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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Save during the fat years!

Pharaoh had a dream. He dreamt he saw seven fat cows devoured by seven scrawny, misbegotten cows. He didn’t know what the dream meant, so he called for a young Hebrew man who had interpreted dreams for his master. Joseph told Pharaoh that Egypt was to enjoy seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine. He told him what he should do about it too. He should store all the grain he could from the fat years…so he could pass it out when the going got tough.

This is a story we all know. It is easy to tell and easy to understand. But modern economists twisted it as though it were an inflation statistic. They maintain that when the business cycle turns down, it’s just like a drought. And they can counteract the effect of the drought by giving the economy stimulus – liquidity – from the public sector.

Trouble is, they missed the point completely. Do you recall any public official urging the public to stop spending so much in the bubble years? Do you remember any Treasury Secretary or Fed Chairman suggesting that the U.S. government run real budget surpluses in the fat years? Does any headline from any paper in the nation mention a storeroom in which grain or treasure was stored for the lean years? Not at all! Instead, the feds encouraged people to eat their grain! Governments ran deficits even during the bubble years, with the biggest deficit in history in 2008, just as the lean years began. Now they have no real grain to offer. So they turn to a reckless, disaster-defying stunt – passing out phony money, like sawdust muffins…

Future generations will watch the video and laugh until their stomachs hurt.
-- from "We Are All Jackasses Now" by Bill Bonner

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