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Works and Days

How to Weaken an Economy

March 11th, 2013 - 12:16 am

Deficits

I would borrow as much money as possible, to the point of making the word “trillion” synonymous with the old “billion,” and “billion” now not more than a mere “million.” On its coins, a fading Rome pressed bronze over a thin silver core; we have done better with the Fed. Think of all the ways in which deficits are good: they spread the wealth through greater entitlements; they eventually require higher taxes from the wealthy; they usually lead to inflation that erodes wrongly accumulated wealth. For every trillion borrowed, there is a greater likelihood that the deserving will receive more federal largess and the undeserving will have to pay for it — and the country itself will slow down and smell the roses. Is it not far preferable for the government to print money than the cumbersome private sector to create it?

Interest

Zero interest is as important as sky-high interest. Thus, 1% on passbook accounts can be as valuable in stalling the economy as 15%. If there is no gain in stored wealth, why seek to store it? If owing is better than being owed, why work to create capital? A good way to ensure inflation is to ensure zero interest. The many who have no money deserve the use of free money and the few who have it have no need to profit from it. Again, if the state employee’s pension pays out more in annual revenue than the multi-millionaire’s passbook account, is not that a distortion worth institutionalizing? The point would be to guide the retiree into real estate, precious metals, or the stock market, anywhere with real risk to beat his .5% passbook return. Or better yet, do away with the idea of the retiree altogether, as the poor fool keeps working to earn what his savings won’t — thereby providing an added benefit of keeping his would-be younger replacements jobless.

Energy

I would try to find a way to discourage private gas and oil production through more regulation and cancellation of projects like the Keystone pipeline: keep the country paying steep import fees and keep it vulnerable to Persian Gulf oil. New technologies like fracking and horizontal drilling are to be declared de facto synonymous with pollution and destroying the environment. How can energy “skyrocket” or gas reach “European levels” — that alone will ensure a cooler planet or government- and union-run mass transit — if freelancers can find hoards of natural gas on land the government can’t touch? I would also borrow billions to subsidize wind and solar power. The more costly the kilowatt, the more expensive energy might slow down human activity and finally stop the rat race.

Success is Failure

Finally, I would double down. The more higher taxes, class warfare, bigger government, borrowing, zero interest, and political stasis began to slow down the economy, the more I would demand more of them all, and declare that the economy is expanding and growing. Again, the key to fine tuning a properly moribund economy is to stay the course — and learn to redefine failure as success.

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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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