The Never Trump Betrayal

Ace brings up an article by David Horowitz about the Never Trumpers. The genesis of Horowitz’ article was a particular Tweet by Jonah Goldberg:

Re-asking a question I’ve been posing for three years: Please come up with a definition of good character that Donald Trump can clear.

To which Horowitz eventually replied:

He has an amazing family. He’s loyal to a fault. He loves the country that gave him a privileged life, He works around the clock for ordinary Americans, & their security. He would never appoint a treacherous individual to head the CIA. Wake up Jonah.Its a war & u cant be neutral.

Which, in turn, generated this reply from Goldberg:

This is total nonsense David. He’s not loyal to a fault. He’s not loyal to his wives. Read up on how he treated Roy Cohn ffs. He doesn’t work around the clock. He won’t read and won’t stop watching TV. I can’t tell if your head is up your ass or his.

Which is usually how it goes – Never Trump makes a blanket statement. Trump supporter offers a polite response which calls into question the Never Trump statement. Never Trump then gets really pissy and vulgar. I did a response, myself, fairly much in tune with Horowitz’ but I didn’t get a response. Not important enough – usually, the Never Trump in question just blocks me (I’m blocked by an awful lot of them…and others that have muted me).

You should read Horowitz’ whole article on it, but here’s the meat as far as I’m concerned:

The posture of these NeverTrumpers is transparently self-serving. It preserves their intellectual credentials as “conservatives,” and simultaneously takes them out of the line of fire from an increasingly vicious Left whose goal is to destroy Trump and his presidency, and—incidentally—conservative America. Sitting on the fence affords them new career opportunities—appearances on CNN and MSNBC and columns in the New York Times. All that’s required is that they avoid taking sides in the political war that is engulfing the country. All this reminds me of a memorable Trotsky sneer about liberals, whom he accused of being reluctant to step into the stream of political conflict because they were afraid to get their moral principles wet.

The main thing, in my view, about people like Goldberg and the rest of the Never Trumpers is that they refused their office. The Never Trumpers were provided position, wealth, and a megaphone in order to fight for us – because we, the regular folks, don’t have the time for it. We’re of the right – we have jobs and families to attend to. And not just jobs, but jobs where concrete results are demanded. The left has its legions of layabouts who have all the time and money in the world to engage in politics. We on the right don’t have that – and thus was set up things like NRO…and the whole host of publications and think tanks which were supposed to pitch into the battle with gusto, never giving the left a break and just hammering them relentlessly until the left was no more.

Trouble is, after five decades of doing this, we didn’t find ourselves on the verge of repealing Social Security, but on the verge of enacting Socialized medicine. The Conservative movement failed. Failed utterly. It was beaten at the game of politics thoroughly. It had become a sad and, at times, sick joke – we all just waited for the Conservative Movement surrender each time the left came up with a new demand. There are only two explanations for it:

1. Cowardice.

2. Treason.

Either they were afraid to fight the left, or they actually wanted the left to win – in either case, they were running a con. Just hoping they could be top of the Conservative heap and have honors and rewards without ever having to accomplish anything. And they dare to say Trump is a man of no character? People who lost every damned battle for 50 years have the gall to shoot arrows at someone else? How about at least a bit of humility, guys? Any chance of that, Jonah? Any even mild acknowledgement that you failed us? Nope. None of that. Just insults hurled at the one guy who is actually winning. And, guys, winning it pretty easy…showing the the left is a paper tiger. It could have been smashed, easily, time and again for the past 50 years. It just wasn’t. Which is why I go more towards “treason”…the understanding that these guys really didn’t want Conservatism…just some lower taxes and maybe a more muscular military than the left, as a whole, did. I think that Trump’s success, far more than any character flaw, is really what is getting their goat…he’s done more for Conservatism in 18 months than they did in 50 years…heck, he’s on pace to surpass even Reagan in Conservatism. This vulgar, New York real estate mogul is besting them…and, grrrr, he also slept with a Playmate, the bastard!

My Dad explained to me when I was young that being honorable is only partially a matter of good morals and manners. He explained to me that my grandfather knew some bad men in his time – real criminals. But crooks you could trust. That might seem a paradox, but such is human life. My grandfather could make (completely legal, it should be stressed) business deals with the crooks on a handshake and everyone kept their end of the bargain. The bad guys might have been running illegal gambling operations, but if they said they’d do X for you in return for Y, X would be done. The key, my Dad explained, was keeping your word. We’re all weak and prone to sin – we’ll also do a lot of things we’ll regret at a later date. It is, in a very real sense, something we can’t help…we’re human and prone to sin. But to break one’s word requires a special act of will. If I say I’ll do something for you…then I’m either going to do it, or I’m not. Unless I am dead, then I have to either perform, or prove myself faithless. I have to keep my word – because it is, in the end, all I’ve got. If you don’t trust me to keep my word, then what use am I to you?

