by Karl Denninger, Market Ticker:
Those who believe there will never be another recession are flat-out insane.
The business cycle has never been repealed. Every person who has predicted that someone has “conquered” it over the decades has been wrong.
Let me repeat that for emphasis: EVERY PERSON who has made such a prediction or claim through the last roughly 100 years HAS BEEN NOT ONLY WRONG THEY’VE BEEN DISASTROUSLY WRONG.
It won’t be different this time around.
What is different is that through the last 40 or so years we have allowed the Federal Government to run enormous and continuous, compounding deficits. This has propped up asset markets to a tremendous degree but it has impoverished more than 90% of the population of the nation on a progressive and rapidly-increasing basis. Like all exponential series it started small and while there were a few who raised an alarm about the behavior of the government and Fed they were not listened to since the immediate impact was too small to be considered serious.
How do you get there from where we were? How do you wind up with a population that cannot manage to figure out the forward implications of an exponential growth policy in debt? How is it that the fundamental relationship between two exponential growth curves where one has a larger growth percentage than the other, is mathematically certain to destroy you if you don’t cut it out is not universally understood by those with an IQ over 80?
If it is understood by those with an IQ over 80 and the outcome is a mathematical certainty then why isn’t there an immediate uprising by the citizens if any government attempts such a scheme and if they refuse to stop when peaceful protest is lodged then whatever becomes necessary to enforce that demand is used?
After all if you’re inevitably, under the laws of mathematics, ****ed if someone doesn’t quit doing something who gives a wet crap if you are forced to engage in broadly and even outrageously illegal activity in order to stop it?
If you had a bunch of government people twiddling with ever-increasing amounts of enriched Uranium in the middle of your town square, adding one gram per day to the amount they’re playing with and refusing to stop when you pointed out that they were inevitably going to irradiate the entire town and kill a huge number of people if they didn’t cut it out would you not, at some point, shoot them? And if that wasn’t enough (e.g. they found another government employee to continue onward) why would you not go full-on medieval in response?
What sort of mental defect do people have to have, en-masse, to sit back and let this happen? It’s not like there aren’t historical records stretching back more than a thousand years that prove the laws of mathematics are not suggestions and that every single nation that has ever gone down this road has undergone an economic — and often societal — collapse that has killed millions.
Far worse than economic crashes this crap nearly always leads to either war or a totalitarian government that winds up murdering huge swaths of the population, starting with those who were the biggest useful idiots promoting their schemes — and sometimes both!
As it stands now The Fed and Federal Government have “no bullets” for any sort of real economic dislocation. We’ve spent that ammunition propping up asset prices over the last two decades through both Republican and Democrat administrations, neither of which have done anything other than expand said federal deficit spending both in good times and bad.
The premise of “counter-cyclical” monetary and fiscal policy that our government and Fed claim to employ is an outright fraud. Keynes himself pointed out that during booms you must run a surplus and pay down federal and state debt so you can borrow the money once again when the inevitable bust comes. That part of his premise has never been taken; instead what’s called “Keynesian” economic policy is to always and everywhere expand federal deficit spending and The Federal Reserve has always backed that policy by tampering with interest rates so it can continue and accelerate.
Indeed The Fed’s Bullard was just out essentially advocating for more of that crap!
Bill Clinton did not run an actual surplus — not even for one year. He got close, once. But his alleged “surplus” was an accounting trick foisted on the American public by stealing the Social Security and Medicare tax deposits! That fraud has continued ever since and each and every year Treasury breathlessly reports a “deficit” number that is a fantasy-land lie, made smaller in each and every instance by stealing tax deposits intended for two programs that are supposed to be funded on an actuarial basis.
Multiple attempts to hold Treasury to that promise, including a couple that went all the way to the Supreme Court, have been thrown out. But whether the Supreme Court recognizes an actuarial and fiduciary duty to those paying in is a function of whether you can individually sue (nope, say they.) It does not change the outcome for society as a whole because no court judgment can change the laws of mathematics; as a nation whether you individually can compel government to stop blowing money with regard to your specific paid-in amounts or not is meaningless in terms of the inevitable outcome for everyone and the nation as a whole if they do not stop doing it.
It’s nice to blame the public schools for this and some blame indeed resides there. We hire “teachers” for mathematics in Middle and High Schools, and demand every kid take those classes, where the mathematical principles of exponents are explained. But not one of them, in schools public or private, ever goes into how that applies to our government’s fiscal behavior at local, state and federal levels, nor have I ever seen the inevitable outcome of what the government has been doing for the last 30+ years graphed out for young people to understand in a school — nor have I ever seen our kids be forced to show they understand on a test and ultimately on the semester final exam, what will happen to the nation they are citizens of if they, and the rest of the population, does not force the government to cut that crap out.
Do you blame them? The teachers, as a group, are one of the biggest beneficiaries of these unsustainable and fraudulent set of government policies! You don’t think their failure to teach the kids that they ought to consider a no-bull**** revolution on their 18th birthday if peaceful attempts to stop this crap fails is a simple mistake, do you?
A better question than simply blaming self-interested educators, however, is why don’t you teach your ******n kids this ****? Why did I have to figure it out on my own? Why did not my father, who was a CPA, explain it to me roughly about the time I fixed his Burroughs bookkeeping machine’s accounting software to update its tax calculations, saving the firm he worked for thousands of dollars? Was that because he knew good and damn well that he had voted for policies and supported politicians who stole his alleged “annuity payments” and spent it on other crap, and were printing deficits to make up the difference? You tell me — as a CPA do you think he didn’t know? Of course he did, and when I had an infant daughter crawling around on his living room carpet some 20 years later and confronted him with this fact, pointing to her as the person who would ultimately get it up the ass until she could taste it as a result of what he was not only remaining silent about but actively supporting and voting for do you think he gave a wet crap or apologized? Nope; he in fact maintained that he deserved to be allowed to assrape her future.
And thus we didn’t talk for ten years after he ran that crap on me; I got in the car with my kid and left.
My father got lucky on time. He died and then my mother passed before the compounding they both voted for, which wound up roughly doubling the property taxes on their home between his death and hers, destroyed her ability to live out her life in reasonable comfort. My booze and drug-addled sister didn’t help matters, but even without her draining resources had my mother lived another ten years, which was not high probability but certainly was possible, she would have been eating catfood. My original projection for the foldback point — in 1995 when I started tracking this, and when the crap hit the fan before roughly 2000 in my parent’s home — was 2025.
It now appears that 2024 is pretty much when the crapshow starts in earnest and it will get rapidly worse once it begins since the people in this nation have no balls, deny math on a repeated, daily basis, and will not insist that this garbage stop. Gee, I was off a year or two. Such a terrible thing math is, right? We’ve really done so much to change the trajectory!