All posts by Walther

There is no Tea Party

It wasn’t long ago that I’d warned that the mainstream GOP would work feverishly to co-opt the participants of the original tea party, which took place during the Republican primary in 2007 when a groups of Ron Paul supporters self-organized a fundraiser to raise a $6 million money bomb for their favorite candidate on the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.  From there, the loose network organized a number of other fundraisers, but never called themselves The Tea Party.  When Ron Paul ended his candidacy, many of those activists joined the Campaign for Liberty, Ron Paul’s PAC.

Sitting on the coast and reading mainstream media polls more interested in race than substance, it’s hard to tell how many of the over 50 million self-described Tea Partiers are aligned with the original tea party participants and how many are simply aggravated members of the GOP.  A simple question tells them apart: do you support an imperialist foreign policy?  Those that says yes, or question whether the US is imperialist, are frauds.  Those who declare the need to dismantle the American Empire are the real deal.

Why didn’t the mainstream media ask that simple question during their tea party poll… or did I miss it?

Here’s a news item: the Tea Party doesn’t exist but tea parties do and the yellow movement described here is emerging out of grassroots political action taking place around the country.  There is, of course, a battle over the Tea Party brand but it’s important to remember there is no central committee, no leadership, no platform.  The organizations throwing the ‘Tea Party Conventions’ consist mostly of traditional right-wing PACs pretending to represent The Tea Party to the mainstream media.  It’s the mission of both the mainstream media and GOP PACs to bring the tea parties back into the Republican tent without changing the GOP’s core platform.  Their strategy to achieve this mission is to attach the GOP’s nationalist faction to the tea parties by getting ultra-nationalist networks of talk-radio, religious and personality cult leaders to incite their followers to organize tea parties and, hopefully pollute the core principles of the grassroots with inflammatory and confused messages about race and immigration.  So far the GOP has successfully tricked both the mainstream and leftist alternative media into thinking that the ‘Tea Party’ is a traditionalist, nationalist, fridge movement.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

The tea parties are reintroducing the universally appealing concept of localism into our political discourse by focusing on core principles that mainstream media and political parties refuse to address.

1. Sound Money.  For decades the mainstream media has avoided any serious discussion about monetary policy or economic principle.  The financial collapse has made it clear that our corporate Keynesianism is failing the American people and we need to create economic policies that support local/grassroots development.

2. The Constitution.  Our government is currently in a state of mass Constitutional noncompliance.  This is outrageously dangerous because the Constitution is literally the only thing preventing our government from becoming an autocracy.  This situation needs to be rectified by amending the Constitution and changing unconstitutional laws.  If the Supreme Court won’t do it’s job, Congress and the President must.

3. Liberty.  The freedom to do anything as long as it harms no one is the Enlightenment’s great political achievement and the foundation of the American system of governance.  Like Europe, our citizens have been conditioned by a paternalistic government to trade their liberty for security, but unlike Europe, there is a vocal minority dedicated to the never ending struggle for individual liberty.  Tea partiers are committed to that struggle.

Corporate America will continue to shield the American people from political localism as long as it can.  The important thing to remember is that bottom-up political organizing is taking place in American and it threatens the power of the top-down media.  All this author requests is that you keep an open mind and remember the words of Gil Scott-Heron: “the revolution will not be televised.”

13 Points

1. Foreign Policy
Work directly with foreign civil society institutions to create a more transparent world.
Milestone: Develop an international transparency commission.

2. National Security
Our number one national security priority is securing our borders.
Milestone: Complete virtual fence between US-Mexico boarder.

3. Employment
Reorient our labor and tax laws to encourage self employment.
Milestone: 50 million self-employed Americans in 4-years.

4. Immigration
Employ a skills-based immigration policy that fulfills our nation’s need for labor.
Milestone: 500m American citizens in 10 years and 0 illegal immigrants.

5. Monetary Policy
Encourage the autonomous development of local and alternative currencies.
Milestone: Pass legislation that legalizes barter and the use of local and alternative currencies.

6. Trade
Enact simple tariffs that create local resiliency and increase the cost of trade with opaque nations.
Milestone: Simplify all international trade agreements to 5000 word or less with each country.

7. Infrastructure
Invest heavily in the nation’s electrical grid and rail infrastructure.
Milestone: Build a trans-continental high speed train line.

8. Energy
Facilitate the creation of local energy cooperatives that produce their own electricity locally.
Milestone: Create a federally-regulated legal structure for energy cooperatives.

9. Healthcare

Provide comprehensive services to the American people through a networked nonprofit sector.
Milestone: Simplify and standardize how nonprofit can receive government vouchers.

10. Education
Create open source education products for government, charter and community schools.
Milestone: Develop a system that can deploy educational material over the web and deploy an open-source core K-12 education curriculum.

11. Taxes
Simplify federal, state and local tax codes and publicly review each tax’s effects every two years.
Milestone: Develop a less than 5000 word federal tax code any high school graduate can understand.

12. Carbon
Phase-in separate taxes on imported and domestic fossil fuels production.
Milestone: Reduce imported fuel consumption by 80% in the next 10 years.

