Two sobering articles

Our economy is in a precarious position, as all of you know. Here are two pieces from American Thinker that are not full of rosy forecasts:

“An Economics Lesson Even a Liberal Can Grasp” by Herbert E. Meyer

The more President Obama calls for a second stimulus spending spree to create those jobs the first spending spree failed to create, the more he sounds like the grocer in that old joke about the lady who wants her money back because the dietetic ice cream the grocer talked her into buying hasn’t helped her lose weight. The grocer thinks for a moment and says, “Eat more of it.”

Since the president and his advisers haven’t got a clue about how our economy works — which isn’t surprising, since these people have less practical business experience than any kid with a lemonade stand — here’s an economics lesson so short and simple even a liberal can grasp it:

The key point to understand is that an economy is a kind of operating system. This means that if you want the economy to “do” something — such as create more jobs — you have to go about it the way the operating system is designed to work. Otherwise you cannot possibly succeed.

Think of it this way: our cell phones have operating systems built into them. There’s no Republican way to make a phone call with your iPhone, and no Democratic way to do it. There’s no conservative approach to checking your email with a BlackBerry or an Android, and no liberal approach to doing it. You just do it the way your cell phone’s operating system requires.

It’s the same with an economy. Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of economic operating systems: a free-market economy and a command economy. In a free-market economy, the government sets the rules and enforces them, but otherwise stays out of the way and allows individuals and businesses to call the shots. In a command economy, the government’s role is so large that it not only sets and enforces the rules, but also calls the shots. […]

“The Coming Chaos” by John Griffing

America is about to be destroyed by debt. And we’re acting like it’s business as usual.

In the push to resolve America’s impending debt crisis, much has been done to ensure politically favorable positions for those engaged in the debt talks, and the possibility of a default has been addressed in largely academic terms, with complete disregard for the gruesome realities a default implies. Our leaders are living in a fantasy world, indulging in partisan gamesmanship, concerned only about their reelections. The time has come for our leaders to be Americans first, and do what needs to be done to save us from collapse.

Default has been discussed as a valid option, even by some at American Thinker. But its effects will be cataclysmic. Default must not be viewed in either political or strategic terms. Default spells one word for America: death, and death not only to the pocketbooks of the consistently demonized richest one percent (coincidentally also the tax bracket that creates jobs), but death to the thin veneer of “civilization” keeping the aging, post-Christian American culture from wanton acts of violence. Hyperbole? Ask our British friends.

It won’t happen tomorrow, and the day after we default the sun will rise, and that’s why it’s so easy to deceive ourselves. But once we cross that line, there will be no going back. The slide toward disaster will be inexorable, the consequences irreversible.

Then why not just keep raising the debt ceiling? Simple: if I’ve maxed my credit cards to pay for the “necessities” of my family, I can’t go to my credit card companies and demand they increase my limits. No matter how much my family “needs” things. And any debt counselor will immediately have me look at ways to cut my expenses. Why should government never have to live within its means? And why is it such an outrage when Republicans suggest even modest cuts? […]

Read both, but don’t expect to feel optimistic after doing so.