Tag Archives: No vote

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

Ballot burning, our breaking point, and why the next Gold Rush just began

11/9/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

The 2012 US Presidential election is over, and the only thing that remains to be seen is whether or not the No vote will maintain its absolute majority.  At last count it was 50.2% and will go down to the wire.

For our part, we finally got around to burning our mail-in ballot last night.  For those who will lament that we did not perform our civic duty, we report that we did give it a cursory check to make sure there were not City or County measures which required our input.

If you are joining us late in the game, we presented our personal reasons for not voting a few weeks ago.  To be fair, we have never been much for voting, mostly attributable to our inner laziness.  However, this time was different.  We made a conscious decision not to participate.  We decided not to to meddle in the affairs of others.  We took the position that the largest sphere of influence which we could, in good conscious, cast our vote over others was at the County level.

Our County generally fulfills its commitments and is solvent.  As such, it meets our criteria for an operating Socialist system.  The State and Federal level do not.  We did not reach this conclusion through logical contemplation, rather, we had a minor breaking point with regards to the political systems at the higher levels as we read to our son about the Trail of Tears, which moved us to tears and, as a consequence, this form of peaceful resistance.

The rest, including what you, fellow taxpayer, are reading, is a slow digestion and reflection upon our weeping over the Trail of Tears.

For the record, we do not buy into conspiracy theories (although trading on them can be very profitable) nor are we cynical enough to say, along with Emma Goldman, “If voting changed anything, it would be illegal.”  What we do know is that we can no longer endorse the killing and robbing of people with whom we have no quarrel and who pose us no existential threat.

In a sense, we are peacefully surrendering our “right” to participate.  Were the government to suddenly stop taxing our wages, income, gasoline purchases, telecommunications, and capital gains, we may go as far as to relinquish the “right” to Social security, roads, and such.  On this point, however, we will not hold our breath.  Nor will we actively avoid taxes or reject monetary benefits which come to us.  This is a broader question which we will not delve deeper into today.

Speaking of taxes, the election seems to have ignited what may be the blow off phase in the precious metals markets.  Please read on…

The new Gold Rush, The triple Fiscal Cliff, and logical consequences

The market selloff continues today, as the logical consequence of the expectation of higher taxes manifests itself.  While we believed that higher taxes were coming, no matter who was elected, it is nonetheless fascinating to watch what is unfolding in the equity markets.

For a bit of background, the Federal Reserve, ECB, Bank of Japan, England, and all entities in the Central Banking industry are putting the throttle down and printing money at a breathtaking pace.  This has been enough to keep equity prices “afloat” with relatively minor nominal price drops.

However, the drop in value, commonly known as purchasing power, has truly been staggering over the past several years.  If you track such things, look at your grocery or utility bills for proof.  You are probably either paying more, getting less, or some combination of these double whammies.

The election results appear to have triggered a decoupling of the commodity and equity markets for the foreseeable future.  Meanwhile, while bonds are rallying as those who hold large unrecognized gains in equity positions choose to recognize them before December 31, when the clock strikes midnight and any gains left on the table will be taxed out of existence {Editor’s note: this is figurative language and speculation, of course}.

This is the logical consequence of the fiscal cliff.  When the election was called for Obama and control of the Senate and House looked to remain the same, equity holders saw the writing on the wall.  The stalemate at the Federal level will remain in place and the probability of the US plummeting off of the dreaded Fiscal Cliff (which, we remind you, is purely a government construction) greatly increased.

While some window dressing will no doubt be presented as the solution, those holding large equity positions will be seen as “new meat for the grinder” and likely will be the next lamb sacrificed on the alter of fiscal irresponsibility.

But it is not just the US looking over a fiscal cliff.  The anticipation of the US Presidential outcome distracted attention from the dire situation in Greece, where in 8 short days, the government will be out of funds and the once vaunted “Troika” now stands by, unwilling to throw more money at them.

Then there are the Spaniards.  Having lived three years in Barcelona, we have a special affinity for the Spanish in general and specifically for the Catalans.  While the Greeks may be coerced into having more conditions shoved down their throat, the Spanish situation is a bit more complex.

