|The Consequences of Liberalism||Egypt Runs Out of Other Peoples' Money|
by Christopher Chantrill
June 25, 2013 at 12:00 am
WHAT ARE WE to think about the market falling out of bed after Gentle Ben Bernanke’s hint last week that he might start tapering off the money printing operation at the Fed? Was it because the Fed is, in fact, following a dangerous deflationary policy, as Larry Kudlow writes? Given that gold and other metals are down 30 percent from their highs, Larry has a point.
Or was it nothing to do with the Fed, but instead renewed problems with the Euro? Or with the property implosion in China?
Probably the answer is: None of the above. The truth is probably the old one about Hollywood and how to produce a hit movie. Nobody knows nothing.
The truth is that governments are always like pitchers trying to pitch out of a jam with all the bases loaded. We the people want a little free stuff. The ruling class wants to seize and hold political power. Promising free stuff is how you get elected.
Usually, those vote-buying promises result in policies that damage the economy. President Obama has been worse than most. The result is that politicians and their officials are always involved in trying to band-aid over the distortions and the wounds they have inflicted on the economy in their crude bid for power.
That is the way to understand the global economic situation. It is governments trying to paper over their mistakes. In the US the government is trying to paper over a credit system that is still badly holed from the mortgage meltdown.
There’s only one way that the ruling class knows how to deal with the inevitable consequence of gunning the housing market with mortgage subsidies. Print lots of money to float the under-water mortgages. The Fed wants to stop the presses, and it can, it will some day. But it doesn’t want to bring on another panic. The trouble is that even talk about ending its quantitative easing leads to a market swoon.
In Europe the ruling class is trying to deal with the consequence of its 50-year hubris. The people, they decided after World War II, were a bunch of crypto-Nazis. So the enlightened ruling class would federalize Europe to make sure that aggressive nationalism would never rear its ugly head again. That really worked well, so now that the national political leaders in southern Europe are getting themselves riled up into a nationalistic fervor accusing the Germans of being Nazis.
Think of the Chinese ruling class. The Chi-com rulers really want to bring China into the modern era, but they naturally feel that this is only possible under their wise leadership. So they get exactly the crony capitalism we enjoy here in the United States, as the ruling class dribbles subsidies out to its supporters out in the provinces to keep them on-side while they fundamentally transform China.
Now we have the Brazilians pouring into the streets. A couple of years ago the government started printing money to keep the cronies in the Brazilian export sector "competitive."
What can we understand from all this news? It stands to reason. These ruling classes don’t have a clue what they are doing. That’s what we’ve been seeing here not just with the Fed but in the IRS and NSA scandals. As Angelo Codevilla writes, those NSA data mining efforts might really amount to something if the NSA had a clue what it was doing.
[T]he aftermath of 9/11, technology, inertia, and allergy to accountability gave the US government the capacity to capture and examine at will well nigh the whole electronic realm. It would very much like to do the protective job that President Obama and Karl Rove claim and may even believe it is doing. But there is no evidence that anyone has figured out how to sidestep the realities that prevent that.
In Codevilla’s view, the US government is still going what it decided to do in WWII. Collect everything and then decide what to do with it.
The only thing the government knows to do is to keep doing it the same, only more so. Think Social Security, born 1935; Department of Defense, born 1947. Think Medicare, born 1965. Think Amnesty, born 1987. Think Education, born 1840.
But back to the burning question. Is the market pullback last week the beginning of the end or just a midsummer night’s dream? I’d say that the answer has to do with the basic question, is the Fed fighting recession or fighting inflation? My guess is that we are still years away from the Fed deciding that the economy is roaring away out of control and now it’s time to put on the brakes.
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
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
[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
For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008
Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists
conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit
[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
[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.
But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family.
Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit
[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
A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is merely relative, is asking you not to believe him. So dont.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy
Paul Dirac: When I was talking with Lemaître about [the expanding universe] and feeling stimulated
by the grandeur of the picture that he has given us, I told him that
I thought cosmology was the branch of science that lies closest to religion.
However [Georges] Lemaître [Catholic priest, physicist, and
inventor of the Big Bang Theory] did not agree with me. After thinking it over he
suggested psychology as lying closest to religion.
John Farrell, The Creation Myth
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