Who’s Anti-American?

 

Maryland!
The Old Line bugle, fife, and drum,
Maryland!
She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb.
Huzza! She spurns the Northern scum!
She breathes! She burns! She’ll come! She’ll come!
Maryland! My Maryland!

– Maryland’s State Song

 

SamJ’accuse…

Illustration by James Montgomery Flagg

 

Guilty as Charged

BALTIMORE – Yesterday, one dear reader wrote in to say we were “cynical” and “anti-American.”

Today, we rise to defend our reputation… such as it is. Cynical? Nah… We’d need a big dose of positive thinking and earnest optimism to be cynical. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, people who are cynical are “suspicious,” “doubting,” and “skeptical.”

We’re way beyond that. We’re pretty sure that the system is rigged… and rotten. Elections are exercises in solemn deceit. And the Fed’s management of the economy is a mixture of delusion and self-serving scam. We don’t have much doubt about it. That’s just the way it is.

As for “anti-American,” our accuser needs to clarify the allegation. Is he talking about the Deep State? The empire? Or is he talking about the 50 sovereign states… and the Old Republic? Or the language? The culture? Reality TV… the Kardashians… NASCAR racing… Old Faithful and the mighty Mississip’?

No one can be anti-America; America is too many things to too many people. But if he’s talking about the federales who control half our national output… tie us in knots with Obamacare, National Labor Relations Board rules, and all their other dopey programs… and stomp around the world trying to justify their trillion-dollars-a-year security budget…

…if he’s talking about Hillary, Bernie, The Donald, the Bushes, et al… and all the 535 members of the U.S. Congress… and the 2,783,000 zombies on the U.S. payroll…

…if he’s talking about the connivers who pump out phony credit… stifle real savings… sabotage real wealth creation… and shift trillions of dollars from the people who earned it to the cronies favored by the Establishment…

If he’s talking about THAT America, he’s right. We’re agin’ it. Guilty as charged. And we’re not alone. Apparently, about half the country is “anti-American.” Here’s our friend and Black Swan author Nassim Nicholas Taleb explaining The Donald phenomenon:

 

The “establishment” composed of journos, BS-vending talking heads with well-formulated verbs, bureaucrato-cronies, lobbyists in training, New Yorker-reading semi-intellectuals, image-conscious empty suits, Washington rent seekers and other “well-thinking” members of the vocal elites are not getting the point about what is happening and the sterility of their arguments. People are not voting for Trump (or Sanders). People are just voting, finally, to destroy the establishment.

 

Nassim TalebNassim Taleb explains the Donald and the Bern – and he’s right.

Photo credit: srf.ch

 

The Failure of NIRP

Yesterday, stocks took a little rest. The Dow went approximately nowhere. At first glance, things don’t look bad. U.S. crude oil is back over $40 a barrel. And U.S. stocks are back in the black for the year.

But China is on a debt binge that is bound to end in a blowup. And U.S. corporate earnings are falling, leaving only borrowing and share buybacks to hold up prices.

Frackers are still operating at a loss. Auto and student debt are going into default. Global trade – as measured by freight indexes – is still sinking.

And Japan – the pacesetter in the race to the bottom – is proving that negative interest rates have an effect exactly opposite to what the meddlers intended. NIRP (negative-interest-rate policy) is supposed to spur lending and spending. In Japan, it has done neither – the yen is strengthening as the economy weakens.

 

Yen, dailyTotal NIRP fail in Nippon – click to enlarge.

 

NIRP was always an “experimental” policy. Central banks in Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, the euro zone, and Japan have all pushed their target lending rates into negative territory. All that has been learned so far (apart from that this doesn’t work) is that sales of home safes go up, as people take out cash and keep it at home.

Negative interest rates amount to a tax on savings. You pay to save instead of being paid to save. Whether the people hoarding cash are worried about the prospect of paying a negative interest rate tax on their bank deposits, or anticipating some more awful crisis…we don’t know.

More to come on QE and negative rates and why they really are old-fashioned “money printing” after all –  tomorrow. For now, let us return to the “anti-American” allegation.

 

Anti-American… in Maryland

We’re fond of the place we grew up – the Maryland Tidewater. At least, we are fond of it as it was when we grew up in it. But it has changed. Last week, the Maryland State Senate voted to change the words of the state song, bringing it more in line with the spirit of the Empire.

 

Maryland My Maryland sheet musicSheet music of the old song – the one that still said “northern scum”. Huzzah!

