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Monday, December 31, 2012

Ice or Fire

Some say the Fed will inflate,
Others expect deflation.
From reading the Z1 report

I've seen debt-disinflation.

But when the funds run out at last,
And there's no more to spend,
We know the pattern of the past
Repeats again.
The die is cast.

Over the last four years, our national debt has grown by more than $5 trillion to over $16 trillion. We have to service that debt. The Federal Reserve is keeping rates historically low but here's the cost of paying interest on the debt for fiscal 2012: $359,796,008,919.49

What do you get for that? Nothing.

The greatest fiscal challenge to the U.S. government is not just its annual deficit but its total liabilities. Our federal balance sheet does not include the unfunded social insurance obligations of Medicare, Social Security, and the future retirement benefits of federal employees. Only in the small print of the financial statements do you get some idea of the enormous size of the unfunded commitments. Today the estimated unfunded total is more than $87 trillion, or 550 percent of our GDP.

The interesting thing about this information isn't that it is news.  It isn't.  Karl Denninger and I, among numerous others, have been attempting to draw attention to this for years.  What is interesting is that it is now beginning to appear in mainstream organs such as US News and World Report.

What does this mean in practical terms? Well, for one thing, you can be certain that either you won't be collecting Social Security or what you'll be collecting will be dollars that are worth pennies in real 2012 dollars.

107 Comments:

Anonymous JartStar December 31, 2012 9:30 AM  

Certainly there are plenty of politicians who are ignorant enough to believe these liabilities will be paid for by fairy dust and Keynesianism, but there are a lot of very smart people in Washington who must know the reality of our economic situation. Their motivation to continue to promise what they know they can’t deliver is one of the more frightening aspects of our government. It demonstrates a Machiavellian cunning and a will to power.

Before you pat yourself on the back and brag about being smarter than all of the politicians in Washington realize that it is irrelevant if they are smarter and more capable than the population at large. I offer Vox’s last column as evidence that they are much more clever and capable than libertarians give them credit for as they have managed to destroy people’s liberty with the populace’s own support!

Anonymous Stilicho December 31, 2012 9:32 AM  

real 2012 dollars

laughed out loud I did

Anonymous Susan December 31, 2012 9:38 AM  

Still have a ways to go before being eligible for SS, but I have always known that I would probably never collect it.

As to the msm starting to report on issues, it is like watching a bear waking up from hibernation. Unlike the bear, by the time they fully wake up, it will all be too late and their only response choices will be either WTH? or oopsie! as they join the other tools and idiots in the wreakage of society they helped cause.

In the meantime, I can pass the time watching the ilk playing with their cat toys. Provided we aren't all inmates somewhere.

Anonymous Susan December 31, 2012 9:39 AM  

Yeah Stilicho, that was funny.

Anonymous Cryan Ryan December 31, 2012 9:59 AM  

There once was a generation of fools,

TV addicted, manipulated tools,

They gave their kids lots of pills...

games where they scored multiple kills...

Now they use AK's to light up the schools.

Anonymous Stilicho December 31, 2012 10:00 AM  

Except for the dollars that Bernanke printed up to fund the federal deficit, he has failed to get much of his easy money into circulation. I will be curious to see how much of a public role he plays in the upcoming debt ceiling debate. He has primed the pump with his recent announcement of QE to-infinity-and-beyond, but he needs the debt ceiling to be raised so that he can purchase the new bonds.

Anonymous zen0 December 31, 2012 10:11 AM  

What does this mean in practical terms?

VD

A little foretaste:

This food stamp card ain't got but 17 cents on it!

Anonymous Noah B. December 31, 2012 10:12 AM  

Vox, if I recall correctly, I believe you've indicated that you believe a collapse will occur by 2033 or so. Did you arrive at that number by extrapolating when you believe the US government's tax revenues will no longer be able to pay the interest on the debt? That's about the timeframe I come up with if I allow for about 8% annual growth of the debt, 2% GDP growth, and interest rates remaining at current levels.

Blogger IM2L844 December 31, 2012 10:15 AM  

they have managed to destroy people’s liberty with the populace’s own support!

The long hoped-for bullet has entered their brain...they love Big Brother.

Anonymous zen0 December 31, 2012 10:20 AM  

The long hoped-for bullet has entered their brain...they love Big Brother.

They hated themselves for their freedoms.

Anonymous Hood December 31, 2012 10:32 AM  

real 2012 dollars

HAHA

Anonymous Noah B. December 31, 2012 10:34 AM  

"They hated themselves for their freedoms."

I nominate zen0 for the thread win.

Anonymous E. PERLINE December 31, 2012 10:39 AM  

I've been collecting social security payments for 20 years. Was paying S/S during the long time I worked. It was mandatory and considered a form of retirement insurance. The money accrued was considerable, and was supposed to save borrowing costs by the government.

Now I know that it originated at a time when when life expectancy was lower. And the dollars paid in were worth more. And US budget bookeeping has become an opaque miasma.

Just a few words to say we S/S recipients weren't the ones who screwed things up. We were forced to play the game the government dreamed up. And as governments usually do, it lost.

Anonymous Aeoli December 31, 2012 10:43 AM  

I'm with Roland the Gunslinger on this one. I believe it'll end in darkness rather than fire or ice.

Anonymous Noah B. December 31, 2012 10:44 AM  

"Just a few words to say we S/S recipients weren't the ones who screwed things up. We were forced to play the game the government dreamed up. And as governments usually do, it lost."

But the jackals that are infesting government won, big time. They placated the masses with Social Security while they plundered the wealth of the American people over the past 100 years.

Anonymous Aeoli December 31, 2012 10:45 AM  

Zeno's wisdom is simple. If you're free, then you're responsible for the way your life turns out.

Inconceivable!

Anonymous scoobius dubious December 31, 2012 10:49 AM  

"What do you get for that? Nothing."

An even better question would be, What DID we get for all the money we borrowed.

Worse than nothing. We fed, maintained and subsidized a perpetually aggrieved, perpetually vengeful untermenschen class of violent, criminal negroes who will continue to hate the rest of us no matter what we give them.

We also continued to fully subsidize the people who invade our country, and their whole families. And soon, after the amnesty passes, we'll be subsidizing the REST of their families as well.

Obama can do this all day long, because he knows his constituency will never actually pay the interest on the debt: that's whitey's job. The enemy.

What did Lenin say?

"We will grind down the bourgeoisie with the twin mill stones of taxation and inflation."

So now we know that Obama was a good student of at least ONE thing.

Blogger Sharel Arfa December 31, 2012 10:55 AM  

Beyond the political rhetoric, anyone on a fixed income will suffer.

Blogger Joshua_D December 31, 2012 10:58 AM  

zen0 December 31, 2012 10:11 AM

A little foretaste:

This food stamp card ain't got but 17 cents on it!


It's one thing to talk about entitlement. It's another to see it in action. What are those folks going to do when the card runs out and no one is there to make it better?

What are they going to do, when no one comes through?

Blogger Joshua_D December 31, 2012 10:59 AM  

Sharel Arfa December 31, 2012 10:55 AM

Beyond the political rhetoric, anyone on a fixed income will suffer.


And anyone in very poor health or on a lot of meds.

Anonymous DrTorch December 31, 2012 11:10 AM  

I'm toward the end of a history book about RR in the US. The big driver of the 1890s panic? Debt deflation by the RR, which had expanded well beyond reason. There were other factors to be sure (including the new labor movement demanding higher wages), but this debt deflation does have precedent.

Oh, and one big difference: that debt financed useful infrastructure, there was the ability to be productive once the debts were dealt with. Not so much w/ contemporary overspending.

Blogger Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good December 31, 2012 11:19 AM  

Well... I suppose this is appropriate:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04F4xlWSFh0

-Vidad

Anonymous E. PERLINE December 31, 2012 11:22 AM  

Aeoli qotes Zeno- If you are free, you are resposible for the way your life turns out."

But our educational system only teaches readin, ritin, and rithmetic. Therefore, in my view, all children need additional mentoring. Don't expect school teachers to teach it.

Blogger Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good December 31, 2012 11:23 AM  

Joshua_D: "anyone on a fixed income will suffer." And anyone in very poor health or on a lot of meds.

Yeah. I have a friend who's 30. A mother of three who's had her thyroid removed (cancer) and recently had her gallbladder taken out as well.

She's not overweight and has stayed active; however, as soon as her meds are gone, she will be too.

I told my wife after hearing about this gal's gallbladder surgery: "My gosh... can you imagine having to rely on a stable society with a secure supply of drugs - for the next 40 years or your life?"

The thought makes me shudder.

-Vidad



Blogger Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good December 31, 2012 11:24 AM  

E. PERLINE "But our educational system only teaches readin, ritin, and rithmetic. Therefore, in my view, all children need additional mentoring. Don't expect school teachers to teach it."

And we all know what kind of "mentoring" public school teachers are interested in: Jerry's Kids style.

-Vidad

Anonymous Noah B. December 31, 2012 11:57 AM  

"But our educational system only teaches readin, ritin, and rithmetic."

And ritalin.

Blogger James Dixon December 31, 2012 12:03 PM  

> ...we S/S recipients weren't the ones who screwed things up.

No one thinks you were, E. Perline. But please remember that SS is supposedly a "voluntary" program (yes, you can laugh now).

Anonymous hayekthegay December 31, 2012 12:59 PM  

The irony with you fools is the only time you wouldn't complain is when people are homeless and starving in the street. Austrianism is for lunatics.

Anonymous RC December 31, 2012 1:06 PM  

"Just a few words to say we S/S recipients weren't the ones who screwed things up. We were forced to play the game the government dreamed up. And as governments usually do, it lost." - E. Perline

Yes you were. We citizens have allowed each encroachment to proceed apace, you included. And not that it matters but I will not let any oldster believe he has paid into a plan and now deserves his. You have drawn much more out in "real 2012 dollars" than you ever had extracted from your pay, imputed interest income included. Congrats, you and your generation won the lotto but the price is a high one: Your progeny will be selling the copper pipe out of your SS lotto-funded mansion to eat during their short, miserable lives. It didn't have to be. Thank God our Founders could see beyond the tip of their nose; too bad they failed in their quest to pass on the spirit of liberty. Perhaps it's impossible to break the cycle.

Anonymous Silicon Savant December 31, 2012 1:06 PM  

This is my first post here........Vox this is depressing. Where to turn now? I suppose I will read here, as I have little to no use for the news anymore. Tired of watching two heads of the same snake fight over a distraction. Your column was one of the few sources of reality out there. Thanks for the last 11 years.... you'll be missed.

Blogger Positive Dennis December 31, 2012 1:15 PM  

I knew this would happen in 1985. My guess is that they will tweak the system and Social Security will be fine, unless you make too much money.

Blogger Positive Dennis December 31, 2012 1:16 PM  

Medicare, on the other hand ......

Anonymous Soga December 31, 2012 1:37 PM  

hayekthegay wrote:

"The irony with you fools is the only time you wouldn't complain is when people are homeless and starving in the street. Austrianism is for lunatics."

Funny how at this time when exactly what you just described is happening, we're pointing out that we're running on Keynesian economics.

Are you finished being a retard?

Anonymous TheVillageIdiotRet December 31, 2012 1:46 PM  

From 1813 to 1907, the U.S. dollar appreciated in value. What cost one dollar in 1813 cost only 48 cents in 1907. In 1913, the Federal Reserve was formed, ostensibly to provide financial stability and "fight inflation." Since then, the value of a dollar has all but vanished, as what cost one dollar in 1913 cost $20.73 in 2007; the dollar has lost 95.2 percent of its value under management of the Fed.
vd 2008

DannyR

Anonymous hayekthegay December 31, 2012 1:51 PM  

Funny how at this time when exactly what you just described is happening, we're pointing out that we're running on Keynesian economics.

