Culturally Destitute

“Politics is downstream from culture” – Andrew Breitbart

I concur with that assessment completely. Our culture is arguably destitute. Nowhere is this more evident than in the violent opposition to knowledge. The culture has arrived at a place where millions upon millions of people scream and stomp their feet and sometimes engage in much more destructive activities all oriented toward proclaiming “Capitalism is evil, free markets are evil!” without any individual knowledge of what capitalism and free markets are, how they operate or the history of success or failure with capitalism and free markets. None.

What they do have is a great deal of individual knowledge of campaign propaganda. They can repeat that endlessly. They can also repeat what some Marxist college professor told them endlessly. When ask if they have ever read Adam Smith, Friedrich August von Hayek, Ludwig von Mises et al. the answer is of course not! To be fair very few of them have ever read Marx.

Marx brings us to one of the constant refrains we hear from these people – “We are not Marxist!” Of course once you ask them fundamental questions about monetary policy, creation of credit, ownership of the means of production, and so on and so forth – questions they inevitably cannot answer – you follow it up by asking “If you do not know the answer to those questions then how do you know if you are a Marxist or not?” to which the reply always boils down to “Someone told me we were not.” That is how ludicrous this whole thing has become.

The remarkable thing here is that these people are in violent opposition to something they know nothing about, have never made the effort to learn about, and are violently opposed to anyone else learning about while at the same time proclaiming they are NOT something even though they cannot provide a working definition of what that ‘something’ is and cannot tell you what they actually believe – just that someone told them they are not. If that is not the working definition of ‘culturally destitute’ then what is?

This is straight out of ‘Animal Farm’ – another great work these people are in violent opposition to, have never made the effort to read, and are violently opposed to anyone else reading.

Most of us understand that these folks have ceded their conscience, responsibility and accountability to a group.  They no longer have an interest in acquiring knowledge – particularly when that knowledge is unapproved by or goes against the group- they are only interested in being a part of the group and repeating what they believe the group approves.

There is power in the group and many of these people undoubtedly feel empowered by being an echo of the group. Individualism is to be eschewed and most particularly the individual conscience and accountability for actions. For these people agreement of the group supersedes truth.

If these folks had bothered to read Hayek, they would have read this:

“We must face the fact that the preservation of individual freedom is incompatible with a full satisfaction of our views of distributive justice.” – Friedrich August von Hayek

We are truly living in Orwellian times.

Numbers

In the last nine years we have seen 19 million additional people not engaged in the workforce, 8 million fewer full time private sector jobs, 18 million additional people on food stamps, the bottom 90% have lost 9% of their wages, the bottom 93% have lost 37% of their net wealth, we have doubled the net wealth of billionaires, those with a Masters degree are three times more likely to be working for minimum wage, we have $8 trillion in additional debt, the Federal Reserve holds about $4 trillion in toxic assets on their balance sheets, and we have given the banks and corporations $15 trillion.

It is pretty simple – the Obama folks opened the flood gates. The numbers look, not good, but adequate, when you look at the gross. The reality is that Obama was a Wall Street White House. 60% of the economic growth under Obama has was in a single sector – Financial Services. That is because of the unleashing of unlimited amounts of free credit.

The economic crisis that began in September of 2008 rooted to reducing interest rates below inflation and injecting liquidity into markets in order to ‘compensate’ for the Dot Com bust. It produced grotesque deformations in housing and equities that deflated in 2007 and 2008, finally causing Lehman to collapse on 9/15/08. The solution to that became an even greater reduction in interest rates and even more liquidity. The derivatives market in September 2008 had a notional value of about $200 trillion. The derivatives market today has a notional value of about $692 trillion. Obama just re-inflated and blew that bubble bigger. It will pop again and most likely will be even more devastating.

There is nothing inherently wrong with credit or derivatives but there is something drastically wrong when the majority of your economic growth for nine years is a result of recycling borrowed money from hand to hand with nothing tangible ever being produced by it and counting that as ‘growth’.

There are 50 million people in this country that the Federal government counts as ‘part time employed’; those 50 million make an average annual wage of $6000 and one third of them make less than $2000 a year. 117 million people are receiving some form of means tested Federal assistance (that does not include social security recipients which is not means tested). The numbers are horrific – 84 million full time private sector employees, 20 million government employees, 50 million part time employees making an average of $6K a year, 65 million social security recipients, 117 million people on means tested assistance. Each of those numbers is going in a bad direction and has been going in a bad direction for years now.

George W Bush is not off the hook for this- he is guilty as sin for the policies he allowed to go on under his watch. However because Bush is guilty as sin does not make Obama any less guilty. Obama took what Bush did and put it on steroids.

Once you delve into where the wealth went under Obama it is simply obscene. We witnessed, under the Obama administration, about $15 trillion in cumulative wealth transferred from the middle class to the top 7%. It is the greatest wealth transfer in history.

If you look at the overall picture and you see 1-2% annual growth for eight years and you think “That is not good but at least it is not negative” but then you look at who that wealth went to and who gained and lost wealth under Obama – it is difficult not to be outraged.

There is some stiff competition for worse President of all time – but he is in the running. LBJ-Nixon-Ford-Carter was a terrible run but Clinton-W-Obama may end up being just as bad a run.

Can Trump reverse this? That is the hope, regardless of how it was verbalized the people who voted for Trump were casting a vote to alter this course.

I hope Trump can fix this.

We cannot keep doing this.

Quote Of The Day

Quote of the Day: “Government is necessary, but the only rights we can delegate to government are the ones we possess. For example, we all have a natural right to defend ourselves against predators. Since we possess that right, we can delegate authority to government to defend us. By contrast, we don’t have a natural right to take the property of one person to give to another; therefore, we cannot legitimately delegate such authority to government.” – Walter Williams

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