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Belmont Club

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

May 2nd, 2013 - 4:25 am

While the US is focused on its own domestic dramas, Europe as the Economist puts it, “is bleeding out”. Silently, exsanguinating below the fold, but bleeding all the same.

It is a car crash of a data release. One simply can’t look away. Hard to know precisely which part of the euro area’s latest unemployment report is the most grimly compelling. …

Individual country numbers inspire their own brand of horror. Greek joblessness topped 27% in January (the most recent month for which data there are available), while Spanish employment has risen to 26.7%. Joblessness in France rose by slightly more in the year to March than it did in Italy. And did you know that Dutch unemployment rose by 1.4 percentage points over the past year? German unemployment, of course, has held steady at 5.4% since last summer.

It is the youth figures that are most remarkable, however: 59.1% of those under 25 are unemployed in Greece, 55.9% in Spain, 38.4% in Italy, 38.3% in Portugal, 26.5% in France—3.6m youths in all.

Yet that would not appear remarkable to anyone who understands what state-controlled economies really are. Hope and Change economies are crony capitalist systems which pick winners and losers. They maintain the status quo at all costs — and reward those who have captured government over those who innovate. Thus the Reuters headline “Banks saved, but Europe risks ‘losing a generation’” is perfectly comprehensible.

What else would happen but that?

Naturally this plight is explained to the desperate voters as the consequence of the remaining vestiges of capitalism. The growing impoverishment, we are told, is occurring because socialism hasn’t gone far enough.  Only give the government more power and all will be well. And so the low information voters turn out in the streets offering to exchange what little freedom they have left for some low paying jobs and a little welfare.  The poorer they are the more eager they become to trade their last liberties for one more benefits check.

It wasn’t supposed to be that way.

The ability of young people to study and work anywhere in Europe as part of the EU’s single market ideal was also supposed to deliver vastly improved opportunities for all.

But instead, as a result of the banking and debt crisis that has cast a shadow over Europe since 2008, those sunny prospects never materialized for millions of young people.

“Greece, Spain and Italy have perhaps the best educated generations they have ever had in their countries, their parents invested a lot of money in the education of their children, everything they did was right,” said Schulz.

“And now they are ready to work the society says, ‘No place for you’. We are creating a lost generation.

May Day rallies erupted all over Europe with a single resounding message: end “the excesses of reckless capitalism”, put a stop to the abuses of the “laissez-faire parties on the European right” and in their place implement more “tax and spend”. And whatever the shortcomings of that approach, the Left will surely insist on that solution.  They will insist on even more progressives being appointed. And when these numerous icons of the left worsen the plight of the “lost generation” it will still be capitalism’s fault.

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What to do with millions of unemployed young people? Do what has always been done, take in each other’s washing.

In Spain the young can dance and sing
On corners for their suppers
In France the washing is the thing
To keep them off their uppers
In Italy the pizza guys
Deliver to each other
In Greece the young can drink all day
And then go home to mother
It’s all the same, Madrid or Rome
And none can stop the bleeding
And so will be right here at home
Though no one here is heeding

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think you're optimistic about the demise of the Left. They are scholars and experts when it comes to highly organized rhetoric centered around blaming others. Blame is the centerpiece of liberal progressive thought in the 21st century.

One of the latest bizarre theories on the Left gaining ever more prominence until it is a simple fact, is white privilege. This is where an imagined racial culture's failure of values explains the failure of all minorities, who themselves are immune from the same concept of a failure of values, even though they are the ones most engaged in that failure.

It's top-spinning logic from idiots which of course, offers no solution other than that whites stop acting like whites. It's like saying a last place team is in last place because the first place team and to stop it.

That makes sense in a way - if you squint your eyes, take acid, bang your head against a wall, drink catsup for a week straight, fry your hand with beer batter, take a spin in the dryer, stare at the sun and realize that Obama's election is a sure sign of racism.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

As for me, the exorable slide into human irrelevance continues. I seek to sell the last of my computer equipment, the last vestiges of my business while sleeping on my mother’s couch. My mother has late stage Alzheimer’s that has taken over her mind precipitously in the last year. She is on Social Security. I came up to LA from SD to take care of her thinking that it would be easy enough to get a job within a reasonable commute in the great Los Angeles Metropolitan Area.

