The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
One of the problems I have in teaching astronomy to non-science students is imparting a sense of scale for the universe. For example, the distance to the nearest star is about four light-years, or 24 trillion miles. Many of my students complain that they are frankly scared of working with such large numbers. Understandable, because, up until now, there has been nothing of that scale that they could relate to in human terms. Thanks to the modern American political class, that has changed: For the first time in history, we are dealing with numbers in the human sphere that are truly astronomical. It may come to the point where, in a few years, astronomers are saying things like, "The distances involved here are truly governmental."
It may come to the point where, in a few years, astronomers are saying things like, "The distances involved here are truly governmental."
If things keep going like they are, in a few years there won't be any astronomers except the farmers, shepherds, and cattlemen who look up at the night sky. There won't be any money to run observatories, and everyone left will be occupied in raising enough food to stay alive.
Because the next economic collapse is going to make the Great Depression look like a Minor Sulk.
You want a scary thought ... Bernake has been buying Bonds the last several months while rates were almost zero. Now rates are going up. When rates go up, the value of the bonds decrease. The Fed is now trapped is a money-losing position and potentially is insolvent itself.
Thomas Jefferson's quote was right ...."If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money,first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them (around the banks), will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."
The Fed is a private bank. :(
The Fed is as private a bank as the Social Security Trust Fund is a trust fund.
There is a post at Hot Air about IRS revenues dropping.
It says that "the chart" maybe to optimistic.
Sarah's remark on governmental numbers is superb.
This post begins to illuminate the pachyderm sitting quietly in the corner.
The sums about to be borrowed by the US government, and my UK government, have to be financed somehow. There are two ways to do so.
The "respectable" way is to ask companies, and countries with surpluses to invest, such as China, to buy our bonds. If they accept that the returns are reasonable, that the bonds will be repaid on time, and that the original capital will not have been seriously corroded by inflation, then they will lend.
If those companies and countries do not accept the conditions I have listed, they will not lend. Recently a British government bond issue failed for lack of buyers.
In that event, the only solution is the printing press, leading almost inevitably to severe inflation. In that case, say goodbye to the value of your savings and investments, and your pension funds.
Or, I suppose, you could tax everyone senseless to repay the bonds.
Over There, you do have one resort: buy ammo, but it seems you are doing that anyway.
Motorcars, handlebars, bicycles for two
Parachutes, army boots, sleeping bags for two
Buy, Buy says the sign in the shop window
Why, why says the junk in the yard
"Junk", written by Paul McCartney, performed by John Denver
This is a serious question-
why do we bother with taxes at all?
Just do away with the entire tax structure. Government can pay for things with unbacked debt/ fiat money, just as it does now.
I mean, when government revenues are X, and government spends X+Y, government is essentially commanding into existence the "sum" of Y. It wasn't there before, no one earned it, it exists only on paper or electronic records created by and in the control of government, and has value only because the government commands us all to take it.
Why not just spend Z, and create Z to facilitate the actions of government?
The costs of collection (and all the patronage from collections, of course) would vanish. Huge swathes of lobbying would disappear, as would the corruption of seeking and granting "tax breaks".
Better, imagine the society we could live in if there were no taxes of any kind.