The Liberal Apocalypse

The Liberal Apocalypse

http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2011-06-21T23%3A15%3A00-04%3A00&max-results=20

Ideologies can be roughly divided into the moral and the economic. Moral ideologies seek to guide people in their individual behavior as they seek resources. Economic ideologies are concerned with collective control over how resources are gained and employed. Revolutionary movements are often linked with economic ideologies because resource redistribution is a primary motivator for political upheavals.

The left is both a revolutionary movement and an economic ideology, using the pretext of inequities to seize power in order to engage in economic redistribution. However the modern left’s actual agenda goes well beyond only seizing and redistributing material goods and financial holdings. Its goal is to completely control all human interactions in every form through political, cultural, social and economic tools.

The modern left seeks to seize control of all the competitive forces at the root of all human interactions. Since competition is at the root of human status and achievement, from the economic to the social, from the political to the sexual, to capture and control the competitive forces that drive human beings– is to control humanity. The left promises a “fairer” world in which competition is somehow also made fair. But who defines fair and just what does fair mean? As with all ideologies, it means a system that caters to the leaders of the ideology and their supporters. The ideological propaganda justifies this hijacking as the “fair” thing to do, creating the circular hypocrisy typical of those who steal in their own name.

Since human beings compete for most resources, the ability to capture and control those competitive forces is the ability to rig the game and to control all resources, not only the material ones, but nearly everything that people value in life. Since economic ideologies exist in order to compete for resources, this is the ultimate power play. It is power rendered absolute. Complete control over competition is also complete resource hegemony, which gives them hydraulic despotism, a “water empire” which grants the people who control the tap, ultimate power over all those who need what flows from the tap.

Anyone who is allowed to control competition in order to make resource redistribution “fairer” will eventually openly engage in resource redistribution, unless there is a compelling system of oversight governing his behavior. Since most such systems are either bureaucratic or become so, and since bureaucracies are undemocratic and will expand to the limits of the resources available to them, they are wholly and completely corruptible. Those who redistribute a resource are bound to become corrupted by that resource. The more valuable the resource, the more pervasive the corruption. Because corruption emanates from sources of power. Those who control power become corrupted by it. And those whose power comes from resource redistribution, are corrupted by that very resource.

Resource redistribution however does more than just take “a cut off the top”. While initially it only introduces a middleman into the equation, which raises costs and drives more exchanges into the extralegal “Shadow Economy”, such grander schemes as the left’s are not merely designed to take their cut, but to alter the ground rules under which such exchanges may take place. They aim not merely to profit from the exchange, not only to define the nature of a permissible exchange, which all governments do to some extent, but to control every aspect of a transaction and the relative positions of those engaged in a transaction. The left’s economic ideology demands complete and total control.

An economy has a light and a shadow side. The light side of an economy consists of legal transactions. The shadow side consists of illegal transactions. The more rules are imposed on a transaction, the more likely it is to move from the light to the shadow side of the economy in order to avoid those rules. A system that imposes total control over all transactions will see a dramatic expansion of the shadow side of the economy, until most transactions take place in the shadow side of the economy which transforms that country into a total den of criminality. That phenomenon took place in the USSR under Communism. It is common under Third World dictatorships. Because as free enterprise is suppressed, it flees the light for the darkness. And the Shadow Economy grows.

This has disastrous economic consequences. Because the more rules a system has, the likelier it is to have a larger government. Since larger governments require more resources, they also depend on a larger tax base. The more governments impose taxes and regulations however, the more resource transactions move from the light side and into the Shadow Economy, making it more difficult for governments to take their cut, without themselves becoming involved in the black market. As increased taxation and regulation shrinks the revenue base, governments begin squeezing the shrinking businesses and citizens even harder. This further inflates the Shadow Economy. As those governments attempt to crack down on and control the Shadow Economy, they only make it more profitable, and those profits are used to entangle and corrupt the government officials who are supposed to regulate them. As a result, free enterprise is destroyed and replaced by the black market. The light side of the economy dies and an entire country becomes a Shadow Economy.

The left has ridden this same economic bomb down into the crater many times already. It has never actually learned from those mistakes, because it is unable to concede the destructive consequences of its monopolization of power, the individual choices that will inevitably forestall any of its central planning schemes and its own corruptibility. Worst of all it is unable to realize that it is the problem. That it is the worm in the apple, not the thorn on the rose. That over and over again it destroys everything it touches, that the revolution fails, and the cycle repeats itself again.

Leftist political movements pretend to be symbiotic, but in fact they are parasitic/predatory. They transition from the parasitic (taking a cut) to the predatory (control of all resources) stage by convincing those they prey upon that they are actually symbiotic, that their oversight and regulation will benefit them. Predators and parasites both exist within a self-regulating ecosystem. If they overhunt their prey, they will experience a Dieback.

Imagine that we have a dozen wolves preying on a hundred sheep. As the number of sheep keeps dropping, the number of wolves keeps increasing. If the wolves don’t control their numbers, they will overhunt the sheep. And the wolves will starve to death. Eventually the numbers of the sheep will be restored, unless the wolves wipe them out, in which case both wolves and sheep will die out. This form of resource competition on the animal level, is reflected in resource competitions among human societies as well.

In the human economic ecosystem, a government cannot outgrow the resources it feeds off. If it does, eventually there will be a Dieback, and the government will discover that it does not have enough sheep to feed off. If it continues feeding anyway, it will be destroyed and it will destroy the country it rules over. However this form of recognition requires adaptability. And there are two aspects of liberal rule that are incompatible with adaptability. Bureaucracy and ideology.

Liberals function as ideological aristocrats, exchanging natural human institutions for unnatural ideological institutions as part of their revolutionary reconstruction. Such institutions routinely devolve into bureaucracies as bureaucracy covers up for the failure of their policies, and their own corruptibility and hypocrisy under the guise of objective procedures. And bureaucrats are notoriously resistant to change.

Bureaucracies are both inefficient and endlessly greedy, consuming as many resources as possible. Think of wolves with the brains of sheep. And they cannot be removed democratically. Ideology meanwhile blinds people to the destructive consequences of their own actions, as the central article of faith for nearly every ideology is that nothing bad can come of following its ideas. Combine the two, and you have the formula for armageddon, as ideology reinforces bureaucracy, leading to the end of democracy and the beginning of tyranny.

An ideological bureaucracy is invulnerable to change, except through confrontation. And the ideological component helps fortify it against even democratic attempts at political change. Bureaucracies fulfill the organizational imperative of maximizing power while minimizing accountability by constantly expanding in order to increase the scope of their power, while decentralizing their individual accountability. The result is a giant maw consuming everything in its path, all the while piously certain of its rightness in doing so.

