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Illusion of Recovery Part I: Print and pray has officially failed - Eric Janszen

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  • #31
    Re: Illusion of Recovery Part I: Print, spend, and wait has officially failed - Eric Janszen

    Originally posted by Sutter Cane View Post
    Thanks for your efforts in consistently replying to the libertarian talking points. A lot of the time I see them and get annoyed, but just don't have the energy or don't want to bother. Keep fighting the good fight.
    I'll second that.

    The fierce opposition to building the first sewer system in NYC is a fascinating subject. Only socialists would suggest the public foot the bill for such a boondoggle. Meanwhile back in Milwaukee where they had one of the first, the infant mortality rate was cut in half. Amazing the term "sewer socialist" stuck.
    Last edited by Thailandnotes; 09-04-11, 05:23 AM.

    Comment


    • #32
      Re: Illusion of Recovery Part I: Print, spend, and wait has officially failed - Eric Janszen

      Originally posted by FRED View Post
      Had ROI-based construction programs been started by the end of 2010, without question the following chart of construction spending would look different than it does today.
      Public construction spending is below re-recession levels, peaking at the end of the recession in Q1 2009. Non-residential construction spending after recovering to 2006 levels in 2009 remains there today. Residential construction spending regressed to 1996 levels during the recession and has not recovered.

      Hard to imagine a similar picture today if wide-ranging transportation, energy, and communications infrastructure project were underway.
      I guess I am a bit confused when people say we need "construction" projects vs. SERIOUS "repair/maintenance" projects. I think we need the latter. Clearly the bridge situation is silly- hundreds (I believe) of bridges have sub-standard safety ratings. Let's fix them- all of them. That would have put people to work for sure, and for an "ROI".

      Energy "efficiency"- I still think the boring stuff will turn out to have the best ROI: insulation, shade trees (in the south- kind of puts a damper on solar panels, doesn't it...)

      Obama could have sealed re-election had he done the stimulus package right. Instead he transformed it into pork.

      Comment


      • #33
        Re: Illusion of Recovery Part I: Print, spend, and wait has officially failed - Eric Janszen

        Originally posted by astonas View Post
        +1

        In the new Cold War, I'm less worried about China's "communism with Chinese characteristics" than I am of America resurrecting McCarthyism, and the other attendant problems we had at home. I'm still looking for exactly what form that's going to take, but knee-jerk free-marketers seem to be the dominant candidates in that role at the moment. In any conflict, the real key is not just competing in the struggle, but doing so in a way that doesn't diminish your own nation. To do THAT requires an ability to look objectively at the strengths and weaknesses of one's own arguments, and that is not something I frequently see in the "free markets are always best" crowd.
        -1

        Here we are in the midst of an evolving financial crisis caused by government interference in the free market, and we have people arguing that free markets and people who believe that free markets are the best (though not perfect) way are the problem.

        Free markets are the best approach we have. Free markets made the West wealthy, and freeing up their markets to some degree has allowed China to bring more people out of poverty in the past couple decades than any time in history.

        If there is any benefit to government interference in the free market - and I'm not sure there is, but perhaps there could be - then we are way past that degree of interference.

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        • #34
          Re: Illusion of Recovery Part I: Print, spend, and wait has officially failed - Eric Janszen

          "They" did not put squat into the real economy. They spent 10-20 trillion dollars on the financial economy while they spent what, a few hundred billion on jobs?

          Unfortunately, it will require a massive public works project to make a dent. How much would it cost your household to upgrade the wiring, insulation, repair your house, switch to cheaper energy, etc.? It would take me about 1 year's salary to really make long term changes to an old house. I would guess it takes the same amount from the government to upgrade our country.

          That would be 14 trillion.

          Take 14 trillion and use it to upgrade the country's energy and transportation infrastructure. With a solid plan, the bond holders of the world would tolerate it. And, if they do not... they would have revolted anyway based on our current trajectory.

          We are going to have a crash
          We are going to have misery and inflation

          But, it would also be nice to have some infrastructure out of the deal.

          Comment


          • #35
            Re: Illusion of Recovery Part I: Print and pray has officially failed - Eric Janszen

            Any proof increased govn't spending on infrastructure and energy wouldn't just be more boondoggles like that in California where $535M was "invested" in a green company that recently closed its doors? Or merely given to political cronies and unions and other supporters, as long as it sounds beneficial?

            Why is this method deemed superior to the other side of the coin? ("spending" via tax cuts for businesses, incentives to expand, lowered regulation, etc?)

            Make no mistake, business is corrupt and imperfect. But government seems worse.

            Wouldn't energy tax increases provide the incentive to make alternative energy financially viable while also raising revenue? I doubt any "serious" person thinks govn't can centrally plan that better than private enterprise.

            What about local incentives for businesses to locate outside of major metro areas where traffic jams consume massive amounts of energy in wasted time spent idling in traffic? In the internet age there's minimal reason to commute an hour from the suburbs to a centrally located office.

            Under the theory that cutting deficit spending would be a bad thing, (no doubt it would be painful), where does it end? If it's possible to borrow and spend one's self into prosperity, why aren't we better off with a $14T debt vs the $4T or whatever it was when Ross Perot had his own charts/graphs out 20 years ago?

            What exactly did we get for our $10T "investment"?

            How did the US see such growth 1870-1920 without massive federal deficit spending?

            I still can't see how globalism benefited any American who didn't a) have money to invest, b) have an immigrant-proof job, and c) had a job in the FIRE economy , and Yes, you can "consume" more items for less. But when your real income is fallling doesn' that offset the benefits and then some? Isn't the over emphasis on consumption in our economy a result of this? Cheap consumer items plus easy credit, or deficit spending on massive programs plus the ability to borrow cheap by the government. Sounds like the same things. Huge distortions that we have to now pay the piper for.

            If we were running $1.5T surpluses due to small government does anyone really think we'd be facing potential disaster? How is more debt the solution to too much debt? Isn't the a big culprit massive transfer payments to unproductive individuals, (and wars) with the resulting distortions that causes in the economy?
            Last edited by SalAndRichard; 09-05-11, 12:23 AM.

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            • #36
              Re: Fed gov debt >> 6%

              I have been searching for this figure for a while now. If Fed Govn't debt is indeed just 6% of total debt, even with it so high now, I can see why some are forecasting deflation even with massive deficits. At least for a while. If you borrow $1.5T but an equal amount of debt is removed from the private sector, it would seem to keep a lid on inflation.

              Comment


              • #37
                Re: Illusion of Recovery Part I: Print, spend, and wait has officially failed - Eric Janszen

                Originally posted by dcarrigg View Post
                The Panama Canal is terrible. It benefits nobody. The Hoover Dam sucks too. So does the interstate system.

                Small business!!!! Innovation!!!! Bureaucracy!!!!

                Further catch phrases containing no "solutions"!!!!

                Let me guess, your other tab's open to reason.com. Even they wouldn't hate on the Panama Canal. Ideology is getting thick these days. I think libertarianism will be the new version of marxism. Blind faith in its power grows by the day.
                The Panama Canal was started privately, wasn't it? I believe it was technical issues and disease, not lack of govn't involvement, that initially doomed it. Once they solved those problems, they got it going. If it had been private property they'd still be collecting revenue from it and any debt taken on to build it would have been repaid. (if not nationalized).

                I like the interstate system. But you have to admit that w/o it we might not be using nearly as much energy today. We truck things now that could be sent by rail. We neglected the rail system becasue of it. Local governments neglected public transportation and instead built their cities around interstates that were already there or planned. It caused the virtual end of new smaller cities where people live closer to things in favor of enlargement of existing cities into massive traffic jams and sprawl.

                Hoover Dam. 1. Couldn't be built today because of govn't environmental regulations. 2. Some criticize it as an inefficient malinvestment of money/water/energy to otherwise marginally inhabitable areas. Obviously there was other land elsewhere in the US to grow crops, live, work, etc.

                These things seem to always lead to various distortions and unforseen consequences. I have to think that creative ways to unleash those with money to start businesses here and create their own infrastructure would be more efficient.

                At some point one has to wonder if wealth-envy is shooting us in our own foot and actually destroying the middle class we try to prop up by penalizing business.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Re: Illusion of Recovery Part I: Print, spend, and wait has officially failed - Eric Janszen

                  I have to wonder how much additional energy useage was caused by trends in lifestyle and politics during the past 30 years or so.
                  - much bigger homes require more energy (thanks to govnt inspired credit bubble)
                  - road building as a method of economic "infrastructure" led to more driving rather than public transit and short commutes to numerous smaller citeis that pop up w/o high speed road access.
                  -cheap gas inhibited need for fuel efficiency.
                  -lack of emphasis on oil self-sufficiency for strategic reasons led to preference of buying cheap foreign oil rather than adjusting to limits of our own supply of energy sources.
                  -reliance on middle eastern oil and other aspects of globalism led to hidden costs (a large standing army) and involvment in foreign entanglements.
                  -mass immigration and lack of enforcement led to population increase and resulting higher demands on domestic energy sources.
                  -consumption culture led to more energy consumption.
                  -A complete ignorance of the fact that "cheap" foreign oil and goods and "cheap" domestic services are subsidized by the government through higher defense and transfer payments as domestic workers earn less, require more aid, and immigrants also take a bite. That $20 barrel of 80's oil came courtesy of a $2B carrier and $5B of escorts and such standing guard over the straights the tankers came through.

                  We exported oil during WWII and fought a far-flung war on a massive scale with our own oil. With massive increases in efficiency since then (a 300hp car can get 30mpg highway) there should have been the ability to remain self-sufficient. Money for energy would stay here in our economy.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Re: Illusion of Recovery Part I: Print, spend, and wait has officially failed - Eric Janszen

                    Originally posted by SalAndRichard View Post
                    The Panama Canal was started privately, wasn't it? I believe it was technical issues and disease, not lack of govn't involvement, that initially doomed it. Once they solved those problems, they got it going. If it had been private property they'd still be collecting revenue from it and any debt taken on to build it would have been repaid. (if not nationalized).

                    I like the interstate system. But you have to admit that w/o it we might not be using nearly as much energy today. We truck things now that could be sent by rail. We neglected the rail system becasue of it. Local governments neglected public transportation and instead built their cities around interstates that were already there or planned. It caused the virtual end of new smaller cities where people live closer to things in favor of enlargement of existing cities into massive traffic jams and sprawl.

                    Hoover Dam. 1. Couldn't be built today because of govn't environmental regulations. 2. Some criticize it as an inefficient malinvestment of money/water/energy to otherwise marginally inhabitable areas. Obviously there was other land elsewhere in the US to grow crops, live, work, etc.

                    These things seem to always lead to various distortions and unforseen consequences. I have to think that creative ways to unleash those with money to start businesses here and create their own infrastructure would be more efficient.

                    At some point one has to wonder if wealth-envy is shooting us in our own foot and actually destroying the middle class we try to prop up by penalizing business.
                    We need to just agree that some pieces of public infrastructure were/are good for a country. Next someone will argue that we should privatize the air force or something. It's absurd.

                    One cannot speak in hypotheticals about what would be if governments never existed or did anything. It might be a paradise in the mind's eye, but the 'what-if' idealism of a libertarian (or anyone else for that matter) is not grounded in reality. Nobody can know what would happen would there have been no Panama Canal built by the .gov or no interstate system etc.

                    I'll not buy the argument that the private sector would somehow make a better Panama Canal. If left to "market forces" it would never get built. Businesses who saw the advantage in more expedient shipping were thrilled that the nation built it, I guarantee. There are also geopolitically strategic reasons for needing that canal.

                    That's why the military got the job done. The army corps always has done these bigger jobs. Companies like Elliott Dredges certainly worked to complete the project, but on government contracts. This is okay. It is not the end of the world or a terrible distortion of a perfect market. University of Chicago microeconomics is not the answer to all of the woes of the world.

                    When has a private company ever taken on a large, somewhat risky project without government leading the way? Libertarian tendencies lead toward the explanation that the whole reason entrepreneurs should get oodles of cash is that they take risk. Yet one has to see how risk-adverse the private sector really is. This is also okay. Governments exist as the defenders, insurers and everything-else of last-resort. It can partner with the private sector to get things done. They can actually even work together towards a common goal (believe it or not). There is no dichotomy between private and public sector survival. One does not benefit as the other dies. I promise. Efficient government, sensible government, etc. are things one can argue for. Arguing that it should be done away with entirely is foolish and absurd.

                    Let me put it this way: when the $#!t hits the fan, will citizens want the U.S. Army or a Chicago School economist and a talking head from the Cato institute backing them up? Does anyone think that the average private weapons cache would even be enough to stop a single old surplus T-44? Thought games to prove how absurd it is to argue to privatize everything are easy to play.

