Parallel paths and the dangers of hyperinflation

Unemployment at a historic high. The mood of the people is low and full of discontent. The country is fraught with social and economic tension, while the economy is on the verge of collapse. Millions are living in poverty trying to protect their families as turmoil, political destruction, and violence is abundant.The value of the dollar dramatically plunging as government recklessly prints money by the wheelbarrow to pay off a skyrocketing debt.

These conditions aren't far off from what faces America today, but on TheBlaze's hyperinflation special Wednesday night Glenn explained that these conditions were actually those of Germany at the end of the first World War as the Weimar Republic went through horrific hyperinflation. And while many would argue that the path to hyperinflation was a long and complex affair, the undeniable truth was that it was a result of the government printing money they didn't have in order to pay off the debt. Sound familiar?

Germany ended up having to print all that money for three key reasons: 1. Negative consequences of a deadly and expensive war 2. Economic crisis of unprecedented proportions 3. Social and class division.

As a result of the first World War, Germany had several punitive reparations placed on them by the Treaty of Versailles. As the loser of the war, they were supposed to pay back the Allies for all loss and damages the victorious countries incurred.

Germany also had expensive entitlement programs, including benefit programs for veterans that they could not afford to pay. German soldiers returning home had a difficult time re-entering society, and felt betrayed when the promised benefits were not there.

Germany simply could not afford to pay their debts, and citizens could not afford increased taxes. The costs of running the government increased, so the Weimar Republic began printing money. As prices surged, sometimes increasing exponentially over a single day, people realized they had to spend their money quickly before it lost its value (hyperinflation).

During this same period, Germany saw a rise in riots, anti-semitism, political violence, and unrest. With everyone's money becoming worthless, the institutions upon which these values were based eroded and so did the values themselves.

The deteriorating conditions left the German people desperate for a leader who could feed them, clothe them, and restore Germany to what it once had been. Coming out in strong opposition to the Weimar Republic, Adolf Hitler and the Nazis were able to eventually seize power by promising the German people a different path.

And we all know how that went.

Glenn explained on the show how today America is facing a similar situation. We stand at the edge of a fiscal cliff. We have an out of control national debt that we aren't able to pay. Our political leadership is deadlocked, and the Fed's solution is quantitative easing. In many way, America is following a parallel path to Germany in the 1920s.

So what do you do? Glenn explained that “In a crisis of chaos, only the most organized will take control.”

He explained there were three areas to focus on to organize and prepare:

1. Contact your governor. Tell them they get your states gold back. Strengthen local and regional banks. Make sure your state is as independent and secure as possible. Be self-sufficient at home and with your local community.

2. Get your children out of the public education system where they are being indoctrinated.

3. Change the media. Glenn is trying to do this with TheBlaze, but the truth is that the mainstream media is feeding the American people half-truth and lies. Look at primary sources, read with a critical eye, and question with boldness what the media is trying to tell you.

Reform Conservatism and Reaganomics: A middle road?

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Senator Marco Rubio broke Republican ranks recently when he criticized the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by stating that “there's no evidence whatsoever that the money's been massively poured back into the American worker." Rubio is wrong on this point, as millions of workers have received major raises, while the corporate tax cuts have led to a spike in capital expenditure (investment on new projects) of 39 percent. However, the Florida senator is revisiting an idea that was front and center in the conservative movement before Donald Trump rode down an escalator in June of 2015: reform conservatism.

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The "reformicons," like Rubio, supported moving away from conservative or supply-side orthodoxy and toward policies such as the expansion of the child and earned income tax credits. On the other hand, longstanding conservative economic theory indicates that corporate tax cuts, by lowering disincentives on investment, will lead to long-run economic growth that will end up being much more beneficial to the middle class than tax credits.

But asking people to choose between free market economic orthodoxy and policies guided towards addressing inequality and the concerns of the middle class is a false dichotomy.

Instead of advocating policies that many conservatives might dismiss as redistributionist, reformicons should look at the ways government action hinders economic opportunity and exacerbates income inequality. Changing policies that worsen inequality satisfies limited government conservatives' desire for free markets and reformicons' quest for a more egalitarian America. Furthermore, pushing for market policies that reduce the unequal distribution of wealth would help attract left-leaning people and millennials to small government principles.

