I’m going to write today about a very somber subject. It will be, as it usually is here in one form or another, about math.
First, some background. If you believe that we have "escaped" from the mess that gripped this nation in 2008 and 2009, or that said mess "suddenly appeared" and "nobody saw it coming," stop reading now and have your Thorazine dosage checked. It’s way off.
Assuming you accept the truth that this mess was 20 year or more in the making, that it involved creating credit (that is, debt) which the debtor could never pay, and that it still exists because our government policy has been to extend, pretend and allow lies that should be considered accounting fraud and result in prison sentences, then you’re on the right page to understand the rest of this missive. Again, if not, go check your Thorazine dosage.
Yes, I know all about the stock market rally from last March. I know all about the claimed GDP "improvement." But I also know that we got both by adding more than $2 trillion in debt to the United States or roughly 14% of GDP over the space of the last 18 months. That’s about 10% of GDP annualized, and incidentally, a 10% GDP contraction is the common economist’s definition of an Economic Depression.
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So let’s cut the crap we are in a Depression right now. We are pretending we are not, just like you can pretend you didn’t really lose your job so long as your credit card does not reach its limit. We have been in that depression for about 18 months and there is no evidence that we will exit it, as we have yet to find a way to pull back the deficit spending without an instantaneous collapse in the economy.
Yet at some point we must and will stop. We will either do so of our own volition, or we will do so when the cost of borrowing skyrockets, as others get tired of funding our profligacy. If we attempt to "print" our way out of it the cost of petroleum products will shoot the moon and destroy our economy anyway.
You haven’t seen the half of what happened though not yet. It appears that AIG the company we have bailed out (thus far) to the tune of some $100 billion plus, in fact isn’t done. It appears they may have written credit protection on Greece. If this allegation by the German equivalent to The New York Times is true Americans are going to be asked to pay billions of dollars or more likely, hundreds of billions (since Greece is almost certainly not the only place try Spain, Portugal, Ireland, etc) to bail out a bunch of FOREIGN NATIONS.
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Do you both think Americans can and will pay that bill? A bill that has been forced on us, and yet benefits not The United States economy, but foreigners?
Wars big wars start over much less, my friends.
Oh, and let’s not forget some 30% of Greece’s workers went out on strike to protest their "austerity measures." That’s right one in three.
The Fed and our fabulous Treasury Secretary already gave tens of billions of our hard-earned money to foreign banks to prop them up via AIG. That was just a down payment; now we all get to quite literally buy all their houses over in Europe. They get to keep living in them.
If you do not believe it is going to get much worse than it is now, economically and otherwise, you once again need to go have that Thorazine dosage adjusted.
A recent Rasmussen poll disclosed that only 21% of the voters in this country believe that the government enjoys the consent of the governed. Put another way, only 21% of the voters in this nation consent to what Washington is doing.
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More ominously, 61% say the government does NOT have consent. The remainder (18%) are not sure.
May I remind you that in 1776 less than that 21% of the population (19%, actually) were loyal to Britain?
If you do not believe this nation is wound tighter than a clock spring, you need to have that Thorazine dosage checked again.
You are in denial.
After denial comes anger, then bargaining, and finally acceptance.
Let’s not do anger on a mass scale in this country, ok?
Neither I or my daughter will appreciate it if it happens; shall we skip that and go right to "acceptance"?
Let’s assume your answer is "yes."
Now let’s talk numbers.
There are approximately 150,000 federally-attached law enforcement personnel. Another 750,000, roughly, state and local cops are employed by our various government arms. Of those various officers well more than half sit behind a desk and haven’t left one gram of shoe leather on a street or in a cruiser in the last year. The majority of you fire your weapons for periodic qualification and they have never been warm or dirty besides. You’ve never faced death, you’ve never had a weapon pointed at you in anger, and you’ve never drawn your service weapon in the line of duty. Those are facts.
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Now consider the "bad side" of America. The Justice Department estimates there are at least one million gang members active gang members in America. These people, mostly young males, have nearly all drawn or fired weapons in anger. They are responsible for more than three quarters of all crime in this country, and some eight out of ten violent crimes. Those gang members have families younger males who are "coming up," "friends" (if you can call a murderous thug a friend) and others. Between all of those "loosely attached" folks and the hard-core inner circle itself we probably have somewhere between 5 and 10 million people in this nation who, given the wrong sort of provocation, might decide that Zombieland wasn’t just a movie.
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Our politicians created most of these monsters so the "finest" would have something to do. A nearly-100-year obsession with what consenting adults put in their bodies is largely responsible for this, and an intentional policy of allowing an effective invasion of illegal aliens over our southern border provides some the most-violent core of this group. The illegal drug trade has fueled international wars, international gangs, and virtually all of the organized violent crime in this nation going back to Prohibition. Essentially every automatic weapon in the hands of criminals (and there are plenty of them) comes into the US through this same intentionally-left-open border as do the gangbangers, lies of this (and previous) administrations notwithstanding. Those of you in the Law Enforcement business may not want to accept these facts, but if you reflect on it you cannot escape reality: weapons, ammunition and other means of street thuggery all cost money, and without these drugs being illegal there would be no profit in it, and thus a huge part of the criminal gangland element would not exist. You’ve cheered on the War on Drugs as it has meant more cops being hired and more, better, fancier toys for you to play with, along with $200,000+ pensions (in some areas.) You’ve been fools and even self-destructive assholes for having done so. But that, today, is water over the dam the bad guys are here, they’re not leaving, and there’s no evidence that the political class is going to suddenly legalize these substances tomorrow, cutting the source of funds for the thugs off at the knees after all, you won’t rise up and demand it happen. So we must deal with reality on the ground as it is (and as you have cheered on the creation of), whether we like it or not.
As I’m sure you’re aware all of America sees some of our "finest," not to mention our politicians, in various forms of misbehavior virtually on a daily basis. A girl beaten on a train platform while uniformed rail security stands and watches. A young man who appears to have been executed by a different rail security officer, even after he was subdued, face-down, without a weapon and easily able to be cuffed. The infamous Rodney King incident. The false accusations against the Duke Lacrosse team that threatened young men with many years behind bars for something that never happened. Our current Treasury Secretary who cheated on his taxes, not to mention the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee who did as well (that’s the committee that writes tax law, if you’re not up on your American Government.) And now, in the latest bit of ignobility we’re expected to swallow, we have accusations that a school district has been taking pictures of kids in their bedrooms using state-issued laptops that said kids were required to accept in order to pass their high school classes.
March 4, 2010