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Monday, April 29, 2013

The Idiocy of Cutting Spending During a Recession

I've been trying to find a way to convey the idiocy of cutting government spending during a recession. I hope this helps.

First, it's important to understand the effects of a recession. The worst symptom of a recession is a lack of money. Does that mean that the money doesn't exist somewhere? No. It exists, it's just not in circulation, and if it's not in circulation, people can't get it either by earning or borrowing it. If people can't get money, they can't spend money, and since that money that they spend goes into the paychecks of the guy at the gas station, the lady at the grocery store, and the folks who build houses, then they also have no money. Now stretch that example out far enough, covering the thousands of types of jobs, and make it cover the entire country. That's recession; no flowing money.

So, let's use water as our example. Most cities have large tanks either up on big supports looking like some sort of steel monster (or painted to look like a piece of fruit), or set on top of a hill. For the purpose of this demonstration, they're not tanks, they're banks. Imagine that the water those tanks hold isn't water, it's money. Water mains carry water to users the same way that investors invest money in job creators - employers. The smaller pipes represent employers who channel the money to their employees in return for time and effort put in by the employees.

Our water flows like this: Tanks > Water Mains > Smaller Pipes > Users

Our money flows like this: Banks* > Investors* > Employers > Employees
*This order may be reversed and often is.

Here I am at home and one day, I turn on the tap, but nothing comes out. There's water in the tanks. There's water in the mains. There's water in the pipes. But I can't get the water to flow.

This is recession.

The banks have money. Investors have money. The "tanks" are full, there's "water" in the "mains", but the "water" - money - isn't flowing. Why?

Fear. Sometimes fear mixed with greed.

In order for me to cook, bathe, clean, to use for sanitation, and water my garden and flowers, I need water. 
In order for me to eat, pay my mortgage or rent, pay for transportation, afford clothing, pay for the kids' necessities, I need money.

When water doesn't flow, we have a water shortage or drought.
When money doesn't flow, we have a money shortage or recession.

Money isn't flowing.

This is recession.

So, if the problem affecting being able to cook, bathe, clean, use for sanitation, and water my garden is a lack of water, or specifically, since we know there is water in the tank and in the mains, lack of movement of water, I need to get the water moving in order to fix the problem.

If the problem affecting being able to eat, pay my mortgage or rent, pay for transportation, afford clothing, pay for the kids' necessities is a lack of money, or specifically, since we know there is money in the bank and in the investors' pockets, lack of movement of money, I need to get the money flowing in order to fix the problem.

Here's the catch: Government can't make banks lend or investors spend or employers create jobs. Government can only make enough money available to them so that they feel safe enough - because there's an abundance of money - to let the money start flowing again and government does that by making more money available at very low interest rates to banks and investors who can then lend at low, but still profitable, interest rates to consumers - you and me. 

Making enough water available so that the valves are opened on the tanks and mains gets the water flowing to our homes.
Making enough money available so that loans are opened at banks and by investors gets the money flowing to our wallets, and from there back into the system to kickstart the system and make it work again. 

It's like using the shock paddles to resuscitate a person whose heart stops. It takes a bunch of new money - a shock - in the system to jolt it back to life. Only government has that much money, and that's why cutting back on spending during a recession only makes it worse, and never makes it better!

This is recession.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Birds, They Are A-Bairning

I recently had 5 baby  fledge from a coffee-canister nest in the rafters of my barn and watched their parents lead them to the forest behind the house. Now I have a nest of  - they're above the door post so I can't look in to count them but there's at least 3 and I think 4 - on my front stoop and a nest of  in my rose garden with at least 3 eggs. I have  in the privet hedge, the holly tree, the Scotch Pine, and in one of my loquat trees. They never fail to show up and nest. The Wrens usually make a nest on the back porch and my big pig, Spig, watches them curiously. It really is amazing to watch. The Wrens will come down and peck up pieces of her dried-on food right off her lips, nose, and chin. She doesn't move at all when they're feeding. 

