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October 07, 2013

DOOM: A little dab'll do ya

DOOOOM

When you hear someone say "We all need to take care of each other", what they're really saying is "I want someone to take care of me". Socialism is the creed of the deluded, the lazy, the timid, the dull, and the inept. People who desire it are either children or adults with the minds of children. Socialism in whatever guise is not just a silly ideology; it’s an impossible ideology. It violates the principle of ex nihilo nihil fit (nothing comes from nothing). You cannot draw more energy out of a system than you put into it. Socialism whispers sweet nothings into the ears of the dullards, but reality speaks more bluntly: “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” And reality always wins. Always.

ObamaCare's inaugural week wasn't exactly the success that Democrats hoped for. In fact, it was pretty much exactly the kind of fiasco that we Doubting Thomases have been predicting it would be ever since this abomination of a law was passed. But it's important to remember that the IT infrastructure of ObamaCare is the least of its problems. IT problems can be fixed, given time and money. But this law's basic design is so horrible that no amount of IT wizardry can make it work. The lousy rollout of ObamaCare is testament to the government's essential inability to execute on large, complex projects like this, to be sure; but it's also a vanguard of the larger problems yet to come.


Debt is the threat.

Part of the reason people aren't rushing for the exits is that the comedy they are watching is so horribly fascinating.

If a debt was run up in my name but without my knowledge or consent, I have no obligation (ethically) to repay that debt. It’s a fundamental precept of contract law, going all the way back to ancient times. We, as a society, are running up enormous debts and laying the burden of repayment on our children and grandchildren. They will be fully justified if they repudiate this debt.

Art Laffer and Stephen Moore pronounce Obamanomics a dead parrot. To be fair, I don't think Obama's aim was ever to rehabilitate the economy; it was to advance a social agenda at whatever the cost. And he was re-elected on that platform.

I always say this: economics is human behavior, not math. Traditional economics tends to presume rational actors moving through ideal environments, which obviously is rarely the case in the real world. Hence, the academics get it wrong far more often than they get it right. When you ignore the human element and focus only on the numbers, you miss most of what economics really is.

This is a variant of the “credit card carry”: using one low-interest-rate credit card to pay off another, higher-rate card. Which is fine, as long as you pay off the debt and don’t borrow any more. But people being who they are, the spending patterns do not change and people end up with two cards to pay off instead of just one, and a net debt that has doubled (or tripled, or quadrupled).

10 fallacies used to justify opulent government pensions.

This may be depressing, but it's not exactly news: many people are financially illiterate. This has always been the case, and it's not clear to me that more education will help.

Kwame Kilpatrick may have done his part to kill Detroit, but the blame ultimately lies with the people who voted for him. People in democracies get the government they deserve.

Here's an interesting article about what a loss of civic virtue can mean to a civilization. Now, the practice of damning a society for being a worthless sink of vice is as old as society itself, but I think there is some truth to the idea that with great material wealth and plenty there comes also an impoverishment of spirit. It often seems to me that many Americans must be "incentivized" to do the necessary: to have children, to get married, to vote, to save money, even to work for a living. How have we come to this point?

One of the principles I've always lived by is that, most of the time, there's no reward for doing the right thing. No pat on the back, no promotion, no bonus payment, no certificate, no trophy, no party. No one's going to congratulate me for doing something I should be doing anyway. This is not injustice. That's just the way things are. That's how things should be. A person who understands this can live in the world as it is with no fear. Understanding this fact is an essential step in learning how to function as an adult.

When I was a kid my mom was relentless about teaching me to be a "gentleman". Hold the door for ladies. Pull out her chair. Dress nicely and don't use vulgar language. Be respectful. If it's raining and she has no umbrella, shelter her with my jacket. Perhaps the deepest lesson my mom taught me is this: my "reward" for sheltering someone from the rain with my jacket might be nothing but a wet coat. It doesn't matter if the other person rewards me, or even acknowledges the gesture. In the end, I'm not doing it for them. I'm doing it because it's the right thing to do.

Life is getting up every morning and doing the necessary, and then getting up the next day and doing it all over again. Sometimes we do this right up until death interrupts the process. This is not sad or tragic. It's how life always was, is, and ever shall be. We find joy in our families, in our amusements, and in the work or in the things that our work makes possible. We carry our share of the load, or even a bit more to spare the weak or lame. We do not shirk, because shirking increases the burden others must carry.

And that's how civilization endures.

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. - 1 Corinthians 13:11

z N4 HO[1]

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posted by Monty at 08:17 AM

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