The Great Workfare Era Is Here

New Congressional members arrived in Washington last month with much hoopla and the promise that a centrally directed, democratic economy, will usher in a new era of prosperity for all. This new Congress, however, isn’t looking to the hope and promise of the future. They’re looking to the despair and failings of the past.

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” declared Karl Marx in 1875. For the new Congress, and their retread pursuit of democratic socialism, the declaration is: “No shirker left behind.”

To attain this objective, all the accepted laws of gravity and arithmetic must be abolished by legislative decree. House Democrats, and many House Republicans, are eager to comply. Remember, to voters, debts and deficits don’t matter.

Politicians are well aware that to get elected and stay in office over the long haul they must promise free stuff. A politician that promises to cut social security and limit Medicare won’t be a politician for long. Continue reading

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“The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be”

Something rather distressing with the political economy’s going on…

The populace, through a long sequence of self-inflicted economic and social depravities, has a bazillion and one fire ants up its pantaloons.  What’s more, they don’t like the uneven mix of pain and panic this provokes.  But they aren’t quite sure how to put a stop to it.

By their estimation, the main problem, on surface, is that general incomes do not cover general expenses and debt obligations.  There’s even data to support this.  For example, just this week it was reported that a record seven million Americans are 90 days behind on car loan payments.

Indeed, incomes aren’t cutting it.  But why aren’t they?  What has reduced the aggregate value of labor so far below the aggregate price of goods and services?  What’s the real source of the working stiff’s grave economic discomfort?

A scratch below the surface reveals something rather fantastical.  Though scarcely a soul cares to look.  Of those who bother, only a small and peculiar subset will dirty their hands and dig for an answer. Continue reading

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The Big Government Show Must Go On

Another week.  Another week of distractions.  On Tuesday, for instance, was the great State of the Union Address.  To this, many opinions and observations have been offered.  Here, we’ll contribute several of our own…

President Trump is a showman of stout ego.  How he must have relished the run-up to Tuesday’s primetime address with impatient anticipation.  What a disappointment it must have been to look out from the podium of the House of Representatives at the 116th Congress and see the greatest assemblage of political crooks, lowlifes, and losers in living memory staring back at him.

But the show must go on…disappointments and all.  For life’s full of disappointments.  The many botched opportunities.  The countless hours wasted on bids for ridiculous jobs.  Super Bowl Sunday.  Duds, dissatisfactions, and disappointments come a dime a dozen.

Words are also the source of many disappointments.  Words that shouldn’t have been said.  Words that should have been said. Continue reading

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The Categorical Insanity of Central Banking

Currency debasement.  Asset price inflation.  Booms, bubbles, and busts.  Yes, folks, central bankers have succeeded at making full hash of the world at large.  This goes for the Federal Reserve too.

Tracing back recent financial disasters we find the mortgage meltdown coincided with the Fed’s interest rate raising cycle.  The Fed had dropped rates following the dot com bust and, in return, puffed up a massive housing bubble.  So they raised rates to let some air out and – pop! – the bubble exploded.

The dot com bust also coincided with Fed rate hikes.  Rates had been dropped to bailout financial markets from the Long Term Capital Management fiasco and to stem contagion from the 1997 Asian financial crisis.  The cheap credit was then channeled into the delusion that the internet would make everyone rich.  So the Fed raised rates to impart some reality back to the stock market and – kaboom! – the Pets.com sock puppet was blown to bits. Continue reading

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