BITCOINS: THE NEW FREE MARKET
In the article below we discuss the nature of the market, the constraints that have enslaved the worlds markets, and the free market opportunity that has recently been created by advances in technology. In accordance with the Titanian Code of Honor, and its purpose to advance human creativity, we are doing everything in our power to increase awareness of this new free market, thereby changing the culture of human society in a beneficial way. To that end we are hereby launching the Titanian Free Market Project.
Creativity Breeds Prosperity
I’ve long maintained that “Creativity breeds prosperity” – because everything we really love and cherish in our lives is derived from one or another form of creativity. There are many resources that increase and enhance creativity – and of these the most important is freedom. In the absence of freedom, (i.e. tyranny) our available choices shrink and our creativity is diminished or stifled entirely.
The Role of Freedom
It should be noted that while freedom is a necessary condition for humans to thrive, it is not on its own a sufficient condition. People in the so-called “freedom movement” seem to expect that increasing freedom across the board, as it were, will solve the severe problem that our species is currently facing. What they fail to realize is that when freedom increases for everyone it also increases for psychopaths and sociopaths, who by their very nature are predatory, parasitic, or destructive. Such people are drawn, like moths to a flame, to places of power like Banks, Organized Religions and Government (the BORG). This is why one cannot build a valid ethic around the maximization of freedom – though we can around the maximization of creativity – and its logical equivalents: love, awareness, objective truth, and personal evolution.
Of the various arenas in which freedom plays an important role, one of the most profound is the market – which I broadly define as the exchange of value between two or more individual people. In any market an ethical transaction is always one in which each party concludes the transaction believing herself to have benefitted from the exchange. For example, if I buy a widget from you, I wanted the widget more than the money I paid for it – whereas you wanted the money more than the widget. This is the nature of win-win transactions. Unfortunately, such transactions become much harder to attain when the market is constrained by external forces.
Market Freedom Constraints
In today’s world, almost all markets are heavily constrained. Most of the constraints fall into three categories: Sanctions, Taxes, and Regulations.
In the case of sanctions, an analysis of their nature and effects could fill a whole book. In fact such a book exists. It was written by the world-class economist, Robert McGee. Reference to it is: A Trade Policy for Free Societies: The Case Against Protectionism, Quorum Books, 1994. I’ll summarize its conclusions, with which I agree, by pointing out:
· + Trade sanctions never work – which is to say they never produce the intended effects;
· + They always produce destructive consequences; and
· + They are highly unethical.
Since sanctions only affect most of us very indirectly, I’ll leave it to McGee to explain them, and move on to a discussion of how taxes constrain trade.
As I’ve demonstrated previously, taxation is a form of slavery. As pointed out by Frédéric Bastiat in 1850, and more recently by the estimable Larken Rose, when a group of people, calling themselves legislators, take resources from one person or group and bestow them upon another individual or group, the process is based on the notion that a certain group of individuals has the right, by virtue of their authority, to commit acts which would be crimes if performed by any of those people individually. That concept of “authority” is the lynchpin of the whole process – because, factually, authority is a myth – or, to put it another way, authority is a shared hallucination induced in us by the most predatory members of our society.
Consider how taxes constrain the market. If an employer, for example, wants to offer you a job, you and he both have to figure in the income tax that he will withhold from your earnings. Whether or not you are aware of it consciously, the employer is a tax collector’s agent – bent on stealing a portion of your earnings. He signs up as a privilege of being in business to take your money for the government and you sign up to let him do it. Or if you don’t, you can’t have the job. Have a fun time supporting yourself without one. By the way, In a free labor market this would not be happening, and the employer’s offer would be more attractive.
When you go to the store and buy something you need or want, the store owner, by means of a sales tax privilege (license), tacks a sales tax onto the price you must pay. You don’t want to pay the tax, but you don’t get the product you unless do. Like the employer above, the store owner is a tax collection agent. She doesn’t like this role any more than you do – but she’s been coerced into serving the state. She wants to be in business for herself but the Government requires her to be an agent for the state, in return for the “privilege” of being in business.
In fact, as things stood until very recently, the only way you could conduct any kind of business transaction without some government taking a share of the proceeds, was to pay cash – which of course is anonymous – and possibly secret from the tax collectors. Do you wonder why our government (and Banks), have launched a move to outlaw cash transactions – to permit only electronic transactions? Mark my words, it’s coming soon.
I hope it’s obvious from these few examples that taxation takes a bite out of almost every market transaction – and that we’d all be better off if it didn’t – as we’d have better choices available to us. At a basic level we could buy and sell goods and services without some third party affecting the pricing.
And lastly, let’s talk about regulations. When you buy goods and services manufactured or imported by big companies, a sizable portion of the cost pays for the company’s expenses in complying with government regulations. Smaller, more innovative, companies are often driven out of business by such compliance costs. There are many products sold in other countries that are better and much cheaper than their domestic counterparts – but regulations forbid their import, so you have to pay higher prices for the “made in USA” label.
