In the minds of many people around the world, including in the United States, the term “capitalism” carries the idea of unfairness, exploitation, undeserved privilege and power, and immoral profit making. What is often difficult to get people to understand is that this misplaced conception of “capitalism” has nothing to do with real free markets […]
When you type a website address into a browser, you might have noticed that the letters “http” appear at the front. “HTTP” stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. In typing a Web address, you are actually sending an HTTP command to transmit that website to you. Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the means by which information is […]
Some people are saying it is just what the doctor ordered. Others are saying that the cure is worse than the disease.The Affordable Care Act? Reengagement in Iraq? Tea Party bullying in the GOP?Not this time. Just as protracted in the corridors of Congress and the White House is the debate over the proposed reform […]
In 2012, money mandarins running the European Union chose stagnation over restructuring. Here’s a consequence of that choice: expectations for a self-sustaining economic recovery keep getting crushed.Two years ago, European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi promised to do “whatever it takes” to hold the eurozone together. He bluffed nervous investors into believing in a […]
Picture the scene. It’s 2020. You’re at the checkout in a convenience store with a carton of milk. But you’ve got no cash and you’ve left your cards at home. No problem. You scan your right index finger; the green light flashes. Purchase approved and you leave. Easy.Is this a realistic vision of the future, […]
“In the beginning, all the world was America.” — John Locke“The Garden of Eden was a perfect place,” my friend Manuel explained. “Man had free will. He could live in harmony with nature and God — and everything would be fine. But if he defied God, the stain of original sin would be on his […]
After a week of reckoning about the American oil and gas boom… I’ve got to get something off my chest.I can’t stand it when a coworker takes credit for something I did.Whether it’s a special report I wrote or just a little investing trick I found on my own — if someone takes it and […]
It might sound like the latest new product from Apple, but IPAB is actually the newest major legal challenge to Obamacare.Recently, a three-judge panel in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco heard arguments about the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, a 15-member panel created by the Affordable Care Act and empowered […]
Americans have come to believe that the IRS and the income tax are inevitable parts of our lives. After all, most everyone alive today has lived his entire life under federal income taxation.It wasn’t always that way. For some 125 years, the American people lived without having any tax imposed upon their income.The obvious question […]
Here’s a fun fact: Although we all hate the U.S. dollar, as it continues to hemorrhage wealth, its foothold as the world’s reserve currency isn’t going to disappear overnight.A Russian gas deal with China won’t change that — as we’ll highlight below.But before we get to the nitty-gritty, let’s dive into a story that’s right […]
Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously used the term “forgotten man” in a 1932 speech to describe those at the bottom of the economic pyramid who, he felt, government should aid.But the originator of the phrase “forgotten man” had a whole different meaning in mind. He aimed to expose the seeming good intentions of government to reveal […]
“As the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve derives its authority from the Congress of the United States. It is considered an independent central bank because its monetary policy decisions do not have to be approved by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branches of government, it does not receive funding […]
The Keynesian disaster recovery plan has been to lower rates, force people to take more risk in search of yield, and entice others to borrow and spend and, magically, more jobs will be created. If people won’t buy stocks, central banks will.Back in 2011, Ben Bernanke, when asked if QE2 was driving up stock prices, […]
In September 2009, when President Obama made a primetime speech pitching his not-yet-passed health care overhaul, he made the following promise: “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future. Period.” To prove his seriousness, he further promised that “there will be a provision […]
Whatever your views on the role of government, one thing is clear: There will be no way to pay for it if the economy doesn’t grow. And I’m not talking by a measly percentage point or two. If we can’t find our way back to 5% annual economic growth or above soon, America’s accumulated federal […]
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumer prices are rising at a 2.1% annual rate. This suggests to us that the current stock market boom will die with a bang, rather than a whimper.Fed economists say they don’t think inflation rates are rising. They think the most recent reading is a fluke. But why […]
Real progress happens through real people, ideas, and innovations. Not by legislation argued and debated in Congress. Right now, one of the most influential technologies is changing the way people do business. And reinventing the future in the process.
Innovation can change the world… if the world lets it. Unfortunately, society’s gatekeepers make it a point to constrain, regulate, and control these ideas. But their power is limited, and the power of innovation is too great. Unfortunately for regulators, there are some technologies they can’t control.
“Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.” — Emperor Palpatine, The Return of the JediJon Stewart made great comedic hay during the Bush Administration out of the enormity of Dick Cheney’s “Sith Lord” malevolence. Events in Iraq in the past week have made especially palpable Cheney’s Palpatine-like quality.As Iraq unravels, you may suspect that Cheney might now […]
Entrepreneurs are high-tailing it out of the United States, and it’s the politicians’ faultThe U.S. government is driving some of its most productive citizens abroad. The only beneficiaries are countries such as Singapore and Switzerland, which offer sanctuary to Americans fleeing avaricious Uncle Sam.Three years ago Eduardo Saverin, one of Facebook’s founders, joined 1,780 other […]
Politicians love raising the minimum wage because they don’t have to ask voters to pay more in taxes. They just dump the costs onto shop owners. But they don’t act like politicians and go into debt to pretend like they have all the money in the world. They face real world situations. And sometimes that means replacing workers with more affordable options...
