Tag Archives: Democracy

Catalunya Employs Classic Democracy as Oregon Taxes Weed

11/9/2014 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

For those among our readership who do not follow Spanish Politics, Catalunya, the region of Spain most easily recognized by its leading city, Barcelona, held a vote on two matters of the utmost importance to the Catalans. The questions were posed in the following manner:

1) Do you want Catalunya to be a State?

2) Do you want that State be Independent?

The vote today in Catalunya, of which 80.72% voted “yea” on both questions, was not sanctioned or recognized by the Spanish government in Madrid, other than to say it was nothing more than propaganda.

According to The Guardian, roughly 2 million of the 5.4 million persons who were eligible to vote cast a ballot today, a roughly 37% turnout, which means that today, roughly 32.3% of those living in Catalunya took the time to submit a symbolic ballot in favor of their Independence from Spain. For a quick comparison of this figure, 68.9% of eligible voters cast a ballot in Spain’s last General Election in November of 2011.

L'Estelada Blava
L’Estelada Blava

While voter turnout today in Catalunya may not seem impressive on the surface, it takes on more meaning when one considers that, as it was unsanctioned by the Spanish Government, over 40,000 volunteers took it upon themselves to receive and count the ballots.

The Catalans have employed what we call Classic, or Grass-roots, Democracy in an effort to allow their citizens to determine in a civilized manner the most basic of questions with regards to self governance: Shall we, as a region, be Independent?

Admittedly, Catalunya is in a unique position to do so. Most regions, for which Independence is more a romantic idea than a practical one (the most recent example being Scotland’s referendum to break ties with the UK), have much to lose and little to gain by declaring Independence. Catalunya, on the other hand, is essentially self-sufficient and for them, remaining part of Spain has little upside.

For a time, the argument could be made that Spain provided Catalunya access to markets that it otherwise could not have sold into. Today, this is a non-issue, as the EU trade agreements would continue to cover an Independent Catalan State.

The Spanish Government has a big problem. While Spanish officials are swiftly and publicly denouncing the Catalans for holding what, in their mind, had already been declared an “illegal” vote, the Catalans have cleverly and very publicly made a mockery of what passes today as “Democracy” in the Sovereign States of the world who embrace this model of governance.

For what is Democracy if not the people’s right to self determination? Yet modern democracy for most boils down to questions of which hand picked candidate will occupy an embedded power structures, and whether or not to increase the existing tax and regulatory burdens imposed by this power structure.

With today’s actions, the Catalans struck at the heart of the existing system. Our guess is that one day, they and many other regions in similar situations will enjoy sovereign status as peers to their former oppressors in the EU.

Throwing off the EU’s chains, however, would be a matter settled by arms, as the French, American, and every other successful revolution against the clutches of Empire have shown. It is not the nature of Empire to negotiate or put to vote matters of self-determination.

Oregon Taxes Weed

In our local elections, our fellow Oregonians chose to decriminalize marijuana. Joining them were the people of Washington, DC, making a total of four jurisdictions in the US that have changed the innocuous plant from a huge drain on tax revenue to a potential source of revenue with the stroke of a pen.

Weed: It got your parents kicked out of school, now it can pay for yours.

Which way did The Mint vote on the issue? We didn’t. You can read our reasons for abstaining from voting on State and Federal Matters in the links below:

Ballot Burning, Our Breaking Point, and Why the Next Gold Rush Just Began (notice the reference to Catalunya’s Independence preparations)

Three Reasons Why We’ve Stopped Voting, The Trail of Tears

The Silent Majority, Why No One Will Win the 2012 Presidential Election

As the Catalans have seen in the case of the Spanish, government, once it exceeds a certain size, ceases to serve the people who created it and becomes at best parasitic and at worst, antagonistic and violent as it increasingly resorts to the use of force in an effort to advance a failed system.

Can Catalunya peacefully remove the yoke?

