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Guest Post: The Country Is Over

Tyler Durden's picture


Originally posted at Monty Pelerin's World blog,

Data are hard to deal with when your vision is on the wrong side of it. Those wanting to claim there is a recovery underway are having just this problem. These people either have no understanding of economics or they believe falsely that they can inflate “animal spirits” with their hyped reports and that will initiate a recovery.

There will not be an economic recovery given the economic policies of this country. A recovery is not unlikely, I would argue it is closer to impossible if not impossible. The reasons for this position are not complicated. In short, the nation has become an out-of-control welfare state that is rapidly destroying the incentives to work or create jobs. Government policies appear designed toward this end. One doesn’t need a high IQ or  an advanced degree in economics to understand the problems.

There are innumerable factors responsible for the decline of the US. Only three important ones will convey why the economy is dying:

1. The rule of law and property rights are under attack.


What do you really own? The depositors in Cyprus believed they owned what was in their bank accounts. They found out otherwise. Bondholders of General Motors believed they were protected by bankruptcy laws when GM was bankrupted by the government. They found out otherwise. Do you own your pension plans and IRAs. Well you always believed you did except now there is talk about confiscating a portion or all of these funds.

How much of your income do you own? For those doing well, let’s say 60%. But that portion is under attack with the “need” for higher taxes and “fair share” gobbledegook. What about Social Security? Although the government sold it as a retirement policy and told you it is yours, the government says in fine print it is not. That is their excuse for not treating it as a liability on their balance sheet.

The fact is that the rules are being changed at will by the side who has lots of guns. The number of rules and laws that have been changed or ignored in the past several years makes one wonder what laws will remain. We are  approaching the point where there are no rules which means there can be no society. Without cooperation, markets will cease to function efficiently or perhaps at all. Millions of people will starve to death under such conditions.

2. Obamacare has raised costs

The costs associated with Obamacare are still not known or calculable. The rules are still being written. Already there are thousands of pages. Even though we passed it as Speaker Pelosi suggested as a means to find out what was in it, we still don’t know as the rules are still being made up.

For sure the program is driving up the costs of medical care and driving down the quality. That is exactly the opposite of what was promised. Business firms face great uncertainty as to what this mandate will do to their costs and operating procedures. Obamacare is rising the cost of employees. When you penalize something, you get less of it. That is a prime reason why there is no employment recovery in this country.

Employers have frozen their hiring until clarity develops. The development of clarity is no assurance that they will change their behavior. If the costs are too high (and they appear to be for many smaller businesses who create the most jobs), then hiring will not return.

The effect on hiring is only one negative. Full-time workers are being made part-time in order that they be exempted from the Obamacare mandate. These steps are not something business wants to do, it is something they must do in order to survive.

3. Government policies have made the dole more lucrative than work

As we make it easier to get unemployment benefits for longer time periods, more people take advantage of the system. So too with food stamps and disability. All programs are at or near record levels in what is supposed to be four years into an economic recovery. For many, the benefits of becoming a government dependent exceed what they can earn. One study reported that a family of four, collecting all the benefits for which they were entitled, would have to earn $65,000 per annum to have the same after-tax purchasing power.

If you are a product of the government schools and are legal to work (i.e., have skills enough that you are affordable at the minimum wage or higher), at what point do you realize that there is no need to go through the hassle of actual work. You can live pretty well by staying home and taking advantage of the entitlements available to you. That is exactly what a larger and larger percentage of the population are realizing. In many cases, it is economically irrational to work.

This behavior creates a social pathology that only worsens over time. Kids learn from their parents that work is not necessary and the many ways to game the system. In this regard, look for this problem to become worse over time unless these programs are cut back.

There Can Be No Recovery

Despite all you hear coming from the government’s media megaphone, there is no economic recovery underway, nor can there be one. The policies in place ensure that one will not happen. Economics is not a top-down science as Keynesians and politicians want you to believe. You can throw as many Fed dollars into the system or devise innumerable government stimulus programs. These are all top-down. Economics is a bottom-up process that starts with individual decisions and behavior. Individuals respond to available choices and incentives. They act in their own self-interest not in the manner in which some government planner wants them to act. Top-down programs do not affect the incentives of the individual decision-makers.

We raise the costs on those who work (higher taxes) and the businessmen who provide the jobs. One of the basic laws of human nature is that when you penalize something or make it less pleasant, people will want less of it. It is not a mystery why business is not hiring and the number of workers is declining. The return to both is declining as a result of government policies.

We raise the rewards for not working. Another basic law of human behavior is that when you increase rewards for a particular kind of behavior, you will get more of it. It is not a mystery why more people are choosing the dole than ever before. Government has encouraged them to do by providing higher rewards.

Add in the regime uncertainty associated with unstable or unpredictable laws and regulations and you have the perfect storm. There is no incentive to hire. Business hunkers down not knowing what is coming their way next. They understand they are targets of this Administration. It is unlikely that there will be any improvement on this fron while Obama remains in office. This behavior has nothing to do with politics. Even businesses headed by Democrats are behaving in this fashion. It is self-interest as in the desire to survive that motivates this behavior.

Why The Economy is Dying

As government grows the private sector shrinks. As the private sector shrinks there are fewer goods and services produced (government produces no goods and few services). I believe it was Dick Armey who described this situation with the wagon analogy: there are more people riding in the wagon and fewer pulling the wagon. As the wagon becomes heavier, the remaining pullers must work harder to move it.

The pullers must support the riders. Government does not support the riders or anyone else for that matter. Whatever government has it has taken from the pullers. Whatever it doles out it must get from taxes, borrowing or printing new money. Regardless of which means it uses, it is all coming from the pullers. They pay the borrowing back. They have less as a result of higher taxes. They are made poorer by the rising prices from the printing of money.

As the burdens increase on the pullers and the benefits increase for the riders, more pullers decide to ride. The truly creative and talented can always make enough money to continue to work rather than ride. However, when their efforts can be expended in other countries that penalize them less, at some point they no longer pull the wagon. They leave the country to climes where they are treated better.

Each increase in government spending means requires more money from the private sector. That means greater distortions in the incentive-disincentive calculus that produces fewer people pulling the wagon. Now fewer people must support more non-producers. Every time someone gets in the wagon, the burden on the productive sector increases. More must be extracted from a smaller group to serve the increasing riders.

That is what is happening in this country. If it is not reversed, the economy will stagnate and eventually implode. This conclusion is dependent upon nothing more than simple arithmetic. How bad is the imbalance today? Tyler Durden provides some information (my emboldening in red added):

The punchline: 110 million privately employed workers; 88 million welfare recipients and government workers and rising rapidly.

And since nothing has changed in the past two years, and in fact the situation has gotten progressively (pardon the pun) worse, here is our conclusion on this topic from two years ago:

We have been writing for over a year, how the very top of America’s social order steals from the middle class each and every day. Now we finally know that the very bottom of the entitlement food chain also makes out like a bandit compared to that idiot American who actually works and pays their taxes. One can only also hope that in addition to seeing their disposable income be eaten away by a kleptocratic entitlement state, that the disappearing middle class is also selling off its weaponry. Because if it isn’t, and if it finally decides it has had enough, the outcome will not be surprising at all: it will be the same old that has occurred in virtually every revolution in the history of the world to date.

But for now, just stick head in sand, and pretend all is good. Self-deception is now the only thing left for the entire insolvent entitlement-addicted world.

Mr. Durden’s article is worthwhile and informative. I encourage you to read it in its entirety, including the PDF attached.


Is The Decline Inevitable?


Of course not. As Lawrence of Arabia stated: “Nothing is written.”

The Economic Solution

The solution to solving the problem is quite simple for an economist. Merely reverse the process. Make it attractive for people to jump out of the wagon and begin pulling. For businesses, make it attractive for them to hire. Make it unattractive to be on the dole. Reverse the growth of government and you increase the size of the private sector. More capital is made available for productive activities rather than being squandered by government. Talent stops leaving the country when they are treated more favorably here, whether this be via lower taxes or less onerous regulatory burdens. Then, get government out of the way and let markets solve the problem.

The Political Barrier

For the political class, the solution borders on the impossible. Politicians have bribed the citizenry with goodies for votes. They have sold the notion that government is responsible for all good things. The economic solution runs counter to everything that politicians have peddled. Further it reduces their power and ability to retain office, at least in a manner in which they are accustomed. It shrinks their perquisites. It shrinks their vote-buying ability. In short, it is virtually impossible for them to go along with such a solution.