Are you finished being a retard?


Yeah, it's pretty bad as it is. If it was up to you guys, we'd be in a depression worse than the last one.

Anonymous zen0 December 31, 2012 1:57 PM  

Yeah, it's pretty bad as it is. If it was up to you guys, we'd be in a depression worse than the last one.

You obviously have absolutely no understanding of Austrian theory or American history.

You probably don't think food stamps = bread lines. How many people were in breadlines in GD 1.0?

I know. Lets increase the debt to 200 or 300 trillion. Then the people that can't afford $5 loaves of bread today, won't be able to afford $30 loaves of bread later.

Nice plan, Krugman.

Anonymous Soga December 31, 2012 1:59 PM  

hayekthegay wrote:
"Yeah, it's pretty bad as it is. If it was up to you guys, we'd be in a depression worse than the last one."

Actually, we'd have floating cities in the skies and faster-than-light starships if it wasn't for Keynesianism. We'd also have, in our society, ended poverty, cured cancer, and flooded the market with sexbots. We'd also be immortal, never aging past our prime.

And then you'd be complaining because we're so prosperous in our shiny sexy secular science fiction society and these poor Africans are still stuck on planet Earth, poverty-stricken and disease-ridden. Funny, that.

(If you still don't get it, I'm mocking you)

Anonymous hayekthegay December 31, 2012 2:18 PM  

You probably don't think food stamps = bread lines. How many people were in breadlines in GD 1.0?

Yeah good point, they should be out there in the street digging for turnips or something. You're an idiot.

Actually, we'd have floating cities in the skies and faster-than-light starships if it wasn't for Keynesianism.

No, we'd have bigger booms, and more devastating busts.

Anonymous asdf December 31, 2012 2:18 PM  

One reason I'm always reluctant to contribute to retirement accounts is that you have no clue what the tax rate will be or what the dollar will be worth. I still do it when I'm getting the company match, but without that incentive I don't bother.

It's not that I don't save, but I like saving in post-tax spend however I want whenever I want dollars. Probably the only exception is my HSA but I know what medical expenses I could incur in the future.

Blogger crazyivan498 December 31, 2012 2:22 PM  

gold and silver baby. free market also finds a way

Anonymous Silicon Savant December 31, 2012 2:25 PM  

Yes, contribute to your 401k, which is a govt program with a plethora of rules to keep you from accessing your own money. Of course "the rules" are also created by ....the govt. What could go wrong?

The theory of building a 401k/IRA and retiring might have worked for maybe 1.5 generations, but is quickly coming to an end.

Agree.... take the company match and run.

Anonymous Noah B. December 31, 2012 2:32 PM  

"Yeah good point, they should be out there in the street digging for turnips or something. You're an idiot."

Better get used to it. That's what it's going to be like for most people, thanks to the insane policies of rewarding the failure of big corporations and bailing out the ultra-rich.

Blogger James Dixon December 31, 2012 2:35 PM  

> I still do it when I'm getting the company match, but without that incentive I don't bother.

Most 401K's allow you to contribute after tax if you want. And then when the company match is vested, you can withdraw your contribution.

Anonymous Noah B. December 31, 2012 2:36 PM  

Of course, you're probably one of these pitiable fools who thinks that Warren Buffett would gladly pay more taxes if only the government would let him.

Anonymous "Silicon Savant" December 31, 2012 2:44 PM  

"No, we'd have bigger booms, and more devastating busts."

DO you have any evidence for this?

Without the fed pumping(Keynesianism) the market forces(ie-interest rates)would correct over expansion before bubbles inflate.

Without banks operating under implicit guarantees from the govt they would operate under more sensible rules in the interest of self preservation and profit(bad word). Free market capitalism IS the answer, we just haven't tried it in about 100 years.



Anonymous hayekthegay December 31, 2012 3:00 PM  

Better get used to it. That's what it's going to be like for most people, thanks to the insane policies of rewarding the failure of big corporations and bailing out the ultra-rich.

Letting them fail would've led to a collapse of the financial system. The "ultra-rich" are the ones making investments, reassuring them is what they mean by ensuring "confidence" in the system. Without them, there is no investment, and without that there is no economy. So the "policies" are sane enough. Your proposals and the proposals on blogs like this are no more coherent, in any case.

"No, we'd have bigger booms, and more devastating busts."

DO you have any evidence for this?


Are you willing to try it? Do you think the country is? And if they do, and there is another depression, possibly worse that the last, what do you think the effect will be on the population?

Anonymous Noah B. December 31, 2012 3:23 PM  

"Without them, there is no investment, and without that there is no economy."

So your idea, basically, is full scale acquiescence to the hijackers' demands because we don't have a perfect way to rescue the hostages. Has that approach *EVER* worked?

Unfortunately, some form of economic collapse is a given at this point. You simply haven't come to understand this yet.

Blogger James Dixon December 31, 2012 3:32 PM  

> Letting them fail would've led to a collapse of the financial system.

You say that as if it's a bad thing.

> Without them, there is no investment,

Gee, I must be imagining the money in my 401K and IRA accounts then.

Blogger James Dixon December 31, 2012 3:32 PM  

> And if they do, and there is another depression, possibly worse that the last, what do you think the effect will be on the population?

Pretty much exactly what we're going through now.

Anonymous hayekthegay December 31, 2012 3:43 PM  

So your idea, basically, is full scale acquiescence to the hijackers' demands because we don't have a perfect way to rescue the hostages. Has that approach *EVER* worked?

I didn't say that, stupid.

