What a Sad and Pathetic Country We Have Become

Never mind that the immigration authorities detained and deported a British couple on holiday because prior to their travel to the US the man had Tweeted to his followers “Can you meet us before we go destroy America?”.  Any person with the least bit of brain matter would understand that this meant they were coming here to have a blast, not to literally do anything destructive or dangerous.  But apparently that is to much to expect in America.  So they were met at the LA airport and sent right back home.  And never mind that 86  of 100 Senators voted for the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, which, according Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who is one of the idiots voting for it, definitely does provide for the indefinite detention of American citizens on American soil without recourse to courts or any other person or authority merely on the say-so of the President.  And never mind the thousands of other absurdities perpetrated by our legislative, executive and judicial authorities which are burdening and consuming the country from the inside.

No, the judgment for the most amazing bit of paternal idiocy is reserved for what took place last weekend involving the Fed.  John Hilsenrath, the unofficial media spokesperson for the Fed wrote an article last weekend that basically said the Fed was on hold for awhile in order to take a step back and assess the state of the economy, which had seemingly been doing better than expected.  The S&P500 proceeded to drop from about 1370 to 1343 over 2 days, or about 2%.  This after rising about 9% from the start of the year in an almost unbroken straight line, and 24.5% from the October 2011 closing low.  But apparently this 2% was too much for the Fed and its puppetmaster Barack Obama.  So only 2 days after floating the trial balloon that they were on hold, the Fed leaked a new story through Hilsenrath that they were considering further “sterilized” bond purchases.  This was enough to reassure markets that the Bernanke Guarantee was alive and well and the S&P500 promptly rose to its pre-weekend “Fed on Hold” level.

Prior to the Bush administration and the rise of Ben Bernanke, no self-respecting Fed Chairman would so blatantly and openly pander to the equity markets.  Even if you believe that equities need to be high to support pension and retirement funds or because as a component of economic indicators, stock prices need to be high to maintain levels of confidence, the pandering Fed’s actions are unseemly at best and destructive at worst as they interfere with normal price discovery and perpetuate the misallocation of capital, thereby lowering aggregate wealth in the long run.  The “leaders” of our institutions have really drunk the kool-aid that they must at all times spin a positive story in order to manipulate asset price levels and “fine-tune” “policy” to avoid bad outcomes.  This story-telling meme has a grain of truth to it but it has gotten out of hand.

During the 2008 election, Michelle Obama famously said, after her husband won the Democratic nomination, that for the first time in her life she was proud of her country.  Well, for the first time in my life I am not proud of my country.  Or rather I am not proud of my country’s institutions.

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