“Shame on you!”
They spit the words into your face. Every hard case that arises must, of course, be solved immediately by state intervention with a new bureaucracy with sufficient staffing and a generous budget. Anything else would be ‘unfair’. And if you don’t agree, you should be ashamed of yourself. Never mind what it costs, we’ll make the rich pay for it. Anyone who has ever delved into the comments section of the Guardian or the New York Times will recognise the narrative. The effectiveness of this approach is that it completely bypasses logic and goes straight to emotion for its impact. And you know what?
We should be ashamed.
We have created in the last fifty years a multi-generation underclass that has never worked and will never acquire the habits of work. We used to have a proud working class where self sufficiency was prized, where dependency was considered pitiful by your peers, where personal advancement and education and community were valued, where the first member to enter university was a source of enormous pride for the entire family….
Until the dead hand of the state got involved. In the 1970’s, the new generation of baby boomers, in their hubris, voted for and many of them administered a vast new program of welfare in order to improve the conditions of the working class. In attempting to remove want, they decided that they, as only intellectuals could, were best placed to run the little people’s lives for them. Instead they removed all responsibility and turned adults into children. What they actually achieved was the decimation of the working class and the huge expansion of the underclass. Now we have the second and third generation of useless parasites that survive by a combination of welfare and petty crime. They destroy everything around them, make the lives of their working neighbours miserable through their defiant and unchecked antisocial behaviour, ruin the schools and fill the prisons. The self regulating communities that kept this misbehaviour in check has been displaced by a careerist, self interested and self perpetuating bureaucracy on full pay with generous benefits. You want thanks for the trillions that have been spent on them over the decades?
Their anger has been encouraged by legions of grievance-mongers who absolve them of all personal responsibility and deflect the blame to ‘Society’. They have a white hot visceral hatred for you, (the poor working stiff who has to pay for this through ever increasing taxes) because deep down they recognise the dependant squalor they have been reduced to and they blame you for it. And as those 70’s radicals reach retirement age after a long and securely paid career with good pension benefits paid for by the (actually) working class, do they look back on their life’s work and reflect on the destruction their conceit has wrought? The hell they do.
Where is the shame?
The number of people on disability in the US has grown from 3m in 1990 to 9m now; in the UK it has grown from 0.4m to over 2m in the same period. Has there been an epidemic of work accidents these last 23 years that we all missed? No, of course not, with the move away from heavy industry to the service economy, most workers’ biggest physical risk is a nasty paper cut. It’s abundantly clear that politicians on both sides have cynically facilitated the transfer of the unemployed from dole to disability for their own ends. Those on the right did it to hide the embarrassingly large unemployment figures, while those on the left were more than happy to create a constituency of dependants who will forever vote in their interests to keep the welfare money coming. Look also at the breakdown of type of disability. The percentage with either back pain or mental illness went from 18% (of a then much smaller number) in 1961 to 53% in 2011. It is no coincidence that vague back pain or depression are the easiest ailments to fake. So Mary does the rounds between doctors until she finds some doddery old fool who will sign off on her sub-Oscar performance of depression or her pantomime of back pain, and now she is set up for life to doze in front of the TV while the cheques roll in.
Where is the shame?
Since the Lehman’s debacle in 2007 the banking system worldwide has been on life support. True capitalism has two sides, those companies that provide genuine value to their customers should flourish and those that fail to do so should disappear. On this point, Occupy Wall Street are absolutely right, those banks that have singularly failed in their duties should go bankrupt. But no, the zombie banks that deserved to fail because of their mismanagement are kept alive by their bought and paid for politicians at the taxpayer’s expense. This is not the free market, it’s not true capitalism, it’s crony capitalism. We reward incompetence and put the taxpayer in hock to pay for the failures of the politically connected.
Where is the shame?
We are constantly inveigled by the mainstream media and the political class that the answer to all our economic problems is ever increasing amounts of stimulus spending in order to boost the economy. Classic Kenseynism, though we of course failed to build up the necessary reserves during the good times.
But where is the money to come from? We didn’t create a rainy day fund during the boom times. We tried austerity, by reducing government spending, but the push-back from the public sector unions was too strong. We tried raising taxes, but the private sector started squealing and the tax take actually reduced with higher rates as the free economy was squeezed. We tried going back to the bond market, but they took a jaundiced view of our willingness or ability to ever pay it back, so they balked.
Which left us in limbo and so we took the coward’s way out with Quantitative Easing (QE). Let us be very clear what QE is, it is the Central Banks around the western world creating new money out of thin air and using it to purchase treasury bonds from their own bond markets. The basic economic law of supply and demand means that increased (artificial) demand increases the price of these bonds, which in turn, reduces their interest yield. This has the added benefit for governments that the reduced bond yield (i.e. interest rate), means that they can roll over their expiring bonds at reduced interest rates.
But, you say, surely we can’t keep adding printed money to the system without unleashing hyperinflation? And here we get to the crux of it, no we can’t, the coming hyperinflation will decimate the savings of the prudent, reduce the debt load of the indebted, so those who caused the problem will be, again, bailed out by government action and those who were prudent and had nothing to do with the problem will again be shafted.
Where is the shame?
We have become immune to the shaming language of the statists. Their remedies have failed and failed again.
They’re the ones who should be ashamed.