The Conservative movement didn’t keep it’s word to us – they promised us an end to the New Deal and the Great Society in return for our loyalty. They delivered us “bake the cake” and an inch away from single payer healthcare. What good are they to us, now? Why should we trust them in the future? Meanwhile, Trump is keeping his word. He might be a vulgar lout. He might be everything bad they say about him…but, so far, he’s proven trustworthy…and that’s not only a definition of good character Trump clears, it is really the most important definition of character there is.

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We’ve Been Ruled by Idiots: and Conservatives Defend This

August 8th recently passed and it was the 100th anniversary of the Black Day. This was the day the British began the Battle of Amiens. While it was, of itself, a big victory, the more important aspect of it was on the morale of the two sides. The German commander, Ludendorf, named it the Black Day because of the very large number of German soldiers who merely surrendered rather than fight or retreat. From that point on, the Germans knew they were beaten and were merely trying to hold on to as much as they could before capitulation. Meanwhile, all of the allied armies were stimulated by the victory as they now knew they could break the German lines at will and steadily push them back no matter what the enemy did (it was, of course, the mass use of tanks which played the decisive role here).

This was the point when the whole German war effort in World War One was shown to be stupid – and done by people who, for all their intellectual achievements, were quite stupid. Think about how the war started – Germany, faced with the need to help their Austro-Hungarian allies fight off Russia, decided that the smart course was to attack France and Belgium, thus bringing Britain into the war against them. That was their plan! Their long held, carefully organized plan was to create more heavily armed enemies from the first minute war started! And no one who came up with this plan was shot for Supreme Idiocy or even so much as committed to an insane asylum. We’ll leave aside the Allies response: charge straight ahead into entrenched German machine guns and artillery. You get the picture: We’re dealing with a lot of dumb.

I mentioned Ludendorf, and he was one of the smartest of the lot. Simply brilliant. A superb organizer. But, in the end, he couldn’t count. He launched a “win the war” offensive in March of 1918 with the idea being that Germany could conquer victory before the United States, which had entered the war the year before, could exert it’s full power (which would happen some time in 1919, if the war went on that long). As I said, he couldn’t count: he couldn’t count up all the military aged males in the UK, France and the USA and realize they vastly outnumbered the military aged males in Germany. He also, seemingly, couldn’t read a map and failed to realize that even taking Paris in 1918 would not alter the overall strategic situation. The only wise course open to him – too all Germans – once the USA got in was to pick the time to concede defeat and surrender….and that such a time was before the German soldiers started surrendering in tens of thousands.

But that isn’t the end of the dumb for the German leadership. Some weeks after the Black Day the supreme allied commander, Foch, was heard to observe, “that gentleman (the German) can still escape: but he’ll have to leave his luggage behind”. What he meant was that if the Germans would leave behind the mountains of supplies they had built up in France over 4 years of war, they could get their army back to the German border in excellent defensive positions and it would be the Spring of 1919 before the allies could launch a serious attack…and they might not want to by then. With the Germans out of France and Belgium, all impetus to attack would be gone. Germany would still have had to negotiate a loser’s peace, but it wouldn’t have been an abject surrender followed by a dictated peace. But the German military leadership, chock full of very smart men, simply couldn’t make up its mind to do that until it was too late to try. In the end, the Germans fought for 51 months and suffered millions of dead – and inflicted millions of deaths – only to lose a war they didn’t have to fight, but stupidly got themselves into, and then stupidly refused to get out of when the game was up.

I bring this up because rolling around in my head for a while now has been a dawning understanding that for quite some time, our civilization has been run by some very dumb people. Unserious people. People who are quite willing to, as it were, fiddle while Rome burns. And then I got into a bit of a debate with a Facebook friend – nice guy, fellow Catholic. But, he hates Trump and that has colored his views in astonishing ways. What he was on about a couple days ago was how Conservatism is in bad shape because it listens to Sean Hannity rather than George Will. I pointed out in response that even supposing Hannity is a carnival barker, Conservatism is better of with him than with Will. He asked, why? And I said that people like George Will are erudite, well-dressed people drinking the correct wine while justifying the destruction of our civilization. People who, like the German High Command in WWI, are very, very smart and have all sorts of credentials but simply cannot, or will not, see what is right in front of them.

