"It isn't what you don't know that hurts you; it's what you know that isn't so!"
August 18, 2017
Divided We Fall
Here in South Caroina a mob
cannot tear down a Confederate (or any other historical memorial)
without without getting into serious trouble. Thanks to the Heritage Act approval of the
removal of such historical artifacts must meet the approval of the
state legislature. The contentious fight to remove a Confederate
battle flag from the statehouse grounds is still fresh in the
collective memory of the Palmetto State.
aftermath of the Charlottesville, VA fracas a little more than a week
ago rumblings are already heard from a movement to get the legislature
to rework the prohibition against iconoclasm so that anything construed
as an intolerable memorial to can more easily be changed or altered.
yen to eliminate historical markers moves faster elsewhere. In
Baltimore, City Council approved on Monday the dismantling of at least four
monuments and this was done by city crews in the wee hours of August
up in the spirit of the thing NYC Mayor de Blasio is reported to have
tweeted Wednesday: "We will conduct a 90-day review of all symbols of
hate on city property.”
This sounds very much like a scene from George Orwell's famous book,
"1984." Seth Lipsky, editor of the NY Sun ,picked up on that point
and wrote a well reasoned article about it. HISTORY REWRITE
"The greenback monetary cranks have always been opposed to the Federal Reserve. Why? Because the regional Federal Reserve banks are privately owned. They hate all private banking. They are committed statists. They originally were people of the Left in the late 1880's. Today, they are found on the Right, but they are in no way defenders of the free market. They want Congress in control of money. They also teach that there can and should be zero interest rates in society. This is sheer quackery. It is the equivalent of faith in perpetual motion." MONETARY CRANKS
It's not that we aren't aware of the fiesty rhetoric about the possibility of a military clash with North Korea - but we keep looking behind the headlines to discover how the bills for a costly conflict will be paid. The government doesn't have any money it doesn't first take in by way of taxes or borrows with the promise of paying the loans back by future taxation. (Generated, hopefully, by a strong economy.)
But what of the large number of Americans who believe the nation's monetary troubles will be solved by closing down the Federal Reserve and placing the responsibility of currency creation in the hand of Congress? Wouldn't that clean up the system and put everything on a solid track to prosperity for one and all?
Not that we can find in any history of the matter, going back to the
ancient Sumerian republic. In fact, giving the keys to the
money-printing presses would guarantee an inflationary explosion.
Dr. Gary North has as much experience debating the question of money
cranks and their faith in greeback dollars as anyone. (See
Be aware that the U.S. Constitution gave Congress the power to
SUPERVISE the integrity of weights and measures - including the weight
and content of the U.S. dollar - but in no way empowered Congress to
print slips of paper IOUs and claim they were "money."
Commentator Pat Buchanan will receive a lot of flack for this: "Why not move U.S. forces off the peninsula, let South Korean troops replace them, sell Seoul all the modern weapons it needs, and let Seoul build its own nuclear arsenal to deter the North?"
makes us nervous. It seems to be making Wall Street nervous,
too. Buchanan may sound like an old fashioned Peacenick
his arguments against U.S. imperialism, but recollections of the
and deprivations of WW2 give us pause, too. We're broke! How would we
foot the bill for a major military conflagration? WORTH
often thought Korean unification ought to be explored. North and
South Koreans look and sound alike. There must be plenty of North
Koreans who'd like a taste of South Korean prosperity but don't know
how to operate a free enterprise system. And their leader is not going
to reliquish political power without a bloody fight.
War may be inevitable but we don't have to approve of it.
"The debt-ceiling crisis will cause a thunderous panic among the clueless gamblers on Wall Street. And the resulting 40% plunge in the stock market will pave the way for the Donald’s eventual demise." ~David Stockman
Stockman, Director of the OMB in the Reagan administration and also a former Congressman, seems particularly worried about prospects for Donald Trump, the stock market, and the economy in general. Why he predicts a 40 percent drop in equity values we do not know, but we have had a gut feeling for a long time that many stock prices are over-valued. When the sell-off comes it will knock serious holes in a vast number of IRAs and other retirement funds.
Looming on the calendar is the September 29th deadline for raising the public debt ceiling. We're guessing Congress will raise the present $19.8 trillion ceiling after some minor fireworks. Probably to as much as $22 trillion.
Just for the record: The U.S. has never been debt free, although the federal government once upon a time would run budget surplusses which were used to pay down the debt accumulation. In 1835, for example, a surplus of $17,857,000 reduced the outstanding public debt to $38,000! It was never that low again.
The accumulated debt steadily rose until it finally topped $1 trillion on Ronald Reagan's watch in 1982. Only 35 years later we're looking at a federal public debt accumulation twenty times that number. No one is suggesting that it ever be paid back.
The GOP struck out on dumping
As Congress prepared to get out of town for an August vacation a letter from Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin landed on members' desks last week reminding them that if they didn't get busy and raise the public debt ceiling by September 29th he'd be hard pressed to pay government bills.
We've been through this before.
The debt ceiling, just under $20 trillion, was reached in March and the
Treasury Department has been using circuitous methods of paying bills
which are lawful but temporary.