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Princeton Study Confirms 'US Is An Oligarchy'

Zero Hedge - Fri, 18/04/2014 - 00:35

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.

 

- From a recent study titled Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens by Martin Gilens of Princeton University and Benjamin I. Page of Northwestern University

In response to the publication of an academic study that essentially proves the United States is nothing more than an oligarchy, many commentators have quipped sentiments that go something like “so tell me something I don’t know.” While I agree that the conclusion is far from surprising to anyone paying attention, the study is significant for two main reasons.  

First, there is a certain influential segment of the population which has a disposition which requires empirical evidence and academic studies before they will take any theory seriously. Second, some of the conclusions can actually prove quite helpful to activists who want to have a greater impact in changing things. This shouldn’t be particularly difficult since their impact at the moment is next to zero.

What is most incredible to me is that the data under scrutiny in the study was from 1981-2002. One can only imagine how much worse things have gotten since the 2008 financial crisis. The study found that even when 80% of the population favored a particular public policy change, it was only instituted 43% of the time. We saw this first hand with the bankster bailout in 2008, when Americans across the board were opposed to it, but Congress passed TARP anyway (although they had to vote twice).

Even more importantly, several years of supposed “economic recovery” has not changed the public’s perception of the bankster bailouts. For example, a 2012 study showed that only 23% percent of Americans favored the bank bailouts and the disgust was completely bipartisan, as the Huffington Post points out. 

Personally, I think the banker bailouts will go down as one of the most significant turning points in American history. Despite widespread disapproval, Congress passed TARP and it was at that moment that many Americans “woke up” to the fact they are nothing more than economic slaves with no voice. That they are serfs. Even more importantly, once oligarchs saw what they could get away with they kept doubling down and doubling down until we find ourselves in the precarious position we are in today. A society filled with angst and resentment at the fact that the 0.01% have stolen everything.

Another thing that the study noted was that average citizens sometimes got what they wanted, but this is almost always when their preferences overlap with the oligarchs. When this occurs it is entirely coincidental, and in many cases may the result of public opinion being molded by the elite-controlled special interest groups themselves. How pathetic.

I read the entire 42 page study and have highlighted what I found to be the key excerpts below. Please share with others and enjoy:

Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism.

Until very recently, however, it has been impossible to test the differing predictions of these theories against each other within a single statistical model that permits one to analyze the independent effects of each set of actors upon policy outcomes.

 

A major challenge to majoritarian pluralist theories, however, is posed by Mancur Olson’s argument that collective action by large, dispersed sets of individuals with individually small but collectively large interests tends to be prevented by the “free rider” problem. Barring special circumstances (selective incentives, byproducts, coercion), individuals who would benefit from collective action may have no incentive to personally form or join an organized group. If everyone thinks this way and lets George do it, the job is not likely to get done. This reasoning suggests that Truman’s “potential groups” may in fact be unlikely to form, even if millions of  peoples’ interests are neglected or harmed by government. Aware of the collective action problem, officials may feel free to ignore much of the population and act against the interests of the average citizen.

 

As to empirical evidence concerning interest groups, it is well established that organized groups regularly lobby and fraternize with public officials; move through revolving doors between public and private employment; provide self-serving information to officials; draft legislation; and spend a great deal of money on election campaigns. Moreover, in harmony with theories of biased pluralism, the evidence clearly indicates that most U.S. interest groups and lobbyists represent business firms or professionals. Relatively few represent the poor or even the economic interests of ordinary workers, particularly now that the U.S. labor movement has become so weak.

 

What makes possible an empirical effort of this sort is the existence of a unique data set, compiled over many years by one of us (Gilens) for a different but related purpose: for estimating the influence upon public policy of “affluent” citizens, poor citizens, and those in the middle of the income distribution.

 

Gilens and a small army of research assistants gathered data on a large, diverse set of policy cases: 1,779 instances between 1981 and 2002 in which a national survey of the general public asked a favor/oppose question about a proposed policy change.

 

In any case, the imprecision that results from use of our “affluent” proxy is likely to produce underestimates of the impact of economic elites on policy making. If we find substantial effects upon policy even when using this imperfect measure, therefore, it will be reasonable to infer that the impact upon policy of truly wealthy citizens is still greater.

 

Some particular U.S. membership organizations – especially the AARP and labor unions– do tend to favor the same policies as average citizens. But other membership groups take stands that are unrelated (pro-life and pro-choice groups) or negatively related (gun owners) to what the average American wants. Some membership groups may reflect the views of corporate backers or their most affluent constituents. Others focus on issues on which the public is fairly evenly divided. Whatever the reasons, all mass-based groups taken together simply do not add up, in aggregate, to good representatives of the citizenry as a whole. Business-oriented groups do even worse, with a modest negative over-all correlation of -.10.

 

The estimated impact of average citizens’ preferences drops precipitously, to a non-significant, near-zero level. Clearly the median citizen or “median voter” at the heart of theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy does not do well when put up against economic elites and organized interest groups. The chief predictions of pure theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy can be decisively rejected. Not only do ordinary citizens not have uniquely substantial power over policy decisions; they have little or no independent influence on policy at all.

 

By contrast, economic elites are estimated to have a quite substantial, highly significant, independent impact on policy. This does not mean that theories of Economic Elite Domination are wholly upheld, since our results indicate that individual elites must share their policy influence with organized interest groups. Still, economic elites stand out as quite influential – more so than any other set of actors studied here – in the making of U.S. public policy.

The incredible thing here is that they use the 90th percentile to gauge the “economic elite,” when we well know that it is the “oligarchs” themselves and the businesses they run that call all the shots. It would have been interesting if they isolated the impact of the 0.01%.

These results suggest that reality is best captured by mixed theories in which both individual economic elites and organized interest groups (including corporations, largely owned and controlled by wealthy elites) play a substantial part in affecting public policy, but the general public has little or no independent influence.

 

In our 1,779 policy cases, narrow pro-change majorities of the public got the policy changes they wanted only about 30% of the time. More strikingly, even overwhelmingly large pro-change majorities, with 80% of the public favoring a policy change, got that change only about 43% of the time.

Amidst all of the bad news in this study, there is one conclusion from which we can find a silver lining.

The importance of business groups’ numerical advantage is also revealed when we rescale our measures of business and mass-oriented interest group alignments to reflect the differing number of groups in each of these categories. Using this rescaled measure, a parallel analysis to that in table 4 shows that on a group-for-group basis the average individual business group and the average mass-oriented group appears to be about equally influential. The greater total influence of business groups in our analysis results chiefly from the fact that more of them are generally engaged on each issue (roughly twice as many, on average), not that a single business-oriented group has more clout on average than a single mass based group.

 

Relatively few mass-based interest groups are active, they do not (in the aggregate) represent the public very well, and they have less collective impact on policy than do business-oriented groups – whose stands tend to be negatively related to the preferences of average citizens. These business groups are far more numerous and active; they spend much more money; and they tend to get their way.

What the paragraphs above demonstrate is that the public has become very, very bad at organizing and that they aren’t even in the same ballpark as the the business groups. While mass-based interest groups will never be able to compete financially, we now live in a world of crowd-funding and a great deal of angst. Thus, there appears to be some low hanging fruit available for the activist community to pick at and become more organized.

Furthermore, the preferences of economic elites (as measured by our proxy, the preferences of “affluent” citizens) have far more independent impact upon policy change than the preferences of average citizens do. To be sure, this does not mean that ordinary citizens always lose out; they fairly often get the policies they favor, but only because those policies happen also to be preferred by the economically elite citizens who wield the actual influence.

But sure, keep chanting USA! USA! and keep sending your children to die overseas for no good reason.

