Is serious left criticism of government’s share of GDP possible? (17)
Continued from here.
No takers, huh?
Well, it is an acquired taste.
Which is to say: while you acquire the means to build holocaust machines, the poor of Haiti sprout a taste for dirt, water, salt and vegetable shortening patiently baked to a crumbly goodness, almost, but not quite, reminiscent of something edible.
A blog we came across had this to say about the flavor:
A reporter sampling a cookie found that it had a smooth consistency and sucked all the moisture out of the mouth as soon as it touched the tongue. For hours, an unpleasant taste of dirt lingered.
However, there is an upside to this earthy diet:
Assessments of the health effects are mixed. Dirt can contain deadly parasites or toxins, but can also strengthen the immunity of fetuses in the womb to certain diseases, said Gerald N. Callahan, an immunology professor at Colorado State University who has studied geophagy, the scientific name for dirt-eating.
Which latter health effect, no doubt, will provide a modicum of relief to us all, when the American system of medical care collapses under the weight of our Full Spectrum Dominance.
Gated communities are very expensive, and, if you did not notice, you are getting closer to the day where you can’t afford to live here any longer.
Somewhat like that mortgage meltdown stuff which seems to be affecting everyone but you – for the moment.
Remember that other victim of the mortgage meltdown, Bear Stearns?
The Wiki does:
On March 14, 2008, JPMorgan Chase, in conjunction with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, provided a 28-day emergency loan to Bear Stearns in order to prevent the potential market crash that would result from Bear Stearns becoming insolvent. Two days later, Bear Stearns signed a merger agreement with JP Morgan Chase in a stock swap worth $2 a share. In addition, the Federal Reserve agreed to issue a non-recourse loan to JP Morgan Chase, thereby assuming the risk of Bear Stearns’s less liquid assets. This sale price represented a staggering loss as its stock had once traded at $172 a share as late as January 2007, and $93 a share as late as February 2008.
One day a major investment bank is worth $172 a share, two months later, it is worth $2 a share.
The average price of an American home in October 2005 was $264,000. Were the housing market to collapse like Bear Stearns, within months that average home price would drop to $3000.
Which, oddly enough, is about equal to the unadjusted median price of a home in 1950 – the year the Truman administration embarked on its spanking new economic policy of Full Employment.
(We are joking here, of course, about the, “oddly enough,” part. Actually, there is nothing odd about it: it was exactly the value we expected, when we went looking for it while writing this chapter.)
Federal Reserve bailouts might work for insignificant minor league players like global investment banks, but, if you imagine they can step in and bail out us home owners…well, we do sincerely hope you have a Plan B.
Even if the Federal Reserve had the capacity to bail us out, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, as we write this, is just now announcing Washington’s intention to permanently “resource” sufficient means to fight Iraq- and Afghanistan-level conflicts, while maintaining its on-going capacity to pursue a Full Spectrum Dominance strategy.
The paper said the Defense Department would respond to China’s expanding military power through “shaping and hedging.”
“This approach tailors investment of substantial, but not infinite, resources, in ways that favor key enduring US strategic advantages,” it said.
“At the same time we will continue to improve and refine our capabilities to respond to China if necessary,” it said.
The paper said Russia was leveraging its oil wealth, asserting claims in the Arctic, and continues “to bully its neighbors, all of which are cause for concern.”
It also pointed to Russia’s resumption of long-range bomber flights, withdrawal from arms control and force reduction treaties, threatened to target countries that host US missile defense bases, and signaled increased reliance on nuclear weapons as a foundation of its security.
“All of these actions suggest a Russia exploring renewed influence, and seeking a greater international role,” it said.
But the paper said the strategic environment the United States faces for the forseeable future “will be defined by a global struggle against a violent extremist ideology that seeks to overturn the international state system.”
Which implies Washington has figured out how to repeal the laws of
- physics, or,
Or, most likely, Washington has firmly decided to sacrifice us all.
As Jeffrey Sachs so emphatically pointed out, to maintain the present level of insanity going under the name, Full Employment, requires a trade surplus, or, failing that, a cataclysmic reduction of the American standard of living.
Just after World War II, when Uncle Sam’s Club opened for business, the policy of Full Employment was possible because the United States enjoyed just such a trade surplus.
In the words of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO):
long before the war, the United States had run an almost unbroken string of trade surpluses—that is, an excess of exports over imports—and the war damaged or destroyed much of the most significant international competition for U.S. industry.
People in Europe needed everything, and, for a relatively steep price, we could provide it.
The least important component of that price was interest on the loans we provided to them to buy goods from us.
The most important component – the gift that keeps on giving, so far – was the adoption by Europe of the dollar as the international currency for trade.
And, that was a good deal for us, since, according to the CBO:
After 1970, however, the almost unbroken string of trade surpluses turned into one of trade deficits, and in the 1980s and 1990s, those deficits grew quite large.
Which, for you, means, the value of everything for which you have worked your entire life – everything for which you have struggled, everything for which you rose from your bed each and every morning of your adult life, everything you had ever hoped to pass on to your children, or enjoy in your retirement – today hinges on the willingness and ability of foreigners to hold US dollars to settle their international trade obligations.
Precisely the same foreign individuals who are the target of our military policy of Full Spectrum Dominance.
(How do you say, “Fucked!“, in Arabic?)
To be continued