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Key Indicators for November 9, 2014

Copper Price per Lb: $3.07
Oil Price per Barrel (WTI):  $79.02

Corn Price per Bushel:  $3.67
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.31%
Bitcoin price in US: $361.80
FED Target Rate:  0.09%
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,179

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  5.8%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  17,574
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,939,700,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $11,485,000,000,000

What is Truth?

3/15/2013 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Our latest E-book in the “Why what we use as Money Matters” series: What is Truth?  On the Nature of Empire, has now shipped and will soon arrive on digital shelves across the Internet.

What is Truth?  On the Nature of EmpireIn the twenty first century, it has become clear to most that there is no divine right or imperative for the existence of an Empire on the earth. As such, an ever-increasing number of peoples have thrown off the yoke of Empire in favor of what has become known as a democratic model of collective governance. Yet simply changing the rules of governance has not put an end to the core ideals of Empire, and governments today that are elected democratically have largely retained the hallmarks of Imperial rule, namely the tendencies toward a central monopoly on the use of force and the right to demand tribute. How can this be?

The purpose of this volume is to gain an understanding of the true nature of Empire and, to convince the reader that Empire, and by extension large scale government, is not only unnecessary, but a great hindrance to human progress. This volume also explores why the Imperial model virtually ensures that the worst elements of humanity will rise to power, where they will ultimately impose their will on their fellow humans by violence. For the violent outcomes that Empires invariably produce are not exceptions to the rule, nor are they merely the norm.

They are literally guaranteed by design.

Once we have grasped the true nature of Empire, we will then will explore the only known antidote to Empire and the only possible means for mankind to rid itself of the lethal effects of Empire on the earth. And it is probably like anything you have imagined.

It is now available and can be enjoyed on SmashwordsAmazon’s Kindle, and Google Books.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for March 15, 2013

Copper Price per Lb: $3.51
Oil Price per Barrel: $93.21
Corn Price per Bushel: $7.16
10 Yr US Treasury Bond: 2.01%
FED Target Rate: 0.14% ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce: $1,596 THE GOLD RUSH IS STILL ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*: 0.25%
Unemployment Rate: 7.7%
Inflation Rate (CPI): 0.7%
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 14,481
M1 Monetary Base: $2,466,100,000,000 LOTS OF DOUGH ON THE STREET!
M2 Monetary Base: $10,499,300,000,000

The Silent Majority, why no one will win the 2012 Presidential Election

10/23/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

A few days ago, we laid out three seemingly absurd reasons why we have decided not to vote in the upcoming elections, with the exception of city and county referendums.  If you missed it, you can read our rant here:

Three Reasons why we’ve stopped voting, The Trail of Tears

In the spirit of full disclosure of our voting record, we have voted in just two of the five Presidential elections that we have been eligible to cast a vote in.  Namely, in 2004, we voted for the incumbent on the indefensible reasoning of choosing the “Lesser of two evils,” for though it be the lesser, one has still chosen evil.  In 2008, we wrote in Ron Paul, albeit with an overwhelming feeling of powerlessness, as write in votes are, if anything, a symbolic gesture.

In the meantime, we have dutifully filled out countless circles on scantron sheets and scanned countless pages of voter’s guides in a fruitless effort to understand, to loosely quote Joe DiMaggio as he came upon his then wife, Marilyn Monroe, striking her now famous pose as she stood over a steam grate in Times Square, “what the hell is going on around here.”

By the time the most recent ballot arrived in the mail, along with a voter’s guide which rivaled the yellow pages in size, our disillusionment for what today passes as democracy was complete.  We resolved, then and there, to stop tacitly endorsing the enslavement and slaughter of persons with which we have no quarrel.  We would withhold our vote.

Given our history and our most recent resolution, it can be said that we have not exactly been the model of someone fulfilling their civic duty.  Yet strangely, since coming to grips with our non-voter status, we have never slept better.

Are we alone in our disillusionment?  Or is our shunning of civic responsibility something native to the American landscape?  We have taken it upon ourselves, fellow taxpayer, to provide you with the shocking answer to these questions.

