Formerly the Thinking Catholic Strategic Center
Vic Biorseth, December 29, 2008
It’s time to take a closer look at the 2008 world economic condition and where we all might be headed. Obama ran and won on the thin, vague theme of Change, which was largely undefined, and sometimes was referred to as Change we can believe in, another thin, vague term, which also remained largely undefined. What kind of change? What kind of person or people would “believe” in it?
First, let’s look at how we got to this point. I strongly recommend that you take a quick look at the 2008 Financial Crisis page for a quick current history along with a rather shocking comparison to the causes and history of the Great Depression, and then continue reading right here. My reason for this recommendation is that the similarities between this existing world economic condition and the one at the beginning of the Great Depression are so very remarkable.
The Stock Market was what the people who should have known better were staring glassy eyed at, when they should have been paying intention to more important economic indicators, or just going about their daily work. On Black Thursday, October 24, 1929 there was a “crash” and the whole world incorrectly interpreted it to mean the “failure” of free market Capitalism. Most people even today think that was the real beginning of the Great Depression, when it was merely a bad day on Wall Street. An unsustainable speculative bubble burst, as all unsustainable speculative bubbles inevitably do. A panic stricken government took charge of the free market and regulated the hell out of it, driving America and the world into the Great Depression in the process.
In late 2008, guess what, the same thing happened. Another bad day on Wall Street, and another unsustainable speculative bubble burst, and another government was panic stricken enough to “take charge” of the free market and fix it good. This time the speculative bubble that popped involved real estate. At the root of it all was a corrupt-from-the-beginning so-called Sub Prime Mortgage Market.
And, at the root of the Sub Prime Mortgage Market are the twin government-invented monstrosities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Again, how these economic monsters came into being and grew, corrupting everything they touched, may be seen in the 2008 Financial Crisis page.
If Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had not, number one, been created by government, and, number two, become the largest mortgage holding companies on Earth, largely though corruption, the real estate speculative bubble might never have grown so large. Not only were down-and-outers who couldn’t afford a home granted mortgages they couldn’t afford to pay for small homes through the offices of Fannie and Freddie, but the corrupting economic lure of this whole market spread it’s influence upward to touch people who were not down-and-outers. In several ways.
First, legitimate banks and lending institutions were influenced to grant a larger mortgage to someone – a normal person in reasonable financial condition - who really should have been looking at a smaller house, and a smaller loan. The reason was that the lending institution could sell the mortgage, after they approved it, to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, who would buy it, without question. Remember, both Fannie and Freddie were originally intended to help the poor person, not the middle class person who just wanted to buy a bigger house.
So poor people were not the only ones getting mortgages approved which they could not really afford based on their assets and income. Some really sizeable mortgages are contained in this so-called sub prime “market”. I submit that “market” is an incorrect title; the free market had nothing to do with this. If the market had been free, people with no down payments and who couldn't aford mortgages would not have been granted mortgages.
Second, Fannie and Freddie “bundled” the most horrible risk sub-prime mortgages with not-so-horrible risk ones, and then sold them to other financial institutions as Mortgage Backed Securities. See? Sounds like a good, secure investment, doesn’t it?
Now, you might ask, what financial institution in it’s right mind would “invest” in such a questionable security? Well, if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack were invented by and backed by the United States Government, wouldn’t that make it a fairly certain “investment”? The financial institution couldn’t loose their investment, as long as it was backed by the US government. All they could do was make money or break even, but not loose.
What made matters worse was that many of the financial institutions that “invested” in these sub-prime Mortgage Backed Securities bundled them with other mortgages and sold them again to other investment institutions. Probably every major bank and investment house in the world is now financially infected by America’s sub-prime mortgage fiasco.
Third, the credit market was opened wide, thanks to Fannie and Freddie, and it became far too easy to get a mortgage in America. Enter the speculator, and the flipper. People who had no real interest in living in a home for any significant amount of time were granted home loans that would be flipped within two years, sometimes less. All they had to do was marginally qualify for a loan that would be immediately sold to Fannie or Freddie. Availability of credit for such loans created a huge housing boom, and it also created many huge local speculative real estate bubbles all around the US.
Well, the speculative bubble may have burst, but the causative problem remains intact, and it is protected by the government. You might say it is now institutionalized.
It’s still going on. One thing all Socialists – I mean Democrats – and all reach-across-the-aisle Republicans insist upon is that nobody is to loose his house. So much for the free market. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are still creating new questionable sub-prime mortgages. If you’re in trouble with your current home loan, you can get another loan to take care of it. If you watch TV, on virtually any channel, including even the Fox News Network, you will see ads for new loans, government guaranteed, for re-financing your home.
Credit? What credit? You don’t need no stinking credit. Just call the 800 number. It’s guaranteed.
The solution to a credit problem is seen to be to make more credit available.
The solution to a loan problem is seen to be to get another loan.
The solution to a money problem is seen to be to throw more money on it.
Meanwhile, the Stock Market refuses to respond predictably to all the money the government keeps throwing away. Eyes glazed over, the “experts” keep staring at the stock market, just as they did back in the thirties during the Great Depression.
