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If you have not yet read “What Has Been Achieved?,” and “What Has Been Achieved Since 2013?,” then please do so now before continuing, otherwise this article will probably make not any sense to you, because it is a developing stream of thought that picks up immediately from my previous Independence Day article.
Newest electoral data between 2012 – 2014 is now available, in addition to the 2000 – 2012 voter data sets. Electoral patterns in both Travis and Williamson counties are steadily growing, as are the eligible voter pools. My observation that voter turnout is always less than half the total county population seems to be still true.
Electoral lurkers are defined as non-voting registered voters; eligible nonregistered voters (which includes the narrowed descriptor, “qualified voter”) are considered to be “noncompliant.” These electoral lurkers and the noncompliant have grown between 2012 – 2014, yet, the noncompliant have grown faster in Travis since 2000, whereas the electoral lurkers have grown faster in Williamson during the same period (2000 – 2014). These observations could be skewed by mid-term elections; however, the results thus far appear to mimic population growth, and not necessarily a revoking of one’s consent to be governed by cancelling their voter registration, or otherwise refusing to register to vote in the first place. I won’t know for certain whether there is any correlation, much less causation, between these variables until noticeably well after the Tyrant-in-Chief has been replaced by his successor in 2016.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has conducted yet another survey about the wonderfulness of what they are now calling, “economic inclusion,” which is defined by the FDIC thusly:
“Economic inclusion is a term used to describe a variety of public and private efforts aimed at bringing underserved consumers into the financial mainstream. In the U.S., there are a number of partnerships and initiatives focused not only on expanding the availability of safe, affordable financial products and services, but also on education [educating?] consumers about ways to become fully integrated into the banking system.”
Apparently, the 2008 banker bailouts didn’t phase the FDIC one bit as to the viability of central banking itself, but let’s continue on, shall we? This past survey in 2013 reveals that the fully banked have dropped by 1.8%, the underbanked have dropped by 0.1%, and the unbanked have dropped by 0.5%, since the previous survey in 2011. More importantly, between the first survey in 2009 to 2013, the fully banked have dropped by 3.3%, the underbanked rose by 2.1%, and the unbanked have remain unchanged.
So, what does this mean, about the viability of the Big Banks? Right off the cuff, I think what the relationship between the percentages mean is that confidence in the legacy banking system might be eroding, but rather than abandoning their bank accounts wholesale, those surveyed are using alternative financial services (AFS). As a side note, the unbanked rely more upon prepaid debit cards than the fully banked or even underbanked; between 2009 – 2013, the unbanked’s use of prepaid debit cards has increased by 14.9%.
Interestingly enough, this past FDIC survey gives us some insight as to the potential causation regarding the drop in the fully banked alongside the concomitant rise in the underbanked. In a brand new table, as the top main reasons for why survey respondents were unbanked, 26.4% said it was due to privacy concerns, 30.8% said that the account fees were too high or otherwise unpredictable, 34.2% said they don’t like dealing with banks or otherwise just didn’t trust bankers, and 57.5% said they didn’t have enough money to have a bank account in the first place. Might this be a sign that administrative agency “regulations” against what would be free banking is the cause for why some people are unbanked, namely, because of government failure?
Speaking of government failure, the national debt has been increased by $12,371,009,000,000 over the past 15 years, between 2000 – 2015. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) stubbornly refuses to raise interest rates, because apparently they’d prefer to cause malinvestment by supposedly maintaining the annual rate of inflation at 2% through keeping the federal funds rate artificially suppressed at 0 – 0.25%. Despite the allegedly good intentions of the FOMC, unemployment has increased by 1.7% over the past 15 years, between 2000 – 2015. Last time I checked, today’s national debt, unemployment figures, and malinvestment signals were not due to the often scape-goated, “market failure.”
In terms of real world commodities, the spot price of crude oil has doubled over the past 15 years, between 2000 – 2015. Gold bullion’s spot price has risen by $901.30 during the same time period (2000 – 2015); likewise, silver bullion’s spot price has risen by $10.44 as well (2000 – 2015). Today’s spot price for a barrel of crude oil is $56.93, for a ounce of gold is $1,169.67, and for an ounce of silver is $15.69 (according to Veldt Gold, formerly known as Agora Commodities).
I have previously mentioned that between 1995 – 2010, food loss was increased by 37,000,000,000 pounds (5%) during a simultaneous food production increase by 74,000,000,000 pounds (20.7%); remember that’s only edible food wastage. Compare this with the increase of 13,683,000 more people on food stamps between FY 1995 – 2010, not to mention anything of the additional 1,827,000 people on food stamps between FY 2011 – 2014. Don’t you think it might just be time to teach people about the benefits of dumpster diving, food storage, and guerrilla gardening before the EBT cards stop working, as they did back in October of 2013 during the last government shutdown, especially because of the flaws inherent in the cashless society?
Urbanization has permanently changed the landscape of America. As the U.S. Census Bureau admitted over three years ago:
“The nation’s urban population increased by 12.1 percent from 2000 to 2010, outpacing the nation’s overall growth rate of 9.7 percent for the same period, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The Census Bureau released the new list of urban areas today based on 2010 Census results.
“Urban areas — defined as densely developed residential, commercial and other nonresidential areas — now account for 80.7 percent of the U.S. population, up from 79.0 percent in 2000. Although the rural population — the population in any areas outside of those classified as ‘urban’ — grew by a modest amount from 2000 to 2010, it continued to decline as a percentage of the national population.”
