March 3, 2013

Austerity And Infinite Amounts Of Money

Readers suggested a topic on the political economy. “Now that Wall Street has shrugged off the sequester as a non-event, and Obama has dialed back the fearmongering rhetoric related to the impact of the sequester, will Obama accept the Republican offer that would allow him to reapportion the cuts as he sees fit, rather than continue to let the cuts continue on a pretty indiscriminate basis?”

“Other than playing politics at the expense of the more deserving programs (and to the benefit of the less deserving programs), what would be his basis for NOT accepting the offer?”

One said, “While I don’t wish this coming denouement on anyone, there’s a part of me that thinks it’s high time America, the country, gets a taste of its own medicine. The United States of America has been inflicting itself on the rest of the planet throughout my entire lifetime, always justifying its uncivilized activities as ‘promoting liberty and freedom’ or ‘making the world safe for democracy’ or some such vague sloganeering to cover its rapacious greed.”

“It has derided the voices of conscience as ‘commies’, ‘peaceniks’, and most recently, ‘liberals’ (as if that were somehow a bad thing), and branded those of us with the temerity to call out our government’s thirty-year economic war on the middle class as ‘unpatriotic’. All while ignoring the philosophical inconsistencies of their professed ideology courtesy of a feckless (if not criminally complicit) mass media.”

“I gave up playing Cassandra decades ago when I realized where Reaganomics was taking us, but there is truly no excuse for the excess wrought by the turn-of-the-millennial cronyism and war-mongering that ruined our nation and looted our treasury while everyone was distracted by rhetoric and ‘reality’ circuses.”

“I tell people who ‘want their country back’, ‘You wanted your war of revenge, you wanted your cheap crap from China, you wanted quick riches and easy credit. You got it. Now you get to pay for it. Not ‘the government’ and not ’someday’. You. Now.’ Welcome to the new austerity.”

A reply, “I’ve been telling everyone since 1980 that handing over half the US auto market to the Japanese, Germans and Koreans free of charge was going to have some very bad consequences. Forget the UAW. I’m talking about all of the engineering, sub contractors, and supplier jobs that have disappeared. Their disappearance has led to higher costs in other industries, like aviation.”

“BMW essentially filled the market spot formerly occupied by Pontiac, Audi and Lexus the spot of Oldsmobile. Part of this was the Big 3s fault. Part of it was currency manipulation. And part of it was a decision by Wall Street and Washington to sacrifice US manufacturing workers to support development of our ‘allies’ (first, then later ‘adversaries’ like the PRC) for geopolitical reasons.”

“Remember ‘offsets’ back in the 70s? When our ‘allies’ demanded that a share of the manufacturing and intellectual property (usually paid for by US taxpayers, either directly by government contracts, or indirectly, by tax deductions/tax breaks to corporations), in exchange for orders?”

One had this, “There is that word ‘austerity’. I’m familiar with frugality. I’m familiar with dearth, lack, shortage, coffee is for closers. But austerity? I think in Govspeak that ‘austerity’ means some nation has to start paying back debts, or at least slow their rate of borrowing, or at very least slow the rate of increase of their borrowing. As long as the Fed is the global lender of last resort, there will be no austerity here. Like we are going to pay our debts?”

And finally, “Did Bloomberg really say this recently? ‘It’s not like your household,’ said Mayor Michael Bloomberg, during his regular Friday appearance on John Gambling’s radio show. ‘In your household, people always say, ‘Oh, well, you can’t spend money you don’t have.’ That is true for your household. Because nobody’s gonna loan you an infinite amount of money. When it comes to the United States federal government, people do seem to be willing to lend us an infinite amount of money.’”

“‘It may not be good policy, but America can get away with it for a long time,’ he went on. ‘And our debt is so big and so many people own it, that it’s preposterous to think that they would stop selling us more.’”

Bits Bucket for March 3, 2013

Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here.