Of course our findings speak most directly to the “first face” of power: the ability of actors to shape policy outcomes on contested issues. But they also reflect – to some degree, at least – the “second face” of power: the ability to shape the agenda of issues that policy makers consider. The set of policy alternatives that we analyze is considerably broader than the set discussed seriously by policy makers or brought to a vote in Congress, and our alternatives are (on average) more popular among the general public than among interest groups. Thus the fate of these policies can reflect policy makers’ refusing to consider them rather than considering but rejecting them. (From our data we cannot distinguish between the two.) Our results speak less clearly to the “third face” of power: the ability of elites to shape the public’s preferences. We know that interest groups and policy makers themselves often devote considerable effort to shaping opinion. If they are successful, this might help explain the high correlation we find between elite and mass preferences. But it cannot have greatly inflated our estimate of average citizens’ influence on policy making, which is near zero.

So what’s the conclusion? Well we aren’t a Democracy and we aren’t a Constitutional Republic. As I and many others have noted, we have descended into something far worse, an neo-fedualistic Oligarchy.

What do our findings say about democracy in America? They certainly constitute troubling news for advocates of “populistic” democracy, who want governments to respond primarily or exclusively to the policy preferences of their citizens. In the United States, our  findings indicate, the majority does not rule -- at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.

 

A possible objection to populistic democracy is that average citizens are inattentive to politics and ignorant about public policy; why should we worry if their poorly informed preferences do not influence policy making? Perhaps economic elites and interest group leaders enjoy greater policy expertise than the average citizen does. Perhaps they know better which policies will benefit everyone, and perhaps they seek the common good, rather than selfish ends, when deciding which policies to support.

 

But we tend to doubt it. We believe instead that – collectively – ordinary citizens generally know their own values and interests pretty well, and that their expressed policy preferences are worthy of respect. Moreover, we are not so sure about the informational advantages of elites. Yes, detailed policy knowledge tends to rise with income and status. Surely wealthy Americans and corporate executives tend to know a lot about tax and regulatory policies that directly affect them. But how much do they know about the human impact of Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamps, or unemployment insurance, none of which is likely to be crucial to their own well-being? Most important, we see no reason to think that informational expertise is always accompanied by an inclination to transcend one’s own interests or a determination to work for the common good.

 

All in all, we believe that the public is likely to be a more certain guardian of its own interests than any feasible alternative.

 

Leaving aside the difficult issue of divergent interests and motives, we would urge that the superior wisdom of economic elites or organized interest groups should not simply be assumed. It should be put to empirical test. New empirical research will be needed to pin down precisely who knows how much, and what, about which public policies.

 

Our findings also point toward the need to learn more about exactly which economic elites (the “merely affluent”? the top 1%? the top 0.01%?) have how much impact upon public policy, and to what ends they wield their influence. Similar questions arise about the precise extent of influence of particular sets of organized interest groups. And we need to know more about the policy preferences and the political influence of various actors not considered here, including political party activists, government officials, and other non-economic elites. We hope that our work will encourage further exploration of these issues.

 

Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.

So when Sam Zell or any other oligarch prances around on television saying that the “poor should be more like the rich,” what he’s really saying is you need to sell your soul and attempt to become an oligarch. Otherwise, you’re fucked.

This is a truly excellent study and I suggest you read the entire thing here, if you have the time.








Categories: Economic Blogs

4th US Navy official charged in bribery scheme

NZ Herald - Fri, 18/04/2014 - 00:30
SAN DIEGO (AP) A fourth member of the U.S. Navy has been charged with conspiracy to commit bribery in a multimillion-dollar scheme involving a Singapore-based defense contractor accused of providing cash, vacations, electronics and...
Categories: Economic News

VIDEO: Singapore puts innovation on show

BBC Economics - Fri, 18/04/2014 - 00:23
Singapore is running a trade fair for entrepreneurs, where exhibitors hope to turn their idea into a worldwide success.
Categories: Economic News

Ex-BP worker fined over shares trade

BBC Economics - Fri, 18/04/2014 - 00:10
A BP employee who oversaw the cleanup of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 agrees to settle a charge of insider trading.
Categories: Economic News

A Blueprint for Investing in Frontier Markets

Zero Hedge - Fri, 18/04/2014 - 00:01

By: Mark Wallace at http://capitalistexploits.at/

Our friends at Pathfinder Capital have created an excellent report on frontier markets. These guys live and breath the frontier, putting boots on the ground where most of us wouldn't care to visit.

