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Posted: 11/20/2008 5:23:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2008 5:30:39 AM EDT by ColtRifle]
I have been concerned about the possiblity of another Great Depression for awhile.  Well, as time has gone on I've been talking to a few people who I know.  

Now, they are generally decent people, law abiding and hard working.  However, I am increasingly amazed at how many of those people are completely or partially dependent on the government for day to day life.  

I am hearing more and more comments like this from people when refering to any number of social issues "The government needs to do something about this".  

We are rapidly becoming a government dependent society.  Our elected officials are constantly telling us that they are going to get money for their districts (and then attach some stupid spending earmark to an unrelated bill).  They are proud of the fact that they have spent more taxpayer dollars to fund something stupid.  

I constantly hear elected officials say things along the lines of "Elect me and I'll help you by doing ________________."  I'm waiting for a politican to get elected with the promise "I'm going to make sure that government leaves you alone."  I don't think that such a politician CAN get elected.  There are too many people standing there with their hands out.

Please stop try to "help" me.  I can't take it much longer.

I am amazed at the sheer number of people who only care about themselves.  I was talking to a guy recently who works in a government job.  While I was speaking with him, it became evident to me that he only voted for people who would promise to give something to his particular field.  He would vote for the devil if he thought that he would get a pay raise.  Principle didn't matter to him.  

Our country is increasingly dependent on the goverment to "save" us.  As a result, I'm leaning toward the idea that a Great Depression would be a good thing.  I think that we might benefit greatly from seeing tough times and learning to stop relying on the government and instead learn to rely on family and community rather than an impersonal government burecrat.  

I hate to see good, hardworking people suffer.  But, hard working people tend to not suffer all that much in hard times.  They have to work harder and life isn't easy at times but they pull through and make it.  

I really think that tough economic times might be a good thing for this country.  Maybe it will make a large number of people pull their heads out of their asses and their hands out of the public till and learn to take care of themselves.

Look at the bottom right hand corner of this web page.  It's the national debt calculator.  Watch it for a few mins.  It's sickening.

Senator Tom Coburn's debt calculator

What do you think?
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 5:59:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2008 6:00:44 AM EDT by BillofRights]
The last great depression had the exact opposite effect.  We lost more freedom, and gained more reliance on the Government than at any other time in history.  

Why do you think the next one would be different?
 I don't follow your line of reasoning at all.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:12:53 AM EDT
The question is will a depression cause the country to slip further into socialism or cause a pull-back to limited government?  

I can see it going either way, but historically a depression/recession has often caused the country to move leftward (the New Deal for example, Reagan being a contra-example).  If I had to bet, we're currently at a tipping point where a depression will probably not have the effect that you desire and we'll end up with more socialism.  

OTOH, I can see that a complete and total melt-down that's much worse than the Great Depression might eventually allow a return to limited government at some point, but it could take a very long time (a generation or two or more) and probably would be extremely expensive in terms of human life...basically another revolution.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:14:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2008 6:15:47 AM EDT by Feral]
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:46:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2008 6:55:00 AM EDT by GaryDon]
We just need to get rid of over 50% of our government. Most of it is dead wood that does little but collect a paycheck and spend what they bully us out of in the way of taxes. Just remember every law passed is a freedom lost. Now how short of an all out revolution do you toss the yoke of oppression, I don't know and don't want to have to fight in a revolution, too damn old for such things!

Now back to the question, the bail out of many during the depression was a type of socialism that supplied jobs for people. Many of the jobs were just make work, some were large scale improvements.

Wikipedia on Great Depression

Here is some of the things done in the beginning
Early changes by the Roosevelt administration included:

   * Instituting regulations to fight deflationary "cut-throat competition" through the NRA.
   * Setting minimum prices and wages, labor standards, and competitive conditions in all industries through the NRA.
   * Encouraging unions that would raise wages, to increase the purchasing power of the working class.
   * Cutting farm production to raise prices through the Agricultural Adjustment Act and its successors.
   * Forcing businesses to work with government to set price codes through the NRA.

Doesn't sound like something that will fix our current problems.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:49:33 AM EDT
I really think that tough economic times might be a good thing for this country. Maybe it will make a large number of people pull their heads out of their asses and their hands out of the public till and learn to take care of themselves.

