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Brad Harrington
Subject: The Sign Of The Dollar

Brad and Barbie Harrington reside in Cheyenne, WY and together they publish a monthly newspaper called Liberty's Torch, dedicated to the promotion of "individual liberty, private property and personal responsibility."

In the past I have included two excellent articles by Brad:

He has just penned an important new editorial analyzing where this country has been trending for the past century and the impact that those trends will have upon us all. I wanted to share this with you, and he has given me permission to reproduce here.

A Discussion Of The Post-2012 Election Fallout:

What Happened,  Why It Happened,
What The Consequences Will Be,
And What You Need To Do
To Prepare Yourself For The Future

"The task of defining ideas and goals is not the province of politicians
and is not accomplished at election time: Elections are merely consequences.
The task belongs to the intellectuals. The need is more urgent than ever.

Ayn Rand, "The Wreckage of the Consensus," 1967

It doesn't take the proverbial "rocket scientist" to figure out that on Nov. 6, the American social and political landscape, by hardly changing at all, changed dramatically forever.

Advocates of freedom, of course, viewing the re-election of President Barack Obama and a Democrat-controlled Congress with the trepidation such an event merits, have been in a twitter ever since, wondering what it is they could have done to make it different.

Factoid:  We're Outnumbered

    Well, what could we have done? Not a damn thing, fellow travelers, because it's time to wise up and admit the facts: The producers are now outnumbered by the parasites. Consider: When Ayn Rand wrote the above words 45 years ago, the country was still stocked with a large majority of producers. Yes, the so-called "welfare" state and interventionist economics were on the rise, and had been for decades, but many more people than not supported themselves and their families by their own efforts.

    If you still think that's true, you had better wake the Hell up and think again.

    In that year of 1967, for instance, the United States had a population of 198 million, a GDP of $825 billion, a federal budget of $157 billion and federal "social welfare" expenses of $26 billion. This placed "social welfare" spending at $131.30 per capita, or 3.1 percent of GDP and 16.6 percent of federal outlays.

    In 2012, on the other hand, the United States has a population of 314 million, a GDP of $15.2 trillion, a federal budget of $3.8 trillion and federal "social welfare" expenses of $2.3 trillion. This places "social welfare" spending at $7,382.17 per capita, or 15.1 percent of GDP and 60.5 percent of federal outlays.

    In the light of such figures, it's pretty clear that our "social welfare" outlays have skyrocketed — per-capita spending by 5,522 percent, percentage of GDP by 387 percent and percentage of federal outlays by 264 percent — and that's just the federal spending, folks. That doesn't count the state and local outlays.

    Given the data, it's not too far of a stretch to say that fully half of our population is receiving government aid of some sort and amount from the other half.

    And this guess, while a guess, is at least close, for the tax figures bear it out: In 2008, IRS figures show that the top 50 percent of the country's adult population (with incomes greater than $33,000) paid 97.3 percent of collected taxes, while the bottom 50 percent paid the other piddling 2.7 percent.

"Welfare"?  I Don't Think So

    And if you (mistakenly) think that this is the price we pay for "helping the poor," you'd better check your premises on that one as well: For, despite the untold trillions of dollars we've poured into the so-called "War on Poverty" since 1967 alone, when 31.8 million people lived under the poverty line, we now have 46 million people there instead — an increase of 44.6 percent. And food stamps? Just in the last four years alone, we've seen the number of recipients mushroom from 28 million in 2008 to 46 million in 2012, an increase of 64.2 percent.

    Clearly, the so-called "welfare" state isn't benefiting anybody — least of all the poor who need jobs the most. That's because it isn't "welfare," folks — it's the parasites living at the expense of the producers, pure and simple.

The Tipping Point

    Back in the early 1970s, when I was still a fresh young lad, my father told me something that I'll never forget (right after the election of Jimmy Carter): "When 50 percent or more of the country lives on the dole," he said, "you can kiss your freedoms goodbye."

    Well, Howdy Doody, welcome to the future. The 2008 election of radical left-winger Barack Obama and a host of additional tax-and-spend Congressional Democrats was the tipping point — and this election in 2012 merely slammed the nails into our political coffin.

    For how many more years does anyone seriously think such a trend can continue? When and where does it snap? At what point of the trend do the producers simply revolt and refuse to play their perennial role of self-sacrificial serfs? Like most human phenomena, it's a bell curve. Some people have already dropped out and off the radar, and more and more are joining them with every passing year.