                    As to your specific points, Sal&Richard:

                    #1: The panama canal was never a private project. The project, began by the French after the Suez Canal success, was taken over by TR's signing of the Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty. It may have been questionable whether Panamanians ever consented after they declared independence, but it was no private company that did this.

                    #2: Without the interstate system we would surely expend less energy today. We would also be a lot more urban and communiarian (as urban dwellers generally are on average). Moreover, trillions in GDP would be lost. But yes, things would probably be a whole lot more 'sustainable' as the progressives see it. Who knows what would happen in that world. Ask Russia, they never got a proper one built...it would probably look a lot like that, only with far more people.

                    #3: Sure, the dam probably wouldn't be built today unless it had major public political support over environmental concerns. This is likely an issue that will have to be dealt with as we move forward. I personally support the production of pebble bed reactors which suffer the same fate. At some point we need to go with what works and not what is politically expedient. But it was built when both the power and the work were needed. It could be done again today.

                    #4: Now you get into "wealth-envy." I'm sick of this argument. It literally sickens me. Whenever one stands up for not the poor (food stamps; welfare etc.) and not the rich (bailouts of banks/insurance cos./reductions on estate tax etc) one is made out to be "envious of wealth." What if one is not envious of wealth but rather valuing of work?

                    #5: What if I don't personally want billions? What if I want the middle class to be able to make twice what they do if they work hard, earn it, and don't inherit a trust fund? Am I a communist? I don't think so. Take the concept of wealth envy somewhere else. One may find sympathy for it in the house of lords. I'll not honor it on this side of the pond. What if it's my personal belief that a soldier is worth 10 tax-dodging bankers and should be paid accordingly? This I see as the grand battle facing us as middle class citizens in America.

                    There are many talking heads that believe it's okay to 1) get rich by managing a corporation to the brink of bankruptcy, 2) destroy 80% of all shareholder value, and 3) rob people with misleading and fraudulent products. They argue that the "talent" is worth the investment. Then they say that the public must bail them out (and they donate to make sure the politicians hand out the public money). Then they say the money they made shouldn't be taxed because they 'worked hard'. Then they argue that their children should be rich in perpetuity from generation to generation so we must lower the estate tax. Their children then never work a day in their lives and continue to fight for lower taxes on their trust funds. It's a sad joke.

                    Calling it wealth envy is akin to saying that an anti-cannibalist has flesh envy. It's a broken system and a bad idea. Many among the richest in the US have been saying the same thing. But the talking heads say, "what do billionaires know about what's good for them?" It's a sad, sad joke.

                    I will fight the nobility as our forefathers did. There will even be allies among the billionaire class that fight the nobility. They will not win.
                    Last edited by dcarrigg; 09-05-11, 06:23 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Re: Illusion of Recovery Part I: Print, spend, and wait has officially failed - Eric Janszen

                      Originally posted by Mn_Mark View Post
                      -1

                      Here we are in the midst of an evolving financial crisis caused by government interference in the free market, and we have people arguing that free markets and people who believe that free markets are the best (though not perfect) way are the problem.

                      Free markets are the best approach we have. Free markets made the West wealthy, and freeing up their markets to some degree has allowed China to bring more people out of poverty in the past couple decades than any time in history.

                      If there is any benefit to government interference in the free market - and I'm not sure there is, but perhaps there could be - then we are way past that degree of interference.
                      -2

                      As has been pointed out several times over the last few years:

                      What you're really saying (when we incorporate reality into your idealistic viewpoint) is that any attempt to end the capture of government by private banking entities that only want to be left alone will be met with cries of interference in free markets.

                      The guy down the street that aims to start a new business and has to deal with mountains of red tape is not the same as the Lord Blankfein's of the world capturing the levers of govt power and creating a Public Private Partnership (the National Homeownership Strategy) for the purpose of increasing by the millions the amount of people making mortgage payments.
                      Last edited by Slimprofits; 09-05-11, 10:51 AM. Reason: added link

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Re: Illusion of Recovery Part I: Print, spend, and wait has officially failed - Eric Janszen

                        Originally posted by yernamehear View Post
                        I guess I am a bit confused when people say we need "construction" projects vs. SERIOUS "repair/maintenance" projects. I think we need the latter. Clearly the bridge situation is silly- hundreds (I believe) of bridges have sub-standard safety ratings. Let's fix them- all of them. That would have put people to work for sure, and for an "ROI".

