Finite Resources

It is self-evident that the Earth has finite resources. So do nations, and so do individuals.

For instance, if I consistently spend more money than I make, then the people who don’t get paid are going to come to me wanting their money. And so, until I pay the debt, I will have to actually live on far less than I make, so that I will have a surplus with which to pay the debt.

The same is true of nations. Obama and the progressive democrats are doing exactly that – consistently spending at a far, far greater rate than we the people can produce – a truly unprecedented, an astounding rate. They can only do this for a few years, before the bill comes due. It is tragic that the majority of our citizens apparently have not realized and understood what Obama is doing. The money Obama is squandering is our money.

I see only two alternatives.

If law prevails, when that bill comes due, we the people will have to live, probably for generations, with a much lower standard of living than we could have achieved otherwise, in order for our generated wealth to pay the debt that Obama is building up.

The other alternative is that there will be some sort of general collapse of governments everywhere, and world war, because of the U.S. defaulting on the loans. In that case, the debt will be cancelled because the creditors will be dead, or we will be.

It’s got to be one or the other.

I suspect that one day, some years from now, Obama will be the most hated man on the planet.


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11 Responses to Finite Resources

  1. The Center Square says:

    I agree with your underlying principle. However, I do think several facts should be pointed out for balance:

    One, the government piled up nearly $12 trillion in federal debt since the dawn of the Age of Tax Cuts under Pres. Reagan. When Pres. Carter left office, federal debt was only about $900 billion.

    Since that time, we have had steep, persistent deficits — adding to the debt — because spending has increased rapidly under Republicans and Democrats and alike. Republicans bear the greater share of the blame because they are the ones who have chosen debt over taxation to fund that spending spree.

    Two, federal debt was accumulating at a $1 trillion per year rate when Obama took office. Government receipts were in free-fall due to the severe recession. No matter what Pres. Obama did or will do, debt was going to soar during his term in office.

    The moral of the story is, yes, the road we are on might be heading toward a cliff. But a lot of history has to be ignored to conclude that Pres. Obama put us on that road.

    • popgun says:

      Hi, Center Square;

      Thanks for your excellent comment. I agree with everything you said; the blame is certainly not all on Obama. It does go back for quite a while.

      However, Obama has cranked it up to new levels, rather than making any attempt to control it. He’s like a fireman that shows up at a fire, and instead of trying to put it out, he’s throwing gasoline on it. I think he is the one who will be remembered for it – he had the chance to put on the brakes, and didn’t even reach for them, while at the same time, many Americans saw him as some sort of savior.

      Here is an excellent article that summarizes what’s going on better than I did:


  2. The Center Square says:

    First of all, I appreciate your willingness to discuss with intellectual honesty and civility. (What are guys like us doing in the blogosphere??? *lol*.)

    I think your fire analogy is close to the mark. But I would recast it this way. Under our past four presidents the fire deparment overspent its budget by huge sums. Along comes the new fire chief, Obama, and wouldn’t you know it? The very first thing and there is a 5-alarm fire. So, yeah, the fire department under his watch is over budget again.

    But, you can’t let the town burn down.

    The real question is, what happens from here. For example, let’s you and I watch the healthcare debate. Will Obama succeed in maneuvering Congress into a budget-favorable package or not? The word out today is that this is happening. And after healthcare is done, what happens the rest of the way?

    There are two possibilities, and either could easily prove to be true. Either Obama was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and his moderate campaign positions were a facade. In that case, he will steer all liberal, all the time the rest of the way through his administration, and we will all pay the price.

    Or, he is truly a moderate who was force to employ liberal means (i.e., to fight the 5-alarm fire) at the beginning of his watch, and he will revert to his centrist leanings as time goes by.

    We all hope for the latter, of course. Personally, I believe in the latter as well. But we won’t know until two more years has gone by.

    Be well, and thanks for the great conversation. Feel free to stop my blog any time.

    • popgun says:

      Hi, Center Square;

      Here’s an interesting article that bears on this. The numbers seem to back me up.

      I should mention that I think Obama is being counterproductive by pushing health care and cap & trade. We should be drilling for oil here, now, as well. After all, we’re going to burn the same amount of oil, whether we buy it overseas or drill it here. If we drill it here, we employ many thousands of people, while simultaneously keeping many hundreds of billions of dollars here in our economy instead of sending it overseas.

      I think Obama’s social agenda (liberal) has caused him to do things that are not appropriate while the economy is going in the tank. He might have had an easier time pulling them off if the economic situation was different.


  3. The Center Square says:

    I agree with the oil drilling part of it. I haven’t seen where Obama is opposing that, but I do agree with it.

    The “Slublog” piece is very representative of the kind of dialogue that I think is bringing this country down. For example, Liz Chadderon runs a campaign consulting firm. She has no more credentials to evaluate presidential performance than the man on the moon. That is a classic red herring, or straw man — or one of those cliches, I forget which *lol*.

    The whole thing about more jobs being lost in 2009 than in 2008 is an equally bogus argument. You seem like a rational guy: do you buy that? Do you think that Obama not turning the tide instantly on day one is evidence that his policies are wrong? They MAY be wrong, but do you, personally, believe the argument put forth by Slublog? Or, do you believe, as I do, that it represents the kind of writing done by a person who has decided first that he dislike Obama, and then throws out statistics and claim the damn Obama? I do think that is the case.

    The other pieces of Slublog’s presentation can be subjected to the same kind of critique. It is fallacious logic — beliefs first, and selective facts second. No valid logic.

    Again, I think Obama may have made some mistakes, and he certainly has taken some huge risks. But that is no reason to ignore the gargantuan debt build up prior to his presidency, or the $1 trillion annual deficits he inherited, or to conclude (yet) that his policies have failed to address our recession and unemployment problems.

    • popgun says:

      Hi, Center Square;

      By the way, I like your blog; I’ll be dropping by from time to time.

      Replying to your comment, I have to stand by my original post. To reiterate, I agree with you that both parties contributed to the deficit, going all the way back to the Great Depression. However, if you plot the actual spending on a graph (see you can see that Obama is ramping up the damage done by Bush and prior. You may not like the post, but the graph is factual. This is what I describe in my post.

      Also, as regards the acceleration of job loss: In point of fact, I do not believe Obama’s policies will work; not because of what others have said, but purely from my own analysis. I HOPE Obama’s policies work – but I don’t expect it.

      Right or wrong, things were pretty good for most of the people I know up until about the time Obama took office. Write or wrong, I think the perception is going to be that this is his potato, however it turns out. If Obama’s plans don’t work, as I anticipate, I think he’ll be blamed for that, big time. That is what I said in my post.

      Regarding the resistance to drilling US reserves on or offshore, the democrats have been opposed to it as a matter of policy, I believe prior to the time when gasoline prices increased rapidly recently. I think perhaps they think not drilling here will help the environment in some way, although, as I pointed out, we burn the same amount of oil whether we get it here or from overseas.

      Just as an interesting footnote, you might be interested in one of my earlier posts:

      I think you may have some fun with it. I calculated the magnitude of the deficit expressed in dollars per day since the beginning of the universe.


  4. The Center Square says:

    I’m curious about the analysis concluding that Obama’s policies will not work in regards to job losses. I have not encountered a SINGLE analysis reaching that conclusion. The conclusion is invariably a political one: “We cannot afford this.” That is a fair point worthy of debate. But is there an economist out there who thinks that $250 billion in tax cuts and $500 billion in government spending is not going to produce jobs? That it is not stimulative? I don’t think so, certainly among mainstream economists.

    As a sidebar, if that IS the case, and if the huge tax cuts enacted earlier this year are not stimulative, then it is going to be interesting to see how Republicans campaign in 2010, won’t it?

    Once again, I find myself respecting your calm, dispassionate approach. Thanks.

    • popgun says:

      Hi, Center Square;

      Regarding job losses, there’s not much point in reiterating what I’ve already described – so far at least, Obama administration projections have been totally wrong. The job-loss curve hasn’t even started to bend. Please see this earlier post for my views, and a useful graph:

      Regarding taxation: Within about 30 days of his inauguration, Obama signed the SCHIP bill, which taxed tobacco products – thus immediately breaking his campaign promise of no new taxes, not one dime, for people making under $250,000 a year. This tax disproportionately falls on lower income people.

      If Obama manages to get cap & trade passed, technically it won’t be a tax – but it will raise prices on almost everything, and especially fuel – violating the essence of his promise.

      Looking at the proposed means of paying for ObamaCare – possibly taxing employer insurance benefits, or plastic surgery, or diet drinks, among MANY others? A tax directly on the people for whom he promised not to increase taxes. An increased burden of somewhere around $1.5 trillion on the country.

      Obama should have tackled the economy and left ObamaCare and Cap & Trade (both of which have failed miserably in other countries) until after the economy was stable. I regard neither of these as desirable, but if he was going to do it, he should have waited.

      What we’ve got here is a very complex situation, and it may be a while before it becomes clear which of us is right. Obama has this going against him – if he fails to reverse the economic collapse, it’s over for him. Regardless of who is ultimately responsible.


  5. The Center Square says:

    Good news this morning:

    I’m telling ya, Obama has made the right moves in terms of fighting the recession and unemployment. The only question is how do we then deal with chronic deficits and huge debt? It’s like recovering from the chemotherapy after it has cured the cancer.

  6. popgun says:

    Hi, Center Square;

    Especially if we DON’T survive the chemotherapy.

    What happens when the interest on the national debt exceeds the gross domestic product? As it will…


  7. The Center Square says:

    I think the reason we are talking past each other on unemployment is that we are looking at two different things. You are answering this question: Did unemployment peak at the level forecast in the February estimates (that graph you referenced). The answer is no. It already is higher than that, and continues to rise. That is a true statement.

    But that is not the right question to ask. To demonstrate that via analogy, suppose you bought an additive that promised to raise your gas mileage from 20 MPG to 24 MPG. But it turns out the additive raised your mileage from 18 MPG to 22 MPG. The additive still did what it was supposed to do, even though you never saw 24 MPG as originally estimated.

    The right question is, did the stimulus cause the peak to be lower than it otherwise would have been. The answer remains inconclusive, but as of today. But the answer is not “no” as you have argued (in your non-argumentative manner, thank you very much).

    What we do know is that new unemployment claims have been coming steadily down throughout the year, other than a bump back up in June. That doesn’t answer the question either, but it is encouraging.

    Putting all of that more simply, the accuracy of the February estimate of the unemployment peak is not so important. What is important is whether the steps taken had the intended effect. The limited evidence so far is encouraging on that front.

    As for surviving the chemotherapy, I’m with you there. I have used this analogy countless times. Obama’s solution is a horribly toxic chemotherapy. However, it was necessary under the circumstances. The cancer would have been fatal otherwise, i.e., the economy was in free fall.

    The central question of the rest of Obama’s presidency is whether he can heal the nation after the recession is over. Can he be as bold and wise in putting the pieces back together as we was in attacking the cancer. That remains to be seen. But I salute him for administering the life-saving chemotherapy.

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