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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The United States Of America, Inc.


What is a Democrat? I'll tell you what he is. He's a seven-year-old unleashed at the mall with your wallet. You tell him before he goes in what you expect him to buy with your money and then you come back later to see how he did. I'll tell you what he did. That seven-year-old did better than just spend all your money. He not only spent all the money in the wallet, he also maxed out all your credit cards. Then he applied for credit in every store at the mall after which he maxed out every credit line every store extended. He's got a whole lot of stuff! He gave most of the stuff away. Some he threw away because it wasn't what he thought he was buying. Some of it was stolen and some just went bad.

Okay, so obviously we can't take the credit card away from the seven-year-old. We tried that and all the other shoppers at the mall voted no. It turns out that they like the seven-year-old. He gives them free stuff—stuff that he paid for on credit—credit you'll have to make good on one of these days. So the seven-year-old gets to keep the credit card, and he gets to stay at the mall. Hey everyone! They're having a party in the food court. Orange Julius for everyone! You're paying for it. You might as well go have one.

I spent some time listening to Bill Whittle's plan—the pay for everything twice plan. I love Bill Whittle; I think that usually he makes a lot of sense. I love most of his ideas. I love his private enterprise space program. But they're already doing it. It's called Space-x. Okay Bill is adamantly advocating strict adherence to the law. He counsels everyone to absolutely obey every law, pay those taxes. Don't engage in civil disobedience. Do what you're told and don't stick your neck out. Here's the video:

Please understand I look up to Bill Whittle. He's good people and he makes sense 99% of the time. He's that kind sensible conservative that people feel comfortable and safe with. Me? I'm a hothead and there's no doubt about it. Governor Romney is also a kind and sensible conservative. Risk averse is the term I believe you used, Bill? Risk averse. Romney never once really attacked. He nipped here and there. He feinted once or twice, but he never once really went for the jugular. I was waiting for it. I was waiting for the grown man in the room to school the child about Benghazi, to scold the child about Fast & Furious. But like Bill Whittle said, there's no sense spending time talking about might-have-beens and crying over spilled milk.

Mr. Whittle, your plan doesn't solve the problem. You're feeding steak to the wolves at the door while tossing scraps to the wife and kids. Sorry Bill I call 'em like I see 'em. I'm not risk averse. You hate these guys as much as I do, these barbarians, these thugs, these small virtueless totalitarian Hitler Mini-Me's. Your plan Mr. Whittle—and please correct me if I'm wrong—is to voluntarily submit to these vampires and offer up your daily liter of blood. Meanwhile you suggest we eat lots of Flintstones chewables and drink plenty of water? Sorry for the sarcasm but your plan isn't a battle plan it's a surrender plan. Every sensible American should be doing everything he can to cut expenses and also income to the bone. Barter whenever and wherever you can. Heckle a reporter. Turn your mailbox around backwards. Put out the Not Welcome mat. Cut the heads off your roses and sharpen the thorns!

Every failed business endeavor has one of two problems: a product nobody wants or a product nobody can afford. The first problem is insurmountable. Maybe there's a better product out there. Maybe it no longer serves any purpose because of changing technology—I'm looking at you United States Postal Service. They either start doing something completely different or that is that. The second problem can be overcome if management finds a way to offer the product more cheaply. Off-shoring and bankruptcy are often possible options in this case. Union agreements and pension plans are back on the table in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The USA has a product few people want and fewer can afford. Except of course for the people who get it for free.

For the first time in my life I'm really starting to doubt that we're going to make it as a country. I don't really know if some kind of chapter 11 restructuring is even possible but something savage and drastic is called for. No half-assed half-baked jerry-rigged plaster-of-paris patch is going to keep this old clunker rolling. We need a complete engine rebuild and nothing less.

Maybe bankruptcy by itself isn't enough. If not, what options are available? How about taking the USA public? She's good for a couple trillion a year. I think we do best by first taking her into bankruptcy and renegotiating all those entitlements first. Social security, Medicare, Medicaid as well as a host of government pensions can all be renegotiated. What has to be has to be. Finally, we light the candle on this cake by doing an initial public offering. Simple math will define the opening price and the stockholders will ultimately make all the decisions via a board of directors. The USA doesn't need a President; it needs a CEO. This is private enterprise taken to its ultimate pinnacle, and if we do it right it could be a really big deal.

You probably think it could never happen. You may say the American people would never agree to something like that, and today you'd certainly be correct. But what about tomorrow? Do we limp along for year after year, relying on the ever diminishing generosity of a world heartily sick to death of hearing about our troubles? Or do we grab this bull by the horns? Full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes? Are we gonna dance or do think we should just loiter around the punch bowl until they turn out the lights?

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