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

Friday, December 19, 2008

Our Economic Solution - INFLATION!!!

This video from 1933 on the solution to the Great Depression, namely inflation.

I love the condescending tone throughout the video - you're too stupid to understand, so let me speak freely. And the belief that economic activity is controllable through just a few movement of the levers by those in power is just laughable.

My only question - Does Paul Krugman believe this bullsh!t?

H/T to Russell Roberts @ Cafe Hayek who provides this description:

This video from 1933 touts the virtues of inflation for ending the Great Depression. How will that work? When people see prices rising, they'll buy now before the prices go up. That will stimulate aggregate demand and the multiplier will kick in. Really. That's the argument. Along with some bizarre arguments along the way about high prices leading to higher incomes. Watch the video. It's good for some laughs and illustrates how hard it is to keep multiples things in mind at the same time. Thanks to Walter Williams for the pointer.

And if only the screenwriter, producer, and narrator could see into the future, this film would've never been created. As Mark Steyn often points out, only in the US do people refer to this time period as the Great Depression; elsewhere it's simply the depression.

If only they knew that there were 8 more years of economic disaster followed by years of death in World War II.

This is the same logic that saw entire herds of livestock slaughtered by the Fedsand left to decay in their pens. The same logic that saw wheat fields burned to the ground.

This fireside chat by FDR in 1938 only proves the point:
Five years ago we faced a very serious problem of economic and social recovery. For four and a half years that recovery proceeded apace. It is only in the past seven months that it has received a visible setback.

And it is only within the past two months, as we have waited patiently to see whether the forces of business itself would counteract it, that it has become apparent that government itself can no longer safely fail to take aggressive government steps to meet it.

This recession has not returned to us (to) the disasters and suffering of the beginning of 1933. Your money in the bank is safe; farmers are no longer in deep distress and have greater purchasing power; dangers of security speculation have been minimized; national income is almost 50% higher than it was in 1932; and government has an established and accepted responsibility for relief.

But I know that many of you have lost your jobs or have seen your friends or members of your families lose their jobs, and I do not propose that the Government shall pretend not to see these things. I know that the effect of our present difficulties has been uneven; that they have affected some groups and some localities seriously but that they have been scarcely felt in others. But I conceive the first duty of government is to protect the economic welfare of all the people in all sections and in all groups. I said in my Message opening the last session of the Congress that if private enterprise did not provide jobs this spring, government would take up the slack -- that I would not let the people down. We have all learned the lesson that government cannot afford to wait until it has lost the power to act.

Our innate desire to "fix" our problems through government action will doom us.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

For My Nephew Shawn Wilson Who Deploys to Iraq Next Month - We Are Proud of You

Well, we are getting close now, and the Wilson family is acutely aware of the troops this Christmas.

Hug your soldier, pray for him and his comrades.

A Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

" So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

Your Co-Conspirator,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Bailout & The Aristrocracy of Pull

All news these days points to the ever growing Aristocracy of Pull. Read this OpEd in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review by Don Boudreaux. Here's an excerpt, but read the whole thing

Would you buy a new car from this company?
By Donald J. Boudreaux
Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pay attention and you'll be impressed (or, rather, depressed) by how fast baseless claims for government intervention become accepted as monuments of wisdom and of incontrovertible truth.

A current example is the now-conventional wisdom that some "special" quality of GM, Ford and Chrysler make them deserving of a government bailout. That special quality is the fact that cars are long-term investments by consumers -- ones that require warranties, special servicing and parts available only from their original manufacturers.
Chapter 11 will remove the unsustainable debt, thus allowing the Big Three to return not only to efficient but also profitable operations. It will also send a signal that government will not coddle automakers, which will tell the world that these firms must survive by pleasing consumers rather than by genuflecting and pleading in the halls of government power.

A bailout, in contrast, will only sustain the problem, making Detroit's survival ever-more dependent upon the whims and fancies of politics.

Any consumer who doesn't want to buy a car from a shaky company would wisely avoid one living on the dole.

Personally, I can't get away from the simple fact that 2+2 really does equal 4. Some people truly believe that you can make things better by making this or that tweak in the system - always with the predictable result that government power will increase.

And, speaking of unsustainable, does anyone really think that the Federal Government has a sustainable business model?

I wish McCain would've lobbied against the TARP - I have no doubt that he would've increased his chances of winning on November 4th. But we know that McCain was always a Republican who thought that Washington could offer solutions to all of our ills.

It's a shame that we are so fearful of the short-term pain that we are willing to exacerbate the situation and let the wound fester and turn gangrenous.

The Big Three should be allowed to fail.. their current productive assets would be redeployed by people who are more proficient at using them.

As people complain about the level of lobbying, graft, corruption, and money that is involved in politics, I can only respond that it is that way because politics has become even more important to being successful. A free market would not require huge lobbying efforts because consumers - aka The People, aka The Market - would ensure that companies that cannot produce products or services that meet their customers' needs would go out of business.

If you hate corruption, lobbying, and influence peddling, there is an easy answer - reduce the size, scope, & power of government.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler