March 19, 2013

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: First, They Came For The Cypriots… Like I said, an enterprising GOP member of the House or Senate would introduce a bill immediately to make such shenanigans illegal — and dare the Dems to oppose it.

Related: It Begins: Confiscation of Private Funds by Government Desperate for Cash. (Bumped).

UPDATE: Reader Michael Smith writes:

The near juxtaposition of the recent Instapundit links to 401K withdrawals and savings confiscations both real and planned, suggests that such a draw-downs could be in part a form of wealth guarding.

A 401K withdrawal might be encumbered with tax consequences, but they might just be a potentially smart move with the risk of inflated markets, food and energy inflation, supply shocks, and government pokes and grabs. Would it not be better to hold years of food, tradable items, and other durable tools and supplies, or risk losing them to outright confiscation? Purchase and storage of the right things is no longer so obviously paranoid or foolish. That this is not obviously wrong and instead very possibly true prudence is what is so disturbing about today’s political climate.

Can anyone be sure that 401K drainage might not be by the ants now—as well as the grasshoppers? Surely mostly grasshoppers still, but maybe that’s not so foolish either—better to maximize the hedonic value of a life’s savings than simply lose them. Maybe it’s the only optimistic strategy left: We’re all grasshoppers now!

This line of thinking is great in rationalizing the purchase of a portable power generator or inverter. You *can* take it with you!

Well, that’s close to the thesis of Aaron Clarey’s Enjoy The Decline. Short of going the full Clarey, it is prudent to think of places to put your money where it will be harder for the looters to get at: Paying off debt, educating your kids, hard goods that you’ll enjoy, etc. People in third-world kleptocracies tend to buy real estate in stable foreign countries, which is why so many Venezuelans now own condos in Miami. But it’s not clear that this strategy is a winner for Americans.

The real concern is that when you get productive citizens thinking this way, you’re already a step further down the road to a third-world psychology, which is not conducive to economic growth. Which is, I stress again, why enterprising GOP legislators should be pushing a non-confiscation law.