Is "Atlas Shrugging"?  Yep.

    And the "bell" of that curve? It's approaching us much faster than we think. Indeed, just since the re-affirmation of America's commitment to half-socialist, half-fascist economic devastation, we have these facts to greet us:

    • St. Louis-based Energizer cutting 1,500 employees in attempt to save $200 million  (Channel 4,, St. Louis, Nov. 8)
      "`These actions represent significant and necessary changes to our overall cost structure and organization,' said Ward Klein, chief executive, according to a statement."

    • Exide to lay off 150 workers  (The Reading Eagle, Reading, Penn., Nov. 9)
      "`This decision was based on several factors, including the dramatic swings in the lead market and the high capital investment needed, due to regulatory requirements, to remain operational in Reading,' said Paul Hirt, president of Exide Americas."  [Italics mine]

    • Boeing cutting 30 percent of executives at defense unit  (The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 7)
      "The company said funding for the U.S. Dept. of Defense is `under extreme pressure.'"  [Italics mine]

    • Stanford brake plant to lay off 75  (Lexington Herald-Leader, Nov. 7)
      "`This decision was based on current economic conditions and has no reflection on the quality and commitment of our people in Stanford,'" said Brake Parts LLC company spokesman Scott Howat."  [Italics mine]

    • Darden tests limiting worker hours as health-care changes loom  (The Orlando Sentinel, Nov. 11)
      "In an experiment apparently aimed at keeping down the cost of health-care reform, Orlando-based Darden Restaurants has stopped offering full-time schedules to many hourly workers in at least a few Olive Gardens, Red Lobsters and Longhorn Steakhouses."  [Italics mine]

    • Business owner fired employees who voted for Obama  (C-Span, Nov. 8)
      In a phone interview, a man who would only identify himself as Stu, saying that he owned a small aviation services company, also said: "`Yesterday, I called all of my part-time employees in and said because Obama won, I was cutting their hours from 30 to 25 a week so I would not fall under the Obamacare mandate... And I also had to lay two full-timers off to get under the 50-person cap... I tried to make sure that the people I laid off had voted for Obama.'"  [Italics mine]

    • Coal company announces layoffs in response to Obama win  (CNN, Nov. 9)
      "A coal company headed by a prominent Mitt Romney donor has laid off more than 160 workers in response to President Obama's election victory. Murray Energy said Friday it had been `forced' to make the layoffs in response to the bleak prospects for the coal industry during Obama's second term... Murray cited pending regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency and the possibility of a carbon tax as factors that could lead to the `total destruction of the coal industry by as early as 2030'... In August, Murray shuttered an operation in Ohio, again blaming the Obama administration and its alleged `war on coal.'"  [Italics mine]

    I could go on and on and on, but then I'd be filling this space with things other than what it needs to be filled with, so... Suffice it to say that events similar to this have been occurring all over the country since Nov. 6, with who knows how many thousands of workers now out of work.

    I would hazard a guess that most of these firms, and many more besides, were waiting for the election results before finalizing their decisions. Now that the stake's been driven through our heart, these companies have acted in the only way they could to maintain their existences.

    For how much longer, however — given the now-for-sure increases in such collectivistic requirements as italicized above — will such companies be able to keep their doors open at all?

    Nor does it take the aforementioned rocket scientist to figure out that with dropping jobs numbers and decreased tax revenues, the result will be: More "welfare," more food stamps, more taxes and more regimentation and control — all of which, of course, will act to exacerbate and worsen the very problems such measures are (allegedly) intended to solve, thus ever-hastening the producer-vs.-parasite tip-over until the whole shoddy house of cards collapses of its own unsustainable weight.

    Consequently, our chances of affecting future electoral change on a national level have just been reduced to zero. By the time the next election rolls around, the balance between the producers vs. the parasites won't even be close.

