every other pundit’s fallacy

One funny thing I realized about pundits is that they can all quote you chapter and verse when it comes to the Pundit’s Fallacy, and yet they all also fall prey to it all the time. It’s kind of amazing, the cognitive dissonance. Now, you can find people guilty of this all around, but it must certainly isn’t a problem equal to all sides. Conservatives, and even moreso libertarians, are far more guilty.

One thing you’ve got to understand is that the coddling that conservative and libertarian journalists end up living with, thanks to their successful attempts to brand themselves a terribly oppressed victim group, means that they never have to confront the failure of their own ideas. When you’ve decided that every obstacle that faces your political platform is the result of “bias,” or conspiracy, or not enough of your policy that’s currently failing, you have no apparatus necessary for change. When people tell conservatives that they need to change, they are actually asking the impossible. Conservatives quite literally are incapable of changing; the belief that every setback and failing in their ideology is the result of some sort of bias has so saturated the ideology that the precondition for effective change– the recognition of a proglem– cannot be achieved. So here: the neoliberalism that Sarkozy represents has been the dominant economic ideology of Western elites for decades. More of Sarkozy cannot solve problems because what Sarkozy represents precisely is the problem. Same with austerity. The fact that it is currently a massive failure in Europe simply cannot penetrate the conservative consciousness.

Incidentally, the “adulthood” crack is part of the Metaphor That Ate the Economy, whereby people end up believing that governments are actually households, that what works for “ordinary folk” works for giant national entities, that economic failure has anything whatsoever to do with a lack of virtue (or similar bullshit), etc. Governments are not human beings. Nations are not people. Socioeconomic platforms have nothing to do with “adulthood.” And the scrimp-and-save behavior that people think should be rewarded with economic growth is in fact rewarded with horrible stagnation and failure.






54 replies
  1. 1
    Brachiator says:

    I got no time for little Freddie’s noodling. Some background from the BBC

    Socialist Francois Hollande has been elected as France’s new president.

    He got about 52% of votes in Sunday’s run-off, according to early projections, against 48% for centre-right incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.

    Mr Sarkozy has admitted defeat, saying: “Francois Hollande is the president of France and he must be respected.”

    Analysts say the vote has wide implications for the whole eurozone. Mr Hollande has vowed to rework a deal on government debt in member countries.

    Exuberant Hollande supporters have already converged on Place de la Bastille in Paris – a traditional rallying point of the Left – to celebrate.

    Mr Hollande capitalised on France’s economic woes and President Sarkozy’s unpopularity.

    The socialist candidate has promised to raise taxes on big corporations and people earning more than 1m euros a year.

    He also wants to raise the minimum wage, hire 60,000 more teachers and lower the retirement age from 62 to 60 for some workers.

    In his concession speech, Mr Sarkozy told stunned supporters that he was “taking responsibility for defeat.

    Hinting about his possible political future, he said: “My place will no longer be the same. My involvement in the life of my country will now be different.”

    During the campaign, he said he would leave politics if he lost the election.

    It is only the second time an incumbent president has failed to win re-election since the start of France’s Fifth Republic in 1958.

    The last was Valery Giscard d’Estaing, who lost to socialist Francois Mitterrand in 1981. Mr Mitterrand had two terms in office until 1995.

    ETA. There are important votes today in the FIGS countries (easy to remember). France, Italy, Greece and Serbia. The Greeks appear to have elected some right wing extremists into the government, so anyone who thinks that there is a clear political consensus emerging from Europe is full of shit.

    And in France, Hollande still has to pull the country out of some serious problems.

    Also look for the GOP to emphasize the worldwide sozhul ist menace based on what has happened in France, and to appeal to fear and desperation.

  2. 2
    Maude says:

    @Brachiator:
    I bet Germany isn’t happy about this. The elections in Greece seem to be rejecting austerity.
    Change is on it’s way.

  3. 3
    Freddie deBoer says:

    Little? I’m 6’1, 200 lbs.

  4. 4
    Brachiator says:

    @Maude:

    I bet Germany isn’t happy about this. The elections in Greece seem to be rejecting austerity.
    Change is on it’s way.

    The counter-reaction is on the way. The UK has bet big on austerity. It remains to be seen whether France has any clout to counter Germany’s domination of the argument.

    Here in the US, the Republicans will move heaven and Earth to defeat Obama and to prevent him from developing warm relations with France if he is re-elected. I even look for some in the GOP to double down on cynicism and wail that Obama could not help his buddy Sarkozy.

  5. 5
    Jennifer says:

    Great post, Freddie. I love the crack about government being like households, because that one really drives me nuts, mostly because if you’re dumb enough that you believe government is like a household, then the Republican prescription makes even LESS sense. Austerity for everyone but the very wealthy, by cutting retirement and medical benefits for retirees, cutting wages and jobs for public employees, & etc in order to spare more tax cuts for rich people and unlimited war toys is the equivalent of a household defaulting on the mortgage in order to keep up with the payments on the stupid boat in the driveway. It’s not only a stupid metaphor, it’s a stupid metaphor that underlines the flaw in their prescription with indelible ink. Unfortunately, wingnuts can’t read stuff written in indelible ink; they find the stuff written in invisible ink easier to swallow.

  6. 6
    Brachiator says:

    @Freddie deBoer: It’s your mind that’s small. I am not going to spend a lot of time trolling you. I have absolutely nothing against you personally. I just do not find you to be very informed, and you consistently find the least interesting perspective on most topics, which I guess is a kind of negative talent to be noted.

  7. 7
    Nethead Jay says:

    @Brachiator:

    I got no time for little Freddie’s noodling.

    Are you always a giant self-important asshole like this?

  8. 8
    jeffreyw says:

    Unfortunately, wingnuts can’t reatd stuff written in indeedlible ink

    Well, Duh!
    /dyslexic

  9. 9
    Tehanu says:

    @Jennifer:

    Hear, hear — and even if a nation WAS like a single household, how many households do you know that have no debt? That bought their house and their car with cash? Our economy runs on consumer debt; advertising exists for no other reason than to push people into buying new things. Or did I miss the 24/7 ad campaign to encourage everyone to repair their old toaster and darn their old socks instead of rushing right down to the mall for new ones?

  10. 10
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    There are many subdivisions of libertarian wankerdom, but this attitude is one of the wankiest. Oh, you silly little sokulists just aren’t matoor enough to handle our genius, so you regress to collectivist behaviors! More’s the pity. When you’re ready for the Big Kids Table, we might share our Orson Scott Card books and blueprints for our new robot bodies.

  11. 11
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jennifer: Yes yes yes. A thousand times yes. IMHO the stupidest part of the metaphor _as a criticism_ is that it completely disregards how commonplace debt and credit are in our society. When people say things like, “I have to balance my checkbook, so why shouldn’t the government?” I want to say, “Hey, buddy, how much do you owe on your mortgage, and how would your checkbook look if you had to pay it off all at once?”

  12. 12
    mathguy says:

    @Brachiator: Actually, it sounds pretty personal. I love people that say, : I have nothing personally against you, but…” Why don’t you simply disagree and cut out the name-calling, then? Nethead Jay gets it right.

  13. 13
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Tehanu: You get it too! I’ve been barking up this tree for years. Sometimes I feel totally adrift. Glad to hear there are a few others making similar arguments.

  14. 14
    Freddie deBoer says:

    @Brachiator: You should consider starting your own blog! I mean, I started my own blog on a free site from a public library, when I was just a broke 24 year old. It’s a lot of fun.

  15. 15
    Baud says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    “I have to balance my checkbook, so why shouldn’t the government?”

    To be fair, the more accurate description of the Republican world view is: “I have to balance my checkbook, so why shouldn’t the government control ladies’ private parts?”

  16. 16
    Freddie deBoer says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I mean, at some point you’d think people would realize that the average household doesn’t control a fiat currency and the printing press.

  17. 17
    mathguy says:

    @Jennifer: The other problem with the metaphor is it completely ignores complexity. Do you use bicycle mechanic’s repair manual to fix a jet engine? That begins to touch on the difference in complexity. Why people can’t see that is a complete mystery to me.

  18. 18
    Nethead Jay says:

    @FlipYrWhig: There are a few of us and I’m glad to see more picking up on it, but sometimes it’s hard to get through the wall of idiotic noise.

  19. 19
    Murakami says:

    I subscribe to the Economist which has been having a full-on meltdown, over the past few issues, over the idea of a Hollande victory. I have no idea if Hollande will be good for France or not, but I am looking forward to the pure entertainment value of the Economist losing its shit over the coming weeks and months.

    I do wish Hollande the best of luck. From what little I know of France’s problems, I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes.

  20. 20
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Freddie deBoer: True, but that’s IMHO a much harder distinction to make. I think it’s never going to be possible to break the habit of analogy between the government’s budgeting and household budgeting, because most people have no exposure to any other kind of budgeting other than paying their own bills. So instead of crusading against the analogy itself, it seems like a much less tricky play to help people understand that _even according to the analogy_ there’s nothing inherently alarming about borrowing money and making payments on it, when you see the opportunity to invest that money in something that pays off, like starting a business or going to college.

  21. 21
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @mathguy: Yeah, but that’s a problem with all metaphors, including “The best way to deal with a bully is to stand up to him” and the many variations on “Obama sucks at bargaining.”

  22. 22
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Freddie deBoer: That sounds positively Tunchesque, are you big boned or are you floofy? Austerity did not work Hoover, neither is it working for Europe all it leads to is the contraction of the economy. Keynes figured this out 75 or more years ago. Countries like Greece have also an added burden of not controlling their monetary policy. As for the indebtedness of the US goes, we are practically getting a loan for a ridiculously low rate, it would be crazy not to advantage of that and rebuild our infrastructure.
    BTW does anyone know what happened to Obama’s green jobs program. Haven’t heard anything about it in a long time.

  23. 23
    Brachiator says:

    @mathguy:

    Actually, it sounds pretty personal. I love people that say, : I have nothing personally against you, but…” Why don’t you simply disagree and cut out the name-calling, then? Nethead Jay gets it right.

    Actually, you are totally wrong. There was another poster who had some weird personal grudge against Freddie and would insist that he should not be a Front Page poster, and would hammer the stupid point home no matter what.

    That is the context to my remarks.

    @Nethead Jay:

    Are you always a giant self-important asshole like this?

    No more or less than you.

    With that clarification, I look forward to more substantive comments in this thread. Anything else is a pointless distraction.

  24. 24
    scav says:

    Brach, you’re the one that sent this thread spiraling and it was deliberate. You deceive no one with your denial of it, probably not even yourself.

  25. 25
    Brachiator says:

    @Freddie deBoer:

    You should consider starting your own blog! I mean, I started my own blog on a free site from a public library, when I was just a broke 24 year old. It’s a lot of fun.

    I don’t have consistent blocks of time.

    And for what it’s worth, I retract the snarkiest part of my last comments. I appreciate that you did not waste time in escalating things into a pissing match.

    And clearly, posters have found your remarks a fruitful starting point for further discussion, which is really what matters most.

    Cheers.

  26. 26
    Nethead Jay says:

    @FlipYrWhig: This is a good perspective. I’ve tried the currency and printing press angle and occasionally it works but not very often. The investing angle seems to work better.

  27. 27
    Grondo says:

    FINE.

    They keep trotting out the “household budget/belt-tightening” analogy when pimping austerity, so let’s extend the analogy.

    It’s as if Daddy wants to save the household budget (presumably to avoid eviction? How would that work for a sovereign country?) by cutting the cable bill, then the cell-phone bill, then selling off one car, then both cars and taking the bus, then turning off the heat and wearing three sweaters, then… you get the picture. No more school supplies for Junior, no braces for Little Sis, and the youngest will just have to make it another year without the physical therapy she needs.

    Meanwhile, the whole family knows Daddy has a big stash of cash from his Thursday night poker games hidden under his side of the bed. He has warned the rest of the family that if he catches anyone dipping into his “secret” stash, even to pay the water bill or fix the leaky roof, he’ll beat the living tar out of them and go live in a hotel while they all starve. So he sits on the means to solve all their problems, while the whole family slips into run-down, poverty-level existence.

    Of course, he rewards himself for being so “adult” about his “hard choices,” made on their behalf, with the occasional steak dinner or trip to the Bahamas. Daddy’s prerogative after all!

    Belt-tightening for thee, but not for me.

  28. 28
    policomic says:

    @Tehanu: Thanks for making this point. This should be the reply every time somebody brings up that stupid “government should live within its means, just like you do, citizen” argument.

    The next time somebody says this, ask them if they have a mortgage, a car payment, or a credit card. It they answer “yes” to any of them, tell them to STFU.