Even as it ushers in an economic armageddon. But the situation is even worse than that.

As I have already stated. leftist political movements within a democratic transition from the parasitic to the predatory through a false symbiosis. Mimicking symbiosis requires giving the populace something that resembles mutual benefits. However in reality, what the left does is addict the populace to entitlements. Using these entitlements as bait, the left seizes control of competitive forces within a society. These entitlements are then redistributed, creating a further appetite for more of the same.

Once in power, the left replaces authentic competition with its own rigged game. Since controlling competition means that it also controls the resources that are being competed for, it has an unlimited ability to draw on those resources for its own needs– without itself being subject to competitive forces. This is the equivalent of a blank check drawn on the entire economy. Now since support for its rule depends on maintaining entitlements, and since it has only been corrupted by that “blank check”, and since it perceives resources from an ideological rather than an objective economic perspective– given a chance the left will squander resources at an uncontrollable and unlimited pace.

In the meantime, it has redefined the economic understanding of a society to view competition as a political, rather than economic activity. Such a society is still able to compete, but it no longer competes for achievement, but for entitlements. It can no longer work for a living, but has come to think purely in terms of cheating or entitlements. And it thinks of cheating and entitlements as legitimate, and hard work as illegitimate. Because its values of competition have been redefined, and it views the intercession of authority as the defining variable that separates legitimate competition, from illegitimate competition. And cheating is the Shadow Economy, the glue that fills in what the entitlements leave out, and is considered legitimate because “it’s coming to me anyway”.

A people who reach this miserable state are thoroughly ruined. They worship authority and live in misery. They cannot work, only look for shortcuts. Any economy they will have can only be built on fraud and government intervention. They are addicts. They have become addicted to entitlements. And those entitlements have thoroughly corrupted both those who distribute the resources and those who receive them. As healthy competition invigorates a society, entitlements corrupt society from the top on down.

The mechanism of addiction requires two things from the pusher. That he never sample his product and that he always find new customers. The left has had trouble with the former, because their own resource redistributions corrupts them from the start. And as to the latter, the left is constantly knocking on every global door, looking for new customers to replace the ones they have already destroyed. Like a perverse Diogenes, they go from country to country, seeking an honest economy, only so they can destroy it.

The left promises fair competition, what it really offers is the tyranny of addiction. And like all addictions, it destroys both the user and the pusher in the long run. Its economic model corrupts the competitive instinct of a society, even as it bankrupts its economy and destroys its democracy. Its false symbiosis quickly reveals as predation, and it sets into place bureaucratic structures to maintain that predation through total control. When it is done, the sun sets on a Free Economy, replacing it with a Shadow Economy. And in the place of a free people, are a nation of slaves looking for a handout or something to steal.

Failed State Colonization – The Greatest Threat of Our Time

Let’s compare two countries side by side. Country A has a sizable middle class and economy, social welfare benefits and a low birth rate. Country B is a failed state where thugs run amok in the street, a few families control the economy and the birth rate is off the charts.

Country A’s citizens are taught that nationalism is evil and that everyone should get along. Country B’s citizens are taught that they are the greatest people that ever lived and would be running the world if not for Country A. But despite all this, Country B’s citizens all want to move to Country A. And Country A wants to let them. Because Country A needs new workers to subsidize its welfare state and voters who will vote for pro-social welfare parties.

Since Country B’s workers want the social welfare benefits, they move to Country A. Country A ends up with a huge failed state population and dramatically increases its social welfare spending for them. Bankruptcy threatens, but change is almost impossible because the pro-social welfare benefits party has become very hard to beat. The pro-reform parties no longer tackle immigration, but try to get the immigrant vote. Their reforms turn into band aids. Country A slides toward the abyss. Country B continues shipping more immigrants every year who remain loyal to its culture and religion.

Country B is a failed state. But Country A is also turning into a failed state as it imports Country B’s surplus population, along with its criminality, its political culture and its ignorance across the border.

Look at a map of the world, and what you see are successful states and failed states. This is a map that transcends ethnicity and race. It is not dependent on resources or the starting level of technology. It’s not even dependent on wealth, or its level of distribution, Gulf petro-states with small populations can have rich subsidized per capita incomes, but they are still failed states dependent on a single resource and a vast army of foreign workers.

It was thought once that success would spread from the successful states to the failed states. That it was only a matter of passing along certain techniques, educating their leaders in modern universities and starting them off with some World Bank loans. But instead the reverse has happened. Rather than failed states becoming successful under the influence of successful states, successful states are failing under the influence of failed states.

Migration from failed states to successful states is leading the way to utter ruin. The Pakistanization of Europe and the Mexicanization of America are two examples of the phenomenon. But there are others. Cote d’Ivorie, one of the more prosperous African countries, has been taken over by Muslim migrant workers, with the armed backing of the UN. What happened resembled events in South Africa, but this time both sides were black. The difference was not racial, but religious. It is another example of an ongoing phenomenon. Failed State Colonization.

Failed State Colonization is the greatest threat of our time. It marks a major shift from the old era of colonization where successful states colonized unsuccessful ones. Now failed states are colonizing successful ones. Failed states have become a global plague through their population migrations, which spread terrorism, crime and bankrupt the social systems of successful states. And as the migration wave continues FSC is turning formerly successful states into failed states.

Failed states have higher birth rates and stronger group loyalties. That combination weaponizes their migrations into successful states with lower birth rates and weak group loyalties into a takeover. Failed State Colonization uses the disunity, tolerance and democracy of successful states to destroy them from the inside. It’s not always a conscious act, but that doesn’t make it any less destructive.

The grey squirrels didn’t intend to wipe out the red squirrels in the forests of England. But the populations are incompatible and though the red squirrels may be a nobler breed, those very qualities that make them admirable, also make them less able to resist an incursion by a rougher breed. The high ground moralizing of successful states may also be admirable, but it is equally doomed in the face of an incursion by cultures whose only morality is the success of their own group.

Liberal immigration advocates cheer the destruction of our worthless culture as they look forward to a world state without borders. But there will be no world state without borders because the only people who believe in such a thing are wiping themselves out by importing migratory populations that don’t think nationalism and patriotism are evils. Muslim and Mexican immigrants are not ashamed of their history. They don’t think borders are a bad idea, so long as they’re the ones who control where those borders are set. The left is destroying the West, but it is only the West that ever believed in a world without borders.

Conservative immigration advocates insist on a cultural exceptionalism that will absorb immigrants because of our innate superiority. And that can work in the proper ratios. Done correctly the host society ends up with some new ethnic foods, a few immigrant communities and some more loanwords. Done incorrectly, entire cities become no go zones and go bankrupt providing social welfare for all.