13. Crime
Decrease black market activity through taxation and education.
Milestone: Reduce our prison population by 50% in 5 years.

Introduction to the QS Platform

Everyone agrees that the American economy has transformed from an industrial base to an information one, so why is our society still structured as if industrialization never ended?  It’s as if we’ve invented fire but refuse to use it to cook.  Let’s start cooking.

We all want the same things – security and high quality social services for all – but many of us disagree on how to achieve that end.  One side views government as the solution, the other views it as the problem.  The debate has raged for hundreds of years, but technology is making it increasingly irrelevant.

In the past, we needed government to solve collection action problems because we, the people, couldn’t communicate with each other.  Networked information technologies have changed that.  The internet, GPS and mobile phones enable free people to organize solutions to collective action problems more efficiently the government ever could.  Properly utilized, existing technologies will enable civil society to reconstitute itself exponentially stronger than ever before, allowing the people to organize their own comprehensive social services faster, better and cheaper than our highly centralized government.

The QS Platform outlines a set of public policies that will facilitate the reemergence of civil society as the most efficient, gentle and comprehensive  provider of social services in America by expanding the rights of the individual and providing the best nonprofits with the support they deserve.

Parties Over

When asked why she voted for the GOP candidate for senate, a lifelong Massachusetts Democrat said she wanted to send a message to her party that she was upset.

The American people are upset.  Very upset.  The war $700+ billion dollar war continues.  The $700+ billion bailout saved Wall Street by further crippling the middle class.  Everyone is wondering what will happen to the US dollar’s value when the totality of the $1.4+ trillion dollars the Federal Reserve printed to finance these two boondoggles begins flowing through the global economy.  When the inevitable inflation begins, who will reassure the American people that the dollar is still valuable?  Bernanke?  Geithner?  The financial services industry?

Fortunately, it seems the the America people have decided on a political plan.  STOP EVERYTHING!  Prevent both the Democrats and the Republicans from gaining enough traction to move anything forward.  The logic is simple: everything either party does is a disaster so stop them from doing anything.

The old adage that the person is smart but people are stupid appears to be working in reverse: the individual is stupid (voting erratically and inconsistently for candidates) but the people are smart (stop the political machines.)  It seems the people might be getting it.  Make no policy passable.  Make no politician safe.  The next step is obvious: if every incumbent is guilty of contributing to our broken political system, then kick them all out.

That should be easy. If CHANGE could galvanize the nation for the presidential election, KICK THEM ALL OUT should be able to do the same for Congress.  Your role is simple: during the next election vote against every incumbent.  We the people can turn the incumbent brand from an asset into a liability.  Your Congressman is culpable in the failure of government.  It’s time they take responsibility for their actions.  Their replacement might not be the best candidate in the world, but they will fear you because they’ll know that if they’re not extraordinary, they won’t have a job in two years.

The only way we’ll get a government worth our tax dollars is by setting higher standards.  It’s easy for us to do.  Vote against the incumbents.  Let’s start off with a blank slate by kicking them all out.


“The spirit that sustained this nation for more than two centuries lives on in you.  It’s people.” (Barack Obama, 1/27/10) Never before in the history of humanity have we, the people, been able to unite comprehensively to solve our collective problems.  There is no longer any need for us to organize the deployment of social services through the coercive force of the Federal Government.  We can do it ourselves.  If we shirk our responsibilities and chose to rely on government to solve our problems, then government will create more problems so it can continue to grow.  The more it grows, the less work there is for the people to do until, there is nothing left for us at all.  We become children of the government.  That is not the destiny of a people in pursuit of happiness, it’s the destiny of a people trying to escape fear.

“The secret of happiness is freedom.  The secret of freedom is courage.”(Thucydides, 460 BC)


America was populated during two rounds of mass immigration.  The first was during the first ice age approximately 13000 years ago when people from Asia crossed the glaciers that connected modern Russia to Alaska.  The second round began in the 1600s and continued until World War Two.  Much of this immigration was legal.  Since the 1940s, however, most immigration into the US has been illegal and poorly unregulated.  This is problematic from both a national security and a human rights standpoint.  Our immigration policy must:

  1. Legitimize every immigrant who enters America.
  2. Attract the highest quality immigrants to America.
  3. Provide sanctuary to those in need.

It’s important to separate boarder security from the debate on immigration.  Our boarders must be secure: if that means deploying 100 US soldiers on every mile of our boarder then so be it.  Unlike security, immigration is a question of national wealth.  The fact is more people create more trade which creates more wealth. The continental US is nearly three times the size of India with about one third the population.  Why aren’t we focusing on wealth creation?

Currently, the US is still a highly competitive nation in terms of immigration.  People from around the world very much want to work here.  We should evaluate the type of people we need and then test immigration applicants for those skills.  We determine quotas for each test and provide entry and a path to citizenship for those individuals.  If we were adding 7-10 million usefully skilled people to America every year, all Americans would become wealthier and our domestic marketplace would become more efficient.


