Upside Down Nation ~ 2011-05-15
Everybody knows that you're supposed to spend less than you earn, right? It's not a new idea. Yet now we see that the inability to follow this simple principle has spread from low to mid income individuals to large corporations and worst of all, throughout our own state and federal governments. For instance, in a move of nothing less than complete idiocy the state of Arizona recently sold many of its public buildings (including the state capitol) to a private buyer. The state is now locked into a contract to lease these buildings back from the buyer. The good news - they tell us - is that we got some operating capital from selling the actual capital. And then of course we're all well aware of the huge national debt that we have been amassing in recent years.
What are we thinking? Can we as a society be so irrational as to think that some great thing is going to happen to our finances that will allow us to pay off all this debt in the future? Are we expecting a big windfall from a rich uncle? As I've stated in another post entitled Freedom, Faith and Control I believe that most of the overspending on the national level is a deliberate conspiracy to bankrupt the government, allowing those with ideas other than freedom to make a power grab. But the big question is, how can we as a society be so stupid as to go along with it? In order for this to happen, there has to be a whole lot of people out there who are selfish, short-sighted or truly do not know any better.
Our society as a whole is upside down. We hear that term a lot in car ads... in that context, it means you owe more on the car than it is worth. Car dealerships have all sorts of gimmicks to help you get out of these supposedly horrible situations, but the solution is pretty darn obvious. You keep making the payments and driving the old car until it's paid off. Then you drive it some more and don't buy a new one until the old one literally falls apart or becomes too expensive to maintain. We've got to do the same thing nationally; bite the bullet and live on what we have. Let unstable banks fail. Let insolvent corporations go bankrupt. Stop meddling with the economy and let the natural laws of supply and demand work so the marketplace can balance itself. Stop getting us into further layers of debt that we will never be able to pay off.
It's going to be hard at first, to get used to the idea of not giving everything to everybody who wants it. Entitlement and special interest groups are going to be really ticked off... then they are going to discover that with their cash cow dried up, they can't continue to spend their time lobbying for money and they're going to either disappear or find private sources for funding. The poor are going to be very angry when their checks stop coming; then they're going to go out and get jobs. Other countries are going to act really mad when we pull out of every money pit country whose problems we are trying to solve. Then they will have to step up and solve their own problems.
If we ever want to get right side up again, the principles are the same for governments and corporations as they are for individuals: We have to stop spending more than we make on things we don't need. These are NOT desperate times; these are wealthy times, but we're too blinded by our greed, laziness and desires for instant gratification to enjoy it. And we are being fed lies by a faction of society that seeks to tear down all we and our predecessors have worked for.
As long as we continue to spend money, people are going to continue to take it. There is no end to the demand for free stuff; but there HAS to be an end to our supply of it.