The difference isn’t just in the numbers, though those are important, but selectivity. Immigration will almost always spike crime rates, but those go down as absorption takes hold. (So long as productive absorption is possible.) What you never do is import mass populations who think of your country as their own and want to take it over. In such a scenario the absorption will go the other way and then you end up with the likes of Taliban Terry, a former altar boy who goes around Dublin, with son Osama in tow.

The Western left has committed itself to multiculturalism, the Western right has committed itself to free enterprise– and both positions make it hard to choke off the flow of migrants. The social welfare left and the anything for a buck right need more immigrants because there are jobs that the natives just won’t do, like work without under the table without benefits while putting eight kids and two wives on the welfare rolls. The irresponsibility of corporations and social welfare lobbies inflates budgets and increases crime, while the blame gets passed around. And then you end up with cities that are No Go Zones, Imams preaching Jihad and Mexican flags waving at protests– all because companies wanted cheap labor and left wing politicians wanted to build a constituency.

Failed State Colonization isn’t an invasion by armed force. But then colonization by successful states often wasn’t either. The natives lacked the will and unity to mount an active resistance, they didn’t see the scale of what was happening until it was too late, the invaders took advantage of native hospitality and many of the natives collaborated with the colonists to gain some personal advantage. All three of these factors exist in Failed State Colonization. The West has failed to learn the lessons of its own conquests. And now it is falling victim to many of those same tactics.

The West is divided, the migrants are united. The scale of what is happening can only be seen on the ground or in a few mostly hidden statistics, but neither show the full scope of the phenomenon, and even if they did, most natives are conditioned to think of their countries as nearly invulnerable. When they learn otherwise, the shock is too much and they default to appeasement and collaboration. That’s something the Incas could tell you about. Hospitality is lavishly extended to the migrants, but it’s repaid with treachery and violence. Again something the Incas could tell us about. If their civilization was still around.

The difference between the successful state and the failed state is cultural. Successful states are successful to to the extent that they are democratic in that the agenda of the government mirrors that of the people. Failed states are successful only to the extent that their tyrants are competent, and even such competence has to be filtered through the culture of a failed state.

The successful state is dynamic, the failed state is static. The successful state is always getting things done, the failed state is just struggling not to fall apart. Where the successful state uses its resources and wealth to advance, the failed state locks them up or uses them to bribe its people. And when that fails it guns them down in the street. The successful state believes that hard work will give it a better future. The failed state believes that a turn of the wheel will put it on top of the world. The successful state blames itself for its failures. The failed state blames wicked conspirators who undermine it at every turn.

The greatest error of immigration advocates is the failure to understand that immigration does not just import a population raw for the mixing, but entire cultures with their own political culture. The migrating population of a dominant state imports its culture. The very element that made it into a failed state.

The people of a failed state may work hard, but they don’t believe that hard work will move them forward because the system is corrupt and rigged against them. Instead they either work mechanically or look for ways to beat the system. The black market is ubiquitous. Everyone cheats everyone else. Political leaders are not representatives, but patrons, linking the people at the bottom to the top, who can provide favors and make things happen. You don’t vote for a politican to reform a system, but to get in on the good side of his party and his family, who may then help out when you have to deal with the tangle of bureaucracy. Nothing works without a bribe. Not even the simplest things.

The people love and hate their country at the same time. They go from wanting to tear their leaders to pieces with their bare hands, to proclaiming them as gods in the space of a day. They distrust all leaders and yet they worship them. They fear the secret police and are its eagerest informants. The only injustice they protest against is personal injustice. They don’t mind when the regime puts a thousand people to the wall, so long as one of them isn’t their relative. They talk amongst themselves of whom the regime should really be shooting instead. “Ah, if only I were in charge. I would line them all up against the wall.” That is the flavor of their democracy.

As successful states take on the political culture of failed states, their ability to reform their way out of the situation declines. Their welfare states might function if they could hold a steady native birth rate in a population that was steadily employed. But the companies of a post-modern country in a global economy feel no loyalty to remain and give up the profits they could make by outsourcing production. And a population for whom life begins after getting their second degree and where two family incomes are the norm is not going to have the birth rate necessary to sustain the next generation of the whole setup. Pouring a migrant population into the mix is like trying to fix a structural defect by setting the building on fire.

The more the ruling party responsible for the mess alienates the working class population it depended on, the more it needs immigrants to replace them as a voting base. The liberal parties become foreign parties. The conservative parties abandon their constituencies and chase after the immigrant vote. After all who are the natives going to vote for, the feckless leftist atheists or the good traditional conservatives who are busy observing Ramadan and learning to deliver speeches in Spanish.

As the system breaks down, the leftist parties pretend that nothing is wrong and the rightist parties go for slash and burn reforms that ignore the root of the problem. Scrap the military, nuke Medicare, cut funding to this office and that office. As if the root of the problem is the amount of money being spent, rather than the way it’s being spent. Failing companies often try to cut expenses, but ignore that the underlying problem is not in the budget, but in its culture. The company isn’t going under because it’s spending too much money, that is a symptom of its fecklessness. It’s going under because it has lost all sense of mission, it has lost touch with its old program and its new program is a dead end, and no one at the top can think of a reason for it to exist, except to keep them employed.

Take an honest look at Western governments and that’s what you come away with. Massive bureaucracies that exist to provide compulsory services run by people who can’t honestly provide a reason for the continuing existence of these countries except as an interim phase until the EU or the UN comes to take over for them. They mouth the rhetoric of exceptionalism, but they don’t really believe it. They have more in common with their counterparts in other countries, than they do with the people whose lives they mismanage. Like most collapsing companies, the executives are obsessed with the minutiae of bureaucracy, enforcing rigid control in between attending lavish cocktail parties. They fiddle, Rome burns.

Failed State Colonization would not be a threat, if the successful states had not locked themselves into this mess. As the successful states fail, they lack the two elements that would repel the invaders. A high birth rate and a nationalist leadership. Those are elements the failed states do have. And so the showdown is an uneven one. The disparity is not of force, but of a willingness to use it.

Successful states attempt to avert the catastrophe by trying to police failed states, sending planes to bomb Libya to keep the migrants out, trying to shore up the Mexican government with aid and advisers. But those are all dead ends that lead to further entanglement and migration. American efforts in Somalia, Iraq and Yugoslavia have accomplished one indisputable thing. They have increased the numbers of Muslim immigrants coming from those countries. Practicing Nation Building on failed states won’t stop them from colonizing us. It only accelerates the process.

