Some thoughts after a "not so stimulating" election....
The sour state of the economy, and the state of the Union, seems to have encompassed every aspect of out lives and I feel compelled to vent my frustration as I try to put it in perspective. Our civil rights and liberties are being stripped away on a daily basis and our personal privacy so violated with no end in sight. The Patriot Act, an unconstitutional law on its face, has placed citizens of this country on a footing similar to what is consider a terrorist. A perfect example of this is the case of George vs. TSA. Nick George, a student, traveling back to school in Calif. was aggressively detained, interrogated, handcuffed and locked in a jail cell for nearly five hours. All because he was carrying a set of English-Arabic flashcards for his college language class and a book critical of U.S. foreign policy. We have a government that seems to be in fear of its citizens. All you have to do is read the National Defense Authorization Act to see the danger that these politicians fear of the citizenry. Posse Comitatus is dead, the military can arrest us without charge or due process and place any citizen in prison.
We are in two wars, and possibly another with Iran. A financial debt crisis brought on by an out of control Congress that is spending trillions of borrowed money to bail out banks, investment firms and corporations. What we need is a new policy "too big to bail". We also have a main street financial crisis, a housing crisis, and an unemployment rate that is far greater than is being published, neither of which shows little improvement. Nationally as well as Congress, seems to have embraced the notion that debt does not matter simply because the rest of the world is willing to lend us its savings. Even with the Congress's spending binge of the last four decades, the world still afford us the vaunted status of being the world "reserve" currency. I feel that will not last much longer. It truly feels like we are living in the Land of Oz with a meaningless phrase "audacity of hope" and hyped "change" with no real definition or gained traction. It has already allowed our leaders to transfer trillions of dollars from the public sectors to busted banks, corporations, and other boondoggles (Solyndra) that don't have a prayer of success given that the old management is still in charge. Business and Economics 101 teaches us that hope is not a viable strategy in any working business plan. What we should be doing is letting these banks, corporation and other entities that have made bad business decisions go bankrupt. Coming out on the other side, the survivors will be much stronger and the economy will recover much faster, and the cost to the taxpayer will be far less. And the next generations would not be saddled with this exploding debt. However, sadly that is and will not be the case.
The repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act and being replaced by the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act has placed the government in the hands of the institutions (fox in the hen house) that will orchestrate and wreak such havoc on this countries financial system that within one to two decades it will be totally unrecognizable. It was supposed to make it much more friendly to the average citizen to obtain financing, but in reality has open the door to other institutions, such as financial clearing houses (the exchanges) to access the discount window at the Federal Reserve Bank, and therefore place the general public at further risk to additional bail outs. The part about this that just boggles my mind is that in two of our bureaucracies, the SEC and the CFTC, have said or done nothing to prevent this from going forward or to even oversee the process.
The Federal Reserve (a privately held corporation, not a federal organization) that accommodated and encouraged the national deficit spending and debt accumulation binge, has shown the world that it is truly a one trick pony. The trick being inflation supplemented by a hyperactive jawbone plus a key policy based on the bankrupt banana republic (Argentina comes to mind) idea "inflate or die".
As a nation, and I use the term nation as a collective, because it is really the Congress that seems numb, or better yet stupid, to pay down this gargantuan debt and change their spending habits by adopting the quaint idea of a balanced budgets. A balanced budget amendment to the Constitution would be just great. The harsh and currently unpalatable alternative is default on a national scale not seen since the Great Depression, but potentially could be our only option, especially if the worlds financial markets continue to meltdown. This financial meltdown will reveal the Fed and Congress to be institutional versions of a large ponzi scheme given their propensity to create money out of thin air.
Ben Bernanke says that he has been a devout student of the Great Depression, but he is doing exactly the same thing that all governments have done when faced with a financial crisis, print more money. So even being the student, the facts presented to him, he has done nothing different which will end with the same result. You can't keep doing the same old thing and expect a different outcome. A perfect example of this is Argentina, Brazil, Zimbabwe and the German Weirmacht and a smaller example was Russia. All ended up with hyper-inflation. And if the citizens of this country, or the world for that matter, will wake up to the stark reality of what the Fed, and all central banks of the world, which includes the ECB, have done, maybe we can rid ourselves of the parasites. We did it back in 1851, so why not again?
