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Art Cashin On The New Normal's New Populism: 165 Million As State Dependents?

Tyler Durden's picture


Some must read observations on the dangerous path down which American society is headed.

Via UBS Financial Services

A Somewhat Ominous Op-Ed Recalls A Manufactured Ominous Quote – An op-ed in Forbes last week by Bill Wilson is causing some buzz in Wall Street watering holes. Its title is "165 Million Americans Are Dependents of the State: Is Tyranny Next?" Here's a bit of the essay:

Is America descending into a dependency state, where the majority uses its voting power to demand government services from taxpayers?


New research from Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee Jeff Sessions (R-AL) reveals that this reality may already be here, with more than 107 million Americans on some form of means-tested government welfare.


Add to that 46 million seniors collecting Medicare (subtracting out about 10 million on Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, and other senior-eligible programs already included in Sessions’ means-tested chart) and 22 million government employees at the federal, state, and local level — and suddenly, over 165 million people, a clear majority of the 308 million Americans counted by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2010, are at least partially dependents of the state.


Since President Obama took office in 2009, eligibility for Medicaid, food stamps, the earned income tax credit, the making work pay tax credit, and unemployment benefits has increased by roughly 10 million. …….


But it’s even worse than that. In fact, most voting-age Americans do not pay income taxes — approximately 50.6 percent.


That includes 53.91 million Americans who pay nothing in income taxes, and another 64.7 million who get refunds in excess of what was owed. That’s 118.61 million out of 234.6 million Americans 18 years and older, based on data compiled by the Joint Committee on Taxation and the U.S. Census Bureau.


The U.S. Constitution was designed to protect against such an outcome. The Founders did not want a democracy, which tends to be problematic because of the failure of minority rights to be defended against an arrogant or authoritarian majority. So, instead, the Founders created a republic.


In Federalist No. 10, James Madison wrote that in democracies, “governments are too unstable, [and] the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties, and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.”


Madison prescribed “curing the mischiefs of faction”, including a tyranny of the majority, by “controlling its effects”. Madison warned that “a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction.”


So, the “majority, having such coexistent passion or interest, must be rendered, by their number and local situation, unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression.” But how?


Instead of everyone gathering on a hill and voting on laws, the scheme of representation was established, wherein we elect our representatives to make decisions. Also, having a large, geographically wide republic and constitutional limits on the powers of government, complete with two branches of legislature, was supposed to prevent a tyranny of the majority from ever appearing.


Or at least, as Madison put it, such factors would “make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens”. …..

The concept of a majority living off a minority, almost naturally, has resurfaced that old quote, an election year chestnut, attributed to Alexander Tytler. Here's what I wrote on the quote a few years ago.

The “New Populism” Makes A Manufactured Quote Very Apt And Timely – On this day back in 2003, we pondered a fascinating quote. It was said to be from a book titled “The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic” by a professor of history at Edinburgh University. His name was said to be Alexander Fraser Tytler. Most fascinating (to me) was that the book was said to have been published in 1776 just as the American Republic was being born.


Here is the quote:


"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising them the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over a loss of fiscal responsibility, always followed by a dictatorship. The average of the world's great civilizations before they decline has been 200 years. These nations have progressed in this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to  apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage."


Our research suggests that the quote was “manufactured” at a far more recent date. Nonetheless, the quote seems especially appropriate in today’s political atmosphere. Let us hope its conclusion does not turn out to be appropriate.

We expect that you, and we, shall hear more and more of Tytler and, hopefully, Madison, as our politicians toy with making this a class warfare election. God save the Republic!


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Tue, 08/21/2012 - 09:38 | 2723415 Arnold Ziffel
Arnold Ziffel's picture

Old Paradigm: work for a living, frugality & honesty

New Paradigm: entitlements, shop 'till you drop & trickery

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 09:39 | 2723417 diogeneslaertius
diogeneslaertius's picture

The Republic lives so long as such men yet draw breath

towards a free humanity the world over friends

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 09:40 | 2723424 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

The permanent welfare for people and corporations is never good for the republic. Safety nets are one thing, because bad things happen to good people. But when dependency becomes the way of life it brings down society as a whole. People who would normally be contributing citizens become complacent and the have a disincentive to become a productive member of society. Corporations who can not survive without the teat of uncle Sam should be allowed to wither and die off so that capital can be allocated to a more productive enterprise. Without corporate welfare the war machine would be long dead as well as a couple car manufacturers and much of the financial services industry.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:29 | 2723679 RKDS
RKDS's picture

