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Works and Days

How to Weaken an Economy

March 11th, 2013 - 12:16 am

Sometimes, sloppy language is critical: jumble together “millionaires” with those worth 1,000 times more, and you earn the force-multiplying evil “millionaires and billionaires.” The word “fair” is critical: as in “pay your fair share.” But “patriotic” is even better, as in “unpatriotic” past presidents who run up debt, and “patriotic” present egalitarians who borrow in four years what used to take eight.

I would also redefine entire professions in negative terms: bankers are “fat cats”; the rich “junket” to Las Vegas; CEOs are “corporate jet owners”; doctors lop off limbs and yank out tonsils to pile up profits. Material wealth alone defines us. Mitt Romney is a man with lots of money, a big house with an elevator, a wife with horses. Who cares what he did with the Olympics or as governor?

I could continue, but you get the picture: the point is to slow down the capitalists by making them look over their shoulders, to hamper the grasping small businesses by prepping a psychological battlefield in which the rich deserve higher taxes and regulations to atone for their sins. If lots of those who once made $400,000 a year no longer do, is that not progress? Did they not at last realize that they had made enough money and that it was no longer the time to profit? My goal would be to convince the pizza-parlor owner that after 12 hours on the job, he was taking away money from his noble customers and had a duty to pay more in taxes and cut his profits for those more noble who could not afford his crust. But there would be one exception: fat cats can buy exemption by loudly supporting the president, serving on his jobs council, or investing in green energy. In other words, send the message that getting rich building a Solyndra is noble in a way Exxon is not. A Warren Buffett or George Soros is not a “billionaire” but a “philanthropist,” whose profits are channeled in the right direction. That’s an important message to send if one wants to warp an economy — suggesting that the rich can pay proper homage and thereby win exemption from being culpably rich.

Everywhere a War

The rich/poor dichotomy is valuable, but perhaps not enough in itself to harm the economy. Political stasis is also critical. Think the blues and greens in the hippodrome, fighting over everything from religion and civil service to class, ethnicity, and sports.  And what better way to seed acrimony and to ensure constant bickering than unleashing a series of domestic wars? The camouflaged assault-weapon killers who hide behind the 2nd Amendment are at war with millions of innocent children. Even female celebrities and lawyers are under attack by misogynists and chauvinists, who won’t pay for their birth control. Latinos are targeted by nativists. The latter even hunt them down at ice-cream parlors. Blacks are back to near slavery as racist conservatives want to put them back in chains. Greens battle nobly against the polluters, gays against the homophobes. Muslims are demonized as terrorists by racists and bigots.

The point would be to introduce so many divisive fault lines that no one can much agree on anything — other than a common enemy. Worry over unemployment, slow or nonexistent growth, and massive debt gives way to more pressing issues like gay marriage and banning semi-automatic assault weapons. Distraction is valuable: who cares that the real unemployment rate is way over 10% if  the Keystone pipeline will destroy the Nebraska aquifer or Jim Crow is back on election day? A “jobless recovery” and the “misery index” can become artifacts of a distant era.

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Top Rated Comments   
How to Weaken an Economy: Elect a community organizer President.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1) Refuse to produce a budget

2)Propagandize the media so you are not held accountable

3)Make a full assault on success, defining it as "giving more, getting less"

4)Crush the job creators, small business and the entrepreneur with inane and unwieldy regulations, fines and assessments

5)Hang out with Hollywood stars and pop culture icons to look cool

And tell them you are doing it for "the middle class". Rinse, repeat...and condition the masses.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Re:Unfairness- Author Shelby Steele has written that in 1964, when the Civil Rights Act was passed by Congress, number of black leaders created a phenomenon called, "White Guilt." That instead of focusing on creating Black Capitalism which would enrich the black community and contribute to the national wealth, the "man" had to be made to "pay for his past discrimination." The result of this type of thinking led to many federal programs that failed and also weakened the fabric of the black family. However, he also points out that white politicians adopted "White Guilt" and used it as a currency to demonstrate their lack of racism and secure votes. This combination of "thinking" spilled over into other "oppressed groups" i.e. Latinos, women, illegal immigrants, gays, etc. and has evolved into the venomous "identity politics" that slows our growth down today by creating animosity. It was a distraction from the real problem in 1964, and remains so today.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (60)
All Comments   (60)
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What would this economy look like without the Feds spending 85 BILLION a month on long term US bonds? Remember, printed money that has no real value.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually, it does. That's why they're printing it.
What you're describing is the hyperinflationary debasement of the currency.
Bing: Financial Repression. Read the scholarly papers on it.
It functions as a Wealth Tax -- to balance the budgets of fiat issuing sovereign governments.
It's a loopy way of collecting taxes -- by devious means.
Spread the news.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Stand-up and fight back; do not give an inch to the Marxist anti-freedom Democrat Party!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Be careful folks. Don't give them any ideas. I think the business cycle is turning, if anemically. However the Eat-the-cake-twice-plus-save-it-too gang could always torpedo the country yet again…
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Our national energy trade deficit is shrinking fast.
Hence jobs and money are staying on shore at a hefty clip.
Buraq has done all that can be done to stop it, but this favorable trend won't slow down.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We are truly in trouble when we let the government create problems that then the government demands money from us to solve. Our messed up health care system being a prime example.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In passing, those of us who (more or less) agree with VDH will note how inept the GOP has been in selling any of this to the electorate. To be blunt, Romney couldn't sell s*** to a toilet, yet there seem to be many on this site who wouldn't change a thing. That's one way to spot those who are part of the problem.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Brazil has to be added to this cocktail of perverse, socialistic type economies.
See, "spending (redistributing a nations wealth) a Nation's way to prosperity" is typically a tyrant's M.O. America's Democratic form of government works (checks and balances). What doesn't work is crony-capitalism and We The Elite People of culture of corruption in Washington DC. Recent historical examples? New York's Tammany Hall, Chicago's "Daly Machine," and America's erosion of electorate's confidence in it's ability to "self-govern!"
Enter a sea change of immigrants, to the USA, from foreign countries (legal or illegal) where nothing in their homelands, is understood about "self governance" and "Rule of Law."
The stage is set for:1) a spreading cancer of indifference, 2)erosion of America's democratic form of governance and3) gerry-mandering of all elections and electoral processes (just like in Central and South America).
Yes, Latin American style democracy is rapidly becoming the new "normal" in all these USA. Soon, America will be just like the rest of Central and South America... socialistic basket cases or permanent "debtor nations."Pray. Amen.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Government- ice on the wings of progress.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Another good one.

Government is also regulating the heck out of everything and different bureaucracies often have conflicting rules. One bureau says that a food preparation area must be cleaned every so often. Another bureaucracy says that that same area must be kept dry at all times. This is how business owners end up a with a long shelf sagging under the weight of a dozen or more books of regulations written in brain killing legalese.

There is a way around that: hire an expensive compliance. However, few small business owners can afford one, even many midsized companies can't, not in this economy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That's right, but the huge mega corporations or large competitors can afford it. That is how you destroy the mom and pops, the middle class.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yeah, have our central bank print money backed by nothing, buy about 85 billion worth of our long term treasuries every month. That should give the appearance of a strong economy.......
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
How to Weaken an Economy: Elect a community organizer President.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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