Unfortunately, some form of economic collapse is a given at this point. You simply haven't come to understand this yet.

I understand that. The situation is untenable. Going one way threatens the viability of the system, and going the other way threatens people's lives. There is no solution, really, it's just amusing to see the retards here claim that letting the bottom fall out is the answer.

Maybe it would work, but the people need inspiration. They need a sacrifice. Maybe you guys could show your dedication and loyalty to the cause, by killing yourselves first. Just as an example. That's really the problem with Austrianism, it's always someone other than the proponent that's going to do the suffering.

Anonymous Dr. Illusion December 31, 2012 3:45 PM  

I'm glad I was told by my Father since I was a teenager that SS will not be there by the time I am ready to retire. We can only depend on ourselves.

Anonymous Noah B. December 31, 2012 3:46 PM  

"They need a sacrifice."

I nominate you and Tad.

Anonymous Dr. Illusion December 31, 2012 3:47 PM  

@hayekthegay

Why not let the unskilled, unambitious and lazy starve? It would be population control and help the economy, since there would be less people on welfare.

Anonymous DrTorch December 31, 2012 3:47 PM  

the dollar has lost 95.2 percent of its value under management of the Fed.

That's total BS, other than that...

Anonymous hayekthegay December 31, 2012 4:00 PM  

Why not let the unskilled, unambitious and lazy starve? It would be population control and help the economy, since there would be less people on welfare.

Great idea, I bet you're at least 13 years old. I encourage you to run for President when you grow up!

Anonymous Dr. Illusion December 31, 2012 4:06 PM  

We complain about propping up the banks and corporations that should have failed. I think it applies to people as well. I'm tired of my tax dollar helping those who will not help themselves. I'm 26, by the way. Why should we pay people to do nothing? It makes absolutely no sense. Especially when more and more people realize they have the option of doing nothing and getting food stamps, a free cell phone, free health care and govt assisted housing.

Anonymous hayekthegay is an Ignorant Fool December 31, 2012 4:16 PM  

There is no solution, really, it's just amusing to see the retards here claim that letting the bottom fall out is the answer.

Once again, being loathe to learn, you don't have any idea about Austrian theory. "letting the bottom fall out" is just your feeble scarecrow.

Are you willing to try it? Do you think the country is? And if they do, and there is another depression, possibly worse that the last, what do you think the effect will be on the population?

It has already been shown that government interference is what turns depressions into lingering depressions. There was a sharp depression in America from Jan. 1920 to July 1921. The government did not interfere with the recovery process. The Roaring Twenties followed. As a result of the 1929 crash, the government interfered and created the Great Depression , which lasted a decade and lead to WWII.

One must conclude you know nothing of economic history and are merely a bombastic simpleton.

Anonymous ridip December 31, 2012 4:32 PM  

This long term loss of dollar value was really driven home yesterday. On a trip to Memphis we visited their art museum so my wife could see a collection of Tiffany lamps as inspiration for her recent art adventures.

The first display listed their original prices as varying from $17 up to either $500 or $1,000. So, I was guessing average income around $1/day at the time. I was close.

Some of the lamps listed their original price, date and typical annual income at the time, from memory:

Year Average Income
---- ----------------
1906 $200-400*
1909 ~$550
1913 ~$685

1920 ~$1,400**

* Based on other things I've seen I believe it was towards the higher end of this.
** Notice the extreme drop in the labor value of the dollar once The Fed kicked in.

I've always heard the dollar has lost 95% of it's value since 1913. This was the first time I've actually seen this in tangible terms attached to something physically before my face.

And, in terms of the labor a dollar buys, it has lost at least 99% of its value since 1906. Ouch! And she's about to get worse.

By the way there is an interesting chart at Wikipedia that essentially shows the value of education topped out in 1999, Median Household Income according to Educational Attainment.

Anonymous hayekthegay December 31, 2012 4:34 PM  

It has already been shown that government interference is what turns depressions into lingering depressions.

What's your point? Are you advocating that we let the financial system crack and disintegrate and see what happens? How long is the crisis going to last and what are people, many of whom would've lost their homes and jobs going to do in the meantime, eat dirt? You fantasize about a system that has no relation to the real world, or to politics in the real world.

Anonymous hayakthegay is a Bombastic Simpleton December 31, 2012 4:41 PM  

You fantasize about a system that has no relation to the real world, or to politics in the real world.

I just gave you a real world example OF WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Look it up, if you are not too busy with your neo-keynsian masturbatory fantasies.

Anonymous cheddarman December 31, 2012 4:46 PM  

And the depression of 1920 was necessary to liquidate all of the malinvestment from world war 1, another government fiasco...

sincerely

Cheddarman

Anonymous zen0 December 31, 2012 5:05 PM  

It really is just like attempting to reason with heroin addicts or crack heads. Its not just a metaphor.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera December 31, 2012 5:06 PM  

With a little development the headliner poem could go under "Doggerel".

Anonymous OCS December 31, 2012 5:15 PM  

Sad how many people today carry their own whips and are proud of it.

Anonymous DrTorch December 31, 2012 5:17 PM  

And, in terms of the labor a dollar buys, it has lost at least 99% of its value since 1906. Ouch! And she's about to get worse.

Which is exactly why this isn't a problem. You're actually trying to argue both sides of a point.

The number you should be concerned with is how much material your labor buys. The dollar is a means to an end.

See how this is actually working out well

http://www.aei-ideas.org/2012/10/access-to-the-good-life-for-low-income-americans-comes-from-the-miracle-of-the-marketplace-especially-manufacturing/

As for the 95% number, it's all in what you're interested in, and is very time specific. Curious since this myth has been in circulation for many years.

So, up to 2010* (latest date for these tables)
http://minerals.usgs.gov/ds/2005/140/#data

Gemstones- Price per ton is DOWN from $519M (1913)to $64.5M. So your dollar GAINED buying power by 500%.

