For decades I have wondered why the leaders in economics, banking, and government are always fiddling with the economy and the financial markets, when they just don't seem to understand the basic theorem that controls everything. In fact, they seem to be steering further and further away from the ancient wisdom that was well known to past figures of note such as Humpty Dumpty, The Jericho Architectural guild, Nero, et al. Here it is for anyone who is not in the know: What goes up must come down. Shocking, I know, but nevertheless an integral part of the wave action that underlies much of physics and anthropology. Some call it mean reversion. For some reason, delusions of grandeur have infected those at the top in our country to the point that they now think they can control the economy (laughable), the climate (absurd), peoples' eating, smoking, drug-taking and other personal habits (megalomaniac), and the power structures of all the halfway important countries in the world (infinite over-reach), as well as the business cycle (nothing wrong with it: it is how capitalism-with-debt-money works), fiat/credit money, (it always runs itself into the wall of debt saturation and collapse eventually - I think "monetary policy" is an offensive and obscene phrase), fractional reserve banking, and all their other seedy inventions "for the general welfare". Listen, you nincompoops! You can't! Leave it all alone and things will be far, far better when what goes up is merely allowed to come down again. You are not all talented at the top. Far from it. You are mostly just smart mouths with unbridled ambition. Financial, military, political, and social systems all come and go according to their current value, or usefulness. Get used to it. What goes up must come down. When the tide comes in, it must go out. When a culture gets too conservative, liberalism will flower. After the moon waxes, it wanes. After we have all drowned ourselves in debt, leverage, and adventurism, there is no "cure". There is no "fix". It is just a natural progression. Leave it alone, and things will go off in the next direction, all by themselves, as millions of people all make decisions re: their own lives. People screwed it up, and people can act to go in the new direction from here. Call it progress by popular vote if you like. The unimaginable sums wasted on trying to "fix" the problems over the last decade have exaggerated the debt cycle excesses enormously. Enough, already, all you wise men in the media! Just go choke yourselves or something. Haven't you all done enough harm? Isn't it plain yet that you have no idea what you are doing? We have enough laws, rules, and regulations to fill several 40 ton tractor-trailer trucks from front to back, yet we've been in a constant emergency since I can remember. What goes up must come down. Get used to it! There now, I feel so much better. If this seems political, I'm sorry, but all these cockamamy nincompoops out there telling me how everything can be "fixed", when the US is constituted as a free country, make me feel like the comic-book character having the apoplectic fit. The US was conceived as an experimental place where people got left to their own devices to a great degree, and it worked extremely well for a long time, while the power-hungry idiots at the top of business, finance, education, and government grabbed more and more control. Well, control this, jerks! We went up, we're going down.What part of up-and-down don't you understand? And by the way, that's MY money you're wasting! Good luck, Ed.
There now, I feel so much better. If this seems political, I'm sorry, but all these cockamamy nincompoops out there telling me how everything can be "fixed", when the US is constituted as a free country, make me feel like the comic-book character having the apoplectic fit.also, consider that what they are offering to fix, is that which broke while under their watch in the first place!
Great essay Ed! I would like to see dudes like you in high, elective political office. However, I'm sure that will never happen as you are way, way too smart to put up with the nonsense of becoming popular and then selling your soul to get elected. Keep up the great writing and just maybe, at some point in the not too distant future, your learned wisdom will begin to spread, and people will realize that stuff happens just as you described in this little gem. Until then batten down the hatches and hang on for a while longer. Bill (hanging tight until reason returns)
Laissez-faire capitalism? Really?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laissez-faireMakes a nice pair with Social Darwinism.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_DarwinismSimple
I dont know....I put my pants on one leg at a time......politicians are only human.......ed is as well....I cant find a single thing in that post that points at anything at all.......just a diatribe on nothing.....in the subject line it is a political post aimed at the current bunch......it sounds almost like a Rush monologue......and in fact is barely coherent.......to each their own.....some of the supply siders need to think though.....and if they ever do......they will start to realize how badly they have been lied too by their leaders and that they liked being lied to......in the meantime demand side econ is the only thing that will get this country out of its troubles......Dave
in the meantime demand side econ is the only thing that will get this country out of its troubles......That's exactly what we've been dragged into the last 80 years or so (from both sides of the aisle.)I think we're all starting to recognize the stench & realize; enough is enough! Politicians are *NOT* smarter than the collective of common citizens as market-driving participants.Put the markets back in the hands of the common man (which not only means ripping it away from greedy big gov't, but *ALSO* away from greedy and deadly big business!)
