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If We Blow It Up Again It Will Blow Up Again April 18, 2013

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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Back in 2007 when I was speaking of the crash to come I noted that we really didn’t have to worry because our fearless and infallible leaders intuitively know the remedy.  When the bubble bursts they will blow up another bubble.

The absolute triumph of Keynesian economics in America and the West has never been more on display than during our rocky journey through the Great Recession.  An economic contraction which our leaders say is over and those of us who work and live in flyover country know is still grinding us down to the new normal.  TARP was going to save the economy.  It didn’t.  President Obama’s porkulus stimulus was going to save the economy.  It didn’t.  QE 1 and QE 2 were going to save the economy.  They didn’t.

Then along comes QE 3 with an open ended commitment to pump 85 billion per month into the economy, and presto-changeo alakazam and miraculously the stock market is breaking new highs and the real estate market is beginning to revive.  Unemployment keeps inching down and even the Neocons over on Fox are telling us the cratered economy is showing signs of life.  It turns out if you magically create trillions of dollars and drop them from helicopters across the country there seems to be more money blowing in the wind.  As one very profitable prophet once said, “It doesn’t take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

Hang on to your hats because a booming economy has to become part of the Obama legacy so that the transition to a centrally-controlled economy can ever be hailed as the prescription for success.  Just as the booming economy of the 90s is constantly brought up as “The prosperity we experienced during the Clinton years” so to if any politician ever attempts to restore economic freedom, or when there is another crash it can be blamed on too much regulation, a pathological fear of deficits, and return to the old days of greed and avarice.

Those of us old enough to remember the Clinton years should know that it was the peace dividend and the Tech Boom Bubble which fueled the prosperity of the 90s.  We should also remember that it was a phony peace dividend since our military was engaged in interventions around the world during Clinton’s depredations in the oval office.  We should also remember that the Tech Boom flew through the air with billions in stock values for companies that made no profit and eventually delivered not prosperity but the crash of 2000.

Our Constitution was not written to be not a living document that evolves over time.  The words were never meant to take on new meanings with every passing generation.  The accumulation of case law and judicial proclamations was not meant to supplant the written political contract that the Sovereign States individually decided to ratify.  However, contrary to the oft stated desires of the Founders of our nation and the Framers of the Constitution the United States has evolved into a behemoth bureaucracy.  In all bureaucracies instead of the best and the brightest rising to the top those who learn to pull the levers the best end up controlling the machine.  Often the official leaders are merely telegenic front men for the powers behind the throne.   The grifters who have gained power through elections filled with ineligible voters, outright fraud, gerrymandering, and a two party system where-in Progressives control both parties use the living document ruse to turn the Constitution into a dead letter.

Crony capitalism has replaced free enterprise.  Just watch the big gaming table at the New York Stock Exchange.  Its volatile swings are dictated not by innovation, profits or production they are instead moved by real or projected government actions.  Will the Fed keep creating money out of thin air?  Will the EPA impose Cap-N-Trade?  Will the imperial presidency use a foreign adventure to grasp more power?  The banks act as willing accomplices of the Fed borrowing money at 0% interest and buying Treasuries at 3% helping to maintain the fiction that we aren’t monetizing our debt and printing our way to prosperity.  The foreigners who used to crowd the treasury auctions know what is going on.  Today the biggest purchasers of American debt are American banks using the Fed’s funny money.

How many times must this Ponzi scheme economy show itself for what it is?  How many times must this self-serving Progressive cabal be exposed for the hypocritical central-planning neo-fascists that they are?  How many articles like this must be written before enough people wake up and do something?  We glory in the American Revolution.  It overthrew tyranny and established personal independence, individual freedom, and economic opportunity on a scale that had never before been seen in the world.  This is something worth celebrating.  However, the counter revolution has been in progress since Hamilton founded the first bank and John Adams threw his opponents in jail.  The cost of freedom is eternal vigilance, and today’s generation may be too busy watching the game to notice their country is being transformed into something they won’t recognize by the time they get up for their seventh inning stretch.

