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Thursday, November 08, 2012

Lived Through It

Still no power, phone or internet service. Maybe by Monday. 

I have spent the time since the storm primarily struggling with the damage and helping others, and obviously my ability to get news was limited. 

As for the election, nothing changes this:

Despite anything we want, the need for massive adjustments stares us in the face.

Yes, but we are adopting the European model: immaturity and civil unrest. Hard work, self-reliance, and personal responsibility are silly old Christian values that have no place in modern American society. It's OK (and even required) to mouth the concepts but to actually shut up and live in such a manner is actually frowned upon and mocked; government actively punishes such behavior and has been for over 30 years.

And America is getting the government it deserves. The country just re-elected the only POTUS who, for 3 years running, cannot or will not get a budget approved. America, like her elected President, prefers to bury her head in the dirt. Most likely she prefers the rest of her body to be covered in dirt as well but is too lazy to do it herself. Not to worry, I'm sure the military will turn against the citizenry within the next 30 years.
Didn't know that old Christian values were hard work,personal responsibility and self reliance, silly me I thought Christian values were based on the teaching of Jesus.
So, we're locked into deficits of 1.2T and climbing, mostly financed by the Fed's QE. What I can't figure out is whether there's an inflection point out there somewhere at which aggregate government-funded demand outweighs the ability of producers to satisfy the demand. If so, it would presumably happen sometime in the 2015 to 2022 time range.

Or, does the economy just slowly run down for lack of investment?
One interesting note: I work in the productive industries; that is I work with folks that actually make things and have decent incomes. One reaction I have seen to the election, perhaps sour grapes, is that the usual inclination of these folks to help folks not so well off seems to have plunged. The common thought seems to be that folks see this as an election between the productive and the non-productive, with the non-productive being ascendant. The productive classes seem to be pissed

If folks follow through with the thoughts they have expressed, those that depend on others but voted democratic are going to find the normal help and kindness shown by the productive classes recede very quickly. The attitudes towards strangers, particularly those not of ones own tribe, so to speak seem to be plunging to a new low on the part of the productive.

It could be an ugly 4 years ahead of us, if folks follow through on the comments made in the last 36 hours.


About that graph--wouldn't it be reasonable to look at publicly held debt less that held by the Federal Reserve? That's currently at 60% of GDP.

Neil - if you default on the central bank, you destroy your financial system. That's why ECB is fighting taking the losses on the Greek bonds.

Doesn't interest on Fed-held debt go back to the Treasury eventually? If so, it can theoretically stay on the books forever.

Anon - from the Didache, which is a very early (very possibly first century) compilation of basic Christian teachings:
Chapter 12. Reception of Christians. But receive everyone who comes in the name of the Lord, and prove and know him afterward; for you shall have understanding right and left. If he who comes is a wayfarer, assist him as far as you are able; but he shall not remain with you more than two or three days, if need be. But if he wants to stay with you, and is an artisan, let him work and eat. But if he has no trade, according to your understanding, see to it that, as a Christian, he shall not live with you idle. But if he wills not to do, he is a Christ-monger. Watch that you keep away from such.

Contributing what you are able is indeed a fundamental tenet of many Christian sects. The teachings I was raised with (Mennonite) do indeed include the requirements of hard work, personal responsibility and self reliance, to the limits of one's individual ability.

The reason why is that it is a duty that you owe to others in need, just as it is a duty to give to others in need. You are required to do everything in your power to reasonably provide for your own foreseeable needs. This requires saving. Out of those savings, when communities are hit with disaster the communities are able to put those wiped out back on their feet.

The duty to charity means nothing if there is no duty to earn, and both of these duties are conjoined.

I think you know nothing about Christian teachings. They bite and they grind on the individual, so that other individuals need not suffer without cause.
Welcome back!
Glad to hear from you; I was worried about the silence of the storms.
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