(W)ith a national debt of more than $14 trillion and unfunded, future “off the books” debt of Social Security and Medicare combined at $104 trillion in present value ... Uncle Sam ain’t the man he used to be. This in turn makes American businesses that are sitting on a pile of cash focus on deleveraging. The American consumer is doing the same. In fact, from where I sit, it appears as though everyone except Uncle Sam is working like mad to strengthen his balance sheets. The legitimate fear across the country is that Washington’s refusal to join our common-sense parade will result in higher taxes, more regulations, more inflation and Japanese-style stagflation. In other words, Washington’s attempts at stimulus through spending are having the opposite effect. Businesses and consumers stay hunkered down.That's exactly where I'm at. Europe is done. Greece is now paying 50% on 2-year bonds. They will default leading to failed banks or wild spasms of money printing. Portugal, Italy and Spain are all on the way. My focus at home is to ensure that I can pay my bills as far off into the future as possible if things get really bad. If I possibly could, I'd be completely debt-free. That's a bridge too far, but I'm still deleveraging as fast as possible.
In California, regulations have created the income inequality so disparaged by the progressives. We have met the enemy and he is us.
California's pain is not restricted to farming towns. The state's regulatory vigilantes have erected a labyrinth of rules that increasingly makes doing almost anything that might contribute to increased carbon emissions—manufacturing, conventional energy, home construction—extraordinarily onerous. Not surprisingly, the state has not gained middle-skilled jobs...Finally, the Atlantic has published a bunch of angry letters from Millenials about their employment blues. Here's the best of the lot.
There is little chance that the jobs lost in these fields will ever be recovered under the current regime. As decent blue-collar and midlevel jobs disappear, California has gone from a rate of inequality about the national average in 1970, to among the most unequal in terms of income.
Much of my rage is reserved for a predatory system of higher education and the failures of a generation that came before...(M)any, if not most of the students who attend, treat the experience like a 4-year version of MTV's Spring Break. Massive grade inflation means one less standard deviation between myself and those who don't try...At our house, our kids are going to college without student loans and we've refused to pay for degrees that won't lead to careers.
But most of my anger is reserved for myself. I pursued a "Liberal Arts Degree" in communications rather than a B.S. in engineering or computer science. I spent all four years at a state university rather than the first two at a community college. I worked in the summer instead of getting an internship. I worked harder at my classes than making contacts and networking with professionals. Not everyone is suffering in this economy, and if I were going to college for the first time this fall I'd know how to prepare. But I didn't at the time and now I'm left to face the consequences. I want to blame the universities and "grown-ups" who I feel should have known better.
At the risk of looking like a self-quoting blowhard, I'll end with this: All over the world, childhood is ending.
(S)ociety became infantile and possessed a childish view of the world. They looked to someone else to give them treats so they could do what they liked. The editorial is the words of someone who is waking up to what they've done.