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Archive for January, 2011|Monthly archive page

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: January 31, 2011 Reporting From: Valle de Elqui, Chile

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: January 31, 2011
Reporting From: Valle de Elqui, Chile

The need for most species to gather into larger collectives is a primal, animalistic instinct. Whether flocks of birds, schools of fish, colonies of ants, or packs of wolves, it is a natural inclination for animals to form larger units for their mutual protection and productive benefit.

Human civilization has shown the same tendency. Mankind’s first collectives were families and tribes based on common language, customs, lineage, and geography. As tribes grew and formed into kingdoms and vast empires, though, the core power in a civilization became concentrated in the hands of a few.

History is filled with examples of tyrants who mercilessly oppressed their people; in fact, the entire concept of the feudal system which dominated the earth for over 1,000 years was based on this idea that the masses exist to serve the ruling class, not the other way around.

We like to think that civilization has evolved far beyond that point… that the modern world is one in which, for better or worse, the will of the majority dictates the rules. Unfortunately, this notion is nothing but an elaborate illusion– feudalism is still alive and well today.

Certainly, there are varying degrees of it, and some nations are far more open about it than others. Western democracies decry brutal dictatorships in Burma, North Korea, and Cuba, all while a small cadre of bankers and bureaucrats sets up a system designed for their personal gain at the expense of everyone else.

Incredibly, the ruling class has managed to establish a society in which ‘the majority’ demands their rule, capitulates to their authority, and fills their coffers with taxes, bailouts, and loans. Maintaining the status quo is their ultimate objective, and we can see that in today’s headlines.

As waves of food riots have spread across the world, the various ruling establishments have reacted by digging in and defending their own interests… turning police and military forces loose on the people to put down insurrection under the ridiculous pretense of “keeping the peace.”

The tactics that have taken place in Egypt over the last several days are particularly telling: the government has taken out Internet and telecommunications architecture, at least at the consumer level, in an effort to quell the rebellion… and I think Egypt is a preview of things to come.

Governments will now neutralize any asset that civilians can use to unify their efforts and establish command & control. This includes cutting communications architecture, sending troops in the streets, and enforcing curfews.

I suspect that other measures on the table include cutting critical infrastructure like water and power, and contriving ‘security emergencies’ and dubious terror threats.

Unsurprisingly, lawmakers in the United States are getting ready to reintroduce a bill that gives President Obama the power to seize control over, and even shut down the Internet.

So long as we’re all obedient servants and don’t rock the boat too much, they’ll keep the lights and the phones on. The moment we stop digesting their imploding paper currencies or pour into the streets demanding accountability, they’ll flip the switch and go into self-preservation mode.

Ironically, such measures can be surprisingly effective. It’s psychological warfare, really– the establishment can demonstrate with surgical precision how dependent we are and how much control it can exert over us. (it’s like that old joke “the beatings will continue until morale improves…”)

This is feudalism, plain and simple, and it doesn’t really matter who’s in control. If the established ruling class fails to preserve their power, they will only fall to a new ruling class… but the mentality will remain: “do as you’re told, and we’ll keep the machine running.”

Modern society has evolved to the point that there are numerous, complex networks in place to take care of our basic necessities, freeing up our own individual capacities to focus on other productive interests– our careers, leisure activities, etc.

We don’t have to worry about producing our own food or generating power anymore because the system does that for us… so instead, we can focus our time and energy on things like professional endeavors which help us to afford our platinum cards and houses full of Chinese manufactured knick knacks.

This dependency, however prosperous it may feel, comes at an opportunity cost… and I think the recent events in Egypt and around the world underscore very clearly that this opportunity cost is freedom.

Real freedom, after all, has nothing to do with a bank balance full of fictitious zeros, or a credit score that gives people the means to further indebt themselves… but rather the degree to which one can be unplugged from this dependency.

Understanding the nature of the opportunity cost is critical, as is taking steps to reduce it. This can include planting multiple flags, investing in agricultural property, stocking up on food and water, installing solar paneling at your home, alternate RF or satellite communications, etc.