Ga- Down in price by 80% from 1943. Dollar GAINED buying power by 500%.

Rare earths (Nd, Sc, Yt, Er, etc- Dollar GAINED in buying power from 1922 (earliest year) by 15%. (It lost 90% from 1923 value)

Ti- Dropped from $11,600/ton to $10,700/ton from 1941 to 2010. So dollar GAINED buying power.

Or maybe you're interested in something more personal. In 1951 direct dial long distance at night was $1.40/min. Now what do you pay per minute for your cell phone?


*What is interesting is that these numbers were MUCH better for all metals (including Au, Ag, Al, etc) around 2000. So the gov't printing of money has definitely caused perceptible inflation. However, this is not the same as the usual blame on the Fed. That's just a red herring.

Anonymous Noah B. December 31, 2012 5:31 PM  

"The dollar is a means to an end."

So as long as using the dollar as a store of wealth isn't one of your goals, you're OK.

Anonymous DrTorch December 31, 2012 5:37 PM  

So as long as using the dollar as a store of wealth isn't one of your goals, you're OK.

Fair point.

Anonymous kh123 December 31, 2012 6:00 PM  

"Look it up, if you are not too busy with your neo-keynsian masturbatory fantasies."

He'll have to wait his turn; Krugman's currently stroking his cat.

Anonymous Stilicho December 31, 2012 6:10 PM  

Maybe you guys could show your dedication and loyalty to the cause, by killing yourselves first. Just as an example.

Why not let the unskilled, unambitious and lazy starve? It would be population control and help the economy, since there would be less people on welfare.

Great idea, I bet you're at least 13 years old. I encourage you to run for President when you grow up!

Quit trolling for a date hayekthegay. Keynes was queer, but at least he wasn't the lefty creep asking little boys if they want a piece of candy.

Anonymous hayekthegay December 31, 2012 6:17 PM  

Stilicho- Sounds like you have the cowardice of your convictions. It's not surprising.

I'll you guys get back to masturbating with each other.

Anonymous Stilicho December 31, 2012 6:24 PM  

That's right, run away before someone touches your inner child in the naughty place

Anonymous Rosalys December 31, 2012 6:31 PM  

Happy New Year everybody! Enjoy the slide into the financial abyss!

Anonymous hayekthegay December 31, 2012 6:36 PM  

Stilicho - you seem to have pederasty on your mind, might want to get checked out there.

Anonymous zen0 December 31, 2012 6:48 PM  

One would think that if someone wanted to discredit the ideas of Hayak, they would use the handle "hayakthehomo" instead of "hayakthegay". Gay is ok, at least that's what they say. Be that as it may, and the end of the day the piper needs pay.

Thank you.

Anonymous zen0 December 31, 2012 7:37 PM  

Even though hayakthegay is ignorant of economics and American history, and introduced himself as an ignorant fool and bombastic simpleton, in his own inarticulate and distasteful manner actually brought to mind an important question.

How does a country progress from a barbarically dysfunctional economic system to a rational, Austrian one? What is the road map.

I know that when Von Mises was chief economic advisor in Austria, he aknowledged that one had to take the transition in graduated steps, but the process was cut short by Nazi lunatics.

Has anybody seen any of this addressed on the various websites? I have drawn a blank.

Oh well, maybe those Fema camps will come in handy to put the food stamp refugees in. They be squawkin like they talkin to they man, only it be gubmint.

Gubmint gwana be pussy-whipped, like Obama.

Anonymous elmer December 31, 2012 7:59 PM  

Here we have an economics thread, and a chance to make a New Year's resolution. I say good way to do that, is to start by listening to Leo Wanta.

Understand, that this guy was Reagan's Chief Intelligence Officer. Reagan did not trust either George H.W. Bush, or Bill Casey of the CIA. Also understand that Wanta is a financial wizard of the caliber of being the richest man alive. (aside of those on the "dark side")

Pay very special attention when he mentions Colonel Timothy Osman. (deceased 2001) From there, all govt agendas come into focus. Having the courage to listen to this man, is what separates the men from the boys. (or the sheep from the goats) Which are you? When one comes to understand Wanta's primary living nemesis, then the term goats has even more profound meaning.

Oh, one more thing. Ron Paul states that we have already gone over the "fiscal cliff." To an extent, he is correct. However, either Dr. Paul has not been fully informed, or he is choosing to be silent on this matter for the time being. Only his conscience and his Creator know for certain.

There is no fiscal cliff. It is kind of hard to assess that, when ONE and a HALF TRILLION, of new funds, currently sits in the U.S. Treasury. (Not to mention the FOUR and a HALF TRILLION, standing by to be injected into the global economy)

My next question to Ambassador Wanta, him being a former Chief of National Intelligence, (connections and all he still has), what does he know about L.U.C.I.F.E.R.?

Anonymous Stilicho December 31, 2012 8:36 PM  

you seem to have pederasty on your mind, might want to get checked out there

Scooter, you simply must stop trolling for dates around here. The English vice is not very popular in these parts. Offering an "exam" is not going to work either.

Anonymous The other skeptic December 31, 2012 8:38 PM  

But never worry. The Dow is almost back up to where it was in 2008. And the media talking heads are telling us that until these evil Rethuglicans started acting up we had enormous growth in Q3.

Anonymous The other skeptic December 31, 2012 8:40 PM  

Did I hear it correctly? The MSM is telling us that Hillery Clinton had a butt clot?

Anonymous YIH December 31, 2012 9:04 PM  

@The other skeptic:
That's what I heard too! Quite believable considering.

Anonymous The other skeptic December 31, 2012 9:29 PM  

What SF novel is it that contains the line:


What else? Dan quipped to himself thinking of the vast sea of unemployed and unemployable Californians. Half the state stood in welfare lines while the other half stood behind desks ministering to them.