What politicians thrive on is what created the current problems. Reversing this behavior is alien to them. They would not know how to behave under such conditions. Yet the economic solution is the only solution!

Do I expect politicians to change and save the country? No! Is it possible they could? Probably not, but “nothing is written.”


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Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:16 | 3418691 Mototard at Large
Mototard at Large's picture

It looks like TD Bank/Keybank  and others are being hacked by the Qassam fighters of Iran. Also have solid reports of multipcle Dutch banks DDOSed on Friday - but no indication of who is responsible.  This is part of a larger problem which could get serious if payments and settlement servers continue to get hit as well.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:19 | 3418702 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture

This article is a distraction.

Yes government is too big.

However, there is a worldwide debt bubble in collapse that has hobbled the economy and the economy will not recover until the debt edifice, along with bubble creating fiat currency, which are crushing the economy are removed.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:30 | 3418736 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Great piece.

Our self-appointed leaders believe that propaganda is more important than incentives and disincentives.  They will have their asses handed to them.

I would only add that I meet more people every day who are white hot over the high treason of illegal immigration.

Civil wars have been fought over less..., a lot less.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:38 | 3418757 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Only three important ones will convey why the economy is dying:

And lists the same brain-dead approved talking points regurgitated every time a discussion of why the economy is in trouble comes up. 

Each talking point incidentally having very little to do with why the economy is in trouble. 

But rage on!

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:48 | 3418777 Rusticus
Rusticus's picture

Agreed ! The article reads like Mitt Romney's teleprompter.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:12 | 3418801 Landotfree
Landotfree's picture

Man has no ability to make Law, they can only make rules which they claim are Laws.   Billions of walking unfunded liabilities will have to be liquidated as a result of Man ignoring the Law of God or the Universe.  Although I would prefer limited government, whether or not you have a big or small government has nothing to do with what you are going to witness.   

The end result of using the equation is liquidation, it has been like that for 1000s of years on this floating rock.

What is even funnier is the statement, "the rules of law".   It's admitting there is no law and only a rule of law, rules were meant to be broken.

The author means well but is a retard.   Once Man started using the equation the end result was known, like when you add 1 + 1.... the outcome is always the same. 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:56 | 3418983 aint no fortuna...
aint no fortunate son's picture

Say there, who is that Tyler Durden fellow the authior quotes? Sounds like a rabble rouser whose hair is on fire no doubt, altho I must say the chap has a point. He should start his own fringe blog, might get a few hundred people to follow him.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:01 | 3419010 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture


You cannot have central planning and big government, with all the associated destructive consequences, without centrally planned fiat money.  You can't have one without the other.  Take away centrally planned fiat money and you rid yourself of big government.  All else is a distraction.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 16:13 | 3419235 markmotive
markmotive's picture

Money is debt, gold is money...add one more to that: government-banking cartel is fiat.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 17:54 | 3419627 BoNeSxxx
BoNeSxxx's picture

The only times in history that true personal liberty existed is the brief period when the citizens were equally gunned as the goobermint...

In the US, that stopped somewhere between 1913 and 1942.

Mon, 04/08/2013 - 03:40 | 3420997 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Strange to coincide with Amendment XVI and simultaneous of Federal Reserve Bank Act. Strange to coincide in 1917 with Bolshevik Revolution fund by Schiff Gold Train. Was Amerika actual target of Russian Revolution?

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:37 | 3419125 Errol
Errol's picture


You are quite right about the need for billions of walking unfunded liabilites to be liquidated.  The bedrock reason is that all the easy oil and coal are gone; all that is left is hard-to-get low quality energy that requires an increasing fraction of its contained energy to extract it.

The whole debt ponzi kicked into high gear *coincidentally* in 1971 when US oil production peaked and Nixon closed the gold window.  Reagan gave the debt can a mighty kick down the road, and that can is now approaching the goalposts.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 19:59 | 3420084 akarc
akarc's picture


"Agreed ! The article reads like Mitt Romney's teleprompter."

Amen and yet you get downed 42 for stating the obvious. The article is transparent sounding like something from the mouths of the Koch Brothers and the comments indicative of an invasion of zero hedge comments by the top 10%  trying to re-affirm the big lie. That we can blame it all on a mexican lettuce picker (sarc).

Any article stating the the economic problems of today can be boiled down to the three reasons mentioned is sophmoric at best in it's attempt to raise worn out Tea party rhetoric from the likes of Dick Armey a Koch/COCK beneficiary from the gutter to the dumpster.

It ignores completely the wealth and job destruction caused by the banks gambling with derivatives, the governments use of taxpayer dollars to bail out the likes of General Motors, the offshoring of US jobs by traitorous corporations to profit off communist country slavery and abuses of child labor laws while keeping profits offshore and enabling the likes of GE to pay zero income taxes.

Money transferred by the fed from the now nonexistent worker to the banks under the guise of some sort of retro trickle down theory w/ washington prostitutes beating the drums of lies that the top two percent are the "Job Creators".

This article talks about the "the rule of law" which has been rendered impotent by the government police agencies as they proclaim they can not or will not prosecute the true criminals, i.e. banksters, for fear of the consequences. 

Yet at the same time plays on the Obama hatred, A person who appoints Jeffery Immelt job czar, surrounds himself with wall street types and has continued the the legacy of George Bushs war on civil liberties. Obama can talk about gun control all he wants because he knows it will not happen and does not have to happen when the government purchases all the ammunition and the pussies that say they need their guns to protect themselves from the government show their true colors by leaving them in the closet long past the time of their greatest need.

Obama is the conservative hate mongers greatest friend and the rednecks are to stupid to realize it because he is black and unfortunately not Jew or they could hate him twice as much.. His own justice department has not convicted one banker or corporation of the high crimes and treason committed. And of course it was Obama that destroyed the country while an obstructionist congress with such luminaries as Cantor and the big Dick, "Boner" continue to spout that which their masters pay them to spout. 

It speaks of thousands of dollars of welfare dolled out to many in need because of the government/corporate allaince destruction of the economy and mentions not the BILLIONS paid out to corporations for waste. To Defense corporations producing armament that will never be used because the armed forces never asked for it and in fact asked, "please don't make us take it!"

It makes no mention of the fact that absolutely none of the current state of affairs could have accured without wholesale corruption from the top down to the lowest municipality clerk in a Florida town that will try to seize your home if you refuse to pay an illegal red light ticket. Which of course is now legal thanks to the help of Goldman Sachs (google it).

Obamacare was passed by both Republicans and Democrats who never read the bill, yet the people re-elect the same negligent assholes and will blame any consequences on anything but their own failure to work hard enough to rise above their ignorance and lack of balls to throw the bastarts out.  

Innumerable articles have been posted on this site re the wealth gap it's causes, Bank crimes and government malfeasance. Yet let somebody post an article blaming the cause of our problems on 3 items, one of which is helping to support the poverty stricken many of whom did not elect to be so and zero hedge commenters ejaculate in joy. 

It as if Schizophrenia has spread through the Zero Hedge community. Formerly intelligent, critical thinking, thought provoking,people of reason reduced to Jew/mexican/liberal/poor people hating misanthropes who believe the answer to all things is gold.

yeah there are some folk out there that are abusing the welfare disability system. So lets hold them all accountable. Equal justice under the law. I am in total agreement. We should start with the most egregious violators first, i.e. BANKERS!    


Sun, 04/07/2013 - 20:47 | 3420249 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Gee I wonder what you're selling. /sarc

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 22:07 | 3420494 Henry Hub
Henry Hub's picture

Sounds to me like he's selling the truth.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 22:31 | 3420565 Hive Raid
Hive Raid's picture

The offshoring of a nation's economic infrastructure causes a huge population of unemployed, who either have to be paid for by the remaining workers or left to die off. Feeding them with a welfare state is the most stable option. Hence, we have what we see today.

Global population is multiples above sustainable carrying capacity, so a die off is in the cards, but it will only come at a breaking point when all other options are exhausted.

However, it is absolutely the Jew who designed and executed this destruction of our civilization. And the Jew has used the third world hordes--especially Mexicans--as a mass biological weapon to genocide the American people. The Jew gutted the culture and changed the laws to this end, then let economic forces carry their army in like the tides. "Corporations" simply played the economic logic as was defined for them by the Jew.