I understand what you are saying, but I am not sure it is possible. Human beings are social creatures, and most want to belong, usually to a group of some sort. Anytime that happens, some will follow, no matter what, and there will always be those that simply must be the ones in charge. The rest of any group is made up of those that will follow, but only for as long as it suits their purposes.
What yoiu are talking about would only be possible if society disintegrates to such a point that the government literally could do nothing. Either because the price is too high (total loss of everything, think East Germany, Soviet Union, North Korea, Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge) or because the people no longer believe or trust the government at all. (That one is still a ways off, even as bad as we all think it is)

What needs to happen is for something to happen that was easily handled if the people just got in there and did there stuff, but didn't because of agency rivalries, and consequently it became a huge mess. Maybe then people will see that the government is looking out for itself and not us. Maybe then people will realize they need to take care of themselves because they can't depend on the government. Once that happens, maybe, just maybe, they will realize that they don't need the government nearly as much as they are being led to believe.

However, I am not very optimistic about that happening.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:58:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Feral:
People who are already sucking government teat won't even notice. They sure as hell aren't going to suddenly "learn responsibility" or some such.


That's why I'm thinking the only way a depression might be beneficial in some sense is if the teat dried up completely...however any resulting chaos/anarchy could very well lead to total fascism and open revolution/civil-war.  There are no easy choices or rosy scenarios ahead of us that I can see.

Link Posted: 11/20/2008 7:03:21 AM EDT
Originally Posted By GaryDon:
   * Instituting regulations to fight deflationary "cut-throat competition" through the NRA.
   * Setting minimum prices and wages, labor standards, and competitive conditions in all industries through the NRA.
   *...
   * Forcing businesses to work with government to set price codes through the NRA.


For those with short attention spans...this NRA is the National Recovery Administration and not our beloved/hated National Rifle Association.

Link Posted: 11/20/2008 7:06:37 AM EDT
I think the government wants a depression as well.

Most of the socialization and government dependency thinking came about from the 30's.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 7:17:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2008 7:19:09 AM EDT by jeffers_mz]
Now you see why Dave-A's claim this will finish as a deflationary event is false.

Gubmint won't "stand idly by" and let the parasites starve.

They will NOT allow their paychecks to be returned "NSF".

They HAVE to keep printing money, right up till people laugh at it, and refuse to haul it away.

You better have PMs, and you better have the big four, water, heat, security, and food.

The only way to scour out the deadbeats is a total meltdown, where they either get nothing without working for it, or else where what they get can't buy anything worth having.

If the US gubmint gets to that point, somebody, somewhere, will make a move on us....all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Don't believe me, figure it for yourself.

What happens to a deadbeat, sooner or later, inevitably, who also has a printer, lots of paper, and lots of green ink?

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see it coming.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 8:03:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2008 8:05:12 AM EDT by GaryDon]
I guess we start leaning to speak Chinese then.

Thanks for pointing out the NRA at the time was not Charlton Hestons NRA Didn't even think about that!
What all this tells me is we are heading towards Socialism as fast as our leaders can trick us into it. My x wife was from Romania, she told me stories of how life was there in the 60's, if you talked out against the gov. you went away and if lucky came back alive but too scared to do so again. Her father had fled Germany during WWII and started a trucking firm in Romania. When it went Socialistic he was told he had to bring in his trucks to have them upgraded to the current regulations. The government then confiscated his fleet and gave him a desk job with a small income to just barely keep him from starvation. This kinda of shit can happen here, don't think it can't!
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 8:37:32 AM EDT
Austrian economics says that after a credit bubble, the downturn is enevitable.

American's are so clueless that it's hard to say how this will end up.

By Jeff Snyder

Once upon a time, there was a people who inhabited a majestic land under an all-powerful government. Now this government had the resources to control practically every aspect of human existence; hundreds of thousands of "public servants" could access the most personal details of every citizen's life because everyone was issued a number at birth with which the government would track him throughout his life. No one could even work in gainful employment without this number.

