April 29, 2010

The Red Queen and The Drunkard
— Monty

[I gotta make this quick. I lifted Ace's key while he was sleeping one off in the alley behind Seamus's Irish Pub. Before I start going through his shit to see what's pawnable and what isn't, I wanted to post a little piece that was prompted by Doctor Zero's essay "The Dreadful Equation". Anyone who narcs me out gets his ass busted.]

Evolutionary biology adopted the metaphor of Lewis Carroll's "Red Queen" in Through the Looking-Glass to explain the necessity of organisms adapting to ever-changing environments. Every organism must evolve to keep pace with other organisms in their ecosystem to maintain their evolutionary fitness. In other words, you have to run very fast just to maintain you evolutionary position. Losing your evolutionary "fitness" means losing out to (or becoming lunch for) fitter organisms.

This concept works in economics as well. Money (and other financial instruments) are really only batteries, a way of storing energy -- if that energy is not husbanded carefully, it can "bleed away" and be lost to entropy. But since additional energy is required to maintain that existing store of energy, it becomes a problem of efficiency and scale: how you do get more out of the system than you put in? What makes it all worthwhile? "Invisible hand" free-marketeers believe that maximum efficiency in the financial system is gained when masses of people, acting in their own self-interest, make the myriad of small decisions that drive the economy. It leads to the wisest and most efficient use of the energy available to the system. But no market can be "pure"; at some level regulation must be enforced to prevent fraud, abuse, or systemic "illnesses" that could take down the system. These regulatory systems are net-energy consumers -- they do not add to the system, but only feed off of it. If they make the system more efficient so much the better; that leaves more to be returned to the investors. The hard part is making sure that your regulatory system does not overwhelm the returns-generating capacity of the system.

In other words, if you can't get more out than you put in, what's the point?

Money, like life, is a wasting resource -- if you don't use it, you lose it. It degrades over time. Put five dollars under your mattress for ten years and it will be worth much less when you take it back out. Put it in a bank where it gain gather interest as a result of being productively invested, and you can double or triple your money. In finance just as in life, you cannot beat the Red Queen's justice: you must run, and quickly, or lose out to those who will run.

But you can only do so much; your ecosystem must be able to process your inputs efficiently as well. This is the problem: when the ecosystem fails, all the individual energy and ingenuity in the world won't help much. When an ecosystem fails, the energy is lost to entropy (or redirected to some other, worthier, enterprise).

This is the problem confronting the American (and much of the developed world's) economy right now. We are trying to draw far more power out of our battery than we actually stored. But we are able to perform a feat of legerdemain that Mother Nature cannot. We can draw on future energy to serve the needs of the present. This future energy is called debt. We have found a way in essence to pull energy back in time and feed our voracious financial batteries with it.

Many technocrats in the government apparently believe that this energy is limitless and can be drawn at will from the future. To them, debt (future energy, or potential energy) is just as good as real money (actualized energy from labor and ingenuity in the past and present).

Except it isn't. Debt isn't money. It's a promise of future money, to be paid at a reasonable rate of return. It's a burden put on the future to serve the needs of the present. It's a wager that the future will have the capacity, the ability, and the will to cover the deficit. In terms of energy, debt is a lien put on the labor and ingenuity of future citizens.

In an honest society, debt is sometimes a prudent thing: debt allows for investment that builds even greater wealth. This kind of debt is an investment that society makes in the producers. (This is a contest of skill more than chance; so gambling is the wrong term.) Sometimes the investment fails, but more often it pays off splendidly. The system ends up with far more energy than it began with, and that's the name of the game. The Red Queen is defeated (if only for awhile).

But the debt our government is accruing is not that kind of debt. This is a drunkards' debt, the debt incurred by a spendthrift and wastrel.

The Drunkard is the dissipated scion of a wealthy and respected family, which is why his credit is still honored in the town. But the scion is not the man his father was. He drinks. Drunk, he lies and cheats and steals and is generally an embarrassment. Money was loaned to him out of respect for the family, but the publicans and tradesmen begin to wonder if the debt will ever be repaid. No one wants to be the first to point the finger of blame -- the family name still rings out -- but many are privately wondering what will happen.

The Drunkard owes so much money that a default on payment would drive some out of business; to insist on payment would only expose both debtor and creditor to embarrassment. Better, maybe, to just let things float awhile. See what the future brings. Everyone knows this is akin to hoping for a deus ex machina to descend from the clouds and solve their problems miraculously, but it seems preferable to tackling the problem at hand. At this stage, embarrassment is worse than impoverishment.

As time goes by, though, The Drunkards' debt becomes the shame of the town, a millstone around all necks. His wife and children go hungry and without clothes, and are threatened with eviction. The good people of the town give what they can in charity to The Drunkard's family, but this is an additional burden on their own resources. Some will say, "Let the Drunkard and his family starve!", but wiser heads know that the Drunkard's debt threatens the very fabric of the town. If the publican shuts his doors so will the brewer and the baker. The seamstress and the blacksmith will suffer from want of trade. The town will die an inch at a time. No matter that the Drunkard was the agent of disaster; the shame and the blame will fall on every head.

No, the town must be saved. The deus ex machina will not appear. All must labor -- to no very good purpose of their own -- to erase the debt of a sot who neither knows nor cares of the hardship he has imposed on everyone else. It deflates and defeats the producers, and makes them question the very purpose of their lives. Is maintaining the honor of the town worth living in indentured servitude for years and years? Is it worth sacrificing the small comforts of your wife and children? For whom do you labor? For yourself and your family, or for an oblivious drunkard? It seems to be an abrogation of that sacred compact between society and the producers.

And yet...it must be done if the town is to survive. There is no other way.

The Red Queen cares nothing for our troubles. Everything moves: the oceans, the air, the earth itself, the stars in their courses. The Red Queen demands that we move also, change with the times, or die. The word "fair" is not in her vocabulary.

