New Slogans, But The Same Suits

Coming up next month…the US will bump its head on the debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned yesterday that if Congress doesn’t act, it will be the end of the world as we have known it. CNN elaborates:

In short, a default would be an economic cataclysm. Interest rates would spike, the stock market would crater, retirement accounts would take a beating, the value of the US dollar would erode and the financial reputation of the world’s only superpower would be tarnished.

“It would be financial Armageddon,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told CNN. “It’s complete craziness to even contemplate the idea of not paying our debt on time.”’

Democrats were quick to blame Republicans. ‘We’re paying the credit card, the Trump credit card,’ said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Republicans blame Democrats’ US$3.5 trillion budget plan. Voters choose sides. And the show goes on.

Global elite

But this is where we leave the theatre. We’ve seen this show before. It is a time-waster. And a fraud. It is like the scalawag who bumps into you on the street, diverting your attention while his accomplice picks your pocket.

We blame them both. Republicans. Democrats. And the gods, too.

Built in, hardwired into the human character, is the desire to expand and to dominate…to be the cock of the walk. Nations, as well as individuals, fight for wealth, power, and status.

Nations, rich or poor, democracies as well as monarchies and oligarchies, are never actually controlled by ‘the people’. The common man has his hands full simply trying to earn a living and find his own place in life.

Instead, an elite…an upper class of fixers, hustlers, and suits…a ‘deep state’…always takes control.

And then, once in command, it is corrupted by its own power. And its primary goal turns to protecting its own position and privileges — at all costs.

Today, there’s a worldwide elite, a caste of people who have gone to the same business schools and universities. They read the same newspapers and attend the same seminars and conferences.

With some variation and internal squabbling, they believe in the same theories — Keynesian economics, government-directed capitalism, popular democracy, feminism, equality, and global climate change.

Most importantly, they are all convinced that freedom must not be allowed to get in the way of their power and wealth.

Same suits

Which is why the debt ceiling will be raised again — just as it was under Trump, Obama, Bush, and Clinton — until it finally goes through the roof.

Debt is mother’s milk to the ruling caste…it’s what allows them to continue spending money they don’t have on things ‘the people’ don’t really want.

In the US, after the presidential election of 2016, and again after the election of 2020, a new regime took over in Washington.

Obama to Trump…Trump to Biden…

Each time, the new team could scarcely have been more different from the one preceding it. ‘A new departure,’ said the press each time.

But what was new?

Which part of the bureaucracy did the new administrations eliminate? How many federal employees were fired? How many programs were shut down?

There are hundreds of sub-agencies and departments. Surely, the new crews could have found a few unworthy recipients…a few programs that had not lived up to their promises…or ‘investments’ that hadn’t really paid off.

But no…almost no change in Washington. Some new people. Some new slogans. But the same suits. And the same programs.

There were 2.8 million federal employees 10 years ago. There are 2.8 million today.

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Doubling down

And how about where the rubber meets the road…the US budget?

Since the turn of the century, the feds have added US$23 trillion in debt to ‘stimulate’ the economy, with the steepest increase in history during the Trump years.

It clearly didn’t work. Growth has slowed down, not sped up.

So what a marvellous opportunity for the Biden administration! What about leaving the debt ceiling in place…shutting down the printing press…and putting the government on a pay-as-you-go footing?

What about it? Give freedom a chance. Liberate people to decide for themselves where to invest their time and resources. Let free markets set prices.

But no again…

Oh, dear reader, you’re making us laugh. Fake money…real deficits — that’s the blood that keeps the zombies fed…no way are they going to give that up.

Trump doubled down on the failed policies of Bush and Obama. And now, Biden doubles down again on the failed policies of Trump.

OK…how about a more minor change — interest rate policy?

A ‘zero-interest rate policy’ has always been controversial…it punishes savers, distorts the whole economy, and rewards borrowers and risk takers. How about a change of policy there?



Not even. Trump wanted to leave. Biden just followed through. No change of policy.

Radical change

Wait…here are some real, radical changes.

On his first day in office, Mr Biden brought back the transgender bathroom policies of the Obama years. Yep.

And the White House website now asks you to choose your own personal pronoun — she/her, he/him, they/them…

And if you are confused, you can now choose to identify yourself neither as Mr, Mrs, or Ms, but as ‘Mx’…as in, really mixed up.

That’s ‘change we can believe in,’ right?

More to come…on the ruling caste…and its battle against freedom.


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Bill Bonner,
For The Rum Rebellion

PS: The Rum Rebellion is a fantastic place to start your investment journey. We talk about the big trends driving the Australian Economy. Learn all about it here.

Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success and garnered camaraderie in numerous communities and industries.

A man of many talents, his entrepreneurial savvy, unique writings, philanthropic undertakings, and preservationist activities have all been recognized and awarded by some of America’s most respected authorities.

Along with Addison Wiggin, his friend and colleague, Bill has written two New York Times best-selling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. Both works have been critically acclaimed internationally.

With political journalist Lila Rajiva, he wrote his third New York Times best-selling book, Mobs, Messiahs and Markets, which offers concrete advice on how to avoid the public spectacle of modern finance.

Bill has been a weekly contributor to The Rum Rebellion.

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