« Top Headline Comments 1-18-12 | Main | Adam Carolla Interview on Glenn Beck: My Mom Was On Welfare, And It Made A Cripple Out of An Able-Bodied Woman »
January 18, 2012

The Daily DOOM


The biggest difference between the wealthy and the poor in this country is not (purely) economic -- it lies in the adherence to what Bryan Caplan calls “the founding virtues”. Much of America’s “poor” have pretty much given up on those institutions and habits that lead to personal fulfillment as well as wealth creation: marriage, religious faith, entrepreneurship, and a strong work ethic. The reason for this collapse in social and cultural ability can be laid directly at the door of the modern welfare state and the ascendance of post-modernist schools of thought like feminism and Frankfurt School cultural Marxism.

[A] growing proportion of the people who run the institutions of our country have never known any other culture. They are the children of upper-middle-class parents, have always lived in upper-middle-class neighborhoods and gone to upper-middle-class schools. Many have never worked at a job that caused a body part to hurt at the end of the day, never had a conversation with an evangelical Christian, never seen a factory floor, never had a friend who didn’t have a college degree, never hunted or fished. They are likely to know that Garrison Keillor’s monologue on Prairie Home Companion is the source of the phrase “all of the children are above average,” but they have never walked on a prairie and never known someone well whose IQ actually was below average.

The Democrat project over the past 100 years or so has been to replace the traditional family with “benevolent” and “enlightened” government, especially for the "poor". But the government does not love you; the government can't love you. It will never care for you in the way your kin and friends care for you. At best, the government is an absent-minded leviathan that may unthinkingly crush you as it moves about; at worst, it is a voracious beast that may turn on you and devour you when when its regular food is exhausted. The so-called ‘saftey net’ of the welfare state is an illusion, and a dangerous one at that.

The American federal government, ever since the so-called "New Deal" of the 1930's, has worked to remove the ties of familial love and responsibility, and replace them with dependence and servitude to the State. The social contract, that bedrock of civilization, has been -- perhaps -- fatally weakened. And not just in America, but the entire “enlightened” western world.

The GOP House pushes to rescind a $100 Billion IMF/Eurozone bailout fund.

If Obamacare remains the law of the land, I guarantee that you will see many, many more stories just like this. I do not take a particular stand on this specific case because I can honestly see both sides of the issue -- if the poor child receives the kidney transplant, that probably means someone else won’t, and if the transplant is being done on the taxpayer dime through Medicare/Medicaid, then the issue becomes muddier still. But the larger issue of letting governments, committees, and “experts” decide on the life or death of a human being should give us all pause: free markets in healthcare may not lead to the “fair” outcomes that liberals desire, but this is the alternative, and it is far more horrible...and far more evil and corrupting to the medical profession.

Fitch joins S&P on the “Greece is doomed” bandwagon.

This story is why I use the term “fractally boned” to describe Europe: no matter how much you zoom in or out, you keep finding new levels of boned-ness.

I file this story under “the wages of the socialist welfare state”, but also under “national character matters”. Nations really do have a culture, and an ethos -- in fact it is culture and language and ethos that makes a mere plot of land with a collection of people living on it into a “nation”.

Theodore Dalrymple, one of my absolute favorite essayists and a long-term observer of the European social and political scene, weighs in on the Eurozone debt crisis.

Belgium’s inability to form a central government would not matter so much if the country did not need to reduce its public spending. Though Belgium is the largest per-capita exporter of goods and services in the world and has healthy private savings, it also has a large and growing public debt—nearly 100 percent of GDP—and an annual budget deficit of more than 5 percent. With growth negligible and government bond yields rising in a currency (the euro) that the Belgians cannot inflate, retrenchment is essential, but the Walloons and the Flemish cannot agree on how to do it. The Walloons want higher taxes to maintain the current arrangements; the Flemish want lower taxes and reduced spending to promote long-term growth. The result is a stalemate. Wallonia and Flanders are like a married couple who no longer can live together but find divorce impossible because of difficulties over the settlement.