Failed State Colonization is the greatest threat of our time, but it too is a symptom of the intellectual failures of the successful states. As failed states continue their prolonged collapse, they send out migrant populations which accelerate the collapse of the formerly successful states. This colonization means there will be no gradual decline. That we will not sink into the sunset like Japan, instead we will be brutally overrun. There will be no decline, but a fall.

 

America’s Magic Mountain

Locust: Amerika will collapse, Just not soon Enough.

America’s Magic Mountain

America's Magic Mountain image: eggnob.com

No, America is not about to default on its debts. And, no, Grandma’s August Social Security check won’t bounce. Nor would a failure to raise the debt ceiling result in a financial breakdown and ensuing Mad Max-style societal collapse. (This latter fact will, no doubt, disappoint many AltRight readers.)

Democracy seems to function through mass delusion, but few recent issues are obscured by so many misconceptions and misdirections as the current “debate” over raising the debt ceiling.  Below, I’ve listed a few, all of which revolve around the fallacy that the government is about to run out of money.

One might take solace in the fact that Washington’s latest political crisis is more smoke than fire. To the contrary, examining the errors of the current debate brings one closer to an understanding the truly catastrophic nature of the world monetary system.

First, the misconceptions.

1)If we don’t raise the debt ceiling, America will default on its debts.

No. In terms of income and outflow, Washington isn’t anywhere close to default.

As Karl Denniger points out, “default is only the failure to pay interest or principal on a loan.  Nothing else is a default.”:

The United States takes in about $2 trillion in taxes a year.  The total interest paid last year was about $180 billion, a ridiculously low blended rate, but that’s what ZIRP (zero interest rates by The Fed) get you.

Let’s assume for a moment that the blended rate was to more than double, to 4%.  That would be about $560 billion in interest a year, including interest on the Social Security and Medicare “trust funds” (which aren’t trust funds, but I’ve been over that before.)

$560 billion is about one quarter of the tax revenues that the government takes in.  So even were interest rates to more than double The United States would not default.

Whatever the case, I predict that when Boehner, Cantor, & Co. finally agree to raising the debt ceiling, they will take credit for “avoiding a default.”

2)The markets are jittery that America might default.

No, they’re not.

First off, a default is not the end of the world. There have been many episodes of defaults by individual states throughout American history; shortly after the crises passed, bankers showed up to lend them more money.

And the Federal government is in a far better position. Washington can reproduce—for all practical purposes, without limit—the currency in which its debts and entitlement obligations are denominated. This differentiates it from Greece, which can’t print Euros and thus must plead for bailouts from its paymasters in Brussels and Berlin. As further below discussed, Washington will never default on its explicit debt, nor will it renege on Social Security and Medicare payments, for the simple reason that it always has the capacity to create more money.

True, dollars are created through issuing debt, and since 1917, Congress has had the power to limit debt issuance. However, the “ceiling” has been raised more than 100 times since it was instituted and 10 times over the past decade. On all fronts, scant resistance has been levied against the finacialization of the U.S. government.

Moreover, gold’s recent rise over $1,600 indicates that markets are (quite rationally) not predicting a default; they instead expect Washington to continue to spin off debt-to-service-debt to finance its some $15 trillion outstanding and some $70-100 trillion in liabilities [PDF], many of which, like Social Security, are currently unfunded.

Paradoxically, if Washington were to default (which, again, it won’t), the immediate result would be a strengthening of the dollar. If Washington cancelled its debts and entitlement payments, there would be, quite literally, less money now and promised in future. People would scramble for the dollars left over, and prices of most everything would fall. If the Republicans were truly concerned about the value of the dollar (which they say they are), they would be demanding not only a hard debt ceiling but a massive reneging on the innumerable future obligations. Being that the latter would necessitate informing their constituents that they should prepare for a diminished lifestyle, they won’t do anything of the kind.

3)The Republicans are risking financial armageddon due to their libertarian, anti-government ideology.

It’s hard to take this one seriously.

Without question, this standoff wouldn’t be happening were it not for the Republican leadership’s desire to throw the Tea Party a bone. (Otherwise, the ceiling would have been raised with little fanfare, as it was in the past.)  That said, most proposed spending cuts, which were said to “match” hikes in the debt ceiling, are entirely symbolic.

As Gary North notes, “ . . . over the next decade” is tacked on at the end of any promised reduction. Thus, John Boehner’s big number of $4 trillion in unspecified cuts (which has been floated, then retracted, then floated again) becomes a relatively small number of $400 billion each fiscal year—which would still result in Washington running deficits of a trillion per (!).

4)If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, Grandma won’t get her Social Security check.

Once again, no.

It is quite ironic that during the Obamacare “town halls” two summers ago, Democrats ridiculed the idea that Obama would take away Grandma’s Medicare payments (or even “pull the plug”). Now, Obama is quite explicitly threatening seniors with their lives: “There may not be the money in the coffers” to send out August-3 Social Security checks, Obama informed 60 Minutes’s geriatric audience.

And some might think that Obama’s hands are tied in this situation, since, according to government accounts, Social Security went bankrupt last year (that is, its “fund” issued more than it took in.)

But Obama’s threat rests on the widespread illusion that the federal government’s finances amount to “coffers” filled with money—that is, some kind of large, though limited, source of wealth: eg, a bank account or gold hoard or dark basement filled with stacks of hundreds.

But this is not how modern government finances work. The Social Security “trust fund,” for example, is not a fund at all but a mass of liabilities. When it was cash-flow positive for 75 years, its revenues were traded for Treasury Bond IOUs and used for other governmental expenses: war, contracts, salaries, etc. Social Security is now cash-flow negative and requires debt to operate. There is all but no chance that Boehner and Cantor, or any politician, would allow themselves to be the one to shut off the credit line necessary for Grandma’s Social Security check to go out.  Obama certainly knows this, which is why he’ll make such threats, knowing his opponents will cave.

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But let’s stop here with the minutia. It’s easy to get lost in the political maneuvering and posturing and lose sight of the big picture. Overall, there are two elemental components of Washington debt-financed everything that are of paramount importance; both of which are so simple, and so nefarious, they boggle the mind:

1) There is practically no limit to the amount of debt Washington can issue.

2) Washington never plans to actually pay off its debt (ie, clear its balance); it will instead service its debt with more debt ad infinitum.

The first of these is directly relevant to Washington’s innumerable and unfunded promises and liabilities, which again, it will have no problem fulfilling in nominal terms.

Forget about paying Grandma two grand a month. If it so desired, Washington could request that the Fed purchase 30 trillion in new bonds, have the treasury print this up in thousand-dollar bills, and mail each citizen 100 grand in cash. A “stimulus package” of this kind is entirely feasible in a fiat-money system.

