The View From 1776

Living On The Dole Or In Debt

Liberal-progressives can take pleasure in the Wall Street Journal’s report today that U.S. household debt posted the largest quarterly increase since before the recession.  This while the country remains adrift in the doldrums of the worst economic “recovery” since the liberal-progressive Great Depression of the 1930s. 

Given the liberal-progressive apotheosis of self-indulgence and immoral hedonism, it’s not surprising.  The Federal Reserve has been lavishing fiat money on the stock market, aiming to create a “wealth effect” that will induce people to resume their profligate use of debt that created the housing bubble and implosion of the banking system in 2007-2008.

Rising household debt represents continuation of the long-term trend away from the ethos of hard work and savings for a better future, a trend that gladdens the hearts of liberal-progressive-socialists whose religious catechism includes Keynesian economic doctrine.  Our educational system, from grade school to college, has for more than five decades inculcated the unconstitutionally established national religion of socialism: the belief that saving causes recessions, that capitalism is no more than greed and anti-social competitiveness, that only the collectivized, all-powerful national political state can dispense social justice.

 

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/18 at 08:25 PM
  1. As a self-indulgent, immoral hedonist Liberal-Progressive, I find your characterization of the teaching of certain economic theories as "unconstitutional" to be bizarre. Perhaps in labeling Keynesian doctrine as the "religion of Socialism," you may be concluding that therefore the teaching of Keynesian theory is a constitutional violation of the separation of church and state.

    By this theory, you could label the teaching of relativity (strongly believed in my many scientists) to be a "religion" and therefore should be prohibited from being taught in our schools under the rubric that anything that you believe is true is ipso facto a "religion."

    I could suggest that your theory that the Fed's actions will drive up inflation is based on a strong belief in an economic model that has proven to be no more than superstition. (But I won't.)
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/19  at  10:11 AM
  2. JJ--You twist Tom's words fearsomely--He did not write that socialism is unconstitutional, but simply pointed out that socialism was not and is not "established" by the Constitution. I sympathize with that observation because socialism is taught and supported throughout our educational establishments to a greater extent than true Constitutionally mandated concepts such as habeas corpus, free speech, and the right to bear arms.

    If you are truly an immoral, self-indulgent, and hedonistic person, which I doubt, I can see why you would enjoy the Liberal Left's economic policies. This morning I was re-reading Franklin's autobiography and it struck me how far Americans have wandered away from the important personal virtues he espoused and adopted a self-indulgent victim status. This is the long-tern trand that Thomas refers to and it foreshadows the legendary decline of societies.

    You also err in arguing that Thomas is against teaching socialism and Keynesian economics in schools and the going on extrapolating that he would be against teaching science!--his written words actually say that he is against "inculcating" socialism in the minds of the students. Clearly the goal is to teach all economic models fairly and show where history provides examples how different models have failed or succeeded. Such an exposition, as explained in my book Common Genius, would reveal which economic models have worked and which have failed.
    Posted by bill greene  on  02/19  at  01:22 PM
  3. Thanks, Bill, for that analysis.

    I have to disagree with you, however, in the apparent intent of Mr. Brewton's comments. He is clearly railing against the teaching of Keynesian theory in the schools, which he dubs "the unconstitutionally established national religion of socialism."

    This can hardly be described as favoring the "teaching all economic models fairly."

    He apparently does not believe there is any link between the level of personal spending and its impact on economic activity, and sarcastically says liberals consider to capitalism to be no more than an expression of simple "greed."

    I wish his language and even handedness were as reasonable as yours are.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/20  at  11:49 AM
  4. Mr. Jay, it would be nice for a change if you were to argue against what I actually write. The charges you level are not my beliefs or what I have written.

    First, you write:

    "I have to disagree with you, however, in the apparent intent of Mr. Brewton's comments. He is clearly railing against the teaching of Keynesian theory in the schools, which he dubs "the unconstitutionally established national religion of socialism." "

    What I wrote was:

    "…gladdens the hearts of liberal-progressive-socialists whose religious catechism INCLUDES Keynesian economic doctrine…"

    Second, you write:

    "He apparently does not believe there is any link between the level of personal spending and its impact on economic activity, and sarcastically says liberals consider to capitalism to be no more than an expression of simple "greed." "

    There is a link, of course, between personal spending and economic activity, but it is the reverse of what you presume. There can be no spending without production preceding it. People get paid for producing goods and services that consumers will buy; they then engage in consumption expenditures and, in earlier times, saving of 5% to 10% of their incomes. Without savings, businesses have no long-term source of funding to invest in expanding production or creating new product capacity. Our housing boom and the banking system collapsed, because businesses and consumers had saved far too little and were living on debt far beyond their means.

    Ben Bernanke could fly over a desert island in his helicopter, dumping trillions of fiat, paper dollars on the inhabitants. If there were no means of production on the island, such "money" would be worthless to the inhabitants, because there would be nothing on which to spend the "money."

    So-called government "investment" (aka stimulus) requires prior production to have generated income that can be taxed and transferred to special interest groups that support the political party - Republican or Democrat/Socialist - then in power.

    Our economy will remain in the doldrums so long as Obama concentrates upon punishing business and rewarding labor unions and other special interests.


    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/20  at  04:56 PM
  5. Just to second Thomas' comments, I submit that a phrase like "the apparent intent of Mr. Brewton's comments" represents no more than Mr Jay's subjective interpretation, or selective restatement, of Thomas' actual statements.

    Since Tom's actual statement is unassailable, the need for "interpreting" it into a different context is essential if Mr. Jay is to find fault. This is not an unimportant matter of English usage, or sematic nit-picking. It is the foundation of logic and rational discourse.

    Tweaking and twisting words reduces debate to a muddy and confused state-- an unfortunately too common tactic among Leftists liberals who cannot debate Keynesian-stimulus economics on its actual merits. Consumer spending is not what drives the economy--it is the investments by business and the resulting earnings of employed workers that drives the economy. Faking the numbers by giving people spending money doesn't help much except pyramid the national debt. If it worked we would give everyone a million dollars to spend!

    The problem is we can give people money but we can't control how they spend it. To the extent the money is spent on such things as drugs,imports from China, lottery tickets, soda pop, and beer, the spending is of extremely small benefit.

    Posted by bill greene  on  02/22  at  06:32 PM
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