                        Energy "efficiency"- I still think the boring stuff will turn out to have the best ROI: insulation, shade trees (in the south- kind of puts a damper on solar panels, doesn't it...)

                        Obama could have sealed re-election had he done the stimulus package right. Instead he transformed it into pork.
                        Road and bridge maintenance is a fixed cost. Road and bridge maintenance supports the existing level of infrastructure for commerce, for the movement of people and goods at a fixed cost and value to users in the economy. If the infrastructure is not maintained, the costs of maintenance decline but the costs to uses rises as the value declines.

                        New infrastructure, on the other hand, is a variable cost that lowers the cost of movement of people and goods in the economy.

                        Michael Hudson and others have suggested using the increase in property values of property that benefits from new infrastructure by capturing part of the increase in asset values in property taxes, and using the additional tax revenue to finance the building and maintenance of the new infrastructure.
                        Ed.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Re: Illusion of Recovery Part I: Print, spend, and wait has officially failed - Eric Janszen

                          Originally posted by SalAndRichard View Post
                          I have to wonder how much additional energy useage was caused by trends in lifestyle and politics during the past 30 years or so.
                          - much bigger homes require more energy (thanks to govnt inspired credit bubble)
                          - road building as a method of economic "infrastructure" led to more driving rather than public transit and short commutes to numerous smaller citeis that pop up w/o high speed road access.
                          -cheap gas inhibited need for fuel efficiency.
                          -lack of emphasis on oil self-sufficiency for strategic reasons led to preference of buying cheap foreign oil rather than adjusting to limits of our own supply of energy sources.
                          -reliance on middle eastern oil and other aspects of globalism led to hidden costs (a large standing army) and involvment in foreign entanglements.
                          -mass immigration and lack of enforcement led to population increase and resulting higher demands on domestic energy sources.
                          -consumption culture led to more energy consumption.
                          -A complete ignorance of the fact that "cheap" foreign oil and goods and "cheap" domestic services are subsidized by the government through higher defense and transfer payments as domestic workers earn less, require more aid, and immigrants also take a bite. That $20 barrel of 80's oil came courtesy of a $2B carrier and $5B of escorts and such standing guard over the straights the tankers came through.

                          We exported oil during WWII and fought a far-flung war on a massive scale with our own oil. With massive increases in efficiency since then (a 300hp car can get 30mpg highway) there should have been the ability to remain self-sufficient. Money for energy would stay here in our economy.
                          All of your points agree with the Postcatastrophe Economy thesis: the simultaneous development of the Dollar Cartel and FIRE Economy since 1980 increased US dependence on foreign oil, reduced the incentive to conserve, and increased incentives to project military to protect US oil interests.
                          Ed.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Re: Illusion of Recovery Part I: Print, spend, and wait has officially failed - Eric Janszen

                            Originally posted by SalandRichard
                            I have to wonder how much additional energy useage was caused by trends in lifestyle and politics during the past 30 years or so.
                            - much bigger homes require more energy (thanks to govnt inspired credit bubble)
                            It wasn't the government that desired the credit bubble. It was the banks and banksters.

                            Originally posted by SalandRichard
                            - road building as a method of economic "infrastructure" led to more driving rather than public transit and short commutes to numerous smaller citeis that pop up w/o high speed road access.
                            It should not be forgotten that the national highway system was created for the purpose of national defense. That this program dovetailed nicely with real estate developers, possible but I personally don't know.

                            Originally posted by SalandRichard
                            -cheap gas inhibited need for fuel efficiency.
                            -lack of emphasis on oil self-sufficiency for strategic reasons led to preference of buying cheap foreign oil rather than adjusting to limits of our own supply of energy sources.
                            -reliance on middle eastern oil and other aspects of globalism led to hidden costs (a large standing army) and involvment in foreign entanglements.
                            Cheap gasoline has been a cornerstone of American government policy for generations. The oil companies want their tax breaks, the car companies want cheap gasoline, the real estate developers want cheap transportation thus permitting suburban real estate, the list goes on and on.

                            Notice what's missing: credible governance and a clear strategic plan.

                            Originally posted by SalandRichard
                            -mass immigration and lack of enforcement led to population increase and resulting higher demands on domestic energy sources.
                            Mass immigration was due to the demand for cheap labor. Again this finger can be pointed at corporations.

                            Originally posted by SalandRichard
                            -consumption culture led to more energy consumption.
                            And who promotes the consumption culture?