One of the central tenets of economics is that trade creates wealth.  Any restriction on trade reduces people’s capacity to create wealth.  People who can’t create wealth through trade will inevitably try to steal wealth through violence.  Thus, everyone in the world has an incentive to enable others to create wealth.  Truly wealthy people view their world as abundant and thus, never steal.  Our trade policy must help people to live in an abundant world.

The term ‘free trade’ has been adopted by neoliberals to describe corporate trade policy.  We don’t advocate ‘free trade’, we advocate truly free trade (true trade) which is unregulated trade between entities in two similarly regulated economies.

The primary reason many American workers aren’t competitive in the global labor market is that their foreign counterparts are often under paid and over burdened.  This exploitation can only take place because the foreign worker’s  government has failed to protect its citizens.  Failed governments can’t win elections so the people within the country must be disenfranchised.  This disenfranchisement is caused by a lack of transparency in that nation.

Transparency is the intersection between foreign and trade policy.  If we gave every nation a transparency rating and then based all of our tariffs off that number, we would solve our trade and labor problems.  Cheap goods from nations that lack transparency would become more expensive, enabling free American workers to compete with inexpensive, exploited foreign workers.  This is the foundation of a pro-freedom trade policy.


Our criminal policy must find the two correct balancing points between order and freedom, imprisonment and rehabilitation.  Finding these points requires compromise.  On one hand, we could ensure that everyone was safe by placing everyone in a cage guarded by the state.  On the other hand, we could ensure everyone was free by eliminating all laws and letting people organize themselves.  To find the right balance between order and freedom, prison and rehabilitation, we must first understand our own motives.

Government is defined as the entity with the right to the ‘legitimate use of force.’  The people will only support the government when it imposes laws that they people want enforced.  Government’s become corrupt when they no longer represent the will of the people by enforcing their laws.  When the government enforces unpopular laws, it creates tension between the government and the people.  The people will at first break the law in secrets but, as the distance between the law and the order it seeks to create widens, the people will begin to flout the law in public.  This creates a state of noncompliance in which everyone is breaking the law and no one is safe from the government.

Right now the American people are in a state of mass noncompliance.  Between our nation’s antiquated drug laws, complex tax code and myriad of regulations, a majority of Americans break the law everyday.  Some of them will be caught and penalized and many others never will.  This state of noncompliance has created a culture of disrespect towards government and authority.  This culture delegitimizes the government.  Illegitimate government is mafia.

We must do everything in our power to live under a legitimate government and that requires reducing and simplifying our nation’s legal code.


The implementation of a simple, clear and consistent carbon tax plan will spur investment in alternative energy sources.  The proceeds from a carbon tax could could invested in government infrastructure projects that reorient our society for a low carbon future or pay for voucher programs.

Developing and deploying smart grids so communities can share energy resources is of monumental importance.  The government must also invest in rail with the assumption that a climate or fuel crisis could make air travel impossible. Just as the auto industry bought public rail lines and turned them into roads, the government must turn public roads into light and heavy rail lines.  We need to invest in rail like we invested in our interstate system.  The longer we wait to make this type of investment, the more vulnerable we will be to food, fuel and environmental crises.

The government must also create a legal framework that encourages distributed energy solutions.  In a low-carbon scenario where fossil fuel is in short supply, individuals and communities must have the capacity to produce their own energy.  The technologies exist – wind, solar, geothermal and biomass are all distributed energy solutions – but the legal framework needed to deploy these technologies does not.  Inconsistent regulation of the energy market, uncooperative utility companies and erratic government incentive packages are preventing the mass adoption of distributed energy solutions.

We must create a standardized, national political solution that enables every community to invest in their own energy production capacity.  When a community generates it’s own energy, it becomes more prosperous, secure and stable.  Worst case scenarios become much less frightening.

Climate Change

No one knows if humans are are contributing to global climate change.  Both sides have legitimate fears about the effects of climate change on society.  We can pursue a middle course that satisfies all parties.

Climate change believers fear that our rapid release of hundreds of millions of years of carbon stored in coal, oil and other fossil fuels is going to disrupt our climate, making earth less habitable for plants, animals and humans.  They demand the implementation of an international mechanism to reduce carbon emissions to prevent potential massive ecological disaster.

Climate change skeptics fear that authoritarians are attempting to use the climate change issue to take control over the world’s economies by forcing everyone to get ‘authorization’ to emit carbon.  They’ll resist any scheme, especially an international one, to regulate people’s production of carbon.

Cap and trade is a disastrous policy for both sides.  Governments have no incentive to lower the cap enough to seriously reduce carbon while myriad of government agencies and industries will spring up to pressure both individuals and businesses to pay for their carbon.  The policy is terrible.

A carbon tax is the obvious solution supported by nearly all the world’s economists.  A carbon tax would be levied on the fossil fuels that produce carbon.  This tax is easy to implement and requires virtually no government expansion.  It creates incentives for the government to tax carbon and for the public at large to develop alternative energy sources.  We can solve the carbon problem by steadily and predictably increasing this tax over the years.