We began by analyzing a data set of the total US voter turnout against the corresponding voting age population (VAP) at the time.  We chose the Presidential election years in the US as they are generally the election cycles which elicit the highest voter turnout.  Fortunately for us, the voter turnout  for the Presidential elections held from 1828 – 2008 is accessible on Wikipedia.

To arrive at the VAP totals, which were provided for the election years 1960 and later, for the prior elections (1828 – 1956), we did the simple inverse math of dividing the number of votes by the stated voter turnout percentage.  This gave us a “theoretical” VAP with which to perform our analysis.  We then pulled census data for each year which coincided with an election year to satisfy ourselves that our methods were sound.

Within the data set, we then broke the number of popular votes cast in each election, which is also available on Wikipedia, down three ways.  Those for the candidate with the majority of votes, those cast for the one who came in second, and the combined votes for all other candidates which were counted.  The counts are presented in the order of the highest number of popular votes received, not those cast by the electoral college.  It is interesting to note that in four times in US History (three of which, 1876, 1888, and 2000, appear in our data set) the candidate with the highest tally of popular votes was not elected to the Presidency.

We then took the number of popular votes by category and divided it against the VAP for those deemed eligible to vote to arrive at our final data point, the percentage of the VAP which cast a vote for the candidate.  As we did this, we added a fourth category which we call the “No vote,” to capture, for comparison purposes, the percentage of the VAP who simply did not cast a ballot.

We then took the four resulting percentages by election year, from 1828 – 2012* (*We extrapolated the findings based on 2008 turnout and today’s Intrade market for the election) and asked two questions:

1)  In each election analyzed, was the President elected by a simple majority of the total VAP?

2)  In each election analyzed, did the percentage of No votes represent an absolute majority of the VAP?

While we wouldn’t stretch this analysis to question the legitimacy of a Presidential election, the findings are nonetheless fascinating with regards to the presence of non-voters in America.  You can see a graphic of the percentages for each candidate juxtaposed against the “No vote” candidate by election year, on the plot below.

On the plot, the highest mark is the winner.  The “X” on the plot represents where the “No vote” candidate, if you will, would have finished.  The colors of the other markers, despite their blue, red, and green tones, do not indicate which party won that year, only the percentage of votes received by the first, second, and all other candidates for whom votes were cast:

In summary, when taken against eligible voters, the No vote majority began to emerge in 1916 after a 75 year hiatus, and took firm command of the polls in 1968.  However, 2012 is shaping up to be an exception, and, if current trends hold, it can be said that, come November 7th, there will be a President actively selected by a majority of the eligible VAP in the US for the first time since Lyndon B. Johnson.

Now, most voters in the US are aware that women were not allowed to participate in elections as voters until 1920.  Don’t worry ladies, nor the rest of those who were/are part of the disenfranchised, we have not forgotten you.  In fact, when the analysis is expanded to include all of the presumed VAP over 18, regardless of their technical eligibility to vote, (which is the number used to arrive at the voter turnout percentages) the results are even more dramatic:

What we see in this analysis is that, since 1828, there has been only one President who was elected by a simple majority of the VAP, Dwight Eisenhower in 1952.  In fact, those who did not vote consistently represented an absolute majority until 1928, which means, depending upon how one interprets the No-votes, there may not have been a President who was elected to office in the purest democratic sense until Eisenhower.  While we admit it is a bit far fetched, it is nonetheless fascinating to ponder.

Voter frustration/apathy, after taking a break through a good portion of the 20th century, returned to America in 1996, as Bill Clinton defied the indifferent masses, which again represented an absolute majority of Americans as it had in all pre 1928 elections, and extended his stay on Pennsylvania Avenue for four more glorious years.

Blanco o Nulo?  The question of interpretation of the Non-votes.

Blank or Null?  The answer to this question determines how one will ultimately interpret the data which we have gathered.  Are we to take the “No votes” as “votes in Blanco,” meaning that the lack of a countable vote signifies tacit assent to the selection of the voting majority?  This is the generally accepted analysis of the absence of votes in America, where voting is not obligatory.

