Sunday, April 17, 2011

Balance... and the 2H1P

There are a great many crowded trades out there in the market place.

Precious metals and commodities are trading at nose bleed levels. Goldman Sachs, the anti-Christ, is out telling their clients to close their crude, cooper, platinum trades, among other items... no doubt, IMHO, because they have intimate knowledge of the Fed's next moves. Don't fight City Hall. QE2 is coming to an end, and I do not see QE3 in our future, given the religion the 2H1P has gotten of late regarding spending.

Housing and lending are as dead as fried chicken, and are just about as resuscitatable. Employment is too, despite the distortions, gimmickry, and out right lies of the BLS.  QE1 and 2 were both unmitigated successes, or unmitigated failures, depending on how you look at it. Fact is, I favored QE1 and TARP as we were days away from Martial Law at the time. QE2? Not even a little bit.

The government seems to have come to the belief that its job is to cause perfect, seamless, and unending economic growth, and besides the fact that this is the primary reason the political class cannot come to grips with Peak Oil this is hardly the Constitutional function of government... encouraging the electorate to believe that it is has left us where we are.

(I read with interest the dynamic duo spokespeople of the Left: Robert Reich and Paul Krugman. These are bright fellows, if I make use of understatement, so how did they get to be so daft in how they interpret the environment of the human condition? Liberal, elite, of privileged background... and childless. I (very politically incorrectly) assert that the experience of parenting and providing for the needs of a family is a primary experience necessary to fully be able to see and interpret the entire human condition. Living in perpetuity in Academia without having to make payroll and care for children and deal with government edict and regulations is not conducive to rational interpretation of ones environment, me thinks. For example: That fully 1/3 of the SCOTUS Justices are childless, self-important geeks disturbs me to no end. Think this is a silly point to bring up?  Why? Ask ANY PARENT what the most significant, life altering/affirming/maturing event in their life was and invariably it will have to do with becoming a parent. I don't see raising children so much as a "choice" as a civic duty. While it might be acceptable to choose to be childless, it can hardly be defended as the better of the 2 options. And why is it that wealth transfer agents like Krugman & Reisch want so much to make life better and fair by sharing your assets and wealth when they are unwilling to share of themselves with children? OK, maybe I am all wet. Maybe they cannot HAVE children. And adoption was not an option for people of such wealth and power? Should we blame the Liberal's birth-derth/baby bust on their infertility? F*** right off!)

Adults know and understand this out of hand. Unfortunately, we seem to be in a serious shortage of supply of adults at this time in our history.  With the vast majority of Americans and the inhabitants of the rest industrial West firmly believing that something can be had for nothing, that there is no such thing as self-interest let alone the ability recognize and act on it, I think it is incumbent upon each of us to prove the majority wrong - for your own self-interest!

"Self-Interest" is perhaps confused in some political quarters as being selfish or self-absorbed. Those quarters, as I mentioned above, often don't have children. Every parent knows how much blood, sweat, and tears goes into raising a family. The chasm between Paul Krugman's and Robert Reich's world view and mine has at least as much evolved from our personal family experiences as anything else. These are brilliant fellows, to say the least. Pretty smart, myself. Very different experiences.

Those supporting the Krugman/Reich view point will often bellow and assert and hold forth on income disparity/tax the rich/Life's not fair! Taking the 400 richest billionaires as an example/reason for destroying the well being and security of the middle class millionaires that grind it out everyday at small business around the country. Look, some of what these guy's bring up is legitimate - our system has evolved flaws that have leant a winner-take-all paradigm that does present serious issues and challenges. Look no further than the recent mortgage and finance crisis in which the moneyed establishment was able to break the rules, profit mightily, and then rewrite the rules with impunity. Believe me, I get it. I spent my life working in finance with these entitled jack-asses (and most of them identified with the Left). The question is whether the cure is worse than the disease.

(It has been my experience that when a view point is extremely weak, the holder must resort to the "nuclear option". For example, when I bring up my pro-Life views and belief that abortion cannot be supported ethically the first response from the pro-choice around me has invariably been "Oh, yea? What if the woman was raped?" WTF??!! What percentage of abortions are motivated by rape? Not a very big percentage, me thinks, but the balance of their argument is soooooo flawed and ill considered that like any drowning person they flail about dangerously.)

I respectfully submit that the cure for much of that disparity is in the offing, but I absolutely guarantee that that cure will not satisfy the Krugman/Reich gang.  In fact, as with any organization, they will use what supports their contention and discard the balance. As will the Right.

The folks identifying with the Right are suffering equally from the fallacy of misplaced concreteness. All things are NOT equal... and yet the U.S. military budget must be cut into, and deeply, in much the same fashion as the entitlement programs.  The prison/industrial/war on drugs industrial complex simply cannot be financed further, and was never a terribly good idea irrespective of the fiscal environment. The Right will NEVER be able to use government thugs to enforce the (very correct) idea that Life begins at conception. What are they going to do? Issue birth certificates for conception? No, these knuckle heads don't give a good fart for the unborn. They are simply USING well meaning folks to further other political agendas.

There are no macro solutions; only micro solutions. The West's energy situation is going to readjust these attitudes of smug superiority. But that revolution won't be televised, either. There will no "I told you so" moment. We'll all be too busy seeing to our own affairs.

Thank G-d.


Anonymous said...