Fortunately the corporations are working on ending welfare for everyone but themselves.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:19 | 2724094 rustymason
rustymason's picture

The safety net should not be run by the government, but by the church and true charity organizations. The churches have nothing to do now except give our country and children away to the terd world masses. They need to be put back to work caring for the elderly, unwashed, and unwanted.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:19 | 2724095 rustymason
rustymason's picture

The safety net should not be run by the government, but by the church and true charity organizations. The churches have nothing to do now except give our country and children away to the terd world masses. They need to be put back to work caring for the elderly, unwashed, and unwanted.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 09:43 | 2723425 dolph9
dolph9's picture

America's problems are beyond solution.

The baby boomers do not want to accept that they will retire in poverty and will someday die.  They all imagine they will live forever, and be rich forever.  Consequently, they will vote themselves endless benefits in retirement while trying desperately to hang on to whatever wealth they have left.

Meanwhile, whole generations of state dependents have been created, whether it's big welfare or big military.

The assumption is that America still has a "vibrant middle" of law abiding, productive citizens who go to work every day and can pay for this.  It doesn't.  The country is now bifurcated into 99% serfs and a 1% (or 0.01%) of elites who really don't give a shit.

Not to mention that we are a sprawling, multicultural, multiracial country of 300 some million people most of whom have little in common with each other, and the only thing holding this fragile enchilada together is the assumption that Treasury debt can go to infinity to pay for everything, and that there's endless amount of oil to extract from the Arabs to power it all.

The Titanic is coming down, prepare for it.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:00 | 2723517 nowhereman
nowhereman's picture

There you go, isn't it nice to have someone to blame?  Especially when you can lump a whole group of someones together and point blame, and issue sweeping claims as to their deficiencies.

Did it ever occur to you that, as Americans, and as taxpayers, the "boomers" believed that they lived in a country that lived by it's promises?  That they paid taxes, and insurances, and mortgages and debts based on the "rules of the game" as laid out to them by the government and it's agencies.  That they believed in the "rule of law" never believing that they would be denigrated for just being alive, for expecting that the promises made to them would be respected.

Look into a mirror, moron.  What you will see is someone whose children and grandchildren will revile for simply having lived. 

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:42 | 2723740 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

This would be an awesome viewpoint if it did not completely ignore rudimentary observation throughout the boomers' lives...  and, further, inherently disregard the free lunch fallacy.  Needless to say, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is...  regardless of who is speaking.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:50 | 2724219 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

so every dollar confiscated from their pay for this bullshit was a free lunch? Oh and yes they invented SS too, right?

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 15:25 | 2724937 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

And if every one of those dollars is insufficient to cover their costs, then would you agree it is immoral to ask others to cover that for them?  Further, is the general economic environment for those expected to foot the bill the same now as it was when the boomers generated their savings (laugh)?  How do you propose to fix it?

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 14:57 | 2728316 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

"And IF?"   Was it not immoral to confiscate it in the first place? As far as the economic reality, it's never been smooth sailing. I paid 10% interest on my 1st mortgage & worked my cowboy a$$ off to be rid of it in 10 yrs.  I really don't think that greed can be fixed. 

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:40 | 2724141 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

It was the Boomers who rebelled so mightily against their fathers. It was the Boomers who saw fit to adjust the parameters of a civilization at its apex, as if those old parameters contributed nothing to the success of the nation. It was the Boomers who patted themselves on the back during the '80s and '90s for a job well done. Now that the whole thing is falling apart they got nothing to say. What happened? Did your balls drop off?

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:53 | 2724224 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

substitute the word boomers with the "bought & paid for representatives" & ur argument might hold some water. 

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 15:27 | 2724947 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

No...  the politically active of the 60s and 70s turned from hippies to yuppies...  our entire culture sold out...  not that hippies had much of anything right, but I think their general philosophy was... less cumbersome/destructive than what came about.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 09:45 | 2723442 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

Technically (or actually, quite specifically), all of Wall Street is a ward of the state.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 09:46 | 2723446 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

gee, i hope they have enuf ammunition to cure this problem

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 09:46 | 2723449 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

 Except to the anarchist, a "partial dependency" on the government is not necessarily a bad thing. 

