Economics

Think About the Grandkids…

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Columnist Ron Hart writes a great letter to his future grandkids:

The people of my generation were selfish and were appropriately dubbed the "Me Generation." We fought no wars, we built up the citizenry's dependence on government, and we spent money on ourselves for which we will leave you the tab.
For that, I am eternally apologetic.

I did my part to avoid this by working hard, paying taxes, and never asking the government for anything but to leave me alone. And I wrote a column that tried to educate people on the power of capitalism, minimal government, and prudent fiscal policies. It took our country 230 years to rack up $7 trillion in debt, and only two presidencies to increase that debt by 50 percent….

Our leaders bought votes by borrowing the money, which by your coming of age will either bankrupt the country or burden your generation with so much debt that government cannot provide the basic services such as roads and national defense. We squandered $1 trillion and our national credibility on a poorly thought out war in Iraq.

We were attacked in 2001 by religious zealots who envied our economy and our freedoms. Our leaders responded by restricting those freedoms and nationalizing more of our economy. Our government's response to the attack was to create the TSA (we called it "Thousands Standing Around"), which hurt our economy and humiliated us when we flew on airplanes by making us take our shoes off and forcing 65-year-old ladies to dispose of three ounces of shampoo….

I wish we could have left you a more sane, solvent and reasoned country.

A few of us tried.

Whole thing here.

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  1. Who says our generation fought no wars? I’d say we’ve fought too many wars.

  2. I just want like… one piece of really good news. Just one thing that makes me happy. Or, at least, one thing that makes me happy that isn’t beer.

  3. Fighting no wars is selfish? Huh?

  4. The unironic line “we fought no wars” sums up the baby boomer mentality far better than this writer probably intended. I’m sure he fought no wars. I’m sure nobody he knows fought wars. But boy howdy, I bet he sure voted for people who started a whole lot of them.

  5. I bet he sure voted for people who started a whole lot of them.

    Osama bin Laden?
    Saddam Hussein?

    Madeline Albright?

    None of those people were on MY ballot.

  6. As if the thing wasn’t bad enough, now the CBO is saying the effect of the stimulus package currently under debate will actually be negative in the long run.

    Sorry kids!

  7. I bet he sure voted for people who started a whole lot of them.

    Hey, I didn’t vote for FDR or JFK.

  8. Jesus. What happened to reading comprehension around here?

  9. “We were attacked in 2001 by religious zealots who envied our economy and our freedoms”

    You might have had me till that.

  10. Our leaders responded by restricting those freedoms and nationalizing more of our economy.

    9/11!!! 9/11!!! 9/11!!!

  11. Statement of Congressman Ron Paul
    United States House of Representatives

    Statement on Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act

    February 3, 2009

    Madame Speaker, I rise to introduce legislation to restore financial stability to America’s economy by abolishing the Federal Reserve. Since the creation of the Federal Reserve, middle and working-class Americans have been victimized by a boom-and-bust monetary policy. In addition, most Americans have suffered a steadily eroding purchasing power because of the Federal Reserve’s inflationary policies. This represents a real, if hidden, tax imposed on the American people.

    From the Great Depression, to the stagflation of the seventies, to the current economic crisis caused by the housing bubble, every economic downturn suffered by this country over the past century can be traced to Federal Reserve policy. The Fed has followed a consistent policy of flooding the economy with easy money, leading to a misallocation of resources and an artificial “boom” followed by a recession or depression when the Fed-created bubble bursts.

    With a stable currency, American exporters will no longer be held hostage to an erratic monetary policy. Stabilizing the currency will also give Americans new incentives to save as they will no longer have to fear inflation eroding their savings. Those members concerned about increasing America’s exports or the low rate of savings should be enthusiastic supporters of this legislation.

    Though the Federal Reserve policy harms the average American, it benefits those in a position to take advantage of the cycles in monetary policy. The main beneficiaries are those who receive access to artificially inflated money and/or credit before the inflationary effects of the policy impact the entire economy. Federal Reserve policies also benefit big spending politicians who use the inflated currency created by the Fed to hide the true costs of the welfare-warfare state. It is time for Congress to put the interests of the American people ahead of special interests and their own appetite for big government.

    Abolishing the Federal Reserve will allow Congress to reassert its constitutional authority over monetary policy. The United States Constitution grants to Congress the authority to coin money and regulate the value of the currency. The Constitution does not give Congress the authority to delegate control over monetary policy to a central bank. Furthermore, the Constitution certainly does not empower the federal government to erode the American standard of living via an inflationary monetary policy.

