P. Gardner Goldsmith
Writer, Television Scriptwriter, Lecturer
gardgoldsmith

Gardner Goldsmith is a television scriptwriter, journalist, syndicated radio host, and lecturer in political-economics. He has spent time in the script departments of “The Outer Limits” and “Star Trek: Voyager”, and, in addition to his debut novella, “Bite” (selected by Ginger Nuts of Horror as one of the best novellas of 2013), and follow-ups, “Fishing” and “Wall”, his prose and poetry have been published in the US and UK. His fiction is available via Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and through local bookstores, so feel free to dive in! 

Goldsmith’s 2007 non-fiction book, “Live Free or Die”, was selected by the Freedom Book Club as a Book of the Month, and his articles on political economics have appeared in the US and UK in such publications and on such websites as Human Events, TechCentralStation, Naked, The Freeman (A Publication of the Foundation for Economic Education), Mises Daily, Investor’s Business Daily, The NH Union Leader, and MRCTV.

He is also a teacher of political-economics and philosophy at various schools in New Hampshire. His website is www.GardnerGoldsmith.com.

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In a new press release, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) chose to vilify a product that appears to be helping people quit, and avoid, smoking. Their agenda appears to favor power over public health.

Less than a month ago, MRCTV reported that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had begun spreading the lie that electronic cigarettes were “tobacco products” - and, thus, should be “regulated” (i.e. their makers should be legally extorted) by the feds. According to their pretzel non-logic, some of the liquids used for “vaping” contain nicotine, and nicotine is in (among many things) tobacco, so all e-cigarettes are “tobacco products,” QED. The result was an FDA mandate that, by 2018, any e-cig company wishing to release a new flavor of liquid would have to prove it was “beneficial” to the health of the entire population (this is not a joke), and spend $1 million to pass FDA muster.

Evidently, their Orwellian behavior wasn’t crazy enough, so the feds went full Terry Gilliam on us, pulling the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) into the circus. On April 14, the CDC announced this rousing headline: “No Decline In Tobacco Use Since 2011”.

This was, of course, insultingly false, which the CDC itself had already admitted, if one recognizes the distinction between tobacco products and non-tobacco products. [intermarkets_ad]

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It sounds like an action movie.

Armed police and federal agents bust into a criminal hideout, weapons drawn, bellowing commands; bad guys scramble like eggs.

Trouble is, this scenario isn’t the stuff of movies or television. It is a case of the federal government invading private property in order to crush the voluntary sale and purchase of raw milk and food.

Since the swearing-in of President Obama, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been involved with at least sixteen raids on private raw milk/food farmers and sellers, and many critics of this repeated aggression could only post their evidence on sites such as YouTube.

But, on May 31, the Massachusetts State Senate Ways and Means Committee passed a bill that would free farm stand owners to sell raw milk, and allow more raw milk producers to sell to retailers and consumers via contractual arrangements. It is a big step for traditionally statist Massachusetts politicians, and marks another in a growing line of state legislatures that are pushing back against this stunning federal overreach.

The Obama Administration is not the first to send federal agents to harass raw milk and food sellers, but its intensely aggressive and malicious approach appears to reflect a heightened animosity towards cooperative gardens, small, non-corporate farms, alternative approaches to nutrition, and voluntary contract between consenting adults.

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Collectivists in the Unites States often point to the National Health Service (NHS) of England as the proverbial shining city on a hill, the Alpha and Omega of political medical systems that shows how socialism can help everyone. But two new stories, and a little known fact about the UK's NHS, reveal why socialized medicine isn't just dangerous - it inevitably leads to economic, medical, and moral collapse.

Created in the late 1940s, the government-run, tax-funded, NHS is now 2.5 billion Pounds in the red. It is so bankrupt that, on May 20, the BBC reported that NHS will cut back on payments and curtail care even more than it already does. According to Chris Hopkins, Chief Executive of NHS Providers, 90% of hospitals are in deficit, and the system is unsustainable.

The NHS already forces long waits on people with life-threatening maladies. As the BBC’s Nick Triggle writes:

“The NHS in England is already missing a series of key waiting time targets, including in A&E (Accident and Emergency), cancer care and the ambulance service.”

These frightening problems have come to light on top of the well-known, glacial-length waiting periods for simple hip and knee surgeries, and the problems continue to mount.

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Dinosaur collectivists in pop media seem averse to noting the stark realities of leftist economics. The current example is the basket case of Venezuela, which the editors of the Washington Post and a gaggle of Hollywood celebrities appear to be afraid of acknowledging.

On May 4, the Post published an article that makes one suspect its editors might be stuck in 2000. Entitled “Venezuela Should Be Rich. Instead, Its Becoming a Failed State,” the piece, promoting the belief that the nation-state is “on its way” to failing, seems a tad late in the offing.

The Venezuelan economy failed a long time ago.

And it failed thanks to the collectivist policies of former President Hugo Chavez and current President Nicolás Maduro. Anyone with functioning eyes could see it.

Beginning in 1999, the year he was elected to office, Hugo Chavez enacted a series of central plans that “nationalized” (i.e., confiscated, i.e., stole) many private industries from their owners and destroyed the incentives for people to work or invest in business.

In America, many of Hollywood’s most famous leftists applauded this approach.