Except to the anarchist, everyone's complete independence from government is not a desired goal.

Only looking at the so-called "government" side of the ledger is myopic.

The social and economic woes are not simply the result of "government". No more than a child's schooling is a result of the teacher, or someone's unemployment is the fault of the state job referral office.

The problem is systemic and symbiotic throughout the economy. There is too much militarism and military spending and profiting. There is too much wealth and power concentrated in too few hands and too few organizations, both government and corporate. There is too much environmental waste and degradation from the disconnect between profits and pollution. There is too much of the economy dedicated to the finance and warfare sectors.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 09:48 | 2723457 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Well if the government makes 100$ and spends 208$ it's clear there's a lot more room to maneuver!

Here in Belgium we had a good laugh. Our National bank director said we might go into recession.... so they fired him :)

You nuclear safety director said you nuclear powerplants all show severe cracks in the reactors... so they fired him to

You can't make this shit up...


Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:25 | 2723651 TSA gropee
TSA gropee's picture

Ha, it's just simple logic. Guy speaks truth about a problem. TPTB fire said guy who speaks truth. No more problem. Easiest "fix" ever. Sarc/

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:16 | 2724083 blabam
blabam's picture

Cracks in reactor. Fuck. 

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 09:50 | 2723468 not fat not stupid
not fat not stupid's picture

Punish the bastards at the top of the food chain; then i'll worry about the bastards at the bottom of the food chain.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:01 | 2723525 Lewshine
Lewshine's picture

...And that is WHY Obama's 2nd term is in the bag. The Fed kept its powder dry and unleashed the "covert" dogs at the perfect time. This is not an institutional rally. This is a backdoor funding of equities exclusively!! Which alters the perception of the world's reality. How do you take a depression and turn it into economic nirvana, four months before a Presidential election? You put an algo floor underneath equities (watch any index, they CANNOT drop past the flatline), tell the world that "you'll do whatever it takes", then sit back and watch the fireworks...Which is exactly what we are doing. 


Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:21 | 2723632 aaronb17
aaronb17's picture

Where the hell do you get the idea that the Fed is interested in keeping Obama in office? THEY DON'T CARE. The financial sector's power is locked up, no matter who gets elected.  They will be just fine if Romney is elected, just as they thrived under George W. Bush.  This is not about keeping your preferred presidential candidate out of office (assuming you're bitching about Obama's second term being "in the bag" because you think Romney would do a better job). 

The Fed doesn't work for Obama.  Obama works for the Fed's owners.  And so will Romney if he is elected.  Partisan politics in the presidential race is a distraction, nothing more. 

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:21 | 2723588 ReactionToClose...
ReactionToClosedMinds's picture

The 2nd and either 3rd or 4th most profound & eye-opening books  I've ever read, after the New Testament, is Joseph Schumpeter's Capitalism, Socialism & Democracy ..... then Thuyclydides The History of the Peloponesian War.

Because of Fall 2008 when what was so obvious to so many in the 1990s moving to the growing mortgage bubble crisis that was essentially ignored ... I took it upon mysefl to start reading classics of history, philosophy and economics.

So late in life I stumble into Schumpeter ... an Austrain economist but not strictly of the 'Austrian' economic school (he knew them all and certainly was more affiliated with them than not ... too much for here).  All the 'smarty pants' act like they are well-educated when they cite Schumpeter's observation about the 'creative destruction' of capitalism.  Like all they read was the Cliff's Notes version of CS&D .. nothing else.  But in CS&D, there are easily 10-20+ concepts & arguments, surpassing the 'creative destruction' comment, and of such magnitude as to have made such an impression on this reader.

To speedup ......  Schumpeter makes some very elegant, propfound observations about humanity & human nature in the modern technological setting we find ourselves.   More people have been pulled out of poverty & destitution in the last 200+ years almost purely due to  capitalism and some association with more democratic governance (medieval political class monopolies ending as middle classes swell, etc.).  Yet it will all self-destruct .. because that is what humanity seems is almost pre-destined to do because of hubris, narcissim, delusion and stupidity.  Schumpeter wrote when the 'isms' were the rage in the laste 1930s .... communism, fascism, the New Deal, etc, but his arguments are more on point for the present than anything else I've read (have read easily 50+ books the last few years).