For whom do we labor? For the poor? The poor, as Matthew tells us in his Gospel, will always be with us. For the lame, the aged, the halt, the unlucky, the lazy, the dull, the slow? Each must look at his own conscience and be guided by his own God (or no God at all, as the case may be), but it must be a choice, freely made. Charity extracted at the point of a gun is not charity at all, but theft. Charity cannot be imposed from outside without violating that essential societal compact that a man labors first and foremost for himself and his family. His choices are his own. This compact implies risk and the possibility of failure. There is no upside (wealth, happiness) that does not carry the risk of a downside (failure, ruin). A smart man knows that risk is a fundamental property of life. A prudent man risks in accordance with the possible reward, and generally prospers.

The Drunkard is neither smart nor prudent. He is tired of the Red Queen's race. The Drunkard squanders his wealth. He doesn't invest; he gambles, and often with borrowed money. He loses and borrows more. He incurs debts he knows he cannot repay. He loses the ability to feel shame or remorse, and is prone to a sniveling self-pity at where his own actions have landed him. He beats his wife and neglects his children. To the extent that he thinks or plans for the future, it is only so far as to scheme for his next drink -- who can be squeezed or cajoled for a few more coins. In this way old friends are turned into enemies, loved ones into strangers. No one loves a drunkard, though many are happy to help him spend his money when he has some.

The Drunkard stinks of failure and missed chances as much as he does of alcohol.

America is not yet an irredeemable drunkard, but the drinking problem is getting out of hand. We cadge money from friends and neighbors, blithely promising the wealth of children not yet born, in exchange for more liquor. We still have the capacity for shame, though -- or at least some of us do. We know that it is not too late even yet to pour the whiskey down the sink, clean up, and start to work off the debt. It will take a long time and a lot of thankless labor, but we can do it if we value the lives of our children at all. Or if we do not...why, we can borrow enough even yet to get pig-drunk, surrounded by other drunks singing our praises, until closing-time comes and we stagger out into the cold dark wondering how we are going to get home.

The Red Queen insists that we run, and that we run twice as fast if we want to get anywhere.

The Drunkard cannot run. He can barely walk. To him the Red Queen shows no pity.

Posted by: Monty at 01:57 PM | Comments (146)
Post contains 1780 words, total size 10 kb.

1
Monty?

An honest to goodness co-blogger?

Posted by: Dynomutt After Dark at April 29, 2010 02:10 PM (v77ig)

2 Put it in a bank where it gain gather interest as a result of being productively invested, and you can double or triple your money.

Where do you bank?  I'm getting something like 0.2% interest on savings....not gonna live long enough to see that double.

Posted by: HeatherRadish at April 29, 2010 02:10 PM (OkT2m)

3 Monty! Good show!

Posted by: The War Between the Undead States at April 29, 2010 02:10 PM (T7G3R)

4
Nice addition to the team. Hope you don't suck as much the others whom I won't name.

Posted by: Dynomutt After Dark at April 29, 2010 02:11 PM (k9Ti8)

5 “Alice in Wonderland” was a stupid movie, but it taught me a lot about myself, lessons I’ve tried to retain going forward.

Posted by: A. Marcotte at April 29, 2010 02:14 PM (0QJjg)

6

Monty's always been a good egg. 

Nice to see you in long form, Monty.


My response: :Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war."

 

I'd rather deal with this myself than leave it to/upon my children.

Posted by: s'moron at April 29, 2010 02:15 PM (UaxA0)

7
Money, like life, is a wasting resource -- if you don't use it, you lose it.

Kinda like muscles in how they atrophy. You're either in a catabolic state or in an anabolic state.

Posted by: Dynomutt After Dark at April 29, 2010 02:17 PM (v77ig)

8 Monty, dear.  You make a fine cob-logger.

Posted by: Jane D'oh at April 29, 2010 02:19 PM (UOM48)

9 The Tomb of the Red Queen.

Posted by: CM at April 29, 2010 02:20 PM (f14vX)

10
America is not yet an irredeemable drunkard...

We are a crumbling empire and a civilization headed towards ruin...women on U.S. Navy submarines.

Posted by: Dynomutt After Dark at April 29, 2010 02:20 PM (k9Ti8)

11 Allegories only enlarge my capacity to consume copious quantities of Scotch. Thank you, sir.

Posted by: Mr. Barky at April 29, 2010 02:20 PM (qwK3S)

12 Money, like life, is a wasting resource -- if you don't use it, you lose it. It degrades over time. Put five dollars under your mattress for ten years and it will be worth much less when you take it back out.

Not true. The dollar has been a wasting asset since 1913 because the Fed has consistently printed too many of them, but money in general need not lose its value. Before 1913 prices were stable.

Posted by: schizoid at April 29, 2010 02:20 PM (N5oF4)

13 Ah Monty, will you be up earlier than the others so we are not starting in the morning on the ONT?

Posted by: Vic at April 29, 2010 02:20 PM (QrA9E)

14

Nice read Monty!

Now, let's see if I got this right. The Red Queen is symbolic of a hooker we just stiffed, and that's why she's chasing us, right?

We run, because our welfare check won't come until Friday, and this is Thursday, right, but her pimp wants to stab me now?

 

Posted by: El Diablo Blanco Con Ojos Azules en San Diego at April 29, 2010 02:21 PM (F09Uo)

15
The Red Queen and the Drunkard.

a.k.a. The Barney Frank & Patrick Kennedy Show

Posted by: Dynomutt After Dark at April 29, 2010 02:22 PM (k9Ti8)

16 >> Anyone who narcs me out gets his ass busted

Don't worry, Ace never reads this blog.

Posted by: dan-O at April 29, 2010 02:22 PM (+9Rf8)

17 As far as this composition goes, I always thought this admin is more like the Jabberwocky:

A nonsensical poem meaning nothing. Every time one of them opens their mouth BS flows out and the press calls it wisdom.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!

Posted by: Vic at April 29, 2010 02:23 PM (QrA9E)

18 Where do you bank?  I'm getting something like 0.2% interest on savings....not gonna live long enough to see that double.

347 years.

Posted by: John P. Squibob at April 29, 2010 02:24 PM (/U/Mr)

19 It's thoughtful stuff like this that gives morons a bad name.

Posted by: AnonymousDrivel at April 29, 2010 02:24 PM (swuwV)

20 Ah Monty, will you be up earlier than the others so we are not starting in the morning on the ONT? I'm probably not going to post very regularly. It took me a long time to write this piece, and longer to edit it and polish it. (And even now, reading it, I wish I'd spent more time on it.) Frankly, I enjoy posting in the comments more than on the front page, but every so often I have a little bolide I'd like to drop on everyone. Many thanks to Ace for allowing it. (I got fifty bucks for his 100-issue run of Juggs!)

Posted by: Monty at April 29, 2010 02:26 PM (O3eFQ)

21 We live in a country of checks and balances. The balance is coming in November. Bet on it.

Let's wait to start sucking each others dicks after November please.

Posted by: John P. Squibob at April 29, 2010 02:26 PM (/U/Mr)

22 monty, if you email your post to ace i bet he'd make a duplicate thread

Posted by: phoenixgirl at April 29, 2010 02:27 PM (ucxC/)

23 nice post

I second a vote for a "morning thread" with links and what not for us early birds.  I know Malor does the headlines thread but he's on the west coast and it's pretty quiet here in the morning.

Posted by: brak at April 29, 2010 02:27 PM (W5NBA)

24
It took you a long time to write that, Monty?

Wickedpinto can churn out 500-word comments every three minutes! They weren't coherent, all that much, but...

Posted by: Dynomutt After Dark at April 29, 2010 02:28 PM (v77ig)

25 Nice post.  Though, frankly, it makes me want to start drinking.

Posted by: alexthechick at April 29, 2010 02:29 PM (6Cojl)

26 Let's wait to start sucking each others dicks after November please.

Why?

Posted by: Eric Massa at April 29, 2010 02:30 PM (T7G3R)

27
Your cherry will be broken for real when 'boner pills online cheap" christens your post.

Posted by: Dynomutt After Dark at April 29, 2010 02:30 PM (v77ig)

28 So let me get this straight, Monty: I can be either a drunkard or a queen. (A red queen.)

I may have to start early tonight.

Posted by: The War Between the Undead States at April 29, 2010 02:31 PM (T7G3R)

29 Nice piece, monty. That aside,

"But no market can be "pure"; at some level regulation must be enforced to prevent fraud, abuse, or systemic "illnesses" that could take down the system. These regulatory systems are net-energy consumers -- they do not add to the system, but only feed off of it. If they make the system more efficient so much the better; that leaves more to be returned to the investors. The hard part is making sure that your regulatory system does not overwhelm the returns-generating capacity of the system."

Regulatory systems being net energy consumers are not a problem. Regulators stealing from the marketplace and rewarding themselves and their cronies are the problem.

Posted by: davidt at April 29, 2010 02:31 PM (aag4W)

30

Which Drunkard - Jack Cafferty or Rick Sanchez?

Posted by: bc3b at April 29, 2010 02:32 PM (jqZr+)

31 Good job Monty.  But you said it would be a "little piece". 

Posted by: SlaveDog at April 29, 2010 02:32 PM (W+E+o)

32 26
It took you a long time to write that, Monty?

Wickedpinto can churn out 500-word comments every three minutes! They weren't coherent, all that much, but...

Posted by: Dynomutt After Dark at April 29, 2010 07:28 PM (v77ig)

Why was Wickedpinto banninated? I tried to look up why, but got nowhere.

Posted by: El Diablo Blanco Con Ojos Azules en San Diego at April 29, 2010 02:34 PM (F09Uo)

33
But you said it would be a "little piece" just the tip. Ow.

Posted by: Dynomutt After Dark at April 29, 2010 02:34 PM (k9Ti8)

34 Posted by: Monty at April 29, 2010 07:26 PM (O3eFQ)

Do you know something I don't about a new pay per word compensation package?

Seriously dude, if you're going to do this, you have back teh smarts cause it's not like the rest of us are going to get any smarter. We can't have that kind of disparity.

Posted by: DrewM. at April 29, 2010 02:34 PM (9B5OK)

35 Wait ... wait ...

Does this mean I have to stop drinking, or a red-headed transvestite is going to kick my ass?

That's just wrong, man.

Posted by: Meiczyslaw at April 29, 2010 02:34 PM (vEhUz)

36 Good job Monty, just promise you won't punch down...fuckity fuck!

Posted by: dananjcon at April 29, 2010 02:35 PM (/HTjh)

37 The thing about a drunk and the family is that in so many instances a member of the family will.......well I won't say it on this sophisticated blog, but we read and hear about it on the news all the time.

Posted by: Soona' at April 29, 2010 02:35 PM (q/J+g)

38
I don't think WP was banned; I think he banned himself after his last cyber meltdown.

It was several months ago and he was flipping out on some girl AoS'er, I forget who.

Posted by: Dynomutt After Dark at April 29, 2010 02:36 PM (k9Ti8)

39 LACE FUCKIN WIGS!

Posted by: Dave in Texas at April 29, 2010 02:36 PM (Wh0W+)

40
it mighta been katya

Posted by: Dynomutt After Dark at April 29, 2010 02:36 PM (v77ig)

41 The Drunkard is the dissipated scion of a wealthy and respected family, which is why his credit is still honored in the town. But the scion is not the man his father was. He drinks. Drunk, he lies and cheats and steals and is generally an embarrassment.

Or he becomes a US Senator canonized by the DemSM

Posted by: kbdabear at April 29, 2010 02:36 PM (sYxEE)

42 Is this going to be on the test?

Posted by: Dr Spank at April 29, 2010 02:36 PM (I1/U/)

43
oh yeah, it was a silly row over an innocuous comment about his nephews, or something

Posted by: Dynomutt After Dark at April 29, 2010 02:37 PM (v77ig)

44 Monty, good to see you cob logging.

Posted by: rdbrewer at April 29, 2010 02:38 PM (ajjrO)

45 Is this going to be on the test? Yes. And penmanship counts.

Posted by: Monty at April 29, 2010 02:38 PM (O3eFQ)

46
Monty,

Nice piece, but:

1.  I think the town rather than the Drunkard is the metaphor for America.  There really are two distinct Americas.

2.  The steadily increasing burden imposed by that growing parasitic half (The Drunkard) of America is the handicap that forces redoubled exertion (The Red Queen's Race) just to stand still.

Posted by: MikeO at April 29, 2010 02:39 PM (lBmZl)

Posted by: Lemon Kitten at April 29, 2010 02:40 PM (0fzsA)

48 Better, maybe, to just let things float awhile. See what the future brings. Everyone knows this is akin to hoping for a deus ex machina to descend from the clouds and solve their problems miraculously, but it seems preferable to tackling the problem at hand.

Green Jobs! My Magic Windmills are at hand and they will produce the Skittles and Unicorns of the permanent prosperity I am creating!

Posted by: Barry, The Red President at April 29, 2010 02:40 PM (sYxEE)

49 Monty,

I want to have your children......swooooon.

Posted by: mpfs, peces senora de Pablo palos at April 29, 2010 02:40 PM (QuP9W)

50 and longer to edit it and polish it.

Edit?  Polish?  Here?

Posted by: HeatherRadish at April 29, 2010 02:40 PM (OkT2m)

51 King Charles II of England did this with the court accounts.  He ran up so many debts he was forced to declare bankruptcy, the famous "Stop of the Exchequer."  And the reason he was able to run up so much debt was because no one wanted (or could) say "no" to lending the king money or goods on credit.

Posted by: Nemo from Erewhon at April 29, 2010 02:41 PM (VvUxo)

52 40
I don't think WP was banned; I think he banned himself after his last cyber meltdown.

It was several months ago and he was flipping out on some girl AoS'er, I forget who.

Posted by: Dynomutt After Dark at April 29, 2010 07:36 PM (k9Ti

Ohhh... OK.

I just got snippets of people wispering stuff, but never could find that smoking gun of bannage.

Thanks for the answer!

Posted by: El Diablo Blanco Con Ojos Azules en San Diego at April 29, 2010 02:41 PM (F09Uo)

53 Yes. And penmanship counts.

You know what's funny?  I was looking for some Palmer method workbooks today since my handwriting is a solid B+.

Posted by: alexthechick at April 29, 2010 02:41 PM (6Cojl)

54

Nice, Monty. Very well put.

(And congratulations on getting the key, however you procured it.)

Posted by: FireHorse at April 29, 2010 02:43 PM (cQyWA)

55 I learned everything I needed to know about penmanship in drafting class.

Posted by: El Diablo Blanco Con Ojos Azules en San Diego at April 29, 2010 02:43 PM (F09Uo)

56 When Barry and me go to Vegas and I'm counting cards for him, I bet two chips when the Red Queen comes up

Then I get to drive slow on the driveway. I'm an excellent driver

Uh-oh, ten minutes to Matthews

Posted by: Joe Biden at April 29, 2010 02:43 PM (sYxEE)

57

Penmanship? Fuck that shit.

 

also yes WP was banned.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at April 29, 2010 02:45 PM (Wh0W+)

58 Edit?  Polish?  Here?

"Polish", sure!

Posted by: The War Between the Undead States at April 29, 2010 02:45 PM (T7G3R)

59

Bravo.  Great comparison and well written. 

This is why instead of repeal and replace is not enough.  In order to get this under control, we need to completely replace the slavery of entitlements with market based solutions for medicare and social security both of which are massive empty money cisterns that are now joined by obamacare.  Obamacare will infuse a lot of money back into the system, but like its predecessors and politicians being politicians, will be dried up because it will not be able to keep up with the outflows of all three programs.

If it isn't done soon, we'll think everything is fine for a couple of years but we will eventually follow Europe onto the brink of third worlddom.

Posted by: Hussein the Plumber at April 29, 2010 02:45 PM (r1h5M)

60 one quibble. money in the bank isnt productive and will disappear over time.

Posted by: poostain hussein at April 29, 2010 02:47 PM (ID1Iu)

61 Now that you have the key, quick...post some large breasted lesbian porn.

Posted by: JavaJoe at April 29, 2010 02:48 PM (e9JZd)

62 This isn't a passage from the verbal section of the SAT is it?

Posted by: Mr. Barky at April 29, 2010 02:49 PM (qwK3S)

63
Speaking of banks and government and human folly...

are y'all familiar with McKay's retelling of history's most famous bubbles? The Mississippi Scheme, the South Seas Bubble, and Tulipmania.

Posted by: Dynomutt After Dark at April 29, 2010 02:49 PM (k9Ti8)

64

And to allow politicians to even consider a VAT is insanity.  Look how well it has worked for Europe.  Sure it will be a massive infusion of money into governments but like in Europe, people who believe themselves entitled will want ever bigger shares of free money.  It is a road to ruin as sure as the other socialist-like programs.

The founders were very smart people and they laid out a foundation for a great - unembarrassingly great - unapologetically great country.  We need to get back to what the founders envisioned.  Period.

Posted by: Hussein the Plumber at April 29, 2010 02:49 PM (r1h5M)

65

CHANGE PLACES!

(...nice work, sir.)

