The Dismal American Economy

The Democrats pretend that none of us can remember back to when President Trump was in office, the economy was booming and fuel was less than half of what it costs today.

Inflation, over the past year, has gone from conspiracy theory to “a transient problem, to “no big deal”, to ignored, and now finally reluctantly acknowledged by the ruling class.

Democrats in Congress and the White House are reticent to take any responsibility for inflation with their reckless spending and deliberate hampering of getting petroleum products out of the ground and into cars and homes. But will the electorate hold them accountable in the fall elections?

President Brandon (or whoever actually runs the nation) is adding fuel to the inflationary fire by canceling offshore oil lease sales in Alaska and the Gulf Coast.

One more quarter of negative GDP and we are officially in a recession. The Fed promises small interest rate hikes to fight inflation, but with a $30 trillion national debt, every percent interest rate increase translates to $300 billion more in annual interest payments. Rather than ignite the ire of the public by raising taxes and interest rates, America prints more money to pay its debt.  In the world of finance, it’s called a “death spiral”.

Democrats have contrived a theory as nonsensical as blaming Donald Trump for Joe Biden’s policy decisions. The Washington Post coined this approach “Greedflation”:

The theory, published in the Post goes something like this: The reason prices are up so much is that companies have gotten “greedy” and are conspiring to “pad their profits,” “profiteer” and “price-gouge.” No one has managed to define “profiteering” and “price-gouging” more specifically than “raising prices more than I’d like.”

The problem with this narrative is that it’s just a pejorative tautology. Yes, prices are going up because companies are raising prices. Okay. This is the economic equivalent of saying “It’s raining because water is falling from the sky.” Well, why? How convenient to blame one’s own failed policies and solutions on some bogeyman, whether “the rich” or cigar-chomping “greedy price-gouging corporatists.” While at the same time, Congress has no hesitation in spending $40 billion of taxpayer money, which we actually are borrowing, to fund a proxy war against Russia where we have no vital national interest.

Former Soviet Premier Vladimir Lenin correctly observed, “The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”

 

Internal Confidence in Russian Military Equipment

A year ago, bargain hunting nations were turning to Russia to buy T-90 tanks and upgraded T-72s because they were much cheaper than the German Leopard, the French LeClerc or the US Abrams. Those sales were halted universally as the Russian war machine grinds unsuccessfully in Ukraine.

Russian aviation sales have stalled as well as they fail to achieve air superiority over Ukraine.

NEW DELHI — India has halted negotiations with Russia for the former to acquire 10 Kamov Ka-31 airborne early warning helicopters for $520 million, following uncertainties in arms supplies amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Indian government indefinitely suspended the negotiations with Rosoboronexport and original equipment manufacturer Russian Helicopters, an Indian Defence Ministry official told Defense News on condition of anonymity. The official, who was not authorized to speak to the press, said the government-to-government deal added that the suspension is due to concerns over Moscow’s ability to execute orders as well as issues related to payment transfers.

 

Clarkson’s Farm

Thanks, PaulM, now I’m addicted. It’s not exactly binge-watching, but I have to admit that I’m enjoying the British farming show on Prime.  Jeremy Clarkson is a showman by nature and in the first episode, he buys a Lamborghini tractor for his farm. He has millions of pounds to throw at the effort and it’s a good thing because he’s no farmer. It is entertaining all the same.

I’m sure that the project is some sort of tax dodge because he undertakes little expensive projects that no genuine farmer could afford to do. At the same time, it’s more than a hobby.

One thing that I found sort of absurd is the level of bureaucratic oversight that the British government exercises over a family farm. When I was a kid and we had a farm/ranch, in the US, there was none of that. We ignored USGOV for the most part. But that was a long time ago.

 

An Airbus A220 private jet was designed with the aid of a graffiti artist.

I don’t know what they paid the artist, but my grandkids could have pulled it off on their own for far less money.

 

Identify the Tank

Battle of Kursk, and yes it saw better days, but you should be able to ID it.

 

Tamale Review (after action report)

Based on a recommendation made here (I think by Dave), I ordered some tamales from Delia’s Tamales in Texas. The shipping cost was brutal but the frozen tamales arrived and I’ve been eating them for a couple of weeks here and there. They are not the best I’ve ever eaten but they’re quite good for a frozen tamale. Shipping aside, the cost was reasonable.

 

And finally, happy birthday to my daughter, Emilie.

50 COMMENTS

  1. Happy birthday, Emilie. What a lovely girl; she must take after her mother.

  2. Guvment intrusion in the farming sector has grown progressively worse as time goes by. John Deere’s insistence in being the only person who can program the nerve center of your new overpriced equipment is just adding fuel to the conflagration. While I can appreciate mr. Clarkson’s approach to getting a farm up and running, it just makes me head the opposite direction. There is a grassroots movement that takes 40 year old 4 wheel drive tractors and rebuilds them to new condition. No computer, the ability to repair them in house. 1/3 the cost. The only way to increase your bottom line is to earn more or spend less.

    • Clarkson earned £144.00 in his first year of operation. He figured that he raked in 40 pence (about half a dollar) per day. His Lamborghini tractor, powered by a
      turbocharged and intercooled pushrod 8-valve diesel inline-4, with direct-fuel injection, ran him around $150,000 list (I’m sure that he got a great discount for showcasing it on the show). He’s a rich guy with a hobby farm who underwrites his hobby with the money from his day job and the Amazon.com series. The man himself is a showman – and he is entertaining. But it’s hardly a real farm in the sense of what a real farmer would have to do to turn a profit.

        • When I attended high school, all of my teachers were small-hold ranchers. Some raised turkeys, some sheep, and some had twenty head or so of Herefords. They all needed to supplement their school income. I don’t know how much they came away with, but they did. More than one time, a teacher was called out of class because a horse was loose or the sheep breached the fence. Sometimes they took a few boys with them from class to help round up the errant livestock. I didn’t think that it was strange because it’s what I knew.

  3. It’s possible that some might remember prior to Lord Obama that we did not seem to have the level of racial antagonism we do now.

    • After the magic half-blood prince was in office, proving once and for all that America wasn’t a racist nation, race relations tanked. That’s not how it should have gone, but it did.

  4. When my dad was young the only interaction with the fed govt was waving at the mailman when he went by – no federal income tax, no Social Security.

    And Happy Birthday to Emilie.

  5. The stock market has taken a 19% drop in the last five and a half months. My main 401K has taken a 14% loss. This is postponing my retirement. Six years ago I was on track to fully retire comfortably last November. The Build Back Better that is fucking up the American economy has put any chance of enjoying a retirement on hold.

    I have watched the Clarkson’s Farm series. My guess is that he made more off the show than he lost on the farm. The books may have shown a profit but when you add in his and his wife’s labor they lost their a$$.

    I have had Delia’s Tamales in San Antonio and I have ordered them where I received them frozen. They are much better fresh.

    • Tamales are always better fresh, but even frozen, they’re better than what I can get locally.

  6. Happy birthday to your daughter! This also is my (step) granddaughters birthday.

    So is Delia’s down here in San Antonio?

    I wanted to get more serious with farming/ranching in the past but my wife keeps telling me I am too old to do anything (I am about to reach the Old Testament lifespan number) even 10 years ago.

    • I just went and looked up Delia’s Tamales. I know exactly where their San Antonio store is because I go by it when I go to some places down in San Antonio. I will have to stop and buy a dozen. Any recommendations?

      • I’ve eaten the chicken in green sauce, the bean with cheese, beef, and pork and they’re all good. The chicken in green sauce may edge the others. I usually eat the beef and pork tamales in chili with meat, of my own devising, which only makes them better. Sometimes in addition to that I put cheese on top and diced tomato. It brings more life to a frozen tamale.

  7. Please pass on my best birthday wishes for health and happiness to Emilie. Coincidentally it is also the birthday for one of my sisters.

    You are right about the airplane interior decorating. Not a fan, all that money spent and it doesn’t look good at all. Hope the seats are at least comfortable.

  8. Recession? Jeesh….we’re on our way to a full-blown Depression. All planned, scripted, and choreographed.

    And pretty soon (a year?) we’ll be signed, sealed, and delivered to….? Things don’t look good for the U.S.A.

    Is that thing really a “tank”? Looks more like a self-propelled gun to me.

    And a very Happy Birthday to Miss Emilie!!!

    • The Sturmpanzer was a German armored infantry support gun based on the Panzer IV chassis. It was known by the nickname Brummbär by Allied intelligence, a name that was not used by the Germans. They called it the “Stupa”

      The main armament, a 15 cm StuH 43 L/12, did not fire fixed ammunition. There was the round and then you’d load an 18 Kg charge. It was designed for use in cities to support infantry by blowing giant holes in buildings or knocking them down. They fought in independent tank units and I have no idea why they were deployed in the rolling countryside around Kursk.

      The Germans tinkered with specialty armor applications and platforms and the MK IV Panzer was a particularly well made, reliable chasis. There were a lot of MK IV’s made. The StuH 43 gun did not have much range but what it hit knew it had been hit.

        • There’s a Tiger 1 version of that. A casement siege weapon firing a huge rocket-mortar shell. Oh, sure, not an anti-tank weapon by definition but being hit by a 39cm explosive charge would soft kill (if not hard kill) even a JS-1.

          • Beans, yes, the spalling inside of a Tiger 1, or a JS-2 that resulted from that sort of impact would likely kill or severely disable the crew. The seams would possibly split as well (hard kill).

