Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Graying of the Industrial World

This is not change we can believe in, and it is the most fundamental cause of economic woes. Obama, of course, has no policy to provide the (erotic, familial) stimulus we need, and the inevitable failure of his reactionary Keynesianism might allow Republican statespersons to turn our attention to the genuinely foundational issues--issues neglected during the Republicans’ recent time in power. These issues might have considerable appeal to the young, who might reasonably rebel against the moral emptiness of the world they’ve inherited. This pathbreaking article is the self-outing of the legendary Spengler, who turns out to be one Mr. Goldman.

Discussions - 14 Comments

Some thoughts,

1. I just don't buy Goldman's interpretation of the housing market collapse. It smacks of folk economics. Its not like be didn't have asset bubbles and bursts before the decline in fertility and the two parent family.

2. I'm not sure that Goldman's article points us toward a prudnet pro-traditional family policy agenda that addresses the scale of the challenges.

3. I'll throw out an idea. Direct subsidies to family care givers for the old. Medicare will help defray the cost of keeping an aging parent in a nursing home but alot less if a family member wants to take care of them. This is bad family policy. Voucherizing the the subsidy so that family members can maximize the time spent with aging family members would do little to increase the budget, but I think it would be a good thing.

"I believe that the return of industrial crises is an endemic malady in the democratic nations of our day. One can render it less dangerous, but not cure it, because it is due not to an accident, but to the very temperament of these people." Democracy in America, Vol. 2, Pt.2, Ch.19

Obama does have a few human capital type economists working for him. What is interesting to me is the gallup poll showing the complete reversal between support for Bernake from republicans and democrats. I noticed this and posted it at the tail end of Dr. Mosier's post on anti-war, anti-bush. But then I had also noted what Fareed Zacharia pointed out today on GPS that Bernake has been going out and speaking to college students.

The difference between a Bernake and an Alan Greenspan is interesting...but as the article notes the Macroeconomics persued by Bernake is almost fated...therefore properly understood his popularity should not be capable of completly criss crossing. But if you talking heads can get Republicans to blacklist Bernake and Democrats to embrace him then all bets are off. In other words by being reasonable I do not know that republican support for Bernake ever had a solid foundation, nor do I know that democrat support for Bernake currently has a solid foundation.

Democrats go from 31 to 64 confidence in Bernake and Republicans go from 57 to 36. Independents go from 36 to 44.

I am not posting this as an isolated incident, in my view the disjunction between how a thing is sold and conceptualized in the public eye/mind and how it really must be fated to work itself out is the cause of incredible criss crossing.

Pete, 1) It is folk economics...but folk economics intersects best with sociology and economics arbitrarily seperated out from sociology is weak sauce...I like to be crazy and keep it all as cojoined as I can, you don't have the right to ignore the disjunctions they are the reality.

2) Not sure if First Things is pointing towards policy, if it can reach people and get them to reflect and spend time in leisure and the way christian faith should intersect with politics or if it should then it has done its job.

Won't idea number 3 encounter as much resistance on the right as on the left, and don't you know that team Obama has folks who propose that?

What would be hilarious is if we can get support for Obama to cross as easily as support for Bernake...

I say it is thankfully impossible, but in the case of Bernake think what it means about the weight of previous ideological commitments.

But if I can accept the reasoning behind three then why can't I support Obama?

Pete, I think point 3 is a terrific idea and some states have been experimenting with it, most notably Fla, in different forms. I actually helped put together a proposal recommending something along these lines for Gov Paterson here in NY.

Didn't see Ivan K post when I posted. I don't doubt what you say Ivan, but selling the idea in New York just proves the point that economics is affected by sociology and place. FL and NY, two blue states with a greater number of old people and jews. Albeit the original reasoning for paying the nursing home more, was that you can't just let old people die uncared for, if a familly member is there to take care of them, then you aren't really reimbursing a third party, you are paying familly to take care of familly something Locke would be against. It is almost like saying that foster parents or orphanages get more money to raise children, than parents on welfare. If you just give all parties a voucher then you have reached a more pro-familly arrangement.