The Spaniards are smart, and the Catalans are even smarter.  Catalunya knows that they are indispensible to Spain.  They have also spent the past 30+ years building systems to ensure that they can operate perfectly well without the Spanish Feds in Madrid.

Those in Madrid know this, and are holding the threat of Catalan secession as their Ace in the hole which, at this point, has allowed them to extract concessions from the ECB, all the while avoiding surrendering what is left of their Sovereignty to Brussels as the Greeks, Irish, Portuguese, and Italians have.

Will the can which has been kicked down the road in Europe finally get kicked off the Euro Cliff?  Even if it doesn’t, the Spanish firecracker inside of the can will go off at some point and blow up the proverbial can, at which point all bets are off.

With the two largest, debt based financial currencies in the world facing unprecedented uncertainty and the prospect of higher taxes on the horizon, one has to question the wisdom of holding anything but physical gold and silver in place of financial assets.

This, along with the ongoing tension in the Middle East and that crazy Mayan prophecy, is why we believe that the final blow off in the gold and silver markets is at hand.  There is still time to get in and these quasi currencies have plenty of room to run.  While the physical production fundamentals are less compelling than they were 10 years ago (a 440% rise in price will tend to encourage production), the financial backdrop has never been more favourable, and its about to get even better.

Just remember, buy and hold the physical metals, as ETFs and futures will likely not catch all of the upside of this monumental move.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for November 9, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.46

Oil Price per Barrel:  $85.14

Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.45

10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.63%

FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!

Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,730 THE GOLD RUSH IS ON!

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%

Unemployment Rate:  7.9%

Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.6%

Dow Jones Industrial Average:  12,862

M1 Monetary Base:  $2,394,100,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $10,168,900,000,000

2012 – November and Everything After

11/8/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

During our college days, the Counting Crows put out an album called August and Everything After.  This refrain became popular once again back in August of 2007, which is now seen as the beginning of the continuing Financial debacle which just passed its 5th anniversary.

August 2007 was when the game changed permanently.  The Federal Reserve had unwittingly sent Fixed Income markets off a cliff.  In a panic to correct its error (blind 25 basis point increases in the target rate month after month for over two years) it overcorrected and basically did an end run around its primary dealers, offering to buy mortgage backed securities from all comers.  This miscalculation blew up modern finance as most knew it.

By late 2007, the public began to acknowledge the fundamental changes which were taking place in the financial markets.  Ever since then, the Western Governments and their associated Central Banks have thrown caution to the wind in an effort to maintain what they see as the status quo.

Today, we shamelessly borrow the Crows refrain and apply it to the United States political scene.  Despite a plethora of No votes, which we like to speculate are an indication of the American public’s display of displeasure with the ruling class and a rejection of the corrupted political system, another President elect has been declared.

Our basis for this speculation is nothing more than heresy, mind you.  Low voter turnout is a fact of the American landscape.  Early on, it was a byproduct of the exclusion of large classes of people from the voting rolls.  Women, native, and african americans were barred from voting, while those in rural districts and those too busy clinging to day to day subsistence to be bothered to vote were excluded by default.

After the Women’s suffrage and the Civil rights movements remedied some of these democratic oversights, voter turnout in America enjoyed a golden period where it could be said that the land enjoyed a legitmately elected government.

Voter turnout began to wane again as the Richard Nixon train wreck occupied the White House and the modern era of voter disenchantment began.  While the paid swarms of voter registrars have made some headway in increasing voter turnout, 2012 is set to see another decline, with the high estimate of 60% of the VAP casting a ballot.

A brief update for those of you following the results of the Silent Majority, we are now projecting that they have “won” the election by an even larger margin than previously thought, with a whopping 45.3% of those eligible to vote choosing not to endorse the Government and claiming a solid majority when the overall Voting age population is considered, a staggering 50.2%.

We can only surmise that the past four years have confirmed to the American public what many have suspected all along: That the government does not have the solutions, rather, be it red or blue, it is a big part of the problem.

