Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Lies We Accept

“The illiterates of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”- Alvin Toffler

We are simply fantastic at convincing ourselves of that which we need to believe. Much of this we do in order to remain part of the subset with whom we identify with.


I hardly knew GWB; GWB was not a friend of mine. Obama is the same as GWB... and that is not necessarily a bad thing... just an observation. I had met GWB several times back when his father was running for President. I raised money for his father. He was as polite and cordial as one could possibly be, in fact I would describe him as warm and likable. I never had the privilege of meeting BHO, but by all accounts the man is personal and affable.

GWB lost my support at the Iraq war. People, that is "regular Joe's" like me, that supported the Iraq War are every bit the same misinformed group-thinkers as those that support abortion. In both instances, the proponents censure the truth of what is going on so that their "supporters" will maintain their support for an act or acts the truth of which they never, ever see.

Take a trip to the U.S. military hospitals in Europe. See the ten's of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians missing limbs, burned to a crisp... the paraplegic and quadriplegic American soldiers, those with traumatic brain injury, the horribly disfigured... this is the Truth of War. But the "supporters" will never see this truth, yet will continue to support the cause of this brutal truth...

Pro-Choice? Really? Why is it that the group-thinkers supporting this choice censure the results of abortion? For the same reason war supporters censure their "product". The truth of it is unsupportable.

How did the supporters of war, murder and killing get that way? How does a supporter of gun control here in the U.S. come to support dropping one-ton bombs on targets in Baghdad and hellfire missiles from unmanned drones on "suspected militants"?

The Media.

We lie to ourselves, and then to assuage our guilt we pay for the propaganda to make us feel better about those lies. 86 MILLION Americans are extorting resources from the other 215 million or so Americans. In order to justify this criminal theft and interference with our Rights as Americans the Left and the Media have engaged in the Mother of All Advertising Campaigns to convince the American people that the problem is that the rich are not taxed enough!! Yep. The problem is Steven Jobs, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Steven Spielberg, et al... if those guys weren't so rich the rest of us wouldn't be so poor!! And more than half of American voters bought it, hook, line, and sinker. Never mind that for most of the post war period the Government confiscated over 50% of rich peoples assets at their death, or forced that out of reach of all for the purposes of increasing the capital base (monetary inflation), and taxed them nearly 50% of their income while living, and 6% in sales taxes if they spent anything...

The U.S. is in a world of hurt. Blaming this hurt on those that worked hard and had enormous good luck is absurd. This is not to say that Death Taxes are not a worthwhile vehicle for preventing the Baron of Microsoft or the Duke of Apple from colonizing America.... but that is a different issues, is it not? America's problem is that we have simply increased the percentage of the dependent population while also increasing the consumption of the dependent population.

Nearly 1/3 of the population receives assistance from the government - a nice way of saying extorting money form the tax payers and the international bond market - yet cable T.V., cell phones, and high speed internet access is nearly universal. This was not the case a generation ago... ergo the percentage receiving largess increases as does the AMOUNT of the largess.
“As every student of American history knows, this country’s core founding principles included nonpunitive taxation, constitutionally guaranteed protections against persecution of the minority and an inexorable right of self-determination." hedge fund manager Dan Loeb last week.
Got that? Non-punitive taxation!! A political minority, that is those with less than 50% of the vote, were to be protected from persecution from the majority!! "An inexorable right to self-determination"!!!

Let me ask you something... have you seen any of that around lately?

We are so close to breaking down... an outcome I am confident that those doing the breaking are wholeheartedly pushing for - with an eye to what comes next. The next breakdown in the markets will likely be the last for this construct. Do those ushering this in really understand all of the consequences of their actions?

Somehow, I think not.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gulf Oil rig exploded...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_gulf_rig_explosion


Not the best year here for our gardens, but we have tons and tons of butternut squash--good for baby food!

-Meiyo

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Hey Meiyo:

Our garden was a ""B" to "B-"

Potatoes and corn always seem to do well here. What I am learning is that I need to plant more, straw mulch more, and weed more.

I am getting sweet potatoes whenever I want them, but in a couple weeks we will find out what we have for the winter. This was my first go around with sweet potatoes.

Eggs, milk, meat in abundance... we have taken to freezing scrambled eggs in small freezer bags.

We had peaches and plums coming out of our ears... but the apples were non-existant. Blueberries enough for the summer, not enough for the rest of the year.

PioneerPreppy said...

Bah my corn and potatoes were a complete bust. Beans were so so, Only the hot peppers produced anything really, the bells and others were AWOL.

The super hot days sucked the life outta alot of things and the squash bugs were just terrible this year.

Good year for tomatoes.

As for the article and your commentary I cannot agree more. We are fed many many lies and half truths the key is to look at who is usually the target and who allies with whom.

Just my main example is always the liberal alliance with Islam. The only way it makes any sense is to look at the usual target.

Anonymous said...

Ya I would give my garden a C-, although I didn't put near as much time in as usual due to a newborn baby. I have never grown sweet potatoes.

What worked particularly well was the "three sisters" approach but instead of corn we have beans growing up the amaranth, and butternut squash that has covered the entire ground--which made weeds mostly non-existent.

I don't mulch per say, except coffee grinds on our Tomatoes and Peppers.

We got hit with an early spring in PA and it killed most of our fruit tree blossoms, so minimal apples, and sadly almost no pears survived.

I found out that stored seeds may not last as long as they say, I used 2 year old seeds stored in mylar, and had about 5% germination rate...so I had to re-plant about a month later. I ended up giving up on most things and just planted tons of beats/swiss chard/and squash. I'm moving toward gardens that have items that store well without having to Can them right away--like potatoes and squash, and green peppers (which freeze real well at least).

I wanted to make all our own babyfood this year, but will have to buy some I guess. It's funny that I know more about gardening now then ever before--and had my worst garden--don't trust stored seeds past a year, unless they are nitrogen sealed!
-Meiyo

PioneerPreppy said...

Meiyo

Stored seeds vary. Tomato seeds will retain a decent sprout rate even after 10 years if air dried properly after the film is removed.

Typically the larger the seed the less time it can be stored except potatoes I guess.

bureaucrat said...

We aren't going to break down unless the food stores and gasoline stations shut down, and with the huge oversupply of everything, that ain't gonna happen anytime soon.

80% of Federal tax dollars go to: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Interest and Defense. None of those programs are going to get cut cause everyone agrees on their value.

90% of state tax dollars go to: Education, Human Services (the disabled), Medicaid and public pensions (mostly teachers). Same thing.

For 30 years everyone has been electing presidents and governors who promised lower taxes. We are coming to the end of our borrowing binge to fund these necessary programs. There's no one left to borrow from.

Time to tax the rich. They have the money.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Bur:

Your demand side analysis of funding requirements does not support any kind of claim that the finding will be there.

The U.S. financial system is currently under 95% ownership by the U.S. Federal Government. Why the pretense of any private market capitalism is there only to fund what is left of the pension system... when that damn breaks there will be no need of the pretense whatsoever.

Under no circumstance does international trade continue to allow the U.S. to have a trade deficit in 2018, and perhaps long before that. With nor trade deficit, others will have no trade surplus with the U.S., and accordingly, that is the end of everything and the beginning of what is to be.

And that is taking a U.S. centric view... Japan's currency could blow and Italy could default long before 2018....

Anonymous said...

Bur,

Why do you believe these programs were necessary? People lived without them for thousands of years. And just who the H#!! is everyone? Everyone at the Federal teat? I don't agree. Not one bit. Neither do a lot of other people. How long until you and your ilk kill the goose that lays the golden eggs?

There is something like $140,000,000,000 allocated to keep Greece afloat. It is a tiny country. How much to save the U.S.A.? Right now, the US$ is considered to be the safe haven. That general agreement can turn on a dime. Have you been reading this blog and the supporting news, or just staring at the words? The US government is 50% underfunded. All federal taxes must DOUBLE to fix this. There is just not that much to tax. Every dollar that is taxed away would have been spent or invested much more efficiently and effectively by the person who earned it. Tax and spend is very economically destructive.

We break down when the interest on 10 year Treasuries hits 15%. When the investment world gets the idea that the only way the federal deficit can be funded is through "quantitative easing," it's all over but the crying.

Regards,

Coal Guy

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Coal Guy:

That is the issue... however, I must disagree with your "15%" for 10 year is the point of disaster...

The average interest RIGHT NOW for ALL issues is less than 4.5% to the government, or $383 BILLION in interest in 2009, and roughly $412 BILLION in 2010.

If total interest costs to the Treasury were to double to 9%, interest costs in 2014 would exceed $1 TRILLION, or 40% of government revenues...

remember that the yield curve would actually be INVERTED at that time, so the front end could be 17% and the backend 9%.

This is light's out stuff. And it is coming to a cluster f**k near you.

But good to hear from you!

Dan said...

The plan was, and unfortunately remains, to buy up all the” toxic loans” making the debt-holders whole stuffing them in the bad bank, presumably Fanny and Freddy. Then after they have rescued the masters of the universe the foreclosed properties will be sold at market rates. So, those self same Masters of the Universe, the only ones with cash at that point, then get to buy the properties at a 90% or more discount as investment properties while everyone else is revulsed by them. F%&k that!

In light of the above I am now in favor of making the capital gains tax progressive along the same lines as earned income. Let the middle class retire on their investments and tax the rentier levels to pay for their rescue. It’s time the tax code recognize the difference between someone earning 100K per year on their investments and someone earning 100M per year. I also think we need to slightly favor dividends over other types of investment income to flush out some of the creative accounting going on. If a corporation really performed as well as claimed, let them cough it up as dividends and prove it, not just pay a bonus for the CEO based on bogus accounting. Finally, on CEO pay, we need to recognize the difference between an entrepreneur who performs a valuable public service by expanding the economy and someone who merely chairs a largely self governing fortune 500 company.

Dextred1 said...

It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.

Legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways; hence, there are an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, bonuses, subsidies, incentives, the progressive income tax, free education, the right to employment, the right to profit, the right to wages, the right to relief, the right to the tools of production, interest free credit, etc., etc. And it the aggregate of all these plans, in respect to what they have in common, legal plunder, that goes under the name of socialism.

Both by Frderic Bastiat

bureaucrat said...

No one seems to be able to list a government program the people don't like. So, let's list the beneficiaries of government taxes ...

-- The old (more than 1/2 of older people rely on Social Security for their vary lives.)
-- Those without private health care (Medicare/Medicaid)
-- The disabled
-- Teachers (who equip the next taxpayers)
-- Federal bondholders, who wont loan us any more money if they dont get their principal and interest back
-- The defense establishment, which keeps people like Saddam, Chavez, Putin, and every other dictator at bay so we can sleep at night.

Without govt. spending, we have ..

-- Old men in bread lines, unemployed and dying on your front lawn (watch those film clips of the Great Depression -- old, old men)
-- the disabled, moving back in with their parents, brothers and sisters (think about how the govt. keeps these "undesirables" away from you)
-- More stupid kids (who become Republicans :))

We are already a socialist country. We subsidize health care, public transportation, regulate utilities, etc. etc. It's already here, and WAY more people want it than don't.

If we had alll that money for Mexican vacations, SUVs, granite countertops, McMansions, after school soccer programs, clothes, restaurants, etc., etc., don't tell me there isn't more tax money waiting out there.

The trade deficit is mostly oil, as Jeffers has mentioned. And someday, we will have a problem with the oil. But remember ... if the oil supply drops, but demand drops faster, there is no oil problem. They are practically giving natural gas away today.

Yeah, we didn't need government spending 100 years ago, when people died a lot earlier, in pain, and died a lot a lot poorer.

Open up those checkbooks WITH PRIDE!. :)

Anonymous said...

Bur-
You are right that declining oil availability coupled with shrinking demand for oil may keep supply and demand in balance.

However, you must remember that we are a totally indebted society. We have to borrow at this point just to keep the debt pyramid from imploding.

Slow US growth leaves the great US debt pyramid unstable. Remember, the US economy historically catches cold when growth drops below 2%- and that is before we accomplished the present deadly debt accumulation of the last decade.

No growth is very very bad news.

A contracting US economy will likely collapse the debt and derivative pyramid and also the US real economy. When you talk about contracting oil demand, you are basically talking about a contracting US economy.

And let's not forget that the peak oil crisis and the more urgent oil export situation will follow on the heels of this financial collapse.

Best, Marshall

Anonymous said...

Greg,

I pulled that number out of you know where. It was just illustrative. If we could predict the day of reckoning, we'd be rich.

Regards,

Coal Guy

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Coal Guy:

I was just teasing you... I pull most of my "what if" projections out of you know where...

Thinking persons need a voluminous you-know-where in order to have at the ready all of the stuff we pull from there....

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Marshall:

Thank you!

Bur, if you look at m earliest posts, this was the entirety of my argument.

Anonymous said...

Bur,

The rich are rich because they own assets, which have recently fallen quite a bit in value. Return on investments has shrunk quite a bit too. Small businesses, independent contractors, etc., who were McMansion and Escalade set are mostly out of work. Small business creates jobs. New businesses create jobs. The first year after a business is started is the only period in the life of a business, in the aggregate, during which job creation is a net positive. Let's slap those guys that start businesses good. Let's lay on lots of taxes, controls and regulations to keep them in line. The bread line. Really, Bur, wealth does not condense out of the atmosphere. There comes a point at which it just isn't worth the effort.

Regards,

Coal Guy

PioneerPreppy said...

Oh there are taxes out there to get but only from those they are afraid to take it from now.

Taxing the rich more? I can't wait for the current regime to start taxing their money backers. LOL lets hit the snob elite in the major cities to pay for the crap they push then watch em move enmasse to Colorado from LA.. Wait they already did that.

Going after the last remnants of the middle class? There isn't enough left there to make a dent in the spending.

And it won't be old men in bread lines it will be old women. The average life span for men has not risen near as far as it has for women in the last 100 years. Besides those will just be sad pictures on the tube what will be shown on the news will be "gatherings" like we saw in Atlanta wasn't it?

More of Bur's smart Democrats lining up for section 8 apps.

There are plenty of areas the American people are against spending on. Just depends what part of the country you are in.

bureaucrat said...

I'll keep this brief as no one wants to have an argument ;) ..

1) Debt: no argument. Federally, ee are borrowing (and recycling) at least $2 trillion a year for the next 10 years at least. The U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio is 360%. Other countries are badbad too (Japan comes to mind). But too much debt doesn't mean collapse. It means 1970s-style 20 years of malaise. We'll live.

2) Mexicans: growth, growth, growth. Young, usually work hard, usually pleasant, and they do all the work we don't want to do. 12 million could be made legal and paying taxes. They wil create the growth needed and save this country.

3) Less oil may mean less growth, but not less living. I'll bet 1/2 of oil is wasted by lazy people who don't want to get out of their cars. Walk, people, walk! I walked home from work (in Chicago)last night. 56 blocks, 2 hours, 7 miles and sweating buckets. :) Saved $2.25 in train fare tho.

4) Rich are rich for many reasons. My parents, God love 'em, are rich .. because of inheritance AND because we didn't have a big house, a pool, a summer home, a home addition, cable TV, 2 nice cars and lots of spending on us kids. :) The "Millionaire Next Door" book was right. Anyone can be rich.

5) Small business is overrated. How many nail salons and Jimmy Johns does one nation need? And what do they really produce? 1/2 go broke within 5 years. 2/3rds of private sector GDP in the U.S. is earned by the top 500 companies (real businesses, like GE, Delta, Disney, ExxonMobil, etc.) These one-person, out-of-your-house, trivial small businesses (98% of "small businesses") are a farce. They produce nothing but sandwiches and work you can do yourself.

Anonymous said...

Bur.

Mish dug out the stats. The only year of the life cycle of business that produces a net job increase is the first year. When you stop that process, you don't replace the jobs that have been lost due to business failures and productivity increases. The big corporations have been shedding jobs for years. Every big business started out as a small business. Bitch all you want, but business formation is the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Regards,

Coal Guy

bureaucrat said...

Big businesses started out small, but became big businesses because they had some REAL idea to sell, like plane rides, and railroads, and oil, and health care, and technology, and military weapons. The overwhelming majority of small businesses make almost nothing, hire almost nobody and have Congress in their hip pocket, for no reason I can see. Massage therapists? Interior decorators? Where's the beef????? :))

Anonymous said...

You get a good deal on some drugs lately Bur? So Massage therapists and Interior Decorators have have Congress in their hip pocket??!

I think the list you said before owns congress Big Pharma, Industrial Agriculture, Military Industrial complex...Methinks has a bit more pull, then those and your other previously listed small businesses like Nail salon's.

Drug testing should be mandatory for Federal employee's and I'm thinking monthly sounds good...this hip pocket comment ranks right up there with your evil white daddy BS was the cause of urbanization, its just plain ignorant.

-Meiyo

Anonymous said...

http://www.sba.gov/advo/stats/sbfaq.pdf

-Meiyo

bureaucrat said...

Meiyo, when I find that reference to the majority of government welfare dollars going to the rural poor populations, instead of the inner city, I'm gonna ram that right down your throat. :)

Anonymous said...

You use such colorful aggressive language Bur, your definitely not one of them lovey dovey Hippie type libs, but Libs have their elitist Authoritarian types just like the Rep's do.

With all your aggression towards nail salons and whitey etc. I'm starting to think you aren't getting any of the previous article's title and this is ruining your mood. Walking 56 blocks and doing cardio is great stuff, but not quite the same thing that the hippie libs usual get to partake of ;0

-Meiyo

Anonymous said...

