Monday, March 27, 2017

"I Can't, Boss!... It's Too Hard!" - What Would Happen to You?

That's essentially what Paul Ryan said last Friday when they pulled the vote on Obamacare (because they didn't have enough yes votes to win).   
"We were a 10-year opposition party where being against things was easy to do," a clearly disappointed Ryan said Friday. "And now, in three months' time, we've tried to go to a governing party, where we have to actually get ... people to agree with each other in how we do things."
"I can't!  It's too hard!  I don't know how!"  What would happen to you if you made that argument at work?  Would it fly or would you be fired?  In my experiences, not just engineering but everything I've worked in, you wouldn't get fired for not knowing how to do something, you'd be fired for not trying to do it anyway.  Taking that view says to fire all those politicians up there for not trying, not for failing.  If only I could. 

I see a lot of blame being thrown against the House Freedom Caucus for stopping it; Trump going so far as to Tweet:
That's typical, crappy thinking.  If two sides can't come to an agreement, why only blame one side?  Unless, of course, you're on the other.  That implies the typical RINOs in the house who don't agree with the more conservative Freedom Caucus are without blame.  That can be seen from both sides; why not blame the Establishment RINOs?  Except that Trump has historically been more like a progressive than a constitutionalist.   Did anyone voting for Trump think he was a real constitutional conservative?

In one of the best blog posts I've read in quite a while, ASM826 co-blogging over at Borepatch's place wrote on this whole mess.  Tying together the bread lines in Venezuela and maddening urges to socialize the health care system in the US, he begins:
I have given up, for the most part. I think that WesternCiv has reached the event horizon and there is no recovery. I think it happened somewhere in the last 30 years, as we allowed the debt to grow, failed to address the external threats, and used the education system to raise a generation of socialists.
Likewise, I've given up, for the most part.  I don't know if all of WesternCiv is going to collapse, but it looks like a safe bet.  I'd say it was farther back than 30 years ago; in fact, the trajectory may have been set by World War I.  Europe is collapsing in front of our eyes, being washed away under the tide of an Islamist invasion.  This country, the last, best, hope for freedom in the world is going to collapse into a socialist hell hole.  Back in the middle of the Obama years, someone said the problem wasn't Obama it was a nation that would vote for him twice - even after seeing his policies and actions for the first four years.  It's the same reason we're headed for collapse into Venezuela North: voters don't see the real reasons there are problems; they're incapable of seeing cause and effect clearly.  Just like the way the Venezuelan Government blames the shortages of flour on bakers, the "generation of socialists" can't see that the problems they perceive in society are caused by the big-government policies they keep asking for.  

It's a truism in politics that once giveaway programs are started, they're tough to roll back.  One explanation is that people who get a benefit are more vocal about having it taken away than the people complaining about being taxed to pay for it.  The longer they get those benefits, the harder it gets to end them.  Plus, big entitlement programs in our country have usually passed on bipartisan support, unlike Obamacare.  The fact that O'care hasn't been in place long and that it was passed only by Democrats should have made getting rid of it easier, but it was designed from the ground up to be hard to get rid of.  You've heard some of the talk about the process of reconciliation and other processes they're trapped into going through.   

In my view, in letting this opportunity to get rid of it slip away, the Stupid party is committing another big stupid.  Witness this quote:
"The president has also said that when Obamacare does ultimately explode, which it will, we are going to be prepared to lead again and if Democrats come on board with a plan down the road, we will welcome that," said Priebus.
Trump has said that when Obamacare "does ultimately explode" the people will blame it on the Democrats.  I don't think so.  The "generation of socialists" ASM826 talks about will blame it on the Evil Insurance Companies and demand single payer (socialized medicine), allegedly part of the intent of O'care since day zero.  They'll blame it on the Stupid Party because "they touched it last". 
(CQ Roll Call via AP) 


  1. Yeah. What you said.

  2. Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, France, Britain. Each country held reserve currency status, was believed to have the best fiat currency, for about 100 years. Then each had extreme inflation due to too-expensive military adventures which lost, and social services overpromises, wiping out savings held in that currency. USA is at the end of the 100 year window, and I expect it to be repeat number six.