    In fact, Congress’ constitutional mandate regarding monetary policy should only permit currency backed by stable commodities such as silver and gold to be used as legal tender. Therefore, abolishing the Federal Reserve and returning to a constitutional system will enable America to return to the type of monetary system envisioned by our nation’s founders: one where the value of money is consistent because it is tied to a commodity such as gold. Such a monetary system is the basis of a true freemarket economy.

    In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to stand up for working Americans by putting an end to the manipulation of the money supply which erodes Americans’ standard of living, enlarges big government, and enriches well-connected elites, by cosponsoring my legislation to abolish the Federal Reserve.

  12. Awww….a Boomer self-loather and a Reaganite true believer. We have a winner of something.

  13. Relax, Mr. Hart. Here is what we worried about in 1969: an interminable and pointless war, an ecomony that no one understood, politicians who appealed to the basest instincts of the mob, and a general decay in the basic civility that holds a country together.
    Things won’t be any different in 2049.
    I am willing to predict that complaints about the imminent downfall of the world will be filling the media then, too.

  14. Saying that the 9/11 attackers envied our freedoms makes about as much sense as saying they hated us for our freedoms.

  15. Talk, talk, talk.
    The only solution is revolution.
    When are going to walk, walk, walk.
    Call out the Libertarian militia.
    HU!!!!

  16. He might have added that many of our parents and grandparents voted for the same entitlements that are bankrupting the future.
    I’m not a boomer but am tired of them getting all the blame for the decline of individual liberty and personal responsibility. Many many generations have contributed to the long slide from the ideals of the founding fathers.

  17. Sen. John Kerry took to the Senate floor today to pace, rant, and raise his voice in a monotone simulation of human passion as he spoke up for the massive spending bill the Democrats want to pass today under the guise of “stimulus.”

    During his speech, he addressed the argument made by fellow senators and many economists that tax cuts might be more helpful to stimulating the economy than long-term government spending. The American people are also coming around to that view, according to a recent CBS poll, which found only 22 percent of them favor more government spending over tax cuts as stimulus.

    His argument against tax cuts for Americans during these hard economic times was illuminating:

    I’ve supported many tax cuts over the years, and there are tax cuts in this proposal. But a tax cut is non-targeted.

    If you put a tax cut into the hands of a business or family, there’s no guarantee that they’re going to invest that or invest it in America.

    They’re free to go invest anywhere that they want if they choose to invest.

    Indeed, people with their own hard-earned money in their own pockets are free to spend, save, invest, or not wherever they please. Kerry betrays the fear that haunts every good liberal- that the American people won’t spend their money on exactly what good liberals would spend it on. Good liberals must, therefore, advocate for forcibly relieving the American people of the better part of a trillion dollars of their own money to fund things like STD education, welfare programs, and water parks.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Weblogs/TWSFP/TWSFPView.asp#10424

  18. “we built up the citizenry’s dependence on government, and we spent money on ourselves for which we will leave you the tab. For that, I am eternally apologetic.

    ‘I did my part to avoid this by … paying taxes”

    Uh…

  19. The people of my generation were selfish and were appropriately dubbed the “Me Generation.”

    That’s funny. Hasn’t every “generation” since 1972 been called the “me” generation?

    And the definition of “selfish” is rational self interest. Few of us can claim that.

  20. Hart is one of the best libertarian writers around. Certainly a thought provoking column.
    Usually he writes satire. This was good and creative. How many of you feel good about what we are leaving our kids?

  21. I agree, Hart totally rocks. They did not call us the Me Generation for nothing.

  22. Yep schooner, the freedoms and economy is much better in Afghanistan.

    Hart is dead on here. We gave up freedoms thanks to Bush and the neo cons post 9/11

  23. Hey, I didn’t vote for FDR or JFK.

    What about Nixon (Cambodia), Reagan (Grenada and numerous proxy wars), Bush I (Iraq and arguably Somalia), Clinton (Bosnia and Kosovo), GW Bush (Iraq)?

    In Gulf War one, we burnt thousands of Iraqis to death by napalm. Thousands more killed by high explosive. That wasn’t a war? Is our latest invasion of Iraq not a war?