Or shall we take them, or at least a portion of them, as “Nulo,” meaning that the absence of a countable vote signifies a disillusionment with the democratic process so deep that one simply refuses to go through the motions to lend even a shred of legitimacy to the process? 

In Bolivia, it is obligatory to vote, if you cannot provide proof that you have voted, you can face a fine, or worse.  This legal obligation has also given rise to an explicit form of voting, “in Nulo,” which can be cast if one chooses not to select one of the candidates or decide on a measure which has been presented.

It is the formalization of a conscientious objection.  The likes of which have only been officially tallied in US in the bizarre election of the year 2000, when a Washington DC resident filed a vote as an “abstention” in protest of Washington DC’s lack of representation in Congress.

So which is it, blanco or nulo?  It is an important question, and one that, unlike Bolivia, the United States voting regimen currently has no tool to answer.

We have provided a link to the data sheet used to create the above graphics so that you can check our work as well as expand and hopefully improve upon it.  Please feel free to download it and use it as you wish.

No Votes – Analysis and Charts of US Presidential Elections 1828-2012

As November 6, 2012 approaches, the votes are tallied, and a President of the United States is declared, stay tuned long enough to catch the data on voter turnout.  With the latest measure of voter apathy in hand, go to a quiet place and ask yourself the following question:

Did the American people win the election?  If our predictions are correct, the answer will be the same as it has been with regards to every election before and since everybody liked Ike:

We’ll have lost yet again.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for October 23, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.58
Oil Price per Barrel:  $86.46
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.56
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.76%
FED Target Rate:  0.15%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,708 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.8%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.6%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,103
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,334,000,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,199,400,000,000

Three Reasons why we’ve stopped voting, The Trail of Tears

10/18/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

As we watched the Presidential debate Tuesday night, along with the rest of the huddled American masses, we were hoping to hear something that would sway us from our current non-voter status.  We hardly listened to what was said, although our radar went up as one attendee asked about inflation, which happens to fall into our realm of interests.  The periscope of our consciousness went down, however, as each candidate responded in turn with a stream of words which registered as a vague reference to a non-entity referred to as “the economy.”

They just don’t get it.  And unless someone at the top “gets” the concept of inflation and its root causes very soon, the current form of the United States government may not exist by the time the next Presidential term is completed.

With the exception of the inflation bit, we hardly listened to what was said.  Politics, as most politicians will attest, has nothing to do with the keeping or breaking of promises.  In the end, these expensive popularity contests boil down to the intangible of charisma.

As such, we were more interested in the demeanor of the candidates.  Both, while giving the appearance of physically fit, well dressed, and well informed men, seemed to lack something we call the spark of life, that thing that makes you want to be around somebody.  The intangible of charisma, so hard to define, yet so apparent when present, did not make an appearance last night.

We decided to retain our current policy regarding democratic elections.

At The Mint, our current policy is to refrain from voting on all matters which ask us to reach beyond our own city and county.  Even then, we inform ourselves and vote, not on individuals seeking election to sinecures, but on specific referendums, generally with the dual aim of obtaining personal benefit and minimizing both our tax bill and governmental interference in our personal affairs.

As such, if and when we vote, it is an exercise in shameless self interest.

How did we arrive at such an unreasonable stance with regards to voting?  How can we consciously fail to perform our “civic duty” year in and year out and still live with ourselves?

The conscious decision not to vote, at its base, is our way of peacefully resisting what has become a shameless power grab at the highest levels of government.  A series of well intentioned actions at the Federal level has lead to a number of unintended consequences which are about to cause a great deal of suffering.

Beyond this philosophical objection, there are practical matters to consider, which we submit for your examination and comment:

1.  Mind-boggling complexity

From time to time, a ballot measure will be presented which will be stated in a manner so clearly that one can place a vote and know exactly what a yay or nay will mean in terms of real world consequences.  As for the rest of the ballot issues, along with the selection of lawmakers and judges as our proxies, one can’t be expected to keep up with the chaos that passes as national and state governments, and for the most part, we feel that participating in elections or the political process on at these levels is at best a waste of precious time and, at worst, encouraging an enterprise which long ago overstepped any reasonable boundaries, both in its authority and its ability to manage its finances.  At this point, the best one can hope for is to stay clear of the amoeba.

