Monday, August 8, 2011

The Red Flag

The recent failure of the U.S. governing class to understand that the immediate (i.e. next decade's) problems are not those of debts and deficits but of jobs and joblessness make the recent news from London something of a nasty reminder of what happens when a substantial portion of your working-age population ends up jobless for long periods of time.I think we need to remember that we are not Japan. Young American men (and women) without a job are not going to behave well for long. Why bother? What is there to lose? In the U.S. you ARE your job. And if you have no job, how much do you have? Freedom? You have the freedom to lay about, eat junk food, and do squat. As much as that might have appealed to me at age 14 for about three weeks, spending the bulk of my twenties or thirties...or fifties...doing that?

I'd probably go out and loot a 7-11, too.No question that we will have to grapple with the question of how much the U.S. governments need to take in and how much they need to spend. But before we do that we need to get through the next stage of the Great Recession (can we start calling it a Depression yet?) without finding a sizeable chunk of our population out of work and on the dole. Because that's not a good thing for them, it's not a good thing for us, and it's not a good thing for the country.There's a reason that that crafty old patrician FDR and his New Deal pals didn't just push through stuff like Social Security and unemployment insurance but created a bunch of make-work agencies; things like the CCC and WPA and the big government construction projects were a smart reaction from people who were watching what the Soviets and Italian Fascists were doing with their young people - stuffing them into armies and "labor corps" and other make-work jobs. Things like the Bonneville Dam and the CCC kept idle hands from becoming devils' playgrounds...and idle brains from getting stuffed with fascist or communist ideas. Those New Deal guys knew that having a bunch of working - i.e. military - age guys just hanging around with nothing to do was a hell of a good way to start trouble.

I'm not sure if we need a new CCC. But I'm hella sure that we don't need a bunch of stuffed hairbags in DC gassing on about the Terror of Deficits when 10% and probably more of the U.S. public is out of work and stands to be for a long, long time, at this rate.

Because despite what they tell you on TV; were not that much smarter, or better behaved, than we were in 1932. And now, as then, as the London Council is finding out...if we don't figure out how to get those guys back to work or find something for them to do, they'll find it themselves, and the rest of us might not like it."I'm out of work and on the dole,
You can stuff the red flag up your hole."


  1. The amusing thing about all this here in the states is that the Republican party is only now beginning to realize the cost of the Tea Party's involvement with them, and that crazy train has left the station with them on it.

    Reminds me of the Metallica song, "King of nothing" where it says, "be careful of what you wish for, you might just get it/and might regret it."

    I think about all those wonderful dolts in the front ranks of the Tea Party legion, lining shields up, ready to face Hannibal's forces, and not even realizing that Rome has closed it's gates behind them.

    All those old people down in the south screaming and yelling, "Government out of my Medicare!" are going to get their wish.

  2. Hey, at least riot police will have steady employment.

  3. Sheerakhan: "The amusing thing about all this here in the states is that the Republican party is only now beginning to realize the cost of the Tea Party's involvement with them, and that crazy train has left the station with them on it."

    I've said for some time that the Democratic Party no longer really exists:
    - It does not groom members for higher office and promote from within
    - It does not privately build consensus within the party before announcing policies
    - It's internal party discipline during key votes is insufficient
    - It does not discipline unruly members after votes
    - All it does is to serve as a platform for ambitious non-Republicans (Clinton and Obama) and provide a target for the opposition.

    The Republicans have fallen into the same situation, destroyed from within by the ambitions of the Tea Party.

    I was shocked when I realized that the Tea Party had gone rogue in 2008 and developed its own agenda. I was even more shocked when it became apparent that the Tea Party's first target was the Republican Party, not the Democrats. And I'm totally shocked that it has succeeded in destroying the Republicans in three years.

    We're now down to the various shades of Tea Party for surviving political parties. Will they destroy the last remnants of the Democrats or will the various factions of the Tea Party turn on each other?

    My best guess is that it will turn on itself but I've been wrong about this movement before.


    A bit of sanity sprouts.


  5. Here is where I'm with Andy; both "parties" are complicit in this. On fiscal issues they have both been captured by the financial sector, and will not do anything that their masters don't want.

    Most the the Wall Street/Chamber of Commerce types have no idea what is brewing in the projects. Their response will just be to send the coppers to break heads, much as the Parisian aristocracy just assumed that the Army and a whiff of grapeshot would be just fine for settling these little differences and the Russian nobility figured that their loyal peasant would continue to fight for them...up to the minute the doors to the mansion were kicked open and the butchery started.

    I don't think we're looking at a 1917 or a 1789 anytime soon. But strange political events have started from less than these riots, and once the genie of rebellion is out of the bottle it can be very hard to stuff it back in. I'd rather figure out a way to put this country back to work...

  6. One little difference between the U.S. and European nations: we have guns. Boy, do we have guns.

    If the genie is let out of the bottle in this country, not all of the cops in world will be able to stop it. I thought all of us knew that. I especially thought the moneyed classes knew it. But I guess Marx was right after all. The capitalist will indeed sell the rope.

    Fundamental precept: noblesse oblige stems from self-interest. Not from charitable instincts, but from self-interest.