You are apparently a hyphenated American, meaning not an American at all, so your opinions on the matter are irrelevant.


Sun, 04/07/2013 - 23:12 | 3420640 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

Lets see . . . the banksters have stolen the value of people's money by devaluing it by around 96% over the last 100 years that the Fed has existed. Money created out of thin air can be used to buy off politicians, spread propaganda, and control the political process. Wars are being fought and bases are occupied by the New Roman Empire throughout the world. The cost of that is horrendous.

Yeah . . . the main problem is 'bums' not working <sarc>

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:05 | 3418822 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

Hey James_Cole. As a "James Cole" of long standing on other blogs, I use Jack Burton on ZH, so you are welcome to the "James_Cole" tag from "12 Monkeys".

While I can agree government is too big in many areas, I also find the above article just more Neo-Liberal talking points that ignore vast economic problems. While the claim is that work does not pay, that the rich are taxed to death and nobody in the private sector can make money, the facts are not always so clear. Corporate Profits are at record levels. FACT!  The incomes of the top 1% have never been so high in both real and percentage terms. FACT!  The amount of real taxes the well off pay after their tax lawyers and tax havens are taken into account, are at record lows. FACT!  The real tax rates on high income earners are lower than the 1920's capitalist free for all. FACT!

The ability of corporate America to influence the congress by legal bribery has never been so high. FACT!  The laws and tax laws have never, ever favored the off shoring of US jobs more than they do now. FACT.

I could continue, but the point is made. I agree, Government is becoming an out of control police state. But if you think America's poor are prospering at the expense of the high income earners you must be MAD! Facts do not support this.

The above article is right about some things, but ingnores the rest of the story. Just look back 30 years, the American Middle CLass had much more of the income going to them, now they see falling and stagnant wages, poverty spikes. Anyone who thinks you can just live off of welfare and have it good has NEVER tried  it. If you have never tried it, how can you claim to know?

Corporate America has record profits, they have never had it so good. The Fed. acts to debase the currency in order to juice stocks for the benefit of stock owners, NOT the bottom 50% for sure.

Too many talking points above. Just another Neo-Liberal excuse to lower taxes for the wealthy and to hand more power to corporations. Those who make the claims above are only partly right. Why not give us the rest of the story!

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:17 | 3418861 Arrowflinger
Arrowflinger's picture

Beat me to it.

I have been meaning to say "Hi" to Bay of Pigs.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:19 | 3418869 Arrowflinger
Arrowflinger's picture use the same beautiful women av's...... I liked Frida Lyngstad way back over on Mish.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:02 | 3419009 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

Yes, we had a great crew over at Mish's site for some years. Actually the best comments section I have ever encountered for perrhaps a two year period. As usual though, the best comments sections seem to collapse over time. It is a mere shadow of it's former self.

Yes, I loved putting up beautiful women from the popular culture of my lifetime.

Oh, I am still posting as "James Cole" over at Mish's, just not very often.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:28 | 3419051 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Oh, I am still posting as "James Cole" over at Mish's, just not very often.

It's funny someone on here once flipped out at me going off on how I was secretly posting in multiple accounts etc., turns out they had confused you and I... I mean that they thought I was posting as both + other sites. 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:51 | 3419176 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Your talk about each others comments on other sites like you're meeting up with the guys from work.  Of course people may think you're posting multiple accounts on ZH.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 17:14 | 3419418 duo
duo's picture

for a couple of years Mish's comments section couldn't be beat.  I was Optics guy back then.,

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 17:27 | 3419485 akak
akak's picture

But I have read that Mish was and is not above editing and even censoring comments that challenge his deflationary thesis, or that refute some of his 'facts' or arguments, even if Mish does not engage in such behavior as egregiously as Karl HerrForumFuhrer Denninger, who will brook not the slightest bit of dissent in his gulag/mockery of a forum.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 20:29 | 3420190 kito
kito's picture

i am mish....hear me roar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:30 | 3418890 tickhound
tickhound's picture

Whether it's Republicans bashing the "Affordable" Care Act (amazing we still call it that) or someone from the left rushing to "Tax the Wealthy" ...

What is IGNORED in the article and every comment so far on this board is the FACT that the Roy Rogers and McD's in my town are Kiosk and Automated... they make due with fewer employees and this has little to do with government policy and more to do cost-cutting and the very simple idea that EVERYONE seems afraid to criticize..... PROFIT SEEKING!

Check-in for a flight a decade ago involved over a half-dozen "tellers" in the American Airline Terminal alone.  Last week I saw 2.... and a SHITLOAD of kiosks.  I used the KIOSK. 

This trend will continue... Ray Charles can see it, but not us for some stupid reason.

Those on the dole will increase no matter what policies are in place... Barring an all out BAN on the use of machines to replace labor. 

"Creating Jobs" for the sake of "Creating Jobs" is no solution.  We invent so many as it is just to justify the outdated labor-consumption model.

To solve this problem will require change of the SYSTEMIC type. 

Those of you still blaming policy makers are as short-sighted as you are close-minded.

WTF zher's, I say.


Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:33 | 3418908 Fedaykinx
Fedaykinx's picture

bullshit.  regulation on the federal, state, and local level is choking the life out of small business, it's been an ongoing trend for decades.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:50 | 3418958 tickhound
tickhound's picture

Bullshit?  Another fucking luddite?  What do you live in a freaking cave?

So you WANT to be rid of automation?  You WANT technology thwarted?  Small biz is getting choked, no doubt.... but I got news for you if you think any "chasing cheap labor" is bullshit.....

You could de-regulate till your bright RED FACE turns GOP BONER BURNT... and it won't stop anything I previously mentioned.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:54 | 3418979 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Bullshit?  Another fucking luddite?  What do you live in a freaking cave?

Take it easy... Fedaykinx is right, you're both right. Just arguing different points. 

Small business is often over-regulated over-taxed for the benefit of big business. 

Just look at banking, it's a joke. 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:09 | 3419028 tickhound
tickhound's picture

Oh please.  I brought up an OBVIOUS trend the article conveniently omitted and he called it BULLSHIT.  He defended it with an argument everyone here knows.  You know, that perma echo ringing in our ears.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 16:17 | 3419251 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

"The solution to solving the problem is quite simple"

I do agree. Hang three to four hundred bankers to the lamp post at the same time. of course keep in mind the time zone.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 18:34 | 3419821 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Chum, the cheif driver for expending capital on automation IS employee costs.

The more the government raise the cost of having living employees, the more automation will be seen as a viable alternative... actually, as a necessary alternative, because the cost base of the business may not support hiring people any more.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 19:07 | 3419918 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Chum, the cheif driver for expending capital on automation IS employee costs.

And employee inefficiencies.

If Bangladesh employees increasingly can't compete with automation on a cost basis, good luck for employees in the USA.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 22:21 | 3420533 Henry Hub
Henry Hub's picture

***cost base of the business may not support hiring people any more.***

Of course this all works until there is not enought people employed who can afford to purchase the goods and services produced. Then we hit a wall! We're not there yet, but I can see the wall from here. It's not going to be pretty.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 21:10 | 3420309 Fedaykinx
Fedaykinx's picture

while they certainly don't help, automation and outsourcing are not what is ultimately keeping us from having a real, organic, bottom-up recovery.  small business under ~500 employees or so has traditionally led the way in job growth, but that is not happening this time.  people are scared out of their fucking minds... for starters, they have NO IDEA how much labor is going to cost in the next several years, these assholes in washington haven't even finished writing the goddamned affordable care act yet and that's just the cherry on top of the entire stinking shit sundae that's been piling on for decades.  if you don't think that's not an albatross around the neck of virtually every single job creator in the country that's not a publicly traded company, i don't know what to tell you.

i know a lot of small business types who see their employees as enormously dangerous liabilities and are desperately trying to figure out how they're going to get below the employee threshold or even the hours worked threshold to get the exemption that's been handed out to all of the administration's buddies, so many of them, i might add, that they stopped making all of them public.  there are so many disencentives to job growth on the ground right now it's mind numbing, and you're worried about factories that we don't even have in this country any more becoming more efficient?  fuck that shit.  break up these zombie banks and get the government jackboot off the necks of the PEOPLE and this economy would BOOM with entrepreneurship down to the smallest microeconomic level.  that shit is obvious.

i'm not holding my breath for that to happen though.  there will probably be a lot of blood and death involved instead.

molon labe motherfuckers.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:15 | 3419046 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

The only ones under-regulated are the Bankers, WS and Politicians.  Everyone else gets regulated up the wazzu including yourself, if you haven't noticed.  So when people say we need less regulation, it's NOT for the already unregulated class.  But low information people can't distinguish, so the left plays the "we can't deregulate" meme to all the usefull idiots.  

