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Sunday, July 21, 2013

I feel rich when I ... spend money I don't have

Douglas Wilson: A Drunk Trying to Make the Next Lamp Post --
... This is another way of saying that every genuine solution to the problems created by our [civiliazational] fiscal irresponsibility will be a form of default. The only solutions now are defaulting solutions.

The only thing we don’t know is what kind of default it will be. The only thing we don’t know is who the unlucky victim of our defaulting will be.

Government does not make wealth. If government has wealth, then this means it was taken. The only way that the government can acquire the means to pay its obligations and debts is by taking it. The only question left before the house is “who will they take it from?” There are a limited number of options.

When a politician says that we cannot allow our government to default on its solemn obligations, he either believes what he says, and is a fool, or he knows what he is saying is false, and wants us to believe that we must avoid Default A, which is what he is really talking about, and must select from defaults b, c, d, and e, which he does not really consider defaults “technically,” because the people who are going to get hosed by them are not part of his constituency.

The government does not make, and in order to have, must therefore take. Here are the basic ways in which such a taking can happen. The government can wage war on other countries, and take from them. The government can raise taxes, and take that way. The government can debase the currency, and take that way. The government can run up a big debt which it finds itself unable to pay, and take that way. And of course, given the realities of the ongoing political circus, the government can stagger between these options, like a drunk trying to make it to the next lamp post.

One last thing. I would like to address a few words to those evangelicals
[Ilíon: and Catholics, for this perverse foolishness is very strong amongst Catholics, and is, in fact, encouraged by the Bureaucracy that *is* that RCC in America] who have been seduced by leftist economics, or who are in some way flirting with leftist economics. You may have cannonballed into the deep end, like Jim Wallis, or you may just be sidling sheepishly in that direction, with some cover provided by distributist literature. You think that the language of compassion is more biblical, and the idea of communitarian sharing makes you feel warm all over. You think that businessmen who know how to add and subtract are those who are in the grip of mammon-lust. You don’t like the hard lines of clear thinking, and the blinking sums on their calculators do nothing but harsh your mellow.

Do me a favor, and look at Detroit. Look at the failure of all the compassionate nostrums. Look at the collapse of real integrity. Look at the grasping and demented idiocy of the unions. Look at the abandonment of government’s true functions. Look at the wreckage of human lives. Look at the ruin of a once great city. Look at what aching greedlust does. Behold the handiwork of your compassion.
[Ilíon: emphasis added]

Look at what mammon in sheep’s clothing can do.
I had almost posted a link to Wilson's essay last night, but then I didn't.

Michael Egnor links to it and adds some comments -- Michael Egnor: "Do me a favor, and look at Detroit" -- "... Detroit is leftism, which is a Christian heresy, incarnated as a city."

I have a neighbor, a young man young enough to be my son, old enough almost to have a grown son of his own. As I understand it, he has never worked a day in his life. He lives off "disability", his "disability" is that he misused drugs when he was a kid.

The title I gave to this post comes from something he said to me some months ago when I had tried to help him make better use of the limited resources at his disposal. Specifically, after I had seen him coming back from a local "convenience store" pushing his lawn-cart with groceries in it, I had thought to take him to an actual grocery store, where the food on offer is more varied and far less costly. This is a high-crime neighborhood, and consequently the prices at that "convenience store" can be expected to be even higher than at most.

Anyway, we never did get to a grocery store (*) (**) ... but I inadvertantly helped him waste a significant amount of money. I mean, this is money I would have considered a significant amount, and my income is greater than that of most Americans; to someone needing to live on $28 per day (if I correctly recall what he once told me), it can only be a very significant amount (***).

Anyway, after I'd fed him at a Chinese buffet, I agreed to go into the mall. ... To make the story shorter, he bought some bottle of cologne for $60 at Macy's.

For me, that was the final straw. I could no longer watch, I could no longer help, him squander money like that. Leaving Macy's, I just made a bee-line for the parking lot.

As we neared my vehicle, he said to me, "I felt rich when I bought that cologne".

And *that* Gentle Reader, is why America is going down the tubes -- as a nation, as a culture, we are willfully expending resources we do not have, for (over-priced) things we do not need, because we (collectively) *feel* rich when we (collectively) waste limited resources, expecially when we can lie to ourselves that someone else is going to pick up the tab.

Why is destroying America, and the West in general, isn't a weak economy. Our ecomonies are weak because we (collectively) are spiritually and morally weak. And we are are spiritually and morally weak because we (collectively) have *chosen* to openly rebel against God, have (collectively) chosen to abandon and denegrate the Christianity that for at least the past 1500 years has given form and focus to our civilization -- we (collectively) hate our Fathers, and we will defy them no matter the cost to ourselves or our children (assuming that we even allow the little bastards to see the light of day, in the first place).

(*) We stopped at Wal-Mart ... to get the money his mother had wired him (which I think equaled about half his monthly "income" from "disability") ... where he spent $18 on some protein drink powder.

(**) Well, we did get to Meijer's, but he didn't shop; he'd supposedly applied there and was supposed to talk to some manager (but she wasn't there on the weekend)

(***) $28 per day works out to about $840 per month. I've lived on that, and not all that long ago. I *know* that it's not abject poverty.