    Central banking is a collection of oscillators. There is the business cycle tech/housing/education boom/bust oscillation period, and the 200 year oscillation period. Until you change the circuit architecture, the circuit will continue to operate the same old way.

    I'm told Queen Victoria was on the gold standard, and there was business cycle before and after her reign, but not during. I don't have a link handy to better evidence for that.

  3. Maybe I'm an optimist or perhaps a realist but western civ faced the same headwinds in 1720 when the south sea bubble blew and that lasted for nearly 65 years until the close of the American revolution. The French suffered the Mississippi bubble and a few decades earlier the Dutch dealt with tulip mania. We again faced our "troubles" at the 1834 panic that did not end until the civil war occurred. And everybody is aware of the 1929 crash that drug on until WWII. Most larger financial collapses end in major wars. I viewed Trump as the last chance to get through this without the world economy collapsing our economy but its a long shot. What he had going for him was that he wasn't a politician as I refuse to even bother voting if that's my only choice. Since Bush the first we haven't had politicians worth their weight in horse apples. At least horse apples make decent compost. I have been a bit of a prepper for the last decade or so since the odds of getting out of this without painful consequences is not real likely. Perhaps most of it will be a collapse of government services and government prestige as politicians have managed to mishandle most every venture they have undertaken since the mid 60's. Special dysfunctional kudos to FDR and Wilson to provide a giant assist. I suspect that neither McConnell or Ryan see any of the writing on the wall and do not want to cut back any spending at all so perhaps a government financial collapse is the only way to end the government vote buying scheme by providing ever more "programs". Prepare. indyjonesouthere

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  5. Well, there's good news and bad news...the good news is that Western Civilization will not only survive, it will prosper; the bad news is that it will not happen in our, or our children's, lifetimes. The grandkids, maybe.

    What looks simple from the outside becomes intransigently complex inside, and single complex systems become incomprehensible when interlinked. Social Security - or Medicare, or nearly any other "system" which has become a foundational component of our societal structure - is not just "social security" but one complex component of a larger complex system consisting of a massively intricate tax code, an amazingly convoluted regulatory structure of compensation, a labyrinthian system of investments, "supported" by an oversize basket of promises, committments and wishful thinking; in other words, just a single card in an estate-sized mansion of cards in which the disturbance of any single card portends the collapse of the entire domicile, or at least, enough of it that there will not be a significant distinction between "partial" and "complete".

    I said above that Western Civ will continue, and prosper, which i believe to the the case; mankind, especially Western mankind, and especially the American part of Western mankind, will never be satisfied with less than All That Can Be Achieved. The caveat is that the foundation must be rebuilt, and to do that the structure resting upon it must first be demolished to gain access to the rotten underpinnings so that repair and rejuvenation can occur.

    That, I'm afraid, will mean at least a few decades, perhaps longer, of severe unpleasantness.

    It might be beneficial to inform our distant progeny that this is probably a long timeline cyclical occurrence. That may not be sufficient to prevent a repeat performance, but it may enable them to increase the intervals between them.

  6. Both Nosmo King and Anon 0221 raise good points.

    Something I notice I didn't say in this, because in my mind I say it all the time, is what Nosmo King is saying: I think Western Civ is heading for a next Dark Ages. Hopefully, a Mini Dark Ages that might last until my little granddaughter has kids. (Not to mention that I've read the Dark Ages weren't really all that dark, either).

    The problem is that Western Civ has almost committed suicide and there's nothing holding up the foundation. Without a foundation, a building can't stand.

    The only positive forces in society are on the technological sector, which is strong because it has been mostly left to market forces and is still essentially a meritocracy. The problem is that the problems society is facing aren't primarily technological problems.