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Works and Days

Questions Rarely Asked—and Never Answered

October 28th, 2013 - 7:27 pm

Zero Interest and Debt

Can anyone recall in our recent memories a period in which the Federal Reserve essentially ended real interest rates (almost non-existent interest that does not match the rate of low inflation)? We understand the logic behind quantitative easing, given that only with about 2% interest on federal obligations can the government service the huge $17 trillion debt (our service costs on the debt are actually less than during the 1990s in inflation-adjusted dollars when the debt was a third of the present amount). Is the theory that the deserving poor who are debtors should pay their undeserving rich creditors very little?

But how does that work out in fact? Debtors are paying high interest, from 7-8% on many student loans to 15-20% on credit cards — especially those who cannot take advantage of cheaper mortgage loans. Yet why save, when passbook accounts pay about 1% or less? Are you to turn to the stock market with your $1,000 and risk another 2008? Or dabble in real estate and ditto the same?

Would it be better to have worked 30 years at the DMV and be receiving a California state pension, or to have owned a small business and scrimped to have put away $3 million in savings? In terms of monthly income, perhaps the state pension is preferable.

Cool Non-Liability

In our “sue anyone” America, we are told that companies are responsible, even indirectly, for the unintended but pernicious effects of their products. We not only sue tobacco companies for the bad lungs of the smoker, who on his own free will plays poker with cancer, but also the fast food outlet whose coffee when spilled burns inattentive buyers. By that litigious standard, why are there no suits against Apple for its iPhone — an insidious device far more addictive than opiates, an impairment to driving far more deleterious than two martinis, and at a monthly cost as disruptive to household finances as habitual visits to the casino?

In the last week, on five occasions I have dodged two swerving semi-trucks on State #99, a motorist who made a rolling stop into a pedestrian walkway and almost hit my bicycle, and two drivers going no more than 40 mph in the fast left freeway lane. The common denominator? They were all texting on their phones. According to liberal legal minds, isn’t Silicon Valley guilty of hawking one of the most dangerous consumer items of the last fifty years?

Uncivil Liberties

How did Barack Obama become the most anti-civil liberties president in history — to almost complete silence? Well aside from the fact that Obama embraced, or more often expanded, all the Bush-Cheney anti-terrorism protocols (e.g., preventative detention, Guantanamo, renditions, the Patriot Act, etc.), he has droned ten times more suspects than did Bush.

Do we remember Obama’s own reference to Bush’s occasional use of bombing and predators in Afghanistan, when he called for more ground troops so that the U.S. had “enough troops that we’re not just air raiding villages and killing civilians which is causing enormous problems there”?

When was the last time a president got caught tapping the private phones of French elites, a German chancellor, or a Brazilian head of state? When has an Associated Press reporter found his communications monitored? Has any president since Richard Nixon been accused of politicizing the IRS to go after supposedly partisan enemies? What might have been the media response had George Bush monitored the communications of our key allies? Never in recent U.S. history has a president so impaired the concept of civil liberties — and to the complete silence of the media that proclaims itself the very champion of the First Amendment.

In sum, we have become so inured to recent distortions in reality, that we assume aberration is the new normal — or we are too busy texting to care.

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Top Rated Comments   
That's what is really scary about this: just how many people don't care. Liberals who used to talk in big words about their principles. But now they've seen every stated principle violated by the current administration, yet they still stand firmly by his side. You realize that shallow people really do worship people instead of principles. The danger is that these same people will blindly do whatever their leader asks of them.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
And so our Republic dies the death of a thousand cuts. VDH doesn't even bring up the War Against Religion;ie. the Catholic Church, or his War on the 2ND Amendment, or Gun Running and an AG in contempt of Congress and a specious claim of executive privaledge[sp]. The direct abrogation of laws he is bound by the Constitution "To Uphold and Defend". No the est.wing of the Republican Party isn't just held captive to the "Low Bigotry of Soft Socialism", they are active effin participants. Why not when 5/8 of the wealthiest counties border D.C., the wheels of the clown car are well greased; with OUR BLOOD, OUR SWEAT, and the DEATH OF OUR DREAMS FOR OUR CHILDREN
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
The question not being asked is why the USA should choose millions of Mexicans instead of the millions of Asians (and its subcontinents) with educations, desires for freedom, and a willingness to work. It seems to come down to votes.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (74)
All Comments   (74)
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I have gotten so tired of this bozo that evil thoughts came to my mind. However, wishing to avoid any difficulties with my felonious thoughts I just decided to invent a time machine and go back to Kenya and deal with the "problem" there.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
THEY BECOME LIKE THAT WHICH THEY BEHOLD...YET AMAZING IN POWER & STRENGTH,OR: HOWLING IN DREAD & PAIN (William Blake).
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH (for the Fascist Oligarchs; ORWELL). Today's IGNOROCRACY~The culture of moronic idiots: distracted with DISTRACTION by DISTRACTION (T.S.Eliot) to become Men & Women without Chests(C.S. Lewis).
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dr. Hanson, you know why no asks basic questions about human nature anymore. It's because our youth has been indoctrinated with falsehood after falsehood about human nature.

