I’m not sure I can say the following well. I am going to try.
Robbers like Soros and people like Obama who seem to want to change the fundamental structure of society, are powerful, and have a keen instinct for knowing how to impart the right amount of distress and fear so people will act in the ways that serve their agendas. But one of the things that counter the psychological pressure such people can put on others is the determination; necessity really, of ordinary people to survive. I am not saying Obama, for example, has no belief that he is the agent of “hope”. (I have no doubt he believes he is the agent of “change”) But it’s “hope” of a different sort than we think. We are being told our only “hope” is in “change”, and so we are being told to “despair” until “change” turns it into “hope”. We are helpless, we are told. We can do nothing to help ourselves. Our only hope is in giving our resources and our childrens’ resources to our “betters”; the elites who keep telling us we’re just not smart enough to make our own way; that the system has been “rigged” against us and that “re-rigging” it their way is our only alternative.
So far, Obama and his people have been selling despair, not hope. They do not cease telling us how desperate our situation is, despite the fact that we can look around us and see that, yes, unemployment is up, house values are down and banks are in trouble, but that we can also see unemployment is 7.5%, most people are still paying their mortgages and most banks are not in trouble.
I have no pretense at being an economist. I only know what I can see. I see people still buying houses. I even see builders building houses…not the McMansions, to be sure, but they’re still building on a modest scale. I see banks still loaning money. Their profits are down, but most are still profitable. I see businesses still in operation. I even see new small businesses spring up here and there. Nobody is buying cars right now because of the downturn and the fear and the fact that nobody needs a new car for quite awhile once he decides he doesn’t need to buy one. I see ranchers liquidating their herds slowly, but I also see prices failing to plummet in reaction to it. So, are they in despair, or are they simply bolstering their financial positions for now? I see poultry producers reducing their output and curtailing their capacities. But only by a little bit. Pet food prices are going up because the secondary products that are human consumable but not the favorites, are suddenly more popular than they were because they’re cheaper. One of our local factories that produces bouillon and the other dehydrated meat products that go into cheaper dishes, is booming with business and running full out, day and night.
The borrowing rate has dropped and the savings rate has gone up. What do those things mean? Are they healthy or a symptom of economic disease? Have people really given up and joined the “politics of despair”, or are they just being prudent, with some temporary adverse consequences flowing from their actions?
People in the U.S. generally favor limitations on abortion and do not favor homosexual “marriage”. Yet, we have a government elected to power that promotes the one openly and the other tacitly. Have people given up?
I, for one, do not think people have truly been sold on the politics of “despair and change”. Not long term. The people who actually produce, I believe, will eventually prevail over those who only redistribute.
So, what does this mean as a practical matter? Well, for one thing, there are perfectly healthy financial institutions out there that are selling for discounts to “book value”, even to “tangible net worth”. There are food processors selling at prices no one could have dreamed up even a year ago. There are equipment manufacturers whose profits presently look dismal, but whose stock will look good even with a modest upturn. There are houses here and there, selling for significantly less than it would now, or ever will, cost to build them. There are building lots being sold for less than it cost to put in the utilities.
Maybe I’m stupid, but I’m buying. Will things go lower? Probably. But not forever. There is no “forever” when it comes to economies.
Everybody talks about the “dot com boom” and the various other booms that really do represent major advances in productivity. Everybody is wondering what the next one will be.
I guess my thinking is that at least one could be in energy. Energy is “substitute muscle power”, and makes a huge difference in economies. I don’t mean energy from corn or algae or windmills or any of that kind of thing. I mean energy from natural resources we know for an absolute fact will work, and that we know are there.
So, those resources are again being “shuttered in” by those, presently elected, who want us to reduce our home heat to 60 degrees and drive roller skates and beg the government to skin somebody else to give us a handout. No nuke plants. No offshore drilling. No shale oil. No new coal-fired plants. Put on extra sweaters and eat ramen noodles sprinkled with a little chicken powder; your $13 check is in the mail to pay for it.
So what is our own course of action? As I said, I’m buying to the extent I’m able. Maybe you can, and maybe you can’t, and maybe you fear to do it, and that’s okay. But I think the course of action of those who want their children and grandchildren to have some control over their own lives, is to oppose these “politicians of despair” with everything in them. Vote against them. Support their opponents. Speak out against them.