Charles Hugh Smith – Just as the “war on drugs” criminalized and destroyed large swaths of African-American and Latino communities, the “war on cash” will further criminalize the few remaining avenues to financial independence and freedom. The introduction of “entitlement” welfare in the 1960s generated a toxic dependency on the state that institutionalized worklessness, a one-two punch that undermined marriage and family in America’s working class of all ethnicities.
The “war on drugs” launched in the 1970s turned millions of American males into felons with severely restricted rights and opportunities in mainstream America.
Now we see the same destructive pattern repeating with “disability” being the new “welfare” and “legal” synthetic heroin (oxycotin etc.) being the new street-smack that lays waste to entire communities. Once you’re dependent on the state for disability and synthetic smack, you are owned by the government, lock, stock and barrel.
When the temptation to sell your $3 Medicaid prescription for synthetic smack for a quick $1000 becomes too much to resist, bang, you’ve got a one-way ticket into the Hell of America’s criminal “justice” system. Do you see the pattern? Offer the blandishments of “free money” and nearly free synthetic smack, and the vulnerable populace is quickly reduced to a dependent state of worklessness and addiction.
Needless to say, an addicted, ill, workless populace that is herded into the grinder of the criminal justice system isn’t going to create any political resistance. They have their hands full just trying to stay alive and avoid being sucked into the voracious maw of the criminalization meat grinder.
This is the context for the upcoming “war on cash” and the criminalization of financial independence. Every conventional means of remaining financially independent of the state-cartel-banking system is being restricted and criminalized, the better to herd everyone into centrally controlled institutions.
Those attempting to escape the political-financial pen are threatened with the other pen–the penitentiary.
Any form of resistance draws punitive criminal sanctions. If you attempt to resist the unfettered search of your property, your resistance is instantly criminalized.
If you resist the seizure of your property on some trumped up charge, your resistance is instantly criminalized.
If you resist being hassled for “driving while black,” your resistance is instantly criminalized.
If you resist being shunted off public spaces while staging a political protest, your resistance is instantly criminalized.
Three charts help explain the criminalization of financial freedom. Wages as a percentage of economic activity (GDP) have been falling for decades. Wage earners are under pressure, and this generates dissatisfaction that eventually finds political expression. This is dangerous to the ruling elites, so criminalizing dissent, resistance and financial independence become essential tools to cow and control the masses.
Independent enterprises are a source of political and financial independence–and any independent class is dangerous to the ruling elites. The “solution” to the ruling elites is to crush independent enterprises with burdensome regulations that carry punitive penalties, raise junk fees (licensing fees, permits, etc.) to levels that make it difficult to remain compliant, and criminalize cash-only and home-based enterprises.
No wonder new business growth is a shadow of its former robustness. If you try to launch a legally compliant enterprise, the costs crush all but the most successful. Any less than fully compliant enterprise has been criminalized.
The upper 20% of wage earners are th donkeys that must be corralled so they can’t escape higher taxes. Whatever wealth they’ve accumulated must also be available for taxation, for this reason: as the super-wealthy sequester their immense wealth in legal tax dodges such as philanthro-capitalist foundations, this leaves the lion’s share of taxes to be paid by the upper-middle class / professional / technocrat / entrepreneur tax donkeys.
The coming War on Cash is also designed to bring in black-market cash from the bottom 40% who use cash businesses as a tax avoidance tactic. The state will leave no stone unturned in its campaign to close off any escape routes–except of course for those available to the super-wealthy and corporations which contribute the big bucks to the politicos’ re-election campaigns.
There won’t be any legal assets that will not be exposed to taxation. As for precious metals–imagine a “wealth tax” that is first imposed on millionaires. Who will say that “taxing the rich” is a bad idea?
Then the definition of “rich” will be adjusted downward. Anyone owning gold is “rich,” correct? So laws will be passed requiring all forms of wealth must be declared.
Anyone who fails to declare their wealth and pay a “wealth tax” on it will face punitive criminal charges.
The “wealth tax” will start small, and high up the food chain. Then it will quickly move down to include everyone with any assets of any kind. If you reckon this farfetched, check back in 2020, if not sooner.
The problem isn’t taxation per se–it’s preserving the freedom to become financially and politically independent that’s increasingly at risk. Once it becomes too complicated, costly and onerous for a working class household to start and operate an enterprise, small-scale capitalism is dead–strangled by the state at the behest of self-serving bureaucrats, elites and corporate carte.
SF Source Of Two Minds Feb. 2017