The Great Depression, Redux …

Soup Kitchens Then; Food Stamps Now

Soup Kitchens Then; Food Stamps Now

For every long-running show, there finally comes a time when the audience stops coming; ticket revenue declines. That demands a new show, if the theater is to continue.

In politics, the same is true when ever-new crises are needed to distract voters from a less than promising reality in their lives. A famous conundrum making political promises to voters is the fact that too many of them are so ignorant as to expect fulfillment. A sort of justice, where politicians have removed education from compulsory public schools in favor of brainwashing. Excuse please: in favor of “progressive education.”

It seems to us that most of the available crises have been used to distract us from our economic devolution. Ukraine, Ebola, ISIS have all served their turns and gone their ways without any change in the U.S. economy. A succession of politicians has promised various versions of spending us back to economic health while jobs are exported and handed to illegal immigrants.  And to robots, of course; human labor is now so expensive in the U.S. that machines are more affordable.

The passing old folk are handing off to what is indeed properly called an “entitlement generation.” Somehow, the universe owes them all a decent living at little or no cost to them; the politicians have sold and they have bought. But some are noting that the universe seems behind in its payments.

Perhaps they have forgotten, or never considered, that politicians spend other folks’ money, not their own. The keeping of politician’s promises comes from the pockets of those who elected them. The truth of: “The rich will pay” always comes as a shock, and usually comes too late. But it always comes …

Every major government on earth is now to some degree spending more than it actually has, directly or indirectly. Hapless taxpayers are oblivious to the fact that they owe the funding of these deficits and/or debts. Their governments are buying time (Apres moi, le deluge!) and they cannot escape footing the bill.

The last time this came around, the Republican Herbert Hoover was President and caught the flak. His failed successor Franklin Roosevelt had to seek refuge in WWII when his nostrums failed. His folk in charge wrote the history so it does not say that; nevertheless it is so. (“Americas’s Great Depression,” Murray N. Rothbard)

We held off financial collapse by pouring fiat money onto collapsing values; we have had to stop that lest we destroy the dollar utterly. Economic reality is therefore returning, if slowly. It owes us a collapse that was never finished. The real wages of workers buy less now; more are still out of work. More young folk cannot find work. Too much of the work is low-wage and too much highly paid work is going to non-citizens.

The citizens have not discovered yet that one country’s workforce can’t receive more than those of other countries once competition sets in. U.S. wages must drop to meet the rest of the world. That carries impoverishment; best get used to it. The government knows and expects it, distractions are running out. The denoument will shock the entitled. Soon …

And historians will sigh and shake their heads, for it has all happened before.


About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much)
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