Anonymous Stilicho December 31, 2012 9:51 PM  

Riders of the Purple Wage? But that's not a novel.

Anonymous DT December 31, 2012 10:17 PM  

What's your point? Are you advocating that we let the financial system crack and disintegrate and see what happens?

Yes. Please. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depression_of_1920%E2%80%9321

How long is the crisis going to last and what are people, many of whom would've lost their homes and jobs going to do in the meantime, eat dirt?

The U.S. had plenty of booms and busts, plenty of depressions before the government decided to 'do something' in response to the crash of 1929. Guess which crisis lasted the longest.

You fantasize about a system that has no relation to the real world, or to politics in the real world.

You foolishly believe that politicians are wiser then millions of individuals acting in their own best interests. History is about to prove, yet again, that the politicians are in fact fools and only serve to disrupt and distort the coordination of the market.

Anonymous cheddarman December 31, 2012 10:42 PM  

I'm betting that Hayekthegay is Tad...now if only i could place a bet on that somewhere, it would be a sure win.

And happy new year every one, event you, Tad.

sincerely

cheddarman

Blogger mmaier2112 December 31, 2012 11:13 PM  

DT: I can't agree with you there.

The politicians aren't so much fools as bought & paid for.

They're doing their job. It's just not what our Civics classes taught us their job is.

Anonymous ED PERLINE January 01, 2013 1:13 AM  

I tried not to pay social security installments the first year because doctors and lawyers and other professionals were exempt. But I was a sign artist and it was not listed as a "profession." I was fined by the IRS and after that, I had to make payments.

I started collecting at age 70 and by then I wanted my money back. (Wouldn't you?) But such information was sketchy so I didn't halt the process.

I admit I got more money back than I put in, but a financial advisor told me that if I had put that money in annuities I would be better off today. (This was academic because when I was young, I wasn't an investor.)

There is something else to consider. My working mother died at age 52 and her estate got a miniscule one-time payment. In other words, it was a crap shoot all along. I wish you well.

Anonymous hayekthegay January 01, 2013 3:19 AM  

"How does a country progress from a barbarically dysfunctional economic system to a rational, Austrian one? What is the road map."

Lol. Don't break your brain trying to map it.If you're honest though, you can start by getting into criticisms of the inconsistencies in Austrian theory. Of course, you're not honest...

Anonymous hayekthegay January 01, 2013 3:26 AM  

"You foolishly believe that politicians are wiser then millions of individuals acting in their own best interests. History is about to prove, yet again, that the politicians are in fact fools and only serve to disrupt and distort the coordination of the market."

"The market", you make me laugh. Some people seem to need to imbue certain economic concepts with the mystery and holiness usually reserved for religious objects. Grow the hell up.

Anonymous zen0 January 01, 2013 6:53 AM  

If you're honest though, you can start by getting into criticisms of the inconsistencies in Austrian theory. Of course, you're not honest...

You could just say you don't have a clue directly instead of going on a long winded demonstration of your lack of intellectual capacity. Of course that is beyond you, but you made that clear from the beginning.

Anonymous Porky. January 01, 2013 10:37 AM  

hayekthegay: "Letting them fail would've led to a collapse of the financial system..."

In 2008 one could hear this party line repeated at any water cooler by any number of ignorant proles. The truth, however, is that the financial system would likely have taken a sharp dip while we worked through the legal machinations that were already in place, then the financials would have been divied up and consumed by more sound financial entities just as happens regularly in the natural phenomenon known as business cycle. The bad guys would have been weeded out, and the good guys would have eventually prospered. That's the real foundation of economic prosperity - business run by men of character.

Instead, the bad guys told you to quickly offer a blood sacrifice to them or else you would be crushed by a big faceless monster called "financial collapse". Smart people weren't scared, but a LOT of dumb people were. The result is the bad guys won and you still get crushed. Character was essentially taken out of the equation.

Laissez-nous faire is way too scary for dumb people. And for people of low character, it is anathema.

Anonymous hayekthegay January 02, 2013 2:40 PM  

Keep dreaming Porky. The foundation of economic prosperity is not "men of character" you idiot, it is profits. People go into business to reap profits. And how long do you think the "sharp dip" would have lasted while "we worked through the legal machinations" to unwind hundreds of trillions of dollars of bets on complex derivatives? And what would the investment (and therefore growth) picture look like in the meantime, as those same investors and institutions that handle those investor's money are taking losses that wipe many of them out? How much "confidence" would there be in the system as this is going on?

The argument of fools like you boils down to saying that if we can just get over that chasm Indiana Jones style, to the other side, we'll be on solid ground again! Except you can't say how wide the chasm is or how far you'll fall. And unless you're well enough off financially to wait it out, there's no rope for you to swing across on. Good luck trying to herd people off the edge.

Anonymous Porky? January 02, 2013 6:44 PM  

hayekthegay: "Keep dreaming Porky. The foundation of economic prosperity is not "men of character" you idiot, it is profits."

That's what Lehman thought. They sought profit over character and look what happened.

And how long do you think the "sharp dip" would have lasted while "we worked through the legal machinations" to unwind hundreds of trillions of dollars of bets on complex derivatives?

It took about 5 days for Barclay's to ink a deal to purchase Lehman.

And what would the investment (and therefore growth) picture look like in the meantime, as those same investors and institutions that handle those investor's money are taking losses that wipe many of them out? How much "confidence" would there be in the system as this is going on?

Confidence generally relates to uncertainty. One great way to increase uncertainty and prolong a recession is to reward the bad guys, punish the taxpayer and run up enormous deficits.

The argument of fools like you boils down to saying that if we can just get over that chasm Indiana Jones style, to the other side, we'll be on solid ground again! Except you can't say how wide the chasm is or how far you'll fall.