Measured preparation is the key. There is no reason to panic or expect the end of the world… but merely to identify vulnerabilities and risks, and then devise a plan to mitigate them. This will be a guiding principle for the resilient, sustainable community that my team is now planning.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com

This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit http://www.SovereignMan.com

A Time to Look in the Mirror…………Blog Admin

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2011 at 12:03 pm

America – It’s time to look in the mirror!!!!!
America – It’s time to get rid of the EPA or parts thereof!!!!
America – It’s time to really get out and speak loud to our present Government!!!

Drill Baby Drill should be on everyones lips…Why is there such a block??

Why are there folks in power who will not see the light or worse yet, don’t want to see the light/handwriting on the wall???
Carol Browner is GONE….There must be more that can be persuaded to leave and make room for more enlightened representatives to bring this United States back on its feet. Why are the opportunities given to countries who do not really have our interests at heart?
Drop the business tax to a comfortable level so that incentives are created here on our shores and environs. Follow the lead of our own Rick Scott who plans to do just that, end the business tax and provide the incentive. Take a lead from the governor of Wisconsin, invite business with good incentives and they will come and provide the jobs that are so needed here in the USA.

Wake up folks, do the right thing, get going to provide the movement that will save this America for our kids and future generations.

God Bless America and all our peoples……

Inter-net Kill Switch…A thought…..ADmin

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Hey Folks, do you recall reading something about this about a week or so ago??
Did you formulate any opinions for yourself regarding this matter??
Could you see in your mind how you would react to this??
Would you/could you, be in favor of such a device being given to a government to use when ever it felt threatened??

Could you be in favor of enacting such a law/regulation were it to be presented for a vote???

How would you feel if it were mandated by the government without a public opinion??

There are so many other questions that come to mind – the list is endless is seems.
What if it were to be enacted here, without public opinion, in the middle of the night, would you be in favor???

Egypt has this very thing happening NOW…No public notice was given that I could find, just the opening of a switch to put the country virtually communication less. Sparse communications at best, but no regular outgoing broadcasts, TV or cell phone or inter-net. I could not even imagine this country in such a state, can YOU???
The first thing that comes to mind is public safety, you may not be able to call for HELP for you or your neighbor. Your event reactions are immediately restricted for lack of necessary news and information broadcasts. It could be difficult at best to get to work if indeed there was still business functioning and transportation functioning.
We cannot let that idea flourish here – the country is disabled enough, do not make it more so.

WE have to think positive, communication is the thread of life, don’t cut it.

May God Bless America..

One Nation under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All….

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: January 27, 2011 Reporting From: Undisclosed location

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2011 at 9:47 am

Sovereign Man
Notes from the Field
Date: January 27, 2011
Reporting From: Undisclosed location

Moscow erupted in pandemonium this week as a bombing attack at the city’s busiest airport claimed the lives of at least 40 people on Monday. Nobody seemed to notice the bombing in Manilla, Philippines only hours later.

Two people were killed on Tuesday when an 81mm mortar was remotely detonated on board a bus in the Makati business district of Manila. Initial police findings suggest that attackers boarded the bus, placed the device under a passenger seat, got off the bus, and detonated it via mobile phone.

The Philippines is home to several Islamic separatist groups who are engaged in an insurgency to establish their own independent Islamic state in the southern Philippines. Tim Staermose, the latest, greatest addition to our growing team here at Sovereign Man, lives in Manila and was on the ground during the event.

In his words:

“I’m fine, all is well here. Apparently two perps planted a bomb on one of the busy commuter buses that ply the route from the main thoroughfare in Manila’s CBD, Ayala Avenue, in Makati, to the densely populated northern suburbs where many of the city’s office workers commute from.

They apparently alighted from the bus and shortly after triggered an explosive device still on the bus, by means of a phone call to a cell phone set to the “vibrate” function, which acted as the detonator.