Of course, something like this would likely result in a Weimar/Zimbabwe hyperinflation, and hilariously high prices for everyday goods. And Washington is well aware of this, which is why a scheme of this kind would only be tried as an act of desperation.

And it’s also unnecessary, for in avoiding brazen money printing—and instead maintaining the dollar as the premiere vehicle of worldwide indebtedness—Washington has gotten away with inflations that are equally, if not more, outrageous than what I just described. Currently, the total dollar-denominated debt (including sovereign debt, consumer and student loans, mortgages, etc.) amounts to some $50 trillion (350 percent of GDP). And as mentioned above, the entitlement promises actually dwarf this gargantuan number.

Debt Mountain

Actually clearing America’s balance sheet would require most all of the production and savings of the entire world for years to come. But again, Washington won’t ever truly pay it off. Its solution is more insidious.

Dick Cheney’s infamous 2002 statement that “deficits don’t matter” wasn’t a mere confession of irresponsibility. He was accurately describing an arrangement in which America’s overseas empire, its citizens lifestyles and entitlement programs could be expanded—practically endlessly—through debt—debt serviced by the issuance of more debt.

Normal governments have to bring their expenditures in line with tax revenues. The exceptional nation doesn’t have to bother. That Washington collects revenues at all seems only to be a means of assuring its creditors that it has enough cash flow to make interest payments.

Conservatives and Republicans might want to blame this all on “big government,” but the reality is that for decades, all components of the Establishment have benefited from the arrangement: it is the way—indeed, the only way—Washington can finance wars, entitlements, student loans, mutliculturalism, and mortgages all at once.

The arrangement’s fatal flaw is not so much that it’s unfair but that it’s based on a paradigm of infinite debt growth in an intrinsically limited world. (And it’s only a matter of time before a rival country has the guts enough to offer a replacement for the dollar or at least stop indefinitely footing Washington’s bill.)

America’s debt empire, too, shall pass. And when it does collapse, the consequences will be more spectacular and catastrophic than anything prophesied in the current debt-ceiling debate.

The Stagnation of Political Will

The Stagnation of Political Will

http://tlinexile.blogspot.com/

It is difficult for many of us bloggers who readily devour the political back and forth in Washington, or our local capitols, with a quick wit and a healthy suspicion to understand the utter disconnect from that world that so many of our fellow citizens enjoy. I say enjoy with a purpose. Ignorance is bliss. To engage in the awesome problems of the day is just one step too far down a road they are barely able to navigate with the tools they have at hand. That is not to say that they are less capable or less intelligent than others, only that with the limitations of a public education and a full plate of dealing with their own lives, the political realm is a step too far.

Now, does that mean that those of us who do pay attention and who are engaged in the bigger issues of the day, than say the cost of bread, that we are otherwise not engaged in the daily struggle for survival? No. It is not a zero sum game; it is not an either or scenario. The fact is, some are engaged on a broader scale, who bring to the cost of bread the wider economic issues which have caused that condition, whereas the others simply see a higher price and start looking for ways to pay it.

I have recently undergone a full-emersion into the populace as a whole. While a business owner and also the labor part of the business I felt in touch with the average citizen at least in many ways. They were my customers, my fellow business people, my vendors, etc, but what I missed in those relationships is that I was always dealing with another person like myself, i.e. in business. We had shared the economic slow down, the fight to survive, the appreciation of a good customer, or a good reputation, etc. Then, stepping out of that situation and into another where I was surrounded by others who were merely employees, I found a new understanding of the stagnation of political will.

What we might see as apathy and occasionally castigate as unhealthy and perhaps even a bit treasonous, these employees, the people who see themselves at the mercy of corporate policy, government policy and even personal policy, are the life blood of the nation and they are fearful. Even in the boom of the North Dakota oil fields, there is fear. They know of friends and family who are struggling and often failing. They have picked up the tab for some, or helped others in different ways, but they are not immune to the understanding of the pain that the greater population is suffering and they dread the day it comes to them.

It is a bunker mentality. They are making money as fast as they can and are doing some smart things with it, a phenomenon that was not present in the last generation of oil field workers I knew.

The average oil field worker is impacted directly by policies of the oil company, the drilling company, the rig and the shift they work for. They are impacted directly by the EPA and by OSHA and sometimes even DOT. They have become the mules for all of these policies and asked to do their jobs with these weights pulling them down. It is a struggle, but the cautionary tales of friends and relatives who have no jobs and no ability to do theirs is on their minds.

So, if you wonder why there are not more people like you out there banging the drum, raising the alarm, they are deafened by their own responsibilities. And, like you, I know that the loud crashing of the system will shake them awake, but for now they are heavily sedated by obligation and compliance. They have no will or ability to challenge the wave of regulation that daily engulfs their efforts. They are treading the dangerous waters and fearful of the next wave. Unleash the rebellious nature of the average worker struggling through much the same burdens and you will find the army you need to change the world.

Edge of the Spending New Frontier

Edge of the Spending New Frontier

From:

http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2011/07/edge-of-spending-new-frontier.html

 

The debt ceiling debate is less about spending than it is about the purpose of government. Under the impact of an economic recession, the train of the Great Society is approaching the edge of the New Frontier. Both sides are still trying to work out a New Deal, but another cuts and spending formula is not the solution. What we need is a serious and earnest discussion about why we are compulsively spending money.

A cocaine addict who runs out of money doesn’t have a spending problem, he has a drug problem. Telling him to cut back on how much money he spends on cocaine, or to shop around for cheaper cocaine isn’t the solution. It’s not about how much he’s spending, but about why. The problem isn’t in the math, it’s in the mindset.

Our cocaine is social justice. Like most junkies who are willing to sell anything and everything to keep the supply coming, Obama’s position in the budget debate is take everything– especially the military, but leave the social justice and the big government that administers it on the table. And also like most junkies, he has an endless supply of self-righteous speeches denouncing the people who just want him to stop.

In the rush of words, he postures, conflates compromise with confrontation, threatens and urges everyone to work together. There is no consistent message, only egotistical aggression and defensive need. Strip away the verbiage and you come away with a chorus of, “Mine, My Way, Mine”.

With all addictions, it is important to look for the root cause. The psychological weakness that allows the chemical rush to take over and become the defining principle of life. In this case it is a basic split over the purpose of government.

These competing visions of government are rival philosophies with differing views on human nature. They cannot even agree on what the nature of “fair” is and that makes reconciling on a national agenda nearly impossible. Is fairness socially determined or self-determined. Is it the function of government to spread the wealth or to protect a system where wealth acquisition is accessible. Is the economy a function of individual choices or organizational mandates.

Government as the caretaker of the system and of Big Aunty who uses the system to make society fairer. Both claim populist allegiances but any system that sets out to remake society is doomed to an elitist and totalitarian nature. The only authentic populists are protesting in reaction to Big Aunty and her nanny state.

