Politicians enriching themselves through their public positions is nothing new – but it is a crime. It is unethical. And it stealing the very people they have been elected to represent.
It has been rumoured that there are some in Washington DC, who may have been enriching themselves at the expense of the American people. In the past they have been referred to as ‘The Swamp’.
Starting this week – the draining of the swamp went into overdrive.
The video below by US Attorney and former New York City MayorMr Rudy Giuliani, is a must watch.
The video in conjunction with an alleged hard-drive full of incriminating emails will have massive implications for the upcoming US election. And no doubt for many other players in the US political arena.
We will continue to monitor the revelations as they come to hand. What we are likely to witness, is indeed part of our… Financial Awakening.
The following is a link to Mr Giuliani’s new website where you can access the information for yourself.
Is a new political system the only fix for democracy?
For many of the Financial Awakened – the problems in society are stemming from the obvious. There is a political and bureaucratic swamp engulfing the world. They are enriching themselves and their masters, but at the expense of the working middle-class and underprivileged.
There are some who want to drain the swamp. A noble cause indeed. However, what if the swamp cannot be drained?
What if our political system, the Democracy we treasure so deeply – is itself, deeply broken? Broken to such an extent that change is now impossible. Corrupted beyond all chance of repair.
Is it time we had a new form of Government?
This is the theme behind a recent and thought provoking publication by Mr Daniel James Larimer (Dan for short).
For those who don’t know Dan, Dan is a blockchain engineer. He is not just any engineer though. He is the mastermind and builder of the Delegated Proof of Stake (DPOS) concept and protocols.
Dan has been ultimately responsible for 3 generations of DPOS blockchain development. First BitShares, then Steem a popular social media blockchain and now the third generation EOSIO utility blockchain.
Bitshares and Steem were both highly successful in their day, always abuzz with activity.
Currently the two most active blockchains in the world (accordingly to blocktivity) are EOS and Telos – both based upon Dan’s DPOS EOSIO protocol.
I mention Dan’s history to ensure that you fully understand that this is one self-made and HIGHLY INTELLIGENT individual.
Just as important in Dan’s resume however, is his staunch and long time advocacy for individual liberties, free markets, property rights and small government.
In his article titled (perhaps controversially) ‘Can we end riots with a new kind of Government?’, Dan highlights the critical failings of the current political system in the US – which we deem to be applicable to most Western nations.
Dan lists some of the factors responsible to for the failings and these include:
Gerrymandering, effectively permanently captures a district for a party
Major parties don’t have to be democratic (or accountable) and make their own rules and they change them every time an outsider (e.g. Ron Paul or Bernie Sanders) threatens the elite’s choice.
Media and parties control the discussion of who is eligible for masses to consider.
Incumbent advantage leads to re-election of people with 20% approval rating!
Campaign finance that favors celebrities and big spenders.
Debate about people and not about policy.
All valid criticisms of the current political system of course.
If Dan had of left it at that, this would be the end of the discussion. However, in the usual helpful style of any good engineer, Dan has offered the world a potential solution, based around a whole new political system.
Dan has named this system –
Randomized Hierarchical Representative Government
Let us refer to this system as RHRG for short.
Dan outlines the basic process as follows:
Randomly assign people to small groups (~10 people)
Each group must select a representative from their members with 8/10 approval.
Randomly assign selected representatives to small groups (~10 representatives)
Every election season would start with people assigned to different random groups.
Under this process:
incumbents would have no power as any single group of 10 people could prevent an incumbent from advancing.
Celebrities have no power because you can only vote for people in your group.
Identity politics has no power, because you can only vote for those in your group.
Special Interests have no power, because there are no long-term relationships with incumbents and 8/10 must agree.
Vote fraud has no power, because how can you cheat a vote of 10 people?
Political Parties have no power, because you must reach consensus on a representative with 8/10 people.
Campaign finance has no power, because the only people you have to communicate with are the people in your group(s).
In a country with 100 million eligible voters, each group of 10 could be given 30 days to discuss and reach consensus on a representative and it would take at most 8 months to pick a president and a hierarch of people under them. Each step in the process eliminates 90% of the candidate’s.
The output of such a system would be a form of government which should represent the will of the people (to the extent such a thing exists). The system is neutral with respect to political opinions regarding the size/scope of government. It is neutral to Republican and Democratic opinions. It is neutral with respect to race, money, religion, abortion, war, etc.
What are the benefits of this system?
Dan goes on to discuss historical instances of small group voting for representatives up a hierarchy and the advantages and potential drawbacks of RHRG. As you come here for the Goldsmith Money opinion however – here goes.
Assuming a grassroots movement could gain enough moment to usurp the current democractic system – RHRG would indeed lead to:
A higher quality of political representative.
A better majority representation on important issues.
Lower levels of political interference from unions and other special interest groups.
Lower levels of media interference in the election process.
Less power for minority interest groups holding the majority (and sometimes all of society) to ransom.
However, the first drawback to spring to mind what that there could be a loss of continuity, political memory and experience. This could be detrimental to the outcome – particularly in the short term. This disadvantage could be easily overcome by staggering implementation and term commencement.
To his credit – Dan briefly mentioned this above failing and offered a similar solution, along with countering a few more potential criticisms of RHRG.
To conclude, Dan briefly discusses some of the amazing new technologies which could be utilised to ensure the successful implementation and management of this proposed political system.
So does RHRG have merit?
But that does not mean that we do not seek the opinion of other thought leaders in the libertarian establishment.
Mr Douglas Horn, chief architect of the governance enhanced Telos blockchain (mentioned previously) offered Goldsmith Money a technical dissertation on the RHRG proposal.
We will go into the full details of Mr Horn’s review in a followup article in a week or two. In brief though, Mr Horn states.
The tyrannies Dan Larimer mentions in his article about Randomised Hierarchical Representative Government will feel quite tangible to anyone paying attention to American politics of the past century or more.
Mr. Larimer’s excellent treatise on a new look at electoral processes would be better served by proposing that we first show the value of this Randomised Hierarchical Representative Government through other means.
Unfortunately, you will need to wait for the full story.
At the very least… RHRG is worth discussing.
You can find Dan’s full article here on the new blockchain based social media platform – Voice.
Dan states that if we want change ‘the first step is to raise awareness of a new form of representative government.’
We at Goldsmith Money have taken our first step – we have started a conversation and created awareness. The question now – what will you do?
Please be sure to subscribe to Goldsmith Money updates here; along with our YouTube channel for all manner of discussion – monetary, blockchain, gaming or otherwise.
Be well friends.
Looking for more on politics, try The Political Pendulum – it is sure to put a few political ideologies in perspective.
“If you are not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”
– Malcolm X
This provocative, yet insightful quote by Malcolm X, is a value proposition for political news editor and journalist Mr Chuck Norton and his political news web publication ‘Political Arena’.
The current political news sphere is a murky bog of lies, half-truths, misrepresentations, propaganda, ulterior motives and hidden agendas.
Mainstream media seem to be doing their utmost to have you believe that:
Free markets are oppressive;
Opinion is fact;
Statistics are racist;
Popular consensus is science;
Mathematics is offensive;
Capitalism is evil; and,
Government loves you.
All incredibly similar to the propaganda slogans expressed by the Ministry of Truth, in George Orwell’s classic novel 1984.
War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is Strength.
For the Financial Awakened, navigating the ‘Fake News’ and ‘Socialist Propaganda’ can be difficult and time consuming. So discovering a current, political news website, backed up by a treasure trove of truthful political and economic history – is incredibly valuable.
Introducing ‘Political Arena’.
In Mr Norton’s own words –
‘The contributors to this site are dedicated to explaining the values of free and fair markets, and of liberty tempered by restraint and personal responsibility…‘
‘Our goal is to explain the news of the day, along with complex economic, political, and global security issues in such a way that the average working man or student can respond to.‘
As a recent subscriber to the website, it did not take us long to realise that this site is a central depository for much of the current political and economy news (real news) we seek. Factual information which we had been spending many hours a week sourcing from multiple news outlets and historical journal sources.
We would encourage our subscribers to also subscribe to this site for your real news fix. Particular those interested news stemming from the US – which we all should be.
Going forward – we are considering adding a Political Arena page to the Goldsmith Money website, as our quick link to this depository of fact. Stay tuned on this.
So please head over to https://politicalarena.org/ and have a look around. If you like what you see, kindly let Mr Norton know. And by all means – please provide your feedback on this page as well.
Finally, don’t lose faith. The more people being exposed to the ‘real news’, the less power the ‘fake news’ networks will have. We must all simply do our part.
When the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company announced their first quarter 2020 financial numbers, it was a lacklustre affair. Sales were down 15% from the year before. Unit volumes and shipments were also down and so too was the profit. In fact the company reported a $619 million loss(including impairments).
It’s Covid19 time though, so stock markets are likely to forgive and life would go on. And then the company does the unthinkable – it got political!
Conservative warnings to big corporates are now lit up in neon.
‘Get woke, go broke’.
Tired of the of the left-wing, political correct cancel culture; right-wing conservative counterculture is hitting back. And they are doing so with their wallets.