Greg-

A new Dimitry Orlov article that is addressing the realistic conditions of the downslope of Hubberts Curve. This is some of Dmitry's best thinking. EXCELLENT.

http://www.culturechange.org/cms/content/view/674/66/

Best,
Marshall

Dan said...

“Pulled [it] ...out of you know where”
I like to call it atmospheric extraction.

Dex,
I agree, but alas, we crossed the Rubicon long ago and there is no turning back now. No matter how I game this out I don’t see a way out.

Dextred1 said...

Dan,

You invoked one of my favorite phrases (crossing the Rubicon). The sad thing is that both the contemporary meaning of passing the point of no return economically, philosophically, culturally and also the classic meaning of a military being used against its own people is highly likely in my opinion at some point. It all goes back to those old white guys (bur) who tried so hard to create a government that would propagate the rule of law and not plunder because of class envy.

PioneerPreppy said...

I quick search on the web resulted in this study which is admittedly 10 year old data but it does not show that rural states got more federal welfare dollars than richer ones.

In fact it says the opposite that the richer states got more federal tax dollars for welfare spending.

Notice this includes education.

http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/social-welfare-spending04/summary.pdf

Now I just kinda skimmed over it so maybe there is something in there other than the statements I pulled out but it looks to disprove the rural welfare spending myth.

Donal Lang said...

Greg; we had a brief conversation on your Libertarian blog about 100% death dutues. I say again; if you believe in equal opportunities for all, then why not allow, say, $50k inheritance and take the rest in death duties to reinvest in kids. Then we all start as equals except for whatever your parents teach you, and the education you get. The extra money could give ALL children a decent education, healthcare and diet, which is a much better investment in the country's future than inherited wealth being blown by rich-kid wasters on sports cars and drugs, or accumulating over generations.

Now I can't imagine you'll agree with this, but as you claim libertarian views I would like to know your reasons for NOT agreeing!

Dextred1 said...

Donal Lang,

That is simple to answer. They worked for it and can give it to who they want. So you think that if somebody blows all their money on selfish pursuits and leaves none for their kids that is okay or good? Who the hell do you think should get the money? Terrible Idea for charity reasons, investment reasons and ultimately morals reason. I guess if you do not have kids you will never understand. Not to mention you will destroy ever single small business in the United States. If you disagree check the business failure rate on small businesses that get hit with the death taxes (think over a million now, maybe 2 million). They have to sell to pay the inheritance tax. Not to mention those people like me brought up running their business know what it takes to get it done. Why do you think most businesses are family run and not run by college diddle heads?

Dextred1 said...

Donal,

By the way, the college graduation rate is the highest it has ever been. Are we richer now because of it? Did we get new jobs from education or was the education a response to new jobs in certain specific fields like High tech? Has free or almost free education in Europe produced massive economic growth? There is no correlation between job growth and increased education. In fact I would say that the increased premium we place on education is because we can no longer compete in manufacturing because of our tax structure and pollution laws. How many morons do we need with psychology degrees, arts degrees, criminal justice, lawyers and damn near everything else? Just more useless individuals living off of the money produced in the private sector. Plus you cannot force people to care about anything. Don't get me wrong I value an education as a means to an end, but does it really change the dynamics of an economy. Most of the Boards of major industry's have only bachelor’s degrees are they less intelligent than a 24 yr old with a master's in business.

Anonymous said...

The whole inheritance issue is something that I've been thinking about recently. As far as I'm concerned, the government has no damn business taking people's hard earned money. It does not level the playing field, it just transfers more power to the elite socialist trash that is running the show these days. As Dex said, it ruins small business as it makes it very hard to pass a business or farm to one's children.

But, beyond this, there is a competing issue of how much concentrated wealth is too much. This issue surfaces repeatedly on this blog. It exists in the area of individual wealth, and in the size of corporations. In the case of individual wealth, the maximum exclusion for inheritance tax should be affixed to the heirs and set to some large value, perhaps $50,000,00. A number like that provides that a good sized business or very large farm can be passed to one's children, but still prevent the formation of families with such disproportionate wealth that they have undue influence on government. It also allows one to pass all of one's assets tax free as long as each heir's share does not exceed the exclusion.

Corporations should also have a term limit, and be forced to dissolve into reasonably sized chunks, also to prevent concentration of power. Just what rules might apply is unclear.

Donal,

What I fail to understand, is how you can rail against private concentration of power, yet have a faith that absolute government power is somehow good. Why is a monopoly of power by the government any less horrific than any other monopoly?

Regards,

Coal Guy

Anonymous said...

I left off a zero. That's 50Million.

Regards
CG