“Economics is haunted by more fallacies than any other study known to man. This is no accident. While certain public policies would in the long run benefit everybody, other policies would benefit one group only at the expense of all other groups. The group that would benefit by such policies, having such a direct interest in them, will argue for them plausibly and persistently. It will hire the best buyable minds to devote their whole time to presenting its case. And it will finally either convince the general public that its case is sound, or so befuddle it that clear thinking on the subject becomes next to impossible.

In addition to these endless pleadings of self-interest, there is a second main factor that spawns new economic fallacies every day. This is the persistent tendency of man to see only the immediate effects of a given policy, or its effects only on a special group, and to neglect to inquire what the long-run effects of that policy will be not only on that special group but on all groups. It is the fallacy of overlooking secondary consequences.” Henry Hazlitt – Economics in One Lesson


Saturday was the first day since a double shot of snow and ice storms hit the Philadelphia metro area on Monday and Wednesday I had a chance to drive around Montgomery County and witness the devastation firsthand. Over 750,000 homes lost power at the height of the ice storm on Wednesday and over 100,000 remained without power this past weekend. The mainstream media has become such a farce and propaganda machine for vested interests, it is essential to verify with your own eyes everything they report as fact. Their purpose is to entertain the consciously ignorant, exaggerate threats to keep the low IQ multitudes fearful, and function as mouthpieces for the ruling class. Deceitful corporate executives, mendacious government apparatchiks, and oblivious teleprompter reading media talking heads have been utilizing cold weather as an excuse for every poor earnings announcement, horrific employment report, and dreadful decline in retail sales. It certainly has nothing to do with decades of stagnant household income, awful monetary and fiscal policies, or the consequences of Obamacare.  

We have become a delusional state dependent upon fallacies to convince ourselves our foolhardy beliefs, ludicrous economic policies, corrupt captured political system, and preposterously fraudulent financial system are actually based on sound logic and reason.  Some fallacies have been perpetrated intentionally by the ruling class to manipulate, sway and deceive the populace, while others have been willfully employed by millions of techno-narcissistic iGadget addicted zombies as a substitute for thinking, reasoning and taking responsibility for the course of our nation.

You have men who constitute the unseen true ruling power of the country making a conscious and intentional effort to peddle fallacies to the masses in order to manipulate, mold, and corral them in a manner beneficial to the ruling power, financially, politically, and socially. The ruling class has been hugely successful in their capture of the public mind, creating a vast majority of the willfully ignorant who desperately grasp at fallacious concepts, beliefs, and storylines in order to avoid dealing with reality and being accountable for their actions and the actions of their leaders.   

The fallacy being flogged by government drones and the legacy media about companies not hiring new employees because it has been cold and snowy during the winter is beyond absurd, except to someone who lives in the cocoon of Washington D.C. or regurgitates words processed on a teleprompter by paid minions of the ruling class. If you live in the real world, run a business, or manage employees, you understand weather has absolutely nothing to do with your decision to hire an employee. An organization takes weeks or months to hire employees. They don’t stop hiring because it snowed on Wednesday or the temperature was below normal. The contention that hiring has been weak for the last two months due to weather is outlandish and based upon flawed logic and warped reasoning. It is so illogical, only an Ivy League economist could believe it.

The other fallacy being pontificated by retail executives in denial, cheerleaders on CNBC and the rest of the propaganda press is weather is to blame for terrible retail sales over the last quarter. Again, this argument is specious in its conception. The retail executives use weather as an excuse for their failure in execution, hubris in over-expanding, and arrogance in pursuit of quarterly earnings per share and bonuses. CNBC and the rest of the Wall Street media pawns must provide lame fallacies for the corporate fascists regarding our downward economic path or the masses my wake up to reality. Protecting and expanding the wealth of the parasitic oligarch class is the one and only purpose of the corporate media.

Think about whether cold and snow in the winter will really stop purchases by individuals. If you need a new shirt for work or a pair of sneakers and it snows on Wednesday, you will wait until Saturday to make the purchase. Groceries will be consumed and replenished whether it is cold and snowy, or not. If an appliance or car breaks down, weather will be a non-factor in the new purchase decision. The proliferation of on-line retailing allows everyone to shop from the warmth of their homes. If anything, bad winter weather often spurs stocking up of groceries and the purchase of items needed to contend with winter weather (salt, shovels, coats, hats, gloves). Only an asinine spokes-model bimbo on CNBC could non-questioningly report the press release excuses of retailers. Critical thinking skills and journalistic integrity are non-essential traits among the propaganda mainstream press today.

Revealing the truth about pitiful employment growth and dreadful retail sales would destroy the fallacy of economic recovery stimulated by the monetary policies of the Federal Reserve and fiscal policies of the Federal government. The ruling class must perpetuate the myth that central bankers pumping $3.2 trillion of debt into the veins Wall Street banks and Obama dumping $6.7 trillion of debt onto the shoulders of future generations in order to cure a cancerous disease created by debt, has revived our economy and cured the disease. The unseen governing class cannot admit their traitorous actions have impoverished the working middle class, destroyed small businesses, depleted senior citizens of their savings, and warped our economic system to such an extent that recovery in now impossible. If the ignorant masses were to become sentient, the ruling class would become lamppost decorations.

