Bhaskar Chakravorti, Tufts University
On June 27, the ATM turns 50. Former US Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker once described it as the ‘only useful innovation in banking.’ But today, the cash that ATMs dispense may be on the endangered list.
Cash is being displaced in so many ways that it’s hard to keep track. There are credit cards and electronic payments; apps such as Venmo, PayPal and Square Cash; mobile payments services; cryptocurrencies that operate outside the purview of central banks; and localized offerings such as Kenya’s mPesa, India’s Paytm and Bangladesh’s bKash. These innovations are encouraging cashlessness across communities worldwide.
Listen to India and the Cashless Society
It’s reasonable to expect cash to follow the path of other goods that have been replaced by digital alternatives, such as photos, music, and movies. Will cash – and the ATMs that dispense it – experience a ‘Blockbuster’ moment and disappear from our neighborhoods?
Not so fast. Cash will likely become less popular, thanks to the high cost of using cash and the growing array of alternatives. But I expect it will remain with us forever. The future will be ‘less cash,’ rather than cashless.
This post was published at FinancialSense on 06/26/2017.
Christian Economics: Teacher’s Edition
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).
A. Rival FaithsFaith is basic to the lives of all people. Most of what believe we take on faith. We have not scientifically examined everything we believe. Most of what we fervently believe is not subject to the rigorous but narrowly focused techniques of scientific testing. We believe it anyway.
Leonard E. Read fervently believed in the productivity of human creativity. So do I, but it is not the foundation of my worldview. It was for Read. He called the free market a miracle, meaning a miracle of creativity. I do not call it a miracle. I call God’s creation of the cosmos in six days a miracle. In contrast to Read, I call the free market economy a predictable institutional result of society’s acceptance and enforcement of these principles, all of which are mandated in the Bible: the doctrine of linear time, the doctrine of ethical progress (progressive sanctification), private property, the rule of law, civil laws against theft, taxes below ten percent of income, men’s strict legal responsibility for their actions, the rejection of envy, wealth as a confirmation of the covenant, and men’s commitment to leaving an inheritance to their grandchildren.
Why did Read refer to a pencil as both a miracle and a mystery? First, it is the outcome of innumerable decisions. Second, there is no central planning agency coordinating these decisions. There could not be such an agency. No one knows how to make a pencil. Yet a pencil is common. It is also quite simple. Think of complex products as far greater miracles and far greater mysteries. How could this be? Read said it is the product of an Invisible Hand. But Read did not believe in a supernatural being that is shaped like a hand, yet invisible. The phrase is a metaphor, one coined by Adam Smith in 1759 and used again in 1776. People do not trust their futures to a metaphor. They want to believe in a world with causation based on ethics, where good things happen to law-abiding, ethically righteous people. This is what they teach their children. They do not teach their children to trust in an Invisible Hand (capitalized).
What is the source of the market’s remarkable ability to produce wealth? God or man? If man, does this mean as individuals or the state? How is the system of economic cause and effect sustained?
B. Rival ExplanationsHere is Read’s position:
This post was published at Gary North on June 24, 2017.
One of the saddest things about Britain’s recent general election was the level of ignorance displayed by all parties on the broad subject of political economics. I use the term to include both political philosophy and pure economic theory. Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Nationalists seem to think free markets are right-wing. The Conservatives appear to have lost all compass, most government ministers believing free markets without government regulation are chaotic, with unscrupulous traders free to rip off consumers. But then all politicians are elected to intervene, so by default they are likely to think that government can improve on free markets.
It is an issue that bedevils politics in all the developed nations, but the roots go back a hundred years. Political extremes in the last century were both socialist. On the left there was communism, a political system where the state takes possession of the means of production for the common good. It was an attractive idea for those who thought of themselves as underdogs in society, envious of their richer neighbours, and who feared the effects of economic change on their own future. They were encouraged to think that the profits capitalists made could be theirs, owned by the state in trust for themselves. The state would organise production and guarantee employment.
This post was published at GoldMoney on June 22, 2017.
Though European leaders and their US-based counterparts have vehemently denied their existence, a leaked report from the Swedish police confirms that there are at least 23 Muslim-controlled ‘No-Go Zones’ and some 60 ‘vulnerable areas’ where non-muslim citizens of the country can no longer visit safely.
As noted in the RT video below, the areas are plagued with violence, sexual assaults and gun crimes, and things have gotten so bad that police and emergency services personnel refuse to enter.
According to the Swedish National Police Commissioner:
We see developments in our country which are not always going in the right direction… We have more than 60 vulnerable areas in and around major cities in Sweden.. and we see criminality there and we need to turn around these developments in those areas… and we need the assistance of other parts of our society.
This post was published at shtfplan
on June 23rd, 2017.
