Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What is going on here? By HJS

HJS Comments: What is going on here in this country of ours? Why do people want something for nothing--and they better have it now or else? These people do not look like, talk like, or act like Minutemen, Paul Revere, Nathan Hale, or anyone I studied. Perhaps a little like Benedict Arnold, but not completely; he, like another member of the historical trash heap was for us before he was against us. Of course he did not have some nutty ex-president to pardon him. I do not see any revolutionaries in the fray in Wall Street; am I not seeing and hearing ugly pirates, dressed differently, but recognizable in their madness and their contempt for this country. That reminds me that during the 2008 election campaign someone strange said that he would fundamentally change this country. Who does he think he is to say such a monstrous thing--as if we needed changing (instead of a certain political party needing some redirection--and manners!)? In this, the greatest country in the world, I fear that what we now see in our streets and gutters is impure blood of those whose imprint on life is no more than a bludgeon, dagger, or bullet, and whose words are only used to shout down others and forbid them from speaking truths that need to be heard. What they themselves shout are verbal clubs that aim at wounding, not debating--and obscuring the truth. They are mobs! Is this what is meant by fundamentally changing this country? Is this Tombstone, Arizona, 1881? Of course not; it's worse! For those who really want to know the essentials of what is happening, without the banal descriptions and sound-bites from the mob, my friend Rudy Gehm says it nicely:


Too many of our citizens fail to grasp the essentials of a free society: for example, they expect to go to work each day, to be paid ‘top dollar;’ others expect to receive that ‘top dollar’ via a government stipend for doing nothing at all. Yet it is clear that is not how a “free society” functions; one is paid based upon his “output,” i.e. his physical and/or intellectual performance. Frederic Bastiat (1802-1850) brought those basic ideas to the table, calling them Economic Harmonies: they blend an individual’s wants with his willingness to exert effort to achieve them, and the degree of satisfaction he can expect to receive.

These principles cannot be separated, or one regarded of less importance than another.

Each is an aspect of his life in a job, within his home and family, and when he is shopping for products in the marketplace. Sometimes those wants will outpace his physical or intellectual capacities to achieve that satisfaction; adjustment to reality then becomes necessary. Three different roles guide us to the successful economic life: some of us are the savers of resources, others are borrowers and/or lenders. At different times one can be all three in a freely performing society, each requiring a restraint of those appetites that can lead us astray.

The wise saver has, by definition, been resourceful by denying the immediate satisfaction of those appetites in the interest of preparing for his future. He can then provide the necessary capital to the borrower as an investment for the growth of his nation’s economy by becoming a lender, or as an entrepreneur.

Success in economic ventures undertaken is measured by the degree of satisfaction achieved by the producers of various products and their consumers, i.e, their physical and intellectual well-being. That satisfaction cannot be achieved by idleness, a trait productive of poverty. One can readily see the alignment of objectives for capitalists, employers and workers: while the former seek a return for their capital in new and uncertain ventures, the employer seeks profitability for creating or marketing his products, while the worker looks to a salary upon which his well-being rests.

Each government effort to intercede in those ventures with controls and mandates distorts that final balance of effort known to provide a sufficient supply to meet consumer demand; it increases costs, causing final selling prices to rise, reducing demand and forcing price reductions below that of profitability in order to sell what becomes excessive supply.

Yet, that essential interconnectedness of those stages of production seems to have been severed today, by a political movement determined to create division between those economic elements through the advancement of a social and economic philosophy diametrically opposed….the destruction of that free market the capitalist, producer and worker jointly serve: Government becomes the medium for that collapse.

An element of political destructiveness for that balance can be observed with the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations on the streets of New York and in other cities, as an economically uneducated and misguided element of our nation demonstrates for descent into the system of “redistributing” private assets demanded by a modern communist society: Government then joins with the financial elite to control world markets…..monopoly and dictatorship are the result, not freedom and democracy.

These sit-ins represent a “crisis strategy,” a method of communication suggesting the existence of a form of “victimology” imbedded in free markets. Continuing with such an effort will certainly destroy our economy, by causing ever greater dependency upon the failed political processes of government. One can see just such a collapse within the European Union, particularly Greece and Italy, where the morality of individual freedom has succumbed to an immorality imbedded in rigid State structures.

Rudy Gehm
Sun City

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