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Friday, February 17, 2012

Depression

Remember your grandparents' stories of living through the Great Depression? Someday, if we're lucky, we'll be doing the same thing. There isn't enough work to go around. The number of jobs in America is shrinking. The cost of living is skyrocketing, principally because of energy prices (where government meddles) and health care costs (where government meddles). We haven't hit the point where we stand in bread lines but with the number of people on welfare these days we might as well count that as the same thing. There are plenty of depressing things about our economy, enough that many people are desperate and depressed themselves.  What can pull us through?

Hope, Faith, and Resourcefulness. Our faith in something higher than ourselves, in a God who loves and blesses us. Our hope that things will get better tomorrow or eventually. Our determination to change what we can by for politicians who are willing to get to the bottom of our financial and economic issues and transform this country instead of add to its fiscal woes. Our determination to do the best we can under the circumstances - whether that means going without new clothes and dining out, planting a garden to defray living expenses, learning how to make soap, sewing, 'staycations,' learning to do more home maintenance, small engine repair, etc. I've heard of tons of resourceful people doing things that haven't been widely done or admired for decades because of the ease of our labor-saving devices. That's all changing now and we value the people who have remembered and taught the skills from days gone by. People are reaching out now and helping each other at levels not seen since times were simpler.

Here's the caution about living through this time. It's going to get worse before it gets better. And IF we don't reverse the economy by reversing some particularly economically destructive government policies as well as tackling the deficit, it will be a Very Long Time until we can achieve prosperity again in America. There's an article over at The Economic Collapse called A Warning Sign For The World. In it, the author describes how Greece ought to be a direct warning to each and every country headed down the path of insolvency.
"Despite all of the austerity measures that have already been implemented, the truth is that Greece is very likely to default soon anyway." Then skipping down:
"Some in the financial world almost seem eager for a Greek default.  The following is what Jon Moulton, the chairman of Better Capital, recently told CNBC....
"If I was Greek, I wouldn’t be going for these measures, I’d be going for default and getting it over with. Would you like two to three years of pain or 20?"
"But a disorderly Greek default would not be a pleasant thing for the global economy at all.  A recent article in the Guardian detailed what some of the consequences of a Greek default and exit from the eurozone might be....
But default and "re-drachmatisation" would be a costly and chaotic process. In the long term the euro might be strengthened if some of its weaker members headed for the door. But in the short term banks across the eurozone might have to be closed to prevent a run on the single currency as investors speculated about which country might be next. A new wave of bank nationalisations would be likely to follow as lenders counted their losses on now worthless Greek debt.
Capital controls would have to be imposed and borders shut to stop money flooding out of Greece. Portugal, Italy and Spain would come under intense pressure from investors wary about the risk of another victim. Banks everywhere, already reluctant to lend, would cut back hard, nervous about their exposure to the bonds of all Europe's crisis-hit states.

 And skipping down a little further and referring to the gloomy warning Greece provides us all:

"But Barack Obama does not seem to understand this.  He continues to pile another 150 million dollars on to our national debt every single hour.  He knows that cutting spending significantly right now would hurt the economy and that would significantly hurt his chances for another term.
"Needless to say, Barack Obama is not likely to do anything that is going to significantly hurt his chances for another four years in the White House.
"So we continue to roll on toward disaster."

A follow up to Obama's lack of a plan for dealing with the deficit at RealClearPolitics, Geithner to Ryan On Debt: We Don't "Have A Definitive Solution to Our Long-term Problem"
And on US News, CBO: Longest Period of High Unemployment Since Great Depression
And on Heritage, Morning Bell: Obamanomics Has Failed

Yup.  In essence, our hope of a bright future (now, as opposed to the afterlife) is doomed as long as we think only in the short term. We MUST address the accelerated spending (compounded with lower revenue), the accelerating deficit accumulation, and the entitlements contributing to both. We MUST make the US a more competitive place to work and live by changing energy policies and business regulations. We MUST inform the majority of the voters in the United States the precarious of our position, or they will always vote for the short term. Most people want freedom to do what they please without thinking of government or the economy, just wanting to be left alone by both of them. People living in democracies do not have that luxury - we must fight to preserve our freedoms by our continued participation and education in the democratic process. If we don't, we find ourselves hurtling ever faster towards a global depression. Consider yourselves warned. Every man who has been warned should warn his neighbor.

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