Tag: Currency

Collectivism Has Destroyed Venezuela

By Trey Johnson | Venezuela

Millions of Venezuelans escape a country destroyed by bad government and coercive collectivism.

The border of Colombia and Ecuador is full of Venezuelans who are doing their earnest to escape the clutches of a coercive regime in search of free markets and better opportunities. Common tourists, amongst the droves of Venezuelans, must wait hours and hours in a line that wraps around the immigration office here in Ipiales, Colombia. During peak days, it can take over 24 hours to cross the border between Colombia and Ecuador.

The border crossing’s elevation is 2898 m (9500 ft), which makes the experience a rather cold one as nighttime approaches. Individuals in line are able to stay warm with the help of vendors selling coffee, hot dogs, and empanadas.

Most South American countries have no choice but to allow free movement of these refugees due to treaties signed by UN member states. The strain of this situation hampers economic stability and the free flow of goods and services due to long lines at the border.

While in the line, one can also learn of the tragedies affecting the people of Venezuela and understand why they are leaving their beloved homeland. Men and women full of fond memories and past success, now crushed by coercive collectivism. Doctors, welders, and professionals of all sorts are throwing away their experience to land a job in a neighboring country, hoping to make the minimum wage of $300 per month in favorable countries such as Chile and Peru. Ecuador and Colombia are not desirable, and Brazil’s language barrier makes the destination unattainable.

To date, an estimated 4 million Venezuelans have left the country. Hyperinflation is the sole reason these people have left. “There is a lot of work, but there is no money.” The minimum wage is currently 2,000,000 Bolivars per month which equates to $3 USD per month. That is $36 per year. The price of a kilogram of beef in Venezuela is $3 dollars and the price of shampoo is also $3.

To make matters worse, the Venezuelan government instituted new currency controls on money entering the country through financial institutions. In order to send money to your family members stuck in Venezuela, you must have a bank account in both Venezuela and an outside country. One refugee believes this policy is “choking the people.”

The current administration’s new constitution would completely eliminate the ability to own private property. This market uncertainty makes investments impossible.

The people who are working to stay in the country are almost at the end of what seems to be the brink of collapse. Schools are functioning, but they have no food to feed their students. Most of the faculty members leave the schools in search of new opportunities. Revolutionaries like the violin playing patriot and Oscar Pérez have become heroes to Venezuelans trying to take back their country.

The Venezuelan regime is continuing to provide a box of food to each family in accordance with its collectivist agreement. This box is called CLAP and contains two packages of flour and rice along with powdered milk “if you are lucky.” The frequency of these food distributions is about once every 5 to 6 months according to a refugee waiting in the 24-hour line.

One wealthy Venezuelan had a stable career for over 15 years. He had a house, a car, and “a whole complete life.” He went on trips with his family inside and outside the country. Right now he is busy moving groups of Venezuelans to more favorable environments scattered throughout South America. He understands the attraction of collectivism and believes “the Venezuelans have to learn the lesson.”

A Colombian bus driver passes and asks, “are you going to Cúcuta?”, a town on the border of Venezuela and Colombia, 32 hours in the opposite direction from this particular crossing.

It is truly a sad state of affairs for the people of Venezuela who slowly lost their grip on freedom and their country. Experts believe it will take 30 years to bring this country back to its former self. Many Venezuelans will most likely never return to their homeland, which is but another civilization lost to socialism and coercive collectivism.

Thousands of Venezuelans at the Border of Colombia and Ecuador

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TrumpBucks™

By Spencer Kellogg | @TheNewTreasury

“I wonder if people would burn money if Trump put his face on it?”

You know they would! In the history of central banking, there has never been a greater direct action against centralized inflationary monetary policy than TrumpBucks™. Say goodbye to NSA manufactured Bitcoins and hello to the new $10 orange toupee. I can see it now: roving masked activists burning piles of US Dollars in the streets of America and the grin on my face is only growing wider. Not only would it represent the full symbolic realization of Trump’s massively inflated ego, it would also bring about the desecration of blood money that has sustained the American empire of tyranny, racism, and war.

Win-Win.

The US Dollar has always featured war-mongering, racist white men so why should we stop with Jackson, Grant, Washington & Hamilton? Let’s complete the wheel of total white hegemony by enshrining this miserable presidency with a lasting image of what America really stands for in 2018: namely, burning through piles of cash to kill Muslims and prop up poorly run banks and car companies. Awesome!