Harry Browne who was the United States libertarian presidential candidate in 1996 and 2000, wrote the book, “Why Government Doesn’t Work”. Page 97 indicates that the cost of regulation is between 10 and 32%.
A study by Thomas D. Hopkins of the Rochester Institute of Technology estimated the cost of federal regulation at $600 billion annually, which is 11% of the $5,599 billion national income for 1994. A 1992 study for the Heritage Foundation by William G. Laffer, III, and Nancy A. Bord estimated the net cost of regulation (after allowing for the benefits regulation might produce) to be between 16% and 32% of the national income.
It is impossible to calculate precisely the cost of regulation, but it’s obvious that it exacts an enormous cost from us — and that it eats up at least 10% of the national income. Add that to the 48% that federal, state, and local governments tax away from us, and at least 58% of your earnings are diverted to satisfy the government before you get to spend anything on yourself.
But the real cost of regulation is incalculable, we have no idea what an enterprising person might have created but didn’t because his resources, both in time and money for compliance were stolen from him by the government.
The fact is that we don’t need most of the regulations – they don’t actually serve us. It would be much cheaper and more economical to establish more websites like Angie’s List and Consumer Reports – where we could quickly find out what businesses deserve our trust, what products are dangerous, or where to go for the best deal.
So given that possibility, how did we, as a society, get to our present circumstances: taxed and regulated into near poverty by government authorities that threaten to steal our homes, empty our bank accounts, and/or throw us in cages if we don’t comply with their demands? For the answer to that one, we need to discuss cartels.
The Dominance of Cartels
Most folks think that cartels are something remote – distant. We think of oil cartels in the Middle East or drug cartels in Latin America. Yet the reality is that since the early 1900s, almost every industry in this country has been dominated by a cartel.
So what is a cartel? It is simply a shared monopoly that exists for just 2 purposes:
1. 1. To maximize the profits of the cartel’s members, and
2. 2. To maintain the monopoly position of the cartel.
As far as the definition goes, cartels don’t sound all that ominous. But here’s the kicker. Every successful cartel persuades a government to enforce the cartel’s rules. This eliminates the possibility of real competition – thereby decimating the otherwise free market. And governments go along with this partnership because they too get a benefit. At the very least, governments get bigger, their budgets grow, and their power over others expands. Workers in these government bureaucracies acquire more “responsibility” (power), get promoted to supervise more people, get raises and an increase of their prestige. Little wonder they like acting in complicity with cartels.
A few examples are in order. Central Banks, financial brokerages, academic institutions, political parties and all of the so-called professions are run by cartels. If you need a license or an academic degree to do it, it’s run by a cartel. And if you are licensed, you are a member of a cartel. Whether you are a doctor, lawyer, therapist, dentist, veterinarian, carpenter, plumber, electrician, hair dresser, or a general contractor… in short anyone with a “license”, you have unwittingly bought into a cartel. The government is itself a power brokerage cartel. That’s why you need government permission (a license) to drive a car, fish in the river, modify your home, ingest a medicinal herb, or otherwise do the things you would do just as well or better without a license.
Thus it is that, at the behest of the cartels, the government, be it federal, state, county, municipal, or special district, steps in and tinkers with the market in a variety of destructive ways:
· + Commercial banks, as permitted by government, lend money they don’t have – again stealing your money and outright defrauding everyone in the market. In addition they report your transactions to the IRS – empowering them to steal from you.
· + Speaking of the IRS, it is estimated that, on average, one dollar out of every three that you spend goes to pay for your vendors’ expense in attempting to comply with all the tax codes that apply to them. Again that makes everything you buy in the market more expensive than it would be otherwise.
· + Taxing Agencies at all levels of government collectively steal over 50% of your money. If they didn’t, you’d have twice as much money with which to participate in the market.
· + Tariffs on imported goods are supposed to protect domestic producers – but the net effect is that consumers have to spend more to make desired purchases.
· + So called Money Services Businesses (Money Transporters) include credit/debit card processors, banks that make wire transfers, and a miscellaneous category. To use these businesses’ services you have to be willing to divulge your personal and financial data to them. Their main drawback is that, in compliance with government mandates, their records are transparent to most government agencies. So you can’t use them without revealing where you are and what you’ve purchased. If the “powers that be” disapprove, they are quite capable of intercepting you as you leave the store.
· + Prohibitions are probably the worst offenders in their disruption of an otherwise free market. Buying something prohibited by government edict is considered by “justice officials” to be a crime – despite the fact that law dictionaries define “crimes” as acts which have victims. People’s bodies or property must be damaged for a real crime to have been committed. Acts forbidden by government edict are called mala prohibita – and the penalties for disobeying these edicts can be very severe. The ethics tells us that enforcement of “laws” forbidding mala prohibita is unethical – and itself constitutes real crime, or mala in se.
