THE AGE OF ENTITLEMENT

douchebagsEditorial by Barbara Cornell.

Syndicated from Barbara Cornell’s personal blog.

Suppose you have a friend who who makes $45k a year who owes $50k in credit card debt — not mortgages, not car loans, not loans that build equity, just simple living-beyond-his-means consumer debt — and expects to owe $100k in credit card debt by the end of next year because of things he’s already bought but hasn’t received the bills for yet. Now this friend asks you, «Do you think I should buy season tickets to the Mets or should I install a third swimming pool at my 2nd beach house?»

What do you tell your friend?

The US Congress is that friend.

Our current federal debt ($14 trillion) exceeds our gross domestic product (approx $13 trillion) and the federal debt is expected to double in the next few years*

congressTranslation: The federal government could confiscate 100% of everything everyone in the entire country produces this year and still not pay off what we owe on what we’ve already spent, and we’ve already made agreements to double this problem before we have any opportunity to «counsel» (with our votes) the people in government who are currently in office.

Taxation has no hope of fixing anything (unless you and everybody you know is prepared to work for the next two years without pay to bail out the country). So, discussions of whether we should tax the rich people more or corporations more, or whether we should have tax credits for production or tax credits for working poor are pointless. The time when we had any choice of what we should pay for and what we should not has come and gone. Soon we will not be able to borrow enough to meet basic human needs (clean water, police protection, defense of our national borders, sewage pumped somewhere besides the middle of the streets).

48tGY1It no longer matters which project you believe deserves to be paid for by the US taxpayer.

The Age of Entitlement must end.

That isn’t a political imperative. That is a simple, emotionless statement of fact.

Let me put it another way:

The Age of Entitlement will end.

Whether you believe that it should or not, whether you believe that it ever existed or not, whether you think it’s fair to use the term or not, it will end.

The only choice we have now is whether we can prevent this nation from becoming the next third world.

____________________

*For skeptics: depends on whom you talk to. The White House official budget publicity release says both that the budgets over the next 3 years will incur deficits of over $6 trillion and that they will reduce the debt by $1.1 trillion. I’m not sure whom they think they’re fooling with their double talk. However, estimates that include expected reduction in the amount that social security will contribute to the federal budget place the deficits much higher even than their worst-case admissions.

TDJ SING-ALONG: MAMA ECONOMY — THE ECONOMY EXPLAINED (TAYZONDAY AND LINDSEYSTOMP)

Editorial by Mark I Rasskazov.

This song is part of a series, which I periodically update (when I feel like it), which I call the «TDJ SING-ALONG;» a series of commentaries about songs I find appealing, and which help me illustrate the Transegoist ideology.  Sing along if you know the words!

This particular installment was brought to my attention by PJ Cornell (contributor; writes music reviews on this site), who was made aware of it by one Christopher Sperandio; Transegoist sympathizer and enigmatic New York socialite.  It is a delightful, Barenaked Ladiesesque little tune with some incredibly brilliant, insightful, and densely informative lyrics.

Tay-Zonday-Mama-Economy

TAYZONDAY & LINDSEYSTOMP — MAMA ECONOMY: THE ECONOMY EXPLAINED

Are you confused about the US economy?  Well have no fear!  I’m going to explain the American economy right now:

The dollar: just think of it like a promise from the government;
But the value of the dollar has to be there to be relevant.
The value of the dollar comes from China and Iran (!)
When they put their cash reserves in a U.S. dollar plan;

(Yep!  China and Iran.  How ’bout that?)

They buy treasury bonds from the Federal Reserve.
We say “we owe you extra money ’cause you gave us some of yours.”
And that’s a big part of the National Debt:
All the interest that we haven’t paid to China quite yet;

(Consider: how are we to ever pay off interest on «loans» that are taken out on the US Dollar itself?!  This is a scam.  It’s self-perpetuating debt.)

And a hundred other countries ’cause we’re such a good investment
The whole world gives us money; we say “Hey we’ll pay you interest!”
This is how money is created from air: bank bailouts, federal budgets;
Money isn’t really there!

(We’re suckers — and, ultimately, so is anyone who invests in the dollar.  The banking cartels are scamming the entire world.)