Failing to heed to the warnings and experiences suffered by corporate peers such as Gillette; Goodyearpublished the following employee dress code. As per usual – some disgruntled employee uploaded it onto Twitter… and then all hell broke loose.
As far as conservatives were concerned, Goodyear had elected to stand with the enemy – and a conservative boycott would ensure.
And it was not just your average run-of-the-mill conservatives calling for the boycott. This message of boycott was coming straight from the top, with US President Donald Trump tweeting –
The message to business has never been clearer.
Sell your product, but keep your politics to yourself.
Do not tell your customers how to vote, think, behave or otherwise.
Do not force your employees to adopt a single political leaning.
Do not assume that you are the authority on all that is good and righteous.
With Goodyear being one of our favourite brand of tyres, we at Goldsmith Money will not be joining in such a boycott. Regardless of how we feel however, this is going to hurt Goodyear and it will hurt badly.
And for our valued readers, the Financially Awakened, the message is also clear. Do notstand in the way of the trendingconservative counterculture. This trend is growing stronger each and every day.
For the vast majority of us – superannuation and other retirement products have failed us dismally. It is time to scrap these systems and products… and start over.
A short time ago I introduced a new page to Goldsmith Money, titled ‘Lost Retirement’. In light of Coronavirus, I thought it timely to expand upon this topic.
We previously discussed the depleted balances of superannuation and pension accounts attributable to stock market crashes. It is certain now that the market crashes of 2008 and 2020, accompanied by negative interest rates and excessive money printing, will see these products fall well short of the promises they made.
The compulsory superannuation and pension systems of the world have completely failed the working class of the past 20-30 years. Meanwhile the ultra-wealthy were able to use these systems to minimise their income tax obligations for 3 decades and potentially enrich themselves selling these failing products.
And the products will not only fail to deliver the retirement income stream that the vast majority of workers will need – they have left workers highly vulnerable to economic downturns and the Black Swan events such as Coronavirus.
Nations of the world have been forcing their citizens to contribute a percentage of their wages and salary to retirement products. In doing so they have significantly reduced their ability to:
Save money for times of financial hardship.
Repay their debts more quickly.
Build a alternative passive income streams to replace lost wages and salary.
At present, millions of workers have been left unemployed due to a worldwide economic coronavirus shutdown. Readily acessible personal savings and alternative income streams would have saved a great deal of hardship, for a great many. It would have also saved governments a great deal in support payments.
Regardless of major catastrophes however, workers should have personal savings set aside for all manner of contingency. Sickness; redundancy; repairs and maintenance. Workers should also have funds available to take advantage of investment opportunities which might arise.
The points I have made here might be considered personal liberty arguments for the scrapping of compulsory superannuation. Giving an individual the freedom to invest and save for their own retirement, as they choose. In addition to personal liberties however, there is also data to show that current systems are not simply failing the workers, but the economy as a whole.
It is better thought of as a growth-sapping, resource-wasting, tax-advantaged asset purchase scheme aimed at the already wealthy, which is unlikely to do much to reduce reliance on the age pension.
There are many reasons to scrap this system which has failed so many and I have touched on just a few here. It is up all of us now to capture all the reasons and then petition our governments to do so.
Witnessing the wild mechanisations of The Great 2020 Coronavirus Stockmarket Crash presents the perfect opportunity to open up a new discussion on the matter of retirement savings. More specifically – superannuation, retirement and pension products and the government regulations which compel us to use them.
For the past 30 years Governments around the world have been ‘encouraging’ their citizens to save for their retirement. Well ‘encouraging’ may not be a strong enough word. Governments have generally ‘forced’ their citizens to contribute 9-15% of their wages and salaries towards retirement savings products. And over the past 3 weeks, we have seen trillions of dollars wiped off the value of these products. So let’s examine.
Let’s assume the average worker is likely to spend their wages and salary in the following proportions:
Income Tax – 30%
Housing – rent or loan repayments – 25%
Generally living expenses – 25%
Surplus funds available for other investment or luxury spending – 20%
Then the Government came along and said ‘no, we want you workers to put your final 9-15% into special financial products which you cannot touch until you retire’. The diligent workers are now left with disposable income of a mere 5-11% of their gross pay.
So the workers did as they were told. They allowed for their employers to deduct part of their wages and salaries and send it off to these retirement product providers. Putting their faith in the promises which the politicians, the bankers and their union representatives had made.
Every payday they effective transferred money into these products. Many of which were paying large fees to the product trustees and the investment managers. This didn’t matter though – for in the end they would have a sizable nest-egg to see them through retirement.
