Just when talk of Google Gods and C.A.R.s seemed odd enough, here’s some more food for thought that’s prima facie weird, yet possibly true (but nevertheless interesting).
I think it’s fair to say that the path our country is on fiscally is just outright stinky. Doom and gloom is where’s it’s going — and it’s going there at an uncomfortable rate. This has caused many to be angry at our government officials. That’s understandable — and I’m certainly in that boat.
One would think that this should lead to change. If it’s broken — it must be fixed. If something doesn’t work — then try something else. If one option fails — then try another.
And (ethically) I’d think that the suffering that would come to the many from this downward trend isn’t something that could be justifiably upheld (unless you’re a politician).
So it would seem that the right thing to do would be to try to instill change.
However, by just about every economic model that academics have conjured, the United States should have defaulted under the massive weight of its debt . . . . . . . . . . . years ago. Yes — years ago. We should be in a position like Greece is right now, albeit without the possibility of a bailout. Yet we’re not. And we’ll probably not be in that position for the near future (at the very least).
Why? It’s all thanks to our only true friends, “The Dead Presidents.” Have you ever heard of the saying, “you’re carrying a bunch of dead presidents in your pocket”? Yeah, that’s what this is referring to — money. And a little bit of machinery, of course (for what else can create money if not the Fed’s presses?).
That has skewed all of those models completely, to the point where economists can’t even come to any general idea as to what’s going on!
The simple fact is that we’ve never been in this type of scenario before: a country that can print money, and whose currency is the world’s reserve currency. If we don’t have enough money to pay something off, we can just print some more. And countries have become so tied to the dollar that just allowing it to collapse would be just suicide.
So, paradoxically, it appears that changing things isn’t a good thing. In fact, it might just be a bad thing. But if we don’t instill change now, then we’ll be just delaying the short term into the long term, and we’ll get nowhere, because the same line of thinking now (for the short term) will apply to the future point’s “short term,” which again leads to more delay, and more of the same thinking.
Yet instilling change, as mentioned, would lift from under us the very thing that’s keeping us afloat at this point.
Thus, the paradox created leaves us in a scenario where we shouldn’t do either thing when we don’t seem to have a third option. (Or, at least, a third option that isn’t unpopular.)
So what the heck are we to do?
I think that our biggest mistakes, economically speaking, were a) getting off of the gold standard, and b) re-electing George W Bush for a second term. I don’t want to continue talking about the latter (and I really mean it — I don’t want to talk about this latter point . . . . at all), given that it’ll lead us on a path not worth taking. But for the former, I’ll say this: if our money would have been attached to gold, then we wouldn’t have been as spend-thrifty as we have been. A limit of the amount of money one can have limits what one can spend. Which means we can learn to be fiscally disciplined. And that’s the key to not being in the gutter. (Not to mention the fact that our money would be worth more than it is now or will be in the future.)
Moreover, our government has, in many respects, been extended way too widely. Instead of focusing on heath, education, and security (as a government should do, on paper), we’ve extended our reach to business that our noses shouldn’t be in. Or in functions that the states should have instead of the government.
In other words, we need change.
But, wait: bringing about change get us back to what I mentioned eariler. . . . . . . . . aw, dangit!
Looks like this paradox isn’t that easy to get out of. If it holds, of course.
George (“The Meager Weakling”)