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April 08, 2013

DOOM: It Only Stings For A Second

DOOOOM

I apologize for not bringing you your Monday DOOM last week, but it turns out that the Turkish authorities are rather less open-minded about certain...activities...than I had been led to believe.

I'm only going to link one story in today's DOOM, because it neatly encapsulates the same themes and issues I've been ranting about for so long.

"Sundown in America" is notable for two reasons. For one, it was not written by some fringe libertarian blogger but by Federal-budget insider David Stockman. For another, it appeared in the New York Times, which has heretofore gone to great lengths to hide the failures of His Imperial Majesty's eonomy from the serfs.

Stockman's main theme is that the economic slowdown is not just an American or even a Western phenomenon -- it's happening all across the developed world. The reasons for the slowdown are many and complex: demographics, institutionalized debt and chronic deficit spending by the governments of the world, weakness in the global banking systems (exacerbated by the basic problems with fiat currency), and the pressure of technology on the labor market.

Here's a sample:

The future is bleak. The greatest construction boom in recorded history — China’s money dump on infrastructure over the last 15 years — is slowing. Brazil, India, Russia, Turkey, South Africa and all the other growing middle-income nations cannot make up for the shortfall in demand. The American machinery of monetary and fiscal stimulus has reached its limits. Japan is sinking into old-age bankruptcy and Europe into welfare-state senescence. The new rulers enthroned in Beijing last year know that after two decades of wild lending, speculation and building, even they will face a day of reckoning, too.

It's easy to dismiss such sentiments as overly-pessimistic, or just sour grapes from opponents of His Majesty the King. Times are hard, but they've been harder. But Stockman and others are asking a frightening but very salient question: if we are wrong and times don't get better, how prepared are we -- government and citizens both -- to make the hard choices?


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posted by Monty at 08:30 AM

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