After discovering water pipes at my rental property had burst due to the extreme cold weather and witnessing the widespread damage caused by the mid-week ice storm, I immediately thought how overjoyed my favorite Keynesian, Ivy League, Nobel Prize winning, New York Times scribbler, Paul (destruction is good) Krugman must be. All this destruction and devastation will be a tremendous boost to the economy according to Krugman and his ilk. This intellectually deceitful, morally bankrupt, despicable excuse for a human being spoke these words of wisdom three days after the 9/11 attacks:   

“Ghastly as it may seem to say this, the terror attack – like the original day of infamy, which brought an end to the Great Depression – could even do some economic good.  So the direct economic impact of the attacks will probably not be that bad. And there will, potentially, be two favorable effects. First, the driving force behind the economic slowdown has been a plunge in business investment. Now, all of a sudden, we need some new office buildings. As I’ve already indicated, the destruction isn’t big compared with the economy, but rebuilding will generate at least some increase in business spending.”

He had expanded his broken window beliefs to broken buildings, broken nations, and a broken people. You can’t keep a cunning Keynesian down when they need to propagate discredited fallacies in order to feed their own ego and promote foolish debt fueled spending by government, consumers and corporations as a solution to all economic ills. It makes no difference to a statist like Krugman that Frederic Bastiat had obliterated the preposterous notion that destruction and the money spent to repair the destruction was a net benefit to society, 164 years ago in his essay – That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen. Bastiat’s logic is unassailable. Only the most highly educated Princeton economists don’t get it.    

Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James B., when his careless son has happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation – “It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?”

Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions.

Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier’s trade – that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs – I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.

But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, “Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.”

It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.

I wonder whether the myopic focus on only immediate impacts and inability of ideologues to understand unintended consequences is premeditated or just erroneous reasoning. The broken window fallacy can now be extended to broken limbs and burst pipes across the Northeast. Huge trees have been toppled, limbs and branches are strewn on the properties of homeowners across the region, homes and businesses have been physically damaged, and power outages wrecked profits at small businesses. Society has gained no benefit whatsoever from the mass destruction wrought by these storms. Thi

s weather induced ruin exposes GDP calculations as useless and misleading regarding the true economic health of the nation. The hundreds of millions in destruction will not be factored into the GDP calculation, but the spending by homeowners and businesses to remove downed trees, fix broken roofs, replace burst pipes and clean-up debris will be factored positively in the GDP calculation. The inevitable politician response will be increased government spending to repair damage to infrastructure. This will also be additive to GDP. Krugman will get a tingle up his leg.

CNBC’s Cramer & Liesman will rave about the unexpectedly strong GDP in the first quarter as proof the economy is doing great. The fallacy that GDP growth and stock market gains are beneficial to the average American will be flogged by the propaganda press at the behest of the ruling class until the last vestiges of national wealth are confiscated by the oligarchs. In the real world, the destruction caused by the harsh winter weather will not benefit society one iota. GDP will reflect the immediate short-term seen impact of the cleanup and repair of property damage. GDP will ignore the unseen opportunity costs which were lost and the long-term consequences of expenditures made to put property back in the condition in which it started. Destruction does not create profit, except in the Keynesian world of Krugman and his Ivy League educated sycophant cronies.

There are 2.5 million households in the Philadelphia metro area. There are hundreds of thousands with trees down, pipes frozen, gutters smashed, roofs leaking and electrical infrastructure damaged. An individual homeowner with a couple of large trees down will need to pay $500 to $1,000 for a tree service to remove the debris from their property. Considering the median household income in Montgomery County, PA is $75,000, that is not an insubstantial sum.

The homeowner did not anticipate this expenditure and will react by not dining out, taking a shorter vacation, not buying that new couch, or not investing in their small business. A landlord who has to repair busted pipes will incur added expense, resulting in less profit. Less profit means less taxes paid to the state and federal government, exacerbating their budget deficits. The landlord will defer replacing that old air conditioner for at least another year. Multiply these scenarios across the entire Northeastern United States and you have the long-term negative financial implications outweighing the short-term boost to GDP.

The Keynesian fallacy of increased economic activity being beneficial is annihilated by the fact homeowners and business owners are left in the same condition as they were prior to the storms, while the money spent to achieve the same property condition was not spent on other goods and services that would have truly expanded the economy. The fallacious government engineered GDP calculation will portray destruction as an economic boost. Keynesian worshiping economists and government bureaucrats observe this tragedy as only between two parties, the consumer who is forced to repair their property and is denied the pleasure of spending their money on something more enjoyable and the tree service company who experiences a positive impact to their business. They exclude the appliance store, restaurant, or hotel that did not receive the money spent on repairing the property. It is this third unseen party who is left out of the equation. It is this third party that shows the absurdity of believing destruction leads to profit and economic advancement. The national economic output is not increased, but highly educated government drones and Wall Street captured economists will point to GDP and disseminate the fallacy.

This leads us to government in general and the fallacy that government spending, government borrowing, and government programs are beneficial to society and the economy. Legalized plunder of the populace through income taxes, real estate taxes, sales taxes, gasoline taxes, cigarette taxes, license fees, sewer fees, tolls, and a myriad of other ass raping techniques is used to subsidize crony capitalist special interests, the military industrial complex, faux wars on poverty, drugs and terror, a failed public education system, vote buying entitlement programs, and a tax code written to benefit those who pay the biggest bribes to the corrupt politicians slithering around the halls of congress.