Legendary nutcase, is more like it. He's a (former?) follower of Lyndon LaRouche. Judging by his current writings he's not fallen far from the tree.

This is not change we can believe in, and it is the most fundamental cause of economic woes.

There's no inherent connection between the median age of a population and economic woes. It's true that all the Western nations have carefully constructed an economic pyramid scheme for themselves which assumes an ever growing tax base, but that's a political error rather than an economic one.

We could put this another way: America’s housing market collapsed because conservatives lost the culture wars even back while they were prevailing in electoral politics.

Conservatives have been losing the culture wars, which must result in the long term in reductions in wealth. But not because of falling population. Americas's population is skyrocketing. We'll have almost a half billion people by 2040. Lack of people is not our problem. Lack of quality is the problem, not lack of quantity. And where was Goldman in those culture wars? Oh, right, working for LaRouche.

About the voucher thing: I really like the idea, but in the vicous cycle that we call economics it would mean cuts to the nursing industry which was the lone sector that people expected to grow. We have a low natural growth rate and that is replaced by immigration. The thing is that most people come here with nothing, the middle class children have advantages economicly of mom and dad buying them things. If a family comes with nothing but what is in their pockets that is fine and god bless them if they can make it, but they don't have the advantages of inheritance to build wealth. So from a pure economic standpoint having immigration subsidise the lack of children will make the average person poorer because people are a greater percentage are starting from scratch. I am curious to understand what signs their are of the young embarking on a moral crusade. Some might say that the anti war movement was one back in the 60's and they might be half right, but I can't really think of how the young represent a group who will want a return to conservative values.

John M, Interesting comments--let me know more abaout the LaRouche thing.

I learned from a little Googling that Goldman does, in fact, have past LaRouche connections and quite the interesting and varied background. He even appears to have been LL's coauthor. This doesn't alter the provocative insight of the article, even with John M's reasonable challenges to parts of it. But there's a lot more to learn about the man, and I'm willing to be instructed.

Even after trickle down America runs on one-cylinder. Simply because we have draconian payroll taxes of 15.3% on a workers lifetime income. If we invested that 15.3% (or $1.5 trillion) annually in the stock market the average American household would have a $4 million nest egg and a $33,000 a-month retirement check at 67.

Read my (RUA) website and learn how to reverse this demographic nightmare Mr. Goodman so sharply draws. Under RUA the wife can go home and rear the children and still retire a millionaire never having worked a day in her life.

America needs a sea change from this semi-socialist confusion that even Mr. Goodman seems to tolerate. RUA will enable the country to run on 6 cylinders - immediately. It is the cure for the existing economic meltdown and will put an immediate end to socialism's linearity of cannabalizing capital.

RUA also extinguishes $50 trillion in unfunded debt, delivers the American Dream to ordinary workers, destroys socialism by eliminating endemic poverty --- yes capitalism can do all that and more. Read on.

Dick McDonald

Goldman is correct to a degree and John M moreso. Our economic prosperity IS a pyramid scheme which must fail at some point. The short term problem is an insufficient number of well-educated students having graduated from our schools at the same time that Asia was beginning to churn out legions of them. We don't need more people, we need better educated people capable of creating more wealth per capita AND we need an economic system that is capable of distributing the wealth so that none are in want and the best producers get proper recognition. Our current system fails on both counts.
In the short term we need to expand our immigration system to allow in the educated and their immediate families (i.e. spouse and dependent children) and to cease this silliness of allowing immigration of extend families. We don't need more gardeners and janitors, we need more scientists and engineers. They'd come if we'd let them.

Cars and houses are expensive and not everyone is able to buy it. Nevertheless, home loans are created to help different people in such situations.

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