This is How We Take Action

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  • Tue, Jun 30, 2009 - 03:23pm

    #1

    JAG

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    This is How We Take Action

 If you really want to do something to fight the Fed/Gov, this would be it:

"Starve The Beast" – July 4th, 2009

 

Perhaps its time.

There have been a number of people on the forum talking about this, with one of the most recent converts being "iflyjetzzz".

Look, we can rant and rave about market manipulation and government-sponsored games.  We can petition the SEC, the FBI and Congress.  We can demand that they stop it all we want.

But they haven’t and likely won’t until and unless America gets pissed off enough to force them to act.

So how do we make that happen, yet remain within the law?

Its not that hard, and in the intermediate and longer-term it would be incredibly positive for our economy and nation.

We go on a consumption strike until and unless our demands are met.

What are our demands?  Here’s the list:

  • All the financial fraudsters are investigated, indicted, and prosecuted.  This includes the con artists in CONgress who got "special deals" from Mozilo and his "Friends of Angelo" program (and who are blocking a subpoena to BofA as it would implicate them), it includes those past and current members ofGovernment Sachs, and it includes all those other financial "professionals" who deceived Americans and others with their sale of toxic exploding mortgage products along with the securities supposedly backed by them.
  • Glass-Steagall is restored, in full, and all the firms that can’t exist under it are broken up.  Period.
  • The insider-trading that has become blatant and outrageous is prosecuted where illegal and where not, is made illegal and then prosecuted, with the focus being on the size of the scam.  This includes obvious circumstances such as August 2007 (Bernanke’s phone logs were FOIA’d) where trading patterns made clear that "certain someones" had foreknowledge of the discount rate cut along with Congresspeople who were briefed on the TARP and within hours or days made significant stock trades.  Today if you’re Martha Stewart you’re prosecuted where if you make millions in an hour by exploiting government information "leaks" the SEC and FBI look the other way.
  • The Government withdraws all of its backstopping of financial firms who created this mess.  All of it.  If you’re a bank or other firm and did something imprudent, you fail.  Period.  This is true whether you’re a small regional bank (as is happening now; 5 in the last week) or a big behemoth like Citibank or Bank Of America.  No "special deals", no "special guarantees", nothing of the kind.  If the government wishes to avoid "systemic risk" then the government regulators can do their damn job.
  • The Fed disgorges all of its improperly-acquired MBS and other related securities.  If it doesn’t have a full-faith-and-credit guarantee and was bought, it is disgorged – period.
  • The Fed agrees to full annual audits without exception.
  • Those people inside government who conspired with certain bankers to cook the books, along with those in the banks who did so, go to jail.  Our own Office of The Inspector General in the government has confirmed that there was an active conspiracy to break the law within the OTS, but not one indictment has been issued.
  • Those who committed fraud in the creation of this economic mess, whether they be mortgage lenders, those who packaged up securities while intentionally omitting credit information, those in the real estate industry to pressed for appraisal fraud and others are investigated, prosecuted and if convicted jailed.  All of them.
  • Losses are born by those who made bad decisions, not the taxpayer generally.  Those who made good decisions get to reap the benefits, while those who made bad decisions eat the losses.  No exceptions.
  • Government cuts the annual budget deficit to zero.  If government wants to blow the money it has to have the money.  If they can’t raise the money they don’t spend it.  It is time to live within our means and hold government to account for its profligate spending along with promises of "benefits" they know they cannot actually deliver down the road such as Medicare Part D.

Until then the position of those who wish to join is simple: No non-essential purchases of anything are made.  Period.

What’s an essential purchase?  Here’s the list:

  • Enough food to eat at home.  No more eating out.
  • Rent and utilities.
  • Essential medical services.
  • Enough fuel to get to and from work.

In addition any "excess withholding" is stopped; if you are getting a big fat refund from the IRS every year you are loaning the government your money at zero interest until April.  Stop that; its stupid.  Change your W4 so you get exactly nothing back or owe a tiny amount; if you pay estimates pay only that which you must and not one dime more.

Note that it is unlawful to use your W4 to intentionally under-withhold, but you are in fact not obligated to pay one more dime in tax than you actually owe.  There is nothing wrong with adjusting withholding to match (as close as you reasonably can) your actual tax obligation.

Put the money you save (it will be a lot!) into a non-TARP Credit Union if you have one available to you, or a non-TARP local bank if you do not.  Spend none of it.