The poor passengers who’d sat down on the seats that the attackers vacated died instantly in the blast. And more than a dozen others were killed or maimed.

The usual suspects, “Muslim extremists” from the restive southern island of Mindanao were quickly fingered as the likely culprits, though as yet no one has taken responsibility for the bomb, and there’s no conclusive evidence linking such groups to the attack.

I can also report that, encouragingly, life is again going on as normal. People here are used to this sort of thing happening once in a blue moon, for better or worse. And they quickly realize there’s no use fretting about it, or letting it get in the way of life.

Think about it: while what happened is terrible, consider that each day on the roads of the Philippine capital more people usually die in regular traffic accidents. Heck, in a city this size — up to 20 million people according to some statistics — there are doubtless more folks who die from slipping in the shower.

But already the government is stepping forward to show that it is able to “do something” about terrorism. The first proposal is to make each and every person who buys a mobile phone SIM chip register it and go through identity checks… almost as if you’re buying a firearm.

Many countries already enforce this cumbersome and annoying regulation. For example, every time I go back to Australia I find myself having to spend 20 minutes on the phone to someone in a call centre (ironically nearly always in the Philippines) trying to prove who I am and get approved to register a new SIM.

[Simon’s note: When I was in South Africa recently, I noticed that they had recently unveiled a similar rule there under the auspices of ‘fighting crime.’]

How many bombs do you suppose this legislation has prevented from going off? Maybe I’m in the minority, but I think such bureaucratic procedures are a total waste of time and have little effect on the tactics of ‘terrorist organizations’ and separatist groups.

People here keep everything in perspective. I passed lots of folks out enjoying the cool winter evening (which means mid-20s Celsius here) at restaurants, cafes, and bars with live music. And lots of joggers, and exercisers in the Ayala Triangle Park which sits in the middle of the CBD, blocks from where the attack occurred.

Life goes on… the mainstream media can get everyone worked up into a frenzy, but frankly there are more important things to focus on than worrying about a bomb going off every couple of years.”

Simon again. Needless to say, I’m in total agreement with Tim. Such attacks are unfortunate, but statistically speaking we have a better chance of being struck by lightening… and I think we’re much better off focusing on the things which actually matter to ourselves and our families: economic security, health, and freedom.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com

This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit http://www.SovereignMan.com

An Additional Aside for your Contemplation….via E-mail today

In Uncategorized on January 26, 2011 at 12:41 pm

I cannot give you the name of the author of this piece as I do not know it. It is food for thought, I think…

What the HELL’s wrong with all the people that run this country !!!

Are they all on the take ???

We’re “broke” & can’t help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans,
Homeless, etc., ???

In the last months we have provided aid to Haiti, Chile, and Turkey.
And now Pakistan — home of bin Laden.

Our retired seniors living on a ‘fixed income’ receive no aid nor
do they get any breaks while our government and religious organizations pour Hundreds of Millions of $$$’s and
Tons of Food to Foreign Countries!

We have hundreds of adoptable children who are shoved aside to
make room for the adoption of foreign orphans.

AMERICA: a country where we have homeless without shelter, children
going to bed hungry, elderly going without ‘needed’ meds, and mentally
ill without treatment – etc, etc.

YET…………………They have a ‘Benefit’ for the people of
Haiti on 12 TV stations, ships and planes lining up with food, water, tents clothes, bedding, doctors and medical supplies.

Imagine if the *GOVERNMENT* gave ‘US’ the same support they give to other countries. Sad isn’t it?

May God bless America, this so generous country of ours.

My Feelings after the Speech………..Blog admin

In Uncategorized on January 26, 2011 at 12:31 pm

My feelings about the State of the Union, after last nights speech!

How do you feel, are you excited after receiving all this knowledge???

How about investing, er, spending as it should be called, on all these new/old programs that were mentioned and have been mentioned for so many years past, did you stand up and CHEER???

