Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Not Thinking Things Through

I think our political class has a striking gap in its education/training. For the most part, they don't play chess.  And I mean that sincerely.  Chess teaches you to think about outcomes, intentional and unintentional. Something that is sorely lacking in our policies and politics.

(I grew up in a "chess house" (and ping pong, too). My father and my 4 older brothers would play endless tournaments. To give an idea of our enthusiasm for the game my mother knitted a large chess board and my father built a table around it. Some hard shopping was done to acquire the proper seats that were going to have to withstand our boisterous brand of brotherly chess. Brother number 3, who reads here often so I gotta be nice, and my father were the house champs.)

Here we are in 2011, having come closer to abandoning our Constitution to Marshall Law because of bad economic policy than at anytime time in our history, including times where we faced an opposing army. And what is our Left-leaning administration planning as a response? They are going to get rid of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac (and its the right thing to do), 2 of the crown Jewels of that paradigm of Progressivism, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  Turns out that subsidizing home ownership nearly ended the Republic.  Social Security, the other crown jewel of that administration, is squarely on the block as we speak with a Federal government shut down possibly in the offing. (Medicare came later, during the Great Society Horse Sh#! came later with LBJ... the brainiac that gave us Viet Nam.)

There are no actions without unintended consequences.

The women's movement creates political opportunities for Hillary and financial opportunities for Oprah... and has caused 55 million abortions, outrageous divorce rates, a population of men who absolutely refuse to marry and others that will only do so with a 95 page pre-nuptial agreement.... and millions and millions of boomer aged women with no savings or husband to share the burden's of life with.... and yes, I realize it is more complicated than that.. but suffice it to say, with a full recognition that correlation does not imply causation, that boomer women, now 50 to 65, are in far, FAR worse financial shape than their mother's were. I respectfully submit that a great deal of that can be laid at the feet of the responses, both intended and unintended, of the "women's movement". And PLEASE! I do not say that there were not some important positive outcomes that came with that movement. We are playing chess here, and in chess one must SURVIVE the opening and mid game in order to win the end game.

Social Security and property taxes combined to make it impossible for the average person to save for their old age. If the data-point in the Susanna Wilson article, that the average Boomer American has about $25,000 in retirement savings, isn't it time to turn down the rhetoric and break out the spreadsheet/calculator/pencil & napkin?  Do you want to shout down the opposition or have a rational co-examination of the facts? Well, real median household income in the U.S. is just over $50,000 per year. Social Security seizes 16% of that, and property taxes another 7% or so. Sales taxes consume another 2 or 3%... I have not gotten to income taxes yet! (And I know that at this point out come's the "tax the rich then!" crowd. I just can't respond to their silly and uninformed position. Yes, income taxes will have to rise somewhat... but there is not as much slack there as these people think.) Demographics are killing us! We were able to get away with this silly construct as long as population grew... the moment it stops - POW! Had the folks running the train set played chess growing up this would not be so hard for them to put their arms around.

Drug use! The U.S. has filled up its prisons far beyond the point of being defensible. What do we have to show for it?  Is the drug problem cured? NAFC. Have we created a prison culture and gangs that perpetuate a culture of crime? You bet.  You know all those men in prison? Well, they have children. And those children are growing up in poverty stricken homes dependent on government assistance.  Talk about the gift that keeps on giving (for law enforcement and the justice system, that is)!!!

Speaking of those children... I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the unintended consequences of Aid to Families with Dependent children, or whatever they call it these days. 90% of African American children will receive food assistance at some point in their childhood. Over 70% are born to single mothers. This wasn't the case BEFORE the civil rights era... so what happened? As in everything I mentioned above... the GOVERNMENT happened.  The government incentivized an entire culture to self-destruct.  Not to worry, the government has a plan to fix it... all it takes is more money. Will it work? Has any government program worked out in the long run? Let's take a look, shall we...? Farm subsidies, the national income tax, the War on Drugs, Subsidizing the mortgage/housing market (Fannie Mae), subsidizing healthcare for the elderly (Medicare), forcing individuals to save while holding their money (lol!!!!) for safe keeping (Social Security), family law (an explosion of wealthy divorce lawyers and poor families and 55 million unborn killed)... I gotta stop here or I am going to blow a f*&^ing gasket.

