Note: This is a LRC piece that ran in June 2012. Thanks to some FB correspondence with fellow (and more prolific) contributor Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers, it might not suffer from review...
Gazing at the heady world of International Finance, damn near every country is spending more than it takes in. Those countries whose national debt does not exceed their annual GDP are well down the road of reversing that. The BDMs (Big Decision Makers) believe insolvent nations can be bailed out by printing money.
An insolvent nation wants bail out money to service its existing debt and keep the gravy train running on time. In return for bail out money, the insolvent nation will raise taxes to service the existing debt, keep the gravy train running and service the new bail out debt. Raising taxes reduces revenue and creates more government dependents. This results in more debt and a greater need for bail out money to keep the gravy train runni….well, you get the point.
After tens of thousands of years of evolution how come so few people know the First Rule of Holes? "When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging." (Gracias, Will Rogers).
Why do all politicians believe they can play one more round of Russian Roulette and get out of the game before it ends? How can people possibly be this stupid? I hear BIs (Big Intellectuals) on TV stating with conviction: "All we have to do is print more money." Are Underwear Gnomes in charge of the IMF? Do these chuckleheads really believe when the world economy collapses, they can just move to Florida? "Quick Dorothy, click your heels together three times for a solvent world economy!"
I kinda heard in the background Obama saying, "We need to restructure the European bail outs so the Germans don't feel as if they are paying for everyone's welfare." From that I concluded Obama doesn't want to change the reality of German paying for welfare, just the perception of doing so.
We always hear in boring management meetings: "Perception is Reality". And then some Brainiac will add: "But not Actuality!" Being part German, I don’t think my distant relatives are that dense. Once the German people realize the actuality of the Restructuring Game… well, as they say back in the Fatherland: BOO-YAH!
Someone famous once said: "Any festering moron can learn from his own mistakes; it takes a genius to learn from the mistakes of others." (or something similar). Actually, there is a small group of us who have. We never lived under communism but we know it is bad and won't work. We knew Social Security couldn't work. We knew the War on Poverty was a loser going in. We knew Medicare was doom. We knew Obama's stimulus package would harm the economy not help it. We know a constitutional republic works -- when you have one. We know the EBOs (European Bail Outs) are no better than throwing gas on a fire. There is a small, hearty band of us who have knowledge that didn't come from personal experience. When it is shared among so few, it is hard to call it "Common Sense" any more.
I now understand why old men talk about the "good old days." It is more than "once, I was young." I can look to the past and see the unrelenting growth of government. See an ever spreading dark evil covering the land of the free and home of the brave. I feel the smothering regulations of thousands of faceless tyrants. A nanny state enforcing all that is good for me from womb to tomb.
Stossel said recently, "We are freer today than we have ever been."* I say, when you only walk in circles, you never notice the perimeter fence. We are not free. We have only reduced our expectation of freedom to match these oppressive times. If you haven't had contact with today's government, you don't know how vile it is. The government doesn't kick down everyone's door or shoot everyone's dog but isn't even one too many? It you don't know a secret warrant has been used to search your house are you still free? If you don't know a drone is spying on you from the sky, are you still free? When a red light camera is your accuser in court, is there still justice? When the president of the United States can kill an American citizen without a trial, is this still a nation of laws?
I know. I know. We are all way too busy trying to live our real lives to worry about politics and government and idiots running for elected office. I pray we will all find comfort in our excuses - for in the end, our excuses will be all we have.
*Having interviewed John Stossel numerous times, he still has recurring problems properly administering Sarcasm. That’s because Journalists, like CPA’s, Engineers and IRS Agents, are born without a Humor gene. Or maybe it was those two head shots from Dr. D back in his reporting days.
June 22, 2012