Let's reflect between bouts of Turkey and Pumpkin Pie, shall we?
Should you be thankful that you live in a nation that is governed as a strong Constitutional Republic? Well, you'd have trouble doing so, considering the bailouts, swindles and frauds -- not to mention the blatantly unconstitutional behavior of our governments at all levels. From Medicare to HUD to the Education Department to Solyndra and gun running by our own government there's little left of the Constitution and what does exist is being used as toilet paper on a literal daily basis.
Should you be thankful that you have equality of opportunity? Well, I suppose if you're one of the banksters that has equal opportunity to steal anything not nailed down, sure. But if you're one of the people victimized, as thousands of MF Global customers have been recently? Maybe not so much eh?
Should you be thankful that you have the right of free speech and expression? Well, certainly if you're Newt Gingrich. But if you're the line of peacefully-protesting kids who were expressing themselves in California when they were bear sprayed, not so much.
The Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights are a funny thing: They're binary. They either exist or they do not; both are far closer to a toggle than a continuum. In a nation where The Rule of Law meant something there would not be banksters stealing houses, there would not be other banksters with "missing" customer money, we would not have politicians standing up and telling everyone over the age of 50 they were going to get "their medicare" for the rest of their lives when factually this means that a $9,000 annual health insurance bill will go to nearly a quarter of a million dollars thirty-five years hence and we would not have politicians claiming they need to "stimulate the economy now and cut government spending tomorrow" when they know for a fact that tomorrow will never come, just as it never has before.
I would love to be thankful that there's "no inflation" in food of materiality but when the Farm Bureau shows a double-digit increase in the cost of that Thanksgiving dinner, and even this is grossly understated, that would be giving thanks for a lie. Many years ago soft drinks were made with cane sugar. Today they're not, and the decreased cost is not counted as "inflation" when the price does not change. The same "ingredient push" has occurred in virtually everything we eat -- artificial colors and flavors, "texturing" ingredients that are used because they're cheaper than the "real deal" and other adulterants -- all "generally recognized as safe", of course. Many people have documented the "incredible shrinking container" -- just try to find a half-gallon of ice cream, for example. At the same time we're told that we should eat from a "food pyramid" that is constructed more from the desires of agribusiness and, of course, frankenfood qualifies -- even though much of it is entirely-manufactured. Food "manufacturers" put various "stabilizing" chemicals into their products so they don't spoil but the entire process of digestion is, if you think about it, "spoilage" -- it just happens in the body. Never mind the imagery and sales tactics - "the sales ploy of more" is of course part of what marketing is, but in fact if you stuff your pie hole and sit on your tush you're going to get both fat and (eventually) ill. Shouldn't "truth in advertising" feature "People of WalMart" on the cartons of the various Frankenstein creations in the grocery aisles, given what most of that "food" will promote?
Then when we do get sick that's "managed." Let's just take one example: What's an actual normal blood sugar level? Will they simply "watchfully monitor" you if you're not technically at a diabetic level on a glucose tolerance test? Yes, the doc sure will, but guess what -- if you're overweight, and most of the people in this situation that are middle-aged and above adults are -- there is only one realistic way to stop the otherwise inevitable progression: Cease stuffing the pie hole with frankenfood, lose the weight and move your butt more often. That advice is easy to ignore when you can get "society" to pay the $500+ a month for medication and "supplies" though, isn't it? If the stark truth was that your options were to cut that out, spend your own cash or die would it change your decision process? It wouldn't for everyone but I bet it would for many, and this underlies much of what we shouldn't be thankful for -- the incessant and creeping destruction of personal responsibility and cost-shifting of all sorts, including only indirectly economic costs.
It's not limited to food and medicine either. Occupy Wall Street has it right in that the crooks and thieves on Wall Street have largely created this mess but they didn't do it alone. We have removed both choice and consequence from the people of the nation and this is the rot at the core of our nation's problems. You can have a student loan you can't pay back, and it's someone else's fault. When the bankster is threatened with the loss of his money because he made bad student loans, it's someone else's fault there too and thus we must change the bankruptcy laws by removing the ability of the student to march into court and discharge the bad debt! It's the dumb starry-eyed consumer who bought a bubble house but when the bankster managed to give the money to the consumer through fraudulent securitization that never really happened and thus they can't document a proper chain of ownership it's someone else's fault and the banksters robosign 100,000 affidavits because they can't prove ownership of the debt due to actions and inactions of their own hand. The majority of those who fall seriously ill are chronically so due to lifestyle decisions they made or just simple bad luck but it's someone else's fault and as a consequence they have to be bailed out as well. It was someone else's fault that the airlines didn't armor cockpit doors prior to 9/11 so we must be sexually assaulted to fly and the airlines must be given blanket immunity from terrorist acts -- even if their negligence contributes to the success of the act.
I could go on for hours -- literally -- on this topic. Even the little things in life we do every day are impacted. You can no longer play dodgeball in gym class because "someone might get hit with a ball" (never mind that's the point of the game) and it's "aggressive" (ditto.) You can't choose whether to buy a car without the 500lbs of "mandatory safety equipment" in it never mind that it's you who gets hurt if it's not there and you wreck -- you're forced not only to spend the thousands of dollars now but also forced to spend thousands more moving that additional mass everywhere you go in said vehicle. I can't choose to buy less-process or unprocessed foodstuffs (such as milk) even with full disclosure and acceptance of the risks and potential benefits -- the government happily shoves a gun in the farmer's face and threatens him with arrest if he entertains my offer to purchase. In Texas they attempted to force all teenage girls to take a vaccine for a sexually-transmitted disease, never mind that (1) only consensual or felonious personal conduct can pass HPV from one person to another and (2) such conduct is absolutely prohibited while on school property. We don't even have to reach the point of safety and effectiveness of the vaccine itself in this case, even though both are open to significant doubt.
I guess I can in fact be thankful that we live in a time of relative peace, at least here in the United States. This is not, of course, true in all parts of the world. And I can be thankful that myself and my immediate family are healthy and enjoying a beautiful day in Florida while the turkey cooks and the pumpkin pie cools.
But that will have to do on a day that is no longer lived in the land of the free and the home of the brave, having been turned by the lack of the rule of law and shifting of responsibility and cost, along with a poisonous political process that renders us more akin to the land of the screed and the home of the slave.
It's a day for the turkey all right.
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
The content on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied. All opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and may contain errors or omissions.
NO MATERIAL HERE CONSTITUTES "INVESTMENT ADVICE" NOR IS IT A RECOMMENDATION TO BUY OR SELL ANY FINANCIAL INSTRUMENT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO STOCKS, OPTIONS, BONDS OR FUTURES.
The author may have a position in any company or security mentioned herein. Actions you undertake as a consequence of any analysis, opinion or advertisement on this site are your sole responsibility.
Looking for "The Best of Market Ticker"? Check out Ticker Classics.
Market charts, when present, used with permission of TD Ameritrade/ThinkOrSwim Inc. Neither TD Ameritrade or ThinkOrSwim have reviewed, approved or disapproved any content herein.
The Market Ticker content may be reproduced or excerpted online for non-commercial purposes provided full attribution is given and the original article source is linked to. Please contact Karl Denninger for reprint permission in other media or for commercial use.
Submissions may be sent "over the transom" to The Editor at any time. To be considered for publication your submission must include full and correct contact information and be related to an economic or political matter of the day. All submissions become the property of The Market Ticker.
Leads on stories of current economic and political interest are always welcome. Our fax tip line is 850-897-9364; please include contact information with your transmission.