Well said sir and good luck to you!Move along now......we have important work to attend to!GOLDEN HOOKAH WINNER: Dope-Smoking, Menstruating Monkey Study Got $3.6 Million in Tax Dollars Thursday, June 09, 2011 By Christopher Neefus http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/feds-spent-36-million-re...hint; no need to read much of this you can get the idea pretty quickly.CNSNews.com) - The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a division of the federal government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), has spent $3,634,807 over the past decade funding research that involves getting monkeys to smoke and drink drugs such as PCP, methamphetamine (METH), heroin, and cocaine and then studying their behavior, including during different phases of the female monkeys’ menstrual cycles.The study also uses “interventions” as “treatment models” for monkeys who have been taught to use drugs.NIDA wins CNSNews.com's "What Were They Smoking Award"—symbolized by The Golden Hookah (see video)—for sponsoring an outrageous government spending program that sends taxpayer dollars up in smoke.snip.........Precursor research on drug-using monkeys, also funded by NIDA, discovered that after smoking cocaine monkeys exhibited “dilated pupils and slightly agitated, hyperactive behavior”—which helped researchers conclude that the “physiological effects” of cocaine on monkeys “were similar to those reported in studies of human subjects.”In yet another federally funded study of drug-taking monkeys, the monkeys were sometimes given “trail mix” after “their daily experimental sessions.”Back in 2001, the NIH gave $328,364 to a project called “A Primate Model of Drug Abuse: Intervention Strategies.” The principal investigator for the project was Dr. Marilyn E. Carroll, a professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota.The description of the grant published by NIH said: “Goals of the proposed research are to use a rhesus monkey model of drug abuse, to study factors affecting vulnerability to drug abuse and to evaluate behavioral and pharmacological treatment interventions. Routes of administration that have been developed in this laboratory will include oral drug self-administration and smoking.”“Vulnerability factors to be examined,” said the NIH description, “are sex and phase of the menstrual cycle as well as patterns/duration of access to drugs.”“The drugs that will be studied,” the NIH said, “are cocaine, ethanol, heroin, methadone and phencyclidine (PCP).”“The use of nondrug reinforcers as a behavioral treatment will also be compared in male and female monkeys and during 3 phases of the menstrual cycle,” said the description. “Potential treatment medications will also be examined in male monkeys using a behavioral economic approach.”A decade later, the NIH continued to provide federal funding to the “Primate Model of Drug Abuse: Intervention Strategies” project at the University of Minnesota. On March 31, the federal agency gave the project its latest award, $386,907 in tax dollars.A description posted by the NIH for the 2011 version of the project says the first aim of the study is: “To examine the effects of sex and menstrual cycle phase on the reinforcing strength of orally-delivered PCP and METH, and a nondrug control substance, saccharin, as well as smoked COC [cocaine], HER [heroin], and METH.”“The main objective of this research is to develop nonhuman primate models (rhesus monkeys) of critical aspects of addiction that will yield useful information for the prevention and treatment of drug abuse,” says the description.“The proposed experiments are designed to evaluate vulnerability factors in drug abuse, such as sex and phase of the menstrual cycle (hormonal status), that are related to the development and persistence of drug abuse,” it says.“Nonhuman primate models of oral drug self-administration such as phencyclidine (PCP) and methamphetamine (METH) and smoked drugs such as cocaine (COC), heroin (HER), and METH will be used, and behavioral and pharmacological interventions will be applied as treatment models in males and females and in females during different phases of the menstrual cycle,” says the NIH description.Dr. Marilyn E. Carroll, the principal investigator, explains her research on her webpage at the University of Minnesota.“My research is directed toward developing behavioral and pharmacological methods of reducing and preventing drug abuse,” she says. “Animals are trained to self-administer drugs that humans abuse, and several phases of the addiction process are modeled, such as acquisition, maintenance, withdrawal, craving, and relapse.”In April 20, 1990 article in Psychopharmacology (“Cocaine-base smoking in rhesus monkeys: reinforcing and physiological effects”), Carroll and three University of Minnesota colleagues—Kelly Krattinger, Daniel Gieske and Daniel A. Saddoff—described earlier federally funded research (supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse) involving monkeys. This research, they wrote, was “designed to establish a primate model of cocaine base smoking.”