the government has partially concealed this increased seizure of private property by running up the national debt, rather than by jacking up ordinary tax rates or imposing new kinds of taxes, but this financial trick does not alter the raw fact that the government has been using more of the people’s resources for its own purposes, as shown by the rapid run-up of its spending, leaving the public on the hook to pay the increased interest and eventually to repay the principal, or to suffer the consequences if the government should attempt in effect to repudiate its obligations to creditors by inflating the money stock. During the present Bush administration, Treasury debt held by the public has grown from $3.3 trillion (end FY 2001) to an estimated $5.1 trillion (end FY 2007), or by about 53 percent in only six years.

During the Great Depression, governments at every level greatly increased their tax revenues, by imposing new kinds of taxes — state and local sales taxes, for example, and an undistributed-profits tax at the federal level. In fiscal year 1940, with the Depression still lingering, the federal government collected 57 percent more total revenue than it had in the prosperous year 1927. Federal taxes relative to GNP doubled between 1933 and 1940.

Apart from the financial legacies that exacerbate the government’s burden on the public, national emergencies leave institutional legacies of various kinds that enhance government power at the expense of the people’s liberties. The rent controls of World War II, for example, never ended here in New York City. For more than sixty years, they have denied landlords and tenants the liberty to contract on any mutually agreeable terms, and they have created incentives that foster the avoidance of maintenance for rented apartments and discourage the construction of the new structures that would be built if only the housing market were free of these war-borne fetters.

The institutional legacies of the New Deal, of course, are legion even now, nearly seventy years after FDR’s political momentum petered out: a vast system of agribusiness subsidies; intricate regulations of financial markets, union-management relations, and financial intermediaries; federal insurance of bank deposits, home mortgages, and other financial liabilities; direct federal involvement in electricity production and distribution — the list goes on and on.

Perhaps most important crisis has effects on the dominant ideology that works in favor of long-lasting government power and the permanent reduction of public liberties. During wartime or other crises, governments take many actions that would be more or less unthinkable in a reasonably free society during normal times, because people would not tolerate them. Having tolerated them during a national emergency, however, people may come to regard them not only as permanently tolerable but even as desirable.

For example, nearly everything the US government did during the Great Depression had an obvious wartime precedent in the Great War. President Herbert Hoover declared, “We used such emergency powers to win the war; we can use them to fight the depression.” Everything from the Depression-era agricultural price controls to the industrial cartelization program, the public housing program, the schemes to control oil and coal prices, the tax hikes, and the promotion of labor unionization had a precedent during 1917–18. Obviously, many of these war-inspired public policies then became permanent after the 1930s, as did, later, the military-industrial complex created from 1940 to 1945. People can get used to almost anything, especially if it has a plausible justification. War and other great crises managed by government soften up formerly free people and habituate them to government controls and abuses that they would resist except for their alleged emergency necessity. In this way, government emergency measures change the very character of once-free people, by breaking down their will to be free and their determination to resist homegrown tyranny.

It is important to appreciate that all the effects on freedom that I have been discussing occur regardless of the rationale for the war or other crisis intervention itself. One may regard a war, for example, as ever so necessary and desirable or not, yet these effects will occur in any event. The logic of a government at war asserts itself in more or less the same fashion regardless of the war’s provocation and purpose, because every major war requires the government to take a much bigger bite out of the people’s resources quickly, and it cannot do so successfully without suppressing many normal liberties and rights, especially those that might be exercised to obstruct the government’s wartime programs and policies or to persuade people to resist the war or to demand its discontinuation or settlement.

Hence, as Göring noted, the government and its supporters vigorously denounce all those who stand in the way as traitors, and the state encourages the masses to act as amateur G-men, identifying “disloyal” citizens, hounding them into buckling under, and reporting them to governmental authorities. Great peacetime initiatives operate similarly. Many historians have noted the parallels between the government’s intimidating public efforts to entice or browbeat people into cooperation with the National Recovery Administration and the Nazi extravaganzas being staged in Germany at the same time.