Large scale democracy has a nasty habit of imposing the will of a few on all via the ignorance or indifference of many.  Circa 2012, voters are rarely asked straightforward questions like “Is it ok to steal and kill?” They are instead asked questions like “Do you prefer a fellow named Obama or Romney to serve as President?”  We will ignore the fact that politicians on the State and National level are thrust immediately into situations where keeping promises depends upon factors far beyond their control, and simply recognize that the choosing the President of the United States does little or nothing to change the underlying bureaucracies and interests which have turned the Government of the United States into a strange form of benevolent mafia.

2.  The question of taxes.

By our calculations, we give up roughly 16 hours per year just compiling data for and filing the required tax declarations at the State and Federal levels.  Not to mention the time spent generating the money to pay said taxes.  On the county level, this seems reasonable.  The county even has the courtesy to calculate the tax bill for us and simply request payment.  As for compliance, it is simple, you either pay the bill or you don’t.

Further, if you think that your tax bill is too high, you can leave the City or County and find a City or County with a more reasonable tax regimen, or no regimen at all.

While leaving the City or County may be a costly step, it may be feasible for those who desire to move.  Relocating geographically from a State or a Country is quite another matter, which makes their manner of taxation both understandable and sinister.

The Federal and State governments, as opposed to most county governments, have a much different take on both taxation, as well as the rest of the authorities which they have granted themselves over their subjects.  We use the term “grant themselves” because, as anyone who has tried to vote their conscience on a ballot measure can attest, many measures are written in a way that simply makes the voter a tool in the hand of those who crafted the legislation.

{Editor’s note:  We will refrain from going into the argument that somehow, the illusion of democracy, the Western embodiment of the “Might makes right” mentality, creates a government with legitimacy on the scale the the State and Federal Governments circa 2012 claim.  It is sufficient to say that there are an abundance of examples which would argue to the contrary.}

Returning to taxation with regards to the State and Federal regimens, it is up to the individual to file a declaration each year at their own expense.  Naturally, the governments reserve the right to audit said declaration, again, at the taxpayers expense.  If any inconsistencies are encountered, the taxpayer faces a myriad of penalties from the payment of additional taxes and penalties up to and including serving time in prison.

Even this tack could be considered reasonable were the tax codes written in a straightforward manner.  As things are, the income tax code serves as nothing more than a spider’s web, designed to entangle all who tread it.  We are all caught in it, it is just a matter of time until the spider makes its way over to devour us.

The saving grace, if there is one with regards to the State and Federal tax regimen is this.  They can’t take us all.  While it is likely that every single American has failed to fully comply with the 73,608 page tax code, it is extremely unlikely that the spiders of the various Government or State tax authorities will ever get around to eating all of those who are caught in their web.  As with any predator, they tend to go after the larger prey first.

In this sense, adopting the Franciscan/Marxian belief that poverty is a virtue may keep one safely off of the spider’s radar.

3.  The Trail of Tears

While both complexity and having to pay for something are generally good enough reasons to abstain from any activity, the most compelling reason not to vote is one that is best understood by examining one of the most shameful examples of the modus operandi of the Federal Government:  Their well documented dealings with the Cherokee people, whose world collided with the Feds in the early 19th century in the Southeastern part of North America.

Trail of Tears
The Trail of Tears, a painful chapter in US History – courtesy of http://katta1f.wikispaces.com/

We refrain from making value judgments and will simply examine the highlights of the interaction as we understand them.  A much more detailed account can be found, as always, in the Wikipedia.

The Cherokee found themselves generally prospering as a people and inhabiting lands in the Southeastern US in the 1700 and early 1800’s after presumably relocating there from the Great Lakes region.  During this time, they increasingly came into contact with European settlers and engaged them in trade.

As time went on, the increasingly organized and well armed colonies began to covet the lands of the various Indian groups in North America.  Once the revolution against the British and subsequent conflict known as the War of 1812 had been won, the States of the newly formed United States of America began to dispossess the various Indian peoples of their lands.

