In Touch Financial—William Lenderman, III Financial Mentor
Email: WL3@whc.net /Website: keepingintouchfinancial.com
As I have mentioned in previous newsletters, my daily studies tend to raise issues, shed light on circumstances, and highlight thought-provoking possibilities. This newsletter is intended to share thoughts with you.
Long term, democracy as a form of government is the most destructive of all. For that reason, it is amazing how often we hear the word democracy used. Simply put, in a democracy, if fifty-one percent of the voters vote to rob, enslave, or kill the other forty-nine percent, it is perfectly legal to do so.
It is well to remember a quote from Ben Franklin. “Democracy is two wolfs and a lamb deciding what to eat for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb debating the outcome.”
Our country was built on the philosophy, that if people are free, they are empowered to accomplish their dreams and leave the world a better place for their children. In a democracy, there is an initial tendency toward greed. In effect, greed says that if somebody else has something we don’t have, the implication is we can take it away from him. In a democracy, the next step from there is envy. Envy is the recognition that someone else has something we don’t have, and which we believe we can never obtain. Envious people are only satisfied by destroying whatever the other person owns. A wise man once said, “The effect of trying to appease envy is to provoke more of it.”
It seems fair to say that the graduated tax system is designed to punish those who are the most productive. Combined with rewarding those who are unproductive, the stage is set for the worst sort of envy and destruction.
Many of us have long wondered about the continuing unrest in the Middle Eastern and African countries. Perhaps my sharing a common thread will be helpful for you to develop a better understanding of these developments.
Years ago, the government of Iran was overthrown. More recently, the government ofIraqwas also is overthrown. The government of Libya is now being overthrown. The government of Egypt was overthrown. The government ofSyriais actively being overthrown.
In every one of these cases, our American government has been instrumental in fomenting and financing these revolutions. All of these overthrown dictators were considered to be “secular” leaders. The term secular simply means that these individuals are not primarily motivated by Islamic beliefs. Like all dictators, we could easily find fault with every single one of them. The truth is that every one of them maintained order in their countries and provided a surprising amount of freedom to their citizens. In every case, the American government, and others have worked to destroy these governments by replacing them with Islamic fundamentalists. The goal of Islamic fundamentalism is to subjugate the entire world under Islam. Those who refuse to accept Allah as the one and only God must be murdered, enslaved, or forced to pay tribute for their very existence.
After the Muslim takeover of Iran, there was a counter-revolution. It failed.Iran has been a dangerous place ever since. In Iran, counter revolutionIraq, andSyria, citizens are being murdered every day. The toll is in the hundreds of thousands. Islamic fundamentalists have the upper hand. They are even happy with killing one another whenever they disagree. One bright spot isEgypt. The dictator brought to power about two years ago moved so quickly to destroy the economy and force the citizens under Sharia lawcounter-revolution by the military. InEgypt, the Army heard the outcries of the people and took over. Of all these countries, this is the only counter revolution that may be succeeding. The outcome still remains to be seen.
Concerning those constant talks about the biochemical weapons inSyria, it is true thatSyriahas these weapons. They were manufactured in theUnited Statesand sent by various routes into the country to build the arsenal of the present regime. There is a great cry— the Syrian regime must go— because of the danger that these weapons will be unleashed around the world. The irony is the fact that the present leadership recognizes it will be crushed by allied forces. Already, the disruption caused by the civil war has led to some of the arsenal being captured by Muslim fundamentalists. The gassing deaths of civilians murdered by Muslim fundamentalist have been blamed on the current regime. This is being used for propaganda purposes as an excuse for the current attack on the existing government.
All this is ironic. The logical outcome is that the current regime might begin distributing these chemical and biological weapons to other countries and to other groups of individuals who have good reason to hate the Western allies. That is a strong probability. By their actions, theUnited Statesand its allies now have developed a compelling reason to attack and replace the current regime with one which will prove to be far worse, and a far more militant enemy against everything Western. These developments makeSyriaa unique circumstance. Allied forces rolled over the military might of all the other countries like a tank running over a child. The outcome of the current invasion ofLibyais likely to be different in astonishing and terrible ways.
Even in our own government, at least six individuals who are active members of the Muslim brotherhood have been appointed to high positions at the White House.
Largely as a result of our government and other Western nations, fundamental Islam is sweeping a large area of this planet. Winston Churchill made this statement many years ago, “ The fact that in Mohammedian law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the face of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men”.