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 16:22 | 3419220 tickhound
tickhound's picture

You take the very simple systemically implicit notion of a company cutting labor cost to increase profit, and what you get is the two same idiots arguing as to why it shouldn't happen in the first place.

Regulate!  Deregulate!

If I can rid the burden of sick days, health insurance, employee tardiness, employee mistakes, pension funds, and the always present potential LITIGATION over the firing of an employee.... All in the effort to remain competitive and increase market share... WHY IN THE HELL WOULDN'T I DO IT?  The system rewards me for doing this.  There is an INHERENT incentive to do this.  This is the rub. 

And, ultimately, this places burden on the consumption side of the equation... the wage slave is necessary.  These idiots want to justify the wage slave.  Ironic.

Cuz, cuz....

Who will drive the SUV to work?  Buy the gas?  Crash into a fence?  Get a ticket for speeding?  Buy STARBUCKS coffee?


Sun, 04/07/2013 - 16:52 | 3419355 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

So, what's the rub? That in a free market a private business exists to make profit? If not a profit then what are they working for? Govt credits? Yeah you buy a car, run out of gas, get some gas, get a flat, fix the flat, crash into the fence, fix the fence, it's OK. Besides, most gas, tire and fence guys don't work for the company, but they do work for a profit. Somewhere along the line you were programmed into believing that Govt can make things fair and regulate all your problems away. It's too bad you still haven't figured out by now that this same old idea has never worked. 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 17:06 | 3419395 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

So, what's the rub? That in a free market a private business exists to make profit? If not a profit then what are they working for?

You're not understanding the point being made. Regulate more or less - it's an irrelevant argument in terms of employment. 

People have simply become unnecessary on a large scale, something that will increase dramatically in the next decade. Economically this has interesting implications. Existentially even more so. 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 18:40 | 3419835 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Sigh. More 'lump of labour' idiocy.

Regulate more or less - it's an irrelevant argument in terms of employment.

No, moron, the more expensive it is to hire a person, because of increasing regulation, the more reason an employer has to replace him/her with a machine. Machines are usually more expensive initially, but the lower running costs make them cheaper than hiring a person that the government has made increasingly expensive.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 19:04 | 3419911 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

No, moron, the more expensive it is to hire a person, because of increasing regulation, the more reason an employer has to replace him/her with a machine. Machines are usually more expensive initially, but the lower running costs make them cheaper than hiring a person that the government has made increasingly expensive.

Laughable.... is Foxconn moving to fully automate their production lines because of increased costs due to regulation??

Automation has been a constant since the invention of the wheel, the rate has simply exploded recently. Whether from software or hardware based solutions, human jobs are being replaced at a rapid clip. Even traditionally white collar jobs are being obliterated by sophisticated software. 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 17:12 | 3419408 tickhound
tickhound's picture

Why would they work?  The theme here, idiot, is that they increasingly WON'T be working.  Automation will increasingly prove cheaper and more cost-effective.

Gov't?  Humanity needs to look to technicians and scientists for problem solving.  Not politicians.  Not lawmakers.  Programmed for regulation?  Regulation can only "regulate" the (what should be) FREEDOM to exchange information and technology. 

So when it takes fewer and fewer humans with smart robotics and technology to feed more and more.... I GUARANTEE you'll be one of the first in line to criticize why all those former "laborers" are now welfare recipients.  You want the status quo, you just don't know it.

You see the future full of International Patent Protection.  Not me.  You need the bureaucrats. 


Sun, 04/07/2013 - 17:29 | 3419500 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Gov't?  Humanity needs to look to technicians and scientists for problem solving. 

Don't need to 'look to' anyone except ourselves. People just need access, you see something like the raspberry pi or the experiment MIT did with Ehtiopia and it's clear democratization of technology and power are the answer to the problems humanity collectively faces atm.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 18:30 | 3419812 HurricaneSeason
HurricaneSeason's picture

The Chinese want to add 25 million jobs a year to their economy.  Some of those jobs will come from the U.S. for the foreseeable future.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 19:11 | 3419931 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Yes, Automation will increasingly make things cheaper and more cost-effective.  Which means a less expensive product to the end users, all of us.  So what's wrong with that?  We don't need to work for the sake of work. We need productive work that earns sound money so we can have a good standard of living.  The former factory laborer will find a new niche in the economy and they will also benefit from the lower costs of all products, including food. What's important is the value of your work.  We don't have high unemployment and a stagnant economy because of automation, but because the oversized welfare states are stealing the wealth of every individual in the 99% to maintain itself. There is no welfare for the former factory laborers of any broke State.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 19:40 | 3420024 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Yes, Automation will increasingly make things cheaper and more cost-effective.  Which means a less expensive product to the end users, all of us.  So what's wrong with that?  We don't need to work for the sake of work. 

Nothing wrong with it, it's a very good thing. I wish most products I bought were manufactured 100% by machine. 

The former factory laborer will find a new niche in the economy and they will also benefit from the lower costs of all products, including food. 

That's a pipe dream, most people who have lost their jobs from technological advancement in the past 10 yrs will not be finding new work at anywhere near comparable wages, if they find new work at all. This isn't the 1930s. 

Within 20 yrs only a sliver of people will be required to produce the same amount of goods. It requires rethinking economy. 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 20:51 | 3420201 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Most people who lost their job didn't because of technological advancements.  That's a strawman that never happened, so lets look at the facts.  Factories closed in the US for many reasons, biggest of which is the increasing cost of doing business here.  So new businesses open elsewhere and take those jobs elsewhere.   Automation is but a tiny fraction of the jobs lost.  Look how computers have changed the present work environment, everyone is more productive, even personally and everyone benefits.  Sure some people lost their jobs like filing clerks, spell checkers and bookeepers, but many new jobs were also created from the innovation and new products that this technology produced

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 21:31 | 3420375 Fedaykinx
Fedaykinx's picture

yup you get it. +juan

Mon, 04/08/2013 - 01:13 | 3420859 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Most people who lost their job didn't because of technological advancements.  That's a strawman that never happened, so lets look at the facts.  

It is true to some extent that the majority of people didn't lose their jobs in 2008 directly to technological advancement over the past decade, however, technological advancement ensures that those jobs will never return. 

Automation is but a tiny fraction of the jobs lost.  Look how computers have changed the present work environment, everyone is more productive, even personally and everyone benefits.

There's a tipping point with productivity - when you can replace a whole team with one person and a computer you start to have major impact on the job market. The level of advancement also means that increasingly the jobs offered are more and more specialized. With the current version of this program you can do more in a day individually than was possible in weeks if not months for a team ten years ago.

And the product design can also easily incorporate supply chain considerations leading to efficiencies across the spectrum.  It's paradigm shifting stuff but people are very slow to understand it. I could give you countless examples. 

Generally people outside of the science and engineering industries seem mostly oblivious to this trend, but I think when the self-driving car really takes over industry it'll be a huge wake up call. 

Mon, 04/08/2013 - 02:25 | 3420929 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Look James, here's where we disagree. You believe that you can anticipate and design, or engineer the society/economy based on trends, new technologies, or perceived future growth/demand. That is exactly the problem with central planning. Central planning removes the flowing element of a free market which constantly adapts to change and replaces it with forced outcomes. You're certain that technology will have a negative impact on the job market. How can you be so sure? People thought that about technological advacements in the industrial age and were proven wrong. Free markets are in constant motion. Again, what caused the 2008 crash was central planning gone wrong, Govt wisdom forcing an outcome, (like everyone should own a home) while indirectly creating an unexpected imbalance in the financial system. I wouldn't worry about automation destroying our future job market, I would be more concerned about the wild eyed planners in the Fed and DC destroying us with their solutions.

Mon, 04/08/2013 - 05:04 | 3421060 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

You believe that you can anticipate and design, or engineer the society/economy based on trends, new technologies, or perceived future growth/demand.

I don't believe that. 

You're certain that technology will have a negative impact on the job market.

In terms of the system we live within - the evolution of technology is the nail in the coffin of capitalism. If there were anything close to a free market out there capitalism would already be dead. 

How can you be so sure? People thought that about technological advancements in the industrial age and were proven wrong.

Lots of people did lose their jobs, but sure there were other job openings in the factories.

Technology has come a long way since then though, think of my example of the self-driving car. Say you have a business that involves shipping goods by truck. The drivers - gone, organization of the shipments - computer algorithms, warehousing - robotics, maintenance? Humans. You can easily go from a large human workforce to basically a skeleton crew while simultaneously increasing efficiency exponentially. 

This isn't something in the next ten years either, a lot of this has already been going on. The self-driving car will be the major change I think people will really notice though. 

Again, what caused the 2008 crash was central planning gone wrong, Govt wisdom forcing an outcome, (like everyone should own a home) while indirectly creating an unexpected imbalance in the financial system. 

It was capital concentration that caused the 2008 crash, homogenous / hegemonic systems are always weak and destined for colossal failure & capitalism inevitably leads to capital concentration. 

I would be more concerned about the wild eyed planners in the Fed and DC destroying us with their solutions.

The only solution is radical systemic change - which will happen regardless - the question is only will the change be to a far more free or far less free society. So far less free is winning. 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 20:09 | 3420119 akarc
akarc's picture

And how many here have actually ever been to a legislative committe meeting to shine the light on the bullshit? You lay down in my neighborhood and allow some one to steal your wallet guess what, they will come back and do it again. Yeah no shit the Kleptocracy is regulating and taxing the shit out of you.  Thats what kleptocracies do! My question, what the fuck are you doing to stop it!

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:46 | 3418949 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

What is IGNORED in the article and every comment so far on this board is the FACT that the Roy Rogers and McD's in my town are Kiosk and Automated... they make due with fewer employees and this has little to do with government policy and more to do cost-cutting and the very simple idea that EVERYONE seems afraid to criticize..... PROFIT SEEKING!

I actually bring this up frequently and people down-vote me for it. But I don't tack it up to profit seeking, I see at as technological evolution. When self-driven cars really come into the market, what's going to happen to every job associated with driving? It would be insane to use humans rather than computer drivers, for MANY reasons. 

There are countless sectors of western society that are built on inefficiencies, capitalism itself relies on inefficiencies. One of the funny things is as we become too efficient, economy breaks down.

Most peoples jobs (as in like 95-99%) fall into the category of will-be-replaced by far more efficient technology, this reality doesn't gel with American culture at any level so it's rarely discussed. It also doesn't gel with human existence, but that's another debate....

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:04 | 3419007 tickhound
tickhound's picture

James... Of course you get down-rated.  SO FUCKING WHAT?  Speak your mind.  This is no echo chamber as much as "they'd" like it to be. 

The fact it doesn't "gel" is why we are the day late dolla short shithole chasers we're becoming.  INNOVATION around here is better ways to scalp your ass, not ground-break to do what technology (that great only human invention) was designed to do.... "Make our lives EASIER"

People will reach into the bottom of the PERPETUAL GROWTH barrel to justify their religion.  You know this. 



I won't feel guilty subsidizing your consumption.  Guilt is YOUR job.


The Machine


Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:22 | 3419074 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Yeah I'm not worried about getting down votes, just pointing out that people don't want to hear it. Back an animal into a corner and they'll lash out.


Evolution has worked out pretty well but the human brain is not really up to the task of functioning at this level of technological advancement. That goes for all of us. The best option I figure is get the power distributed to as many as possible and hope for the best.

No matter how smart someone is, everyone is a slave + blind to their biases. The idea of even having an 'executive branch' in an advaced culture strikes me as insane. 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 16:42 | 3419160 tickhound
tickhound's picture

"The idea of even having an 'executive branch' in an advaced culture strikes me as insane"

Why stop there?  All a politician can do is make a law.  Spoon fed to us as "solving a problem."  Then everyone licks it up.

See above?

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 16:51 | 3419344 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Why stop there? 


I'm not necessarily opposed to the idea of dismantling government, but when you dismantle a power system you create a power-vacuum which will be filled. 

So far that vacuum has been filled by corporations which themselves are fascist hierarchies - not exactly an upgrade. 


Sun, 04/07/2013 - 18:47 | 3419857 BigJim
BigJim's picture

 ...but when you dismantle a power system you create a power-vacuum which will be filled. 

So far that vacuum has been filled by corporations which ...

I'm sorry? What dismantling of a power system has been leading to any kind of vacuum here in the developed countries? Corporations have gained power not from decreasing government power, but the very opposite - as governments acquire more power, corporations in turn gain power because corporations are creatures of the state; their privileges are granted by the state, and state regulations are written by corporate proxies specifically for corporate gain.


Sun, 04/07/2013 - 19:19 | 3419952 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Corporations have gained power not from decreasing government power, but the very opposite - as governments acquire more power, corporations in turn gain power because corporations are creatures of the state; their privileges are granted by the state, and state regulations are written by corporate proxies specifically for corporate gain.


You're not saying anything different than me, just trying to look at it from another angle.

That said the government hasn't granted itself any major new powers between 1980-2000, there had been some covert powers made explicit, but in general there's not a huge difference.

But during that period corporations gained immense new powers, from WTO, NAFTA to financial modernization act corporations have gone from national to supranational. The WTO supersedes in many cases sovereign rights, as does NAFTA. In these cases individual countries have handed over regulation of their home economies to a large extent to international bodies.

The TPP is another one being worked on right now to further erode local governance.

These agreements are written by corporations / corporate interests and yes ratified by governments but specifically to reduce the power of individual governments.


Sun, 04/07/2013 - 18:18 | 3419754 Turin Turambar
Turin Turambar's picture

Evolution?  Sure.  Spending 12+ years beginning in early childhood in forced government detention/reeducation compounds run by government teet-sucking double digit iq'd "educators" has absolutely NOTHING to do with it.  :-O

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 19:52 | 3420063 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

What's your alternative? Lemme guess: The monoculture of monotheism, fed daily and twice on Sunday.

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 21:50 | 3429330 Turin Turambar
Turin Turambar's picture

"monoculture of monotheism"


Sigh.  Nice job Einstein.  Yeah, NO difference at all between the monotheistic cultures of Christianity and Islam.  Sounds like one super big harmonious monoculture to me.  LOL


What's wrong with trying liberty?  Let parents and individuals decide on what is taught and what they want to study.  Ever heard of homeschooling?

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 20:14 | 3420139 akarc
akarc's picture

"No matter how smart someone is, everyone is a slave + blind to their biases."


And are educated to choose sides and perpetuate whichever myth they choose to beleive in.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:23 | 3419075 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Double post.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:33 | 3418905 Lednbrass
Lednbrass's picture

The poor and government employees are not prospering at the expense of high income earners, they are prospering at the expense of the middle just as the high income earners are.

Freebies for the poor, freebies for the ultra rich, and what's in between is being ground into dust. There is a mentality that many have which believes that I should not care about the little fleas and ticks biting at my legs because a big fat leech has attached itself to my neck- I would prefer to see all the parasites large and small dead.

On the plus side, it isn't the people who live on the government or those who rake in obscene amounts of bennie bux through gaming the system who are socking away weaponry and ammo so there may be some hope once people have lost so much there is nothing left to lose.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:37 | 3418916 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

While I can agree government is too big in many areas, I also find the above article just more Neo-Liberal talking points that ignore vast economic problems.


The government being too big is often taken as an aphorism on the right, but when you think about it it is meaningless. The question shouldn't be what the proper 'size' of government is but of whether the government is efficient / useful. A subtle but important distinction.  

The former claim skips thinking and goes right to emotion - 'the big bad government is squashing the little guy!' The latter question asks the population to give feedback on the functions of the system - something no one wants!

Anyway.. a pet peeve of mine. 

As far as welfare, whether it is liveable or not I see as a side-issue. Welfare in it's current form is a type of perpetual stimulus package to corporate interests. Thinking of my favourite George W. line - you may call welfare folks takers, but Wal-mart calls them their base. 

The real endemic problems in the US stem not from any government welfare type program but obviously from the malaise of empire coupled with rapid technological evolution. 

