The insanity of austerity during depression

Learn to identify the enemy

Learn to identify the enemy

Experienced investors understand that government austerity leads to economic contraction. They also know the opposite is true, that government spending is an economic stimulus. It is the main source of our research and development, the financier of “unprofitable” projects that benefit everyone in a small degree, none to a large one. Taxes are necessary to pay for these affairs. Money creation, as the Federal Reserve can do, will collapse the house of cards if it is our only source of funding. But when the economy is shrinking, the public and private government (the Fed), must step in and fuel the fire.

This is known. Why then austerity in the face of contraction? Is it stupidity?

The “libertarian” Randian side of our political dialogue is stupid enough to think that government spending drains resources. Were there no Ayn Rand or Rand Paul, one would have to be invented. Randianism is a servant philosophy to the oligarchy. But those who feed at the government trough while preaching libertarian values know better. They cannot be that stupid. Can they?

Learn to trust your friend

Learn to trust your friend

If it is understood that government must prime the pump, and those who understand this are fighting pump priming, then I think it can be reasonably asserted that they are merely fighting certain types of pump priming. Military procurement and war spending have not abated. The “Fed has pumped trillions in new money into the large bank coffers. What is being subjected to austerity are things like our service bureaus, themselves wealth preservation agencies. These are our BLM, ONRR, National Parks and Forest offices. Human services are natural targets for austerity. Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, public health programs are “draining” resources. Social Security, strong and vibrant, is portrayed as a limping beggar.

The purpose of austerity is to assure that our wealth creation not be harvested not by ordinary people, but rather by investors, rentiers, war hawks, rent seekers, military manufacturers … tautology, tautology. It is then used to increase the wealth and reach of these classes. It is also used to take control of the resources and labor of foreign countries. We build new bases, create massive new emerald cities euphemistically called “embassies,” and funnel countless trillions (to date) into military hardware, all for the benefit or our owners. Our unemployed, or surplus workers, are enlisted to this cause. Since the oligarchy lives in fear of popular uprisings, government watches the people, the enemy within. (Those who imagine that government is by nature inefficient had better hope so.)

So while it is understood that we are in a depression, the economic policy or the Obama Administration (or “McCain” or “Romney” – get real) is merely opportunistic clamping down on use of government as a tool to serve the needs of ordinary people. Oligarchy demands no less.

The deficit and “national debt” could be eliminated tonight and no one of ordinary means would suffer. These thought control devices operate to temper the demands of regular people who insist their government serve their needs. We “can’t afford” Medicare! We can’t afford food stamps, Medicaid, national health care, infrastructure, employment opportunities, basic public education, and public education at higher levels based on merit. The things that we spend our money on that we don’t need, things that are extremely destructive to health, wealth and happiness – we don’t talk about those things. They are funded in the extreme by regular taxes, by deficits, by the Fed.*

There is no utopia. We cannot afford everything, and should not get everything we want. We need to work for our own benefit. Free money fosters the worst human qualities, as any trust baby will evidence. Almost everyone I know, potheads aside, takes satisfaction in productive labor. (Self-employment is the highest freedom we can attain.) We can easily afford health care, secure retirement, education at all levels, paid vacations, unemployment benefits, roads and bridges, monuments, and preservation of the commons. None of these are harmful, nor do they hamper our amazing wealth generating machine. But our wealth is being diverted to other purposes. In the propaganda system, everything listed here is a “burden” and adds to the “deficit.”

War spending, on the other hand is a necessity, is not even discussed in the mainstream in any other sense than “national defense.” It is many things, but it is not that. It not only serves to bring down other civilization centers, but also to keep us in indentured servitude to our owning classes.
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*Senator Elizabeth Warren, misunderstanding Frederick Douglass to say that “power concedes nothing without a polite request”, modestly suggested that we use the Federal Reserve to finance student loans at .75% interest. Power said no. Power demands that students finance their own education, utterly absurd as the notion is.
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PS: Can’t write for shit this morning. Some days my head is merely leaking effluence. On a regular day I can write 2,000 words. On a really good day, I can write 200.