Any semblance of a freely functioning economy has vanished since Progressive leaders like FDR, LBJ, and BHO birthed government control and intervention as an 800 pound gorilla on steroids.  The mirage of false prosperity is once again raising its crowned head out of the sea of financial calamity it created with the last bubble.  A new bubble is forming and happy days will soon be here again with a chicken in every pot and a flat screen in every home.  How many of our fellow citizens will be swept up in the coming Obama Boom?  How many will be devastated when it all comes crashing down again?

The too-big-to-fail friends of the government will be made whole.  The perpetually re-elected and their handlers will have their golden parachute pensions and plush jobs on K-Street and at Fannie, Freddie, and crony filled board rooms across the country.  The only ones hurt will be those who do the real work, those who play by the rules.  When the new bubble blows up the remedy is ready made: we’ll just blow up another bubble.  How could this ever go wrong?

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

Economics 102 February 22, 2013

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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3 comments

People avoid silence because they’re afraid of what they might hear.   Although we value our freedom of speech, polite conversation in America is subject to one crushing rule, “Don’t talk about religion or politics!”  Most of us were raised with this stifling warning in our ears.  The purpose was to avoid arguments at the dinner table but the result is a population unconcerned in the two subjects affecting life the most.  I can only talk about the weather for so long which displays the wisdom of memorizing sports stats and watching American Idol.  With the two biggest topics off the table we’re faced with either trivial pursuit or silence.  Bored with the weather and having neglected my memorization and viewing options I propose a topic to stimulate vigorous conversation without causing any bickering: economics.

Barry, Harry, and Nancy knew they had to take us through-the-looking-glass in four short years.  With no effective break on their power for the first two years, Congress moved so fast their yesterday became our tomorrow.  That tomorrow is now today.  The ruling party rammed their agenda through without one opposition vote.  Every revolution needs an emergency to justify radical surgery and the economy is the emergency available. Consequently, these descendants of FDR and LBJ shoved a raw deal down the throat of a great society.

Almost everyone is in agreement that the first stimulus failed.  According to MSNBC, “In January, Obama’s economic team predicted unemployment would rise no higher than 8 percent with the help of $787 billion in new government spending.”  However, according to the LA Times the unemployment rate in May reached a 25-year high of 9.4 percent.  The President may see glimmers of hope but Say-it Ain’t-So Joe said he couldn’t rule out a second stimulus telling us the administration which ran on the slogan, “The worst economy since the Great Depression” misread how bad the economy was.  How bad is it?  What’s worse than the Great Depression?  What’s their answer to this baddest of bad economies?  What’s their Plan B?  Try Plan A again, and again, and again?  I think what our leaders need as they drive the largest economy the world has ever known over the cliff is Economics 102, Macroeconomics or how an economy works.

Most people, including the best-government-money-can-buy, look at the economy as if it were controlled by magic having no idea where the rabbit goes or where the doves come from, and since I doubt I’ll convince any of our all-knowing leaders to enroll in freshman macroeconomics I want to offer a crash course in Economic Reality.

  1. Government regulations distort markets and inflate bubbles.
  2. Every generation experiences at least one bubble and at least one bust.
  3. Every bubble bursts.
  4. Every burst bubble is followed by a panic.
  5. Panics inspire economic regulations.
  6. Economic regulations reflect political ideologies not economic realities.
  7. Economic regulations always regulate the excesses of the last bubble.
  8.  Economic regulations are always blind to the excesses of the next bubble.
  9. Since consumption is the purpose for production any economic regulation that ignores this fact always leads to the misapplication of resources and the misdirection of effort.

10. Depressions are recessions with government help.

11. It is impossible to spend yourself into prosperity.

12. It is impossible to tax yourself into prosperity.

13. Higher taxes lead to smaller revenue and black-markets.

The New Economy leads straight to the Second World, from freedom to conformity from capitalism to Obamanomics.  Instead of a fair race with the rapidly transforming economies of Asia, America runs hobbled like a child in a three – legged race strapped to the stiff-legged ideas of collectivism.

Why would our leaders want us economically hobbled?  What would they gain if we fall into the swamp of poverty engulfing most of the world?  Wouldn’t they be right there with us?  Go to any Second or Third World country and you’ll see the rich and powerful behind walls in gated-communities where they live in the First World while everyone else sits in the dust eating leaves.  In America, we avoided this fate with the growth of a massive middleclass.  Under assault with stagnant wages, rising prices, and disappearing jobs the middleclass is being outsourced.  How is this being accomplished?