Since the 1950s the US has had it relatively easy, now it's facing more stiff competition on a variety of fronts. Some indications suggest the US will go from running the world to * gasp * actually competing within it. Sending it's productivity to slave-labour camps in third world countries hasn't helped the equation for joe sixpack. 

The technological evolution is an even greater threat - the US has pretty much always been a top-down economy but that will inevitably change. A type of socialism has taken place on a wide scale on the technology front and the government has been trying to squash it but without success.

In a capitalist society the technology evolution is actually a threat to basically everyone, so no matter what the system will change. Whether it will become more free or less is the question. So far, it looks like the latter is winning. 


Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:44 | 3418944 CH1
CH1's picture

Government is organized crime.

Arguments to the contrary serve only to continue the crime or to evade emotional pain.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:16 | 3419050 jimmytorpedo
jimmytorpedo's picture

I'm with the gorilla.

I mean I agree with CH1, not that I work for the gov't.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:17 | 3419057 Ima anal sphincter
Ima anal sphincter's picture

+1000 You summed it up quite nicely.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 17:57 | 3419652 archon
archon's picture

+1 for the gorilla.  The only difference between a thug and a politician is one of them gets to make the laws.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:04 | 3419021 Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name's picture

"The question shouldn't be what the proper 'size' of government is but of whether the government is efficient / useful."

I stopped reading right there. How much more "feedback" do you need to determine for yourself whether or not government is efficient? The feedback is all around you.

And it ain't good.


Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:25 | 3419084 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Never claimed to think the US government was efficient... would anyone make that claim? 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:35 | 3419121 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

"Never claimed to think the US government was efficient... "  No ?!?  Then who wrote that in your comment?

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:41 | 3419138 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

"Never claimed to think the US government was efficient... "  No ?!?  Then who wrote that in your comment?


Either I recommend you go easy on the hallucinogens or take some reading comprehension classes. Or likely both.


Sun, 04/07/2013 - 20:18 | 3420151 akarc
akarc's picture

"The question shouldn't be what the proper 'size' of government is but of whether the government is efficient / useful."


Tis true though. Big government is not bad. Small government is not bad. Inefficient, corrupt, government no matter the size suck!

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 22:52 | 3420603 Henry Hub
Henry Hub's picture

Big government, small government the power of government will always be there and assumed by some interests. The real question is in whose interests is government power used. Right now in the U.S. government power is used for the benefit of multinational corporations and the wealthy that own and control them not the average American. This is what has to change.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 17:56 | 3419484 archon
archon's picture

Eliminating the Middle Class is high on the priorities list of any good communist.  The Middle Class is a threat to the Ruling Class.  They're being squeezed between "the rich" and "the poor" the same way parents are squeezed between grandparents and children.  In the end, the goal is that every element of society be polarized as extremely as possible - there is no middle ground for a communist, it's all "divide and conquer".

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 23:01 | 3420645 Henry Hub
Henry Hub's picture

You do realize the basic premise of Communism is the elimination of private property. The vast wealth of the oligarchs would be confiscated. No, the oligarchs are solidifying their power and wealth. There is zero chance of Communism taking hold. What we will have is Fascism. A Fascist police state is the dream of every oligarch.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 23:09 | 3420663 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

The oligarchs don't believe in any 'isms' - those are shams that their paid off intellectuals fabricate as a smoke screen. (Though some of the dumber 'intellectuals' actually believe in their own claptrap)  The oligarch game is Power over humanity, a global feudal structure with them at the top. After they establish this, they will push to drastically reduce the population using various means.

Unless enough people choose to wake up.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 23:31 | 3420717 seataka
seataka's picture

Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.
Robert A. Heinlein

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:51 | 3418962 Woodyg
Woodyg's picture

Wheres the 1. Outsourced Labor market(labor arbitrage masquarading as 'free markets', 2. Governmental capture by banksters leading to endless Free Loot and the 3. destruction of the Rule Of Law?

Theres 3 just as good items as the article points out.

If anyone thinks that most people are happy now that they get their $600-1000 a month disability check over the $50,000+ they used to earn are crazy.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 23:35 | 3420710 seataka
seataka's picture

America is so far past the point of Civil War or Revolution as a plausible solution that any such effort would likely just fill the FEMA camps.

The only solution MIGHT be one modeled on one the great slave rebellions of history, because as a Nation we have become a nation of slaves and overseers..

And if anyonne thinks they are 'free', try traveling to another state without any money.



Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:49 | 3418779 Mountainview
Mountainview's picture

Until you press China to have a reasonable exchange rate nothing can change! But multinationals do extremely well with current settings. The whole thing is part of a wealth transfer system...some will remain on top of it (but not those you think they are)...

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:01 | 3419011 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Respecting the environment would also be a good start, but somehow the tree-fuckers think that subsidizing their abuse of the environment with western taxpayer dollars is helpful to the problem they claim to care about.


Or you could substitute "human rights" for "environment", or "rule of law"... 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:54 | 3418790 scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

Government is too big? I don't know that.


Besides the author's political slant lumping government workers with those on government assistance (an act of snobbery my friends in the military don't appreciate) there's no reason to recognise the money paid them as a drain on the economy.  Indeed, the exact opposite is looking to be true.


The IMF has, quietly, admitted austerity policies in Greece are shrinking GDP in an ever widening death spiral.  We have our own austerity attack here in the Sates, with Wisconsin's right wing pro market government knocking the state from high to low job creation.


If you have a government that acts like a banana republic, you get an economy that operates like banana republic.


Let's see, it's not the corporations, banksters, and hedge funds on taxpayer subsidy that are the problem, it's the citizens/taxpayers who aren't making enough or working to death for nothing that are the problem.  A bit of a slant.



Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:02 | 3418807 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

"Government is too big? I don't know that"

You don't?  In the year 2000, the federal budget was 1.7 trillion dollars.  In 2013? 3.8 trillion.  It more than DOUBLED in 13 short years.  Did your income?

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:07 | 3418830 Landotfree
Landotfree's picture

The game is not over but the fat lady started warming up in 2007-2008, dead cat bounce from 2010-2012, we'll see.  The equation always wins.  Whether you have small or big government is just noise, eventually the system can't expand exponentially and it's game over.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:46 | 3418951 CH1
CH1's picture

No, the game is over. Some of the players are still upright, but mostly because they've been staked there, like Heston at the end of El Cid.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:56 | 3418985 scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

The government debt blew up keeping rich people rich. So we'll go pick on your less fortunate neighbors and public servants to make up for it. Smart.

It can be disappeared in an afternoon, if it's that dangerous. It's not a law of physics, it's a bookkeeping entry. Whole different thing.

It's a class war and the rich are winning. Are you rich, or do you just want to be on the winning side?

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:01 | 3418810 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

It is an overly right wing slant.

Yours is overly left wing.

Geology doesn't care about politics.  It predates it by 80 million years.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:03 | 3418813 Landotfree
Landotfree's picture


The governments are whipping the racing horse as much as they can, unfortunately or fortunately there is only so much a race horse can run.   Eventually the horse will fall down, and the jockey (government/fed/etc) can keep on whipping but the horse is not going to move, matter of fact, it will probably just die.  

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:12 | 3418840 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

The private sector is whipping their work horses (whoever is left) to turn out more and more. It's not just the government's fault. Corporations have forsaken the country.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:04 | 3418819 Ballin D
Ballin D's picture

Austerity isnt Greece's problem. You cant drive straight towards a cliff and ignore the guy telling you that you need to turn then pass him the wheel once its too late and transfer the blame. They have far to much debt to simply earn and cost cut their way out at this point.

You are trying to polarize the issue. The corporations and banksters are the problem. As well as the non-producers who have been disincentivized from joining the labor force. Both parties get to share the blame because they are both part of the toxic blood that is killing the system from the inside.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:53 | 3418974 Lednbrass
Lednbrass's picture

Whether people in the military or other government workers appreciate it or not it is a point of fact that they get their money entirely from central government which can only get that money through taxation or the sale of debt.  There is no mathematical possibility of them being an economic plus- they take, period. You cannot take the income stream generated by taxes and debt sale, remove money from it to pay for military or any other Federal position, and claim that it is a gain. It cannot be done.

"Austerity attack"? Are you insane? Government spending has increased steadily year on year far beyond its ability to pay, there is no level of government in the US that is not in massive debt and continuing to rack it up. I know math is hard but jeez, do make some effort to comprehend.