How come there is never anything new??? Have we really begun to run out of original ideas??
You and I have to stop and curtail our daily spending just to keep up with the rising prices that surround us, how come Washington has such a hard time remembering the word “STOP”???
Maybe the real answer is to end the taxation program as it exists and get to a real flat tax where maybe our money will have just a bit more accounting.

Have a great day….

God Bless America

One Nation Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for ALL…..

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: January 25, 2011 Reporting From: Santiago, Chile

In Uncategorized on January 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Sovereign Man
Notes from the Field

Date: January 25, 2011
Reporting From: Santiago, Chile

US General George S. Patton is often credited with saying “No poor bastard ever won a war by dying for his country.” Perhaps Patton was correct. But a lot of poor bastards had a significant impact on security policies by blowing themselves up for their cause.

Yesterday’s suicide attack at Domodedovo airport in Moscow was another stark reminder that there are people in this world who have (a) extreme commitment to their cause; (b) the will to die for their beliefs; and (c) the twisted moral compass to justify the deaths of others as necessary and legitimate.

These three ingredients are a dangerous combination, and unfortunately they exist in mass quantities among fanatics who have lost sight of their humanity.

I don’t want to get into the chicken or egg argument right now about whether such fanaticism would exist without authoritarian, imperialistic arrogance on the part of major world governments… but suffice it to say that, with each attack on civilian targets, governments step up their military/police efforts in the ‘war on terror.’

It’s interesting how government defense planners always seem to be training their troops to fight the last war. For example, the WW2-style training in the US that lasted for decades which prepared troops to fight against Soviet forces proved largely irrelevant in the jungle warfare environment of Vietnam, or the desert in Kuwait.

Subsequent jungle warfare and traditional desert warfare training proved largely irrelevant in the 1990s peacekeeping operations in the Balkans, and training for peacekeeping operations proved largely irrelevant for Iraq’s counterinsurgency operations.

As the military now focuses its training on preparing troops for yesterday’s counterinsurgency operations, I suspect defense planners are largely ignoring tomorrow’s threats, like cyber- and economic warfare.

Similarly, every time there is an attack on civilian targets, governments come out in force against the threat. When someone tries to explode his shoe, everyone has to take his/her shoes off. When someone tries to explode his underwear, everyone has to go through a body scanner.

The Russian bombing yesterday proved that these reactive tactics are completely ineffective, akin to training to fight the last war.

Soft targets are everywhere, and if government agencies make it too difficult to blow up a plane, attackers will blow up the airport. If they can’t blow up an airport, they’ll blow up a bus station… sports stadium… grocery store… you name it.

Each reactive policy measure only serves to solidify the attackers’ convictions, erode the freedoms of the innocents, and divide the nation into to distinct sides– those who would rather have their freedom and take a chance on safety, and those who are willing to relinquish their freedom in exchange for the illusion of security.

Politicians will always side with the latter, expanding their domain and redefining ‘security’ so that it encompasses the widest possible range of human activities.

Going to a ball game? Security. A nightclub? Security. No more financial privacy? It’s for your security. Listening to your phone calls? Also for your security. Protesting against the politicians? You’re a security risk. 90-year old woman in a wheelchair? Frisk her, she’s a security risk. “Attention WalMart shoppers: rat out your neighbor.” – Homeland Security.

These measures are all readily accepted by society because voters will ask for, and allow, these types of politicians and policies.

After the 2004 Beslan hostage crisis in Russia in which hundreds of hostages and children were killed, the Russian government vastly expanded the powers of its law enforcement agencies, asserted its control over the media, and even unilaterally replaced certain elected federal positions with executive appointees.

Russian society digested these measures in stride, still shocked from the massacre in Beslan.

In response to Monday’s bombing, officials in Russia are already talking about enhancing their security procedures, which will certainly include new government powers. I also doubt that the effects will stop with Russia’s security posture.

The Chinese government already reacted by beefing up security at Beijing’s airport, deploying more police dogs throughout the terminals. I wouldn’t be surprised if governments in North America and Europe used this event as an excuse to initiate their own measures, going further down the slippery slope.

