The inflation test

Inflationistas have long insisted that the Fed can “print” all the money it wants. Deflationistas argue that it can’t. And now, we are beginning the process of finding out who is correct:

Fed Looks to Spur Growth by Buying Government Debt. Federal Reserve officials decided to reinvest principal payments on mortgage holdings into long-term Treasury securities, making their first attempt to bolster growth since March 2009 to keep the slowing U.S. economy from relapsing into recession.

The conventional inflationist argument is that the government can print as much paper as it wants. The problem with that is that in the US system, the government doesn’t print any paper, the Fed prints it and the government borrows from the Fed. So, the revised inflationist argument is that the purchase of Federal government debt is effectively the same thing as simply printing paper. I am dubious of this, as I am confident that the addition of these two intermediary steps with all the various complications they likely entail will derail the assumed equivalence. And then, of course, there is the question of whether the government can create debt as fast as it can print money even with the Fed promising that it will buy some of that debt. It is, after all, a mistake to assume that because the Fed has shown a willingness to buy a small portion of the newly-issued Federal debt, it will be willing to buy all of the newly-issued debt for an indefinite period of time. Which, you will note, is necessary if the equivalence is to hold.

I, for one, have seen absolutely no sign that the Federal Reserve is willing to put the interests of the national economy ahead of the health of its member banks, let alone itself. Have you? And remember, the $8 trillion in the M2 money supply is dwarfed by the $53 trillion in outstanding debt. The theoretical “printing” of the former will have to make up for the decline of the latter. Do the math.

She’s not alone

In fairness, her experience was worse than most. You know going in that you’re not going to get a real job with a degree in Women’s Studies or Sociology. But this woman was sold a totally worthless piece of paper for $70,000.

Carrianne Howard wanted to design video games. But her $12 an hour gig as an industry recruiter didn’t work out, so now she is stripping at a topless club in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

“I didn’t know what else to do,” Howard told Bloomberg. “I’ve got a worthless degree. It’s like I didn’t attend school at all.”

I happen to know a reasonably significant percentage of the game designers in the industry. For example, yesterday I got a call from a very successful old school game designer in Australia about an idea we’ve been kicking around for about a year, and in the course of the conversation we discovered that he had signed a game to the same guy in England who had offered me a job around that time. In other words, we had nearly found ourselves working on the same project. It’s a fairly small world. And I have never met anyone who has a degree in game design. It’s one of the more shameless educational scams out there. If you want to get into game design, study programming, play a lot of games, and pursue an internship as a tester.

Still, most people never learn. The punchline is that she’s saving her money… for a business degree.

Homogamy and civilizational decline

Ross Douthat writes a pretty good column in the New York Times explaining how the anti-homogamy side has made a mistake relying upon irrelevant arguments. He also reiterates the one they should have been making from the start:

The point of this ideal is not that other relationships have no value, or that only nuclear families can rear children successfully. Rather, it’s that lifelong heterosexual monogamy at its best can offer something distinctive and remarkable — a microcosm of civilization, and an organic connection between human generations — that makes it worthy of distinctive recognition and support.

Again, this is not how many cultures approach marriage. It’s a particularly Western understanding, derived from Jewish and Christian beliefs about the order of creation, and supplemented by later ideas about romantic love, the rights of children, and the equality of the sexes. Or at least, it was the Western understanding. Lately, it has come to co-exist with a less idealistic, more accommodating approach, defined by no-fault divorce, frequent out-of-wedlock births, and serial monogamy.

Douthat also inadvertantly mentions the source of the problem, as the supplementation of those later ideas, especially the fictional “equality” of the sexes has been far more destructive to Western civilization than homogamy will if the judicial activists are successful in imposing their antidemocratic will upon the people. In fact, I tend to see homogamy and its assorted ills as being much more a late-stage symptom than a causal factor when it comes to societal collapse.

But that doesn’t change the easily observable fact that the forces pushing homogamy and open homosexuality are actively engaged in attempting to destroy one of the more successful civilizations in human history. As I showed in yesterday’s WND column, there is no genuine “progress” being made here, social or moral, this is simply a return to the pagan decadence of a society that was in decline 18 centuries ago. The observations of one of the first historians of women, Alfred Brittain, made at the turn of the 20th century about Roman women, was an insightful harbinger of the subsequent success of the suffrage movement.

Julia represented the prevalent social conditions of her time. Licentiousness, like a cancer, was eating into the heart of Roman society; and this was to grow still worse. It must be admitted also that female degeneracy kept pace with the increase of woman’s influence in the political world. Livia and Agrippina the Elder were exceptions; but the rule was, and has been in all history, that the activity of women in State affairs was accompanied by an abundance of meretricious amatory intrigues. It is a remarkable fact that in the history of the Roman woman–and possibly this statement might be given a much wider application–there is no instance where any individual woman designedly helped to bring about the enactment of a law for the public weal. Female politics always had for their object the advancement of the female politician’s own personal interests or those of some male favorite.”

To be fair, there have been the occasional exceptions over the last 100 years, such as Margaret Thatcher, but then of course she was declared to be “not of the gender woman” by fellow members of her sex for her sin of deviating from the female political pattern.* What is ironic is that so many individuals who greatly cherish certain fruits of Western civilization, such as the science fetishists to give one example, completely fail to recognize that the societal decline they are lauding as “social progress” is much more likely to destroy the aspects of Western civilization that they enjoy, such as wealth, technology, science, free speech and relative political freedom, than it is to eliminate the moral and cultural aspects that they despise. To repeat my comment from yesterday, ignorant pagans rutting in filth and poverty are not capable of funding either the development of new technologies or the expansion of the scientific knowledge base. There are no science labs in grass huts.

*This was a direct quote from a female professor at my university.