It’s an I.O.U., remember dollars are a promise; when you borrow from a bank,
It’s not from other depositors; the money for your loan gets created on the spot.
Then they put it in your name,
Gamble on your life and body.

(I’m roulette number 23/Red.  You?)

But if you lose your job then you were a bad bet.
(Whoops!)
If a million lose their jobs, then we have a recession
(Hello?)
Here’s the dirty secret: your labor’s too expensive!
(Compared to the Chinese?  You bet!!)
Wall Street wants you spending money but they never want to pay you.
(Redistribution, anyone?!)

In your life cash and credit: they are very different things.
(Usually you use one or the other, I’ve noticed.)
But your credit’s someone else’s cash once it leaves your name.
(I will gladly pay you tomorrow for a hamburger today.)
This is why money is debt, and your debt is good for Wall Street prosperity,
(Gravy, baby!)
And economic growth since the 1970s Is consumers getting credit without wages increasing.
(If you really want to get your mind boggled, look at how much these banks can lend out per dollar in cash reserves.)

So when they talk about the housing crisis they never say we need to lower housing prices;
We need better devices to afford high prices;
(Wait a sec…how did the stock market crash to begin with, again?)
Meaning higher debt — lower interest; ’cause you’re underpaid to begin with.
(Don’t worry; keep borrowing!)
That’s the cycle we’re in; we don’t understand, so all we can do is question:
(One would hope.)

Mama economy make me understand
All the numbers why Daddy’s on a welfare plan?
Turnin’ thirty, forty, fifty — gotta move in with my parents,
And the stocks go up, but the jobs disappear.

Because wages barely grew for 40 years: when you buy stuff,
They delay the cost of ownership
.
You can’t afford it, so they make it to depend
On endless small transactions which is more like renting.  

(What does your life lease for?)

You pay more for printer ink than you do for gold,
(Get refillable cartridges or pay out the @$$.)
And more for bottled water than you do for oil.
(Get a ProPur — it’s better for you than bottled water, anyway.)
Razor blades are made to oxidate, (!)
So you’re forever in debt to them just to shave.
(Whatever happened to straight razors?)

It’s a type of socialism called «market socialism.»
(Calling it like it is!)
The best designed product meets a need and doesn’t last.
(«Best» is a point of view, really.)
We subsidize waste with landfills and holidays like Earth Day,
Teachin’ kids: «recycle please.»

(Oh, the irony.)

Kids won’t learn in school we live one worldview;
(YOU VIL ZINK VAT VE ZAY!)
 Neoliberal economics in all of our politics.
(Neoliberalism!  Like Classical Liberalism, except, um, not at all like Classical Liberalism…It’s new and improved!!)
They don’t ask why corporations are human citizens,
(In point of fact, I don’t remember that coming up in class at all.  Do you?)
Or why grandma pays more taxes ’cause she lacks stock dividends.
(Granny’s gonna have to take one for the team.  And by «team,» I mean Mr. Rockefeller.)

Or why private bankers print the public money, (!!)
Or why democracy is broken: ‘cause their leaders won’t be cutting
Loopholes or subsidies for constituent industries,
(Constituent industries.  Geezus.)
Putting legislative bodies in a deep freeze.
(Fire your congressman; he doesn’t work for you.)

So the Ph.Ds and the G.E.D.s cry with Ayn Rand down at the temp agency,
Sayin’ “We believed in meritocracy, but there’s more to the story – someone answer me!»

Ingenious couple of lines, here at the end.  He invokes Ayn Rand.  If you don’t know who that is, you need to figure it out immediately (click the link attached to the name to get started).  She is the most controversial figure in the history of philosophy, and the controversy has no sign of doing anything other than getting more intense.  The thing is, she has been the most compelling proponent of Free Market Capitalism in the history of the world, clarifying it’s ethical aspects much further than any philosopher before her — and she integrated it into her comprehensive philosophy, called «Objectivism.»