Ancient Rome didn’t go from a city of a million people with excellent water and sewage systems to a city of 40,000 people living in filth and drawing their water from the Tiber all in a day. Nope, took quite a lot longer than that. Several centuries, in fact. The last great building project in ancient Rome was Trajan’s Forum, early in the second century. The next big event in the life of Rome was the sack of the city by the Visigoths early in the 5th century. Neat, 300 year period there…where not much was actually done, other than people living off the wealth and power built up by their better ancestors. Sound familiar to your modern ears? All it would have taken for Rome to endure forever was a bit of maintenance. Do you understand that? All the heavy lifting had been done. Just maintain the infrastructure and keep the army up to snuff and, presto!, things remain great. Forever. But, no; they failed.

They did do lots of things, of course. They weren’t just marking time. They had a few civil wars in there. Assassinated a crop of Emperors. Watched people getting slaughtered in the Colosseum. Sat on their asses on welfare. Let foreigners do the grunt work. Watched as their domestic industry and agriculture was moved away from Italy and over to other parts of the Empire. They also had some brilliant political leaders such as Septimus Severus and Diocletian. And the social life was quite brilliant! Excellent food, fashionably dressed people, well appointed homes. They had towering intellects like Dio Cassius and Tacitus. And in religion you could pretty much get whatever you wanted – and be sure that whatever you wanted was ratified by the religious and philosophical authorities of the day (except by those pesky Jews and those outrageous Christians, who proposed to actually live the virtues everyone said were good…the bastards!). Once again, does all this sound familiar?

But, don’t go too far in making parallels to ancient Rome. We’re actually doing worse. To give you an idea: back early in the Russian Revolution, one of Lenin’s female comrades (I think it was Alexandra Kollontai, but I’m not 100% sure), opened up a vision for Lenin of sexual relations being treated as no more significant than quenching one’s thirst with a glass of water. Lenin didn’t go one way or the other on that, but he did observe that no one would want to get a drink of water from a gutter. Of course, Lenin was wrong: we now have people eagerly looking for gutters to get their drinks from. Furthermore, they insist that if you refuse to drink from the gutter, you’re a hateful bigot! Here’s the really funny thing: given what he said about it, Lenin wasn’t woke enough to be acceptable among the modern left! If he magically appeared to today, the left would despise him for his petite bourgeoisie insensitivity. So far, and fast, we have traveled downwards!

And at least the Romans built stuff to last. The Lake Homs Dam in Syria was built in the 3rd Century by the Romans and it is still in use. It was modified last century, but only to make it hold more water. The basics of the dam are still the original Roman construction from 1,734 years ago. Our stuff isn’t built like that. We, too, have to do maintenance, but we have a much weaker infrastructure to keep up…we can’t neglect it nearly as long. But, we’ve been neglecting it. You might recall the infrastructure bill from 2009 that we spent a bazillion dollars on…well, it looks like we’ll need another bazillion for the same thing…now, we can assume that everything has run down again after nine years…or, we can assume that the first bazillion was thrown down the toilet and wound up in the hands of politically connected people who didn’t get a lot of actual work done. Take your pick on those views. I’ll let you guess where I fall on the guesses. We have weaker stuff as our basis and we’re doing worse than the Romans at maintenance. In the realm of morality, we’re traveling down a road (get that drink from the gutter!) of immorality faster than the Romans ever dreamed. Sure, they liked to watch people being killed in the arena, but at least they weren’t going about massacring unborn children, nor legalizing the practice of effectively putting a pillow over granny’s face when she gets too old and irritating to deal with.

We’ve got people covering themselves with tattoos like painted savages. We’ve got people who father multiple children by multiple women without ever making any sort of commitment to them. We’ve got people in the military who are merely punching tickets to ensure their rise in rank. We’ve got corporate officers who spend more time working out their diversity program than they do working on their products. We’ve got people who despise liberty and who think there’s a right to have a house. We’ve got religious leaders openly or covertly denying the very aspects of their religion. But we’re banning plastic straws! Tell me, what of any decent thing has been conserved? Where is the maintenance of societal norms which would allow us to survive long term as a civilization? There is none – nothing has been conserved. Not by the Conservative leaders…each time the push against civilization has come, the Conservative leaders have found an excuse for why we have to allow it to happen.

