“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, January 11, 2008

It Is Fiscal Stimulus Time

Time for your medicine

$50 billion, $75 billion, and now Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin is calling for $100 billion in increased government spending or transfer payments, to stimulate the economy.

The economy is clearly slowing rapidly. The consumer seems fatigued and cautious, business will soon follow the consumer, but the government can still print money and it will. The economy is so large that it will take $75 billion in extra government spending over a period of one to two quarters to increase the economy by just 1%. Therein lies the problem.

First it is an election year. Any thoughtful deliberation will therefore be unthinkable. The Democrats will demand more money for unemployment compensation, more food stamps, and more spending or give-aways to those that will be the most likely to spend it. Given the recent congressional habit of using earmarks, any stimulus bill will be larded with superfluous spending as everyone in Congress is up for re-election and a third of the Senate is as well.

Secondly, the Republicans will be no better. The only difference will be the constituency for the giveaways. It would be far wiser to pursue public works, infrastructure and domestic energy projects that would create additional domestic jobs and have a lasting positive economic effect. (A border fence could suck up a few billion.) However this would take thought and planning and would not be half as much fun. So it will be business as usual with politicians casting caution aside and we will make another run at government trying to spend us into prosperity, and no one will be able to stop it.


  1. The solution is to give every American family $2500 dollars that must be spent on a Nano, which must be driven to work and play. Would solve the energy crisis, clean up the skies, save on rest home costs down the road, and stimulate the tourist industry.

  2. Did Trish give you permission to use that Photo?

  3. "The lean design strategy has helped minimise weight, which helps maximise performance per unit of energy consumed."
    That would cut down the energy units needed for Carbon Offsets which would...

  4. I hear that little Nazi two banger is a dirty sucker.

  5. BobAl Linked this from Mitt's Dad's Company.
    It's chances against Toyota et al if they brought it back probably exceed Mitts.
    We need a Communal Ejection Seat!
    Get me outta here!

  6. We'd look good in that Metro, wouldn't we Doug? The girls couldn't stand it, like Route 66 or something.

  7. Good to go, I'm hummin the music now!

  8. Take a close look at that hood ornament! (whatever it is) Classy, fast!

  9. Dice hanging from the rear view mirror--can't beat it!

  10. The episode "I'm Here to Kill a King" was preempted because of President Kennedy's asassination that day, but was rescheduled for broadcast on February 28, 1964.

  11. Probly a signal to all the co-conspirators when that showed up in TV Guide.

  12. Two tone, white walls, matching interior...

  13. "Tod and Buz would frequently become involved with individuals whose almost nihilistic worldview made for occasionally frightening television.
    Some forty-six years after its premiere, Route 66 is still one of the few television series to offer such a range of socially-conscious stories, including mercy killing, the threat of nuclear annihilation, terrorism, runaways and orphans. Other episodes dealt with the mentally ill, drug addiction or gang violence."
    And I thought it was about 2 guys and a Corvette.
    Lets leave Nuclear Annihilation off the Nash Metro Series!

  14. jeeze I didn't scroll down far enough--stick shift, tyre carrier...

  15. socially-conscious stories, including mercy killing, the threat of nuclear annihilation, terrorism, runaways and orphans. Other episodes dealt with the mentally ill, drug addiction or gang violence.

    cutting edge drama all the way...freedom, commitment, compassion, passion, life, death...

  16. Yeah, more trunk room with the sexy spare setup. Forget what that was called.
    "You Can't Pick Cotton in Tahiti"

    For instance, the boys encounter a Nazi hunter named Bartlett on the offshore oil drilling rig where they work. Bartlett describes the horrors of WWII and the Holocaust thusly: "Tod, I hope you live a long life and never know the blistering forces which sear and destroy, turn men into enemies and sweep past the last frontiers of compassion" and "once you've seen that dark, unceasing tide of faces... of the victims...the last spark of dignity so obliterated that not one face is lifted to heaven, not one voice is raised in protest even as they died..." (from episode #4, "The Man on the Monkey Board").

    The quirky, textured writing extended even to episode titles, which included such oddities as "How Much a Pound is Albatross?" and "Ever Ride the Waves in Oklahoma?".

  17. the call of the blacktop
    the blab of the tyre on concrete slabs
    the lightning over the plateau in the distance
    life at the well head
    automotive knights errant

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. the blowout
    the empty gas tank
    miles walked on lonely byways
    windshields smashed by truckers gravel
    seedy motels
    cheap milkshakes
    lustiness at midnight
    the sky darkening...the moon sinking low
    Tod getting buzzed...

  20. The Moon reflecting off the Bald Heads.
    Buz visits and inspires his boyhood hero, a former boxing great (Darren McGavin) who is now on the skids.
    Poot Darren was always on the skids.

  21. They never got around to Sex with Infants.
    Social Future-Conciousness w/ties to the ninth Century.

  22. Yeah, more trunk room with the sexy spare setup. Forget what that was called.

    tyre boot?

  23. Now I forgot about the Accessory Company that sold all that Junk.
    Albob will know.

  24. Negative, but my realtor knows some company where you can get just about any part for any car or truck going back forever. Can't think of the name of it though.
    I'm reading a book about summitry--says super K sold out the S. Vietnamese before Nixon's second election. May post the relevant paragraph tomorrow. grrnite, dream of the open road, the all american dream!

    See the USA
    In your Chevrolet...

  25. Yeah, your Fistula's had enough stimulation for one evening!

  26. JC Whitney
    thot it had a JC
    cheated and used google.
    Maybe Google will save us old foggies from the Asylum.

  27. Then Came Bronson

    A trip in time

    Though a means so much more, the symbolism, we now know.
    Gotta scroll down a tad.

  28. Bank Agrees to Buy Troubled Loan Giant for $4 Billion
    The deal rescues Countrywide, America’s largest mortgage lender and expands the financial services empire of Bank of America, the nation’s largest consumer bank.
    Bank of America May Buy Countrywide
    Would be weird if they end up buying enough off the books bad debt to sink them, ATM's for Illegals, and all.

  29. Not ATMs for illegals, doug.
    Your vision, shortsighted.

    Bank of Americas, founded by an immigrant, speading consumuer banking across the Americas.

    Back to the vision of its' founder, the roots of BoA planted in San Francisco by Amadeo Giannini in 1904 based on catering to immigrants.

    Italians, who had entered the US
    WOPs-With Out Papers
    Illegal immigrants

    BoA not want to leave that current market niche to WalMart.

  30. The country of origin changes, but the song remains the same, for Bank of Americas

  31. I moved the grass to the top. sorry for the confusion.