The Hugest Heist In History

    Now, let's throw a few other things into the mix as well, as a post-mortem, so to speak, on an already-moribund productive corpse:

    • An "official" national debt of $16.2 trillion, which means: What we owe now constitutes 106 percent of our GDP, i.e., the entire productive capacity of the entire United States for the entire year. This, I submit, is an absolute looting spree, happening right before our eyes — and, as such, it constitutes nothing less than the hugest heist in all of human history. It is nothing more than an irrational, amoral, legalized, politically-driven plundering of the productive assets of the United States. And that's the good news: With budget deficits in the $1-$2 trillion dollar range these days, you can expect that 2x4 to wallop us right between the eyes at anywhere from $22-$24 trillion by 2016, minimum. More realistically, however, as the number for "welfare" and food stamp rolls continue to shoot themselves through the roof, you can expect that to mushroom by even greater amounts;

    • Unfunded liabilities for bankrupt programs such as Social Security, Medicare and government pensions now sit at $121 trillion, an economic dead weight of over $1 million around the necks of the (shrinking) numbers of every taxpayer in America. Check it out for yourself at, and watch the numbers spin so fast you could use the program for a ceiling fan;

    • The Fed, like a monkey turned loose in a power plant with a wrench in its hands, announced back in September that it would be proceeding forward with an open-ended, indefinite policy of "Quantitative Easing 3" (read: inflation) to the tune of $40 billion a month. You can expect, therefore, that the dollars in your pocket, already made nearly worthless by decades of such tactics, will be made even more so as time progresses.

    • Add it all up and what do you get, folks? Total, terminal economic dissolution and disintegration. Predicting a financial collapse, at this point, is about as daring as predicting that an egg is going to splatter when it's already on its way to the floor.

    We had a chance, small one though it was, to reverse some of these trends on Nov. 6; with the re-election of Obama and a Democrat-controlled Senate, however, you can kiss that chance goodbye. Even should the Republicans clean house come 2014, the die is cast, and the so-called "fiscal cliff" everybody is worrying about come Jan. 1 is little more than a firecracker to an atom bomb when compared to the yawning precipice awaiting us just a bit further down the road.

    The magnitude of that collapse, of course, can vary; it can be something as relatively simple as another Great Depression, or it can proceed on upward to complete social and political disintegration. Government, with its ability to change all the rules in the middle of the game, can postpone things for a bit longer — but not much longer. And the longer the postponement, the greater the level of devastation when the Piper finally collects his dues.

Rough Times Are A'Comin'

    Now, before we get to how our soon-to-arrive collapse actually represents the best and greatest hope we have before us, let's make a few things clear: It's gonna be hard times ahead for who knows how long, and you need to be prepared for it. Therefore, any rational and intelligent individual should, to the extent possible financially:

    • Stock water, food and other life-sustaining essentials. When you suddenly find your grocery shelves empty, what do you intend to do in order to feed yourself and your family?

    • Stockpile weapons and ammunition. As a producer in an ever-widening sea of parasites, you need to understand that you are about to become a target — and, should the horrible need arise, you need to be prepared to defend your property and your values from those who would take it all away;

    • Begin to buy silver and gold. When the dollar bills you have in your pocket become completely worthless, you need to have an alternative money supply on hand to be able to trade with other, like-minded producers — and silver and gold have been the tried-and-true currencies for millennia;

    • Consider your power needs. What happens when your utilities quit working? Do you have things like flash lights, batteries, candles — or, better yet, a generator? Or, better yet, an alternative source of long-term power? It's pricey but if you can afford it, get off the grid;

    • If you live in a big city and you are able to, move. Such locations will soon be resembling Potsdam after World War II (some of them look that way now). Get out of the cities and onto some land where you can still raise chickens and grow a garden if need be.

    There's much more than this, but you get the idea. The Torch will be running a series of articles, from this point forward, discussing all of these topics and then some: Foodstuffs, canning, weapons, defense, gardening, raising livestock, alarm systems, power generation, water-purification and transportation, just to name a few.

    Now, if you think I'm being alarmist here, that's fine. Throw away this newspaper and go pick up your copy of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, where you will read that everything is fine and you've got nothing to worry about. If that's your viewpoint, great. For the rest of us, however, who know better, stay tuned. As a public service, the Torch intends to give you what you need to function and survive in the midst of what's coming.

Withdraw Your Sanction!

    Now, at this point, if you're beginning to feel a bit helpless and completely at the mercy of forces beyond your ability to manage, don't! For the fact of the matter is that it is you — the producer — who, in reality, maintains complete control and possesses an incredible power no moocher or looter can ever touch. And, furthermore, it is precisely therein with that power that our greatest hope lies.

    For, consider: The moochers and the looters, by definition, are incapable of sustaining themselves. As Howard Roark once remarked in Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, "Creation comes before distribution, or there will be nothing to distribute." It is the very nature of the existence of such people that they cannot produce on their own; therefore, it is you, the producer, that they have to beg, borrow or steal from in order to survive. They need us; we do not need them. Yet, if you've ever wondered why it is that such parasites have always been successful at enslaving you despite this simple fact of reality, I'll hand you the answer: Because you have made it possible.