“Four rhesus monkeys were trained to smoke cocaine-base under a progressive ratio (PR) schedule with ten smoking trials available each day,” the researchers wrote. “Subjects quickly learned to suck or inhale on the smoking tube.”“Observations of the monkeys after each trial,” the researchers said, “revealed dilated pupils and slightly agitated, hyperactive behavior. These findings indicated that smoked cocaine-base was rapidly established as a reinforcer for monkeys, and the physiological effects were similar to those reported in studies of human subjects.”“The animal model will be useful for pursuing research questions regarding the abuse of smoked cocaine-base,” the federally funded researchers concluded.In an August 26, 2006 article in Psychopharmacology (“Reinforcing effects of smoked methamphetamine in rhesus monkeys”), Dr. Carroll and University of Minnesota colleague Jennifer L. Newman described additional NIDA-funded research with monkeys.Explaining the rationale for this research, they wrote: “The occurrence of methamphetamine (METH) use by the smoking route is increasing. A nonhuman primate model for examining the reinforcing effects of smoked METH would be valuable for testing potential interventions for treating METH abuse disorders.”The researchers said that this particular study used five monkeys who had a history of cocaine and heroin use—and that these monkeys were given “trail mix” after their “daily experimental sessions.“Five adult male rhesus macaque monkeys … served as experimental subjects,” the researchers wrote. “All subjects had extensive histories of self-administering drugs (cocaine, heroin) via the inhalation route (mean 172.6 months; range: 129-213 months). For present studies, they had mostly been maintained on a cocaine smoking baseline. Monkeys were maintained at 85 percent of their free-feeding weights, and they were fed measured allotments of monkey chow … and fresh fruit and/or trail mix after their daily experimental sessions.”snip.......... article goes on and on and on...see link
I thought I was on the METAR board. Have the rules on posting political diatribe here changed?
For some reason, delusions of grandeur have infected those at the top in our country to the point that they now think they can control the economy (laughable)...This recalls to mind a phrase during the Nixon administration when they were controlling prices-- "we're fine-tuning the economy"-- which brought this response from a national pundit: "Might as well fine-tune a Mississippi flood."Particularly apt in this year of epic Mississippi flooding.-fly
For some reason, delusions of grandeur have infected those at the top in our country to the point that they now think they can control the economy (laughable), the climate (absurd), peoples' eating, smoking, drug-taking and other personal habits (megalomaniac), and the power structures of all the halfway important countries in the world (infinite over-reach), as well as the business cycle (nothing wrong with it: it is how capitalism-with-debt-money works), fiat/credit money, (it always runs itself into the wall of debt saturation and collapse eventually - I think "monetary policy" is an offensive and obscene phrase), fractional reserve banking, and all their other seedy inventions "for the general welfare".Great post, and I agree 100%.Regarding monetary policy, I'm not sure if this was posted on this board already, but it's a great article.Money Magic"More than any other policy action, monetary policy suffers from the sense that there is a free lunch to be had. Yet the interest rate is a price for the savings that are transferred to spenders. To the extent that the Fed manages to push this price down (and some economists will dispute its ability to push any meaningful interest rate down), it taxes the producers of savings and subsidizes the spenders of savings. Clearly, no government considers pushing down the price of any real good an effective way to stimulate the economy – any gain to consumers is a loss to producers, and the loss typically will outweigh the gain if the market price is a fair one. So why are savings different?"http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/rajan18/English
<<I would like to see dudes like you in high, elective political office.>> Ha Ha ha. I was appointed to my local City Council as the "Youth Member" when I was seventeen. Went to two meetings and lost interest and dropped out. Both meetings, they adjourned and just sat there. I'm sure they started the "real business" as soon as I split, and were real glad I disappeared. No one ever called me or complained. Ha Ha ha. Ed.
