Elite Entertainment Is the New American Politics

Politics is war by other means.

Bill Bonner

Here’s the latest scary headline from CNN on the debt ceiling: ‘The United States is heading for a cliff — and taking the world with it’.

OMG! Why don’t they do something? Who’s standing in the way?

If only things could be reduced to childish simplicity — good versus bad…vaxx versus anti-vaxx…the Ravens versus the Steelers…

…and all we had to do was fight the good fight — and win.

But the good fight is merely idle entertainment for the masses…a diversionary tactic…while the elite pick their pockets. At least, that is our hypothesis here at the Diary.

Remember the ‘Cold War’? We were good, the Soviet Union was bad.

We had to spend billions of dollars…and risk nuclear war…to defeat the bad guys. And in the end…the bad guys just walked off the field, no help from us was needed.

And then there was the War on Terror. We were good, the terrorists were bad.

And here we are, US$8 trillion later…what do we have to show for it?

Or the war on poverty. We were good, poverty was bad.

US$25 trillion later…what’s changed?

Will the anti-racism/diversity battle turn out any better? How about the ‘pivot’ to face China? The Green Agenda? The war on COVID-19?

This is politics

We only bring it up to highlight the perverse and fruitless world of politics. It was Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz who remarked that war is just ‘an extension of politics by other means’.

Here at the Diary, we see politics, like war, as just a way to force others to do what you want.

Yesterday, we saw that there are many who insist that others take the jab — and they’re ready to fire them from their jobs if they don’t. Why? Because it’s an emergency! The Washington Post has the latest ‘New York governor declares emergency amid staffing shortage crisis prompted by vaccine resisters’:

Tens of thousands of health-care workers in New York are likely to have refused a coronavirus vaccine before a state requirement went into effect on Monday, serving as a preview of resistance that the Biden administration’s vaccine requirements will face on a bigger scale in coming weeks.

Surely healthcare workers are capable of making their own healthcare decisions.

But this is not about health. This is politics.

And today, we look at another tawdry, pointless, political ‘emergency’: the debt ceiling.

More foolishness

Democrats claim Republicans should be helping to raise the ceiling…since they are responsible for so much of the debt.

They’re right about that last part. The Trump team added more to the debt than any previous administration — an extra US$8 trillion.

But the Republicans say that if they go along with the debt increase, the door will be open for even more foolishness on the part of the Dems — including US$3.5 trillion in ‘human infrastructure’, whatever that is…and US$1 trillion for the old-fashioned cement and steel boondoggles.

They are probably right about that too. One report suggested the US$3.5 trillion tab was a kind of bait-and-switch. In the fine print are provisions that will balloon the bill to US$5.5 trillion over the next decade.

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Autopilot government

Meanwhile, the press warns that a failure to raise the ceiling would be a terrible thing. Here’s ‘political historian’ Heather Cox Richardson on why the Republicans are the bad guys:

The Republicans are taking the country hostage to undercut the Democrats. If Congress does not fund the government by Thursday, the government will shut down. And if the country goes into default sometime in mid-October, the results will be catastrophic.

Really? How so?

What would actually change? Reuters is on the case:

Much of government would continue on autopilot, including mailing Social Security pension checks and paying hospital bills for the elderly. Soldiers can still fight wars, but many civilians in the Department of Defense will be furloughed.

Remember, this is the federal government we are talking about. State and local governments are responsible for police, schools, and other useful activities. But the feds?

Suppose the US Army stopped droning? Suppose the Navy left its vessels in port? Suppose the legislators stopped legislating…regulators stopped regulating…and the Bureau of Labor Statistics suddenly stopped fudging the figures?

Suppose they only spent what they could raise by honest taxation…so they didn’t have to increase the debt ceiling?

The feds will collect US$3.8 trillion in tax receipts this fiscal year, about the same amount as they spent in 2014.

Would that be so horrible? Was 2014 so bad?

But that’s not going to happen, is it?

Tune in tomorrow…


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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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