{Editors Note:  Sensitive readers are asked to excuse, for the moment, the use of the term “Indian” (Columbus most likely died believing that he had landed in India en route to China, hence the mistaken identity attached to Native Americans peoples), instead of the appropriate “Native American”.  The choice to change terms at this point in the essay was made consciously so that the reader may understand which groups were impacted by the barbarous Indian Removal Act.  No disrespect is implied or intended.}

While their tactics changed according to what was politically expedient at the time, the general policy of the State and Federal Governments was to ultimately expel the Indian populations and force them West, so that the vested interests of the States could take advantage of the lands which were occupied by the Indians.

What is most troubling about the treatment of the Cherokee people is that, from what we can tell, they had adapted to life amongst the new colonists and generally worked to comply with what were ultimately unreasonable demands of the governments.  As a case in point, the Cherokee allied themselves with and fought alongside the US against the pro-British factions during the War of 1812.  They served the US’s interests in the war alongside none other than Andrew Jackson.

Jackson later returned the favor by signing the Indian Removal Act in 1830 which sealed the Cherokee’s fate and began the final chain of events which would lead many of them to an early grave along the now infamous “Trail of Tears.”

While the the Indian Removal Act was passed on the assumption that the Cherokee and other Indian groups faced certain extinction were they to be forced to live alongside the increasingly numerous white settlers, it is generally acknowledged today that the real motivation for the Act’s passage was the discovery of gold in Georgia.

We have read about and watched similar scenarios of deceptions preceded and followed by apologetics play out too many times by centralized governments over the ages to believe that a group of persons who do not know our name and are so far removed from us that they would not recognize our moccasins if they took the time to walk a mile in them, have our best interests at heart.

Even if they did, we have observed that their best efforts to effect change on a large scale end up causing more harm than good.  While the economic damage done by such unilateral actions can be repaired or forgiven, the damage to the moral character of a society of embracing this might makes right mentality will ultimately destroy it.

The desire not to participate in the choosing of the next person to be called “Commander in Chief,” or any of their collaborators or subordinates, is the primary reason why we will not be walking around with a sticker on our chest or an ink stained hand on election day.

For The Trail of Tears has been tread for too long.  It is time to live in the Kingdom of God.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for October 18, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.72
Oil Price per Barrel:  $92.12
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.39
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.81%
FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,750 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.8%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.6%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,557
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,449,400,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,157,100,000,000

They can’t take us all! The Weyer Hall Stampede of 1993, a failure of democracy

10/15/2012 – Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

In today’s Mint, we offer, for your enjoyment, an event which transpired during our time of service on the democratically elected dorm council as secretary at Weyer Hall, circa 1993.  While the narrative touches upon many themes that will no doubt evoke strong emotions, we humbly offer it as an example of the shortcomings of governance by democratically elected bodies.

It is recounted here, with certain liberties, in loving memory of Ma Tinder, long time dorm Mother at Weyer Hall.  Enjoy!

The Stampede.

During our short, but eventful time as a student at Hastings College, we resided in Weyer Hall, an all male dormitory which housed 70 residents.  While we assume that the College Administration had ultimate responsibility for campus governance, each dormitory was governed by a small group of democratically elected peers who sat on what was known as the dorm council.

During the Fall semester of our sophomore year, it fell to us to serve on the council as Dorm Secretary.  We say fell, because we did not exert much effort in our campaign, nor did we crush an inferior opponent in a moderated debate.  For all we know, we may have raised our hand at the wrong time, an innocent mistake which caused our name to land on the ballot.

Nonetheless, we were determined to serve our fellow residents to the best of our abilities.  As Secretary, our responsibilities included taking notes of the decisions of the dorm council, which invariably included the details of certain disciplinary actions taken against those who did not follow the rules and were foolish enough to get caught, publicly recognizing noteworthy accomplishments of the residents, if any, and informing them of upcoming events.

