A vote for tyranny
- A non-Brexit vote won’t save Europe
- ‘Tiny stocks’ up, up, and up…
- In the mailbag
Democracy is tyranny’s best friend.
It’s a myth that tyrants seize power against the will of the people.
If we could be bothered to do the research, we’d bet the overwhelming majority of tyrants and dictators gained control through ‘popular vote’.
And even if we’re wrong, it seems that way.
That’s why, despite all the talk of a potential ‘Brexit’, meaning that Britain would leave the European Union, we don’t believe it.
In general, the masses are cowards. The Scots showed that. For decades they stood and shouted about soft southerners…about the pride of William Wallace…about their history of producing scientists and entrepreneurs.
Yet, when the time came to vote for independence from Britain, what did they do? They showed themselves to be as soft as a sponge cake.
They couldn’t bring themselves to cut the apron strings that attach them to Westminster. Perhaps it’s true. Perhaps those manly Scottish kilts are in fact ladies’ skirts after all.
The same goes for the entire British nation. They’ll holler about Churchill, Dunkirk, and fighting against the Nazis. But when it comes to gaining back independence from tyrannical Brussels-based bureaucrats, what do they do?
Based on the evidence so far, it looks as though the Brits are wetting their pants at the prospects of independence from Europe.
If that’s the case…if they vote for continued European tyranny, quite frankly, they deserve everything they get…
Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 129.71 points, or 0.73%.
The S&P 500 added 12.03 points, or 0.58%.
In Europe, the Euro Stoxx 50 index closed up by 93.71 points, or 3.29%. The FTSE 100 gained 3.04%, while Germany’s DAX index closed up 3.43%.
In Asian trade, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index is up 81.32 points, or 0.51%. China’s CSI 300 index is up 0.68%.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index is up 2.14 points, or 0.04%.
On the commodities markets, West Texas Intermediate crude oil is trading for US$49.17 per barrel. Brent crude is US$50.39 per barrel.
Gold is trading for US$1,288 per ounce, and silver is US$17.51 per ounce.
The Aussie dollar is worth 74.72 US cents.
A non-Brexit vote won’t save Europe
Just check out those European indices.
It’s not often you see every major Western European stock index pile on a 3%-plus gain.
But that’s what happened overnight.
The reason? A new opinion poll suggested that Britons will vote to stay in the European Union.
Apparently, that’s good news for Britain…good news for Europe…and good news for the whole darned world.
Of course, it means no such thing.
If ever there was a distraction from the real causes of Europe’s problems, the UK’s referendum vote on remaining or leaving the European Union is it.
The assumption from the pro-Europeans is that, should Britain leave the EU, it will lead to a catastrophic economic outcome for Britain.
It would, apparently, be pretty bad news for the rest of Europe too.
After all, if Britain leaves, what would that mean for other nations? What would it mean for the euro currency (of which Britain is not a part anyway)?
And most of all, what would it mean for the whole wide world?
Believe the pro-Europeans, and the answer is clear: Armageddon. Or something in the neighbourhood of Armageddon anyway.
However, that kind of assumes everything is going along just swimmingly at the moment. Even the pro-Europeans know that’s not true.
What we would like to hear from the pro-Europeans is exactly how the European Union (and its previous iterations) has helped ensure economic stability over the past 30 years or more.
If the stock market is the barometer of the fortunes of an economy, a glance at the long term chart of the Euro Stoxx 50 shows an economy that’s far from stable:
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And if we take the German 10-year government bond yield, going back to the early 1990s, it too is hardly a picture of stability:
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A yield that has shrunk from 9% to 0.052% is hardly a picture of optimism, nor is it a sign of long term economic success.
And neither are the debt loads of European economies.
Sure, everyone knows about the basket case economies of Greece, Italy, and Portugal, which have debt-to-GDP percentages of 176%, 132%, and 129% respectively.
But what about Germany? Germany’s debt-to-GDP has risen from 40% in the early 1990s, to 71% today.
The UK had debt-to-GDP of 34% in 1990. It’s 89% today.
All that, dear friend, took place while each nation has been a member of the European Union.
Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but Russia, which as you’re no doubt aware isn’t part of the EU, currently has debt-to-GDP of 13.5%.
It probably is a coincidence. Russia has its own issues. And given the recent collapse in the oil price, it’s likely Russia’s debt position will worsen.
The point we’re simply making is this: isn’t it possible that being part of a centrally planned, bureaucratic monster is worse than not being part of one?
It certainly strikes us that the folks in Brussels, and the head honchos at the European Central Bank, are hardly geniuses when it comes to trying to fix an economic depression.
Their solution, after all, is to print money…as much of it as possible, in a lame effort to jumpstart the economy.
After seven years of trying, it still hasn’t worked. And yet they keep trying…hoping that one day it will work.