The point that they all miss is that the stock market, watched on a daily basis, means next to nothing. If you watch the stock market daily and try to somehow relate it to the real economy, it will just make you crazy. Overall stock market trends only make any sense at all over very long periods of time.
What we have here is what we had back in 1929 – a gross US government over-reaction to nothing more than a stock market spike, and the bursting of a speculative bubble. It should have been left alone. We may suspect, and it may be, that there were other devious Marxist motives behind government action, but reaction to the current market was the excuse that was used. If we don’t do something really big now, why, the whole market will collapse.
So, they did something really big, and thereby made the situation worse.
And they just keep building on that. Just like FDR did back in the thirties. And just like Hoover before FDR. It’s the Great Depression all over again.
Obama promises to spend our way out of our difficulties, just as FDR tried and failed to do, over and over again, right on into World War II, plowing America deeper and deeper into economic depression. We are going to “invest” in infrastructure and so forth. Every child – not every qualified child, but every child – is to be able to afford a college education, at our expense. (Maybe some day every man, woman and child on Earth will be a full blown PhD.)
What we might do is to hire lots of government workers to dig holes in the ground, and then hire more government workers to follow behind them and fill the holes back in again, eventually hiring everybody. The amount of tax dollars collected from all of these government workers will not be sufficient to pay their wages, so, once all private industry in America is dead and there is no other source of government revenue, we will simply crank up the printing presses at the mint and print more money to meet the ever growing government payroll. How’s that for a plan?
Inflation is one of several factors the “experts” should have been watching rather than the stock market. Note this very well: in all of recorded history, including even the Carter years, there has never been an instance of rampant or run-away inflation in any nation that was not directly related to that nation printing too much national money. Only governments cause any inflation that is other than extremely temporary and self-correcting.
Long lasting inflation is not caused by any wage-price spirals, other contentious issues between labor and management, global warming or anything other than overuse of government printing presses or mints.
Right now we are in a deflationary situation, because the credit crunch has made the dollar less available to industry and to citizens. The dollar is now unusually high on the world market, which is not a good thing, because that makes American goods and services overseas very expensive and kills our export market.
Before all this crap happened, the American dollar was quite stable, and it has been the world standard monetary unit for a very long time. But the “Bush Bail Out” knocked the drain plug out of the economic boat, and the government has been faithfully “bailing” economic water into the boat ever since.
Milton Friedman’s monetarism tells us that the government should concentrate on the supply of money and leave interest rates alone, to float with the free market. Money supply should be tied to legitimate population increase, or, when population increase is low, not to exceed about 2.5 percent per year. The inflation rate is thus tied directly to the annual change in money supply.
Interest rates are another economic factor not watched by the “experts” who preferred to watch the market ups and downs. Interest rates in October 2008 were around 6 percent and stable.
Interest rates now are zero. I’m not kidding. If it goes any lower, the banks will pay you money to borrow. Only thing is, credit is now so tight, you probably couldn’t qualify to get a zero interest loan anyway. Nobody is lending. Unless you go to Fannie or Freddie, or maybe that re-finance loan advertised on the Fox News Network.
The Fed just keeps tweaking interest rates downward hoping to loosen up credit and get people in a borrowing mood, and it just keeps on not working. As seen in the 2008 Financial Crisis, the Fed caused the banking catastrophe of the Great Depression, and really does not even deserve to continue to exist.
Unemployment is another economic factor the “experts” should have been watching rather than the daily, or even hourly ups and downs of the fickle stock market. Before the panic induced “Bush Bail Out” our unemployment rate was around 6 percent, which was pretty bad, for us. But then, 6 percent unemployment was considerably better than all the rest of the world was doing at that time, as usual. I challenge you to find a large country that had a lower unemployment rate than us at that time.
Now, after the fact, American unemployment is rocketing. Plants and small businesses are closing left and right. With the death of credit, “float” money is unavailable to meet payrolls and pay vendors to keep business going. Business means jobs. Whole industries are now at risk.
And our government cannot leave well enough alone. It now appears to be addicted to free market interference at all levels.
Just watch what all this government interference does to our GDP.
GDP – Gross Domestic Product. Definition of GDP:
“The total market value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given year. GDP is equal to the total of consumer, investment and government spending, plus the value of exports, minus the value of imports.”
The GDP report is released at 8:30 am EST on the last day of each quarter and reflects the previous quarter. Growth in GDP, plus or minus, is what is always emphasized. The U.S. GDP growth has historically averaged about 2.5-3% per year, with substantial deviations. The international norm used for the GDP is the US dollar.
The GDP numbers are reported in two forms: current dollar and constant dollar. Current dollar GDP is calculated using today's dollars; using current dollar GDP makes comparisons between time periods difficult because of the effects of inflation or deflation. Constant dollar GDP converts current dollars into some standard era dollar, such as 1999 dollars. This process factors out the effects of inflation/deflation and allows more accurate comparisons between periods.