Remember the mantra of the Clintons?  “It’s the economy stupid!” That’s still the Liberal’s strategy, riding like a flea on a rat cradle-to-grave social engineering in the guise of economic policy.  The Progressives drive the economy into the ditch all the while saying it is someone else’s fault and shrieking that we need more of what is causing the problem: bloated government and runaway spending.  A lack of basic economic understanding is destroying the greatest economy ever forged.  A zero sum game causes divisions and arguments about who gets what when we used to all strive for the same thing: success.

America is splintering as the melting pot becomes a smelting pot.  What is its cause?  The divisiveness of class-warfare encouraged by the only people who win through America’s split between red and blue, rich and poor, us and them.  Who are they?  If it isn’t us I guess it’s them.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

The Man Who Would Be King February 16, 2012

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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5 comments

In 114 BC, Rome was a democratic Republic.  Representatives elected by popular vote filled the Senate, and the Senate ran Rome.  The Empire was conquered in the name of the Senate and the People of Rome, symbolized by the ever present SPQR seen on every Roman standard in every gladiator movie you have ever watched.

At the beginning of the first century BC sovereignty in Rome resided in the People, which may have inspired the most famous attribution of sovereignty in American History, “We the People” as the proclaimed authors of the Constitution.  The power in republican Rome resided in the people.  In a revolution that was by then legendary, they had banished their kings and established themselves as a free republic where the people assembled together to elect the Senators, the magistrates, and made all major decisions such as whether or not to go to war.  And far beyond mere words much of what was early Rome was the target the Founding Fathers shot at when they established our later day republic.

And yet, by 14 AD, when Augustus died, popular elections were but a memory.  Power was no longer located in the people, or in their assemblies, or their representatives in the Senate, instead power was concentrated in an Imperial Palace which was guarded, unapproachable, and foreboding.

How did this revolution occur? What led the freedom loving Romans to lay down their liberty and put on the yoke of oppression?  Later Romans who longed for the freedom their ancestors had discarded pointed to 133 BC when a rich young man named Tiberius Gracchus bought his way into the office of Tribune, an executive position one step below magistrate that was meant to protect the interests of the poor.  Gracchus used his office to curry personal power by giving bread and circuses to the people paid for by the public treasury.  Eventually he hit on a very popular plan.  He proposed to seize the lands of the rich and give them to the poor and he imposed this under his own authority, an authority he lacked under the Roman constitution.  Later when he put himself forward for a second term in opposition to custom and law he was assassinated by a group of Senators.

Several generations of corrupt politicians using the same formula sought to buy personal power and popular adoration by looting the public treasury to give the people ever increasing benefits.  Finally another rich young ruler arose by the name of Julius Caesar.  He rose through various public offices eventually gaining the office of Proconsul or Governor of Gaul (France).  He knew that to be a true Roman hero and paramount leader he needed to be a successful conqueror, so that is what he spent the next nine years doing.  He conquered not only all of Gaul but much of central Europe even leading the first Roman expedition to Britain.  While he accomplishing this he sent back well written dispatches to Rome which were published and widely distributed recounting his bravery and skill as a general.

All of this was too much for his political rivals in Rome.  They gained enough votes to have him branded a traitor which meant little in Gaul where he had absolute power thanks to his well trained and veteran army.  His rivals promised his arrest and conviction if and when he returned to the capitol.  However Caesar was not to be denied so he compounded the accusations of his treason with a treasonable act leading his army across the Rubicon River to Rome.

With his troops behind him Caesar secured all power and after many adventures to suppress the forces loyal to the old order he had a compliant Senate elect him dictator for life.  As his grasp of power solidified it became clear his rule would be the end of the republic.  Breaking completely with tradition he began to wear purple, the color of royalty in public.   Finally when his chief Lieutenant, Anthony, publicly offered him a crown it was too much and just as with Gracchus one hundred years before, Caesar was assassinated by a group of senators.

