A Summer Reading List: Part I

Summer is a time for BBQ’s, beer, family, beach and hammock snoozing. It’s also a good time to catch up on some reading that you’ve been neglecting all year. Might as well read, if you’re going to take the time to do so, some of the most revolutionary books out there. Books that will help you understand the country you live in, the society you’re apart of, and also, to challenge some of the misconceptions you might hold as truths. Here’s part 1 of 3 of my summer reading list that will surely give you a better understanding about the world you live in.

JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters—This is one of the greatest books written about the JFK assassination and it should be read by every American breathing today. The author not only proves that JFK was taken out by deep politics within the United States National Security State, but he explains why he was killed. The ‘why’ is the most important factor. In brief, JFK turned from a cold war warrior to a man of peace. He made enemies for not complying with the powers that be. He was a threat to the Military Industrial- Complex and had to be eliminated. A man of peace, with power, will surely meet his demise in a corrupt empire, especially if you challenge a war that brings great profit and power to government officials that hold the true power. Like I said, a must read.

They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45—Butler Shaffer explains this important book as following, “In the late 1940s, Mayer (the author) went to Germany and got to know a number of German people quite well, actually living with some. These people had not been government officials or Nazi party leaders, but just the ordinary men and women who do the productive work in any society. He eventually began asking them questions about what it was like to have lived under the Nazi police state, to have endured tyrannical practices. Their virtually unanimous responses, as indicated by the title of the book, were that there had been no loss of freedom in Germany that, indeed, they had considered themselves “free” at all times!” In short, tyranny sometimes is disguised as patriotism. Some of the Nazi’s were just law-abiding, flag waving patriots of their own country just following orders. The evil that they conducted was justified in their minds as “serving their country.” You have to read this one!

A Renegade History of the United States—This was a fun and interesting read. It slices through the myths of a goody two-shoe America and shows how the outlaws and the fringe-of-society folks really made this country. From the book’s description on Amazon, the author “vibrantly argues that it was history’s iconoclasts who established many of our most cherished liberties. Russell finds these pioneers of personal freedom in the places that usually go unexamined—saloons and speakeasies, brothels and gambling halls, and even behind the Iron Curtain. He introduces a fascinating array of antiheroes: drunken workers who created the weekend; prostitutes who set the precedent for women’s liberation… there are also the criminals who pioneered racial integration, unassimilated immigrants who gave us birth control, and brazen homosexuals who broke open America’s sexual culture.”

The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War—From the historian and author of this phenomenal book, “The real Lincoln was a dictator and a tyrant who shredded the Constitution, fiendishly orchestrated the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens, and did it all for the economic benefit of the special interests who funded the Republican Party (and his own political career).” A new look at the beloved president.

Meltdown—This is the greatest book out on the financial collapse of 2008. The historian, Tom Woods, shows that it wasn’t the lack of government regulation that caused the housing bust, but rather, government intervention into the economy. Regulations, the Federal Reserve’s artificial interest rates and the demand for banks to reduce their lending standards, all helped contribute to the biggest economic bust since the depression days. And it was all predicted by a minority of economists who were laughed at on the mainstream networks when they tried to warn everyone. (Watch it here)  This book also gives a good account of what really caused the Great Depression of the 1930’s. From inside the flap, “Meltdown also provides a timely history lesson to counter the current clamor for a new New Deal. The Great Depression, Woods demonstrates, was only as deep and as long as it was because of the government interventions by Herbert Hoover (no free-market capitalist, despite what your high school history teacher may have taught you) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (no savior of the American economy, in spite of what the mainstream media says). If you want to understand what caused the financial meltdown–and why none of the big-government solutions being tried today will work–Meltdown explains it all.”

Part II will continue next week.

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Understanding the Coming Financial Crash

I think history will show that America has been in a financial depression since 2008. I believe we’re in a depression right now but its hard to see on the surface. 1 in 7 people in this country depend on the government to eat. We’ve all seen pictures of the long soup lines in the Great Depression era. That’s our reality now, but instead of waiting in lines, folks receive their food stamps by mail. The current depression though is masked over with a flood of fiat money and questionable government statistics. The debt bubble can no longer hide its impending fate. Even the central bank, which caused this debt disaster, is finally coming to grip with this reality. Kind of.

