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Taco John
09-13-2008, 03:24 AM
I thought this was a great read...



Ticking Time Bomb Explodes, Public Is Shocked
By Robert Higgs on Sep 10, 2008 in Budget and Tax Policy, Economics, Elections, Healthcare, Housing, Politics, the State

The failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, setting in motion the biggest government bailout/takeover in U.S. history, brings a grim sense of fulfillment to competent economists. After all, what did people expect, that water would flow uphill forever?

This financial mega-mess is the same sort of event as the collapse of the USSR’s centrally planned economy, another economically unworkable Rube Goldberg apparatus that was kept going, more or less badly, for decades before it fell apart completely. Along the way, of course, famous (yet actually unsound) economists assured the world that everything was working out splendidly. As late as 1989, when the pillars were crumbling on all sides of the temple, Nobel Prize winner Paul A. Samuelson informed readers of his widely used textbook, “The Soviet economy is proof that . . . a socialist command economy can function and even thrive.”

In the future, we will see a similar breakdown of the U.S. government’s Social Security system, with its ill-fated pension system and its even more inauspicious Medicare system of financing health care for the elderly. These government schemes are fighting a losing battle against demographic realities, the laws of economics, and the rules of arithmetic. The question is not whether they will fail, but when—and then how the government that can no longer sustain them in their previous Ponzi-scheme form will alter them to salvage what little can be salvaged with minimal damage to the government itself.

Our political economy is rife with such catastrophes in waiting, yet the public always seems startled, and outraged, when the day of reckoning can no longer be deferred, and another apartment collapses in the state’s Hotel of Impossible Promises, loading onto the taxpayers more visibly the burden of sheltering the previous occupants.

Each of these time bombs has at least one element in common: it promises current benefits, often seemingly without cost; but if it must acknowledge a substantial cost, it places that burden somewhere in the distant future, where it will be borne by somebody else. From the standpoint of society in general, every such scheme is a species of eating the seed corn. It satisfies the public’s appetite to consume something for nothing right now, with no thought for the morrow. It represents the height of irresponsibility by permitting people to live higher today than they can truly afford, financing this profligacy by borrowing recklessly and by taxing politically weak and ill-organized people in order to shower benefits on politically strong and well-organized special interests.

Call it democracy in action or utterly corrupt governance; they are the same thing.

The architecture of the Hotel of Impossible Promises is not arcane. All competent economists understand these things. Ludwig von Mises explained as early as 1920 why a centrally planned economy could not work as a rational system of allocating resources. The reasons why Social Security, especially its Medicare component, and many other such government programs contain the seeds of their own destruction have been explained time and again. Are the politicians who construct these structures really such idiots that they cannot understand the logic of what they are doing?

Not at all. But they are not striving to create economically viable institutions that serve the general public interest; they are feathering their own electoral nests in the only way they can in the context of our political institutions. As H. L. Mencken explained back in 1940, the politicians “will all promise every man, woman and child in the country whatever he, she or it wants. They’ll all be roving the land looking for chances to make the rich poor, to remedy the irremediable, to succor the unsuccorable, to unscramble the unscrambleable, to dephlogisticate the undephlogisticable,” because they understand that “votes are collared under democracy, not by talking sense but by talking nonsense.”

And are members of the public so dense that they will fall for such promises? Yes. Moreover, they are greedy, impatient, and immoral, because the present benefits they hope to gain via politics, however unsustainable in the long run, come entirely at the expense of the taxpayers from whom the government extorts its revenues.

“Politics, under democracy,” Mencken wrote more than 80 years ago, “resolves itself into impossible alternatives. Whatever the label on the parties, or the war cries issuing from the demagogues who lead them, the practical choice is between the plutocracy on the one side and a rabble of preposterous impossibilists on the other.” And in a declaration even apter now than it was at the time, he concluded that what democracy “needs beyond everything is a party of liberty.”

The trouble is, however, that now, even more than then, the American people have little interest in liberty. Instead, they want the impossible: home ownership for those who cannot afford homes, credit for those who are not creditworthy, old-age pensions for those who have not saved, health care for those who make no attempt to keep themselves healthy, and college educations for those who lack the wit to finish high school. Moreover, they want it now, and they want somebody else to pay for it.

If you think that Fannie and Freddie’s bust is a big deal, just wait until Medicare comes crashing down. Then, the wailing and gnashing of teeth will be truly unbearable. As that day rapidly approaches, however, you’ll notice that the politicians are doing utterly nothing to forestall it.

http://www.independent.org/blog/?p=186

Smed1065
09-13-2008, 03:32 AM
Fuggers bombed the twin towers tooo..