None of these steps really matter in the big picture; loosely organized suicide bombers cannot be subdued with conventional forces or security measures… and for the regular folks who just want to go on living their lives, it’s like being caught in the middle of a battlefield without a weapon.

I’m reminded of Herbert Hoover’s 1928 winning presidential campaign slogan, “A chicken in every pot, a car in every garage.” Perhaps the modern analogy is “a government agent on every corner, a wiretap on every phone.” It is, after all, for our security.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com

This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit http://www.SovereignMan.com

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: January 24, 2011 Reporting From: Santiago, Chile

In Uncategorized on January 24, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: January 24, 2011
Reporting From: Santiago, Chile

Most people have never heard of Lee Kuan Yew… but he’s an incredibly important figure in one of the world’s most cutting-edge economies. As Singapore’s first prime minister, he governed for 3 decades, overseeing his country’s transformation into a modern, developed economic powerhouse.

Prior to Lee’s tenure, Singapore was fairly provincial backwater under British colonial rule; completely devoid of natural resources, its only real importance was as a conveniently located trading post.

Post-independence, Lee’s government passed substantial labor, immigration, and tax reforms that were incredibly favorable to businesses and foreign investors. These policies are widely viewed as the spark for Singapore’s economic growth, and Lee is still heavily revered today for those decisions.

In short, he has a Mandela-like influence in his society… and when Lee speaks, people listen in Singapore.

Last week, Lee made some remarks about immigration and Singapore’s aging population, indicating that in order to avoid a disastrous population decline, Singapore needs to attract young immigrants to save the economy in the long run:

“At these low birth rates, we will rapidly age and shrink… So we need young immigrants. Otherwise our economy will slow down, like the Japanese economy…. [Young immigrants] will increase our population and talent pool. Singapore will be vibrant and prosperous, not declining and ageing.”

Low birth rates and declining populations tend to have terrible consequences for an economy; in countries which have a bloated social welfare network, for example, a declining population means that fewer and fewer people are paying into a pension system that supports more and more beneficiaries.

Perhaps more importantly, though, an aging population dramatically shifts its consumptive habits. Older folks are notoriously thrifty, usually opting to save their money for an uncertain future. They don’t have young children to go through a different size shoe every month, college tuition to pay for, etc.

Saving is ordinarily a good thing for an economy– it’s an essential ingredient in long-term growth along with technological advancement. But ‘being thrifty’ isn’t necessarily the same as ‘saving’.

Generating a large pool of savings requires a society to produce much more than it consumes… and with a declining population, even though a society is consuming less, it is also producing less because the labor force is decreasing as well.

The net effect of population declines is a deteriorating standard of living and a host of social welfare system that go bust. Whatever younger generation that still exists is usually burdened with the clean-up costs, but this only increases their rate of emigration. Nobody wants to get stuck with the check.

Japan is a rather famous example of a developed country with a demographic crisis. The rising cost of living and decades-long economic decline caused families to have fewer children, such that the birth rate for the last 30+ years is well below the ‘population replacement level’ of 2.1 births per woman.

With a median age of 44.6 years, Japan already has one of the oldest societies in the world (compared to 39.6 in Singapore, 40.7 in Canada, 36.8 in the United States, 28.9 in Brazil, 25.9 in India, and 31.7 here in Chile).

Japan also has one of the world’s highest life expectancies and highest costs of living… which means that the long-term cost to support idle pensioners is extremely high.

One would think that the Japanese government would be rolling out the red carpet for young foreigners, yet Japan remains a fairly closed society. Foreign residents comprise less than 2% of the population according to government statistics, not enough to even qualify as a drop in the bucket.

Without serious addressing this issue and attracting young foreigners both at the economic and cultural level, Japan runs substantial risk of fading into obscurity.

It’s amazing how so many governments don’t get it… going out of their way to repel or even prevent talented foreigners from settling, as if the fundamental freedom to work hard and prosper is somehow derived from bloodlines, ethnicity, or irrelevant, invisible lines on a map.

