Staten Island Libertarian Party Hosts 2nd Annual Convention

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


STATEN ISLAND, NY, August 5, 2011 – The Staten Island Libertarian Party (SILP) held its second annual convention last Thursday evening, August 4th, at Canlon’s Restaurant on North Railroad Avenue.
Outgoing chairman Edward Stehlin presided over the event and election of officers. Mr. Stehlin is stepping aside to focus on select constitutional projects. He will remain active within the party and serve in an advisory capacity to the executive committee.
The SILP membership cast voice votes for the 2011-2012 Board of Directors, electing Dave Narby, Chairman (Silver Lake); Danny Panzella, First Vice Chairman (Manor Heights); Richard Bier, Second Vice Chairman (Travis); Anthony Librera, Secretary (Bay Terrace); and Thomas C. Hancock, Treasurer (Eltingville). Director of Media Relations, Robert DeSio (Westerleigh), was unanimously re-elected to retain his post on the executive committee.
“I’m humbled and honored to be the new chair of the Staten Island Libertarian Party,” said Mr. Narby.  “We have made great strides in the very short time since our inception, the most notable being three 2010 ballot candidates and tripling party membership. Yet there is much, much more to do, both as a party, and as a people.”
Asked about the current political climate and continuing economic woes, Mr. Narby remains optimistic. “I sincerely feel that great change is in the works for our nation, our state, our county and borough,” he said. “I am confident that we will play a significant role in advancing the cause of Liberty, and returning to honest, Constitutional government, with sound money and finances.”
In attendance were 40 residents, including members from other metro area civic and political groups. Among the guests was Ron Moore, Chairman of the Manhattan Libertarian Party, and Mark Axinn, Chairman of the Libertarian Party of New York, who addressed the convention on the rapid growth of libertarianism in the Empire State.
Also on hand was local liberty activist Tina Downer, who delivered a presentation on the 2012 presidential campaign of Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), a longtime favorite in libertarian circles. Ms. Downer is the organizer for Staten Island 4 Ron Paul 2012.
In addition, the party’s newly-minted secretary, Mr. Librera, spoke about his new campus initiative with the Young Americans for Liberty at the College of Staten Island. Many Staten Islanders and South Brooklynites will remember him from the spirited campaign he ran in the 2010 midterm election for state assembly (AD-63).

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TONIGHT: Liberty Tree Town Hall Meeting / 8pm @ Karl’s Klipper

Liberty Tree Town Hall Meeting / Thursday, July 7th @ 8pm

Karl’s Klipper
40 Bay Street in St. George near the Ferry
Staten Island, New York 10301
(718) 720-4442

[get directions here]

MEETING AGENDA

A Reading: The Sixth Amendment

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused enjoys certain rights. Yes, even tyrants and traitors.

A Discussion: 2011-2012 SILP Officer Candidates & By-Law Amendments

  • Confirm officer candidates/positions so we can reconcile scope of executive committee and related by-laws for 2011-2012
  • Propose/approve any amendments to our by-laws prior to convention

A Strategy: Outreach & Recruitment

Dave Narby will outline a strategic initiative for developing working relationships with other civic and political organizations in Richmond County.

A Legal Defense Plan: The Constitution Lobby

  • A discussion of the new Constitution Lobby (We The People Foundation) and how the libertarians could (and arguably should) play a significant role
  • Update on We The People of New York, Inc.

The People Speak: Your Topics, Your Thoughts

We yield the floor to any and all NY-13 neighbors and residents, regardless of political affiliation or subject matter. Speak your mind; observe your First Amendment rights. We respect all points of view.

Pocket Constitution: Pick One Up

The SILP will once again be offering to all in attendance free pocket copies of the Constitution of the United States and Declaration of Independence.
We look forward to seeing you.

