GlennBeck.com Exclusive: The Power of Local

Regional self-reliance is more than just farmers markets—it’s the cornerstone of democracy

By Daniel Suarez

The American middle class is shrinking. You might already be feeling the pressure. According to a 2007 study by the Pew Charitable Trust, men in their 30’s now earn 12% less, adjusted for inflation, than men of the same age did in 1974. That’s a median annual salary of $35,010 today versus the equivalent of $40,210 thirty-five years ago. And that study was published before the current recession put more downward pressure on wages.

Generation Y will most likely have it even worse. MIT Economics Professor David H. Autor's recent study finds that if long-term job market trends continue, the person asking "Do you want fries with that?" is increasingly likely to have a college education. And young people are taking on unprecedented levels of debt to get those college degrees—often graduating with $100,000 or more in student loans.

Why is this happening? Americans everywhere are working harder, longer, and faster just to maintain their current situation. Yet, for many, it’s still not enough. More important, widespread public outrage about jobs and the economy seems to have little or no effect on either government policy or corporate behavior.

There’s a growing disconnect between average people and their government – regardless of your political persuasion. Even if super-majorities of citizens want something to happen, that doesn’t mean their government will respond. Why? Where has our collective political power gone?

Economic Sovereignty

The answer is right in front of you whenever you make a purchase. Most of the products and financial services you consume are produced far away from where you live. If it’s a physical product, it was most likely produced in Asia. If it’s a financial product, it was probably produced on Wall Street. By contrast, what does your city or county produce?

Unsure?  You’re not alone.

Even if you do know what your region makes, it’s most likely over-specialized. The net result is loss of regional independence. For example the farm state of Iowa imports 70% of its food due to specialization in hybrids of corn and soybeans that are not directly edible to humans. They instead require industrial processing to break them down into fractional molecules, which in turn become additives for value-added processed foods—some of which actually make it back to Iowa supermarket shelves. And yet, even though American farmers are more productive than ever, the corporate entities below and above them in the supply chain have profited far more from the green revolution. That’s because farmers have little leverage with their primary customer—big agribusiness.

The fact is that any non-symbiotic relationship is bound to have an imbalance of power. Put more plainly: you need multi-national corporations more than they need you. In the context of democracy, that means the public doesn’t really have as much political authority as they think. The pervasive influence of lobbyists in Washington demonstrates this point.

Left or right, money is critical to getting elected in America.  In the year 2000, candidates who raised the most money won 93 percent of the seats up for election in Congress. (USPIRG Report 1/3/01). This is why politicians respond to those who can bring a steady flow of campaign contributions. Who brings that money? Almost certainly it’s not you. According to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the U.S. population gave 83 percent of all itemized campaign contributions for the 2002 elections. So if you’re angry at the government because you feel it’s not responsive to the American people, now you know why: money is what wins elections, and lobbyists—not average Americans—bring a steady flow of money.

But what if all that money didn’t flow into distant corporate coffers but instead stayed right in your region? The balance of power would be turned upside down.

Regional self-reliance is more than a 'buy local' movement -- it's the cornerstone of democracy.  In fact, it always has been. When Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations in 1776, he was describing an economic system not of multi-national corporations, but of individuals who would act in their own self-interest—human beings invested in their community.  If your region wants self-determination, they need to be able to say 'no' to distant power brokers, and you can’t do that if you produce none of the products and services that support life.

Regional self-reliance is economic freedom – and there can be no freedom without it.  Citizens can protest from now until doomsday, but unless they can supply their own critical needs (food, shelter, etc.) from within their region, then they will be forever reliant on distant masters—and ignored when it comes to national policy.

To have a real say in our governance (and to make our civilization durable), we need regional self-reliance, not global hegemonies. Regional self-reliance is ultimately better for everyone – including the corporations – because diverse regional strategies make it less likely that the entire nation will fall prey to the bad decisions of a few (a certain Wall Street bank comes to mind here) and thus wreck the national economy on which all commerce depends.

Protesting and getting angry won't bring control back to your life, but helping to redevelop local economies around critical industries will give you control of your life again. Living locally is not just good for the environment—it’s good for the nation.

Daniel Suarez is an independent systems analyst and the bestselling author of the cyber-thrillers, ‘Daemon’ and ‘Freedom™.’

 

Christians are conflicted when it comes to President Donald Trump. Some proudly support him and his policies, while others just can't accept the man behind the boorish language.

Ruth Graham, daughter of the late evangelist Billy Graham, joined Glenn Beck on "The Glenn Beck Podcast" this week to make a case for the president from a Christian's point-of-view.