They can plan one but not 2? Told U...

banyon
09-13-2008, 10:54 AM
I can see why you like this article, but other than crying "I hate socialism!" it really offers little insight into the current financial predicament. He seems to long to live in Sparta, which is about where these ideas belong.

***SPRAYER
10-12-2008, 02:01 PM
It's coming down fast, Whitey!

ROYC75
10-12-2008, 03:10 PM
Oh hush you, irishjayhawk doesn't think socialism is coming to America.

BucEyedPea
10-12-2008, 03:22 PM
I can see why you like this article, but other than crying "I hate socialism!" it really offers little insight into the current financial predicament. He seems to long to live in Sparta, which is about where these ideas belong.

ROFL No, his ideas are the opposite of Sparta. Your's are from Sparta. Get it right. I see you had nothing intelligent to refute any points. Lack of sustainability are the very heart of the problem.

banyon
10-12-2008, 04:14 PM
ROFL No, his ideas are the opposite of Sparta. Your's are from Sparta. Get it right. I see you had nothing intelligent to refute any points. Lack of sustainability are the very heart of the problem.

Did you institutionalize yourself? You've bragged every chance you got for months about how you have me on ignore and now you're quoting month-old posts of mine?

I won't even comment on the ridiculously poor grammar, but commenting on a lack of substance or analysis does not require me to assert anything affirmatively.

irishjayhawk
10-12-2008, 05:02 PM
Oh hush you, irishjayhawk doesn't think socialism is coming to America.

I've never said that. I object to your view that some socialism = USSA.

I also object to your view that only liberals/left/Obama are the ones helping to bring some socialist tendencies to our country.

Guru
10-12-2008, 05:28 PM
That is a great read.

BucEyedPea
10-12-2008, 05:47 PM
I've never said that. I object to your view that some socialism = USSA.
No we've already had "some" 3/5ths based on Marx's writings. Now we're getting the rest of it.

I also object to your view that only liberals/left/Obama are the ones helping to bring some socialist tendencies to our country.

Like Nader and Cynthia McKinney. Oh! Wait, they're not just tendencies they are the whole pie.

irishjayhawk
10-12-2008, 05:49 PM
No we've already had "some" 3/5ths based on Marx's writings. Now we're getting the rest of it.



Like Nader and Cynthia McKinney. Oh! Wait, they're not just tendencies they are the whole pie.

Even full socialism doesn't mean USSA. To say so indicates one does not grasp history and cannot make distinctions.

***SPRAYER
10-12-2008, 05:59 PM
I wonder what the Dow will do tomorrow.

BucEyedPea
10-12-2008, 06:03 PM
Even full socialism doesn't mean USSA.

Why not?

I've been using that after the nationalization of our financial sector. If the term fits use it.

To say so indicates one does not grasp history and cannot make distinctions.

To say otherwise indicates one doesn't have a grasp of history, political forms of govt and economic systems and would be entirely unable to not make distinctions but not see similarities or identical positions.

Please tell me what Marx you've read directly, Russian studies or different economic systems?

irishjayhawk
10-12-2008, 06:08 PM
Why not?

I've been using that after the nationalization of our financial sector. If the term fits use it.



To say otherwise indicates one doesn't have a grasp of history, political forms of govt and economic systems and would be entirely unable to not make distinctions but not see similarities or identical positions.

Please tell me what Marx you've read directly, Russian studies or different economic systems?

USSR incorporated many things other than communism. First of all, communism is a form of socialism but not all socialism is communism. Second, USSR incorporated totalitarianism. If you think the US is close to totalitarianism under Obama, then I guess you can have your case.

As it stands now, we have a democracy with hints (ever increasing) of socialism. That doesn't mean we are the USSA.

BucEyedPea
10-12-2008, 06:16 PM
USSR incorporated many things other than communism. First of all, communism is a form of socialism but not all socialism is communism. Second, USSR incorporated totalitarianism. If you think the US is close to totalitarianism under Obama, then I guess you can have your case.
Soviet Union was a socialist dictatorship. Period. It never reached the point where the state withered away for true communism. That's what Marx was talking about...the two stages. That socialist dictatorship was implemented via violent revolution. So it's called Marxism-Leninism. The lay person has come to think of the Soviet model as communism but technically isn't.

Or there is Fabian Socialism aka creeping socialism done through the democratic vote. But that does not respect property rights so what the majority wills, they can take. It's just implemented differently. It winds up in the same place as a socialist dictatorship economically.

Marx said that "Democracy is the road to socialism." The majority votes to take some of your property which includes income.

USSR merely stands for Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. So USSA fits.

As it stands now, we have a democracy with hints (ever increasing) of socialism. That doesn't mean we are the USSA.
America was not founded as a democracy. The Framers expressed disdain for democracy. We were founded as a constitutional representative republic. That Constitution protects property rights. It's been in the way of implementing socialism...hence FDR's attempt to pack the SC and the left prefering activist judges to bend the meaning. It's been our descent into more democracy that we have gotten on " the road to socialism." Just as Marx said. See above.

ROYC75
10-12-2008, 06:23 PM
United Socialist States of America, that is where we are heading folks......

***SPRAYER
10-12-2008, 06:28 PM
United Socialist States of America, that is where we are heading folks......

We'll have secession again.

Adept Havelock
10-12-2008, 06:30 PM
United Socialist States of America, that is where we are heading folks......


Be a wolverine. You'll rule the hills.

Just get some guns and Cheerios.

with apologies to J. Biafra

We'll have secession again.

Cool. I can't wait to see Petraeus leave a 60 mile swath of destruction across the South enroute to burning Atlanta to the ground. Again. :D

irishjayhawk
10-12-2008, 06:31 PM
Soviet Union was a socialist dictatorship. Period. It never reached the point where the state withered away for true communism. That's what Marx was talking about...the two stages. That socialist dictatorship was implemented via violent revolution. So it's called Marxism-Leninism. The lay person has come to think of the Soviet model as communism but technically isn't.

Or there is Fabian Socialism aka creeping socialism done through the democratic vote. But that does not respect property rights so what the majority wills, they can take. It's just implemented differently. It winds up in the same place as a socialist dictatorship economically.

Marx said that "Democracy is the road to socialism." The majority votes to take some of your property which includes income.

USSR merely stands for Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. So USSA fits.


America was not founded as a democracy. The Framers expressed disdain for democracy. We were founded as a constitutional representative republic. That Constitution protects property rights. It's been in the way of implementing socialism...hence FDR's attempt to pack the SC and the left prefering activist judges to bend the meaning. It's been our descent into more democracy that we have gotten on " the road to socialism." Just as Marx said. See above.

Is a republic a dictatorship?

Adept Havelock
10-12-2008, 06:32 PM
Is a republic a dictatorship?

Ask the Early Romans, or the Etruscans living under their rule. :D

***SPRAYER
10-12-2008, 06:32 PM
Be a wolverine. You'll rule the hills.

Just get some guns and Cheerios.











with apologies to J. Biafra

Fresh fruit for rotting vegetables.

Adept Havelock
10-12-2008, 06:34 PM
Fresh fruit for rotting vegetables.

You're a temper-tantrum throwing shmendrick, but you have decent taste in music. :thumb:

BucEyedPea
10-12-2008, 06:39 PM
Is a republic a dictatorship?

Depends. There's different kinds of republics.
Our form of govt was a new and revolutionary form in its time. ( and will be in the future since we've lost so much of it)

I think you need to do more reading on this stuff. Not saying that to criticize but you're young, in school and learning.

irishjayhawk
10-12-2008, 06:40 PM
There's different kinds of republics.

I think you need to do more reading on this stuff. Not saying that to criticize but your young, in school and learning.

You are trying to compare communist Russia to the US now and 5 years from now.

We aren't really close to communist Russia.

***SPRAYER
10-12-2008, 06:42 PM
You're a temper-tantrum throwing shmendrick, but you have decent taste in music. :thumb:

Have you heard any LARD? Jello with Ministry, came out I guess around '94. Awesome stuff.

BucEyedPea
10-12-2008, 06:45 PM
You are trying to compare communist Russia to the US now and 5 years from now.

We aren't really close to communist Russia.

I was comparing things to a set of Marxist principles written by Marx himself.
We've been 3/5ths socialist for a long time. Got more under Bush and more is coming. Just a matter of how much between the candidates and what kind.

That does compare to the formerly socialist Russia where true communism never materialized. And things may lead to dictatorship of the majority to implement it.

irishjayhawk
10-12-2008, 06:48 PM
I was comparing things to a set of Marxist principles written by Marx himself.
We've been 3/5ths socialist for a long time. Got more under Bush and more is coming. Just a matter of how much between the candidates and what kind.

That does compare to the formerly socialist Russia where true communism never materialized. And things may lead to dictatorship of the majority to implement it.

So, you would agree that as is, we are far from USSA, even if we might be on that path?