 

Posted by: garrett the mad hatter at April 29, 2010 02:49 PM (/ZAVZ)

66 The paradox is that the Drunk keeps handing out IOUs, and everyone keeps taking them in exchange for real goods. Our government is "printing money" (actually, bits in some banks' computers somewhere, but the effect is the same), and yet inflation is still nil. Where is it all going? More to the point, how long will it keep going there?

Posted by: JinEugene at April 29, 2010 02:52 PM (A4nXu)

67

Wow....As a true moron if I have to roll the scroll wheel more than three times to see an article I usually just quit and go to the next Overnight Open Thread......But this...THIS WAS MASTERFULL

Thanks Monty, Well Done

Posted by: Jay at April 29, 2010 02:53 PM (z6Rob)

68

Excellent post Monty. However, if you keep putting up extremely wordy and smart stuff like that we may become known as one of them respectable blogs and we just cant have that.

A little profanity, copious amounts of Valu-Rite and some slitting of throats should remedy that.

Posted by: Blazer at April 29, 2010 02:54 PM (t72+4)

69 I'm getting something like 0.2% interest on savings....not gonna live long enough to see that double.

What's the problem? That's almost one percent of actual inflation. YOU SOME KINDA RON PAUL COMMIE?!

Posted by: oblig. at April 29, 2010 02:56 PM (x7Ao8)

70 What I'm worried about is that if the Repubs win big this Nov., China and the World Bank will call their loans.  All we have left right now is land.  Maybe we could give San Francisco to China.

Posted by: Soona' at April 29, 2010 02:56 PM (q/J+g)

71 We now invite you to view this commercial message from our sponsor, Socialism.

Posted by: sTevo at April 29, 2010 02:56 PM (zIUsq)

72 Very nice, Monty!  

I would like more pictures, next time!

Posted by: TXMarko at April 29, 2010 02:57 PM (OBe19)

73 Forcing Puerto Rico to statehood passes House.

Posted by: Twinks at April 29, 2010 02:57 PM (VYKgG)

74 I thought "Red Queen" was a euphemism for menstruation.
Well, that's what they called me....

Posted by: mpfs, peces senora de Pablo palos at April 29, 2010 02:59 PM (QuP9W)

75

What I'm worried about is that if the Repubs win big this Nov., China and the World Bank will call their loans.  All we have left right now is land.  Maybe we could give San Francisco to China.

 

Better yet, let's give the unions to China.

Posted by: Soona' at April 29, 2010 02:59 PM (q/J+g)

76

Monty. Swoon. You are such an awesome writer I love reading what you write. My favorite part:

But the debt our government is accruing is not that kind of debt. This is a drunkards' debt, the debt incurred by a spendthrift and wastrel.

 

Posted by: ParanoidGirlInSeattle at April 29, 2010 03:00 PM (RZ8pf)

77 I thought "Red Queen" was a euphemism for menstruation. No, I believe that euphemism is "Tyrant Lizard Queen".

Posted by: Monty at April 29, 2010 03:01 PM (O3eFQ)

78 America is not yet an irredeemable drunkard,

It's not?

Nice essay... a little Bastiat, Lewis Carroll, Thackeray ("How to Live on Nothing a Year" from Vanity Fair) and/or Eliot (Middlemarch) mixed together in a vivid parable.

Posted by: Soon to be Ex-ExZonie at April 29, 2010 03:03 PM (as47X)

79 As many words as that contained, I would have to declare that a Full Monty.

Posted by: conscious, but incoherent at April 29, 2010 03:04 PM (YVZlY)

80 Good piece Monty. Not only does it make sense, but your prose is an easy read. I know it's a lot of work, but keep it up for us morons' sake.

Posted by: bergerbilder at April 29, 2010 03:04 PM (S1Ttj)

81 Great post! And my first thought was this...We have a very small window of time for correction and we are in the position of relying on the largely corrupted Republican party assist the Red Queen. Anyone optimistic about that? Yikes!  

Posted by: Lana at April 29, 2010 03:05 PM (MpHql)

82 I thought "Red Queen" was a euphemism for menstruation.

No, I believe that euphemism is "Tyrant Lizard Queen".

But, but I really, really have good penmanship  I learnt at the schoolin' house.

Posted by: mpfs, peces senora de Pablo palos at April 29, 2010 03:05 PM (QuP9W)

83

...well met indeed, sir. Well met.

Posted by: davis,br at April 29, 2010 03:05 PM (uCShA)

84 I thought "Red Queen" was a euphemism for menstruation.

What no love for me?

Posted by: The Cotton Pony at April 29, 2010 03:05 PM (e9JZd)

85

The Drunkard stinks of failure and missed chances as much as he does of alcohol.

Hey!  Now wait just a dog-gone minute...

Posted by: Chris Dodd at April 29, 2010 03:05 PM (YVZlY)

86 Nice . Keep em coming ..... and remember , I get ATF .

Posted by: Bill D. Cat at April 29, 2010 03:06 PM (a9UO0)

87 18 As far as this composition goes, I always thought this admin is more like the Jabberwocky:

A nonsensical poem meaning nothing. Every time one of them opens their mouth BS flows out and the press calls it wisdom.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!

Posted by: Vic at April 29, 2010 07:23 PM (QrA9E)

Ain't no mome rath gonna outgrabe me!

Posted by: Soon to be Ex-ExZonie at April 29, 2010 03:06 PM (as47X)

88  The frumious Bandersnatch!

That's just rude gentlemen.

Posted by: mpfs, peces senora de Pablo palos at April 29, 2010 03:07 PM (QuP9W)

89 Pardon me?

Posted by: Shooter Hickory, Indiana at April 29, 2010 03:08 PM (8OTio)

90

Good piece Monty. Not only does it make sense, but your prose is an easy read. I know it's a lot of work, but keep it up for us morons' sake.

 

 

I agree.  Actually, my first thought was that there are, at least, a few intelligent, sober people on this blog......maybe.

Posted by: Soona' at April 29, 2010 03:09 PM (q/J+g)

91 Well played, Sir!

Your humble servant,
jakeman

Posted by: jakeman at April 29, 2010 03:09 PM (8QmEC)

92
Hey Monty, how much did you get for Ace's Insane Clown Posse cassettes?

Posted by: Atomic Roach at April 29, 2010 03:10 PM (Oxen1)

93 Congratulations, Monty. 

Can you also get the key to the AoS Val-U-Rite cabinet?

Posted by: Filly at April 29, 2010 03:10 PM (dSJW9)

94 "The fruminous Bandersnatch! That's just rude gentlemen." Hey, it's more fun than it sounds!

Posted by: bergerbilder at April 29, 2010 03:11 PM (S1Ttj)

95 Dynomutt@16, oddly enough, Patches was the image that popped into my head, too...

Posted by: jakeman at April 29, 2010 03:12 PM (8QmEC)

96 Hey Monty, how much did you get for Ace's Insane Clown Posse cassettes? The cassettes were a bust. But those Lovin' Spoonful and Moby Grape 8-Tracks? Pure gold.

Posted by: Monty at April 29, 2010 03:12 PM (O3eFQ)

97 And really off topic unless you're thinking escape the town, but in my town, lots of doctors are traveling to Puerto Rico and/or Panama contemplating a move. Is the move for Puerto Rico statehood a preempting move on the part of some? Can't imagine congress is that clever...

Posted by: Lana at April 29, 2010 03:13 PM (MpHql)

98 There is an old saying that wealth is lost in the third generation...Meaning, that by the third generation, inheritance is squandered by spendthrifts who don't know how to handle it...Businesses are run into the ground, savings are exhausted etc.  We as a nation are approaching the third generation following WWII when America's wealth and power was at a peak...

Posted by: Cravin Morehead at April 29, 2010 03:13 PM (sE08M)

99 Ain't no mome rath gonna outgrabe me!

Can I steal that?

Posted by: HeatherRadish at April 29, 2010 03:14 PM (OkT2m)

100 I don't know, Monty. It feels like a "C.". Why don't you bulk it up with some graphs and pie charts?

Posted by: Empire of Jeff at April 29, 2010 03:15 PM (Xuxia)

101 Oh ..... bye the way , long overdue .

Posted by: Bill D. Cat at April 29, 2010 03:16 PM (a9UO0)

102 "The fruminous Bandersnatch!

That's just rude gentlemen."

Hey, it's more fun than it sounds!

Any man who tries to get near my Bandersnatch without my permission is going home de-balled. Capice?

Posted by: mpfs, peces senora de Pablo palos at April 29, 2010 03:16 PM (QuP9W)

103 "...came whiffing through the tulgey wood, and burbled as it came!"

Posted by: Excerpt from Monica Lewinsky's Grand Jury Testimony at April 29, 2010 03:18 PM (T7G3R)

104 Monty,

Excellent essay, but you ARE a Baptist, right?

All the world's problems didn't start with drinking booze.

Irresponsible behavior does not require one to be a drunk, aka Obama.

Posted by: Kemp at April 29, 2010 03:19 PM (2+9Yx)

105 But the debt our government is accruing is not that kind of debt. This is a drunkards' debt, the debt incurred by a spendthrift and wastrel.

This is why the federal government is not supposed to have any social expenditures, or directed towards individuals.  These are bottomless pits of potential spending and you can't put that at the same level as the creation of the money.  Social expenditures and payments to individuals must all come from the states, where a state can't print money and bankrupt the whole US or, worse, destroy the dollar.  And the competition between states should help to auto regulate those programs.  Of course, the federal courts would have to basically keep their noses out of the states' business, which they seem incapable of doing ...

Excellent post, Monty.

Posted by: progressoverpeace at April 29, 2010 03:21 PM (Qp4DT)

106 Anyone who uses "wastrel" gets two thumbs up from me!

Posted by: Randy at April 29, 2010 03:21 PM (GtTYq)

107 Any man who tries to get near my Bandersnatch without my permission is going home de-balled. Bring'st thou thy lovely hidden place to me, my love, my loveliest love. Come to me in the dark while the moon wanes and the stars turn slowly overhead.

Posted by: Monty at April 29, 2010 03:22 PM (O3eFQ)

108 Nice to see you on the front page, Monty. I think that was an apt analogy, but I just don't see it getting better. My plan is to make my family bulletproof and lay low in anonymous obscurity.

I see a time coming when a increasing taxes on the income of the wealthy won't be enough. They're going to eventually start taxing wealth. Obama said what libtards are thinking, "At some point, I think you've made enough money."

If that didn't give you the shivering douchechills, you may be part of the problem. Stay away. Fuck him and fuck that. I'll suck a cock before I watch this government steal my children's future.

Posted by: Empire of Jeff at April 29, 2010 03:25 PM (Xuxia)

109 Great damn analogy....

Posted by: beerologist at April 29, 2010 03:27 PM (tgXx6)

110 My kids will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

Posted by: Baracky at April 29, 2010 03:27 PM (jL69x)

111

How the hell did Monty get to post on the front page?

Sure, he's brilliant and witty and shit, but I'm still pissed.

My treatise on a possible Chuckles Crist/John Edwards ticket in 2012 has gone fucking nowhere with the powers that be.

Posted by: Dack Thrombosis at April 29, 2010 03:32 PM (P33XN)

112 My kids will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

Posted by: Baracky

Yeh, but tomorrow your wife will say they can't have hamburgers so you won't pay up.

Monty, good to see your name in lights.

Posted by: Mama AJ at April 29, 2010 03:32 PM (XdlcF)

113 Sir , you must withdraw or my friends will call on you for an explanation .

Assuming you have friends that understand la affair d'honneur .