These governments will figure out soon enough that labor and intellectual capital are easily exportable assets. Some governments like Singapore, Estonia, and Chile understand that truth, and they’ve laid out incentives to compete for foreigners and establish conditions for long-term growth.

Singapore’s open, mutli-lingual, multi-cultural society is well-equipped to deal with the matter… and given the host of residency incentives that it already provides to talented foreigners, I suspect this free market approach will become a model for global migration and population stability.

Sometime in the next two years, I expect the government to act quickly and unveil a new series of packages aimed at attracting younger people to Singapore; I will look forward to telling you more about it when the time comes.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com

This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit http://www.SovereignMan.com

Wake Up America or do we Just Turn Out The Lights???……..via E-mail to Admin

In Uncategorized on January 22, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Do not know the accuracy or the writer !!!!!!

Turn Out the Lights ..the Party is Over. This is long , probable, and scary .

There is nothing political about this email.

It simply points out very probable changes that are in our future.

CHANGES ARE COMING —-
Whether these changes are good or bad depends in part on how we adapt to them. But, ready or not, here they come

1. The Post Office. Get ready to imagine a world without the post office. They are so deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term. Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive. Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills.

2. The Check. Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with checks by 2018. It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks. Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the check. This plays right into the death of the post office. If you never paid your bills by mail and never received them by mail, the post office would absolutely go out of business.

3. The Newspaper. The younger generation simply doesn’t read the newspaper. They certainly don’t subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. That may go the way of the milkman and the laundry man. As for reading the paper online, get ready to pay for it. The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to form an alliance. They have met with Apple, Amazon, and the major cell phone companies to develop a model for paid subscription services.

4. The Book. You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages. I said the same thing about downloading music from i Tune’s. I wanted my hard copy CD. But I quickly changed my mind when I discovered that I could get albums for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same thing will happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and even read a preview chapter before you buy. And the price is less than half that of a real book. And think of the convenience! Once you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you find that you are lost in the story, can’t wait to see what happens next, and you forget that you’re holding a gadget instead of a book.

5. The Land Line Telephone. Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don’t need it anymore. Most people keep it simply because they’ve always had it. But you are paying double charges for that extra service. All the cell phone companies will let you call customers using the same cell provider for no charge against your minutes
.
6. Music. This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. The music industry is dying a slow death. Not just because of illegal downloading. It’s the lack of innovative new music being given a chance to get to the people who would like to hear it. Greed and corruption is the problem. The record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music purchased today is “catalog items,” meaning traditional music that the public is familiar with. Older established artists. This is also true on the live concert circuit. To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic further, check out the book, “Appetite for Self-Destruction” by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, “Before the Music Dies.”

7. Television. Revenues to the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy. People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers. And they’re playing games and doing lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV. Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I say good riddance to most of it. It’s time for the cable companies to be put out of our misery. Let the people choose what they want to watch online and through Netflix.

8. The “Things” That You Own. Many of the very possessions that we used to own are still in our lives, but we may not actually own them in the future. They may simply reside in “the cloud.” Today your computer has a hard drive and you store your pictures, music, movies, and documents. Your software is on a CD or DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be. But all of that is changing. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all finishing up their latest “cloud services.” That means that when you turn on a computer, the Internet will be built into the operating system. So, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied straight into the Internet. If you click an icon, it will open something in the Internet cloud. If you save something, it will be saved to the cloud. And you may pay a monthly subscription fee to the cloud provider.
In this virtual world, you can access your music or your books, or your whatever from any laptop or handheld device. That’s the good news. But, will you actually own any of this “stuff” or will it all be able to disappear at any moment in a big “Poof?” Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and whimsical? It makes you want to run to the closet and pull out that photo album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.

9. Privacy. If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy. That’s gone. It’s been gone for a long time anyway. There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone. But you can be sure that 24/7, “They” know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the Google Street View. If you buy something, your habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will change to reflect those habits. And “They” will try to get you to buy something else. Again and again.

