The 'something for nothing' mentality is now firmly in charge in the developed economies. As the G7 economies cascade lower under their past, present and future entitlement & politically connected reward policies, misery is now being spread widely! Misery being spread widely is the product of socialism, as real growth disappears and money printed out of thin air fills in for the lack of real income growth. All of this is paid for by the money you earn and store your wealth in, buying less and less, while your balance in the bank stays the same. The attacks on wealth and job creation are set to accelerate as politicians loot and plunder the private sectors to pay the unpayable promises and support those that don't produce, by dis-incenting and enslaving those that do. Effectively, penalizing those who lead a prudent and productive lifestyle.
The cynical would argue that the goal is not to spur economic growth and job creation but instead is intended to formant economic collapse, grow government dependence, gather power as the man-made disaster unfolds, take freedoms and redistribute what wealth is left to the special interests in charge. This may very well be true but it could also be a matter of human nature and the generational re-learning of what role a government must be restricted to playing.
"A great civilization is not conquered from without, until it has destroyed itself from within. The essential causes of Rome's decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes, her consuming wars." - Will Durant, The Story Of Civilization III, Epilogue, 1944
Recent Hurricane Sandy exposed once again the governments inability to execute even its most basic mandate - to serve the people. Grief stricken Americans heard plenty of platitudes by well meaning politicians, but the follow through was as usual found wanting by the destitute. The bureaucracy that the politicians supposedly run, with expanding central planning and control, simply couldn't deliver on its most basic responsibilities. The politicians focused on political goals of power and the redistribution of wealth through taxation, regulation and crony capitalism only add to the growing frustrations with the incompetence, inefficiency and shear neglect of the government. The bureaucrats have consistently failed the people and with their failure so will the healthcare, energy industry and financial systems. They have failed with the post office, social security, the public schools, medicare, medicaid, energy policy and everything else they have taken charge of in a supposed attempt to serve the people!
Every generation learns these simple truths about governments and central planning, but always fall into the trap of expecting and relying on government versus themselves. The reality is people will sell their freedoms for what they perceive to be safety and security. Predictably and consistently they end up with neither safety not security.
Many have learned through experience that socialism is best defined as "Misery Spread Widely".
Margaret Thatcher in the depths of pulling the UK out of its economic misery pointed out: "Socialism is about spending other peoples money, until there is none left to spend".
Slowing Credit, CAPEX and Corporate Industrial Production are only three of the 'Canaries in the Coal Mine' that point out that the current bull market in government regulations and uncertainty is stymieing growth, innovation and risk taking. By avoiding and effectively "papering over pain" with unsound money and a litany of transfer payments, it doesn't allow nor force required societal change. It may 'kick the can down the road' by 'extending and pretending' but it only delays the inevitable. A degree of pain is needed to keep a society both healthy & vibrant. Without it you remove motivation and instill complacency, reduced risk taking and Misery Spread Widely.