Bizarro Economics

In the real world, everyone knows that rewarded behavior is likely to increase. Behavior that is punished is likely to decrease. So, if we give a dog a biscuit for sitting up pretty, or handing over his paw, he will soon understand that when we ask him to do that, he eventually gets it and responds as we want him to act.

If we call him and when he comes we hit him with a two by four, he quickly learns not to come when he is called. To get him to do what we want, we reward, to stop him from doing what we don’t want, we punish in some way, or at minimum we do not reward.

In the Bizarro world, up is down, high is low, cold is hot, and progressive politicians are considered rational enough to rule the world.

People aren’t much different from dogs really. Punish them heavily they stop doing that – whatever it is. Reward them and they will continue that activity. Government uses taxes for punishment and tax breaks and or entitlements for rewards. What do they expect to happen?

Bizarro economics backwards is too. It confuses a lot of people, we have to learn to adapt – or change it.

My mortgage lender is in deep do-do right now and so is refinancing troubled loans. I thought it a good idea to request a free reduction in my rate too; after all, my credit rating is well in excess of 800. Why not?

He said no because I paid my bills on time and was never late. Only over-extended high-risk borrowers can get this economic treat. Bad consumer, no treat for you.

How about a discount in principal balance like those others are getting? My houses lost value too. Can I get some of those goodies? How about just knocking off about $50,000 or so of my outstanding balances?

He laughed. I am ineligible for either because I am a good risk and have given them no difficulty. Say what? Bad boy still no learn good.

I tried a different strategy. I asked for some of that federal money from the bailout. I own a company too, a small one, so I don’t want much, maybe only a few million dollars. Who would miss that? They could account for it under “Miscellaneous Expenses”.

My congressman’s aide explained that the government only financially supports unsuccessful, failing, or completely bankrupt businesses that mismanage their enterprises into the ground, cause widespread panic and threaten the overall economy. Since I ran my small company relatively well, didn’t overreach, sacrificed and paid all my bills and mortgages for my properties and business on time, every time for years, my patriotic duty is to pay more taxes so we can support those who miserably mismanaged and failed.


Bizarro Economics confuses me. Backwards seems it.


Bizarro Inflate Intentionally Better Economy Make Gooder More

Unless you have been hiding under a rock the past few years, it has been pretty hard to miss the financial crises popping up all over the world. Here in the good ol’ U.S. of A we have had banks in turmoil, mega auto-companies nationalized, mortgage and real estate meltdowns, multi-billion dollar Ponzi Schemes uncovered and collapsing and that doesn’t even included the biggest Ponzi scheme of all - Social Security.

The recent volatility in the markets has many of us wondering what will happen next. We don’t seem to know which way to turn. Although the markets are not high right now, it doesn’t mean they can’t go down. But retreating from a normal level isn’t all that bad – it gives opportunity to buy at lower prices. Not for everyone.

Europe is in trouble. The Euro is tanking because of bloated government spending from everything from welfare payments to health care. Greece is on the verge of collapse and in the infinite wisdom of our elected representatives we are intentionally selecting the same economic path.

Bizarro economics suggests that since socialism doesn’t work in Europe, it must therefore be good for the United States.

Currently we are over 30 trillion dollars in debt here in this country. Is 50 trillion far away? What about 100? This doesn’t mean much to some of us, so let’s do the math: Using a round census number of roughly 300 million Americans, 1 trillion dollars translates to about $3,333 for every man woman and child in this country. One trillion divided by 300 million equals $3,333. Easy – so far.

A family of four then would be accountable for four shares of that, or over $13,000 of the trillion dollar debt. We like to round numbers.

Roughly half of the people in this country today do not pay income taxes. If you do, and are an average taxpayer as opposed to an average citizen, double your share of responsibility of a trillion dollar debt expense to about $27,000 for your family. Remember now this is just for 1 trillion dollars, not 30 trillion. For 30 trillion dollars, we need another calculation. Now you’re getting it, multiply by 30.

So the federal government is saddling each average taxpaying family with over $800,000 in debt. (I am sure it will be more than that by the time you read this) If your tax bracket is above average, your contribution to the insanity will be more and you probably have a calculator with which you can do your own math from here.

Can we pay it?

If we pay with future inflated dollars of lower value, maybe we can manage it. If we pay with today’s dollar’s value, it will be very tough if not impossible.

We haven’t the money as a nation to pay our bills. As individuals, we have two choices when we become cash strapped. We can earn more, or we can spend less. Earning more is often harder, but if we can, we work more hours, or even get a second job, maybe increase our fees if customers will pay. This is all very difficult in an economy like this, so we opt for plan B which is to tighten our belts, a little, or even a lot - and spend less. We prioritize expenses and cut out whatever we can to make it work for ourselves and our families.

The government doesn’t earn anything. Their money comes from forcibly taking it from those of us who do earn it. There is no possibility of government “earning” more, they can’t. They can only take more, which leaves us even less, requiring further belt-tightening on our part.

Governments can’t spend less in certain areas. They have financial obligations to which they are contractually obligated and to which they must adhere. Combine that with a proven track record of irresponsibility in spending and we have a mess.

The cost of government at all levels by any standard is out of control. The question clearly is not “if” they spend too much, but how much. They absorb nearly half of our national GDP, - by some estimates it will be more than half soon and continue rising. A lot of that is in current payroll and pensioner benefits, a lot is in “entitlement” programs formerly known as “welfare”. Much like the street person, we don’t call a “bum” anymore; he is an “Undomiciled citizen” or perhaps an “Urban outdoorsman”. Now we have “The Entitled”, not welfare recipients. “Entitled” has a much better ring to it. No shame – so more and more otherwise decent citizens are willing to accept welfare as a permanent alternative lifestyle rather than a temporary safety net as it was intended.

It doesn’t matter who is to blame for our bloated government. What matters is that we are here and we can’t deny the reality of it. We are spending too much money as a nation and it will hurt us individually unless we know what to do about it for ourselves and our families.

Next: Quantative Easing