We are all mad.
– White House official to NBC News
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – With all the madness around the impeachment, few people noticed:
On Monday, the feds announced a $1.4 trillion budget fix that will add about $1.7 trillion in additional spending over the next 10 years. The measure even includes an extra $25 million to “study gun violence.”
(We could have easily saved them $24.99 million. All they needed was a bus ticket to Baltimore. If there’s anything about gun violence that the city doesn’t know by now, it’s not worth knowing.)
In other words, Congress may be mad-dog-divided on the impeachment, but it had no trouble cozying up to spend more money and go broke…
Greasy Swamp Pools
From the beginning of this century to last week, federal debt has multiplied four times. It was less than $6 trillion in 1999. Now, it’s over $23 trillion. No nation… nowhere… no time… no how… has ever been able to spend more than it takes in forever.
But national bankruptcy is not just a matter of money. It’s much worse. That $17 billion in borrowed money (most of it miraculously conjured up out of nowhere by the Federal Reserve’s ultralow rates and its quantitative easing programs) has turned America’s institutions into greasy swamp pools of degraded, disgusting, Full-Retard degenerates.
Congress, for example, now presides in solemn deceit over an “impeachment.” But rather than the dignified legal proceeding that the Constitution called for, with members seriously weighing the evidence and pronouncing judgment, the whole thing has turned into just another partisan clown show.
But today, we come to the heart of the matter. We’ve been dodging it for a long time. It was too complex… too subtle… We didn’t have time to think it through… or to understand how the dots fit together.
Here’s the question: When the money goes bad, how come everything else goes bad, too?
Why Here, Why Now?
In extreme cases, it’s obvious. Hyperinflation, for example, destroys the economy; people become desperate.
In Venezuela, for example, there were only 50 kidnappings per year before Chávez took over. But now, with inflation at a million percent annually, robberies and kidnappings happen “all the time.” The government no longer even keeps track.
But why here? Why now?
Why would the FBI break the law and betray its own mission? (Tuesday’s headline in The Wall Street Journal: “Secretive Surveillance Court Rebukes FBI Over Handling of Wiretapping of Trump Aide.”)
Why would the Pentagon put its soldiers – not to mention the nation’s finances – in jeopardy to wage wars that make no sense? (Just read The Washington Post’s “Afghanistan Papers.”)
Why would the Democrats – except for Tulsi Gabbard – all turn into warmongers? (Headline in The American Conservative: “Defense Industry gives more to Bernie than any other 2020 candidate”… Headline in thegrayzone.com: “How national security mandarins groomed Pete Buttigieg and managed his future.”)
Why would the press turn itself into a cheerleader for the Deep State, never seriously questioning the Deep State’s mindless wars abroad… nor its thoughtless deficits at home?
And why would the Republican Party abandon the small-government, balanced-budget principles that guided it (though often honored in breach) for 150 years?
(Unearned) Money Corrupts
Of course, the answers are many and slippery. But we know unearned money corrupts people individually.
The children of the rich, as well as the poor, are often ruined by it. Lottery winners often rue the day they won. Vast amounts of money corrupt young sports heroes and TV stars. Is it any surprise it corrupts whole societies, too?
Money is what marks the relationships between people. One is master; the other is servant. One is producer; one is consumer. One owes… one is owed.
Let us imagine that you spend a day making a stool, for which you are paid $50. That money rewards your effort… and measures the new wealth you created.
You can save that wealth… transfer it… or pass it along to future generations. You earned it. And it puts you $50 ahead of people who didn’t earn anything that day. And now, assuming the going rate is $50 per day, with that money you can “buy” a day’s worth of someone else’s labor.
The rate at which the human race is getting richer… the rate of technological innovation… the Fed’s interest rate policies – all are irrelevant. What counts is the $50 and its faithful rendering of who owes what to whom.
If nothing changes, you should be able to buy a stool for $50 years later.
If, on the other hand, technological progress cuts the time needed to make a stool in half, you should be able to buy two stools. And if productivity has doubled, a stoolmaker should be able to turn out twice as many – two – in one day. But the basic relationship between you and others is unchanged.
Cheated by the System
Here is where “time prices” – a theory developed by economists Gale Pooley and Marian Tupy – really come into play. You spent a day producing. You should now be able to buy a day of someone else’s time – which is now (after productivity doubles) equal to two stools.
George Gilder (who wrote one of the best books on money ever published, The Scandal of Money), Pooley, Tupy… et al… are right. Time is the ultimate yardstick. And while the feds can increase the supply of money, they can’t even add a second to the day.
So, if others owe you a day of labor now, they should owe you a day 20 years in the future.
But suppose the feds came along and gave everybody $50 (guaranteed income)? Or suppose they set the price of stools at $100 each (price-fixing)? Or suppose they charged you $1 a year to put your $50 in the bank (negative rates)? Or suppose they decreed that stools should increase in price at the rate of 2% per year (inflation targeting)?
Or suppose they “print” money and don’t make any stools? The money supply goes up… but output does not. Prices rise… so the $50 you earned becomes worth less and less.
If you had earned your $50 in 1971, for example, it would be worth only $1 today. Instead of giving you a good day’s work, which you earned fair and square by making the stool, you would get only 10 minutes.
Wouldn’t you feel cheated? And wouldn’t you feel that there was something wrong with “the system” that cheated you… that it allowed others to cut in line ahead of you…
…and that you had the right to cheat, too?
More to come…
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