Part of the problem is to see National Economies as
analogous to Household Economies. The Budgetary practices of the Nation are not in any way related or linked to the Economy of a Home. Among other things householders with Homes can't sell Bonds on the open Market and expect other Countries and Business Entities to buy them. Nor do Households pass Laws regulating their own actions.
I do agree that the US is essentially a One Party State little different from the old Soviet system, but Mr Hayward is part of the extreme conservative movement and not a neutral unbiased observer. "He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell." Which means he's effectively a Tea Party Conservative who thinks any but the most Darwinian Capitalism is rampant Socialism or Communism, and is immoral and fattening to boot and should in an Extreme Right World be illegal too. Mr Hayward is a man who has plucked out his Left Eye because it offends him, and has blocked half the vision in his Right Eye. What goes on in his head I dread to think. http://www.humanevents.com/author/john-hayward/
The whole point of living in a Democracy is to have more than one eye to see with and more than one voice and opinion being heard. All I ever hear are the Extreme Right whining about how everything is everyone else's fault, how self-indulgent everyone but they themselves is, and how everyone else (except themselves) has to suffer for those years of self indulgence. Generally they exempt politicians they like, like Ronnie Ray-Gun and George W. "Somebody else provided my papers at Yale and Harvard for me, and I had coaches" Bush. It's about as effective a way of seeing the broad picture as examining the world through a slit in a telescope which only allows you to see things to the right of centre. It's a ludicrous sham masquerading as the Fount of Wisdom and Truth.
It also discounts the Economic experiences of all the other countries in the world who don't act in the way Laffer, Friedman, and their co-religionists insist is the "Only Possible Way To Act." It is Ayn Randism writ LARGE.
Pensions are not Rampant Socialism, they're what a Human Society does to ensure that people who no longer are able to work can live a decent modest life. It used to be that when your working days were over you died, mostly from poor quality food and near starvation unless the Lord of the Manor took pity on you, or perhaps the Parish selected a few to live in its Pensioners Cottages. It's the French Foreign Legion approach to life: "March or Die". And it only rewards the Crooks and the Very Lucky. For myself, I think Mankind has progressed beyond that Hobbesian concept of life as "Nasty, Brutish and Short." We live in a bountiful society which can afford to help people. It used to be a commonplace idea that the United States was so productive Agriculturally that it could feed the whole world. That died in the back rooms of the Republican National Committee in the mid 70's, as simply not a thought compatible with a party which represented the One Percent. What is the good of wealth if there's no one in sufficiently Grinding Poverty to look down on, in whose premature death one cannot rejoice, and feel that your great good fortune and your crimes have bought you a better life than the hoi polloi. If everyone is living out his or her life in modest comfort, what use is it to live yours in grotesque wealth. Grotesque Wealth is only half the equation. Being able to look down and mock the desperate is far more satisfying, at least in the short term.
People didn't make up aphorisms like Behind every Great Fortune lies a Great Crime out of envy, as some of you think. Generally those aphorisms were concocted by the Wealthy who have the courage to look behind the veil of secrecy, and face the truth.
"And where did your Great Great Great Grandfather make his fortune, Sir?"
"Oh he was involved in the Three Cornered Trade."
"The Three Cornered Trade? What's that?"
"Well we brought Slaves from Africa to the West Indies and America, we took Cotton from America or Rum from the West Indies to Britain, and then got money from the goods which we deposited in Banks except for the small amounts to buy slaves with in Africa. Fabulous business. Made money hand over fist on every leg of the journey."
"That's all very well Sir, but what about the sailors."
"Died like flies. Convenient that, don't have to pay dead men, don't you know. We lost one or two men each leg of the voyage."
"And the slaves?"
"Haven't a clue, we didn't keep records. Not really people you see."
"And what are you doing now?"
"I've had the greatest bit of luck, got in on the ground floor in a little enterprise called Enron. Money for old rope."
"Plus ca change, Plus c'est la meme chose then, from your point of view"
"What does that mean, exactly?"
"The more things change, the more they stay the same."
"Well, you have to work at it you know. Opportunities don't grow on trees. You have to carefully search out the good ideas, and not be afraid to pounce on one, and then defend it from all the other predators out there. It's very competitive."
"By the way Sir, do you know about fracking? No, what is that?"
"It's the new source of energy for the future.
"Oh, sounds very good."
"Yes we think highly of it. Do you see this document?"
"This document is the mineral rights for a parcel of land. Specifically it's for the mineral rights under your parcel of land, where you have just built that very nice home."
Oh, you like it do you."
"Yes, sir. We'll be pumping fluid and water into the sandstone and shale under your home for the next 20 years in order to extract Natural Gas."
"Wait a minute. This is my home. You can't do that."
"Well, I understand your concern, but it's all quite legal, I assure you. The owner in the 1920's sold the mineral rights to the land to my Grandfather and we have the right to extract any mineral wealth we wish from under your land. But do relax sir, Be happy it isn't coal under your land, or we'd have to dig everything up. We'll be doing seismic surveys on your land for about 3 months, then we'll need to park some drilling equipment on it for a rather extended period of time. Don't be troubled by the smell or the occasional bursts of flame which may erupt out of your lawn and tennis court. We'll try not to crack your pool when we do seismology. And if your water begins to smell or taste strange, or burst into flame, well, that's just the price of progress. Have a nice day."
If only life were really like that.