The prospect of a ‘Brexit’ appears to have ended. The markets have rejoiced. But come Friday, after the referendum result is known, they’ll remember that the world’s economic problems are a lot deeper than a vote about whether Britain stays or leaves the European Union.
‘Tiny stocks’ up, up, and up…
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In the mailbag
We’ve lost track of where we are with the mailbag. And, to be frank, we’re too lazy to check exactly which letters we’ve printed, and which we haven’t.
So we’ll skip ahead to some of the most recent letters…those we know we haven’t printed.
Subscriber Daniel writes:
‘It doesn’t surprise me that one of your editors has troglodyte views about climate change. Yet after railing against governments taxing us, he then suggests we celebrate the birthday of an old lady in London who is the embodiment of the global elite he rails against, and who has along with her family been living large on the teat of taxpayers for centuries. The hypocrisy is breathtaking, making one question whether all of his analysis is as biased by his inner preconceptions. His analysis has always seemed marginal at best, but his recent missives have really tested that theory to the downside.’
Daniel must be referring to our Queen’s Birthday email, which contained the subject line, ‘All hail the Queen’, and included an Andy Warhol inspired depiction of the Queen.
Perhaps Daniel is new to Port Phillip Publishing. Either that or he has had an ‘irony bypass’. But we’ll forgive him. It’s true that your editor’s humour is extremely sophisticated.
It’s not surprising it misses the mark sometimes. In future, we’ll try our best to be more inclusive and obvious with our humour.
Time to brush up on our Benny Hill humour…no one could mistake that for anything other than what it is.
Another letter, this one from subscriber Christine:
‘What about bitcoin? I bought at $266 and now it’s $1002. Gold hasn’t gone up as much but it’s more manipulated and not all gold traded is physical. Is hyperinflation why bitcoin is going up? Or is it just the Chinese buyers?’
Christine has done well. Check out the Bitcoin chart below, valued against the US dollar:
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Bitcoin is currently up 227% from the low point in 2015.
We won’t pretend to understand exactly how Bitcoin works. But we do know that it, and other virtual currencies like it, have a real chance of becoming viable alternative currencies.
Bitcoin has many of the features of gold. It’s scarce, divisible, easily transportable, and, in certain circles, it’s a trusted store of value.
If you’re looking for a way to diversify out of government-manipulated money, Bitcoin could be it. We’ll be honest though. Given a choice, we still prefer gold.
But given a choice between government money and Bitcoin, we’re starting to think that Bitcoin has a lot going for it.
Finally, this note from subscriber, Bernie:
‘I’m really enjoying the current discussion on climate change, and it makes for interesting reading in the PPI. I think I’m on a similar page to you, in that, I do believe we humans are making a difference (in a bad way) to the climate, but it’s effectively just brought forward a natural cycle of climate change by a few hundred or maybe even a few thousand years.
‘Like you, I believe that governments cannot fix the problem, nor can big business. The REAL problem is that the Earth has more than 3 times the number of humans on it than it did at the start of the Industrial Revolution.
‘Pollution of the oceans is the effect of us having developed plastics without any plan to completely recycle or permanently dispose of waste. There’s no money to be made from either, right?
‘At least, before the Industrial Revolution, the pollution was organic, and rivers and oceans would clean themselves — pollution was a local problem in cities and large towns: too many people and not enough space or river flow to deal with it.
‘Maybe we need another meteor or asteroid to hit the Earth. Sadly, we have come cunning enough to ensure that humans would probably have a larger survival rate than the dinosaurs did on the last occasion, but at least the survivors might take a few millennia to get back to the massive unsustainable population level that we have today.
Our biggest problem with the pro-climate change crowd is that they’re completely unwavering and irrational…and won’t admit it.
Your editor admits to being a sceptic about climate change. We also admit to being irrational about it in certain respects. We also admit that we know next to zero about science.
Yet the climate change sops, most of whom know close to zero about science either, gullibly accept everything the science lobby throws at them.
What they don’t realise, or won’t admit, is that climate change scientists don’t even conform to the principles of science. Science isn’t just about confirmation of something…science is also about challenging assumptions.
True scientists should be doing their darnedest to prove the flaws in climate change science. And there must be flaws. There are flaws in every scientific theory.
Real scientists should (proverbially) hold each other’s feet to the fire and subject their evidence to rigorous review and discussion.
From what your science-deficient editor can ascertain, when it comes to climate change, that just doesn’t happen. Instead, it’s a love-in…and one-upmanship, to see who can come up with the scariest climate change scenario.
Climate change supporters like to say that the science is ‘settled’ when it comes to climate change. It’s not. In science, nothing is settled. And anyone who falls for the pro-climate change propaganda without questioning it is nothing more than a chump.