    Whose taxes permit the "welfare" state to function? Yours. Whose wealth is plundered in order to pay for it? Yours. Whose creations, innovations and productive abilities are hijacked in order to sustain the whole incredible mess? Yours.

    Quit granting your sanction — for, by so doing, you create your own chains and propagate your own servitude. Without you, the producer, the entire shoddy system is blown to smithereens. Given the devastation you are witnessing around you — never mind what's to come — isn't about time you just said "No"?

    This is not a new idea, by the way; Ayn Rand explored it thoroughly in Atlas Shrugged, written in 1957. While it is true that we have yet to reach the physical and economic devastation portrayed in her book, our cultural disintegration is nearly complete and the rest will follow soon enough. The single best thing any producer on the planet can do to come to understand their tremendous power is to pick up a copy of that book and read it.

    Above all, you need to realize that, at root, this is an intellectual and philosophical battle — and that the real goal of the collectivist slavers is not merely to seize your wealth but to collectivize your mind. Arm yourself accordingly, and remember: Free spirits cannot be enslaved, they can only be exterminated.

What YOU Can Do, Right Now

    The variety of ways in which you can drop out, refusing to build your own sacrificial furnace, are innumerable:

    • Join the underground economy if you can. Underground economic activities are now estimated to be in the neighborhood of $2.25 trillion per year, nearly 15 percent of the 2012 GDP. This represents money you own, free and clear, that the looters can't touch;

    • If you're so inclined to do so, quit paying your taxes — or at least figure out legal ways to keep as much of your money out of the hands of the looters as you can. Starve the leviathan beast;

    • Restrict your dealings, whenever possible, to other producers. Join up with other like-minded people in your community, personally and economically, and do your part to quit paying the looters for the privilege of having your assets plundered;

    • Quit voting — at least in national elections. Folks, the lesser of two evils is still evil, and we've been playing that game for decades. Look where it's taken us — to a level of degradation unmatched in all of history — and, remember, you're outnumbered anyway. Withdraw your sanction and refuse to play a role in your own political and economic destruction. Let the collectivist slavers own the entire mess we've got coming; let them write their names all over it. Agitate and gain control in your local communities to the extent you can, but quit wasting your energy everywhere else . Direct it instead to more profitable enterprises;

    • Get your kids, to the degree possible, out of the tax-supported indoctrination camps we so witlessly refer to as the "educational" system. The Leftist slavers have controlled this field of our economy for decades and your children are receiving nothing more than thoroughly collectivist brainwashings as a reward for their attendance. Get them into a private school — or, better yet, home-school them instead;

    • Hasten, wherever and whenever possible, the demise of the collectivist-slaver-state, which is only made possible by your consent — politically, economically, socially and philosophically. Quit giving it! When enough of the producers drop out and simply quit producing, the game's over.

The Greatest Power On Earth

    For those who doubt the tremendous power we all have — not only each of us as "mere" individuals, but also in terms of our amassed power as a consistent, cohesive and ideologically-aligned collection of like-minded free-thinkers and free-doers — read your history. One man, Mahatma Gandhi of India, armed with nothing more than a clear and consistent vision, aligned hundreds of millions of Indians into a social and ideological force that wiped out British rule without ever firing a shot.

    Similarly, in the depths of communist slavery in Poland, one man — Lech Walesa, co-founder of Solidarity — stood against all the guns, bombs and tanks of his gangster government and literally brought that government to its knees, becoming the first democratically-elected president of Poland in 1990. In so doing, Walesa also helped pave the way to the Soviet empire's implosion in 1991.

    So, never doubt the incredible power you hold! The philosophy of the Rights of Man has toppled kings and despots before and can do so again. You, as an independently-thinking, independently-functioning "mere" individual, constitute the greatest power on Earth.

    When the game's finally over and the rule of the collectivist thugs is finally and irrevocably brought to an end, then — and only then — we will be free to re-emerge and reconstitute society based on our principles.

    At that point, we will be ready to utter the words of John Galt, hero of Atlas Shrugged, stated on the final page of that novel:

    "`The road is cleared,' said Galt. `We are going back to the world.' He raised his hand and over the desolate earth he traced in space the sign of the dollar."

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