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Jim Cook

 

RUNAWAY SOCIAL SYMPATHY

Every once in a while I switch the TV channel from Fox to CNBC to see what the liberals are saying.  After listening awhile I get a deep sense of hopelessness and foreboding for our country.  The most important thing for the left is giving money to people.  They are happy to see the growth of food stamps, disability payments, housing subsidies, free healthcare and all the other welfare benefits.  They utterly fail to see the damage it is doing to the recipients.  Whole cities that once flourished have deteriorated into rotting eyesores populated with shambling hulks of chemically dependent drones.  These people are no longer employable.  They have become incompetent and helpless and the liberals can’t see that it’s their doing.

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The Best of Jim Cook Archive

 
Best of Richard Russell
February 18, 2009
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What's happened to the country I grew up in? I can still hear my mother shouting at bed-time, "Dick, turn off the lights in the hall and shut off the water in the bathroom, I can hear dripping in the bathtub." Yeah, I can still hear my frugal mom yelling her orders. My family used to have a dinner "out" every Friday night. The dinner was always at the Chinese restaurant on Columbus Circle, the price of a dinner was 80 cents. Dinner would have been a lot cheaper in Chinatown, but then you'd have to pay the fares to get down to Mott Street. At restaurants today I still retain my old habit -- I check the prices of all the entrees, and make a mental note to avoid the most expensive items (my children kid me about that).

I remember buying my all-silk neckties at the new "Dollar Necktie" chain on Sixth Avenue. There a massive display of ties was laid out -- a dollar for an all-silk tie. I used to save my nickels as though they were gold coins. For a nickel, I could ride the subway from Manhattan to Coney Island or for a nickel I could take the Ferry to Staten Island or to Jersey -- or I could buy a White Tower hamburger, and all for a nickel. For 15 cents I could see a double feature at the nearby Alden movie theater on Broadway which was open all night. The Alden instituted its double feature program, and it immediately brought in sleepers -- men who needed a warm place to sleep the night. When you went to the Alden, the danger was that you were sitting next to an all-night sleeper who might topple (fully asleep) onto your shoulder. As for entertainment, I would save up 50 cents and go to see Billy Holiday and back-up band King Cole trio at Kelly's Stables on 52nd Street. I'd buy a beer for 30 cents and stand at the bar until 3AM listening to great music.

So what's happened to Americans, to my kids? They don't think of saving, they don't turn out the lights. They think nothing of paying nine dollars to see a movie every week when if they waited a few months they could see the same movie on NetFlix literally for almost nothing.

The fact is that this country has been living the grand life ever since WW II courtesy of debt, credit, inflation and fiat money. Now the markets, merciless and unemotional as they are, are correcting 64 years of living beyond our means. Meanwhile, the Fed and the Treasury are fighting deflation and over-spending with the greatest program of inflationary spending in world history. Even President Obama states that "we are facing budget deficits of over a trillion dollars." Fed Chairman Bernanke, the "official expert" on the Great Depression, swears to himself that he will not allow Great Depression II to materialize even if he has to drive the US dollar into the ground. But the dollar pushes higher, not because of its inherent strength, but because other national currencies are even weaker.

So I ask myself again, what's happened to the country I grew up in? And the answer is that the people have simply been imitating their government -- inflation, monster debts, and endless production of fiat money -- all the while ignoring the US Constitution on money creation -- it's been a long, wild fantasy ride, and now it seems payment is due. I've said for years that the last two or three generations of Americans have never seen hard times. I've warned that a "hard rain" is coming. Now it's time to get our umbrellas out. Because it's raining, and the bills are coming due.

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