You can't say and neither can I. We can only act with character. If you believe that bailing out bad guys and running huge deficits is acting with character then you would have fit right in at Lehman. They, too, were men of exceedingly low character.




Anonymous hayekthegay January 03, 2013 12:24 AM  

Yeah it would be nice if everyone always did the morally good thing. But they don't and we have to deal with the consequences. In this case punishing them means that there is going to be a lot of collateral damage to innocent people. And you can't eat "character" to live. So Austrians can blow each other.

Anonymous Porky? January 03, 2013 3:25 AM  

hayekthegay: Yeah it would be nice if everyone always did the morally good thing

Then why do you support rewarding bad guys?

But they don't and we have to deal with the consequences.

So punish them, don't reward them. They laughed their asses off the day you sent them a 700 million dollar "Thank you for screwing us over" fruit basket.

In this case punishing them means that there is going to be a lot of collateral damage to innocent people.

You mean like a third of the country on welfare? Yeah wouldn't that suck! Lol!

And you can't eat "character" to live. So Austrians can blow each other.

It's sooo interesting to meet someone who argues so passionately for low moral character. Anthony Weiner is that you?!?! :)

Anonymous Porky? January 03, 2013 3:25 AM  

^700 billion

Anonymous hayekthegay January 03, 2013 8:31 AM  

If you have so much character the right thing to do is give up everything you have to demonstrate that you're willing to take the full brunt of the consequences that the lowest innocents among us will, and that under those circumstances you'd still insist on punishing those who deserve it. Until then you're just another insignificant complainer who can too well afford his righteous posturing, because it's other people who will really have to feel the pain.

Anonymous Porky? January 03, 2013 10:07 AM  

If you have so much character the right thing to do is give up everything you have to demonstrate that you're willing to take the full brunt of the consequences that the lowest innocents among us will, and that under those circumstances you'd still insist on punishing those who deserve it

People of character take care of one another. Charity is a biblical hallmark of our society. I'd help you out if you were a member of my community who needed it, even though you are of low moral character. That's how character spreads in a community.

Until then you're just another insignificant complainer who can too well afford his righteous posturing, because it's other people who will really have to feel the pain.

Your low moral character is driven by fear. I don't fear because I already know how this game ends.

Take a step of faith and start behaving as a man of character. Become part of the solution, not a statistical part of the problem. At the very least you should immediately lose your faith in government - it's the single most corrupt entity on the face of the planet.

Anonymous hayekthegay January 03, 2013 10:36 AM  

I know you're just talking to the image you've set up in your head of some prototypical Gubmint-loving commie-lefty fascist or whatever, but just for the record I don't have a "faith in government". Neither do I fear it or imbue it with superstitious evil. I have a pragmatic view of government. As for charity, much of the time, it's the privilege of those who've reaped at the expense of others. Which for people with dignity, is an insult.

Anonymous Porky? January 03, 2013 12:42 PM  

As for charity, much of the time, it's the privilege of those who've reaped at the expense of others. Which for people with dignity, is an insult.

Got it. Government foodstamps are for people who have too much dignity to take charity. Lol!

I have a pragmatic view of government.

Wealth redistribution is not pragmatic. It's egalitarian ideology.

The most pragmatic view of government is that it is corrupt to the core and needs to be severely limited. You seem to think that if we just pump more money into the corrupt government institution and they give that money to corrupt financial institutions that this is a good thing.

Can you understand why you appear to be a lunatic or at least wholly corrupt yourself?













Anonymous hayekthegay January 04, 2013 12:43 AM  

Got it. Government foodstamps are for people who have too much dignity to take charity. Lol!

Food stamps are not charity. Most of the unemployed people on foodstamps have been knocked out of the economy on which they depend as wage slaves. When they are employed they contribute their fair share. When they are knocked out of the system through no fault of their own they deserve to be supported by the rest of us. They are owed that much at least, therefore it's not charity.

Wealth redistribution is not pragmatic. It's egalitarian ideology.

Wealth redistribution is a political issue over which the haves and the have-nots fight. It's perfectly pragmatic for have-nots to take from the haves. If you don't like the rate of profit you're earning you're perfectly welcome to join the ranks of the wage slaving working class, there's plenty of room for you.

The most pragmatic view of government is that it is corrupt to the core and needs to be severely limited.

No, that is an idealogical view of government. You seem to have pragmatic and ideological mixed up.

You seem to think that if we just pump more money into the corrupt government institution and they give that money to corrupt financial institutions that this is a good thing.

There is no viable alternative. Letting the system collapse would probably be good for it in the long run, but it would cause too much devastation in the short run. And another crisis is never too far off anyhow.

Anonymous Porky? January 04, 2013 1:12 PM  

Food stamps are not charity.

Sure they are. I pay my taxes voluntarily. My representatives distribute my money to the poor. The same thing happens with the Red Cross or Salvation Army. Charity.

When they are employed they contribute their fair share. When they are knocked out of the system through no fault of their own they deserve to be supported by the rest of us.

Who taught you that? Poor citizens don't "deserve" the food stamps they take from rich people. Rich people give it to them out of charity. If you go to the Salvation Army for some soup it doesn't mean you "deserve" the soup.

It's perfectly pragmatic for have-nots to take from the haves.

It's ideological when you say they deserve to take from the haves.

No, that is an idealogical view of government.

Sorry, no. It's a truism. I suspect you aren't sure of the meaning of the word 'ideology'.

There is no viable alternative. Letting the system collapse would probably be good for it in the long run, but it would cause too much devastation in the short run.

I didn't advocate letting the system collapse. I advocated letting smaller companies of higher character buy up the large companies of lower character as a reward for high character and a punishment for low character.

Rewarding evil bankers and greedy politicians is a surefire recipe for devastation (as if you haven't learned this by now).

Funny how you think that rewarding evil is a good idea. You sure sound kooky!

