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Pro-Gold Side Polling Ahead In Switzerland
The United States government isn’t going to legalize gold and silver as legal tender anytime soon, so gold bugs in the U.S. will have to live vicariously through the citizens of Switzerland. If the current polls are accurate it looks like gold lovers across the globe could soon be celebrating a small victory with the people of Switzerland.
The poll had quite a large sample of 13,397 people from all over Switzerland who participated in the first phase of the 20 Minuten online survey on October 15.
The poll shows that 45% approve the Swiss gold initiative and 39% are against. There are 29% firm yes voters and 28% firm no voters (see graph). The poll shows 16% are leaning towards a yes or are “more yes” and 11% are leaning towards a no or are “more no.”
20 Minuten or 20 Minutes in English, is a very popular German language free daily newspaper and online paper in Switzerland, published in a tabloid format and online.
The political scientist Lucas Leeman and Fabio Wasserfallen organised the survey according to demographic, geographic and political variables and it is weighted so that the sample corresponds as closely as possible the structure of the voting population according to 20 Minuten.
There are a lot of swing voters with 16% undecided and not wanting to commit themselves.
The poll suggests that the Swiss gold initiative remains tightly in the balance and may be much closer than is commonly expected.
As we discussed in a previous edition of TMR, The Swiss Gold Initiative is comprised of three parts: halting of all Swiss government gold sales, repatriation of all Swiss gold held in foreign vaults, and resuming the backing of the Swiss Franc with gold at a minimum of 20%. Prior to May 2000, the Swiss Franc was required to be backed 40% by gold, so the new initiative would not return the Franc to its previous gold standard, but would ensure some backing.
The implementation of a gold standard is a small victory for sound money advocates and will act as a restraint on the government spending and should temper the devaluation of Swiss Francs. In a more free society the market would dictate the commodity that best serves as money, but certainly a gold backed currency is better than a fiat system where the money is backed by nothing at all.
We’re rooting for you Switzerland, don’t you go letting us down!
Local Police Militarization Caused By Feds
During my daily liberty scroll across the internet I stumbled across a fabulous article about the alarming militarization of local police. It referenced the downright totalitarian police actions witnessed during the lockdown following the Boston bombing and the response to the recent riots in Ferguson, Missouri. The article’s author, TJ Martinell, correctly assigns blame to the federal government for funding the militarization of police forces across the nation.
I’ll share the conclusion of the article with you here as quoted from the Tenth Amendment Center:
While many Americans see police militarization as a local problem, it is merely a symptom. A combination of unconstitutional laws, flawed foreign policy, and corrupt use of taxpayer dollars is the real root-cause.
While the police departments are to blame for their individual actions, one has to ask what would occur if they stopped receiving these billions of dollars from the feds. Left to local resources, the police would be at the mercy of the taxpayers who suffer the consequences when they get out of line. People ultimately obey those who pay them, and as long as it’s the feds funding the police, we can’t expect them to listen to us.
If we are to stop the militarization, then we have to cut off the flow of funds enabling them to amass such power. This will only happen when the money spigot in D.C. is turned off. And that will only happen when state and local governments twist the handle.
Martinell hits the nail on the head with this analysis. In order to reverse the trend it is imperative that the source providing the means to militarize local police forces is cut-off and local officials are held accountable to the taxpayers that fund their salaries.
Students Re-launch Open Access Button App
This is such a brilliant idea. Two students have developed a browser-based tool that records users’ interactions with paywalls and provides a different way to access the material; chiefly by automatically contacting the author. The application will inform the author that someone is hitting a paywall while attempting to access their work and will ask the author to provide a link for free access to the content.
Millions of people use research everyday. From students, medical professionals, to curious hobbyists, we all benefit from being able to access, read, and cite reliable, tested information. But getting the research we need can be hard and costly when it’s locked up behind expensive paywalls. Two university students, David Carroll and Joseph McArthur, were finally fed up with being denied access to online journals and articles that were necessary to continue their studies—so they decided to take matters into their own hands. The result was Open Access Button, a browser-based tool that records users’ collisions with paywalls and aids them in finding freely accessible copies of those research articles. The previous version had over 5,000 users and mapped nearly 10,000 encounters with paywalled research.
This week they have re-launched the tool as an updated, more powerful app suite. If a user hits a paywall to an article or paper, the tool will automatically notify its author on the user’s behalf to let them know that someone has been blocked from accessing their work, and ask them to submit a link to a freely accessible version. If the author responds with a link, the app will not only provide that link to the original user but will also display the alternative link to anyone who tried to views the research in the future. In practice, this could incentivize authors to deposit their work into open research repositories.
Oh the glories of the internet, what will they think of next!
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