The functional state is clashing with the utopian state. The functionalists want to trim back the utopian programs of the state and pare it back down to its vital functions. But the utopians don’t even recognize the economy as something apart from the dictates of the state. Spending never has to be regulated, because it is only a micro-function of their system whose negative effects can be nullified through other programs. Or, “Why cut spending when you can just print more money.”

The economic solipsism of the left may be irresponsible lunacy, but it is part and parcel of their approach to everything. Their utopian state and its philosopher-czars are given the power to alter everything without a single ray of light allowed to penetrate the gloom of their dogma.

In the utopian mandate, it is irresponsible to have power and then not to use it to improve the country, just as having wealth without employing it for the betterment of mankind makes you a selfish person. They cannot conceive of reasons not to use power and so their only function becomes total control. Any position or office that they gain is immediately dedicated to the cause.

The functionalists and even many ordinary people see this behavior as frighteningly totalitarian. But the utopians view themselves as reformers, it never occurs to them that the era when they were reformers is long past, and that it is they who are in need of reform.

The New Deal, the New Frontier and the Great Society turned on the motor of social justice. And nothing has managed to shut it off. But we are approaching the point where its spending levels are becoming unsustainable. The debate is no longer philosophical or moral, but a simple question of economic survival.

The Utopian system is approaching a crunch point. Like every leftist experiment before it, its economic solipsism has put it on a collision course with reality. But the philosopher-czars are not about to take their feet off the gas pedal.

A political philosophy that claims to explain everything is like a blindfold. When everything is political, then there is no reality outside the definitions of dogma. Nothing to see “out there” that you cannot find in a politically approved text on the subject. The only way to recognize that something is wrong, is to poke your heads outside. And that is a blasphemous heresy.

So the utopians drive ahead immersed in a detailed subjective reality masquerading as objective reality. But the subjective reality is entirely of their creation. Every element of it, from the media to the economics to the grass roots organizations, is manipulated by them. And this reality appears to be absolutely perfect to them, until elements from the outside world intrude on it.

When those elements intrude, a race is on to explain their appearance in a politically correct manner. “The sky isn’t falling, it’s just a natural phenomena. Just as we predicted.”

The left fails at economics so often because there is so much theory to it, but also an inescapable reality. While they get lost building their castles of air in the upper stories, the reality of the marketplace inevitably catches up to them. Then like most utopians they are forced to realize that control is never total, that the human factor is individualistic and chaotic. That controlling the government, the press and even the clergy is not the same as absolute power.

The left exists only in two phases, as governments and anti-governments. The Nanny State and the anarchist. Both are two sides of the same coin. Either governments are completely just or completely unjust. The self-definition purely in terms of authority, as either for or against, makes it difficult for it to break with its own impulse toward power. And the absolutism is totalitarian in its irreconcilability and its primally dangerous ruthlessness.

Behind the Great Society rhetoric is that same polar dogmatism, the unwillingness to accept the morality of a democratic system that is not aimed at enforcing a just society on their terms. Any system that is not power mad must be unjust. A means of protecting the powerful from the redistributive wrath of the graduating class of Evergreen State College.

So the utopians cannot accept the functionalist notion of government as a means of conducting vital functions on behalf of the people, rather than the utopian tool of transforming the people into a great society with seven academic degrees for everyone and recycling at every curb. Such a system is not a moral one to them and they are duty bound to resist it. And the functionalists similarly cannot accept a system that deprives them of agency by overlaying its political code over every aspect of their lives.

But it is the utopians and their economic policies who have forced their own moment to its crisis. Had Obama not won, they would have been able to comfortably sit back and blame Bush era policies for the mess. But their will to power also undid them. It gave them so much power that they are choking on it. With predictable blindness they exploited the crisis for all it was worth and are now left holding the bag. And their policies are now at the center of the debate.

But deeper still is the question of the place of government in the political and economic life of the American. This moment is a wake up call for a country that has been willing to avoid looking too closely at the fine print of the social programs and the total cost of the national debt. And the real question that drifts out of the debates is not about spending cuts, but about the role of government.

The utopian conception of government is not only a freedom deficit, but a functional deficit. The former is obvious, but the latter is often less obvious. The left is often dinged for its controlling ways, but less often for its incompetence. The debt crisis is a moment to speak about the left’s philosophy of government as not only an assault on freedom, but the destruction of functional government. The public is more forgiving of tyrants, than they are of idiots. More tolerant of trespasses of power, than of foolish incompetence.

The social justice cocaine that the left is hooked on, and on which it has hooked the Democratic party, is an insidious corruption. And the dysfunctional Nanny State they have created is not only a devouring monster, but a failure at the essentials. At the edge of the new frontier, to look down is to see the iron carcasses of countless leftist trains and trams that have come this way before. And to look up is to behold a towering pile of debt that they cannot account for or resolve without dismantling the functional government and leaving behind nothing but debt creation and debt collection agencies.

The left has proven that it cannot run a functional government and that it is unable to govern from reality, than from their own little red books. The cliff’s edge is approaching. It’s time for a responsible driver at the wheel.

Junkies

Junkies

http://westernrifleshooters.blogspot.com/2009/04/junkies.html

Some readers know that I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. I have been extraordinarily blessed, having put down the booze in August, 1981 and being clean since April, 1982.

But recovery is a daily matter, and continued sobriety is a function of rigorous honesty about who I am and what I become when I use alcohol and/or drugs. In the first and last analysis — if I use drugs or drink booze, I will go straight back to where I was when I began my clawing journey into responsible life 28 years ago.

Nothing more, and nothing less.

I was thinking about addiction as I took mass transit home from tonight’s Atlanta Tea Party. On the surface, the event was very successful; speakers claimed more than 15,000 people in attendance, and that number made sense based on my ground-level estimates. Several presenters also stated there were more than 800 separate Tea Parties held across America today. While the majority of folks at the Atlanta gig were over forty, there was a significant sprinkling of older children, teens, and college students. Most people were white, although there were a few Asians, blacks, Hispanics, and other ethnicities mixed in the crowd.

As I stood listening to the speakers, I kept listening and looking around for any signs (literally and figuratively) that folks actually understood politics in Comrade Barry “We Won” Soetero’s America, circa 2009.

The closest I saw?

One woman I spotted on my way to the transit station holding a sign which simply said, “Peaceful Attempt”.

But if I gotten up on stage and said, “Do you understand that by demanding the elimination of socialism from this country — which you claim to want — you are implicitly and necessarily demanding the end of

– Social Security;
– Medicare;
– Medicaid;
– the new prescription drug benefit for geezers;
– Federal aid to local schools;
– the deductibility of mortgage interest;
– subsidized student loans; and
– a myriad of other government transfer payments?”,

Locust says, I would add selfish Americans to that list of what would end, because those who seem to believe that, they have a right to my money, are truly selfish indeed.

I would have been booed off the stage, at best.

And the Second Amendment?

Oh, no. Far too scary that topic, apparently, for the Tea Party organizers. Only two speakers mentioned gun rights, and let’s just say that those references were hardly Vanderboeghian.

Riding the MARTA train back to my parking garage, I realized where I had previously experienced the kind of cognitive dissonance I saw demonstrated en masse tonight by both speakers and attendees.

In a countless number of 12-step meetings, I had both attempted to alibi for myself and listened while others did the same about the realities and consequences of drug addiction:

“I wouldn’t drink, except for my lousy home life.”

“If you had my problems, you’d use drugs, too.”

“I don’t have a drinking problem. My spouse has the problem. I just drink to calm my nerves.”

Et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseum.

Only when I learned that my only real problem was my addictions, and that every other issue was a consequence of those addictions, did I begin to turn around my life. Only by disciplining myself to understand that as long as I thought like a junkie, I would continue to act like a junkie, was I able to put those issues behind me (at least so far today, as we say in the “one day at a time” business).

With all due respect to the organizers, speakers, and attendees of the various Tea Parties, I would offer this observation:

Only by understanding that the overwhelming majority of Americans have become almost hopelessly addicted to government intervention in their lives can we, as a society and as individuals, begin to get free and clean from that vice.

So long as any American’s position on the relationship between state and individual can be reduced to “Let’s just go back to the amount of socialism (and its necessary correlative theft from my fellow citizens) that I liked”, that American is just as deranged and just as pathetic as an alcoholic who, after a bad incident, vows to avoid hard liquor and only drink wine in the future.

Recovery is always possible, even for the most dissipated of addicts.

I know.

But recovery simply is impossible until the junkie gets honest with himself about what the real problem is and who is responsible for that problem.

Be honest, America.

The real problem is not the politicians. They’re just doing what a majority of your fellow citizens have directed them to do at the ballot box.

The real problem is the junkie’s mindset in most Americans — young, middle-aged, and senior varieities — that it is both possible and morally acceptable to get other people’s money for yourself via state-sponsored theft by taxation.

Until people understand that addiction, we’re doomed.

Glenn Beck: “I Am a Jew”

Glenn Beck: “I Am a Jew”

Glenn Beck has really outdone himself this time.

James Edwards:

He delivered the keynote speech at the “Christians United for Israel” summit where he proudly proclaimed that if anyone wants to dehumanize Jews, “then count me a Jew and come for me first.” As if to reiterate his point, he follows up that statement with the exclamation that, “I am a Jew,” even though he certainly is not.

Check out the embarrassing video below, if you can, and pay close attention to the 1:30 – 1:47 mark, the 2:08 – 2:12 mark, and the 2:19 – 2:27 mark. I couldn’t bear to watch it past that point, so if he says anything else that’s equally absurd just note it in the comments section below.

Glenn Beck is so repulsive because he is so disingenuous. If he were just a rank and file Christian Zionist that really believed in all that nonsense, then that’s one thing. But you can tell by simply watching him speak that he is bogus.

Frankly, I think he is somewhat mentally ill.

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him go five minutes on television without employing his fake crying routine. Watching that act could gag a maggot. He kind of reminds me of someone who would have been selling “miracle” elixirs from a gypsy bandwagon back in the day.

All in all, this video takes groveling to a whole other level. He has no honor and no dignity.

And at the end of the day, what does he have to show for such pandering?

Charges of anti-Semitism.

Anti-Semitism, like all ideologies, tells a story about the world. It’s a story about almost occult Jewish power, about cabals that manipulate world events for their own gain. In classic anti-Semitic narratives, Jews control both the elites and the masses; they’re responsible for the communist revolution and the speculative excesses of capitalism. Their goal is to undermine society so that they can take over. Through the lens of anti-Semitism, social division, runaway inflation, and moral breakdown all make sense because they all have the same cause. Nazi propaganda called Jews drahtzieher—wire-pullers. They constitute a power above and beyond ordinary government authority. “There is a super-government which is allied to no government, which is free from them all, and yet which has its hand in them all,” Henry Ford wrote in The International Jew.

If you know this history, you’ll understand why Glenn Beck’s two-part “exposé” on George Soros, whom Beck calls “The Puppet Master,” was so shocking, even by Beck’s degraded standards. The program, which aired Tuesday and Wednesday, was a symphony of anti-Semitic dog-whistles. Nothing like it has ever been on American television before.

(Snip)

On Thursday morning, the Anti-Defamation League, which exists to combat anti-Semitism, finally condemned Beck. Earlier, I’d criticized the group for its silence, a change that Todd Gutnick, the ADL’s director of media relations, fiercely disputed. “Sometimes the ADL likes to consider what it’s going to say before it says it,” he said. “In this case we wanted to see the totality of what he was doing on the air before speaking out.”

Fox News canceled Glenn Beck’s television show shortly after this incident.

Oh well, you can’t win ‘em all, Glenn!

In the meantime, I am still waiting for Jewish folks to reciprocate and say, “I am White, and the next time you denigrate White people you can come for me first!”

I,too, go back and forth regarding who Beck is exactly. (And I certainly don’t discount the possibility that he is mentally ill and/or a sociopath.)

Beck is, in many ways, a perfect entertainment icon for our democratic, feminized age, as his schtick (the vaudville term is apt here) alternates between the weepiness of a confessional televangelist and the peppiness of a self-help guru motivating an audience in the banquet hall of a Holiday Inn.

And we shouldn’t forget that Beck is fundamentally different than his colleagues and competitors. Unlike Rush, Levin, Hannity, and the rest, Beck is remarkably mutable…and, without question, his views on a wide variety of subjects have evolved over the past five years.

Much like a man groping for his glasses in the dark, Beck will read something or talk to someone new over the weekend and then arrive to work on Monday with a whole new Theory of Everything. This tendency leads him to sometimes contradict himself, sometimes speak in platitudes (to put it generously), and sometimes just seem downright dumb.

But it also means that Beck occasionally stumbles onto something dangerous…

In the minds of liberals, Beck will always be defined by his 2009 statement on “Fox and Friends” that Barack Obama has a “deep-seated hatred for White people.” Whatever one wants to think about this statement, and our president’s race dilemma, Beck certainly opened up the forbidden discussion of the Establishment’s dispossession of America’s historic majority.

