Monday, September 5, 2011

Charles Hugh Smith's Challenge

CHS is back from vacation, clearly recharged and invigorated by his time off.  As well as more sober.

In a particularly poignant post, CHS describes the plight of "Russ in Redding," a young homeless man who had graduated from culinary school but couldn't find a job.  CHS ended his post with the following challenge:

If you didn't like Getting 20 Million Unemployed Back to Productive Work: Here's How (August 16, 2011), then outline your own Plan B. Doing nothing--waving dead chickens and painting dials on rocks to please the cargo cult priests--is going to accomplish just that: nothing.
What is Plan A?  This:

As I have made clear here many times, Plan A--millions of jobs appearing out of thin air, magically called into existence by the incantations of cargo-cult Keynesians and their Wall Street banker brethren who think all our structural unemployment will go away if only the Federal Reserve shoves another couple trillion dollars into the banks and speculators' hands every year--has failed. We need a Plan B, and we have no models for Plan B.
I agree with CHS that Plan A can't create millions of jobs, but it wasn't designed to do so.  Plan A exists to finalize the neofedualization of the Western world.

But his Plan B is no Plan B at all.  It provides no alternative to Plan A.  Rather, it proposes that involuntary servitude-- i.e., slavery-- is the price for the welfare provided by his Savior State.  His idea is so bad, so impractical, that I don't know that he is credible enough to issue any kind of challenge.

That being said, his heart is in the right place, even if his two minds are not thinking clearly.  For this reason, I'll take up his challenge.

Plan B is to do nothing.  For now.  Remember that Plan A, according to CHS, is to continue bailing out the speculators (something that he calls "Keynesian" but which is categorically NOT Keynesian but Chicago School monetarism).  (It continues to irk me that so many libertarian-inspired types want to label Milton Friedman's policies as "Keynesian" when he was the anti-Keynesian.)  So, my Plan B is not Plan A.

I get CHS's sense of urgency.  I really do.  But it will take a bit longer for things to unfold to the point where people are desparate for change.  It is then that most of us will realize that community matters, that our neighbors matter.  These things simply take time.