Monday, June 20, 2011

Kids, Start Looking for Refrigerator Boxes

Our Future?
We're being told that Social Security is going broke. We're being told that Medicare is going broke. And we're being told that the engine of economic growth in the United States -- the "wealthy segment" -- needs to "pony up" a bit more in order for our survival.

Economists, to a large degree (Paul Krugman notwithstanding), agree that the best use of the money from the wealthy is in the private sector. When those alleged barons are able to keep more of what they earn, they invest in new ventures which create jobs for those under them. During Reagan's administration, it was referred to as the trickle-down economy.

George H.W. Bush, in the campaign of 1980, ridiculed his rival, Ronald Reagan, for what the candidate Bush called "voodoo economics", but when he was defeated and ultimately Reagan's vice president, he changed his tune. Seeing Reagan's policies become so successful had that effect. Reagan thought it best for government to get out of the way and let the American people do what we do best; succeed and prosper.

It's no accident that the American poverty level is head and shoulders above the actual poverty of the third world. Certainly there are very few people in America who actually suffer but for the most part, our "poor" experience the inconvenience of basic cable and slow internet speeds. Never mind that they have multiple television sets, laptop computers and several vehicles. Bad things do happen to people every day, but some can be avoided quite easily.

Imagine the following scenario:

Mom, with a solemn-looking Dad at her side: "Kids, Daddy and I want you to start looking for large boxes, like refrigerators come in when someone lucky gets a new one". 

Sally: "Why Mom?" 

Mom: "Well honey, by this time next year, we will be living in some of those under the bridge on Maple Street". 

Billy (horrified): "What? But you and Dad both have jobs and seem to make a lot of money!"

Dad:  "We do, Billy, but we give so much to the Johnson's down the street, the Smith's across from us, and the nice folks around the corner, that we're going to be unable to pay our mortgage or utilities in a year".

While the above may sound ludicrous to the sensible, consider that it is precisely what our federal government is telling us. As our social "safety nets" are slowing sinking below the figurative waves -- and as the rolls of the "needy" continue to grow -- our leaders declare the answer is to seize more money from the haves to hand to the have-nots, including foreign countries who may need help, but not to the detriment of our own citizens.

Drowning in Debt
Consider this, however; while our own seniors are seeing the realities of precariousness and destitution rush at them from the horizon, our tax dollars are being spent on propping up young, able people who have been conditioned to rely on hand-outs for their sustenance. But it gets worse...much worse.

This country hands out roughly $20 billion annually to foreign nations in aid. Yes, Israel and Egypt are the largest beneficiaries of that aid, but we also aid Pakistan, Bosnia and Russia, to name a few. We also give nearly $100 million to Gaza and the West Bank. Why? Well, that money is given as a token of "balance" to Israeli aid from the U.S.

It may not sound like much in the total budget, but if you were in danger of losing your home to the bank, would you be handing out twenties to your neighbors? Likewise, would you be buying two hundred dollar Nikes for your kids, or fifty dollar Keds?

I still believe that most people in this country would rather be productive and, as a result, self-sufficient rather than wards of the State. And I still believe that trickle-down economics work well. The misnomer lies in the pejorative "trickle", which is designed to sow the seeds of envy among the classes. The question remains...would you be happier working for a wage as the beneficiary of a wealthy man's investment, or laying about in squalor waiting for the mailman to bring your welfare check?

All the rich owe us is a modicum of gratitude for our labors in making their investments profitable. We owe them a debt of gratitude for providing our livelihoods.

That being said, if our government has its way, we'll be living side by side in refrigerator boxes under the overpass, while the inhabitants of Gaza, et al, swim in the Mediterranean buoyed by wads of U.S. dollars snatched from the drowning Americans.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: