Monday, June 25, 2012

“The Whole Damn Kebab Van will go up in Flames”

The Greek vote two weekends ago merely delayed the inevitable. The continuing Eurozone saga lurches from crisis to “solution,” temporarily soothing the markets until the solution is seen to be no solution at all, then a new crisis flares up… See the pattern?
Greece is still likely headed for the exits this year. The economy is just too sickly to meet the bailout requirements, and Germany is highly unlikely to ease them enough to make a difference. (James Pethokoukis)
It’s Too Big to Control

I love Brit Janet Daley’s caustic but accurate take…
The economy is now beyond the control of national governments, and therefore outside the remit of democratic politics. It has become truly global, and thus a law unto itself; nation states have gone broke in their attempt to feed its gargantuan appetites for consumption and debt.
The remedies for this began in panic and are now ending in delusion: first the banks went bust and were bailed out by governments; then the governments went bust and needed to be bailed out by – whom? International funding agencies which get their cash from – where? From central banks which will have to print gigantic amounts of money to replace all the money that simply disappeared in the bad debt that bankrupted the banks in the first place.
If You Believe in Fairy Tales, Clap Your hands!
And if we all agree to accept the illusion that this newly printed cash has actual value – if we all clap really hard and say that we believe in fairies – then the whole show can get back on the road and we will be rich again.
Give us the Loot or Tinkerbell gets it!
But what will be required is a world-wide agreement to participate in the illusion. It will rely on every country, and every government, and every electorate, being prepared to say: “Wealth can come from thin air. It doesn’t need any basis in real income or assets to make it viable.”
If the population or the political leadership of one country (Germany) insists that money must be earned before it is spent, then the game is up and Tinker Bell dies. (Janet Daley)
Democratic Dark Ages

London Mayor Boris Johnson puts his own formidable intellect to the task of scattering the fairy dust…
It is one of the tragic delusions of the human race that we believe in the inevitability of progress.
We look around us, and we seem to see a glorious affirmation that our ruthless species of homo is getting ever more sapiens. We see ice cream Snickers bars and in vitro babies and beautiful electronic pads on which you can paint with your fingertip and – by heaven – suitcases with wheels! Think of it: we managed to put a man on the moon about 35 years before we came up with wheelie-suitcases; and yet here they are. They have completely displaced the old type of suitcase, the ones with a handle that you used to lug puffing down platforms.
[…]
On the contrary: history teaches us that the tide can suddenly and inexplicably go out, and that things can lurch backwards into darkness and squalor and appalling violence. The Romans gave us roads and aqueducts and glass and sanitation and all the other benefits famously listed by Monty Python; indeed, they were probably on the verge of discovering the wheely-suitcase when they went into decline and fall in the fifth century AD.
And now look at what is being proposed in Greece. For the sake of bubble-gumming the euro together, we are willing to slaughter democracy in the very place where it was born. What is the point of a Greek elector voting for an economic programme, if that programme is decided in Brussels or – in reality – in Germany? What is the meaning of Greek freedom, the freedom Byron fought for, if Greece is returned to a kind of Ottoman dependency, but with the Sublime Porte now based in Berlin?
It won’t work. If things go on as they are, we will see more misery, more resentment, and an ever greater chance that the whole damn kebab van will go up in flames. (Boris Johnson)
I am not reveling in any of this. The same problems beset us as well, to the tune of over $4 trillion at the state and local level alone. The irony is that as soon as our economy starts booming again, the interest on our debt will shoot up and consume an even greater percentage of our federal budget.

But on the bright side, President Obama Played his 100th Round of Golf last Week!

44 comments:

Always On Watch said...

It is one of the tragic delusions of the human race that we believe in the inevitability of progress.

Every bubble bursts. Thus is the history of mankind.

conservativesonfire said...

Sadly, there is no painless way out of the mess the world is in. There is a less painful way out; but the central banks, the banks, and the elites will not even consider it. We can, therefore, look forward to a time of hyper-inflation after which, the bankers and the elites will present us with a new plan and we will be too desperate to resist. The bankers always win.

Ducky's here said...

I am not reveling in any of this ...
------------

Better not, when you get a good dose of your Galtian masters' (you though you were free?) austerity act you aren't going to be too happy.

Ducky's here said...

The Boris Johnson article is interesting. Just when Britains though they had seen the end of Thatcherism.

Reminds me of a review of Christopher Pettits RADIO ON, a very, very good deconstruction of the social aimlessness of the Thatcher years, in which the reviewer praised the film but said, "it all seems so long ago".

Not hardly. But the big money boys will be made whole and the rest can grill over the kebab van fire.

Train in the tunnel.

FreeThinke said...

Civilizations come and go.

Empires boom then go bust.

Governments rise and fall.

Currencies come and go.

Fashions are ever change -- and rarely for the better

YET, through it all THE PEOPLE go on and on and on.

LIFE persists and persists no matter what WE do to try to alter, curtail or abolish it. LIFE is stronger than governments, stronger than people. Life is GOD, and you may be sure that HE isn't going ANYWHERE.

When we emerged from the ooze and slime, as evolutionists insist we did –– though no one's proved it yet beyond a reasonable doubt –– there were no governments, no nations, no boundaries, no rules, other than The Law of the Jungle –– Survival of the Fittest and Most Ruthless –– Dog Eat Dog and all that. AND life was, as has oft been said “Nasty, Brutish and Short.”

Yet, somehow, despite our species' extreme frailty in comparison to so many others, we not only survived –– we grew, developed Language, then Poetry, Literature and Art, discovered the laws of Mathematics, Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, developed Architecture, Philosophy, Religion and Politics -- in short we went from a feral state –– i.e. animal existence to the –– mixed blessing of highly complex, stratified forms of Civilization.

With each successive failure after every period of decline, degeneracy and eventual extinction "someone" “somewhere" has always managed to preserve what was best from the ruined past, and used it to enhance the future.

The whole world appears to be falling apart to our eyes. We naturally feel confused, frightened, threatened, but it is just possible we are going through a necessary shifting of the moral, religious, ideological, cultural "techtonic plates" that may eventually settle into a firmer foundation than ever before and bring us to great heights as yet undreamed of.

Is it likely that you and I will be here to see it? No, but it doesn’t matter. Harsh and absurd as it may sound WE DON’T MATTER. Our only legitimate purposes here is to serve Life (God) as lovingly and gratefully as possible as long as it pleases God to allow us to do it.

So, don’t worry. Weeping, wailing, hand-wringing, bitter denunciation, blaming the villains, etc. won’t improve our prospects one iota. All it is sure to do is spoil whatever time we may have left.

The opening lines of J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio put it magnificently:

“Christians be joyful and praise your salvation, haste with Thanksgiving to greet this glad morn.”

Like the mythical Phoenix Bird, our species seems to have an infinite capacity for rising from the ashes of our funeral pyres to begin life all over again.

Bank on THAT. Don’t invest in DISASTER and above all don’t fear DEATH.

The mind of the dreamer
_____ is a secret storehouse
__________ wherein may dwell
__________ all youthful fond illusion ––
The embryo of each utterance of hope ––
_____ each word of comfort ––
__________ and each song of joy.

The mind of the cynic
_____ is a well-known asylum
__________ wherein lies disenchantment ––
_______________ destruction and despair ––
The insidious, lisping voice of the serpent.

O, foolish Man! Why choose strife,
_____ when only what you choose to know
_____ has life?


~ FreeThinke

Faith aka Connie said...

Hi there. I follow a Christian radio show that has been analyzing the European situation as another attempt to revive the Holy Roman Empire, just as the Third Reich was, in which sacrificing the wellbeing of individual nations is a necessary evil on the way to implementing the plan.

Today's show is about the neo-Nazi backlash in Greece, which echoes the beginnings of the rise of Germany after WWI when their economic situation was also desperate. I did a brief post on it today including the link to the radio show: http://armorupfolks.blogspot.com/2012/06/rise-of-greek-neo-nazi-party-something.html

Faith aka Connie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Faith aka Connie said...

Meant "rise of Hitler in Germany" not "rise of Germany."

Silverfiddle said...

Connie: So where do the space aliens figure into all of this?

Silverfiddle said...

Ducky:

"Galtian Masters?"

How do you dream up this crap? We live in a progressive world, with a progressive statist monetary system designed by progressive statists who were, and continue to be, afraid of free markets.

Nothing "Galtian" about them whatsoever.

Our governments have been captured by international finance. What we are seeing is the logical outcome of fractional banking.

Where did all the money go? It was never there to begin with.

You have expressed it before, and I'll agree with you. You and I are not really so far apart on this, but I imagine we probably greatly diverge on the remedy.

