I’m taking a look at societal norms, and reconsidering a few…
The New Normal
A few weeks ago we saw a nominee for the Supreme Court talk about sexual preference on televised hearings. The “preference” part irritated the progressive thinkers of our country. By the end of the day, literally within hours of her using the term, Merriam-Webster Dictionary changed the definition of “sexual preference”, altering it to indicate that the phrase is now considered offensive. Do you deny a “narrative”?
References to Orwell have become far too common these days, as accurate as they may be. We’re only days away until ”Orwellian” is labeled as offensive as well – just wait… Until then, remember it was George Orwell who showed us that in a totalitarian society the most powerful weapon is to control language. Savor the politically correct crowd here for just a moment. What do they want to control? They want to control what you say… That is their way of changing what we think…
No longer do we learn what words mean, we are TOLD what they mean. Independent thinking, along with our beliefs, is stripped away. Conformity and common thinking is held above all else.
For a real world example consider Bari Weiss’ resignation letter to the New York Times, which should be required reading for all high school students effective immediately. “If a person’s ideology is in keeping with the new orthodoxy, they and their work remain unscrutinized. Everyone else lives in fear of the digital thunderdome.”
What Do They Say?
This is what I hear everyday:
- Massive debt is normal and easily justified, and you’ll have to borrow ridiculous sums of money to be a good parent.
- If you can’t repay your debt it is someone else’s fault. You have been tricked, swindled, or bamboozled and you may not have to pay it back.
- You have to vote for a ludicrous individual to be considered a good Republican or Democrat, or a even good citizen.
- All racists are white.
- Money equals happiness. So does debt (see above).
- Christians can’t vote for this candidate and they can’t for that one either. It will be a Christian who is telling you this. It will be a taunt.
- If you don’t like the outcome of a process, the process is illegitimate.
- I deserve my fair share as others are expected to pay their fair share. Certain individuals who feel displaced are free to extract their fair share by burglary, larceny, or violence.
- There is such a thing as a fair share, though it will never be defined.
What Do They Do?
This what I see everyday:
- Joe and Suzie Sixpack have been hammered twice in the past 12 years. They lost their house in the first go around and are probably renting back from the same corporation that lifted it off them in foreclosure. In this go around they’ve been told they are now “non-essential”.
- Today they’re offered a $1,200 Covid check and told it should last 10 weeks. They have to reconcile this against payments on a new Ford F-150, a student loan, and a Visa card.
- I see bailouts to corporations who issued stock-based compensation bonuses to their CEOs and then used ZIRP to leverage trillions of dollars worth of low-rated debt to buy back their stock in order to increase its value. When SHTF and they bust out, they get billions of dollars in bailout with no strings attached.
- I see all these bailouts and I got nothing. Nothing…
- There is no such thing as “fair share”. Even so, certain politicians will continue to extoll a “fair share” though they will never define “fair share”.
Take Me Back…
Something in all of this feels very 2007 to me:
- The stock market is bouncing around news highs while we have emergency PPP loans and $1,200 relief checks being mailed out.
- Businesses are scrambling around trying to figure out how to survive until Spring while it seems most everyone I know is borrowing money to buy rental properties.
- The price of gold is skyrocketing while house prices in my neighborhood are crushing record highs.
- With unemployment at 8% and 22 million looking for work, mortgage delinquency rates are at a 20-year high. Mortgage applications, however, sit at a 10-year high. Explain that one..
- Our government is trying to peg a new stimulus to cities needing a bailout, not on what we can afford as a nation. Forget what we need, that’s not even being considered.
- With their pension plans shot and most likely unrecoverable, and their municipal budgets upside down, big cities are asking for federal help to rebuild after city-sanctioned riots.
- The government is an active participant in the bond market, and employs a publicly traded company to assist them with their trades.
- The Federal Reserve balance sheet tops $7 Trillion. Have a laugh: link.
- Joe and Suzie Sixpack have no clue what all this means. They just need another round of $1,200 checks ASAP. But every time someone gets shot by the police it means free tennis shoes and big screens TVs at Target – this is now normal. They can’t figure out where an honest, tax-paying, God-fearing family fits in these days. Their own leaders ridicule them for clinging to their religion and guns. They are called “deplorable” by the same people who then ask for their trust, their money, and their vote.
After 2016 I don’t know how anyone can look at a political pundit with a straight face. Hell, Hillary Clinton was basically coronated in mid-October of that election cycle. Nate Silver anyone?
I’m not making any predictions on this year’s election. No matter who wins I know for certain we’ll see one thing: budgets simply don’t matter anymore. The historical correlation of taxes -> spending has been annihilated. Instead we just print money and someone tells us what it is worth these days. Can’t afford it? Buy it on credit, defer the payments, default on the payments, and let the gubmint pick up the tab.
The consequences? It won’t be the fault whichever guy is in charge, I will guarantee you that – but sooner or later something breaks…
The New Normal
The new normal looks fun. Thankfully I’ve worked for a good long while to remove myself from societal norms:
- I’m not tied to the debt/spend narrative. I don’t buy the college education/student loan narrative either. I live below my means.
- I vote for the person I feel is best. If they don’t have an R or D by their name I don’t consider it a wasted vote, I consider it a vote for sanity instead.
- I’ll use the language I learned, not the language I’m told to use by the Blue-checks on Twitter.
- I don’t chase the trends and I’m slow to change with the times – and I’m good with that.
- I know deplorable when I see it, and buddy I’ve seen it.
Come have a beer, let’s talk it over…