As soon as the noose was around his neck, Guy Fawkes broke free from the hangman and leapt off the scaffolding — guaranteeing a quick drop with a stop sharp enough to break his neck cleanly…
Seems like an odd result for a man to be in such a hurry to get, at least until you consider the alternative.
His fellow English Catholic conspirators were hanged until nearly dead. Then they were cut down and had their most private parts and entrails removed and burned before their eyes. Then they were beheaded…except for wily Guy, of course, who managed to escape the worst.
Their offense? They felt that the crown was making life miserable for the Catholic minority in England. So they decided to pack a few dozen barrels of gunpowder under Parliament and blow up the king. The conspiracy was uncovered and thwarted. Torture, confessions and painful executions followed. So ended the Gunpowder Plot.
Our own local rebellion five centuries later was a much bigger success with a much higher body count. At the end of it this country’s founders got it as right as any human beings ever had. They came up with a constitution whose purpose was to limit government’s reach into the life of the governed.
We only wish it hadn’t been continually ignored almost immediately after that.
Wars tend to leave governments deeply in debt. The fledgling and recently united states had massive debts by the end of the Revolutionary War. The new centralized government assumed these debts, but it didn’t have any honest way to pay them off. Governments, you see, don’t actually have any money of their own; they steal or borrow it from their productive private citizens.
Alexander Hamilton convinced congress to tax whiskey, which had become commodity money in the far reaches of the frontier. The tax resulted in protest and revolt. General Washington got back on his horse and led federal forces to Pittsburgh to put down the Whiskey Rebellion. For the first time under the new United States Constitution that the federal government used military force to impose its will over U.S. citizens.
It’s a story as old as human civilization. The humble village and modest republic eventually grows into a bumbling empire; death and taxes come along for the ride. A sound investment approach always takes this into account.
Introducing Whiskey & Gunpowder
Your free daily e-mail dedicated to helping protect your freedoms and to profit even when the government inevitably tries to take them.
Our job here is pretty straightforward. Knowing that things tend to move away from their sustainable starts, we take stake in the opposite position when we see things heading toward extremes.
We expect our society to degenerate under the influence of growing government, growing debt, unbacked currency, interventionism, redistributive taxation and war.
Our currency’s fiat status is old news; it’s been completely unfettered from the discipline of the gold standard for nearly forty years…and a gold standard — like an armed populace — is one of the things that keep governments in check.
Our currency is probably going to collapse completely and we are probably seeing the very first days of a very long and severe economic depression. These things happen. They happen because people think that there is something magical about voting, that it can repeal the laws of physics and that despite the old adage, one really can get something for nothing. Or at least one can simply vote what’s in a neighbor’s pocket into one’s own. It’s like magic.
Before you know it, every humble republic gives way to a society of freeloaders, nannies, connivers and bums. One set of folks makes lifelong careers out of telling independent adults what to do with the fruits of their labor. And each person in the populace expects to get at least a few things at the expense of some other portion of the populace, like housing, healthcare, and food.
And they don’t stop at trying to pick each other’s pockets either. At fairly regular intervals a nation will cast a covetous eye abroad at another nation’s bounty.
It’s entirely natural for people to want more than they currently have…but actually believing one can have as much as one wants is a fantasy for children…actually trying to take as much as one wants is the province of criminals.
That’s why we love gold so much…and why we hate taxes. Gold enforces a rigorous standard. Gold keeps governments from quietly stealing from individuals through inflation…and what they can’t steal they can’t use to finance invasions and land grabs. And what they don’t tax they can’t idiotically redistribute.
As much as we hate tyranny, taxation and theft…we’re not kidding ourselves. Bearing arms is virtually a civic duty. It helps keep governments from getting any funny ideas…but we’re still not really counting on a taxpayer revolt this time around. And we’d rather avoid any bloodshed.
Frankly we really don’t expect things to work properly for very long even after they are set right. That’s just how it is. Nothing stays in whack.
Just because the world gleefully marches into Hell on a regular basis, however, doesn’t mean you should lose your bearings.
Whiskey & Gunpowder will merrily continue to explore the intersection of personal liberty, government, sound currency, commodities and their encroaching scarcity. Join us to make sure you’re on the right side of the trade, on the opposite side from the crowds.
Here’s What’s Coming Your Way
Each business day, I’ll send you our best ideas — on macroeconomics, free markets, limited government, personal liberty, sound currency and commodity investing — from the likes of geologist and investment expert Byron King and currency trader and liberty advocate Bill Jenkins.
Our regular contributors include small-cap and commodities expert and writer Dan Denning and writer, historian and commentator James Howard Kunstler…and a host of others.
After each article, I hope you stick around with me for a few shots for the road. We’ll have an ongoing conversation about all the things dear to the hearts at the Whiskey Bar.
I’ll also be sending you any profitable ideas that I come across, so be on the lookout for those. If there’s a way for you to take action and make money from the things we discuss here, we will definitely find it and pass it on to you.
Talk to you tomorrow,
Gary Gibson Editor, Whiskey & Gunpowder
P.S.: Here’s our first idea for you from our geologist and oilman Byron King. I mentioned Byron a little earlier, but allow me to tell you more about him…
Byron runs Outstanding Investments — a newsletter raked #1 over a five-year performance span for 2005, 2006 and 2007 by the Hulbert Financial Digest, an independent newsletter watchdog. The letter focuses on profiting from the increasing scarcity of resources — energy, precious metals, and food. And in the past subscribers have seen gains of 147%, 177% and 187%.
Whiskey & Gunpowder, a free e-letter, is the independent investor's daily guide to gold, commodities, profits and freedom. We sent this e-mail to BRAD0222002.ECONOMY@blogger.com because you or someone using your e-mail address subscribed to this service.
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Nothing in this e-mail should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investment advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication or 72 hours after the mailing of a printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended in this letter should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.