25 February 2009

Reconstruction II

"We will rebuild...." ~ Barak Obama Epiphanes

No, I didn't watch His Beatitude's address last night. For one thing I rarely watch or listen to speeches: I don't waste an hour of my time listening to a speech that will take me only a handful of minutes to read. Last night's took me less than ten minutes. I especially have no interest in a speech for which the speaker is going to disrespect my time by showing he's in charge by making me wait for him to show up late and then going over his allotted time. Why should I give a guy that much of time when he's going to abuse it like that?

Be that as it may, having read the speech, I can say it was predictable. He complained about the massive debt "we've" inherited, and then attempted to inspire us with a speech about how he's going to continue the same type of government policies we've been living with since Roosevelt's New Deal and Johnson's Great Society.

In response to a recession, which follows on the heels of a boom created by credit expansion (which, in turn, was a response to the dot com bust), he promised -- if you can believe it -- more credit expansion. Those banks must get lending again because credit is the life-blood of capitalism. Businesses, among other things, can borrow what they need in order to make payroll.

These are people who know nothing about business. If you must borrow in order to make payroll, you're in a world of hurt. (Makes one wonder why its called "capitalism" and not "creditalism", or something like that.) But I digress.

I read it myself in black and white: credit caused this problem; and credit is the answer to the problem. Of course, he really couldn't press the credit expansion issue too far. He wants us to focus on Democrat hobby-horses as the causes of the recession: tax cuts for the rich (never any explanation of how they caused the recession which, we were initially told, was caused by predatory lending), dependence upon foreign oil, rising healthcare prices, incompetent schools, an inefficient energy grid. But not credit expansion -- except for the part where he blamed people taking on loans they couldn't pay, and people who sold such loans.

One would love to analyze the speech. But it would take a book.

I did enjoy one thing. Several times, in discussing government provision of healthcare I have asked if we might have to draft people into the medical professions should an insufficient number of people be attracted to it, for whatever reason. Last night, His Beatitude announced that dropping out of school will no longer be permitted. Your country needs you, damn it. And you're going to get an education whether you want one or not. And, apparently, these people will be forced to work, drafted into the work force, which, in a different era, was called slavery. Now, no doubt, it will be called patriotism. (Similar to Lincoln's attitude toward the Confederacy: You can't secede. Your country needs you, especially the tariffs your trade generates for us.) But, on another hand, he's effectively put an end to welfare reform, so maybe not. Hard to tell with these people.

Then there was the pretense of knowledge that these people always have, sort of. I mean, first they admit they don't really know if the stimulus plan will work, but we can't do nothing. (Oh, please, can we at least test that hypothesis?) Then, last night, we are told what the plan will do. For one thing, the plan will create or save 3.5 million jobs, which, of course, means that the people who came up with the plan know how to create jobs. (The laundry list is in the speech, which you can read, here.) One wonders why they didn't, in true capitalist fashion, take some intiative and create those jobs themselves.

Note: If Obama were Bush, the press would be spending time on nothing but the claim that America invented the automobile.

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About Me

James Frank SolĂ­s
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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