  24. I forgot Panama. That also seemed remarkably similar to a war.

  25. His great great great great Grandfather did sign the Dec of Independence. That’s pretty damn impressive. I like his writing normally, but this one was a bit serous for him. I guess it is not a funny subject. The Willie Nelson line is pretty classic Hart.

    He did say recently on our radio show here, “There are two types of people in America, ones that knew just how bad Jimmy Carter was, and those about to find out.”

  26. Yes, and as Hart reminded folks on the same show,
    “while we fought no wars, we do know the pain of bitter conflict having had to endure The View.”

  27. My favorite Ron Hart quote so far:

    It took Bush eight years and two wars to increase the deficit $1.5 trillion. Obama has – and you have to love this one – The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act coming at you first thing. He will be able to increase our deficit by $1 trillion in his first month in office. By media standards, that will make Obama better than Bush.

  28. In Gulf War one, we burnt thousands of Iraqis to death by napalm.

    No we didn’t.We didn’t use napalm in that war.

  29. Yes,this is just what libertarians need — more cranky old white guys.

    If only we had another Ronald Reagan today, he wouldn’t allow any deficit, no sir! What a tool.

  30. Uh, okay. This is like that other thread where someone was trying to explain how the M240 was not a machine gun.

    Fine, the United States did not use napalm in the Gulf War. Similarly, I don’t blow my nose with kleenex but rather with Safeway brand facial tissues. The distinction is critical.

  31. Are molotov cocktails napalm? Did the UK napalm Dresden in WWII?

  32. Jesus, Hart- how many sockpuppets do you need?

  33. Jesus, SIV, are you serious? From the paragraph immediately after the one you quoted, on wikipedia:

    The effects of MK-77 bombs are so similar to those of napalm that even many members of the U.S. military continue to refer to them as “napalm” bombs in informal situations.

    You cannot seriously be this fucking pedantic.

    Here is a link about M-77 use in 2003:

    “We napalmed both those (bridge) approaches,” said Col. Randolph Alles in a recent interview. He commanded Marine Air Group 11, based at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, during the war. “Unfortunately, there were people there because you could see them in the (cockpit) video.

    What the Marines dropped, the spokesmen said yesterday, were “Mark 77 firebombs.” They acknowledged those are incendiary devices with a function “remarkably similar” to napalm weapons.

    Rather than using gasoline and benzene as the fuel, the firebombs use kerosene-based jet fuel, which has a smaller concentration of benzene.

    “You can call it something other than napalm, but it’s napalm,” said John Pike, defense analyst with GlobalSecurity.org, a nonpartisan research group in Alexandria, Va.

    Are you seriously trying to get passionate about the accurate nomenclature assigned to air dropped gelatinous incendiaries? The people dropping M-77’s call it napalm. But hey, let’s say they’re wrong. What is your substantive point?

  34. Why this generation is puffed up with ego that our grandchildren should offer sacrifices for all they have accomplished. I mean the hippies gave us STD, AIDS, bong loving cretins, a brain dead messiah, a house of cards credit economy, bankrupt politburo ideas, the worship of perversity and perverts.

    A trillion on wars, hell Obama going to spend triple this and saddle your generation with debts so big you’ll be trying to get to Zimbabwe where the living will be good in comparison.

    Sycophantic leftists will bring us the same paradises that the nations of Eastern Europe overthrew violently. We can only hope that they do the same to the leaders of this politburo. Its amazing how far the left will go to rational evil in the name of individual “rights.”

  35. Hart is somewhere between a libertarian and a southern Democrat. I heard him speak at a Mensa event in Atlanta, he is damn funny. Too much for the nerds there to get him.

    He is right about the live for now mentality of voters and Congress now. It is really sad how bad they are.

  36. We can’t even provide Roads or defense right now.

    Unless billions spent in blowing up some random country that some texan moron had a grudge against is suddenly defense.

  37. Advantages of childlessness: No guilt about what I might leave the next generation. I personally intend to use up as many finite resources as I can, and to cause the catastrophic global warming Al Gore warned us about before I die.

    Because, like I’ve said before, I hate children.

  38. Waldo:

    Allah bless the Kenyan moron whose going to blow up all those third worldwers and continue the torture! And he’s going to give us all unicorns and provide peace and love.

    And I have some breachfront property in Utah at a very special price for a very high intellect like yours.

    Obama of the two suicide cults America faces today, the Obama lemmings are by far the more lethal, ignorant and disgruntled.

    Obama cutting defnse so illegal aliens can get tax rebates.

