The Capital Strike
The coast of Maine is serene and gorgeous this summer, but tourists are staying away. Hotels stand empty, workers have been laid off, parking lots are abandoned, and faces look grim. New Englanders aren't complainers, but you can tell that times are hard.
The longest recession in modern history is biting deep. Telltale signs can be seen all over. Wifi channels are shaky, cell phone calls get dropped, cheap computer parts ruin your laptop, and phony "eco" bulbs die long before their time.
Long-term investment is down in the United States, Europe, and Japan. In Virginia and Maryland, trees are falling on power lines for lack of preventive maintenance, and the newsies babble about global warming causing those weird thunderstorms that nobody's ever seen before. But the real explanation is simple: things are falling apart for lack of long-term maintenance. Preventive maintenance that should have been done three or four years ago never happened. Fixing breakdowns costs more than prevention, so costs are actually going up. This is Jimmy Carter's Misery Index come back to life.
When the Governor of Maryland was interviewed on radio right after summer storms knocked out the power for millions of people in his state, he sounded drowsy, confused, and possibly hung over. He didn't know what was happening at the governor's mansion, no. He didn't know where the outages actually were in his state, and where people commuting to work could get gas for their cars -- because gas stations closed wherever the power was out. No, he didn't know where elderly and fragile people could get out of the heat. He told the WBAL radio chick that the most important thing was for neighbors to help one another.
Your guvmint -- not at work.
I refuse to believe that the State of Maryland, with thousands of highway cops, transportation workers, gas and electrical workers, and emergency crews, all carrying cell phones, could not figure out where the power was out. The authorities had to know, but the public wasn't told. A week after the mess started, a private company finally put a map of the affected areas on the web so people could reorganize their lives.
I have never seen Americans look so fatalistic. Millions of people without light and air conditioning, right outside Washington, D.C.? Shrug.
It's a long, long recession for those who are hurting bad, and for the rest of us, it means a gradual degradation in the way things work. Quality suffers first, because price competition forces producers to cut corners somewhere in the supply chain. That expensive eco-bulb that was going to last several years burned out in a just few weeks, and no, it's not your wiring.
It's the economy, stupid!
Welcome to the capital strike, which isn't some cartoon conspiracy by fat, cigar-smoking capitalists rubbing their hands in glee while people lose their jobs. No. The capital strike is all the people, the banks and pension funds, the rich and the working poor, the homeowners going under, all those who would be earning, spending, and saving if the economy were humming. Storm flags have been flying over the markets for four years, and now they may have to cope with four more years. The election looks 50-50, and nobody is going to gamble a billion dollars on a toss-up.
Welcome to the Great Obamanation. To be sure, Obama didn't start the recession all by himself, but he's doing nothing to end it. The mortgage bomb was planted by the Democrats 10 and 20 years ago, and we know the perps: Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and his lover at Fannie, and Ted Kennedy, to name a few. With the help of the corrupt media, they can cover their tracks, because empty mortgages forced on the banks 20 years ago exploded in 2008. Most people don't think long-term. In the last Congress, the Democrats seeded a whole new crop of long-term explosives, and when those bubbles explode in another decade, they will point the finger at Wall Street, which won't even be brick and mortar anymore. But those stupid kids will protest a symbolic street in New York City because it makes them feel progressive.
Conservatives are the scapegoats in this age of public idiocy. The media love to trash the Tea Party, blacks, and women who wander off the plantation, and anybody who doesn't believe in their mad schemes. Our Current Occupant loves to scapegoat us. He seems to think blaming is a substitute for governing, and with the agitprop media on his side, he might just pull it off. Lincoln was almost right: If you fool enough people enough of the time, a lot of dumbed-down voters might just re-elect a mentally fixated wunderkind like Obama.
Our economic troubles, and the ones in Europe, are not some Act of God that nobody could have prevented. Years and years of economic misrule and exploitation by leftists are taking their toll. To be sure, there is no single explanation. But if Barney Frank & Co. had not coerced empty loans from banks 10 and 20 years ago, everybody would be much better off. It is black youth who are leading the unemployment numbers, just as it is black inner-city children who suffer the most from teaching union monopolies. And yet, the "beneficiaries" of the ballooning State will vote for it all, over and over again.