FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH #86: “Smug, all-knowing condescension camouflages a vacuous philosophical basis.” –Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 4th, 2011

Did the Ivy League make George W. Bush an Idiot?  And, if so, is Barack Obama also an Idiot?

Have you ever been belittled by a liberal?  After getting pulled into a conversation, say, about George W. Bush?  Or Ronald Reagan?  I have.  And often.  So often that I avoid these debates with liberals anymore.  Because you can’t debate with liberals.

I remember after George W. Bush won reelection.  Two liberals were having a discussion near me at work.  They just couldn’t believe how stupid the American people were.  One was a fifty year old hippy who still dressed like she was 20.  The other had a love affair with France.  Even loved Napoleon.  Funny.  As she hated George W. Bush for waging war.  And he didn’t wage half the war Napoleon did.

Anyway, I piped up.  I said why are Americans so stupid?  For reelecting George W. Bush?  They said because George W. Bush was an idiot.  I asked them to elaborate.  They did not.  Apparently, there was nothing more to say.  No specific examples.  No discussion of underlying philosophies.  Just that George W. Bush was an idiot.  Case closed.  An idiot, I might add, that was educated in their beloved liberal Ivy League.  The same Ivy League that educated Barack Obama.  And the majority of the power players in Washington.

Liberals know Everything and can Say Anything no matter how Silly and Asinine it Is

Of course, it didn’t end there.  Because I didn’t accept ‘he’s an idiot’ as an intelligible response to my question why were Americans so stupid, guess what?  I was stupid.  I was one of the great uneducated masses who should not be allowed to vote in their preferred world.  Then the ridicule came.

Their only response to my question was name calling.  Of the president.  And the American people.  No ideological discussion whatsoever.  And they laughed at me with that all knowing condescension.  They were liberals.  They knew everything.  And could say anything.  No matter how silly and asinine it was.  And because I question them I hated the poor.  I was a warmonger.  And a fascist.

The last was rather amusing.  Because I was a conservative.  Still am.  And conservatives hate fascism.  Or corporatism.  Big time government involvement in the private sector economy.  Like they want.  Making them the fascists.  Not me.  From what I could glean they were in favor of the state redistributing wealth.  Taking from the rich to give to the poor.  Like the hippy protestors of the Sixties.  They just wanted to stick it to the man.  Have sex (the old hippy had a bumper sticker saying something about being proud to be an ex-porn star.  I don’t think she was.  She just liked being provocative.  And having lots of sex.  Based on the conversations she had within earshot).  And, of course, decriminalize pot.

Liberals hate Corporations, Bankers and Republicans

They were your quintessential liberals.  Ignorant.  They hated Republicans because they want to take their freedoms away.  Because it’s Republicans that keep drugs illegal.  It’s Republicans that want to criminalize abortion.  Take away your welfare.  Who refuse to raise the minimum wage to a living wage.  Who let people get rich.  And refused to confiscate rich people’s wealth when they get rich.

They hate Republicans because they are too friendly to corporate America.  Who think more of their shareholders (the corporation owners who hire people for the express purpose of making a profit for them).  Than the American people.  And enslave the American people to maximize profits.  By charging high prices for expensive goods.  Charging interest on loaned money.  And tricking American people into living beyond their means and accumulating debt.  That they charge interest on.

Liberals hate corporations.  And Republicans.  They would like to abolish interest.  And all debt.  From sovereign debt.  To credit card debt.  Just make it go away.  And let the evil bankers just write it off.  They would like to have free health care for everyone.  And a minimum living wage for everyone.  Whether they work or not.  That’s their kind of freedom.  Of course, to have it they’ll have to bring back the institution of slavery.

Liberals Created an Aristocracy for themselves by Taxing the Productive People to Excess

Yes, you heard right.  Their freedom is another’s slavery.  For they want a welfare state.  Where the poor get everything they could ever want from cradle to grave.  And how do you pay for all of this free stuff?  By taxation, of course.  Before the government redistributes any wealth someone has to create it first.  People with jobs.  Or who own businesses.  People that have value that trade with others who have value in the free market economy.  We are traders.  And you can’t trade with someone who doesn’t produce anything of value.

Money came into being as a way to make this trading things of value easier.  People traded their things of value (goods and/or services) for money.  Then traded that money for other things of value they wanted.  It made going to the market a whole lot easier.  You didn’t have to find people to trade with who had what you wanted while having what they wanted.  You simply found what you wanted.  And paid for it.  With the money you had from selling your things of value.

Government grew from taxing these productive people.  At first just enough to provide the public goods of society.  Then liberals created an aristocracy for themselves by taxing the productive people to excess.  For liberals don’t create anything of value.  They get worthless college degrees and get worthless jobs.  In the public sector.  Or in the private sector that survives on public sector funding, i.e., crony capitalism.  They are parasites.  Living off of the productive people.  Who pay for the welfare state.

Houses are Built when Productive People Trade different Sets of Skill for Money

So let’s play make believe.  Let’s say the liberals get their way.  Like the old hippy and France lover.  Let’s say they take all the wealth from the rich.  They abolish all debt.  Make it a crime to loan money.  What will that do?  Make home owning a thing of the past for one.  Because most Americans could never buy a house without a mortgage.

Wait a minute, the liberals will scream.  That won’t happen.  Because government will just give houses to the people.  Really?  But who will build them?  If people can’t get a mortgage to pay a builder, how will the builder pay the carpenters, electricians, plumbers, roofers, etc., who build these houses?  People don’t work for free.  You see, these skilled trades trade their skills (carpentry, electrical, plumbing, etc.) with builders.  Builders trade their skill (financing and construction management) with skilled trades.  Banks trade their skills (mortgage banking) with builders.  This is how people build houses.  Productive people trade different sets of skill for money.  The end result is that people can get a mortgage and buy a house.  With the money they earn from trading their skills.

So if the liberals get their way and get rid of the things they hate then there is only one way to build houses.  Slavery.  Forcing carpenters, electricians, plumbers, etc, to work for the state.  For free.  Like a slave.  So the state can redistribute their wealth (i.e., their skill) to others.  Because people won’t willingly give their skills away for free.  That’s why they join unions.  To get the best deal they can get for their skills.  Which is another thing liberals will have to get rid of to live in their utopia.  Unions.

Liberals are about as Ignorant as they Come and have no Understanding of Basic Economics

Liberals have a smug, all-knowing condescension for people who don’t share their views.  In their minds they are brilliant people.  Because they parrot what other liberals say.  Because in their minds they think that makes them sound brilliant.  But they’re not.  They are about as ignorant as they come.  They have no understanding of basic economics.  And their pretentious airs only camouflage a vacuous philosophical basis.

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Economic Recovery Requires less Keynesian Spending and more Cutting the Cost of Employment

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 26th, 2011

The Structural Defect in Keynesian Economics is that Sustained Inflation Creates Asset Bubbles that Must Burst

More bad news for the housing market.  And the American economy (see New-home sales fell in August for 4th month by Derek Kravitz posted 9/26/2011 on the Associated Press).

Sales of new homes fell to a six-month low in August. The fourth straight monthly decline during the peak buying season suggests the housing market is years away from a recovery…

New-homes sales are on pace for the worst year since the government began keeping records a half century ago…

Last year was also the fifth straight year that sales have fallen. It followed five straight years of record highs, when housing was booming.

The housing market is bad.  There’s no denying that.  And this affects everyone.  Not just homeowners.  Because where the housing market goes the economy follows.

While new homes represent less than one-fifth of the housing market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in taxes, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Jobs and taxes.  Both of which the government is having trouble generating these days.  That’s why they are desperately trying to stimulate the housing market with all that easy monetary policy.  Getting interest rates to their lowest in years.  If not of all time.  Because new houses equals jobs.  And tax revenue.  Especially when housing values increase over time.

Home prices have dropped more since the recession started, on a percentage basis, than during the Great Depression of the 1930s. It took 19 years for prices to fully recover after the Depression.

But not so much when they don’t.

Worse than the Great Depression.  Now there’s something you don’t hear every day.

One of the missions of the Federal Reserve was to prevent another Great Depression.  In particular, preventing a devastating deflationary spiral.  Such as we’re seeing in home prices now.  Looks like they’ve failed.  Or rather, Keynesian Economics has failed.

The problem is the dependence on Keynesian Economics.  Which uses monetary policy to maintain economic growth.  By having permanent but ‘sustainable’ inflation.  But the structural defect in this model is that sustained inflation creates asset bubbles.  As people bid up the prices of these assets.  Like houses prior to the subprime mortgage crisis.  And when these bubbles burst these asset prices have to fall back to market levels.  Like house prices are doing right now.  And apparently will do for another 19 years.  Give or take.

