ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Friday, October 10, 2008

Crunchin' the Credit and Losing the Election

Brian points me to this post over at the Belmont Club. Read the whole thing:

Adding resources to a disaster is like reinforcing failure on the battlefield. It doesn’t help. That’s why “during World War 1, the more troops the generals fed into the machine guns the less confident the home publics were of victory.” Adding resources to a broken system only meant you killed more people. Things have to be done differently to make any headway. We’re not going to do that because we already know what we’re doing, right? In a few weeks, if the polls are to be believed, we are going to entrust the safety of everything to a new administration which believes the government knows best. Expect more “epistemic arrogance”, not less.

There was a time when people explicitly understood their ignorance. And they defended against uncertainty by relying on simpler, less interdependent systems for survival. In case snow blocked the roads they had hams, canned goods, dried beans and sacks of flour in the storeroom. In the event 911 didn’t answer they had a shotgun in back. Family was the insurance against unforeseen crisis. Nation was the refuge against enemies. Culture provided a standard operating procedure which everyone was expected to know.

We have abolished much of that because in our foolish pride, it became an article of faith that we no longer needed them. Canned food is now shunned for the preservatives that it contains. Bacon is bad because it has salt. Allah forbid that there’s a gun in the house. And who could be less ‘with it’ than a woman with five children and a husband who drives a snowmobile. Sarah Palin is hated by sophisticates because she is almost a cliched example of this kind of simplicity. Ha ha ha. Today really cool people live in big cities, dependent on power grids, power circles and power lunches. They imagine there’s no heaven, no countries, nothing to kill or die for and no religion too. Today the truly cultured person is expected to know nothing of his own culture and smattering of everyone else’s. Because they’re certain in their epistemological arrogance they’ll never need any of the things they’ve safely abandoned. Who needs a family when you’ve got a retirement fund?

Back in March of this year, I wrote a post called "It's the Economy stupid," in which I predicted that the nomination of McCain was disastrous for the GOP - and for the country, since the most inexperienced and most radical presidential nominee in history would likely win the Presidency and bring about the end of our free market economy. Since I think this analysis was spot-on (which is rare for me), I've excerpted here in full:
Monday, March 17, 2008
It's the Economy, Stupid

One of the reasons that I supported Romney in the primary process was the fact that he would provide a level of experience with economic matters that the other contenders couldn't. And McCain's strength, his support for the War On Terror and the Surge in particular, would not be an asset if the Surge continues to go well or if the Surge starts to unravel.

McCain's positioned to successfully fight a Presidential campaign in 2006, not 2008.

Hopefully McCain knows this and will bring some economic gravitasTM to the ticket and his team. Why? Well, if the Democrats end up winning the White House and continue to hold the Congress, it won't just spell doom for our country in the War On Terror - it'll likely result in the end of American dominance in the global economy.

Or, as James Lileks puts it:
Speaking as an utter amateur, I’m worried less about a recession than inflation. I’m worried most about a recession, inflation AND a jolly round of trade wars, coupled with fragile banks, overcapacity, diminished consumer confidence and aggressive messianic collectivism. Something about that smells familiar. I love studying the thirties and forties, but not first hand.

Over the weekend, I watched Bush talk about how cattleman and other livestock producers were complaining about the rising costs of feed and how corn-based ethanol may not be the right solution.

My immediate reaction was - Why the @#$% did you sign a bill which inserted the federal government into picking which energy solution would prevail?

With the dollar in a death spiral (ready for another 100 basis point cut, MontereyJohn?), a Soviet-style 5 year plan in corn-based ethanol, increasing demand for commodities from the developing world, increasing demand to treat CO2 as a pollutant, an uncompromising desire to regulate everything from finance to health care to food to transportation, an absolutely idiotic head-in-the-sand approach to the impending Medicare & Soshsecurity failure, an increasing anti-free market rhetoric from the socialist Democrats, and an uncompromising desire by the socialists to increase taxes on individuals and businesses, it's unlikely that we'll be able to stop the decline.

As the situation worsens, expect the siren song of the socialists and communists to attract more adherents....

Perhaps I'm being fatalistic (and breathless) - perhaps were not seeing a return of the 30s and 40s, and "merely" a replay of the Carter years. Or perhaps everything will be sorted out in a few months.

But, the tide is not moving in the right direction to provide me any solace. Perhaps Texas could secede?

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

The ridiculous assertion that the Democrats are better with the economy is infuriating to me. If Obama is elected and follows through on his idiotic campaign promises (whatever they may be today), the country's economic woes will only worsen. (BTW, one benefit of Obama's election may be to restore the Democratic party to its rightful place of economic idiocy, as demonstrated by the Carter years. However, do we really want to kill the patient to prove this point?)

Which brings me to the following YouTube video... Happy Friday, everyone!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler