(SIMON BLACK) In February 1768, a revolutionary article entitled “No taxation without representation” was published London Magazine.
The article was a re-print of an impassioned speech made by Lord Camden arguing in parliament against Britain’s oppressive tax policies in the American colonies.
Britain had been milking the colonists like medieval serfs. And the idea of ‘no taxation without representation’ was revolutionary, of course, because it became a rallying cry for the American Revolution.
The idea was simple: colonists had no elected officials representing their interests in the British government, therefore they were being taxed without their consent.
To the colonists, this was tantamount to robbery.
Thomas Jefferson even included “imposing taxes without our consent” on the long list of grievances claimed against Great Britain in the Declaration of Independence.
It was enough of a reason to go to war.
These days we’re taught in our government-controlled schools that taxation without representation is a thing of the past, because, of course, we can vote for (or against) the politicians who create tax policy.
But this is a complete charade. Here’s an example:
Just yesterday, the Federal Reserve announced that it would keep interest rates at 0.25%.
Now, this is all part of a ridiculous monetary system in which unelected Fed officials raise and lower rates to induce people to adjust their spending habits.
If they want us little people to spend more money, they cut rates. If they want us to spend less, they raise rates.
It’s incredibly offensive when you think about it– the entire financial system is underpinned by a belief that a committee of bureaucrats knows better than us about what we should be doing with our own money.
So this time around the grand committee decided to keep interest rates steady at 0.25%.
Depending on where you sit, this has tremendous implications.
If you’re in debt up to your eyeballs (like the US government), low interest rates are great.
It means the government can continue to borrow even more money and go even deeper into debt.
Low interest rates are also good for banks, because they can borrow for nothing from the Fed, then earn a handsome profit on that free money.
But if you’re a responsible saver, low interest rates are debilitating.
Banks only pay their depositors about 0.1% interest. Yet according to the US Labor Department, inflation is at least 1.1%, and has averaged 2.23% since 2000.
This means that when adjusted for inflation, anyone who bothers saving money is losing at least 1% every single year.
That might not sound like much. But compounded over a longer period, it can lead to a substantial difference in your standard of living.
Maybe that’s why the government’s own numbers show that wages, when adjusted for inflation, are far lower than they were even 15 years ago.
Or why wealth inequality is now at a level not seen since the Great Depression.
Or why alarming data from Pew Research last year show that the middle class is now no longer the dominant socioeconomic stratum in the United States.
Back during his days as a presidential candidate, Ron Paul used to frequently remark that inflation is an invisible tax on the middle class.
And he’s right.
The combination of inflation and low interest rates benefits certain people, while it causes middle class people’s savings to lose purchasing power.
This constitutes a transfer of wealth from savers to debtors.
In other words, it’s a tax.
Yet unlike a normal tax which is passed by Congress, this inflation/interest rate tax is created by the central bank.
You and I don’t get to vote for the twelve members of the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) who dictate interest policy.
In fact, based on the way the Federal Reserve works, the majority of the committee members are actually appointed by commercial banks.
Here’s the quick version: there are twelve Federal Reserve banks in the US banking system.
They’re located in major cities like New York, San Francisco, St. Louis, Dallas, etc. And each Federal Reserve bank has its own separate Board of Directors.
Yet two-thirds of the board members for each Federal Reserve bank are appointed by big Wall Street banks like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.
And oh, hey, what a surprise, the last three major appointments to the Federal Reserve were all former high-level Goldman Sachs employees.
These guys aren’t even trying to hide the fact that Wall Street banks control the Fed.
So, Wall Street banks control the boards of directors at the Fed banks. The Fed bank boards of directors appoint the committee members who set monetary policy.
And the monetary policy they set ends up being a gigantic tax… a transfer of wealth from the middle class to a tiny group of beneficiaries, including the US government and the banks themselves.
This is an unbelievable scam… and it truly is taxation without representation.
Unelected bureaucrats impose their will over the entire financial system in a way that benefits a handful of people at the expense of everyone else.
And we have absolutely no say in the matter.
Well, actually we do.
Even though we can’t vote for the boards of directors at the various Federal Reserve banks like Citigroup and Goldman Sachs can do, we are able to vote with our dollars.
Think about it: every single dollar that you keep in this poor excuse for a financial system is a tacit vote in favor of the corruption.
Every dollar you take out of the system is a vote against it.
And as we’ve explored before, there are substantial options for your savings– precious metals, cryptocurrencies, productive real estate, safe P2P arrangements with strong yields, and well-capitalized banks abroad that actually pay sufficient interest to keep up with inflation.