Why My Grandpa Would Have Loved Bitcoin

Assets have actual value set by the market, not by government.

Bitcoin hit an all time high on Sunday, reaching $3,000 per Bitcoin. Ethereum also reached a record level, trading at $407. Since this time last year Bitcoin is up over 360%, Etherium is up over 2,000% and Litecoin is up over 480%. With bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continuing to gain real and stable value, one can clearly see the benefits of market based currency vs government controlled currency.

The Beauty of Cryptocurrency

The amazing thing about decentralized digital currency is that governments and central planners do not have the ability to take advantage of it like they’ve done with paper money, which they can print and control at will. Cryptocurrency allows for individuals to control their own resources without government interference and theft.

Cryptocurrency eliminates the need for banks or credit card companies.

It’s generated digitally from proof of work (PoW) algorithms which solve mathematical equations to receive cryptocurrency as payment in the form of bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and many others. Digital cryptocurrency allows for transactions of payments in a more secure way than any other form of web based payments by utilizing blockchain which is comprised of a highly secured public ledger.

Utilizing Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrency eliminates the need for banks or credit card companies. Putting the power of market currency strictly in the hands of consumers and producers. I love it!

Market Standards vs. Government Manipulation

Unfortunately, some believe that only the government should be in charge of certain things whether it be the delivering of mail, putting out fires, sending an ambulance, producing currency, etc… however cryptocurrency offers an excellent free market medium of exchange. The free market can do all of these things better through spontaneous order.

Central control of a currency has always led to government abusing the currency to grow bureaucratic control.

I’ve always considered myself lucky to have grown up learning economic lessons and theories from my Grandpa. We spent lots of time metal detecting and searching pawn shops buying and selling gold and silver through the years. Along the way he taught me that gold and silver are real money and that the market is the best indicator of the cost of goods and services. The older I get the more I realize how right he was!

So, what would my Grandpa think about bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies these days?

The basis for Grandpa’s lesson was that assets and commodities had actual value set by the market, not the government. While most governments have a history of using gold and silver for coinage and currency, at some point they always try to manipulate currency, inevitably converting to paper money, causing hardships on individuals, and eventually going bankrupt.

The bottom line is that central control of a currency has always led to government using and abusing the currency to grow government and bureaucratic control.

Gold and silver have withstood the test of time with the earliest gold coinage dating back to around 700 BC. Gold always serves as a great measure against the value of all currencies. Currently, 1 ounce of gold is equal to $1270 US dollars or .45 Bitcoin. When put in that perspective, we can see how well Bitcoin is actually doing.

Bitcoin has become digital gold.

Ludwig von Mises once wrote in the Theory of Money and Credit that the “phenomenon of money presupposes an economic order…” between production and consumption, not government. Through this spontaneous order the market is the best indicator of the value of goods and services. This is why Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general is gaining more value.

What it comes down to is market standards versus government manipulation and control. Luckily, precious metals and cryptocurrency prove that the market will win and governments that print paper money will lose.

The Future of Money is Now

Bitcoin has become digital gold. In many ways it’s become better than gold, allowing for an easier way to make exchanges and transactions worldwide. Trading has never been easier than with cryptocurrency. We are living in an amazing time for currency and trade.

I believe it’s completely safe to say that the future of money is now.

In recent years, many have used and are familiar with web-based pay services like PayPal, which allows the use of many types of currencies including Bitcoin. Many stores are now accepting Bitcoin and very quickly it has become accepted worldwide.

While it’s hard to estimate just how well Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will do in coming years, I believe it’s completely safe to say that the future of money is now. Cryptocurrency has the ability to remove government’s manipulation of currency and interference in exchanges, allowing greater freedom of trade between individuals everywhere.

Originally appeared in FEE.

County Council helps make walking to Sanders Middle School safer

Laurens County Council received thanks Tuesday for supporting an effort to make walking to Sanders Middle School safer.

Members of Bridging the Gap’s Hype Team said they appreciate the support of council, and Councilman Stewart Jones, in having warning lights installed on West Farley Avenue in Laurens.

They previously told council that walking from Washington Heights subdivision and the Bridging the Gap headquarters, across the busy street and to the school was dangerous. The Hype Team joined with a nationwide safe-walking-to-school initiative to bring the matter to the attention of people who could fix it.

The SC Department of Transportation installed the warning lights on one of Laurens’ busiest streets.

“They wanted to express their appreciation to the council in their own words,” said Calvin Whitmire, founder of Bridging the Gap Advocacy.