Criminal justice reform is an area that reformicons and free marketers should come together around. The drug war has been a disaster, and the burden of this misguided government approach have fallen on impoverished minority communities disproportionately, in the form of mass incarceration and lower social mobility. Not only has the drug war been terrible for these communities, it's proved costly to the taxpayer––well over a trillion dollars has gone into the drug war since its inception, and $80 billion dollars a year goes into mass incarceration.

Prioritizing retraining and rehabilitation instead of overcriminalization would help address inequality, fitting reformicons' goals, and promote a better-trained workforce and lower government spending, appealing to basic conservative preferences.

Government regulations tend to disproportionately hurt small businesses and new or would-be entrepreneurs. In no area is this more egregious than occupational licensing––the practice of requiring a government-issued license to perform a job. The percentage of jobs that require licenses has risen from five percent to 30 percent since 1950. Ostensibly justified by public health concerns, occupational licensing laws have, broadly, been shown to neither promote public health nor improve the quality of service. Instead, they serve to provide a 15 percent wage boost to licensed barbers and florists, while, thanks to the hundreds of hours and expensive fees required to attain the licenses, suppressing low-income entrepreneurship, and costing the economy $200 billion dollars annually.

Those economic losses tend to primarily hurt low-income people who both can't start businesses and have to pay more for essential services. Rolling back occupational licenses will satisfy the business wing's desire for deregulation and a more free market and the reformicons' support for addressing income inequality and increasing opportunity.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality.

Tax expenditures form another opportunity for common ground between the Rubio types and the mainstream. Tax deductions and exclusions, both on the individual and corporate sides of the tax code, remain in place after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Itemized deductions on the individual side disproportionately benefit the wealthy, while corporate tax expenditures help well-connected corporations and sectors, such as the fossil fuel industry.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality. Additionally, a more complicated tax code is less conducive to economic growth than one with lower tax rates and fewer exemptions. Therefore, a simpler tax code with fewer deductions and exclusions would not only create a more level playing field, as the reformicons desire, but also additional economic growth.

A forward-thinking economic program for the Republican Party should marry the best ideas put forward by both supply-siders and reform conservatives. It's possible to take the issues of income inequality and lack of social mobility seriously, while also keeping mainstay conservative economic ideas about the importance of less cumbersome regulations and lower taxes.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate studying economics at Tufts University. He is a contributor for Lone Conservative, and his writing has appeared in Townhall and The Daily Caller. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Is this what inclusivity and tolerance look like? Fox News host Tomi Lahren was at a weekend brunch with her mom in Minnesota when other patrons started yelling obscenities and harassing her. After a confrontation, someone threw a drink at her, the moment captured on video for social media.

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On today's show, Pat and Jeffy talked about this uncomfortable moment and why it shows that supposedly “tolerant" liberals have to resort to physical violence in response to ideas they don't like.

President Donald Trump has done a remarkable job of keeping his campaign promises so far. From pulling the US from the Iran Deal and Paris Climate Accord to moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the president has followed through on his campaign trail vows.

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“It's quite remarkable. I don't know if anybody remembers, but I was the guy who was saying he's not gonna do any of those things," joked Glenn on “The News and Why it Matters," adding, “He has taken massive steps, massive movement or completed each of those promises … I am blown away."

Watch the video above to hear Glenn Beck, Sara Gonzales, Doc Thompson, Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray discuss the story.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar brings white fan onstage to sing with him, but here’s the catch

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Rapper Kendrick Lamar asked a fan to come onstage and sing with him, only to condemn her when she failed to censor all of the song's frequent mentions of the “n-word" while singing along.

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“I am so sorry," she apologized when Lamar pointed out that she needed to “bleep" that word. “I'm used to singing it like you wrote it." She was booed at by the crowd of people, many screaming “f*** you" after her mistake.

On Tuesday's show, Pat and Jeffy watched the clip and talked about some of the Twitter reactions.

“This is ridiculous," Pat said. “The situation with this word has become so ludicrous."