The Tools Our Fathers Left To Us

A Personal Reflection
Though I had to work a little last weekend, I was thankfully able to spend the bulk of Father’s Day with my wife and seven-year-old daughter. At morning church service, I shed a few tears for my own father, whom I miss very much. My perceptive little girl knew exactly why I was troubled, and offered a small hand against my back to console me.
Following service, we lit a few candles, and she asked about Dad. She never got to meet him; my father was gone far too early in his life, and, sadly, before hers had even begun.
From time to time she will ask about him, the curious man in the photo, placed in a position of honor on the shelf in my office. But old photos never quite do the story justice.
Being the day that it was, I showed my daughter some things around the house, now innocently taken for granted, that once belonged to my father, as well my grandfathers:
My pop’s old wooden desk and fountain pen; his father’s gold pocket watch, received from his father (my great-grandfather) for his 21st birthday; a comfy old 1930s reading chair; a poker-playing card table; a bright yellow step stool; and that 1964 Dodge Dart parked and covered in the driveway (that my father-in-law helped to refurbish).
I shared with her the colorful collection of delicate, old trout flies, tied by grandpa’s own hands, and my dad’s catfishing rods, too. My daughter will learn this summer, and chose the same rod with which I caught my first fish.
Then there are the tools, those well-cared-for Tools. Now the pride of my workshop, still shiny and sharp and strong and sturdy. All good as new, and all American, too. Of course, you couldn’t buy anything else back then.
And in the corner stands my grandfather’s impressive woodworking chest, finely appointed with chisels and planes and levels and picks and rasps and his initials stamped into each handle. He carried the box on his shoulders to the bus stop for 30-odd years, as he went off to build patterns for planes and trains.
All of this will one day be yours, I promised her. She smiled and seemed impressed, I suppose, as much as any little seven-year-old girl could be. Our little stroll down memory lane had done much for my spirit, and it had become a memorable day in its own right.
That evening, with my daughter safely tucked into bed, my thoughts returned to my forefathers and my own childhood. I thought about the life they had made for us, through their sweat, sacrifice, and resolve.
I thought about these Tools that had forged my family, put a roof over our heads, and fish in our bellies, these tools that had built our life, as we once knew it.
Things being what they are today, my wife and I now wonder if we can possibly deliver for our child the same life and opportunities that our parents had secured for us. It was our promise to give our children better, remember, as our fathers had done for us.
This was the real American Dream, a simple tradition of values, like self-reliance and hard work  and perseverance. And I shudder to think what our forefathers would say of the mess we have made of it. Things being what they are today.
Next week we will celebrate our other fathers, our Founding Fathers, and the 235th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. I shudder again, to think what they might say of the America we prepare to pass on today.
Indeed they had bequeathed the most precious gift in the course of human history, when they left to us our constitutional guarantees of liberty and natural rights. The same guarantees for which generations of fathers and grandfathers and great-grandfathers had worked, fought, and died.
And they warned us that the people we sent to represent us in government would one day conspire to take it all away. This is why the Founders left to us something else equally treasured, outlined within our federal and state constitutions: the Tools to defend and preserve those very freedoms.
The electoral process;
The right to dissent through speech, the press, and assembly;
The right to petition for redress of grievances;
And if all else fails, God forbid, the second amendment.
Now it has fallen to us to implement these tools. We must dust them off and begin anew, to reclaim our rightful place as the leaders of our governments, whether local, state of federal. Yes, you and me.
It is our duty to act, just as surely as it is our sacred responsibility to provide and care for our sons and daughters. For if we cannot provide Liberty, we will be hard pressed to provide anything else of genuine value or consequence.
We have the Tools. All that is left is to summon the Will to wield them. And so We Shall.
This solemn promise I make to my Daughter, steeled by the indelible memory of our Fathers.
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Liberty Tree Town Hall Meeting / Thursday, May 19th @ 8pm

Mike’s Unicorn Diner
(get directions here)
2944 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10314-6606
(718) 494-2129

Different place, same mission.

Join our traveling town hall as we
pursue our promise of liberty outreach.


MEETING AGENDA



A Reading: The Fifth Amendment
Protects the People against abuse of government authority in court proceedings; also contains a favorite Libertarian hot button: no private property shall be taken for public use, without just compensation.