If we pledge to do this and not resume normal spending habits on wants as opposed to needs until and unless the budget is balanced, the bailouts are rolled back and those who committed fraud go to prison the government will be forced to act as they will simply run out of money. 

They cannot force you to buy that new iPOD or flatscreen TV, or to take an expensive vacation.

Consumer spending is 70% of the economy. 

This is a consumer weapon that is more powerful than any other means of peaceful protest.  Strangling the government and private business’ ability to steal from us all by cutting off their revenue will force reform, and has the additional benefit of being exactly what this nation needs to provide a strong capital formation base when that reform is complete. 

If businesses want my money they can join in the chorus of voices demanding that government stop the looting and start prosecuting.

Will any of us be perfect in this endeavor?  No.  There will be the occasional indulgence I’m sure no matter who we are.  But I’m willing to bet we can shrink consumption – each and every one of us – by at least 10% without any real personal pain at all, and if we do so it will send an indelible message to those in government and business: cut that crap out!

July 4th is Independence Day.

Let’s make it a day of freedom from the banksters and government financial marauders.

Who’s with me?

 

This would force TPTB to their knees and provide the deflationary cure for what ails us as a nation. Besides, if it doesn’t work, you still would be better off.

  • Tue, Jun 30, 2009 - 05:05pm

    #2
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: This is How We Take Action

Interesting idea, and I rather like the list of demands.  Though I think that it would take a long time (2+ months?) for the effects to become noticeable to those in charge.  And their first action would likely be to pump more artificial stimulus funny money into the banks and anywhere else they see fit to jump start the economy.  I don’t see them giving in any such demands, or even listening to them, until after the financial system finally collapses under the weight of gov’t overspending and bailouts.  I certainly agree it would scare the financial PTB (deflation seems to do that), I just think they will claw and cling on to any and all power and control within their grasp until it all slips away.  These folks voluntarily relinquishing power and control is about as likely as the Pope doing body shots with the girls at the Playboy mansion…

Really though this is already happening on a large scale, only most people are not doing it to protest but by necessity.  And even many of the people with steady jobs are cutting back on their expenditures (I am for one).  The people are already fighting back, even if they don’t know it yet

– Nickbert

  • Tue, Jun 30, 2009 - 05:14pm

    #3
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: This is How We Take Action

I love it, but am conflicted. This weekend I put a new (second) garden in at home. That would need to be postponed under this plan. All the spending I am doing to prepare in general falls under this plan.

It’s worth it to me if I see enough Americans doing it simultaneously, if it becomes mainstream and people are talking about it.

Until then, I doubt a few folks withholding a few thousand dollars each (when that is already happening for many Americans involuntarily) would make an impact.

Who to lead us?

  • Tue, Jun 30, 2009 - 05:36pm

    #4
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: This is How We Take Action

Unfortunately, while the idea has surface appeal, the reality is that it won’t make a lick of difference to TPTB. Those who are already filthy rich will care not a wit if you and I (and 1/2 the country) quit buying stuff for a week or a month or a year.

It’s somewhat akin to previous appeals to everybody to not buy gasoline on a certain day. It just won’t work.

Besides which, the only people it would hurt are those who are already hurting. The more businesses that lose revenue, the more people will be laid off, the less money will be spent in the economy, the more businesses lose money, etc., etc., etc.

The only ultimate answer is [Ed. note: Comment removed]

  • Tue, Jun 30, 2009 - 06:04pm

    #5
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: This is How We Take Action

Sam,

What better way to start a peaceful revolution? Surely you don’t advocate going straight for the pitchfork???

  • Tue, Jun 30, 2009 - 06:30pm

    #6
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: This is How We Take Action

[Ed. note: Comment removed]

  • Tue, Jun 30, 2009 - 06:36pm

    #7
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: This is How We Take Action

Ready,

Over in the "What’s The End Game?" thread, ‘kaman’ posted this (post #53):

In the future I see a steep steady decline in the quality of life on this planet, the entire planet, some years advancing faster than others.  There will be isolated pockets of extreme wealth but even they will erode with time.  A decline spiced with events such as periodic uprisings and revolts, scattered attempts of strong arm control, perhaps even a few population decreasing wars, followed by (if we’re lucky) brief sporadic periods of relative peace.  But there are just too many power-lusting and greedy individuals within the human race for any one person or group to maintain omnipotent administrative control over a great period of time.  When this world was still mostly virgin territory, the population low, with abundant resources, we had our chance as a species to do great things with our existence, but we were our own worst enemy.  Human nature has repeatedly overshadowed intelligence.  Likewise, as we stumble forward from here along future’s path, we will continue to encounter the potholes of good vs evil, power vs peace, greed vs conservativism.

I prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and sleep with one eye open.

I think kaman’s perspective on our future reality is more applicable than some of the populace ceasing to buy extraneous goods for a while.

  • Tue, Jun 30, 2009 - 07:16pm

    #8
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: This is How We Take Action

Sam,

I do not attack your views, I hope I am not coming across that way.

We are treading dangerously close to a sensitive topic on this site, and I recommend we be very careful how we proceed.

 

If you look at the original revolution, the primary factor that was politicized was taxation without representation. It took years of broken negotiations and setbacks before the people were upset enough to have that nice little party with the tea sampling in Boston. While you may argue that this was not the beginning for the masses, assume for this thread that the Tea Party marked the beginning of mass awareness and desire of the common citizen to form militias and take a more aggressive stance. What would be the equivalent in 2009 of the Boston Tea Party? We certainly have the equivalent of taxation without representation, I’m sure we can agree on that.

You see, saying that we need it and getting the masses to follow that lead and act are 2 very different things, wouldn’t you agree? Where do you start, where is our John Adams and Thomas Jefferson of the 2010s? What would the 2010 Continental Congress look like, and what event would be inspiring enough to demand the people of the US stand up and take notice?

While there is still a chance for a peaceful revolution, especially since it has not really even been tried yet, I’m afraid most will not jump directly to the pitchfork mode, nor should they, IMHO.

As I post this I am also alerting the moderator on myself in case they feel I am crossing any lines here, I submit that it is OK with me to pull this post and end the topic before it gets out of hand.

 

  • Tue, Jun 30, 2009 - 07:33pm

    #9
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: This is How We Take Action

[quote=Ready]

Sam,

I do not attack your views, I hope I am not coming across that way.

We are treading dangerously close to a sensitive topic on this site, and I recommend we be very careful how we proceed.

 

If you look at the original revolution, the primary factor that was politicized was taxation without representation. It took years of broken negotiations and setbacks before the people were upset enough to have that nice little party with the tea sampling in Boston. While you may argue that this was not the beginning for the masses, assume for this thread that the Tea Party marked the beginning of mass awareness and desire of the common citizen to form militias and take a more aggressive stance. What would be the equivalent in 2009 of the Boston Tea Party? We certainly have the equivalent of taxation without representation, I’m sure we can agree on that.

You see, saying that we need it and getting the masses to follow that lead and act are 2 very different things, wouldn’t you agree? Where do you start, where is our John Adams and Thomas Jefferson of the 2010s? What would the 2010 Continental Congress look like, and what event would be inspiring enough to demand the people of the US stand up and take notice?

While there is still a chance for a peaceful revolution, especially since it has not really even been tried yet, I’m afraid most will not jump directly to the pitchfork mode, nor should they, IMHO.

As I post this I am also alerting the moderator on myself in case they feel I am crossing any lines here, I submit that it is OK with me to pull this post and end the topic before it gets out of hand.[/quote]

 

Ready,

I do not attack your views, I hope I am not coming across that way.

Please do not worry. I certainly don’t feel attacked. Just a friendly exchange of views from my perspective.

We are treading dangerously close to a sensitive topic on this site, and I recommend we be very careful how we proceed.

[Ed. note: Comment removed]

As for the rest of your comments, I’m in agreement with you.

See, that wasn’t so bad, was it?

 

  • Tue, Jun 30, 2009 - 07:55pm

    #10
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: This is How We Take Action

[quote=SamLinder]

I hope I’m not treading on anyone’s sensitivities here. A benign proposal for a way to bring TPTB to their knees was put forth. I’m just simply stating that I don’t think it will work and that I don’t believe peaceful protests will suffice to introduce the necessary changes this country needs to return to its original ideals.

[/quote]

As you may have noticed, I often drive to the activity side of any discussion that comes up. In other words, if there is nothing I can DO about it, I typically don’t waste my time with it. At the core, I would like to act and I appreciate the discussion as to the best way to proceed.

My goal here is to understand just how you would bring the beast out if it’s cave with your figurative pitchfork without starting and getting behind some cause that would rally the American people? While I agree that this particular plan has some holes in it, what exactly do you recommend? Serious question. If you feel the answer requires violence, let’s please end the public discussion now.

edited in for your amusement: Cave quid dicis, quando, et cui.

Best,

Rog

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