The US census has been gathering data on state and government debt for years but oddly has not updated for 2011 and 12 yet.  In any case, please show some HARD DATA (not an article making unsourced claims, rela source material) that Wisconsin has implemented austerity on any level and actually stopped deficit spending. No government anywhere has instituted austerity (despite media claims to the contrary), its nonsense.

Now- show some actual evidence that Wisconsin has implemented austerity- put it up or shut up.  Inherent in your premise is the idea that somehow reduced government spending has hindered job creation which is a whole different kettle of fish, but wrong. Anyhow, put up some real numbers and prove your case.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 20:23 | 3420175 akarc
akarc's picture

"Let's see, it's not the corporations, banksters, and hedge funds on taxpayer subsidy that are the problem, it's the citizens/taxpayers who aren't making enough or working to death for nothing that are the problem.  A bit of a slant."

Blasphemy! You heretic! How dare you speak common sense in the house of Babylon. Why the corproatons, banks and hedge funds are the engines of all wealth. Why the board members themselves picked the rock and toted the rails upon their backs that built the railroad. To hell with those who do an honest days work with honest hands to think that they should be treated fairly!

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:02 | 3419015 buckethead
buckethead's picture

Lost me at Obamacare. Of course Obamacare is a future fiasco, but blaming the fall of civilization upon it is a bit like saying a cough is killing the patient. It is but a symptom.

Poorly written piece.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 20:21 | 3420167 PubliusTacitus
PubliusTacitus's picture

Obamascare is that bad - you are drastically and fatally underestimating its shittiness and destructiveness.


5 years.  That's all.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 22:15 | 3420519 buckethead
buckethead's picture

Having done a stint working as a consultant for a Medicare advantage company, I was very diligent in learning about Obamacare. It is an unmitigated disaster in waiting. I still see it as symptomatic. It is corporations merging with government. Been happening long before Obama came into the picture. It may well be the straw that breaks the camels back.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 22:41 | 3420586 MFLTucson
MFLTucson's picture

The greatest impetimen to a recovery is Barack Obama, end the discussion.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:27 | 3418725 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

Civil War II.

We need a "red" US and a "blue" US.

The problems will soon become UNDENIABLE.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:45 | 3418772 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

However we get there, the US is going to end up split into

five or six seperate countries in the end.Civil war seems as likely as any method.

Globalization/NWO is aready dead , what unions there were are fragmenting

back to their component parts once the intial euphoria wears of revealing

the chasms.

We live in interesting times.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:55 | 3418794 gatorengineer
gatorengineer's picture

Unions fragmenting ROTFLAO......  What planet are you on?  The NEA and SEIU are the only two that mean anything and they are far from fragmenting.....

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:05 | 3418826 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Like the Europen union,The union between England and Scotland,The Spanish union.

Parochial American twat ?

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:21 | 3419064 jimmytorpedo
jimmytorpedo's picture

Always a plus one for using twat.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:15 | 3418853 Karlus
Karlus's picture

"However we get there, the US is going to end up split into five or six seperate countries in the end."


And why would this be? My thought is that those that produce will quickly win a conflict and we roll back the welfare. Why would we want to give up the rest of the territory if we are victorious?

Their way of life is unsustainable, they just need to be shown the light. My guess is Texas would annex California and the states in between.


Point of winning a Civil war is not to break up, but to force the weaker side to give in. Without food Cali and the NE are going to be sucking some hind tit

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:47 | 3418904 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Because I don't see Americans going along with the Agenda 21 plan

to cram the whole population into hives to keep contol under the

existing PTB.It only took 3% of the population to kick out the Britsh.

Because of my parentage, I tend to be able to look at nationalism and

Jingoism from  outside that aritifice.

With the covergence of Peak oil, Peak potable water,

Peak monetary madness etc. the only way forward is a much simpler local

economic model.The current Feuderalism (tm) imposed by DC is an experiment

that will not be repeated.Maybe a loose confederation along Cantonal lines

might emerge,but the different parts of the US are VERY different, withtout

that Feuderalism (tm),there really isn't anything holding it together.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:50 | 3418956 CH1
CH1's picture

I don't see Americans going along with the Agenda 21 plan

Why not? They have obeyed EVERY idiocy their overlords have asked of them.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:57 | 3418995 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Most I agree.Most Americans wanted to stay British back then as well.

It was the monetary fiat sheenanigans that tipped the scale.Sound  familiar ?

I think the the critical 3% threshold has been passed.

Someone is sure as hell buying a lot of ammo,not just the DHS.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 20:45 | 3420241 CH1
CH1's picture

I hope you're right, Winston, I truly do.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 16:51 | 3419349 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

I always appreciate your POV. Interesting statement on Agenda 21. Where I live in Redneckistan, a man threatened to expose (what ??) a state rep. if he did not read & vote against impending legislation regarding Agenda 21. Our Gov. is going against the ACA.

Yes, we live in interesting times. Very palpable indeed.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:56 | 3418980 sagerxx
sagerxx's picture

As a fellow living in NE, I can only say I'm going to be glad at SHTF + 12 months.  All the welfare cases will have either gotten busy working (somebody's farmland), have migrated to warmer climes, or be dead.  NE actually has pretty decent soil (esp if amended) for growing food and while it ain't glamorous, a subsistence can be had.

And while the winters suck, they will serve the fine purpose of sweeping away the grasshoppers and leaving the ants to reap the rewards of their labor.

(Note I said SHTF +12...that first year is gonna be a bear.  But Mr. 12-Gauge and Mr. 30-06 [and the community I'm building] got my back...)

Viva -- Sager

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 16:17 | 3419247 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Where abouts is the community? generally. Do you mean building local community partnerships or literally building a commune.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:05 | 3419023 Lednbrass
Lednbrass's picture

Because the problem is cultural, the US has evolved into several distinctly different countries held together only by force and there is nothing wrong with them going their separate ways. I think you are ignoring the idea that people should be allowed to govern themselves and order their lives in whatever way they see fit- what you are suggesting is a continuation of the same thing that got us here in the first place.

No thanks, the point of 1776 and 1861 were to allow people to chart their own course- all you want is to be the person dictating to others far away who may not want to live as you do just as is being done to you now.  It is not possible to cram 300 million plus people in an area as large as the US into one box without the used of strong centralized force, just as we have now. The long term solution is reasonably amicable divorce, not the continuation of a doomed marraige by gunpoint.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:46 | 3419066 Lednbrass
Lednbrass's picture

"They just need to be shown the light"- spoken like a true progressive.  The only difference between you and some California or New York Looney Tuner is what "light" you want to "show".

Bullshit, the only two wars fought on US soil in the 1770's and 1860's were both entirely about breaking away from the current power structure, not taking over that power structure.  American rebels in the 1770's had no interest in taking over England and forcing it to become a republic, Southern rebels in the 1860's had no interest in taking over the North.

What you want is just to be on top dictating to others how they should live (as much as you hate it being done to you now) and this is exactly what has gotten us here in the first place.  The US has grown into several different regional cultures that should be nations on their own- trying to cram 300 million plus people in an area as large is the US into one box can only be done through coercion, force, and trampling peoples right of self determination.

One either believes that peoples should be allowed to govern and order themselves as they see fit or not, and you are clearly a not. You are as much of a problem as the New Englanders and Left Coasters, just coming from the opposite angle.

Edit: Had some issues with my connection (its spotty out here in the Southern sticks) and for some reason didn't see that the first comment had gone up- apologies to the crowd for the redundancies.


Sun, 04/07/2013 - 18:42 | 3419838 Karlus
Karlus's picture

I dont like the idea of splintering the country into smaller and smaller less defensible parts.

As far as being on top, i actually favor a tiny federal govt with people serving there much like you would on a jury. As a service to the country, not as a career.

My thought is to eliminate the govt that supports harmful activities like the welfare state. Not split away.

At some point you cant argue with a liberal anymore and move on to other means to settle it. When more than 50% figure out that they can vote away everything from the other half, its time to water the tree of liberty.