A Discussion: SILP Leadership and 2011 By-Law Amendments
Before we go to convention, we will need to discuss the makeup of our executive committee for 2011-2012, and propose/approve any amendments to our by-laws.
The People Speak: Your Topics, Your Thoughts
We yield the floor to any and all NY-13 neighbors and residents, regardless of political affiliation or subject matter. Speak your mind; observe your First Amendment rights. We respect all points of view.
Free Pocketsize Constitution!
The Staten Island Libertarian Party will once again be offering to all in attendance free pocket copies of the Constitution of the United States and Declaration of Independence.
Liberty Kitchen & Pantry!
We ask anyone planning to attend to consider bringing a food gift to the Town Hall for donation. Area food pantries are running short.

  • Baby food always needed
  • Non-perishable foodstuffs and canned goods
  • New or like-new pots, pans, microwaveable cookware, cooking utensils welcome
  • We’ll even find a good home for your extra or unneeded cookbooks

If you cannot attend but want to help, you may also arrange for pickup or find the nearest drop-off location by calling our Liberty Line @ 646-543-7457, or contact info@statenislandlp.org.

Borough Politburo

[commentary]

Scroll down the March 20th edition of Tom Wrobleski’s Strictly Political to a short entry entitled “Off With Their Heads.” The political editor at the Staten Island Advance satirically notes some outrageous comments made recently by our own distinguished Borough President, James P. Molinaro.
In a moment of weakness (or moment of truth), the honorable Mr. Molinaro felt obliged to share his dismay over government inaction, arguing, “benevolent dictatorship is the way you get things done.”

Um, excuse me, comrade?
The article continues: “Democracy doesn’t work, he said. “You can’t piecemeal government. I know I shouldn’t be saying this.” No, he really shouldn’t, but he did, nonetheless.
With both feet now firmly planted in mouth, Mr. Molinaro then delivers this gem: “Will you have corruption? But we have corruption now.” Well, Diamond Jim, since you put it that way.
The context for these little brow-raisers? Mr. Molinaro’s admitted frustration in failing to get a left-turn lane installed after more than a decade of trying, among many other disappointments. Forget that he helped to create the leviathan bureaucracy that encourages little government gimmes like this, but then also can’t get out of its own way when it comes time to fulfill them.
Surely he doesn’t believe that a dictatorship is the conservative, constitutional solution to a bloated, overreaching, underachieving system. The BP was just venting, blowing off steam, right? He wasn’t actually proposing authoritarian government, however benign.
I suppose neither was President George W. Bush when he said in alleged jest: “If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.” The context here, too, was frustration with the system. Apparently this was also the case with his political yang, President Barack H. Obama, the renowned industry nationalizing, czar-happy Transformer-in-Chief.
The New York Times reports that Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China. As one official put it, ‘No one is scrutinizing Hu Jintao’s words in Tahrir Square.’”
To be fair, what these so-called leaders say is unequivocally true. There is no doubt that a dictatorship would make life a lot easier for them, if only this were Tahrir Square, or certainly Tiananmen Square. But this is New York, and we prefer to keep our Times Square just the way it was, thank you.
The real issue, perhaps, is whether political leaders should be saying these things in the first place. A lot of patriots have shed a lot of blood devising, developing, and defending to the death this Constitutional Republic these past 250 years. It is an insult to us all. True, we have also fought and died for the American freedom to say whatever it is we feel, Molinaro included. It is our absolute, natural, God-given right.
Yet it is also the People’s right, indeed our solemn, civic duty, to remain vigilant, and speak out against the undemocratic impulses of any elected official, regardless of context, the appearance of innocence, or the presence of ignorance. And to question: What of their duty? What of their sacred oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of New York State?
Perhaps I have overstated the principle; people say crazy things all the time. Isn’t this really much ado about nothing? Just words? Let us turn to another famous utterance from #44:
“Don’t tell me that words don’t matter. ‘I have a dream.’ Just words. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ Just words. ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’ Just words. Just speeches…”
The point Mr. Obama was making in this speech, of course, is that words do matter. And while they can certainly inspire, they also have the power, thankfully, to illuminate. We should all consider ourselves fortunate to glimpse these public servants as they really think. To know what runs through a person’s mind, as it slips unfiltered past the lips, is genuine godsend.
To wit: when the proverbial S[tuff] Hits The Fan, we’ll know exactly who to keep an eye on during the crisis.
As for the controversy at hand, should Mr. Molinaro apologize? Resign? Be dragged before a grand jury to explain his wistful pining for dictatorial power and process? Old school tar and feathers? That will be left to the People to decide.
However, if the Reader Comments section were any indication, it is equally disheartening to find the residents of this beloved island far more consumed with petty nonsense about who may or may not march in a St. Patrick’s Day parade. Not a single poster paid heed to the Borough President’s revealing words, preferring instead to alternately bicker about Richmond’s tea party and young democrats club. Apparently this is the new pastime.
I can only say to my well intentioned neighbors: Beware. For when we become so divided over the little things, history hath shewn that we tend to miss the really big, important ones. Remember that ‘divide and conquer’ is the ancient tool of the Tyrant.
“Let the eyes of vigilance never be closed.”
Hey, I’m just sayin’.
I’ll give you the last word.