It is important to differentiate Gross Domestic Product from Gross National Product (GNP). GDP includes only goods and services produced within the geographic boundaries of the U.S., regardless of the producer's nationality. GNP does not include goods and services produced by foreign producers in America, but does include goods and services produced by U.S. firms operating in foreign countries.
I prefer GDP to GNP as a measuring stick of annual wealth production of a nation because GDP is a measure of stuff produced in a nation by that nation’s workers, regardless of who owns the firms for whom the products or services were produced.
GDP, expressed as a percentage, is a useful tool for determining where the economy is going. A flat or declining GDP over two or more quarters is the most commonly agreed sign of an economic recession. A flat or declining GDP over four or more quarters is the most commonly agreed sign of an economic depression.
But, comparing GDP from one nation to another doesn’t mean much when expressed as a mere percentage of growth. For one thing, in many nations growth is a matter subject to radical change, up or down, during some years. And the percentage increase or decrease says nothing about the quantity produced.
The more useful comparative tool is the Per Capita GDP, or, a given nation’s total GDP amount in American dollars for that year, divided by that nation’s population.
I submit that Per Capita GDP is about as good a tool as may be used to determine a people’s or a nation’s wealth production in any given year.
The Per Capita GDP of the United States of America is typically ahead of virtually every other nation on earth, year after year. We may expect that to change for the worse under Obama and the Socialists. I mean Democrats.
Let’s look at 1999, a typical year. Note that the mean Per Capita GDP of the whole world that year was $6,600. All Socialist or near Socialist nations were far below that (China, Russia, Cuba, Vietnam, etc.) Using this year, I will make some statements, or arguments, that I believe are sustainable.
Argument 1: People in Capitalist countries create wealth, as explained in the Pure Democracy page. People in Socialist countries consume wealth, as explained in the Pure Socialism page. The more Socialistic any country is, the lower will be that country’s Per Capita GDP. The more Capitalistic any country is, the higher will be that country’s Per Capita GDP.
Argument 2: Ignoring the Capitalism Vs. Socialism argument, it may safely be stated that the more freedom and individual rights a people enjoy, the higher will be their Per Capita GDP, and conversely, the more restricted, regulated and less free a people are, the lower will be their Per Capita GDP.
I will go a step further.
Argument 3: We have seen the close, symbiotic relationship between the Judeo-Christian Ethos on the one hand, and Capitalism combined with Democracy on the other, as described in the Catholic Thinker page. Western Culture Nations aligned with or not long divorced from a long tradition in the Judeo-Christian Ethos will be seen to be toward the top of the Per Capita GDP ranking, and those with another ethos, or no discernable ethos, will be seen to be toward the bottom of it.
We know, and history proves, that Socialism opposes and suppresses Judeo-Christian religion and open religious expression, and abhors and suppresses Judeo-Christian morality and social norms. What Socialism promotes is pure materialistic atheism and “outcome” based central plans for achieving eventual social perfection. The three most frequently heard axiomatic statements to be heard from the mouths of up and coming Socialist petty bureaucrats, bosses and dictators are these:
Argument 4: I submit that those Western Culture nations most recently emerged from Socialist dictatorship and decades of brutal state suppression of their traditional Judeo-Christian Religion and Morality will be found more toward the bottom of the chart than those traditional Western Judeo-Christians who were more free during the same period of brutal Socialist religious suppression.
Judeo-Christian peoples inherently and naturally know right from wrong.
Socialist ideologues know only whether something promotes and contributes to social sameness, or not.
Per Capita GDP, Year 1999:
|2||United States of America||$31,500|
|30||United Arab Emirates||$17,400|
|38-2||Isle of Man||$13,100|
|39-2||Cyprus - Turkish Sector||$13,000|
|46||Saint Pierre and Miquelon||$11,000|
|50-1||British Virgin Islands||$10,000|
|51||Northern Mariana Islands||$9,300|
|57||Trinidad and Tobago||$8,000|
|58-1||Antigua and Barbuda||$7,900|
|59||Turks and Caicos Islands||$7,700|
|68-2||Saint Kitts and Nevis||$6,000|
|95-4||Papua New Guinea||$2,400|
|95-5||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||$2,400|
|100-4||Wallis and Futuna||$2,000|
|105||Federated States of Micronesia||$1,760|
|106-1||Bosnia and Herzegovina||$1,720|
|109-2||Central African Republic||$1,640|
|114-1||Republic of the Congo||$1,500|
|122-2||Sao Tome and Principe||$1,100|
|123||The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia||$1,050|
|137||Democratic Republic of the Congo||$710|
Note that many nations may have more existing wealth than does the United States of America. “Old Money” is an important factor in many ruling families, among royalty and nobility, among many organized crime families, criminal factions and in many dictatorships and corrupt governments around the world. And, note well that there is much new wealth created every year that is not accounted for “above the table” because it is new wealth that is produced in some illegal manner.
But when we look “above the table” where all respectable peoples operate within all recognized law and standards of decency, very few peoples produce as much legitimate wealth on an annual basis as do the people of the United States of America. As I said before, we may expect that to change soon.
