A report was delivered to the President this week by a group of outside advisors regarding the NSA’s unconstitutional data collection techniques. Among many of the complaints cited in the report, the most unreported consequence of the NSA’s surveillance is the impact on commerce, and therefore capital flows and growth.
The report specifically mentions that, “Silicon Valley executives complained to Mr. Obama that the N.S.A. programs were undermining American competitiveness in offering cloud services or selling American-made hardware, which is now viewed as tainted.” A specific example was provided on Wednesday, when Brazil ditched Boeing jets, and grants $4.5 bln contract to Saab, citing NSA concerns.
What’s ironic about the concern from Silicon Valley is that it was the big tech companies that cooperated with the NSA (took money) to permit back-door access to their systems and data sharing. It’s almost as ironic as people giving the Fed credit for saving us from a financial collapse that was caused by the Fed; or the govt’s war on terrorism, drugs, poverty, and ignorance that are largely the result of its own insidious policies.
The violation of our Constitutional rights is obvious. So is the perjury by top “intelligence” brass, that should result in serious jail time. After all, if govt officials are permitted to lie with impunity, how do we know they are not lying every time they open their mouths? It is also important to understand the impact of a loss of trust and confidence in government on capital flows and growth.
However, the over-riding point that people should realize is that the NSA’s surveillance and data collection has nothing to do with stopping terrorism, and EVERYTHING to do with tracking down money for a broke government, and maintaining power. General Alexander admitted months ago in his own words in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee that “one, perhaps two” plots were thwarted, and this new report says no proof exist that any of the NSA’s Constitutional violations have thwarted a single terrorist attack. Yet, people are still permitted to state on TV that if we had these unconstitutional tactics in place before 9/11, then the attacks could have been stopped. Based on what? The Govt had plenty of data that an attack was imminent, and they did nothing. The same thing is true about Bernie Madoff, MF Global, and all of the other cases of fraud and manipulation that have been documented over the last five years. Does it matter if the fraud was “missed” due to incompetence, neglect, or complicit behavior? In a free and just society, incompetence and neglect would result in business failure; and being complicit in a crime would also result in jail time. Only in govt can these type of activities result in bigger budgets, bonuses, and promises of high paying jobs in the private sector.
People have a hard time comprehending that it is their own govt that is at the heart of our biggest problems. After all, our political leaders tell us they are here to help. I’m sorry, but the facts and data say the opposite. By its nature, govt must take money from its productive citizens to survive; and through its bureaucratic incompetence and inefficiencies, it does more harm than good for the groups it claims to help. The only people who benefit from govt, are those in govt. If one does not yet understand the big picture or appreciate the Constitutional violations, they would at least have to admit that the NSA and DHS are incompetent, wasteful, and deserve to be shut down now. The only kind of security provided by the Dept of Homeland Security is of the investment type, and therefore they should at least take their security public.
The Patriot Act has also been an excuse to acquire more control over the public. We now know that the Saudi’s were part of the planning and funding of 9/11, and yet our govt has given them a pass and still collaborates with them – most recently in Syria, funding and arming the insurgents/terrorists. In addition, our biggest banks have been caught red-handed laundering money for drug cartels, even though thwarting money-laundering was a big component of the Patriot Act. Citizens are spoon fed lies that prey on their belief’s, which insiders know are more powerful than facts and knowledge. So whether it’s patriotism or the “mean world syndrome”, those in power will use all the tools at their disposal to maintain their control, perks, and power.
The NSA’s actions, coupled with the complicit actions of U.S. high-tech companies and network providers, is not only causing foreign countries to ban U.S. technology, but more importantly, it is causing capital to flee to safer jurisdictions. The safer alternatives include: Singapore, diamonds, art, real estate, gold/silver, and exiting govt bonds in favor of stocks with tangible value. The result is the reduction of capital and liquidity required for growth. This deflationary downward spiral is how societies implode, which is all caused by broke governments digging in their heels and refusing to go quietly into the night.
The money that can’t be tracked down by the NSA and taxed to oblivion, or transferred from savers to lenders through the Fed’s ZIRP, will be confiscated right out from under the noses of retirees and savers. The banks and govt have been playing hot potato with worthless assets for over five years, while destroying capital by suppressing interest rates. Where are the banks going to get real capital (not debt) to prevent insolvency…retirement and savings accounts, of course. It’s the least a good Patriot could do to save his country (banks), right?
Canada is the latest country “considering” Cyprus-style bail-In’s, and the IMF wants to tax 10% of all bank accounts in Europe, and the EU wants a “Super Bank” that will have the power to directly tax people in Europe, without any individual member nation being able to stop them. These actions are causing capital to flee Europe now and will exacerbate the economic problems that will spread the intensity of the “pitchfork protests” we now see in Italy.
All of these problems are caused by governments that believe they can avoid or manipulate the business cycle, or as Adam Smith called it, “the invisible hand” of individuals pursuing their self-interest. We will never fix our problems until term limit are implemented to replace career lawyers posing as politicians that think laws can eliminate human nature.
Lack of Trust
The most amazing thing to me is not how corrupt, fraudulent, and unethical government, big banks and large corporations have become. After all, Lord Acton warned us over a century ago that, “power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” What still astonishes me in this information age, is how so many people are able to not let the facts get in the way of their beliefs.
For example, the govt has been caught lying about so many things (i.e. Benghazi, IRS, Fast & Furious, NSA data gathering, Obamacare, etc.), and it refuses to put fraudsters in jail for well documented frauds (i.e. subprime mtg fraud, money laundering for drug cartels, conspiring with Ponzi kings like Madoff, manipulation of LIBOR and muni bond rates, etc.). Yet, so many people still give govt the benefit of the doubt.
The lies about the economy, especially from the financial media, including popular financial bloggers, is relentless. Do you think it is a surprise that the mainstream media wants us to believe the NSA, DOJ, DHS, Federal Reserve, Treasury, Congress, and President? Why do you think the media pushes the belief that Snowden is a traitor, instead of the hero that he is? Even some of the tech company executives that met with Obama thought Snowden should be pardoned. However, politicians and talking heads are able keep going back to the patriotism well to justify their abuse of our rights.
What America’s Pravda fails to realize is that an increasing number of people don’t trust the govt, and by not responsibly exercising their “fourth estate” powers, the media is accelerating the loss of confidence that will destroy our economy and way of life (including their own). Even worse, it will lead to more wars and useless loss of life and destruction. This destructive force has been covered ad nauseam in these pages, including here, here, here, here, and here.
The establishment pretends there should be a “balance” between our Constitutional rights and the govt’s right to abuse our rights (often over false flag events). What our Founding Father’s taught us was THERE SHOULD NEVER BE A COMPROMISE OVER OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS. THE CONSTITUTION PROTECTS THE PEOPLE FROM AN OVERLY INTRUSIVE GOVT, WHICH WE ARE SEEING UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL, RIGHT NOW!
The NSA, Patriot Act, bail-in’s, Govt lies, and anemic economy are all related to the same thing – broke govt’s that are digging in their heels to maintain and justify their existence so they can keep their job, perks, and power. Aggravating the problem, most of our policymakers are lawyers with no economic knowledge or practical experience. The end result is these govt leaders will continue dragging free economies down the black hole of totalitarianism, while the mainstream media holds the hand of the clueless and leads them off the cliff. All the while forgetting that the folks can have a very strong grip.