                            Originally posted by SalandRichard
                            We exported oil during WWII and fought a far-flung war on a massive scale with our own oil. With massive increases in efficiency since then (a 300hp car can get 30mpg highway) there should have been the ability to remain self-sufficient. Money for energy would stay here in our economy.
                            We didn't have suburbs in WW II. We didn't have more cars than people in WW II. We didn't have Wal-Marts everywhere in WW II. We didn't have widespread air conditioning and refrigerator/freezer combos prior to WW II. The US population in 1945 was less than half the size of the US population today.

                            In fact if the US population today were cut to 140 million (US population in 1945), per capita energy use even at today's levels would still see massive reductions in oil imports.

                            As FRED notes: we aren't where we are by some law of physics. This situation is the culmination of years and decades of poor choices - and many of those poor choices were lobbied for by FIRE.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Re: Illusion of Recovery Part I: Print and pray has officially failed - Eric Janszen

                              Originally posted by SalAndRichard View Post
                              Any proof increased govn't spending on infrastructure and energy wouldn't just be more boondoggles like that in California where $535M was "invested" in a green company that recently closed its doors? Or merely given to political cronies and unions and other supporters, as long as it sounds beneficial?

                              Why is this method deemed superior to the other side of the coin? ("spending" via tax cuts for businesses, incentives to expand, lowered regulation, etc?)

                              Make no mistake, business is corrupt and imperfect. But government seems worse.

                              Wouldn't energy tax increases provide the incentive to make alternative energy financially viable while also raising revenue? I doubt any "serious" person thinks govn't can centrally plan that better than private enterprise.

                              What about local incentives for businesses to locate outside of major metro areas where traffic jams consume massive amounts of energy in wasted time spent idling in traffic? In the internet age there's minimal reason to commute an hour from the suburbs to a centrally located office.

                              Under the theory that cutting deficit spending would be a bad thing, (no doubt it would be painful), where does it end? If it's possible to borrow and spend one's self into prosperity, why aren't we better off with a $14T debt vs the $4T or whatever it was when Ross Perot had his own charts/graphs out 20 years ago?

                              What exactly did we get for our $10T "investment"?

                              How did the US see such growth 1870-1920 without massive federal deficit spending?

                              I still can't see how globalism benefited any American who didn't a) have money to invest, b) have an immigrant-proof job, and c) had a job in the FIRE economy , and Yes, you can "consume" more items for less. But when your real income is fallling doesn' that offset the benefits and then some? Isn't the over emphasis on consumption in our economy a result of this? Cheap consumer items plus easy credit, or deficit spending on massive programs plus the ability to borrow cheap by the government. Sounds like the same things. Huge distortions that we have to now pay the piper for.

                              If we were running $1.5T surpluses due to small government does anyone really think we'd be facing potential disaster? How is more debt the solution to too much debt? Isn't the a big culprit massive transfer payments to unproductive individuals, (and wars) with the resulting distortions that causes in the economy?
                              Great post. Why is it so hard for some to just step back and look at the situation logically like you do? When it comes to economics, logic just seems to fly out the window. White becomes black and up becomes down if people think it will fufill their preconcieved political notions. Some start out with a philosophy, then spend the rest of their lives trying to prove it. Instead they should let the facts lead them to the truth.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Re: Illusion of Recovery Part I: Print and pray has officially failed - Eric Janszen

                                The transfer payments to the poor, many of them armed veterans, is the "bread" part of the circuses. Seriously, do you want 50 million angry, hungry people rising up against the evil __________ who have held them down all these years? The alternative to transfer payments is civil war.

                                The fact is, if you really want to take a step back and look at the big picture... we can produce all our country needs now (using oil) with a very small portion of the population actually working. What do you want to do with all the "surplus labor"?

                                With the organization a functioning government provides, we can at least take the extra labor and build stuff that the rest of us can use and enjoy. Skilled labor may never be this cheap again in the U.S. Interest rates will also never be this low again. If there was ever a time to borrow 10 trillion and make the country a better place to live, now is the time. We even still have oil to burn for the job.

                                Of course, that is only a short term step. Long term, I think we should focus on decreasing population size in the United States and most problems will work themselves out. I think this can be accomplished by increasing inflation (check) and strict immigration policies. The job problem will work itself out as well with less people and more work (less oil) in the future.

                                But make no mistake, transfer payments to the poor make the United States a tolerable, dare I say "nice" place to live.

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