Posted by: Village drunkard at April 29, 2010 03:34 PM (wb68R)

114 If that didn't give you the shivering douchechills, you may be part of the problem. Stay away. Fuck him and fuck that. I'll suck a cock before I watch this government steal my children's future. Just thinking of shivering douchechills gives me the douchechills.

Posted by: bergerbilder at April 29, 2010 03:37 PM (S1Ttj)

115 Bring'st thou thy lovely hidden place to me, my love, my loveliest love. Come to me in the dark while the moon wanes and the stars turn slowly overhead.

Monty, this is just a friendly reminder that the volume of romantic poetry you checked out in 2003 is overdue.

Posted by: Voicemail Message from Monty's Local Library at April 29, 2010 03:37 PM (T7G3R)

116

I'll suck a cock before I watch this government steal my children's future.

How YOU doin', buttercup? 

Posted by: Andi Sullivan at April 29, 2010 03:38 PM (P33XN)

117 ok, let me see if I understand
The drunkard it Teddy Kennedy, and the red queen is Barney Frank??
Or am I missing something.

Posted by: nine coconuts at April 29, 2010 03:41 PM (DHNp4)

118 Economics is much easier to understand one you understand what money is.  Money is counter by which we exchange man-hours of labor.   Gold has its value because its corrosion resistance makes is very useful and because it takes a lot of man-hours per ounce to mine.   You cannot counterfeit gold so its durability and rarity makes it a good compact counter for trading man-hours of labor.   The compactness is key.  A steel coin with an intrinsic value of $100 would weigh about 300 lb.  Not very useful.  But even gold can be painful to move around today when we can just exchange symbols in a computer.

Money is the counter for the promise for how many man-hours of others labor you have earned.  Skilled labor is worth more because more or better goods are produced per hour.  A skilled factory worker using a one man operated machine is worth about $50/hour.  That is the real standard behind currency.

Taxation is forced labor that ideally benefits everyone.   Taxation for roads, control of communicable disease, public safety, etc. is a good deal.  Taxed money given to the wastrel is just a form of slavery taken one hour at a time.

Posted by: snookered at April 29, 2010 03:43 PM (jchJh)

119 Posted by: snookered at April 29, 2010 08:43 PM (jchJh)

John Locke.

Posted by: davidt at April 29, 2010 03:46 PM (aag4W)

120 Excellent.

Posted by: Guy Fawkes at April 29, 2010 03:49 PM (7VvJB)

121 Monty,
Nice first post! Well done, well well.
Thanks!

WTF is Wordpress still banned! Pixie, You bastard! You killed Kenney!

Posted by: ChrisP at April 29, 2010 03:56 PM (4YhsB)

122 So, this is a story about gay Communists?

Posted by: chemjeff at April 29, 2010 04:02 PM (Gk/wA)

123

God dang , I learned something there, yep.  Good stuff

Posted by: Jeff Spicoli at April 29, 2010 04:12 PM (CYW1e)

124 I am intruiged by your views and would like to subscribe to your newsletter....

Posted by: wytshus at April 29, 2010 04:14 PM (C8byF)

125 Nicely done, Monty.

Posted by: J. Random Dude at April 29, 2010 04:15 PM (Jnxue)

126 Piece work , get paid for what you produce .

Posted by: Bill D. Cat at April 29, 2010 04:22 PM (a9UO0)

127

We know that it is not too late even yet to pour the whiskey down the sink

Woah there Monty. Yer scarin' me!

Posted by: maddogg at April 29, 2010 04:34 PM (7VIKP)

128

" (And even now, reading it, I wish I'd spent more time on it.)"

 

Don't change a word, Monty. You've nailed it.

I wish I had written it.

Damn fine job, sir.

Posted by: JC at April 29, 2010 04:37 PM (kmuoQ)

129
Good post Monty..
There is a consensus that a persistently large budget deficit can be a major problem for the government and the economy. Three of the reasons for this are as follows:
 Financing a deficit: A budget deficit has to be financed and today, the issue of new government debt to domestic or overseas investors can do this. In a world where financial capital flows freely between countries, it can be relatively easy to finance a deficit. But it may be that if the budget deficit rises to a high level, in the medium term the government may have to offer higher interest rates to attract sufficient buyers of government debt. This in turn will have a negative effect on economic growth.
 A government debt mountain: In the long run, a high level of government borrowing adds to the accumulated National Debt. This means that the Government has to spend more each year in debt-interest payments to holders of government bonds and other securities. There is an opportunity cost involved here because interest payments might be used in more productive ways, for example an increase in spending on health services. It also represents a transfer of income from people and businesses that pay taxes to those who hold government debt and cause a redistribution of income and wealth in the economy.
 Wasteful public spending: We Morons are naturally opposed to a high level of government spending. We believe that a rising share of GDP taken by the state sector has a negative effect on the growth of the private sector of the economy. We are sceptical about the benefits of higher spending believing that the scale of waste in the public sector is high – money that would be better off being used by the private sector. The budget deficit as a tool of demand management. Keynesian economists would support the use of changing the level of government borrowing as a perfectly legitimate instrument of managing aggregate demand. An increase in borrowing can be a useful stimulus to demand when other sectors of the economy are suffering from weak or falling spending. The fiscal stimulus has been important in stabilizing demand and output at a time of global economic uncertainty. Perhaps Keynesian fiscal demand management has once more come back into fashion! The argument is that the government can and should use fiscal policy to keep real national output closer to potential GDP so that we avoid a large negative output gap. Maintaining a high level of demand helps to sustain growth and keep unemployment low. If economic growth is maintained, tax revenues will remain high and help to finance the extra government spending.
The deficit is what it is because of Congress and the president. We don't spend a dime in this country unless Congress authorizes. There's not a tax law passed unless Ways and Means comes up with it and originates it, and yet we've got this massive debt problem and all of a sudden we get to farm it out to a commission!
And they come back with all the recommendations of a VAT tax and this tax increase and that tax increase, and as usual, the guilty, the members of Congress who drove all these deficits up, the people that voted for them on the basis of wanting handouts and the presidents of the United States who agreed on all this get to act as innocent bystanders.
The deficit has to be reduced. This can be achieved by either by cutting back on public sector spending or by raising the burden of taxation. If a larger budget deficit leads to higher interest rates and taxation in the medium term and thereby has a negative effect on growth in household consumption and investment spending, then a process of ‘fiscal crowding-out’ is said to be occurring. Which is need for higher interest rates and higher taxes. We need to vote these Red Queens Bums out.