So why do we tolerate all this government interference in our lives and our markets? The answer is mainly because the enforcers of these practices wear quaint costumes and have a monopoly on force. They carry badges, tasers, pepper spray, batons, gavels, and guns, which the government gives them permission to use with impunity to enforce their “laws”. It would be just as correct however to say it’s because most of us have been indoctrinated into believing that these weapon-wielding thugs and their black-robed and expensively-suited supporters somehow have “authority” on their side. This is a blatant lie! No one has a right to do collectively what would be a crime if done by an individual. When a cop pulls you over for a busted tail-light (not a crime) and winds up beating you up and hauling you into jail, he has committed assault, battery, and kidnapping. If he shoots you dead, it’s murder.
Real Market Freedom
Since you are still reading, you understand that to have a truly free market we must be able to side-step sanctions, avoid taxes, and safely ignore regulations. As unlikely as the fact may seem – the means to accomplish this is in hand today. The key is the judicious use of the recently invented digital currency called “BitCoins”.
Pros and Cons
Before discussing the tools needed to avail yourself of the BitCoin economy, let’s briefly examine the ethics of side-stepping sanctions, avoiding taxes, and ignoring regulations. Quite frankly, if you still believe sanctions, taxes, and regulations are good things, you are living in the matrix. Wake UP! If you have any critical thinking skills that haven’t been beaten out of you by the mandatory youth indoctrination camps (schools), read this article for an in-depth discussion of ethics, law, and government.
Because the major cartels control the creation of government edicts, the establishment of sanctions, taxes, and regulations is, you can be sure, not for your protection or benefit – but for theirs. Their financial interests are at stake – and when they win, you lose. If you think otherwise, you believe a series of lies that the BORG has created to manipulate your mind.
Tools for Achieving Market
The primary tools for achieving real market freedom are anonymous browsers, strong encryption, virus/malware protection programs, and digital currency. So what are these tools?
· An anonymous browser, or anonymizer, allows you to visit websites without your identity or i.p. address being recorded or compromised. Thus whatever you do on the websites, your visit is truly private and cannot be traced back to your computer or identity. While there are multiple such browsers available, the best known and most widely used one is called Tor. You can download it for free at the preceding link.
· Strong encryption is needed so that your privacy cannot be compromised by an examination of your computer’s hard drive, or your portable drives and flash drives. If Uncle Sam suspects that you are participating in the free market, you can bet your last dollar one of his minions will try to figure out what you are doing – and there are a number of techniques by which this can be done if you don’t exercise certain precautions. Similarly, if you encounter the TSA at an airport or elsewhere, you may be subject to an invasion of your computer privacy even with NO suspicion.
· Malware protection is widely available on the Internet – and there’s nothing to keep you from using multiple programs to ensure that what one program misses another can detect. These programs aren’t perfect, so it behooves you to use more than one.
· Now we get to the interesting new technology
that makes the free market a reality: Digital Currency. There have long been
digital currencies available, but in the past they’ve all been susceptible to
government intrusion – for the simple reason that their creators set them up
using a website that could be attacked by the shutting down of the website or
the raiding of the headquarters of the system’s creators.
But a few years ago a brilliant anonymous computer programmer invented a digital currency called BitCoins – and everything changed. The BitCoin system has no central server or physical headquarters, but instead is what has come to be called a distributed peer-to-peer network. Those who are familiar with online file-sharing will realize that the immunity of file-sharing programs is based on this same design concept. Its primary features are these:
o The entire BitCoin system is heavily encrypted.
o The value of a BitCoin is determined by its
perceived value – as in any free market.
o Exchanges exist that allow one to buy BitCoins at
the going price with other currencies on a global basis. While these exchanges
could be attacked or destroyed by government, the BitCoin system wouldn’t even
hiccup – because exchanges are easy to set up and new ones would spring up
faster than government could take them down. You might want to consider setting
one up yourself.
o BitCoins are used anonymously – so the
identities of buyer and seller cannot be determined by a third party.
o The system generates new BitCoins by means of a
process called “mining” which occurs at an ever-diminishing rate – so when 21
million BitCoins are in circulation the mining stops and the number of BitCoins
will remain fixed thereafter. This insures that BitCoins cannot suffer from
inflation and their value cannot be debased or manipulated, as is the case with
today’s fiat currencies.
In fact, as the value of BitCoins continues to grow they will experience deflation – meaning that the buying power of each BitCoin increases. This is unlikely to be a problem, as the smallest denomination of a BitCoin is .00000001 – thus, if the value of a BitCoin grew to $1,000,000, the smallest denomination would be worth about 1¢ in the marketplace.