Just a comment on the so-called entitlements for elderly-

It's easy to complain about all the money being wasted on the elders by SS, medicare, etc. However, sometimes a social solution can have economies of scale. For instance, if we abolished SS and Medicare, etc the children of elderly would have to shoulder ALL of the associated elder bills all by themselves and we are talking big big money ie-

Nursing home- $60-100k/yearly
Meds- $10-35k
Doctor care- $2-3K
End of life care- $$25k- $1 million
Wear and tear on family- $Priceless

In fact, one of the rationales for SS was the need for occupational mobility in the US work force. When 3 generations of a family are bound in one place to take care of the elders, the workers of the family cannot easily relocate to the opposite coast, work overseas, or take many demanding jobs which undermines the supposed occupational dynamism of the US economy.

We need to realize that some of these programs arose from real needs ie elders rotting in gutters, children working dangerous jobs ie coal mines at very young ages, contamination of food supply by ruthless operators, workers injured on the job and being thrown out to starve with the family, dangerous work ie steel mills where workers had 14hr days/7days a week in constant danger.

I don't think that anyone here is old enough to remember 1916..but in that year alone, over 3,000 coal miners died in mining accidents- much of those resulting from shoddy mine practices and ruthless policies of coal companies. One of the main reasons for labor unions was the addressing of workplace safety issues.

We take a lot for granted these days.

Just something to think on-

Anonymous said...

Simply being able to propagate the species as a parent may be setting the bar a bit low.
Looking across the broad wasteland of America and some of her unfortunate offspring, tattooed, drug addled and little developed beyond the terrible twos, I see a lot of parental failure.
Best not do it at if you're really going to fuck it up.
Now here's a very un PC concept: how about instituting a system of breeding licensing based on reasonable capabilities other than those required for a quick insemination.
Or are you of the school that children can really raise themselves?

PioneerPreppy said...

Oh don't cry the "elderly need taken care of river" Marshal. For one thing if these same parents weren't so quick to want the children out on their own forty years ago and spent time building a family structure they would be taken care of in many households. Why do the elderly expect 60K a year rest homes and ultra priced doctors and meds? It comes down to control. The elderly cut so many corners and allowed so much to be pawned off on their children back when, that they are afraid to put themselves under the care and control of these shattered families today.

Whomever or whichever group was responsible, they killed the family, promoted selfish thinking and childlessness and claimed the government should take care of the children they did have. Now the only thing these aging seniors have left is a government check.

No I don't think we should cut the elderly off but as Greg points out a true patriarch or matriarch plans on leaving the family better off in every way possible when the time comes. This perspective can only come from a true parent which the leftist elites disdain and declare as un-necessary.

Children ground you and connect you to reality and give you a new perspective on the future.

Good Post Greg.

Anonymous said...

There is a good reason that those childless old ladies are scared witless; they don’t get to fob it all off on someone else’s kids, the bill is due now. If someone planned to die broke then their plans will probably succeed just fine. Although, dying because they are broke was probably not their original intention. On the other hand if they made more traditional choices they will probably be much better off and in the end almost everyone will get exactly what they deserve.


Anonymous said...

Robert Reich does have children. That was one of the reasons he gave for leaving Clinton's administration--more time with his kiddos.

He has 2 sons, Adam and Sam.

Idaho Homesteader

Greg T. Jeffers said...


Get a nickname or Register. I don't debate straw men or ghosts.

Please re-read my commentary. Notice I said "and provide for the needs of a family". Anybody can be a biological father. Getting up every day, going to work, bringing home the bacon, being there for little league and piano lessons, braces and eye glasses, Vacations and weekends is what separates the men from the boys... not that we don't HAVE PLENTY of boys not fulfilling their obligations... but that's another rant altogether.

I am just getting started on my "If the Baby Bust Left wants non-Democrat family men to "share the wealth" then I wanna know why the Baby Bustsers ARE Busters" idea.

Greg T. Jeffers said...


I stand corrected. I thought they were her sons, not his. My bad.

Anonymous said...


I grew up in the midst of small towns with quaint names, like Mine 37 and Mine 42. These were little 3 block by three block villages with identical houses and the company store on the corner. By the time the miners paid their rent and bought their necessities, all of their pay was returned to the mining company. It was little better than slave labor. You did, indeed, owe your soul to the company store. My next door neighbor died of black lung when I was a kid. It is an absolutely horrible death.

My birthplace was also a steel town. Management were a bunch of bastards. All of them. The unions were necessary to balance that out. In the early 20th century, they did a lot of good. I'm no friend of the Left, or today's unions. They don't know when to stop. But even now, just the threat of unionization keeps management on good behavior. It is the battle of two evil forces keeping each other at bay that make it a bit better for the rest of us.

As far as the social programs go, we still pay all of that. It just comes out of our paychecks and goes to the elders, less a handling fee, of course.


Coal Guy

Anonymous said...

I'm with Greg. If you've never raised children, you are looking at the world from a detached and theoretical perspective. There is no better practical education than a family.


Coal Guy

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Coal Guy:

"If you've never raised children, you are looking at the world from a detached and theoretical perspective. There is no better practical education than a family."

Simple. Like. That.

I'd like to take it step further. If you've never raised children while also grinding out a LIVING, and saving for a downpayment, and saving for college, and saving for old age, and grandchildren, and, and and... people from inherited wealth or lottery jobs (movies stars, etc...) don't seem to benefit from the parenthood thing the way regular folks do.