It may take time for our “ranking” among nations to significantly change, because the growing world wide economic depression will negatively affect other nations much more than it will affect the USA, for a time. Until now, whenever America got an economic cold, the world came down with pneumonia. America is still the economic engine of the world. It’s hard to predict where we and the world will be after complete American economic collapse, if it goes that far. At the moment, that is where we are headed.
The Auto Industry is now in jeopardy. Not just the American auto industry – the world auto industry is in serious trouble. A new car is a big ticket item, and credit is tight everywhere. Unemployment is high and rising. Everywhere the consumer looks he sees economic bad news, including threats to his income and even threats to his retirement. It is not the time to buy a new car unless you can pay cash, and even then you might see a better use for that increasingly valuable money. The value of American money is going up even when it is not in a bank. Bury it in a tin can or stuff it in a mattress, and tomorrow it will be worth more than it is today.
The pity of it all is in the timing. Congress had already approved a multi-billion dollar loan – not a grant – to the American auto industry before this crisis came about; but the deal had not yet been consummated. Now, since the major, major government interference with the free market, the economic situation is becoming desperate. But no professional politician is going to sit back and just take the rap when he can shift blame elsewhere, just as publicly as possible.
Now, the American auto industry, against all odds, has been producing quality cars at competitive prices, using union labor and meeting café standards. They probably don’t want to talk about their profit margins, but their prices are certainly competitive. They are producing lots of quality, competitively priced 30-mile-per-gallon class cars, and hybrids, and “green pleasers” and getting no credit for it. Bottom line, in America, those cars just don’t sell in the same volume that bigger cars sell. The consumer drives the market.
Committed detractors, which is a more accurate term than objective critics, in journalism and in politics, complain that Detroit produces ozone-depleting, greenhouse-gas emitting, gas-guzzling SUV behemoths because they get a higher profit margin from those higher priced larger vehicles. And I suppose that’s at least partially correct; they do produce more profit per unit. However, they also represent what the consumer wants. And, as you can see in the Eco-Nazi Front page, the effect of all of these cars on the ozone and on global warming and on the price of gas and on the world supply of oil is, exactly and precisely, nothing whatsoever. Which is to say, much, much too small to even measure.You can look at the The SLIMC Vs. The Truth page for some gross examples of how our predominantly Marxist SLIMC1 habitually demonizes free market Capitalism in general and the American auto industry in particular. Even as “news”.
Sales of small cars vs. large cars vary to some degree from year to year with the price of gas. But, by and large, Americans like and want bigger cars, and even when gas is high, there always remains a certain percentage of American customers who will still buy larger cars. That’s just the way it is.
But Congress doesn’t want to hear it. They rake the Big Three big shots over the coals because of their “failed” business model and their stupid business plan to produce a lot of big cars rather than all little cars. Politicians who never produced any good or service and who never met a payroll are insisting that the Big Three drop production of all big cars before they will be granted a loan.
The customers may be damned; they don’t know what’s good for them. Government knows best. The only reason people are buying big cars is that they are available to be bought. If they were not available on the free market, everybody would then buy and drive nice little green cars, and the world would be a wonderful place. If only Big Business would just shut up and listen to Wise Government. When Detroit stops making big cars, at the first up-tick of the economy, sales of Japanese large pickup trucks and SUVs will surge, for the first time ever, while Detroit’s Big Three sales of little green cars stagnate. And that will be just the beginning of the end.
So, where are we going? That’s the question. I’m not going to pretend to know the answer. All I know is that, if my name were Mr. GM, I would strongly consider filing for Chapter 7 (not Chapter 11) bankruptcy and shutting it down, rather than running a car company as a purely Marxist government department. Chapter 7 is when you say to the court, take all my assets and settle with my debtors as best you can; I’m all done with it. It’s finished.
Now, Congress, and seemingly, everybody, wants to see Chapter 11 and a reorganization, with Congress having prior approval of the reorganization, and being deeply involved in it, and also being deeply involved in the running of the reorganized company(s). Which is to say, a virtual nationalization of the American auto industry. A happy day for Marxism. If nobody in the industry has the guts to stand up to Congress and refuse Congressional involvement in the running of the business, then they ought to just hang up their spurs and quit, and save everybody a whole lot of time and trouble.
Elimination of GM alone, let alone Chrysler and Ford, would mean disaster to thousands of dealerships, thousands of small and medium auto parts suppliers and transporters, and so forth. So would government running the business into the ground; it would have exactly the same result, it would only take a little bit longer and prolong the pain and suffering.
Question: What has our government ever run well?
Answer: Nothing whatsoever.
The intrusion of even one government bureaucrat into the management decision making process of any business marks the beginning of the end for that business.
Everything – every single thing – that the government is in charge of is a virtual disaster. The only reason our military is doing as well as it is, is that Republicans have learned how to properly leave it alone. Just wait until the Dems start cutting the defense budget again, and interfering with the military mission through micro-management. Defense will go back to being the toothless under-funded wimp it was under Carter.