Z said...

what do you think, SF, of the European countries (especially England) telling Germany they need to pick up the tab for so much of the problems? They've been paying French subsidies for years and I think they're really tired of it...and should be.

re Ducky, "You and I are not really so far apart on this, but I imagine we probably greatly diverge on the remedy."

I'm with you on that.

Faith aka Connie said...

Space aliens?

What's so unlikely about what I posted?

Faith aka Connie said...

There are no space aliens, by the way. As UFO researcher Jacques Vallee surmised, the UFO phenomena are spiritual deceptions. He arrived at that scientifically by the way, he's not a Christian or spiritualist.

I'm SURE you would like to know this.

Cheers.

Silverfiddle said...

Z: Germany is in a bind. They subsidize their incontinent neighbors in order to keep their export market afloat. It's a form of mercantilism.

If they cut them off, their exports will fall dramatically.

What we are seeing is the collapse of government-manipulated economic models.

Sooner or later, reality crashes the party and you've got to pay the piper...

Jersey McJones said...

It's funny that you mention 4 trillion dollars in your post, Silver. That's exactly how much money the federal gov't could raise in revenues if it just let the irresponsible "Bush Tax Cuts" expire. Through in some cuts, and we could bring our own fiscal house in order quickly.

JMJ

viburnum said...

As long as we allow politicians to mortgage the future to buy votes, the idea of ever getting our fiscal house in order is laughable. They need to be forced to live within our means by a balanced budget amendment, with a fixed percentage of that devoted to paying down our obscene debt.

Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: Two things.

First, that is state debt, not federal, so it doesn't apply.

Secondly, $4 trillion per year? or over 10 years?

And you do realize that is a static estimate, assuming the chickens will just sit there and let uncle Sam pluck them

Z said...

viburnum, do you think we COULD ever recover from this fiscal mess, even through tightening belts?
And what DO we do with the very poor if we tighten?
Religious institutions aren't doing well enough to care for them as they used to, etc etc.....

Ducky's here said...

@Freethinker - The opening lines of J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio put it magnificently: “Christians be joyful and praise your salvation, haste with Thanksgiving to greet this glad morn.”

-----
Was he inspired to write that line while he was buggering the choir?

Ducky's here said...

Silver, where did the wealth go? Equity bubbles.

The fools on Wall Street kept doubling down and forgot about the double zero.

Ducky's here said...

viburnum, we have sacrificed our supposed freedom for debt for quite a while now.

It was done willingly.

viburnum said...

Ducky: "It was done willingly."

Willingly by some, over the strenuous objections of others, and with the vast majority between them oblivious by choice.

Finntann said...

Gee Ducky, I didn't know you were a choirboy. Did you also play the organ for him?

viburnum said...

Z: "do you think we COULD ever recover from this fiscal mess, even through tightening belts?"

We can if we have the will to do so.

What being able to finance the government by borrowing money does is allow the politicians to escape accountability. Without spending being tied to revenue they can conceal the true cost of what they're doing from most of us until, as with Greece, it's too late. If they had to raise taxes to pay for pork and boondoggles we wouldn't need term limits.

I think we could keep up a safety net within our current revenue levels, and I wouldn't necessarily object to tax increases as long as it was to pay down our debts and not to float more.

Ducky's here said...

You don't include personal debt in the equation, viburnum?

Again, as a nation we willingly bought into the game.

Ducky's here said...

... and you buy into the line that Europe's situation is COMPLETELY a result of social democratic programs.

By leaving out private bank actions you severely cripple your analysis.

But can we get out of this without belt tightening? We can. it just depends on who we decide to fuck up and the American right will do anything in its power to make sure it ain't them. They were innocent in all this, right?

Finntann said...

@You don't include personal debt in the equation.

Sounds like a personal problem.

viburnum said...

@ Ducky

Personal debt is, as Finn put it, a personal problem.

The private banking system would be self correcting if it was indeed private. Bankers would be far more circumspect if they realized they weren't "too big to fail".

But the 800 pound gorilla is always government. Left, Right or Center, politicians can't be trusted with other peoples money. None of them are innocent, but the true culprits are the auditors, all of us, who let them get away with it, and it gets worse by the minute.

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Silverfiddle said...

@ Ducky: .. and you buy into the line that Europe's situation is COMPLETELY a result of social democratic programs.

By leaving out private bank actions you severely cripple your analysis.


So true.

Social democrats are the drunken daddy. Banks are the enablers.

FreeThinke said...