As more Democrats have started to question why former Attorney General Loretta Lynch was never investigated for obstruction following a suspicious meeting with former President Bill Clinton, it appears the Senate Judiciary Committee has finally decided to act.
The Washington Times reported Friday that the committee has launched a formal investigation into Lynch’s attempts to shape the FBI’s probe into Hillary Clinton, and whether she mishandled classified information on her private email server.
According to the Times, the investigation has bipartisan support.
‘Sen. Charles E. Grassley, chairman of the committee, said the investigation is bipartisan. The letter to Ms. Lynch is signed by ranking Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and also by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Sheldon Whitehouse, the chairman and ranking member of the key investigative subcommittee.’ ‘Letters also went to Clinton campaign staffer Amanda Renteria and Leonard Benardo and Gail Scovell at the Open Society Foundations. Mr. Benardo was reportedly on an email chain from the then-head of the Democratic National Committee suggesting Ms. Lynch had given assurances to Ms. Renteria, the campaign staffer, that the Clinton probe wouldn’t ‘go too far.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 23, 2017.
This post was published at The Alex Jones Channel
The banker bailouts of the 2008/09 period changed my life forever. I was working on Wall Street at the time, and the way in which the government rallied around the financial institutions that torched the world and left its victims in the dust threw my entire delusional worldview into disarray. Prior to that, I had bought into the absurd assumption that I was financially successful at a young age primarily because I was hard-working and talented. The ensuing bailouts and the government’s emphasis on obsessively rescuing some of the most degenerate people in our society made me realize once and for all how completely rigged and sleazy the U. S. economy really is. As you might expect, it only got worse under Obama’s oligarch-coddling policies and will surely continue to deteriorate under Trump (Goldman Sachs is not your friend).
Ever since I left my cushy financial services job to do the challenging and often draining work of chronicling our ongoing crime scene, I’ve spent the vast majority of my free time trying to further educate myself on exactly how this system works. What I’ve discovered over and over again is that it is far more abusive than even I imagined.
Today’s post highlights two important articles that came to my attention over the past couple of days. Both are extremely disturbing, and both should be seen as completely unacceptable in a remotely ethical civilization (which we are not).
This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Michael Krieger | Posted Wednesday Jun 21, 2017.
In the ever increasing global creep toward totalitarianism, some nations are stepping up punishments for their civilians caught using social media for free speech. Now Germany is in the headlines for raiding the homes of those who the government declared had posted ‘offensive’ content on social media.
It hit the fan when it comes to free speech in Germany. Wasn’t this the country that had to fight tooth and nail to free themselves from the grip of Adolf Hitler’s censorship? It’s like some lessons are never learned. In a coordinated campaign across 14 states, the German police raided the homes of 36 people accused of hateful postings over social media, including ‘threats,’ ‘coercion,’ and ‘incitement to racism.’ The goal of these raids was the confiscation of the ‘hate posters’ Internet connection devices, according to a press release from the German federal police (BKA).
In the most ironic statement of the century, Holger Mnch, president of the Federal Criminal Police Office, said ‘The still high incidence of punishable hate posting shows a need for police action. Our free society must not allow a climate of fear, threat, criminal violence, and violence either on the street or on the internet.’ So in Germany, a free society means ‘don’t say things the government doesn’t like, or your home will be raided.’
This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on June 21, 2017.
If you asked the average person about what threat North Korea poses to the United States, they’ll probably respond with a blank stare. The few who happen to pay attention to the news, will likely mention North Korea’s nuclear program, as well as their efforts to develop long range ballistic missiles that could one day reach the United States. That’s pretty much all most Americans know about North Korea’s capabilities, because that’s all they hear about from the media.
The truth however is much more frightening. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that North Korea is either capable of, or is working on the ability to launch an EMP attack against the United States. Unlike the threat posed by a nuclear tipped missile, this wouldn’t just destroy a city or wipe out an overseas military base. It could destroy every city, and kill millions of people. Without a functional electrical grid, there’s simply no way that our society can feed and shelter the current population.
However, it should be noted that while most Americans are totally unaware of this threat, people in high places are taking it very seriously. Earlier this month, a columnist for the Toronto Sun named Anthony Furey released a book that details the threat of an EMP attack, called Pulse Attack: The Real Story Behind the Secret Weapon That Can Destroy North America. He was recently interviewed by Breitbart, and revealed that powerful people in our government are discussing North Korea’s EMP capabilities.
This post was published at shtfplan on June 19th, 2017.
There was a time when liberals and conservatives both agreed on one thing. They both used to love their country. Though they differed on what values and policies would be best for their homeland, they still had that shred of common ground.
That’s clearly no longer the case. Across the Western world, you’ll find that even moderate liberals are often uncomfortable with terms like ‘patriotism’ and ‘nationalism.’ As for the far-left, they now view these terms as poisonous and archaic. That’s because they want the whole world to be one big happy family, where borders are meaningless, people can freely move from one country to the next, and no society is inherently better than another. They preach diversity, but they want the world to be blended into one drab monoculture that falls in line with their beliefs.