People today think Homer is a buffoonish cartoon dad on TV, that Caesar makes pizza (or is a kind of salad), and Cicero is a gangster on "Goodfellas." They haven't even heard of Aristophanes, Xenophon, or Herodotus. Remember what Al Sharpton had to say about Greek history? QED.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is a fine article, BUT...
what is it about Detroit, Italy, or Greece that we do not understand?
Well, at least half the electorate can't find them on the map. Not the answer you wanted, Mr H, is it? -- especially since it leads away from the majesty of fully parsed deponent verbs in Ciceronian latin.

Here in the real world, we see epic levels of ignorance as an argument for the use of blunt instruments. If you pound someone's skull hard enough, eventually you'll get through (federal and state troughers aside).
Otherwise, however earnest the analysis, the barbarians will overwhelm civilization.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
DETROIT IS OBAMAVILLE

By transforming America into "A More Perfect Union" Barack Obama means "A More Perfect Dependency Union" of ever increasing poverty and social pathologies-the terrible hell that good intentions bring. The growth of state power and control at the cost of human dignity, productivity and economic freedom means the Detroiting of America....with more citizens taking benefits, freebees and handouts from government (in an unchecked entitlement state) than are paying in taxes. The same big government mentality that ruined Detroit in the names of fairness, equality, shared prosperity, and social justice (with high taxation, fat pensions and redistribution of wealth) is fanatically alive in the White House blindly bent on staying the course to nationalizing Detroit hoping for a different outcome. As the third worlding and bankrupting of Detroit foreshadows what Obama and the Dems are doing to America it's not wrong or improper to say that DETROIT IS OBAMAVILLE....or that we're headed toward Greece and blood in the streets.

www.apollopeaks.com
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Danish Woman Has Been
on WELFARE for 20 YEARS,
Since She Was a Teen

http://no-pasaran.blogspot.com/2013/10/36-year-old-dane-on-welfare-since-she.html

36-Year-Old Dane on Welfare Since She Was 16:
the "Danish model of government is close to a religion"

…/… It turns out that "life on welfare was not
so hard" as leftist politicians made it out to be.
"The 36-year-old single mother, given the pseudonym “Carina”
in the news media, had more money to spend
than many of the country’s full-time workers. " …/…
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Per the latest Rasmussen poll, 42% of voters feel that Obama's viewpoints are very close to their own.
Strangely enough, another 42% said the same about the Tea Party, with the remaining 16% undecided.
This strikes me as rather horrible news. Even after the catastrophe of these last 5 years, 42% of the voting public 'relates' to Obama. For so many people to still be supporters of such a colossally incompetent president is beyond my understanding.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
That actually may be good news. Obama is a genius at saying things a lot of people agree with and has, partly because of the press and partly because of his personality, the ability to get away with doing all manner of things - even criminal things. He claims he didn't know about 'it' until he read it in the paper and it actually flies. But people can seem to see the consequences of his actions clearly enough and react with common sense. So they agree with the Tea Party too.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bread and circus all over again. Our bellies are full and our minds are fully distracted. Religion, the opiate of the people? Not so. Sports and entertainment are the true opiates. Additionally, Paul declares in his letter to the Romans that "There is no authority except from God..." and in the book of Daniel, "That all may know that the Most High rules over the nations of men and appoints over them whomsoever He wills, the basest of men." Why the basest of men? Because those over whom they rule have become the basest of men. Until we return to God, in whom we once trusted, we can continue to expect nothing better than what we now have.
I like your columns.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Our country has a national case of Alzheimers disease. Obama could win a third term easily, even with 50% unemployment, Iranian nuclear weapons, and loss of Texas and California to Mexico.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, there is a non-trivial possibility that he WILL "win a third term easily".

Subotai Bahadur
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Getting tired of hearing this. Note 20th Amendment to Constitution. Obama's last term ends 20 Jan 2017, period. Short of another amendment ratified by 34 states, any further attempt to act as President would be, by definition, treason.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
BHO will attempt to lull his ignorant lackeys into EXECUTIVE ORDERING the Constitution into oblivion/extinction... Remember a recent survey of the California intelligentsia discovered that many of the relic surfer-boys- and- girls Polity thought the American War for Independence was fought against China and that they did not know which Party Obama hailed (heiled?) from...
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can this happen here?
Yes, but only to the middle class children. The children of the Washington DC elites, no.

39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
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