Tuesday, December 8, 2020

After The Trust Is Gone


As I continue my reading of Anna Karenina, the issue of "trust" looms large. Prince Stepan "Stiva" Arkadyevich Oblonsky is the classic middle aged husband, tired of his wife, having an affair with a younger woman. Once the affair is discovered, the wife's (Princess Darya "Dolly" Alexandrovna Oblonskaya) trust in the marriage  is gone, but in the interest of the children, and her being convinced by others that "this is just how it is", the damaged marriage goes on. 

This is the outcome the Democrats are hoping the nation is willing to accept. Much like Hillary with Bill, even after years of known affairs, "other considerations" (power) demand the lie be continued. The 1960 election was handled this way ... the fraud was accepted as "the way things have to be". For Republicans, the acceptance of cheating is a mix of a desire for stability, greed for their investments, and of course wishful thinking that "maybe it isn't as bad as we know it is ... we still have a country". Accepting Original Sin, and the hope of God's intervention, makes us slow to anger. 

There is always a certain amount of fraud in human systems, as I blogged on in 2008 on the Madoff scandal in finance.   Galbraith called this "the Bezzle":

So, we have a crash, and when we have a crash, what John Kenneth Galbraith called "the Bezzle" comes out. Guys like Madoff (or Enron for that matter) and a whole bunch of others do GREAT as long as everything goes up. If things go down, the loss of the "shady billions" makes the bad situation worse much as it made the good situation SEEM better on the way up. The money Madoff "had" was double counted -- he claimed to have it, and all his investors thought they had it as well. Really, like the value of over inflated homes and stocks, it only existed as long as the confidence was there. That is why they call a lot of swindles "confidence games".

Now, the confidence is fast being unwound from the worldwide financial and business systems, and we have an incoming president that is a complete blank slate -- Bzero. Fed funds rate at zero, short term treasuries at zero -- how many zeros are we going to go for here?

In the world financial system, we "covered the Bezzle" with massive debt and largely hidden iflation, but that is a story for another day. 

Like the ongoing marital affair, or the Ponzi scheme, people "want to believe in what looks good to them". Even when it becomes obvious, even to themselves, they are afraid of what will happen if it "comes out", and they wishfully hope that will be "never".  In "Anna", Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin, Anna's husband is a great literary example of this -- ignoring the obvious, and then working hard to keep it from being known. 

Some of us lost confidence, or rather had complete confidence as Tolstoy did, that a core feature of humanity is wishful thinking coupled with our fallen mendacity, meaning we are always "flirting with disaster" on scales large and small. In this case, the future of our nation. 

So now we know. 

Republicans have been the witting and unwitting partners in the sham of American "elections" certainly since 1960, but really since long before -- Boss Tweed, Mayor Daley, and countless others. The faithless Democrats have maintained that "election fraud never happens" and fight  any attempts to insure that it didn't/doesn’t happen tooth and nail. In fact they continue to create new anenues for mail in “voting” to encourage it. The Bezzle is a core of their operation. Nobody really knows what will happen if/when the Beale comes out of the election system, but Democrats certainly fear what will happen, as they know it is there, and they know it is big. 

It desperately needs to be faced, even if that means a national divorce, war, a massive international crisis, or whatever "bad unknown". Like death, it is reality, and reality always wins. 

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