The FUJIGM attitude is one of our country's biggest problems. It's the reason for fights over retirement benefits, it's the reason for social programs and "entitlements" (speaking of obscenities...) it's one of the main reasons why the market crashed in 2008, and it's a main reason it's getting ready to crash even worse in the coming months.
Porter Stansberry, who runs a large investment advisory firm, published a long column this month on the coming crash. He calls it "The Corruption of America". Kevin, over at the Smallest Minority linked to it twice, saying, "If you read nothing else this weekend, read this". I agree. Long but very worthwhile.
I've been working on a long uberpost on what it would really mean to go back to a commodity standard, and it's a bit of a slog, but Stansberry addresses some of that in here. He addresses the decline in standard of living in the US and talks about how difficult that is to actually quantify, largely because of the way the government keeps statistics.
Unfortunately, it's a harder question to answer than it should be. The problem is, we don't have a sound currency with which to measure GDP through time. Until 1971, the U.S. dollar was defined as a certain amount of gold. And the price of gold was fixed by international agreement. It didn't actually begin to trade freely until 1975. Therefore, the value of the U.S. dollar (and thus the value of U.S. production, which is measured in dollars) was manipulated higher for many years.The ruling class prefers this lie because it makes them look better. See, GDP has gone up and the DJIA is above 12,000 - you're better off.
Even today, our government's nominal GDP figures are greatly influenced by inflation. The influence of inflation is particularly pernicious in GDP studies. You see, inflation, which actually reduces our standard of living, drives up the amount of nominal GDP. So it creates the appearance of a wealthier country... while the nation is actually getting poorer.
How does this lie tie in to the title?
You see, I believe the decline of our country is primarily a decline of our culture.Curing FUJIGM is easy - in the same way running a marathon is easy - if you put one foot in front of the other long enough, you'll get there. And, for some, it requires the same amount of effort to always live a life beyond reproach, to not only care about getting your own. To put other people's concerns, at the very least, as high in priority as your own. Duty, honor, humility and personal responsibility.
We have lost our sense of honor, humility, and the dedication to personal responsibility that, for more than 200 years, made our country the greatest hope for mankind. I want to detail some of the factors that gave rise to the current entitlement society. We have become a country of people who believe their well-being is someone else's responsibility.
Duty is the most sublime word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less. - Robert E. Lee