It's time for a real CHANGE - The Daily Reckoning
The Daily Reckoning by Bill Bonner
On This Day - 5 October 2012
It's time for a real CHANGE A  A  A

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Well, that's it. The debates have begun. We were saved by a continent, a language barrier and a mountain range. And even if we had a TV available, we wouldn't have watched. Why waste time?

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Widely reported in yesterday's media was that Mr. Romney ate Mr. Obama's lunch. Clyde Prestowitz reports:

Romney had more energy, spoke more fluently, had better zingers, was more focused, seemed to have a better understanding of the issues and a better grasp of facts, showed more empathy with the voters, and demonstrated a better sense of humor. Obama looked and acted as if he really wanted to be someplace else -- maybe celebrating his wedding anniversary. His delivery was hesitant and halting. He got bogged down in minutiae, never hit any of Romney's weak points, presented no compelling vision for a second term, and made claims that could easily be shown to be factually fuzzy.

But how could we have both presidential candidates spend an hour talking about the economy and job creation without mentioning the loss of U.S. international competitiveness, the continuing chronic U.S. trade deficit, the off-shoring of U.S. jobs and technology, the low rate of U.S. investment compared to countries like China and Germany, and the abysmal state of U.S. infrastructure compared to other leading countries? How could there be a discussion of the economy without any questions about national priorities and without any comment on the impact of America's role as the international hegemon and provider of global security on its ability to keep delivering the American dream?

The statistics show very clearly that the United States has been suffering loss of competitiveness and stagnation and even decline of living standards for a very long time. Insanity has sometimes been defined as continuing to act in a particular way while expecting a different result. Neither of these candidates showed any awareness of the deep underlying currents that continue to erode the country's productive capabilities. Despite the sound and fury, the differences between the two were very small. Romney said he wouldn't raise tax rates on the wealthy while Obama said he'd move the rate on the rich from 35 to 40 percent. Big deal. I can remember when it was 90 percent and the rich cheered when Ronald Reagan got their rate reduced to 50 percent. Neither candidate showed any signs of wanting to adopt a completely new game plan for America, of wanting, for example, to make economic competitiveness the nation's top priority in place of military dominance or of wanting to develop strategic economic policies in parallel with geo-political strategies.

In short, both are playing essentially the same old game while expecting and predicting that they will produce new and different results. They won't. Regardless of which one is eventually elected, there is unlikely to be any substantial change in policies or results. So the country will just continue on with its present insane and unsustainable priorities and policies.

And here's William Kristol:

"Mitt Romney stood and delivered the best debate performance by a Republican presidential candidate in more than two decades."

Fed up with them both...and the whole process, we've decided to throw our old, worn-out hat in the ring. That's right, we're announcing our candidacy for president of the USA. And you, dear reader, are the first to know it.

A few years ago, we joked that we would run for the Oval Office. Our campaign slogan was a barnburner for sure: 'Too rich to steal, too dumb to lie.'

Well-meaning friends discouraged us. They were afraid we might win. We assured them that in case of a victory we'd claim election fraud.

But, under pressure, we withdrew from the race and George W. Bush won the top post. Our country's loss.

This time, it's different. Yes, get out the banners...roll out the bunting...give us some babies to kiss and some envelopes with cash to stuff in our pockets. Large, unmarked bills...please. We won't accept campaign contributions, but we'll take bribes in any denomination.

This time we're serious. It's time for a CHANGE. Why the need for change? The Financial Times explains:

The US's median household income in 2011 of $50,054 was $570 less than its median household income in 1989. Its 111.4m private sector jobs today are about as many as there were 12 years ago.

This labour market crisis has understandably darkened the mood in heartland states. In a recent poll, only 27 per cent of Americans felt confident that life for their children's generation would be better. Too many families are anxiously wondering: "Where are the jobs? How is this going to turn out?"

The FT might have also mentioned that the system is rigged against the people who will decide the election - middle class voters. The feds hand out free money to their friends - the insiders. When the voters figure this out - if they ever do -- they're going to be in an ugly mood. And ready to vote for real CHANGE.

Maybe they'll never figure out. Here in Argentina a labor union leader had a solution to the country's on-going financial crisis. "Let's all stop stealing for a year," he earnestly suggested.

When that proposal was rejected by all parties, he backed off: "How about a month of not stealing?"

That too was laughed out of town. A government that doesn't steal is like booze that won't make you drunk. What's the point? If all you get out of the government is what you put in yourself, why bother? Chastity is of no help to a prostitute. Nor is honesty to a politician.

Not that we can change the nature of the system. Politicians will always be politicians and government will always be government. We can't change its nature. But we can certainly do with less of it! That's the change we mean.

And we're not the first to have the idea. Here's Thomas Jefferson:

"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

Yes, other candidates have promised 'change.' But we really mean it. And the proof is our campaign promises.

First, we promise not to keep any promise we make in the run-up to the election. This alone makes us the only honest candidate and the only person worthy of your vote.

Second, we can prove that we were born in the the Annapolis General Hospital in the year of our lord, well...never mind what year. But we certify that we're old enough to be president. Heck, we're old enough to know better.

Third, we promise not to engage in any debate with anyone. The debates are a sham entertainment, proving only which candidate is the better debater. Who cares?

Fourth...getting right now to specifics...we won't propose vague, hollow and meaningless 'reforms.' We're talking real change here. We'd balance the federal budget overnight. How? Cut the Pentagon budget in half. As a starter. We'd be much more secure with a lot less 'security.'

Then, we'd cut the domestic budget in half, too. Social security, medicare, the Department of Things We Never Heard of and Didn't Really Need Anyway - the whole shebang. We'd be twice as well off with half as much help from the feds.

Oh, we can anticipate the howls of scorn and yelps of pain already. "You're taking the meat cleaver approach," our critics would claim. And yes. 'You're darned tootin,' we would say with a Reaganesque flair. A meat cleaver is just what the federal government needs. Or a chainsaw. Besides, almost all government spending is a combination of bribes and boondoggles. One is about the same as the other, as far as we're concerned. Let the politicians in Congress deal with the details. Depending on the bribes, they can decide who gets the boondoggles. We get a balanced budget and shed half the zombie with half as many resources sucked up by the feds. Fair and square.

Bill Bonner is the President & Founder of Agora Inc, an international publisher of financial and special interest books and newsletters.

The views mentioned above are of the author only. Data and charts, if used, in the article have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Equitymaster do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendation on any course of action to be followed by the reader. Please read the detailed Terms of Use of the web site.

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3 Responses to "It's time for a real CHANGE"


Oct 8, 2012

Bill Bonner's writing is very frank. No manipulative word or sentences that the big-headed intellectuals normally do. The fact of life is a fact which we can not deny. Very interesting indeed.


R V Iyengar

Oct 5, 2012

Mr. Bill Bonner is sounding more and more like our own Kejariwal. Too utopic I would say.


vinay dhoble

Oct 5, 2012

It is experienced that general public is asked to present many documents and are passing thru various controls for getting Passport etc.Then it is obvious our so called MPs and MLAs representing general public should pass thru basic controls like free from any criminal background and bribary charges.I propose to involve Election Commission for certification for eligibility for contesting general elections for atleast MPs and MLAs.

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