Lower incomes...unemployment...fewer benefits... Get used to it.
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*** We spent a week at our place in Nicaragua...and we wonder why we don't spend more time here.
"Because life is a struggle," said our friend. "Here, there's nothing to struggle against...except your worst enemy, yourself."
The climate is benign. No need to fight against the elements. The views are the best in the world. Nature has made this coast her chef d'oeuvre; it would be a sin to complain, ingratitude to ask for more.
But more is just what we can't help asking for...
The food is delicious. The pace is relaxed. We wake up...the sun shines in the window... Outside, the surf pounds the sand. We take a walk along the beach...often seeing no other human being...splashing our bare feet in the warm water.
Returning up the steps to the house, Tere, our housekeeper has already put breakfast on the table...fresh fruit, coffee, eggs...
Later, we sit on the porch...overlooking the ocean...and do our work. No commuting. No traffic. No parking. No snow. No ice. Nothing disturbs our work...or our thoughts...
What's not to like?
"Well...you can't sit still and enjoy things. You need to look for challenges. And if you can't get mad at other drivers or God, you'll have to get mad at yourself."
What kind of world is this? We work to make it better...and then, when it is nearly perfect, we can't resist improving it.
...Or making it worse.
*** There have always been booms and busts. There were years of good harvests...and years of bad ones. The prudent farmer saved some grain...just in case.
But in the 20th century real money - gold - was replaced by paper money and 'just in case' became 'just in time.'
Even John Maynard Keynes, the architect of modern government meddling in the economy, suggested that governments should save money so they would have something to spend when the private sector cut back.
But the feds didn't save. They spent. And when times got tough, they spent even more money. Trouble is, without savings, they had to borrow the money to spend...which means taking it out of the very economy that is short on money already.
The only other option is to print up extra money - in effect, creating it
'out of thin air.' But if you could just print 'money' and make yourself better off everyone would do it. People are not made richer just by printin up pieces of paper with green ink on them. They get richer by having real purchasing power...and real resources at their command...and by being able to produce goods and services that people want.
*** Hillary Clinton calls up Egypt, Syria, Libya, and China to "democratize." But democracy, as practiced by the US and other developed countries, is a fraud. It is just a way for the insiders to scam money and power from the outsiders, by pretending that the voters are in charge.
Just ask how many taxpayers would vote to spend about $10,000 each on the war against Iraq?
How many would vote to spend $1.60 cents for every dollar in tax revenue?
How many would vote for the latest mortgage deal...where homeowners who saved their money and paid their mortgages are forced to make up for those who bought houses recklessly...and then couldn't make their payments?
How many would vote to bail out Goldman Sachs...Bank of America...or Citigroup?
But voters never get a chance to vote on the issues. They vote for candidates...financed by insiders, with agendas the outsiders cannot even imagine.
The word 'democracy' arose in small, Greek city states, where the voters actually voted on the concrete issues, not just the slippery candidates. Citizens voted to go to war...knowing not only that they would have to pay for it...but that they could be killed in the battles themselves. War was a matter of life and death, not just a campaign slogan of a chubby, middle-aged draft-dodger.
The Italian city states practiced real democracy too. In 15th century Florence, for example, citizens voted on whether or not to build a cathedral... Then, they voted on what shape it should take.
A scale model was built. Citizens knew what it would look like. They understood how it was built and how much it would cost them. They cast their ballots and took responsibility for the outcome.
American democracy, circa 2012, has no more in common with real democracy than American capitalism has in common with real capitalism. Both are degenerate...corrupt...and geriatric.
Bill Bonner is the President & Founder of Agora Inc, an international publisher of financial and special interest books and newsletters.
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