I am starting to think that the end of Oil might just be a fantastic blessing. I might change the name of my blog from the "American Energy Crisis" to the "American Energy Crisis Is The Solution". In my view of the world and American chess board, it is difficult to see how the outcomes of the end of Oil could be any worse than the path we have chosen.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Greg,

It is more than just the women's movement. Though, the women's movement is a big part of the problem. We've reached the ultimate outcome of the progressive's detachment of responsibility from ones actions. Economic and social collapse.

If I get fat and develop chronic diseases, my company or the government pays the insurance bills. What do I care what it costs?

College is expensive, grants and subsidies push the costs on the taxpayers. What do I care what it costs?

I don't save for my retirement, but Social Security will put the burden on my children and grandchildren. What do I care what it costs?

I can buy a great big big house because the Fed keeps pumping out cheaper and cheaper dollars. More leverage is better. I'm subsidized by the hidden inflation tax on anyone holding cash or cash instruments. Savers are chumps.

If I get pregnant and want the baby, the taxpayers will support me. What do I care what it costs?

If I get pregnant and don't want the baby, abortions are cheap. No fetus has registered a complaint yet.

If I'm a banker and go bankrupt because of my bad, if not fraudulent, lending practices, the taxpayers will bail me out. I still pay myself bonuses. What do I care what it costs?

No matter what happens, someone ELSE should accept responsibility for my errors. In that concept is the acid that has eaten our culture.

There are going to be a LOT of pissed off people when the ugly truth is revealed.

Regards,

Coal Guy

Anonymous said...

Further,

If Joe Sixpack can't save, and has been convinced that saving is for chumps, guess who gets to own all the assets. The very wealthy get the assets. And if anyone thinks the the liberal elite hadn't considered that on the way in, I've got this nice piece of land you might be interested in. Since it's only under water 3 months a year, I'll give you a 25% discount. Sound good?

Regards,

Coal Guy

Dextred1 said...

"We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men's labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name-liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names- liberty and tyranny"

Abraham Lincoln

Coal guy as always you nailed it.

Dextred

Anonymous said...

Its interesting you bring up the concept of bankruptcy as a solution. I have long thought that. Now granted I have waffled from time to time and in my youth I actually voted for Perot thinking there was a chance to change course.

Since then I have mostly voted for the ones I thought would break our bank fastest. Since I lost any hope of things actually being fixed I figure the only way to fix them is for complete and total collapse.

Unfortunately, I have also come to the realization that when collapse comes we are far more likely to get a dictatorship then we are a restructured republic. And there is no chance this collapse will come to be without the death of millions of our fellow Americans. Many of whom I will not miss. Unfortunately, none of us will get to chose who lives and who dies. It really will be a crap shoot.

Far too many of our fellow Americans are dependent on nanny. They will not fade out of existence quietly. And any would be dictator of course would use that to their advantage.

Be careful what you wish for. You may just get it.

ChrisInGa

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Yes, Coal Guy has nailed it.

Anonymous said...

Chris in GA,

It scares me to death. When 10's of millions who have no idea how to support themselves are suddenly cut off from support there will be chaos for a while. But, rioting does not put food on the table. Those who are capable will figure out how to work and feed themselves.

Regards,

Coal Guy

Anonymous said...

Coal Guy,

I hope you are right. But I fear that those who can provide will be put into slavery by those who aspire to power to provide for the armies that they use to get there.

Look at most dictatorships around the world. Those in power cease what they wish and reward those who support their ability to do so.

Those who prepared will simply be the first to have their stuff seized.

This idea that government of one form or another is just going to cease to exist has no basis in history. The protection racket existed long before you or I and it will exist long after us.

ChrisInGa

eppco said...

What is Marshall Law? I think you are referring to martial law.

Please update your references and also please stop abusing the poor apostrophe. Just because something is plural does not necessitate using an apostrophe at the end of the word. I am really sorry to say this but constant misuse of the apostrophe is a sign of poor education. To be safe, only use it in the possessive sense, such as Steve's blog or everyone's ability. Other than that don't use it at all and you will not make so many of these common mistakes. It is absurb to lament the stupidity and lack of education, etc. of modern Americans while continuing to abuse apostrophes and refer to "Marshall" law.