Welcome to Europe where the vultures aren't hanging back and waiting for things to die anymore. Thanks to the government, the Griffon vulture is showing a little more initative, being proactive, and moving a notch upward on the food chain from scavenger to hunting killer.
Farmer Alain Larralde reported seeing a group of vultures attack and start eating an adult cow. "You can't imagine what it is like to see an animal eaten alive," said Mr. Larralde. There have also been reported sightings of live animals being carried off.
Europe's Griffon vultures have gone from the scavenging habits one expects from vultures to the predatory habits one expects from hawks. This is causing concern in Europe as these large birds with their seven-foot wingspans would make for fearsome predators. And government and its violent and manipulative ways is again at the root of the problem.
In 2007 the European Union started to require farmers to burn the carcasses of their livestock in order to combat the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, more commonly known as "mad cow" disease. Whether this was ever really a major threat that wasn't already caused by government regulations, inflation and taxes making it nearly impossible to survive as a farmer which necessitated them using alternative food sources is definitely up for debate. But in any case, there were probably other better ways to deal with the spread of the disease. This one-size-fits-all government solution might have helped slow the spread of mad cow a bit, but now it's also had the unintended consequence of turning nature's clean up crew into dangerous hunters.
Unintended consequences can be as deadly as they are comical and unforeseen. And unintended consequences are the name of the government's game. We usually focus on the outright economic distortions that every single law, subsidy, tax and bailout causes. But sometimes other sorts of unintended consequences help make our case against the coercion commonly known as "government" for us. As in the case of the Griffon vultures of Europe...
Grahame Madge, of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, reports that three-figure flocks of these large birds have been seen over Belgium and Holland. The birds have ominously circled over playing children in Europe. The vultures made the news recently when they quickly set upon and completely devoured the body of a woman who died in a fall down a slope in the Pyrenees. The vultures made very quick work of her corpse so that in less than an hour only some bones, clothes and shoes remained.
Fear of the vultures has been growing and has resulted in a push to allow farmers to shoot the birds which European farmers are currently stupidly forbidden to do by government as the vultures are currently a protected species. But this is a classic example of compounding problems caused by state interference in the first place. The state uses force (laws) to protect a species...but then they remove that species' food source with a separate bit of coercion meant to be a response to some other hysteria. Then the state has to be petitioned to handle the new problem it's inadvertently created.
You just can't get around the law of unintended consequences any more than you can get around the law of gravity. What strikes me is that everyone knows the problem stems from the mandate to burn animal carcasses. Yet no one is willing to go back and remove that added piece of coercion. Perhaps because they believe the burning of carcasses provides a greater good --i.e. the prevention of epidemic disease-- that outweighs turning scavenging birds into increasingly desperate predators. That is a dubious contention at best.
This does remind me of the situation with seal-clubbing. In order to combat this horrendous practice, there are many organizations who want to run to the government to ban the sale of seal-based products. That is to say, they want to add another layer of government coercion of private behavior. But if you dig just a little, you would find out that Canada encourages the slaughter of the seals in the first place by not allowing anyone to own -- and thus protect -- a live seal! Seals may only be owned, by law, after they are dead...and the property rights go to the one who killed them.
Yes, you read that right. A government won't allow those who love the seals to buy them and thus exercise their property rights to forbid clubbers from clubbing them. Surely there are enough people in the world that care about the seals that they could pool their money and buy up every seal in the Arctic. Then there would be no need for new laws to interfere with commerce. Sadly, the state always creates these kinds of problems and people are conditioned to seek even more state aid or license to address the problems that then invariably arise from the initial state action. Instead of voluntarily pooling their money to buy and protect seals, the seal-lovers have to go to a governing body like the European Comission and beg for yet another law to control other people's purchasing behavior.
The government, as I've said before, is a self-licking ice cream cone. It creates a problem and then tells you it has come to save you with a solution. This can no where else be seen more clearly than with the horrendous war on people... sorry, war on freedom. Wait, what do they call it? Oh yes, the war on drugs. Funny that, as they are just plants and flowers. But, they make them illegal by force and drive the voluntary transaction of plants underground which inevitably leads to society's most violent going underground with it, resulting is a very violent system. Then the government comes along and says that you need government because there are dangerous drug gangs. There are only dangerous drug gangs because of government!
This is what happens every time government tries to "help" with some law or regulation that interferes with people's choices and with buyers' and sellers' figuring out solutions between them. Government is force without feedbacks for correction. So what it claims it wants to eradicate, it always gets more of. That's why anti-poverty programs produce a permanent welfare underclass. And why prohibition results in a thriving black market with an extra layer of gangster violence.
The eminent Harry Browne said it best when he stated, "Government is good at only one thing. It breaks your legs, hands you crutches, and says, 'See, if it weren't for us, you wouldn't be able to walk.'"
Government is a lot like Daffy Duck in this classic skit linked below. Daffy caused the initial minor problem for his hotel tenant and then charged increasing amounts for increasingly problematic "fixes". Pay close attention because this is your tax dollars at work.
This is also why government attempts to help the elderly and the poor with their medical costs have helped make medical care so unaffordable that full nationalization is now seen as the only answer. It's why government assistance with student loans has led to a vast increase in the cost of higher schooling (not the same as education) with much lower quality, with degrees that do nothing to help actually earn higher incomes, or any income at all.
Ah, government. These are the same people the average brainwashed Westerner is hoping will control the various climates of the Earth. I have a feeling that if government did manage to tax carbon, the world would be plunged into an Ice Age while humanity's energy-producing ability would have been mostly destroyed. Billions would starve or freeze to death.
In one sense, our job here at The Dollar Vigilante is very simple and straightforward. We just have to look for the government-spawned distortion that is closest to collapsing on itself. The slightly trickier part is figuring out how to make money from it. But that's what we manage to figure out all the time and then share with our subscribers. So while any brain not too warped by government schooling can see that decentralized alternatives to the dollar like gold, silver or Bitcoin will do well, what may not be so clear is which gold mining company is a good bet to do even better than gold, silver or Bitcoin. As the monetary system falls apart, well chosen mining stocks will produce incredible returns. Click here to find out how more about how we can help you find the best ones.
The sad part is that while we do profit from government stupidity we also have to live here on this space rock and face all the consequences of their actions. Here, in Mexico, that means I have to see armed police everywhere to fight the war on plants. And, now, in Europe, it means keeping a keen eye out your window for when the skies darken with pterodactyl like vultures looking to eat your chihuahua or child alive.
If only that was the worst of it all, it would be okay. Unfortunately, it is just the beginning. When will humanity awaken and stop the insanity of collectivized, violent central planning? If anyone can figure out how to bio-engineer these vultures to only eat politicians and those that adamantly support them then we may be on to something.
Original blog can be found HERE