Let’s take a moment to compare BitCoins with other currencies. The value of a currency ultimately depends upon how useful it is to its owners. Every viable currency exhibits these properties:
· o Scarcity
The world’s fiat currencies exhibit all of these properties except one – Scarcity. When a central bank issues trillions of currency units (as does our Federal Reserve), it steals the buying power of every unit in circulation. The value of each unit diminishes and prices appear to rise. In this way the buying power of the dollar has dropped by more than 96% since the establishment of the Federal Reserve in 1913. This inflation is actually a hidden tax. Fiat currencies enable governments to tax the people, without the majority of people even being aware of it.
Moreover, fiat currencies are linked to the banking system, which
destroys all monetary privacy, because the government requires the banks to
report any “suspicious activity” in your account. This is done under the
pretext of protecting the public from “money laundering” and the sale of
“contraband” (i.e. drugs and guns). As a
proponent of the free market, I am much more afraid of the government’s
invasion of my privacy than I am of the threat of money laundering or
contraband. After all, “money laundering” just means “financial privacy” and
“contraband” simply refers to ownership prohibition, which the government has
no moral right to impose.
So let’s examine other currencies – backed by gold or silver. These provide durability and scarcity, but are not as portable or readily divisible as BitCoins. Moreover, their use is expensive. Transporting any significant amount of gold or silver requires security measures and a trustworthy carrier. How are we to know whom to trust? And if you successfully ship your gold to a secure facility in Singapore, how are you to use it? And who is to say that a regime change in Singapore won’t jeopardize your holdings there. The need to entrust your holdings to a third party is a significant risk.
Alternatively you could buy physical gold or silver and keep it with you at home. But now you have to provide security against theft or government “confiscation”. To think your government won’t raid your home and confiscate your gold is naïve – they’ve done it before and are likely to do it again.
By contrast, BitCoins provide all four desired properties: scarcity, durability, portability, and divisibility. In fact, so portable are BitCoins that you could use some to make a purchase from someone in a foreign country – anywhere in the world – and no one would know, nor could any government stop you. In addition to the desirable features described above, BitCoins provide financial privacy, the scarcest commodity in today’s global police state. The only way the use of BitCoins could be curtailed would be to shut down the Internet in its entirety – but in today’s world, this would be a disaster for the entire global economy, communications and transportation systems. Even if an EMP pulse were to knock out 99% of all the computers and the internet, the entire chain of transactions, known as the “blockchain”, is stored on every computer running the BitCoin client. When the Internet came back online, you would still have all your BitCoins. And the system, being open source, would repopulate itself. Voila!
The Titanian Free Market Project
In keeping with the ethics of the Titania Project, we are hereby launching the Titanian Free Market Project. In future articles we’ll bring you more detailed information about:
· o Access to free market Tools,
o The proper use of free market tools,
o Advantageous ways to establish a free market business, and
o Specific business opportunities in the free market.
o Free market risks and how to deal with them.
The BORG hates the idea of a truly free market – because a free market, such as I’ve described above, cannot be controlled, taxed, or otherwise manipulated – not by the cartels, not by the banks, not by the IRS, not by the courts, and not by the gun toting thugs who serve these interests. The reason the government has control of the “money” is because it is theirs – they own it. Give to Caesar, what is Caesars! And they can keep it! BitCoins are outside the jurisdiction of the government, totally off shore, existing only in cyberspace!
For this reason it is altogether predictable that governments the world over will attempt to intervene – by whatever means they can – and I’ll tell you when things will come to a head. It will get really nasty when employers and employees realize that both will benefit when employees’ salaries are paid in BitCoins – thereby completely bypassing the banks and all their snoopy complicit reporting – not to mention that the income tax will be in its death-throes at that point. Can you see it?
The governments’ first step will be to outlaw BitCoins – to prohibit them – to make it illegal to own them or trade with them. We’ll be told that those who use them are money launderers, pedophiles, porn brokers, smugglers, gun runners and terrorists. Of course we’ve all seen how effective previous attempts at prohibition have been. They fail quickly enough when transactions are not anonymous. No one need know that you own or trade with BitCoins, if you observe a few simple precautions while using them.
As far as transforming our world, BitCoin is a game-changer. It offers all the same reasons to buy it as gold and silver, plus you can send it around the world in an instant! It is outside the purview of any government and using BitCoins does not contribute to Governmental terrorism. It takes money, and, for the first time in history, puts it in the hands of the WE THE PEOPLE! The time now is to buy BitCoins and start trading them for things you need. The value has gone up over 1200% since the beginning of the year! Start by dumping the dollar for BitCoins and deprive the BORG of the resources they need to enslave you. As more and more people continue to use them the value will continue to go up. Which would you rather have - BitCoins, a currency that is increasing in value or the dollar, a currency that has been systematically devalued by 96% since 1913?
Meanwhile, stay tuned and