It is the High Cost of Labor that is Hurting the Advanced Economies

Manufacturing has been better than the housing market.  But it’s not looking too promising right now (see U.S. manufacturing slowdown: 4 cities at most risk posted 9/26/2011 on CNN Money).

U.S. manufacturing has been one of the rare bright spots in an otherwise annoyingly slow economic recovery…

But expectations of slower growth could threaten the rebound and cities that have gained from it. The ongoing European debt crisis and efforts to curb worries over inflation in China have analysts predicting lower demand for everything from American-made electronics to machinery.

U.S. manufacturing grew 6% during the economic recovery after declining 13% following the financial crisis in 2007. IHS Global Insight economist Tom Runiewicz says the industry has grown 4.5% so far this year. While that’s still robust growth, he expects manufacturing growth to slow to 2.9% next year.

The American consumer may not have been buying but consumers in other countries were.  A good example of American exports is the delivery of the first Boeing 787 to ANA.  And Boeing’s 747-8, too.   Though the largest U.S. exporter, Boeing won’t be able to fix the economy alone.  Especially when they’re competing against Airbus.

It is the high cost of labor that is hurting the advanced economies.  The Europeans subsidize some of their industries to make up for this economic disadvantage.  Boeing charges Airbus with getting subsidies that lets them compete unfairly.  And Airbus, of course, accuses Boeing of the same.   To help gain a competitive edge over Airbus, Boeing wanted to expand production in South Carolina.  A right to work state.  Which the Obama administration has opposed.  In support of their union donors.

The lesson of the Boeing-Airbus rivalry is this.  They’d be able to sell more planes if they could cut their labor costs.

Listening to the Private Sector turned around the German Economy and is why they can Bail Out the Euro

Germany’s high cost of labor was crippling her economy.  BMW and Mercedes-Benz built plants in America to escape their high cost of labor.  But things are different in Germany these days.  In fact, the country is so rich that the hopes of saving the Euro common currency falls on the German economy.  The only European economy rich enough to save the Euro.  So how did they make this turnaround?  Through reforms (see Getting People Back to Work by Matt Mitchell posted 9/26/2011 on Mercatus Center at George Mason University).

Germany’s unemployment rate is only 6.2 percent today. This is pretty remarkable given the severity of the recent recession, the slow growth of Germany’s trade partners (including the U.S.) and the unfolding fiscal crisis in the Eurozone.

NPR’s Caitlin Kenney attributes Germany’s relative success to a number of reforms adopted a decade ago. Kenney reports:

To figure out how Germany got where it is today, you need to go back 10 years. In 2002, Germany looked a lot like the United States does now, they had no economic growth and their unemployment rate was 8.7 percent and climbing. The country needed help, so the top man in Germany at the time, Gerhard Schroder, the German chancellor, made in an emergency call to a trusted friend.

So who did he turn to?  A government bureaucrat?  Or someone from the private sector?

The friend was Peter Hartz, a former HR director whom Schroder knew from his VW days. Schroder put Hartz in charge of a commission, the mission of which was to find a way to make Germany’s labor market more flexible. The Hartz commission made it easier to hire someone for a low-paying, temporary job, a so-called “mini job”:

A mini-job isn’t that great of a deal for workers. In these jobs, they can work as many hours as the employer wants them to, but the maximum they can earn is 400 Euros per month. On the plus side, they get to keep it all. They don’t pay any taxes on the money. And they do still get some government assistance.

He went to the private sector.  To get advice of how to create jobs in the private sector.  And he listened to what they said.  The cost of labor and regulatory costs were crippling job creation.

Generous unemployment insurance and regulations that add to the cost of employment tend to make for a static, unhealthy labor market. Though designed to make life better for workers, these policies may do them more harm than good.

Listening to the private sector turned around the German economy.  Made it the dynamo it is today.  And it is why that the German economy is the only economy that can bail out the Euro.

Economic Recovery Requires New Jobs

The economy still looks like it’s going to get worse before it gets better.  Whereas the Germans are doing so well that they may single-handedly bailout the Eurozone from their sovereign debt crisis.  And a lot of Americans are saying that should be us.  Not the bailing out the Eurozone part.  But having the ability to do that.

And that could have been us.  And should have been.  Like it used to be.  When America led the world in creating jobs.  So what happened?  The same thing that had happened in Germany.  The cost of employment grew.  And as it grew new job creation declined.

Economic recovery requires new jobs.  The Germans understood that.  And they did something about it.  So should we.  And the sooner we do the sooner we will see that economic recovery.

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