The auto industry has been being teased, harassed, poked and taunted as it played the role of Atlas, holding the economic world on his mighty shoulders. Atlas should shrug. He should drop the world, and just walk away in disgust. If the government gets it’s bureaucratic claws into the auto industry, then the auto industry is doomed anyway. Let the government make its own auto industry.
Maybe its time for most or all of America’s oligopoly to crash and burn. Maybe its time for America to return to a totally small to medium sized business based economy, if the Socialists are turned out of office in time to keep us out of the complete dictatorship typical of Socialism.
The only real alternative I see to complete economic melt down would be a President with the balls required to go after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with a meat axe and permanently destroy them, and to pull back, wherever possible, and stop all future bail-outs. Cut government spending to the quick, cut taxes, and get the hell out of the way of business. Let economic failures happen, including individual mortgages.
Not too likely. Contenders will all sniff and say “we just can’t.” Right.
Bury your money, hang onto your hat, and pray.
Maybe four years from now, if we and our Republic can manage to survive, Sarah Palin might still be around . . .
Sarcastic Acronym Hover-Link Footnotes: For the convenience of those readers using devices that lack a mouse, these footnotes are provided for all webpages, in case any webpage contains any hover-links. (If you don't have a mouse, you can't "hover" it over a link without clicking just to see the simple acronym interpretation. Click a footnote link to see the gory details.)SLIMC1 Secularist Liberal Intellectual Media Complex
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Respond to This Article Below The Last Comment
Date: Tue Jan 13 15:13:52 2009
Subject: President Bush was Suckered
In my opinion, President Bush was “sucker-punched” by advisors who were either very bad advisors or who had evil intent to begin with. All of this seemed to have happened very fast, and the economic warnings were so dire that he felt he had to act as he did, and quickly. Just an opinion.
Date: Wed Jan 14 06:41:55 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
Subject: President Bush was Suckered
That may well be the case. In the past, I have found fault with Bush over his fiscal policies because he seemed to spend almost like a Socialist. I mean Democrat. But these recent instances of sudden, super-emergency, quickee bail-outs were way over the top in that area, and certainly not typical Bush.
The only other Bush policy I disagreed with was his suggested amnesty for illegal aliens and his wimpy, namby-pamby future border security and immigration direction.
What he did best was the most important function of his office, which was defense, and to keep us safe and secure within our own borders. He kept us free of attacks by Islamic terrorists, which is something the Dems consistently failed to do.
Other than the economy, my great worries now involve our defense and our safety, and the future of Israel. In the short term, as I see it, Israel will either unilaterally act to destroy her most immediate threats, or she will be destroyed, while the Dems just stand by and watch in feigned dismay.
Date: Wed Jan 14 08:02:12 2009
Subject: Border Security
If you think President Bush was poor on border security, just give President Obama a couple of days.
Date: Wed Jan 14 09:28:31 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
Subject: Border Security
Point well taken. Judging from the picks so far – a long time tax evader as Secretary of Treasury, etc. – It wouldn’t surprise me too much if an illegal alien drug smuggler wound up in charge of the Border Patrol.
Date: Thu Jan 15 06:06:37 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
Subject: Response to Obama Supporters
Dear Potty-Mouthed Leftists:
This is in response to a few submissions unworthy of publication here, because, among other things, of an over-use of the F-bomb and other vulgarities that are so very typical of the Left. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the Worldly Village-ism page for a partial pictorial review of the obscene language Leftists always use in normal public discourse. They quite typically put the F-bomb on signs, banners and T-shirts because they are so very proud of it, and of their near exclusive copyright on it. It probably ought to be somehow worked into the Democrat Party logo.
For the record, I don’t particularly give a damn what race Obama belongs to; it is Obama, and the Democrats, and the reach-across-the-aisle-Republicans, of all races, who are absolutely obsessed with all topics racial, and who seek to paint every issue with a racial brush, for purposes of giving or gaining some sort of advantage based solely upon race. The very Party that started out the Slavery Forever Party, that morphed into the Segregation Forever Party and is now the Abortion Forever Party, is now, as always, clearly and identifiably racist in its fundamental philosophy, and it falsely accuses all political opponents of being somehow racist.
Let me reiterate what I said in the article: if Fannie and Freddie, and the first big banks, had been left alone and allowed to fail, and not bailed out, we would not now be in this economic pickle. A percentage of home mortgages would have failed, and some banks would have failed or re-organized, as they should have, and the American and world economies would have just gone on about their business. This whole thing would have been a minor and self-correcting historical economic hiccup rather than a major world-wide depression.
Regarding the Change, or the Change we can believe in that we can expect from the new administration, well now, let me see.
Obama intends to try to force Catholic hospitals to commit abortions, infanticides and, eventually, euthanasia.
Obama, a true, blue Homo-Nazi, intends to force heterosexual soldiers, sailors and Marines to live in close quarters and take showers with professed, open, acting-out flaming faggots, who will proudly wear American uniforms, and who will represent America wherever they go.
(If you take issue with my use of the term faggot, see the Its not MY language page for my justification of it.)
We have a known tax evader in charge of the IRS.