The ancient Athenians ... 2,500 years ago now .... we're like a streaking  meteor across the world sky.  How did your average, run-of-the-mill Greek city-state, which Athens had been, all of a sudden launch into the economic & maritime powerhouse it became as to neutralize the much mightier Persian empire  and force a class-structure (traditional nobility/power brokers of other Greek City states) to take-down Athens in a 30+ year war led by Sparta & Corinth ... only decades after they all had been allied to defeat Persia?

Practically,  Sparta/Corinth did not defeat Athens ..... Athens defeated itself ... along with some unpredictable (unpredictable is common enough as to be 'plannable') natural catastropes.  To my mind, 2,500 years ago, some of the most sophisticated and stunning lines of argumentation I ahve ever read anywhere seemed common to the ancient Greeks who reasonably engagaed in elaborate deabte & negotiation generally before war.  The Founding Fathers all, whether Jefferson, Adaams, Madison, Hamilton, Franklin, et al, all in rare consensus, all drank deep (as did the Romans who followed Athens and sought a more sustaining power) from this classic portrayal.






Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:16 | 2723596 aaronb17
aaronb17's picture

It's absolute genius to take the fact that nearly half of America is living in such poverty and hopelessness that they qualify for handouts like food stamps, medicare etc. and flip it around to say "our problem is, we have so many MOOCHERS!"

So coincidentally, our economy collapsed in 2008, housing values dropped by 30 percent, trillions in middle class wealth was wiped out . . . jobs disappeared, AND we suddenly became a nation with twice as many moochers? 

Where were these moochers hiding pre-2008?  Why did we suddenly develop a case of laziness/government dependancy out of the blue?

Asshole rationalists trying to justify the theft of America from Americans , by pointing out that once you've stolen everything from the middle class, those people end up, (gasp!), poor and dependant on charity! What lazy buggers!

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:18 | 2723606 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture


Well said.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:22 | 2723633 TSA gropee
TSA gropee's picture

The "state" will come in and save the day and it'll only cost you your freedom to make you're own choices...

Did I just write that?

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:26 | 2723654 Hohum
Hohum's picture

OK, too many people are dependent on the government--no argument here.  But what makes any of you think the private sector will provide good jobs for all those willing to work and learn?

The choice is keep the current entitlement system or come up with an alternative that gets people to work.  The "just let people do what they want" won't cut it.  There is a third option--mass murder.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:29 | 2723687 Zap Powerz
Zap Powerz's picture

This is not going to end well for most people.  The thin veneer of "civilization" will soon be stripped away.  The ugly face of human nature will be made bare.  Violence and destruction will ensue.

Im just glad I live outside of any densely populated urban centers.  Those poor bastards will have to eat each other to survive.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:35 | 2723935 ghenny
ghenny's picture

I guess you really enjoy the idea of your fellow human being suffering.  Not going to happen.  How's that being out of the market doom and gloom working for you this week.  You obviously need psychiatric help.  I recommend you also get a spiritual life.  You don't sound like a very nice person.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:54 | 2723795 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

This is what happens to you if you steal ONE BILLION DOLLARS:


Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:55 | 2723798 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture


And frankly, the gentry in my particular fiefdom are doing pretty damn well.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:12 | 2724064 falak pema
falak pema's picture

sidi kafir rides again! sidi kafir

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:12 | 2724078 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Is that really your work? If it is, I'll buy it.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:58 | 2723809 BRoquet100
BRoquet100's picture

I don't want to be a dependent of the State of America. i want to be a free individual, free to make my own decisions and free to fail because of those decisions.

I just want to be free.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:27 | 2723910 ghenny
ghenny's picture

You depend for the water you drink, the food you eat, the medical care you get, the job (or business) you have and the education you have on other people.  What's this freedom phantasy.  Its the sort of nonsense we spouted in the 1960's and it showed how poorly we understood the interdependent nature of the built economy.  When you learn how to be a subsistence hunter and farmer and a tracker and survival expert in the wild then you can tell me about freedom (an that kind of freedom is pretty uncomfortable believe me - there are a thousand ways you can die from it).  In the meantime pull the cotton wool out of your ears and put it in your mouth.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:00 | 2723817 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture

The majority of folks on the dole may vote for those demagogues espousing their cause, but those seeking office need cash to win elections, so they are actually under the control of various special interest groups.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:54 | 2724008 covert
covert's picture

people have already lost control. the welfare state is legally required and imposed on the low income. peopleare low income because of govt sabotage. this is the subtle form of slavery.


Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:02 | 2724032 alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

Politicians often vote in laws that will give more power to special interest groups they can use to go back to the same politicians to harmstrung them into expanding the government.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:04 | 2723835 madcows
madcows's picture

Forced sterilizations could fix that.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:06 | 2723844 Eddy Vluggen
Eddy Vluggen's picture

It's what Japan has been doing, and what Europe and the US will be doing. With the babyboomers retiring, there are little alternatives.

Ironically, expect the black market economy to boom. People will work and trade anyway, and will continue to do so, even outside the official and dead market.

And the boomers? Well, render unto caesar what's his, let them have their fiat-wealth.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:07 | 2723849's picture

I know a guy that just got disability last year(disabled wink wink). Then he moved to Colombia and lives very comfortably and parties like he is a secret service agent.  Lucky SOB... 

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:07 | 2723853 reader2010
reader2010's picture

Are we witnessing the collapse in the Roman Sytle?

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:13 | 2723871 Darkness
Darkness's picture


Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:56 | 2724001 De minimus
De minimus's picture

Oh, it's going to get fixed sure enough!

DHS just purchased an open end contract on ammunition, primarily .40 calibre hollow-point, in the amount of 750 MILLION rounds.

All things being equal, I'd bet they were expecting to use those rounds and the terror cell consumption ratio doesn't add up even using magical thinking. So what's the real reason? Well, if we can learn anything from the article, freedom and liberties are about to become an extinct concept, which will be excluded as a public and state security danger in future educational curricula.

But that couldn't happen because well, it's never happened before, ever, has it? I mean especially when the media line up to "protect" the people from the truth as never before. Well except for the old Soviet Union, and China and various dictatorships through history. Other than that, we're good right?

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:15 | 2723872 Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture


"There's a lot of lack of trust in our leaders, a lack of positive feelings about political institutions, a lack of quality education for large segments of the public, a lack of civic education, the fragmenting effects of waves of communications technology, the cynicism of the coverage of politics — I could go on with a long litany."


Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:19 | 2723884 diogeneslaertius
diogeneslaertius's picture

everyone is waiting for the bomb to drop, well what happens when, instead of an off the cliff scenario, they just string you out like crack junkies for 20 years a la britain/japan


just saying

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:23 | 2723894 surf0766
surf0766's picture

The world will not sit around for 20 years taking inflation on to save the global reserver currency. It does nothing for them.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:34 | 2723934 lizzy36
lizzy36's picture

Yes they will. What is the alternative?

Fuck, you have a president in the WH with a drone program, where he decides who lives and dies. NO checks and balances, no congressional approval - NOTHING. He literally has a video game at his finger tips and he plays it bi-weekly. And most yanks don't even know it exists, moreover most don't care.

Keep the people well fed with government food. And the elite can be on their marry way raping and pillaging. It is funny this type of bending over of the average person used to take a war, where at least some of the elite died for the benefit of their cause. Now it is so easy......all it costs is some government food stamps and the average person can't bend over quick enough. Too busy dreaming of being the next kim karadashian to care.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:45 | 2723979 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

+1 for the fire in your belly. Sadly, you are right, "what is the alternative?"

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:21 | 2723888 diogeneslaertius
diogeneslaertius's picture

im ready like a judo master for the cliff face


but i also expect it not to happen that way and my gut tells me that whenever the majority is sure of anything, its probability diminishes


also the enemy is front running exactly this meme - that, in and of itself, should tell you something: either it is going to happen and this is acclimation or it wont and this is a good way of keeping us all verklempt as they cover key ground between where we are now and the NWO targets

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:24 | 2723895 yogibear
yogibear's picture

I see more and more foodstamp snap cards when checking out now. In the US it's Free apartments (Section 8), cell phones (multiple ones per person)

, free food, free medical and welfare.