  29. 29
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Nethead Jay: I think the problem with the printing press angle is that it invites a counterproductive fantasy like “If I could print dollars at home and get away with it I’d totally go nuts!”. Whereas the relevant comparison is something more like, if you have a mortgage and you’re making payments, and you like doing home improvement projects, why would it be wrong to buy a truck and some tools on credit, then spend the weekends getting paid to do handyman projects? Sure you go into more debt initially, but if it works, you can make more money, pay off what you owe, and come out ahead over time? Well, governments do that too. And then if it’s, say, installing energy-efficient appliances, you get money, the guy who hires you saves money over time, and the power company has fewer blackouts. It’s funded by borrowed money, but everyone benefits, and in the long run it gets paid back.

    Borrow money for lasting improvements, make payments, pay it back. Simple.

    I think the right analogies have A TON of power, and we shouldn’t give them up just because they can also mislead and be misused.

  30. 30
    Brachiator says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I think it’s never going to be possible to break the habit of analogy between the government’s budgeting and household budgeting, because most people have no exposure to any other kind of budgeting other than paying their own bills. So instead of crusading against the analogy itself, it seems like a much less tricky play to help people understand that even according to the analogy there’s nothing inherently alarming about borrowing money and making payments on it, when you see the opportunity to invest that money in something that pays off, like starting a business or going to college.

    Even business writers, who should know better get confused on key points. On a recent BBC radio cast, their goto economics expert noted that some commentators got confused about reducing the deficit and reducing the public debt, in comparing US and UK approaches to austerity budgets.

    But you are very right about the futility in trying to overcome false analogies about government and household budgeting. And sometimes these analogies can be useful as a starting point. There are people who still recall the impact of Ross Perot’s simple charts over more arcane discussions of the economy.

    And it might be possible to easily counter some of Romney’s pitches with simple examples. When he talks about people borrowing college money from a rich relative, he slaps down anyone who might go to the bank for a loan. And does the GOP think that mortgages are bad, and that people should save enough to pay cash for a home? Or does borrowing have a place in the economy?

  31. 31
    TheF79 says:

    Given all the amount of ink shed over several decades by the Economists and fellow travelers about the “structural” problems of France, one would get the impression that France is a third-world hell-hole. I’ve always wondered how they process that cognitive dissonance when actually visiting France and discovering that, in general, it’s a pretty decent place.

  32. 32
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Brachiator: Judging by the rhetoric, conservatives these days object to all credit and all insurance, because they involve mixing your money promiscuously with that of strangers, and someone who isn’t you getting to use a slice of it. It’s all grotesquely collective to them.

  33. 33
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @TheF79: I’m flying out to Japan in a couple of days time. According to the Great and Good Japan’s economy is a financial trainwreck, several Lost Decades worth of high debt levels and profligate government spending supposedly turning it into a toxic hellhole for businesses and borrowing.

    Currently unemployment is at 4.5% (that includes members of the Japanese military, by the way as they are not regarded as being in productive employment). As for the rest of it, the Japanese Government recently decided to drop about $120 billion US on building a 500km/hr maglev link between Tokyo and Nagoya, a major chunk of change going into jobs, construction materials, R & D and resulting in an infrastructure link as impressive today as the original bullet trains were back in the 60s and 70s.

  34. 34
    Jay C says:

    @Freddie deBoer:

    I mean, I started my own blog on a free site from a public library, when I was just a broke 24 year old.

    SEE!! SOSHULIZM!!!1!1!

  35. 35
    Brachiator says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Whereas the relevant comparison is something more like, if you have a mortgage and you’re making payments, and you like doing home improvement projects, why would it be wrong to buy a truck and some tools on credit, then spend the weekends getting paid to do handyman projects?

    Even better, here is where the power of government comes in. The bonus depreciation rules would let you write off the entire cost of the car and the tools in the first year, even though you bought the stuff on credit. And the interest payments would be deductible as well.

    Borrow money for lasting improvements, make payments, pay it back. Simple.

    Yep. You nailed it. There is often value in taking on debt for projects that will repay their value over the years.

    Judging by the rhetoric, conservatives these days object to all credit and all insurance

    And yet, they don’t object to insurance companies. Go figure.

  36. 36
    Mike G says:

    @TheF79:

    I’ve been reading The Economist for 25 years. Their audience and viewpoint is basically that of corporations. A country that provides a high standard of living for most of the population, but is “difficult” or insufficiently profitable for foreign corporations to do business in, is their definition of a hellhole.

    They used to be more clasically European-liberal but went wingnut about a decade ago. Their fellating of Bush’s fratboy ego-trip lie-driven invasion of Iraq was the last time I paid much attention to their political editorials.

  37. 37
    NobodySpecial says:

    What always bugged me about the whole ‘government/private’ debt comparisons is that if it were true, conservatives would be balancing their own checkbooks when they get into debt by demanding a pay cut.

  38. 38
    Scott de B. says:

    And the scrimp-and-save behavior that people think should be rewarded with economic growth is in fact rewarded with horrible stagnation and failure.

    Let’s be clear — it is rewarded with stagnation when one is in a liquidity trap. At other times it can be accompanied by robust growth, as we saw during the 1990s. Context matters.

  39. 39
    Yutsano says:

    @Robert Sneddon: Japan’s economic numbers are always going to be distorted because of their unbelievable growth in the 80s that will most likely never be matched again. But economists insist upon comparing it to their best decades regardless of whether current trends are positive or negative.

  40. 40
    Commenting at Ballon Juice since 1937 says:

    Democracy is great until you’re guy doesn’t win. Then its ‘didn’t choose adulthood’ bullshit. Like the pundits live in France and the French people don’t know what they’re doing.

  41. 41
    RSA says:

    Incidentally, the “adulthood” crack is part of the Metaphor That Ate the Economy, whereby people end up believing that governments are actually households, that what works for “ordinary folk” works for giant national entities, that economic failure has anything whatsoever to do with a lack of virtue (or similar bullshit), etc.

    “Adulthood” is also standard libertarian rhetoric: “Liberals want the government to be your Mommy. Conservatives want government to be your Daddy. Libertarians want it to treat you like an adult.” No, libertarians want to reduce complex political positions to a pre-school level.

  42. 42
    baldheadeddork says:

    One funny thing I realized about pundits is that they can all quote you chapter and verse when it comes to the Pundit’s Fallacy, and yet they all also fall prey to it all the time.

    It also helps to be dumber than a bag of hammers. The French have elected conservative presidents since 1995. Given what sixteen years of “adulthood” have done for their economy, you can’t hardly blame them for throwing the SOB’s out.

  43. 43
    Heliopause says:

    Even if the government was like a household, it makes perfect sense for a household to take out an enormous loan at a low interest rate and take decades to pay it off. Not to mention, our economy is largely based on households doing this. So I’ve never quite understood the point that Obama and other “fiscal conservatives” think they’re making when they talk about this.

  44. 44
    middlewest says:

    For people who have problem images in Firefox, right click image, select “view image info”, select “block images from x”.
    Dunno how the other browsers do it.
    Honestly, though, how do you survive the web without javascript blockers?

  45. 45
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Heliopause: I think Obama’s point is more like the one you, and some of the rest of us, are making. That is, the government should try its best to cut inessential and inefficient expenses but not sacrifice investments that stand to pay off in the long term. That’s what I mean about not being on a hair trigger any time we hear the household-government analogy. It’s possible to reclaim the analogy by reorienting it, to pay lip service to the “belt-tightening” side while at the same time defining government spending as “investment.”. And Obama actually does the latter, and IMHO does the lip service part on the former. I’d love to hear him do it more explicitly because I think it’s a winning ju-jitsu move. But I think he does the pieces of it separately a pretty fair amount.

  46. 46
    russell says:

    I feel quite confident in saying that the French people, as a whole and individually, do not give a flying fuck about anything james poulos has to say.

    regarding government budgeting vs household budgeting, if you are a household that holds a mortgage, you probably carry an operating debt load that is a low-single-digit multiple of your annual receipts. Assuming that you’re less than, say, 20 years into a 30 year fixed.

    So, for many, if not the majority of, mortgage-holding households, advantage US federal government.

  47. 47
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Heliopause: It gets better. Right now, the US government can borrow money at negative real interest rates. Under those circumstances, even if the government had the money to pay for everything it wants, the fiscally responsible thing to do is stuff the money in a mattress and borrow to pay for everything.