The young people made their presentation at Tuesday’s regular council meeting, which featured a brief agenda and then a budget discussion among the council members. The county budget will go for 3rd and final reading, and a public hearing on June 27. It is expected to be balanced, close to last fiscal year’s figures, without a property tax increase. The new budget must be in place by July 1.

In other action, council approved Resolutions of Recognition for Clinton High School. Principal Maureen Tiller accepted the resolutions recognizing CHS as a Bronze Medalist for U.S. News & World Report’s top high schools in the U.S., and recognizing the Science Olympiad teams of Clinton High and Middle Schools as South Carolina Champions.

Jones made the resolutions presentation to Tiller, who thanked the council on behalf of Clinton High School and District 56.

Council approved 3rd and final reading of a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes resolution for Birdseye Energy (Project Angus), an $80 million solar farm to be built between Clinton and Joanna. Ground-breaking is expected in 2018.

Company officials met this week with Laurens County officials about buildings codes, the council was told.

Council also congratulated the Laurens County Emergency Medical Service.

EMS is one of 13 SC services receiving Silver Status in the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline awards program. The service receives the award for “implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks,” a news release said.

Originally appeared in GoLaurens.com

Citizen Group Rallies Against $109 Million Referendum

The Common Sense Coalition for a Better High School hosted a Stop the Laurens District 55 Tax Hike Rally at the Laurens County Higher Education Center on Thursday night.

About 40 people heard Laurens County Republican Party Chair Keith Tripp and Laurens County Councilman Stewart Jones speak out against Laurens County School District 55’s proposed $109 million referendums to be held on Sept. 5, 2017. State Representatives Mike Pitts and Mark Willis were scheduled to speak but were not able to attend.

The Common Sense Coalition for a Better High School is a newly-formed group of Laurens County residents who are opposed to the $109 million tax referendum to build a new high school in District 55. Their mission is to “work to stop this referendum, plan rallies and discuss strategies.”

“Other meetings were controlled by the school district,” said Tripp. “A different perspective will be presented tonight. My main goal is to give us something to think about.”

Tripp talked about elitism when referring to District 55 and challenged the signage outside of LDHS, which reads “Every Student, Every Day, College Bound”.

“That says a lot about the thinking of the people that put that there,” said Tripp. “It says that all students are heading to the same place. What about plumbers and electricians and people that work with their hands.”

Tripp challenged the recent editorial from members of the District 55 board of trustees. He said that the editorial was arrogant and elitist. “It says that their decisions are not to be questioned,” said Tripp.

“The value of a school is dependent on the teachers and the students,” said Tripp. “The question is not what you want but what you need. You need to live within your means.”

Tripp said that he would like to see a school where students are taught the basic academics, where parents and children decide the best educational path, where students feel safe and are safe, where there are no drugs and gangs, and where teachers are respected.

“The main thing is to stop this $109 million grab for our tax money,” said Tripp. “We need to keep the main thing the main thing. If it is removed, if the referendum is withdrawn or if it is defeated, then we can look at other common sense plans.”

County Councilman Jones focused much of his speech on school choice and competition in public education. Jones is an advocate for a free market for education.

Jones attended two of the community forums hosted by District 55. “I was alarmed about some of the things said,” said Jones. “I was told to come with an open mind and what they meant was to come with an open wallet.”

Jones presented some ideas to improve the education system for taxpayers in Laurens County. He recommends combining District 55 and 56, fix current facilities and add additions, partner with business and industry, offer more online classes and allow school choice.

“A big new building does not make for a better education,” said Jones. “

Originally appeared in GoLaurens.com

The Great Gold Racket

How could government be able to control buying power without the public knowing of a direct tax? Hm…

Murray Rothbard said it best when he said that “the threat of gold redeemability imposes a constant check and limit on inflationary issues of government paper. If the government can remove the threat, it can expand and inflate without cease. And so it begins to emit propaganda, trying to persuade the public not to use gold coins in their daily lives.”

Why does government hate the gold standard … or any real standard for that matter?

At the heart of government’s attack on gold, silver, bitcoin, and other commodity standards is an outright hatred for accountability and private property, and a real love for theft.

How It All Began

On April 5th, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt forbade “the hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States” by executive order 6102.

How could government be able to control buying power without the public knowing of a direct tax?

It had only been 20 years since Congress signed the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 into law in what would become the biggest act of theft and bamboozlement on the American people ever. How would government be able to control buying power without the public knowing of a direct tax? A fractional reserve system run by the power elite allowed for theft at an unprecedented level. It allowed for the manipulation of buying power and the control of all American’s real money and trade.