We have a philosophical Communist and a Femi-Nazi for Secretary of State.
Granting that this is only a partial list, and Obama hasn’t even got started yet, I still must say that I have yet to see any change I can believe in.
Date: Thu Jan 15 10:40:02 2009
Subject: Selective Vulgarity?
The two links you supplied to the Obama Supporters above show that you are not averse to publishing obscene words without any sort of attempt to censor or “bleep” them. So why didn’t you publish the full submissions of the Obama Supporters as you did your examples at the two supplied links?
Date: Thu Jan 15 10:59:26 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
Subject: Selective Vulgarity?
There were two major differences between the examples at the two links, and probably some other places in the Website, and the vulgar diatribes from the Obama Supporters.
First, the examples from the links involved very public people who were or who supported and were supported by the Democrat Party in general and Marxism in particular. Second, the personages and the events I was talking about were public events that the SLIMC1 studiously censored and under-reported and/or slanted in such a way that the American public had no idea of the nature of the very topic of the news story. I felt people ought to have some idea of the words that were used by the people so beloved of and protected by the SLIMC1 .
There were other examples I would have treated similarly if I could have gotten hold of the material. What comes to mind is major Democrat office holders and candidates proudly marching and participating in the homosexual version of the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Outright public obscenity, including simulated acts of sodomy, were religiously censored by our thoroughly atheist and Marxist SLIMC1 from all the news reports of the event. If I could have found any pictures of that event I probably would have published them.
Regarding the recent submissions by the Obama Supporters, by comparison: they were authored by nobodies, like me, and they were short, nonsensical, obscene and insulting. I will not allow this site to become a forum for that kind of back-and-forth, nor will I participate in it. I have in the past been trapped into that sort of dialogue in private email, which always got started from the private Contact Me link and were always logically unrelated to any particular site page or topic. I won’t let that happen again.
Date: Thu Feb 05 20:28:06 2009
From: Eamonn Jenkins
Subject: from Toronto, Canada
I just happened upon your site via Julian Lee's http://celibacy.info/ (Opens in a New Window) site, and I must say what a find this is!
I am supposed to get some work done tonight, but am instead flying through your articles, laughing and in full agreement with everything I've read.
I admire your wit, erudition, and breadth of knowledge. Thank you, I look forward to regularly reading your articles. What a joy to laugh and to think! Also, inspiring on the pursuit of virtue and chastity, that priceless pearl.
God bless and keep up the good work,
Date: Fri Feb 06 05:47:46 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
Subject: Eamonn from Totonto
Thank you; you are much too kind.
If you haven’t been there yet, I might suggest the Artificial Contraception page as a beginning point, if your interest is in chastity. I believe the move in the secular order and the Protestant order to its acceptance marked the most serious disruption and downward trend in the morality of all of Western Civilization. That was the beginning of the notion of pure sex without consequence, an impossibility, and the trivialization of sex into sex as recreation.
See also the Homo-Nazi page for some of the not only unchaste, but filthy and downright dangerous perverted practices that are now deemed acceptable even among heterosexuals. Which just goes along with the modern popular mindset, which sees, among other things, a human baby as a punishment.
It’s not too late to turn it around. Warmest regards,
Date: Fri Mar 13 07:50:31 2009
Location: Charlotte NC
Your use of GDP seems to be "cherry picking" your topics to promote the agenda of the Right. Our auto industry was not as well managed as foreign auto companies, it cannot honestly compete and it deserves what it is getting.
Date: Fri Mar 13 08:27:49 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
I used GDP because it seemed to me to be the best indicator of annual wealth creation of a people. If you know of a better one, show it to us, or recommend it.
While management of the American auto industry may be as imperfect as anything else in this world, I think we would have to agree that it has done pretty well, considering that:
Compare the management and the historical success of our auto industry with that of any Socialist country. Like Cuba. Or North Korea. Or even Russia, or China.
And note that Socialism is the direction we are currently headed in.
Date: Wed May 06 23:01:58 2009
Location: Lackland AFB, TX
According to your economic viewpoint, your moral theory and your listed per-capita GDP ranking of nations, Luxembourg citizens must enjoy greater liberty and higher morality than us Americans, to go along with their greater annual wealth production. Therefore, Luxembourg would be a preferable place to live as compared to the USA.
Do you agree?
Date: Thu May 07 09:27:33 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
Another factor to consider is security. No other nation has ever enjoyed the military security of the USA. At least not up until now.
Date: Sun Aug 23 15:12:24 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
According to the CIA World Factbook 2009, some places have changed in the per capita GDP in rankings as stated in the article, as measured in US dollars. I thought it might be appropriate to bring you up to date.
As you can see, the USA has slipped quite a few places, but still remains close to the top of the heap. Note that the USA still produces more in GDP than any other nation, by a wide margin. However, few other countries measure their population in hundreds of millions as we do; therefore, our per capita GDP is far more diluted as compared to most other countries. Still, the ranking has gone down.
