Monday, September 21, 2009

Colege Debt, Afghanistan, and the American Body Politic

Ah, but it is thrilling when common sense rears its ugly head in the media.

The insanity of compounding putting off going to work for too long with the ball and chain of student debt awaiting your entry into the "Real World" is really getting some traction, although it remains almost an apostasy in some circles.

You are allowed to use your own brain to scrub any outcome that takes place over a period of time, especially when it comes to your LIFE.


Obama expands the war in Afghanistan... and this guy is supposed to be smarter than GWB?  Dumb as a war in Iraq was, Afghanistan makes that look cerebral.  


While that might indeed be enough said about Obama, I find it impossible to heap enough scorn (my boots just are not that high) on his most ardent supporters.  Not that McCain would have been any better... but failing to recognize that A.) it did not matter which of these 2 we elected and, B.) great presidencies are not built on issues like race, abortion rights, and gay marriage. It must nice to be so delusional as to deny the simple truth in that.  

The American capitalist/liberal democracy system is under EXTREME duress, and likely won't survive the next decade, but Obama's supporters are concerned with politicizing sex, marriage, family law, race, etc... Let me clue you in... you cannot cure America's ills by making abortion "safe and legal".  If you think issues  like abortion, compensation discrepancies between the sexes, flag burning, gay marriage (either side!  Why would ANYBODY want to lose the Right not to have to get married "Legally"?  Why do Gay folks want to invite the government BACK into their bedrooms?  Go figure!), freedom fries, prayer in school, and any of the ill fated, self-destructive tendencies of the Left... Speaking of which... Does ANYBODY on the Left know their History of Greek Philosophy?  If so, can anybody point out to me an essay by one of those rather interesting fellows about how a society can whether a Great Storm by encouraging their people to do really bad/stupid/horrific things?   Or just waste their time?  The VAST majority of the folks that I communicate with on the issue politics have never read the U.S. Constitution and the vast majority of the folks I communicate on the issue of Banking & Finance have never read the Federal Reserve Act... but they have VIOLENT opinions on the subjects!  Why?

Talk about polishing the brass on the Titanic... The American currency is sinking before our eyes, a symptom of our collective ills, and our nation's collective debts have become so large as to be unmanageable. Yet the best we can come up with is to borrow MORE from our future and our trading partners to make sure that when the Blow Out comes it will be truly spectacular? (Go ahead, click the link.  Then copy the data into a spreadsheet, and exptrapolate the growth in debt at the same rate out into the future... We have increased debt at a compounded rate of over 8% per year since 1950, and experienced GDP growth of less than 3%.  It might help you to watch this lecture in its entirety... here is a link to the first segment of 8.)  This assures, absolutely AND positively that some kind of outrageous smack up will occur to the economic/banking/currency system at some point in the next 5 to 10 years.

The Jag-Offs that were hoping for the end of the world and the capitalist system will likely get their wish - but they won't be satisfied because the collapse/revolution/coup will NOT be televised nor podcast. It also won't happen in a time frame that will make them terribly happy.

Our political system, the one that prevents guys from getting dressed up like they are about to invade Poland and breaking into your home and causing folks to disappear, is based and dependent upon the U.S. Constitution.  A casual look at the history of the world clearly shows a propensity for people to willingly abandon their freedoms; our founding documents were drafted to prevent that.  Even so, a half century of Liberal Jurisprudence has eviscerated the political animal.  Badly wounded and wobbly, it is about to be finished of by an unlikely foe - ourselves - in the form of silly promises (medicare, social security, and the pensions of government employees) and programs (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Sallie Mae).  By promising the proverbial "free lunch", we have created a hungry monster that can be fed for just a bit longer, and when the all-you-can-eat buffet comes to an end - and it surely will - those nice folks from the Cryps, the Bloods, ex Law-enforcement/military, MS-13 (never heard of them?  You will.), etc... will be only to happy to indulge in the "other white meat" - unarmed Liberals.

Remember the transitive property of Mathematics?  If a = b and b = c, then a = c.  If (over promising social programs) = (the collapse of the currency) and (the collapse of the currency) = (political collapse/Armaggedon)... well, you can finish the equation yourself.

No, events likely won't come to pass quickly enough to vindicate my assertions.  But they will come to pass before my infant daughter is in Middle School.  

And maybe sooner.

Have a nice day!




Anonymous said...

They can go work in China or do what the financial boyz on Wall Street did: get a troubled asset relief program...which is actually another form of going to work for China.
It's just little people trying to play the oligarchs game.
Afghanistan is the same thing. Too many private contractors have a stake there...and Jesus Lord, the money you can make off those poppy fields!
I want me some of them lubrul freedumb fries.
Late stage Kevin Phillips

bureaucrat said...

Or, since absolutely no one (especially members of Congress), want the party to end (the Roman Empire, which lasted 800 years, didn't suddenly collapse -- it took hundreds of more years), all the movers and shakers of this world have to do is get us thru today. And then tomorrow do the same thing. And again the day after that. I mean, I'm 42. How did all you old men survive this long? I wake up at 5:30 to go to work, and wish work would all just go away. But, I try to just get thru the day. And I do get thru the day. And tomorrow I'll get thru that too. There isn't going to be any damn collapse in our lifetimes, cause that's not how collapses work. Give the humans of this planet at least SOME credit. :)

P.S. demand for gasoline continues at its usual level in the U.S. Hmmm ....

bureaucrat said...

I'm sorry. Gasoline demand actually blipped up above the usual curve the last three weeks (see EIA gasoline chart). The oil has to be coming from somewhere, and someone is buying it.

Anonymous said...

Paul Harvey use to say it best, "You can not self governing with out self discipline"


Anonymous said...


Sorry that was me filling up my F250. Oh, And millions of people driving to interveiws using the last of their credit cards in doing so ( A to B to C to...). Instead of going striaght to work ( A to B back to A).
And partying every night since they dont have to get up early.

See I can play with numbers too!


Greg T. Jeffers said...


I must assume that you have access to spread sheet software.

If so, accept my challange. Copy the TIC data onto a grid and into your spreadsheet. Then, year by year, increase debt by the last 50 year average - 8.5%... see where you think the terminal point is.

Then use the current 15 to 20% per year increase in the deficit.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

This is no longer a polical debate - but a math challange.

Publius said...

You know, common sense like Bureaucrat's little essay are right on: until it just blows up.

The ever-increasing debt-load will be sustainable, just barely, until it is NOT, and not a minute longer.

Interest rates are low enough to support the FedGov's absurd debt level, but that low interest rate is almost completely based on the demand for money by the rest of the world, and the rest of the world's tolerance for currency debasement. The first sign of the damn breaking will cause the damn to crack wide open.

Nobody knows at what point the debt level becomes unsustainable, because this is a unique situation in the history of the aging and decadent USA. WWII is not comparable, because that debt was obviously (to the savers of the time) a one-off affair. The war would end, and the debt would be repaid.

Our present unfunded "obligations" and social spending is clearly, due to politics, both unstoppable and unsupportable. Politically, the social programs cannot be ended.
Mathematically, the programs cannot be continued.
Political stalemate. Monetary death. Political death is likely, but not a given. The people may yet rise up to throw the bums out. We shall see.

Regardless, families, neighborhoods, and villages must be prepared for the mayhem. And that means having a better plan than dialing 911.

bureaucrat said...

"Peace" give me numbers, not puffs of dark clouds. :)

Jeffers, yes, I know exponential compounding is not sustainable. But things CAN be adjusted, you know. I've already called upon the "Greatest Generation" and the Boomers to help decrease social security/medicare expenses. They could if they wanted to. Who knows? They just might.

Publius, yes, every civilization except what's alive today eventually died. The Agora people wrote the book (which I read) on that topic. Everyone of them died, from the Abyssinian Empire to the Vijayanagara Empire. But they just didn't die -- they turned into something else. Humankind endures. We are strange that way. :)

Greg T. Jeffers said...


WHo said we would not endure?

We will, but your "savings", social standing, personal security, as well as your family's security may not.

It is ALL about expectations. If expectations are not met - and they simply will not - the political outcomes will be rather interesting.

People think that if they work and save like crazy that they can get out of their situtation. I think that unless they take a very unussual path that they will be bitterly disappointed.

But you are a governmnet comrade with no children. WHy do you even concern yourself?

Greg T. Jeffers said...


"Politically, the social programs cannot be ended.
Mathematically, the programs cannot be continued."

I am going to use that (with full credit, of course). While we do not know when our creditors will lose their tolerance with certainty - we do know at which point this has occured in the past to other nations. Yes, I know "the US$ is the reserve currency and that there is no currency that can take its place..." arguement. I just don't buy it. It could be Gold, or it could be an IMF security of bundled currencies, or maybe the trade system breaks down when Oil ceases to be exported sometime around 2020 - 2025 (well, that just ain't that for in the future).

"Things that can't go on forever don't". This is one of those things.

If you are 70 years old, don't worry about it. Spend and consume.

If you are 45 with 3 kids? Well, that is a very, very different story.

I am not running for office. If I had a macro solution that could survive the political realities... maybe I would. But I do not.

SO I am going to stick with the micro solutions.

bureaucrat said...

