Saturday, November 10, 2012

Motivation: low

I have to be honest: I'm thinking about quitting this blog.

It's never been a high-traffic source, so I know that it will be barely missed.  Oh, sure, I've gotten the occasional Instapundit link and I'd like to think I've added something to the conversation over ten years.  But I'm not in the mood to spend four more years griping about how Washington refuses to face up to fiscal reality.

Mark Steyn framed the fiscal problem today in "The Edge of the Abyss":
In the course of his first term, Obama increased the federal debt by just shy of $6 trillion and in return grew the economy by $905 billion. So, as Lance Roberts at Street Talk Live pointed out, in order to generate every dollar of economic growth the United States had to borrow about five dollars and 60 cents. There’s no one out there on the planet — whether it’s “the rich” or the Chinese — who can afford to carry on bankrolling that rate of return.
And he also framed the political problem:
So Washington cannot be saved from itself. For the moment, tend to your state, and county, town and school district, and demonstrate the virtues of responsible self-government at the local level. Americans as a whole have joined the rest of the Western world in voting themselves a lifestyle they are not willing to earn. The longer any course correction is postponed the more convulsive it will be. Alas, on Tuesday, the electorate opted to defer it for another four years. I doubt they’ll get that long.
There's a joke in one episode of "Futurama" where Bender tells a baldly obvious lie and another character responds: "I'd like to believe that were true.  So I do!"  The American people have been sold on the fiction that our unsustainable fiscal problems can be solved without a wrenching correction.

As Jake says in "The Sun Also Rises": "Isn't it pretty to think so?"

18 comments:

Roger Bournival said...

Eric - for what it's worth, I enjoy reading your blog, and I share your concern of our country going over the fiscal cliff.

Maybe there's some motivation in continuing so that when the US eventually does default, you can do the Mark Gastineau sack dance for a few weeks and tell everyone 'I told you so'?

Roger Bournival said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger Bournival said...

I meant to continue with that comment....

Also consider this - maybe you change your mind after a hiatus and / or consider a guest / interim blogger (hint, hint)...

SR said...

You would sorely missed by those of us who read regularly. So I echo Roger's comments about maybe a hiatus and see if you get refreshed.

God bless your efforts and contributions to the discussion.

Anonymous said...

Dear Vike:
Please persevere. If commentators like you don't keep picking at the scab of progressivism, it may heal and fuse with the muscle tissue of the Republic.
Regards,
Axel Kassel

Anonymous said...

Eric, I visit your site daily,usually twice a day. If you cease, I will miss your ideas and opinions. Best wishes to you, whatever you decide. God Bless you and your family. Thanks, Lynn.

DavidH said...

I hope you don't stop blogging, I really enjoy reading your posts.

kgibson1228@yahoo.com said...

I would sorely miss your blog. Please consider continuing....

Anonymous said...

Couldn't blame you but would miss the level of sanity you bring in this whacked out world. A disappointing result, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog. I visit daily. Please give pause to your decision. We, along with this once great nation, need more voices like yours.

MikeAOR said...

I was in the same boat just a few months ago, so I understand where you're coming from. But I hope you keep blogging because I appreciate your take on a lot of things, especially fiscal policy. There are many articles I would never see but for you and this website.

That said, I respect your decision either way. (I do hope you stay though) All the best.

Bram said...

I think in the next 4 years we will see the consequences. It will be very interesting and very ugly.

It feels very 1932 right now. The Depression isn't "Great" yet, but we have the right people in place.

ARRA Jessica Parker said...

"Feels" being the key word there.

Darn, if only there were previous economic crises that we could study and chart that would show the weakness of the comparison, starting with the Great Depression being suddenly and sharply worsened by austerity and debt reduction, or that the massive depression was averted in 2009, not... nahhh, that's too much work, let's stick with feelings.

P.S. Another vote for VP sticking around.

Anonymous said...

I'd be sorry to see you leave. You have a good, analytical-engineering take on events.

Nigel Tufnel said...

Listen up, my Swedish meatball friend:

The right has been sucked into an apocalyptic vision of America. This vision requires embracing articles of faith that are divorced from reality, like that a magna cum laude Harvard law grad, who passed up high-paying gigs in any number of law firms to take on the hardest job on the planet, and who has spent his adult life doing community organizing and holding public office, is stupid, lazy and hates America. This vision has been used to rationalize the most baldfaced political gamesmanship in recent history.

So guess what. The American public didn't buy what the GOP was selling. They didn't fall for the bullshit line that it was time for a leader 'who knew how to work across the aisle'. He was always there. His name is Barack Obama. The GOP made it their business (to try) to make him a one term President by whatever means necessary, including stonewalling in Congress and voter suppression tactics that were an embarrassment to a civilized nation. People who have invested themselves into this vision are now gnashing their teeth, wearing sack cloth and stocking up on dry goods. Whatever.

It's time to get to work. Boehner now has a mandate (of sorts) to jump off that bucking Tea Party bronco that he rode into Congress a couple years ago and let it bust out of the gate if it wants. He is sending the signals that he's ready to strike the big bargain this time, which is (and always has been) his job. This means compromise. It means cuts. Cuts that will make a lot of liberals unhappy. It also means we'll have to raise revenues. Reasonable people on the right need to tell people like Paul Ryan to stand down when he says we need to lower taxes and increase military spending. You know this.

So why walk away now when we're about to get to work? Why not be a voice for your position? If you're like Hillary Clinton and just looking for a little rest, how about publishing a position paper every week or so, with original source citations and no links or references to tendentious political web sites. It would be good stuff.

Anonymous said...

I think you should stop, if only so we don't have to read Nigel's tripe anymore.

Hertz Donut said...

Poor pitiful you. More than likely, you'd be fortunate to produce the filmy substance they scrape off the tripe.

Anonymous said...

I too was feeling totally devastated by the election, a curl up and lock the door feeling. Could not even read the papers.

My son played me The Iron Lady, reminded me how, even when it looked as if the left had destroyed Britain and the "right" was mumbling compromise, a leader appeared who lead the nation back, maybe not all the way back, but back.

So now I'm starting up a bit, reading your blog as I do each day, skimming a few headlines.

Hope you stay. We need you.