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From: Don't kill the messenger



Ok, I give up. I'll change my ways. Someone please let me know where the Welfare office is. I will need to go there after I divorce my wife and quit my job. That way I can get all the good free stuff doled out by the government. I'm sure they will let me keep my home since it is only worth half what I paid for it. I won't have to pay a phone bill anymore and can then get food stamps. I willing.


Well, if you give up, I'm disappointed in you Mr. Dis. If anyone should know that the grass isn't greener on the other side of the road, it is you :)


What you don't realize is that what you're talking about on the other side is nothing like a desire to dole out goodies - that good free stuff - but rather a pragmatic understanding that people get really obnoxious ... and really really free ... if they have nothing, nada, to lose.


Oh a few in that circumstance will become clinically depressed and kill themselves. The stress of having nothing or little to nothing will drive some others to strike out quite publicly killing others and usually committing suicide by police.


But the greatest number will just resort to rolling drunks, holding up the elderly, selling drugs or committing burglary or robbery to survive.


Indeed it hardly seems liberal to me to offer folks who have such small imaginations as they can't figure out something to do that will make them money legally an alternative to their mayhem that will, if nothing else, land them in prison for a year, two, five or fifty ... on my tab at $40 grand a year to cage them.


Don't get me wrong; some need to be caged but there are quite a few that all they need is something in their belly, a roof over their head and prime time free TV entertainment ... and maybe some clothes.


Frankly, I agree we need to be careful - more careful than we have been - in aligning the incentives with this type of assistance. I mean the whole thing about destroying families is part of the assistance routine that required that a man/husband could not be in the household if the family was to get aid for their dependent children.


It is also obvious that education is a key component to the building the value of that family in the society as a whole. Now no one expects every family to be raising a crop of Einsteins. But being in school and other positive activities need to have incentives attached to them.


The point is that rather than looking at the subject of 'assistance' as a black hole that has no benefit - too many from the far right are getting that same attitude with education BTW - the real challenge is to make transform that whole rubric into a positive, growing experience.


Of course the society of work would need to transform as well and frankly, that is the real obstacle here.


Yes, too many businesses want employees to shovel cheese 60 hours a week for half-minimum wage with no benefits and are resentful of a government that would feed, clothe and house the prime worker and require he/she do nothing. I mean unless you wanted that kind of workout, the shoveling job would be shoved.


Heck, once upon a time in the days of the military draft, there was an expectation, especially amongst youth, that you should find something to do because if you didn't Uncle Sam would show you how to a number of things including marching, digging ditches and peeling potatoes. That prospect was a motivating force for many youths, who by the way could opt for pursuits like job corps, vista, and other stipend-based public service programs. (Did you know that in Georgia, there are several volunteer projects - some that include living stipends - for projects such as Veterans assistance - through AmeriCorps VISA?


There are ways to do things; make things happen.


There is one more thing and this revolves around the concept of economics.


It revolves around the very nature of confidence.


Let's imagine, just for a moment, that instead of having our feet on the sold earth, we are instead crew members of the Enterprise of Star Trek fame.


We are star stuff zooming through time and distances measured in light years. We have everything we need on the ship. We have food, clothing and shelter. We are on a mission. The one thing I don't recall in the series was the presence of good old fashioned money yet the ship operated, people were fed and everyone knew and did their jobs. It worked because everyone had confidence in Kirk, the crew and each other. That confidence was their currency.


Now fly back to earth. When you think of money you may conjure those coins left on the dresser; maybe a few bills in your wallet but if the truth is known, if you were to confiscate every paper dollar and every coin and compare that to the balance sheets in the banks of computers, you would find that all the currency in the world doesn't add up to much more than three or four percent of the dollars on the ledgers.


That money on those ledgers was created by banks who loan it out at varying rates of interest after literally creating it from something akin to thin air.


How does this monetary system work? I mean Good GOD, 95 percent of the money is nothing more than a series of bits and bytes in some computer?


Scary isn't it :)


So how does it work? How can it work? Why does it work?


Easy ... it all works because we have confidence that it works and will work.


The real problem we faced in late 2008 is, in my mind, something like a game of musical chairs except in stead of chairs, there were piles of cash. The music stopped and people went scrambling for their pile of cash, elbowing those around them for as much as they could grab. Some - many people - were hurt when the elbow grab was translated into 750,000 jobs lost.


Uncle Sam stepped in and helped quash the panic and everyone had confidence that he could.


Fact is, if you look at who came out of that game of musical chairs, it was folks like Goldman Sachs and a few others who had a lot to begin with and who, in their own way, were responsible for the crash. Oh there were others, like the folks who had made money flipping ever bigger houses in the bubble that were involved too, but we know that some folks won big while other folks lost in the crash.


It is also pretty much understood that financial crashes, because they cost millions millions and enrich just a few hundred big, are to be avoided; although the big winners may even want to 'do it again' given they never had it so good. Still, one of the big things to consider with financial crashes is that confidence is the biggest looser.


The other thing to remember is that the reason 'commerce' virtually ceases in these circumstances is because money is not moving around. You don't have money to buy from me nor I from you. Exchange, which is what the economy is based on, can't happen if there isn't money available to facilitate it.


That's why in our 2009 crash, uncle sam's sending of social security checks, the states pumping money into the economy via unemployment and food stamps, etc. was effective in keeping 'some' money circulating. Those and other stimulus kept most things (except housing) from entering the death spiral of deflation.


In all this, the one thing that probably hurt us most as a nation was the total lack of confidence those on the right had in the government.


When you think of elements like the starve the beast strategy, which incidentally is the theory behind the no tax increase pledge, and its impact on things like the credit of the nation and you wonder why Obama won?


It wasn't just Mitch O'Connell's pledge to make Obama a one-term president, it was the seeming undermining of the nation's confidence on every level that was repugnant to regular Americans. Indeed, it was the vote of No-confidence in the American worker voiced by Mitt when he wrote that we should let America's automobile industry go bankrupt at time that it would likely be busted up and sold for scrap that cost him the election.


Bottom line, buck a bit. Show you have confidence in the nation 'cause the American people have spoken that they've had enough of this negative crap. Or, if you want, go move to Costa Rica. We believe in freedom; we believe in choice. Where we differ and have differed is in our Belief in America.




Source: Don't kill the messenger


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