I have huge , taupe-colored lizards with bright crimson on the sides of their heads during breeding season, which is now. A few of the big males will get up to a foot and a half long. They eat mice, frogs, toads...and small children. ;) Old people here still call them 'scorpions' and think they have a poisonous bite. They don't, or I'd've been dead as a kid. There were few things that live in the Southeast I haven't been bitten by except poisonous snakes, black widows, or brown recluses. Everything else...pretty much. If it flips, flaps, flops, flutters, farts, or flies, it's sought me out for an educational biting. I could amass a Ph.D. in Bitology.

There are things I miss about living in the city, and that's what having a car with far too much horsepower is all about fixing when I'm feeling the need. But there's so much life here in Podunkia that most people drive right by or shut out of their homes and never see. Then, when it's gone, they'll shrug and move along. But, there will come a day when it's too late to turn back the clock, if that day hasn't come already. I hope it hasn't, and I hope we're smart enough to cherish and protect the things that make our only home - Mother Earth - home. A barren planet has no appeal to me but that I might bring life to it. I love our lush, verdant Mother, but I would share her carefully with others if it would stake a claim for humans on another rock, a backup plan in case ours gets involved in a galactic game of billiards.

Until then, birds are a-birding, bees are a-beeing, and I'm in my own little piece of Paradise.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Why I'm an Atheist

God told me not to believe in him, so I don't.

Who am I to argue? He's G-O-D!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Where Is The Root Of Our American Evil? You Might As Well Ask, "Where's Waldo?"

The problem is far deeper than Congress vs the White House, Democrats vs Republicans, Left vs Right, or Liberal vs Conservative. Those are all labels invented to keep people at each others' throats and away from the people who actually run the world. If you're too absorbed in the fist fight going on in front of you, you'll be too distracted to notice the grand theft going on behind you. Until you get the pettiness out of politics - good luck with that - and get people to stop watching 'Hillbilly Sister Breeding' on TV, you'll never get them to stand united and up to the massive wealth being made by the Central banks, on securities so byzantine as to make derivatives look like crayon drawings, and to the fact that we've all been duped for...centuries.

The scheme is so broad, so well-meshed, and so pervasive that it looks real. And when the few people who pull up the edges and peer under it scream out what they've found, they're merely labeled nuts and it's right back to 'Cajun Wife Beating'.

You can't fix stupid.

So whom do you talk to? Contacting the media is like sending an email to the Vatican about pedophile priests: They already know because they're involved.

I applaud activism and I support activists' efforts, but the mainstream media isn't your friend in this matter, even the NYT.

More in tune with what it takes to turn the worm is someone like Matt Taibbi. You should read his work on His father is Mike Taibbi of NBC News, so journalism is in Matt's blood, but his politics run heavily independent, and that's the only place you'll find any sort of truth; neither of the 2 major parties has any desire to bite the hand that feeds them.

Keep up with Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, too. Bernie is hell on wheels and he's a Democratic Socialist like me. You can always tell the knee-jerk crowd who react to "socialist" without further research. It amuses me greatly.

Change will come only when people realize that the only secure means of communicating is mouth-to-mouth and then only with those whom you know. The internet is like a giant bulletin board, regardless how secure the 'leets think they're being. I could tell you how I know...but then I'd have to kill you.

From Wikipedia under 'Oligarchy': "Political theory - Further information: Iron law of oligarchy
"Robert Michels believed that any political system eventually evolves into an oligarchy. He called this the iron law of oligarchy. According to this school of thought, many modern democracies should be considered as oligarchies. In these systems, actual differences between viable political rivals are small, the oligarchic elite impose strict limits on what constitutes an acceptable and respectable political position, and politicians' careers depend heavily on unelected economic and media elites. Thus the popular phrase: there is only one political party, the incumbent party." (my italics)

Want to be different without falling off the hipster cliff? Be an independent or, hell, become a Democratic Socialist. Want to be a lemming? Do nothing. 

"Believe you can or believe you can't; either way, you're right" - Henry Ford