in Editorial , 1543 references
Let's just list a few reasons, shall we?
- Belief in "suppression" of "technologies" from 100mpg carburetors to "free" energy sources. I believed in the so-called "vapor" carb and suppression of it once. I was 13. I tried to reproduce one (on an old lawnmower engine) and failed. It was several years later that I took chemistry and physics and then understood why the claims were lies; specifically, the temperature of combustion and exhaust (in Kelvin) defines the maximum theoretical efficiency of any heat engine, the coefficient of drag of a vehicle can be measured, and given those two figures plus the amount of energy in a gallon of gasoline the maximum possible fuel economy can be trivially computed. Here's the problem -- this sort of thing was "reported" in various non-kooky places, none of which bothered with trivial fact-checking based on physical laws. If you think this is something new or has gone away neither is the case; I just got into it with another of those screamers on Twitter yesterday and ultimately blocked him. If you are in this group then you are actively harming the search for real and sustainable answers; you are exactly the sort of loon that buys into the crap Obama and others spew when it comes to energy, and since behind every unit of GDP is a unit of energy you are the problem, in large part, when it comes to the challenges facing our nation.
- Belief that making borrowing easier will make something more affordable. By definition this is impossible; not only does all borrowing come with interest (so by definition such borrowing makes something more expensive) basic economics tells you that when money chases goods or services prices rise. Whether the subject is cars, college or houses borrowing will never make affordability better irrespective of the terms offered.
- Belief that the government "needs to do more" whether it be by taxing or spending that which it doesn't have. If you believe that your federal, state or local government should "float another bond" or "tax the rich" you are a damned idiot. I have already presented the math on this -- we could literally give away enough income (from tax revenue) to replace most of our social programs and still cut all federal taxes by 30% and run a $400 billion a year surplus! In short most of the money that goes into Washington DC is stolen instead of going where the people say it goes -- it's just stolen legally. The same is true at the state and local levels.
- Belief that any sort of deficit spending is ever anything other than destruction of your buying power (that is, it's a net loss) or that the issue of said "bonds" are in fact borrowing instead of said intentional and immediate destruction of your purchasing power. If you don't understand this then you either have intentionally refused to think or you're incapable of it. Seriously incapable -- like at the level of being unable to balance your own checkbook or make change for a $20 at the store in your head. If you're incapable of managing your own affairs why should you have the ability to vote and if you're intentionally refusing to think why do you think you deserve anything other than being financially abused?
Let's cut the crap shall we? What we face in this country is coming as a direct result of our own refusal to face facts and figures head-on, calling those conspiracy nuts that argue against the laws of physics what they are -- lunatics. At the same time we refuse to call those in Congress and on Main Street that believe there is a "something for nothing" pot of gold to be found in monetary manipulation and bond issues -- that is, spending in deficit no matter how it is couched what they are -- thieves.
For exactly how long should someone continue to bang their head against the wall? I'm perfectly fine with any sort of debate, provided we're holding that debate in a world where 2 + 2 sums to 4. As soon as you try to claim it's 6 I walk off in disgust; at that point you're either stupid, ignorant or lying.
If you wish to argue that what I should write about is how to prosper in a world where theft is a standard business model and political system that is, I suppose, a valid position to take. But there are thousands of people who write from exactly that perspective every single day and offer those opinions. You can find them all over the Internet and on the TeeVee. I choose not to engage on those terms because I find the base premise repugnant.
One of the privileges of being a slave to others for a couple of decades and then running a company is that I don't have to blow people in order to get by any more. I can choose to proceed only on terms that I find agreeable, and if nobody finds my contribution to the debate worth reading then the market of ideas will decide on its own. I'm ok with this, but it seems many of those who read my column are not and think they can goad me into participating on their terms.
In a word: Nope.
So let me restate the subject line: We deserve what we are getting from our Federal, State and Local Governments and we further deserve what we're getting from the banksters, the "high frequency" rip-off machine and all of the rest of the Ponzi crap that pervades our system of finance.
We deserve it because we not only tolerate it we demand it in the infantile expectation that if we "go along to get along" we'll get our piece of it and "our piece" will be big enough to not care that the majority of the nation's citizens will get stomped into dust as a consequence.
Well, you're free to do that; we still have freedom of expression in the United States, at least in theory.
I simply refuse to participate on your terms.