Here’s the thing: her detractors (and many of her more ignorant supporters) associate her with the current US economic system, and commit a genetic fallacy, lumping her ideas with the multitude of injustices built into our economic system, whereas, if you read her book, Capitalism the Unknown Ideal, she, along with some other Objectivist authors (including, at the time, Alan Greenspan — no longer an Objectivist in good standing) more or less jumped up and down with their hair on fire about the dangers of the private fiat system that, she, even then, was able to see would destroy private wealth in America.

Consider the gall of the anti-free market crowd who have helped set up the market-socialist system, and then blame it on Ayn Rand when things go sour.  Incredible.

Ayn Rand crying at the Temp Agency.  Simply brilliant.

Wake up and understand that you are living in a system designed to destroy your wealth so that you become dependent on the government.

FASCIST!!

People are very quick to throw this word around.

It really amounts to an ad hominem attack.  It is seen as inherently pejorative; and perhaps rightly so, and it is frequently thrown around quickly and (as in my case) inaccurately.

http://forums.philosophyforums.com/threads/introducing-transegoism-59732.html

This same guy later deleted one of my posts, which had been both polite and on subject in a different thread.

Retaliation much?

LEONARD PEIKOFF WEIGHS IN ON GUN CONTROL

lossy-page1-225px-Leonard_Peikoff.tiffArticle by Mark I Rasskazov, Editor in Chief.

Leonard Peikoff, long recognized as the intellectual heir to Ayn Rand, and arguably the premier voice of Objectivism in the modern world has officially weighed in on gun control legislation.  On 11 February 2013, he released a Podcast (Episode 255 of the «Peikoff» Podcast) which contains statements which strongly indict the gun control movement.

«It is ludicrously irrational to blame guns for this tragedy (Sandy Hook Massacre).  And I have to say, that on this point the Conservatives have overwhelmingly excellent arguments.»

«If the government bans it (guns), then all that happens is that the criminals get to have a monopoly on selling it and owning it.»

Perhaps the best quote:

«I think that there is a definite motive involved in a push for gun control; that it is not just like drug control or prohibition — I think it’s purposeful: to disarm the country, the result of which would be the futility of any attempt to create another American Revolution.»

Mr. Peikoff, it’s good to have you on board with the anti-gun-control movement.  I think your sentiment is right on target.  Your statements on this matter are incisive and succinct, and agreeable to this writer.

Long live the Republic.

MONEY-POWER

Money and power are inherently related.  This is common knowledge.  What is not common knowledge is the reason why this is the case.  And the reason this is the case is quite simple.

Power is the ability to exert influence over how others choose to expend their time, effort, and resources.

Money is an accepted, demarcated representation of time, effort, and resources.

Ergo, money and power relate to one another on a directly proportional basis.  An amount of money is a strong indicator of power, as well as being a source for the same.

An indicator: because, under normal circumstances, money is acquired by being able to constructively guide (or influence) human action.

A source: because it amounts to a direct means of accomplishing the same.

An insidious implication: when money stolen (or redistributed, which amounts to the same thing; subject of a future post), what is actually occuring is not merely theft, but also enslavement; because you are taking by force that which legitimately represents the time, effort, and resources of other people.

Contrast this to trade, which amounts to an agreement of equivalency; i.e., an agreement that a certain amount of time and effort on the part of one party, is equivalent in value to a different amount of time and effort on the part of another.

Tangential conclusion: people say that Capitalism is injust, and distributes income inequitably.

The former is not true; because the system in its strict sense, allows only for such economic relationships which each party (legitimately) in question is willing to voluntarilly agree to.

The latter is a partial truth: not everyone is «equal» in a capitalist system.  This is, for the most part, a function of the fact that not all people are equal.  Some are smarter.  Some are harder working.  Some have unique talents.  Some people seem to think this is unfair.  Such an attitude is not merely petty and resentful, but also counterconstructive.  These people should be thankful that these people are so much smarter, hard-working, talented, and wealthy than them, because this enables them to create a world that is much more pleasant to live in for everyone; they are able to do this because they understand how to allocate themselves and their resources.  If the socialists had their way, these people would be severely handicapped and we’d all suffer for it.

Caveat to the tangential conclusion: we do not live in a Capitalist society.  We live in a Fascist society.  If you do not understand the distinction (and many do not), then don’t worry; I will clarify it in a future post.