Tag Archives: Something for nothing

Walking the Path of Self Destruction, by MN Gordon

If you’re aware that you can’t get something for nothing, you’re miles ahead of many economics PhDs, and virtually every politician. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

Central planners have destroyed the future.  Today we walk the path of their self-destruction…

If you recall, fiscal and monetary policies employed to counter the effects of government mandated lockdowns were supposed to stimulate a self-sustaining economic boom.  Instead, these policies of extreme intervention have stimulated chaos and destruction.

The official inflation rate, as measured by the government’s consumer price index (CPI), is rising at an annualized clip of 5.4 percent.  But that’s nothing.  Alternative inflation rates, which better reflect what consumers are actually experiencing, are double and triple the official CPI.

At the same time, the economy appears to be slowing down…

According to the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow forecasting model, as of October 19, real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the third quarter of 2021 is estimated to be just 0.5 percent.  This is down from 1.2 percent on October 15, 6 percent in late August, and 14 percent in May.

At this rate, by the next GDPNow update, which is scheduled for October 27, growth estimates could be negative.  And if you factor in the inflation adjusted growth rate, the economy’s already shrinking at a rate of 4.9 percent per year.  In other words, the U.S. economy’s in an inflationary recession.

How could that be?

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Governments Are Failing at Their Most Basic Duties—While Promising Free Stuff, by Gary Galles

Seems like there’s a contradiction in the title, doesn’t it? From Gary Galles at mises.org:

Three city blocks were systematically burned to the ground as hundreds of the local police stood by and viewed the violence. They were obeying orders not to harm the arsonists. The National Guard was called, adding more armed watchers. A passive gendarmerie consorting with open rebellion has rarely been seen in American history, until recently.

Except for variation in detail and numbers, this sort of thing is happening today.

Does the above sound as if it had been written recently? While it could easily have been written earlier this year, it was not. Leonard Read wrote it in “Social Reformers as Keepers of the Peace,” chapter 8 in his 1969 The Coming Aristocracy. But it offers keen insights into America’s recent turmoil and violence.

Most important for us today, however, is Read’s analysis of why it has happened. In particular, the relationship between what is being promised by political candidates and their ability to keep the peace seems just as descriptive of this year as when he wrote.

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Financial Repression 101, by MN Gordon

Central banks stifling the business cycle and the consequences of their own action feed financial insanity. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

Bad ideas are flourishing like Washington lobbyists.  Just look around.  It’s near impossible to blink without countless crackpot ideas coming into view.  What’s more, the worse an idea is, the more popular it becomes.

Take Mickey’s Fine Malt Liquor.  It’s almost as destructive as doctor prescribed pain killers.  Yet people chug down Big Mouths as if their lives depend on it.

Or consider central banking.  Has any other single idea extracted more wealth from the lowly wage earner?  The Federal Reserve’s backdoor taxation program has snookered honest hard-working Americans for over 100 years.

Why is it that bad ideas are so warmly received?  Perhaps, it’s because they generally promise something for nothing.  That one can live off the forced philanthropy of their neighbors.  That one can get more out of their retirement fund than they put in.

Promises of fruits without labors are fantastical.  They’re also the reliable way for politicians to get reelected.  How can it possibly be a good idea to spend more and tax less, and fill the gap with more and more debt?

From a sound fiscal and currency management perspective this is a terrible idea.  Certainly, a policy to spend less and tax less would be much sounder.  But for a politician looking to win votes, promising something for nothing is the only way to go.

Politicians know Americans generally do the exact opposite of what they say.  They may say they’re against bigger government.  But they will always vote in their self-interest, especially if they think they’ll get something for nothing.

They’ll always vote for promises of government handouts if they believe they won’t have to pay for them.

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The American Dream, by Jeff Thomas

What’s behind the surge in support for collectivism? The same things that’s always behind it: something for nothing. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

Many people in Europe and North America are shaking their heads at the rapidly-growing support in their countries for a transition into collectivism. At present, this advance is developing especially rapidly in the US.

Since the election of Donald Trump, large numbers of liberal Americans are beside themselves with despair and are responding with vehement collectivist rhetoric.

But, why should this be so? There have been many US presidents who were more conservative in their views than Mister Trump and, in fact, the Deep State, which unquestionably has more control over the future of the US than any president, is clearly moving forward with a collectivist agenda.

Yet, we’re witnessing an anomaly that’s not only unprecedented in US history; its ramifications and the rhetoric that drive it are often irrational beyond the pale.

A racist is no longer defined as someone who treats those of one race differently from those of another race. A racist is defined as someone who is Caucasian.

A sexist is no longer defined as someone who regards one gender as being superior to another. A sexist defined as someone who is a male.

A warmonger leader is no longer defined by aggressive behaviour. A warmonger may be defined as a man who attempts to maintain peaceful negotiations with other leaders.

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