Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Its a Cold Cruel World - Part 3
Where was I? Old folks and recent college grads...
You see, the 17% "real unemployment" is not "real unemployment", either. To make accurate comparisons as Oil and energy become less and less available on a per capita basis is the real issue. (Here's something to think about... Oil consumption in kilocalorie terms per person, or per capita, in the U.S. is down about 5 or 6 % since 2005... more people, and less kilocalories....) we as a society have to start telling ourselves THE TRUTH. The 40 million folks over the age of 65 should not be excluded from the employment calculations because they sure as h*ll did not pay into the system what they are extracting (otherwise, we would have a surplus), and they sure as h*ll are not producing members of society for the most part.
Same goes with young adults. People in college are an enormous consumption drag on our output. The entire college population that is not working should also be counted into the employment numbers.
There are a few other groups - prisoners, the disabled, welfare and food stamp recipients that are not employed et al, and when you add seniors and college students et al... the remaining producers and tax payers simply cannot support the government services these groups require by NOT WORKING! (Yes, you can argue that education is an investment, and in a large minority that is true... so we will have to discount for that portion - while once again subtracting for the 23 to 30 year olds that live on their parent's couch playing video games.) The non working spouses of folks making a decent living and NOT taking care of the home unassisted must also be added this number.
Unfortunately, and I want to say this gingerly and with respect.. we would need to calculate all military personnel as well.
ALL, that's right, ALL of these folks are consuming from the tax pool or disposable earnings pool that the tax payers are paying into, and there are simply too many people drawing from the pool and not enough people paying into the pool... now add to this equation the fact that Oil subsidizes the efforts of those paying into the pool and reduces the requests from those drawing from the pool.
Up until this point we have had the international bond market to fund this absurd cluster f***, particularly China and Japan, but now it appears that they are choking on the paper, and the Federal Reserve has had to step in and monetize the debt. The good news, if you want to call it that, is that the deflation in non government debt has outpaced the printing presses, and will for some time to come. Still, the Administration is NOT making noises about "jacking the social security retirement age" just for the fun of it. They got some guys there (Volker) that can count, too.
Of course, these pools of tax dollars for social programs have the perverse effect of creating more and more dependent people, another exponential function to calculate (in Dr. Bartlett's famous speech he speaks of a local politician that says he grasps the "e" function, but does not believe that it applies on the local level... to which Dr. Bartlett amusingly replies: "Oh, great. We have a local politician that believes that the laws of Mathematics do not apply in Boulder County, Colorado... worse, he has a degree from this (Univ. of Col. Boulder) institution... how embarrassing!") Certain members of the political establishment can see clearly that Americans are addicted to Oil, but CANNOT seem to see that American's are addicted to unfunded and teetering "social programs" (free money).
In the end, "It's a Cold, Cruel World" and the world will make the adjustments for us because as I have said a GAZILLION times before: There is no macro solution to any of this. The mass of of folks believing in, and addicted to (and hence unable to provide for themselves), these entitlements is just too f*&^%ing large to be overcome (thank you, FDR) politically. You can see this in the price of Gold, Oil, the employment situation et al...
Speaking of employment... all of the absurd regulatory overreach (as well as the not so absurd) will come apart in the near future. Sexual harassment policies, discrimination policies, government worker's unions, etc... were all creations of the age of cheap and abundant energy, along with a long list of social and political "isms". Feminism? Gone. Liberalism? Say good night, Gracie. The NAACP? Gay Rights? Who cares? We won't have any money to fund any of this stuff. In a resource constrained world nobody is going to care who you are sleeping with (especially if it simply cannot result in a pregnancy) or what you are angry about.
To be Continued...
Posted by The Short Story Man at 9:40 AM