  39. Thomas Jackson,
    Please. Shut up. You’re either incredibly stupid, or you’re a very poor spoof troll.

  40. Economist:
    As the readers here can see you demonstrate both your wit, education and IQ with each and every comment. Your ego is the size of Idaho with a brain the size of Helen Thomas.

    If you had any wit you could marshall the evidence to refute what I posted. Unfortunately like most of the whinning generation your abilities lie somewhere south of Rosie O’Dopnnell and north of Barney Frank.

    And do make sure you give me fries with my order. Then you can go back to your sockpuppets.

  41. economist – I’d like to point out that the choices you listed aren’t mutually exclusive.

  42. Economist=Baked penguin=sock puppets

    Res ipsa loquitur.

    Boneless wonders of the world unite.

    Caaedite eos! Novit enim. Dominus qui sunt eius.

  43. I’d watch out using quotes like that. You’ll make heads explode.

  44. “In Gulf War one, we burnt thousands of Iraqis to death by napalm. Thousands more killed by high explosive”

    And there wasn’t a damn thing wrong with that.

  45. Thomas Jackson makes both of his namesakes, Jesse and Andrew, seem like calm rational people in comparison.

    Let me echo a previous commenter,

    STFU Jackson! You’re a tiresome twit with nothing of value to add to the conversation.

  46. I find Thomas Jackson’s posts worth reading. The fighting-with-others parts not so much, which is also true for his antagonists’ posts.

  47. I find Thomas Jackson’s posts worth reading. The fighting-with-others parts not so much

    How wonderful for you, a sockpuppet, but that’s a bit too much like saying, “I love pornography, except for all the graphic sex”

  48. And I see how tempting it is to respond by fighting-with-others, as in Uh, no, Dan B., whose handle is superior in transparency to mine how?

    Instead of which I’ll concede that I may have been unclear: “Others” referred only to others posting here.

    But if everyone with whom you disagree merits contempt, there’s no point in dialogue.

  49. Boy, did this thread degenerate since I was here yesterday.

  50. I wish we TWC could have left you a more sane, solvent and reasoned country thread.

    A few of us tried.

  51. Call out the Libertarian militia.

    Dude! Have you ever tried to maintain (or even obtain) order among the libertarian militia?

    It’s harder than herding cats.

    You start to deliver a rousing monolouge to stiffen their spines and half the assembled rabble starts muttering about how they’re not that kind of libertarian.

    Then they break into debating societies and go at it hammer and tongs.

  52. a rousing monolouge to stiffen their spines

    Now that would be another thread, up-page.

  53. Dan B.

    As an expert on pornography, especially kiddie porn who are we to disagree with you?

  54. except against dangling participles

  55. except against violations to joez law, that should have been “dangling modifier”

    in any event, OLD appeared to be referring to himself as said expert

    as you were

  56. Taking no sides;
    Its remedial reading for you.

    I think the government’s plan of printing monoply money is truly sound. We can all look forward to an economic recovery and better paying jobs.

    I also have a special language teaching program that involves no hard work, memorization, nor boring study. Send your money to DNC HQ now!

  57. Those who disagree without evidence, analysis, evidence should just admit that they love their bold assertions more than reason. That they have every right to bray just as their kindergarden teachers told them that it wasn’t important if they were correct so much as they made an effort.

    Such individuals should go back to their Little Toy Ponies and not inflict their beliefs on anyone.

    They cannot advance an argument so resort to sock puppets for the sole reason of intimidating others. They have nothing to say or anything to advance the discussion.

    So they resort to the usual vulgarities that denote an inferior mind.

    These trolls make comments like “monkeys flying out your ass.” How much more effective to demonstrate a falsehood, deception, use of something that is taken out of context.

    Do not address a point just resort to profanity. Its rather clear who the missing links here are and what their skills are.

    Sad, this is what the American education system turns out today. No wonder cash registers employ symbols. Ever notice that these people can’t do simple math. We see them here making their rude noises and thinking they are informed.

  58. Think about all those freedom’s we gave up. To name a few:
    ———–

    No wonder its called Generation X.

  59. Social Security, the New Deal.. Yeah, gramps and grandma were never welfare kings and queens. Greatest Generation my ass.

  60. ABC:

    Compared with the infants of the 70s-today they were giants. Don’t blame them for the Kennedys, Roosevelts, Ickes.

    But the baby boomers and gen Xers have their Bush and Clintons, and now Obama. What a bunch of sheep.

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