Saturday, February 18, 2012

Eyes on the chart, people

So why does all the sex talk seem off base? Check out the chart:

And what's more alarming is that it appears that our current goverment doesn't (pardon my French) give a shit, as Mark Steyn explains in a piece for Investor's Business Daily:

Just to emphasize, this isn't the doom-laden dystopian fancy of a right-wing apocalyptic loon like me; it's the official Oval Office version of where America's headed.

In the New York Times-approved "responsible budget" there is no attempt even to pretend to bend the debt curve into something approaching re-entry with reality.

As for us doom-mongers, at the House Budget Committee last Thursday, Chairman Paul Ryan produced another chart, this time from the Congressional Budget Office, with an even steeper straight line showing debt rising to 900% of GDP and rocketing off the graph circa 2075.

America's Treasury Secretary, Timmy Geithner the TurboTax Kid, thought the chart would have been even more hilarious if they'd run the numbers into the next millennium: "You could have taken it out to 3,000 or to 4,000" he chortled, to supportive titters from his aides.

Has total societal collapse ever been such a nonstop laugh riot?

"Yeah, right." replied Ryan. "We cut it off at the end of the century because the economy, according to the CBO, shuts down in 2027 on this path."
But hey, we'd rather talk about those prudish Republicans and their sexual obsessions than consider that we have a fundamentally unserious person at the helm of Treasury.

But actually, in an important way, sex is at the root of our problem. Or, rather, the intersection of reproductive freedom and public policy. Steyn explains:

I notice that in their coverage NPR and the evening news shows generally refer to the controversy as being about "contraception," discreetly avoiding mention of sterilization and pharmacological abortion, as if the GOP have finally jumped the shark in order to prevent you jumping anything at all.

It may well be that the Democrats succeed in establishing this narrative. But anyone who falls for it is a sap. In fact, these two issues — the Obama condoms-for-clunkers giveaway and a debt-to-GDP ratio of 900% by 2075 — are not unconnected.
How so? Back to Steyn:

In Greece, 100 grandparents have 42 grandchildren — i.e., an upside-down family tree. As I wrote in this space a few weeks ago, "If 100 geezers run up a bazillion dollars' worth of debt, is it likely that 42 youngsters will ever be able to pay it off?"

Most analysts know the answer to that question: Greece is demographically insolvent. So it's looking to Germany to continue bankrolling its First World lifestyle.

But the Germans are also demographically exhausted: They have the highest proportion of childless women in Europe. One in three fraulein have checked out of the motherhood business entirely.

A nation that did without having kids of its own is in no mood to maintain Greece as the ingrate slacker who never moves out of the house.

And we have similar issues here in the United States. Back to Steyn:

The United States faces a mildly less-daunting arithmetic.

Nevertheless, the Baby Boomers did not have enough children to maintain mid-20th century social programs. As a result, the children they did have will end their lives in a poorer, uglier, sicker, more divided and more violent society.

How to avert this fate? In 2009 Nancy Pelosi called for free contraceptives as a form of economic stimulus.

Ten thousand Americans retire every day, and leave insufficient progeny to pick up the slack. In effect, Nancy has rolled a giant condom over the entire American economy.

So the issue is a simple one of demographics: we can't afford the promises we've made. Two things have happened since Social Security began: average life expectancy has gone up significantly and we have stopped having enough children to fund the bipartisan promises of Social Security (FDR's tab), Medicare (LBJ's tab), prescription drug benefits (W's tab) and all the rest of the blandishments of the welfare state. There are not enough young people to pay for all of it. I don't expect my kids to come up with the money, because they won't be able to.

I don't know that any of the candidates, except for Ron Paul, are really talking about these matters. Instead, we've spent the last two years running trillion dollar deficits and cutting the payroll taxes which are theoretically supposed to be the seed money for Social Security. Well, not really -- that's been a lie of long standing, of course.

But hey, those nasty Republicans are against reproductive freedom! We need to keep constant vigil on safeguarding the unfettered use of our genitalia! Perhaps that should be the priority and the election should be about keeping Rick Santorum out of your bedroom. I'd simply suggest that if we choose to concentrate on such matters in this election cycle, some day we'll be asking the age-old question: is the f@%#ing you're getting worth the f@%#ing you're going to get later on?


W.B. Picklesworth said...

The great thing about this is that there will be tons of people who dispute it. And in the coming years they will complain about heartlessness and so on. But they'll never make the connection that IT WAS THEY who were heartless, who were so damn selfish that they couldn't be bothered to be even the slightest bit responsible. "Put it on my kids' tab." Yeah, fiscal conservatives and libertarians are the heartless ones.

Gino said...

i've brought this up many times in so many ways...

and all i ever got were crickets (mostly).

ongoing reproduction is in the governmenatl interest if we are intertested in keeping any of the things we expected for ourselves.

a good start is to outlaw abortion.

Mr. D said...

"Put it on my kids' tab."

If they didn't have kids, can't even do that.

and all i ever got were crickets (mostly).

Crickets come home to roost, too, it appears. Who knew?

Brian said...

Wait, Gino...are we against the welfare state, or do we think that reproductive choice ought to be rolled back in order to to maintain it?

Brian said...

I also have to point out that reproductive freedom is the law of the land. This is an issue only because of people that want to change that. And that ain't the left.

Gino said...

brian: that was intended for the consumption of those who routinely vote for more welfare state and who happen to be the same ones (largely) who combat procreation at every turn.

Gino said...

This is an issue only because of people that want to change that.
no, it is an issue because it is a real fiscal issue. who's gonna pay for all the bennies?

maybe the progressives should have done some forward thinking to go along with their progression, cause what we are facing wont be progress at all.

Mr. D said...

This is an issue only because of people that want to change that. And that ain't the left.

True. And the Left has prevailed on the issue. And now we're coming to the endgame. And as I pointed out, it's a problem all over the Western world.