Nowadays, for example, the government frequently encourages all of us to report any “suspicious” persons or actions to the police or the FBI, ostensibly to prevent terrorism. Needless to say, no free society can exist when everyone in effect has enlisted as a government informant, especially when the character of the threatening persons and actions is so vague that it is bound to give rise to abuses. Not uncommonly now, people are reported for nothing more than looking like an Arab or for speaking a strange language to strange-looking companions. This insidious enlistment of informants, so reminiscent of the atrocious American Protective League during World War I, is turning our once-open society into a sort of East Germany redux. Horror stories abound of perfectly innocent persons taken into custody for interrogation or worse.

While the government promotes mindless support of its war-making and may induce a sort of patriotic hysteria in the most mentally fragile personalities, many citizens swing into action as faux patriots on strictly opportunistic grounds. War contractors, for example, may be able to position themselves to make a killing, so to speak, off of the actual killing; moreover, they may parlay their wartime business as government suppliers into a profitable postwar business that long outlives the war itself. The aircraft companies that suddenly profited so greatly during World War II, for example, became permanent, highly successful feeders at the government’s trough, where some of them are feasting lavishly even now, the current administration’s military buildup having proved a godsend for them and a boon to their stockholders. Other people simply want a cushy job in the government’s expanded wartime bureaucracy.

The so-called war on terror has given rise to a huge industry that has emerged almost from scratch during the past few years. According to a 2006 Forbes report, the Department of Homeland Security and its predecessor agencies paid private contractors at least $130 billion after 9/11, and other federal agencies have spent a comparable amount. Thus, besides the military-industrial-congressional complex (MICC), we now have a parallel security-industrial-congressional complex (SICC).

Between 1999 and 2006, the number of federal homeland-security contractors increased from nine companies to 33,890, and a multi-billion-dollar industry selling security-related goods and services has emerged complete with specialized newsletters, magazines, websites, consultants, trade shows, job-placement services, and a veritable army of lobbyists working around the clock to widen the river of money that flows to these opportunists. As Paul Harris wrote, “America is in the grip of a business based on fear.” The last thing these vultures want, of course, is an abatement of the perceived terrorist threat, and we can count on them to hype any signs of an increase in such threats and, of course, to crowd the trough, happily slurping up the taxpayers’ money.

What chance does peace have when millions of well-heeled, politically connected opportunists of all stripes depend on the continuation of a state of war for their personal financial success? For members of Congress, the Department of Homeland Security has quickly become the most magnificent dispenser of pork and patronage to come along in decades. Everyone is happy here, except for the beleaguered ordinary citizens, whose pockets are being picked and whose liberties are being overridden by politicians and private-sector predators with utter contempt for the people’s intelligence and rights. Yet, so long as the people continue to be consumed by fear and to fall for the age-old swindle that the government seeks only to protect them, these abuses will never end.

Along the Gulf Coast during the past two years, a legion of opportunists has similarly rushed onto the scene to take advantage of the unprecedented sums of federal money pouring into the area in the guise of financing recovery from the damage wreaked by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Bank accounts have been stuffed with this loot, to be sure, but little in the way of genuine recovery and reconstruction has sprung from it. Never mind: in the immortal words of President Bush, “Brownie, you’re doin’ a heck of a job.” The ridiculous Brownie was subsequently sacked as the head of FEMA, of course, but the “heck of a job” goes on as before, all at taxpayer expense and at great profit for the corporatist cronies, political favorites, and other privileged parties who are appropriating the people’s money after it has been duly laundered through the federal treasury.

Recall Margaret Atwood’s poem “Siren Song,” with which I prefaced my remarks. It begins,

This is the one song everyone
would like to learn: the song
that is irresistible:
the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even though they see the beached skulls.

And the poem ends,

Alas
it is a boring song
but it works every time.