Roy, on the other hand, seems to think the USSA is around the corner with that corner being the election.

Adept Havelock
10-12-2008, 06:49 PM
Have you heard any LARD? Jello with Ministry, came out I guess around '94. Awesome stuff.

I have not. Looks like I've got something new to try. Thanks!

BucEyedPea
10-12-2008, 06:52 PM
So, you would agree that as is, we are far from USSA, even if we might be on that path?
No I think we're closer than ever.

Roy, on the other hand, seems to think the USSA is around the corner with that corner being the election.

I do too. Or some form of it.

irishjayhawk
10-12-2008, 06:52 PM
No I think we're closer than ever.



I do too. Or some form of it.

Well, then you're both off your rocker.

Cannibal
10-12-2008, 06:52 PM
Buceyedpea has a one track mind.

BucEyedPea
10-12-2008, 06:56 PM
Well, then you're both off your rocker.

No we're not. Your knowledge of Marxism is limited or you're not applying it to the issues.

irishjayhawk
10-12-2008, 07:02 PM
No we're not. Your knowledge of Marxism is limited or you're not applying it to the issues.

Or your version of history is skewed. Or your version of Marxism has been condensed and revised to fit whatever comes out of Lew Rockwell's mouth.

BucEyedPea
10-12-2008, 07:03 PM
Buceyedpea has a one track mind.

Bwaaaaa! Gee I thought the righties were the bigger ad hominers.

Can you add anything to the discussion? I guess not.

BucEyedPea
10-12-2008, 07:06 PM
Or your version of history is skewed. Or your version of Marxism has been condensed and revised to fit whatever comes out of Lew Rockwell's mouth.
In other words you can't refute what I said. Got it.

So what reading of Marx directly have you done?

BTW I knew this stuff before ever knowing about Lew Rockwell. That's a new source for me. And history is about viewpoints. My version of history regarding Marxism is not skewed at all. I've read Marx himself. Have you? I took Russian Studies in school. I continue to read about it as well as economics.

irishjayhawk
10-12-2008, 07:07 PM
So what reading of Marx directly have you done?

BTW I knew this stuff before ever knowing about Lew Rockwell. That's a new source for me. And history is about viewpoints. My version of history regarding Marxism is not skewed at all. I've read Marx himself. I took Russian Studies in school. I continue to read about it as well as economics.

I know enough of Marx to say that communist Russia's interpretation and implementation was not on par with what Marx wrote about.

That's also why there's a negative connotation associated with it. A connotation that you continue to enforce.

BucEyedPea
10-12-2008, 07:12 PM
I know enough of Marx to say that communist Russia's interpretation and implementation was not on par with what Marx wrote about.
Like what?
The part where the communist stage never occurred? I'd agree with that.
Marx may not have been a Stalinist but that's not really the issue as I stated it.I explained that. It's the same economic system, essentially. Just because there are different forms and stripes of socialism doesn't mean it's not socialism. There's also socialist democracies like Europe...but they don't have a lot of freedom either even if it's not Stalinism.

That's also why there's a negative connotation associated with it. A connotation that you continue to enforce.
Like what? Stalinism? If so... No way. I never said we were getting Stalinism or even Leninism. We're getting Fabian socialism. Obama = EuroSocialism and McCain=National Socialism.

You and others are trying to give it that connotation.

ROYC75
10-12-2008, 07:19 PM
So, you would agree that as is, we are far from USSA, even if we might be on that path?

Roy, on the other hand, seems to think the USSA is around the corner with that corner being the election.


That we are turning into a form of socialism instead of the capitalism we have been known to be ? It's true, we are turning that direction and an Obama presidency with a democratic house and senate scare the hell out of me. Enough that one day we could be known as the USSA, that's United Socialist States of America.

FTR, I never said anything about communism.

Adept Havelock
10-12-2008, 07:24 PM
That we are turning into a form of socialism instead of the capitalism we have been known to be ? It's true, we are turning that direction and an Obama presidency with a democratic house and senate scare the hell out of me. Enough that one day we could be known as the USSA, that's United Socialist States of America.

FTR, I never said anything about communism.

It'll be OK.

Patrick and C. Thomas will let you hang with them as long as you promise not to swallow any transmitters.

Logical
10-12-2008, 07:29 PM
...


Like what? Stalinism? If so... No way. I never said we were getting Stalinism or even Leninism. We're getting Fabian socialism. Obama = EuroSocialism and McCain=National Socialism.

...Serious question what is the difference between national socialism and European socialism?