All of Mexico and South America are learning of the US give-away. Obama will just keep raising taxes and ask Benny Bernanke to print money.


Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:31 | 2723900 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

Votes are cheap when someone else is paying for them.

In the good old days in Chicago, when Bathhouse John and Hinky-Dink Mckenna ran the place, politicians had the integrity and honor to pay for their own votes. Once FDR discovered how easy it was to use a sleeping Sheeple's own money to suck up power, the die was cast. Here we are, the State pays hundreds for each vote while it's operators steal millions. Frank Raines at FANNIE, Chris Dodd's sweetheart mortgagaes, Clinton swapping pardons for cash, Solyndra and Petrobras, the pals make money, the pols get to keep their campaign funds and everybody is happy except for those who see the scam for what it is.


As Always...



Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:26 | 2723907 Siniverisyys
Siniverisyys's picture

Beyond in-house plumbing and iPods, if our lives & society hasn't fundamentally improved from a century of perpetual productivity improvements, something's amiss. 

When a few hundred of us can feed millions, where does that leave you?

I guess you should just stop breathing, you've outlived your usefulness.

There will never be nough jobs for everyone - whether by payroll or entrepreneurship. A proportion of the population will always be unnecessary. The real question is what to do with them...

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:56 | 2724018 alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

The state ate all the wealth all these productivity improvements have resulted in.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:27 | 2723908 Rudolph Steiner
Rudolph Steiner's picture

While I have the upmost respect for Mr. Cashin, I think the attribution of this cork merchant, Henning W. Prentis, Jr. idea mosh to an 18th century Scott is both amusing and provocative.

Based on such "information" the conclusions of my ZH fellows evidence rather lively and gymnastic interpretations of such manufactured consent of the old Birchers, who ghost among us, that one cannot help but smile at the power of such photoshopped histories, even here, among the initiate.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:27 | 2723909 UTICA CLUB XX PURE

May I ask a stupid Q?

Whare should I place my 401K moneys?

Like today, where do I move them to?



Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:39 | 2724168 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

You are trapped in the matrix.

Wherever you put it, it will be at risk as captive money is behind 401K's, IRA's, and other "choices".

If it were me I would put it in TIPS because lie as they might about inflation you can rest assured that if the Government defaults equities will already be worthless.

If you can get it out buy land, rental property, PM's.  Anything in 401K's and the like will ere long be subject to 50% withdrawal penalties and if you live long enough to get it out will be taxed at the same rate.

If you have over $2,000 of any asset you don't qualify for food stamps, free cell phone, and other entitlements.  How do you think they are going to pay for all that?  Why, by confiscating your savings and retirrement; outright or with Draconian taxation and sequestration schemes.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:53 | 2724226 SanOvaBeach
SanOvaBeach's picture

That's BS about the free cell phone.  There is no goverment program that offers a free cell.  I do agree with rental property, land, and PM thing.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 14:06 | 2724572 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

No, it's not B.S.

"You may qualify".  This is just one of the providers:

More here:

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:41 | 2723962 LouisDega
LouisDega's picture

The top story in my local paper is the passing of Phyllis Diller. Im screwed

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:45 | 2723977 Sands8oo
Sands8oo's picture

Mitt + Barack = Obamney

"Keeping the Fed Independent" is the same preposterous, disingenious
excuse given by George Bush, Barack Obama, and now Mitt Romney to
preserve America's premier central planning agency.  If a "true" audit
of the federal reserve system were ever done, it would unmask the most
atrocious, horrific, terrible crimes against humanity that have ever
been committed on such a grand scale - globally, using U.S. currency
(the dollar) as the weapon of choice.  Behind the veil of secrecy the
FED can buy and sell currencies, bonds, commodities, stocks, real
estate, etc etc etc (which they are) without a single care in the
world as to whether they profit or lose because all of the records
simply don't matter with nobody keeping any score and with ZERO
accountability (in the form of an audit) by Democrats OR Republicans
(Demopublicans).  With unlimited money-creation at their disposal the
process is perpetual.  Stalin would be proud of the central planning
mechanism we've created. (This is why Jefferson, followed by Andrew
Jackson so vehemently opposed the idea of a central bank)

What these guys (Bernanke, Geithner, Paulson, Bush, Obama, and now
Romney) are doing is absolutely criminal and on par with the holocaust
in terms of the human suffering they are causing on a world-wide basis
in their naive attempts to keep the suppressive dollar-centric system
shrouded in secrecy.  They are ruining millions of people's lives
domestically and killing millions internationally with the non-stop
manipulation of every aspect of the global economy.

