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Posts Tagged ‘Recession’

Rumblings from the former Confederacy . . .

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 557

Offered January 12, 2011

Prefiled January 5, 2011

Establishing a joint subcommittee to study whether the Commonwealth should adopt a currency to serve as an alternative to the currency distributed by the Federal Reserve System in the event of a major breakdown of the Federal Reserve System. Report.

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Patron– Marshall, R.G.

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Referred to Committee on Rules

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WHEREAS, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled in In re Rahrer, 140 U.S. 545, 554 (1891), that “the police power” of a State “is a power originally and always belonging to the States, not surrendered by them to the general government, nor directly restrained by the Constitution of the United States, and essentially exclusive”; and

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled in Beer Company v. Massachusetts, 97 U.S. 25, 33 (1877), that the police power of the States “extend[s] to the protection of the lives, health, and property of the[ir] citizens, and to the preservation of good order”; and

WHEREAS, the protection of the lives, health, and property of Virginia’s citizens, and the preservation of good order in the Commonwealth, depend upon the maintenance of both an adequate system of governmental finance and a sound and robust private economy; and

WHEREAS, an adequate system of governmental finance and a sound and robust private economy cannot be maintained in the absence of a sound currency; and

WHEREAS, the present monetary and banking systems of the United States, centered around the Federal Reserve System, have come under ever-increasing strain during the last several years, and will be exposed to ever-increasing and predictably debilitating strain in the years to come; and

WHEREAS, many widely recognized experts predict the inevitable destruction of the Federal Reserve System’s currency through hyperinflation in the foreseeable future; and

WHEREAS, in the event of hyperinflation, depression, or other economic calamity related to the breakdown of the Federal Reserve System, for which the Commonwealth is not prepared, the Commonwealth’s governmental finances and Virginia’s private economy will be thrown into chaos, with gravely detrimental effects upon the lives, health, and property of Virginia’s citizens, and with consequences fatal to the preservation of good order throughout the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, Virginia can avoid or at least mitigate many of the economic, social, and political shocks to be expected to arise from hyperinflation, depression, or other economic calamity related to the breakdown of the Federal Reserve System only through the timely adoption of an alternative sound currency that the Commonwealth’s government and citizens may employ without delay in the event of the destruction of the Federal Reserve System’s currency; and

WHEREAS, “legal tender” denotes a currency that must be accepted in payment of a debt denominated in United States “dollars” if the parties have not stipulated that some alternative currency is to be used as their medium of payment or are not otherwise required to use such alternative currency; and

WHEREAS, the Federal Reserve System’s currency has been designated “legal tender” under color of Title 31, United States Code, Section 5103; and

WHEREAS, under Title 12, United States Code, § 411 and Title 31, United States Code, § 5118(b) and (c), the Federal Reserve System’s currency is not redeemable in gold or silver coin or the equivalent in bullion; and

WHEREAS, that the Federal Reserve System’s currency is not redeemable in gold or silver coin or the equivalent in bullion is being identified by more and more experts as a, if not the, major reason for the ever-increasing instability of the Federal Reserve System; and

WHEREAS, all gold and silver coins of the United States are designated “legal tender” under the aegis of Title 31, United States Code, §§ 5103 and 5112(h), and must be so designated perforce of Article I, Section 8, Clause 5 and Article I, Section 10, Clause 1 of the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to Article I, Section 10, Clause 1 of and the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, each State must make gold and silver coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; and

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court of the United States in Lane County v. Oregon, 74 U.S. (7 Wallace) 71, 76-78 (1869), and Hagar v. Reclamation District No. 108, 111 U.S. 701, 706 (1884), has ruled that the States may adopt whatever currency they desire for the purposes of performing their sovereign governmental functions, even to the extent of adopting gold and silver coin for those purposes while refusing to employ a currency not redeemable in gold or silver coin that Congress has designated “legal tender”; and

WHEREAS, “the police power” being the primary sovereign governmental function of every State, under Lane County and Hagar every State may adopt its own currency, consisting of gold or silver, or both, whenever necessary and proper to facilitate exercises of that power in aid of the general welfare of the State and its citizens; and

WHEREAS, under the aegis of Title 31, United States Code, § 5118(d)(2), and perforce of Article I, Section 8, Clause 5 and Article I, Section 10, Clause 1 of, and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to, the Constitution of the United States, Americans may employ whatever currency they choose to stipulate as the medium for payment of their private debts, including gold or silver, or both, to the exclusion of a currency not redeemable in gold or silver that Congress may have designated “legal tender”; and

WHEREAS, under the aegis of Title 31, United States Code, § 5118(d)(2), and perforce of Article I, Section 8, Clause 5 and Article I, Section 10, Clause 1 of, and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to, the Constitution of the United States, the citizens of Virginia may choose to employ as the medium for payment of their private debts whatever alternative currency, consisting of gold or silver, or both, that the Commonwealth may adopt in the exercise of “the police power”; and

