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« Top Headline Comments 8-5-13 | Main | Monday Morning News Dump »
August 05, 2013

Hunka Hunka Burnin' DOOM


Trust our government to create an artificial shortage of the second most common element in the entire universe.

If you can't get the hicks in the sticks to vote your way, the obvious solution is to move the hicks into the cities where they'll be more reliant on government "help", and thus more liable to vote as the Democrats wish them to.

Millennials, let me rephrase this in words you hip kids can understand: You're going to be made to pay for Grandma's new hip and Grand-dad's boner pills, whether you want to or not. ObamaCare isn't meant for you devil-may-care kids; it's meant for the geezers and chronic sickies. But you're young and strong and can be squeezed like tender young oranges, and still naive enough to think that Uncle Sugar is doing it all on your behalf. The irony? Uncle Sugar is going to make you pay for this monstrous new program even though you're probably still living with your parents and working a part-time job to pay off your student-loan debt. I'll bet that this isn't what you were expecting when you pulled the lever for Obama back in the heady days of 2012, huh? Suckers.

I just hope the Millennials who voted for Obama remember this little maxim: a government powerful enough to give you everything you want is also powerful enough to take everything away from you. And it will, sooner or later.

The political left likes to speak of government-funded entitlements as "rights", but of course they're not. Governments cannot grant "rights" to their citizens; they do not have that power. What rights you have, you are born with. All a government can do is protect those basic rights. (Or not, as the case may be.) Health care is not a "right". It is a privilege we have come to take for granted. Even the poorest Americans have access to healthcare that kings of old could not have dreamed of. We all -- rich and poor alike -- marinate in wealth and luxury unthinkable even a couple of generations ago. Yet somehow this unparalleled wealth and freedom is not enough. We begrudge the time and effort it took to build and maintain the world we have now. We demand our "right" to receive things we have not earned, right now, simply on the basis that we are alive and drawing air. Besides being immoral, this notion has a more basic flaw: it is completely unsustainable. There is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine. You cannot draw more energy out of a system than what goes in. Sooner or later, the battery will run down.

Coleman Young: the man who killed Detroit. His Majesty the King Barack Hussein Obama is bringing the same game and attitude to the White House, and with pretty much the same results. (This article might be paywalled; if so, just type the article's headline into Google and that should take you to a readable copy.)

I guess we can call this the "new normal": a piddling 1.7% rise in GDP is now considered "brisk". Yet reality bites our ever-psychotic business press as jobs numbers "disappoint". Maybe we can say that the economy is "briskly disappointing".

Chicago joins L.A. as finalist in the "Who Goes Broke Next?" Loyal Order of the Terminally Boned (LOTB) sweepstakes.

John Bury at Burypensions wonders when the NYT will find someone competent to do financial reporting. Dude, the NYT is not about accurate reporting; it's about giving Democrats political cover. This was pretty hilarious, though:

Detroit’s bankruptcy and the problems facing its pension funds offer two important lessons to other communities. One is that state and local governments need to do a much better job managing retirement funds. The other is that they should not pre-emptively reduce hard-earned benefits at the first sign of trouble.
Apparently bankruptcy after a 50-year collapse is "the first sign of trouble".

No more Social Security at 62? This might bother me more if I expected to receive any SS benefits at all. Or if I thought I'd actually be able to retire before I drop dead. (At least I'll have that much in common with rich people.) Some day we'll be reminiscing to the young 'uns that there was actually a time when people stopped working and just took it easy for the next twenty or thirty years. It was a time of miracles and wonders.

This is something that is true of both religious and non-religious charity: it sometimes does more harm than good. Charity can be an enabler of bad behavior on the part of the recipient -- that's why charity bereft of a moral component (as that provided by NGO's and government aid programs) is often ineffective. Just look at the untold billions of dollars of "charity" pumped into places like Haiti and sub-Saharan Africa over the decades -- it's hard to divine any long-lasting good coming from it. It boils down to incentives. It's hard to convince a poor person to plant and harvest their own rice or grain when they can just wait and be handed free bags of the stuff by foreign aid workers.

This is just too hilarious for words. Given that most of the victims were probably Obama voters, I can only give a Nelson Muntz-style HA HA!

Civilization is more than economics, to be sure. But a civilization cannot thrive without a healthy economy, and economic success -- individually and collectively -- hinges on a certain set of values and behaviors. We shorthand these values as "bourgeois", but ultimately it's more about a sense of personal responsibility, a sense of being the master of one's own fate. We are in dire peril of losing sight of these values and behaviors.

Perhaps our next big step toward being even more civilized – a step that has yet to be taken by a minimally sufficient number of people – will be when we come to regard those who lust to hold political power as being ethically indistinguishable from pickpockets, shoplifters, and card sharks. Our civilization will leap forward if and when it finally comes to pass that the young person who announces to his or her family a desire to enter politics is regarded by his or her family in the same way that mom, dad, Aunt Dolly, and Uncle Jimmy today would regard a young person who announces his or her ambition to become a successful house burglar.
Like I said, economics isn't everything, and there's more to civilization than wealth. But wealth is a sine qua non of great civilizations; without it, a civilization will die or be toppled.

UPDATE: Via Andy, noted NYT economist and Nobel-prize winner Paul Krugman discovers that math is hard. Krugman corrects, noting humbly that "I confused x and 1/x", and then blames the error on the distortion field created by his hatred for Republicans.

money cat grande

digg this
posted by Monty at 08:12 AM

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