Our diligent dispatches reached the desk of the College President as well as the backs of every bathroom stall in the dorm, where they were most likely to be read.  For a time we created toned down, official version of the dispatches for the President.  However, our inner laziness finally demanded that we produce just one dispatch, complete with all of the juicy tidbits and unsolicited commentary fit to print.

The President seemed to love it.

The dorm council meetings were held in the quarters of the Dorm Mother, affectionately known as Ma Tinder.  Ma Tinder’s quarters were located at the center of the first floor of the three story structure.  She resided there, along with her dachshund “Peanut” as a source of calm in what was otherwise a cross between “Revenge of the Nerds” and “Animal House.”

The dorm council’s business, which it faithfully discharged at its monthly meetings, was to decide trivial matters, such as the design of the dorm t-shirt (which is fodder for another day), as well as to enforce the rules of the dorm.  Violations of the law of the dorm included residents found to have invited a female to the premises without signing them in at the desk, excessive noise, possession of alcohol and other illegal substances, and in one infamous case, the unlawful operation of a charcoal grill…indoors.

Weyer Hall
The tranquility of Weyer Hall was about to be transformed
Photo Courtesy of Hastings.edu

The dorm council, as with any governing body, was divided into unspoken but acknowledged factions.  Those who were there to enforce the rules, and those who were there to ensure that the rules, if enforced, were loosely interpreted and administered with clemency.

You can imagine which camp the younger Mint fell into.

So it happened that on a Sunday afternoon, as winter descended upon Central Nebraska, the dorm council assembled in Ma Tinder’s quarters during mandatory “quiet time,” as was the custom.  As we were discussing matters of relatively trivial importance, a pounding noise, distant at first, then increasingly loud and frequent, arose from somewhere in the interior of the building until it passed, as would a locomotive, directly above Ma Tinder’s isle of tranquility.

It was the Stampede.

Those members of the council who were firmly in the rules enforcement camp immediately sprang to their feet in pursuit of the perpetrators of what was obviously a direct affront to the authority of the council.  To flagrantly violate “quiet time” by running in boxers and boots, as heavily as one could, through the hallway directly above the meeting place of the council was not simply a minor violation of the rules, it was mutiny.

Those of us who found ourselves in the “loose interpretation/clemency” camp slowly arose, fighting off a chuckle, and give the appearance of chase as doors all over Weyer Hall immediately shut as the Stampede ended just as suddenly as it had begun.

For not only did we see the Stampede as an artful form of both coordinated self expression and protest, we had helped instigate it.

In the end, while the entire dorm was given a stern warning to respect the the rules, there were no individual indictments.  Like history makers throughout the ages, the Weyer Stampeders had proved their point,

“You can’t take us all!”

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for October 15, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.70
Oil Price per Barrel:  $91.82
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.33
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.66%
FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,737 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.8%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.6%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,424
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,449,400,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,157,100,000,000

Nigel Farage on the Rise of UKIP, the Fall of Europe, and the Parallels for the US on Capital Account

UKIP leader Nigel Farage discusses events in Europe and the rise of his patry in the UK on Capital Account:

Grants for Democracy? It’s Getting Ugly in Spain, US Housing Capitulates, Greek Government to Default on Austerity and then Simply Default

5/27/2011 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

We’ve said it before, things are beginning to happen at a rapid pace and the authorities are absolutely and completely helpless to do anything about it.  Not for lack of money, have you, for they are second in line behind the banks to pick at the money tree.  No, the authorities lack the one thing that is indispensable to getting things done.  Credibility.

Have things improved for you, fellow taxpayer?  Unless you are a banker, lobbyist, are a contractor who works for a banker or lobbyist, the answer is probably no.

And we haven’t even begun to talk “austerity” on US shores.

But first, we are obligated to take a peek at what the G-8 is doing.  We suspect we know but it is important to confirm ones suspicions.

From the Associated Press:

DEAUVILLE, France (AP) — Rich countries and international lenders are aiming to provide $40 billion in funding for Arab nations trying to establish true democracies, officials said at a Group of Eight summit Friday.

