$30 trillion in stimulus

Patterico noted this article by David Howden is Chair of the Department of Business and Economics, and professor of economics at St. Louis University, at its Madrid Campus, Academic Vice President of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada, and winner of the Mises Institute’s Douglas E. French Prize:

Where’s the Austerity?

Global debt now exceeds $100 trillion, according to the Bank of International Settlements. Over the past five years, debt has increased by about $30 trillion. What’s more, governments have been the largest issuers.

Low interest rates have attracted governments to the appeal of using debt to fund public projects today. As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. At some point this debt is going to become due. At best all these governments have done is shifted expenditure forward by taking from future generations and giving to the present ones.

The magnitude of the indebtedness is what is striking. The $30 trillion of new debt issued over the past five years represents the full output of the American economy for two years. Even ignoring interest payments (which even at low interest rates are fairly hefty on $30 trillion of principal), this is a phenomenal obligation to have to pay back.

At least the IMF is not worried. After all, adjusting government budgets so as to ignore interest payments on these debts yields a positive analysis. By looking at just the primary deficit, the Group of Seven countries are actually running government budget surpluses!

Measures like the primary deficit are like playing golf and not counting the strokes until you’re on the green. Back in the real world, the total amount of expenditure a government makes matters – not just that portion not spent on debt repayment.

Over the last five years the press has been full of discussions of austerity. Allegedly, governments have scrimped and saved to get by. Now we find out that we are collectively $30 trillion more in the hole compared to where we were when the recession began? If this is austerity, I’d hate to see the alternative.

Patterico mocks things by adding a picture of the $100 trillion note from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, though that seems only an exaggerated version of what our own Federal Reserve system has been doing through the last few years of quantitative easing.

But the obvious point, that Dr Howden failed to make, is that we ought to be absolutely humming with economic activity!

Remember how Barack Hussein Obama and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman and all of he Keynesians told us that the way out of our economic doldrums was to borrow and spend, spend, spend? The world has added $30 trillion in stimulus in the last five years — and the GDP for the entire world is only $85 trillion per year, so that’s the equivalent of a 7% stimulus, over the whole world, every year for those 5 years — so, if the Keynesians are correct, everything ought to be humming along, right?

Why aren’t there jobs for everybody? Why aren’t we all rich? After all, everything that the Keynesians have told us we should do, we have been doing! Why hasn’t it worked yet?

Ain’t karma a bitch?

From Patterico’s Pontifications:

Feinstein: CIA Snooping on Secure Congressional Network

Dianne Feinstein says that the CIA has snooped on the secure Congressional network.

The executive ignores the legislative branch and makes up its own laws. What makes you think it wouldn’t spy on you?

The question is: what are y’all going to do about it?

And you and I both know that the answer is nothing.

Maybe Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) or Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) would have a right to complain about this, but when it comes to Senator Feinstein and the other Democratic enablers of this President, then they can just keep their mouths shut; they have reaped what they have sown. When someone like Senator Feinstein works to destroy your Second Amendment rights, she shouldn’t be terribly surprised to see other of our rights being infringed.

If the CIA set up a camera in Mrs Feinstein’s bedroom, that would be absolutely wrong and completely illegal, but I can’t think of anyone who would deserve such treatment more.

Economics 101: When government is friendly to business, business gets done and jobs are created

From, believe it or not, The Washington Post:

Texas isn’t just leading the nation in job growth — it’s doing it more equitably, too

Underestimate Texas at your own peril.

You might be inclined to think that the Lone Star state is bad at creating good jobs. It is, after all, second only to Idaho in the proportion of its population earning the federal minimum wage or less, according to the Labor Department. And it has the ninth-highest Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality. So it’s only natural to assume that the state is bad at adding good jobs, right? Wrong.

Texas experienced stronger job growth than the rest of the nation from 2000 to 2013, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Not only that, a pair of researchers note in a Thursday research publication, but Texas leads the nation in creation of jobs at all pay levels, too.

“Texas has also created more ‘good’ than ‘bad’ jobs,” they write. “Jobs in the top half of the wage distribution experienced disproportionate growth. The two upper wage quartiles were responsible for 55 percent of net new jobs. A similar pie chart cannot be made for the rest of the U.S., which lost jobs in the lower-middle quartile over the period.”