I have been unemployed no more than 3 weeks in the last 40 years and now have exhausted my claims and have nearly exhausted all hope. I sit here in a Starbucks typing with a tooth ache that has kept me up all night. I have run out of most of the medicine that I need to keep my blood pressure down and my blood from clotting and negatively affecting the stent in my LAD that saved my life 3 years ago. I have been told outright that not having a job makes it nearly impossible to get hired. I am nearing my mid-fifties and I am not prime prospect for new work.

My mother often does not know who I am. I do her laundry and check her mail for her because the management in the apartments where she lives has complained about her and she has fallen a couple of times. They called my brother and told him that she has to go and furthermore, I am not allowed to live there while I take care of her so I live under the veil suspicion and disregard for my plight.

I have gotten desperate enough to apply for food stamps and had to borrow money from my mom’s bank account to send 30 pages to the office in Compton. I was missing a couple of pages so they had me fax some more. I have spent nearly $60.00 and several hours filling out the paperwork and apparently I am not qualified for aid because living on my mother’s couch is considered support. I have not sunk deep enough into despair and I am told that illegal aliens are being Carte Blanched into food stamps by the van load. If I have sounded somewhat bitter in past posts it is because this blog represents the last place where I can voice my concerns for what is happening with this country, from a front seat of the disaster.

My brother has a chiropractic office in San Pedro. He does work for the Long Shore Unions there and it is an open secret that the insurance company for the union stopped making payments to doctors some months ago. My brother has to fight to get his payroll together and if he misses it one of his employees will threaten to inform the Labor Board and if that happens they promise to fine him $10,000 a day. He hasn’t taken home a full paycheck since last summer, is behind on the rent of his humble apartment and is being strong armed by the IRS.I wanted to transfer the few things that I have into his storage locker but alas when I got there it turned out that they were about to auction off his belongings for the want of $308. I would like to stay with him when my mother ends up in the hospital but alas, we are in a race to see who ends up homeless first. The one blessing for me is that summer is coming upon us and it has been almost exactly 10 years since I have spent more than a few days up in the mountains so I have taken my backpack out of storage and am arranging it and stowing food so that I can spend a month or two trying to rediscover truth.

There are those who think my many tirades against illegal immigration is just a matter of poor sportsmanship but the truth is, illegal immigration has destroyed our economy and the safety net that should exist for [people like me who cannot find work for no fault of their own. The benefits that I will never see are being given freely and exclusively to those who were brought here to replace me, to kill me off.

I mean it when I say the government hates me and want me to die. Every statistic a lie, every revised forecast a disappointment, every promise is to ruin me and spread the wealth around to foreign invaders. I am the canary in the coal mine. California is a failed state in a failed nation. I will perish and you will follow on your own lonely journey.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (79)
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There is a conversation every taxpayer should be having with their respective representatives and goes something like this:
"If 'immigration reform,' AKA AMNESTY passes, I willno longer pay my taxes. Why should I? The illegal aliens broke federal law to get here and were excused. Now you want me to pay for the support of millions of poor, unskilled workers during a time of economic crisis, when I can barely support myself? Well since our laws are optional, I willbe opting out of paying income taxes." Cloward-Piven works both ways. Make the federal government investigate, track down, try and incarcerate hundreds of thousands- if not millions - they can't do it. Just make sure your money is buried somewhere safe. Call their bluff.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have been thinking much of late of double edged nature of Cloward Piven, it does indeed cut both ways. The problem is that it will bring the system down. The trick, then, is to be in a position to exploit pieces. I don't have a plan for that, specifically, I don't have the resources for that. With me it will have to be a sort of ad hoc opportunism that seizes, exploits and discards opportunities as they present themselves.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Another race to the bottom. The Left blames the failures on Capitalism, so the march to fascism and the bottom goes unhindered. And another world war or something like that. Avoidable but won't be avoided......depressing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Tremendous post that summarizes the socialist debacle: highly recommended!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Polosis, Priskers, Reid's, etc. don't worry about things like the Obamacare fiasco, unemployment,or anything because they are rich enough to avoid them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My sympathies to all who struggle, especially in these times. But reading through this thread, I can't help but see that so much of the suffering is coming from those stuck in California. California has become a hell, a bottomless pit of despair and mendacity. It doesn't look like it's going to change, any more than Spain or Greece will.

