Paying Attention

“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” Mark Twain

We can all remember those times in school when we would get distracted, not really paying attention. Paying attention is a vital part of learning and in understanding what is actually going on. It doesn’t always mean what you are being told is true, or in the case of the media even accurate. The most important thing that defines a good education is that you learned how to think for yourself, the skill of critical thinking; if you have that you are capable of arriving at concepts empirically without some robotic acceptance of someone else’s theories; in life, one needs to be a good detective to find what is true, and just as important, what is not.

Having that skill will enable you to come to your own conclusions and having the means to change them when additional facts provide you better information. However, having that skill will not insulate you from those that don’t. When presented with statements that you find wrong and question them, but receive arguments that are irrational or factually wrong, you can still have a civil discourse provided the other party is acting in good faith.  However, if the arguments are based on a claim of expertise, greater good, superior education, virtue or vision, or otherwise dismissive, then the other party is not acting in good faith; it’s not about the merits of their position, but their egos. What you learn from people like that is that they’re narcissistic and can only listen to their own voice, a trait honed by years of experience.

The attitude that the public in general is way too stupid or uneducated to understand what is best for them usually means you’re dealing with partisanship, an elitist attitude, or as often is the case, a politician. When it involves politicians, it is easier to understand the pattern of crises we have had, especially ever since the Presidency of Woodrow Wilson, with wars and economic chaos, much of it self-inflicted wounds; as Congressman Ron Paul once observed “It is no coincidence that the century of total war coincided with the century of central banking.” Throughout history, such leaders are attracted to war as the ultimate ego trip; they all wanted to be a wartime President. There is much truth in Isaac Asimov’s observation that “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”

War is expensive, and financing it through taxation would cause opposition; the easier way is to monetize debt, but to do so would require the tools of central banking. Please see my post entitled “Remember Hyde” of 09/25/20 regarding the creation of the Federal Reserve. This same process that supports the “Warfare State” also serves well for the “Welfare State”. Over the last century we can see the evolution of the US from a nation of production to what Murray Rothbard described: “The State provides a legal, orderly, systematic channel for the predation of private property; it renders certain, secure, and relatively ‘peaceful’ the lifeline of the parasitic caste in society.” Taken together, as is historically the case, the synergy between the “Warfare State” and the “Welfare State” will eventually impoverish a nation with a voracious appetite for its wealth.

Biden ran for President on the proposition that he would heal the polarizing divisiveness and end the chaos that Trump created. He promised to bring bipartisanship back to Congress, but instead has had to manage the divisiveness within his own party created by the personalities and agendas as conflicting as that in the Republican Party. We have Sanders and Manchin as clear examples of the enormous divide among the Democrats as we have Trump and Romney in the Republican Party. This political pandemonium may well result in the fracturing of both major parties, and maybe that’s a good thing given that the Biden administration set out a series of policies requiring the most expansive programs in US history, and at a time when we’re recovering from a pandemic and bringing our economy out of a devastating lockdown; coupled with a crushing debt already exceeding $29T, such policies seemed like the rantings of fools. To be told that this would all be paid for without raising taxes, except of course on those evil rich people, had Americans wondering why they were being treated like idiots; we’ve seen this movie before.

At the same time, the Fed proceeds with a QE so expansive that the one from the Financial Crisis of 2008 appears hawkish by comparison; add to that the UST expanding the currency by 348%, and you have the witches brew for serious inflation. Contrarily, the administration downplays inflation as transitory, a phrase recently abandoned even by the sycophants at the Fed. Senator Warren tells us that inflation is merely businesses price gauging. The President’s staff attempts to set up Senator Manchin as having agreed to the grotesque socialism of the “Build Back Better” plan, which he has repeatedly and publicly stated he doesn’t support. Secretary Buttigieg of Transportation holds a press conference to explain how drastic government spending will result in greater production and not add to an already crushing debt.  Chairman Powell reverses course on monetary accommodation but continues to delay tapering or raising interest rates. President Biden continues rattling sabers in Putin’s and Xi’s face over issues that are neither a territorial nor security concern of the US. Illegal immigration has reached the highest level in US history. The President issues mandates like a king would edicts, ignoring the very constitution he is sworn to uphold; if he really had a good idea, he wouldn’t need a mandate to begin with.

Biden’s approval rating over the last year has declined dramatically, and continues to do so as inflation erodes real wage growth, now down 1.9% from 2020, and inflation 8%, contrary to what the administration predicted, and this despite all the “free” stuff government provided. Any intelligent person knows that there is no such thing as free; someone’s got to pay, and that someone, in some way, shape or form, is the US taxpayer. While we await a new tax bill, where does all that free stuff come from? It comes from the most insidious tax there is, known as inflation. Surprisingly it is a few members of Biden’s own party that thankfully stand in the way of making matters even worse with the passage of “BBB”, but for how long?

The administration’s accounting gimmicks to make the programs appear less costly are so obviously deceptive that even politicians find it hard to disguise or ignore. Regardless, it’s likely that the administration will take a phased approach in the coming years by including various elements of BBB as part of other legislations, a political sleight of hand meant to deflect attention.  This seems to work well as it has been shown that most in Congress fail to even read a bill’s text. Many say that trick has a time limit as the November 2022 midterm elections are likely to cost the Democrats control of the House or Senate, maybe both. Of course, that assumes that Republicans will be better caretakers of our tax money than Democrats; don’t bet on it.

Both parties when in office have shown the ability to use a crisis as an excuse to expand and retain power through financial gimmicks and economic manipulations, and ended up with a nation the poorer for it. While the public responds to polls on approval ratings, including how the president is “managing the economy”, it ignores the essential question as to why we assume that government should be doing so to begin with, especially given the horrific results of that over the last century. The same holds true with foreign policy, which has devolved from a congressional to a presidential power, more often resulting in violence than diplomacy, and usually against the wrong parties, squandering the lives of many and the resources of our nation.

We now have an administration in a similar chaos as before, and at a most dangerous time. The planners have changed, but the plans remain the same, just wrapped in different language in order to deflect or even conceal the truth, what we should call propaganda. What Americans need now more than ever is critical thinking.  We need to understand that due to these failed policies over such a long period of time, the Fed and the UST have painted themselves into a corner; if they end “accommodation” with currency reduction, tapering and/or raising interest rates, we will have a recession, but if they don’t we will have extreme inflation, which will cause a recession. We need to face the reality that there will be pain that we will have to endure due to the policies of those that we have put in positions of power. Before we put them in that position again, think twice – critically.

Author: jvi7350

Politically I am an independent. While I tend to avoid labels, I consider myself a Libertarian. I find our politics to have deteriorated to a current state of ranting tribialism, and a growing disregard for individual rights; based on the axiom that silence is consent, I choose instead to speak out and therefore launched this blog.

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