It began inauspiciously enough. Not even three weeks after the new President was inaugurated the democrat controlled congress passed a five hundred and fifty billion dollar economic stimulus package and named it the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
It must be quite a feeling for a college professor, or a real estate developer or a former minor government functionary or community organizer to participate in the borrowing and then spending of half a Trillion dollars of other peoples money. This is, of course, an example of the last of the four ways we spend money: spending other people’s money on other people. In this mode, cost is of no concern (because the money will come from others) and neither are the results. For them it was all an abstraction and no matter what the result, there would be no consequences.
But my main thought for the moment are the “shovel ready” projects that were touted as one of the reasons for the rushed process that included no time for detailed examination and discussion of the bill’s contents. The President would later jokingly comment that the “shovel ready” projects were not as shovel ready as they had expected. Really?
If you give these executive neophytes the benefit of the doubt, if you accept, for a moment, that they didn’t know that before the golden shovels are polished up and brought out for show many months are spent in the promotion of ideas, feasibility studies, site selection studies, environmental studies, property acquisition, engineering and design, permitting, and that none of that happens until AFTER the money has been turned on then the best you can say about them is that they were inexperienced, incompetent, naïve, or all of the above. Or you can add deceitful to the list, and say that they knew it perfectly well and simply used the phrase “shovel ready projects” as an easy way to justify the hasty approval of a hundred Billion dollars in borrowing and expenditure.
My own feeling is that they were indeed inexperienced, incompetent, naïve, AND deceitful. Not exactly the traits you might want to look for when selecting national leaders.
But that’s just what an average guy thinks.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Then the war was over, but the animas remained. But it was the 70s. It was, perhaps, not easy to be angry while wearing those collars and platform shoes. Double knit. Ban-Lon. But the people who believed in the evil nature of the United States… those who longed for the success and primacy of communal philosophy… like those carrying out butchery and barbarous acts in China, Cuba, Cambodia, and the Soviet Union, took a long view. Realizing they were up against a well developed legal system that would capture and prosecute them, a young population tired of sticking it to the man, and that was more interested in shaking its groove thing than in “social justice’ they simply went back to school and did the work required to put them in a position to take over the nation. They became educatiors. It was a great gig. They got to exercise their arrogant paternalism for a living, and they only had to work nine months a year. And work they did.
The sixties and seventies were times when the founders of the Confederacy, the Ku Klux Klan and the perpetrators of the horrific racial violence we had seen and read about for years, the very architects of the system of racial segregation that permeated American culture (the democrat party) began to change. The founders and the practitioners of abolition (the republicans) were suddenly portrayed as the villains of the story and the true villains, the ones with blood on their hands became soft a cuddly.
It was also in this time frame when a new age dawned. Not the age of Aquarius, which was simply a pop culture phenomenon, but the age of victimhood. The first order of business was to convince the voting public that the government needed to do more to help the poor. There seemed to be plenty of tax revenue to go around. Why not? And then minorities were convinced that they were owed the assistance because they had been victims of centuries of abuse, and that due to circumstances beyond their control they couldn’t make it without help. And then the story was changed yet again. Majority (white) voters were told that not only should they assist minority populations, but that they were responsible for their condition in the first place. And this is how it’s been, for forty years, or more.
Fast forward to the 2010s. Students…. the children of privilege are transitioning into the oppressed. Never having to have worked for anything and always the oppressors they are eager for relief. They no longer feel the religious guilt for the death of Christ that sustained their parents and grand parents and they yearn for the absolution that follows confession. Today’s educators are more than willing, in fact it was their purpose, to instill that guilt and to provide the relief. If you could listen in on the exchange in a university confessional, it might sound like this.
“Do you accept the sins of America, and take them as your own?”
“And do you vow to accept and hold sacrosanct the teachings that have been imparted to you here, never questioning?”
“Then go my child and sin no more”.
Or something like that.
But that’s just what an average guy thinks.