Let me add some more figures onto that: between 2000 – 2010, there were 27,323,632 more Americans; of those, only 430,900 of them live in rural areas (this means that there are 26,892,732 more urban Americans). It’s more than far to say that as the population expands, urbanization is far outstripping rural folks by quite a bit. According to the CIA World Fact Book, 81.4% of the total American population in 2014 is now urbanized. If the annual rate of urbanization, 1.02% (2010 – 2015 estimate), remains at a constant increase, then the domestic American population will become 87.5% urbanized by 2020.
This is particularly disconcerting to me because governments have noticeably more enforcement power whenever humans are in closer proximity to each other. Might this be part of the overall “wake up call” that it’s time to live off-grid? Call me a Loonie, but isn’t dependency on the government’s “public infrastructure” detrimental to our common liberty?
To my knowledge, the six Committees of Safety I listed last year are still active, but to what degree they are, or what they are currently working on, I am ignorant of, quite frankly. I also have no reason to suspect that the patriot faction has established any more Committees of Safety since my previous Independence Day article. Obviously, this also begs the question as their commitment to making The Plan for the Restoration of Constitutional Government actually happen. Time will tell, I suppose.
Meanwhile, I shouldn’t be too hard on the American patriots, because the dispute resolution organizations that the voluntaryists claim they are supportive of, have failed to materialize, as of yet (unless you count Shield Mutual, which, truth be told, was more of a freelance public relations firm than a DRO). Similarly, the worker’s councils of the syndicalists have likewise failed to come about, for some unknown reason. For all of their rhetoric about wanting to manifest a stateless society, syndicalists and voluntaryists both are falling behind the minarchists, at least in terms of organizing.
Speaking of organizing, we can all learn from Gary Hunt on how to ostracize an undesirable malcontent. His series of articles on the infamous Mark Kessler provides a lesson for us all to emulate, particularly with regards to targeting. The four part series is as follows:
- A Checkered Past
- Recent Past
- The “Screw” Turns
- Coming Out of the Closet
Additionally, I’d recommend y’all read the full report on that miserable thief of valor, Christopher Bylstone, and then contrast that with the vindication of Ryan Payne. If nothing else, I’d hope you’ll all learn how to do some real investigative journalism in order to discover the truth behind the actions of certain individuals who are harming others; it’s also good preparation for vetting potential recruits.
What has been achieved since 2014? Electoral lurkers have grown faster in Williamson County, whereas the noncompliant have done so quicker in Travis County; but then again, this might be due to the mid-term election slump rather than being indicative of men and women pulling away from the State. Instead of closing their bank accounts right away, bank customers are using more AFSs, and the unbanked’s use of prepaid debit cards is steadily increasing; we now know that at least some of the reasons behind this include significant lacks of both customer privacy and trust in bankers. Bank Secrecy Act, much?
The national debt has increased exponentially, unemployment has increased slightly, and the FOMC still encourages malinvestment. Spot prices for gold and silver bullion have substantially increased, the spot price for a barrel of crude oil has doubled over the past 15 years, and millions of more people are now on food stamps, despite increased availability of edible dumpstered foods. Millions of people have moved to the cities and suburbia, the American patriots have neglected to establish more Committees of Safety, and the various anarchists haven’t even gotten serious about organizing much of anything locally, from what I can tell (unless you also count Liberate RVA, Free Keene, Free Concord, and Free Manchester, but again, those aren’t DROs, since they’re sort of a cross between a media outlet and a social club).
Besides vindicating the innocent and publicly humiliating the guilty, what else can be done in the meantime for the cause of liberty? I’d suggest you peruse this updated version of my recommendations from last year:
- First, study political philosophy, and then act as a good role model in your daily life by practicing the twin libertarian axioms. Relax and meditate so that you may understand your own psyche and emotions in order to govern yourself. Most importantly, laugh at the State.
- Second, alter your legal status with the government. Unregister from the voter rolls. Abstain from licensure as you are practically able. Consider expatriation or going on a paper trip.
- Third, refuse acquiescence to the cashless society and central banking. Reclaim unclaimed property. Use cash and specie instead of plastic bank cards. Dumpster dive. Start your own entrepreneurial business. Become financially independent. Practice survivalism.
- Fourth, discretely assemble your own security team. Wisely sort likely candidates through the judicious use of vetting and ostracism, as applicable. Roleplay police interrogations. Improve your physical fitness daily. Make your car inconspicuous. Begin using encrypted digital communications, such as PGP for email, OTR for instant messaging, and ZRTP for VoIP & cellular telephone calls; also, learn a variety of ciphers and cryptograms that you can use with just paper and pencil. Practice both your marksmanship and sparring capabilities. Go Simon Jestering.
- Fifth, organize either a local Committee of Safety (preferably, no bigger than a county). Pamphleteer your neighborhood to attract members for a General Association. Perform community service as a local Committee of Safety while handing out handbills and other literature. Hold meetings and begin militia recruitment. Alternatively, organize a DRO by retaining clientele, establishing a friendly society, and hiring veterans to begin property patrols and bodyguarding services for Texan ranchers.
So, this freedom holiday, understand that you all have less than no excuses if you claim to value human liberty enough to actually manifest it. I’ve done what I can thus far in order to reduce your opportunity costs. The rest is up to you.