Government is a criminal enterprise designed to take from the weak and powerless while benefitting the connected and powerful. The government extracts the earnings of citizens and businesses at the point of a gun and redistributes those funds to special interests; funding boondoggles, wars of choice, foreign dictators, and the corporate and banking interests who control the puppet strings of Washington politicians. State organized and legal plunder designed to enrich everyone at the expense of everyone else is the delusional fallacy permeating our cultural mindset today.

President Obama declared my region a disaster area, allowing for government funds to supposedly help in the cleanup efforts. Again, the fallacy of government intervention benefiting society is unquestioned by the ignorant masses. Local and State governments are required by law to balance their budgets. The never ending progression of storms and record cold temperatures has already blown the winter storm budgets of transportation departments across the region. Gaping potholes are swallowing vehicles and will need to be repaired.

Government spokespersons and politicians tell the public not to worry. The government will come to the rescue, even when the funds officially run out. They won’t react the way a family would react to a budget overage, by cutting spending in another area. We have had mild winters in the recent past when the winter road budgets were far under. Did the government set aside this surplus for winters like the one we are currently experiencing? Of course not – they spent it on some other boondoggle program or useless shovel ready bridge to nowhere. Government politicians and their lackeys do not look beyond their 2 year election cycle.

The government budget overages due to winter storms will show up in the GDP calculation as a positive impact. A snowplow pushing snow to the side of the road and a crew filing a pothole has put the roadway back into the condition it was prior to the bad weather. The roadway is exactly the same. The money spent could have been used to pay down debt, fund the government pension shortfalls which will overwhelm taxpayers in the foreseeable future, or be given back to citizens to spend as they choose. There has been no net benefit to society.

No government spending provides a net benefit to society. Every government program, law, regulation, subsidy, tax or fee gives rise to a series of effects. The immediate seen effect may be favorable in the eyes of myopic politicians and an ignorant populace, but most government intervention in our lives proves to be fatal and unsustainable in the long-term. Whatever short-term benefits might accrue is far outweighed by the long-term negative implications on future generations. All government expenditures are foisted upon the public either through increased taxation or state created surreptitious inflation.         

We have a country built on a Himalayan mountain of fallacies. We are a short-term oriented people who only care about our present situation, giving no thought about long-term consequences of our policies, programs, laws or actions. Critical thinking skills, reasoning abilities, and a basic understanding of mathematical concepts appear to be beyond our grasp. We’d rather believe falsehoods than deal with the harsh lessons of reality. We choose to experience the severe penalties of burying our heads in the sand over using our God given ability to think and foresee the future consequences of our irrational choices. We suffer from the ultimately fatal disease of ignorance, as described by Bastiat.

This explains the fatally grievous condition of mankind. Ignorance surrounds its cradle: then its actions are determined by their first consequences, the only ones which, in its first stage, it can see. It is only in the long run that it learns to take account of the others. It has to learn this lesson from two very different masters – experience and foresight. Experience teaches effectually, but brutally. It makes us acquainted with all the effects of an action, by causing us to feel them; and we cannot fail to finish by knowing that fire burns, if we have burned ourselves. For this rough teacher, I should like, if possible, to substitute a more gentle one. I mean Foresight.

It’s a big country and one fallacy doesn’t fit all. Some fallacies are committed purposefully by evil men with evil intent. The Wall Street financial elite, big corporations, big media and their politician puppets fall into this category. Other fallacies are executed by people whose salary depends upon the fallacies being believed by the masses. Middle level bankers, managers, journalists, and bureaucrats fall into this category. And lastly you have the willfully ignorant masses who would rather believe fallacies than look up from their iGadgets, Facebook, and Twitter and think. The thing about fallacies is they eventually are buried under an avalanche of reality. If you listen closely you can hear the rumble of snow beginning to give way on the mountaintop. Fallacies are about to be crushed and swept away by the real world of consequences.

“Wall Street had been doing business with pieces of paper; and now someone asked for a dollar, and it was discovered that the dollar had been mislaid.  It was an experience for which the captains of industry were not entirely prepared; they had forgotten the public.  It was like some great convulsion of nature, which made mockery of all the powers of men, and left the beholder dazed and terrified.   In Wall Street men stood as if in a valley, and saw far above them the starting of an avalanche; they stood fascinated with horror, and watched it gathering headway; saw the clouds of dust rising up, and heard the roar of it swelling, and realized it was only a matter of time before it swept them to their destruction…

But it is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon him not understanding it.”

Upton Sinclair – The Moneychangers



  1. This is equivalent to the argument that increasing wages is a good thing for the economy. Wages go up, people have more to spend, so the economy will boom. So the idiots say.

    If it is so good, then raise the wage to a million, a billion, a trillion an hour. The higher the better.

    Forget that competition exists. Just raise wages. It will be ok. Trust me. I am an economist/politician/drone.

  2. I’m not crazy about increasing minimum wages, but I know what I’m really not crazy about…increasing subsidies to fortune 500 companies that get government largesse.

    How can we have competition in a world where the big dogs buy the politicians for their own personal gain?

  3. Excellent piece, Jim!

    To your point about the broken window fallacy and how the recent storms are not likely to create an upward “blip” in the economy, I would offer the following as evidence of your hypothesis:

    As we approach the one-year anniversary of the second most destructive storm in American history, thousands of people are still displaced from their homes, businesses continue to struggle, and municipalities are squeaking by on a fraction of the revenue that their now-devastated property tax rolls once generated. Source

    That’s right. Even though federal money, insurance money, etc. existed for people to rebuild, many didn’t. Or they downsized significantly, thus reducing the level of taxes once paid.

    People will get back to work and economic activity should start to rebound fairly quickly in the areas that Sandy hit hard. But, we should remember that, while it’s welcome, the GDP generated by repairing damage is not the same as economic stimulus; that is, it mostly just returns the affected region to where it was before the storm, rather than giving it—much less the economy writ large—an economic boost. Source

    I’m sure other examples exist, both large scale (like Katrina) and small scale, like last year’s “Snowmageddon” along the East Coast. People will still try to “spin” these events in an attempt to justify their private agendas, but one economic study after another continues to prove they have very little, if any, impact on macroeconomic activity.

    If only we could get past the BS, the focus on managing one crisis to another, and get down to solving the very real issues of sustainability. I’m afraid that’s far more difficult than blaming some unknown, unproven phenomenon like Climate Change, however.

  4. Good post. Krugman’s a dickhead.

    And, not to actually, you know… BE a dickhead, but doesn’t anyone around there own a friggin chainsaw? Or a woodburning stove?

    One guy with a chainsaw, a can of gas, a rake and a pickup truck would make major fucking bank if he just drove around undercutting (no pun intended) the city and/or the tree service guys… fill up his pickup truck with free wood (actually, wood that folks are going to PAY you to take away), drop it off at the house (where he will then burn it to keep his house warm), and go back out to knock on more doors and make them an offer to clear away their downed trees… lather, rinse, repeat..

    Of course, knowing our fucking politicians, they’d probably have the cops out making sure that you had some sort of permit or license just to cut up a fucking tree instead of actually helping folks in need or whatever….

  5. Dustwallow – I do not tend to blame big corps as much as I blame the politicians. Is it the briber or the bribee that is to blame?

    For me, I blame the bribee. I guess they never heard of “just say no”.

  6. Sorry llpoh, I don’t see the difference between a big corporation and big gov’t – they both are one in the same. I only see one revolving door of people fucking over their shareholders and taxpayers…

  7. D – that is correct. The difference is that the politicians can grind the revolving door to a halt instantly – if they would. Just say no would work. The big corps would have to go screw themselves.

    TYhe politicians are evil. The corps are amoral.

    Please do not forget that the unions are powering the dem door along pretty much like a turbofan.

  8. llpoh – you are sooo cute – you honestly believe there is a difference between said gov’t and corporations – wake up you stupid m*oth&rfuck%r – they are one in the same!

    The private unions are powerless! It’s only the public unions and the gov’t corporate controlled agencies that run the USA…

    Best we can do is try to survive when the supply lines break.

  9. Old Man Winter is a terrorist, an enemy combatant.
    Obomber will send in drones to kill him, then dispose if the body before anyone can see it.
    The next war is the War On Winter, Osama Bin Winter.
    The radical Islamic sect Polar Vortex Al Salaam.
    Winter attacked us.
    Winter also threatens Israel’s existence.
    Old Man Winter is hiding “weapons of mass refrigeration” & is trying to build a nuclear bomb.

  10. Good rant Admin.

    Spot on, but I do see a small silver lining, at least the money stays in the local community more so.

    Might be some good deals on firewood. Has there been any talk of flooding this spring?

  11. Just to let you know. When I wake up in the morning and see 15 absolutely worthless bullshit comments on an article that will be linked to 50 other websites today, it pisses me off. Dustwallow’s spam was deleted and all future comments from the asshole will automatically go into the spam folder.

    Dustwallow is finished on TBP.

    This is my fucking blog and I’m getting sick and tired of assholes and their worthless crap spewed onto the site.

  12. “Any complex undertaking is subject to myriad problems, from technology failures to shifts in exchange rates to bad weather, and it is beyond the reach of the human imagination to foresee all of them at the outset. Although the probability of any one of these events could be low, the aggregate probability of something going awry can be high. As a result, scenario planning can lead to a serious underestimate of the risk of failure.”

    Daniel Kahneman

  13. “The unseen governing class cannot admit their traitorous actions have impoverished the working middle class, destroyed small businesses, depleted senior citizens of their savings, and warped our economic system to such an extent that recovery in now impossible.”
    —-Admin in his article

    I hope this is not a worthless, bullshit comment. But you BURIED that sentence you wrote somewhere near the end of paragraph whatever. I think your mind starts to race so fast sometimes that the really good stuff gets lost in the shuffle.

    I have discussed the thought in this sentence with many successful people, particularly about the damage to the middle and lower income working classes. You have unanimous agreement, Admin, in that you are correct. The problem remains: “Do the middle and lower income classes realize what is happening to them?”

    It appears so far that they don’t. And I don’t have a clue how to fix that.

  14. It’s inspiring to think that you knock out one of these a week and as far as I can see get closer to the fundamental truth with each eassay than a Krugman does in a year of them. In a just world you’d have had his slot a couple of years ago.

    My argument has been that people removed from Nature have unnatural beliefs. They miss the ebb and flow of life and death, the cyclical movements within movements like some vast timepiece. To these unnatural people- the politicians and pundits, educators and academics, moguls and corporate heads, bureauocrats and functionaries- if it can be thought of or conceived in the mind it is as tangible and real as the soil and the forest once were. The only thing that prevents them from implementing their imaginary creations are the stubborn resistors, the bitter clingers, the reactionaries and traditionalists- in a word, those who are able to see the world for what it is rather than what some wish it was.