WHEREAS, in light of the possible instability of the Federal Reserve System, proposals for states and their citizens to adopt an alternative currency consisting of gold or silver, or both, are receiving increasing attention throughout the United States, as evidenced by bills that have been or are being introduced in the legislatures of the States of Georgia, Indiana, Montana, New Hampshire, and South Carolina; and

WHEREAS, various systems of alternative currency employing gold or silver, or both, in the form of coin or its equivalent in bullion have already proved themselves in the free market, and could either be employed by the Commonwealth directly or be used as models for a new system created by the Commonwealth to meet Virginia’s unique needs; and

WHEREAS, the adoption of an alternative currency consisting of gold or silver, or both, would not destabilize the present monetary and banking systems, the Commonwealth’s governmental finances, or Virginia’s private economy, because it would not compel or commit the Commonwealth or her citizens to employ such alternative currency to the exclusion of the Federal Reserve System’s currency immediately, but would merely make the alternative currency available, and enable it to be used in competition with and preference to the Federal Reserve System’s currency, to the degree that the need for such use became apparent; and

WHEREAS, the United States Congress, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the Federal Reserve System have taken and are preparing to take no action to provide the United States with an alternative to the Federal Reserve System’s currency, in the likely event that the latter would be destroyed through hyperinflation; and

WHEREAS, because legislators in Virginia know or should know all of these facts; and because the General Assembly has the authority, the ability, and the duty to take timely action to deal with this situation without first seeking the approval of or assistance from Congress or any other state; and because the Constitution of Virginia provides, “That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people, that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them”—for these reasons, the citizens of the Commonwealth will properly conclude that the members of the General Assembly will be primarily responsible if the Commonwealth is found to be without an alternative currency when the Federal Reserve System’s currency collapses in hyperinflation, or some other related economic calamity supervenes; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That a joint subcommittee be appointed to study whether the Commonwealth should adopt a currency to serve as an alternative to the currency distributed by the Federal Reserve System in the event of a major breakdown of the Federal Reserve System.

The joint subcommittee shall consist of eight legislative members who shall be appointed as follows: five members of the House of Delegates to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates in accordance with the principles of proportional representation contained in the Rules of the House of Delegates and three members of the Senate to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules. The joint subcommittee shall elect a chairman and vice-chairman from among its membership.

In conducting its study, the joint subcommittee shall call or hear from such witnesses and take such other evidence as it deems appropriate and shall consider recommendations for legislation, with respect to the need, means, and schedule for establishing such an alternative currency.

Administrative staff support shall be provided by the Office of the Clerk of the House of Delegates. Legal, research, policy analysis, and other services as requested by the joint subcommittee shall be provided by the Division of Legislative Services. Technical assistance shall be provided by the Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Bureau of Financial Institutions of the State Corporation Commission. All other agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the joint subcommittee for this study, upon request.

The joint subcommittee shall be limited to six meetings for the 2011 interim, and the direct costs of this study shall not exceed $12,000 without approval as set out in this resolution. Approval for unbudgeted nonmember-related expenses shall require the written authorization of the chairman of the joint subcommittee and the respective Clerk. If a companion joint resolution of the other chamber is agreed to, written authorization of both Clerks shall be required.

No recommendation of the joint subcommittee shall be adopted if a majority of the House members or a majority of the Senate members appointed to the joint subcommittee (i) vote against the recommendation and (ii) vote for the recommendation to fail notwithstanding the majority vote of the joint subcommittee.

The joint subcommittee shall complete its meetings by November 30, 2011, and the chairman shall submit to the Division of Legislative Automated Systems an executive summary of its findings and recommendations no later than the first day of the 2012 Regular Session of the General Assembly. The executive summary shall state that the joint subcommittee intends to submit to the General Assembly and the Governor a report of its findings and recommendations for publication as a House or Senate document and shall specify the date by which the report shall be submitted. The executive summary and the report shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports, and shall be posted on the General Assembly’s website.

Implementation of this resolution is subject to subsequent approval and certification by the Joint Rules Committee. The Committee may approve or disapprove expenditures for this study, extend or delay the period for the conduct of the study, or authorize additional meetings during the 2011 interim.

From the Virginia General Assembly.

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The inevitable consequence of the looting of the American people is upon us. The ruling class controls the wealth while the impoverished masses scrounge for sustenance. Expect more outbursts, more security clampdowns, more abuse of citizens by agents of the state, and more restrictions of speech.

There is a telling detail in the US retail chain store data for December. Stephen Lewis from Monument Securities points out that luxury outlets saw an 8.1pc rise from a year ago, but discount stores catering to America’s poorer half rose just 1.2pc.

Tiffany’s, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue are booming. Sales of Cadillac cars have jumped 35pc, while Porsche’s US sales are up 29pc.

Cartier and Louis Vuitton have helped boost the luxury goods stock index by almost 50pc since October. Yet Best Buy, Target, and Walmart have languished.

Such is the blighted fruit of Federal Reserve policy. The Fed no longer even denies that the purpose of its latest blast of bond purchases, or QE2, is to drive up Wall Street, perhaps because it has so signally failed to achieve its other purpose of driving down borrowing costs.