  48. 48
    Pen says:

    @Brachiator:

    Brachiator Says: I blame pie.

    Much better, and a hell of a lot more useful than trolling the front pagers.

  49. 49
    danielx says:

    One thing you’ve got to understand is that the coddling that conservative and libertarian journalists end up living with, thanks to their successful attempts to brand themselves a terribly oppressed victim group, means that they never have to confront the failure of their own ideas. When you’ve decided that every obstacle that faces your political platform is the result of “bias,” or conspiracy, or not enough of your policy that’s currently failing, you have no apparatus necessary for change.

    Jesus, Freddy, not to be too snarky, but you’re just now getting around to noticing this? They don’t believe they need an apparatus for change. It’s a circular argument – if every obtacle is the result of “bias”, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with what you’re doing, and every failure is due to that bias or because they weren’t conservative enough. Therefore you don’t need to change anything except to be more conservative. If voters reject your program and ideas, it’s because they’ve been misled and deluded by the liberal media. It certainly isn’t because they think your candidates are obnoxious assholes or that your ideas or platform are more fucked up than Rocky the Flying Squirrel.

    Conservatism can never fail, it can only be failed.

  50. 50
    mclaren says:

    Eerily enough, deBoer’s rant perfectly encapsulates Democratic obots as well as fanatical far-right conservatives:

    When you’ve decided that every obstacle that faces your [president Oboma’s failed] political platform [of endless unwinnable war and more tax cuts for the rich and a bigger national security police state and more fiscal austerian “belt-tightening” coupled with more money for the U.S. military and a larger War on Drugs] is the result of “bias,” or conspiracy, or not enough of your policy that’s currently failing, you have no apparatus necessary for change. When people tell conservatives obots that they need to change, they are actually asking the impossible. Conservatives Obots quite literally are incapable of changing; the belief that every setback and failing in their ideology is the result of some sort of bias has so saturated the ideology that the precondition for effective change —- the recognition of a problem —- cannot be achieved.

    Obama’s expanded War on Drugs and his endless unwinnable foreign wars and his continual tax cuts for the rich and his limitlessly expanding secrecy and arrests and trials of whistleblowers who reveal corruption and illegal U.S. government assassination programs to the American people and Obama’s boundless expansion of the counterproductive society-strangling national security state that reads every American’s emails and listens to every American’s phone calls can never fail, it can only be failed.

  51. 51
    Ecks says:

    As krugman was pointing out on his blog today, the problem with the household “common sense” analogy is that macro-politics are all about feedback loops. If households were like the economy then the Kid #1 would be paying Mom for a room, while Mom pays Dad to mow the lawn, and Dad pays Kid #1 to do the dishes. Demanding that we solve the problem of an unemployed Kid #2 by paying dad less to mow the lawn just means that Kid#1 can’t afford to pay for her room, the whole chain breaks down, and they now have dirty dishes, an overgrown garden and their firstborn kid evicted.

  52. 52

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  53. 53
    PaulJ says:

    The Eurozone economic system is based on credit akin to private debt.

    The liabilities created by issuing credit are greater than the amount of money created when you account for interest. That means there will never be enough money in existence to satisfy the debts.

    In the U.S. we have a money-creation system called deficit spending that fills the gap while monetizing gains and off-setting the dollars lost through the trade deficit.

    It’s the reason city and state budgets can increase with growth over time without breaking the bank. Interest-free fiscal transfers from the government.

    The Eurozone has no such mechanism for expanding the money supply (except for back-door deals by the elites) so it was doomed from the start. Money creation should be used for public purpose, not extraction.

    Any system that ignores basic laws of arithmetic in it’s implementation cannot succeed. It only took 10 years for the Euro system to fail, and make no mistake it has already failed, they just don’t know it yet. They can only kick the can so far.

    Lets not make the same mistake here by ceding money-creation powers to the banking system.

  54. 54
    PaulJ says:

    @Brachiator: “…Borrow money for lasting improvements, make payments, pay it back. Simple.…”

    Re-paying public debt makes no sense logically or otherwise. It would be destroying money. If all public debt were re-paid there would be no money except for credit which would be disastrous.

    Where would the money for savings, pension plans, growth, etc. come from? Trying to balance the budget or run surpluses would be a suicide pact under current conditions.

    The lack of understanding of monetary economics is breathtaking.

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