JWT's Journal ... by John Wayne Tucker
People have become rather complacent about the operation of our country over the decades. Of course, there are the few who have begun to wake up, but even they are not always certain about the real problems; but rather, simply know that there is a problem. The fact remains, however, that most people are content with the operation of America. As long as they have a job (even if it doesn’t pay what it used to pay), a car (even if it is not as big and luxurious as it used to be), and can afford to eat out and enjoy entertainment and toys, they are happy.
Politicians have certainly figured out the formula that keeps them in office and keeps them collecting huge benefits from being there. The formula is simple actually. Just make sure that the people are content and that the economy is perceived as being good. So the politician takes the position that he wants everything to be good on his watch. What happens after those politicians are gone is the concern of another group of politicians who have inherited all of the problems from the previous group but wants the same formula for their watch.
If a politician wants things to be good on their watch, isn’t that a good thing? Nothing could be further from the truth. To have things be perceived as good, everyone has to be appeased in some way. No group can be left out … and the money must flow freely. Therefore, the interest is always in the “here and now,” never in the future consequences of what is done today. One can certainly make an argument that this philosophy got its real beginnings during the Roosevelt era.
We might be able to forgive Roosevelt as he dealt with an economic Depression which was not something that we had ever faced before. Of course, many of the same political and social issues that are being addressed in this essay now led to that Depression. Roosevelt’s answer to the issue at hand was to throw money at the problem. The purpose was to get people back to work. People did go back to work, but it did not end the Depression. It created a country that was more dependent than ever before on the power of the government to help them survive, and it put new economic burdens on America that have threatened our economy since Lyndon Johnson’s administration.
While Roosevelt was limited in the amount of money he could throw at the problem, our current government does not feel limited at all. When the Kennedy/Johnson administration took us off the Silver Standard (our last precious metal standard was silver, not gold), the path of destruction was set. We were soon able to print as much money as we liked.
Economists have argued that there is no limit to the amount of debt a country can owe as long as it owes it to itself. We operated under that philosophy for many decades, but now we have come to the point that much of our debt is owed to foreign countries. Therefore, there is no reason for the Obama administration to hold back. Spending more money than all of the previous administrations combined and spending it in only one year was just the beginning.
We have come to the point where we are no longer experiencing a favorable balance of trade (exporting more than we import). We are no longer self sufficient in most goods and services. We no longer have the highest standard of living in the world. We no longer lead the world in quality of education and the list goes on and on. What we have now is a standard of living that we have borrowed. Remember that no politician wants things to be bad on his watch, so no one is willing to make the decisions that will improve our future. We are only interested in right now. So, if we don’t have the standard of living that we have grown to love and enjoy, we simply borrow whatever it takes to continue our lifestyles. Of course, this is played out in millions of homes across the country as well and this promises to increase our road to destruction even sooner.
The problem with borrowing our lifestyle is that someone has to pay for it eventually. We are now entering the time when the lifestyle may no longer be sustainable. The consequence of printing the massive amounts of money are as simple as the law of supply and demand. The money will continue to lose its value and hyperinflation will “kick in.”
I had students from Central and South American countries who talked about 1,000 percent inflation per week or even per day. Argentina, a gold and silver rich country, went to the printing presses and ended up with 100 trillion percent inflation. Can you imagine what our lives will be like if we go to the store next week and the prices have increased 1,000 percent? It is reasonable to believe that we will be devastated if the prices rise 10 percent per week. It would be difficult to imagine that we could sustain our families with that kind of inflation.
Apparently, the politicians that we send to Washington are willing to sacrifice the future success of America to the expediency of today. Their philosophy: keep the people appeased for as long as possible and they can go on collecting the financial benefits beyond their salaries that make them rich.
Next week: Why We Keep Electing The Same Kind Of Politicians
John Wayne Tucker
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