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Identity Crisis: So who exactly are the Libertarians?

Over the course of the 2010 campaign season, the question most asked of me personally by voters was a seemingly simple one:
“What do you stand for?”
The “you” in this context meant the Staten Island Libertarian Party (SILP) and our candidates in particular, or alternatively, the Libertarian movement at large. Our chapter’s boilerplate reply, crafted by committee for accuracy and consensus, was equally simple:
“Limited government, personal liberty, free markets, and state’s rights.”
Indeed, our positions on these issues constitute key planks of the SILP platform. All pretty straightforward stuff.
Further, it’s reasonably certain that Libertarians universally embrace the first two pillars noted above. The national Libertarian Party (LP), which bills itself as the ‘Party of Principle,’ has it distilled down to this mantra: ‘minimum government, maximum freedom.’
Kinda catchy, right? You’d think so.
Yet among the hundreds of New Yorkers with whom I spoke, and who claimed to have some insight into Libertarian philosophy, the pendulum of perception regarding Libertarianism swings wildly, from a party of right-wing extremists, to one of far-left anarchists. (A similar affliction confounds watchers of the Patriot/Tea Party movement, but that’s another op-ed for another time.)
After 40 years, one wonders if the Libertarian Party still struggles to define itself in this world of three-second sound bites. Or maybe the electorate is just hopelessly hardwired for 2-party tyranny. After all, conventional punditry has long proclaimed that a third-party vote is a wasted vote. Worse still, they insist, it is a “spoiler” vote that will only throw the election to the enemy (whoever that is…).
Whatever the reasons, all manner of misconceptions and misnomers abound regarding Libertarians and their beliefs; prominent media outlets, slanted all across the political spectrum, can’t seem to get it right with any regularity.
We’ve also found that the name Libertarian itself can cause something of a misdirect. Many voters make that phonetical leap of logic that Libertarian = Liberal. While there is some genuine basis of truth in that, there is one significant exception.
It is classical liberalism to which we pay homage. Modern liberalism? Not so much. The term was hijacked long ago. Many of the policies now associated with self-styled social liberals lie 180-degrees from the original tenet and meaning of liberalism. Of course, the exact same thing can be said for many so-called conservatives, who profess (with a straight face) to be today’s champions of small government and individual rights.
So much for principle.
To some extent our current case of mistaken identity is self-inflicted. Like any large national party (reportedly the largest independent), we have our own undeniable factions. A veteran New York state LP member once advised that ‘getting Libertarians to agree on anything is like herding cats.’
Not surprisingly, our public persona (as well our political unity) is vulnerable to far-flung chapters with competing interests, brought about through disparate geo-cultural values, social-driven agendas, and myriad policy emphases. And they don’t always align neatly. Yes, even in the great State of New York.
I will argue that this is as it should be, insomuch that Liberty teaches individualism and self-determination. It also preaches tolerance of, and respect for, different political and ideological points of view.
But in the marketing parlance that is endemic in modern politics, it becomes difficult to uniformly promote a “brand” when the “product” is inconsistent across the marketplace. And so it follows that in an army of independent thinkers, there is going to be a lot of inconsistency.
So, you may ask, what then are we selling?
What are the ‘Principles’ that drive the Staten Island Libertarian Party?
Let me quickly remind that I do not necessarily represent the views of the national LP mother ship, nor our friends in Manhattan, Greater Rochester, and Hudson Valley et al. Neither do I speak here for my Staten Island member colleagues; they rather excel in doing that themselves.
The following notes, then, are simply my own observations of the dominant themes in the year since I began working with this remarkable group of patriots:
Our extremely knowledgeable membership holds a deep, abiding respect for the Founders of this country, and the well-documented Originalist intent of our United States Constitution. We would do well not to forget that our liberties have other protections, too, in the Constitution of the State of New York.
We are determined to hold accountable all transgressors of said constitutions, with special days of reckoning reserved for elected officials, as they have sworn an oath to uphold them.
Taxed Enough Already. We witnessed with total astonishment an unprecedented fiscal recklessness in the wake of a near-catastrophic economic collapse. And this on the heels of an already unprecedented build-up of debt during two wars. Is it their plan to see this nation insolvent?  Is it possible to return to pre-Great Society levels in federal spending.
In New York we need hard caps on taxes; property, income, and sales. But then also cut and cap state and municipal spending.
Our discussions on sound money principles and fiscal restraint are epic, and alone worth the price of admission. [btw, meetings are free; membership is only $20 per year]
Speaking of monetary policies, exactly who are these unelected, unaccountable persons at the Federal Reserve, and what exactly are they doing with our dollars? With whom? And why? Demand transparency.
We are for private enterprise. We know what makes America run, and who creates real jobs of opportunity and advancement. And it ain’t the government.
We advocate the removal the job-killing restrictions and business-crushing regulations that stifle the entrepreneurial spirit, and stagnate our district’s economic recovery.
There are strategic opportunities right now to attract new employers to this district, too. Incentivize companies. Reinstate business credits. Address the area’s transportation needs by opening up to private competition.
Fiercely anti-statist. From table salt to salty language, small farms to firearms. Quite simply, ‘don’t tread on me.’ Let’s neuter the nanny state. We are a Sovereign People.
We support State’s Rights. The needs and desires of New Yorkers are as different from those in Iowa as they are in California. Have we not yet learned that one-size federal legislation does not fit all? We are not the United States of America, but these United States.
Likewise, the needs and desires of Staten Island are as different from Fire Island as they are from Rikers Island. Government that governs best is local.
The neo-federalists may not enumerate which products we must purchase, and then penalize our families should we choose not to comply. Exactly what part of the Tenth Amendment does this central government gang not understand?
The U.S. Department of State does not have permission to sign global treaties with world bodies, which ultimately compromises the national sovereignty of the People. For the record, neither does the president.
Nor does the United Nations have permission to pass judgment on our sovereign states’ laws; dictate how we raise our children; control the trade of private firearms; or allocate the amount of carbon exhaled on this planet.
No more foreign entanglements; military, financial, political, or otherwise. We’ve got enough challenges right here at home.
Education reform. The current framework is definitely not what Thomas Jefferson had in mind when he advocated a public system of education for our children.
Empowerment before entitlement. Let us foster prosperity and self-worth through personal independence. And work to eliminate government dependence, and the indifference and indignity that flow from it.
Why does a term limits law that New Yorkers overwhelmingly approved in 2010 not go into effect until 2021? Are 34 incumbents really that special that the law should not apply to them?

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These are just some of the topics discussed at our monthly assemblies. I think it is a fair snapshot (albeit through my lens) of what is important to the Staten Island Libertarian Party membership, and the neighbors that have visited with us.
Again, I encourage you to please read our party’s platform so you can get a better sense of where we stand. Maybe you’ll even decide to stand with us.
Better yet, swing by one of our Liberty Tree Town Halls for a firsthand look at what we’re doing, and then decide for yourself. This, too, is as it should be.

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“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.”

[For further reading on classical liberalism, here are other links from Stanford and the Mises Institute.]

On Real Respect for the Constitution

by Dr. Ron Paul

[This is repost of a guest editorial for the Daily Bell, January 25th, 2011]
I am pleased that the Constitution has received a lot of attention in recent weeks, thanks to the tea party movement. The 112th Congress kicked off with a reading of the Constitution on the floor of the House. It goes without saying that Members of Congress should have read the Constitution many times, and should continue to study it.
Citing the particular clause of the Constitution that authorizes newly introduced legislation is a reasonable suggestion, yet in reality it will do little to restrain unconstitutional growth of the federal government. We have had such rules in the past and no benefit came of it.
The laws that are passed reflect the preferences and personal agendas of those in charge. For too long those agendas have expanded government at the expense of personal liberty, regardless of which political party was in charge. This expansion of government clearly violated the Constitution, yet it was always argued that this or that program somehow conformed to that “living” document.
By misinterpreting the general welfare clause, the interstate commerce clause, and the “necessary and proper” clause, Congress has justified every conceivable expansion of the federal government. Congress also has misinterpreted the 14th Amendment and legislated as though it had repealed the 10th Amendment. Sadly, Congress has also systematically abdicated its prerogatives and responsibilities to the executive branch over many decades.
Too many people, in and out of Congress, grew up being taught that the Constitution was a “modern living document.” Though the authors allowed for flexibility through the amendment process, this process has been ignored for the sake of speed and convenience. As a result, the Constitution now has little actual meaning.
Our Constitution should be viewed as law, and Members of Congress should be expected to follow, respect, understand, and uphold the law. But a document is just a piece of paper if those who represent us and promise to obey it ignore it instead. Celebrating the Constitution without this understanding will do nothing to restore the greatness of America.
Simply praising the document distracts from the need for Members to resist special interests, political self-interests, emergency needs in times of crisis, fear-based economic myths, and the persistent temptation to seek security over liberty while ignoring personal responsibility and self-reliance.
I wonder: will this welcomed renewed interest in the Constitution lead to a healthy reassessment of all of our policies? Will there be no more wars without an actual congressional declaration? Will the Federal Reserve Act be repealed? Will only gold and silver be deemed legal tender?
Will we end all unconstitutional federal departments, including the Department of Energy, Education, Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Labor?
Will the Patriot Act be repealed and all warrantless searches stopped?
Will the TSA be abolished?
Will the IRS’s unconstitutional collection powers end?
Will executive and judicial quasi-legislative powers end?
Will we end the federal war on drugs?
Will we end the federal government’s involvement in medical care?
Will we end all of the federal government’s illusionary insurance programs?
Will we ban secret prisons, trials without due process, and assassinations?
Will we end our foreign policy of invasion and occupation?
For America to once again become the standard for a free society, our love of liberty and desire for peace must far surpass any public display of fidelity to the Constitution. We must first look to strong moral character, respect for the rule of law, and an understanding of the proper role of government in a free society.
#
Note: This entry is for the purpose of enlightenment. It should not be received as an endorsement by the Staten Island Libertarian Party of Representative Ron Paul, his policy positions, or the Republican Party. In the true spirit of individual liberty and self-determination, we respect that all political preferences are left to your own discretion.
That said, we do very much support the principled sentiments expressed here in his writing. The good doctor from the great Republic of Texas has long been at the forefront of the fight for constitutional liberty.
–es