Caesar was followed by Augustus, the first Emperor of Rome who was never called Emperor.  He was instead known by the republican sounding title of princeps, or first citizen.  Kings were hated in Rome.  The traditions of the Republic ran deep.  Both Gracchus and Caesar had been killed because people thought they would make themselves king.  The genius of Caesar’s nephew and successor was that Augustus made himself king in all but name while keeping the outward forms of the Republic.  The elections were rigged, the Senate only did what they were told, and the people were kept happy by giveaways from the public treasury and kept in line by a smothering blanket of laws and regulations.

Fast forward to the 20th century and two other would be kings include Mussolini who decreed that calendars in Italy should begin again with October 29, 1922 the date he assumed power as the first day of year one.  He proclaimed the Fascist Era was the dawn of a new age.  And Hitler who said his National Socialist Nazis would reign for a thousand years.

In America today we have a leader who campaigned on a platform of cutting taxes and regulations.  A man who when the economy melted down said if he didn’t solve the problem in three years he wasn’t worthy of a second term.  In a classic example of bait and switch he walked over his promises to restore American greatness and suddenly announced five days before the election that he would instead transform America.

Presidents are elected to preserve, protect and defend the constitution.  Nowhere in the job description does it mention anything about transforming America.  He was elected to do one job and decided instead to do another.  TARP was passed to clear the toxic assets out of the banks and restart the system but instead was used to seize controlling interests in AIG, GM and Chrysler and in general assert government ownership over a significant portion of the American economy.  The stimulus was passed to re-energize the economy but instead it became a gift bag for the President’s supporters and a slush fund for his re-election.

Mr. Obama, with the corporations once known as the major media clearing his way and covering his tracks, compares himself to Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Reagan and God, ridicules those who cling to the old ways, and decrees that he can rule without Congress because he can’t wait.  His spending has impoverished future generations and will eventually sink the ship of state.  His foreign policy ignores our allies and empowers our enemies.  Instead of uniting our country to get out of the hole dug by generations of failed Progressive boondoggles and giveaways he incites class warfare while the welfare rolls expand daily.

Whether we are dealing with one man devoted to personal aggrandizement or merely a teleprompter reading front man for a well-oiled CABAL we are face to face with someone who has been positioned by the generosity of American voters to do irreparable damage to our nation.  We have one last chance to save the republic as we have known it.  The Republicans who operate as the other half of the party of power seek to nominate another big government operator who promises little more than driving us to the poor house a little slower with new wars along the way.

What we need is a man who will work as president to re-impose the limits of the constitution. We need a man who will educate Americans as to what a constitutional government is and what it should do and not do.  We need a leader who will reverse course and take us back to the days of individual liberty, personal freedom, and economic liberty. We need a leader who isn’t afraid to jettison the empire to save the republic.  Now is the time for such a leader. If only enough Americans will recognize the signs of the times and rally round the flag they will still call it America.

Just as the Rome of Caligula and Nero still called itself a republic so too in the coming era of Progressive centralization and control will our beloved country still be America.  The Constitution will remain on display in Washington.  However, in the world turned upside down liberty will be circumscribed by political correctness and freedom will be defined by government regulations.  Our schools and media will assure us that we are the most free and prosperous nation on earth while other countries that have gained their freedom pass us by.  History as it is taught in America today tries to tell us that socialism works.  It doesn’t.  It leads to a stunted, shabby future where everyone sinks to the level of the lowest common denominator.  What we need is a rebirth of republicanism with a small “r” and a big dream.

Keep the faith.  Keep the peace.  We shall overcome.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the Historian of the Future and the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

 

Are Unintended Consequences the Intention? March 31, 2011

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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Joining the slow motion delivery of Iraq to the Ayatollahs of Iran and the decade long quagmire of Afghanistan America’s Progressive leadership stumbled into Libya with all the bravado and none of the experience of Custer at Little Big Horn.  The UN and NATO get more attention and have more influence on a decision affecting the lives of our warriors and the security of our nation then the United States Congress.

The government drifts rudderless into the whitewaters of war, the mission changes with each new speaker at the podium, and the President appears more interested in sporting events and vacations than in doing his job.  With a foreign policy this well directed the unintended consequences are the only consequences we should count on, which makes one wonder how unintended they are.