"The private banking system would be self correcting if it was indeed private. Bankers would be far more circumspect if they realized they weren't 'too big to fail. '

"But the 800 pound gorilla is always government. Left, Right or Center, politicians can't be trusted with other peoples money. None of them are innocent, but the true culprits are the auditors, all of us, who let them get away with it ..."


That, of course, is ll that really needs to be said, Viburnum. You have a great way of cutting right to the heart of things and telling us very cleanly and directly exactly the way it is.

~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

Pardon my oh=so woeful ignorance, but what in Heaven's name is a GALTIAN MASTER?

When you use abstruse, esoteric or recondite terms you have an obligation to illustrate their meaning.

Has this anything to do with John of Galt by any chance?

~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

Canardo the Malevolent Muscovy asks:

"Was [J.S. Bach] inspired to write that line while he was buggering the choir?

No, you Bostonian Bufflehead. He used up every ounce of joy juice at home wearing out two wives while begetting 20-plus children. The rest of the time he was much too busy writing down hundreds of thousands of notes with perfect mathematical precision, rehearsing choirs and orchestras to prepare each freshly composed weekly cantata, all the while performing miracles as a solo organist the quality, variety, complexity and sheer numbers of which remain unchallenged and unsurpassed to this very day.

I'm sure he regarded assholes solely as one-way exits for the most regrettable waste products humankind has yet produced –– like the contents of your alleged mind.

~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

Z asks plaintively:

" ... do you think we COULD ever recover from this fiscal mess, even through tightening belts?

And what DO we do with the very poor if we tighten?"


Z, for heaven's sake have a little faith. Cultivate more TRUST in Almighty God.

If we've been able to prevail in the Revolution of 1776, the War of 1812, explore, chart, and settle the western wilderness, get through the atrocity of Lincoln's War, adjust to massive waves of notably anomalous foreign immigration, the various elements of which neither liked, trusted, or had much inclination to cooperate with one another, survive WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, LBJ, the Sex Drugs & Rock 'n Roll of the Sick-sties, Vietnam, Watergate, Jimmy Carter, an assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, the spineless, colorless, passionless out-of-touch presidency of George Herbert Walker Bush, Monica Lewinsky giving blow jobs to The Bent One under the desk in the Oral Office, the presidency of Dubya, the intellectually challenged closet Liberal, we can CERTAINLY survive our current woes, which are –– if you look at it with any sense of perspective at all –– a mere walk in the park compared to most things just listed that came before.

The only thing wrong with us Americans is that we indulge in far too much whining and wringing of hands.

We're all too fat, and too overindulged anyway. A period of serious austerity is probably JUST what we need in order to get revitalized.

Less WHINING and far less DINING would have undoubtedly have a tonic effect.

The Poor Women would then have to get up off their dead asses, stop producing fatherless babies, stop watching crap on those gigantic 54" color TV's in their Section 8 housing, and start cleaning windows, sweeping floors, polishing brass, copper and silver, washing and ironing clothes, and cooking meals for the gentry.

The Poor Men would have to dig ditches, weed, hoe, trim, and mow lawns and gardens, clean streets, pick up trash, lay bricks, hammer shingles, harvest crops, transport products from here to there, and do maintenance work in large public buildings for low pay -- just like they USED to have to do in the days before Eleanor Roosevelt.

BELIEVE me, if left to their own devices, THEY'D survive.

I's only he Welfare State that has weakened everybody to the point where we're turning into a nation of slobbering, snivelling, babbling, blubbering JELLYFISH.

~ FreeThinke

Ducky's here said...

Yeah, Freethinker but WW II got us out of the Depression.

Are you suggesting we ramp up defense production to generate consumer spending growth? Pretty dumb.

Ducky's here said...

... is TOO FAT redundant Freethinker?

If you are fat aren't you already "too fat"?

I think I'll send that one in to grammar Girl.

Ducky's here said...

The Poor Men would have to dig ditches, weed, hoe, trim, and mow lawns and gardens, clean streets, pick up trash, lay bricks, hammer shingles, harvest crops, transport products from here to there ...

---------
They already do that. You and The Ladies Who Lunch call them illegals.

Pitch till you win.

Finntann said...

@They already do that. You and The Ladies Who Lunch call them illegals.

That is such complete and utter bullshit.

@dig ditches, weed, hoe, trim, and mow lawns and gardens, clean streets, pick up trash, lay bricks, hammer shingles, harvest crops, transport products from here to there ...

I've got news for you Bubba...I've done all of the above for pay as a civilian with the exception of picking crops... don't grow too many of those in Philly.

