Sunday, November 27, 2011

Be Thankful That
Doomsday Never Comes

by Sy Harding - November 26th, 2011 - Forbes

Headlines have been full of gloom and doom for some time: high unemployment, the housing industry in a depression, record government debt, governments dysfunctional, and on and on.

Fear-mongers and ‘big picture’ theorists are having a field day with it all.


Here’s something to be thankful for.

Those long-term doomsday scenarios that always pop up during bad times are the result of simply extending whatever is the current trend in a straight line into the future. They almost never materialize because they don’t allow for the changes that take place before they can materialize.

That last paragraph is among one of the few assessments in this article that are actually correct. It is true that trend lines never continue in the same direction.

However it is inaccurate to imply from that the horrors forecast do not come true for a time and for a number of people. The people whose lives were devastated by the high interest rates and inflation of the late 1970s and early 1980s where not compensated by the fact that those who had money made out well. The devastated spent a lot more than one decade paying off the burdens that government inflicted on them.

In his dismissal of Reagan's job creation reversal of unemployment under Carter, the writer blames Reagan for compromises he was forced to make with an overwhelming Democrat congress to attain more important goals in getting the nation moving. Reagan is blamed for consequences of policies he fought against just because he compromised for the greater good.

That some people made out during the boom and bust of the 90s does not mean that lives were not destroyed in the process, even if large government revenues during the boom allowed for a period of sanity in paying down debt. If you focus on that one issue of debt as Harding does (since we are once again running up debt, this time at a rate that Jimmy Carter would have been proud of) it is easy (but not accurate) to dismiss the consequences that are coming again as solely Reagan's fault.

The writer has accepted the premise that Reagan did not win the cold war by his defense spending, blithely calling his "buildup" a "stimulus". He even equates it to the "stimulus" goal of the progressives. However Reagan never spent that money to prop up the economy and it is curious that progressives usually denounce his spending because it did not improve the economy. It was the vast reduction in regulations and taxes that resulted in the economic boom. The Reagan spending was intended to save America by winning the cold war. Now Progressives are changing their perspective to claim Reagan agrees with their inflated spending theories.

This writer advocates the premise that things are really not that bad right now and if we just muddle along everything will come out okay. He seems to have missed the consequences of this kind of thinking by progressives in the 1930s. Hitler and Stalin were real. That America did not experience them as directly as their own people does not mean that doomsday did not come for the tens of millions who died at their hands. That the world recovered and experienced the massive growth of the post world war years did not bring those people back to life.

We are heading for economic and military doomsday scenarios similar to the 1930s. I agree the world will not end for everyone. At the other end of the bad times there will still be a planet earth and there will still be people. For some of them the good times will return. That is hardly acceptable if millions are dead, millions more are enslaved and tyranny rules most nations.


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