U.S. Inflation Statistics and You

According to figures released today by the Commerce Department, Americans have experienced a 2% price increase in the last three months. Without accounting for food and energy prices, inflation is at an overall 1.3 % in the last three months. Interestingly, when looking at food and energy prices, we see there has been a price increase of 18.7 % when viewed against March of 2009. This means you are paying almost a fifth more for food and energy from last year.
What does all of this mean? For one, it means the cost of living is on a sharp rise. It would normally be hard to explain in a weakened economy how we are seeing such a sharp rise in prices. People are spending less overall than they were in previous years, as many struggle with the effects of a down economy. This should have the effect of lowering prices and the cost of living, and it would, if not for the inflation factor.
Many in the mainstream like to define inflation as a rise in prices. This assessment ignores the cause and identifies the symptom. Inflation is more accurately defined as an increase in the supply of money. As laws of supply and demand dictate, when there is more money competing for the same amount of goods, prices rise. So we actually see rising prices as a result of inflation. Simply put, the Federal Reserve, our nation’s central bank, prints more money, and we in turn have to pay more to feed our families, heat our homes, and fuel our vehicles.
This is by no means a new phenomenon in American history. Since the Federal Reserve bank opened for business in 1914, the dollar has lost 95% of its value. This is a confusing track record for a “quasi-government” agency who is mandated to maintain low inflation and stable prices. All Americans can likely attest to the fact that cost of living is on the rise, while wages struggle to keep up, if they keep up at all. For many Americans, jobs have been lost and wages have actually decreased as part of employer austerity measures. Small businesses are disappearing.  How are Americans supposed to keep up with the harmful effects of inflation, such as an 18.7% price increase in food?
The truth is, though the Federal Reserve might be inflating the currency, (printing more money), so they can bail out Wall St. and help our government fund trillion dollar wars and entitlement programs without raising taxes, the people who are harmed most by inflation are the poor and middle class. Whereas a wealthier family might not have a great deal of trouble adjusting spending habits to accommodate a 20% price rise in food, a family with a strict budget or on a fixed income might now find themselves unable to meet their other monthly obligations. A family in the lowest income brackets might find themselves suddenly unable to make ends meet. This family may be confused, and rightly so, as they haven’t lived more extravagantly – they just find the prices to provide for daily needs have skyrocketed. Such are the hidden and insidious effects of inflation. Inflation is nothing less than a hidden tax on the people, harming those most vulnerable in our society.
Inflation also punishes people who save and invest by diluting the value of the dollar.  Why should you save your money in a bank account, likely bearing under 1% interest, when through inflation, the dollar is becoming less valuable?  If you save money, you literally lose money.  Americans find themselves in a situation of spend, invest, or lose money.  The higher the rate of inflation, the faster money is being devalued.  At what point does even the wisest of investments fail to keep up with inflation?  Through a reckless Federal Reserve monetary policy, we can only expect inflation to be on the rise.
Even more startling than the 18.7% price increase reported by the Commerce Department today are the numbers that show the United States money supply, M3. These figures are no longer published by the Federal Reserve on their website, perhaps because they are “the best description of how quickly the Fed is creating new money and credit”, according to Congressman Ron Paul.  According to Shadowstats.com, a website which still estimates M3, in the below chart, you will see M3 hit 18% between 2009 and 2010. Meaning, the total money supply was at times increasing by 18+% monthly.  It  has been estimated that the monetary base has more than doubled through Fed action.  Although inflation can be unpredictable in proportion to the money supply, it can come as little surprise that we have experienced an almost 19% price increase between this year and last year.

John Williams' M3 Estimate

Sadly, with the way the Federal Reserve and a willing Congress have irresponsibly increased the supply of money and credit, we should only expect more inflation in the near future. With these numbers in front of us, and as evidenced by the ongoing collapse in Greece and the EU, we should not think the recession is over, as so many claim it is. On the contrary, through the “magic” of inflation the true problems have only been papered over with new money.  There is much evidence that this time it is not going to work, and this is why we see the collapse continue in other economies around the world.  This illustrates the potent danger a “quasi-government” organization like the Federal Reserve can wreak on our economy through endless creation of new credit.  When powerful interests such as banks and financial institutions get into trouble, they call on the Federal Reserve to “bail them out”.  The Fed, free of public scrutiny, is more than happy to do so by creating new money.
No person or group should have control over the supply of money and credit.  These kinds of things are best left to the free market.  The free market long ago chose gold and silver as the best money. The framers of the U.S. Constitution knew this, as well as the inherent dangers of paper money, like our federal reserve notes of today.  They had experience with runaway inflation during the war for Independence, and that is why our Constitution strictly calls for gold and silver to be used as money.  One of the most important qualities of gold and silver, and a key reason the Fed and most politicians oppose sound money, is that they can’t be easily counterfeited.  Instead of granting more power to the Federal Reserve, as is being discussed in Washington, we should begin talks about instituting a sound monetary policy based once again on gold and silver.  This will go a long way to putting us on a sound financial footing for the future, while rewarding smart financial behavior instead of failure.