Jobs Americans don't want to do? Bullshit... jobs Americans don't want to do when offered the option of suckling on the government teat or working under the hot sun for 8-10 hours a day.

Been there, done that, in Philly, in August, in 90 degree heat and 90% humidity and made fairly decent money for a young single man, in fact when I joined the Air Force I took a 50% pay cut.

Pitch? I got something else you can do with that ball.

Finntann said...

Just curious... I'd like to take a head count of Americans here on this blog who have performed manual labor for pay at some point in their lives.

Or if able, would perform some of those jobs Americans don't want to do rather than go on welfare?

Me? I think I've been pretty much continuously employed since I was 13, when not in school.

Pipe up!

Finntann said...

Oh and FT... I haven't forgotten your request, but I'm only up to 1792.

Jersey McJones said...

Silver,

"First, that is state debt, not federal, so it doesn't apply."

Yeah, yeah, I got that. That's why I said it was "funny." Remember? Did you get that?

"Secondly, $4 trillion per year? or over 10 years? "

Yes, like most of your dire prognoses, it's over a period of time. That's why we do have to cut at least as much. Over TEN YEARS we could easily reduce that from our insane military sector.

"And you do realize that is a static estimate,"

Bla, bla, bla. You're like an apocalyptic preacher.

76 million Baby Boomers are going to retire over the next 20 years. They control an unprecedented percentage of the common wealth. As they retire, they will divest, bequeath, and spend what they have and that wealth will move on down the line.

Obama and the particular political landscape in America today have very little to do with the consequences of this reality. Obama is a status quo moderate and the House has been Republican for most of the past 18 years.

Let's be honest and real here.

JMJ

Silverfiddle said...

It's a fact, Jersey, people will change their behavior rather than just bend over and take it.

However, you seem to think I am a doomsayer. I am not. I'm just looking at the historical revenue take of the federal government, and it's never gotten anywhere near the 25% of GDP the government needs just to break even. Zero out the military budget, and you'd still need to collect 23% of GDP.

It's never been done.

We can grow our way out of this if the private sector takes off, but we know what politicians do with money when it starts rolling in. Which is more fun? Paying down debt by buying back bonds and cutting spending, or voting for grandiose programs and handing out free money to constituents?

Silverfiddle said...

Finn: As a teen I cut wood, mowed lawns, cut weeds out of beans, bailed hay and did other kinds of farm work. I shoveled snow in the winter, and with a shovel, not one of those showblowers.

Always On Watch said...

Duck said:

You and The Ladies Who Lunch call them illegals.

Element of truth there.

Anecdote:

On Monday, my neighbor (70-year-old Canadian immigrant who got his U.S. citizenship back in 1988). He was admiring all the yard work that I'd had done. I told him that a crew was coming in later this week to do some more. He asked, "How much do they charge?"

I replied, "I don't know yet. But their parents don't charge much to clean my house." I then told him the amount. He nodded approvingly.

My neighbor: "Are they immigrants?"

I replied in the negative.

My neighbor: "Well, then they'll be expensive. I'm going to go down to the 7-11 and get a couple of immigrants."

Rumor has it around here that those immigrants at the 7-11 are illegals. I don't know for sure, but I highly suspect that such is the case. Immigration laws are loosely enforced here as we are "a sanctuary city."

My neighbor is WEALTHY and a government retiree whose wife holds a high-ranking job in the public school system. Oh, and he is a Democrat, too.

I do recall a time that my neighbor would not have hired an illegal to do anything around his house. Indeed, he used to brag about that particular practice of his!

FreeThinke said...

Finn, as usual, you fail to "get the message." You are so eager to gainsay others or engage in combat of some kind, you often don't see the friendliness or any virtue in what others may try to share.

Canardo, The Marxist Merganser, has a different orientation. His combativeness arises from a fundamentally bilious disposition that compels him always to be on the attack. Apparently, he thrives on acting the role of Turd in Everyman's Punchbowl. He is, therefore more to be pitied than despised.

You, however, are a much better man than that. You're possessed of a tremendous fund of good, solid, factual knowledge. I just wish you'd learn to use it to inform and enlighten rather than to try to make others appear inept or foolish –– and yourself superior in the process.

Just as the most wonderful aspects of music –– it's charm, personality, character, mood, expressive significance, etc. –– lie between the notes, the most important things about life –– the stuff that makes existence worth enduring –– remains over, under, around and through "the facts."

Believe it –– or not.

~ FreeThinke