I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

- de Tocqueville 1831

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Keyne's Died Sixty-Four Years Ago......Can We Finally Nail Down His Coffin Lid?

When Barack Obama says that most economists agree with the policies that he has put into effect, he is talking about Keynesian economists.  In the thirties, Maynard Keynes and Friedrick Hayek were debating the effectiveness of government intervention in the economy.  The stimulus package of last year is what Keynesian economists advocate to kick start an economy.  There is supposed to be a multiplier effect involved when money is dumped into the economy by the government, ie: people who receive money from the government spend the money boosting other sectors of the economy. Why this has never worked is that the money the government infuses into the economy is backed by debt, creating more debt, inflating our cash flow making the dollar worth less. Picture two Keynesian economists in a deep hole with a shovel (the hole being our debt). The Keynesian with the shovel says, "We need to dig our way out of debt". The other Keynesian says, "Dig up, stupid".  Just as the two with the shovel can not dig their way out, the government has failed every time it has tried to get us out of debt by making more debt, to include President Roosevelt's New Deal.  I know that most of us have been taught in school that the New Deal policies helped to bring us out of the Great Depression.  The fact is that the rest of the world was coming out of the depression while the U.S. was still mired in a sluggish economy due to the policies of President Roosevelt.  Flash-forward to now.  After a year where we have amazingly huge debt spending geared to revive an economy in collapse, mostly due to bad home lending practices (the unintended consequences of government interfering with private loan companies and some greed thrown in for good measure). Can we all see that these ridiculous debt spending policies don't work?  Can we finally agree that the best thing that government can do to help the economy is to get out of the way and stop spending money that we don't have?  Or are there still people that would trust the politician more than themselves?  Yes, there is a role for government.  It is there to protect us from unscrupulous people that would endanger our financial and personal well being.  But, to make villains out of whole sectors of social, political and financial persons and institutions, the way our "beloved" President has, is on its face, absurd.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Politics IS NOT a Four Letter Word; Ignorance........Might As Well Be.

I first started this blog last year with certain ideas in mind.

1)  I wanted an outlet to share with others the concepts, opinions and ideals that I have formulated after listening for many hours to talk radio hosts across the country.

2)  I wanted to be a participant in the "war of ideas" that helps to shape our culture, our society and our nation.

3)  I wanted to demonstrate how politics in Washington (and to some small extent the various state and local governments) affect our daily lives.

4)  I wanted to convey the importance of being involved in politics.
I am grateful to all those who read my blog on a consistent basis and I am especially grateful to you who take the time to comment. I am not at all certain that this post is even addressed to you, as I know that you are active and informed.  Perhaps my regular readers can take encouragement in the preceding words and perhaps there will be those who stumble upon this post that will take my message to heart.

I have often heard people say they do not wish to "be political" or that politics is not something that they're interested in. I say that politics is human nature.  It is the process that we use to get along with others.  The politics of DC are just an extension of how we interact with our neighbors.  Often people are afraid to express their view point or ideas.  People find it easier to share their preference of skin cream or shampoo than to tell people who they will vote for and, more importantly, why. While it is important to have clean hair and soft skin, I think it might just be more important that we are informed and that we inform those around us. Who we choose to represent us in our "representative government" is a decision that has long lasting reprecusions.  Too often have I heard the complaint that they're all bums and crooks. To that complaint I ask how did all those crooks get into office and more importantly how do they stay in office?  I believe that it is the responsibility of the American populace (those of age to vote ) to be well informed on the issues before stepping into the voter booth and pulling the lever (okay, I think I just showed my age by saying "booth" and "lever" but you get the idea).  I'm not egalitarian enough to say you should vote if you're not voting for my candidate.  I would just as soon you stayed home or didn’t mail in your ballot, but since I know that you'll vote for your guy no matter what I say, than I just ask that you are as informed as you can possibly be.

Since our government is supposed to be run "by the people" we all are combatants in the war of ideas. This should be a civilized war where we treat those who disagree with us respectfully, but still try to convince them that our argument is right or be intellectually honest enough to be swayed by theirs.  As Rush Limbaugh has eloquently stated, "Ignorance is our most valuable commodity". Speaking up is our best defense against ignorance, including our own.  It is too easy to sit on the sidelines and think that what we have to say does not matter, but not having everyone involved has cost our nation dearly.