In the present regard, it works every time because the people falsely believe that those who sing it are their protectors, rather than their exploiters. Until people learn to disregard the state’s siren song of beneficence and protection, they will continue to suffer and die as victims of the state’s wars, foreign and domestic. People yearn for security, and they look to the state to provide it, but they are calling upon a wolf to guard the sheep.

The state cannot refrain from crime because it is an inherently criminal enterprise, living by robbery (which it relabels taxation) and retaining its turf by mass murder (which it relabels war). Constantly singing the siren song, it seduces the people by giving back to them a portion of what it has previously extorted from them and by ceaselessly claiming to protect them from all manner of threats to their lives, liberties, property, and even their self-esteem. If it protects them at all, however, it does so only as a shepherd protects his captive flock: not because he recognizes and respects the natural rights of his sheep, but only to keep them unmolested in his sole possession and control until he finds it expedient to shear or slaughter them.

A peaceful state is an impossibility. Even a state that refrains from fighting foreigners goes on fighting its own subjects continuously, to keep them under its control and to suppress competitors who might try to break into the domain of its protection racket. The people cry out for security, yet they will not take responsibility for their own protection, and like the mariners of Greek mythology, they leap overboard immediately in response to the state’s siren song.

When the Israelites had fled from their captivity in Egypt, they made do for centuries with only judges, yet they were not satisfied, and eventually, they demanded a king, crying out:

we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles. (1 Samuel 8:19–20)

Well, they got a king all right, just as we Americans have embraced one of our own, though we call ours a president. The Israelites, as the prophet Samuel had warned, were no better off for having a king, however: King Saul only led them from one slaughter to another (1 Samuel 14: 47–48). Likewise, our rulers have led us from one unnecessary slaughter to the next; and, to make matters worse, they have exploited each such occasion to fasten their chains around us more tightly. Like the ancient Israelites, we Americans shall never have real, lasting peace so long as we give our allegiance to a king — that is, in our case, to the whole conglomeration of institutionalized exploiters and murderers, we know as the state.

 

 

The post The Song That Is Irresistible: How the State Leads People to Their Own Destruction first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Chicago Has Become A Rotting, Decaying, Crime-Ridden Hellhole – And The Rest Of America Will Soon Follow

This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog.

I don’t know why anyone would want to live in Chicago at this point.  According to the latest estimate that I could find, “over 117,000 gang members” currently live in the city, and there is so much violence that it regularly makes headlines all over the globe.

Some of the wealthy areas of Chicago still look nice, but many communities have been transformed into something straight out of a war zone.  Large churches, hospitals, and factories that were once so beautiful are now rotting and decaying all over the city, and a vibrant open-air drug market scares customers away from local businesses.  Sadly, the truth is that the entire country is going down the exact same path that Chicago has gone.

Coming into last year, Chicago was known as one of the murder capitals of the world, but nobody expected the murder rate to spike “by more than 50% in 2020”

Chicago police also released the final crime number for 2020 Friday which showed that shootings and murders jumped up by more than 50% in 2020.

In 2020, there were 769 murders, up considerably compared to the 495 murders tallied in 2019.

As for shootings, the city logged 3,261 last year, a big jump from 2,140 shootings in 2019. The number of shooting victims climbed to 4,033 in 2020, up from 2,598 in 2019.

But even though last year was so horrific, some officials are expressing optimism about the future.

For example, Dr. Faran Bokhari believes that the COVID vaccine is going to make a tremendous difference

“I think our savior is going to be the COVID vaccination,” Dr. Faran Bokhari, Chief of Trauma at Cook County Hospital. “I think people are so tired of being indoors and not being able to do what they usually do.”

Yes, gang members and drug addicts will feel so much better about life and will become a lot less violent once they are vaccinated and can get out into the streets a lot more.

Good luck with all that.