But California isn't a prison. Anyone can leave. Come to Texas! Texas is booming, Texas is a adding as many jobs each year as the other 49 states put together, and that trend is accelerating!! I know it's hard to believe unless you're here, but Texas is a hell of a fun place to be right now. The
leftwing press doesn't talk about it because it makes them look bad to admit that Texas is doing things right, but this is the best place in the world today for someone with drive and the will to stand on their own two feet.

hat tip - draw an arc on the map from San Angelo to Sweetwater. Cline shale, activity already picking up, 10 counties are going to be in full BoomTime mode by 2015. Need to start on the ground floor? That's the place to go, today.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
" And so the low information voters turn out in the streets offering to exchange what little freedom they have left for some low paying jobs and a little welfare. The poorer they are the more eager they become to trade their last liberties for one more benefits check."

You hit the nail on the head. The story of our election of 2012.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Have you seen The Hobbit #1? During the White Council, with Saruman, Gandalf, Galadrial and Elrond, Gandalf presents the case for a Darkness Growing etc.. The Trolls are coming out of their caves; there are more orcs, Greenwood has become Mirkwood, Radagast is concerned, and... he shows a morgul to the Council. Just listen to Saruman: he insists that these are isolated events; the Necromancer is only a human being, and that Radagast is a silly person not worth listening to.
OK: The US government is too close to Saruman for my own comfort.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Not Saruman - even while fallen, he still has far too much dignity and gravitas to be comparable to our government. No, here is what our chumps remind me of constantly:

"nothing to see here"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
maybe in my lifetime we can get the "Fair Tax" implemented...I believe that would eliminate some of the issues with illegal immigrants and their use of social services... I really appreciate your articles/posts/thoughts, plus reading all the comments...I'd like to think of it as that club that Lewis, Orwell, and Tolkien had back in their day...except w/o the stouts. Annoy, you hang in there, the opportunities we need and want never come on our watch, but they will come.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Annoy Mouse,
Years ago I was in a situation much like you find yourself in. Had a very fine friend show me that I did not have to live in the prison that my mind had become. The following poem came from that realization. Hope it helps!

Rocks In the Road

Here I am
Stumbling, when I should be sailing
Crawling, when I should be running
Crying, when I should be laughing

The road ahead, wide open and smooth
The goals, so clear and tempting
The journey so easy, if I just allow it to be


The rocks I throw in my own road
Holding me back, slowing me down
Making difficult the things that should be so easy

The mural that is the rest of my life
Still just a blank, white wall
With ghostly outlines traced in places

A hint of what lies ahead
Waiting for the color and texture
That comes with the living of it.

A blank slate

A white wall

Except for the rocks
Thrown there by myself.


Quit creating my own hurdles
Quit holding myself back!

SEE the picture
LIVE the colors
FEEL the texture

The man inside wants out
Kindness and warmth live here
Music and laughter live here

The mural,
Hidden, but still real
Waiting to be revealed

Hiding behind the rocks
The rocks in the road!

written 2-6-05

Brother Mouse, money comes and goes. Security is just an illusion. Time in the mountains just listening to the silence will probably do you as much good as anything. Just please remember to treat yourself gently! Good things come when you least expect them (and most of the time from people you don't know). Hang in there! Clear The Way!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"...implement more “tax and spend”."

Tax whom? A quarter of their populations are out of work. And business owners operate on a cash basis to the extent possible in order to avoid paying taxes.

I agree with Nigel. If you've got any money in their banks, get it out.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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