By James Kunstler - August 6, 2021
The very fine people of the Progressive Left believe many things: that men can be women (and mostly should be); that two plus two should equal how you feel, not the same darn thing every time; That “Joe Biden” is not just president but the greatest one since Barack Obama (and the 2020 election proved it). The very fine people on the Left don’t believe in a couple of things: reality and the law. This is getting to be a problem in what’s left of the USA.
Reality, you might think, works in strange ways, such as the idea of rent. It grows out of another idea that happens to underly law: property. Property is owning something. Granted, it has a certain suspicious artificiality, since you must surrender it to others (usually relatives) when you depart this world. And granted, it is not exactly fair, since some people will own more property than other people. But it has many functional benefits in the greater artificial construct sometimes called civilized society.
Property permits people to thrive, and not necessarily at the expense of other people. If I come to own a house through hard work, thrift, and prudent management of my resources; and if I rent out the second floor to you at a price you are willing to pay (while you work hard and manage your resources); then that bargain succeeds in allocating the “good” called a place to live. Granted, there are some people who make bad bargains (and some people who offer them), but there are many who are satisfied with paying for a place to live, and accept it as a condition of participating in that thing called civilized society, with its many benefits.
By the way, the property-owner designated as “landlord” has payment obligations too: property taxes, the cost of fixing all the goshdarn things that wear out: roofs, plumbing, the paint, etc. Often this landlord has a mortgage on his building, which works as a kind of rent. If the government, which is an instrument of civilized society, suspends rent payments indefinitely, then a certain percentage of property owners are going to lose their property one way or another due to not paying the cost of ownership.
As that occurs, a chain of non-payments begins to disrupt the whole system by which the “good” called a place to live is allocated, and then fewer people have a place to live which renders them…homeless. The very fine people of the Progressive Left, who hold the levers of power these days in the executive branch of the instrument called government, have decided that eighteen months of suspended rent payments during a “national emergency” is not enough. Now, it happens that the branch called the Supreme Court decided otherwise in June. But the very fine fellow, “Joe Biden,” purported to be leader of the very fine people of the Progressive Left who run things, has decided to nullify the judgment of the Supreme Court because… well, because he feels like it. And because who is going to stop him? (Echo answers.)
Of course, the very fine people of the Progressive Left also believe in a new and pretty sexy idea (female-style sexy, actually) called Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). This theory states that the people in charge can borrow money to pay for anything that they want to make happen, and that the debt does not have to ever be paid back. One thing they might want to make happen is to bail out everyone involved in the rent moratorium fiasco — the renters burdened by accumulated non-payments, and then the broke landlords, and, gosh, even the holders of the mortgages that have been securitized, bundled, and sold as bonds to hedge funds, pension funds, and banks. MMT, therefore, will make everything right when the national emergency finally ends, and all concerned can just pick up where they left off before the emergency started and make a fresh start.
This experiment has only partly played out. So far, borrowing trillions of dollars that will never have to be paid back hasn’t hurt anybody. In other words, so far so good! At some point we may need to revisit exactly what we mean when we use the word debt. After all, it implies some kind of function, some relationship, between borrowing and repayment, and if repayment is no longer required then maybe this mechanism is not what we think it is. What could it be then? The very fine people might call it “economic justice.” But will that make it work? (By which I mean, continue to function.) I guess we’ll just have to see.
Now, the very fine president “Joe Biden” has appointed a very fine fellow named Merrick Garland to be Attorney General of the civilized society called the USA. Mr. Garland is chief enforcement officer of federal law. He attended the very fine Harvard Law School, but he apparently missed the seminar course in constitutional law titled Advanced Issues in Administrative Law and Theory. Mr. Garland has been sending letters to officers of the Arizona state government threatening to punish and even imprison anyone in that state who moves further to investigate the balloting results and the conduct of the 2020 election in that jurisdiction. Mr. Garland, having missed that crucial course (above), is apparently unaware that the US constitution assigns authority over elections to each state — with the reserve clause that the US Congress can legislate changes to that order of things, which they haven’t done.
Therefore, Mr. Garland is out-of-order. Will he actually move to interfere with an effort currently underway in the state of Arizona to conduct a full forensic investigation of the 2020 vote? Elected officials of that state have counter-threatened to throw Mr. Garland’s very fine ass in an Arizona jail if he attempts to interfere. Meanwhile the forensic investigators of said election hired by the Arizona State Senate have completed phase one of their task, close examination of the paper ballots, and are moving on to phases two and three: canvassing street addresses from which mail-in ballots originated, and full examination of the Dominion vote-tallying machines . . .