If you are a double major in political science and ethnic womens studies, hope you can shoot straight and you have hoarded up ammo and food. If not you are done done.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 21:02 | 3420290 Lednbrass
Lednbrass's picture

Less defensible? England has a few miles of water around it and has not been successfully invaded in nearly 1000 years when the Normans came in dragonships- and you think 3000 miles of ocean isn't sufficient defense, coupled with a populace armed to the teeth? Nobody on the planet even has much of a naval force to speak of, much less anything that can transport a legitimate multi million man invasion force. Hell, if the South, North, and Pacific Coast split up they would each make large nations with alot of resources and more than enough population for self defense and in case of some truly existential threat could ally if needed.

What are you going to do, set up re-education camps so they will "think right"? Short of exterminating 150 million or so, it isn't going to work. You cannot get rid of the perpetual welfare state when a huge segment of the population wants it and is not going to change because it will literally mean their death. An insistence on retaining the current US to impose your vision on others who do not share it will only result  in your own destruction, much as keeping a gangrenous limb will only mean the death of the entire body. It is like three people trying to swim in heavy surf while each ahs one hand on another's neck- it ain't gonna work and the impulse to have and control it all will in the end result in having nothing.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:15 | 3418858 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

I don't know Winston. Last time some states tried to gain their freedom, it set off the worst war in American history. I see that the vast military industrial complex would never allow it's power to be diluted by a split inside America. No, the Powers of the Corporations need a large well armed united central government to enforce laws and rules that favor corporations. Neither the Miltiary nor the corporations would allow a split up. Some peoples may seek to free themselves from the Washington Police State, but that would trigger a blood bath. Imagine average folks with rifles and hand guns standing up to US Army Armored Divisions enjoying full air support. The civilians would be killed like flies.

The possibility for states to free themselves, for people to rule themselves are long since over. The Patriot Act allows any president to have the powers of Joesph Stalin at the height of the USSR's repression of the Russian people. The legal framework is there now, the police, intelligence and military forces needed to repress on a mass scale are all in place. Civilians and their individual states have NO chance against the Washinton Powers.

As far as a split, wer it possible, I would be very pleased if my state joined with several others and became an independent nation. We would thus have much more capital to work with, as Washington taxes our state much, much more than is ever returned to us. We have the worst ration of taxes paid to money returned of any state in the union. Or at least are in the worst 5.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:45 | 3418947 theprofromdover
theprofromdover's picture

I think the people can still surprise Washington.

If they shut down the internet, tv, and the cellphone system, people will have to rely on word of mouth and local information. That changes everything.

I can def. imagine all of the flyover states walking, and certainly Tx.

You tell someone they have no pension and no SS, and their house is unsellable, problems get simplified very quickly.

Only three things really count. Food, shelter and protection for your family.

Everything else is just to fill up your spare time.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:51 | 3418964 CH1
CH1's picture

I think the people can still surprise Washington.

The ones going Galt have surprised them. Those who "will do something when they cross the big line" will never do anything... except redraw the line.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:29 | 3419096 Lednbrass
Lednbrass's picture

The 6 states who sent in more than they got in 2010:

New Jersey- 37.95 billion Minnesota- 23.6 billion Delaware- 7.25 billion Nebraska- 1.10 Illinois- 1.07 billion Ohio- 34 million

Unfortunately the adminstration discontinued the Consolidated Federal Funds Report after 2010 and the data is very tough to find now, but source is here:

IRS gross collections by state:,-by-Type-of-Tax-and-State,-Fiscal-Year-IRS-Data-Book-Table-5

Do the math folks.


Sun, 04/07/2013 - 18:14 | 3419736 archon
archon's picture

Do the states control their own "National Guard"?  Or are those with the feds?  There are also more military officers than one might think who take their oath to defend the Constitution seriously, and might not follow unconstitutional orders given by a totalitarian thug.  Otherwise, yes, I would expect a bloody put-down from the feds. 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:04 | 3418814 yogibear
Sun, 04/07/2013 - 18:06 | 3419693 DosZap
DosZap's picture


Civil War II.

We need a "red" US and a "blue" US.

The problems will soon become UNDENIABLE.

It's already started long ago, but the speed is picking up.Colt Mfg out of Conn,just leased/purchased a huge empty facility in Breckenridge,Texas(for manufacturing their AR 15 style rifles,and large enough to take all their mfg capacity).

Gov.Perry's efforts and Connecticuts stupid laws are bearing fruit.Watch for a LOT more of this to come.The Redder the states get, the weaker the Blue States will become.Just look at Cali, and NYC, and several others,follow the money.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:01 | 3418806 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Drooling O idiot voters watching TV and Hollywood's shit like retards.  Nice job.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:13 | 3418849 Canadian Dirtlump
Canadian Dirtlump's picture

who could have seen a cyber false flag to justify theft from citizens and war with iran? lol.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:41 | 3419140 Joe A
Joe A's picture

The Dutch DDOS attack to me seems a hoax. DDOS attacks don't change saldos on bankaccounts. DDOS attack merely flood servers with data requests and crashes the servers. That can't possibly change saldos. Either the hackers got it or something fishy internally went on. Either way, the banks are not telling the truth about what happened.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:19 | 3418704 GoldRetriever
GoldRetriever's picture

Ironic that so many on the Dole are enjoying the fruits of others' labor.

An Apple a day keeps the sheeple at play.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:50 | 3418780 Umh
Umh's picture

I've always found it interesting that  rich and  poor families have more children than middle class families.

The rich can afford to have more children and the poor are paid to have more children.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:21 | 3418714 Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

That's strange. I was just watching Lawrence of Arabia last night.



Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:39 | 3418749 Abraxas
Abraxas's picture

What you described is called Baader-Meinhof complex phenomenon.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:38 | 3418760 Uber Vandal
Uber Vandal's picture

The Revolt in the Desert and Seven Pillars of Wisdom are two great books written by him.

A LOT of today's problems in the middle east could have been avoided had his wisdom been heeded.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:49 | 3418781 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

A lot of problems in that region currently are left-overs from that conflict. Most places the British meddled / were involved with treaties are now a disaster.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:06 | 3418821 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

The problems come from oil.

No oil.  No population growth.  No problems.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:23 | 3418879 Uber Vandal
Uber Vandal's picture

Yes, pretty much everything going on today can be traced back to WWI, for it set up the chess board for WWII and everything else.

The sins of the fathers seems to be very appropriate here.....

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:19 | 3418867 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

Franklin. Try watching "55 Days at Peking" if it ever comes on. An epic like "Lawrence of Arabia" and a great insight into China when it was under foreign domination. Also, the story is true, for the most part.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:24 | 3419079 Kiss My Iceland...
Kiss My Icelandic Ass's picture

".... Also, the story is true, for the most part."

Like "Lawrence of Arabia"....

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:21 | 3418717 maskone909
maskone909's picture

"Data are hard to deal with" ?????

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:30 | 3418734 ss123
ss123's picture

"Data" is plural. The usage is correct.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:46 | 3418775 maskone909
maskone909's picture

i just got mind freaked. 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:09 | 3418838 Midas
Midas's picture

You are what you is.


Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:22 | 3418718 cossack55
cossack55's picture

The US has "Rule of Law"......hunh.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:38 | 3418756 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

I think he was referring to "Admirality Law"... [lol]


Never answer the question "Do you understand"?...

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:27 | 3418731 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

The moving hand having writ moves on.

It will be blood either way;  for the PTB to remain that, or for

their overthrowing.

No good options left.

Paging Captain Kirk......

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:28 | 3418733 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

The great melting pot is about to boil over..........

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:00 | 3418804 scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

Is this The Decoy of Race?


Economics has always been about class warfare, tart it up with patriotism as you will. The elites find immigrants useful to supress wages and provide scapegoats. 


There are actully very few who fall for the scapegoat, but those few are provided with means and times to be a bother.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:30 | 3418891 Rustysilver
Rustysilver's picture

A Lunatic,

The great melting pot died with Henry Ford. Even he realized that at the end.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:31 | 3418743 GoldRetriever
GoldRetriever's picture

Misinforming and distracting the sheeple is the "Wool of Law."

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:32 | 3418744 sitenine
sitenine's picture

Well, duh. Of course there is no recovery, nor can there be one. The world over is deep into the process of a scorched earth last man standing strategy. If that's not obvious, then no, you weren't paying attention.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:33 | 3418745 Benjamin Glutton
Benjamin Glutton's picture

Zombie depositors of zombie banks working for zombie companies both kept alive by zombie government printing money with the blood of our children.



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