            DRJIM/BEANS following Bastogne, US artillery began to direct fire into towns to breach walls and allow infantry to enter. The Germans bemoaned the tactics but artillery (usually fired indirectly) fired directly and at relatively close range into houses and factories had a significant impact on how towns were taken.

          • The Soviets used the ISU-152 the same way in urban areas. The Russisns called them “Beast Killers” because they could knock out Tigers or Panthers. Even firing HE, spalling could kill and/or injure the crew or cause a mobility kill, but they could also carry some AP (that also had a substantial bursting charge) or HEAT shells. I’ve seen lots of photos of them in action in Berlin.

      • The lack of the ball-mantlet threw me, and while my first thought was Sturmpanzer, I was wondering it might be a rare open-top self-propelled gun. I wonder what blew the mantlet off and where it went? I.presume a hit caused the ammunition and propellant charges to cook off and the interior explosion blew the mantlet, the glacis plate, and at least part of the far side’s plates off. The Germans used the Sturmpanzers in the assaults on the fortified lines at Kursk to take out AT guns. It’s armor was adequate for the job, and a 15 cm shell would be quite effective. Even a near miss would likely knock out a gun position or at least kill or wound some of the crew. Since they were available, I’d have used them, too.

        • Thanks for that update. I couldn’t figure out why they’d be sent to Kursk because both sides knew what sort of battle that would be.

          Yes, the Germans experimented a lot. I think that there were three generations of Sturmpanzer with modifications as they went. The Marders (open top anti-tank self-propelled gun) The Panzer 38(t) was obsolete as a tank in early 1942 but had a good chassis and there were a lot of them. The Germans also had a large number of captured Russian 76.2 mm A/T guns so they married the two to make the Sd.Kfz. 139. They liked it so well that they started mating the German 7.5 cm PaK 40, in an open-topped fighting compartment on top of the chassis of the Panzer 38(t) to make the Ausf. H, Sd.Kfz. 138. They also recut the PZ Mk 3 into the Sturmgeschütz III (StuG III) assault gun that ended up being Germany’s most-produced fully tracked armored fighting vehicle during World War II.

          The Marder III and STuG III were both hybrids but turned out to be very good tank destroyers.

  9. They asked the old farmer what he would do if he won the lottery. He said , “ probably just keep farming till it was all gone “
    One year I kept up with all the expense to raise my home grown tomatoes 🍅 turned out to be about $6.50 each. But I fixed the problem, I quit keeping up with the cost.

    • Good move – best not to keep too close of accounting of such things. You’re growing them so you have fresh vine-to-table produce.

  10. Thought you might like the show. Having grown up around farmers, I know a little, but I mostly have appreciation. Clarkson’s typical goofy approach belies a level of seriousness with a great appreciation. A staunch Londoner, this was a wholesale change for him. He’s been in the “presenting” business a long time and is exceptional as few are, having made savvy lucrative business deals with the BBC and now Amazon Prime (as have his cohorts, Hammond and May, stellar in their own right). How many can successfully meld vocation with avocation? However, the real bright spots are those he hires to assist, showcasing their unique skills and knowledge.

    Humor aside, the show really illuminates how hard it is to farm under oppressive and often idiotic regulations on top of the whims of nature. Reg’s are certainly necessary, but it has gotten beyond stupid, like anything the government touches. Same goes for ranching, the newest target of the Left to obliterate because a tiny minority of self-loathing mental geniuses have decided the rest of us should be eating lab grown slime for breakfast, lunch, and dinner..because “cows bad”. But rural lifestyles that grow our food…are real. It feels real because it is. But the Left’s junk isn’t real, it’s fake and hollow, designed to steal the joy from life…an unexpected aspect Clarkson discovers in this journey, show or not, his joy was real.

    I’m curious how things develop in S2, assuming they’ll have one. Hope so.

    A very Happy Birthday to your daughter. Milestones are good measurements in life lived forward.

  11. Emilie thanks you all for your birthday wishes. She’s out running around with her husband and three-year boy like she has good sense.

  12. Thanks to people here and elsewhere, Mrs. Andrew and I have become, after watching the 1st episode, fans of the show.

    I especially like the way he slams Greta Thunberg and the enviro-idiots in the EU after he loses a whole field of rape seed (used to make canola oil, as who would want rape oil) because England doesn’t allow, because of EU regs, seeds coated with insecticide.

  13. If the Washington Post thinks that Eevil Capitalists are creating inflation by raising prices, perhaps their owner, Jeff Bezos, should instruct Amazon to cut all their prices by 75%. Problem Solved?

    I’m pretty sure that the British Government exercises a similar level of bureaucratic oversight over EVERY SINGLE THING in the UK. Coming soon, to a Former United States near you!

    -Kle.

    • The Brandon Regime is quite happy with the way that things are going.

      This year it will come down to the mainstream Republicans (RINOs) who are part of the Swamp vs the Trump Republicans who have a very different version of America than the Brandon crew and the RINOs have.

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