    Years ago we decided to sell our maple syrup in a market where money would be no object, and where our story would add a premium to the price, so we settled on Washington D.C. I took a trip down in the early part of Spring and after travelling for fifteen hours through a nation that looked more like District 12 than the America of my youth, I finally reached the Capitol. There it looked as if we had reached the absolute zenith of the American prospect- new skyscrapers, highway expansions, uncountable retail shoppes and plazas, new cars everywhere, and where there remained fileds and tracts of woodland the surveyors and earth moving machines were busy at work clearing it all away. When I reached my destination just outside of D.C. I had an interesting conversation with the buyer. He provisioned some of the trendiest restaurants and privates chefs in the Capitol and told me that to his customers money was no object as long as what they bought was the best of the best and that it was produced organically and artisanally by small producers. I learned that each of the 535 Congressmen and 100 Senators had their own private chef on full time salary in case someone wanted a club sandwhich at 3 am. I had always heard about the bean soup served in the Congressional cafeteria never realizing that this was yet another BS story for the masses- that these “representatives” ate their humble meals in a mess hall between doing the people’s work. The truth was that while they did whatever they could to eliminate the small family farm through ever more burdensome regulations and increased fees and taxes to please the industrial ag lobby, they themselves ate like potentates of the finest products available.

    I took my thirty pieces of silver that day but I never responded to any further requests and I hope that one day they have to eat a bitter harvest that they’ve sown.

    This video reminds me of what you just wrote- saw it live in 1984- not sure if it embeds when I link, but worth a listen-

    Thanks again for reminding me that other folks get it even if they live in the belly of the beast.

  15. Bravo admin!! I think these dingle-berries must be off their meds. Must be victims of ObamaCare. I was reading from work last night Dustbunny had gone full retard! Sillyman and econman aren’t far behind!

  16. A long time ago came a man on a track
    Walking thirty miles with a pack on his back
    And he put down his load where he thought it was the best
    Made a home in the wilderness
    He built a cabin and a winter store
    And he ploughed up the ground by the cold lake shore
    And the other travellers came riding down the track
    And they never went further, no, they never went back
    Then came the churches then came the schools
    Then came the lawyers then came the rules
    Then came the trains and the trucks with their loads
    And the dirty old track was the telegraph road
    Then came the mines – then came the ore
    Then there was the hard times then there was a war
    Telegraph sang a song about the world outside
    Telegraph road got so deep and so wide
    Like a rolling river. . .
    And my radio says tonight it’s gonna freeze
    People driving home from the factories
    There’s six lanes of traffic
    Three lanes moving slow. . .
    I used to like to go to work but they shut it down
    I got a right to go to work but there’s no work here to be found
    Yes and they say we’re gonna have to pay what’s owed
    We’re gonna have to reap from some seed that’s been sowed
    And the birds up on the wires and the telegraph poles
    They can always fly away from this rain and this cold
    You can hear them singing out their telegraph code
    All the way down the telegraph road
    You know I’d sooner forget but I remember those nights
    When life was just a bet on a race between the lights
    You had your head on my shoulder you had your hand in my hair
    Now you act a little colder like you don’t seem to care
    But believe in me baby and I’ll take you away
    From out of this darkness and into the day
    From these rivers of headlights these rivers of rain
    From the anger that lives on the streets with these names
    ‘cos I’ve run every red light on memory lane
    I’ve seen desperation explode into flames
    And I don’t want to see it again. . .
    From all of these signs saying sorry but we’re closed
    All the way down the telegraph road

  17. Totally understand deleting Dustwallow’s garbage. Just an FYI for anyone who didn’t see his bullshit, my comment at 00:55 had been in response to his drunken nonsense. But now that Admin took the trash out my comment looks completely irrelevant to this thread, so feel free Admin to delete my 00:55 comment.

  18. You all know of the Butterfly Effect in Chaos Theory; …. that a butterfly can flutter its wings over a flower in China and cause a hurricane in the Caribbean.

    Apparently, a snowflake in NJ can give a hard-on to Krugman in Washington.

    Sounds about right.

  19. +1000 on dispatching Dustswallow.

    It is one thing to not censure …. another thing altogether to Draw The Line on those who decide this forum is their internet toilet to Shit Freely.

  20. Great article Jim, spot on as always.


    ps. hardscrabble could not have said it any better. As the masses are removed from nature they are removed from reality. It is only spending time here, seeing the seasons change, birds and animals acting and reacting, the cycles of nature, etc. that we get grounded in reality.

    I await the collapse, oddly it is our only hope.

  21. [email protected] says:

    Krugman ES.

    I can’t think on the scale of a $17 trillion economy and neither can most of you.

    Here is the fallacy of Keynesian economics from my perspective:

    The tub in my daughter’s bathroom started to leak, okay, it was time to redo that bathroom anyhoo. So when the tub was torn out, we discovered, to our horror, that the floor beneath her tub had almost rotted away and that the rot extended to under the tub in our BR. (These bathrooms are back to back.)

    Sooo… Now we have to redo TWO, not ONE bathroom, also repair the floor decking and some of the wall supports that were rotted, increasing the cost of the project by 2.5x.

    To say nothing of the fact that we will all be schlepping up the stairs to use the tiny bathroom in my son’s room, argh.

    At the end of the day, after all that expenditure of capital and labor, I will still have two bathrooms, my house will not increase in value, I will not have more square footage – thus I will not have gotten ahead in any way.

    And that is the ultimate failure in Krugman’s thinking – money does go round and round to repair the “broken windows” but it never creates anything NEW and more VALUABLE.