What does all this mean to us as Americans? After seeing our taxes rise, our freedoms dwindling, and our privacy disappearing, we should well heed another quote from Winston Churchill. “If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when the victory is sure and not too costly; when you come to the moment when you have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival, there may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”
Again, I am proud of all my clients for taking personal responsibility toward their financial affairs. This is the first step to protecting our families and eventually as a benefit to the entire nation.
You can be significantly affected by the new Obama care laws starting in January 2014. One of the most obvious effects will be a flat fee for every individual who does not purchase personal insurance. Each individual will either pay the flat fee or percentage of taxable income, whichever is greater.
These payments will be phased-in.
1) In 2014 the fee will be $95.00 or 1% of your taxable income.
2) In 1025 the fee will be $325.00 or 2% of your taxable income.
3) In 2016 the fee will be $695.00 or 2.5% of your taxable income.
Remember, that these are fees per person per year and the amount would be the higher of the flat fee or percentage of your income. In a relatively short time, you can expect the fees to be greater that the price of the health insurance. At that point, every individual can be expected to switch to the health insurance whether he wants it or not.
I have been told that individuals having health insurance at present will not be required to change their plans. It is my understanding that these present plans will not have the ability to raise prices. As soon as costs outrun the premiums causing the insurance companies to lose money, these plans will be dropped. The effect will be that everyone will soon be under a government program in one form or another.
FAST FOOD STRIKE
It is amazing how many times events are misrepresented in the press. One of the latest is the so-called “fast food strike”. News reports indicted that fast food workers were striking because they believed they deserved higher pay. The truth is that most employers will pay the employees as much as possible in order to attract and retain good workers. It is also true that individuals will not accept a job or remain in a job if they do not feel they are being properly rewarded. In addition, it is true that fast food companies are often the first step for individuals coming new into the work force.
It turns out that the strikers in this most recent incident were not even employees. They were outsiders brought in to make a show for the prestitutes and to convince the public that the current fast food company wages are unfair.
The truth is, the fast food businesses can’t afford to pay more. A pay raise would potentially reduce or eliminate profit and drive them out of business. You have to ask, who gains by this recent tactic? You might start by looking into the Service Employees International Union which coordinated this so-called strike. A number of pressure groups coordinated with each other in this effort. These include the new incarnation of ACORN, the American Federation of Teachers, and other groups who could afford to strike without placing their own jobs in jeopardy.
It is intriguing to see that television reaches approximately 89% of the totalUnited Statespopulation. The internet reaches approximately 73.1%. Radio reaches approximately 58.8%. Newspapers reach approximately 36.1%.
What makes these figures so fascinating is the relative influence each one of these media exerts on the public. Forty percent of all customers first learned about new brand items from the TV. 37.2% of individuals cited television ads as the reason for making a purchase. Internet ads only reach about 8.7% of the population and about 5.6% of individuals whose see ads on the internet actually buy. I find these figures fascinating. The future trends will certainly be interesting.
The banking crisis which became evident in 2008 is still very much with us. It is interesting to note that there were approximately eighteen thousand banks in theUSAin 1985. There are currently approximately seven thousand banks remaining. Six hundred and twelve of these banks are on the FDIC “problem bank” list. Approximately five of these troubled banks are closed every Friday. Closing more would be virtually impossible due staff limitations. In addition, closing significantly more than five banks each week could run the risk if triggering a panic among depositors.
It has long been my opinion that using the “Bank on Yourself” concept is a much safer way to store and have full control over money. In addition, if enough people were to adopt the concept, inflation could finally be overcome. In times when the value of money remains stable, the normal individual has no need to invest. He can do so if he wishes, but simply holding onto the money allows him to grow wealth without risk. In this way, every household has the opportunity to grow and to prosper. Under the present circumstances, people believe they need to gamble their money to stay ahead of inflation. Gamblers are usually losers. It would be a lovely change if we could return to a stable time when money holds its value. You can be part of the solution.
A PROPER MINDSET
It is critically important to look at evidence as it becomes available. Being willfully blind can be one of the most expensive mistakes an individual can make. It is critical to our success that we retain an open mind and the ability to analyze options.
Bertrand Russell said it very well. “If a man is offered a fact that goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely. Unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If on the other hand, he is offered something that affords a reason for acting in accordance with his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence”.
You will soon celebrate the first of the two most important events in the entire history of the world. The Lord Jesus came down from His throne in heaven and covered His glory with human flesh to live among us as a human being. He lived his life in perfect obedience to God’s laws. This made him the spotless lamb who sacrifice was made once for all the sins of the world. Whatever happens in this life, we can recognize that we have a wonderful creator. He is in charge. Someday we will understand the reason for everything that happened to us in our entire lives. I’m sure we will be thrilled to see the outcome. Again, have a Blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year.