You could replace “Belgium” with the “United States”, and substitute red/blue states for the provinces of Wallonia and Flanders, and this article could just as easily have been written about America. (Dalrymple also echoes something I’ve said myself: there is no such creature as a “European”.)

You keep using the word “austerity”. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Here’s your terrifying chart-fu for the day.

Ludwig von Mises on entrepreneurs under Socialism.

Regarding Medicaid, under the ACA states face the same choice that Luca Brasi gave Johnny Fontane’s bandleader in The Godfather.

Death by wealth tax.

Attacks on the inequality of wealth always miscarry when they fail to show that the wealth in question has been acquired by tainted means. Otherwise, the hard work that improves the lot of one person, without reducing the wealth of anyone else, should count as a social improvement.

As if we didn’t have enough problems in this poor old world, now the Martians are bombing Morocco.

Remember back when bankrupcy and ruin for a business meant that no one got bonuses? Well, not in His Majesty the King Barack Hussein Obama’s America, my friends. Bonuses all around!

VDH on the three rules of the one-percenters.

It looks like the “consumer brigade” in China is staying home.

Even the Brits aren’t buying this electric-car nonsense.

There are two basic problems with counting on Germany to bail out the rest of Europe: 1) They don’t want to, and; 2) they couldn’t even if they did want to.

The Chinese economic slowdown: a picture is worth a thousand words. I’d be careful about drawing any conclusions from this photo alone. It’s anecdotal evidence at best. Maybe it was taken on a weekend, or a holiday, or during a slow shift, or during a plant downtime. But the accompanying chart tends to reinforce what the photo is showing.

Where are investors putting their money, now that bonds are busted and equities are returning measly results? Nowhere. Cash, for now, is king. Money is going under the mattress, or -- to use my favorite term -- into coffee cans buried in the back yard. Why tolerate any risk for such puny returns? If my money is going to stagnate, then I want it at least to provide easy liquidity in case of need.

The biggest change in employment in the modern age is that employers no longer look for a single narrow skill-set in their employees. Employees have to be skilled at a number of tasks, sometimes highly disparate ones. This becomes more true the higher up the employment ladder you go, but even at the very lowest end of the employment ladder, it’s more important than ever to have a variety of skills to bring to bear. This is partly due to the increasing prevalence of high technology in even low-end jobs, and partly due to the changing nature of work itself (the shift from industrial production to a “knowledge economy” based around services).

Yet another crazy right-wing state governor takes on the all-powerful public-employee unions.

Remember how everyone was saying that Americans were saving more? Yeah, not so much.

UPDATE 1: Unsatisfied with killing the financial markets with over-regulation, Democrats look for other industries to ruin in the same way.

digg this
posted by Monty at 08:43 AM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
Colin: "I liked that picture of Colin Kaepernick and his p ..."

grammie winger: "Interest day for my savings account! A dribble, o ..."

Wolfus Aurelius [/i] [/b]: "[i]Good morning hordelings. Half of July is gone. ..."

Gref: "1015 "So is the Bonhomme Richard going to live?" ..."

Lady in Black [/i][/b][/u]: "Insty has an entry up...which we'll all find so sh ..."

AlaBAMA : " 1031 Good morning hordelings. Half of July is go ..."

Commissar Hrothgar -I need a mission statement!- [/i][/b][/u][/s]: "[i]It's all going by way too fast. Posted by: I ..."

Insomniac - Ex Cineribus Resurgo: "I need to make major changes in my life, and quick ..."

Wolfus Aurelius [/i] [/b]: "[i]Good morning hordelings. Half of July is gone. ..."

[/i][/b]Clyde Shelton: "903 Texas Dept of Health: mortality rates of i ..."

Commissar Hrothgar -I need a mission statement!- [/i][/b][/u][/s]: "all running on the latest [s]steam[/s][b]hydro[/b] ..."

Insomniac - Ex Cineribus Resurgo: "1031 Good morning hordelings. Half of July is gone ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64