So it was only a matter of time before leftists would start being triggered by patriotic rhetoric. It’s happening in Australia, where Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull recently stated that he wants the government to tighten citizenship and visa requirements.
This post was published at shtfplan on June 14th, 2017.
Ludwig von Mises dedicated a great amount of ink to the role that ideas play in shaping society. Not only does his analysis illustrate why it is so important to educate the public on topics such as economics, but also explains the enormous danger posed by widely accepted political myths. Examples include various false narratives such as deregulation caused the financial crisis, that American healthcare costs are driven up due to ‘capitalism,’ or FDR saved America from the Great Depression. Of course these various fictions, which all enjoy the support of most of the ‘intellectual’ class, all conveniently lead to policy prescriptions that justify ever greater government intervention into the economy and individual’s daily lives.
In recent years another dangerous myth has worked its way into the American zeitgeist: that government is the only thing guaranteeing us a free and open internet.
Cloaked in the friendly phrase ‘net neutrality’ is an agenda of greater government control. The idea turned into political action in 2015 when the Obama administration ordered that internet providers be treated as public utilities when the FCC reclassified them under Title II of the Communications Act. This move gave the government the ability to regulate the services provided by broadband companies. As a Title II utility, a company would be required to treat all websites equally, and prevented from engaging in behavior like making Netflix load faster than MySpace. While this was sold as a way to protect small companies from being bullied by larger ones, we’ve actually seen the opposite happen in practice. T-Mobile, for example, was criticized for violating net-neutrality when it offered free video streaming as a way to build its positioning among mobile network providers.
This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on June 13, 2017.
‘There are two ways to go. One, expose an enormous scandal and say, ‘See, this is what humans do, there is no hope’; or, exposing the same scandal, say, ‘As bad as this is, there are individuals who can invent futures that surpass the greed and the insanity’.’ (The Magician Awakes, Jon Rappoport)
Honor, honesty, integrity, ethics – words that mean nothing in a universe of corruption. Words that have been co-opted by vague idealists who hide behind them.
No matter what systems and organizations people build, there is always the question of how many honest individuals are in positions of power – and that question is crucial, to say the least.
I can’t count the number of scandals I’ve written about over the past 35 years. Nor can I count the number of times I’ve referred to The Individual as the bedrock of society.
There is an illusion that the future is shaped by collectives, that we live in a planetary collective, but the truth is, individuals are still at the center of things. Failing to focus on, and elevate the importance of, the individual leads to dire consequences.
The failure of education (at home and in schools) to take up issues of individual freedom, power, and responsibility opens the door to unaccountable corruption. There is no way around it.
How many colleges in the world teach courses that truly explore individual freedom, responsibility, power, creativity, and ethics as a single whole? How many teachers, even if permitted, would be able to lead students through such a course without the usual empty platitudes and academic fiddle-faddle?
This post was published at Jon Rappoport on June 8, 2017.
The British response to terrorism has to change, said Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday in a speech after the new attacks in London. She said: ‘There is, to be honest, far too much tolerance of extremism in our society.’ PM May made here announcement at 10 Downing Street making it clear: ‘When it comes to overcoming extremism and terrorism, things have to change.’ She announced potential changes to anti-terrorism laws. She further made it clear: ‘We can not give this ideology the safe space it needs to breed – but that’s exactly what the Internet and the big companies that provide Internet-based services provide. We must work with Allied democratic governments to reach international agreements to regulate the cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremism and terrorism planning.’
This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jun 7, 2017.
For generations, we’ve seen the political landscape in this country teeter back and forth between the Left and the Right. Usually about every 8 years or so, whichever political party is dominating Congress, the Executive Branch, and the state legislatures, is kicked out by voters and replaced with the other political party.
However, there’s something very different going on this time around. Donald Trump’s ascent to the oval office represents a major shift in our society and culture, and I’m not talking about the intermittent shuffle of politicians that we see every few years. Instead, the pendulum is about to swing very hard to the right.
I think that the political landscape in America is going to be drifting towards conservatism for the next 20-40 years. Though it may not be identical to what we view as conservative today, and it certainly won’t be the phony neoconservatism that dominated the past, it will be right-wing nonetheless. Here’s why:
The Supreme Court Is About To Change
President Trump has already chosen one Supreme Court justice, and there’s a good chance that he’s going to wind up choosing several more (much to the dismay of the Left). Because of their advanced age, we may see three more Supreme Court justices retire or die over the next four to eight years, two of whom lean to the left.
This post was published at shtfplan on June 2nd, 2017.