True, the government left certain domains of individual action largely free, particularly matters concerning speech and sex. These activities posed no real threat to the state. When not used to entertain and divert, the power of speech was used principally to clamor for more or better goods from the state, or for "reforms" to make the state work "better," thereby entrenching the people's dependency. And insofar as sex was concerned, well, the people's behavior in this area also really had no effect on the scope of state power. In fact, the rulers noted that people's preoccupation with matters of sexual morality –– whether premarital, teenage pregnancy, adultery, divorce, homosexuality or general "who's zooming who" –– diverted the people's attention from the fact that they were, for economic and all other intents and purposes, slaves.

Slaves, though, who labored under the illusion that they were free. The people were a simple lot, politically speaking, and readily mistook the ability to give free reign to their appetites as the essence of "personal freedom."

In that fruitful land, the state took about 50 percent of everything the people earned through numerous forms of taxation, up from about 25 percent only a generation earlier. However, this boastful people, who believed themselves to be the freest on earth, retained the right to keep and bear arms. Tens of millions of them possessed firearms just in case their government became tyrannical and enslaved them.

In that land, an astronomical number of regulations, filling more than 96,000 pages in the government's "code of regulations," were promulgated by persons who were not elected by the people. The regulators often developed close relationships with the businesses they regulated, and work in "agencies" that had the power both to make law –– and to enforce it.

The agencies were not established by the government's constitution, and their existence violated that instrument's principle of separation of powers. Yet the people retained the right to keep and bear arms. Just in case their government, some day, ceased to be a "government of the people."

In that land, the constitution contemplated that the people would be governed by two separate levels of government –– "national" and "local." Matters that concerned the people most intimately –– health, education, welfare, crime, and the environment –– were to be left almost exclusively to the local level, so that those who made and enforced the laws lived close to the people who were subject to the laws, and felt their effects.

So that different people who had different ideas about such things would not be subject to a "one size fits all" standard that would apply if the national government dealt with such matters. Competition among different localities for people, who could move freely from one place to another, would act as a reality check on the passage of unnecessary or unwise laws.

But in a time of great crisis called the Great Economic Downturn, the people and their leaders clamored for "national solutions to national problems," and the constitution was "interpreted" by the Majestic Court to permit the national government to pass laws regulating practically everything that has been reserved for the localities.

Now the people had the pleasure of being governed by not one, but two beneficient governments with two sets of laws regulating the same things. Now the people could be prosecuted by not one, but two governments for the same activities and conduct. Still this fiercely independent people retained the right to keep and bear arms. Just in case their government, some day, no longer secured the blessings of liberty to themselves or their posterity.

In that fair land, property owners could be held liable under the nation's environmental legislation for the cleanup costs associated with toxic chemicals, even if the owners had not caused the problem.

Another set of laws provided for asset forfeiture and permitted government agencies to confiscate property without first establishing guilt.

Yet the people retained the right to keep and bear arms. Just in case their government denied them due process by holding them liable for things that were not their fault. (The Majestic Court had long ago determined that "due process" did not prevent government from imposing liability on people who were not at fault. "Due process", it turned out, meant little more than that a law had been passed in accordance with established procedures. You know, it was actually voted on, passed by a majority and signed by the president. If it met those standards, it didn't much matter what the law actually did.)

Oh well, the people had little real cause to worry. After all, those laws hardly ever affected anyone that they knew. Certainly not the people who mattered most of all: the country's favorite celebrities and sports teams, who so occupied the people's attention. And how bad could it be if it had not yet been the subject of a Movie of the Week, telling them what to think and how to feel about it?

In that wide open land, the police often established roadblocks to check that the people's papers were in order. The police –– armed agents of the rulers –– used these occasions to ask the occupants whether they were carrying weapons or drugs. Sometimes the police would ask to search the vehicles, and the occupants –– not knowing whether they could say no and wanting to prove that they were good guys by cooperating –– would permit it.

The Majestic Court had pronounced these roadblocks and searches lawful on the novel theory, unkown to the country's Founding Forebears, that so long as the police were doing this to everyone equally, it didn't violate anyone's rights in particular.

The roadblocks sometimes caused annoying delays, but these lovers of the open road took it in stride. After all, they retained their right to keep and bear arms. Just in case their government, some day, engaged in unreasonable searches and seizures. In that bustling land, the choice of how to develop property was heavily regulated by local governments that often demanded fees or concessions for the privilege. That is, when the development was not prohibited outright by national "moistland" regulations that had no foundation in statutory or constitutional law.