GDP is the measure of what a nation produced; “per capita” GDP is per citizen. Annual per capita GDP is a measure of individual earnings, not individual income. In more free countries, much of it goes to the citizens. Among many countries, a considerably larger fraction of annual earnings goes to the government rather than to the people. The trend in America is definitely toward the government and away from the people.
Money is power.
|18||United Arab Emirates||$40.000|
|22||British Virgin Islands||$38.500|
|29||Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)||$35.400|
|30||Isle of Man||$35.000|
|56||Saint Kitts and Nevis||$19.700|
|58||Antigua and Barbuda||$19.000|
|59||Trinidad and Tobago||$18.600|
|79||Northern Mariana Islands||$12.500|
|85||Turks and Caicos Islands||$11.500|
|89||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||$10.500|
|108||Saint Pierre and Miquelon||$7.000|
|110||Bosnia and Herzegovina||$6.500|
|129||Congo, Republic of the||$4.000|
|131||Wallis and Futuna||$3.800|
|142||Micronesia, Federated States of||$2.200|
|142||Papua New Guinea||$2.200|
|149||Sao Tome and Principe||$1.300|
|155||Central African Republic||$700|
|159||Congo, Democratic Republic of the||$300|
|161||United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges||NA|
|161||Heard Island and McDonald Islands||NA|
|161||Holy See (Vatican City)||NA|
|161||French Southern and Antarctic Lands||NA|
|161||Ashmore and Cartier Islands||NA|
|161||Coral Sea Islands||NA|
|161||British Indian Ocean Territory||NA|
|161||Cocos (Keeling) Islands||NA|
|161||South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands||NA|
So, there you have it.
Date: Mon Dec 14 09:19:02 2009
According to your table Norwegian citizens are averaging more income than Americans; does it not follow that a mixed economy makes for a wealthier citizenry than following a strict, old fashioned laissez-faire economic approach?
Date: Mon Dec 14 18:15:10 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
First, let us not confuse per capita GDP with income of citizens. GDP is a measure of wealth production of a nation for a year, as defined in the article:
GDP is equal to the total of consumer, investment and government spending, plus the value of exports, minus the value of imports.GDP is the The total market value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given year.
Per Capita GDP is that annual calculation divided by population. This is not citizen income; it is merely a measure of annual wealth production of a nation divided by its population.
For me, it is the most meaningful measure of the output of a nation – its wealth production – per worker. Even though all members of a population are not workers, it still represents an immediately usable measuring device between nations. Total GDP between nations doesn’t mean much, because some nations are huge and some are tiny. Percentage change is meaningful only for one nation at a time, and is useless for comparing anything between nations.
Per Capita GDP is about as close as you can get to how your nation is doing in wealth production compared to other countries; it is not citizen income. You will have to find other tables for national individual income average, mean, median, etc., which I’m sure are available to you.
Now to the main point of your question.
Moving from the laissez-faire model to a mixed economy is what has caused and is causing the American economic decline. The more the government messes with the economy and tries to control any part of it, the more the economy is injured. Marxian theory has done it’s work and laid economic traps that keep snapping closed on otherwise brilliant economists to this day.
Keynes’ theory was flawed because, when he developed it, he erroneously believed that laissez-faire had failed. But much of the free world adopted Keynesian economics, and the natural laws of supply and demand were always adversely affected in the long run. Combinations of state instituted fiscal policies, monetary policies and taxes were intended to curb unemployment, offset the effects of automation and correct “under consumption” of products. Even deficit spending was made acceptable.
But all of these “problems” are self-correcting under laissez-faire. And we never should have even started down the deficit spending road.
Liberal economists such as Galbraith, Keller, Samuelson and others all advised Presidents and Congresses to initiate these policies, and any benefits from them, where they existed at all, were short term. Whenever they were combined with the notions of Marxist-inspired “fairness,” or egalitarianism to put it most brutally, the government was able to rationalize some form and some level of redistributionism, although not by that name.
In America, it took the form of the entitlement, which seemed honorable and even charitable at first glance. A worker had a “right” to a given wage, or even to a job, etc. Which meant that someone had a responsibility to supply it.
All of these things adversely affected the natural operation of free market forces, the natural laws of supply and demand, and the normal, automatic functioning of the open market place and the liberated citizenry. You can look at the 2008 Financial Crisis page for a short history of how we got from the Hoover-Roosevelt Depression to the current state of affairs in the Bush-Obama depression. I call it depression because I believe it will last more than four quarters, and four quarters of recession is usually defined as a depression.
(GDP, expressed as a percentage, is a useful tool for determining where the economy is going. A flat or declining GDP over two or more quarters is the most commonly agreed sign of an economic recession. A flat or declining GDP over four or more quarters is the most commonly agreed sign of an economic depression.)
So, the answer is no. Laissez-faire produces the most new wealth over the long run. Marxism, in any form, including eencie-weencie, itsy-bitsy Marxism, as in Keynesian economics, hurts wealth in the long run. The more interventionist (Marxist) we become, the poorer we will become. We can see it happening right now, at warp speed, with the Marxist Obama driving the bus.
