Economics has no Morality.

Economics has no Morality.
War head Banned: "Play it again Uncle Sam".

Monday, August 10, 2015

Après quelques Mois, Le Déluge.

Trying to keep down a poplar uprising.


Much has been written about the circus act that Fox Views sponsored last week, but I find Kunstler's description of it as, "The Spectacle", to be the most apt. That's why I was surprised to see Jeff Subleski retort to a comment I made describing Rand Paul as a toy poodle surprising: "Got it, you are one of those voters that makes his choice based on superficial characteristics like a haircut or maybe gender.  Good luck with that." 

"How strange", I thought, "he intends to use this cavalcade of debauched wannabe's, paraded like a gaggle of well-groomed geese complete with nonsensical honking, as something on which to base his decision for whom to vote". Well, right back atcha Subleski, Good luck with that.

Jeff's comment is far more illustrative than even Kunstler's description. Because, whereas Kunstler sees through the gossamer thin veil of contempt which with Fox presented this lineup one would more expect to see in a police station behind a one-way mirror being eyed by a potential witness to a crime, Jeff's remark reminds us that many of our young people are taking this Spectacle as much  more than the Kabuki theatre it's orchestrated as; they really think this charade is a "Debate", never having actually seen what an authentic debate, conducted by a non-partisan panel of inquisitors, would normally look like.

The above picture was posted by a "friend" on Facebook, and, using the pun in the above caption, I answered his objection that, "You'd think those trunks would be thicker after 76 years" (The chairs were (supposedly, I don't believe a word of it) laid out for a wedding in 1939 in Poland. The wedding was abandoned, and so were the chairs due to the German invasion. They were found again after the war with the trees growing through them. (Mmm -Hmmm)), with the assertion that that was a poplar misconception. To which he brusquely replied, "Those are not poplars". Well, "Duh!"

That's how I felt after reading Jeff's comment. Really? You took that literally? To be taken to task for something you say is one thing, but to be reprimanded for saying something that you thought was obviously (or  at least you thought it was obvious) said for humor, leaves me a little paralyzed. What do ya say to that? For the FB post, another friend came to the rescue by responding, "They must be poplar, look how many "likes" they got", saving me from  having to get snarky (which was my first impulse, which it often is online ... one I am sagaciously, methinks, usually able to suppress, as it is less than helpful). But for the Foxy snarky Jeff post, I can't conceive of any way of setting him straight in a one-line quip, not when I feel pretty much like The Kunstler on this one, namely, as he said in closing this week's posting:

"I’m with those who think that the 2016 election campaign is going to be a wild spectacle beyond the current imaginings of news media. I’m serenely convinced that, among other things, the banking system is going to implode so hard and fast well before the nominating conventions that the nation will be in a state of near chaos. What’s out there now is just a tired dumb-show replaying the shopworn themes of an era that is about to slam to a close."

That seems fairly close to how I feel about things (except the "serenely convinced" part, I feel neither serene nor convinced, apprehensive would more aptly describe my general outlook), not that either one of us is necessarily right. But when you get most of your news form the internet, it leaves you with a different perspective than you come away from the nightly news with, namely, that this haphazardly stitched together collection of discarded promises, blood-sucking scams and bally-hooed asset valuations, riding on an economy that everyone, (even the most ardent "deniers", all of whom , including The Donald, were, a mere four  years ago during the last election cycle, all proudly calling themselves, "Birthers", because they knew, just knew, that the President was born in Uganda or Kenya, or somewhere in the country of Africa (now don't go all Jeff on me, that's a joke, son, a JOke! Although it is actually what many of those birthers said), even as they were proposing to pass a Constitutional amendment so that they could do exactly the same thing, ie, make the fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger was not a citizen still allow them to vote for him as President), is fully cognizant of the fact that the path we are heading down currently will not ever "Make America Great Again".

As even these deniers know, we are in nothing more than a holding pattern right now. Nobody, not even the self-congratulating employees of the Fed, know the way forward. They have become so inured to simply fixing the numbers so that they align with their prognostications that they've lost all conception of an economic system that has real accounting standards that can't just be waved away by the FASB so that the perpetrators of a globalized Ponzi scheme can rob the public blind in order to keep their sinecures and thereby, as a second thought, keep the maelstrom swirling by filling the punchbowl with what they hope no one will notice is cheap gut-rotting moonshine.

But, given that we know the future has no place for the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) machines we're slapping together at a rate of 17 million vehicles per annum (a scant percentage of which are electric, since the heftier price for such vehicles renders them unaffordable, even to the relatively well-heeled, without public monies being used to supplement their purchase), while we stoke the tourism trade, which assumes cheap and reliable air transport, which spews carbon into the atmosphere at the highest level, 30,000 feet, and without which the tourism trade collapses, or this internet, which, despite the seemingly small cost to us to stay online, is supported by a creaking electrical grid and was built with the purpose of collecting all of the users' data and sifting through it for evidence of misbehaviour, leaves us with an economy more and more dominated by fewer and fewer companies,  the largest of which are currently using the Fed's free money to buy back more and more of their own stock, making it unavailable to the buying public, enriching the current shareholders and impoverishing the rest, the same thing the Fed is doing with the housing market, and, until recently, when the lack of demand could no longer be hidden by accounting tricks and hedge fund inflows, with commodities.

Now, I know I'm not the most  optimistic person in the world, but when I see Michael Snyder's "Economic Collapse" blog, Wolf Richter's "Wolf Street", Stephen Roach, David Stockman, Peter Schiff, Michael Shedlock, and, my mentor Doug Noland ( I found his new blogspot, well not so new anymore, I suppose, just recently; Whoohooo!, thanks Naked Capitalism), all perceiving 'weakness' in the economic picture, it tends to give one pause, and it tends, given many of the facts about the economy listed above, to leave one less than sanguine about our economic prospects going forward. Yet this most germane of issues was never even flitted over during the Spectacle.

But Jeff didn't notice any of this. Jeff thinks, even after watching a debate about our future in which the moderators ask superbly coiffed and manicured contestants what they said to god when they woke up that morning, and, of course, what he said in response, that the reply to any such queries can be anything but superficial, yet can, apparently, be used to make a sound analysis on which to base your voting behavior on. But, of course, it can't. All it can do is demonstrate that the private sector, which is what the Fox network would swear it belongs to until it's red in the face, has now become yet another realm where religion is using its bigotry and intolerance to assert its ugly agenda, making this debate look more like a Punch and Judy Show the Taliban would orchestrate than anything a Democratic Republic of free-thinkers and their duly elected (except The Donald, The Donald's never been elected to anything) representatives would debase themselves by participating in.