Even home owners often required permission to simply build an addition to their homes, or to erect a tool shed on their so-called private property. And so it seemed that "private property" became, not a system protecting individual liberty, but a system which, while providing the illusion of ownership, actually just allocated and assigned government-mandated burdens and responsibilities.

Still, this mightily productive people believed themselves to live in the most capitalistic society on earth, a society dedicated to the protection of private property. And so they retained the right to keep and bear arms. Just in case their government ever sought to deprive them of their property without just compensation.

Besides, the people had little cause for alarm. Far from worrying about government control of their property, the more immediate problem was: what to buy next?

The people were a simple lot, politically speaking, and readily mistook the ability to acquire and endless assortment of consumer goods as the essence of personal freedom.

The enlightened rulers of this great land did not seek to deprive the people of their right to bear arms. Unlike tyrants of the past, they had learned that it was not necessary to disarm the masses. The people proved time and time again thaty they were willing accomplices to the ever expanding authority of the government, enslaved by their own desire for safety, security and welfare.

The people could have their guns. What did the rulers care? They already possessed the complete obedience that they required.

In fact, in their more Machiavellian moments, the rulers could be heard to admit that permitting the people the right to keep and bear arms was a marvelous tool of social control, for it provided the people with the illusion of freedom.

The people, among the most highly regulated on earth, told themselves that they were free because they retained the means of revolt. Just in case things ever got really bad. No one, however, seemed to have too clear an idea what "really bad" really meant. The people accepted the fact that their government no longer even remotely resembled the plan set forth in their original constitution. And the people's values no longer remotely resembled those of their Founding Forebears. The people, in their naiveté, really believed that the means of revolt were to be found in a piece of inanimate metal! Really it was laughable. And pathetic.

No, the rulers knew that the people could safely be trusted with arms. The government educated their children, provided for their retirement in old age, bequeathed assistance if they lost their jobs, mandated that they receive health care, and even doled out food and shelter if they were poor.

The government was the very air the people breathed from childhood to the grave. Few could imagine, let alone desire, any other kind of world.

To the extent that the people paid any attention to their system of government, the great mass spent their days simply clamoring for more or better "programs", more "rational" regulations, in short, more of the same. The only thing that really upset them was waste, fraud, or abuse of the existing programs. Such shenanigans brought forth vehement protests demanding that the government provide their services more efficiently, dammit! The nation's stirring national anthem, adopted long ago by men who fought for their liberty, ended by posng a question, in hopes of keeping the spirit of liberty alive. Did the flag still fly, it asked, over the land of the free?

Unfortunately, few considered that the answer to that question might really be no, for they had long since lost an understanding of what freedom really is.

No, in this land "freedom" had become something dark, frightening, and dangerous. The people lived in mortal terror that somewhere, sometime, some individual might make a decision or embark upon a course of action that was not first approved by some government official.

Security was far more preferable. How could anyone be truly free if he were not first safe and protected?

Now we must say goodbye to this fair country whose government toiled tirelessly to create the safety, fairness and luxury that all demanded, and that everyone knew could be created by passing just the right laws. Through it all, the people vigorously safeguarded their tradition of firearms ownership.

But they never knew –– and never learned –– that preserving a tradition and a way of life is not the same as preserving liberty. And they never knew –– and never learned –– that it's not about guns.




Link Posted: 11/20/2008 10:12:47 AM EDT
Yup,

It's called beat your head against the wall and share the wealth!!

StagPower

Originally Posted By GaryDon:
I guess we start leaning to speak Chinese then.

Thanks for pointing out the NRA at the time was not Charlton Hestons NRA Didn't even think about that!
What all this tells me is we are heading towards Socialism as fast as our leaders can trick us into it. My x wife was from Romania, she told me stories of how life was there in the 60's, if you talked out against the gov. you went away and if lucky came back alive but too scared to do so again. Her father had fled Germany during WWII and started a trucking firm in Romania. When it went Socialistic he was told he had to bring in his trucks to have them upgraded to the current regulations. The government then confiscated his fleet and gave him a desk job with a small income to just barely keep him from starvation. This kinda of shit can happen here, don't think it can't!


Link Posted: 11/22/2008 7:58:55 AM EDT
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