Watch a the clip from the podcast below:

Watch the full interview below:


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WATCH: Dem goes to Trump rally and realizes Dems are screwed in 2020

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On Thursday's radio program ,Glenn interviewed Dr. Karlyn Borysenko, who described what it was like attending a President Trump rally as a Democrat. She told Glenn Beck that crossing party lines is nearly forbidden in liberal circles but she branched out anyway — and learned quite a bit about the other side.

Watch the video below for more on this story.

youtu.be

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Ryan: Bernie at the airport Holiday Inn

Photo by Sean Ryan

(Part One) . (Part Two). (Part Three).

Some poor guy booked a hotel at the Holiday Inn Airport Conference Center in Des Moines on February 3, 2020, assuming it would be a harmless Monday night. Only to find himself in the middle of an overflowing Bernie rally on the night of the caucuses.

For the record, the man was not a Bernie Sanders supporter. Far from it. He popped his head backward when I told him where I work, smiling. Well, grinning, to be precise.

*

After her speech, Klobuchar wandered into the crowd, immediately submerged. Selfies. Everybody wanted them. A minute later, the other candidates began to appear on screen, giving speeches.

"Bernie," asked Justin Robert Young, host of Politics Politics Politics.

"Bernie," I said, and we paced to the car and lurked out onto the depopulated streets and the trenchant cold. But we were both bright with excitement, a couple of detectives. The valet attendants in their satin outfits saw two oddities, and they were right.

Justin Young and I had just left the Des Moines Marriott Downtown for Amy Klobuchar's "Amy for America caucus night party." She gave her speech, in a brilliant maneuver. I skated the Nissan down empty streets, quietly listening to Bernie's speech on the Iowa Public Radio station.

"I love this, what we're about to do," I said, gripping the wheel, words hurried, leaning forward, tapping my left boot. "We're going to hear Bernie talking, then we'll park, then walk through some doors and we will stroll into that very room as Bernie is giving the speech that's being broadcast to millions of people."

It was like how in the game Mario Bros., Mario can jump into giant green storm drains, occasionally. Like leaping into the television and joining the cast.

"There's nobody out on the roads," one of us said. "Holiday Inn, right up there." As broad-winged commercial airplanes floated overhead. We scoured for a parking spot and each second felt wasted. Urgent. We needed to be inside that hotel. But there was nowhere to park. Even the illegal spots were taken. Cars had creviced every inch of parking lot and curb and all that, had even jammed into dark pyramids of sludge.

*

Rita Dove wrote, "I prefer to explore the most intimate moments, the smaller, crystallized details we all hinge our lives on."

*

There were so many more journalists press at Bernie's event that the only media spots left were in the overflow room, which itself seemed at capacity. Dank, too. With a heavy vibe, like a sinister library.

The entire hotel exuded gloom. A quietness you hear in locker rooms after a game that should have ended differently.

Bernie supporters, dazed, stomped out into the snow, or to the bathrooms, or just in need of a bit of stomping.

*

Back to Beechwood Lounge, where we watched the Super Bowl a day earlier. Although it felt like a week had passed since then.

Approaching midnight, by that point.

Because Justin consumes politics with an all-encompassing urgency. As if it's a duty. He's clearly studied history and politics for years. Part historian, part political scientist, but also part reporter and part comedian. On one hand, he's guided by the old school approach to journalism. Objectivity. Solemnity. Accuracy.

An American has the right to tell nobody who they voted for. Or maybe it's a cultural thing.

Snow everywhere you look, piles of it full of gas and oil, and rubbish as well. That day was unseasonably warm. The next would plummet us into literal freezing. The kind of day that slows everyone down. With all that ice, you have to be cautious about every step.

Shame is for the uninitiated.

Thanks for reading. New stories come out every Monday and Thursday. Next week, a look at Socrates' sarcasm and Cardi B's political aspirations. Check out my Twitter. Send all notes, tips, corrections to kryan@blazemedia.com

In 1990 Michael Bloomberg's employees created a short book full of crude, sexist, and shocking quotes he allegedly said at work, including one story that has him telling a female employee to "kill it" after she announced she was pregnant. Sadly, that story has him fitting right in with the Democratic party in 2020.

The booklet, titled, 'Wit & Wisdom of Michael Bloomberg,' has resurfaced to haunt the Democratic presidential candidate after "The Washington Post" published the full text on Saturday.

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Monday, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere (filling in for Glenn) shared some of the less colorful (many were too lewd to be repeated on radio,) but no less disgusting quotes.

Watch the video below:

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