A cushy job in Hawaii that pays six figures. A beautiful girlfriend/boyfriend. Job security and professional experience that gives you plenty of future opportunities. Would you throw that all away to do what you think is right? Last year, one government contractor did just that. And now you see the world the government tried to hide from you.
As the world gets more digital, people forget about the benefits of transacting in cash. And government officials know that.
Regulation is supposed to keep you safe and make the economy function smoothly. At least that’s what they tell you in the news. But there’s another cost to regulation. One that you won’t hear about unless you have to deal with directly. And for the people in the economy who do, they’re the ones who have to pay the final cost.
The experts will tell you the recession is over, but they’re only torturing the data to hide the truth. The economy never recovered from the downturn it experienced. But the downturn happened in 2000, not 2008. The country’s been in the middle of a 14 year recession and hardly anyone knows the truth.
All paper currency has a shelf life. It could be 5 years or 500 years, but at some point, the value of any paper currency eventually reaches zero. That's why, for centuries, people have turned to one shiny metal to safeguard their personal store of wealth. And, as Jim Rickards explains, you still have that option. Read on...
Edward Snowden’s one year visa in Russia expires at the end of next month. With only a few weeks left before he finds himself without a safe country to live in, he sat down to give an exclusive interview. Here are the most important things he wants you to remember from his recent sacrifice.
In 1859, a book was published with the title On Liberty.
Written by John Stuart Mill, a philosopher of the time, this work focused on the difference between liberty and authority.
Fast-forward to 2013 and we are in a time period in which it seems like “authority” has been winning the battle behind our backs… in secret. And now with much more serious consequences to our private lives and even our businesses.
So, dear reader, we can no longer hide our heads in the sand and pretend this problem doesn’t exist (even if you have “nothing to hide,” the problem does exist). Nor can we say that it’s OK the NSA or any other agencies keep playing around with this “trade-off” between national security and our liberty.
(If I wanted a “trade-off,” I wouldn’t be an American.)
Anyhow, On Liberty was certainly received with both criticism and acceptance. But the message is clear: We have the power of personal freedom and liberty, which no one should take away.
But guess what?
The very digital technologies that have connected us, enabled the free flow of ideas, etc…. have also empowered those entities that seem themselves to be “power drunk” with the possibilities these technologies have brought.
Bottom line: Mass-collecting our private data or invading the privacy of innocent American citizens (AND the citizens of other countries)… is outright wrong.
The federal court system has now agreed.
Even worse, though, this collection is being done in secret, all in the name of “national security.”
Why didn’t they put these measures in place BEFORE now?
Of course, there are also checks and balances to this system of data collection and secret operations, but obviously, they aren’t working that well.
And even IF the desired results had been achieved by these mass-collection programs… which they haven’t been proven to yet, we live in America. We live in this country under the premise that these types of actions, secret or otherwise, “national security” or otherwise, will not happen without proper cause and warrants.
It’s that simple.
Does that mean it is possible some horrible event, like the tragic events surrounding Sept. 11, could ever happen again?
Yes, it does.
If you’re an American citizen, there is a remote possibility a terrible, horrible, absolutely ghastly event like this, or the Boston bombings or the Oklahoma bombings, could in fact happen again (WAY more of a remote chance than individual murder or MANY other dreadful daily events in our country, though).
For the freedom to speak, to create, to innovate… all without fear of improper searches and seizures, we do in fact make a “trade-off,” if you want to think of it that way.
But that “trade-off,” to me, is more of an addition to the securities already provided by the very agencies who at this moment in our history are more than a little “power drunk.”
In addition to the security they had already provided our nation (BEFORE this “mass data collection”), we have the added security of being able to get up in the morning, watch what we want, say what we want, go where we want, etc….
We have freedom.
And that very basis for being an American IS our security.
So I wonder why our fellow Americans at these agencies would even think to take that added security of freedom away from us? Sounds kind of silly, doesn’t it?
But of course, I do appreciate their efforts to keep us safe (the NSA, the FBI, the police departments, military, etc.). They, of course, being fellow Americans themselves, do an excellent job of keeping us safe overall, in my opinion… without the need to put our private lives in a virtual vacuum cleaner and sift through data when they feel like it.
In my opinion, they just need to refocus on doing the work (hard work, by the way) that their security jobs require… and stop this silly (and, quite frankly, rather “lazy”) mass collection of our private lives.
There is NO perfect scenario here. But if we allowed this mass data collection to continue, even innocent people would have to live in fear of doing something wrong all the time.
And that’s just not the America I was taught about in school.
In short, let’s get back to focusing on the criminals, without infringing on the rights of innocent American citizens toward that end, as outlined in the document that makes this country and freedom possible.
That’s my version of digital liberty.
This article originally appeared here.