Upon Chavez’s death in 2013, the multi-mansion populist Michael Moore Tweeted of Hugo’s great heroism:

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The bureaucrats in the Food and Drug Administration this month have revealed that they have a real problem with e-cigarettes – an antipathy so strong that if the makers of “vape” products and their customers don’t spend a lot of time and money bowing to the agency, the FDA will shut them down in 2018.

Because, of course, consumers and sellers have to be “saved” from exercising their own free wills.

The first blow in this one-two punch came on May 11, when, as Jacob Sollum notes for Reason, the FDA issued a final report categorizing vape liquids as “tobacco products” and some, but not all, vape accessories as “tobacco accessories,” thus wrapping their Leviathan tentacles around yet another budding, consumer-satisfying industry.

This was done despite the fact that the vape delivery and storage products are not “tobacco”, and the vast majority of the fluids used by “vapers” are not derived from tobacco. In fact, as offered in the report, the FDA definition of a covered tobacco “accessory” could apply to the human hand, which fans of the English language might find curious.

The FDA plans on prohibiting sellers of e-cigarettes from offering the vape fluids or e-cigs to anyone under the age of eighteen. Anyone under twenty-six will have to show a photo ID, and no vape products may be sold in vending machines.

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On May 8, the ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft lost a vote in Austin, Texas, that would have allowed them to continue using their own vetting system to check the backgrounds of their employees. Instead, the companies will be forced to pay the city for background checks, while, in all likelihood, still spending money on their own security.

As a result, Uber and Lyft are leaving Austin.

In a pattern repeated in other cities, both companies effectively have been driven out by politicians, an irony that seems to be lost on those politicians.

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According to the Business Insider, and a public notice posted at the end of April, the United Kingdom’s (UK) commercial speech police, aka the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), is “investigating” incidents of “gender stereotyping” in ads.

The move stems from an “incident” in the spring of 2015, when the company Protein World posted an ad on billboards featuring a fit woman in a bikini and the question, “Are you beach body ready?”

This clear and horrific assault prompted nearly 400 people to complain to the ASA, and 70,000 of the thickest-skinned English to sign an online petition for the UK government ban the ad. The heroic ASA responded, employing an accusation that the ads were misleading, and forcing the company to remove them.

This year, rather than standing behind the excuse of targeting “misleading” adverts, the ASA is becoming more overt. Its bureaucrats are asking Brits to help them conduct their Quixotic quest to ban commercial speech that offends people, “objectifies”, or employs “gender stereotyping”. This coming from a nation that is infamous for its newspapers featuring topless “Page Three Girls.”

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On May 5, 2016, a handful of news agencies and websites erroneously reported that the Social Security Administration (SSA) was preparing to report to the FBI the “mentally ill” recipients of any SSA program, so that the Bureau could block them from legally purchasing or owning firearms. Scandalous headlines told us “Social Security Moves to Block Mentally Ill from Purchasing Guns.” But, that’s not quite right.

Such a move would be dangerous and bad enough - but, the reality is much worse than the SSA defining who is “mentally ill” and having the FBI put them on an unconstitutional “Do Not Buy/Own” list.

According to its post in the Federal Register, the SSA plans on reporting any “disability” or “benefits” recipient who: falls anywhere on the improperly-expanded “Autism disorder spectrum,” has been diagnosed with an “anxiety disorder,” cannot handle his or her own finances, or belongs to any one of myriad other categories defined by, you guessed it, the federal government. The public has sixty days to “offer comment” before the overlords who take their money and hand it out again will act.

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Last Friday, President Obama signed the “Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act” into law, which orders the U.S. Treasury in 2017 to create up to 50,000 pink-gold $5 commemorative coins, 400,000 Silver Dollars and 750,000 silver Half-dollars to promote the “fight against breast cancer.” The coins will sell for the cost of the base metals (they won’t be 100 percent gold or silver), plus the cost for designing and minting, and a surcharge ($35, $10 and $5 respectively) that will be given to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, a New York based non-profit.

It’s a move being applauded by the politicians who promoted it, and by some people who believe that the law reflects how “America Cares.”

This is, of course, ridiculous and impossible.

Since the year 2000, the U.S. Mint has created no more than two “commemorative coins” per year. The numbers minted are kept “low” to let the coins retain their value (a lesson the Treasury and Federal Reserve seem not to have learned when one observes their inflations of the money supply), and each coin is made to reflect some “important concern” that America is tackling, or appreciating, or about which “America Cares.”

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In a move that echoes the 2015 actions of the Texas government, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam on April 28 signed a resolution, passed unanimously by both houses of the Tennessee government, in favor of creating a state precious metal repository.

While it is not a bill, its significance on cannot be overstated.

First, it indicates that the U.S. Dollar is headed for trouble. Vast amounts of pretend cash created by the Federal Reserve are destined to destroy the value of our money. Second, it brings to light the barely-noticed constitutional provision allowing states or individuals to coin their own distinct currency.

First, let’s talk the future value of our money under the influence of inflation. Central banking, be it by a government or a bank licensed by the government to create money, pumps units of currency into the economy. These units are not created through productivity gains and savings, but out of thin air. Imagine a group of people ready to bid on an item at auction, each having determined his or her top price. Then imagine a politician standing outside the room and handing out money to others, telling them to bid on the item. We know what would happen to the price of the item.