Presently everybody is talking about variants of austerity measures regarding public expenditures imposed on us by the financial crisis. Most Western governments are running huge debts and there is no relieve in sight unless we cut spending and - if we follow free marketers - thoroughly de-regulate the economy. But it is entitlement reform that has been long ago established as the pivotal tool for mending unsustainable economics in most Western governments. Growing resources needed to serve entitlements according to some are even to blame for the loss of confidence with many investors. The projected future runaway train of entitlement costs refers to the whole range of social security, including such things as food stamps, income support, rent assistance, health care and state pensions, the bulk of which is absorbed by the middle class.
How birds of the same feather protect each other.
Totalitarians are good at propaganda. Effective marketing is rooted in the ideology of such movements. Both leftist and rightist totalitarians have good selling points manufactured out of superficially plausible simple slogans. These exploit existing and fashionable prejudices that are made to relate to an ongoing crisis. Such sentiments are extrapolated and connected. Thereby they add up to a worldview that interprets conditions which are difficult to fathom in their real complexity. Examples are “property is theft”, or a secret, therefore improvable, “conspiracy”.
Some ignored contributory causes of unemployment.
Youth unemployment represents a growing problem. One response is to create jobs by the government for the involuntarily idle. In this connection, the condition of the national economies that produce negative records is listed as a causative factor. True is that thriving businesses create a demand that reduces unemployment. Government interventions, whether by using their taxing power or through their central banks, can enhance employment. Regulations affecting hirings and firings will also determine who will have a job and who will not. The harder it is to fire the privileged, the less likely it is that new talent is offered positions. The over-protection of those already working resists the employment of new arrivals on the job market.
The Hour of Decision [Jahre der Entscheidung] (1933) and its Relevance to Contemporary Politics and Culture.
Oswald Spengler (1880 – 1936) offers the explanation in his last book, The Hour of Decision (1933), why establishment discourse ignores or disdains his work, whether it is The Hour itself or the two volumes of The Decline of the West (1919; 1922). In Spengler’s phrase, a “universal dread of reality,” paralytic in its effect, holds the modern world in its stultifying grip. This pernicious dread invades every consciousness, edits every utterance, and persistently prunes back permissible language so as to prevent in advance any articulation of what anyone, stumbling momentarily out of his trance and confronting the world, might see. Establishment discourse will not and cannot admit Spengler because, whether it is Germany in 1933 or the United States of America in 2011, Spengler traffics in forbidden words and phrases and in contraband perceptions. He invokes prescriptively such concepts as necessity, destiny, hierarchy, aristocracy, and order; he points out the vulnerability of civilization to destructive forces and, provocatively, he names those forces.
The luxury of public affairs ignorance supports cheating elites.
Two weeks ago the writer posted a piece here to discuss some overlooked reasons for bad governance. The essay assigned some responsibility to an electorate without an interest in its own fate, an indulgent political culture based on ignorance, and the neglected ability to render rational decisions. Since then, what is conveniently tagged to be the Greek crisis, has become a festering sore. Newly, the puss had broken through the bandages that, by catering to unconcerned citizens, political healers have applied in lieu of a genuine remedy. The purpose of the maneuver was not to help Greece but to hide the helper’s political responsibility.
I first became aware of Vidal Sassoon’s rise to prominence about 45 years ago as a young student at Cambridge University. It was the age of Beatlemania, the heyday of the fashion designer Mary Quant and her mini-skirts, of the celebrity photographer David Bailey, the spirit of Carnaby Street and the slightly hysterical excitement of “Swinging London.” Vidal Sassoon was part of that universal “Youthquake,” of a newly affluent and style-obsessed Western consumer society.
The wisdom of burning bridges one wishes to use to cross the river.
Some weeks ago, a German TV station showed a program about the American Dream. Regardless of rather pessimistic personal expectations, the program could not be skipped. Indeed, true to form, the long report concluded that the American Dream, once the key to general satisfaction, integration, and social peace, has faded. Accordingly, the certificate of death of the sustaining social myth and with it for the US was issued.
Denial is leading to collective economic suicide in Europe and the United States. The French elected a socialist president who wants to raise taxes on those elusive rich and keep spending as if there is no tomorrow.
Many on the left, including European socialists in tandem with the New York Times and its economist Paul Krugman, are falsely claiming that Europe and even the United States are being saddled with "austerity." Their claim is that governments are not spending enough to reduce unemployment. They want higher taxes on the most productive plus bigger government.
Why most of the time we have our collective selves to blame.
We like to blame government for our troubles. This tells that government’s role might be overestimated. Nevertheless, many problems would not exist if statists had not fixed what worked before their interference.
Apparently, government power is limited when it endeavors to repair something it declares to be broken. A case can be made that it is a force whose intentions tend to be misdirected, its goals falsely identified, and the means chosen unfit to solve the problem.