Thursday, June 12, 2014

Here's Why (Unfortunately) The 'Shocking' Tea Party Victory Doesn't Matter

By Simon Black

In February 1964, a 22-year old Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) faced off against a gigantic Sonny Liston, the heavyweight boxing champion of the world.

Liston was an imposing opponent. I mean-- this was a guy with mob ties who learned to box while serving hard time in prison. Plus he had twice devastated boxing great Floyd Patterson with two first-round knockouts, and he had a substantial reach advantage over Ali.

Ali knew it. And despite all the trash talking, he was nervous. His pulse rate was a whopping
120 at the pre-fight weigh in, more than twice his usual 54.

But seven rounds into the fight, Ali had won a major upset. And the pictures from immediately afterward show that even Ali was shocked.

I thought about this the other day upon reading the news of US House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's loss in the primary election to David Brat, a political unknown.

Judging by the long stream of 'holy crap' tweets, Brat, like Ali, did what most people (including himself) thought was impossible.

It's been more than a century since a sitting majority leader in the US House of Representatives lost in the primary... especially against a complete unknown.

The talking heads have been analyzing these results trying to assign a specific reason to Cantor's stunning loss. Was it his stance on immigration? Tax reform? Or that he didn't fight Obama hard enough?

None of the above. It's not so complicated-- the guy was ousted out of good old fashioned disgust.

People are sick and tired of the usual suspects running the show, and this was nothing more than an 'anybody but the current guy' vote.

This is happening all over Europe as well. Recent elections in the UK stunned the country as Nigel Farage's UKIP party sidelined Labour and Conservative for the first time in nearly a century.

And in France, the revolution in the voting booth has caused a crisis of confidence in the government of Monsieur Sarkozy.

This level of disgust has finally arrived to US shores. And as exciting as it may be to get 'real change,' it's important to temper one's expectations. Because there is such a thing as being past the point of no return.

Remember-- last year the US government took in $2.6 trillion in tax revenue. Then they spent $2.5 trillion just to pay for MANDATORY entitlement programs like social security, and INTEREST on the debt.

So the government blew through 96% of its tax revenue before writing a single check for most things we think of as government-- the military, Homeland Security, or even the IRS.

Bear in mind that both of these major spending items increase every year; more people join the rolls of Social Security, and interest on the debt goes up.

Even the Congressional Budget Office's own projections show government spending increasing at a far greater rate than tax revenue.

That's the funny thing about numbers-- arithmetic cannot be influenced by emotion. It doesn't feel optimistic or pessimistic. It's just truth. And the truth is that this situation is far past the point of no return.

Even with radical Social Security reform (i.e. STOPPING payments to seniors right away), they only buy themselves a few years. More worrisome, if interest rates increase by even just 1%, interest on the debt will skyrocket.

We can be happy. And we can hope. But it's dangerous to presume that all the challenges improve simply because a new group of people is installed into positions of power.

This is the fallacy that persists at nearly every election cycle-- people cheer that the new guy is going to fix everything. And this excitement almost always turns to disappointment.

Optimism is great. But it's dangerous to invest one's faith in a political system.

Elections merely change the players. They don't change the game. And it is the game that is fundamentally flawed.

The real solutions are not with politicians, but within ourselves.

And they're fairly obvious: when every objective shred of data screams that your home country is in financial decline, doesn't it make sense to at least consider a few options to diversify some of your assets, interests, and income to a stronger place abroad?

There's literally a world of options out there. Perhaps it's time to consider yours.

Simon Black is Senior Editor  at Follow Sovereign Man on Facebook, Twitter, Google+


  1. Well, yeah, but that's besides the point. I think the bright point is that, as Mr. Black said, this was not a "vote for anybody but him". They voted for somebody, specifically, other than the usual mantra of social con. This may not be perfect representative of throwing a wrench in the system, but it's a wrench.

    I think that it's not so much people are excited that the government may have a chance to be fixed. I think people are just wanting to take down the system and the powerful people that are in it. And, that's what people are happy about, minus the social security beneficiaries.

  2. Great post Simon. When I heard about this upset I didn't (and don't currently) think it would do much good - kind of like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Going back to Reagan and beyond we've been sold the false hope of "this is the guy that's going to change things." But, sadly, the status quo marches on via more liberties lost, more encroachments by the State, more wars of aggression packaged as protecting US interests, more government intervention, more destruction of the currency, more outright lies from the State, etc.

    What we need are gentlemen statesmen whose aim is to completely dismantle the State. When folks like that are elected to Congress - true defenders of liberty and oppenents of the State - then I'll get excited.

  3. It does not matter since the federal govt is never going to end fractional reserve banking which means they will never allow the Austrian school to guide policy. The govt will also not allow other military powers to dominate everything that exists outside the US border. So the liberty movement is stuck with a case of blue balls for eternity.

    1. The faulty assumption you make is that the gov't will be able to control if/when/how fractional reserve banking will end. There is no historical precedent for an ever lasting fiat currency, they come and go with empires- not that that is a "proof" in itself, but it's a powerful argument even if you don't see the obvious axiomatically.

      That faulty assumption also powers your notion that the US will be able to project its power(or even muster power) indefinitely.

    2. Jerry Wolfgang admits that the inequality and failures of our economy have nothing to do with influence from Austrian economists.

      JW is a genius.

    3. If Austrian School did take the lead, there wouldn't be a policy as in by government decree. They would abandon the Federal Reserve building.

      Then, you, MSM, and politicians would have to go get a real job and stop feeding off of other people's money.

  4. It's interesting to note that there is huge resentment around the world to the corruption open failure of the State and establishment cronyism. The only problem is there are so many groups that benefit from the status quo that the only way to defeat them is to have an equally appealing alternative to tip the balance. I believe in Liberty personally and feel that is the antidote to statism, but that was a long personal journey of understanding and education that I don't think the average person will pursue.
    Gary North writes about this issue often and concludes that the modern State performs many of the same roles as religion did in the past. Nitche said that modern forms of collectivism are merely secularized versions of Christian doctrine, universalism and egalitarianism. We're all equal before god, we're all equal before the State.
    We have to know how powerful the impulse is to believe in salvation through the State. We can have victories over cronies like Cantor, but to really win the war we have to provide an alternative as appealing but digestible to average person.

  5. LOL. Hard to take Simon Black's take seriously when i ctrl-f for "immigration" and find not one mention of the word. Is Simon an Open Borders libertarian ret@rd like Bryan Caplan? (Probably.) Or a paleo-libertarian like Hoppe or Rothbard - one that recognizes there is value to protecting the rights of its citizens and their progeny?

    I think I know the answer.

  6. Both of the Ali/Liston fights were fixed according to the FBI files and anyone who spent a few months in a boxing gym.

    Also, I like how everyone saying it wasn't immigration related just pretend that in recent months Australia, Switzerland, Britain, France, Norway, and several other Euro nations did not have shocking election results for the anti immigrant parties. A middle class revolt is starting to take place, just as Rothbard wanted.