Meanwhile the workers were forced to forego the early repayment of their home loans; the purchase of investment properties; the investment in hard assets; or, simply the enjoyment of life through the purchase of luxury goods and services.
Then along came the GFC. These retirement products lost half their value in 12 months… but this was okay, as there would be time to build it back up.
Now the Coronavirus Crash is upon us, markets are down 35% and so too are the retirement savings products. Only this time – we are 11 years on from the end of the GFC. Is there still time to make it back up?
Interest rates at Nil%, even negative. Corporate profitability is down and is likely to stay this way for a number of years. An entire generation has now seen their retirement plans lost.
So here is a question – why couldn’t the workers simply be trusted to use their additional disposable income to repay their home loans quicker?
Surely the best way to provide for yourself in retirement is to own your own home outright – yes?
So another question – if those in power genuinely wanted to assist citizens to prepare for retirement – why didn’t they incentivise them to simply purchase a home and repay the debt as fast as they could?
Not enough questions were asked of politicians and bankers post the GFC – will they be allowed to get away with this for a third time?
The importance of the topic cannot be understated. This post will now become a new feature page of the Goldsmith Money website.
I would love to get your thoughts on this topic – please be sure to comment below.
When it comes to politics, just like anything else, there are always trends taking place. Long, short, weak, strong. At present, we are seeing a very strong global trend which is likely to last for many years now.
The trend we are seeing a global push from Globalism back to Nationalism. Please refer to blog post ‘The Political Pendulum‘ should you need a refresher on these political structures.
This swing is being labelled a ‘populist movement’. In truth, it could indeed be considered a working and middle class revolution.
This movement began with the Brexit referendum result in 2016, and was reinforced later that year with the election of US President Donald Trump.
The movement has found a strong foothold in European nations such as Italy, Hungary, Russia and Georgia where leaders have turned their backs on open border immigration policies and returning to traditional national values.
On 28 October 2018, the movement returned right-wing conservatism back to South America, with the election of Jair Bolsonaro as the 38th President of Brazil.
The movement is causing an ongoing headache for the center-left French President Emmanuel Macron, with Yellow Vest protests occurring weekly for the past 15 months.
The populist trend continued into Australia in 2019 with the shock re-election of Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The pre-election polls showed Australian citizens were disappointed with the past 6 years of coalition Government. Regardless, the desire of Australians to retain a conservative government saw an overwhelming re-election result for Australia’s conservative party.
On 1 March this year Slovakia’s right-wing populist party claimed victory, ending a 14 year left-wing government.
Understanding and accepting that the trend towards Nationalism is here and will continue, you want to look out for opportunities which might arise from this.
You should also consider the associated trends, such as the resounding backlash against ‘political correctness’ and ‘virtue signalling’. As mentioned in the Trends home page. You do not want to get caught swimming against this trending currents. The financial consequences can be disastrous.
We will examine both opportunities and threats associated with with current trends, in future posts. In particularly, we will look at examples of some companies which failed to understand these political trends over the past 18 months, to help us avoid making the same mistakes.
Those within the Financial Awakening understand two life rules:
Nobody is going to act in your best interest, all of the time.
When you find someone who acts in your best interest most of the time – stick with them.
In sickness and in health, till death do you part.
The same can be said for politics. No politician is going to act in your best interest, all of the time. So it is your job to take an interest in your political environment and understand who the key players are. This includes determining parliamentary members and the political parties which most closely and most often, represent your values.
Regardless of how well you know your local member though, political trends can begin quickly and they won’t always benefit you. Now this might be an acceptable outcome on occasion, as the government may indeed be acting in the interests of others who genuinely need assistance. At other times questions concerning motive, reason and effectiveness of government spending should be asked and the key players held accountable.
Whether these new political trends are good for you or bad – you want to be able to spot and assess them early. Once you complete your assessment – as an ordinary, yet financially savvy individual, you generally have two active options available:
Work within the laws and regulations as best you can, to maximize your financial opportunity; or, limit the financial damage.
Lobby the government to keep the laws and regulations working in your own best-interest.
If it’s worth keeping, fight for it.
Early lobbying may stop bad policy trends immediately. Ineffective lobbying has been known to lead to many an emotionally charged election. For you, the Financial Awakened Political Practical, it is simply another day at the office.
So the following are my 4 tips to help us in our quest to be informed and unemotional Political Practicals.
Stay up to date with political news. Some will be happy reading newspapers, local through to national levels. Me, I can never seem to find the time for this. So my preference is conservative talk-back radio. Turn off the morning music and start listening to the so called ‘shock-jocks’. The good morning hosts have already read the newspapers for you and will invite the key players onto the program to explain their points of view.