Officials didn’t fully detail the sources of the money, or how it would be used, but the thrust was clearly to underpin democracy in Egypt and Tunisia — where huge public uprisings ousted autocratic regimes this year — and put pressure on repressive rulers in Syria and Libya.

We suspected more aid to someone but this appears even more misguided than we thought.  The first line of the second paragraph is especially laughable but you can see where this is going.  We speculated Wednesday about the events in Palestine getting ready to take center stage, largely as a distraction to the “utter and complete collapse” of the world’s current financial system.

The G-8 is now throwing what is left of their credibility into extending their influence in the Middle East.  They have Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Egypt and Tunisia as footholds.  Will they be strong enough to hang on to this newfound influence?  Only time will tell if the new regimes can be bribed as easily as the old ones.

The credibility of the Western Governments and their worn out welfare state economic models is nearly spent.  In Greece, the IMF / Eurozone bailout participants are finding out that the Greek politicians don’t have the collective stomach to play the repo man on their countrymen’s future.

It appears that the government is refusing more austerity measures and is rethinking whether or not this whole Euro adventure is such a good idea.  Failure to agree now places the spotlight on the IMF / Eurozone plunge protection team.  Will they have the stomach to let Greece default?

The gauntlet has been thrown down, and what happens to Greece will set the tone for how the inevitable sovereign defaults of the Western Governments are likely to play out.  Are the Greeks the Lehman Brothers of Sovereigns?

On the other side of the world, Japan’s sovereign debt was officially downgraded as if to underscore the fact that the world monetary system is hurtling towards a catastrophic failure.

Back in Europe, a sequel to the Greek experience is now playing itself out across the Mediterranean Sea on the Iberian Peninsula.  The youth in Spain are finally arising as they clearly see that the politicians have shamelessly “handed their future” to the nation’s banks.

With protests in nearly every major city, their resolve grows with every passing day.  In Barcelona, one day before Barça plays for the Champions Cup against Manchester, the authorities attempted to clear Plaça Catalunya to clean it in anticipation of the celebrations that would surely take place there when Barça, led by the great Liionel Messi, wins the cup.

With over 100 persons injured between protestors and police officers, they will now have to clean up blood in the square.  The Spanish authorities, not unlike their western peers, just don’t get it.  The old way of doing things is over, fini.  The youth are taking matters into their own hands.  With 45% of the Spanish youth unemployed, their sheer numbers, if they stay at it, will simply overwhelm the authorities.

All the same, we are pulling for Barça tomorrow.

A final piece of news to share with you here at The Mint, the US Housing Market has finally capitulated. In other words, it is now safe to buy a house.  The hope that the US Government and Central Bank could somehow revive this market has left town on the same train as the US Government’s credibility.

The US Government lost its credibility most recently as it continues to bicker over meaningless spending cuts as the nation thunders towards an imminent default on its sovereign debt and by affirming the Unconstitutional Patriot Act, which essentially gave legislative authority for the US to become the wards of an international police state.

The brave souls who gave their lives to create and protect a free America must be rolling over in their graves this Memorial Day.

Will there be a generation brave enough to reclaim it?

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email:  davidminteconomics@gmail.com

P.S.  Please check out our latest 72 Hour Call at www.davidmint.com

Key Indicators for Friday, May 27th, 2011

Copper Price per Lb: $4.16
Oil Price per Barrel:  $100.74

10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  3.06%
FED Target Rate:  0.09% FED IN DESPERATION MODE!!!!

Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,537

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  2.25% INFLATION HERE WE COME!!!!
Unemployment Rate:  9.0%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.4%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  12,441
M1 Monetary Base:  $1,892,800,000,000 THE CRACK-UP BOOM BEGINS!!!!
M2 Monetary Base:  $9,036,600,000,000 MORE FUEL FOR THE CRACK-UP BOOM!!!!

 *See FED Perceived Economic Effect Rate Chart at bottom of blog.  This rate is the FED Target rate with a 39 month lag, representing the time it takes for the FED Target rate changes to affect the real economy.  This is a 39 months head start that the FED member banks have on the rest of us on using the new money that is created.