I May Make You Feel

“People are defining their politics not by positive thoughtful principles, which requires thinking and can be difficult, but rather by how much they hate the other side, which is simple and requires only outrage.” – Dennis Prager

This statement is true for the Trumpsters and the anti-Trump folks. However there is a major difference – the eight years of Obama brought the greatest wealth transfer in history, a transfer of net wealth from the bottom 93% to the top 7%. Billionaires on average doubled their net wealth during the eight years of Obama and billionaires are funding the agitation against Trump. For every Leftist example of the (libertarian) Koch brothers there are ten examples of billionaires funding the Left. Billionaires fund the Left because they grow wealthier from the policies of the Left while the majority lose.

It is the same story the world over. If you really want to look at something funny, look at how Bernie Sanders has had to rotate his examples of ‘successful socialism’ around the world: the Soviet Union, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and his latest example of Denmark. Sanders changes his examples because each example of ‘successful socialism’ eventually becomes a hell hole of misery where the very wealthy have all of the wealth. I would be very worried if I was Danish.

Quick observation: I find it beyond fascinating that Sanders latest favorite example is a monarchy – has the United States come full circle from 1776?

“If socialist understood economics they would not be socialist.” – Hayek

The last thing these billionaires want their minions to do is think. The billionaires are quite adept at feeding the Lefts individual belief in themselves as the superior species – and to the insecure and socially needy this is worth more than gold. Having a bogeyman to attribute all of the difficulties in life to is quite convenient – and those billionaires who can pull strings in the media and that are willing to spend considerable sums of money to keep the massage of ego’s and reaffirmation of self-worth based on Leftist groupthink going is of considerable value to these folks. Feeling good matters more than actually doing right.

That is not to say that Trump is all that and a bag of chips – his policies range from the courageous to the absurd. Most telling, Trump has been adamantly unwilling to deal with the lethal threats to the future of the United States – entitlements and monetary policy. In other words what can really kill us he is unwilling to address. Not that Obama or W or Clinton were willing do that either – they were not.

There is a lyric from an old Jethro Tull song, “I may make you feel but I can’t make you think.” I try very hard to encourage people to think and it is always a much shallower slope to get people to feel.

In the end we get the government we deserve…

Our Fantasy

History is replete with examples of nations that decided to believe a fantasy. We may portray the 20th century as the century in which nations indulged in fantasies – none of which ended well. The important point to that is that the fantasy does always end. These fantasies can be entertained for a long time such as the Soviet Union was or a relatively short time such as Nazi Germany.

To quote James Kunstler, “Sometimes societies just collectively go insane.”

Charles Hugh Smith recently penned a post that he began with “Humanity appears to default to magical thinking when faced with untenable situations that demand systemic change.” That is probably as good an explanation as any for why societies collectively go insane. Hard problems are hard to solve. Systemic change is more often forced upon us rather than voluntarily adopted. When that systemic change is forced upon a people, and when systemic change is required it is inevitably under duress, people often make terrible decisions, i.e. Hitler and Lenin.

The gist of Smith’s blog post was that total debt as a percentage of median household income rose from 79% in 1980 to 584% today. ‘Magical thinking’ in that we are doing nothing to address the problem – in fact we are doing worse than nothing in that the velocity of debt accumulation continues to increase.

This is our fantasy. When someone receives a check, be it from a private entity or a state entity, they more than likely regard the number on that check as wealth. In reality it is statistically more probable that the number on that check represents debt. The difference in wealth and debt is a beyond basic concept that we have completely forgotten about in our culture.

The debt – government, private, corporate – must one day be paid or defaulted. That we are papering over debt with ever more debt cannot and will not continue forever. As a society we are behaving as though it can and will be papered over forever.

Hence, sometimes societies just collectively go insane.

Page 1 of 7712345...102030...Last »