We’ve written plenty about how the income gap has continued to grow in recent years and decades, and the same is true with jobs. Nationally, all the jobs created since 2000 were concentrated at the highest- or lowest-paying quartiles. In Texas, however, job creation was more broad-based.

More at the link.

Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) wowed ‘em at the Conservative Political Action Conference this past week, and the Post article is evidence that the economic polices of the state of Texas are working a heck of a lot better than those of President Obama on the national level.

As our long-term readers are aware, your editor endorsed Governor Perry for the Republican Presidential nomination early on in the process. I still believe that Governor Perry is just the kind of man we need for President: a strong conservative with real executive experience, leading a state which has led the nation in job creation for several years.

Unfortunately, while Mr Perry might make a good President, it became apparent that he didn’t make a good presidential candidate: he flubbed up in several debates, and even though his debate performances got much better toward the end, the damage had been done. If President Obama has proved one thing, it’s that the qualities which make a great presidential candidate are completely divorced from those which make a good president. President Obama has been probably the best presidential candidate in my lifetime — he not only defeated the inevitable Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primaries, but won re-election despite very high unemployment and trillion-dollar deficits — and, at the same time, the worst president in my lifetime . . . and my lifetime includes Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter! And Governor Perry proved that being a good governor does not make a person a good candidate.1

Simply put, job performance does not equal electability in the United States, and it seems highly unlikely that Governor Perry will be our next president, even though it is thought that he intends to run.

But the numbers are proving what sensible people have known all along: that Texas is doing a lot better economically than the rest of the country, and the conservative business and economic policies of the state — low taxes and a state government which is friendly rather than hostile toward business success — are at least part of the story.

  1. It should be noted her that Mr Perry didn’t win a gubernatorial campaign to become governor; he was the elected Lieutenant Governor when George W Bush resigned after winning the presidency in 2000. Mr Perry won subsequent gubernatorial elections in 2002, 2006 and 2010, but he was running as the incumbent. He has decided not to seek re-election this year.

Rule 5 Blogging: Romania!

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Gina Pistol in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude. This week: Soldiers from Romania.


Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: Romania!’ »

Direction Question – Direction As In Where Are We headed?

This is a Simple Question. Answer should be in the How and Why?

What Direction are we headed in?
a. Right direction
b. Mis-directed with no clear signals
c. Flat out Wrong direction
d. Into a total population control
e. Totally Distracted with disguised wrong direction indicators

This is not a POLL.

Two articles to consider:
Ukraine Crisis: Just Another Globalist-Engineered Powder Keg http://personalliberty.com/2014/03/04/ukraine-crisis-just-another-globalist-engineered-powder-keg/

Ukraine: The Endgame : Personal Liberty http://personalliberty.com/2014/03/07/ukraine-the-endgame/

And No, Blu didn’t put me up to this.

From Around the Blogroll

On the Victory Girls, Jennifer Davis writes about Arne Duncan and Common Core.

Sister Toldjah noted that just one in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private plans through the new health insurance marketplaces enrolled as of last month.

Surviving cross at the World Trade Center.

William Teach wrote about the atheist group trying to exclude the steel-beam cross which was found at the demolished World Trade Center site from the 9/11 museum. One of the judges asked whether similar treatment would be needed in a place like the Holocaust Museum, a museum that includes Jewish artifacts but would not be considered an endorsement of Judaism. Looks like someone has some common sense.

Patterico mocked the New York Times editorial which claimed that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was doing good by forcing people “to buy new (and better) policies on the health care exchanges.” The notion that people ought to be able to take their own decisions about what is best for them seems to have escaped the editors, but it all falls into line with what I have said many times before: the left are pro-choice on exactly one thing.

Robert Stacey Stacy McCain is at the Conservative Political Action Conference and wrote several articles, including this one.

Donald Douglas points out Forbes‘ article, “Party Schools — Years Of Fun Mostly At Other People’s Expense, But Not Much Learning.”

Laurel Conrad of Le*gal In*sur*rec*tion wrote about a strange fate to anti-Semitism progressivism, pointing out that “faculty, not students, are leading the anti-Israel charge on campus,” and that “The Jewish Press reported that pro-Israel counter-events outnumbered IAW events.”