June 1, 2017, a day that will live in infamy for the liar, thieves, and killers of the new international economic order. They will see it as infamy, because their plan to sink the economy of America into a final death rattle has been rejected by Trump.
Fake climate science has been the lynch pin, justifying orders to cut CO2 emissions – but make no mistake about it, cutting emissions means cutting energy production in almost all countries of the world. THAT’S THE GLOBALIST TARGET. ENERGY PRODUCTION.
Get that one straight. The Globalist ‘utopia’ isn’t a trillion solar collectors or a trillion windmills – it’s lights going out all over the world.
It’s LOWER ENERGY PRODUCTION.
That’s the monster hiding in the closet. That’s the outcome arch-Globalists are determined to foist on the planet, because that’s the society they want to control – poverty-stricken, abject, shuffling along a bleak path to nowhere.
Trump just stuck a knife in that scheme.
Yes, I fully understand the devil is in the details, but it is up to people everywhere, who have active brain cells and can see through the climate hoax, to take this opportunity to reject, publicly, the whole climate agenda.
CO2 is not the enemy.
This post was published at Jon Rappoport on June 1, 2017.
Authored by Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,
A most curious feature in the current low state of American politics is the delusional thinking at both ends of the political spectrum. Both factions have gone off the rails mentally, and the parties they represent race toward oblivion like Thelma and Louise in their beater car. More ominously, there are no new factions with a grip on reality even beginning to form anywhere in the background – as in the 1850s when the Whigs foundered and the party of Lincoln segued into power.
To see the Democrats go on about ‘Russian collusion’ you would think we were watching a rerun of the John Birch Society in its heyday. Americans who have done business in Russia as private citizens are being persecuted as though they were trading with the enemy in wartime. Newsflash: we are not at war with Russia, which, by the way, is no longer the Soviet Union. It is one of many European countries that Americans are entitled to do business in – even in the case of General Mike Flynn accepting a $20,000 speaking fee from the RT news company. Has anyone noticed that Ben Bernanke routinely takes $200,000-plus speaking fees in many foreign countries whose interests are not identical to ours and no one is persecuting him.
Likewise, the insane idea that it is malfeasant for high public officials to speak to Russian officials, or for the president to share sensitive strategic information with them, especially about genuine mutual enemies such the various Islamic jihad armies. Since when is that beyond the pale? Well, since January of this year when the Democrat Party ordained that members of the Trump transition team were forbidden to speak to Russian diplomats at the highest level. Do you suppose that, in the hothouse of Washington, incoming foreign policy officers of Obama’s government had no conversations with foreign diplomats between the election of 2008 and Obama’s inauguration? The idea is laughable.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 26, 2017.
This post was published at The Alex Jones Channel
When I was a kid, most police were kind, respectful, and actually there to protect society. Sure, there was some towns that were just greedy. My father took a local post as a judge in Cinnaminson, New Jersey. It was the politicians who told him they want the maximum fine for everything. My father refused and quit. It is not even the police who are ticketing people just for fun. There are quotas and pressure to raise money for the politicians. Governments are just going broke. Many of the police they bring in today are not like they use to be. They are much more nasty and aggressive.
All of these trends are alarming from civil asset forfeitures and tickets for everything in Europe where speeding tickets are fined a proportion of your net worth. All of this is seriously wrong and when government turned against the people, this identifies the trend at hand. This is part of the shift from Public to Private and with only 52% of Americans who now trust the police, this reflects how serious this shift on confidence has become. Gallup Polls have been asking this confidence question about trusting the police and the response has ranged fairly narrowly between 52% and 64% since 1993. Now, it is at historic lows of 1993.
This post was published at Armstrong Economics on May 23, 2017.
One of the most peculiar features of the United States is the presence of a rabidly pro-war leftism that poses as ‘independent’ politics. Ever since the Obama Administration made it fashionable for so-called liberals to strike a ‘Grand Bargain’ with the GOP, anti-war politics have been non-existent in public life.
The non-profit industrial complex hasn’t helped the situation. Democracy Now!, as the best known non-profit ‘independent news’ organ, is the perfect example of pro-war leftism in motion. The organization’s recent coverage of Syria has only encouraged imperialism’s war narrative despite the presence of a GOP-led Administration, House, and Senate.
On May 3rd, Democracy Now! interviewed Anand Gopal, former fellow at the New America Foundation from 2012-2014. That Democracy Now! describes itself as ‘independent media’ yet associates with figures such as Gopal raises question marks about the source’s credibility on the issue of war and peace.
The New America Foundation can hardly be considered an impartial source. As is the case for most think-tanks in the US and West, the foundation receives patronage from sources directly invested in war. Such sources include the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundation, and a consortium of corporate-backed foundations associated with the Wall Street firms, CitiGroup and JP Morgan Chase.
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on MAY 22, 2017.
The following video was published by X22Report Spotlight on May 15, 2017