Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blame

Far be it from me to deny the immense social benefits of identifying and sacrificing a scapegoat or two, but at some point or other, we should also tell something approaching the truth.

[In the quotes below, VD Hanson is referring only to Americans; I would spread the net much wider.]

[S]o far no one seems willing to tell the American people the truth: It is not just “they,” but we, the people, who have recklessly borrowed to spend what we haven’t yet earned.

Take energy... Our energy challenges do not just concern independence, natural security, and global warming. They involve basic financial solvency, as well. Yet so far, none of our public officials have warned us that the energy crisis is largely a money matter: We’re borrowing too much to buy what we won’t or can’t produce at home.

Second, as a nation of debtors, we are renting money from Asia to buy its exports with our credit cards. Given our talents and natural wealth, we could easily consume more than others in the world and still balance the books. But Americans cannot charge all that we desire on unlimited credit.

Third, the government can only hand out more entitlements by borrowing even more to pay for them. Raising taxes on anyone in a recession is insane. But even crazier is cutting them further at a time of skyrocketing national debt without commensurate reductions in spending.
And then he asks this question:
So who will tell the people that we can’t raise — or reduce — taxes and that we can’t borrow for any more new programs until we first cut expenses and begin paying off the trillions we’ve already borrowed?
But there's another, bigger question of which that one is only a part. Which politician is going to tell us that we can't ALL have what we want; we can't ALL have endless choice; we can't ALL have the right to acquire and consume more than we produce?

17 comments:

Riri said...

Which politician is going to tell us that we can't ALL have what we want; we can't ALL have endless choice; we can't ALL have the right to acquire and consume more than we produce?

God. The Ultimate Politician. Of course.

NoolaBeulah said...

Well, it's either HIM or RIRI, when she gets off her arse and engages with her destiny to rule.

Riri said...

Be careful what you wish (or vote) for is all I can say!

Riri said...

Hello? Anybody home?

NoolaBeulah said...

I know. I know. I am a faithless wretch undeserving of your attention. And the thing is, I miss you. I enjoy your virtual, ghostly company immensely. So why am I absent?

Do you have periods where you are distant from the world? I feel like that at the moment. Even with all the action of our interesting times, I'm at one remove from it all. It's not that I don't care. It's just that I don't really have much to say about it. There's something so mechanical about things (so it seems to me - I don't mean it really is), as if I have lived through it all before and this time do not need to react, only to watch.

Which, I acknowledge, is a bit weak. I do occasionally 'clip' a paragraph or two and store them here. But that's it. I won't make any promises about writing something substantial, but I will visit you (you've been very quiet recently as well) and Nazim.

Riri said...

Yes I know what you mean. Except that in my case I am not feeling distant from the world at the moment but too much in it, feeling so guilty about not blogging! I feel I have much to say, but I lost that spontaneous ability to just blog about anything and everything. Shame Shame.

And I do enjoy your ghostly company too! Immensely so, I prefer the company of faithless wretches in general because I find they help me keep a sense of balance.

I'll be on a twoo-week holiday starting from tomorrow. Hope I'll have loads of opprtunities to blog or at least try and resuscitate my blogging soul!

Hazar Nesimi said...

Well. well, well

And Happy New Year!

NoolaBeulah said...

And a happy New Year to you, too, Nazim. I hope you stay well and that the year is one marked by LOVE.

Hazar Nesimi said...

Thank you!!

Please write something i am getting restless!

NoolaBeulah said...

Hello, Nazim. You know, I've been thinking about you and Riri recently, thinking how I missed you, but also wondering how to continue our conversations. I learned a lot from you two.

One of the things I learned is that I don't want to spend time looking for stuff to get 'outraged' about and then come onto this blog to write about how wrong everything is. I would like to write something useful to other people. It's just that I'm not sure how to go about it.

I notice that you have not been very active either, though you have set up a Facebook page (I've just applied to be your friend - though the only time I go on Facebook is when someone asks me to.) However, if you have any ideas about how I might go about writing something useful, let me know.

[You in London again? Any chance you'll be coming up our way soon?]

Riri said...

Ha Ha Noola, too funny this phrase you typed up there: 'I've just applied to be your friend' - honestly, that's the logical conclusion of cyber networking innit.

To answer your question about how you could write something useful (instead of the rubbish rants you've accustomed us to and for which you have grown to be greatly admired), I suggest you put your wits together and produce a novel where me and Nazim take centre stage and contribute the most (if not all) of the psychological and intellectual depth of the characters involved.

NoolaBeulah said...

I would not dare to attempt such a novel. How could I, a pale, tentative Anglo-Saxon, plumb the depths, scale the heights, match the emotional range of you two? It would be an insult to you (for example, I don't ever conclude an argument by dancing, though I would love to). You would glare at it and mutter, 'Who are those ghostly creatures he has thrust upon us?' And I would have to stand there shame-faced, exposed in all my inadequacy, and strike my breast while proclaiming, 'Mea cupla, mea culpa, mea massima culpa'.

Riri said...

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen, a crushing example of the Anglo-Saxon self-deprecating get-out clauses.


Where or where can I apply to become an Anglo-Saxon?

NoolaBeulah said...

Stand on one leg slowly revolving, with a saucer and teacup full of scalding hot tea on your head, singing God Save the Queen and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, not forgetting to apologise at regular intervals, and that's it. You're in.

Riri said...

But you forget am a layyyyydeeeeeeeeeee!!! And this sounds like a dodgy gentlemen's club.

You should tell us more about Britishness (or Englishness) Noola - I've no idea why you don't think your blog is communicating useful and interesting things. I think it is - blogging and cyber communication is perfect for you anglo-saxons. Without it you'd retreat into your pubs, drink and play pool.

Riri said...

Happy New Year Paul!!!!!

Are you following the footie? Algeria and England are in the same World Cup group!!!

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