L D Jackson wrote about the Romeike family, legal immigrants from Germany, who asked for asylum because German law denies them the right o home school they children. An immigration judge granted asylum, and an appeals court overturned that. If they are sent back to Germany, they could have their children taken away from them because they chose to home school.

Hube mocks both the Wilmington News-Journal and the Delaware Liberal for their apoplexy over Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) vote not to invoke cloture on the filibuster against President Obama’s nomination of Debo Adegbile to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Karen, the Lonely Conservative, noted the Infernal Revenue Service’ diligence when it comes to checking up on TEA Party related groups, but it seems that they aren’t quite as cautious when hiring people, like Mohammad Weiss Rasool, whom the FBI busted last decade for tipping off an al-Qaida terrorist suspect, reportedly now works for the deputy IRS chief financial officer as a financial management analyst, drawing a lucrative salary at taxpayer expense.

On Protein Wisdom, Darleen Click takes the Associated Press to task for rotten reporting, failing to note that, shockingly enough, Governor Jerry Brown’s program for releasing lower-level felons to reduce prison overcrowding, is generating a record increase in the number of second felony convictions for those who already had a prior conviction for a serious crime.  Mrs Click wonders why the AP is surprised that criminals are still criminals, even if they have been released.

Rip it up!

One of my high school classmates, a pretty woman but a rip-roarin’ liberal, shared this picture from the Lost Kos:

And my response is, yes, please, please! shred that social contract! Tear it all to pieces! Why should those of us who work hard for a living have the government take food off of our tables to feed people who won’t work?

The social contract to which the esteemed Mr Moyers refers is one which has enabled millions of able-bodied people to sit on their lazy asses, with a roofs over their heads, food on their tables, cars in their driveways, cell phones in their pockets, and cable for their televisions, while the rest of us have to work harder, for less, so that those able-bodied people can keep doing that! The fact that we are basically importing Mexicans to do what are entry-level, low-skill jobs tells us that those able-bodied Americans could work, but won’t work.

I’m sure that it’s all George Bush’s fault!

From Gallup:

More Americans Worse Off Financially Than a Year Ago
Yet most expect to be better off within a year
by Andrew Dugan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – More Americans, 42%, say they are financially worse off now than they were a year ago, reversing the lower levels found over the past two years. Just more than a third of Americans say their financial situation has improved from a year ago.

These results come from Gallup’s annual “Mood of the Nation” poll, conducted Jan. 5-8. Gallup has found that Americans’ economic confidence, self-reported consumer spending, and perceptions of job creation improved in 2013. Despite Americans’ more positive views of the overall U.S. economy in 2013, nearly two-thirds believe their personal financial situation deteriorated or was stable over the past year.

Though down from mid-2013, the percentage of Americans saying they are financially better off than a year ago is nearly in line with the historical average (38%), spanning 1976-2014. On the other hand, the share of Americans saying they are financially worse off compared with a year ago is, by historical standards, high — eight percentage points above the average. The record high of 55% occurred in May and September 2008, the year (and, in the latter case, the month) of the global financial meltdown.

More at the link.

Barack Hussein Obama has been President of the United States for 5 years, 1 month and 15 days, so, naturally, if Americans believe that they are worse off today than just one year ago, it’s all still George Bush’s fault, right?

Another new #Obamacare regulation?

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is having the regulations rewritten to require health insurance plans to provide complete coverage for this, with no required copayments:

Scientists Build Orgasm Machine For Women
March 5, 2014 11:59 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CBS Charlotte) – Scientists have patented a new machine that will provide orgasms for women at the push of a button.

A little smaller than a packet of cigarettes, the machine is designed to be a medical implant that uses electrodes to trigger an orgasm. The device would help some women who suffer from orgasmic dysfunction.

During the operation, a patient would remain conscious so that a surgeon could correctly pinpoint the right nerves to fit the electrodes in a patient’s spinal cord. Then, a signal generator would be connected which would be most likely implanted under the skin of a patient’s buttocks.

Stuart Meloy, a surgeon at Piedmont Anesthesia and Pain Consultants in Winston-Salem, N.C., came up with idea by accident.

“I was placing the electrodes and suddenly the woman started exclaiming emphatically,” he said to Newscientist. “I asked her what was up and she said, ‘You’re going to have to teach my husband to do that’.”

More at the link. :)