Obama 2012?  Romney 2012?  Who cares?!  They ultimately represent the
EXACT SAME THING, so I will not vote for either.

Regardless of which candidate wins, its getting time for Americans to
grab pitchforks and shotguns and start making our way down to
Washington to effect some real change.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:55 | 2724012 alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

Barrack + Mitt = Barney

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:55 | 2724009 alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

Predictable. Statist democracy is nothing more than people voting themselves cheap stuff on others' dime.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:56 | 2724016 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

would be a shame if America had a representative government. the mob ain't all bad, 6M more of them voted for Gore rather than Bush, and how did that work out? (I know there are some of you who think Gore would have been just as bad, there is one word for that - loser) America politics is a history of the wrong guy getting elected. Kennedy was the right guy, (but they had to stuff the boxes in Chicago), then they took him out of the game. Humphrey wasn't the right guy, so we ended up with Nixon. Ford was APPOINTED President (what kind of crap is that?)  Carter won fair and square, but his own party hated him, and Reagan was dealing with foreign governments before the election (highly highly illegal) Bush was a a mole for the CIA. LBJ was deranged. (no man or woman from Texas should ever be allowed near the WH again) it never ends. i am in favor of a parliamentary form of government, OR restore the balance of power in the three branches.(which is what Ron Paul would like to do)

just keep this thought, "there is never a cop around when you need one"...(before you send all the cops home)  thats' the history lesson for the day.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 14:40 | 2724748 Blankenstein
Blankenstein's picture

Al Gore


He's just as bad if not worse because his hubris is off the charts.   

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:01 | 2724030 marcusfenix
marcusfenix's picture

I just read an update on that marine (Raub?) who was "picked up" by the feds for his comments on facebook regarding 9/11 being an inside job, the war on terror being a complete falsehood and the Bush family raping children.

he is now being held in a mental hospital, against his will and after a fifteen minute interview is being forced to stay there for at least another month. apparently officials confirmed the only reason he is being held is because of those comments being published on a public forum.

he was not read his rights at the time of his detainment because he did not commit a crime, and to date has not been charged with anything.

think about that for a minute, the man did nothing illegal, committed no crime, hurt no one and in fact did nothing more than exercise his formerly constitutionally protected right to free speech and now he is being held against his will in a mental institution after being illegally detained by the federal government...

and they can't even come up with a crime to charge him with. if this isn't the NDAA indefinite detention clause being put into action, if this isn't the reality of all the freedoms we have been forced to surrender as a result of the PATRIOT act and others like it then I don't know what else possibly could be.

when you look at this man we all had better face the reality that this could be any one of us, at any time for doing nothing more that expressing our opinions on a public forum, be it facebook or zerohedge. 

it disgusts and saddens me that the PTB's have now turned those words on the statue of liberty into one of histories greatest hypocrisies...

because now we are the oppressed masses yearning to breath free, even if there are many who still refuse to see it.



Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:04 | 2724040 rustymason
rustymason's picture

I understand Rome had to pass laws in some provinces to keep the citizens (the middle class) from selling themselves into slavery. I wonder if Rome-ny will do that.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:08 | 2724055 pd45
pd45's picture

It is worth repeating often: Achilles Heels of Democracy Americana is the army of ignorant and dependent voters. Historically freedom is rarely confiscated, it's more often surrendered.


Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:11 | 2724071 EmileLargo
EmileLargo's picture

This subject is touched upon in Charles Murray's "Coming Apart". The entire problem was created by the welfare state in the first place and is now perpetuated by the welfare state since the said people "cannot fend for themselves." None of these phenomena have anything whatsoever to do with "poverty" - the American working class was "poor" by current standards in real terms (if one considers the quality of nutrition, healthcare and technology in the 1960s - which Murray uses as his starting point) but everyone worked and few lived off the state in comparison with today.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:12 | 2724075 Jagger
Jagger's picture

Let them eat cake!