Both of the founders are ex-military guys who cut their teeth in places like Libya, Iraq and eastern Europe. Chris and I have spent a lot of time with them, including at our Meet Ups in Mongolia, Cambodia, Singapore and Sri Lanka. We really respect their analysis and expertise. We recommend taking the time to download and review their report linked at the end of this post.

--------

Courtesy of Pathfinder Capital

Last week we attended an asset management conference in London, in which the agenda featured several prominent speakers and a panel conference on emerging markets. We noted that some of the UK's largest fund managers would be represented in the discussion, so with our curiosity piqued we walked down to Threadneedle Street in order to listen in.

For the most part the event did not disappoint – it's always useful to hear other fund managers discuss the issues that keep them awake at night. However we were somewhat taken aback by one comment at the emerging markets panel; in general, this person (a partner at a firm claiming to focus on the emerging markets) told the audience that he didn't see any reason to distinguish between the emerging and frontier markets, given the relatively high correlations of their currencies and equity indices.

In our opinion, this comment couldn’t have been further off the mark – and we have the empirical evidence to back it up. At the bottom of this post you can see a link to our latest white paper "Introducing the I-3". We have spent the past several months building this document, with special thanks to our friends Owain Mulligan (currently at London Business School) and Joe Holliday (currently at Harvard Business School) for their invaluable assistance.

Many institutional investors have acknowledged that frontier markets deserve consideration as a distinct asset class. After twenty years of strong growth, the "traditional" emerging markets (the famed BRICs of Brazil, Russia, India and China) are beginning to resemble developed Western economies. However, the majority of global growth in the next decade will instead be generated by "frontier markets". Indeed, over the past five years, 43 of the 47 highest-growth economies have come from the frontier. Less than one third of those are represented on mainstream equity indices.


Traditional definitions of the frontier market are unsatisfactory. They are typically defined as "those markets that are not yet classified as developed or emerging markets". While this is technically true, and a valid first step, frontier markets can also be defined by the specific characteristics they exhibit in comparison to more developed economies:

  • Lower liquidity
  • Smaller market capitalization
  • Higher trading costs
  • Higher volatility
  • Reduced transparency
  • Higher geopolitical/sovereign political risk

It should also be recognized that frontier markets are not homogenous. In fact, they can be further broken down into three distinct categories that we have identified as the I-3:

  • Indexed Frontier. Countries that are included on mainstream equity indices.
  • Illiquid Frontier. Countries that have small stock exchanges with low trading volumes and low market cap-to-GDP ratios.
  • Isolated Frontier. Those high-growth economies that do not have a sovereign stock exchange, or participate in a regional stock exchange.

Between 2008 and 2012, forty-seven economies achieved an average annual GDP growth rate greater than 5% (see Figure 1). Of these, none were developed economies and only four were classified as emerging markets, leaving 43 from the frontier.

Most investors overlook frontier markets due to perceptions of higher risk and, often more so, a general lack of familiarity. Frontier markets also have little or no representation in mainstream equity indices and are therefore not easily investable. While a handful of frontier-focused indices exist, their market capitalization remains very small when compared to emerging markets equity indices. This lack of representation creates difficulties for the investor who seeks exposure to this exciting asset class. In this era of quantitative easing and negative real deposit rates, investors are increasingly turning to the high growth opportunities offered in the frontier markets. After reading the attached document, we believe that the reasons behind this trend will become plainly evident.

--------

You can read Pathfinder's latest "Introducing the I-3" white paper here.