In fact, now that I think about it, why don’t we just put Trump’s ugly mug on every single unit of currency printed from here on out? Hell, if Mao Ze Dong can kill a 45 million of his own citizens in four years and still get his face on every printed RMB, maybe we should play hardball by ripping off some of their superior intellectual design and put our own uncompromising dictator on the front of every USD. How much will the Chinese steal from us before we steal back!?

Help me realize this powerful tool of anti-state insurgency by tweeting #TrumpBucks. Knowing the President, he will be so flattered by the sign of support that he himself will create the sufficient media storm to bring this important issue to the attention of the American public. If nothing else, we’ll get a good Kyle Dunnigan Instagram out of it.


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Kodak Raising Crypto Funds for Image Copyright Blockchain

Eli Ridder | @EliRidder

Kodak, famed for its photography products, is working with Wenn Digital in raising money for its blockchain image copyright system in a token offering for a partner cryptocurrency. 

On May 21, the Wenn-created KODAKCoin will be offered to the public with the aim of raising $50 million USD and to fund the KODAKOne blockchain that seeks to protect the copyright of image media registered on the platform.

Shares in Kodak bounced upwards to $13.25 in January when the Wenn deal was announced, before dropping to below half that when news of the blockchain’s rollout delay was announced due to regulatory issues.

“We really took a step back and decided that we would ensure that all Ts were crossed and Is dotted before we embark on a public sale,” Cam Chell, chairman and co-founder of KODAKOne, told Reuters news agency in an interview.

“I think $50 million is our sweet spot,” Mr. Chell said.

Blockchain is the digital system behind the likes of Bitcoin, and is a shared database of information that maintained and kept in check by a network of computers connected to the internet.

A similar strategy was utilized by Filecoin in the late summer and early Autumn of last year, and some $200 million was raised by the network that facilitates the storage, retrieval and transmission of data, reported Reuters.


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South Africa’s New President Plans To Seize White Farmland

Spencer Kellogg | @TheNewTreasury

New South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has been in office for less than a month. However, his administration has already begun a massive overhaul of agricultural and economic policies aimed at turning around their struggling economy and righting injustices of the past. Currently, more than 25% of citizens are out of work and overall economic numbers are looking sluggish. To combat this, Ramaphosa favors state redistribution of white owned farmland to poor, Black South Africans.

Ramaphosa shocked many when he announced plans to take over white-owned farmland. Land ownership remains a political and cultural divide in a nation still reeling from the impact of Apartheid. In fact, the ruling ANC (African National Congress) has suggested the country’s constitution should be amended, so that the state can seize white farmland without payment.

Clearly, the race-based seizure of private property will create political and cultural uproar. However, it will also create issues in the agricultural banking and loan systems. For example, it remains unclear who would pay for the remaining loan balances on South African farms that collectively hold an estimated 125 Billion Rand of debt.

South African government recently claimed the black population owns a mere 4% of the nation’s farms (source). Today, much of the angst in South Africa is perpetuated along racial lines. As white land owners have maintained profitable businesses, many natives still live in abject poverty. Ramaphosa has attempted to downplay the talk of land seizure. To do this, he is suggesting the majority of seized land will be in currently unowned territories.

Ramaphosa recently assured Moody’s, the world’s leading bond credit rating agency, that his plan to expropriate white owned farm land would not have a negative effect on the country’s economic outlook. Markets have reacted positively to Ramaphosa’s interest in deregulating the mining industry. In fact, the Rand has gained 7% on the USD in the months since Ramaphosa took over.

Yet, some leading economic and agricultural experts aren’t so sure of South Africa’s stability. Ian Matthews‚ head of business development at Bravura‚ has suggested that food scarcity could become a problem for the country. As evidence, he pointed to the looming issue of repaying loan agreements with the banks (source).

It would be hard to imagine how the banking and finance sector would be able to overcome large-scale loan losses [that] could arise from an expropriation without financial compensation. Government may well have to step in to prop up the banks and other financial market role players.      –Ian Matthews

Matthews argues that failure to repay loan agreements with FirstRand, Barclays Africa and Standard Bank could lead to bank runs. This would inevitably end in bankruptcy and a widespread economic downturn, affecting nations throughout the continent. South Africa is one of few nations to join the BRICS coalition and their financial independence and agricultural might will be important to the group’s goals.

The South African President has downplayed concern over the new policy.

Image From WikiMedia Commons