State Representative Marcus Evans has a different strategy in mind.  He believes that banning “Grand Theft Auto” will solve this crisis

It’s no secret that crime is out of control in Illinois and one lawmaker has a solution. In response to an increase in carjackings in Chicago, State Representative Marcus Evans Jr. wants a law passed making it illegal for retailers to sell violent video games to minors. “Grand Theft Auto” is not mentioned in the bill but Evans pointed to that specific game during a press conference on Monday.

Meanwhile, people continue to flee the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois at a staggering pace.

In fact, the exodus that we witnessed in 2020 is being described as “historic”

Illinois recorded a seventh straight year of population loss from July 2019 to July 2020, but the year’s drop was historic – 79,487 residents, the most since World War II and the second largest of any state in raw numbers or percentage of population. Larger declines year over year have also caused Illinois to suffer the largest raw decline in population, and second largest on a percentage basis since 2010, shedding 253,015 people – triple any other state’s losses.

I can understand why so many residents are leaving for greener pastures, but other major cities are also seeing dramatic spikes in crime too.

One study that was recently released found that murder rates in 34 major U.S. cities rose by an average of 30 percent last year

THE HOMICIDE RATE across 34 American cities increased by 30% on average during 2020, according to experts, as the U.S. reeled from the coronavirus pandemic and widespread protests against police brutality.

The newly released report from the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice found that homicides rose in 29 of the 34 cities studied and that the three largest cities in the sample – New York, Los Angeles and Chicago – accounted for 40% of the additional homicide victims in 2020.

At this point, nearly all of our big cities are becoming unsafe.

If you want to avoid all of the violence, you could try moving to a small town, but that might not work either.

For example, the small town of Chickasha, Oklahoma sounds like it would be a nice place to live, but look at what just happened there

A repeat felon has confessed to killing his neighbor, cutting out her heart and feeding it to his family before murdering his uncle and a four-year-old girl, Oklahoma authorities say.

Lawrence Paul Anderson, 42, allegedly stabbed the neighbor, Andrea Lynn Blankenship, to death at her home in Chickasha on February 9.

Unfortunately, the truth is that our entire society is in the process of melting down all around us, and this process is only going to accelerate during the very difficult years ahead.

The worse economic conditions become, the more desperate people are going to get, and right now more businesses are shutting down with each passing day.

For instance, we just learned that Fry’s Electronics will be permanently shutting down all of their stores

Consumer electronics retailer Fry’s Electronics is going out of business after nearly 36 years.

Fry’s “has made the difficult decision to shut down its operations and close its business permanently as a result of changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the company said in a statement on its website. The company said it has begun the “wind-down” process as of Wednesday and has stopped its normal operations.

As I have discussed in numerous recent articles, poverty is exploding all over America and this economic downturn is hitting those at the bottom of the economic food chain particularly hard.

As this economic crisis grows, those at the bottom of the economic food chain will increasingly be venturing into wealthy neighborhoods to take out their frustrations.

Those with a “Robin Hood mentality” will try to claim that there is “justice” in taking from the rich and giving to the poor, but in reality, it will just be a way to justify the rampant lawlessness in our streets.

The rioting, looting, and violence that we have seen so far is just the beginning.

Much worse is coming, and it won’t be too long before the entire country looks like the streets in the worst parts of Chicago.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter and Parler, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

 

 

The post Chicago Has Become A Rotting, Decaying, Crime-Ridden Hellhole – And The Rest Of America Will Soon Follow first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Americans Plan On Being Slaves Long After COVID Is “No Longer A Threat”

In a new report, Americans are said to be willing to kneel in slavery to the ruling class long after the “threat” of COVID-19 is gone. Many will continue to be obedient to their masters, lick the hand that feeds them, and wear the ritualistic shame muzzle for the foreseeable future.

Researchers at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center polled more than 2,000 people across the country and found that most of those surveyed are OK with continuing many pandemic protocols for public health, even when COVID-19 is no longer a major threat. That includes wearing the shame muzzle.

Are Face Masks & COVID Rituals Occultist Symbols For Submission?

The survey was actually indicative of the ability to control and manipulate the public without actually having to use the physical chains of slavery. The survey specifically found the following:

  • 72 percent of people still plan to wear masks in public.
  • 80 percent will avoid crowds.
  • 90 percent will frequently wash their hands and use hand sanitizer.

The oppressive slave state rulers “hope” they have convinced people to hand over their liberties for a false sense of security.

Dr. Iahn Gonsenhauser, chief quality and patient safety officer at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center who helped conduct this survey says he’s “hopeful” that people will consider wearing masks during cold and flu season in the future. “I’m hopeful that our experience with the flu this year is enough of a learning and teaching moment that more people understand the impact we can make if we approach flu season differently in the future,” he says.

The ruling class is laughing at us and the chains we’ve fastened around our own necks.  They didn’t even have to lift a finger. People have become willing sheep.

Some are waking up, however. It is just a ridiculously slow process right now.  Stay aware and use discernment.

The post Americans Plan On Being Slaves Long After COVID Is “No Longer A Threat” first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Prepare Now: Events Are “IN MOTION” To Remove The U.S. Dollar As Reserve Currency

The United States dollar will not be the reserve currency for much longer.  In its place will be a digital currency tied to your ability to be a good little slave to the ruling class.  Prepare now, because when this is rolled out, things could get ugly.

According to a report by ZeroHedge, events (which are preplanned by those wanting ultimate totalitarian control, including the United States government) are unfolding that would forever remove the U.S. as the reserve currency.  Incoming is a one-world digital currency.

Asia is not the only region taking steps to disentangle itself from the U.S. dollar standard in global trade and payments. The European Commission, the executive branch of the 27-country European Union (EU), released a communication explicitly stating the goal to strengthen the “international role of the euro.” This goal would “help achieve globally shared goals such as the resilience of the international monetary system, a more stable and diversified global currency system, and a broader choice for market operators.”

“At some point, the fiat currency is going to vanish,” says YouTube creator, Dahboo77. “You are going to have X amount of time to claim a credit for your central bank digital currency.” This has already been announced as the plan. This will be a part of the global totalitarian takeover and ultimate enslavement of humanity.  People will get their universal basic income, which will be a pittance, in exchange for the acceptance of their own slavery.  If you don’t want to live as a slave any longer and reject this beast system, you will be cut off.

“By design, this is all coming down,” Dahboo77 says. He also says to prepare, if you choose to not be a slave, you’ll need to be able and willing to barter.  Have some gold and silver and know its worth. There is not stopping this plan, much like the mass vaccination campaign.  The only thing that will end this system is the masses refusal to comply with it.

Be ready. “Who knows what they will do?” It’s time to wake up.  No human has any rightful power over another human.  It’s time we wake up to the simple fact that we don’t need these psychopathic power hungry masters, they need us.

The post Prepare Now: Events Are “IN MOTION” To Remove The U.S. Dollar As Reserve Currency first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Ruling Class Wants Yo To “Remain Calm” And “Respect” The Oppressive System They Force You To Live Under

World leaders (the ruling class) is urging the public to “remain calm” and “respect democracy” after people stormed the Capitol yesterday.  We are the slaves, and not allowed to demand we live freely as is our birthright.

One such ruler is Canadian President Justin Trudeau.  The rulers can not possibly have people realizing no one has the right to rule them, whether the majority votes or not.

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what they are going to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” -Benjamin Franklin

Wake up, people.  This is how the ruling class sees us! We are their docile slaves and don’t you dare complain about it or do something about it.

Elitist UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is “saddened by today’s events in Washington,” a spokesman for the international body said yesterday after protestors stormed the Capitol, according to RT. He added: “In such circumstances, it is important that political leaders impress on their followers the need to refrain from violence, as well as to respect democratic processes and the rule of law.” Even though that rule of law is their enslavement. This is getting ridiculous.

These are all the same, honestly.  Respect the system of oppression set up for you, obey the ruling class, and just submit to your own enslavement and oppression to people who think they own you.  Is this finally the wake-up call people need? This is how they view us!

Another ruler Indian PM Narendra Modi said he was distressed to see news about rioting and violence in Washington, DC.” The Australian ruler is also upset that people are finally realizing no one should be enslaving, ruling, or otherwise owning them.

Government literally means “guvernare” to control “mentis” the mind. You can almost feel these rulers are getting anxious as people wake up to their birthright: freedom.

The ‘Great Reset’ is about Expanding Government Power and Suppressing Liberty

Figure out who owns you and do it quickly.  Time is up. Be safe, and stay alert.  Listen to what these tyrants are saying so you can understand how they view us and always continue to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best.

2020 Was a Snack, 2021 Is the Main Course

The post Ruling Class Wants Yo To “Remain Calm” And “Respect” The Oppressive System They Force You To Live Under first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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The ‘Great Reset’ is about Expanding Government Power and Suppressing Liberty

This article was originally published by Ron Paul at The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. 

World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab has proposed using the overreaction to coronavirus to launch a worldwide “Great Reset.” This Great Reset is about expanding government power and suppressing liberty worldwide.

Schwab envisions an authoritarian system where big business acts as a partner with the government. Big business would exercise its government-granted monopoly powers to maximize value for “stakeholders,” instead of shareholders. Stakeholders include the government, international organizations, the business itself, and “civil society.”

Of course, government bureaucrats and politicians, together with powerful special interests, will decide who are, and are not stakeholders, what is in stakeholders’ interest, and what steps corporations must take to maximize stakeholder value. People’s own wishes are not the priority.

The Great Reset will dramatically expand the surveillance state via real-time tracking. It will also mandate that people receive digital certificates in order to travel and even technology implanted in their bodies to monitor them.

Included in Schwab’s proposal for surveillance is his idea to use brain scans and nanotechnology to predict, and if necessary, prevent individuals’ future behavior. This means that anyone whose brain is “scanned” could have his Second Amendment and other rights violated because a government bureaucrat determines the individual is going to commit a crime. The system of tracking and monitoring could be used to silence those expressing “dangerous” political views, such as that the Great Reset violates our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The Great Reset involves a huge expansion of the welfare state via a universal basic income program. This can help ensure compliance with the Great Reset’s authoritarian measures. It will also be very expensive. The resulting increase in government debt will not be seen as a problem by people who believe in modern monetary theory. This is the latest version of the fairy tale that deficits don’t matter as long as the Federal Reserve monetizes the debt.

The Great Reset ultimately will fail for the same reason all other attempts by the government to control the market fail. As Ludwig von Mises showed, government interference in the marketplace distorts the price system. Prices are how information about the value of goods and services related to other goods and services is conveyed to market actors. Government interference in the marketplace disturbs the signals sent by prices, leading to an oversupply of certain goods and services and an undersupply of others.

The lockdowns show the dangers of government control over the economy and our personal lives. Lockdowns have increased unemployment, caused many small businesses to close, and led to more substance abuse, domestic violence, and suicide. We are told the lockdowns are ordered because of a virus that poses no great danger to a very large percentage of the American public. Yet, instead of adopting a different approach, politicians are doubling down on the failed policies of masks and lockdowns. Meanwhile, big tech companies, which are already often acting as partners of government, silence anyone who questions the official line regarding the threat of coronavirus or the effectiveness of lockdowns, masks, and vaccines.

The disastrous response to Covid is just the latest example of how those who give up liberty for safety or health will end up unfree, unsafe, and unhealthy. Instead of a Great Reset of authoritarianism, we need a great rebirth of liberty!

*EDITOR’S NOTE: We already live on a prison planet born into a system of oppression. The ruling class and elitists now want to tighten the chains so much that we’ll never be able to escape. 

The post The ‘Great Reset’ is about Expanding Government Power and Suppressing Liberty first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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