All we will have that can’t be changed are Memories.

19 Facts About The Deindustrialization Of America That Will Blow Your Mind

The United States is rapidly becoming the very first “post-industrial” nation on the globe. All great economic empires eventually become fat and lazy and squander the great wealth that their forefathers have left them, but the pace at which America is accomplishing this is absolutely amazing. It was America that was at the forefront of the industrial revolution. It was America that showed the world how to mass produce everything from automobiles to televisions to airplanes. It was the great American manufacturing base that crushed Germany and Japan in World War II.

But now we are witnessing the deindustrialization of America . Tens of thousands of factories have left the United States in the past decade alone. Millions upon millions of manufacturing jobs have been lost in the same time period. The United States has become a nation that consumes everything in sight and yet produces increasingly little. Do you know what our biggest export is today? Waste paper. Yes, trash is the number one thing that we ship out to the rest of the world as we voraciously blow our money on whatever the rest of the world wants to sell to us. The United States has become bloated and spoiled and our economy is now just a shadow of what it once was. Once upon a time America could literally out produce the rest of the world combined. Today that is no longer true, but Americans sure do consume more than anyone else in the world. If the deindustrialization of America continues at this current pace, what possible kind of a future are we going to be leaving to our children?

Any great nation throughout history has been great at making things. So if the United States continues to allow its manufacturing base to erode at a staggering pace how in the world can the U.S. continue to consider itself to be a great nation? We have created the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world in an effort to maintain a very high standard of living, but the current state of affairs is not anywhere close to sustainable. Every single month America goes into more debt and every single month America gets poorer.

So what happens when the debt bubble pops?

The deindustrialization of the United States should be a top concern for every man, woman and child in the country. But sadly, most Americans do not have any idea what is going on around them.

For people like that, take this article and print it out and hand it to them. Perhaps what they will read below will shock them badly enough to awaken them from their slumber.

The following are 19 facts about the deindustrialization of America that will blow your mind….

#1 The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001. About 75 percent of those factories employed over 500 people when they were still in operation.

#2 Dell Inc., one of America ’s largest manufacturers of computers, has announced plans to dramatically expand its operations in China with an investment of over $100 billion over the next decade.

#3 Dell has announced that it will be closing its last large U.S. manufacturing facility in Winston-Salem , North Carolina in November. Approximately 900 jobs will be lost.

#4 In 2008, 1.2 billion cell phones were sold worldwide. So how many of them were manufactured inside the United States ? Zero.

#5 According to a new study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, if the U.S. trade deficit with China continues to increase at its current rate, the U.S. economy will lose over half a million jobs this year alone.

#6 As of the end of July, the U.S. trade deficit with China had risen 18 percent compared to the same time period a year ago.

#7 The United States has lost a total of about 5.5 million manufacturing jobs since October 2000.

#8 According to Tax Notes, between 1999 and 2008 employment at the foreign affiliates of U.S. parent companies increased an astounding 30 percent to 10.1 million. During that exact same time period, U.S. employment at American multinational corporations declined 8 percent to 21.1 million.

#9 In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of U.S. economic output. In 2008, it represented 11.5 percent.

#10 Ford Motor Company recently announced the closure of a factory that produces the Ford Ranger in St. Paul , Minnesota . Approximately 750 good paying middle class jobs are going to be lost because making Ford Rangers in Minnesota does not fit in with Ford’s new “global” manufacturing strategy.

#11 As of the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing. The last time less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941.

#12 In the United States today, consumption accounts for 70 percent of GDP. Of this 70 percent, over half is spent on services.

#13 The United States has lost a whopping 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

#14 In 2001, the United States ranked fourth in the world in per capita broadband Internet use. Today it ranks 15th.

#15 Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.

#16 Printed circuit boards are used in tens of thousands of different products. Asia now produces 84 percent of them worldwide.