Main stream media and the highly misguided economists have been informing us lately that the so-called “recovery” is slowing. What they seem to misunderstand is that the “recovery” was created by printing money and running up an insane amount of debt. This works for a little bit. Just enough time to get politicians re-elected.  But right now we’re entering the stage of the inevitable bust. It cannot be stopped no matter what the experts are telling the public.

The artificially stimulation of the economy is what the government has been doing ever since the recession hit after September 11th. The housing boom was created by the Fed’s policies and the assumption that everyone should own their own home, even if they couldn’t afford it. Cheap money, low-interest rates and reduced lending standards all contributed to the boom and bust of the housing market. Now the Fed is doing the same exact thing to try to help the economy again. But the fundamental problems are still lingering. The artificial high that the fed injected into the economy is finally coming down. The “recovery” bust is lurking.

As the economically ignorant, from the President down to the news pundits, regurgitate some feel good rhetoric about the economy recovering, the reality is quite different. In the US, 6 million people are living in poverty. 76% of all Americans believe we’re still in a recession. Only 23% of US businesses plan on hiring in the near future. US retail as been on a steady decline for the past few months, along with manufacturing.  For the first time ever, Canadian households are wealthier than Americans. We as a nation don’t produce anything anymore. We live off borrowed money and consume more than we save. This is unsustainable for the future and the day of reckoning is near.

During the nearly 20 year Great Depression that was kicked off with the October market crash of 1929, there were times when the stock market and unemployment recovered for a bit, just to drop off again. As of writing this right now the stock market is down over 220 points. The media pundits inform me that the reason for the sell off is due to fear in Europe. But what they seem to neglect to tell their viewers is that the stock market is highly over inflated due to the Bernanke’s cheap money and artificial low-interest rates. It is sad to see that the stock market, which is what most Americans depend on for their retirement, is dictated on what the Federal Reserve is possible going to do. Are they going to unleash QE3 or are they not? The US media talks about how bad Greece is financially and are totally clueless that their own country is just as bad. Central bankers think they can manipulate the system,as they have been for years, and inflate their way out of the crisis. Printing money has worked artificially for a long time. It can’t last forever as we’ve seen in in 1923 Germany. A 15 trillion-dollar national debt cannot be paid, especially with a 1.2 trillion dollar deficit.

Understanding why the economy is in shambles is the first step to a recovery. If most people misplace blame and call for more of the medicine that made them sick in the first place, the economy has no chance. We have to understand that the Federal Reserve cannot inflate its way out of the mess. Printing money and setting interest rates artificially low is punishing anyone who wants to save. This act devalues the currency that Americans work so hard for. I can see nothing more immoral than cheapening one’s earnings…deliberately.

The only thing I can advise is that anyone who wants a better way of life for their kids must gain as much knowledge as you can about history and economics. Once you know what is happening and why it’s happening, you can prepare for the upcoming crises. Europe is the window to our foreseeable future.

Here are a list of books that will help you understand the crash of 2008 and how we can prepare for the next one.

  1. Meltdown by Thomas Woods Jr. This is by far the best book written on why the 2008 crash happened, who was responsible for it, and why bailouts will not work.
  2. The Real Crash by Peter Schiff. The author of this book was one of the economists trying to vehemently warn Americans of the housing crash only to be laughed at by news pundits. This new book warns of the upcoming crash and what we can do to prepare. We ignored him the first time; let’s not make that mistake again.
  3.  How and Economy Grows and Why It Crashes by Peter Schiff. Mr. Schiff offers a very readable explanation of how the economy is supposed to grow and what triggers the boom/bust cycle. A must read.
  4. Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt. One of the most important books I’ve read on economics. Hazlitt brings the most logical explanation of the fallacies of government intervention into the voluntary exchange of free and willing individuals.
  5. The Law by Frederic Bastiat. Published in 1850, this book is just as relevant today as back then. If every politician read and understood this book we’d eliminate most of the ills plaguing our once great country. The greatest case for liberty is written in this small and very readable book. Plus, it’s only .99 cents on kindle.