America Burns, Government Chases Baseball

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 7 months ago

Roger Clemens is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court.  He will likely enter a not guilty plea.  I would too, as the government’s case probably has a fatal flaw.  In other news, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff doesn’t seem to be very interested, and is talking about other things.

The national debt is the single biggest threat to national security, according to Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Tax payers will be paying around $600 billion in interest on the national debt by 2012, the chairman told students and local leaders in Detroit.

“That’s one year’s worth of defense budget,” he said, adding that the Pentagon needs to cut back on spending.

“We’re going to have to do that if it’s going to survive at all,” Mullen said, “and do it in a way that is predictable.”

I can only say I sure am glad that this administration has its focus on the right things and my best interests at heart.

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Not sure where your irony lands here, but in case you agree with Mullen, he is talking out of his, er, ear, with no knowledge of economics but high knowledge of right wing talking points. The government needs to spend more to put more people back to work, hopefully productively rather than militarily, but whatever it takes, we need more of it.

@ Burk: there are none so blind as those who refuse to see. Nearly $1Trillion (TRILLION!!) spent on Porkulus and what do we have to show for it? Oh right…3 million jobs “saved.” Convenient. What’s that? Oh, we didn’t realize just how awful an economic mess George W. left us. Why, when you look at it that way, it is just amazing that the unemployment rate is ‘only’ 9.5 percent (or, if you include those who are underemployed or have given up looking, it is closer to 20 percent). It could be so much worse without all that government spending. Gee, that Porkulus bill should have been much, much bigger, come to think of it. And, of course, everyone knows that mountains of sovereign debt don’t really matter. Greece and the other Euro PIIGS… well that’s different. International economics don’t apply to the U.S. And, well, China would never dream of using their enormous holdings of U.S. Treasuries as leverage in any way. We can rest easy knowing that China will always continue to finance our deficit spending endlessly into the future. But FDR spent a ton and rescued the country from the Great Depression, didn’t he? So that’s what… Read more »
Hi, All! The government (being us in our communal guise) is indeed ultimately responsible for running the economy, which means both printing the money and supplying conditions for employing the citizens. In world war II, that meant commandeering all productive capacity for the war effort. In normal times, it means supporting and regulating private trade so that everyone has maximal freedom within the straightjacket of contract and other law. Right now, it means printing enough money to stave off deflation in the wake a collapse in bank lending and a flight to safe savings. Economic demand fell off a cliff, and we have millions of people unemployed, ready to do whatever work the private or public sectors want them to do. If the public sector can productively employ them, it should. We need roads rebuilt, wars fought, train lines laid, etc. and so on. There is no shortage of needs for labor in the US. The government can and should buy all available labor while the downturn lasts to make our country a better place for all, as well as maintaining skills and incomes for the unemployed. And it should pay less than market rates so that those workers are… Read more »

Incidentally, what failed in the recent collapse is faith in private markets, de-regulation, and casino finance. Keynes is the explainer of the current collapse, as is Hyman Minsky’s theory of the financial cycle. You will recall the the 50’s and 60’s were a wonderful time, run under Keynesian auspices.

Now the rich are trying to hold onto the narrative any way they can, by dismissing state powers and responsibilities except when it is handing money to them directly (bank bailouts). The poor? Who cares about them? They can rot on the unemployment lines.

Hi, Herschel- That’s quite a can of worms you open up there. But let’s stick with Keynes. Operating Keynesian policy takes discipline just as any other type of policy. It is not a free lunch, especially when it comes to inflation. But it does recognize the true dynamics of the system, so that one can operate the levers effectively. If you look at countries that have weathered this recession more successfully, they have spent more in fiscal stimulus. That includes China and Australia. Those that spent less have done less well, or, like Germany, had less drop-off in demand. This is not rocket science, and there is plenty of evidence for those who look. The collapse of private activity was huge, so one needs to make it up, or suffer the long-term consequences of under-potential activity and especially unemployment (if you care). I appreciate that you have your ideological position, and even flaunt presuppositions you don’t care to go back to investigate and test. It is your blog. But talking points and assertions don’t make an argument. At the current time, for instance, the Fed is out of ammunition. They have babied the banks, and the banks aren’t responding. No… Read more »

At the risk of stereotyping my bias and ignorance I respectfully submit the “Uncommon Knowledge” interview by Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institute, of Amity Shales, author of several books including “The Forgotten Man, a new history of the Great Depression.

Amity Shlaes offers a scholarly discussion on the subject of “received wisdom” from the formative years of the Great Depression, that government made it better verses government made it worst by making the Depression last until the 1940. Overall a reasonable 36 minute investment of your time …. right after the elitist 1-minute add for Mercedes.


01. Received Wisdom of the Great Depression03 min 20 sec Add to Profile
02. The Forgotten Man02 min 51 sec Add to Profile
03. Did Hoover Misjudge the Stock Market Crash?02 min 45 sec Add to Profile
04. The Gold Standard01 min 53 sec Add to Profile
05. Hoover02 min 49 sec Add to Profile
06. Defining the New Deal00 min 41 sec Add to Profile
07. Hoover02 min 23 sec Add to Profile
08. The National Recovery Act 03 min 25 sec Add to Profile
09. Political Economic Bullying01 min 38 sec Add to Profile
10. The New Dealers06 min 26 sec Add to Profile
11. Putting the New Deal Behind Us01 min 54 sec Add to Profile
12. Ridding of Social Security01 min 47 sec Add to Profile
13. Letting The Actors Tell Their Own Story02 min 47 sec Add to Profile


You have by now probably listened to the above video’s and not many similarities between the mood and actions of the 30’s seem to be repeated by the actions of our current era.

May I bring one other little book, mostly unread, just published in mid-2010 to your attention: “Alien Mind, The Thought and Behavior of Extraterrestrials” by George LoBuono. While I find many scientific and spiritual faults with LoBuono’s thesis, he is the first of his kind to engage the subject and one is compelled to admire LoBuono’s determination to maintain the independence of our global evolution. Why read such an outlandish subject as covered by LoBuono you ask? Call it the compelling gene of human intuition if you have never had a UFO experience.


typo correction: “not many similarities” should be “note many similarities”… oh, God, with a capital “G”… my kingdom for an edit button!


You are currently reading "America Burns, Government Chases Baseball", entry #5408 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Department of Defense,Obama Administration and was published August 29th, 2010 by Herschel Smith.

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