#17 The United States spends approximately $3.90 on Chinese goods for every $1 that the Chinese spend on goods from the United States .

#18 One prominent economist is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040.

#19 The U.S. Census Bureau says that 43.6 million Americans are now living in poverty and according to them that is the highest number of poor Americans in the 51 years that records have been kept.

So how many tens of thousands more factories do we need to lose before we do something about it?

How many millions more Americans are going to become unemployed before we all admit that we have a very, very serious problem on our hands?

How many more trillions of dollars are going to leave the country before we realize that we are losing wealth at a pace that is killing our economy?

How many once great manufacturing cities are going to become rotting war zones like Detroit before we understand that we are committing national economic suicide?

The deindustrialization of America is a national crisis. It needs to be treated like one.

America is in deep, deep trouble folks. It is time to wake up.

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: January 21, 2011 Reporting From: Santiago, Chile

In Uncategorized on January 22, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Sovereign Man
Notes from the Field

Date: January 21, 2011
Reporting From: Santiago, Chile

I had a rather interesting meeting last night with a notable Chilean attorney who is the chief legal counsel of one of the country’s largest telecom firms. We talked about the growth of the local economy and the lengths to which the government here is trying to attract foreign investors and entrepreneurs.

We’ve discussed before in our daily conversations what I see as a new trend: governments competing for residents. Some countries– Chile, Latvia, Singapore, Panama, Estonia, etc. understand that their economic future depends on attracting the brightest minds possible.

(note: we covered unique residency options in two of these countries in our most recent edition of Sovereign Man: Confidential)

Other countries go out of their way to repel or even prevent talented foreigners from settling, as if the fundamental freedom to work hard and prosper is somehow derived from irrelevant, invisible lines on a map.

I’ll have much more to say about this next week; for now, I want to move on to our weekly q&a.

Earlier this week, I wrote to you about banks in Hong Kong such as Hang Seng bank which sell Canadian Maple Leaf coins for just 0.5% above spot price, and Chinese Panda coins as 4.9% above spot price.

This article triggered a host of questions that I’d like to address today:

1. “I googled gold prices in Hong Kong and noticed different prices than what you mentioned in your article. Why the discrepancy?”

Google is the black hole of accurate information. The intelligence on the ground always trumps the ether of the Internet, and my partner Tim was actually standing at the bank in Hong Kong speaking to the cashiers.

It’s common to see significant inaccuracies online, especially considering the banks don’t sell their gold over the Internet or the phone… only to walk-in customers. So naturally the most accurate pricing will be at the branch.

2. “Once I buy gold coins in Hong Kong, is there any restriction to taking them out of the country?”

No, there are no restrictions for transporting gold out of Hong Kong as precious metals are not a controlled or prohibited item listed by Hong Kong Customs (rough, uncut diamonds are).

We have transported gold out of Hong Kong numerous times in our carry-on luggage without so much as a glance from security.

3. “Are there restrictions on bringing in gold coins when I return home?”

It depends on where you are flying to and what you purchase. If you are flying to North America, neither the Canadian nor US government considers gold to be a monetary instrument.

Maple Leaf and Eagle coins are technically deemed legal tender in each country, so you would have to raise your hand if the aggregate face value of the coins plus whatever other cash you have on hand exceeds $10,000.

Bear in mind, customs officials in North America have unlimited authority to do whatever they want, even if you are well within the law. As such, it may be advisable to have a receipt for the coin purchase in Hong Kong, as well as evidence for your source of funds (bank statement is sufficient).

If you’re ever in doubt about the regulation, ASK.

4. “Are there any countries that I should avoid for transporting bullion?”

Yes, absolutely. To name a few: Mexico. Thailand. Most of Africa. Russia. Uruguay.

I would also generally avoid Panama as well– the country’s customs regulations value gold based on its market value, not face value… and anyone who brings more than a trivial amount of gold into the country could end up paying an unnecessary import duty.

That’s all for this week, have a great weekend.

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com
This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
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