About Mark Tokarski

Mostly retired CPA living the life here in Colorado. Formerly Montana, 59 years, which is why so much of this blog is devoted to Montana issues.
This entry was posted in Economics, Free markets, Thought control. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The insanity of austerity during depression

  1. steve kelly says:

    Libertarian socialism, or left-libertarianism is libertarian socialism in the anti-state tradition. Noam Chomsky has before identified himself as “left-libertarian.” This is a far cry from the common, almost exclusive (“conservative”) 21st-Century characterization. Perhaps the word libertarian has been rendered meaningless — similar to words like like “green,” “conservative,” “liberal,” or now “progressive.” With the advent of moveon.org and other demonically-clever “progressive” franchisees operating as wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Democratic Party a fake is hard to spot. Media’s endless power to pollute has created a permanent Orwellian state.

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    • Tomato Guy says:

      I tend to identify libertarianism with Randianism, obviously an oversimplification. Let’s not forget, however, that it was stupid libertarians who re-upped Jon Tester for six years. They are easily manipulated.

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  2. Big Johansson says:

    “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s”.

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  3. rightsaidfred says:

    Since the oligarchy lives in fear of popular uprisings, government watches the people, the enemy within.

    I would add that the oligarchy is rapidly importing a new people to aid in this quest. Nothing like lots of scab labor via illegals and the H class visas to aid in tamping down the ambitions of the middle class.

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    • Tomato Guy says:

      I think if you go deep enough into this, you’ll understand as I have come to understand (slowly!) that there are no country boundaries. The objective of NAFTA and all of the free trade agreements among unequal nations is to reduce living standards in the richer countries to those in the poorer ones.

      Free trade, Germany/US, yes! US/Mexico? No!

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    • rightsaidfred says:

      …and the oligarchs are vacuuming up the difference as our wages fall.

      So what to do? Wait for someone to lead us out of this wilderness into the promised land? The world can stay cruel longer than we can maintain hope.

      We need to band together with like minded people and carve out an area where we can practice mutual support and community beneficence. But we need to select the residents, and then guard the border. There seems to be a shortage of people today who can say “no” in such situations.

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  4. steve kelly says:

    You’re getting warmer. http://www.epi.org/publication/briefingpapers_sept01inequality/ Global capital is largely unregulated and difficult to trace. Finally, a real job for NSA.

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  5. Steve T. says:

    As to your last point, a preacher once said, “I do try to keep my sermons short, but once I start I’m too lazy to stop.” (Adapted from Day-Lewis’s Lincoln)

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  6. Big Johansson says:

    We interrupt this comment thread to bring you breaking news.

    Liz Cheney running for WY senator seat.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2013/07/08/coming-soon-senator-cheney/

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  7. rightsaidfred says:

    Experienced investors understand that government austerity leads to economic contraction. They also know the opposite is true, that government spending is an economic stimulus.

    Under certain conditions. But with all things in the public sphere, this gets believed everywhere all the time, until the electro-ejaculator has been held in the hole on high for so long that the mark is out of juice and everyone wonders what happened to all the cool loads of stuff. Never before has so much been spent on so many for so little result. The patient needs to rest and recharge once in a while.

    It is the main source of our research and development, the financier of “unprofitable” projects that benefit everyone in a small degree, none to a large one. Taxes are necessary to pay for these affairs.

    This is too much of an excuse to waste money “for the children”. You dislike having investors around asking you what they are getting for their money, but it doesn’t hurt to occasionally make more money than we spend.

    Why then austerity in the face of contraction?

    Oh, I can think of a few reasons. Often what is called a contraction is cancelling of projects that would have been big money pits. Reality intrudes, sometimes.

    Randianism is a servant philosophy to the oligarchy.

    Not really.

    they are merely fighting certain types of pump priming…What is being subjected to austerity are things like our service bureaus, themselves wealth preservation agencies. These are our BLM, ONRR, National Parks and Forest offices.

    I’m not sure these groups are adding anything more than the military spending you decry.

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  8. rightsaidfred says:

    The deficit and “national debt” could be eliminated tonight and no one of ordinary means would suffer.

    Problematic. Much of our spending (and thus debt) has gone to social programs and spending on people of ordinary means. What is the military but one big social program, really. What feeds the oligarchy is the WalMartization of gov’t spending, where instead of an ambitious, energetic, and innovative upstart getting the contract for Obamaphones, it goes to Carlos Slim, who is established and wired in to the Cathedral.

    …insist their government serve their needs. We “can’t afford” Medicare! We can’t afford food stamps, Medicaid, national health care, infrastructure, employment opportunities, basic public education, and public education at higher levels based on merit.

    We spend quite a lot on that now, more than the programs you decry. If we shifted most military spending to those programs, we still become Greece on the current course.

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