Take your time. Not much moves fast in politics. Politics is compromise and compromise takes time. So you have time to do your research, plan your strategy and get to work. A warning though, if a policy looks like it is being pushed unusually quickly, there is a high chance it is not going to benefit you. In these circumstances you may need to lobby fast.
Adjust your finances if needed. With legal and regulatory change being flagged months, sometimes years in advance, an awakened and financially savvy individual is sometimes able to restructure their financial affairs well in advance of the legislative changes coming into effect. Should you determine that the change is inevitable – there should be time plan and execute your restructure.
Seek professional advice – tax agents, accountants, solicitors, investment advisers. Good professional advice should pay for itself threefold at least.
This post should be considered an introduction and theoretical guide to developing a practical approach to politics. Staying informed about your current political, economic and social environment will help you identify the political trends. An understanding of who the key players are will assist you to gauge the strength of the trend and likely outcome. Ultimately it will be your perseverance and practice which will determine the level of success you achieve.
Going forward, it is my plan to report on the specific political trends I am witnessing and hopefully you will share your observations too. Together, we should be able to make the assessment process easier and more accurate – thereby increasing our likelihood of success.
Three men go for a walk into this forest. One man has $100. The other two don’t. The other two don’t like this very much. They hold a vote and with their majority elect to split the $100 between the three of them – this is Democracy.
Others join them and quickly realise how unfairly the first person was treated. In response they elect a single person to supposedly fix the Democratic mistakes – this is a Republic.
Through free markets and property rights the people of the forest prosper for a time. Most people are productive, however, some people are more productive than others. This is Capitalism.
Community pride is high as citizens foster and share in the culture, customs & traditions born out of their newly found prosperity. This is Nationalism.
Over time however it becomes obvious that the owners of capital and risk takers have become very wealthy and have left the working class behind. So these workers gather together to demand higher wages and better working conditions. This is Unionism.
Due to higher wages, businesses in the forest are now less profitable. Fortunately for the manufacturers, the people in the nearby river valley work for much less than those in the forest. So the owners move their factories to the valley and transport the goods to the forest. Everyone rejoices because the goods just became cheaper. This is Globalisation.
However, without a manufacturing industry many workers were left idle and without means of income production. They see this as unfair. They seek to increase taxes on the wealthy and have it redistributed to themselves. This is Socialism.
To appease this new Socialist movement a larger governing body is formed to facilitate the redistribution of wealth in a fairer manner for all. This new bureaucracy, with their newly found political influence, involve themselves directly in all manner of free-market activity. Quite often with just enough regulation to ensure the continued success of their preferred product and service providers; and, usually at the expense of the competitors. This is Crony Capitalism.
Realising that the expanding bureaucracy is taking advantage of its size, power and influence, the central government introduces additional levels of bureaucracy to police the old. This is Authoritarianism.
With resources quickly being depleted to fund the massive public workforce, emergency measures are briskly introduced to facilitate the only truly fair allocation of monies, property and resources. The government seizes all and cancels the next election. This is Communism.
Everyone is content for a short time, until finally all the resources have been distributed, the people are left unproductive and the land is barren. Violence, starvation and death follow. People flee. Including three men who go for a walk into a forest. One man has $100, the other two don’t.
History is littered with civilizations who strayed too far left of center and simply never returned. If there was a single political lesson for all parents to teach their children it would be – ‘Socialism – has always failed and will always fail.’ As Margaret Thatcher so eloquently stated – ‘The problem is with socialism, you eventually run out of other people’s money to spend.’
Need a modern example of a failing socialist system, look no further than Venezuela. Twenty years ago it was the crown jewel of South America. Rich in wealth, culture and oil. Socialism, accompanied by a sustained period of low oil prices, put a swift end to this.
However, as you can see from the prior anecdote, Democracy has its failings too. As soon as you have what over 50% of the population want, they will simply vote to take it from you. They will try to soften the pain for you of course. They will call it a tax, a duty, a levy or a surcharge. They will also praise you for doing your civic duty. But at the end of the day – they are simply taking something from you and giving it to someone else.
If you are left with only two options – the first being an authoritative socialism on the left, or democratic capitalism to the right – be pushing towards the right all the time. Not only will your standard of living will be higher, you will probably live longer.
Most importantly though – understand the political trends at any particular time. Is there a unionist movement gaining momentum? Are the conservative capitalists likely to win the next election? Accurately predicting where the political trends are leading will create financial opportunities for you. It will also save you a great deal of time and money, by preparing for likely eventualities only.