Back in 2016, I was just desperate to stop Hillary. She’s corrupt to the bone and clearly an amazingly stupid person. She even lies when telling the truth would work to her advantage. All she amounts to is an appetite for power and wealth. She gathers it endlessly and is never satisfied. And she’s not alone in this. Think of all the people who are just there, grabbing whatever they can and then working out ways of defending their ill-gotten money and power. They don’t give a damn what is happening…all they care about is getting and then getting some more…and then squashing anyone who questions how they got it, and whether they should keep it. If they were at least smart enough to make sure our Navy ships didn’t crash into freighters and that the streets weren’t crumbling, they’d be tolerable. But, they can’t manage that. They can only do what the very stupidest person can do: grab and then lie about it. My vote in 2016 was just a desperate plea against that sort of thing. But then something strange happened: the guy I voted for turned out to be pretty darned good.

I had figured Trump for “one of them”, as it were. But, even though “one of them”, at least not someone who had spent his whole, adult life – like Hillary – screwing over the people. I fully expected huge doses of liberalism to come out of the New York liberal carnival barker with a penchant for pretty ladies. All of a sudden, I’ve got a President getting the regulators – the enforcers of stupidity – off the backs of the doers…the actually smart people who make things work. I’ve got a President who understands that if we don’t make, mine and grow things here in the USA, then we’re doomed (how long have I been yammering on about making, mining and growing things, guys?). I’ve got a President who is clearly not afraid to use American military power to maximum effect, but is also chary of the blood of Americans and so shies away from foreign military actions (having a President who wants to win a fight is a rather new experience for me). I’ve got a President who doesn’t care about the opinions of pretentious, credentialed twits who not only can’t change a tire, but would be afraid to even try (ick! I’d get all dirty! Isn’t there a foreigner who can do that for me?). I’ve got a President who punches back when punched. For the first time in my life – not excluding Reagan – I actually think I’ve got a President who is looking out for me and mine.

Is he Conservative? I don’t really know. Also, don’t really care. He’s doing a lot of Conservative things, that’s for sure. Does he know what he’s doing? I’ve long suspected his political actions are built to a long held plan…but now I’m starting to think that this guy might have, for the last 40 years, thought over everything and realized that we needed some radical changes in policy, or we’re doomed. One thing I know for certain, kicking him out and putting the same idiots who have presided over the destruction of our civilization is out of the question. Trump might lose, in the end, but he won’t lose because I helped beat him…nor because I failed to support him. I’m feeling very confident about our future for the first time in a long while…and unlike back in the Reagan years, I’ve no worries about what comes after this President. Pence certainly spent his life as GOPe to the bone, but he seems to really understand what Trump is about and I’m sure that if we can get Trump two terms, his successor will just do more Trump (although more politely that Trump).

Trump stands for the Mom and Dad doing their best. He stands for the sergeant and battalion commander trying to keep readiness at a high level. He stands for the farmer growing his crops. He stands for the plumbing contractor with a payroll to meet. He doesn’t stand for the tenured radical on campus. He doesn’t stand for the CEO trying to squeeze an extra percent of profit out of moving the factory to Mexico. He doesn’t stand for layabouts manning our bureaucracy. And, yep, he doesn’t stand for the Bow Tied Conservatives who talk about low taxes and tut tut about societal decay but do nothing about it. We’ll do more for rebuilding social cohesion by having a booming, Make/Mine/Grow economy allowing a parent to stay home and raise the kids than we’ll do with 10,000 more Conservative Think Tank pieces on the decline of the family unit. If Trump is this out of control moron that our Conservative Betters claim he is, then I’m in favor of idiocy…at least this idiot is actually doing some good things. But, the truth is that Trump is proving the smarter man…and, I think, proving the more morally sound man. After all, in the grand scheme of things, who has done the more immoral thing: they guy who slept with a stripper, or the guy who justified the destruction of morality? No wise person hates a sinner because all wise people know they are sinners, too. But what must be hated – despised, loathed and driven out of the public square – is those who say that the sin isn’t a sin. According to Scripture, the righteous man falls seven times a day, and most of us ain’t righteous. But it is one thing to sin and repent (even on an endless loop of sin/repent), and quite another to sin and then say, “my sin was a good thing”. The former is human and trying, the latter is an inch away from demonic. That the demon has a Harvard degree and is impeccably well mannered doesn’t help things…nor does it detract from the normal repentant sinner that he’s an uncultured clod.

And what kind of a moron do you have to be to think that a people, awash in sin, can survive? If we’re laying around on welfare, engaging in promiscuity and then congratulating ourselves for our sloth and lust, what are we going to get? Clean cities and a strong economy? Uh, guys, I don’t think it’ll work out that way. In fact, we know it doesn’t – we’ve got feces rolling through the streets of San Francisco. We’re worried about filth borne disease in the United States, guys. You know, as we allow people to come in illegally and also allow poor bodies who need mental healthcare to just wallow on the edges of our cities in unsanitary, ad-hoc camps. How do you think things will be in 20 years, if we don’t change?

So, here I am – standing athwart stupidity, yelling “stop”. Well, not exactly: when you yell “stop” at a stupid person, it usually makes them double down. But what I am doing is making sure that I’m expending my efforts in preventing a return to Rule by Stupid. If that means I have to keep electing Trump and people like him, I’m ok with that. I’ll take the odd Playmate in the background if I also get the policies which allow me to live free…and gives me a chance to help restore a bit of sanity to our society.

Moral Decay Plus Welfare Equals…

This – from the Daily Mail:

While many families are worrying about how to afford Christmas this year, one jobless single mother has revealed she receives so much in benefits she has £2,000 to spend on designer gifts, clothes and partying.

Mother-of-two Leanna Broderick plans to buy 20 presents for each of her children, including Burberry and Ralph Lauren outfits, iPads and gold jewellery.

The 20-year-old, who has never worked, claims nearly £15,500 a year in state handouts…

Whatever you do, don’t you dare get mad at the girl.  She’s just doing what she’s been told to do.

She was told it was ok to have sex before marriage, then she was told it was ok to be on welfare…and then the welfare system pays her more than entry-level work and, presto, you’ve got a “welfare queen”.  If you get mad at her then you are just being absurd:  this is the system of incentives provided and she has reacted to them in a perfectly reasonable manner.

And, of course, this does happen here in the United States as well – there are millions here who have no incentive to work because welfare benefits, of various types, are either equal to or greater than what can be earned by entry-level work…and even if you have a circumstance where the welfare is slightly less than a 40 hour a week, minimum wage job, not having to go to work beats going to work if its only a matter of 10-15% total income difference.

Yes, of course it is a disgrace – it is better than a lot of welfare situations where mom is a drug addict or some such (at least she does seem to be treating the kids well), but its still a horrid destruction of a human being, and apt to be repeated in the next generation by her daughters who will likely live by their mother’s example…and may not be so lucky on the drug-addiction issue.  We have, in some areas, several generations of people who live like this – who don’t work, never have worked and don’t even know what working is like.  And as liberal policies go their natural course, more and more people are hooked on welfare of one sort of another and yet more and more people develope a disconnect between work and reward.

There is a way to cure this, but it would take some guts and some willingness to genuinely reform the economy.

The guts part of it is this:

Total welfare benefits – from whatever source – for a physically fit person under retirement age must never exceed 80% of the value of a full time, minimum wage job.  They can be up to 100% of a minimum wage job if the welfare recipient is married and both persons have resided at the same address for 365 consecutive days or longer.  No additional benefits may be provided for children born while receiving welfare benefits.  That will take guts because to propose it is to immediately get howls of “racist!” and “hater!” and other such nonsense thrown at you.

The reform the economy part goes like this:

If we are to restrict welfare benefits like that, then we’d better buckets of entry-level jobs for these people to start working at – and that means manufacturing, farming and mining jobs, so we’d better restructure our economy for production rather than consumption and that will require much smaller government, a hard currency and a high cost for personal debt.

Or, we can just keep going as we are until we reach that tipping point where too many hands are in the till and the whole thing collapses.  That is, at most, four or five years from now.  So we’d better choose wisely…

 

A Republican Class War

As most of you know, I ceased being a supporter of Capitalism a few years back and switched over to being a Distributist.  The genesis of the shift was my growing realization that Big Corporation and Big Government were two sides of the same coin while the very rich – for all their being demonized in liberal rhetoric – are for the most part liberal Democrats.  I cannot perceive a way for us to finally win – win where we can amend the constitution and thus undo the liberalism which is destroying us – unless we take out the whole of the enemy arrayed against us.  Since I figured that the Capitalist system was actually in alliance with the socialist system, I easily found myself slipping in to Distributist beliefs – which, to boil it down, are that nothing “too big to fail” should be allowed to live.  That a man, working hard and living frugally, should be able to by himself support his wife and children.  That almost all political decisions which affect the day-to-day lives of citizens must be made at the lowest level possible.

In the 2012 election we got a bit of confirmation of my views – 8 of the 10 richest counties in America were carried by Obama.  The rich like Obama.  They voted for him.  They donated to his campaign.  Do you think they actually believe that Obama’s “tax the rich” rhetoric is directed at them?  It isn’t.  And they know it.  You see, as I’ve been saying for years, “tax the rich” is a mere propaganda phrase for the Democrats.  They portray themselves as being on the side of the poor and the middle class and their most effective argument in this portrayal is their repeatedly announced determination to “tax the rich”.  But here’s the thing – they never, ever tax the rich.  They tax the middle class and dress it up as a tax on the rich.  They say they want “millionaires and billionaires” to pay their fair share….but a “billionaire” in the tax code starts at $200,000.00 a year.

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What is Wrong With America? We Don’t Like “Dirty” Jobs

This could be Part 1 of a 10,000 part series, but one of the problems I’m always yammering on about it is our failure to understand that prosperity only comes when you make, mine or grow things.  Keep in mind that I consider my own work pretty much useless as compared to what any plumber, auto mechanic, doctor or drywall installer does in the course of the day.  There is some point in what I do, but I don’t kid myself in to thinking that the world would be worse off, fundamentally, if my entire job title was scrubbed from the books.  The trouble we have is that people who are government bureaucrats, college gender studies professors, lawyers, think tank employees, etc believing they are doing something as important (or even more important) than those people who grow our food and make our clothes.

As we look for ways to fix our nation, one of the most important tasks will be to re-invigorate the concept that work – real work – is honorable.  That the man or woman getting dirty day by day to ensure we have the necessities is doing something 2nd in importantce only to raising children (the fact that we don’t consider raising children to be that important – as we can see in the liberal attitudes towards stay-at-home-mom Mrs. Romney – is an article for another day).  As it turns out, Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame from television has written a letter to Romney on this very subject.  To quote:

…I shared my theory that most of these “problems” were in fact symptoms of something more fundamental – a change in the way Americans viewed hard work and skilled labor. That’s the essence of what I’ve heard from the hundreds of men and women I’ve worked with on Dirty Jobs.Pig farmers, electricians, plumbers, bridge painters, jam makers, blacksmiths, brewers, coal miners, carpenters, crab fisherman, oil drillers…they all tell me the same thing over and over, again and again – our country has become emotionally disconnected from an essential part of our workforce.  We are no longer impressed with cheap electricity, paved roads, and indoor plumbing. We take our infrastructure for granted, and the people who build it.

Today, we can see the consequences of this disconnect in any number of areas, but none is more obvious than the growing skills gap. Even as unemployment remains sky high, a whole category of vital occupations has fallen out of favor, and companies struggle to find workers with the necessary skills. The causes seem clear. We have embraced a ridiculously narrow view of education. Any kind of training or study that does not come with a four-year degree is now deemed “alternative.” Many viable careers once aspired to are now seen as “vocational consolation prizes,” and many of the jobs this current administration has tried to “create” over the last four years are the same jobs that parents and teachers actively discourage kids from pursuing. (I always thought there something ill-fated about the promise of three million “shovel ready jobs” made to a society that no longer encourages people to pick up a shovel.)…

Precisely – now, what does Mr. Rowe want?  He continues…

…Certainly, we need more jobs, and you were clear about that in Tampa. But the Skills Gap proves that we need something else too.  We need people who see opportunity where opportunity exists. We need enthusiasm for careers that have been overlooked and underappreciated by society at large. We need to have a really big national conversation about what we value in the workforce, and if I can be of help to you in that regard, I am at your service – assuming of course, you find yourself in a new address early next year…

Rowe goes on to note that he wrote Obama the same sort of letter four years ago and never heard back…but it appears that Romney has now read the letter.  Romney is unlikely as a man to lead us on a revolution – but curiously enough he is more likely than Obama (for all the “fundamental transformation of America” that Obama is on about, all he’s really doing is consolidating something that Chesterton predicted more than 100 years ago – that the Ruling Class would call itself “socialist”, put us all in property-less economic straightjackets and, straight faced, tell us they care about the little guy).  I hope that Romney really ponders the letter and starts to talk about he issues raised.  Cutting taxes and spending; very important.  Reforming our regulatory system; vital.  But unless we become an America of working people doing the dirty job of building civilization brick by brick and girder by girder, then we’re ultimately doomed.

Doomed to an Economic Depression?

Lots of bad news out there, today – US unemployment rate rose to 8.2%, Eurozone unemployment rose to 11% (ours is probably right there, too, but the Eurocrats haven’t, it seems,  figured out how to fudge numbers as well as Obama’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has), a host of bad news out of China indicates a possible “hard landing” for that economy, which will take Australia and Canada (major commodity suppliers to China) down with it, what amounts to a bank run in Greece and the start of one in Spain…and, yesterday, I read an article which I hope was a bald-faced lie because it says the derivatives market (something I don’t fully understand but from what I can gather it is nothing but a bunch of ponzi scheme garbage) is leveraged to 10 times global GDP…and there’s simply nothing to back all that garbage up.  So, are we doomed to a Depression?

The answer is “yes” and, also, “it started in 2008”.  For you liberals out there, this will provide you a bit of comfort:  Obama is not at fault for it.  On the downside, though, just about everything he has done has ensured that it not only won’t get fixed, but will actually get worse.  He hasn’t been alone in this, of course – Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve (as well as other central bankers around the world) has piled on the harm with all his money printing.  The problems of the global economy are as follows:

The world uses fake money – money just printed up by central banks and backed by nothing.  Fake money allows insolvent banks and governments to keep themselves afloat but it works out to the systematic stealing of the money of wealth-creators.  If you work hard today and earn a dollar what will happen is a 100th of a penny of it will be stolen tomorrow…that 100th of a penny isn’t so bad, but after 10 years it works out to quite a lot of the dollar you earned.  Fake money essentially allows failure to be masked – what is economically counter-productive can be kept going because you can keep passing fake money through it.  That you are all the while eroding the entire economy does not show up for a while, but show up it will.

We allow governments to pile up debt.  Government debt is not an “investment”.  An investment is when you take some of your own money and provide it to someone else who has worked out a plan to generate more wealth than was put in to it.  So, I have $100,000.00 and I see some guy in a garage with what I think will be a great product and I give the $100,000.00 to him to start up manufacturing – next year, the guy in a garage is a guy in a factory and he pays me back $125,000.00 while he, himself, is worth $250,000.00.  Government spending can provide some useful things, of course, but even when it does it isn’t like that.  A road facilitates commerce but it doesn’t actually return money on the money spent.  If the government spends a billion dollars building a new road its not like the government will get 1.5 billion dollars back on it next year.  True, the economic activity stimulated by the good road will result in a broader tax base but its still not an “I loan you money for your wealth-producing enterprise and I get paid back with interest while your wealth-producing enterprise just goes on and on making more and more wealth”.  So, even in the best of circumstances (a needed road), government spending is not an investment; even less so is government spending an investment when it goes in to things like high paid bureaucrats, subsidies to favored groups, welfare, etc, etc, etc.  It still might be something desired overall but it isn’t an investment.

Even worse, though, when the government spending is not out of current revenues but is borrowed against future revenues.  When we spend tomorrow’s money today on government we are not only not investing but we are de-investing…because every cent borrowed by the government is a cent which can’t be borrowed by persons and enterprises in the private economy who would use that borrowing to create new or expanded sources of wealth creation.  Whatever benefit you might get from such borrowing will be short lived, at best, and may actually harm the economy because the money borrowed by government is all too often to be wasted by the sundry sorts of graft common to government.

What started in 2008 and continues to this day – masked by a gigantic amount of fake money and government debt – is the logical and easily predicted outcome of a system which has at its bottom fake money and government debt.  I’m only astounded that it has kept going as long as it has.  Shows the power of people to blind themselves to reality – and our short-sightedness.  We listen with amusement to tales of what prices used to be…never thinking for a moment that, hey, the reason prices used to be lower is that our money was worth more and what the heck happened to our money?  It is when we create wealth that we get prosperous – when, that is, we make, mine and grow things.  Nothing else does it.  10,000 law degrees, 100 government departments and bureaus and the next 50 social media sites – not a single bit of wealth being created.  The next time a farmer plants a corn crop?  Wealth created.  The next time a miner digs in the earth?  Wealth created.  The next time someone makes a pair of pliers?  Wealth created.

In order for this wealth creation to happen we mush have three things:

1.  Investment money for wealth-creators to start up or expand their wealth creating enterprises.

2.  Reliable money which holds its value over time so that investors can safely invest for long term wealth creation (fake money, on the other hand, moves investors to protect their wealth by looking for the highest rate of short term gain).

