|Obama the Great Educator||Let's Talk About Inequality, Liberals|
by Christopher Chantrill
July 31, 2012 at 12:00 am
WHAT IS WRONG with the economy? Something is wrong when the GDP expands by only 1.5 percent a year as it did in the second quarter.
The problem is that nobody knows. Everyone thinks they know, but F.A. Hayek long ago put that fatal conceit to rest, if only for conservatives.
Some people think the problem is the continuing mortgage meltdown. It is said that 30 percent of home mortgages are still under water. Thats a problem because any economy runs on credit, in the strict sense of that word. People need to have faith that other people are solvent, and in Obamas America they dont. In addition, there is the minor problem that business startups have, since the days of the Hewlett Packard garage, overwhelming used home equity as startup capital. Now they cant.
Others think the problem is the federal budget deficit. To anyone not blinded by Lord Keynes, the idea of a trillion in capital getting sucked away from business expansion every year into the funding of entitlements doesnt sound like a recipe for quick economic expansion.
The other side of entitlement spending is the savings deficit. When the government provides against the vicissitudes of life then people themselves learn to provide less against the vicissitudes of life. They work less, save less, plan for the future less, and that ends up with a lower GDP.
Then there is the looming crisis of next years tax cliff. Fewer people plan business expansions if the government take is going to increase.
There is the problem of regulation. Its not just ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank. The last decade has seen a succession of regulatory belches, including Sarbanes-Oxley and the green energy regulation resulting from the global warming scam.
And did I mention ObamaCare?
Finally there is the medium term problem with the federal debt. USFederalBudget.us shows the problem. If you crank up the average interest rate on the federal debt to 5 percent by 2017 the annual interest expense goes up from 2012s $224 billion to $1,066 billion.
So should anyone be surprised that the economy is only growing at 1.5 percent?
The president in an ad during the Olympic opening ceremony said that I believe that the way you grow the economy is from the middle out. I believe in fighting for the middle class because if theyre prospering all of us will prosper. What would that mean, Mr. President?
Fortunately, we here in Seattle got to find out, because Microsoft millionaire Suzan DelBene, candidate for Washingtons open First District, ran a local ad soon after the presidents and told us shes running to deliver results for the middle class. She will stand up to the Tea Party attacks on Social Security and Medicare, and shell fight to pass the Buffett Rule so millionaires will pay their fair share.
So thats how you grow the economy from the middle out! You promise to protect those middle-class entitlements from the Tea Party and the rich!
Youll be glad to know that, if elected, according to the Seattle Times, the 53 million dollar woman DelBene will become the richest member of Washingtons congressional delegation.
But dont the Democratic voters care about the fact that the money is about to run out, that the United States is facing default and ruin, and no fancy Buffett Rule is going to save them?
No, they dont. Think about it. If you are someone on a government pension, whether it is Social Security, Disability, or a nice state government pension, then you dont think about the economy, or debt, or default, or inflation, or financial repression. You just think about electing politicians to save your benefits.
Of course, there is another middle class out there, different from the middle class of Democratic campaign ads. It is the middle class that has seen its home equity shattered, the job market dry up, its savings shriveled, its gas prices doubled, and its student debt unmanageable.
The fact is that the Democrats are out of ideas. They are like Scarlett OHara: I cant think about that right now. If I do, Ill go crazy. Ill think about that after the election. They have their mad activists running around with radical ideas to solve inequality, or battle climate change or impose a regionalist agenda on the suburbs. Meanwhile they are afraid to pass a budget and they dont have a clue about how to grow the economy.
In God and Gold, Walter Russell Mead makes the point that the power of the Anglosphere has always been based on a healthy economy. We will look back on the ruins of liberalism and remember how the liberals insisted on taking a healthy economy for granted, for years and years.
Then one year liberals took the economy for granted just once too often.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion
The Union publishes an exact return of the amount of its taxes; I can get copies of the budgets of the four and twenty component states; but who can tell me what the citizens spend in the administration of county and township?
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America