A free market is an automatically self correcting market, and a moral citizenry with a representative government makes for a charitable nation that provides multiple safety nets for the unfortunates. But Marxism secularizes society destroying the common morality even as it destroys wealth production and eliminates liberty.
Date: Mon Dec 14 21:58:09 2009
All mildly interventionist economics are not necessarily Marxist. Surely you don’t think Alan Greenspan is a Marxist. Do you not feel that some sort of control of chronic market fluctuation is beneficial?
Date: Tue Dec 15 05:55:38 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
Alan Greenspan, like a thundering herd of other prominent Keynesian economists is Marxist to the same degree that Keynes was a Marxist, e.g., followed the theory that the market needed government intervention and/or control. A controlled market is not a free market; Marxism aims at total market control. A partially controlled market is one that will eventually need more control, or, to be unleashed and set free.
Market fluctuations are self correcting in a free market. The current crisis was caused by government and social groups (ACORN, black “leadership,” etc.) forcing banks to make loans to people who could not pay them back. It might have been better if the government had forced the banks to give the money to the home buyers outright, instead of issuing unsustainable mortgages to high risk borrowers.
Even in milder areas of government intervention – what’s the difference between government control of interest rates, via the Fed setting the prime rate, and, say, price fixing? Government has already established wage controls; we have a government fixed minimum wage, and the government is now moving to cap salaries and bonuses in free enterprises beyond the constitutional scope of government control. All of these are artificial market forces that act to stifle the free market and the laws of supply and demand.
But it gets worse. Government seeks to control market demand, by punitively taxing what the sitting government doesn’t like and subsidizing what the sitting government likes. Tobacco products are taxed into a black-market opportunity, preposterous anti-smoking laws are passed feeding an anti-establishment sentiment, and the situation gets worse instead of better. Local and state governments begin receiving federal money through earmarks attached to completely unrelated legislation, and grow addicted to it. Then, it becomes a federal government controlled behavior modification program, when the government threatens to cut off the flow of earmark funds unless a certain behavior is adopted.
Now we have a sitting government that takes all this to new levels of incredulity. We have perceived “emergencies” involving obese citizenry, junk food in vending machines, a President of the United States instructing us on how to cough, sneeze and wash our hands – it doesn’t get any more ridiculous than this.
I’m sure Mr. Greenspan dose not consider himself to be a Marxist. However, he is an interventionist, and so he serves the Marxist cause well. A free market is best left free.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
As part of the ongoing effort to upgrade this whole website, upgraded this webpage to the new BB 2.0 - SBI! 3.0 release and to make use of the new reusable code features.
An earlier phase of this major conversion corrupted or adversely affected some fonts, alignments, quotes and tables in the previously published webpages. Not to worry; this phase is converting them all, one by one. Eventually, every webpage on this site will have the same look and feel as this one.
LOVE this new release!
Date: Mon Jul 07 2014
From: Vic Biorseth
Changes pursuant to changing the website URL
and name from
Thinking Catholic Strategic Center to
Catholic American Thinker.
Pulled the trigger on the 301 MOVE IT option June 1, 2014. Working my way through all the webpages. .
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Seek the Truth; find the Way; live the Life; please God, and live forever.
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The 2008 Bush - Obama Economic Depression
The Origins & history of the greatest threat to America since 1776.
(Now, you all know how I hate to say “I told you so”, but … yeah, right.)
Economic Catastrophe Pages
The stratagem of Machiavelli, systematized by Hegel, perfected by Marx and improved by Alinsky of "initiate calamitous emergency, then ride heroically to the rescue and assume more political power" is being played out right before our eyes by the Marxocrat Party, with the Republicans dutifully cooperating.
I told you so before the 2008 election; and here we are. As much as I hate to say I told you so, here we are; and you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Financial Crisis, yes, but of who’s making? American Free Market Capitalism may now be in crash and burn mode. Is it due to the inevitability proclaimed by Marxism, or due to government interference with the free market process?
2008 election forecast from a truly disgusting debate; doom for conservatism? There is no good candidate here. It's so tiresome to have to choose the lesser of two evils. Our 2008 election forecast.
Regarding the perceptible depth of Marxist Infiltration in America. Marxist Infiltration: How do we measure it? Number of bureaucrats on government payroll, or, Freudian slips of office holders?
Measuring the Marxist Seeds of Disaster that were sown long ago. Marxist Seeds of Disaster are sprouting. Free Market garden growing a bitter harvest born of bitter seeds of Marxist Theory.
Obama Ethos: Who is Barack Obama? What is his grounding, his ethos? Obama Ethos explores Obama's grounds of being; his religious, moral and political guiding principles.
2008 Political Crisis: the Pseudo-Intellectual Elite Fad of Marxism looms in America. 2008 Political Crisis of Socialism looms over America, and over all of Western Culture.
Is the 2008 world economic condition as rosy as all the Obama fans think it is? Here comes Change. The question is whether it might be beneficial or catastrophic for the 2008 world economic condition.
2008 Obama Election: Disaster, or Turning Point? The 2008 Obama Election may spell doom for Conservatism, or, mark a turning point back to basics.
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