Seemingly nobody is taking responsibility for our nation's excess least of all our politicians, be it in state senates or the nations Congress, whose housing and banking policies, were changed, and designed to curry favor of the masses, which encouraged high levels of speculation that mushroomed
into the housing bubble and huge deficits of today. None of them, the politicians that is, saw the economic meltdown coming, but now they are all convinced that the only viable alternative is a "stimulating" solution, and to spend our way out of this economic slump with trillions of more borrowed money. Is it possible to reduce you debt with more debt, I don't think so? If the problem is too much debt and unbalanced budgets, can the solution be the creation of more debt with larger unbalanced budgets? When I said that the politicians didn't see it coming that was and is not true of the Fed. They work hand in hand with the major investment banks in order to create those bubbles, using the raising and lowering of interest rates to suit the situation. Is this the legacy we want to leave our children and grandchildren? The financial markets clearly have been manipulated and continue to be manipulated, by the Fed and the major investment houses and have caused more than an acute case of indigestion and arguably a terminal cancer that will ultimately cause many currently solvent companies and banks to become collateral damage as this debt monster is or is not tamed. This doesn't exclude the main street citizen (the middle class) from becoming collateral damage as well. What basically is happening is that good solid companies are being thrown under the bus regardless of their solvency. Companies are being raided, Gestapo style, by government agencies, Eric Holder's Justice Department and especially the CID division of the IRS, that have committed no crime, but because they are small and have little resources to fight big government they are being persecuted without due process of law, and denied legal representation. Check out this video. http://www.youtube.com/embed/bFALonjLay0?wmode=opaque
What I truly don't understand is, where is the outrage from the general populous? It appears that the mainstream press and other institutions and our education system has dumbed them down and lulled them into a sense of apathy.
We as a society have lost our moral base and our national understanding of who we are and what this country once stood for. We were once a nation of laws that meant something. Now, no one takes responsibility for their actions and they feel it's others responsibility to take care of whatever they feel they need, and the government is supporting those ideas. The progessives, through decades of government schooling, have been patiently changing our mindset from a country believing in "more individual responsiblity, less government, & with God's help a better world" to one of less individual responsibility, more government & complete slavery. Our educational institutions have been corrupted by socialism, our family structure is being attacked by the social (progressive) left, our churches are under the same attack, our politicians have been moving further to the left to the point that they are no longer recognizable from what they once were. All number of perversions are now permissible under the guise of political correctness. There have been many books written about this phenomenon, all pointing to the progressive nature of what our government has become. Every platform that was laid out by Karl Marx in his manifesto has now been installed in our government. The welfare system, taxes, the distribution of wealth and the unbridled government controls over almost every aspect of our lives. The layers of bureaucracies and regulations that government has placed on business and society in general, is destroying any entrepreneurial incentive, and therefore job creation in this country has become very limited and is mostly moving offshore. Even individual citizens are becoming disenchanted with the situation and are leaving for other countries. This process of shipping jobs offshore began back in 1993, under the Clinton administration, with the NAFTA agreement. From that point, and for the next eight quarters this country lost approximately 33,000 to 35,000 manufacturing jobs per quarter. After that, the per quarter depletion continued, but not at such a rapid pace. We are no longer the manufacturing behemoth we used to be, but have become a service economy that can no longer support the sustained GDP that we once had.
For me, and probably others, the unthinkable has just happened. America, the populous, has turned the corner away from the Constitutional principles of limited government, self-government with the re-election of Barack Obama. Fundamentally, Obama's socialistic policies have already begun to erode away the Constitution and have allowed like minded individuals such as Valerie Jarrett, Eric Holder, Anita Dunn and David Axelrod to pronounce their judgment on this nation. The revolutionaries have won a major political victory - the America haters are running the country.
This nation is divided as never before, and I believe intentionally so. And given Obama's actions it would appear that has been his game plan from the beginning - to build a constituency of special interest groups that believe their salvation is in bigger government, more welfare programs with further irresponsible spending and additional unconstitutional policies. In the end, those that voted for Obama will get the kind of government they deserve. The forty seven percenter's have prevailed. Unfortunately, the rest of us will have to suffer through it.
This election could very well represent the beginning of the end of the American Dream, American exceptionalism, the American way. Has our heritage of representative government been permanently robbed from us? Have our basic institutions - the press, our schools and universities, the major foundations of society and even our churches - let us down so badly that there is no hope of restoring the America we once knew and loved? I don't know the answers to these questions. But, what I do know is that somewhere, somehow there will be a fight to restore what has not been totally lost. Another sad result of this election, the young people that voted for Obama, is that worldwide opportunities for jobs will dry up, because of education in the U.S. can no longer compete internationally. Jobs in the U.S. will be harder to obtain, because more and more companies will be moving offshore. Internationally, countries are pulling away from the U.S. and tension with American visitors is increasing. The lack of leadership and failed foreign policy over these past four years has created a greater risk for American travelers. It apparently is seen that it will continue for the next four years and countries such as Japan, Brazil and the Phillipines are beginning to pull away from relations with the U.S. And if one were to take a closer look at Isreal, they also might be of the mind to separate their ties to the U.S. Obama's foreign policy is becoming increasingly suspect, not only from his lack of leadership, but from what is he really trying to accomplish. Not just from a policy itself, but who is he aligning his policy with. The increasing amount of information about the Libyan episode that is being reported, rightly or wrongly, is beginning to spell out just how this administration is demonstrating their skill set, be it lawful or treasonous. Another report from an alternative news source spelling out some of the fall out surrounding this bungled operation:
In 1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edenborough, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior:
"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship."
"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage."
It seems that this country has already gone through almost all of the steps that Tyler mentioned, and seem to be reaching the dependence stage. Is Obama's plan to take us into total bondage (serfdom) where he (Obama) is the dictator? Only the fullness of time will tell!