 

The song recalls the period – in the early 1860s – in which Maryland was attacked… by the United States of America. “Northern scum,” is how our state song describes its historic enemies. Maryland was a “border” state, not sure how it felt about the secession movement.

Then the Yankees invaded, cutting off civilized discussion on the matter. They arrested Baltimore’s mayor, the city council, the police commissioner, and the entire board of police. All were held without charges. Habeas corpus was suspended.

Then when the Supreme Court ruled that the feds had no power to ignore constitutional protections, Abe Lincoln simply ignored the Supreme Court. He continued to hold his prisoners in the “American Bastille” – Fort McHenry. One of the prisoners – held without charges – was the grandson of Francis Scott Key, who had written the American national anthem.

 

key-francis-scottFrancis Scott Key – his grandson found out who the “real Lincoln” was.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

 

He must have seen the black humor of his situation. In 1814, during Britain’s attack on Fort McHenry, his grandfather had wondered whether the flag still flew “o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

In 1861, Lincoln gave the answer: No.

 

Chart by: BarChart

 

Chart and image captions by PT

 

The above article originally appeared at the Diary of a Rogue Economist, written for Bonner & Partners. Bill Bonner founded Agora, Inc in 1978. It has since grown into one of the largest independent newsletter publishing companies in the world. He has also written three New York Times bestselling books, Financial Reckoning Day, Empire of Debt and Mobs, Messiahs and Markets.

 

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5 Responses to “Who’s Anti-American?”

  • wmbean:

    Bill,I share your sense of Maryland, I was born in Baltimore at the county hospital quite a few decades back. Maryland has always had a varied history in these United states.

    As for No6, I fear he suffers from the general assumption that heaping a collection of data is the same as doing statistical analysis or any type of analytic thought. On my aunts farm we used a shovel to heap data on to a wheelbarrow so that its analytic analysis would give bloom to the flora in her garden. But that is the liberal tendency, isn’t it, use a few data points as conclusive proof for one’s point. As Mr T once said, I pity the liberal progressive fool.

  • No6:

    Forgive me, I forgot Yemen.

  • No6:

    Torture, rendition, assassinations, military bases, illegal spying, unending illegal foreign wars, corrupt finances, war on drugs, Perversions of Foreign Elections, Use of Chemical & Biological Weapons, Propping Up Corrupt
    Dictators, a mounting death toll around the world since ww2:
    Nicaragua
    30,000 dead

    Brazil
    100,000 dead

    Korea
    4 million dead

    Guatemala
    200,000 dead

    Honduras
    20,000 dead

    El Salvador
    63,000 dead

    Argentina
    40,000 dead

    Bolivia
    10,000 dead

    Uruguay
    10,000 dead

    Ecuador
    10,000 dead

    Peru
    10,000 dead

    Iraq
    1.3 million dead

    Iran
    30,000 dead

    Sudan
    8-10,000 dead

    Colombia
    50,000 dead

    Panama
    5,000 dead

    Japan
    140,000 dead

    Afghanistan
    10,000 dead

    Somalia
    5000 dead

    Philippines
    150,000 dead

    Haiti
    100,000 dead

    Dominican Republic
    10,000 dead

    Libya
    500 dead

    Macedonia
    1000 dead

    South Africa
    10,000 dead

    Pakistan
    10,000 dead

    Palestine
    40,000 dead

    Indonesia
    1 million dead

    East Timor
    1/3-1/2 of total population

    Greece
    10,000 dead

    Laos
    600,000 dead

    Cambodia
    1 million dead

    Angola
    300,000 dead

    Grenada
    500 dead

    Congo
    2 million dead

    Egypt
    10,000 dead

    Vietnam
    1.5 million dead

    Chile
    50,000 dead

    Who in their right mind could be pro- American?

    • All-Your-Gold-Are-Mine:

      You are a f*cking d*mbass…. No6. Every country has their “history”… your problem is that you just can’t put the history of the world into proper perspective… it happens to ignorant morons.

      • Hans:

        AYGAM, you will have to excuse No6 for his ignorance
        as his understanding of world history has been shaped
        either by “education” providers or the MSM. It explains his
        cut and pasted drivel of a post.

        Rush was correct when suggesting that liberals have
        a mental disorder.

        Perhaps No6 and his associates are not Americans but
        internationalist.

        America is simply a large city, in which everyone can freely
        enter at will.

        There is a saying, better to remain quiet and let them think you
        a fool, than speak and let them know you a fool.

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