3.  A tax and regulatory system which encourages money to flow in to wealth creating enterprises while laying the burden of proof for new regulations upon those who would impose them (not, as now, simply imposing them and then asking the victims to prove they aren’t necessary).

Investment money will primarily come from paying down government debt.  We’ve got $15 trillion of potential investment money sitting in the form of US government bonds.  Entirely wasted there – we need to balance our budget as swiftly as possible so that each year more and more of the $15 trillion becomes available to the private economy.

Reliable money would best come from returning to the gold standard but people have been so relentlessly propagandized against such currency that it would be a hard sell.  Our best option, for now, is to require Congressional action for increasing the supply of money – whatever we do, don’t leave in the hands of central bankers to go “cntrl-p” whenever their Bankster buddies are in trouble.

As you can easily see, neither of those things can be fixed as long as liberals have any say in the matter, let alone any real efforts to tackle tax and regulatory reform.  Essentially, fixing the problem requires a clean sweep of our liberal Democrats – though even if we did that we’d have no end of trouble from the RINOs.  What needs to be done to fix things, after all, is the gutting of a politico-economic which the current beneficiaries don’t want to let go.  A long, hard war is required – but we take each battle as it comes.  The first one comes on November 6th – then we can start actually fixing our economy and emerging from the Depression.

 

Our Really Lousy Housing Market

From Zero Hedge:

In its schizophrenic manner, the media across the country lamented the housing-starts numbers, which were ugly: 571,000 annualized in August, down 5% from July, down 5.8% from August 2010, and down 75% from its peak of 2.3 million in January 2006. But for the housing market to heal, that number should be near zero for years.

18 million vacant units, that’s the problem. While some people dispute that number, everyone agrees that the inventory of vacant units is huge. Whether it’s 18 million or 12 million doesn’t change the problem. It only changes the duration of the healing process. This is the hangover from the housing bubble when the industry built millions of units for speculators who never had any intention of living there. And now, no one lives there…

Believe it or not, even out here in Las Vegas some new homes continue to be built – and I can’t see why.  To be sure, if someone actually came up to a home builder and specifically ordered a new home built, I could see that.  But we’re actually arguing right now over whether a developer should be able to start a new, high-end housing development near Red Rock canyon (I’m forthrightly opposed…first off, because we don’t need additional housing in the metropolitan Las Vegas area, secondly because I don’t want to see the Red Rock area marred by another round of cookie cutter houses…and if you do come to visit Las Vegas, do head out to Red Rock; you’ll not be disappointed and its not a long drive…you can even go horseback riding out there).  That aside, the article is right – we should be building zero new homes…now and for  many years.  We’re already glutted…and now that the courts have ok’d it, the banks are about to proceed with another very large round of foreclosures.  The problem will get massively worse before it ever gets better.

As for what to do with all the construction workers – my best idea for them is to shift them over to manufacturing, farming and mining…and, of course, whatever related construction will be necessary for an expansion of those industries.  We simply do not need houses…not only are we over-built but we’re running out of people to put in the houses, anyways.  The Boomers are retiring and, if anything, downsizing their housing…the follow-on generations are much smaller.  The idea that housing will be a core component of American wealth creation is over with  – it won’t be, not for another 50 years, and even then only if we throttle the Culture of Death and start having children again. There will always be a need for some home construction, of course…houses do deteriorate over time, but we’ll not need as much home construction as before.  And perhaps our home builders instead of throwing up cracker box houses can work on building houses designed to last a century with no major repairs?  More brick and stone, less drywall and stucco-over-chicken wire?  Housing which uses wind and solar to provide some  of their own electricity?  Houses that dispose of more of their own waste?  Maybe houses with bigger lots and built to make a neighborhood look normal rather than manufactured?  Just a thought…

A complete re-working of our economy will be necessary in order for full recovery to occur.  As I’ve endlessly harped upon – Making, Mining and Growing things.  We can’t live on home construction, auto manufacturing will never be as premier as it once was…and the cool, electronic gadgets are nice (and we should strive to lead the world in this area) but they can’t provide the literal tens of millions of jobs we’re going to need.  Only getting out there in to factories to make our own mundane items – clothes, tools, etc – and mining our own wealth out of the ground and growing not only our own food, but the world’s food will do it.  And in order to get there, we have to re-work our tax and regulatory systems to ensure that those who are willing to make, mine and grow things are left unhindered and, indeed, fostered by government action.  And even then, good people, it will be 20 years before American prosperity returns fully.

But, we can do it, if we want…now, do we want to?