Then, on January 30th, 1934, the US Gold Reserve Act was signed into law demanding the rendering of gold and gold certificates to the Federal Reserve. The federal government traded paper fiat federal reserve notes at $20.67 per ounce of gold and managed to take more than 8000 tons of gold from the American people. Once the gold was off the market, the federal government raised the rate of gold to $35 per ounce in an attempt to inflate the value of the dollar.

Government then feared that, with the confiscation of gold, people would use silver as a way to curb the control of the Federal Reserve. This resulted to passing of the Silver Purchase Act of 1934 imposing a 50% tax on any transfer of silver and calling for the cease to any silver mining.

Power Moves

Taxation in its simplest form is theft, but government has also stolen by removing any real backing to the US dollar, allowing it the ability to temporarily spend without limit. This is purely an illusion. Making gold illegal gave the federal government unprecedented control over buying power and took real savings from Americans.

The fact is that with the passing of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and executive order 6102, the federal government started the disconnect from a gold standard and the confiscation of private gold ownership. This ushered in the printing of federal reserve notes which by 1971 were completely disconnected from any gold standard or any other real commodity backing.

It wasn’t until 1974 that the federal government would lift the ban on private ownership of gold.

Today and Tomorrow

In summary, the federal government created a central bank in 1913. Then it made the private ownership of gold illegal and attacked silver with a tax and control. Government then disconnected the US dollar from a gold standard in 1971 and lifted the ban on gold in 1974. The government literally stole the wealth and real money from the American people.

Gold has survived dictatorships and oligarchies, serving as a standard governments haven’t ignored.

With no standard or a check and balance on government debt, the federal government has been able to spend, temporarily, with no limit. I say temporarily because history shows us that governments have spent themselves into oblivion and eventually the market corrections will occur, reducing empires to rubble. The chains of economic sanity have been eroded by over 100 years of attacks on real market standards and actual money.

While gold has been attacked by governments throughout history, it has also stood the test of time, surviving many dictatorships and oligarchies, still serving as a market standard that governments haven’t ignored.

As the federal government quickly approaches $20 trillion in debt and over $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities, the US dollar will continue to grow as a note of debt. The government’s ability to print debt and spend without limit has only been possible with the Federal Reserve and the attack on real money. Gold, precious metals, and market-based currencies have the ability to outlast any government and give individuals the ability to control their own property.

Originally appeared in FEE.

How the Market is already Repealing Obamacare

If we bypass the government regulations and laws on health care, more people would get better service at a more affordable rate.

There’s a common misconception that if you’re opposed to government services, programs and/or departments, then you’re opposed to building roads, education, people getting affordable health care and even people taking care of the sick and elderly. These misconceptions are becoming more apparent as the free market offers solutions and options using innovation and technology, as the government continues to fall in on itself.

Six months into the pregnancy, we received a letter explaining that due to the changes in the law, our policy would no longer cover maternity services.

I continue to be amazed at the ingenuity of people and individuals working toward solutions in the marketplace, in spite of government. Over time government has assumed more and more control over medical decisions that individuals make everyday.

My Own Experience

I have paid my dentist out of pocket for many years and had private insurance for major medical only. In 2011, my wife and I were expecting our first child and had private health insurance which was slowly being limited more and more by regulations from the Affordable Care Act and Patient Protection Act. It was dreadful!

Six months into the pregnancy, we received a letter explaining that due to the changes in the law, our policy would no longer cover maternity or OB-GYN services. This meant that our insurance would no longer pay for anything related to the birth of our daughter. We searched and shopped for insurance that would help cover the cost of the hospital and birth, but the more government regulations and controls were placed on the market, the more difficult it became to actually get affordable medical insurance and health care.

We spoke with our doctor about it and found that by avoiding insurance altogether and paying the doctor directly, it reduced all costs associated with pregnancy by 60%. We avoided the government-burdened insurance market and paid the doctor directly.

This model of doctors and patients actually working out agreements and paying a flat fee in exchange for medical services is actually very effective. If we could only bypass the government regulations and laws on health care, more people would get better service at a more affordable rate. 

Market-Based Medicine

One awesome example of markets finding ways around the government’s stronghold on medical services is the Surgery Center of Oklahoma. In order to run their own practice with the least amount of government interference as possible, two doctors formed this practice 15 years ago. The goal was to eliminate the inefficiencies that accompany hospital networks and Medicare/Medicaid networks in order to run their own practice. The practice has done so well, that it has grown to over 40 doctors now.

