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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Moral turpitude

It's hard to respect an irresponsible wastrel who lives so far beyond his means that he must eventually declare bankruptcy.

What is going through the mind of someone who buys a large house, a boat, two cars, and dines out at fancy restaurants, even when he doesn't have the money to pay for it?

In cases like these, it's hard not to suspect some sort of substance abuse at work. Or a stunning lack of brainpower.

Or both.

This sort of lifestyle also betrays a certain sociopathic mindset: enjoy it while you can, even if you know the whole house of cards is about to come tumbling down.

Either way, it's irresponsible behavior.

Many of our states and large cities exhibit the same behavior pattern, just on a much larger scale. They have borrowed and spent to the point where it looks as if they won't be able to meet their obligations. You could say these municipalities have exhibited the same low IQ, binging tendencies -- along with a somewhat sociopathic attitude.

California and New York and Illinois have long been run by corrupt pols who are in bed with the unions which helped get them elected. They have feasted at the public trough for years. But now it is becoming obvious that this lifestyle can no longer be sustained.

Their credit cards should have been taken away long ago.

Just as Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme only unraveled because of the larger financial crisis, so have these municipalities' financial shenanigans only become apparent in the wake of the current economy. (As Warren Buffett once said, "You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.") The taxpayers are finally revolting against their public "servants" enjoying benefits and pensions far more luxurious than they themselves get.

The worst thing that could happen at this point would be for the federal government to bail out the states. That would just kick the problem down the road. The only way the irresponsible politicians can be reined in is with effective bankruptcies.

What's worse is that the United States itself is going down the same road by running up unsustainable debt. Right now it looks as if the only way we can pay it off is by inflating our currency, which would wreak even worse havoc.

Weimar Republic here we come.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

John,

perfectly stated....soon the defecation will hit the rotary oscillator and then peoples eyes will finally open up. Its a pleasure to read your blog and realize some of us actually see whats going on and may be prepared in advance.

Mad dog

John Craig said...

Mad Dog --
Thank you, though I'm not sure how we can prepare in advance for this. I do like your phrasing, however: "the defecation will hit the rotary oscillator." Haven't heard that before.