I see why the guillitines came out a couple hundred years ago.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:21 | 2724106 SanOvaBeach
SanOvaBeach's picture

The big redneck state is where all the Zonies come from.  This state won an award on a certain TV show.  The trophy is a trip.  It is of a man, bent over with his head between his legs and his head is up his ass.  A certain county of this state has a sheriff that sent a posse to Hawaii.  Birthers is just a code word for racist pigs.  The people of this redneck paradise blame everything on the illeagle's, code word for Mexicans.  These same assholes retire from one school district and go to work at another one to put more in their retirement bags.  The entitlements are killing the country!  Not the illeage's, not welfare.  Cut the entitelments as long it does not effect me.  That's what the fuck'in teaparty morons say.  I"m rich!  But I'm collecting SS in Dec.  Why?  Cause I don't give a fuck about the future.  Nothing has changed and nothing well.  The young vs old thing.  Future generations are getting it up the applepie.  I've done cetain things so I don't have to pay taxes on public employee's medical benefits.  All these big pubic pensions.  These greedy hogs with their mouth sucking on the public tit.  Blame the deficit on everything but themselves.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:30 | 2724121 jplotinus
jplotinus's picture

There's a real disconnect in the article. Madison's stated concern for minority rights and his observation on factionalism have nothing whatever to do with governmentally funded or administered social benefits.

This is important and not merely semantic. The attempt to imbue libertarian self reliance with the cloak of the virtues of the Founders is disengenuous especially when syllogisms are employed to achieve that cloaking.



Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:42 | 2724179 BlackSunshine
BlackSunshine's picture

In order to accelerate the eventuality of the end of this facade, you must vote for Obama. Otherwise you are just delaying the inevitable, not that Romney is that much different (fiscally), my fear is that he'll be different enough to delay the inevitable.

I would just like to get on with it, and live to see the dissolution of the situation.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:55 | 2724237 Dr. Gonzo
Dr. Gonzo's picture

Are we really that different from the former Soviet Union? Maybe but if you sprinkle a little Fourth Reich in for flavor and add some zesty fascism and you get a nice modern day American Flavor.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:57 | 2724248 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

"The concept of a majority living off a minority..."

Isn't the problem more like the parasitic minority elite living off the labor of the majority? 


Tue, 08/21/2012 - 13:09 | 2724298 ptoemmes
ptoemmes's picture

I understand the point of this being an assessment of welfar and individuals and I agree it is broken, but...

Corporations are people too or so says Mittens and so it seems only fair to assess the degree of welfare that they are beneficiaries of based on, in part, the tax code and in general the laws, regulations, etc that are in effect written by their K Street sponsored lobbyists and special inteterests.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 13:17 | 2724340 indio007
indio007's picture

It seems like what's really happening is a mojroity of people are fighting over the crumbs left on the floor by the 100%.

The number of people recieveing gov't legesse is meaningless.

What matters is What percentage of the money is going where?

Entitlements are the table scraps of the Federal Budget.

Very few of the dollars go to the actual beneficiary.

The monies allocated go to some crony middleman at a$$ rape prices.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 14:23 | 2724671 ATG
ATG's picture

For Aristotle, a democracy is a failure. It is a majority rule where the majority is poor and non-virtuous:

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 16:26 | 2725179 spooz
spooz's picture

Its not just the sheeple who are dependant on state.  Big Ag needs its ethanol subsidy, hey they shelled out for the plant & equipment, not to mention lobbying expenses; its only fair.  Then you've got Big Pharma, who cut a sweetheart deal before the details of the crony capitalistic health care bill were sorted out.  Then you've got all the pork the military budget, we must continue to build outdated war machinery to keep status quo.  

Naked Capitalism has a piece on how Private Equity is dependant on government pension sovereign wealth fund money investment, while lack of regulation makes overstated portfolio valuations likely.

"The public should be concerned about so much capital winding up in the hands of so few players, particularly when they have gone to extreme lengths to bar public inspection and oversight. And, as we peel the layers back over the course of this series, we will show how many other widespread industry practices, like “transaction fees” do not stand up to scrutiny."


Tue, 09/18/2012 - 10:55 | 2806976 not fat not stupid
not fat not stupid's picture

I'd wager a guess that more than 50% of the respondents on this thread get some sort of govt welfare. Most probably unemployment benefits because they have all the time in the world to witter away on ZH, rather than engage in a productive activity.

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