Yet surely Ben Bernanke’s `trickle down’ strategy risks corroding America’s ethic of solidarity long before it does much to help America’s poor.

The retail data can be quirky but it fits in with everything else we know. The numbers of people on food stamps have reached 43.2m, an all time-high of 14pc of the population. Recipients receive debit cards – not stamps — currently worth about $140 a month under President Obama’s stimulus package.

The US Conference of Mayors said visits to soup kitchens are up 24pc this year. There are 643,000 people needing shelter each night.

Jobs data released on Friday was again shocking. The only the reason that headline unemployment fell to 9.4pc was that so many people dropped out of the system altogether.

Read the rest at The Telegraph.

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File this article under “civil unrest.” The year 2011 may well be the year of the popular uprising as austerity hits home throughout the developed world. The unrest will be more acute in Europe than in the U.S. because the U.S. isn’t as highly socialized and fewer people are dependent on government largess—so far.

Unions are gearing up for a demonstration in the spring against the Government’s massive cuts in public spending, predicting it will be a “huge” national event.

The TUC is organising the protest in London on March 26 and said that by then, the impact of the austerity measures will have started to take hold, with an expected loss of tens of thousands of jobs.

Union members from across the UK are set to join the demonstration in London’s Hyde Park, which will follow a series of protests in recent weeks against increases in student tuition fees and cuts in public services.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “People have yet to feel the full impact of the Government’s cuts. When they do – as we saw with the cancellation of the schools building programme – they have been angry.

“But in 2011 thousands of people will lose their jobs and councils will have little choice about slashing away at popular and vital services.

“As it becomes more and more obvious that the cuts bear down on those who did least to cause the crash, while those who were responsible continue to live in their bonus-driven super-rich bubble, people will get even angrier.”

Read more at The Independent.

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From CNBC:

“In the Army, they’re having a very interesting year-long exercise called ‘Unified Quest 2011,’ and in that wargaming series they’re looking at the implications of large-scale economic breakdown inside the United States that would force the Army to keep ‘domestic order among civil unrest’ . . .”

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In the 21st Century Depression, people living in Hoovervilles aren’t left alone. They’re kicked in the teeth when they’re down.

“Police officers with box cutters showed up where St. Pete’s tent city residents had moved and set up. The cops slashed their tents to the ground as residents watched in shock. Now one homeless group is moving to label St. Petersburg as the ‘meanest city in the nation.’ Video by Tina May.”

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The ability of private U.S. citizens to grow their own food and store their own seeds is on the verge of being severely restricted if not outright eliminated:

A Senate bill to protect against contamination could leave small East Texas farmers and others across the nation devastated.  The Food Safety Modernization Act has been called the “most dangerous bill in the history of the United States.”

Daren Rozell, a local peach farmer, owns a store that sells farming chemicals.  He says, the bill essentially puts all food sold here in the U.S. under government control.  “They (government) can control your whole farming operation,” he says.

Local farmers say the bill would create more regulations and paperwork for small farmers, which would switch food supply power from small farms to large corporations.

Rozell says that all the farmers that are retired or hobby farmers are just going quit, and it’s going to force the big guys to downsize.

Read more at KETK-TV.

Meanwhile, huge corporations like Monsanto are consolidating their agricultural monopolies around the world, creating a real threat to biodiversity. This news comes from Guatemala:

A new report by ETC Group[1] reveals a dramatic upsurge in the number of patent claims on ‘climate-ready’ genes, plants and technologies that will supposedly allow biotech crops to tolerate drought and other environmental stresses (i.e. abiotic stresses) associated with climate change. The patent grab threatens to put a monopoly choke-hold on the world’s biomass and our future food supply, warns ETC Group. In many cases, a single patent or patent application claims ownership of engineered gene sequences that could be deployed in virtually all major crops – as well as the processed food and feed products derived from them.

Read more at The Guatemala Times.

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The new dollars being debited from the account of us, the American people, and on which we will pay interest, are going toward the purchase of products and the employment of people in other countries. This is a fine example of the way in which we’re forced to finance our own disenfranchisement. In the 21st Century, the condemned man is forced to pay for the rope with which he is hanged.

Southern Copper Corp., a Phoenix- based mining company that boasts some of the industry’s largest copper reserves, plans to invest $800 million this year in projects such as a new smelter and a more efficient natural-gas furnace.

Such spending sounds like just what the Federal Reserve had in mind in 2008 when it cut interest rates to near zero and started buying $1.7 trillion in securities to spur job growth. Yet Southern Copper, which raised $1.5 billion in an April debt offering, will use that money at its mines in Mexico and Peru, not the U.S., said Juan Rebolledo, spokesman for parent Grupo Mexico SAB de CV of Mexico City.

Southern Copper’s plans illustrate why the Fed’s second round of bond buying may not reduce unemployment, which has stalled near a 26-year high. Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his colleagues appear to be fueling a foreign-investment surge, underscoring the difficulty of stimulating the economy through monetary policy with interest rates already near record lows.

Read more at Bloomberg.com.

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