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From the Track

The Market Ticker

Kip Hamilton

(Jan, 2012) First, many thanks to all those in and around Fairfield who contributed to the Toys for Tots campaign this year. The toys were handed out on Sunday, December 18th at the Fairfield Fire & EMS civic hall and about 250 children received little expressions of love and happiness from their caring neighbors. While unsettling to see so many little ones this year, the outpouring of support from this community was very gratifying. A great big pat on the back goes to Bill Echert and all those who helped with the collection and distribution of the gifts for the children. Good job guys.

I was reading one of my regular blogs a week or so ago; Karl Denniger’s The Market Ticker (www.themarketticker.org) and Karl asked a very cosmic question that relates to what we have been thinking about for the past few months concerning our individual freedoms. He asked, "Who owns your physical person as a legal adult of 18 or more years of age?"

Personally, I was struck by that question. That’s not a question you normally think about, is it? Ownership of your person. Consider that for a moment. Karl went on to say that there are only two possible answers to that question: 1) You, personally and 2) Someone other than you. That certainly makes sense, right?

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights say that we are sovereign individuals whose rights in this world have been granted by The Creator and as such can never be stripped by another man. So far, so good.

But then Karl said, "I challenge you to examine whatever grant of authority over your personal sovereignty you claim the government has a right to assert."

So, if we are agreed that each of us is the worldly "owner" of our physical person, how can others assert so much ownership-like control over us, if we do not grant such control? And under what conditions are we comfortable granting it? In Karl’s words, his point is "to challenge you to examine your first principles and then place against them the policies you support as pertain to the political party and government actors who you support and are willing to submit to in whole or part, and the conditions under which you are willing to do so."

Our personal freedoms are being lost almost on a weekly basis these days, but are they being stolen or are we giving them away? Some would say a combination of both maybe, but why? Why would we give up our individual liberties, those granted in law by God and those for which so many have fought and died in order to protect; why would we so easily give them away? It makes no sense. These things are at the very core of what it means to be an American Citizen and yet we sit complacently by while they are STOLEN from us! Chief among them is the right to private property, for without your right to your personal, private property, there can be no freedom.

The 4th Amendment in part states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…" Meaning not only that someone cannot come into your home and steal your stuff, but more broadly that you have the right of ownership of what you earn through your labor.

Ayn Rand wrote, "Remember that there is no such dichotomy as ‘human rights’ versus ‘property rights.’ No human rights can exist without property rights. Since material goods are produced by the mind and effort of individual men, and are needed to sustain their lives, if the producer does not own the result of his effort, he does not own his life."

It is interesting to observe that both ‘socialism’ and ‘fascism’ involve the issue of property rights. The right to property is the right of use and disposal. Observe the difference in those two theories: socialism negates private property rights altogether, and advocates ‘the vesting of ownership and control’ in the community as a whole, i.e., in the state; while fascism leaves ownership in the hands of private individuals, but transfers control of the property to the government. If you own something, but do not have control over it, do you actually own it at all?

Consider what just happened with the MF Global debacle. MF Global was a major multi-billion-dollar global financial derivatives broker and also a primary dealer in United States Treasury securities. They held Billions of dollars of their clients’ money and assets in private trading and storage accounts. They made a really bad bet on the outcome of the European financial crisis and it looks as if they raided at least $1.2B worth of their clients’ assets and used them to settle their corporate financial obligations…totally against the law, by the way, and when there were no more client assets to steal, they were forced to file for bankruptcy. Now, it appears that much of the individual investors’ personal property is just gone; some frozen by the trustee; some used to pay MF Global’s lien holders; some purchased by other brokers in a corporate estate sale of sorts, but gone, none-the-less.

If this financial pirating of individual investors’ property is allowed to stand, it sets an extremely dangerous legal precedent which would appear to put ANY financial account at risk of being raided, including 401k’s and even savings accounts.

Remember, all of our other rights are dependant on our right to own our property, including our sovereign selves. So, again, I ask you to truly evaluate the current government actors you support and are willing to submit to in whole or part, and the conditions under which you are willing to do so and determine at what point you will not tolerate the corruption and abuses any longer, or if that point even exists.

2012 may be a year like no other in the history of our Country. We may be forced to make decisions our Founders would never have dreamed. It is important for us to be firmly grounded in our personal principles, so that if the moment comes where we must make a choice, we can act decisively with confidence and strength because we are sure of our core beliefs and who we are and why. When you are standing at the edge of a cliff, it is not the time to begin deciding which way you should go.

Have a safe, prosperous and free new year!

Read other articles by Kip Hamilton