Laissez-faire capitalism? Really?Makes a nice pair with Social Darwinism.This is true of (and for) people who are incapable of even imagining that a person might voluntarily dig into his own pocket to help someone else.
EddieUnfortunately you address only a part of the problem "What goes up must come down."I maintain that what comes down does not necessarily come back up. If the problem is over building of inventory, things will come down until the inventory is depleted to some extent and orders start coming back in. Though this results in a lot of wiggling of up and down, the general trend can be up because people consume more (helped by intense advertising, wage increases, credit) and population increases.Depressions, however, are self perpetuating, for example, and a real jolt (something like WW-II) is necessary to get out of the "black hole." Inventories don't get worked off so orders decrease. Companies don't have sufficient business so they let go some workers. These workers can't buy anything which results in less consumption so the companies have to lay off more workers which makes the problem worse. And so it goes, on and on. You just don't have reversion to the mean, you way overshoot it.So my take is that you can't just let things drift, but you have to be careful. Is this just an ordinary inventory correction or something far worse. I think the verdict is still out on whether we can recover from the all the speculation and deregulation of the financial industry in the last decade with derivatives, particularly synthetic derivatives. I'm 80 years old and am sure it won't be in my lifetime if we do recover, possibly never. But we have to keep trying things until we find something that works.brucedoe
Depressions, however, are self perpetuating, for example, and a real jolt (something like WW-II) is necessary to get out of the "black hole."History suggests that economic depressions are self perpetuating only when government intervenes to lessen or shorten them.
<< But we have to keep trying things until we find something that works.>> Bruce, I cordially disagree with you again. My belief is that "we" (the government) should do nothing because there is no rigorously proven government action that is known to work. On the other hand, there are something like 150 million Americans trying to put beans on the table any way they can. These individuals are the best hope for "recovery". Not that we cannot recover what has been borrowed and spent already: we just have to work off or default on all that debt, and then start off again from a lower level. The more the government enters into additional debt on our behalf, the greater the debt burden that the population has to escape. They are just making it all worse for everyone except the bankers. The more the fed distorts the financial markets for the benefit of the banks, the less the markets function to our benefit. The more they support home prices, the less investors will snap up property and put it to use. The more they manipulate markets higher, the more investors like me just hold cash and bullion. The more they force interest rates down, the more old folks drop into poverty, and the more new debt is created, putting us deeper in the debt hole that started all this. The more we regulate, the less individuals can do to help themselves. Think of the people who got arrested last week for feeding the homeless in a public park. Think of the fact that it is illegal to get up on the sidewalk and to sell apples or pencils or tamales. It is illegal to go from door to door offering to do handyman work for a low hourly wage. It is by now illegal to do almost anything without going through weeks of paperwork and licensing and fees and costs that the destitute cannot possibly meet. It is extremely reckless, for instance, for a manager of any operation to hire someone who just walks in off the street without going through a careful hiring process. You even have to be a licensed veterinarian now in California to clean a dog's teeth! A State-licensed florist to sell flowers! Look at the stimulus program. They wanted to spend the money on all kinds of useful things like infrastructure construction and repairs, but the govt. finds it even harder to work through all the rules and regulations and mandated procedures and so on than we do. Consequently they have spent only a tiny fraction of all those billions on anything useful. They spent most of the money by giving it away for others to use, and by expanding existing govt. programs. They just give money away to the unemployed for up to two years and get no work in return! In today's world, something on the scale of the old WPA would be impossible for the govt. to achieve because penetrating the strangling web of regulations and laws would be more than they could handle. For example, how would they get around Davis-Bacon? Pay all the WPA guys union wages and benefits? I truly believe that all the stimulus is counter-productive because it adds to the overwhelming debt levels that caused all this, and the people in govt. would do us all a big favor and sit down and read the Constitution and just follow it. The only depression I know of where the govt. did nothing was the 1920 depression. It was a horrible crash, and lasted a very short time. Of course, American debts were at a much lower level at that time, so that episode was not directly analogous to this one. Ed.
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