I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a Glenn Beck fan, but I do listen to his program fairly regularly. My family and I went to his 8/28 rally last year, and I used to watch his show on the Fox News Channel when I had the opportunity. Usually, when I’m listening to his program, I am also engaged in other activities, so I don’t really pay attention very well, but I have picked up on some common themes.
One early theme on his Fox News show was his claimed conversion to libertarianism. Many in the Liberty community remain skeptical. I agree with that sentiment in that although Beck has moved towards a philosophy of Liberty, he still doesn’t seem to have completely internalized the idea that government is violence. I certainly don’t agree with everything he says, and I have found many of his topics during the last year much less interesting than in the past, but I still give him credit for raising awareness about Liberty and the ongoing Constitutional overreach from the federal government. Anyway, as they say, even a broken clock is right twice a day, so it’s not unreasonable to think he might be right about some of his ideas.
The idea I want to talk about in this essay is Beck’s idea that the economy is on its way to a “melt down”. Beck frequently talks about his belief that the Cloward-Piven strategy is being used against the United States’ economy in a directed effort to bring about a fall of capitalism. Is he right? I have no idea. He lays out a plausible case, but we can’t know what is going through other peoples’ minds. I am definitely susceptible to the normalcy bias, so I really have a hard time believing that some powerful group of insiders is actively and intentionally working to bring about the end of capitalism. On the other hand, whether it’s due to malice or idiocy, as the Federal Reserve pumps stimulus after stimulus into the economy, hyperinflation and economic collapse do seem to be conceivable. Especially when we learn from Bloomberg News that the TARP bailout of 2008 was also accompanied by $1.2 trillion in Federal Reserve loans. According to Bloomberg,
Data gleaned from 29,346 pages of documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and from other Fed databases of more than 21,000 transactions make clear for the first time how deeply the world’s largest banks depended on the U.S. central bank to stave off cash shortfalls. Even as the firms asserted in news releases or earnings calls that they had ample cash, they drew Fed funding in secret, avoiding the stigma of weakness.
Apparently, we weren’t very far from economic collapse just three years ago.
After the earthquake in Virginia this week, PA Congressman Dan Truitt posted to his facebook page saying, “Always be prepared!”. Good advice with hurricane Irene rolling in! This advice applies to our state governments too. What if Glenn Beck is right? What if our economy is on its way to a meltdown. Let’s brainstorm about the things we’ll need from Harrisburg if this happens.
The first priority for the state would be to enable commerce to continue with a collapsed monetary system. In order to prepare for an event like this, individuals stock up on gold and silver. Similarly, in the event of a meltdown, the states need to be prepared to regularize commerce. The Tenth Amendment Center’s Constitutional Tender model legislation is suited for this purpose. Stating,
The General Assembly finds and declares that sound, constitutionally based money is essential to the livelihood of the people of this state and to the stability and growth of the economy of this state and region and vitally affects the public interest. The General Assembly further finds that Article I, Section 10 of the United States Constitution provides that no state shall make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.
Also, during the Great Depression, the Roosevelt administration confiscated gold holdings from American citizens. Pennsylvania needs to be prepared to interpose if Washington attempts to repeat similar actions.
Another thing individuals do to prepare for hard times is to buy guns and ammunition in order to protect their properties and their persons. Similarly, Pennsylvania will need to be prepared to protect our citizens. This means remembering that the National Guard reports to the Governor, making provisions for use of the militia and protecting our citizens from unconstitutional attempts at gun regulation, using a tool like the Tenth Amendent Center’s Freedom from Registration Act or the Firearms Freedom Act currently in the PA House Judiciary Committee.
Finally, people would need to be able to provide food for ourselves and to have access to buy food of our own choosing. This needs to start immediately. Pennsylvania needs to stop the FDA and other government agencies from interfering in our internal affairs. Now! We may or may not choose to grow our own food, but the ability to do so is a fundamental right. When the FDA raids an Amish farmer to prevent people from buying raw milk, they are interfering with our natural rights. When the Federal government tells a Pennsylvania farmer that he can’t grow grain to feed to his own livestock, they are acting as the “muscle” for the agriculture industry; weeding out the competition on behalf of the nation’s largest farmers. In times of prosperity, these interferences are usually not catastrophic, but if times are hard, they will be.
So in summary, if the national economy collapses, whether it is malicious or otherwise, this essay has brainstormed three fundamental securities that we will need from the state government . These include the ability to engage in commerce, the ability to feed ourselves and our families, and the ability to protect ourselves. Hopefully, the situation never arises where things are so desperate, but if we wait to talk about these things until after something happens, it will be too late. If we are to “Always be prepared”, we need to start thinking about them now. Further, Constitutional policy is good policy. Most of the protections suggested in this article would also make good, Constitutional policies if they were to be implemented now.
Steve Palmer is the State Chapter Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Tenth Amendment Center.
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