- Mark

"Country selection is more important in frontier markets than in emerging markets." - Cliff Quisenberry, Caravan Capital Management








Categories: Economic Blogs

Wimpey sees danger in soaring house prices - The Independent

Google NZ House Prices - Thu, 17/04/2014 - 23:57

Wimpey sees danger in soaring house prices
The Independent
But he said the "level of house prices in London isn't healthy from a social [or] political perspective". Mr Redfern added: "I don't think that 6-7 per cent [price increases] over the course of a year is cause for alarm after four years of stagnation and a 20 per cent ...

and more »

Record labels sue Pandora over older songs

NZ Herald - Thu, 17/04/2014 - 23:55
NEW YORK (AP) Major record labels are suing Internet radio giant Pandora for copyright infringement for using songs recorded before 1972 without paying license fees.The labels, including divisions of Sony, Warner and Universal,...
Categories: Economic News

Tankers getting through in spite of storm

Scoop NZ - Thu, 17/04/2014 - 23:38
MEDIA RELEASE – 18 April 2014 Tankers getting through in spite of storm Widespread power outages, slips and tree falls across roads as a result of the severe storm in the last 24 hours are inhibiting communication with Westland Milk Products’ ...
Categories: Economic News

Aquaculture New Zealand welcomes Supreme Court decision

Scoop NZ - Thu, 17/04/2014 - 23:23
Aquaculture New Zealand welcomes Supreme Court decision Aquaculture New Zealand has welcomed the long awaited Supreme Court decision clearing the way for three new salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds.
Categories: Economic News

Wave To The Webcam Caption Contest

Zero Hedge - Thu, 17/04/2014 - 23:11

For an administration run by a "straight to TV" teleprompter, it is only fitting that the inspiration for reaching out to the unemployed masses should come straight from the Oscars. No Samsung's media stunt this time, just America's figurehead leaders kindly requesting everyone to please wave to the NSA-controlled webcam: after all they are on the other end, and smiling.

Pals. pic.twitter.com/yt5MjtLYPi

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) April 17, 2014








Categories: Economic Blogs

Selling globally is child's play

BBC Economics - Thu, 17/04/2014 - 23:09
The tech making e-commerce easier for small firms
Categories: Economic News

Alfa Romeo plots a US comeback

BBC Economics - Thu, 17/04/2014 - 23:06
After 20 years, Alfa Romeo returns to the US
Categories: Economic News

VIDEO: Alfa Romeo plots US comeback

BBC Economics - Thu, 17/04/2014 - 23:05
Alfa Romeo, the Italian sports car maker, returns to the US market after 20 years. Michelle Fleury takes a tour of the car the firm hopes will appeal to American drivers.
Categories: Economic News

Crafting sweet treats from beans to bars

Stuff Business - Thu, 17/04/2014 - 23:01
When you walk into the renovated warehouse space in Eva St, the scent of chocolate is all around.

Categories: Economic News

Genesis shares list at a premium

Stuff Business - Thu, 17/04/2014 - 22:55
Genesis Energy's share price jumped more than 16 per cent when trading opened on the NZX today, bringing a symbolic end to the Government's asset-sales programme.

Categories: Economic News

Vodafone customers could watch Netflix for free

Telegraph Business - Thu, 17/04/2014 - 22:31
Vodafone and Netflix in talks to launch TV and film service in the next few months






Categories: Economic News

Vodafone customers could watch Netflix on phones

Telegraph Business - Thu, 17/04/2014 - 22:31
Vodafone and Netflix in talks to launch TV and film service in the next few months






Categories: Economic News

Province wakes up to effect of developers' fees on house prices - Vancouver Sun

Google NZ House Prices - Thu, 17/04/2014 - 22:24

Vancouver Sun

Province wakes up to effect of developers' fees on house prices
Vancouver Sun
Over many years, I have written countless times about the significant impact municipal regulations, policies and especially levies and fees have on housing prices. While housing prices have soared over the last two decades, some local government leaders ...

Guest Post: Liberty Movement Rising

Zero Hedge - Thu, 17/04/2014 - 22:23

Submitted by Brandon Smith of Alt-Market.com,

"Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."  - Thomas Paine

The label of “fringe” is a common one used by statists, bureaucrats and paid shills in order to marginalize those who would stand against government corruption. The primary assertion being sold is that the “majority” joyously supports the establishment; and the majority, of course, is always right.

The liberty movement, which is a collection of numerous freedom organizations and political activists brought together by a shared philosophical bond, has been accused of “fringe” status for quite some time. With corporatist dominance over the mainstream media for decades backing an elitist machine in Washington and a global banking cartel footing the bill with money created from thin air, any such accusation can be made to seem “real” to those who are unaware.

The problem has always been a matter of physical action giving rise to an acknowledgment of numbers.

We have all heard the old story of the debate within the ancient Roman government over the idea of forcing the slave population to wear distinct armbands so that they could be more easily identified among the regular population. The concept was rejected on the realization that if the slaves were given a visual confirmation of their considerable numbers and strength, they would be encouraged to revolt against the Roman tyrants. That is to say, as long as the slaves felt isolated, they would remain apathetic and powerless. Of course, that was not always the case. Sometimes, a small group would stand up despite their supposed isolation, and the rest of the world, wide-eyed and astonished, would take notice.

The liberty movement has just experienced one of its first great moments of realization and empowerment in Clark County, Nev., and millions of past naysayers have been shell-shocked.

I covered my views in detail on the Bundy Ranch saga in Nevada in my article “Real Americans Are Ready To Snap,” amid the usual choir of disinformation agents and nihilists desperate to convince Web audiences that the liberty movement would do nothing to stop the Bureau of Land Management’s militant assault on Cliven Bundy’s cattle farm. This assault included hundreds of Federal agents, helicopters, contractors hired essentially as cattle rustlers and even teams of snipers.

The statists and socialists were certainly out in force to misrepresent the Bundy issue and frighten anyone who might consider taking a stand for the family. The Southern Poverty Law Center, not surprisingly, was hard at work spreading lies and disinformation about the confrontation in Nevada, painting a picture of fractured patriot groups and militiamen with “little training” going to face unstoppable Federal BLM agents and likely “ending up dead.” The SPLC insinuated that the movement was ineffective and in over its head.

The reality was much the opposite. Liberty groups arrived in droves and were staunchly unified — not by a centralized leadership, but in defense of the basic moral principles outlined in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Sources on the ground at the Bundy ranching operation relayed to me that at least 1,000 activists and militia members arrived over the weekend, with many more on the way. This one event proved certain points:

  1. The liberty movement is not afraid to put itself in harm’s way for the right cause — even if this means facing off against highly armed government thugs.
  2. The liberty movement has the ability to field a response team or even an army anywhere in the country at any time within a couple of days.
  3. The liberty movement has the ability to change the course of events, even to the point of removing Federal agents from a region who are acting in an unConstitutional manner.
  4. The Federal government is not invincible, nor is it unfazed by liberty movement opposition. They worry about our strength and ability.

Over the past weekend, we witnessed the true influence of the liberty movement. As thousands of activists and militia arrived in the area, the BLM finally began to understand what it was facing. The government agency that has been terrorized farming communities throughout the West for years, the agency armed with military-grade weaponry and hundreds of agents, ran away, as freedom fighters descended on the region.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie, two politicians who were deathly silent during the beginning of the Federal incursion on the Bundy ranch, have now suddenly become vocal in defense of Nevada ranchers against the BLM. It’s amazing how “inspired” politicians can become to do the right thing when they see an army of liberty activists marching against tyranny in their own backyard.

Not only was the BLM forced to remove itself from the area, but it was also forced to relinquish all the cattle it had stolen from Bundy over the course of the past week. Here, liberty groups close in on the cattle holding pens of the BLM and take back Bundy’s property.

Statists are indignant and furious over the surrender of the BLM. The same people who boasted that liberty activists would be slaughtered by Fed agents are now frothing at the mouth because they did not get their massacre. Not only that, but the bureaucracy they worship has shown itself to be impotent in the face of Constitutional champions. All I can say is nothing puts a bigger grin on my face than to see statists cry like babies when their delusions of grandeur are trampled on.

This was a major victory for the liberty movement. But let’s be clear; the fight is just beginning.

I suspect that the Bundy event will be spun by news agencies and the government until it is unrecognizable. They will claim that the BLM left not because they were wrong, but because they were trying to keep people safe. They will claim that liberty movement protesters were the aggressors and the poor BLM agents were just trying to do their jobs. They will play the race card as they always do, much like this pathetically lazy and unprofessional article from Slate, which asserts that if the Bundy's had been black, the Liberty Movement would have never supported them. They will argue the so-called Federal legality of the raid itself, and paint Bundy as a “freeloader” who refuses to pay taxes and who is living off the American people. They will do everything in their power to destroy the image of the victory and soil the name of the Bundy family.

What they don’t seem to understand, though, is that the liberty movement does not care what the Federal government deems “legal” or “illegal.” Our only interest is what is Constitutional and what is moral. The dispute was never about the “legality” of Bundy’s use of the land, which his family used for grazing without interference for generations — until 1993, when the BLM used the absurd endangered species protection racket to put all of his neighbors out of business and threaten his ranch with invasion.  Add to this the recently discovered fact that Senator Harry Reid's former assistant and friend Neil Kornze is now head of the BLM due to Reid's influence, and the fact that Harry Reid and his family are reaping financial rewards by driving farmers from all over the region where Cliven Bundy's ranch sits while arranging land deals with Chinese solar companies, and one has to ask, why should Bundy pay any of his hard earned money to the federal government when they are just going to use it to bulldoze his cattle and make Harry Reid more rich?

Disinformation websites like Snopes contend that Reid's "projects" are not being established anywhere near the Bundy Ranch, yet, one such project has already been launched only 35 miles south of Bundy, and, the BLM has erased a page from its website specifically mentioning the Bundy Ranch and it's "interference" with Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone Projects, the same projects Harry Reid and his son are heavily involved in.

What is amazing to me is that in light of this information hardcore socialists are still willing to defend Reid and the BLM.  My question is, if the BLM is so innocent, then why are they erasing such data from their website at all?  What were they trying to hide?

Harry Reid has not responded to the facts behind his financial involvement in the BLM's attacks on Nevada farmers, except to say that they are "conspiracy theories".  He added when asked about the status of the confrontation:

“Well, it’s not over. We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over...”

Yes, Harry, it won't be over until men like you are thrown behind bars.

Note that he says "an American people"; as if he is separate, as if he is referring to all of us as a subservient organism, or servant class.  What Reid is saying is, the elites can't have "an American people" openly exposing their criminality and defying their tyranny, and then just walking away.  I'm sorry to break it to Reid, but that is exactly how all of this is going to end.

Statists and bureaucrats like Reid continually attempt to argue this issue from the standpoint of Federal legality, obviously because the Federal government has the legislative and bureaucratic power to make any despicable action legal (at least on paper) if it wishes. However, the liberty movement has no interest whatsoever in Federal interpretations of legal precedence. We are only concerned with what is right. As the old saying goes, when injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.

The liberty movement also fully understands that the Bundy victory was only one battle at the beginning of a long war.

The BLM may very well be waiting for activists to leave the area before attacking again. And even if that is not the case, tyrannical systems have a way of attempting to make up for signs of weakness by escalating violence during the next siege. That is to say, we should expect the next event involving the BLM or other government agencies to be even more vicious than the Bundy incident. It is simply the natural inclination of totalitarian systems to exaggerate their power when their failings have been exposed.

That said, it should be noted that corrupt leadership often crumbles in the face of steadfast resolve and courage. We have a long way to go before this Nation is once again truly free, but the liberty movement has proven its invaluable worth over the course of the past several days. We arrived at a crossroads, and we are now moving forward in the right direction — without fear and without regret. It is in these moments when history is made — when common men and women thwart the odds, defy the darkness and make good on their beliefs by risking everything in the name of freedom.








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