According to them:

It is no secret to anyone that the pricing of surgical services is at the top of the list of problems in our dysfunctional healthcare system. Bureaucracy at the insurance and hospital levels, cost shifting and the absence of free market principles are among the culprits for what has caused surgical care in the United States to be cost prohibitive. As more and more patients find themselves paying more and more out of pocket, it is clear that something must change. We believe that a very different approach is necessary, one involving transparent and direct pricing.”

This has allowed them the ability to perform the best quality surgeries at the lowest and most transparent cost. All of their procedures and costs appear on their website. By bringing this level of transparency to the public, it has forced a price war for surrounding hospitals to post prices for procedures, something that is often hidden. This has brought costs down in surrounding areas.

Exiting the rat race of hospital networks and eliminating acceptance of government payments has allowed them to cut the cost and provide a better service.

In spite of what government does, people around the country are finding ways to lower costs and raise quality in the most competitive and realistic manners.

Flat Fee Memberships

The difficulties with getting health care at affordable rates come not from marketplace inadequacies, but from government regulations.

Another great example, are physician’s offices like Irmo Primary CareGold Standard Pediatrics and many others that are starting flat fee pricing for memberships and monthly medical services called Direct Primary Care. These practices are helping to once again bring patients and doctors together without interference from government and bureaucratic middlemen. I love streamlining services!

Dr. Bryan Hill, a South Carolina pediatrician, opened his direct primary care practice in September. “Instead of accepting insurance for routine visits and drugs, these practices charge a monthly membership fee that covers most of what the average patient needs, including visits and drugs at much lower prices.”

It’s sad that most of the difficulties with getting good health care at affordable rates come not from inadequacies in the marketplace, but from the many regulations by central planners in government.

History has shown us that free-market forces have the ability to lower costs and increase quality while fostering new growth and innovation. It puts the power in the hands of consumers, where it should be. If government would just get out of the way, then the free-market can fix the problems with healthcare.

Laurens County Republican Party honors County Councilman Stewart Jones

The Laurens County Republican Party presented Laurens County Councilman Stewart Jones with a “Local Government Official” award at their Bronze Elephant Dinner on Monday night at the Laurens County Higher Education Center.

The award is for “outstanding service to Laurens County, steadfast dedication to the Constitution, and for upholding the general principles of freedom.”

Jones, right, is pictured with Laurens County GOP Chair Keith Tripp.

Originally appears in GoLaurens.com

County Council votes against allowing Syrian refugees into Laurens County via US Refugee Resettlement Program

Laurens County Council voted 4-3 on Tuesday night for a resolution declaring their opposition to refugees arriving and living in Laurens County.

The resolution also opposes the United State Refugee Settlement Program and agrees with the rejection of state funds to assist in the program.

Council members Stewart Jones, David Pitts, Joe Wood and Keith Tollison voted for the resolution. Council members Diane Anderson, Garrett McDaniel and Ted Nash voted against the resolution.

The resolution states that the United States cannot properly screen all Syrian refugees assigned to live in the United States. It places a moratorium on all immigrants that are not properly screened by the U.S. government.

There are currently no plans for refugees to be placed in Laurens County. The closest location is Spartanburg.

Economic development was the other emphasis in the Tuesday night meeting with the council voting unanimously to approve all projects.

Council approved a third and final reading of Project Yak, an amendment for development and enlargement of a multiple county industrial park in Joanna. This expansion will create 13 more jobs in Laurens County.

Council approved third reading of the Brawo fee agreement in lieu of taxes that includes an $8 million expansion.

Second reading approval was given to Project Container, a $20 million investment that will add 60 jobs in Northern Laurens.

A resolution was approved to extend the investment period for Ceramtec. This is a $5 million investment scheduled for Jan. 2016. Ceramtec has invested over $48 million over the last few years.

In other business, a resolution of commendation was approved for Sally Lancaster’s 30-years of service as County Auditor.

Council approval a submission of PC Pharmacy Professor Tommy Johnson to the governor for an appointment to the Laurens County Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees.

Councilman Stewart submitted a proposal to continue meetings to set guidelines and qualifications for assistance for private providers to participate in the County EMS program. An amendment was made and passed in a 6-1 vote.

Originally appeared in GoLaurens.com

Sen. Rand Paul picks up endorsements from Pitts, Jones

While visiting Laurens County last week, Sen. Rand Paul secured an endorsement from State Representative Mike Pitts and County Councilman Stewart Jones.

Pitts and Jones join State Senator Tom Davis, S.C. State Co-Chairman for Rand Paul for President, and hundreds of other South Carolina grassroots activists on the Rand Paul for President South Carolina leadership team.

Mike Pitts is a State Representative representing Laurens and Greenwood counties. Mike has served in the United States Army Reserve and is a former Police officer in Greenville. He’s a staunch defender of the 2nd Amendment and constitutionalist. Mike was first elected to the State House in 2002.

“I proudly endorse Senator Rand Paul for President of the United States. Rand Paul is the only candidate who has and will continue to defend the entire Bill of Rights and the rule of law, which is why I am proud to stand with Rand,” said State Rep. Mike Pitts. “I have never endorsed a candidate for President, but America desperately needs a fighter who will defeat the Washington machine and President Rand Paul will do that on day one,” State Representative Mike Pitts said.

Stewart Jones is a County Councilman for Lauren’s County. Elected in 2014, after defeating a 24-year incumbent, Stewart has been a leading voice for liberty in Laurens County and in South Carolina. He’s a proud 8th generation South Carolinian and small business owner.

“I am very happy to endorse Dr. Rand Paul for President, because he is the leading advocate for restoring individual liberty and balancing the federal budget. He is the only candidate that stands for the entire bill of rights and advocates a foreign policy that was outlined by the founding fathers. President Paul will help to restore constitutional government and defend our God given rights. My family and I, Stand with Rand Paul for President,” County Councilman Stewart Jones said.

In South Carolina, Sen. Paul continued to spread the constitutional conservative message of limited government:

“The Republican party must be more boldly for constitutional conservative principles– less government intervention in your everyday lives, and more personal freedom. With the help of State Representative Mike Pitts and County Councilman Stewart Jones, I believe we can defeat the Washington Machine and Unleash the American Dream in the 2016 election,” Sen. Paul said.

Originally appeared in GoLaurens.com

Jones Tops Coleman for County Council District 4 Seat

After more than 20 years of service to Laurens County, former County Council chairman Jim Coleman is being replaced by newcomer Stewart Jones as the new County Council Representative for Laurens County District Four.

“I’m honored to have served the people of Laurens County,” Coleman said. “We’ve made a lot of progress.”

Coleman went on to say that there are still a lot of good people on the County Council and he hopes that they can keep the trend of progress moving forward.

“The team’s still in place [so] we’ll be ok,” Coleman said.

Coleman conceded to Jones around 8:30pm on Tuesday night, with eight precincts still yet to report in their numbers.

“I’ve given my life to it [County Council] for 20 years,” Coleman said. “Now it’s time for somebody else to take over the reins.”

Jones was ahead the whole night, taking the lead from the first precinct report.

This will be Jones’ first government official position at any level, though he has been involved with politics for years, most recently with the Laurens County Tea Party.

As Councilman, Jones says that he plans to increase government transparency and fiscal responsibility.

“The people of Laurens County District 4 are my first concern,” Jones said. “It is important for the citizens of Laurens County to be aware of the workings of our local government that ultimately affect them.”

Jones beat out Coleman for District Four Representative, 1,555 votes to 1,100. Click here to see votes by precinct.

Originally appeared in GoLaurens.com

Jones Challenging Coleman for County Council District 4

The filing period for political office submissions in Laurens County ended on Sunday as County Council Districts 1,4, and 5 are open for election this year, as well as S.C. House seats in District 14 and District 42.

The offices of Laurens County Probate Judge, Treasurer, and Auditor are also open and will be unopposed.

Incumbent Councilmen Ted Nash and P. Keith Tollison, both Republican, have filed to run unopposed for Districts 1 and 5, respectively, while the District 4 seat will see a challenger to incumbent Democrat and chairman of the council, James Coleman, in Laurens Tea Party member, Stewart Jones.

Jones, who filed on March 27, 2014 at 11:01 a.m., is a member of the Lakelands Republican Liberty Caucus and contributed $206 to the Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign according to campaignmoney.com

Incumbent Rep. Mike Pitts is running unopposed for S.C. House District 14. 

Former Mayor of Clinton and S.C. House District 15 representative David Tribble submitted to run for the District 42 seat, which represents portions of Union County and Laurens County.

The current representative, Rep. Mike Anthony, intends to run for the State Superintendent of Education office this year.

Tribble will face a primary election in June, running against Republican Mark Cathcart, a Union County native and Clemson graduate who is making his first run for public office.

Judge Kaye W Fridy, a Democrat, filed for another term as Probate Judge. She has served as Probate Judge for Laurens County since June 28, 1993.

Sally Lancaster, a Democrat, filed for another term as County Auditor. She has held the position since 1993.

County Treasurer, Democrat Cynthia M Burke, filed to serve another term as well. Burke has served as County Treasurer since 1996.

Originally appeared in GoLaurens.com