Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, fellow Americans and people of the world – thank you.
We the citizens of America have now joined a great national effort to rebuild our county and restore its promise for all our people.
Together we will determine the course of America for many, many years to come.
Together we will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done.
Every four years we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power.
And we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent, thank you.
Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another – but transferring it from Washington DC and giving it back to you the people.
For too long a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.
Washington flourished but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered but the jobs left and the factories closed.
The establishment protected itself but not the citizens of our country.
Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs. While they have celebrated there has been little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.
That all changes starting right here and right now because this moment is your moment. It belongs to you. It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America today.
This is your day.
This is your celebration.
And this – the United States of America – is your country.
What truly matters is not what party controls our government but that this government is controlled by the people.
Today, January 20 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.
The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. Everyone is listening to you now.
You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement – the likes of which the world has never seen before.
At the centre of this movement is a crucial conviction – that a nation exists to serve its citizens.
Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighbourhoods for their families and good jobs for themselves.
These are just and reasonable demands
Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation.
An education system flushed with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge. And the crime and the gangs and the drugs which deprive people of so much unrealised potential.
We are one nation, and their pain is our pain, their dreams are our dreams, we share one nation, one home and one glorious destiny.
Today I take an oath of allegiance to all Americans. For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidised the armies of other countries, while allowing the sad depletion of our own military.
We’ve defended other nations’ borders while refusing to defend our own.
And spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.
We have made other countries rich while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon.
One by one, shutters have closed on our factories without even a thought about the millions and millions of those who have been left behind.
But that is the past and now we are looking only to the future.
We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, in every hall of power – from this day on a new vision will govern our land – from this day onwards it is only going to be America first – America first!
Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families.
Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every bone in my body and I will never ever let you down.
America will start winning again. America will start winning like never before.
We will bring back our jobs, we will bring back our borders, we will bring back our wealth, we will bring back our dreams.
We will bring new roads and high roads and bridges and tunnels and railways all across our wonderful nation.
We will get our people off welfare and back to work – rebuilding our country with American hands and American labour.
We will follow two simple rules – buy American and hire American.
We see good will with the nations of the world but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their nations first.
We will shine for everyone to follow.
We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones, and untie the world against radical Islamic terrorism which we will eradicate from the face of the earth.
At the bed rock of our politics will be an allegiance to the United States.
And we will discover new allegiance to each other. There is no room for prejudice.
The bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when god’s people live together in unity.
When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.
There is no fear, we are protected and will always be protected by the great men and women of our military and most importantly we will be protected by god.
Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger. As Americans, we know we live as a nation only when it is striving.
We will no longer accept politicians who are always complaining but never doing anything about it.
The time for empty talk is over, now arrives the hour of action.
Do not allow anyone to tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America. We will not fail, our country will thrive and prosper again.
We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the earth from the miseries of disease, to harvest the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow.
A new national pride will stir ourselves, lift our sights and heal our divisions. It’s time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget, that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots.
We all enjoy the same glorious freedoms and we all salute the same great American flag and whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look at the same night sky, and dream the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath by the same almighty creator.
So to all Americans in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, from ocean to ocean – hear these words – you will never be ignored again.
Your voice, your hopes and dreams will define your American destiny.
Your courage, goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.
Together we will make America strong again, we will make America wealthy again, we will make America safe again and yes – together we will make America great again.
God bless you.
And god bless America.
|by Doug Casey | January 20, 2017|
|I think there are really only two good reasons for having a significant amount of money: To maintain a high standard of living and to ensure your personal freedom. There are other, lesser reasons, of course, including: to prove you can do it, to compensate for failings in other things, to impress others, to leave a legacy, to help perpetuate your genes, or maybe because you just can’t think of something better to do with your time.
But I’ll put aside those lesser motives, which I tend to view as psychological foibles. Basically, money gives you the freedom to do what you’d like – and when, how, and with whom you prefer to do it. Money allows you to have things and do things and can even assist you to be something you want to be. Unfortunately, money is a chimera in today’s world and will wind up savaging billions in the years to come.
As you know, I believe we’re well into what I call The Greater Depression. A lot of people believe we’re in a recovery now; I think, from a long-term point of view, that is total nonsense. We’re just in the eye of the hurricane and will soon be moving into the other side of the storm. But it will be far more severe than what we saw in 2008 and 2009 and will last quite a while – perhaps for many years, depending on how stupidly the government acts.
Real Reasons for Optimism
There are reasons for optimism, of course, and at least two of them make sense.
The first is that every individual wants to improve his economic status. Many (but by no means all) of them will intuit that the surest way to do so is to produce more than they consume and save the difference. That creates capital, which can be invested in or loaned to productive enterprises. But what if outside forces make that impossible, or at least much harder than it should be?
The second reason for optimism is the development of technology – which is the ability to manipulate the material world to suit our desires. Scientists and engineers develop technology, and that also adds to the supply of capital. The more complex technology becomes, the more outside capital is required. But what if sufficient capital isn’t generated by individuals and businesses to fund further technological advances?
There are no guarantees in life. Throughout the first several hundred thousand years of human existence, very little capital was accumulated – perhaps a few skins or arrowheads passed on to the next generation. And there was very little improvement in technology – it was many millennia between the taming of fire and, say, the invention of the bow. Things very gradually accelerated and improved, in a start-stop-start kind of way – the classical world, followed by the Dark Ages, followed by the medieval world. Finally, as we entered the industrial world 200 years ago, it looked like we were on an accelerating path to the stars. All of a sudden, life was no longer necessarily so solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, or short. I’m reasonably confident things will continue improving, possibly at an accelerating rate. But only if individuals create more capital than they consume and if enough of that capital is directed towards productive technology.
Real Reasons for Pessimism
Those are the two mainsprings of human progress: capital accumulation and technology. Unfortunately, however, that reality has become obscured by a morass of false and destructive theories, abetted by a world that’s become so complex that it’s too difficult for most people to sort out cause and effect. Furthermore, most people in the OECD world have become so accustomed to good times, since the end of WW2, that they think prosperity is automatic and a permanent feature of the cosmic firmament. So although I’m very optimistic, progress – certainly over the near term – isn’t guaranteed.
These are the main reasons why the standard of living has been artificially high in the advanced world, but don’t confuse them with the two reasons for long-term prosperity.
The first is debt. There’s nothing wrong with debt in itself; lending is one way for the owner of capital to deploy it. But if a society is going to advance, debt should be largely for productive purposes, so that it’s self-liquidating; and most of it would necessarily be short term.
But most of the scores of trillions of debt in the world today are for consumption, not production. And the debt is not only not self-liquidating, it’s compounding. And most of it is long term, with no relation to any specific asset. A lender can reasonably predict the value of a short-term loan, but debt payable in 30 years is impossible to value realistically. All government debt, mortgage debt, consumer debt, and almost all student loan debt does nothing but allow borrowers to live off the capital others have accumulated. It turns the debtors into indentured servants for the indefinite future. The entire world has basically overlooked this, along with most other tenets of sound economics.
The second is inflation. Like debt, inflation induces people to live above their means, but its consequences are even worse, because they’re indirect and delayed. If the central bank deposited $10,000 in everyone’s bank account next Monday, everyone would think they were wealthier and start consuming more. This would start a business cycle. The business cycle is always the result of currency inflation, no matter how subtle or mild. And it always results in a depression. The longer an inflation goes on, the more ingrained the distortions and misallocations of capital become, and the worse the resulting depression. We’ve had a number of inflationary cycles since the end of the last depression in 1948. I believe we’re now at the end of what might be called a super-cycle, resulting in a super-depression.
The third is the export of dollars. This is unique to the U.S. and is the reason the depression in the U.S. will in some ways be worse than most other places. Since the early ’70s, the dollar has been used the way gold once was – it’s the world’s currency. The problem is that the U.S. has exported perhaps $10 trillion – but nobody knows – in exchange for good things from around the world. It was a great trade for a while. The foreigners get paper created at essentially zero cost, while Americans live high on the hog with the goodies those dollars buy.
But at some point quite soon, dollars won’t be readily accepted, and smart foreigners will start dumping their dollars, passing the Old Maid card. Ultimately, most of the dollars will come back to the U.S., to be traded for titles to land and businesses. Americans will find that they traded their birthright for a storage unit full of TVs and assorted tchotchkes. But many foreigners will also be stuck with dollars and suffer a huge loss. It’s actually a game with no winner.
These last three factors have enabled essentially the whole world to live above its means for decades. The process has been actively facilitated by governments everywhere. People like living above their means, and governments prefer to see the masses sated.
The debt and inflation have also financed the growth of the welfare state, making a large percentage of the masses dependent, even while they’ve also resulted in an immense expansion in the size and power of the state over the last 60-odd years. The masses have come to think government is a magical entity that can do almost anything, including kiss the economy and make it better when the going gets tough. The type of people who are drawn to the government are eager to make the state a panacea. So they’ll redouble their efforts in the fiscal and monetary areas I’ve described above, albeit with increasingly disastrous results.
They’ll also become quite aggressive with regulations (on what you can do and say, and where your money can go) and taxes (much higher existing taxes and lots of new ones, like a national VAT and a wealth tax). And since nobody wants to take the blame for problems, they’ll blame things on foreigners. Fortunately (the U.S. will think) they have a huge military and will employ it promiscuously. So the already bankrupt nations of NATO will dig the hole deeper with some serious – but distracting – new wars.
It’s most unfortunate, but the U.S. and its allies will turn into authoritarian police states. Even more than they are today. Much more, actually. They’ll all be perfectly fascist – private ownership of both consumer goods and the means of production topped by state control of both. Fascism operates free of underlying principles or philosophy; it’s totally the whim of the people in control, and they’ll prove ever more ruthless.
So where does that leave us, as far as accumulating more wealth than the average guy is concerned? I’d say it puts us in a rather troubling position. The general standard of living is going to collapse, as will your personal freedom. And if you’re an upper-middle-class person (I suspect that includes most who are now reading this), you will be considered among the rich who are somehow (this is actually a complex subject worthy of discussion) responsible for the bad times and therefore liable to be eaten. The bottom line is that if you value your money and your freedom, you’ll take action.
There’s much, much more to be said on all this. I’ve said a lot on the topic over the past few years, at some length. But I thought it best to be brief here, for the purpose of emphasis. Essentially, act now, because the world’s combined economic, financial, political, social, and military situation is as good as it will be for many years… and a lot better than it has any right to be.
One more thing: Don’t worry too much. All countries seem to go through nasty phases. Within the lifetime of most people today, we’ve seen it in big countries such as Russia, Germany, and China. And in scores of smaller ones – the list is too long to recount here. The good news is that things almost always get better, eventually.
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