  22. “Huge trees have been toppled, limbs and branches are strewn on the properties of homeowners across the region, ” —————- Admin

    You all know Economics is not my strong suit. I have, and do, admit it. I do not totally understand the Broken Whatever fallacy. So, I have a serious question — call me a ‘dumbfuk’ if you wish — but, I’ll appreciate anyone who can set me straight.

    1) I buy a tree for $100 this spring for no other reason than to pretty up our yard.

    2) I buy a tree for $100 this spring because I’m replacing one the winter storms killed.

    In Scenario #1, it’s an economic boost to society.
    In Scenario #2, it is not.

    I understand that in Scenario #1 that I COULD have used the $100 for OTHER purchases …. like a 50 pound slab of Himalayan rock salt. But to quote Hillary, “What difference does it make?” …. because $100 has been pumped into the economy, regardless.

  23. Maybe its a good thing that Snowden threaten to release the names and addresses of the powers that be if they allow certain other situations to occur……then again there is no right way to do that which is wrong.

  24. Stucky, I think Hope’s response demonstrates it best (you were probably posting as hers hit the site).

    The difference is between a consumerist economy and an investment economy. In consumer-based economies, money is spent (and spent and spent) without generating anything. No long-term value is created, although value of certain items may be maintained, as in the case of repairs to a damaged building. But, in the process, the real “value” of money is destroyed.

    In an investment economy, the real value of money is preserved because it creates something that generates further value in the future. It’s money spent to build new roads, new factories, new farms that produce something of greater value than was spent on building them.

    It’s not unlike putting money in the bank. Under “normal” (uncontrolled) economic conditions, that money would grow because its value was put to use by the bank in developing a local economy. But, under a controlled economy with zero interest rates and inflation, that money actually loses value over the long term. Not only does it not get used for real growth, it actually withers away.

    For an “economist” like Krugman to not get that is pretty amazing.

  25. admin,
    amen to booting dipshits that are simply trying to gunk up the works, i woke up this morninig, read your article and saw dustwallow’s comments and rolled my eyes, stupid douchenozzle was just clammering for calamity to come to his rescue.

  26. Nice article. I’ve been reading that people’s heating bills have gone from $100 a month to $450 a month, and people on fixed incomes don’t have the money to pay it. Obamacare has resulted in healthcare premiums going from $400 a month to $1200 a month and a $5000 deductible. Food costs more, gas is expensive, other insurance costs continue to climb, electricity goes up every month, taxes get worse every single year. Even having a job and making good money results in a poverty standard of living anymore, because somebody has to support the 112 million people of working age that don’t have to go to work and get everything for free from the government.

    The government is a parasite, it produces nothing and takes everything. Productive people are being taxed to death, and many are simply closing up shop and leaving the country. This is exactly the same thing as what happened in Rome. Eventually, everything collapses as parasites outweigh producers. Or, another way of looking at is the government takes away your seed corn every year and gives it to worthless people to eat, so you have less and less seed every year, and pretty soon you can’t even plant a crop. Then everyone starves. And that is what is going to happen here. Socialism always ends the same way.

  27. “I have a serious question — call me a ‘dumbfuk’ if you wish — but, I’ll appreciate anyone who can set me straight.

    1) I buy a tree for $100 this spring for no other reason than to pretty up our yard.

    2) I buy a tree for $100 this spring because I’m replacing one the winter storms killed.

    In Scenario #1, it’s an economic boost to society.
    In Scenario #2, it is not.”

    Well, I certainly won’t argue with Thinker’s response, but here’s mine.

    Both scenarios Stucky presented were CHOICES. Doesn’t matter whether or not you wanted to “pretty up your yard” or “replace a dead tree.” You didn’t have to do either and could have spent the money on something else or saved it. Your choice.

    But whether it’s a burst water pipe in your home or Obamacare, you have no choice. You MUST do something about it, which costs money, or do nothing, which costs even more money. It is a classic economic rock-and-a-hard-place.

    And the examples of “I don’t have a choice” are piling up rapidly. Power and water bill going up every year? Pay the fucking bill or do without electricity and water. And don’t give me this shit that you haven’t had a raise in four years. Pay the fucking bill. I don’t CARE that I created the reasons for the increases in power and water. Pay the fucking bill.

    See how that works, Stucky?

  28. Good addition, SSS.

    T4C, it was probably deleted because images like those cartoons are copyrighted. See the statement under the first one? That one is allowed, but only because the copyright holder stated that it could be distributed as long as the statement was included.

    The second one does not contain such a statement, which means that permission must first be obtained and granted to repost on another site.

    It sucks, but it is what it is. Google is apparently choosing to make Admin’s life hell about it, so least we can do is try to help him out. Have to agree with him that it’s probably someone making noise to Google to make this happen.

  29. @AWD – Our heating bill has skyrocketed, from ~$60/month to $240/month. We can afford it because we live like misers in so many other ways, but it is really hurting ~85% of the people around me.

  30. So many things are upside-down nowadays. Krugman actually believed 9/11 was a GOOD thing for the economy? What an idiot! The US fell into a recession immediately after 9/11. And Obamacare spinners say having less hours for employment allows for “personal choices”. What a crock of s#!t!

    The dumbing-down of the population from the failed public education system is manifesting now in the form of non-critical thinkers in the media, who idolize politicians and accept all repressive actions by believing it’s for the “common good”. They forget that government works FOR the people and that politicians should answer to we the people.

