Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spartacus Revolts

The revolt of the American Debt Slave ("ADS") is well underway.  Spartacus would have been proud.

No matter what Obama says in his speeches, no matter what Bernake and Geitner do in the form of Monetary policy, no matter what Congress does in the form of Fiscal policy... the ADS army has crossed the Rubicon.   

When Obama spoke last night about getting "lending going again", I despaired.  I realized that the president does "get it", that credit, or lending, is the vehicle by which U.S. financial system creates money and increases (or decreases) money supply.  But the ADS army has been maxed out, and with the decline (collapse) in asset prices will actually become net savers.  Savings is under-consumption, all the "stimulus" in the world is not going to change this in the short term, and in the long term will only serve to destroy the value of the very savings the ADS is now diligently (with great sacrifice) doing.

Obama, orator though he is, cannot put the shaving cream back in the can.

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The lack of hard, empirical analysis of exactly WHERE the U.S. healthcare dollar is being spent prevents us from actually doing something of value, I suspect because NO ONE in government wants to limit expensive tests, care,  and procedures.  Who wants to play G-d during the election cycle.  

Healthcare is a capital intensive/labor intensive proposition.  We do NOT have a HEALTHCARE crisis, any more than we have a HOUSING crisis.  We have a healthcare FINANCE crisis, and a housing FINANCE crisis.  The U.S. has far too many houses relative to its ability to PAY for them all - and we have far too much healthcare relative to our ability to PAY for it all.  What does the LEFT propose to do?  Point a GUN at my head (and the heads of our most productive, tax paying citizens) and threaten to shoot if I do not become more productive so that the money will be available for "universal" healthcare?

The average American voter is, what?  50 lbs. overweight?  75 lbs?  This very same individual is not going to vote himself/herself "free" healthcare?  We lack the discipline to see to our OWN health.  Medicare was supposed to be a forced savings method for dealing with the healthcare expenses of old age.  How'd that turn out?

There is no question that our current system is an embarrassment.  There is also no question that given our recent experience banking and socialism that there is no chance that healthcare is going to receive a free market effort in the short term.  We are on that road to socialism.  But be careful what you ask for, because you may just get it.

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If this trend continues, there will never be a recovery.  In fact, this would hasten the collapse of Medicare and Social Security from the distant future to the near future.

All of the speeches in the world matter not.  Check that link every week.  That import number is THE data point.  It will tell you everything.

Good Luck!

Mentatt (at) yahoo (dot) com

6 comments:

oOOo said...

When you talk of crossing the Rubicon, the first thing that comes to mind is Mike Ruppert's book by the same name: http://www.amazon.com/Crossing-Rubicon-Decline-American-Empire/dp/0865715408

Perhaps you have already read it, but if not it is well worth a read as he saw this come from a long way back.

bureaucrat said...

My optimistic side is back again .... I think it has been well explained that the production of (non-imported) oil in the U.S. may increase a bit in 2009 due to platforms in the Gulf finally coming online after years of delays. Thunderhorse is supposedly pumping almost 250,000 bpd, and there are several new platforms nearby (Tahiti, Atlantis, etc) that will help out. But after 2010, since the decline rates on offshore oil wells is so steep, we is in big trouble.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

The "crossing the rubicon" thing refers to, well, you can check out the link...

I never read his book.

oOOo said...

I know what you referred to, I lived in Italy for many years and even crossed the Rubicone river myself on the way to Rimini, I just thought the book would interest you as he touches on many of the same topics you do. I wanted to thank you also, as on your recommendation I ordered Dmitri Orlovs book which is fantastic and manages to be both incredibly (darkly) humorous and enlightening at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Big +1 for Orlov's work, any of it is always excellent and good for a cynical laugh.

sharon said...

thanks for the information....

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Sharon
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