Posted by: sickinmass at April 29, 2010 04:44 PM (tamie)

130

Our federal government refuses to secure its borders.

Our federal government refuses to live within its financial means. 

It consumes our wealth not only through taxation but by printing money for its own use and inflating away the value of our possesions.  Its debts are our debts though we can't stop it frome spending.

Our federal government goes beyond monitoring our food supply but tells use what we can eat, what we smole, how fast we drive (remember Carter's 55 limit?).

Our federal government intrudes in our children's education and parental rights.

It is taking over our healthcare and hence our ability to live will be at the discretion of the federal government.

Government at all levels is taking at least half our money.  Half our life is spent working to support government.

They tell us it is for our own good. What our polititions and the bureaucrats are  doing is nothing less than criminal.  Our goverment is becoming an out of control beast that will only reigned in by states reasserting their sovereignty or, God forbid, revolution. 

 

Posted by: Ohio Dan at April 29, 2010 05:46 PM (rurh0)

131 Ok, now I'm confused.  Are we morons the well meaning community or the drunken sots?

Posted by: I'm Just Sayin' at April 29, 2010 05:49 PM (t40gm)

132 I read all the way to the end. I wanted to say something about the fact that the drunkard and his ilk such as that weasel Keynes generally don't have no kids and hence no stake in the end game. They are evil vampires not simple drunkards.

Posted by: alo89 at April 29, 2010 06:06 PM (Z6cMA)

133

Vampires or cannibals, take your pick.  They expect us to offer up ourselves and our children as sacrifices to their continued profligacy and requirement for artificial self-esteem."See how noble we are in spending other people's money ?"

They continue to operate with the sanction of the victim, or the voter, take your pick. They operate on a faulty morality system which must ether be repudiated or we all crash and burn.

Posted by: Reader C.J. Burch says... at April 29, 2010 06:31 PM (FVgu3)

134 I thought this post sucked and the part about the guy who liked to have a nice drink to unwind somehow being bad and ruining everything was bullshit.

Posted by: Ted Kennedy at April 29, 2010 06:38 PM (TIGTh)

135 Monty, I'm only a sporadic commenter/comment-reader here, but I've enjoyed plenty of your comments in the past. Glad to see you on the front page.

Posted by: The Chap in the Deerstalker Cap at April 29, 2010 06:44 PM (JK5mm)

136

Monty ... I want to have your baby. Or at least just practice a lot.

What can I say? Awesome writing makes me hot.

 

Posted by: Dumb_Blonde at April 29, 2010 07:38 PM (bwZSG)

137

I have read this twice,

I am opening a bar.

Posted by: Gerry Owen at April 29, 2010 08:34 PM (4Hy88)

138 maseterful

Posted by: noone at April 29, 2010 09:39 PM (eHo+T)

Posted by: T8 to T5 adapter Kits at April 29, 2010 09:57 PM (qgFwU)

140 Like kids with their first credit cards, the spree will only end when the charges are declined.

Posted by: Arlen Specter at April 29, 2010 11:28 PM (3hg5M)

Posted by: weight loss at April 29, 2010 11:52 PM (lAoNn)

142 1.  I think the town rather than the Drunkard is the metaphor for America.  There really are two distinct Americas.

I think the Drunkard is America, the town is the global monetary system pegged to the dollar. China and other countries own so much of our debt, they cannot afford the nuclear option, though it's always on the table.

Pat Kennedy is the poster child for the Drunkard. I was just reading about him being cut off in a DC bar after an awards ceremony.

(Newser) – Just hours after recalling his history of substance abuse—he was even introduced by his former sponsor—Rep. Patrick Kennedy got loaded at a bar and was cut off after six shots of vodka. He seemed to have a good time though—a tipster tells Roll Call that Kennedy was joking with everyone and called Barack Obama “the best president ever.” He then slapped the tipster’s back and responded, “Oh yeah! Good one,” when reminded of his uncle JFK.

Kennedy had just come from a fundraising dinner for a DC charity where he was given an award for his work on mental health issues. In his acceptance speech, he made reference to the night in 2006 when, high on prescription drugs, he crashed his car into a barricade. After receiving the award, he arrived at the bar around 11pm—and he may have gone on drinking, because the bartender only cut him off from doing more shots.

Posted by: Tattoo De Plane at April 30, 2010 03:43 AM (mHQ7T)

143 "Regulators stealing from the marketplace and rewarding themselves and their cronies are the problem."

Regulators spanking it at work while watching pron are also problematic.

Posted by: Tattoo De Plane at April 30, 2010 03:45 AM (mHQ7T)

144 Great Essay!

Posted by: Diogenes at April 30, 2010 04:18 AM (eVJ7T)

145 I know this is now a dead thread, but I was out yesterday, so I'm catching up.

I simply must give Monty a belly rub and a cute little pat on the butt.
Good Dog, Monty!   So happy to see you in a feature post . You are a worthy little fuzzball.

Posted by: Derak at April 30, 2010 07:10 AM (WdLUA)

Posted by: java at June 10, 2011 01:05 AM (cKADS)

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