    To not see that there is a systemic, open war on the Constitution and the freedoms it gives us is to shovel your own grave. But at the same time, it’s futile to believe any blowback wlll occur by the masses. Our society/culture is too fragmented for any common theme that would align a significant number of citizens to revolt. That’s just the way “they” (read: guv) wants things. Divide and conquer has worked and continues to work. Including the left/right, conservative/liberal divide–it’s all just theater to keep us warring amongst ourselves and to prevent any unity that could possibly be used against the establishment.

    And now we have things like this…

    God help us all.

  31. Thinker ———- the analogy between consuming and investing makes a lot of sense.

    SSS ————- your example of Choice vs no-Choice also made a lot of sense.

    So, I could CONSUME some Sweet Mary Jane (fun, bud bad), or make the CHOICE to INVEST in Pot Stock (not fun, but good). Why didn’t you say so in the first place? lol

    Seriously, I learn so much from you guys, and many others. Thanks!!

  32. The French Prez, — on cable fake newz right now — just said Europe has emerged from the Recession.

    Fuckme dead …. I didn’t know the BLS had an office in France.

    Did you know that snails can fuck themselves? I suggest Prez Hollande can do likewise.

  33. Question to all

    I have AdBlocker and it blocks all ads …….. EXCEPT ONE (recently) right here on TBP.

    I get an ad to ‘Find a Plumber” … each and every time I switch from one post to another.

    Anyone else?

  34. @billy. Not a bad idea on the firewood, but a couple of things: 1) if the wood is still green (i.e., recently fallen/broken), you need to age it at least 9-12 months for providing decent burn/heat; 2) if it’s pine or any other fir, forget it–it will put tar in the flue and you could have a chimney fire.

  35. Stucky try Ghostery, it runs an all browsers. This add on will identify and block all tracking cookies or what ever they happen to be. Someone on this site recommended it and I would like to thank them.

  36. hey rise up, pine may contain pitch but that does not mean it creates more creosote. that is a long perpetuated myth. Many hardwoods create much more creosote than pine. Both hardwoods and softwoods should be used together in your woodstove so long as they are dry and aged a minimum of 6 months. Fir and pine do not put tar in your flue. That is just plain false. The hotter fire of the softwood will make the smoke rise faster than the lower slower fire of a hardwood, so using the two together is fairly well optimal.

    I once received a citation and fine for cutting up a tree that had fallen across the road. Never did get any sort of answer as to why it was illegal to try and help clear the road. Protecting their fiefdoms I guess.

  37. @thegooch – thanks for the info on firewood, and yeah, I was going to mention the possibility of fines for cleanup of fallen trees on roads. Proves the adage “No good deed goes unpunished.”

    @Joe – it ’twas I that suggested ghostery, so you’re welcome. Also try Lightbeam if you want to see how far the tentacles go to other sites that are tracking you when you browse the internet. It’s not an ad-blocker like ghostery but shows you who is watching your every move.

  38. Stucky says: I get an ad to ‘Find a Plumber” … each and every time I switch from one post to another.
    Anyone else?

    No, it has to be your reference to the internet toilet posted above. Google thinks your pipes are in need of repair.

  39. Enjoyed the article as usual especially how it exposes what should be obvious yet what always seems to be over analyzed and spun to death. Ultimately what few dollars most of us have to spend on items of choice or necessity we can only spend once, regardless of which direction the dollar goes once it leaves our pockets and goes into the pocket of somebody else. We only spend it once, it has the same global economic benefit whether it was spent for repair or pleasure. I’m forever miffed by the experts that want to take something so simple and try to complicate it. Admins final quote by Upton Sinclair cleared that up for me, “But it is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon him not understanding it.” That pretty much sums up the reason for being of the likes of Cramer, Krugman, CNBC bimbos and etc., they all ES.

  40. “Government is a criminal enterprise designed to take from the weak and powerless while benefitting the connected and powerful. The government extracts the earnings of citizens and businesses at the point of a gun and redistributes those funds to special interests; funding boondoggles, wars of choice, foreign dictators, and the corporate and banking interests who control the puppet strings of Washington politicians. State organized and legal plunder designed to enrich everyone at the expense of everyone else is the delusional fallacy permeating our cultural mindset today.”

    Welcome to the anarchist camp (libertarian version, that is).

  41. “A snowplow pushing snow to the side of the road and a crew filing a pothole has put the roadway back into the condition it was prior to the bad weather. The roadway is exactly the same.”

    -From Admin’s article.

    That in particular is called road maintenance. It happens all the time. It is part and parcel with physics and needs to be factored in. Whether it adds to the long term value of the road is regardless, it is necessary and needed.


  42. SSS above points out Admin’s comment ““The unseen governing class cannot admit their traitorous actions have impoverished the working middle class, destroyed small businesses, depleted senior citizens of their savings, and warped our economic system to such an extent that recovery in now impossible.”

    Much of that statement I agree with, but some of it I do not.

    For instance, let us talk abiut impoverishing the middle class. The middle class has done a good job of that themselves by taking on debt. Debt is not a good thing, especially when incurred in order to by consumer goods – ie big screen TVs.

    Second, there is nothing that can be done to protect the middle class from what comes. Yes, the government accelerated its demise, but the fact is that the middle class is screwed anyway as a result of global competition. There are folks who will work cheaper and harder. That pressure alone would screw the US middle class over time. When you combine that fact with all the govt screw ups – such as allowing education to become internationally uncompetetive, reducing incentive by flowing free shit to all and sundry, etc., the demise of the middle class was accelerated enormously.

    The part about destroyed small business is 100% correct, although international pressures were going to be felt.

    The part about depleting senior citizens there savings is true – but needs qualification, I think. Low interest rates combined with inflation surely do destroy savings.

    But it is important to note that most seniors have no, or very little savings. That is largely their fault. (Fucking dipshit boomers. )

    The median retirement assets at retirement for singles is – wait for it – ZERO. So, it can hardly be said that they have anything to be depleted by government policy. The median net worth is around $100k, which includes housing, etc.

    The median net worth at retirement for married couples is – wait for it – $24,000. The median assets of this group is around $340k, most of which is housing. Again, their huge retirement savings pool of $24k is hardly being destroyed – it was of little consequence to begin with.

  43. Let me throw this out at y’all:

    Tax on business.

    Think about that for a minute. Tax on business. Tax on business.

    The US taxes businesses. What does that mean? A tax on business HURTS businesses.

    Why would any government tax businesses? Seriously, can there be anything more stupid? Taxes on business hurts businesses.

    Tax anything else, but when you tax a business, you hurt it. You create incentive for it to go elsewhere. Payroll taxes are the worst – you create an incentivenot to hire employees.

    The US simply cannot afford to hurt its businesses, yet it does, by charging the highest developed country corporate tax rates in the world. I repeat – the US has the highest corporate tax rates in the world. That is really terrific. Then there are state taxes. Then there are property taxes. Ad infinitum.

    Tax on business. I cannot imagine anything more economically stupid. But then, I tend to underestimate the stupidity of politicians.

  44. llpoh, you know as well as I do that “taxing business” is just a way for idiots to think they can hand the bill for the crap they want to someone else.

    Tax the businessman.
    Tax the property owner.
    Tax the rich.
    Tax the importer.
    Tax the user of gas, electricity, phone, etc.

    Tax everyone else, just don’t tax me.
    I pay my “fair share,” but that Red-headed guy there doesn’t, so I’m NOT getting what I’m OWED.

    Politics is about convincing everyone that they can live at someone else’s expense, while in fact a relative few parasites bleed the credulous idiots dry, while said idiots think if they can just get “their guy” elected next time, they’ll be on top.

  45. Payroll taxes.

    Can anything be more hilarious, when politician-liars weep about job losses and job gains—-a TAX on a firm OFFERING A JOB TO SOMEONE.

    We are ruled by idiots and criminals because our society is saturated with them.

  46. Here’s a great quote by Wendell Berry alluding to a third option:

    “What has happened is that most people in our country, and apparently most people in the “developed” world, have given proxies to the corporations to produce and provide all of their food, clothing, and shelter. Moreover, they are rapidly giving proxies to corporations or governments to provide entertainment, education, child care, care of the sick and the elderly, and many other kinds of “service” that once were carried on informally and inexpensively by individuals or households or communities. Our major economic practice, in short, is to delegate the practice to others. ”

    The full article is here and well worth the read.

  47. [email protected] says:

    Krugman ES Part Deux!

    (In honor of the state dinner for Hollande where Moochelle wore a $12K dress and evidently the French recession has been decreed over.)

    I come home from work to find that not ONLY do we have to rip out BOTH bathrooms, replace the flooring and repair the walls, WE HAVE TO DO TERMITE ABATEMENT!!!!.

    So, now the cost of the project is 3.5X of what was expected – and again, all that capital and labor will be expended and I will be, a the end of the day (soon, please God, because 3 days of using my son’s upstair’s bathroom is already driving me nuts) IN THE SAME PLACE.

    All this sound and fury, signifying nothing, a tale told by idiots….. and all that.

  48. From the article TJF posted:

    So let’s give Ron Paul credit for unmasking the true source of gridlock in Washington: Too many conservatives are operating on the basis of theories that history and practice have discredited. And liberals have been more reluctant than they should be to call the ideological right on this, partly because they never fully got over the shell shock of the Reagan years and also because they have a strange aversion to arguing about theory. When it comes to government policy, the Austrian economists paved the road to paralysis.

    Really?? Austrian economic theory is broken, and Keynesianism is “precisely what prevented both the resurgence of fascism and the collapse of Western Europe into communist hands. For that matter, Keynesian steps also kept the whole world from going into a much deeper and more disastrous slide after the financial crisis of 2008???

    I’d say we’re far closer to fascism and collapse in the U.S. because of Keynesian policies than we were without them.

  49. Once again the Admin is right on target. While most who visit and post here probably agree with his commentary, I wonder how many would agree on the fate of our country.

    Lies and propaganda (or federal reserve QE) regarding our economic situation simply cannot overcome the basic economic truth that no country including our own can avoid collapse if it accumulates endless debt while not growing anywhere near enough decent paying jobs for a majority of citizens to prosper.

    Regardless of which political parties we elect (always controlled by the biggest money special interests), any country will fail when most citizens want government to provide them with various financial benefits and services instead of demanding the greater good of government providing the opportunity for most to prosper with decent jobs while getting debt under control.

    As always, uninformed and apathetic citizens who don’t understand the big picture are the most serious threat to any country’s future and themselves. The best slaves are those who don’t realize they are being exploited. Failing schools, government, big industries, unions, etc. can take some blame but the largest share of the blame goes to – parents for not instilling in their kids the curiosity to want to know the truth – and know when they are being exploited.

    The more technology progresses, the more uninformed, apathetic, and complacent citizens become.


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