And another crisis is never too far off anyhow.

Yes, they will see to that. Lol! Try not to panic so much next time and focus on character instead of your greedy self-interest. It really is a wonderful way to live!








Anonymous hayekthegay January 04, 2013 11:30 PM  

Who taught you that? Poor citizens don't "deserve" the food stamps they take from rich people. Rich people give it to them out of charity. If you go to the Salvation Army for some soup it doesn't mean you "deserve" the soup.

Let's leave this as an idealogical point of difference.

Sorry, no. It's a truism. I suspect you aren't sure of the meaning of the word 'ideology'.

I know what an ideology is. The opinion that government "needs to be severely limited" is an ideological position. Most people recognize that, even those who agree with it. The idea that "the most pragmatic view of government is that it is corrupt to the core" is also an ideological position. Many people are more or less pleased with the way their government is functioning, albeit with reservations. That is also a pragmatic view of government. You don't get a monopoly on pragmatism because you subscribe to a certain utopian vision that dictates that government is the root of evil. That's just fanaticism.

I didn't advocate letting the system collapse. I advocated letting smaller companies of higher character buy up the large companies of lower character as a reward for high character and a punishment for low character.

Who cares what you advocate? The "moral hazard" problem was on everyone's minds, even as the decisions were made. There were mass protests from both sides of the political spectrum against them. They were politically risky decisions, not least because they appeared to reward some of the most despicable people involved in perpetrating the crisis. And yet those decisions were made (by both sides of the aisle). Not chiefly to reward those people, although that was a byproduct, but to prop up the system, to prevent it's collapse. Because the alternative would've been much worse (experts concurred on that, and no, you don't know better than them). It's just easy and convenient to judge and snipe from the sidelines, even when ultimately even you benefited from what otherwise would've been devastation. That's why you people are insignificant. You know nothing but you think you do. Because you have a little pet theory that actually does not correspond to the practical reality and even worse, has never even been tried.

Try not to panic so much next time and focus on character instead of your greedy self-interest. It really is a wonderful way to live!

I'm not sure how "wonderful" it is. Even Jesus said it was a difficult path. And if I was interested in that, I would follow Jesus. But if I was interested in how things in our economy work I would acknowledge that greedy self interest drives it, and is rewarded by it. And so should you. One has very little to do with the other, except maybe in the long run, and by then the crises are already bearing down on us.

Anonymous Porky? January 05, 2013 9:44 AM  

You don't get a monopoly on pragmatism because you subscribe to a certain utopian vision that dictates that government is the root of evil.
The obvious strawman aside, the recognition that political power is a corrupting influence is simply an observation of human nature. Calling this an "ideology" is like saying that loving one's children is an "ideology".

And yet those decisions were made (by both sides of the aisle). Not chiefly to reward those people, although that was a byproduct, but to prop up the system, to prevent it's collapse.

The only system they propped up was the corrupt system of Evil Wall Street bankers and their evil political counterparts colluding to drain the pocketbooks af the citizenry for their greedy personal gain.

Because the alternative would've been much worse (experts concurred on that, and no, you don't know better than them).

The alternative would be to act with character and fix the problem. The "experts" (who mostly tend to work for the corrupt system themselves) chose to reward the evil doers and perpetuate a system of abject corruption. They got away with this because people like you were too afraid to speak up against evil.

It's just easy and convenient to judge and snipe from the sidelines, even when ultimately even you benefited from what otherwise would've been devastation. That's why you people are insignificant. You know nothing but you think you do.

It's true. People of character have become largely insignificant. But might does not make right, and the collapse is inevitable anyway, though it has been prolonged.

I'm not sure how "wonderful" it is. Even Jesus said it was a difficult path. And if I was interested in that, I would follow Jesus. But if I was interested in how things in our economy work I would acknowledge that greedy self interest drives it, and is rewarded by it. And so should you.

Lol! Long live Gordon Gecko! Oh wait...Gecko went to jail. Todays banksters and corrupt politicians have walked away unscathed - thanks to people of low character like yourself who beg for a corrupt system.

Most telling on your part is how you equate "difficult" with "not wonderful". Like all people of low character you seek the basest of man's desires - a life of ignoble ease. Character is not easy, my friend. It is difficult and worthwhile.

Anonymous hayekthegay January 06, 2013 1:16 PM  

Ok man, congratulations on your impeccable character. One thing is for sure - listening to people like you would mean a lot of innocent people would go through hell. You think it would be worth it because evil would get punished. Like I said, if you have the courage of your convictions you should be the first to volunteer to jump into the breach. Otherwise youre just another common coward with brave recommendations for others.

Anonymous Porky? January 07, 2013 10:32 AM  

Ok man, congratulations on your impeccable character.

What a silly thing to say.

One thing is for sure - listening to people like you would mean a lot of innocent people would go through hell.

Yes, resisting evil sometimes means danger, hardship, difficulties, hunger, or even death. Think back to 1775. Resisting an evil tyrant meant that a lot of people would go through hell and many would probably be killed. But men of character would rather be dead than be a serf for some authoritarian tyrant. Men of low character such as yourself beg to be enslaved by tyrants.

Like I said, if you have the courage of your convictions you should be the first to volunteer to jump into the breach. Otherwise youre just another common coward with brave recommendations for others.

I wonder what you think it means to "jump into the breach".






Anonymous hayekthegay January 07, 2013 5:19 PM  

I wonder what you think it means to "jump into the breach".

Yes, resisting evil sometimes means danger, hardship, difficulties, hunger, or even death. Think back to 1775. Resisting an evil tyrant meant that a lot of people would go through hell and many would probably be killed.

Then instead of complaining you should be volunteering. Lead by example and all that.

Anonymous Porky? January 08, 2013 10:07 AM  

Lead by example and all that.

Like encouraging people of low character to embrace higher character?

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