As the public woke up to the financial debacle in early 2008, we foresee that sometime in early 2013, the general public will wake up to the debacle of federal governance.

Welcome to the Divided States of America, where 25% of the populace has thrust a leader onto the other 75%, and 50% have thrust a Government which is unwanted or unrecognized by the other 50%.

No matter how you look at it, there are bound to be hard feelings all around. As Mr. Obama heads back to a government as divided as the country, the stock market took its cue and sold off in defiance. According to Marc Faber, it will fall at least another 20% within the next six to nine months.

We leave you, fellow taxpayer, with a bit of friendly advice.  If you have any unrealized tax gains to recognize, recognize them this year, before the clock strikes midnight.  After that, the divided government will begin to cannibalize its citizens wealth in earnest.  It is inevitable.  As a second assignment, work on becoming resilient.  John Robb over at Resilient Communities has a wealth of information to help anyone.  Even if a miracle occurs and the US can grow its way out of this mess despite a fractured government, resilient living is just plain fun.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Key Indicators for November 8, 2012

2012 US Presidential Election Results – America Loses

11/6/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

As we watch the US Presidential election unfold from the sidelines, the outcome which we predicted recently here at The Mint appears to be playing out nicely.  So, who will win?

To answer this question, we have updated our October 23rd predictions based on what we presume to be better data, courtesy of Dr. Michael McDonald at George Mason University, with regards to anticipated voter turnout.

According to the data, we may assume a voter turnout of up to 65.49% of the total voting age population (VAP) in the US.  Further, we assume that the presumed winner in our analysis musters an astonishing 58.8% of the popular vote, which by all measures would be considered such a resounding endorsement, one would think that the entire populace had spoken with one voice as to who should be our leader.

2012 - Another defeat to the Land of the Free
2012 – Another defeat to the Land of the Free

They would be wrong.  Even with these generous assumptions, the Silent Majority still garners 39.6% of the vote versus the winner’s 35%.  {Editor’s Note: We will provide a final update on this data set once the dust settles.}  In a silent contrast to what will most certainly be a rousing victory speech by the winning candidate, the Silent Majority appears set to trample the President elect in a landslide victory of its own.

Unfortunately for those of us who count ourselves a part of the Silent Majority, our victory will be ignored, as it has been for the past 14 Presidential elections and for every election before 1952, when Dwight Eisenhower was triumphant.

Given that the Silent Majority will once again be ignored, we offer a bold prediction of what the next four years will hold:

1.  An expansion of the US Military and police state.

2.  An expansion of the US Government’s intrusion into the lives of its supposed subjects via a continued barrage of new rules and regulations.

3.  The Federal deficit will continue to spiral out of control.  Despite an onslaught of propaganda as to who should pay taxes, Federal tax revenue has remained in a tight range, between 14.4% and 20.6% of GDP ever since World War II.  Even at the high end, tax revenues will not fund the $2.479 trillion worth of mandatory spending on entitlements and interest on existing debt for the coming year.

Once the confetti settles and cabinet appointments have been made and confirmed, Washington DC will quickly return to business as usual.  We offer today’s stock market rally, which is largely a function of the US dollar being sent to the woodshed in the currency markets, as proof of this.

The financial markets care not who wins the election, they care that there is an election, and that the status quo be maintained.  Unfortunately, the status quo is unsustainable, and events far beyond the control of the US President elect will determine America’s fate.

If you are a disgruntled voter whose candidate lost, or who, despite casting a vote for the winning candidate, is wearied by voting for change every four years and getting more of the same or worse, we welcome you into the Silent Majority.  While we have no say in what happens in Washington DC, we deem this a happy state of affairs, for it is a land far away with concerns far different than our own.

Now, if we can only convince them to observe the Golden Rule…

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for November 6, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.51
Oil Price per Barrel:  $88.28
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.37
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.74%
FED Target Rate:  0.17%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,716 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.9%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.6%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,246
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,394,100,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,168,900,000,000