If Uncle Sam defaults, would it be OK for the rest of us to do the same?

They’re (Congress) leading by example, right? We should all spend our days sitting in $1000 leather executive chairs while sucking in our taxpayer supplied salary at about a buck a minute. Life would be good, huh?

Sadly, for most of us, that is not the dream we’re living. Most Americans are in debt up to their ears. Their houses aren’t worth a third what their mortgages are. We’re cutting corners on health, security, upkeep on our homes/vehicles, etc. to get by.

Many of us aren’t even employed. Companies aren’t hiring because they’ve learned that tightening their belts increases profits. They like that. The employees who are still there are doing the jobs of the employees who were laid off… and they’re damned glad to still be working.

Interesting article in Mother Jones last month…

All Work and No Play: The Great Speedup

…it used to be a household word. Bosses would speed up the line to fill a big order, to goose profits, or to punish a restive workforce.

Increasing productivity without increasing overhead (more employees), results in increases in profit. Well, duh.

Now the word we use is “productivity,” a term insidious in both its usage and creep. The not-so-subtle implication is always: Don’t you want to be a productive member of society? Pundits across the political spectrum revel in the fact that US productivity (a.k.a. economic output per hour worked) consistently leads the world. Yes, year after year, Americans wring even more value out of each minute on the job than we did the year before. U-S-A! U-S-A!

And we wonder why there is an unemployment crisis in this country. It all goes back to one thing… GREED! Ain’t it great?

So, Uncle Sam can’t balance his books. He’s been living for too long on credit without enough income to compensate. Sound familiar? It sure does to me. Just like with Uncle Sam, our interest payments will be coming due soon.

Don’t you wish we could all raise our debt ceilings? Or maybe get our mint to print us up a few reams of Franklins? 😉



Image credits: happy pig courtesy of the OB Rag

About V. T. Eric Layton

vtel57, Nocturnal Slacker

11 responses »

  1. Josh Sabboth says:

    I completely agree Eric!! Nice post 🙂

  2. PsiCop says:

    More than just increasing profits, companies are refusing to hire, because they’re trying to lower the cost of labor in the US. The longer they go without hiring, and the higher unemployment gets, the cheaper they can get people to work for them (on the rare occasion when they do see the need to hire someone).

    It may also be even more insidious than that. Companies may be engaging in a kind of “hiring strike,” purposely not hiring in order to coerce society and/or government into giving them something. What that might be, I can only guess. Perhaps getting Obama out of office is one of them.

    • Getting a bit scary, ain’t it? Their plan is working on me. I’ve tried to find work for so long that I’d be thrilled just to get an interview for a near minimum wage convenient store clerk job about now.

      A while back, I even tried to get a job as an overnight stock boy at a local grocery store. The manager, who knew me as a longtime regular customer at the store, told me that the waiting list for the stocking position was 25 people deep.

      I have my trusty rifle and some ammo. I’ll be ready when we all start killing and eating each other in a few more years… fat pickins at Walmart. 😉

  3. Well the grocery strore and gas stations have been scary places for some time now…

    The government should have to live within it’s means like they tell us to do.

    Many of us don’t use credit anymore. Why? Because we can’t afford to. Period. We either save up or do without. Wow, what a concept…

  4. ebrke says:

    The government is not a family, it’s a government. Macro economics tells us that if the government stops spending and private interests stop spending, depression results because no one is spending. The way things are going, we’ll all see the truth of this in the next several years because the government is going to stop spending and cut the social safety net, i.e., money paid to people who put most of it straight back into the economy as many senior citizens do. Stopping the wars would do a lot more toward “balancing” our budget than the curtailing of government spending that looks like a given now. We’ll see in a couple of years, but I’m willing to bet the country is going to be a lot worse off in 2013.

    • Worse in 2013? Sadly, I tend to agree with you. I see no signs of a bright, sunny financial future for the majority of Americans (those in the lower income brackets). I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better. 😦

  5. Jim says:

    Oh well, at least when the revolution starts, the first to go will be the bankers and lawyers and politicians…;)

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