San Diego – Well, the good news is that it is over. The lies and misinformation that dripped moment by moment from the politicians as they sought to outdue each other in the amount of venom and vitriol they could spew at the other side has been spent and they will have another few years to recharge their reservoirs of political bile.
The end came, unfortunately, too late for me to retain respect for some of my acquaintances who did not just fall into but rather flung themselves full bore into the hateful, distasteful, and often idiotic fray of yet more bumper-sticker intelligence and cartoon level thinking about issues that were incredibly important on a scale broader, obviously now, than their self serving, simplistic, often one-issue intellects could grasp.
And make no mistake, that preamble is aimed in ALL political directions. The real issues that face us now and will face us in the near future as a nation were all but ignored by both sides as they sought simply to smear each other with the offal they could only be obtaining by scraping it of off themselves. Both winning and losing sides studiously avoided a confrontation on truly critical issues of national importance. The winning side did so because they had no standing to claim a shred of integrity or sincerety had they attempted to enter that arena and the losing side did so for reasons totally obscure to me but which could not be all that flattering.
And in the end, we, as a nation, got not what we needed (and probably could not have extracted from either side) but what we most likely deserve and what most likely will be the first major move down the path toward those “step” or “stage” changes prophesied by historians and political philosophers from Polybius to Marx I spelled out in a previous post.
Some of you old timers may recall that years ago, in the late 1990s and early 2000s I predicted that by the time of this election, we would set our nation on a path to reclaiming the shining example to the world our founders gave us or down the road to ruin retracing the same path and for the same reasons previous great civilizations took to their ultimate demise as virtual centers of the world in terms of geo-political importance and economies. I hoped it would not happen in my lifetime but now, I am sad to say, I think I have lived to see it.
I have now seen the parasitical class out-vote the productive class. It was bound to happen sooner or later but I truly had hoped it would be a lot later. I have now seen those who believe they are entitled to the fruits of the labors of others out-vote those remaining few who think they are entitled only to what they can produce and accomplish themselves. I have seen now those who believe that if there must be some consequence for their actions and behaviors, it is OTHERS who should bear it and not themselves out-vote those who believe we should all bear the consequences for our own actions and behaviors.
Unfortunately, those feelings of entitlement and social justice have an economic impact. Of course it does not — or in their minds, should not impact them because it is the others that are expected to pay “their fair share” when some pay nothing at all. But as the Iron Lady said, pretty soon that approach runs out of “other people’s” money. Certainly we have run out of our own as a country.
If that were not so we would not have a $16 Trillion dollar debt and be in immediate need of asking to borrow more. You cannot claim to be solvent and yet require – REQUIRE – additional borrowing just to meet your liabilities. And the result is each child now alive will be saddled with over ¼ million dollars in personal debt to the country if it is EVER to be settled.
Of course under the new order set in motion at the polls last night it cannot ever be repaid. Why not? Here’s a heretical idea, look at the logic. It is simple Aristotelian logic and not complex at all. Here are the premises…
- The only way to create sustainable revenue to the government is via increases in national productivity.
- National productivity is a function of jobs, solid jobs that create the majority of the goods and services needed so that the balance of trade can remain favorable. And it is those employees who, if the winners of last night are to be believed, carry the major tax burdens and whose taxes keep the ship of state afloat. So from all standpoints an increase in the productive workforce is mandatory for any sort of national recovery.
- The world that could easily employ lots of unskilled labor is dying at a rapid pace. Today’s solid jobs depend on skill-sets and knowledge not dreamed of when I was just entering the work force.
- The only institution that can properly prepare future workers with those needed skill-sets is education.
- The only institutions that can hire and retain those workers, assuming the existence of requisite skill sets are businesses and corporations.
- What institution is designated as the first to receive cuts due to those same budget problems that are claimed do not exist? Education.
- What institutions are designated as the whipping boys for all the unfair ills around and so throttled with tax and regulation burdens to limit or stifle their productivity? Businesses and corporations.
Is not the disconnect apparent to you? Are you following any of this or am I going too fast and using words that are too big? The answer has to be that no, you are not following this or the election results would have been different.
Luckily I am an old guy. My “future” is well behind me and the truth is I had a very good run at it. In my opinion we took the first big step over the edge last night but we have so much inertia going that even a dedicated transformer like our president cannot undo us overnight. It will take a little while. So I may never live to see it all utterly fall apart.
But my students will and I am sorry for them. They will never see the America I saw as a youth; a beacon to the world as a place of opportunity and hope for all willing to buy into the culture and work for it. A major nail was driven in the coffin of that old place last night. Maybe it will be the last nail needed.
But my students were and are among those cheering it all on, pleased at the outcome to savor the flow of entitlements and goodies they expect to come flowing down the government food trough. So maybe I should not feel sorry for them after all. They will get the results of the actions they have set in motion; actions and results I do not think can be reversed by the time this term will be over. And it will be what is deserved. I do not think they deserve the America that was, the America of dreams and fantastic potential.
(As an aside, yes, I do still think that there is the possibility the technology of efficiently extracting oil from shale noted in my last post will still happen… somewhere. But having vast oil-based revenues, despite the major growth it has twice allowed in this country, is no guarantee of having things move in the best directions. Riches do not guarantee a benign government. Think Saudi Arabia if you do not believe it. It can also provide the power for a tyrant-in-training to solidify their position by now passing out the goodies even more extensively. We talk about the best politicians money can buy but the real worry is about the most dependent voters money can buy.)
Anyway… If I were a national politician this morning, my attitude would be, “OK, you voters made your choice… so be it. If this is what you want, even though you have no idea what you are asking for, then let it happen and happen quickly.” Since my own pension and salary are secure as a member of congress, I would give the President everything he wanted with no problems whatsoever. And make sure who is getting the credit (him) and who will, down the road, deserve the blame.
After all, if we are doomed to pass on through to the next stage, then lets get it over quickly so we can then start setting the ground work to move the cycles rapidly ahead and perhaps the next time we reach the point of wonder and power, we will be able to look back to when we through it all away and see what that cost us. Perhaps next time we will learn from history rather than ignoring it.