This statement also started a pattern:

  1. Beck gets accused of being a racist himself.
  2. A year later, Beck leads a mass rally of his overwhelmingly White viewers and listeners to honor Martin Luther King in the Washington Mall.

Last fall, Beck, again, came upon something interesting when he claimed that George Soros is “the puppet master” behind most liberal–and even revolutionary and radical leftist–media and political activism. Again, claims like this are overdone, but he was certainly onto something.

And again:

  1. Beck gets accused of anti-Semitism.
  2. A year later, Beck leads a mass rally of his overwhelmingly White viewers and listeners to the Hold Land to honor Israel.

The pattern suggests that when Beck receives a sharp correction across the nose, he learns his lesson well, and then begins groveling in an outlandish and even self-parodic manner.

He isn’t quite as dumb as he seems.

Layoffs, Layoffs Everywhere You Look There Are Layoffs

Layoffs, Layoffs Everywhere You Look There Are Layoffs

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/layoffs-layoffs-everywhere-you-look-there-are-layoffs

The competition for jobs in the United States is absolutely brutal right now, and it is about to get worse.  A new wave of layoffs is sweeping across America.  During tough economic times, Wall Street favors companies that are able to cut costs, and the fastest way to “cut costs” is to eliminate employees.  After a period of relative stability, the employment picture in the U.S. is starting to get bleaker again.  New applications for unemployment benefits have now been above 400,000 for 15 straight weeks.  Finding a good job is kind of like winning the lottery in this economy. Our federal government and the state governments have made it incredibly complicated and extremely expensive to have employees on the payroll.  It is getting harder and harder to get a large enough return to justify the time and expense that hiring employees requires.  So many firms now find themselves trying to do more with the employees that they already have.  Other companies are turning to temp agencies as a way to reduce costs and increase workplace flexibility.  A lot of the big corporations are sending as much work as they can overseas where the wages are far lower and where the regulatory environment is much simpler.  All of this is really bad news for American workers that just want good jobs that will enable them to provide for their families.

When we first started seeing huge numbers of layoffs a few years ago, I encouraged people to look into government jobs because I thought that they would be a lot more stable in this economic environment.

But today that is no longer true.  In fact, state and local governments all over the United States are responding to massive budget problems by slashing payrolls in an unprecedented fashion.

Sadly, the reality is that the number of “secure jobs” is rapidly declining in America.  If you have a “job” (“just over broke”) right now, you might not have it for long.  That is one reason why everyone should be trying to become more independent of the system.

Once upon a time the U.S. economy produced a seemingly endless supply of good jobs.  This helped us develop the largest and most vibrant middle class in modern world history.

But now employees are regarded as “costly liabilities”, and businesses and governments alike are trying to reduce those “liabilities” as much as they can.

This summer the pace of layoffs seems to be accelerating all over the nation.  Just check out what has been happening over the past few weeks….

-Lockheed Martin has made “voluntary layoff offers” to 6,500 employees.

-Detroit is losing even more jobs. American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings has told the remaining 300 workers at its manufacturing facility in Detroit that their jobs will be ending in early 2012.

-Layoff notices have been sent to 519 employees of Milwaukee Public Schools, and more than 400 open positions are going to go unfilled.

-The Gap has announced that up to 200 stores will be closed over the next two years.

-Cisco has announced plans to lay off 9 percent of their total workforce.

-Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says that 625 city employees will be losing their jobs as a result of cutbacks.

-Pharmaceutical giant Merck recently dumped 51 workers from an office in Raleigh, North Carolina.

-Perkins has revealed that they will be closing 58 restaurants.

-This week, Goldman Sachs announced that they will be eliminating 1,000 jobs.

-Cracker Barrel is rapidly reducing staff at its headquarters.

-Telecommunications and web marketing firm Crexendo has announced that it will be laying off about 30 percent of its workforce.

-Borders has announced that they will be shutting down their remaining 399 stores and that 10,700 employees will lose their jobs.

-Now that the space shuttle program has ended, thousands of NASA employees will be losing their jobs.

Sadly, there are hundreds of more examples of recent layoffs and job losses.  One website that tracks these layoffs daily is Daily Job Cuts.  It is pretty sad when there are entire websites that are devoted to chronicling how fast our economy is bleeding jobs.

What is worse is that it looks like the pace of layoffs is going to keep increasing.

One report that was recently released found that the number of job cuts being planned by U.S. employers increased by 11.6% in June.

That is not good news.

Things don’t look good for employees of state and local governments either.

State and local governments have eliminated approximately 142,000 jobs so far this year.

That is bad, but this is just the beginning.

UBS Investment Research is projecting that state and local governments in the U.S. will combine to slash a whopping 450,000 jobs by the end of next year.

Ouch.

Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke keep trying to tell us that the economy is improving, but that simply is not the case.  Yes, some of the largest corporations have announced big earnings, but that is not translating into lots of jobs for American workers.

Today, most large corporations only want to have as many U.S. workers as absolutely necessary.  In a world where labor has been globalized, it just doesn’t make sense for corporations to shell out massive amounts of money to American workers when they can legally get away with paying slave labor wages to workers on the other side of the globe.

So if it seems like it is far harder to get a good job in America today than it used to be, the truth is that you are not imagining things.

Our entire system discourages job creation inside the United States.  Every single year, even more ridiculous job-killing regulations are being passed on the federal and state levels.  It has become extremely expensive and ridiculously complicated to hire people.

So how are American families surviving?  Those that still do have jobs are finding that wages are not going up but the cost of living rapidly is.  Many American families are making up the difference by using their credit cards more.

In June, credit card purchases in the U.S. increased by 10.7 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

It looks like a whole lot of people have not learned their lessons about how bad credit card debt is.

Millions of other American families have fallen out of the middle class completely.  Today, one out of every six Americans is enrolled in at least one government anti-poverty program.  The level of economic suffering in this country continues to soar.

In fact, the number of Americans that are now sleeping in their cars or living in tent cities remains at staggering levels.

What we are witnessing in this country is not just a “recession” or an “economic downturn”.  What we are witnessing are fundamental economic changes.

Until there are fundamental policy changes in the United States, there will continue to be huge waves of layoffs and millions of jobs will continue to be shipped out of the country.

In the old days, one could go to college, get a good job with one company for 30 years and retire with a big, fat pension.

Now, that way of doing things is completely and totally dead.

Today, there is virtually no loyalty out there.  It doesn’t matter how long you have been working at a particular job.  When it becomes financially expedient to get rid of you, that is exactly what is going to happen.

It is a cold, cruel world out there right now.  Don’t assume that you will always have a good job.  The world is rapidly changing.

Don’t get caught in the trap of believing that the way that things were is the way that things are always going to be in the future.