Showing posts with label libertarian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label libertarian. Show all posts

Friday, September 1, 2023

Crankenomics 102

Image by 1820796 from Pixabay

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.  

Trigger Warning: This column rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in debilitating psychological trauma.  



Featuring Dana: Hallucination, guest star, and charming literary device  

"I wasn't worth a cent two years ago, and now I owe two million dollars." -Mark Twain

Dear Stickies and Gentlereaders,

O.K., where was I...

{You declared that you self-identify as a (sorta/kinda) wild-eyed free marketeer and libertarian and threatened to explain what you mean by sorta/kinda. Not exactly news given that you've written about this in the past.}

Thanks, Dana. Relatively speaking, it was the distant past given that the ever-accelerating pace of life nowadays can make last week seem like the distant past. 

Anyway, I dropped a hint when I mentioned that I think America is "...morally required to install a rationally designed effective safety net to catch everyone that fate shoves off the trampoline, but not necessarily for those who deliberately jumped off because they thought it would be fun." -me  

Now, sorta/kinda points to the fact that mainstream libertarians (I freely acknowledge the term mainstream libertarians is about as semantically accurate as cooperative cats) tend to hold a dim view of the welfare state. 

"Our answer to poverty has largely been to create more and more programs, while throwing more and more money at the problem. That has failed to truly empower the poor. There are better alternatives." 

The quote above is from an article on that discusses the tons of money irrationally and ineffectively dispensed by The Fedrl Gummit. However, the author of the piece, Michael Tanner, doesn't offer much in the way of specific/realistic "better alternatives."

Libertarians like to point out that if not for all the money redistributed by The Fedrl Gummit, people would be forced to find a way to get by, and philanthropy would pick up the slack. But as to exactly, and realistically, how ya get from here to there, well... 

That's the reason for my sorta/kinda. 

While I'm as fully aware as anyone that The Fedrl Gummit, all government entities for that matter, are staffed by H. sapiens as flawed as the rest of us, and powered by other people's money, America is currently devolving into a nation of economic serfs.

I'm all for at least acknowledging the problem before the Rental Coral just down the road starts renting out guillotines.   

 I'm a wild-eyed free marketeer because "the market" got us here. 


Here. The USA, despite its sins and flaws, is the best the planet has done so far, which is why so many people who don't/can't take our way of life for granted, are trying to get here. Legally or otherwise.

{Yeah, but...}

There are always yeahbuts. That's reality. If whoever is the wealthiest/most attractive/healthiest/etceterist person in the world at any given moment is run over by a bus, that's the/a mother of all yeahbuts. 

{Well yeah, but...}

Fine. Any reasonably well-adjusted adult should be aware that despite its sins and flaws, all things considered, the USA is the best the planet has done so far. Please note that I didn't say that there's not a lot of room for improvement.

While our more or less free market has a proven track record, I suspect that almost none of its fans believes that a libertarian utopia is any more possible than a utopia of any sort. There's no shortage of socialists, communists, eteceterists who do seem to believe utopia is possible but many are too young and idealistic to know better, yet. 

Many are, or should be, old enough to know better. 

Most Americans are just trying to pay for a given lifestyle which they've been told is possible for those willing to work hard and live in "the land of the free." 

A very long story short in which the devil resides in his/her/their comfortable condo in the details: Nowadays, Americans are discovering the cost of decades of borrowing, spending, and printing money. 

I'll leave it to the economists to debate exactly how we got here and what can/should be done, but the bottom line is that Inflation — short-term, long-term, and systemic — is turning us into a nation of haves and have-somes. 

{You mean have-nots? And why did you capitalize inflation?} 

I mean have-somes. The have-somes are caught in the middle between the haves and have-nots. They're working their bums off and marching in place double-time. I capitalized Inflation because it seems to keep inflating. 

{What was that popping sound?}

Systemic racism and social injustice are not our primary problems. The haves vs. the have-somes is what should keep us up at night. 

There are more jobs currently available than people who want them and The Fedrl Gummit hands out grants and loans to pretty much anyone who wants to learn how to do something someone is willing to pay for. 

Big BUT, they're also not stingy when it comes to financing the accumulation of knowledge/skills by someone who wants to learn how to do something for which nobody wants to pay very much. 

Rack up enough personal and national debt while subsidizing everything from homeownership to ginormous whale/bird-killing windmills with other people's money and before you know it, here we are. 

If you're smart/lucky/hardworking/networked enough to generate/have generated enough income to be far enough ahead of the game to accumulate and maintain a bit of wealth, good for you. I'm available for lunch (but I prefer breakfast). 

However, it's now widely reported that 60% of us live from paycheck to paycheck. From what I can tell, this appears to be true.

{They should try to get promoted.}

They're not stupid. They know there are only so many bosses needed, only so many people who should be a boss, and that only a minority of bosses can beat the game given that the value of a dollar keeps sliding down a slippery slope. 

This is why when Oliver Anthony started singing about "Overtime hours for bullshit pay" because "...your dollar ain't shit, and it's taxed to no end" a lot of people looked up from their grindstones.

To be continued... and wrapped up, next column. 

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

P.S. I've been asked by OSHA to remind all my gentlereaders to never operate a grindstone without a government-approved noseguard. 

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