Income Alternatives


There is a good reason why we all need income alternatives… so money flows to us wherever we are.

This is a time of enormous change and many concepts that have dominated our lives are in turmoil.   This is all part of nature’s evolutionary way but those who do not adjust their templates of thought to the change may suffer.  Streams of revenue may also be reduced or dry up completely… so the faster the change… the more income alternatives… the better.

Take for example that concept that Americans live in the Land of the Free.  The concept I grew up under was that China and Russia were brutal police states and America was land of the free.

America in many ways is a police state… much more as you’ll see below than China or Russia.  Having lived abroad from an early age,  I was able to watch several shifts of freedom in a detached way.   I have observed over 40 years of two areas of creeping legislation that are making Americans suffer.  This creep has created onerous restrictions on banking and investing abroad and on using well proven medical practices that are used in many other countries but are considered crimes in America.

jail

Photo from LA Times article "FBI probing reports of beatings in L.A. County jails" See link below.

Several readers jumped on this site’s recent article Three Ecuador Gifts that outlined a book co authored by Dr. Robert Wickman.

One reader asked:  Why are you promoting Dr Wickman’s book. Do you know he is a convicted felon in the States?

My reply:  Our purpose is to share out of the box ideas with our readers to help them see global ways to improve their health and wealth… to help them broaden their horizons and escape the tyranny of narrow minded views.

We have no respect for the many facets of US criminalization. You can become a felon in the USA for not paying tax… for simply failing to file a correct banking form… for simply giving good investing advice and for numerous medical practices that have been accepted in many societies for many generations.

The system is so overloaded with social crimes enforced by the SEC, FDA, IRS, DEA etc. that while 1 out of every 142 Americans is now actually in prison, 1 out of every 32 are either in prison or on parole from prison, according to a report on Americans behaving badly from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

This means that 6.7 million adult men and women — about 3.1 percent of the total U.S. adult population — are now very non-voluntary members of America’s “correctional community”. Chances are you use the services of a felon every day.

In fact chances are that most of us have unknowingly committed a felony because this is such a highly regulated atmosphere.  The only difference between Dr. Wickman and most Americans is that the non convicted have not been perceived as a threat or caught up in any special focus by authorities.

Another reader received the same reply and object and assured me he nor his wife had ever committed a felony.

I highly suspect he has (unknowingly of course) and this suspicion is supported by a Wall Street journal article about the book “You Commit Three Felonies a Day” written by Boston attorney Harvey Silverglate.  It says: Technology moves so quickly we can barely keep up, and our legal system moves so slowly it can’t keep up with itself.  Sometimes even criminal laws are left vague, to be defined case by case. Technology exacerbates the problem of laws so open and vague that they are hard to abide by, to the point that we have all become potential criminals.

Boston civil-liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate calls his new book “Three Felonies a Day,” referring to the number of crimes he estimates the average American now unwittingly commits because of vague laws. New technology adds its own complexity, making innocent activity potentially criminal.

In 2001, a man named Bradford Councilman was charged in Massachusetts with violating the wiretap laws. He worked at a company that offered an online book-listing service and also acted as an Internet service provider to book dealers. As an ISP, the company routinely intercepted and copied emails as part of the process of shuttling them through the Web to recipients.

The federal wiretap laws, Mr. Silverglate writes, were “written before the dawn of the Internet, often amended, not always clear, and frequently lagging behind the whipcrack speed of technological change.” Prosecutors chose to interpret the ISP role of momentarily copying messages as they made their way through the system as akin to impermissibly listening in on communications. The case went through several rounds of litigation, with no judge making the obvious point that this is how ISPs operate.

Other misunderstandings of the Web criminalize the exercise of First Amendment rights. A Saudi student in Idaho was charged in 2003 with offering “material support” to terrorists. He had operated Web sites for a Muslim charity that focused on normal religious training, but was prosecuted on the theory that if a user followed enough links off his site, he would find violent, anti-American comments on other sites. The Internet is a series of links, so if there’s liability for anything in an online chain, it would be hard to avoid prosecution.

Mr. Silverglate, This is a common problem in securities laws, which Congress leaves intentionally vague, encouraging regulators and prosecutors to try people even when the law is unclear. He reminds us of the long prosecution of Silicon Valley investment banker Frank Quattrone, which after five years resulted in a reversal of his criminal conviction on vague charges of obstruction of justice.

These miscarriages are avoidable. Under the English common law we inherited, a crime requires intent. This protection is disappearing in the U.S. As Mr. Silverglate writes, “Since the New Deal era, Congress has delegated to various administrative agencies the task of writing the regulations,” even as “Congress has demonstrated a growing dysfunction in crafting legislation that can in fact be understood.”

Prosecutors identify defendants to go after instead of finding a law that was broken and figuring out who did it. Expect more such prosecutions as Washington adds regulations.

See a link to the Wall Street Journal article “You Commit Three Felonies” a day below for more on this.

This by the way is costing state governments nearly $50 billion a year and the federal government $5 billion more and makes America the most prison-heavy country in the world, far outstripping China, which has the second highest rate of imprisonment as well as Russia, ranking third.

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This chart above from www.libertyforlife.com graphically shows the problem.

Yet the problem will probably grow worse because felonies are just the tip of the iceberg.  Our risks of going to jail for a felony may still be pretty minor, but the chances of our being fined for unknowingly committing lesser crimes due to our form filling and filing inabilities is really growing!

A December 20, 2011 USA Today article “Nearly one in three people will be arrested by the time they are 23” by Donna Leinwand Leger shows the incredible problem when it says (bolds are mine):  Nearly one in three people will be arrested by the time they are 23, a study published Monday in Pediatrics found.

The new study is an analysis of data collected between 1997 and 2008 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The annual surveys conducted over 11 years asked children, teens and young adults between the ages of 8 and 23 whether they had ever been arrested by police or taken into custody for illegal or delinquent offenses.

The question excluded only minor traffic offenses, so youth could have included arrests for a wide variety of offenses such as truancy, vandalism, underage drinking, shoplifting, robbery, assault and murder — any encounter with police perceived as an arrest, Brame says.

The high rate of arrest among youth is troubling because the records will follow them as adults and make it harder for them to get student loans, jobs and housing, says Kurlychek, an associate professor at University at Albany-SUNY who studies juvenile delinquency. “Arrests have worse consequences than ever for these juveniles,” she says. Arrest records “follow you forever. The average teenager who steals an iPod or is arrested for possession of marijuana — why do we make that define their lives?”

This is one reason we see tens of thousands of Americans moving abroad… to get away from this onerous and punitive administration.

How easy is it to become a felon?

We can see that a felony in America does not mean much. Our publication tries to judge people based on what they achieve not on labels that an imbalanced US justice system doles out.  We try to give the same consideration to all.

The faster pace of change of many concepts that have dominated our lives is affecting us all…  often hurting emotionally… sometimes challenging mentally and always impacting our finances.  This acceleration can help us or hurt us… but if we embrace the change we can gain as we help others through new income alternatives.  Now is there any crime in that?

One way to gain an income alternative from change is in the writing, publishing, communications industry. See why it is one of the most legally protected sources of income in the world below.

Gary

 See a link to the Wall Street Journal article “You Commit three Felonies a day for more on this.

Read USA Today article Nearly one in three people will be arrested by the time they are 23

See LA Times article “FBI probing reports of beatings in L.A. County jails”: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/25/local/la-me-fbi-jails-20110925

 

 


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