On the Home front after all the back-slapping died down its plain that as far as Congress goes the new boss is just like the old boss.  First the Patriot Act receives rubber-stamp approval.  Then a series of highly publicized overly dramatic Continuing Resolutions take one step back and billions of steps deeper into debt.  And after the record-shattering victory of the Tea Party led Republicans the Progressive’s Evolution Revolution continues as the Stimulus, Obamacare, and the Financial Reform Bill take affect and strangle the economy.

The Stimulus: a slush-fund to help re-elect the President kicks into high gear pouring out money for make work jobs. The administration trumpets each drop in the unemployment figures as a return to normalcy when everyone knows it is merely a reflection of discouraged workers leaving the job market as America’s work force shrinks.  It is patently absurd to think that government spending can grow the economy.  Government only gets money by expropriating it from the economy in the form of taxes, inflation, or borrowing.  It then rakes off exorbitant handling fees and then puts it back into the economy.  If I take twenty dollars out of my right pocket, throw eleven dollars down a rat hole and then put nine dollars in my left pocket how have I increased my net worth?

Obamacare: sold to the American people on the basis of insuring 30-40 million people while at the same time lowering costs is busting the budget.  Even according to the Progressive’s own Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media the budgets so far proposed by President Obama add in excess of $9.7 trillion to the national debt over the next ten years, as analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

This nonpartisan report contrasts with the still disturbing projections of the White House, which stated that President Obama’s budget would produce deficits adding only $8.5 trillion to the national debt in the same time frame. That was last year and the dominant Progressive party never passed that budget in the face of elections.  This year’s budget is even bigger yet the administration claims it will result in lower deficits and a decreasing debt and the cow jumped over the moon.

This optimistic White House projected a deficit of about $1.5 trillion last year or 10.3% of the entire economy which would be the largest since World War II.  The report went on to predict a $1.3 trillion in 2011.  It is now estimated at 1.6 trillion.  The sobering news does not stop there however.

The CBO continues in a considerably less optimistic vein predicting that deficits would never fall below 4% of the economy under President Obama’s policies and that they will begin to grow even larger after 2015.  The report also notes that perpetual deficits of this size will make it necessary for the government to continue to borrow at ever accelerating rates and that by 2020 the national debt will account for an astounding 90% of the economy.  The CBO also projected that the interest payments on this escalating debt would increase by over $800 billion in the next decade.

The financial reform Bill was passed on a wave of indignation concerning big banks which foreclosed on homes without reading error-filled paperwork.

It is beyond absurd that legislators who routinely pass thousand page bills without reading them were really indignant at the crony capitalists who are among their biggest donors because they foreclose on houses without reading the mortgage papers.  Can’t you just see our legislators from central casting in the best Congress money can buy, sleeves rolled-up, coat over the shoulder ready for a photo-op as they plan more regulations to clean up the mess their previous regulations caused?

The crisis with the big banks exploded after President Obama theatrically pointed his finger at the EVIL bankers telling them defiantly, “We want our money back!” as he is lobbied Congress for the imposition for a Financial Crisis Responsibility Tax.  It turns out that the bankers are passing any taxes imposed on them to consumers in the form of fees.  So now we get to contribute the money to pay ourselves back for the money Washington appropriated from us to bail out the banks.

To finish the cyclical kabuki farce Congress then bails-out their friends again so they can return to the casino floor to place our money, our children’s futures, and the fate of our economy on Red-13.  It’s time to deactivate the robo-signers.  It’s time to vote out the cronies in Congress and to stop doing business with the cronies in the financial industry.   There are alternatives available: citizen-patriots who will serve a few terms and return to the real world and locally owned banks and credit unions.

What’s the shape of our Transformed America? Looking at the government-induced government-sustained Great Recession, the unsustainable debt that grows every day, and the increasing over-extension of our military obligations the now repudiated doctrine of Too-Big-to-Fail may be our last best hope.  America’s status as the largest consumer economy in the world makes us valuable to China, the largest manufacturer in the world.  Hopefully they will continue to buy and hold our debt. After two years of the Obama Administration it feels like America’s New Motto should be “Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College. He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

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