Oh, the mighty bureaucrat has no children, but I am surrounded by "children" anyway. Just today I put cash in a friend's account cause his Internet bill was due, and he got laid off. Another friend got $100 cause he's goofing off in the Caribbean trying to become a vet. Almost all the money I made in the 1990s (about $100,000) is going to help these damn Chicanos & their families. That is why I seem to have the "pulse" of America, cause it is all around me. :)

And yeah, we both know the world isn't going to collapse, but we can make moves to better our financial situation. You're doing it, and I'm doing it. Moving my retirement out of S&P in 2007 was HUGELY beneficial, and I saw it coming cause of blogs like yours. If I can make $$ on energy as well, I'm where I want to be, reading all this shit. :)

Abraham said...

Reading Jeffers you'd think that Obama caused all of this in less than eight short months. Talk about a disconnect from reality. If you can't face reality you can't alter it.

bureaucrat said...

Obama hasn't caused much of anything. Change? Where?

Anonymous said...


Sorry again, no numbers other then then u-3 and u-6. I can only assume as you do.

And easy with the potty mouth!!!...


Sorry AGAIN, I do not see Obama as the problem here, but, he did do a lot of promising. Not that I cared, the next election will be really INTERESTING. I will watch and prep as usual.


Greg T. Jeffers said...

Dear Abraham & Anon:

I, too, do NOT see Obama as the problem here. I even forgive his SILLY FUCKING LIES - whoops - sorry I am those promises that Anon speaks of.

The PROBLEM is Obama's strident supporters. Too many in our electorate appear to believe in social program/give aways, pro abortion, pro freedom fries, flag burning, gay marriage... these are not the elements necessary to accomplishing something worthwhile.

Abraham, I do not remember you commenting here before, so I have no idea about your capacities. Please feel free to have a point of view, but please, make it intelligent as well as germane to the conversation (not that your comment did not, it merely left a quick jab and moved on).

Politics just is what it is - a f*cking popularity contest. Obama was more popular than the other candidates, hence the outcome. I have posted a number of times about the MTVization of politics.

Obama has not, does not, and will not matter in any of this, unless something changes drastically. He may very well go down in history as milk toast.

Let us see how he handles his CONSTITUTIONALLY directed job, not the silly sh*t he and his supporters claim, Commander in Chief.

Obama does not appear to me to be the man for the job or the times. I had hoped he would have been, but so far it appears not meant to be.

Anonymous said...


You mentioned Liberal Jurisprudence eviscerating the constitution. For the last 50 years, the liberal side has WAY outdone the conservative side. Both side are at fault. The real problem is ACTIVIST jurisprudence. It is judicial ego getting in the way of the job. It is the urge to to do more than is prescribed by the constitution in order to set things right, or in the conservative case, keep things right.

Racial issues and the courts has been a 150 year travesty. It is an utterly disgusting history and has generated some very, very dangerous case law. While it is possible to explain to any eight year old the concept of equal protection under the law, it has been impossible for 150 years at least to find legal scholars with decades of experience that can grasp the concept.

From 1865 to the 1950s the courts managed to uphold all sorts of laws, rules and regulations to support segregation, discrimination and other forms of oppression. The mental gymnastics required to justify and rationalize that are not to be underestimated. It is the dark underbelly of "reason."

Then, in the middle of the 20th century, things began to change. The civil rights movement gained traction and the courts followed the times. It appeared that they were beginning to understand the concept of equal protection. Good things began to happen. For example, the concept of separate but equal got trashed. And good. If things are equal, then there is no need to keep them separate. If they are separate, they are not equal. There are other fine examples. Lots good happened.

But this fit of sanity was only a passing phase. The courts were still following the times. It just happened that the times and the law coincided. Then came the liberals' turn at the wheel. Instead of vigorously enforcing equal protection, they decided to do more. They would set things right. They gave us forced busing that did much to destroy city neighborhoods and cities in general and make us segregated by municipality rather than by neighborhood. How did that help? And then came quotas, where jobs and benefits are again passed out according to skin color rather than achievement or ability. Where is equal protection in that? And then comes the concept that if the ethnic mix in the workplace does not match the mix of the surrounding area, that alone is proof of discrimination. That's the all time winner.

Consider the mischief that the courts in different times could cause with that one! It is beyond belief, and times do change. For instance, Jews are overrepresented in most professions and at the top levels of most fields of endeavor. Same can be said for the Chinese, Koreans and Indians. What might a court do with the case law generated to supposedly END racism? It is disgusting.

Two things I heard many times growing up. "The end does not justify the means." and "Two wrongs don't make a right." Both apply here.

The courts have not been a friend to the nation or the Constitution. It is a sorry state of affairs. It is not getting better. Some members of the Supreme Court now cite foreign case law as justification for their opinions. Huh?


Coal Guy

Anonymous said...

If 6% of student loans are defaulted on, is it safe to say that at least (not including anyother reasons for bad credit) 6% of college grads start "life" with bad credit....