5/7/2014 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…
For those unaware, the Portland metro area is playing host to President Barack Obama. While we had no idea why he is here, we have been made keenly aware of the traffic perils that await us over the next 24 hours. Highways randomly shut in both directions, entire areas of the city impassable by car, rail, or bicycle (perish the thought). Such is the cost of playing host to the world’s most heavily guarded human being.
After some careful research (roughly 40 characters typed in a google search) we now know that he has come to promote something called the “Trans-Pacific Partnership,” which we have heard described as “NAFTA on steroids.” He has chosen the Nike campus, which is a mere 10 minute walk from where The Mint resides, to tout what would be his crowning achievement, a free trade agreement that exterminates what remains of US-based manufacturing once and for all.
His choice of Nike, who in a sense pioneered the practice of exploiting cheap overseas labor, has drawn reactions of shock and awe from socialists and unions alike.
First, the Daily Kos, where an author known as “davej” lays out the case against Nike by alluding to sweatshops and child labor, and feigns disgust at the irony that Obama would choose Nike to hold his rally there. For good measure, the article ends with instruction on where to meet at Nike to stage a protest as the President speaks.
The AFL-CIO produced a video enlisting not only American workers but also workers from other countries throughout the Pacific Rim to denounce TPP as a job killer and an enemy of organized labor. You can see it below:
Finally, Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Socialist and current 2016 Presidential candidate, bemoans the fact that a $320 pair of LeBron XII Elite iD shoes can be sold in America but not made in America. Comrade Sanders, we admire your zeal yet find your logic vexing.
We have no clue what the TPP will do, but generally speaking, free trade is good, and will ultimately benefit everyone. However, circa 2015, there is a fly in the ointment that makes Free Trade act as a lubricant on the once slow-moving machinery of global warming: Debt based currency.
Federal Reserve Notes: A License to Strip Mine the Earth
While it is fine and well the TPP will enable American consumers to consume at theoretically better prices that those that they already enjoy thanks to pioneers like Phil Knight and Sam Walton, all of this consumption comes at a steep price, both in terms of human suffering and the environmental impact of removing barriers to trade.
While we would love to appeal to a moral high ground, such as the author at the Daily Kos and the AFL-CIO do in their opposition to the TPP, we cannot. Instead, we appeal to our own at times infallible logic on the matter.
The TPP and the associated increase in trade along the Pacific Rim that it will enable will cause an unprecedented amount of debt based currency to come into being and begin to circulate. While most persons have been trained to think of debt based currency as money, we offer a new definition:
Debt based currency is a license to strip mine the earth, and entirely too many of them have been issued already.
Yes, when you circulate debt based currency (and on the planet today it is nearly impossible not to) by buying and selling in it, you are sending an erroneous economic signal to the rest of humanity. When you purchase the above mentioned Lebron James Michael Jordan wannabe shoes from Nike, you simply want the shoes to put on your feet. However, what you are saying to Phil Knight and his minions is, “design a shoe that I and 50 of my closest friends will drool over, then drill deep into the earth and extract petroleum with which to run the machines that will make the shoe, then hire labor as cheaply as possible to run the machines and assemble the shoe, kill some cows for leather, pull latex from plants or manmade processes, create dyes to color the shoe just so, and do whatever it takes to bring together the raw materials by which to bring my dream shoe into being.”
Now the production of the shoe and all of the related activities that it spawns would be fine and well were the shoes to be paid for with real money. However, consumers, no matter what country they are in, pay for things in debt based currency, meaning currency which comes into being on a whim, and derives its value by acting as a hot potato, causing any number of unnecessary or non-beneficial activities to be envisioned and carried out by mankind on a daily basis without a natural counterbalance to said activities.
In layman’s terms, when one is purchasing a product using debt based currency, they are by no means engaging in “fair trade,” despite what the label says, they are trading nothing for something, something that the earth and its inhabitants had to be strip-mined and enslaved to create. For the wants and needs of mankind are limitless, and, when enabled by a limitless supply of debt based currency, cause a chain reaction of 1) increased human activity which leads to 2) increased impact on the environment without a counterbalancing activity of resource replenishment, human or natural, elsewhere in the broad swath of economic activity on the planet.
Federal Reserve notes and their foreign counterparts are nothing more than a license to strip mine the earth and its inhabitants of resources well ahead of their ability to replenish them. Mother Nature is now in the second half of the Chessboard, will we turn in our license before it’s too late? Or will we drive nature and ourselves off of the proverbial cliff?
Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.
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Key Indicators for May 7, 2015